Friday, June 29, 2007

Keep it Simple, Simon

Paul Simon was all over PBS this week. He's one of my favorite songwriters. He really captures the poignancy and interest of everyday life.

(I guess I have to accept that folk-rock is my favorite genre. Paul Simon, Grateful Dead, Jethro Tull, Carole King. If you can, seek out the album "All Around My Hat" by Steeleye Span.)

There was a big tribute to Paul Simon on last night with James Taylor singing a lot of his songs. Tonight he was on Charlie Rose. (They are doing a really great job keeping Charlie Rose's collar down this year. But I kind of miss his rumpled look. A cute and human foible.)

I'm going to have to paraphrase because I didn't have my stenography machine handy...
Paul said when you start out, it starts out simple. As you study something, it becomes more and more complex. Then you reach a point where it becomes simple again, but you approach it with the complexity you've gained. I thought that was so cool.

The chapter about Paul Simon in a book I have, "Songwriters on Songwriting" by Paul Zollo, tells about the sheer work he goes through to write songs. Pages of crumpled up legal pad. He said something like to write one good song you have to write one hundred bad songs first. (I can't wait for my hundredth bad blog entry. Hoo-boy! After that, look out! : )

So my obviosity is: Success is when you care hard enough to try hard enough.

My old bandmate wanted a song based on an essay she wrote. I'm no Paul Simon, but I sure crumpled up some legal pad. My friend Michele helped me pick out some phrases that had a ring to them and come up with examples and rhymes to fill it in. It took five hours but it was fun. I'll never forget that day.

Mashup I am not going to make: "The Obvious Child" and "Mother Necessity"

Touche Cliche: KISSing is never simple.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

~Hello!~ : )

Some nights we have a lovely evening and other nights everybody's a little cranky...
And it seems to come down to the greeting. Make sure to let the people you love know how happy you are to see them, even if you have to jump up and down and lick their face.

Mashup I am not going to make: "Tom's Diner" and "Limehouse Blues"

Superpower of Marginal Utility: Having a tail to wag.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Earth Mover

Mashup I kinda made: "I Feel the Earth Move (Under My Feet)" and "Godzilla"

For years my youngest one's favorite song was Godzilla by Blue Oyster Cult. My oldest one's favorite song was Flood by Jars of Clay. When we went for a long drive in the summertime, I would alternate tapes back and forth so we could hear each song over and over again. I still have a Godzilla/Flood repetitive mix tape. (Treasure!)

Bathtime was so fun when they were little and I played songs for them while they washed and played. I Feel the Earth Move/Godzilla was one of the favorites.

I had the cleanest kids in town. "Look, Mommy! My fingers are old!"

(New Category!)
Women's Issues: Long Fingernails vs. The Ability to Play Guitar

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Wheels on the Bus Keep on Turning

Here's a really interesting article about transitions. It's pretty long, so set it aside for when you have time:

Obviosity: Major life changes can be major.

The thing I was surprised about was that it said transitions take 6-12 months to work through. Doesn't it seem like there's a much shorter expectancy?

The best thing, the thing to strive for, is the opportunity. Tear down this house, even to the foundations, and build me a better house.

Touche Cliche: If you don't compare apples to oranges, how will you know which one you want to put in your salad?

Mashup I am not going to make: "O Fortuna" and "Stand by Me"

Monday, June 25, 2007

Stale Green

Have you ever been driving along and the light's green and it's green and it's still green and you toodle along, thinking you're going to make it?

And now you're going too fast when it turns yellow. Oops.
What were you expecting?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

You've Got to Rearrange...

I'm still busy "straightening up", but I want to spend a minute here because it hit me...

Everything's changing.

Tricia got a new puppy, George is about to retire, Michele is getting married today. My heart goes out for those on the cusp of a new life. : )

Mashup I am not going to make: "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "Purple Rain" (What a lovely bombastic monstrosity that would be!)

Stupid things to do: When you're a sophomore in high school, spend a week's worth of afterschool hours learning to read and write Tengwar (elvish script) to impress a Lord of the Rings freak. When you hand him the note you wrote him, he won't be able to read it and will, in fact, think it's Hebrew. Be too embarrassed to explain.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Pickup Game

Have you ever kind of "Let things go"? Gotta get ready for vacation, gotta work extra, summer's here and the time is right for dancing in the street? Straightening up has come to mean aligning the edges of the piles... Well, the piper's finally calling about his Past Due bill.

I figured I'd gather some cleaning strategies to help tackle it. A couple different methods to switch it up a bit, with cutesy names to make it more fun:

Truckin' (location) - Move around the room checking a two foot square area at a time, putting anything you run across that's in the wrong place into a box so you can put it where it goes when you get there.

Sortin' (category) - Search the whole room for one specific category, such as books or Hot Wheels.

