January 25, 2007

tag I'm it.


Thanks phoebe and jaime for tagging me. Here goes: 6 weird things about myself.

1. I've never smoked a cigarette in my life, ever.
2. I'm a grown up and I'm still not a super big fan of vegetables.
3. I really, really liked school.
4. I can't roll my r's.
5. I'm terrible at telling jokes.
6. I move the furniture in my house often (well, my dear husband does the actual moving, much to his chagrin).

Ok, kitty, tag, your it.

December 06, 2006

macro decay pool.


How fabulous is this and that? Both images are from the terrific flickr pool macro decay.


October 27, 2006

just thinking.


I love blogs.

I was thinking about it this morning. About the types of blogs out there. I have a couple of favorite types that I consistently return to. There are well written, idea driven, smart ones like russell davies, stephen johnson or culture by. And then there are the design, art, craft, "look at these wonderful things" type like design sponge, lena corwin and karin's style blog. I also love the deep dive, one subject focused ones too, like collage a day or ace jet 170. I love bouncing around between them all, satisfying different moods and interests while at the same time being pulled into the worlds of smart, observant and interesting people.

And I've learned stuff about myself, that I didn't know before. I knew that I've always been drawn to things. I love jewelry and art and furniture and fabric and, and, and. But heh, there are limits to all that you can or should own, and so dear ada has allowed me to collect stuff without having to actually own it. I feel pretty satisfied knowing that some of the stuff I love is accumulating daily, virtually. Blogging, it turns out, is good enough. And in the process of doing it, I've discovered that I'm pretty satisfied with things that are good enough. Not always, but more times than not. And that's something I didn't know before blogging.

So I've been blogging for a little over a year. I have 2 blogs, dear ada and aiming for grace. One is about things I love, things that I notice, things that make me happy. dear ada is like those "look at these wonderful things" type blogs I so love. The other blog, aiming for grace, is about living with diabetes and all the struggles and triumphs that come with chronic illness. It's more of the "one idea, deep dive" type. Simply put, one blog is about the joy of life and creativity and ideas, and the other is about one of the real challenges of life. And both combined, are a conscious act of seeking out more happiness and integration in my own life. Nothing particularly noble, but the process has certainly been wonderful for me.

July 23, 2006

whole more than sum of the parts.


Here are some photo's from a trip to Silver Lake from a while back, taken with a cheapy, over-the-counter camera. I scanned these from a board I'd mounted the images on (because I lost the disc with the originals and I'm too lazy to scan each one individually). Anyway, you get the drift. Abstract images of a place, ganged together, can be an interesting way to capture the feeling of a trip, place or idea. Check out Silver Lake flickr set if you want to see more.


July 13, 2006

not good enough


We went to the sequel of the Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead Man's Chest a couple of days ago, and it wasn't too fun. In fact, it was kind of unpleasant. I really loved the first one, especially Johnny Depp's performance, but this time, even he was kind of ho hum. Basically, he spent most of the movie, camping it up, running around with his arms flaying, being cheeky for the camera. It was almost as if he was in a different movie, because the rest of Dead Man's Chest was pretty dark and grim. I'll give the creators of the movie credit for the idea that it was inspired by a ride in Disneyland. And as such, they succeeded in keeping the adrenaline pounding, "boo" factor of a theme park ride going at full throttle most of the time (with little moment's of torture and eternal slavery in between for a "rest"). Tedious was the word DPK used and frankly, I couldn't agree more. What a disappointment!

July 10, 2006

how much does it really cost?


There is a line in a song that Meryl Streep sings in the movie a prairie home companion, that I can't get out of my head. "Why are you working so hard to get things you don't really want?" I didn't like the movie that much (though I loved Streep's performance) but still, I can't stop thinking about that line. In the spirit of good enough, there is also the idea of having enough. Having enough things. Well some things, at least. I think about the work it takes to maintain things and though I'm definitely a big lover of things, I'm realizing more and more, that they can cost far beyond the price of purchase. Like the time it takes to clean them or the space it takes to store them or the energy it takes to keep them functional. Now I don't mean all things. I really do love things too much to veer even close to the idea of an ascetic life (my good friends are laughing out loud right now). It's more the larger idea of assessing how much I really want the particular item of desire at hand before I take it home for keeps. Heady I know, but that's what you get with time to let your mind wander (and we'll see how well I do at next week's antique fair). But for now, it's an interesting idea to consider.

