Sunday, December 1, 2013

I Need You to Need Me

(insert British accent . . . cockney)

Do you want me to teach ya' to walk and talk like a regula' lady?

Damn confession . . .

There is nothing cathartic about it. There is stubborn, stupid, and then there is determined. Perhaps you are so determined as to convince everyone around you, you need no one. When Barbara or some musical fanatic started waylaying you with the glorified lyrics of an infatuated pleaser, "People who need people are the luckiest people in the world," it was all you could do not to smack them silly with their piano keys. "People? I don't need no stinking people." The absurdity of such an idea. People leave a metallic taste on the tongue; iron deficient you seek as any other 'normal' people hater person to vanquish a deficiency. It is a weakness after all. If you can't fulfill a craving . . . you fantasize. I wonder what a vampire would do in this situation. Maybe oxygen deprivation will silence the fodder sanity feeders?

Your morning pep talk didn't work. You didn't review A Hermit's Guide to Everyday Anti-Social Behavior enough times to earn your doctorate or that life time achievement award you have been aiming for. No, in a word, your determination was lacking. Your closing argument could use a good polish . . . or two.

I need people. I may grit my teeth and hold my breath until I pass out  . . . 10 times at least, but I need people. You need people.

I need the boy who broke my heart. By golly there was a reason or a lesson to be learned in there somewhere.

I need the person who finds the time to comment, even two little words, "Thank you," which causes a gleeful squeal. Recognition. A hug directly to my heart.

I need the people whose talking aggravates me to the point of speechless exhaustion. Hey, we all need our "counting sheep" enablers. Your aggravations will be tomorrow's muse. My words will be many.

I need the people who "man handle" me verbally and mentally for the sake of scruples. You help me identify better than anyone, my own identity. You prepare me to define, perfect, and achieve that with which you are convinced is a fool's errand. You teach me the sound of ignorance and that it has no age or limitations.

I need the people who see the sign above the door in pursuit of another venture and halt traffic to turn around. Books. I see the mental "Touch Down" as you walk in. You are my brother, sister, mother, father, child, friend, or lover from that far off corner we sought refuge together in . . . worlds apart, but common in passion.

I need the people who can pull me from the dark recesses of my mind. You take me by hand and heart, whispering "You are not alone." You cry for me and with me. You listen calmly and patiently while I try to convince you how much I don't need people. You find the path for me and know I may not follow, but no matter you stay.

You need people like a whole in the head . . . and just look how many of those you have. (insert wink)


“When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.”
~Donald Miller

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tattoo Tuesdays: Pristine, Patient, Presentable...try Pivotal



If there is one thing in my life that I can fondly refer to as "the bane of my existence", it would be honesty. I ponder honesty. I crave honesty. I feel honesty string the fissures of my chest to tighten to a degree of pain. I wave a blazing flag of honesty, it call also garner the name "well intentions". I run from honesty. I run to honesty. It is a maddening tug of war with myself and those around me. I could, and perhaps at times I do, easily stand on my soapbox bemoaning the lack of honest people. The lack of a people, in turn, willing to receive with open arms an honest to the core human being.

I have no happy potion for you to mix up in the back yard under the full moon or lay out a sacrificial offering while prancing around a blazing fire. Sacrificing is frowned upon in most societies (insert wink). There is no quick or easy fix, nor a plausibility that you or I can fix the dishonesty or the lack of acceptance found in others. I can rarely fathom how to fix the fear of honesty in my own flesh.

I am by no means a liar, but upon reflection, and entirely too many pity party episodes, I have come to  realize the very thing I long for in others I can none so easily bring to the surface in myself. Honesty in the sense of embracing the person that God has made me to be while on this earth. It can be tiring and discouraging to live in the shadow of others expectations for your life or what is considered the norm. Setting out on the path less travelled by was never quoted to be the bright, hopeful, easy path. No. The path is fruited with trials and tribulations, such things are meant to cause a growth in you that is unmatched to any other growth found on earth. Ugh. Sounds painful, right?

I recently told a friend, "I want to be like Jesus. I want to love the gamblers and tax collectors. I want to each my lunch with the prostitutes. Christians are (insert growl of frustration)...!" I have not met many people who love and offer a genuine friendship without the charade of assumed honesty. Those I have had the pleasure of befriending of this small group are refreshing and I find myself spouting things I never dreamed in a million years of telling someone. When you can banish the fear of honesty, I believe you will find a quiet small heaven on earth. The trick is getting over the assumed position of defense and that everyone is not to be trusted, not worth your time, and that all consuming fear that chants in your inner soul "Loose lips sink ships and isn't your ship...worth saving." Perhaps you need to sink a few ships along the way to attain that pivotal level of relationship with another person, but might it be...worth it in the end?

Two Times Honest Tuesday

1. I have allowed numerous fears to keep me from writing on my blog, for my book, and for my own pleasure. It has been crippling to many facets of my life lately.

2. I am not as strong as I may let on at times. Weakness, in my mind, is unacceptable and not a trait I know how to wear well nor do I want to. Anyone know a good weakness flogger? (insert wink)


If you have wondered how this honest post will tie in with a 'good' tattoo post, you need not worry that you are alone! I have pondered that while writing this post as well. It is coming from many experiences as of late and the notion that you should love those comfortable enough to be honest with you. Perhaps that honesty comes out in the form of tattoos? Those to whom have attained the ability to speak the truth no matter what, no matter the adversity they may face. I know you can take my words, and some will most assuredly do so, and twist them as you see fit to mean many things, but I only chance to point out the ability in all of us to love. Love honesty. Love those who need love because others we see fit to tell them they are this or that. Love the ones that "need fixed". Love a person's genuineness as it is rare indeed. Let God "fix" or figure out the rest. You are after all His servant. (insert smile)


Today's Features:

The placement is debatable, but I am fond of the font. The true (see what I did there) draw for me is the shading/coloring. Reminds of the sea.
 
