Thursday, July 30, 2009

Update on Stitching and Life

First of all, here is my update on the stitching progress... I have been working (somewhat) tirelessly on completing it, and it seems like it's coming along well. Hope you enjoy it.
Second, I am seriously considering disconnecting my phone line. I realized lately that the only people calling my number are the bill collectors. Well, besides my employer. Paying for the phone line just to receive annoying calls about debts sounds ridiculous... But, my employer does have to get a hold of me. That's the only consideration still keeping me from disconnecting that stupid phone line.

I have to say, though - next time any of my "friends" tries to proclaim his/her "true caring feelings" or share his/her problems, I will walk away. I don't think I will even say anything. I will just keep walking.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thoughts on the Mind Process of a Herd

Recently, I have heard that the Vatican blessed the latest Harry Potter movie for its potrayal of Good and Evil. The Pope, in his own way, recommended the movie to the world.
What happened afterwards is somewhat difficult to accept, because it shows how narrow-minded most people actually are. Just several months ago I spoke to some acquaintances, who were convinced that Harry Potter stories - books and movies equally - were "the work of the devil." They did not allow any such material in their homes, and their children were strictly forbidden access to any Harry Potter stories. Now, after the "blessing," the same such people are the ones that - in a hurry - buy the books and get the movies - and make Harry Potter mandatory. The same woman that just several months ago was telling me disdainfully that she does not follow witchcraft and devil-worshipping (two different ideas, but OK) and therefore does not wish to be exposed to such ideas (not the intention of the book at all, in my opinion) - now was seen by me talking to someone on the cell, ordering "every book of Harry Potter available" and also checking how she could get the movies.
Whatever happened to this woman's strong disdain for the whole subject? More importantly, where does her true opinion lie? Where are her brains? Do they function? In the land that claims to be so full of freedoms, she is unable to use her brains to take advantage of the most basic one - the freedom of choice. Why? Because, apparently, she lost her ability to make choices. She needs someone to tell her what's right and wrong, what to accept and what to refuse, just like a small child would. Scary... Now add to that several thousand (million? ) people that are like her - and we just entered the Area of Nightmares. My nightmares, anyway.
Personally, I have always appreciated Harry Potter books - from the moment I decided to read one. I think that the movies do not give full justice to the books, but, given time constraints, they are done fairly well. Some very important moments, though, were omitted. But, I never needed anyone to tell me these were good books or good movies - I read them and watched them and made my own informed decision. Whatever happened to the basic right of using one' s brain?
Anyway, I'd better go and do something else before I get extremely bitter.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mandala Cross-stitch

Well, I am happy to say that I am dedicating as much time as possible to my cross-stitch. I found the free designs on Chatelaine web sites (thank you, Kathy) and decided to give one of them a try - a Mandala Rose Garden. I already had some of the needed threads in my box, but I have never dealt with sewing on beads - what thread to use? What needles?

As of now, I have decided to concentrate on the cross-stitch part of the project. That will give me time to do reasearch on the needed beads and materials. The design is definitely very particular, but it is also very interesting to stitch.

On the down side, I have been completely neglecting my pen and notebook - I have not written a line for weeks... Maybe I need a new pen. The one I have just does not inspire me.

Look at the picture of my work in progress and judge for yourself... Well, don't judge too harshly.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Trip to Santa Barbara and the "French Festival"

Yesterday we went to Santa Barbara - the Museum of Natural History has their "Butterflies Alive" exhibit. It is a small garden, and the different species of butterflies are released in it, hundreds of them. To make sure they do not fly away, the garden is surrounded by a net. We were told to be careful and not touch them, but they, apparently, can sit on us if they choose.
Vera kept trying to persuade the butterflies to sit on her, sticking out her fingers and putting them in front of the flowers. Rita, on the contrary, kept ducking every time a butterfly flew past her. She said she did not want them to land on her head.
After the exhibit, we decided to go to the French Festival - the poster said it was something good and educational. Well, it turned out to be noisy, hot, and expensive. It was filled with vendor trucks from all over, and it had "Authentic French BBQ" Are you kidding me? French do not have "authentic" Barbeque, I don't think the word is even in their vocabulary! And their "French Ice Cream" was nothing but your regular vendor 7-11 ice cream, only the price was $4 a pop. "Authentic French Bakery" had French Bread, the kind they sell at Vons, and crepes like at IHOP. Ridiculous. Even the bounce house was $3-5 for 5 minutes. And the books on the stands were used, but sold at the price of new....
In short, it was one big attempt of the local vendors and artists to sell their stuff with the French theme as a cover up. The only thing that was mildly amusing was the group of girls -six or seven of them - dressed up as French dancers. They were posing, and Joe took their picture.
So, after this hot disappointment we went to the Aquarium - right on the pier, it's an extension of SB Natural History Museum. There the kids had some fun: they looked at the snails, the hermit crabs, starfish, and they were even allowed to touch them. We saw the baby sharks in one of the tanks. Now that was fun.
I learned that some species of sharks start hunting before they are even born. When the eggs get hatched inside the mother's body, there is no placenta attached to the baby, so it has to eat the unhatched eggs and smaller siblings inside the mother to survive until it is born and out of her woom. So, the survivors of these species are born ready to hunt and have death of their siblings on their conscience, so to speak...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Stitching Time, Summer Time

Well, it looks like I am going to have my first actual day off tomorrow. I do need it: for the past two days, I've been falling asleep practically right after coming back from work. Which meant - I have been neglecting my cross-stitch project. I am sooo close to finishing it... It's a Celestial Lady with the Zodiac Signs all around her. I am going to try and take a picture.
With the summer vacation, my children have acquired the ability to attract mud and dirt at a distance; it seems that no matter how often they shower, they still manage to stay dirty. Oh well, maybe that's what summer is for. For children, anyway. I don't remember - I have not been a child for a long time. For me, summer is the time when I work just as much as during the rest of the year, but also try to accomodate for some "educational" and fun trips for the whole family. As a result, your schedule becomes twice as busy as usual, and, well, that means - the Celestial Lady lays unfinished.
I am going to try and finish her by the end of summer.