Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's Not My Fault

Every year - on the first day of the year - I watch the Lord of the Rings. I watch the whole thing, the extended edition, all the way through, start to finish. I totally immerse myself in Middle Earth, and I think about if The Lord of the Rings was real and true, and if I was an actual person in that real and true story - who would I be? who have I been? and most importantly who do I want to be?

I've blogged this before (Gandalf Changed My Life) - but last year I didn't talk about it at all. Which I find interesting. And because of that, I'm not entirely sure what my thoughts were - I do remember that I was pretty damn sure that I was a miserable failure at "being Aragorn." And since I'd failed time and again in my quest to personify the coolest character in the trilogy, I decided to try something totally different.

I decided that I'd give "being Frodo" a go. I had this idea that I would spend the year "taking the ring to Mordor." The ring being a metaphor for my sugar and crap food addiction. The idea being that how could I ever hope to achieve Aragorn if I couldn't even defeat the craving for a cookie.

And this post has been moved to my personal blog at shirleytwofeathers.com - I think it's definitely worth reading all the way through, and if you're interested, you can find it here:  It's Not My Fault


My Ecology Rant for the New Year

So, I've been watching Public Television recently... and I saw this show about the glaciers in Greenland, and how they are melting faster than anyone thought possible. It was really interesting and I started to feel really bad about the ways I contribute personally to global warming. The biggest thing being the burn pile... which is where all my trash goes. (The why's and wherefore's of that is a whole other story).

Then, on the heels of that show there was another one about Antarctica and what would happen if all that ice melted... talk about gloom and doom...

I probably could have started to get really depressed and scared about the whole thing, but there was this wonderfully wicked part of me that was thinking how cool it would be if suddenly the polar ice caps did melt and the world was totally reshaped. It would be so exciting and dramatic - like a disaster movie - only for real!

I don't know if other people have that small core of wickedness.. but it's the same thing that compells me to want to drop everything and watch whenever a plane flies overhead... and then be mildly disappointed when it didn't drop out of the sky in flames... My dad would probably say it's the Devil in me, and I don't know, maybe he's right... nevertheless, whatever it is, I have it. And let's face it - I'm probably not a "good person."

Anyway - then I watched a movie called "Bag It." It was a documentary about plastic bags, plastic, and our ridiculous notion that we should make a gagillion disposable bags, wrappers, and containers out of a non renewable substance that will last virtually forever in the environment... Here's a trailer for the movie:



So I watched it, and then I did get depressed - and angry too. Seeing whales beached and dead because their stomachs were full of plastic bags... birds feeding plastic to their babies because it was floating in the ocean and looked like food... And then there's this whole thing about great swirling "isalnds" of trash in the ocean - take a look at this really interesting and cool graphic Through The Gyre after you watch this video:


The wicked part of me was not at all titillated... and I was starting to think that maybe I should do something about it... actually, the wicked angry part of me wanted to walk into the boardrooms of those giant corporations who care more about money than they do about nature and blow their brains all over the boardroom floor...

But... I don't have a gun... and well... I'd have to get dressed and get into my car... and figure out where those boardrooms are... find my way into them...get past security... and then there would be the screaming.. and the blood... probably a lot more cool in a movie than in person... not to mention the life in prison ordeal and having to eat crappy prison food... deal with other inmates... mean bitches way more wicked than me... the whole thing just seemed... well... like way too much work... Plus there's this other thing annoyingly true thing:  if we - the consumers - weren't buying what they were selling - that would be the end of it! Interesting how easy it is to blame the faceless "others" when it's really myself who holds at least some responsibility.

And then I hit on the ideal solution! Global warming! I just need to help Antarctica melt in a hurry - and ta da! Problem solved.

The planet could get really warm - people could die off in huge numbers - those that remain would learn a really good lesson about ecology and fossil fuels - all those gagillion bits of plastic would eventually be assimilated somehow -  and yes - I'm sorry about the polar bears and the penguins - but let's face it - some things have to be sacrificed for the greater good!

So... here's my plan. No more plastic bags from the store - and no more plastic bottles of water. At least - not if I can help it. And whatever plastic I end up with... well... hey! I'm going to burn it in my burn pile and pray for the Arctic ice to melt in a hurry... it'll be my sacrifice - my prayer - my ritual to the God of Global Warming. And if nothing else, I can have the comfort of knowing that none MY plastic bags will end up here:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

45 Tips for A Good Life

Here's something kind of mushy and sentimental - but still, it's nice. The piece was written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written.. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:"

  1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will. Stay in touch.
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  6. You don't have to win every argument... Agree to disagree.
  7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone..
  8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
  9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
  10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
  12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
  13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
  15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
  16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
  18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
  19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
  20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
  21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
  23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
  24. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
  25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ''In five years, will this matter?".
  26. Always choose life.
  27. Forgive everyone everything.
  28. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  29. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.
  30. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  31. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  32. Believe in miracles.
  33. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
  34. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  35. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
  36. Your children get only one childhood.
  37. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  38. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  39. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
  40. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  41. The best is yet to come.
  42. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  43. Yield.
  44. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Where have I been?

It's been a while since I've blogged here at ShirleyTwofeathers - or anywhere else for that matter. And no - I didn't drop off the face of the earth - I'm never that lucky - but what I did fall into was a pandora's box called Cafe Press. 


