"Who has a question?" I asked in the kitchen full of family.
"I got one!" my brother said.
"What?" I looked up at him doubtfully.
"What's the best age?" he asked.
"Hm," I said.
"That's not bad," said V.
"It's good. Listen, is it the two year old whose biggest concern is having an awesome time in the snow?" He pointed out the window where the little ones rolled around outside. "Or is it the 40 year old who has a job to keep, mouths to feed and a mortgage to pay but can at least make all their own decisions?"
"I can work with that," I replied.
"See, that wasn't hard. You need questions? You can call me everyday," he said.
Over breakfast, I challenged the family to come up with "would you rather" questions. This is where we shook out:
1. If you were caught stealing in a foreign country where you had these two options for punishments, would you rather have your hand cut off or spend three years in that country's prison?
2. Would you rather have a tropical vacation napping on gorgeous white sand beaches or an African safari adventure?
3. After leaving the grocery store, and arriving at home, you discover a snack treat you didn't pay for in your bags. Would you rather keep the treat or return to the store to pay for it?
4. You're on a first date with someone you're crazy about. You clog the toilet and cannot find a plunger in the bathroom. Would you rather ask your date for a plunger or simply suggest you go out to dinner immediately?
5. Would you rather bacon or sausage with your eggs?
How would you answer these questions? And what do these questions say about my family?
"Yes." E's eyes lit up. "It's pretty amazing too, because I'm a testicular cancer survivor."
"Wow. That is pretty amazing," I said. "Like one in a million."
"Exactly," he pointed at me. "And you know what? It happened naturally. You see, I had frozen sperm before my cancer treatment. But it was very expensive for them to store it. So I decided to have a talk with God. I said, 'God, I trust you. If I'm meant to be a father, you will make me a father.' Then I tossed the frozen sperm in the toilet and flushed."
Jimmy Kimmel challenged parents to give their kids a Christmas present they wouldn't like and record their reactions. Although some of these kids seem like they may need to spend some time with Nanny 911, other reactions are pretty cute.
The Christmas cards are rolling in. Cute pictures of my friends, their kids and their families. Beach scenes, shots from Disneyland and other family vacations.
I like getting Christmas cards. I like that people take time to have them made or write them out and actually stamp them and drop them in the mail. I like getting something other bills in the mailbox. I like that Christmas cards are a tradition technology has yet to squash.
I'm cleaning out my closet. I pulled out a pair of platform strappy sandals that I wore once. In the store, where they were half off, I thought they cute and that I could handle the height. And I was sure I would never find other shoes at such a good price.
But when I wore them out, I found myself teetering.
I just received a package of earplugs in the mail. I can no longer find this particular brand in stores. But they fit perfectly and they block out just enough noise and they don't hurt my ears like other brands. So I went online and hunted them down.
What item are you willing to do some serious searching for?
I grew up in an illdyllic little historic town called Basking Ridge. Named
for the deer that basked in the sunlight on the ridge. And every Christmas Eve
for most of my life, my family and I enjoyed a tradition of crowding around the
lit Christmas tree in the center of town with hundreds of other Basking Ridge
natives and singing Christmas Carols.
Unlike the other idyllic families,
before we joined the other carolers, we scoured the attic and delved into
closets to find the ugliest hats we could. Lopsided cowboy hats, hideous, wide-brimmed,
80's fashion statement gone awry hats, orange hunting caps complete with ear
flaps - whatever we could find. Then we'd head down to the event, a little
noggy, and sing very loudly.
Our favorite song was "We Three Kings,"
thanks to Ruthie. One year, after a wee bit of wine, she approached the upswing
of "ohOHHH star of wonder, star of night" with such gusto that we mad-hatted
hooligans could only join her in uproar. Which in turn, caused the sober town
natives to turn around and glare at us.
My awesome sister in law sent me this article asking which Muppet is most like you. I am a bit of a Muppet FANatic. I remember watching the Muppet Show in my jammies as a little kid and getting super excited when the theme song began.
As an adult, I'm still a fan. And I really want to go see the Muppet Movie!
Anyway, which Muppet are you most like?
