Repeat performance? I think not.




Bah, humbug! Two words. Three syllables. My holiday season can be summed up just as simplistically and in those exact words.

Since my divorce was finalized almost two years ago I have known that I would have to spend this particular Christmas without my children. I had the pleasure of their company last year. This year … well, this year they spent the holiday with my ex-husband. I have known. I thought I was prepared. In a way, I was. I know now (hindsight being 20/20 and all that jazz) that one can never truly prepare for what it will be like to be alone on Christmas … a day that is traditionally spent with family and is made infinitely more enjoyable by the presence of children.

I had plans. I did not intend to stay here. I wanted to travel for the season … perhaps go visit a friend outside London. Ah, but the best laid plans …

My planning fell victim to circumstance and lack of funds and the inability to take a substantial amount of time off work … and a myriad of valid, yet irritating, factors. Alas!

So, what did I do and not do?

I did not put up a Christmas tree or send out cards. I am moving this week to a larger apartment and did not want to deal with attempting to pack boxes around Christmas decorations. As for the cards … no time.

I did work. Yes, I worked. Christmas Eve. Christmas Day. It was better than being at home sulking.

I did not choose to go visit my parents. I have made a number of trips up to their place this fall and going alone for Christmas just didn’t appeal to me.

I did have dinner one night with two friends from high school. We had a lovely time and I wish they were in the area more often.

I did not allow myself to fall into a relationship that would not have been good for me or the other person. Although wise, that still put a bit more of a damper on the week.

I did watch “Love Actually” on Christmas Eve. Alone, but I watched it … and lived vicariously through the characters.

Point being … it was not the greatest of holidays and I do not intend to ever repeat the performance. Two years from now I will be facing the same dilemma. I intend to start planning now … banking funds and vacation time … and reminding myself that life could always be much worse and I need to remember to live. I do hope you all had a wonderful season regardless of if you celebrate Christmas style or not.

“Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday and celebrate just living.” ~Amanda Bradley

Interview




Seeing as I haven't had the time this holiday season to write anything of any significance ... let me leave you with my responses to some "interview" questions that I answered on a random Facebook application whilst bored at work. Trust me, this is but a random sampling as the "interview" was much, much, much longer. Still ...

Dumbest TV show?
That stupid now cancelled show based off the irritating cavemen from the Geiko commercials.

Do you watch MTV?
Once upon a lifetime ago when MTV actually stood for *MUSIC* television.

Do you like clingy/whiny people?
Oh, my stars!! I can not stand them.

Which song are you listening to right now/did you last listen to?
I took off my iPod about 10 minutes ago. The last song was David Cook\'s Idol performance of Music of the Night from The Phantom of the Opera. Good stuff.

Which band did you last see live?
ZZ Top - 'Cause you know "Every Girls Crazy Bout A Sharp Dressed Man"

What is your view on teenage love?
I think society can often underestimate the power of teenage feelings. I am pretty positive I loved as a teenager.

What Is Your Age Policy ?
I think I can safely say I would date someone 10 years up ... but probably only 5 years down at this point. Ask me again in another 5 years.

How would you describe your sense of humor?
SARCASTIC!

Do you think your country can go to the World Cup in South Africa in 2010?
Seeing as I will not be pulling for USA ... probably! Go England! Go Italy!

Do you dislike people who intentionally misspell words online?
With a passion!

Do you swear?
“Every damn day." ~The Mummy (Film, 1999)

How many mosquito bites do you currently have?
0 -- The only blessing that wintertime brings to the South.

If you had to destroy life in order to protect other life, could you do it?
I would kill someone who was threatening my children ... so yeah, I could.

If you saw a monkey driving a car down the street, what would your first reaction be?
That is one freaking awesome monkey!

Favorite lyric?
“I can't live with or without you . . .” ~U2 (This will change tomorrow. You might want to ask me again later.)

Random word. Go.
Fillabuster

Can your mind comprehend the fact that the universe never ends?
If the Energizer Bunny can keep going ... why not the Universe? Huh?

Have you ever meaningfully kissed someone?
With every fiber of my being ...

What kind of eggs do you like?
Ostrich

Do you go for a blonde or brunette?
I am typically attracted to dark headed guys. I know not why.

First thing you broke?
My silence.

Would you sleep with you ex?
Ex-husband? Not a shot in hell. Ex-boyfriend(s)? Maybe. Which one?

When dismantling a bomb, do you cut the black wire or the yellow wire?
Yellow. It is an ugly color anyway.

