Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Quiet Demise of Handwriting

When I was younger, before there were cell phones, laptops, tablets etc...I used pen and pencil to write.  I loved writing so much I would make lists of things I had already done just to have something to write and satisfyingly cross out.


Oh what a satisfying feeling sharp pencil dragging across paper is to me!

My friends and I had notebooks that we would write in during class and then exchange between classes.  I could write novels of conversation in the span of a few minutes. I still can. In fact, every story I work on I write long hand and then type. I can stare blankly at a screen for ages with not a thought coming out in type but when I put pen to paper magic happens baby!

15 years later, stooped over a faded hand written letter penned by a man named Sir Henry Strachey who was a diplomat sent to America to try to smooth things over between the colonies and Britain in 1775, I marvel at his beautiful, elegant, swirly handwriting.  The particular page I am remembering was a love letter to his wife, the kind that made you blush despite having said nothing graphic in nature back when men had to use prose to impress a woman.  (I've got my husband working on that one;)  It was the combination of beautiful words and beautiful writing that struck me and got me feeling melancholy. Is a beautiful handwritten page, in a mans hand no less, something we may never see again?

I went home that day and told my husband I wanted him to write me a love letter. Something that can be found in 200 years by a future archivist, something that will make them wonder what my life was like. He wrote me a beautiful love letter that I cherish but I should note that he typed it up and printed it out.  No, not printed by hand, printed out of a printer.  And thus is the sign of the times. (I still love it babe, thank you!)

I sat down on my porch one day watching the kids play, doodling in my notebook, and I decided to write out the alphabet in cursive.  Upper and lower case.  Go ahead and find yourself a piece of paper and a pencil and do the same right now.  Go ahead.  Don't be surprised when you get tripped up on a few of those rarely used uppercase cursives. Try not to be too appalled at how awkward it feels to write period. We barely even sign our names with real pencils anymore. Instead we swipe cards and scribble something illegible with an electronic pen that is about as useless as one square of toilet paper.

That day I realized mine may be the last generation of cursive writers and how awful a realization that is! With the implementation of Common Core in every school in America and teachers being given the option of spending time on teaching cursive or working on more test prep etc., cursive instruction is a rarity. There are many who feel it should be this way since we are in the age of technology.  It's a valid argument. We type, we swipe, we tap screens, we speak words out loud and they appear and soon we will simply think it and it will be so (how sweet will that be?)

But wait! Those who would toss cursive in the can should be advised that I have done my research and there may be more reason to keep it than previously thought:)  In fact, brain imaging studies have shown the benefits of a child writing cursive are in the same realm as learning to play a musical instrument. 

As someone whose eldest son struggles with Sensory Processing Disorder I can tell you that the type of organization, coordination, and stimulation provided by learning cursive sounds like a great tool to help him 'rewire.' In a time when we have so many children with processing difficulties teaching cursive and noting improvements in children, especially those with attention and processing disorders, is well worth study.

This article by Dr. William Klemm, Professor of Neuroscience at Texas A&M, is well worth the read (it's a short one so you have time;) What Learning Cursive Does For Your Brain.

Even if you don't have children to concern yourself with, the demise of the hand-written word is something we are all witness to and a phenomenon worth pondering. What will future generations glean about us from our digital footprint? As an Archivist I can tell a lot about a person from their handwriting such as roughly what year they were born, what country they were taught in, what their economic status was etc...Perhaps next time you send a thank you note, rather than a quick post on Facebook, a text or a voicemail, try writing a note in cursive. What does your writing say about you? Does your language change when you write rather than type? Does it make you feel calm and focused?

Admit it, that scraaaaatch is so satisfying:)

Get a Room!

Is this the picture of marital bliss or what?
It is a little scary to have people tell you they admire your marriage.  A huge compliment! but scary as well because we all know, married or not, how fragile relationships are. Sometimes I worry the admiration will jinx us.  Relationships can turn in a instant, often when only one of you is aware and I know this from personal experience.  

