Saturday, January 30, 2010

Shiny Red Shoes

Today I began my day by reading the latest issue of Minneapolis St. Paul Magaizine.  I read a brilliant article by Bette Sack about a mother(well-seasoned) and daughter(middle-aged) out on their weekly shopping excursion through the skyways of downtown.  The mother stops and stares at a shiny pair of deliciously red pumps in a store window and states that she always wanted a pair of red shoes.  She is now nearing the end of her life and her feet bear that of a long journey through life.  Her daughter brings her into the store where the kind sales associate finds her size and fits her with her new pair of shoes. The shoes brought out the soul of her in her younger days as she proudly walked in them the rest of the day.  That day remains a bright memory for the author and she reminds us of the countless hours we spend working and taking care of others - and that every once in a while, we should treat ourselves to something frivolous - something we don't need... just something we've always wanted for one reason or another.
The author goes on to explain that she never saw those shoes again until they were packing her mom's belongings for her final move into a nursing home.  She suggests that "what adds zest to our lives is what creates memories that lift our spirits and live long in our hearts."  For her mother, it was that red pair of shoes.
So I'm thinking, do I have "red shoes" - what would mine be?  Something frivolous, not necessary, but zesty.  Hmmm.... and then I remember what I've always wanted: a subscription to the flower of the month club.  One of those memberships from a fancy catalog that boasts fresh-cut amaryllis in a contemporary glass vase with stones in the bottom - brought right to my door on an otherwise gray day in December.  Or fragrant peonies tied at the stems with a simple, elegant ribbon on a late June afternoon.  So as Ms. Sack suggests, What are your red shoes?  You should have them.

Silver Lining: My life is already filled to the brim with memories of friends and family - the membership I cherish most.  And there's a good chance... "if you give Julie a subscription to the Flower of the Month Club... she's going to want a friend with some time for a nice conversation and a chilled lemonade to go with it..." 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Down one foot

"Well, it's not like she'll ever grow that back," said the Kindergartner very blandly while eating her chocolate cheerios this morning - in response to the news that her Nana broke her foot.  "I wish Nana was a starfish - then she could have her foot back."  I had to explain that Nana's foot didn't break OFF - it has a bone inside that broke.  "Well, which one, Mom?  I wish I could see the x-ray - I hope they took an x-ray, Mom... - do you think you need to go and see the doctor to make sure?"
Meanwhile... her brother is industriously drawing and writing making a picture and card for Nana with these words: "Hope Feel Better, Nana! Don't worry. I love you no matter what!" The card shows a picture of my son with his arm around Nana.  He has drawn them both to be the same size and they are both wearing Vikings jerseys. Hmmm... didn't know Nana owned one of those.  The eternal optimist has already got Nana set up for a game of tackle football once she gets her foot healed.
It's like I'm raising Felix and Oscar...

Silver Lining:
It's a pretty great job.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Pivot Questionaire

For those of you who watch "Inside the Actor's Studio" with James Lipton.  I have officially "made" this an interactive blog today.  Please consider a copy/paste transaction and respond back with your own answers.

What is your favorite word?

What is your least favorite word?
anything crass that comes out of a young person's mouth
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
books, music, good conversation and friends
What turns you off?
gratuitus cursing

What is your favorite curse word?
a word my 4 year old thought she heard her father say: "f*#kiddy" (Rhymes with puckidee)

What sound or noise do you love?
In movies when they exaggerate the sound of one's shoes click on the floor as they walk. Or the sound of a fresh bag of chips being opened 
What sound or noise do you hate?
chair legs scraping across the floor
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
super hero - or writing
What profession would you not like to do?
anything that involves bad smells and mean people
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
"I see that you had a really good time while you were on earth, but welcome home now!"

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The archeologists

Snow, snow, snow... it's getting old, tiresome, and sometimes just depressing.  Just as I am cursing the mess that my tires leave in my garage (that gets tracked in by 2 pairs of boots: Size 3 and size Youth 12) - I hear hooting and hollering from the cul-de-sac.  I realize that the ice chipper, two shovels, a sled, and some random stuff from the recycling bin are in full use just steps from end of our driveway.  "We found it, we found it - I can't believe we did it!  The missing piece - our last clue, now we can solve this mysterious puzzle!!!" Yes, I recognize these voices...
The children have assigned themselves the names of "Big Rock" and "Little Rock."  Little did I know that a very important archeological dig was in full force 20 feet from my mailbox.  They were digging and chopping and stomping about in this circle of forsaken dirty snow, rocks, and ice - all in the name of science.  They were solving imaginary problems and working as a dedicated team.  Ice chips were flying amidst shouts of pure joy.
 These are the moments that make me realize I need to strike up a new friendship of sorts with the snow.  Just when I think the magic of snow has overstayed it's welcome with the kids as well - they simply morph themselves into new roles. Why can't I do this?  Why can't I just dub thyself "The Queen of Sludge and Ice?"  And then pick up my shovel and whisk the enemy right out of my garage and send it packing?  That sounds like a lot more fun than mumbling unmentionable words to myself and kicking the same iceball around in my garage until if finally lands outside of my foot path.  Why stop there? I could be the Laundry Terminator and the Ruler of Shiny Floors!  I think I am going to have to get started on a tiara or a golden helmet - because, as we all know, costumes make it real!

Silver Lining: There are lots of dirt, sand, and mud battles to be won!  I cannot possibly be defeated.... I hope.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Only if you have some time on your hands...

