Friday, July 31, 2009

If I Were A Nail-Biter....

They'd all be down to little unpainted nubs by now.

Cause guess what?

My site's almost up.

(cue the brass band)

Like, so close that I can taste it, smell it, see it even... No, I really can. It's done. I just have to wait til the boys at tell me how to get my site from Wix to them.

So..., um, all of my bloggy homegirls out there, do you have room on your sidebars for a pretty little button? Cause I'll be reeling them out next week for anyone who wants one.


Happy happy happy Friday!

What Day Is It Again?

My sense of time is all jacked up. (that's what happens after unexpectedly long travel, I suppose)

And there's way more to do than there is time to do it....

And I'm feeling generally very overloaded and underfueled and all in all, not so hot.

For me, what's the answer?

To crawl off and go hide in a corner, almost literally.

Enough quiet restores my spirit.

With enough time for contemplation and reflection, I always come back to gratitude.

How can you not?

(besides, it helps when you realize that you are actually in love with the perfect man - all I'll say is, couch, bathrobes, 8:30pm ice cream sundaes, a comment from me about how exhausted I am, and a reply of "wanna cuddle?" or something of the like. I laughed for about five minutes straight and told him that all he now needed was to be holding a puppy...)

So happy Friday to all and have wonderful weekends, I'll be doing so!

There will be a life-coaching website linked here soon, I promise! (even though wordpress has a warrant out on me, dead or alive. We don't get along).

Today's whiteboard quote:
"Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs."
~Pearl Strachan Hurd

Thursday, July 30, 2009

You'll Never Believe This

Last night, in his Jeep on the way home from LAX, B told me that I cannot post this on my blog. "You'll lose all your credibility," he said. "No one will ever believe it."

So what am I about to do?

Why, post it on my blog, of course.



When T and I visit his parents in Pennsylvania, we sleep in the basement/rec room. There's a hid-a-bed couch down there, as well as the normal den type things: old pictures, a spare computer or two, a bathroom, a laundry room, old books, etc.

The both fantastic and disconcerting thing about the basement too, is that it's just about pitch black, all the time. There are wooden shutters blocking light from the above-ground windows near the ceiling, and when you close them and turn off the overhead lights, your circadian rhythms (a.k.a. the things that wake you up when sunlight floods your sleeping eyelids) go down the tubes.

Great for sleeping in after a 3 hour time change, bad for productivity and making breakfast/brunch appointments.

In addition to the increased ability to sleep in (which I'm very grateful for as I've long been cursed with an early-riser tendency), I'm affected by the utter darkness when it comes to my dreaming.

I have funky dreams.

At least, for the first several nights I do. Which ordinarily means that on the night before we leave, I sleep like a log. True to form on this visit, I dreamt about hurricanes, murderers, insane asylums, and post-apocalyptic scenarios in which computers had taken over the world internet-style (as in them being invisible but everywhere), and could read your minds laptop-with-a-wireless-network-card-style, which meant that although I was leading a subversive group, I could only think of the revolution in snippets, of a duration of less than two seconds each.

No, I never said I was normal.

Anyway, on the worst night, actually the one with a combined insane asylum, murderer, horror movieish flash-forwards filled with blood and guns, and ghosts reminiscent of The Ring (SO scary) dream included, I woke T up in the middle of the night and he put me back to sleep with a Ben Folds song:
Goodnight, goodnight sweet baby
The world has more for you

Than it seems

Goodnight, goodnight

Let the moonlight take the lid off your dreams

We took a small flight

In the middle of the night

From one tiny place to another

And my parents they remained

At the shack with Lorraine

And my aunt and my Grandpa and brother

We walked past the tarmac

And boarded the craft

The rain had me chilled to the bones

Just the three of us took flight that night

Uncle Richard, me and James Earl Jones...

It worked like a charm and I was out cold by the last line.

The next morning, both T and I had that song still playing in our heads, and we got on a James Earl Jones discussion. Yes, he's a great actor with an amazingly deep voice, not to mention stellar diction. Was he English, T asked? No, American, I think, I replied. But wait, I wondered, hadn't he died? Hmm....I racked my brain as I tried to recall movies I'd seen him in lately. Nope, there haven't been much. I think he passed away.