Do you question your place in the Universe?
Nope and I do not even need a *You Are Here* arrow to point the way.

If you were to be rejected by e-Harmony, what would it be for?
Brutal Honesty

What football (or soccer, if you prefer that term) do you support?
England: ManU; US: LA Galaxy; World: I am digging Italy & England lately.

Best story:
‘Romeo & Juliet’ – I am feeling romantic. Although, this is mood driven as well. Ask me another day and it is just as likely to be ‘Lord of the Rings’ or ‘Harry Potter’ or even ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ … I do not know.

What or Who do you secretly love?
You obviously do not know me. There are no secrets here.

Do you want a man to be on your roof?
Will he be fiddling?

What is your favorite smell???
Rain on the Serengeti

What is your favorite number?
8 -- Upright Infinity

Do you ever wonder why Smurfette was the only female Smurf?
No. I know. Gargamel created her to cause dissention among the Smurfs. This, of course, would have worked in a normal male dominated society. The Smurfs are just a whacked out.

Do you consider yourself a "nerd" or a "dork" or a "geek"?
Um, yeah, so ... the thing is ... all of the above. I am also pretty damn cool though. Do not let the labels fool you!

Night or Day?
“Nightime sharpens, heightens each sensation. Darkness wakes and stirs imagination ... “ ~Phantom of the Opera

How old are you in dog years?
238 ... Yeah, I know you can divide. That makes me 34. What do you want to make of it?

Read the book, or see the movie?
My general rule of thumb is to read the book. There are a few notable exceptions. 'Phantom of the Opera' comes to mind. Stupid book. Great musical. Great movie.

Is there only one soul-mate for anyone, or are there more than one?
Soul mates are not meant to be forever. Read 'Eat Pray Love' and you will understand.

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you and then they leave. And thank God for it.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love

What is your favorite book?
"Persuasion" by Jane Austen ... followed closely by a big fat volume of "The Complete Works of Shakespeare”.

What would you change about yourself?
I love myself. I love myself. I love myself. Was that convincing?

You are stranded on an island and you can take unlimited books. Which do you choose?
Why do I have to choose? I have an UNLIMITED selection, right? By definition there should be no choosing involved.

Have you ever been in love?
I believe so. Once. Maybe twice. It is all warped to me now. The matter is still up for debate.

Finish the sentence: "The way you smile..."
... makes me wonder what you are up to!

How do you like your men?
Manly!

What time is it when an elephant sits on a chair?
Time to send the elephant back to the savannah where he belongs so he will not break any more chairs.

Tennis or golf?
Riddle me this? Do they both bore you? Yeah - I thought so.

Least favorite song in the world?
That stupid ... *Had a Bad Day* song by Daniel Powter irritates me to no end.

What is your favorite Shakespeare play?
Much Ado About Nothing

if you fell off a cliff what would be you last thought?
How come I do not pause in the air like that stupid coyote?

Are you happy to have single-handedly destroyed the earth?
"Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight? The same thing we do every night, Pinky ... "

What would you do if no one would ever find out?
Someone ALWAYS finds out!

What is your favorite kind of cheese?
"Behold the power of cheese!!" This is an evil question.

Look to your left: What do you see?
Oooooh! I see a wonderfully fascinating ... wall. Are you not jealous?

Star Wars or Star Trek?
“May the Force be with you!”

“Live long & prosper!”
I am just sayin’ ...

Are you self obsessed?
I am a mother. I do not have time to be self obsessed.

Why do you go on Facebook?
Hi! My name is Beth. I am a Facebook addict.

What is your biggest turn off?
Ignorance

What motivates you?
Procrastination

When will you be in Chicago next?
I do not know. It will likely involve some unknown future connecting flight between point A and point B.

What is love?
“Oh baby, don’t hurt me. Don’t hurt me ... no more.”

How many people does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Did I ask for your help? I think not.

What is the meaning of life?
I know not. Ask the Monty Python dudes ... they seem to have an idea.

If you were one of the seven dwarfs, who would you be?
Grumpy. Although - I do not think the beard would suit me.

Do you believe in heaven and hell?
Yes I do and I am pretty sure I have friends in both places.

What sort of character would you play in a comic book (hero, humorous sidekick, villain, that abrasive newspaper guy, etc.)
Marvel Comics anti-hero ... Black Cat. Specific enough for you?

What is the name of your truest friend???
I do not trust so easily.

