Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Of colons and crafts

Sewing: I bought a sewing machine and stocked up tools for a good sewing kit. And I've bought some cute fabric I'm going to make napkins out of. I've got to start somewhere! I'm using Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter as my guide into this wonderful world.

Crocheting: I also found that as cheesy as Vanna White is, her yarn colors by Lion Brand are actually tres tres chic. I bought a size Q crochet hook (i.e. a really huge one) and yarns in light purple and dark purple that I'm using simultaneously to make a small afghan (the blanket, not the person). It's really cute so far. I think I'll embroider some flowers or something on it when it's finished.

Knitting: I finally bought the belt buckle for my orange knit bag. So now I just have to finish sewing on the straps and the buckle, and that stretchy, completely impractical little novelty item will be finished! yay.

Cooking: I bought Veganomicon from the grocery store tonight and have started reading it. I am not a cook by any means. I know very very little about how to put recipes together or even what most ingredients are - I see the names and have no idea what kind of flavor they evoke or even what they look like. But this has a great intro into vegan cooking. The authors go into detail about what each ingredient is, where you're most likely to find it, and sometimes they even suggest specific brands they prefer. I'm not a vegan, but I wouldn't mind trying out vegan recipes at home. Especially since I'm a bit sick of all my regular vegetarian food.

Frenching: I've learned past and present tense. I feel much more complete.

Musicking: Laura Veirs and Bon Iver are my favorites at the moment. Particularly the latter. His minimalist recording is completely offset by lush arrangements of melodies and his almost orchestral use of vocals. Yummy. Honorable mentions for the week are Dosh, Bowerbirds, Tender Forever, Mariee Sioux, and Hanne Hukkelberg. All worth checking out.

Living: Life is good. I'm really tired lately but I'm hoping the vegetarian geared multivitamins I bought today will fix me up in that area. That and if I can just get off my duff and do some Yoga more than once a month, I think I'll be feeling much better.

Updating: That's it for now. Peace!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm a little bit ridiculous

So I find myself a little annoyed with the internet lately. Which is completely hypocritical and kind of dumb, but I can't seem to help it. This is why I haven't been blogging as of late.

I find that the more we recede into the internet (the more Facebook friends we make, the more blogs we write, the more emails we send and comments we leave and statuses we update and instant messages we type) the less we really know our fellow man. These versions of ourselves and others are not real. The people we "meet" through these mediums are rarely who we think they are but rather some skewed version of themselves; a distorted reflection of another distorted reflection of the real thing.

So I bought a real journal, and I'm writing in that. And at times I might update this thing, but mostly I'm tired of posting my life on the world wide web for a while. I'll probably get over it, but I'd rather just talk to people in real life. And do real things. And think about them myself and not talk to everyone about it not in person.

That's this week's feeling anyway, we'll see what happens next week or the week after :)

I'm so fickle, I swear. But I guess at least I'm aware of this fact.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


99 words

Speed test

man, took me long enough but I fiiinally got over 90 haha. I'm such a geek...

Try it though, seriously, it's harder than you think to type this fast :P

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Opening your heart out to the front

In the past month I have happily taken meat out of my diet. In the past two weeks I've done without refined sugars. And this past week I've managed to implement a fairly successful workout routine, alternating cardio and light weight lifting Thursday through Tuesday and yoga on Wednesday if I'm free (I should technically be at Institute on Wednesdays, but I've just been such a recluse lately). I'm kind of loving all of this.

For starters, I've gotten a lot more creative with what I eat. I'm trying a lot more new things and liking most of them, and I'm forcing myself to eat more fruits and vegetables. Tonight I had a soy chick'n patty with avocado, tomato, lettuce and Nayonnaise (eggless Mayonnaise) on a whole wheat bun, and I made a fruit salad with fresh cut mango, strawberries and pineapple. Delicious! And Brocky loved the Mango!

I've been having trouble remembering which fruits are actually in season right now (what with science making it possible to have all kinds of fruit year round, whether it tastes great or not). So I did a little Googling and found this site that lists which fruits and vegetables are in season when. It's been really helpful.

So along with all the great food I'm eating now, I have so much energy I'm not really sure what to do with it. Generally in the late afternoon I get really drowsy and just want to go to bed. Not so anymore. In fact I seem to get a little antsy that time of day. Which is great because by the time I leave from work, I've got enough energy to put together something to eat that's actually worth eating, then workout later on.

