Sunday, September 30, 2007

life's not Fair

When I open my window or walk down my hallway, all I can smell is fair food. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm...fair food.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

contain this

Somehow a picture of me from a theme party in college ended up in a retail display at Container Stores nationwide. I don't even own this picture, so it was a little bit bizarre when a friend who works at The Container Store called to tell me about it. Yes, that's me in a Paschal High School uniform that I bought at a thrift store for 55 cents.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Inside The Living Body

"Osteoblast" is a cool word. It sounds like a verb for blowing up bones, but sadly it is not.

os·te·o·blast (ŏs'tē-ə-blāst')
n. A cell from which bone develops; a bone-forming cell.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

two words

conspicuous consumption

We all want nice things. A reliable car that gets us from A to B. A safe, attractive place to live. Stylish clothes we feel comfortable in that express who we are. Maybe you want a stainless steel trash can instead of your white plastic one, or an iPod, a new laptop, a couch that isn't a hand-me-down, an expensive new pair of jeans that fits like no other, some new camping equipment, or even a house. My point is, there is a difference between wanting nice things and conspicuous consumption, between "I have a nice comfortable car that efficiently gets me from A to B" and "look look LOOK at my EXPENSIVE car that cost me soooo much and shows off how much money I make and how much better I am than YOU."

In my opinion, conspicuous consumption is represented well by the Hummer. Most people who know me are well aware of my deep, deep, hatred of these vehicles. I despise, nay, loathe them. My blood pressure starts to rise and I actually start to sweat. Really, truly, sweat. There is absolutely, positively NO reason to have one of these vehicles in urban America other than to show off. Owning one shows a complete lack of respect for the earth you call home, the people you call neighbors and family, and your fellow drivers. PERIOD.

Another popular and perfect example of conspicuous consumption are logos. Oh you know what I'm talking about. That handbag or suitcase with an LV printed all over it. ("Look how much I spent on this handbag; I just have SO MUCH MONEY!! Don't you wish you were me?") Burberry plaid. The double C Chanel Logo. Gucci. Prada. Juicy Couture. Tommy Hilfiger. Even brands like Guess and some Target private labels are getting on the logo bandwagon. The thing is, these labels make many many styles of with a discreet logo. If you are really interested in the style or quality/craftsmanship of these items, they offer plenty of options without obnoxious all-over logos. But the people who choose the items plastered in logos are only interested in broadcasting their status and wealth; they are, above all, a status symbol. They say "I am chic, I have plenty disposable income, and I align myself with the marketing, lifestyle, and ideals that this company represents." Of course this logo-mania extends beyond leather goods to clothing, home decor, and as always, vehicles. (Just to reiterate this, I am not saying that having nice things is bad, just that there is a clear difference between having nice things, and having nice things with the sole purpose of showing off.) For example, we have seen the Eddie Bauer Explorer, for the person wanting to say "I am tough, I am outdoors-y, but I like leather seats embroidered with the Eddie Bauer logo and I never leave the safe pavement of my housing subdivision and suburban zip code...shhhhhh, don't tell!" I recently got behind this vehicle (see pic below) and shrieked "NO WAY!" With my right hand I fumbled inside my backpack and found my camera in time to grab a shot just as it turned a corner.

An H3 with a custom Burberry plaid spare tire cover, the red in the plaid matching the red Hummer. oh. my. gracious. Conspicuous consumption at its...worst.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

because I can't afford therapy

Do you ever have one of those bad dreams in which someone you know, or knew, very well treats you very very badly? I have them often...for about eight months now. It is usually the same person (last night it was actually two different people in two separate dreams). I wake up knowing that in real life they would never do whatever it is they just did in my dream, but the dreams are so vivid and real that I wake up feeling really hurt, and then for the next day or two I remain anxious and upset at them.

Even as a kid I usually had very violent and negative dreams. In general you hear that flying dreams are good and represent freedom. But my flying dreams were almost always about me flying away from someone who was trying to kill me. This person usually had a knife. Sometimes the "bad guy" (as it was always a man) could also fly. I also recall a dream from my childhood where a masked bad guy broke into my house and I was home alone. My sleeping self knew he was trying to kill me (again, he had a knife) but my dream self thought the whole thing was a game, laughing and racing around the house and furniture in a catch-me-if-you-can manner. So my sleeping self was freaking out trying to make my dream self see that he was serious and it wasn't a game.

I even had one dream in which I actually died, but this has only happened once. I still remember it very well. I was living in a country that, in my young mind, seemed like somewhere in the mid-east, desert-y and hot. The women were all being persecuted and living in these sort of stacked hammocks in this huge multi story building that just looked like a building looks before the sheet rock is put up, all open and unprotected. Anyway, I was posing as a man trying to fight for the rights of the women, and I was eventually caught and executed. The thing I don't remember is whether I was killed with a knife or a gun. But I do remember my sleeping self worrying very much about if it would hurt when I was killed since I was asleep.


On a lighter note, the weeks have been flying by since I got back. I woke up this morning, took the dog out, came back up to make breakfast, turned on the TV to see cartoons, and couldn't believe that it was Saturday again. I mean it was just Saturday. Seriously, like two days ago it was Saturday and i was making a feta and mushroom three-egg omelette watching this same animal show on Fox and getting ready for work, right? Wrong. It was SIX DAYS AGO. Geez. I blinked and August was gone. I blinked twice and summer was gone.

And I am fed up with restaurants continuing to use styrofoam and plastic to-go/take-home containers when there are affordable paper alternatives. So in a week when I get paid I am going to buy some Biopak 100% recycled take-out boxes to keep on hand and in my car. And when I run out of the staples I have on hand I am going to buy a staple-less stapler. Plastic freaks me out and I have banned it, as much as humanly possible, from my life (as far as eating is concerned). I heard that Whole Foods carries corn-based biodegradable straws and was very excited. So the next time I was there I looked but no luck. I asked one of the very helpful employees and they went off to find out about the mystery straws, but reported back that their location does not carry them but I could call around and see if maybe the other larger location have them.