Thursday, April 30, 2009

Just in Time

He came home from show choir practice limping and favoring his left foot from being kicked by a choir-mate.  (um, is that even a word?  What on earth do you call a peer show choir person?) Anyway, it took some serious coaxing on my part to get Theatre Dude to agree to having it checked out by the doctor.  He was solely focused on his character in the upcoming 4 performances of "Grease" next weekend and the fact that his "wardrobe" does not include a cast! After much parental persuasion though, he finally acquiesced and we were off to the doctor's office.  

Once there, I quickly found the need to amuse myself while he was getting all checked in so I whipped out my iPhone and snapped a quick picture.  He said, "Mom!  What are you doing?"

I was, of course, giggling!

.... and taking another photo. ;0

1 x-ray
1 nice doctor
2 great nurses

... and we're out the door with:

1 pair of crutches
1 ace bandage
3 prescribed "icings" a day
0 weight on the foot for 3 days
1 more x-ray in 7 days (just to make sure)

Um, did I mention that he's in "Grease" next week with 4 show performances? It's gonna be tough keeping him down!  However, looking on the bright side, he'll get tons of sympathy from the chickies and even be granted permission to ride the elevator at school.  Ahhh...the finer things in life, don't you think?

In all seriousness, I think it's pretty ironic that Theatre Dude played football, offensive and defensive line positions, for 7 consecutive years and didn't sprain or break anything.  Who knew show choir was so dangerous? Sheesh!!

But, I'm thankful that I made it home just in be his momma. ;)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Not so Glamorous

I just wanna rant a little so that I can dispel the myth that my current travel schedule is glamorous...just in case you were thinking that! lol ;)

As I sit in the airport this morning and wait to board my plane, I am keenly aware of the pain involved with flying.  There is a lack of seating that is woefully evident and not accommodating to the mass of travelers in this area.  It's a good thing I got here 2 hours early so that I could get a seat! ;)

Oh, wait...I just had a fabulous idea...."The Spa Spot".  Anyone want to throw in some venture capital monies toward my idea?  It would be a spa setting within the airport where passengers are allowed to peacefully wait for their departing flight at a cost-per-hour fee without:

  • Listening to the extremely loud woman who is talking on her cell phone and can be heard by everyone within a 4-block radius.  And...she's totally oblivious to the fact that others may not want to here her conversation.
  • The screech of the airline employee blasting something unintelligible over the loud speaker is minimized so that I won't require a visit to an audiologist afterward to get checked for permanent damage.
  • Constantly scanning the overcrowded, not-enough-seats in the seating area to ensure that there are no elderly or physically challenged travelers who needs my seat more than I do.  Maybe I could actually relax in my seat and not feel so guilty that I actually have a seat.
  • Soothing aromas would immediately begin to push out the anxious thoughts of flying or being in a plane with a gabillion people or the swine flu and the bummer that no one is wearing masks.  
  • Earthy, world music would be settling weary hearts down instead of the hard rap music that's blasting distorted bass through that guy's headphones that he's sharing with a few of us that are seated around him.
  • Inviting ergonomic chaise lounges with freshly laundered blankets so that you could stretch out before you get cramped into tiny, hard spaces on the plane that, more likely than not, have someone who will spill over onto my side and take the armrest plus a few more inches. 
If you'd like to contribute to the Spa Spot please let me know and we'll begin to move forward with negotiations. ;)

So, now I'm off.  Ready to brave another travel experience that hopefully will go without mention.  Well...past those things that I've already mentioned.  *snicker*  

Signed...the not-so-glamorous, not flying the friendly-anything skies,

me.  c u smyle. ;)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Back and Forth

He's staying.  He's going.

.... and we go back and forth.

He's staying.  He's going.

No!  He's my puppy and aaahghghhh, I can't bear another goodbye!

.... and we go back and forth.

** sigh  **

ok, no more back and forth.

  Daddy loves Newton.  

Newton loves Daddy.

Newton stays with Daddy on the West Coast while I journey back to the East Coast.

