you know i have an image grab bag, right? digital images that come with freedom and permission and possibility?
kate of studiok8 sent me something that she created with one of my images. it's an encaustic (a medium i am not entirely familiar with but i know it has something to do with beeswax).
these pictures do not even do the piece justice. it's shiny and smooth and i can touch the center daisy! it's a little like braille; i can tell it's a daisy just by feeling it.
if she sold it in an etsy shop, i would want to buy it. it is the coolest thing ever.
i like to dunk cookies in my soup, especially oatmeal raisin cookies. i think this started years ago during a period when i was buying my lunch in the cafeteria. i usually got a cup of soup and an oatmeal raisin cookie. i'd eat the cookie first, to give the soup time to cool, and dip the cookie into the soup a few times to check the temperature. it turns out that soup plus cookie is awfully tasty, so it stuck. (i would just like to say, for the record, that cookies are practically like bread, and most everyone likes soup plus bread.)
i only cut nine nails at a time; i always leave one thumbnail uncut. once i finally had fingernails again - after reiki helped me stop chewing my nails in my sleep - it seemed like every single time i would cut my nails, something would happen almost immediately that would make me wish i hadn't cut my nails. i would need them for something and they would be gone. to solve this problem, i started leaving one thumbnail uncut. whenever i cut my nails now, i just cut the thumbnail that is longer. it is such a handy practice. feel free to adopt it yourself.
when left to my own devices, i am a very strange movie watcher. first, i watch the beginning, maybe a chapter or two. then, i watch the ending, to make sure everything is going to be ok. then, i back up a chapter and watch to the beginning of the ending (because i have to know how they got to that ending!). then, i back up yet another chapter. then, i do this a few more times (though sometimes i'll back up two or three chapters instead of just one). sometimes, i watch the entire movie backwards. sometimes, i'll watch half of it backwards and then go back to where i left off in the beginning and watch the other half of it normally. sometimes, if it seems like the movie might be a little intense, i will look it up on wikipedia and read the entire synopsis so that i know exactly what happens (i love wikipedia for just this purpose) and then watch it in my usual unorthodox fashion. this particular habit got started because, for lack of a better way to explain this, i am sensitive to what happens in movies. i think this helps keep things at a distance. however, i will confess that it's gotten to the point where i watch most movies this way. it's probably a good thing i am not friends with any movie directors, because i feel sure they would not approve. (also, yay for dvds, without which i could not have started this practice at all!)
if you have any quirks you'd like to share, i'd love to hear them, because i say hurrah! for all the things that make us us.
last tuesday night, i hopped into bed and pulled the covers up to my chin.
the sheets get a little messy during the day, what with atlas hopping on and off and on and off the bed, so i used my hands to smooth them out around me.
i felt something hard and round.
i squeezed the hard round thing between my fingers. it was cold (and hard and round) so i figured it was a rock. i wondered why there was a not particularly tiny rock in my bed, but i got out of bed so i could throw it away.
it was not a rock.
it was a hard round cold ball of dog poop.
that is the first thing people do not tell you about having a dog.
the second thing people do not tell you about having a dog is that after years of living with one, this won't even phase you.
you will look rather bemusedly at it (why exactly is there dog poop in my bed? how did it get under my covers?), chuckle at the dog and tell him he's a silly goose, and carry the poop into the bathroom and throw it in the garbage.
then, you will wash your hands three times and go back to bed.
in the morning, you'll wash your bedding, though in all honesty, you won't be sure whether you aren't only washing it because washing the bedding was already on your list of things to do on wednesday.
if i were going to write a dog book, this is the dog book i'd want to write: "the things no one tells you about having a dog (& if they did, you wouldn't believe them anyway)".
i love love love to read. if i were going to define myself as "something", the one "something" that really resonates with me is reader.
the only time i remember getting in trouble in school was in first grade. we were supposed to be doing math problems out of a workbook. i was holding the workbook up in front of my face because i had a book hidden behind the workbook and was reading instead. unfortunately, the teacher came up behind me.
