(not the teenage kind)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Birkenstock Lady

don dokken and I drove down to San Diego to visit his mother. On the way, we stopped in Clairemont at the Birkenstock store. His mother's podiatrist had recommended Birkenstocks for her high arches but finding a shoe to fit her very small feet was a challenge.

Birkenstocks are not known for their beauty. However, the woman at the Birkenstock store was wearing this sandal which was quite nice looking and matched the outfit I was wearing really well. So I tried on a pair. When I removed my tennis shoes to try them on, the Birkenstock lady looked at my feet and said "Wow, you have really nice feet. They're perfect." It reminded me of the time when I was in my early twenties and a man came over to clean my couch. I was not wearing any shoes and he commented on my perfect feet, became extremely distracted and could barely bring himself to remove his eyes from my feet and focus on the cleaning of the couch. Creepy. I put on a pair of shoes.

My euphoria from the Birkenstock lady's praise of my feet was short lived, however, because as I pranced around in the sandals that I did eventually buy she said to me , "Wow, you have some honking arches there yourself. Don't your feet hurt?" They don't. And, though don dokken assured me that the two are not mutually exclusive, I still don't understand how I went from "perfect" to "honking arches" in fifteen seconds.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Age Discernment Issues

When I was in the desert I insisted that Julie come to my room after dinner one night because I was reading the latest issue of Vanity Fair and there were two things I wanted to show her. For one, there was a two page photo of the cast of "Entourage" and I thought that Julie should not have to go one more minute without knowing what Adrian Grenier looks like.

The second thing I wanted to show Julie was an ad for a skin care product with a picture of a woman and a caption that said something like "Can you believe she's 40? Use our product and it will take ten years off your face," meaning that the woman in the picture wasn't supposed to look a day over 30. But to me she totally looked 40. Now if the ad asked if I believed she was actually 50, I would have been impressed and maybe even bought their product. Julie listened to me rant and rave - for some reason I was quite passionate about how NOT thirty the woman looked - but looking back I have no idea whether she agreed with me or not. She had already told me that Adrian Grenier was not her type so it might have been that she did not want to disappoint me twice in a row.

Later that night I was flipping through channels and found this CBS reality show called "Tuesday Night Book Club" which was an accurate depiction of the book club I used to be in because nobody read the book and they just ate and drank and talked trash instead. As the narrator was introducing the characters she said "At 30, Tina who started the book club is the oldest member." No way. No way was that woman 30 and all the other women in their 20's.

This blog post was going to be all about how I have lost all perspective about what people are supposed to look like probably because I think I am still in my thirties but when I went looking for links to the "Tuesday Night Book Club" I was reading the bios on the CBS site and it turns out the Tina chick is in her late 40's and a couple of the women are in their 30's. Vindicated but jeez....

Friday, June 23, 2006

Conversation With A Security Guard At Union Station

(He was from San Antonio, Texas. That explains a lot I think.)

Security Guard (looking at my name tag): So what is the Los Angeles Conservancy?

Me: Blah, blah, conservancy propaganda, blah, blah, blah

SG: Hey, are you Jewish?

Me: Yes (I did not bat an eye as this is the second time in two months that this has happened to me.)

SG: I thought so. I lived in New York for a while and I had a friend named David who has the same last name. Wait, do you know him?

Me: No, it's a pretty common last name.

SG: Well, I hope you don't mind me asking but are you, um, what's it called? The really religious people? Orthodox?

Me: If I was Orthodox I wouldn't be wearing this short of a skirt.

SG: So you're reform then, right?

Me: Right.

SG: You know, you don't look...well, actually, you do look Jewish. I didn't think so at first.

Me: I know, it's very confusing, my mom has blonde hair and blue eyes. She might be Polish or something.

don dokken and my dad (independently of each of each other after I told them this story): It sounds like he was flirting with you.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Best Phone Message From My Mom Ever

"Um, I'm watching Oprah, and um I'm really confused. Could you call me? Because, um, Valerie Bertinelli. Wasn't she married to Bon Jovi? Um, just call me and let me know who she was married to, okay? Because I'm really confused."

