Monthly Archives: August 2010

Slipping

He doesn’t put his arms around me anymore.

And I get it.

But talk about a very obvious change in the boy I used to have ride on the scooter with me, who would grip me tight around the middle and yell into my ears.  He’s now a youngish man/boy, who holds on to the back rack behind him instead of to his mama.

And I can feel it, right there.  A flutter in my heart.  A pinch.

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Walking the Line

Was he sleepy?  Or did he just shoot up?

And why oh why did I stay in his cab?

I don’t know.  I don’t know the answer to any of those things, and it bugs me.

We were all in a great mood, having just experienced the Blue Man Group in Chicago.  And it wasn’t all that late, maybe midnight, when we hailed the cabbie.   I got the back middle seat, with my two guys on either side of me.  My seat allowed me the prime (and only) position of having a view of the eyes of the cabbie.  It wasn’t like I was focused on him at first.  We were talking about the show, the uses of yards of toilet paper and how many marshmallows a human being can actually fit in his mouth (it’s a lot more than you think …), when our man behind the wheel kind of lurched his car down the road.  It got my attention, but I brushed it off and went back to our conversation.  But then he sort of sagged into another lane, and then he really got my attention when he closed his eyes and stopped the car at a green light.  On a pretty busy street.

Sort of out of character for me, I reached through the open plexi between the front and back seat, touched his shoulder, and asked if he was alright.  He perked up, mumbled something, and then both Anders and Hans were looking at me like I was a lunatic.   They couldn’t understand why I had shook the guy.   I thought perhaps he was dying, actually.  And since he was the one at the controls of the car, it seemed a prudent move at the time.

And anyway, hadn’t they noticed how he was driving?  Couldn’t they see his eyes kept closing?

Apparently not.  Because it kept happening.

And instead of saying to them, “Holy crap, our driver keeps closing his eyes. I think we need to get the hell out of here!”, I gave Anders one of those googly-eyes that says, “Holy crap, something is very very wrong here!” but didn’t tell him what.

Because I thought it would embarrass the driver.

I mean, what is WRONG with me?  Either he had just shot up with heroin in the moments before we got in his cab, and probably wouldn’t have given a flying fart what we thought of him, or he was working on his 19th hour of constant cab driving to try to pay for his ailing mother’s new hearing aid, and should have been appreciative of someone calling him out.

So there we were, weaving our way ever closer to our hotel, completely at the mercy of some dude clearly not completely with it.  I was praying hard, “please please please let him stay in our lane please please please.”

It was a long few minutes, I’m telling you.   And instead of engaging him at the hotel, I walked away with Hans as fast as I could as Anders paid the bill.

Was I wrong?

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Filed under Stupid things

What’s Your Vision?

20/20 or blind?

Just like everyone else or that freaky girl in the corner with the strange ideas?

I’ve been swimming around the creativity end of the pool lately, and getting comfortable with my own visions.   When it’s all flowing, and I just let go, cool stuff often bubbles up.   Make no mistake, sometimes it’s crappy.  BUT, there’s a little voice that tells me when it’s crappy, and then I hit delete and start over.   And there is another voice, getting stronger every day now, that will give me a wiggly thumbs up when I get it right.  Whoo-hoo goes the voice.

Can you imagine the pressure of creating on a grand scale?  In concrete and glass and 90-stories tall?

I’m thinking this way because last weekend we were in Chicago, and had a chance to go on an architectural tour with Chicago Line Cruises.   Big wiggly thumbs up.  Not only was it a chance to be on a boat, which meant I wasn’t walking in hot weather, and they served cool drinks and cookies, but it was led by an encyclopedically minded docent who knew EVERYTHING about the architecture and history of downtown Chicago.    As we floated down the river (whose flow, we learned, was actually reversed at one point …), the hulking skyscrapers of Chicago floated by.   I had never, ever considered architecture in this kind of detail.  This 90-minute tour made me look at buildings differently.

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Filed under Beautiful things

My Little Sunshine Tomato

For a town where, it seems, the sun has not shined with the kind of uumph I think a lot of us would like this summer, I give thee the happy baby tomato.

Even without copious sun, his friends are all popping up too.

Can you say cherry tomatos for anyone in my neighborhood that want to stop by?

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Filed under Delish Things, Silly things, Tiny things

No Lazy Dazey

Category:  things I wouldn’t believe if it hadn’t happened to me.

This is me swimming.  I’m in my in-laws lovely lap pool, and I was trying to get a mile in before dinner.  I was chugging along, in my own head, when BLAM, I’m met in the pool by 45 pounds of paddling dog.  Her name is Dazey and she is a lab puppy.   I knew that she could swim, of course.  It’s always one of the things that is exciting for kids to do:  attempt to get the puppy in the pool to see how well she can swim.

What I wasn’t prepared for was how well she could swim.  In a straight line.  With turns at the end.

Oh yes, Dazey wasn’t a splash in the pan.  She was in it for the long haul.  And so there we were, doing laps, side by side.  I would get to the wall and do a flip turn, and Dazey would simply turn around at the wall and head for the other end.   Her little paws and legs were pumping, and I’ve got to tell you, it’s easy to lose track of your lap count when you have a dog as a swim mate.  She stayed with me, stride for stride.

