Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Like father like daughter.

        Some of you may have heard tales about my father. Some of you have even met and spent time with my father. One of the things that most people can remember about my dad is his sense of humor. I mean, he passes out $2 bills to all of my "friends". I am definitely carved from the same tree and you wouldn't doubt for a moment after meeting him, that I was his child. And no, I'm not adopted like he's been telling me for years.

        The following is something that he completely made up for me and three of my friends. The last time I went to the beach with some high school friends and our moms, my dad came too. He felt the need to give us some guidelines on how to spend that vacation. Read the following carefully. It may crop up in your memory at random times and bring upon uncontrollable laughter.


Post In Prominent Place

1. There shall be no smoking in Bed!

2. Curfew is 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time. That means back to condo LIGHTS OUT and ASLEEP by 10:30 p.m.

3. Use of Bathroom in morning is in alphabetical order – Alice, Meghan, Andrea, and Beth – (for those of you who are mathematically challenged.)

4. Wake up is at 6:30 a.m. for the morning run with the parents. This is entirely voluntary and optional. If you don’t want to go on the run that’s okay. (The automatic 220-Volt electrical shocks to the bedsprings won’t occur until 6:35 a.m. in any event.)

5. No snoring.

6. No making remarks or ogling the male lifeguards.

7. No drinking of more than three alcoholic beverages before noon. (one beverage counts for EACH of the following – 48 ounce pitcher of beer, a box of wine, a fifth of Wild Turkey)

8. Only one-piece bathing suits permitted on the beach. One piece is defined as totally opaque, heavy wool material that totally covers body from ankles to top of head. (For picture – look in June 1999 issue of National Geographic, page 149.) Gloves optional.

9. Sun Tan Rules – Must use SPF of 250 or higher and not be exposed to sun more than 20 minutes total in any one day.

10. Toothbrushes shall NOT be shared.

11. Evening bathroom privileges are height order – tallest to shortest – Meghan, Alice, Beth, Andrea.
*Side note: Andrea is 5' 7" and the rest of us are around 5' 2".

12. If you behave properly – scoring system secret and totally subject to the discretion of judges – you MAY be permitted to wax Bob’s car. But only if each of you are really, really good.

13. No eating in bed. – Exceptions – Garlic Flake Potato Chips, Toasted Marshmallows and S’mores, Peanut Butter and Sardine sandwiches.

14. No yelling out car windows or over balcony such things as, “Woo, woo,” “Hey, look at these,” or “I’ll show you these for those Mardi Gras beads.”

15. No visits to tattoo parlors (unless they also sell stained glass.)

16. No new body piercings – you each have more than enuff holes.

17. Driving privileges – ONLY ADULTS will be allowed to operate vehicles. Adult is defined as follows:

    a. Has had no alcohol in the last 371 hours
    b. Is over the age of 21
    c. Has at least three forms of picture id
    d. Passes the daily written exam on driving safety

18. Swimming safety rules.

    a. No entering the water (including showers and bathtubs) if food (including brushing teeth) has occurred within the last hour.
    b. Coast Guard approved safety devices must be worn at all times when within 30 feet of water (yes, this includes the shower) These must be able to support at least two people each of which weigh more than 212 pounds AND be International Fluorescent Orange (not UT Orange) in color.

19. It is understood that each of you are individuals and that at times you individually want to do something by yourself, but due to the fact that the US has raised the Alert Level to Greenish Blue please adhere to the following rules:

    a. Individuals are defined as a group of four or more. Groups LESS than four is NOT permitted outside of the sight of one or more approved parents.
    b. Contact information
        i. Each of you shall carry and have in the “on” position at least two cell phones
        ii. Each of you shall carry and have in the “on” position at least one pager.
        iii. Global Positioning Devices shall be worn at all times (written exceptions are permitted but must be signed by at least two parents.) These shall be registered with the US Office of Global Devices and Stuff.
        iv. If you do not answer cell phone by second ring, pager within 14 seconds of message being sent, or if GPS device is out of service for more than 1.2 milliseconds you should expect a parent calling 911 and don’t be surprised if a SWAT team surrounds you. (Just be sure to drop all weapons.)

