Monday, December 28, 2009

Utter Gluttony

I spent the Christmas holiday in Savannah, Georgia. I will post a proper discussion of that visit under a different post (or series of posts), but, I have to tell you that the fifteen hour, two day drive to Savannah to accidentally eat at The Wilkes House was nothing short of well worth it! Even though we didn't go to Georgia JUST for this event, it was a very nice way to punctuate the end of our trip.

I heard that The Wilkes House is on that 1001 Things To Do Before You Die....or 1000 Places to Eat Before You Die or one of those bucket lists, a list of which I clearly have not yet perused. But, based on full Savannah-local and family authority, I now can scratch eating there off the proverbial list. My life is more full (figuratively AND literally) as a result of waiting in line just shy of TWO HOURS to partake of Pure Southern Food.

The street is paved with grey brick -- NOT cobblestone as their website says (that makes me CRAY!ZAY!). The houses and apartments along there have those classic scenes of Savannah we all know so well: trees adorned with draping Spanish moss (that I learned is not really moss, it's an herb). The weather was cold and wet, the only warmth coming from spots of sunshine breaking through the buildings, which is where chilled bodies rotated shifts to mollify.



Once we got inside, we took a good look around and picked up on some unusual things immediately.  For example, across from where we stood awaiting our turn to be seated, was a good size dining room, tables sat from four to ten people.  Clinking of dishes and chatter were the most noticeable sounds.  Clinking of dishes struck me as odd.  Lo and behold, there, directly across from us, was a cafeteria-style door like when we were in high school and you had to take your tray to the wash staff.  Then I noticed patrons bussing their own tables, carrying their dishes to the wash staff.  Interesting...we get to wait in line all this time for a quick meal then clean up our own mess.  I'm not above cleaning up after myself and I am very grateful for all service staff (I used to be in the business, too), but I was pretty taken aback at the notion that this world famous little place wouldn't accommodate staff to help clean off tables when patrons were done with their meals.

The Seven of Us are given the green light that we could be seated, so we snaked through the busy, noisy dining room into another part of the house with a similar size dining area.  I'd venture that eight or ten tables that could seat up to ten people each were in this second dining room.  If your party is fairly small, you are seated with other smaller groups (similar to hibachi-style seating).  Our Seven didn't have to share a table, which was covered in food.  I mean COVERED in food!  At each sitting was a glass of sweet tea (if you wanted unsweet tea or water, you had to specially request it) ,a big white plate flanked by flatware.  Bowls and bowls of southern foods: polka-dotted the tabletop:  collared greens, rhubarb, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, black eyed peas, lima beans, macaroni and cheese, and oh so much more!  To my surprise, waitstaff was there, and they were bringing MORE food on plates:  fried chicken, ham, corn bread, biscuits, beef stew and oh so much more!  It was almost offensive the amount of food that was served, (coming from a food addict, you KNOW I'm making a statement here!) knowing there's no way one group could eat all that food.  I couldn't help but wonder what happens to all the leftovers since it's against the restaurant's policy to take it home.  I took a picture and labeled some of the foods I could identify/remember.  If you want to see their menu for daily meals, click here.



It goes without saying that we left absolutely stuffed.  My mom raved about it for days.  For $16/pp, I'd say it was worth it.  Still wish I knew what happens to all those leftovers....

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Southern Style Christmas

Notes from my trip to Savannah:

15 hours in a car ain't so bad.

You know you're in the south when you're offered pork chop biscuits with a side of grits for breakfast on the fast food breakfast menu.

Not even the temptation of receiving gifts from Santa AND the Tooth Fairy could coax My Eldest into surrendering The Floating Tooth. *sigh*

Rockband on XBOX = way f*cking cool. What a good time! I need it for Wii now (yes...NEED it! *ahem* Jackie's January Birthday Gift?!)

Ain't nothing like a holiday fire -- IN THE OVEN! Now I know what to get my brother for Christmas next year (a fire extinguisher).

"El Cheapo" is the name of a gas station in Georgia that's run by Middle Easterners. Vaguely reminiscent of Texas?  hahaaha

My Little One is interested in Spanish. On this trip, she asked me "How do you say 'phenomenon' in Spanish?" I think that's pretty phenomenal! (For the record, I looked it up and it's 'fenómeno'.)

Words of Wisdom from My Eldest: If you divide losing by losing, you're gonna get losing.

Latin Mass is quite interesting. I want to learn Latin now.

I need to get together with my side of the family more often.

"Sherlock Holmes" was a great movie.  Guy Ritchie did a superb job on this one, as did Robert Downey, Jr.  I'm glad he's clean and back in the spotlight.  He's always been one of my favorite actors (kind of like Patrick Dempsey.  I've loved him since forever ago!).

I am not a NASCAR fan, or a car race fan in general, but I got a little tingly driving through Talladega, AL. And, no, I haven't seen the movie.

Paying approximately $70 for a hotel room to catch about five or six hours of sleep is money well spent, especially when four people are involved!

The Wilkes House = Not quite worth the wait, but a good experience nonetheless.

Juliette Gordon Low House = a better time than I thought it'd be.

Driving into Dallas in the snow is almost magical.

Savannah is romantic all times of the year, it's just a matter of degree.

Candy being made is a fun thing to watch, as is picking out taffy, watching revolving candied apples, watching carriage rides, My Little One trying to pose like Marilyn.

Next trip to Savannah has to be around Halloween time so I can do the ghost tours!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Guess It's Time To Do This....

I added one of my very favorite Christmas carols to the blog (finally). Most of who know me personally know that I'm not a big fan of the hustlingbustlingholidayseason. But...this song is perfect for what Christmas is about for me & my family.

Kelly Clarkson does an exquisite job with this song. Enjoy & Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

In Which Disbelief Delineates

My Eldest is at that milestone age where she's seriously questioning the logistics of all things Santa.  She's actually had it figured out since age five when a lady at her school wore a fake Santa suit and tried to play it off like she was there real thing (REALL?!  I mean...like...reeealllyyy?)  Anyway, this year the questions are more intense.  The more we discussed it, the more she caved.  She admitted that she's afraid if she doesn't believe and Santa IS real, she won't get a gift.

Soooo... we got invited to a Santa Open House on Sunday.  My Husband knows someone whose dad is a jolly looking man and as a ministry of sorts each year, he opens his home up to boys and girls, dresses up as St. Nick and chats with the kiddos. 

The day before, My Husband's company holiday party was at this jump zone kind of place, where, of course, Santa would be making an appearance.   He, too, was a jolly looking Santa and My Girls loved seeing him.  My Eldest even got a little shy.

About a week before these weekend Santa events, My Eldest and I were at Target, just the two of us, walking quietly through the produce.  She initiates in a rather smiling-voice, yet authoritative-lawyer voice:

Eldest:  Mommy, you and Daddy  just put presents under the tree for us, right?  There's not really a Santa.