Kermit: The Everyman, and the glue that always holds the rest of the gang together. Slightly high strung (and given to moments of frustration), but generally warm and gracious, with a tender, sentimental side. Probably happiest in quiet moments, playing banjo on his lily pad.
Miss Piggy: The Diva, both feared and adored for her independence, confidence, chutzpah and occasional temper tantrums. She is all about the fine things in life - Chanel outfits, fine dining (no dieting for this pig) and, of course, Kermit. Just be careful: this pig will high-kick you if you betray her in any way.
Fozzie Bear: An extrovert and avowed attention-seeker, he is the life of every party. Probably happiest onstage, where he can regale an adoring crowd with his string of "Wocka wockas" and cornball jokes.
Rowlf the dog: A talented musician and quick with the pun, Rowlf might be considered the old-fashioned gentleman of the Muppets. Usually found tickling the ivories or cutting up audiences with his side-splitting puns. Loyal friend to Kermit and esteemed ballroom dancer. Happiest flopping his ears while sitting at the piano.
Gonzo: The Artist (or misfit, depending on how you look at him), Gonzo takes pride in the fact he is different - a skill he learned early while growing up with buggy eyes, blue fur and a long nose. Is not afraid to try strange new things like eating rubber tires, all for the sake of his performance art.
Statler and Waldorf: The Critics. Described by some as curmudgeons, they beg to differ. They only heckle and grouse because they know best, and have more refined tastes than the other philistines in the room. Their gruff outlook hides a sentimental yearning for simpler times past.
Scooter: Highly efficient and a people pleaser, Scooter is happier behind the scenes than hogging the spotlight. Not afraid to use some family connections to get ahead in the theatre world, he derives the greatest satisfaction from his career.
Animal:A walking Id, Animal is not afraid to give into his baser temptations and impulses, often living purely on instinct. Happiest when banging away on the drums and letting his freak flag fly.
I think there are pieces of all of them in me, but if I had to choose one, I'd say I'm most like Kermit. I pride myself on keeping the gang together. Yes, I can be high strung and all those other characteristics. But I'm completely content when I'm hermitting up too.
I'm reading a book called Change the Way You See Everything. It focuses on Asset-Based Thinking versus Deficit-Based Thinking, which is exactly what it sounds like. Focusing on your attributes, skills and accomplishments versus focusing on what you don't have or what you're not getting.
Sounds like positive thinking, but what's different about it is that it's active. It's not just about thinking positively. It's about focusing on what positive actions you can take to improve your quality of life.
The book quotes a Mayo Clinic study which reported that people who expect misfortune and see the negative side of life (the Deficit-Based Thinkers), don't live as long as Asset-Based Thinkers. In addition, the Asset-Based Thinkers had fewer problems at work and in other daily activities, less pain and fewer emotional problems and increased energy.
As I read this, I thought about my question for today and how I could relate my reading to this blog.
"They already know this," I thought. Meaning that the blogging community, for the most part (at least the bloggers who visit QOTD), are constantly focusing on what they have - not on what they don't have.
You post about gratitude, accomplishments, goals, family, love, things you're looking forward to and lessons you've learned. You cheer other bloggers on. And you rarely complain.
Saturday night, I met a girl who just moved to LA two weeks ago from Idaho. She oozed excitement about LA, the weather, new opportunities and new friends.
Who was the last truly joyful person you encountered?
This question is brought to us by the fabulous Rosy Prose.
Rosy Prose was babysitting her grandson and they went to pick up a pizza at Bertucci's. They had a Toys for Tots box out with some donated toys in it. So her grandson was thinking maybe they were there for him to select from!
She explained that they were for kids whose parents couldn't afford to buy them toys and he said, "But Santa Claus doesn't charge for toys. He brings those free. So why do they need these?"
Rosy Prose, of course, had no answer to this question.
So, here's the Question of the Day - what has a child asked you that you had no answer for?
