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Thursday, January 29, 2009

This should make you feel better

My dog just threw up on my purse. I guess I'm glad she didn't throw up IN my purse.

Yesterday the cat pooped on my bed. My husband's side of the bed, but still......

What do you think the universe is trying to tell me? And is it the kind of message I really want to get?

Because you can't have ice cream for breakfast everyday!

This is my latest favorite thing to eat.

In the blender-
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
a splash of milk

This much fills that little bowl twice. I eat one immediately and freeze the rest for later.

Have any of you read "Burning Bright" by Tracy Chevalier? I picked it for my book group without reading it first and now I am hoping that it's not riddled with sex and swearing. Naturally, those things don't bother me a bit, if fact I quite enjoy a little of both , but a few of my book groupies are sensitive to S-E-X in their reading material.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's possible I need to involve myself in more face to face interactions

I need to tell you something. If we are having witty e-mail banter, you know, you write something clever, I reply with something equally if not even more clever, and so on, I will have to have the last word. I’m not sure if it’s because I think it’s rude not to reply, or if I just get caught up in the wit (I get so little witty banter these days, and I do love it so) that I don’t want it to end so I just keep going and going. The sad thing is, when the other person gets tired of the bantering and doesn’t reply to my replies, I start to wonder if I am boring or unfunny or just tiresome. No one wants to be tiresome.

This is what is known as a lose/lose situation. I must have the last word, but then when it turns out my word actually is the last one I am convinced it is because my opponent finds me unworthy of their wit. (What do you think it means that I think of my e-mail contacts as opponets?)

Do you think I should mention this to my shrink?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Great Expectations

These three books are on my nightstand, or in my purse, or just where ever. I've started reading all of them, in addition to the 4 or 5 magazines that, for reasons I myself don't fully understand, I INSIST upon subscribing to, knowing full well I don't have time to read them, but because I paid for them, I refuse to throw them away, or even recycle them, until I have gleened every bit of usless outdated information from their shiny pagesIt makes perfect sense then, that I would put a book on hold at the library and instead of coming home with just one more book that I don't have time to read I would come out with 5 and a DVD.

"Hello, my name is Sue, and I am addicted to reading." Do you think there is a 12 step program to help me learn to manage my craving? You can see from the stacks, it's obviously not about knowledge. Unless you think Amy Sedaris can really help you win friends and influence people. (You can however, see that my commitment to Yoga is still strong. 2 weeks, that's a long term committment to fitness never before achieved by me, unless you count the Army, which I don't. You'd run too if someone was running behind yelling and demanding that you become a fighting machine, and the only way to do that is to run, run, run, and run a little more and a little faster.)
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This has nothing to do with my affliction, I just like it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Where was I? Oh yeah, Breath of Fire

I want to like exercising, I know it’s the right thing to do, I’m not one of those gals sitting around saying things like-“My granny smoked a pack a day, ate eggs and grits for breakfast all week and the only workout she ever got was carrying her bingo cards down to the church basement on Thursday nights. She’s 95 and still playing the lottery. I don’t need no stinking exercise!!!” Unfortunately, while my granny might still be playing bingo on Thursday nights, she’s not even close to 95 and to hear her tell it she hardly has the strength to go down to the Wal-mart and people watch anymore, and that’s just sad, because most of her stand-up routine comes from outings like that.

Right, so the yoga. I did some reading. There are several different kinds of yoga and I was torn between the Hatha, which, if my sources are correct, is more of a spiritual yoga, or Kudalini, which is supposed to use the Hatha technique but turn it up a notch to “release my energy”. My thinking was, if I have some energy that is being held captive in one of my chakras, by all means, let’s set it free.

I got up bright and early Saturday. 5:30, I wanted the house to be silent so I could breathe and meditate. I popped in my DVD and began to fill my abdomen with oxygen. A soothing voice instructed me to close my eyes and listen to the music. I was given a mantra to repeat aloud, but only if I felt comfortable doing so. Why had I never done this before? It was so relaxing.

Then the soothing voice told me to stretch my arms to the sides, rotate them in small circles and begin the Breath of Fire.---I’m not going to lie, I thought breath of fire was how your lungs feel after you’ve run around the track a couple of times over at the jr. high, it’s usually in conjunction with the stitch in the side or the splint of the shins. Silly me. Breath of Fire is a yogic tool for cleaning out your lungs and removing toxins from your system, or in my case, if you didn’t read the pamphlet that came with your DVD that explained the technique, it’s a great way to hyperventilate. I could have died.

