Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sneak peek

Thursday, August 7th I'll be showing a couple of new pieces at the LuxCollective gallery as a part of the monthly Redstripe [first Thursday] artwalk. It's a group show curated by my friend Jessica and we'll be meeting next week to pick out which pieces are going to work best together with the other artists' work. So keep your eyes peeled and your ears open for more details to come. It would be great to see you there.

Oh and you can use the email link in my profile to send me your name and email address if you'd like to get regular updates on what's going on with my work. I'd be happy to hear from you.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Last Lecture

Randy Pausch passed away on Friday, July 25th of pancreatic cancer, a ruthless killer.

He's most well known as the Carnegie Mellon University professor who doled out a hefty dose of life advice on pursuing childhood dreams as part of his final lecture to students and peers before he retired from teaching. His sense of humor, timing, and delivery are amazing. Not to mention his candor regarding his illness at the start of the presentation is simultaneously humbling and inspiring. His courage in the face of certain death is exemplary.

Please check it out. It's the best seventy-six minutes you'll spend this week.

Decor on the cheap


Walking back from Cafe Presse the other day after a pleasant snack of pain et beurre (with confiture) and chocolat chaud, I came across a traffic island with a small patch of flowers in the center. And among the still living plants I found these beauties. They look to me like the kind of thing I would see in some fancy home design store. The kind of item that would have an outlandish price tag... to which I would reply in my head, "Who the hell would pay that kind of money for dead flowers?" Well, my sweets, I didn't have to pay one penny for these precious little retired blooms. And I feel just as fancy for having found them. Don't you think they're gorgeous?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Second careers

A mutual friend of Mr.Mr.'s and mine recently celebrated his 31st birthday by throwing a full-on Mexico themed party in his backyard. He trucked in some sand, bought two pinatas, stocked the bar with tequila and prepared a taco stand replete with steak and stuffings. I drank some, gorged myself on pinata meat (candy) and enjoyed the feeling of sand through my toes without even having to sport a bathing suit.
Sadly, I think my fallback career as a major league pitcher isn't going to happen. I didn't even graze the pinata once out of four tries.

It looks like I'm destined to rely on my fallback, fallback career of luchador. I can scrap with the best of them.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Half way there

Ladies, and Gentlemen: we have an apartment. Portland, Oregon, here we come!



Two gigantic bedrooms, a porch and garden area, dishwasher, new carpet, close to downtown and all the necessary amenities... Oh and did I mention it's $515.00 less than the apartment we rent now? Yeah. Eat that, Seattle.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cringe worthy

This is so wrong.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Everyone's doing it

You should too. (Click on the image for more information.) I'll be there with bells on.

Astounding

I'll never look at a Picasso the same way again.


By Lena Gieseke.
Found thanks to bad banana.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Anti-Phone call

Fresh on the heels of my pondering if I'm not in touch with my friends and family enough, is news of a service that would cut out the chit chat entirely.  MobileSphere is a cell phone company out of Boston, MA that has recently released a service that eliminates the ring tone middleman and sends your calls straight to voicemail.  Slydial allows you to make all those phone calls that you can't avoid (distant relatives birthdays, ex-friends, or that guy you gave your number to after three tequila shooters at TGIFridays), but have no desire to make.  Just dial 267-SLY-DIAL and the dirty work is done without a single jingle of their phone.

I could totally see this being useful and I don't doubt MobileSphere will make some serious bank.  In a city where a vast majority of calls go out to apologetically flake out on plans, I'd say there's a undeniable market.  Not that I'd ever do that.  Salty's just so tired, and you know... she has a lot to do tomorrow.  Next time?

News courtesy of Slashdot.

Batman: the official review

-Christian Bale's "Batman" voice has become noticeably (and annoyingly) more gruff.  Dumb.
-Gary Oldham isn't actually aging.  Is it me or does he actually look better than he did 10 years ago?
-Nestor Carbonell needs to quit using eyeliner.  Honey, I know stage makeup and you can't find eyelashes that thick anywhere.
-Heath Ledger is amazing,  Sadly.
-Maggie Gyllenhaal is kind of just there.  Eating space.
-Michael Caine is still awesome.  Say it with me in a slight cockney accent, "Precious stones."  
-Aaron Eckhart is still devisihly handsome.
-Morgan Freeman plays Morgan Freeman.  Er, Lucius Fox.

Oh, and on the way home from the theater, Mr.Mr. and I got a ride from our good friend Kent.  We hopped into his white Saab (which always smells wonderfully of leather) and immediately cracked up at the sight of this bumper sticker on the car in front of us.  Too hilarious.  

