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Okay, okay… it’s not really the last time, because you know someone is going to keep doing it again and again.
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Okay, okay… it’s not really the last time, because you know someone is going to keep doing it again and again.
I’ve been downloading books and stories from Project Gutenberg (Which probably would disappoint Amazon because I know when they sold me my Kindle they were hoping to make a lot more money off of me than they have.) including some very old science fiction. The interesting thing you discover from reading old sci-fi is that, as with any other genre, a good story will always be a good story and will never really become out-dated.
You won’t only find good stories at Project Gutenberg. They do not judge. The collection includes not only great classics but also a lot of obscure, forgotten stuff that probably should remain forgotten. A prime example of such a work is A Journey in Other Worlds by John Jacob Astor. Yes, that John Jacob Astor. In this book three men, two scientists and a businessman if I remember correctly, decide to start a project to “correct” the Earth’s tilt, thinking that a world without seasons would be a much more pleasant and convenient place to live. After talking about this project a for a little bit they take off on a journey to Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter is a warm, jungle planet full of huge, dinosaur-like beasts which the travelers shoot indiscriminately. In addition to the gleeful killing spree they talk a lot about exploiting the resources of Jupiter. Saturn is Heaven. Literally. It’s where our spirits go after we die and here the story goes into a lot of religious and emotional stuff. The story never does do anything with the “correcting the Earth’s tilt” thing and one wonders what was the point of even mentioning it in the first place. The writing style does not help the book any either. Much of it, especially in the first half, feels more like reading a report than a novel. Yes, I read the whole thing. I’m just stubborn that way.
After that I read Heart of Darkness, which I’ve already mentioned. More recently I read two short stories by Philip K. Dick (Did you know that the “K” is for Kindred?) The Variable Man and The Crystal Crypt, the first things I have ever read by Dick, and yes I will be reading more of his work. The Variable Man is about a man from the early 20th century who is accidentally brought into the future where he is a “variable” that the prediction computers of that era cannot calculate. The Crystal Crypt is about an incident on Mars. I love early Mars stories.
I just started The Picture of Dorian Gray a couple of days ago. It’s easy to see why Oscar Wilde is so often quoted. As I read I keep wanting to highlight and save quotables, but then, often, I will think, “Wait, I don’t even agree with that.” It makes one wonder – what is it about a sentence that makes it feel quotable?
There is also a non-fiction document that I’ve been reading off and on for months: Personal Memoirs of a Residence of Thirty Years With the Indian Tribes on the American Frontier by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft. It is quite long. I’m only 14 percent of the way into it. So far almost nothing has been said about the Indian tribes, which is disappointing, but it is still just a little bit interesting – sort of like reading a blog. The author touches on details of everyday life of the era while traveling, gives opinions and observations, and shares some of his correspondence. A lot of it is tedious but I’m curious enough to keep going back to it once in awhile.
Be a 2012 Survivor – Hilarious. NSFW!
Dream Orbitals – several space art links
Waffle – Hah!
Animal links – A long list. I must look at some more of those later.
World’s First Car Phone – Wow. If Mr. Macfarlane could see us now!
Cats In Things – pictures of cats being cute
And one more cat. Because there’s always room for one more cat on the Internet. And because he’s adorable.
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Purely by coincidence, Kelly Sedinger and I both read Heart of Darkness. Sometime last year I saw it on Project Gutenberg’s Top 100 list and thought it might be interesting but it took me several months to get around to downloading and reading it.
I don’t have much to say about it. I didn’t dislike it but I didn’t like it a lot either. There’s one thing in the book that especially bothered me – the descriptions of the “silence” of the African jungle.
The current ran smooth and swift, but a dumb immobility sat on
the banks. The living trees, lashed together by the creepers and every
living bush of the undergrowth, might have been changed into stone,
even to the slenderest twig, to the lightest leaf. It was not sleep–it
seemed unnatural, like a state of trance. Not the faintest sound of any
kind could be heard.
I have never been to Africa and according to Wikipedia Joseph Conrad did travel up the Congo by steamboat, but I find this extremely hard to believe. When I step outside my back door on a summer night here in Oklahoma what I hear is far from silence. The chorus of frogs and crickets is actually loud. So, I find it hard to believe that the African jungle is ever silent. We know many different kinds of animals live there including insects and amphibians. Surely something is always making noise there at night. I’m sure it was just for dramatic effect but it’s unrealistic and that little detail got stuck in my mind and kept bugging me all through the book.