 
Life is a wave. (insert wink) Simple. I am always a fan of simple.
 
 
Placement. (check) Color I don't mind. (check) Watercolor technique that looks like the artist used a paintbrush to do your tattoo...I'm a fan! Let life paint you with its many colors!
 
 
I don't like the placement. I do like arrow tattoos and this may end up on my flesh someday (insert wink). Why I will get an arrow tattoo someday:
 
An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. When life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means it's going to launch you into something great. So just focus, and keep aiming.
 
 
 
"You have witchcraft in your lips."
~William Shakespeare, Henry V
 
 
 
Find me on Pinterest
 
http://www.pinterest.com/litdrivengirl/sink-me-in-ink/
 
 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tattoo Tuesdays: How Does Your Garden Grow?

 
“Using words to talk of words is like using a pencil to draw a picture of itself, on itself. Impossible. Confusing. Frustrating ... but there are other ways to understanding.”
~Patrick Rothfuss
 
 
I have no words today. Enjoy the inspiration of the tattoos...let them speak on their own.
 
 
 Daniel Meyer
 
Pinterest Find
By Joe Deegan at Spilled Ink Tattoo In Dublin, Ireland. Original artwork by AngryBlue!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Find me on Pinterest

http://www.pinterest.com/litdrivengirl/sink-me-in-ink/

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tattoo Tuesdays: Where Words Fail, Music Speaks


Music has a way of closing the largest gaps of social differences. It also has a way of doing the very opposite. However, if you let it (and I implore...do it) music can perform magic.

It seems in every relationship, the good and the bad ones, there is always a song or two or a never ending flow of  undiscovered music that happens because one person decided it was time to share something. I can think of at least one song associated with each of the old and gone friends and the newly made friends. Music is universal, it succeeds so often where we mere mortals fail. Scary what power it holds over us...over me.

Though our hearts (and minds) rarely escape experiences unchanged, music is the gift that keeps on giving. Music is one of those blessings I sit relishing/musing, much as I do with words, "Wow, where would we be, where would I be if God didn't see fit to give us the ability to create symphonies? The ability to write 'foreign little creatures' on lines that direct the sounds of a heart."

Music tells a story. It tells you 'I love you'. It tells a world 'someone broke my heart'. It tells a generation 'get your shit together'. It stirs a well brewed pot of trouble. It can lay to rest a modicum or a plentitude of fears.


Today I'm running Tattoo Tuesdays as a theme post. All tattoos are music inspired. I know, as if you couldn't gather that already. (insert wink)


#2 — mondays are for music
Photo credit (Flickr/Pintrest find):
Ana Luisa Pinto's '#2 -- mondays are for music'
 
Remember my mentioning of the 'foreign little creatures'? They are speaking a language all their own. According to the photographer, the notes are an actual song. I don't read music, oh to be so lucky, but perhaps you do. Tattoos tell stories and of course this tattoo is brilliant (though it may be the photographers doodling, I can't be sure) because music is telling that story too. Me and finger tattoos...sigh.
 
Tattoo Artist: Ellen Westholm
 
I'm not a rose tattoo kind of gal. Truth be told I don't really like real roses even. However, I like this tattoo very much so, rose and all. My first thought, "Hey that looks like Bokeh effect on a tattoo!" I don't entirely, honestly, understand what Bokeh is, but the background feel of this tattoo looks like the Bokeh effect button I use for editing photos. I like it! It has an old world feel with the shading/coloring. Now...I wish I could read what the words say. Can you read it? Sleeves of course equal always a winner in my book.
 
 
 
One of my favorite music quotes* is Frederick Delius' words: “Music is an outburst of the soul.” 
This tattoo, for me, is reminiscent of those words. I grew up with cassette tapes and sometimes I get a bit nostalgic and miss them. Then I remember numerous occasions of frustrations with cassette players eating away at the intestines of the cassette tape and I think "Erm...no, I'm good." 
I am a little iffy about the red coloring. I know my Mum's first reaction would be, "Is it suppose to represent blood?" (insert smile) Otherwise love the concept.
 
 
“Where words fail, music speaks.”
~Hans Christian Andersen
 
 
 
Footnotes (my feet have kickass boots on today, what about you?):
  • *This quote is etched on the back of my iPod. I think I have mentioned this before.
  • Music today - Thank you Spotify for having The Head And The Heart's new album, Let's Be Still! I can't buy it before Christmas, but I can surely indulge on Spotify.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thrive Thursdays: Can You Be Convinced?


Earlier today I presented my Instagram followers with two questions via a handy Instagram video. A video that took at least an hour to create...hello multiple interruptions, they were my best friend today.


Why drink out of glass? Why use a Cuppow?
 
 
I will let you in on two secrets.
 
One, I'm a drink snob. This means a few things. I am extremely picky (or have "expensive" taste, it's all how you look at things) when it comes to my water. I buy my water. I refuse to drink the faucet water. It tastes funny and at times downright awful (a few times I have had to succumb to the threat of dehydration* and partake of the sinks "magical goodness"...erm yuck). Being a drink snob means drinking out of plastic is a big fat no, no. It means getting creative. Goodness knows water left in a plastic water bottle all day is enough to induce the hebejebe creepy feeling on your tongue. Run, run away fast! No, drinking out of steel water bottles is not creative. Whether it is true or not, I can't be bothered to research it right now (insert wink)**, I have been told steel water bottles leach steel into your water. While I might not know the facts for sure, I can tell you water left in the steel bottles I have owned have left a metallic taste on the tongue that is in no way pleasant. Remember I let you in on a secret earlier...I'm a drink snob. Are you beginning to agree yet?
 
