Something Different This Way Comes

“It looks like the repo man has been here.”

~ Zen-Den, looking at the mess in our home office

– • –

Over the weekend we decided to start the process of updating our home office.  It’s where I write this blog and I’ve never been happy with the furniture arrangement and accessories in here.  Too dark.  Too orange-y.  Too blah.

So we ordered a real desk.  Then in anticipation of its arrival we dismantled the computer system that sits on/around/near the horizontal surfaces that I’ve spent the last few years pretending are a desk.  And finally, we dragged all this old, orange-y, non-desk furniture into the basement.

Bottom line?  Cora, my trusty desktop computer that I use to write this blog, is now sitting on a little table that is scrunched into a dusty corner of the deconstructed home office.  Consequently, this means that for the next few weeks until the desk is here and the computer system is back in place, I’m going to be away from the my favorite keyboard.

Considering that Late Summer morphing into Autumn is a beautiful and mellow time of year, I’ve decided that while everything is in flux I’m taking a proper blogging hiatus during the month of September.  Might even extend it into October.  We’ll see.

So with that being said, I’m stepping away from the computer and taking a bit of time off to enjoy my life without the need to write about it.  Shocking idea, I know.

I’ll catch up with you later, kids.  Be safe. Be happy. Be. 

Tattoos, Doodles & Unfinished Projects

file6941266100445-1A most peculiar week, this one.  Blue moon and all.  Must have had something to do with it.

~ • ~

A friend is thinking about getting a tat.  3 of her 4 children have at least one tattoo, and she feels like an old fogey without one.  She wants something meaningful with a bit of color, but not gaudy.  Nothing wordy.  Wordy ones, we agree, are too much like work.  Who wants to read themselves?

I’m of the tats need to be organic and flowing school of thought.  She’s of the tats need to include all family members, somehow, school of thought.  Will let you know what she decides on… if she ever does.

~ • ~

Besides contemplating theoretical body art, this week I’ve watched Dr. Who.  Did you know that I was a Whovian?  Well, now you do.

I’m on the 10th Doctor with Donna Noble as his companion.  I’ve read that she comes to some lousy end, so I’m finding this season to be rather bittersweet.  She’s one of my favorite companions;  I do so love her attitude and spunk.  Noisy woman with a heart.  Doesn’t travel light, that one.

Oddly enough, watching Dr. Who this week has me doodling.  I don’t know why, but every time I sit down to watch an episode, I pick up pen/pencil + paper and commence doodling.  Lots of swirls and flowers– and boxy faces composed of rectangles, triangles, stars.

Perhaps I’m creating a tattoo for myself and don’t even know it?  Or maybe I’m more lost in thought than usual.  Regardless, I’m happy listening to/glancing at the Doctor and Donna.  And doodling.  Must. Draw. Doodles.

~ • ~

Sometimes I’m amazed by how I decide to do something productive [like paint the bottom pedestal part of our kitchen table] and how the weather decides to be uncooperative [like hazy/rainy/stormy/humid all fricking week].

This is a project, if it is to be done properly, that requires lots of sunlight and low humidity and a very happy me.  Yet not one day this blue moon week have I been able to work on my project.  Do we not all believe that effort should be rewarded?  Am I not trying here?  

They tell us that the weather isn’t personal, but this week it has seemed personal.  That I’m being thwarted for no good reason whatsoever.  That all my plans have fallen to dust and I’ve been left alone to work around the mess that unfulfilled plans create.

But as we all know: you live, you learn.  Which, from what I can tell, means that some weeks you live with a huge unfinished project smack dab in the middle of your kitchen.  And you learn to not whine about it.

Existential Suburban Angst: Deciding What Color Armchairs To Buy For The TV Room

My mind is a swimming mess of colors now.  Pity that this isn’t because of a Reiki session;  then I’d be all mellow with the colors in my mind.

Grooving on the Infinite.

Instead, the reality is that we have finally gotten to the point of deciding on new armchairs for the TV room.  Thus I have fabric swatches from Pottery Barn positioned all over the TV room.

As one does in these situations.

I have some swatches pinned to the drapes.  I have some swatches sitting on the floor next to the rug.  I  have some swatches stuck to the back of a kitchen chair placed in the TV room so that I can see what the colors look like from afar.  In other words, I’m looking at color in all its fabulousity from every angle possible because I know how easy it is to pick the wrong shade.

Been there.  Done that.  Many, many times. 

