Thursday, September 29, 2011

Learning to Unfollow

Social media is a great thing. It has changed the way we communicate, the way we do business, the way we live in such a fundamental way in such a short time, it's hard to remember what life was like before blogging, before Facebook, before Twitter. In some ways simpler and in some ways more difficult.

I am a huge fan of social media, especially Twitter. There are so many funny, smart people to follow and learn from. When I first got started on Twitter, I would follow just about anyone. And now some of those people I follow on Twitter are my friends.

But now I have to be more selective. Because at some point, you follow too many people and you're not interacting with the people you're following, you're not building relationships. When you follow too many people, it becomes more about you than it does meeting new people and learning about them. Yes, I realize that the name of this ole blog here is It's All About the Mochaface, but if all I'm using Twitter for is to push my own agenda, if I'm not taking the time to get to know other people, then I'm just creating more noise to add to the cacophony (Can I get a fist bump for that SAT word? Hells yeah!) that is out there.

Sometime in the last year, I realized I follow a lot of people. So I've been making an effort to trim the fat. To actually unfollow. It was hard at first. But it's gotten easier. My timeline is certainly the better for it.

Like other lessons I've learned from Twitter - not every thought I have is meant to be spoken (or typed) out loud, some things are best left offline, it's okay to not be involved with everything - learning to unfollow is a lesson that can be applied to life off the Internets. It's like learning to say no. Hard at first. But your life is much simpler and less stressful when you do.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hump Day Humor: Banned Match.com Commercial


ANSWER - Tuesdy Trivia: Flowers

How did the wildflower known as the daisy get its name?

It was originally known as day's eye because its petals, like the human eye, open in the morning and close at night. Through usage, day's eye eventually became daisy.
 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday Trivia: Flowers

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

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How did the wildflower known as the daisy get its name?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Beer Snobs

Last week John and I had a new experience. We went to a beer pairing dinner. Like a wine dinner where they pair a different wine with each course to maximize the flavor of the wine. Only this was with beer.

Ever since we watched Beer Wars a few months go, we've become something of a beer snob household. We stick to craft beers and microbrews as much as possible expanding the list of beers we've tried to include beers that a year ago we probably never would have tried.

So when I came across this beer pairing dinner I immediately signed us up.

Though we found out when we got there that all the beers we'd be trying were IPAs (we're not fans of an IPA, too bitter), we kept an open mind and tried everything. What we learned as a result of the dinner is that an IPA is meant to be consumed with food and that spicy food will reduce the bitterness of the beer.

This is what I love about Life. Trying new things. Because you never know what you're going to learn about life or about yourself.

And I just really love beer.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday Trivia: Geography

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

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In boot-shaped southern Italy, what region is known as the toe; what region as the heel?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Baby Huffing

Last week I was sick. It was just a head cold, which normally I wouldn't care much about. But I had big plans for the weekend I didn't want to have to cancel.

This weekend John and I got to babysit my niece Lily as my sister and brother-in-law went out of town for a night.

A whole day and night. I was a little nervous going into it, but she was a joy. I spent all weekend cuddling, making funny faces, noming her hands and blowing raspberries on her belly. In short, I got a lot of baby huffing in.

I was a little worried how John would feel after the weekend was over, but he was great. Of course, he didn't have that much to do as I was busy baby huffing.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hump Day Humor: John Stamos Guide to Cuddling

While watching this video, I couldn't remember Bob Saget's name. It was until later when John and I were, er, getting intimate that I remembered it suddenly and shouted it out. If there's a quicker way for ruining a mood than yelling out Bob Saget's name, I've yet to find it.

All that said, I'm still chuckling about this video a week later.

(hat tip John)

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Cities

What U.S. city is the largest in land area in the contiguous 48 states?


Jacksonville, Florida, which covers 758 square miles. Sitka, Alaska, which covers 2,874 square miles, is the largest in area in all 50 states.