If you could time travel, what would be your first stop?
Summer 1994; there would be much work to be done.

Performing Arts, Fine Arts, or Sports?
“I want it all. I want it all. I want it all and I want it now.”

What came first, the chicken or the egg?
More importantly ... Who was the first person to choose to eat something that came out of a chicken butt? (FYI: I believe in Creation. The chicken came first.)

Close your eyes for a moment, who pops into your head?
Someone who should not ... damn memories

Do you say "I love you" in the relationship?
"Those three words are said too much yet not enough..."

Aliens have landed and selected you to visit their home planet. Do you go with them?
Hell yeah ... but then I would likely wake to find it all a dream. I hate disappointment.

If you could be successful at any job in the world, what would that job be?
Travel Writer

What is your favorite word?
Plethora (for now)

Would you rather be hot or cold?
I am sssssssmokin!!

Opera, Musical, Concert, Play, Performance, or Other?
Bring it ... all of it.

What is your favorite clothing brand?
Adam and Eve ... The Exclusive Fig Leaf Collection.

Your favorite Disney Films?
The Little Mermaid. Prince Eric is HOT! What?

Where is Waldo?
He is in Hollywood trying to get a movie deal. Why not? They will put anything on film these days.

Do you eat cold cereal at night?
If the occasion calls for it.

What is your favorite TV show?
Cancelled ... that is what it is. Bloody studio executives.

Kill the spider or let it out?
Shelob MUST be destroyed.

What do you do on Fridays?
Fry. What else would I do?

What is your favorite song of all time?
I Remember You ~Skid Row

Do you like bananas?
Well, now, that just depends ...

What would you do if Michael Jackson asked you out?
I am quite sure raucous laughter would be involved.


Anticipation




I have no patience. This is important and I think it bears repeating: I – HAVE – NO – PATIENCE! But, what do we find? We find me in a state of heightened anticipation … waiting … and waiting … and more waiting. This is agony. My nerves are shot.

What am I waiting for? This time, my friends, my business is my own. All shall may be revealed in due course.

“I feel as if my skin is the only thing keeping me from going everywhere at once.” ~Ever After, Film (1998)

Walk Out Of Your History





I have a new reader to my blog. Yes, I know exactly who you are. Surprised?

My blog tracking statistics provide me general information … number of visitors, IP addresses, locations … that sort of thing … and I am always thrilled to welcome a new curious soul into the family.

To all my other readers … or new visitors: You are MOST welcome! You may not want to read all of this post, but you are always welcome here.

To my new reader: Didn’t your mother ever teach you that the wound will never heal if you keep picking that scab?

See – I have quite the powers of deductive reasoning and I repeat: I know exactly who you are. You are not a random reader. You are not a friend. You are not family. You are not a kindred online blogging spirit with similar interests. You did not stumble across my writing through a search engine or a link from another blogger’s site. In fact, not only do I know who you are but, courtesy of my trusty tracking system, I know exactly what you are reading. I know each and every one of my entries that seem to have attracted your attention. Here’s the rub … I’m flattered you find me so incredibly fascinating, but my little ramblings should be of absolutely no interest to you. My life (past, present, or future) should be of absolutely no interest to you. None. Zero. Zilch. Obviously you disagree. So, as long as you continue to visit and revisit and … revisit … let me share with you two little words of advice: LET GO.

“Stand up and walk out of your history.” ~ Dr. Phil


“To let go isn’t to forget, not to think about, or ignore. It doesn’t leave feelings of anger, jealousy, or regret. Letting go isn’t about winning or losing. It’s not about pride and it’s not about how you appear, and it’s not obsessing or dwelling on the past. Letting go isn’t blocking memories or thinking sad thoughts, and doesn’t leave emptiness, hurt, or sadness. It’s not about giving in or giving up. Letting go isn’t about loss and it’s not about defeat. To let go is to cherish the memories, but to overcome and move on. It is having an open mind confidence in the future. Letting go is learning and experiencing and growing. To let go is to be thankful for the experiences that made you laugh, made you cry, and made you grow. It’s about all that you have, all that you had, and all that you will soon gain. Letting go is having the courage to accept change, and the strength to keep moving.” ~Unknown

In all seriousness: stand up … quit picking the scab … let the wounds heal … walk out of your history – and, for your own sanity, stay out of my future. Cheers!

