Archive for Joy

Break and Wake, Week 1

Posted in Books, Post-Apocalyptic, Scholarly, Shiny Happy Musings, Writing with tags , , , , , on November 7, 2011 by Jessica Crichton


So it’s Monday morning again, and I have been in graduate school for a little over a month now. Along with the dishes, monitoring the kids’ chores and spending quality time with Mike, I have neglected my blog due to schoolwork overload. I planned (and still plan) on posting some of my more interesting papers on writing and literature when I began school, but this quarter is mostly theory classes and entry-level graduate classes, aka “how to be a scholar instead of a student” aka “forget everything you learned as an undergraduate”, aka “my papers would probably bore you to tears at the moment”. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong about this.

I don’t think I am, though.

ANYway, so every Monday I fight with the fatigue faerie until about 3PM, which means I’m about as productive as the offspring of a slug and a rock.

Pictured: Me (AKA Obviouicus Photoshoppedicus Slocticus.)

SO, in order to combat both my gross neglect of you and my Monday morning slocknuss, I decided to begin a new series for each Monday morning, titled “Break and Wake”, which is my (entirely un)clever way of saying I have to break out of this tiredness and and wake the SHOD up.

Click for the website this came from. :)Uh… no. Not that kind of shod. Shod as in shodDY. As in… ya know what… nevermind.

ANYway, so part of “Break and Wake” will be random weird images which I have to Photoshop (well, mostly; the “shod” one above isn’t, but whatever), which is a good way of waking up and focusing on something fun that’s not all that vital to my life, unlike my schoolwork. It’ll also include arbitrary comments on things I’ve read about and seen or whatever, and links to fun crazy stuff. Like this.

You’re welcome.

(By the way, that’s probably NSFW. It’s your call if it’s SFK — Safe For Kids — but I’d watch it myself first, just to be sure.)

I figure this will both entertain you and wake me up. Kind of like a RedPad.


I don’t THINK I’ve infringed on any copyrights here… 😉

Wow… those are some shoddy Photoshops. Here’s some pretties from when I had a way better copy of PS to make me feel better:

Ooh yeah. That’s better!

Gotta have some Guts and Glory in this post, don’tyaknow! Oh, and by the way, here’s my Halloween costume for this year:

Somewhat self-serving, I know. And it doesn’t look nearly as cute on me as if would on an actual Kid, but whatever. I had fun with it! Too bad you can’t see my awesome mismatching striped knee socks and combat boots. I think I had a belt tied around my knee, too… at least for part of the night.

Anyway, whatever. Unless you’re at all versed in Guts and Glory, this won’t matter to you at all anyway, except maybe as a fascinating photograph of the author in her native habitat (and yes, that IS a Fight Club poster behind me, why do you ask? ;-).)

Oh, and Heidi, sorry I cut your beauty out of this pic. I wasn’t sure if you would want to be on a public forum. 😉 )

I was just thinking about the fun I have with Nil, and realized I could totally let you all in on the fun too!

Pictured: The Fun that is post-apocalyptic Nil! (Kind of…)

My favorite thing to do with Nil is come up with crazy, Kidlike ways to reinvent the things we all take for granted in our pre-apocolyptic world, like turning a carnival into The Net Nest and sewers into water wells (and other things that will come out later in the series). So, what would YOU think of to use and how? Come on, be a kid again! Think outside the bubble of the logical adult world for a moment, and fly!Post your ideas in the comments section!

By the way, if your idea is totally mag-awesome, I might just steal it for use in “Guts and Glory”, but I’ll give you credit. So that’s a heads-up.

Yeah, I know I implied I’d stop talking about “Guts and Glory”, but that’s very difficult for me to do. I guess you’ll just have to read up on it so you can play along too! 🙂

Oi… and it’s no longer morning. But at least it’s not three yet either! Now I’m off to read some Blake, a bit of Coleridge and a little Keates.

See ya soon!


Humanity Revisited

Posted in Family, Shiny Happy Musings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 13, 2011 by Jessica Crichton

Normally I’m a pretty optimistic person. I like to see life as an adventure just waiting to be had. But recently I, like the vast majority of humanity, have been pommeled by a plethora of pfft. From America’s sinking economy, to England’s riots, to the wars in the Middle East that have lasted forever and show no sign of stopping, this world has been a pretty cruddy place to live in lately. And I figure if I’M feeling blue, with my usually sunny look on life, plenty of other people are probably on their way to deep purple by now. So I’ve pulled up my bootstraps (I do love combat boots), and decided to count down my personal favorite top ten of the many good things we still have going for us.

Drumroll please…

#10 – Space Exploration

Not too long ago, NASA was officially decommissioned by the government. And everywhere people wept for the loss of their ideal Roddenberry-esque vision of the future. Of course, the Russians are still in space, which is good for humanity as a whole (since Russians are, you know, people), but beyond that I knew that this was actually good news for America too, and lately I have been proven right!

Muahahahaaaa!I was RIGHT!

*Ahem* ANYway, my first thought was, now that space flight is no longer under the government’s radar, private companies will get in on the deal. And really, what’s the number one motivating force in America? You got it. Profit. So… now that companies can make money on space exploration, do you think they’ll just let that sit? Nope. And they haven’t. Everyone from Seattle’s Space Needle to Boeing to a company called SpaceX have begun getting in on making the present much more science-fiction… y, and now that they’ll make money at it, do you really think they’ll stop at the moon?