After 45 minutes of trying to keep up with the amazing 6 foot tall pretzel girl on the DVD my dreams were realized when the words “Deep Relaxation” flashed upon the screen and the soothing voice uttered the sweetest words I had heard all morning “Now, lie on your back in the Corpse Pose”. There’s no way I can express how much love I had for the Corpse Pose at that moment.

This morning was my third morning actually doing yoga. You didn’t think I was a quitter did you? I have modified my plan a little, but I absolutely intend to be able to do all of the things bendy DVD girl can do.

It just might take me a few weeks. Or months. Whatever. I’m at peace with it already.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A few months ago I read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and it really changed the way I looked at some things in my life. I was impressed by the way practicing yoga helped her to find balance in all areas of her life. Balance is something I feel like I’m missing. I am pretty good at coming up with “reasons” why I don’t have time to exercise or how I am not able to… well, pretty much whatever. If there is something I would like to be doing but am not, I can come up with reasons why it just isn’t possible for me right now. BAH! I’m tired of excuses being my super power.

“There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under my jurisdiction….I can decide how to spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I eat, read, and study. I can choose how I’m going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life--whether I will see them as curses or opportunities……..I can chose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.” -Elizabeth Gilbert

It’s up to me. I tell my kids all the time that they are in control of their thoughts and actions, it’s something I’m pretty sure I believe, but I’m not living it. How embarrassing. After a little “pep talk” with my son about having to work harder at the things you don’t enjoy or are not as good at (how do I come up with this crap?) I decided I probably ought to put my theory to the test and get serious about connecting with my truest self.

First I wanted to make a plan to improve my physical self. I don’t feel healthy and I would really like to. I thought long and hard about the best way to bring my body to its “optimum” condition and I kept coming back to yoga as the answer.

Some people enjoy exercise. My brothers do it for fun. I’ve heard that you can even become addicted. I’m not sure I believe that one, but whatever. I don’t like to exercise, not at all, I’m not even going to pretend. I have exercised; when I was in the Army I did it on a regular basis. I ran even. Sometimes pretty fast (not Olympic sprinter fast, but fast enough. You will just have to take my word for it). I’ll admit I have been known to enjoy the endorphin rush that follows exercise, but there’s more than one way to stimulate your endorphins, if you know what I mean.

I decided to check out a couple of yoga books from the library and I ordered a DVD from Amazon. The idea of a relaxing hour of deep breathing meditation seemed like the perfect workout for me. The DVD arrived Friday and I was all set to wake up early Saturday and start my weekend in harmony. Let’s just say, I might have been a teensy bit optimistic about my ability to contort while maintaining any kind of regular breathing pattern.
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I really have to go take care of some silly “real world” things right now, but tomorrow I will tell you all about my tranquil brush with the “Breath of Fire”. Don’t worry, no traction was involved, but that is only because I kept my head.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My fellow Americans

I’m one of those women who cries when she watches Folgers commercials, and the Olympics, forget it. I sit down with a box of tissues to enjoy the opening exercises and two weeks later my nose is so red my kids are calling me Rudolph. Knowing that, it should come as no surprise to anyone that this whole inauguration has me beside myself with emotion. I’m inspired, I’m hopeful, I’m proud.

Today the first African American president of the United States will take office. That’s a pretty big deal.

An even bigger deal to me is his message that we can come together, that we MUST come together. A message that tells us if we can serve one another, we Americans can be great. It’s a message that I think has been lacking as we have spent so long looking out only for ourselves, minding our own business, and letting others take care of their own problems. Feeling like the other guy made his bed, now let him lie (or lay, or wallow, or whatever) in it, I’ve got my own problems to worry about. It’s true, I do have my own problems, no doubt you have a few of your own, but I have a lot to be grateful for as well and plenty to share.

I love that we are being asked to give, to sacrifice, and to serve. I love the idea of continuing the momentum of the campaign and the connection to our communities. I love that no one is saying you have to do anything profound to make a change, what we are hearing is that every act, no matter how insignificant it may seem to you, is an act that, combined with other acts, large and small, can make a change.

Volunteer at your local library, give blood, read to school children, pick up litter, get involved in your local government, volunteer at a shelter, get to know your neighbors……………………

“Many hands make light work” Lend your hands and lighten the load.

I believe by working together, taking responsibility for ourselves and looking for our neighbors we really can make a difference. Call me sappy, or idealistic, or naïve, or whatever, but I believe it and I believe we can create the kind of future we can look forward to our grandchildren experiencing, and I am hopeful. It’s refreshing and exciting.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.



*Speaking of change, my first stop on the Path to Perfection---Yoga. Lesson 1-Yoga is not for the faint of heart. I’ll tell you all about my mind body experience tomorrow.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Check this out.