Quietude




“Silence is one of the great arts of conversation.” ~Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman Scholar

Hello all! I have missed our chats over the last couple of weeks. Alas, silence on the page (or in the blog) does not translate quite as fluidly as a quiet lull in live conversation between friends. I have oft been accused of being incredibly chatty … always having something to say … excessively talkative. This does not mean that I do not value and appreciate the perfection embodied in a well-timed pause … moments of quietude … stillness … white space. I do.

I treasure silence.

“We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass - grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls.” ~Mother Teresa

It is a difficult thing in American society today to find meaningful, peaceful moments of true silence … cell phones, pagers, computers, televisions … planes, trains and automobiles … all contribute to the cacophony of our lives. I miss the abyssal depth and tangible peace that accompanies the purity of silence in the darkness of an African night. I used to sit and absorb the world around me. Silence. Oh, there were sounds in the night … the cry of a bushbaby, the wind’s breath through the trees, beating wings of bats in the starlit sky above, the symphonious crescendo of crickets … for African never sleeps; but there is contentment in the music of nature. It is we who must learn to sit in silence. We can learn much from the world around us and from one another by taking refuge in silence and learning to communicate effectively through the breathing spaces provided by a hushed moment.

“Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment.” ~Henry David Thoreau, American Poet

Please find time for stillness this day and all that follow.

“There are times when silence has the loudest voice . . .” ~Leroy Brownlow, American Preacher & Author

. . . all you have to do …

. . . is listen!!

A Good Day ... But Not This Day





I awoke this morning and immediately thought to myself …

“It is a good day to die.” ~Crazy Horse

My eyes watered. My head pounded. I coughed … attempting to hack up a lung. I shivered. Don’t even ask me about the mucus. Sexy picture I paint, isn't it? The snooze alarm on my cell phone beckoned and I hit it … rolling over with the knowledge that I had nine minutes before the bloody thing went off again in a vain attempt to get me out of bed. I slept. Briefly. The alarm went off. Again, I hit the snooze. The mental battles began.

Get out of bed! Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. And, there was victory … temporary. No.

Nine more minutes. STUPID ALARM!!!

Get out of bed! Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. No. No. NO!!! Another short victory.

Nine painfully brief minutes. HELL!!!

Call in sick to work. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. NO!!! Damn.

Get out of bed … NOW! No. No. No. Yes. Yes. Yes. No. No. No.

Somewhere in the recesses of my plugged up and fuzzy mind I found the energy to attempt to rally myself … willing my body to face the mental and physical battles of the day. Battle! I am going into battle. I fight for survival (and job security). Thank goodness for the movies (and Tolkien) as these are the words that found their way into my brain:

“I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of woes and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you STAND, Men of the West!” ~The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Film (2003)

I stood … wobbly, but I stood. I showered. I medicated myself. (Vainly, it would seem, as I am still incredibly miserable.) I dressed. I drove to work. I shall persevere.

Yes, it seemed a good day to die … but it is not this day!!

Find In Me More Value





I want to be pursued. Wooed. Courted. I want a man who is willing to dig deeper in order to discover the riches within me.

“Wooing thee, I found thee of more value
Than stamps in gold or sums in sealed bags;
And 'tis the very riches of thyself
That now I aim at.”

~William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor


Is this concept entirely too medieval for the modern world to comprehend? Has courtship become a relic of the past? Is chivalry dead?

More Than Observing




I am off to the polls and will stand in line without complaint as long as necessary. Cheers!

“To make democracy work, we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.” ~Louis L'Amour

Brilliant. Gorgeous. Talented. Fabulous.





My self-esteem has been in the toilet lately. Deep. In. The. Toilet. Self imposed, of this I am sure. I feel no need to reveal the “why(s)” behind my ill logic. Still, it is funny how life can step in and provide you with a bit of a boost when needed most.

While driving to Missouri last week I stopped at a random gas station and mini-mart in Greenland, Arkansas. A truck pulled in next to me. The driver, a fairly attractive man at least 5 (if not more) years my junior, nodded to me and raised his hand in a brief wave. “I don’t know you!” I thought … but I extended a small smile as I exited my vehicle and entered the mini-mart. He came in as well and it seemed we were both going about our own business. As I left my phone rang. It was my mother checking on the progress of my journey. I chatted with her as I walked to my vehicle but noticed that my admirer was not far behind. I sat in my vehicle talking to mom and getting ready to get back on the road when I noticed that this gentleman had gotten into his truck but was not moving. In fact, he was motioning to me. I asked my mother to hold on and rolled down the window only to be surprised with having the man inquire about my digits … my phone number. Now, I am not in the habit of handing out my cell phone number to strange men at random rural gas stations and I did not make an exception in this instance. I merely laughed aloud and informed him that I would do no such thing. His response? “Damn!” Yet, he waved again as I pulled out and continued on my merry way.