A few months ago SewingPatterns.com had a Vogue sale and there were two or three patterns that I wanted but I kept procrastinating, thinking, I really don’t need those, and reminding myself that I have patterns I haven’t used yet, and so the sale ended. Well now they’re having a Vogue sale again as I knew they would which is part of the reason that I didn’t order anything before – I knew I’d have another chance. And so the process starts again – “Oooo pretty! I want that.” “You don’t need it silly. Just quit looking at that site.” “Okay, maybe next sale.”
I really liked 1171 but there’s a big difference between liking something and feeling comfortable wearing it and I’ve about convinced myself that this one is not for me. And then there’s 8577 which is very cute in the illustration and it has pockets but one would need to have an actual waistline to look good in it. (Which is probably true of 1171 too)
There are several more Vintage Vogue dress patterns that are making my heart sing while my head keeps saying, “Oh no you don’t. Just stop looking.” Also, Erin has been having a long running love affair with 8728 and at first I was not interested at all but the more I see it the more I think, “Hmmmm… I wonder how that would look on me.” But I don’t see it listed this time and maybe that’s a good thing.
But that’s not all. Today is the last day of the Burda sale at SewingPatterns.com and for some reason 7949 is speaking to me. But I don’t think I have any striped fabric in the stash. (You see how it gets out of hand, don’t you?) Of course there’s that waistline thing again. 7798 is kinda cute too but on me? Not sure. I’d have to lengthen it of course but that’s not a big deal. Burda also has a couple of blazer style jackets that I’m interested in and I do sort of need one of those. (“Need” being a fairly flexible term, you understand.)
Last year (spring? summer?) I saw this fabric that I instantly fell in love with and had to have. I liked it so much I bought enough for a dress. Now, I’m not exactly having buyer’s remorse but I’m in a mild panic regarding what to do with it. The print is insects, birds and flowers, which isn’t so bad but the background is very pink. I love pink and I’m not afraid to wear it but this fabric is very little-girly so I’m wondering what I can do with it so it doesn’t look like I went shopping in the toddler department of a store on the giants’ planet. I suppose I could just make a top and use the leftover fabric in a quilt for Project Linus. (Saving it for a future granddaughter would certainly insure that I never have one. That’s just the way the universe works.)
The good thing about all this, is that wanting stuff usually inspires me to work on stuff I already have. But then working on and finishing stuff tempts me to look at more stuff so you see, it’s a dangerous circle.
This is the quilt I made for my sister-in-law for Christmas. She loves it. I don’t have a good place to display quilts for photographs so I draped it over a table. This is just one corner of it. It’s a large quilt. I highly recommend clicking on the image and viewing the original size so you can get a better look at the cute frog print and the white, which is not plain white as it looks in this size.
Okay, I finally did it. Reluctantly, I joined Facebook. I joined mainly to connect with family. I probably also will accept friend requests from other people I already know but I’m not at all interested in the Who Has The Most Facebook Friends competition. I’m still figuring out how the thing works. I don’t expect that I will spend much time on it. We’ll see.
A while back (a month or more) I got a couple of invitations to join Google+ circles, whatever that is. I’m considering it only because the person who invited me is someone I like. Maybe I’ll join and then forget about it for months at a time like I do my Twitter account. Yeah… that’ll work.
It’s not really that I’m anti-social; it’s just that I have this blog and that seems like enough. It seems to me that the people who really like me and want to see what I’m doing and what I have to say will come here. But Facebook is supposed to be the big thing, the current great online gathering place so… well, as I said, we’ll see how it goes.
We’ve already burned the Library of Alexandria once. Let’s not do anything like that again! — there
I am perfectly able to accept that Ponies can speak, come in pastel colors, that unicorns have magic and that unicorns and Pegasi exist in that world….but dang it, the genetics have to MAKE LOGICAL SENSE! — here
It is impossible to convey the life-sensation of any given epoch of one’s existence, – that which makes its truth, its meaning – its subtle and penetrating essence. It is impossible. We live, as we dream – alone.
