Saturday, June 26, 2010

Here's to You, Mrs. Robinson

The youngest of my kids graduated from high school today. No, I'm not going to lament about where the time has run off to; how he was 2 years old just yesterday, etc. Even though that's all true. Sitting through the commencement ceremony and speech after rah-rah-sis-boom-bah speech, I got to thinking about what I might say if I were ever asked to deliver a verbal greeting card to a group of young graduates. I think I would speak the facts, as I have learned them, dispel the myths, clobber the cliches.

I would begin by saying that opportunity ISN'T at your doorstep waiting for you to answer. It's hidden out there in the world and if you don't go and seek and scour and seek some more you may never find it.

Good things don't come to those who WAIT. Waiting implies a passivity that'll get you frustrated very quickly. Good things come to those who work like crazy to make them happen, even when so much time passes that you forget why you even wanted it in the first place.

And what about that famous one-liner courtesy of Jerry McGuire; "You complete me." Wrong. YOU complete you. You came into this world a singular unit and you're going out the very same way. The faster you learn to rely on yourself, and not others to provide for you, the better off you'll be.

Your next day is not a guarantee. It's a gift. Assume at any given moment it can be taken away, just like that. If you choose to moan and groan your way through life, it'll pass the same way it will if you smile through it. So smile once in a while just for the hell of it.

The best laid plans will often go awry so make more than one. Plan B is likely to end up a better option so for God's sake, get a notebook and pen and draw a map if you have to, from here to there. Then follow it.

Anyway, chances are if I said any of those things I may not be invited back. Not a problem. I'll save my preaching for the choir. In the meantime may the Class of 2010 be the writers of their own stories, the directors of their plots and the authors of many happy endings before they reach The End.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What's In A Name?

As a writer of the young adult genre, it is my duty to observe and report the latest trends among the teens I come into contact with. This way when it's time to set pen to paper, I can rest assured my characters have an air of authenticity most important in story telling. This past weekend I discovered an alarming trend among girls of this age group. And I do mean scary. It has been brought to my attention that it is common practice for some young women to assign names to a certain body part that travels in a team (not the eyes, ears, arms, legs or feet.) Terms of endearment, I suppose. One girl in particular I spoke with has come to refer to hers as "Kourtney & Khloe" seeing as how she's a huge Kardashian fan. I can see the sense in that...I suppose. Anyway it got me to thinking. When it comes to our female assets, just what IS in a name?
I also began to conjure up some ideas for folks hard pressed to chose something relevant to their lives. Feel free to borrow any of the following:

For the Disney fan: Lilo & Stitch
For the pop culture television enthusiast: Ross & Rachel
For the nomadic by nature: East & West & for the older nomad: South East & South West (think about it)
For the musically minded: Hall & Oates
For the woman who had hers specially made: Dollars & Cents
For the foodie: Spaghetti & Meatballs
For the current affairs addict: Hannity & Colmes
and for grins & giggles: Laurel & Hardy

I could go on and on. But I won't. I MUST put an end to this madness. I have decided to refrain from addressing this particular habit in my stories. Seems pointless and not at all what William S. had in mind when he posed that elusive query.

Okay my tongue is out of my cheek now. My most sincere apologies...
Hope you cracked a smile anyway! PS - Please do not abandon me, yet.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Can you dig it?

There's this new study that points out there just MIGHT be some connection between dirt and seratonin (ya' know that feel-good brain chemical thing.) The scuttlebutt goes that if you expose yourself to some of that stuff you work so hard to avoid, clean, and wash out from under your fingernails, you may be surprised to wind up a wee bit happier.
So let me see if I understand - am I to ingest a heeping helping, a tablespoon in the morning with an orange juice chaser? Should I sift out the worms or are they part of the magic? And where exactly am I supposed to acquire this dirt? Will there be a cropping up of health food stores with a new aisle specifically catering to the mud aficionado? Or is it wiser to cut out the middleman and buy wholesale right from your own backyard?
All kidding aside, I report these findings with the best of intent. I'm a big believer in the holistic remedy. We need only look toward the Mother of all things Natural to find the answers to some of life's most troubling dilemmas.
The gardeners, farmers and soil toilers of this world have no doubt known of this benefit for some time. And most five year olds, too. It wasn't so long ago that my son was a little boy whose sole purpose was to dig his way to China. He'd wile away hour after blissful hour in a pile of dirt bigger than he was then, smile firmly planted on his face.
I am pleased as punch with this scientific revelation. It's all about having an open mind and a daily romp in the earth's finest. Can you dig it?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A SANDwich

It's basic math - pre-summer style. A sun-filled Memorial Day + 80 degrees = A beach day. You just have to love parking it seaside, watching the waves frolicking with the shore. Well, I do, anyway. We headed out bright and early and before I knew it there was nothing between me and the sand but an orange towel and some SPF 30 (& last years bathing suit, of course. Hey, I'm no peep show.)Gary LeVox was blowing his famous pipes in my ears via the IPOD. The southeasterly breeze was blowing just enough to keep us from frying. The sky looked the way it does in every artists rendering of THE PERFECT BLUE HEAVEN. I was...content.
Fast forward eight hours. Post shower. No. Not sunburned. Itchy. Very, very itchy. While I'd been busy with my s & s (sun and sand) and r & r (that ones a given) it seems a group of hungry mosquitoes were going to town on my flip-side. Maybe not a group. Maybe a small third-world mosquito country - one of those starving insect nations who'd sufficiently put an end to their worldly famine courtesy of my bare back. Shoot, when I say covered, I do mean covered in bites.
I am a humanitarian. I donate when I can, crusade when I can't. I have a healthy respect for the food chain and the earth's ecosystem. But, I mean, come on you guys, spread the wings, spread the love. Save the fangs for another happy camper.
From here on out I will decorate my beach body with some OFF. Now excuse me while I run for some more calamine lotion.