September 2, 2012

Goggle It

There are 2.5 billion google searches a day. Well that’s what google said. I am sure a few of those are mine, your and theirs. That how we become a number.

For one minute let’s just pretend that there was no Internet. It wasn’t long ago that this was the case. You may not be old enough to remember that, but I grew up without Google, and I’m not that old. Google was invented in 1998. Wow, that wasn’t long ago. 1998 was one year before my oldest child was born. Which brings me to the point.

Google it.

Ask a question. Google has the response. Goggle in and of itself has become a household word. You can even ask if Google is god.

Often times my kids will ask some off the wall question I would only know if I was smarter than a fifth grader. I’m not. In fact I have come to the conclusion I don’t really need to be. What is the molecular structure of a plant cell? It depends on the plant, Goggle it. What is the difference between DNA and genetics? Hair color and disease, Goggle it. What would happen if a meteor crashed into my school? You would be dead, Goggle it. How far is it to Texas? Which part of Texas, Goggle it. You get the idea. It’s just random questions.

Today I got another question entirely. Mom if I Goggle everything I want to know then we would never have a conversation. What would life be like if we never spoke again? I instinctively said as I was paying attention to whatever meaningless thing I was doing, Goggle it. With that she walked out of the room.

What would happen? There is so much information on the Internet today I can homeschool my children without the help of educational books supplied to kids prior to 1998. Khan and other websites provide all the math skills anyone could hope for. Science, Social Studies, English, and all the electives you could ever desire are there. Even social media provides interaction on a certain level.

But what if we never spoke again. We could get around this by texting, and of course the social media I mentioned before. The world would be a uniquely quiet place. Click, click, buzz, buzz, ding, ding.

All I’m saying is think about it for a minute and then, Goggle it.

September 2, 2012

Inner beauty

Inner beauty

I’m refinishing my house. Of course if you talk to my husband that’s what I am always doing. This time around I am refinishing the stair case banister and putting in wood floors.

The banister has taken me two weeks to sand and finally it is stained. It for sure, with no doubt, is not the same type of quality you get from buying a new manufactured one installed by a professional contractor, but it was defiantly cheaper. With sandpaper, stain, and top coat it cost less than $60.

Here’s the problem. We rarely would notice others mistakes if I had indeed hired someone else to install the banister. I can see every single spot that isn’t just the way I like it. In fact I have gone back re-sanded, re-stained. It will never be perfect, but it was ugly, golden oak, aged over twenty years. Yuck.

I don’t want to say I am a perfectionist because in the true sense of the term I’m not. I am willing to settle at some point, so there has to be a point in which I find peace. There is an inner beauty to all of this. I did the work. I picked the colors, I made the decisions. It was all me. Nobody helped. That’s it.

The inner beauty of the whole thing is that I did it. I didn’t pay someone else to do it. It’s a Chinese thing. If you have a tea kettle and you have repaired it, then it is far more beautiful than if you just went and bought a new one. I read that some place at some time. The words ring true in any situation and they have always stayed with me. As an American in a disposable, keep up with the Jones society I find it hard sometimes to find this beauty, but it’s there.

Am I my own worst critic. It’s the nature of being human I think. We like to judge ourselves and do it harshly. Inner beauty is the sum of all we have done and all that we intend to do. Acceptance for our failures because humans are incapable of perfection by our own standards. We must find inner beauty in everything we attempt. It’s there if we don’t let our judgement get in the way.

September 1, 2012

Own your life

I saw this girl walking out of Big Lots a year or so ago. She was very pretty with lovely brown hair that went well past her shoulders and lightly laid over the tattoos she had. Past this obvious observation I noticed how she hung her head in shame. How she walked without the grace of confidence. She appeared so unhappy.

My first and only thought was to her self esteem. I have carried this thought about her for many days. Self esteem is a tragedy that can destroy a persons life. It’s a voice that can bring us to our knees. It hides in the darkness. It torments our soul. Nope.

