Saturday, January 31, 2009

"Skateisan" Goes Big

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Growing up as a girl in California, the thought of getting physically punished while skateboarding never even crossed my mind. Neither did quiting skating because my family told me to. Talk about prison. Prison created by the dogma of religion and culture.

I may not have fit in, being one of a handful of girl skaters around, back then. Yes, I stuck out, but I felt welcomed. And I never felt threatened because I skated. Yes, I felt like a rebel and a bit of a misfit, but I kind of thrived on being different. Apparently, some things never change.

And I started skating over twenty years ago. Oh, and I'm forty and still skating. So it's hard to imagine a girl of 9 or 10, or any age for that matter, being barred from something as harmless as riding a skateboard.

The video above, is full of hope for girls all over the world. The news video is a New York Times piece on a program in Afghanistan to bring skateboarding to boys and girls of Kabul.

Skateboarding school! Wow. Kids in Afghanistan can play, have fun and forget their troubles, at least, for a little while.

It's interesting to watch skateboarding thrust itself upon a culture that has strict tribal rules, where the needs of the individual are typically overridden by the needs of the village. The rules in skateboarding are: There are no rules.

Skateboarding is not a team sport. It's an individual endeavor. Yes, there is always the aspect of trying to improve and skate better than other skaters, but working together stops at taking turns and getting in line for runs during a skate session.

Perhaps, skateboarding is symbolic of a bigger change within the culture. A transformation that includes greater rights for girls and women, including access to education.

And just as skateboarding has spread to the youth of America, it will spread across the world. To the boys and girls of our tiny global village. Check out the story on "Skateistan" by watching the embedded video above or here's a link to the written story.

Friday, January 30, 2009

"People Get Ready" with Eva Cassidy

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Right now more than ever we need faith, hope and love. While we do seem to be facing tough times, this is an opportunity to focus on what really matters.

In my opinion, all that matters is being in the moment. I believe I will know everything I need to when I'm in the moment listening to my intuition or angels or whatever it is you like to call it.

Someone just said, "Yeah, but I don't know how to get in the moment."

But I do and I love sharing.

Short version of how to get in the moment: Breathe.

"But that is so simple," someone complains. "It will never work."

Oh, but it will. Try it on any problem or situation. Start breathing and you will automatically know where to begin.

Angels and miracles are all around us. Take a deep breath and you will see them. Stress never got anyone anything, but a heart attack and high blood pressure.

Like the song says:
"People get ready, there's a train a comin'
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin'
Don't need no ticket, you just thank the Lord."

Eva Cassidy, by the way, is one of those angels. She left Planet Earth in 1996, but her spirit lives on, and touches many lives through her song.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

"It's All Your Fault"

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The other day I was grumbling about how unorganized our house is. I'm not a huge fan of cleaning and I have zero skills when it comes to organizing. Though Then when I hurt my shoulder, I could do nothin'.

And that wasn't a problem the first 3-4 weeks, but then things just started to get gross.

I'm not a mathematician, but zero minus nothin' probably equals some sort of negative number. Yes, Internet, we were buried deep in laundry. Laundry of varying levels of cleanliness ranging from piles of clean laundry, to laundry that smells clean and therefore is, and laundry that looks clean upon first inspection, but stinks on the very first whiff.

(Note: The Laundry Smell test requires at least 3 large whiffs of the suspicious apparel. All 3 whiffs must be odor free, and far enough apart that, in theory, the entire garment has been smelt.)

And the laundry wasn't contained safely in one area of the house. No, it had spread throughout our humble abode like a Nerds Gone Wild video on YouTube. Who knew nerds could be so hot?!

Oh yeah, me. I married one.

Although, if you ask him if he's a nerd his answer is, "No, not really." See my point? For the record, I'm a bit of a nerd, although most people probably don't think of me that way. And a lot of my friends are nerds, too. But this isn't a blog about nerds is it?

Not that it's any of my business what other people think of me, because whatever people think of me, is what they think of themselves, anyways. It is what I think of, what they think of me, that's my problem. Right? Yes.

Which is what lead up to all of the laundry being put away, washed and sorted, and not necessarily in that order. It all started with someone saying what they thought of me.

And do you know who that person was, Internet? Yes, you guessed it right. My husband. Here's what he said: "The reason I'm so messy is because you're so messy."

"Oh really?" I asked giving him a chance to take back his judgmental words. "Fine, no problem."

I didn't tell him to take a hike or sleep in a different room. Why would I deprive myself, after all?

In fact, a wave of calm washed over me as I took a deep breath. I felt as serene and calm as lake at dawn when I said, "Could you please vacuum the house? Oh and after that could you.....and one more thing, please...........Thanks."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Skateboard Mama

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I used to think when I hit forty, I would quit skateboarding. That was until I turned forty, and decided that was definitely a terrible idea.

Lately, my Facebook status has been reflecting my "on again" love affair with skateboarding.

"Wendy is feeling good after sidewalk surfing therapy!" 5:54pm

"Wendy got totally tubed while sidewalk surfing." 4:52pm

Skateboarding is only second behind my passionate love affair with surfing. And she doesn't mind being second apparently. When the Ocean is flat or blown out or unavailable because of my body's limitations, skateboarding is always there for me.

Even when I'm not there for her.

I wish I could embed this video, because I know how hard it is to click on a link. Even I, sometimes, cannot bare to "click." But people, today, for once Click the link! Click the link! Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease! Because now I know I can't stop skateboarding til I'm at least 84.

What you are about to see is my new heroine, Skateboard Mama, and hopefully my new hobby. The only way my dream can come true is if 500 people Click the link, and no I'm not rick rolling anyone here either.

Someone just asked, "What is rick rolling, some sort of kinky sex act?"

