Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ah, Comic (Sans) Relief!

As I've been continually saying that Facebook is boring these days, I do have to say that I have a few friends, and I mean a few, who post funny, even hilarious things that I always check out. Whether it be a comic, article, blog or whatever, they are the people worth staying on Facebook for.

One person in particular, whom I've never met, is Chantel. I won't go into how I "know" her, but she is a person on my list who I wish to meet in person. I find her intriguing and an amazing human being. So much to say about her, but I will just keep it at that.

She posted this today.. no idea how she found it, but it made me laugh out loud. And since I owed a blog post today, I thought.. this is it :)

I also found it ironic, as I was preparing/creating our holiday cards last night on Shutterfly, I was agonizing over some fonts. I love the fact that this particular card gave me so many options, but I could NOT find the right three to look "right." I did find what I needed and placed the order.. but this just came at the most apporpriate time.

For those who LOVE fonts, and I mean LOVE them.. or are writers/bloggers, this one is for you!


Friday, November 11, 2011

Still bored

Decided to write here again today as I don't have a kid related post.

I continue to be bored with Facebook. Anyone else? I keep trying to figure it out. I've been generally happy with the changes (although not many others are), but I just can't get excited about many of my friend's statuses. I even deleted a bunch of people to help with this issue, but it's only helped a tiny bit.

I guess it's time for round 3 of the deleting process. You have been warned :)

In other news, today is 11/11/11 which I'm declaring as my lucky day :) Elevens have been showing up in  my world for a few years now. I decided to look up what 11 actually meant and in short, it means that you're "ready for the next best thing." Basically being totally open to what's ahead. I always find that amazing as I'm usually not that type of person, but there's times I start to tell myself "maybe you don't know yourself as well as you think."

Leading up to my lucky day, yesterday was one of the best days with my daughter in weeks. She's finally well enough that her nose isn't running all day, her appetite is back and she's happy. As I stated in my Mom Blog, we're having slight sleep issues, but nothing major. I have some tricks up my sleeve that I hope will work :)

Today was a pretty chill day (literally and figuratively) as we went to a playdate, had lunch and I got a bunch of things done I hadn't done all week due to me being sick.

It's time to ramp up for a semi-busy weekend, but all great stuff. Open House for a local pre-school, Holiday photo shoot and some me time on Sunday.

I guess.. life is good? :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Writing Block

Forgive me readers for I have sinned. It's been six months since my last blog...

As I always say, it's hard to believe it has been that long since I have written, but I tend to write less as the Spring and Summer arises due to the sun showing it's face and with so much more to do outside.

I got an alert today from Blogger about upgrading my "other blogs" to my Google account. Other blogs? I thought it might be spam, but I clicked on one of the links anyway to check. I didn't even remember the titles of these blogs. One was a test so I at least had an excuse there, but the other one I had written three entries back in 2002. I vaguely remember doing that, but when I read the last entry, I did start to remember. One of my friends had a blog and sent me over to Blogger to start mine. I wanted to have a diary of sorts but had given up on acutal writing (now writing more than a Thank You Note cramps my hand). I had started that one but only made three entries. It's too bad as I was blogging about my adjusstment to Massachussets, or Worcester in general, and it would have been great to go back and see how much I've grown here. Oh well.. live and learn.

I've been thinking about wring for a few weeks now. Lots have happened to me personally, with  my family and with the world in general. I once again wish I had been writing something, but I really have no excuse. I spend several hours a day watching TV. Sometimes I'm doing something else while watching and other times not. It really comes down to my commitment and what I want to "remember." Writing this today is a good start.

I do recall, however, why I stopped writing though. I had gotten a HUGE energy spike earlier this year from finding other local bloggers and mom bloggers. I went to a few events, as I wanted to see if I could actually have a "job" writing blogs. Although the events were OK, I wasn't blown away. I met some really great people, but unfortunately, none of those people were really using their blogs for monetary use. Most had just started (a lot like me) and didn't have the monetary part as an end goal.

As with many things I've done in my life, I got very frustrated after putting a lot of energy into something and when it didn't work as quickly as I'd like, I give up or pull away. I could probably go back into my calendar and look at when the last meeting was and when I stopped writing to find the correlation.

