28 August 2007

a plug for croatian tourism

There were a few people who expressed interest in being cornered for a long period of time in order to view our pictures of Croatia. We never really got around to sharing our pictures before we left the Homeland. Pity, because the land of the Croats really is a marvelous place, and somebody's got to spread the word! So, with a little luck, I might be able to post our little picture/video montage here. Granted, it is the super low-quality version of the video. But it's fun anyhow. Good old blogs... so far, I am a fan.

I'll do my best, but if you can't get the video to work, don't call me. My knack for technological troubleshooting is limited to issues like, you know, if Super Mario Brothers isn't working correctly, you should take the game out of your Nintendo and blow on it, then put it back in; it should work fine after that.

**edited to add: the copyright police have now disabled the sound, since the video includes music I did not create. That's okay. If you ever have a desire to watch this video in all its amateur glory, give me a call.

24 August 2007

blogging the lunch hour away

I finally read Life of Pi. It came highly recommended by the lovely Catlin, and by an oddly-dressed stranger at my local library. At least I knew Cat’s taste could be trusted.

I know I liked Life of Pi because I read it in a few days. Now I’m stuck trying to pin down exactly why I liked it. In fact, I’m still trying to pin down what I would say to someone who asked what the book was about. I could say it’s about a kid from India stranded on a lifeboat in the Pacific with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan, and a Bengal tiger. But I think the book is mostly about stories. (Probably not the answer you give to random strangers in the library.) It made me think about how people choose which stories to believe and which stories to live – how lives are made up of stories. Here’s a bit from the book that gets me thinking about this:
I can well imagine an atheist's last words: "White, white! L-L-Love! My God!"--and the deathbed leap of faith. Whereas the agnostic, if he stays true to his reasonable self, if he stays beholden to dry, yeastless factuality, might try to explain the warm light bathing him by saying, "Possibly a f-f-failing oxygenation of the b-b-brain," and, to the very end, lack imagination and miss the better story.
So there you go. In addition to taking on philosophy, survival, world religions, zoology, love, and faith, the best stuff in the book is about choosing the better story.

23 August 2007

this one's for the fans

Woodland has a fan base. Sure, it consists of only three known members, two of which are Shay and I. But today someone who is not me and who is not Shay e-mailed me to inquire about the recent drought of informative posts on the blog. This is big. This is really big.

So, this post goes out to the fans. The fan, that is.

Unfortunately the things on my mind at this moment are not the sort of exciting things that good bloggers write for their fan(s). No, my mind is burdened with weightier issues, such as these:

What is with sugar cookies? Why is it that I can never seem to bake them for the perfect amount of time?

I haven’t been on my bike since we moved. I’ll bet it misses me. My new mode of transportation – yes, an actual motorized vehicle – requires less effort but is less fun.

Post-it notes are probably my favorite office supply item right now. Speaking of office supplies, when does the new season of The Office start? Definitely the only show on TV that might compel me to pay for basic cable. We’ll see.

Why do invaluable and valuable mean basically the same thing? It seems so wrong.

What did I ever do to the chain store deities that they would bring an IKEA to Utah at the same time that I was leaving the state?

I miss a lot of things about Logan, but one of the random things I miss lately is reading the weekly police blotter in the Statesman. It always made me chuckle.

21 August 2007

so far it only gets better

Happy, happy anniversary to Shay. To us, I guess. Today marks three years since the day we were married, and they have been amazingly good years!

20 August 2007

on the subject of life

So here's a good story. Shay and I were sitting in the living room; Shay was reading a book, and I was snacking on some cereal and pondering the eternities. Once when Shay glanced up from his book, I looked at him and said, “You know, I don’t really like this life.” He looked a little alarmed. He stammered for a minute, and then said “uh… you don’t?”

I continued chomping casually on my cereal, confused at his reaction, and said, “No, the chocolate clusters taste weird.” He took a minute to mull over my comment, which initially seemed unconnected to my out-of-the-blue confession that I am unhappy with life in general. Then it all came together. And we laughed. A lot.

Here’s a tip: don’t buy the new Chocolate Oat Cruch Life Cereal. It has the potential to create confusion. And chances are you won’t like it anyway.

18 August 2007

bane of the plain

Kansas has a lot of good things going for it. For instance, it’s bigger than some of those other states. Also, it has more wheat. But one tally mark on the “cons” side is this: chiggers.

For over twenty-four years I lived in ignorant bliss; I had no idea that such a creature as a chigger existed. But apparently these microscopic mites are the bane of summertime all over the Midwest and into the South. Every summer chiggers invade forests and grasslands and neighborhood lawns, and if you are caught in their territory they will attach to you and feed on your skin, leaving itchy bumps. As far as I can tell, they exist solely to torment humans.

But enough with the doom and gloom. The good news is that I am officially not paranoid about chiggers any more. Having avoided grassy areas at all costs for three weeks, I finally threw caution to the wind this weekend and frolicked on the lawn at Clinton Lake in flip-flops. And I don’t have a single bite to show for it. Take that, creepy little bugs!

17 August 2007

A note from the Wood land

We are starting a blog. And we're excited about it. Well, at least I am. I'm sure Shay will come around eventually.

The summer has gone by like a holiday parade in a small town - I feel like it just started yet it's nearing the end. After our much-anticipated stint in Croatia, and then a few intense weeks of sorting through our belongings, getting rid of half of them, and loading the other half into a large moving truck... we moved. We are new residents of a fabulous college town in eastern Kansas, and we're happy to be here.

That is all.