Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Right Gift

There is a saying that a true gift is giving someone what they need, not necessarily what they want.

I have been experiencing the fatigue of frustration lately, especially when it comes to the global situation and the pervasive "let's wait and see if the world can fix itself" attitude.

The other day HQ announced: "I got you something."

Curious, I waited. She presented me with a journal. A journal of the self-contemplation variety made popular by the current recession. HQ obviously knows that I have a (quote) mild (unquote) obsession with writing journals. My favorites are simple, I prefer understated black or brown leather journals. In an emergency, a spiral bound notebook will do. Unfortunately, this one is sporting a garishly bright orange cover with an unfriendly font that begins with "In my humble opinion". A strange gift considering neither one of us is particularly fond of novelty items.

Available at this original company

"You got me a fugly journal?" I asked ungratefully.
HQ looked at me with that smile that states I know you are going to love it. "Never judge a book by its cover," she quipped.
I flipped through it, then slowed down to chuckle and laugh; on the left pages are quotes, since I collect quotes, some of my favorites are among them:

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity,
and I'm not sure about the former.
Albert Einstein

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
Douglas Adams

Many people would sooner die than think.
In fact, they do.
Bertrand Russell

The world is a stage,
but the play is badly cast.
Oscar Wilde

Such is the human race. 
Often it does seem such a pity that Noah...didn't miss the boat.
Mark Twain

On the right hand side are lined pages to write down my thoughts and opinions about what humanity, in my not so humble opinion is doing wrong, prompted by some of our most intellectual thinkers and writers.

An entire journal, devoted to the singular purpose of therapeutic venting about the stupidity of mankind, the people that annoy me, how we are driving ourselves into extinction and make each other more miserable than we have to.



  1. That is an incredibly thoughtful gift.

  2. It sounds like fun, and thought provoking at the same time. I love the idea. If you've never seen it before, you might also want to check out, "Wreck This Journal". It's one of those things that I would like to get but haven't purchased for myself. I did recently purchase a nice, leather notebook cover...I can put a notepad or sketchbook in one side and it has pockets on the other. Love it.

  3. Oooh, that DOES sound like fun! What a great gift.

    I actually collect quotes, myself. I keep a legal pad on which I jot down all the ones I come across which strike my fancy, taken from famous and/or historical figures. One of my favorites from Oscar Wilde is:

    "I am not young enough to know everything."

  4. @Laoch, yes it is.:)
    Over 100 quotes including Sartre, Byron, Camus etc.
    Too bad the cover is so ghastly.

    @Meg, there is a good mix of hilarious and thought-provoking. The idea is quite clever, the company that makes them has a great sense of humor. That's a good idea; putting a leather cover on it. Where did you get it from?
    I just checked, you could probably make something similar yourself, but then why would you want to wreck it?;)

    @David, yes it is, Tomlin and Sedaris are in it as well.

    Same here. I bought a small journal, that I write my favorite quotes into. Otherwise it's endless hunting for scraps of paper.

    That's a good one:)
    Another Oscar Wilde: "I always take my diary on the train, that way I have something sensational to read."

  5. In my humble opinion it sounds like a good book to hurl at said stupid people. After you have filled it with all your wisdom of course.

    Journals *sigh*... Now I want to go buy more...

  6. Antares, the leather notebook cover is made by a company called Saddleback Leather. Their pieces are pricey, but worth it in my opinion. They have a 100 year guarantee on their products and they donate a portion of each sale to charity.

  7. I like it! It's very convenient to always have something ready to chronicle the stupidity of others. This is a great gift.

  8. What a great gift. And a true surprise at that. HQ has good taste!

  9. It sounds as though HQ gave you an excellent and perfectly timed gift, Ant. I like the orange (for some odd reason I'm going through an orange phase at the moment, including wanting to wear it and eat it - perhaps it's vibration is helpful to us during these strange days?). If you don't mind the orange, but don't like the words on the cover, how about painting over that bit? There's nothing that a few tubes of oil paint and a couple of brushes can't do -esp. when it's you holding both, Ant. C? I've started doing this to books whose contents please (and sometimes thrill) me, but whose covers disappoint. . .
    It's good to see you here, Ant., and over at my place, too. Thanks for continuing to visit. I've been a blog rotter lately but my heart remains in the same place.
    L, C

  10. Oooh, no - I wrote 'it's vibration' with an apostrophe instead of 'its'. Sigh. Sorry!

  11. Your "sardonics" make me smile.

  12. That sounds fantastic! I'd enjoy it for the quotes alone.

  13. What a great gift. When I lived in a certain State where shipping in nuclear waste was of no concern, I would constantly beat my head against the wall. Now I live in a State that is on the forefront of environmental issues and love it. Here they get it and hopefully it will spread to the rest of those other States. :~)

  14. @Sprite, metaphorically speaking I hurl my wisdom at people on a regular basis. Keeping this journal though;)

    I know, I know, don't look at this company's site (they made your Vs. journal), don't do it...Sprite?