It's no one's fault other than mine and I guess that needed to happen. I have other things I like to put energy into and places where things (or people) take my time. This is a choice, but I always think I can take on a lot for a small amount of time. Usually that is not the case.

So for now, I'll be back just writing about my life and what's going on, my opinions and thoughts on things that pass along my Facebook feed or news stories I hear from friends or family. I do love to write, but when I lose the context of why I started, the frustration happens and I "quit."

Luckily, I received that email from Blogger and it got me to this page at least.

Something like this blog only takes me about 15-20 minutes to write. I actually could write daily.. even if it were a line or two to keep things going, but that's not me. If I write, I have a lot to say and I usually takes a bit.

For the 10th time, maybe I will take on a game to write daily, either here or on my mom blog, to see what shows up. It's worth a shot :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

American Idol, Pia and the Buzz

I knew there would be a lot of buzz today about Pia getting voted off Idol last night.. well, more than a lot.

I just read a few blogs on this, but this one made me head over here to blog.. and fast.

A voting problem? Well, I can't say there isn't, but in my opinion, America may have gotten it right again last night. At this point in the game, the weaker contestants will be gone 1-2-3. That's what happened to Thia and Naima last week. America got it right. Thia was just getting eaten up by the show and the competition. In her case, her age got her and Naima just wasn't a "fit" for the show and I think a lot of the viewing population didn't "get her." I did, but 40 somethings are not a large population of viewers. Would I have loved to see her win or get farther? Sure. But was she one of the best singers, no.

I do have to say that last night was a surprise for me, as Pia was destined to win the thing. I mean, look at her. Perfect body, perfect voice, singing since she was four, comfortable on stage, articulate and great fashion sense. Here's what I think happened.. and it's what the judges always say.. song choice, song choice, song choice.

Last week's theme was "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame." She had hundreds of songs to choose from. But what does she choose? A Tina Turner song that even I wasn't familiar with, "River Deep - Mountain High." She sounded great, but it was boring. She didn't do anything with it, not many people knew the song (except maybe Randy) and I knew she'd be in the bottom three the next day. Was I the only one?

Here's Tina's version:

Fast forward to last night, it wasn't a huge surprise to me that she was in the bottom three with that song. The deal with this season is at least they found really talented singers, but now they are stuck with ALL of them being amazing. There are some that stick out as "better," but it's all about the song choice and if they end up having a good night that night, or if they're not sick, or "_______." At this point, unfortunately, it will be a popularity contest. We've already been warned (as we are every season, every week) to be sure to vote for your favorite as no one is safe--no one.

I now feel like I'm getting a small glimpse into Simon Cowell's mind and really seeing his reasoning on choosing some people over others during try outs and in Hollywood Week. In past seasons, it's been obvious that there were amazing singers that didn't get picked and we all wondered why.. well.. we now have the answer, or at least one.

I think Simon was always looking at the show, numbers and what would have people continue to tune in. He was looking at the big picture. We may not like that context, but in the end, this is a TV show. With the new judges, minus Simon, their context was finding the best singer. Was this wrong? No. But their view was smaller. I don't think they were looking at the show.. they were focusing on the kids and getting them a record contract.

Good or bad, we are now "stuck" with 8 extraordinary singers. I love hearing each of them sing and finding out what they will bring to the table with arrangements, but as we move farther along in the show, I think they all may be a bit tentative in bringing uniqueness to their performances. Why? They'll want to play it safe. All of them know any of them could win this. If Pia got voted off, anyone can. Especially since deep down inside, I think each of them knew that Pia would win it all.

I was waiting last night for someone to give up their spot. It's never happened before. But in this case, one of them should have. You can't tell me that Jacob or Paul, for example, think they can win this on vocal ability. Don't get me wrong, their voices are unique, but they are not American Idol winners (sorry to those that are huge fans). I'm a huge Casey fan, but he would be the one I could see giving up his spot. He already almost left the show, he was feeling guilty that the save was used on him, it would have been perfect TV.

In the end, he was going on tour anyway, he'll have a record contract either way and he would have left as a name that no one would forget as he gave up his spot for the better hopeful. Just perfect.

But that didn't happen.

I'm wondering what the producers are saying right now. Ironically, I just went to the American Idol website and they don't have the banner on Pia's picture that says "voted off." Makes a girl wonder.

