I found this video clip on YouTube called, The Great Martian War. It was obviously faked, but it looked so good that it confused me.
The only description was this:
On its 100th anniversary, The Great Martian War tells the story of the catastrophic events and unimaginable horrors of 1913-17, when Humankind was pitted against a savage Alien invasion.
It had the feel of a hundred year old film, but something about the way the Martians moved seemed unreal. It was touted as original and I just HAD to know what was going on with this example of creepiness. I found a link to The History Channel, but it still acted as if it were a real thing…
The Great Martian War 1913–1917 is a 2013 Canadian/UK made-for-television science fiction film docudrama, produced by Michael Kot, Steve Maher, and Mike Slee, and also directed by Mike Slee, that unfolds in the style of an episode from the History TV Channel.
It’s a fun movie to watch in a War of the Worlds kind of way. I almost fell for it, War of the Worlds style, but thankfully, Google saved the day.
Personally, I prefer those plastic pumpkins that never get gross and rotted, but that’s just me. It seems that pumpkin carving is still a fun Halloween activity that people seem to love. It’s one of the rare Halloween traditions that I don’t really care for…
This LITERALLY happens every day in my house. I usually can’t get to my phone quickly enough to capture it, but today, I was lucky. Nina had approached Lucy to get a cleaning while Elvis calmly watched.
This cuteness happens so often in my house that I’ve become blind to it. Then I will have people over to visit and they will see it and just ooh and ahh over how adorable our pets are together. I guess I’m just lucky!
Today marks the twenty-fifth wedding anniversary for Mike and me. I have seen MANY Pinterest boards devoted to wedding dresses, decorations and food. Twenty-five years after the fact, I have a little advice about your wedding.
After 25 years, your wedding dress won’t matter. The likeliness of you wearing it again, it fitting your daughter, you even HAVING a daughter is so slim that it will just sit in a box, taking up space or you’ll use it for some ghastly craft project. Choose something cheap. Rented is even better.
The photos (and video) of your grandmother will be more precious than the photos of you and your spouse. Make sure the photographer takes NUMEROUS pictures of your parents and grandparents on both sides.
No one will remember the center pieces unless they are ugly or weird.
No one will remember the venue unless it is difficult to find or so exclusive that your guests have to jockey through security to get to the ceremony.
No one will remember the food or the cake unless it gives everyone food poisoning.
Plan to wear flats and have your dress hemmed for flats. If you wear heels, you’ll kick them off three hours into the reception and you’ll be tripping on your dress. Don’t forget to break in those shoes BEFORE the wedding. You don’t want blisters when you are standing for eight hours straight, welcoming guests and trying to dance.
Make sure the rented flower arch doesn’t have any silly ribbons or flowers hanging too low. Otherwise, all your pictures under it will have something in the way of loved one’s faces (like mine did).
Make sure there are enough seats. Chairs are more important than a dance floor.
Even at an outdoor wedding, make sure the food is inside to prevent bee attacks and fly swarms.
Watch placement of the podium at the bridal ceremony at an outside wedding so the pastor doesn’t get sunburned.
Send thank you cards. Save the addresses and send Christmas cards every year. This is how you find out who moved or died. That information will give you far more familial power than you ever desired.
I’ve seen the bridal industry get so bloated and overblown over the last twenty-five years that it disgusts me. Don’t spend so much time and money on your wedding. There is a whole life ahead of you aside from “your day.”
Plus, they NEVER look as good as they do in this photograph. The minute you start using them, you have to sharpen them. And then some of them are longer than others. And the whole thing becomes too much for my mind wishing for Zen can handle.
They are ALWAYS the same size because you just twist up when you need more color. The coverage is as good as Prismacolor. There are only 30 colors instead of 72, but I’m getting so blind that I really can hardly tell the colors apart anymore. You could probably hand me a 8 count box of crayons and that would be enough for me.
I didn’t like the box because I could tell it was going to be ripped and broken in no time, plus I couldn’t see the colors easily, so I made a pencil case out of some scrap material I had hanging around.
I didn’t use a pattern, I looked up pencil roll pattern on Google and found tons of pictures. After looking at all the pictures online, I just made mine based on what I saw.
The top material folds over the pencils so they don’t fall out of the case when they’re rolled up. The roll is very thick when rolled, however.
It might be bulky, but not nearly as bulky as the Prismacolor box. Plus, I have dropped those stupid pencil trays so many times that I just cringe seeing them now.
