You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2013.

The purpose of this post is to antagonize the Elitest Jerk, who had the gall to laugh at me when she saw how OCD I am about Moo Moo’s training.  In full disclosure, it’s true, I have a ridiculously tall stack of dog training books and I have been keeping a journal documenting the data from our daily trials in obnoxious detail.  When I justified this admittedly peculiar behavior by explaining that “I can’t help it — it’s the scientist in me” she just laughed harder and told her mom, who also laughed at me.

I have no idea what is so funny.  Afterall, I DO have a Ph.D.  I am a scientist!  And as such, I am amassing evidence that my little Moon Pie is smarter than her Cupcake.  In conclusion, I have three videos documenting the brilliance of Moo Moo. I leave you with the words of Bernadette of the Big Bang Theory, “…get a doctorate. I have one; they’re great.”

dec2012 026isokan.com

Our Fancy Upcoming Events

SoKaN will be joining the Memphis Knit Mafia to yarn bomb the Brooks Museum of Art on Sunday, March 17 at 11:00 a.m.  This project is in conjunction with the Angels & Tomboys: Girlhood in Nineteenth Century American Art exhibit.

If you’re not familiar with yarn bombing, you can check out this photo essay from Time Magazine by clicking HERE to learn more about this fine art.  I am thrilled to pieces to be participating in this event. My new favorite thing to do is to talk loudly about this event in public places.  I alternatively refer to it as “my bombing assignment from the Mafia” or “my next exhibit at the art museum,” depending on whether I’m feeling dangerous or fancy.  I do this, of course, because I’m actually just a gigantic nerd that gets giddy over knitting.  But whatevs! I have my contribution to a bench complete and I’m currently working on a handrail.  Wheee!  There will be prize drawings, knitting lessons and food trucks on hand, so join us for the fun!

 Also, we invite you to come see us on Saturday, March 23 support St. Jude at the Annual St. Jude Springfest at the Millington Civic Center, 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.  There will be 13 Bluegrass/Gospel groups, food & craft vendors, McGruff the Crime Dog,  a silent auction, games for the kids, Motorcycle Dice Run & much, much more.

Where We’ve Been

November 028Back in November SoKaN joined the various other “pop-up” people – performers, vendors, artists – at MemFix Crosstown. This event was part of Mayor AC Wharton’s initiative to bring Sexy Back to Memphis.  Sounds like a good plan to me.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day to perch on a lawn chair and ponder the historic Sears Building. I hope to see the Church Health Center and other healthcare providers of Memphis succeed in their vision of revitalizing the space. My grandmother used to work there and I can’t drive by it without thinking of her.
There was lots of fun to be had — a rock climbing wall, food trucks galore, hula hoopers, doggies , strangely dressed people, and a one man band on a trailer being pulled around by a bicycler. Good times!
*
Back in December we did the Holiday Market and Concert in Millington.  xmas craftinessI am always amazed by the talent and creativity on display at craft shows.  Signs and holiday door decorations were particularly hot at this event.

Signs on the left were crafted by Monkey See, Lexi Do.  Some double as picture frames.  Cute idea!

And of course SoKaN had our wares…

dec2012 022

Recycled Garden Art by Skattur

Recycled Garden Art by Skattur

Beady Boop's Baubles

Beady Boop’s Baubles

 isokan.com

sunny morning

sunny morning

soggy/foggy morning

soggy/foggy morning

black birdy morning

black birdy morning

not enough room in this chair morning

not enough room in this chair morning

crazy cat lady meditations morning

crazy cat lady meditations morning

Yip

This is my cat Lelelelelelele Yip!

Last night a crowd of crazy cat ladies (and men) descended upon the Memphis Brooks Museum for the Internet Cat Video Festival.

While a DJ blasted tunes like The Siamese Cat Song and The Meow Mix Song, attendees prowled around the lobby in leopard print skirts and cat ear headbands.  We purred happily over sparkly feline baubles as we lapped at our  “furballs” – a pink concoction involving rum, coconut milk, cranberry juice, and whip cream.

Then came the main attraction: internet cat videos.

Internet cat video aficionados (Yes, aficionados. I get to use my fancy words because we were at a museum) had already viewed many of these videos at home (or at work).   But gathering together to watch these videos in a theatre packed with like-minded individuals lended the whole affair a certain je ne sai quoi in terms of public image.  It was validating.  High brow even!

