Deep Thoughts on a Shopping Bag

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It’s the attention to little details that make shopping at Chapters such a delight for people like me who love this kind of thing.  If there must be a shopping bag, why not make it say something wonderful?  I forgot to take a reusable bag with me and I was walking, so I reluctantly said yes to a bag, but happily this one will NOT go directly into the recycle bin along with my guilt about the environment.  I will use it again, because you don’t just recycle John Keats.

Not in any way trying to out-do Keats, and everything he mentions in this quote is lovely, but I would like to change the sentiment a little to reflect my own personal preferences.

Give me

a blank canvas, crispy bacon,

Argentinian Malbec wine

soft candle light

&

a little peace and quiet…..

Hmmm… are all these things meant to go together?  I’ve never had bacon with my wine.  Or painted by candlelight either.

I do have some other weird habits though, one of which is reading labels and product descriptions and getting bamboozled into buying them simply because they sound peculiar and interesting.  I bought a hair product once because it promised to deconstruct my hair in to loose textured beach waves.  It contained black figs and sea salt.  Really.  Eventually I poured what remained of it down the sink because what it actually made my hair look like was a very structured haystack.

What is a beach wave anyway?  And why did I think I wanted some of those?  Hard to complain to the makers of a product when you don’t have a clue what they are promising you.

Great books are just the beginning.  Isn’t that an awesome little statement?  Even though it doesn’t specify whether it’s the beginning of something amazing or the beginning of something horrifying we still want to have those great books.  Because beginnings, right?

And we want those great books in great bags!

Thank you Indigo.  For your bags and your words and your little in-store coffee shop making all your books smell like Starbucks.  I will be back for more.  But you know that, don’t you?  Yes, you do.

Just Jazzy 265

Jazzy Does 100 Days of Happiness 52

Happiness is discovering a long lost "first chapter book" from your childhood has been safeguarded by your sister for all these years.  (Anyone else remember Honey Bunch?)

Happiness is discovering that a long lost “first chapter book” from your childhood has been safeguarded by your sister for all these years. (Anyone else remember Honey Bunch?)

Pens

Cin’s Feb Challenge :  Buy a new pen or dig out your fave one.

Yes, okay, I do have a few pens in my house….

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….and probably should not be allowed to buy any more.  But hey, who’s going to stop me?

These two containers of pens and markers are on the desk in the bedroom.  I could gather up all the rest of the pens from their various locations around my home, but I won’t because I don’t have all day.

At work I always carry three pens in my lab coat pocket.  I panic if I don’t have three.  If I happen to set one of them down and you pick it up and wander off with it, I will hunt you down.  At one point I had eleven pens in my purse, but I don’t think there’s that many in there now.  If there’s more, that would be embarrassing, so I’m not going to look. Believe whatever you want.

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Here’s three I quite like, but not necessarily more than all the others, because choosing a favourite pen is like deciding on a favourite child.  Very difficult to do, and no good can come of it.

The one in the middle I got at a little gift shop at Tintern Abbey in Wales in 2007.  If the writing hadn’t worn off the sides it would look more like a keepsake I guess.  I never use this pen because I want to keep it forever and I don’t want it to run out of ink.  So far this is working well.

The other two are sustainable pens made by Seltzer Goods  and are supposed to be eco friendly and write for seven years.  But that’s not why I got them.  I got them because I like Chapters and elephants and coffee.  And pens.

While I was writing this (without a pen) W actually had the nerve to take that black pen from this serious little group photo and claim it as his own!  He says he likes it because it’s not one of those inky gel things.  I started to protest that he can’t have THAT particular pen and he had the nerve to interrupt me by asking if I didn’t think I had so many damned pens that I wouldn’t miss it.  The nerve.

Of course I wouldn’t miss it if I hadn’t seen him take it.  Men are so weird.

Pictures and Pages and Seasons Oh My

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You might think, because of the nature of these book related pictures from various Facebook pages, that I have spent my entire Sunday reading.  But I haven’t.  I’m saving that for tomorrow, day two of two days off.   I’m part way through The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt, which is turning out to be a book with no end in sight.  Had to take a break.

What I’ve actually been doing today is making myself feel less sad about the fact that there are only two seasons of Downton Abbey available on Netflix by watching The Good Wife instead. I didn’t notice how many seasons there are to get through on that one, but I’ll take a serious stab at getting to the end of them.

