Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Spin Cycle: Wishing on a Car

I guess we all have out strange rituals when it comes to wishing and wishes. For me it's wishing on a Car:

When I was in High School I was riding with my sister who upon seeing a car with one headlight turned to me and said: "pick a day of the week"— to which I replied: "Tuesday", then she said: "then Tuesday will be your lucky day". It seems strange to wish upon a Car… but every time after that I've always picked Tuesday as my lucky day.

Sometimes I ponder the weight of the wish… Is it one for myself, a few people, or even a large group of people? Other times I realize that my wishes may be extremely vague on purpose… I wish I had clarity in thought to make sure I make up a good wish for the Spin Cycle. (huh???)

What about you— do you have any strange wishing rituals? Do you find yourself struggling to come up with a unique wish— or do you always wish for world peace?

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Warring Madness

With all of the political turmoil in the Middle East it is usually very difficult to try and figure out why these groups have been against each other for so long. Many blame it on differences in religion where people justify their actions based upon their beliefs.

If religion can be considered a way in which groups of people cope with the challenges of living through an organized set of principles, then all religions are the same. I think if you look at the major religions of the world, their overarching principles are basically the same. The "spirit" of the religion, much like the "spirit of the law" is the same. The only difference is the words used to describe the principles. How we choose to obey or not obey these principles is up to us. This is the concept of free will. Even those who choose not to follow a particular religion are still following a principle of some sort (we would be mindless reactionary beings if we did not follow some principle).

I think that one of the challenges of today is the ever increasing population and how to deal with the seemingly increasing acts of senseless violence. Religious backing or not, Mob Rules seem to be taking over. I am reminded of a scene of Japanese snow monkeys where one monkey is beaten to death by a group of other monkeys. I believe that the reason why this behavior is this way is due to the fact that there are so many of them in one place. If we are creatures with similar social behaviors as these monkeys, then having more and more people on this planet will eventually lead to more and more of this type of behavior.

So, rather than blame it on religion, perhaps we should be blaming it on overcrowding…

Monday, June 20, 2011

Spin Cycle: Watch Your Step at the Wishing Well

Since this weeks spin is about books, I figured I would re-post a review I did about a great summer-time book. Not only that, but it is written by a high-school classmate of mine. From what I hear she has finished the sequel, so you better start reading so you can be ready for when the sequel is published.

I just recently finished the book Watch Your Step at the Wishing Well by Lisa Hudon. This is one of those easy reads that you can easily go through while on the beach or poolside. I highly recommend adding this to your summer reading list.

The story is almost like a fairytale in how an average everyday girl from the Midwest named Nicolle Bocelli falls in love with a rock star named Gary LaForge. And much like Cinderella, just when you think our heroine is living the life of bliss— true reality sets in like the clock striking midnight as this fairytale life of hers becomes complicated with drama and intrigue. And just when you think you have everything figured out, an additional twist is added which keeps you in the story and keeps you reading further. Not only does the story line keep you interested, the scenery the author uses keeps you interested as well.

I must admit that growing up in the same home town as the author there is a lot of imagery about the heroine's home town that I can identify with— but I also believe that the settings are quite believable and paint an interesting picture that assists in the character development. The contrast between the home towns of both Nicolle and Gary complement each ones character and assist in showing where they both come from as well as showing why their personalities are the way they are.

I rather like the way in which Gary interjects from time to time with his own telling of the story. It is almost as if Nicolle sat down after the fact and was writing her adventure when Gary decides he needs to give "his" side of things.

And just as everything in the story seemed to come together and reach a dramatic climax, it quickly ended. Everything was neatly put in its place and a calm sense of normalcy returned. But this sense of a heroic and dramatic ending leaves the reader wanting more. There are a lot of unanswered questions… but I'll leave that to the author to answer when the sequel is released.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Scar Tissue Tales

When I was in High School, our church choir was on tour in St. Louis. During the time we visited the riverfront, a downpour occurred and forced us to wait it out in the back of an RV in our shorts and T-shirts. To pass the time we wound up pointing out all of our scars and telling everyone how we got them. I don't know what it is about scars, but they seem to be something that most people enjoy sharing. One would think that this is a particular "Boy" thing, but the girls were equally pointing out their scars and telling everybody how they got them, no matter how gruesome the story.

There seems to be a leveling quality to scars in that if you know that someone else has a scar– this makes them more human. The willingness of pointing out ones imperfections shows a humbleness and proves that we are all fallible.

