Sometimes we all feel like a Mordecai (Biblical or Tenenbaum.)
We want to be released from our routine constraints and want to fly away for a bit to regroup. I am so excited to tell you that 18 months, one move across the state and 2 surgeries later, I have shook off the Mordecai feeling.
I can't wait to share my other site, vintage mitten and the vintage mitten blog: little house on westnedge hill (This page!) on a daily/weekly basis again! My cheeks actually hurt from smiling. :)
Somedays I want to move back to the westside of the state where I spent 8 years of my life. Somedays I want to move to Grand Rapids where they blend old Dutch conservatism with a vibrant, artistic city vibe. I want to go see the artprize competition in full swing, but I can't get over there this week. What a great idea the artprize is. What a brilliant way to involve a community and to share/reward beautiful talent that feeds our culture, minds, souls.
Check out the video released of one of the artprize events, below: Community, sunshine, littering (recycling): a traveling art exhibit? Motion, music, a mass of happy people? A moment in time to gather around ideas of expression in a city by a river.
Everyone loves beauty, even in the form of a paper plane dancing and swirling through the air of a blue Michigan sky.
In my job, you discover many people and points-of-view. I get to research many things I wouldn't otherwise pursue. I get to read blogs and checkout websites and get paid for it, which is cool. Most of what I see is fluffy or overplayed garbage. (Just being honest.) Occasionally, I like something I see and know I can put a similar idea or thought into use for a project. I get inspired by the design, the concept, the image. If the site is really good, and is not only well designed but has original and fantastic CONTENT inside it....well, then... I give it a little gold star and I bookmark it. My bookmarked list is surprisingly short.
Today I added one to the list after having to explore it for a work related project. It is the site for a L.A. based Yogi "Master" named Guru Singh, who teaches yoga and gives lectures on improving your holistic well-being. Mainly, I just liked the fun, youthful design of his site, but a phrase on his blog gave me my bumper-sticker motto of the day: "Happiness is your birthright. Keep up and you will be kept up!" This came from his yogi master teacher, the 80 year old Yogi Bhajan who was actually the subject of the very first yoga book I ever read about when studying the yoga movement of the 1960's when I was a freshman in college. My interest was peeked, so I kept reading and clicking. Listen, if a message inspires you to grow and live a better, more graceful, thoughtful or divinely fulfilled life, (no matter the source,) ....then perhaps you stumbled upon it for a reason. (At least that is what I tend to think!)
I wanted to republish a posting from his blog that I thought was worthy of consideration. It reminded me of a practice I had as a kid of charting my "growth" every year through school. I would right down a list in my journal of what I had done to "grow" any particular year. (How Stuart Smalley of me, right?!) It's true though, I did it every year through school. At the age 16, this list included things like: "joined ________ club at school this year, taught 7 CCD classes to elementary kids at church, had regular talks with my boss about applying to college, learned patience with grandma (practicing daily,) let my heart get broken by a boy in my drivers ed class", etc. It was pretty unprofound stuff, but the idea was to check in and make sure I was challenging myself to something....what exactly, I wasn't too sure of at the time.
Welp, (speaking of looking into a mirror and repeating affirmations like a Stuart Smalley...) Guru Singh wrote a posting about growth that suggests re-evaluating how you gage your spiritual growth and actively addressing your evoloution as a person without filtering it through any modern day image you have associated with yourself. Hmmmm?? Judge for yourself.
I usually have little patience for motivational affirmations and nonsense, but I do like the idea of taking action to live everyday with the challenge of "growing". Life is an experiential gift. Get your butt out of the safe zone, asap!
READ HIS POSTING:
To be consistently growing in the midst of life's changes, charges and challenges,
we must constantly check with ourselves:
"am I committed to feeling good, or am I committed to growing?"
Then remember, growth does not always feel good,
and feeling good does not always provide growth.
There must always be a balanced conscious coordination between
the sensations of your emotional and physical worlds,
and the sensibilities of your evolutionary progress through this world.
The physical and emotional bodies speak in a temporal language of selfishness . . .
a drive to comfort and pleasure . . . a primitive means of survival.
This is not a bad thing, if it is not the only thing,
but it should never be more than one third of your life's focus.
The mind's conscious expansion and your spiritual fulfillment
are to make up the other two thirds.
