Friday, December 10, 2010

FRIDAY FIVE: WHAT LIFTS YOU UP

Mary Beth rolled out the Friday Five today:  


"What lifts you up when you are low or troubled? Who helps you remember that you are not alone, it's getting better all the time, etc.?"


1. Music. There are certain songs that help me cry it out, after which feeling better ensues:


"Kiss From a Rose"

"Life's a Long Song"

"After the Gold Rush"



For just three examples.


2. The ever widening creativity of our species to lift each other up, for example:


Flash Mobs

And Another



3. Being able to do an improv class or performance through my teacher. Just did a "Harold" workshop. If you've never seen one, they are wonderful. I personally do the Del Close version, if you are an aficionado and know what I'm talking about. 


4. My dear friends, Janis and Paul, whose kindness and open arms remind me that I do not have to shovel the mountain of crap that is so often my life, alone.


5. Last, but never ever ever ever least, my son. Wonderboy. He's just passed me in height this last week and he's not even 12! His intelligence, empathy and endless humor are things this world is going to need and keeping him safe and going the right direction down the treacherous path of childhood call me to task every single day. 


And the bonus round: 
I do not care for "Jingle Bell Rock." I am a shameless traditionalist and much prefer the classics, and then I like to write rude lyrics to them! Like "Jingle Bills", "Good Steve Wences drove his car, over part of Steven." Because I'm strange like that. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

thanksgiving

I have neglected this place. It's where I dipped my first eensy toe into the giant sea of the web. I'm debating whether or not to keep it as I have moved to other interests. And I feel that the church has booted me out the door. The organized church. My son, mom and I go to a small Science of Mind church now. Far from perfect. But I don't feel that connection to God that I used to feel in the big fancy church that kicked me to the curb. It has made me wonder if I transferred my penchant for toxic relationships to the church. I would always like the interesting, pretty, shiny boys who were dark vampiric soul suckers underneath. Hard to say.


My faith has been sorely tried these past years by Chinese water torture like drip dripping of one thing after another after another. And as of today, it does not stop. Of course there are more folks out there having similar experience. This does not help in terms of reassurance. It makes it worse because I want to help and cannot because there is just enough energy for me to keep my own life from bleeding out. 


But enough existential whining! It's Thanksgiving. My biggest reason to be thankful is with his father today. Oh yes, the divorce is final. I still need a job or work or some source of income as I currently earn below poverty level wages. Good Lord, I just can't stop whining, can I? Somebody stick a turkey leg in my mouth to shut me up!


My Thankful list, because it's a good exercise that my friend Lindy taught me and her other good friends:


1. I am thankful for having a wonderful house to live in that my mother bought for all of us. 
2. I am thankful for indoor plumbing, electricity, forced air heating and A/C that works.
3. I am thankful for modern textiles like polar fleece that just about cover my shiny new muffin top.
4. I am thankful for my son's school where he learns more than he would in public school and is safe from drugs and bullying.
5. I am thankful for my mom who saved us with the house and has finally become my champion.
6. I am thankful for all my blog and Facebook friends who have helped me to feel still connected to the planet through these years of ickness. The smartest, most caring and supportive people I have.ever.not yet met.period. (well, I've met a few and OMG, I wish I could meet you all. What cool people)
7. I am thankful for my stuffing. I make the best damned Thanksgiving stuffing on earth and there is a dish of it in the fridge. We don't need no stinkin', dry-as-a-popcorn-fart turkey. We got stuffing. Yummmmmmm.
8. I am thankful for affordable security cameras that we put on the house and seem to have stopped the nonsense.
9. I am thankful for the "S" family who saved my son and I, and are the best family anyone could possibly ever choose. 
10. I am thankful for socks and still being able to put them on when it's cold.
11. I am thankful for the internet and all it's vast frontiers I still have to explore.
12. I am thankful for the animals on the planet and hope for their continued existence.
13. I am thankful for our guinea pig Curly who still asks to be petted even when I don't always give her treats.
14. I am grateful for skin and the amazing way it holds my guts to my skeleton, which of course leads to,
15. I am thankful for having my very own skeleton! I remember walking into physiology class and seeing one and wishing I had one. Then "DOH!" I realized I do have one of my very own! 
16. I am thankful for cinnamon rolls and think that whoever created the recipe should win some kind of world renowned prize. At least a trip to Hawaii.
17. I am thankful for coffee. Oh yes. I am sooooooo thankful for coffee. I still ponder how the first cup was made. Who figured this out? Again, a world prize is in order.
18. I am thankful being able to spend time at the beach every summer. What lovely peaceful bliss. To sit on the sand and watch my son frolic in the water with his friend and talk to my friend all day about whatnot. Beach whatnot is my favorite subject.
19. I am thankful I was not born on the planet Mercury. I hate excessive heat.
20. I am thankful for modern dermatology that helped my skin clear up. Acne from age 7 was not fun to endure. 
And finally
21. I am thankful for my son. He is such a great kid. Smart, funny, wise beyond his years and good lookin' too! He fills my world with sunshine, laughter and the biggest annoyances I have ever experienced! Motherhood is such a great gift. Sometimes before he goes to sleep I will say "Thank for coming to be my son!" and he will say "Thanks for coming to be my mom."  Wouldn't have missed it for.the.world.


Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I hope you have good stuffing, though I know you don't have the best because it's here. 


Peace,


L.J. aka PG

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

SINS OF THE MOTHER

Related information about my childhood that my mom apparently did not know.


One of the more minor samples: 
Mom: "You were always such a well behaved child"
Me: "Well, sure. I was afraid that Dad would beat me with a brush or until I peed my pants (like he had already done) or I would get my face slapped, if I did or said anything you thought was wrong."


Result:
Mom apologized and felt remorse.


I pointed out to her some important historical information:
~In those days most adults lived very superficial lives. (at least the ones in our neighborhood did). Go to work, come home, drink cocktails, eat dinner, go to bed. Children will be quiet the entire time or else.
~Therapy was not what it is today. 
~Her own mother did not have a mother and thus was herself a terrible mother. So how could she have learned how to mother? 


Outcome:
~Getting stuff off your chest is always a good thing
~My mom rises to the occasion. That takes a LOT at 84. And don't think I don't appreciate it.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

DEAR TEACHER, PLEASE EXCUSE PG

School yard bullies
School yard teasing
School yard nasty politics

When you grow up and become a parent

Nothing changes

except the School Yard venue

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

FASTER FASTER FASTER



There's an old joke. It's interactive. Ask someone "how do you spell......" and insert these words on each request: stop, top, hop, shop, prop, cop. Then ask "What do you do when you see a green light?" Most everybody answers "Go." It's a demonstration on how easy we are to fool.

I've been remiss on keeping in touch on the blog and even on Facebook recently. With a little extra time this morning I tried to catch up. I love all my blog friends. But so many of the posts were very long. I'm sure they're well written and lovely. But I just didn't have time. So, ashamed and abashed, I relinquished the laptop to "sleep" and went about chores....... 

.......Then remembered my verbose and overlong posts of past times and my self-pitying admonishments in various versions of "why do I bother?" when hundreds of supportive comments did not appear. 

Hereby resolved: To shorten posts to their pithiest points and insert as much humor as humanely possible. Yes. I said "humanely." Because I am quirky. I was called this on the radio recently. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

WHAT? ALMOST A MONTH??

Shame on me. 
I say I'm coming back to my blog and almost a month has passed since my last entry. 


I do have reasons.
These involve selling the family home, escrow delays, flooding disasters at home and at the sold house, mom doctor appointments, trying to meet work deadlines, and unbloggable things. Fortunately donuts and pop-tarts are still affordable. Though a new wardrobe is not. I live in culinary dissonance. 


Still and all. 


The world is growing crazier I think. The populace feels like it's moving in a panicked mass from one side of the room to another. The mosque, the economy, the president. In a way it's bizarrely comforting. The world is finally reaching my level of disaster and starting to outpace it. It makes me feel oddly normal. 


Our church is having it's own slings and arrows. I am sitting back waiting for things I know will occur. And then, there is no church to turn to, because they all seem to have become cushy country clubs that have changed Jesus' message of loving one another, to accepting any kind of behavior from anyone anywhere because that keeps seats in the pews. 


There is a light today. I have a new project on Facebook. It's fun. If you know me on Facebook, you know what it is. 


