Friday, June 13, 2003

The Friday Five:

1. What's one thing you've always wanted to do, but never have?
I've always wanted to go rock climbing. Of course, I'd like to start with those rock walls that have the little rocks strategically placed to help you scale the wall. I'd like to test my body to see if it's capable of something like that. Although, real rock climbing would be a completely different story. How do you know if a particular rock or tree root will hold you? Those people are amazing. And then there's the issue of what to do once you get to the top. I'm not a big fan of heights, and I'm afraid I'd freeze at the top and not be able to get down. Maybe that's why I haven't done it yet.

2. When someone asks your opinion about a new haircut/outfit/etc, are you always honest?
It depends on the situation. I tell the truth in cases where I can honestly say it looks great! :) But if it looks bad, it depends on how well I know them. If someone's a really close friend, it's a little easier to say that maybe the last outfit/hairstyle/etc. was better. If it's someone I don't know, I will probably just say it looks good so I don't hurt their feelings. But it they don't ask, I don't usually lie. I just won't say anything about the new haircut or outfit, even if I've noticed it.

3. Have you ever found out something about a friend and then wished you hadn't? What happened?
Not a good friend. I've found out things about people who I thought were friends, but who I hadn't known very long. These were people who I found out were either after my boyfriend or said something bad about me to my boss at work (in that case she was after my boyfriend, too). Those people I confronted about the situation, told them I didn't believe them when they lied about it, and then said I didn't anything more to do with them. In the case of the work "friend", I remained professional and helped her when required for our jobs, but told her I didn't want to hear anything more about her personal life and didn't want her to ask about mine. Thankfully that hasn't happened with my really close friends, and why I only have a few that I can really call my good friends.

4. If you could live in any fictional world (from a book/movie/game/etc.) which would it be and why?
I think the world of Harry Potter would be interesting. I just get so caught up in the characters and scenes when I read the books.

5. What's one talent/skill you don't have but always wanted?
Painting or drawing. I'm so bad at that. When Sassy Little Punkin sent me my mug, I was overjoyed at how beautiful it was, but a little envious that she could create something like that with her own two hands. One of my oldest friends from Florida can draw such wonderful pictures, especially portraits of people. I tried to paint a picture on canvas, one where you just smear various colors, and drip, splatter and throw paint at will (Pollack-style), but it just didn't come out right. I have it in my garage right now and my husband's always asking when we can throw it out. I don't know why I keep it. I guess to remind me of what happens when I try to be creative!

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Aaaahhh. I feel so relaxed. I just got a full-body massage and I feel great (I had gotten a certificate for a free massage at the gym I go to, so I took full advantage of it).

I've had a history of back problems, starting with a sprained back resulting from a bad jump during cheerleading tryouts (I didn't make the team ... I think I've mentioned before that I can't do a cartwheel, and they didn't think I was loud enough -- although those who know me now would beg to differ), to some scar tissue build-up from a car accident where I was run into from the side, to a crushed vertebrate from being slammed onto the beach by a gigantic wave (on my honeymoon no less), so I look forward to massage opportunities when they arise, which isn't often.

But massages never really seemed to get rid of all the tension, pain and numbness that tend to build up in my upper back and shoulders. I always leave a little more relaxed but feeling like I need several more hours of it. However, I did something this year that helped. I went to a chiropractor, who after several sessions and many dollars, finally found the spot that was causing the problems, resulting in a cracking that sounded like popcorn popping. It really did the trick.

So when the massage therapist was giving me my massage today, she remarked at that my back really wasn't tight at all. That's the first time I've ever heard that. Most times they're quite surprised at the tightness, and I can feel the "bubble wrap" feeling as they try loosen up the muscles (I think that popping feeling is the release of lactic acid, but I'm not a biologist, so I have no idea). Not this time. I felt a few pops, but mostly it was just pure pleasure this time.

I feel good. And while the sky's still gray outside, it's a little brighter in here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

It's the first sunny day that we've had in almost two weeks (this year is definitely going against the phrase sunny Southern California), so I'm off to put on my new bathing suit, grab my book and lounge in the sun for a few hours.