A baby is completely body centric, but as we grow, we are supposed to balance this out.
Are you growing? There is an old saying in yoga about this:
"Everybody grows old, but very few grow up."
Without releasing the shackles of this body centric need —
which honors feelings over growth — you will be forever dancing to the
uncommitted beat that progresses only part way toward your goals.
We call this the "halfway-dance" and it takes place in the
"comfort lounge" on the "first floor" of your "halfway house."
It is in fact, a sub-primitive human nature — it arrived with the conceptual mind
around one hundred thousand years ago and has been developing ever since.
Without engaging the primitive drive to survive, or the exalted drive to grow, commitment cannot be engaged and the pain from lacking fulfillment becomes life's entire focus.
Everything 'halfway' becomes the theme . . . the perfected obsessions of life.
Civilization supports this theme in order to maintain the illusion of
'concept replacing experience'. it is why today's youth are into extremes
(sports, clothes, tattoos, piercing, video games, etc.);
they are in search of experience in a world obsessed and driven by image and concept.
The halfway dance has been mastered and marketed over the centuries.
It dances for all who will pay attention and anyone who will pay the fee.
Life has become about earning a living,
rather than living and experiencing the life already earned.
Image has become more important than connection and with this —concept out-plays content.
The halfway "market" fills with participants who are making a killer living on this halfway dance, but never really living (as alive, holy, ecstatic and conscious beings who share their love to do good in the world and by others.)
Fear has become the feeling of guidance because separation always requires feeling.
This "safe-zone" has become the most dangerous place to live . . . especially if you die in it.
It is time to turn over the leaf . . . live in the risk of total commitment to your personal growth and growth of others you love.
It is not about the mirror's reflection being right (the image);
it is about the projection being the divine you (the reality).
Make it your routine on a daily basis —
look into a mirror and challenge yourself to be YOU and nothing less.
Smile and be vocal in this exercise.
This may start out very serious, but it will soon turn joyful.
You will find yourself in front of your SELF, standing at the mirror on the edge of each morning, grateful for a relationship that has become extremely REAL . . .
from one that was superficial, assumed and granted.
Then take this real-time relationship out into the field of the life you are living . . .
into the risk of commitment . . . to love yourself and actively love others around you whom you are sharing your life with.
Reproduce this action with enthusiasm for the greatest possibilities of your life. ~
Guru Singh's website: http://www.gurusingh.com/
At a minimum, the photos and the expressions on his face on his website amuse you.
Have a great week my little enlightened ones! P.S. Don't tell my grandmother I was interneting with Guru-types. She would not think that was cool, no matter how well designed the website was... :)
Looking for an amazing yoga connection in the DETROIT area? My friend Jason, from Detroit Yoga will hook you up!
No. I haven’t ditched blogging altogether, I just took a big chunk of Summer to relax and focus on future pursuits. A grad program, a new web venture (which you accidentally might have previewed on this page,) and working, and wifey-ing, and mommy-ing filled up the rest of my sunny days. It was time for me to do some much needed UN-plugging!
Personal Summer Highlights:
We took many family trips which involved mass amounts of strolling at waters edge, art gallery touring, thrifting and antiquing. I purchased almost nothing of the sort but did lots of LOOKING! I tend to straddle the border of loving old things from the past and growing/making new, green, fresh things to make everyday feel a bit like a faux spring around our house. Just my glorified ADHD, I suppose. I have been on more of a planting, growing, cooking kick rather than thrifting lately.
Mainly, I used this summer to re-inspire myself. I gave myself (and my husband) permission to allow our son a weekend night over grandma’s house here and there ….and we went social again. If you have a child, you know to what I refer, don’t you? I hadn’t really gone out for “Adult Only” nights all that often since having our son, but this summer we closed the gap between friends without kids and just had some (moderately) crazy, youthful, fun= listening to bands and jazz downtown, bar hopping, chatting over art, strolling through festivals, and taking in an R rated movie or two.
But most days we spent with our little boy, who entertains us in an even better fashion. We rode our bikes over our newly refurbished neighborhood bridge after having lazy dinners. I am so proud of a project started in our own backyard: our first big garden plot! Our son helped us plant the most wonderful crops which nourished us all summer long. We've been treated with loads of cucumbers, (just the right size for pickling)---along with, oodles of beans, peppers, and fresh, sun-warmed tomatoes from our very own vines. The raspberry bushes even hung in there for a long while to give us a healthy snack for our son to nibble on as he played the afternoons away back there. However, our most exciting growth has been the PUMPKINS!
