Welcome to my blog about my journey through this book and it's challenges. It's a simple exercise, but it's good for me. I hope you enjoy the blips and slips and funny moments. You may even learn a thing or two too!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Week 26--Share Humor--Thursday Morning

     "It was painful; I'd rather have a root canal."  He moaned as he sat down in the chair, exhausted from what apparently was a grueling corporate dinner, which he doesn't often attend.    
     "It was that bad?"  she asked, laughing aloud as she watched the pained expressions come and go across his face.  "What made it so bad?"
     With a deep sign of exhaustion, "I was the only man at a table of women, few near my age; to make it worse, most of the night was spent listening to drinking war stories from a couple of the women--and they weren't funny at all.  One woman was from the west coast with these huge sunglasses on like she was trying to look like a celebrity.  She was so loud.  We could have easily left an hour before we did.  I felt bad for the servers."
     "I'm sorry babe; however, it can be typical of corporate dinners  What did you do the whole time?"
     Now his expressions became noticeably more animated. "I can't believe what they charge for a chicken sandwich and a side of fruit!  I got one strawberry, one blueberry, three pieces of pineapple and a couple grapes.  It was horrible.  This is why I don't eat out!  What a ripoff!  I spent most of the night listening to loud women tell their vain stories.  At some point, I thought, 'How could I get out of this?  Could I fake a heart attack?'"
     She laughed and gave him a hug with a rueful smile.  "Welcome to the wonderful world of corporate dinners."

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Week 26--Share Humor--Wednesday Morning

"Women have no relief from the pressure to be skinny and look perfect.  It's depressing."
"Yeah, but that's not reality.  Women should be curvy and eat food."
"I know, but it's hard when all you see are images of perfection on TV and in magazines."
"Yes, but do you want to eat tapeworms to get that perfection?  Last time I checked, tapeworms were not on the food pyramid.  Bread is on the pyramid, but not tapeworms."

This was last night's encouraging speech courtesy of my husband.  He prefers I actually eat hamburgers and ice cream with him...instead of worms.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Week 26--Share Humor--Tuesday

This funny "female issues" conversation is courtesy of a good friend who shall remain nameless...

"I should not have worn this top, I forgot how low is it--not good for jogging in public.  Besides, there's no lining or padding." 
"What?  You're fine.  I don't even worry about being self-conscious anymore."
"Really?  Not me, I'm sad to say."
"Sure.  Why, the other day I was doing yard work--lifting, bending and digging.  I was scraping mud off of the shovel, cleaning equipment and working really hard.  My yard clothes are old, loose and comfortable and I was just doing my work. It was several minutes before I realized that one boob was hanging out of my shirt."

Commence hysterical laughter...:):)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Week 26--Share Humor--Monday Morning

     "We're going to play a final ballad for everyone, you've been a great crowd, thank it is, Body & Soul."  So concludes the musician for the evening's Jazz in the Park concert.
     As the music begins to filter through the air, heavy with saxophone, the crowd is lulled into peaceful reminisces of teenage crushes and bygone loves.  It's a beautiful evening, finally warm and sunny after a nondescript, cloudy day.  The wind is light and warm, and the crowd full--full of leisure with full picnic baskets and their fare, children at play in the grassy knolls and adults sipping leisurely on glasses of Pinot Grigio. 
     "This song reminds me of a slow dance in a 1940's nightclub" she says, reminded of movies such as Casablanca.  "I should be wearing pumps and a dancing dress, while patrons smoke fancy cigars and drink gin and tonics.  Should we stand up and dance in the aisle?" she says with a tinge of playful bantering in her voice.
     Seated close to her, she gently leans her head on the strong shoulder of her husband.  Without missing a beat, he says, "This song reminds me of the Weather Channel; it's Doppler music.  You know, the music they play in the background when the Doppler Radar is on the screen."

Talk about killing the mood! So funny, so true, and so my husband. Such was one of the several humorous conversations my husband and I had last evening at the jazz concert venue below:

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Week 26--"Share Humor"

So this week I'm to share humor versus woe:  "Instead of exchanging an endless supply of complaints about the world with friends and colleagues around you, collect jokes and silly stories you've heard or read, and shift the tone of these gripe sessions.  Wouldn't you rather hear a funny story than another tale of mundane woe?" 

"Half way there", "half-baked", "half-n-half", Week 26 has arrived in this 52 Ways to Make a Difference in 2011 journey.  If I say, "I can't believe it," or "It goes by so quickly," or "Crazy!," or "It's here already?"   I'd sound typical and like everyone else; however, I am half through the year and the journey. 