It's my new favorite expression.

Photo courtesy of  Cute Overload's Cafe Press site.

Good vs. Evil

Mr.Mr. and I recently rented The King of Kong: a Fistful of Quarters on the recommendation of a friequaintance (that's a half friend, half acquaintance) and man, do you HAVE to see this movie. The documentary revolves around a series of events in arcade gaming history in 2003 when average-joe, Steve Weibe challenged old school super-geek, Billy Mitchell to a Donkey Kong duel for the Guinness Book of World Records title of Top Scorer.

Suffice to say I haven't seen a bad guy like Billy Mitchell in a long time. He manages to pull off a cocky swagger despite his manly mullet and conspires to thrash the hopes of Wiebe at every turn; stooping to manipulative and calculated maneuvers that will make your stomach turn. His uberAmerican attitude is rivaled in strangeness only by his peculiar line of business selling hot sauces under someone else's name. Totally weird.

Weibe on the other hand is the clear underdog cum hero. He is honest, hard-working, and supported by an adorable family of wife and kids whose desire to see him succeed is unrivaled even by Steve's own ambitions. Plus, I love that he's a local.  I've been fighting the urge to send him a postcard that reads, "Billy Mitchell is a douche bag.  You rule."

Monday, July 21, 2008

Lifestyles of the drunk and buoyant


I have no idea who these people were but I totally want to be them.  Specifically, I'd like to be the woman in the black hat and gloves in the glistening, rubber inner tube.  According to the image's file name, these people belong to the Seattle Tubing Society.  Seriously- where do I sign up and will I get a membership card?

Seattle Art Museum's TASTE restaurant at 1300 First Ave South is showing the work of an amazing photographer by the name of Burt Glinn through September 14th.  If you take a moment to check out his page on the Magnum site, you won't be disappointed, I promise.  

At 82, Glinn passed away in April of this year.

Image courtesy of Magnum via SAM.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

You say it's your birthday?

It's my birthday too, yeah!

Today I celebrate another year of not dying by taking the day off, packing for the move, getting my brows waxed at Derby Salon, and having a delicious dinner with one handsome, Mr.Mr. I am one lucky lady.

Excellent bear image courtesy of google image search on"Congratulations."

Sexy brown

I've moved on from purses... Now I've got a craving for these gorgeous brown leather wallets.  And at only ::choke:: $120... what should stop me, right?  You can't put a price on beauty, can you?


I love the hand drawn (and laser etched) landscapes (by Peter-John de Villiers) like nobody's business.  I've been looking for a nice wallet for Mr.Mr. (to replace the one that has become so distended with age that it has created a memory foam-like indent on his right ass cheek), but it needs more than just one pocket for cash and credit cards.  We roll big over at the Chez Salty.  Okay, not really- but I'll have to keep looking for now.  Sigh.

Maybe I could use one of these hot little numbers in the mean time to hold my business cards?  $85.00 is, in fact, less than $120.  Right?

Oh and a big shout out to Mary T. for sending me in the direction of MoCo Loco where I found these.

Photos courtesy of Makr.

Sunday secrets

PostSecret is one of my favorite blogs and while I try to avoid the webernets (and computers altogether) on the weekends, I can't help but feel a little bit like a kid on Christmas morning every Sunday as I cruise over to the site to see what new beans are waiting to be spilled. These two are today's favorites for different reasons.

If you're not familiar with PostSecret it's a fascinating site where individual post cards are displayed that have been sent in anonymously from people around the world. On each card the sender spells out a secret, sometimes artistically rendered, sometimes in shockingly simple black and white text. Some are hopeful, others are hopeless. Some are funny and some are more heartbreaking than a Greek tragedy or any of Shakespeare's best stuff. Most of it is inspiring.

As someone with a few secrets up her sleeve, I had considered sending in a few postcards myself over the first year or so of lurking on the site. But I never sent any. Eventually I found that the honesty and courage of strangers helped me to feel more resolute in the decision to share my deepest secrets with Mr.Mr. when the time was right. I had become convinced over time that without the honesty between us, our relationship would quietly suffer as I had for not having an outlet. And we now share secrets on a regular basis. Not every single one of them is earth shatteringly severe but I take comfort in knowing that I have nothing to fear anymore.

Take a look. Go now. It will be hard not to feel an instant kinship when you read a secret that belongs to you as well.

