Tag Archives: opinion

KonMari: I am annoyed (but probably not for the reasons you think I am)

Since the show on Netflix has debuted, decluttering has been the only thing people will talk about (well, besides our current state of reality in politics of course). I kind of get it – it’s something simple to grasp onto besides the growing sense of unease with current events. Just about anything can become a straw for people to grasp onto to avoid discussing certain upsetting topics ad nauseam. And this is something simple, something visible! And it brings Marie Kondo such joy to help people out in this manner. Just seeing someone enjoying something so purely feel cathartic. It is not something I have decided to view personally at this point, but I really do get the appeal.

But there is one topic that is apparently quite divisive that is annoying me to no end. I’m sure you’ve seen the quote shared about (a quote that for one, isn’t quite what she said, and two, is very much stripped of context). I am not equipped to take on the cultural milieu that her world view has grown and adapted in; but believe me when I say it exists and to please try and seek out authorities on that aspect of the issue. It’s important. But what I am equipped to discuss, is the quote if we take it as is – that one should not try to own more than 30 books. (It’s a misquote – she’s discussing how for herself, she prefers to keep less than 30 books. But like I said, we’re going to take the quote people are bandying about at face value). Why is this idea so offensive? Why have some deemed it such a moralistic judgement to get rid of books you’ve collected over the years? Why does it matter so much to you? Look, it is great to love books. I adore them. I’ve fantasized for decades about someday owning the library from Beauty and the Beast, like so many of my generation. The make me feel safe, they make me feel cozy, some of them feel like old friends.

But they also stressed me out. I have issues with depression, among other things, and I could never keep up with cleaning them. The chronically dusty shelves, with their tumbleweeds of cat and dog hair, became a source of incredible stress in my life. I’d walk by and run my hands down their spines, only to see how much I’d neglected them. Most of them, I’d never read again. They were tokens or trophies, proof I could parade about that screamed LOOK I READ THIS. I READ ALL OF THESE! And one day several years ago, I decided I couldn’t handle the weight anymore. I couldn’t deal with the upkeep of my collection when I could barely care for myself through the weight of my sadness. I couldn’t bear watching them slowly suffer from the years without being read and loved as they should. So I donated them. I kept perhaps half a dozen treasured ones, ones that if you are familiar with Marie Kondo, I could hug to me and sparked joy and made me smile. It was around three hundred all told I just packed into boxes and donated. My life felt lighter. I missed my friends, but it also brought me a lot of joy to think about them back in circulation again. Many of them are contained in other’s collections at this point, I’m sure, hopefully better cared for than they were with me. Many I hope ended up in local libraries, where they hopefully bring moments of joy to many.

I’m not here to advocate getting rid of all your books, though. Look, all self-help gurus and advice are more or less the same – someone has looked at their own life, seen that they are happier or more content than those around them, and offered up what they have done in the hopes others can get something they need from it. (there is also often a somewhat or more upfront predatory capitalistic side to those, but you don’t need me to tell you about those. Most still start from a place of just wanting to help others, no matter what it morphs into later.) And people that seek out various sets of life improving advice are unhappy with their life in someway, and desperate to fix it in some manner. I’m here to advocate an approach to this advice, that dare I say, is to apply something Marie Kondo-esque to advice itself. When you read self help, think about what is offered up to you to perhaps improve or certainly change your life. Really roll it around, think about what it entails. And if it resonates with you, then take that bit and apply it and ignore the bits you don’t like. Everyone is different. Everyone’s life is different. Where we are each trying to take our life is different. So why would every piece of advice be applicable to everyone? Take what you think sounds helpful to your individual life, and run with that. And ignore the bits that make you upset and angry – they either don’t apply to you or aren’t helpful to you.

Books are not a moralistic thing, that is to say that owning all the books or giving away books after you’ve read them is not. I love people that love books. I love the feel of libraries with all their expansive shelves of things to learn and adventures to take. I also fully understand why someone would choose to decultter their collection. Maybe you have simply outgrown some. Or they weren’t ones you necessarily appreciated but you hung onto because you spent the cash on them. Or like me, a combination of being distressed that your collection was neglected and is better served elsewhere at this point in your life. It’s ok. I promise. Just because the path someone else chose isn’t the path you would have chosen doesn’t make it bad. ❤

Halloween 2018 – Coco

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It bears mentioned immediately up front that this isn’t a Halloween film, though it will pop up with almost any Halloween movie list this year. Probably because of the timing of Dia de Muertos and the skull imagery. I knew this beforehand, but decided to watch it within my October film fest for a few reasons. I had wanted to see, but hadn’t gotten to it before now. And I knew it would be a happier film, and I deliberately sprinkled a few less violent or jump scare filled films within my planned schedule.

