Gratitude

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Gratitude, Health | Posted on 23-03-2012

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Today I’m grate­ful for hav­ing access to exer­cise equip­ment, and being healthy enough to use it.

Movies That Sound as Good as They Look

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Movies, Music, NaBloPoMo | Posted on 23-03-2012

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Plinky said, “Name a movie that has a great sound­track.”

Sound­track Cov­er Print Out

There are so many! If I had access to my full music library right now, we could be here all day, because i do love movie sound­tracks. For sim­plic­i­ty’s sake, I decid­ed to leave musi­cals out of this dis­cus­sion.

My first pick is Choco­lat, a love­ly French movie from 2001 star­ring Juli­ette Binoche, Judi Dench and John­ny Depp. If you haven’t heard the score you’re miss­ing a trea­sure. It has been on my list of favorites since see­ing the film over a decade ago. It includes pieces by Djan­go Rein­hardt, Duke Elling­ton, Hoagy Carmichael and George Gersh­win. With a line-up like that, how could it go wrong?

My sec­ond choice is anoth­er an old favorite, Prac­ti­cal Mag­ic. Faith Hill’s “This Kiss,”, “Black-eyed Dog” by Nick Drake, and “A Case of You” by Joni Mitchell are just a few of the won­der­ful cuts from this CD. I can lis­ten to it over and over again and hear some­thing new in the songs each time.

Now it’s your turn — sug­gest some­thing I haven’t seen that will make me sing or dance!

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Get Out and Vote!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in NaBloPoMo, politics | Posted on 22-03-2012

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Plinky asked, “When was the last time you vot­ed in an elec­tion? Will you vote this year?”

Elec­tion 2012 but­ton

I vot­ed in a coun­ty ref­er­en­dum regard­ing a one-cent sales tax a few months ago. I vote in every elec­tion, so of course I’ll vote this year. Why would­n’t I vote? Men and women have died to win me that right, and I would be will­ing to fight and die for it as well. I’m not so fool­ish as to waste a chance to have my say in impor­tant mat­ters whether at the coun­ty or nation­al lev­el.

The pres­i­den­tial elec­tion is espe­cial­ly impor­tant, because of the GOP’s war on women and the fact that I find San­to­rum espe­cial­ly insane. Rom­ney seems the best of the Repub­li­can evils, but that isn’t say­ing much. I’d much rather see Oba­ma re-elect­ed than any of the Repub­li­cans in office. It’s obvi­ous that most of the oppo­si­tion to the Pres­i­dent is based on racism, pure and sim­ple, which is an ugly, ugly thing (but not sur­pris­ing to this life­long south­ern­er).

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Java Jive

Posted by Cyn | Posted in NaBloPoMo | Posted on 21-03-2012

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Plinky asked, “Do you need cof­fee to wake up in the morn­ing?”

Star­bucks Logo

I would­n’t say I need it, because I don’t drink it every day. I do, how­ev­er, enjoy it, espe­cial­ly if I’m able to sit down and sip a cup in that qui­et time before any­one else is up and about.

My pre­ferred cof­fee at home is Suisse Mocha, and the sug­ar-free sort is also decaf­feinat­ed. 1 Back when I was at Agnes Scott, my friend Anne Mireille would ask me if I was drink­ing brown crayons because of the residue Suisse Mocha leaves behind in the cup. By the end of fall quar­ter, she too was enjoy­ing “brown crayons” because the stuff is just that good, no mat­ter how it looks.

Away from home, I enjoy Star­bucks’ Rasp­ber­ry Vanil­la Mocha. No, that isn’t on the menu — it’s a spe­cial order, and well worth the trou­ble (two pumps of each syrup added to the reg­u­lar mocha for the Grande size). That’s even more calo­rie-laden than the reg­u­lar Suisse Mocha, though, so it’s a very spe­cial treat.

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1 I do wish the com­pa­ny would give me more choic­es there, but they don’t.

Road Trip Essentials

Posted by Cyn | Posted in NaBloPoMo | Posted on 20-03-2012

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Plinky said, “List your must-haves for a suc­cess­ful road trip.”

road trip

Assum­ing you’ve already got a reli­able vehi­cle, the most impor­tant thing is good com­pa­ny — some­one who under­stands that the jour­ney is at least as impor­tant as the des­ti­na­tion, some­one who can hap­pi­ly fol­low the sur­pris­es that come up on a real road trip.

Next is good music. With­out that, you are sunk. One of the great things about good com­pa­ny is that you can make your own good music in a pinch, and that’s how we used to do it before we had CDs and MP3 play­ers with which to car­ry many GBs of tunes around.

Next, a cool­er filled with drinks. You get thirsty in the car, and its cheap­er and more con­ve­nient to just take your own water bot­tles and sodas along. Tak­ing healthy snacks with you is advis­able, too. You can skip this step in a pinch, but it’s more expen­sive to trav­el with­out them.

Final­ly, a cou­ple of changes of clothes and your tooth­brush. Pack light­ly, because you don’t go on road trips to look glam­orous. You go on them to have fun, peri­od.