My daughter and I have been busy making a little store filled with all kinds of cool stuff made from my mandala art. Naturally, I can't do just a few things and be happy with that. No. I had to make a gagillion different designs. Of course we got excited and made a bunch of stuff with those designs, only to realize that we'd jumped the gun and needed to get organized first, and then I totally over thought how to organize the shop (imagine that - me over thinking something), and finally, after redoing it 3 times - we now have a cute little store with about 1% of our stuff uploaded and saleable.

We called it "Cool Mandala Art" so go check it out. I did all my christmas shopping at our store - and they were all really cool. My favorite thing is the tile boxes, but the mugs were a big hit too...

Don't want to go visit the store? Ok... that's fine... I'll show you my designs anyway. Here's sampling of what's at the store as of today:

flower peace attraction
meditation butterfly
big heart balance
wake up happy
starburst retro divine
OMG!
summer star power
smooth mandala

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Secret To Lifelong Happiness

I have discovered the secret to lifelong happiness and peace of mind!! How cool is that? Are you curious to know what it is? It's quite simple, actually, here's the step by step tutorial:
  1. Move in with a nice, easy to please person who already has a lot of money.
  2. Use their money and go on an extended vacation to a tropical island paradise.
  3. While you are there, say hello to one of the locals, and next thing you know the two of you will be hanging out together and on the way to becoming very good friends.
  4. Make an offering at an ancient temple.
  5. Accumulate good karma by being nice to people.
  6. When you get home from vacation invite your new friend to come for a visit. The two of you will hit it off and in no time at all you'll be in love and making plans for marriage.
  7. Because of your good karma, a mysterious person will leave a magic lamp on your doorstep in the middle of the night.
  8. When you find the lamp, keep it safe until you are in a really good mood, and then rub the lamp.
  9. A genie will appear and give you three wishes. Isn't that nifty?
  10. Wish for peace of mind. (Save the other two wishes for later).
  11. You will then be in a permanent state of grace - and lifelong happiness will be yours for the taking.
  12. Now, marry your friend from the islands, and when that person is in a really good mood, give them the lamp so they can wish for their own peace of mind... and the two of you will live happily ever after!
I know this to be true because I played the Sims all day yesterday and that's exactly what happened! Here's the back story:

I've been having this urge to play the Sims - which usually means there's an important lesson about life that I can learn from it. So I powered up my game and created a person just like me. And of course, right away I realized that she was going to be a real pain in the ass because I couldn't get her to make friends with anyone. She flat out wasn't interested in talking to people at all... and spent all of her time making sure her 3 cats didn't destroy her house. She didn't have any money, and she couldn't find a job she liked. It was sounding way too familiar!

So, I decided I'd populate my neighborhood with copies of me and see if I'd even like myself if I happened to meet myself on the street. I love social experiments like this... Anyway... she'd never talk to herself when she walked by - and if I made her stop and chat - she'd spend like... I dunno... 2 seconds saying "hi" and then she was out of there.

It was obvious that she was going to die alone and unhappy.

So I decided to try something different. I made a copy of my person and her 3 cats and then I moved her in with a total stranger, a nice, easy to please stranger with money. They hardly spoke and never became friends but now my person had someone to take care of her animals while she went on vacation - and off to the islands she went. Once there, she wanted to learn some of the local customs - so she said hello to one of the locals and they just hit it off. I had never seen my sim person so animated and interested in talking to anyone ever.

When she got home from vacation, their friendship continued, and somehow she accumulated some good karma and the magic lamp showed up on her doorstep. I have no idea how that happened. I suspect it might have something to do with the offering at the ancient temple... I dunno... but whatever it was, she is now in love and permanently happy.

Ok... yeah I know, life is not a sim game... but I'm just saying... all it takes is enough money for a cool vacation.. an offering at an ancient temple... and who knows...

Playing at Life

When I was a little girl, I used to fantasize that I had a box under my bed, and in that box was a tiny world of people. Miniature living people with hopes and fears, families and lovers, dreams and ideas. To them, I was like a God - sometimes I was a benevolent and gracious God and other times... well... it's safe to say:

Don't piss the God off,
Stay out of sight and well hidden when she's having a bad day!

And so, when I discovered The Sims - it was like having a childhood dream come true. A tiny world of people "alive" in my computer ... how cool is that?



Probably I've talked about this before... and you're bored stiff.. and wishing I'd get to the point already. So, here's the thing. Whenever I play The Sims, I learn something important about life. For example:

  1. Physical comfort is important.
  2. If you aren't having enough fun, you won't want to do anything at all.
  3. If you don't get enough sleep, you won't want to go to work. 
And probably you're thinking to yourself  "well duh" because you already knew that. But I was astounded by that realization - oh... when I'm tired I should sit down... and not only that, but I should sit down in a comfortable chair! I did know that all work and no play made Johnny a dull boy - what I hadn't realized was that all work and no play made Shirley a cranky bitch.