It's paw-fect. ;)

By the way, Newton is laying on his just bought and now loves Molly Mutt dog duvet.  Go check them out...perfect for a high quality doggie product that makes it easy to keep my old pillows, blankets and t-shirts out of landfills.  ;)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


When I heard the news, I completely cocooned myself with the information as I grasped and struggled and tried to make my way through the emotions of how to comprehend such loss.  You see, one of the guys who my family has had in our lives for a number of years, now a junior in high school, just lost his parents in a car accident.  In just one second, he became a family of one.  

And...I am grieving for him. 

And...I'm sad that I can't be there to hug him, or to hold his hand or to tell him just how hard it is to watch his heart hurt.  I'm sad I can't be there to help hold his head up so that he could breathe his next breath despite the enormity of his loss.  

And...then, I had to let Theatre Dude know what had happened.  A conversation within text, a very long three thousand miles away and I let out a heart-sigh when I realized we received the information at about the same time and, of course, Theatre Dude had already contacted him...letting him know we loved him., a few days later, I'm faced with making decisions and putting a plan of action in place should a potential event like this happen in my own family; especially given our high risk situation of Coastal Craziness. sad as this post is, I hope that you will join me and put a plan of action in place as well.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Puppy Nanny

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday, Puppy Nanny!
Happy Birthday to you!

Let me introduce you to my friend...the birthday girl .... the Puppy Nanny!

She loves my puppies just as much as I do! 

We go on great adventures together!

.... and I love her much!  

Happy Birthday, LA! ;)

Monday, April 20, 2009

What a Match!

Mr. Smart Guy & Newton

... a match made in heaven.


Friday, April 17, 2009

A Night Owl in the Making

Once upon a time, ms. c u smyle loved to get up early in the morning.  She believed in the saying that, "the early bird catches the worm".  Not that she wanted a worm at all but she loved getting up while everyone else was sleeping and the house was quiet. She rose before the sun came up and happily went about her day's work until nightfall.  

But, then, as soon as the sun went down and the moon dared to flicker in the sky, ms. c u smyle would become tired.  So tired that she typically would be fully asleep by 10:00pm at the latest. Alas, ms. c u smyle was always the girl to end the night before everyone else in the house.

But, then ... the prevailing winds blew her into a new rhythm of sleeping patterns.  Gone was the girl who accomplished at least 50 things before 8am and, instead, a new girl emerged who barely can crawl out of bed before 9am.  

Who is this girl?  

Mmph!  I guess she's a night owl in the making! ;)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Thoughtful Tuesday

"I don't want to live -- I want to love first, and live incidentally."

- Zelda Fitzgerald

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Girl of Expectation

"An inviting, high-velocity ride through our most treasured mental act - deciding.  This is truly one of the most accessible and richly informed books on human choice.  It's a must-read for anyone interested in the human mind and how cutting-edge research changes the way we think about ourselves.  A marvelous success."
- Read Montague
Brown Foundation Professor of Neuroscience
Baylor College of Medicine

... I read that and I was hooked so I picked up the book, "How We Decide", by John Lehrer and have been making my way through it at a surprisingly slow pace (at least for me, the bookworm). I'm almost at the point where I want to draft an outline of the brain and label each new part that the author brings up so that I can put a visual with it.  Hey...I think I'll do that! lol :)

Anyway, despite the author's hard core bend as an evolutionist, he really does make the inner workings of our decision making system more palatable.  In fact, in the beginning he caught my attention as he described the predictions of dopamine,

"But happiness isn't the only feeling that dopamine produces.  Scientists now know that this neurotransmitter helps to regulate all of our emotions, from the first stirrings of love to the most visceral forms of disgust.  It is the common neural currency of the mind, the molecule that helps us decide among alternatives.  By looking at how dopamine works inside the brain, we can see why feelings are capable of providing deep insights."

Oh, so there is regulation of my emotions, after all?   ....huh!

But, I really got excited when he said,

"What's interesting about this system is that it's all about expectation.  Dopamine neurons constantly generate patterns based on experience:  if this, then that.  The cacophony of reality is distilled into models of correlation that allow the brain to anticipate what will happen next."

It sent me flying over to Wikipedia to see what it says about dopamine, 

"Further, dopamine neurons are depressed when the expected reward is omitted.  Thus, dopamine neurons seem to encode the prediction error of rewarding outcomes.  In nature, we learn to repeat behaviors that lead to maximize rewards."

