Screamin’

As some of you may know I am utterly addicted to my niece, Charlie. I have shared a few photos and a video or two on my blog in the past few months. I constantly ask my sister to send photos and videos since we live in different states. Charlie is just days away from being 7 months, and is a hilariously happy, smiley, precious one. I can only hope my future kid(s) are as happy as Charlie. Yesterday, I got this text from my sister:

“Charlie’s piano playing sounds like the audio of a haunted house and it makes the cats flee.”

Her text was followed by this video and photo. Apparently, Charlie had on her own (while banging on the keys) found a “Scream” setting on the keyboard. I guess she is practicing for Halloween in a month.

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IMG_3807How can you not find her so adorable? Especially at about 12 seconds in where she turns and smiles at you and then turns back and plays more. Then at around 30 seconds she crouches down as though she thinks she can get out of the barricade they have created in the living room to keep her safe and from crawling to other parts of the house. When she realizes she is not getting out, she goes back to banging on the keyboard. I know, I know you already watched it, but I had to give my play-by-play. Can you tell how addicted I am?

The Rise of Online Quizzes

I admit it, I am coming clean. I have recently become addicted to the plethora of online quizzes asking what tarot card would you be, what city are you meant to live in, or are you a narcissist?

Buzzfeed even has ones like: “What Kind of Bitch Are You?” or “What Does Your Engagement Ring Say About You?” The list is endless. Why do we care? Why do we click and spend 5-10 minutes to find out our fate? It is almost like we want a free visit to an astrologer, and if the results of the quiz are exemplary to who we think we are, then we might try another, and if they slander us we move on to other things. What is it about the online voyeuristic habits that make us even stop and take the quiz? I admit I even coerce Chris to take one or two here or there to compare to my results. Why, oh why do we even care?

Is it that we want validation? We want to know what someone else thinks of our future destiny? We do not really believe in the answer, but like being at the state fair we are willing to give the palm reader a small amount to read our hands and see what the future might behold for us. These quizzes have to be filled with bullshit algorithms. For example, one quiz (I cannot remember the topic) that I had Chris fill out, gave us the same result, yet it was male and female specific. Definitely something wrong with the results of that (all I remember is that we both got Zelda – go figure).

So is it a fad? Why have we become so addicted, and why do we even care? My Facebook feed is often full of friends who seem to fill their days with quizzes that they share with others (no judgement from me). Are we bored? Do they tell us something about ourselves that we do not know? What is it that has made us so addicted?

99 Days Without…Facebook?

Are you addicted? Am I? I am not entirely sure. I am a 1-2 times a day Facebook user. I usually check in the morning when I post my blog, and then at night before bed. I will be completely honest that other than posting my blog and a random quote or idea here or there, that I am more of a voyeuristic Facebook user. I like to see photos of friends, connect with folks from my childhood (some… not all), and generally keep up with friends. I am not one to care about whether you made it to the bathroom that day or all the endless rants and crap about your day. I like to find information that adds to my life rather than bores me to death. Pictures help. They help a lot. So if you are posting photos I am generally going to look at them.

So when I came across this Christian Science Monitor article regarding a campaign to not use Facebook for 99 days, I was quasi interested. Could I do it? Probably not. Would it be good for me to disconnect? Most definitely. Do I have the strength in me to do it? Maybe. I am not sure. I like staying connected in my own non-consumed way. So then you might say, “So why would it be hard for you to disengage for 99 days?” I like knowing what is happening. I like seeing the newborn baby pictures of a good friend that lives on the other side of the world. I like being inspired. Yes, there is a lot of junk I want to block and a lot of stuff I couldn’t give a shit about, but could I disconnect for three months? I am not sure.