Well, for as long as my daughter will take a nap, which is realistically about an hour and fifteen minutes. But at least I'll get a little bit of color.

Hopefully tomorrow, I'll have more to write about.

Monday, June 09, 2003

Here's a bit o' fiction from Boogie's Mom:

More Time

She stands in front of his tombstone, the dewy grass dampening the hem of her pants. The sky is a gunmetal gray, matching the somberness of her mood. She brushes off the pine needles that have fallen on the stone, and stares at the inscription, her lips silently reading what she knows by heart: In his short time on earth, he was loved by many – 1952-1993.

She still cannot believe it has been 10 years since he died. She thinks back to the day she received the call. No survivors found. Extreme wreckage. Somewhere near Washington D.C. Still searching for the black box.

She thinks about all that he could have been in his life. He had just won a Teacher of the Year award for the state of Connecticut, and had been traveling to the National Teacher of the Year ceremonies. He had been adored by his students and was dedicated to opening their minds about how lessons learned in history could affect their future.

She remembers his great contributions in his career, but she knows he had been even more amazing in his personal life. He not only loved her with such an intensity that was sometimes overwhelming, but he devoted himself to his family and the community around them. And while they had been unable to conceive a child, their involvement in programs that helped needy children became a focal point in their lives.

She rubs her thumb across her finger where her wedding ring used to be. It is a habit she can’t shake. It had taken her many years to accept the fact that he wasn’t coming home. She continued to wear her wedding ring long after he died, refusing to admit that she was no longer married to him. On the five-year anniversary of his death, she finally had to force herself to believe that he was really gone, and she took off her ring and gave it to her oldest nephew to give to his future wife.

While she knows in her heart he is gone, she can’t stop herself from visiting his grave every year. And today, the 10th anniversary of his death, the pain feels as new and fresh as it did that first day.

“Why?” she whispers, as she crosses her arms over the stone and rests her forehead on top. Tears roll down her cheeks as she remembers special moments that they had shared.

Her first memory of him as he walked into her political science class; the way his hair had been tussled as if he had just jumped out of bed. His marriage proposal at the lake, as they were soothing their sunburns and relaxing out on the deck, enjoying the cool night air. That had been the first of many surprises in their lives. Like the way he had whisked her off to Paris on her 35th birthday, ignoring her protests that they didn’t have the money. “We’re young and you deserve it,” was his reply. How on his day off one summer, he had mopped and waxed the floors, washed and folded the laundry, dusted, vacuumed, cleaned up cobwebs and even scrubbed the bathrooms, so she would come home after a hard day’s work to a sparkling clean house.

She still remembers his impish grin after each of these events. He loved so much to see her surprised smile. He had said that each gift he gave her was a gift to himself because it made her so happy.

She had tried during those years to move on. To start a new life without him. But she couldn’t seem to make herself do it. He was irreplaceable. A gem.

The air turns colder, tiny flakes of snow floating about, but she can’t bring herself to leave this place. She feels so tired. She just wants to sleep.

She awakes with a start on her bed, confused about where she is. She hears the windows rattle from the storm outside and sits in the darkness. She remembers being at her husband’s grave, but doesn’t remember coming home. She attributes her forgetfulness to her extreme exhaustion. She still aches from the thought of his tombstone and can feel its icy smooth coldness against her cheek.

Warm in her bed, safe from the screaming blizzard outside, she clicks the remote control and turns on the television. It casts a pale glow in the dark room, and as the picture comes into focus, she screams. There he is on television! But how can that be?

She clicks on the light and is startled to see her wedding ring shimmering in the light. But she gave it to her nephew. Why is she still wearing it?

As every nerve in her body stands at full attention, she hears two sounds. One is the news anchor reporting about the National Teacher of the Year award celebration today in Washington D.C., and announcing her husband as the local winner. While this confuses her, the other sound is even more disturbing. It is the sound of the shower running.

