Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Fun with Randomness

My grandparents didn't have a home phone way back in their day because they couldn't afford one. I don't have a home phone because it's redundant; my cell phone does everything I need from a local line. Seems only my parents' generation needed a land line.

Of course, with a cell phone as a main number, it takes more than one phone and more than one line to cover one household. So where's the redundancy now?

Then again, my generation got away with riding in the rear deck of the family car, with their noses pressed to the back window. Car trips meant stretching out on the back seat (unless you had siblings) and comfortably sleeping, reading, or playing your way to the destination.

Somewhere between the age I didn't need a car seat anyway and pregnancy, the laws changed, and the cost of toting kids around went up to include infant carriers, then car seats, then boosters. Quite frankly I'm surprised there isn't a "tween seat" out yet, as a way to eke even more money out of parents. Then again, parents might stand in long lines to get their hands on something that ties their tweens down in a five point harness. Someone would probably call it sadistic, and that would be the end of "tween seats".

Today I walked past an end cap in Target only to see Hanna Montana beach towels temporarily reduced to $8 and it made me wonder, does Miley Cyrus use/wear Hanna Montana products?

And that thought was followed by "what ever happened to Lizzie McGuire?" I think she re-ran herself out.

But the Olsen Twins still peddle their merchandise successfully to young girls. Maybe Miley and Hilary should consider taking their faces off of everything (but the removable tag) for longevity. Ya can't argue with 50 billion dollars. (Isn't that what the twins are worth these days?)

I peruse movie shelves in just about every store I enter that sells movies. I like seeing what's new in boxed sets. I noticed recently that He-Man has made it to DVD, but where's She-Ra? And I've seen Strawberry Shortcake, but no Smurfs?! It's a travesty of my childhood that I actually have to try and describe a little blue creature "3 apples high" to my kids. Showing them season 1 would be like having Cliff notes. I researched the Smurfs, and it seems that there is indeed some merchandise out there for fans, but since my local Best Buy doesn't sell it, I've never seen it.

Finally, let me tell you a brief bit about me and my bike. We go somewhere almost daily; I'm really fond of my big iron horse. Okay, so it's more like an iron Shetland Pony. Moving on. I drag my helmet around with me, because I've found that upside down it is the perfect bucket for my gloves. And with the chin strap fastened, it makes the cutest fashion accessory! Anyway, Usually I carefully place it in the child's seat portion of a basket rather than drag all my gear around a store. Yesterday a woman saw the helmet in the basket and asked "oh, do you ride?"

True to Bill Engvall form, I really really really wanted to say "Nope. I just carry it around for a purse. (Here's your sign)"

These random thoughts today are brought to you without segue as I can leave it like it is and call it "freethinking". If I put segues in, it's more of a news bit. Perish the thought.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


In the not-too-distant future, a very dear friend of mine (of 14 years! We're getting old....) is getting married to the red-headed realization of his wildest dreams. Sadly, I cannot attend this magical event unless they plan on making a video-conference of it. But they have my best wishes for them and their future together.

To my friend: it's about time! You deserve the comforts of the home you have found in your red-heads arms.

To your bride: I'm sure you'll be busy for years to come wiping tears of laughter from your eyes. Take care of him and insist he takes care of you in the manner you both deserve.

Congratulations to you both.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

old photo

I look the same as I did last year, the year before. Maybe even better, younger. But there's an innocence that's gone from my eyes. I didn't notice it as it was passing. I just shocked myself today by glancing at an old photo and failing to recognize the eyes in it.

Lately I've been thinking about my dad again. How I always felt that I failed him and in so doing, failed myself. The truth is I just never got over being self-absorbed and naive long enough to listen to him when he had something to say. I'll credit my mom for that; certainly a woman who's still very naive and doesn't listen well can't teach someone else to do better. But it's more than that.

I suppose I thought my dad was immortal. He was a Vietnam veteran, he was a school teacher, a historian, a methodical thinker, a puzzle solver. He was a hero in a grandiose way to me, and I never bothered to do much more than scratch the surface as to why.

