Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Elizabeth Gilbert=Guru

Back in November when I started my blog and was uber into writing (thinking my blog would take off, become a sensation 'round the nation, ya know, that kind of uber into writing, where I feel I can gather information on how to be successful from anywhere and everything) I decided to buy tickets to Arts & Letters Live at the Eismann Center in Richardson, TX. Elizabeth Gilbert was the featured author.

In case you are unfamiliar with Elizabeth, (yes, we are on a first name basis. Having read her book, frequently visited her website, and sat in an intimate crowd of 1,200 to hear her speak, I feel legit in doing so) she wrote the bestseller novel Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia.

It's a beach read. Beach Read = book/novel that can be read at the beach (duh) in one or few sittings while making you laugh/giggle/smile/enjoy yourself/relax.

If I were an author I would be a teensy-tinsy bit offended if my book was labeled as a Beach Read. As entertaining as Beach Reads are, they are somewhat mindless. I would want to think my writing had something along the lines of depth... And in Eat, Pray, Love's case I think it qualifies as a Beach Read, but takes it to a whole new level. So, Elizabeth, if you're reading my blog, don't be offended by the Beach Read comment. I'm going somewhere with it, I promise.

Eat, Pray, Love goes above and beyond laughing, giggling, smiling, enjoying yourself, and relaxing. She spent four months in Italy, basically just eating. The woman described every single thing she ate. And if you've ever been to Italy you know that even a cheese pizza tastes like God's special present made perfectly for you, wrapped neatly up in food and tied with a bow of 35763753865 calories. I would turn the pages, practically drooling, THIS close to blowing $3000 on booking a flight to Italy just to freaking EAT.

Then comes India. Don't feel relaxed by all the eating from Italy? How about spend four months at an Ashram doing meditation and yoga all day in 100+ heat. Enough said.

You may think reading a book about food, meditation, and combining the two with love in Indonesia, sounds like a big fat yawn. It would be, if I wrote it. Somehow Elizabeth was born with the incredible talent to add wit and humor to any situation--even the one where she's sobbing on the bathroom floor over wanting to divorce her husband on page #1. And on top of all that, she makes you want to rediscover yourself as she's rediscovering herself. I almost wanted to get into a downward dog pose, eat spaghetti, and reevaluate my values all at one time while reading the book! All in all, it's a must read.

So you can imagine my level of enthusiasm to see her speak last night. I was hoping she would talk about her experiences in Italy, India, and Indonesia--give more insight, more details, you know, things that the little people who are too unfortunate to miss this event, would never find out. She didn't.

Instead, she embarked on several random stories about book signings, not having children, the new book she's working on, her husband, blah blah blah. And yet I still walked out of the Eismann Center an hour and a half later feeling absolutely rejuvenated, relaxed, happy, all laughed out, and content with life. (Not to mention excited about obtaining the insider information of the Eat, Pray, Love movie currently being produced starring Julia Roberts...)

Who IS this woman and how does she DO it?! She's like a freaking guru!

I woke up this morning and jumped out of bed yelling "Today is going to be a GREAT day!!" Ok, no not really. But I said it in my head. I recommend you fly to a city where she's speaking next, or buy her book. Maybe then I'll have someone who wants to fly to Italy with me for the pure reason of stuffing my face. Let me know.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Blue Day Cheer Upper

Last week while nannying, oldest child asked me a question on our afternoon walk.

Oldest Child: Why did you just do that?

Me: Do what?

Oldest Child: Do that big blowing noise.

Me: Oh. That's called a sigh. (sighs)

It was a bit refreshing to realize Oldest Child had not learned how, or had the need to, learn how to sigh. He may blow his top over his sippy cup lid not matching the sippy cup, but if that's his biggest problem, sign me up for a day in the life of a 3 1/2 year old please.

Which got me thinking that maybe it is the small things, like matching sippy cups, that matter. Or at least help, to get the big picture in view. So, on that note, a list of 5 things that brighten my day when feeling blue (or in need of a big sigh):

1. The parking attendant at work recognizes me as a loyal customer, therefore reducing the daily parking rate for just moi, nicknamed me "My Friend", and last week fought with another parking lot attendant about parking in his lot over the other one's lot.

2. Jon and Kate Plus 8. I watch this show in utter fascination- starting from how large Kate's belly was when preggers in the opening song to how many hours it takes to get 8 sets of teeth cleaned at the dentist. I feel lucky I don't have 8 kids (please don't hit me in the face, Karma, and give me octuplets in a few years...), and that alone, makes me feel better.

3. When people like Em over at Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit express their views about something political and it's like they took the words, except said it much better. Take that, liberal media!! Why don't you stop drinkin' the kool aid and feeding everyone that iconic crap about our newly "crowned" king, oops, I mean president.

4. Lola's gained a few lb's. Watching her pork around my apartment is enough to make anyone crack a smile.

5. A warm day. It's currently 74 degrees outside. My sister, I believe at age 9, wrote an award winning poem in school about Spring. The first line was "Spring comes in a golden carriage." Yes, it does. Full of flip flops, lounging at the pool, bbq's, sitting on patios, long walks outside, and bright colored clothes. A glimpse of spring around the corner makes me sigh a happy sigh.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

The Fight

Boyfriend: "You want to talk about it?"

