Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Eleven Steps to Happy Grapes.

Little things are everywhere.
Little things are on my pear.
Little things are in our sink.
Little things... you really stink.

They start with an f.
Actually, f. f.

Fruit flies. Gross.

We had like one or two last week, I think. Yeah, bad batch of grapes, you know how it is.
Then Ryan and I both went away for the weekend, and phoom... whoosh... flap...? The f.f.'s moved in and did whatever it is they do to produce many more little f.f.'s.(sheesh, ever heard of renting a movie?)

So, we've done some research, and I want to share it with you all in case you ever get bad grapes.

1) Bleach everything.
2) Put pop or juice in a bowl.
3) Cover the bowl tightly with saran wrap. (Or no-name plastic wrap. Cheapest).
4) Poke holes in the saran/plastic wrap.
5) Watch in dismay as no f.f.'s get trapped. 
6) Change your mind and put cut-up bananas in the bowl instead.
7) Change your mind again and realize that yes, bananas are good. But that it's really because the holes weren't big enough that the f.f.'s didn't go in.
8) Poke bigger holes.
9) Bleach everything again.
10) Keep an eye on the bowl.
11) Giggle in delight when you see one... then two... then twelve little f.f. suckers get trapped in the banana bowl.

Yeah, so that's what we've been doin':

Running to check the f.f. count in the bowl.

Not eating bananas.

And smelling like bleach every minute of every day.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Teenage White Elephants. My Favorite.

What kinds of little things do you think would be important to making a good movie? Like, a good movie.
I know a few.

Mm, how about character development? Yeah, I think that's a pretty standard expectation.

Okay, how about an exciting plot that is dynamic in some way, like you know... it builds, it changes, it reels you in. Yeah, I think that's one too.

Kay, how about this. How about at least some sense of being able to relate to the characters. Maybe they're passionate and purpose-driven... like you. Maybe they're developing in their personality... like you. Maybe they have a great sense of humour... like you.

Now, let's say that you sit down to watch a movie that has none of these elements, these "little things" that are so obviously crucial to any half-decent movie. That probably means you're watching a no-name, one-copy-in-the-video-store, low-budget film, eh?


What's more likely is that you're sitting in the theater (or in front of your pirated version) of yep, you got it, the Twilight saga. Little rant here on behalf of myself and my also-little-things-appreciative husband. Together, we wasted 2 hours (well, 6 really if you count all 3 in the series) on the following:

- A teenage girl with no personality. Geez, I wish I could have no personality and have 2 guys that want to marry me... while I'm like 17. I also wish that I could kiss them in front of each other - or curl up in a tent with the shirtless one while the pale-faced one watches. Yeah, that would be really really cool. Nope.
- A love story that goes noooowhere. nowhere. Again, there was the kissing in front of each other. The I-love-you's. Oh, and I-love-you-too's. The long melancholy gazes. True love at it's finest... (ugh, I actually puked in my mouth). What are they building their love for each other around? Shared experiences of some kind? A road trip or a games night or something?
- The white elephant in the room: why is every character in this movie revolving their very lives around this straight-faced, personality-less, 2-timing highschool... young lady? Oh, right, I forgot. She has nice blood.

The thing I'm looking forward to... is not the 4th in the series. No, no no.

The thing I'm looking forward to is those of you who've read the books telling me how it's not the way the Adams family is seeing it (that's me and my man for any new readers). How Stephenie Meyer has actually created this way-cool world in her novels, that people are all about because they've read the book and can fill in the pieces - pieces full of intrigue and character-shaping events and maybe even some humour. Because, really? Really?

Okay, I'm done.

Shoot... I forgot to chuckle.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

C'mon. Just Chuckle.

Since I've created this blog, I'm going to use it to better myself.

Wanna know how?

In my pondering of little things... I was thinking today how changing one little thing consistently could easily change a lot. I mean, that's the point of the whole little things thing anyways, right?

Here's the little thing I want to add to my repertoire of daily digestion of life:
A hearty chuckle.

I'm going to give you a basic example to illustrate.
This morning, I was at a meeting where I had to bring some forms I had filled out. There were quite a few pages, perhaps excessively so. Anyways, the administrator collected my form, immediately turned to the third page and said, "Oh here, I'll just check off the 'female' box for you." Ha, okay (ahem, chuckle).
But her comment walking away was "I can always spot the administrative people when they come in because they have everything filled out, even the little things on the form."
Alright, ouch.I actually am an administrative-ish person. Honestly. Not only that, I just started a part-time job as an administrative assistant, so... am I going to suck at it?!?...

So, here's the thing, and work with me on this one: Do I take offense, absolutely mild though it may be... or do I...

Yep. Chuckle.

