Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mind Trip

This is the danger of my mind: I can look at someone else’s life and their accomplishments and think there is something wrong with me.
Their happiness can actually feel like an attack on mine.
Obviously, I am lacking or lazy or simply unlucky not to have arrived at the same place of perceived success, my mind tells itself.
At which point, it’s best to tell my mind to shut up. And to remember there are many roads to the same destination.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Candy Crisis

With the Dow down 778 points, you may have missed this very important story: Cadbury chocolate in China is being recalled.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Irreconcilable

It’s an odd conversation to have at a wedding.
The man, old enough to be my father and a complete stranger to me, tells me his wife left him after 20-something years of marriage.
She had a mid-life crisis and ran around with her girlfriends like she was in her 20s again.
We did the therapy and all of that stuff.
It’s always the man’s fault,
he says.
You work too much. But when you own a business and three homes and one in Cabo, you have to work to pay the bills.
Now, none of that matters to me. My son’s taken over the business to avoid another $50,000 in lawyers and I work at the front desk of a golf club.
When they’re done running around, they want to come back home. But I’m over it.

He’s clearly not. And I’m surprised when he tells me about the woman he’s dating.
My heart breaks for the irreconcilable.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sisters

Today, I met two women -- sisters.
They hardly looked related.
One was thin, the other was not. One had long hair, the other did not.
So the one with the short hair and stout frame tells me she is a mathematician. Her sister is a fashion designer.
She says they grew up in the same house, sharing the same room. But they are completely opposite.
The way she buys her sister a gift is by looking at something and thinking, “I don’t think I really like it. She’ll love it.” And it works.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

On Equality

“Every man, whoever he is, whatever he possesses and whatever he is capable of doing, owes all this to God the Creator of the universe. Of himself man is nothing. From this point of view all of us are absolutely equal.”
~ St. Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish priest martyred in Auschwitz

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bad, Bad Battery

I’ve never understood how cars work. I’ve only required four wheels and the ability to move forward, backward and come to a complete stop.
So this is what I learned tonight watching five different roadside assistants peer into the hood of my car over the course of three hours.
If your battery is dead, you’re not going anywhere no matter what the roadside assistant says.
But the battery is not self-energizing. It gets is oomph from the alternator.
In this way, and maybe in this way alone, I think cars are like people.
Our batteries go dead when we try to sustain ourselves.
We need to connect to a more powerful source if we don’t want to run out of juice.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pomegranates

“The man down the street says we can pick as many as we want,” my sister said about the treasured red fruit. “He says he hates them. Isn’t that funny? We grew up thinking we had to steal them.”

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Without a Map

Just when I’ve gotten all wrapped up in the pretty scenery of my life, panic strikes.
These words calm: “Not all who wander are lost.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Mark Your Calendars

“Here’s something for your parents,” my husband said as he read the church bulletin out loud. “Golden Spirits …”
I burst into laughter without hearing another word.
“Did you read this?” he asked.
“No, but just the fact that it starts out, ‘Golden Spirits.’ ”
(By the way, Mom and Dad, the item of note was for an upcoming wine and cheese social.)

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Owen

Something about the baby seemed special in a way that makes your heart break and dance at the same time.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Love the Ride

Our stomachs were flying to our chests from the repeated dipping of the boardwalk ride.
My husband says to our nieces, “That’s how I felt the day I met Christina.”

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Day Trip

I’ll be spending tomorrow at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
I’m reluctant to admit this, but I’m seriously tempted to wear a fanny pack.
As tragic a fashion statement as it is, could there be any other piece of apparel more practical then the straight-from-the-eighties fanny pack?

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Gray Matters

He: Oh, crap.
She: What?
He: I think I have gray arm hair.
She: I highly doubt it.
He: You think it’s blond?
She: Yes. You don’t even have gray hair. Well, wait. You might have one. Let me look.
He: No, don’t. Really, don’t. I have enough problems.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Handle With Care

No matter how good your intentions, if you ask a woman about her dead son, expect she will cry.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Goal Setting

When something I want to accomplish is not getting accomplished, I tend to think I haven’t made my goal easy enough or fun enough.
Of course, it could also be that I haven’t made myself disciplined enough.
“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Unexpected

The lady with graying hair praying the rosary in the adoration chapel has the most delicate design of flowers tattooed around the top of her right wrist.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Competitive Shopping

“Wow. Do you see that?” my husband said, impressed with the shoppers pushing overflowing grocery carts as they left Costco.
One couple even had two carts.
“I always feel like a part-timer when we come here,” he continued. “We buy like five things.”

