Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Be beautiful

"Be as beautiful as you can be, for yourself first, and then to anyone else with enough good sense to see it, too." ~ Maya Angelou


Barrow Falls Road in Abbot, Maine, by Tracy Crawford
Courtesy of the Sierra Club's
Daily Ray of Hope

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Being out there

A recent Daily Ray of Hope from the Sierra Club:

"What makes life in our cities at once still tolerable, exciting, and stimulating is the existence of an alternative option, whether exercised or not, whether even appreciated or not, of a radically different mode of being out there, in the forests, on the lakes and rivers, in the deserts, up in the mountains … we cannot have freedom without leagues of open space..."

~ Edward Abbey, author of "Desert Solitaire"



Kankakee, Illinois, by K. K. Condon

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I lick you, & I like you to like me to lick you.



I like you, and I’d like you to like me to like you. But I don’t need you. Don’t need you to want me to like you. Because if you didn’t like me, I would still like you, you see. La la la la la la.

I lick you, and I like you to like me to lick you. But... I don’t need you. Don’t need you to like me to lick you. If your pleasure turned into pain, I would still lick for my personal gain. La la la la la la.

I fuck you, and I love how you love me to fuck you. But I don’t fucking need you. Don’t need you to need me to fuck you. If you need me to need you to fuck, that fucks everything up. La la la la la la.

I want you, and I want you to want me to want you. But I don’t need you. Don’t need you to need me to need you. That’s just me. So take me or leave me, but please don’t need me. Don’t need me to need you to need me. Cuz we’re here one minute, the next we’re dead. So love me or leave me, but try not to need me. Enough said. I want you, but I don’t need you. La la la la la la.

I love you, and I love how you love how I love you. But I don’t need you. Don’t need you to love me to love you. If your love changed into hate, would my love have been a mistake? La la la la la la.

So I’m gonna leave you, and I’d like you to leave me to leave you. But lover believe me, it isn’t because I don’t need you (you know I don’t need you). All I wanted was to be wanted, but you’re drowning me deep in your need to be needed. La la la la la la la la la la la la.

I want you, and I want you to want me to want you. But I don’t need you. Don’t need you to need me to need you. That’s just me. So take me or leave me, but please don’t need me. Don’t need me to need you to need me. Cuz we’re here one minute, the next we’re dead. So love me or leave me, but try not to need me. Enough said. I want you, but I don’t need you.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Articulate Alan

Who knew Alan Greenspan's talks on finance might produce gems?

~ "I guess I should warn you. If I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I've said."
Consider yourselves warned.

~ “There's potential for individual disaster there."
Every day.

~ “Look at it! Look at it, damn you! This is the result of your consistent, persistent, grinding, impoverishing inflation, you despicable loathsome morons!”
For full effect, insert other action in place of "inflation." Perhaps "selfishness" or "rampant disregard for animal welfare" - ya know, whatever fits.

~ “How do we know when irrational exuberance has unduly escalated asset values?"
Again, for full effect, replace "asset values" with, say, "our expectations" or "my opinion of you." Hehe.



And the Most Germane Award goes to...

~ "I know that you think you know what I said. But I'm not sure whether you understood that what you heard IS what I meant."

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I don't know what to say

I really don't. You just have to watch.



If you need to take just one more look, look here while he explains how he "just wasn't getting any enjoyment out of it. Although the heat does normally stimulate every joint, muscle and organ in my entire body."

Take a break

Today's beboppin' fave.



Look, Ma - freehanded!



Paste's round up of "16 albums to look forward to this fall" is worth a peek.
~ Pearl Jam's got a new record, and I finally (!) dig Eddie again.
~ Bob Dylan does Christmas; not sure what else I could say on the matter.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Ways I waste my time

Have a quick moment of reflection with the Sierra Club's Daily Ray of Hope.

"Let life happen to you. Believe me; life is in the right, always." ~ Rainer Maria Rilke


ellowstone National Park by Windy Torgerud

**********

Check these "perfectly sculpted melons" on Environmental Graffiti, which always has something cool going on. I mean, really, they titled their blog post "perfectly sculpted melons"; what's not to like?





**********

No Room Service, Just Snacks and Shit is hilarious. Honestly.

"I'm the kind of nigga that'll kidnap your kids, take 'em home, fuck 'em good, and send 'em back to you in bandages." - Keith Nut, "Watch Out" by Fat Joe

Oh. Then you're going to have trouble keeping friends and getting people to trust you and all that stuff. Can you imagine trying to get a job ten years after making this song? ...