Other things (some of which I already knew) include the following:
  1. If you want to make friends you have to talk to people.
  2. It's impossible to get a good night's sleep if the TV is on in the bedroom.
  3. Untrained pets can ruin your house in two seconds flat.
  4. You rarely make good decisions when you are really tired and in a very bad mood.
  5. Just because you hire someone to do something, it doesn't mean they will do a good job.
  6. If you want to fix dinner, there has to be food to fix it with.
  7. Don't jump into a swimming pool if there's no way to climb out of it when you're done swimming! 
  8. If you don't know how to fix a garbage disposal - and you're not mechanically  minded - don't even try.
  9. If something in your house is on fire - don't just stand around screaming "fire" "fire" - do something! Call the fire department and grab the fire extinguisher, and if neither thing is an option, then at least get out of the house!
  10. Life is easier if you have a maid that comes every day and cleans up your mess.
  11. Even loners can get lonely.
So there you have it... some tidbits of Sim Wisdom. Coming up next I'll be sharing the secret to peace of mind and lifelong happiness - which I discovered just last night!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Happy Birthday!

“When 900 years old, you reach…
Look as good, you will not.”

~Yoda

Monday, September 5, 2011

It's Still Here!

Yowsers! I haven't posted here since March!! Probably because I've been so busy posting a gazillion posts a day over on Gypsy Magic in between bouts of working my fingers to the bone at the Hell Mouth and sitting like a brain fried zombie in front of the TV.

So what's been happening while I've been away? Well, while I wasn't paying attention, someone was very busily hijacking my blogs. And since I have like... I dunno... 27 of them which is a ridiculous number... I didn't even notice until just now!

Which sent me on a rather annoying journey of clicking on a blog link - finding out it's redirecting to hotlinkfiles.com - having a short but foul mouthed shit fit - replacing the cool template that I really liked a lot or it wouldn't have been there in the first place - with a makeshift hastily found template that I really don't like but I'm in a hurry and it's the only way to get my blog back - and then fiddling with it until I realize I'm too pissy to make anything nice out of it - deleting the spam comments just in case they somehow had something to do with it - some sneaky malware code embedded in the totally off topic comment - and then on to the next one...

Happily - this blog is still A-OK. And I'm glad I visited because I had forgotten how much I like this little nook I made in that tangled web I wove... So... Hello and goodby. I hope I'll be back soon with something cool and surprising.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Snakes Like Rats!

OK... so I tell the world I have rat blood and what shows up in my house almost immediately? A snake!! And of course I have no idea what kind of snake it is... and I did take a picture.. actually several, the one on the right is the only one that came out.

It's kind of freaky to have a snake in your house - especially when he right away hides under the furniture, and you don't know what kind of a snake he even is because you didn't get a close enough look what with all the screaming... ok... I didn't actually scream... but I wasn't exactly calm either.

So, I left him in his little hiding place, called my son-in-law to come help me, and while I was waiting for him, I went on a web search for how to catch a snake in your house.

I found a tutorial on how to catch a snake, I called my son-in-law up and made him come over and help me find it. He wasn't hard to find, and catching him was amazingly simple - I'll post that tutorial here in a minute.

At first we thought he kind of looked like a baby copperhead. His little head did look triagular - and his markings (although you can't see them in the picture) did seem to go crossways, he was kind of a coppery color, and what with the pond so close to the house ... (I hadn't read the part about the brightly colored tails yet). But I couldn't bring myself to kill him, he was so cute! So we just let him loose in the field.

Then I started to worry that I might have saved a baby copperhead - and how smart was that really what with my granddaughter and my cats... so I looked up Poisonous Snakes in Missouri. Here's what I found:

According to the University of Missouri Extension Center, it's easy to figure out which snakes are poinsonous. Here's what they say on their website:

All of Missouri's poisonous snakes are members of the pit viper family, and you easily can distinguish them from harmless snakes. Three ways exist to distinguish poisonous snakes in Missouri:

Identifying a poisonous snake by its pupils.

Harmless snakes have round pupils (the black part in the center of the eye). Poisonous snakes have egg-shaped or cat-like (elliptical) pupils. In good light, you easily can see the pupil shape from a safe distance because snakes cannot jump, nor can they strike, from more than one-third of their body length.

Poisonous snakes in Missouri also have a conspicuous sensory area or pit (hence the name "pit viper") on each side of the head. The pit looks somewhat like a nostril and helps the snake locate warm-bodied food. It is located about midway between and slightly below the eye and nostril. Harmless snakes do not have pits.

Identifying a poisonous snake by its tail.

The underside scales of a poisonous snake's tail go all the way across in a single row from the anal plate. The tip of the tail may have two scale rows. Nonpoisonous snakes have two rows of scales from the vent to the end of the tail. This characteristic also can be seen on skins that may have been shed.

Other features may help you identify a poisonous snake at a distance:

Usually, poisonous snakes have a triangular (wide at the back and attached to a narrow neck) or "spade-shaped" head. Be aware that many other harmless snakes flatten their heads when threatened and may appear poisonous.

Usually, rattlesnakes sound a warning rattle (a buzz or a dry, whirring sound) when approached. However, many nonpoisonous snakes (black racers, corn snakes, rat snakes, milk snakes and pine snakes) and several poisonous snakes (copperhead and cottonmouth) often vibrate their tails when threatened. The sound produced by this vibration often imitates a rattle or hissing sound when the snake is sitting in dry grass or leaves.