No, T said with confidence. He's definitely still around. But I wasn't convinced. With all of the legends who've left us in the past few years, I was pretty sured that JEJ was one of them. We decided to IMDB him later, but never got around to it.

So days passed and we went hiking and out for dinner and then left super super early to avoid any mishaps in this flight, and checked in, printed our boarding passes, and got drinks and french fries in the airport to kill time. We found a spot to sit on the floor of our gate by a window, and watched the rain fall on jets outside.
Finally, our row was called and we stood in line to scan our tickets, then waited in the vacuum cleaner hose (my name for it since I was little, not mature but I like it), and as I cringed from the cold winds and water droplets sneaking into our space through rips in the hose's canvas, we finally made our way onto the plane.

I was off in my own world of pondering random things, like how I could see the tarmac WAY below as I stepped onto the plane, but didn't flinch when my foot fell right along the seam - isn't that counter intuitive? -when T looked back over his shoulder at me with a smirk that he was trying to hide. I recognized "the eyebrows" at once.

"Charis, I think our question is about to be answered."

I had no idea what he was talking about.

However, as he shuffled forward, my eyes fell on the first passenger, seated on the first row, wearing a sharp light gray suit and reading a magazine in his lap.

It was James Earl Jones.

I nearly fell over.

I felt my lungs spasming and I in no way cooly walked past, incrediby embarassed because I can't abide being one of those people when there's a celebrity around, but I couldn't help it.

How weird was that?

And I knew that, if he in any way was conscious of us, he certainly knew that we were having a fit about him being there, but I just couldn't think of a polite way to explain it, so we just passed and I did my best to smother my laughter and "I can't believe it!" outbursts in T's shoulder blades.

"Now we just need to find an Uncle Richard," he muttered to me, as I dissolved into a giggling puddle on the floor.

The End.

Yes, it did really happen.

Today's whiteboard quote:
"The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one ot lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours - it is an amazing journey - and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins." ~Bob Moawad

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


So I've been spending the past week in the land of the mountains, greenery, rushing streams, and gloriously cool weather: Hazleton, PA.

We're here because a childhood friend of T's was married on Saturday, and T was a groomsman. The reception was held outside, and between the cloudy sky, trees in the distance, beer on tap, and country music playing, I felt right at home! When the heavens burst and the rain poured down on our covered dining room and dance floor and a fine mist rose from the hills in the distance, I couldn't be happier (no matter how much my feet ached).

(pictures to come soon)

On our way to the airport on Monday afternoon, 15 miles out traffic came to a quietly screeching halt. It took us an hour to go the next four miles, and although we'd left with time to spare, we walked into the airport at 6:18pm. Our flight was lifting off at 6:20. So, we obviously didn't make it and I'm looking at a cloudy sky right now, out of the window in the dining room of T's parent's house.

I wasn't worried up until then. I figured that there was no cause to worry until the flight was actually gone without us, and even then that there wasn't much to be done - we'd been more than on time, and there hadn't been any decision we were lax on making.

When things like this happen, I chalk them up to baseball bats. So, after a few tremors at the fact that I'd be missing most of this week at work and because of the unavoidably yucky feeling experienced whenever you miss a flight, I did my best to keep my eyes open for whatever reason had swayed fate's hand and kept me on the east coast.

The jury's still out. We'll see.

So we're flying back today instead, after some phone conversations with Continental and a few hundred comment. (I suppose it's not their fault if there's an accident on the highway, but still...)

In other news, our Pesky and Mildly Sad Neighbor has graduated to be our Insane and Dangerous Neighbor - he pulled a gun on our roomate this Saturday night. Yes, they'd just returned from the bar and were loud on the patio at 3am, but is that cause for violence? I think not.

So, we may be moving.

More on that later.

Today's (non)whiteboard quote:
"My intuition never fails me, it is I who fail when I do not listen to it."
~Hazrat Inayat Khan

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dirty Socks

I was ready to go.

My clothes, including three dresses, enough casual clothes for 5 days, toiletries, and all the other accouterments we ladies need in order to travel with comfort and confidence, including my big ol' camera, were all packed in a small rolling carry-on.

