Sunday, June 26, 2011

It has to get messier before it gets cleaner!

Several months ago, my apartment got to the point where it was simply not possible to put everything away. Even in its cleanest state there would be precarious heaps of books and papers and other stuff on top of every flat-topped piece of furniture. End tables, stereo speakers, chests of drawers, windowsills, and our long row of bookshelves -- it had been some time since we'd seen the top surfaces of any of them. And it wasn't a question of laziness, it was that we didn't have anywhere to put these things away.

I know, I know, #firstworldproblems -- but I'm not complaining. I'm just recounting that this problem has been an item on my to-do list for a while.

So, last week, I bought two new full-height bookshelves and installed them in my bedroom. This has had a huge impact on my ability to excavate my furniture. I'm no interior decorator, but I'm not keen on having my living space buried in stuff. Even the stuff itself is not helpful if you can't find any of it because it's covered in other stuff.

Now we have room for (at most) one more bookshelf in our apartment. Once we get to the point where we buy (and fill) that one, we'll have to move.

One disadvantage to reorganizing the bookshelves (other than the one in the title of this post) is that I keep finding books that I really want to read! It's like a trip to a wonderful bookstore or library where the shelves were stocked by someone with exactly my tastes and interests!

Naturally, I spent the whole morning (and most of the day yesterday) sitting in my bed, reading -- instead of making more progress sorting the remaining piles of junk on my dressers and windowsills. It was doubly dangerous to have set up the new bookshelves within reach of my bed...

Friday, June 17, 2011

What is faith?

It's a surprisingly tricky question!

We were having a discussion about religion at Main Street Plaza (so what else is new?), and I noticed that different people were using very different definitions of the word "faith"!

I've found that a lot of unnecessary confusion and misunderstanding can result from assuming that everyone is using a word to mean the same thing when they're not. So I wrote a new post: What is Faith? to help each person clarify which definition(s) they're using -- with a fun list of twenty statements that may or may not be "faith"!

The answer sets we've gotten so far show a surprising variety in what people would call "faith". Try it yourself -- but be sure to write out your own answers before reading other people's.

I'm not claiming that one set of responses is necessarily right -- I'm just curious to see the range of opinions! :D

See also my earlier post on the definition of faith: It takes a lot of faith to believe that!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"Your opinion is so humble that we can just do whatever we want"

So, apparently, my kids haven't learned Internet-speak yet.

I told them that covering their entire floor with Legos and puzzles so that it is impossible to walk in their room was very silly of them in my humble opinion -- and Nico responded with the above.

In other news, some of the videos (produced by teenagers) on YouTube discuss the comments (i.e. they invite people to comment on various points). My kids like to make videos, and they've been insisting that they want to be able to post videos to YouTube so that other people can comment on them.

We're not allowing them a YouTube account yet, but I'm sure that at some point they'll figure out how to post things to the Internet. For the moment we're trying to come up with a safe and appropriate pacing for easing into it. The step we're at now is: Make up invented names for yourselves, and practice making videos where you only use your invented names and don't mention your real names at all.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Book of Nico!

So, here's the result of our recent adventure:


Nico decided to draw/write this book (without any assistance or prompting).