Archive for September, 2008

The Courtesy Jog

Ever been in your car and had to slow down for a pedestrian and the person you so courteously slowed down for does a little courtesy jog, just to show he or she is grateful?  It’s funny, but it sort of closes the deal, doesn’t it?  You slow, he/she exaggeratedly jogs across the road and you zoom off.  All is right in the world.

But it’s lame isn’t it, when you slow down and the pedestrian gives nary a notice to your politeness?  It’s almost the equivalent to not getting a tip when you’re a waitress or waiter.  A tip is just sort of extra, a little bonus.  As a society, we’ve made the tip something inflated, something to be expected, but to some degree it’s unnecessary, just like that courtesy jog.  It’s totally unnecessary for the pedestrian to pump their arms and lengthen their strides just to convey to you, the driver, that they are trying to hurry across the road, albeit a cartoon-like pace.  Yet, it’s the pedestrian’s tip.  And you, the driver, appreciate it. 

Aren’t we such a funny people? 

Yesterday, I went to a Kids Market before the baby shower.  If you’ve never graced a Kids Market, let me give you a little description.  It’s like a big warehouse filled with assorted kids clothing, toys, furniture, etc.  It’s like a gigantic yard sale.  This was my first time at a Kids Market.  Next time, I’ll eke out several hours to partake of that shopping adventure, not 30 minutes.  It was like Wal-mart at Christmas, gobs of people toting colorful plastic kids toys, grocery carts piled high with assorted clothing, metal poles of broken down baby swings poking their way dangerously through the aisles.  It was a mad house. 

There I was, sifting through racks and racks of size 7 kids clothing, trying to determine if this particular dress would make my daughter’s dress code, examining this certain sweater for holes or color distortions, tsking at prices (for real, just because it has a Gap Kids tag does not mean that a simple shirt needs to be $10.00, come on people).  Anyways, so here I am, making my way down this giant garage sale rack, playing chicken with another mother laden with her merchandise.  We meet somewhere in the middle and, in effort to show her I was a polite, civilized shopper, I sort of did this very exaggerated step to the side, lest we collide.  I even did this stupid giggle, like fancy meeting you here, please excuse me, no really, you first…it was the shopping equivalent to the courtesy jog.  Completely unnecessary.  I could have silently moved aside with as little movement as was required, but instead I did an awkward, oops, pardon me move. 

Can you think of any other silly things we do like that?

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New People

I have moved approximately ninety million times.  I have attended fourteen different schools in my endeavours towards scholastic brilliance.  I moved 21 different times in Anchorage, Alaska, each one a new neighborhood, new children, new people.  Alaska is just one of the many states I’ve lived in.  I am very used to new people. 

So why is it that all of a sudden, the prospect of being around new people has me in such a dither? 

Lance, the girls and I are attending a new church.  We decided to also join a small group.  This small group consists of seven couples who meet every Thursday night at one of the homes and we eat, watch a video, do a group discussion and then we break up into two groups -men and women and we pray talk.  We’ve been three times now. 

The first time, I got there 20 minutes before Lance did.  I sat there, one half of a pair and chatted about myself, my kids, my hometown.  Thank God I grew up in Alaska, always a source of interesting chat-fodder.  Then Lance walked through the door and I could breathe as I wasn’t the only “fresh meat”. 

The second time, I decided to start busting out with my own vernacular, my arsenal of quips and colloquials that make up my vocabulary.  In our “prayer” time, I asked if anyone was a knitter.  I got a round of nos and I tried to explain by saying that I was a “knitting tard” and needed some lessons. 

Silence.  Lots of blinking.  I swear I could hear their brains eat my phrase. Did she just say TARD?  Hmmm.

Then in an effort to be a part of the goings on with the other ladies, I addressed a very pregnant and ready to deliver any day lady by pointing at her crotch and saying “I don’t want to be all up in your biz, but is anything going on down there?” (Translation, are you dilated?)

Sigh.  What has happened to me?  Is this what happens to old people?  I’ve had conversations with older people that forget how to talk to new people.  They just sort of randomly list ailments, the price of their latest hearing aid and the fact that they’ve had constipation for the last week and the cost of broccoli has their pocketbooks empty.  They’re just weird.  And suddenly, I can totally relate.  I’m faced with new people, I freeze on saying calm, cool and sophisticated things and bust out with potentially offensive things like “tard” and pointing at the nether regions on a pregnant lady.  (To be fair, it’s going to be all about those nether regions in a couple of weeks, but still.)