~ "You have most of the qualifications we are looking for but we're just going to have to go with the other guy."
~ "Is this because of when I said I'd fuck your kids... and stuff?"
~ "One hundred percent."

Also, what's up with "Fuck 'em good"? It's not like it's going to be enjoyable for the kids. Filed under: Worst guy ever.


**********

WebUrbanist compiled some cool examples of light art and graffiti such as this:





**********

I know I can't explain Homies and Honkies, so I won't try. Just click the link.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Today in Pictures



"An organic rice field featuring a sculpture created using two different types of rice is ... planted in Thailand’s Central Plains & occupies an area of 16,000 square meters... The first variety, Chai-nat 1, is an irrigated local rice variety and... the second is Khum Phayao, a traditional black rice variety. Greenpeace is demanding that the Government issue an outright ban on GMOs, particularly GMO rice." (AFP/GETTY)



"Ice sculptures by Brazilian artist Nele Azevedo melt on the steps of Berlin's Concert Hall at the Gendarmenmarkt on Sept. 2. The event, which saw participants place some 1,000 ice sculptures, was sponsored by the WWF to attract attention to the ...earth's melting poles due to global warming." (AFP/GETTY)

Monday, August 03, 2009

They love coffee even more than you do.

As seen on the Telegraph's Pictures of the Day:


"Artist assistants stand next to 3,604 cups of coffee which have been made into a giant Mona Lisa in Sydney, Australia. The 3,604 cups of coffee were each filled with different amounts of milk to create the different shades."

It is yours.

"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists. It is real. It is possible. It is yours." ~ Ayn Rand


Dedham, Massachusetts, by Kerry Hawkins
Courtesy of Sierra Club's Daily Ray of Hope

Friday, July 24, 2009

If this doesn't make you grin...

...you're a miserable sod.



How cool when people throw off old conventions while hanging onto just the traditions that matter the most to them, making the day their own. They certainly seem like fun folks! Of course, I could be biased, as I really like this song and somersaults and hot pink...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stumbled upon...

Interesting way to keep growing your veggies during longjohn season. AND, it comes with your very own ladybug army!




Tulip mosaics around the world.




My favorite tot's new favorite song.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

And we should

"You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth."

~ Evan Esar

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Found objects

Ask A Urinal

"It's impossible to be unhappy in a poncho."

"Why are you looking up here? The joke is in your hands."

Newsroom Quotes

"I do think that 99% of heads are bigger than arses."

"I have no luck. Last time I went out I ended up knocking on a murderer’s door."

Marghanita

"Perfect use for your plastic water bottles"



UrbanEye by The NY Times

"Can you use a thesaurus as a weapon? Tonight Opium Magazine
sponsors a Literary Death Match: competitive reading.
Readers, including the veteran SNL and comedy writer Alan
Zweibel and the novelists Rivka Galchen, Josh Weil and
Michael Muhammad Knight -- author of "The Taqwacores," which
has been called "'The Catcher in the Rye' for young
Muslims" -- will unspool some verbiage in the round at
Pianos. They will be judged -- by a New Yorker writer, a
"Project Runway" alum and a comedienne -- on their
showmanship, meter and sesquipedalianism, and everyone will
feel smarter when they leave."

Raft Clear Creek River w/ Mile-Hi Rafting


"Sure Shot: $37 Adults / $30 Child
Rafting on Clear Creek River’s mountain water is an experience that’s fun for the whole family. Get ready for some fun on our exciting ‘Sure Shot’ beginner-rafting trip. Begin with passing by the historic Charlie Taylor Water Wheel experiencing Class II rapids (ripples). While rafting through Historic Idaho Springs the Class III rapids of Castle Falls and Argo Holes test your newly developed rafting skills. Below town history and nature abound, with the occasional sighting of Retail Hawk, Deer, Fox, Bob Cat, Lynx, Elk, and Big Horn Sheep. Dizzy Lizzy, Power Line, Mountain Lion, and Box prepare us for the grand finale of Mr. Twister! The perfect beginner—starting with Class II water so you can practice, and then the Class III rapids. There is a 50 pound minimum for rafting to insure proper fit of the life jacket. Allow 3 hours for the trip."

