Friday, April 30, 2010

Photo of the Day

There are some people that believe the city to be little more then a jumbled mess of concrete and crowded sidewalks. Allow the images below to act as a rebuttal. Here are a few snaps of some of the gorgeous blooming flowers found on Chicago's streets and trees.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Book Review: The Commitment

I have recently been introduced to Dan Savage, and specifically his sex column. (Shy readers be VERY WARY of the link. His advice is nothing if not sexually graphic. Again, caution).

I am very intrigued by Dan Savage, in part because he is unabashedly opinionated. I also like him because we share left-leaning politics, and both believe in gay rights, and well, you know how I feel about seeing how different people live. Full disclosure: he is a gay man, in a long-term relationship with the other father of his child.

I reserved his book, The Commitment, from the library, and finished it in about three days. I have never laughed out loud during the course of a book before, but happily, that streak is now over.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I will admit that there is a definite agenda to the book (which I think could be said for all non-fiction). The main agenda, if I may take the liberty to summarize, is threefold:
  1. People who are gay are just like people who are straight
  2. The gay-lifestyle really isn't inherently alternative
  3. Without the right to marry, we are treating people who are gay as second class citizens
Perhaps part of the reason that I so thoroughly enjoyed this book was because I agree on all three fronts.

Interestingly, a lot of the book is about what a good relationship consists of (or, should). Does a romantic relationship have to be a marriage to count? Does a marriage have to end in death (as in "til death do us part") to count as a success? Savage (summarizing something someone said to him) says, "Most women date with the hopes that it will 'end in something real', and by that they mean one thing and one thing only - marriage and kids. The implication is that the only 'real' or successful relationship is a marital one" (p68). It is an interesting thought. "Death parted my grandparents, not divorce, and death is the sole measure of a successful marriage. When a marriage ends in divorce, we say that it failed. The marriage was a failure. Why? Because both parties got out alive. It doesn't matter if the parting was amicable, it doesn't matter if the exes are happier apart, it doesn't matter if two happy marriages take the place of one unhappy marriage. A marriage that ends in divorce failed" (p 113).

This was the part of the book that I had the hardest time with. I can appreciate this line of thinking (and even agree with parts of it) yet I also believe in the Jenny Sanford train of thought, the whole "Love is a choice, not just a feeling". It seems to me that the whole point of relationships to learn about yourself, to grow, to develop as an individual. If that is true, then certainly those things can still be considered acheived, even if the relationship does ultimately end. Perhaps it is just marriage part of Savage's argument that I am objecting to, because, in my opinion, the whole point of marriage is permanence aspect. Even acknoledging this objection, I still am having a hard time saying that if your marriage ends, then it failed, because I don't necessarily think that to be true. (This just points out how torn I am about the whole thing, and how much Savage's opinions made me think!)

Another thing I want to comment on was the way that Savage talks about the "Gay Lifestyle" (his words) and how that is so similar to the "straight lifestyle" (my words). "You would think that after spending three decades arguing that the Gay Lifestyle was a threat to the traditional family because it was so appealingly hedonistic - yes, appealingly: the fear was that straights would be tempted to live like gays, a fear that was not entirely irrational, as it turns out - social conservatives would be delighted when huge numbers of gays and lesbians decided to embrace the Straight Lifestyle and marry. What a victory for traditional values! So attractive was commitment, so appealing was the prospect of family life, that even gay men and lesbians were embracing them! But... social conservatives refuse to take the compliment" (p149). This is interesting to me, because we (as a society) are always espousing on "family values" and yet we won't let people who are gay enjoy those same "family values" (namely, the value of creating a family). So really, it isn't the creation of the family we object to, but the actual relationship (the same-sex attraction).

Overall, this book was a hilarious comentary about one (perhaps typical) gay man's struggle for equal rights. As I mentioned, I literally laughed out loud in multiple parts. Sadly, the book was also tinged with overt sadness. Savage writes, "My relationship with Terry has always been our own creation, the product of a love some people believe isn't supposed to exist" (157). That broke my heart, as did: "Straight liberals are blue; gays and lesbians are black and blue" (163). Furthermore, several times Savage mentioned the threat of physical violence because of his sexual orientation. "Beautiful men that I have to interact with socially often get the impression that I don't like them, misreading my silence as hostility. But I'm frowning, looking at the ground, and mumbling because I'm afraid they'll beat the shit out of me" (227).

