Top Five Fabulous Things of the Week 1.30.09

1. Our bathrooms and living room are being renovated, and there are a lot of materials lying around the house. This includes a long sheet of bubble wrap on the floor downstairs to keep paint from getting on the floor. I walked in the other day and popped my way across it to put my things down. The dog followed me, and as she walked, I heard these tiny little pops as each paw hit the bubble wrap. It made me giggle.

2. I spent the day outside working on a shoot on the railroad out in the Denton/Fort Worth boonies. It was really cold (especially before the sun came up), but it was nice to be outside, and I got to take pictures with a beautiful still Canon camera.

3. I went to Shanna’s birthday party last weekend (we are all turning 30 this year!), and it was great to see everyone. Beth and Deanna joined a garden co-op at a local church, and it was neat to hear about their first work day. They pay a certain amount per growing season, and they work something like 4 hours a month on the community/shared plot and however much they want on theirs. In return, they get a percentage of what the community grows and whatever they choose to plant on their own space. I think that’s just great, and something I’d like to do at some point.

4. It wasn’t this week, but two weekends ago, we went to WinStar casino for Lindsey’s birthday, and it was so much fun! When she turns 21 next year, we’re going to Vegas, baby! Mom won $51 on a penny machine, and she was SO EXCITED. She was definitely the winner of the weekend! She never wins anything, but she won all over the place this time. This is the shuttle that took us from the hotel to the casino! Fun!

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5. This was also two weekends ago, but I bought cool sunglasses that cost more than my weekly groceries. This is notable, because for as long as I’ve worn sunglasses, I’ve bought them from the drug store, and not only do they never fit right, but they break easily, and I lose them constantly. I want to be a better consumer – to save resources by buying one well-made item that will last, rather than several cheaply-and-irresponsibly-made replacements for a crappy initial purchase. I finally marched into a Sunglass Hut and asked the girl to help me find something that wasn’t too overly-large or overly-expensive. I own Ralph Lauren, can you believe it? Lindsey (a fashion merchandising major) was so proud. Here’s my best movie star look. Mwah.

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Big Day

Am I the only one that has had continual goosebumps watching the pre-inauguration coverage? I’ve never been into politics – I just started paying attention a few months before Bush was re-elected so that I could make an informed voting decision. Since then, I’ve come a long way toward trying to understand what’s going on out there in the political world and how it is connected to every-day life.

I voted for Barack Obama, and I am fairly overwhelmed watching today’s events unfold. I didn’t vote for him because I am a Democrat, because I am not. I just believe that he was the right choice at this point in time. Luckily, my office has a TV, so I can watch the inaugural events as I work. I had it on as I was getting ready this morning, too, and on NPR in the car on the way here. It’s hard to believe it’s finally happening! I’ve never watched an inauguration before (I’ve never cared to), so this is fun! Specifics aside, it’s nice to see such a peaceful, dignified transition of power, unlike so many unfortunate countries across the world where forceful, bloody coups are the norm. This system is far from perfect and leaves much room for corruption, but on the whole, we are lucky to live here and witness events such as these.

On another note, any guesses on what was in Michelle’s gift box to Mrs. Bush?

Girly Man

I’m not sure if I can embed this or not, but if it doesn’t work, please, please go watch it on youtube.  As a video professional, this just made my day! I’m not quite sure where to start!

It’s a nod to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, Bollywood choreography, Kung Fu movie subtitle translations, 70’s cinema techniques, and the entire horror genre, all at the same time. The hilarious, slow text crawl across the bottom…all those awful, campy transitions…and it just says “VOLGA” at the top left the entire time!

I can’t decide if this is unintentionally funny or postmodern cinematic brilliance at its best.

Jesus Would Recycle

I was planning on waiting until I’m finished to post quotes from my current read, Jesus Would Recycle, and I will. But I’m just so excited about it that I just had to tell you all about it now!

