Monday, April 30, 2012

stay tuned

I've got all these ideas and thoughts swirling around in my brain and I haven't managed pin any of them down yet. But rest assured, I've got so many things to talk about that when I finally figure out how to say them, they may prove interesting. How's that for non-committal. For now, I leave you with this video which sort of blew my mind and got me all sorts of excited for my favorite summertime event, So You Think You Can Dance - which is NOT like the Bachelor. Not all reality TV is smut. They're called standards, people. 

Iron and Wine, "Boy with a Coin" with Flamenco Dancers.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

stuff I watched so you won't have to

Okay, so I watched the second episode of girls and yeah, we're dunzo. It was worse than the first - why do women feel the need to compete with the boys in the grossness category - yikes! Take my word for it, you don't need to waste your time on this hot mess.

Also, I went to see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy the other day and it was the most confusing hour and a half of my life. It didn't help that we missed the first few minutes of the movie but honestly, though I recognized a few of the actors, I have no idea what happened.

So I guess this is a post about sparing you from watching stuff that I have deemed lousey - so if you haven't seen Smash yet, you're not missing anything. It is aweful for completely different reasons than the other two - I keep telling myself that I'm going to stop watching it but it's one redeeming feature, it's a train wreck - warning excessive eye rolling might cause permanent damage. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

pull yourself together

So there has been a lot of talk about this new show called "girls" and because I currently have HBO (thanks roomies) I watched it on demand last night. And, well, it's interesting and it had it's funny moments. But seriously, girls, pull yourselves together.  

If I were to have a catch phrase, I think that would be it, "pull yourself together". I probably say it to myself a dozen times a day and I credit this phrase for most every slightly productive thing I manage to see through. When I want to ignore my alarm and sleep the day away, when I get annoyed at the Washington Metro System for making me wait, when I watch cupcake wars and have no cake in the house to satisfy my cravings, I have to stop and pulling myself together. So, I get it life is tough, the economy is lousy and life hasn't turned out like you dreamed, but come on, pull yourself together! And by that I mean, when you've had a bad day don't turn to booty calls and drugs - it's a pretty low bar I'm trying to set here but for some reason I feel the need to spell it out.

Yet, the show has it's moments that feel really honest and funny (I loved it when the friend describes her boyfriend's touch to a creepy uncle - because though I haven't a creepy uncle, I've had such a boyfriend). I sort of dig the flawed characters and rawness of it all. And it should come as no surprise that despite it's raunchiness, I'll probably keep watching it, even if the only joy I get is by muttering, at at times hollering at my tiny screen, "oh, come. on. PULL yourself together!"

Friday, April 13, 2012

lesson learned

My mother, the master gardener*, is adamant about wearing gloves while doing any sort of yard work or planting. I've often dismissed the idea because I don't really like the way they feel and if they're not freshly washed, they can be sort of gross.

Mom's favorite**

Well, I learned my lesson. Last week after pulling weeds and digging around my garden my hands were a mess. I'd broken a couple nails and the next day I had a rediculous hangnail situation which led to the an infection that left my left thumb swollen and throbby for 5 days. I think I am finally on the mend but I hadn't realized how much I use my left thumb until it became so infected that I found myself swearing every time I tapped it against my desk or tried to button my pants.

Time to invest in a few more pairs of gloves and band-aids - I don't want to risk loosing half of what separates me from the apes.

*I know that a master gardener is an actual title, a title which my mother hasn't officially achieved but if you've seen her flower garden, you'd agree that she has earned honorary.

** These cotton gloves dipped in latex are her favorite - they really do the trick - keeping your hands dry while allowing them to breath and grip. Also, machine washable.

Monday, April 9, 2012

candy eggs and easter bonnets

I hope that you all had a lovely Easter.

The Easter Bunny came early this year, so I was well into my candy by the time that Easter rolled around. I'm now in the process of weaning myself off the sugar - which may prove difficult as I've still got a bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs in my cupboard (remember, I'm saving them for an emergency).

My Aunt committed me months ago to go to the sunrise service at Arlington National Cemetery so I rolled out of bed at 4:50 am, threw on several layers of clothing, wiped off the smudges of makeup from the day before and made my way to the cemetery - making a couple stops along the way to pick up my sister and a friend. When we got there it was still dark but by the time the service started the sky was getting light. All in all it was nice service with good music, though I couldn't help think that it would have been pleasanter at 10 am.

After a nap and a shower, I went to my usual church meetings and the Easter program was very impressive. I am continually amazed by the musical talent in my ward. The talks were brief and focused on the life and resurrection of the Christ. It was a truly lovely meeting.

Later I was looking for something to watch on the tellie when I came across Easter Parade. For all musicals that I watched as a child, this one had slipped by me. I wasn't able to watch the whole thing, but the ending scene is just precious.

As a grand romantic gesture, Judy Garland's character sends Fred Astaire's character an Easter bonnet (this top hat with a white rabbit inside) to show him that she still loves him. Don't you just LOVE her dress, and those gloves! Not to mention Fred's coat and tails, the dancing the singing - it's all just makes my heart skip a beat!