Photos courtesy of Postsecret.com.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

To Twitter or not to Twitter

A lot of the blogs I read have been moving in the direction of beefing up their arsenal of communication tools through services like Twitter, De.li.cious and Digg. From what I can tell, Twitter provides snippets of blog posts and other such musings delivered directly to your handheld device while De.li.cious and Digg are spider-web-like sites that allow people to associate themselves with sites/photos/stories etc. that they enjoy. My impression is it's like having a giant scrapbook for all the crap you see online that is cool or interesting that you want people to know you think is cool or interesting. But I'm starting to seriously wonder if all of these web communication applications are sabotaging our real relationships by circumventing the types of conversations we should be having with our friends and family in person? Or at a minimum by email or on the phone...?



Show of hands. What do you think? Talk amongst yourselves in the comments if you like.

Adding insult to injury

Nothing says "Happy Monday" like a probe down your nose.

Notice I didn't say "up my nose." The fact is, the "up" portion of your nose is just a way station to the long dive into your esophagus. How do I know this? Because bright and early on Monday morning I visited the friendly neighborhood Otolaryngologist who did just that. After asking me a barrage of questions about my sleeping, eating and breathing habits/problems, he used a device that vaguely resembled one of those paint guns used by airbrushed t-shirt vendors in malls across the country, to spray an anesthetic into my nose and down my throat. Small piece of advice? Avoid this process if you can. The anesthetic tastes of concentrated mold and the entire process is like shooting milk out your nose... in reverse. Not cool.

But really, the probe wasn't the worst of it. What really frosted me was that right before he shoved that thing with the articulated tip into one of my few facial orifices, he cocks his head to the right, narrows his eyes ever so slightly and asks, "Did you know your nose is crooked?" WHAT? Is it not enough that you're about to challenge my very strong gag reflex and take an intimate look at my inner workings a la Dennis Quaid in Innerspace? Do you really have to draw attention to a flaw that by your estimation is not only a) totally normal but b) not at ALL related to any of the problems I came to see you for? Really.

Someone needs to work on their bedside manner.

"SOS" means "some one help me"

(Imagine Rhianna in one of her cute little quasi-punk tulle dresses singing her little cutie heart out...)

I'm totally stressing out between my job search, apartment search, special projects and life in general. I'll be back on the horse shortly once my head clears. Pinky promise.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The birds and the bees from someone who knows

Oh boy.  You know, normally I'd have a hard time feeling sympathy for Disney princess Jamie Lynn Spears but teenage pregnancy is capital "N," not easy and I can't imagine it's any easier knowing there's a full-on army of average Joes and Janes just waiting to capitalize on your mistake.

However, it's definitely a fresh spin on this classic theme song on reproductive know-how from Grease 2.  Oh how I loved Michael.  I can't tell you how many times I've been caught singing "Cool Rider" or "Let's do it for our Country."  Bless the early '80s.



Design in process

I love the numerous iterations of the article's title...

Care of the ever-resourceful (literally), Kottke.org.

Countdown to bag lady









This has got to stop. I think I need an Etsy intervention.

If... IF your mouse just happened to wander over the image of one of these GORGEOUS bags and then your finger slipped... you'd find that links are embedded in the photos to each of the seller's sites. I'm just SAYING.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

More than just fritos

No, you're not seeing things... they've actually [finally] opened a full-scale supermarket in downtown Seattle.  I happened by it the other day on the way back from the post office and was startled to see a bank of escalators heading underground that didn't end at a bus depot.  In fact, the 18,000 square foot basement of the renovated Kress Building has become an IGA operated by a Whidbey island management group.  Yay for not selling out completely to QFC or Safeway!  

What's best about this development is that the hard bodies who work out at Epicenter fitness next door can finally eat something other than an ultra iso whey protein shake.  Perhaps we'll see a decrease in roid rage at the 4th and Pike bus shelter.

Really though it's nice to see a real food option downtown not only for the true city dwellers but for office workers not interested in shelling out $10 - $15 for a sandwich.  Having traveled in Europe and Asia, urban grocery markets are a must-have in any dense, metropolitan area and it's kind of hard to imagine we've gone this long without one.  Good work, Seattle.

Photo courtesy of Jdong on Flickr.

Month-i-versaries

I don't need anniversaries if monthiversaries are this good.  

Mr.Mr. subscribes to an email listing called American Life in Poetry which is a very English-major kind of thing of him to do.  Only today the poem he received in his inbox was perfectly timed.  He gave me a hand-written transcription of it today as a small celebratory token.  I think it may very well be the most beautiful and appropriate thing I've ever read.  

