the new blog is up!
For anyone who happens to stop by here, the new blog finally made its debut last month. Took much longer than I anticipated, but better late than never, no?
So go check her out. Okay?
Think Outside The Piggy Bank
Welcome to my humble hodgepodge of humour columns, quotes, tips, snippets, musings and ramblings. Ready? If so, get comfy and make yourself at home!
For anyone who happens to stop by here, the new blog finally made its debut last month. Took much longer than I anticipated, but better late than never, no?
I haven't posted in nearly a month? I hadn't realized it'd been that long!
Or self-help books for that matter. I have a shelf full of the genre, but having been deprived in childhood of the excellent literature provided by Dr. Seuss, how was I supposed to know that all I really needed could be found in Oh, the Places You'll Go!
"Inserting a Q-Tip deep into your ear is a great, undiscussed pleasure." —AMY KROUSE ROSENTHAL
Remember that library book I was telling you about? The one that I kept putting down because I wanted to have my own copy? Well I did finally end up reading Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life as I wasn't sure when I'd be able to buy it, and with some reluctance returned it the other day. I'm going to miss having the book around, and my place feels just a tiny bit emptier. Kind of like the way it does after a good visit with a friend who has just left.
Sometimes, when you have a really difficult decision to make, and the usual pros and cons list just doesn't seem to help (don't you just hate it when they balance each other out?) try asking what it is that your spirit needs right now. Not necessarily wants, but needs. In other words, what would be a good soulution? Okay, I didn't make up that word myself, and can't quite remember where it came from, but it's a term I really like.
Because before you know it:
Season 3 of The Mary Tyler Moore Show (she sheds the wig she wore in the first two seasons making her look older) proved to be just as enjoyable as Seasons 1 and 2. The only disappointment was the lack of bonus features.
The good news is that I'm able to RECEIVE incoming email messages. The bad news is that I'm not able to send any out. Well, I can send them, but they don't get delivered. Snort. I'm sure it'll get sorted, but in the meantime I'm hoping that those of you who do get email from me read this before wondering why you haven't heard from me yet. :)
Ah Sunday. Is Sunday not the most bittersweet day of the week? A sense of finality, a vague longing that it not end just quite yet, regret perhaps when looking back, a squaring away, and yet a sense that a new beginning is just around the corner. Because it is!
Saturday could be described as the most adventuresome yet relaxed day of the week. Oh the options! The first official full day of the weekend, lots of fun things to fill it with, and once again time suspends itself a little. Even chores don't always seem so bad on this day. :)
Friday is definitely the most playful day of the week. Yay, this part of the week is finished, let's go celebrate! Or commiserate if need be. No, Friday is the day you can let your hair down and chill out a bit, because whatever you haven't done yet can always wait.
Thursday is probably the most reflective and anticipatory day of the week. The end is undeniably nearing closer, the results are coming in, and you may or may not have done what you had in mind. There isn't that much time left to change course and steer the boat around, but it's always possible. And, the weekend is coming up!
Wednesday is like the middle child of the week. Sometimes taken for granted and not given as much attention, it nevertheless plays an important role. Get to Wednesday and you're pretty much set. And with Monday and Tuesday successfully behind you, you now have a good sense of where you're headed next.
Tuesday, I think, is often the least stressful day of the week. Still brimming with the youthfulness and vitality of a week barely begun, you've settled in a bit, tested out the gears, made the necessary adjustments, and are raring to go. There's lots of time left to do what needs to be done. No looking back yet!
Monday is the most hopeful day of the week. Like early mornings when time still stretches out before you, the slate is wiped clean and you're off to a fresh start. And no matter what took place last week, anything can happen THIS week. Hey, you might find the love of your life, or work that really fulfills you. Yes, Monday is the most optimistic day of the week. Get ready, set, go!
The following is looted (once again) from my inbox:
Simple Instructions for Life
1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three R's: Respect for self, respect for others, responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day. *
9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
* My friend said that for me this one should be reversed: Spend some time with people every day! Snort.
Another email find:
"The trouble with me is I have no imagination." —JAMES JOYCE
Remember that helpful tip Krissa had about putting the shampoo in the fridge to stop it from melting in the summer heat? Well, I MEANT to do that right away, but of course got sidetracked and never did. So, before taking my bath today I cleverly decided to put it in the freezer instead to speed up the process. I knew it wouldn't be in there long, and was quite pleased with myself for coming up with this perfectly reasonable solution.
A friend sent me the following email:
It was SO hot that:
Sort of. But I'm still feeling too lazy to come up with anything original, so will be posting humour columns I've written in the past, or tidbits that conveniently find their way to my inbox. Still, better than nothing, no? ;)
So that I truthfully can't utter any of these source-less email-derived lines:
(another email nugget with unknown source I'm afraid)
This is what the forward of the book I'm currently reading states:
Well, I'm glad I went! It turned out to be really fun, and I got to spend time with family members that I don't see too often. And although I felt a bit cowardly about it at first, I decided to ignore my estranged brother and his wife completely, and didn't even look at them. In a sense, I didn't even "see" them, except out of the periphery of my eyes. My niece was the first of the next generation to get married, so I'm glad I didn't miss out on the special occasion, and I'm thankful that both parties chose not to air their differences at this event. I imagine there will be time enough for that in the future!