Welcome to the world of Glass!
  • Glass can't absorb whichever liquid (or dry) matter you store in it. Plastic, on the other hand, is porous and will retain the "leftovers".
     
  • Plastic's "genetic makeup" is chemical. When your container heats up or cools down it is safe to say you will get your daily dose of chemical goodness...whether you asked for it or not.
     
  • Glass is pretty. As my house can attest to because we save, purchase, and decorate with Glass of all shapes, sizes, and color. Plastic...boring and after a while not so pretty, especially if you use your radiation machine (a.k.a. microwave) to heat things up.***
     
  • Glass is better for the environment.
     
  • Liquid or dry, things taste far better in Glass, in my opinion, than they do in Plastic.
     
  • While Glass can break and may initially cost more, it has a lifespan far longer (and healthier) than that of it's ugly step cousin three times removed on it's mother's side.
     
  • Glass is just...well...it's awesome!
 
Secret 2
 
I have a huge crush on a product I was introduced to the latter part of 2012.
 
Welcome to the world of Cuppow!
 
Why do I love Cuppow? Oh let me count the ways.
 
  • Cuppow is Made in America. I have nothing against items/products made in other countries. However, as someone proud to be an American**** and as a small business owner myself, I understand and truly appreciate the importance for the American dream. The ability to produce and sell our own products, to be able to say "Made in the USA" leaves goose bumps on my arms. What about you? (insert smile)
     
  • BPA, phthalates, and BPS Free! I can't properly explain what this means, but it is awesome! Here is what Cuppow says: Cuppow products are made from food-grade polypropylene that is free of BPA, phthalates, and BPS. We considered using other classic renewables like metal, glass, or bamboo, but ultimately decided that the potential dangers from sharp edges or splinters was too great for our little ones (we’ve got kids too!). So we undertook an extensive investigation into material sources and manufacturing in order to find the perfect solution, and we did! Cuppow is durable enough that it shouldn't foul nor deform over time due to exposure to strong odors, colorants, or heat, which means that [with some love] the Cuppow you buy your toddler could be the same one they bring to college.
     
  • Remember the Glass "argument"? Who doesn't have a Ball/Mason Jar lying around the house?!? Go to it, make that jar into something remarkable with some Cuppow magic! Might I also mention...Ball Jars are Made in the USA*#
     
  • Didn't you ever want to be the coolest kid in school? Look me in the eye and try to tell me you don't like a little attention every now and then. I love people's reaction to the Cuppow. It makes me feel like I had something to do with its creation in this world. Bring on the show and tell time!
     
  • Let's be friends! Every instance of communication/contact, be it email, Instagram, Facebook...whatever...the Cuppow team has been awesome to work with. They are great people. I love what they represent.
     
  • Are you not convinced yet? They have another product too. You know you want to look at it.
 I promise I am not being paid. I am being passionate and kind. Heck, I don't have to share my secrets with you. (insert wink)
 
Another project and surprise for the Autumn season in relation to a love of Glass and Cuppow...
 
Coffee Mittens! Knitting cables at its finest.
 

 
 
 
 
 
Thriving Moments: Sharing some of passions with you. Showing off a new knitting project...it may be appearing in the shop!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Footnotes:
  • *I am a huge supporter of clean drinking water for those less fortune than I am. So I realize that some of these comments from me may come across as blaze and not thinking of other's hardships when it comes to clean, safe drinking water...regardless of taste. By now, I would hope you realize I'm a rather sarcastic person.
  • **Hello laziness is my friend today as well.
  • ***I'm not knocking microwaves, as I do own one. I just don't believe they are the healthiest of inventions.
  • ****long story, but I haven't always been.
  • *# Do you keep humming "Born in the USA" each time you read this phrase? Because I do! (insert smile)
  • No music today...jealously listening to my family watching World War Z without me.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tattoo Tuesdays: I Wish Resilence Was A Friend Of Mine


Perhaps you're familiar with the saying "Wish in one hand, spit in the other"? I cannot count the number of times I have said this to myself over the years. I think it is such a common "go to" phrase, you are more likely to hear it than "good morning".

I hope to never dissuade people, or even my own children someday, to give up the practice of wishing and dreaming. They are such close companions of hoping. Just wishing and hoping
and thinking and praying and planning and dreaming*. They are most definitely the 3 musketeers of a million and one hearts. As much as I love to preach the "wishing gospel", there is a downside, much like other things in life, two sides to every coin.

I wish I had this.

I wish I was skinner.

I wish I had that.

I wish I was as pretty as _______.

I wish I could just do it.

I wish I was more like _______.

I wish I was stronger.

Wishing can and does get me (us) into trouble. I get caught up in everything I don't have and the qualities I lack, that everything else, the heart of the matter (me), is shoved aside forgotten...left to rot and fester. Scary how quickly we slide into the lifestyle of the "rich and famous", blessings and talents we may already possess loosing any merit in our minds.

I don't have a quick fix for you. If I did I would greedily consume as much of it myself as I could and then consider sharing. Selfish, aren't I?

Maybe the first step is confession. That's not easy either, though, but I've said it before...confession is good for the soul. Damn hard to do, especially for hard hearts with a super dash of stubborn, but good nonetheless. Hello my name is Maddie. I wish I was strong and never had to think of weakness again. I wish I was a resilient monster. Watch out world...yeah not so much.

Funny how the writing process works. I didn't have these tattoos before journeying out to write my words. I let the words guide me first and then started thinking Oh shoot! I need to match the ink to the words, don't I? I will let you be the judge of their cohesive (good word...co-he-sive...say it slow, feels good on my tongue) nature.


Sometimes our promises are strong enough to keep us going...no wishing needed. (insert wink) This is a tattoo I will get. The cleverness of placement and meaning of a pinky promise, yep this is a winner in my books. I love the reminder and of course hand/finger tattoos and me are like this (crosses fingers). If I'm honest, the photo is what initially drew me to this tattoo.