311 really wants ya to watch "Hey You"

The band has hidden a phone number in the video. Call the number, leave a message, and the band might call you back. I love love love 311, but this song is just "eh". So, the only reason to watch the vid is for glimpses of hot Nick Hexum.



Parkour

Training class for the masses looks like a good workout.



Bike trials

Danny MacAskill, an in-feakin'-credible rider from the U.K.
(And this song by Band of Horses is fab.)



A smattering of Vincent Hermance in Colorado

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

And the To Read list grows...

Story of my life (pun a happy accident): I add to this list faster than I can check books off of it, sometimes tenfold. The newest addition is worth sharing with you, lest it go unnoticed in that ever-overwhelming list to the right.

"The Immense Journey: An Imaginative Naturalist Explores the Mysteries of Man and Nature" by Loren Eiseley seems as though it might speak to the same part of me that fell in love with "Desert Solitaire" by Edward Abbey. Those are big shoes to fill, though, Ed's are, so we'll just have to wait and see.

Who knows when I'll get to this book, especially now that I've added a fourth to my nightstand. After years of desiring to but waiting for the seemingly "right time", much as one might feel about buying a home or having a child, I've finally ventured into Ayn Rand's world, with her first endeavor, "We the Living".

Wish me luck.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hope never stops at all

Another nice Daily Ray of Hope:

"Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all." ~ Emily Dickinson


Bridge Creek Watershed area of Bend, Oregon, by Pete Marquess

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Compare/Contrast

Found this an intriguing comparison, as each of the four vocalists produces such a unique sound. Peter's and Trent's voices are so distinct, making the collaborative version rich and interesting. But it's almost too much, as TV's vocals complement one another so well as a sufficiently groovy duo. Reminds me of a Mahler piece performed by a several-hundred-piece orchestra; the movement's tonality is incredibly complex and thus wondrous, but there's something equally spectacular about a seemingly simple violin solo. Perhaps there is no comparison to be made, just an appreciation for the individual performances...

The always cool TV On The Radio performing their tune "Dreams", infused w/ some Bauhaus and NIN flavor.



And here's "Dreams" straight up. (Sound's a bit distorted, though.)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

"The answers are simple."

Today's Daily Ray of Hope from the Sierra Club is worth sharing.

"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple."
~ Dr. Seuss


Photo Credit: Jim Dollar
Location: Otter Point in Acadia National Park in Maine

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Awesome animals

This slideshow is full of neat animals in the news. I'm such a sucker for stories about critters - happy or sad. The latter, of course, inevitably make me angry at my own species.

Here's a great one:
In November, the cries of alarm from Willie, a Quaker parrot from Denver, Colo., alerted his owner, Megan Howard, that the toddler she was babysitting was choking. His yells of "Mama, baby" led Howard to perform the Heimlich maneuver and earned Willie the local Red Cross chapter's Animal Lifesaver Award on March 20.
Some others include a turtle fossil, 30-something millions of years old, found to have an intact egg sac (a first here the U.S.); hundreds of stray dogs starving and turning to cannibalism because locals dropped them on an uninhabitable island to get them out of their fishing village; a 772-pound stingray is the largest freshwater fish caught by a rod and reel (they released it, thankfully); and an albino elephant baby born in the wild in Africa (aww!).

Honey, is that you?

LemonDrop.com (Who thinks up these names? And, just in case you're wondering how I even found the site, this was a headline on my homepage) reports on identical twins marrying identical twins in China. It's like a bad sitcom waiting to happen, but sorta cute, too.


Identical twins marrying a set of identical twins -- it sounds like something from a soap opera. But it actually happened in Wuxi, China, so we can only hope that none of them are evil and/or homicidal.

It was unusual enough when Jian Yang, one-half of a set of identical male twins, proposed to Juxiang Jiang, herself one-half of a matching set. But things got weirder when their identical siblings, Kang Yang and Lanxiang Zhang, fell in love at their engagement party. All this led to -- clearly -- a double wedding.

Of course, hilarity and confusion ensued. For instance, Kang once tried to hold his brother Jian's fiancee's hand on a group outing. Naturally, she didn't stop him, because she thought Kang was Jian. And there they stood, until Kang's fiancee helpfully corrected the error. (How did she know?)

Their parents consider the marriages a sign of great luck. Which is good, because with all the potential for accidentally adultery, they're going to need all the luck they can get. That, and name tags.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

How much water do you use?

