Tuesday, August 28, 2007

everyday is earth day...

guess what? when you send out your desire into the universe, sometimes it comes back to you fulfilled.

our local municipality is making recycling mandatory!

to me, this means the world might just be waking up.

good morning, mighty citizens of earth. we've got some work to do. go grab a cup of coffee and let's get down to it!

Monday, August 27, 2007

opening doors...

on saturday night i met a lady, "bev", that founded her own business by accident.

bev worked for a real estate developer part time, handing out brochures in model homes and greeting potential buyers. bev did a great job and the developer asked her to start to work in the office too.

my new friend enlightened me in a number of ways. for example, did you know that there are folks whose job it is to clean model homes? these are not regular cleaning crews, because you know, the stove is not being used, so it's not greasy, but the bathtub does get dusty and the pillows need to be fluffed.

while bev was working in the office she saw an invoice from the model home cleaning crew her developer was using and it was quite high...particularly high because the crew didn't do a very good job. bev thought, "i could do a much better job."

did i forget to mention that at the same time bev was also enrolled in a marketing class at the community college near where she lived? and that one of the assignments was to create a brochure and a marketing plan for a business? bev took her idea, developed it into a business plan (with a snazzy marketing brochure), invested a small inheritance she had just received and "bam" her idea became a reality.

now, fifteen years later, she is the owner of a company with 25 employees. bev is currently working on a diversification idea that could ground her business and turn it into something not as reliant on the real estate market (we all know how volatile that is, especially right now!).

of course, this chance meet-up got me to thinking...

there are opportunities around us all the time but it is our ability to think creatively that enables us to actual see them for what they are. we can't let the door blocking our view keep us from ferreting out the chance...we need to open the doors, knock down the barriers and fling open the sash of the window to see what's right in front of our faces.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

summer reading redux...

too hot to cook? read!

too hot to work? read!

too hot to do anything of substance? read!

upon the recommedation of rosie posy, i borrowed from the library housekeeping by marilynne robinson. parts of it were enthralling. the language lovely...but i wanted more story. at times it reminded me of something by james joyce and then, well, i felt like i was reading the bible. and then i needed to get a dictionary. that's not bad in and of itself, but when an author makes so many obscure literary references (without the benefit of footnotes) it doesn't always work to make me feel edified...it does, however, make me feel inferior and that feeling is just a hop, skip, and a jump to wondering if the author is on an ego power trip of showing off all the stuff they know instead of entertaining me, the reader. in addition, the book had a melancholy bent that never went away. without giving too much away, the insinuation that we all teeter on the edge of insanity without much hope that anyone could override this tendency, left me feeling hopeless. this was definitely not light summer fare. if you like to get lost in the words of a novel, this may be the one for you. if, however, you like "lite lit" and a story with a middle, beginning and end (i know...so pedestrian) then i can recommend...

back when we were grownups by anne tyler. if this book were made into a movie, i see kathy bates (the loveable kathy...not the crazy kathy) cast as the lead character, rebecca. all the other folks in the book would be played by whomever you find likeable. and when billy crystal is old and shriveled, he could play the 100 year old uncle, poppy. the story is what you have come to know and love from most modern novels...a story of a sudden self-awareness, a maturation of the character that eventually translates to a sense of being comfortable, but only for a moment. the reader knows there will be challenges in the future of these characters but what has been written on the pages has better prepared them for what lies ahead. so i don't want you to think that i think tidy endings are my preference, but i do want to feel like things are going to be okay.

i am currently reading we are all welcome here by my fave, fave, favorite author, elizabeth berg. this is just as wonderful and almost as delish as pull of the moon which i read over and over, again and again because it is just that good. i've only ever read three other books more than once (okay, i have read some books over but only because they ended up being so unremarkable that i only sensed that i had already read them)...little women, wicked and wuthering heights. please go read everything you can get your hands on by ms. berg. you'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

i missed you...

it's still hot, but i think i'm getting used to it....i don't faint when i walk out of the front door anymore, i just get limp and drag my feet along the pavement. that's so much better!

i feel perched on the edge of something new. "what?" you ask? could be meat...could be cake...could be meatcake. (anyone else like this george carlin sketch? raise your hand!)

see? the heat could be affecting my ability to accurately judge what constitutes "funny."

i'll be back tomorrow, though...i've read a few books and i owe you reviews.

sincerely, i've missed you.