How many billions of people over the course of history have been blindsided by infidelity? How many surprised by their own affections turning toward someone other than their partner?  Or from one or both somehow falling straight out of love with each other?

I have a strong marriage BUT I don't take for granted how easily things can change when people become so 'sure' they have a strong relationship that they feel no need to maintain it.

I have no business giving anyone marital advice I'm simply going to list what I think are the reasons I have found happiness after some interesting trial and error.

First, and possibly most important, he is my best friend and he was my best friend before we became a couple.  It makes all the difference in marriage. Before marriage, passion counts. Typically, but not always, you have to be physically attracted to each other to generate interest.  Once you're married and the everyday grossness and boredom of life creeps in (like taking care of each other when you have the flu, or helping plunge the toilet, or tag team cleaning diarrhea off a child, or tooting when you lean in to kiss each other, or realizing that you  actually are at Home Depot and/or Bed Bath and Beyond on a Saturday, and thus just a razors edge away from breaking down and streaking through the quad to start off your mid-life crisis) THEN when all this has occurred friendship, comfort, and the ability to laugh at life together will matter more than passion.  It will have to! Because bodily malfunctions and double-crosses increase exponentially with age.  It truly gets so ridiculous and gross that you will want to leave yourself at times...or maybe that's just me.

Second-Passion.  I said it counts before marriage and I stand by that.  It should be strong enough to withstand the above mentioned situations along with a whole host of others.  Not just funny situations but hard ones. Things like sickness, losing your hair, being unable to have sex, gaining weight, losing weight, job loss, job stress, kid stress, exhaustion, boredom, side effects from medications.  It's hard to look at the person you may have once lusted after and not see them anymore, I mean really not see them because they are droopy or heavier, wrinkled etc...Holding onto passion while you each individually deteriorate or fall apart is wicked hard and it happens to us all at some point.  

It is a harsh reality of life that we will love each other and bear witness to the demise of our loved ones and ourselves.

So we keep touching.  Once you stop hugging, holding hands, kissing, can be awkward to try and pick it back up.  It is the first step in growing apart. I never understood why people didn't hold hands more.  It's so simple and yet can be so powerful in keeping you both connected. I literally hang on my husband like an old coat.  He comes in from work and I knock my kids to the ground to get to him first, jumping on like a spider monkey. He loves it;) 

Next is knowing yourself and having faith in yourself.  It seems obvious that we can't be good for one another if we aren't good for ourselves. There was a long period of time I wanted to be with my husband and he didn't feel the same.  The problem wasn't that he didn't care, the problem was that he was all set with who he was and I was most definitely not.  I had to find faith and ground myself, and when I did we came together. God knew the right time and that was it. 

Too often people allow their significant other to define them, they don't know who they are on their own, can't stand on their own, they find themselves in the other person.  But is that good?  Who are you without the other person? Marriage is a partnership, not a dictatorship. I would be lost without my man, but not because I am lost myself.  If you don't know yourself and have faith in yourself before joining in marriage with someone else, you will project your self doubt onto them.  They will slowly become the cause for your lack of self worth.  We may have a life together but my life is just that.  It's my only go round the rock, and I'm sharing it with him.  I have a strong faith in myself and that helps me have a strong faith in US.

Finally, and this is big, we keep things LIGHT.  Playful, fun, humorous. Example: hubs and I are flat broke, and while he tends to be more depressive, I can always find the light. Case in point.  Bank account overdrawn $27, made $38 in an impromptu garage sale. EPIC WIN. We are on the positive baby! Of course, I could weep and wallow about how on Earth we're going to pay this and that, get this and that, when will life get easier??  It's endless, it's life. I pinch his butt, he makes dirty comments only I can hear, we geek out over scifi, we tickle our kids.  We have our down moments but they are few and far between.  We have to keep it light, darkness comes easy for everyone.  And while others may shake their heads at us, we don't shake them at each other.  We count our blessings, and they are many, even if they aren't matched by dollars in the bank.