It's a HUGE giveaway over at Mormon Mommy Blogs.


What are you waiting for? Go enter!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

On a scale of 1 to 10

How wrong is it to smooze my husband into taking our son to see The Tale of Despereaux this morning while I go sit alone in another theater and see Defiance? He doesn't want to see Defiance, it's rated R for one, and two, he doesn't share my appreciation of Daniel Craig (it's shocking I know), so it's not like I'd be cheating him out of a good time.

Who knows, he might even enjoy that brave little mouse. I could be giving him a gift. An experience he will treasure.

I'm pathetic, huh?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The best of both worlds

Sigh.



Who needs NBC and their silly videos anyway?

This post is REALLY long.

You might want to print it out and read it while you are waiting in a really long line somewhere.

I love fresh starts like new years or back to school, and I love making lists of all the ways I could be new and improved. But if I’m not careful I end up with the same to-do list year after year, and I suppose that’s okay, I don’t think a person should give up their dream just because they weren’t able achieve it within a certain time frame, but for me it’s about being realistic. If after 5 years I haven’t finished Don Quixote, maybe deep down, I don’t really want to.

I asked myself, “Self, are you living the life you want to live?” Then I said to myself, “Self, you only get one life, you know, is this how you want to spend it?” My self replied, “Sorta.” Then I decided if I am going to make any kind of progress I am going to have to stop talking to myself, because I can get a little chatty sometimes and I knew if I started asking myself for fashion advice I’d be here all day.

Instead of making a list of things to check off I have mapped out a direction I want to take. I know that sounds all silly and new agey, but the thing is, I believe by heading in that direction I can change and add all of the things I want to and guide my life instead of drifting from one thing to the next. It will be a fluid stream of change.

Are you still with me?

Good.

True is the word that I have decided fully expresses the woman I want to be, the example I want to be to my children, and the kind of wife, sister and friend I want to be.

True (1): being in accordance with the actual state of affairs (2): conformable to an essential reality (3): fully realized or fulfilled c: being that which is the case rather than what is manifest or assumed CONSISTENT (4) a: that is fitted or formed or that functions accurately b: conformable to a standard or pattern : ACCURATE

Function: adjective
being exactly as appears or as claimed - AUTHENTIC
existing in fact and not merely as a possibility -ACTUAL
firm in oneʼs allegiance to someone or something- FAITHFUL
free from any intent to deceive or impress others- GUILELESS
worthy of one's trust -DEPENDABLE


I want to be consistanly faithful, accurately dependable, and actually authentically guiless. I should be practically perfect by summer.
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Going through lasts year's ramblings for my “best of” posts (here and here)was eye opening. A few things stuck out.

1. I use my blog as a journal. Oh, I know it’s very entertaining, at times I’m sure it seems like fiction but I swear it’s all true. My blog is a fascinating and detailed chronicle of what’s going on in my life. Several of the things I had written about last year were all but forgotten by the end of the year. Having a record of my breakup with Blockbuster is priceless. I hope my progeny knows what a treasure they have when, at my funeral, they are all handed the 6000 page printed and bound version of my blogging years.

2. I like being somewhat anonymous. I like to write about how I am honestly feeling about life and whatnot and I love getting feedback from readers, even if it’s not always positive. Only a couple of my regular readers know me in real life, and they REALLY know me. For now, I feel certain that if I told everyone I know in real life that I blog here, I would censor myself because I am not the most secure woman in town (who is anyway?) and on some level I fear the harsh judgment of my loved ones. (not that my loved ones are judgmental, most of them are very tolerant, but a few of them…...) Someday I hope to be able to embrace all judgment, not just the judgment of strangers, but for now it’s more important to me to have a safe-ish place to write.

3. If I commit to something on my blog I am more likely to follow through. No one wants to look like a flake in front of a bunch of people they don’t even know in real life. I mean, what if I ran into some of you at Target someday? And what if you said something like “Hey, how’s that Don Quixote coming?” I might be able to fake it here on the internet, but if we were face to face at Target of all places I might crack, and then you’d know that I’d never even gotten through the first chapter, how embarrassing would that be? I’ve found that if I tell you I’m going to do something I really try to make myself do it. I don’t want to let you down. That’s why I’ve been so cautious in my goal planning, so I don’t disappoint you, my loyal readers. The pressure is insane (just like me).