(that is, however, all except for my shoes. In the 11th hour I found out that T had plenty of room in his suitcase. Consequentially, instead of the functional but pretty-darned-ugly pair of shoes that I'd brought that were comfortable and sensible and matched all of my dresses, I got to cram about 8 pairs into his luggage. Yessss!)

I finished up with dinner as T showered, completed packing and brought his bags downstairs. I was, meanwhile, smugly surfing the internet, mentally patting myself on the back for my scheduling ingenuity.

We loaded up and M drove us to the airport. During the 15 minute drive we discussed the trip and the weekend and the weather, and how M's dropping me off at LAX has such a familiar feel (from the years during which I visited her at school out here while myself living in the East).

Having pulled up at the Continental terminal, T popped out of the back seat and began to unload the trunk. I was unbuckling and gathering stuff and checking my purse, and as he looked at me somewhat impatiently and I stretched one foot out of the car, I looked down.


I was wearing flip flops.

This may not seem like a big deal to you, but for me, it was gargantuan.

One of the main themes of the trip rested on me having my sneakers! I'd planned to exercise each day, which is a must when we're out here - for example, at dinner last night I ate more than I ordinarily do in an entire day at home. Exercising while visiting Hazelton is not so much for my waistline as it is for my happiness. The highs and lows given by the caffeine, sugar, and who-knows-what-else have the ability to turn my normal internal state upside down.

Besides, and perhaps more importantly, I have the homeostatic temperature regulation of a lizard. In other words, I'm cold-blooded. I almost freeze my toes off every time I fly, and I foresaw hours of icy discomfort before me on the red-eye trip.

I needed those shoes!

And I'd left them! While I was feeling so proud of being ready on time.


As I expressed my disappointment (some whining MAY have been involved), M reached into her back seat and magically produced some cute black and pink Nikes.

Life saver!

She explained that these were her jumping shoes, so the socks in them (magic again!) wouldn't be so pretty.

As I pulled them out, I saw what she meant.

Those socks were dirty.

And I don't mean a-smudge-on-the-heels-and-toes-from-walking-around dirty. I mean, streaked-with-clay-colored-dirt-and-dust, yellowing-and-stained-on-even-the-unstreaked-parts dirty.

Understand, M skydives on the weekends. That's why sneakers were in her car (you wear those while jumping, and since Perris Valley Drop Zone is her home away from home, she always keeps a skydive-friendly change of clothes in her car). Also, Perris Valley is a desert, and so it's sandy. Combine that with the force of landing hard from the sky, in said sand, hundreds and hundreds of times, and you get dirty socks.

The actual socks were probably perfectly clean, but would never appear so. Never, ever again.

What did that mean?

Why, that I was horiffically embarassed at the security check, that's what.

What did that mean?

Oh, that I probably drew all the more attention to my ghetto socks because of my embarassment.

Whatevvva. I only kinda cared - T was with me and he doesn't care if my socks are dirty :)

Afterward, we went to the gate, saw that our flight had been delayed for two hours, and had some time to kill. T wrote a song on the spot called People Watchin' at the Airport, but that's for another post.

Happy Friday!

(no whiteboard quotes now, I'm on vacation!)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Carrots Ditch Day

I think I'll skip posting today.

(yes, this is me skipping posting. Wow, I guess I kinda suck at it).

There are some things floating around in my head about the car surfing I did during my first summer back from college, and about writing raw blog posts, but those thoughts are not fully formed yet. Still marinading.

Besides, I need to pack and prepare to be gone for a few and stuff. (only taking one carry-on is always a challenge....)

So, have a lovely day!

I'm doing the red-eye tonight to PA, but I'll try to, at the very least, post a glimpsy picture now and then to let you know what I'm up to ;)

Happy Wednesday!

Today's whiteboard post:
"Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions."
~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Letter to the Inhabitant of Unit #3

Dear Mr. Neighbor Guy,

Thank you for attending our barbeque this past Saturday.

I understand that the sounds of our revelry brought you outside to join in on the fun.
At least, that is judging by what you said about not hearing the music at all, but hearing our laughter and that being the cause for your appearance.