And by the way, weight lost? 7lbs in the past week. Yippeeee :D

Funny moment tonight: I was doing yoga in my kitchen (that's the only hard floor available to me, and I don't use the dining nook so it's a great little space for yoga) and Jordan walked in to get a drink of water before bed. I was just finishing up my practice so I was lying on the floor with my palms facing up at my sides, eyes closed and breathing deeply. I could tell he was kind of tiptoeing around, so after about a minute of breathing and trying not to laugh at him (faces are supposed to be soft in yoga!), I finally said "Jordan, you should do yoga with me." I think he jumped a little bit, then we laughed and he asked if I knew he was there the whole time haha. I said, "well yeah, I'm not asleep!" He did a little one legged yoga pose then tramped off to bed.

I love my family! And the way they make fun of/tease/support me in all that I do. And I do some crazy weird stuff sometimes, I know.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The meat and potatoes of it

This makes me really sad. I want to know what I can do to make this stop! Don't we all at the very least have a right to eat?

Riots and Instability Spread as Food Prices Skyrocket

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hello Sunshine


aaaah, finally - FINALLY- it's warm out. I put on the old swimsuit and shorts, grabbed a magazine and sunglasses, and flip-flopped my way out my backdoor to our big patio on the lake. Who needs resort getaways when you've got parents who live on Lake Tapps? haha! And there have only been a few boats out today so the lake isn't raging with noise, but relatively calm instead.

The water was freezing, so I only stepped in for a few minutes, but just sitting in the sun reading my magazine for over an hour was enough for me. I've even got a little pink on my freckled shoulders already. If only it were in the 70's all the time.

Supposedly they're expecting snow this Friday, but as long as nice weather like today is on its way, I'll live! Yay summer!

And to top it all off, for the first time in... gosh... three... four years? I won't be working Saturdays. So I'll actually be able to enjoy where we live every weekend. Wahooooo!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Some active causes to consider

I've been considering today (thanks to all the headlines about the SF torch ceremony) whether to participate in this whole "boycott the Olympics" thing. On the one hand, I love the Olympics. Particularly the summer Olympics. On the other hand, there's that side note where China aided in the Darfur genocide and that little thing going on in Tibet... what's a girl to do? How does one boycott the Olympics anyway? Without actually going to China I mean. Someone answer me that.

Also on the topic of death and displacement, let's talk about Hurricane Katrina for a moment. Has anyone heard about The Pink Project? I'm highly confused about this thing. Brad Pitt and his cohorts have spent a TON of money putting together these pink solar powered lit up tent houses in the lower 9th ward with constellations around them that reflect the sky on the night Katrina hit (because obviously with all that hurricane weather the lower 9th ward could totally see the stars). My confusion is, wouldn't all that money be better spent on actual houses? Perhaps I'm missing the point, I don't know. I mean we all like a good monument to those who have died. Thousands of people travel to Pearl Harbor and Ground Zero every year, but... tent houses that are uninhabitable?

I don't get it. Someone explain. Please.

Alright, I am seriously ready to just sell everything I have and go to Africa to help all the little kids with AIDs (yes, I did watch Idol Gives Back, thank you very much). My heart just breaks for them. I can't imagine living without parents and having HIV. They're all so young and sweet and have nothing.

Sigh, new before-I-die checklist:
Provide clean water to someone who otherwise couldn't get any
Protect a child from Malaria
Work in an orphanage in India
Feed a hungry family
Decrease my contribution to global warming
Save a chunk of rain forest (will help previous by bucketloads)
Solve world poverty

P.S. Did you know becoming a vegetarian decreases global warming and contributes to ending poverty? Read about the environmental positives and the world hunger positive to becoming a vegetarian.

P.P.S. Did you know some biofuels, like ones made from corn, are actually increasing global warming because deforestation is taking place to make room for more corn crops? Yeah. I was surprised too. Read about it here.

Just some things to think about :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Splash or dive

"I read an inspiring message this week about how the shallow waters are compared to living a life focused on yourself - your job, your money, your house, your rights, your needs, your opinions, your ideas, and your comfort. The deeper waters, in comparison, are about others - family, friends, community, faith, country, and commitment. 'Almost every dimension of your life can be held to the shallows or taken into the deeper water. Your career, your involvement with others, your spouse and your children, your politics - each can be lived with you comfortably at the center. Or, they can draw you out of yourself, into service and sacrifice, into selflessness.' - Mitt Romney.

"I am so impressed with those who are fully immersed in life - doing all they can to add value to the lives of others. These are the producers who also harvest huge returns for themselves. Those who merely splash around in the shallows are rewarded only by their own sense of comfort.

"Enjoy the swim!"

-Dr. Paul Jenkins (italics added for emphasis)

Yes! Yes yes yes! YES. I have been thinking about this a lot lately in more abstract terms, and suddenly, right in my hotmail inbox tonight is a newsletter from my old therapist talking about how we can choose to live life on the shallow side, focusing on ourselves and what we think we want right now. Or we can dedicate our lives to serving those around us and ultimately receive a much better reward. I really hope to learn to live the latter.