This morning, this was posted on my FB wall by my friend E:
"Dear Suzzie Q - You know I never talk about dreams and crap like that, but felt the need to tell you about the most awesome one I had last night:
I was watching TV (awesome so far, right?) and was watching my favorite TV Show... only problem was it doesn't exist. It was a show about you... in a mormon family... only the twist was that instead of you being one of five wives... YOU had five husbands... all beefy fitness models. You were like the queen bee, keeping your soldiers in line with awesome food and nookie galore. Best show ever!"
Heh heh heh.
E's got some solid ideas there. Do you realize how much stuff could get done with five husbands? Leaky toilet? No such thing. Unmowed lawn? Pshaw! No one to play Scrabble with? An impossibility. Money woes? With six incomes? I think not. Lack of cuddling or affection or love? Never.
I think I could get used to that.
What do you think life would be like if you had five spouses?
Yesterday was one of my best days ever. Sure, the turkey cooked at supersonic speed and was ready two hours early. And I freaked a little when I thought the gravy was going to be a floury disgusting mess. And how was I supposed to know that the electric mixer was in the "on" position when I plugged it in?
And all that smoke? That was just mac and cheese drippings burning on the bottom of the oven. It wasn't the actual macaroni and cheese.
It was funny. Really, really funny.
And fun. And yummy. And warm. And cozy. And grateful. And fun.
I gather pens and paper So we can document what we’re thankful for Exhuming a 17 year old tradition Started well before I truly knew what it meant to be thankful before life smashed open and showed me what was really inside This morning, I know that gratitude is what I’m most thankful for The wisdom to stop and thank God and the universe often for everything and everyone that makes it, and me, Grow Like JC, whose kindness is unmatched My mother Who teaches me every day That nothing is out of my reach Her husband, the best dad I know H “Intense conversations,” big ideas and insane giggles My speedy crawler and her big sister The Mansfielders because one can show up after two years and make it feel like we never left the backyard Late night ice cream Crashing waves Propane Work Guitars My voice The return of confidence And do-overs Because everybody loves a good comeback
1. Make and deliver two veggie lasagnes to client. Done. 2. Make cranberry sauce for Beach House Thanksgiving. Done. 3. Make Butternut Squash Soup for Beach House Thanksgiving. Done. 4. Make and deliver two mac and cheeses to client. Not done. 5. Make and deliver one string bean casserole to client. Not done. 6. Bid on storyboarding project for business client. Done. 7. Write a QOTD. Almost done. 8. Cook and cook and keep on cooking until it's time to eat tomorrow afternoon...
The fridge is packed. I couldn't stick a soda can in there if I tried. The counters are covered with baking pans, onions, potatoes, butternut squash and everything else that doesn't require cooling.
I feel like an elf in Santa's Workshop. I'm making my list, checking it twice. In a few minutes, I'm heading out to the fourth grocery store in two days.
From this morning until Thursday at 4:00PM, I'll be cooking. And I'll be loving it.
I love Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday. As you know, bringing people together, especially over food, brings me joy. So to bring people together and feast while focusing on what we're thankful for is like the Superbowl of gatherings for me.
On 11/11/11, I wrote question #1,111. I just realized that everyday since then, the question numbers have correlated with the date. For example, today is 11/16 and the question is #1,116. (Quick, aren't I?)
That's some serious synchronization for somebody who feels pretty unbalanced lately, trying to juggle multiple projects, cooking, and a semblance of a personal life.
What about you? What part of your life is actually lining up?
My computer is driving me crazy. last week, it suddenly decided it hates PowerPoint. Which is a problem because I'm working on a very big PowerPoint. It keeps "not responding" and shutting down. I checked for viruses. It's virus free. It just hates PowerPoint.
The truth is, it's old. It's tired. It's slow. It's cranky. I think I have to suck it up and get a new one.
I just got a renewal notice for a subscription to a cooking magazine my mom bought me. It's the only magazine I subscribe to. Which made me think about how years ago, seeing an issue of Seventeen in the mailbox was thrilling. And in my 20's, receiving that fresh copy of Jane was a treat to savor.
But now, I wonder if people subscribe to magazines that much anymore. Do you?
Is Justin Bieber the father of an infant? What happened to Kim Kardashian's marriage? Lindsay Lohan goes to jail for 10 minutes - again.