All I can say is maybe, but you'll have to wait for that blog to find out. And I might write about Rick rolling tomorrow or next month. Or, Internet, in the words of my son, "You can look it up!" But if you do that my blog will be very boring so please don't do it, just Click the link Thanks!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Zero 7 Gets My Groove On

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My friend recently recommended a band called "Zero 7" to me. She recommended Zero 7 specifically for getting "my groove on."

I thought I would do a test run so I listened to it in my car. In the morning, when I'm definitely trying to get into the groove of the day.

Typically, I like my music upbeat and positive in the A.M. Think "amp." Zero 7 is all about "chill, baby, chill." I was having a hard time staying awake, while listening to it.

"It's not doin' it for me," I texted my friend.

"You're thinking too much," she texts back. "You need to feel more."

When I get my groove on I do need to feel chill, but it has to be combined with excitement, as well. Relaxed excitement. The scientific term for that is probably, something like, AROUSAL.

Anyways, I give Zero 7 at least seven points for it's high relaxation factor and swallowability in an elevator, while on phone hold, or at some sort of medical office.

I have been listening to Zero 7's "Simple Things" in my car for several days now and it's growing on me, especially when the wiring in my nervous system is firing off like big city fireworks.

Enter my husband, the music snob. And, yes, for the record, I simply adore him, but he's a total music snob.

"What is this elevator music we're listening to?" asks Stefan as we we're driving down the road of life.

"Zero 7," I answer. "I didn't like it at first, but it's growing on me. It's supposed to be good for getting our groove on."

"Oh, yeah!" he says. "I get it, now."

The song we were listening to at that moment was an instrumental. He was so inspired he added some lyrics because he's such a "Smooth Operator," and he thought Zero 7 must have been, at least slightly, influenced by Sade, does not rhyme with Jade.

Yes, Bee, it's another 80s chart topper!
As I've said before, I think in song.

Back to the elevator, now. Here are the lyrics he came up with for this song. Second, third and fourth verses, same as the first, in case anyone wants to sing along. Oh and elevator is a metaphor for, oh never mind, Internet you'll figure it out.

When I feel that music I feel, el---e----va----tor

Turn up the music, we won't disturb the neighbor because it'll just sound like an



El---e----va----tor and the doctor's office too.

I walk down the grocery store aisle and all I can think about is you.

El---e----va----tor at the dentist, too.

Zero 7 and the Elevator Song.

Oh, and did I mention, why I simply adore him? No? Well, then here it is. He has a huge....................sense of humor. What did you think I was gonna say? Yeah, I thought so. Don't worry I won't go crying to the newspapers, are they still here?, that the Internet was a bad influence on me.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Home Gym

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We sort of have a home gym. One without all the traditional equipment that comes to mind when a person thinks, "home gym."

We don't have a stair stepper.

Or a stationary bike.

We do have a mini trampoline, though. But how many people have a mini-trampoline as part of their "home gym," besides us? Zero, probably.

The limitations of our home gym, doesn't stop our oldest son from getting in a creative workout and driving us crazy, all at the same time. What can I say? He gets that mulitasking business from me, I suppose.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pandora Rocks and Hip Hops and Hee Haws and Blasts to the Past

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One of my Facebook friends recently reminded me of Pandora.

Her status read, "I'm in the midst of another pandora inspired dance party. 7:51pm - Comment."

I first stumbled across a couple of years ago. Pandora is a free music website. Read: Internet Radio. But better because it's easily customizeable.

So, I started listening to Pandora again, because I'm too lazy to load up the music on my computer or plug in my MP3 player.

Oh! One other reason I love listening to Pandora is to find new music. Although I do love getting music referrals from my friends, especially when someone surprises me with a CD.

But in between life's sweet little surprises, I turn on Pandora.

I almost forgot to mention, in the last two years, Pandora has gotten so much better than when I first started listening to it. As far as I can tell, Pandora has achieved musical perfection by adding "billions and billions" of songs and artists to the site. A great music site is more than just a great web design and easy navigation, it better have great music. And Pandora does!

Also, Pandora is not Spamdora. So don't be afraid to sign up for an account. It appears to be safe and dedicated to its mission:

"Since we started back in 2000, we have been hard at work on the Music Genome Project. It's the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken. Together our team of fifty musician-analysts has been listening to music, one song at a time, studying and collecting literally hundreds of musical details on every song. It takes 20-30 minutes per song to capture all of the little details that give each recording its magical sound - melody, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics ... and more - close to 400 attributes! We continue this work every day to keep up with the incredible flow of great new music coming from studios, stadiums and garages around the country."

As far as listening choices for the lazy, there are genre stations ranging from Alternative, classical, Electronic, Holiday, New Age, R&B, Blues, Country, Folk Jazz, Oldies, Reggae, Christian Dance, Hip Hop, Latin, Pop, Rock.

Then within those categories there are subcategories, with anywhere from 5 to as many 18 sub-genres, in each category. Rock or Wock! for winner rings in with 18 sub-genres.

Sometimes with pre-programmed radio, the same track list plays over and over, but with Pandora not only is there a variety of tracks, but there is an option to skip playing a song for an entire month. People, that is a built in "Fail" button!

The other delicious part of Pandora is I can type in a favorite song, or artist then Pandora creates a station of music similar to the artist or song. I just created a "Wicked," station and Pandora is playing Broadway hits songs ranging from "Rent" to "Mama Mia" to "Alladin." I'm in auditory orgasmic bliss.

And it gets better. After I have created all my stations, via artist or song, I can use the Quick Mix button, and select all or some of my radio stations to play. Talk about a musical orgy.

So whether you love to listen to music, or have private naked dance parties in your kitchen, Pandora is worth checking out.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Our Bed has been Taken Over By a Very Small Band of Pirates

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All I have to say is we went to bed way too late last night.

The kids went to bed really early, practically on time, for once, I believe.