Even NASA isn’t down for the count. Now that they’re no longer tethered to the government, the space-exploration giant is planning bigger, better, and deeper excursions into space than ever before.

The end of an era? Hardly. Say hello to Science Fiction becoming Science Fact, folks! It’s gonna happen… and soon.

#9 – Environmentalism

Say what you will about humanity’s ability to take care of our Mother, we’ve gotten a lot better at it over the years. In fact, since 1970 when The Environmental Protection Agency was formed and people began to really notice and care about our environment, the Earth has gotten steadily healthier. Regulations on water, air and land quality have kept everyone from individual campers to multi-billion dollar corporations on their toes, and it has paid off. According to The Environmental News Network, “In the year 2010 alone, clean air regulations are estimated to have saved over 160,000 lives.” That’s good news, no matter how you look at it.

Now, I’m not saying the Earth is as healthy as it was before the Industrial Revolution — that will take a lot more time — but I am saying it’s healthier than it has ever been since. And that’s something to be happy about, if anything is.

#8 – Individuality

We’re all different. Lately we’ve been more and more prone to accepting that fact in ourselves and in others. In fact, since the 1980’s there hasn’t been any one specific style to describe a decade, be it the 90’s, the 00’s, or the 10’s (which, of course, we’re still in, but whatever). That is because there are so many more different kinds of styles than ever before, and they are all pretty equal in scope of use. Sure, there are still people who feel they have to pretend to be who they aren’t to “fit in”, and those annoying neighbors who work hard to “keep up with the Joneses”, but that’s all heading out of style pretty fast, with each generation being more free to express their own individuality than the last. I believe the advent of the Internet sparked this change in attitude, as social media sites, vlogs, blogs, forums, and print-on-demand publishing have all given a lot more  power to the people, instead of traditional media, to decide what’s cool and what isn’t, and the latter is turning out to be a very small percentage indeed.

After all, if you can talk to millions of people online who think cone hats are as cool as you think they are, why should you care that your sister’s boyfriend’s mother disagrees? You’ll wear that cone hat proudly, thank-you-very-much, and be exactly who you are because you can be.

And while we’re at it…

#7 – The Internet

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. There are bad things online. But there are bad things everywhere, really, and honestly always have been. Of course, the big difference is that it’s way easier to find now. True. But that can also be said of the good things.

And there are plenty of good things you can find online. Here’s a short list:

  1. Educational Research from Trusted Sources.
  2. Fun videos that you can share with you friends, family, and even (once you have watched them first),  your children.
  3. Information to help you achieve your dreams (case in point, this.)
  4. Classic Books. (YAY!)
  5. Classic Artwork. (Also YAY!)
  6. Information on your favorite movies, TV shows, and Actors/Actresses.

I’m sure you could add  a million more bullets to this list. Like many other things in this world, the Internet can be good. It all depends on how you look at it.

#6 – Pets

I mean, really. Look at how cute they are. They make me smile just looking at them. If I didn’t believe in God already, the loving gaze of a little doggy would certainly convince me. Seriously. We have pets. And they make life happy. Really, it’s as simple as that.

#5 – Music

I have a lot of friends who are music-crazy. My fiance’ is one of them. I, myself, am much more of a literati, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the experience of listening to a beautifully composed piece of music. I’m also quite the karaoke fool. Whether you’re a self-proclaimed reborn Mozart / Kurt Cobain or just like to listen to your iPod as you take a stroll around the block, I don’t know anyone who can argue against the fact that music is a beautiful part of being alive.

#4 – Art

“Smoke and Mirrors” – H.A. Crichton (Click on image to go to artist’s site.)

Art has been called the soul of humanity, and I don’t doubt it. For myself, I can’t do visual art to save my life (check out my cartoon of “The Elementals”… oi), but my sister and my illustrator have both shown me in their works what it means to be a true artist. The beauty and majesty of great works of art take one’s breath away. As long as art is being created, humanity will continue to thrive.

#3 – Books

Thanks to Book/Daddy's Blog for this image!

Yeah. You knew I was going to go there, huh? But really, next to art and music, the creation of literature is the end-all and be-all of being human. It is in storytelling that we capture the human condition completley and share it with others who then cherish and share the stories for generations. Plus, I did say BOOKS, not just FICTION. Before computers, books were where we stored all of our most trusted and important information for centuries. I mean, seriously, books just rock. Period.

#2 – Love

(Me and my wonderful fiance’)

There are a lot of different kinds of love. From the love of a good friend to the love of one’s self to family love to, of course, romantic love, love is a wonderful feeling that makes you happy. True, sometimes it’s because of love that we suffer (losing a loved one to death, divorce, etc), but even then we are suffering for a good reason… something that matters. In the end, love is good.

And I, for one, want to acknowledge that fact.

#1 – Kids

Watch children play. Listen to them laugh. Just try not to laugh with them. That is our future… if we don’t mess it up. As the saying goes, “children are God’s way of telling humanity that we haven’t messed up too bad… yet”.

Agree or disagree with me all you want, but these are the reasons I still smile while greeting a new day. I hope they made you smile a little, too.  🙂

(Note: Most of these links go outside of my blog, to sites that are not owned by me. Most images are also tagged to the site where I found them, unless they are mine. I do not own the rights to any of the ones to which I have linked, nor do I claim to. Thanks.)

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