Who cares? Can somebody tell me why this "news" is so pervasive that even I, who, unless we're talking about an icon like Julie Andrews, could care less about celebrity, have heard these stupid stories?
Seriously, can you help me make some sense out of this?
Yesterday, I met a girl who had broken both her legs in a skiing accident. She had spent five months in a wheelchair and now, a year later, was fully recuperated.
"I know this is a little deep, but how did the experience change you?" I asked.
"Well, first, I went through a deep depression. I felt sorry for myself. Kept asking, 'why me'? But now, I'm just so thankful that I can walk. I can even wear heels!" She smiled and waggled a boot at me.
She looked away and got quiet for a moment. Then she looked back at me.
"I realized that it's really important to be grateful. The whole experience made me a better person. And as awful as it was, I'm really glad it happened."
What tough experience has made you a better person?
When I was about 30, a lot of my friends were getting married and getting pregnant. I went through a weird loathing period full of thoughts like, "What's wrong with me?" "Why doesn't anyone want to marry me?"
I should have concentrated on being awesome. Like I do now.
What period of your life do you wish you'd handled better?
"I stopped in at a dance studio to see what they were offering," S said. "And as soon as I hit the door,the boom boom, thump thump took me over. They had a live DJ bumping tunes!"
"The crazy thing is," she looked at the floor. "I didn't know how bad I'd been feeling until I felt that music. The energy was unbelievable. It made me feel like a firework."
"It was amazing." She smiled.
"Joy rising," I said.
She looked at me like I was kookoo.
"Have you seen Oprah's Life Class? Every Friday, she focuses on Joy Rising. The idea is that when real joy comes out, it's palpable. The feeling is euphoria," I said.
"Exactly," she said.
"This could be good for a question." I dug in my purse for a pen and wrote, "Joy rising."
"What elates you?" H added.
I've always been elated by bringing people together. Parties, Sunday night dinners, BBQ's. Any time I can bring people, their ideas and dreams together I feel joy.
But the one time I felt absolute joy rising was on my mother and my stepfather's 20th anniversary. My brother his wife, my stepbrother, his wife and daughter and my stepsister and I planned a surprise weekend for our parents.
We traveled from LA, NJ, Ottawa, and Boston up to Vermont. We met in the tiny village they live in and then began our caravan up the mountain. My sister and I blasted The Scissor Sisters in the car, singing louder and louder as we elevated up the mountain, watching our siblings cars following in the rear view the whole way.
We wailed on car horns, trailing down the driveway. Lights popped on in the house and our parents crept on the porch, not believing what they were seeing.
"We thought we'd stop by to say 'Happy Anniversary,'" I said as I hugged my teary, shaky mom.
We laughed a lot that weekend. We healed a lot that weekend. And we cried a lot that weekend. Tears of joy rising.
Last night, I worked the craziest Halloween party. Hundreds of people toured the Haunted House where invisible hands grabbed at visitors, zombies lurched with chainsaws and psychodelic lighting and music played tricks on minds.
Celebrities and California Royalty roamed the backyard, eyed the shipwreck for pirates and skirted around the skeletons in the front yard car crash.
Police shut down the streets. Secret service surveyed the scene and I ran around for hours.
As a result, every muscle in my body aches. I'm moving like an elderly woman.
When was the last time you worked so hard your whole body hurt?
"This song kills me," I replied. "It has that raw desperation, that crazy yearning that you only feel in your 20's, you know?"
"Yes. When things are so dire and important that you feel like you'll die without him."
"That line 'I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited, but I couldn't stay away. I couldn't fight it' kills me. I think of the things I did when I was kid. Just showing up at a bar - out of the blue. Hoping he'd be there. Or those moments at Mansfield, when I'd walk out of the kitchen and boom - he'd be there. Standing in the backyard. My stomach would bolt. My knees would shake. I'd say something profoundly stupid. Those moments were everything."
"I know. But can you imagine doing that now? Just showing up at someone's house uninvited?"
"What if another girl was there? Or what if he didn't want to see you? You can't do that now. Now you have text or call or make a plan."