Stefan was working on lessons plans all night and I kept him company by watching the three or four episodes from the 5th season of the L word.

When we went to bed our bed was empty, which is a good thing because I'm definitely more of a participant than a spectator when it comes to sports.

But by 6 a.m. this morning, after less than five hours of sleep, our bed had been invaded by a very small band of rowdy pirates. I'm not sure what the sleeping bag on our bedroom floor is for, because it was empty, and the bed was full.

I know when we are empty nesters we are going to long for our crowded bed full of flying elbows and feet. But this morning, I was certain the rock the sea lions were sunning on, would be more peaceful and relaxing than our bed.

Friday, January 23, 2009

"I Love You!"

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"Gio, I love you," I say.

"Okay, Mommy I love you, too," he says.

"I love you so much!" I say.

"Stop," he says.

"But I just love you!" I say.

"That's enough love, Mommy," he says.

"Really?" I ask. "But why?" Now, I'm sounding like the three year old.

"Because you're harassing me," he says.

Where on Goddess's violet (nerdy aura joke) Earth did he learn that?

A. Big Brother

B. Mommy

C. All of the above

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Addicted to Facebook

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This vlog sums up Facebook. But don't bother watching it, okay. Because, I don't know, you might laugh and that would be terrible.

The vlog may help people break the Facebook Fever. Unless, you're my Mom, who still asks, "how does this Facebook thing work?" Sounds luke warm to me.

Or me. I'm not addicted to Facebook. I only update my status once or 13 times a day.

"Wendy loves the smell of coffee. 8:14am"

"Wendy is ready for some fun. 10:37am"

"Wendy got totally tubed while sidewalk surfing. 4:52pm"

"Wendy is preparing to play pokemon. 6:05pm"

My husband had to quit Facebook for awhile because he felt he was spending too much time Facebookin' it.

"I kept checking my Facebook throughout the day," he says. "It just got to be too much."

He took a break, but he's back on it. "Stefan is re-joining the ambient awareness of FaceBook." He thinks he is going to have more friends than me. Ha!

I love Facebook. Looking at two pictures of someone I know, followed by 500 photos of people I don't know. Yeah, that is a little weird. Especially high school pictures from twenty years ago. It should be illegal to tag, name, people in photos without their permission.

What if a teenager gets really mad at his parents and starts posting horrible pictures of the two people who sacrificed their entire lives for said child. It could happen! To me! I see the future(read in "I see dead people" voice).

But really can't the powers that be, stop the senseless photo tagging of innocent people? If Facebook can fire Burger King, then it can stop photo tagging, right? It's mean. Meaner than betraying someone for a Whopper.

Facebook fired Burger King, huh? Burger King created the Whopper Sacrifice where if a Facebooker fired 10 friends, the Facebooker got a free Whopper. (Only one free whopper per Facebooker, please.)

Sounds like a great idea. Piss off ten people to get a hamburger that upon ingestion will induce a two hour coma. I love it!

Facebook found fault with Burger King's clever app because it violated user's privacy by announcing all the fired users on Facebook Nation, where everything, and I mean everything, is announced anyways.

"How embarrassing!"

So the Facebook Admin put the double flame broiler out faster than I could update my status: "Wendy thinks Burger King's App is funny, but mean spirited."

Honestly, did anyone really get offended by getting fired for a cheap hamburger? I know I'm worth more than a Whopper, but for the record no one fired me. Phew!

The critics of Facebook are hailing Burger King's Whopper Sacrifice as a brilliant marketing tactic. Over 200,000 friends were "sacrificed" in the name of the whopper in less than a week.

Facebook, after all, doesn't have to be just about making friends it can be about making money, too. Then Facebook won't have to do some sort of elenvth hour fundraising to save its own life.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Same Bird

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I took the first picture of the bird enjoying the fountain on Thursday. Then when we went back the next day the bird was still there enjoying the fountain.

I was so excited I told my husband about the bird being at the fountain two days in a row.

"That isn't the same bird!" he says.

"Yes, it is," I say.

"No, it's a different color," he says.

"It's the same bird, but the lighting is different."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Watch the Inauguration Live Now!

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I had another blog planned for today, but then I went to Hulu and found I could embed the inauguration on my blog.

My very own inauguration. Yipppeee!

Wow. I feel like I'm really getting 45 million dollars worth now.

I love technology!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ergonomic Cuddling

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Sometimes I wake up with a numb arm from trying to cuddle with my husband. Hey, maybe that's what is wrong with my shoulder?

I found the following video on ergonomic cuddling very helpful.

Now I can cuddle and sleep, at the same time. Oh, the thrill of multitasking!

FYI: People who sleep naked have more sex. Random thought, or maybe it's all connected. Hmmmmm?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Cool Cover Y'all

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Check out the Foo Fighter's cover of, "Band on the Run," from 2007. "Band on the Run" was the Foo Fighter's contribution to an album of covers titled "Radio 1 Established 1967," that celebrates the 40th anniversary of the BBC.

"Band on the Run," originally by Paul McCartney (you know that guy from the Beatles) and Wings was was at the top of the billboard charts in 1974. I was six. Music is timeless.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Love Comes in all Shapes and Sizes

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Love Rules!

Love transcends seemingly insurmountable differences.

This is sweet.

Inspiring and hopeful.

I feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Hooray for Internet Therapy!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Snake Bite

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The first time I saw this video, I laughed so hard I snorted. Then I watched it a few more times and I nearly peed my pants.

The snake was a little scary for me, though. I have an extreme phobia to snakes due to a past life fatal injury by a snake. In that life, I was a Shaman. I was inadvertently killed by the snake while performing an ancient tribal ritual.

The snake was going to be sacrificed to Goddess as thanks for the tribe's bountiful harvest. I can't say I blame the snake.

