Archive | June, 2010

Good Music.

26 Jun

A friend of mine recently sent me this song.  I wasn’t so sure about it at first, but the more I listen to it, the more I love it.  Its sad and happy and beautifully performed.

That’s all I have for you today.  I’ve been a little everywhere lately.  ❤

Storms of My Life.

23 Jun

It stormed in Chicago today.  Well, it stormed all over the Midwest, but as I was in Chicago, we’ll go with that.  Torrential, sideways rain, wind, thunder, lightning, and, of course, the tornado sirens made the evening complete. 😉
A friend from high school, Emre Cihangir, posted this picture on his facebook shortly after things started clearing up and I love it!

Chicago after Storm by Emre Cihangir

I’ve never loved storms.  I don’t mind a nice rain, but I’ve always been pretty scared of storms.  Nothing traumatic ever really happened to scare me (unless you count being allowed to watch Twister at age 8 –thanks, Jennie…) but to this day I’m very uncomfortable with warm weather storms.  Love snow storms, hate anything tornado related.  Granted, tornadoes are very scary things that can definitely happen, but my fear is a little irrational.

The contemplative mood that has currently taken over my life made me wonder why I’m so scared of something I can’t control.  It made me wonder what other things I’m scared of and why.
The more I think about it the more it all seems to fit together.  I’m petrified of dying without accomplishing my life goals, without seeing the world.  Am I really not as invincible as I’d like to believe?

Ernest Hemingway once said that, “Cowardice, as distinguished from panic, is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination. Learning to suspend your imagination and live completely in the very second of the present with no before and no after is the greatest gift a soldier can acquire.”

So here’s my question: Am I cowardly or just ambitious?  We’ll go with a little of both.  While I’m not a soldier, Hemingway is right in that I can’t live the life I want to live if I’m always stuck in the “what if’s.”  Life has a way of working itself out, and sometimes my imagination is a little to vivid for my own good.  😉

And I know someday it will all work out.

Today’s Bath Product:  Torrential downpours.

Speaking of Webster’s Dictionary…

22 Jun

This post will probably only make sense to and amuse a handful of people, but just go with it.

I went to China this past March with a group from my university.  It was an amazing trip.  Everything about it was fantastic.  I cannot wait to go back and I completely recommend it to everyone.
BUT.  We had a tour guide in Beijing –Eddy… Oh, Eddy…  He LOVED the word “auspicious.”  And when I say “LOVED”  I really mean LOVED.  Everything was auspicious.  The mountain, the lake, the tree, the sculpture, the tomb, the black birds, the cherry tree, the rock, his beloved crabapple tree… You get the idea.  My best friend, Christine, and I got so confused by his use of the word that we had to go back to our hotel room and look it up just to make sure we weren’t crazy.  We weren’t.  And techically, the use of the word is a completely matter of opinion.

Then yesterday, I got an email from Christine who subscribes to Webster’s Word of the Day emails (another brilliant idea that I am also subscribing to).  What was Saturday’s word?  AUSPICIOUS.  Fabulous.  It even had this lovely little fact about the word:

“”Auspicious” comes from Latin “auspex,” which literally means “bird seer” (from the words “avis,” meaning “bird,” and “specere,” meaning “to look”). In ancient Rome, these “bird seers” were priests, or augurs, who studied the flight and feeding patterns of birds, then delivered prophecies based on their observations. The right combination of bird behavior indicated favorable conditions, but the wrong patterns spelled trouble. The English noun “auspice,” which originally referred to this practice of observing birds to discover omens, also comes from Latin “auspex.” Today, the plural form “auspices” is often used with the meaning “kindly patronage and guidance.””

Oh Eddy…

Books and Words.

21 Jun

When I write anything, I always write it by hand first — taking the time to craft my letters, words, and sentences, and to see the piece take form.  I love the feel of writing and forming letters.  I love the way no one’s handwriting is exactly the same — its like personal art.  I love the way an entire page of writing looks (bonus if its written in fuscia fine tipped markers like mine often are 😉 ).  I love not having a program tell me I misspelled something (as I often do).  Sometimes the way I spell it is far superiour to Webster’s Dictionary… 😛  (In actuality, I just don’t want to be bothered with correcting myself until I’m finished).  My journals are full of line slashed words, boxes, arrows and far too many smiley faces.  I love the act of writing. 🙂  This is probably why I’m so fascinated with other languages, especially languages like Chinese that use entirely different characters than me.