She hears the creak of the water shutting off, the click of the shower door, and drops of water hitting the tile floor. Her husband enters their bedroom with a towel around his waist, running his fingers through his wet hair.

She sees his charismatic smile and the familiarity of his body and realizes he’s not gone. It has just been a dream. It is still 1993, and she is still married to her adoring husband.

“I’m so glad you’re awake,” he says, leaning in to give her a kiss. “I wish I had more time with you, but I have a plane to catch.”

Sunday, June 08, 2003

I read a post from The Litter Box that reminded me of the John Hughes Movie Pretty In Pink. That got me thinking about how truly wonderful John Hughes’ movies were, especially the ones in the ‘80s, and how much they were part of my teenage experience. I thought I’d pay a little tribute to some of my favorites and how they affected my life.

I loved Pretty in Pink. Although, I would have picked Duckie over Blaine any day. He was just the best guy, willing to do anything for the girl he loved, even singing “Tenderness” with no holds barred in the record store. And I thought he was pretty cute. I related a little to whole rich vs. poor. While we weren't destitute, I definitely didn't have the fancy clothes that the rich kids did. In fact, I made a lot of the clothes I wore in high school too. The soundtrack to that movie is awesome, as well as the great hairstyles of Annie Potts. I just never really liked the dress Molly Ringwald made at the end.

Who can forget Sixteen Candles? I totally related to Molly Ringwald and her crush over Jake. I think I’m in good company when I say that the unrequited crush is a required event during the teenage years. Especially when it’s the guy you think you can never have. And while I never had the guy in a Porsche come pick me up and give me a cake for my 16th birthday, I can say that I cried myself to sleep over the guy who I didn’t think knew I was alive. I watched jealously while the guy I had a crush on walked hand in hand down the halls with his girlfriend, someone for whom I never saw the attraction. As luck would have it, my own family forgot to wish me a happy birthday the morning of my 16th year, but they did end up remembering that evening when I got home from school.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was a great movie for me, considering I skipped school quite a bit. I just never managed to have such a remarkable day as he did. I think Ben Stein’s “Bueller, Bueller …” “Anyone? Anyone?” will remain my favorite part of the movie.

Some Kind of Wonderful was one of those movies that prove the best girl isn’t always the beautiful one. I liked that. Although, it was frustrating to think that it takes a guy forever to realize that the one closest to him is the right one for him. I was always the “friend” to all the guys in school. They liked my best friend because she had long legs and big boobs. I was the one they’d come to for advice on how to date her. I realize now that being considered a friend is a good thing, but back then, I just wanted a guy to like me enough to date me.

My all-time favorite, though, is The Breakfast Club. My husband, believe it or not, has never seen the whole thing through at one time, and doesn’t understand my attraction. I can’t quote the entire movie word for word, but I do have my favorite scenes; scenes that make me laugh even before they actually arrive because I know they’re coming. In no particular order, some of my favorite lines are: 1) “No dad, what about you?” “ F@#$ you! “No, dad, WHAT ABOUT YOU?!” F@#$ you! 2) “Well, I’m in the physics (pronounced phythics) club, the physics, club.” “And what do you do in the physics club?” “Well, we talk about phsycis, the properties of physics” “So it’s sort of social. Demented and sad, but social.” 3) “You just bought one more” “Well, I’m free next Saturday, but after that I’m going to have to check my schedule.” “Good you want another one? Are you through?” “No.” “That’s another. You want another?” “Yes!” “That’s another. Are you done?” “Not even close, bud!” 4) “You wear tights?” “I don’t wear tights, I wear the required uniform.” “Tights.” 5) "Why is this door closed?" "Screws fall out all the time, sir, it's an imperfect world."

I just love those movies. I will always stop the remote when I catch one on the USA or TBS channels. It doesn’t matter whether the movie has just started or is well into the first hour (obviously I know what happens anyway), I just can’t stop myself from watching. Maybe it just takes me back to my high school years and all the fun we had. Not that I’d go back. I’m pretty happy right now. But it does bring a smile to remember those days.