Me: (looks the other way, eyes well up with tears) "No. I've talked about it all day. I'm tired of even thinking about it."

Boyfriend (sighs): "You're upset."

Me: (scoffing) "I am not! God! I don't even care!"

Boyfriend: "Ok....well I've got some stuff to do so I-"

Me: (angrily) "It's just that I try, and I try, and I try, and I put SO much effort in. And I get nothing in return. I mean, it's not even worth it anymore!"

Boyfriend: "This is just how these things work...sometimes it just happens this way and you have to keep moving and hope for the best. Haven't you heard of the book/movie He's Just Not That Into You?"

Me: (jaw drops open) "Excuse me?? Not into me?! Now you're just being ridiculous!"

Boyfriend: (heatedly) "Seriously, sometimes you miss all the signs or it's just not a good fit. This is one of those cases! Get over it and move on!"

Me: (storming out the door)"Fine! If that's the way it's going to go down then so be it! I'm DONE. Through. FINITO. I'm better than this! Let's see how things works without me. HA!" (door slams)

Boyfriend: (muttering) "Sheesh. Not sure she would handle continuing unemployment that well if this is the reaction to being turned down from a job..."

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Not everyone should have a blog...

I used to make fun of blogging. For the sole reason that I had only seen a handful of blogs and they could be filed under Downright God-Awful. Since starting my own blog I've discovered blogs that can be filed under Can't Get Enough Please Post More Regularly Even if It's Two-A-Days.

People who can write well, and add wit, sarcasm, and humor to that equation, those are my people. I like you guys. Those of you who cannot write well but write anyway for some insane reason, you are not my people, and I don't like you.

I stumble across horrific blogs daily, and it never ceases to amaze me how these people think I care to kill my intelligent brain cells attempting to get through a paragraph of this crap they call writing. AND why they care to expose their idiocy to the whole world-that is perplexing as well.

Here are some thoughts that run through my head when I have the misfortune of reading said blogs:

-Oh, that's nice, you ate yogurt and granola for breakfast? Fun stuff. Hold on one sec, I want to make a necklace out of paper clips and staples. Yes, that does sound more fun than reading any more of your blog.

-So Crest White Strips really do the trick, eh? I'm so glad you posted the Before and After picture to prove it. I think I'm going to stop eating my breakfast now. It kind of grosses me out that you feel ok with posting a zoomed in picture of your teeth for all to inspect the difference in color.

-I'm just thrilled you've kept your resolution to wash your face and brush your teeth before bed. WAY TO GO. Put a gold star on the chart that is labeled "How to Stay Sanitary" and cross off "Try not to be disgusting" on your To Do list. Good job.

-Good, good. You've lost 2.2 pounds. Now that's what I want to hear about. Go ahead and make me a list of everything you've consumed for the past 2 weeks, please include calories you've burned as well, and the different moves and exercises tried. Oh, looky here! You're one step ahead of me. Yay.

-Two words: Valentine's Day. Who freaking invented this day? It's stupid. And yes, I do have a boyfriend so I didn't take a bite out of bitter salad. And yes, he will do nice things for me on this day, JUST LIKE HE DOES EVERY OTHER DAY. But wait, I do want to hear what you're wearing. Uh huh...uh huhhhh....annnd confirmation of ridiculous. You just said LBD, JC, and VD all in one sentence. Translation for smart people: Little black dress, with Jimmy Choos, to be worn on Valentine's Day.

By all means start a blog. It's fun and addicting. When starting a blog think of these things:

1. Am I starting a blog because I want to keep my family and friends updated on my daily happenings and occurrences? If yes, SAY THAT SOMEWHERE ON YOUR PAGE. Of course THEY want to hear all about what you're doing every minute of every day. But warn the rest of us that you "invite to join in on the fun" that it's actually not fun, and it may possibly kill me. Or make me want to kill you.

2. If you are going to write about daily occurrences, and you want an audience, adding a bit of, oh, I don't know, entertainment, helps. I follow blogs that talk about the smallest of the small and I love it. Becauseeee I've read hilarious posts about laundry mishaps, cats, and what a kid said when watching infomercials, ALL which would have blown had they not put some thought into it. And they probably only thought about it for 2 minutes. Thinking. Helps.

3. If you've never cared about writing before, if you got anything below a B on most papers throughout your academic career, if you can't write a sentence without abbreviating, if you end sentences with prepositions and aren't at least aware that you are doing so, if you don't know what a preposition is, if you don't know where the spellcheck button is, if you write sentences as long as this one and feel ok about it, then do you think there is a possibility you may not express yourself to the best of your ability through writing? I'm not saying you're stupid. I'm saying you can't write.

