Friday, February 20, 2009

Enjoying forgotten things

Some things I sometimes take for granted, or forget to enjoy:
  • Warm showers
  • The actual existence of showers (have you ever thought what a wonderful invention a shower is? There's something wonderful about showers. The shower is my favorite place to think, and I've come up with some of my best ideas while showering.)
  • The ability to hear well (my appreciation of this was especially acute the last few weeks as my ear was clogged after I had a cold. I couldn't help but think of Beethoven and how utterly devastated he was upon losing his hearing).
  • The ability to see clearly (thanks to corrective lenses!)
  • The ability to smell and taste nice things (such as fruit and chocolate)
  • Pretty much the ability to enjoy a well functioning body (unfortunately that isn't something everyone can enjoy and I never know when that might become the case for me. I sometimes wonder what it would be like if I were to somehow suffer an accident that were to take away something as simple as my hearing or the ability to use all of my limbs -- things that I take for granted all the time because I don't usually consider what life would be like without them.)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Plea from a pack rat (part II)

When I wasn't making any progress in my attempt to throw things away and I was feeling pretty discouraged, I finally humbled myself and asked my dad for his assistance. If you know how my dad is about throwing things away, then you would know that this was a big step for me, because he throws pretty much everything away. He is the antithesis of a pack-rat.

So, he reasoned with me that I should throw away all my notes from classes and that I should even get rid of old text books, unless I had reason to believe that I would ever be needing them or using them again. He said he saved one text book from his college days that he really liked, but even that he never looked at. His reasoning for getting rid of so much is that we live in an information age where pretty much anything can be found on the internet, or the library, and most textbooks become obsolete within a few years anyway.

So, that helped me to throw away a LOT of notes quickly without even thinking twice or regretting it (I haven't regretted it yet, and I don't plan on it!). It also helped me to get rid of my geology text book which I had contemplated keeping since I had enjoyed that class so much.

Then I came up with a little criterion of my own for throwing away notes to talks at church and devotionals and such. My dad had already convinced my to throw away (or send to the recycling) my Ensigns that I had been collecting, under the reasoning that they can all be found online, hence there is no need for me to be collecting them. When I turned to my notes I thought, I haven't looked over these recently, if at all, and if they meant a lot to me I should have or could have written about them in my journal. So, that enabled me to send them to the recycling without any pain. They have served their purpose, as have the rest of my notes, and must no longer add to my clutter.

When I see how much I have been able to eliminate, I feel that a burden is being lifted. I'm finally accomplishing what I've been wanting to do for so long. It will soon be done with, never to hold me back again, and I will be able to move on to other things.

Some things I wrote down to help me stay on track with my purging:

Be brutal
Be realistic
Feel good and don't look back

Friday, February 6, 2009

Nice quote

As I've been going through some old things, I stumbled upon this quote:

"An artist has got to be constantly in a state of becoming." - Bob Dylan

I think that applies to more than just artists.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Plea from a pack rat

Does anyone have advice for making oneself throw things away? I've been going through some old things that I've saved, that some would say without hesitation, throw them out! Burn them! Dispose of them immediately! Rid yourself of such burdensome sentimentality. Such silliness!

But, as determined as I was to do just that before I approached this task, I am now caught in uncertainty and hesitation over questions of whether I might be doing humanity a disservice by destroying valuable personal history.... But, really, I must tell myself to be reasonable! I'm pretty sure humanity will not care that I throw a few letters away... I've done it before. And please be realistic! Humanity, not even my own children, will ever care about this stuff I'm hanging onto.

Ok, so, I think I've built a pretty good case for the trash can.... Let's try this again!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Funny cat

This cat never ceases to amuse me with her many antics. Today we found her food bowl wrapped up in the rug. I wish I could have witnessed how that came about. She has been known to burrow under rugs.

