Posts Tagged 'Photo of the Day'

“I’m Dappled and Drowsy And Ready For Sleep”

Between work and homework and a late-wake-up-morning, and allergies (just shoot me) it’s been a long day.  But not in all a bad day; namely a tiring one.  But there is always, always a silver lining.

This morning, whilst looking for my “photo of the day,” I found myself at a loss and turned once again to knick-knacks, of which I have many.  I closed in on the image you see above.  It’s a tree, with the branches made of wire and the leaves made from stones.  There used to be more of it, but I cut off one of the branches and gave it to a friend when I was younger.  I won this knick-knack in a raffle in sixth grade, and I saved up tickets for it for months.  I wanted it so very badly.  I was bidding for it against a friend, whom I liked, but not enough to just surrender.  In this end, obviously, I got it, and I cut off one of the branches and gave it to her.  My sixth grade teacher said she brought it from Brazil (where she had lived, briefly) and I think that the idea of owning something from a different continent allured me more than anything else, though the tree is truly lovely.  As you can see in the image, it has amassed a lot of dust over the last nine years, but it’s still one of my favourite knick-knacks.  Thinking about it and it’s simplistic beauty and middle school this morning made me happy.

This evening, I looked out the window at work shortly before sunset, and the sky was marvellous.  There were huge cumulus clouds perched in the sky, and they were tinted not just one colour, but a rainbow of colours.  The upper tips of the clouds were gold, and that faded down to a soft pink.  In front of them, there were splashes of darker cirrus clouds.  It was really beautiful, and they looked that was for nearly an hour.  I wanted to kick myself for not having my camera with me.  I wonder if anyone else noticed them?

The last few minutes of a night often present themselves with the greatest challenges.  After dealing with a few people who I’d rather punch than smile at, I was able to leave and I stepped, flustered, into the sticky, humid night.  My summer coolant is the driver’s side window rolled down (something’s wonky about the passenger’s side), so I impressed upon that and tried to position myself so the headlights of the impatient driver behind me weren’t in my eyes.  Even though the humidity and the bright lights bothered me, I was comforted by the music.  Usually, I don’t have a lot of faith in my Zen’s shuffle feature (it likes to play the same few songs every two or three songs) but tonight, it was great.  It started with “Echo Park” by Ryan Cabrera, a song that reminds me of the image of standing on a ledge by the ocean and feeling the wind in my hair.  Second was “To Life” from Fiddler on the Roof.  That song has many memories attache to it, all good.  Third was “Kodachrome” by Simon and Garfunkel.  The first line of that song always makes me grin: “when I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all.”  I sometimes feel that way about life in general.  Fourth, also Simon and Garfunkel, was “Feelin’ Groovy”.  The title of this entry comes from that song, as well as the telling line “slow down, you move to fast”.  A good reminder.  And as I pulled into my driveway, “Curve of the Earth” by Matt Nathanson, one of my top five favourite songs, came on.  So, after a long, flustered day… Zen- thank you for the music.

I had a peculiar dream last night that has been haunting me all day.  See, I never have recurring dreams, but I have a few very vivid recurring places and faces.  Last night’s dream was a recurring place and face.  I guess I’ve taken too many psychology classes, or maybe Inception still has me thinking about dreams… but I can’t get the images out of my head.  I can only remember glimpses, in bright, beautiful colour, and feelings.  Very few words, and definitely no “plot”.  I really enjoy dreaming because it gives me a beautiful world to escape into and harp on all day.  And, thank goodness, I rarely have nightmares.

Tonight, I hope that same dream visits me again; which it’s sunshiney neighborhood and the big grey house, the tall man with brown hair, and the fields of blueberry bushes.  In my dreams, I feel like a queen, and there’s nothing to bring me down or hold me back.  I am completely free.

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What is Reality?

These last few days I have had an appropriate amount of domestic rural adventures, from driving in a thunderstorm to preventing a kitten from ripping my toes to shreds.  These things are all the little things that we often overlook as we let our lives consume us.  I am that person sometimes, too, but I work hard not to be.  I’ve had a few things on my mind, and seeing the film Inception last night keeps pushing thoughts about the little things forward more and more.

First, I’d like to talk about the movie.  I’m not going to go into too much depth because I don’t want to spoil it, but it does bring you to appreciate life and reality.  The things that are always there and the things that you can depend on.  The details.  For example, the movie itself- I’m sure a lot of people will be walking out of it thinking about the deeper meanings of it and how it is a reflection on the world and our perception of it, and so on and so forth.  I walked out of that movie thinking a few things.  One: “Holy crap, where did that thunderstorm come from?  Crap.  I have to drive in it.  And I left my windows down.  Craaaaap.” Two: “I don’t think I have a single bad thing to say about that film.  From the acting to the special effects to the plot… it was all really well done.” and Three: “What was the theme, anyway?  It’s supposed to be a deep thought movie like Momento, right?  So there must be a deeper theme….”