The National Wildlife Fund tweeted a link to this on Good magazine's website. It's quite the eye-opener. (Click on the link to the article if you have trouble reading the graphic; this is the largest I could make it.)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Apparently, I'm a Doer

Typealyzer analyzes the types of words a blogger uses and the frequency with which she uses them, and spits out an analysis of her personality type. Here's what it says about this blog and me; it's pretty right on.

The analysis indicates that the author of www.metroowl.blogspot.com is of the type:

ESTP - The Doers

The active and playful type. They are especially attuned to people and things around them and often full of energy, talking, joking and engaging in physical out-door activities.

The Doers are happiest with action-filled work which craves their full attention and focus. They might be very impulsive and more keen on starting something new than following it through. They might have a problem with sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time.

It also pinpoints your personality on a brain map, which I was unable to capture and post here. Basically, it shows the brain divided into these sections: Thinker, Practical, Feeler and Idealist. Apparently, I am Practical, which is somewhere between the Thinker and the Feeler. It describes the Practical blogger as thinking (with a talent for logic and mathematics) AND sensing (with a talent for order, habit and details). I suppose that's pretty accurate.

There's also a LoveTypealyzer. Here's what it says about MetroOwl; this is only partly accurate.

The analysis indicates that the author of www.metroowl.blogspot.com is of the type:

ESTP - The Doers

They are gregarious and action-loving and will probably make your date into a thrill. In relationships they often feel tremendously commited, but want that commitment to be renewed day by day. They tend to get bored easily, and may be prone to switching relationships frequently unless they find an outlet for their boredom elsewhere. Sexually they are more into enjoying the moment sensually than verbally.

Best matches: ISFJ or ISTJ

And, lastly, there's a SportTypealyzer, which is sort of comical for me seeing as I am not the athletic sort. But here goes:

The analysis indicates that the author of www.metroowl.blogspot.com is of the type:

Artisan

"Get your kicks while you can!"

The Artisans loves real-life events that can be experienced here and now. Standing in the shouting crowd at a game is almost as fun as actually taking part in it! Personally they love action and will go boldly down roads that others consider risky or impossible. That´s why they will probably gravitate towards sports with tuff independent sportsmen and women. They´re always on the look-out for fun and playful ways to enjoy themselves together with friends.

Sports of preference: Motor sports, Football, Boxing and other sports that gets the adrenaline pumping.

I suppose it's worth mentioning that I take this sort of thing with a grain of salt. And certainly any site full of spelling errors makes me wary.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"Working your way from the ground on down"

The adorable Ben Harper and other boys with a few of my favorite things: great music, skateboards, slide guitars, Chucks and poets' souls.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Buy festival tix on layaway

Per Springwise:

Back in 2007 we noted the return of layaway payment plans, and in today's economic climate the need for such arrangements is clearly even greater. Completely understandable, then, that several upcoming music festivals are giving attendees a layaway option for purchasing their tickets.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, for example, will take place from April 17 to 19 in Indio, Calif., featuring a range of indie-rock artists. A three-day pass to the festival costs USD 269 plus fees, but this year, would-be attendees buying online have two alternatives to purchasing their tickets outright. First, they can pay just 50 percent of the cost up front, plus Ticketmaster fees, and then have the remaining 50 percent automatically deducted on April 1. Alternatively, they can pay 10 percent up front, plus Ticketmaster fees, and have the remaining amount automatically deducted in two equal payments on March 1 and April 1. The last day to order via layaway is Feb. 28, but the option is not available for single-day tickets or camping travel packages.

The Coachella festival is produced by Goldenvoice, which is offering similar layaway options at its Stagecoach Country Music Festival, also held in April in California.

Country Thunder USA, meanwhile, is offering an EZ-Pay option to purchase USD 119 general admission for its April festival in Arizona in two installments at no extra charge. Tickets must be purchased online by the end of this month.

Finally, for the June Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Tennessee, attendees who buy by the end of February have the option of purchasing their USD 249.50 general admission tickets in five installments of USD 50 plus applicable fees. Bonnaroo offered an installment plan last year as well, according to USA Today.

Economic woes may be hitting consumers far and wide, but that doesn't mean all luxuries have to be dispensed with. Be flexible in your terms of payment, and consumers may just pay you back—with interest! ;-)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Don't answer that

Normally, I'm offended by the gender stereotypes used to market media (FuelTV and Mopar Muscle are for men, and women dig Lifetime and Cosmo), because my interests cross over quite a bit. But this time, I'm thankful to not be part of the target market.