Heart of Darkness
I wonder what’s so jolly about Jolly Ranchers. If I was going to assign an emotional state to these candies it would probably be something more like “forlorn.” That’s making the (probably weird) assumption that if they could actually feel any emotions they would want to fulfill their purpose in life, which is to be eaten and enjoyed.
Sometime around Halloween Number Two Son brought home a big jar full of candies of different kinds. They all disappeared rather quickly except for four little unloved Jolly Ranchers. We all ate a lot of Jolly Ranchers but those last four were just four too many I guess.
A couple of weeks before Christmas when I bought some “soft” peppermints and some Hershey’s kisses to put in the jar the last four Jolly Ranchers were still there so I left them and put all the Christmas candy on top of them. A couple of days ago we finally finished all the Christmas candy (It lasted a lot longer than I expected.) and those four Jolly Ranchers are still sitting there in the jar. Unloved. Unwanted. Forlorn.
It’s not that I don’t like Jolly Ranchers. They’re good, really. It’s just that they don’t call to me, if you know what I mean. They don’t tempt me. They don’t make me think, “Oooooo! I can’t resist.” Not like chocolate, or those peppermints. I suppose eventually I will eat them, if no one else does, just because I’m tired of looking at them. Poor little things.
I suppose my maternal grandmother was a slightly odd person. Of course I never thought of her as particularly odd. She was my grandmother and I couldn’t imagine her being any other way. But her interests and beliefs were a fairly strange mix. She was superstitious and yet very interested in science. More than anything she loved nature. I can remember her trying to teach me to identify species of birds and trees even before I could read. She loved animals and in the winter she would worry about the them freezing.
For the last twelve years of her life she lived with her younger sister and brother-in-law but she would spend several weeks at a time visiting her children. When we moved to Arkansas in the early 70′s that made it hard for her but in the summer of 1976 she finally came to visit us. It was her first time outside the state of Texas and it was to be where she would spend the last three weeks of her life.
She had changed in the few years since I had last seen her. She wasn’t the same cheerful grandmother I remembered. She complained constantly and was excessively concerned with bodily functions. But one day as she was sitting by a window she suddenly called out, “Oh look! Look!” She was as excited as a small child to see a couple of squirrels under the trees right outside the window. The squirrels in the area of Texas where she had always lived never came anywhere near people or any human dwellings. I had gotten used to seeing squirrels close up, and I was 18, so I came to look, quickly, just to be polite but I missed that opportunity to sit for a few minutes and enjoy the squirrels with my grandmother.
I was told that she also loved to read, though I don’t remember ever seeing her read a book myself. Mom told me that whenever she and her siblings wanted to ask permission to do something they would wait until she was reading because she would be so lost in the book that she wouldn’t really listen and would say yes to anything.
My mother was delighted by many things – many simple things that I also enjoy. Pretty things, especially pretty things that were also unusual. Fabric. Pretty greeting cards and stationery. Fancy dishes and glassware. She would even save little pieces of paper, often just part of a wrapper or label, to show me because she liked the color or design of it. She loved flowers and gardening. Before she moved into an apartment she kept chickens and found more beauty in them than most people can see in those awkward birds. And she loved cats and greatly enjoyed watching their antics.
She liked to read too, though I don’t think she ever got so lost in a book that she wouldn’t stop to hear what a person was saying to her. She read to me a lot, even years after I was old enough to read for myself. I always thought I might get to read to her someday but I never did.
And then there are my sons. Their main interests are pretty much what you would expect of young men – motorcycles, guns, video games. But they have not lost their child-like joy of discovery, much like their grandmother and the great grandmother they never met. (and me too I guess) The interests are different but the delight is the same. My oldest son especially, really loves discovering things and knowing things – lots of odd little facts about science and history. And he loves to confound people by using “big words”. And of course, both my boys like to read.
The specific interests are not the same but I have the feeling of something that “runs in the family.” And of all the things that run in families what is better than curiosity, joy in discovery, delight in simple and obscure things, and love of books? I’ll be honest, when I compare myself and my family to most of the other people in the world, it’s hard to be humble – hard not to feel a little bit superior.
