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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

FTIAT: Annual Kite Flying Day

ReneĆ© (Lessons from Teachers and Twits) writes such lighthearted, fun entries, it’s startling the first couple of times you read her comments and realize her entries reflect but a small portion of an enormously complex, enormously beautiful soul. A teacher to the core, in almost all her words can be found a lesson.

One of the lessons contained in this entry is perhaps the most powerful to carry through rough times: the hardest lessons learned are also the ones that most illuminate the joy of what follows.

Recommended post: Lessons from Eight Junes

Annual Kite Flying Day

One August, a man that I loved tried to kill me.

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My Runaway Train Over the Rainbow

Certain scents hold sway over me. The smell of cinnamon, for example, propels me back in time to where I hover just outside my childhood home's kitchen in wait of my mom’s proclamation that her heavenly cinnamon rolls are ready to eat.

It’s not only scents that have this power over me. Certain songs, too, yank me straight out of now, depositing me firmly—as long as their strains whisper their magic in my ears—in times and places that would, without music, be strictly memory.1. “Over the Rainbowby Brother Israel

I walk up to my mom’s house and see that she’s out working in her yard. I greet her, give her a hug and tell her I have to “powder my nose,” but that I’ll be right back.

When I step back outside, my mom is smiling while explaining to a passing stranger, “My daughters introduced it to me. Isn’t it so hopeful? When I listen to it, I feel like anything is possible.” I stop and savor the moment from the porch, unwitting to the fact that a song already much beloved by me will someday be one of two roads that lead me to a place where I again stand in my mom’s presence.

2. “Mad Worldby Gary Jules

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Your belief is irrelevant.

I believe in goodness and light. I like to live these things as often as I am able.

Sometimes, these things are not effective in light of the circumstances. Sometimes, a different set of tools need be laid out on the table for the world to see.

If, for example, you are a woman walking alone and being stalked one night, you might not deter your stalker by singing Disney songs to remind him of all the sweetness in the world. If, on the other hand, you turn around, methodically pull out your pony tail holder so your hair is no longer an easily manipulated handle, and then openly analyze his every feature for later police identification, you might be lucky enough to have him stop and turn tail.

It worked for me.

Every couple of runs for most of the time I’ve been a runner, I’ve encountered a stranger who felt it important to call me “fatty,” “tubby,” “lard-bucket,” or some other variant of “fat.” I’ve never bothered responding, for reasons in the title: Your belief is irrelevant.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

My Little Pony wrath: averted!

Several months ago, I announced my decision to post exactly twice weekly. I celebrated the decision by posting roughly 23 times that week, and 48 the week after that. The pattern since has been somewhere between three to five posts weekly.

That’s a solid “two” with a little magical rounding down. You see that, right?

I was determined to move a little closer* to an unrounded two personal posts this week. Lest I cave in, I posted an ante-upping status on TMiYC’s Facebook page:

I will NOT post again before this Friday’s FTIAT! Can I owe someone $10 if I post again? Or, ooh! How about I owe someone one of my My Little Pony dolls if I post again? That’s incentive!

On Wednesday evening, I was riding high on almost 24 hours of success. I wasn’t even thinkingabout posting a new entry. But then? Then I detoured by the grocery store on my way home.

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This pony means business.

Friday, August 26, 2011

FTIAT: The Clock

Like many things, memory of how Georgette (Georgette Sullins’s blog) and I crossed blogging paths is lost to me. However it happened, I’m grateful it did.

Apart from having a fascinating–and, luckily for us, documented!–personal history with space expoloration and current life full of teaching-related adventures (yes, those are possible!), she’s a thoughtful, supportive commenter. Knowing she’s out there ready to share such comments has been and will hopefully continue to be a huge part of my comfort publishing sensitive entries.

Recommended post: “Guess what?” II

The Clock

The key never moved. It’s amazing to me how in a house of four kids and two busy parents the key was never lost, misplaced or mysteriously disappeared during our weekly routine or the moves to different states. Usually the key lay on the mantel under the clock or was carefully placed inside the back door of the inner workings. Thankfully this assured our household that time would march on and the strains of Westminster, Whittington or St. Michel would continue to maintain the rhythm of our household.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Motherhood: even if push comes to shove

Today, I told myself everything would be fine as long as I got my endorphine fix this evening. That was all I needed. Just a little run with my baby and dog, and everything would be groovy.