One thing I don’t like is that the Twistables don’t have the color labeled on the pencils. I have to go by the plastic color of the pencil and it doesn’t really match the colored pencil lead. So, I took the names for the colors off the back of the Crayola box and printed up a Excel spreadsheet with the names on paper. Then, I colored the boxes with the actual pencils and taped the labels onto the pencils with invisible tape. You can see how they look in the detail from the pencil roll photo.
If you want to do the same thing, you can download this Excel Spreadsheet and print it up.
Now, I can color without worrying about pencils that want to spill and pencils that are shorter than the others. It’s portable now, so I can take it with me on vacation and enjoy it. I hope this idea helps you with your coloring enjoyment as well!
I saw this motivational poster on Holistic Cave and I need to read it every day.
The best way to gain confidence is to do something you’re terrified of doing.
Right now, I’m working on a new trailer project. I have been so scared of doing it wrong or ruining it that I have procrastinated working on it for two months. Understandably, it’s in pretty sad shape.
It’s from that era when the canvas was made out of tissue paper, or so it would seem by the way it has disintegrated.
The shape of the canvas isn’t an issue because I’m planning on making a canned ham style of camper out of it. The interior is good, so I was VERY happy to get this camper for only $200 despite the shape of the canvas.
The only problem is that I’m scared. The other two trailer projects I worked on didn’t require that I build anything. I have a pretty good eye for these things and I think it will be epic if I can just get up the confidence to do it. The thing is, I can’t wait for the confidence. The only way the confidence will come is if I just do it.
I had NO idea that Riker sat down so weird! Here is a super cut of all the times he sat down in that weird way.
The Next Generation was a pivotal television series for me. I loved it and I wanted it to last forever. Even now, seeing these scenes makes me want to watch the whole series all over again (minus the first season, of course).
I moved to St. George a little over a year ago. I didn’t tell a ton of people about it and I didn’t announce it here. Mostly, we wanted to be closer to Mike’s parents, who moved down here. My mom and Reed also spend a lot of time down here, so we get to see them often.
St. George is to Salt Lake City as Florida is to New York. All true Utahns end up retiring and moving down here to warmer climates, no snow shoveling and we still get to be Utahns. We just came down here twenty years too early.
After a year here, it’s not that different than living Up North. We don’t have a Noodles and Company or a Forever 21, but then again, it only takes five minutes to drive anywhere. I used to plan 30-45 minutes to drive anywhere in the Salt Lake Valley. Now, I only plan for trips to take 15 minutes. It used to take me that long to drive from Daybreak to the freeway (on a good day).
The primary difference between St. George and Salt Lake City is this: In St. George, every day’s a car show. Not a day goes by when I don’t see some gorgeous and rare old car. LITERALLY. The only way I can avoid seeing cool old cars is by staying in my house. Even if I walk around my neighborhood, I will see a cool old car because we have SEVERAL enthusiasts right near our home.
This is what we saw casually parked at the sports bar last week.
For over a year, Mike and I have been pondering the phenomenon for a year now and the best we can come up with is water. Because we have little snow on the roads and water in the air, the cars don’t rust out as quickly here. Plus, when it only takes five minutes to drive all the way across town, you don’t rack up a lot of miles on your baby.
In the end, I really miss my friends and family who stayed Up North, but I’m staying down here. 110 degree heat is nothing compared to six inches of snow overnight. Lack of noodles and fashionable clothes is nothing compared to crowded roads and the crush of too many people. We love it down here and we are staying. Plus, who can say no to a daily car show?
Mike and I have moved many times in our lives. We’ve lived in a total of six places in the Salt Lake Valley in our twenty-five years of marriage. Every once and a while, I get the urge to drive past those old homes where we used to live. Sometimes I look at old pictures I’ve taken when we lived there. We sit in the car and notice the differences in the exterior or yard and I think,
I used to live here.
The same is true for the Internet. I have lived in many places on the Internet, even as far back as the old BBSs. But unlike the old houses, so many of those places I can’t visit anymore. My favorite BBS was the one Mike and I ran back in the early 90s and I can’t go there to talk anymore. Sure, we have all the old data from the BBS on a floppy disk, rotting in the garage. Even if we could fire up that old Atari ST, I doubt we could bring that beast of a BBS back to life. And that makes me sad because I can’t go back there and say,
I used to live here.