"Right. It's like those scenes in movies, where the person realizes they just can't live without that other person. So they run, through the rain, to the other person's front door in the middle of the night. Then they bang on it and profess undying love."
"Without texting to find out if that person is home? No way."
"That's so sad! It's like technology has sucked all the spontaneity and romance out of life."
"That's exactly what it's like."
What do you think? How has technology affected the way you live and love?
Yesterday's gray was the perfect backdrop for writing training manuals. I wore fuzzy socks and jammy pants for most of the day, sipped hot tea, ate soup and wrote about why it's important to own your work.
This morning is a gray, chilly repeat of yesterday. But while I'm thankful for the writing weather, I'm wishing for rain patting on the roof and an excuse to make more soup.
A few years ago, my parents gave me an outdoor heat lamp as a Christmas gift. Since then, that heat lamp has stood over endless hours of porch talk, heaps of mac and cheese and some serious Scrabble tournaments.
It's one of my favorite belongings. A perfect practical gift for me.
What practical gift have you been given?
(I'm already imagining someone replying with a story about her husband giving her a lawnmower or vacuum cleaner for their anniversary. Aye aye aye.)
It's like this The moon shines white over dark rippled waters Stars dot the clear after-rain sky Waves thunder And we wait in the cold sand As the white yellows The shine fades And the orange moon Sinks out of sight
Last night I sang backup for a friend's band. I've sung karaoke many nights. I've performed at most of my friends' weddings. But I've never gotten on stage with a full band in a bar for an actual set of songs.
I was scared.
It didn't help that the harmonies were really weird. Not straight forward thirds like the harmonies that wail in an Eagle's song. I had to really fight to find these.
That fact that I was shaking didn't help.
But after the first song, I shook a little less. And by the time I sang lead, I was ready. And it was good.
Yesterday, when fear was taking over, I kept reminding myself that it's good to do something I'm afraid of. And it was.
What have you been afraid to do? How did you feel when you did it?
As you know by the last 100 or so Questions, I had a crazy Summer. I took seven trips, hosted six different guests, ate way too much late night mac and cheese and ice cream, had a few too many cocktails and got nowhere near enough sleep or exercise.
This week, I shifted gears. No more food at night. I halved my serving sizes, chucked the remaining ice cream and cookies, started my week with a two hour hike and have walked every day since. I've been in bed by 10:00 PM each night and already, I feel better.
Summer is over. It's time to focus on work and everything else in moderation.
Do ever you finding yourself shifting gears? If so, how?
A friend posted this on Facebook. It caught my eye, because I had just finishing thanking God for all the good things in my life.
Every morning, either before I get out of bed or during a walk, I give thanks. This morning it was for a good night's sleep, a great training session yesterday, the well received dinner I made for my clients last night, the opportunity to make money and some other great things I'm looking forward to.
I find that starting my day by reflecting on what I'm thankful for usually (sometimes even prayer can't prevent days like Tuesday ) sets the tone for a positive, productive day.
Yesterday was one of those days that starts out disastrous and just keeps going.
Early in the morning, I went to pick up materials for the training I was facilitating and discovered that the printer had made 25 copies of the wrong file. After 35 minutes, she handed me the right pages and I ran to the car. Then, of course, I hit a traffic jam. So I arrived to participants seated and waiting for me.
The opening video wouldn't play. (Even though I'd tested it the day before. When the IT guy was there, it worked fine.) Then the audio didn't work. Thankfully, that came at the end of the session, so I just told participants we'd start there today.
I teach about setting the tone of an interaction between a client and a customer. And yesterday was a good analogy of how the way you start out can sometimes determine the way you end up.
How have you been able to turn a bad start into a good ending?
Thanks to KPA for posting this intriguing question:
Would you rather be able to create anything for one day OR know everything for one month?
I think I'd rather be able to know everything for one month. That way I could know how to create everything I want to and then create it after I've gobbled up all the knowledge I can during that one month.