I'm gonna have to go with chuckle. Maybe even really loud?!
Here's what I'm putting out there... A good, out-loud chuckle can do a few things:

1) Make the person realize what they said (Alright, in her case, she's the sweetest person. I'm the non-sweet one, because I'm using her for my purposes as the antagonist in my story), and then they can chuckle with you. Ha, ha... everybody's happy. Happy, happy.

2) Make the person feel bad. If they are a mean person, this is probably a good one. I don't know that I know any mean people, really, but I am prepared to use this on them when we meet.

3) Buy you some time. Because I've found that when I react quickly... emotionally... sensitively... a little while later I feel dumb. I don't want to feel dumb. I want to chuckle. And then later, if it feels more legit, then I will get mad and let them have it. Yep, I will.

So... I'm on a quest to change my world through chuckling.


p.s. I chuckled in class the other night when my middle-aged teacher started having a hot-flash in the middle of her lecture... I thought it would break the ice, you know?... now I'm wondering if there's a chance I'm the antagonist in her blog...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The British and the Luxurious go for a Bath.

If you stick around long enough - and I hope you will - you will find a recurring theme in my appreciation for life: British novels. Whether from the influence of my mother's Scottish heritage, or an attraction to all things quaint and precious, I reside somewhere on the thick line between dabbling and divulging.

One of my favorite heroines is from the novel The Shell Seekers, by Rosamunde Pilcher. (isn't her name even quaint? I wonder if it's real. Huh.).


This heroine, Penelope (um, okay), asks her lover-boy which things in life are luxuries to him. He's thinking yachts, fine dining. Maybe a honeymoon in Paris with you-my-dear...

But she explains that no, those aren't the real luxuries of life. Those are only available to a select few - and rarely appreciated as luxury by those who frequent them. No, the luxuries she's talking about are personal ones. Like, say, taking a bubble bath with a candle or two (or a spouse, if you have the 'luxury')... be right back...

What was I saying?

Oh yeah, personal luxuries. (Sorry, just let me get the water out of my ears here). To borrow from a New Age philosophy - to which I do not subscribe, but will make use of - luxury is whatever you want it to be. And it takes practice to find your luxury in every day, but you can do it.

Here's some luxuries I have discovered:

- Coffee pots with timers: How amazing is that to wake up to coffee?
- Finding $5.00 in the pocket of a coat you haven't worn for a while; Just enough to buy something, but not enough to ruin it by telling everyone you know about your find... a personal luxury.
- Waking up at 3am. I realize this seems un-luxurious to most, but stick with me. It means I still have at least 4 more hours to sleep. Imagine if it was 6 already?!... hardly worth going back to bed. But 3am... luxury.
- When double doors open automatically for you as you're leaving a store. Seriously! It's like they're saying "You, my dear, are far too important to push on us with your delicate hands. Now, go, seize the big wide world before you!"


Would love to hear about your luxuries. You really don't have to look too far...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Why the Blog? And a Basket of Fruit.

I've been reading a lot of blogs lately.
And a number of good books.

Between them, among a few of my own experiences, I have come to the realization that I need to blog. I need to.

I used to be an avid journaler. I have written - hand-written even! - record of my daily thoughts between about ages 13 and 25. But for some reason, my written thoughts from the last 3 or 4 years can easily fit into one or two journals. Disappointing.

So, it wasn't hard for me to decide what I want to blog about. It happened one cloudy morning in Langley.
That morning was this morning.

I love the little things in life. This one little thing changed my day, and is therefore noteworthy.

But first, a side-note:

You know a little thing that can ruin your day more than anything? It's picking the wrong line-up in the grocery store. You know the process I'm talking about. You look down the row at all the lighted numbers. Half-way down, you pick the one that's the shortest you've seen... and you stand in line, but being kind of tall, you try to peer over the stands to see if there was perhaps a better choice than the one you made. But it's such a gamble to give up the place you've got. Now you look more closely at the cashier and you realize - yep, you picked the wrong line. No doubt about it. She's sweet. But you're not looking for sweet, you're looking for Type A, swipe-em-through-and-move-em-on. Anyways, that's the stuff of little-things nightmares.

So, today was not that day. Here's the story:

I took my basket full of fruit to, of course, the shortest check-out line. I noticed an owner-less basket sitting on the conveyor belt, but still felt optimistic about the sweet girl behind the counter. The owner returned shortly, and here's the little thing that changed my day: "Here, you should go ahead of me, you have less than me." What?! I had 4 things, and she honestly had maybe 7. Are you sure?? "Oh, totally, you'll be quick." Of course you know what happened next. The cashier loosened up, noticing this selfless act. The three of us (myself, sweet cashier, sweetest of ladies) engaged in pleasant conversation about coconut lime cookies, and I swear the sun broke through the clouds right above Save-On.

That's it. That's the little thing that made a cloudy day into a cloudy day filled with fruit and a happy peaceful feeling. Huh. There's gotta be more where that came from.