Category Archives: Random Thoughts

She's a Crafty Sort…

I once made fun of scrapbooking. I told a girl I know that I couldn’t believe anyone spent that much time, energy, and money pasting photos and things into a book. Coincidentally, she and her friends stopped inviting me to their scrapbooking gatherings. In telling the story later to my hairdresser, she pointed out that scrapbooking offers some women a chance to get together and bond and that some of the work is gorgeous. I told her that I hadn’t thought of that, and for once, felt ashamed that I said bad things about the practice. But the thought was fleeting. I still think scrapbooking is stupid.

I don’t know why, it just seems silly. It’s just an activity I don’t think is fun… so forgive me. Maybe it’s because it’s such a new craft. I have a lot of respect for the crafts my mother, grandmother, and great grandmother did… we’re talking about embroidery, knitting, crocheting, sewing, and quilting. I even do some cross stitch myself. And every winter, I try to learn something new. Last year it was knitting, but I think I need a refresher course. This year I want to learn mosaics. To me, that’s something tangible. Something you can see every day.

I made scrapbooks when I was in high school. Part of the fun was that I was just putting in everything that meant something to me… and not everything looked pretty. That was part of the fun. Besides… I never look at those scrapbooks. What good is it to put all your time and energy into something you rarely enjoy? That’s just me. I’m sure there are people who feel differently, like that girl I must have insulted. But I’m glad I don’t have to make up an excuse not to go to those scrapbooking parties.

Enter the Library Stacks

I don’t know what it is about December, but there’s either too much to do or too little. This year I’ve decided to skip decorating for Christmas AND I’ve whittled down my activities to just a few. There is still a lot to do on the documentary, but I’m waiting on some images before work can progress.
The good news is, I finally have time to do all that reading I’ve been meaning to catch up on.

I have a stack of books on my night table… The first to leave just recently is the book by British author Lynn Truss: “Eats, Shoots, & Leaves.” It’s pretty light-reading, despite the fact that it’s about the state of puctuation today. I guess I should have laughed more, but sometimes British humor tends to elude me. I like dry humor as much as the next person, but some things in the book that people (I guess) find hilarious, I found merely amusing. Besides, I’m more of a grammar person myself. I tend to notice blantant grammerical problems more so than puctuation. For example, I see typos in the paper all the time. Once, at a gas station bathroom in southern Georgia, I actually began mentally correcting the graffiti I read on the wall.

“Eats, Shoots, & Leaves” is pretty good. It reminds you of how important puctuation is in our language, and how we should still learn it despite the fact that even experts disagree about how it should be used and that advertisers and marketers don’t know much about it. Anyway, Truss’ book was a fast read. I finished the second half in one afternoon.

What else is waiting in the stack of books? David Sedaris’ “Naked”, which a friend tells me is a wonderful way to get aquainted with the author. I’ve never read his work before, but it seems like, lately, that’s all anyone’s been talking about. I also have two Stephen J. Gould books. You know, that’s the author that religious conservatives hate for writing about evolution. I’ve already read one of his books, about the Cambrian explosion of creatures. It was really good. It was “Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History.” The ones I hope to read soon are “The Hedgehog, the Fox, and the Magister’s Pox” and “Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville: A Lifelong Passion for Baseball.” I’m also reading 2 other heavy books, for research: “The Osage and the Invisible World” and “Ancient North America.” My brother also just gave me Noam Chomsky’s latest, which he said was really eye-opening. Oh, and I’ve got one historical fiction, which is my favorite genre of literature: Rosalind Miles’ second installment of the Guenevere trilogy, “Knight of the Sacred Lake.” So far, I’ve found it to be pretty depressing. The book fuels my distruct of organized Christianity and my feminist side, and it makes me angry with the male-oriented dominance of the Western world. Her first Guenevere book was illuminating. It definetely takes Guenevere out of the side-lines of Authurian lore and present her side of the story from a viewpoint outside of Christianity. In many ways, the customs and sexual beliefs that Miles illustrates as being normal for Guenevere’s people are not that far from progressive thought in the Western World about feminine right to control her own body. It shows the struggle between the old religion of the Celts and their worship of the female with the “new” religion of the Christians, with their desire to supress the feminine, and replace the old female gods with one male one. HMMMMMMMM….

Christmas is coming…. ahhhhh!!!!!

The newspapers are filled with stories of shoppers mobbing stores for early morning bargains, pushing, shoving, and the kinds of behavior Santa would definetely not approve of. Yes, the Christmas season is here. Threats of the fast-approaching holiday season in Old Navy commercials finally full-filled themselves, and that traditional season of buying everything you can for your loved one, decorating to the nigh, and throwing Christmas parties is here. Ahhh, time to crawl in the house and hide.
I’m somewhat torn about how I feel during this time of year. I usually enjoy Christmas, and the decorations, and the food; but, at the same time, I feel loathsome toward the blantent commercialism that has hijacked this religious holiday. Each year I feel less and less jolly as Christmas approaches. I was hoping this year would be better, now that I’ve shed my mall retail job, in lue for one at a specialty shop. I’ve also managed to avoid working the entire week of Thanksgiving; however, it hasn’t helped much. Oh sure, being with family is great. And, I’m very appreciative of this time I have with them: especially since this is my first Thanksgiving home in years. But I just can’t get anymore excited. Am I the only one? Am I the only person who looks out on the yearly rush of the holidays as an incredible bore that merely causes me more stress and weight gain than I need?
This year, with the move to Austin, I’ve decided not to drag my Christmas decorations down from the attic. I would be the only one there to look at them, anyway, and would they really bring me that much joy?
Perhaps the holiday spirit will strike me in the coming days, when I receive a card, or witness some act of kindness and giving. Or when I realize how to express my love to different family members with gifts I actually thought about and made, instead of handing over my credit card. High hopes indeed.

Supposed to work, ready to work… so why am I not working?

I’m ready to work. I’m ready to jump in and get really deep into all of these projects I have started. Yep. There’s my pencil, and the desk has been cleaned off. The monitor screens are dust-free, and I have a full glass of water nearby. Yep, it’s time to get crackin’. Yep….
So why am I not working? Why is updating the website luring me away from the task at hand? Checking homestarrunner.com? Emailing friends about my intentions? Looking at the scheduler on my I-Paq and making adjustments? Come on Cindy… work! Too wet to ride, too early to go to the gym. It’s a full, empty day, ripe with possibilities! No skate shop, no William-Sonoma. No house to clean or groceries to buy. Nothing. Just time to work.
Okay. I’m going to get started… just let me check my email one more time.