Tonight I’m heading to a baby shower for that particular lady.  It’s kind of strange going to a baby shower for someone you’ve only known three weeks, but isn’t that the polite thing to do?  I knew she was registered at Babies ‘R Us, so yesterday I walked in, headed over to the Registry kiosk, and suddenly realized I didn’t know her last name.  I approached the girl sitting at the registry desk, reading a People magazine and said, “Umm, I need to find a registry for a lady but I only know her first name.”

Bored barely out of adolescence lady:  “You don’t know her last name?”

Me, shrugging sheepishly: “Nope. I do know she’s having a girl.”

Young girl:  “Sigh.  Ok, do you know where she lives?”

Me: “…Alabama?”

Young girl:  “Ok, where in Alabama?”

Me:  “This town, or one nearby?”

Young girl:  type type type, sigh, type type type, click click, sigh again, print

I took one look at the registry and opted for a safe bet- a stuffed animal I found on sale for $4.00.  I went home and made a brown hooded towel with a pink and white ribbon.  I feel this is sufficient for a lady whose last name I don’t even know. 

My only fear is, what nonsense will come out of my mouth tonight as we meet at a local sushi restaurant?  Be afraid, ladies.  I have forgotten how to communicate with you.

Be careful what you wish for…

I wished for some adventure.  I should have been more specific.

Giant blobs of colorful wax, aka melted crayons

Giant blobs of colorful wax, aka melted crayons

Crayola Gone Wild

Crayola Gone Wild

  

This is not nearly as exciting as bleach spots.  This is a whole new world.  A kaleidoscope of opportunity. 
 
Anyone ever tried to get melted crayons out of clothing?

Insert Funny Blog Title Here.

Words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words some punctuation words words words words words period.

More words more words more words more words more words more words insert funny joke more words more words more words more words exclamation point.

As you can see, I have absolutely nothing to write about.  You know your life is dull when the only things you can think of writing about is how boring you found the Sex and the City movie and your apparent lack of stylish shoes. 

Oh, and I can’t find my camera cord which totally cancels out the other blogs I was planning on writing including pictures. 

Maybe something interesting will happen tonight, like the discovery of an ingrown toenail or a pimple gone awry.  Sigh, I need some adventure.

Ode to Laundry

Ode to Laundry

Oh you pile of filth
I see you mocking me
Taunting me as you grow
Didn’t I just wash you?

Your collection of grime and slime
It’s repulsive to my nose
You boast of freshness
Only to waft odorous tendrils after a day of wear

I must brave the stench
Touching each aromatic article
Unfolding arms and legs
Removing loose prizes I claim for my own

I stuff you in the washer
Pour that perfumed liquid over your rumpled mess
Praying that the ketchup will be coaxed out
Along with the sticky goo-
Oh dear, is that a melted gummy bear?

Sigh

Oh, you chore that haunts me
Beckons to me
Shouts your displeasure of being ignored
You long to be worn again
Ready for a new day,
A new adventure, a new stain

I will conquer this beast
Perform this menial duty
Wash and dry you
Obligingly fold you
Put you in your various places and
Pretend this chore is over

Friday meme

Just for kicks, I thought I’d find a good meme to do today.  I don’t like heavy thinking on Fridays, it’s too delicious of a day to waste on philosophy or drama.  I did a search on memes and found this website called Friday Fun which offers different memes for bloggers.  What a cool idea!

So here’s today’s offering:

1. What different blog formats have you used (i.e. Blogger, LiveJournal, WordPress, your own HTML, etc.)? Which did you like the best?

Currently, I’m using WordPress, as you can see.  But Lance is going to totally hook me up with my own dot com one of these days.  I’m not sure why I think that dot com is all important, but once it’s mine- watch out world.
2. How did you get into blogging? How long have you had a blog?

I had written a blog about my first time mowing the lawn and posted it to my myspace.  A friend of mine commented and said that I was wasting my talents on myspace, that I needed a real blog.  It was that particular comment that got me thinking maybe I could do this.  Besides, who isn’t blogging nowadays?  As of today I’ve been blogging on WordPress for four months. 
3. Why do you blog?

Hmm, why do I blog?  What a good question…I suppose I blog because I’m full of mental commentary about life.  I love culture, I love humor and I love people.  Why not combine all three?  Even more fun is seeing how certain things make people laugh, what riles them up, what makes them emote.  Totally fun.
4. Do you have theme blog (i.e. crafting, cooking, deployment, pregnancy, etc.) or is it all in one?

