Posted in Just Funny

It’s got character

In my younger years I was a television junkie. I turned the TV on during the Today Show and turned it off during Letterman.  I didn’t sit and watch it all day, mind you, but it was ON. Omnipresent in the background, you might say.

TrivialAnd I paid attention. I could rock the pink category in Trivial Pursuit like nobody’s business. (For you children, Trivial Pursuit is the “hard copy” forerunner of last year’s wildly inferior Trivia Crack. You had to actually use your arms to roll dice and move game pieces. It was a gruelling process.)  

Television is not high on my priority list these days.  I mean, I don’t have a clue why The Walking Dead killed off Glenn or why Kurt Weller’s name is tattooed on Jane Doe’s back.  

Often I go days without ever flipping on the 42” screen that dominates my cozy little den. When I do, it’s to catch two-thirds of a day-old Jimmy Fallon on Hulu, or fawn over a composite of Jeremy Renner clips on YouTube.  That, however, is a confessional blog for another day.

Three or four times a year I binge-watch shows that comes highly recommended, like two of my favorites, House of Cards or Newsroom.  

So I know I’m five years behind the curve, but lately I’ve been on a Downton Abbey spree. Fabulous wardrobes; historical references; wonderfully, Britishly understated melodrama.

My husband, however, refuses to watch along, mentally placing Downton Abbey in the same category as monogrammed handbags, ostentatious gift-wrapping, and herbal tea lattes.

Yes, the show’s language, clothing, and notions of class-distinction are antiquated. Okay, so Lady Mary isn’t a cowgirl.  And Lord Grantham doesn’t grunt, but rather makes eye contact and speaks in grammatically proper sentences.  And Carson, the butler, wouldn’t be caught dead discussing a fart. Ever. 

Compared to Django or The Hangover, Downton could almost appear, well, educational.

Still, I contend that Downton’s cast mimics the characters of every other tv show, albeit better dressed.  Like Mad Men or Grey’s Anatomy or whatever drama you prefer, ee45b75b6013715ce76b729e8c2e86144f4e2e992fd6d7139932ce1b2927ec41there’s the schemer, the snob, the liar, the gossip, the rebel, the clueless, the pot-stirrer, the goody-two-shoes, the scandalous, and the pitiful, all interacting for the purpose of amusement.

Come to think of it, Downton mimics the characters I know in real life as well, all of whom interact for the purpose of amusement, they just don’t realize it. Without them, my life would far less interesting. Also without them, I would have no reason to don my tiara and feel superior.  (I do hope you detect the tongue in my cheek.)

So here’s to the characters, fictional and real, who make the plot lines of my own little drama infinitely more entertaining. 

Posted in Minimalism, Quirks and Other Weirdness

Desperately Seeking Simplicity

elfilm.com-the-jerk-302431“I don’t need this stuff…I don’t need anything except this ashtray. That’s it. And this paddle game. The ashtray and the paddle game and that’s all I need. And this remote control. The ashtray, the paddle game and the remote control, and that’s all I need. And these matches. The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control and the paddle game. And this lamp. The ashtray, this paddle game and the remote control and the lamp and that’s all I need. I don’t need one other thing, not one – I need this! And this! And that’s all I need. The ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, this magazine and the chair.”

Sitting barefoot under a tree on this serenely gorgeous September afternoon, I should be content to just be. But I can’t get my mind off all the stuff.  The stuff in the house. The stuff in the garage.  The stuff in the barn. The stuff in the other house. (Yes, we just bought a 2nd house). The stuff in the other garage. The stuff in the other barn. The stuff in the cabinets and closets and boxes and drawers.  

This is not the first time I’ve proclaimed this, but
I AM SO TIRED OF ALL THE STUFF.

I don’t deal well with clutter – physical or mental. Disorder and chaos make me feel overwhelmed and out of control. Truthfully, the “Where’s Waldo?” books even kinda stress me out. I spent the first half 5706126657_cca84635bdof my adult life wanting and wishing I had more; a bigger house, nicer car, more shoes, and an endless supply of essential throw pillows.  But now all I want is less. It’s not exactly the Amurican Dream, but collecting and cleaning and organizing useless junk is not how I want to spend the remaining 301,128 hours of my life (give or take a few).  

I’ve been on this journey of simplifying for about 4 years; unfortunately most of it has been verbal. I talk a good game. I get on a kick and clean out a couple of closets, haul it off to Goodwill/consignment/the dump, but to be honest, I haven’t made notable progress.  I continually bring more in than I remove.  The closets are overflowing, the utility is packed, and there is such a quantity of food in the house we could survive the apocalypse by bartering frozen okra and jars of salsa.

minimalism-empty-shelf (2)Do the cowboy and I really NEED 16 towels and 32 washcloths? What about the collection of coffee mugs in the cabinet or the accumulation of boots by the garage door?  Does every flat surface in the house have to be “decorated” with lamps and vases and picture frames? And have we EVER used the pickle fork that came with the flatware?

My makeup bag contains no fewer than 27 cosmetic items, when I’m certain paring down to 8 items would achieve the same underwhelming morning makeover. I have an entire drawer devoted to hoarding nail polish and Jamberry stickers, and I haven’t done my nails since April.  And don’t even get me started on the clothes (the ones that fit now, the ones the optimist in me hopes to wear, and the ones the pessimist in me is afraid to let go of)…and shoes…and bags…and oh my goodness, the jewelry.

Why do we feel the need to possess 207 dvds when we have Netflix and Hulu and Amazon Prime and a library card?  For that matter, why do we have Netflix and Hulu and Amazon Prime when we hardly ever watch tv? And can I confess the only reason I stockpile books is because smart people have books and I want you to think I’m smart even if I never intend to read most of those books again???

ZZ08EBF772I may not have the body of a minimalist, but I sure have a frustrated one living in my brain. One who needs to go home and start decluttering. Again. But it’s so much nicer spending this afternoon lounging under a tree, soaking up the 72° weather, and pinning dozens and dozens of great ideas to my “Minimalism” board on Pinterest.  

Yes, I get the irony.