Friday, August 28, 2009

Good Thing Friday

It's been a busy week, what can I say?

I don't think starting to drink coffee at age 27 qualifies as a Good Thing, but it's important backstory. Living in Costa Rica, I never slept in past 7:30 AM, and usually was awake a little after 6 AM. That's what a pretty constant 12-hours-of-light and 12-hours-of-dark will do to a person. And I worked in an office - a frantic, bustling, hilarious house-turned-office that seemed to be powered by coffee. I think I started drinking it my fourth day there, and I ain't lookin' back my friends.

But better than coffee is coffee with milk - remember the containers marked "LECHE MILK" in Costa Rica? It's how they all drank it in the office, so I did too.

And then I came home, and upped the ante to half-and-half, as pretty much everyone in my extended family, on both sides, enjoys it.

And THEN we reach the real Good Thing for this week: Friday coffee with heavy cream, real cream. Whipping cream. Try it. It is so outstandingly good you may even want to get out of bed on Friday morning just for the sweet reward.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Good Thing Friday: The Humor Edition

Because I couldn't really think of anything that wasn't a cop-out good-thing, until I came across this article.

I'm going to go right ahead and say that Emily B cheering on and totally agreeing with Larry Flynt is either a sign of the apocalypse, or a sign of darkness behind us, and the dawn on its way. Maybe?

It does bring to mind an oft-repeated phrase of my father's, which he got from a friend: It'll be ok. Remember: it's always darkest just before it goes completely fucking black.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Upside of Jealousy.

I was mulling over jealousy today... or envy... or whatever you want to call it. Basically, I was thinkin' 'bout when someone's got what I want! (Yet/ever/right now/ya know.)

But then (to be terribly vague and un-bloggerly and detail-free) I thought even more about people who have recently told me I have things they want. Hmm.

So the upside of the jealousy is that I stopped and remembered that some folks wish they had things I have -- perhaps tangible things and perhaps emotional things, maybe some current things or some past things -- and perhaps I can be more like the lovely Ms. Pema Chodron:

I can try to say, "Ah yes. I feel that I Want what she/he has very much. OK, Want. I see you. I acknowledge you. And bye-bye now."

And if I sort of let the Wanting float on by, it may reach someone else, who has Want as well, and maybe they'll say, "Ooh, I Want that thing there!" but then if they let go of the Wanting too, it won't burden them either. And sure, it'll float around forever, but it won't stick to anyone too tightly. And when we - I - Want something dearly, we can feel it, let it go, and remember that we have eminently Wantable things right here at home.

Anyhow. Here's to trying!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ay! Ow!

I read once that you can tell a person's native language by what they say when they hit their thumb with a hammer. American English speakers? OW! Native Spanish speakers? AY! I don't know if it's true... but I like the theory nonetheless.

So I stepped out into the heat today, to carry some laundry across the parking lot to the common basement space. A very small, shiny-coated, tabby kitten looked up at me from the top step and mewed once.

With no one around to hear me, the only thing that escaped my lips, instantly, was, "Eww!"

I rest my case when it comes to my feelings on cats.

Monday, August 17, 2009

When you were almost 18...

...what did you want out of life? (Thinking about being close to turning 28, I'm sentimental.)

I wanted to live in a city, I wanted to have some kind of vague, cool job where I would get to have meetings with my boss over a glass of champagne, one where we'd laugh and gossip and work and watch the sun set. I wanted to buy fruit and cheese and wine at the market after dark, I wanted to climb stairs to go home at night.

So while I might not own the loft apartment yet, and I might not wear high heels everyday (thank goodness), some dreams do come true.

Ah, Monday morning. When it's important to remember the goodness of Thursday night. And, it turn out, its meetings!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Leap.

As promised on Facebook last weekend, I will make the leap from the film "Food, Inc." to misogyny in modern society.

The corporate, industrialized food movement has a basic, overarching tenet: make eating, cooking and food growing efficient.

Efficient? Should cooking be efficient? Should the most important, daily communion we take with our friends and our families be made more efficient?

The traditional "women's work" just continues to be disparaged and looked down upon in our society - cooking, keeping a home, raising children - so it is no wonder we've made eating and food preparation into an efficient, anonymous machine. Valuing the wonder and delight of a lovingly prepared meal with healthy, fresh ingredients is completely related to valuing said cook of said meal, and valuing their work as equal to makin' money money money; MONEY.

(And of course, men cook. My father cooks. Most professional chefs are men. But I'm talking about the day-in, day-out cookery - which for the last 50,000 years has been the realm of women. And if we keep tearing it down, we will keep tearing down our health, our vibrancy, our communitites and our happiness.)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Good Thing Friday: Flowers.