There was a DDR forum that I used to visit every single day. When I was at work, wishing I could play DDR, I would log on and talk about the game there. It was called DDR Freak and it’s still there, just like my old apartment on 600 East, it sits there, alone. The last post I’ve seen logged was in 2011. It has been almost four years since anyone said a word there, but
I used to live here.
Even this blog has been slowly abandoned. I’m spending more time on Facebook than I do writing here. It’s not that I really write on Facebook. I just scan the feed, liking things and commenting here and there. It was kind of like what I did on the DDR forum, except about a wide variety of subjects instead of just one video game. But this blog is like a home I own, but don’t live in anymore. A summer vacation spot with no vacations taken. A rental home that no one rents. Sometimes I show up, clean the comment spam out of the corners and shine the entries where old formatting no longer works. But, mostly I go there to say,
I was talking to a friend last month about hair, about how I don’t dye my grays and how I cut it myself. She was telling me about her hair and why she dyes it regularly and the cut she chose. While we talked, I realized something. Both of us were talking about the same thing. We were both sharing our personal methods for the hair of least resistance. Both my friend and I were telling each other about the easiest way to make our own hair look good.
I didn’t always search for the hair of least resistance, in fact, most of my teens and twenties was spent trying to make my hair something it wasn’t. I spent so much time in salons, changing the nature of my hair with color, perms and straighteners during those two decades that I really feel like I’ve done my time. I never again have to sit in a chair for five hours, hoping they don’t accidentally burn it all off my head.
I talked about The Tragic Black Hair Incident on this blog before. It was the event that convinced me to never again play with color in my hair, but even after that, I spent so much time trying to make my hair straighter or curlier than it was.
Until I found The Hair of Least Resistance.
It took me 45 years to find it, but here it is. All I have to do is wash and condition it and let it air dry. No styling. No curling irons. No straighteners. No blow dryers. I can throw it into a bun or ponytail to get it out of the way. I can pin it up with barrettes to vary the appearance. It is easy to do every day and easy to maintain.
I have a special gratitude for the woman who made this video because it’s the way I cut my hair.
I first tried this haircut about a year ago and I have been so grateful for learning this ability. Going to get a haircut was such a stressful activity for me because I could never find a hairdresser who could just easily cut my hair. I wish there were hairdressers who are like barbers, who just bring you in, cut your hair in five minutes and send you out the door. I don’t want to be pampered when it comes to my hair. I just need the split ends cut off. Learning to cut my own hair is such a blessing and has given me a HUGE peace of mind.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t get tempted. I see pictures like this and the inner New Waver in me WANTS it. She wants single clumps of blue hair nestled in with the brown. She wants to dye it all white so she can then choose a different color of hair every week or two. She wants to cut it a strange and unique style that is striking and difficult to maintain.
And then The Hair of Least Resistance wins out.
Because after forty-six years, I have learned one important thing:
I AM NOT MY HAIR.
So much of my identity was tied up in my hair in my teens and twenties that it literally took fifteen years to learn that simple fact. I am not my hair. I am not my clothes. I am not my job. I am not my group of friends. I am not my family. Standing alone, homeless and jobless on this world, stripped naked and shaved bald, I would still be me.
If I am not my hair, then The Hair of Least Resistance is the only logical choice. My only shame is that it took me so long to learn it.
Back in 2010, an antique store in Salt Lake City was going out of business. I saw a painting there that was the epitome of what it feels like to grow up in the Eighties.
It was $450 and way too expensive for me to buy, so I snapped a picture and forgot all about it until a few weeks ago, when I was looking through old photos.
The artist’s signature isn’t clear enough in the picture for me to see the name, but I remember that it was a woman’s name and it reminded me that sometimes the gender of the artist IS important because only a woman who had experienced this would be able to paint this.
I played with my camera phone photo in Photoshop and was able to make one that’s easier to see.
From the Walkman and headphones to the big bow in the pouty girl’s hair, THIS is what it felt like to grow up in the Eighties as a girl.
I absolutely adore these two photos of Stacey and me. We are both wearing the same pair of pants.
I used to look at these photos and pretend that Stacey and I were twins. I am a full five years older than her, but every once and a while someone asks us if we’re twins. I always want to say yes. Yes, and here’s my proof.
