Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thank You, Sweet Humans. Thank You.

Thanksgiving is hours away, and I wonder how one can possibly give appropriate thanks for all the deserving in a single post.  At the same time, I welcome the moment to reflect on my unfolding life.  Giving thanks is an afterthought in our lives.  It is not that we don’t feel it to our core.  It is merely that we forget the power of words spoken out loud.  I humbly offer the words which frequently threaten to spill from my lips.  And offer the possibility that perhaps I will speak them more frequently in my life from this day forward.

I am thankful for my family, which should NEVER go without saying.
·        My grandmother, for showing me that one can never love too much, and for her peanut butter, pickle & mayo sandwiches.
·        My father, for his acceptance of me as I am.
·        My mother, for teaching me that if you love the world, the world will love you back, and for passing on to me her love of words.
·        My little brother, for being an authentic and loving example of strength of spirit and the power of love, and his outright belief in my ability to succeed beyond my own imagination.
·        My big brother, for his quiet and unwavering appreciation of the butterfly which has yet to emerge.  We get there when we get there.
·        My husband, for showing me what it feels like to be loved without limits, imperfections and all.
·        My daughter, for her unconditional love, brilliant spirit, authenticity, and unending laughter.

I am thankful for my friends and colleagues, with whom I have toiled, failed and soared to great heights in this life.  May our flight continue on a beautiful upward climb.

I am thankful for those who have walked into my path to challenge me.  The journey would be shorter and far less sweet without you.

I am thankful for the amazing and wonderful humans that continue to emerge into my life every day, from places unexpected. Oh, the places we’ll go…

I am thankful for the moments in life which have made me weep, both with deep sadness and great joy, when I feel so powerfully alive.

I am thankful for Ronnie, and the hundreds of thousands of American soldiers standing tall in lands near and far away to keep us all safe and free.  And to their families for accepting sacrifices which no one should rightfully have to accept.

I am thankful that I live in a world of human beings that, while imperfect, have the capacity to change the world and bring peace in my child’s lifetime.

May each of us find in ourselves the words to express what is inside, and the courage to speak them out loud.  I am thankful for each and every one of you - for the spirit that burns within you, the love that spills from your heart, the possibility that wakes you to each new day.  May you feel some small part of that every day, and occasionally be knocked backward by the enormity of it.   xoxoxox

This post was created as part of a global groundswell of gratitude called TweetsGiving. In conjunction with 12For12K, this celebration, created by US nonprofit Epic Change is an experiment in social innovation that seeks to change the world through the power of gratitude. Join us http://tweetsgiving.epicchange.org/

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treating in Burbank

This year we walked our neighborhood - our new neighborhood.  No driving a few blocks to trick/treat with friends, although I must say we did miss them.   Dad stayed home, promising to open the door and hand out candy, NOT hide away inside watching scary movies while the hordes emptied the basket in one fell swoop.

The girls and I started out at about 6:30 - me, my daughter and her bestest friend - when it was not quite dark and there wasn't yet a chill in the air.  Beauty and the beast, as it were.  One a beautiful pirate wench, the other a gloriously dead cheerleader.  We hit 7 or 8 blocks in all, spending a good hour and a half going house-to-house. Quite frankly, two 10-year old girls in boots and tights tend to want to go only so far on a chilly evening, and their bags were plenty full.  Not like the old days when my brothers and I would walk for blocks in all directions, and come home with a full pillow case.  Gad, how did my parents cope with that mass of sugar in the house? 

