Friday, April 30, 2010

An Avocado Breast Milk Puree?

Who are you and what have you done with my sister?…She used to talk about things like…well…I can’t remember…but usually the funniest part was when she had absolutely NO childhood memories whatsoever. Why not? I was only a few years older than she was and I could replay everyday of my life yet somehow she virtually didn’t even remember which bedroom she had in our big beautiful house. Now her message on my voicemail ended with a simple, “I’ve gotta go. I’m feeding my child an avocado breast milk puree…and he doesn’t seem to like it very much.” I pushed ‘end’ on my phone and thought to myself “really? That sounds so yummy to me! Strange kid!” This is the girl who asked me to drive three hours 10 years ago to make her meals for a special protein diet we were going to do together to lose a few pounds and as I placed the last of the 36 rations into the freezer, she called me from the theatre to ask, “Why can’t I have a twizzler? What kind of gosh darn diet are we doing that you can’t eat twizzlers?”…um…I don’t know lil’ sis, why don’t you just grab a quick avocado breast milk puree?

She is not the only one of my sisters who has leaped into the realm of child-dom and left me to wonder what the heck they are all talking about on a daily basis. My one sister, who is the closest in age to me, has 6 children…or 27?…no…I think it’s 6. Yes. 6! She and her husband sat down with me a few weeks ago after we broke into our mother’s house and made dinner while she was out of town. (Don’t be upset. We really didn’t break in. We were in charge of the fish and we unlocked the door and left all the lights on the whole time she was gone so it seemed like things were the way they usually were. We even moved her car every 8 minutes so no one would suspect that she wasn’t home. She comes and goes a lot!) After dinner, they sent the children outside and she said, “Oh good. Now we can have some adult conversation!”…I looked around the room for another adult who might possibly be able to add anything useful to her and her husband’s adult conversation, but as I turned side to side, I could only see my own reflection in the glass of the backlit windowpanes. Adult conversation? Don’t adults talk about their kids? It’s a long shot to think that I have much to add in that regard but I did just get a really nice purse. I smiled and asked if they wanted to go outside and play baseball with the kids. Of course she said no because she’s played sports with me before and she is very aware that I truly have no business doing so!…other than that time I thought maybe I could play softball and the last sister (who hasn’t been mentioned in this yet) accidentally got a baseball bat directly between the eyes and had to wear dark sunglasses for 6 years or so.

Alas the dark-eyed sister…actually she healed up extremely nicely and is known very often for her beauty…and how she gets people to do things for her…That last part isn’t my judgment of her. It’s in her own words. One time I drove 4 hours to pick her up from her last day at a job she worked. She was pregnant at the time and she pointed out a few things that needed to go with her that day: 6 boxes of text books, some percussion instruments, some drawings…They all needed to be carried down a flight of stairs and packed in my car. As I carried a very heavy one by a couple of ladies who worked there, she whispered, “Could you not act like those are so heavy. I’m sort of known around here as someone who gets people to do things for her.”..Of course!…My bad!…Now she has a 16 month old and apparently taking care of a baby is harder than it looks. Like from my other sister, I get messages from her sometimes about baby related things too, but usually her phone battery dies in the middle of them. Come to think of it, I think I’ve even gotten some messages from the 1 year old…I don’t understand his messages either…oh well…I guess I’m in that awkward stage of life where I only have things in common with unmarried 23 year old girls…who are Mormons, or something that makes it so they don’t party all night. As for “adult conversation?” I paid my mortgage today…and then jumped on my trampoline for a little while. I never get tired of that thing!…of course I haven’t gotten used to those springs breaking and throwing me to the ground. No matter how ready you are for it, it’s always quite shocking! It’s dangerous to be an adult!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Yeah…But Can you do this?

I was singing at a hospital function the other night. These are always a lot of fun and I really like all the people there because they really appreciate a good time. They dance and party in a “society” way all evening. I like to look at all of the dresses because I’m sort of a dress junkie. Interestingly enough, some of these dresses weren’t all that great this year. There was one that was a mint green, one sleeved mini dress that was tight at the top and bulged at the waist. Hmm…I like to think about ways I can cut garments like this apart so they would be flattering. (Clearly after so many years, I’m not paying any attention to what I’m singing anymore!) Often I decide they would make better shirts than dresses…better skirts than dresses…better with an extra sleeve…a different neckline…well…in this case, all I could come up with that I could’ve done with it was to cut it apart into fancy green napkins for St. Patrick’s day. I guess it was a good thing that it wasn’t mine.

