Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wonder Twin Powers, Activate!

If you could have any superhero power in the world, what would it be?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Agree or disagree?

'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
-Alfred Lord Tennyson

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

You know you're distracted when...

Last night I came into the living room where Steve was watching NFL football.
"What inning are then in?" I asked.
He stared at me like I'd lost my mind.

And I kinda have.

I'm in writing mode. Ninety percent of this "mode" takes place far away from my keyboard, as my brain churns through the various conversations, articles, movies, songs, and journal entries I've accumulated over the course of my life, fitting various pieces together into possible new combinations. Some are worth writing down, others not so much. But you never know when the next cool idea might pop up, so I let my brain do it's thing and try to stay out of complicated situations. On the inside, I'm like a computer (They say we only use 10% of our brain capacity, but this week I really think I'm up near 13 or 14%....) but on the outside? I'm a disaster.

As if to prove this point, I just went to the grocery store, and almost loaded my stuff into someone else's car. Here's what happened: I came out with my items, rolled the cart up to our RAV-4 (we call him "The Ravioli" to make him feel special, but really he's just like every third car in Cambridge), hit the unlock button, and opened the back gate. "Why is there a pillow in the car?" I wondered. It looked like the pillow back at home on my bed, the one THAT DOG was sleeping on when I went out. Then I saw something hanging from the mirror. It was gold-toned and flashy and most definitely not mine. "Omigosh!" I said out loud. "this isn't my car!!!"

I was mortified. I don't know why--it wasn't as if I was going to steal the pillow or the shiny gold ornament. I looked down the aisle of vehicles and saw MY ravioli, two spots down. I hustled my bustle, tossed my goods in the back, and took off, happy no one caught me. Sigh.

All I can say is, Lock your cars people...I'll be like this until February.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I don't get it...

This weekend was filled with things that baffled me.

I don't understand Budweiser's new ad campaign, which extoles their product's "Drinkability." Um, isn't that pretty much the bottom rung on the beer ladder? The last step for a beverage before "that stuff's undrinkable?" Even back when I was sneaking beers in high school, there were certain brews that were too gross for us (which was why my father was a GENIUS for stocking only Natural Light in our house--he never lost a single can...) I think most people are hoping for more than this lowest-denominator experience when they plunk down their hard-earned cash for a six-pack. (And before you declare me a beer snob, I'm a longtime fan of Miller Lite. "Great Taste! Less Filling!" Now there's a promotional campaign!)

I also don't understand the latest installment of Indiana Jones, which we rented this weekend. The ending includes A SPACESHIP??? I can't bring myself to believe Spielberg and Lucas signed off on this. Or Harrison Ford, for that matter. It's just too painful a lapse in creativity, and I'm waiting for someone to tell me the entire film is a rogue CGI creation by a couple of kids who got kicked out of MIT.

And finally, I don't understand my refridgerator. Specifically, the "Humidity Controlled Crisper." What is that about? We don't have a particularly fancy fridge--it came with the condo, and is basically the most generic GE you can buy, wrapped in stainless to make it look upscale. But it caters to the humidity preferences of vegetables, which strikes me as an odd way to instill glamour in an appliance. The previous owners apparently understood the value of this, as they scotch-taped the lever in place, guaranteeing their leaks and onions a permenant humidity level of six. (Whereas I've found that if I leave anything in those drawers for long enough to notice the humidity, they've outlived their usefullness as a food product...which is what led us to be cleaning out the fridge in the first place.)

Drinkability. Space ship endings. Humidity Controlled Crispers. Do you understand these things?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

How do you rise above?

I'm listening to the first of a series of talks by our friend Bob Wilson, called "Living Above The Daily Grind." It has me thinking about all the things--from small frustrations (THAT DOG going outside seven times before she did what she was out there to do this morning), to real concerns (the bizarre refusal of my back to straighten out since late yesterday morning, leaving me lurching about like a 90 year old woman)--that wear down my enthusiasm about how cool life really is.

In the talk, Bob asks the question we're so tempted to wonder: "Is this really the best God can do?"
This has been a central question of my life since I was a little kid.

We all have coping techniques, some more helpful than others. What are yours? How do you live above the daily grind? And if you believe God can do better, how do you tap into that?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

All God's Creatures

Steve and I went up to Maine this weekend to babysit for the nephew and niece. They were loving, fun, adorable, and it was (with the slight exception of two hours spent watching the dumbest kids' show Nickelodeon has ever come up with) a delightful experience.

Until the incident with the cat, that is, who will hereinafter only be refered to only as IT.

I think I've mentioned this creature before--IT was a stray that wandered into my sister's yard, and into the niece's heart. They love IT. I hadn't spent much time around IT, but my main goal was convince THAT DOG that IT wasn't a treat to be chased, subdued, and eaten in hearty chunks. Once that was established, it seemed we were all going to get along just fine.