Friday, April 6, 2012

I'm not Joan Rivers and this isn't the red carpet

Easter is just a couple days away and I'm beginning to worry that I haven't taken full advantage of cadburry mini-egg season. Isn't it sad when we let something like candy take precedence over commemorating the resurrection of the Savior - something to work on for sure.

Also, if I were to have kept lent this year, when do I get to stop?
And when was I supposed to eat fish?

I've never really understood lent. Honestly the only time I ever gave anything up was as a missionary I gave up Christmas music and TV - I know, I'm quite the model of sacrifice. I did mention that I was serving a mission - for the Lord - for 19 months.

Last  year I decided to give up Diet Coke. I lasted a day and a half. I wasn't prepared (read: hadn't stocked up on Excedrin) and when my first headache hit, I fought it for an hour then made haste for the 7-11 for that magic elixir that pours from their enchanted fountain and cures all minor ailments.

This year I did something a little different, I gave up commenting on the way people look. I won't pretend that it was something that I had really planned, but it seemed like an appropriate mental exercise at the time. It was around the time when that BYU student received a note from a fellow student calling her out for dressing provocatively and it was all over Facebook. Someone made a comment, in response to the hullabaloo, that it is never appropriate to comment on the way someone looks. And I thought, really? never? and after thinking it over, I concluded really. hardly ever. Even comments that are intended as compliments can objectify the subject if they are based solely upon physical appearance. And I started to think about all the editorializing I do both in my head and to those around me about other people's appearances. And what about that running monologue about my own appearance.

I decided it was time to stop it. That's right, I was stopping it way before Pres. Uchtdorf made it cool. I'd be commenting on someones hair or shoes or clothes and I'd catch myself and I'd stop it. Whether the comments were good or bad, if they focused on the superficial, I stopped myself in my tracks and found something else to think about or steered the conversation in another direction.

from House and Home.

To be clear, I have allowed myself to recognize beauty, I allow myself to observe the world and express my preferences. But I have tried to cut out the commentary and eliminate the judgment that I so often indulged in. By doing so, I started to see the world and the people around me a little differently. And in time, I found my inner monologue was quieted a bit and filled with other concerns.

So maybe this lent thing isn't such a bad idea - maybe I'll figure out when I'm supposed to eat the fish next year.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

creative preparedness

Inspired by the commercials for food storage that immediately follow General Conference, my roommate commented that a motorcycle would be a very useful thing to have in the case of an apocalypse. And I speculated on the barter value of knitted mittens and hats.

I'm going to be honest when I say that I don't  have a strong testimony of food storage. I could list all sorts of excuses but at the end of the day, I don't think any amount of food stockpiled in my basement is going to affect my ultimate mortality in an apocalyptic event, zombies or no.

I do think that it is a good idea to have some extra food around and I can image all sorts of scenarios in which a 72-hour kit might come in handy. But even after reading the Road, I'm still not convinced that I need 2 years of food stored. I pride myself in having a particularly vivid imagination but I don't even know what 2 years of food looks like (and I know this is really more of a question of math than imagination) but seriously, I just don't how to think that far into the future.

I am however willing to entertain ideas of effective bartering. So if I am burdened with the task of planning ahead I think I will stock-pile yarn, cadburry mini eggs and vitamins (again, I've read the Road). Imagine the the amount of  macaroni I could get for a bag of mini eggs and a pair of mittens when everyone's been living off canned soup for months and their fingers are all numb from the cold. (I realize here that I am betting against a global warming related crisis here which is potentially shortsighted but after sea level has risen and we a are all driven to the mountains, mittens may hold some value.) And if all else fails, I'm quite comfortable with the idea of being a casualty of disaster.

Monday, April 2, 2012

generosity of a bearded iris

Saturday morning I drove out to this fancy garden center half an hour from my house. It was beautifully organized, their plants were like little works of art. It was all so lovely and crowded, as such places tend to be on lovely spring days, that I found myself completely overwhelmed. I realized I had no idea what I wanted, so I browsed over the lovely trees, precocious annuals, and sturdy perennials till I found the herbs and vegetables. I loaded my arms, as  there were no carts to be found, with strawberries and tarragon and beets and mellons and butter lettuce and brussel sprouts - yes I went a bit crazy. I carefully ballanced the tiny plants in my arms and made my way up to the cash register, where I was finally given a box for my lovelies.

I've got such great plans for my garden this year.

At some point my mind turned to flowers and I started thinking about irises - not dutch iris but the bearded irises that are so often found in the gardens of blue haired ladies.

They're such fussy flowers and they come in the oddest colors. I'm sure that I must have declared my disdain for them in the past. But along with so many things that I once hated, I've grown to love these flowers that have long fallen out of fashion.

I think it's time we bring them back. I mean look at these award winners, aren't they fabulous!

(They're judged on their emotional appeal, generosity and floppiness)

Here's what the good folk at Better Homes and Garden say about how to grow them in your garden.