I am a whatever-I-dadgum-feel-like-blogging-about blog.  I do a little of this, a little of that, I like to keep it eclectic.  I wasn’t going to blog at all about crafts, but after a couple of months I figured what the heck, it’s part of the collage in my mind.  Maybe a couple of folks out there will like that.  I watch a lot of movies, so sometimes I do movie reviews.  What I find people really seem to respond to is the random, pulled-from-my-elbow kind of stuff like how my car is dirty, or the first time I was around a real cow.
5. Do you let it all hang out on your blog, or do you keep it light?

I’m not a ranter, but I do like the occasional blog about my innermost thoughts on a certain subject.  I will most likely keep it light, but will still be honest.  I do like the occasional exaggeration, just for entertainment.  One of my personal favorites is about losing at Candyland.
6. What is your favorite thing about your blog? What has it given you?

I’d have to say this has given me much needed experience, a creative release and ultimately, a whole new community of other folks who feel the need to type their words, too.  I love how completely diverse we are, how we all look at issues differently, how we each attack the world.

The Women

You know your life is too busy when you have to squeeze in a date on an unromantic Wednesday night.  But that’s our life right now, so I’m not complaining.

After a quick bite at Steak Out, we went to see The Women, starring Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Debra Messing, Jada Pinket-Smith and Candice Bergen.  There were other stars, of course, all a great cast.  I must give my dear husband big props for willingly going to see a movie that he was surely to be the only one watching with facial hair. 

The Women, is a movie about New York women who are friends from completely different backgrounds.  You’ve got a career woman, a lesbian, a hippy mother and a woman who tries to do it all.  Through a manicure at Saks, one of the friends learns that her best friend’s husband is having an affair with the “Spritzer girl” at Saks, played by Eva Mendes.  It’s, in short, a movie about relationships, betrayal and finding yourself.

I thought it was great.  Of course, I have estrogen and boobs and a uterus and this movie was plainly geared to folks such as me.  In fact, there wasn’t one man in the movie.  There were lots of them eluded to, but it was only gals on the big screen.

Now, admittedly, this is a movie about a group of women in a whole different world.  New York, land of the fashion show, land of Prada, land of spending more on a lunch than I’d spend on an outfit.  I’ve read a lot about life in New York (The Devil Wears Prada, Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, Everyone Worth Knowing, etc.), but I have no real basis for knowledge.  I would be the awkward tourist, balking at paying $15 for a cheeseburger.  I would be the loudly protesting woman who refused to pay $50 for a cab to take her three blocks.  I, who wear not even last season’s shoes but shoes from four seasons ago, and I bought them on sale at Sears.  And let’s not even touch my hair issues. New York is an alternate universe. 

And to be fair, this movie has as it’s whole underlying theme “Be selfish, take time for yourself, find yourself, self, self, self”, which made my husband crazy.  It’s pop psychology at it’s best, a completely liberal mindset. 

I, however, kind of related.  Let me just sound off for a moment.

My life consists of several well defined roles:  I’m a wife, a mom, an employee, a daughter, a sister and a friend.  Each of those roles are important and need to be fed in order to remain healthy.  But this is worth noting- each of those roles affect the other person.  I’m a wife, which affects my husband, I’m a mom which affects my children, etc.  But take away any of those relationships and what am I left with?

I love what Candice Bergen says (she plays Meg Ryan’s mother).  She says, “I never accomplished anything.  I was ambivalent.”  Meaning, as she reached the older part of her life, still chasing beauty and security, there was nothing she was proud of.  She never invested anything of herself into anything else.  I wonder, isn’t that what EVERYONE is afraid of?  That as they reach the later portions of life that they will look back and regret how little they gave of themselves, that they didn’t at least TRY something?  Well, maybe that spoke to me because this is what I’m afraid of and I’m only 32. 

It made Lance upset that I bought into this message, but I don’t want to regret anything.  I want to invest myself into all those relationships, betrayal eminent or not, and in essence invest myself into something.  Find something I’m good at and do it.  I want to find my sweet spot.  I want to do what I love and get paid for it.  The trouble is, what is that?  And what does it look like?  And is that something I can pursue now?  Or do I need to wait until finances are better, the children are grown, we are more settled somewhere? 

Is this something you think about too?  What are you investing in?