Aug 31, 2011

Goodbye, August 2011

It's that time again! Time to say goodbye to another month. Farewell to August 2011!

I finished two books on the very first day of August. Going Candid, A free, downloadable street photography how-to and The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun. They were both excellent books, but I was particularly excited to read The Happiness Project. I've been reading the blog for years, so it's been a long time coming. Both have inspired me in their own ways, so I recommend both of them immensely! After that my book reading slowed down a bit - re-read Divergent and started reading 25 Days to Better Thinking and Better Living: A Guide for Improving Every Aspect of Your Life.

Other highlights of my month: I got to see my brother and sister-in-law. A family friend gave me a laptop (I had to buy a new battery for it, but still). I had some job interviews. I went to some farm markets. Went to camp day (open house) at Camp Aldershot. Did a lot of writing, walking and closest cleaning.

A few movies I watched this month that I would recommend: Whip It!, Sunshine Cleaning, Wristcutters: A Love Story & Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

I also like to think of August as the end of Summer (even though Fall doesn't officially start for several weeks). Want to know some things I've learned this summer? I like medium dry white wine better then all other wines (But my parent's wildberry wine is a close second!). My Style Statement is Comfortable Creative. I learned how to make a salad that had no greens and a pasta that included beer as an ingredient. (Among other things) What did you learn this summer? How was your August? 

Aug 30, 2011

Life Lessons I Refuse to Learn

There are some lessons that life that keeps trying to teach me, but I just can’t seem to learn.

Over the counter medication works...especially for headaches. No matter if it’s self inflicted or otherwise, if you have a headache, take an ibuprofen. It will make you feel better. The same goes for cold medication, usually. For some reason I feel the need to suffer, sometimes for hours, before medicating myself.

Don’t eat a huge meal right before bed...especially Donair panzarottis. This is a tough one, because I work a lot of night shifts. I get home from work, tired and hungry. So I eat and then I crash into bed. Which is ok if I eat a small meal, like half of what I would normally eat for supper. But I don’t do this if I’m eating something particularly tasty. Donair panzarotti. I should know better then to ever eat a full one. It always makes me feel nauseous. They are huge and full of bread and meat and cheese. And usually deep fried. So, you know, extra delicious. I always finish it, because apparently I hate myself. But eating one right before collapsing into bed? Such a bad idea! I feel awful and have trouble sleeping. Stop doing it!

If you leave things to the last minute bad things happen. Everyone knows procrastination is bad. Some of us just keep doing it anyway.

What life lessons do you refuse to learn?

Aug 29, 2011

Music Monday: Who's Lauging Now

I've watched this video at least a hundred times this week. Love it! I love the song and the kid's expressions at 1:28 and just the overall video.

Aug 26, 2011

Molecular Cocktails

These are indescribably cool. Who's ready for a drink?

Aug 24, 2011

Flickr Favorites

1. coffee love, 2. did someone say treat?, 3. YES, 4. , 5. Untitled, 6. 'Til Kingdom Come, 7. mmmmm cake., 8. Untitled, 9. 66.365, 10. day 301, 11. THE GLITERATZI, 12. (20/52) this is my ride., 13. Love and Tea....14. Not available15. Not available16. Not available

Aug 20, 2011

Quick Thoughts

★I’m giving up whining about work. Customers, bosses, hours, co-workers. Done! All it does is make me more unhappy about working here, and I’m done with that. You should give up whining about something too. Trust me, you will be happier for it. 

★ Cultivate me: Black Pens. I’ve decided that I’m the kind of person who only uses black pens. I realized the other day that I hate blue pens. This was a surprising realization, since I love the color blue. It’s one of my favorite colors. Now, red pens, they’ve always bugged me. And don’t get me started on other colors of pen ink. Pink? Green? Orange? Gross. No thank you. So, as part of my efforts to cultivate a more awesome me, I’ve bought a bunch of black pens. It’s the little things that make us who we are. 

I both love and hate things that taste like other things. Like, for example, last October we went wine tasting at Gaspereau Vineyards. They had a red wine (I don’t remember the type) that’s aftertaste tasted exactly like - I kid you not - movie theater popcorn butter-like food substance. Seriously. It weirded me out. But I want to drink it again. And again. The exception to this is Jelly Belly Popcorn Jelly Beans. I hate those things, because they are so popcorn-y tasting that I feel like the kernels are stuck in my teeth.