And goodness, I haven’t shed this many tears while watching a film in a long time. Happy tears, for the most part, but still a lot of them. It felt good to cry with just the sweetness of it all. Pixar has a history of hitting heart strings just right, particularly within me as I get older, and they nailed it with this movie. And quite honestly, I feel on the edge of tears frequently lately so it was cathartic as well to be able to let them out in happiness and sweetness. The film is also gorgeous, so much color and life in every shot!

And I loved the story. Both complicated and simple, the pull of what you want to do with your life vs your family. Some of my tears were certainly bittersweet, as while the film resolves happily I couldn’t help but all those that had to make this choice and never got the resolution Miguel receives. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want the film to end any other way. It’s just hard to forget friends’ stories of less-than-happy endings while watching.

Tonight’s beer accompaniment: Odell Brewing Green Coyote Tomatillo Sour. A very nice sour, not so sour that it pulled an especially strong face from me but still decidedly a sour (not a tart or sweet overkill, which I’ve had a couple beers try to pull and call themselves sour before, for shame) (not that tart or sweet is bad, but if you call yourself a sour you should be SOUR damnit!), with a nice trailing and mellow sourness to follow that initial blast.

Halloween 2018 Day 1: The Purge

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This is a movie, that while I felt a spark of interest when it first came out, I never got around to seeing before now. I can’t remember with any certainty why, though likely a combination of no one to watch it with, and a feeling that it would be a gore porn movie more akin to Hostel then anything else. It turns out the latter was mistaken. Don’t get me wrong, there was violence. You couldn’t have a movie with this sort of premise without some violence.  Maybe it’s just that despite my best efforts I’ve become inured to violence. But it never felt overly gratuitous to me. Well, maybe except for when Mary slammed Grace’s face into the table. But then, by that point I’d gotten caught up and well, Grace kind of deserved that.

The frightening thing to me about this movie, at least at this point in time, in this current reality, is how aware I am now of just how much anger simmers in so many. The hatred and disgust of the other is a seething pot, already spilling over at the slightest provocation. The outright contempt illustrated by the group of privileged hunting down the homeless man, insisting that it is their right to take and kill that random unlucky soul because they view him as lesser than themselves. It may seem a bit cartoonish in portrayal, but it echoes close enough sentiments that are only thinly veiled anymore that it brought chills.

Of course, it has its limits as well. Goodness, am I ever frustrated by films not allowing women to kick ass. Part of this may also be my general dislike of Ethan Hawke, though. Would have much preferred Lena Headey to go on a self righteous rampage than him. It’s always frustrating to watch capable actresses be hindered be scripts like this. Ahh, well, I suppose I’ll have to wait for Game of Thrones to come back to watch her get her chops into something worthy of her again. But then again, the afore mentioned scene where she slammed Grace’s face into the table after smashed her with the stock of a gun was kind of satisfying.

But this is a type of movie that unsettles me for another reason. The certainty that those who perceive themselves as wronged don’t just deserve justice (if they even do deserve that) but also of vengeance, of retribution. It’s something we all have felt at a certain level, at certain times. But we know it’s unreliable and shall we say, not actually justice. Hence, for all its flaws, this is why we have a justice system.

This isn’t really an organized series of thoughts, I know. More just things I thought about while watching. I did mostly enjoy it though. Nothing overly compelling, but gripping enough to keep my attention and not feel like I wasted my time. A good start! No beer with this one because I stayed home from work with a migraine, and drinking with a migraine seemed like a bad idea. But, I’ll watch another movie later tonight and maybe have one then, since the headache has eased up significantly now.

Happy beginning of October!

And the first side project is

While I do intend to mostly focus upon cool phenomenon in the natural world, as I said before my curiosity and interests vary greatly. And truth be told, the reason I convinced myself to FINALLY reboot this blog with the worldbuilding focus was I came up with a side project. For reasons that should be clear to you, reality is incredibly depressing lately (no, I will not going into it here at this time. Maybe later). I need something to distract me more fully, and hopefully cheer me up a bit. I also like trying new things, especially food and drink. And I love Halloween.

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Awwww yeah

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