Friday, January 29, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010

One Great Thing Friday

If you haven't seen this video yet, it's time. This makes me pretty emotional, and I typically pride myself on being uninfluenced by trend youtube vids. Enjoy, I think this is immensely creative and quite beautiful. It's an interpretation of Germany's invasion and occupation of Ukraine during WWII.
Also, not that it would matter who created the sand art, but how outrageously gorgeous is the woman performing too?
Shown to me by my good friend Blake, thanks for always sending me inspiration snacks!

The words at the end mean "always near," as in always remembered/close at heart. (Not that I speak Ukranian, but I looked it up.)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

One Month

One month left of residency in California. How I will miss it.

Head's up; might not be posting as much due to living it up in my beautiful city. Or, conversely, perhaps I will need to post more to cope...we'll see.

Sending love from La Jolla.

Friday, January 15, 2010

One Great Thing Friday

You simply must visit!

Free Rice is a cure for:
a) boredom
b) ignorance in a variety of subjects
c) hunger
d) all the above

Visit and find out. Whatever you do, don't miss the fact that there are a variety of sujects you can answer questions about. My favorites are Spanish, Famous Paintings, Identify Countries on a Map, French, and Italian. There's math too, but I would never...
Free Rice donates a certain number of grains of rice for every correct answer you get—watch the rice collect in the bowl while you learn!

Thanks for introducing me to this site last year, Gina!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Show Me a Day

"Show me a day when the world wasn't new." Sister Barbara Hance (1928-1993)

I stole my aunt's new year's resolution.
"I resolve to be more playful and that I'm turning X years old, I don't want to lose that," Aunt Sarah said.
Little did she know that this exact sentence would be my new motto for 2010 inserting my age for hers (no, I won't tell you how old she is, suffice it to say that she looks about 30).

Another dear friend, Laura, sent me a very spontaneous Web site in and of itself:—I could spend a week "stumbling" upon new Web sites that remind me that, indeed, "everything you can imagine is possible." (Thank you Pablo Picasso.)

Here are some AMAZING things that stumbleupon found for me:


A reminder that we have seen so little of what can be seen in this world


Create (speaking of Picasso...)

Work with what you've got

Beautify (I like the wheelbarrow best.)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Makes Me Happy

I've been feeling down since January 3. At 7:35 p.m. PST, I flew over the beautifully lit, downtown skyline and the gently curving Coronado bridge and felt a pang as I realized it was the last time I would fly into San Diego as my home. I will leave here in a Penske and a VW Jetta on February 20th; a month and a week from tomorrow. I've been mourning the thought all last week and spent most of my weekend in my apartment cleaning, sorting, and sulking. I'm relearning the lesson I was taught when I moved out here; just because you're making the right decision doesn't mean you're making the easy one.

Getting back to church last night helped significantly; the sermon wasn't tailored to my situation or anything, but it was the first time in a month I'd attended. It made a big difference just because it was church; it injected me with a shot of optimism I truly needed and today, I'm reminded of things that make me happy even when the big stuff changes:

—Wild Sweet Orange Tea
—Shopping for cheese at Trader Joe's
—The new Vampire Weekend album
—Silhouetted palm trees
—Warm from the dryer, clean bedding and going to bed with a wet head in January and not freezing
—The Fresh Ink section at Hallmark and picking out cards for friends and family
—A new red dress
—Seeing my growth group girls tomorrow and anticipating serious discussion and funny stories during the same hour or two we spend together
—Reading a good book after discontinuing the reading of a bad one
—Watching The Tudors online
—Wearing a scarf from a friend (Alison, I'm wearing the black one you gave us bridesmaids today)
—Having perfectly plucked eyebrows (so what if it took 15 minutes to do it last night?)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Reading Update

I stopped reading Under the Dome. It just made me feel icky inside, and having read 1/4 of the book, I feel I gave it a fair chance. Someone should tell Mr. King that perversion in prose is barely tolerable when it is purposeful to the plot, but entirely inexcusable when used to flesh out what began as a truly intriguing yarn. Most disappointed to have to quit a novel, something generally against my principle.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Five Great Things Friday: I Want Candy!

One of my new year's resolutions is to be more playful, even in decorating! I love all five of these not-too-expensive, candy-colored ideas. Feel free to comment on which one you think is best (or worst) and enjoy!:

1) These decorative hexapods just make me happy. I would take a slab of plexiglass and put it over the tops of them to make little tables (I could even strap the plexiglass on through the bars of the pod with brightly colored yarn). I even thought of hanging them from a hook from the ceiling (taking it a step futher, I could hang a bulb in the middle of them and cover the outside with tissue for a soft glow)...the possibilties are endless!

2) It's no pipedream, these industrial-chic vases can be a cheap DIY project! Go to Apartment Therapy to find out how.

3) I imagine the warm glow this would give a room and it's a nice pop of color for just $17. Comes in other colors and patterns.

