Thursday, June 30, 2016

You Can't Always Get What You Want...

Yesterday, as I was leaving a training class I took at the Apple store, a homeless man approached me with a handful of coins and asked if I could give him change.  With just a little more money, he claimed, he could go buy his lunch.  Because I had my hands full with my computer and a fresh bottle of water, and my purse is actually a backpack strapped on my back,I didn't want to rummage around for money.  So instead, I offered him my unopened bottle of water.  Because really, what's a hotter commodity during an afternoon, outside, in the summer heat, in Dallas than a nice cold bottle of water?

But this guy was not interested in my water-- "No, I don't want your water.  I want some money so I can buy my lunch."

And I said, "Are you sure?  You don't want this fresh bottle of water?"

He sort of rolled his eyes at me and turned around to find a different person to ask.  But then he turned his head back around at me and yelled something... I'm not sure what, but I know he sounded really annoyed with me.  Me and my stupid water.

I was honestly a little put off.  I tried to be helpful.  And he was just rude and unappreciative.  Oh well- Whatever, Man.  Hopefully you were able to round up enough cash for a happy meal.

A little later that day, I was downtown in an area I'm familiar with.  I was having trouble finding a place to park, and I was running late to where I was going.  After circling the block twice, I found a parking meter, so I pulled into the spot.

I put all the coins I had in the meter.  But it only gave me something like 36 minutes on the meter, which I knew wasn't enough time.  So I asked a woman nearby if she had change for a dollar.  "No.  I don't have any- sorry."

I asked another man I saw.  He gave me the same quick answer.

I asked two more men, and they both said they didn't have any change.  One recommended I ask someone at the hotel down the street.

And it occurred to me that these people might think I'm homeless and panhandling for money.  And I wondered, "Is this my karmic punishment for not giving that man earlier today the money he asked for?"

No one offered me a water, and if they had, I would have so gladly accepted it.  It's hot out there, people! But fortunately, the hotel was able to give me my change.  But it was a hassle, and it was frustrating. I'm pretty sure, that on this point, me and the homeless man could agree.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

No Baggage by Clara Bensen

I liked reading my ONE library book~ The one and only book I checked out from the library last week.  I wrote about the experience of scaling back, and not having books piled up all around me, as I usually do. (You can read that blogpost, "Minimalism My Way", HERE if you missed it.) I didn't feel rushed to finish this book.  And I think I therefore enjoyed the experience of reading it all the more!

Last week's book was No Baggage: A Minimalist Tale of Love and Wondering by Clara Bensen.
This was a memoir written by Clara about her experience of traveling with a newly met mate on a 3 week trip from Istanbul to London.  After meeting only a few weeks before on OKCupid, she and Jeff travel through 8 countries with no baggage, no reservations, and no plans.

I impress myself when I can get away with only taking a carry on with me on a long weekend trip, so this experiment of Clara's sort of blew me away.

No Bagggage was part travel log of amazing sights, and part sweet romantic relationship-in-development story.  And of course, the challenging idea of traveling with only the clothes on your back!  for 21 days! 

One of the most baffling aspects of Clara's minimalistic packing for me, was that she only brought 2 tampons with her.  Not to put out any spoilers here, but her period did not arrive at a convenient time.  Imagine, being out in the middle of nowhere, with a new fella, and not having nearly enough feminine product to properly deal with being a female. That's no vacation in my book-- that's a nightmare!

Clara and Jeff  made no reservations and didn't stay in nice hotels of any sort.  Imagine being exhausted from a long, overseas flight, getting off the plane and then needing to figure out how and where you will sleep safely that night.  Again- not a vacation but a nightmare, in my opinion.

The idea of minimalism, for me at least, is to simplify things.  This way of travel Clara wrote about would not feel simplifying to me, but instead, extremely stressful.  