Today it has been one month since my mother’s passing. It seems like no more than half that time. It’s funny how time gets all twisted in our heads. Christmas, which was a week more recent, seems much farther in the past. I’ve been told more than once that it gets easier and I know that’s true. Is it? I’m not ready for it to get easier and yet, some days it seems like it is getting easier – that I’m getting used to the new reality. But still, other days all I can think of is, “She’s gone and I can never go visit her or talk to her again.”
There are the usual regrets. I should have went to visit her more often. I should have called her more often. She said she was going to live another 20 years and was so positive she almost made me believe it. I thought “realistically” maybe ten. But in reality even that wasn’t realistic. We can never really be realistic about these things.
Sometimes it’s strange what brings comfort. The things that I was afraid I could never enjoy again because they were things she enjoyed. The things I have that used to belong to her. The photos. It’s almost like I am enjoying these things for her. And when I see something I know she would have liked I feel like I need to take an extra minute or two to enjoy it for her.
But still, writing about her is hard and talking impossible. But I need to do something and I have this space for writing so writing it is and I hope I’m not boring or depressing anyone too much.
Contagious yawning – not just for humans
Mental Health Hotline – Ha! Sort of an old one I think.
The future – Links to five articles speculating about different aspects of life in the future
Movies From an Alternate Universe – This would probably make more sense to me if I had seen these movies but I like the concept anyway.
Brenda’s Arizona – a beautiful photo blog
25 Most Powerful Songs of the Past 25 Years – Not the kind of “powerful” you’re probably thinking of and several are older than 25 years.
Snape Inspired Office – That’s just cool looking. I like artful clutter. (Unfortunately my house is just full of ordinary clutter.)
10 Radical Books That Changed the World – A serious list with irreverent commentary.
Awesome People Reading – A gallery of famous people reading. And in a few of the pictures you can even see what book they’re reading, which is more interesting than just celebrities with unidentified books.
Solar Powered Steampunk Watch – I don’t care how it’s powered. It looks cool.
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Less than a month after he lost his grandmother my son lost a good friend. This is his remembrance:
Reynaldo Scott Cerda
April 13th, 1977 – January 5th, 2012
Although I don’t remember the date, I was having a good day, the day I met Reynaldo “Ray” Cerda. After a couple of years of searching for parts, giving up, and searching for parts again, I had started and ridden my 1977 Husqvarna WR250 trail bike for the first time. I was excited, to say the least, and told everyone at work who didn’t run away fast enough all about it. One of those people, a dark haired charismatic guy by the name of “Ray”, wanted to know more. He asked about my dirt bike, and told me about his 1992 Suzuki RM250. I found that day something just as crucial to trail riding as a helmet, or a bike: I found a good friend to ride with. It’s more important than you think – A riding partner can show you new trails, a riding partner can tell you new stories, but in addition, a riding partner can run back to the truck for gas, and a riding partner can go for help, should you get hurt. It’s also worth mentioning, that it’s always more fun to ride with someone either leading or following.
Over the years I knew Ray, I learned of many different places to ride. We rode at Disney, where the rock crawlers go. We rode at Appalachia Bay, where there is sand, trees, and four wheelers. Our favorite place to go, however, was Hudson Lake, between Salina, OK and Pryor, OK. Below the dam, there were many miles of trails, including every type of terrain imaginable.
In the early days, we would load up either in the Ford F150 belonging to Ray’s father, or the Mitsubishi Mighty Max that I bought specifically to haul our dirt bikes. We would sometimes get started as early as six in the morning, to spend as much time riding as a Saturday would allow. We had to park at the top of a hill, due to the difficulties of getting my dirt bike to start. (Ray and I learned at a later date, that the bike had to be in neutral, hand off the clutch, before the kickstarter would turn the engine. The Husky is an odd machine.) Once we got both bikes to run, and got them warmed up, we would grab a handful of spark plugs, fill the tanks, lock the truck, and disappear into the woods for most of the day, only coming out for fuel. At first, our bikes had near constant problems, the Husky was difficult to get started, and fouled out spark plugs in an hour or two, Ray’s Suzuki only had the first three gears, but otherwise usually ran good. There were a few times, however, that we helped each other push a bike out of the woods.