My husband/son duo planted LOTS of seeds and those vines took over our arbor and crept across our yard in a magical way that left me feeling all cinderella-ish everytime I stepped foot back there! Now four good sized pumpkins await an October picking and carving.
What else, hmmm.... Lots of good media action (and product commentary) to inspire you too:
I haven’t felt creatively amp’d up by a new movie in quite a while. Everything is so played out and super spectacular that nothing really is, you know?
HOWEVER…I am headed toward a movie upswing. We just went to the Detroit premier viewing of Drew Barrymore’s Whip It, about a girl joining a female roller derby revival league and it was pretty amazing. They even gave us sweet t-shirts at the party with the “Be Your Own Hero” movie slogan on them. I can appreciate the smart marketing.
TV…well TV pretty much always lacks luster. I like it as a mindless utilitarian tool to absorb my (totally biased) news, PBS, and the occasional Tigers Baseball game. The only show I try to be available for regularly is on Sunday nights (yes, sacrilege) on AMC. Yes, I am a Mad Men fanatic! I don’t think I have really appreciated the writing like this on any TV show since The Sopranos. Oh wait! It must be because the same guy wrote for both of those shows and it earned him his zillionth Emmy last week.
I actually want to get all 60’s secretarial glam and jump into an episode. Yes, it too (like the Sopranos,) is about not so great people doing not so great things…but its so smartly pieced together. There are all these subtle layers, like real life. And the clothes and the cars and the hair and makeup are so authentically Jackie Kennedy 1960’s that they could be saying the pledge of allegiance all hour and I would still watch. Those set/costume designers need a raise, AMC! Plus, its all about life working for a superficial ad agency, which I can relate to.
On the technology front, our household has made some upgrades. I am a big fan of this blog, Last Year’s Model. In the past, I have maintained my old curmudgeon stance that I don’t need any of those new fangle gadgets to be totally on the pulse. I just want a phone that dials out in case of an emergency. I just want a computer that word processes and internets and has a wide web. I just want a reliable car that drives without sounding like the muffler is going to fall off, (Oh! And I have missed air conditioning these past 5 years..)
I gave in. I relented. I ditched last year’s model (and 1998’s model) and I became a sudo socialist (or whatever they want to call me,) because I took some cash for my clunker and signed away my financial future for 60 months to a shiny new ride with Microsoft Sync and Sirrius Satellite Radio. Oh the sunroof, Oh the 4 cup holders, Oh the little hidden compartment for my sunglasses! Now, I don’t how I lived so long without them. (Sigh.)
Then my husband kept badgering me that our contract was up on my cell phone and that we were due to go in and upgrade at some crazy rebate/discounted (marketing scheme) rate for service and new phone. He pulled into an AT&T store and said “let’s take a look,” on a Saturday afternoon. He can never just “look” at a new gadget, even if it’s not for him. Yes, I knew this was a set-up. So we traded last year’s model (actually...2004’s model,) for a Smart-phone. Now, I don’t know how I lived for so long without having my email, photo texts, facebook alerts, weather, internets, all at my fingertips in one handy-dandy touch screen phenomena! (Sigh.) I am so easily addicted, but conflicted. Some days you just need to DISCONNECT. Even as a marketing communications girl, totally addicted to the tides of information and distribution of messages, I know this to be true. You can make yourself sick and crazy and mentally french fried if you don’t get away from that crap. Seriously!
The final frontier (in my husband eyes) is our 2004 Dell computer with about negative-0.5 Gigs of anything left on it. It actually won’t even shut down properly anymore. Every time I forget to bring my work laptop home and go to use it, I am afraid I am going to be the one it finally smokes up and explodes on. The fan in the back of the tower actually moans. It might be trying to ask for human assisted suicide. It has taken much abuse, and I don’t blame it. However, I am holding out as long as possible.
