Tuesday, December 30, 2008

selfish desires

i want my very own something to love and hug and cuddle and hang out with. i want something to love me unquestionably and always be there for me.
in short, i want a dog. i have been waiting years now, every since my dog died. i know there are some people who want love and rush out to have children, but i am waiting until the right time (for a dog). i need space (although there are many happy apartment dogs) and time and money but mostly i am waiting until i am stable. i am moving for the umpteenth time since i lived in florida and that is not good for a dog.
plus, i enjoy a slightly gypsy lifestyle now, and i would be even more encumbered by a dog.
i had a beta a few years back, but he often tried to commit suicide and he stayed behind several moves ago.
but someday, a dog. an older rescue dog. who i can tell everything to and who won't bark at everything and who will wrestle with me and will have a nice coat to pet (no yippers). someone to go on walks or swim or hike or whatever.
i had thought a golden or a basset hound, but maybe just a mutt. (or a basset retriever!)

i have already had the best dog, and he was great to talk to. he was my brother, my best friend, my child. got along with everyone and everything (he only tried to eat frogs, and spit those out) liked to swim and hike. and didn't try to hump me. plus he was beautiful. what more could you want in a companion?

i should try to find a picture to post.

oh, also, unlike a child - dogs only live to be 18 tops, and you can neuter them.

i love/hate science

i hate it like i hate othello and 1984.
i think that what i "think" i feel is really just a product of the chemicals bouncing around in my head. i'm only attracted to a man because his immunities are different than mine and we'll make good babies and he makes certain chemicals and hormones in my head and body go crazy. (or, if i am on the pill, it makes my body misread things)

i like to read these articles about love and our bodies and the chemicals and isn't oxytocin neat, but at the same time it depresses me because perhaps what i thought was love was really just science and biology.

can someone really love you or are they only acting a certain way in the hope of rewards (it makes them feel good, they want sex, they want something)
how can i reconcile being a halfway logical practical person with being an emotional hopeless romantic? can it be done?

sometimes i do things and i wonder if i do them selflessly, or do i have some other motive? of course i am not a great example, i'm not the best of people, but mine is the only brain i have to pick.

i would like to believe that love is not just science, but i am not sure.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

so this was christmas

living in florida it is sometimes hard to feel "christmassy" when your in a tank top and getting bit by mosquitos. at least, thats what people say. i think the cold definately helps, but i've had christmasses before, and they must have been warm. of course, i'm used to colder weather and people who say this are used to colder weather so i'm sure people who live in this all the time have no problem.

i did not feel very christmassy this year, but i think it had more to do with another year going out with a fizzle and not decorating my home. and doing "christmassy" things. but, definately, cold would help. cold would be nice anyways.

the real question is, as a non-theist (i'm not really sure what that means, even after looking it up - i assume someone with no defined religeon or beliefs) what is "christmas" to me?

it definately includes decorations and alot of the music i like (just not played non-stop until i hate them) and christmas movies and all that but i think charles dickens describes it best - specifically in the muppets' version of a christmas carol.
its not the buying (although i do like giving gifts or sending cards) and of course to me it is not about the birth of the savior (i don't even know when obama was born! or sidhartha gautama or ghandi). Mostly, to me, christmas is a time for family togetherness. the warmth and love of being with each other and celebrating that.

like valentines day you might say "why not enjoy your family all the time?" well, i like a holiday and this encourages you to spend time with family and celebrate it.

plus, its just cool to put a fire hazard in your house and cover it with electric wires!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

next year, less is more

recently when checking out the latest on inhabitat i read a neat article about buying nothing, or at least more practical, earth friendly gifts. there have been lots of ideas on inhabitat for buying things like buying a family a sheep through oxfam. the sheep helps the family become self reliant by producing wool that they can use to make clothes to sell to earn money to feed the sheep to make more wool to make more clothes... i've also read about buying trees and i've bought gift memberships to earth/animal friendly organizations before. and, i also like the website where you give the recipient a certificate to donate money to the charity of their choice (hopefully within reason, not nambla or whatever organization thinks the pill is murder.

so, i need to do more of that next year. walk the walk. i've done more e-cards this year although i was worried at first that people would like them less than physical cards, but i've heard from a few people that they like them. why not? they arrive quickly, don't create waste, don't cost (well, mine didn't). i sometimes feel a little guilty about not buying someone something for christmas but i think they will be happy if i at least get/send a card to show i care and am thinking about them. and personally, i would rather that than something i may have to give to the salvation army later.

