Monday, December 31, 2007

the thing about inspiration

The problem with writing is that you really can't force yourself to do it. Well, I guess you can, it's just that it turns out being meshes of words and strings that make little poetry or hardly evoke those deeper cells of your heart, if you're forcing.
I've wanted to write many times over the past couple of weeks and months. One day I'm walking downtown Placerville after a 45 minute catch-up session with TIME Magazine and Entertainment Weekly, and suddenly I have this spectacular blog spinning a web of thoughts inside my head. Word combinations like "lately I've been having really Big Thoughts" or "Beatty's are evolving into a band of history-making artistic trailblazers", these and more, and me trucking with my white breath through the streets of downtown Placerville.
The problem, again, is that when the time comes to write you just can't force it. When the computer seat is finally vacant for you, and the house has silenced just enough for you to think - you can't really save inspiration for the right time. You sort of need to act on it immediately (IE whip out the journal and jot down that quote you just thought of, take a picture of that scenery you are staring at, press on the video mode and capture the whole string of things in front of you). It happens all too quickly, and you can't save your inspired moments for later when writing or capturing or realizing is "more convenient." This is how the whole of learning has gone for me, always. None of us plan how we are going to learn, it has to happen naturally and we are the receivers, allowing our minds and bodies to adapt and change accordingly.

"Hmm, what do I want to learn today?" or "what memories will I create today?"

We're all a sort of refined memory-making machines. And you know what, I have it down to a science. I think I understand that we aren't in charge of actually creating moments that happen, but (more importantly) we are in total control over how those moments come to be. We're human beings, with complex capabilities for achievement far beyond most creatures, we independently are capable of manipulating our environments however we please to breath life into a particular order of events. In other words, we may not be able to control randomness in nature, but we definitely have control over all those other factors that lead up to nature's Final Say.

You wake up one morning and say to yourself, "what do I want to experience today?" Can you force that experience to come? Not if nature has the final say. Instead you manipulate everyting else, all aspects of your experience so that nature will provide an experience however it chooses, accordingly. But it's up to you to take the initiatve. Whether to go on an adventure, to plan a big-booty party, to buy christmas presents, to plan a camping trip, to drive yourself to Los Angeles, to audition, to play music, to say hello to a stranger, to write, to photograph, to capture, to observe, to think, to love everything independently; if you take that initiative, then Nature will dictate something beautiful, outside your head and into reality. You can't force inspiration, but you control all other aspects that lead to it, so that when the moment comes and nature's had her Final Say, you sit in front of your computer with hundreds of heavy witty fancy dirty funny junky christmasy new yorky travely penguiny friendly family-loving child-hugging rapping singing baby-kissing food-tasting vomit-heaving late-sleeping snowboarding car-freezing wiper-smearing brother-laughing cat-cuddly rain-strolling sister-crying phone-talking late-night movie-editing peaceful-sleepy marriage-loving motherly heavenly terrible wonderful hot and cold and inbetween thoughts in your head.. you will have so many places to go to begin writing that maybe you never even really can get started.

Well that's it for now. Maybe next time I'll write something inspired. ;-) seeya.

Friday, December 28, 2007

christmas highlights: 2007


jarom woke everyone up at 8:00 on the dot, including his cranky little sister bella, who soon cheered up upon realizing it was christmas morning and things were about to get crazy. joey, dad, and mikie arrived rather promptly, luckily for the kids, and mom, darin, amy, matt, orion and i were up in our jammers waiting around for the festivities to begin.

and with much hoopla, the festivities began.

stockings were overflowing with goodies. jarom got delighted with each little thing he pulled out; bella too, showing me things like natural toothpaste with giant happy grins. i got double duty stockings; one from darin too with my new favorite book of poetry, Pablo Neruda's 100 Love Sonnets. Equally exciting was my new favorite cd from Santa/mom called "a fine frenzy."

what were your favorite stocking stuffers this year?

