I’m Baaaacckkk!

Philbrook Museum

Spring in the Philbrook Gardens

So, life gets crazy, and that sucked all my blogging energy.  However, I’m back now, and a lot of cool things have happened.  During my short blogging sabbatical, I started a new job, went to the Gilcrease Museum and the Philbrook for their Monet exhibit, I took in a bit of Tulsa’s Brady District First Friday Art Crawl, started working on Habitat for Humanity houses, found a photographer to take pics of my art work to start an Etsy store, went to two Greek Festival’s, one ScotsFest, and a state cheerleading competition…I have not been idle!

All those cool things aside, I’ve made some big changes in my life, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I:

  1. Actually have willpower
  2. My time management skills have greatly improved
  3. There is actually some business sense floating around in there
  4. I don’t overbook myself. (I do this A LOT)  There has to be time for stopping to smell the roses…or binge watching Orange is the New Black.  Whatever floats my boat.
  5. I can do this and not become so rigid I lose my spontaneity.

One of the pieces to this puzzle is letting crap go.  For example, one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to run the Tulsa Run 5k next weekend.  That isn’t going to happen.  I wasn’t ready, and life changes meant that my running schedule didn’t get as much attention as it should.  I’m letting that one go…or trying to anyway.  I’m still running, and I hope there are lots of runs in my not so distant future.  The Tulsa Run, however, is one I will be cheering the runners on at the finish line…and eating some tasty crepes from Mod’s afterward. (Cheering can be hard work too!)

Today, kicked off with a gorgeous sunrise (although yesterday’s was better) and hopefully this will mark week one of exploring some of the great hiking trails in Tulsa.  It is also the day of choosing the artwork to go up for sale on Etsy. (Don’t worry, when that gets all set up, I’ll let you know!)  This beautiful fall Sunday has also been seen a bit of work go into a new business I’m working on getting up and  running.  All of that to say, what I really should be doing is cleaning my house, and getting my list ready to go to the grocery store.  Talk about productive procrastination…is that even a thing?  I think that should be a thing, because I’m really good at it!

Till next time,

Jessica


Plink Plank

Plink Plank

This word reminds me of a poem my Grandma Joye wrote.  She used to read it to me, every time I was at her house and it rained.  Truthfully, I didn’t mind the rain there so much.  It was a great opportunity to sit on her big covered front porch in the swing.  I still always sleep best when the rain sings me a lullaby.

 

It was so dark when I arose

I didn’t need to look to see

The Rain remains, and I suppose

Another day is lost for me.

 

Sometimes, to spend a day inside

Can be the greatest thing to do.

A time to think and dream or hide

From duties somewhere calling you.

 

As grudgingly I settle down

And try to concentrate and think

Through dreary thoughts there comes a sound

A dancing, happy, snappy “plink.”

 

I’ve chosen the remotest place

Where there should be no noise real soon

But tiny raindrops on the flu

Plink, plank a spanking brand new tune.

 

Softly, tiny gentle drops

Were brining me their melody

Delightful and refreshing plops -

In dancing, rain-time harmony.

 

Each one has gone to so much pain

To leave such happy note so free.

I’m heading straight out in the rain

So they can play “Plink, plank” with me

 

-Joye Kanelakos

‘Til next time,

Jessica


Just Before the Dawn

As most people who know me will attest, this is not the time of day I prefer.  Don’t tell them, but sometimes I like to get up really early, especially this time of year when the air is cool and crisp.  Arming myself, with a super-cozy sweater or quilt and a cup of tea, I’ll sit out on the porch as long as I can, just to listen to my corner of the world come awake.matutine


Overwhelmed and Inspired

Oh yeah, I’m familiar with this feeling.  It is nice to put a name to it.
numinous


Introducing the Eternal Optimist

I’m often accused of this.  As I see it, there is nothing wrong with optimism as long as it is balanced with a good dose of realism.  Looking for the best possible outcome as long as you can plan for the reality that you’re not always going to get what you want gives me a bit more enthusiasm, my smile a little quicker, and helps me look forward to my day.micawber


The Louder the Better!

“Play it f@#%in’ loud!”
― Bob Dylan

I’m in a mood today…I want lots of punk rock played loud enough that if it were any other day, you’d be worried about the speakers.  ScotsFest begins in Tulsa tonight, and a friend flies in from out-of-state today, and tomorrow we’ll all be there for the music, food, shopping and of course…adult beverages. (This time, I know in advance…1 glass of wine = 1/2 a bottle…last year I did not see the sign.)  At least we can be responsible(ish).

This all puts me in a mood.  I want to dance.  I want to sing it out at the top of my lungs, even if I don’t know the lyrics.

However, this behavior is frowned upon in public places…especially offices, so…can you do it for me?  Pick your favorite song and crank it up, sing along!  I’ll be sitting here with my earbuds in place, trying not to sing out loud.

First up on my playlist…hmmm, I think…The Clash…or Flogging Molly…or…I’m gonna need a playlist today.  Any suggestions?  What’s your favorite song?