Look in the mirror, right now. What do you see. Are you fat? Are you ugly, unhappy. Do you hate your hair? Do you feel unworthy? Do you hate your life? If one of these don’t fit I am sure you have something that does.

You life, your self worth belongs to you. If you let somebody else determine these to things then you become worthless. Own who you are and who you want to be.

Examples.

If your fat and you don’t like that. Don’t blame fast food. Don’t blame some tragedy. Don’t blame your mom, dad, friends. None of these people are making your food intake choices, you are. There is enough information floating in the world around you to educate yourself. Your have friends that can help you out. Take a walk. Run a mile. Do a sit up, a squat. Change your life.

If you feel your ugly. Try some new eyeshadows. Buy a new shirt. Tell yourself your not. Tell yourself your beautiful. You believe your ugly because you say you are.

Are you dumb? Read a book. Form an opinion. Take a class. Talk to people. Have an idea. You are not dumb. I assure you.

Are you being abused? Then leave. Use your voice. Scream out loud. Tell someone.

Self esteem, self worth belong to you. They are yours. No one owns these items but you. No one can control these but you. No one can determine who you are but you. It’s your choice. It is easy to be lazy. A real life takes work. The gym takes work. Reading takes work. Having self value and worth takes work.

Own your emotions. They belong to you.

I just don’t get why other people have such low self esteem. Why would you want to feel bad about your self? Why. There are a million self help books out there that all say the same thing. Own your emotions. Self esteem is an emotion. Self worth is an emotion.

I am about 10 to 15 lbs over weight. I hate it, but I put no effort into changing it. When morning comes I would rather read, write, garden, refinish furniture, and have a cupcake at the end of every day. I love my life. I accept the I have things that are more important to me than losing this weight.

You know how the world loves to travel. I use to get mad about this. People left and I felt some aching that I didn’t go. The reality is that I didn’t want to go. I made excuses why I didn’t want to do; why I couldn’t go, but at the end of the day I just didn’t want to go. I didn’t figure this out for many years. I let it lower who I was. I thought I had to have the same desires as everybody else. I don’t. I hate to travel. I don’t want to see the world, but I would love to see the pictures from your trip. I would love to hear all about your adventures. When I figured this out I became a happier person. This is who I am.

I never used my college degree. Oh well. People think its ridiculous that I went to college for eight years and I cut hair. It was my choice. It was a choice I made to be with my kids. I never have and never will regret it, and I can’t go back in time to change it. I have no regrets in my life because I own my life.

Everything we do affects who we are, who we are going to be down the road. Tragic things happen. Life throws us a few curve balls. We eat to many cupcakes. So what. Take it in stride and own who and what your are.

You, me and the world around us is pretty damn amazing.

August 31, 2012

Excuses

Image

 

I have been thinking about blogging again.  Obviously i haven’t in a long time.  I must have been busy. None the less hear I am with so much on my mind.  It stands to reason because the weather has been changing, and as I have said before I get sentimental about the weather change. Here’s the story. You knew there was one coming right.  Proudly I name this one, Excuses.

Yesterday I went to my kids school for orientation.  It’s a joyous day when we meet back up with schedules and routines. The excitement builds and the next thing I know I am up at the crack of dawn and cooking breakfast again.

Lets take a step back to when school ended. I am fortunate to have two healthy, very smart kids. My daughter who was in 7th grade last years made an A in Algebra1. It all appeared that she was doing great until she failed the exit exam for the class. Now if you pass the exam it is my understanding that she would get collage credit. Awesome right!  On failing I thought, ok maybe you just need some more help. The whole class failed. The whole class. Every single person.

Let’s take one more step back. During the year my daughter said she was having some problems in the class so I went and meet with the teacher, Smith. She told me that there was tutoring the next day, Wednesdays. “Have your daughter drop by and she can get the help she needs.” This is the generic answer that you would expect. My daughter went the next day, sat in class and received no help at all. Shock! Again I went to the teacher the next day.  

