Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Look Ahead

I cannot help as the year draws to a close to reflect on the future. I've done blogs before on hope, an emotion and quality that is possibly humanity's most important. We need to hope as without it life would be unbearable. The march into 2010 is proceeded by a particularly difficult year for Americans and others abroad. Financially speaking, never has the middle class fell so far, so fast. Perhaps we will learn to apply the advice of Henry David Thoreau urging us to set priorities, warning that “Our life is frittered away by detail...Simplify, simplify.” These words ring true as people struggle to pay their mortgages and learn to save while cutting their thirst for material wealth.

As I look ahead at my upcoming year I think of Lincoln's poignant words: “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” He also said, “A person is generally as happy as they are willing to be.” I personally am moving into 2010 in a mental state better than I moved into 2009. I am happier and at peace despite Dena's lack of employment. Could this be the simplification that Thoreau talks about? We have slowed down our lives and this brings peace.

But, as I always do, restlessness will probably set in. I'm never very good with too much quiet. I've been thinking lately of getting back in to mentoring a teen. This will make my life busier but will hopefully provide some benefit to someone less fortunate. I am lucky to have two families that love me just the whacky way I am and some do not have that luxury. I am rich beyond belief. John Greenleaf Whittier reminded us that our future is often the harvest of our actions: “The tissue of the life to be, we weave with colors all our own. And in the field of destiny, we reap as we have sown.”

So with those words of wisdom from others far more thoughtful than I, I ask you to take a quiet moment and take stock of your past and think about how 2010 can be so much more rewarding for you.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Wii Bowling Professional....

This is Sienna (3 years old) doing Wii bowling. Notice the signature leg kick. She kicks the butt of everyone, mom, dad and aunties alike. Her mom and daddy took her real life bowling for her birthday on December 1st and she was shocked that you could bowl, in real life. Amazing how kids today are growing up virtually.....so to speak. By the way, she loves real life bowling too!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Snuggies

So I want a Snuggie for Christmas. Dena says she'll divorce me if I get one, however, Santa does what Santa wants... One would keep me so warm on the couch in our chilly house. Just think of it, all bundled up with fleecy covering your arms, legs and all the way up your neck and your hands poking out. One hand to hold the remote and one to hold the glass of wine. Life would be perfect.

I wish I invented the Snuggie. I'd be a multi millionaire to be sure. The inventor of snuggie was on Oprah the other day. Now I'm not sure if that's a testimony to how great a product it is or how desperate Oprah is for something to talk about that isn't the depressing American economy. I've also read that some people, when calling the TV ad Snuggie 800# they get caught in endless promo loops, get overcharged for shipping and handling and don't really get what they thought. So, as in all cases, buyer beware. Buy from a brick and mortar store where you can touch and feel your snuggie and pick the color. Still, I think it's a great idea although the guy below doesn't think so. See below for youtube video.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Neti Pots & Vicks Vapor Rub


As I'm sure some of you are aware I've had a nasty cold and cough, twice now. I think I relapsed a week after the first cold. Everyone says this cough/cold thing that is going around is primed for relapsing. The second time around I find myself with severe sinus congestion. I don't know about you, but I cannot sleep when I can't breathe through my nose.

Here are the two solutions I'm trying. Vicks Vapor Rub. I remember when I was a kid my mom used to rub Vicks all over my chest and just under my nose. She'd safety pin a washcloth or piece of flannel to my jammies where the Vicks was. I never really thought about why. So, the other night I gave this a shot. I spread Vicks all over my chest. Something became immediately apparent. I didn't have breasts when I was 9 so the "chest" was definitely differently defined. The second thing did not become apparent until the next morning. While I certainly felt better and definitely breathed better during the night, my pajama top was now ruined. No amount of washing was going to get that petroleum based Vicks stain out of them. Now I know why my Mom put a washcloth there.

The second remedy I'm trying is this Neti Pot thing. Apparently some old school nasal cleanser that Oprah re-introduced to the world. When I'm congested it's like cement up there. I was hoping this would loosen things up. I can assure you it did. It was the wierdest feeling. I was quite terrified I'd drown or something but it actually feels good when you're done. Similar to hitting yourself over the head I suppose.
The verdict? Vicks rocks. Definitely good for the chest and nose. Neti pot.....the jury is still out but I think it's helping.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Followers

I added a "followers" tab on the right hand side bar, near the bottom of the blog. Whether we all like it or not, the world has changed and it will continue to do so. Most of our reading content is now online. We get news, weather, playoff schedules and tickets all online. We want to read a book and we can get a Sony reader, a Kindle, download it as a PDF or read an actual paper book.

The Internet is no longer just somewhere to get info on something, it has long past that goal. It already has become a social networking world tied into your smart phone. I'm speaking about facebook (mobile and otherwise), myspace, twitter, etc. Now as we rapidly move into 2010 that will also evolve into an even more tightly integrated world where combining phone GPS's, mobile blogging and facebook, google friends and the myriad of other apps we will know where everyone is at any given moment.