It has been quite some time since a man blatantly hit on me. I have been told that I exude a standoffish type aura which is: a) likely true and b) not likely to change. Still, with my self-esteem lately entrenched within the depths of the commode … this little encounter provided me with a wee a bit of a much needed reminder … to stop being afraid of my own light.

I am brilliant.
I am gorgeous.
I am talented.
I am fabulous.

Can I get an “Amen!”?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” ~Marianne Williamson

Monday Mosaic #20 - All Good Things ...



... must come to an end. This will be the last Monday Mosaic ... for a time at least. I may throw a mosaic up every now and then, but twenty is a good round number. There you go. Enough said.

"This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." ~Winston Churchill

Aimless Brain Wanderings




Have I mentioned that I have THE MOST AWESOME parents on the planet? I probably have. Still, I do. They are wonderfully gracious and amazing.

I had to turn on the heater last night. Boo. I hate cold weather. My equatorial blood is not happy about this turn of events.

I passed this guy on the way to work who is single-handedly attempting to bring back
this hair style. He is failing. I hope.

This is a short work week for me as I have dental appointments. Yay! Sad, really. I would rather be at the dentist. Work still bores me.

My cold has not abated. Devil virus.

I have been a bit of a hermit lately. This is bizarre behavior. Abnormal, indeed.

“The mind can weave itself warmly in the cocoon of its own thoughts, and dwell a hermit anywhere.” ~James Russell Lowell

Respect the chocolate!

I think
Heroes managed to get a wee bit back on track last night. Woo hoo! It was a pretty darn good episode. What say you … fellow geeks?

I am really craving Taco Bell right now. Don’t chastise. I am just as confused as you are.

Parental bragging rights: Little K made his school choir. Yes, he had to try out. Big K also made the All-Region School Choir for the second year running. I am quite the proud parent.

Have you ever spent astounding amounts of energy avoiding what, in all likelihood, is inevitable?

“There is no good in arguing with the inevitable. The only argument available with an east wind is to put on your overcoat.” ~James Russell Lowell

I know it is a public restroom but … “Damn!”

I should really think about becoming a vegetarian. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Hee! Hee! Hee! Hee! Hee! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Whew! Wow! Excuse me while I go pick the dead animal from lunch out of my teeth.

I am weary of politics. One week. I can vote in one week and then we can just see what the future holds. One week. One week. One week.

Monday Mosaic #19 - Darkly Veiled



“The dark-veiled silhouette that solitary form patrolling without visible strain or vainglory a demented dreamland of fearful potential.” ~Kathryn Hulme


I am. I am. I am.




I can not breathe. I would love to blame the stifling humidity of a Southern summer or the asthma that I do not have. Even the confining boundaries of Small Town, USA threaten my ability to inhale oxygen; but it is, instead, the realization that I am no longer the woman that I once was. I have been responsible for the near suffocation of a person I love most dearly – me!

In truth, nothing this severe happens alone and without warning. I simply was not paying attention. Maybe I was hiding. Who knows? There are a number of stupid life decisions and situations that contributed to my current situation. They need not be revisited.

One particular afternoon, as I was wheezing for air, I realized that the time had come for me to embark on a voyage of rediscovery of myself. Who am I supposed to be? What happened to the vibrant and confident woman that existed fifteen years ago?

How do I get her back?

I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart: I am, I am, I am. ~Sylvia Plath

Acute Viral Nasopharyngitis





Huh? In other words … I have contracted a common cold. I woke this morning and immediately cursed the state of my head: congestion, sore throat, sneezing … the works. Still, I am at work. Ugh. I have switched from the guzzling of my morning coffee to the drinking of herbal tea with lemon. Head might still explode. Possibly.

"That it is common admits of no dispute. But why cold? Is it because we feel chilly when we have a cold or because chilling brings it on (or is supposed to do so) or because the infection is commoner during the cold time of the year?" ~Sir Christopher Andrewes, The Common Cold


I Need A Nap




Summer. What about it? I was awake all summer long, that’s what. Seriously. Insomnia. There was little rest or sleep for me over the summer months.

