Holy lack of posting, Batman!

Yeah, not so much motivation, lately...

Found this comic which embodies much of my mood over the last few weeks:

The whole "frugal living" thing is relatively new to me, but we're becoming progressively more savings-reusing-recycling-oriented over the last couple of years. Some of this is owing to environmental concerns, some to financial, particularly now that we're planning this huge move, where we need lots of money and not a lot of stuff...

This year, we made candles and cookies, and only bought a few secondhand books, and a couple of new things for our Anja, pretty much. I bought John some custom-made pajama pants (long enough, even!) and he bought me a pair of fingerless, fair-trade alpaca gloves :)

Somehow, I didn't feel very Christmassy this year. I'm hoping that it's not directly tied to not going out and spending money and buying for people, but am afraid that it just might be. I'm also feeling awfully cynical and mean about the amount of stuff that people give to each other (and I'll admit that part of it is jealousy.) But part of it is also, who needs so much stuff? What kid needs so many toys that they are overwhelmed opening them all, and don't have space to store them? What is WRONG with our society?! /sigh

Other than that, not much going on. Dealing with the usual winter depression/anxiety, trying to work on coping with that in non-pharma ways. Some days are better than others, for that.

Work is... meh. They're not sure they'll be able to make me a programming spot at the Munich office. If that's the case, they're likely to lose me out of programming entirely, because at this point, I think I'd rather do a job I'm 'eh' about (data mgmt) in Munich than a job I find more interesting here, but resenting it, because we're still here. Guess we'll see...


Anybody else hear the radio interview with Dahr Jamail today?

In case you don't know, Dahr Jamail is a non-embedded reporter, who's extensively covered Iraq for the past 4 years.

I can't remember the name of the show the interview was on today, sorry...

I'm so sick, so, so sick about what we are doing to the citizens of Iraq. That feeling started back in 2003, when I saw the photo of a soldier handing a headless child back to its father... that photo made me sob, almost made me vomit, and the feeling has not left. But listening to Dahr speak today, listening to just HOW bad it is and HOW MUCH is kept from us, twisted, how lied to our citizens are, how deluded about what we are doing there, I just feel so hopeless. Hopeless and cynical. I wonder how Dahr sleeps at night, having seen what he's seen.

1.1-1.2 MILLION dead Iraqi citizens. Many dead from gunfire shot into houses and cars, in return for IEDs, whose source is not found, and the soldiers lash out.... I cannot imagine, cannot begin to start to fathom, what it's like to live in Iraq right now. To watch your family, your children, parents, friends, killed and maimed, and FOR WHAT!?

End the occupation of Iraq. Bring the troops home. The Iraqis don't want us there, and I don't blame them.


Doing something a little crazy with our living room...

Ok, probably not that crazy, if you guys our penchant for the un-mainstream :lol

We need to take the big chair/ottoman out of the living room, to make space for the Christmas tree. Last year we put them in our bedroom, but this year, no room in there (since I now have a small desk where they went last year.) We've been reading some alternative housing stuff (Little House on a Small Planet - a great book!) and thinking about what we really want from our space. I realized that John and I very rarely use our living room space. We don't watch TV, rarely watch movies, often wind up sitting either in our kitchen or bedroom with guests, since the LR setup is not too conducive to hanging out and good conversation. I want the LR to be a space that is people-centered, and not TV-centered, since we don't use it that way!

So, we're going to get rid of the chair, ottoman, and couch. Keep the 4 cushions, and I'll re-cover them. We plan to bring over my dad's old footlocker (trunk) that has a flat top, to use as a coffee table, and just have a floor-sitting space. Ideally, I'd love nicer lounge cushions (or Japanese Zaisu chairs) and a Japanese-style table, but those aren't in the budget right now. Fabric to cover 4 cushions is, though :) I can *see* what I want to do with the space, here's hoping I can get to something close to it, on the cheap. We won't miss the couch and chair, I hope Anja won't (she climbs on them a lot).

These are the closest pics I can find to the "feel" I want...

Looking at those pics makes me think that maybe I need to start scoping Craig's list for an appropriate table...

Stuff goes out sometime this week... my friend Lauren and her husband have a Sawz-all and a truck, and can help us cut them up and cart them out (they came in through the bedroom window, no way I'm spending the effort to move everything and get them back OUT that way, lol)

I also want to take our super-tall IKEA bookcase and cut it in half, so that we have two short bookcases, which I *think* should make it feel cozier (not so towered-over). Not sure if I'm willing to tackle this on Wednesday/Thursday night, before our party on Saturday.

I guess the great thing about having free/cheap furniture is you can do crazy things...


Birthday Party-ness

Happy 5th to Anja!

Anja, her best friend Louise, and friend Chandre - this was a unicorn-pegasus party, hence the angle of the hats, lol

Dylan is a nut :)

Hangin' out and playing during the party, in Anja's room

It was a full house :) I think we ended up with 19 adults and 10 kids, wow! And man, is my hair short in the back, just got it cut a few hours before the party!

Anja's friend Anatole has the most striking eyes

Opening gifts - I think she's a little excited about Memory!

Playing with horses and unicorns, before they started playing dress-up:

A bunch of kiddos wound up hiding out in the laundry room, a good nook for a pile of kids, and banging on the washer with your feet sure sounds like a monster coming! LOL

Getting ready to light the candle... our friend Jason decorated the cake - thanks, dude!!

Ok, everybody get in line!!

This was after dress-up had gone on, Anja in her "princess dress" and Chandre in one of Anja's dresses. There was a point I was having to set the kitchen timer to keep track of who got how long with which dress, and with the princess hat!

All in all, it went really well! The cake all got eaten, there was almost no crying, kiddos were mostly reluctant to leave :) Dylan's parents got a tour of our basement, and I think every square inch of our house was, at some point, occupied. I feel like I missed a lot of good pics, didn't get behind my camera much. I handed it off to my dad, but I know he was taking his own pics, too, so maybe he has some shots of some of the fun that I missed...

Anja says she "Loved it and can we do it again tomorrow?" Bwahahahaha!


Best excuse for 'research':

Harvard Scientists Build a Device to Smoke Weed During Brain Scan
Since that project was completed, Lindsey has used the same equipment to study the neurological effects of tobacco. Last Friday, Scott Lukas, the ringmaster for these studies and director of the Behavioral Psychopharmacology Research Laboratory was informed that he and Frederick will receive a grant to conduct further studies with marijuana.

Take a look at the pic - John says "You know he totally modelled that off the one he has at home..." LMAO :)


Preach it, brother.

Credit to the amazing XKCD :)