Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference."
I think I'm an electronic hoarder. It's my email (still out of control) and my voice messages.
Earlier today, I had 17 unheard messages on my phone. I'm down to 14.
But there are countless saved messages.
Messages I listened to but didn't delete, like the one my mom left me the day before the Academy Awards last year. I guess I had been sick because she was calling to see if I felt better and to tell me we were going to have good food for the Oscars.
“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” ~St. Augustine
A friend of mine asked a wise and humble priest how to be holy. He said, "You don't have to go out of your way to find holiness. But in everything you do, do it well. Don't cut corners."
My mom bought decorations and made "small plates" a la Wolfgang Puck's menu for the Governors Ball. Dishes included stuffed mushrooms, turkey sliders, bruschetta, sushi, salad and garlic olives.
My dad's number one suggestion for the night: closed-captioning.
(Actually, he would like someone to invent special TV glasses that allow the closed-captioning to only be seen on the TV screen by whoever is wearing the glasses. That way, the wording doesn't interfere with the picture for anyone else.)
His second suggestion is for the Academy to honor old Hollywood stars, like Sophia Loren and Annette Funicello. He asked me to speak to someone about this.
So, Academy, if you are reading this, have your people call my people.
It's a scientific fact that Easter candy is the best candy of all the holidays. It's also true that I've purchased said candy three times in the last few weeks. (The Cadbury mini eggs were on shelves before Valentine's.) Each time, John comes up with something new to say in front of the cashier during checkout:
February 23, 1982 ~ It was raining really hard. I was between the ages of 4 1/2 and 5. And this particular storm is one of my earliest memories.
The rain and the wind frightened me awake, and I ran for my parents' bedroom.
Before I could even reach my bedroom door, I was intercepted by my mother's friend.
She was sitting in a chair, in my room, literally watching over me and my sister.
Honestly, an unexpected person in my home should have been way scarier than the storm, but it wasn't. Or if it was, I don't remember because what she was about to tell me was so wonderful.
Your parents are at the hospital to have the baby, and you should go back to sleep.
I went back to bed, but how could anyone sleep after hearing such exciting news. It's a wonder I didn't wake up my sister the night our brother Jimmy was born.
If you asked me (which you didn't), I would tell you lent is a season of prayer, sacrifice and almsgiving. That would be a good Catholic answer, except it kind of misses the point.
Because underneath the prayer, sacrifice and almsgiving, I think lent is about being vulnerable with God. It's about saying, "This isn't working. Please help."
Here's to 40 days of asking for help!
"It always seems impossible until it's done." ~Nelson Mandela
Lent begins Wednesday. I always have trouble deciding what to give up or take on, how to get the most out of the season.
On Saturday, I heard a priest say this: "The devil's goal is not that we get possessed. It's that we get distracted and forget to love."
He went on to say, "Make love your aim."
I'm still strategizing, but this lent, I'm ready to love.
It's not every day that the Diocese of San Jose opens a new church. It's actually been something like 15 years since this last happened. So today was a big deal. A very big deal.
The doors of Our Lady of Refuge opened to a sea of 1,500 people, all eager to witness the Rite of Dedication.
I know not everyone will understand what all the fuss was about, but as someone who has attended the same parish since I was 15, I get it.
In a neighborhood that hasn't had a church of its own, Our Lady of Refuge will be an anchor, a home, a family to its people.
Mary, Our Lady of Refuge, pray for us!
My mom, dad, Jimmy, John and I spent 40 minutes tonight deleting shows from my parents' DVR. It was an emergency situation. They had 53 minutes of recording time left on their TV, and it required a group consensus to dwindle it down. (We're not even close to done.) I'm pretty sure this task would be super boring and/or annoying if we didn't find everything hilarious. Like the fact that my dad still has the finale of Monk recorded (and protected) even though I promised him he could watch the entire series on Netflix.
I always wish for an extra day. One more day to get things done. Doesn't that sound delightful? But it never plays out that way. When I have one more day, I end up booking my schedule as if I were taking the entire week off.
Of all the things I mismanage, my personal email might be the most disastrous. I literally just deleted 468 messages from my inbox. And I still have 8910 emails, 5240 of which are unread.
Always remember and never forget, you are deeply, truly loved.
Happy St. Valentine's Day!
Days that start out feeling terrible can end in laughter.
In his defense, my dad wasn't giving the Grammys his full attention.
As a result, the Beach Boys Tribute, performed by Maroon 5 and Foster the People, was a tad confusing.
When the actual Beach Boys took the stage, my dad goes, "Those are the Beach Boys! Who were the other guys? I thought they looked kind of young."
In other news, my dad was thrilled that Tony Bennett was part of the show.
Irish coffee at The Buena Vista Cafe. (John's first Irish coffee.)
Garlic roasted crab, garlic bread and wine at Scoma's.
Crème brûlée to go from The Crème Brûlée Cart. (Order "The Yes Please!" ~ a yummy, creamy blend of Nutella and strawberries.)
The food was fantastic.
The weather was wonderful.
The company was perfect.
The traffic was terrible.
“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” ~Emily Brontë
Today, I drank water flavored with peppermint essential oil. Anybody know about this? Is it a good idea? Will it make me beautifuler? An inquiring mind would like to know.
This video is a reminder on being grateful, on responding to everything with gratitude. Louie Schwartzberg said we protect what we fall in love with, and I think that is true. I believe he was talking about nature, but I immediately thought about all the people I love.
PS: Because of this video, "beautifuler" is my new favorite word.
I used to worry about the view from the bell jar.
Now, I fear the view from the bell curve,
The tippy top of Middle Mountain,
The scariest, most mediocre peak in the world.
Today, I found a worm in my zucchini. This is the downside of eating organic.
I didn't care about the game, but I did enjoy watching my parents watch the game. I had no idea my folks and their friends would get so excited about seeing Madonna perform at half-time. My mom accidentally changed the channel while trying to raise the volume during "Vogue," and chaos erupted. Then there was the confusion about who Madonna was singing with. My dad said, "Cee Lo? I thought you said, 'Filo!'" What really made my day was my parents' 70-something-year-old friend who turned out to be a pop culture expert. I got a kick out of hearing her explain to my dad, "That's Kelly Clarkson. She won 'American Idol.'" "That's Cee Lo Green. He's a judge on 'The Voice.'"
I've heard this stuff is magic, so I've been putting it in my smoothies and on my skin. Today, I convinced John to play "beauty shop" with me, and we both got coconut oil hair treatments. I'll let you know if, indeed, coconut oil turns out to be life changing.
Apparently, the purpose of these white lines painted across the asphalt is not perfectly clear to everyone on the road.
Yesterday, I was nearly hit not once but twice by two different vehicles at two different crosswalks in Los Gatos. I mean I leaped out of the way of moving vehicles.
Today, just outside my office, someone was actually hit by a car. I don't know the circumstances. Thankfully, it looked as though the victim would be OK. He was able to get on his feet before getting into the ambulance.
I can't think of many places safer than Los Gatos. The most dangerous thing to do there really is crossing the street.
I have never worked in a restaurant, but sometimes I dream about owning a food truck or a push cart (like the humble beginnings of the crème brûlée cart). Pure fantasy.