Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Design, design, design

I love vintage. Be it shoes, clothes, furniture and even appliances. Apartment Therapy has a post called "Vintage Stoves in New England Kitchens" and I admit I really love the lines, the style, the uniqueness of the stoves pictured. Sure they may not be entirely practical, but so what? We can all dream.

I loathe the whole "staging" process of homes. It amazes me that people that are potential buyers cannot walk in a home and see past what others have. Sad that so many lack imagination. Having to paint walls neutral and remove personal touches seem so stupid to me, but I am not in real estate so what do I know. Here and here are prime examples of a very expensive brownstone in Brooklyn that has been staged. What do you think? Myself, meh. I prefer personality in a place when I see it. This looks like a West Elm/Design Within Reach catalog display.

Great post by Made By Girl on "Front Doors on the Upper East Side". NYC is one of those places where you have the opportunity to see perfect architectural details up close. Out here in suburbia though, doors seem to be forgotten. They are either Home Depot manufactured or those with the big bucks have them custom made. Personally, I have always wanted a door with a knob in the middle. Whenever I watch a series, usually Masterpiece Theater or BBC, the knob appears on some grand home or townhouse and I drool every time. What a spectacular entrance this would be to our house. One day I may have to track a door like this down, but Lord knows what they cost so for now, let me just admire from afar.

I have no idea how I would turn this into art, but I love this reproduction vintage antique padlock.

Voila Gallery is like a deranged, yet elegant curiosity shop. Oh to have the money to buy some of these lovely goodies.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Documentary Weekend

This weekend we ended up watching two documentaries that cover the beginning and the end of life.

First was Young at Heart which is one of the best things I have watched in a long time. To see a 92 year old woman belt out "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?" by The Clash was beyond words. This group of senior citizens stay young and sharp by belonging to the Young at Heart Chorus. They have performed all over the world which I think is amazing. As he viewer you get to see the rehearsals and how the songs get picked, the building of their friendships and even have to go through loss of two of the chorus members. Make sure you have a box of tissues because you will laugh and cry through the whole movie. I am hoping we can see this chorus perform in the near future.

On a close friend's recommendation, we watched the documentary Babies. 4 children from USA, Mongolia, Japan and Namibia are followed for a year. How all these kids play and interact with their surroundings is fascinating. There are many similarities, but one thing that is for sure, is how the US and Japanese babies have more 'stuff' and you see it is not really necessary. I also really liked that there was no dialogue used. One of my favorite scenes is watching Mari in Tokyo learning how to put a stick in a hole. She get it right the first time, then when she fails to do it a second time, she has a tantrum. It was funny to watch because it was not a long drawn out tantrum. She would calm down, try something else and then if she got frustrated with the task at hand, fall back, lift her legs and let them drop.
The other interesting thing was watching animals from goats to cows, to cats to dogs, interact with the children. Animals have an amazing tolerance level, especially the dogs and cats, and that was fun to see. The little boy in Mongolia pet his cat so hard, but the cat just laid there, happy and purring. Life is good.

Try and see these two wonderful examples of life captured on film. You will really enjoy them.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Funky Friday

I have become obsessed with 'Hoarders'. I am on season 3 and absolutely cannot stop watching. I do not watch it and think, "Hey, I am better than these folks." I watch it and cringe in horror at human feces lining stairs, dead animals, dust that is causing children's asthma. I watch it wondering what clicks in some brains to make them shut down to the filth and degradation surrounding them. Some are obvious. A major trauma, depression. Other cases it is clear there is a mental illness, but which one I have no idea. What is upsetting is seeing posters on boards about this show saying these people are all "lazy, obese and stupid." Apparently watching the show has not taught them anything in regards to mental illness. This concerns me. Mental Illness is serious and it manifests in many different ways. Hoarding is one of them. To write it off as just laziness is an easy way to excuse one's moral obligation to give a damn. It is way more complex and frustrating than that.
Here is my opportunity to sound heartless. They cost taxpayers a lot of money what with court costs, social workers, animal control, etc. I sure as hell do not want to foot that bill, but you cannot force people to do things if they do not perceive an issue. I admit I freak out when they refuse therapy and are adamant about they have the right to live as they want, but I beg to differ. When Hazmat is at your house along with the health department, you no longer get a say. You are putting others at risk and for all my freedom of choice talk, I do not want roaches or rats in my home. I do want these folks to get help if only for the sake of their families.
This is not an easy show to sit through, but I recommend it because it does give one some insight on what it is like dealing with a debilitating mental illness that has no outward appearance.

Mike Rowe asks Congress to support more "Dirty Jobs" I am a big believer in education. At every level, which includes blue collar work. Blue Collar is looked down upon by most people. Like it is dirty and for remedial folks who could not cut it in college. Offensive view, but it exists. We need plumbers, electricians and carpenters and his speech is all about encouraging skilled positions in trades, transportation and utilities. Not that he is against one wanting to be a financier, teacher, doctor, but how we also need those who do with their hands. Skilled laborers are a necessity and he words it all beautifully.