Snakes with lengthwise-striped markings are nonpoisonous. Most solid-colored snakes also are nonpoisonous, except the adult western cottonmouth, which has dark crossbands that often are indistinct. If a snake is marked in any other way, use other characteristics for identification.

You easily can recognize young cottonmouths and copperheads by their bright yellow or greenish yellow tails.

Whew! Now that's a sigh of relief -

As you can see though, his pupils are round, he was probably just flaring his head trying to look scary. and his tail was the same color as the rest of him... so... probably it was just a little garter snake...

Oh and by the way!

Here's something else I found out. Snakes in Missouri are protected by state law. The Wildlife Code of Missouri treats snakes, lizards and most turtles as nongame. This means there is no open season on these animals, and it is technically illegal to kill them. Of course, realistic exceptions exist, such as when a poisonous snake comes in close contact with humans, which could result in someone getting bitten. You should get a collecting permit from the Missouri Department of Conservation before attempting to catch and keep a snake.

How'd we catch it? We found his little hiding place and threw a towel over him and then picked him up.


Here's a tutorial with some other ideas.

Occasionally, homeowners find a snake inside the home, usually in a basement or crawl space. Snakes are attracted to these areas by the warmth on cold days and the shade on hot days. They may enter through a hole around the foundation or an open or loose door or basement window. If this occurs, you need to get the snakes out, then seal the holes.

You increase your chances of capturing a snake in the house by placing in areas where snakes have been seen some rumpled, damp cloths covered by dry cloths. Snakes are attracted to these areas. You then can remove the whole works, snake and cloths, or capture the snake individually. A good way to remove a snake is to sweep it with a broom into a large bucket.

Here he is.
Isn't he cute?

Rat Blood

I've been thinking a lot about Charlie Sheen and his Tiger Blood. And I say, good for you Charlie! As for me? I have rat blood!

Seriously! My life does seem to unfold as a series of mazes and traps! Not only that, I live in what would definitely pass for a rat hole, my mind scurries around constantly gnawing on a variety of savory and not so savory things, when cornered I absolutely will turn and fight... the list goes on.

And who's to say that rat blood isn't a good thing? Read this quote:

If a man be ridden with a great weight of sleep, as one who has tasted mandragora, so that his eyes glue themselves together, and all his functions are dried up in drowsiness, the blood of a rat poured into his veins may avail to remove the curse and call back the soul into his body.

That quote came from a Time Magazine Article! So you know it must be true!

Did you know that a group of rats is called a mischief? How fun is that? Here's something else that's fun to know, a rat's fur smells like grape soda. I know that's true because mine does too! It's also true that when rats don't have companionship, they can become lonely, depressed, anxious and stressed.  Rats love games and are highly curious – as curious as cats. Rats adore snuggling up in your lap while you watch a movie or read a book. Me too!

Not only that, Rats can sniff out landmines and bombs and identify tuberculosis; they can be used in search and rescue. They are also very tasty, which is comforting to know if you're ever trapped in a sewer.

The first year of the Chinese zodia is the Year of the Rat - and I'm sure that Rat year is first year for a very good reason. And what about the "Rat Pack"? The Rat temple? Did you know there's even a rat fan club?




Awww...
Isn't that cute?

The Rat Pack Live


The Rat Pack live at the "Kiel Opera House", St. Louis - June 20, 1965. Only known filmed "The Rat Pack" concert from the 1960s. It was originally aired as a charity event that was beamed live (via closed circuit) to audiences at movie theaters around the country.

Host: Johnny Carson.
Songs: Send Me The Pillow and You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You.

The Rat Temple


The Karni Mata Temple is an important Hindu site. It is a beautiful temple made of marble with solid silver doors. However, it is not the architecture of this temple that attracts tourists; it is the thousands of rats that inhabit it. There are special holes and tunnels around the temple to facilitate the rats' movements as well as a wire screen over the courtyard to protect them from birds of prey.



Pilgrims are anointed with ash while the scurrying critters run over their feet. This is considered very auspicious as is spotting a rare white rat. Bowls of milk and water are strategically placed throughout the temple and pilgrims feed the rats balls of sugar. You may be asking, "Why all the fuss about rats?" Well, these pilgrims believe that the rats are their ancestors.

Here's a video:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Winning Recipes With Charlie Sheen


Too Too Funny!!

Digging Charlie Sheen

Some of the people I know are absolutely appalled by the stuff Charlie Sheen has been saying lately - but not me! I am totally enjoying him! Totally! I mean... WINNING! He just cracks me up. And he tells the truth. And yes, his truth is sometimes a bit of a stretch, but hey, plenty of what he says is my truth too!

Here's my favorite quote:

I was people pleasing for too long. And when you're people pleasing, your soul is dead. Cause at the end of the day you're left with yourself and you think, god, I didn't take care of myself, again.


(Link) View more Charlie Sheen: Winning Sound Clips and Charlie Sheen Rant Sound Clips

Hopefully this audio clip will work! If not, here's a link to the webpage where I found it: People Pleasing. I love the way he says it!

I didn't used to be a Charlie Sheen fan. I always thought he was kind of lame. Two And A Half Men is probably the stupidist show on television, I've never watched an entire episode even once. So it boggles my mind to think it's even slightly popular. But after watching his interview - I was hooked - not on his show but on him. The stuff he comes up with ... well, I'm digging it.