While looking for the Dew Tour to schedule it on my DVR, I came across a SpikeTV show called Manswers. AT&T U-verse describes it this way:
Knowledge that a guy can appreciate is presented, including tips on how to spot an undercover cop who's pretending to be a hooker, the surefire method to become drunk faster, and how to take a punch to the head with less risk of brain damage.
Apparently they answer life's critical quandaries, including:
~ Which is deadlier, a samurai sword or a speeding bullet?
~ What are some uses for your urine?
~ How can I get out of handcuffs?
~ How many girls are really bi?

God help us...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

I've got the gimmes

I've been buying some gifts online tonight, and along the way I found some "Gimme!"-inspiring items.

Numbers-matching '69 Beeper
(I'm not thrilled w/ what's under the hood here, but the body's niiice.)



Tuition to pursue a graduate ESL certificate
(Yeah, I know I'm asking a lot. But it's either this or a full-on master's in education, and we can hold off on that one for right now.)

The certificate in English as a Second Language Studies aims to improve the preparation of instructors in junior colleges, colleges, and private schools... Our approach is to increase students’ linguistic knowledge in general and that of English in particular, so that they may better appreciate the structure of English and that of the first language(s) of their students...

The curriculum consists of the following prerequisites, which may be taken concurrently with other courses in the program, if they have not already been satisfied:

~ ENC 3310 Advanced Exposition (required for teaching English certification) or equivalent taken at another accredited institution (3 credits)
~ LIN 3010 Introduction to Linguistics or equivalent taken elsewhere (3 credits). A competency exam may be required. FOL 3880 Research and Bibliographic Methods (2-3 credits) is strongly recommended for students who have not had such a course, but it is not required.

The following list of 15 credit hours comprises the required core courses. One equivalent 3-credit course may be transferred from another accredited institution or program.

~ LIN 4680 Structure of English
~ LIN 6720 Second Language Acquisition
~ LIN 4620 Bilingualism
~ TSL 4251 Applied Linguistics and TESOL
~ TSL 5345 Methods of Teaching TESOL (or ENC 6700 for English GTA's)
The last two TSL courses are also part of the College Education’s Add-On Endorsement for state certified public school teachers.


"Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books" by Azar Nafisi
(This has been on my To Read List for a long time, and I'm itching to jump into it.)



Love Hoo You Are tee at Etsy.com
(Really, why is this only available in toddler sizes? OMGosh.)



Owls In Love tee at Etsy.com
(Etsy rocks my world - one of the best places to shop!)



Mini Teapot and Spoonful of Sugar necklace, also at Etsy.com
(The girlishness is almost out of control at this point in the evening.)



Eat Sleep Rock Repeat onesie at Etsy.com
(I need to rent a baby to justify this purchase.)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The All Good looks like it isn't

I've never heard of this festival before, but somehow I got onto its mailing list.

I sorta dig a couple of these artists, and apparently the lineup is still in its formative stages. But, if this is all they have confirmed at this point, I'm not even hestitantly optimistic that the final lineup would be worth roughing it in WV for three days.

Perhaps I'm not enough of a hippie? I do dislike having dirt under my fingernails when not gardening...

Have any of you attended this festival before? What about festivals in general? Do you think they're worth "the trouble", especially the camp-over ones? Or does that trouble make it all the more enjoyable for you?

All Good Music Festival and Campout
July 10-12, 2009
Marvin's Mountaintop in Masontown, WV


Ben Harper and Relentless7
Bob Weir and Ratdog
Moe.
STS9
Les Claypool
Yonder Mountain String Band
Tea Leaf Green
Buckethead
SoJa
BassNectar
Steve Kimoch Crazy Engine
The New Mastersounds
Donna the Buffalo

...blah blah blah...go see if you've ever heard of the rest of these bands...

Now, Coachella? That's a bit more tempting...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Beautiful and purposeful life

One of the reasons I'm fond of butterflies is the time and energy spent growing and perfecting in the cocoon, in preparation for a short but beautiful and purposeful life in flight. This reminded me of that.

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore




And those of you who know me personally may recognize this fella, a Ulysses Swallowtail.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

An invincable summer

A Daily Ray of Hope to get you through the snowy day.