then mikie played santa as we dug into the massive pile of presents. what fun! one after the other, piles of paper, piles of loot growing. toys and books and polaroid film and clothes and gloves and cds and movies. high school musical, magic moustaches, lakota calendars, edible plant books, cozy knee socks, little mermaid dolls, xylophones, tambourines, art pencils, notebooks for writing down all enchanted ideas and songs and snippets of thoughts. digital recorder for story plots and interviews. gold rush history. teething rings. oh everything, everything, everything you could imagine on this jolly christmas morning.

my favorite thing is to watch people open the presents i give them and see if they like them.

for example, i was proud and a little nervous about how much joey liked the "el diablo" flask i gave him. for dad's sake i almost waited until his 21st birthday, but let me just say i TRUST joey and others i love to make decent decisions and have fun and be alive but also to be careful with the most delicious gift of all: LIFE!

the big moment was the DS opening. jarom's classic reaction: extremely excited, but strangely beautifully calm about it, trying to convince his dad that he was the one who wanted it so badly. and then that moment, when matt says, "are you excited jarom?" "yeah! i'm so excited!" "what do you say?" and that big grateful loving look at mikie as he exclaims "THANK YOU MIKIE!" right into the camera, as we all burst into laughter, and nana and papa don't mind not getting the credit cause they so appreciate that reaction.

next up: mom makes monkey bread, getting dressed in our christmas clothes, addie and art arrive with shrimp and white wine (jk, i just can't say the word shrimp without accompanying it with white wine), matt and amy and kids go to the smiths', the rest of us hog on monkey bread, dad picks up the chaotic mess of trash, we open a few gifts with addie and artie, the boys do wolf tattoos, darin goes to work, mom and dad leave to cook at his house, addie and i play lazer tag with the cats, mikie and art make mulled wine, and we start cooking.

potluck dinner! everyone's back together. the spread includes but is not limited to: chile relleno casserole, cheesy potatoes, curried tofu and veggies, huge pot of brown rice, fruity jello, green salad, rolls, veggies and dip, sweet potatoes, what am i forgetting? anyway, good good stuff and we sit at tv trays in the living room and pig out and all is well.

more present opening occurred at some point but i can't remember if it was before or after dinner. addie and art and the rest of us exchange our gifts. jarom officially gets his ant farm which he opened earlier but made a point of telling a "secret" to addie "i didn't open any of your presents yet."

i will take this moment in this extremely long blog to say that i cannot say enough how much i appreciate the thought and care and love that my family puts into christmas. no matter how much i say i want to "consume" less, i do truly appreciate the love put into our gift giving. addie, my turquoise ring is my favorite piece of jewelry ever. amy, our scrapbook has quickly become one of my most treasured belongings that i plan to put more and more love into. mom and dad, it was so fun to get my globe the next day! after the giant surprise of our gorgeous new silverware collection!!!! i seriously cannot believe how much you got me and i would never try to deny how much enjoyment i will get out of all of it.

just to finish up my memories of the day. so, stan shows up and gets a couple presents and later we play scattergories which, as we all know, was addictively outrageously fun and one of our best christmas memories, i think. artie and addie couldn't stop until like 2 in the morning even though art had to work at, what? 7 am?! it is too bad darin had to go to work, but at least he got a few heated rounds in. amy and matt wow me with their game playing skills, and mikie, you did real good until the end!!!!

last christmas memory, and a lasting one for mikie i'm sure, is mikie palely heading into the bathroom to vomit up his whole christmas dinner, whoopsie-daisy. luckily, watching the chipmunk adventure the next day curled up in a blanket seems to have cured him!

so i went to bed in my soft old-fashioned new flannel nightgown and slept wrapped in the cozy most precious heart-overflowing warmth and safety of the endless love of my family. christmas couldn't have been any more wonderful and i am so grateful to be here in the midst of this amazing family, and i thank you all once again for being so kind and fun and thoughtful and adventurous and creative and dreamy and talkative and inspiring and full of love and goodness.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

december daydreaming

mikie's in new york right now.