-although, side note, i hear its a bad year for alot of organizations like salvation army and toys for tots and food banks, so please go through your house give what you can-

there is a rather angy discussion on inhabitat about why we need to shop and buy junk to save the economy, but i think my gas, grocery, phone and all other bills will have to do that. i don't think my, or anyone else's not buying "stuff" is what is ruining the economy.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

beds and bedrooms

once again i've found incredibleness on notcot. for some strange unexplainable reason - although i'm sure it makes some kind of weird sense to a psychologist - i like being in small spaces. namely, i like little bedrooms and inclosed beds. like beds with curtains or little cabins with loft rooms or this awesome "bedroom" in a european guesthouse (scroll to the bottom to see the bed in the niche in the wall). i suppose if you were freudian this might be some sort of womb thing. maybe its because i'm short?
anyways, this bedroom is cool. i think only curtains could make it cooler.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

the poo problem

of the many problems which overrun the country, one that i never gave much thought to was the poo problem. but, at the last public lands day, two of the ladies in my group were all about it. apparently, their business (i don't know if it makes money or if this is a free thing) is promoting or building dog waste disposal sites. i wasn't part of the conversation, i think it must have begun already when i started listening. anyhoo, through them i learned that dog waste is actually a big problem and beaches and rivers have been closed due to it. one of the other ladies i volunteered with said you can actually trace the waste in a lake or beach to know what kind of animal is causing it. what fun!
so, i am thinking of the loosely run neighborhood in which my dad lives - on a lake - and all the people out there who have dogs, but don't clean up after them. i found some neat information here about building a composter and here about how bad the problem is. i like the compost site because it says you can buy the starter stuff at somewhere like home depot.
in response to the "no one buries the animals poop in nature" statement; domestic animals are certainly (most of them anyways) not eating a natural diet (bacuns aren't natural??) and are not pooping in such a concentrated area.
so, if you know someone who's not picking up their poop - pass it on!

more green christmas

updated green christmas ideas. a company (or group) in the uk challenged people to wrap gifts in sustainable tape free ways. here. so, i've decided that i should also give up the tape. i've managed before. i like the use of rubber bands. scarfs and such are a cool idea - maybe my old single socks? ... maybe not.
also, i hope people don't mind ecards!

my other cheap favourite christmas idea is collecting the cut off branches from christmas trees from places that sell them. they make great wreaths or bouquets that smell good and last a long time

Thursday, December 11, 2008


remember the church lady on saturday night live? it was actually dana carvey dressed up as a cute little church lady. i'd include a video, but i can't find the one i want. well, anyhoo, i'm thinking of the episode where she makes the point that santa is just satan rearanged.
what brought on thoughts of satan santa? well, recently when looking at some website i thought i read "satan" when actually it said "santa". hm, what does this mean? if your freudian i guess i am a grinch. i asked my boss to order "satan claus" signs for christmas, but she doesn't think she can get those.
while i'm on a anti-christmas rant, did i tell you about the atheist christmas cards? maybe i did. if i wasn't making cards or using ecards.com i'd get those.
actually, i'm not anti-christmas, its just fun to taunt it. and, anything for that matter.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

brown paper packages tied up with string

this year - in an ever growing attempt to green my everything - i bought raffia ribbon at michaels to use instead of the usual plastic ribbon. last year i used hemp twine on some packages, and i've also reused ribbon - but what if the person i give a gift to doesn't reuse their ribbon? at least raffia is biodegradable and although the ribbon from micheals may not be completely ethically or organically grown, its got to be better than how plastic ribbon is made - plus, its a tree!

i've also given up wrapping paper. my new favorite way to wrap packages is with paper grocery sacks. if you turn them inside out they make great wrapping paper. plus, they are free and completely recyclable. i kind of like that simple earthy brown paper look. i've read that you could decorate plain wrapping paper with stamps or have kids do it (if your into kids). my old roommate decorated some plain wrapping paper by drawing on it. i really like the simple paper and ribbon look, but that would be fun too. resusable gift bags are nice, but you don't get to rip the paper, you don't know if the other person will reuse the bag, and then if you get one, you have to save it until you can regift it. another good thing about plain paper bags for wrapping paper is that its not too pretty. sometimes i feel bad for throwing away such pretty paper.