With those things in mind; keeping a record, being completely open about my struggles, and feeling somewhat compelled to do what I say I’m going to do, I have made a plan, and chosen a word that I feel represents my hope for the year and hopefully by blogging about the whole shebang I will stand a better chance of actually accomplishing something this year.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The path to perfection is long and has many detours

While this is not technically one of the posts I had prepared for “Resolution Week” it is a post about resolving, so I figured what the heck. You obviously have time on your hands or you wouldn’t be here, right? I’m under no illusion that you people are putting off anything, besides maybe scrubbing some grout, to read my blog.

It’s come to my attention that for the last few months I haven’t been very funny. I’m not going to make excuses, because the one thing I hate worse than not being funny is excuses, I’ve had a lot going on and clearly I have not been looking at my life through a pair of those big goofy clown glasses.

Well, enough of that. Today I am turning over a new whoopee cushion. I’m bringing funny back.

You know how they say if you lose one of you senses, like sight or hearing, that the other senses will sharpen up and compensate? That’s how humor is for me. I have absolutely NO fashion sense and also my driving skills are not the best in the world (I’m no Danika Patrick that’s for sure) but it’s okay, because my sense of humor is very keen.

Not everyone agrees that I am funny; personally I think those people are humor impaired, but whatever. I get that sarcasm isn’t something that everyone has a knack for deciphering. I have engraved “I’m sorry if I offended you when you and your spouse went out to dinner with me and my spouse last weekend” cards that I send to potential friends after I embarrass my husband in social situations. Poor thing, he thinks he has a sense of humor, you know how men are.

Here is a list of 10 things (in no particular order) I think are dang funny

1. Tina Fey
2. Snatch
3. David Sedaris books
4. Seinfeld
5. The Daily Show
6. My brother and his darling wife
7. Jell-O of the Month clubs
8. People who take themselves too seriously
9. Flight of the Concords
10. Neil Patrick Harris


What do you think is funny (besides me)?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Resolutions

I know you are all on the edge of your seats wondering what mine are, and probably have been for days, considering we are halfway to February and I’m sure you have nothing better to do than wonder what all kinds of crazy self improvement projects I have cooked up for myself.

Having put so much of my soul into planning to become someone new and totally different, but waaayy better, I have decided to make this Resolution Week and completely bore you to death with all the details of my “Path to Perfection”. You’re pretty excited, huh?

To begin the festivities, during the planning phase I came across a few things I am absolutely NOT going to be doing this year-

“Get my comma problems under control”

“Give my dog the benefit of the doubt.”

"Learn a party trick - weird stomach contortion, belching the alphabet or whistling a tune with a mouth full of crackers.”

“Finish Don Quixote”

“Give up fast food for a year”

What are you NOT going to do this year?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bark! Bark!

This has been stuck in my head since the curious incident of the neighbor's barking dog.



I know I'm a big dork.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Maybe we need one of those white noise machines

I’m pretty sleepy this afternoon. You probably think it’s because I had one of those big expensive sandwiches for lunch, but you're wrong, I had a salad. Someone put the batteries back in my scale and it’s been taunting me so I’m off even cheap sandwiches for a while.

Our neighbor’s dog was barking for a long time last night ("bark, bark, bark, bark, until you could hear them all over the park"—anyone? 5 points if you are singing along with me). It might have kept me up, if I had noticed it. But I didn’t.

Someone else did though- my husband, Sylvan. I first noticed him noticing when he started to “fluff” his pillow (that's code for-he was punching it repeatedly and tossing and turning) and sighing loudly. As soon as he got the idea that I too was awake, he said “Can you believe that dog?” I knew better than to say “What dog?” so I listened intently and sure enough there was barking, constant and pretty loud barking to tell you the truth.

It was too much, he was awake and there was no way he could be expected to sleep until that dog got quiet so he could enjoy the soothing sounds of police helicopters making their rounds and keeping us safe.

We waited (I was dozing off, but don’t tell okay? It might look like I wasn’t feeling his pain if he thought I was sleeping), “bark, bark, bark”. I tell you, I don’t know how those dogs do it. It takes stamina that’s for sure. Finally there was no alternative but to take action. Him, not me.

The process began by figuring out just which neighbor the offending canine belonged to. Once ownership was determined it was time to give them a call on the phone. No answer. Obviously the next step is to call the non-emergency police line, unfortunately he didn’t have that number on speed dial so he called 911 and asked them for it (I swear, I wish I was making this up). No luck. The policy has recently been changed, barking dogs fall under Animal Control now, their doors will be open at 7:00 a.m. I felt so sorry for the person answering the non-emergency line as my husband began to tell her how that was the stupidest thing he'd ever heard of and how he wasn’t going to get a wink of sleep thanks to that dog and how his neighbors aren’t answering their phone and now what's he supposed to do? I hope they didn’t take it too hard when he thanked them for nothing. He was sleep deprived you know.