Ray had other interests as well, that he felt he should share. It was Ray who was with me, and talked me into buying my first gun. It was a Remington Model 522 Viper. We went the next weekend to our favorite hang-out, Hudson lake, and instead of the dirt bikes we took Ray’s Ruger .22 rifle, his Ruger P89 9mm handgun, and my new gun, the 522 viper, which was a semiautomatic .22 rifle. Much fun was had, blasting old cans and other things we found lying around with our little rifles. For a while, Ray’s Suzuki was broken down, and we couldn’t ride, so we would go shooting instead. We found that you can get lots of glass bottles, for free, if you go look behind a bar in the mornings. In addition to our .22 rifles, we added a Marlin .30/30 (Ray’s), SKS (Mine) Mossberg 20 gauge (Ray’s) an antique Turkish Mauser (Mine) and a single-shot 12 gauge (Belonged to Ray or his father, I cannot remember) One instance with the single-shot 12 gauge comes to mind, the first time Ray brought it out. He opened it, put a shell in it, and couldn’t get it to fire. He asked if I could find anything wrong with it. He gave me the opened shotgun, I took the shell out, looked at the firing mechanism, popped the shell back in, pointed the gun downrange, pulled the hammer, aimed and pulled the trigger – and the gun fired, to my complete and utter surprise. Ray had forgotten to pull the hammer back on the old gun.
It was unfortunate, but for a while, Ray and I grew apart – not through any effort or falling out from either of us, but life got in the way, as it will. I had purchased a house, and sold my streetbike, but held on to the clattering old Husqvarna, and kept it running, just in case. Ray had sold his Suzuki, and bought a streetbike. I rode the Husky around the yard, and even hauled it out to Hudson to ride it, but without Ray to heckle and dare and cheer, it wasn’t the same, and I ended up bored and went home after scarcely half an hour.
One day, at work, I began to feel a weird little feeling around my navel, that over the course of the next two days, turned into an ache in my right side. Not a throb, but a constant sharp pain. A co-worker and I looked it up on WebMD and Wikipedia, and thought I might have appendicitis. I went to the hospital after work that day, and at 3 am December 12th, I met an ER doctor the size and build of a refrigerator who informed me I had appendicitis, and it would have to come out. I spent the next day having my appendix removed, and was stuck in the hospital until Saturday morning. My parents took me to the grocery store, and then to my house, and I had just settled in for a weekend of moving as little as possible, when I got a call from Ray! He was excited, and had just purchased a 2004 Yamaha YZ250F dirt bike, and wanted to ride! I felt terrible, having to inform him that I had just been released from the hospital and couldn’t go ride. I talked to him about his new bike for a while, and we got off the phone. What he didn’t know, however, was that I went outside into the mid December cold, opened the garage, wheeled the Husky out, and did my very best to start it. I would have happily risked a return to the hospital for a chance to ride again. I couldn’t really kick it hard enough to get it to start, and I could barely lift my leg onto the kick starter. There was no way I could throw my leg over the seat even if I could get it started, I couldn’t lift the ramps up onto the bed of the truck, and I certainly couldn’t have pushed the bike up the ramps into the truck. Defeated, I leaned on the bike for support, and rolled it slowly back into its spot in the garage.
Two weeks later, I went riding with Ray again. Twinges and pains be damned. For the first time, Ray and I both had dirt bikes that would run all day long, without having to stop and put them back together. We could start our bikes without needing a big hill. We could ride in comfort in Ray’s Dodge, or my Chevy, instead of cramming into the Mitsubishi and struggling up hills at 50 MPH. I had forgotten how fun it was. Another year or so, and I endeavored to purchase a newer dirt bike, to ride with Ray. But I had another thought. I had a son, eight years old at the time. I thought it would be a good idea to get something he could ride with me, so I bought a four wheel ATV instead of a dirt bike. The first time my son saw it, he burst into tears, so scared of it was he. He never went riding with Ray and I , but I did start taking the four wheeler instead of the aging Husky. This caused some good-natured heckling from Ray, who would remind me that it was “Cheating” to ride with four wheels.
For reasons beyond my control, I started to grow apart from Ray again. I missed riding, shooting, and hanging out with him, but my new job involved a lot of overtime, and it’s not a good idea to throw away a job if you can help it. I talked to him a couple of times, heard about his 1974 Ford truck, and his big Honda Cruiser. I told him about my new KLR650, and my new job… and my new wife. He had wanted to get married, and have children himself. There is nothing wrong with my own parents, but I can only imagine how much fun it would have been to be a kid, and Ray be the father. He was entertaining, one of the funniest people I’ve ever known, he was active in his church, He loved children, and would have been a great person to raise them.