Fall. What about it? I want to sleep … all the time, that’s what. My body has waved goodbye to insomnia and immediately traversed from one extreme to the other. I feel borderline narcoleptic. I could easily take a nap at any given time during the hours that I am supposed to be awake and still not have trouble sleeping at night. This makes the drudgery of l … o … n … g, boring days at work much more difficult than usual. Not only do I have to fake being busy … I have to fake being alert when, in actuality, if I allow my eyes to close – I will be asleep inside of thirty seconds.

Nap often, so you'll be completely relaxed at bedtime. ~Jim Davis, Garfield Creator

Bring Me Nonsense



I have two more hours left in my work day. I have already spent six hours pretending to have some work to do. Nothing. No exaggeration. I think I am losing brain cells at an alarming and rapidly increasing rate due to inactivity. I am so bored I could easily take on Thing 1 and Thing 2 right now. What? I have children. Are they not the same?

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life's realities.” ~Dr. Seuss

Close The Gaps





I used to be an incredibly motivated individual. I seem to have lost that particular personality trait as of late. In fact, I would say I am dangerously close to becoming apathetic. I am terribly disinterested in just about everything.

Phase? Probably.

I hope.

So, I find myself on a quest to rebuild my own motivation. Where to start?

On a side note (sort of) …

I watched ‘
Into the Wild’ over the weekend. Wow! If you have not watched this film … you should. It is incredibly thought provoking and tackles the dichotomy between the natural world and the material world. What do we really need to survive? How important are our human relationships? What brings true and lasting happiness? It is brilliant. I find that I can not give a full review as I do not want to ruin the experience for those who will take the time to watch this wonderful movie. Instead, I will leave you with a few quotes:

“Rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness – give me truth.” ~Into the Wild, Film (2007)

“Some people feel like they don’t deserve love. They walk away quietly into empty spaces, trying to close the gaps of the past.” ~Into the Wild, Film (2007)

“Happiness is only real when shared.” ~Into the Wild, Film (2007)

Monday Mosaic #18 - Sea, Sky & Soul


“There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul” ~Victor Hugo


Time : Change





"Time changes everything: hearts, lives, and friends. Some things survive and some things die, but one thing is constant. As long as that clock keeps ticking things will never remain the same. Anger moves out and finds somewhere else to live. Bitterness is overcome with insight and light. Suddenly you know that you have to move on, just so life can get better. If you don’t let it go all the chaos remains. As time passes, you don't want to hurt anymore. As time passes, you don't want to cry anymore. Damn it, you just want to get better. You just want...finally you just…want. A change...now a change has to come." ~Unknown

"Brave" Sir Robin, I Am Not




I once made a not so valiant effort at running away from home. I was seven. I think. It was an isolated incident as most of my childhood was pretty darn grand, but there was this one time that I had faked being sick as to avoid school.

As I am now twenty-some-odd-years removed from said day … I have no idea why I did not want to go to school. I am quite sure I had a good reason. Maybe there was a test I hoped to avoid. Perhaps I was angry at a friend. It is possible I simply felt like staying home. I doubt the reason will ever surface in my memory. I could concoct a reason but it would likely be highly inaccurate. I succeeded enough in my farce to miss
the van to school but my victory was to be short-lived.

I was supposed to be sick. My mother had told me to stay in bed and rest. I stubbornly refused to follow her directions. Within minutes of the van leaving for school I was out of my room and trying to play. Smart, huh? You would think I could have managed at least a couple more hours of my charade in order to make it more believable, but no. My mother called my bluff and sent me back to my room. As the drive to my elementary school was approximately thirty minutes one way I am quite sure she made the decision that I would remain home … but remain in my room. If playing sick was my game then it would be the only game I played that day.

There was much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth … stomping of feet and slamming of doors. All generated by me, of course, not my mother.

I went unhappily to my room where I proceeded to pack myself a little suitcase full of clothing. Stomping through the kitchen I announced my intentions to leave and never come back. Now, I do not remember what my mother said to me as I was leaving. Her comment was in the vein of flippantly wishing me good luck in my pursuit which I am quite sure served to merely make me angrier and more determined.

Out the door I went, crossing the car park and up the steep hilled incline that served as our driveway. Our home was located on a compound with two other missionary homes that were at the top of the hill. I passed by both of them and made it to the gate of the compound … looking over my shoulder to see if my mother was coming after me. She wasn’t. I sat down. I cried. I picked up my suitcase and walked a few meters back toward the house. I sat down again. I cried more. I contemplated my decision and thought about how horrible my mother must be that she let me leave. I got up and walked half-way down the drive where I sat down again. I could see the door of my house from this location and there was still no sight of mother. I cried more … convinced I was no longer wanted. Several times I stood up and shuffled closer to the house before sitting down to pout some more. Eventually, I made my way all the way down the hill, through the door, down the hall and back into my room.