Quick on my feet and with a tinge of ambiguity in my tone, I reply:

Me:  You're right.
E:  Really?!
M:  Yes.

My Eldest stops to think about this for a few seconds.  She's kind of giddy about what was just said, but I'm not sure why.  I guess because she'd figured it out on her own.  Unexpectedly, she fires back:

E:  You're kidding.  There really IS a Santa.
M:  What do YOU think about if Santa is real or not?  (<~~~ turned the tables.  Good job, huh?  Oldest trick in the book.)
E:  I think he's real.

We continue to walk and mere moments (but seemed like ten minutes) later she re-interrogates me:

E:  I think there's no such thing as Santa.  Am I right?
M:  Yes.  I told you earlier, that's right.

She just giggles, still uncertain, wheels turning in her head.  We finish our shopping.

On Wednesday night, we do the whole Christmas decorations violation to our house.  Toward the end of the feat, My Kids were to and fro' from their bedroom while I was picking up leftover boxes and whatnot to store until after the holiday has passed.  I proceed to tell My Husband and MIL the story of The Santa Interrogation.  My Eldest wanders to the living room and hears me relaying the story.  Suddenly, she drops to her knees and begs me not to tell the story.  She felt so embarrassed about it, confessing that she's afraid to not believe because if there IS a real Santa, he might not leave her presents.  So we broke open the subject and talked about it together.

With a silly, awkward grin on her face, she itemized the entire process:

Mommy, you put the presents at the fireplace.  Daddy, you eat the cookies and drink the milk.  Mommy, you write the letter from Santa. 

My Husband looks to me and says to her:

What would it take for you to believe that there IS a Santa?  What would PROVE it to you?

She hmms for a second, then offers:

He would have to draw a picture of all his reindeer and sign his name, you know, autograph it.

After going through the mechanics of 'how do you know that's really Santa's signature', My Husband pulls out an invitation to this Sunday Santa Soiree.  We were invited to a Santa Open House.  This Santa has a specialty in kids who are wavering in their belief -- the magic is not working anymore.  My Husband then asks My Eldest if she'd like to go, and she leapt at the opportunity.

H:  If you don't believe in Santa, why would you want to go?
E:  To see if he's the REAL one
M:  Well, what about yesterday at the company party?  Didn't you see Santa there? 
E:  mmm...no, that wasn't the real Santa
M:  Why not?  How do you know?
E:  Because that guy was missing a tooth.

So.  There ya have it.  Sunday Santa is real because he has all his teeth.

Just Wondering...

Do strong and courageous go hand in hand?

If one is strong, does that inherently mean they possess courage?

If one is courageous, does that mean one is inherently strong?

Discuss.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Invictus

Friday Night.
6:30-ish
Valet park.
Meet with KBD.
Luna de Noche.

Piña Colada.
Fish Tacos (orange roughy).
Stroll through North Park.
AMC.
Watch an INCREDIBLE movie.
Leave inspired.


Invictus

by William Ernest Henley; 1849-1903

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.
 

Monday, December 07, 2009

Music Minute: Cannonball ~ Damien Rice

Because Damien knows how to sing the soul's stirrings best.

Still a little bit of your taste in my mouth
Still a little bit of you laced with my doubt
Still a little hard to say what's going on

Still a little bit of your ghost your witness
Still a little bit of your face I haven't kissed
You step a little closer each day
Still I can't say what's going on

Stones taught me to fly
Love taught me to lie
Life taught me to die
So it's not hard to fall
When you float like a cannonball

Still a little bit of your song in my ear
Still a little bit of your words I long to hear
You step a little closer to me
So close that I can't see what's going on

Stones taught me to fly
Love taught me to lie
Life taught me to die
So it's not hard to fall
When you float like a cannon

Stones taught me to fly
Love taught me to cry
So come on courage!
Teach me to be shy
'Cause it's not hard to fall
And I don't wanna scare her
It's not hard to fall
And I don't wanna lose
It's not hard to grow
When you know that you just don't know
 

Saturday, December 05, 2009

I Smell R O S E S



Congrats to the Longhorns!
Nest stop:  Pasadena.


Editor's Note 12/7/09
Per KBC -- see correction. 
*blush*
Thanks for picking on me KBC!
muah!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Lord Stanley's Cup Returns to Big D

I read that the Stanley Cup was going to be making an appearance at the Dallas Galleria today.  I just HAD to go!  HAD to!  And I'm so glad I did!  What a very cool moment in life.

I was thinking about this silliness I am experiencing about The Cup.  It's downright giddy to be truthful.  Anyway, I was getting dressed and thinking to myself:  self, why is this so important?  I mean, in the grand scheme of life, it's not all that life-changing or moving.  It's mostly just entertainment.  So why does it matter?

Then I concluded it really DOESN'T matter, but it's one of those quality of life things.  If I had to surrender something to give more time and energy to something else, I could surrender hockey, football, television (TV would be SO easy!  I want to do it NOW!), and some other things.  But, since life is such a struggle, I cling to the things that make me excited -- like hockey, like seeing Lord Stanley's Cup IN PERSON.

KBD was there, too, and she took most of the pictures (thanks KBD!), then we had someone else snap us both together with the cup.  I took the closeup of the 1998-99 Dallas Stars Championship Team.


While there, KBD and I learned that every year, The Cup takes a tour, and every Friday after Thanksgiving, it's in Dallas.  Maybe I'll make an annual trek!

Oh!  And Happy Birthday, Dad.  I continue to love you more and more each day.  I miss you as much today than the day you rose.  Well, truthfully, miss you MORE than that.  xo

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Kind & Generous: A Thanksgiving Day Dedication

Not unlike the rest of the United States, I'm taking a moment to reflect on that which I've been ever so blessed.  I really get filled with humility and strong emotion as I walk that path.  Tears well up and my chest feels as if some force is pushing from the inside out, no doubt swelling with love -- pure, sweet love.

Thank you for walking the path with me, holding my hand and stopping every once in a while to listen to the lullaby of leafy trees, the kiss of a wandering breeze, a the putting me at ease.

You are ... Kind and Generous.



you've been so kind and generous
I don't know how you keep on giving
for your kindness I'm in debt to you
for your selflessness, my admiration
and for everything you've done

you know I'm bound...
I'm bound to thank you for it

you've been so kind and generous
I don't know how you keep on giving
for your kindness I'm in debt to you
and I never could have come this far without you
so for everything you've done

you know I'm bound...
I'm bound to thank you for it

I want to thank you
for so many gifts
you gave with love and tenderness
I want to thank you

I want to thank you
for your generosity
the love and the honesty
that you gave me

I want to thank you
show my gratitude
my love and my respect for you
I want to thank you

I want to...

thank you
thank you
thank you

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stomping Queen

Do you remember (or ever heard of) that song by Abba called "Dancing Queen"?  Well...just think of that song and insert "Stomping" in lieu of "Dancing" and that was me this morning!