So that's it. or at least the big reasons that come to mind.  Don't think for a second we don't do things that drive each other crazy.  I won't even mention the vacuum he bought, and I'm sure he'd have a few complaints about things I have said or done.  But nothing negative sticks because we don't let it.  

One last thing I almost forgot:)  A good friend shared a prayer for her daughter publicly on Facebook the other day that I thought was beautiful. She said "God please let my daughter find all the good people. Keep the drama, and the people who create drama out of her life, even if they are family."  Indeed, don't let the drama of others seep into your marriage.  This is something we try to avoid. Remember who you have to concern yourself with.  You can be there for people as support without being part of their issues. 

Issues are like Cancer, it may start in a specific place but it can spread quickly and to places you wouldn't have thought.  

I always interpreted the vow "what God has brought together, let no man put asunder," to be a very powerful point often overlooked. To me it means that once you are partnered with another your main concern is each other.  You are each others person and no one else may take their place, or pull you apart. 

The rest is fluff. 


Milestones have been around since ancient Rome. They were actual stones
Ancient Milestone
placed along the road to both reassure travelers that they were still on the right road and to show how far they had come, or how far they had left to go. 

Humans count birthdays as a living milestone, each culture revering a different age for different reasons. I'm of the opinion every single birthday is a milestone and today is my 35th.

Rock. The. House. Y'all.

I have never been one to freak out about aging, after all, each birthday is a gift isn't it?  Whatever age one is turning it seems a shame to complain if you stop to think of the countless people who would probably have happily reached that age had they been given the chance.  

But this year is the first time I have felt a bit melancholy about the passage of time. I am no longer my own point of reference for age.  I have children and they have made the passage of time much more ‘real’ to me than it ever was when it was just me I was keeping track of.

A milestone, a point along the miles traveled in life in which a marker has been laid.  A stone placed in observance of a distance achieved.  

5-years-old was a milestone for me. Though not far along the path of life I remember that year with some kind of warmth and happiness that I can’t describe. I was all pigtails, overalls, hugs and kisses. If I could wish a certain kind of happiness for every child it would be the happiness of my 5th year on Earth.

17. That was the year my father died.  I hate that it’s a milestone but if we're talking markers in the road of life that one is a building.  That was the year that the person I could or would have been died and an alternate version sprung up. Yep, 17 was a major milestone, a mark in the road from which I measure everything that occurred since.

27. Oh 27 if I could have made you last forever! I was young, thin, had just finished my Master's degree and was about to get married. Oh, and I had my first baby-my sweet little quirky mad scientist Miles. 27 deserves a marker for sure:)

Now I sit at the dawn of my 35th year.  I type this bleary eyed waiting for my coffee to brew to give me a dash of ambition and a smidgen of clarity for the day.  No wild parties planned.  Didn't celebrate the whole 'birthday week' or 'birthday month.' Those days are gone.  I didn't even sleep in.  2 very excited boys bounced on my head at 6:15 in the morning because they could not contain themselves at the excitement of my birthday.  That's contagious:)

Milestones just happen.  I could be embarking on one right now and not know it and I love that about life!  35, like every other year, will be great because I make it great and THAT is the true key to happiness.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I Could've Been A Contender

I'm entertaining the idea of taking the boys out of 'traditional' public education and schooling them at home.


Holy cow that word conjures up very different images in peoples minds doesn't it? Typically the odd images occur to those least acquainted with the subject.  I myself am guilty of a fair bit of supposition before doing research on all homeschooling would entail.