i am just taking a minute out of my studies to picture him there: a bustling, energetic, dapper little gent in a bustling, energetic, dapper BIG APPLE. it is vicariously fun for me, here in slow, rainy, quiet placerville today writing research papers, to imagine this. as i'm sure it is for all of us. when joey was on his road trip, i had to take time throughout the day to just picture it, vividly, where he was. missississippi's deep green swamplands, the ancient burlesque charm of the french quarter, the drive through wild prairie lands...there is so much beauty in our country and we are lucky to move freely through it, wild as the wind!

mikie, if you get a chance to check this, you are living your freewheelin' dreams. i know we're not supposed to say "i'm proud of you," so i will word it differently. i am excited for you, for the experiences you're having, and for people who get to meet you. it is exhilerating to see LIFE happening for people and connections being made and learning going on. we all know the stuff that is REAL LIFE. and i am proud to be a sister and daughter in this amazing family in which we are all fully engaged and alive on this earth, ready for adventures and full of imagination.

just like the great romantic poets. which reminds me: when are we going to make our BEATTY FAMILY LITERARY/ART MOVEMENT EXTRAORDINAIRE happen? and b. i better get back to work on my paper.

from california to new york island...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Marry ME

Bella just saw a Picture of Jarom and a cousin who just happened to be wearing a fairy dress-up. She got jealous and said Jarom can't marry HER. I want to marry Jarom. Jarom heard this and said "no" - I'm going to marry a guy in CA. I had to ask who it was. I thought it would be Mikie but he said it was Nana. He said Nana hadn't been married in a long time and that when he's bigger than her he was going to marry her.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas spells F L U !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

with bells on

happy december everyone. i always want to make this whole month as cozy and christmassy as possible. here is my placervillian update on december activities:

last weekend mom and i went on the bed and breakfast holiday tour. we got to ramble through the interiors of all these beautiful places and eat treats and even hear a bagpiper.

the combellack house on cedar ravine:

the albert shafsky house on spring street:

this is at the green toad inn in kelsey (beautiful woodsy canyon view):

the coloma country inn:

the weekend before, darin and i had a night out on the town with zack and rebecca...dressed up fancy for the holidays; we went to heyday for a glass of wine.

then mikie, rebecca and i went out for some dance club fun (this is RARE for rebecca) and our guys stayed home watching saturday night live.
mikie and i were both in grass valley with addie and her kitties for a little while. grabby likes to ride on addie's shoulders. he doesn't even jump off. used to my own crazy cats, this amazes me.
i went with dad to his work christmas party last night. he won this gift from the raffle. later we danced and danced with all his young work friends, among whom dad is somewhat of a mascot. (they love him!)

so despite my need to focus on my giant research papers due this week, and two final exams, i have still managed to fit in a little fun. as for today, though, it's writing writing writing all day. anyone have any thoughts on the QUEST FOR FORBIDDEN KNOWLEDGE IN GOTHIC FICTION???

also, a note. if you haven't seen mikie's program yet, go to and click on the "club penguin" option in the list on the right side. he is so adorable!

christmas cheer to all of you, and i can't wait for us all to be together!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

yes Joey, you're one of us too.

Want more Jerk?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

DS savings

Jarom got a few ones from his great Nana, and a five from grandma Cherie and some dough from his grandma. He has decided instead of spending it all at the dollar store and getting a ton of amazingly cool toys or spending it all at Wal-Mart's family fun center, where usually one of them leaves crying because the machine ate their quarter, or there's one that lets you play till you win and sometimes it really doesn't or better yet you do win but for some crazy reason the prize is stuck in the claw. And then you do something really clever and dig for that one last quarter, thinking you are going to beat this thing at its own game just to watch that jammed up claw holding your prize ram itself into the other prizes and that's that - nothing. All of this has happened countless times. You ask why we might let this happen so many times. It's easy, we get just as much crazy good luck as the bad. But we won't get into that now - another time. Anyways back to why I'm writing this blog - Jarom decided to save his money for the highly coveted Nintendo DS. And Matt just showed me something utterly so heartbreaking and sweet at the same time: Jarom's savings. It's in this little cheese box. But let's start at the beginning.