Although I would never, EVER want to travel like this, (no way, not ever!), I can embrace the idea of packing (a lot) lighter.  When I travel I always feel like I need a different outfit for every single day, but I realize now, this is ridiculous. Clara mentioned that after wearing her green sundress for 21 days straight, she knew she would be so sick of it (and it would be so worn out) she would likely never wear it again.  I'd like to bring more than just a dress if I went on a 3 week trip, but I will think about trying to get away with less next time I go on a vacation. I like that idea of always remembering that those clothes were that vacation's clothes.  Anytime I would wear the clothes after that vacation, it would remind me of being wherever I was.  That's kind of a cool idea to me!

Clara and Jeff did a lot of couch surfing with strangers while traveling.  Good for them, but oh Lordy, NO!, that is not for me! I want to know I've got a place to sleep each night I'm away from home, preferable with a bathtub (God, I'm such a diva with the cleanliness thing!), and definitely safe.

I liked this book- I was definitely interested in reading about this minimalist way of travel.  I never felt really sucked into the the story about the relationship between Clara and Jeff-  They left their relationship so undefined, so it was undefined for me as well and I didn't really care all that much. 

6.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Minimalism My Way

Lately, I've been getting more and more interested in simple living, also known as minimalism.  And I don't at all mean to imply that I'm becoming someone who's about to give away all of my possessions and live in a tiny house.  But I LOVE the idea of scaling back in order to simplify.

Last year, during the beginning of the hoopla over Marie Kondo's book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I decluttered a LOT of crap... I got rid of at least half my clothes, tons of useless knick knacks around the house, books I wasn't reading, etc.  And it felt great.  I haven't missed one single thing I let go of and realize I'm happier with less. Now that I got my feet wet, so to speak, I'm ready to scale back even more.  So I'm decluttering yet again.

And I don't just mean my possessions.

If you read my blog even occasionally,you probably know that I love going to the public library.  I mention it a lot. Finding interesting books,checking them out, and bringing them home to read makes me happy.

It sounds innocent enough, right?  I'm using the library!  I'm not spending money on these books!  And I'm not accumulating books that will stay on my shelves for long!

But, here's the problem. I never check out just one book.  Or even just two.  I noticed yesterday morning I had 10 books checked out from the library.  Since I can only read one at a time, while those others sit around, waiting their turn- they make my house look a little cluttered.  Even worse, it gives me low grade anxiety knowing I need to get to all of those books before their due dates. Because the "need to read the other books" anxiety is looming, I often feel the need to rush through whatever book I am currently reading. And that is a bummer, because it takes away some of the joy of reading.

Today, I decided to return everything I had checked out from the library.  I had just finished one, and  none of the other 9 that where waiting in line looked thrilling anymore.  Maybe they did the day I brought them home, but at this point, they were just feeling like clutter I wanted to get rid of. Plus, why be a hog and keep more than I need?  There are other readers out there, who am I to be so selfish? I just need ONE book at a time.

So, I was off to the library, to return those, and find the one and only book that I was going to check out.  I went to the "New Books" shelf and my hand went straight to the very first book I saw.
No Baggage by Clara Bensen
A little ironic?  I think Alannis Moressette would think so, and I agree.

So that's it.  My lone loaner from the library. That's a big step for me.  In my world, that's as big of a deal as getting rid of half the clothes in my closet.

Minimalism... my way. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Music Monday- Can't Stop The Feeling, Justin Timberlake!

It's almost summer.  And here in Dallas, it MORE than feels like it.  It's so hot and humid, I feel like I just might just melt... and I don't actually mean that in a good way.

But this song is getting a LOT of airplay, and it's hard not to feel pretty happy every time I hear it.  I think it's already been determined that this is the official "good times" song of the summer.

And this video is super cute.  I love that JT begins his day eating a little blueberry pie, and then the video cuts to normal folks dancing to his song in the laundry mat, the grocery store, the local diner, and all the other usual places!