Many have said there's a major issue with the voting process on the show including the blog link I shared above. You can vote a number of ways and as many times as you want pretty much. There's people who are haters of the show who have a contest where they vote for the WORST singer to see if they can stay on the show. Although there will always be those people, if there was a limit on how many times you could vote (other shows have that rule in place) I think it would end up a bit more fair and accurate.

But for now, there's no way they will change any voting structure until next season. It wouldn't be fair to the past contestants and it would show some sort of "failure" with the Idol voting process in general. And we wouldn't want to show the reality of this on a REALITY SHOW would we?? Wow, do I smell lawsuit on that one.

So in the end, I'm shocked, but not floored about the Pia departure. The song wasn't the best choice, she veered away from what she does best (ballads) and got sucked into what the judges kept telling her. What she should have listened to was America and their fast fingers. All those other weeks she was in the game, then she changes it up and she's gone.

To the other contestants, I say this: "Follow your heart and gut. You know what's right."

Needless to say, the show has an interesting twist starting next week and for that alone, people will continue to watch. Oh the drama! American Idol, how I love you!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Back to life

Illness for the past couple months has kept me from writing. So many changes have been going on, but just no energy to write. I think I am back on the horse and ready to get back.

I did create new business cards for my mom blog and went to a Boston Parent Bloggers event, which was very helpful and fun. I really want to be more consistent in my blogging.. I so wish I had a "brain to computer" app.. would make life so much easier :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

20 Questions That Could Change Your Life

I rarely repost magazine articles, but I found this fairly poignant now that it's the first month of the year and also things I think of quite often.

20 Questions That Could Change Your Life
Finding the answers starts with posing the right questions—and Martha Beck has 20 to get you started.

By Martha Beck
O, The Oprah Magazine  |  January 18, 2011

1. What questions should I be asking myself?
At first I thought asking yourself what you should be asking yourself was redundant. It isn't. Without this question, you wouldn't ask any others, so it gets top billing. It creates an alert, thoughtful mind state, ideal for ferreting out the information you most need in every situation. Ask it frequently.

2. Is this what I want to be doing?
This very moment is, always, the only moment in which you can make changes. Knowing which changes are best for you comes, always, from assessing what you feel. Ask yourself many times every day if you like what you're doing. If the answer is no, start noticing what you'd prefer. Thus begins the revolution.

3. Why worry?
These two words, considered sincerely, can radically reconfigure the landscape of your mind. Worry rarely leads to positive action; it's just painful, useless fear about hypothetical events, which scuttles happiness rather than ensuring it. Some psychologists say that by focusing on gratitude, we can shut down the part of the brain that worries. It actually works!

4. Why do I like {cupcakes} more than I like {people}?
Feel free to switch out the words in brackets: You may like TV more than exercise, or bad boys more than nice guys, or burglary more than reading. Whatever the particulars, every woman has something she likes more than the somethings she's supposed to like. But forcing "virtues"—trying to like people more than cupcakes—drives us to vices that offer false freedom from oppression. Stop trying to like the things you don't like, and many vices will disappear on their own.

5. How do I want the world to be different because I lived in it?
Your existence is already a factor in world history—now, what sort of factor do you want it to be? Maybe you know you're here to create worldwide prosperity, a beautiful family, or one really excellent bagel. If your impressions are more vague, keep asking this question. Eventually you'll glimpse clearer outlines of your destiny. Live by design, not by accident.

6. How do I want to be different because I lived in this world?
In small ways or large, your life will change the world—and in small ways or large, the world will change you. What experiences do you want to have during your brief sojourn here? Make a list. Make a vision board. Make a promise. This won't control your future, but it will shape it.

7. Are {vegans} better people?
Again, it doesn't have to be vegans; the brackets are for you to fill in. Substitute the virtue squad that makes you feel worst about yourself, the one you'll never have the discipline to join, whether it's ultra-marathoners or mothers who never raise their voices. Whatever group you're asking about, the answer to this question is no.

8. What is my body telling me?
As I often say, my mind is a two-bit whore—by which I mean that my self-justifying brain, like any self-justifying brain, will happily absorb beliefs based on biases, ego gratification, magical thinking, or just plain error. The body knows better. It's a wise, capable creature. It recoils from what's bad for us, and leans into what's good. Let it.