Socially awkward?  image courtesy
The most common claim is that children who are home-schooled will become 'socially awkward' as though by homeschooling my kids they will end up unable to function in society and I will find them perpetually hiding behind my pant leg.  How ridiculous. What excuse do those who attend 'regular' school and end up socially awkward have then?  And what exactly is socially awkward anyway?  I know a lot of people who don't like to talk, hang out, party, initiate conversation with strangers, etc...does this make them socially awkward or are these simply personality traits that would have played out essentially the same regardless of schooling?  Do we think home-schooled children will attempt to converse in Latin when they join in a extracurricular activity?  Will they be shunned for their (hopefully) extensive knowledge of the Revolutionary War if they are reentered into public education? The way some kids are these days, if this is what socially awkward is then I STRIVE for it.

One thing I haven't heard is anyone claiming that home-schooled children will be 'behind' in their learning.  The consensus is that they will undoubtedly be just fine academically. I'll throw out a few names to illustrate.  Thomas Edison, FDR, Sandra Day O'Connor, The Willams sisters, Condoleeza Rice, etc...the list of extraordinary individuals who were home-schooled is a long and storied one. While this does not mean that greatness is a guarantee, it does defend the notion that children can be taught as well, if not better, at home than at a brick and mortar school at the very least.  I wonder what I could have been if my father had followed through with his dream of homeschooling me on a boat.  That's a story for another day...

Homeschooling in my head  image courtesy smile4camera
I think I'm one of those people who envision homeschooling as digging in the dirt to find worms, field trips, travel, hands-on learning all done with your children right at your side. I'm probably romanticizing it at this point (in my head I look a lot like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music) but I miss my boys every minute of the day they are gone and wish they were with me so that I could teach them every single thing they want to learn. There is not enough time in the day to read all the books they want, do all the experiments they want, create all the art, learn to play instruments.  Their minds are so eager right now and I fear the light being snuffed out by not having enough time to address their curiosities.

Don't mistake my pondering homeschooling for dissatisfaction with any particular teacher or teachers in general.  There are some amazing teachers in this world, and great schools too. In fact, it is amazing teachers in my son's current school district that have held me in place for the last 3 years. But where I am, who I am and who my children are force me to question if anywhere is better at this moment than right here with me?  In all my thinking of homeschooling one thing that has not been an issue or even a consideration is a lack of good teachers. That is not my motivation.  My motivation is my kids.  God is trying to tell me something, I just haven't figured out what.  Things aren't right the way they are, the rhythm is all wrong and I feel it everyday.

I NEVER thought I would consider this move.  Never.  I'm not even sure I'm committed to it yet.  I research schools daily trying to envision my kids fitting in to different places in my mind and trying equally hard to imagine the next 12-15 years of schooling.  It's no light decision, it weighs me down.  I have to consider friendships. As trivial as that may seem to some, my life wouldn't have been the same without my wonderful friends and I met them ALL at school.  If I erased them from my own experience I'd erase me.  Will I do that to my children if I keep them home with me?

I think part of why I am able to disregard this in the slightest and consider keeping them home is because I struggle now to remember my father who died unexpectedly when I was 17.  Though I was not very little when he died, I was busy and in school.  He worked 45 minutes away and didn't get home until late. There was dinner, homework, bed.  We just didn't get enough time together and that will always be a regret in my life. His death changed my life so much and it still does even all these years later.  I look at everything so different.  I recognize I have no guarantee of time in this world. As much as I want to be there to see my children's lives play out I know I can't guarantee I will be.

Right now we are starting down that same road. Dinner, homework, bed. This leaves weekends.  Two tiny days to jam everything else into. There's a reason the phrase 'ain't nobody got time for that' is so popular right now.  It's because it applies to ALL of us in some way!

When we attend traditional school we spend the majority of our childhood away from our parents, and even when we are not at school we have homework, class trips, sports, practices,'s this reason most of us don't really get to know our parents until after we are adults.  We just don't have time.  I've always been close to my mother but someday when I look back on all she taught me I will have to acknowledge that most of it happened after I was out of college.  Before that we were simply too busy.  Me with school, friends, and activities and she with work and all the other components of her life, me being only one.

