31 January 2010


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails... And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

I Corinthians 13:4-13

NOOOWWWWWW.  those who know me know that i am NOT the religious type.  as a matter of fact, i usually warn folks if i'm going to be near/in/around a church so that they can wear fire-retardant clothing.....lightning strikes are always a real danger. 

i have nothing against churches......or religion for that matter.  ORGANIZED religion and i, however, have never been the best of friends.  i dislike being told what to think, believe, have faith in.   i hold on tight to my own personal faith, philosophy, belief system, values and spirituality. 

so for me to be quoting scripture is a bit.........alarming?  strange?  unsettling?  never fear.  i have not turned away from The Dark Side.  i'm joking, obviously, as i know there are so many who hold scripture in high regard.  as do i --- just not as the only guidebook for how to live my life.

however, the verse above seems to be appropriate right now.   with all of the tragedy in the world, LOVE is that one constant.  we need it --- need to receive it, need to give it............need it for survival.  we can survive without many things, but we do need love.  it is a basic human need.

Fifty years ago at the University of Wisconsin, psychologist Harry Harlow believed that affection and connection were the foundations of life. In a landmark experiment, Harlow took baby monkeys from their real mothers, giving them wire "moms" devised to deliver milk. But the youngsters would only cuddle when their surrogates were covered in a furry cloth. These monkeys thrived, while those with the bare-wire models didn't. The results proved Harlow's theory that attachment to another is as crucial a drive as thirst, hunger and sex.  (Natural Health, 2003, Jill Reimark)

if we could all just give a little love to our fellow humans, i honestly believe that life wouldn't be so hard, all of the time.  now, we can't prevent tragedies such as the one that has befallen the people of haiti.  but, with loving hearts, if we give what we can, we can affect the lives of others in a positive way.

i am trying to be more positive about everything.  it is one of my RESOLUTIONS for 2010.  but the crisis in haiti, our economy, the healthcare debate, the wars in iraq and afghanistan, hunger, discrimination......all of that Stuff is really testing that desire to see the good in all things.  that and other Stuff, of course.  the banal, mundane Stuff that tests us all on a daily basis.  our own personal failings being high on that list.

so i'm holding onto love a little bit tighter right now.  hoping it can carry me through some Stuff..........Stuff in the world, Stuff in our country, Stuff in my family...........(my apologies to george carlin).  and now i'll stop preaching and will jump down from the proverbial soapbox. 

love can't conquer all.  but it can give us the strength to fight another day.

20 January 2010


"eating handfuls of caramel popcorn. why, you ask? because it's.....HERE. on my desk. oh willpower, wherefore art thou? thus ends day 1 of the Fat Smash Diet."

i posted the above on my Status Update earlier today.  i just had to.  i was truly so filled with self-loathing that i actually started cracking up inside, and had to laugh out loud at the absurdity!  hating myself because i was enjoying the caramel popcorn so much!  how messed up is that.

part of my irriation at myself was because i had started the day off so well.  non-fat yogurt, an egg white, and a banana for breakfast............a salad with grilled chicken, sunflower seeds and a teeny bit of dressing for lunch.........and then..........BAM.  couldn't keep my hands out of the goodies.  and then, you know what happened at dinner.  i had already bombed so why not eat a second helping of lasagna and garlic bread, and make chocolate chip cookies.  eat half the dough, and then 12 cookies.  you know how it works - once you've blown the diet, why not BLAST IT INTO SMITHEREENS.

i digress.  anyway, i am determined to eat better.  mostly because i want to work toward being more healthy overall, but also (and i'm not going to deny it), i'd love to drop a few pounds.  i'm not overweight, not by any standard, but lately have felt kindof puffy and fleshy?  pants are a bit tight, don't want to wear anything that might show the backfat, have to disguise the muffin-top...........you know the drill.

so, over the weekend, at my bro-in-law's birthday party, another bro-in-law announced to me that he had lost TWELVE POUNDS IN TWELVE DAYS.  (boy, did that statement ring in my ears for days).  he looks great, and i am really glad for him.  and he didn't say it in a "gloaty haha you suck" kind of way, but genuinely excited about it, and happy to share the method that my sister is helping him to execute.  they have discovered a diet where you detox your body by cutting out most everything but fruits/veggies, beans/rice, egg whites...........basically you let your body recover from processing all of the junk we eat (meat and sugar being the big culprits), and your metabolism starts to scream and burns fat like crazy.  my sis tried it a while back to kickstart her metabolism after having her second baby, and it worked well for her and for her husband.  she is naturally slim and svelte, but this did help to get her metabolism where she wants it.  now she looks like heidi klum.  seriously.  and if that isn't inspiration?  i don't know what is.

