Wednesday, February 19, 2014

And Now you know... the rest of the story

Wrap up session

I have a few loose strings I'd like to take care of today. There is nothing more annoying than a story that leaves some important plot points undone like untied shoelaces. It's a recipe for disaster, especially if you're on a bike. Though for me it wasn't shoelaces that caused the unfortunate crash of 1980. It was my protruding bellbottoms that got stuck in the chain of my next door neighbor Mark's bike. I guess I didn't have a bike yet and I remember his sister Leann helping me learn to ride on the road. I believe it ended with severe road rash, but that isn't nearly as bad as what happened to said neighbor, Mark when I dared him to ride his tricycle down their front steps. The blood stain never did fully disappear from the sidewalk after that head injury. For years I cried in my head, "Out damn spot, Out!" But it just wouldn't go away. Poor Mark. I'm not sure if he or his family has ever forgiven me for that one. Wait a minute, I think, by the way Mark kissed me in the playhouse in 1981 that he forgave me after all. Sorry Mark for splashing our secret love affair all over the blogosphere. By the way, any kiss given before sixth grade does not count in my book. I was hot lips Hoolihan up until fifth grade. Then things turned pretty cold.

Back to the subject at hand. I bet you want to know what happened this week when I went to my Jam class. Well, what happened is this. The Silver Sneakers showed up with headbands, warm up suits and sour looks on their faces. We met in the back alley way, circled for a bit while they called us ninimuggins and bumbusus and we danced circles around them while Pink sang out about wanting to start a fight in the background. "We're all gonna get in a fight!"

Actually, it's pretty anti-climatic. My instructor got there way early and talked to the class before her and informed her of the pain and suffering we experience every time they are late, which is most of the time. So they wrapped it up in a timely fashion and got out of there by two after. During my class I watched for the "silver sneakers" to show up. Guess what time some of them show up to wait? Like fifteen minutes early! I am here to tell them that we will NEVER get out early. Not even one minute early. Ever. What are they doing standing out there so eagerly? They got a special chair they have their eye set on? 

                 "I must get the third one from the bottom! The legs are   perfectly square to the floor. It doesn't wabble, even a little. Perfectly square, I tell ya! It's a beautiful thing."

So...we still skipped cool down again, for fear of a second showing of PiraƱas of Kaysville, but there were no words spoken between any of us. It was unusually quiet as we left and they came in. It's the Jets and the Sharks I tell ya and this story ain't over yet! Just a cool down period. Stay cool boy, real cool. I fear there is more to come...

Wrap up number dos: The musical of all musicals. It's going pretty well. Sorry, another anticlimactic ending. After consistently going up the wrong stairs, in the out and speaking lines to the wrong person, I think I have finally figured it all out. Now that doesn't mean I get my lines perfect every time, but I'm getting there.  I'm finding my footing, and man does it feel good.  I will add this. I LOVE, that's L-O-V-E being on stage. Something comes alive inside me that has been dormant for a long time. I love it. Did I mention that I love it already?

Wrap up number tres: I got a new computer!!! Due to my loving husband, I am the owner of a brand spankin' new computer. To pay him back I will be doing some accounting for his business. This is a joke. You don't want me to do your accounting. I'm a very good estimator, but I haven't balanced a checkbook in fifteen years. Oh who am I kidding. I never balanced a checkbook. Like ever. 

Speaking of love, I was going to write a segment on a movie I saw recently for Valentines day, but the movie sucked too much to even bother. Like double digits stinkathon. Super disappointing. It had all the right ingredients and then fell flat as a pancake. I'm not going to tell you what the movie was, but I will tell you that it had an all star cast and still bombed. As the saying goes, you can have the best actors in the world, but a bad script is still a bad script! I mean it had everything going for it! Collin Ferrill people! Russell Crowe. Good heavens, they could have had Laurence Olivier and it would have still bombed in the theater. Very disappointing. So, happy Valentines Day to all of you that care about such things.

Enjoy a little jets and sharks on this snowy Wednesday. They make dancing look almost cool!

