Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dinner conversation:
“I’ve always wanted to go to a bathroom with attendants,” my brother said.
“There are lots of bathroom attendants in New York,” my mother began to share.
“Mom, those were bums and they were doing meth in the corner. Just because they threw you a towel doesn’t mean they worked there,” my brother interrupted.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

After a brief conversation with her mother, whom I hardly know, I gave my two cents to the unsuspecting Chico State student.
If you insist on majoring in journalism, get a second degree in business, I suggested.
This is solid counsel for anyone who’d like to earn more than $12 an hour as a degreed professional.
Of all the career advice my father gave me, which I in turn ignored, taking one lousy business class wouldn’t have killed me. And if I was in charge of a journalism department, I’d make it a requirement.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

“That’s a bad idea,” my husband said as he read possible blog entries over my shoulder.
“I know. But, babe, here’s what you do. You just write until you write something good.”

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Monday, July 28, 2008

About 30 minutes after a 10-minute conversation with two strangers I realized I had a piece of lettuce in my teeth.
I’d blame it on Monday, but that sort of thing happens to me any day of the week.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Starting your own business is not for the faint of heart.
Either is marriage. Or bungee jumping.
But look how much fun people have bungee jumping.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

I'm getting asked the same question a lot lately.
This is my answer:
"We see it on the horizon, but we're not there yet."

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Friday, July 25, 2008

I’ve never read “Walden” or any book by Henry David Thoreau.
But some of his sentences I’ve wrapped my mind in again and again, as if his words were a blanket:
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; there is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.”

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

I find it exceedingly odd that Circus Vargas popped up its big tent in the parking lot of Oakridge Mall, even more odd than the carnival that mysteriously comes and goes from the same location.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thirty-five years ago today, on July 23, 1973, my parents met on a blind date.
It was my mom’s 29th birthday.
My dad showed up with a gift --- a candle in a leather holder that hangs from the ceiling.
“It was the ’70s,” my mom says. “I don’t think we ever lit it, so we have it some place.”
My mom kept him waiting for half an hour in her parents’ living room while she was out with her girlfriends, celebrating her birthday.
When she got home, my grandmother told her, “fix your hair and he’s really cute.”
Six weeks later he proposed. Exactly 7 months later they married.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I was hoping for the prayer card with the pretty picture of Mary.
Instead I was handed one with an image of Jesus in agony in the garden. “By death we possess Christ,” it said.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

My darling friend is afraid of success.
She thinks it might be a lot of work.
I can relate.
But what if failure is just as hard only a whole lot less rewarding.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

“I wish Apple would have designed this,” my husband said as he read the instructions for the power sprayer needed for a painting project.
The truth is we really are not do-it-yourselfers unless what needs to be done is writing or photography.
And I’m okay with that.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

This morning I wrote a list of things that scare me,
and the whole day seemed less frightful.
Almost like putting it on paper cleared up some mental space.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

She put in my palm the six tiniest purple flowers I’ve ever seen.
Each one barely bigger than a ¼ inch.
Maybe that’s why Jesus asks us to be childlike.
They notice the smallest presence of beauty.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

I never run out of things to be anxious about.
And today there’s something new.
Our 15 ½-year-old twin nieces are now on MySpace.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Apple Store is my new home.
Since the iPhone went on sale Friday, I have visited this Mecca of all things cool seven times.
I bought my phone on the second visit but keep returning in search of the perfect accessories.
Yesterday, the Los Gatos store manager actually remembered me from the day before as the one wearing the pink shirt.
Those who know me know how rare it is for me to be caught up in the frenzy of a technology trend.
I am not what you call an early adopter.
That said, I kind of feel like a junky.
My new habit has me explaining to the Apple geniuses that I work just down the street for fear they will otherwise suspect me as a serial shoplifter.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

For the few people who may read this blog, but not Faith’s or Trisha’s, I will repeat this simple request:
Please pray for Monica Rodriguez and ask for a miracle.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

“Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
~ Matthew 13:9

That’s what I heard at Mass yesterday.
I think it might be Jesus’ version of “no excuses.”
I imagine him thinking, “I’ve told you everything you need to know.”
And what is it we need to know?
What is it our ears ought to have heard?
Is it too simple to say love God and love others as God loves you?
Simple, but not always easy.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

I should never rely on my memory when I’m trying to construct poetry.

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

A conversation between my husband and our 4 ½-year-old bilingual friend:
Him: “Excelente! Michelle, how is my Spanish?”
Her: “Umm. I think you need a little practice.”

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Friday, July 11, 2008

I’m not sure if you noticed, but the world is more beautiful today.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

“Are you done?” our 2 ½-year-old dinner companion politely asked.
“Yes,” I replied, showing her my empty bowl.
“Are you done?” she then questioned my husband.
I tilted his bowl toward her so she could examine it for herself.
Satisfied the guests were finished, she moved on to her parents.
“Mommy, are you done?” she asked while peering into her mother’s dish.
“Daddy, are you done?” she inquired.
“She knows the rules,” her mom explained. “She has to wait until everyone is finished before she can get down or have dessert.”
Sure enough, as soon as her investigation was complete, she made a sweet request for ice cream.
“Don’t you want to wait a minute?” I asked.
“Noooo,” she replied with a huge laugh as if I just said the most ridiculous thing in the world. “I already did that.”

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Stolen from Faith because of its beauty:
“In the end when all is revealed, it is only the lack of trust that you will regret.”

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My husband asked if I wanted to spend the night at his office.
“No. Why would I want to sleep here?” I said, indignant.
“Because it has A/C,” he kindly replied.

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Monday, July 7, 2008

“While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward, knelt down before him, and said, ‘My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.’ Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples. … When Jesus arrived at the official’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion, he said, ‘Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping.’ And they ridiculed him. When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand, and the little girl arose.”
~ Matthew 9:18-19, 23-25

Do I trust God or not?
The man’s daughter was dead, and yet he knew Christ would heal her. I, on the other hand, often declare things impossible before even giving God a chance.
I call it being realistic, a fine perspective to have but certainly not one that ever helped raise a child from the dead.
Which makes me think, what in my life looks dead but, with Christ’s hand, might only be asleep?

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

I found this prayer in the back of a church the first weekend I lived in a new city, the first time I lived away from home. It reminds me I’m never really lost, even though I often feel I am.

“My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

~ Thomas Merton, “Thoughts in Solitude”

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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Side-view mirrors are poorly designed.
They’re just asking to be snapped off like a stray twig, which is why I didn’t blame the carport when it careened into our Buick today.

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Friday, July 4, 2008

The freedom I’m grateful for wasn’t won on Independence Day, but it does makes me want to say, God bless America.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Some things are better left unsaid.
I wish those things came with a warning label.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I’m in the process of trying to make some life changes, namely waking up at 6 a.m. instead of 7 a.m.
I’m notoriously bad at depriving my body of any of its basic needs, so this effort might not last more than another day.
The lack of sleep from the last three days has left me headachy, hungry and cranky. So when I stumbled across the quote, “The obstacle is the path,” it left me irritated.
Usually, I strive to find all sorts of beauty and wisdom in such a sentence, but not today.
I looked it up to see who I could blame for this insightfulness.
It’s a Zen saying.
I think the Christian version is, “Embrace your cross.” My best friend likes to say, “What you resist, persists.”
For anyone else attempting some half-year changes, I did find these words of encouragement from Henry Ford:
“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”
Eyes on the prize, people. Eyes on the prize.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The superhero power I wish for: No need for sleep.

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