‘Til next time,

Jessica

P.S. Dropkick Murphy’s just got added to the playlist…


The Opposite of Me

Okay, not really the opposite of me, but darkness isn’t my favorite.  Yes, I may let my imagination run away with me more often than not, and there are things that you can’t see that go bump in the darkness.  Maybe there’s a reason so many people are a little afraid of it.  I’m just saying.Nyctophilia


I read a list of banned books today and thought of this.

“Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.”
― Oscar WildeThe Picture of Dorian Gray

I stumbled across a list of “banned books” on the internet…somewhere, and as I was looking it over, I realized a lot of my favorites, books that changed my life, are on this list.  They changed my life for the better, books didn’t corrupt me or lead me astray, they opened my eyes, made me more compassionate, more empathetic, more tolerant of people in the world.  I’ve never read a book that made me a worse person, but I’ve certainly read ones that made me a better one.

Personally, I go to lists of banned books to find something to read when I’m not sure, so a lot of these I’ve read.  A few, I’ve reviewed here for you.  Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman is on the ALA’s frequently challenged or banned books list for 2013-2014, and so is Looking for Alaska by John Green, both of which are wonderful books that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.  There were others I’ve read on this list, but these two jumped out at me for being extraordinarily good books.  You can go back and look at the lists from this and previous years along with the reasons the books were challenged and whether or not the school retained them.   They also have a Banned Books Week you can support as well.

Banning books…that just…it just makes me mad.  I’m putting a lid on the Rabbit Hole now, stepping down off my soapbox, and opening the floor for discussion.

Do you think the people who challenge these books have actually read them?  Tell me about some of your favorite books.   Did you parents ever stop you from reading something?  What was it?

‘Til next time,

Jessica

 


Evening Serenity

The time of year will soon be on us that I love the most.  When the evenings begin to stretch out, the bugs start to leave you alone, and I can sit out in the evening and just breathe it all in.  This makes me think of twilight spent on a porch watching the light fade after the kind of day you know you never want to forget.serein


I Should Have Known A “Bad Monkey” Would Be Funny

BadMonkeyHave you ever been innocently wandering down the aisle at a bookstore and have a cover reach out and smack you?  I mean figuratively not literally. (Although if this has happened to you literally, I think that’s a story I need to know!)  It happened to me.  Big, bold, neon orange and yellow with a screaming monkey in a pirate hat on the cover.  You know you’d pick it up to read if it were you.  If nothing else, I needed to take a closer look, because this is something my nephew would want to hear about.

Carl Hiaasen’s Bad Monkey was not the monkey I expected, but it was the monkey I needed…wait, is that Batman?  Anyway, the whole thing starts off with an arm that gets put in a cooler, and like a monkey it bounces all over the place from there.  You would think that with as many plot twists, sub plots and deranged animals (and thugs named Egg) things would get a bit out of control, but they don’t (well, except in a good way).  Hiaasen keeps a firm hand on the reins of this plot, and seeing all those lines that seem tangled come to a smooth controlled knot at the end, is immensely satisfying.  To say Bad Monkey is fast-paced would be an understatement, but it will take you on a wild, grin-filled, ride.

Although, I picked up the book with my nephew in mind, Bad Monkey is not for the 13-year-old.  However, the brief overview of the plot I gave him garnered me a smile.  A real one…like with teeth. (He no longer laughs out loud at the things adults say.  It is beneath him.  This is no reflection on my skill as a comedian…no, really!) The book’s comedic value comes as much from the crazy situations the main character Andrew Yancy finds creates for himself as the cast of characters surrounding him.  Escaped convicts from Oklahoma, a detective bumped down to roach patrol, the arm in the freezer, and a hurricane…oh, and you can’t forget that deranged monkey.

You know how I am about characters, and Yancy provides a flawed hero.  He actually does the stuff that most of us only fantasize about.  His girlfriend’s a bit kooky too (actually, so is the ex…you know the escaped con from Oklahoma?)  Yancy has the depth I like in a character without that filter that keeps most of us out of jail.  It’s kind of like letting your id run around mostly unchecked for a while.  He’s a good guy though, who wants to do the right thing, but rules get in the way.

This is the first book of Hiaasen’s I’ve read, but I will be looking for more.  Especially, if his others are as much of a fun-filled adventure as this one.  Sometimes you need out of the wizards preventing the end of the world, drug and alcohol addicted characters, or peculiar children and run with something a bit more light-hearted.  Hiaasen will be my go-to guy next time I need a lift out of the doldrums.

My mom and I were also talking about the book, and she mentioned that Carl Hiaasen was interviewed on NPR.  I haven’t looked to see if the interview can be found online, but it sounds like it would be worth the time to check it out.

First Lines:

On the hottest day of July, trolling in dead-calm waters near Key West, a tourist named James Mayberry reeled up a human arm.  His wife flew to the bow of the boat and tossed her breakfast burritos.

Today I cannot resist stealing The Nerdist Podcast’s sign-off.

Enjoy your burrito,

Jessica

 


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