20 No unauthorized visitors to your rooms.
    A. Unauthorized means ANYONE
    B. See “A” above.

21 Each of you should memorize these rules. It may be easier to study as a group. Written exam will be given in morning.
    a. Sample questions:
            i. How many of the Rules start with a Vowel versus a Consonant?
            ii. Is it more important to turn on your pager or to have world peace (essay question – answers must be hand written and no longer than 2,000 words and no less than 1,200 words.)
            iii. If you see one of the others in our group breaking a rule which is the best answer?
                A. Yell their name out loud and scream, “Fatty, fatty, two by four.”
                B. Take a picture with camera to prove they were breaking a rule.
                C. All of the above
                D. Tell Parent immediately
                E. All of the above NOW
                F. Throw some cold water on them
                G. Throw some cold water on yourself
                H. NOW all of the above
                I. Pretend you didn’t see them breaking the rule and use it as blackmail in case you ever break a rule.

I couldn't stop laughing after I found this yesterday. If you feel the need to share, go right ahead.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Spirituality and Your Inner Being

I feel so moved when I hear this particular artist singing. I believe that talent comes in many forms and he is a extraordinary example. This particular musical artist is so connected with himself and his body that listening to him is a rare, beautiful occurence. Seriously, I'm completely moved by him.

Please watch this video before you finish reading the rest of this particular post. I am actually pleading with you to open your mind and enjoy his performance.

That puts a huge smile on my face. A HUGE SMILE! I cannot imagine how Bobby McFerrin discovered he was a musical genius, but I'm glad he did. I grew up listening to "Don't Worry Be Happy" on a cassette tape from the movie soundtrack Cocktail. I played that song over and over on My First Sony Cassette Player when we traveled. I think my brother got annoyed with me for singing out loud. Listening to Bobby always makes me think of my childhood and I love that he gives me that sense of nostalgia and security.

Now, he gives me a sense of openness. I love that he commands an audiences' attention and is completely confident in what he does. It makes me feel as if I can do anything. Maybe that's going a bit too far for some people, but don't you ever feel that way about music? Aren't there songs that you can just feel inside your mind that makes you want to express yourself? Isn't there ever a time when the music iss so compelling that you want to burst with zeal? I mean, why wouldn't you want to do that normally? It's so difficult to capture that kind of existence in yourself, but music can help you in that endeavor. Don't you think? There are so many chances to be happy in life and Bobby tells it like it is. He says, "Don't worry, be happy." Hakuna matata. Forget about it. There are so many ways to say what can be conveyed in one song.

I'm on my soap box right now and I'm staying here...until you join me. I want you to be right here with me sharing my joy. We can't all be happy one hundred percent of the time, but we can help each other to try to be happy most of the time. We are our own joys and sorrows in life. Share, my friends. Share.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

And another thing....

I'm really starting to enjoy blogging. I always want to improve my blog, but more importantly, I'm always wanting to share myself. To some, it might not seem like I'm shy, but I don't like sharing everything. I tell people things that I would tell anyone until you get to know me. One day you'll know what I love and don't love. One day I'll share my fears with you. I want to be open on my blog and that's something I'm working on.

I'm reminded that I thought of something that Jake and I can concentrate on every week. Once a week we pick from a deck called 52 Ways to Simplify Your Life. We have been taking turns choosing a card and we both seem to enjoy it. Week one's card was "Make Something". We chose to make a loaf of bread. It was kind of fun to actually get back in the kitchen and do that. We've been making changes in our lives to have a better quality of life and I truly feel this is a "simple" way to achieve it. Try it out some time and you might be surprised with the results.

Undomestic Goddess

After reading Sophie Kinsella’s Undomestic Goddess I don’t feel any differently about life. It’s not really a thought-provoking book. At least, not in the sense that I would choose for a book group discussion. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the book. I enjoy “fast reads” like that. This book was all about one woman’s fall from grace in a very high-pressured career world, and her discovery of a more laid-back way of life. A life that still has its demands, but the rewards are more self-fulfilling. I think the questions it raised for me is:

What is the better choice? Who can truly answer this?