They seem to run in our family. My mother is estranged from one of her sisters, my step-dad is estranged from his two daughters, two of my siblings are estranged from my dad, and I'm estranged from one of my brothers who himself was estranged from the whole family for almost four years.
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind." —DR. SEUSS
Had a really strange day yesterday. A near collision with a grey SUV while on my bike in the morning had me swerving into oncoming traffic, a sudden storm left our neighbourhood without power for over three hours in the late afternoon (horrible when you're counting on electricity to keep you cool!), AND I started my period again even though I just finished one last week.
"All happy families resemble one another; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." —LEO TOLSTOY
(But thankfully cool enough to feel like spring!)
If my relationship with my mother is complicated, then the relationship with my father is relatively simple; we don't have one. At least, not one that's meaningful. After the birth of his first child, my dad decided that he wasn't interested in parenting after all, and so he didn't. (My mom and dad were married for almost 25 years before finally divorcing, in my opinion, about 24 years too late.) I grew up with him rooming in the basement as if he was a boarder, and I can count my memories of him from that time period on one hand. A couple of my siblings are completely estranged from him, a couple of them have sporadic contact, and I probably talk to him about twice a year (on Father's Day, and around his birthday which falls close to Christmas). Every year, like yesterday, I wonder why I even bother, but then go ahead and call him anyway. He usually seems pleased that I at least acknowledge the biological bond on this particular day, but after running out of things to say within ten minutes, we go back to our own lives.
After writing about Stayfree pads the other day (and if you enjoyed that wait until I fill you in on how crazy my menstrual cycle is becoming—believe it or not but I sometimes get TWO full periods in one month!) I happened to surf a bit and found this opinion site where 7/10 reviewers agreed that Stayfree should have stayed Scentfree. I feel vindicated. ;)
(and because it's kind of related to
(a post where I gripe and grouse because that's what I do at times)
My sister sent me a list her daughter found on Facebook that made me laugh, and I thought I'd share a few of the items. Unfortunately though it probably won't make much sense to anyone who isn't Dutch, snort, and some of the items are definitely stereotypical, but I thought I'd post it anyway. ;)
Mary who? Mary Tyler Moore of course. And I picked her up tonight. No, not in person silly. But the eagerly anticipated The Mary Tyler Moore Show: Complete Second Season DVD was anxiously awaiting my arrival at the library—woohoo! Maybe that'll lure me away from Flickrland.*
I've been floating around in Flickrland for HOURS now, and I can't get out! There's too much to do, too much to see and too much to search. And searching is almost as fun as, well, list making. Aaaaack! Like I need another computer site to get addicted to. Somebody come get me? Seriously. I've got tons of other things that I still need to do today. :))
Take this test to find out! I took it a few weeks ago, but seem to remember that the key was to read each question SLOWLY and figure out EXACTLY what they were asking. Armed with that piece of advice you'll do just fine. And if not, well, I ain't liable! Snort.
If, like me, you love houses and taking walks at night to get a better glimpse inside people's homes (okay, not too many of you probably go that far, LOL), then this site is for you. No more having to sneak around and feel like a peeping Tom—these folks want you to look! :)
Do you know how difficult it is to run and catch a bus when you have a full knapsack on your back AND a grocery bag in each hand? Do you know how ridiculous a person looks even attempting such a feat? Think penguin crossed with, well, me. I'm quite sure the bus driver waited just because he was enjoying the spectacle. Never mind. One of the things I love about being in my early forties is not giving a toss anymore. Well, not as much. ;)
Dirt, cleanliness, pain, tiredness; I now realize it all depends on what you're used to!
On second thought, don't. Okay, if you really must know, my hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, and legs were killing me. My knees however were fine because I used a folded-up blanket in a garbage bag to protect them. SO glad somebody told me about that little trick. It took me nearly six hours to clean the living room, but I was determined to get it done, and get it done well. After all, I have the Dutch-housekeepers-are-really-good stereotype to uphold, snort. But three days in a row of cleaning baseboards, floors and doorways in warm humid weather on the second floor of an old house? Go on; ask me how tired I was! (In a weird way though it was kind of fun. Well, satisfying at least to see the end result.) Oh, I forgot to tell you about the tall doorways with the large mouldings—there are three of them in the apartment—and if I remember I'll try to take a picture of one of them when I return next week. (Yes, I've been asked to come back and tackle the hallway and stairs, so no, the fun's not over yet, LOL.) I know, I'll stick the ladder in front and that will demonstrate quite nicely how I'm NOT afraid of heights.
