Friday, October 28, 2011

Slap! Now Find Your Wings.

Artwork: Laurie Burnham
Flying fish...following its bliss.

Let's pretend for a minute that you've read a previous post regarding claiming a prize. It was called "Claim Your Prize"..... surprising and witty title huh? But you know, if you need a refresher head on back and give it a read. 

It's okay. I'll wait for you here.

So now here you are with your prize in your proverbial hand, cosmic hand, whichever one you're using. Do you know what to do with the prize? Because you can't just show up for the medal and then stand there like a doofis.  You have to go somewhere with it, do something with it, evolve with it, nurture it. I admit, your prize carries some responsibility and sometimes it might seem scary.

After all, you can't unring a bell, can you? (Cliche!)  The question is this: what do you do with your prize when you claim it but you're still at a crossroads? What if the prize carries with it more work and a little more risk than you were expecting? Maybe it doesn't even seem like a prize anymore.

Here is something my mom liked, so remember to thank her someday if you ever see her.

When you walk to edge of all the light you have
and take that fist step into the darkness of the unknown,
you  must believe that one of two things will happen:
There will be something solid for you to stand upon,
or, you will be taught to fly.

-Patrick Overton
The Leaning Tree, 1975
Rebuilding the Front Porch of America, 1997

You can be religious or secular in your reading of this. It really doesn't matter. Faith of some sort can be found among all walks of life and all philosophies. Faith in knowing that solid footing is always out there no matter what you choose might be the answer to your questions. Just take a step and see what happens. You took a risk back when you claimed the prize, what's happened since then? Are you happy? Are you okay? How do you feel inside your skin?

There are very few things in life that can't be undone or changed back to a better version. Some things really are irrevocable, and for these sorts of decisions and actions you have to be sure not so much in the making of the decision but in whether you can live with the consequences of it. When it comes, however, to decisions that can be undone in some measure, that don't hold the very weight of the world or the fabric of your psyche in their making,choose the prize and take the path pointing forward! 

Go with the adventure, swim with the current for once and let it take you where you want to be!

 It really is okay to care for yourself first and foremost every once in a while. Trust that when you get where you're going, there WILL BE solid footing, and even if there's not, you'll know how to fly.

Photo: Laurie Burnham

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sex and Santa

Photo: Flickr, Edgar Barany
I'm not saying Santa did this....

So it's been a whirlwind few weeks. Apologies for being gone, but I'm a barely employable non-ape who isn't profoundly handicapped in the mental area, maintaining most usage of all extremities and that's about as much as I can confidently claim.

I got a job, I've been writing for someone else besides you people and and and....AND.

My 10 year old son had two major revelations this week which just don't make a lick of sense to me. This week he tearfully admitted to understanding the real story behind the fat man in the red suit. While he was pretty confident last year in his assessment of the Jolly Man, he wasn't ready to admit it until this year. Hark! The innocence lost!! 

[Insert woeful music of your choice here.]

Or so I thought.

[Screech music to a halt here.]

As it turns out, dear sweet naive son has known since the tender age of seven how a "baby gets in the mom's belly." Apparently the second grade class took a trip down anatomy lane whilst doing some research for a  human body report.  There they found diagrams and explanations as to how babies get into bellies and were forever icked out by their parents. While I wish he'd had the wherewithal to look away, can I blame him, really? Who needs facts on femurs when there's a penis and vagina right on the page? 


I don't understand how a child lives with this sort of human sexuality knowledge and still believes that one man travels the globe, gets in our house with no fireplace, and leaves the exact, personally sought after prizes that he desired. How does any person live with knowing what his father does to his mother on a "regular enough" basis, but not know that Santa is, well....faking it?

Here are some other seemingly contradictory things in life:

Being AGAINST abortion but FOR the death penalty...this only flies with me if you're a fisherman and routinely throw them back to kill them when they're bigger.

Being AGAINST gay marriage but FOR legal divorce...sanctity is sanctity, except when it's not, like in the case of celebrities. 

Advocating FOR prescription drug programs but being AGAINST legalization of the MaryJane. I'm just throwing that out there because research has it that more Americans than not favor legalizing ganja, and not just for your "cataracts." You 46% who disapprove are going to miss out on the party at my house!

Two coach's challenges resulting in overturned rulings BUT not getting your challenges back. That's just silly-talk and everyone but Roger Goodell seems to know it.

How do a double cheeseburger AND a gigantic Coke both cost 99 cents, seriously?? That's either a testament to the sketchiness of the burger, or proof of assault when buying carbonated brown sugar.

Aqua's MAGIC SAND...that never gets wet!