It’s a hard life I know, but don’t worry,  I’m managing okay.

Hindsight is a Beautiful Thing

Daily Prompt:  Hindsight

Now that you’ve got some blogging experience under your belt, re-write your very first post.

Strange as it may seem, I really have no idea what my very first post was.  I’ve been writing in some form or other my entire life and this blogging thing just seemed to be a natural progression from writing letters and e-mails and insanely witty posts on chat boards.  I imported a lot of posts from a  previous blog site when I was deleting and extensively cleaning house and starting over with WordPress.  That was six years ago.  Then I wrote a lot of new things which got all mixed up with my pages compositions and pictures and general all-over-the-place chatter, prattle and nonsense.  Not much has changed, has it?  Unless you count the direction in which this blog is going.  It’s like a leaf in the wind – hard to pin down.

The other thing that has changed in the last couple of years is my privacy policy.  That’s a nice way of saying I’ve become progressively less embarrassed about all the dumb things that pop up on my screen and do a lot less thinking about who is reading it.  If my own family members couldn’t be bothered to see what I was up to, chances are complete strangers were not hanging on my every word.  And then I got some comments and some followers and an incredibly puffed up ego and that’s partly why I’m still here I guess.

But the main reason is that I can’t NOT write.  It doesn’t matter if the results are good or bad or ugly or loved or ignored.  I do it for me first.  And for my grandchildren second, so that if they’re ever curious, they will know who I was and who their ancestors were and why they all need psychiatric help.

98 thingsThis is the revised version of a post I wrote in November, 2006 called 98 Things.  (Don’t panic, it’s not one of those never-ending lists – I left out the bad and the ugly this time around.)

Today at Chapters I picked up this little book by Rebekah Shardy.  I had two good reasons for doing so.  I go through Chapters when I leave the mall after getting my hair done, and I cannot possibly do that without buying something.  Okay, three reasons.  There’s just something irresistable about a little four-inch square book.

Some of these 98 things I have already accomplished:

1.  Go a month without shaving your legs  (only a month? hahaha….I am SO past that it isn’t even funny)

2.  Invent a punch that will raise eyebrows and lower inhibitions (come to my house for Christmas.  You will not leave sober.)

3.  Serve something flambe (YES!  I really did do that once!  No buildings burned down!)

4.  Sing to a child.  (Even though it’s not ALWAYS appreciated.) (Rock-a-bye Baby used to make my daughter sob…..”Don’t song mommy!”)

5.  Tell Richard Simmons to just shut up and sit down ( not face to face but via the t.v., which is the next best thing)

These are the ones I really think would be worth trying:

1.  Paint a mural of your imagined past lives (it would have to be a damned big piece of paper)

2.  Teach someone, besides a child, to read.   (Like a dog?)  (I know she means an adult.  But I love a challenge.)

3.  Be someone’s fairy godmother.  Wand optional.  (I would definitely not leave out the wand.)

4.  Write an unauthorized biography of your family, including embarrassing photos, a tribute to the infamous black sheep, and favourite recipes.  (Except for the recipes, I think that’s a work in progress here!  Sorry family.)

5.  Burn a cd with music you want played at your funeral:  baffle generations to come by including the rap song “I Like Big Butts”. (Sadly, I fear no one in my family would find that strange.)

6.  Cry in the rain (If you have to cry, that would be the perfect place to do it.)

7.  Remember life is too short for ironing, non fat dairy creamer and regret of any kind.  (Check, check and check.)

8.  Don’t indulge in one judgemental thought for an entire day.  Okay, an hour.  (Sigh – I could try for ten minutes)

9.  Write three haiku poems about your most amazing, horrible and baffling sexual experiences and frame them for your boudoir.  (OMG.  If I can just keep the hysterical laughter under control for a sufficient length of time I’m sure there are great rewards to be reaped from such an endeavor.)

10.  Explore your inner pagan by creating your own seasonal rituals:

– at the spring equinox, detox with a juice fast, sauna, and deep muscle massage

– at the summer solstice, hire a manicurist to give pedicures to you and four friends while your pampered klatch sips mint juleps

– at the fall equinox, organize a black clad beatnik poetry reading with the themes of rain, dissolution, and romance

– at the winter solstice, plant a circle of globed candles in a snowdrift and make wishes every night until they burn out  (I’m going to put every one of these on my calendar. My inner pagan is giddy with anticipation.)