I fell asleep feeling very angsty and kinda blah.  I slept very hard for a very short amount of time.  Around four of the clock in the ante meridiam, I awoke.  And I thought.  And layed.  And counted.  And thought.  And layed.  And counted.  And thought.  And layed.  And thought.  And thought.  And thought I need to quit laying and DO something.  I was *still* feeling angsty.

So, I decide to get my happy arse out of the bed and take a walk!  It was 4:55 ayem and this angstygirl was gonna just breathe in the crisp 40 degree weather and hopefully work out all the angst.  So, I slipped on my black and white Nikes, grab my iPod nano and head out the door. 

I don't know why I don't thrive on this.  I love that time of the morning.  It's quiet, peaceful.  It's still.  It settles me.

I turn the volume on my music up really high and listen to the Cowboy Junkies, Metric, Dandy Warhols.  I ended on "Santa Monica" by Everclear.  Let me tell you what...  I was so relaxed and uplifted when that song came on that I was literally stomping and dancing to that song on the last half block or so.  I'm sure my neighbors, if they saw, were giggling at me.

It felt good to feel good.  I am not used to that feeling, so it definitely feels even uncomfortable to feel that good. 

Here's hoping I can keep stomping in the mornings.... *clink*

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Music Minute: Friday Night by Girl Talk

Okay, so I've been freakishly obsessing about something, so I *had* to feature it on my blog. 

Have you ever heard of mash-ups?  Sometimes they're referred to as "mashables"?

If you've never heard of this amazing phenomenon, then get on the bandwagon!  It's not too late!  There's something in them for everyone!

So...I was watching a documentary on Hulu earlier this week called RiP:  A Remix Manifesto.  This guy, Gregg Gillis, a.k.a. Girl Talk, is a biomedical engineer who is essentially spearheading the movement to change copyright laws in the United States.  And I have to say I agree with him. 

Girl Talk is Gregg's DJ name and he takes familiar words, tunes, songs and digitizes them into a new song.  I am featuring "Friday Night" which has elements of the following:

0:00 (21:04) The Notorious B.I.G. - "Hypnotize" (portion sampled samples "Rise" by Herb Alpert)
0:01 (21:05) Salt-n-Pepa - "Let's Talk About Sex"
0:04 (21:08) Public Enemy - "Rebel Without a Pause"
0:18 (21:22) J-Kwon - "Tipsy"
0:36 (21:40) Billy Squier - "The Stroke"
0:36 (21:40) Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg - "Nuthin' but a "G" Thang" (portion sampled samples "I Wanna Do Something Freaky to You" by Leon Haywood)
0:55 (21:59) Missy Elliott - "I'm Really Hot"
1:22 (22:26) N.O.R.E. - "Nothin'"
1:31 (22:35) Black Sheep - "The Choice Is Yours (Revisited)"
1:40 (22:44) Donnie Iris - "Ah! Leah!"
1:40 (22:44) Chris Brown featuring Juelz Santana - "Run It!"
2:01 (23:05) The Waitresses - "I Know What Boys Like"
2:17 (23:21) Lady Sovereign - "Random"
2:26 (23:29) Nikka Costa - "Like a Feather"
2:44 (23:48) Mark Morrison - "Return of the Mack" (portion sampled samples "Genius of Love" by Tom Tom Club)
2:51 (23:55) TLC - "Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg"
2:54 (23:58) Busta Rhymes - "Touch It" (portion sampled samples "Technologic" by Daft Punk)
3:02 (24:06) The Black Crowes - "Hard to Handle"

This is how he does it (it looks so easy!):


So...I hope you did a little Girl Talk and I hope you support his cause. 

Now, git down witchyo bad self!

Claim to Fame

It was so lovely and romantic that I had to blog about it.

I was at a party where I met a slew of new people.  One man, an 88 year old retired M.D., was most fascinating.  We had a great conversation about West Texas, being as I grew up 'round those parts, and his life was mostly spent out yonder. 

Before he hobbled over to me, he stopped to introduce himself to another party guest.

M.D.:  *offering his hand to shake*  Hi.  I'm Ken Green.  My claim to fame is marrying that woman right there.  *motions to his wife*

How supercute is that?  And romantic!  After all their years together!

Whoosh!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Airplanes and Such

Heaving for breath.  Gasping almost.  A full on panic.

That's how I awoke this morning.  Internally, my body was afrenzy yet, externally, I lay in peace, nestled 'neath the teal and chocolate brown.

I had a lot of dreams through the night, but the one that left me in a heightened state was about an airplane crashing, and I was in it.

I don't remember too many particulars, just a few ... peripherals ... for lack of a better word.  I remember work was involved, and family was, too.  I was in an open meadow and boarded an airplane.  It wasn't at an airport; the meadow was literally an open field.  I stepped up the stairs and filed to the back of the plane since all the other seats were taken.  I was irritated because the back is the noisiest part and I was right by the bathroom. 

An older woman sat next to me, dressed sharply.  I know I knew her, but in retelling the dream, I cannot recall who she is.  I can't see her face.  I can only see her white button down shirt, starched and tucked into a gray wool skirt.  She had long legs, bare.  Her feet were adorned with black patent leather heels. 

So the plane takes off, elevates quickly into the clear blue sky.  I look out the window to my left, where the woman was sitting, and I see a jetliner heading RIGHT for us.  The nose of my plane lifted, dodging the jetliner, whose speed has left my plane in a bit of turbulance. 

My plane settles back into a safe state of flight.  I don't think anyone else has realized what's just happened.  I specifically recall no screaming, worried chatter, shifting of items.  It was weird.  And quiet.  Very quiet.

I look out my window to the right and see that same plane literally make a wide u-turn and target my plane again.  It clearly has a mission to take my plane out, and it's not going to fail.  I grip on to the armrests and watch incredulously as it lifts over my plane.  With my cheek pressed to the window, eyes fixated on the attack jetliner, I see it lift high above us, turn it's nose down and point it straight down toward the ground.  It dive bombs into my plane, ripping my plane right under my feet.  Literally I felt the whoosh of wind and the near-scrape of my chinny-chin-chin.  My body is tense, my back pushing so hard against the back of my seat, arms straight, fear and tears all over me. 

No sooner did it destroy my plane did it go away.  There was no debris.  No screams.  No bloodshed.  There was no sign whatsoever that an accident had just occurred.  Still quiet.