I'm actually not trying to make fun here. I am very impresed that my mother keeps up with Valerie Bertinelli and Bon Jovi and maybe even Eddie Van Halen.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

My Powers Of Observation

My observation skills are nil. I once had a friend who apparently had beautifully colored eyes that total strangers commented on all the time and I one day told him I had no idea what color his eyes were. He was shocked and hurt. Just know that unless you have icy blue eyes that look like they belong to an alien I will never notice the color of your eyes no matter how long I know you or how close up I get to them.

So the other day I was walking around my neighborhood and I saw this house that has to be one of the ugliest houses I have ever seen and yet I have passed by it practically every day either by foot or by car for the last eight years and have never noticed it until just now. There it is pictured right above here. That is the front of the house. Isn't it ugly? And why are all my cell phone pictures tilted? Maybe my head sits on top of my neck at an odd angle. I would be the last to know.

I have made a resolution to try and be more observant as I go on my morning walks. Here is what I noticed today:

- The Persian Palace that has been on and off the market for the last year is in escrow. They were originally asking $1.7M and lowered the price to $1.2M. I wonder what they got for it.

- The real estate agent couple down the street are doing some major remodeling. I can not ask them what they are doing because, unbeknownst to them, I am not speaking to them. The reason I am not speaking to them is that many years ago I was driving down my street and the husband, who was outside watering the lawn, decided I was going to fast (me! The little old lady from Pasadena!) and turned his hose on my car. I was so mad that after pulling into my driveway I simultaneously called the police, went looking for the gun that I would never own, and went to talk to Jeff, the goodwill ambassador of the neighbor.

Jeff promised he would talk to the guy about putting an end to his obnoxious vigilanteism and I can just imagine how the conversation went "You know the crazy lady two doors down from me with the hypervigilant dog? I think she might be taking out a restraining order on you...." Well, anyway, in the intervening years both the husband and wife have knocked on my door to try and get me to list my house with them so I guess some of us have gotten over the incident.

- It is Sports Camp time at the private high school down the street. People actually stand outside the chain link fence to watch the kids warm up and play sports. I do not know if the people are relatives or just strangers who like to watch shirtless teenage boys with their butts in the air (they were doing some sort of stretching exercise....)

- 88.7% of all people are on their cell phone as they drive. They are not paying attention. I can not tell you the number of times I would have been hit by now if I just took it on faith that people would notice me as I crossed the street. There have been several times over the years where I have actually hit car hoods with my fist because the driver did not see me and stopped that close.

I may not notice much but I always, always, always make eye contact.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Twin Worry List

My dad has said that my mom could make a fortune as a professional worrier. I think I would do pretty darn good myself. So I am publishing here a list of the worries that have evolved in the three months since the twins were born. Some have gone away but have been quickly replaced by new ones. It is all good because we get bored very easily and without something to worry about I think I would have to go back to biting my nails. Here are, to my best recollections, my mom's worries along with their current status:

1. Eva is not very responsive. It is possible she has a hearing problem.
Status: Her hearing was checked and it is fine.

2. Since Eva's hearing test has come out normal, we better make sure she is establishing eye contact. It is possible she has autism.
Status: Eva's eye contacting abilities are excellent. She is a happy, responsive baby.

3. Eva's legs are very fat. She should not be wearing dresses and she will definitely not be ready for a swimsuit this summer.
Status: Eva is big. She weighs over 16 pounds. This brings up a worry for me. If she gets much heavier, no one will be able to lift her. I looked in my baby book and I did not weigh 16 pounds until I was eight months old. I also found out that my neighbor's 19 month old weighs 24 pounds. Hopefully Eva will learn to walk soon.

4. Eva likes to stick out her tongue all the time. All that tongue activity could be pointing to a speech impediment in her future.
Status: Too soon to tell although I am quite confident her parents will spare no expense to ensure that she talks right.