Every morning, I'm stunned to find my kitchen looking like there was a party in it. For example, this morning, the blender is center stage, the pitcher part dirty, top tossed aside. A baking sheet speckled with crusted cheese from last night's nachos pokes out of the sink. A couple pots sit on the stove. Oven mitts lay on the counter next to half a lime, remnants of a jalapeno and a fistful of cilantro.
But no, there wasn't a party. All that mess came from me.
Other mornings, empty bottles will compliment an even bigger mess. Just Friday, when I woke to a similar scene, I stepped in a drop of chocolate syrup before putting my hand in some ice creamy-counter goop.
I don't know why I don't clean it up before bed. Just like I don't know why I'm continually shocked to find a mess every morning.
What repeat offense are you continually shocked by?
Last night, I pan roasted 8 pounds of salmon for a dinner party. This family loves salmon. That pink fish is by far their favorite sea treat.
I like it too. But if I were planning a seafood feast, I'd probably go for a white fish, like sea bass or a thick cut of cod. Or I'd saute garlic, tomatoes and white wine and toss in every shellfish I could find and serve it over pasta.
Spicy grilled shrimp is always a fave. Oh and let's not forget seared tuna with avocado, garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Yum.
Clearly, I'll be eating some seafood today. Anyway, back to the question, what's your favorite seafood?
With a breakfast sandwich. It contains two fried eggs, thick bacon, gruyere cheese and spicy arugula on crunchy fresh baked bread smeared with a zesty aoli.
It's amazing. So every time a friend comes to town, we indulge in one of these amazing breakfast sandwiches. And every time those friends come back, they ask to go back to Huckleberry so they can enjoy the breakfast sandwich again.
When your friends visit, where do you take them to eat?
Yesterday, while walking down a big hill towards the beach, two women stopped me.
"Did you see what that woman is doing?" One of them asked as she pointed at another woman, farther up the hill, fiddling around a mini van.
"No. What is she doing?" I asked.
"She's taking all the license plates off the parked cars."
I scanned the cars lining the road. About 10 of them were missing front license plates.
I had passed her on my way up the hill, smiled and said, "Good morning." And I'd passed her on my way down too. But I didn't actually look at what she'd been doing. I assumed she was unpacking her car for a beach day. Milling around, taking her time.
Not committing a crime.
The three of us watched as she walked toward her minivan. The lights flashed as she unlocked the door and leaned in.
"Well, that must be her car. Let's get her license plate number." I marched back up the hill towards the thief.
After about 30 seconds, I thought, "She could be crazy. She could have a weapon."
I turned to the two women trailing behind me.
"Do either of you have a cell phone?" I asked.
"Yes," they said.
"Okay, let's pretend we're buddies and I'll babble as we walk by. We'll get the license plate number and we'll call the police when we get to the top, okay?"
So that's what we did. Then my two cohorts got in their car and I was left alone to pass the crazy lady again.
I made it almost to the bottom of the hill when the police arrived. I walked back up, told the officers what I'd seen, gave them my phone number and went home.
The weekend before last, my friend, B, came to visit. When I saw her, the first thing she said was, "The good news is, I fixed your toilet. The bad news is, I broke it."
"I doubt you broke it. It's been malfunctioning since the day I moved in."
The toilet is my home's one downfall. When I host BBQ's, it doesn't fill fast enough. Or the handle falls off or the chain becomes unlatched. It's not unusual to find my friend, M, leaning over the toilet rigging it, a Budweiser in his free hand.
He'll look up at me and say, "Suz, get me that stupid little tool box you have."
What's funny about the tool box is that it's an actual little cardboard box stuffed with mismatched nails, screwdrivers, a tape measure and such.
It's a complete disgrace to a handyman like M.
So I laughed when I opened the UPS box to find a real, serious toolkit. It holds pliers, wrenches, a hammer, even bits and a bit driver.
And even funnier, it's pink.
Which will be a whole different kind of disgrace to my handyman, M.
The little Vermont village where my mother lives was devastated by Hurricane Irene. It sits in the middle of the White River Junction and all the surrounding bridges were destroyed. Roads were washed out. Homes blew over. Coffins rose from the saturated earth. Tennis courts were picked up and dropped down hundreds of feet of away.