I'm floating in the sky, in control, alone at the back of the plane, nothing but the blue clear sky before me.  It was kind of like riding in my car with the windows down.  My hair was fluttering about, locks sometimes stinging a slap on my cheek and tickling my neck.  I was navigating that thing!

I grew immensely calm.  My body relaxed.  I felt free. 

I woke before the dream completed.  I've no idea if I crash landed or what.  I do know that I went from complete panic and fearful of dying to immense peace and calm, feeling very in control of that vehicle. 

Now, I don't know about you, but this girl thinks dreams are functional.  I believe my mind picks up on things subliminally, sensorially.  And I also believe that the emotions I feel during the day that I don't necessarily label or acknowledge as a particular feeling are manifested in my dreama.  Dreaming is the mind's way of reconciling all these issues and sensory stimuli, processing information and attempting to convey a message that's custom built for me.  One caveat here: I also think themes of dreams do have universality.  For example, dreaming of being naked means a fear of exposure -- of being vulnerable -- something secret being revealed.  Get the picture?


I think it meant that I need to be more confident and realize that I'm in control of more than I realize.  I also believe it means that I feel like I've made goals that I probably feel like I cannot attain, and by me feeling at peace and free at the end of my dream means that I am able to handle my goals.  In spite of obstacles, I can pilot my own plane so to speak, even if I'm not in the cockpit.  I don't have to be the leader to lead.  I don't have to be in uniform; I just need to be me, even if I'm afraid of myself. 

Hoaky, huh?  But legit.  Tewwwwwtally!

The question now is.... Do you want to get on an airplane with me?

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Thank You

Just wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to all you folks who have visited my blog, especially to those regular readers.  I know some of you, some I don't.  The folks I don't, I have a special fondness for since somehow our paths have crossed and keep crossing for reasons yet to be told.  That kind of connection is what makes life very intriguing to me.  To those who come regularly, some I know personally and others I don't, but have had some 'outside the blogosphere' conversation, and I'm ever grateful to have been given the privilege of some level of friendship with you.  I pray it blossoms.

Today I'm pushing out the phrase Be Life Giving Not Life Draining. 

I'm finding all of you to be life giving. 

Forever yours,
~J

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Guess Which One Is Me?



I'd be the one in my mom's belly.  Figure about six months along.  This is a picture of my parents on their wedding day 39 years ago this month.  They got married in North Pole, Alaska.  Yeah -- THE North Pole.  Santa's house and everything supposedly.  Even though I was there, I can't remember it -- wild party and all.

My parents anniversary song is "Wasted Days & Wasted Nights" by Freddy Fender.  There's some story about when we lived in Germany this song was the only country tune on a jukebox there.  I'm sure there are more glamorous details....  Hopefully their days were wasted.  Being as my mom was pregnanty with me on their wedding day, the nights obviously weren't wasted.  *wink*

Happy Belated Anniversary, Mom and Dad. 
xo

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hollywood Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet!

My Eldest turned nine recently, as you know.  Over the weekend, she celebrated by having some of her friends over to our house for a slumber party.  Even though the turn out was lower than expected, she had a fabulous time.  And she looked glamorous to say the least!  (Ahem.)


With "Hurray for Hollywood" and "That's Entertainment" playing in the background, a couple of girls were adorned with colorful feather boas as they arrived and took their walk along the Texas version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  (I made salmon colored, golden glittery stars with each girls name on it and placed them on our sidewalk.)  The girls were encouraged to arrive as if they were attending an award show or movie premier.  My Eldest was dressed up, too.  I allowed her to wear "adult" makeup, and did her face and hair for her -- tried to pamper her like a "real" star. 

Entering the house, they walked through silver and black balloons and received a "goodie bag" which was a purse that was filled with fake money, a movie ticket, a lip gloss, a couple of stickers of characters from High School Musical and a hair accessory.  We ordered pizza, then dove into an ice cream sundae bar, but not before the traditional singing of "Happy Birthday", complete with trick candles (what a hoot!).  The cake is THE BEST cake I've EVER had.  The cakery that prepared it has been making our cakes since my wedding day.  It was a strawberry cake in the design of a star with My Eldest's name on it, modeled after the ones on the real Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

The girls had to use their "money" to pay for their ice cream sundae, as well as popcorn for the movie.  My Little One collected tickets to "Wallace & Gromit:  The Curse of the Were-Rabbit".  I had lofty notions of hanging a curtain around the tele so that it looked like a real movie theater. 

Feathers were everywhere this morning, as was confetti. Despite my best efforts to fend off gluten, I ate cake for breakfast.  Gawd that's the best damn cake ever as in EVERRRR!  There were gold and silver paper cups with sad looking paper umbrellas covering the openings.  Sleeping bags were strewn about the living room, yet giddy laughter of sweet girls carried down the hallway to awaken me.

I prepared french toast, eggs and fresh fruit for breakfast then hurried the girls along as their moms were arriving to take the little starlets home. 

It was a great time.  Wonder what's in store for next year?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

One of Those "Trust the Process" Reflections

Strolling through life feeling the squeeze of discomfort lends itself to pining for things past that brought feverish passion and life to me.

In junior high and high school, I was in the Drama Club.  Like a lot of girls, I wanted to be an actress.  I remember back then that I had my eye on the silver screen, but I imagined myself more a Broadway sort of gal.  (I can't sing, so yeah, that went kaplooie.)

In my graduation year, the drama teacher suggested I should* attend college in New York City at the American Music and Drama Academy (AMDA).  She told me I had a full scholarship awaiting me -- I just had to show up for a reading in Dallas (I was living in El Paso at the time).  I was naive enough to believe her, yet there was a strange facet to the relationship I shared with my drama teacher.  That facet was potent enough to create an air of suspicion, or at the least a hesitation, about her suggestion. 

My memory becomes pretty fuzzy of events following.  I remember that I received an invitation letter from AMDA that validated what the drama teacher told me.  I was not allowed to go to the Dallas reading.  Over the summer, I got the scholarship offer.  I wasn't allowed to accept it, so, a chance at "living my dream" passed by me. 

The following summer, again, I amazingly got yet ANOTHER full scholarship offer to attend AMDA.  Still, I was unable to accept.

I trust the process.  It's not a secret that I believe that wholeheartedly.  But, there are certain events and dreams that linger, and being on stage is one of those "events" for me.

Every time I attend a play or a musical, it's a bittersweet outing.  I cry easily.  I think subconsciously I place the tears in appropriate places so that my grief for not being one of those actors looks more like I'm empathizing with the scene.  Truly, my heart ACHES.  It's usually hard for me to watch the shows, but there's nothing that will keep me from going once I am in possession of a ticket!  Undoubtedly, my mind slips back to being an 18 year old girl full of dreams and then the wondering begins:  I wonder what I would be doing right now if I had fought for my independence 20 years ago?  I wonder where I'd be living?  I wonder if I would've ever been trained to sing -- at least good enough for backup parts?  I wonder ...

