Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In response,

Anonymous, aka, Kristara (I know it's you.) penned her description of our house in the following comment to my August 18 post.

Sweating bullets...
no breeze. no a.c.
balls of cat fur stick to fabric like velcro....
wafts of dirty dog dander.
kittie litter speckled socks.
chip and cookie crumbs...
overdue blockbuster movies.
half emptied deer parks...
blueberry boxes..
Bob calling a dog a precious angel through the window screen...
a maine coon with dreads in the sill considers not getting back up.
Awwww. She's just kidding.

I like this one.

"Untitled" by Henry Burns. From Creativity Explored!

Monday, August 18, 2008

I sit on my bed
The sounds of summer scream gently in the open window
A cat sleeps on the sill
Constant comforting background noise of bugs
Crickets or are they cicadas or something else entirely
A slight breeze comes in fits and starts
A dog yelps
A fork clinks on a plate
It's hard to work with such happiness surrounding me
Then again it's hard not to

Michael Phelps had the dreaded ADHD.

According to the article in The NY Times, as a child in school Michael Phelps was said by his teachers to have ADHD and was put on Ritalin by his doctor. One teacher is quoted by Michael's mother as having told her that Michael would never be able to focus on anything. I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Amazing Art. Just Amazing.

Julia sent me a link to this museum yesterday. She told me about it on the phone in Italian, the only language she's allowed to speak right now, so I didn't get it at all. (I did understand it when she told me that in Italy the number 13 is good luck rather than bad, and that studying the Italian mafia is really interesting.) Creativity Explored!
is a nonprofit visual arts center where artists with developmental disabilities create, exhibit, and sell art. It has some of the most amazing artwork I've ever seen. This picture, Favorite Foods, is by Camille Holvoet. There were so many images that I absolutely loved that it was hard to choose just one. Browse the on-line listings. Savour. I mean it.

Vindicated. Finally. Thanks to Fox.

I can't believe I'm quoting Fox. But I am. And I'm passing on the information because I think it's good, really good. I've been fighting a losing battle with my kids to rid the house of scented stuff for years. Scented candles; horrible smelling laundry detergents (I rue the day the kids started buying their own products to do their laundry.); fabric softeners (Forbidden - why on earth would one need a "fabric softener"? Is it like needing a Salton Bun Warmer or an electric knife? Or maybe it's like the broom that Poe brought home recently, unknowingly, fully equipped with an "air freshener" tucked into it's side.)

Fight no more. I've got science and Fox on my side. Vindicated. Phew. Take a look!

'Fresh Scent' Detergents and Air Fresheners Could be Toxic, Study Says
Thursday , July 24, 2008, Fox News

Your favorite laundry products and air fresheners could be emitting a lot more than just a ‘fresh scent’, according to a University of Washington study.

Researchers analyzed a range of top-selling products from plug-in oils to dryer sheets, fabric softeners and detergents. What they found was that all of them contained dozens of different chemicals. In fact, researchers said all six products tested gave off at least one chemical regulated as toxic or hazardous under federal laws.

"I was surprised by both the number and the potential toxicity of the chemicals that were found," said Anne Steinemann, a University of Washington professor, in a news release. “Chemicals included acetone, the active ingredient in paint thinner and nail-polish remover; limonene, a molecule with a citrus scent; and acetaldehyde, chloromethane and 1, 4-dioxane.”

In the laboratory, each product was placed in an isolated space at room temperature and the surrounding air was analyzed for chemicals.

Results showed 58 different volatile organic compounds above a concentration of 300 micrograms per cubic meter. For example, a plug-in air freshener contained more than 20 different volatile organic compounds. Of these, seven are regulated as toxic or hazardous under federal laws.

Steinemann had this advice for consumers.

"Be careful if you buy products with fragrance, because you really don't know what's in them," she said. "I'd like to see better labeling. In the meantime, I'd recommend that instead of air fresheners people use ventilation, and with laundry products, choose fragrance-free versions."

The study is published online by the journal Environmental Impact Assessment Review.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Sir Ken Robinson TED Talk. Creativity.

TED Talks are always amazing. This one takes about twenty minutes. Worth it, IMHO.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Ya learn something everyday.

Word of the Day for Friday, August 8, 2008
vexillology \vek-sil-AHL-uh-jee\, noun:

The study of flags.

from Dictionary.com

Tony Hoagland Poem


This year Marie drives back and forth
from the hospital room of her dying friend
to the office of the adoption agency.

I bet sometimes she doesn't know
What threshold she is waiting at—

the hand of her sick friend, hot with fever;
the theoretical baby just a lot of paperwork so far.

But next year she might be standing by a grave,
wearing black with a splash of
banana vomit on it,

the little girl just starting to say Sesame Street
and Cappuccino latte grand Mommy.
The future ours for a while to hold, with its heaviness—

and hope moving from one location to another
like the holy ghost that it is.

"Migration" by Tony Hoagland from What Narcissism Means To Me © Graywolf Press, 2003.