I like at first glance (for me anyways) how this tattoo looks like it is in a different language. The typography is definitely a factor for me and the encouragement of placement, in that everyday you will be pushed to remember. Stop existing. Start LIVING.


Last, but not least!
Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket**--no wait tattoo it as a sleeve. (insert wink) You know me, the more black "fill in" ink the better. I don't know why exactly I am drawn to tattoos like this, but goodness knows I'm not in the realm of being brave enough to undergo that much "prodding". I like the slightly abstract feel of this tattoo.


Another wishful moment:
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Romans 12:12
 

Footnotes (I think it is sleeting and guess who has Rope Souls on today!):
  • *Dusty Springfield of course!
  • ** Has anyone notice how often I reference songs in passing? Perry Como sing it to me!
  • Music listening was a treat today. I need to remember to "clean up" my Watch Later playlist on YouTube. Talk about wide range of taste!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thrive Thursdays: Last Minute Right On Times

 
 
It is often "funny frustrating" to me how the creative process chooses to work, how and when it chooses to make you the "creator". As though the creative process takes on a life essence of its self and, not bothering to whisper, shouts loud and clear "You there! You are MY muse. Now it is time to have my way with you." This means rain or shine, 8:30 morning calls or burning the midnight oil...you are essentially the creative process's bitch. My what a whirlwind adventure that can be is!
 
I have had words brewing and mingling with the season's inspirations for a couple of days now. It was unclear whether they would present themselves as a poem or an essay of sorts. After the lazy day I had (thank you Hulu for helping me discover you have America's Next Top Model...a weak spot for me) I was left wondering what the heck is Thrive Thursday going to be about. Let's take honesty a step further...I was in tears. The creative process timing can be discouraging, but there is nothing like the words of your Mum and a humbling prayer "Lord give me words for thriving today," to turn things around.

As my tweet from post-Thrive stated "A walk in the woods demands a camera, flip-flops (a girls gotta be 1 w/ nature ;), note taking apparatus (ie phone w/ #Evernote) #prepared." When in doubt...take a walk on a beautiful Autumn day, camera in tow and let the moment take ahold of you. Remember the brewing words? How about a poem?!? A poem? How sweet. What poem would that be?*



Autumn Is
**
Autumn is
A hailing specimen from the halls of
Eric the Red, they call him blood
His might unquestioned
Festooned with a warrior's reapings
He is a crisp and bone depth nectar of his ancestors
 
Autumn is
A walking figure among the throngs
Of knowledge hungry Yale and Harvard minors
He is hidden there, silent and bidding
Donning fishermen sweaters and rimmed wisdom
Giant and unwavering as a tree
Fire branded roots and bearded fiercely
Perhaps a pirate, searching for earth's time, that he may bed her
Capturing, besting that which he would have always
 
Autumn is
A musk pervading the senses with his harvests
He is basking baked delight
A glowing presence in the window of a chilling breath
The shrill echoes of a child's memory
Weaving savvy, a sweet containment
 
Autumn is
Patient as he salvages
Kissing Summer's envy
The punching crunch heard on every corner
You must not forget him
 
Autumn is
Thin steel fingers mercifully cold
Bone chilling, larger than mine
His grounding is inducing
Beard trimmings littering the ground
Mementos left for finding
Piled high for leaps and bounds
His fire left to warm the rough comings
 
Autumn is
Soulless
Bit by bit shedding his soul
Sacrificing to an unrelenting earth
His heart it be not black, but a frenzied canopy of a red sire's offspring
The fire and flesh, the dying and the sleeping.
 
Autumn is my master.

 
 
Is it obvious I'm quite infatuated with Autumn? (insert wink)

Photography me got to have some fun too!

 
 

Thriving Moments: Letting the creative process take its good ole' sweet time. A poem and pictures.


 
 
“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
~L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
 
 
Footnotes (who wants to knit me some socks?):
  • *Matilda of course!
  • **This is an original poem by ME, Maddie. Victory Dance
  • Music - Liz Lawrence. You must listen to her music!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tattoo Tuesdays: To Bed with the Grump


Nothing quite like a gloomy day to be the enabler of a grump like me. Perhaps I need a deck of Uno cards. I can't decide if I want a 'Reverse', 'Skip' or 'Draw Four'...maybe a Wild to change things up a bit.

I don't feel well so this post will be short and to the point. The point being ink and what I fancy. I fancy INK (said in the voice of a wild fevered woman)!


Neck tattoos are awesome. The more black ink the better! I like the messy feel of this tattoo, the splatters.


Pinterest Find via my friend Anna
I wish I had legs to pull this tattoo off. Placement and artwork are phenomenal--PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWERS...Itty-bitty living space!*

Typography...come on you knew I was going to say that, right?!? I love the coloring in this tattoo.
Credits for tattoo: Tattoo and Bukowski!! El Cuervo Ink by Tyago Silva
 
 
Last for today:
 
Pinterest Find
Music and its ability to inspire. (sigh) Hand tattoos, always...
 
 
Other Tattoo-ish 'stuff' you should checkout in the absence of my words today (insert smile):
 
Honest to Goodness Tattoo - I would love to get inked here. They are located in Grand Rapids, MI. I featured one of their tattoos a while back...I think**.
 
Mom's Got Ink - A great Facebook page to follow. I love their posts and it is not all tattoos, but some awesome ink for sure.
 
Locals - Checkout your local tattoo shops. Many have Flickr and/or Instagram accounts featuring a mini art gallery of their inking awesomeness. I follow several this way. I think it is a form of espionage. (insert wink)
 
Keep tabs on me - Don't forget you can follow my tattoo (and piercings) Pinterest board. I love getting suggested pins sent to me. They could appear on my board or even here on the blog!
 
