Sunday, June 29, 2008

call me bigfoot

Offspring #2 mentioned an online quiz to figure out your carbon/ecological footprint. You can take the "Ecological Footprint Quiz" here.

My results? They ain't pretty. In fact, call me Carbon Bigfoot. I am embarrassed to report that "if everyone on the planet lived my lifestyle, we would need over 6 earths". Geez. Here is the breakdown.

I guess the good news (as if there is any!) is that at least I'm at "country average" on my food footprint and a teensy bit better than average on overall carbon footprint and goods & services footprint. I'm worse than average on the housing footprint -- I'm sure because we are Empty Nesters rattling around in a too big house. (Thanks a lot, Offsprings 1&2!!!)

In any event, I am going to need to do waaaaay, waaaaay better. Actually I have been thinking about riding my bike to work at least some days. That would be good for the planet and good for exercise. (As Presbyterian Gal has been pointing out, we need to take at least small steps.)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Five: Summer Reading

Songbird, "lifelong book lover and enthusiastic summer reader" has chosen this week's Friday Five:

1) Do you think of summer as a particularly good season for reading? Why or why not?
My schedule remains the same throughout the year (no summer slow-down for optometrists!), and for the most part I read about the same amount throughout the year. However, having said that... I still associate summer with "pleasure reading". I'm sure that has to do with the gloriously relaxing summers of my childhood.

2) Have you ever fallen asleep reading on the beach?
Hmm... on the beach? No. Serious outdoor reading requires a shade tree. I'm sure I've fallen asleep reading under a tree.

3) Can you recall a favorite childhood book read in the summertime?
Childhood friend extraordinaire Debbie D. and I pedaled our bikes to the library and read every Nancy Drew book they had. I also remember reading and loving Tom Sawyer.

4) Do you have a favorite genre for light or relaxing reading?
For light reading I would most often choose contemporary fiction (as opposed to non-fiction or the classics). And since bookstores know that according to Francis Bacon, "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested", they usually prominently display some 'light and tasty' books right up front when you walk in.

5) What is the next book on your reading list?
I just finished the tasty (albeit somewhat dark and harrowing) The Bright Forever (by Lee Martin) last night. Next up: I'll probably finally get to The Magician's Assistant. It's a book I've had on my shelf for a long time and just haven't gotten around to reading.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

some assembly required...

At last! You can own a genuine BJÄRBJARKE! Made of solid birch (but not from intact natural forests), this lovely table is sure to enhance the décor of any room. Wipe clean using a damp cloth and a mild cleaner. Only $99.99.

OK, I made that up. There is no such table. But you, too, can generate IKEA-ish products which incorporate your name at this site.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

the un update

I was just over at Presbyterian Gal's and noticed how she did a 'summer update' complete with bullets. (Well they are more like squiggles. But I digress.)

Anyway, I was thinking about doing an update (especially since I've been too busy to post for a few days), but pondering the bullets (or squiggles) is making me a bit cranky. The Views from the current stretch of the Road haven't been the most pleasant as various family and extended family members have had various issues.

So. I'll just try to be philosophical about it and bring in the Savage Chickens:

Friday, June 20, 2008

word association friday five

Here's this week's Friday Five:
Think summer......are you there? Below you will find five words or phrases. Tell us the first thing you think of on reading each one. Your response might be simply another word, or it might be a sentence, a poem, a memory, a recipe, or a story. You get the idea:

I'm going to be an unabashed copycat and, like Sally, answer in pictures.

1. rooftop

Well, it's not quite the top of the roof, but here's a picture of the tired feet of Offspring #1 and me overlooking the Today Show in NYC.

2. gritty

Here's the gritty/sandy beach in Hawaii. (If you look verrrrrrry closely you can see Offsprings 1&2 surfing.)

3. hot town
Longview is totally HOT because we have this awesome squirrel next to the library:

4. night
On second thought, probably the best way to make Longview HOT is like this:

(H.S. Homecoming bonfire a couple of years ago)

5. dance

Hubby and me caught in a rare dance. Rare because we are bad dancers. Really, really bad. At last count there were 4 left feet between us. Did I mention bad?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

the view

Forget Cindy McCain and "Recipegate". Forget Michelle Obama and "fist-bumps". If The View wants to increase ratings, they need to bring on these two guest hosts:

Yeah, yeah, I have lots of things I could and should be doing tonight, but messing with presbygal's face just seemed like more fun.