While those portions of the book broke my heart, there were other places that made me smile. The Canadian who issued Dan and his boyfriend their marriage liscense, their parents complete acceptance and love, Dan's description of his partner and his son, to name a few.

Someone asked me the other day why I care so much. I'm not gay, none of my brothers or close friends are gay. But here's the thing. I am a thinker, a feeler. I believe in equality, in justice. I believe the old saying "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere". Equally important, I am getting married in thirteen months. I am entering in to this institution, this exclusive club, and other, equally worthy members are being denied entrance. My partner and I get to decide, and my state (and country) give us that right to make that decision. I wish that all adults had this privilege, this right, and I pray that this will soon happen.

(In the meantime, read this book!)

"If marriage was a promise to care for another person, Terry and I had been married for a long time. When he calls, I drop everything. When I'm sick, he takes care of me. I don't see how our commitment with each other threatens traditional marriage, but if it does, well, then traditional marriage will just have to tough it out".
-Dan Savage, The Commitment, P278

Thursday, April 22, 2010

On My Family

I first met Shawn Steil when I was eleven years old, sometime in the fall or winter of 1995.

He was a stranger, this man who was taking my mother out for coffee, or a dinner date, or maybe to see a movie. He brought us butter popcorn, with M&Ms, and told us to combine them. To pour the bag of M&Ms into the cooked popcorn. This was a snack revolution.

We liked them. We liked him.

And so did our mother.

Sometime later (maybe a month, maybe a year, I don't know) we met his children - his five children - and forget it. We weren't sure who these Steil's were, but we would be fine without them, thankyouverymuch.

Shawn and my mother kept dating, despite their children's immature objections, and fell in love. Much to our initial displeasure, they became engaged, and plans were made for the Maloney's and the Steil's to relocate, to merge. A new home, a new family. A new life.

But the parents, well, obviously, they knew best, and they saw the big picture. A new life for all of us. Leaving the past behind us, and starting fresh.

Something we all needed.

Something we all did.

On August 2, 1997 my family was created.

It's been nearly 13 years, and I will admit: I was wrong. I thought it was a bad idea, the whole thing, and I was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

It is impossible to be more wrong then I was.

Because my family, the family that my mom and my dad created starting that August day? It is so right.

Biology is wonderful, but it isn't everything. My family is a study in nature versus nurture. We are half biology, half choice. I have 2 brothers with whom I share blood, 2 with whom I do not. A parent who birthed me, a parent who chose me.

I've heard that "friends are the family we choose for ourselves" which is a lovely quote, and it has such a nice sentiment, which I do believe. But sometimes, family is the family we choose for ourselves. My mom married Shawn, but that didn't make us family. No, he chose me as a daughter, and I chose him, too.

Someday I will write about him, about my second father, but at this point, I have still not found a way to write what I want to say.

At this point? Suffice it to say that I still eat popcorn with M&Ms.

"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one".
- Jane Howard

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spring Flowers

One of my favorite things about spring? Spring flowers, of course!

A few gorgeous images, snapped in the past week.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cubs Game

On Sunday, my brother & I went to our first Cubs game of the season this year, courtesy of a certain awesome uncle (THANKS DAN!) and we had a great time (except the Cubs lost in extra innings - boo!)

See below for photographic evidence.

Matt and his girlfriend, Kelly (above)

Monday, April 19, 2010

on Elena Kagan

Every so often, you experience a person who makes you question yourself, question your world, and question your role in it all.

To me, Barack Obama was that person.

(Is that person).

Two years ago, when he was campaigning in earnest, I fell in love with him, with his vision. I believed in him, hoped for him, and voted for him. I was in Grant Park when he was named the winner, the President-Elect.

(What a night).

