Friday, March 27, 2009

your moment(s) of zen.

this is a special friday version of your moment(s) of zen. and i think it's a terrific way to end the week. let me know if you agree.

one of my gifts as a parent is the ability to read a picture book aloud. gift? you ask. anyone can read a stupid old children's book aloud. what's so special about that?

trust me, it is a gift. when the book is really really bad, but it's their favorite at the moment? just the way you read it can make it ten times better, or, at least bearable. or when the book is really really good, but made so much better with proper reading rhythm. timing. voices. true excitement from the reader that spills over into the words.

there really isn't anything else in the whole wide world like a good book read aloud.

and i don't mean to brag (further) but i kick ASS on where the wild things are. our bent and slightly torn and well worn copy sits on the shelf and doesn't see much action lately. oh, but in its day it was THE book. twice over. first with the duke, then wingman. and i couldn't be happier each time it got pulled off the shelf or off the floor by their bed and handed to me.

and as it happens when a book gets read over and over you can do it in your sleep. you memorize it, it becomes rote. but not this book. something about the words on the page, simple and spare. but so ALIVE. and then paired with the illustrations, it just rocks.

every time i read it was just as enjoyable as the last, maybe even more.

a boy acts like a wild thing, gets sent to his room, falls asleep, sails his boat, has an adventure, and when he wakes up his supper is there waiting right by his bed. it couldn't be simpler, but speaks volumes about everything. about being a kid, about being a parent, the power of dreaming, about how just a little rest can make things o.k. again.

so, it is this spirit that i present to you today's moment(s) of zen.

and wish for you something that makes you feel as ALIVE as a good story, a fine adventure, time away to get yourself back together, and then when you do get back, that your supper is there waiting for you...

and that it's still hot.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

funny funny man.

we were laughing yesterday because the duke was commenting that his "Wii age" based on the fitness challenge given was going between 35 and 54. we don't have Wii fit, it was just some activity on the Wii to gauge it.

he mentioned it wasn't really calibrated for kids his age but wondered if he could lower it from being so old. i did not take that opportunity to explain to him that that's not "old" as it wouldn't have done a bit of good.

wingman got his down to 51 from 52. as you can imagine, he is stoked.

anyway, later on we went to the store and i was commenting how the four of us are ALWAYS together! and how here we were, per usual, going to the store in a little pack, like ducks or lemmings.

so i said laughing

"good lord you guys will probably never move out! how could we stand to ever part at this rate!"

and the duke said in all his dry and snarky glory

"i'm moving out when my Wii age hits 20 and not a minute before!"


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

your moment(s) of zen.

before i get to today's post i want to wish you all a happy belated st. patrick's day. the bag lady in paris e-mailed me this morning concerned because i didn't put up my usual "snakes, my ass" post.

rest assured that if i had posted yesterday it would have been very similar to all the years past. right down to my disparaging of the the wanker st. patrick AND involving the same exact menu down to the last tasty morsel. (though we celebrated with that on saturday.)

moving right along, today's moment(s) of zen have been bouncing about the web for awhile now so forgive me if it's a repeat for any of you.


with so much in the world today that is decidedly dark and gloomy, how could it all be bad when we've got this little girl in it?

i present to you KITTENS! in all its sweetly jacked up glory.


Friday, March 13, 2009


it's sunny today and that's a good thing. the boybarians have already been outside playing basketball. we'll tie up a few loose ends school-wise later in the day and perhaps go for a walk if the weather holds.

it's family movie night, too. tonight it's wingman's pick and quel surprise! we're watching some version of star wars! as far as wingman is concerned if it isn't one of the many star wars movies, or one of the many indiana jones movies, it's not worthy.

at least he's consistent.

and when it's the duke's turn we watch a miyazaki movie. (howl's moving castle, kiki's delivery service, etc) which we all enjoy. except that we've seen them all a million times it seems and i am getting a bit tired of anything animated.

or anything with swords. or light sabers. or men in flowing robes and really bad long haired wigs and even worse accents.

part of me cannot wait until they are both old enough for us all to watch something like wordy and quirky and interesting to me like juno or little miss sunshine or napoleon dynamite, etc. the other part of me cannot believe i just typed that and is now going to go in and demand they stop growing right this instant and then spoon feed them their lunch.

but right now i'm just going to work on this cup of coffee and wonder how in the hell it got to be 10:48 already.

the duke is building a small wooden catapult and wingman is drawing a picture of a jeep, so we're not in a hurry to get anywhere anytime soon, i just wonder how the morning got so old. and how it got to be friday already. and how in the hell is is time for my 20th high school reunion already!!!

though the rest of the day hasn't happened yet i'll give you a bit of a screen capture of how it will likely go;

as you saw in the preview, i'll ponder over and slightly worry about my potential 20th high school reunion coming up. will someone organize something? or not? do i want them to? what will i wear? can i get a respectable profession going in like the next six months so i'll have some interesting job title to share?

i'll procrastinate about working out all day until i can't stand it anymore and then i'll just do it. or, i won't.

at 4 o'clock i'll wonder why the day is stretching out so long. isn't it bedtime somewhere?

the boybarians will bicker and bitch at each other like some old married couple at least twice but probably more. i will lose my shit at least once. i will wonder if it's too early for a glass of wine and the eject button.

by 6 o'clock we'll be brown leather knee high boots (on a man) into some light saber duel on the screen and i'll pretend to be interested. or i won't and i'll just doze off.