Beijing 2010 - Only the Chinese could write a sign so elegantly.. 😉

And then there’s my love of books.  I use the word “love” lightly here as its really closer to an obsession.  I buy far too many books.  Constantly.  I buy more books than I possibly have time to read (and I read a lot).  Why?  Because they’re beautiful.  My dream office is a tall, open room with double doors.  Directly across from the double doors is a HUGE window.  Sometimes its floor to ceiling, and sometimes it just spans the width of the room.  My big desk sits with its back to the window, facing the double doors and a small, but obscenely comfortable, sitting area.  Lining the remaining walls (I never said the room was square ;-)) are floor to ceiling bookshelves.  They are, obviously, full of books. My desk will most likely have books piled on it, as will the coffee table.  A goldfish tank will be built into one of the walls’ bookshelves (Have I mentioned I love goldfish too?).  The style of furniture and the color schemes are ever changing, but I will always decorate with my books.  They’re as unique as people, as unique as handwriting.  They are also art.

This past spring, I came across a brilliant idea to combine my love of handwriting and books.  An idea that was so simple I should have thought of it long ago:  Recycled Vintage Book Journals.  🙂  Old books that have been (*gasp*) torn apart and made into spiral notebooks.  They’re beautiful and creative.  The first one I bought made me laugh, but alas its pages are unlined and it still hasn’t been used. 😦  Since then though, I’ve been sifting through Etsy looking for the best ones.  I’ve never heard of most of the books I’ve seen, which makes coming up with a story that fits the title all the more interesting.
I will, very shortly, be in dire need of another journal.  I’ve found a seller who makes them exactly the way I want them to be: spiral bound, with LOTS of lined pages.  Simplicity.  She’s got quite a few that I want.  Some of the titles in her stock that I’m dying for include: One Hundred Lessons in Spelling, Assignment in Danger,  Personality Plus, Magnificent Obsession (I think that’s my favorite so far ;-)), Reuel Makes a Decision, Tales for Males, German for Beginners, The New History of America, and Sky Castle.

Hard decision, right?  I’ll keep you updated. 😉

Oh and no bath product today.  Although I did try the lavender scent from that Bath Dough last night.  Also fabulous.

Tequila, eh?

20 Jun

Those bath products I ordered from Etsy earlier this week got here a couple days ago, but I just got around to trying them out today.  LOVE THEM!  I had never heard of “Bath Dough” before, but it sounded interesting, so I thought I’d try it out.  Its actual dough and you rub your hands together under running water and it makes the best bubbles.  Red Leaf makes a bunch of different scents and I couldn’t help myself, so I ordered a few. 🙂  I tried the Pink Grapefruit out and its got the most wonderful, subtle scent.  I’m sure the Lavender and the Black Tea scents will be just as fabulous. 🙂  Definitely recommend.

I’ve been in a weird mood so far this weekend, and as I skimmed my journal for a good blog topic, nothing really struck my fancy.  The topics I had to choose from included: “Dream interpretation”, “Why I believe in the phrase ‘Its not you, its me'”, “When I write the best stories”, “Why I’d be a kick ass single parent”, and “Why I should wear more sunscreen”, among other things.  None of these sounded very promising outside of a journaling context, trust me.
And so, here’s something else for your reading pleasure in honor of the night I desperately need…

The top ten things alcohol has taught me:

10.  Don’t drink an entire bottle (or 2) of any type of liquor.  Its really not worth it.
9.    For God’s sake, stay off of emails, webcams, facebook, and phones if the need to consume that much liquor is that present.
8.     Keep your clothes on.
7.     If you’re sad when you start drinking, you’ll be even more sad once you’ve finished.  Save yourself the trouble and just don’t.
6.     Drunken dancing is not attractive.  Ever.
5.     Some of the best relationships can be forged and maintained over a glass of alcohol.
4.     Pull a Hemingway and get as much writing down as possible.  Later revisions will, of course, be necessary.
3.     I love you.  Even if I hate you.
2.     You will be hugged.  Multiple times.
1.     Clarity. is. gold. (and a few shots of tequila).