4) I've broken a lot of glass in my life so I swear by acrylic tumblers in my kitchen. Mine have been with me for over two years now though, so when it comes time to upgrade, I'll head to Target and get one of these lovelies, just $20 for a set of six:

4) Want want WANT WANT! "What is it?," you ask? It's a pantry queen! You stick foil, waxed paper, cellophane in each of the two compartments and the pantry queen will cut it for you with her razor-sharp teeth. I love the creamy, avocado color too. For $30, it's not so bad. Keep shopping and support artists!

5) Still too steep? For those of us who are totally broke after the holidays (I'm with ya), how about a free, up-cycle project? Find out how you can make a pretty cheap, pretty cute table covering!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2010 Reads

Currently Reading: Under the Dome by Stephen King
This is my first Stephen King novel! Everyone knows him to be the "King" of horror, but he's also penned non-scary novels like Hearts in Atlantis and The Green Mile. I would never permit myself to read one of his horror novels (my curiosity is too strong to indulge it); especially since I truly think there's a touch of evil about this guy. However, when I learned that he'd released a sci-fi, I was intrigued.
This novel has been brewing in his mind since the 70s, but it wasn't until November 2009 that King published this sci-fi novel molded around a small town in his home state of Maine.
I won't tell you anything you won't learn on the back cover, but the story is about how, inexplicably, a small town becomes isolated by a dome. The dome itself is invisible, so no one sees it when it appears, but they immediately witness the horrific effects of its presence: a woodchuck is suddenly severed in half, a plane flying innocently through the sky crashes into thin air, a woman's hand is amputated as she's gardening when the dome suddenly encloses the community.
The town is faced with more than just the immediate disasters though as food, energy, and water all become quickly diminishing resources and the community is forced to look to each other for survival.

It is a genuinely thrilling plot to me, but continue to be thrilled by the plot but I am disappointed to find that King is actually a much trashier writer than I thought. He could be great, but he opts to be publishable as he dirties up the story with a graphic domestic abuse incident, and overtly sexual/perverted asides. It remains to be seen if the plot is worth mucking through these parts of the story. If things don't turn around soon, I will desist reading the book; for now, I'm wondering if his purpose for making these people so unlikeable is b/c he plans to kill them off later...that would at least make sense. Will let you know if I finish it or not.

Just finished reading: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
It's worth the time it takes to get through this brick of a book. The end is a little drawn out, but all in all, Rand had given us a dazzling novel in The Fountainhead. I haven't read anything this original in a very long time, if ever. Her philosophy is realized in her protagonist, Howard Roarke, who will forever stand out as one of the greats in modern literature. There's much more I could say about the novel, but suffice it to say that I enjoyed it without agreeing with its overarching philosophy. Read it and you'll see what I mean.
(Also, it's really a quite easy read; don't let its size intimidate you. It has good momentum and it's well written without being too lofty.)

Also Reading:
Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller
Have much to go yet, so far as I can tell, it's an extension of Blue Like Jazz, which is just fine with me.
Possession by A.S. Bryatt
I'd read her short story collection, Little Black Book of Stories, which were totally quirky and not exactly enjoyable, more experiential. However, Possession is shaping up to be a wonderfully cerebral, high-brow literary mystery/romance that waxes poetic, but in good ways (one will find a variety of yummy little poems and short stories sprinkled throughout the novel that all lend to the richness of the real, ongoing plot). So far I really like it, it was hard to get into and it takes more mental investment than some of the other things I'm reading, but it's worth the effort so far (about one quarter into the book, it's long: 576 pages).
Still Reading: Julie and Julia I'll get through it, but it's somewhat overrated in my mind.
Forever Reading: The God Delusion I just have to sit down and do it. I am so unused to nonfiction that I've just made getting through this book harder for myself. New year's resolution: read more nonfiction...but read T.G.D. first. I owe it to a good friend and to myself as a way to evaluate and validate my beliefs.

Frothy New Year

My coworkers and I are, in a word, obsessed with a gadget that cost $1.99 proving all over again that it truly is the little things in life.
At approximately 8:30 a.m. we gathered en mass in the lunch room; a circle of adults eagerly clutching their coffee mugs stood around a single beaming twenty something holding a magic wand: an Ikea battery-operated milk frother.
The twenty-something coworker graciously allowed a new member of the froth society into the circle; our thirty-something coworker had asked for the little gem for Christmas and we could now make office not-lattes at twice the haste as we could before. I even have one of these stupid things at home (bought at $12.00...flippin' gourmet food stores...) and have had since May but the magic lies in the dreamy looks on my colleagues' faces as the oxidized milk doubles, triples in height.
Meg: "Look at how big it gets!"
Steph/Christy/Todd: "That's what she said!" (snickers and snorts ensue)
Meg: (admonishingly) "Stay classy, San Diego." (frowns and leaves)