1. Isaac has stomach problems. His formula needs to be changed to something iron free. The iron is too hard on his stomach.
Status: The doctors are unconcerned because he is gaining weight and his parents don't really want to mess around with his food right now.

2. Isaac has stomach problems. Can't we start feeding him cereal? Cereal would be much better for his stomach than formula with iron.
Status: His parents say he is not ready for cereal.

There is no fence around the pool. There are rumors that the babies have started turning over by themselves. C'mon, mom and dad, build those babies a fence!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Lights

It is always something here at this house, isn't it? I finally, finally got a great handyman and one of the things I had him do was change out two lights - the porchlight and the light over the garage.

Porchlight: He asked if I wanted an energy saving bulb in the new porchlight and, since I am all for saving energy, I said sure. The night I got back from the desert don dokken came over and pointed out that my energy saving light bulb had attracted a bevy of bugs like I have never seen in the eight years of living in this house. Not only were they a bevy, they were also an array. There were mosquitos and spiders and ants and moths and even something green. I turned off the light.

I went out the next morning and bought some Raid and sprayed but that did not work. I called several pest control companies who quoted me in the over $200 range and finally one of them said that it did not make sense for them to come and just spray my porch and that I should wash down the area and then put in a yellow bulb.

So yesterday I (okay, okay, the cleaning lady) did just that. Except instead of a yellow bulb she put in the old regular bulb from the old light because for the eight years that I had that light there were no bugs. No bugs at all hardly. I got home in the late afternoon and everything was clean and sparkly and there were no bugs. Plus, she had transplanted the plant she gave me for Christmas and put it on the porch. Everything was beautiful. Until the sun went down and the light went on and there were bugs again. Not nearly as many as before but still bugs. I turned the light off. What next? More raid? Yellow lightbulb? I don't know.

Garage light: When I moved into the house, the electrician convinced me not to get a motion sensor light above the garage. He said that they are very sensitive and that every time it went on I would think someone was there and it would just be psychologically damaging or something so he installed a light sensitive light instead which was supposed to come on when the sun went down and go off when the sun went up. The only problem was that it was in the shade so it thought that the sun was always down and it stayed lit all the time.

I asked the new handyman to swap it out for a motion sensor light and he did and actually made it a combo light sensitive/motion sensitive so that it is supposed to respond to motion but only when it is dark. Makes sense. Except that you have to be standing directly under it for the light to go on which would be a great deterrant if someone decided to burglerize my garage but not so great if they wanted to enter my backyard or if I want some light when I pull my car up at night.

We are in need of some finetuning over here. But, by the way, I still do really love my new handyman.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Dress Code

At the place where I am staying in the desert they give you a most comfortable robe. Because the place is so secure and private most people walk around in their robes. Last night I was having dinner in the very nice restaurant here and two men walked in wearing their robes. This place charges $25 for an entree and $10 for a glass of wine and people are eating in their robes. After dinner I went swimming in the grotto. There was no one there until a couple arrived. They were not wearing anything at all. I can not get with this dress code.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Yes I Am In Paradise

I know people think I am crazy for wanting to go to the desert in June when it can sometimes be over one hundred degrees. But it is so peaceful and beautiful here. I am staying at a resort (using my online travel agent discount. Are you sick of me yet?) where only adults are allowed. They have strictly enforced quiet zone policies and no cell phones are allowed outside the room. They also have wireless so I can work and earn money while on vacation.

This morning I lounged by the pool with my coffee and croissant and Vanity Fair magazine. The sun was not yet out in full force and I just sat and watched the clouds move by. To get to the pool, I walked from my room near the back of the property past the tennis courts, a (fake) lake, many fountains and palm trees, and a grotto.

My room has a plasma tv and has been newly painted and furnished. It is the perfect size with a nice little patio outside where last night Julie (who lives down the street and came to visit) and I drank champagne. Sadly, I have a meeting on Thursday or I don't think I would be coming home.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Gambling Is Evil

I stopped at the Morongo Casino on my way here to the desert because, you know, I was going to win all the money I needed to pay for this vacation. I sat down at a video poker machine and was actually doing well. The man next to me lit up a cigarette and I thought this was a sign that I should cash in. But I didn't. And soon I was down to nothing.