By pushing our careers aside and choosing a life of domesticity, are we compromising our rights as women? I personally, don’t feel that we are compromising our “place” so to speak, in this world. Women have fought for their rights and their opinions and I don’t think it’s taking a step back by wanting to put us back in the kitchen. I have many friends with masters degrees whose ultimate goals are to become mothers and housewives. That is their choice. Does choosing a life over a career mean we can’t ever go back to having a career? I don’t feel that if you choose to be a housewife or a stay-at-home mom that you can’t return to a career life. Many women now days do both. Women are working out of their homes and becoming involved in business while still being able to maintain a happy home life. Women have built businesses from the ground up while taking care of child. Should we resent women who choose not to work? NO! Resentment only encourages weakness. Personally, by resenting another woman’s choice, you’re dooming all women to fail. It sounds cliché to say this, but banding together and making sure that women are supported NO MATTER their choices is the only way to ensure that we can keep our freedom. Women are corporate lawyers, shareholders, stockbrokers, waitresses, business owners, doctors, computer geniuses, professors, mechanics, and every other imaginable job you can imagine. To think that, at one time, only men did these professions, you have to give credit where credit is due. Women are able to make the choice to move in and out of the kitchen at will. If I want to be a housewife then I hope I won’t be hated or resented for my choice. In my opinion, who wouldn’t love to be able to do that? Why wouldn’t you want to be able to spend your days maintaining a wonderful home and not having to work a “real” job? The thought that I could stay home and bake and clean and do sewing would be awesome. Is it a natural right as a woman, in this age, to be able to have a choice between domesticity and the working world? I think it is our natural right. I don’t think anyone can tell us we can’t. Even if you’re a die-hard feminist, I don’t think you can say no to that. I don’t think being feminist means you have to hate or begrudge others for their choices. I feel that a woman has a choice to do what makes her happy. I want to be happy and I want that same happiness for everyone.

So, maybe I had more to say on this book, than I actually thought. I guess most of the feelings I have about this book is wonderment and jealousy. I mean, a life where you can decide what you want to do and live how you want to live, sounds great. No corporate person telling you what to do. No reason to make people happy because they feel they’re entitled. No need to be so concerned with money that you couldn’t enjoy life. It’s all good. It is all good.

Anybody Out There?

I can't tell you all about the book I just read because I liked it so much. It wasn't "chick lit" like I thought it was going to be. In fact, it had a deeper side to it. Ever heard of Marian Keyes? Well, neither had I, not really, until about three days ago. I was searching the library shelves for a new book when I happened across Anybody Out There? on the recommendation shelves. I'm not much for browsing and if the dust jacket doesn't grab my attention in five seconds or less I won't be reading that book that day. Anyway. I want to tell you more about this book, but I'm reading books outside of my Long-Distance Book Club list so that I can pick a good one when it's my turn. Maybe this'll be it. Maybe this wont' be. I do like a good happy ending in books and for awhile I wasn't sure I'd get one. Seriously, it hurts me when there isn't a lot of closure in the sense that I'm used to. Maybe movies make us think of life in some fantastical way, but I still hold fast to happy endings. I don't see any harm in imaging life to better than it is because, in a sense, it will be. Truly! I'd recommend this book to women, but probably not to men. I can relate to teh character because I understand how a woman functions. I also really enjoyed that the main character was Irish and she spoke with an Irish accent. I love reading books where people use their native slang. Well, check it out and see what you think. Enjoy!

(As a side note: I have many posts that are saved, so I will post them one day at a time. Hopefully, you'll find them enjoyable, even without the pictures. I've just been really into writing recently and I'm ready to share that with you)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Wardrobe Refashion

So, I have been lurking around a particular blog for over a year now and I've finally been able to become a part of it. Wardrobe Refashion is a blog based on values that I'm trying to embrace in life. I spoke of living simpler and this is a huge step in the right direction. So, without further ado:

I, Beth, pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 6 months. I pledge that I shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoated, recylcled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftyness brings! Signed, Beth.