Telephones, water and electricity have been out for days. The town normally doesn't get cell service. People have to hike to mountaintops to get a signal.
So to communicate and plan, meetings are being held at 1:00 in the church each day.
A few days ago, the National Guard air-dropped prepared meals and water. The market and local restaurants have also been providing free food to community members. And when an army of electrical technicians and doctors arrived from Canada, Ohio, Illinois, Kansas and other states, the townspeople cheered them on.
Together, the villagers are building footbridges over swollen rivers, setting up a makeshift medical facility and clearing out storm-ravaged homes.
It may take months for roads to be repaired, bridges to be built and for life to get back to normal. But the people in that tiny town will do it together.
I love Facebook. It's entertaining. It keeps me clued into what friends are doing. Facebook provides a fabulous tool with which to disseminate information, ideas and news.
But you know what kills it? The whiny people. The people who post about how tired they are or how terrible life is. The people who criticize our country or different cultures. The people who make fun of people.
Sure, I "hide" them. But the whole idea of this incredibly powerful tool being used to spread negative stuff is totally aggravating.
As a result, I'm complaining about it. Right now. In my own forum. Because energy is contagious. Whether it's positive or negative.
I'm tempted to delete this. Because if you know this blog, you know it's a not place for rants. But for discovery's sake, I think there is a valid question here.
While I watch from the safety of the west coast, I'm a little nervous for my east coast friends and family. (Not to mention the economic impact a storm like this will have on the country when we really can't afford it.)
I just read a poll that said 40% of Americans believe animals have a sixth sense. Some say cats can predict storms and dogs know when earthquakes are coming. Both are reported to have the ability to sense spirits.
What do you think? Have you ever witnessed an animal's sixth sense in action?
For years, when it needs service, I've been taking my car to the dealership where I bought it.
It is NOT convenient to take it there. I live 40 minutes away without traffic. Which usually means I have to wait around while the work is being done. But while I wait around, I can sip free Diet Coke, enjoy a banana, write a Question of the Day and feel confident that Tony, the guy who has been managing my car's service since I drove it off the lot, is going to take care of everything.
When a taillight goes out, I bring the car in and Tony has it repaired within minutes. When I worry about a weird sound coming from the soft top, Tony explains why it might be happening. When I ask not so bright questions, he doesn't laugh at me. He answers me with a smile.
I drive all the way to the other side of LA because this dealership offers extraordinary customer service.
What business provides service so extraordinary that you will overlook inconveniences?
A yellow jacket bit my foot while I was at my father's house. It burned at first and slowly spread into a quarter size red itch blotch. Annoying as it is, I realized that the bite was one of the only ones I've experienced this Summer.
(Have I mentioned that one of the reasons I love LA so much is because it pretty darn near mosquito free?)
So, instead of complaining about the itchiness, I'm going to rejoice in the fact that I'm enjoying a bite-free Summer.
After an hour and a half car ride to the airport, a two hour delay plus a one hour flight, topped with a three hour delay and a three hour flight, I finally entered my hotel suite somewhere around 1:15 AM.
Then I put the two diet cokes I had purchased for the morning in the freezer.
What kooky mistake have you made when you were too tired to think?
Last night, during my critique group meeting, G mentioned that she's terrified of public speaking.
"What's the fear behind that?" I asked.
"That people will think I'm stupid," she replied.
"But you're very smart. You know that," S said.
"I think it has to do with your role in your family growing up. When I was a kid, my brother was the smart one. He and my parents would have these intense conversations over dinner in which they'd discuss world issues or classic literature and I'd sit there like 'duh'." G stuck her tongue out of the side of her mouth.
"So because you didn't feel smart then, you question your intelligence now?" I asked.
"Exactly," she said.
What childhood feelings do you still carry as an adult?