“Live your daily life in a way that you never lose yourself. When you are carried away with your worries, fears, cravings, anger, and desire, you run away from yourself and you lose yourself. The practice is always to go back to oneself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Monk

I never tried to run away from home again. This little story reminds me that when I am feeling overwhelmed I need to stand firm against whatever adversity is facing me. Running away will not solve the problem it will merely be postponed as I will have to come back to face the consequences eventually. It is best that I stand firm in the beginning.

Brave Sir Robin ran away...
*No!*
bravely ran away away...
*I didn't!*
When danger reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled.
*I never did!*
Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about, and valiantly, he chickened out.
*Oh, you liars!*
Bravely taking to his feet, he beat a very brave retreat … a brave retreat by brave Sir Robin.
~Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Film (1975)

Monday Mosaic #17 - Let it Rain


“The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain.” ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Spinning Our Own Fates




“We are spinning our own fates, good or evil, and never to be undone. Every smallest stroke of virtue or vice leaves its never-so-little scar.” ~William James

I think that somewhere along the fairway of my life I managed to step from the path and into a centrifuge type carnival … fair … amusement park ride. You know the ones. Everyone files into the circular ride and stands with back against the padded walls as the doors close and the ride begins to spin, slowly at first, but soon reaching such a velocity that even the movement of your head from side to side becomes difficult, impossible even. And, with human flesh plastered firmly against the wall, held in place by sheer momentum … the floor drops out … the ride tilts … all while spinning wildly faster and faster. Seemingly endless revolutions later the floor raises back into place and the ride begins to slow. Arms and legs, followed by heads and torsos, are peeled away from the padding as stability returns and the you go on about your merry way.

I am stuck in that ride … spinning rapidly … doing the same thing over and over again … the floor dropped out long ago … around and around I go. I am moving, but I am not getting anywhere. I am paralyzed by the centrifuge of circumstance.

“The world is like a ride in an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it's very brightly colored and it's very loud and it's fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question: "Is this real, or is this just a ride?" And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, "Hey, don't worry; don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride." And we kill those people.” ~Bill Hicks

Monday Mosaic #16 - When God Paints


"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson



Seduction at the Laundromat




I had to go to the laundromat today. The experience was rather uneventful except for the fact that I bumped into a familiar face from a previous excursion to the same location. Stupid small town. We didn’t speak. Perhaps he remembered me as well. Here is what I wrote last year regarding said experience:


Seduction at the Laundromat

I don’t have a washer and dryer in my apartment. I don’t even have the hookups for a washer and dryer in my apartment. It sucks, but it is part of life right now so I go with it. Honestly. What can I do? However, we do have a laundromat onsite at my apartment complex … one that has been shut down for unexplainable reasons for the last 3 weeks. As I am not willing to let the laundry pile any higher than Mt. Longonot, I finally caved in and hauled my mountainous baskets (with children in tow) to another laundromat before they collectively reached the height of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Luckily, my kids are used to "going with the flow." I guess that’s part of being my children. They think anything beyond the ordinary is a great adventure. And, in typical childhood fashion, we arrived and they immersed themselves in their Nintendo DS game systems coming out of their electronically induced comas only long enough to realize two other boys in the laundromat also had DS systems and (courtesy of the built in wireless connectors) they could all play together even though they had not met prior to this day. It’s so easy for them.

Apparently ~ I looked like I was vulnerable prey. I’m not sure why. I was sitting near my kids with book in hand and iPod on ears minding my own business and not paying attention to anyone else in the vicinity of the waiting room. Oh … it is habit for me to "check out" everyone coming and going. Call it paranoia if you wish. I call it being aware of one’s surroundings. In my search for "awareness" this middle-aged gentleman with crazy "Dr. Frankenstein" hair, plaid "I think I’m a golfer" shorts and a pale yellow shirt came in with only two laundry baskets. He loaded his washers and then glanced about, no doubt surveying everyone else in the room as I had, before deciding that I needed company and plopped himself into the seat next to me.

I ignored him. In fact, I didn’t even look up or acknowledge that anyone else was there. Let me take a moment to mention that I am not always so rude. In general I love people. But, being a professional people watching hobbyist has its benefits. I can read people pretty darn well.