It's been two years. Two long years, and for many people, two hard years.

I know that people are losing faith, and are afraid that he was all smoke and mirrors, campaigning to the vote. His approval numbers are down, his believers are getting quieter.

Not me. I believe that change is hard-fought. I believe that things are getting better, and will continue. I believe in the things that he has done in the past 16 months.

And I still believe in Barack Obama.

So if he believes in Elena Kagan? Well then I am in.

In case you were wondering.

Lyrics of the Day

a drop in the ocean,
a change in the weather,
i was prayin' that you and me
might end up together
it's like wishin' for rain,
as i stand in the desert,
but i'm holdin' you closer than most
cause you are my heaven

- ron pope

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Movie Review: The Bounty Hunter

Scott & I saw "The Bounty Hunter" the last time I was in Huntsville, and I must admit... I really liked it.

It's no secret that Jennifer Aniston is my girl crush (I think Scott likes her to, wink) and Gerard Butler? Sign me up.

We were both expecting a cheesy, not great movie, but I really, really enjoyed it. It was way different than I expected - it was much more action-driven, more interesting plot, and there was pretty great chemistry between Gerard and Jennifer.

As an added bonus, Gerard was hilarious. He was a total jerk, but, um, I loved it. (In a movie character, not in real life!)

Quote of the Day

"Money is freedom". - Jill Zarin, Real Housewives: NY

I don't know why this quote stuck with me so much. I guess it's because I feel like it's pretty accurate. It's interesting to think of.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Photo of the Day

Scott and I in Nash-vegas, with the King. (You can't tell from the photo, but we're both "singing", faux-microphone's in hand). Also, it should be said that we are both stone-cold sober in this pic. Seriously.

As they say, when in Rome....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Reality is negotiable." Tim Ferris

Monday, April 12, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Peace at all costs is no peace at all". - Dr. Phil

On the Supreme Court Justices, an overview

In light of the recent Judge Steven's news, I've been paying particular attention to news headlines pertaining to the Supreme Court. I am embarrassed to admit that prior to last week, I could not name all 7 Justice's. If you're so inclined, here's a short overview on each of the 9 Justices:

John Roberts Chief Justice:
Born in 1955 (he's 55). Catholic. Conservative (nominated by Dubya in '05). Went to Harvard for undergrad and law school. Against abortion rights.
Interesting tidbit: Joe Biden voted against his confirmation.
Click here or here for sourcing.

John Paul Stevens:
Born in 1920 (turns 90 next week!) Very invested in the 1st ammendment (free speech). Was in the Navy during WW2, earning a Bronze Star. Protestant.
Interesting tidbit: refers to his politics as being a "judicial conservative" but tends to vote with the liberals of the Court.
Click here and here for sources.

Antonin Scalia:
Born in 1936 (he's 74). Went to Georgetown (undergrad) and then Harvard (Law). He has 9 children. Catholic. Was confirmed 98-0 in the Senate.
Interesting tidbit: He's an "originalist" which means he supports reading the Constitution as it was written, within the context of that time, which would mean that we would NOT allow for it to move/grow as time passes.
Click here and here for sources.

Anthony M. Kennedy:
Born in 1936 (he's 73). Catholic. Stanford, then Harvard. Former Constitutional law professor.
Interesting tidbit: he is often the 5-4 "swing vote". Though he is officially a Republican, and most often votes Right, he sometimes swings Left.
Click here and here for sources.

Clarence Thomas:
Born in 1948 (now 61). College of Holy Cross, then Yale Law. Nominated by George H. W. Bush, and then faced intense debate regarding his confirmation (due to the Anita Hill scandal). Regarded as one of the most conservative judges.
Two interesting tidbits: Was married once before; Performed the wedding ceremony of Rush Limbaugh and his (third) wife.
Click here and here for sources.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg:
Born in 1933 (age 77). Cornell, then Harvard Law. Nominated by Bill Clinton. Supports a woman's right to choose, but says "The basic thing is that the government has no business making that decision for a woman".
Interesting tidbit: though they are political foes, in normal life Ginsberg and Scalia are good friends!
Sources here and here.