The other day I was listening to a radio show and the guest described Karma as a reaction to some other action to keep the universe in balance. Sounds about right to me.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Another Day in Paradise

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Yesterday, I was walking on the beach and came upon a beach goer reading a travel magazine.

"10 Dream Budget Vacations!"

"How lucky am I?" I thought to myself. I live in paradise. It's January and 70 degrees on the beach. I feel like I'm on vacation.

Just this morning I was reading a blog about how life in Utah is freezing and depressing.

Freezing and depressing.

I'm glad some people are willling to live in freezing and depressing places because, otherwise, paradise would be very crowded.

As I was walking on the beach, I ran into a fellow surfer, "how's your arm?" he asks.

"Well, it's still attached to my body," I say grumpily.

"Huh?" he asks confused.

"It hasn't fallen off, yet, so that's good," I clarify.

"At least it's flat," he says. So it isn't like you could be surfing, anyways."

He had a point. If my shoulder were able to surf, and therefore me as well, I would probably be in tiff because it's flat on my day to surf, and the conditions are so perfect, and blah blah blah.

But instead, I was like a regular person. Enjoying a perfect day. Not wishing for perfect waves. In fact, the sight of a flat ocean was a relief knowing I wasn't missing anything.

Yeah, I was totally happy until I signed onto Facebook and one of my friend's status read something like, "I just caught 1000 waves on my longboard."

I figured maybe she hadn't updated her status, but then I checked the time, which read, "6 minutes ago."


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"I Had Sex With My Brother"

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"I started "The Samurai's Garden" you recommended," I say to a friend at a party.

"Really, do you like it?" she asks. "How far are you?"

"Well,they just went to the leper colony to visit the lady," I answer. "The lady is either the guy's sister or his lover, right?"

"I'm not gonna tell you," she says.

"That's okay," I say. "I know it's one or the other or maybe both."

"No, don't worry it is definitely not both," she says cringing a little on the inside from the incest reference.

"Well, I read Middlesex so either way I'm okay with it," I say.

Middlesex is a very long novel about many things. Most people think of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize winner as a novel about incest. The story starts in Asia Minor, where a brother and sister (of Greek descent) fall in love and immigrate to America under the disguise of marriage, thinking no one will know the difference.

Middlesex covers many topics, including an historical look at the birth of corporate America in Detroit and it's rape and bondage of the world, transgenderism, incest and family drama/trauma.

The story goes through several generations and leads up to the granddaughter's, or was she a grandson?, confused sexuality. As it turns out her mixed parts are the result of her grandparents swimming nude, in too small of a gene pool. The grandmother spent an entire lifetime feeling guilty and responsible, before anything ever went genetically wrong.

Yes, at first, I was put off my the brother and sisterly love, but then I realized sometimes people can't help who they love. It happens all the time.

A few days ago, I came across an article titled, "I had sex with my brother and I don't feel guilty about it." The names were changed and the story was told to the writer by the sister.

The article was interesting, revealing and for some disturbing. And it made me come back to the decision I made while reading "Middlesex," sometimes people can't help who they love.

Like when married people have affairs of the heart and sometimes body, or people with same sex love partners, or a mouse falls in love with a princess. This also causes me to resort to the whole past life explanation.

The past life explanation is simple in theory, yet complicated in the way it plays out and impossible to prove, maybe. People go through many lifetimes in different bodies, but with the same soul. Souls can come together in more than one lifetime, but they play different roles. In one lifetime, two people can be father and daughter,in the next siblings, in the next best friends, and yet in the next lovers.

What would be the point of that? So the heart can learn compassion and the many ways of love. The sole purpose of our soul, in my opinion, is to learn and master the many aspects of love.

I can't prove that, but it works for me. And it explains a lot about all the various relationships functional and dysfunctional, that happen here on Planet Earth. Sometimes people can't help who they love, and when they fight the love, it makes it more painful and impossible to resolve.

I'm not saying, people should run around following every sexual impulse their body dictates. What I am saying rather than feeling guilty and trying to ignore the feelings, like the grandmother in Middlesex did, relax into it. Let go of guilt. Enjoy the energy. Relax into the feeling by breathing when it comes up, instead of thinking, "I'm definitely going to hell for this."

And remember every relationship with another person is here to teach us something about ourselves. So it really isn't about the other person in the first place. Learning only ever relates to ourselves anyways. Simple philosophy, but challenging to follow. Good luck!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"Slumdog Millionaire"

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The other night while watching, "Slumdog Millionaire," I thought to myself, "my kids could be a lot more independent than they are."

I was watching the scene where the two brothers around the age of 6 or 7 learn to survive on their own as orphans in the slums of India. The things that happen to them in the movie are so intense I nearly walked away a few times. But through all the drama and trauma they survive.

Not only does the one brother, Jamal, survive, but he comes out of the slums of India with his spirit and soul intact. His character is nothing short of inspiring and heroic.

But as I watched the movie, the boys' resourcefulness at surviving, I continuously kept coming back to, "my kids are more capable than I give them credit for. My oldest son should at least be able to paint the house and build an addition by now."

Seriously though, my kids never play in front of the house unsupervised. I always worry that as a result of my hovering style of parenting my kids will lack street smarts.

Around the same time I watched "Slumdog Millionaire," I came across a blog titled, "Free Range Kids." The blog's motto is children today should have the same freedoms we had as kids.

Ironically, there is an ad on the same website for, "Free Sex Offender Search." Hmmmm? Now there is a bit of a mixed message or at least an argument against using google adsense on a blog.

Back to the issue, should my kids have the same freedoms I had as a kid in the 70s and 80s. The thought of even my oldest son riding his bike around the neighborhood nearly causes me to faint.

In fact, I'm just getting used to him riding his bike around the neighborhood when I'm with him. Yes, our family bike rides are now panic attack free. Although when my youngest is old enough to ride his bike, instead of being chauffeured in a trailer, the panic attacks may come back.