Fast forward to 3:00am. Or 4:00. Or 5:00. Any of these early morning hours will do, because the same fantabulous game of feline fun was going on: IT would swat at, pick at, or crawl right up on THEIR DOG (a 100+lb. black lab who doesn't move about all that quietly when disturbed). He would move. She'd follow. There was growling and purring, swatting and huffing. Finally, at 5:00am, THEIR DOG was so riled up that he needed a moment outside, to relieve and collect himself. So I trudged downstairs to let him out. I opened the door and reached for his collar, only to see THAT $%##@ CAT streak right out past me into the soggy wet night. I was shocked, and furious. And baffled. How do you corral a cat???

So there I was in the yard, in my pajamas, desperately pelting Friskies at this doomed creature as it ran off into the rainy night. There's a chance I muttered some explitives. What am I going to do? I wondered. Where can I get an emergency backup cat before the kids wake up???

I went inside and prayed: "God, please bring IT back. Or at the very least, if the dumb creature gets eaten by some scary thing lurking out there in the woods, please don't let there be cat parts all over the yard, because I won't know how to explain that. Thanks. Amen."

IT returned just before lunch, to much rejoicing by the children. I went over to THAT DOG and said, "Next time we're here, have at IT..."

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Hope Floats

I've hemmed and hawed about whether to post my reaction to our new President here on the blog. On the one hand, it feels so intrinsically part of who I am that it almost seems dishonest not to mention it. On the other, you don't come here for political opinions. I know this. And I've seen the laments of fellow authors who watched their readership plunge after taking too big a political stand on a platform given them to discuss some other subject.

And yet I feel like I have to talk about it: about how awed I am by Obama's intelligence...and his humility. I can't remember the last time we had anyone with this powerful combination in the White House. It excites me. It gives me hope. As I watch the response around the country and around the world, tears fill my eyes, and the refrain "We got it right..." repeats over and over in my head. This wasn't a normal election, and it wasn't, I suspect, about any of the things we thought it was. On the whole, I think we got it right.

Now, to REALLY blow my commitment to keeping things light and easy on this blog, I'm going to bring the Bible into the conversation! Why? Because it has two great suggestions for all of us, whether we feel like we won or lost in this election:

1. Fret not, it leads only to evil. Don't curse our country and lament about how we're all going to hell in a handbasket. Even if your greatest dream is that the Obama Presidency last only one term, it's okay to believe it might be a good term, for us and for our country.

2. Pray for him. He'll need it.

Thanks for humoring me.

I promise, I'll be back soon to tell you about how THAT DOG's new favorite game is to hide one of her toys somewhere and then bark at me incessently until I hunt it down. Almost like reverse fetch...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

November 4th. Finally.

I just voted. It was a little anti-climatic, to be honest. After two years of watching, waiting, and wondering (I try to keep hoping to a minimum in the political arena, as it seems better invested elsewhere), not to mention Palin Bingo, it feels a tad surreal to know that when I get back from SEEK class tonight, the election will finally be over. Finally! It just doesn't seem possible that the five minutes I spent today, filling out little circles with black pen in our elementary school gymnasium, is the culmination of this long, fraught campaign season. And yet it feels so good to know that it's almost over!

Truth be told, I was due for a calm day, as I was up late last night, tearing through the pages of Jane Eyre. Have you read this book? You must. It was the only classic I enjoyed in college, and now I remember why.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Small pleasures

I'm deep in the writing zone right now, and blogworthy material is tough to come by. How much can I share about rushing THAT DOG out to the back yard when she needs to be emptied, as I frantically try to keep hold of the thread of whatever subject I was wrestling onto the page? (Honestly, sometimes I'm tempted to squeeze her to speed things up a tad...I don't, but I'm tempted...)

Anyway, here are three things that have made me exceptionally happy over the past couple of weeks:

First, Allison Winn Scotch's novel, Time of My Life. I'd heard the buzz about Allison's new book, and was excited--in a guarded kind of way--to read it. There's such danger with highly touted books, the ever present question, "what if I'm the only one who doesn't get why it's such a big deal?" So I flipped the early pages with my guard up, almost like I was on a first date and afraid to get my hopes up. A few chapters in, though, my careful facade was tossed aside, and I was totally engaged in both the story (a fascinating concept: what if we got to redo our one "lost love"?) and Allison's handling of it, which was both bold and steady. This book is the real deal. I love how she started it...and I adore how she ended it. Brilliant. I see an "I was a guest on Oprah" mug in Allison's future :)

Second (and decidedly less glamorous) this soap. This is the best smelling soap ever. It has me looking for excuses to wash my hands.

And finally, Cashmink scarves. I love winter scarves, and these are amazing. I can't find the patterns I purchased anywhere online to show you, but I can tell you this: $16.99. That's a price that makes me happy, even more so because they're soft and warm and wonderful.

There you have it...the full spectrum of Trish's autumn happiness. Remind me in the spring to thank Allison, Softsoap, and V. Fraas for contributing to my success :)