... and, there is a plethora of good and right and spiritually valuable answers that validate that I am where I am supposed to be right now.  But still...I bleed at times during stage performances; and at "Mary Poppins", this time was no exception.  Seeing My Little One be veritably unimpressed (a.k.a. over-tired as evidenced below) is one of the manyMANY reasons I'm living in Dallas, Texas, a mom of two stunning girls, married to a good man, doing what I do day in and day out....



*should is filled with fantasies, so I've recently learned.  Looks to be true in this case....

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Music Minute: Eight Miles Wide by Storm Large

She kicked ass on that show with Dave Navarro (who is a total hot. I'm in denial that he's pretty skanky so don't remind me...).  Gwynnethe told me Storm Large is 40.  She gets better and better the more I know her. 

I went out with Gwynnethe tonight.  We shared some pretty heavy conversation, as we so often do.  An appetizer, a drink, an entree and a shared dessert later, we get in her car and head back to my house.  On the trip from the restaurant, she plays "Eight Miles Wide" by Storm Large.  Holy freakin' COW I love this song!  Now you have to, too!

Check out the video here.

Thanks, Gwynnethe!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day: Climate Change

I considered taking the easy way out by just creating a hyperlink to my previous green blog, but decided I should be more committed to the intent of the day.  I have been tempted to use sarcasm and poke fun at the intent, too, but that wouldn't be very classy or supportive.  After all, climate change IS an important issue.  Admittedly, I don't undertand it much.  I hear snippets and read blurbs about global warming, gleen some stats here and there, furrow my brow at scientific blabbityblah.  The whole thing truthfully gives me tired-head. 

BUT....

I *have* been going through quite an awareness heightening....

....we live in SUCH a wasteful world, especially here in the States.  It's the land of OVERFLOWING milk & honey.  The food we waste, the packaging of the food is wasteful.  Stop and think about it.  How much crap do you throw out?  My daughter's school sends home all kinds of paper and 99% goes right into the recycling -- then at the end of the school year, it all gets pitched.  With all this email and other technology, you seriously have to send me all these newletters and reminders and permission slips and flyers and, and, and ON PAPER?  Oy!  Food and school papers are only two examples of the severe amount of waste.  You know as well as I do how many other things get wasted.  Let's not even start on styrofoam.  Ugh.

I'm not someone who is willing to die for saving the Earth.  I alone cannot save the Earth.  I alone cannot control global warming (a source of contention).  I alone cannot effectuate mass change to control emissions.  There are many things environmentally related that I cannot do alone.  What I CAN do, is act responsibly.  I can keep my life as clean as possible.  It's not my job to infringe my habits on others.  It's not my job to witness to my neighbor about how abusive he or she is being -- about how careless and disrespectful.  No.  That's not my job.  My job is to live MY life to the best of my ability and strive to be better.

Better....

That's a toughie for a girl who gets tired-head about climate change. 

So, I think for now, I'll sit and absorb.  Observe.  Listen.  Then I'll act.  I need to learn more, but I'm not going to die for what I find out.  That's someone else's job.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

U2/Muse Concert Experience

Different.

Concerts are so different these days.  All of the sensory stimulation. Light shows, flashing lights, sounds and more sounds, beyond the music.



U2 has this 360 Tour. It's in support of No Line on the Horizon, complete with an elaborate round stage in which the guys can be see from any side, so as to not discriminate any part of the audience. It looks like some sort of futuristic, robotic crustacean sent to infuse concert-goers with the greatness of U2. And that's just for the lighting effects! 


Muse is who I really went to see. I absolutely love this band and their music! Supermassive Black Hole hooked me and I haven't been the same since. Behind us sat a woman and her teenage son. They each had come to see Muse more than U2. It was a win-win because the mother also loved U2 and was able to share the experience and introduce her son to the legend of U2.



This concert was held at Jerryworld (a.k.a. The Death Star, a.k.a. Dallas Cowboys Stayjium), which wasn't exactly the most ideal venue for the stage set-up. Unbelievably, the giant jumbotron can't be lifted or or some how moved to accommodate a tall stage such as U2's. Furthermore, the sound of the concert was mediocre where I was sitting in the second tier. It's U2, so they always sound amazing, but I imagine the further up one sat, the worse the sound. Wonder how it sounded on the floor?

I walked out of there with the intention of getting U2's CD. "Sexy Boots" was new to me and I felt quite sassy listening to it. Why wouldn't I want that as a part of my regular listening line-up??


U2 is legendary. I saw them in 1993 in El Paso, Texas, during their Zoo TV tour, and will see them as often as I can. Bono is so brilliant. He has politics but is so diplomatic with how to express them. I respect that about him. They didn't disappoint then, and they most certainly didn't disappoint this time! Since it's been so long between seeing them, I have a newer appreciation of their depth & overall care for humanity.

Go see them if you can -- both bands!


October 15th: Blog about Climate Change

I'm not sure I can do it justice, but I'm all about unity for good causes (even ones I don't know a lot about or personally advocate in my day to day living).  I'm digging that blogger is part of this global activity.

I hope my fellow bloggers give this a go, and if you've considered starting a blog, well, now's your time!

Monday, October 12, 2009

U2/Muse



Just reminding you that I'm going to see the greatness of U2 & Muse tonight with KBD at the Death Star.




Unless you're going....

The don't be.

~
Hope to see you there.

x

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Salona Barber, Part Deux

She clearly breathes it.

Seems she sleeps it.



I wonder if she eats it, too?
(Ew.)

That basket embraced by My Little One is the Basket O' Clips - the very same clips that adorned my hair last night (see yesterday's post).

God, how I love this kid!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Salona Barber Saves the Night

My Little One says her name is Salona Barber as she busily clips my hair and styles it for the royal ball tonight.  I had no idea I was going until I started playing Monopoly with My Eldest on our living room floor.  Suddenly Miz Barber had a basket full of clips.  It all happened so fast!



Anyway, I was told that my hair was most stylish and impressive.  What do you think?

(Sorry you FB friends who get to see this twice!)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Wondering

Alone.
Sitting in the closet.
It's dark.
Makeup removed.
Hair disheveled.
Only a light from the laptop shines.
I read.

It almost pains me to read it.
In fact, I am writhing.

I lose myself there.
Only in bits and pieces.
I can't do it for too long.
Lest my heart leave my chest.

I'm so curious.
So, SO curious.

Looking up at the mirror.
I'm looking back at me.
Shadows shade the parts to hide.
And I wonder.
I can't stop The Wondering.

Should I?
Should The Wondering cease?

Monday, September 28, 2009

To Be Smarter Than...