Here's my first post if you're interested. Every now and again I'll post a little link to that blog so you can see what my current projects are. I probably wont' blog about it on here so I can draw your attention away from here to another fabulous site. I'll be adding a button in my side bar on this blog, too.

I must also say that I have about four posts in my head today. For some reason my brain is working well. I attribute it to the fact that I have internet access 24/7 now. Yeah, I'm addicted again. I think I'm going to have to save some of these posts for others day. Don't you worry though, they'll be fun.

Jake and I rearranged our living rooms or rather large living room a few weekends ago. It was a lot of fun doing it and it really made us feel like we accomplished something. I just wanted to share a few pictures of it to see what you think.
This was where our tv was. The reason the pictures are so sporadic is because those nails were left by our landlord and we never took them down. I plan on hanging more of my dad's framed crosstitch works up, so this won't be the last of this wall you'll see.
We moved my knitting cabinet to this little alcove here. I finally found a home for a special sign that someone made me. :)
This is our cozy tv corner now. Abby has no objection to the location of the sofa. I like where this is all placed because it just tucks it all away.
This is the entire gigantic room all together. BIG! I have no idea what to put on the bookshelf side. If there is something specific you'd like to see that I didn't post, just let me know. I'll post some extra stuff later if you need it. For now, I must be off to work and I must stop blogging. It's just so addicting today.

Family ties

Lt. Jay and myself. We're related.

The interaction that families have with one another is a huge interest of mine. It falls under that people watching category. Generally, how people interact is just intriguing, but seeing a family function is just plan entertaining. I've been thinking of how it looks to an "outsider" when they step into another family's atmosphere. It's a rather foreign feeling to see differences in your own life and another person's.

I've been thinking about this because my family is unusual. Well, I can't claim that my family is that unusual as I do believe that all families are unique. My family is full of loud and talkative people. There is definitely not a lack of conversation or laughter when we're all together. My immediate family (Mom, Dad, and my brother, Adam) are like peas in a pod. We're very comfortable around each other and we don't hold back our thoughts. I like that way of expressing myself as I feel it's a pretty honest way to converse with others. It holds me accountable as I know someone is going to say something to me immediately if they don't like something. Of course, it can get out of hand, but that's another story for another day.

I remember the first time my husband came to my home, he sat in one of our living room chairs with his feet up to his chest, watching us. My family must have thought he never talked as he just didn't say much. It was a bit of sensory overload I'm sure. Generally, we move from topic to topic with no particular flow to conversation, interrupting one another on a whim. We have to think quickly and talk fast or we may not get to say what we are thinking until we remember it again later. For me and most women I am friends, this is normal way of communicating.

I never realized there was a different way to hold a conversation until I met my husband's family for the first time. Maybe the shock to my husband was that he had never experienced this kind of interaction on such a concentrated level before. I went to his home and everyone waits until it's their turn to speak. Usually the catchphrase is, "Going back to what I was saying before..." There's not interrupting and you must hold your thoughts until you can speak properly. Of course, playing games is an exception to that rule. It's not so much a rule as a polite way for everyone to get a turn in the conversation.

There are two families that I find really enjoyable, similar, and even really different than my own family. My friend J.T. (I will use abbreviations as it's not my place to use their names publically) and my friend K.K. I love being with their families. J.T.'s family is very welcoming. They obviously really enjoy one another and expressing themselves is not a problem. I had never hung out with a family where they would all swear in front of one another and the parents didn't care. Now that is what I call freedom. I had also never experienced such a structured and relaxed family before. They had their routines and schedules, but it didn't feel pressured in anyway. It's a great example of how to be organized without feeling fenced in. I also love that it's easy for J.T. and her brother to say anything they like to their parents. She has a strong bond with them and can tell them absolutely anything. There is complete trust and she and her brother give their parents no reason not to trust them. I love that! Plus, even though I'm like a foot shorter than all of them, they treat me like one of their own. I love that immediately there is love. It's wonderful and no imposing in anyway.

