31 December 2005

Mr. Postman, Look and See....

Yesterday, I got a Christmas card from my Gram. The Boise postmark was December 5. Underneath it was an "official" red ink stamped date that said "Santa Ana, CA" around the outside edges, "December 29, 2005" in the middle, and next to it the text read "FOUND IN SUPPOSEDLY EMPTY EQUIPMENT". So obviously this happens often enough for them to go to The Rubber Stamp Store and order a specific stamp that points out the nature of their mail loss error.

It got me to thinking about what else is in the collection of rubber stamps next to the mail sorter's cup of coffee.


And, maybe the stamps aren't just to explain what the error was, but actually let us know they're thinking of us and don't have an explanation but want to acknowledge that there was a delay:

For Birthday Cards: "FOUND OUT YOU'RE NOT ACTUALLY 29"

I suppose I could go on like this all day but I have to go mail your gift certificate. Look for it soon!

28 December 2005

Libby, Libby, Libby on the Label, Label, Label, But 1st a Nod to Nicole

Neil Kramer of "citizen" fame has been writing for Blogebrity and made my partner the "ebrity" of the day which is pretty cool and the particular blog entry was actually going to be up for discussion here but he beat me to the punch on a bigger front so kudos to Nicole!

And now, the thing I've been avoiding writing about....My life has alway been a tish intertwined and has a tendency to go back over explored territory in order to re-draw the map of relationships. This year, my husband and I had my ex-husband and his new "girlfriend" over to our house for Christmas Eve. Girlfriend in quotes because I'm not sure that they are at the stage that they're actually labeling one another with an official title at this point. For all you internet daters, Nicole, pay attention here...they met on-line. He lives in Minneapolis and she lives in the Los Angeles area so other than the 1000s of miles between them and the fact that she is a toe-tag liberal and he is a hard-core, true-blue (or should I say Red?) Republican, it seems to be a match made in cyber-heaven.

Which I suppose brings me to the real point, which was touched on in Nicole's entry and actually recently discussed by Kris of "I'm Not a Girl..." fame - just what is it about labels that we cling to? Yes, the ex is a Republican, he's also pro-choice, pro-gay-rights, and for all intent and purpose, a social liberal. So, he's more "Mark" (his name) than Republican....While they were here and she was ranting about his *gasp* political affiliation, we asked if she could agree to disagree and she said "no way". So I guess the relationship is doomed from the get-go, but it brought up a memory of what another close (liberal) friend said to me. "I want to be Democrat but all the liberals I meet can't have a political discussion without getting judgmental...it makes me lean toward becoming a Republican just so I can have an open political discussion that weighs both sides without it becoming a name-calling free for all." Now, I'm sure that there are plenty of close-minded, right-leaning folk but I have to agree that the liberal people I talk to (and I'm a democrat) have a tendency to take a holier than thou "I'm an intellectual and I know better than you" sort of attitude about things. On the other hand, you've never really experienced "holier-than-thou" until you have mixed religion with the right.

All this rambling to say, HEY PEOPLE LIGHTEN UP!!! We aren't our political affiliation, we're not our color, we're not our sex or sexual orientation, our religion or our medical condition....those are all merely portions of our make-up. And it's not just how other people see you, the thing is, until you learn to let go of your own labels for yourself, no one else is going to clearly see you for the amazing multi-faceted individual you are.

27 December 2005

OMG - January goals just around the corner

Man, in November I set all kinds of goals for my time off before the next semester of writers' group, thesis work and the new year all started up again. I haven't finished a single one and been very lazy this holiday season.

1. Go through poetry manuscript, pull poems that need some tweaking and do it.
2. Finish 1st draft of screenplay.
3. Write every day.

1. Well, I did re-order the poems and did manage to plug in some stuff that I wrote since the workshop of the first draft. In the shower yesterday, did come up with a new twist to a poem with a weak ending. Have not followed up on my shower musings.
2. Still sits next to my computer completed through the mid-point (about page 60)
3. Have written in my journal about once a week. Have been more active on my blog so I guess that counts.

My New Years resolutions are going to be chock full this time around. What are your resolutions?

22 December 2005

Teaching our Children

With all this talk about the "meaning" of Christmas and what we're teaching our children, either in the true Christian meaning of Christmas or the all-encompassing meaning of the kwanza, judeo-christian-roman-celtic meaning of the re-birth of solstice,we all missed the one main politically-unencumbered salient point.


There is an old riddle that will give you a clue.....If you are living in a house and all of the windows face south...what color is the bear?


WHY??? Because Polar Bears live in the arctic circle....and penguins????

Yup, Antarctic....

So if I see that baby polar bear slide down that hill one more time to the Wilson brothers into the penguins' beach party, I'm gonna' scream -

Stop worrying about the true meaning of Christmas and start worrying about basic geography people!!! What the f&#@ are you teaching your children???

21 December 2005

Holiday Shopping (yes, I mean Christmas...)

