Thursday, June 26, 2008

Two things...

1) I finished #8 on my Git 'er done list!!! Whoo! That's right, I finally finished my quilt. It's kind of jalopy-ish and I certainly wouldn't give it to anyone as a gift but the first thing Friendster Guy did when he saw it was ask if he could bring it to work for his night shifts. Awesome.


2) From Affluenza - "Americans spend more on trash bags than 90% of the world's 210 countries spend for everything." Dang. If that doesn't rock you back on your heels I don't know what will.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's not how much you make, it how much you spend.

As you know if you've read the last few posts, I've been on a mission to clean and purge my stuff. Part of my new found ambition has to do with some books I've been reading or perhaps the books I'm reading have to do with my new found ambition. Whichever is the chicken or the egg, I've been on a mission to both stop spending and to have less stuff.

As for the books I've been reading, I tend to find myself in a section of the library and go a little berserk. This time I happened to be in the "live without a lot of stuff/simplify" section. I don't know exactly where that lands in the Dewey decimal system but in case you are interested here are a few "suggested readings"

Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things That Really Matter
by Elaine St. James
Some of her 100 things are a little...nutty - like making a batch of bran muffins every week and having that for most of your meals (#61) or having a fruit or juice fast one day a week (#59) - but if you ignore those parts and focus on the less crazy things it's a good book to start with.

Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic by John de Graaf, David Wann, and Thomas H Naylor
This book started out as a PBS documentary (See the first part below). It explains how American culture has changed from one of community to one of consumerism. It's an entertaining way to make you think. And it make me realize that I'm glad I don't live near a mall. What's scary is that it's from the late 90's and the statistics are even more bleak now.

Another book you might enjoy is Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine.
I read this a couple years ago and really enjoyed it.

Needless to say, please don't buy these books. Go forth and use your library card. Let me know if you find anything interesting.

Aging gracefully requires humor and lots of it.

This is awesome. Thanks NPapaya for the head's up.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Just do it

I don't know why but this past week I've been in super-efficiency mode. Or at least super-work-on-projects mode. In addition to cleaning out my closet (see a few posts back) I also did a consolidation and reorg of all my cleaning supplies (the people we bought the condo from left a plethora of various sprays and foams and such in all of the cabinets. I've never seen so many varieties of Lysol disinfectant spray in my life), organized my basement, and I even worked on a quilt I haven't touched in at least 3 years (see #8). Here's hoping the inspiration continues because at this rate I'll have crossed everything off my to do list by Labor Day.

Friday, June 20, 2008

15 down, 44 to go

The other day I found a list I wrote titled "I'd like to..." It doesn't have a date on it but I'd guesstimate from some of the things I've already completed on the list that it's from 2002-2003. Here, in all it's glory, is my list. I've marked the things I have done in red. I'm really quite pleased with how much I've accomplished.

  1. Visit Morocco (done- 2004)
  2. Spike my hair (done - 2006 at a charity fashion show)
  3. Go visit friend in China - unfortunately that friend no longer lives there.
  4. See the Redwoods (done - 2005 in Muir Woods, CA)
  5. Take whitewater kayak lessons
  6. Work at alma mater - I'm not so much interested in this anymore. There was a perfect opportunity awhile ago but since I switched careers it didn't make sense, or interest me.
  7. Weigh 125 pounds - I managed this for about a week.
  8. Do a handstand while touching my toes to the back of my head.
  9. Build (design) my own house.
  10. Own a dog or two.
  11. Have a garden with fanciful corners everywhere.
  12. Make a living doing what I love, whatever that may be.
  13. Visit Australia - I'm currently planning a trip for fall of 2009
  14. Visit Ireland.
  15. Volunteer at Planne dParenthood.
  16. Wear leather pants.
  17. Be able to french braid my hair - Given that my hair is currently 2-3 inches long this isn't high on my list to get done.
  18. Decorate my house any way I want.
  19. Go on a cross country trip stopping anywhere I want
  20. Be an artist/artisan
  21. Be a professional organizer - I've now done this several times. In fact, I'm supposed to get back to someone about scheduling another session.
  22. Age gracefully.
  23. Learn a craft and be good at it.
  24. Get a dragon tattoo on my back.
  25. Be able to run 5 miles in a row.
  26. Master the Spanish language - yeah, buena suerte con este.
  27. Wear, and look good in, a bikini.
  28. Write a novel.
  29. Be able to do the splits in all three directions.
  30. Climb all the way up Mount Washington, NH.
  31. Be wealthy - I think my thoughts on what wealth is have changed since I wrote this list.
  32. Be passionate about something.
  33. Sing in a lounge act.
  34. Have a cool nickname - Devastation, 'nuf said.
  35. Get a manicure.
  36. Be athletic.
  37. Do something that few people have done - like hike the Appalachian Trail or climb Mount Everest.
  38. Be on a TV show as an extra or guest appearance.
  39. Be beautiful, not just cute - I don't know if I am allowed to determine if I've done this or not.
  40. Be a free spirit.
  41. Own a beach house with my friends.
  42. Know what my greatest accomplishment so far is.
  43. Join a sports team.
  44. Learn a new skill every year - so far so good.
  45. Take a "round the world" cruise.
  46. Learn to drive stick - I'm a few more drives away from feeling comfortable with this.
  47. Learn automechanics.
  48. Take classes at the League of NH Craftsmen
  49. Do the 3 day breast cancer walk. (Ok, I did the 2 day)
  50. Own a house perfect for entertaining.
  51. Get an article published in "Rosie" - oops, that no longer exists...how about Real Simple instead?
  52. Write a book of organizing tips
  53. Write and illustrate a children's book
  54. Bellydance on stage - I took the class...
  55. Learn to juggle
  56. Teach sex-ed
And here are three new ones that have been floating around in my mind
  1. Speak at a professional conference
  2. Be an NPR contributor (a voice on the radio, not just a donor)
  3. Get a tattoo that looks like henna.

