Thursday, February 26, 2009

When I grow up

In 5th grade, one of our class assignments was to write an essay and draw a picture about what we wanted to be when we grew up. I remember that I didn’t have the slightest idea. Was it due to a lack of imagination on my part? The limited exposure to career-minded females in my life? Or was it just a Zen-like focus on the present – “I’m ten years old, for Pete’s sake, how the heck do I know?”

So I wrote that maybe I would go to Jr. College and then become a secretary. My Mom was going to Jr. College at the time to get a nursing degree. I’m not sure where I came up with the secretary part – there were secretaries who worked in the school office and secretaries in the doctor’s and dentist’s offices.

When my teacher read my essay, she told me, “No, do it again.” I was a bright kid and she was flabbergasted that my dreams were so narrow. Of course, she said it in that encouraging, positive-reinforcement way that teachers do. But she basically told me that what I had handed in was not acceptable.

I remember sitting back down at my desk and still not having any idea. I was a very pragmatic kid and took things literally. I thought that I really had to KNOW what I wanted to be in order to write it down. But it was also clear that telling the truth wasn’t an option. I couldn’t get away with saying “I really don’t know.” So I made something up. Something I knew she would find acceptable.

I wrote that I would become a doctor and drew a picture of me as a doctor with a stethoscope and white coat. When I showed her this one, she was very happy. I could tell that she thought she had uncovered my real dreams. She was proud of herself.

I didn’t become a secretary or a doctor. But I did become very good at telling people what they wanted to hear.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

more than green

Green is not the only color around here.

All of these flowers are in the front yard. I have absolutely NOTHING to do with any of these plants being alive. NOTHING.

I don't water, weed, feed, plant, or prune any of these. They are just there.

Like many things in my yard, they live on... no matter how much I neglect them.

I had to end with yellow. Such a happy color.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

February Walk

The color of the day is GREEN.

It has been raining here lately. Not enough to reverse the perpetual California drought. But it turns everything green rather quickly.

The rain also makes the river run.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Monday in my head

Every Monday I have an existential crisis. It starts at exactly 10:00 A.M.

Let me set the scene. Monday morning we have a Management/Sales Meeting immediately when I get in. (Yes, I go into work at 10:00 in the morning.) The meeting includes Enthusiastic Sales Guy and The Boss Man (a.k.a The Big Idea Guy.)

I love Enthusiastic Sales Guy. He is unfailingly positive and tenacious out in the field. Rejection just bounces off of him like those crazy, rubber balls that we used to get out of gumball machines when we were kids. He moves on to the next prospect with unabated optimism. Enthusiastic Sales Guy has been selling for a
long time. Let's just say that he started well before computers were so ubiquitous. He is not very technically savvy. I am always helping him figure out little problems with his email and his laptop. I get annoyed sometimes, but I give him a lot of credit for trying to use technology as much as possible, even when it is not one of his strengths.

The Boss Man is the classic entrepreneur. He is not afraid to take risks and he is always pushing us forward. I call him The Big Idea Guy because he’s constantly coming up with new things to try and new angles to pursue. One of the main reasons the company has grown so much is that he never stops thinking ahead to what is next and pushes endlessly for us to do more.

Big Idea Guy has absolutely no understanding of how much work goes into executing his Big Ideas. We just created a beautiful new marketing piece – twenty pages of gorgeous pictures using our product along with all the calculations and pricing needed for our distributors to easily sell them. A week after we first talked about doing it, he was wondering why it wasn’t done yet. I said, “Are you crazy?! Do you have any idea how much work this is?”

We work well together. I have no problem smacking him back into reality and he’ll take a step back and let us do what needs to get done.

So first thing on a Monday morning, Enthusiastic Sales Guy and The Big Idea Guy are sitting around the table. I have only a few sips of my large coffee in my belly and the caffeine has not had too much of a chance to start flowing to my brain. Enthusiastic Sales Guy starts his report about what he has recently heard from our customers on his visits. Can we do this? How about we start that? Can we send some of those to all four hundred customers?

Big Idea Guy has a list of his own. We need to do this
and that. Can we change those? Oh, and here’s a whole brand new thing that we need to do immediately.

And that’s when it hits me.

Why am I here?

How did I get here?

Does any of this really matter?

So much busyness. So much energy expended. So much of my own energy and internal resources used up... spent... depleted...

And for what? So we can try to sell more stuff that nobody really needs? Stuff that doesn't add a bit of authentic meaning or true fulfillment to a single person's life?


I sip my coffee, take notes and plot my escape.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I was wrong

Here we go. Again with the octuplets.

I was wrong. It wasn't about religion at all. It was clearly a case of medical negligence or incompetence combined with mental illness.

Any medical professionals who were involved in implanting eight embryos into a 33-year-old woman who had successfully carried six children in five previous pregnancies should have their licenses revoked. It is not a matter of how many children she already had. It is the fact that it is a reckless, improper and dangerous act to do with a healthy woman of her age. It is completely against all standards of care established in that field.

If this were a Law and Order episode, Jack McCoy would definitely prosecute the responsible doctors for Attempted Murder using the "depraved indifference" argument that they love to toss around on that show. Good ol' Jack wouldn't let anyone get away with this kind of nonsense. Where is our real life Jack McCoy?

As for the mental health of the mother. (Sigh) What is there to say?

She says herself, "I just longed for certain connections and attachments with another person that I really lacked, I believe, growing up.” When asked what she felt that she lacked, her answer was, "Feeling of self and identity.”

Okay, so she has one child, two children, three children. I feeling the connections that I long for? Not yet? Okay, maybe more babies will help.

She has four children, five and six children.

Still not quite feeling that sense of self? Let's just go for one more baby. Maybe that will do it.

There are just so many things wrong with this. However, she is not the only person in the world to ever have made a decision to have children for reasons that could be considered less than healthy. People have children for crappy reasons all the time. She just went a little too far - no, a lot too far and now her derangement is out there for all to see.

I will say that she seems to be out of touch with reality. She says she wants to go back to school in the fall and that once she is done with her schooling, she will be able to afford her fourteen children. She just had eight severely premature babies and she thinks she will be able to go back to school in six months?

One of her children weighed 1 pound 8 ounces at birth. Woman, wake up! Lift up your left boob. Your left boob weighs more than your human child. Does that fact sink in at all? Does the reality of seeing your eight new babies hooked up to IV's and breathing tubes and feeding tubes and monitors and incubators give you even a subtle hint as to what is in store for you in the near future?

But then again, we do not know the whole story. Maybe she does have sufficient financial means and enough sustained support from committed family and friends to do what she says she wants to do. Maybe she is not delusional, but simply a high achiever with big dreams and the gumption and determination to make them happen! Maybe we are just being judgemental and negative. Maybe WE are the crazy ones!

Octuplet mom defends her "unconventional" choices

Octuplet backlash: From celebration to boos

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


If this is the first face you see
in the morning... know it is going to be a good day.

Unless, of course, this is you:

Then your perspective is a bit different.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Today the Starbucks lady gave me a star. Or I should say girl. I'm old now and she was a tiny, little young thing - so I get to say girl.

Today the Starbucks girl gave me a star.

I don't know what I did to deserve a star. I haven't gotten one since elementary school. I used to get LOTS of them. But then you grow up and they stop giving them to you. It just doesn't seem right.