Lookin' (impact) - When you've been out of the room for a while, close your eyes as you're coming back in. Whatever catches your eye first is the most important thing to fix up.

Quiltin' (alternating) - Sometimes you have to spend time on something that is necessary but invisible. Alternate between things that are easy but visible (moving the boxes to the closet) and the details (making sure the right things are in the right boxes.) It's like laying down a patch and then sewing it down.

Here's a great website all about keeping up with housework:

Quiltin' is great at work. You can give everyone a nice report and update it every week. Or you could lay in some infrastructure and just refresh and check it every week.

Superpower of Marginal Utility: Sorting folded laundry without messing it up.

Touche Cliche: A rose named "Stinkypoo" might not get smelled as much.

Mashup I am not going to make: "Whole Lotta Tainted Love"

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Loose Change

"I want to change... I just don't want to be different."

This one walloped me last night.

I was thinking "You need to work harder on being a leader." Okay, I agree but...
What is the problem? Then I realized I had a picture in my head of the embodiment of leader and it is: A Talkative Man.

No wonder I haven't been able to just jell on it and make it happen. That's why it feels "them" and not "me". I agree with the qualities, but the picture is wrong. I know so many women with wonderful qualities I can strive for. : )

So, change always sounds good. But if it's difficult, check your vision.

What do I think of as a "good Christian"? Could I become that? Is that vision correct or just a stereotype I picked up? What will it look like for me?

Mashup I am not going to make: "Sugar, We're Going Down" and "Bewitched"

(New Category!)
Things I believed when I was six: There are dogs and cats and there are lions and tigers. Lions are dogs and tigers are cats.

Touche Cliche: Sow's ear is the new silk.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

>>>emerging Chris: You Give Love a Bad Name

>>>emerging Chris: You Give Love a Bad Name

Incredible Sugar Hulk

When you're driving along, about an hour after you've all had Oreo Pie for special vacation "lunch dessert", the radio gets too loud, all the other drivers on the road become idiots, and he's on my side and won't give me my toy back!

From now on, no sweets on a road trip. We'll stick to mixed nuts and try to fend off the raccoons.
Touche Cliche: An apple will fall far from the tree if it's really, really windy.

Mashup I am not going to make: "Gangsta's Paradise" and "To Sir, With Love"

Monday, June 18, 2007

Black and Blue and Red All Over

"Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a great excuse to go to lunch early. You can't actualize if you're hungry!"

We're back! We did the grand tour of North and Upper Michigan. Up by Crystal Lake I stepped on a stick and poked it into my foot. We put Neosporin on it.

We went Camping in Platte River campground (Yay, showers!) at Sleeping Bear Dunes, walked the trail to Lake Michigan, with many trips to Empire (friendly small town).

We moved along and had dinner in Traverse City (beautiful bay) drove through Charlevoix (must go back, looks like Newport, OR) drove through Petoskey (City. Lunch at Burger King.) across the beautiful and scary Mackinaw bridge, stayed at a hotel in Paradise drove up to Whitefish Point (butterflies! Waves and rocks.) Went to Upper Tahquamenon Falls. (Get the whitefish at the restaurant in the park.)

Camped some more at the Lake Superior campground west of Deer Park. (Great rustic campground!)

Drove up to Grand Marais. Grand Marais is wonderful. (Thank you, Nancy!) Had to visit the hospital in Newberry, but at least we got to eat at Timber Charlie's which was great The hot beef was awesome. We went to the Helen Newberry Joy hospital to get my foot looked at. The PA's were really nice.

Stayed in Munising for a couple of days. Munising is wonderful. This is the place to go to take a boat ride and see the Pictured Rocks. We got a pontoon for a half day, which was one of the highlights of vacation. Munising is a good HQ for driving around and visiting all the waterfalls.

I almost forgot to mention Marquette... We wanted to see it because we had never been there. The neat thing is the bicycle culture... This city seemed to have everything a city should have, only crammed into a much smaller city. It was surprisingly crowded.

It was a lovely vacation. It was fun interacting with the wildlife. The bug spray kept the mosquitos off but the flies just thought "Mmm, barbecue sauce." The raccoons ran away with our can of honey roasted cashews. The chipmunks at the campgrounds come up and tap you on the shoulder like "Hey buddy, where's the food?"

The sun up there isn't deterred by little things like SPF.

Well, like the title said, we were black and blue and red all over. I was the best with my wounded foot and tetanus arm. But when you're itchy and scratchy and hurty... it breaks it all down. We don't miss TV. We only twinge a little for the internet. This is the most minor suffering ever. (It makes you think.)

And you really can actualize when you're hungry.

Superpower of Marginal Utility: Invisibility to bugs.

(New Category!)
Definitions: "Boy"-- two parts B.O. and one part Whyyy?

Mashup I am not going to make: "Living in the Past" and "Mission Impossible."