P.S. Is it bad that I had my kids ride their bikes to school this morning and now it is snowing like crazy? Maybe I should have checked the weather, but I'm a hardcore mom like that. No snow on the ground and it's over twenty-five degrees?

    "It's almost spring, get on your bikes and ride like the wind!" 
    "But mom, it's supposed to..."
    "No buts! Get going or you'll be late. And you might want to
    take an umbrella...and some snow boots...and don't forget your
    mittens...mommy loves you!" Slam!

Happy day!

West Side Story - Cool (1961) HD

Monday, February 10, 2014

Three Minutes won't Kill you...then again, you're old, maybe it will.

Dear Old people at the gym,

I see you standing outside the room, pacing like old, feeble cheetahs. Your gold wristwatches scream  one minute to eleven, and we're still doing our work out. The nerve! This is not the first time we've been a minute or two late, but this time your patience has warn as thin as your hair. You've been pushed around enough. This is the last time you will make it home for your daily chicken noodle soup ten minutes past noon. It's an outrage!  Your sallow skin grows warm and almost turns flesh colored. Your breathing accelerates. Your anger mounts. "Let's swarm them!" Someone calls out. Probably the eighty year old woman that can hardly walk wearing her nicest chino slacks and polo blouse. And, are those earrings and pearls? This is a work out, right?

 I recognize that your time is precious. Probably more precious than mine. After all, I only have five children that go to three different schools, two businesses, a husband, a dog, a fish, and a hamster and a  house and three cars that need tending to. I totally understand your plight. You are nearly dead and there's only four more hours to get your workout in and to your early bird buffet before you call it a day. You're busy, I get it. There's lunch at noon and bingo at two. And who can skip lunch? I can't, can you? Especially when you've got medication to take and your bowels don't work after six pm. I'm nearly there myself, so believe me when I say, I get it. But in having empathy for your shortening time on earth and your OCD type desire to be punctual, can I offer a thought? Just something to consider? I know it may be a generations gap thing, but I might have something to offer you. My thought...

It's only three minutes. Three minutes is all it is. Think about it. Three minutes is how long it takes you to buckle your seat belt, or walk up the stairs at the gym. I know because I usually get stuck behind you. Three minutes is how long it takes you to  decide that it's finally safe to turn left. Again, I know because I'm usually behind you as you slowly creep onto the busy road and I have to slam on my brakes to wait for you. You seldom acknowledge me as you roll your giant Cadillac into oncoming traffic. I'm not sure if you even realize that you now have at least a half a dozen cars lined up behind you. And when I have to wait for you to cross the road and watch your little legs toddle to and fro when I'm in a hurry, I have to remind myself that it's only three minutes. And three minutes won't kill anybody. Then again...

One other thing. Perhaps, as wise as you are now that your nearly a centurion, you might realize that being rude will not help you get into heaven any faster, and at your age, I'd like to think that being kind and looking to understand that maybe there was a legitimate reason why we were late, would be your number one goal, seeing as how you will be meeting your maker any day. Swarming a class and yelling at it's participants is shallow and insulting. Unlike a fine wine, class is something that doesn't just come with age. I saw that today. I hope that you still have enough time to find you some. Because you were right about one thing. Time is precious, and yours is running out.

You're welcome, and have a nice day.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Joshua Radin-Brand new day

Manure stinks and other Valentine stories

I'm going to delve into a topic that I rarely explore. Manure. So if you're not into that feel free to read one of my prior posts.

Don't let my Idaho accent fool you. I wasn't raised on a  farm, but I've always felt like I could handle hard work-- for a girl who wasn't raised on a farm-- of course. Keep in mind that the idea of what hard work is, is all relative. 

Anyway, last year I was researching for a potential story and I offered to help the local rancher neighbor give shots to their cows while the local vet checked to see if the cows were pregnant. It was an eye opening experience. It was rainy, muddy, cold, and poopy. Those cows, all two hundred of them had a synchronized case of diarrhea. They went when and where they wanted, including all over each other... and me! It was gross. 