I’m very thankful an awkward person such as my self had the privilege of being Ray’s friend. It was more than dirt bikes and guns, we took a trip to Six Flags in Arlington, Texas a couple of times, watched movies, went to eat, and we worked together for a number of years. Ray was a person who would do anything he could for someone – whether he was spending time with them, inviting them to church, or helping push a thirty year old dirt bike up hills and out of the woods in the middle of an Oklahoma summer.
I still have the old Husqvarna. It still runs. It’s as much a part of my identity as it is a motorcycle. It sits in my garage, waiting for the next ride. That machine represents some of the best summers of my life. It’s hard to see it, sitting, knowing I won’t ever stand to the side and do the magic to make it start while Ray watches, that I won’t ever chase a grinning maniac and his Yamaha up a rock-and-root rutted trail while the ancient two stroke screams it’s fury. Goodbye Reynaldo, you will be missed.
One of the things missing in my life that makes me feel deprived is that there’s no “old family home”. My parents were renters and every time we moved a few more things were sacrificed and finally, when my mom moved into a small apartment, a lot of things had to go. There were things I remember from my childhood that I would like to have now but they’re long gone. But it does make it easier not having an entire house full of stuff to go through and, in addition to the photos, there are still a few “treasures” left. Among them…
On the cover of the 1970 Lufkin, Texas phone book there was a picture of the Lufkin Zoo and the kiddie train that circled the zoo. Riding on the train were several children, all facing away from the camera so that you could not see their faces. One of these was a girl with long dark hair. My mother believed with all her heart that that girl was me. I always doubted it. There’s no way to tell, but my mother was sure and she had kept that phone book for all these years and occasionally brought it out to show people that her daughter was once on the cover of a phone book. I have that phone book now. I should just throw it away but I can’t. It was very important to my mother so I will keep it forever. And who knows… maybe it was me. I guess a mother would know.
Mom had a collection of several dozen scenic View Master “reels”, with copyright dates in the late 1940′s. I greatly enjoyed looking at them when I was a kid. They showed me places like the deserts of Arizona, southern California, New York, the Grand Tetons and more. And they looked so real, like I was looking through the window of a train, which is what I used to imagine I was doing. Now most of the little transparencies have spots on them but it’s still nice to look at them again – like going back to visit old familiar places. The original viewer was black and much heftier than the cheap, colorful kid toys they sell these days but she hadn’t had that for years. One day it damaged one of the reels and she decided that it was too old and worn out.
For all of my childhood this green and clear glassware, little glasses and bowls, sat on the top shelf of a kitchen cabinet, unused. I understood that they were special but I longed to use the green ones. Mom said we might someday for a special occasion but I think that was just to shut me up. No occasion was ever special enough. Sadly most of them were broken during the last move. All that’s left are five green glasses, one green bowl and two clear bowls. I don’t know how many of each there were originally. There were also some clear glasses. I had never handled these before. On close inspection, they are not fine glassware, quite cheaply made in fact. They are just something that was important to my mother. Now the pieces that remain are sitting on a shelf behind a glass door where they will be admired and treasured, just the way Mom always did.
If I have to read one more thing on blogs about how Ronpaulmittromneyricksantorumjesusvader is the last, best, greatest hope for the country, I will stab a goat. — here
…a lot of 20-somethings have not yet learned that “sucked” is not a part of constructive criticism. — there
Just let art flow through you. — here (WTF?)
I could use a little Essence of Yo in my life! — there (I could never do more with a yo-yo than make it go down and back up once or twice.)
We had the first snow of the season last night, maybe an inch, which is enough. we got about ten years worth of snow all at one time last year so I think we could do without snow entirely for a few years. Not that I expect there to be any fairness and justice in the universe, I’m just saying.
If this letter from Sean Connery to Steve Jobs is a fake I don’t want to know. I want to believe. There might not be any fairness or justice in the universe but at least let me have my fantasies.
