Sunday, February 8, 2009

Full Circle Time

People have been wondering when I'll return to opinionitis blogging. I refer them back to my very first blog post (April 15, 2007) in which I posed the question, "What moment are you in?"

Fact is, blogging has started feeling a bit like videotaping my kids' soccer games. By committing to recording them for posterity, I inadvertently sacrificed my ability to be in the moment.

I love blogging and the immediate connection it provides from one heart and psyche to another. But for now, for my own mental health, in honor of what Thich Nat Hanh calls "Present Moment Living," I'm on a break.

I'm working my way up to quitting Facebook as well, for the same reason. It's taking up a lot of psychic and emotional space that I once reserved for the present, tactile, real-time moment.

So here's that first post. See you again soon, probably.

April 15, 2007
I was on an elevator at work yesterday with someone who was talking full volume on her Razor phone. She exited on the floor a couple below mine, and I rolled my eyes and confessed to the other passenger, "I just can't get used to that. I guess I'm just old."

The young woman looked blankly back at me, then removed her ear buds and said, "Have a nice day," as she scooted out. Of the three women in that elevator, I was the only one actually in that elevator.

Beyond the breach of manners, which is considerable (what makes you think I want to hear one side of your conversation with your husband who, apparently has just dropped you off five minutes ago?) elevator cellphones offend me.

Suddenly our real lives aren't enough for us. We need to check in with three voicemails, three email accounts, our news groups, and our bookmarked web news pages to equip ourselves for the day. These overloading distractions, by definition, remove us from the real time lives we're trying to live.

People usually define greed as a monetary lust. But there's a new greed these days...a greed for existing in an excess of "present moments." It's an impossible irony. We all want so much to be "in the moment," but we can't decide which moment is the real one.

Okay, I'm a hypocrite. I'm starting this blog hoping people will take time out from their own real time moments to give a damn what I'm thinking.

So do me a favor and get your eyes away from a screen and your ears away from a speaker for a moment. Find yourself some old-school, flesh-on-flesh, eye-contact-generating, outdoor, fresh air reality.

Like the amazing tree at the top of this blog, for instance.

See you next time!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The big 2-3 for Joey the Joe

When our guy Joe was 3 months old, his grandpa took his first look at him and dubbed him "the judge." Don't know which came first, the nickname or the persona, but Joey embodies the judicial ideal: Fair. Thoughtful. Compassionate. Wise.

Joey's a natural golfer, slugger, first baseman, composer, and guitarist. And he's a natural-born friend, too...the loyal guy people call when they need advice or companionship or a safe ride home.

Favorite images of Joey:

Playing his Mattel Jaminator guitar at age 3, mastering the Slash rocker stance, and later parlaying it into his own bands: The Knuckleheads, Valium, Jekas, The Ted Bundy Love Connection, and the current brilliant music making machine, Brainbow.

Getting his first taste of cooked spinach and poetically noting, "It tastes like camel grass."

Asking to eat his Spaghettio's straight out of the can "like a hobo."

Making an unassisted triple play in third grade.

Giving his parents a big hug in front of friends and everybody.

Living his life with integrity, warmth, and one of the world's most infectious laughs.

That's our Joey. You gotta love him.

Joey? You out there? Love you, man, Happy Birthday!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Daniel William Jackson is 21 today!

Danny was three years old when "Back to the Future 3" came out. One of Michael J. Fox's lines resonated with him and became his credo for, well, forever, I guess. Danny's read of the line: "Nobody calls me schicken."

He's feisty.

At age 4 he told some loitering suburban poser mall toughs he would "throw them in the trash."

One Halloween, the mean old lady down the street asked pirate Danny "what do you say?" after handing out the candy. She was expecting a thank-you, but instead my son wielded his sword and growled, "I'll cut off your feet."

When Danny had his first set of stitches at age 6, he sat still and didn't even flinch. It was a nasty cut, too, and it left a Nike swoosh scar on his forehead.

No tears when he broke his arm and the doctor had set it with no anesthesia.

A few years ago he had his wisdom teeth extracted, and when he was sitting in the recovery room with a mouthful of bloody gauze, he motioned for me to give him a pen and paper. He wrote this: "Tell them they've been very accommodating." Talk about grace under pressure.

Last night his pals and brothers took him out to try out his new legal ID. Danny volunteered to dance with all the older girls attending a bachelorette party.

Nobody calls him schicken.

Happy Birthday, Dan! LOVE YOU!

Friday, June 6, 2008

The boys are back in house.

Our 20-something sons are moving back in for awhile for a bunch of reasons, none of which are anybody's business but our own.

Yet we're getting plenty of judging feedback. Not from psychologists or clergy or self-help gurus.

Nope, most of the tut-tut is coming from people who don't have kids, who haven't helped with homework, who have no idea about the price of young men's car insurance, who haven't paid attention to the way college funding has dried up for all but the most exceptional students, who think rip-off loans are just the price kids should pay for survival in this society, and who apparently haven't heard about kids with BAs helping people set up their Sleep Number beds or doing payroll for beauty supply companies.

FYI, my kids work their asses off and play fabulous original music and have a bunch of great friends, many of whom are in the same boat. They work full time, they pull their weight in society, they value family and integrity and creativity and kindness.

It is true that they are not on linear paths through life and they are not great at math. Nor are they currently making enough money to support themselves. So sue them.

We support their creative efforts and want to help them out a little. So sue us, too.

Frankly, I like having them around. They'll figure things out eventually. Meanwhile, judgers, please avert your eyes while we do what parents do.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bloggy Mountain Breakdown

Things are buzzin'. In a few weeks, I'll be off chronicling eight weeks of summer school at my alma mater.

My intent is to maintain both blogs, but I'm starting to feel like Patty/Cathy Lane in the Patty Duke show. In case you're too young for that reference, they were cousins, identical cousins all the way. One pair of matching bookends, different as night and day. And they led nefarious, but coy, double lives, tricking boys and teachers with their adorable identicalness.

My double life has begun.

Visit Back-to-School Boomerang and try to keep up.