My husband and I both took plane rides alone around the ages of 9. No way would I let my kids do that.

I'm not even going to imagine my kids driving to Big Sur or San Francisco as teenagers the way I did, because my brain starts to scramble.

"The world is a dangerous place. The world is a dangerous place. The world is a dang....."

"Wait. Breathe. Get back in the body. Breathe. Okay I'm back."

While my parenting fears are at times exaggerated, they are mine. I'm aware of them.

Just as I am aware that my kids probably won't have the same freedoms either I or my husband had as children. Maybe as my children grow up, my hovering will lessen.

But our kids are getting something we didn't get as kids. Parents who like to play, as much, and sometimes more, than they do.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Surf Report Abstinence

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A lot of my friends surf.

Conversations in surfing relationships tend to revolved around surfing.

Makes sense.

I even enjoy talking about surfing when I'm surfing. But I've been on the surfing injured list for a month, and the last thing I want to talk about is surfing.

Yeah, you read right. "Please don't talk to me about surfing."

"So and so said It Smells Like Something Died Beach was really good last weekend," says Stefan.

"Why are you telling me?" I ask. "I don't want to hear about how good it's been."

I know he was just trying to be nice, but I need the whole world to stop talking about how good the surf has been.

I know it's unlike me, but I just can't take hearing about how great the waves are, again and again, when I can't enjoy them. It's the equivalent of a chocolate lover being in a chocolate shop savoring the aroma, but not being able to eat any, all the while sucking up drool.

I have taken the drastic step of telling my friends, "really you don't need to call me after you check the waves. In fact, please don't."


"Can we please talk about something besides surfing."

Most of my friends have taken the hint, they've stopped calling and texting me with, or for surf reports. It's been a little lonely. I feel like a rich person who has a lot of friends, who then goes bankrupt and friendless.

And the ones that do call every few weeks, have usually forgotten I can't surf. I have to remind them of my non surfing status. At least then, they remember.

"Oh yeah, how's your shoulder?" they ask.

Hearing how great the surf has been only makes my heart ache.

Now, if my friends want to call and complain how terrible the waves are or how cold the water is, or that there were a hundred hungry surfers on one peak, well, I would welcome that. Even if they have to lie.

I was delighted when one of my friends on Facebook said, "it's too cold too surf."

Complaint surf reports would make me thankful for my injury, but lately it's just been too good for most of my surfing friends too notice the bad part of surfing.

Even without their surf reports, "it's been so fun," I have driven by the beach enough to know it's been really good without me.

I still check the buoys online to see how big the waves are. Thanks to my windsock, I always know which way the wind is blowing. But I always wear a bib when partaking in these voyeuristic activities.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

"The Bon Jovi Chant"

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For Christmas the boys got me the self titled Amos Lee CD. At first, I only liked a few songs on the album. But then after a few more listens I started to fall in love with all the songs.

And any music that can keep me from listening to Sugarland aka Jennifer Nettles is worth listening to over and over and over.

Even as I'm writing this blog, listening to something Not Sugarland, my oldest son asks, "Aren't you still into Sugarland?"

The video above for the song "Black River," is definitely one of my favorite tracks on Amos Lee's album because of its healing, meditative qualities.

I can actually feel my troubles washing away as I listen to this song. I recently came across an article on a yoga teacher who uses "The Bon Jovi Chant" in her classes.

Well, I thought to myself, if Bon Jovi works in meditation for Yoga class then "Black River" works for me and maybe others. Although, I'm sure many women meditate to Jon Bon Jovi, and I'm not talking about Yoga class. But for the record, Jon, I still think Jenny has better hair than you.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Skate or Die!

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On our family bike rides we pass a backyard swimming pool. The pool looks as if it isn't being taken care of. It is full of murky water. Every time I pass the backyard pool I stare at it, intently.

I didn't even remember why until the other day, when I was reading a New York Times article about skateboarding and foreclosures. It wasn't about what you're thinking. People losing everything, even their cars, and resorting to skateboards for transportation, like I did in high school when I lost my driver's license.

No. The article told the story of the skateboarding field day skaters are having skating pools of foreclosed homes. One skater in particular felt he was doing the community a service of finding abandoned houses with stagnant pool water then draining and cleaning the pools. He even traveled with a pump to drain the pool.

Skaters for Mosquito Abatement. That would be all skaters.

Oh, and the article mentions the skaters even have rules: never go inside the house, pack your trash and no graffiti. Hmmmmm? I wonder how the pool tile is holding up to the skaters grinding trucks? Oh well, no one is perfect.

Anyways, after reading that article I remembered why I was so fixated on the pool every time I passed it. It was the skater in me.

Though I don't skate very much, anymore, I will forever look at a pool with skater vision. How are the transitions? Is the pool empty? Will the pool be empty soon?

Back in the days when I skated daily, I was always on the hunt for empty pools, incessantly scanning visible roadside swimming pools for emptiness. I can only recall ever finding one, though.

The empty pool was located at a hotel behind a Denny's. We skated that pool for months. It was far enough from both establishments that two skaters, if quiet enough, and we were, never attracted any attention.

It was very uncommon for skaters to go unnoticed, twenty years ago. Skaters are loud and tend to destroy property, inadvertently, but destruction is destruction. As a result, people were in the habit of not liking skaters.

This abject societal rejection tended to cause skaters to band together as a group of "rebellious social misfits,", with the motto being "skate or die." Yes, in those days skaters were core.

And I fit right in. Well, maybe not the "core" part.

Skaters were a band of rebels always searching for places to skate legally and back in those days there were few skate parks. Therefore, there were few places to skate legally.

But that didn't stop skaters from having contests. Or jam sessions. Weekends often meant empty business parks and empty parking lots which fell host to contests organized by the skaters themselves.