“Your daughter needs to be a self advocate.” Smith.  
“We just discussed this the day before why she was coming to tutoring.” Me
“She didn’t tell me why she was there.” Smith
“As I said we discussed this. I’m wondering is there a listening problem here.” Me
“Like I said she needs to be a self advocate.” Smith

This was my first encounter. Now, back to the failed exam. I asked my daughter for all her math papers that she had left.  Turns out she had quite a few. All the papers were A’s 100 percent.  Half the work was not done and the other half was wrong. How the hell did she get an A. Like any parent who cares for their child I went to the school.

The teacher only stamps the work if it is turned in.
Students are to grade their own work.
Tests are graded by other students.

I know you are seeing the problem here. I have enough homework from the end of the semester to drop my daughters grade from an A to an F. Gasp! I confronted the school about this and got these excuses which by the way are very politically correct.

Smith has a lot of students. (It’s her job)
Math is a demanding subject. (It’s her job)
She didn’t have enough support staff.  (It’s her job)
Students have to be self advocates.  (They are 11 and 12. It’s your job to know they are failing)

It is a teachers job to grade papers and tests. There is a grading system in place so that I know how my child is doing. Tests help recap previously learned subject.

Here is the point. Excuses are in the very simplest form of why we as people did not, would not, or will not do something that needs to be done. Let’s be honest. I didn’t do it because I was lazy. I didn’t want to. I did something else instead. I was tired. I dont want to confuse excuses with reasons. I had to go to work. I had an appointment of some kind. It’s a fine line and one that I think shouldn’t be so blurry.

So why haven’t I written in so long.
Working in my vegetable garden.
Putting in new retainer walls in my backyard.
Found a dumped puppy that we decided to keep.
Hanging with the kids over summer.
Putting in wood floors upstairs.
Refinishing the banister.
Being lazy. I’ll admit.
Working

Why haven’t I played my guitar.

Please refer to all the reasons above.

Excuses. We use them far to often for ourselves and other people. The administration excused the teachers behavior with a quick, “We understand your concers.”  We would like to think that someone is qualified to do their job when in fact it is easier to make excuses for them then find someone who is qualified. We wallow in self pity and loathing because it is easier than getting off the couch. We hide behind them instead of facing the truth. Excuses are as main stream as cell phones. We all have one and use them way to often. Excuses are a drug that destroys our very being. I have them. You have them.  None of them are worthy of the person you or those around you could be without them.

August 30, 2012

You/Me

It’s been a year since I was hear.
I didnt hear any words.
There was no voice.
No reason.
No sound
No words
No reason

I heard you
The words rang clear
The voice was strong

I was sad
I found sadness
Nothing in response

Pause

You wrote
I saw your face
Inspiration
Coincidence
Life
Your words inspire
I heard mine

Vision
A moment
It may last
It’s gone

August 30, 2012

Failure

Is there a point in time where you can see the direction of change, the tides turn, and the whiners win. I’m not sure where it came from but here it is. The losers deserve medals, yeah. Who in the hell came up with that. You lost, and now society thinks you deserve a medal. My kid won and gets the same appreciation and acknowledgement as the losers. Wow, I’m so proud to be part of the system.

I’m not being selfish here. Win or lose, we have all been on both sides of the fence. This is my real bitch. My 8th grader is getting happy face stamps on her homework. She is 13 years old. Im sure somewhere there is a psychologist that believes this helps my child’s self esteem. The teacher believes, as I suspect most do at this point as I haven’t seen red marker in years, that a red marker is damaging psychologically. Are you kidding me. What it means is you got the answer wrong. I love red pens. It puts you life into perspective. It separates those who get it and those who don’t. It’ a matter of right and wrong, accountability for you learning or not learning.

Every society from the beginning of time has winners and losers. Those who succeed and those who fail. We have to fail to succeed. It’s a simple concept that the society around me choses to ignore. Participation Award, that just says it all. Not everyone should be on the team. Not everyone should participate. Let’s just say your child wants to play football. He or she, politically correct here, sucks, but gets on the team anyways, politically correct. Your child gets to play every game and because of your child and every other child like yours on the team loses every game. Yeah we all got to participate. We are winners. NO. Your losers. You lost every game and your kid sucks at football.