Let's take a few lines of text to review the past 26 weekly tasks, starting with the first:

Piggyback Errands
Quit Being Self-Defeating
Be Patient
I'm Sorry
Recharge Your Batteries
Be in Nature
Don't Walk Away Angry
Buy Recycled
The Next Generation
Examine a Prejudice
Gentle Driving
Cause and Effect
You Made a Difference
Low Media
Without Packaging
Stay Curious
Share Your Success
Read and Respond
Trashy Walk
Know Your Limits
Care for Water
Your Elders
Share Food
Cultural Mind Expansion
Share Humor

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Week 25--Cultural Mind Expansion--Wednesday Evening

So I picked up our new whippet, Ransom (see picture), in Valpariso, from a Canadian with the lightest blue eyes I have ever seen.  Ransom is from Calgary, Alberta and his whippet parents are from New Zealand and England, if I remember correctly.  So although I have yet to travel outside the continental USA, I have a whippet this is quite "global."

My second cultural expansion exposure occurred at the Macy's shoe department.  Leave it to shoes on sale to bring together a melting pot of ladies.  As I browsed the size 10 sale rack, a group of three what I believe were Muslim ladies were intermingled and speaking Arabic so effortlessly.  The only word I could make out was "McNuggets."  Hilarious!  Here are three women and a baby obviously not native Americans and one was on her cell phone ordering chicken mcnuggets!  Priceless. 

What I noticed first about these women is that all three were covered head to toe with the exception of their faces.  They did not give me the time of day at all; I smiled at one woman as she was only a foot or two away from me ( as I reached for the Gucci heel) and she looked at me and didn't crack a smile.  I find that odd; it would be uncouth of me not to acknowledge another human being if they were within my bubble.  The other thing I noticed right off the bat is that what lacked in displaying arm skin or their hair they made up for in dressing in very colorful tops and wearing several bejeweled items. It was quite pretty, actually, and very different than what I'm used to in my upbringing.  Appreciation for different ways to skin a cat, it seems, is the goal of this week's task.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Week 25--"Cultural Mind Expansion"

Cultural Mind Expansion:  "You can take advantage of the wide variety of cultures living in this country to learn more about cultural differences and similarities--without having to travel thousands of miles.  Spend some time with an acquaintance who grew up in another country and compare your experiences.  Are his/her attitudes and values very different from yours?  Or take an adventure to parts of town that tend to be ethnically focused, like Chinatown, Japantown, or an East Indian neighborhood.  Observe mundane things such as whether parents discipline their children in public, whether make friends touch each other, and what sorts of things are sold in the grocery store.  Culturally expand your mind as often as you can."

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Week 24--Saturday Evening--Share Food

This past week I shared food with my co-workers and my hubby shared his wonderful chocolate-chip oatmeal cookies with his friend whose wife just had their third child.  I don't think--no, make that I know I did not turn on the stove or the oven all week.  So what food did I share?  I shared a bag of M & M Pretzel candies--and oh did they hit the spot!  It was a nice end of the week pick me up for me and the my office mates.  It also helps that everyone in the office that day was female, and when I showed up with the bag of candies, each person's reaction was the same, "Yes!  Oh, chocolate, I love chocolate, I need chocolate!" 

Thank goodness for the cocoa bean!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Week 24--"Share Food"--Sunday Morning

Share Food.  "  Next time you make your family's 18-bean soup recipe for 40 people, don't divide the recipe by ten, as you usually do, but make the whole thing.  Invite friends, neighbors, and your neighbor's friends over to share a meal with you.  Or bring it to them.  Are there any homeless people in your neighborhood?  Bring them some, too.  Think about whom else you could feed whenever your turn the stove on."

This week's challenge may be difficult for me because I can't remember the last time I turned on the stove!  I rarely cook. My husband; however, enjoys cooking.  My neighbors are leaving for the lake today and quite honestly, I'm not in an altruistic mood.  Looks like I'll have to drop this mood quickly if I want to accomplish this week's Make a Difference task...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Week 23--"Your Elders"--Monday Evening

Your Elders:  "Spend some time with an older person.  Is there someone you know whose life experiences would make an interesting oral history project?  Do you know someone who is no longer as able-bodied as you, who would appreciate your company to help run an errand or do a life-improving task?  Enrich your life by sharing it with people from a range of generations."

Yesterday was my first LifeGroup; what is a LifeGroup?  LifeGroups are local small groups of fellow church attendees who happen to live in the same vicinity.  It's a way to continue the week's message in a less formal environment--one to encourage sharing, time of prayer and discussion.  I very much enjoyed my first visit, albeit I am the youngest of the group. 

What I like about our group so far is that there are four couples, ranging in ages from 30 to 60+.  Last night's discussion was lively and pertinent to our experiences right now.  I noticed that as the evening wore on, stories were told, and emotions shared, that the eldest couple in our group was so calm, so nonchalant, so patient. When they contributed to the conversation, they were met with anticipatory ears.  Their words rang true and were spoken with the quiet strength that can only come from living life.  Their example made an impression upon me and I only hope that I can learn to better listen and patiently take in life as I saw them do last evening.