I've been reading a lot of blogs lately about canceling Christmas because of the religious connections and even more from the religious right complaining about the fact that it has lost all meaning because folks have to say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas to the shoppers. It all seems fairly silly and if you want to impart the true meaning of Christmas and think that the winter festival talent shows just aren't doing it for you, rent the Peanuts special and have your kids replay the Linus speech over and over.

In the meantime, here in "Christmas has always been a holiday celebrating material gift-giving" land, the holiday is tight for us this year and even though we told friends and family "no gifts" and they all agreed, I just got a UPS package containing a bunch of little presents from Carl's sister. It's okay, she had sent a warning email that we were getting a UPS delivery so we arranged to send something today (thank god for 1800Flowers because the last minute shopping is made easier with their food and flowers).

Unfortunately, I didn't do any shopping for my own family and I'm feeling a bit like a grinch this year. A grinch that just spent a ton of money on tuition last year. The Trojan Horse is eating prime hay this year on me.

I guess this post is to say that my new year's resolution (albeit early) is to do what a close friend does, which is to throw herself into the spirit all year round and if she sees something during the year that she thinks would be perfect for you, she picks it up and puts it in a box in her closet until the appropriate time. Next year, you'll get something small but perfect and you can start making suggestions in January.

Winter solstice today comes with 80 degree weather, to answer the sick weather gods, I'm listening to Winter Wonderland - the ambiance feels a little off so I'm leaving the veloblinds closed.

19 December 2005

Tis the Season

For reflection on accomplishment over the past year, for the blues, the blahs and the perfectly timed parties to pick you up.....

Went to my friend, CJay's, open house yesterday and wasn't in the jolliest of holiday moods but it was great to see old friends and even better to make a new one. Yesterday, I ended up having one of those "oh my god we're the same person trapped in separate bodies" conversations with a lovely man named Tony who is incredibly handsome, funny, smart and just a wonderful soul. Now, before you fear for Carl, understand that Tony is also gay.

Tony and I, having been born only two months apart, had one of those, "oh my god I read that book the same year!" while we both sang the lyrics to various schoolhouse rock videos, conversations... It didn't matter that I grew up in the midwest and he grew up in Long Island, we had all the same cultural (and pop culture) reference points.

Meeting Tony cheered me considerably. It was real and funny and the energy of matching wits and truly connecting with a fellow human being made me realize that while reward for creative output would be nice, the truth is, sometimes that happens but most of the time, you are creating to create, writing to write, and you do it because you love it. And I do. In the meantime, in this life, I get to hang out with cool, creative people and sing ...

}} Conjunction Junction, what's your function?
Hooking up words and phrases and clauses.
}} Conjunction Junction, how's that function?
I got three favorite cars
That get most of my job done.
}} Conjunction Junction, what's their function?
I got "and", "but", and "or",
They'll get you pretty far.

18 December 2005

The Art of Happiness

Nicole of Verbs Via Ones and Zeros wrote a wonderful post today about eating v. feeling that got me to thinking about another close friend who has a great attitude about life in general and a philosophy / faith based belief system that I have to admit has gotten her pretty far in her career. It basically has to do with feeling positive (not thinking positve, that's a whole different Anthony Robbins point of view) and having that positive feeling evolve into faith in the universal "wow" (or God, as is her case) to take care of things for you.

All that said I have to admit that I'm feeling pretty low today. I'm down in the dumps after a second publication rejection notice in a month and a lack of response from a job opportunity that actually went into a second round of interview process and at this point I've pretty much written off. The thing is I was one of five being considered out of 250 resumes and 20 interviewees but somehow they can't send an email saying "so sorry we went with someone else" sheesh. Anyway, I know I'm supposed to feel lucky and also feel like it just wasn't the opportunity for me and that something better is going to come along but somehow today I just feel like I want that big break that allows me to show someone what I'm really capable of.

It's hard to feel positive about the universal wow when you're feeling the universal blahs. I could list all the ways I'm lucky and perk myself up but sometimes you just want to be allowed to feel what you feel. Thanks, Nicole, for reminding me that it's okay to listen to my heart.

12 December 2005

Day 7 - the weekend and discovering new bloggers

Today I ran my 7th day. I took off over the weekend because (1) I went to the salon Saturday morning and when you maintain your natural hair color you can't wash it for two days; and (2) tis the season for party, party, party and I had people to see and things to do.

Friday night I went to the Mary White Variety Show and it was a hoot. All of the singers were incredibly talented and if you like country music, you should check Mary out at her regular gig at The Cowboy Palace. My good friends Hugh Cline and Bret Coker were among the performers and you should check out their music here. Hugh also plays as part of Mary's regular band at the Palace.

Saturday night I went to my friend, Jen's, party. I know Jen through the MPW program at USC so a bunch of my USC cronies were there but I have to say that one of the most interesting guests was Eric, a French astrophysicist who works at CalTech. I managed to coax him away from the wall he was hugging (we are a bit of an overwhelming group of folks) and I have to say that chatting about fractals and the vast universe takes on a whole new meaning when you're talking to a guy who is calculating the implications on a daily basis. I wish I had slowed down on the wine because I know the conversation will now have to catch up to me in bits and pieces.

