Monday, July 30, 2012

The Blue Car…or How I Learned the Fine Art of Sibling Loyalty


            There is nothing so strong as the loyalty between sisters. Sometimes, that loyalty goes above and beyond the call of duty. Case in point; when I was about six years old, my older sister Angella, who was about eight at the time, insisted that she woke up one night and saw a blue car sitting in the middle of the bedroom we shared in our quaint suburban New York home.
             Gella, as I called her, was so adamant about this mysterious blue car that she actually got me to believe that I saw it to, and for the next few weeks, whenever my mom or dad would mention the blue car incident, I would be right there beside my sister insisting that there had indeed been a blue car in our room.
            Now, mind you, I had never seen a blue car in our room on that particular night, or any other night. Yet as the months went on, I began to find myself questioning whether or not I had seen anything. My sister really, REALLY believed that a blue car had driven into our room (despite the fact it was a rather small room), parked itself at the foot of her bed and that it was driven by a man with a head shaped like one of those Fisher Price Little People toys.
            Had I really NOT seen this car? I began to wonder, thinking that I MIGHT have seen this car, and that little round-headed driver.  As more and more time passed, I became more and more convinced that I had seen the car, and even started corroborating some of the details of the incident, which mysteriously seemed to grow even more bizarre each time it was recounted.  Like my sudden insistence that it was a two-door convertible.
            So much did I want my sister to love me and approve of me and my undying loyalty that I eventually did a total reversal, going from being so certain she had been dreaming about the car, to a state of absolute KNOWING that yes, there had been a blue car in our room. Darn it, if my sister said she saw a car, then there was a car in our bedroom and no one could make me believe otherwise.
            Eventually, we moved from that house to Southern California, a bigger house with extra bedrooms. I no longer shared a room with my sister, in fact, our lives began to grow more and more apart as she discovered her own friends and interests and I did the same with my own age group. Whether she ever saw anything mysterious in her bedroom again remained her secret.
            Still, no amount of time and distance changed her mind about that blue car. To this day, over thirty-five years later, my sister still insists she saw that car in our room, and no amount of realism, logic or analysis can deter her. I usually still go along with her, which drives my parents crazy, although the passage of time has once again made me reconsider whether I ever really did observe that car, or just wanted so badly to be a part of whatever it was my beloved older sister was experiencing.
            And yet, I still can’t be sure. After all, when I was about eight years old myself, I could have sworn I woke up one night to see a black locomotive train coming down the hallway right towards me. I was sleeping in my sister’s bed at the time, since I had been having nightmares, which made it even all the more bizarre. Perhaps her bed was a vortex into the unknown, or held some kind of supernatural power that enabled anyone sleeping in it to hallucinate different types of moving vehicles. The mystery deepened, and still has never been solved to any sense of closure, and since my old New York house has been completely torn down and remodeled, and my sister’s old bed long since turned to dumpyard compost, I suppose there is no going back to find out.
            Angella insists she never saw the locomotive, even though she was in the same bed that night, right beside me. So much for sibling loyalty.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Action expresses priorities!

“Action expresses priorities.”

I saw that posted on Facebook today and thought, wow, how true. At least it is for me, and I imagine for everyone else, too. What we SAY we want to do, achieve, aspire towards, become is all rather meaningless if we are NOT taking action and actually DOING it. And if we are NOT doing it, it is not a priority. It is as simple as that. Brutal honesty – talk is cheap. Lip service gets you nowhere. All talk, no action means all you will ever achieve is blowing hot air out of your ass. Maybe it’s time to get honest about what you REALLY want and what you are willing to DO to get it.

What is top priority in your life? Well, take a look at how you actually spend your time. If you spend more time goofing around than working on your dream, goofing around is a higher priority. If posting on Facebook is more important than writing your novel, then posting on Facebook is more of a priority than writing that novel you’ve dreamed of writing for years, and told all your friends you were going to start...someday. If staying home alone is more important than going out with friends, then having friends is not a priority.

