Dear Voracious Readers,
There has been a ridiculous lapse in correspondence for which I profusely apologize. My passion for writing has not dissipated, I assure you.
As you may recall, during a session of many “gone wrong” eyeglass fittings for a reunion back in 2011, the opinionated optician told me to get a hobby.
So, I did.
The doting aunt that I am discovered that my niece and nephew were taking up the guitar. Last summer, my mom and I strolled into her neighborhood guitar store and she directed me to a plastic guitar which even I knew was a bit beneath me. The “Guitar Guy” guided me to an adult guitar.
My mom suggested that “I sleep on it”. Of course she meant the idea of owning a guitar versus sleeping on an actual guitar, and I was all in. I bought the bag, the Mel Bay first-grade class book, some picks, and even a humidifier. I declared to “Guitar Guy” that I would be playing Elvis because “I have a thing for the King.”
I signed up for guitar lessons and by Thanksgiving I was teaching my nephew how to play “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” My sister-in-law gushed over the improvement in my nephew’s playing while I was there. We carried our bonding over to the tennis court and I cherish our one-on-one time – after all, he is only 6.
As I left the store one night, “Guitar Guy” looked at me and shook his head. Apparently, I was carrying the coveted guitar bag….upside down. He said, “You are going to snap your neck!” I gushed at this kindness and realized he was referring my guitar’s neck, versus my well-being but I digress. As time would move on, “Guitar Guy” graduated to becoming my guitar’s life coach as he cares for everything ranging from aligning my guitar’s neck to attempting to explain proper pick holding technique, how to string it, but I digress, once again.
Fast forward to the beginning of the year and my teacher flew the coop, for understandable reasons. Given that I had just moved down the street from the guitar place, I was committed to taking lessons there. I had a five-week deviation with another teacher and it just wasn’t a good fit for either of us, so I switched teachers.
Today was my second lesson with Read the rest of this entry
15 years ago, I bought a third floor, triple exposure, walk-up condo in the heart of a college town. It offered a daily workout with the stairs and amazing treetop views but there was no outside space, among other things.
Flashback to the night before the move to the condo:
My brother is a Mensch. He flew into “help me move”. When he offered his services, he thought he was helping me “settle in” my new condo. He was wrong.
The afternoon before, he arrived at my apartment to survey the situation. I assured him that I was in good shape.
Bro: “Where are the boxes?”
Bro gets on phone: “Dad, she hasn’t packed anything, there are no boxes!”
My dad, his then-girlfriend and my brother scoured the neighboring towns for crates and packing vessels to enable safe transport of my belongings. I just pointed and they packed. Really!
A few days after getting organized in the second bedroom of my new place, I saw a massive object on the floor. I thought it was a mangled car tire. It wasn’t. It was a condo warming present from my brother and the perfect gift for one without an outside space. Read the rest of this entry
Weather permitting, I push myself to take long bicycle rides on the weekends. Given our brutal weather in the Midwest, I was pretty elated to be able to ride 40 miles this past Sunday. There is nothing like a ride offering decompression that lasts for half a day.
From a cardio point of view, I wasn’t fatigued at all. In fact, when I got to my half-way point at 20 miles in, a part of me wanted to bike all the way to Wisconsin. My brother did that once.
He would pedal on his bike until the sun went down. He didn’t concern himself with how he would get home. However, it did hit him that he could not ride in the dark on a major highway – without a light.
In an age that offered no cell phones, he promptly found a pay phone at McDonald’s and called our father hoping that he would be home. Moments later, our dad said, “Found your brother! Come on, we’re going to Kenosha to pick him up – he rode his bike there this afternoon.” I was so impressed that he had gone 50 miles on a bike at one time!
Some people are baffled as to why I would choose to spend four or five hours of my precious weekend time on a bike. It’s a gift and as long as I can keep pedaling, I will do it. It’s time away to reflect and re-group. Granted, I have climbed 2,109 stairs of the Willis Tower, twice. But, I digress.
When I turned around, Read the rest of this entry
Melancholia seems to be all around us these days and it’s easy to get sucked into the negative vortex. Those who get served constant helpings of unwanted or undeserved mind screw soufflé can become frustrated or blue. I have no shame in realizing that I am disenchanted by people who represent themselves as sincere but are disingenuous.
Fear prompts the blues and insincerity is caused by fear.
To get past this yucky feeling, I rant! I say some inappropriate words but am usually able to put a funny spin on a disappointing situation. I can laugh at myself and have to. During moments like these, my writer’s block is no longer an obstacle because I can just write without distraction.
Last night, one of my lifelong friends gave me a pencil because none of my pens were working and challenged me to wax poetic. I laughed at the thought. I hadn’t written poems since college. For inspiration, I took out my old book of rantings and ravings which included my touching Wiffleball Wonderland poem that I wrote about my childhood neighbors, but I digress. Over the next couple of hours, I just blurted out words. By the end of the evening, eight words came out: Read the rest of this entry
I‘ve got a lot on my mind right now and it’s not whether to blow dry my hair straight today or let my locks return to their natural bouncy condition.