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bong-Bong

My husband was on his way to a wedding when he saw what looked like a drunk sprawled out near a dumpster at the back of a parking lot.
He honked his horn to try to wake the man, who was on his back.
When that didn’t work, he called 911.
He would have waited for deputies, but the last thing he wanted to do was tell the bride her photos would have to wait because he may have found a dead body.
Ironically, he could see the deputy pull into the parking lot from the bride's hotel room.
The deputy drove in and quickly drove out, presumably without finding anything.
"So maybe he got up and walked away," my husband said.
"Or maybe after you left someone dragged his body to a different location," my Nancy Drew mind speculated.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Character Building

A quality I wish I had: The inability to feel intimidated.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering 9/11

My dad sent me this link today.
The site takes a while to load. The slideshow is a bit long. Some of the photos are pixilated.
I find this endearing since it seems to have been made soon after the attacks and out of love for the victims and New York City.
Watching it reminded me of the emotions of that day, the stories of heroism and loss, and the feeling that despite our many differences, when attacked, Americans are one.
I really wish it didn’t take an act of terrorism to bring us together.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Anniversary

My Love, today we are three years old and as tough as a cow’s hide.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

You Have Mail

I used to never send emails.
It was a form of keeping in touch I just couldn’t keep up with.
And by not sending emails, those who knew me did not expect emails from me.
This worked well for many years.
Then, at some point in 2008, I started to respond to the nagging call of responsibility, and I began to reply to my emails.
As a result, I’m beginning to understand why people have a disdain for this type of communication.
It’s like housework.
If you never clean, you don’t notice how dirty your place is.
But once you start scrubbing the floors, you realize your work is never ending.

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Monday, September 8, 2008

My Miseducation

For many years now my father has been convinced his hard-earned dollar was wasted on my education.
I don’t deny I spent a lot of school time daydreaming.
And it didn’t help that it took me until college to figure out the numbers at the pump were in reference to octane and not the gasoline’s vintage.
Tonight, he misheard a question I asked and responded with this:
“Before I overreact, did you just ask your mother if Baja was part of Mexico?”
“No, no, no,” I responded, which may have saved him from a heart attack.

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Something to consider:

“A mind is like a wound. If it’s too open, you get an infection.”
~ The 1997 TV Show “The Practice”

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Christmas in September

You may recall our Christmas tree came down the day before Easter.
Since then, it’s been sitting in a box in our bathtub.
No, I’m not kidding. And I’m not exaggerating when I say I’m a terrible domestic goddess.
About 8 years ago, my best girlfriend and I were chatting about home d├ęcor.
We were 23, and she was married and talking about needing a valance for her living room.
“A balance? What’s a balance?” I asked.
“A valance,” she corrected.
“Oh, God,” she said, looking up as if in prayer. “Please don’t let her marry anyone who cares about that kind of stuff.”
The good Lord made sure I didn’t, but the drawback is neither one of us is naturally neat.
We tend to wait for things to put themselves away.
This rarely works, and usually requires some shouting, cursing and crying on our part in order to inspire motivation.
That’s what happened today, and the Christmas tree finally made its way to the closet.

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Friday, September 5, 2008

Conflicting 'Humors'

“That must be the choleric in me,” I said.
“I don’t know what it is, but I wish it would leave,” he said.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Catching Fish

“Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.”
~ Luke 5: 5

It can seem like such an extraordinary waste of time -- our efforts, our work, the tedious bit by bit building of our dreams.
None of it bears fruit, or fish, as quickly as I would like.
Sometimes all I catch is frustration.
But what would happen if I persisted beyond my own will?
If I responded to every challenge with the faith and obedience of Simon Peter?

“When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that the boats were in danger of sinking.”
~ Luke 5: 6-7

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Dating Advice from My Husband …

“I need to tell her if she’s interested in any of these guys, she needs to let them know in some kind of traditional fashion,” he said.
“Like how?” I asked.
“Flirting wouldn’t hurt. You know, she got her job by applying for it, showing she was interested in it. Guys, we’re dumb animals. We really need all the help we can get.”

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Inspiration from O Magazine

“I worked with Viktor Frankl, a Nazi prison camp survivor, for many years. His initial response at the hands of his captors was, Why do I have to suffer so? But later he began to change the question to, What is life asking of me? Each time he started to feel himself the victim, he would find someone suffering more and give half his meager rations to the person. His mantra became “He who has a ‘why’ can live with any ‘what’ or live with any ‘how.’ ” ”
~ Stephen Covey

“People talk about the importance of consistency in forming good habits. But lazy people are consistent. So are drug dealers. What I help people with isn’t so much consistency; it’s about changing their patterns.”
~ Cesar Millan

“We should think about the fact that time is a zero-sum game. Things we spend time on inherently take time away from other things. So, constantly ask, Is this the best and highest use of my time?”
~ Randy Pausch, known for “The Last Lecture,” died July 25, 2008

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Monday, September 1, 2008

Lookin’ Good

“Daddy, that color blue looks really good on you,” I said.
“Oh, yeah. Well, everything looks good on me,” he replied.

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