Once we stop and really pay attention to what we are actually doing and not what we are telling everyone we are doing or going to do, we come face to face with our actual priorities and desires...and our fears of why we are NOT taking action...and it can be shocking. Being lazy, eating too much, exercising too little, avoiding people, procrastinating...all of these are actions that we may be engaging in more than what we say we really want for our bodies, minds, careers, personal lives, love lives. It comes down to having the balls to just admit that the things we SAY we want are really not the priorities. And maybe even admit that we are avoiding the real priorities of our hearts because we are afraid.

So then we can face our fears and shortcomings and really ask ourselves if this is how we want our lives to look. All talk, no action and a lot of unhappiness, regrets and feelings of unfulfillment? Or actions that match the words we put forth about our goals and dreams and desires and a sense of purpose and achievement and fulfillment...even success? But first we have to stop saying one thing and doing something completely different. It’s called integrity. Get some.

Action expresses priorities. Not words. Not verbal promises or commitments. Not wishes and hopes. ACTION. It’s so easy to tell ourselves or someone else that we will do this or that.

It’s another thing entirely to get off our asses and do it.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Viral Diabetes

Man, what is it with Yahoo and Facebook and all these places where you see a continuous supply of cute kitty and puppy viral videos and pictures and for God’s sakes, do I really need to see another damn video of a cat that plays the piano? Yahoo tells me it’s a “Must See” and it’s “blowing up on the web.” It’s a dumb cat with its paws up on a piano. BFD! Show me a video of a cat doing taxes for less than the lady who does mine charges me and I’ll make that thing viral. Playing a piano? My kid did that when he was a baby, although on the YouTube I posted I edited out my hands holding up his arms to the keyboard. I’m not stupid!

Kitties and puppies are so cute, just like babies. Well, not all babies. Trust me, there are some butt-ugly babies, I don’t care how politically incorrect it is to admit that. But little creatures grow up to be big creatures who puke up fur balls, hurl themselves at your bedroom door at 5am wanting to be fed, march all over your good quilt and destroy your gorgeous maroon sectional. Like babies, they aren’t so cute and cuddly once they grow up. They cost a lot to feed, too.

I do enjoy looking now and then at a cute little kitty or a puppy in a teacup, but if I see too many of these images in one day, I feel like I am going into a diabetic coma from all the sweetness. I mean, really, there is a limit to cuteness. After about the tenth image, I want to take the little itty-bitty cuddly kitty and toss it to a coyote. Here’s a treat!  Coyotes need to eat, too. But see? Because they aren’t so cute and cuddly you don’t see a ton of viral videos of them playing piano, do you?

I do hope most of you realize, the cat is NOT really playing piano. And if by chance it is, it’s a fluke, a trick of nature, and not a mutant anomaly of a feline Elton John.

I wonder who at Yahoo chooses which videos are going to “blow up on the web” because I never see any of them until Yahoo tells me they are blowing up on the web. It’s a trick, I just know it. And even after Yahoo tells me they are blowing up on the web, I don’t watch anyway. I am sick of cute little animals doing cute little things. Today it was a talented horse that loved to paint. Oh brother...

The whole viral video thing is kind of creepy and cult like if you think about it. People go nuts watching these things, and the videos get millions of hits, and it makes you wonder why there are so many damn people with so much damn free time on their hands.

I have to go. My cat is throwing herself at the office door, wanting to be fed. What a total bitch. She was so cute as a kitten too...Where’s my video camera?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

What Is Love?

What is love? (Baby, don’t hurt me, baby don’t hurt more...) I swear I can’t resist that. But anyway, so on Facebook there are hundreds of posts and quotes and pictures about love being all there is and love conquers all and all is love, yadda yadda and I’m thinking, yeah right.

Come on, even Mother Theresa probably had her moments when she wanted to bitch slap the world.  It cannot be all about love.  I mean, if love was all there was or is or whatever, we’d all be walking around blissed out like our brains were floating and we’d accomplish nothing of value. Relationships would be pointless because if you loved everyone, there would be no room for growth and challenge and expansion and lessons learned.