Amidst the healthy crowds of kids, many of whom we knew, here are a few of the things that caught my eye:
1. A father and son trick or treating together.They both had treat bags, but only the little boy was in costume. I thought this was a bit odd, but my husband offered the perspective that perhaps they'd never before experienced Halloween and were both excited about it.  Okay.
2. A roving pack of 6th or perhaps 7th grade girls with not a well-mannered bone among them.  They pushed in front of my girls without hesitation to get to the door.  After the second time this happened, I was compelled to point out quite calmly that they should perhaps let the smaller ones go first.  They ignored me completely.  Really?  Nice job, parents.  Really nice job.  I'll be keeping an eye out for them next year.
3. A couple of really scary clown faces.  Nuff said.
4. A big kid dressed in a dark brown sack of some sort and a dark rubber mask pulled over his head.  When a diminutive, curious mom asked what he was, he responded "Harry Potter."  Not by a long shot, buddy.  Seriously? If you're going to go out and beg for candy, at least dress up. And, if you're over the age of 13 or 14, DON'T go!
5. There were three haunted houses, in varying degrees of terror.  We walked three blocks to the big one to start the evening - a haunted recreation of the Burbank City Hall and AMC theater.  The line was half way down the block, and it wasn't open yet.  We moved on.  Quite honestly, I don't think the girls wanted to go into any of them.
6. A woman, walking down the street, swinging her little flashlight back and forth across the sidewalk and onto front lawns.  Not slowing, not stopping to look for anything in particular, just, well, I don't know...
7. Then there were the vans pulling up on Chandler and infusing the neighborhood with still more kids.  This I understand, and yay that they come and have a great Halloween experience.  And I also struggle with the need to buy enough candy to hand out to hundreds of kids who don't live in the neighborhood.  Honey, I just don't have this kind of cash, and I'm still old-fashioned enough to want to know the kids who come to my door.

All in all, it was a lovely Halloween.  It was nice to be out walking in the neighborhood, which was busier than I'd expected but far less so than I'd prefer.  The constant flow of kids through the streets, which I remember from my own childhood, was missing.  It was a bittersweet experience - the juxtaposition of young costumed children giddy with delight, and the older kids either not dressed at all or dressed more appropriately for an adult party.  The rows of houses on each block gone dark for the evening, many of them hiding in the back of the house and avoiding the holiday altogether.

Perhaps what stood out most for me this year were the people that not only lit up their homes and opened their doors for the event, but were also part of it.  They sat outside.  They enjoyed the evening.  I think that next year we shall perhaps do the same.  Bundle up outside, with friends, drinks in hand, and toast All Hallow's Eve out loud with the passing streams of monsters, princesses, furry animals, and heroes, scary movies on the big TV, ghouls adorning the yard.  Ooh, and maybe make some smores for the occasion. :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Brief Stroll

Often the moments of personal benefit are borne of necessity.  Walking my daughter to school is not the norm for me.  It should be.  There is no reason, earthly or otherwise, for me not to simply stroll the four blocks every day with my perfect child, books and bags thrown across our shoulders, gawking at storefronts and chatting about the day that lays ahead.  The walk today was rushed, having left the house five minutes too late to truly enjoy the walk.  I cannot recall any of the topics we discussed - only that the chat was easy, lovely, and happy.

The walk home was slow, meandering, leisurely, and productive.  A 2-block detour to Porto's for a crunchy loaf of freshly baked sourdough bread and a small, sweet Cortadito for the walk, and then back toward home.  I make a quick stop at the bank ATM to make a deposit - a lovely change with no lines awaiting - and realize how quiet the street has become.  Crossing over to the north side of the street, I stand and stare blissfully at the beautiful buddha and Ganesh statues in my favorite second-hand store.  It's been far too long since I've wandered this cluttered place.  I walk on, stopping to gaze curiously at the playful robots decorating a favorite new neighborhood haunt.  Their handmade collections always make me smile.

The next block is haunted by a massive concrete structure whose beckoning doorways are constructed on the other side of it.  For this reason, I generally walk on the other side of the street.  Not today.  Today, I am already here.  And so I walk, head momentarily down.  But my eyes are drawn immediately to the base of the tree that has entered my periphery.  And I look up fully into this most beautiful creature.  It's base is strong and bare.  And there, just above the height of passing humans, sits the most lush and forest green mass of leaves - reaching high above the concrete roof.  And there ahead, another, and another, and another.  Fortunate that no one is walking toward me, I stare up at these giants of life, swept into the dark green curls that seem at once wild and clipped.  I wonder at the bare trunk.  Have we cut back any green shoots that grow down at our level, or have the trees managed this on their own?  Have we readjusted nature to fit us?  Or have they spared themselves the occasional prying and pulling fingers of human passers by?  It matters to me, and I want to believe that they have chosen to blossom far above our heads.  To protect us, shade us & delight us, safe from unintentional harm.