9. How much junk could a chic chick chuck if a chic chick could chuck junk?
I believe this question was originally posed by Lao Tzu, who also wrote, "To become learned, each day add something. To become enlightened, each day drop something." Face it: You'd be better off without some of your relationships, many of your possessions, and most of your thoughts. Chuck your chic-chick junk, chic chick. Enlightenment awaits.

10. What's so funny?
Adults tend to put this question to children in a homicidal-sounding snarl, which is probably why as you grew up, your laughter rate dropped from 400 times a day (for toddlers) to the grown-up daily average of 15. Regain your youth by laughing at every possible situation. Then, please, tell us what's funny—about everyday life, about human nature, even about pain and fear. We'll pay you anything.

11. Where am I wrong?
This might well be the most powerful question on our list—as Socrates believed, we gain our first measure of intelligence when we first admit our own ignorance. Your ego wants you to avoid noticing where you may have bad information or unworkable ideas. But you'll gain far more capability and respect by asking where you're wrong than by insisting you're right.

12. What potential memories am I bartering, and is the profit worth the price?
I once read a story about a world where people sold memories the way we can sell plasma. The protagonist was an addict who'd pawned many memories for drugs but had sworn never to sell his memory of falling in love. His addiction won. Afterward he was unaware of his loss, lacking the memory he'd sold. But for the reader, the trade-off was ghastly to contemplate. Every time you choose social acceptance over your heart's desires, or financial gain over ethics, or your comfort zone over the adventure you were born to experience, you're making a similar deal. Don't.

13. Am I the only one struggling not to {fart} during {yoga}?
I felt profoundly liberated when this issue was raised on Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update." Not everyone does yoga, but SNL reminded me that everyone dreads committing some sort of gaffe. Substitute your greatest shame-fear: crying at work, belching in church, throwing up on the prime minister of Japan. Then know you aren't alone. Everyone worries about such faux pas, and many have committed them (well, maybe not the throwing up on PMs). Accepting this is a bold step toward mental health and a just society.

14. What do I love to practice?
Some psychologists believe that no one is born with any particular talent and that all skill is gained through practice. Studies have shown that masters are simply people who've practiced a skill intensely for 10,000 hours or more. That requires loving—not liking, loving—what you do. If you really want to excel, go where you're passionate enough to practice.

15. Where could I work less and achieve more?
To maximize time spent practicing your passions, minimize everything else. These days you can find machines or human helpers to assist with almost anything. Author Timothy Ferriss "batches" job tasks into his famous "four-hour workweek." My client Cindy has an e-mail ghostwriter. Another client, Angela, hired an assistant in the Philippines who flawlessly tracks her schedule and her investments. Get creative with available resources to find more time in your life and life in your time.

16. How can I keep myself absolutely safe?
Ask this question just to remind yourself of the answer: You can't. Life is inherently uncertain. The way to cope with that reality is not to control and avoid your way into a rigid little demi-life, but to develop courage. Doing what you long to do, despite fear, will accomplish this.

17. Where should I break the rules?
If everyone kept all the rules, we'd still be practicing cherished traditions like child marriage, slavery, and public hangings. The way humans become humane is by assessing from the heart, rather than the rule book, where the justice of a situation lies. Sometimes you have to break the rules around you to keep the rules within you.

18. So say I lived in that fabulous house in Tuscany, with untold wealth, a gorgeous, adoring mate, and a full staff of servants...then what?
We can get so obsessed with acquiring fabulous lives that we forget to live. When my clients ask themselves this question, they almost always discover that their "perfect life" pastimes are already available. Sharing joy with loved ones, spending time in nature, finding inner peace, writing your novel, plotting revenge—you can do all these things right now. Begin!

19. Are my thoughts hurting or healing?
Your situation may endanger your life and limbs, but only your thoughts can endanger your happiness. Telling yourself a miserable mental story about your circumstances creates suffering. Telling yourself a more positive and grateful story, studies show, increases happiness. Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, choose thoughts that knit your heart together, rather than tear it apart.

20. Really truly: Is this what I want to be doing?
It's been several seconds since you asked this. Ask it again. Not to make yourself petulant or frustrated—just to see if it's possible to choose anything, and I mean any little thing, that would make your present experience more delightful. Thus continues the revolution.