I got up and went to another machine. I lost there too only this time much faster. I thought I would try one more machine and it was at this point that I realized I may or may not have lost my cell phone. I checked my purse, I checked the floor around the two machines I had used. Well, maybe it was in the car although I pretty clearly remembered carrying it into the casino.

A normal person might have felt nauseous and gone directly to security. But I saw the perfect video poker machine and I had to sit down and play on it right then and there. Sick! Except that I did really well, got a full house, and won back almost all the money I had lost. Then I went to security and they had my phone.

I think I am so over this gambling thing.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

And Speaking Of Teachers

I gave a tour of Union Station the other day to a group of teachers and they were (gasp!) tardy. Very tardy! Every single one of them. They were taking an all day seminar and had stopped for lunch across the street. They said that teachers never get an hour for lunch and never get to sit down and so, when the time came to regroup, it was hard for them to stand up. Not that I want to start any rumors but my guess is they found the restaurant across the street that serves margaritas. Just a guess. In the middle of the tour, where I always let my group sit down, one of the teachers asked if I could just describe the rest of the station from there. Overall, they were much better than this group though.

The company that owned Union Station, Catellus, was bought last year by a company called Prologis. Sadly, we think we are starting to see the ramifications of the purchase. Besides some general deterioration and lack of maintenance, there is now a huge beer ad in the tunnel that leads to the tracks. The ad is plastered on two walls and on the ceiling. I was leading a group of architects through yesterday and I said "They could of at least done a better job of product tie-in." One of the architects pointed out that the beer was Mexican so there you go. Another disturbing addition is a kiosk selling DVDs for watching on the train. Right now it is a temporary structure but rumor has it that they are going to build something permanent inside the station.

I always praise Catellus highly for all the renovation they have done at the station. But the architects did point out that the buildings they added onto the property offer no continuity with the station at all. I am grateful though that Union Station did not go the way of "adaptive reuse" and become a shopping mall or a movie theater on the inside. It is still being utilized for its original purpose and that is a good thing.

After the tour for the architects, three of us docents went out to lunch and decided that we needed to do some rabble rousing and make sure Prologis keeps up the station. We are starting with the Los Angeles Times and then we'll go from there.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Great Landlords

I own two condos in North Carolina with my ab fab real estate business partner, Helen. One of the properties was a HUD foreclosure which we got for very little money and rent out to a nurse. We were very excited that a nurse was renting our place because for some reasons we felt that being the great landlords of someone who is dedicating their life to helping other people, makes us better people as well. The nurse has turned out to be a bit of a nightmare.

Just a bit. She often pays her rent late, sometimes very late. In North Carolina, you can start eviction proceedings the minute the rent is late. The cost of starting the proceedings is $80. Which is then owed by the tenant. So what probably happens is the nurse doesn't have the money to pay the rent on time, then she is late, and then she gets $80 plus our late fees more behind. The $80 starts to add up. She has always ultimately paid up - it is just a pain to have to float the money. And then, about a month ago, we got a notice from the homeowner's association that the nurse was throwing cigarette butts off her balcony. A nurse that smokes? That was disppointing.

So it came as a big surprise when we got a phone call yesterday from the owner of a building in our other condo complex. We actually know nothing about the tenant in that property and, until yesterday, could not even remember his name. All we know is that he pays his rent on time and actually oftentimes pays his rent early. Even a couple of months early. He has been great and really picks up the slack when the nurse is late.

The guy that called us owns a whole building (as opposed to one unit like we do) in the condo complex with his father. He has just received his MBA and was actually enroute to Milwaukee with his wife and one year old baby to start a new job. They own Building #C - our unit is in Building #D. He told us that there has been some bad stuff happening in the complex and the police keep getting called out and he is very concerned about what is going to happen now that he is moving.