In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer.
- Albert Camus

Fort Collins, Colorado, by Julie Magers Soulen

Friday, January 30, 2009

Coachella is 2,500 miles away

What a damn shame. Here's just a taste of this year's crazy lineup:

Friday, April 17th
Franz Ferdinand
M. Ward
Morrissey
Paul McCartney
Silversun Pickups
The Crystal Method
The Hold Steady

Saturday, April 18th
Amy Winehouse
Calexico
Drive By Truckers
Henry Rollins
Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Killers
Thievery Corporation
TRAV$DJ-AM
TV On The Radio

Sunday, April 19th
Groove Armada (DJ Set)
Jenny Lewis
Lupe Fiasco
Paolo Nutini
Perry Farrell
Peter Bjorn and John
Public Enemy
The Cure
Yeah Yeah Yeah's

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Help us help the critters

This is the fifth year that my sweet lil' Suki and I will participate in the Walk for the Animals to raise some bucks for the very deserving Humane Society of Broward County. We have so much fun at the walk, and when we get home at the end of the day, she regales old man Ching Ching with stories about jumping around in baby pools and sniffing strangers' tushies.

My animals bring so much joy to my life. (OK, let's be honest -- they help keep me sane!) And I know most of you have also experienced the love that only a devoted pet can give. So, I have no doubt that you understand the worthiness of this cause.




The Humane Society has introduced me to beloved pets, given me pet behavior and health advice, provided us low-cost training classes and shots, and given me vast opportunities to get involved and make a difference (a big "YAY!" for the PetSet parties). It's the largest animal adoption agency in the Southeast U.S. and found homes for 9,923 pets last year. Its staff educated more than 100,000 adults and kids, and spayed/neutered more than 10,000 pets. (Are you impressed yet?)

The best part is that my company (I'm the pack leader of our company's walking team) gives $2 for every $1 I raise! So, if you donate $25 through me, it magically turns into $75. Isn't that fantastic!? Donating through this site is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to give; but if you'd rather hand me a check or cash, that's great, too.

Thank you SO MUCH for your generous donation and continued support! I hope you'll come out and play with us at the walk! And if you don't live nearby, maybe you'll be inspired to find a worthwhile charity near you.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wash your spirit clean

Yet another nice Daily Ray of Hope. I seem to be drawn to John Muir's words.



Keep close to Nature's heart ... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
- John Muir

Near the Parsons Memorial Lodge just north of Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park, by Arthur Schmidt

Best (worst?) Bushisms

(Meant to post this one sooner. Still funny, though!)

The ever-interesting Slate.com has posted a piece listing the top 25 Bushisms of all time. I've culled a few of my faves. Check out the story and tell me which is your favorite, or if you've heard another classic that isn't on their list.

4. "Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB/GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across the country."—Poplar Bluff, Mo., Sept. 6, 2004

15. "It's important for us to explain to our nation that life is important. It's not only life of babies, but it's life of children living in, you know, the dark dungeons of the Internet."—Arlington Heights, Ill., Oct. 24, 2000

16. "One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures."—U.S. News & World Report, Jan. 3, 2000

24. "They misunderestimated me."—Bentonville, Ark., Nov. 6, 2000

Hey, I'm misunderestimated all the time, dude. I gotcha.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A frosty, fiery sleepy-head

Another pleasantry.

Late lies the wintry Sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

–Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–94)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

As sexy as Heidi's?

Love it!

The "Peanuts" Philosophy

Courtesy of my friend, the following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip.


You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just ponder them.
1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress. 6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?


The point is, none of us remember the 'headliners' of yesterday.
These are no second-rate achievers.
They are the best in their fields.
But, the applause dies.
Awards tarnish.
Achievements are forgotten.
Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.


Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special!!
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier?


The lesson:
The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money or the most awards. They simply are the ones who care the most.



Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Apparently, white folks like leaves of absence

A recent post on the Stuff White People Like blog takes a comical look at what young, middle-class white folks do when they want to "find themselves." It's quite funny, especially because I know many people like this and I myself hope to teach English abroad. I don't see as much pretention in my friends as he apparently sees in such people, but I totally get what he's saying and it's just plain funny. (Yes, self-important 20-somethings can laugh at themselves - can't they?)

An excerpt:

It is most common for the person taking the year off to use this time to travel (see Post #19 for reasons why). Generally, they will start off with a set amount of money that will use to travel for as long as possible. This explains why a white person with an $800 backpack will haggle with a poverty-stricken street vendor about a $2 dollar plate of food.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Got $8? You're a multi-trillionaire!