Sunday morning we woke up late (we're just not used to these wild party nights) and while I cleaned house, Carl made his world famous killer meatballs and spaghetti. Carl, true to his Italian heritage makes his meatballs light as air and his sauce a little spicy. We had our good friends, Chris and David, over for dinner and then "taught" them Texas Hold'em. I say "taught" in quotes because Chris
cleaned our clocks! Yeah, Chris, sure we'll play for real money next time....cough, gasp...

I got up today ready to start my running routine again and not only did I run but I added a half mile to the run and ran longer before walking for one minute and then ran the rest of it. I feel pumped today!!! Oh, and the half mile added also added a steep hill to the workout so I am feeling a little like Rocky this afternoon.

I went to visit Brian at one of my favorite blogs today and discovered he's
in love and he pointed us to his gal Monica who has her own blog. I like Monica and although they didn't ask me for it, I'm giving the happy couple my blessing.

In the meantime, Neil, who we all know and love introduced me to The Retropolitan and I have to say he's now competing for the top spot on my list of favorite bloggers. His entry today, December 12, 2005, is one of the finest, non-whiney, I'm-sick-posts, I've ever had the pleasure to read.

Well, back to work, I have a poetry manuscript to tweak and I've ignored it long enough! 13 more days to Christmas....probably should get a tree tonight as well....

08 December 2005

Day 5 & Lester Burnham

My upper thighs no longer hurt so that's a good thing. I've gotten several supportive comments from friends and family and that's really nice. Have been thinking a lot about why people exercise and have decided that Lester Burnham had it right. We all just want to look good naked. You know it's one thing to have that favorite pair of jeans that fit your waist just right and the top that shows the cleavage to distract the masses from your hips but when you peel out of the forgiving outfit and crawl into bed with your sweetie, it's nice to show that it's not all illusion and a trick of the light.

06 December 2005

It's the Shoes

I'm on my third day of running (which contrary to your evil thoughts, is not a record for me) and I felt good today. The fact that I went out yesterday and bought real running shoes is probably part of it. The last two days have been fairly excruciating because my upper thighs have been hurting and then I remembered the sage advice of my older sister. Get a decent pair of shoes or your back will hurt or your knees or your ankles...take your pick...something ain't gonna feel right.

Yesterday, after my run I decided there might be something to that and went to Big 5. Now, I don't know if you've ever been to a Big 5 but there are a couple of things to know about them. No one, in any part of the store, partakes in any sport. They couldn't tell a running shoe from a run in your stocking. The problem is that they have big sales! After asking for a 5&1/2 in my shoe, he came back with two different pairs because that's what they had in 5&1/2's, lucky for me, one of the pairs was actually a running shoe and more to the point they fit me well and they were cute! (yes, older sister, I said "cute"). So I grabbed a couple of t-shirts (on sale), 3 sports bras (on sale) and some capri workout pants - since I'm 5 foot, they are ankle length and perfect for me. Home I went. When I got home I decided to try on my new athletic self and realized as I walked around in the shoes that my toe was going to jam against the end when I ran (I belatedly remembered the guy I bought my cross-trainers from a year ago who said you should really go at least a half size bigger in work-out shoes for this very reason.) Back to Big 5 I went.

Now, the other problem with Big 5 is that they don't actually stock a full supply of what's out on the shelf. They didn't have 6's in my shoe so he brought out two different pairs in a 6. This guy was brighter than the first and both pair were, miraculously, running shoes. But neither of them quite fit my foot right. He said he had a 6&1/2 in my style if I wanted to try it. Sure what the heck, as long as I'm here. It fit (just a tish long but the arch is in the right place) and they feel great (and yes, even in a 6&1/2, still cute).

Today, I had a spring in my step and as a bonus, my breasts were adequately supported. Who knows, maybe tomorrow I'll wow the neighborhood with my snazzy "capri" pants.

04 December 2005

No Really This Time I Mean It!!!......

I started running again today. Now to say "again" implies that I was once a regular runner. Don't be mislead. I have "started running" several times in my life. My older sister used to be an avid pounder of the pavement (marathons, etc.) but recent back issues have taken her out of the....oh, yeah, bad pun on its way....running.

See, I woke up yesterday morning with this crazy notion in my head that I want to run a marathon because getting a useless masters at my age is not masochistic enough. So I called my sister and said "I think I want to run a marathon." Her response, appropriately enough was "Oh, brother." Then I think she laughed a bit. I waited her out and then said "no, really". She sobered up adjusted her position so that the titanium rods in her runner's wracked back were in alignment and gave me some websites to visit and told me whatever I did needed to stretch, buy a decent pair of shoes, log the miles on them (you can only get 400 miles out of a pair of shoes....pretty sure my first pair will last more than six months) and take it slow. I'm thinkin' not a problem for me...

I stretched for 10 minutes today. Ran for 10. Walked for 1. Ran for 5. Came home and stretched another 10 minutes - I guess you could say I had a 36 minute workout today but most of it was in my dining room.

I'm taking it slow and this time I mean it!