My favorite Charlie Sheen quotes:

“I’m tired of pretending like I'm not special. I'm tired of pretending like I'm not bitching, a total freaking rock star from Mars and people can't figure me out, they can't process me. I don't expect them to. You can't process me with the normal brain.”

"I’m here and I’m ready. Bring it."

"If you borrowed my brain for five seconds, you’d be like, ‘Dude! Can’t handle it, unplug this bastard!’"

"I blinked and I cured my brain."

"We have a few rules here. Nobody panics. There’s no judgment. You park your judgment at the door. Nobody dies. And — enjoy every moment. What did I miss? Drink chocolate milk. We just have fun. There’s a ton of laughter in this house. A ton of love in this house. There’s a ton of nobility in this house."


"Women are not meant to be hit. They’re to be hugged and caressed."

"That was an old brain, I have a new brain. I have a 10,000-year-old brain and the boogers of a 7-year-old. That’s how I describe myself."

"Well, life all comes down to a few moments. This is one of them."

“I am grandiose because I live a grandiose life; what's wrong with that?”

"I'm a winner and their lives look like they're - you know, ruled by losers."

"I got tiger blood, man. My brain:.fires in a way that is -- I don't know, maybe not from this particular terrestrial realm."

"I finally extracted myself from their troll hole and started living my life the way I want to live it."

"I was actually disappointed because I thought, I think the mistake, the mistakes, I made is that people misinterpret my passion for anger."

 "I'm not interested in people treating me like a 12-year-old."

"I am on a drug. It's called Charlie Sheen. It's not available because if you try it once, you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body."

"Tiger blood will drip from my veins in my quest. Defeat is not an option."

"I don't count my days because it puts a premium on them and you walk around with your days, where did my days go? Keep coming back, keep coming back, here's your one day..."

"I'm not fair game. I'm not a soft target. It's over. There's a new sheriff in town. And he has an army of assassins."

"I'm sorry man but I've got magic. I've got poetry in my fingertips."

"I have 'mondo' gratitude for this life. Life is a fantasy."

“I don’t live in the middle anymore, that’s where you get slaughtered, that’s where you get embarrassed in front of the prom queen and I just…it’s just not an option.”

"Guess what we were doing all day, every second of the day? Winning."

“Don’t be special, be one of us.’ Newsflash: I am special, and I will never be one of you!”

“My motto now is ‘You either love or you hate and you must do so violently’”

"I have one speed. I have one gear. Go! And I dare you to keep up with me."

"I don't speak to them anymore. I speak past them. I don't have any interest in being stuck in the mire of their stupidity. I lead with the truth. I've been inside the truth."

"That's how I roll. And if it's too gnarly for people, then buh-bye."

"Lead by example and teach your kids right and wrong. If my right and wrong is a little bit different than anybody else, then my kids will be different too."

"I've never been in trouble [financially]. Something will fall out of the sky, I don't believe in panic."

"They give me oxygen......we love trees, let's keep as many as we can and marry a tree, marriage for me didn't work so I am just going to marry a tree."

"I healed really quickly, but I also unravel really quickly, so get me right now, guys. Get me right now."

"I'm crazy, I'm passionate and I speak the truth."

"I'm grandiose. I have a grandiose life and I'm embracing it. ... It doesn't fit into their model and their model sucks."

"When I step between the lines, it's on. And I'm there to show others how it's done. It's not really rocket science."

"I closed my eyes and made it so with the power of my mind. I had to unload 22 years of fiction and just decided I don't believe that anymore."


"It was nice to have police come to my house and for once I didn't leave with them."

“People are mystified by this odyssey that refuses to quit calling itself Charlie Sheen.”

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ponderisms

I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes.

Garden Rule: When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.If it is hard to pull out, and grows back anyway, it was a weed.

The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.

Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Have you noticed since everyone has a camcorder these days no one talks about seeing UFOs like they used to?

In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here and drink whatever comes out?"

Who was the first person to say, "See that chicken there? I'm gonna eat the next thing that comes outta its butt."

If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a song about him?

Why does your OB-GYN leave the room when you get undressed if he's going to look up there anyway?

Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet Soup?

Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

Do you ever wonder why you even came to this website in the first place?
Big mistake!! Huge!! Still!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

In the Garden


In each century since the beginning of the world wonderful things have been discovered. In the last century more amazing things were found out than in any century before. In this new century hundreds of things still more astounding will be brought to light. At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done—then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago. One of the new things people began to find out in the last century was that thoughts—just mere thoughts—are as powerful as electric batteries—as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison. To let a sad thought or a bad one get into your mind is as dangerous as letting a scarlet fever germ get into your body. If you let it stay there after it has got in you may never get over it as long as you live.

So long as Mistress Mary's mind was full of disagreeable thoughts about her dislikes and sour opinions of people and her determination not to be pleased by or interested in anything, she was a yellow-faced, sickly, bored and wretched child. Circumstances, however, were very kind to her, though she was not at all aware of it. They began to push her about for her own good. When her mind gradually filled itself with robins, and moorland cottages crowded with children, with queer crabbed old gardeners and common little Yorkshire housemaids, with springtime and with secret gardens coming alive day by day, and also with a moor boy and his "creatures," there was no room left for the disagreeable thoughts which affected her liver and her digestion and made her yellow and tired.

