goals

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Almost 14 days of the new year, how quickly time goes by, I am ready to pave/set my 2016 focus or goal or resolutions.

1. pare down
– a big reminder to self: to exercise self-restraint, to buy less, to declutter, to embrace of what I already own and to live simply.
2. eat mindfully
– I enjoy cooking and I’m (relatively) good at it. Home cook is healthy, less expensive than eating out, cozy and most of all my husband digs it. And yet, I’ve found myself in a fast-food joint far more often than I’m comfortable with over the past year.
3. chill out
– focusing more on the important stuffs

There we go, my big 3, I am easing into them. I’m feel like they just might (might being the operative word here) stick.

We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.
~ Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

busy nothings

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The past few weeks have been a blur of family visits, catching up with some friends over the holidays, two jobs then quitting one, sleep, binging on Law & Order old episodes, working on the carpal tunnel (i.e eBay shopping & browsing pics on Tumblr feed) and sleep again.

Jane Austen eloquently said, ‘Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.’

One of today’s nothings, I made shrimp spring rolls. Pretty good 🙂

one of those mornings I don’t want to be me

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It’s one of those mornings
when I scrambled my toast
and burnt my eggs.
Just one too many cans of water in the juice
& coffee that coats my tongue with bitterness.
Newspaper red with jelly
and rumors of war
as if guns and butter was an equation
that made sense.
Radio white noise leads me to work
like some siren call
like the voice that led Adam
out of the garden
and into the violent world of commerce.
And I can’t help but slip into that fantasy
you know the one
involving a fake ID, hat, sunglasses, a stolen car
and what’s left of forever
in a place where you can start all over again.
Again.

~ Anonymous

Weekly photo challenge Express Yourself

turtles all the way down

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After a lecture on cosmology and the structure of the solar system, William James (an American philosopher) was accosted by a little old lady.
“Your theory that the sun is the centre of the solar system, and the earth is a ball which rotates around it has a very convincing ring to it, Mr. James, but it’s wrong. I’ve got a better theory,” said the little old lady.
“And what is that, madam?” inquired James politely.
“That we live on a crust of earth which is on the back of a giant turtle,”
Not wishing to demolish this absurd little theory by bringing to bear the masses of scientific evidence he had at his command, James decided to gently dissuade his opponent by making her see some of the inadequacies of her position.
“If your theory is correct, madam,” he asked, “what does this turtle stand on?”
“You’re a very clever man, Mr. James, and that’s a very good question,” replied the little old lady, “but I have an answer to it. And it is this: The first turtle stands on the back of a second, far larger, turtle, who stands directly under him.”
“But what does this second turtle stand on?” persisted James patiently.
To this the little old lady crowed triumphantly. “It’s no use, Mr. James—it’s turtles all the way down.”

~ J. R. Ross, Constraints on Variables in Syntax 1967

Linking up with the weekly photo challenge: cover art.

oh hummingbird

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The hummingbirds has always been my favorite bird. They are gorgeous. No other bird possesses such a wide spectrum of breathtaking colors as the hummingbird. I haven’t been able to photograph any of them yet, but I have furnished my deck with a feeder and a few pots of butterfly bush and pineapple sage.
Do you know that hummingbirds cannot smell and they depend on their eyesight when they are selecting flowers. Their hearts beat ten times faster than a human’s and their wings beat at the rate of 3000 times per minute. They have the highest metabolic rate of any animal, a dozen times higher than a pigeon, a hundred times higher than an elephant. Speaking of an elephant, hummingbirds have ‘elephant memory’, they can remember every flower they have been to, and how long it will take a flower to refill. They are very smart, their brain is approximately 4.2% of its body weight, the largest proportion in the bird kingdom. Fascinating eh?

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that purple weed

I’ve got too much time on my hands these days, as I don’t really feel like rummaging the thrift store. And the other day armed with a camera and magnifier I went to examine the purple loosestrife plants at the nearby walking trail.

I had read in Don & Lillian Stokes’s The Wildflower Book, that this beautiful but pernicious weed has three different arrangements of male and female parts, and I wanted to see them.

The plant’s sexual organs come in three different lengths: short, mid-length, long. These are arranged male-male-female, male-female-male, or female-male-male. All blossoms on any one loosestrife plant are of the same kind.

Now here’s the clever thing: A plant can only be fertilized when pollen from a male part lands on a female part of the same length. This means a plant can never fertilize itself, because only a different plant will have a male part of the same length as the female part.

This guarantees cross-pollination between plants, which confers distinct evolutionary advantages. Cross-pollinated plants are often better adapted to survival and reproduction than either parent, and they avoid the genetic deterioration that sometimes results from inbreeding.

As I scrambled about in the ditch, examining blossoms, I marveled at the scientific work that must have been necessary to discover and confirm the purple loosestrife’s curious reproductive strategy. There remains an even bigger untold story, of the exquisite molecular chemistry that regulates fertilization, and how that molecular chemistry is controlled by genes. The lock-and-key fit between loosestrife sperm and egg must be a thing of almost unbelievable subtlety and refinement.

And the big, big question is how such cleverness in nature comes about. That such refinement of design could have resulted from random mutations and adaptation to environment by natural selection seems, well, incredible.

Told you I’ve got too much time on my hands.

May all your weeds be wildflowers.

I let the ‘kits’ out today

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After days hiding in the house due to allergies and rain, I braved myself to venture the spring air outside. Though before that, I armed myself with a double dose of Zrytec. And the ‘kits’ had a field trip at the deck.
Give me crickets over concrete, a log cabin over a high-rise./ Give me a dirt path over a street, you take the air condition, I’ll swat the flies!/Rather be at loss within the fertile wild, where squirrels play and roam./ You take the freeway, I’ll take the long way home.
I swear that’s what the ‘kits’ told me. Nahhh … Aslan was screeching, ‘I taw a tweety bird!’

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the underlying motives

We judge ourselves by our intentions while we judge others by their behavior. ~ Stephen Covey.

And the world would be a better place if we would strive to rise above this tendency. If we would try harder to see how our actions may appear to others, and try to see the intentions behind the actions of others.

One of the more embarrassing things about introspection is recognising all the little things we do that we want to believe are driven by good purpose but which, in fact, are motivated by impulses far less noble.

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Like how I order stuffs online probably as much for the simple childish delight of getting a package in the mail (a glad counterweight to blood-curdling bills), as for the items’ future promise of pleasure.

How one flirt not out of true love but for the rush of new love, how we follow the news, proud of being good citizens when, really, we just don’t want to miss out on anything (especially something as important as who wore the best dress at the Grammy awards nite), hold onto a shaky position long after our credibility has evaporated, keep in touch well after the friendship has died, say yes when we want to say no, how we let other cars in when we’re driving because, well obviously, we’re good people – but not so good that we don’t get indignant when the other driver doesn’t wave thanks.

At last what can I say, just smile and wave. Smile and wave.