The evening I had planned:

  • Extract running stroller from balcony closet, where it’s resided since last October
  • Extract brand new bicycle pump from hallway closet
  • Pump up flat running stroller tires
  • Run like the wind on a mildly breezy day
  • ♥ endorphines
  • Eat some Thai food
  • Be merry

The evening that’s actually occurred so far:

  • Extract running stroller from balcony closet
  • Extract brand new bicycle pump from hallway closet
  • Attempt to pump front bicycle tire
  • Tell Li’l D to get off the stroller
  • Realize bicycle pump will in no way work with stroller’s front tire
  • Tell Li’l D to get off the stroller

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

For YOU I am thankful

If you saw me at work, you might find yourself at a loss for words. Sure, I strive to be upbeat and easy to approach even at the office, but there are times in contract negotiation and administration that I’ve got to hide these traits in places where the sun daren’t shine.

Aspects of my professional life bleed into my personal life. For example, I’ve taken to heart the adage that one must hope for the best but expect the worst. This kind of thinking makes it easier to respond to trying turns of event. If you’ve anticipated something bad might happen, it’s much easier to address when it actually does!

Outside the office, this kind of thinking makes for the kind of self-dialogue reflected below:

What if all the “for this i am thankful” entries end up being reflections on the cuteness of bunnies and puppies? I mean, those things are pretty sweet, but there’s a limit to how much people want to read about ‘em when they could go out and pet a bunny themselves!

I didn’t actually expect a dozen essays on fluffy bunnies, but preparing myself for the possibility made it all the more exciting when I got the first one and went, “Hot damn! Not a bunny in sight!”

I’ve received another eleven entries since then. If there’s been any reference to bunnies, it’s been so fleeting only Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s bunny-fearing Anya would have caught it.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Jewish? Not Jewish? Acting & forgiving yourself: necessary

This morning, I found an entry by Jess that inspired me to actually post this instead of letting it linger eternally in “draft” format.

Your words and actions do matter.

A few months ago, I received an invitation to read in front of my synagogue’s congregation during the Jewish High Holy Days. When I accepted, I had no idea what I’d be reading, or in which service. I only knew my segment would be brief, and would see me standing in front of the congregation for less than one minute.

When I received a copy of my reading on Friday afternoon, I stared at it and wondered, “Can I possibly believe in coincidence, right now?”

Last Wednesday, I wrote Use-those-words Wednesday, a reflection on the horrors of silence when words may change the entire shape of things. In an eerily similar vein, my reading concludes:

To look away from evil:
Is this not the sin of all “good” people?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ba.D, Survivor & the Flying Spaghetti Monster

Ba.D. and I don’t really talk about his stint on Survivor much these days, but it–like the surprising revelation our son can and will eat five bananas in a row–came up today in the middle of our errand-running.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thankful-my-head’s-back-on-straight(ish) Thursday

Thursday got rough almost immediately after I posted this morning's entry. I've since screwed my head back on straight enough to find things for thankfulness. The linkable ones? Look no further!

Well, maybe a wee bit further . . .

The night before last, I saw a little boy who reminded me of another boy I was never able to meet. I posted my heartbroken thoughts about that only to discover those thoughts both mirrored and expanded upon by my blog buddy Chris's pre-written Blogger Idol entry for the week: Take Care of Each Other, G-ddammit. If you were moved by what I wrote yesterday, I urge you to read his entry and--if so inclined--vote not only for that entry, but for living its truths.

Also, you know how I was just laying down the smack on Freshly Pressed? My BFF Mack (who you may remember from my Colorado adventures a few months back) had her The Long, Dark Horseback Ride of the Soul wrangled for Freshly Pressed today! (To the employee responsible for that? I salute your wise and perfect pick!)

Above all else, take note:
Your Thursday cannot possibly be complete if you haven't seen me dancing with SpongeBob yet!*

* OK, so it probably could. Especially if you, unlike me, have an India Pale Ale in your hands right now. Or if you're not reading this, and are instead watching a video demonstration of crib-escaping by then-17-month-old Li'l D:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Use-those-words Wednesday [disturbing]

On September 19, 2008, 14-month-old Nathan Coleman was beat to death by his mother’s boyfriend. His tiny body was discarded in a Dumpster behind my apartment.

There will be no silver lining for that precious little boy, who has now been dead more than twice as long as he lived.

While there can be no silver lining here, there is hope for all those who yet live and wait for the light that will lead them to safety. I urge you to think of Nathan—and other children like him who might never know the joys of seeing life get better—if you see signs of abuse, in children or adults.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"Almost there, 6287!"

“Only three miles left! How’s that feel?”

“Like hell,” I spat through gritted teeth.

Rightfully not taking my grumbled response personally, the lady laughed and offered up some orange slices. I offered the heartiest thanks I could muster as I nabbed these while cruising crawling up a molehill that felt like Everest.

I hadn’t planned to run that first marathon. In fact, I’d only started running because I figured I could complete an entire run in the amount of time it would take me just to travel between gym and home. Pacing wasn’t an important part of the running I’d been doing before I started the 2004 L.A. Marathon, which I did for no greater reason than that my roommate said a couple weeks beforehand, “You’re running so much, you should run the marathon!”

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