etc. etc. etc.

it's days like this that could just make us wonder why we get up in the morning. not that they're boring, but, well, predictable.

but then i think about days in the past that have been far worse, tragic, scary. days when you've gone to bed feeling crushed and then woken up feeling crushed and realized that it wasn't just a bad dream.

i think about days in the future that won't include a family movie night or trying to get kids to quit bickering or wondering if it's too early to put a kid to bed because the kids are too old or just gone.

it is true that the days are long but the years are short. time is moving too fast. even as this day will drag out, time will not. it really is the blink of an eye. blink. and then it's two years, five, ten in the future and it isn't today.

so i encourage you to fully enjoy your friday. enjoy this one day in all of its mundaneness, excitement, predictability, whatever. enjoy the fact that you are even in this day. where ever you are be where you are and find an appreciation in that.

beyond that just remember that this day is friday the 13th. so, you know, watch out for ladders across the sidewalk, falling pianos, anvils, and the like. look both ways before you cross the street and don't eat chicken sashimi or gas station tuna sandwiches. make sure you're wearing clean underwear and that you've got enough change in your pocket for a phone call. hope like hell you can even find a phone if you need one.

and by all means, whatever you do, just remember that you make your own luck. on friday the 13th or any day.

(but just in case, today i'd avoid doing any business on craigslist, men that call san francisco "frisco," anyone selling anything, pink drinks that look harmless, drunk dialing or drunk e-mailing or drunk facebooking or drunk twittering, getting naked for the sake of "art" especially if there's a camera involved, sushi buffets, potlucks, therapy, vegans who smoke, answering the phone without checking caller ID first, any idea hatched after 10 pm, border crossings, or anything that just seems too good to be true.)


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

your moment(s) of zen.

since i got all wordy on the wine blog i'll shut up this morning and just let this one speak for itself.


(psst. click the word above for the video)


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

in which i use quotations marks and italics to emphasize irritation with basic human idiocy.

down at the bottom of the hill, at a busy-ish intersection of a busy road there stands this guy.

he just stands there.

for awhile, he held a really small, barely legible sign advertising his wife's homemade jewelry. she sat at a table in the driveway of a house, belonging to them i'm assuming, just a few yards away from the corner.

then, after awhile, he wasn't holding a sign and you didn't see the wife. but, he still stood there. right at the corner. like he was waiting to cross the road. but he's not. he's just there.

and at first it was like, oh, he's standing there. and then he was there all. the. time. then the kids started asking questions about why he might be standing there.

to the lord of the ring's credit he didn't take some dimwitted, annoyed view of the whole thing in front of the kids like a lot of adults might. he just simply said

"i think he likes to just stand there and watch the world go by."

and even when the kids would get into it further with the whys and whatnots, he would just say

"that just seems to be what he likes to do."

which i thought was a really great take on it. and then the whole scenario became less "strange" and "out of the ordinary" and more zen. it became legitimate, if you must have things legitimized in life to be "okay".

and some people must.

anyhow, this morning at yoga one of the women mentioned the guy at the corner. then another woman chimed in because she sees him too. which got the attention of another few women who added their questions and barely disguised irritation and annoyance. the standard fare of those who cannot wrap their heads around anything their heads are not already wrapped around.

"he just stands there?"

"are you sure he's not just trying to cross the road?"

"what do you mean 'he just stands there?' "

"well, he does. like he's going to cross the road, but he doesn't. it's really strange."

"makes me want to lock my doors when i get to the corner."

"oh, i definitely would!"

and on and on and on.

can i tell you this guy is about 70 if he's a day? okay, maybe not that old. but he looks that old. like life hasn't been as kind to him as it has to others. and i've seen him move. and it ain't too swift. in all the months of traveling down to the bottom of the hill waiting to turn left never once have i ever thought to lock my doors.

so here are these women, closer to his age than mine. way closer. and here they are at this place in life just baffled and annoyed by this guy and his action. or by his NON action more like it. scared even.

and i can't imagine what it is or has been in their lives that render them incapable of understanding such a simple action. incapable of even trying to get on any sort of level what would lead a person to just be.

would it be "better" if he had a chair? a book? was standing watching a river, a lake, or boats? if the setting were prettier, quieter, more "reflective" than a busy road full of cars trying to carry their drivers everywhere faster faster faster than the day before?

what would it take to legitimize this man's actions?

which begs the question just what makes just being "okay?"

some might argue that getting up at the crack of dawn in barely mid 20's weather and getting into a freezing car and driving on icy roads just to lay down and maneuver your body into wretched shapes to the beat of dippy music with a room full of other people might be a bit suspect in terms of ways to spend your time.

but that's some people's zen. and in terms of a person's zen/hobby/happy place who gets to decide? (barring of course anything that harms another person, etc. etc. etc. of course that goes without saying, but you'd be surprised how many would need me to say it. so i said it. so there.)

how come his standing on the corner watching the cars go by is any less legit than someone else's pretzel shaped deep breathing in soft clothing?

i say find your zen and let other people worry about theirs.

speaking of which and moving right along, there's a NEW WINE BLOG TONIGHT!!! grin! grin!


oh, and p.s. it has been brought to my attention that some people don't know how to access my wine blog. if you go to the left sidebar of the blog to the LINKS section, you will see a link that says wine blog. glug. glug. click on that and it's happy sipping!