Life's a roller coaster for sure, doncha know. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

THE BOOK OF LEGO

Late last spring my son was finally able to purchase a long cherished Lego set. He had saved for months, and had done some extra chores. Here is the set he was drooling over:


The Lego Grand Emporium


Finally he had saved up enough money. We drove to the Glendale Galleria that has the closest Lego store in 7 counties. On a Saturday. Yes, I said Saturday. Silly, funny, goofy me. This is the Greater Los Angeles Area. And on any given Saturday, the crowd is stacked three high by 10:00 a.m. It took 30 minutes to drive there; 20 minutes to park and another 15 to negotiate the crowd of salivating children in the Lego Store. Finally! A salesperson came up to us and Wonderboy made his request. Alas, they were all out! But the order was to come in the next Monday. That was not going to work for us. So they offered to order it online, and waive the shipping costs. We spent another 30 minutes trying to input the order information on the play computer with the sticky keyboard that wouldn't work right, then the screen went blank. Walked down to Target and, no dice. No Grand Emporium.


When we finally returned home the following Wednesday.....ha ha, just joking. Later that afternoon, I ordered the Grand Emporium, with shipping costs.


Finally it arrive. The outside box said "Grand Emporium". The invoice said "Grand Emporium" and inside the box was


this


Yes, it was the Green Grocer. Close, but no cigar. After initial disappointment, I offered to send it back. Wonderboy said "No!" he would build this anyway. It was the same price. He was sure.


It was built in two days. He loved every moment of every step putting it together. I like it too. It's very cool. Lots of detail and great design.


And he began to save again for his cherished dream of The Grand Emporium. Finally, this week he had saved and done enough required chores to get it. We went to the Glendale Galleria yesterday (a Tuesday, with available parking and people stacked only on a single level). The kind sales woman again said that they are sold out. Still sold out. We told her what had happened with our last order. She was very surprised and then told us something we never ever expected to hear:


"You know, The Green Grocer is a collector's item now. Lego has discontinued making it. I have a lady comes in here every week looking for one. They go on e-Bay for a few hundred dollars. If you had ordered one you wouldn't have gotten it."


*stunned silence*


She then placed his order on their computer. One that actually worked. And on the way home, we marveled at the curious turn of fortune.


After pondering this a day and a half or so, I draw parallels to Jack and the Beanstalk and the story of Joseph and his pretty coat. Well maybe not exact direct parallels, but the concept that what you perceive as a bad situation today may actually end up being spectacularly wonderful.


At least this is what I am telling myself lately. It's far cheaper than a lottery ticket.


The Book of Lego: Chapter 5 Verses 12 - 42.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Last Day of Vacay GA Oy Vey

Today we go home from our second wonderful beach week in San Clemente. 

Thanks to WIFI, I've been able to keep up on basic e-mails and news of folks.

And the GA this year.

I'm not technically Presbyterian any more. But I'll always feel Presbyterian at heart. 

The news from friends who've kept up with the GA makes me so sad. There was no addressing why the church is losing members faster than you know what through a goose. Lots of worrying about sex. Who is having it with whom and who gets to be ordained based on where one puts one's you know whats. There is just so much skirting around the herd of elephants in the living room with the way it sounds this issue was addressed. For pete's sake, when I toured with Covenant Players I came across so many married pastors who were dipping in wells outside their marriage it became a standard joke. And that was back in the '70's! Yes, the church is mortally wounded, but this is not the wound that's killing it, IMO.

People are leaving the church in droves. I believe it is because the church is all about money, sex and politics, rather than what Jesus taught. Rather than being about mission. 

And that is just so sad. Back to your regularly scheduled news cast. 

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

JUNE 30, 2010

That expression. "My cup is half full." "My cup is half empty." 

I had a cup. Once. Never was sure what was in it. Someone tried to put something that didn't belong into it once. Maybe a couple times. One time I switched the cup with the person who put stuff into mine. THAT was funny. Exactly like the movies. 

Never met the guy, but had a relative by marriage who plead no-contest to a rape charge at the age of 89.

Got picked to ride in the Ice Capades Christmas sleigh at age 6. Waved to the audience like I was the Queen of England. 

So, today is June 30, 2010. Do you ever feel like your life is a highway and you are stuck in traffic? That's where I'm at. My tires are not flat, but they are low and I'm overdue for an oil change. 

A couple years ago when I was a bit less stuck than now, I would go read the Psalms where David demands that God smite his enemies....and if only God would smite his enemies......and please oh please smite them....and what a great guy God is for smiting those enemies. All that just makes me tired now.

Sorry...had to investigate a noise. It was our long hair pony-tailed neighbor having a catch with his grown son. Really sweet picture. 

Where was I? Oh yeah. Stuck. And why does my left leg ache all the time? 

Stay tuned for tomorrow's episode "Please God smite all my newly cropped up, age-related infirmities." "And maybe some spiders too."

