Something to Read When You're Bored


My Car is Teaching Me Mindfulness
January 31, 2008, 9:32 am
Filed under: Life | Tags: ,

I have a love-hate relationship with my car. It’s a ’96 Volkswagen GTI and all kinds of trouble. The only things I can think of right now that I like about my car are the turning radius, the sunroof, and the fact that it hasn’t been stolen. So lately it’s been getting up to this new trick of locking the steering wheel roughly every other time I park my car. And the trick to unlocking the steering wheel is to gently jiggle the steering wheel and key until magically the key is able to turn.

The problem I have is with the ‘gently’ part. As I’m sitting in my car, impatient to get somewhere and frequently running late, my irritation at my car for holding things up makes it challenging to resist yanking on the steering wheel as hard as I can and/or hitting something, even though I know that both of these actions are counterproductive. Even when I suppress my furious urges and attempt the advised gentle jiggling, my arms remain possessed by frustration and the movement is still too forceful to achieve the magical unlocking of the ignition.

It isn’t until I stop, take a deep breath, and channel a feeling of calm relaxation that I can manage to manipulate the steering wheel gently enough to convince my car that I am not an uptight car thief (my theory on why the ‘gently’ rule exists to begin with). In the end, the experience reminds me of meditation, where one aims to achieve calm detachment from thoughts and feelings and to observe ideas and emotions drifting through your mind without reacting to them. So unless I figure out how to make my car quit locking the steering wheel on me (am I torquing the wheel when I park? Is my car just over-sensitive?), I guess I’m on the road to becoming a yogi.



Zappos + Linsey = Trouble
January 30, 2008, 10:15 am
Filed under: Neat Stuff | Tags:

So a friend of mine recommended that I try Zappos to find some boots that will fit my larger-than-average-size calves. In case you are not already familiar, they are an online store with a huge selection of shoes and other accessories, and a brilliant policy of shipping all purchases for free with overnight delivery, plus free return shipping if the shoes don’t work out. After approximately 1 hour of browsing their site, I am giddy from falling in love with so many pairs of shoes. I’ve narrowed it down to these eight which I desperately need to own:

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(get a closer look at the shoes)

I’ve already ordered one of the pairs of black boots (which was the objective of this whole thing, after all) and I’ve also signed up to receive an e-mail when the brown ones are available in my size. And while I realize that four of the pairs of shoes I have picked out look incredibly similar and couldn’t possibly each fill a truly unique niche in my life, I still believe that I need them all. And you just can’t argue with red patent leather peep-toe mary jane pumps, now can you?



The Bibliochaise
January 29, 2008, 11:45 am
Filed under: Design, Neat Stuff | Tags: ,

A brilliant way to combine my love of books and my love of well-designed furniture. It’s also fun to play with all the different finish & upholstry color combinations on the designer’s website.

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(I think I would go with magenta and dark brown. linseys-bibliochaise.jpg )



Yoga and Cats Don’t Mix
January 28, 2008, 11:40 pm
Filed under: Athletic, Random | Tags: ,

So I just tried out the new yoga DVD I bought, Yoga for Stress Relief and it was just the thing I was looking for, with lots of relaxing poses that stretch out and open up tense parts of your body. By the time I finished the lower back chapters I felt like a happy puddle on my living room floor. The only hitch was my cat Mango, who was infuriated as I ignored her ingenious attempts to make me pet her while I was opening up my chest to let the radiance of my heart do something-or-other (the DVD did have some over-the-top verbage, I probably would have been snickering a lot if there had been anyone else watching it with me). Anyhow, Mango progressed from simple head-butting against my shoulder to laying on the floor with her head resting in my hand and staring up at me plaintively, and then finally she stooped to dragging her entire body across my hand just in case I had forgotten how the whole cat/hand contact thing worked. She finally gave up when I got to the legs up the wall pose and my hand wound up inconveniently under an armchair. She’s still looking a little disappointed in me, but I think I made it up to her at least partly when I discarded the over-stretched rubber band from my hair onto the floor and she got to enjoy a thrilling 5 minutes of stalking and attacking it.



