Thursday, April 25, 2013

It Has a Nice Ring to It



Do you all remember how much I love jewelry?  Good.  I knew you would.  Particularly, I love gem stones.  When buying jewelry, you must always remember that the gem stone is practically free compared to metal it is set in.  So, I’m doing a post on metal to educate and fascinate all you jewelry lovers out there

Yellow gold has sort of fallen out of popularity.  It has been years since a bride-to-be showed me her hand and there was anything yellow on it.  I don’t know why.  Do you know what romances me?  Functionality.  Do you know what gold can do?  Gold is a supremely good conductor of electricity.  The reason we use copper in our wiring is because copper is cheap.  It’ll turn your finger green because it’s not bio compatible.  But gold doesn’t necessarily make good jewelry because it’s the most ductile of all metals.  One ounce of gold can be mechanically stretched into a 300 square foot sheet.  Talk about flexible.  It’s also heat resistant and rockets sent into space are coated in gold and if they weren’t, the astronauts would fry.  Gold is used in a lot more things too, but I’ve gotta truck along.

Platinum is harder than gold so it provides a more secure setting for precious stones.  It is bio compatible.  It’s considered greyish white.  I’ve got to admit, I was considerably less romanced after I read its applications.  It doesn’t do anything fun, but it is super elite.  Wealthy jewelry owners all over the world adore this stuff.

Titanium is super hard for its weight and it is very resistant to corrosion.  Thus 65% of all titanium sold is used in making space crafts and air crafts.  Other than that, they alloy it with other metals like steel to make them harder.  Doesn’t that just make your heart soar?  Okay, I’m cheesy.  I have a titanium ring that I wear almost all the time.  It is extraordinarily comfortable, but it’s not very shiny (it’s silver coloured).

Tungsten means heavy stone.   It is super dense (much more dense than lead).  And if you have to have your ring cut off, the other metals I listed can be cut off (even titanium), tungsten has to be shattered.  It’s hard, but brittle.  And yeah, it’s heavy, but when they polish it (it’s silver coloured) and very very pretty.  They use tungsten for the tips of armour piercing ammunition.  Ahhh!  He shot my heart. 

Lastly, let’s talk silver.  Silver is soft.  It tarnishes.  And many an old woman’s jewelry stash has rotted away because silver really doesn’t live for the long haul.  The most interesting application I could find for silver was in the construction of musical instruments – particularly flutes.  My heart sings.

Rats!  I only got to do five metals.  And I missed trashing on copper.  Well, maybe another time.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Pick Two Out of Three


Ever have a meltdown day?  I know all the girls in the audience are raising their hands.  Today was a meltdown, breakdown, simmer down, kind of day.  And I realized something important about myself.  I can only have two out of three.

I can’t have a sparkling house, well behaved children and look like a goddess all at the same time.  Okay, I know, I always look like a goddess.  The difference is whether or not I’m a goddess with eyeliner and smooth hair or a goddess with crumpled hair and sweat pants.  Usually when I’m at home I let myself look a little on the rumpled side.  What?  No one is around and sheesh … what are you looking at?  I look fine.  The problem is I do not look fine enough to be photographed.  When I do get my yearly shot taken, it’s at a studio where I can easily sacrifice my housekeeping because the picture isn’t being taken there.  See the tradeoff?  So, for that occasion I have well behaved kids, I look great, and my living room looks like it was visited by the angel of destruction.  I do this every Sunday for church.  Anyone want to know why I don’t invite people over for dinner on Sunday?  Now you do.

Then, when I have a party at my house, I sacrifice the good behavior of my children.  I can’t possibly organize everything I have to for a successful event without letting my kids run a little wild.  And don’t forget rule number one (I bet you didn’t even know there was a rule number one).  When someone calls and says they’re coming over to your house with very little notice and your first inclination is to tear around your house cleaning like a maniac – refrain – go clean up yourself first.  You’re the first thing they see when they come into your house.  

But today, I needed to have all three even if it was just for an hour.  It nearly broke me and I had to cancel my big plans because it’s totally impossible.  There was screaming in my house like the apes in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Luckily, no one started murdering the pig/elephants with sharp bones.  And me?  Sheesh, I looked like one of the pig/elephants.  And yeah, the house wasn’t particularly tidy.  I have people who like to touch windows and crunch crackers over the living room rug.