I have strolled much more slowly along this block.  Breathing in the life of the trees, I cross to the next block - now one block from home.  The same young man we passed on the way to school, is still working to rid the street of the mounds of wild leaves that yesterday's winds have heaved down upon us all.  Good morning, we again greet each other.  As I turn the corner and head toward the house, a woman sits in her car on the phone.  She is one of many waiting for the italian deli extraordinaire to open.  9am comes far too slowly for those who want to slip inside and crawl into the glorious smells of this place.  I smile, and head for home.

Often the moments of personal benefit are borne of necessity.  Tomorrow it will be borne of sheer desire to be in the world.  Maybe I'll bring the dog.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

With greatest admiration and adoration, I present to you our first guest blog. Here is the gorgeous and amazing Christina Kingston's DON'T QUOTE ME ON THAT

Special thanks to the very cool, open-armed Karen Hohman Almeida (@Krinhoh) for letting me, CtKingston (@CTK1) guest on her blog.

You know the quote that goes around all the time on social networking sites? You know, this one:

"Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt and live like it's heaven on Earth." –Mark Twain

I've never done any of those things, have you? I dance like the world is dancing against me. Sing to annoy and you better listen! Love like passion is pummeling me and live like  tomorrow is heaven. Unfortunately for me, since tomorrow soon becomes today, I wind up having to wait yet another 24 hours for heaven and so on… One day maybe I'll get ahead of myself. Overall though, I'm quite happy, in so much as, heck, life is good, mostly.

I love Mark Twain. I've read his books and even biographies. Interestingly I've never seen mention of him singing and dancing or loving without repercussion. Truth be told, Twain was a bitter old misanthrope, even as a kid. He was a depressive. A brilliant one, mind you, but sad all the same.

I often see his quotes floating by in my Twitter stream, on people's Facebook walls, in bios on MySpace profiles and I could keep name dropping all the social network sites I'm on, but this isn't about me, it's about Twain. Mostly.

I've always felt he coined two different types of quotes. The ones tossed off for the easily pleased who don't really "get it," and then the ones he gifted to those who look beyond the surface and "get it" till it hurts. Which one am I? Both. Which one are you?

Real curious, I once asked someone who quotes Twain all the time, like he's got Twain Tourrettes, I asked, "Which is your favorite work by him?"

The answer surprised me. The Twain quoter said, "I've never read him, what kind of things does he write?"

What? But it's of no never mind since the quotes live and breathe on their own, no assembly required. But I hope you've read Twain.

I sometimes wonder if Twain were here and on a social networking site would he accept my friend request? I usually conclude that he wouldn't and that usually makes me happy. I'd prefer he keep to himself so he has more time to finally dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like he'd never been hurt and live like it's heaven on earth.

Have you done those things? If not, will you? And would Twain accept you as a friend on a social networking site? If so, why? If not, why not? And would I look good with Twain's hairdo? Seriously, I'm considering it. Are you?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Tell Me What's On Your Mind!

No blog is complete without guests.

I am made complete in this life by the presence of others.  And as in life, so shall it be in my blog.

As brilliant or entirely inane as my own thoughts and meanderings may be, I open my arms and heart to those of you out there who would like to share here.

You will not be judged.  You will not be censored.  As long as you bring no malicious intent, and of course you would never, your words are welcome.

Share.  Speak.  Be out there!

Stay tuned, darlings.  The first guest blog is set to appear.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Dear Dell Corporation .

Dearest Dell.

I would like to most sincerely thank you for your brilliant customer service and continued attention to the issue of my non-working Alienware laptop.
Your willingness to pay for my endless hours on the phone, as well as the lovely hold music that plays continuously while one is gently bounced from person, to person, to person, to person, clearly exceeds normal levels of compassion.
I stand in utter awe of the conviction of your employees to remain firm, and persevere in their position, regardless of actual relevance to my clearly unreasonable demands.
I apologize for perhaps raising my voice during these last two calls, especially since we have clearly established a close relationship during this past six weeks.  I realize now that my expectation of having a working $2k laptop, nearly three months after purchasing it, is obviously unreasonable.
And thank you, again, truly, for stopping the shipment of the replacement laptop, which would have sadly nipped our new relationship prematurely in the bud.
My passion for you has become impossible to contain.  I can no longer keep our relationship secret, and find myself simply bubbling over with endless recommendations to friends and family.
May you too enjoy the benefits of this relationship, as I have.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Life Under Trees