i just want something to get me motivated --- when you see results, it really (at least for me) confirms that i'm doing something good, and i want to keep doing it.  even more than i want that bag of sour cream/onion potato chips and the 8 brownies that are left on the plate.

so, today was Day Number 1.  and it was a huge, epic fail.   the funny thing is, i wasn't hungry.  i just wanted something sweet and crunchy.  so, tomorrow i'm going to make sure i have some apple slices and maybe some clementines on hand.  and, keeping my fingers crossed, hopefully the guys at the office will have demolished that evil caramel popcorn so i won't be tempted.

tomorrow is another day.  as always.  thank god.

19 January 2010


i'm sure you've had one or two.

that HOLY CRAP, OMG moment when you realize you've hit "reply all" on a snarky response to an email.  oops.  or you've accidentally sent out a Vaguely Inappropriate photo/video from the internets to your whole workplace email chain (in my case an entire elementary school) instead of to that one friend who would appreciate it, or at least wouldn't report you to the principal.  or you've typed out a nasty email about Someone and then, i guess due to having that Someone on the brain, sent it TO THAT SPECIFIC SOMEONE.  yep, that's me.  all of the above.

god i love computers, the world wide web, YouTube, email, FaceBook, Twitter............but the capacity for mortifyingly embarrassing moments seems to increase exponentially by each form of social media that you use.

why can't we go back to the olden days of hand-written letters.....to the heartfelt personal notes.  or even (though i detest the medium) to using phone calls to convey information, make invitations, reply and RSVP. 

phone calls, meh.  i'm too boring.  i run out of things to talk about almost immediately and i worry that the person i'm talking to will think that i've fallen asleep, am too stupid to speak, or just have no life at all.  which is actually pretty close to the truth.

and as for writing with pen/paper, i for one am WAY too lazy.   i type so much faster than i write, and i'm actually not sure i could sit down and write a whole letter without 1) my hand cramping up, 2) losing interest so quickly that it would get tossed in the trash, 3) feeling that my penmanship is so hideous that i give up halfway through the first sentence, or 4) wondering actually who is worth all of the blood sweat tears that go into physically WRITING something with the instruments originally designed (by god, or whoever) to do so.

but it would certainly lessen the chances for personal humiliation, wouldn't it.  you'd actually be forced to remember who you're actually writing something for, and instead of popping off a hasty and probably somewhat thoughtless email, you might put more effort into the whole exercise.

then again, typing an email does afford you the opportunity to instantly edit your words, and quickly organize your thoughts, unlike writing something longhand.  unless you are using a pen with erasable ink.  and do those things really work anyway?  never, in my experience.

i guess it's one of those double-edged sword types of situations. 

engaging your brain, and DOUBLECHECKING THAT EMAIL ADDRESS LIST, is probably the quickest and easiest way to avoid being fired, being un-friended, being un-followed, being disowned, and pretty much just being the biggest idiot on Earth.

or so i've been told.  by many.

17 January 2010


today is the michelle obama's birthday, our First Lady.  she is turning 46.  which means she is kindof my peer, age-wise.  within a few years, anyway.

wow.  am i an underachiever, or what...............she is a princeton and harvard law graduate...........and the First Lady.......and a mom...........and just generally a pretty cool chick.

it's always interesting to look at people across the spectrum.  whether you look at race, culture, age, sex, hometown, class, IQ, family background......that whole "nature vs. nurture" debate again i guess.  i'm somewhat intrigued by that, if you hadn't noticed.

astonishing the heights that some people rise to, and the lows that others fall to.  or those who just stay right where they started. 

is it encoded in our DNA to be successful or not?  some people certainly are born with more brain power, more ambition, more drive, more tenacity.  some are content to be what their parents were, others are not.  some are blessed with a bit of intervention from a teacher, a relative, or even a complete stranger --- that one person who gives you that "aha!!!!" moment where you know you can do great things........

to some, it comes early in life.  to others, later in life.............to the rest?  not at all.

which category do you fall into.