He mentioned a woman in building #B who was fat and unemployed and sits out on her balcony drinking and yelling at her grandchildren. She is being evicted. And it turns out this guy is totally the Mrs. Kravitz of the condo complex because then he starts telling us about one of the woman in building #D who has a bad news boyfriend that she was really trying to break off from but she couldn't get her strength together and now they're engaged which is really too bad because none of the kids like him. But the main reason for his call was that he felt there was some drug dealing going on in the complex and he thought maybe our tenant was the dealer.

The reason he thought this was because he was home one night in his unit in building #C and there was a knock on the door and it was a guy who was looking to buy drugs. He did not see where the guy went when he left but for some reason decided that it was possibly our tenant who he then said was a really nice guy.

I wonder if I am a slumlord because when we hung up from Mr. MBA guy I said to Helen "I really don't care if he's a drug dealer or drug user as long as he keeps paying his rent on time."

By the way, he is not a drug dealer or a drug user. I talked to our property manager's office this morning and they were aware and on top of all the drama going on in the complex (including a woman who stabbed her son. How did Mr. MBA guy miss that one?). We are still a little puzzled by the phone call yesterday and what he thought we could do with the information he gave us but it did propel us to find out more about our tenant who it turns out is a teacher. A nurse and a teacher. We are totally the great landlords of people who have dedicated their lives to helping other people. I am so proud.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

What A Difference A Day Makes

Sorry to begin with a cliche. But Monday was a bad day. I went to a new dentist because I wanted an assessment of the state of my mouth. I have been having some pain since my gum surgery and the periodontist wanted to do more work. The new dentist was great but my gums are now at such a point that we are devising a treatment plan. I told her that this plan can not begin for a few months. Right now, I just want my teeth cleaned. What really depresses me is that I have always, for all my life, gone to the dentist right on time, twice a year, for my cleanings. This did not happen overnight. I want to sue my old dentist. I went to bed very depressed.

But Tuesday I woke up and focused on the part of the conversation with the dentist where I told her that she is seeing my mouth at its worse - right after surgery and, because of the surgery, long after I was due for a cleaning. She agreed and so for now I am going to get my teeth cleaned and worry about the scary steps in the "treatment plan" another day.

And Tuesday really rocked because I finally have a handyman. After signing up for Angie's List and having no luck I asked every person I ever said hello to if they had a good handyman and would you believe that my new handyman was referred to me by my own father? He is the best (my father and the handyman). He has spruced things up around here and, yes, he really, really did fix the fountain.

In other news, I had a networking meeting yesterday which inspired me to come home and do things like apply for government contracts and update my business blog (report.jrwcomp.com).
Much more productive than Monday when I came home from the dentist inspired to just let all my teeth fall out.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


The fountain is working....although the real miracle will be if I keep it algae and mosquito larvae free. Details to follow.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Saturday Recap

7:30 The dog's favorite person in the world, the cleaning lady, arrives. There is much joy and celebration.

8:00 I take my walk. I have three errands to run: (1) I need to buy two sympathy cards at the Rite Aid for two separate people who had a parent die weeks, and then weeks and weeks ago (2) Super Lotto is big. Five quick picks are definitely in order and (3) I must go to the ATM to get money for the cleaning lady.

Just after starting out I run into the people who live across the street and who are much smarter than me because they began their walk about an hour earlier on this hot, hot day. They tell me they are hoping to move to their house in Vegas soon at which point they will sell their house across the street and most of their furniture. They give me first dibs on their $3,000 poker table. Not that I asked.

8:30 At the Rite Aid there is a little girl and her dad checking out right in front of me. The little girl keeps saying to the cashier "I'm going to San Diego. I'm going to San Diego." He ignores her. I think of all the responses I will make if she gives up on him and turns to me. That never happens.

10:00 I return from my walk and receive a call from kruthless. She is calling to report that Eva and Isaac are developing very good sleeping habits. In the middle of the call, she breaks something and says she will call me back. That never happens. Which is too bad because I want to ask her what to write in the two sympathy cards.