Different scenario.

Let’s just say that you child tried out for the team and didn’t make the cut. Yep you guessed it feelings got hurt. Oh I’m sorry but get over it and move on. Let’s say because of this failure you child goes into the band, and he is awesome. Let’s just say because some coach said your child sucked at football he succeed in the band. Failure and success. It’s simple. It we succeeded at everything we would have a unfulfilling life. Just think for a minute about the last thing you really failed at. Just think of the last thing you succeed at. Both were equally amazing. We can not have one without the other and be truly successful.

As a parent I encourage my kids to fail. I encourage my kids to make bad choices. I encourage my kids to speak their mind especially to me. I never demand my kids respect. I earn it and they earn mine. I just figure the best place to make life mistakes is at home. Now, have my kids ever said FU to me. Yep they have. Have my kids ever backed talked. Yep, all the time. Life is a funny situation it’s about give and take, loses and wins, failures and success. With respect we make gains, but we have to learn how to get that and we can’t learn without failing first.

The point. Encourage failure it encourages passion for success.

I am an everything goes type of parent. There are no whiners allowed but you are welcome to fail as much as you like. I will always be there to lend a hand up or just crash with you.

July 16, 2011

Just a thought while digging

I was out in my garden yesterday working the ground. In my garden that’s quite a bit of work. The top 12 inches is Dg mixed with all the trash from building my track home. Once you get below that it’s beautiful. I, being the person I am, don’t like to go to the gym so I do all this work with a shovel. It’s an old shovel and the spade is cracked but I like it all the same. It works. Believe it or not I could spend the whole day outside just digging ditches. My daughter says I make a good Mexican. I always laugh because it’s probably true. When I see guys working on the side of the road with shovels I always want to stop and dig.

Cross fit, do you do it? On occasion I do. It obvious to me that cross fit came from hard labor. Moving construction tires after all is hard work. Swinging kettle bells is similar to hammers, buckets, bags, etc. Cross fit, without any research whatsoever, looks like labor.

When did we stop doing, accomplishing, for the sake of abs? Do you have any idea how much we as a people could accomplish if we did a little labor instead of going to the gym. How much money could we save if we mowed our lawns, grew our own vegetables, fixed our own houses, walked our own dogs, played with our children? Instead we buy a gym membership and pay people to do these things for us. I have a gym membership though I don’t go often. It’s nine dollars a month, so I figure for those days I have nothing to shovel, fix or do it’s worth it.

The human body is an amazing thing. I know both girls and guys that spend two plus hours a day working out only to spend the rest of the day looking in the mirror, eating lettuce, and chicken. They look great. I spend two hours a day digging, raking, hauling, planting, and watering. I spend the rest of my day picking vegetables, cooking gourmet food with butter, playing my guitar, and drinking red wine. They have great abs and don’t eat burgers. I have not so great abs and love burgers. I don’t look in the mirror and see a fabulous body, but rather an accomplished woman. I grow produce in abundance and give a great deal of it away. My hard labor pays off. In return my friends may me dishes and deserts with the produce I have given them. No doubt the gym wouldn’t do the same.

June 25, 2011

Me and My Guitar

I’ve said it before. I’m stuck in a rut. I know the basics but just don’t know how to move forward.

When I started playing a year ago I struggled with playing left or right handed. I finally decided left which limits me. I bought a Fender 100 because that was the only left handed guitar they had in stock which was fine because like all things I didn’t know if I would stick with it. Kind of like writing. I love doing it but time always seems to be a factor. There just isn’t enough time to do everything and my daily chores. As I played and practiced I played more, and then more. The laundry didn’t mind waiting and I was grateful for the extra time to play.

Seven months into playing I got sick which put a real damper on the whole thing. Had I hit the spot where commitment was lost? Was I just over it and wasted a couple hundred dollars on guitar I wouldn’t play again? Did I want to play? I just didn’t know where to start or where to go. The rut had found me. Little by little I picked it up every day and strummed a chord or two but the interest wasn’t really there. I know all the basic chords and have put together a couple melodies. But still I felt lost.