★Strange coincidence: I wrote that at work, and when I walked into the break room someone had just made popcorn.  

After reading The Happiness Project, I became really interested in the idea of a one sentence journal. But I can’t call it that, because I am so never going to only write one sentence. Maybe not never, but it’s generally going to be at least two sentences. Usually three or four. Gretchen Rubin makes allowances for this, but I just can’t do it. The point is that keeping a journal doesn’t have to be this big daunting thing. So I call it short journaling. So far, I’ve been pretty successful at it and am finding it pretty fulfilling.

How about a couple of links? Two Oxen and a joke. LOVED the joke, and the oxen are adorable. I’m not really sure that they are oxen though. Whatever, it’s awesome. LED Lights make Augmented Vision a Reality OMG, I love science! 10 Ways to Find that Grown Up Feeling In case you’re like me and feeling horribly not grown up even though you feel like you should be.

Why Not be Furiously Happy today?

Jenny Lawson aka The Bloggess, is the greatest person on the internet. And this is a presentation she gave about being furiously happy and doing silly things. It rocks so hard, I promise you. Plus there are zombies. 

Aug 19, 2011

How to Open a Beer With Anything

It's Friday! Planing on kicking back with a couple of beer this weekend? Here's a helpful video in case you find  yourself without a bottle opener. Plus, opening a beer with a knife also doubles as a cool party trick (be careful! It's best to show this one off early in your night, if you know what I mean).

Aug 17, 2011

Things I Love: Old Photos

I mentioned last week that I love old photos. I mean, absolutely adore them. Especially if they have people in them. That’s why I love The Commons on flickr so much - oodles of old photo awesomeness!

Check it:

Aug 16, 2011

The Number One Reason to Go Paperless

There are lots of reasons to go paperless: Environmental, Organizational, Financial...but the number one reason to go paperless?

No more paper cuts.


Dancing with Beagle

This must be like, video week or something. THERE IS JUST SO MUCH AWESOME ON THE INTERNET! Seriously, I like this weird wonderful place.

Aug 15, 2011

Music Monday - Don't Tell Me That It's Over

I love this song, which I found on You Tube by mistake. Isn't that awesome when it happens? 

Aug 13, 2011

August 13, 1928

Here we are, 83 years later. I just love old photos, don't you?

More on my love of old photos coming up next week. Stay tuned!

Aug 12, 2011

The Problem with Recommended Videos

“Because we watched Wristcutters: A Love Story last night, now Netflix is recommending we watch a bunch of suicide movies...” -The Husband 

Does this happen to you? I watched two videos on YouTube to learn how to make my own bridal bouquet (which I did, and it rocked. Plus it was super easy, and cost me total $30!), and now it keeps giving me videos about floral arrangement. I watched a video with President Clinton and The HIV positive Sesame Street muppet, and now anything to do with Sesame Street is popping up in my recommendation. But I watch a whack of videos that I'd love to see similar videos to and...nothing.

Is there anything you’ve watched on a video site that you regret because of the recommendations you now can’t get rid of?

PS: I really enjoyed Wristcutters...I'd recommend checking it out. 

Aug 10, 2011

Quick Messy Updo Bun

The girl in this tutorial is totally adorable and the hairstyle is cute. Plus the music works really well.

Aug 9, 2011

On Photography and Dabbling

I recently read Going Candid... by Thomas Leuthard. First of all, this is an excellent free e-book and if you have an interest in photography, you’ll probably find it useful. If you have an interest in street photography - definitely check it out.

One of the tips in the book is that if you want to been known as a street photographer, you should only post street photography in your flickr/500px streams. I would suspect that the same is true if you want to be known as a food photographer, portrait photographer, pet photographer, etc. What it made me realize is that I will never be a niche photographer. In photography I’m a dabbler. I want to document everything: The changing of the leaves, the small town I live in, places I visit...I want to share that with the world.