I'm curled in a bright yellow knit hammock, listing gently in the breeze. The dog restlessly paces the yard, whining softly at sounds and smells. Something has caught his attention but, in his old age, he seems to struggle to hear and see it clearly. He lies down on the warm cement just a few feet away and watches me, first intently and then blankly. The tree is green, spreading its branches and leaves overhead like a shelter. The sunlight dances across the very tops of the flowers which span the grey worn fence. It lights the topmost leaves of the tree. The rest have already become a cold green, bowing to early night. The leaves spread across the branches, across the sky. They are most spectacular. So simple. So beautiful. Protective. Like a shawl thrown gently across my shoulders.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Anna Nalick Has It Right

Breathe.  Just breathe.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Little Girl

She is
small to me,
even as she grows and stretches toward the sky,
responding to the sun and rain as a flower moving toward its greatest height.

Her hair
is of spun gold,
which she today tints in the brightness of fuchsia,
the ends spattered with red - the color of life, not death.

Her voice
is nearly imperceptible,
or as big as the sky.
Her mood, her spirit, her energy determining the tone.

She is
at times
the smallest child without direction.
And, without warning, a woman generations in the making, all strength and boldness.

She defies
expectations, boundaries, and me.
She will dance with reason and always take the lead.

She absorbs
the world around her.
This is her nourishment, her sustenance.

She cries
without purpose
her tears sprung from deep inside, as she is sprung from me.

She smiles
with abandon
belying the fear, displaying no hesitancy in her step.

She hurts
from words and bruises alike - the pain equal.

She is
utter perfection,
the universe's greatest work,
and mine.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I Cry

My life moves
as a constant
and in one motion.
There is a rhythm
nearly indistinguishable.
Its match
outside of me
is absent.
The rhythm against which
I measure myself
is silent.
I am alone.
I move without purpose.
Or I stand still.

I want to bury myself
deep inside the earth.
I crave the warm womb
the protection of the mother.
I yearn to be born again - reborn.
I long to feel the heat
of the sun in my bones.
The force of the wind
pummeling my body
and penetrating my soul.

I wish to speak with the moon
when the skies are dark.
To hold her in my arms
and protect her.

I wish to stand tall
high above the world.
To take in life
and gaze upon it
until they can see
and know
that they are loved.

I wish to be the earth
that upon which the world walks.
To open my arms
and hold humanity
in an embrace of absolute love.

I cry.

From a sadness so great
it threatens to explode me
into millions of tiny pieces.
From a love so deep
it cannot be contained.
I cry.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My Last Cover Letter

Someone recently asked me the question, “Karen, what would you like to do next?” My answer was simple. “I’d like to blow the walls off public education, turn it on its ear, and recreate it.” I want to create powerful learning and experiences from K through LIFE, encourage people to step outside their comfort zones to discover the possibilities.

believe that education is the key to everything, which I realize may sound a bit over the top. Yet I am hard-pressed to find examples of struggles, accidents, injustices, or just plain misses that don’t somehow come back to how people were educated, or not educated. As the parent of a 9-year old, I feel fully the weight of my responsibility to raise this child to be smart, open-minded, fair, compassionate, loving, strong, and to think for herself. This is only one part of the partnership, of the community in place to create such a human being.

Education starts at home. It is either embraced or it is not. Children are taught, or they are not. Once we join hands with education outside the small circle of family, the community has truly begun, and the possibilities are limitless. We as humans can live to be 100, so how can we dare to fit learning into a 13 year block, with a start and a finish. Our abilities to provide for our families, contribute to our communities, fight for change in our countries, and preserve life on our planet are directly tied to our ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn.

And yet education continues to be singled out for reduction and liquidation. It is slaughtered in the name of budget cuts without thought as to the impacts. At the mercy of a tax-based system, it will continue to fail, and we will fail in our responsibility to our communities and our country.