I actually want one of those old Mac Clamshell G3’s. I have been fantasizing about owning one for so long and they have several sites that sell refurbished old ones out there for between $150-200. They don’t have all the storage and speed of new computers, but that is not the point. If there is such a thing as a classic, vintage computer model…the clamshells are so perfect and in their day they were the height of cool and cutting edge for the average user. I wanted one in teal or lime green when I was 18-19 yrs old. Now, I would take one in orange for my son to use as his own, (as he uses phonics programs and learns to read/write, do school work, etc.) He is only 4.5, but time flies and before we know it he’ll be gadget savvy too. (He already knows how to get to his favorite spelling app on the iPhone…)
I suppose a vintage state of mind isn’t applicable to all walks of life and products. I suppose everything cannot evolve and find new life by being recycled or upcycled. The machine that cranks out the latest version, the latest update, the latest upgrade, the latest model.....works hard to convince you that you need the next best, more, more, more.
The great challenge is not scraping the money together to acquire all of these fantastic new “must haves”. The great challenge is deciding where to draw the line and keep last year’s model because it is solid and well made (if it is,) and has life left in it. This is commandment number one of living a “green” and more thoughtful life as a consumer.
The real challenge is in the editing and deciding what you are better off without.
I am not sure how much longer I will be maintaining this personal blog, (no surprise since I am a sporadic blogger, indeed!) However, I will be launching Vintage Mitten, my new site which you may have noticed is actually being built right now (I got my typepad wires crossed and showed some of the graphics on this page...) which will carry on the essence of what I love sharing: vintage items, social commentary, and an independent perspective on objects, art and homelife.
On my first day of art class at University (Drawing 101, I believe...) my professor, Joe Deluca, wrote on the board: Beautiful art is not created with paper and pencil. It is created with your eye when you decide what to leave out of the picture.
I hope that as you edit your life you make a conscious choice to include more of the beauty that surrounds you (even if it is last year's model,) and leave out all of the over-hyped junk!
Calm, logical Bill Moyers:
If they cloned you, I would buy one of you ---immediately-- to keep in my living room and talk to everyday. Thank you for saying this out loud on your lovely show! ~Still a fan.
You can download and view the latest (and the first!) Look Book for this Summer 2009 update to my Greentag Vintage Shoppe on Etsy.com by clicking here!
Lots of accessories, Vintage designer 50's, 60's 70's and 80's items from Coach, Halston, Guess. Everything revolves around a little summer party theme, but I can assure you these pieces can be stylishly worn anytime! I also have several Plus-sized pieces. Stop by after July 4th!
Happy Independence Day~ A.
I was trying to explain to my boss how Twitter has changed the world. It isn't easy to wrap your mind around if you aren't familiar with the tweets and whatnot.
There is no better example of the power of the internets, free speech, and connectivity than what has been happening in IRAN with the fake election. Communication cannot be denied and this new wacky portal called Twitter is keeping us all in the front seat, for good or bad. I think it is an amazing tool.
Globally, consciously we must support these people. When you look at the photos it is painfully obvious that we are all alike. We all yearn for freedom. We all want a future, a family, love, clean air to breathe, and place to live without fear of bombs and war and being gunned down for speaking up or holding a sign in the streets.
Why should a girl in Michigan (or Idaho, or Minnesota, or California, or Oregon,) care about these Iranian people? Forget about the fact that the CRAZY freak dictator who is stealing the election has the power and the means to harm us and our so-called allies, but remember HISTORY and how many empires have turned to dust by one flub up (or a million in-actions.) Now the Romans didn't have Twitter, but if it were your election being stolen by an idiot, how would you feel? (Oh wait, that already happened to us once, in the year 2000, and nothing really happened...)
The Iranian people don't have the cushy lives we have and maybe that is why they were more willing to RISK THEIR LIVES to tell the rest of the planet that they are getting robbed and they need help. All actions have consequences. I think we can all get that concept with our recent past, but if it were you there in Iran....what would you hope would happen as this plays out? Is there such a thing in 2009 as peaceful diplomacy? Is it all a game of liars chess? It's hard for most people with any sense of human compassion to watch.
Here is my big preachy part of the posting:
Make this 4th of July count by acknowledging the meaning of the day in your soul with ACTION, (big or small.) Can you doubt that you were so lucky to be born here, (even with all of our literal and figurative garbage,) and especially if you are a WOMAN??! Make the most of what you have and NEVER take it for granted.
Go make something happen! Recycle a failed idea and make it work. Speak up. Be less embarrassed to have a point-of-view.