I'm looking at my life and the lives of my children and trying to decide what is best for US.  What matters for US.  I judge no one, I am only considering MY family and I reserve the right to fail and put them in a different environment should homeschooling not work out best for them. In the same way, I reserve the right to take them out of any school I put them in that I don't feel is giving them all they deserve.

If I choose to take the leap and keep them home I know there will be awful days when I will second guess my decision but I cannot imagine ever regretting spending as much time with my kids, and having as much control over the type of information and values they are given, as I would if I were their school.

Then again, some day perhaps we'll be sitting around the table and my boys will say "remember when Mom tried to home-school us?  Yeah, what'd that last like a week before she went crazy and burned our desks in the backyard?"

Knowing me, totally possible.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Lost in the Stacks...of Kindles?

Cryo-preservation pods?   Image courtesy
When I die, aside from requesting to be either frozen, shot into space, or mummified and placed in a mausoleum or museum on display,  I would also accept having a library of books be built around my remains.  A monument to me! Surround me in that which I love the most!  No, not the remains of family members. Those people all want to be buried in dirt and that simply does not interest me.

Ever since I was 5 and could read on my own I have had my head in books.  And I'm not alone!  It seems despite what is indicated by the demise of Border's, and possible demise of Barnes and Noble, that everyone is still in love with reading.  One need only visit said bookstore on a Saturday to see this is the case.  And yes, they are buying books not just making lists of what to go home and order from Amazon as we are constantly led to believe.

There is a large contingency of die-hard enthusiasts of tangible, physical books.  I am with them, nothing feels quite so good as the crack of an unbroken spine as you open the story you have chosen to immerse yourself in.  No physical harm quite as enjoyable as being so unwilling to stop reading a good book that you drop a heavy hardcover on your face as you doze off, thus jerking yourself awake only to read more and repeat. I experienced this every time a new Harry Potter release came out and I joined the throngs of uber-fans who stood outside Borders at midnight to get my copy so I could read it all that evening, or morning rather. It was so worth the three day recovery required to reset myself.

Despite all that love for holding books,  I have also grown to love my Kindle.  I completely understand the apprehension some feel about going digital.  We have been forced to adapt to a lot of technological changes in the last 10-15 years.  I myself was very resistant to e-readers and only succumbed when I received one as a gift.   Having gone through life dragging stacks of books around with me everywhere I go, just in case a moment becomes available I then have them all right there with me, being able to keep 70 books in one little compact carrier that I can switch out at whim is beyond convenient.

But leaving behind books is like saying goodbye to your childhood.  It's too hard for me. Some people are able to walk away without a second thought, others cling to them like a security blanket they can't sleep without.  (In the interest of full disclosure I did not stop dragging around my security blanket until I was 28-years-old.) I firmly believe there is a place for both mediums in the present and the future.

YESSSSS! image courtesy of
Maybe it's the archivist in me that can't stand the thought of having no written records to preserve our times, or perhaps it's the writer in me that shudders at the thought of only typing my words and never feeling again the satisfying scratch and glide of sharp pencil on crisp paper.  (Though to be fair, this typewriter holder for the iPad is beyond awesome and could make me forget said pencil..nope, the amusement only lasted a second.  Pencil wins.)  

Why, then, invest in both mediums?  Why continue to spend hard earned money on physical books that by comparison are more expensive and take up precious space? 

I've been pondering these questions for a while and ultimately it was my 6-year-old, a child of the hand-held device era, that showed me why I will never be able to give up the physical printed word.  He is admittedly a bit young for Harry Potter but I've been reading it to him anyway because, selfishly, I want to experience it again and see him experience it for the first time right. now.  

