Friday, May 30, 2008

So Which One Are You?

If I had to pick....from a persona (not looks) standpoint....I'd say I'm Carrie with a bit of Charlotte mixed in. I do have a spattering of the Miranda career least on weekdays...but minus the heavy negative sarcasm factor. (positive sarcasm, yes). For the most part, I think I'm missing the Samantha gene....but that's probably a good thing. I mean, does the world really need more of that?
So if you had to pick, which one are you?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Simply Blessed

It sounded like a cartoon voice. Surely he was making it up.

As the odd sound pierced my cloud of internal thoughts and summoned me back to my physical surroundings, I was sure this person was making this up. No one had a real voice like that. He had to be joking.

But as I came back into full awareness of my surroundings -- a pizza stop in a crowded airport during a layover on my way to Toronto -- I realized that the young man gathering the trash and speaking kindly to people in such an odd voice was actually genuine. As I paid more attention, it quickly became clear that he had some form of mental disability. The cartoon voice and unusually cheerful demeanor belonged to someone who did not live in reality...a simpleton...someone not fully capable of grasping and dealing with the real world.

Our eyes met, and he quickly and happily greeted me in the cartoon voice, "Howdy Ma'am" he said cheerfully. I responded, "Hi there. How are you?", not expecting the response I would get. "Having a good day and just happy to be blessed," he said. "That's what it's all about -- being blessed." I cautiously responded, " Yes, it is."

He walked away, happily completing his job of collecting the trash, smiling at people who brought them their empty paper plates and cups. And I ironic. Me, with an above average IQ....him clearly below; yet he is the one who gave me something profound to think about. Just minutes earlier, I had been lost in some thoughts about my own troubles, a bit grouchy about the flight, the layover, the trip in general. Feeling a lot less than blessed for whatever reason, none of it really legitimate.

And then this person, this trash collector, this simpleton, comes along and reminds me what it's really all about in two sentences flat. His single statement caused me to rethink my entire day and to reconsider what's really important. I no longer dwelled on the petty minutia or the inconvenience at hand. His greeting had changed my entire day, and I am still thinking about it, even now.

It's odd how someone who passes through your life in a day, even in a few moments, can contribute something valuable. A kind word, a cheeful demeanor, even a smile can change someone else's day for the better.

And he, the simpleton....reflected the light of God, even in his simple state. Something for all of us to admire and emulate. A lesson learned, from a simpleton.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Never Forget....

It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

It is the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves under the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.
We must never forget to whom we owe gratitude for our freedoms. God bless all who have served and those who have lost those serving the cause of freedom.

Pass the Garlic Butter Please!

When I was growing up, we had 4 television channels to watch -- the ABC, NBC, CBS affiliates and public television. Now, I have something like 600 channels at my beck and call, and the exponentially larger population of things to watch brings some strange choices and odd behaviors into my life.

The latest example of this? The Deadliest Catch on the Discovery Channel. I think my husband is obsessed with it.

If you aren't in the know, it's about real life fisherman who go into the Bering Sea and risk life and limb to bring Alaskan King Crabs to our tables. Apparently, they can make a ton of money doing it, but it's incredibly dangerous work and not for the faint of heart.

When it's on, I don't pay much attention to it. Not really my thing. But my husband watches it all the time, and I think he's hooked. He'll even watch the repeats of episodes he's already seen. And he knows I'm not into it, so when I'm in the room, he doesn't watch it much, but if I leave the room, I can hear the channel changing over and here come the crabs! It's like it's porn or something. Very odd, indeed.

Apparently, it's not just him. I'm hearing that this is one of those shows that has struck an odd chord out there, and lots of people are getting into it. Ratings are up. And now, I'm reading there's even a soundtrack album. What? Sounds of crashing waves, perhaps?
Causes me to rethink ordering Alaskan King Crabs. Perhaps I'll never look at them the same way again.
Or, perhaps not....
Pass the melted garlic butter, please....