1,000 days ago we started the longest running game of Questions. Since that first post on November 6, 2008, my life has changed. A lot. Here are some lessons I’ve learned over the span of the game:
• Sometimes you have to go through the same experience more than once to actually learn the lesson • Laughter heals • The best kind of friend is so comforting that you don’t even have to worry about them when they’re there • If your money doesn’t serve a higher purpose, you will lose it • Some people will never hear your “no” • Having that place to go is essential. So essential that when it’s gone, everyone around you can become lost • The kindness and generosity of one friend can save your life • Children are life-changing. Even when they’re not yours • The ultimate goal is to love and be loved • Walking provides a channel • Late night dance parties can lift your mood for days • Sometimes you have to smash wide open to put yourself back together • Ego is hard to fight • No one should ever go over 600 days without Sunday Night Dinners • Prayer is the most powerful form of communication • Everyone has an arrogance of something • “Good enough” is never good enough • People want to help • Ask for what you want. You deserve it. You really do
What lessons have you learned over the last 1,000 days?
xoxo, Suzanne PS - Thank you for playing Questions!
On the way home from work today, I caught a re-run of American Top 40. This week in 1979 was airing and Casey Kasem's voice brought me back to being a kid and listening to the show as we drove to my grandparents' house.
On those Sunday drives, we either listened to the American Top 40 Countdown or ABBA Gold.
Let me tell you, my mom, stepfather, sister and I do a mean four part harmony on "Take a Chance on Me."
What were family car rides like when you were a kid?
Yesterday, while driving back from a meeting, I caught a radio show about Numerology. I have visited a psychic (or 10) in my time. I remember a period when I checked my horoscope everyday. But I've never looked into numerology.
Apparently, in order to determine your Life Path number, you add up your date of birth until you get to one digit. For example, here's mine:
0 + 4 + 3 + 0 + 1 + 9 + 7 + 2 = 26
2 + 6 = 8
Last night, I discovered I have an 8 Life Path number. I looked it up and found that the description is pretty darn fitting.
I have a super huge deadine to meet. This morning, I got up before the sun did and got to work. I'm still in my PJ's, stomach rumbling and slightly dizzy. But I'm pretty sure after one more quick read-through I can send in the materials.
The following questions are brought to you from Wednesday night's live game of Questions:
1. Would you rather be Mick Jagger or Johnny Depp? 2. Is the glass half empty or half full? 3. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? 4. Would you rather have fortune or fame? 5. If you had The Dolorian, where would you go?
This weekend, a portion of the 405 freeway is going to shut down for 53 hours. This may sound uneventful to a non-Angelino, but if you live in Los Angeles, the idea of closing a major artery in the already clogged heart of the city is akin to a complete shut down of the entire system.
On any given day, 500,000 vehicles pass through that section of freeway. So those 500,000 drivers will be displaced, traveling alternate roads and tilting an already fragile infrastructure into the crazy zone.
So, Los Angeles, the city of hypernews and gossip, did what it does best and created a genius marketing plan around the event. City officials have urged drivers to stay off the road. They asked people to stay in their neighborhoods for the weekend. People are planning block parties. Bars are scheduling pub crawls and offering $5 Car Bombs and Cadillac Margaritas. Celebrities are tweeting, "Stay off the roads!"
It just may turn out that all that manufactured fear will create less LA traffic than we'd experience any given weekend.
One of the benefits of living with a guy is enjoying his subscription to Men's Health. (When they write about women's wants and needs and how we think, they're actually right on. So much so that I wonder if any men actually read Men's Health. But that's a whole other post.)
According to Men's Health, in a 2009 study from Germany, researchers asked people how they felt about their age. Those who were happy with their age lived an average of two years longer than people were bothered by it.
Apparently, acceptance of aging, rather than denial of it, is related to healthy behaviors.
I feel, smarter, better and healthier every year. How do you feel about your age?
Today has been cRaZy. It's after 5:00PM and I am only now writing a question. I really don't know what happened. I worked, cleaned the house in preparation for a visit from a Jersey Girl and then I went food shopping so she doesn't starve.
So maybe it's not so much what I accomplished but what I didn't accomplish. For example, I forgot to write a question. I also forgot to invoice a client and I forgot to pay an important invoice.
Then I just realized the craziest thing. I forgot to eat. I never forget to eat!
Clearly, I'm having a scatterbrained day. What kind of day are you having?