I did get all the quilt pieces cut a couple of days ago and now I’m sewing them together. That’s a little bit more fun than the cutting but I tend to get bored with it really quickly. Usually when I’m starting a quilt I feel very enthusiastic about it, mentally calculating how long it should take (and it always takes three times longer than I think) and even thinking about the next quilt I have planned after that. But this time I have other things on my mind. I want to get it started and work on it but if I get it finished anytime this year that will be okay. The next quilt? I don’t even know. There are a couple of possibilities but I haven’t been thinking about it at all.
My fingers have been making a lot of stupid little mistakes typing lately. No, it’s not me. It’s my fingers. They’re doing it all by themselves. Little brats.
This is so true. I worked in a grocery store for a couple of years in the 80′s. People who are probably very nice, decent, and relatively intelligent most of the time turn into psycho retards when they enter a store and become customers. Oh, I know, some of them are like that all the time but stores seem to bring out the worst in people. I partly blame TV commercials in which smiling, happy people are always waited on by happy, smiling, perky employees who give them whatever they want in less than 30 seconds. People go into stores thinking real life should be just like the commercial. I say only “partly” because people really should know better.
How beautiful people get beautiful. A reminder everyone needs.
Yet another way to get your bacon fix. Which reminds me, I haven’t tried chocolate covered bacon yet and I really want to. Or maybe some bacon fudge. The problem is, I’d probably have to eat it all by myself. Most of my family is not as adventurous as I am.
This is sort of interesting. And definitely not a fail.
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My mother’s first name was Audrey. A lovely name. When I was a kid I had never heard of anyone else named that so I just thought of it as an odd, old-fashioned name but over the years I gradually grew to like it a lot more. I hope it never becomes trendy, though. I like that it’s a little bit rare but still common enough to not be weird. My mother didn’t like it, I think mainly because it is so often mispronounced. A lot of people want to add an extra “r” in the middle – as if it were “Aurdrey” or “Ordrey” (And if you’re one of those people just stop it! Listen to yourselves, why don’t you?!)
I’ve always been fascinated with the childhood pictures of my mother. She was a cute little blonde girl and I used to fantasize that I would someday have a little blonde daughter who looked a lot like her. (I ended up having two cute blond sons instead which I’m very okay with.) We used to look at those pictures and she would tell me about the things she and her siblings did and the places they lived and other people she knew so I almost feel like I knew what she was like when she was a kid.
You can’t see her face very well in the photo above, with her older brother and aunts, (her mother’s sisters) but I thought you might like it because it’s not just people standing there looking at the camera.
(I had planned on this being a much longer post but I always get to a point where I don’t know how to say what I want to.)
… because I’m not sure what I want to do right now. I have posts in my head that I want to find pictures for – specific pictures that I haven’t come across yet. There’s one that I have a 5×7 of in a frame and the back of the frame is held on with little nails so the picture is not easy to get out of the frame so I can scan it but I know I have the original of that photo somewhere. I already had it because mom gave it to me several years ago. I also remember seeing an 8X10 of it a long time ago. So many photos! I ordered some album pages. When I get those and start putting pictures in them that will help.
I think I’m doing okay, considering, but I often find myself not knowing what I want to do. My mother didn’t live with me so nothing about my routine at home has changed, and I do occasionally get into a not knowing what I want to do mood anyway, but even though I get bored and want to do something nothing appeals to me very much.
I did cut out some quilt pieces for the next quilt I’m going to make and I need to try to get the rest cut today. I guess that’s part of the problem. Of all the steps in quilting, I like cutting the least. It’s not fun at all and I’m always worried that I’m going to make a bad mistake somehow. So far I have only made little mistakes, which are bad enough to be discouraging. And yes, I’ve tried a rotary cutter. I screw up even more using one of those than I do with scissors.
Maybe I will also get into my fabric stash and start another garment. I actually think that’s what I’d rather do right now but I need to get started on the quilt and I’m afraid doing other sewing would be just a form of procrastination and will delay my starting the quilt, which I really want to get started on or rather, to be precise, I want to have it started. The getting started part of the project is what I always get hung up on.
The weather has been very nice for January so I could and should have been doing some stuff outside, like cleaning up the flower beds. I did partially do one of them last week but it’s supposed to be colder this week, especially later in the week. There’s one flower bed that’s just too big and I want to reduce the size of it by about half. I had almost no flowers last year. The irises didn’t bloom as well as they normally do and after those were done there was nothing. I could have tried a little harder but fighting dry 115 degree weather didn’t seem worth the trouble. I’m really hoping the weather will be better this year.