I stopped into one of the social circles to say hello. One of the Doctors said a polite hello and we started talking. “What have you been up to?” I asked. He replied, “Just saving lives.”…Well then. Instead of my usual reply about how I’ve been just singing and working out most of the waking hours of my days, I lifted my leg over my head and giggled, “yeah...but can you do this?”…From the look on his face, I assumed that he could not.

We all have a role in life. Possibly mine is aerobic flexibility and playful taunts? His is “saving lives!”…For some reason when I hear those words strung together in a sentence, the Mighty Mouse theme song plays in my head and my voice gets really low! “Here I come to save the day! Mighty Mouse is on his way!” The other day my brother told me that he really wants a job “between the aisles in a grocery store so that when someone slips on a banana peel, he could call security!”…I’m certain there are many job openings for banana peel slip intervention specialists. I suppose that we all have places where we can use our skills to make a difference in some way. The best we can do for ourselves is to take full advantage of what we have been offered as our special skills and make them as strong as they can be! If you are able to leap capital “T” in a single bound, for God’s Sake DO IT!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Would it help if we were a little “off?”

I was on the phone with my brother today. He has Down’s syndrome and lives in a group home but comes home to my mother’s house on the weekends. He calls the group home his “college dorm!” He is lovable and funny and people really enjoy being around him. Anyway…I was on the phone with him and as I we were talking about what time I would pick him up, I heard him utter a deep, exasperated “uhh…the TV.”…Then from the background I heard one of his staff members thank him for letting them know. I was very confused because it really hadn’t seemed like there had been much of a ruckus but he was distracted from our conversation for a second. I asked him what was going on and he replied, “Oh. I was watching the television in here and Mark just threw it out the window. The whole set.”…I knew that he was on the second floor of the house so I questioned him further. I asked him if it was his TV and he told me that it was the staff’s TV/VCR combo. I laughed so hard because I found it to be quite an eye opener that sometimes we live in situations that seem completely normal to us but if similar things had taken place in other people’s lives, it would’ve caused quite a stir. To him, the fact that the TV he was watching had been thrown out the window, was nothing more than an everyday annoyance. If someone had thrown my TV out the window, I think I would’ve taken it a little harder…on a couple of different levels: 1: I would wonder why someone would simply throw it out the window before asking if he could use it himself. 2: Because I live alone and my neighbors only break into my house to look for cash. Chances are that they would simply take the TV instead of breaking it.

The question is, are we freer to do what we want to do if we are mentally challenged in some way? It seems as though that may be the only difference between someone who is functioning at the standard level of mental capacity, and someone who isn’t. Maybe that guy who threw the TV out the window was simply doing what many of us have thought of doing at times… A cliffhanger season finale… Election Results night…The Jerry Springer Show…We just don’t have the guts to follow through. A little voice goes off in our head and says, “Wait. That’s not right!” That voice, while it might be keeping us out of prison, sort of sucks. Is it really the “boss” of us? If I was allowed to throw a TV out the window once in awhile, maybe I’d be more fulfilled. Once in awhile, tossing that rational voice aside and driving your car into the front window of a McDonalds when they don’t have strawberry shakes, might just be good for you!

Well...Maybe I got carried away a little there... There may be some repercussions to the strawberry shake scenario. Perhaps something a little smaller, like not drying your hands in a public restroom, would be a better place to start expressing ourselves. The point is that so often we are trapped behind our rational thoughts, that we never take the chances we need to take in order to get onto the next path that’s been carved out for our lives. Maybe the color was bad on that old TV/VCR combo and it needed to be thrown out the window so my brother’s staff would be forced to buy a new one that would be able to tune in more of the educational channels….Maybe an anger management show or two?… Possibly we should follow his lead and step out from behind our fears once in awhile in order to view the life that’s been hiding just around the corner from us.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Some “Old Guy” was buying us drinks!

