Friday, January 31, 2014

Sometimes a beard is just a way to keep your face warm.

Just ask Mr. P, who grows one every winter (autumn, actually), and shaves it off every spring. But if it's going to become a political statement (make that a politically-incorrect statement), I might try to persuade him to keep it on all year round. Beards are starting to grow on me (and I mean that in a metaphorical, not menopausal, sense).

The link adds to the enormous list of reasons why 90% of modern university programs should be flushed down the toilet. But what more can you expect from a guy who's a grad studynt in womyn's studyys?

 Give me real men any day of the week. And twice on Sundays.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

An "affinity for quality"

This is interesting, once you get past the sort of cultish freakiness aspect of it. The Rockabilly community/lifestyle in the U.S. I can relate to much of what the author is saying: many of us North Americans have a visceral contempt for the "disposable “Made in China” culture" in which we live, and feel somewhat angry that we're forced to participate in it, BECAUSE OUR OWN COUNTRIES NO LONGER MANUFACTURE ANYTHING.

An affinity for quality is a good thing, as is the desire to repair and keep things long-term rather than throwing them away (I always knew "recycling" was 60% scam and 39% It Makes Me Feel Good and Environmentally Holy Whilst Still Embracing a Wasteful Consumerist Lifestyle). 

But this common sense approach to life wasn't confined to the 1950s--it existed through most of human history, probably right up until the 1970s. Indeed it is arguable that the 50s in America (with its burgeoning middle class, plethora of available goods and explosion in manufacturing) exacerbated the Industrial Revolution-spawned consumerism that has led to mental diseases like clutter, hoarding and obsessive-compulsive recycling. To wit: I'd be willing to bet that many, if not most in the Rockabilly community (like the guy in the video at the link) are compulsive collectors. High-quality clutter is still clutter, and hoarding is still hoarding.

However, I sympathize on numerous levels. Vintage stuff makes (many of) us feel warm and fuzzy because it takes us back to a time when we felt safe, happy, carefree, and secure (Translation: home = family = love = God). These Rockabilly folks (like the rest of us) are collectors --and participants in this "community"-- because they are searching for something that will fill their souls.

Well, it's a start.

And yes, Mrs. Beazly, there's a book. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What's great about mid-January

Is, quite simply, that the month is HALF OVER. 

 Alas, this sentiment sums up the entirety of Advent and Christmas 2013 for me. Low points included:

  • sickness. We've had colds, flus, coughs, sore throats etc. non stop since Dec. 16. 
  • bad weather (WAY too many consecutive days of wind chill temps in the -30 to -40 C range) 
  • due to both of the above: numerous missed events and/or cancellations: recitals, music lessons, meetings, church services, appointments
  • my kitchen being dismantled until Dec. 21 (try to guess how much baking or other culinary prep I accomplished)
  • extended-family issues: nuff said 
  • being stuck in bed with stomach flu on Christmas Day (we missed a multi-family celebration, and the turkey was elsewhere, so my husband and kids literally had to scrounge the larder for Christmas dinner)
  • getting in on the local epidemic: rushing a daughter to the ER with breathing difficulties on New Year's Day (eventually she tested positive for H1N1, the influenza strain that has been killing people in my part of the country. She is fine now.)
  • just not enough time: I think Advent was only ten or eleven days long this year. At any rate, I have never been so poorly prepared (in every way imaginable) for Christmas in all my life.

But make no mistake, there were many highlights too, for which one must be very grateful. These were: 
  • having my daughter NOT die (or even have to be hospitalized) for H1N1 flu (thanks, EMTs, Doc, and ER nurses, lab techs, all willing to work holidays!)
  • spending wonderful time with visitors from afar, some of whom I have not seen in years, and some of whom I had never met in person (pre-school nephew and nieces from Oz)
  • the turkey turned out well (I cooked one New Year's Day to make up for my family missing the Christmas Day bird)
  • finding the source of my chronic back/neck pain and discovering it is CONQUERABLE (thanks, physiotherapy profession and referring physician! You guys and gals know your stuff!)
  • my kitchen ceiling is FINISHED (long story, and probably interesting only to me and other reno-nuts)
  • a fancy new coffeemaker (best hostess gift ever, from Oz relatives)
  • getting addicted to Duck Dynasty (blame credit for this too is laid at the feet of those zany Australians)
  • anything containing alcohol
  • Salvation re: the Incarnation
For your perusal and edification, David Warren's dissection  of the January Blues. The Reason for the Season is the reason for all seasons, human existence, and eternity. Would that we could hearken.