Perhaps we would have invited you to cross the fence and partake of our delicious vegan cuisine and maybe a can or two of the event's sponsor,if you had not called the chef's laughter "very annoying", of course not recognizing that his was the laughter you were referring to as you complained about it to the very person who'd been the offender.
I also do not believe that your estimation was quite correct when you said that you'd only have to sign a paper and we'd all be carted off to jail. I think that possibly, when the officer you would have (hypothetically, of course) called approached the scene of the "disturbance" and saw 8 young adults calmly sitting in patio chairs and having a jovial conversation of a perfectly normal decibel level, that hypothetical police officer would have laughed at the call and perhaps partaken of some of the delicious vegan cuisine himself.

That didn't happen. But, if the officer had been called, there's not much of a doubt in my mind that it would have.

I would also like to say that, under the circumstances, I do think that your inquiry about what to do in the situation should have been answered with a "yes" when you whinily asked if you should have to close your windows rather than us having to move our barbeque inside. (of course you should. It was a Saturday afternoon. Just close those windows on that side of the room. It is certainly what I would have done.)
Thank you, Mr. Neighbor Guy, for ever increasing my capacity for compassion, as I try to understand that you are not actually a dragon, you are just sad that on a Saturday afternoon, you are watching television in a house you share with only your elderly mother (who does linger around her front door every morning to make sure I don't slam mine too emphatically on my way to work), rather than enjoying the beautiful weather with your friends in the way that we are. You also may be sad that you are fully gray-haired and single, considering that your bedroom almost certainly shares a wall with T's and mine, and you can no doubt hear our happy relationship as we have conversations filled with laughter and affection near to our opened window. Thank you as well for trying to begin a stare-down with me on Saturday afternoon as you insulted us, which you lost. It's nice to know that I still have it, although I do not traffic anymore in things like intimidation and dog-eat-dog behavior (that ended when I graduated from high school, thanks very much).

Please note, that in future conversations where calls to the police are mentioned, I will not hesitate to explain how, if said officers appear, I will politely offer up details of how you harass me when I am home alone, and how you have repeatedly been confrontational and threatening in your interactions with us, all of which you have instigated and continue to do so, as we remain polite and kind to you.

I will leave out the part in which I know that if you ever really threatened me physically, I would pick up the heaviest nearby object and beat you to a bloody pulp. After all, you are bigger than me.


Today's whiteboard quote:
"The spiritual aspirant must swim upstream, against the current of habit, familiarity and ease." ~Eknath Easwaran

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Surface of the Sun

That's how I heard the weather this week described today on the radio.

It's gonna be hot.

About 102 degrees where I'll be spending my days (in Pasadena - which is in one of the valleys).

I'm not complaining though. Much better than the same temperature and about 3 times the humidity, which is what we got during these months in Florida. I'll take dry heat any day!

Speaking of atmospheric warmness, T and I took advantage of that this weekend, and I fulfilled week 2 of my goal.
We were only at the beach for an hour or so, but that's the perfect amount of time for me - long enough to enjoy it, but not so long that you get bored, dehydrated, or annoyed by people kicking sand on you....

Then, B whipped up a fantastic vegan bbq, which I'll post about tomorrow.

Sunday we spent lazing around, and pretty much not doing anything.

Good for the moment, bad for productivity!

Especially because this one's a 3 day week for me. Wednesday night we're flying to Pennsylvania for a buddy of T's wedding.

(note: the posting frequency may suffer....)

But back on topic, that means that these next few days are going to be a flurry of activity! Then, rest and relaxation. Not to mention, food food food! We eat literally all day there.

(love it)

Happy Monday!

Today's whiteboard quote:
"To me success means effectiveness in the world, that I am able to carry my ideas and values into the world - that I am able to change it in positive ways."
~Maxine Hong Kingston

Friday, July 17, 2009

And All Good Things Will Be Yours

So last night, after a half hour drive and 20 minute walk, T and I discovered that all of our traveling was for naught...because the pier concert was canceled.

Oh well! Got a little exercise and car dancing out of the deal. I won't complain.

Besides, today's Friday. How can it not be that all is right in the world (or at least, in the world of week days?)

And to finish up my recap of last weekend, here are some pics of our afternoon in Manhattan Beach...

Manhattan Beach Creamery = Love.

Enjoying a heritage cookie. hehe (get it?).

Awesome almost-sunset views and beautiful houses to ogle...

All in all, a success!