11:00 I obsess about the two girls who were mixed up in the accident. Julie and I email about what kind of collar to get her new dog, Dollar. Julie had to put her dog, Cliff, to sleep last week. Cliff was a miniature poodle and he made me realize that small dogs can have compelling personalities. He sometimes snuggled with me when I would spend the night with them in the desert. And if you held a treat up for him he would twirl around and dance. Julie was so sad and lonely without Cliff that she started looking for a new dog the next day.

12:00 The daughter of a friend is producing and staring in a play. Pam and I are planning on going tonight except that Pam is shooting a commercial downtown and is unsure when she will be finished. If we order tickets by 3:00, we can get 1/2 off. Pam decides she is sure she can get to the theater by 8:00. I order the tickets.

1:00 I watch "The Family Stone." I decide I have a crush on Luke Wilson and that don dokken is right about Sarah Jessica Parker. She is ugly and annoying. Would I recommend this film? Diane Keaton is fun to watch. And all the pieces fit together in the end which maybe if you are young would seem very romantic and would make you feel that all things are possible. (For some reason this reminds me - a client called me the other day to tell me that she met someone who worked with me many, many years ago. He told her that I used to want to be a screenwriter. She found this very intriguing. I found this very puzzling as it does not even sound familiar. But, anyway, it never happened. By the way, whenever this client calls and leaves a message she addresses both me and the dog.)

2:30 I am hungry. But also lethargic. I have waited way too long to eat. I want to walk to Trader Joe's and get a salad or something or maybe to the mall for a Subway sandwich. But it seems too hard. And driving seems impossible. I start to heat up some mini quiches but then instead I start making a weird tuna salad with olives and artichokes and garbanzo beans and beets and rice. I realize that all I really want is a bowl of cereal with some nice cold milk.

3:00 I cave and turn the air conditioner on. A little while later the electricity goes out. It goes on again pretty quickly but I am unsure whether this is a miniature rolling black-out or something to do with my electrical system. I check the circuit breakers which are fine. But I am scared to turn the air conditioning back on. Sorry Rudy! A little while later I cave again and turn the air conditioner back on. There are no further incidences. You are probably wondering why I am so loathe to turn the air conditioner on. There are two reasons - it is costly and I do not like cold air blowing on me.

4:00 I finish reading "Life of Pi." Would I recommend this book? I like the beginning. But it got way too graphic and unpleasant for me. It is about a sixteen year old boy who is stranded in a lifeboat with a 450 pound Bengal tiger. You learn a lot about animals. I also read my "New Yorker."

5:00 Pam calls. Things are not looking so good. They have added four scenes. And they do not like the door of the bank where they are shooting so they have to build another door. Plus, even though Pam told them that she needed easy access to her car, it has been blocked in which means she will have to wait until everyone leaves before she can drive up to the building and load all the costumes. She will keep me posted.

6:00 Since I am still feeling lethargic and do not relish the idea of driving to Hollywood, I start to get ready thinking that will surely mean that Pam will not make it on time. I even put on make up.

6:30 Pam is done! But her back hurts. And the idea of sitting and watching a play for two plus hours is far less appealing than the idea of sitting and drinking margaritas. The play will still be there for the next two weeks. We will go when Pam is less hot and sweaty and achey. She is on her way to my house.

7:00 When I received the email about the play, I looked up the bio of our friend's daughter. In her bio, she thanks her friends and family for their support but also mentions "Pammy" and quotes something encouraging that this Pammy once said to her. I called Pam and read it to her and she was at her beach house and relaxing and did not seem to understand what I was talking about.

When Pam gets to my house, I show her the bio and, although she has no recollection of the quote, she decides that it sounds like something she would say plus if they knew another Pammy wouldn't we know about it? I am mentioning all this as a warning to everyone to be careful what you say to children. They are very impressionable. One casual remark by someone they happen to admire and they could be off joining the circus.

7:30 Pam and I are at Senor Fred. Because I always see celebrities when I am with Pam, she immediately spots Colby Donaldson from Survivor. Actually, I think I probably see celebrities all the time. I just need Pam with me because I do not recognize them.

