Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The first fruit of discipline is exhaustion. Which is why I always seem so well rested.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

When my friends are brave, it makes me want to be brave, too.
Good thing nobody is jumping off a bridge.
The latest act of courage to inspire me: http://postcardscalder.blogspot.com/

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Here’s a clue someone knows how to party: A bottle opener tied to the cooler.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

I’ve decided to spare you the details of my day, which included learning first hand about the nauseating effects of green tea.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Twice this week I heard a radio talk show host say, “It’s immoral.”
It struck me as odd because I didn’t know what he meant.
I couldn’t figure out if he was trying to stress a point or if he was truly expressing his opinion.
One time he was talking about the money people spend on their pets and the other time it was about a proposed hike of the cigarette tax.
It got me thinking about relativism.
Individually, we govern our lives by what we think is right or wrong. But as a society, what common moral ground do we share?

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

In another episode of juvenile delinquency, today I witnessed a girl lie to her father.
She couldn’t have been older than 12.
She and six of her friends were in the park when I heard her speaking loudly into her cell phone.
“No. Dad. We’re at the movies. You looked up the time? No. Dad. It’s wrong. The movie starts at 2:30 not 3:30. Do you want to talk to the man who works here?”
She put the phone to her chest, took a few steps, and then in a deeper voice said, “Hello. Umm. Did you want to know what time the movie starts?”
After a few seconds, one of her friends pretended to be her and asked for the phone back.
I was tempted to swipe the phone from her hand and blurt the truth into the receiver or in a voice loud enough for him to hear me, say, “Young lady, are you lying to your father?”
But I bit my tongue and walked away figuring if he bought her male impersonation, she had earned her two hours of freedom.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

One side of a cell phone conversation overheard tonight at a Los Gatos bookstore.
“That’s why I tell you trust no one. They can extract all your energy and just take advantage of you.”
“Well, I knew this would happen.”
The middle-aged woman speaking began muttering something about life insurance policies, irrevocable beneficiaries and estate executives.
“Just be careful. Protect yourself. Don’t be a slave to him. Remember what happened to Amy.”
And just when I thought the conversation was dying down.
“Well if you get a snip of her hair you should have it analyzed to make sure it isn’t foul play.”

As if that wasn’t ridiculous enough.
I went to the store’s restroom only to discover two teenage girls sharing the handicap stall.
The door was closed, but I could see they were both standing near the baby change table.
One at a time they would bend down and I could hear what sounded like deep breathing through the nose.
I left and looked around the store for an authority figure who might be interested in my observations.
I found none and realized I would have to take matters into my own hands.
I spotted the girls leaving the bathroom, noses red and sniffling. I followed them to the café and then out the store, to the parking lot.
Not knowing the proper protocol for confronting suspected teenage druggees, I very politely said this:
“Girls. Hi. Sorry to bother you. I was just in the bathroom, and I really hope and pray I’m wrong, but it looked like you were doing drugs.”
Both shook their heads emphatically and said no. One said she just got out of rehab and was clean.
“Good. That’s good. It’s just that you both are so young and beautiful. It would be a terrible waste, and I’m sure your parents would be very disappointed.”
And then I let them continue on their way, probably both high as kites.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

“So what do you think of Lindsay Loman?” my mom asked.
“You mean Lindsay Lohan,” I said, surprised by the question.
“Huh?”
“Her name is Lindsay Lohan.”
“What is it?”

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Three things:

1. My 7-year-old goddaughter bestowed me with the grand and rare honor of naming her new stuffed cat after me. I might as well have won an Oscar. And I can’t wait to find out what sort of bad behavior my namesake also adopts.
2. This article blames blogs for an increase in narcissism, but I think it’s the other way around. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19837002/wid/11915773?GT1=10212
3. Regarding struggle, my dear friend says, “Try. Try. But also let go.”