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Meow vs. Arf

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Critters, NaBloPoMo | Posted on 19-03-2012

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Live­jour­nal’s Writer’s Block ques­tion of the day is, “Cats or dogs– which do you pre­fer, and why?”

I don’t pre­fer one over the oth­er. I’ve shared my life with cats and dogs from my ear­li­est years and love both. My par­ents would­n’t con­sid­er allow­ing dogs inside the house and weren’t hap­py about hav­ing cats there, but small­er crit­ters are eas­i­er to sneak in, so I got more time to snug­gle with the cats. Recent­ly, I haven’t had a home with a fenced yard, so I haven’t had a dog. It seems unfair to have a dog with­out giv­ing him a place to run around and play off the leash every day. The cats deal with an all-indoor envi­ron­ment more eas­i­ly. But as soon as I’m able to do so, I’ll have a canine com­pan­ion again!

Hats!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in NaBloPoMo | Posted on 18-03-2012

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Plinky asked, “What type of hat suits your per­son­al­i­ty best? A base­ball cap? Fedo­ra? Beanie?”

The Red Hat Soci­ety lunch meet­ing in Mor­ro Bay, CA. 18 July 2009

Hmm. I don’t know the names of many types of hats, but a cloche comes to mind. I don’t own one, but I’d like to. I have my base­ball cap and Fedo­ra days, cer­tain­ly. No mat­ter how geeky I am, I don’t think a beanie would suit me.

I do have a pur­ple Sun­day-go-to-meet­ing hat that def­i­nite­ly suits me, but I have no idea what the name of its style is. I’ll have to post a pic­ture of it at some point to see what y’all think of it.

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A Long Time Hobby: Music

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Music, NaBloPoMo | Posted on 17-03-2012

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Plinky asked, Which of your hob­bies have you been doing for the longest amount of time? When did you start?”

Music (232/365)

That would be music. I’ve been singing since I was a small child in church choir. The way my moth­er’s fam­i­ly makes music, I could hard­ly avoid it (not that I want­ed to). I learned to play the ukulele with the rest of my sec­ond grade class, but held on to my instru­ment and kept play­ing it for some time. I began piano lessons in the fifth grade, I think, and con­tin­ued for a cou­ple of years and through three teach­ers (we moved, one quit, and I out­grew the last). The flute came with sixth grade and mid­dle school band.

At some point my par­ents acquired an organ in addi­tion to the piano and I taught myself to play that, which was inter­est­ing. In high school I flirt­ed with the oboe and bas­soon, but did­n’t real­ly take to them very well. I gave them up alto­geth­er after read­ing some­thing that claimed that dou­ble reed play­ers suf­fered loss of brain cells due to oxy­gen depri­va­tion (I haven’t fact-checked that since, so it could be utter non­sense). I acquired a wood­en flute at a Renn Faire that has a much sweet­er tone than the met­al flute, but I’ve nev­er pushed myself to real­ly learn to play it.

Now I want to return to the ukulele, but I real­ly need a new instru­ment. That poor lit­tle stu­dent uke that has been used as a “gui­tar” by chil­dren isn’t in per­fect con­di­tion after all these years, and won’t stay in tune in addi­tion to hav­ing some bro­ken bits.

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City Living

Posted by Cyn | Posted in NaBloPoMo | Posted on 16-03-2012

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Plinky asked, “If you had to live in a large city for a year, which would you pick? What if you had to pick a big city in anoth­er coun­try?”

Toron­to Sky­line

I’d be hap­py to go live in Seat­tle or Boston for a year or maybe more, and even hap­pi­er to try Toron­to. San Fran­cis­co is on the list of places I’d like to try, too. All of the above have bet­ter tran­sit sys­tems than Atlanta as well as being in more lib­er­al envi­ron­ments. The fact that there are oth­er fea­tures to each city that make it incred­i­bly attrac­tive is great, too.

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On Religion

Posted by Cyn | Posted in NaBloPoMo, Spirituality | Posted on 15-03-2012

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Plinky asked, “Do you con­sid­er your­self reli­gious?”

Anti-Abor­tion and Pro-Life Teapot Athe­ist Protest Ful­ton Street Octo­ber 13, 20101

Not at all. I was always more spir­i­tu­al than reli­gious, but I was raised in a very reli­gious fam­i­ly in which I was forced to par­tic­i­pate in their South­ern Bap­tist church. I start­ed ques­tion­ing the con­tra­dic­tions in the Bible at an ear­ly age and did my best to rec­on­cile my intel­lec­tu­al objec­tions with the emo­tion­al com­fort reli­gion can offer.

After inves­ti­gat­ing many oth­er denom­i­na­tions of Chris­tian­i­ty, I final­ly left it alto­geth­er in my ear­ly 20’s. I dab­bled in pagan­ism and researched many oth­er faiths before arriv­ing at my cur­rent stance, which is tech­ni­cal­ly agnos­ti­cism while prac­ti­cal­ly athe­ism.

I still find the Uni­tar­i­an Uni­ver­sal­ist Asso­ci­a­tion to be a good spir­i­tu­al home, as it is as wel­com­ing to agnostics/atheists as it is to any­one else. Dif­fer­ent con­gre­ga­tions vary, of course, as they do in any oth­er respect.

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