8:00 I get Pam to help me write the sympathy cards. One of them is easy. We can not find the right words for the other one so I take some notes and then we give up. I try to tell Pam about the girls that were mixed up in the accident but she is not too interested.

8:30 We are on our second margaritas and things start getting emotional. Pam put her dog, Addie, to sleep a month ago. (She and Julie are not my only two friends who have lost their pets recently. There are two others who had to put their cats down in the last few months as well.) Unlike Julie, Pam can not bear the idea of getting another dog. No dog could replace Addie. In fact, even when Addie was alive, she would say to her "After you, there are no other dogs. You are the best dog I have ever had." Pam has never not had a dog before. She is missing Addie even more than she thought she would. Her ex-husband/current fiance(?) told her the other night that Addie's death has been more difficult than his grandmother's.

Pam had Addie's ashes sent to her. On Memorial Day she opened them and buried them at the beach house. She says the ashes look more like sand than like, say, cigarette ashes because of the bones. We both cry as she talks about the forget me nots and the poem that was included in the box with the ashes.

9:00 Home. Check the internet to see if there is any more news about the girls who were mixed up in the accident. There isn't.

9:30 Bed.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Perfect Kiss

My eighteen month old neighbor came to visit yesterday evening. She ate some of the plants in my front yard and then climbed up onto the bench on my front porch so she could be eye to eye with the dog who was growling at her from the other side of the window. While her mother was calmly talking to me, I could barely concentrate because all I could think was "Oh my God, she's going to fall off that bench and crack her head open" and "Oh my God, she's going to get plant poisoning. Call the paramedics, stat." Or maybe I was just worried about a lawsuit.

There was moment of motherly pride for me when we finally brought the toddler into the house so she could properly meet the dog. She put her cheek out and her mother said to the dog "Give her a kiss." He is not a particularly kissy kind of dog but he gave her a daintly little lick on the cheek and then moved away. It was perfect.

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Worst Case Of Mistaken Identity EVER

Did you hear about this? At the end of April, there was an accident involving ten students from Taylor University. Five of the students died. There were two girls in the accident who looked very much alike. One was named Laura, the other Whitney. Whitney died and Laura was in a coma. Laura's family started a blog documenting Laura's recovery and receiving prayers and well wishes in the comments. On May 31st, they announced in the blog that the person they had been taking care of for five weeks was not Laura after all. She had come out of the coma and was saying things that did not make sense to them. You know, things like "My name's Whitney." This led to some tests and the matching of dental records and you can see where this is heading - Laura was actually the presumed dead and buried Whitney and Whitney was alive in the hospital bed.

As I read the blog, I thought it had to be a joke and I was actually going to google and see if there really was an accident involving Taylor University students. But then I saw the CNN article that I linked to at the beginning of the post. I also found this article in the New York Times which has pictures of both the girls and, yeah, they do look alike. Still kind of strange though.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Com Passion

I have been trying to take a yoga class at least three times a week. Last week one of the classes had a substitute teacher who was quite talky. She actually had everyone say their name, how long they have been taking yoga, and if they had any particular ailments. Though there was much interesting information to be garnered (one woman had spent the last three years having three babies, one woman had fibremyolgia (sp?) and Epstein Barr, one woman had her first child three years ago at the age of 46), I am usually one who likes to cut to the chase.

But the teacher's theme that day was compassion and she told us that "passion" means intensity and that "com" means with so that when you have compassion it means you are feeling something with intensity. We would stretch on our right side and then she would tell us that our practice of compassion should begin with the compassion we feel for our poor, unstretched left side.

As she continuously preached the need for us to go out into the world and find compassion for everyone we encounter, I wanted to raise my hand and ask if I really, really, really had to find compassion for the woman at the next table at the restaurant where don dokken and I were having breakfast the other morning who took a phone call from her husband using her cell phone speakerphone function. I think you and I both know the answer and I am starting to believe that the crime of using the cell phone speakerphone function in public needs to be treated so seriously that the death penalty as punishment seems too mild. Now if that's not "com passion" I don't know what is.

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