There weren't any legal skate parks in my hometown, but I was lucky enough to skate Del Mar Skate Ranch in the summer of 1986. The Del Mar skate park was located in Northern San Diego, WAS being the keyword here.

I had my first experience with skating transitions (pools and banks) at Del Mar, basically learning to carve pools there. Del Mar was also the home of many pro skaters including Mr. Tony Hawk. Although I did watch the Birdman skate a bit, I was more obsessed with figuring out the bowls, which were mostly empty.

All the good skaters were busy skating the main bowl known as the "keyhole," leaving nearly all of the enormous lonely skate park, to me.

Sadly, they buried Del Mar Skate Ranch in 1987. Basically, the year after I skated it. A lot of skate parks were buried alive due to the decline in popularity of skateboarding in the late 80s and liability. And even if there were skaters it wasn't like they had money falling out of their pockets.

The lack of skate parks lead to the rise of today's dominant street skating, skateboarding tricks performed on street terrain.

Although today skate parks have made a resurgence. I live a few short minutes from from one skate park. But it's no Del Mar. Not even close. And the pool's transitions are tight and fast. There is a banked section that is kind of fun and carvable and gives one the feeling of riding a wave.

And there is the reason why I have mostly let the skater in me die. Riding waves. Standing up, riding on water. Being in the ocean with the dolphins, sea otters, sea birds and harbor seals. Versus being chased out of a concrete parking garage by some angry business owner.

Falling on water, versus slamming on concrete, scarring my tender skin.

Paddling around in salt water, versus skating with a concoction of sweat, dirt, and blood stuck to my skin.

Many great surfers are great skaters, but I was never very good at skating. And in over 20 years plenty has changed with skating. Regular kids on the street, some of them anyways, are as good as the professional street skaters 20 years ago.

I learned to ollie, thanks to the patience of Christian Hosoi during a skate session at Venice Beach, CA, but it took me months and months to learn. One of the great things about skating back then is it was common to session with the pros of that day, particularly in Southern California.

It would be like golfing with Tiger Woods or playing ball with Derek Jeter. It was cool, even if skating with them highlighted my horribleness at skateboarding. They were really good and I was really bad.

The problem with my skating was I was never willing to take much risk with skateboarding. In skateboarding, the stakes are high; broken arms, sprained ankles and brain damage.

I didn't quit skateboarding straightaway. It just sort of petered away like a friend you lose touch with over the years, but love forever.

And I credit my surfing ability to skating. Though I wasn't flying through the air on my skateboard I spent hours on my mini half pipe slashing, rock and rolling, board sliding and grinding the coping which are similar to off the lips and floaters in surfing.

And I only enjoy riding surfboards that have that skatey feeling. Loose and fast. So maybe the skater in me is alive, but she's carving on water instead of concrete.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Laptop Without Keyboard

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The funniest thing about this video, besides that it is very funny, is that I actually thought this was a real product.

When I first watched this video I immediately tweeted, "Mac's new revolutionary laptop WITHOUT a keyboard looks like an over sized Ipod to me."

I went on to think, "they won't sell very many of those. What a stupid idea. Am I the only person who actually types on the computer?"

Later that same night I ask my husband, "Did you read my tweet about the new Mac laptop without a keyboard?"

He's a techie of sorts, so I wanted to know if he thought it was as absurd as I did.

"No," he answers.

5 minutes pass.

"Have you watched the video yet?" I ask.

"No," he answers.

10 minutes pass he still hasn't watched it.

Finally, thirty minutes later he watches the video.

He's laughing out loud.

"Did you really think this was real?" he says falling out of his chair laughing.

"Yeah, I thought it was real, ha ha," I say.

I should have known when they said it took one person 45 minutes to type an email something was a miss. And for the record, I didn't think a charge lasting 19 minutes sounded very long.

And if I had heard the part about the Sudoku killer, well I suppose, that would have been a dead giveaway that the video was a big joke.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Beach Time Lapse

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I'm three days into my fourth week of Nada Surf.

Dry dock.

The video "Helpless" by Keith Loutit, made from a series of 4000-6000 still photographs, makes me feel like am at the beach doing all the things I love. Read: watching this "Helpless" video makes me feel hopeful somehow that someday soon I will surf again.

Plus, visually "Helpless" is amazing and takes place on Bondi Beach, Australia (Sydney). Watching the video gives me the feeling of actually being at the beach. The short film captures the essence of beach life from the pure unadulterated fun of the surfers observing the hula hooper to the "Save the Whales" vision of the people creating the sand sculpture.

Greenpeace commissioned the life size whale sand sculpture created by activists and sand sculptors to the need to protect whales in Japan.
Greenpeace video of sand whale

Then there are those dedicated souls who bring their yoga practice and inner peace to the beach, amidst the frolicking waders, the paddling swimmers and the worshipping sunbathers creating a hub of pure joy and health.

"Phew," I exhale. Wow! Internet therapy really works. Maybe I never need to leave my house again?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Breaking Free

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Wow, I can't believe this video has 49 million hits. Disney knows what it's doing, apparently.

Yeah, I'm not afraid to admit I have the entire soundtrack from High School Musical on my Not An Ipod MP3 Player. Somewhere inside me a teenager is lurking.

"Ahhhhh!" I frightened myself. Inner teenagers can be scary.

I love the first High School Musical, anyways. Oh and I saw it on stage, as well. It was awesome! Inspiring even! I love choreographed basketball. Really!

But it is so much more than choreographed basketball. It's really about being yourself. A great message for kids, today.

One day I was listening to "Breaking Free" on my Not An Ipod MP3 Player, "were soarin', flyin', runnin', climbin'......"

"What are you listening to?" a friend asks.

"High School Musical," I say.

"No you're not!" she says implying I wouldn't listen to music from HSM.