So, now I’m back at base trying to recover my losses and revise my battle plan.  Can I make myself pretty the night before?  And sleep on my hair?  Are you barking mad?  Can I clean my house the night before?  That seems a little more probable, but do you remember the angel of destruction that I mentioned earlier?  Well, there’s more than one and they’re invariably connected to my children and their behavior.  They get up early.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Men Aren't Cute


 
Did you know that men aren’t cute?  I mean, I’m a woman, and I always thought men were nice to look at.  Did you know they’re not?  Well, at least not like women.  A woman must be the most gorgeous thing on the planet – bar none.  Wanna know why?

Over the past couple years, I’ve been on the lookout for artists that make great pictures of men.  It’s a professional pursuit because I want to make beautiful book covers (both for myself and people I like).  I can’t find anyone who makes nice illustrations of men.  Even the photography leaves a great deal to be desired.  Does no artist on the planet look at a man and think of a pose that would make women swoon?  Well, they do, but they inadvertently get him to take his shirt off and flex all eighteen of his abs and then cut half his face out of the shot.  I guess there’s nothing to muse about unless it’s basically a strip tease.

Seriously, I can find thousands of pages of fun illustrations of girls with shopping bags, playing at their laptop, petting their cat, chatting on the phone, doing their nails, and driving their Barbie car, but the pictures of men hurt my feelings.  All the man illustrations are of a guy with no eyes, nose, or mouth.  He has a chin and a hairline and a tie that is a little black triangle for the knot and a black upside down kite for the tail.  He’s toting a brief case and standing in front of a chart that shows the profits rising. 

Doesn’t anyone think that a picture of a man could be romantic?  We could have a picture of a man holding a rose in the rain with his hair falling in a curl between his eyes.  We could have a picture of a guy with a flirty expression on his face leaning against a wall.  We could have a guy carrying a nondescript girl in his arms.  There’s none of that. 

If any of you are artists out there, I’m telling you, there is a major hole in the market here that you could sink your teeth into and make a fortune.  Even if you just found a hot guy and took a million pictures of him and then posted them to a stock photography site – you’d probably be rolling in the bucks.  Or if you have a talent for graphic design, make a few pics of an attractive man (think of how they make the male ponies look in My Little Pony), make him six different colours and you’ll be raking it in in no time.

As things stand there are a zillion pictures to choose from of women, so guess what all my upcoming covers (not that they will be coming out soon) are going to be of?  That’s right.  Women.   

Thursday, April 4, 2013

If I were an Actress


When I was a young warthog … I mean a younger warthog, I wanted to be an actress.  What?  I have a dramatic personality and an incredibly loud speaking voice and I used to be invited to have a role in the school play rather than audition for it.  The last play I was in was when I was in grade twelve and after that experience I decided to forgo the pleasure of acting for the rest of my life.  Don’t get me wrong, nothing notably wretched happened during it, but I realized something about myself … I get too into things.  You could argue that with a little bit of practice I could attain balance in my life, but the truth is – I am not remotely sorry to give up the stage.  I really like writing much better.

But writing is very much like acting in many ways.  In order to make a variety of convincing, diverse characters a certain amount of pretending is essential.  So, the other day I was brainstorming what kind of a character I would like to play … if I were ever to act again. 

Main female lead?  I’d rather blow my brains out.  Though I don’t mind doing it within the pages of a book – the idea of reliving every embarrassing, degrading, foolish trap the main protagonist must endure gives me heartburn.  I’m a person who is happy to have my love life/professional life/personal life in check.  When I write out awkward entanglements, it is with the greatest love for the audience.  I’m either thinking, “Please, learn from this!”  Or, “Please be entertained by this!”

The mother?  What?  People my age are still taking roles as teenagers.  As a side note: that’s right you little teenagers.  Every movie that is geared towards you is written (and possibly performed) by someone ten to twenty years older than you (maybe more).  The author is just pretending to be hip.  They’re probably old enough to be your daddy.  Don’t let them brainwash you.  It would be far better to be brainwashed by your actual parents.  Think about it!

The quietly amused spectator?  This is the role for me.  Have any of you heard of this character before?  They’re usually slightly older or younger than the main characters and they exist only to be impressed and amused by the antics of the protagonists.  As we watch them enjoying the situation, we (the audience) tend to reflect that enthusiasm.  When they have fun, we have fun. In my opinion, it makes that character extremely likable. 

But, like I said before, I don’t really want to act.  I just have to do something to busy my brain while I wait for May and the spring planting season.  Next month I won’t be able to think about anything except my rose garden and my blackberry bushes.