Happy Friday! Here's today's whiteboard quote:
Fear less, hope more,
eat less, chew more,
whine less, breathe more,
talk less, say more,
love more,
and all good things
will be yours."

~Swedish Proverb

One more thing: did you know that all week I've been posting from beyond the grave? Go see, and make sure you watch til the very end (after the credits).

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Just Beachy M'Dear

Saturday morning, before getting old-timey gussied up, T and I hit the beach, as part of my ongoing mission
(to figure out all of my camera's capabilities. It's like a living thing, I tell you...)
I love being at the beach. What other culturally embraced routine involves preparing, dressing, driving, parking, walking, and setting up in order to lie down and relax?
Not many, I say.
There should be more, I say.
In fact, I will single-handedly bring up the national average of minutes Zenning out to the sounds of the surf. (Yes, I know this isn't a new thing but now my lazing at the beach has a purpose! Yes! Just the excuse I was looking for! Genius.)

I'm a firm believer that if it became a normal thing for everyone in our overweight and unhappy country to quiet down, close their eyes and spend chunks of time just enjoying being, not text messaging, not checking email (not blogging, although we all know that there is certainly a time for that), not driving, planning, eating donuts on the go, grabbing a shake instead of a meal, etc., then we'd all be happier campers.
So, in the interest of practicing what I preach, I'll be rocking the SPF 70 (no, I'm not kidding) on a weekly basis from here on out.
A noble goal, I say.

Today's whiteboard quote:
"Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least." ~Johan Wolfgang von Goethe

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Webster's Says...

Lately I have been obsessed with this blog. Why? Oh, I don't know. I think my biological clock is thinking about thinking about ticking. One second I'll be fantasizing about crocheting baby blankets, nibbling on tiny toes and the sacredness of feeling a new life growing within me, then about brown eyes like T's, green eyes like mine, hoping that (s)he'll have his sweetness and my spirituality....
Then I notice that I've been brushing my teeth for 8 minutes as my eyes widen in shock and I recoil from the mirror.


Heck no!

My mind is bombarded with the concept that, one day, late night red wine and dark chocolate will be things of the past, not to mention early Saturday morning living room workouts interrupted by a sleepy T coming downstairs and wanting to cuddle with me. Oh no. Nibbling on tiny toes means that those early mornings will be devoted to a beautiful albeit selfish, selfish selfish creature. That I'll be biologically coerced into loving. No more only-Charisness. No more quiet car rides, listening to my audiobooks without a care in the world (besides having the heck scared outta me by Stephen King, like I am right now. I mean seriously. Killer cell phones? Can you get any scarier? Makes me look at my little gray motorola in a whole new light)

See what I mean about thinking about thinking about ticking?

The jury's still out.





So I take out the crochet hook and start on a blanket for one of the 149,783,064 friends that I have who are currently about to have/just did have babies.

And I read blogs like the Girl's Gone Child one mentioned above, and vicariously let my bio clock tick away.

On it, the author talks about how, although she doesn't define herself by her motherhood, her sense of self has certainly been affected and improved by it.

She now has a different lens to see the beauty of the world though.

And I think about how, having someone close, someone you love, something you love, and on and on, gives you that lens.

That's why I write about T so much. He changes my stuck-in-traffic drives. They fly by, as they did on Monday when I had his company because of a studying day he took in Pasadena. I didn't note the graffiti on the giant highway concrete pillars, nor whether I was at the first or second hump on the 110 South (to peg where I am on my homeward journey). I was more concerned with talking to him. The lens was different.

And if not him, it's something else. I see and ponder the world through the lens of nature and the hummingbirds that have been stalking me all summer, or through travels and how my life is so different now than it was five years ago in Florida or nine years ago in Virginia, or through the lens of Spirit, wondering how best to serve whatever one defines as God, whether it's personal purpose, Love, Communion in life, or any of the many varied religious definitions....

And I wonder, is there any observation to be made if you don't do it through the study of something outside yourself?

No, I don't think that there is.

As Madeleine L'Engle said in one of her amazing and simple works that I'm working on now (such frivolous fiction is relegated to only having read-time when I'm blowdrying my hair. Yes ma'am, head thrown forward, with the book held open by a lotion bottle on the bathroom counter...), we're in a universe.