Is it sad that I feel that way? Maybe. Or maybe I am a slight introvert and a slight extrovert and Facebook allows me to decide HOW I want to engage. How often and in what ways. The initiative is called, “99 Days of Freedom.” I do like the sound of that. I am truly curious about the question in the article: “How do you feel when you don’t use Facebook?” I think there is only one way to tell. Would you like to join me and see, or are you just as much addicted that it will be hard to not log in? The only way I can imagine trying is to delete your account, and remove all history of your online Facebook data. Otherwise, how would you stop yourself from logging in?

It looks like at the time of the article, 17,000 people had signed up for the 99 Days… That is a good amount. Are you going to join them?

 

He is my person

I am addicted. Yes, I am absolutely wholeheartedly addicted to my husband. Chris is my person. Today marks 11 years to the day that we decided to begin this crazy adventure together through health challenges, fun trips, job changes, family ups and downs, moves, money woes, dreams come true, and most importantly day-to-day bliss. He is the person I want to call, the one I want to yell at when I am frustrated, the one I want to soothe when his world is turned upside down. While I have only known him for just over 13 years, and it often feels like 25 years, I really cannot imagine a day without hearing his voice.

Call me a sap, call me whooped (he would say the same) but I hate traveling without him, or having days when I cannot feel the comfort of his arms around me whether to celebrate an amazing day or to say we will get through this together. He is my travel companion when I am the crabby one on an airplane (I get so bored and restless), on a road trip, or when I am stuck somewhere and have to pee. He keeps me fed and knows when I am on that tipping point between hungry and ravenous (the difference of great extremes).

Together we decided very early (prior to marriage) that we would only bring good to those around us. That our relationship was not only about each of us as individuals, and what that would mean to be together and be a family, but what our collective and shared world would mean for those that we are around. Meaning that our relationship would uplift and bless those around us, whether through our example of love, our support of others, or in elevating the thought of those around us. Together we take a stand small or large for what we believe in – in hopes that it means that others benefit by the work we do whether professionally, in the community, and in our personal lives.

I never take Chris for granted. Every day I cherish him for what he is, what I learn from him, and how we continue to grow together. I never tire of sharing him with others, lighting up when I talk about him, and spending every day with him. Happy “love you so much every day” – day.

He is my person.

A little dabble in wax…

Over the weekend I took an encaustic art class. It was my first time playing with wax, a heat gun, and my desire to deep dive into this art medium. I have been interested for years, follow a few local artists, and finally took the plunge to dabble in something that has inspired me for quite some time. I learned a lot, have even more of a desire to purchase my own supplies and whittle away the hours in my own little creative world.

You may remember a post from almost a year ago on the encaustic piece that Chris and I purchased at the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts. It is the second piece we have hanging from local encaustic artist Karl Kaiser. I love the modern look of his work, the clean, smooth look of the wax resin, and I have to say after spending 2.5 hours playing with this art medium, what he does takes incredible patience. Here are the two pieces I semi completed during the class. You should feel honored and lucky that I am sharing my unfinished artwork.

As soon as I have a spare moment (life has been busy what can I say), I am going to do some research to find out what it will cost me to purchase a heat gun, pancake griddle, metal warming pots, resin, wax, medium, encaustic paint, boards, etc. While it sounds like a lot, I think I can do it fairly inexpensively to start with to ensure that it really is something I want to do long-term. As I write this I have visions for different paintings I would like to try, and I can see it begin to become a bit of an addiction. I can only imagine that there are things to do at home, the house is interestingly quiet, and Chris tracks me down knowing that he’ll find me in the studio (aka baby room, aka dog room, if only we could decide), wasting a Saturday away playing with wax. Is that really so bad? There have to be worse addictions. There was something soothing about manipulating the wax and in some ways having no control over it.

I asked the instructor if I could play with hardware washers. I ended up only having the time to put one into my piece, but I can see where I would like to explore metal and wax, sort of a juxtaposition on organic and industrial in one piece. I think I am already addicted.

Chris are you ready for our shopping trip to the art, hardware stores and oh your favorite: Michaels?