Spring cleaning, just under the wire

With tomorrow being the official start of summer, and the whole 100 things thing, I figured it was about time to get in some spring cleaning. I spent about 3 hours today trying on all my clothes, emptying all my drawers and purging my wardrobe. I filled two big bags with my cast-offs. I feel very good after getting rid of 4 pairs of shoes and over 25 articles of clothes, not counting socks and things I simply threw away.

Tomorrow, off to the donation center!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Patron of the Arts

Friendster Guy and I are now official patrons of the arts. In the last month we have donated to a theater group I was involved with AND just become members of NPR for the first time. I feel so...I don't know... liberal? Erudite? Cultured. Yes, that's it. Cultured. FG adds "magnanimous and munificent", both of which are good words as well. Humble, not so much.

In that spirit (the magnanimous, not humble, spirit that is), I would like to share with you the following Latte Art I heard about on NPR today (I'm a member now you know.)

Friday, June 13, 2008

100 Things

Last year I created a new birthday tradition wherein I purge the same number of items as my new age. This year that would be 32 things. Since my birthday isn't until August I've got a couple months to think about what to get rid of but just this morning I read an article in Time magazine about a movement to purge your belongings down to 100 Things. I find the idea fascinating. I find the act of trying to do that terrifying if not downright impossible.

Many things flood my brain when I think of going through with such a task. For instance, I have lots of hobbies. Do I get rid of my arts and crafts supplies? What if I feel like coloring? Or embossing some homemade cards? Now that I think about it, I actually own two different embosser thingies. And the last time I used them was ....? Should I keep them just in case? Come to think of it, is my ability to make embossed cards just adding more stress to my life? I haven't thought about making cards in a long time but now I feel like I should because I have all the supplies. Hmmm...This could actually be an interesting project on numerous levels. Maybe I should aim for 500 things first.

In the meantime, I'll peruse this guy's blog about his own quest to get down to 100 things. (Here's his archives with more entries)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I see your true colors

This is an oddly relaxing color quiz. Something about having to look at pictures of beautiful objects and think about vacation puts me in a good mood. Or, it could be that I just got an hour "off" because a client canceled. Sure, it's money I don't get paid but it's an hour of my own earned.

I'm "Tapestry and Mosaic" I'm so not surprised. I love all things Moroccan and my home looks like the inside of a Panera (red, orange, green). My secondary colors are Pop Art.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Happiness is...

...realizing that the next time you go to the library you'll be picking out books to bring with you on vacation.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Think he needs a personal trainer?

I am now one step closer to being able to say "I worked out with the President of the United States."

Monday, June 02, 2008

Crisis Averted

Here's something that will get your heart pitterpattering... or stop it altogether.

I turned on my computer and it opened up fine (i.e. no blue screen of death) except my settings were missing. Then I discovered that all my files were gone. Gone. Music, photos, thesis, documents, work stuff. Everything.

Amazingly, instead of curling into the fetal position and having a well-deserved freak out I calmly told Friendster Guy my computer was FUBAR and let him play with it for a little while. In the meantime I reconciled myself to a life without whatever was on my computer and gave everything up for lost. I was still perfectly calm and nonchalant. There may have been Xanax in in my Indian take-out because that was not my normal response.

Luckily, FG, the fabulous man that he is, was able to figure out why my computer had spontaneously decided to try to give me an ulcer/aneurysm (even though I didn't take the bait). Something about having created a Guest setting sometime in the last 6 months. I do not know. I am however, glad it's fixed.