Stephen G. Breyer:
Born in 1938 (age 71). Stanford, then Harvard Law. Jewish. Expert on administrative law. When making a decision, he's focused on the "purpose and consequence" of it. Liberal. Supports abortion rights.
Interesting tidbit: his wife is a British aristocrat (whatever that really means).
Sources here and here.

Samuel Alito:
Born in 1950 (age 60). Princeton, then Yale. Studied abroad in Italy. Was a member of the US Army Reserves (active duty was served, fortunately, in the US). Conservative. Catholic.
Tidbit: in his college yearbook, he indicated wanting to be on the Supreme Court.
Sources here and here.

Sonio Sotomayor:
Born in 1954 (age 56). Princeton, then Yale. Catholic. Independent. Divorced.
Interesting tidbit: she is the only unmarried/childless Justice.
Sources here and here.

A few things I found to be interesting overall:
-Their average age is 68
- Two of them are "Jr"s (Alito & Roberts)
- 2/3 are Catholic (this seems crazy to me!)
- They all went to law school at Harvard or Yale - with the notable exception of Justice Stevens who went to Northwestern
-The youngest member is also the Chief Justice

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Twenty Five Things

So you may remember, a year or so ago there was a "Twenty Five Things About Myself" craze going around Facebook. I was not on the bandwagon, mostly because I thought it was so strange ("Who wants to read all of that about someone else?") but now that I have my very own blog... Well, a blog is about as self centered as you can get, so I'll just go with that.

Without further adieu:

1) I would do anything for my family. Literally anything. (I can see I've watched too many episodes of Law & Order - see #4 - because as soon as I typed this I contemplated deleting it, thinking "I hope I'm never accused of commiting a crime on someone's behalf, because this statement will TOTALLY be used against me").

2) I love to read, but I hate spending perfectly good "shoe money" (or, "purse money" or um, "rent money") on a book that I'll read literally once. Therefore, I am a regular at the Chicago Public Library. I use my card so often, I actually have my number memorized.

3) There are a few phrases/words that I cannot stand. A few examples: LOL, chat, bubble, paprika, Pepsi.

4) I watch Law & Order: SVU religiously. Because of this, I've spent many-a-night checking the insides of my closets to make sure they are empty of intruders.

5) Sorry, but working out? Not really a fan. I know that some people love it, and get a runners high (whatever THAT is). I am not one of those people. (Before someone freaks out, YES, I work out. I run. I lift weights. I sometimes go to Bikram. But I do that because I like carbs and my skinny jeans and because I know that it's good for me... not because I enjoy it).

6) My mom and dad have a truly strong, admirable marriage. They have set the bar very high for their children, and I am thankful for that. Speaking of my mom and dad, we call each other the "Three Amigos" and are very close, though not in geography.

7) I love the Chicago Bears, and havent missed watching a game on TV (or in person!) since the 2007 playoffs. Once my brother was giving me a hard time, saying that I couldn't know much about them. To be fair, I don't think he ever said "because you're a girl" but it was implied (at least by me). To prove him wrong, I listed every single player on the starting offensive roster. Don't tempt me).

8) I fly fairly often, but still say a prayer every time I take off, and text my mom/Scott the moment I land.

9) I am really not a strong swimmer at all. (Which is a nice way of saying that I could probably sink without much effort). Someday if I have children, I plan to turn them in to little fishes so that they aren't as water-wussy as I am.

10) If I was going to make a totally fluffy, silly, completely irrelevant wish, I'd wish that tanning beds would not be harmful. I like how I look so much better with a tan (Hey, I told you it was fluffy!) but I know how bad it is for me, so I don't do it.

11) I am not such a meat eater, though I'm not a vegetarian. I will eat chicken or a burger from time to time, but never crave it, and have actually never had a steak. Typically my barometer for meat eating is that the meat has to be at a satisfactory ratio with the rest of the food - so it would have to be just one component of a salad/wrap, or be wrapped up in a bun or some other delicious carb.