So long as Colin shut himself up in his room and thought only of his fears and weakness and his detestation of people who looked at him and reflected hourly on humps and early death, he was a hysterical half-crazy little hypochondriac who knew nothing of the sunshine and the spring and also did not know that he could get well and could stand upon his feet if he tried to do it. When new beautiful thoughts began to push out the old hideous ones, life began to come back to him, his blood ran healthily through his veins and strength poured into him like a flood. His scientific experiment was quite practical and simple and there was nothing weird about it at all. Much more surprising things can happen to any one who, when a disagreeable or discouraged thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time and push it out by putting in an agreeable determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot be in one place.

"Where, you tend a rose, my lad,
A thistle cannot grow."

While the secret garden was coming alive and two children were coming alive with it, there was a man wandering about certain far-away beautiful places in the Norwegian fiords and the valleys and mountains of Switzerland and he was a man who for ten years had kept his mind filled with dark and heart-broken thinking. He had not been courageous; he had never tried to put any other thoughts in the place of the dark ones. He had wandered by blue lakes and thought them; he had lain on mountain-sides with sheets of deep blue gentians blooming all about him and flower breaths filling all the air and he had thought them. A terrible sorrow had fallen upon him when he had been happy and he had let his soul fill itself with blackness and had refused obstinately to allow any rift of light to pierce through. He had forgotten and deserted his home and his duties. When he traveled about, darkness so brooded over him that the sight of him was a wrong done to other people because it was as if he poisoned the air about him with gloom. Most strangers thought he must be either half mad or a man with some hidden crime on his soul. He, was a tall man with a drawn face and crooked shoulders and the name he always entered on hotel registers was, "Archibald Craven, Misselthwaite Manor, Yorkshire, England."

He had traveled far and wide since the day he saw Mistress Mary in his study and told her she might have her "bit of earth." He had been in the most beautiful places in Europe, though he had remained nowhere more than a few days. He had chosen the quietest and remotest spots. He had been on the tops of mountains whose heads were in the clouds and had looked down on other mountains when the sun rose and touched them with such light as made it seem as if the world were just being born.

But the light had never seemed to touch himself until one day when he realized that for the first time in ten years a strange thing had happened. He was in a wonderful valley in the Austrian Tyrol and he had been walking alone through such beauty as might have lifted, any man's soul out of shadow. He had walked a long way and it had not lifted his. But at last he had felt tired and had thrown himself down to rest on a carpet of moss by a stream. It was a clear little stream which ran quite merrily along on its narrow way through the luscious damp greenness. Sometimes it made a sound rather like very low laughter as it bubbled over and round stones. He saw birds come and dip their heads to drink in it and then flick their wings and fly away. It seemed like a thing alive and yet its tiny voice made the stillness seem deeper. The valley was very, very still.

As he sat gazing into the clear running of the water, Archibald Craven gradually felt his mind and body both grow quiet, as quiet as the valley itself. He wondered if he were going to sleep, but he was not. He sat and gazed at the sunlit water and his eyes began to see things growing at its edge. There was one lovely mass of blue forget-me-nots growing so close to the stream that its leaves were wet and at these he found himself looking as he remembered he had looked at such things years ago. He was actually thinking tenderly how lovely it was and what wonders of blue its hundreds of little blossoms were. He did not know that just that simple thought was slowly filling his mind—filling and filling it until other things were softly pushed aside. It was as if a sweet clear spring had begun to rise in a stagnant pool and had risen and risen until at last it swept the dark water away. But of course he did not think of this himself. He only knew that the valley seemed to grow quieter and quieter as he sat and stared at the bright delicate blueness. He did not know how long he sat there or what was happening to him, but at last he moved as if he were awakening and he got up slowly and stood on the moss carpet, drawing a long, deep, soft breath and wondering at himself. Something seemed to have been unbound and released in him, very quietly.

"What is it?" he said, almost in a whisper, and he passed his hand over his forehead. "I almost feel as if—I were alive!"

I do not know enough about the wonderfulness of undiscovered things to be able to explain how this had happened to him. Neither does any one else yet. He did not understand at all himself—but he remembered this strange hour months afterward when he was at Misselthwaite again and he found out quite by accident that on this very day Colin had cried out as he went into the secret garden:

"I am going to live forever and ever and ever!"

The singular calmness remained with him the rest of the evening and he slept a new reposeful sleep; but it was not with him very long. He did not know that it could be kept. By the next night he had opened the doors wide to his dark thoughts and they had come trooping and rushing back. He left the valley and went on his wandering way again. But, strange as it seemed to him, there were minutes—sometimes half-hours—when, without his knowing why, the black burden seemed to lift itself again and he knew he was a living man and not a dead one. Slowly—slowly—for no reason that he knew of—he was "coming alive" with the garden....


From: The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Chapter 27

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Log Off Warning


I got this error message today...
I didn't know what to do!

Then I got this message in my inbox!


Yowsers!
So I sent this reply:


 

Here's a thought!