OMGosh!  The Return of My Favorite Music!  The Return of My Music Widget! 

Music on my page -- on autoplay! 

I figured out how to add music back to my blogger page!  I'm soooo thrilled!  It's a satisfying feeling to know that I can be smarter than the applications at times.

With that being said, feast your ears on the wickedcool "Endlessly" by Muse (instrumental.  With words, it's pretty freakin' bitchen, too.  If you listen long enough, you'll hear BOTH!  SCORE one for you!).  I will be seeing Muse with U2 on October 12 at the Death Star, just in case anyone's interested. 

I'm a happyjackie today!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Coolest Things Happen To Me

At the risk of sounding arrogant, I'm going to share this story. But the story isn't about what the actual words are, rather, it's about the the lasting result of being genuinely human with one another in a snap of a second of a lifetime can have a ripple effect on a person.
Here goes....
At lunchtime today, I drug my lazy hiney out of the office and ventured to the big red double circle 'round the corner to buy some home accessories (they didn't have them, dammit!).
My Eldest's birthday is coming up soon, and I saw a shoe store across the parking lot as I exited the double circle establishment. There was an older, very small-framed, balding gentleman washing windows of the shoe store. The squeegie must've been at least half his height! He was dressed in rugged jeans and a faded black t-shirt. Deep in his face, were what seemed to be carved wrinkles.
As I got out of my car to walk into the store, I thought for a brief moment of telling him how nice the windows look. I tend to notice those kinds of things randomly. And I often think to myself that people who wash windows don't get a whole lot of attention. This is true for most professions such as lawn care, home care, and the like. These are the people that are often taken for granted by society at large. Even if his handiwork wasn't good, he still deserves respect and a friendly smile.
I chickened out on the compliment, but still warmly smiled at him and returned his "hello" in kind as I opened the door to enter the store. So often, people talk to one another but don't look AT each other. I try to offer my eyes to the person behind the counter at the grocery store, the taxi driver, the stranger to whom I just gave $1.00.
A short while later, without purchasing kiddie shoes, I headed out the door.
The window cleaner, who was not close to the door, came the distance to the door and opened it for me. (Did he know that I'm such a huge fan of chivalry?!)
Me: Thank you! I appreciate that! *smile while looking at him*
Him: You're welcome. *head bowed down and a slight pause* I like your hair style.
Me: *caught off guard* Oh! Well...thank you again. *bigger smile & a strut to my step now*
Him: You're very welcome.
That was it ~ a compliment from a stranger that has absolutely made my day. But, like I said, this story isn't so I could tell you that the whole world thinks I have great hair (because I don't have great hair, nor does the whole world think I do!). It's the unspoken interaction was so much bigger than the spoken.
Now I feel bad for not telling him he was doing a good job on the windows. (But, my guess is, he knows...)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Reappearance of the Favorite Word: Anthropodermic Bibliopegy

Thanks to HRH KP, I learned this very unusual phrase today. I just had to share it! It's one of those phrases that describes something that one can't not help but look -- kind of like when you rubberneck at car accidents. Is there blood? Dead bodies? Scraping of skin from the center median?

It went down like this: This ayem, I received an email from HRH KP with the subject line reading: um, gross. Contained in the body of the email is an online article link about skin with the command "Check out #19".

So, of course, I clicked on the link, read the title and jumped to #19, which read: The Cleveland Public Library, Harvard Law School and Brown University all have books clad in skin stripped from executed criminals or from the poor.

Okay. So let's think about this for a second or two.

*tap, tap, tap*

Done yet?

*tap, tap, tap*

Now you're done. Discuss.

What the F?! Did the poor get money in exchange for having their skin ripped or filleted from their bodies? Huh? I don't get that AT ALL. I understand the executed criminal thing, but I don't understand the poor thing. AT ALL!

Personally, I think the concept is kind of cool, these skin bound books. It's the macabrejackie who digs it, just like I dig reading books about serial killers and sexual predators.

Since I am a curious kitty, I googled "skin bound books" or something like that. It returned several results, one being Infocult's blog where the author has coined, or at least cited, this wickedfancy term: Antropodermic Bibliopegy. That wickedfancy term somehow takes the oogieness out of the notion of books bound in human skin, huh? It's all technical and sort of medical, extremely scientific.

I found a definition of it on Wikipedia. Take it for what's it worth. If I ever get to see one of those books IRL, you will be THE FIRST to know! Wanna see a picture of one? Click here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Offering for Mommy


Windblown

Stripes

Little white flowers

Pursed lips

An offering



All for mama.

Catwoman Series, Parts 1 and 2

My Little One is quite the imaginative child. She is especially clever, as are most kids, with coming up with delay tactics to divert imminent bedtime, the dreaded surrender to sleep. So, whilst procrastinating, she is at least entertaining....




Inventory of top picture Catwoman 1:
1 scary face
1 catwoman pose
1 head full of curly blonde hair
1 pair of pink bike-riding gloves, complete (incomplete?) with cut off finger tips
1 pair of pink and bejeweled high heels
1 panda print night gown
LOADS of personality
Inventory of bottom picture Catwoman 2:
1 head full of curly blonde hair
2 pairs of socks that belong to Big Sister (a.k.a. kitty paws)
1 red knit stocking, bottom's atop the head, legs flowing like stretched out bunny ears
1 twirly whirl to allow for perfect picture posing
1 repeat appearance of the panda print pajamas
A PLETHORA of imagination
It's hard to get mad at her for not being in bed when she's so entertaining.
Any guesses as to what she wants to be for Halloween?

Monday, September 14, 2009

I need to learn HTML

SRSLY.

The formatting on blogger makes me CRAY!ZAY!

Whenever I insert a picture, the line spacing goes wonky.

Annoying.

Verily so.

kthnxbye

Thursday, September 10, 2009

"More Later" is Right Now



So, on the 6th, I posted a picture about an Apparition of the Holy Mother with a brief entry: More later.

Later is now.


On the Shiner Trip, My Family stayed at a hotel in Halletsville, which is approximately ten minutes from Shiner. The Texas highway between the towns is nature-filled, sparsely a building or sign around. It's one of those drives where your mind is going further than your car is.


Anyway, on the way back from Shiner after church on Saturday night, this GIANT advertisement (if you want to call it that) leapt out at us. My Husband and I turned to each other and simultaneously said, "Did you see that?!", followed by, "We HAVE to go see this tomorrow!".




Pecan Grove is the place.