 
“I'm sick. I've eaten civilisation and I'm sick.”
~Aldous Huxley
 
 
Footnotes (today they are cold, another reason to go to bed):
  • *I'm quoting Genie from Aladdin because remember it is Disney challenge month at my house and that was the first thing that came to mind.
  • **I know I featured this shop before, but I couldn't find the post. Maybe I'm lazy today?
  • Music today Tom Odell's iTunes Live Festival performance on the shop's iPad. I think I like him.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Mundane Mondays: Intelligence is Sexy, But Maybe You Need to Dial it Back a Bit


I believe it is one of the human conditions, we may never be "cured" of, the desire for answers. As was my dilemma last night when bargaining with the sandman for some much needed sleep. My mind doesn't like the idea of reaching the day's denouement (i.e. the final part, the end), it wants to keep going and going. It is a double-edged sword, though, because I do some of my best writing, thinking and have my revelation aha moments during the wee hours of a sleepless night. I can't decide what I want to trade, exhaustion or lucid moments in a creative's life.

The need for answers sent me on a mission. My mission was to wake up the next day (today) and start reading a book. By the title alone this book would seem to have answers or at the very least a little pat on the back of mutual understanding. Another human condition, a mutual understanding, a commiseration partner in crime. No pity, no just that simple little nod of the head that tells you "Oi, I know how you feel mate." (Yes my mind talks to me in accents, doesn't yours?)

Twenty some pages in and I have a pile of mounting thoughts and inspirations. The inspiration for this blog post. I'm not encouraging you with this book, not yet at least. Heck, I'm not even telling you the title of the book...until later.

To the Author (were that you were still alive, making this an even more beneficial post):

I wish for a moment, and by a moment I mean the entirety of one of your small novels, you would set aside the "lurking" scholars you name as friends. Them that taught you, instilled this notion that intelligence is best used as a weapon of mocking. You are someone I esteem highly and it is not my intention to belittle all of you works. I see more and more, why people, namely the laymen of this world, have distrusted religion for thousands of years. The leaders, the teachers, continue to hold all the cards leaving "us little guys" at a continued disadvantage. Jesus didn't come as a King or Emperor or even a Church elected theologian...he came as a humbled man. We, you and people of a position of moral intelligence would do well to exemplify this in your writing. Talk to me! I don't need fancy words or "ring around the rosy" endless prattle for the benefit of aforementioned scholars. I don't need impressed, I need expression of thought that leaves me reeling for days because I'm having my own aha moments. I don't need nor want the held at arms length "it will come with age" elder that looms a sort of indoctrinated fear in me that I will never understand so why bother. Talk to me! Forget the scholars and collars, the critics and the intelligent hipsters that claim they understand you, but are just as lost as I am. Feed a beggar, stop petting the glutton's soul.

For the record (everyone else):

I love intelligence. Some days I can't think of anything more invigorating than a conversation that has me walking around in a fog of "wow that was provoking". I abhor notions of dumbing it down or abridgements, condensing or said enthusiastically "updated for a modern age!" I don't want you or authors to change.

You're talking to the girl that when she discovered Harry Potter might have been "dumbed down" for an American audience was furious. I went on a rampage seeking proof and explanation. I asked numerous people's opinions and wondered allowed "What the hell do they think American's need help understanding better in Harry Potter or any book for that matter?!?" Undermining my intelligence, unless it is me doing it, or someone else's is intelligence is a big no, no.

My fixation with intelligence does not leave me blind or neglectful of the masses. I appreciate it, it does not mean that I am this brilliant person without necessity for intelligent growth. I guess what I'm saying is I want recognition that "us little guys" need to be nurtured and because I love words, just as much as intelligence if not more, I want my nurturing to come in the form of words I can comprehend, we can comprehend. Don't revoke our ability to understand the deep "stuff" or belittle us with the "short and sweet" versions. I may be both, short and sweet in nature, but I can bite too. (insert grin)

Rant over

The book? The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis and mind you I've only read 20 some pages (as stated before). I plan to keep reading and because I so admire this man I'm willing to be less "ready to jump" with accusations. He truly was a brilliant man. However, I'm still want to wonder how much of his writing was postulating to his fellow scholars and the desire to match them "word for word". Food for thought that is...


 
“I am going to bed. I will have nightmares involving huge monsters in academic robes carrying long bloody butcher knives labeled Excerpt, Selection, Passage, and Abridged.”
~Helene Hanff, 84 Charing Cross Road
 
 
Footnotes (mine are still in flip-flops, are yours?)
  • Music today: P!ATD new album, Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!
  • Early morning thoughts in written form can be dangerous or fun, depending on how you look at it, hence this blog post.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thrive Thursdays: I Brought You Flours


If you want full proof methodology for how to win my heart, you need look no further than a few of life's simple pleasures. It is obvious you can do your research in movies, but books work too. Also you can just ask. (insert wink) The first time I watched You've Got Mail and heard Tom Hanks/Joe Fox mention a bouquet of sharpened pencils, I felt "Ah there's a man that needs to teach lessons." Sweet and simple. Then there is the Stranger Than Fiction scene when Will Ferrell/Harold Crick humbles himself and brings Maggie Gyllenhaal/Ana Pascal a box of flours. A baker's delight.

A few months ago I was introduced (via Google+) to this brilliant "simple" win my heart scheme:

You know how people buy drinks for girls in bars? Why can't people do that in bookstores? Like if I'm looking at a novel in Barnes and Noble and some person walks up to me and strikes up a conversation and offers to buy the book for me there is a lot better chance of that working out in their favor... I'm going to reblog this until it's a cultural norm.

What point am I trying to make?