Intro
January 28, 2008, 7:28 pm
Filed under: Athletic, Dancing, Design, Entertainment, Food, Music, Neat Stuff, Random, Travel

So I’m starting up a blog and I think it’s going to be about a lot of very random stuff. So just to get things started, I’m throwing together a quick sampler of the types of entries you might encounter as my blog continues….

Travel – I figure most trips I take will be worthy of at least a little blip in my blog, but I’ll try to keep things light, focusing mainly on the highlights. For instance, if I were to recap the visits to Iowa that I took last October, it might look something like this:

Had to go to Iowa for work over and over again. The first trip was slightly novel, but even that wore off pretty quickly. I have decided that I hate Northwest Airlines (cranky personnel, evil seating system that makes you sit in the back of the plane unless you join their little club, and no entertainment whatsoever on board. Grrr, I hate them). Almost no food in Iowa is really worth mentioning, but our hotel somehow managed to have this amazing chocolate cake with a molten center that comes with Haagen-Dazs ice cream, a big pile of whipped cream, and a small tureen of hot fudge. That cake may have been the highlight of the entire series of trips. The business stuff was okay, although it got a little repetitive by the fourth trip, and the real climax was on trip number three when Northwest sent my luggage to the wrong airport under someone else’s name. By the end of that week I was so frazzled that I almost burst into tears when I went to my local wireless store and found out that they no longer carry chargers for my cell phone (which was needed to replace the one still lost in my luggage, of course). And for some reason being in Iowa made me want to drink Coke all the time, which I almost never drink at home. It was a bizarre time…

Athletic Stuff – I tend to be always working toward some type of athletic something-or-other, so odds are it will come up from time to time. As for specific events you might hear about this year, I’m hoping to run the Vancouver Half Marathon in early may, I’m signed up for the Ragnar Northwest Passage Relay in July, and also for Cascade Bicycle Club’s RSVP in August. And I really hope I manage to squeeze in a triathlon this summer too.

Dancing – I don’t know how often this will come up, but I am in a swing dance performance troupe, so there’s bound to be an announcement or something whenever we have performances (expect to see us at Folklife in May!). Plus I might occasionally be inclined to rave about a particularly excellent night out dancing, like two weeks ago when a friend from the troupe persuaded me to go dancing at the Highliner, a gritty little dive bar at the fisherman’s terminal. I got to dance with super great dancers (including of course Mike, the troupe guy, who is a blast to dance with), and I had this one amazing dance with a random guy I had never danced with before named Steve, who I think may have been my dancing soul mate. It was awesome.

(if you’re curious about my troupe, it’s the Savoy Swing Club Performance Troupe)

Neat Stuff – One of the hazards of being a designer is finding really cool stuff that you really really want to have and then discovering how ridiculously expensive it is. A good example of this is the Selk Bag. It’s a sleeping bag with arms and legs and a big hood, so you can get up and frolic in the middle of the night without giving up the happy cozy warmth of your bedding, plus you get to look like a giant teddy bear. While recognizing that the practicality of this item is nearly nonexistent, I seriously want one. I actually think the cost may have come down since I first discovered this brilliant product, so don’t be shocked if you see a giant teddy bear-ish figure frolicking in the middle of the night.

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(the designer’s website)

Music – Every once in a while I get pretty excited about some new song I’ve discovered or an awesome playlist I’ve just put together. I expect this enthusiasm will eventually spill over onto my blog.

Entertainment – Sometimes there are just entertaining things in the world which simply must be shared. For instance, I found this video on the blog of a boy I like and it made me like him even more:

(there might be a lot of copying fun things from other people in this category)

Food – I get pretty excited about really good food (or drinks), especially ice cream. In this category you might see raves about super delicious things I’ve discovered lately (like Margaret’s homeade apricot pistachio ice cream last night, where the apricot flavor permeated the ice cream in a truly amazing way) or rants about food gone wrong, like how it seems nearly every restaurant makes chocolate milkshakes with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup and it’s just wrong. Vanilla has no place in a chocolate milkshake and in my opinion the only way to properly make a chocolate milkshake is from chocolate ice cream (I personally choose Ultra Chocolate, made by Double Rainbow and sold at Trader Joes)

Random – I’m sure other nonsense will find its way into my blog as well, like updates on my exciting effort to knit a scarf and testing out the ‘world’s best paper airplane’ according to the dangerous book for boys.

Stay tuned!