Friday, August 28, 2009

I guess a good book arouses all of the emotions and in some sense all of the senses. "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein, does all of that and from a the view of man's best friend, a dog named Enzo.

Obviously, the real point of view is the author, but it seems as though his perception within the dog's mind is dead on! Stein really stepped into those paws and experienced the lives his surroundings with what seemed like a heightened sense of awareness, about everything. Because he is in on everything yet is not able to say anything, all his observations spill out onto the pages of this book. The dog is never truly alone yet always alone with his thoughts, and those thoughts were truly profound.

I can't count the times I kept thinking "Oh wow, how true that is!" or "OMG, YES!" Everything this dog said was never about the actual thing however specific, it was about the much larger picture...of life.

Here are some of my favorite YES! moments from the book:

"We had smelled it, and it smelled like roast pig. Everybody likes the smell of roast pig. But what is worse, smelling the roast and not feasting, or not smelling the roast at all?"

"Know who is driving next to you. Any problems that may occur, have ultimately been caused by you, because you are responsible for where you are and what you are doing there."

"People are loath to sit in a parked car for long. They are afraid someone might judge them for it, I think. The only people who sit in parked cars are police and stalkers, and sometimes taxi drivers on a break...Whereas me, I can sit in a parked car for hours and nobody thinks to ask. Odd."

"I was humiliated when he said 'Where is your dog?' I didn't want to admit that I slept with a stuffed animal. But I did. I loved that dog...I hid it during the day because...when people saw it they wanted to play tug and I didn't like tugging with my dog."

"Who can rejoice in his wins? The sun rises every day. What is to love? Lock the sun in a box. Force the sun to overcome adversity in order to rise. Then we will cheer! I will often admire a beautiful sunrise, but I will never consider the sun a champion for having risen."

"The ride. It's all about the ride!"

"People are always worried about what's happening next. They often find it difficult to stand still, to occupy the now without worrying about the future. People are not generally satisfied with what they have; they are concerned with what they are going to have."

"Yes, the race is long - to finish first, first you must finish."

Nothing quite like a dog to say such profound things! :) But I bet you all the good dogs out there are just as smart as the one in this book.

Like the dog said, he only had his gestures and each gesture made with meaning. Sometimes when one of your senses is lost, you make up for it in other ways. Maybe we take advantage of having all six. I know talking isn't one of the six senses, but it almost seems like one. Maybe if we couldn't talk we would see the world differently too. Never butting in to proclaim our opinions, but watching and observing and allowing our gestures to do the talking. But then again, those that are always butting in will end up finding their way around making themselves known even if they didn't have a tongue for speaking.

All I'm saying is, the book had amazing insight! Go read :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hot Chocolate and Coffee

I've always been a fan of both and used to be a fan of everything in between. The mocha, the mint hot chocolate, and the mouth full: non-fat sugar-free cinnamon dolche latte extra hot with no whipped cream. Kinda funny how as I get older (I know, I'm young) my likings seem to get simpler or maybe more refined.

I believe I have come full circle to the two staples I've always loved: hot chocolate and coffee. As a kid in Indiana, I grew up going to the famous breakfast joint, The Original Pancake House in South B
end. I used to spoon out coffee from my mom's mug, I doubt my dad would've allowed that, probably best seeing as I was a food-messy kid. But I also remember getting the best hot chocolates, doused with whip cream on top.

If you are interested, these are the two best items on the menu:
The Dutch Baby and
Apple Pancake, respectively.

Back to the beverages: I've
come to own one of the best contraptions that allows for my two loves, the Keurig one cup coffee machine. This is by far the best invention I've yet to come across. The coffee machine brews one cup of anything that's made with a K-cup. What's a K-cup? It's the cartridge that fits inside the machine and brews your cup o' joe!

My mom
was a fan first finding her machine at Costco with a variety pack of k-cups and a cartridge that allows you to grind your own beans to brew. I found mine at Kohls but continually find the best variety of K-cups at Bed Bath and Beyond. Not till recently have I become a full time member of a coffee club!

I now receive 4 boxes of my choosing from Green Mountain Coffee Company whenever I need them. If I run out in a couple days I can up my shipment to get my K-cups sooner. It's slicker than sliced bread. My favorites are the National Wildlife Blend and Dark Chocolate Hot Chocolate (tastes way better than the watered down Hot Cocoa...just warning you).

I can already tell you, I'm quite excited for the Holidays to come, seeing as how that's the best time to enjoy a nice hot chocolate and coffee, and when those "in betweens" seem to fit in....spiced pumpkin-chai-cider-eggnog-peppermint yadda yadda :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Retail Therapy

Therapy, or rather, the remediation of a problem was my mission for shopping today. It was definitely one of therapeutic purposes. One, to get my ass out of my apartment due to lounging: physical therapy. Two, to find the perfect little cardigan for an incomplete outfit that wouldn't be worn without one. And three, that pencil skirt that has been haunting me for months now telling me to "just buy one already!".

It was mission accomplished and therapeutic indeed, as I solved all my problems. Yes, I felt quite happy afterwards, but only because the purchases I did make had been well planned out in advance. It is only when an impulse buy sneaks in that I truly feel guilty. My mom always said when I was younger (and she was an advocate herself), to wait with all purchases, think about it, and then if it's still itching you later, then it must be worth it to go back.

I can't tell you how many hours I've spent in stores with my mom only to be told "oh, I think I'll wait" and me screaming in my head "just get it!!". I think I've definitely come to use her tactic down the line but squeezing my own game plan in need to step into the store t
o find out I'll be waiting on it. I research the damn item enough that it either starts to bore me or I've thought of more outfits than I ever thought were possible with what I already have in my closet! Of course it needs to be bought!

And so my well-thought-out items are as follows:
The perfect plum cardigan
: Nordstrom: BP

The Pencil Skirt
: Banana Republic

The pumps: Nordstrom shoes

Looks like my three problems were solved with three "P" purchases: plum, pencil, and pumps!

I can't end this without that tiny inspiration that got my butt off the couch. I aint gonna lie....I watched Season 1 Disc 1 of Gossip Girl and if it's not for a bunch of glam gals lookin all dudded up to make you wanna go out and shop, I don't know what will! Maybe our economy would pick up if everyone started watching Gossip Girl ;)