Monday, April 7, 2008

There's a blue ribbon at the end of the line

I had this whole rant about WalMart typed out, but realized that's not at all what I care about or even want to talk about.

Tonight I went to my Dad's to celebrate my sister's 5th birthday. For one thing, this makes me feel a little old. But the thing that really caught me off guard was that I fully remember my 5th birthday and it was probably one of my favorites. It was right before my dad remarried Kina, but she and I had already spent time together. In fact before my birthday, I spent the night at her apartment in Seattle and we stayed up late into the night giggling about everything. It was kind of a magical night for me.

Anyway, my 5th birthday. I was with my dad at my grandma's and we were getting in the car. My dad and grandma made me dress up so I was gruuuumpy (I was not a girly girl when I was little). He told me we were going to my mom's to pick up some extra church clothes for the next day. When we got there, I threw a fit and did not want to get out of the car. I'm not even really sure why. But he finally persuaded me, and as we walked in the door, my whole family was there and there were streamers and a banner that said "Happy Birthday" and everyone yelled "SURPRISE!" And I'm pretty sure I tried to keep the scowl on my face but couldn't help it and ended up in a big grin. It was lovely.

And now I'm 21 and my sister is that same age I was, and it's odd to think back and look at all the things that have happened in between. The people I've known, the experiences I've had, the places I've been, the things I've seen. It's very strange indeed. We only have one life don't we? There's no "second childhood" or redo's for all the mistakes we make in our teens and twenties. We're here. We're now. In ways it's sad, but in other ways it's kind of brilliant.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

My own mark, my own change

I love General Conference. I thoroughly enjoyed every single talk given in this afternoon's session. Jeffrey R. Holland's was particularly wonderful. I missed both of the Saturday sessions, but I'm hoping to either read them or watch them later. I love this church. There's such a peace and light about those who truly serve the Lord that I haven't found in anyone else. There's such deep love from our leaders and an awareness of the things that are happening in the world today. I just love it so much!

I've been thinking a lot lately about how to "lose my life" in service so that I may "find it." I really really want to go abroad for a couple of months or so and work with people. I'd love to go to India. I've been looking into ways to do it through the church, but I haven't found a way yet. It seems that there are enough members worldwide in conjunction with the missionaries that most of their humanitarian aid projects are done by locals. Which is really wonderful. It just means I'll need to find some other avenue I think.

But before I get to that (because it will probably be quite a while before I've saved up enough money to go for a month or two), I'm looking into things I can do locally and in my spare time now. I found a book called Knitting for Peace that is full of knitting projects that can be donated to different organizations. My favorite is a swirly looking cap for newborns. Warm Up America is also listed in there. So I'm going to focus on that for a bit I think, as well as doing some local restoration through EarthCorps perhaps. I just want to get involved! Make a difference!

Like some of the Young Women leaders said today, each of us can change the world. I want to make my contribution.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Joke's on us

Band of Horses is continuing to grow on me. I'm such a butthead sometimes, I swear. I should have gotten into them a long time ago, but I was too stubborn. Sigh. They remind me of The Shins with just a hint of Now It's Overhead mixed in.

Tonight I made tofu stir-fry over lo-mein noodles. It was yummy. Then I did the responsible thing and washed my dishes, did some laundry and finished my French homework. And all with time to spare. I feel like a real grown up. Weird.

And speaking of weird, the office was in some kind of freaky vortex today apparently. Everything broke. The bulbs above my desk started to flicker and flash because they were about to go out, one phone line would crackle or just stay silent when we picked it up, another had a fax tone going through it all afternoon, the database won't work thanks to a corrupt file that made everything below a certain line just disappear, my mom's version of Excel suddenly wouldn't work today and asked for the disc, the security system is wonky and didn't go off or turn off when the tech manager came in this morning, and one of the credit card machines was causing problems.

Then at one point, instead of the usual three to six people we have in the front office at any given time, there were suddenly two security system technicians climbing through our ceiling on ladders, two guys filling out applications at the front counter, a customer asking about getting her couches cleaned, two of our technicians changing the light bulbs above my desk, our tech manager, my mom and of course the three of us who are secretaries. That is twelve people all in one small space frantically trying to answer phones while the door bell rang incessantly from people walking in and out. It was insane. I'm not sure I ever fully recovered.

Apparently April was playing a fool's day joke on us. I don't know what else to call it.

It was just a wonky day all the way around. So I think I'll let it rest and hope for un-wonky dreams and an un-wonky day tomorrow.