So, yes, I am MOST interested in your organization. I think that your mission is dead on, and I have seen no one else take such an interest in education. It would be an honor to be part of the charge forward.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Because there is much to say, my friends

The reality of leaving a place that has become home and family, not only for my head and heart but for my soul, has descended squarely upon me today. Sometime during the night, it seeped quietly through my skin, and was aborbed deep into my bones and my bloodstream. I succumbed to its presence, knowing that resistance would provide no relief, and I wept. And I have come to understand that this feeling is not yet ready to subside, that I will again weep for such a loss.
And so I sit here in my dining room, the sun shining on the world outside, a gentle breeze blowing my blinds and the chimes on the porch, and I pen what I hope will be an adequate goodbye, knowing full well that there is no such thing.
I walked into the walls of Disney 12 years ago knowing full well that for perhaps the first time in my life I was in the right spot. I knew nothing of the adventure that lay ahead, but the certainty of my place in it was immediate. I had come home, at long last, and after a very long search.
Twelve years, my dear friends. Twelve at the same time unfairly brief and exhaustingly long years. For twelve years, I have:
  • Toiled with brave and courageous colleagues
  • Battled the dragons of bureaucracy, nearsightedness, and culture
  • Danced with the magical concepts of strategy and progress
  • Risen to the challenge of those who were unsure
  • Stretched the minds and imaginations of brave human beings
  • Been humbled by the vastness of possibility
  • Succeeded beyond my own imagination
  • Failed most humanly
  • Held the hands of people who will forever be friends
  • Loved openly and without fear
  • Found the gift of grace with the help of stars in human form
  • Remained true to myself
  • Learned more than I ever thought possible
None of this could I have done alone. I believe without hesitation that no one walks into your path without something to be given, received, or learned. To those who challenged me, and who doubted me, I give equal appreciation and loving thanks. For I have grown immeasurably, thanks in equal part to you. To those who love me outright, I can offer no words to express what you have given me, and how I feel for each of you now, today, at this moment, other than how deeply I love you back. I thank you, with every inch of my heart and soul, for making this part of my journey, my life, so powerfully transformational, and so consumed with love.

It was my hope from the earliest of days that I would leave a legacy that would make me and those who knew me proud. I could not have imagined how it would feel today, looking back and knowing that, because of who I am, I made a difference. I am SO proud. I am proud of myself, I am proud of you, I am proud of US. May the fruit of our partnership and friendship live on, and in some way move this company into the future. I have faith that it shall, and hope that you do as well.

I will miss the magic. I will miss the walls of my womb-like office to which all were welcome. I will miss the anger, the sarcasm, and the laughter. I will miss the struggles and the ease of flow. And I will miss you. I will miss you so very, very much.

May life unfold for each of you in the most powerful of ways. And may you be happy, truly happy. I take each of you with me. And though I won't be there in person, I will be close, always close.

Me xoxoxoxoxoxox

Monday, July 27, 2009

Why blog?

A very cool cat recently tweeted the query, why blog? I had to think for a moment about what draws me to this medium. It is the same thing that has drawn me to years of journaling, and what now draws me to things likeTwitter, Facebook, and Blogger. It is my life, and my story. Life is all about stories. Everything we do, buy, give, take, learn, share, or swallow whole has a story. And somewhere in each of us is the the human desire not only to read stories, but to share our own.
Once upon a time, we had only two options. Gather people around you by the campfire, or write a book for most hopeful mass publishing. How far those stories would go, who would be affected by them, who might respond to them on some very personal level, was anyone's guess and we could never know. But that has changed. Time and space unbounded, technology at the ready, the world waiting.....we look for stories. We look for them like we've never looked for them before.
I want to know who lives across the globe, who lives across the country, and who lives the next town over. I want to know what we have in common and how we are different. I want to know what we can learn from each other. And I want to learn now. I want to be part of this world, and not just riding along for a hundred years or so until my quarter is done and the horse stops. I want to live in this world. And to do that, I have to put myself out there. I want to get better, at being a loving mom, friend, teacher, learner, wife, sister and daughter. And to do that, I have to put myself out there. I want to save this world, and the people in it. And to do that, I have to put myself out there.
So I will talk, and share, and ask questions. I will connect to people so that I can find kindred spirits who want the same. I will speak, and speak, and speak. And I will hope that every once in a while a voice will respond in kind, from somewhere heretofore quiet, and a new community will begin.
Who's in?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Leaving my Post..Change Myself, Change the World

