Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Three Ways to Clean a Bathtub

Way #1 - Neutral
Scrub while thinking of something else.

Way #1 - Angry
Scrub vigorously resenting having to do it.

Way #3 - Loving
Caress the sponge along the sides of the tub, feeling grateful for having a tub to clean.

Either way you end up with a clean tub.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Fabulous New Weight Loss Plan

So ... I have about ten pounds that don't want to budge.

They, however, bulge.

And, as many of you will understand from personal experience, those are never far from the surface of my mind.

Yesterday, they popped in for a visit oh ... 72 times or so. And every time, their visit is accompanied by a firm resolution to eat less, move more bla bla bla.

As I ran into the grocery store on my home yesterday (and by run I mean walk), I called home and asked Chris and Tanissa what they would like me to bring them.

Tanissa wanted sorbet - raspberry or mango.

Chris wanted cookies and cream ice cream.


So here I am, plopped in front of a wall of ice cream, focused on finding the two requested items, when my eyes land on ... chocolate hazelnut gelato. Chocolate. Hazelnut. Gelato.

My mind does a little dance and pretty soon I am dropping all THREE types of ice cream into the cart.

Walking around the store, my mind is busy. It dialogues with itself about weight, promises, bulge, chocolate ... the whole time my eyes are caressing the gelato. This goes on for about 15 minutes.

And all of a sudden, I feel satisfied. I feel as though I have extracted the nectar from the gelato. I feel as though eating it would barely add to the pleasure.


So, to test myself, I walk back to the ice cream aisle. I pick up my lovely chocolate hazelnut gelato and I gently put it  back amongst its brothers and sisters.

Just like that.

Minutes later, I am walking out of the store, feeling as though I have lost 5 pounds.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Little Bit Creepy ...

I was awake at 4, this morning.

Not a bad, panicky "shoot, I can't sleep" feeling, just awake.

So I got up and decided to do some work, savoring the quiet of a home rich with the slumber of people I love.

I turned on my laptop and within a few minutes, I noticed: every site I landed on seemed to have an ad for sleeping potions. "CAN'T SLEEP?" "WORRIED ABOUT INSOMNIA?" "WANT TO GET SOME REST?"

All this because I was online at 4AM.

Part of me is very aware of the brilliance of such targeted marketing.

And part of me - the biggest part - is creeped out. And somehow a little sad.

(Ok, so I see a nap in my afternoon's future.)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Environment Dependent

This is my newly coined term to bring out to the light something which I have suspected - but not fully embraced - for a long time.

Whereas some people tell me that their physical environment has no bearing on their mental state, mine is omni important.

Colors, placement, (my idea of) beauty and even smells all contribute to whether I survive or thrive.

And because I am really into thriving ... I need to "move into" a space. That space can be as small as the little black agenda I carry around or as big as my home. It includes my purse, my car and lately my office.

Fighting it and denying it is too much work, I am fully giving in.

Bring on the rich purples, the burnt oranges, the plants, the textures, the smells.

Bring ME on.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Funny how this goes...

For the past decade, I have always felt immensely blessed when one of my kids was sick and I KNEW that I could work from my home office, juggling phone calls with chicken soup.

This morning, as two of my (now much older) kids are home under the weather, I feel again immensely blessed for having a quiet office to drive to, having left some great homemade chicken soup in the fridge for them to sip when they wake up.

(and yes, I did have to remind myself a few times that I am only a phone call / 7 minutes away)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Quick Thought

Conspiration theories (big or small) drain me.
I would much rather hear about a strong belief in a Friendly Universe.

Friday, September 11, 2009

We are oh so hip.

Somehow, I goof.

I say: "I think I'll post this on SpaceBook ."

And my friend cracks up and replies: "Oh my god, it's so funny: you called "MyFace SpaceBook!!"

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Reading about the whole Obama / "You lie!" blurt of yesterday, my mind gets on the subject of manners.

Raised in France, manners were added to my baby bottle pretty much from birth. Keep your elbows off the table, make sure you say please and thank you, give your seat to older people, sit up straight, make sure you ask before taking the last piece of anything, let grown ups talk etc ... etc... (lots of etc...)

I found it ludicrous and did not like it much when my grandmother pinched my arm when I chewed a little loudly.

By the time I was ten, there was no turning back. "Good" manners (esp. table manners) were in my blood, for better or for worse.

And now, here I am. I hear myself ask my kids for what I consider good table manners. I am turned off when I see an adult slouched over his plate or even worse, chewing with her mouth open.

"What does it matter?" my kids ask.  Just as I used to.

And really, does it matter? Who decided that slurping our soup was less ... something ... than gingerly spooning it in our mouths?

But ... I reply to my kids - and to my own occasional doubts: "It really does."

I think...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I always had a hunch...

"Excuse me ... can you remind me how to spell "première""?
The pretty woman who had been fervently writing at the table next to mine tells me with a laugh that she is having a bout of spelling block.
The setting is one of Seattle's great Capitol Hill coffee shops, the time is last night.
Within five minutes, she is sitting next to me and we are enjoying getting to know each other.
Two hours later, she has told me a whole bunch of the story of her life. The last decade anyway.
And by then, what had always been a hunch, now had a voice. And a face. 
Ten years ago, she was married and owned a successful fitness center.
Then one day, the building caught on fire. Barely a week after she had let her insurance lapse.
Pretty soon her marriage dissolved.
Pretty soon she had a near fatal car accident.
And pretty soon... she was homeless.
Ensued almost seven years of a life she never, ever knew existed: lining up at night to secure a place to sleep at a shelter. Being teased meanly for her nice clothes and fit body (she laughs a little bit and tells me that she looked like "Barbie does Angeline's - the name of one of the shelters") and then, the big piece: how easy it had been to stay there.
I always had a hunch that the line was not so opaque. 

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Strange Conflict

I walked out of a movie, yesterday.
I think this had only happened once before and only because I so disliked the movie that I could not see giving it another hour of my life.
Yesterday was very different:
I really liked the film. The acting was great, beautiful cinematography, masterful directing and a super story, too.
My mind was happy.
My heart, though, within seven minutes, started to whimper.
It needed out. It was shriveling.
I sat with this strange conflict ("stay, this is great" / "please leave, I can't breathe") for about 45 minutes and then my feet walked me out.
Relieved, my heart let out a big breathe and I sobbed, sitting on the sidewalk for a while.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Bijou Night

I had heard about "Bijou Night" for a couple of years.

Paula had been hosting these movie evenings for a while and to hear her - and her guests - talk about them, they were quite the event.

A few movies in a row (often with a theme), some snacks, great people and overall a great time.

I never made it to one of those evenings but somehow, knowing they took place made me happy.

Tonight, sitting on Paula's couch during an Art Walk, I hear again about Bijou Night.
And that is when I realize that the tiny, tiny little room where I sit ... is where it takes place!

The room is barely bigger than a large walk in closet. 

The room is so small that most people would never, ever consider hosting a regular movie night in there.
("I would love to but I just don't have the space" ... )

Not Paula.

She wanted a movie night so she made it happen.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tough Night and Kitty Giggles

Our foster kitty is restless.

We have given him the premium spot (our bedroom) so that he may feel comfy for the night.

I am guessing he is - but we are not.

He rolls around and purrs loudly and massages us with his paws and crawls under the cover and nuzzles our necks.

Hour after hour passes and I know that neither Chris nor I is getting much rest.

Finally, at 5, Chris gets up. He is going to finish the night downstairs.

He tells me, sleepily: "I thought I was about to get back to sleep but then he stepped in my mouth."

So, for the past 5 hours, every time I think of his departing words, I get the giggles.