To add to this dilemma, we already have all the walls painted and the sofa purchased [called ocean blue, but I’d call it more blue-gray] and an antique rug in place [basically maroon/ruby-red, navy/blue-gray, gold/tan with bits of peach and aqua].  All of which means that these chairs have to fit within a rather complex color scheme dictated by an old faded rug.

Charming? Yes.  Difficult for me to do? You betcha.

So that’s what is going on around here this afternoon.  And will probably be haunting my dreams this evening.  And plaguing my brain for the next few weeks because decisions like this one come slowly to me.  But when I finally figure out this conundrum, all major decorating decisions in this house will be a thing of the past.

And won’t that be an exciting day for all concerned?!

In Case You’ve Been Wondering Whether Or Not I’m A Sociopath

Going through my files I discovered the following.

Screen Shot 2013-07-11 at 1.39.53 PM

Here is The Sociopath Test that I took to determine that I am a functional member of society.

~ • ~

It’s easy to make light of a test like the funny one mentioned above, but answering the questions gave me insight into what behaviors to look for when I think that I dealing with a sociopath.  They are those tedious people who only care about themselves and disregard anything you have to say.  Antisocial behavior? Yes.  No guilt about manipulating others?  Yes.  Rude, except when they want something?  You betcha.

~ • ~

According to the Mayo Clinic where sociopathy is a type of antisocial personality disorder:

“Antisocial personality disorder is a type of chronic mental condition in which a person’s ways of thinking, perceiving situations and relating to others are dysfunctional — and destructive. People with antisocial personality disorder typically have no regard for right and wrong and often disregard the rights, wishes and feelings of others.”  [More here.]

~ • ~

To my knowledge I don’t have any sociopaths running around in my life now.  Not to say that there haven’t been a few of them along the way– just that I gave them the boot and they are no longer invited into my happy world.

In my experience, once someone with a tendency toward this sort of anti-social, user personality knows that I will call them out on their crap, they disappear forever because the last thing they want is for someone to shine light on them.  Of course, I may have only dealt with slightly anti-social sociopaths, so my approach might not work with the really whacked, threatening ones.  Don’t know what I’d do then.

~ • ~

So, my gentle readers, what do you know about sociopaths?  Are there any in your lives?  Are you, heaven forbid, one of them?  

And most importantly, what do you do when you find yourself sitting across the table from one?  Avoid interaction OR destroy on the spot?

The V-beam Laser: Looking Puffy, Feeling Angsty

HERE’S WHAT’S UP with me this week: I’m at home hiding inside my house.  This is because I had a V-beam laser treatment at the doctor’s office a few days ago and now my face, as it heals, is a puffy mess.

Yes, I look like a cross between a jack-o-lantern and a piglet.  Well, not orange or pink, but structurally that’s what I look like.  In bright red.  Like I spent the day at the beach without sunblock.

# # #

SO WHY DID I have another V-beam treatment?  Good question.  Glad you asked.

I suffer from rosacea.  This means that my face gets all red and blotchy because of annoying spider veins, blood vessels and broken capillaries which show through my pale skin.  ‘Tis not pretty.

And it is embarrassing because I look like I’m embarrassed even though I know that I’m not.  This, in turn, makes me flush red because I’m embarrassed about how I look embarrassed when I’m not really embarrassed.  [With me here?]

# # #

THE PROPENSITY FOR rosacea occurs within anyone with a northern European heritage.  It’s genetics, people.  And as such you have three options.

  1. Ignore it and pretend that looking like a drunk all the time is exactly the image you want to project;
  2. Avoid certain trigger foods and drinks while taking daily antibiotics to tame the redness;  OR
  3. Have periodic V-beam laser treatments at the doctor’s office to zap those annoying ugly red veins, vessels and capillaries out of existence.

# # #

BUT ROSACEA IS a condition for which there is no cure;  one can only manage the symptoms.  To wit, each round of laser treatments destroys some of the veins, vessels and capillaries, but there are always more just waiting to make their appearance on your face.

Which is why I’m once again at home avoiding the sun, dodging all mirrors and waiting for my face to not feel fat.  If experience holds true, the results will be worth it… but the wait is making me angsty.

# # #

[Not my doctors, but some V-beam laser information if you’re interested.]

University of North Carolina

University of Virginia

YouTube video of doctor doing procedure like the one I had done.