I was talking to a friend whose daughter was out in the bar where I sang the other night. Her daughter came out with some of her friends and is 23 years old. Her mother repeated to me what she had said: “Mom! Some old guy was buying us drinks all night! It was so funny!”…WELL…I know which guy was buying those girls drinks all night and the “old guy” she was referring to is 34 years old! The funny thing is that I know that feeling! When I was 27, I met a guy who was 41 years old. He was way out of shape and what I considered to be “my Dad’s age”, yet there was something interesting about him. He was accomplished and had been separated from his wife since I was 10! He certainly was “old” though. The funny thing is that if I had actually dated or ended up with him permanently, he would be REALLY old now! Few! I can’t imagine dating a 50-year-old man now! It sounds so “mature!” The best part about this girl’s actual assessment of the 34-year-old guy is that he struts around these girls as though he believes that they think he’s their age. I mean- he REALLY wants to date a 21-year-old girl. I’m assuming it’s just his insecurity that makes him feel like a big strong man when young girls fall all over him…but the question is, are they “falling all over him?” or are they just going home and giggling about “the old guy buying them drinks all night!”…???hmm…

Age is just a number! The thing about that number is that once you’ve reached 32, it is calculated by young people in dog years! The truth is that 40 sounds really old to a 20-something. I remember a show called “30-something” when I was growing up. It was about these older people who had kids and all sorts of deep family issues. I have to assume that to a 30-something guy, there is something about the freedom that he feels when he is with someone who has the eyes of a child. The heavy conversation doesn’t exist. The weight of a mortgage…or a job for that matter doesn’t exist. Ahh! The sense of freshness and having your whole life ahead of you sweeps you up like a rebirth! I can see where someone who has been loaded down with responsibilities would love to feel that way again! Unfortunately though, those girls will one day want a “re-birth” of their own when they are 40 and their 55 year old husband with a beer belly may not be it anymore! You only live once though! There’s nothing like starting completely over with a maintenance payment to cover your ex-wife, children, and her 35 year old boyfriend at age 55! Ah! Such is life!

I suppose that I’m “old” now too. Oh well! At least now I know things I didn’t know about back then. I know how a young girl thinks. I know how and “old girl” thinks! Lucky me. The point is that often we need a secret decoder ring to interpret the thoughts of someone more than 5 years older or younger than us! 10 years is a little too much no matter how much some of us would like to think it isn’t! I’ve placed an age decoder chart here for those of you who still think it’s worth a try:

50’s-call them phonographs
40’s call them turntables
30’s call them cd’s
20’s call them ipods (They just keep getting smaller.)

50’s call them trousers
40’s call them parachute pants
30’s call them Jordache
20’s call them leggings

50’s call them britches
40’s call them briefs
30’s call them panties
20’s only call them for a special occasion when they want them to show above their low cut jeans

50’s call them davenports
40’s call them sofas
30’s call them futons
20’s call them a place where they’ve woken up after a long night that they can’t remember

Phone etiquette
50’s call you that night
40’s call you from the office or when their wife isn’t home
30’s call you after 3 days
20’s text you or don’t call at all!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Desperate Bulk Emailing

I tend to get a lot of emails from random people with big problems. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind other people’s problems, in fact, I relish in them…it’s a sort of sickness that I was sucked into long before I was old enough to know better than to care! Oh well!…At least now I know that I probably can’t help, but sadly still don’t think that it can hurt to try!…Anyway…I got another email from a random guy who was apparently looking to meet a girl online. I have to say that it was a good try, but the problem with this sort of correspondence lies in tone of the message. When the details sound blatantly pathetic, the letter likely won’t provide the expected results. There is no reason to include sentences like “my wife left me and I nearly lost my life”…or “I have decided not to ever marry again!”…um…those are two big no-no’s. When a single girl hears these things, she doesn’t say, “Oh! Good! He’s divorced and miserable! I should snap him right up!”…or… “Excellent! He has decided to never marry again! What I’ve been thinking that I need is a guy who has decided, prior to meeting me that he will never commit to me! My favorite!”…uh…dude…The old Calia would’ve written back explaining why what he wrote wasn’t going to be an affective way of meeting a healthy, nice girl to “not plan his future” with. In fact, I probably would’ve rewritten it and helped him to hack all of the email addresses he had sent it to in order to delete it from the women’s inboxes. Not this time though! I am dismissing it as another ridiculous thing that has touched my life as fuel for fodder that keeps my questioning light burning in the back of my mind- and most of all- pure entertainment! Thank you to whomever it was who sent that. I truly hope you don’t live happily ever after like you don’t want to!