Wouldn't I be nice if whenever we messed up our life
we could simply press 'Ctr Alt Delete' and start all over?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

More toothbrush pictures!


Looks like some people don't know where a toothbrush is actually supposed to go!



Except for maybe Darth Vader here...
He just doesn't have...
well... teeth!

Brushing Some Big Teeth!

While researching photos for the post about how internet games are taking over - I found these!
Aren't they fun?



Speaking of Games

That one guy looks kind of worried!

Games Are Taking Over!

From CNN we have this interesting and creepy interview with Jesse Schell, a game designer and professor of Carnegie Mellon University. It's all about why games will take over our lives - there are even plans for a game in your toothbrush! Gamepocalypse is fast approaching!! Here's the article:

(CNN) -- If you think an electric toothbrush is high-tech, wait until you hear about the Internet-enabled version. Jesse Schell, a game designer and Carnegie Mellon University professor, says toothbrushes will be hooked-up with Wi-Fi Internet connections within five years.

The point? If the entire Internet knows how often you brush your teeth and for how long, there's an incentive to brush more often.

Toothbrush makers could offer rewards for frequent brushers, too. Say you brush your teeth twice each day for three months. A company like Crest or Procter & Gamble could reward you with coupons for more toothbrushes, since your well-used bristles would probably be frayed by then.

Schell says dental hygiene -- and, really, just about everything else -- will become a game. He thinks the "gamepocalypse," the moment when everything in our lives becomes a game, is coming soon -- if it's not already here.

The Web-connected toothbrush is just one example Schell touched on during a recent interview. Here's an edited transcript:

CNN: You've said games are showing up all over the place. What do you mean by that, exactly?

In short, we already see games creeping into our everyday lives in all kinds of funny ways. You go to Starbucks, and you get points if you have a Starbucks card. And, in fact, they have a whole leveling system. The more times you visit, the more you move from level green up to gold level, with special privileges and free soy milk.

Already, we have this whole system of economies floating around out there. And at the same time, we have all these technologies showing up that are allowing us to track new things, things that we couldn't do before.

CNN: What are we tracking now that we couldn't before?

A new example that's kind of a popular one is this new game Foursquare, which is a game that works off of the GPS in your phone.

We normally think, 'Oh, the GPS in my phone is useful in case I need to get directions to somewhere.' But there's no reason that your GPS can't track your location all the time. And, in fact, why not make a game of it?

So in the world of Foursquare, you get territory points based on all the places you visit. If you are the person who visits a place more than anyone else, you can become the mayor of that place, unless someone else visits it more than you, and then they take over the mayorship of the place.

New video gaming systems are coming out that track every joint of your body. It's basically going to become a normal thing for us to allow Microsoft to put a three-dimensional camera on top of your television set looking at you, which sounds like a Big Brother scenario if ever I heard one, but, still, it's what we're going to allow.

CNN: Do you think this will go so far that we'll be living a game?

I think people will find a great deal of their lives co-opted by games, sort of like how we saw advertising co-opt huge amounts of our lives in the 20th century.

CNN: Has it already happened?

I jokingly call this convergence of games into reality the "Gamepocalypse": the moment when every moment of life is actually a game. So many people have been interested in the topic that I made a blog called Gamepocalypse Now.

Do you know about this Green Goose product that you snap onto your bicycle and it tracks how much you ride ... and it has a system of rewards based on how much gas you save?

There's a lot of these things that are starting to happen now, and I think we're going to see more and more of them coming together.

CNN: What's going to happen next?

I think camera-based technology and tracking is going to be one of the things, in the next 10 years, we're going to see a lot of evolution in.

The idea of cheap little cameras and disposable cameras are going to become fairly normal. And when you combine that with the fact that we're getting used to touch-based interfaces and gesture-based interfaces, I think we're going to see these cameras in a lot of places for interacting with a lot of things.

You've got Google Goggles, where you take a picture of like anything, and it will tell you what it is. We haven't really started to make games with that yet, but I think we will start to.

And if you look at the new Nintendo DSi, which is their newest handheld, it has two cameras on it, which at first seemed kind of crazy to people, but the idea is you have one camera that faces out into the world and one that faces you the user, so it can look at your face and study your face.

No one's quite figured out exactly what that's for yet.

CNN: What do you think it's for?

I presume they want to go toward some facial tracking. They want to have games that involve tracking your face.

I think one of the things we'll start to see is common is, massively multiplayer online games like World of Warcraft will start to have a camera on your face, and then they'll map your facial expression to your avatar.

That's technologically not very difficult, and I think the potential for meaningful emotional expression and communication is significant there.

CNN: Will that change our everyday lives?

Anybody who has a product that can sense that the product is being used ... they're going to want to create motivations for you to use the product.

So fundamentally, they're going to make games out of it, because games are reward-based systems that motivate us to do things.

In fact, Oral-B is like halfway there. They already have a toothbrush that senses when you're brushing your teeth. And every 30 seconds, it beeps, meaning it's time now to change to a different corner of your mouth. So you do the four quadrants of your mouth, and when you've done all four, then it does a little special beep, and a happy face appears. And you don't get the happy face, you get a sad face, if you don't finishing brushing your teeth properly.

