Friday, July 18, 2003

The Friday Five:

1. When was the last time you cheated?
I've never really cheated. Really. Well, I guess if you say that giving the answers to someone else also constitutes cheating, then I have. I used to be the one in high school that people would cheat off of during tests. Hopefully I helped some people pass. Once in my Introduction to Physical Science class, one of my lab partners cheated of me. Even though I've never copied someone else's paper, I know that you don't copy all the answers word for word. Well, he did. The teacher called us up and asked us about it. We'd both gotten A's but he knew someone had cheated. I swore that we hadn't. But my lab partner confessed. So the teacher was going to give me the A and him an F. I said that wasn't fair because I'd allowed him to look at my answers. Maybe my honesty impressed him a little because he gave us both C's, which I was fine with.

2. When was the last time you stole?
I have to admit that I used to steal a lot in high school. I lived in Germany and none of those stores really had those plastic tags that alert stores of shoplifting. While it's not an excuse, my family just didn't have a lot of money then and I just wanted nice clothes like my friend had. So we'd go to a store and buy something small. Then take a bigger back from behind an empty counter, and put our purchase in there. Then we find other things we liked and put them in that back. I also once put on a sweater underneath a larger sweater that I was wearing. My friend decided that she wanted to continue to look around, and here I am sweating like crazy because I have these two sweaters on. Once I took a pair of orange leather pumps (back then orange was my favorite color ... hey, it was the 80s) from a rack display outside. Later, at lunch, I looked at the shoes and realized they were both left shoes. We had to go back and my friend created a diversion while I put them back. I really wanted them, so I ended up having to go in to buy them. I also took a Swatch watch. I wasn't intending too. I was just looking at the circular display container on the counter and one of the slots was unlocked. No one was looking, so I took the one I wanted. After I moved back to the States my senior year, I never stole again.

3. When was the last time you lied?
Hmmm. I think we all tend to say small white lies every day: Oh, I love your new haircut; No, you're not gaining weight; Oh grandma, I love this green and yellow shawl you knitted. Probably the last big lie I told was when I told my ex-husband that I wanted to separate for a while to figure things out. I already knew I was going to divorce him, but I was hoping that once he had some time away from me, he'd realize that we weren't right for each other, too. It didn't happen that way, so I ended up having to tell him a few weeks later. I guess another lie (or I like to call it a sin of ommission) was when my current husband and I had to keep it secret that we were dating because we worked together in the same department ... ok, ok, he was my boss. That was pretty hard, especially when other guys would try to set him up on dates in front of me. But I never received any special favors at work. In fact, he was much harder on me than the others he managed.

4. When was the last time you broke or vandalized another's property?
I don't think I've ever done anything like that. Oh, wait, when I graduated from high school, two friends and I painted "Class of '87" on some wall on the school campus (was it where they played raquetball?). I had forgotten all about that! The last time I broke something was when I accidentally backed into my husband's uncle's car. Does that count? Oh, I did drop one my husband's favorite glasses a few weeks ago while doing the dishes. But I've never broken anything maliciously.

5. When was the last time you hurt a loved one?
Well, they say that you always hurt the ones you love, so I'm sure I've done it a lot. My husband gets hurt when I complain about his mom. She's actually a very nice person, but seeing his family so much during the week (they only live a block away) is sometimes hard. So I've tried to be better about it, but sometimes I get fed up and make sarcastic comments, which only makes him mad and hurt.

This was an interesting Friday Five. Much different than the 'How do you wear your hair' ones. I hope no one thinks badly of me after this.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Today's top story in the news was about an elderly man who ran his car into a farmer's market in Santa Monica, killing 9 people and wounding nearly 40 others, 14 of them critically.

The eyewitness reports were so heartbreaking. Reports of a woman being dragged under the car, of bodies on the windshield, of victims being covered with blankets in the streets. My heart goes out to all of these people: to those who witnessed the devastation and to those who lost their lives of the lives of loved ones. Especially the parents of the 3-year-old who was killed. I can't even begin to imagine what they must be feeling.

I just don't understand how this happened. When I first saw the footage during program interruption (for once, breaking news was really breaking news), it looked like a bomb had exploded in the market. Then I heard the details. The driver said he thought he accidentally stepped on the gas, instead of the brake, when he realized he'd driven into the farmer's market by mistake.

He "thought" he stepped on the gas? I think he must have had a seizure or some sort of blackout. Otherwise, wouldn't he "know" if he stepped on the gas? Even if he knew he stepped on the gas, it doesn't take 2 1/2 blocks to figure it out. That's how far he drove before stepping on the brake.

I don't think he did anything maliciously, after all, his neighbors seem to speak very kindly of him. I think they're going to find some biological reason for this. Even then, I can't imagine being him. Living a wonderful life for 86 years, and then having to live with what he did for the remainder of his years. Regardless of whether he's found guilty of manslaughter.

So my prayers go out tonight for everyone involved in this horrific accident. I only hope my prayers, combined with those of thousands of others, will provide some comfort and peace.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

I can still remember that feeling of pushing off against the sandy gravel and letting go. I move slowly at first, then gain momentum until my hair blows backward.