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Dinner is the dreaded meal at my house.
It requires a combination of organization and creativity that eludes me.
Don’t get me wrong. I like food. I even like the Food Network, but when it comes to putting an actual meal on the table there are just too many steps involved.
Meal planning, grocery shopping, food prepping. It all seems far too time consuming. Unlike my sister, who loves to spend a full day in the kitchen, I just don’t see it being all that fun.
My lackluster attitude toward dinner has made me the recipient of many, many cookbooks, and I’m currently in possession of a gift certificate to one of those new meal assembly bars where you can prepare 12 dinners in two hours.
But since I have yet to go, the question of “What’s for dinner?” was still on the table tonight.
My husband suggested we close our eyes, tilt back our heads, open our mouths and hope God would feed us from heaven the way birds feed their young.
We ended up having quesadillas instead.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Maybe it’s karma for dising the word artist, but I’m having a terrible time thinking of pretty things to say. And yesterday, I found a spider in my hair.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

The girl I work with told me something amazing this week.
She said when the cast of a movie is beginning to show fatigue, the director often calls a nurse to the set to administer B-12 shots.
She said the vitamin is like pure energy.
Of course, while it is generally viewed as harmless, one website I found warned too much could cause nausea, tingling in the right arm, panic attacks, heart palpitations and cancer cell division.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

My husband misplaced his cell phone tonight. So he used mine to call himself and heard his ringing from his pocket.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tonight, my husband and I watched an investigative piece on odd-shaped buildings.
The special aired on PBS and was at least 10 years old, maybe 20.
It examined, in detail, people’s attraction to unusual architecture.
Featured destinations included the Wigwam Motel, where rooms resemble tepees; a restaurant called The Clam Box, whose building looks like a clam box; and a house shaped like a shoe, where honeymooners could stay for free.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Here’s a word that kind of bothers me: Artist.
Actually, the word itself is somewhat pretty. It’s the way people use it to assign importance that makes me want to wash their mouths out with soap.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

In another round of “Who’s the Least Domestic Woman in the World,” today I learned the drawer below the oven is not just for keeping spare pans but also for the art of cooking referred to as “broiling.”
I was entirely unaware my oven knew that trick, so I held my breath as my husband slid a piece of fish into the drawer. And I was amazed when a few minutes later our dinner was neither raw nor on fire but instead properly cooked.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

I have unintentionally managed to harass the good people of San Jose’s 911-dispatch center three times in less than four days.
First, on Thursday night, my husband and I spied a suspicious vehicle in my parents’ neighborhood.
It was the second time we spotted this particular car and both times the driver — a skinny, white, teenage-looking boy — appeared to be getting high. Thursday, he had three friends in the car with him.
Regarding this kid, calling 911 was definitely my second choice, as I would have much preferred calling his parents directly. That option was unavailable to me, so I reported him to the police instead.
I was quickly transferred to 311, the non-emergency line, and I gave my complaint to the female dispatcher.
“What makes you think they are getting high?” she questioned.
“Well, the driver has his head down, bent over something and the rest of the guys look zoned out,” I replied.
I gave my name and number and called it a night.
The next day, I had no intention of calling 911 but accidentally did while trying to call my mom.
This may seem impossible but isn’t because I have the local 911 number programmed into my cell phone as to avoid being routed through the CHP dispatch center in Vallejo.
I don’t want to waste time with having my call transferred should I ever face a real emergency.
As soon as I realized my phone was dialing 911, I hung up only to receive a return call a second later.
“This is 911. We just received a hang up call. What’s going on?”
“I’m so sorry. I just misdialed. I have your number programmed in my phone.”
She understood, and I hung up the phone relieved and hoping not to call 911 for quite some time.
But then, at about 4:40 a.m. today, my husband and I were startled awake by what sounded like violent banging on our back door.
I jumped to my feet, but my husband pulled me back to the bed. He got up and bravely headed toward the kitchen to investigate.
Knowing for sure that someone was trying to break in and not wanting to waste time or further endanger our lives, I called 911 and began giving the dispatcher our address.
Just as she confirmed the information, my husband returned from the kitchen and reported his findings.
“What?” I asked him in a whisper. “I’m so sorry,” I said to the dispatcher. “My husband is telling me that no one is here, and that the noise we heard was just a picture falling from the wall in another room. I am so sorry to have bothered you. No. We don’t need the police.”
Later today, as I stared at the blank wall where the large, framed print used to hang, I marveled at the fact that it woke both of us up.
“Isn’t that funny?” my husband said. “What a piece of crap nail.”