There are several scars that I have found that I have to ask myself "now, how did I get that one…" then rack my brain and try and figure out how I got injured. Others I know I got, but have a tough time trying to find: such as the laceration on my left forearm– the only place I ever got stitches.

I was working at Knaack Manufacturing helping form job boxes. I was assisting the break-press operator with lifting the box top while it was being bent. I must have dropped my arms at some point, because I did not notice that I was cut until I started to lift the next piece, and saw the blood dripping down my arm. I am sure that if this were any other cut, I would not have to have stitches. But, since I was working with metal, it was required. For the longest time, I kept thinking that it was my right arm that was injured, since that was the arm closest to the piece. Interestingly, it was not the arm closest to the piece, but the other one– which probably explains why I could not find it on my right arm.

Much like the tree in the forest; if a scar cannot be seen– did the injury ever occur? I sure hope not because there are some injuries that I felt a scar should be visible, but went away. But, even though there is not visible scar, the story still remains. Like the time that I was playing baseball in a neighbors back yard in my bare feet and overran first base only to slip on a plastic drain pipe and cut my foot from the base of the big toe up through the heel. A great looking cut, but it actually went away in about 3 weeks (probably because most of the cut was through the callous skin).

The best scars are those that when you look at, you either guess wrong, or can't figure out how such a scar was formed. The next time I'm in sandals, I'll show you the one on my right ankle and ask you how you think I got it.

It is our scars– as well as our experiences that cause them that define our being. Having a scar allows us to reflect on our experiences and know that we are able to recover from our injuries and tell the tale.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Spin Cycle: Office Decor

The other day I was talking with my co-workers about different offices they had and how they liked or disliked the way their desk was set up— and it reminded me of one desk set up that was the worst for me. Since this week's spin cycle is on decorating, I felt that our attempt to make the space more tolerable makes a good spin.

I had a job where my desk was directly below the skylight. When I first moved in during the winter it was nice to have the light, but by the time summer rolled around it became unbearable…

Here is what the sky-light looked like in the afternoon.

In order to be able to work in such conditions, I bought a golf umbrella and some PVC piping to rig up a shade for myself…

Here is the umbrella shoved up into the skylight.

Our department got new cubicles to replace our desks. During the time that the old section of the room was unoccupied, we decided to take advantage of the skylight…

Here is an example of how much sun came in through the skylight
(Enough to get a tan, eh…)

So with a little ingenuity and some office plants, we made a great tropical paradise…

This is our Tropical Paradise

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Writer's Workshop: It's all in the genes

In honor of Mamma Kat's Writer's Workshop I have decided to tackle prompt #3:
Describe a talent or flaw that seems to be in your genes.

Author's Note: This is a re-posting of an earlier post I made in 2008. I realized that it fit quite well with the writing prompt, so I re-posted it. Enjoy…

No, I'm not Sybil…

I must admit that I am my parent's child. Looking at some of my physical traits you can tell that I am genetically related to them— my flattened nose from my Dad, my crooked bottom teeth from my Mom, etc., etc. But I also know that I have inherited other things as well.

Besides the fact that Mom likes cream in her coffee— Dad likes sugar… and I like both cream and sugar, I know that I have inherited some distinct personality traits.

Sophisticated — Sarcastic
I get my sophistication from my Dad. He's the one who taught me how to order in a restaurant, how to tie a tie, and how to think logically. I think that he also influenced my "old fashioned" nature and my desire to wear hats, shave with a straight razor, etc. Not to say that he's a stuffed-shirt— he can also be quite funny— but this is what I notice to have gleaned from him.
I get my sarcasm from my Mom. We were always trying to top one another and usually wind up saying… "you won the smart alack of the year award". Not to say that she's always goofy, but she does have an interesting wit that I also have in abundance.
Personal — Professional
My mother is very personable. She's the one I always had those heart to heart talks with when in my formative years and I always appreciate her care and concern. I believe I got most of my parenting skills from her and know that I am thoughtful and loving towards others because of it.
My father— though retired now— has a lot of professionalism that I greatly respect. It's his work ethic that I admire and I try to emulate his dedication to the task at hand in the work that I do.

"First impressions are everything" they seem to say… but it may be that if I lean towards one of my traits, I do not get the acclamation or respect that I think I deserve. I may be quite sarcastic at times which seems to effect my being personal because people don't take me seriously. Or, I may be acting quite professional and later tell a very subtle joke that nobody gets. If you understand that I am a combination of these traits, you should be able to understand me better in the long run.

Mama’s Losin’ It
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