Twitter, which is (dare I say,) revolutionizing the way we communicate globally, was just invented on March 21st, 2006 when this guy Jack Dorsey thought, "I want to have a dispatch service that connects my friends and I on our phones using text." It was just an idea to tell friends "the club I am at tonight is really happening right now!"
(Do people still use the term "happening"? How hip to be square!)
His friends called his invention "friend stalker", but now his idea is helping an entire country demand their freedom (or at least brodcast the truth,) 140 characters at a time.
Do you know about Mackinac Island Press? It is a small publishing house here in Michigan who features children's authors. I discovered them recently and I am in love!
I especially like this author and book. It is so sweet. So many of us have little stories and wonder-thoughts inside our hearts that we never bother to share. Maybe their work will inspire you or the little munchkins in your lives.
Speaking of little munchkins.....one mommy's family Christmas card photo made its way around the globe and onto a storefront in the CZECH Republic! Yikes! Read the fully story here. I know I will be putting my photo accounts on PRIVATE from now on and all bloggers, Facebookers and the lot should (re)consider this story before posting their family pics on the internets! I mean, no harm was really done...but it is bizarre and the risk we all take when posting things that are so accessible to a katrillion people! I mean, I am all out there by choice, but If my photo appeared in an ad for a fat-farm spa in Norway...I'd be a bit pissed. (Don't get any ideas!)
You (we) have been forewarned! Time to edit those privacy functions on those social networking pages, "friends"! What a bizarre world we live in!
Mandy from the uber cool site MODCLOTH has just informed me that they do have plus sizes in their swimsuit category with hopes of expansion, as they grow! I love this site! Check it out if you are in need of some Betty Grable swimwear to cover a plump rump this summer! I have a black and white polk-a-dot suit exactly like this one and I love how it holds all the right stuff up, (the halter is amazing) and covers all the junk.
(P.S. You look lovely Mandy!)
I have so much to share with you! I have bumped into so many cool finds lately that they just pile up and have to be dumped into one big post to clean off the blog heap on my internal desktop!
This week, my husband and I celebrated our seven year wedding anniversary. I was visiting with my mom and grandmother after church on the Sunday before our anniversary day, and they were joking with me about the "seven year itch", and yadda, yadda, yadda... (and "What are your goals for your marriage in the next seven years?") Seriously!? Yikes!
My grandparents would have celebrated their 60th anniversary a few days earlier if my grandfather hadn't passed away, so I guess I will take the quizzing and questioning from a pro-wife like her. They had 54 solid years together.
Ironically, they would have been married almost seven years when the movie The Seven Year Itch with Marilyn Monroe came out in 1955. I can remember first watching that movie and how it amused me and appealed to the Catholic-girl tease in me with words like automat and icebox, (which are repeated breathlessly and often throughout it.) Then there was the famous white dress blowing up in the subway station scene, which made me wonder at age 14: "What was so darn spectacular about that?" And "Men are so predictable and easily amused," I thought.
But this day, (light bulb over head,) I thought....what if I could find a vintage inspired replica of that type of dress, in my chunky size?
So I searched around a bit and found out that you can buy many such COSTUMES, but few replica dresses. I did find a few sites that swim with that Rockabilly vibe and have some Marilyn-like dresses (even in PLUS SIZES!)The site that offers this Marilyn inspired dress from the movie Niagara, (shown left) is called Pin-up Girl Clothing. BEWARE you might have to dodge slutty, stripper clothes on their site to find the good dresses! The pale beige dress (shown below,) made my heart skip a beat, but it was SOLD OUT.
The site also carries Re-Mix Shoes which are vintage replicas. If you love the look of vintage shoes with the clean, ease of a brand new pair of your very own, check out their site. The quality is worth the investment if you can afford a pair. These are the type of shoes you'll keep forever.
I also love ModCloth which carries this Seven Year Itch dress. No plus sizes for the big girls, though. They have lots of other fun stuff to browse like a reusable cup that looks like a Starbucks throwaway, and fun books like this one by the founder of Ann Arbor's own FOUND MAGAZINE, or this one (shown above,) which might be a belated anniversary present for my Mr. Smarty-pants. I think he had that hair-do once upon a time. Hmmm... actually, I want EVERY SINGLE BOOK in their little bookstore category! Look at them all and have fun.