Oh, the irony of the designations......I am leaving a post about leaving my post. It somehow sounds sadder in duplicate. Most of us work many jobs in our lifetime. I have worked more than I can remember in my 49 years, beginning with those voluntary spots in my youth. Some jobs we flee, some we walk quietly away from, and some we fight desperately to hold onto. Occasionally, we discover that our job has become part of our life, our family, our existence. It is away from such a job that I prepare to walk. The emotions are mixed beyond description, yet I will not walk away quietly, nor will I flee. I walk proudly from my position with the mouse. I leave a legacy of which I am infinitely proud. There is such grand truth in the statement that there is no limit to what can be accomplished if it doesn't matter who gets the credit. (Thank you, Mr. Emerson!)
I thank the universe for conspiring to open the door I was hesitant to open myself. I now stand before it looking fully at the world before me. I hope to change it, for the better. I hope to be part of a transformation that continues through my life, my child's life, and the lives of her children. Today I start with my community.

Monday, April 20, 2009

My mom rocks!

Still counting, but this is surgery #9 for my mom. The first was entirely unrelated to the disease necessitating the eight since. Spine, two shoulders, two knees plus a refurbishment, one hip, and now her aortic valve. It took about 11 doctors to finally get a diagnosis 40 years ago of the Ochronosis - a very rare disease that the NIH has been kind enough to devote some resources to. It is not fatal, but at varying rates of speed and in varying degress it eats away at cartilage and connective tissue in the body. So, limb by limb, and joint by joint, replacements are done. Turns out that the aortic valve contains the same tissue, so it had to be replaced. Bless the bovine whose valve was kindly given up for my mom. Day 11 following open heart surgery, and she is breathing strong, walking upright and faithfully, eating healthy and solid foods, and as fiery as ever. She was back checking email yesterday. 70 years old is truly a state of mind, and not one with which my mom has chosen to become familiar. Bless her for that, and I hope I feel the same way in 21 years.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Three Out of Four

They used to be so small, these girls. Isabella, Meilani, and Sebi. Of course Reilly is missing tonight as the computers cry out Hannah Montana soundtracks, the volleyball flies through the living room, the markers feverishly create fashion originals on paper, the wii bowling pops up for a quick round or two, and pasta is consumed in very large bowls.
The energy they create amongst each other is unchanged. The giggling still goes on, albeit periodically interrupted by the high drama of my own girl's persona. They change activities frequently and without warning.
40 years ago I was their age. It is inconceivable, entirely inconceivable that so much time has passed.....and that I am suddenly so old. Yet I relish their energy. They make me laugh out loud. They are perfect, beautiful creatures. There is nothing more perfect than little girls who are the best of friends. They are unabashed, unfettered, and undaunted. Their energy could power the world a hundred times over - just a handful of them. These three - all four - I love each of them like mad.
There is nothing in the world so special as your own child and the friends that they draw into their circles throughout their lives. May they continue forever to walk through the doors of my home, to be part of my life as they are my daughter's. This is my family. xoxox

Thursday, February 12, 2009

the state of things

Today I started a new group in Facebook.

I get that it doesn't replace standing on street corners and knocking on doors.

I get that it's a passive act. But sometimes a small act is better than no act, and often the greatest of acts follow baby steps.

I get that it won't necessarily make me the most popular girl on the quad. But there are far more important things in this life, on this planet, in this world than what others think of little old me.

My question is, what the HELL does the governor of this state think about when he sits down with his family at night? When he watches the news and reads the papers? When he lays his head down on the pillow at night, what bedtime stories does he tell himself in order to be able to go to sleep?

Today I started a new group on Facebook.

Today I took action.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Wii Bowling

It is my current opinion that when the wii-motes come out and the sounds of the virtual bowling alley fill the living room, the world outside could very likely evaporate and those in this living room would be none the wiser.
Not so long ago this evening, the girls were dancing up a storm and watching a new tween movie, over and over again. The adults....talking the usual politics and life, and cooking up a veritable vegetarian feast. Apres dinner, the yawns begin, and the kids get goofy. It must be nearing bedtime.
And then the voice. "Hey, I didn't know you guys had a Wii." Well, yeah. And so out it comes. The batteries refreshed, the miis set up, and the motes strapped to the wrists, the first game begins. And suddenly bed time is on no one's mind. It's as if the sun has suddenly come back up into the sky, and the day is fresh.
Who needs the bowling alley? Night bowling in the carpeted living room with people you love. It doesn't get any better. xoxox

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

For Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth.
First, I love you to death and miss you like mad!!
Second, I know that you are out there doing truly amazing things, living life to its absolute fullest, and making everyone proud.
Third, I'd like to share with you a set of lyrics that have been playing in my head for years now. Every time I think of you, it starts. And every time I hear the words on a radio, I think of you. And so, with a loving nod to both Dobie Gray and Uncle Kracker....

