Sunday, May 8, 2011

Let's Laugh Alone Together

The sun is shining again, finally (or at least it was yesterday), and my batteries are recharged. I want to laugh. I want the world to laugh with me. Click on the title to my previous post (the one about habits). Watch the video and tell me what makes you laugh the most. I can't decide if it's Peter Cetera pretending to know how to play the bass, or the fact that "the Habit" appears to be played by about 10 different women. And then there's the card tower karate chop. If you need a good laugh, taking 4 minutes to relive some dark corner of the 80's will be a good use of your time. Enjoy!

Monday, May 2, 2011

This is Not a Habit

Regardless of what CHICAGO has to say about it, habits are much harder to make than they are to break. Take this blog for example: after my last post (which I had so much fun crafting and posting, thank you very much), I quickly mapped out a plan to craft the blog into a habit. This is something I've been trying my hand at recently, growing habits. Unlike most vegetable seeds, habits have a long germination window. While my tomato seedlings sprouted in under 10 days, habits take a minimum of 21 to rear their pretty little heads (or ugly depending on what you have planted in that fertile soil of the soul). Since I'm not all that fond of weeds--even though they do give me an outlet for my compulsive behaviors--I'm attempting to grow only pretty habits, or at the very least, useful ones.

For example, I've tried to nurture the habit of hanging my clothes (or folding them or putting them in the laundry basket) at the end of each day. The most consecutive days I've managed to do this is eight...and maybe I'm exaggerating that number. At any rate, this habit isn't happening. I've tried it in various locales and different seasons on and off for most of my life. It just won't grow for me.

Also, it was brought to my attention by a well-meaning and extremely efficient friend that clearing the dishwasher immediately after each load is washed is the key to keeping the kitchen neat and tidy at all times. What a simple idea. Unload the dishwasher after each clean load so you'll have ample room to hide the dirty stuff as it accumulates! What could be easier? This one I managed for 17 straight days...then I just couldn't.

Now it's this blog. My romantic ideals told me that if I could just post a simple something each day for 21 days straight, I'd be back to my original blogging glory. I was so determined and inspired by the idea that I mapped out the carrot on the stick: this very post about building habits in 21 days! I even searched the web for the perfect picture of a running nun. The problem is that external motivations hold no weight with me. True grit comes from the inside...not from some silly picture of Sally Fields flying around in a nun's habit. I am, giving into this habit post. What I discovered is that it won't go away, and I can't get that song by Chicago out of my head. I'm posting, and it's not 21 days or 21 posts later, it's just a catharsis of sounds and images. Not a habit at all.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

This is Not a Blog

Right? This is totally NOT a blog because if it was a blog, I would actually blog. Blah, blah, blahg. So, if it's not a blog, then what is it?

UnKnownSideEffect was born out of pangs of anonymity. I brought this blog to life in response to another, much more WELL-KNOWN blog, "KnownSideEffects" which was published by my husband. Don't start forecasting that this blogging business had something to do with my competitive side. I'll admit to being competitive, but I know there is no point in competing with my husband. He has his talents; I have mine, and our respective skills are on somewhat opposite ends of the talent spectrum. His talents just happen to be of the sort that put him out in the limelight. Google him and you'll see what I mean. Google me, and you'll see him. This doesn't bother me, really. What does bother me, the thing that propelled me to make my voice heard in the form of this blog was something I overheard one day at the height of KnownSideEffects popularity: "He's married?!" (This person was asking this about MY husband of 15 YEARS.) "I didn't know he was married. When did that happen?"

So, this is how the unknownsideeffect was born. Initially, it was going to be my clever way of anonymously responding to posts by knownsideeffects. My intention was to be the alter-ego of knownsideeffects. His background was all black. Mine would be all white. When he wrote about racing or about being on the road, I would write about spectating from the sidelines or about life on the homefront. This singular focus turned out to be utterly impossible for me. I'm not the shadow of my husband. And I'm no good at writing about the exterior life. The interior life is much more interesting, to me anyway. Of course, it's my own interior life about which I write, so I'm biased there.