We Went To Utah For A Long Weekend

The hubster was on business out in Salt Lake City, Utah, so I decided that it was time for me to see Utah.  He left here on Monday and I joined him there on Thursday.

DSCN1156
The tail of an airplane + many pigeons at Hill Air Force Base Aerospace Museum.

On Thursday afternoon Zen-Den and I went into downtown Salt Lake City so that I could see what it was all about.  SLC was just as clean and organized as I had heard that it would be.  I didn’t take any photos of the buildings or streets, but visually it was inviting.  And clean.  I mentioned that, right?  With people walking within designated painted lines on the streets in accordance with the timing of the traffic lights.  Who knew?

DSCN1170
The Wasatch Mountains.

We have friends who live just north of Salt Lake City and on Friday they took a day off from work to drive us around the area.  It was generous of them to do this, can’t thank them enough.  First we went to Hill Air Force Base Aerospace Museum and looked at their wonderful collection of airplanes and memorabilia– which, of course, I liked.  Then we went to lunch at Taggart’s Grill, a restaurant and bakery nestled in the Wasatch Mountains, with camera-shy pet peacocks who live in the garden around the restaurant.  The food was delicious.  Coolness.

DSCN1202
The Great Salt Lake.

After that we drove up through the Wasatch Mountains and then down to the edge of the Great Salt Lake.  Everywhere I turned I saw the most amazing sights– whether they were natural formations, or unique small towns, or a herd of bison living free on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake.  Amazing.

DSCN1220
A herd of bison on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake.

On Saturday Zen-Den and I drove up to the mountain resort town of Park City, Utah, to go to an art show.  Park City is home to Sundance Film Festival— and many wealthy people from the looks of it.  The community was perfect.  Like Disney perfect.  Like so planned that I worried that we’d be thrown off the set for not adhering to the director’s vision of what the town’s residents should look like.  Oh well.

DSCN1198
Wild sunflowers that grow as weeds along the highways in northern Utah.

That evening in Park City we had tickets to the outdoor Deer Valley Music Festival with the Utah Symphony featuring Mandy Patinkin.  He was amazing and professional with an astounding vocal range, charming personal stories and a quiet sense of humor.  Delightful.

DSCN1210
Starlings [I think] in a nest under the eaves.
On Sunday morning before we left we decided to drive around the University of Utah in SLC and surrounding neighborhoods.  Again, so clean.  And well-maintained.  And, I’m assuming, safe.  I say this because the capitol of Utah is in a residential neighborhood with no fences or guards around it.  The building is just sitting there.  Pretty.

DSCN1145 - Version 2
Utah daylilies in an unusual shade of orange that I’ve never seen before.

We enjoyed Utah and would like to go back there someday.  Maybe take a week and drive up into Wyoming and Idaho while we’re in the area.  Maybe take more photos of the cities– and the buildings– and the unfailingly polite people who waited on us.  That part I really, really liked.  Worth the price of the vacation alone.

A City Girl’s Random Musings On Goats

::  This morning when I read this article about the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C., using goats to clear a field of poisonous weeds, I knew that it was going to be a good day.  Is this the best idea ever?

Probably yes.

::  Thinking about goats reminded me of a wonderful graduation party that we went to earlier this summer.  The graduation girl was a graduate of a rural high school, so the party was at her parents’ house out in the country.

Many of the guests were farmers and at one point the conversation turned to goats.  Show goats, to be exact.  [Did you even know there was such a thing?  I didn’t.]

Come to find out, 4-H kids raise and groom certain goats with the right disposition and the right looks to be show goats.  These goats are somewhat pampered as I understand it.  Loved by one and all.  Winners of ribbons.  Indulged.  And kept around the farm as pets, not livestock.

An important distinction when you are an animal on a farm.

::  I have a goat necklace from Switzerland.  Really.  I’ve always liked goats.  So when I was a girl in high school my aunt and uncle sent me a silver goat necklace purchased while vacationing in Europe.  I don’t know where that necklace is now, but I’m sure that it’s around the house somewhere.

Misplaced, but not forgotten.

::  Not too far from here is a dairy that has cows as well as a few goats.  Beside the goat barn is a machine that for 25¢ dispenses goat chow.  [Yes, just like cat chow or monkey chow or dog chow.]  One of my favorite things to do in life is to buy a handful of goat chow and feed the goats.  Their little goat lips tickle the palm of your hand as they nibble.  And they are always appreciative of what you have to offer them to eat.

So fun, so cute.