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Set Up

Sorry the comment settings wouldn't allow everyone to post. That's fixed now.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Feelin' Graphy

You know how on TV crime shows they run things through a "machine" and get a little graph like this:
and say something like "Look, it's made of lead. It must be paint." (Okay, I know it would have been better to say something really, really specific. "We ran it through our Everything in the World Database and it's exactly This."--Trade secrets aside! But I need to move along.)

In a really simplistic way, it could be applied to people. It's really easy for me to use my "spikes". And I'm blessed and it's wonderful, but I get stuck in a rut almost. And then I wonder why I can't do something else...

"How could you not do X? You're excellent at Y!"

I think I need to put down the hammer and just learn how to use the screwdriver like everybody else. Do the work and do the practice. Doing it badly is better than not at all.

Superpower of Marginal Utility: Untying knots.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

24/7 = 3.4285714

Got this one while working out a SQL formula to strip time out of datetime, some of the time. But I think it stands as an obviosity all on its own...

"Yesterday's always over, but today usually isn't."

The past is the past, but we've still got today.

Mashup I am not going to make: "Our Lips Are Sealed" and "My Sharona"

Touche, Cliche: You probably can make the horse drink, if you know he's thirsty.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Power Up!

The power was down this morning and now it's up but now I must go!

Mashup I am not going to make: "Futurama" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

When You're Looking, You're Seeing

Have you ever had a feeling like "reverse deja-vu"? You hear about something and suddenly it's ubiquitous? You get a new car and now you see the same exact car everywhere?

You're writing songs and lyrics pop into your head 3 times a day. Your son is writing a comedy routine for the talent show and now everything he says is funny. Everyone is talking about Burger King today...(?)

I learned on the internet that this experience of sudden ubiquity is called the "Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon". Scientists explain it as the brain's form of pattern recognition. Here's the article:

So, there are a couple of different ways of looking at this: The statistics of probability working through brain chemistry? The synchronicity of the Jungian collective unconscious?

But on a day that is so tough you're not sure you want to go through any more days, and on top of that you have to go shopping, when you see three different people at the store who say "Hi! How are you?" and give you a hug... You realize that all these little things are just priming the pump so you can see the signs when God shows you that he loves you.

Superpower of Marginal Utility: Being able to distinguish between colors that are really, really, really close.
(New Category!)
Touche, Cliche: The pot's not boiling because you don't have the lid on, silly!
Mashup I am not going to make: "Figlio Perduto" and "He Needs Me, He Needs Me"

Monday, June 4, 2007

You Can't Expect to be Happy

(Woke up and realized I need to explain more to understand more.)

You can't expect to be happy until you realize you can't expect to be happy.

It's not about being a gloomy pessimist so much as not taking things for granted.
Sure, if you expect your day to be rotten it probably will. But a situation with too much hope and hype pinned on it can't live up to all that.
Superpower of Marginal Utility: Filling up restaurants. Got this one. We have a way of arriving at restaurants that are empty and shortly after we sit down to eat, many more people arrive. We attribute it to our red everyman's car and our smiling faces in the restaurant window. Us getting hungry early is irrelevant.
Mashup I am not going to make: "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Tusk"

Sunday, June 3, 2007


Got up early thinking about what I'm going to put on my new blog. Quickly ran into meta questions: Should I include editorial comments? Yes, it's just me. Should I number my lists? No, that will be a pain. What if I stink? Who am I not to? Okay, then jump right in...

An obviosity is a thought that comes as a summary of a problem. Then comes "Well, duh." Then "But, yeah..." It's food for thought. If it's not what you need at the time, it may just stay duh. I only have a handful. But when you're looking for things they find you. (Hey, that might be one. Ouch, my meta-head.) Okay, here's the first obviosity: "You can't expect to be happy until you realize you can't expect to be happy."

Other things I can post on my blog...
Mashup ideas for mashups I am not going to make. The closest I ever came to making a mashup is a song my old band did called "Psycho Stalker Love Medley". All I have is a practice tape. Here's the first mashup idea: "The Beat Goes On" and "Misty Mountain Hop".

The funniest thing I heard today. The funniest thing I heard today was my husband snoring. In the future, I'm going to expand the meaning of the word "today" to include "whenever".

Superpowers of Marginal Utility. Ever since MicroEconomics 201, I love that phrase, marginal utility. (Our meat market has 12 people working behind the counter. Amazing.) Here's the first superpower of marginal utility: Being able to tell, through an airplane window, exactly where you are.

Stupid things to do: Convince your new teacher that your name, Wayne, is actually pronounced "Buena".

Phrases: "Material in the aggregate". Couldn't find a good link. It's an Accounting term that basically means little things that add up. "Washing this silverware sure is a pain in the neck." "Yes, son, but it's material in the aggregate." "Okay."

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Obviosity from Qaro

This is a test post just to see how this thing works. : )