Things began to get desperate. He stepped out on to the balcony and yelled-to the dog-“Shut up already!”
Something told me that while barking dogs might fall under animal control, screaming neighbors were probably still a police matter. This is going to surprise you, but that dog didn’t even pause for a second. “Bark, bark, bark!”

I knew it wasn’t going to be good when he started to get dressed. “Please” I begged “remember, we have children. You don’t want to be that neighbor.” “What!? I’m just going to knock on their door! Do you think I’m crazy?!”---uh, yeah.

Guess what? They didn’t answer.

Remember those cops? The ones who don’t do barking dogs? There happened to be one on our street. I guess he thought Sylvan who, for whatever reason had decided not to turn on his headlights as he embarked on this mission of his (trying to launch a surprise attack no doubt) looked suspicious. Thinking he's hit the jackpot, he pleads his case to the officer, who repeated the policy and referral to Animal Control and threatened to ticket Sylvan for driving without identification. In the end he took pity and sent him home after admitting that he too could hear the dog and it was indeed a bit annoying.

After being released on his own recognizance he came in and tried to call the neighbor one more time. She finally answered, apologized and took her dog in.

Peace was restored to the land.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What does this mean?

I just heard about this funny book “Stuff White People Like” (there’s a blog too). At Borders they keep it in the humor section and I like funny stuff so I thought I’d check it out.

It’s written like a guide book. You know, to be helpful.

I started flipping through it and as I read each section title I started to wonder what was so funny. I mean, I DO like documentaries and movies with subtitles, and it’s true I wear T-shirts and I recycle. So what, doesn’t everyone? Am I a joke because my favorite sandwich is a little expensive?

I don’t get it. Is this book making fun of me because I wear scarves, or is it really trying to explain to other people why organic food is the best? And why is it called “Stuff White People Like”? I thought everyone liked cheese.

If I didn’t know better I’d think someone (like Christian Lander—who happens to be white by the way) was making fun of me.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Deperate times call for desperate measures.

This morning my son brought me a pair of my jeans that had mistakenly found their way into his closet. He said he had tried them on and realized they weren’t his because they were “huge”. I chuckled, thinking they must have been in his closet for a while, when I looked at the jeans I saw that they were my FAVORITE jeans, the jeans I think I look pretty good in, the jeans I had just worn last week, the jeans that I had been searching for this very morning. That’s when I chuckled again, thinking to myself how funny it is the way teenage boys exaggerate. Huge-- hmpf!  As if.

Later, as I was about to step in the shower, I decided to step on the scale first.  Imagine my surprise when instead of revealing my digital weight, the screen on my scale read “Welcome Back Santa Claus!”

You don’t have to hit me in the face with a pie tin full of whipped cream three times. I got the message. I knew I had to take immediate action. So I did. I reached down and took the batteries right out of my scale. HA!! Stupid scale.

Then I calmly showered and did what any rational person would do after finding out there are in fact calories in candy canes.

I had ice cream for breakfast.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Pernice Brothers

Okay, this is not the most thrilling video ever, but I LOVE this song. I've just discovered them and  I'm actually loving everything by these guys.
 

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Just a couple of New Year’s Rambles

*This evening I had to talk my husband out of watching Superstars of Dance so I could watch Masterpiece Theater. I love him but, A. It’s not right for a grown man to be that set on watching superstars dance, and B. Masterpiece=Tess of the d’Urbervilles.

*When you check a book out from the public library you are BORROWING it. It might surprise you to know that someone else will probably read that very same book after you return it. It would be greatly appreciated if you could refrain from turning down page corners (which, to be perfectly honest, you shouldn’t even do to books you OWN, if you really care about books as much as you pretend you do), also making a check mark in INK halfway down the page to remind you exactly where you left off on said corner marked page is kind of a bad idea, not to mention PERMANENT. One more thing, just having that pen handy is not a license to circle printing mistakes. If you fancy yourself an editor apply at a publishing house. Leave the already published books in the library alone. –Oh--, one more thing, “an herb garden” is already correct. At the very least, make sure the grammar you are correcting is incorrect in the first place.

*My New Year’s Resolutions are still a work in progress. I would hate to publicly commit to any changes I hadn’t thoroughly thought through.

*In the meantime, I know I promised to post all of the great fun that was our family white elephant gift exchange, and I did, here and here. It’s on our family blog; feel free to take a look.

**p.s.~ did any of you have the “pleasure” of viewing “A Brand New Year” with your youth? What did you think? Be honest. And what did the kids think?

 
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