Friday, March 29, 2013

No laughing in the library

I am here at the library, getting a lot of work done, obviously. Hey, blogging is keeping my art (I don't like to call it a craft) in practice.

Anyway, I am a frequent checker-outer of library films, and on my way toward a table today I discovered a section of the building that I should have noticed long ago: kids films.

What have I been thinking, not noticing this?!

"The Santa Clause 2," "Ramona and Beezus," and (presumably) "The Lion King" are now awaiting my patronage.

As I was perusing some of the titles in the new found section, I noticed one that made me smile big and chuckle a little bit. The chuckle was about to get audible, so I exited the immediate premises.

That title was "Arthur's Pet Business."

Why does this make you laugh, you ask?

It brings back the memory of something my brother Riley once said. It was one of his best lines, to date.

First, for those of you who don't know, this "Arthur's Pet Business" is one in a series of Marc Brown's "Arthur" books turned into videos/TV episodes.

I don't remember what Riley and I were talking about--a book, or a movie or TV show, probably. I'm not sure.

At some point Riley predicted the remainder of the plot of whatever story line we were discussing. And like the honors student that he was, he said ever so casually, with a touch of the ennui that comes with being smart as well as a connoisseur of PBS shows:

"It's just going to be like 'Arthur's Pet Business.' He's going to..."

and then he continued to make the connection from "Arthur's Pet Business" to whatever else we were watching, or reading, or talking about.

Because, of course, when one can connect Arthur to anything else in life, or at least the arts (and when I say "arts," let me just offer full disclosure and say that when this discussion occurred we were probably watching the Disney Channel), one grabs that opportunity.

I also, still, cannot see the word "aardvark" and not hear Arthur sing-spelling it: "A-A-R-D V-A-RK!" And I've never read the "Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," but I do associate it with an educational little musical number, thanks to my pal Arthur.  

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Reading materials

This is a true story, but a short one.

Today at the doctor's office, my reading choices were minimal.

There were two issues of National Geographic available, so I grabbed one.

Shortly thereafter, I realized it was an issue from 1989.

I quite enjoyed looking at the ads. Mazda minivan, Tabasco.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Just saw a commercial for that classic Ro-Tel and Velveeta dip combo.

Ugh. Now want Velveeta and Ro-Tel.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Crazy Stitcher

I am a cross stitching freak.

There is no sense in hiding it.

I have four active projects going right now. And more where that came from in a giant box where I keep all my supplies.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

First date of 2013

I'm going on a date tonight.

As you've probably gathered, I'm not a big fan of dating.

But I do believe in giving a chance to guys who I find attractive and who seem kind.

I will be on my own for dressing myself for this date, so hopefully Mr. Man is not too judgmental of the fashion choices of women with siblings who are exclusively male.

Even if this date is a good one, it doesn't mean I don't still have my theories about why my generation is so messed up when it comes to dating.

If you haven't had the joy of speaking to me on this topic (and by speaking, I mean sitting silently while I rant), then you don't know that I am planning to interview a bunch of people in their 20s and 30s about what it's like to date these days and then turn it into some articles or maybe just some musing here on the Daily.

In a nutshell my theory is that back in the day my grandparents and parents dated "casually," meaning people just went on dates and it wasn't something to get all freaked out about. Generally, I believe, women didn't go to movies, or dinner, or school dances alone. Men took them. Sometimes people dated the same person and fell in love and got married. Other times they just had someone to go somewhere with, one everyday event at a time.

Then women's lib happened. Believe me, I'm very, very happy about this. I have career goals and am a strong independent woman and like it that way. I also am a human, thus I have that natural instinct to want to be loved, to want friendship, intimacy, partnership. I can be patient on this, but I still want it. And meanwhile I seek it out in the amazing friendships I have with people of all ages, male and female.

(I'm not saying that independence and a desire for intimacy are mutually exclusive--this is not a post where I get into the details of feminism and what exactly that crazy web means).

(My theory(ies) also include opinions about the fact that our society focuses so much on romantic love that we hurt ourselves by not making friendship the kind of priority it should be. But again, this post is not getting into that too deeply.)

So, my theory, is that with women's lib, and some other things--TECHNOLOGY, for one--caused people to, over time, throw a bunch of rules out the window. And now we're all confused, and stumbling around, yet wanting love.

Now if you know me but at all you know that I'm not a big rules person. I sent an email to my parents the other day that asked, "Have I ever lived inside the lines?" But I think that without some sort of guidelines, we fall apart.