It’s written by Joe Johnston, a man who was on the team that created the Happy Meal for McDonald’s. He has since has a complete turnaround and realized how wasteful the fast food industry is, and how it has cheapened and deteriorated our culture in many, many ways. I’m only 1/3 of the way through it, so I can’t speak to the whole book yet, but it’s mainly about the environmental crisis we are in – he presents information on the main contributing problems in a very understandable way (big business, big oil, our economy unreasonably built on eternal growth of the GDP, depletion and misallocation of natural resources, etc.).

But even more interesting than that (to me) is that the whole book is based on the moral and spiritual imperative we have been given by Jesus – and the whole of the Bible – to care for the earth and each other. He talks about the ways Christianity has historically misinterpreted what Jesus taught about love, about salvation, about rebirth, about humility, and exactly why that misunderstanding has helped bring us to this time of environmental crisis.

It’s quite an amazing book, and I plan on sharing many quotes from it soon. But I wanted you to be able to go find it and read it for yourself, if you’re interested. And for those of you who aren’t at all interested in the Jesus part, this book is still incredible. If you have any suspicion or inkling at all that the world – the entire universe and all its vastness – might have been created by a force both higher than ourselves and that we are all a part of, you will love this book.

I’ll leave you with just a little bit here as a teaser. GO BUY THIS BOOK.

“Although Jesus said nothing specifically about salvation, he did talk about judgment, and his judgment is love. So think about that the next time you’re zipping down the interstate, late for your next appointment. It’s for now, not later. He taught that we’re not locked in mortal combat with the interstate, our appointments, other drivers, other animals, or our retirement accounts, or our indigestion, or anything else. We can have love right now.

“We’re supposed to be with the animals, bugs, fish, rocks, trees, flowers, rivers, oceans, mountains, and prairies. We’re supposed to learn from them. As the only part of creation capable of straying from our nature, of sinning and separating from our Creator, we have a lot to learn from the natural world.

“We’re supposed to see the world the way God sees it. With love. We’re supposed to claim the joy and freedom of salvation now. Our eternal life begins now. Once we understand that, everything else becomes so much easier and more joyful. The rough path becomes smooth. The flesh is made to love.”

Powerless

I’m feeling quite powerless at the moment! I have no car, and no power at home. BUT I have learned a few things I don’t normally notice with a steady supply of dinosaur wine. And hey, I never really got to be a Girl Scout, so I’m treating this as an urban adventure.

My car is in the shop, so after the mechanic dropped me off at work this morning, I had no transportation. I walked across the street to a restaurant to get some lunch and brought it back. Lesson #1: Ozona has really good chicken strips, and fries should ALWAYS be dipped in white gravy. When it was time to go home, my boss offered to let me take the company vehicle home so I could get home and back to work in the morning. Lesson #2: People can be very helpful when you are in need!

Roommate called to let me know the power was out at home, and she came out and held the garage door open for me to drive in (again, Lesson #2!). Since my shower is being worked on and the bathtub is sitting in the back yard, I’ve been taking my showers in Roommate’s room at night and washing my hair in the sink in the morning. I took a shower by hand-crank flashlight (Christmas present from Jon) and then ate dinner with Roommate by candlelight, while we watched the dog jump around to try to catch the dancing light beams. Lesson #3: Dogs are just as entertaining as TV in a pinch.

I decided to trek to the Borders bookstore near my house to hang out in the warmth and light (and the books!) after Roommate left to go to a funeral. We played the hold-the-garage-open-for-each-other-while-you-back-the-cars-out game (Lesson #4: wear gloves when attempting this in the rainy darkness). It was only after I ordered hot tea and turned my computer on at Borders that I realized they only have T-Mobile wifi there, and you have to pay for it. I left and met Jon at White Rock Coffee, where they have free wifi for anyone. Here I have been reminded of Lesson #5: the independent coffee shop can still trump the chain store.

So here I am. There’s an awesome singer behind me playing a beautiful song about January and what we can lose when rains wash it away. I think that’s probably Lesson #6: all we have can be turned off, taken or washed away at any moment, so make sure to continually cultivate what really powers your Self. Hope wherever you are, you have enough of whatever kind of power keeps you going.