K.K.'s family is another family that I absolutely enjoy. For the longest time I worked with K.K. not knowing that I also worked with her mother. I guess no one told me and I also never remembered people's last names so I did not make the connection. Now, there is a bond with a mother that I wish I had. It's not to say that I don't love my mom or wouldn't hang out with each other, we just tend to take each other in doses and it's probably for the better. At this stage in our lives we're still learning how to talk to one another and there are certain things that are just taboo. Truly,until I met K.K. and her brother I never knew you could say really dirty things in front of parents. I thought it was a law some where. I'm positive I've seen that written in the "Parent Manual". It's not that that's all they say to one another. Do not get that impression it's just that it's not completely illicit. I also love that she and her brother have a strong friend connection. I am really close to my brother and would tell him just about anything (minus some intimate things), but that doesn't seem to phase K.K. and her brother K.K. (I never thought about how their initials are the same). I think it's great! If they were to get into a heated debate about their opinion on something it would just spark the conversation up to a higher level. I love that they have really strong opinions and a really diverse family to support those views on life. I don't know her father as well, but from what I do know of him, he's a handy guy. I admire that they are all extremely intelligent people with extremely intelligent thoughts, but it's never expressed in a way that would make you feel stupid. Plus, who doesn't love a crafty family? Seriously, they're completely creative and I can tell where they get it from.

So, this may conclude my synopsis of other families for now. I just love stepping into other peoples' shoes at times. Every place I go has a new feel and I like trying to find that niche. I like knowing what is and isn't acceptable to some people and seeing how far they go with one another. It's refreshing and beautiful. Don't you think?

Friday, June 01, 2007

Live Simpler

So, I think a lot about "living lightly" and reducing my "footprint" on the earth. As much as I would love to not have to think about these things and just "do", I'm trying every day to do what I can for Mother Earth. The one task that I focus on constantly, especially now that it's summer, is getting rid of things. By things I mean, thangs. Like, "It ain't no thang, honey!" While de-junking my apartment and deciding what is important to me, I can chant that to myself. You can too if you like. If you say it out loud when you're in a room by yourself, dont' be surprised if someone asks you who you're talking to. Do not feel obligated to explain to said person why, either. It just won't make sense. I promise. Aside from that, I feel so much better when I can actually find a real home for some of the thangs in my apartment. I've given away a lot of my craft supplies, tons of clothing, and other odds and ends that Jake is probably really happy that I no longer have. My plan is to only have to use one measly Uhaul for our next move. Of course, we're not moving until next June, but one must prepare one's self for such events.
That leads me to my motto: Always be prepared. I, personally, try to always be prepared. I bring Band-Aids with me when I travel, an umbrella, extra hair things, and occasionally, safety pins (The last time I had those on me was my senior prom. I actually used them for my own dress since the straps broke while I was swing dancing.) I generally bring snacks with me when I shop since I know I need to eat every few hours. I'm like a little fussy child when I'm not fed regularly. I also like to bring some form of entertainment with me because I dont' want to be bored wherever I am. I did that when I had to wait in line at the post office on tax day this year. All those other fools didn't bring a thing and I got to listen to my iPod and jam to some cool tunes. Enough of this already, you say?
In a few days I will have "real" internet in my apartment and I hope to feel inspired to blog more because of it. Of course, I say this with good intentions knowing that will not really be the case. You just never know though.
One of my goals for the summer is to create usable and comfortable living spaces. My husband and I just rearranged the furniture in our living room and it feels so much better than where we originally had it. Seriously, it made a huge difference in how comfortable I am when I want to relax. Hopefully, I can creat that same feel in our other rooms. "The Other Room" is the hardest space to create, though. We have a tv with stand, a desk, a table with my sewing machine, a coffee table, a wheely desk chair, and a miniaturized easy chair. There's a lot of furniture in one tiny room and absolutely no comfortable place to sit. Odd, huh? It just makes me want to really purge more of my stuff to help out the situation. I'm trying to figure out what I find valuable and what is just an object. I really think I"ve paired down a lot of the stuff in my life. I'm finding that I actually enjoy not buying things and have joined Wardrobe Refashion 2007 to help me with that.
If you have questions, comments, or any points of reference, keep them to yourself. I don't care. JUST KIDDING! :) You're always free to comment.....if you pay me 5 bucks first. HA!