Monday, September 26, 2011


Mens button up long sleeve shirt = skirt

Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life

Remember how Borders was having their 90% off sale and I bought that ridiculous CD? Well, I also bought a couple of books and so far they have been a complete success! The best $1.50 I have ever spent. Let me introduce you to Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. "I was not abused, abandoned, or locked up as a child. My parents were not alcoholics, nor were they ever divorced or dead. We did not live in poverty, or in misery, or in an exotic country. I am not a misunderstood genius, a former child celebrity, or the child of a celebrity. I am not a drug addict, sex addict, food addict, or recovered anything. If I indeed had a past life, I have no recollection of who I was. I have not survived against all odds. I have not lived to tell. I have not witnessed the extraordinary. This is my story."

I think that's what I love the most about this book. The way that she's completely ordinary. And also the fact that she has a fantastic writing style. Here are some posts that I connected to...

"When I take up something new - say knitting, or the Nordic-Track - there's a period of time where I think, Who knows, this may be just the thing for me. From this point on it will be part of the way people define me. As in: Oh yeah, Amy, I know her; she's the one who kits those hats. It's galvanizing, this new thing, partially because it is fun and interesting, partly because it is simply new, and largely because of the prospect of it becoming an integral part of my life and identity. I will always have knitting needles with me. I will know all the good knitting stores. I will become an expert on yarn. While there are things that have stuck since I fell into them (I dye my hair red; I like yoga; I am known for concocting salads and dressings), it seems, in many cases, the new things slip right off me. It's as if their sticking were nearly impossible, that to try to adopt them would put me head to head with my destiny."

"When I see a really slow driver, I have to pull up alongside him to see what this person looks like, to confirm my suspicions. I am certain I will find a distinctly stupid-looking person. Ah, yes, he looks totally stupid. Stupid slow driver."

"It is very difficult to try to load someone else's dishwasher; everyone has their own method. Glasses stacked in this row, bowls this way, silverware facing up, down - it's a highly personal thing. The few time someone outside the family has loaded ours, I open it up and am disoriented, dismayed even, to find plates in the wrong slots, bowls on the top (the top?!), and even a skillet crammed in there. It's just too counterproductive and unsettling, even though it is nice of them to try to help."

"In most cases, it is more satisfying to get a friend's answering machine and leave a cheery, tangible trace of your sincere commitment to the friendship than it is to engage in actual conversation."

"Ayn Rand seems so mysterious, privy, snobby - in a cool way. I'm pretty sure it's the y."

"Standing in a doorway and chatting is safe; one has, literally and figuratively, an easy out. But the slightest gesture - taking a step in, glancing at a chair in the corner, unraveling a scarf - signals a commitment to a full-blown conversation. Similarly, if one is interrupted while reading a book, a thumb in the book signals an allegiance to the book, and the interrupter should expect only the most cursory reply. But if the book gets shut with a bookmark, or placed down open-faced,, a full conversation will most likely follow."

"When I eat potato chips, particularly the crunchy kettle kind, I find myself looking through the bag for the good chips. Somehow a good chip is one that is extra thick looking, and curled onto itself or folded, as opposed to straight and flat. It is a treat, a victory, to find a really good chip and pluck it from the bag. The thinner, straight, or broken ones aren't nearly as pleasing.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall

This album is going to be fantastic.
Just saying. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Antony and the Johnsons

CD, New
"I love the moment when I get a new CD and it holds the promise of being the best CD ever - all that potential, so many good songs to fall in love with, the dense liner notes to inspect. But then I realize, This song's not so great, neither's the next one - ew, what's with that harmonica solo? - and in the end I like maybe two songs, love one, and within a few days it disappears under a stack of other loose, orphaned CDs. And going back to those two or three favorite songs - I feel bad listening to them exclusively, that's somehow cheating. I must listen to the CD in its entirety, to not play favorites so to speak, and when those killer tunes come on, well, I've earned the privilege fair and square. This is not unlike my policy of occasionally rotating my least favorite jeans into the mix - There. I wore them. Happy? - and feeling justified the next morning in resorting once again to my beloved worn-in pair."
         - Amy Krouse Rosenthal, "Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life"

I almost died this when I read this in a book I recently bought because I also decided to buy a new CD with the hopes of discovering fantastic music.
Borders, 90% off, last day of the sale before they completely close their doors.
Of course I'm going to go look around.
They had a tiny little pile of CDs that I was browsing through and I came across one that looked like it had potential. Mind you this is only from looking at the name of the artist, cover art, and song titles. It was a $1.60. I had one of those urges to just buy something at complete random without doing any research into whether the music is even good. I think we've all wanted that at one time or another. Just to buy some CD, underground artist that no one knows about and have it transform itself into your absolute favorite. That's what I wanted. So I bought the CD.
It was the absolute weirdest CD that I have ever heard. I have no words to describe it. His voice is unique but not in the good unique way. You feel like he's swirling you with smoky mist and confusion. There's only one song on there that I can listen to all the way.
All I have to say is I'm very glad I could have this little experience for only a $1.60 and not for the full price that it would have normally been.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Grandpa's Bonsais

In this next bonsai Grandpa tried to imitate nature by having a branch that was dead from maybe getting struck by lightning. He talked about how we all have our own scars that stay with us throughout our life, but they are also what make us unique and ourselves. 

Redirecting branches.

You can see all the precise pruning that has been done on this tree in order to keep the shape.

This is the tree that came to my grandpa half dead.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Miners not Miners

George Tyng: Newspaperman, businessman and miner died here (Miller Hill) January 19, 1906.
That's where I went for Labor Day, Miller Hill. My dad took me for a 4-wheeling drive up to see George Tyng's grave and to see some of his old mines. We ate breakfast where there used to be a bunkhouse for his men that he employed there to mine. 
 Mountain man breakfast of course.

I did a little scavenging around and I have to say that one of my childhood dreams was realized as I uncovered history. That's right, I wanted to be an archaeologist when I was younger. I don't know what happened to that ambition but it's okay because as I was looking around my eyes spotted something in the dirt that looked suspiciously like the heel end of a sole of a shoe buried in the hillside. I grabbed a rock and began digging! 
Yup I discovered a boot! Is this not the greatest thing you've ever seen?! I mean think of how old this could essentially be... George Tyng who owned the mines up here died in 1906. That means I have at least a 100 year span. 

Here's some of the mines that we went to check out.
Obviously they're closed off now but stuff like that never stops me.
(If you look closely you'll see that there's a nice gaping hole to the right of me with precarious wood going across it. No wonder it's closed off.)

After that we decided to do some more exploring. And by that I mean climbing up the mountain side. 
This was a lovely bit that we somehow climbed up.
Over there in the distance is the nicely paved trail that we were going to climb...

But we decided that these kind of trails would be way more adventurous. 

I just have to say that it was the scariest hiking I've ever done. But don't worry, we made it to the top.
It was absolutely stunningly beautiful. I felt like I was reliving my climb up the mountain in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.

Of course I had to get my macro shots. You know how much I love those.

There's the back of Timp.

Sometimes I wish I lived back in the day when people really did walk out of their cabins to views like this. I guess I could always just move to Crans-Montana, Switzerland... that way I would have a decent house but still have the beautiful mountain right in my backyard. 

The meadow that we came down the mountainside from. 

All in all it was a full day of outdoor goodness.