Friday, February 22, 2013

For The Love Of Books

For The Love Of Books

I had originally planned on writing about doing altered books, since it’s my favorite art form to play with. Then I got to thinking about bookcases. That led to some of my favorite odd designs I’ve found on the Internet. And so today’s posting will be about bookcases. I’ve always wanted a really large house big enough to have a room I could snootily call “the library”, as in, “The papers are on my desk in the library.”  It would have floor to ceiling shelving requiring a ladder on a track that would slide to whatever shelf you needed. And of course, that’s where I would have my evening cocktail before dinner….

Back to reality though. I’ve seen some really artistic cases and shelving ideas that I think would be so fun to have, but once again, it would take a pretty large house, which I will never have. So here are some of my daydreams:

The Wisdom Tree. This is one of the first ones I found on the Internet. Don’t remember what led me to it, but I thought this was just AWESOME. It was referred to as a “Dr. Seuss-type” bookcase. I remember showing it to Paul and telling him it would make a REALLY nice present someday (hint hint). He turned up his nose at it, saying it wouldn’t be very practical. Well, of course not! That wasn’t the point! It was ART…it didn’t have to be practical! You wouldn’t be able to put that many books on it, but that’s why you’d have all the other bookcases….

Cat Bookcase. This was the second one I discovered. There was actually a little video showing the cat walking up the steps to the little “scoop” at the top and settling down. Neat design. Seriously doubt that I could ever get one of my cats to cooperate enough climb up there, but fun to think about.

Quad Bookcase. Just one of many neat designs in this general area.

Book Tree. Love, love, love this one! I could see a room with one of these against every wall.

Bookcase Stairs. What an idea!! I’ve seen many clever ideas for storage incorporated into stairs, and having shelving going up the walls next to the stairs, but nothing like this. I just love this! This one is probably the least practical of them all, and not really viable if you want to be able to climb those stairs, unless all the books are paperbacks. Or you have very long legs. Still a neat idea.

READ! Last but not least. Do what it says.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Random Rants & Ramblings

Odd Socks
I was raised by a grandmother who knew how to darn socks. She went through the Depression where you never threw anything away that you could possibly get more use from. Socks were darned until they were useless. And she taught me how to do that as well. I always hated it, and the darned area would always rub blisters on my heels. So I don’t do that anymore. But what I will do is save the sock that doesn’t have holes in it and pair it up with another singleton and wear them. Why not? (BTW…those are NOT my feet there. I shave my legs!)

Coffee on TV
I have become increasingly irate at the way people mimic drinking a beverage on TV. Especially coffee. You can tell just by the way they hold the cup/mug/container that there is NOTHING in them! They gesture with them in their hands and you know if there was something in there, it would be sloshing all over the place. Then they mimic taking a sip of something that is supposed to be boiling hot and you KNOW they’re just putting their lips to the edge. They don’t even bother to lick their lips afterward. Then they plunk the cup on the desk with enough force to slosh the stuff out, and…NOTHING! There’s one show where the main gal is always making a cup of tea or some kind of drink in the blender. Well, when she uses the blender, you see stuff in it. More often than not, though, she is shown dunking a tea bag into an OBVIOUSLY EMPTY MUG!!!

Newspaper Festival
This title comes from a friend who many years ago talked about going to see the in-laws and they all just sat around in the living room reading magazines instead of conversing. He called it having a Magazine Festival. I have since adopted that phrase for newspapers. When I come back from my week in Fresno, I have all my newspapers that Marv has carefully saved for me. I sit in my comfy chair and have myself a Newspaper Festival.

The Neighbors
I just love this quirky new TV show about aliens in a gated community. I felt guilty about enjoying it so much, since the premise just screamed “Cancel me now!” but it has persevered. Lately, there was even a commercial for it, saying “It’s OK to like it now.” The other night we came back from church and I was grousing that there had been no dessert after the service as I had thought there would be. We turned down our street and the Ice Cream Truck guy across the street had a large vehicle in the middle of the street. There was barely enough room for us to pass and get to our driveway. There were several people out there doing who knows what. I was still complaining about dessert and as I was getting out of the car said “Well, I owe myself a dessert!” And I wasn’t quiet about it. I had recorded The Neighbors to watch after church, and going up the steps to the front door I announced “I’m going to fix myself a float and watch The Neighbors!!” After closing the front door, I realized that all those neighbors outside had undoubtedly heard me…oops. Then I almost felt obligated to fix my float, grab the lawn chair and go outside and watch…but I didn’t. I do have SOME restraint…