It was a good thing to choose bright orange marigolds this year to put in a hanging basket on my porch. (Um, after the petunias got scorched. But Good Thing Friday can come after a mistake - it still counts.) They stand up just fine in late-afternoon blazing sun, in 109 degree heat, and in less-than-perfectly-frequent watering. They are a lovely burst of color on our little apartment porch.

I decided this year to always have fresh flowers in the house. I could feel guilty that they're probably grown by children and oppressed women in Latin America... and I do at times... but it's Good Thing Friday, so BOO. I choose to spend between $4 and $7 every week or ten days, and tell me it's not worth it:

(This week was the $7 week - spendy for me, but I look at them all day, and in the evening by candlelight, and it really does bring joy.)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I do, indeed, TAME TERRIBLY. It just doesn't take on me.


Just Like You and Me.

The media says that the fucking idiot woman who yelled in Arlen Specter's face about how the gub'mint has awoken "a sleeping giant" is just like you and me.

She does not know how much money her husband makes, and "he pays the bills" and stuff.

She asked him "What are you going to do to restore the country back to what our founders created, according to the Constitution?" (I assume she is, indeed, including no voting rights for women, slaves who are counted as 3/5 of a person, and no more taxes -- which means no public schools and no road maintenance.)

She became a Republican when she got her first paycheck and saw how much money was taken out in taxes. (What a piece of work she is. Do you think she made, what, three or four paychecks before quitting and turning it all over to her husband? Wonder why we have record debt in this country... she doesn't even know how much her family makes!!!!)

She says Americans are "strong enough to do what we need to do" when it comes to health care. Whew. Thank goodness. I guess I just have to be strong enough to overcome any pre-existing conditions, ever possibly getting laid off from a job, not being able to afford co-pays, any reduction in dental care coverage and gosh darnit, I'll be fine!

She says the "goodness of the people" will help out anyone not covered by health insurance, so, like a Jez commenter said... I think I'll send her my health care bills. (If you can find her address, I'll give you a foot massage.)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Good Thing Friday.

As I continue to cast about for a focus on this here blog, I have a new idea today. On Fridays, let's remember one thing we've done - recently, in the past, whenever - that was A Good Thing.

As my links on the right show, I love the website Jezebel. It's a Gawker site with my perfect balance of politics, feminism, fashion, gossip, hard news, woman-focused op-ed, and chatter in the comment threads. They are known for a feature called "Photoshop of Horrors" in which they find the original photo of, say, Faith Hill, and compare it to the Photoshopped version that makes the magazine cover.

So today, a Photoshopped Kelly Clarkson on SELF magazine becomes more evidence (as if we need more) for the ongoing woman-hating at commercial healthy/beauty/fashion mags, and I thought, Yes! I know what Good Thing I have for this Friday!

A few years ago, maybe 2003?, I gave up women's magazines. I stopped buying, borrowing or even stopping in the grocery store a few minutes of Cosmo, Self, Shape, etc. And you know what? I feel better. I actually do. I've slipped up here and there, but overall, the promises of "Look Better By Saturday!" and "Sexier Sex: Hellooooo Satisfaction" are silly, hollow, and it turns out, completely unneeded. I do absolutely OK in those departments - and more - on my own.

So if nothing else can be cheered today, at least I can cheer myself for not giving my money to the punishing cycle of fat-shaming, false-imagery-promoting, confidence-smashing monthly magazines. I refuse to participate in their little tiny corner of the world that seeks to make women feel badly about who they Are, and that is a good Friday thing.

Now. The addiction to subscribing to The New Yorker and its attendant guilt is something else entirely.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Well Played.

I'm working from a coffeeshop right now; some days, work-at-home means you have to get out of the house. It's nice. Coffee, bagels, CNN, hustle and bustle.

So this kid, a boy about eight?, just walked up to me and spoke gibberish. Then he repeated himself: "Do you like YuGiOh?"

I said, "I don't know anything about it."

Him: "I can teach you!"

Me: "Well, believe it or not, I'm working. I work from home, so I can go to any coffeeshop to work. I go to different places around town on different days, it's pretty cool."

Him: "Cool." And walks back over to his dad, who is ordering breakfast and I assume, waiting for the nearby OMSI to open.

His dad to him, playfully, "Get shot down?" And with a ruffle to the head, "It doesn't get any easier, kiddo."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Guarantee.

Painting your fingernails taxi cab yellow will absolutely make you feel better.