Then came the needles. I am horribly afraid of needles, and cows, and manure, and blistery, cold, miserable weather. It was a challenge, but I was determined to stick it out. I did pretty well until I poked my thumb with the enormous needle while simultaneously having poop flung across my face and into my mouth by a disgruntled cow who wanted out of the stocks. Did you hear all that? Needle in thumb, poop in mouth, cold rain pouring down face--all for research. That kind of did me in. Weak in the knees, I resigned as shot giver and retracted to the nearest truck to recover from the shock and wash my mouth out with hydrogen chloride.

As more than a year has past since that experience I have had time to reflect on it and I can say, looking back, that I am really glad I did it. I learned more about ranching and I have a greater appreciation for what they do. It's a tough business and while I don't want to do it again,  I do appreciate what I learned. I will also say I had a hard time eating meat for about three months after that. But I'm fine now, thanks. 

Life can be like that too. You can feel stuck in the manure of life, barely holding on, needles pointed in our every direction while even more challenges and difficulties swirl like howling winds around your head. The beasts of trial and weakness inflict us at every turn, leaving some of us on our knees begging for mercy or help when it seems like no one hears our cries or really cares. Sometimes it seems we are judged harshly and not understood by even our most intimate of associates. Sometimes we don't understand why things happen. Sometimes there really is no answer.

I have friends who have lost spouses and children and have wondered why or what was the good to be learned from it all. I have no answer for them. Some things have no real answers or if they do it will only be had in the next life. Sometimes the answer is simply, "I don't know, but we are promised that everything that happens is for our good and learning." Easy to say, hard to swallow.

Philip Seymour-Hofman is one of those most recently hit by the fiery darts of life. He was an excellent actor and yet his demons must have tormented him endlessly. I am sorry for him and for his loved ones who have lost a father and friend. I hold no judgement against him and only pray  he can feel the peace of God's love now. And I pray for anyone else out there who struggles with addiction by taking it day by day as they work to overcome their own challenges. You have my love, prayers, and understanding for such a difficult life-long struggle. 

I have a dear friend who was recently diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. She has already been through so much with a chronic bad back and know she's had at least two surgeries trying to alleviate the pain she has endured for several years. Now she is going through chemo with three small children at her side. Yet she doesn't complain. Through it all she is hopeful and optimistic. She is one of my best friends though she moved away several years ago. I don't have a lot of best friends.  I'm too much of an introvert and too picky about who I want to hang out with. But what I love about her is she likes me for me. She laughs at my antics and keeps me grounded about what really matters in life. I know that no matter what I will always be her friend. I have my own trials. I wish I didn't have to go through the things I have to go through. But somehow, I know it is all part of the plan. The pain, the suffering, the sickness, all of it is for our growth, but man is that growth painful sometimes. It can be discouraging. It can feel hopeless. Yet, I know that through the mud and muck there is a sunset and warm arms to surround us like a blanket that offers hope for better days. There is help given by God's angels dressed up as our neighbors and friends, concerned for our well-being. I've had a few of those serve me recently. I am so grateful for their friendship that is honest and heartfelt because they do only one thing: they love me for me. What a wonderful gift.

So if your life feels like it's stuck in the mud. If you feel like you are covered in manure or that you are cold and wet from the elements, seek shelter in the nearest truck you can find. I am here for you if only by this association. I offer hope and love and absolutely no judgement. You can rest safely near by. 

...After we get you hosed off, of course.

Thanks Steve for reminding me that George Castanza always says it best.

Fear vs Panic

I heard a great quote today while I was watching a movie. I say watching because I was at the gym and the sound was muted. It was a surfer movie with Gerard Butler and the cutest curly haired boy I've ever seen. So adorable. Don't know his name or the name of the movie, but in a teaching moment Gerard's character reminds the boy that Fear and Panic are two different things. "Fear is healthy. It helps you recognize danger and to act accordingly. Panic will only kill you." I thought that was pretty good advice, especially for a surfer dude. So I thought I'd pass it on.