Hello, Kitty

17 Jun

When I was in high school, I dated a street racer and thus hung around with a lot of other street racers who thought they were badasses.  I was never allowed to see them race (so I suppose they could technically been a bunch of posers ;-)) as the likelihood of being arrested was a little too high, but I do remember the entire “posse,” if you will,  arriving at my house one morning, much to my parents’ dismay, to pick me up for school.  We’re talking at least 10 loud, obscenely fast cars sitting in front of my house.  [Sorry, Mom =/]  As silly as it sounds, I felt so cool by association that day. 😉  In fact, I believe that was the first day of my junior year, so you could say it helped me kick off being an upper class-man in style. =P
Anywho, I remembered this because today I’m driving my dad’s Jaguar around as my car is in the body shop being repaired.  As I was driving, I realized this car is at least twice as fast and twice as powerful as any of those cars from high school.  It made me smile as I drove a little too fast down Rt. 47 towards class, chanting “Go, Kitty, Go!” in my head like a nerd. [Sorry, Dad =/]
As much as I love driving that car, it isn’t really me.  My first ever car was a 1983 Buick Electra.  My dad gave it to me for my 16th birthday and along with it, I was allowed to have it painted as it was 5 different colors and full of rust.  I chose a color called “Boisenberry” that, according to the paint swatch, was a nice deep blue.  In all actuality it was purple and I LOVED it!  My friends and I affectionately called it “The Big, Purple Beast” and joked that it was old enough to buy us beer (what’s even funnier is that we had no interest in alcohol at the time).

Oh, Sweet Buick..

Unfortunately, I had that car for less than a year before it got far to expensive to keep.  Gas prices were on their way through the roof by the time I was 17.  I went through a couple lame beaters that in no way compared to the Buick for a couple years until my mom helped me buy my bright blue 2008 Toyota Yaris.

It looks so majestic with its mountainous background... 😉

Its as small, new, and quiet as my Buick was old, loud, and boat-like, and I love it just as much.  In the same way my Buick fit my awkward, flamboyant, semi-rebellious, and outrageous teenage years, my Yaris fits my cool, collected ;-), modern, and occasionally outrageous 20’s.

As much as I loved driving the Jag today, my Yaris reminds me to take life slowly and appreciate what I have rather than cruising past without fully experiencing the drive.

Today’s Bath Product: Kitten Bath Salts in Hot Rod Flavor.  😉  Not really…  Its actually just plain old pool chlorine today.  I’m at the pool with my sister, brothers, and niece enjoying the sun and taking in the drive. 🙂

Old Bath Beads.

16 Jun

Yea, we're that awesome...

Today’s bath product: Bath Beads from Mother’s Day Weekend 2007.  😉 My mom, sisters, niece, and I took a trip to Geneva, IL that year and did quite a bit of shopping, eating, and walking.  That was also the weekend I got my first tattoo!
Anywho, we all bought these tubes of Bath Beads in assorted flavors and I still have a few lurking around.  This one is blue and doesn’t really smell like anything anymore.  Hmm… I think I’ll forgo the use of the last couple.

I opted to let my brain get over Amy Hempel for a few days and decided to pick up a collection Haruki Murakami’s short stories this afternoon.  There I was, reading them through absentmindedly when I finally read through one that struck me.  I read through it a few more times and decided that it is definitely one of my favorite short stories of all time.  “Birthday Girl” is about a girl’s 20th birthday spent working in a restaurant and the surreal evening that ends up occurring.  I won’t ruin the ending for you as I highly suggest you read it — especially since I took the time to link it for you and everything– but its one of those stories that allows you to draw your own conclusions about what she means and what he means.  I usually don’t care for stories like that, but I couldn’t help myself when it came to this one.

This author is one that I never would have picked up if I was just browsing the shelves, but I’m very glad that I am able to appreciate him as much as I do.  The first story I was ever fortunate enough to read by him is still (at least in my book– or blog ;-)) one of the most romantic and depressing short stories I have ever read.  Beautifully written.  Beautifully interpreted.  Even if you can lay some blame with the narrator for his choices.

Day 1-

15 Jun

In honor of this new bathtub adventure of mine, I hopped over to Etsy and bought some interesting new bath products.  I’ll tell you all about them once they get here and I have a chance to try them out.  Some very interesting flavors are making their way to Chicago from Seattle though. =)

In the meantime, I’m reading Amy Hempel’s Reasons to Live.  I don’t love her.  But as the first story in that collection is the inspiration for this blog, I’ve decided that I must give her a chance.  Don’t love her minimalist approach as I tend to be a little longer winded about things I’m passionate about.  Maybe I need to learn to be like her.  Say more in less words. 😉

Currently using: Philosophy: Candy Cane bubble bath. ❤

–> Be sure to check out the “About My Bathtub” tab….. =)