It is no secret how much I value the simple pleasures of life. I have blogged about this before and I'm offering up some of my favorite simply romantic favorites, not to give you ideas (insert wink), but to let you in on more who I am. Part of thriving for me is enjoying the simple things and learning what makes my heart smile. Bouquets of sharpened pencils. Books. Flours. What I wouldn't have done for a box of flours today?

I spent my afternoon alternating between the ever mounting laundry pile (don't tell my Mum, but laundry is one of my favorite chores) and baking. Baking is never a dull or Stepford wife, perfection incarnate, domestic time for me. It is a mad explosion of my ingredients everywhere, including the floor much to the great appreciation of my dog. Baking is stopping and starting because dishes have to be washed and Netflix must be managed. Things are never quiet for me, silence is a curse. Baking is the Pinterest board open and squealing when the recipe is manageable or scheming when you lack ingredients.

What did I bake?

I travelled several times a year with my previous job. A staple of my trips were airport terminal stops at the Starbucks. This meant a Frappuccino of some flavor or another and a cinnamon scone. I was almost positive my flight would be jinxed if Starbucks kept me from my scone by "running out" before I got there.

Today I made the Skinny Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Scones. The recipe found on Pinterest.

Discovery One: I need to purchase a pastry brush. My fingers or a spoon are just not acceptable replacements.

The recipe was easy to follow and I did substitute the flour mentioned for one kind (unbleached store brand white flour), rather than the 1 cup all purpose and 1 cup white whole wheat. My scones still taste great! They were so pretty too. (insert smile)

Cutting a circle into 12 "equal" parts is tricky.

Guess who had the first scone?
 
 
Dinner was the next endeavor. Left with directions to utilize the "dozens of" farm fresh eggs in the fridge and kielbasa sausage, I knew regular ole' breakfast was not on the docket. Let's make things messy and interesting.
 
Breakfast for dinner Calzone style! The theKitchn website may very well be my new favorite recipe site. Detailed directions (pictures!), suggestions and tester remarks. The best part of this Calzone recipe, aside from how easy it was? The fact they gave me a recipe for the pizza dough, whereas every other recipe I came across shoed me away with "1 frozen pizza dough". Heck if I am going all out for this I might as well make my own dough! Thank you very much. (insert smile)

The pizza dough one of the best (and easiest to make) I have had in a long time.
 
Discovery Two: The recipe may say bake for 15 minutes and then rotate baking for an additional 15 minutes, but 15 minutes at 450 was more than enough. I burnt my first batch and though my family gladly ate them, it would have been nice to have them all turn out like the second batch.
 
 
Stuffed with cheese, scrambled eggs and kielbasa sausage. The votes are in and this is a do again!
 
 
 
Thriving Moments: Utilizing ingredients in the house with minimal grocery shopping. Baking 2 new things!
 
 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tattoo Tuesdays: Many Minds, Many Words


I have my days of internalizing. Bloody mess and an extreme annoyance, it would seem, to those around me. I am a complicated contemplative lady. I think the Proverb*, "Even a fool is thought wise...," rings a little too loudly. Of course I like to scream (mentally of course, ladies never scream or shout) "Read between the lines!"

Today I am pleading the internalize moment, think of it as pleading the fifth only less legal ramifications. (insert smile) I know I normally pull out the ole' soapbox, which never has many opportunities to collect dust, and connect the dots of the tattoos with my thoughts for the day. However, today the tattoos will be speaking for themselves. They don't need much of an introduction, as is often the case with art...it speaks for itself.

Tumblr find.

This tattoo is so reminiscent of a design I have been thinking of for my arm, I instantly "liked", "reblogged", "pinned" and I'm now sharing it with you.  I am reminded of Howard Pyle and an Art Nouveau print's love child. If I were to show this tattoo to my Mum, I know her immediate response would be "Oh let's embroider that!" Outlining detail is great. I would love to find the original artist responsible for this tattoo.

Art is not a transcript nor a copy. Art is the expression of those beauties and emotions that stir the human soul.
~ Howard Pyle
 
 
Other Features for Today:
 
Pinterest find
 
Reference, placement and clever...what's not to like? The typography could be a smidge cleaner, but this is coming from a nut. (insert wink)
 
Pinterest find
 
Three things come to mind, a Dreamcatcher meets Steampunk meets an Aquatic creature. This tattoo wants to tell me a story...or wants me to tell it's story.
 
 
Final find...
 
On late night shopping ventures with my sister, we always stop in the book section. Last night we made our way to the magazines and stood there wishing we could subscribe/purchase a particular magazine. Which magazine? Inked. The cover featured one of the best examples of a good facial tattoo that I have seen in a long time. I couldn't find a great picture of it online, but I did find the small image below. You could go to your local grocery for a closer look. (insert wink)
 
 
We both appreciated the tattoos subtlety. Yes I know a face tattoo isn't exactly subtle, but this tattoo has an elegance and lacks the glaring/screaming "I have a face tattoo" attribute I've seen before.
 
 
Talk about life – but in your own way.
~Howard Pyle
 
 
 
Footnotes (the ballads are in):
  • *Proverbs 17:28
  • Music delights today Little Green Cars and a new to me Autumn Playlist on Spotify


Monday, October 7, 2013

Mundane Mondays: I Speak Fluent Movie Quotes


Growing up a Midwest Small-town girl does not mean I don't know my way around a good movie conversation. I can't honestly lay a finger on the person responsible for feeding the movie bug in my family. It seems each of us, to some degree or another, have it. Our tastes are vast and often result in "heated" discussions wherein we (to no avail) attempt to convince the other of our love of such and such or why it is a must see. One thing is for sure . . . fluency is a no brainer.