The computer story...
I have been having issues with my computer.  I took it to the computer repair guy early last week - it is now fixed.  The journey to get the computer to the computer guy is where the story is.  I know very little about computer-speak - in fact, I get sweaty and nervous when I am being asked pointed questions about the innerworkings and hardware of my computer.  So this was no small task to release my computer from all of its entanglements under my desk and then transport it to the proper office building.
So I am now parked in the parking lot and wrestling my computer out of the car - mind you, it's cold, icy and not a well-plowed parking lot that I am about to totter across.  I tried to look like a pro by carrying the unit under my arm.  However, all I could picture was me landing square on my fanny and the computer flying though the air only to land across the parking lot into 6,000 unnamed and unidentifiable pieces.
I made it safely to the front doors of the office building where I was then faced with a dilemma.  Inside the double doors was a panel with many buttons on it and the next set of double doors seemed to be anchored with steel plates that appeared to be locked.  I was now going to have to figure out a secret code to unlock the doors??  Nice.  Very gingerly, I pushed a few buttons. The theme song to Mission Impossible is now running through my head.  I am sweating, not only from nervousness - but because my out of shape bicep is now shaking under the pressure of gripping my computer so tightly AND trying to manipulate a key pad by pushing random buttons.  All of a sudden, someone is coming toward me and passing through the doors which are apparently NOT locked.  Hmmm...  I quick checked for the presence of a video camera and proceded into the office building.
The address of the office is Suite 245.  After some deductive reasoning, I am led to believe that that address would be on the second floor - correct?  I carry the obtrusive box of bolts to the elevator and proceed to the second floor.  Now it gets interesting.  There is NO suite 245.  Just a bunch of unoccupied offices - it looks like a recession ridden ghost town.  Now what?  I find a small obscure office with live humans in it at the end of the hallway.  So I readjust the hunk of junk under my arm and head inside.  Turns out, it's a dental office.  So I lop my prized possession onto the high counter right next to the "Treasure Box" for well-performing patients, and deplete myself of all dignity.  "Do you know where Suite 245 might be?" I ask the kind receptionist.  "Oh, she says, that office moved to the first floor right by the front door."  Yes... in my determination to "crack the code" to gain entry, I walked RIGHT BY the **&%## office.  Now I'm not only sweaty, but a tad torked off as well.  "Thank you," I say and head back to the lonely elevators.
Finally, I arrive at my location and meet eye to eye with Dr. PC Fix-It.  He is on the phone but "will be with me shortly."  I am still standing with this Godforsaken piece of bunk under my arm.  While on the phone, he motions for me to come in and set my "unit" down.
After a brief nonsensical conversation, I leave my computer with a man who owns exactly 12 computers on desks and affixed to walls in a 6' x 6' space.  I know that they all belong to him because he tells me this quite proudly.  Each of them also displays a close up of the same cat in different poses for screen savers.  Need I say more?  A week and several awkward phone conversations later, the computer is fixed.  And now I am thinking of a Budweiser commercial song, "Thanks, Mr. 12 screensaver with scary cats guy for saving my computer - it's guys like you that make the world just that much better!"
The end.

Silver Lining:  I am sure he was just as scared of me as I was of him.  After leaving the office and getting into my car, I looked in the rearview mirror as I was backing out and caught a glimpse of myself.  The tops of both of my incisors are caked with the remnants of the Hershey's Kisses I shoved in my mouth right before embarking on my journey.  I am also sure that I smiled real nice and big at the dental receptionist - good way to find a dentist - right?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The password is...

Ok - so I have this issue with remembering passwords for all the technologies in the world that seem to need them.  I write some of them down - but forget where that piece of paper is - or I keep the same password for a number of sites, but then decide to shake it up a bit and make up a new one randomly.  I am starting to feel like the wolf on that Looney Toons episode where is wife sends him out to kill a rabbit - and he can't seem to remember what he was supposed to hunt once he gets out the door.  So there I am in front of the ATM trying to remember what numbers I use for my PIN... uh... let's see... was it a hedgehog?  No, no, it was a squirrel... hmmm... I think it's a weasel - yeah that's it...

Silver Lining:  My son has finally learned that his buzz haircut head does not need half of a bottle of shampoo to be clean.  I think he was actually taking off the cap completely and dumping a random slopful of Suave just wherever - hoping some might hit his hair.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy New Year!

I'm back!  A little computer snafu put this very piece of techonology that I depend on oh so much more than I thought - into the computer rescue unit for quite a period of time.  So much to share and think about since I last posted.  The real news is that against my (and other's) better judgement, I went back to the trunchbull of hair stylists.  Again, I did receive a great haircut - but this time it came at a heavier price... I actually left with some minor bleeding.  I also had to put up with a heapin' helpin' of inappropriate blather to which most of the time I had no response.  The verdict: I will grow my hair to my knees before I set my fanny in her chair again.

List six dreams or realities from thje Augusts of your life (with the assumption that you are a school teacher who is dreading the end of summer).
1. That August would unfold just as lazily as July did.
2. That perhaps the classroon fixer-upper fairy would whip my room into shape complete with engaging displays, names on all that needs to be labeled, a complete reorganization of my storage closet, and just for fun - the fairy would leave a delightful scent of freshly mowed grass and steaks grilling that I would be able to turn on and off at my discretion.
3. I think #2 summed it all up - no need for more dreams of August.

Silver Lining: The pinewood derby car is complete and the racer is settled into a happy slumber dreaming of the trophy that could possibly be his tomorrow.  This excitement may have trumped the anticipation of Santa - if not, a close second.