Which means that now I really AM tired and sore! Snort. One more day to go this week, but why, oh why did I leave the largest, dirtiest and warmest room for last? And it was hot today too as we got our first taste of summer. The worst part though was finding this poor little mouse stuck on one of those horrible glue traps first thing in the morning. It was obviously in distress, and while I can understand people not wanting mice around, I still hate to see any living creature suffer. I couldn't rescue it though, and I didn't see anything around that I could use to end its life quickly and humanely. Poor thing. I ended up leaving it because I didn't know what to do, but I hope it doesn't live much longer. Sigh.
Well, more like spring clean. Except not at my house, not that it couldn't use it, snort. No, in addition to cleaning houses as a part-time income stream, I'm adding something a bit new this week by cleaning up a vacant apartment for a landlord before new tenants are acquired. How I came about this position is a bit of a fluke, but if it works out maybe I can clean up more apartments for him when tenants move out. The kicker is that the state of this apartment is the worst he's seen in 15+ years of renting. Yikes! That means I've got my work cut out for me. Big time. But, I've gotten super bored with regular weekly maintenance, and in all the houses I've been the biggest satisfaction has come out of getting it really clean the first time. I even made one client almost cry once when she saw how I had "magically" transformed her tub from black to white. Said she'd never seen it that white in seven years. Score! (Pssst, those Magic Erasers really do work if you have enough elbow grease.) So, this could work out well enough, especially if I could get some work from other landlords too.
Of hair that is. In a sort of science experiment gone mad, I decided to see what would happen if I didn't bother getting my really short hair cut for six months. Now that doesn't sound too wild, but you don't know my hair. Well! The results made even my hairdresser gasp today when I turned around and showed her the back of my head. I had somehow sprouted these enormous silver wings that while not looking too bad in front, appeared as if they were trying to escape out back but without a clue as to the direction for their emergency flight. Meanwhile, a disgruntled middle contingent of hair decided that they had had just about enough of this craziness and rose up en masse to leave. Yep, a whole section of hair had started curling upwards (I have naturally wavy hair) in the strangest-looking formation ever witnessed by any hair professional. I kid you not. That gasp I mentioned earlier was NOT just embellishment for comedic effect. It was a true, albeit horrified, appreciation for what my hair can do when left to its own devices. Snort. So, it finally came off today. My only regret is that I didn't think to take a photo first to show you just how rebellious my hair can be, and that I wasn't able to take a photo of the mounds of hair left on the floor. About three heads and six pounds worth! Well, that's what the hairdresser said. Who now regrets ever doubting me when I said my hair grows faster than the average person the first time I ended up in her shop. WAY faster. :)
"No thought, no reflection, no analysis, no cultivation, no intention; let it settle itself." —TILOPA
Like many families, mine is incredibly screwed up, and like a lot of other mother-daughter relationships, ours is complicated enough that even picking out a Mother's Day card can be tricky. I still haven't resolved all of the issues between us, but yesterday I wanted to focus on some of the good things I've inherited or learned. These include:
Snort. No, it's not at Christmas that I clearly empathize with the Grinch (although, depending on the kind of year I've had, LOL), but when the weather turns warmer and the windows get flung open and I have to listen to other people's music, that's when you'll hear me reciting the familiar line above. I mean, it's bad enough having to be privy to people's inane yakking on cell phones everywhere (what, you can't go for a walk or bus ride without talking to someone?), but being forced to listen to someone else's music is one of my major pet peeves. Being a not-quite-recovered-enough curmudgeon, I have MANY pet peeves, wink, but that one is probably the biggest. Maybe it's because I love the sound of stillness (although I don't mind things like birds chirping or trains whistling), or maybe it's because if I do have background music on it's likely to be of the classical variety. No, what I don't understand is people's need to have their car stereos blasting, or worse, bringing their radios outside with them. Um, hello? What makes you think I want to listen to your crappy music? Why should I have to be subjected to that? And why are you so afraid of silence? As far as I'm concerned it's all noise pollution. I appear to fall in the minority though as music is everywhere and others don't seem to mind it as much.
Anyone remember this show? It ran from 1982 to 1988 and was one of my favourites. I loved the characters (two strong female cops in a male-dominant profession played by Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly), their friendship, the storylines, and the exploration of personal/social issues. What has stayed with me the most though is the memory of the twinges of envy I used to feel watching any given episode, and recognizing years later that what I had been envious or wistful of was their passion. It didn't matter if they were tired or bored or had personal problems; they always seemed committed and passionate about their work. Struggling at the time with what I was going to do when I grew up, I hoped that there was work that I could be equally fervent about. I STILL don't know what to do when I grow up, snort, although I do have a better sense of what it is I love.
At 3 minutes and 4 seconds after 2am on May 6th of this year (only a few hours away!), the time and date will be 02:03:04/05.06.07.
from the inbox:
"Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man." —Jesuit maxim