I don't delve into movie genres I'm not comfortable with or require me to spend too much time thinking through a convoluted plot. By thinking I mean the reviewers that want to convince me there is a deeper meaning to EVERYTHING. However, if you were to meet my brothers you would discover two specifics when dealing with their movie business. One they are self-proclaimed (ok maybe it is more teasing on my part) movie snobs and two, deep meaning and conversations are necessary traits to bring to the table. It would seem, by default they are rubbing off on me and causing me to rethink the whole "surface feel good" films of the past. I'm not saying it is easy or that I don't scratch my head, staring at them wondering how they don't see what I see . . . boring, etc.

Always learning, always developing new tastes.

Recently I have opened myself up more and more to trying films I wouldn't, of my own accord, watch. The choices they are always "begging" me to give a chance. The results are in and maybe some self-proclamations are in order.

What's been playing at the local theater, a.k.a my house?


Carrie
Welcome to plot/character development nightmares and head spinning dancing scenes!

During the month of October my brother's typically have a goal to watch as many "Scary" movies as they can during the frightful month. As the remake is due out later this month and none of us had indulged in this special treat of a film, it was a no brainer. Overzealous religious types will always have a special place in my heart; whereas the gym teacher who cares a little too much for comfort will always come off creepy, almost creepier than Carrie herself. It will not be a difficult task for Kimberly Peirce (Carrie 2013 director) to give us a new/updated perspective of this classic.


Lord of the Flies (1963)
This adaption is proof that I am, though I wasn't denying it before, entirely too desensitized in the realm of violence.

I can appreciate the dedication to a real child cast and I even found myself liking the feel the Black and White gave to the overall film. However, this adaptation made me question . . . what the heck is so violent about the book that is/was banned? Yes, yes, I know children kill and kill each other, but let's face it The Hunger Games is more violent in the scope of things AND it mostly alluded to the happenings. I reiterate . . . desensitized. The movie was slow and I kept looking at my brother and wondering "When will it end?" Although, silently because talking during movies is strictly frowned upon. (insert grin)


Stoker
I am a cinematography junky. If not for that I believe this film would have fallen a little flat. The colors and old world 1950s feel was great, even though that mainly applied to the Stoker family. I found myself thinking, creepy crawling feeling squelched, "I would like to take a fieldtrip to their house."

When I can relate to a characters strangeness (psychopath tendencies aside) I often wonder how strange are they really. Perhaps I empathize too much with the "odd 'man' out". I don't know, but I wanted to be India Stoker's friend and just to be safe learn how to run fast and shoot a gun. (insert smile)

The film was slightly predictable, but maybe it was intended to come off that way. I could be persuaded to watch it again or give the director another go.


In other News...

Disney Film challenge this month!

Elyza (my sister) and I are attempting to watch a "classic" Disney film each day. The classic is a loosely used term, as you will see with our list thus far.

Day One - Beauty and The Beast - Fun commentary time
Day Two - The Black Cauldron - Why bother?
Day Three - Toy Story - Rule breaker according to our brother because at the time Pixar was not affiliated with Disney. Even now it is distributed by Disney not made by them. Details, details...
Day Four - The Emperor's New Groove - Quotable heaven
Day Five - Alice in Wonderland - If you used this film adaption to persuade me I should read the book . . . epic fail.
Day Six - Lilo & Stitch - More reasons why I want to move to Hawaii and become a surfer.

Most Disney movies have a content level, at times, I question how I would explain to my children (i.e. Lilo's use of Voodoo for her 'friends', "My friends need to be punished."). This only being mentioned/questioned for the highly observant children I know, otherwise not true concern just curiosity.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thrive Thursdays: Shoveling and Baristas


There's something to be said about best laid plans and tricking the universe with spontaneity. I'm starting to believe had I not planned my morning out earlier this week my "best laid plans" might have been in my favor. However, that's assuming my life choices have anything to do with the weather patterns. I shouldn't give myself too much that much credit.

My Thriving Thursday plans? I had planned to hang out with my sister and Calvin (my camera) at the local nature reserve. Earlier this year I visited it for the first time, since living in this area, for a senior photo session. I should not have waited so long to greet the greater outdoors, it is only a 15 minute country drive from where I live. Calvin has been weighing heavy on my conscience. He and I haven't been on speaking terms much lately. I was ready to take my Thursday and make it all about Calvin.

Rain. I love it, but today it forced an unwanted plot twist. I have been at the shop all day since cancelling. My Mum was begged upon to cover, but then the weather, as it is in the Mid-west, saw fit to change. Temperamental (sheesh).

Unexpected shop days can often be lazy days. I've read. I've knitted. I've watched some Amazon Prime. I've been thinking. I've been thinking "Damn this post isn't going to be very inspiring or thought provoking." Hold on, wait a minute...put a little love in it. (insert smile)

Yesterday was spent canning and cooking. How quaint? Exhausting is more like it, but so worth it! This got me thinking. I love a task. The hard work, effort, time and even the late night exhaustion are what make a dull Maddie so many things. Most of all? Happy.

The thinking reminded me of a story my Mum once told me. She read a book about Henry Ward Beecher and while I'm not a huge fan of his, I can appreciate his work ethic. Henry would often struggle with dark thoughts and moody times. During these 'episodes' it was to the basement with him! He would begin shoveling a pile of sand he had stored there from one end of the basement to the other. Upon finishing he felt his mind freed of his earlier conflicts.

This is why I love tasks. They keep the demons at bay. They don't leave room for the nonsense of this world to take up your time with would be cripplers. Find your shoveling task and have at it! I know it might sound funny, but laundry. Summer time and a laundry line are an I.V. of happy to my lil' ole heart.

Even though I felt a tad lazy today I did learn how to make espresso (say it with an accent and it tastes so good on your tongue). At the shop we are considering staying open late one night for shoppers and another night for knitters. I asked the owner of the coffee shop next door, he is also my landlord, if we could keep his shop open for him. This means learning new drinks. I already know how to make chai, but give me more, give me more! He said yes, so now we just have to drum up some interest. Who doesn't love books, caffeine, knitting, late nights or a combination thereof?

