Thursday, March 18, 2010

Crazy dreams lately!

Last night I had a dream about a boy I went to middle and high school with. We weren't super close, but we were nice to each other. His name is Dana.

Dana and I were in a giant farmer's market. The plan was he was going to cook me dinner. I remember seeing giant displays of asparagus (both green and white) and potatoes. I had to go visit the restroom and Dana said he'd be waiting right there. For some reason, I left the restroom from a different door I entered, and through that door, my mom and her sister and my grandma were waiting for me. I was excited to see them (I don't see my grandma or aunt very often) and before I knew it, we had piled in the car to go away.

Suddenly, I was completely distraught. I had left Dana at the farmer's market. I pleaded with my mom to take me back and we turned around. The sky had become gray and the wind had picked up.

I searched for Dana frantically, finding him poking around some vegetables, looking totally crestfallen and rejected. I couldn't have been more sorry, and I apologized for leaving him there.

He broke my heart with how sad he was. I told him how awful I felt, and he said it's okay, and asked if we could go and cook dinner now. Then I woke up.

I am disturbed. And I have no idea what Dana represents to me, so I can't really figure this out.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

To Be or Else...

Often times I wonder what this world is all about
It can't be just a place for coming in and going out

It surely can't be just a place for terrorists and crooks
And dirty, rotten scoundrels that sell pornographic books

It wasn't made for wallowing in sickness, death and sin
or people who give drugs to kids, or beat up on their kin

Our world was once a perfect place, a gift of love, not war
And we still have the power, through grace, to make it like before!

(written by Johnny Hart, creator of B.C. comics)

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Rubber Band Effect

It's funny, isn't it, how you tend to not see someone for a while and then you run into them and spend lots of time together, then you become distant and unresponsive again?

That's how it is with my blog. Sorry blog. I really do love you. I just think you deserve more creativity than I can give most days.

And instead of giving you half-assed posts, I withdraw completely and you must think I've abandoned you.

On the contrary. I adore you and if the mundane is better than nothing, well, then here I am.

So, Handsome and I had a wonderful four day trip to NoCal to visit Cousins W and T and their spouses and kids. This family I adore so much. They are close in age and wry in spirit. They also make Handsome nervous or uncomfortable. I think because the two cousins are brothers to each other, there is an impenetrable field around them that Handsome has never felt nor been able to breach.

First we flew into Sacto and hopped in our rental Ford Focus (which was both quite adorable and very fuel efficient. Handsome loved it because "it's American, dammit!") We drove to San Francisco to meet a girlfriend who I went to kindergarten with and haven't seen or spoken to in, oh, about 25 years. She looked me up on Facebook a couple months ago and I thought a quarter century just too long to go between visits.

We met Francis in the City and walked to the Ferry Building which is like an enclosed open air market, full of shops carrying fresh cheese and fresh bread and fresh smoked meats and fresh organic vegetables. I was in heaven. Had I $500 and 3 hours and no restrictions on my flight back, we would be eating like royalty right now.

We settled on a seafood place and got a 1/2 bottle of wine and sat out by the San Francisco Bay to eat and drink and catch up over the last few decades. It was beautiful. There are some people that you can connect with again after forever has passed and you just feel comfortable with them. Francis is like that. I found and showed her some pictures of us when we were three or four and she laughed, just like I had when I saw them.

It was easy to be with her. I think we all need more people like that in our lives. Francis and her husband actually met in college in Colorado, about half an hour from where Handsome and I live now. We were 30 miles away from each other for several years, and had no clue. Strange, isn't it, how the universe plays these little jokes on us?

We should've gotten bread while we were in SF. We didn't, forgot, were in a hurry to get to Sacto for the surprise birthday celebration for Cousin T, who was driving with his wife and kids from Los Angeles. Apparently we missed rush hour (Hallelujah!) but beat the LA cousins by about 5 hours. D'oh.

Cousin W and his wife are renting a house that has a squat little orange tree and a tall grapefruit tree in their backyard. The oranges were as big as grapefruits (and so were the grapefruits!) and we had fresh juice every day we were there. Of course, I mixed mine with champagne and called it the thickest mimosa ever made. Surprisingly, it was the first time they had made juice from their fruit. They would buy a box of California clementine Cuties for $10 (!!) but hadn't ever eaten the fruit growing in their own backyard.