When I wasn't proud of him, I was crying because of him. I never grew enough backbone to just learn from him and let the rest pass like water off a duck's back.

So even in his death, my wide-eyes innocence was untainted by any greater self-discovery. Even two months after his death, four months, the reality of my own potential and the wake of what he tried to teach me had not yet begun to sink in.

Yes, he treated me like another of the young men under his command -- a horrible grievance and disservice to a would-be "daddy's princess", but he did it with the only love he knew how to give.

That I never learned how to accept that love unconditionally while he was alive was my disservice to him.

My face looks the same now, but my eyes look more like my dad's. Not a lot more, but a little. I'm beginning to understand things that I should've begun to grasp years ago. I remember one day, not long before he died, that I said jokingly over some then-insignificant moment "there's hope for me yet". Typical of him, he said nothing save for a small chuckle.

When he died, I took that small chuckle along with various other nuances from him to mean that he considered me a failed attempt at parenting and teaching; a mistake he made, a regret he carried to his death. Of late I'm starting to see those moments as his pride that maybe, just maybe, I'd get it all figured out on my own.

I'm beyond the point of acting in the manner to make him happy, even in death, of who I am. The best I can do for myself is make myself happy, forge a path that brings me peace and allows me to respect the reflection in the mirror, the image in the photos. If the best I can do to honor my dad is to honor myself, then he'll have to settle for that.

For the first time in a very long time, I don't feel like I'm "settling" at all. I also feel that it's time to get a new photo of myself.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Green Machines

I saw an older gentlemen get into his brand new Toyota Prius today. It made me wonder, after a brief conversation with him, if he had a former love affair with the late 60's American muscle cars. I'd bet a cup of coffee he did.

So then I got to wondering about all these people driving around hybrids. I doubt that they really gave up their love for the double-barrel rumble of a finely tuned holly carb on top of a finely tuned large block engine. My love affair with those iron beasts of the past has not ceased.

The reality is that it's an unrequieted love. Certainly the price of gas discourages me from loving them too closely. I watched that Prius pull out and away and realized that it's hard to love something so sterile as the new Toyota, and I've driven one! I find them oddly nice and simultaneously alien. There's no engine rumble -- in fact, one can barely tell that the engine is on! But the pocketbook doesn't cry as much when you hit the fuel station.

Maybe it all has far more to do with a fixed income than saving the environment. It does make me wonder if in another 50 years we'll see Prius's at classic car shows.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Summer's Coming...


....How will you spend it?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Day of Prayer

Thank you God for enabling us with the desire to pursue our freewill in setting aside one day a year when all believers in America theoretically take time out to bow their heads out of reverence.

We can add this to Christmas and Easter as the things Christians are supposed to participate in to keep calling themselves Christians.

I have so many snide, snaky comments about faith-based PR for the sake of PR, not faith. Ask a Christian that actually prides him or herself on following Christ, and "National Day of Prayer" will not make the top ten list of things they do. Read the Bible daily, lead a Sunday School class, teach at Vacation Bible School, sing in the church choir, volunteer at the local library/homeless shelter/soup kitchen/insert other organization here... these things they will mention.

But pray on National Day of Prayer is not mentioned. Because I can't see for the life of me how it's about prayer. It's about reminding the nation that prayer is no longer tolerated in schools and government buildings, and that a large contingency is still upset by it. It's about flexing freedom of religion muscles by forcing people to remember that there is a difference between freedom OF religion and freedom FROM religion. It's about claiming one day besides Easter and Christmas that is decidedly more religious than pagan anymore. But it is not about prayer. And it never will be. Prayer is something that occurs very privately between a believer or a group of believers and their god. There are even biblical verses against praying for the sake of showing others one prays.

If I thought any of my readers cared about what they were, I'd look them up. As it is, I reiterate that this day is one for pomp and circumstance. Someone cue the organist as we bow our heads in benediction. Don't forget to leave your tithes and offerings on your way out.