Pecan Grove is where an apparition of the Blessed Mother appeared to a farmer. The farmer experienced a miracle, and in an enormous leap of faith, posted a shrine to his experience, described below (I hope the picture is legible):



It's really a peaceful, lush area. The bees buzz about, and dragonflies whiz by the ear, cicadas chorale sing, therefore drowning out the occasional noise of any passing-by vehicle. Nestled in the overgrowth is a sweet, humble shrine. Inside the gazebo-style hallowed place was a large cork board where passers-by and the Faithful have left prayer petitions, pictures, trinkets. As with most places of worship, there is a visitors book where guests may leave their location, name and other information. It had been weathered, yet still perfectly legible. Surprisingly, we were not the only visitors that day.

The picture at the top is a close up of the statue of Mary with Jesus (of course) shining down upon her.

By now, especially if you are not a Roman Catholic, you've probably snickered and shook your head side to side in cynnicism, mockery and/or disbelief. And that's fine -- I get it. I understand how ridiculous it sounds when the media reports that someone saw an image of Jesus Christ in a piece of toast, or that someone bears the stigmata, or tears of blood streaming from the eyes of religious statues. I get that Catholics are perceived weird with our "Catholic Guilt" and "Praying to False Idols" and "Cannibalism" and so forth. Immediately, the person who saw the image falls into two categories: blessed or certifiablycrazyinthecabeza.

Who am I to judge?

Maybe that sight was meant for only a person or certain persons. Maybe the rest of the world isn't supposed to see it. Everyone gets their own sign from Above. It's a matter of keeping the mind and eyes open to see it.

So, again, who am I to judge?

Know what I admire most about these "silly" stories? The unconditional, uninhibited, unabated faith. The faith of a person who believes so intensely as to share it with the world. The faith of the person to subject themselves to teasing and ridicule so they can make a rudimentary shrine on the side of a Texas highway. I am a faithful woman, but my faith is not that convicted. Even if I don't believe the "weird" story, I have respect for the person who experienced the miracle. And it would do me well to open my mind more radically.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

You Can Blame Facebook & Bejeweled

I've been pretty quiet here, lately. You might or might not have noticed. I think I acknowledged it a few weeks ago and promised I'd fill you in. Part of me thinks you don't really care (I mean, why should you?). That same part of me thinks it would bore you. But, I'm not on blogger for you. A part of me is, true. But largely, this is about me -- like any other run in the mill blogger.



So, what have I been up to as of late?



Facebook and Bejeweled!

Facebook is almost like Chicken Minis. SRSLY! And this guy with whom I work, he got me hooked on Bejeweled. Several of us play at work and we have this underlying competition going on amongst each other. Conversely, we are all doing a nice info-share on tips and tricks (as if there really ARE some?! C'mon!) But, yeah, HOOKED! I have yet to be number one. I want to be number one, dammit!

In between playing games on facebook, I have taken a couple of little trips. My wedding anniversary has recently passed. My Husband has a fondness for Shiner Bock beer, and he's of German descent. Me, being of American Indian descent and English descent, am more of a wine girl. Admittedly, I find Shiner beer yummy, and particulary liked their 100th anniversary Black Lager. Anyway, we ventured off, just the two of us and had us a beer drinkin', wine tastin', church tourin', relaxin' good time in the Heart O' Texas, settled primarily by Germans and Czechs. There's a little town called Shiner, Texas. (Imagine that!) The Spoetzl Brewery, which produces Shiner beer, is there and we took a tour of it. Never have I seen tightly-wound husband so relaxed, enjoying the moment. It was fun to see him like that! (This picture is of their ram logo, which I learned that 'bock' means 'ram' in German.)


While there, we drove around to some other little towns in the Hill Country and decided we'd do some wine tasting. My Husband had never done that before, so, this trip turned out to be a learning experience for both of us! We visited a couple of wineries, and enjoyed the ambiance, and of course, the WINE! We met a neat couple at Driftwood. Together, the four of us enjoyed good conversation about American politics, healthcare, wine (duh) and Texas for over an hour as we admired the grapes, soaked in the Summertime Texas breeze while atop a sea of grapes.

Somehow a case of wine hid itself in our car and made it back to Dallas with us! I'm not sure we'll drink them all in our lifetime since neither of us are drinkers much, but I guess it'll be nice to break open a bottle every once in a while when there's occasion to do so.

Around town, in store front windows, we saw fliers for several church picnics, all happening over Labor Day weekend. It was decided we'd come back for Labor Day weekend, bring the kids, and see what these German/Czech picnics have to offer. The Catholic church in Shiner is exquisite! And they know how to throw a party, too! At the American Legion Hall, there were craft booths, accordian music, beergartens, an auction, face painting, dancing, bratwursts with saurkraut -- the whole nine yards! The kids LOVED Shiner and want to go back next year. I can see this being a tradition now.


As I mentioned, we also toured some churches. Being newly Catholic, I'm intrigued with how Mass is celebrated in parishes outside of my home parish. Inevitably, there's something a little different about each Mass. And, of course, the churches are decorated/designed differently, and are artwork in and of themselves. The anniversary trip was finished by visiting some different Catholic churches on our way out of town: the first Catholic church settled in Texas and the oldest rural church in Texas whose founder's life was lost at the seige of the Alamo. (The opening picture that I took is from an outdoor Shrine of Mother Mary at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Roman Catholic Church in Shiner.)
Enough with the fun travels. On to the notsofun travels. My parents-in-law, as you might recall, have a house in East Texas. Us kids have been rotating months to tend to it. I think we are all beginning to get our heads wrapped around the notion that the place might have to be sold at some point in the distant future. That house was my FIL's place to be in the world and he still aches for it as he lies in his bed at the nursing home. Anyway, between the three couples, we've been taking my MIL down there to sort through things and figure out what they will keep and what they will sell or trash. My Husband and I have taken her down there three or four times in the last month or so. She sifts through boxes, closets and cabinets while we slave away taming the overgrown brush on the outside. My FIL was quite the plant enthusiast and everything he's grown has run amuck! Now the bushes are teeming with roaches (gross!), the wasps have built nests everywhere, even inside the BBQ griller!, and the garden snakes like to spook me. He has some old cars out there that My Husband tries to start and keep running, keep them in decent shape. So, there's been a lot of banana tree burning, bamboo cutting, tree trimming, shrub shaping and various other goings-on as of late out there. It's kind of sad, really, but I suspect invaluable for the grieving process of end of life decisions....
And, to top things off, my employer laid off about 20% of it's corporate workforce a few weeks ago. I've been there eight years and was shocked, utterly SHOCKED by this action! Thankfully, I am still employed. Sadly, many talentend people were let go, and no doubt are finding better, more stable opportunities elsewhere. I was pretty rattled, truthfully. I've seen a lot come and go there, but never had I see anything like this major layoff. Oddly, the company is hosting a 20 year celebration at a ritzy mansion here in Dallas. Seems kind of ... inappropriate? wrong? bolstering? ... you can insert your own word. I don't want to speak down about my company because, as I've stated in the past, I've felt loyalty from them and they have presented amazing opportunities to a girl like me who has no college degree. I do appreciate having a job, no doubt. Do I feel invincible, untouchable? NO. Do I feel expendable? YES! Do I worry? Sure. But, in true Jackiefashion, I will roll with the punches and take them as they come, good or bad. No matter what, I know I am resilient, flexible and resourceful. I'll be okey-dokey-pokey.
*sigh*
So...that's kinda what's been going on 'round here lately. Throw in some home repairs, a broken fence, retexturing of a bathroom, and the start of a new school year, we have quite the cauldron of yummygoodness called LIFE.
That's all for now, folks!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sleepless in Dallas

To all of you who know me well and personally and tell me that I don't sleep enough, be it now publicly known that I've attempted to go to bed "on time" several times over the summer, and guess what? I'm up in the middle of the night! What's the point? I've been awake two hours now. No doubt I will be sleepy and going back to sleep just as it's time to awaken to start a new day. Then I'll be freakin' exhausted all day....