For those that are curious, I’ve decided that the theme was “what is reality?”  It’s kind of like The Matrix in that way.  Now, I’m sure there are others who derived a very different theme about it, and I would love to rationally discuss that theme (or those themes) as well.  But from my perception of the film, there were strong themes of “what is reality” and “what is dream” running through it.  And, in saying that, I don’t feel like I’m spoiling the film because dreams are a present theme in the commercials alone.

From the question “what is reality” we must ask ourselves… what is real?  What makes things believable?  For me, that is all the little things in the world.  The things that make our experiences our own.  We all may walk into a grocery store, but do you avoid walking through aisles packed with people (even if you desperately need something in that aisle) so you can stay out of peoples’ way?  Do you walk through the produce section and drool over all the berries and ultimately buy some, even though you know they’re out of season and they’ll be gone before you get home?  Do you hang out in the bakery for a few minutes just to smell the bread?  I do.  Things like that – little sights and smells and hopes and such – make the experience mine.

This week, I am going to try to stop and notice all the small things.  To stop and take a deep breath and appreciate the world as I run around.

Another thing that has inspired this thought process is a book I recently started reading.  It’s half for school, and half for research, since part of the reason I’m a History Major is to gather information about the world so I can use it in my writing.  The book is called Avengers of the New World by Laurent Dubois.  It tells the story of the Haitian Revolution and the world that led to it.  It’s for my Africans in the Colonial World class, basically a follow-up class to Atlantic History, which I took sophomore year.  Anyway.  I’m only 9o-pages into the book and there was a section all about culture and religion and the ways the Africans kept their customs alive in Saint-Dominique.  What do you do, when you’re lashed often for little to no reason, are not allowed to meet with other slaves… and even the free-coloureds kept having their rights lessened.  Heck, the thing that really annoys me is the “Liberty Tax” that white plantation owners had to pay when they freed a slave.  When you are in a position that most of the slaves (or any good person, really) where in, having their hands tied by the powerful few-and-far-between…the only thing you can do, once you’ve run out of options is to stop, see what there is for you in the world, and move forward.  Find the next path and renew yourself mentally, spiritually, and emotionally by the little things that have been driving you all along.

Today, a friend told me that whenever he hears “On The Dark Side” by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, he thinks of me, because I’m the only other person he’s ever met whose heard of the band.  It was a little thing, but it made me smile and lifted my spirits after six, seven hours of consistent photocopying, binding, and wanting to hit machines with a crowbar.  Has there been any little things in the world today that gave you the strength to move forward?  What are the things that you rely on daily to keep you grounded in this mad world?

It’s Too Darn Hot

This Room Is Too Hot!

It’s been a real struggle the last couple nights to get any sleep.  I’m that person who shuts the bedroom heat off in the winter because I fall asleep easier in the cold.  So having it feel like 90-degrees when I’m trying to go to sleep makes sleeping hard.  I know the heat and humidity make some people sleepy, but me?  I just get grumpy.  What do you do, on nights and days like these, especially if you don’t have air-conditioning and the fans just aren’t cutting it?

  • Get air-conditioning. This would be many people’s first solution.  “Why are you complaining, just go buy an air-conditioner!”  Well, since they cost $100 and not everyone has a good window to put them in, we’ll move on from this solution.  However, I believe that you shouldn’t complain if you aren’t willing to find a solution.
  • Swim. A lot of rural areas have ponds and lakes that are good for swimming, at a small fee to get in.  There are often a lot of free beaches, too.  Suburban areas often have neighborhood pools, and anywhere there’s a Best Western, you’re bound to find a pool.  Also, try your local YMCA.  If all else fails, I bet you know one person who has a pool you can dunk into for an hour.  If you don’t….
  • Take a cool shower. Just take about ten minutes and put the temperature to cold(ish).  You’ll feel refreshed when you get out… and it’ll wash the sweat away!
  • Keep the oven off! As amazing as those chocolate chip cookies seem (and believe me, I am a sucker for chocolate chip cookies), the oven is going to increase the heat in your entire house.  On those really hot days, grill some dinner instead of baking it.  And there aren’t a lot of people out there who loathe a good old picnic-style dinner.  Cold cuts and potato salad, anyone?
  • Eat fresh fruit and veggies! Not only are these incredibly good for you and should be eaten all the time anyway, but also all of them are fridge foods, and they’re juicy, and cold.  Personally, I had a slice of watermelon for breakfast.
  • Seek out air-conditioning. If you’re in a suburban area, this is a great time to go window shopping.  A lot of stores have air-conditioning, and as long as you aren’t obnoxious and are moving things around or refusing to leave when the store closes, staff don’t mind if you come in to cool down.
  • Eat out. This dilemma of the temperature around you and eating things.  You can eat whatever you want, and restaurants are usually have their air-conditioning turned way, way up.
  • Head into the cellar. Unless you have a nasty, infested sort of basement, it’s going to be much cooler underground, because heat rises  Bring a book downstairs and pull up a chair!
  • Avoid strenuous activity. If you’ve been thinking about skipping a jog, days like this are days to do it.  A lot of physical exercise on hot days puts unnecessary strain on your body.  Keep cool and relax.  You can do a little extra tomorrow.
  • Shut off the lights. Any electrical thing emanates heat.  If you can see without the lights, shut them off.  If you’re not using the computer or watching the television, shut it off.  It may not seem like much, but if you have a lot of electrical appliances and things running in your house, it will make a small difference.
  • Breathe deeply. It’s just like your soccer coach used to say, short breaths and panting will keep you alive, but that’s about it.  Breathing slowly and deeply (like meditating) will refresh your body and you’ll feel a lot more relaxed.  The last thing you need in intense heat is tension.