The surprise was pulled off without a hitch. Cousin T was excited that we had made the journey to come celebrate his birthday with him. The impetus for us was that Cousin T and his wife and kids are preparing to move to Australia. I figured the plane trip to California would cost far less than a trip to Australia, and we can afford it right now, so we'll be saving up some money before we can spring for the Australia trip. However, how freaking cool will that be? Flying out there will be our only expense - we will stay and eat with them while we are there.

The weather was great, kind of cool but not frigid like Colorado. And everything was so GREEN, it was such a fresh scene. The kids were fun, they tend to socialize with each other more than with anyone else. We went bowling, I bowled a 115 my second game (woo hoo!) and that was fun.

Ate, drank lots of wine, enjoyed some other recreational activities and really fell in love with California again.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

20 Tips on Marriage

1. Remember what you like about the other person. Keep it in the back of your mind for those moments when youre angry.

2. Think not just about what the other person can do to make things better, but what you can do to make things better.

3. Couples are too busy these days. You've got to make protected time for each other, time just for the two of you, and you need to do this at least a half hour a week, preferably more. Many couples spend more time exercising than being with each other. One way around that is to exercise together!

4. Respect. Respect. Respect. Try always to treat your partner with respect. Repeated put-downs can become a habit and mark the beginning of the end of a relationship.

5. Play. Let yourselves set aside your inhibitions and be silly. Do foolish things together. Have a pillow fight. Play tag. Tickle each other. Tell jokes. Play pranks on each other. Never take yourselves too seriously. As long as you can laugh, you'll be ok.

6. Celebrate. Studies show that it is more important to be there for your spouse to celebrate good times than it is to be supportive in bad times. Of course, support in bad times matter, but it is even more predictive of success in a relationship if you can celebrate good times together.

7. Present a united front to your kids. Otherwise you will undermine each other. This is not good for you and it is not good for the kids.

8. Say something nice, something you like about your spouse at least once a day.

9. Feel free to make fun of tips on marriage like these but dont make fun of taking seriously the idea of each day doing what you can to make your relationship better.

10. Give your spouse permission to have a life of his or her own outside the marriage, be it friends, groups, career, hobbies, or other activities.

11. When you see an argument or fight getting started, try to catch yourself and say to yourself, "Let me try to do this a little differently this time." If you usually yell, fall silent. If you usually get quiet, speak up. If you usually cry, dont. If you usually rage, try negotiating or listening instead. Just try to vary your usual way of responding.

12. Pay compliments. You can never pay too many compliments. Even if they are mocked or rebuffed, they will be appreciated.

13. Pay attention to the family of origin of your spouse. When you get married, you not only marry your spouse, you marry your spouses family. The old cliché of the terrible in-laws is a destructive one. Make friends with your in-laws and try to have fun with them. Remember, also, they are your childrens grandparents.

14. Try never to use money as a tool of power. This builds huge resentments over time.

15. Try to keep up an active sex life. If sex tails off, this may indicate conflict. Try to get at the heart of the conflict. Usually, sexual activity will pick back up.

16. Avoid the pattern of The Big Struggle. Attack and defend, defend and attack. This can become a habit, a very demoralizing and destructive one.

17. Get to know about your spouses childhood enough that you can understand current patterns in terms of what happened growing up. No one hit adulthood without having had a childhood first. And the child is the father or mother of the man or woman.

18. Have fun together. Do it however you want to do it, but make time to have fun. Sounds obvious, but many couples don't do this.

19. T.I.O. Turn It Off. When you are together, turn off your electronic devices, at least for some of the time.

20. Remember, no marriage is constantly happy, perfect, and blissful. When times are tough, hang in there with each other. Get some alone time, but dont go into hiding. You need each other. It is easy to be there for each other in good times, but in hard times, this is when you really need one another. This is when you just plain do it, whatever it is, for the sake of the person you married and for your own sake as well. Please don't give up. There is always hope.

by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and Sue George Hallowell, LICSW

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Exercise update

We had dentist appointments this morning so Handsome had to trade shifts with someone and he closed. Which means that I got to work late, and worked through lunch, but I didn't have to take the normal bus home. So, I went to the gym after work. My ipod was dead so I plugged in to the treadmill which has the TV on it.

About 15 minutes into My Name is Earl, I remembered that I had given up TV for Lent.


30 minutes on the treadmill. Scale read 145.8.

Maybe I shouldn't take the weekend off after all. Today for lunch: salad with a scoop of tuna and an apple.