Monday, August 13, 2007

take 5...

i'll be taking a mini-break from blogging...

i'll be back after school starts and the heat wave ends (hopefully, sooner than later)! my brain is soup-y from the over 100 degree temps. can't think straight. don't want to cook. lost the will to write. all i want to do is drink iced coffee, and watch season 2 of weeds on dvd in the dark quiet of my living room while knitting.

hoping the weather where you are is cool and calming.

talk at you later, my peeps.

Friday, August 10, 2007

dancing on the top...

i love so you think you can dance. i've learned so much about the art form from that show...it's really quite amazing. there are so many things that i know so little about, i appreciate the chance to learn even a tiny bit.

during the individual critiques the judges point out miniscule things about each dancer that upon rewinding, i see too -- how neil needs to be more conscious of not holding his shoulders too high or how lacey tends to engage more with the audience than her partner or how kameron danced on top of the floor and not into the floor.

when i first heard that phrase i didn't understand it. i mean, of course, they're dancing on top of the floor, and how could someone dance into the floor. but when i watched danny dance, i immediately saw the difference...solid moves that were a part of the floor, lyrical movement that grew out of a deep place in his body that seemed to sprout from the sole of his foot and continued to the tips of his fingertips.

i'm a top of the floor dancer in life, i suppose. i've written before about living deeper, learning more and pulling into myself the most out of the world around me. i suppose it's time to re-commit to choosing wisely the way in which i spend my time. what can enhance my life? what can enrich my day to day existence? what can root me to this experience?

probably time to evaluate whether watching sex and the city reruns every night is a valuable use of my time.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


happy birthday, sweetie! here's to many happy returns!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

careful, i think his bow tie is really a camera...

kelly and i got married pretty young. i was 21 and he was 25. at the time, i thought that was perfectly okay, but when i look at nathaniel and realize that if he were me, in less than five years he'd be hitched, i hiccup a bit. but all things being equal, i'm glad we married when we did. i don't know of any advantage we would have gained if we had waited. i loved him. he loved me. we already lived together. why not marry our fortunes together (or at least kelly's small savings account to my substantial student loan balance)?

kelly forwarded this article to me the other day. it speaks to many of the things that kelly and i have experienced throughout the years.

neither one of us was set in his/her ways to the extent that hindered us from easing into sharing our living space. in no small way, we grew up together. and then three years after we tied the knot, we brought our son into the world.

for quite a while, we were one of only two married couples in our circle of friends. and it was even longer than that before anyone else we knew had children. in a way, we were the trailblazers. it also isolated us a little bit -- made us more reliant on one another. because as much as i focus on all the positive, there were detractors from our union. we shared the firm conviction that we were going to do this thing and nobody was going to be able to say, "i told you so." so, and i think this is due in no small part to being young, we didn't let anyone else see it when we argued or felt perched on the edge of the unknown. i mean, who else could we ask for advice? we were the first.

in many ways, we're still the first. our son is poised to fly out of the nest next year, and that is filling me with unfamiliar emotions. kelly is planning for a retirement from his first career and is thinking about what his next will be.


in one week we will celebrate our 20th anniversary. i can't believe how far we've come and i feel like we're still just starting on this adventure.

it rained on our wedding day. they say that's good luck. i believe them.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

tuesday of thanks...

practically every single day i wear something either thrifted or vintage. today, for example, i have on a c. 1973 polyester blouse. the black fabric is sheer and covered in green daisies, white carnations and blush pink roses. i'm wearning that over charcoal grey pinstripe forever 21 low-rise slacks. (i know! who says "slacks" anymore? let's bring it back, okay?)