Friday, June 25, 2010

FRIDAY FIVE: HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME

Songbird has had a bad summer beginning from a black fly attack. So it's five things we love or don't about summer:


1. LOVE having air conditioning; DON'T LOVE too much heat, especially humidity and sweating;


2. LOVE swimming in general and body surfing in the ocean; DON'T LOVE dealing with sand and chlorine aftermath; 


3. LOVE not having to wear lots of clothes; DON'T LOVE excess me hanging over reduction of clothes;


4. LOVE barefootin' without frozen toes; DON'T LOVE peely feet from carpets and other surfaces sucking the living juice from my feet bottoms;


5. LOVE having my son home more to be able to go out and play; There is NUTHIN' I don't love about that!!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

IT'S WHAT DAY AGAIN?

I have no thoughts on Father's Day. My own passed in '06. Both my parents eschewed the parent days as phony commercial enterprises created by card companies.

Today I am thoughtful about relativism. From a post by Songbird and Gannet Girl. Songbird's son had a very close call in an auto accident which transported her dislike of her haircut to a greater depth of angst. Gannet Girl poses the question "Does God Suffer".

Both these posts make me reflect on how relative our human emotions and experiences are. If we have nothing to compare, then would we have any feelings about things? And is everything we experience simply a matter of degree? 

The Zen practice of meditation is a discipline to remove ourselves from the whirling vortex of relative and comparative emotion. The goal being to transcend into a place of peace and detachment from such things. I used to think this was a cold and heartless practice. That it is our emotional responses that validate these experiences; and further that it is these experiences that validate our very existence. But now, not so much. Now I ask, what is the point and what good does it do? 

I have spent the better part of the last decade in a black hole vortex of impending doom. Looking back I can see how it is my own submission to the vagaries of my emotions that caused me the most grief. The events were what they were and are what they are. It's only how much I allow myself to feel the dark side of them that hurts so badly. That and being such a sucker sometimes.

These things always bring me back to what Jesus said, "Consider the lilies". Consider them. I am a lily. Probably a black lily, if there is such a thing. And I am worrying about having enough water and food for my roots. Silly me. 

Today, Jesus is my daddy. I'm not going to buy him a card. But I might buy him a lily. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

FRIDAY FIVE: WORKOUT EDITION

*Cracks knuckles*


Been awhile since I've done one of these. I hear it's like riding a bicycle, which is a good workout......so then,


MomPriest writes:


".......For this Friday Five let's ponder the various ways we work out (or not), physically, spiritually, and/or psychologically."


1. Do you work out physically, spiritually, or psychologically? (I'll let you define what that might mean to you)


Physically: No time in my current circumstance of extreme stress to work out. My internist says "Don't worry, you'll get back to it, you have too much going on." and my gynecologist says "You're fat, you're stressed, if you don't work out 1/2 hour a day you will drop dead in five years"......hmmmm, what to do, what to do???


Spiritually: See above, sans doctor recommendations. I try to get to our new church twice a month. It'll be more later. I DO however keep up my regularly scheduled rant to God. I know he'd miss it if I didn't.


Psychologically: Now, there I practice rigor. I see my therapist regularly and check in with trusted friends to keep myself on the rails.

2. Are you more inclined to join a gym, or a book club? 



Gym - or more likely a regular yoga class or some such. 


3. Are you more inclined to read self-help books like Gail Sheehy's "Passages" or spiritual books like Richard Rohr or Theresa of Avila? And if so, what is your favorite?


I'm more likely to buy self help books and intend to read them. Though I fall sound asleep after one and a half chapters.

4. Are you a loyal fan of a sports team? Or do you join the bandwagon when the local team is winning? And, if so, which one? 



I don't follow sports - but I support the Lakers and Dodgers when they're in finals. And I watch Olympic ice skating. 


5. Or do you lean more toward having a favorite theologian/Spiritual writer or self help author  and if so, who? And, why.


St. Francis of Assisi is my hero because of everything he ever taught. He's like Jesus, Jr. for me.  And I like Dr. Wayne Dyer, though he tends to get redundant after a pace.



Bonus: What was the last play-off series you watched and did your team win?



I watched the Superbowl year before last, which was a GREAT game. Sorry I missed this year's. I hear that was good too. Not much a sports fan.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

WELL HEY

I'm back. Sort of. It's been over a year since my last post.

Wonderboy and I are fine. We live with my mom in her new house. It's quite pretty. 

There is lots of news, but you'll understand I must keep mum as it is not at all cricket to post of legal proceedings while in the midst of them.

Hope you're all well.