I actually wrote this BEFORE The Secret Heart of Charlotte Lucas, but it is WAY bigger, so the editing was harder. Oh, and I have already found typos in the print version, so no matter how long I work on something, I just cannot see my errors until they are in print. Most of this story was posted on the Merriton website, but the print and kindle editions both have 25 new chapters that were never published there. I’m so excited!!
When we adopted her, we had just lost Maggie, my previously adored stripey gray cat. I had no idea how to name her, so I literally let a stranger name her. When we were at the Farmer’s Market, I was holding her while Mike filled out the paperwork for adopting her. An old lady came up to me and fussed over the kitty and we talked.
Nice lady: Oh she’s so adorable are you adopting her?
Me: I am. We just lost our gray cat. She died…
Nice lady: My gray cat just died, too. I’m so sad. She was such a good cat.
Me: What was her name?
Nice lady: Lucy.
Me: Then that’s what we’ll name her. Lucy is a really good name.
I just realized that I have loved gray stripy cats my ENTIRE life. It started when I was just a baby. My mom even provided proof. Here is my father introducing me to the kitten.
This is 1969 in Norfolk, Virginia at Mrs. Cannon’s House. I have no memory of this event, but it’s obvious I was really interested in this kitty. As a kid, I would look at this picture as proof that the kitty liked me too, because she reached out her paw toward me.
I eventually cornered the kitty. I have no idea how this encounter ended, but I like to think that we were both happy.
Sometimes, when I’m half asleep and think weird thoughts, I like to tell myself that Maggie was ALWAYS there for me. She just kept coming back to me in the form of a gray stripy cat.
I usually do several manicures throughout October in honor of Halloween, but not this year. This is my only nod to the holiday. I did the black French manicure line freehand, so it doesn’t look amazing, but it’s this year’s entry into the collection.
When I moved back in March, we were going to a smaller house. I talked with NakedJen and told her that I was thinking of selling or giving away my books. So many of them I could find in digital form and they were really heavy mementos. I’ll never forget what she told me:
Don’t get rid of your books. Of all the things that I’ve gotten rid of and given away, I miss my books the most.
So I kept them and they divide the living room from the front door, like a barrier to the outer world. There was room for them. They may have been heavy, but they were worth it, like a snapshot of my life before Kindle took over. So glad I kept them.
I was looking at Tumblr and Feel Good Inc. posted a bunch of these animated gifs from an episode of Roseanne from 1989.
It’s from this episode:
Fast forward to the 17:19 mark to see the conversation. I am so grateful to Roseanne Barr for this episode.
I’m approaching menopause. Every once and a while, I get the night sweats and have hot flashes for seemingly no reason. I have had a lovely life with my monthly menstruation. Truly magical, just like Roseanne told me I would.
“Now you get to be part of the whole cycle of things. You know, the moon and the water and the seasons. It’s almost magical… You should be really proud today, ’cause this is the beginning of a lot of really wonderful things in your life.”
Even though I was already an adult when I saw this episode, it helped me. It helped me love being a woman in a way that I have enjoyed every month. I recently talked to my mom about menopause and she said that she was happy to have it come because then she didn’t have a monthly curse. I told her that I never thought of it as a curse. It made me feel connected to the earth and the cycle of life on this planet. She said, “You never got that from me.”
I realized she was right. I didn’t get that from my mother. I got it from Roseanne Barr. Thank you! Thank you for that episode so many years ago that touched me so profoundly. Now that I have moved to the phase beyond this one, I will learn to accept it with just as much grace and gratitude as my mother did.
Seriously, though your period is like coming home one day and finding that your spouse has constructed this entire new baby bedroom inside your house and you have to tell them “Sweetie we don’t have a baby” and then your spouse FLIPS THE FUCK OUT like “The FUCK do you mean we don’t have a baby I DID ALL THIS WORK” and then they spend the next week tearing the whole room apart and throwing it out into the street and screaming at you and then finally when the room is completely gutted they calm down and say “It’s okay hon we’ll have a baby next month” and then they start building the room again AND THIS SHIT KEEPS GOING FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE UNTIL YOU HIT LIKE 50 AND THEN YOUR SPOUSE LEAVES YOU BUT NOT BEFORE SETTING THE WHOLE HOUSE ON FIRE SO IT’S NEVER THE SAME AGAIN
Someone didn’t get the same maturation lesson that I did and THANK GOD for Roseanne, because I never once felt like this about my own body during menstruation and I have her to thank for it. I am literally saddened to the point of tears for whomever wrote this. We are so much more than that vision of our bodies.