Off-Road Shopping
I used to ALWAYS shop with a list in my hand. I was forever making lists. If I went shopping and forgot my list on the counter, I might as well turn the car around and go back and get it. And no matter how lengthy that list was, there was always something that I should’ve gotten but didn’t, because IT WASN’T ON THE LIST. So---for some time now I’ve been doing what I call “off-road shopping.” No list. The few times that I had a list all made out and got to the store to discover I didn’t have it, I would resort to going up and down all the aisles and hope that I got everything I needed. And it usually worked. So I’ve gotten lax about keeping a list. Sometimes it works and I get it all without a list. Sometimes not. But I rarely fret about it anymore.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Calling Dionysus

Way back when Paul was at Butte College, he had some kind of English/Writing class for his general ed requirement. It was a very basic class and he had little interest in it. So I would do some of his assignments. One of them was to write about a dream he’d had or an imaginary conversation with someone. I did both and he chose the dream one. It was a made-up dream, of course. And I thought I did a pretty good job of interpreting the dream too. I got a “B” on it with some nice remarks from the teacher!! I put that paper up on the fridge for ages! (Hey, I know it’s lame, but this was the only college work I ever did!)

For the imaginary conversation, I chose Dionysus. I thought a heart-to-heart from a party boy to his “muse” would be interesting. I actually wrote this during an evening service at church during Advent. (I know! Don’t judge me!) And BTW, Paul is NOT nor has he EVER been a party boy. This whole thing is made up!

Calling Dionysus

Paul:  Dionysus? Are you there?

Dionysus:  Hey, Paul!

P:  Finally! I’ve been calling you forever, man.

D:  Well, here I am.

P:  It used to only take a couple beers at most to contact you. Now it takes at least a 6 pack and a bottle of wine!

D:  Well, you’re older now than when you first started drinking. You can hold more liquor now. I’m actually kinda proud of you.

P:  Why?

D:  Hey, booze is one of my specialties, man, and you have all the makings of a first-class alcoholic!

P:  Hey! I don’t drink THAT much! Really. At least, not THAT often. Really.
Anyway—here’s why I wanted to talk to you—
I used to enjoy the occasional buzz, and never suffered much for it the next day. But now when I “party hearty” I feel like crap the next day! It’s not as much fun as it used to be—why?

D:  hehehehehehehe….that’s the nature of my game, kid.

P:  Dionysus?

D:  What?

P:  Are you my friend?

D:  hehehehehehehehe……………

Friday, February 1, 2013

Snowflakes, Scaloozies and Mr. Rogers

While in Fresno this past week, I was pleased to introduce Lia to something very special from my childhood and something from Sarah's childhood.

I was playing with a piece of paper one evening, trying out a fold that would enable me to cut out a 6 pointed star. I then took that star and with a few more cuts made a snowflake. Lia was pretty impressed with that and wanted to do one of her own. I helped her do a couple and then remembered what my dad taught me when I was Lia's age: how to make Scaloozies. You just take a piece of paper, fold it several times and make random cutouts in it. When you unfold it, you have a Scaloozie. That's what he called it. I think he would have been pretty pleased to know that his great-granddaughter would carry that tradition on. I don't know why I never showed Sarah or Paul how to do it. Just didn't occur to me.

The other special thing I showed Lia was from Sarah's (and Paul's) childhood: Mr. Rogers Operas. We watched Mr. Rogers every afternoon when the kids were little. I was very impressed with the operas, knowing that Rogers actually wrote them. He was so talented in many ways, and music was one of them. The stories were simple and the music was easy to listen to. And a half-hour opera was just right for a child to listen to. After Mr. Rogers died, I really hoped that the operas would be available on DVD, but PBS has a stranglehold on the shows and will not let go. I did find 3 of the 13 operas on PBS Kids online that could be viewed. Two of my favorites, Spoon Mountain and Bubbleland were there. So one day, Lia and I watched them. She clearly liked the Spoon Mountain one the best and has since requested to watch it again. The only thing is: she won't let me sing along!