I eventually got out.

She didn’t.  So committed to swimming was she that we had to fish her out of the pool three times that night.

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Filed under Silly things

Seeing Things Differently

I was cut off this weekend.  Removed all the straight lines in my life.

The square box of the tv.  The computer screen.  I didn’t look through windows.  Or open a rectangular fridge.  Gone was the sexy  iPhone and the large  bathroom mirror.  I didn’t have a right-angled bed.  I never walked down an orderly hallway.  Or even opened a door.

I was in nature, in Yosemite.  Where straight lines hardly, if ever, occur.  And being so surrounded by the sensual curving of mother nature, I felt cradled (albeit a bit cold at night).

My girlfriend Paula, the one who always has the ideas for pushing outside of the comfort zone to do something ANYTHING different, invited me on a Balanced Rock backpacking trip.  Their motto?

Look inward.  Explore outward.

So 6 women (and two amazing guides), all connected through Paula and some connected with each other, strapped everything we needed for 3 days onto our backs and walked 6 miles in (and up) to a beautiful pristine alpine lake.   Yoga ensued.  So did amazingly delish food.  We slept under the shooting stars and learned the 7 D’s of proper poo-ing in the woods.   We adhered to a “leave no trace” mentality, down to the little itty bitty bits of food in the bottom of our always empty bowls.

And while doing all that, or perhaps because of it, we also paid attention to the things inside that were speaking to us.  Perhaps with a tiny little whisper.  Or, for some, with a howl that had been building and building over time.   We circled the wagons and open ourselves up to each other, and learned from collective wisdom.

What else did we have to do?  We had all the time in the world.  (We were reminded that we always have all the time in the world.)

So I’ve let go of the concern about “bothering” people to learn of my work, because all I’m doing is asking them to listen.  And offering something that is really quite beneficial.  And they are no different from me.   (Can I hear a “holla at cha girl?”)

And others put shape and form around ideas that I believe will make life more rich and interesting and full.

Let’s hear it for nature’s classroom.  May she only be a few steps away when we need to get things straight in our own heads.   Or just take some time out to chill.

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My Little Star

Hans is growing out his hair.   It is longer than mine, straight bangs hanging down in front, just allowing his eyes to peek out.  He’s always liked it straight down, while I have always thought that he had a handsome forehead.   Just like mothers have done for millenia, I sweep it off his forehead and he mashes it back down with both his hands.

It’s his hair and his face, and I’m going to let him look like he wants to look.

Except that now, with his locks creeping ever lower, he looks more like Justin Bieber with each passing day.  The teen singing sensation.  Justin is something like 16, looks 12, and he is very hot right now.  Which would make you think that Hans would be happy about looking like him.

But he’s not.  When we call him J.B., he get’s that look on his face that says he’d like to hurt us.  Anders can’t help himself, and teases him to no end.  It’s all in good fun, but Hans sees it as being mean and teasing, and can get so wrapped up in it that he has come to tears.  They went so far as to make a bet that Anders would pay Hans $5 if he made any reference to J.B., and that included singing any song, using a napkin as a microphone, or playing with his hair.  Of course, as he considered it, Anders sang, “Maybe, maybe, maybe …. Ohhh!”

That was last weekend.  This weekend we went for a bike ride with friends into San Francisco, and somehow J.B. came up.  Stern looks from Hans.  Funny comments from friends.  All in fun.  On the ferry ride home, with the two grown men flanking Hans and razzing him and calling him J.B., and Paula and I facing them, I turned to her and said, “Wouldn’t it be hysterical if the guy on the announcement on the boat said something about how they had a special guest on board?”

I was kidding, of course.  I wouldn’t do that to my kid.  But it would be fantastic.

And then, as if the Universe was listening, exit stage right Anders to go to the bathroom and enter stage left a young girl of about 14.  She came right over to Hans, with a pen and a piece of paper in her outstretched hand.  “Would you please sign this?” she asked Hans, looking from me to him and back at me.  Hans, who obviously thought his father was involved, looked at the floor and shook his head.  I smiled at her, because I was SURE she had been put up to it, wondered how on earth Anders had managed to get someone so convincing so quickly, and kind of wanted her to go.  But she wasn’t leaving.  “Please, please.  Just sign this.”

I told her that he wasn’t who she thought he was, and by this time Hans had turned his back to the poor girl and buried his head in the seat.   He was that embarrassed.  But she wasn’t buying it.  And then she said, “I don’t care.  Just have him sign it.”

Poor thing.

Of course, he didn’t, and she left with the same pen and the same piece of paper unmarked.  When Anders returned to our seats and I told him what happened, he had a look on his face that absolutely told me he hadn’t set Hans up.   And he confirmed it when I asked.   Paula said, scouts honor, she would have fessed up if she’d been involved, and Johnny hadn’t left his seat.

I mean, what are the odds?

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Filed under Silly things