But the truth is, it is one of my favorite movie soundtracks ever. And it isn't just for kids, unless, of course, I'm just a kid. Babies having babies. Who knew?

"Well, I am," I tell her. "Listen for yourself if you don't believe me," I say handing hear my headset.

"Wow, and I thought I was the only adult who listened to High School Musical," says my friend in wonderment.

Note: While this blog and blog writer do endorse High School Musical 1, it and she by no means endorse High School Musical 2 (very painful experience)or High School Musical 3 (which must be worse than HSM2).

Note Note: While this blog and blog writer endorses a solid high school education for all teenagers, this blog and blog writer never want to go to high school again. Not even in the next life. Or the life after that. Or the life after that. In all future lifetimes, please, just send me straight to college.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rat Loves Cat

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Rat Loves Cat - The funniest movie is here. Find it

"Ha ha ha he he ho" I laugh.

Oh that is so cute!" I say.

"What are you watching?" asks Stefan from his own Internet Planet, known as Lesson Plan-it. Being a teacher he spends a lot of time there.

"Come and see," I say. Worlds collide.

I start the "Rat Loves Cat" video over for him.

"The rats are harassing the cat!" he says.

"No, they're friends," I say. "Aw, look they're cuddling. How sweet."

"Oh, now I get it!" I say referring to an email with a video link I had gotten earlier in the day on my Not An iPhone. myPhone can't play videos.

The email read, "Murmur and I are going rat shopping when I get better."

Murmur is a cat.

My friend wants to get his pet cat, a pet rat.

I wonder if I should tell my friend what happened to my pet rat? It wasn't a happy ending. And it involves my other pet, a cat.

Nothing gory. There wasn't any blood. It was more like the rat died of fright. Though, I don't really know because I wasn't actually home at the time. I came home and the rat was dead in his cage. We all assumed the cat scared him to death.

"Aww," that was a sad memory. Well, at least now I can do "Rat Loves Cat" Therapy. All I have to do is watch the video over and over until all the sad feelings in my body are gone.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Man Can Fly

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Click this link for a better copy of the same video.

I like having fun, but obviously not as much as the guys in this video. Next to actually flying, watching this video is the about the closest thing to flying, that I know of anyways.

The guys in the video are base jumping while wearing flying suits. And they really are flying. The crazy part is how close they get to the land while flying. How close? Very.


The video is short, only around 3:45, but it is so captivating it feels like a lifetime. Enjoy.

Now where did I put my pixie dust?

Sunday, January 4, 2009


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Okay the first time I got this YouTube video "the Snuggie" was in an email.

The email read: "I might just order 20 of them and give them to every family member for Christmas. I might get a deal if I order that many. Then everyone just gets the same thing on x-mas morning!"

My friends are funny, like me, so I thought it was a joke. Now, however, I'm beginning to think she was serious. Today while surfing the I-N-T-E-R-N-E-T, one of my friends was chatting up the Snuggie.

"Oh My Gosh! No way!"

My house is cold and I love saving money. Besides, I'm thinking maybe Victoria's Secret carries a sexy version of the Snuggie. Although, I think I am going to look and feel hot in the regular version, anyways.

Who needs Victoria's Secret when I can buy the same damn thing on a Walmart shelf, half price. Cuz I'm a redneck wom.............Oooops are you still there? I went to the Karaoke bar in my head. Oh well, I least I didn't stay all day and get drunk.

And just to make sure I can buy a Snuggie I dialed 1-800-819-0658 to see if it was legit.

"Thank you for calling the Sunggie order line," says the automated operator. Keep your hands free to do what you want while you're totally wrapped in warmth. Available in burgandy, royal blue and sage green. Due to demand there is a limit of four."

What no purple or yellow? At least I know most of the people ordering the Snuggie are blue/green aura color combinations (people tend to wear their aura colors) and those same women are ordering the Snuggie in burgundy for their husbands. Yeah, I can see the trend a mile away.

I hope they are going to come out with a double Snuggie. A Love Bird Snuggie, two people can climb inside of and get to down to business. Otherwise, the Snuggie may be the modern day chasity belt. Or some alternate form of birth control. Soon parents will be buying these for their teenage children.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Orgasmic Birth

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The other day I was reading about a fairly new documentary titled, "Orgasmic Birth."

The point of the movie being women can enjoy childbirth, rather than suffer through it. Yes, childbirth can be a positive, orgasmic experience.

Where was this video when I was pregnant the first time? Oh my gosh!

The first time I was pregnant I spent nine months wondering how on earth I was going to get the baby out. Every time I thought about this I started hyper ventilating, among other things, and quickly put it out of my mind.

This was not a good thing. No. It was very bad. Especially since I chose a drug free birthing experience.

"Your birth plan says you don't want any drugs, so I'm not going to ask you if you want drugs again, okay?" asks the nurse.

And so it went until I was about 8 cm dilated, "give me drugs, waaaaaaaaaaah!"

"Oh, no drugs now," says the nurse. It's too late," "Besides you're 8cm. You're almost there."

Ask any kid in a car, two hours away, plus another hour of pushing is not almost there. It's not even close.

The main problem with my first birthing experience was not the pain of child birth, although that was very, very bad. The problem was the massive build up of fear for nine months. Then when it came time to deliver, literally, I had no tools for relaxation to turn to, only the weapon of mass destruction, FEAR.

Not only could I not relax, but I couldn't even remember to breathe. Not once. Thankfully, Stefan was very good at helping me remember to breathe.

"Thank you, Stefan!"

What did I learn in my birthing classes I wondered? Nothing that was helping me get through labor now.

Then when I was pregnant with my second child, I spoke to a friend who had a calm positive, even enjoyable, pain free birthing experience. And it was her first birthing experience.

"I want that, too," I thought to myself. Then I made up my mind, "And I'm going to have it." So everyday while I swam, well that was only about 4-5 days a week, I chanted my mantra. It went something like, "easy labor, easy child birth."

