Monday, February 13, 2012

Don't grow up yet

Jack is turning 21 today. He's all grown up I guess, but I remember it wasn't that long ago when he was a little boy.

He would play quietly for hours, cutting strips of blue paper and taping them to the hardwood floors to make highways for his tiny vehicles. His roads were curvy and sometimes journeyed through shoebox tunnels on the way to faraway destinations like the kitchen where the cars would collect in parking lots under the table until it was time for dinner.

I tried to keep my kids away from violent toys and games so I refused to buy him any toy guns or weapons except for the occasional water pistol. But then at Halloween he wanted to be Peter Pan and the costume required special green tights and a plastic sword for maximum authenticity. He loved that sword. Long after the jack-o-lanterns and green tights were put away he would go out to play in the back yard wearing a too-big belt with the sword tucked in it. He was very stylish for a modern-day pirate. Nowadays he favors t-shirts from thrift stores and Tom's Shoes without socks, even in the coldest weather.

Gifted and talented programs. Open classrooms. Advanced classes. Jazz band. Soccer team. Eagle Scout. He sounds perfect, doesn't he? Not quite. I remember the lecture he got from the judge who suspended his driver's license after his third speeding ticket in less than a year. Lessons were learned. He grew up.

Happy 21st boy-child. I love you.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lessons learned from "Sons of Anarchy"

I've been watching (on Netflix) a television series called "Sons of Anarchy." It's a show about a motorcycle club in Northern California but the more I watch, the more I realize it's about so much more than that.

1. It's okay to be fearless (but bring backup). Over and over the characters in the show exhibit incredible bravery in some very dangerous situations. But you know, it's not just because they are these awesome biker dudes with muscles and guns. It's that they have the strength and loyalty of the entire club behind them. And they've cultivated allies along the way. One of the most interesting storylines is how they nurture a relationship with the town's chief of police.

It makes me wonder, "What would I do if I needed backup? Who are my allies?"

2. It's all about family. The members of the club are family, sometimes blood-related (there are fathers and sons in the club) and sometimes figuratively. They squabble with each other, they take care of each other, and when Gemma (the "old lady" of the club's president, the former wife of the club's founder who has died, and the mother of the heir-apparent) calls everyone to her house for dinner the show takes on a "Waltons" feel. Good night John-Boy.

Both our chosen families and our biological families are necessary in today's society. We need to know we have unconditional love, even if sometimes it looks like we don't get along.

3. Evil does exist in the world. Some of the characters in the series are bad people. Very bad. You don't want to know that standing next to you at the grocery yesterday was a racist, greedy, manipulative, dishonest son of a bitch. Don't even think about how he/she was a public official, business leader or member of law enforcement. It will drive you crazy.

I've been known to trust the wrong people sometimes. I am too nice and therefore get pushed around. I've been hurt and it's taking me a long time to get over it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

5 Things That I Am Not

I'm in a bad, bad mood. Let's blame it on the grey, cloudy, wet, cold, sucky weather that we have in Louisville in January. This is why I could never live in Portland or Seattle. Or Alaska. I am useless when we go for days without seeing the sun, when you can't tell if it is 5 a.m. or 5 p.m. because every hour in between is colored in the same shade of grey. So bad moods make me doubt my very existence and not any person or thing can keep me from making a list of all of the things I am not.

1. I am not interesting. I am the dullest person on the planet. Say something fascinating to me and I'll reply "Duh." Or I might say, "Sure." That's all I've got. Don't expect any more.

2. I am not motivated. Do you think I should eat more vegetables and exercise more? Yeah, probably. Whatever.

3. I am not excited by anything. Free ticket to Paris? We could leave today? I don't know, I think I have a dentist appointment. I'll get back to you. Maybe.

4. I am not smart. I can't remember what I read in the news this morning. Multiplication tables? Are you kidding? TV show theme song lyrics from the 60s? Well, I might be able to do that.

5. I am not angry. I don't have any feelings at all. I just don't have the energy.

Writing this blog post is the best thing I've done all day.

Friday, December 30, 2011

My rules about food

1. If it is consumed before 12 noon it must be real breakfast-type food. What is "real" you ask? Fruits, breads-pastries-cakes, cereals, egg-type stuff, bacon-ham-sausage, milk or yogurt. Hey, these are MY rules! (No pizza, but exceptions can be made if you've been up all night.)

2. If it contains cream cheese it is NOT sushi.

3. Anything that contains peanut butter is NOT dessert.

4. There's no such thing as bad chocolate, old chocolate or useless chocolate. Period.

5. Don't serve me food that I have to gnaw off a bone. Gross. Really.

6. My martinis are made with gin. They were invented that way. God save the queen.