The Etsy weensy spiderweb... or not so weensy

Yesterday a friend (Allison) recommended I check out the blog by little brown pen. So, I did, and I was pleased by the many beautiful pictures that met my eyes and entertained by a few lines that I read. Then, on further exploration, I noticed a little thing to the side that said "Etsy shop." I know I've heard that word before - etsy - but I couldn't remember where. (Actually, I remember now: I saw it on a post a while back on InvisibleMan.) It intrigued me though, so I looked into it and this is what I discovered: Etsy is an onine sort of market for people to sell their handmade things. It's been around for about three and a half years now, so I guess I'm a little behind the times. Maybe you already knew about this? I thought it was a pretty neat idea though. Anything that was inspired to counter Walmart has my support. :)
(If you visit the Etsy link above, check out the video clip to the right. It's pretty short, but informative.)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A bit of heaven

Last week I went to Lake Tahoe with my parents.

We skied at their favorite resort: Heavenly.

As we were enjoying the beautiful scenery, my mom thought it would be fun to come up with poems. Here's what I came up with:

A Poem For Heavenly

The snow magnifies the sun in a brilliant white that blinds and mesmerizes.
Trees laden with heavy coats of snow bend stiffly in unison,
Frozen in their downwind stretch.
And a layer of this beautiful stuff softly covers the mountain Heavenly,
Making white fluff to hem the sky and to border the big blue lake.

That probably isn't very good poetry, but I thought I'd give it a try. I think that's the first poem I've written since my creative writing class... or maybe not. I really like Angie's poems, so I thought if I ever expect to be able to compose a poem that well, I better start practicing! My parents wrote poems too and maybe I can get a hold of them and post them too.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

I finally read it:

To Kill a Mockingbird To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was glad to finally read this book since I felt a bit un-read having not read it while so many people make references to it and speak so highly of it - and they do so with good cause. I enjoyed the narrative style of the story as it was told mostly from an eight-year-old perspective with a few insertions of the narrator's older voice. It makes for an intriguing read that subtly allows the reader to grasp meanings that were intended. Harper Lee's skillful story telling and masterful use of the English language make this a must read.

View all my reviews.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Places to be in NYC and DC

I spent the last two weeks visiting my siblings, siblings-in-laws and nephew in Arlington, Virgina; and Queens, New York. While I was there I enjoyed seeing what each place had to offer, which is quite a lot. So, if you ever find yourself in the cities of D.C. and N.Y., here are some things you might enjoy seeing and doing:

D.C. area:
  • visiting the Arlington Cemetary (it's huge! and it's really peaceful)
  • going to some museums (there are TONS of great museums. This time we went to the Freer Gallary of art, but ones that I've enjoyed on previous visits were the Smithsonian, the Holocaust Memorial Museum and the International Spy Museum.)
  • Great Falls Park
  • Going for a stroll/run/bike-ride or whatever you please along the Potomac river. This time of year there are a lot of nice looking geese, but I think the spring would be the ideal time to go with all the cherry blossoms. I've never seen it, but pictures look incredible.
  • Etc., etc., etc.

  • attend a performance at Carnagie Hall
  • outdoor ice skating, that is, if it's winter. We went to Bryant Park which offers free ice skating if you have your own skates and then $12 rentals if you don't. That was the best deal we could find. Other places charged around$14 to skate on weekends, plus an additional $6 to rent. But, if you happen to have your own skates, it might be worth it to check out the Lasker or Wollman rinks in central park. It's actually only $4 dollars to be admitted to the Lasker rink, but I didn't see what it would have cost to rent.
  • Visit the MoMA and the MET. Both museums are huge! The MoMA is free Friday nights, but very crowded. The MET is a suggested donation.
  • Eat out at a Thai or Indian restaraunt. If you prefer a different kind of food, New York has everything. One night we ate at a place in Queens called Donovan's Pub, which is an Irish pub. They serve some pretty great burgers, and some would say the best in all of Manhattan. We also had some Tomales from a street vendor which were great.
  • take a run on the Brooklyn Bridge.
There's a LOT more to do than that, but those are just some starters.