I feel that slight dip in my stomach as I come down, forward then backward. All the while, my legs pump faster and faster to push me higher and higher. I hear the creaking of the chains, starting to rust from overexposure to the sun and rain. I hear the wind in my ears, a sure sign of how fast I'm going.

I hold on tighter as I see the bar in front of my eyes, and still tighter as the bar gets lower and lower as I rise above it each time I go back. Then the chains go slack, and I am truly airborne. Until the chains go taut again, jerking me downward. I continue to pump my legs, even though I am afraid of going over. Has anyone ever done that, I wonder. Has anyone really circled the bar? Of course, I've heard playground rumors. Of the brave soul who made it over. I decide not to tempt fate.

I keep my legs perfectly straight and still in front of me, and I lean back as far as my straightened arms will allow. I look up at the clouds, enjoying the breeze against my face, and smile. I continue to slow down until I am almost still. Then I step onto the sandy gravel, a little heady from my journey, and walk away from the swingset.

I wonder if little Boogie felt this way as she sat in her swing at the park today, saying, "Up, up!"

Monday, July 14, 2003

Today I decided not to wait around for the call that never comes, and had a very productive day.

Little Boogie had her first swimming lesson, today. Once again, she was fearless. She learned to hold onto the side by herself, and we practiced kicking her legs while she held onto my shoulders. I have a feeling she'll be swimming in no time. Since this is the first class, we didn't go under water, but since we've practiced that in her auntie's pool, we did the 1-2-3-dunk routine just for fun before the class ended.

My husband finally fixed our bookshelf, which collapsed several weeks ago, causing all the books to tumble everywhere. He just put them up in random order, while he waited to fix the shelves. Now that they're more sturdy and reinforced, I got to arrange them in my anal-retentive order: biographies by subject, comedy, inspirational, reference books, and fiction by author. It looks so nice and boy do I have a lot of books.

After dinner, and a visit from my mother-in-law who had to bring Boogie a Slurpie because it was such a hot day (I swear she's going to have my daughter addicted to sugar by the time she's two), we went shopping for some new photo albums and a picture frame. We got some great pictures of Boogie out by the French hollyhock plant holding a large dahlia that matched her pink cropped pants. I did my best to frame three pictures together in an artistic fashion to hang on the wall. I also put together in an album my "best of the best" pictures from Boogie's first year. It was amazing looking back to see how much she's grown. And how she grows more beautiful every day. I mean, I know she was beautiful when she was born, but now she's so pretty she makes you want to cry.

In between reshelving books and organizing old photos, I also baked a banana bread for my husband. I've never made banana bread before, mainly because I have an aversion to anything with fruit and bread (blueberry muffins are OK, but that's about it ... no Pop-Tarts, no pie, no peach cobbler, and thus, no peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, as mentioned in a previous blog). My husband mentioned wanting to make some banana bread this morning because we had three bananas that were getting quite mushy, and he didn't want to waste them. So he was pretty excited to come home tonight to the smell of fresh-baked bread. He decided to wait to eat it until the morning so he can have it with his morning coffee. I hope it comes out good.

So now my shoulders and neck are a little sore from the hours spent rearranging books and sliding pictures into an album. But I feel really good knowing I accomplished a lot of projects, some that I've put off for quite a while. Tomorrow Boogie has another swimming lesson (I'm going to have such a savage tan after this two weeks is up). I wonder what else I'll accomplish.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

I feel a little like a 14-year-old girl, ready to cut out any picture I can find of Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom and paste them all over my bedroom wall. God must have really taken a liking to these two to make them so damn beautiful.

Obviously, I just finished watching Pirates of the Caribbean. What a great movie. Some of the pirate fights were a little long, but Johnny Depp's acting ability was amazing. Who knew he was so funny? I've liked him ever since 21 Jump Street. And I've enjoyed most of his movies: Edward Scissorhands, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Benny and Joon, Chocolat, Blow. Of course, he made some bad ones: Ninth Gate (or as my husband and I like to call it "The Man Who Smoked His Way Across Europe") and Nick of Time (maybe he just wanted to revisit his 21 Jump Street look one more time). But who can resist his pretty face and interesting characters he takes on.

I watched Orlando Bloom in the first Lord of the Rings, but didn't really take much notice. But after the second movie, I left the theater asking my husband: "How can one person have such a perfect face. I mean, he doesn't have one flaw." My husband really didn't answer the question, just rolled his eyes and shook his head. I think that's why he didn't want to see Pirates of the Caribbean with me. With my long-time crush, Johnny Depp, and my new crush, Orlando Bloom, I think he was afraid I'd be swooning the entire movie. I wasn't, but how I wished to be Keira Knightly, the love interest in the movie!

I can't believe I've gushed about movie stars for the last three paragraphs. Like I said, I feel like a 14-year-old girl. I guess I should head off to the mall in my platform flip-flops, my hip-hugger jeans and glitter eyeshadow. Naaah. I have it pretty good at home with my handsome, sexy husband (I think he could be a movie star or Calvin Klein model) and my beautiful daughter (I know she'll be a star one day, no matter what she chooses to do). Maybe people want to be me, the love interest in my real-life movie.