Writing is a different story. You almost always have pen and paper. The waste factor is unusually low if you set it down for months, even years it’s no big deal. At least not for me. I almost certainly did not want to see my guitar end up that way, so I broke down and bought a program.

guitarjamz.com. Marty Swartz is my saving grace. I joined his guitar coaching club which in just two days has taught me a great many things, including some music theory. I’m very self motivated when it comes to something I want to do. I love to research my interests so I had been watching his free videos on You Tube since I started. Of course there’re a great many teachers and programs out there. I like Marty the best. He is easy to understand not to mention I like his hats. The hats are important because who wants to look at some aesthetically unpleasing sap.

Now I look forward to playing everyday even if life only affords me fifteen minutes. Now if I could just get motivated to take some writing classes my life would be complete.

June 20, 2011

A sexy man with a hat

Have you ever seen a good looking man that looked bad in a ball cap. I haven’t. Now call me southern but a good looking man in a ball cap is a good looking man in a ball cap.

Baseball hats have a long history. They were originally designed around 1850 and serve the same purpose today as they did then. They shade the eyes from both natural and artificial light.

Here’s a few stats.

* 121 million hats sold every year
* 85% have nothing to do with baseball. Not surprising.
* 1.04 billion is the market share. At $40 a hat that seems rather low.
* The market has increased 5 to 15 percent every year since they were invented.

That’s a lot of hats. I actually can’t stand baseball, but the baseball hat is one of my favorite accessories for the whole family.

What I really love about baseball hats is what they tell. A flat billed hat may indicate a mm with a love of extreme sports while a bent in brim may indicate a love for the outdoors. No matter what they tell they all say one common thing, “A good looking man looks good in a ball cap.”

June 20, 2011

Cheating

If I can’t beat you I’ll cheat you. What a philosophy. You see this far to much and every where you go. It’s the easy way out. The losers glory.

In my kids first year of motocross he won every race. We spent time with our son at the track because winning is about the honest time and effort you put into it. We made sure his bikes were with in regulation. We got him trainers because he was good and loved what he did. You can race beginner class for one year and then never race it again on any bike no matter the size. The beginning year is the hero moment if you embrace it. We did. About eight months into his first year he was almost lapping the other beginners. He was making a name for himself.

Towards the end of the year I was watching him cross the finish line half a track or more ahead of the other riders. Standing next to me was a dad who’s kids was coming in fifth or sixth place. He says, “Wow, that kids really fast. He shouldn’t be in this class.” I replied with great pride, “Thats my kid. He trains every day for this win. This is his first year riding.” I walked away a proud mom.

I have meet lots of people in motocross most I wouldn’t care to have as friends for the protest and cheating reasons alone. One family protests their way into wining. Another has their child kick other riders on the track. Others put their kid in classes they no longer qualify for just to get some cheap trophy. I have seen bikes sabotaged, stolen. If you cant beat them cheat them.

This doesn’t stop on the track. It applies to the whole track facility. If one track is making more, people like it better then the owners call the county to serve papers, submit fines, check permits, and raise a ruckus. They try to get it shut down. In So Cal where I live there are 6 public tracks and a few private tracks within an hour or so of me. Some are better than others, but we hit them all pretty frequently. Kawasaki, Yamaha, pro riders and trainers do the same. It’s the whinny cry babies that ruin it. The cheaters. The last place losers. Most of us just want to enjoy a day with our kids. A life with our families.

I’ve heard that it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. It’s the parent that doesn’t like our flag, our god, the rules, the constitution. It the complainer who’s kids sucks out on the field of glory that gets the winner disqualified for wearing the wrong colored cleats. It the prisoner that has more rights than my kids. The baseball team that has to change there logo because some Indian was offended. Look around it’s everywhere you go. In everything we do. It’s the whiners and complainers that have become the winners. If you can’t beat them cheat them.