    @Meg, thank you, couldn't find book covers on their site, I'll have another look.
    For a moment I thought they've got another 100 yr guarantee on my life, would be nice.:)

    @Vinny, thought so too. Clever idea. Been reading the quotes and suddenly experiencing writer's block.

    @Barb, it was thoughtful and just what I needed. Small random things make ones day, don't they? Hope you're having a good time with your grandchildren. (I'll be over)

  15. @Claire, yes, timely. Those around me get to hear about my annoyance with the lack of any activity toward prevention. BTW, did you have a chance to see the penguin video? "Occupy Antarctica" post, those Adelies are up to no good.:)
    Maybe, just never liked the color. Interesting how we respond differently. The more somber my palette the more content I am.

    Thought about painting it, but it's a plasticized cover, not sure if paint would adhere without gesso. I've altered old linen covered ones, but not plastic. Tried once and the paint chipped off.

  16. Huh? ... sorry, I got distracted..

  17. @Claire, good to see you here too.
    You mean we have real lives outside of blogging? ;)
    Seriously, I understand. About the spelling mishaps too. Those don't happen when I write longhand. Interesting.

    @dbs, good. Smiling=*clap*
    Was it a sardonic smile of the times?

    @Al, that's as far as I've gotten. The lined pages even have checkboxes for thumbs up, thumbs down or the finger. (My kind of humor).

    "I personally think we developed language because of our deep inner need to complain."(Lily Tomlin)

    @Nubian, I know exactly how you felt. Scientists aren't being heard, letters and reports are ignored. What is not to get? It's our future....Aaaargh.

  18. @Sprite, *whispers* what did you buy?

  19. Perfect! And a blog is good for venting, too! Those, quotes, though--they kind of make one want to go to the book for some serious venting. Have fun with it. ;)

  20. Ha! That thing looks awesome -- I would kill for one! (kill one of the many stupid people that journal helps to vent about)

  21. (Mumbles, digs toe in carpet for being absent so long...) There is a quote from Flannery O'Connor, something to the effect, "...for the deaf we shout and for the blind we paint large and startling pictures" and of course she was referring to those who choose not to see or hear. To me, the book's cover seems like a shield to hold against willing ignorance. It would not do to be quiet. A fine, insightful gift.

  22. Do you have a copy of said "collection of quotes" mentioned in blog?

    If so, I'd be interested.

  23. Just got a note...Saddleback is in the process of revamping their website. Look under business accessories. Notepad holder. When I purchased mine, they only had one size available. Soon they will have 3 sizes. :)

  24. @Jayne, I did not want to use the blog for venting, but I think I am about to.
    Thank you, so far the quotes are keeping me entertained.:)

    @DocCyn, it'll be cheaper and less time-consuming to buy one, instead of taking personal measures against overpopulation.
    Just sayin'

    @Marylinn, no apologies required, although always appreciated. I completely understand, look forward to catching up and wrangling time into submission.
    Thank you for the quote, quite true. The cover is rather "loud". "A shield against willing ignorance", well put, if only it actually worked.

    @Mr. Schafner, hello and thank you for joining.
    Unfortunately no, I write quotes into a small notebook as I come across them.

    @Meg, thank you. Always looking for new sources, I'll check back on their site. Might be the perfect solution for some of my handmade journals.

  25. Thank you for answering my question.

    However, this marks a sad, sad day :(

  26. I am very very jealous of your bright orange journal. Some of those quotes happen to be in my top quotes also. I need a journal like that. Maybe then, I could write my, observations on humanity down rather than mumbling to myself and having everyone think I'm insane.

    ** I hope you have also noted your feelings on people who carry and write in obnoxious brightly colored journals while snickering at the rest of would have been my very first entry **

  27. You know me too well... but I actually didn't buy anything..... this time.
    I DID put it in my Favourites though.. you know.. for later...

    LOL@ Nari!

  28. @Schafner, sorry it didn't help, but you could try Bartlett's Book of Quotations if you're interested in starting your own.

    @Nari, you should get one, it's very therapeutic.
    But talking to yourself makes for great conversation.

    LOL. I suspect that the persons one is writing about would never use such a journal, therefore the journal is an easy identifier for people who do not need to be complained about. Ha!

    @Sprite, suuuuure, sure, whom are you trying to convince?;)

    Yes, I agree, Nari-Mantis is funny.

  29. Oh, by the way..... I come with lotion and mink gloves.
    Just sayin.....

  30. @Al, I don't know what you're talking about.


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