15 January 2010

oh, bother

sitting (no, slouching.....or maybe even laying) in my chair tonight............been in my pajamas since 6, pizza at 6:30, vegetative state by 6:45.

i can't even summon the energy to make a sugar-searching walk to the pantry or fridge.

so you KNOW i'm tiiiiiiiiiiiiired.   when i'm too exhausted to perform my nightly ritualistic search for a yummy treat?  yep, something's afoot.

actually, i think it's probably a cold.  the flu?  or maybe a sinus infection...............or maybe just the change in barometric pressure as we shift from sub-arctic temps to balmy, spring-like temps within the space of a day or two.  WTH.

whine whine whine.  oh god please don't let me get sick.  oh.......wait......it's the night before a THREE DAY WEEKEND begins.  of course i'm going to get sick........or one of the kids will.  it's a certainty at this point.

but then if one of us IS sick, we can make our monthly trek to the always entertaining Minute Clinic, a special place for those of us who only get sick on weekends and holidays.  where we can sit with the huddled, germ-ridden masses and pray for death.  and wait in endless lines for prescriptions.

why can't germs be a little more considerate of my schedule.

14 January 2010


there are tragedies, and then there are TRAGEDIES.  what we are witnessing in haiti right now surely qualifies as the latter.  this horrendously poverty-stricken country has barely begun to heal after devastating hurricanes in 2008.  and now Mother Nature comes through and bitch-slaps it again.  horrific.

it seems like the poorest countries, or at least areas of poor countries, are many times the hardest hit by these types of catastrophes.  see also:  rural china, indonesia, thailand, mexico.  just unimaginable.

most of us in the united states are very well-off compared to those in "third world" countries.  while we have our fair share of poverty and hunger, for the most part we are blessed with decent infrastructure, electricity, running water and access to medical care.  we can survive disasters because we can mobilize our citizens quickly, and can get help to those that need it.

when you live in a place like haiti, you must rely on the rest of the world when disaster strikes.  luckily the rest of the world is willing and able.  the world's 911 force (thanks L, for coining that great term), our united states, is sending huge amounts of aid, as are many of the earth's other powerful countries.

we should all do our part --- either by donating any $ you can, or by contacting your local church or red cross chapter, to see what else may be needed.

it's times like these that remind us that we are all really the same.   while some of us are fortunate enough to have all that we need, there are others who do not.  you can make a difference:  whether it is assisting a country like haiti during their time of need, or volunteering at a local homeless shelter, or pitching in to help our elderly citizens, or serving food at a soup kitchen, or just helping that family down on their luck.   remember, we are all HUMANKIND.

09 January 2010


WOW it's cold out there.......i know it's winter-time, but there's a reason (among many) why i live in The South.  so i don't have to feel my lungs crunching with crystals every time i try to breathe outdoors.

now i know i don't have to get out and chop wood, and scrounge for kindling, and skin animals for clothing.  so i shouldn't complain, right?  too bad, i'm going to anyway.  so much for my new year's resolution that i want to be more positive, and find the upside in most things.  some things just are not good.  cold weather is pretty much at the top of that list.  it makes me cranky to scrape the windshield, take the dogs out, wear a heavy coat, wipe my nose ENDLESSLY.

how do minnesotans, and citizens in other hideously chilly states, function during the cold months?  i've heard (never been there) that in the Twin Cities there are covered tunnels and walkways between buildings and parking lots.  so there's that, at least.  but if you live in the suburbs?  wouldn't it just get to be mind-numblingly annoying to scrape, shovel, bundle, wrap, cover, and entomb yourself in multiple layers of clothing just to do your normal, everyday routine.  each day.  for MONTHS.  with no end in sight.

and if you have little ones?  omg the horror.  the snowsuits, the scarves, the mittens, the boots.  not to mention the trussing in and out of carseats............i wonder if alcohol consumption is MUCH higher in the northern states during the winter months.  

ok, i'm much happier now.  yes, it's very cold out there and will be for a while.  but i know that soon we will have sunshine, warmth, flowers, green grass.....sneezing, itching, wheezing, humidity, sweat.  oh bother.  i guess i just can't be pleased.

01 January 2010


there was a girl

quiet and still, dark and halting

small pieces and broken

looking for the breath of rescue, sweetness and escape

always lost always searching

into her life came illumination, the radiance of daylight and moonlight

casting the shadows away

making her weightless and buoyant

into her life came love