Who needs a party to feel like that--- and I think that's the point.  And I LOVE that message.  We just need positive vibes of music - this song song specifically, with Justin Timberlake cheering us on- to make life a party no matter where we are in the world. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Repurposed 1970s Tassel Earrings- Before and After

I found these 1970s gold tassel clip earrings at an estate sale about a month ago.  I love tassel anything.  I knew with just a slight update, I could turn these into something more...resparkable!

1970s Gold Tassel Clip Earrings (before)

It was really quite simple… I just cleaned them up a bit.  Then, I was able to disconnect the tassels from the outdated part of the earring (the clips and that big gold ball!).  The most time consuming part of repurposing these earrings was digging around in my bead collection, to figure out what paired up best with these gold chain tassels.

I experimented with beads that were different shape, sizes, and colors.  As soon as I ran across these beads, I knew they were the perfect fit!  I originally found these beads in a bead store in Ashville, N.C.  It's is one of my favorite places… In fact, I often wish I lived there.  Ashville is just the right size, has four seasons, and is surrounded by mountains, but not too far from the ocean.  AND they have an amazing bead store there!

Anyway, I wire wrapped the beads to attach to a gold tone pierced ear wires, and the tassels.  These earrings are now updated to look so much more stylish.  As a bonus, they’re lightweight!

 Repurposed Vintage Earrings (after)

They're listed in my Resparkable Vintage Etsy store.  Hop over and look at all the items I have for sale, or click directly HERE to see more about these specific earrings.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Music Monday- Finest Girl (The Bin Laden Song)

If you're offended by language-- sorry.  But I just couldn't stop myself from choosing this song by Andy Samberg for today's pick for Music Monday.

I went and saw Popstar over the weekend.  Lots of funny songs in there, and this may have been the funniest of all.

Happy Music Monday, Everybody.  Please enjoy...

Friday, June 3, 2016

This Saturday Night- June 4th...

I'll be singing at The Oar House this Saturday, June 4th, beginning at 7pm.  It's my only gig during the month of June.  All other evenings will be devoted to celebrating my birthday because it's my birthday MONTH!  :)

Hope to see you there...

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Book Review: The Short Drop by Matthew Fitzsimmons

Just a quick review.  And a little confession.

The Short Drop by Matthew Fitzsimmons
The book was good.  Maybe even great.  It had a little murder mystery, political nastiness, lots of twists and turns, and although it was a complex plot, the author did a good job of keeping it pretty easy to understand.  It was good, right down to the last (short) drop.

But I have to confess.  The book was a little shy of about 400 pages if I remember correctly.  I can't check and tell you for sure, because I already had to return it to the library. A library due date is a blessing and a curse! 

Because library books have due dates, that helps me actually make them a priority to read.  On the other hand, when I buy a book- whether it's a hard copy or the Kindle version, there is no due date.  It's mine forever, and I can read it anytime I want. So, that explains the library books having priority. And for them, that's a good thing.

Sometimes, I can extend the library book's due date.  But once another patron requests it, I'm not allowed to renew.  I have to return it so the next person in line can read it.  Dammit.

That's what happened with The Short Drop.  Which made the title seem personally significant to me.  I had to drop everything else so I could read it in a short amount of time.  And because of that, I started reading it as fast as possible.  My version of speed reading is this: Skim, and focus the more careful reading on the dialogue parts of the book.  I got a little lazy on this one and read it maybe a little too fast.  I likely skipped over some things I should have paid closer attention to.  But hey, it still worked.  I got the jest of it.  But don't ask me to give you an in depth book review.

So that's the confession.  I sometimes skim and hurry through books.  Typically, this happens when I'm rushed, with a due date, like I explained above.  But also, sometimes, when a book just is long-- even if it's good!- I just get to a point where I'm so ready to move on to the next book waiting for me.  Because there is always a next book waiting for me.

I wish I never rushed on my reading, and that I never felt like I had to.  But.... it is what it is.  A girl's gotta do what a girls gotta do. I blame due dates and my short attention span.  Wait.  That sounds like I'm pregnant...
(I'm not pregnant.  But this graphic was cute, so I wanted to include it.)