It took me back to my belly dancing days on a Costa Rican mountain top when we danced to the beat of thunder pounding on the roof of our pagoda.  (That is a true story I have always wanted to tell in an affected British accent at a cocktail party.  It would make me sound so much more interesting than I actually am. Sadly, I have never been invited to said cocktail party to tell it.  But that’s ok because I’m way too busy at home watching fancy internet cat videos to attend your silly cocktail parties anyway.)  One day during my Costa Rica adventure, I sat in a room with 60 other belly dancer women and participated in a three minute laughing meditation. If you have never participated in a group laughing meditation, let me tell you, the first time is incredibly weird. You will be instructed to basically fake it ’til you make it.  That’s right – just fake laugh nonstop with everyone else until the silliness of it all carries you into complete hysterics. It’s quite a catharsis really.

At any rate, sitting in the dark laughing for 15 minutes nonstop with crazy cat ladies was just like that but weirder and even more wonderful because there was no fake laughing involved.  I watched grown men laugh until they cried over cat antics. And then I laughed until I cried. We all laughed and cried and it was this amazingly beautiful communal experience.  It was!

And so I will leave you with a few of my favorite videos from the evening.  For best results, make them big screen and gather a few friends (or strangers) to watch. Enjoy!

When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.

But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

-Kahlil Gibran

Last year I rediscovered the joy of Christmas.

This year, Valentine’s Day will have a makeover.  We will keep the love, but let’s expand it beyond the mere romantic, then  add a lot of light, and hm….how about a tree?

Valentine's Day Tree

Valentine’s Day Tree

Yes, a Valentine’s Day tree.  It’s all about the love and light.

Shall we celebrate with yoga and tea and giving?   Healthy hearts all around.

All donations for the class will go to Le Bonheur Foundation Heart Institute.  If you can’t make it tonight, you can still give by clicking the blue link above or visiting lebonheur.org

give love

If you are interested in joining us tonight, shoot me an email  lunareuphoria@aol.com for directions.

Dear Readers,

 

Let me introduce you to Beth Ann.  She’s a wonderful lady  with a generous spirit who writes a blog called “It’s Just Life.”  She writes about happy things, teapots, crafting, books, and recipes. One of the coolest things about Beth Ann is this: for every comment she gets on her blog she donates 50 cents to a cause.  This month she is helping a family out with medical expenses.  She wants to give even more, so she’s set up a Giveaway basket for a lucky reader to win.  Do a good deed — please go visit her blog today.  You will find the link below.  Be sure to leave her a comment!

Giveaway with an Ulterior Motive.

 

Thank you!

LE


The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World

Synopsis:  A cynical writer searches for the world’s happiest place

You might like this if you liked:  Eat, Pray, Love (Elizabeth Gilbert)

Recommended to: Grumpy people

What I loved about it:  This was my first Weiner book, so I wasn’t sure whether I would like it or not.  Truth be told, he seems like a bit of an ass, but he had me at the first mention of a PET scan. I’m one of those people who enjoy reading books peppered with sound-bites of science, culture, history, and philosophy.  Like right here on page 41, in a chapter on Switzerland, he manages to work Einstein AND Bertrand Russell into a passage. Later on page 183, he combines Iceland, Aristotle, and Nietzsche. Gosh—it just makes me feel all heady and smart in the same way that sprinkling wheat germ in pancake batter makes me feel healthy, even if I do wind up drenching it all with butter and syrup.

So yes, I will be reading him again.  Plus, I now have added two new places to my bucket list: Bhutan and Moldova.

What was unexpected:  Weiner was a little mean to the Moldovans. 

Best Quotes: There were so many fabulous descriptions of places and people, so I will give you a few:

In Bangkok, the sacred and the profane exist side by side, like a divorced couple who, for financial reasons, decide to continue living together.

Watching Brits shed their inhibitions is like watching elephants mate. You know it happens, it must, but it’s noisy, awkward as hell, and you can’t help but wonder: Is this something I really need to see?

India does not disappoint. It captivates, infuriates, and occasionally, contaminates.  It never disappoints.

Qataris have no culture.  Frankly, I can’t blame them.  If you spent a few thousand years scraping by in the desert, fending off the solid heat, not to mention various invading tribes, you wouldn’t have time for culture either.

 

Three Weeks with My Brother

Synopsis: Nicholas takes a trip around the world with his brother and the two reminisce about their family.

You might like this if you liked: Message in a Bottle, The Rescue, The Notebook, A Walk to Remember (Nicholas Sparks)

Recommended to: Fans of Nicholas Sparks, people trying to make sense of loss

What I loved about it:  In his fictional work, Nicholas Sparks writes sweet stories of love, family, and loss.  His memoir moved along the same themes and provided insight into why he tells the stories he tells.  The speech-language pathologist in me was also particularly interested in the intense work Sparks described doing with his son, Ryan, to help him learn to communicate.

