Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I Love the Way . . .

• Preschoolers stare at my freckles. Someone suggested it was my earrings but I'm convinced they are actually trying to connect the dots.
• When people are invited to mingle and cross cultural, socio-economic, or religious barriers in a spirit of true openness, they do. (Don't believe me? Come to one of my parties!)
• How one funny line delivered well can change everyone's mood.
• My friend Stan tells absolutely corny jokes and I laugh every time. "Three legged dog walks into a saloon. Crowd goes quiet. He speaks. 'I've come for the man who shot my pa(w).'" HA!
• A man in a crowded restaurant will look at a woman when she enters and choose to either acknowledge that he's looking or pretend he's fascinated with the sign above the door. Today, he acknowledged . . . and he had a really nice smile.
• If you tell people you love and who love you that you are in a not-so-good-place, they listen, they care, and they remind you that you are not alone.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Visualizing Something Better

When your life begins to resemble a plot twist in a "hope we get to Sundance independent film that features b-list actors and the word quirky in the tagline", it's time to re-think your choices. Of late, I feel like I've been banging my head against a relational wall and looking around for who I have to pay for the pleasure of the pain!

Am I complaining that my own choices have netted me too many nights listening to the non-silence of apartment living (what are those people building on the second floor?)? Well, yes and no. I'm weary of waiting for the next phase of my so-called love life, or maybe I should say lack-of-love-life. But I have no delusions going that anyone else is responsible for where I am other than little old me. (And if I keep on this self-sabatoging path "little" will have little to do with describing me and "old" will look truer than it has in quite some time.)

So this morning when I was assessing my life in my favorite assessing place -- the shower -- I decided it was time to kick ass -- my own. I am not giving up on me or allowing myself to let go of wanting something more. I am not going to accept some script fashioned by someone other than me. I may not be a great writer but I know this material better than anyone.

And just like those independent film folks, I intend to be a triple threat -- writer, producer and star.

I am ready for my close up.

Friday, May 25, 2007

OK . . . I Thought It Was Funny

Justin and I were texting. He's often a bit silly in that tiny space of lighted characters and shortened speech.

J: We need 2 shun Jerry. I just found out he's a Methodist.

Me: It's worse than that. He was a Baptist.

J: We shd strt a club and Jerry and Gary (NOTE: another Baptist and a preacher we know) can't be members.

Me: Anyone with the -ary sound in their name can't be mbrs!

J: We cd have cool t-shirts.

Me: And we wd be called the missing-arys!

(I crack myself up sometimes!)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Why My Definition of "Family" Is More Expansive

When someone
has no one
to help her
her fears,
she needs
to feel

Monday, May 14, 2007


I usually say I'm a "glass is half full" kind of person. But recently I thought if I were really honest I'd have to add, "with the slight expectation that it's going to start leaking any minute."

Thursday, May 10, 2007

My Blood Pressure Just Shot Through the Roof

Read this one today:

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson suggested an attack like the Virginia Tech shooting wouldn't happen at his school because students would ovewhelm an attacker -- even if they died trying. Patterson told students in an April 18 chapel sermon that if a shooter attacked classes at the Fort Worth school, he was "counting on" male students to respond. "See, all you had to do was have six or eight rush him right at that time and 32 people wouldn't ahve died," Patterson said. "Now folks, let's make up our minds. I know we live in America where nobody gets involved in anybody else's situation. That shall not be the rule here. Does everybody understand? You say, 'Well, I may be shot.' Well, yeah, you may. Are you saved? you're going to heaven. You know, it's better than earth." -- Baptist Standard, April 30, 2007

Please note the irony in that this religious-leader-holding-incredible-power-in-his-obviously-ignorant hands was quoted in the same publication as Ira Glass (Jewish guy who hosts NPR show) with the following, "Evangelical Christians are the most incompetently portrayed group in America -- in TV, in fiction, in the news. When Christians say the media gets them wrong, Christians are absolutely right."

Except of course when we make our own fat selves look like idiots!!!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Birthday Muses

On Friday night as I was helping a friend host six 6-year-olds for a birthday sleepover, a 29-year-old mom of one of them began describing a weekend party she was going to in the hill country.

"Lots of music," she said. "And everyone camps out. It's great. Thrown by this older guy. He's 50 and has been ..."

My glare interrupted her.

"Or maybe 60, probably 70 or 80. That's what I meant by 'older' really!" she stammered and smiled at being caught in the backhanded ouch she'd sent my way.

Four years from now and I'm her version of "old."

Today I picked up some books about generations. I'm teaching a class in a couple of weeks and thought I might need to do some catch up. One is called Leap. Written by a one-time in demand writer, the book chronicles lots of Boomers reflecting on getting older and specifically the question What Will We Do with the Rest of Our Lives?

So far it's been kind of a downer! She's talking about how Carly Simon, Tom Hayden and herself have dealt (or not) with rejection at their age. Famous people ... getting older ... feeling less than ... yeah, cheery reading alright!

I must admit that the last few months I've noticed lines I hadn't seen before. I'm wondering about choices made and squandered. But overall, I'm not really hating this aging thing so much.

Since I never had a tight ass I don't have the same issues with my body as Christie Brinkley. And, frankly, I'll take the wisdom I've gained over my cheeks being perky any day.

In fact, one of the party games I played inside my head Friday reflected just how much I do value where I am. I sat looking at the diversity of personalities in each of those 6 year old faces. I noted that the special needs kid was totally accepted in the other girls' play, without question and quite possibly without notice of her special status. I watched them in their pre-bitchiness, that thing that happens to girls and then women that makes us eat our own. And I marveled. I marveled at what would become of them. I marveled that it would take 40 years for them to catch up to where I was at that very moment. I got a little misty eyed considering their possibilities and what they might do with them.

Then I thanked my Creator for my now and got ready to dance one more dance to Hannah Montana.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Matter of Perspective ... Yet Again!

When I told my friend about the young woman dying of AIDS who had been born with the disease (see previous entry), I thought her gasp was a similar reaction to mine -- shock that the disease has been around long enough for "babies with AIDS" to now be adults and regret for the life the girl had lived/endured.

Instead, she began to tear up and finally said, "We dreamed of this day. Actually, we thought we were dreaming too big to dream of this day."

"We" in this case were she and her friends who endured the early days of the relatively unknown plague that was taking folks each week in the 1980s. "We" were the ones who were agreeing to abide by their friend's wishes and either not be there to tend to the diapers or definitely be there to see them waste away. "We" were the tired but relentless heroes who found yet another way to bury someone and celebrate their life when the world wanted only to ignore they had come and gone.

She's not as active anymore in the fight. But she shouldn't have to be. She's the retired general who can agree to the televised interview or go tell the now curious to go screw themselves. She's earned the right to gasp and even to celebrate that what was once considered the impossible dream is now very much a sad reality.

'Course one other person I told shared the bright side to this story (yet again, another perspective). Seems she's got a friend who adopted an HIV positive baby several years ago. That baby is now a teen. That baby has just been told that so little of the virus remains in her system that she too will one day have babies of her own.

God bless us everyone.