Thanks for the joy that you've given me
I want you to know I believe in your song
Your rhythm and rhyme and harmony
You've helped me along Makin' me strong

Thank you, my dear friend, for your love and kindness....and of course your brilliance.
May our lives continue to cross as we find adventure on life's pathways. I could not have made it this far without you.
Peace. xoxoxox

Balance happens

For once, the pieces are not all out of whack at once. There are three, you know. Life, Work, Self. When all are in a downward spiral, all perspective disappears. It begins to swallow you whole. Anguish is everywhere. Exhaustion is the rule, not the exception. And the days are either an eternity in passing or a millisecond.
The trick is to remember to look up. Literally. Look up. The sunlight, the blue sky, the white clouds. The grey clouds and pouring rain. The flashes of lightning in a rumbling sky. The pink and orange halo of a southern California sunset. It is much bigger than the individual moments in which we live our lives. And it is beautiful. Step outside, just for a moment.....of yourself, of the building, of the moment at which you find yourself tortured.
Smile back at the sky, for it is truly embracing you every moment.
Trust me. xoxoxox

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The sunlight on the white house across the street

Those of us born on the westside vow at a very young age never to move "over the hill." My move happened past the point that I cared anymore for those particular cares of childhood. It happened when I had my own child, when the choice between commuting every day with my child on the freeway to drop her off at the company daycare or leaving her cared for near home and having even less time with her was in fact no choice at all.
I liked Burbank. It was small, quiet, and truly a community. In the past eight years, I have felt the growth of this city, often with some trepidation. I have watched local businesses close, the streets grow crowded, and the apartments and large houses proliferate. I have lived on streets where the only people that I every really knew were those right next to me, and MAYBE across the street. I came to believe that perhaps the community I saw was only in my imagination - that of a woman who desperately wants a home like the one in which she began her life. I began considering departure.
Last month we moved. We didn't go far, a mere seven blocks in fact. We are still in the same area code, and my daughter still goes to the same school. My favorite italian deli is at the corner, my friends are no further from me, and my job is still less than eight minutes away by car. But most importantly, I have discovered the city whose existence I'd begun to doubt. Our neighbors are unimaginably lovely, and the street feels calm, warm, and peaceful. The trees arch gently across the lawns and the streets, the yards are green and inviting, people stroll the sidewalks, and the periodic sounds of chatting voices are embracing.
And so as I sit here on my couch, the bright sunlight streaming across the clean white of the house across the street warms me. I can feel the warmth as it bounces off the walls and the bright white fence, and onto the driveway and green grass of the yard. There is a particularly bright triangle of sunlight on one corner of the fence that draws me. It is almost as if I can feel the sun work its way through to my bones, even from here in the house. It tells me that I am home, that we are welcome, my family and I. It embraces me unconditionally. And I embrace it back. I have found the city that I moved to many years ago. I am home. xoxox

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What Was I Thinking?

Inspired by my friend, Christopher Swan, (be the second to follow his blog @ http://accidentalinfo.blogspot.com/) I've decided to start my own blog. I've grown tired of the conversations that seem to fill my head, and need someplace to empty some of it out. Let's face it, at my age I quickly run out of room for new information. Let us hope that some of you benefit from my meanderings....or at least find some level of entertainment. At this moment, 7:30 in the evening and struggling to decide whether to stay here at the office and work, or to go home, snuggle with my daughter, and hit the wireless over dinner and a glass of wine, I am finding it difficult to focus on the task at hand. And I am terrified at the fact that in this, my very first blog, I will say nothing of particular interest or value. Still, it is the beginning of an experiment, and I have taken my first steps. So, here's to all who blog, and all who read them....may we periodically find nuggets of brilliance, words that shake us to our core, conversations that compel us to write or just to talk more, and may we occasionally make each other laugh so hard we pee our pants! xoxox