At this age he believes wands have magic, the pieces in the wizard chess set at the bookstore will move on their own wherever we command them when we take them out of the box, and that somewhere in the universe Harry is having real adventures (and no doubt thinking he could too:)  

When I finish a chapter at night and close the book he often asks to hold it.  It's not a picture book, he's not looking for clues as to what will happen next.  Books are alive! You can feel it even after you close the pages.  He wants to hold it because he wants to feel the story.  To keep that feeling of wonder and magic that he loves going until we pick up where we left off and continue on with the tale.  I just don't think he will feel the same reading books from any kind of 'device' other than a book itself.

image courtesy
A scary book practically commands you to burn it so you can erase the disturbing images out of your head, an adventure book can make you want to quit your job and start searching the world for treasures, a funny book can bring you back from the brink of depression, they all can move you. They have life!

When I turn off my Kindle at night I usually put it as far away from me as possible so I don't get some creepy form of face cancer.  Yeah, my Kindle is alive too-in a Frankenbook sort of way. 

"Night night Kindle, thanks for the story"
"Rarrr, face cancer" 

Today when I went to the bookstore. I looked at covers, read descriptions, held the books in my hands.  I browsed the sections I love and found so many amazing looking books!  I can't bring myself to have the same experience browsing online, even with the friendly suggestions of Amazon and others.  I never know what I'm in the mood for until I hold it. It is an experience that brings me peace, brings me back to center and has always been, and I pray always will be, my 'therapy.'  It is my happy place!

We are all ninjas in our mind, we have all been CIA agents, gladiators, medieval lords and ladies, magicians, and yes we have ALL been witches and wizards thanks to books.  We humans want so badly to be everything and despair knowing we never will, but books! Thank the universe for such things, they make our possibilities endless if only for a little while.

I am raising readers, it is the one thing I know I am doing right and  reading everyday to my kids at length, is working.  Now that Miles is able to read on his own he is devouring books, exactly as I hoped.  I see myself in him and I'm even jealous a bit remembering that feeling, the beginning of wonder that books bring when you're a child.  

Oh lord, bury me in a monument of books! Lose me in the stacks! Lay my body to rest among that which brings me the most peace in my soul.  

Then stick the whole thing in a cryo-chamber and shoot it into space.  Allons-y!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My Next House is Going To Be a Hobbit Hole

Did you know that there are actually people who live in real Hobbit holes?  Surprisingly they aren't all living in a Tolkien inspired fantasy world of second breakfast and random trips to visit the Elves. Their motives are actually very green and focused on sustainable living.  And miraculous feats of architecture have been achieved!

And to think I live in one of these on a MUCH smaller scale:( Little Boxes...
There is an entire movement going on in the world called Organic Architecture, think Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water times ten, in which nature is incorporated into the design not pushed aside for the sake of it (see image right.)

We really have gotten so far away from that haven't we?  The majority of us live in little boxes set in rows on land that was napalmed into dust in order for us to build on something super flat.  We then spend thousands trying to regrow the nature that was destroyed. Silly humans.

Simon Dale, a not so silly human, has done some very amazing and inspiring stuff with little more than a chainsaw, hammer and chisel. Click on his name and visit his website, you will not be disappointed! He, along with his wife and two children, have managed to incorporate the best of both worlds.
The Dale family (images courtesy of The Blaze and
Comfort, style, cool air in the summer, warm air in the winter etc...all provided from a little manipulation of ones surroundings.  Magical things always seem to happen in England don't they?  Here are some shots of their Hobbit house.

An inside shot of Dale's abode
wider shot

So cozy!  Taters and crispy bacon by the fire anyone? 

Simon is not alone, there is a growing movement out there in the wide world centered around incorporating nature into our living spaces.  We humans have lived in nature since we were created and back to the dirt we must go if we are to truly become symbiotic with our environments! It flat out is proven to make us happier. For real life reference stick a child in a garden or sandbox, watch and learn. Read this explanation of Ecopsychology, and if your curiosity is still unsatisfied check out this article from 09' concerning nature being essential to human health.