Last but not least, I found this little company in New York called CHAIRLOOM.
I fell in love with the idea of an upholstery company devoted to chairs. I pick up chairs like some people pick up stray dogs and cats. I can't help it. I hate to see a good one go to the dump, when 99% of the time they just need paint and new coverings. Check out their site to get inspired. You might buy a staple gun and some upholstery nails and make a project out of your old chairs.. because they make old junkers look so fresh, sweet, and easy to reinvent.
I like the lines on this little bench, which just as easily could have been a coffee table/side table with great legs which was then repainted, batted up, covered and finished to be recycled into a perfect little bench. It seems to beckon me, "Here! Sit and put your fabulous vintage shoes on, (while wearing your Marilyn dress,) and go have a fantastic anniversary dinner!" Or something like that.
Seven year itches? I say, put him in stitches with ridiculous dresses and an icebox dinner for two! Speaking of stitches, at least this anniversary was less eventful than last year!
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If I hadn't learned to play the oboe...I would have picked some type of instrument from the string section to study. I would have been awful, no doubt. Those babies are not easy to just pick up and learn. The technique required to be a really great violinist takes years and years to truly master. Unless you are extremely gifted from the go. A natural. (If you read the book to which I refer below, you'll get that this is really an inside joke. It explores the idea that not everyone can be especially gifted or interesting, yet so many of us relentlessly aspire to be.....like with vanity blogs and silly-arty ideas we wish to yell from mountain tops or backyard gardens or just over the internets... :)
These fellas certainly are gifted. Enjoy this short film by George Wu, inspired by Kazuo Ishiguro's Nocturnes, Five Stories of Music and Nightfall. This book is my highly recommended summer reading selection for you as you lay on the beaches of Lake Michigan....or whatever pond resides close to you!
I thought I should remind you that I have been rotating my station playlist, in case you haven't noticed. You can open the little player widget here and keep a tab open on your browser to just have some nice tunes to enjoy while you work (if you don't have your own playlist handy...)
Right now, the music will sound mostly like these sweet guys (and gals)..
I was the first person from my family to go to a big university. I worked hard to get there and I paid my way through. It wasn't easy getting there; emotionally, financially, in every way...it was a challenge for me to find my path away from my youth.
So, I made a pact with myself that I was going to do it all. I would explore all of the action my campus had to offer. I was intoxicated by the freedom of getting away from my wacky childhood and giddy over having complete independence in a new town, far away from home.
I wanted to do everything. I joined organizations. I protested for animal rights (and paid a $200 fine for doing so...really dumb.) I welcomed Freshman on move-in day. I was the assistant to the director at the campus student union until I got bored and decided to pledge a sorority so that I could see what all of that was about, (like feeding "sisters" pieces of dry bread and saltines before they ralphed on fraternity dance floors.) I eventually quit that, but kept the sincere friends. After that adventure, I lived with the exact polar opposite of frat types in a big house off campus during my senior year and evolved some more. I became News Director for the campus radio station and I even DJ'ed my own show. It was one of my best gigs. I still keep tabs on that little corner of the campus. The kids that have filled my generation's spots at that radio station keep me informed on all that stuff I might never hear of again if it weren't for the power of the internets. They never fail to surprise me with their wonderful musical discoveries. Much like the friends I made at MUSIC EXPRESS, the little independent record shoppe where I worked while I was also DJ'ing and completing my studies, unique points-of-view grow and thrive in these little hubs of local culture. I particularly liked the curly haired guy who also worked for that record store managing the home brew supplies and comics and whatnot. He matched my weird combination of being an open-minded traditional in the package of a free-spirited type, ....so I eventually decided to marry him :)
Actually, I might not have met my hubby if it hadn't been for my life at the radio station which led to my job at the cool local record store where this boy worked too. (If you believe in that sort of chain-reaction thing!) Along with life partners, that radio station leads many faithful listeners to obscure talent, generation after generation. This clip of an amazing beat-box artist was shared by the latest group of campus station alumni who have finished their finals by now and are off to big summer adventures. MUSIC EXPRESS closed a few years back and was replaced by a chinese restaurant. Places like that come and go, but new voices, organizations and stores pop up all the time to keep college life fresh for the new recruits. This constant tide of fresh ideas is what I love most about college towns. The beat always goes on.
