Thursday, September 24, 2009

Night at the Theatre

On Tuesday evening Allison and I went to see the musical production of Legally Blonde at ASU Gammage. As always anytime we get to spend time together we have fun. And who doesn't love the character Reese Witherspoons brought to life, Elle Woods. The cast of the musical is great. The music is energetic and perky. Dancing is superb. The dogs Bruiser and Rufus did the canine world proud. It was great fun.

Equally amusing was people watching. It was the Pink Carpet Premier night and as any Legally Blonde fan knows pink is Elle Woods signature color so as you can imagine there was a plethora of pink. Pink patent leather shoes, pink tops, bottoms and even pink feathered boa's. There was a profusion of pink popping up everywhere.

What caused me a pause and a ponder though was the audience. As a matter of record, Arizona is the land of perpetual casualness. I am good with casual. Definitely enjoy dressing casual. But for some reason I have it in my head that when you go to the theatre you dress up a bit. It is a little out of the norm so you dress like you are doing something special. Now I guess the term dressing up is subjective. I am sure the young women in the row in front of our in the loose, pink no less, knit halter top that was hanging down in the wrong places which then caused the wrong body parts to hang over, out and actually everywhere but up, might have thought that she was dressed up. Can a person dress up in flip flops? Sure, but I wouldn't consider the 2/$5 flip flops that you buy at Old Navy dressy footware. Shorts and a t-shirt might be considered dressy unless the shorts are so short that you see way too much of someone's chunky... and if the t-shirt has any visable holes or words on it, I vote that it should stay at home. But my favorite was the old guy in his Levi's with his western style shirt and his John Deere cap. From the looks of things, Stacy and Clinton will not have any shortage of material for many many seasons to come on What Not To Wear.

The young woman sitting just 2 empty seats from us who felt it necessary to check, text and flip her phone so it would light up every 2 minutes must have been terribly bored by the whole production. I had to bite my tongue. Allison must have sensed that I was about to lose my gracious restraint, so when she came back from intermission she conveniently switched seats with me.

I was very surprised that the ushers allowed guests to come in and sit down after the show had begun. So for the first 5 minutes or so people were still traipsing through the aisle and tripping over our feet. I thought that was banned. Maybe the ushers missed that day of training. Or maybe the guests were just too pushy and impatient. Parking at Gammage is irksome when school is not in session, but it is atrocious when school is in session. Plan ahead people!

Drinking water out of the plastic bottles and sucking the water and air out of them so they crackle and creak is totally taboo. Now maybe there is a good reason to do that but I can't figure it out.

I sensed that we as a society have forgotten or never learned how to carry on in public. We are so comfortable and casual that we abate common graces. There are plenty of people who expect others to be considerate of them but then neglect the same courtesy in like. How many times have I grown lax and not treated others the way I expect to be treated? I bought a book for Drew when he was younger. It is by Munro Leaf and I think we all might be due for a refresher course by reading How to Behave and Why, How to Speak Politely and Why, and Manners Can Be Fun.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

To do list

I like to make a mental to do list before I get out of bed in the morning, a mini checklist of sorts. This morning was no different. I mentally made notes of the kids schedules today; Allison - finish dog sitting job, classes on campus, afternoon of studying; Drew - early release Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for parent teacher conferences, homework but plenty of time to hang out and play; and for me, I would be leaving work early for my appointed time at the parent teacher conferences and then immediately following to an appointment I had set up 2 weeks ago. Nothing too stressful but plenty to do.

Shortly after noon I received a phone call from Allison in which she told me that Drew had tripped and fallen on his way home from school and the result was a chipped tooth. She asked if she should take him directly to the dentist or do we need to call first. One thing about Allison is that she is a take charge kind of gal. Now I am not an alarmist. In fact I usually error on the side of not taking proper medical action as soon as I probably should so I asked if it was a small chip or large. To which she replied that about half of his tooth was gone. Okay that qualifies as large and I thought it best if I would come home. On my drive home from the office, Allison proceeded to call the dentists office as if she were me to save explanations and we had an appointment at 2pm. Since I had an hour before the appointment I decided to stop by the school, see if I could meet with Drew's teachers earlier than my scheduled time still in hopes of making my other appointment on time. What was I thinking. Being squeezed into an emergency appointment at the dentist of all places and thinking I would still make my appointment.