Most importantly of all….

  • Keep hydrated! You know, we’re supposed to be drinking approximately 8 10-ounce glasses of water a day.  Human’s are under-hydrated in general, but in the hot weather, it is more important than ever to keep hydrated!  Sweating is our body’s internal air-conditioning and if we aren’t drinking enough water, then we’ll get sick.  Sweating is going to happen one way or the other, but keeping hydrated will save on the stomachaches and headaches and dizziness that comes with the body using our “reserve water supply” in order to condition itself.  Really, you should be drinking water, but drink gatorade or powerade or lemonade or iced tea if you must.  Stay away from soda!  Although you may feel like your thirst is more quenched with soda, the carbonation is actually a dehydrator and it’s anti-productive!

Hope this helps a little, folks, and keep cool!  Goodness knows I’m going to be doing my best!  Personally, I’m going to go eat some more watermelon.  Do you have any additional suggestions to add to this list?  Please, share them!

Shelved Revolution

The V for Vendetta mask, hanging forgotten on a bed post.

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.

My beautiful glass angel.

“So don’t misunderstand me / You put the light in my life / You put the sparks to the flame / I’ve got your heart in my sight.” ~ Don’t Go Breaking My Heart by Elton John.

When Bryan went to England, he brought back a dozen things for me.  I liked almost all of them, and I pretended to like the things I didn’t, but more than anything else, I fell in love with a little glass angel.  It’s not a very special angel.  It’s certainly the type of thing you could find at a Hallmark store here in the States.  I didn’t love it because it came from England, I loved it because it was beautiful in a way I fail to describe.

I have a lot of trinkets out and about my bedroom.  I have the conch shell Sean brought back from the Bahamas for me.  I have “Steve,” the nailpolish rock from Sammy, a hoard of Beth-Art, Disney snowglobes, a panda-shaped candy dish Heather made in pottery class.  Sometimes among all the knick-knacks I have, I lose one.  It’s still there, sitting on my shelf, but I kind of forget about it and time passes.

Today, I was on the phone with Bryan, sarcastically criticizing his ear off (I don’t yell on the phone.  I get slightly voluminous and incredibly sarcastic) and snooping around my room looking for something interesting for my photo of the day.  I found myself standing in a corner next to one of my smaller shelves and, in the dark, I snapped a picture of my glass angel.  My brain registered “oh, that’s kinda cool” and I took pictures of it until I got one I liked and proceeded to yell at my poor, unsuspecting, powerless boyfriend.

Now, after sitting here for a few hours (I am not exaggerating) and fighting with new WordPress themes (because I was having trouble differentiating between paragraphs on the MistyLook Theme, however lovely it was), I finally get to the point where I take the SD card out of my camera, look at the picture, and remember when I got that beautiful angel.  It was almost two years ago, but it seems like an eternity.  When I yell at him for being less than what I expect, or because he’s human, I forget how positively miserable I was when he was overseas and I didn’t have instant access to him.  All I think about is what I want, and that isn’t fair.  Of course, in the moment when I am enraged, what is reasonable, rational, and fair matter very little.  In fact, the only thing that matters is getting my own way.

Sometimes we all need to have little reminders of the things that mean the most.  Today, my glass angel told me that like myself, my boyfriend has a glass heart, and I need to be careful with it.  Some things just don’t go perfectly back together.

It’s Not Quite Coffee….

Breakfast time for the pets.  Effects added in Photoshop CS3.

June 2, 2010; Chesterfield, NH: Our family sun conure munches his seeds.

Time for Spring Cleaning.

A sizeable spider (for New England) making its egg sack just outside our kitchen window.

June 1, 2010; Chesterfield, NH: A sizeable spider (for New England) making its egg sack just outside our kitchen window.


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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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