Monday, June 16, 2008

strawberry update

Looks like Offspring #1's old friend, Strawberry Shortcake, is getting a makeover. (She's also getting a new toy line, computer-animated movie, and TV series. Related story here)

I'm not sure I like all of the ch-ch-changes. On the up side, S.S. will be shunning gumdrops in favor of fresh fruit. That's a good, healthy choice. But on the down side, she'll be seen holding onto a cellphone instead of her calico cat, Custard. Awwwww, say it ain't so.

I suppose it won't be long before Brainy Smurf has lasik done and buys a Kindle from Amazon.

(Come to think of it, I'd like a Kindle from Amazon.)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

father's day

Hats off this Father's Day to Hubby. He's been a good traveling companion on our Yellow Brick Road of Parenting. (Sorry for the bad metaphor. But if you find a picture like this, what else ya gonna do?)

(Notice responsible eye/uv protection for Offsprings #1&2.)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Five: Beach Trip

Here's the F5 prompt this week: In honor of summer, please share your own beachy memories, plans, and dreams with a "Beach Trip" Friday Five.

1. Ocean rocks, lake limps? Vice versa? Or "it's all beautiful in its own way"?
In terms of "doing stuff" (e.g. boating, water skiing, swimming), I prefer the lake. However, in terms of "sight and sound", I like the ocean best. In fact, this is not too far from where we live:
(That picture is from wikimedia. I'm traveling today and all of my Cannon Beach pictures are on the 'main computer' at home.)

2. Year round beach living: Heaven...or the Other Place?
As long as I have my sunscreen (my dermatologist is such a nag after my little melanoma in situ), it would be heaven.

3. Any beach plans for this summer?
I'm sure the Empty Nest Hiking Club will do a coastal hike.

4. Best beach memory ever?
Cutting my foot on a piece of glass and requiring stitches. Oh wait, that was the worst one. Actually outside of that one, just about all my beach memories are good ones!

5. Fantasy beach trip?
Going to the southern coast of either France or Italy. Of course this trip also involves some 'fantasy' eating.

Bonus: Share a piece of music/poetry/film/book that expresses something about what the beach means to you.
The soundtrack for On Golden Pond works!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

what I'm reading at the moment...

The last time I was at Starbucks I bought a book on impulse -- The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. The book jacket proclaimed: "(This book) has everything: love, tragedy, redemption, danger...!" How could I not snatch it right up?! Plus it looked interesting because it's narrated by a dog.

A canine narrator! I'll bet HotCup and Diane are probably both slapping their respective foreheads and asking, "Why didn't I think of having my dog (Mocha Java Puppy and/or Scout) write a book?!" I'll admit I was thinking, "Geez, Marble could have penned a novel." Of course he would have called it:

Yep, an entirely different philosophical approach to life.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

the speech

In the past week I've seen Offspring #1 in a play (dang, she's good!), heard Offspring #2's trumpet in a symphony concert and a jazz concert (dang, he's good too!), and helped Offspring #1 move into a different apartment. Yep, it's been busy.

I missed Hillary's speech, but did read the text online. Here's my favorite part:

To those who are disappointed that we couldn't go all of the way, especially the young people who put so much into this campaign, it would break my heart if, in falling short of my goal, I in any way discouraged any of you from pursuing yours.

Always aim high, work hard and care deeply about what you believe in. And, when you stumble, keep faith. And, when you're knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can't or shouldn't go on. ...

Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it -- and the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time.

Obviously she came up short (and yes I know not everyone is a fan of Hillary's), but still I'm proud of what she accomplished.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

the cat and I

...and I appear to be on a bit of a blogging 'brake' as well. It's the ol' busy,busy,busy thing. But I'll try to post (and visit other blogs) soonish!

picture from this place

Sunday, June 1, 2008

mini reviews

1. The Friday Night Movie Club (yep, Hub and me) rented The Savages, a dark comedy about an adult brother and sister (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney) whose lives are suddenly interrupted by the need to care for their ailing, estranged father. The self-absorbed siblings who must start to grow up are named Jon and Wendy, a little ironic salute to Peter Pan. Since this is a mini review, I'll just say that the acting is superb, and the movie is worth seeing for that alone.

2. I just this evening completed Julie Andrews' Home: A Memoir of My Early Years. The book covers the time from before her birth in 1935 to the early 1960's (just prior to Mary Poppins filming). Her childhood memories were surprising -- I was expecting something more idyllic. The most fascinating part of the book for me was the behind-the-scenes look at her performances. Wowser, theatre work is rigorous!