The NY Times recently reported:

Zimbabwe: A 10-Trillion-Dollar Bill
By Celia W. Dugger

The country’s stratospheric inflation rate, one of the worst in world history, entered a new, yet more incredible realm on Friday as the Reserve Bank introduced a new family of trillion-dollar bank notes, beginning with one for 10 trillion Zimbabwean dollars, which is worth about $8 on the black market. The state media reported the bank would also gradually release $20 trillion, $50 trillion and $100 trillion notes.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Seize your crisis

Stumbled upon this recently. Interesting.

When written in Chinese, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters. One represents danger, the other opportunity.

I hope my Chinese-speaking friends will tell me if this is even true. But in the meantime, what do ya'll make of that?

A lovely ray of hope

I found today's Daily Ray of Hope especially lovely.



"The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls."

-- John Muir

Emerald Ridge along Wonderland Trail on the west side of Mt. Rainier in Washington, by Troy Mason

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Day 9 in Colorado :(

~ If we were feeling a lil' funky yesterday, just anticipating our last day in Colorado, imagine how we felt this morning! We had to drop our rental car off at 2 p.m., so we had precious little time to cram in as many as-yet-unseen spots we as we could.
~ In an effort to be make our way east toward the airport, we headed into Denver, drove around downtown, and looked at/photographed things we'd only seen in the dark or had missed entirely.
~ The more east we went, the fewer places there were to eat. So, we stopped at Quizno's for lunch. (Did you know it was founded in Denver? I didn't.)





~ Here are a few things I noticed during my time in Colorado:
~ Everything is more beautiful and overwhelming than you planned for
~ Mountains help drivers keep their sense of direction (as the beach does here in Florida)
~ Many businesses have really cool, funky signs out front
~ Fat people are not permitted to live here
~ Half the grocery stores have funny names
~ Panda Express and 7-11 are everywhere
~ Outside is lightyears better than inside
~ People are friendly and patient, even while driving
~ Things are casual AND laid back (which is quite different from SoFla, which is casual but not so laid back)
~ Generally speaking, people here are attractive (in a natural, silicone- and Botox-free way, also unlike my neck of the woods. Wait, there are no woods here; there are in Colorado, and that's something else I liked.)
~ Cars are dirty
~ It's not near as cold as you'd think, but it's windy!
~ "Wind- and solar-powered", "mom-and-pop owned" and "sustainability focused" are often used to describe businesses
~ Public art is everywhere: sculptures, murals, even groovy multicolored bike-shaped bicycle racks
~ The men are men. (Yum.) Not metrosexuals - ya know, the dudes that shave their arms. (Blech.) Side note: Someone really ought to form a Manscapers Anonymous here in SoFla; those guys need help.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Day 8 in Colorado

~ Our last full day in Colorado. :( The thought of this made us a little funky, but we tried not to think about it and to just enjoy ourselves. Today's plan was the same as yesterday: daytime in the mountains, nighttime in the city. But today's city was Denver; there's so much to see that two or three nights there is sadly inadequate. I hope next time to have a local to hang with for a day or two. Any takers? I'll buy dinner. ;)
~ On to the specifics... First, we headed back south to Golden. I'd really enjoyed myself there on my first day, and the kid hadn't seen it yet. So, we drove around quite a bit, looked at houses and the foothills, then walked around the main strip a bit. We had a pretty good lunch at Woody's Woodfired Pizza and Mini-Me bought some gifts for her parents and friends back home.




~ We went to the Boulder Reservoir, which seems to be a hotspot for hibernating boats and RVs.



~ Then we met our friend at Starbucks (yes, the Sbux again) in Boulder before taking a drive up to Chautauqua Park and around the surrounding residential neighborhoods. She wanted us to see some of the hidden gems and where "the money" lives. Sadly, this is also where some of the wildfires would be a few weeks later.


~ Following a goodbye to our local friend, we headed to Denver for the night. We had dinner at Mezcal, which features a lucha libre in its logo and serves pretty good food, with the exception of the (canned?) red sauce. The atmosphere was cool, and my impression is that this part of town is my kinda neighborhood.


~ We walked around Larimer Square, Writer Square and the surrounding area a bit. I think we enjoyed this trip all the more because everything was still decorated for the holidays.