I’m a dabbler in a lot of aspects of my life. Like, all of them. Being a dabbler means that I’ve never been particularly great at anything. I’ve been good at lots of things, sure, but not really great. Great takes a lot of practice, and I’ve usually moved on to something new before that happens. Part of the reason that I still don’t know (and probably never will) what I want to do with my life is that I have never really had a strong passion for anything. And maybe that’s a good thing. I’ve spent a lot of time hating this about myself. But I’m trying to reframe my thoughts. Being a dabbler means that I can enjoy many types of activities, I can have lots of experiences, I can learn lots of different skills. And I’m done feeling bad about that.

In photography, I sometimes feel like it’s my duty to document life in every way I can. I imagine other artists feel this way sometimes too. Or maybe it’s just me. I don’t know. But this moment in time? This one right here? It will never happen again. If I can capture that, in an interesting and beautiful way, I have to do so.

I’ll probably never be particularly talented in any aspect if photography. That’s my burden for being a dabbler. And I’m ok with that.

Aug 8, 2011

Music Monday: Make You Fee My Love

I freaking love this song. Adele is awesome.

Aug 6, 2011

My Top Five Favorite Books of All Time (To Date)

  1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Series by Douglas Adams - Ok, so this is technically 5 books, but I own The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which is all the books in one, so it counts as one. Disagree? Too bad. Make your own list. If you haven’t read Hitchhiker’s Guide, you should go do it. I’m not joking. I have never met someone who’s read it and said that they hated it. Or even that they didn’t like it. I’m sure those people exist, but I’ve never met any of them. If this was a top ten list, there would be at least two other Douglas Adams titles on my list (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency for sure), but it isn’t, so this trilogy in five parts will have to do.
  2. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks - In case you didn’t know - I Love Zombies. I love the idea that, Science being what it is, a Zombie Apocalypse could happen. That’s terrifying and incredible. I mean, not incredible if you’re standing in the middle of a Zombie know, it make sense in my head, but I’ve never been able to explain it to anyone. Anyway, This book has zombies and great story telling. How could you go wrong with that?
  3. Divergent by Veronica Roth - Rarely do I finish a book and then want to instantly read it again. I read this book three times in four days. That’s how much I loved it. In fact, I think I might just read it again soon. I can not wait for the next book in this series!  ps: Why not check out my review of Divergent?
  4. Here's to You, Rachel Robinson by Judy Blume - I must have read this book a hundred times when I was young. Sadly, I no longer have my copy. I got a bit of a fix reading the “look inside” on Amazon, but that was just a tease. I’ve added it to my wish list, so I’ll remember to buy it in the future. Sadly, it doesn’t come in a kindle version. I only just learned that this is the second book in a series, but I really don’t have any interest in reading the first one.
  5. The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks - Because you gotta be prepared.

What books would you put in your top 5 list?

Aug 2, 2011

Rethinking My Happiness Commandments

I’ve finally had the opportunity to read The Happiness Project. I’m a long time reader of the blog, so it was pretty exciting to read the book. Back at the beginning of 2010 I wrote some happiness commandments of my own, and I think it’s about time to rework them. When I go back and read the original list, they’re all still pretty relevant. In fact, there is only one I would get rid of. I'm adding a few, including Be Dee. Like the author, who’s first commandment is to Be Gretchen, I need to remind myself to be who I am, and that although I might want to like something (or thing I should like something), doesn’t mean I will like it. 

My Updated Happiness Commandments
  • Be Dee
  • Do Something
  • Look Good, Feel Good
  • Never Stop Learning
  • Act how you want to feel
  • Healthiness is Happiness
  • Do it now, Don’t wait
  • Change leads to Growth
  • Spread joy, Knowledge and Love
  • Be Grateful
  • First things First
  • Get Out There
  • You Get One Life - This is it!

 Do Something is a big one for me. I always seem to have lots to do, but I get little accomplished. I procrastinate (which ties into Do It Now, Don’t Wait) and do nothing - or at least nothing useful - and things don’t get done. Which makes me feel awful and guilty. Do Something reminds me that if I’m going to waste time, by lets say watching the first two seasons of Cougar Town for the bazillionth time, I better be doing something useful at the same time. And that when I’m feeling bored, I should do something. Something is always better then nothing. 

So, anyway, that’s my happiness boosting efforts for today. Are you working on your happiness? Why not make some commandments of your own!