Uni: one, together, joined.

Webster's says it, more or less.

Today's whiteboard quote:
"People have talents that are different. Where does the creative flow some from, inside us, or from a higher power? I don't ask questions. I just write it down."
~Phyllis Whitney

Roaring 20's

This past Saturday night, we were invited to a friend's themed birthday party. Since she was saying goodbye to her 20's, she decided to roar them out (get it? Roaring 20's? Yes, I know I make horrifical jokes).
The roomies, minus my sister (who was gone on a wine-tasting adventure that afternoon) got into the spirit with our costumes.
The boys were more authentic than I, wearing actual bygone fashions. T had a pinstriped 3-piecer from who knows when, worn by family patriarchs that came before (seen in this post minus the jacket, this is SoCal after all, he would've not-so spontaneously combusted if he'd worn all three pieces). He lent B, whose wardrobe is refreshingly simple (but does not period-costumes make) some other old-fashioned digs left over from family too (vest, suspenders, etc).

As for me, here's my costume breakdown:
- strapless black beaded thriftstore dress (under $5. Oh yes, it was. I also scored an Express white lacy a-line knee-length strapless weekend dress for $6 on that trip. Love it)
- jewelry (pearls, diamonds, chains, etc) from my jewelry box, sis's jewelry box, and Target (maybe a Walgreens sparkly hair clip or two)
- shoes, my closet. The dress was floor-length, who cared. But, if you're curious, they were black open-toed pumps with an ankle strap
- feather boa, Michael's craft store
- one gazillion hair pins to sport the faux-short pin-curl 'do, Target
I think that's it! I watched some YouTube tutorials and educated myself on how to rock it flapper style, and in the end, the whole thing came together nicely, if I do say so myself.

...And so we were off.

The 3 of us drove over to Venice Beach, where the b-day shindig was held at The Garter. I'd never been there before, and I must say, it was adorable. Perfect for the party's theme. There was also a we're-so-cool door line outside when we left, so I guess other folks agree with me.

T and I got our drinks, said hello to the folks we knew, and snuck over to a corner where we flirted with each other and people watched and got approached by one or two folks who told us how awesome we looked (total ego-booster, that). In line for the bathroom, I talked for a few to a girl who was attending a 80's party on the same night. She said our theme was cooler, and to be honest. I agreed.

Was that wrong?

But to be fair, theirs was probably easier to dress in accordance to. So perhaps it evens out, all things considered.

Anyway, then I went back to another corner with T (this time by a fake fireplace), and we continued to be anti-social. This was broken by merging with the writhing throng (okay, that throng part was only after 11:30pm) in dance-floor stints to the occasional college-throwback rap song, and plenty of MJ.

With the birthday girl:

With two wax statues that I could've sworn were originally my escorts to and from the event:

We left at about 12:30. Early, yes. And yes, we're old at heart I suppose and the next thing will be the cane to walk with down the broken sidewalks of Lincoln, but judging how T and I mostly just wanted to talk to each other, I have to wonder, what's the point of going out at all?

#1) You know who you're going home with at the end of the night.
#2) You don't need to get wizasted to have a good time, and you don't particularly enjoy the icy drinks being spilled down your bare shoulders by those who do need to.

#3) Correct me if I'm wrong, but these days I value my weekends and miss them when I'm out of commision until 3pm like I was the next day...

However, doing it once in a while rocks, and also reminds you why nights at home with some Well Red and dark chocolate, followed by sweetly energetic and productive (not to mention better-feeling than the undead way you would have if you'd gone out the night before) mornings can't be beat.

Anyway, so we loaded up and drove back to RB,
changed into pj's,
And B made us vegan nachos.
Which were delicious.

The End.

Today's whiteboard quote:
"When we tell stories, or when we try to verbalize our experiences, we take our paths towards understanding."
~Edwidge Danticat

Monday, July 13, 2009


It's a busy Monday, after a busy weekend!

Because of this, I'll give you a peek into this weekend, and essentially what I'll be posting about all week, in no special order :)
(included: 20's birthday party, time in Manhattan beach, etc...)

