All’s fair in love and… mornings (~wink)

April 28, 2009

The snooze alarm cut into my shower with a beeping so loud it set my teeth humming in my jawbone.

“MEEEEEEP…MEEEEEEP…MEE…”

I must have reset the clock by our bed on the as-if-waking-up-at-6am-isn’t-torture-enough setting rather than the kinder and oh-so-much gentler radio option. The teeth rattlin’ sound from the next room was so piercing I couldn’t concentrate – did I just double shampoo instead of condition?  I could feel the tiny hairs of my inner ears shivering as the high vibrato resonated behind my eyeballs.

Why wasn’t the hubby turning it off? It was right beside his pillow! I tried yelling at him from the shower, but there was no way he could hear me over the alarm. I finally had to take matters into my own hands, and ran towel-bound into the bedroom to turn it off. Finger to button – oh sweet relief!

I ‘politely’ inquired, with hands clamped on terry-towel hips, into the condition of dear hubby’s eardrums. “Dunno,” he said, claiming to have “not really” heard the Philip Glassian cacophony, “Just tuned it out, I guess.”

“What if the smoke alarm goes off?” I asked, suddenly concerned.

As he quieted my fears with tender reassurances about volume and urgency, a strange thought began to form in my mind. If this man can will himself to sleep through an amped up Moby concert gone wrong, what else can he “tune out”? What else has he “tuned out”?

Hmmmm… better make sure I’m all set to blast on “max” next time dear hubby triggers my alarm bells! I’m not taking any chances lol. After all, all’s fair in love and mornings ~wink. 


A glimpse into the creative process…

April 28, 2009
The "Dirty Work"

The "Dirty Work"

How does an idea evolve? The example on the right shows scraps from the natural evolution of the “molecular diagram” card from my latest post: Looking for great birthday card ideas? The top left shows the original family tree sketch before it morphed into the rough molecular diagram below (bottom left). Brainstorming for general ideas, and specific nomenclature, takes up the rest of the page, and what about those strange random rectangles in the top corner?

Some deeply sourced philosophical breakthrough was trying to claw its way out of my subconscious and express itself on the page in a wild desperate push to communicate its glorious insight to a lost and lonely world… obviously. This unrealized idea, translucent in our world, was as yet too abstract to speak in all but the simplest forms of our visual language. Sigh, I wonder. Yes, I wonder what it means. Although, something tells me that “Stop doodling and get to work!” would be a pretty good guess!


Looking for new Birthday Card ideas?

April 22, 2009

Note: See also “How to make fantastically unique birthday cards” for more ideas!

It’s so hard finding just the right card when an important birthday rolls around. Why not get creative and make your own! The example below, which I made for my (chemical engineer) grandfather’s 80th B-day, can be tailored for almost any science minded relative. I came up with the idea while trying to draw out our family tree. With our blended family, I found the diagram quickly started looking more like the molecular structure of some bizarre new chemical compound…
Birthday Card for my Grandfather's 80th

Birthday Card for my Grandfather's 80th

I formatted the text and blank box in Microsoft Word, then hand-drew the diagram (using double lines for partner bonds). The caption inside reads: (Bonus Question: Label the 25 distinct atoms in this ground-breaking, multi-functional compound – affectionately nicknamed “The Patriarch” – for extra marks ). For the personalized scientific name, I just googled some chemistry terms and subbed in my grandfather’s name. Make sure to liven up the inside of the card (since the front’s a touch technical) with a blast of love and colour. And P.S., don’t forget to decorate the envelope!

Don't forget to add the hug inside!

Don't forget to add the hug inside!


Grab a biscuit on your way out…

April 9, 2009

I cut under the entrance awning of the retirement home beside my office building on my way to work this morning. There was an ambulance parked in front, right outside the home’s dining lounge windows. I took a peek at the breakfast crowd as I darted by. I know the drill; an ambulance that early in the morning usually means only one thing: there will be one less tea biscuit on the tray.

There was a smattering of elderly residents in the lounge, some chatting, some alone, all nibbling on delights far more tasty than the frozen peas with cheese that were waiting for me next door (don’t ask). One woman was sitting close to the window, all by herself. She was looking past me absently, chewing on the end of a thick butter coloured biscuit. Her wrists were wire thin, and the dyed reddish curls on top of her head were politely spaced with plenty of breathing room in between each translucent twist.

I couldn’t help but wonder if it was one of her table-mates who wouldn’t be making it down for breakfast. The woman didn’t seem all that concerned about the ambulance, or even all that interested in what she was eating. What did the scene mean to her, if anything? With mortality waiting just outside the window – I kept asking myself – why wasn’t she savouring the darned tea biscuit? There is so much I don’t yet know about life, but I can tell you one thing…

My frozen peas with cheese were absolutely delicious.

The tea biscuit circle of life

The tea biscuit circle of life

(image source)