Marry Me (a senryu sequence)

When I come late to bed
I move your leg flung over my side --
that warm gate

nights when you're not here
I inch toward the middle
of this boat, balancing

when I turn over in sleep
you turn, I turn, you turn,
I turn, you

some nights you tug the edge
of my pillow under your cheek
look in my dream

pulling the white sheet
over your bare shoulder
I marry you again

I'm thinking it would be great to have a version letterpress printed and then framed as a sweet little reminder.

...

Oh yeah, and in case you're thinking I've gone completely soft and mushy over Mr.Mr.'s by-proxy proclamations of sweet, sweet love... just have a listen to tonight's anthem care of the Flight of the Conchords.


Hmmm... now if only I could parlay these monthiversary presents into an art studio, printing press and a room full of type and ornaments.  Yeeeaah.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The best anti-aging formula out there

Never stop doing. Something. Anything. Get good at it if it takes you a lifetime.
Those, my friends, are happy hands.

Photograph courtesy of the LA Times.

Bringing sexy back to activism

I'm half-way into an article entitled, "I'm bad! I'm slick!" in the May 2008 Fast Company and I'm thinking Van Jones is a cross between Denzel Washington and Al Gore with a little bit of James Brown thrown in for good measure. ...The last time activism looked this good its mascot was a barely-clad, face-painted, flower child protesting the Vietnam war. His charisma and personality leap from the page and he clearly has his priorities in order when it comes to the environment. But Jones is taking a different tact than your average tree-hugger and battling the burn of our dwindling environment with business. As founder and president of Green for All (not to mention a Yale Law grad), Jones has been working hard to put an end to poverty while supporting the environment by training low-income, at-risk and disadvantaged men and women in green business practices.

Beyond his good looks, he's inspiring real change in the way people perceive the challenges we face as the world slowly dawns to the idea that we're running out of time to save our planet. The concept is this: in order to get green on the scale necessary to affect real change, we're going to need the people power to undertake the tasks of installing solar panels, building green homes and supporting earth-friendly business practices from the inside out. Beyond that, he believes that the absolute, hands-down, best people for the jobs are those who rarely have the means, education or opportunity to get a crack at that type of work.

What the article doesn't specifically spell out or beat you over the head with is this: The low-income, at-risk and disadvantaged of our country are the perfect pioneers of a this movement because they are exactly the people who can't afford be locavores. Their paycheck doesn't stretch enough to escape the the iron-fisted embrace of Walmart. And most importantly, the children of low-income, at-risk and disadvantaged parents are far more likely to struggle just to graduate from high school, let alone become involved in their community to support exactly these types of initiatives. It really is a cycle.

I'm not sure exactly what kind of message I can put forth about this other than that this man is really headed in the right direction. He's bringing green to the masses to make a better future for the planet and the people who live on it. And that goes way beyond the fashionable activism that conspires to not only further delay real attempts to make change but to squash it all together for lack of genuine support.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Unwarranted advice

When you're served food in anything resembling a boat... say an oval, oven-safe casserole dish filled with shepherd's pie or even a red and white waxed-paper boat filled with french fries and chicken wings... don't eat the whole thing. Trust me. There have to be at least two adult servings of whatever that boat of disgrace contains and you really don't need it. No really. And if by some unfortunate turn of events you've managed to eat all but a few spoon/fork/spork-fulls of your sad, super-sized meal, just let it go. Really.

Ladies and Gentleman, I beg this of you not from high upon a pedestal of exemplary eating habits but from the depths of indigestion having recently consumed an entire boat of macaroni and cheese at the Roanoke Park Place Tavern. I've made my mistake so you don't have to and I only want to see you happy. Really.

Welcome!

Just a quick shout out to the readers joining us from Shelterrific's recent post. Feel free to spend a while poking around... you may just find that all you needed was a little extra Salt.

Thanks for clicking on over and I hope you enjoy what you find.

Indulgences

The night before my wedding I had a wee bit of a breakdown. I was having a late dinner and drinks before with friends and family and I became literally overwhelmed. In the truest sense. I couldn't really discern what it was all about beyond that I was frustrated with virtually everyone and that I wasn't supposed to be that upset. Mr.Mr. ended up staying at our apartment with me that night and while that helped calm my nerves significantly, it didn't do crap for my post cry-a-thon puffy eyes.