12) I have every single love note/card/letter that Scott has sent me. They are in a purple bag in my closet. Sometimes when I am missing him I take it out and read them. Some make me laugh, some cry. It's my warm and fuzzy box, for sure.

13) I eat cottage cheese with salty foods (carrots/peapods/Pringles) not sweet foods (peaches, etc). My sorority sisters used to be really grossed out by this.

14) I once ran in to Jay Cutler and Greg Olsen (see #7) on the street. I am so totally NOT a Cutler fan (I think he's the worst decision in the history of the Bears Organization and I wish that he would be released from his contract. Need I mention the phrase "26 Interceptions"? Ahem). Not surprisingly, Cutler was a total, uhhhmmm, jerk (I'd like to use a more colorful word, but my mother reads this blog) and played with his Blackberry the whole time. Olsen, on the other hand, was friendly.

15) I wax my arms. (Weird, I know. It just freaks me out).

16) When I was a junior in college, a tornado ripped through our city. On my block, something like 10 houses were destroyed. It was one of the scariest, most surreal nights of my life.

17) I have tried numerous times to blog about my dad, Shawn, and the subject of feminists. I simply cannot yet. I'm just not a good enough writer to express my thoughts on those two subjects... yet. I have at least 5 different drafts written on each of those subjects. One day....

18) I hate small-talk. Ok, so the weather has been nice. Yay. Why do we have to talk about that? I avoid it whenever I can. My friend Jennie can recount one of the first times that I met her boyfriend (maybe the 2nd or 3rd meeting) and asked him if he loved her, and if so/not, what his intentions were with her.

19). See #2. While I'm reading a book, more often then not I will get to around page 100, and then flip to the end to read the last few pages; I always want to know how it ends before I get too far along. (Which is strange because it has never prevented me from reading, getting invested, and then crying when the main character falls off a cliff).

20) I love celebrity gossip. I know it's kind of pathetic and voyeristic, but I love it. (Bonus: If you are ever on the million dollar question on a game show and you need to know when Jennifer and Brad got married? Call me. July 29, 2000. Ugh. I wish I had to look that up).

21) My favorite part of any cocktail is not the liquor, or the mixer, but the garnish. Limes, and cherries and olives, oh my!

22) Regarding weddings, I love the cupid shuffle, hate the Macarena, love the toasts, and hate the bouquet toss.

23) I mix silver and gold jewelery like it's going out of style. (Maybe because it is?)

24) I have cried during numerous commercials. (The AmEx about rock climbing? The Folgers one where the daughter gets in late and then is engaged? SOMEONE PASS THE TISSUES).

25) I am very good with dates and numbers. (Freakish actually). The day I started work? June 4, 2007. The day I moved out of my apartment on Kenmore? August 1, 2009. The day I graduated high school? May 25, 2003.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Photo of the Day

The other day I decided to take the scenic way home from work. One of the perks of living by the Lake should be the Lake, don't you think? I need to take further advantage of this fact this summer (including my upcoming bike ride)!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

End of an Era or End of an Error? Iowa City is now 21+

It's official: the bars in Iowa City will be 21+ starting June 1st. I obviously don't live in Iowa City anymore, but I spent my 4 college years there not too long ago, and many of my aquantainces/friends are still invested in the city. This morning, my Facebook mini-feed was exploding with people decrying this decision as terrible, and sad for UI students.

Maybe it's because I'm so far beyond that life stage, but I think it's good decision, the right decision.

When I was a student, the catch-phrase of the bars downtown were "18+ to party, 21+ to drink". The basic premise was that everyone 18+ could get in to the bars to hang out, to dance, to be social, but that you had to be 21+ to actually drink. Ummm, that was the idea, but it wasn't reality.

The 18+ to party concept is an interesting and creative regulation, and very inclusive in theory. I would imagine (just my guess, no actual facts to back this up) that it was originally designed to maintain a level of control over underage drinking (if a fight breaks out at a bar, the police can be called immediately, whereas in a house party, it isn't that easy to maintain order).