Congratulations to Peggy Sue Brister for being the first - and only - to get the correct answer!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tuesday Trivia: Cities

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

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What U.S. city is the largest in land area in the contiguous 48 states?

Shifting

I was sitting on the floor of the living room folding laundry when Cooper whimpered at something in the dining room and ran over to stand in the safety he must think I provide. I never did figure out what it was that freaked him out, but when I followed his gaze, I noticed something that freaked me out.

A crack in our wall going from the window down to the baseboard. A good 18 inches. It was a crack that was definitely not there before.

I immediately called John in to take a look at it with me. We both stared transfixed at this symptom to a much bigger problem.

You may have heard that Texas has had the hottest summer of the entire country. We're also experiencing the worst drought of a 12-month period ever. The heat combined with the dry conditions has led our foundation to shift. And we couldn't water enough to stay on top of it.

Our bathroom door sticks. And the front doors appears to be sticking a bit as well. And now this crack.

I'm still hopeful that when we finally get some rain, it might reverse some of these symptoms.

Of course I realize this is probably just denial, a step before I accept the inevitable several thousand dollar fix it'll take to right our foundation again.

When they talk about how owning a home is hard and can suck, this is what they're talking about. I know that now.

Sigh.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Book Review: Room

Room by Emma Donoghue

In Room, five-year-old Jack lives with his Ma in a 11 x 11 room. It is his world. He knows nothing about the outside world. It's his home. But what he doesn't know is that Room is more a prison than a home. It's where he and Ma are held captive, where his Ma has been kept for seven years.

Before I read this book, I saw many reviews of it that described the story as dark. And it is dark. But it's not as dark as I expected. And that has a lot to do with the story being told from Jack's perspective. Telling a kidnapping/rape tale from the point of view of a five year old makes the story more hopeful and positive. And even a little bit uplifting due to the tight, tight bond between mother and son.

It is a very creative book. I've never read anything like it as Donoghue tells a story from a completely unexpected perspective. And she does it very convincingly. I never once felt the story wasn't Jack's.

Definitely one of the better books I've read recently.

Disclosure: No one paid me in any way, form or fashion for this review.

Next month - Welcome to the World, Baby Girl by Fannie Flagg

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hump Day Humor: A&M Ruins Hitler's Plans

If you're a fan of college football, you've probably heard the news that A&M is leaving the Big 12 Conference. And if the rumors and talk are to be believed, we're headed for the SEC.

Regardless of the hatred and mean comments I've seen spewed over this announcement - some of it from people I like - I remain hopeful that this move proves to be good for my beloved school.

And videos like this make me giggle.

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Movies

In Spaceballs, Mel Brooks' spoof of the Star Wars trilogy, what is the name of the character parodying Jabba the Hutt?

Pizza the Hut.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday Trivia: Movies

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

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In Spaceballs, Mel Brooks' spoof of the Star Wars trilogy, what is the name of the character parodying Jabba the Hutt?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Knit & Wish

Last year I learned to knit. And in one year, I've knitted one washcloth, one scarf and one and a half baby blankets. The first one was for my first niece (my sister's daughter). The second one will be for my second niece (my brother's daughter). (I'll be incredibly lucky if I finish this second one before she arrives.)
I started knitting to keep alive a tradition my grandmother had started but was no longer here to do herself. A tradition that every new baby in the family gets a hand-made blanket.

As I knit, I like to think of my grandmother. We called her Omi (Oh-mee). It's German for grandmother.

Sometimes I wonder what she would say about me carrying on the tradition. I like to think she'd be pleased and touched.

Sometimes I wish I had thought to ask her to teach me, and I become teary thinking about the missed opportunities to make memories with her.

Sometimes I dream about explaining the tradition to my own children while telling them about Omi and maybe teaching them how to knit.

Even though I don't have the memories of her teaching me to knit, she gave me the inspiration to learn a new hobby. One I enjoy. One I enjoy so much I have a bag of yarn sitting in a closet begging for projects other than baby blankets.

Thank you for that Omi.

Baby blanket in progress... about 50% complete: