Wednesday, December 31, 2008


As a child I liked playing games as long as I could win. I liked to win. It felt good to win, although it wasn’t so much about the winning as it was the pursuit of excellence. I didn’t see the purpose of playing something unless you were going to give everything of yourself to it - and wasn’t the point winning after all? I thought that’s what it was about. Winning. I was an athlete. I was good at it. I was sort of a natural athlete. I was always the captain of every team I ever played on. I took it seriously. I expected everyone to play with the same level of commitment and seriousness as I did. I was a team sport player, I liked the feeling of being in synch with my team mates, the oiled machine, the perfection of the play, the eloquence of a pass that was practiced over and over again with a single purpose, to score a goal. There was nothing like it. It was like a dance, running in silence but knowing exactly where I was supposed to be in order to strike at the precise moment and watch as the goal net flapped back and then the cheers of success, the arms raised to acknowledge the victory. It wasn't just me, I was just were I was supposed to be. Those days are long gone. The closest I get to playing a game is poker. I lose on purpose sometimes just to get out of the game earlier. I don’t see the purpose in winning although I could potentially go home with a $120 pot. Maybe it’s the singular part of it. The playing for myself. The one against everyone else. I like the synchronicity of playing on a team. The trust, the knowing, the united allegiance to a common goal. This is so hard to find today. I’m too old to play sports. I work for a living. I go to a job. Everyone for themselves. The successes of our youth never translate into our adulthood. This is another game entirely. The rules are different. We don’t strive for perfection. We strive to get through another day. To get on the other side of it. To close the door behind us and get back to our homes where we can find comfort in those we love and who love us back. This is our team. The people we trust. The home we have created for ourselves. This is who and what we fight for.

We have elected a new president…. a new president of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. It’s a whole new game. We can fight together again if we choose. It is up to us. We need to be on the same team. We must oil the machine. We must practice being where we are supposed to be in order to score the goal. This is our future. This is and should be, our new family, to protect and preserve the intention of what this country represents… hope, belief, unity, a commitment to goodness and liberty for all.

Let us hope.

TAKE_AWAY POINT:Sanity may be madness but the maddest of all is to see life as it is and not as it should be. DON QUIXOTE

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


How wonderful would it be if it were so simple that we could erase our fears daily. Would they re-materialize the next day- that’s what I would like to know? It doesn’t say. And if I write it down say at 8:00 AM approximately what time could I expect that they would be erased? By 8:00 PM maybe? That would give everyone 12 hours of fearless joy. Ok maybe JOY is pushing it a little. 12 hours at least to reflect on your fear before it reappears. Do you think it’s possible to reflect hard enough in one 12 hour period to assuage the fear permanently? Or would it take several 12 hour periods to do so? If so, how many, and would they need to be consecutive? These are the questions that meander through my mind. Nothing is that simple. Besides given those hours, its really not 12 hours if you intend to sleep.

I personally have been held back in my life because of fear. I fear a lot of things. I also fear fear. Mostly I fear failure, not being good enough. Good enough for whom I’m not sure. I strive for goodness and sometimes I fail. I disappoint myself. I often fear emotions and feelings, as I cannot bear the depth of them. I fear straying from “what is expected of me” behaviors. Ironically a lot of people would say the opposite about me, but really I stay pretty close to the edge. my crayons may slip over the line from time to time, but never too far. I barely leave my house let alone my neighborhood. I expose my true self to few people. I fear being compromised. I don’t want to have to append anything to who I am. It took too long to get here and I have appended and discarded so much of myself that at times I need to look in the mirror to make sure it’s me. then of course I gained 50 pounds and didn’t recognize myself anyway so it didn’t matter that the person didn’t fit the face. I digress. Maybe I should end this subject. I’m afraid of where I will go next.

TAKE-AWAY POINT: never let fear hold you back from living your life. that would be a waste.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Another one of those over used and regrettably tired words that has managed to lose all meaning. So when you really want to tell someone how very much you love them you need to put in qualifiers. I mean do I fall above or below chocolate chocolate chip ice cream on your list of things loved. This information is very important and will eliminate any misconceptions.

“I love you honey”

“I love you too baby”

‘No, I mean I really love you”

“Me too baby, I really love you too”

“How much?”

“As big as the world”

“What’s that suppose to mean?”

“What do you mean ‘What’s that suppose to mean?’”

“I mean are you talking diameter or circumference”

“Does it make a difference?”

“Of course it makes a difference!”

‘A difference of what?!!

“A difference of pi!!!”

“Apparently I don’t love you enough!”

“Apparently NOT!”

TAKE-AWAY POINT: If love is the answer, could you rephrase the question? ~ Lily Tomlin


Laughter is a great thing- one of my favorite things. I love to laugh, but I especially enjoy hearing people laugh. I have always hoped that I will spend my last days in a room full of people that can make me laugh and whose laugher I love to hear. In one fell swoop I went from laughter to my dead bed, a sure indication that laughter is critical to my well being. I read that the average person laughs 17 times a day. That’s impressive, I thought.

Some people have the most incredible laughs. There are certain people in my life whose laughter I can still hear after many years of absence. I have an old friend, that to this day, when I hear or see something that I know would strike him funny, I swear to you I can hear him laughing as if we were in the same room together. I can hear him so clearly laughing with such joy that my jaw aches from the stretch of my smile. I have another friend whose laughter makes me laugh so hard I almost always have to beg her to stop so I can catch my breath. I never quite know what she is laughing about, but it doesn’t matter really.

My father can make me split a gut laughing. He is the best story teller I have ever known and a brilliant joke teller. I especially love when he tells jokes in Greek. There is something about the language itself that is funny to me, so many different words and ways of expressing ideas that are lacking in English. My mother used to laugh like hell at my father even after she had so much frontal lobe damage that she couldn’t move her body, she still laughed with zeal at my father telling the same old stories she had heard a hundred times. This is true love.

TAKE- AWAY POINT: I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose. ~Woody Allen

Here is to brilliant laugh!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Friend is a word that is used too loosely in our language, like LOVE. So many different kinds of love and yet we use the same word for all of them. I think there should be distinctions, because just as we don’t love our shoes the same way we love our partner, we shouldn’t call acquaintances FRIENDS. Sometimes we find we do because there are people who are a little more than an acquaintance and although not quite a friend, acquaintance seems too small. You get the point.

I am suggesting that there are many flavors of FRIENDSHIP. Everyone isn’t a FRIEND, and by using the term loosely it minimizes important and valued relationships. So for that reason I reject this singular word usage. We need distinctions and categories. Below are my suggestions for some new terminology.

BUDSTERS: The work buddy – lots of laughs at the office, occasionally go out for drinks, maybe share a personal story or two but nothing too profound. You go home and your paths rarely cross outside of work. No weekend phone calls to check in. When they leave their job you stay in touch for a month or two, maybe as long as a year and then it fizzles out – maybe a Christmas card over the years wishing you joy and peace and overlaid with promises of getting together which never materialize.

COMFIES: The Confidant-Those with whom you can talk and share secrets with but never a laugh because they just aren’t funny and don’t even have a sense of humor for that matter. This is not the person you seek out when you’re looking for a good time because they can be a real kill joy although a savior during tough emotional times. They are generally older than you and you have much respect for them and value their role in your life. It is just a very specific role. This is understood by both.

HILAIRIES: The “I like her, she makes me laugh” friend - the person who makes you laugh, split a gut kind of laughing but beyond a shared sense of humor there’s not much else to talk about. Shallow conversation that is often strained because outside of the context of humor you find there’s not much upstairs and you’re really not that interested. You might invite this person to a BBQ but certainly not for an intimate dinner party.

CHITTERS: The gossip friend - most often, but not always,it is a co-worker since at work you are typically surrounded by all sorts of people you would never otherwise associate with– they make easy targets for gossip. The gossip friend is the one you chitter-chatter with, usually in whispered tones, disparaging your co-workers behind their back. You practice changing subjects with ease and alacrity so you don't get busted when someone pops their head in your door. (some people are really bad at this part!) Ironically, this is not a person you would ordinarily be friends with outside of work as generally people who gossip will gossip about you behind your back when they are gossiping with someone other than you.

COMATES: These are the people in your life that come closest to the meaning of the word FRIEND, because they are kind and loving people and are present when you expect them to be (funerals, illness, special moments, things like that), but you wouldn't necessarily feel comfortable calling them in the middle of the night to ask for a ride to the hospital.This would be beyond the scope of this friendship. You enjoy each others company and enjoy good times together and lots of laughs, but it is not a friendship where there is deep emotional depth. You don’t talk about profound things together or share really deep secrets. You do love and care for these people, it’s just not a deep bond. This category could be further broken down into sub-groups. Most of us have a lot of COMATES. Some BUDSTERS can fall into this category as well as Good Neighbors. You get the idea – each group with subtle but distinct differences between give and take and why they are in your life, but balanced all the same.

FRIEND: the real deal, the authentic, undeniable friend. The one with whom you can laugh and cry and share all your secrets with and never fear that your secrets or vulnerabilities will be used against you or dispersed. The one who is always there for you, who will drop anything to come to your aid, who will defend you like a lion or lioness if someone hurt you, or wronged you, or just plain said something mean to you. Loyalty is a true measure of friendship. A true friend is the one who comes to your aid before you even have to ask – they know you, they can sense discomfort and want to make your world better for you. They care deeply about you. They know unmistakably and completely in the deepest part of their heart that you would do all of these things for them as well. They never question your loyalty or motive. This is the person with whom you can be completely honest and expect the same in return. Did I behave improperly? What should I do? could I have done this or that better? Do I look fat in this outfit? They help you grow and you trust that they will always tell you the truth because they love you. The true friend honors and respects you and would never allow anyone else to dishonor you. This is the friend that is still going to be sitting next to you laughing when you are old and holding your hand when you are lonely and scared.

Friendship is also about forgiveness – about allowing for mistakes because God knows none of us are perfect –it is about apologizing and accepting apologies – about never letting hurt go unspoken – but expressing it out loud so there is no projecting – it is about communicating honestly.

It is also about making sure there isn’t spinach or lipstick on each other’s teeth, but more importantly it is about doing the boogy check after they have blown their nose.

This kind of friendship is hard to come by and usually only comes once in a life time if you're lucky. If you are lucky enough to have found such a person, look after them, nurture and protect them, love them unconditionally, don't ever take them for granted and demand all the same in return.

TAKE-AWAY POINT: be careful when choosing a friend. Pay attention to red flags from the start. To quote Maya Angelo, “when someone shows you who they really are, believe them the first time”. It’s a really valuable lesson that will ultimately spare you a lot of heart ache.

Friday, December 19, 2008


– an interesting concept.

I began this blog during the Katrina disaster as a way to share my experiences. I since abandoned the practice, but last week we endured a severe ice store here in New England and we were 1 of the many who lost power. 8 days to be exact. I was going out of my mind. The whole romance aspect, sitting by candle light by the wood stove with a vodka and reminiscing lasts about 2 hours and then you're like "what now".

So I have come back to the page to tell my tales and circulate my word pellets out into the universe to see where they land – and hopefully not back on me – which is always a risk when you expose something of yourself. You risk that pieces of yourself, important pieces, private, sensitive, essential pieces will get hurled back at you. Funny how that happens -especially since you normally only expose those meaningful pieces to people you think you trust to begin with. People can turn on you though. I’ve seen it done. I have personally experienced it. Just when you think its safe – bang, you find you’re missing a chunk of skin and as long as it doesn’t penetrate beyond the epidural layer your fine – if it gets to the basal cell layer you’re in deep shit. Run like hell.

Back to topic – it is an interesting thing this blogging thingy. i understand the political bloggers, the environmentalist, the How-To be’s (how to carve the perfect pumpkin, bake the best cookies, unload a lover etc and so on) – but these personal blogs (like this one)..about how I spent last Sunday and how proud I am that my niece got a scholarship - who reads this stuff ? Two or three friends maybe, our husbands or wives or whatever terminology to convey life partner- (we get hung up on these words) -Journals used to have locks and keys on them. Now everyone is writing to the whole world. since the only people reading these personal blogs are indeed the afore mentioned – why not do it person – like in the old days- sit and have real conversation, share real intimacies, tell your stories out loud and in person where you can see the persons face and see if they are actually interested in what you are saying after all. We have become a species who communicate in digitally rendered letters that form words and then sentences. We can say whatever we want. None of it need be true because they cannot see us. We measure our success in the world by the number of facebook friends we have, or how many LinkedIn connections and recommendation we can garner. People take all this quite seriously.

So, with all that said – I am hereby announcing that this - my personal blog – posted as a form of entertainment for myself, is available for your reading pleasure. but no facial expressions please, just pretend to be interested (which is what most people do anyway while they pretend to listen to you). remember i can't see you while you read this, so I'm banking on the honor system here.

One more thing…. Each entry will have a take-away point….

TAKE- AWAY POINT: when someone is pretending to listen, just pretend to talk