Years ago, a seasoned vet at my office said good morning to me and I didn’t return the greeting in the preferred manner. I just kind of nodded my head giving a greeting in non-verbal manner. He was beside himself that I didn’t say the phrase, “good morning” in return.
Well, here’s the reality, I did say good morning – in my own way. I wasn’t going to flagrantly lie to him and tell him my morning wasn’t good, if it wasn’t. Furthermore, it would be like telling the car salesman who asks, “How are you”? He or she is not really expecting a genuine answer. Okay, obviously there is more interest in my colleague asking me versus someone trying to make a commission off of me, but I digress.
How do I know if I am having a good morning, really? The morning has just begun. Are you wishing me a good morning or are you asking me if it is a good morning? Years would pass and my lesson hadn’t been learned yet. I would just nod and get reprimanded EVERY TIME. Every time he would say. “If the morning isn’t good yet, maybe if you say it is – it will be.”
Finally, I ran into a manager at my local heath club. Every time he saw me, his enthusiasm brimmed through the question, “How are you today?” At first I just (you guessed it) did the nod. He just shook his head with his supremely muscular arms folded and a contagious smile. He knew he had a convert on his hands. Overtime, I started to smile and eventually one day I yelled, “Fantastic” before he even asked the question and he raised his fists in the air as if to say, “The Shrew has been Tamed!”
Nowadays that former colleague of mine would probably step back in awe because “fantastic” booms from my mouth to anyone who says good morning to me. It puts me in a good place for the rest of the day and if I say it enough, it does seem to become real. It’s kind of like that rush one gets from having avocado or working out and I feel kind of giddy.
By the way, things really are f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c. I have my inner circle of real, quality friends. The ones who call me out on my bad behavior, protect me when needed (perhaps with white lies which I call second kid syndrome but I digress again), encourage me to do and be better and laugh at my somewhat errant wordplay. We
Holy cow! Three years of blog magic. It’s here. I never thought I would be ranting and raving for over 4,380 days – wait, isn’t that 12 years? Sorry, work on the brain, I was multiplying by 12 all day. 1,095 days…much better.
I have been neglecting my blog lately – actually all four of them…will get back on track. I haven’t done a free write in forever and it’s therapy for me so nobody really wins when I don’t write.
I have made some great blog friends over the years and I have enjoyed learning from them and getting their positive feedback – thanks for encouragement! For awhile I was trying to do the post-a-day thing and realized that was not practical. It was nice to have a topic given to me but it seemed forced.
Some points of interest: I’ve had Facebook fallout from not knowing how to direct someone to the canned salmon, crabby opticians making my glasses look crooked for important events, constantly doing alumni outreach for my various events, and climbed the Willis (nee Sears) Tower two times with some intense Insanity workouts mixed in. I have the coolest photo Read the rest of this entry
This year’s winter has not only caused a waterfall to freeze on the gutter of a neighboring building, it has frozen my voice in writing.
I am hopeful for a big thaw so I can ride my bike and play some tennis. During my hibernation, I have encountered some impressive customer service.
This morning, after three years of holding onto a long jacket with zipping challenges, I took it back to LL Bean. The associate took the jacket and said, “Let me teach you how to zip this jacket.”
Oh boy. could he more condescending? Actually, he was being helpful and I watched in delight as the zipper went up the jacket with ease. “Let me try!!” The zipper was fine, it was “operator error”. Embarrassing, yes. But it’s more mortifying to not be able to zip my jacket when I am trying to leave some place in public!
LL Bean does receive complaints about their zippers. My guess is that many of those zippers are a double zipper like mine and perhaps there are frustrated users who just need to be properly taught how to zip the jacket. Something I thought I had learned when I was five… I was wrong!
I left wearing Read the rest of this entry
“Your face is off.” That is a memorable quote from my visit with a feisty little optician in the fall of 2011.
Flash forward to almost two and half years later. I am gazing upon the eye-glass frames at a different store, eagerly wondering what fantastic frame will bless my face while I play tennis and take my refreshing bike rides to the Chicago Botanic Garden when it is NOT 0 degrees outside.
I remark to the optician, “I really like purple.”
She handed me an ugly maroon/bruise colored oblong goofy-shaped frame and said, “Here, these are sporty.” I gasped at the not only ugly color but the incredibly unflattering frame shape. I put them on and looked like Mrs. Magoo. Read the rest of this entry
Snow is beautiful to watch as it falls down without gusty winds. I love walking in it, especially when the Christmas lights are still out.
This morning, my efforts to ge to work were thwarted by the deep snow in the alley. Then snow becomes a pain.
Years ago, Read the rest of this entry