The next morning while my sisters, my mom and I got our hair cut, blown, back-combed and bobby-pinned at Derby Salon in Wallingford, I wondered exactly how I might reduce the signs of my breakdown before the 4pm ceremony. Fortunately, one of my sisters had been planning to pick up some Zia Essential Eye Gel from the Whole Foods next door and she thought it might help with my post-meltdown mess. And did it ever. It's about $24.00 in the store (and am I ever pissed to find it for $14.00 and eligible for Amazon Prime!) and with two quick applications of the slightly zingy gel, my eyelids quickly deflated. I'm so not a $24.00 eye gel kind of girl but as someone who's prone to off the chart emotions, anything that makes my mood swings less obvious to the outside world is totally worth it.

So if you're prone to ballooning eyelids after a particularly sad movie, weepy argument or while PMSing, I can happily endorse a dose of Zia's eye gel. It sure beats cold spoons.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Wide open spaces

My in-laws have a spot of land out on Whidbey island that for years served as their summertime getaway. They parked a camper trailer on the property back when there was nothing but trees for company and spent long weekends as a family, just hanging out roasting hot dogs and smores. (I know, I know... nostalgia overload.) Since then, the lot they own has become severely overgrown, the camper has been vandalized and eventually collapsed under the weight of moss and bush growth, and neighboring properties have sprung forth with mini-estates. So the children of the family (among which I can now proudly count myself) have been discussing for some time how best to utilize that property so it a) stays in the family b) is maintained a c) returns to its former semi-glory as a gathering place. None of us can afford to shell out a ton of money to build some sort of Swiss Family Robinson retreat but the longer the property lingers, the more likely it is to lie unused and become overgrown with weeds and stinging nettles. Not to mention I wouldn't put it past some "friendly" developer to try and edge their way onto land that seems to be long forgotten.

Enter solution A: the Modern Cabana.
I first read about these prefab structures in Outdoor Magazine and I have to admit they look pretty slick. You throw a few concrete support posts under these babies and according to the site, they go up in a few days. Admittedly, I'd want to enlist the services of a skilled carpenter or construction worker to help in the process but I can't imagine that would be too pricey. The basic structure is on the small side but there are larger units to accommodate traditional living spaces, they come ready to be wired for electricity and can be fitted for plumbing to allow for kitchens and baths to be added after-the-fact. At between $11,500 and $30,980 (before shipping and varying in price based on your choice of "standard" or "upgraded" structures), these humble yet stylish little shacks could make a sweet retreat from the city without breaking the bank completely.

Solution B is the Modern Shed.
Their 10' x 12' Studio with a Deck would be the minimum size for a pint-sized, no-frills alternative to camping and costs $18,200 before shipping. Their highest-end model tops out at $39,950 (also before shipping) and comes pre-painted in custom colors with a wood interior ceiling and a nice little glass transom at the roof line. While I think a grown-up structure would be pleasing to the neighbors, there's a small part of me that wishes they sold an adult-size version of their play shed so I could live out my summer camp fantasies in style. To boot, they have eco options that utilize several green construction principles to max out the earth-friendly capacity of your customized structure.

For now we'll remain content to pitch a tent out there from time to time in the middle of newburbia just to piss off the neighbors.

Rock bottom

I've gone completely mad. I must have been possessed... I bought the NKOTB single on iTunes. And I'm fighting the urge to play it on repeat. When I advised Mr.Mr. of my impending bad purchase he happened to be in the bathroom, post-shower, shaving his overgrown face. I felt the need to remind him that this is just another manifestation of my love for bad, danceable pop and that I was truly powerless. He suggested without missing a beat that perhaps he would take this opportunity to demonstrate his love for cheesy, porn star mustaches. Thankfully, he backed down. I don't need to tell you how ridiculous he looks with a mustache.

Anyway. It's full on. The good news is, I'm still not this woman.

Happy 5th of July!

All I can say is thank god the fourth is over. I love me some hamburgers, chips and brownies. I even enjoy the occasional sonic boom of fireworks overhead (though I could do without the black clouds that follow) but Jesus Christ on a popsicle stick- if I have to endure another night of boozed up bozos shooting off firecrackers in the street at 1:30am, I'm gonna lose it. Last time I checked, the right to set fires and shoot explosives into the air in the narrow corridor of buildings on a busy city street is not listed in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.

Apart from the fact that celebrating our "independence" is about as meaningful these days as celebrating our ability to pick our noses, the combination of alcohol and fire is undoubtedly the only surefire way to lose your eyebrows and a a limb... and I saw the two ambulances across the street last night to prove it. Now let's get on with the rest of the year, shall we?

