Friday, March 27, 2009

Baby Boom

Maybe it's just my imagination, but this year more than any other that I can remember in recent history seems to be another big Baby Boom year.

It started slow. A good friend announced her pregnancy with her second child in January. I couldn't have been happier for her. Then a week later, I found out another friend was expecting....then another, and another. Then I learned of a few people I know who recently gave birth. One, in fact, recently delivered twins. Then another pregnancy announcement...

It's been like that since the beginning of the year. I think, all told, between women I know who are expecting and those who have just given birth, there are 12 friends (or more) bringing new life to 2009. And each new life brings so much joy.

I'm not sure if this new Baby Boom is because we are now at an age where we're settled and able to raise families, whether it's a sign of hopefulness for the new Obama administration, whether it's a sign of hope for better times ahead, or just mere coincidence. Me? Well, let's just say my day is still to come.

So, here is a big, warm, heartfelt congratulations to these wonderful women and their newborns! All the best!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tune Therapy

This is just a semi-short post to say "Never Underestimate the Power of Music."

I had a pretty stressful day - to the point that I had to avoid certain people or else I would have certainly screamed at them for being idiots. I was burnt out, tired, aching as if I had been hit by a bus. I was cranky, my nerves were raw and all I wanted to do was crawl up into a ball under my fleece blanket and go to sleep as soon as I could.

Did I? No.

I went to the mall instead. I know. Not quite the place to release least, not for me. But then, something happened.

In one of the stores, I heard an upbeat song about being thankful for so many beautiful things in life, including good friends. I don't know who sang it or what the song title is (it sounded like India.Arie, so if you have an idea of what I'm talking about, please chime in). It brought a smile to my face, and the lyrics alone made me take a breath and think, "yeah, ok. Relax. It's not so bad. You have a lot to be thankful for, too."

The transition from ogre to civilized, and happy, human being continued in my car with the help of one of my favorites, The Killers, with "Human" followed by unbridled singing and car-dancing to Billy Idol's "Dancing with Myself." Enough said.

Thanks, music. You've worked your magic once again.

Monday, March 16, 2009

What Would You Do (Pt. 2)?

The other day I told you about a situation I found myself in that presented a moral and obligatory dilemma. And you responded. Thank you.

So, now - here's another one for you to think about.

Later that same day...
I went to a local pizzeria for lunch. Inside, a woman sat quietly on the bench near the hostess stand...just sitting there. For how long, I don't know. A shopping bag from Bath & Body Works had been placed in the middle of the floor, half way between the hostess stand and the restaurant counter. The woman was slim in dark clothing with a brown substance smeared on her face and what appeared to be black eyeliner encircling her eyes and filling her lips. She was, as the locals call her, The Mud Lady - a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic who is homeless. The pizzeria's employees were clearly uncomfortable having her sit in their restaurant. She wasn't disturbing anyone or anything; still, they asked her to leave. Without argument or fuss, she picked up the shopping bag and walked out.

The Mud Lady has been known in this area for years. The stories told about her make her almost a mythical being - a strange creature who smears "mud" on herself as makeup, who once had a good home with a husband and family, a good job. A coworker of mine formerly work with her and said she used to be beautiful, a former model. The tales of "how she came to be on the streets" seem to grow more fantastical as the years go on. As a paranoid schizophrenic, she, unintentionally, has become an oddity - one to be avoided/stared at/mocked/scared of. I've encountered her many times, and from what I've seen, she's harmless. Out of the norm? Sure. But it would seem "the bark is worse than the bite", so to speak. Still, it seems the reaction to her is always the same, and the stigma of people with psychological disorders is still alive.

So - in this situation, I'd like to know what you would do? Knowing her condition and her demeanor, would you have accepted the restaurant kicking her out? How would you react if you saw her on the street or in the restaurant? Would you avoid her? Make fun of her? Lower your eyes? Say hello? Buy her a slice of pizza?

I don't want this to be a "gotcha" scenario, but am just curious about behaviors. The thing we think we would do isn't necessarily always the thing we end up doing. So, let's talk about this...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What Would You Do?

This morning, I felt like I was walking through a scene set-up for ABC's show "What Would You Do?" - and failed miserably.