Nervous and Jumpy?

I was a little offended yesterday when I was talking to the secretary at work, who is very classy and wonderful, and she said “You always make me feel so nervous and jumpy.”…hmm…That seemed less soothing than my intention of making people feel relaxed and at ease. I paused and said, “Geez..thanks a lot...It’s kind of what I was going for.” I like to pretend that people don’t bother me, which is ironic because people generally bother me way more than I should allow them to. I pondered the thought of making people feel nervous and jumpy…hmm…What about me would make people feel that way?…I decided to do a yoga tape when I got home. It was a little slow so I turned the dvd player to play 3 times faster. It actually was a pretty good workout- 10 minutes instead of 30! I was pretty proud of myself for actually doing yoga. Usually I liked spin or high intensity boot camp aerobics. I was now centered and virtually Buddhist. I felt a sigh of relief that there was nothing nervous and jumpy about me! I woke up this morning and turned on a meditation recording that I downloaded last night for my Ipod. I was really working on myself now! I ran on my Nordic-track as it played for nearly 30 minutes!

I think all of this self-exploration has been very good for me. No more nervous and jumpy people. No more uproarious laughter from my friends in the cafeteria as I run a monologue about my mother’s cat. No more skipping down the hall giggling about the evening before! No more smiley miscommunications as I take a cheap shot at someone as though I didn’t know I’ve done it! I am truly centered and grounded now! I’m so excited about this new found me that I can’t wait to get out of work and go for a run to my new relaxation/techno cd! Whooohooo! I FEEL GREAT! I love it when a plan comes together!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Now That’s the “Woist” Tasting Pickle I ever “Hoiyd”

I went to the Carnegie Deli the other day with some friends. This place is known for it’s ridiculously large sandwiches. I’m not much into sandwiches usually, but there is something rather “Flintstones” about the size of them as they weigh down the arm of the waiter who speaks little English but does it so quietly that you can’t hear the broken syllables. All good if you ask me! It’s part of the New York City experience. The plate of pickles arrived on the scene during the 4 ½ minutes that you have to wait for them to prepare your sandwich. (yeah…their turn around on these $23 sandwiches is quite good!) For those of you who can’t picture what I mean by this, imagine a line of people outside the door being shuffled in in groups of 4 to 10 to a bread basket full of pickles and sandwiches with 4 Lbs. of beef on them that can’t be wrapped up to go because, logically, what would you do with a pocket full of beef while you walk around NYC for the day? –All in 20 minute intervals! It was really fun though. I reached for one of the pickles and took a crunchy bite….um…what the heck?…I paused to figure out if I had accidentally bit off the handle of a porta-john flusher….nope…No porta-john. Hmm…I took another bite to be sure I hadn’t been too hasty in making the rash decision that it indeed did not taste good…Nope. I was right!…It sucked. I tried to rationalize it in my own head so I wouldn’t be grossed out the rest of the day. It was like those jelly beans that they make to taste like things other than chewy sugary candy?…hamburger flavored jelly beans, popcorn flavored jelly beans…etc…It somehow makes it okay after you figure out what the original taste intention was before you spit it out on the floor. I decided that this pickle must’ve been meant to taste like nacho Doritos or something…no…still didn’t help the memory of it’s taste to not make me spit up in my mouth a little. My sister smelled it and laughed. She said, “I only put my nose on it and I knew that it was not a good pickle.”…We replayed the incident all throughout the night saying, “That was not a good pickle.” Again, my sister would laugh at me and reiterate that she didn’t even taste it and even she knew how bad it was. After laughing and discussing the incident about 14 times, I replied, “No. You don’t know how bad it was. Not only did you not taste it once, you did not taste it twice in order to come to terms with its badness.”…Bottom line though- it was one crappy-ass pickle! I’m not sure I’ll ever try another nacho pickle in my life….It was not good.