What??  I have a system within my brain that is providing me with expectations?  This news is huge!  

Here's why...if you had a conversation with Mr. Smart Guy about the one thing that sends me into an emotional twirl he would simply say, "She's a girl of expectation."  And, he's right.  

I plan, I do, I expect.  I am a girl with expectations and I tend to reel from the disappointments when they aren't met. But, to know that this may be happening in my brain and I'm truly unaware of it?  Could it really be possible that my expectations in life aren't based on emotional choice but are the result of neuron activity responding to past experiences? 

Now that's something to think about! 

Friday, April 10, 2009

I Believe

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father [and the Son].
With the Father and the Son
he is worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. 

~ AMEN ~

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Diary of a Young Woman: Nothing Really

The diary entry began...

January 11, 1978

Dear Diary,

Nothing really!


I find it puzzling that at 12 years old I would have nothing at all to record about that day and what appears to be a lot of other days in that year.  Where are the writings of interacting with my family?  Where are the writings of what school was like and whether or not I was learning?  Where are the writings of my hopes and dreams and aspirations for when I grew up? Where are the writings of how much I loved our beloved family dog named Duke?  Where are the writings that reveal a young girl trying to figure out who she was in the chaos of puberty?

I'm sad I didn't record those things that surely must have shaped who I am today.  I'm curious to know why I didn't record conversations and interactions and emotions but instead felt that my day was just nothing really.  I wonder if, in the process of maturing, I needed those days of nothing really so that I could weather the storms of growing up. I find myself in a day of nothing really, I'm now thinking about how I will record my day in my journal later tonight so that when I am 60 or 70 years old and reading back over the years of my writings, will I be able to remember who I am today?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Thoughtful Tuesday

"There is hope in dreams, imagination, and in the courage of those who wish to make those dreams a reality."
- Jonas Salk

Monday, April 6, 2009

Prevailing Winds

It may seem like I've been quiet.

It may even seem like I've been missing.

But, it's only because I've been caught up and tossed about in the prevailing winds of the Coastal Craziness once again.  I've had you on my mind and wanted to write to fill you in on all that's happened in the past few days and even wow you with stories but...well, ... that darned time zone change gets me every time.  

Maybe I'll just give you a few of the more dramatic highlights of the past few days so at least you'll get the gist of how my world was before I left Virginia. Or, maybe I should say you'll get the gist of how crazed I was. ;)

In the middle of an overloaded to-do list and with no time to spare, I locked myself out of the house just hours before my flight took off.  Desperate for help, I had to wait outside for about 20 minutes before the realtor came to my rescue.  It seems that I had forgotten that I gave him my house key to put in the lock box and no longer had the key on my key ring. {{oops}}

But, a funny memory popped into my head from last year as I waited to be rescued. ;)


But, wait...I had no time for memories.  I had to get moving!  

task. check mark! next?


"Newton...get in your crate", I shouted!

Newton likes his travel crate so I thought it would be a much easier time than when Copernicus flew last year. It was easier getting Newton in the crate to go but he was pretty vocal up front about his lack of luxurious travel accommodations.  Pampered puppy!

So, we get to the airport...check Newton as baggage because of a mix-up that caused him to be on a plane separate from mine.  Um, precious baggage, please! ;)

The good news is that we arrived in Silicon Valley with no issues and I ran (ok, walked fast) to see Mr. Smart Guy!!  

And, I made it just in time for our anniversary!

... and then we, Newton and I, crashed!  We slept and slept and slept and... slept some more.

We all settled in and it felt strangely familiar to me as though I had never left California.  Mr. Smart Guy went to work, Newton was happily tired after a walk and then I ventured out to get some groceries and ... sticker shock!  I had forgotten how expensive things are in this state and that the sales tax was just raised to 9.25%.  (a small side note...the sales tax in Virginia is a paltry 5%)

I had so much fun in the grocery store though that I forgot that we lived in an apartment and had to park in an underground garage and had to take an elevator to our level and had to haul said such purchases to the apartment.  

But, fear not....I got a system for that! 

After I unpacked the groceries and started to fold up the reusable bags I realized the middle bag was surely representative of my vagabound lifestyle:

what goes around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around....