Today's whiteboard quote:
"All problems become smaller if you don't dodge them, but confront them. Touch a thistle timidly, and it pricks you; grasp it boldly, and its spines crumble."
~William S. Halsey

Friday, July 10, 2009

Peeping Tom

It's Lady Godiva day!On this day in the year 1057, Lady Godiva rode through the streets of Coventry, naked as a jaybird.

Why did she do it?

For the people!

Apparently her husband (the earl) was oppressively taxing them. She'd appealed to him over and over to let up on it, but he always denied her. Eventually, he called her bluff, saying that he'd relax his crazy taxes if she'd ride through the streets naked.

Guess she told him!

The best part is that they were both religious. Great church benefactors, in fact. So she wasn't some harlot just showing her immoral self (for the times - with all that hair she wore more than most of us do to the beach, I must say). Gotta love a woman who balance both spirituality and independent thought! My kinda girl!

Lady Godiva was a notable horsewoman too, and she may have been a widow when she wed the earl. Quite an independent woman for her times, I say.

Nice forerunner for the rest of us!

So sure enough, she did it. Of course, being a lady, she first sent out a proclamation that everyone had to be inside with the windows shuttered. After the streets were empty (or so she thought) she made her ride, and got her way - the people of Coventry got the benefits of her wager with her husband (less taxes). Good for the earl for not chickening out.

Now, this being at the time that it was, with modesty and 7,000 layers of clothing and the sight of an ankle driving men to madness with the lust of it all, etc., do any of us honestly think that no one was watching her, taking an eyeful while putting a finger between the shutter and the edge of the window?

Heck, I'm sure everyone saw it.

But, according to legend, one man, a tailor actually, watched her and went blind. Dang.

Who was it?

Well, that's where the name Peeping Tom comes from.
(...and that's your nugget of useless knowledge for the day. You're welcome.)

Of course, some say that she was clad in a shift (an undergarment, kinda like a slip), so not actually naked, and some even say that her "nudity" was just bling-wise: she may have just ridden stripped of all her jewelry.

But I think that the better story is the jaybird one, no?
So that's what I'm going with.

In other news, I feel bad today about still not having done a vlog (I'm thinking I'll comandeer T's macbook this weekend, which does have a working mic, and make one) so here's a still:
(the smugness evidenced above is because it's Friday, duh.)

Today's whiteboard quote:
"Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values.
~Ayn Rand

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sneak Peek...

This is what I've been working on:

To be continued....
Today's whiteboard quote:
"The thoughts we choose to think are the tools we use to paint the canvas of our lives."
~Louise Hay

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Gnat Cool, Gnat Cool At All...

Maison a la Redondo Beach is under attack.

Nope, not by California earthquakes.

Not by drought.

Not by masked gunmen.

Not really by weapons of mass destruction (although this is arguable, considering).

But by these guerrilla bio-weapon holding terrorists:

Yes, it's the common household fruit fly.

And it ain't pretty.

It happens to the best of us. You leave a banana out for a day or two later that you should have, and before you know what happened, you have four or five maddeningly quick-to-avoid-attack gnats buzzing around your kitchen.

The best thing to do is to put out a cup of a vinegar/water/dish soap solution. They'll be drawn to it, drown (the soap breaks the liquid's surface tension), and all you have to do is pour their remains down your food disposal (or give them any other type of burial service, up to you), and you're good.


In my house, we have produce-loving roomates (one of us is vegan, two are mostly vegetarian, and the last one loves to buy fruit and never eat any of them, rather opting to leave them in a bag, leaning against the wall in a not-so-often frequented corner of the kitchen until one of us discovers where the smell is coming from....sorry M, love you, but it's true).

This means that, although we have waged warfare and killed many of the little buggers, they lay eggs (where? I don't know. It's a mystery, but they are somewhere in the skin of produce and invisible too), and come back quicker than we can get rid of them.

I think it's safe to say that you have an infestation when there are 70 of them dead in your vinegar trap, in a bathroom, upstairs, and in the opposite corner of the house. (yes, there were really 70. It was M's bathroom, and being the inquisitive engineer she is, she counted. Gross? Yes. True? Yes.)

I'm cool with having four of us living there, but once the number of roomates go up into the triple digits I think we've gone too far with our hospitality. I'm not cool sharing my living space with winged creatures either....
So now it's all out battle.

