Angel's back to explain something about her house...
Hubby and I are both natural pack rats. It's just not in our natures to throw things away. So consider that A) we've lived in the same house for twenty-four years or so, B) we're both hesitant to buy new things if we don't have to and C) we both squirrel all sorts of crap away, our house has a lot of stuff in it. Add to that, he's a collectibles dealer and various rooms in our house are used for storage and...you get the picture. It's not as bad as an episode of hoarders but, yeah...
Because of all of these things, we also have a tendency to repurpose objects.
That windowsill Sweetpea is lounging on? That's a reclaimed part of a bookcase that had some issues and part of a carpet remnant. (Yes. All carpet remnants are carefully saved.)
See the swing set down there? We haven't had a child young enough to play on a swing set for many years. (Child is grown and out of the house.) The swing is long gone but the frame remains as a wisteria support and arbor. The wisteria is quite a bit bigger now than in this picture, climbing valiantly across the old top rungs.
This is my desk. (I know, bit of a mess. Too bad.) Was this piece of furniture purchased as a desk? No. This was my first little kitchen table when I lived on my own. I like it because I can spread out, it doesn't block the window, and kitties can gather underneath during a thunderstorm.
That's just a sampling, of course. We're not so bad that we think we have to keep everything. Compost bin and recycling take care of most of the actual trash, we do send things (occasionally) to Goodwill, and he does sell things every day as well, so some of the hoard comes and goes. But you get the idea. Maybe it's just old habits. Maybe it's leaning toward not quite right. We're just both happier if we can find a use for old stuff. :)
Freddy here with today's Stuff We Like. This is going to be short & sweet, and I've been thinking since last week how to present it.
The whole reason I even thought of choosing AIESEC for SWL this week is because an old college buddy, and fellow AIESECer is visiting with me this weekend. It's been forever since we saw each other but we've kept in contact over the years, much like a lot of members from -- as what we and other LCs lovingly called us -- the Indian LC.
AIESEC is one of the largest non-profit organizations in the world, and it's mostly run by students between the ages of 18 - 26. It offers work internships abroad to help create multicultural understanding and cooperation.
See, it was originally formed just after WWII between France and Germany as a way to heal after all the devastation and death. The youth of that time wanted a way to find common group and learn. They felt the best way to do that was to work together.
It has grown to be so much more.
I I loved my time as an AIESECer. I built life-long relationships during my time at my university LC. I was part of OCX (Outgoing Exchange), which meant it was my responsibility to help with resumes and find placements for students wanting to work abroad. ICX was filled with students going to businesses and getting them excited about bringing students abroad to grow and expand their enterprise and thinking.
When I was part of AIESEC the hotbeds of placement were India and Turkey because of the growth taking place in both countries, but one of my friends got an internship with Heineken in Greece. We even had a World Wildlife Foundation internship in Peru that we worked hard to place. They were everywhere you could look, in 108 different countries. There are now 126 countries involved with 2,400 universities represented, and 70,000 students.
That's a whole lot of like minds interested in divesity and understanding.
I was attending an university that was honestly mostly white and male. My LC, however, was made up of most non-white students. It was filled with mainly middle eastern students (hence the Indian LC nickname), some black students, Asian and a few white people. We laughed and cried together. Played softball. Ran fundraisers. Took classes and commiserated over finals together. Had a hell of a lot of chicken BBQs, and even celebrated a birth of a baby between two AIESECers.
When 9/11 happened, and a government agency came to question one of our friends because he flew home to Dubai twice a year, we came together and supported each other, taking part in Ramadan as a show of solidarity. Because an AIESECer - part of an organization that has produced world and business leaders, and a Nobel peace prize laureate - is all about creating understanding and acceptance, not hate and divisiveness.
We worked hard, we played hard, and we loved each other.
And if you're in college, check to see if there is and AIESEC LC on your campus. They may open up a whole new world for you. It will be an experience you never forget.