Or maybe it's more about being clear about the things you really, really want and not wasting time on the stuff that's just noise. That's a lot harder to do than it sounds. Selective, focused desire. And discipline to move past the sparkly distractions. I think it really takes some time and consideration to actually know what is worthy to you so that, as the song says, "you don't work so hard to get things you don't really want".

June 25, 2006

it just depends on how you look at it.


I was talking to one of my most adventurous friends about adventure in general, and she said she was looking for more of them closer to home these days. I hadn't thought about small adventures as an example of the idea of good enough until she said that. There is so much to explore right out the back door and it occured to me the other day, that there are people who come here on vacation because it's so pretty and fun and interesting. So why couldn't I experience being here a little bit more like I'm on vacation? The essay, just sit back and relax by Po Bronson in the June 18th Time magazine, talks about how American's spend more on vacations than any other country in the world, while at the same time, take the shortest vacations than any other country in the world. I can't say that I buck that trend in terms of taking very much vacation myself, and I'm beginning to think that I'm nuts. The essay goes on to say how American's try to pack so much adventure and "experience" into a vacation that they come home needing time off to recover from their exhausting time off. I'm thinking the antidote to this silliness, is to take a vacation and stay home. I'm sure that there are plenty of small adventures nearby that are fabulously good enough!

May 14, 2006

just enough.

the Timex watch is good enough

Good enough. The first hit off that phrase is one of "settling for less". Like it's "just ok", "I guess it's good enough", sigh. Enough implies that it's just not the best, like the best is totally possible and enough is for lazy people or people who don't really care for themselves, you know, enough. The pursuit of the best is so American and 21st century and enough just feels so not that.

And yet I've been thinking about the idea of enough lately. It seems to me that maybe it's not such a bad thing after all. That in fact it might just be a wonderful thing, this idea of enough. Not like "enough is enough", the ultimatum, but rather enough like "thanks I'm full, I'm OK, I'm just fine". It seems that choosing things that are good enough is a very freeing idea and practice. It's not some philosophical rejection of all things, but rather the acceptance that some things work just fine for a particular task, and then being freed up to do something else instead of searching for the best in whatever you're looking for.

a toasted cheese sandwich is definitely good enough

Now don't get me wrong here. I'm not saying "good enough" is right for all things. I think it is worthwhile for example, to look for the best medical care you can get or the best person to spend the rest of your life with. In some things looking for the best makes all the sense in the world. And if good enough is accepted for a lot of things, think of all the time that will be freed up to find the best in other things that are more important.

There has been some discussion about the idea of enough in the media of late too. Barry Schwartz, the author of the great book, "The Paradox of Choice" talks about the idea of enough in an interview from the blog good experience. He says, "learn that "good enough is good enough." You don't need the best; probably never do. On rare occasions it's worth struggling to find the best. But generally it makes life simpler if you settle with "good enough." You don't have to make an exhaustive search - just until you find something that meets your standards, which could be high. But the only way to find the absolute best is to look at ALL the possibilities. And in that case you'll either give up, or if you choose one, you'll be nagged by the possibility that you may have found something better." Makes a lot of sense to me. Not only does searching for the best take tons of time, but also the idea that only the best will do means that you're never really happy with what you get anyway. Ick.

a basic white tee is good enough for almost any occasion in my mind

Another interesting person commenting on the idea of "enough" and simplicity is the professor John Maeda from the MIT Media Lab. Recently on his simplicity blog he talked about the idea that good enough is good enough. I hadn't thought about enough the way he talks about it here. That the best is fleeting anyway, so why act like good enough isn't good enough, when it actually usually is.

And then enough comes up again this morning in the article "Greening Up With the Jones" in the New York Times about how being Green is complicated and once you decide you want to be Greener , it's kind of a slippery slope once you start. Where does one stop? Is it possible to be green and still a comfortable lifestyle, the article asks? Or as one person interviewed put it, "it would be nice to have a little nicer house than this, but we really don't need it. What's enough? How much do we need to enjoy life and get by?" All good questions and more along the lines that I've been thinking.

So in the end, I'm thinking enough is a good thing. I want to think about this more. I'm not necessarily in search of the "best" idea of enough. Just one that is good enough, you know.