once i have something wrapped for christmas, i'll have to take a picture so you can see.

i think i will also do more donations for gifts next year. i read that through nrdc
you can have a tree planted in a tree planted for someone in costa rica for $10. i know i could personally use less "stuff". i heard on public radio that you can get someone a gift certificate with which they go online and choose which organization they want the donation to go to.

i suppose i still like a little stuff, but i really enjoy memberships and donations. any coments? maybe thats why flowers and food are perfect - they are stuff, but they won't last and they are biodegradable so they won't take up space in my house or in a landfill!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

paper! sustainable and convenient

occasionally (namely around christmas) i like to make my own holiday cards. the difficult thing is that convenient stores - michael's and jo-ann's - aren't very eco friendly. i pick up some stamps and raffia there, but i dislike buying paper from them because its not recycled. not at all.

so, i went to the evolve store - because they carry all sorts of earth friendly household stuff - to see if they carried recycled or alternative paper. they didn't but they directed me to xpedx

anyhoo, since they were so nice and i was quickly easily able to find just what i wanted i thought i'd pass the experience along. if your making cards or printing (anything really) christmas letters, i'd suggest stopping by - the location thing says they're all over. like in texas too.

(now where do i get greener stamp pads etc?) which is on colonial between the asian market and bumby right next to subway. there is a blue sign out front. they had all sorts of papers which i didn't look at because a guy who worked there took me to 100% RECYLED PRINTING PAPER AND CARDSTOCK! and linen paper and other stuff which i am sure is great. there were envelopes and such too. paper was sold in bold or by the sheet. good price and they were very nice and it was clean inside. AND they are fairly green for a paper company. its thoroughly discussed on their website. plus, they have forest stewardship council certified paper.

(ok, why is this going double spaced? why??)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

leftover cranberry sauce

everybody (ok, only like, one person and la madeline's) is talking about turkey stuffing cranberry sauce sandwiches which of course my family can't have - maybe they can with tofurkey at christmas. but, we are not a stuffing family anyways. and, i do of course enjoy our meat free meal. its fun and tastes good.
*but* what to do with that leftover cranberry sauce? well! i found a neat suggestion online to stir it into yogurt and top with nuts! wow, that does sound good! especialy nice THICK yogurt like greek. the bad thing about traveling for the holidays is NO LEFTOVERS! (although there was year chris's family was nice and made us leftovers to-go) i got the idea here.
somebody try it for me and let me know. and now i'm thinking, cranberry sauce smoothies? in oatmeal? on ice cream? i don't know, leftover cranberry sauce has always bothered me.
speaking of la madeline's, its the reason i go back to texas, i had the best thanksgiving rissoto there i'll have to try to recreate...
oh, and what am i thankful for this year? Obama! (how about you?)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Aldi's review

So i've finally made it out to Aldi's - the possibly european based cheap grocery store that i've only seen in PA before (that my mother loves). I stopped in the store at aloma and forsyth today. I didn't grab a cart because i didn't need much - but if i did need one i would have needed a quarter because they are cool and european style in that the carts are all chained to gether and you put a quarter in and get it back when you return it (hopefully will stop walmart style carts all over the parking lot). it was very clean and well lit and the prices were really good and they had pretty much everything. I didn't get anything though becuase i am making meatloaf tonight and i wanted old fashioned oats and they only had quick - so i figured i'd best just get everything at publix. but, they had everything else.
the cool thing was that if you did not bring a bag, you have to pay for a fairly sturdy plastic bag (varying prices for different sizes i think - also very european). i saw several people leaving with their groceries in bags and i wonder - will they bring them back and reuse them? will they think twice because it cost them? i hope so.
all and all i think it was cool - but i don't think i'd want to go if i was shopping for something very specific. but if i was picking up random things like sides and pantry staples and random meat and frozen stuff it was good (nice cheap grape tomatoes too).

which is more important? i.e. which would you choose at the exclusion of the other?