Hi everyone, Toni here with a special (Okay, so, really I forgot to post this on Wednesday, but shhhh, don't tell anyone.) Friday edition of Stuff We Like.
I know Freddy has posted previously about her love of Garret's popcorn, and really and can't say I blame her, Garret's is awesome. Recently I've found some a little closer to home. Really, you can't blame me, travelling from Darwin, Australia all the way to Chicago, America, for popcorn can get a little expensive.
We have a lot of markets that take place around Darwin during the week, and one of the stalls this year is Popcorn. I found out today at work, through a friend, that the owner/operator of this stall sold everything to open it. Which I think is just incredible.
The popcorn is cooked in a massive metal tub and then tipped onto a grate. It's then cooled, bagged and sold direct to the public. I can highly recommend the Caramel and the Sweet & Salty.
You can buy it in a couple of different sized tubs to snack on then and there or in bags to take home. Why go for the small bag when you can get the big one!
Scott's in the house with this week's SWL - this one sort of fell into his lap...
Once a month, the giant Stuff We Like hand turns around and points to me, and I have to decide which of the many things I like is the one to get shared this time around.
This week, I had NO IDEA what to write about. I've done Jelly Bellies, my distant relative Elizabeth Coatsworth, Robotech, and the Italian language. What's left?
Then, like a star from heaven, one of my favorite gay singers appeared in my inbox with a new album.
I first ran across Jay Brannan when I saw a video for his song "Your Body's a Temple" on VH1. Remember when music video channels used to play music videos? I fell in love with the sensuality of it, and tracked down the album (yeah, this was pre-Shazam too). I got his album, and it blew me away. Especially "Housewife":
Two bodies pressed together
Two boys are falling hard
The smell of sweat and leather
A kinky greeting card
Crazy about each other
We both got fucked up pasts
But when we are together
We have a fucking blast
I want to be a housewife
What's so wrong with that
I want to be a housewife, yeah
And that's just where I'm at
Jay is unapologetically gay, and his songs reflect that. Even when they are ugly, they are beautiful.
And so we come to his new album, New York, New York. And no, it's not a bunch of show tunes.
This new compilation of five songs that came out Monday continues his amazing run of songs. In particular, Desert Roses pulled me in with its rich lyrics and haunting melody, one of Brannan's specialties.
Imperfect Lover also got me. What I love about Jay, well, among many other things, is that he readily admits he's flawed. It's part of what makes him such an amazing artist.
In the first track of the new album, he says "I've said all that I have to say, and I believe in what I done... and I'm gonna burn this damn guitar."
Don't you dare, Jay. We need singer songwriters like you, and I hope to hear much more from you in the future.
You can get the CD here:
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/jaybrannan6 (Jay gets the most money from this one)
or from iTunes:
Angel's back with this week's SWL - and she'll have to explain this one...
Raccoons are cool critters. I know a lot of people think of them as garbage divers and dangerous, but that's only in places where humans have stolen their native environments. The raccoon is one of those astoundingly adaptive animals and yeah, if you're going to take his home, he's going to find a way to live off of you. Fair's fair.
These guys are uniquely North American, probably one of the reasons I love them, and they've been around since woolly mammoths, at least. While they're closely related to weasels and even more closely related to bears, they get their very own genus, Procyon. 'Cause they're cool like that. They have clever, hypersensitive paws, good for getting crayfish out of creeks or eggs out of nests, and there have been studies done where raccoons have used their clever paws to open locks.
We had an old raccoon living in our backyard for many years. We'd only see him in the early morning or evening, of course. During the day, he slept behind the wood pile in a little cavern he'd made for himself out of sticks. But he delighted in tormenting the neighbor's dogs and would even use their roof as his bathroom, just to make the dogs nuts.
Anyway...why raccoons suddenly? I do like them. They're super cool. But there will be one in an upcoming story too - so watch for that in the next Brandywine omnibus. ;)