I spent four years as a University of Iowa student, and with a summer birthday, exactly half of my time was spent as a student under 21, and half over. Full disclosure: I drank way more before 21 then I did after in bars. (To be fair, that had less to do with the bar scene, and more to do with me gaining a focus on academics). I'll take it a step further: being underage in a bar was never a deterant from being served alcohol. Once you were in the door, you could always get booze. Some bars were more stringent then others; you'd have to get an older friend to actually order your drink. But that was never an issue, particularly being in a sorority, or having a few "regular" spots where you would become friends with everyone, and know the bartenders.

A criticism of the oridinance is that underage binge drinking will simply migrate: from the relatively controlled bars downtown, to completely unregulated house parties off campus. Yes, I suspect that this is true. But some of the obligation to maintain order belongs to the students - don't go somewhere that isn't safe. Don't drink more then you are comfortable with drinking. Leave a party if it gets more rowdy then you want.

Another criticism is that the real issue isn't 20 year olds having a beer, it's binge drinking, an issue that affects college students of all ages, including those 21+. To that end, this ban will do nothing to curb the real issue. I totally agree. To be competely honest, I think that the drinking age should be lowered to 18 and I truly don't see anything wrong with a non-driving 18, 19, 20 year old having a beer or two or three (but that's another post entirely). I think having the drinking age set at 21 is bogus. But the fact is, that is the law. The 18+ law makes underage drinking in bars the rule, not the exception. As UI president Sally Mason stated, "Simply put, more students consume more alcohol where and when it is easy to obtain".

I guess my main thought about the Iowa City downtown area becoming 21+ is "um, duh". The drinking age in this country is 21. There are very few other places in the country that allow 18-20 year olds to come in to a bar, and hang out, "party". As I stated, I'm not trying to argue that 18-20 year olds don't drink, or shouldn't drink. I'm just suggesting that Iowa City preventing underage people from going in to a bar is pretty typical of other towns (college towns included) across Iowa and the US.

Photo of the Day

Taken from Facebook, in response to Constance McMillen's struggle.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Photo of the Day

Last weekend I ordered my signature drink with a side of "extra olives". This is what was brought to me. (My kind of bar!)

#18 Learn To Write A Love Poem In French

I've been searching for the write poem. I wanted it to be fairly generic, universal in that the "love" wasn't necessarily romantic love, but could be platonic or familial love. I love Scott with all my heart, but I also love my mom with all my heart. My dad and my brothers with all my heart. My cousins, my friends. I truly believe that the heart is limitless, that loving one person doesn't take away from the love that you feel for another. And I wanted my love poem to reflect that.

The French have a way with words, particularly in describing romance. Let's just say it took awhile to find something appropriate. After sifting through poems online decrying so-and-so to take the breath away from so-and-so, I spotted it. After confirming that it meant what I thought it meant with my smart French brother (ok, so he may not be French but he speaks it!), I am officially declaring this my French Love Poem.

(And yes, originally I intended to actually write this, to create the French words. Let's just say that didn't work out. Oops).

Without further adieu:

Il n'y a qu'un bonheur dans la vie, c'est d'aimer et d'etre aime.
(There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved).

Isn't that beautiful?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Photo of the Day

Spring in Huntsville, AL.

10 Years

I have talked about my dad Mike recently, and I don't have much to add right now. I hesitate to even write anything, lest I overuse the subject or paint a picture that I am still in constant grief, or that I am unhappy with my family, with my parents, with my life. I feel very comfortable with who I am, with where I am. But I do grieve his loss, and I feel compelled to put something on paper (figuratively), because today is the anniversary of his death.

Ten years.

I wish for an afternoon with him. I want him to know about us, about how we are doing. So much has changed since then, with our family, with our world. We've had two presidents, a terrorist attack, a war. High school, college. We've grown up, moved out. Matt and I graduated, moved to Chicago. Joe's in college. I fell in love. I'd say that we're doing ok- but it's more then that. We're making our way in the world, independently. Together. We're happy.

There is so much about us I wish he knew, and so much about him that I wish I knew.

Did he understand the depths of his struggle? Of ours today?

Ten years.