yesterday i wore a c. 1950 circle skirt i traded some too big vintage dresses for at alice's vintage clothing in the university city loop. i love the skirt with a fervent passion.

both days this weekend i was rockin' vintage dresses and aprons. vintage and thrift make up the backbone of my wardrobe and i have chuck rice to thank for all of it.

indianapolis in 1979 was a far cry from what most would call "fashion forward." i bought most of my clothes, beside my mother, from ayr-way or zayres. given a school clothes budget of $50, i bought corduroys, ribbed turtle neck sweaters, a few velour v-neck pullover tops, a puffy down vest and some non-descript brown shoes. i felt prepared to start my freshman year of high school.

this was also the year i met chuck, another performing arts student. he and i would skip class together, eat fried donuts at the diner down the street from school, talk about writing and poetry and how much we hated the midwest. later we would act out scenes from "fame" while drinking bad coffee and smoking marlboro light after marlboro light.

one afternoon, seeking a valid reason to leave campus, chuck suggested we go to a thrift store. i was intrigued. in my mind only the poverty stricken and desperate would shop at the thrift store. chuck assured me that i would find ways to supplement my woefully plain wardrobe with items from the thrift store. he pointed to his long, black trench coat and wool scarf, "this, and this are both from the goodwill." okay...we got on the city bus and off we went.

the entire world seemed limitless to me that afternoon. t-shirts for 25 cents. jeans for 50 cents. vintage dresses and gloves and bags and hats and, whoa...i was starting to get dizzy.

and when i picked up something that was just not right, chuck told me how it could be altered to make it perfect. chuck (and an article from seventeen magazine) taught me how to taper the legs of all of my, now out of fashion, flare leg pants. chuck showed me the perfect length to cut the fingers off of gloves ala madonna.

chuck was my fashion fairy godmother, and i thank him for that. he helped me form a unique sense of self that i didn't know was lurking in me. i was restless and chuck introduced me to concepts and ideas that started me thinking about how i could ease the unrest and find expression through my clothes.

i don't know what happened to chuck. we drifted apart the way 15 year olds drift apart--without meaning to. but i want to send this out to him...a virtual hug...thanks for helping this awkward outsider feel her way toward a definition of what it meant to be herself in a time when that was all that mattered.

Monday, August 06, 2007

$8.75 + $8.75 + $7.75 = $25.25...

the three of us went to see the bourne ultimatum last night. it was packed with action -- fighting, car chases, quick shots. everything you've come to know and love about jason bourne.

(oh and by the way, does anyone else think that joan allen has freakishly narrow shoulders?)


there we are sitting in the quiet dark of the theatre. the previews are about to start and in walks a man and a woman, and i think to myself, "is that man holding a newborn baby?" and right then, kelly says to me, "are they bringing a baby to a 7:15 movie?" and then the couple and their newborn baby sit right behind us. yes, right behind us.

we go to evening movies rarely, preferring to spend our money on, i don't know, groceries. we usually go to matinees or early movies where the price is discounted. so it's a splurge to go to a movie at a "date" time.

the baby was pretty good, but it was a baby and, well, it made baby sounds and did cry at one point. then the person sitting next to nathaniel cracked every one of his knuckles (each of the three knuckles of each of his fingers), and the phone belonging to the person on kelly's left rang.

there's not much you can say or do in this situataion to dissuade the offenders from engaging in rude behavior. i am a big "shush-er" to talkers in movies, but i don't know how to handle the baby/phone/knuckle situation(s).

in an ideal world there would be an elaborate fine system, not unlike a swear jar, where the person who disrupts the movie has to pay a pre-set amount based on the offense. the management then would divvy up the "pot" among the other patrons.

i think for yesterday's movie debacle i and my family are owed approximately 58 cents each.