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

As soon as we got into the car, my husband pulled a handful of mini Lindt chocolates from his pocket and asked if I’d like one.
“You stole chocolates from my parents’ house?” I asked.
“I didn’t steal. It’s not stealing if they have us over for dinner,” he explained as he dug around for more.
“Oh. Well, yes, I would like one.”
And, in fact, I ate two.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

My husband’s new favorite word is emoticon. Maybe I’m the only one, but I honestly hadn’t realized there was a name for the kooky way we express emotion through keyboard characters.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sixty-five years ago, her brother named her after a nursery rhyme. At her funeral, he promised to take her secrets to his grave.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

In less than 2 months, three of my family’s friends have died. It makes me sad and scared because life is short, short, short, and I always procrastinate on of the important stuff.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A 3 ½ -year-old boy walked up to me and then kicked me in the shin today.
As punishment, his mother made him stand in a corner and stare at the wall until he was ready to apologize.
It didn’t take long for him to change his mind about the whole thing.
At which point, he gave me a hug, and I gave him forgiveness (but I really wasn’t mad to begin with).

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Monday, July 9, 2007

Before today, I thought it was a case of Terrible Disorganization. But, no, something far more sinister is at work in our local bookstores.
With no hope of locating Haven Kimmel’s memoir, “She Got Up Off the Couch,” I asked a young sales associate for assistance.
She directed me to the fiction section, so I politely repeated, “It’s a memoir.”
But she held her ground, and I sighed on the inside, saddened that the youth of America — even the ones working at bookstores — do not know the difference between made-up stories and truth telling.
Sadder still, the book was exactly where she said it would be.
As she rang me up, she gently explained most of the memoirs are now kept with the fiction on account of the Oprah fiasco involving James Frey, author of “A Million Little Pieces.”

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Sunday, July 8, 2007

“You Are Pretty,” the 4-year-old girl declared to her 5-year-old sister.

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I find it ironic that the allure of 7-7-07 as an anniversary date compelled a record number of brides and grooms to tie the knot Saturday. As a result, wedding couples spent their day running into each other at all the best churches, hotels and scenic spots for photos. Really, how lucky is that?

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Friday, July 6, 2007

I spent my mid-week holiday sipping adult beverages at a pool party where incredibly svelte bodies belonging to both men and women surrounded me.
I wish I had some high-ranking government nutritionist with me, because these beautiful people were all the evidence any expert would need to debunk those nasty rumors about America’s obesity problem.
Which is why, as I contemplated their gorgeousness, it became painfully obvious I have forgotten to workout for the last nine years.

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Thursday, July 5, 2007

After describing a deranged series of dreams, which last night included:
1. The wedding announcement of a high school friend I have not spoken to in more than a year.
2. My daring escape from a shootout while protecting another friend, who really is in a vulnerable place right now.
3. The sinking of a tiny boat that I traveled in alone.
My brother’s friend asked, “Do you have a lot on your mind?”
“Probably, but I try not to think about it,” I replied.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2007

I’m an American, and I’ve never lived anywhere else. Yet sometimes I feel like an outsider observing odd cultural rituals that make absolutely no sense to me.
Today, in celebration of our Great Independence, a 23-year-old man named Joey Chestnut became the World’s Fastest Eater.
He did this by consuming 66 hot dogs with buns in 12 minutes – one every 10.9 seconds – at the annual Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island.
Since Chestnut hails from my hometown and even attends my alma mater, I would like to say I feel proud. But really, my sentiment is one of bewildered astonishment.
To further my deep confusion, this is what Wayne Norbitz, the president and COO of Nathan’s Famous, had to say about the contest, according to the company’s website: “(It) has become a highlight of America’s greatest patriotic holiday. It epitomizes the spirit associated with summer each year.”

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Longs Drug Store that I happened to be walking through this evening is featuring a standalone display of Jelly Belly jellybeans on its “feminine needs” aisle. It struck me as strange. If they are going to advertise candy there, it really should be chocolate.

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Monday, July 2, 2007

I once had an editor who, while quoting some great, unnamed mind, said, “Writing is easy. Thinking is hard.” And in six tiny words, I felt truth had been spoken.

Of course, this was the same man who told me, “Human beings are a plague.” A point of view I’m not quite ready to adopt as my own.

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Sunday, July 1, 2007

The 20-something cashier at Trader Joe’s carded me for a five-buck bottle of wine tonight. Being that I’ve only been carded a handful of times in the last nine years, I had to wonder if it was my youthful appearance or my price range that made her ask for my ID.

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