I do NOT love Marmite. I am sorry if you think I am evil and awful to live with hatred in my heart for something, but that stuff is disgusting. If you are British, sorry to offend you, but that crap tastes like ass, and not a clean one.

I love my family and my kid and my friends, but not all the time. Sometimes I want to kill them, but I have not as of yet found a loophole to the justifiable homicide laws that I might be able to slip through. People are not just about love, they are about hate and ignorance and stupidity and all that other dark shadowy crap that makes the potential for love possible in the first place.

OK, so some new age guru will say “oh but it’s all love,” and I say back “you are an idiot, it’s not all love, it’s the fullest expression of humanity, which is MORE THAN JUST LOVE.” Jeesh, why do we sell ourselves so short?

There are so many kinds of love, and some last and others don’t, and sometimes love changes and grows or ends and sputters and sometimes it even causes people to hurt each other. So love isn’t “all good” by any means. It’s a part of being human...a BIG part, but not the only part.

If I want to hate someone, let me. I’ll either learn to love them eventually or at the very least come to a place of indifference. Don’t make me feel guilty and bad because I don’t love the whole entire damn world all the time. I don’t love spiders EVER. I don’t care what you say. I don’t love bees. I don’t love people who take my mail.

Love is one of many powerful emotions we feel and what bonds us to others. But it really isn’t the only thing there is, and to make people feel inadequate or guilty because they aren’t “all love, all the time” really isn’t very loving, is it?

Own up, people. We love, we hate, we are at times utterly indifferent and don’t give a shit.  Love may be what we aspire to, but it ain’t all there is to us well-rounded people. Let it all hang out!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Child Rearing

I think they call it child rearing because raising a child really is a pain in the ass, or rear, sometimes. Not sometimes, OFTEN.

I am a single mom and I gotta tell you, it is incredibly rewarding to help shape and mold another human being, but it is also exhausting and challenging and if you mess the kid up you can’t blame anyone else, like politicians do. You do the best you can with what you know and hope it all comes out in the wash, along with the skidmarks on the kid’s underwear.

My son is 11 going on 50, so most arguments or debates, he wins hands down. If he doesn’t become a lawyer, I will be shocked. I want him to be a computer geek because then he can get rich and buy me a mansion and take care of me. I keep telling him to go get a job, because he is rather brilliant, but he throws those damn child labor laws into my face.

I am lucky that my family is all near-by. They all love my son and vice versa, although some of them refuse to return my calls and texts when I ask them to babysit. What’s up with that? My mom lives around the corner and is really a big part of my son’s life. She spoils him rotten, then tells me not to spoil him rotten. I guess she doesn’t want me stealing her job!

My kid has a chronic illness and a minor disability so we spend a lot of time with him being sick, or at therapy or doctors, but he is a great kid, with a ton of friends, all of whom know a little too much about sex for my liking, as I discovered recently while listening to their conversations over SKYPE.

They all play Minecraft and Halo and Xbox live and it’s hilarious to hear them all talking at once when they are SKYPING. My kid has his own servers, and is such a total brilliant geek with this stuff, I try to stay out of it. But when I hear “penis” and “pedo” and “boobs” I pay attention a little. It’s pretty innocent stuff, but I am at that point where I think the birds and the bees may be hovering outside the window, demanding explanation.


I will be writing about my kiddo a lot. He is a huge part of my life. I just hope he doesn’t read these and then tell me how embarrassed he is that I write about him and that I owe him some expensive video games to make up for it.

He will do that. And he will win.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Inner Athlete

I love the summer Olympics. I like to watch all the track and running, and dream of the day when I will run a marathon and live to tell about it. I’ve been wanting to train and run a full marathon for a couple of years now, and have managed to walk a few half marathons and a ton of 5ks, but my real dream is that 26.2 miles of sheer physical abuse, that elusive goal that seems so far off, and at my age, getting further and further away from the finish line by the minute.