An example of this would be I'm standing in the parking lot of the Hollywood Bowl, I have 4 terrace box seats but one couple just cancelled last minute. Using my iPhone or other smart device I can advertise these 2 extra tickets for sale with my exact location with alerts going out to other users looking for Bowl tickets for that event. Scary? Yes. Useful? Sure.

Another example of this would be an iPhone app recently written where users can post using the iPhone GPS their celebrity sightings. I saw Tracey Ullman at such and such a place at 2:52 pm today. Other obsessed fans would get an alert of where Tracey is and can run to her and mob her. Scary? Hell yes.... Aren't you glad you're not a celebrity?

So, I got off on a tangent there but the gist of all this is that I've added "followers" on my blog. Feel free to sign up, I'd love to have you!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What is this Nutcracker thing?

Every year they seem to proliferate more and more in my field of vision during the holiday season. These strange wooden soldiers that people call nutcrackers. Why in the world are they associated with Christmas? Why are they called nutcrackers? Do they really crack nuts?

Well, they do crack nuts and apparently nut crackers have been around since at least the Greeks and Aristotle, at least in a decorative/functional form. England’s King Henry VIII gave second wife Anne Boleyn a decorative wooden nutcracker as a gift in the 1500s. But, the colorful nutcrackers we now associate with Christmas didn’t exist until the 18th century, and were the product of German craftsmen.


In Germany, nutcrackers weren’t just practical tools, they were totems said to protect families from danger. Their big wooden teeth were designed to scare away evil spirits, and their ability to crack nuts symbolized the circle of life: A tree drops a seed (nut), which becomes a tree and from the tree the wooden nutcracker is born. The nutcracker, by design, also was a form of satirical political commentary. Nutcrackers made in the image of high-ranking officials, kings and soldiers were a way to force high-status men to “serve” the people. For example, Napoleon may have won battles in Germany, but he was helpless in the hands of the German people, who made the little general’s likeness the most popular nutcracker design of its time.

In the 19th century, nutcrackers began being sold as children’s toys for Christmas. The most popular designs during this time were harlequins and soldiers. One of these soldier nutcrackers became the protagonist of E.T.A. Hoffman’s novel The Nutcracker and the King of Mice , which subsequently inspired Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suit e and The Nutcracker ballet. In America, the nutcracker as a collector’s item first gained popularity in the 1950s, when American GIs returning from Germany brought the colorful nutcrackers home with them. During the same period, The Nutcracker ballet’s popular success also sparked interest in the colorful wooden toy.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

More Random Thoughts

From about 1996 to April 2008 I flew on a regular basis. Too regular for my personal health and the health of my relationship frankly, but alas, that is another blog for another day. During this time bookstores and I were regular friends especially being that this was the time before the Kindle and certainly pre-ipod. I had to have something to do in all those airports and on all those airplanes. I was never really one for magazines unless they involved computers or computer gaming so books it was.

In a recent but short burst of energy I attempted a cleaning out of my nightstand. This serves as a small bookcase of sorts, the kind I had envisioned would hold books in the "waiting to be read" stage. I found some old titles from those bygone flying years. I was a big W.E.B Griffin, Stephen Coonts and Tom Clancy reader. I read everything they wrote and they wrote in the military science/espionage genres. I spent a few minutes reading a chapter out of a book I wasn't sure I had read yet. These guys are such formula writers. You just keep moving the characters from one war or conflict to the next and viola, another book is written. I suppose I enjoyed them because they were mindless reading or perhaps because I was young. Who knows. Anyone want to buy any? I have all of them to sell.....

I also have some small 5x5 books of positive thoughts, uplifting quotes and that sort of crap. These are the kind of books you get someone when you have no idea what to buy them. Gift books. I have no time for uplifting positive crap, I'm a hard working American (well sort of American...) who is busy watching her dollar erode before her very eyes while keeping an eye on her backside so she can see the lay off axe coming. Such is the state of the US of A today, so no time for uplifting, spiritual crap! These books are for sale too....

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Random Thoughts....

I'm caught in between that weird limbo of being too sick to go to work and not sick enough to lay in bed for too long. It's driving me insane. I've gone in to work for 4 hours these last two days leaving exhausted with the icing on cake today being yelled out of my office by four of my co-workers. They were yelling, "get yourself to a doctor", while one of them fetched water in hopes of saving my sorry soul from an early demise. They had to yell, I was coughing so much and so loud there was no other choice.

So here I am, at home itching to go to work and going bonkers at home because I feel time is a wasting. I lay propped up in bed thinking of all the home projects that I could be doing with this cool time at home and then as I start to formulate a plan to do something I'm wracked with a coughing fit that reminds me why I am here.

My trip to the doctor today was predictable but had slight educational benefits. I'm frustrated as every time I get a cold it rapidly moves into my chest and bronchitis is quick to follow. This is a common issue with asthmatics. When I broached this frustration with the doctor she devised a possible prevention plan that involves immediate application of a steriod inhaler Advair upon inception of the cold. Might work, it's worth a shot. In the meantime I suck up Albuterol and Advair regularly and patiently await the filling of my cough medicine with codiene prescription. I chant, "The coughing shall subside, I am healthy, The coughing will subside", hack, hack, hack