In my limited experiences with dating, and in talking with my friends, I have come to find that my generation acts very aloof when it comes to dating. My girlfriends tell me to "Let him make the next move." "Don't call him, let him call you." I've had men show interest in me but then never ask me out. I think that men and women alike often balk when someone of the opposite sex shows interest in spending time with them. Sometimes I just want to yell,

"Just because I want to hang out with you doesn't mean I'm asking you to marry me!!"


A lot of times I don't even know if I'm interested in someone romantically, and I just want to hang out with him to find out if, someday, I might. And I won't consider it a wasted afternoon if I eat a sandwich with a guy, or watch a TV show with him, or sit on the beach with him, if we don't go on a proper date later, or even so much as kiss--that day, or at all.

I'm just asking everyone to simmer a bit. Just calm down. And think about this with me:

Remember when we were in college and we'd knock on each other's dorm room doors and just flop on the couch and talk about nothing for a few hours? And then we'd get hungry and go to the dining hall and spend our parents' money loaded onto our dining cards to get some ice cream? And then eventually we'd have to do our homework so we'd part ways?

Did anyone get married in that scenario? (Well, for some, eventually, yes, they did. But I didn't, and a lot of my friends didn't.) Did you feel the need to kiss someone goodbye after such an encounter? Did you feel like you needed to call each other and discuss if you were now going steady? Did you go shopping for a ring or subscribe to Martha Stewart Weddings?

NO. Big fat no.

If you went to a "huggy" campus like I did (lots of hugs shared at good old Valparaiso, which I loved and miss), then maybe you shared hugs at the end of some of these encounters. But I think it's safe to say that 99.99999999999% of the time you never kissed someone or got any more physically involved at the end of these impromtu "day dates."

So all I'm asking, on most days, is to just pretend we're in college again. Let's not abandon our new found maturity levels, please. I do not want to date, or hang out with, the 22-year-old version of yourself. And let's not treat every interaction with the opposite sex as mere friendship--if you have feelings for goodness sake express them! Even if it's via email, just show me you're interested.

And as for the spending of our parents' money, well. Let's just say if you're as broke as me, then we'll do something free or cheap, and split the bill.

Sound good?

OK. Wish me luck tonight. Mostly on my outfit choice, more so than in the chemistry department.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bailey, meet Bailey

If my 13-year-old self opened my DVD cabinet, she would not believe she was at my/her residence. There are way too many chick flicks in there.

If she continued to be nosy (she/I would) and look around further, she would not understand why there are dresses in the closet.

"What the heck?" she would say.

She would say "heck" because she had a very clean mouth until college.

She would be shocked to find Facebook posts--posted by her!--supporting the University of Missouri. She would be disgusted as well.

She would then wonder what the heck Facebook is.

She would be relieved to see a University of Kansas license plate on the car out front. (She would slather on sunscreen (SPF 45) before setting foot outside.)

She would then see the palm trees around her and think, "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore..." and she would be very surprised to discover that her future self would be brave enough to move so far away by herself.

She would think, "It never snows here, that's sad." Then 27-year-old Bailey would snap, "Get used to it!"

She would think it's awesome that she lives on property with a pool.

She would see cross stitching projects on her bed and say, "Hmm, well I guess I picked that hobby back up again. With relish."

She might wonder if she finally had her first kiss.* She would wonder how long she had to wait.**

She would, like her future self, love to exercise. They would both enjoy The Babysitters' Club movie and the Wayne's World movies.

She would look at emails and wonder what Gmail is, who Courtney, Nick, Corie, Annabelle, James, Jenny, Jenny and Caitlin are.

"" she would wonder. "What is that, some sort of assistant in picking out coordinating clothes?"

27-year-old me would chime in, "It might be more useful if it were."

She would be very nervous if you told her that she had a date this Saturday. She would also probably be relieved and excited to know that she is being asked out 14 years in the future.

She would wonder why there are beer bottles in her home. She would be happy to find the home cigarette free.

She would be happy to see a cross hanging from her rear view mirror. She would be happy to find "Mom," "Dad," "Kelly," "Patrick" and "Riley" in her cell phone. It would take her a while to figure out how to find them, though. But she would find them. She's a smarty pants.

*she has.
**A while.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Money alarm

I don't know if the rest of you use, but let me just say it's worth considering.

One of the things it does is send you emails to alert you of things, for example if you seem to be spending a lot of money on health insurance.

Just now I received an email from Mint that said, "You just received a large deposit in your account."