When I remember him, I can smell the patchouli, see his flannel and jeans, Carhart jacket. I see the camper, his campsite, the Bait & Tackle store. I think of Godfather's Pizza, his giant coffee mug, the gray Dodge Ram.

Despite it all... I loved him. And I still do.

You know? He was my dad. As messed up as he was, as unkind, with as much baggage... I loved him.

Ten years.

I like to think that he is up there, somewhere, looking down on us, Old Style in hand, having one of those big laughs of his, thinking we're doing pretty damn well.

"No one is truly dead, until they are no longer loved"

-Theophile Gautier

Michael Ives Maloney 3/13/48-4/6/00

Monday, April 5, 2010

Six Word Biography

Have you ever read Ernest Hemingway's famous six word story? (No? Allegedly, Hemingway was asked to write a story with just six words. His selection: For Sale. Baby Shoes. Never Worn. Striking, devasting and thoughtful).

Sam's blog today drove me to the Harvard Business School blog, which talks about summing up your leadership in six words (their business-y take on Hemingways six word story). I enjoyed reading the comments, seeing what others came up with in regards to a six word business mission statement and it made me try to come up with my own biography in six words. Here are a few that I came up with:

Trying to be kind, every day.
To sum it up, I'm happy.
Authentic, hopeful, informed, kind and loyal. (Yeah, this one was easy!)

But if I had to pick one, this would be it: Devoted to family: biological and otherwise.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

On Authenticity

I was reading a blog entry recently and the author was listing out things she sucks at (her words!) , and one thing she listed resonated with me:

- confrontation (unless it's with family. then, bring it on!)

That stopped me literally in my tracks (at my computer). How true that is with me, in my life. I hesitate to mention when my "cobb hold the blue cheese" salad comes with the cheese decidedly unheld. I think this is because I don't want to upset anyone, and yet, when my mom or Scott make the slightest mis-step I am over them faster then they can retract whatever it was.

At first I was thinking I would do a public apology, using this blog as my forum. But then I thought, am I really sorry? Maybe sorry that I snap so quickly, but I'm not really.

Rather, I'm so thankful. Thankful for the kind of genuine, unconditional, real relationships that allow me to say what I want to say, do what I want to do, without fear that someone is going to not like me, or be hurt, or hold a grudge.

Here's to authenticity!

Friday, April 2, 2010

#19 Develope my mission statement

To be: authentic, hopeful, informed, kind and loyal.

Ordered alphabetically, not necessarily by importance.

Today is Good Friday, so it seemed appropriate that I put this out there today, to say what I strive for, what kind of person I try to be. I'm not saying that I always acheive this (I have been known to be, ahem, a "witchy-b" from time to time) but I vow to try and to keep trying.

Flashback Friday Pt 2

Pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself. (And I do!)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

On Time

"In the human experience, I declare passage of time is the biggest surprise."

I've linked to this blog before. It's one that I ready daily, eagerly. The blogger is funny, quirky, interesting. I don't read it because I agree with her, oh no. I often disagree. In fact, I a few days ago I had the thought that she and I had nothing in common. She: a wife, a mother, who stays at home, raising her son awaiting the birth of her daughter. Conservative, Mormon, lives in Utah. I kind of relished how different we are, feeling like I was peeking in to this other world, seeing how she lives, what she values, what her life is like. I have come to admire her, respect our differences and the ways that we each see the world and our place in it. She seemed like someone I could be friends with, though our differences abound.

But then she went and said that.

True. Universal. Terrifying.

Maybe we have more in common then I think.

(I had several paragraphs written about about the things that are in the past and why that is so difficult to comprehend. It was cliche and cheesy and just not good writing. I don't want to blog about something just for the sake of blogging. So I deleted it. Suffice it to say that the speed at which time is passing is scaring me, and it seems to be increasing. I am vowing to live in the moment, to enjoy today for today's sake. We only get one chance at right now, at this instant, and while it's a little trite to say so, it's ultimately true).

(Related music: Green River Ordinance, On My Own. Google it!)

"He who knows most grieves most for wasted time."
- Dante