4. Going further with #3. If you've ever kept a diary you know the feeling of opening it ten years later. Pure mortification that you even thought, much less, bothered to write.that.down. However, you can laugh it off because you were young and silly. Maybe you've turned into an eloquent journal writer. If so, journal away. If not, and you haven't touched a journal, or barely even written anything with feeling in years, it's probably not a good idea to start an online journal better know as a blog. Why? Because you will look back and be mortified and unable to laugh it off because it was only last year. Last month. Yesterday. That you wrote that. If you're not mortified, someone else will be for you.

5. Going further with #4. I broke out my 3rd grade Secret Diary Journal (equipped with a key of course) last year and began reading, prepared for ridiculous crush banter and 3rd grade drama. This is the first sentence I read: "I spent the night at Kate's house last night and we went to bed SOOOOOOO late!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 7:30!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" First of all, I was in 3rd grade, why did I think 7:30 was so late. Was I cool or what. Second, I think that was the most entertaining thing I read in the whole diary. But that doesn't mean telling people what time I went to bed, now, is. Comprehendo?

I feel like this is all common sense. Apparently a lot of people don't have it. I'm glad the bloggers I follow do. And to all of you who don't, don't fret. You can READ blogs. You don't have to WRITE one. Capiche?

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Thursday, February 5, 2009


Someone asked me the other day if I had any babysitting experience. That's like asking me if I have any experience with eating. Yes. A lot. Probably too much.

When I was 10 years old I walked down the street and knocked on the door of the new neighbors. I informed the mom I lived in the neighborhood and should she need any help with babysitting I was her go-to person. I became employed shortly after. Just so you know, whenever I have kids I will politely decline any babysitting offers from 10 year olds. I mean are you kidding me?! TEN years old? Watch my kids? No freaking way. I am well aware this is hypocritical.

Anyway, I babysat frequently. Then my number got passed around the neighborhood and I babysat more frequently. By the time I entered into the awkward years of Junior High I was well established as Superbabysitter. So much so that I came up with the brilliant idea to start a summer camp. Bumble Bee Camp was born.

For 5 years approximately 15 kids between the ages of 3 and 7 appeared on my front lawn at 9am for one week in the summer, greased up with sunscreen and bugspray, and ready to create chaos for the next 4 hours. We'd start out with an art project, then game time, snack, more game time, lunch, reading, then the all time favorite-pool time. Don't worry moms, the pool was only 3 feet deep and my mom always came out to supervise at that time. By the time 1pm rolled around me and my little bumblebees were plain pooped.

Then I went to college and more families found me to become a regular at their household.

So, babysitting experience? That's a big, fat, definite.

I thought that once I entered into the " real world" I would say adios to those Superbabysitter days. Just cause, you know, I'm so important and busy now. Well, since I am neither of those things (at least in all things work related) I've decided to jump back into the babysitting pool and I don't know what happened during my babysitting hiatus but, um, babysitting became....hard.

Maybe it's because I do it after "working" for 5 hours. Maybe it's because it's the 3 hours the kids are the crankiest. Maybe it's because they're all boys. Maybe it's because they're all boys, there's 3 of them, and the oldest is 3 years old, and the youngest is 7 weeks old. Oh, and the middle 21 month-er. Yeah. That's probably it.

Let's just say I feel important and busy during THAT job. For three hours every day I am:

-answering what seems to be a never ending flow of questions that range from "why does that tree have holes" to "why are your arms tired".

-wishing there was some sort of device that could be attached to newborns with the sole purpose of keeping the pacifier in the mouth.

-trying to figure out what Middle Child wants when he grunts, crys, stamps his foot, points, freaks out, since he doesn't talk.

-wishing that Dora the Explorer could just magically appear on a floating tv in front of whatever child starts crying

-trying to decipher what Oldest Child is saying since he has a bit of a lisp. And becomes quite frustrated when I ask him to repeat. "I wust SAID it!"

-playing games that somewhat resemble golf, hockey, football, and soccer, but barely.

-freaking out about sharp objects, the street, food spilling, drool dripping, nose picking, and other such things you don't want to hear about.

-pretending that sticks and dirt are actually food, and that the yard is a "grocery store"...don't know how he came up with that.

-mustering up the same level of enthusiasm as Oldest and Middle Child over crawling in and out of a portable dog cage over and over and over and over again.

-forever trying to come up with brilliant ideas of things to do. Tracing Leaves worked. Cleaning Up did not.

-trying not to laugh when Oldest Child does or says something worth writing down. Like FREAKING OUT that Middle Child got to help his mom pick up dog poop and he couldn't. Or when he says he wants to "find a big tasty rock to go in my salad".

Bottom line: Office job ain't got nothin' on babysitting.

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Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy Monday?

Bits and pieces of texts, AIM conversations, and other such forms of communication I've encountered so far today:

Friend, via text message- "That's it. I'm quitting my job. I've reached my breaking point. They got a guinea pig. Picking up rodent turds is where I draw the line."

Friend, via AIM, after being "idle" for 30 minutes- "Ugh. Just did some work. That sucked."

Friend, via AIM, 8:59am-" Blah, I'm ready for the weekend."

If those don't scream ITS MONDAY to you then...I don't know what it screams. Misery, I suppose. Feel free to join the I've Got a Case of the Mondays Club!

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