My baristas name? Pete Brew Babe
 
 
Thriving Moments: The mechanics of coffee :) and how to greet a blah day. Perhaps thriving can't be planned...it just happens.
 
 
Tweet with me. | Snap some shots. | Listen to the music. | Get to pinning | Up, Up and Plus
 
 
This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24 
 
All words are pegs to hang ideas on.
~Henry Ward Beecher
 
Footnotes (Bells on her fingers and rings on her toes. Has anybody seen my...toe rings ;)?)
  • Today my music of choice, while writing, has been my The Glitch Mob Pandora station.
  • Knitters can also find me on Ravelry
  • Guess whose going home to listen to the Lorde album?!? Oh yeah me, me, me...

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tattoo Tuesdays: Put Your Money Where Your...Ink is


It's back!

Tattoo Tuesdays, tattoos in general, are one my favorite blog post series to write. They are responsible for refueling my writing fire. When I was looking at previous posts I realized it was time to "bring it!" So if you have missed them too, without further ado...

It is not a little known fact anymore that I desire my flesh to play host/canvas to ink. As more and more people in my circle of friends and family discover how much I appreciate tattoos and want them, I am asked a number of questions.

What do you want? Where do want it? What's the hold up? Why? How much do you think it will cost? Are you going to get color? What does your Mum say?

I don't intend to spend today's Tattoo Tuesdays post answering all (or any really) of these questions. However, it is also important to realize I am no expert. I have been in a tattoo shop approximately ONE time. To say I was intimidated is putting lightly. I was there to get pierced and the guys working were incredibly easy going and made me laugh. Definitely helped to ease my jitters.

Tattoos should have meaning. People will tell you time and again that you will regret them when you are older. I don't believe this is the case always. Yes sometimes, but I don't intend for that to be my "problem". Hence tattoos being well thought out and having a great artist on your side. I am surrounded by artists in my house. My Mum, though against tattoos, is someone I frequently discuss and even sketch preliminary designs with on scraps of paper. She is one talented and supportive lady! She gave birth to my 3 extremely artistic siblings as well. My sister paints, sketches, collages, etc. She and I frequently have discussions about placement of tattoos and debates of color vs. no color. I even make to steal some of her ideas sometimes. (insert grin) My brothers are never without some mode of writing and drawing apparatuses; which, my Mum can attest to as she has folders full of church bulletins with their little creature creations over the years. The other evening my brothers and I sat down and started a late night "Let's draw up fake tattoos" session. It is medicine for the soul, I believe, to be surrounded by such creative people. "Luck ain't got nothing to with it." God blessed me tremendously.

As well as meaning, tattoos should be tattooed by the best or at the very least the next best thing. This means, to me, tattoos are expensive. I don't want my tattoos looking like 'Prison Tattoos', so I intend to break out the big bucks. Correct me if I am wrong, but I can't imagine a great tattoo costing less than $100/$150ish. Remember I'm no expert, but I intend to go prepared. This may mean adding "Money for Tattoos" on my Christmas list. Shhh....don't warn my Mum or Santa for that matter. (insert smile)

Is it obvious I think about this a good deal of the time?


Features and other opinions for today:


Minimalism is increasingly more popular as of late. I also find myself more and more attracted to their simplicity. I like the "makes me stop and think" ability they tend to invoke. Pinterest find via my sister.

Another Pinterest find
Another important factor for me is placement. Hands, fingers, palms...I love hand tattoos. The compass and feather allusion to freedom is great for me in this tattoo. Of course I'm a compass kind of gal. The "smudge" of color is a nice addition. In answering the color vs. no color debate...I like color. However, I like looking at it more than the commitment to upkeep every year to maintain the colorfulness of a great tattoo. Color is not necessarily for me, but I can't bring myself to give it up when 'liking' someone else's tattoo.
 
 
Pinterest is a winner again today!
 
Remember meaning? Meet great story/symbolism for a tattoo! My initial attraction was the placement and choice for a tree and then the story sunk me.
 
"Since the 8th grade, my nickname had always been Tree because of my height. After a year or so this nickname started to become actually who I was, so I decided to get a tree on my side. The little guy to the left of me is my little brother who I love more than anything in the world. He is always trying to be like me, so when he saw the tattoo he begged and begged for on just like it. So I drew one on his side and told him it was a kids tattoo and that when he’s my age he can get a big boy tattoo."
 
 
 
Thinking it through or the basics: Placement, Price, Meaning/Significance and Decisions (Color vs. No Color, etc.). That should keep them busy, eh?
 
 
 
“You can kill people with sound. And if you can kill, then maybe there is also the sound that is opposite of killing. And the distance between these two points is very big. And you are free--you can choose. In art everything is possible, but everything is not necessary.”
~Arvo Pärt
 
 
 
 
Footnotes (footloose and fancy free):
  • If you're interested in keeping up with my tattooing adventure finds be sure to follow my board on Pinterest 'Sink Me In Ink'. Did I mention Pinterest enough today? ;)
  • Remember a long time ago in a galaxy faraway when I asked if someone would be interested in designing a new banner for me? No? Here it is again because I'm still looking: I'm looking for new banner art for Tattoo Tuesdays' posts. The picture at the top was just my bored half attempt at a quick 'smarty' banner for these posts. I didn't expect for them to continue, but they have and they are some of my favorites. Please leave a comment if you have an interest in submitting art or photographs, etc. for a banner. You will get recognition. Do you expect anything less from me? (insert smile) Tell your friends!
  • Today I 'played' it easy and listened to my Pandora Mumford & Sons Radio station while writing. I'm at the shop after all.
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