What was unexpected: This book is not so much about the places traveled in real time as it is the places traveled in the past.  That said, Sparks does deliver enough descriptions of places they visited that I added a few destinations to my bucket list (e.g., Machu Picchu, Peru and Phnom Pehn, Cambodia).

Best Quote:

Standing next to Micah, I realized that there were times when we talked not because we needed to communicate anything important, but simply because we each drew comfort from the other’s voice.


Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

Author: Jenny Lawson

Synopsis: Jenny Lawson had a crazy childhood in Texas with her taxidermist dad and lunch lady mom.

You might like this if you liked: Running with Scissors (Augusten Burroughs) or The Glass Castle (Jeannette Walls)

Recommended to:  those who enjoy reading memoirs of people from outside-the-norm dysfunctional families because it makes us feel a bit relieved about our own upbringing.

Highlights: It’s pretty funny.

Lowlights: It might be slightly more funny to readers from Generation Y than to Generation X. It may be questionable that whatever generations came before us would find the amusement in the book. The stories are different, but the humorous devices can be a little redundant, particularly the phrase “YOU’RE WELCOME” which often following some piece of unsolicited advice.

Best Quote: I can finally see that all the terrible parts of my life, the embarrassing parts, the incidents I wanted to pretend never happened, and the things that make me “weird” and “different,” were actually the most important parts of my life.  They were the parts that made me ME.


I Suck at Girls

Author: Justin Halpern

Synopsis: Justin Halpern recounts his sexploits.

You might like this if you liked: Me Talk Pretty One Day (David Sedaris)

Recommended to: People who like to read funny things and to people who like wise dads.

Highlights:  The story about stealing porn from the homeless was so funny it made me laugh until I cried.  I had to read it aloud to three other people to make sure it was as funny as I thought it was.  It was.

Lowlights:  It’s fluffy.  That could be a good or a bad thing.

Best Quote:

Eventually my dad got home from work and set his briefcase down.
‘So. How was practice?’ he asked
‘It was good. Why? Did you hear it wasn’t?’ I said, trying to keep my cool.
‘Son, no offense, but you play Little League. It’s not the Yankees. I don’t get daily reports about who’s hitting the shit out of the ball”

In a recent post about her closet, Michelleatplay posed the question, “What does your closet say about you?”

I’m not sure what my closet says about me, but I had to laugh as I remembered what the Resident Teaologist had to say about it when she walked by…

It looks like either a stripper’s or a drag queen’s closet.

1-09-13 ISS 034

Hm…maybe she’s right.

1-09-13 ISS 035

This might be a bit outside the norm…

1-09-13 ISS 036

Arugula, freshly picked

Arugula, freshly picked

I’m the black sheep vegetarian in a family of meat eaters. It’s a hard job, but somebody has to do it.

This is not a brand new thing.  It’s been two years since I converted. Still, when I get invitations to family functions they say things like this:

We’re having a party. I know you don’t eat x or y…or z — good lord aren’t you starving yet?? Well, you can come anyway.

I swear I am not trying to wreck havoc on people’s dinner parties (unlike The Good Greatsby, whose humorous post can be found HERE). I don’t mean to be difficult, but I might be a little complicated. The vegetarian thing is just what makes sense in my heart and in my head.  I’ve tried to explain it all, but I obviously haven’t really done a good job of it because just a week ago I was asked (again):

So…I still don’t understand…are you doing this for religious reasons or what?

And then there was there was the following exchange with the Resident Teaologist, who when preparing lunch couldn’t find what she needed:

Resident Teaologist: You said you had arugula, so I didn’t get any at the store, but I don’t see any in the fridge…

Me: That’s because it’s out in the yard.

Resident Teaologist:….oh.

So we go out to the yard to pick the arugula.  She stares at it and says,

It’s so weird that you are about to eat something that was just growing in your ground.

I had to giggle. That this bewilders others bewilders me.  How did we ever get so far removed from our food? And what have we lost as a result of this distance?  And what exactly have we gained?

Once plants and animals were raised together on the same farm — which therefore neither produced unmanageable surpluses of manure, to be wasted and to pollute the water supply, nor depended on such quantities of commercial fertilizer. The genius of American farm experts is very well demonstrated here: they can take a solution and divide it neatly into two problems.

–Wendell Berry

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