Do you have voyeuristic tendencies? Most people do. It is part of human nature to look, listen and learn the things we aren't necessarily supposed to; the private stuff that is really none of our business. I think that is why all those crappy so called "reality" shows have such followings.
Personally, my journalistic nosiness and voyeuristic curiosity comes less in to play with the high drama private stuff, as much as it does when I see those mysterious glimpses into the mundane bits of someone elses day which somehow differ from my own.
What kind of artwork they hang on their office walls or..
How they (fail to) organize their file folders---(alphabetically or in random stack-piles?)
How they specifically butter (or cream cheese) their bagel,
...and stupid stuff like that.
I suppose all of those creature habits are what make us each specifically unique in some way. We each have our own logic to our daily routines. I think it was Stephen Covey who made a fortune off of writing about the habits of highly productive people. I think it is perfectly natural to want to know exactly how someone who creates something wonderful or unique gets through their day to net such a great result.
This super cool blog appropriately titled Daily Routines offers up the dish on what many famous people did (or do) to get through their day. One of my favorites from their collection is this little dialog with Hemingway about his writing process. Was there ever a writer more simultaneously gruff and poetic about everything? His balance of simple, hard and soft language won me over at age 22 when I really began reading his work.
Afterall, we are all just trying to find our way. Maybe the mundane details you'll read about from some historical figure you've admired will inspire you to take up a new habit or ditch a less productive one? Enjoy!
Could you say something of this process? When do you work? Do you keep to a strict schedule?
When I am working on a book or story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there. You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and you know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that. When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through. Photo from Earl Theisen Archives, Courtesy John F. Kennedy Library.
-The Paris Review, Issue 18, 1958
I just updated my left sidebar column with publications that I love. One of the new additions to the growing pile is WORN FASHION JOURNAL. This publication is proof that little independent magazines are so much more meaty and packed full of goodness than the commercial beasts at the corner chain bookstore (which are just typically packed full of advertorial blah and celebu-fluff.)
I got my first issue of WORN before they created their fantastic blog (which will suck you into to fashion fun-derland for a solid hour, if you aren't careful.) I am glad to see that they are succeeding and still cranking out the "good read" they've created. SUBSCRIBE if you are able to! It is worth every dime and you'll get that warm mushy feeling from supporting a cool independent business.
I love this prom dress photo shoot (below) for their next issue. Scroll down on their blogsite to see more memories of Pretty in Pink...and read quite the WORN editorial analysis over the male lead character's wardrobes. Would you choose Andrew McCarthy or Jon Cryer? A daunting questions to those who grew up in the late 80's!
I hope some Class of '09, Senior girl in a high school not far away is thinking of recycling a fluffy vintage prom dress with a pink lace collar on it! (Sigh.) Every girl that loves vintage and has absorbed this movie into their girlie teenage memory bank has envisioned herself as the perfectly crafty, cool, eclectic, Andy (played by Molly Ringwald,) who turned 50's fluff into 80's tres chic prom queen---and got both her men, (Ducky and Preppy.) I tip my tiara to you inventive, stylish girls!
I found out a former colleague died this past weekend. She was a tiny, gorgeous, sharp-as-a-tack corporate attorney who made all the legal BS we had to endure with our company somehow enjoyable and bright. She died this past weekend of colon cancer at age 49.
Are you using this site? If not, why not? http://www.goodguide.com/
This one is a good one too!
I did a 5k walk/run for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in my hubby's hometown with some friends this past weekend. (For a fat girl,) I hung in there and did alright. I did end up with sore feet and blisters from new running shoes. Lesson learned. Newsflash: Feet are so important. Between high heels and flip-flops, women never take proper care of their feet. I vow to love my feet more from now on. I intended to energize my large rump into feeling more on the health track with the little 5k and here I am.... feet elevated, typing on a computer and skipping the evening walk after dinner to spend it with blister pads and a PC. What a wuss.
I was glad to attend the 5k and be there for my friend who is not only a 7 yr survivor, but to race in memory of her mom who passed away from Breast Cancer in 1994. My friend was a huge support for me when I had my own little (thankfully, negative) episode with the mysteries of fabulous breasts.
So, that's the PSA laundry list for the day. May we all make smart choices and take care to live a good life! (Does typing count as exercise?)