I accidentally hit something on my keyboard and made the Windows tool bars and status bars and stuff all go away. I hate when I do something like that I have no idea what I did or how to undo it. I know it’s something really simple but I’m always afraid to try anything because I might screw it up even worse. All I know to do is restart it.
Seriously, watching these people desperately try to outclaw each other in an effort to prove to the Tea Partiers which one is the stupidest is one of the most depressing things I’ve ever seen. — here
New Year’s Eve can be a wild, drunken evening for many people. I like to call those people “Amateurs.” — there
Life is too short to wake up with regrets. — here
Doubt everything. Marvel at everything. Go through life drop-jawed. Pay attention to things that seem ostensibly insignificant. Run like hell from anyone who wants to sell you the meaning of life. — there
I have to explain something. I closed comments on this post and said what I said about comments because that’s the way I was feeling at the time. Now? I don’t know exactly how I’m feeling about it but it’s getting lonely around here and I’m afraid I might have scared people away. So, this morning, I’m going to try something a little more normal and hopefully it will be at least slightly entertaining.
I decided that instead of buying liquid hand soap, which only comes in very small bottles, I would start buying “shower gel” to use for hand soap. That which will clean my butt should work okay for my hands too, right? Trouble is, very few shower gels come in pump bottles. One that does is Neutrogena Rain Bath. And it’s supposed to be good for your skin and I thought that would be a good thing for hands too so I bought it.
Big problem: the stuff smells absolutely fricking horrible! The description on the bottle says it smells like a “fragrant blend of spices, fruits and herbs.” Really? That’s what they think it smells like? I suggest they sniff it again, after they stop sniffing that other stuff that they’ve obviously been sniffing. What it really smells like is a blend of hospital disinfectant and the cheapest, stinkiest men’s cologne you can imagine. And it’s a big bottle that’s going to last a long time. That was the whole idea, remember – get a bigger bottle so it would last longer.
Lately the only thing fit to watch on any of the 200 TV channels we get is The Big Bang Theory. Fortunately, several channels have Big Bang Theory reruns every night and I’ve been catching up on all the seasons I missed. I’ve started wondering about something: How crazy do you have to be before people start putting up with your craziness because you “can’t help it” and how much of Sheldon’s kind of craziness comes from being indulged from childhood on? Sheldon has to have everything just right. He can’t sit anywhere but “his spot”; his tea has to be exactly the right temperature; on Thursday nights he can’t eat anything but pizza because it’s Pizza Night; and when he eats Chinese food it has to come from one particular restaurant.
I’m that way about some things. I can’t stand it when the coffee table gets bumped or pushed aside so that it’s not properly centered and lined up with the sofa. I hate when things are put away in the wrong place. And I especially hate when people misuse apostrophes or misspell or misuse common words like “they’re, there” and “their”, or when people mispronounce words. It makes me crazy but I was taught that it is rude to bother people about such things so I (usually) quietly put up with things being not right. And I have mostly gotten used to almost everything in the world being askew. But I wonder… if I had been indulged as a child would I be like Sheldon? (Only not as smart as he is obviously)
Oh, I always had a messy room when I was a kid and my house is always pretty messy now. I’ve never been a neat-nik, highly organized kind of person. It’s just that I want certain things to be right. But I guess I’ve never been crazy enough to make everyone pay attention to me and my little quirks. And that seems unfair somehow. Why do you have to be crazy and annoying to have things the way you want? If everyone would just ignore the rude and crazy people and reward the polite people by paying attention to them and their needs wouldn’t that encourage people to be polite and wouldn’t the world be a better place?
So far the weather has been very nice this winter. After the year we had last year I was thinking that 2012 has to be better. In fact, I’ve sort of been counting on it. We need and deserve a quiet, peaceful year. But Mother Nature never cares what we need and deserve. Maybe it’s just my change of mood for other reasons, but now I’m wondering if maybe 2011 was just a prelude. But it has been pleasant so far. Dry, temps above normal and it’s been a couple of months since the last earthquake so maybe it does get better from here. I have to keep thinking that.