Tuesday, February 26, 2013



You're welcome, World.  Don't ever say I don't support small businesses.

I saw this sign on an awning as I was driving around and made myself pull over so that I could traipse through several villages of pigeon feces to check it out.  Yes, it was exactly what I thought.  If anyone tries this out, I think it's $350/slap, feel free to share!

Monday, February 25, 2013


I was walking and chatting with my friend, N. the other day.  I don't remember what we were talking about, but I could tell that she was unhappy.  Her expression and her words didn't quite match; something was off.  What she was unhappy about, I really didn't know, so I did what I thought a normal person would do, and asked if she was okay.  She didn't look surprised, but she said she was fine.  I said: Really?  Are you sure?  She replied: Yeah, I'm fine.  Then I dropped it.  This is because N., for me, falls into the ambiguous murky region of friendship that I call the 60%.

It's perplexing, because one of the aspects of a true friendship is sharing.  I wasn't asking N. about her problems out of some vile nosy curiosity, but to see if I could help.  If the sharing doesn't happen, then you are only able to sense something that should be talked about, and then go about ignoring it, which is weird.  I've done it, but it's weird.  

On the other end of the spectrum, are friends who are not ambiguous, at all:

Your 100% Friend:  It's 3:27am.  You are hiding in the closet with a baseball bat, because some mouth breather has broken into your apartment and is going through your drawers.  Before you call 911 like a sane person, you text...your 100% Friend: OMFG Man!  OMFG!  MF is in my house!  Need to KICK ASS!!  Call 911.  Thx.  : D

The Acquaintance:  Hello there.  I probably know you from work, where you are my superior, and a tightass.  Did you see [insert name of oscar nominated film here]?  Pretty good, wasn't it?  Yeah.  Well, I'd better get back to work to finish that project before deadline!  Hahaha...

I sometimes really miss these clear cut lines.

Friday, February 22, 2013


Okay, I have to admit, nothing about this picture is even remotely scary.  But my point was not to scare potential readers, but to discuss another point entirely, namely the scaring of children.

First point, I have no children of my own, I only have vague memories of my own childhood to rely on, and even those are fading into a squeamish blur.  This may make me less than an expert on this matter.  But here is something I do remember:  as a child, an adult removed her fake teeth to show me a large cavernous gap at the back of her mouth.  She told me that she lost these teeth because she could not stop eating candy - and this effectively put me off candy for a long time.  In short, it worked.  She made such a strong impression that even now - even though I'm pretty sure that is not how she lost her teeth - I still remember.  Is this a bad way to go about teaching children?  Should you have to pull a monster out of the air?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Modern Girls
About twice of year, I attend a family gathering with my grandmother, my one remaining grandparent, where each and every one of her other grandchildren has begun trotting out their significant other like some prize gelding*.  That is, except for me.  I didn't get the memo, but I do usually get grilled about how I should really work on landing a boyfriend, reminded that I am getting old, and that I am probably  now too educated to find someone.  This would all have happened yesterday.  However, yesterday, I realized I was sick and unable to go.

Best. Cold. Ever.

* Not sure if people actually do this.  Is this too British?

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Three Lakes overlook


Jennifer Young Photography

I really appreciate well thought out analyses on the creative process.  Here is an excerpt from photographer Samm Blake (ironically, the photo above is not his):

- Pay attention and learn about your peculiar personality traits. Learn what makes you anxious, learn what makes you stressed. But most importantly learn what makes you feel.  Learn to pay attention to who you are, to how you feel and to why you react.  Then use this to fuel your creativity.
- Allow your mind enough time to wander and make yourself feel vulnerable.  If your mind comes back feeling uncomfortable, this is a good thing. Embrace it and express how you are feeling through the creation of something. The art that I’ve been most proud of creating have been made while I was hurting and heartbroken. While creating these images, my hurting heart and anxious mind made sure that I had no choice but to create.
- Dream bigger than what you think is possible. You will often surprise yourself at what you can achieve.
Read more Here:

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Wardrobe Essentials

Full disclosure time!  I have none of these staples.  Either that, or I have the shittier version that should not see the light of day (but does).  In short, I am not going to share a picture of the inside of my closet.  It's too shameful, eyes will burn, etc.    

This all harkens back to the Lululemon v. American Eagle yoga pants debate that I have been having with myself since the dawn of time.  Ideally, I would open up my walk in closet, and it would look like the above.  But in that world, I would also be taller. 

This is not to say I don't shop, don't get me wrong, but I have clearly been buying all the wrong things - like 4 sets of floral jeggings or something.  I don't mean for this to be mean spirited.  I drool over at polyvore like everyone else, and then I work with what I have. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


“My definition of success is total self acceptance. We can obtain all of the material possessions we desire quite easily, however, attempting to change our deepest thoughts and learning to love ourselves is a monumental challenge. We may achieve success in our business lives but it never quite means as much if we do not feel good inside. Once we feel good about ourselves inside we can genuinely lend ourselves to others.” 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Walking with Shadows

You see the picture I have attached?  Nice, isn't it?  Artistic even.  You notice how they're just walking fairly close to each other in a straight line.  Now, because I can't leave this alone, here's a twist - what if none of them actually knew each other?  Maybe not the man holding his son's hand, but you know what I mean.