He spoke to me. I chose to pretend that I couldn’t hear him because of my headphones. There is no way he could know that I keep the volume at a manageable level so I can hear what my children are doing. He spoke to me again. I ignored him again. At that point, the jackass leans forward into my line of site, practically knocking my book out of the way, and proceeds to ask me my name. I shot him a definitive "go to hell look" before getting up to check on my laundry. I returned to find him talking to my oldest child. One look from me ended that conversation abruptly. I dropped back into my chair and picked up my book. My iPod headphones had never left my head.

He proceeds to speak to me again. "What is your name?" he wants to know. I hear Big K, my 12 year-old, giggle. He’s a smart and intuitive boy. He knows what is going on. Hoping it will shut him up; I mutter "Beth" and resume reading my book. Of course, at this point, I've read the same sentence about ten times. I don’t ask him his name and I don’t attempt to draw him into conversation. "Beth’s a hot name" is the next thing I hear. At this point, I actually wonder if I’m hearing voices. He couldn’t possibly be that stupid, could he? What kind of pick up line is that anyway? Lame. So lame.

Then … more giggles from Big K in the corner. Yep, I’d heard him correctly. This time I shoot him the, "you really are that asinine go to hell" look and proceed to move my clothes from washer to dryer. He follows and begins asking questions regarding the laundromat like, "Which dryers work best?" and "Is this the best laundromat in town?" I’m a patient individual when it comes to the complete stupidity of other individuals, but at this point I’m just pissed. Maybe, just maybe, if "Beth's a hot name" hadn't crossed his lips I might have found need to be cooly polite. I didn't.

"I don’t know," I respond. "I don’t know which dryers work best. I don’t know if this is the best laundromat in town. I do know that I’m simply trying to finish my laundry. I do know that I’ve ignored every advance you have made in trying to gain my attention. I do know that if you speak to me again I will be forced to give you a verbal lashing far surpassing this little reprimand or any other you have ever received in your life. Don’t speak to me again. Don’t speak to my children again. If you do I will have the cops on your ass before your laundry makes it through the rinse cycle." While angry, this is the best I can do with children nearby. Ever the parent, the strongest profanity I let slip was "ass" and I figured my kids would get over it.

Silence …. followed by a giggle from Big K in the corner. I shoot him a warning look and return my attention to said middle-aged idiot who has taken a step backward for each punctuation mark of my tirade. No response. I rendered him speechless. Yes! He blinks at me a few times while I stare him down before finally wandering over to another area of the laundromat. I return to my book, smiling at Big K, and finish my time at the laundromat without further interruption.

“Sometimes you have to be a high-riding bitch to survive. Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman has to hold onto.” ~Dolores Claiborne, Film (1995)

I do notice as we are loading baskets in the van to leave that Mr. "I'm going to find myself a woman today" is chatting up some twenty-something woman in the corner. She's already beginning to take steps backwards. It seems that I was not the only one wary of the weird middle-aged man that day. What a seductor he must think he is.

I have been ill ...

… for several days this week. I had some sort of plague and I am now a few pounds lighter although I do not recommend this method of weight loss. Personally, I blame stress. STRESS!!

“Falling ill is not something that happens to us, it is a choice we make as a result of things happening to us.” ~Sir Jonathan Miller

Despite getting up and actually making it to work this morning, I am still not feeling fully functional. So, I am going to be a wee bit lazy and bring you a list of some recent Google searches that have led the seekers to this site (poor bastards) … and my subsequent reactions.



“life is nothing more than”
Hmmm? Really. More than …what?

“forget to live in punjabi”
WHAT?

“why do we judge”
Sadly, because we are human.

“johnny castle naked”
In my mind Johnny Castle is a character from Dirty Dancing. Oh no! To the rest of the world he is a porn star … apparently. Curious, I typed the above into Google myself and, well, you can guess what popped up. It was nothing close to my blog, I can tell you that. I don’t know how one person managed to land here that way.

“inability to be loved”
Now, I know that I can be rather melancholy at times but … really? Inability? That is just plain sad.

“celebrities on boredom”
Are they bored? Probably at times.

“what a dump”
Thanks. I appreciate that.

“moose mosaic”
Mosaics … yes. Every Monday. Moose? No. Not at all.

“quote said by an actor in a famous movie”
You know that one guy that was in that one movie and said that one thing? No? Me either.

Have a great weekend all!

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