This morning Jarom saw that the junk mail was going to thrown out and decided to snatch it up. Throughout the morning he would show me a envelope and tell me how we need this and isn't it great that he saved it. I would just agree. Then he showed me some fake check thingy and asked how much it was worth. He was so happy when I told him. And then he just ran off. Then tonight Matt had to come and show me. I can't bear to think about it. It makes me cry and smile at the same time. Matt lifts the lid off Jarom's DS savings, and lo and behold there's the check.

the savings box

Big pimpin

Sorry Nana, Heather, Adie, even Mom. I didn't mean to cheat - for I do still hold you near and dear to my heart. I just couldn't help myself - or should I say they couldn't. Me with my red bowtie and rosy cheeks (it helped that it was warm in there). I must say I was the coolest baby at the ward Christmas party - thanks for the suit Heather, it really helped to pick up all the chicks, young and old. They sure know the way to a man's heart - FOOD! This is the aftermath. Little embarrassing that I couldn't stand on my own from all that partying with sweet treats. Thanks dad for givin me a hand. Anyways, I got to hit the bottle and say good night. I gotta sleep this off. Love you all - O

P.S. Nana, you know you're still my # 1 nana.
P.S.S. Adie, you know I love it, your style all playful.
P.S.S.S. Heather, no one two-steps like you and I - it's pure magic.
P.S.S.S.S. Mom, I'll never look at anyone the way I look at you. Which means woman give me my food now.

just couldn't get my footing

me and my crew

Good things happen in December

Now for some new friends I made yesterday:

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

beautiful, beautiful green eyes

Well, now that I, Dan Beatty, know how to post a video to the Beatty blog site (Mikie taught me)thought I'd display one of my favorites. It's of a woman and 3 of her children in an everyday activity. The remarkable thing about this particular video is the beauty of the woman in the video. It's the kind of natural beauty that does not ever fade. Some people have all the luck.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

she bangs, she bangs!

hi guys. for any of you who weren't here for my big event: so after ten or fifteen, maybe more (?) years of the exact same hair, i finally changed it! addie came over last night and cut me some bangs and then when mom got home she cut about five inches off the length! so it's something fresh and new, which is nice. it feels really weird though, you guys have to help me get used to it. tell me what you think.

meanwhile, we got our christmas tree last wednesday and it already has presents under it and mom has been baking in the kitchen and our home is full of merry making most of the time. lots of fun stuff coming up in the next few weeks, as well as full immersion in research projects. let's keep each other posted on christmassy life...i love you all!!!

twins now...

we gave mikie bangs too...and they posed emo while all i could do was laugh...

after my shower...and showing off darin's moustache.

today...after rainy weather...doing my best indie/rockgirl/neko case/catpower impression.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Ginger ginger ginger

Well good evening my loved ones. Matt spent all yesterday grating ginger root, cinnamon sticks whipping thin air into cream. He's gone mad. He baked his homemade ginger and it turned into a master piece. Drum roll . . .

Christmas Lists!

Hey everyone,

Dad suggested this, so I thought we should try it out. This year, obviously nobody wants to blow their wads on Christmas presents. Fortunately, we're Beatty-Springs. Which means, thinking up and creating exciting, practical and useable Christmas presents for eachother should be a piece of applesauce-pumpkin cake. Still, it's pretty difficult to think up good present ideas from scratch, so here's the deal:

Post a comment on this blog with your "Christmas List". Anything, big and small, fat or thin, goes. That way we all have some ideas for making/getting wonderful Beatty presents for eachother.
That said, let's splurge!
we all better put a list up on here, OK? GO!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

dad insists

dad wants me to post this picture.

Just throw this on your list of websites to check obsessively