I have never been athletic. As a kid I was always reading and writing and exploring outside. The only exercise I got was occasional hikes up Bear Mountain or running around outside in the big yard at my grandparents in Connecticut or walking to the candy store at the end of our humungously long street with my friends.  OK, so I wasn’t a couch potato, that came later when I became a full time employed person sitting at a desk, and then a full time writer sitting at a desk.

I don’t sit on the couch much. It is usually covered in cat hair and I am too lazy to clean it every day. Mostly an office chair. But I still plan to train and do that marathon. I went for a short walk the other day with my kid, and we were walking down a dirt path through the leaves and I felt oh so athletic out there hiking down that grade, well, really it was just a small hill leading to the street, but I could feel and hear the leaves crunching under my sneakers, until I realized it was my knees.

They still kinda hurt.

I think some of us are born athletic, and others are born cerebral and imaginative and destined to spend far more time sitting and creating than out hiking, skydiving, surfing, running or kickboxing. I am the latter, most definitely. If I had to choose between sitting and exercising, for heaven’s sakes, what the hell do you think I’d choose?

I do like weight lifting and enjoyed going to my gym for awhile, and I love walking for miles and even attempting to run part of them. I will do that marathon. I will. I really want to know before I drop dead what this body is capable of, other than digesting food and fetching the mail.

But for now, I’ll just sit and think and write about it, and wait for the Olympics. I have a TV in my office. I can watch from my chair.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Addictions - Chips Are Crack

We all have our addictions. I have some. I am addicted to Lay’s Classic Potato Chips. Just the plain ones, not the ones with flavoring or ruffles. I know ruffles have ridges but I don’t give a shit. I like my chips plain.

So to me, Lays Classic Potato Chips are like a drug. Like maybe crack or heroin, except without the positive weight loss benefit. I cannot eat just one, so don’t even think about handing me a bag unless you plan to get it back empty. I think it’s hormonal. The fat and salt combination makes me feel good.

I used to be addicted to Facebook, but I’m getting better now. I would post at least ten times a day (I think I’m down to five or six now, most days, unless I am extremely bored and there is no food around) and because I am a writer, I had the greatest excuse. I told myself I was “promoting my name” and getting myself publicity by posting so much. But really I was just slacking off. I almost typed jacking off, haha, good thing I caught that.

Now sometimes I go on Facebook and I think “what a bunch of tools and morons, all talking about their pedicures or what they ate or where they work out...” and all the political drama and relationship status changes. TMI people!!! And before you know it, my disgust has dissipated and I am posting offensive pictures or stuff that comes off the top of my head with little time to censor. It’s addicting, posting every thought that comes into your mind, and thinking that other people really care what kind of lunch meat you put on your sandwich. I mean, why wouldn’t they care? I’m a famous writer after all, with a big Facebook following, to which I promote daily.

Sometimes ten times a day!

I do have an addictive personality, though. I mean, I had a container full of almonds, the raw and healthy kind so I could have a healthy snack. I for some reason decided to pour in a bag of M&Ms sitting on the counter, and soon I found myself having a handful of almonds and M&Ms every hour. Then I figured, what the hell, and I just started picking out the M&Ms. I mean, come on, who am I kidding. Chocolate is addictive.

Now there are about ten almonds left. I’ll eat them eventually, when I find something addicting to mix them with.

I am addicted to pens. I love pens. I collect them. Well, I steal them. From banks, stores, auto mechanic shops. You know, sometimes they just give them away free with their logos on them, but other times they don't make that really clear, if the pens are free or just laying on the counter unattended, so I assume the former. I cannot own enough pens. I keep them even when they run out of ink. They are good for opening boxes when I am too lazy to get up and get the screwdriver.

I used to be hooked on all those games like Snood and Bejeweled, but for some reason I have not gotten hooked on any Facebook games. I do not farm on Farmville or play anything at all. I think it’s because there is no opportunity for me to promote myself by playing games, and we all know that promoting my work is my sole purpose for being on Facebook in the first place.