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Order of Chaos

I have this theory that at any given time, there is a constant quantity of married couples in Hollywood, never any more, never any less.

The most recent evidence of this.... this week's 'celebu-headlines' have included the hitching together of Jessica Alba and Cash Warren, as well as Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz. In the same set of headlines, we read that Shania Twain is divorcing her husband of 14 years, while Dylan McDermott is splitsville with Shiva Rose, leaving a double-digit year marriage in the rear-view mirror.

Now I don't think this is coincidence. I think there must be a quota system on tinseltown coupledom, only so many marriage licenses to go around. When one couple divorces, it frees up another to get married. Tag-team marriages abound.

Now, with the California Supreme Court ruling that gay marriage in California is legal, the new raft of same-sex marriages should result in a fresh batch of spotlight divorces in order to maintain order. Hmmm....wonder who's next?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Absolutely Absurd

The incompetence of our so-called 'world leaders' is both astounding and amazing.

We had a cyclone in Myanmar and an earthquake in China. We have ongoing genocide in Africa. We have wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have ongoing tensions and skirmishes in the Middle East. We have $130/barrel oil. We have rice shortages which threaten the food supplies in half the world.

And what does the United Nations do?

They send a special investigator to the United States to study the effects of 'racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance' in America. A lawyer from Senegal will spend the next three weeks touring the country, from Washington and New York to Los Angeles and search of who knows what.

Now don't think it's a coincidence that this is going on during an election year. I'm sure Mr. Senegal will compile a huge report, to be released during the coming year, only it will have leaks the size of the Grand Canyon in it, and we'll hear all sorts of horrid tales of racism from all across the country while we're trying to decide who to vote for. No, no ulterior motives there.

Yet one more reason to pull the plug on the U.N. What a joke it is.

Absurd, indeed.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Highlights, Lowlights

It's Saturday night, and I'm exhausted after all this went on this week:

- I started my new job on Monday with a 3-day orientation. I was really dreading this class but ended up enjoying it. I hadn't foreseen how much I would like reconnecting with smart, professional people again. Sadly, there were so few of them (none, to be exact) at my most recent job.
- I got the unofficial nod by the women in orientation for 'best shoes' in the class. Nice, but now I have the pressure of a shoe reputation to uphold.
- On day three, I was asked to be a mentor. Wow. Someone decided they wanted me to help guide them in their career. I feel honored and yet so completely unworthy of that.
- I ate very badly this week. Lots of snacking, poor choices, too much food. I think I needed to emotionally balance out the discipline of being tied to a new job with some form of freedom otherwise. So it came out in the food area. I felt free to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. No more of that going forward.
- I was given a rose today and wished 'Happy Mother's Day', even though I'm not anyone's mother. I wonder if that's some form of cheating, somehow. I feel a bit guilty. *sigh*
- The television in the master bedroom went out.
- I closed out my furniture consignment. The store sold most of what I took in, but they didn't get much money for it. It is potentially enough, however, to replace the dead TV mentioned above, so I guess that's something.
- I saw two children in a cafe at lunch today who, from the back, looked like my estranged niece and nephew at the ages they were before we became estranged. I wanted to go into the ladies room and cry, my heart ached so. I can only imagine the heartbreak of their father (my brother) who lives with that void each and every day. I sometimes wonder how he can function with that weighing on his heart. I don't think I would be able to.
- I bought pink petunias and planted them around my front tree.
- Last night, we strolled the neighborhood, had some gelato, sat on a park bench, people-watched and had great conversation with total strangers.
- We ate at a new Korean/Japanese bistro this evening. Outstanding. Food and service. I left the waitress a sizable tip. She deserved it.
- About an hour's drive from here, Jenna Bush (the President's daughter) has just married her beau, Henry. This afternoon, we had rain and hail. I hope it cleared up in time for Jenna's wedding at the ranch. I wish the new couple all the best.