Bold Fortune

fortune favors the bold

Month: May, 2012

What do your friends say about you?

by mollykl

Ever given that a thought? Not what they might say about you behind your back, but rather when people see your comments to your friends on Facebook (and trust me when I say that I’m well aware that the people your are “friends” with on Facebook may not, in fact, be true friends) what do they think?

I just liked a post by my cousin J, whom I also count as a friend, because I truly like her (as opposed to “having” to like her because we’re related).  Now her photo is on my feed and my other friends can see her. (And I’m thinking, What. The. Fuck. how come I didn’t get those genes? Why did I get the glasses and mousy hair genes?)

Likewise, I’m not sure I want to know what my sister C is thinking every time she happens to see a post from one of my co-workers. She’s probably thinking that we’re all crazy, and since she shops at one of our stores, she probably already knows that.

I’ve got my work friends, my college friends, my family friends, my Portland friends and my Sacramento friends (the non-work ones – there are only 7).

Every friend knows some different aspect of my life – and what one knows might seem completely foreign to another. So what do my friends say about me? And what you yours say about you?

A-Z, in a nutshell

by mollykl

Yeah, I didn’t finish in time…but at least I finished. I appreciated this challenge more than NANOWRIMO for one simple reason: less guilt. I was able to look at how my day was spent and when I could be writing, and wasn’t (yeah, I was on Pinterest).  It was nice to have some sense of structure, the post had to relate to a certain letter, but beyond that I got to be random. Some posts were silly, some were very personal.

The best thing to come out of A-Z? I want to write more. I’d call that a success.

This should help.

Z is for “Zen”

by mollykl

Or what we think of as Zen – that peaceful state of mindfulness and calm and understanding. Zen Buddhism is actually a bit more complicated than that, but you get the idea.

I would never aspire to call myself a Buddhist. I will say: I’m constantly reaching. I feel the same way about Christianity: I’m reaching, but please do NOT classify me with those that use the Bible to make others feel less. (Oh, and the two are not mutually exclusive. If you think they are then you’ve been misinformed…or watch Fox News. Which, come to think of it, is the same thing.)

Zen is hard. Calm is hard. Hell, for me, remembering to breathe is hard. But that’s because, brace yourself, life is hard. And then you die.

I work with other people. I work with the public. I’m married. I have a kid. I have a temper that is famous the world over.  But I work, everyday, to control it. I work, everyday, to control my shoddy impulse control (had to quote “The Peacemaker”). Sometimes that work involves just stopping what I’m doing and taking a deep breath, or remembering my “happy place” from birthing classes. Sometimes it’e realizing that bad situations are what help you the most, and that if I can get through the next five minutes (without exploding or getting stabby) I’ll have achieved more than a month at a retreat.

And let me tell you, it’s hard. Because, to repeat myself, life is hard.

But everyday I get up and keep going and take one step back for every two forward. Sometimes, I take those steps twenty at a time, and that’s frustrating. There’s a quote attributed to Alan Shepard:  “Any landing you can walk away from is a good one”. Yeah, that’s it. If you’re still standing, metaphorically speaking, at the end of the day…well, that’s a good one.

Perspective helps. A sense of humor helps. A sense of silliness helps. Any port in a storm I say – or, whatever gets you through the day without getting, again, stabby.

In “The Avengers” Tony Stark spends most of his time with Bruce Banner attempting to goad him into changing. He’s not being cruel, he’s just, “poking the bear” to use a favorite phrase of mine. So  – spoiler ahead – when they need him to change and to be Hulk, but a semi-rational Hulk, they’re all waiting for him to get angry, but he seems remarkably calm, given that there are aliens and monsters over-running Manhattan.

Captain America says, “Doc, I think now is the perfect time for you to get angry” to which Dr. Banner replies:

“That’s my secret Cap, I’m always angry.”

Life isn’t going to stop sucking in some way. In big ways or in small ways, 99% ways, or 1% ways. But I can decide how I’m going to deal with it, and that’s an enlightenment of it’s own.

Y is for “Yes”

by mollykl

Yes is not a word you get to say very much when you’re a mom. No, however, I’m very familiar with.  “No” I can’t go to your party because I don’t have a baby sitter. “No” you cannot jump from the tenth stair and see if you can actually fly. “No” I do not know where my five year old learned to say “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!”. (Ok, that’s a lie, I do know.)