I don't think I need eight hours of sleep. I think five to six suits me well.

I have often said that I think sleep is a waste of time. I also love sleep. There's nothing better than a Sunday afternoon nap in the fall and winter. Yet, I could be doing so much MORE with life if I didn't have to sleep....

So, I guess I'll turn off the laptop and try to go back to sleep. My Little One has managed to worm her way between My Husband and I. Her feet are on my pillows and I'm likely to feel her heel plow into my ocular orbits by sunrise. I need to take her back to her bed....

Nite.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lazy Daze of August

It's been a rough month, and I've been really out of sorts.

I've felt like writing and have several entries started, but none finished. I suppose I'll belt out several in one night. There's been a lot going on, but I haven't been motivated to sculpt the words into their final form just yet.

Some highlights include back to school, a wedding anniversary, a couple of weekend trips, some cleaning out and cluttering (more like moving piles from one house to the other), some deaths, some job-related bru-ha-has, and the like. In all of that, I've been thinking and daydreaming way too much. It's one thing to endure or relish the events, and quite another to elevate them to a greater, bigger cause and purpose.

Anyway, stay tuned if you are able and interested. The blog will once again be flourishing with photos and stories that might make you laugh or frown. Either way, I know I'll be in good company, even if that means I'm alone.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Running

It happens to me almost daily, more so in the last couple of years.
The sky is always blue & clear. The air is coolish, like on a Fall Texas late afternoon.
Each day, I envision myself as a long-distance runner. My hair is long, pulled back in a pony tail that's flopping happily against my neck and back with each step jogged. I'm lean, very lean. My stomach is flat, my arms are sharply defined, no signs of back fat. There's no jiggling or short breath or burning lungs.
I'm wearing jogging clothes, but not a baggy t-shirt and spandex shorts that are stretched waaaaay too tightly around the thighs, with the legs of the spandex curling up and cutting off the cirulation at the inner thigh, rising high and higher, where I'm constantly having to reach down and pull the shorts down from between my legs. *cringe* Nah, I'm wearing a matching set of something feminine, definitive and exercise-y, and it's staying in its place.
I'm not running away from anything. No. I'm not running toward something either. At least, I don't think I am. As I type this, I'm not sure about that statment anymore. Hmm.
In my visions, I don't ever finish running. Then again, now that I think about it, I don't ever see myself begin the jog, either. Another hmmm.
Steady.
Focused.
Disciplined.
Diligent.
Committed.
Did I tell you? I hate running. I abhor it, mostly because I can't run for any length of time and for some reason, I'm embarrassed about that. As a kid, I wanted to try out for the track team, so I did. The coach wanted me for long-distance running and I wanted to do shot put or some other FIELD part of the "Track & Field". I didn't want to do RUNNING! During that same year, I remember feeling so satisfied in completing a five minute mile in P.E., but I still felt ... I dunno ... less than...the other girls (who were skinny and cute and popular). Why did running and being "first" at a run in P.E. have to be a measure of my popularity in school? How silly! This is one of the strange, social, cultural pressures of being female -- even at an early age of junior high/middle school.
From time to time, I try to get into it. I got pretty serious about it the year I got married. It lasted a couple of months. Not sure why I quit doing it. Probably because I hated it. hahaha
One time, on a gym treadmill, I ran for eight minutes in a row! Cool, huh? I have to cover up the timer screen with my towel so I don't do the give-up based on how far or how long I've jogged. It's a psychology thing. I'm wired that way.
Ironically, I've alwaysALWAYS admired runners. It takes incredible drive to maintain a running schedule. I am amazed at the notion of a "runner's high". It grosses me out when people tell me they ran a marathon and their toe nails have fallen out, but even though it makes me want to hurl, I have much respect for that. MUCH respect! The body of most runners are firm and shapely -- healthy. The serious runner has good complexion, control of their food and beverage intake, tans, and peace. Sure, there are some out there that are radical fanticals and are pretty wheels-off, but for the most part, I know very stable runners.
Tonight, while walking our dog, I had a revelation. It was one that was sort of sneaking from the back to the front of my mind when I told a man with whom I work that I was getting to that age where if I die, people say "she died so young!", but I'm older, so have to be more careful with my body. So, building on that, I realized that I'm afraid to exercise because I don't want to die. I have this irrational fear that the most minimal exertion will cause me to have a heart attack and die. I gotta get over that....GOTTA!
I've tried to figure out what this image is supposed to mean -- the one I have of me being healthy, lean and strong. What does it mean that I don't start or finish? What does it mean?
Perhaps it is an metaphor for my life? I'm constantly running, but not the physical jogging kind. Instead, my mind is busy all the time. And my schedule stays busy. Work is busy. Blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda.
Perhaps it's a self-acknowledgement. The image embodies all that I want be. It contains characteristics of which I lack: drive, ambition, a clear-cut path, and probably most importantly, commitment; committment to myself, the regime, the schedule, to food/beverage plan. I suppose I am not a horrible person because I lack these qualites, after all, I have several strengths which are serving me equally well, if not better than any jog would. Commitment is definitely a biggie, though. Yessireebob-o.
Perhaps it's me in a few years, physically running. Could it be that what I'm seeing now is what I will be (without the flat tummy -- no hope there unless I get cosmetic surgery!). I once heard Kate Gosselin say about having all her babies something to the effect that once you get your mind to accept that it's a possiblity, your body and actions can follow and you start to think, 'yeah, I can DO this". I'd like to think that this is true for me. With any luck, maybe someone someday will coach me or mentor me, train me somehow. I am the kind of person who needs an authority over me in order to respond.
I dunno... I'm sure there are other possiblities. Feel free to share if you like. For now, I'm going to go to bed. I'm sure I'll see myself running.
Nite. *yawn*