Friday, October 10, 2014

Type A or Type B

When I was a sophomore in high school, I took a class called Psychology & Sociology.  It felt like very grown-up subject matter, more like a college class than the Math, English, or Social Studies that I had taken in previous grades.  Plus, since it was an elective, there was a mix of sophomores, juniors and seniors.  Grown-up, indeed!

It was in Mrs. Raglin's Psych & Soc class that I first learned about the two personality types, type A and type B.  I don't remember exactly how they were explained, but the gist of it was this:

Type A=motivated, high achiever, organized, sets goals, gets lots of stuff done
Type B=laid back, creative, go-with-the-flow (and maybe kind of lazy?)

We quite likely talked about the link between personality type, stress level, and physical health, but I don't remember any of that.  What I do know is that I came away with an understanding of which one I wanted to be, which one was clearly superior.  I was college-bound, heavily involved in activities, getting good grades...type A all the way.

This is me trying to look the part in a high-powered business suit, circa 1993.

In the past few years, I've realized that I am absolutely NOT a type A person.  I am messy, creative, and reflective.  I am highly disorganized, and though I set lots of goals, I often achieve them in a winding, roundabout way.  When I learned about the two types in high school, I started identifying with the one that seemed like the "good" one, the one that described successful people.  But many years later, I've figured out more about myself and about the world, and I am content with my core personality.  I know I have a lot to offer, even if it doesn't look like I thought it would when I was sixteen.

So, ready to embrace my type B personality, and having read nothing about the two types since the early 1990s, I did a little googling.  You can take a test on the Psychology Today website to find out if you possess the hallmark traits of a type A person, which they describe as "hostility, impatience, difficulty expressing emotions, competitiveness, drive, perfectionism and an unhealthy dependence on external rewards such as wealth, status, or power."

Blech.  Reading that list just reconfirmed my type B-ness.

Then I read the wikipedia entry on the subject.  Whoa!  It turns out that the original research was pretty flawed, and then the tobacco companies dove in and started funding further research to make it look like personality type, rather than smoking, was causing coronary heart disease and cancer.  (I realize that wikipedia is not, like, a scientific journal, but it's enough to get me to re-think my previous ideas.)

I still hear people using the phrase "type A" to describe themselves or others all the time.    I think that for most of us, we are referring to focus, ambition, and competitiveness rather than hostility and impatience.  We often claim it like a badge of honor.  "Oh, I'm totally type A.  I get stuff done."  But it seems that the original purpose of making the distinction was not good vs. bad or high achievers vs. lazy people, but a way to categorize people who have a higher vs. lower risk of heart disease.

I feel like this deserves an entry in Lies My Teacher Told Me, right up there with the horrible Columbus (who was probably a type A in the truest sense of the word).

Monday, October 6, 2014

HOPE outdoor gallery

I've been wanting to check out this Austin graffiti spot for a long time, and I finally went with my sister-in-law Kelly on Friday.
 This was my favorite, obviously.  "Color makes the world.  Go make color."



 There was a ton more to explore on the upper levels, but we were both wearing flip flops.  Wear sturdy shoes if you go!

You can read more about it here.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Eye candy: 5 of 5

I had so much fun yesterday looking back at my pictures of the Cathedral of Junk that I searched for more trash art.

Jane Perkins is awesome.  (Here is her official website.)

Check out Zac Freeman too.  And the Washed Ashore sculptures made from marine debris.

 (Photo taken last year at the Austin Children's Museum.  They've since moved; I wonder if they kept their junk art windows?)

This weekend, I'm hoping to arrange my grandma's old costume jewelry into a beautiful display. Commence inspirational search.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Eye candy: part 4 of 5

At long last, I present a million more pictures from our visit to the Cathedral of Junk when my parents were here in May.
Here's what the front of the house looks like:
It's a bit wild and overgrown, but you'd never guess what's in the back yard.

This is looking up from inside the structure:




Let's play "I spy an '80s artifact".
Rainbow suncatcher.
Millenium Falcon.
 Phone with huge number buttons.
There it is!
My Little Pony.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

The throne surrounded by old crutches is the perfect grandma and baby photo op.

Hooray for the kooks who keep Austin weird!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Eye candy: part 3 of 5

Today's eye candy is a bunch of pink things!  Lately I find that I'm gravitating toward pink, which is unusual for me.  Maybe it's a subconscious reaction to being around all these boys?

I bought this metal wall decor thingie on clearance at JoAnn a couple years ago, and naturally it was in beige, because even though I love color, I somehow always buy beige stuff.  So I finally bought some bright pink spray paint and gave it a makeover.  It turns out spray painting is kind of addictive.
My doormat had long ago lost its vibrant color, so I pinked up the sad black flowers with the same spray paint.
Behind the mystery man in the Napoleon Dynamite "Pedro" wig, you can see a painting I've been working on that has many shades of pink.
Speaking of wigs...pink hair!!!  This was at camp a couple years ago.  I was Black Widow in an Avengers skit that the leaders did, and this was the closest we could get to her maroon hair.  It's not close at all; I know.  I resemble Scarlett Johansson about as much as Smurfette resembles Mystique.
I am powerless against a laminated canvas Fossil zipper pouch with a clearance price tag.  Powerless, I tell you.  In related news, I'm sorting a lot of handbags and, ahem, zipper pouches into the Craigslist pile, so if you are a local friend in need of a new purse, let me know if you want to shop my closet.
I've saved the best for last: my beautiful pink glass dish.  I bought it at an antique store years ago and just recently took it out of storage.  It's a bit risky setting it out with a toddler on the loose, but it's too lovely to sit in a box for another decade.
Have you had enough pink?  Do you feel like you overdosed on Pepto Bismol?  Tomorrow's eye candy will not be so sweet, I promise!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Eye candy: part 2 of 5

I'm having a Charlie Brown moment right now.  First of all, it's August, which is when I start dreaming of Christmas to get my mind off the 100 degree days.  I picked up this book at the library:
It's got interviews and storyboards and all that fun stuff.
"Lights, please..."
If you don't choke up a little when all the jerky kids yell "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!" and then start singing Hark the Herald Angels Sing, well, you might want to check and see if you are actually a robot.
I've been in the market for a juice pitcher for a while, and look what I found at a thrift shop in San Antonio.  It's perfect.
I've had this book since I was about 7 years old.  I love it.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Eye candy: part 1 of 5

The kids went back to school today, and I'm feeling lots of positive vibes and creative energy.  I've got some new ideas that I hope will smooth out the routine here at home, plus several creative projects and home improvements that I'm eager to get started on.

Every day this week, I'm going to post things that are fun, beautiful, or inspiring, starting with a few images from our weekend trip to San Antonio.

I'm a sucker for a colorful mosaic:
 or an adorned building:

 or art glass:
 another mosaic:
 a crazy flower (which I found by googling "crazy purple flower"):
 another mosaic, this one in 3D (at Mi Tierra):
 and fruity, colorful public art:

The start of a new school year is such a great time.  Excuse me while I go crack open a blank notebook and a fresh box of colored pencils...