I repeated it for the entire 45-60 minute period of exercise. And I believed it.

When I went into labor the second time, I had my surf videos, my husband, my friend, and my mantra to calm me. I especially chanted the mantra during contractions, to which I had ONLY 10 nearly vomit inducing painful contractions.

Ten horrible contractions compared to the first time where I had six straight hours of contractions, with barely more than 30 seconds between them.

Now, I know a lot of people might say, "the second labor is always easier than the first." However, I've heard plenty of birth stories that are quite the contrary. I attribute the relative ease of my second labor to my calm. Calm created from months of meditation and mantra chanting prior to going into heavy physical labor.

As to the issue of child birth feeling orgasmic. Hmmmm? I suppose their are similarities. I pushed both kids out for slightly more than an hour.

If the feeling of orgasm is one of release, combined with a cosmic I'm one with all that is kind of feeling, for me anyways. Then the feeling of finally getting a watermelon sized person out of my birthing canal could be conceived of as orgasmic release. But at the time, I thought of it more as RELIEF!

"Thank god he's out," I thought to myself. "And why do those nurses keep asking me if I need anything, now?"

But the greatest thing I got from child birth is a feeling of empowerment. Because if I can live through that, I can live through anything.

Friday, January 2, 2009

In Need of CPR: The Bookstore

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The other night we went on a date. Our first in what seemed like months. Correction: It had been months.

After our yummy dinner we felt the next logical part of the date would best be spent at a bookstore. Actually, Stefan wanted to go the bookstore and I read his mind saying, "were you thinking of going to the bookstore?"

"Yes," he admits. Another idea that wasn't really my own, just someone else's thought migrating casually to my brain. Anyways, I agreed, because I know someday there won't be a bookstore to go to.

Bookstores are going the way of music stores. I'm sure there are some music stores around, where I don't know? Maybe they are in bigger cities, than where I live. Music stores are a dying breed because many people now download music for money and for free.

And for the people, ones like me, who still like to buy CDs (those are dying too) there is Target, Walmart and Amazon, artists' websites, and for the moment bookstores. Although, I just read yesterday, with CD sales dropping and download sales climbing, less store space can be expected for the selling of CDs.


In our small community, I can think of at least three bookstores that have closed, without thinking very hard.

Maybe this whole free thing is going to catch on and become legal. Then we won't need money anymore. Everyone will just have what they need and want. The want is the tricky part there, I suppose. Or maybe most stores will just operate virtually online in the future.

So why are bookstores dying? Well, maybe has something to do with it? Then there's Costco's discount book selling strategy. And I believe another nail in the coffin will be electronic books, Kindle and Sony book readers, and Phones with book reading applications.

I'm not sure about Kindle, though. The other day Kindle was bragging about the New York Times being available, now! But I can read that on my phone for FREE. I suspect the phones will really get people reading electronically. Works for me, why not the rest of the world.

But there is another reason, one I recently discovered in the New York Times, my favorite book, at the moment. According to the New York Times many people are buying and selling used books online.


I used to do that in college. Whenever possible I always chose the used text book option when buying school books because they were usually $20 cheaper. I never sold them back to the bookstore, though.

I like to hang on to my books. In case, I need to refer back to them. Which is exactly the reason I hate buying books, because they take up so much space, in the first place. And they are very hard to let go.

When Stefan says "Let's get rid of some books today," he might as well be saying, "honey let's get rid of part of you because you are taking up way too much space, and we don't really need that much of you around here, do we?"

Yeah, I take it a little too personally. And that is why I like the library. The books come to our house to visit, and then go back home to the library. Besides, if we don't use libraries then they are going to die, too.

Although, by the looks of the library users at our shiny brand spanking new library, most users would never notice the absence of books if a fairy magically transformed the library into, say, an Internet Cafe.

Are those folks looking for jobs, playing solitaire, or updating their facebook status? The sheer numbers alone suggest all of the above.

The New York Times article listed a website, a book search engine where millions of books from 1000s of sellers can be found and purchased.

Curious, I went to the site and looked up my newest book, "For The Love," by Kelly Slater. The first copy I found was listed for $125.00, without knowing the price, it's obvious that is not a good deal. But I scrolled down and found the book for as low as $20, it's condition was only listed as "used," which was no help at all.

I looked up other books I can't get from my library without some hassle, and found some in "like new" condition at half the list price with shipping around a few dollars. And if I was willing to settle for an older edition the book could be had for two or three bucks! Wow!

Very interesting, even for me, someone who doesn't buy books, very often.

"Attention Borders customers, the time is 8:41. We will be closing in 19 minutes," says a voice over the intercom. Bad timing, as I was sitting down in a chair with no less than the six books I was planning to read on my date. Yes, sometimes my visions are ridiculous.

Not very datish behavior either. We should have been searching for a private place to make out in the back of the bookstore, instead of wasting time searching for books I wasn't going to buy.

"Do you want any of those books?" asks Stefan.

In my head I'm thinking, "Yes I want them all. But I don't really want to spend $150 on books, tonight. And where are we going to put them? And what if I don't even read them all?"

Alas, I believe I found an answer: the ingenius book search engine mentioned above.

"Viva viaLibri!"

Simultaneously in the background a creepy voice whispers, "die bookstore, die," but no one hears it...............

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

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What should my New Year's Resolution be?

More yoga?

More exercise?

More writing?

More money?

Blog everyday?

More health food?

Less junk food?

Give up crack, I mean, sugar, forever?

Eat more protein?

Be Less Sensitive?

Eat less carbs?


Save the planet?

Be in the moment and breathe, no matter what?

"Hey, I like it!"

"Be in the Moment and breathe!"

Breathing in the Moment,
Happy New Year!
Peace, Hope and Happiness to All in the New Moment!
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