We all live with weird contradictions, don't we? I guess it makes sense that my son could live with the sex and Santa contradiction. After all, he DID climb a tree this past weekend as well. Of course, he was wearing a climber's harness, secured on a climbing rope configured in the doubled roped technique...he ascended on a friction hitch with on ground belay.  


Friday, October 7, 2011

Behave, or I'll Slap You.

Back in 2005 I bought a really funny book:

You can order it here
Here are the first two pages:

The second question on the next page asks if YOU are glad that you're here, and the author asserts that if you can answer yes to both questions then you must have been behaving and following some centuries old advice about how to behave.

Now, the rules of behaving aren't what I care about right now. If you need them, go buy the book, or borrow mine, whatever.

What's important to answer is the initial set of questions. Are people glad you're here? Are you glad to be here? They seem like simple questions, but they're not. They demand honesty and integrity in their answers, and those two traits are hard to find. (Especially when we're talking to ourselves.)

"Are most of the people I know glad I that am here?"

I guess, for me, the answer to that question is yes. I make a lot of people laugh and I don't think it's bragging to say that. If I was good at origami, or playing the violin, it wouldn't seem like bragging to say it. Of course those things take practice and maybe people don't think it takes practice to make people laugh. Sometimes it doesn't. I admit that for the most part a quick wit and lack of internal censor are the only two things I need to be laughable, but sometimes I DO have to think and practice, make mistakes and say the wrong things, sound lame and learn from my gaffs. So what I don't have a degree in funny? If the people around me feel happy to see me, or have fond thoughts when I'm not around, isn't that as worthy as making them a paper crane?

"Am I glad I'm here?"

I answer this in a resounding yes. Again, there isn't anything overwhelmingly spectacular in my life. I don't vacation in remote and luxurious places. My car is 10 years old and smells like cheese. I haven't ever been on a yacht or other large sea vessel. There aren't any shoes with red soles in my closet and I can't afford Starbucks every day. But I have two sons who are phenomenal examples of humanity, a husband I adore, a new part-time job that's going to be fun and educational, and a blog that 4 people read. (Or 120 on a random Monday in Israel, if my statistics are to be believed.)

What's not to be happy about?! And if I didn't have those things then I have these: friends who care about me, who let me not have an internal censor and laugh at things I say, books from a free and public library, clean drinking water whenever I want it, an extended family who supports me, and a car that runs even though it smells like cheese.

So, according to the book, this means I have learned to behave...and I don't know about all that, but I guess I'm doing something right. 

Here's how the book ends (mostly):

There are a few other pages..go get the book.
So it's a funny little book that gives you a childlike treatise on how to behave and why...and what it boils down to is compassion, right? Being the type of person who makes others happy, being the type of person who is happy, and remembering that just because it's not your way doesn't make it wrong. 

What does this mean to you? 

Do you know how to behave? Like I said before, I don't know if I'm "behaving"...but hopefully you're glad I'm here, and I'm glad you're here, and we're all glad we're all here, and now we know how to make the world a better place for all of us.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Stop being a wuss.

I'm gonna git you sucka!

I'm very busy these days with a hectic, on the go lifestyle. I'm a woman of the 00's (double aughts to people in the know) and I have places to be and people to influence. 

But I don't want you to feel neglected, so here is a list of things that you might think are scary, but really aren't. It's Halloween month, after all...and I'm NOTHING if not timely.

1- Eating bugs. Bugs aren't scary to eat, especially if you like Doritos (tm!). Where do you think all that cool ranch color comes from?!?  Beetles, that's where. 

2- A mammogram. (It's also breast cancer awareness month..see??  TIMELY!) You go, you get your ta-ta squashed for 32 seconds and someone tells you if you are going to live or die. Seriously...32 save your life. Not scary.

3- A prostate exam. LOL! That's not scary, it's funny!! Poor boys have to have a prostate exam after they're like 50 or something. And it's such a big deal...well boys, if the truth is told you actually sort of want us to do one on birthdays and anniversaries anyway. Buck up buttercups! 

4- Basements. 
   -4a- Attics.  These two places are simply levels of your home with more dust and less light. Why is that scary? Not scary.

5- Nickelback. THIS IS A BOLD FACE LIE. Nickelback IS scary and you should avoid them/it at all costs. They kill llamas, and that's just a fact.

6- Birds in public eating places. They might be annoying but contrary to what some people fear, they aren't going to land on your shoulder and peck at your eyeball. Imagine how completely idiotic you'd have to be to allow that to happen. Not scary.

7- People who are so idiotic as to allow a bird to perch on their shoulder and sit quietly while a bird pecks out their eyeball. This isn't scary so much as troublesome and oddly intriguing.

Anyway, that's seven things and research suggests that seven is the number where you feel satisfied but not yet bored. I just made that up.

Happy Tuesday people!