Who walks this close to a stranger?  You should further notice, that there's a lot of room for them to spread out in this picture.  They don't necessarily have to be an arms's brush away.

Applying this to daily life, I found myself the other day walking at approximately the same pace as a woman in front of me, and we were stalker distance apart.  I was, of course, behind her which would make me the stalker and her the stalkee.  Or, to look at the picture, I was shadowing her.

We could have gone on like this for some time, but we didn't.  Did she turn onto another street?  Did I?  No, I put a motor on my ass and shot past her like a rabid gazelle.  It's called being proactive. 

Monday, February 11, 2013


City Ruins
Happy Monday!  Want to talk about the impending apocalypse?  I was watching the preview for World War Z, or talking about Mayans, or possibly watching some other movie where Earth has been transformed into an intergalactic paperweight, when it occurred to me that I may need to work on a few things.

Assuming I survived whatever killed 99.9% of the rest of the population, what exact skills would I have to survive, say, the next 5 hours?  Answer: a lot.  What to do next?  Well, make a list, for one thing, of the type of skills that I need to continue to live for a short while longer on an otherwise desolate planet.

Friday, February 8, 2013


Tokyo, Japan
You have an opportunity to get a take a month long contract position (not that well paid, but you don't have to pay for your flight or lodging) in Tokyo, Japan.  You have 2 days to decide and get your life in order.  You go?  Yes or no?

Thursday, February 7, 2013


How do you deal with problems?  Emotions...logic...or just that "gut feeling" that people seem to like to talk about ("I just...do what I feel is right, bro.").

Here is a situation that is...50% true and 50% made up:  You are minding your own business.  You are, in fact, sleeping.  You get woken up...because your friend next to you is being yelled at.  This is not your problem.  Sleeping...that is your problem.  However, you get scapegoated.  You somehow get pulled into the vortex of the pissing contest taking place next to you and which still has nothing to do with you.  Ever been yelled at because someone is mad at the person next to you?  It's weird, but it doesn't feel good.

Emotion?  You start yelling.

Logic? You think: WTF? This crazy.  You step away.  (This takes a lot of control and is emotionally unsatisfying, by the way.)

Gut? You do what feels right.  Don't quite know what that is.  Fall back on logic and save this for some other occasion.

There is no right answer.

Monday, February 4, 2013


So I'm a little late to the party here, this article was published in January, but If I can find a positive message and circulate it, then I will.

I don't really like my current job,* but I won't complain about it, because I do believe that being without a job entirely (not to mention an income) is a circle in hell.  

* Incidentally, I have also been the recipient of really useful advice, such as "Hey, why don't you just look for a better job?" This is also part of the reason why I don't like to complain too much - the endless amounts of bad, borderline insulting advice from well-meaning (I think) people. 

Friday, February 1, 2013



I really enjoyed reading this book.  I can't say enough to recommend it - in fact, the only thing that could possibly ruin it for you, is if you read this post before reading the book.  What am I saying?  Oh...I don't know...Stop, stop right now.  Stop reading. Stop. Reading. Now.  Go on Facebook or Deathbycute.com* or something.

There.  I've done my duty and made the world a better place.

Now, to ruin the experience, here are a few things that I really enjoyed about this book, aside from solid writing, and plot twists.  There's a lot I could talk about here, but I will control myself, and only mention these:

Fantasy Fulfillment #1: You know that saying, that cardinal rule, how you can never change the person you're with - how you have to accept them as they are?  Well, apparently, if you conspire to frame your significant other for your death - he will become a better, stronger, more intelligent person to rise to the challenge you have laid for him, and he also will not kill you.

Fantasy Fulfillment #2: Breaking up twins.  Ever been with someone great, but who came with a complete @$$ of a sibling or friend?  And you have to be nice to that person, right?  Because for some God-forsaken reason, these two are bound together for life, and you just have to suck it up.  Well...no.  It was unbelievably satisfying how Amy managed to break up a Nick's twinship (twins dammit!) with Margo.  I didn't like Margo.

Writing a solid male character while being a female:  I realize this is a skill, being able to portray the other gender, but I usually notice if male characters are too sensitive and talk about their feelings too much (female authors), or female characters who are too whiny and superficial (male authors).  I thought Gillian did an excellent job with this one.

Awesome female character:  Yes, Amy is a sociopath, and a sociopath who gets her way in the end, and some who, on some level, I was hoping would die.  Basically - you know that person who you are happy to see die, but you respect them enough to go to their funeral?  Well, that circumstance applies here.  I don't often come across enough interesting female characters, particularly ones who are willing to self-rape and kill in cold blood, and that often makes me sad.

Sheer Ballsiness:  I wasn't sure if Gillian was actually going to go there - was she really going to have Amy and Nick get back together for a truly psychotic ending?  With a child??  I'm always afraid to go over the top in my work, in case it wouldn't be believable, lose credibility, lost reader interest, etc.  There were many ways I could have seen her ending it, but she decided to go for the gold by laying out a believable reconciliation and choke-out scene.

* I don't ever actually go on Deathbycute.com.  That's just some website I googled for the hell of it.
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