Now, that doesn't connect to the Internet yet, but, you know, it's about five seconds from connecting to the Internet. They already have a bathroom scale that uses Wi-Fi and connects to the Internet, so that every time you weigh yourself, it uploads it to a database so you can track your weight over time. You can configure it to automatically tweet your weight, in case you want that.

CNN: Is that supposed to be fun, or beneficial, for the consumer?

It depends on the product. If it's a product that gets you to brush your teeth more, or what if it not only it gets you to brush your teeth, but you floss?

That sounds health-giving. But if you look at people who make soda pop, they're going to try to incentivize you to do things that are less healthy. I hate to think about the systems the cigarette companies are going to come up with in order to incentivize people.

Whether it's fun is going to be important, because it's going to be competition. The 21st century is going to be this war for the attention of humanity.

CNN: Do you see a downside to people being watched and tracked all the time?

We all have choices to make about what aspects of our privacy we want to give away. We're already making choices like that all the time.

Anybody who uses Gmail has decided, "Yeah, I think it's OK for a major corporation to carefully sniff through every word of every e-mail I send and try to automatically come up with a profile of what sorts of things I might want to buy and then pop up distracting messages, specifically designed to distract me, based on my interests, on the side of the page."

So you could say, "Yeah, that's kind of creepy." Many of us say, "That's OK. I'm willing to give that up."

Is it OK for Amazon to know every word of every book you've read? Are you comfortable with that? Maybe you are. Is it OK to let everybody know you eat Corn Flakes? OK, but then there are certain products you might not want people to know that you're using. ...

The part that I worry about the most is sort of the perverse incentives that these systems are going to try to create. Largely, the companies won't be caring about our health and welfare. They're going to be caring about, "Can I manipulate you into doing things that help the company?"

CNN: Should we create regulations to keep that from happening?

That's hard for me to imagine. These things are going to creep up on us one by one, and it's going to be up to what can people take, and what can people tolerate?

CNN: Why are we attracted to games?

One of the main things that's appealing about games is that you know a game can be won. It's an unusual game that's impossible to win.

In real life, we have these problems, and the problems are hairy, and they're messy. You look at the problems that you face in your job or in your relationship or in your family, and it's like there's no clear winning, and there's no clear losing. Whereas, in a game, things are crisp and clear.

The game presents you with challenges that can be met, and then it congratulates you on your successes at those challenges. It's a thing we don't get everyday in life.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Yeah! I want that too!!


I want to learn how to purr. Abandon myself, have mistresses in maidenhair fern, own no tomorrow nor yesterday: a blank shimmering space forward and back. I want to think with my belly. I want to name all the stars animals flowers birds rocks in order to forget them, start over again. I want to wear the seasons, harlequin, become ancient and etched by weather. I want to be snow pulse, ruminating ungulate, pebble at the bottom of the abyss, candle burning darkness rather than flame. I want to peer at things shameless, observe the unfastening, that stripping of shape by dusk. I want to sit in the meadow a rotten stump pungent with slimemold, home for pupae and grubs, concentric rings collapsing into the passacaglia of time. I want to crawl inside someone and hibernate one entire night with no clocks to wake me, thighs fragrant loam. I want to melt. I want to swim naked with an otter. I want to turn inside out, exchange nuclei with the Sun. Toward the mythic kingdom of summer I want to make blind motion, using my ribs as a raft, following the spiders as they set sail on their tasseled shining silk. Sometimes even a single feather’s enough to fly."

-Robert Maclean

Monday, February 21, 2011

Doing The work without doing it!

So, looks to me like nobody actually wants to do "the work." And if you don't have a clue what I'm talking about - that's ok because well... I never do either.

And what I think I'm talking about is the latest Prosperity Project. A while back, I thought it would be a really good idea to do The Work - and I've been working my ass off avoiding doing the actual work of doing the work. Instead, what I have done is an unprecedented amount of blogging. I have actually completed the entire 30 day project - 2 sometimes 3 posts a day for 30 days - that's more than 60 posts folks!! - complete with awesome illustrative artwork - all prescheduled so that the Prosperity Project can post like clockwork and I'll never even have to look at it for the entire time we're "doing the work."

I may even have to do the work on why I'm not doing the work... so that I can find out if it's really true or not that I'm not doing it because maybe I'm actually doing it without knowing that I'm doing it...

It's fun that no one else is doing it with me because now I can moan and complain about how nobody wants to do the work - and nobody is participating - and nobody even goes to the prosperity project. I can blame my own lack of participation on everyone else's lack of participation and find all kinds of excuses to feel sorry for myself - and use up every inch of my available brain power with that so that there really isn't time - or room in my life to do the work on myself for myself with myself by myself.

Cool, huh? And hey, if you're totally not interested in doing the work over at the Prosperity Project, you're probably equally not interested in all the cool pictures I found to go with it.

I didn't, for example, post this one:


Nor did I post these:


Astonshing, the talent it would take to do this, huh?


Yes, it is actually a shoe carved into the lead of a carpenter's pencil!


Nifty, huh?
Pencil shavings - who thinks of shit like this?


I didn't post this one either - it's a torso made of pencils.
Looks almost snuggly, doesn't it?


Yes, you guessed it!
That's a big glob made out of pencils.

Oh, and just in case you didn't want to see it!
Here's one I actually did post.

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