Sunday, June 29, 2008

Fireflies and Lost Opportunities

Yesterday I babysat for my friend Heather's daughter, Isabella. Isabella is an adorable pixie-like four-year-old who laughs easily and hard - and spent the majority of the afternoon and evening pouting and throwing temper tantrums, even though Mike (the boyfriend) and I took her first to McDonalds and then to the zoo.

"I don't WANT to wait in line, boo hoo hoo."
"I want to crawl behind the line that keeps the animals in their cage! Booo hooo hooo! WAAAAAH!"
"The sea lion swam away! I can't see it! WAAAAH!"
Eventually, when she threw a temper tantrum because she couldn't ride the merry-go-round again (those rides are EXPENSIVE. She was free for the merry-go-round, but I had to go with her, and that was two dollars. Ugh. I spent fifty dollars at the stupid zoo), Mike, sick of it, swung her up on his shoulder and we marched out and he stuffed her into the car. I think we hadn't done it before because WE wanted to see more, and at that price, we were going to stay, but the zoo was closing then, anyway.

Then, at my house:
"I want the dog on her leash!"
"I want to go in the refrigerator!" (I caught that child in the refrigerator SIX times and I have NO idea what she got out of it. Pisses me off. There's not even anything good in the fridge. Except pickles.)

Then, we were outside catching fireflies. Mike had left about two hours before, completely worn out by the child, who he'd spent all day running after in the zoo. Please note, by this time, I hadn't ANY patience left. None. It was ALL gone.

In any case, she managed to catch one, and we put it in a jar for her to take home with her. Then, we caught one more each and put those in the jar. I told her it was the last time we were going to catch them and we went outside for a few more.

Every time she missed a firefly (it flew to high or whatever), Isabella would start to cry and stomp her feet because it got away. Her tantrums made her completely miss the 3-10 fireflies that were still around her.

Made me wonder: how often am I so upset by not getting something that I want that I miss
something else?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Is Courage Lost?

It's amazing how sometimes, random things, like books, television shows or sermons, coincide with things you're struggling with or dealing with. In this case, I'm watching "Little House on the Prairie" (while working) and Charles Ingalls has helped Indians receive safe passage, to the horror of many other white men in town.

When one of these men confronts him about it, saying, "You would shoot your own people?" Charles responds, "You're not my people. You're cowards."

Stand up for yourself. Seriously, if you have something to say to someone, by all means: say it. But don't be surprised when people are mad by it. When you upset people. But for goodness sakes - fight your own battles. Don't hide behind someone else and ceremoniously wash your hands. If you want something to change, change it.

Who hasn't heard, "If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself?"

It's amazing how often people will let others fight their battles for them. And then, they're shocked when the ground is pulled from beneath their feet because others know who was behind it, and it ticks them off that they were deceitful. It's amazing how often when you let others do it for you, or force them to do it for you, it collapses your plan. It's amazing how often things don't work out the way they expect.

Take responsibility for your actions. And don't lie about them. Whatever happened to courage - or for that matter, common sense?

I suppose they've washed away with all the rest of our values. Quelle surprise.

Monday, June 16, 2008


I've been trying to cry since Friday, so I've been watching stupid, girly chick flicks that make me cry. The only thing, none of them have worked. Until today. Now, I'm sitting around bawling at the movie that NEVER makes me cry because it's so ridiculously inane.

Sometimes... sometimes it's good to cry.

Friday, June 13, 2008

What is a Writer?

I read an interesting post today at asking what a writer looks like. It made me smile because the responses were nothing like what I'd anticipated, for the most part. But it got me thinking: what does a writer look like? Do I look like a writer?

I suppose it's hard to say. Sometimes I'm in PJs (like today) all day. Some days I dress nicely and other days I throw on a pair of jeans.

One person, 'PaigeVonLiber' posted my favorite response:

1. Writers carry pens, pencils or markers-with a plural as we don't dare not have a writing utensil.
2. Writers will jot notes on anything that will hold an idea: paper, napkins, post-its, skin etc.
3. Writers all too often have a dazed out stare, as if they are seeing something no one else can see
4. Writers cock their heads to listen to snippets of other people's conversation; if a topic or story catches their ear
5. Writers make up invisible people to carry out the imagination’s plans
6. Writers drink-all manner of liquid both hot or cold- rumors have it sometimes even at the same time
7. Writers like snack foods as knives forks and such are hard to hold if one is writing
8. Writers dream weird stuff, they just may not say so or even admit it to themselves
9. Writers are artist whose medium are written words
10. Writers are like good characters, they come in many sizes, colors, ages, temperaments etc.

I definitely meet 1-5, 8 and 9 and 10 -but who doesn't meet 10.

It's interesting isn't it, to wonder if we look like people's perspectives/expectations for our chosen professions?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Subtleties of War

When I was four or five, my grandmother taught me how to play the card game, War. My whole family is competitive and grandma's no exception. She's told me recently that that day, while playing, every time she took one of my cars, she would cheer and yell, "It's mine! I'm winning! It's mine!" and snatch it out of my hand.

Needless to say, in order to survive in my family you nearly have to be competitive. I don't mind losing if it gives me a chance to learn, or if it's a new game, and even then, I'll try my darndest to win. I've been known to make some outrageous bids, all for the sake of winning.

Much as I enjoy competition, I don't like to be drawn into a game of War when I don't have any cards, but I can be subtle, and I like to hold on to what I have. I enjoy the upperhand. I am competitive and I don't like to lose.

So, bring it. That's right. BRING IT.