Upon further reading, I realized this was a heads up to let me know that if I were putting money into a savings account I could earn interest on that money. But when I first read it, I thought it was an expression of surprise on Mint's part:

"Bailey! Did you know you have MONEY in your account?! Did you find yourself a sugar daddy??"

Monday, March 18, 2013


I do not consider myself a workaholic. But wow. I am having the hardest time just taking a day off today. 

In theory I want to go to the gym, but I am pretty tired, so I don't really want to go, but I'm still kneading myself to go. 

And I keep sending emails of the practical sense, scheduling things, thinking about how I should clean. 

Calm down, B! Just. Relax. 

I guess the hardcore focus of productivity from our society runs deep. Even in me, who thinks she's somewhat immune. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Biblio Tapa

I currently have books by Bailey White, Jan Karon, and James Herriot at my bedside.

This is going to be a tough decision tonight--which one to read??

I'll probably thumb through all three. I do that sometimes when I have the works of so many great authors in my midst. It's kind of like tapas of reading--a little sampler of each.

Did I ever tell you that I love to read and write?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wonky grammar

So I was trying to reply to a message that someone (who so far hasn't said anything creepy or rude to me, which is nice) sent me on and because of my Internet connection, or something, I received the following error message:

"Even dating has its difficulties. We're having trouble processing your last request."

I'm OK with being cutesy, but I just have to disagree with their choice of helping verb here.

(I just googled "helping verbs" to make sure I was correct in calling "even" a helping verb. I was right. Holla. Middle school English classes for the win!)

It just doesn't seem to me an accurate statement, as it's worded, to say that "Even dating has its difficulties."

I think dating should be the rule here, with things like "making toast" instead being the exception.

For example, you pop some bread in the toaster. You don't realize it's still set on the "defrost a 3-inch thick, extremely frozen bagel" setting. You walk away to check yourself out in the mirror, pet the cat, check Facebook for the 10-billionth time of your life. You come back to the kitchen, discover smoke, a loudly beeping smoke detector, and some inedible toast.

In this situation you might shrug your shoulders and say, "Well, even making toast has its difficulties."

But never do I shrug my shoulders at dating with a "Meh" attitude. No. I don't shrug shoulders at dating. I pivot the shoulders as I throw my hands up, then proceed to call five of my friends and tell them all the same story of how crazy my latest dating experience has been.

So, let's see here. Suggestions for on what they could display on the page when an Internet connection goes wry.

How about, "Sorry about that. We see you've already discovered that dating sucks, and that people don't meet and ask each other out the way they used to--in person--thus you are here trying to write an email to a stranger. Sorry that we have added insult to injury. You may now have a $5 discount on your per-month subscription price. Oh and on that note, sorry that we're charging you money to date. It's a rough enough experience as is. And no, you're not dreaming. You really do live in a century where one must pay money to talk to strangers on a computer."

See that, Match? Didn't use the word "even" once. You may use my new message on your site. But I will charge $5 a word.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A book review pour vous

At Home in Mitford (Mitford Years, #1)At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book.

I rarely read fiction and a lot of Christian fiction is hard to read.

I can see why this book was a bestseller. Incredible writing, lovable characters. I believe this book could be appreciated by both genders, people of many ages, and those who do and don't identify with the Christian faith.

I was hooked immediately when I started reading.

Also, Karon is amazing in how she weaves in Scripture to this book. It's not preachy; it's natural coming from her characters, even one of whom is a preacher. He's the kind of preacher one would like to have--one who not only believes the Word but shares it within conversation because it's life-bread to him, not because he's preaching for the sake of preaching.

View all my reviews

'Nother brick in the wall

During my senior year of high school I took a sociology class.

One of our units during this class was an urban legend unit.

As part of this unit, we watched The Wizard of Oz on mute, while Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" played in the background.

We did this because of the urban legend that the music matches up with the plot and motion of the film, and because of the mystery of whether or not this was done on purpose.

This morning as I was driving to church and listening to "Dark Side of the Moon," I thought,

"How did that qualify as education?"

Maybe it was written up as Kansas history, since we were a school in Kansas?

I'm not sure I would be brave enough to tell my supervisor that I was incorporating such study methods into my lesson plan.

Either way, I'm glad we "studied" the phenomenon, because it's pretty fun to watch the Wiz of Oz with the P. Floyd album playing, and I love that album now.

And I cannot listen to "Money" without picturing the Munchkins rocking out on the Yellow Brick Road right around the 3:05 mark.