Which, really means, that we're having to be quite OCD about the kitchen. Down to all of our fruits being in sealed ziploc bags.

Note: not a good idea.

Pretty gross, actually. They went in yesterday, and this morning the fruit was already starting to go south. Dark spots on our apples (and a rotten core on one already, GROSS), and my 3-day-ago-purchased banana is spotty and soft. I think it's because gasses get released in the airlocked bags, then make the rest of the fruit rot.

So I'm not a fan of the ziplocs. However, I also think my roomies would veto my veto of their use, so I'm SOL on the rotten bananas. Sigh. Ah, how I miss the days of living alone sometimes.... (and I never had one fruit fly...)

But c'est la vie. Cheap rent and company is worth sharing space and sparking personalities and the like, right? Ummm, we'll say it is.

So the fruit flies have won the banana battle.

But I'll be back. Governor-style.

Today's whiteboard quote:
"Everything nourishes what is strong already."
~Jane Austen
(hopefully the fruit flies don't qualify....)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cheeseburgers and Fries and Sugar Substitues, Oh My!

I've been a busy girl.

I've written this, about America's unhealthiest foods.

I've also written this, about how xylitol, a sugar substitute, prevents cavities....what? Yep, it's true. Although my holistic self wonders how long it'll be before we find out that scientifically twisting up a naturally occurring chemical, no matter how good-for-you it is on the vine, has a negative effect once it's all down to chemicals and compounds....

But anyway. Have you watched Home yet? It's amazing. And is available to watch online, for free, and legally too. And no, I have nothing to do with the movie, and they don't even know I'm advertising for them :) It's that good.

Check it out. Let me know what you think. Seriously. It'll be the best 93 minutes you spend all day. Okay, I can think of a couple of better ways to spend 93 minutes....but anyway.

On another note, today is Tuesday. Which means we're into the week, and busy, but not tired of it yet :) I hope. Because if you are, there's still a ton to go! So just don't think about it. Besides, it's summer! And it's beautiful outside! And if you don't get to go outside the same way that I don't, we can always be thankful that we don't have any awkward tan lines, right?

By the way, I have a 1920's party to attend this Saturday. Any of y'all have any tips for flappering it up? I tried on a few of those short and fringed flapper dresses, but none of them caught my fancy, so I'll be doing a homemade costume. I'm thinking about going for a more evening look, wearing that awesome dress I got for the January wedding, and doing it up with long beads, red lipstick and a flowered headband...thoughts? Suggestions? I'll take em!

Today's whiteboard quote:
"What we must realize is that we cannot see everything. We do not know everything. More important, we must understand that it's impossible for us to control anything."
~Iyanla Vanzant

(I'm not going to admit that this one is a challenge for me, the control freak of the century. Wait, I just did...oh well.)

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July Weekend Review

If you'd been hanging out with us on Saturday, you would have observed:

A patriotic breakfast,
A patriotic Charis,
Some poolside Yoga,

And much sunny relaxation.

Let's not talk about the lack of foresight that led us to make a city wide trek on foot in search of food (although the Pita Pit was well worth it) and that canceled Sunday morning's hike (because I already felt as if I'd been on a hike, soreness and everything. Dodging Independence Day beach revelers who've had too much to drink is always a good workout...)

Instead, let us talk about the movie that T and I watched as we ate our red, white, and blue breakfast. It's called Home, and the next hour and a half that you have free, watch it directly. The shots alone are breathtakingly beautiful and enough reason to watch the movie, but you will undoubtedly be moved too.

If not, you can blame me. But I was.

Happy Monday! In honor of the sun's return to SoCal, and the long and restful weekend, I'm rearing to go and check off some big items on my to-do list.

Don't worry, I'll tell you when the site(s) is/are up :)

What are you going to do to make your life more like your ideal one?

Today's whiteboard quote:
"Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit."
~Henry David Thoreau

Friday, July 3, 2009

Lazy Friday Post

Today is an off day because of tomorrow's holiday. I'm hanging out on the couch watching Giada, my very favorite celebrity girl crush. Seriously, how can you not love her?

In fact, I'm not even going to post a proper blog today. I'll give you pictures from yesterday's concert and today's lunch instead.

Enjoy :)

(Happy 4th of July (sorry, white font won't work) too, by the way)