Writing has been going bad. There I said it. I am a little frustrated with myself and wish I could make the process go faster, but I can't. I do have a sort of mental deadline to get certain things done and in a way that has relieved some of the crappiness I feel. Once I am done editing this book it is back to the Angels I go and to be honest, I can't wait. I have been distracted, with good reason, but I need to get back on track. So after I switch out the laundry, I am off to edit and clean it up quicker so momma can move forward and get this show on the road.

Have a wonderful, Rapture-free weekend.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sea to Table

Okay, I have been a little lax in my posts but I have had a busy week with doing massages, planning the hubby's birthday party which went well and other odds and ends of life going on.
Anyway, I promise a proper post soon, but in the meantime I just came across a great concept out of Brooklyn called Sea to Table. As they say on their site, they partner with local fishermen from small-scale sustainable wild fisheries, finding better markets for their catch. Pretty darn awesome if you ask me so check it out.


Monday, May 9, 2011

King Corn Documentary

I am one of those folks who believes that some in the food industry does not have my best interest at heart. I also believe that certain additives will eventually, some may already have, yield destruction to our cells in our body making us more susceptible to disease or even be a cause of disease. The information is out there if you want it and if you do not care you do not have to know. I like that about individual free choice. I can choose not to eat McDonald's, which I don't, and try to avoid high fructose corn syrup and other dyes in my food. Other folks live for processed foods and you know what? That is alright. That is their choice, not mine. I do not believe we have the right to tell people how to eat. I believe we have a responsibility for full disclosure and then you let people make those choices. You want to eat crap, you can eat crap. You want to eat healthy, eat healthy. One thing I do not agree with is with people suing food companies. You should know what you are putting in your mouth and that is your responsibility entirely. If a manufacturer lies about their ingredients that is one thing, it is another to shove Doritos and Pepsi in your mouth every day and not exercise and then blame the tv and the cheap unhealthy food.
This is where food education in the schools would be very beneficial. Diabetes education is also very crucial because we need to understand some causes and effects of what we do when we eat. But at the end of the day it is our own choice.
KING CORN is a well put together, interesting documentary where two young men from Boston move to Iowa to grow corn and find out where that crop goes. When you find out how much corn you eat on a daily basis it blows your mind. It also blew my mind how farmer's had to sort of conform to growing this low quality corn for mass distribution. Animal feed, high fructose corn syrup, etc. And the government helps fund this insanity.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cool things

I like unusual gifts. Not that I do not like receiving gift cards, cause those are always handy no matter what, but I like when someone takes the time to really think about what they are giving you. So without further adieu, here are some places I would love to give or get a gift from.

Savannah Bee Company - anyone who males a honey specifically for cheese is awesome in my book.

Fishs Eddy - anything from here, seriously, anything.

Lori Earley - I want to be able to purchase as much of her artwork as possible.

Glass Tea Tumbler - As someone who is obsessed with tea, I would love this.

Okomido Jewelry - yes please.

Jewelry Display Frames - I think this would be a good DIY project and I would love to hang pieces as art instead of having them lay in boxes.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Emergency Preparedness

I am not a Survivalist. People who follow that way of life are pretty organized and well thought out. In some cases, people would call them nuts, but I figure as long as they do not hurt anyone, I don't mind them at all. I have read some blogs that blow my mind, but again, it was nothing scary or apocalyptic to make me feel unsafe.
Mormons could be considered 'survivalists' due to their emergency preparedness. Thanks to a friend who is a practitioner of this faith, I was introduced to a company called "Emergency Preparedness" out in Orem, Utah. Why would I need them? They sell Mylar bags for food storage and that is what I use to keep my flour in my plastic buckets. Of course they also have neat stuff like dehydrated foods and emergency car kits. Mormons are encourages to build their savings, to have food storage just in case tragedy or disaster strikes. Our friend told me that the food they had canned had gotten them through a rough period at one point.
Now, I have not really become a canner. I like the idea, but I would most likely, regardless of how carefully I follow directions, be the idiot who does something wrong and my food spoils. Maybe one day soon I will gather the courage to really give it a shot. In the meantime I just set up my garden and am thinking of freezing leftover vegggies for now.
I have also thought of being better prepared since the tornadoes happened in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and Mississippi. We had a few random black outs in our area last summer and we wanted to get a generator, but they sold out because it happened more then once. I also realize I need to get some gallon jugs of water and keep them in the basement. Little things, but crucial things.
I am not sure many people worry about things like this. Most of us go about our lives figuring stuff will just be there or if not, then so what? don't get me wrong, I am not trying to be all sorts of Doomsday or believe that the end of the world is May 21. That stuff makes me bonkers. I just think it is good to have some necessary items in case some serious crap does go down. We have had a wind up emergency radio with flashlight for years. That is because when we were still living in Essex County, there had been a black out that effected us for two days and other parts of the county for longer. I did not mind not having power, but it did freak some folks out. The only thing I hated was you could not open your fridge. Our landlord had just done about $15o worth of grocery shopping and then the food spoiled. Not good. Anyway, I just look at all of this as food for thought. You can choose to do some of it, none of it or all of it. As Auntie Mame said, "Knowledge is Power."

Curious about Survivalists or LDS? I have listed some blogs you can check out below. I have not done a thorough reading of all of them, but you can browse at your leisure.

I am sure there are quite a few I am missing, but I am sure you can do your own search and see what interests you.