I wish I could just say “Yes” all the time. My life would be easier, run more smoothly. But then, in ten, twenty, thirty years or so son J will have turned into a complete jackass, and I don’t want that either.

X is for “Xenophobia”

by mollykl

…or “fear of strangers or others”. Well that’s a lot of leeway isn’t it? When I think of xenophobia I automatically, and unfairly, think of the French. You can live there, hell, you can be BORN there and you still might not be considered really  and truly French.  Sadly, this is also true here. Think of all the pseudo-rhetoric that Bill O’Reilly spouts and you get my point. (I shall say nothing, NOTHING, of the fact that a schmuck with a name like O’Reilly blathers on about immigration. And yes, I know what the Yiddish of schmuck really means.)

I think xenophobia is just a human trait.  MY land, not yours. MY country, not yours. And ultimately, MY dna, not yours. Being able to move beyond basic animal instinct is what then makes us truly human.

It’s clear not everyone is going to make the cut.

W is for “Weird”

by mollykl

…as in, “weird things that make me cry”. Yes, I cried when Dumbledore died, but I also cried at the season finale of “Voyager” when they come out of the wormhole and they’re surrounded by Federation ships? Yeah, just burst into tears at that moment.

I cry, EVERY SINGLE TIME, at Dogma. The scene with Bethany in the forest when the Metatron (hello, Alan Rickman, I love you) is explaining about having to tell Christ who he is.

Yes, I had to tell him. And you can imagine how that hurt the Father – not to be able to tell the Son Himself because one word from His lips would destroy the boy’s frail human form? So I was forced to deliver the news to a scared child who wanted nothing more than to play with other children. I had to tell this little boy that He was God’s only Son, and that it meant a life of persecution and eventual crucifixion at the hands of the very people He came to enlighten and redeem. He begged me to take it back, as if I could. He begged me to make it all not true. And I’ll let you in on something, Bethany, this is something I’ve never told anyone before… If I had the power, I would have. 

I cried the first time I saw Jane Austen’s work in her hand writng. This was when the British Library was still part of the British Museum (yeah, a note here: when I die can someone please sneak my ashes in and scatter them there? Thanks.) I also cried when I saw a stuffed thylacine in the Museum of Natural History of London.

I cried when I first read Antony Beevor’s “Stalingrad”, so much so that, at one point, my husband took the book from my hands and told me he was putting it away for a while, as I curled up tighter into a ball and cried myself to sleep.

I cried at the end of the last Deanna Raybourn Julia Grey book “The Dark Enquiry” (I guess that’s not so weird).  I once cried at a live performance by Tyger’s Heart Shakespeare Company in Portland Oregon  of “Much Ado About Nothing” when Benedict says to Beatrice, “I do love nothing in the world so well as you.” Simply burst into tears while my husband just stared at me as though I’d grown another head. I frequently cry at my “this day in history” app.

I cried at “Transformers”, you know, the scene where Bumblebee is being tied down? That I can blame on hormones – I was still nursing and it was the first time I’d been away from son J.

V is for “variety”

by mollykl

(Note: yes, the April 30-day blogging challenge is over, and I failed, but I’m going to go till Z! Bwahaha! I make my own rules and damn the consequences! Yeah, it’s been that kind of week.)

Last night the husband and I actually had a date night. We used to have every wednesday – out to dinner and then maybe to a bookstore. And then it was yoga every wednesday. But that fell by the wayside.

I worked in our West Sac store for a few hours yesterday, and I was having lunch and talking restaurants and R mentioned “The Eatery” which is in the same complex as the store. She raved about the “build your own eggs benedict” and the sangria, so I texted the husband and asked if he wanted to go out to dinner.

We actually went someplace new! This will be a shock to friends who complain that we never go anywhere but a. Plan B or b. Waterboy. It was nice – J had chicken tacos that he really liked and I had a great mushroom and asparagus risotto (I’m a sucker for risotto but hate stirring).

And then we hit Lowe’s to look at fountains. Because, you know, we have been married for 12 years and live in the suburbs.