Here's what happened: At my place of employment, I park in a covered garage. I was walking from my car to the building entrance, when I heard slamming of a door and a man' s voice, clearly agitated. As I got closer to the noise, I saw a man either loading or unloading a wheel chair-bound woman from the car. He was slamming the passenger back door and yelling, throwing what appeared to be pieces of the wheel chair (the foot rests?) in the backseat. The woman, who I did not see but heard, sounded like an elderly woman in distress. She kept yelling "Stop it! Stop it!" and then something else. It didn't seem that the man was physically violent toward her, but was verbally abusive. But from a few second snippet, I could not truly tell what the situation was.

I looked over at him, surprised to see and hear what was going on. He looked back. I kept walking.

As soon as I passed them, something in me said to go back. See if everything is ok. But I didn't.

Afterward, it took everything inside of me to not cry. It really bothered me the rest of the day. What if something was really going on there, and that woman needed help? I can't say that I'm proud of my action...but what could I have done? I could have said something to him, but then what? Would I report the man to building security? Would I call 911? What? Was it even my place to say something? I'll never know.

Elder abuse is something that should never be tolerated. EVER. I think of my own grandparents, who both turn 90 tomorrow. Every senior out there could be my grandparent when I think about it, so I want them all protected. So, why on earth did I let that situation go this morning?

I know this morning's incident will stay with me for a long time. I would like to know, what would you have done if you were in my shoes?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

On the Tip of my Tongue

Ok, let's not beat around the bush here - I suck at this blogging thing. I know that. You know that.

Don't get me wrong - this isn't a pity party. I actually find it quite amusing that you still come back time after time and read my gibberish. It brings a smile to my face that my words matter, even just a little bit. Many a day I ask myself "What are you doing on here?" and "Why do you even have a blog?" My content lacks the flair that it should have, and my posts are irregular, plus readership has never been explosive. So, what's a girl to do?

For those of you who know me, you know how much I love to write. I have several notebooks and journals and slips of paper tucked away with scribbles, anywhere from poems to short stories to my awful attempts at a novel to titles, subjects and just phrases that I like. But, like many of you, I have a full-time job that is, in no way, related to creative writing. In fact, my job is not very creative at all, but it is my job and that's where my energy goes. The remainder of my energy is spent on family and friends and chores. So where do I squeeze in time for writing? Here. And, as the adage goes, if you want to be a writer, write something everyday - no matter what it is.

So I started this blog to force myself to write. Selfish? Indeed. I'm not offering any kind of service to you really. My blog began as an outlet for my poetry, which morphed into an overall poetry-awareness sort of thing, which got kicked in the head and spun into a blog about my thoughts and whatnot, and now, I couldn't even tell you what it's all about! Craziness. I wish I could stay focused. There are so many blogs that stick to a theme, so you know when you go to XYZ blog, the blogger will talk about xyz subjects.

What's my point today? I apology of sorts to my readers for not offering the scintillating kind of read that you deserve, but also a big thank you to the readers who have not given up on me for the very same reason. The words and ideas are just on the tip of my tongue and I need your help to pull it out...and blog about it. I'll keep working at it :) Maybe if you let me know what you'd like to hear about, what matters to you...I'm all ears :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Letter of Apology

Dear Blog,

Please accept my sincerest apology for not giving you the attention lately that you deserve. You've been a good friend to me and the least that I could do is stop by and let you know I'm thinking about you. I've let you down and will try to do better.

Although there is no excuse for my behavior, my attentions have been focused elsewhere recently. Sure, there was the Frivolous, like being wonderfully Wicked or watching my team lose the big college basketball game right before my eyes. There was the Annoying, such as having the punks drop by again for a visit, staying for 2 weeks straight and wearing out their welcome as soon as they arrived. Snot was the worst, but I finally kicked him out, too. Then there was the Unavoidable, such as the quick, but taxing, business trip to Dallas, which began on Tuesday with a 6:45 am flight and ended last night at midnight with the return home...followed by an early morning staff meeting. Now, there's the Absolutely Necessary time for sleep and recuperation.

So, I just wanted to let you know that I haven't forgotten about you. I'm hoping that we can catch up again next week. Thanks for all your understanding.

Talk to you soon,