I suppose the point is that as much as I talk about people not learning their lessons, it seems that even I still have to go back for more before I know that something isn’t good. What is it about human nature that makes us need to prove to ourselves that something is bad? The same thing applies in dating. People meet each other and the signal goes off in their head on the first date: “Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding! I hate this guy. From what he’s just told me about all of his previous relationships, he appears to be a lying sack of cheating crap!…But I bet he won’t cheat on me! I should see if I could change him.” …For God’s sake, set the skanky pickle back on the plate and move on to the sandwich that will soon be delivered to you with a mouth-quenching beverage. Don’t put the pickle back into your mouth! I guess it’s a good lesson to learn though. For some reason my sister knew not to even taste the pickle. Maybe because she is divorced and already knows that sometimes things just suck and it’s just not worth the time or energy to try to make a square pickle fit in a round hole. I, as a single girl who has never been married and ironically doesn’t believe in divorce with no basis for judgment having never walked in someone who has been married’s shoes, have a view of life that believes that you keep trying and just get a bigger and bigger glass of water to wash it down until you die! I suppose each case is different, but in this one, she was right…and now I have a life-long memory of a really bad nacho-porta-john flavored pickle at the Carnegie deli.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

You Live How You Eat!

I recently heard this statement and the more I think about it, the more true I believe it to be. Have you ever noticed that food is the center of all gatherings? We could really tell a lot about people if we only observed them when they eat. My grandmother always “dishes up” a ridiculously small portion and talks about how she could “never eat as much as that!”…um…okay Nannie…Then I’ll take the rest of your portion when I’m finished with mine. Does that mean that she is frugal and I am gluttonous?…Wait a minute…I think it might. But what I was getting at was that she lives with the thought in mind that a huge storm may come up and wash us all away and we may need our extra rations of food to survive for an extra hundred years. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure that it’s not going to taste as good the next day and am fully prepared to make something else when it’s gone out of the ingredients provided to me from the surge of the storm! Okay…so how about the person who refuses to eat vegetables and lives on chocolate and junk food?…Will that person ever be health conscious or does it simply not matter whether or not there’s a well-balanced diet on the table? She would likely find it easier to wait until the last minute when she’s really hungry and just stop off for some fast-food French fries? I could never do that! I always have a plan! I will stay up all night picking out an outfit for the next day so I will have one that matches. Will the fast food person simply pick a couple things off the floor of her bedroom? - Probably…and not only that, it will most likely work for her and look just fine.

The point is that our personality dictates the way we eat. If we are compulsive, overachievers, we probably wake up thinking of what ingredients are in the house for dinner that night. If we are laid-back and relaxed, we will most likely wait until we get hungry and decide what to eat. So why is food the center of every single occasion then? We know that everyone likes pizza right?…well…not my mother. She’s not a fan of pizza or pasta….which is why I’m still searching for my real mother…I haven’t figured out what the problem there is. I do look exactly like all of my sisters and have seen baby pictures…but no pizza or pasta?…You have got to be kidding Mom! I wonder what that says about her?…Oh! I just figured it out! It’s not that she doesn’t like pizza or pasta. The issue is that everyone else does and she likes to stand out from the crowd by having needs that are a little bit different. Personally, I could eat sauce and cheese on anything. They could serve me sauce and cheese on a rat and I’d say, “Yum! Rat Parm! Are you going to eat yours?”…See that…there I go thinking about where the next serving of rat parm will come from before I’ve eaten two bites of my own delectable treat!

So what can we do to not allow people to know so much about us from our food choices?…and more importantly, why do I always hang out with people who won’t order their own dinners but insist on eating off my plate?…No matter…I’ll figure that out later! Possibly my original choice of staying in my own house without anyone there who will try to take my stuff before I get a chance to use it myself suggests the mindset of a girl who had many family members and sometimes just wants a little something that only belongs to her? Who knows?…But I couldn’t help but notice that my sister was wearing my pants this morning when I saw her…I thought they were in my closet?…hmm…I suppose I must be imagining things and this whole food concept is way off base…BUT…I know those pants were put together in an outfit for work next week in my closet next to the color coded subdivision for “work” and “going out” outfits…and she hasn’t been here when I have been…though I did notice a glass in my sink the other day that I didn’t remember leaving there…weird…