When we want to 'get away' or 'recharge our batteries' we head for a vacation that usually involves the outdoors.  Beaches, lakes, rivers, oceans, camping, mountains, state parks, national parks, we are at our best when we are connected with nature.  There is a reason when we reach the later years of our lives we follow the Sun, it heals us and makes us feel alive and healthy.

Your new bed? (Photo by Arthur Klimov)

Yet we aren't quite ready to all abandon our couches and flushing potties for a pile of hay and wiping with leaves just yet.

Everyday we are making little efforts, using bamboo or cork flooring is gaining popularity, recycled glass countertops, reclaimed wood for cabinets and islands, all good things but I must admit, Simon Dale has captured what my little geek heart has always dreamed of.

"In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit."

If you could live in anything other than your current abode what would you like?  Hogwarts? RV? Sailboat? Magic Treehouse?  Sky's the limit so pick something fun and leave a comment about your new home:)

Friday, January 4, 2013

First Ya Gotta Do the Truffle Shuffle

Everyday I'm Trufflin
This is what I'm going to start asking people to do before I consent to talking politics, global warming, terrorism, economics, sports, celebrity get the picture.  You wanna talk gun control?  No problem my friend, but first ya gotta do the truffle shuffle.  Kim and Kanye having a baby?  Can't say nuthin bout it til you show me the truffle shuffle.

I have this feeling that we could put an end to a lot of pointless and enraging conversations if we take this simple step first.  I could also put a lot of pressure on myself to lose a bit of weight given I look more like Chunk at this point in my life than I had planned on.

For me it's really more like I smell bacon but you get the point.

In recent weeks, in large part due to my election year hangover, I have felt the need to simplify my life.  Don't confuse this new found need for a bit more zen to mean that I am giving up my snappy, strong-willed personality traits that I'm sure all who know me love about me.  Rather I've rededicated myself to doing things that only bring me joy or good juju.  Watching Doctor Who, re-reading books I love like Wool (one of the best series I've read in a long time, this series is craaazayyy good!) endlessly dissecting the possible plot lines of new Star Wars films and praying to God they decide to do the Hutt Gambit as the next series. How cool would that be?  (If you again find yourself befuddled by my book references I'm talking about some of the best Star Wars books ever written and you can find these lovely gems here, you're welcome.

Milton Bradley
Another joy inducing activity I've been resurrecting as of late is playing board games.  Having every gaming system imaginable available to play in this house certainly makes gathering people around a board an uphill task but there is nothing quite as entertaining, nor any memory nearly as happy as that of playing games with my family.  Some of my fondest memories of childhood are Scrabble battles with my mother, (who remains undefeated and is one of the most ruthless game players ever as she takes mercy on no one, including 3-year-olds trying to grapple with Candy Land.) I  have been hardcore on eBay searching for classics.  Has anyone else noticed board games are far more cheaply made than they once were? (Chutes and Ladders and Battleship I'm talking to you)  Milton Bradley would not be pleased.

Totally random fact about Milton Bradley can be found here.

In keeping with the gleaming theme of joy and happiness, I have stopped watching the news.  This may actually be the only way for a modern day human to live a truly happy, blissfully ignorant life.  There is rarely a day filled with feel good news stories, the masses feed off the energy drama creates.  It's almost impossible to finish this paragraph without starting to slide down the negative path, just thinking about the news and all that has transpired over the last year, the events that have dominated the news, my BP is rising so I'm just going to leave it at I stopped watching the news.  It's not a forever thing, just a much needed sabbatical.

I don't really have time to watch that stuff anyway, I'm too busy saving the Goondocks and being stooopid excited about geeky things like Defiance, the Oswin Oswald connection on Doctor Who. some seriously amazing looking sci-fi flicks coming out this year including Ender's Game, Elysium, Gravity (whose title immediately put this song in my head) and many more.  Also I avoid all Meg Ryan movies since they just make me sad about her lip choices.