And finally, the ones there is no way in hell I’d ever attempt.

1.  Stay in a convent for a week.  (What in the world for?  Would it be a test for me, or for them?)

2.  Ride a motorcycle alone across the Nevada desert.  (WHY?  No good could possibly come of it.  Unless someone is trying to kill me and I’ve decided to save them the bother.)

3.  Learn to belly dance and integrate it into your lovemaking.  (Okay, this lady does not know my husband.  He already thinks I’m crazy – why add to his arsenal of proof?)

4.  Design a picnic around aphrodisiacs – raw oysters, champagne, rose petal jam on chocolate fingers – then whisper in another’s ear the sensual images that passing clouds suggest.  (See the belly dancing comment above.  He would have me committed.)

What a great little book!  It also suggests you write an autobiography about the life you didn’t choose.  Gah.  I’m having trouble writing about the one I did choose, complete with my own 98 gazillion things I felt were important enough to do in my lifetime.  It’s just fun to see things from a new perspective.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going out to buy some castanets, and then I’m going to practice telepathy with my cat.

Everybody Should Have One of These Things

Early this morning I drove over to the mall and had my hair cut.  Every time this happens I manage to have a mild anxiety attack, but this time I’ll spare you the details.  It’s hair.  It will grow.  I must enjoy this process, because I keep repeating it.  The salon I went to is right next to Chapters and Starbucks, so it’s no great surprise that I spent another hour there searching for ways to get rid of even more money.

I got stuck in the Self Help section looking at books which want to teach me how to be happy.  And happier. And smarter and richer and more successful and focused and content and gawd only knows what else – I never made it to the bottom shelf.  I actually hate the bottom shelf and think everything in there should be placed at eye level for people like me who don’t feel like bending over.  If there was a book down there with advice on how to get over being so damned lazy I didn’t see it.

There is a happiness quiz in one of the books I decided to bring home with me.  If I pass that with flying colors I suppose I won’t have to read the rest of it. And without any advice at all I managed to buy something that has already made me very happy for inexplicable reasons.

It’s a desktop gargoyle.  I have never had a gargoyle before and until this morning I had no idea that I needed one.  Having inch long spiked up hair no longer matters.  The little book that comes with it says he will protect me from evil spirits and act as a warning to potential evil-doers.  It suggests I should get ready for an exciting life alongside my new beloved fiery-eyed friend.

Even without his eyes lit up he’s pretty impressive.  Available at Chapters.  If there are any more demented shoppers like me out there, these will be gone before you know it.  So get out there and get one NOW.

1,100 Ideas and Counting

No sooner had I finished writing about what I had for lunch than THIS little book was brought to my attention.

Really?  No one??  What if it was a tarantula and tuna eyeball stir fry?  Then would somebody care?

Margaret Mason, I hope there are lots of good ideas in your book because it’s now on my kindle, along with this book by Bryan Cohen.


Because 100 ideas are probably not enough for me.  I’m a glutton for punishment and opted for 10 times that amount.  That should get me through to the end of the year.

If it doesn’t, I might have to resort to listing various lunch items one more time. Sorry, I don’t know what came over me.

At Chapters on the weekend I picked up this book because of the delightful things it says on the back cover. It isn’t this crooked in real life.  Steampunk (which I had to look up because I’d never heard of it before) is a genre which originated during the 1980’s and early 1990’s and incorporates elements of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, horror, and speculative fiction.  Any book that can be both dreadful and sublime has to be worth whatever I paid for it.

The only drawback so far is that it’s hardcover and heavy and the slip cover kept falling off last night.  But right now that’s upside down in my scanner at an odd angle and I think I’ll just leave it there until I’m finished reading the book.

And then this is going to make an awesome addition to my library.  My first ever in the steampunk category.

Does anyone care what Joe Golem eats for lunch?  If I find out I’m certainly not going to tell you and risk being a mind numbing bore.  (Again.)

And I promise to share hundreds of ideas once I get around to finding out what they are.  Even if they’re completely nuts.  Or maybe especially if that’s the case.