in middle school, i would bike to the library with my sisters every week and bring home a backpack full of books. the librarians let us ignore the limit and check out however many books we wanted so that we didn't have to visit every day.
i often wonder what i would be like if i didn't read. at the same time, i cannot imagine a life without reading at all.
i could never answer the question, "what's your favorite book?" i don't have one favorite, but i do have a short list of books that are my favorites because they have changed me in some way.
atlas shrugged (ayn rand). if you ever wonder where i got atlas' name, he is partly named after this book. i think my sister amy recommended it to me. i brought it along when i visited my grandparents one easter and could not put it down. do you know what i remember most? when i left the airport parking lot, i really wanted to pretend that i lost my parking ticket; it was cheaper to pay the "lost ticket maximum" than to pay the actual parking fee. i couldn't do it. it didn't align with who i wanted to be after reading the book. sometimes i find it rather strange that i love it so because i suspect i do not align with ayn rand either politically or spiritually, but the thing i took from the book was a desire to do the best i can with what i have - in order to be worthy of what i've been given and to express my appreciation and gratitude for all of it.
don't shoot the dog (karen pryor). atlas' breeder gave me this book as a gift on his first birthday. it's about positive reinforcement. when i finished, i had a vision for who/how i wanted to be/behave with atlas. everything i have done with him - or tried to do - or berated myself for falling short at - came from the principles in this book. everything i read (and continue to read) about dogs in my quest to be the best dog person i can be came from my vision of who i wanted to be after reading this book.
the prophet (kahlil gibran). i can't even remember why i bought this book in the first place, but i took it with me on a trip to seattle to visit a friend. i read it on the flight there and i spent most of the flight going, "oh! yes! oh! oh!" and underlining things and sniffling a little. i wrote in it - something i had never done to a book before and haven't really done since. there were parts of it where it felt like he reached in and grabbed bits of my soul - ideals that i tried to live by without being able to explain them - and poured them out onto the page in words. it made me think. it made me gasp. it was full of beauty. i think that if i absolutely had to pick one favorite book, this would probably be it.
the inmates are running the asylum (alan cooper). i've written about this book before, but essentially, it helped me find and articulate my passion for the user experience. (incidentally, i read this one on on a trip to england - on the train from london to swindon, to be exact - so it seems i might have a pattern of falling in love with the books i read while traveling.)
nickel and dimed (barbara ehrenreich). to be fair, this book is not exactly a longstanding favorite. it was a good quick read. i probably wouldn't read it again. there are other books that i prefer and return to, like savage inequalities (jonathan kozol) and the working poor: invisible in america (david shipler). i include it because it is the first book i read that helped me recognize and question my assumptions -assumptions i didn't even know i was making - and begin to investigate what i really believed and what i wanted to stand for and hold as important, instead of taking other people's assumptions and beliefs as my own without thinking about them. it also got me reading everything i could find about poverty and class and education, which was a fascinating (if sad) reading journey.
the untethered soul (michael singer). actually, if i had to pick one favorite, it might be a toss-up between this and the prophet. i don't really know how to talk about this book, except to say that every time i read it, i feel like i get a little glimpse of heaven.
so there you have it, a short list of books that have changed me. of course there are more, but these are the ones that come to mind in this moment.
i had an epiphany the other day that got me thinking about my favorite books and prompted this post. i just read switch by chip & dan heath. at one point, they talked about inspiring change via the identity model, where you get people to ask, "who am i? what would someone like me do in this situation?" i realized that that's what all of these books did for me. they made me ask myself that question; when i found the answer, it changed me.
now i'm so curious, do you have a book or books that have changed you?
poor atlas. i do like making things play with him. his kitty cousins sent him some squirrel-shaped treats for christmas, and i cannot help but make every squirrel play with him before he gets to eat it.
i'd write more, but i just started reading your dog is your mirror (kevin behan) and it is so fascinating that now i have to finish it. i barely tore myself away from the book to write this post, and atlas has not gotten his evening walk. clearly 2012 is shaping up to be a year of good reading.