This brings me to this post. What is the point of it? I don't know. But it's not a blog.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Greenhouse Gasses

So I’ve been thinking (and not writing) that this blog space of mine might be contributing on a small scale to an increase in carbons in our ever-more fragile ecosystem. My reasoning has something to do with me allowing this space to sit idle much like a car pool mom sits alone outside the karate studio in her idling Cadillac Escalade reading teen romance novels; meanwhile, her little Kimberly is inside chopping away at the air and other little Kimberlies in an attempt to earn a belt of a new and more prestigious color. One day, Kimberly might actually use this defense skill to protect herself from the growing numbers of criminal types walking the streets waiting to pounce on seemingly defenseless Kimberlies; for now, though, it’s all about the accessories.

But here's the thing: I haven't been reading any romance novels--teen or otherwise. I've been reading really scary stuff about the demise of our planet and politics, and about how politics are contributing to the demise of our planet. At the heart of this war is our food supply. It's not safe. A trip to the grocery store may just as well be a stroll through a park planted with landmines. One night I actually found myself standing in the middle of the expansive produce section at my local Dan's not daring to pick out a single piece of produce for the poisons it could be harboring. Sure, I can use veggie wash to clean off the waxes and pesticides on the outside of the food, but there's nothing I can use to wash away the poison that was injected into the soil where this stuff grew up. This poison is now part of the plant's genetic code, and if I eat it, it will worm its way into my own.

And all this time, this blog space is sitting here idle, breathing precious cyber air. Right now, it seems that this new, paperless world we've created is safer for us than that carbon emitting world of processed trees and land lines, but are we sure? In 1973, the year I was born, the U.S. Department of Food and Agriculture was sure that their new and improved ways of growing and subsidizing corn would result in our country never again having to face food shortages driven by high cost and limited supply. They were right. But what they made certainly hasn't turned out to be better. What if a similar danger lurks here in cyberspace? What if it isn't limitless after all and my idle corner is slowly eating away a precious and non-renewable resource?

What if? I guess I better start using it--even if only to type useless blather. Kimberly needs to hurry on out of karate so I can rush off to another parking lot--piano, tutoring, ballet, soccer, harp--anything to keep my mind off this seemingly futile fight to win back the planet.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

In the Forests of the Night

Three months pass quickly! I would like to say that it goes by more quickly now than it did when I was ten, but that wouldn't be entirely true. My dad is an accountant, so I've always been innately aware of the short spanse of time that is three months. I remember thinking, "Didn't he just DO quarterlies? Why is he doing it again?" Clearly, this was before I could tolerate the joy of relentless repetition the way I do now. Now, the routine is comfortable. It's when routine is suddenly disrupted that I fall apart.

Today, I accidentally hit "blogger" when I logged onto my google account. It's been EXACTLY three months since my last post. This must be some sort of a sign, right? Sign or no, I can't pass up the opportunity to post another chain of silly words today--I like to think of it as my personal Quarterly Report. Plus it makes the random act of clicking on "blogger" less disruptive to my senses.

Only, it doesn't make typing this post any easier. I really have nothing TO report. Ho Hum. Hum.... Ho. oH. Palindrome. Huh. Look, another one! Crazy.

What fearful symmetry. The radio whispering in the background has something to report: "It's all about Tiger Woods tonight." Poor, poor...

Tyger, tyger burning bright...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Misplaced Modifiers

Today, from my "personalized" horoscope, comes an example of a sentence with a misplaced modifier. See if you can spot the error:

You may meet someone who lives far away at a party, and be invited to visit them at a later date.

When you've got it, type a corrected version of the sentence in my comments. You may also include explanations in your comments as to why you agree or disagree with this prediction as one suitable for my personality and lifestyle (please site reasons beyond the scope of the grammatical error).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Guess Not!

Recently, it came to my attention that I still have this blog out here in cyberspace. Two months ago I momentarily thought I was ready to get back at it. You can see how that actually turned out. I'm stopping in to say hello before I head out the door for yet another incredibly short run.

What seems like a long time ago, I posted an update on Facebook that had something to do with two miles hardly being worth the effort of lacing up the shoes. With the passing of time comes the advantage of wisdom: Two miles is better than none, and one must ALWAYS lace the shoes to avoid tripping.

Tripping. I must make a better effort to avoid doing that. Which reminds me...