I am here to report that we all were able to accomplish what was on my mental to do list this morning. I didn't work quite as long as I had planned but it will be there tomorrow. I was able to see most of his teachers today and I will go back and see the other 2 sometime during the next 2 days. I did make my other appointment thanks to Allison aka responsible older sister who graciously stayed with Drew through the ordeal of putting a temporary crown on his tooth. Drew didn't quite get all of his homework done but at least now he really has a viable excuse rather than the feeble excuses he usually tries to feed me. Allison will probably be up for a while finishing the homework she didn't get to do earlier. She is like her mom in that she likes the quietness of the house after everyone else has gone to bed. I am a bit concerened about her though. We played our usually game of scrabble and I actually won! Something is definitely wrong here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sticky note...hummus, cauliflower, Dubliner cheese and fav sweet red wine

When I woke on October 21, 2008 I didn't know how significant that day would be. You see, that was the day I would choose not eat meat until who knows when. It certainly started out normal enough. I attended a seminar which hit on things we can do to make ourselves healthier. I had gone to lunch at Einstein Bagels and had a Ceaser salad. And somewhere during my time outside I declared to myself and only to myself, that I thought it would be a good idea if I would stop eating meat. Since I didn't know how to be a proper vegetarian I could make up my own rules. I decided I wouldn't eat anything with a face but since I love cheese, coffee with cream, lattes and other dairy products I would include those which eliminated me from the vegan club. I decided to add eggs too just because from time to I eat something eggy (although they aren't my favorite). I didn't have any strong convictions as to why I wasn't eating meat but mostly it came down to I wanted to see if I could be that disciplined, health was a factor with my family history, and I just didn't want to eat an animal, plain and simple. Truly, it was about me and not any great philosophical or environmental reason. It was an adventure.

Although I didn't make a long term commitment I am pleased with my resolve. I think it has helped me keep the consumption of food in a healthier place in my priorities. It has also made me more observant and aware of the issues surrounding the meat industry in America and I am convinced that we need to be doing things differently. Drew, the self aware 12 year old that he is, has proclaimed that he is a carnivore. As his mom I decided that it would be okay afterall I made the decision for me and deliberately chose not to make it for the entire family. But as the mom I did sign up to be the responsible decision maker in regards to the health of my children. I am quite sure I have not done a steller job through the years. I certainly won't be receiving the "mom of the year pin in the area of nutrition" at the next awards ceramony. Who knew all those high fructose corn syrupy snacks were bad. They were yummy and convenient. Drew was also a lot more selective (aka picky) and so I was definately more lax than I was with Allison.

After reading the article entitled Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food - TIME Magazine, I have determined from this day forward, to be more selective on what meat I buy for the carnivore for which I am responsible. Gone are the days when I would buy the cheap hamburger because it is cheap. Now I want to know what is in it and from where it comes. I know this won't be easy; I am not always the most consistant either; and I will be the first to admit that I am cheap. But living in this big ole metroplex, there are plenty of opportunities to shop in stores that offer a cleaner alternative, and I think it will be worth it. I started with the eggs. I bought the dozen in a carton declaring that the chickens were hormone free and had the opportunity to run around rather than sit in a cage. One small step I know but it had to start somewhere.

As far as my future eating habits I just have to shrug my shoulders. I have to tell you I do love a summer cherry tomato, those delightful Persian cucumbers, oh yes and my mouth can start watering for a perfectly cooked eggplant, and I get all excited with the variety at the farmers market. Stuff I have never seen before. But before I forget, I'll grab my sticky note and head to the store. I have got to get my most recent favorites: cauliflower dipped in Mediteranian Hummus, a couple slices of Dubliner cheese and that wine that I can never remember the name of but I know just where to find it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Moving Forward

It started innocently enough. I was happily living a simple life keeping up to date with email. I had my work email address and my personal email address and I threw in a gmail address just for the fun of it. Sounds so yesterdays news! Then I heard about Twitter and it seemed all to personal. Did I really want to know what people are doing at any given moment? But I started following a couple people on Twitter and pensively posted a tweet or two and began enjoying this whole new world that had opened up to me. Grudgingly, I leapt to Facebook. I will probably write more about that later. For now I will only say that the jury is still out but quite frankly I don't care a bit about what games people are playing but I do care about the people who are friends.

So now I find myself on the brink of blogging. I believe I may be too much of a worrier or should we say perfectionist on how this all will show. But that's what I love about sticky notes. By design they aren't permenant. If something changes you can peel it off the surface and replace it with a new and updated note. They are small, even the jumbo size still will only accomodate minimal words. They are transient enough, yet stick when you only have one hand to use and it is holding the pen. I never know when something noteworthy will pop into my head or someone will tell me something I don't want to forget (and to me it is noteworthy).

Today on sticky notes I wrote a couple books that I want to check out from the library. I learned about Marcus Buckingham's new book that will be released later this month and decided I wanted to read an earlier published book of his. Oh the power of Twitter. Another book I think I would like to read is by Hank Phillippi Ryan. I discovered her because I enjoyed reading Haley Ephron's book and through her website I discoved The Jungle Red Writers blog. Also on sticky notes today were a couple things I don't want to forget to do at work tomorrow. And tomorrow when I accomplish those couple things I can take the sticky notes and throw them away. I used them for a phone message pad today. They make helpful reminders of stops for the commute home. That would be why today I remembered to drop clothes off at the drycleaners

I am sure there are the organizational guru's who would scoff. That's okay. I like my plan. I am comfortable with it. I get excited when I see sticky notes in cool designs. I hate that sometimes I am too cheap to pay for the really cool designs. Stick with me and we will discover the ebb and flow of life from a pad of sticky notes.