Friday, July 4, 2008

We interrupt this program

...To bring you something completely different.

My endocrinologist shares an office space with about five skibbidyjillion obstetricians and gynecologists, all of whom I presume work with "the pregnant folk."  And apparently all pregnant women love free crap so there's always some new pregnancy calendar,* formula carrying bag or otherwise Simulac branded knickknack lying around where the magazines are laid out.  So last time I was in I picked up a copy of "Pregnancy & Newborn" thinking it would be a nice thing to pass along to my sister-in-law who's expecting in late November.  Mind you, I suspected this monthly "magazine" was more than likely an adverzine designed to push all manner of product into the hands of unsuspecting mothers-to-be, but I picked it up anyway.  And was I ever right.  

Only I never expected just what level of wacko stuff the baby-machine has come up with lately.  I give you Exhibit A: The Easy Expression Bustier.

Allow me to state very clearly that I am super-pro breast feeding.  So it's not the act of expressing milk that bothers me at all.  And as a professional female I'm all for hands-free multi-tasking.  But seriously?  This contraption resembles an industrial cow milker a little too closely for comfort.  I think the denim dress shirt really tops it all off though.  It really says, "I am a very busy woman who works in a business-casual atmosphere and I my schedule is very, very full."  I think it would have been even better if they had gone the extra mile and put her in front of a computer in a cubicle, typing away while wearing a phone headset to demonstrate just how convenient and discreet the design of this fetching maternal undergarment really is.

Oh, and please excuse the drama of the last post.  It's not to say I'm not still thinking about the subject matter but I think maybe it got a little too woe-is-me even for my tastes.  

*Oh, and non-pregnant people love free stuff too because I once took home a pregnancy calendar thinking it would be a nice solution to my problem of lacking a small, non-bulky planner.  Wrong.  Unless you like your calendar pages to be peppered with an index of pregnancy terms and photos of fetuses.  That experience taught me that there are some free things that are really not worth taking.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Shallow vs. deep thoughts

Sorry folks about the radio silence here at Properly Salted. I'm not sure if it's the freaky weather, the job search or what but my head has been way more in the outernet lately. My life offline hasn't even been that exciting which makes it that much more deplorable. But anyway, here's a big thought for you:

I was recently reading this article about unemployment and came across a quote that rang so completely true with me I had to share it. In the context of getting laid off, the author affirms his belief in the concept that "nothing happens until it happens to you." Read that quote again and really think about it. Because I've been thinking recently about the big world issues facing us these days and how I'm so nearly completely estranged from all of them. I know I should be more concerned about so many things but at the risk of sounding totally self-absorbed (which is not my unique problem), I just don't think about it all that often. But that alone concerns me. It seems so foolishly American to be largely unbothered about issues just because I haven't been an eye witness to their by-products. Sure, my gas costs just as much as yours (maybe more) and snow in April is by no means normal but what does it take to really shake me up?

I think I have a hard time because I vacillate between feeling empowered to change through small actions, supporting the right types of people and businesses and speaking up ...and then feeling totally powerless because of the sheer scale of these problems. I don't have the time to lead marches nor the voice to give a battle cry when I'm so busy most days that my seven minutes of reading takes place in the bathroom. But is that the ultimate in apathy? Is that the epitome of selfishness? (Not the bathroom part- the "too busy" part...)

And then I start to actually feel guilty. Guilty because when I have an extra fifteen minutes I'd rather be blogging than discussing the inescapable issues that refuse to solve themselves. And I know so little in reality about these issues that even attempting to discuss them seems disingenuous. Blogging doesn't really seem to have an adverse effect on my life or anyone else's and you could certainly argue that the sense of community is kind of nice. So I guess maybe, part of it is I'm wondering: is doing no harm (but no specific good either) and having an awareness of these problems, better, worse or neutral in comparison with doing nothing at all? Or more succinctly: just how bad of a person am I if I don't really want to talk about the war/the presidential campaign/famine/natural disasters/strife/economic turmoil/etc., etc., etc.?

Is it enough that I'm concerned or is that not sufficient? Where's the measuring stick for me to gauge where I fall on the scale of self-involved, insulated, asshole? Any thoughts? Part of me believes that bloggers, like entertainers, allow people to escape their own lives for a few minutes to immerse themselves in another world or mindset. And that alone is of some value in times of difficulty. But I'm no Bob Hope on tour with the USO. I'm just Salty.

I need to think about this.