Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

Are you totally confused yet?

Yeah, I'm cheating.
Today is Tuesday & I'm posting my song today.

We had some unforeseen stuff go down this weekend & it could not be helped that Sunday got pushed back to Tuesday.
Eh. Sometimes you just gotta roll with it.

I'm taking 10 minutes for myself to quickly check in on some of my old haunts out here.
I miss it.
I miss you all & the window(s) in which you allow me to peek inside of your funny, zany, happy, silly, sometimes chaotic, crazy, sometimes emotional, normal lives.
I'm finding it very hard to balance everything right now.

Anyway....I started reading a post on Phenom's blog & the song that I wanted to share two days ago popped into my head.
So I said f*ck it.
I'll share it today.
Pretend for a minute, if you will, that it is a lazy Sunday morning.
Close your eyes and just pretend.
Listen to the song & let it take you away for a moment.
Go on.
Do it.
Go ahead.
It'll do you some good.

Quiet Town by Josh Rouse


Two Cool Dude-ettes

This is for Jen & KC.

I am way in no way promoting the consumption of Bud Light.
I saw this last night & instantly thought of these two blogger-gals.

I'm hoping to be 'round the way soon.
I got writer's block & reader's block.
But you're all still my peeps!


Have It Or You Don't?


This question has been rattling around my brain for a few weeks now & it keeps popping up in unlikely places.

It first came to me as a topic for much heated internal dialogue, after Connor's conference.
(because I'm oh-so neurotic and analytical like that).
His teacher asked us what qualities we like most about Connor.
My answer was his heart - his compassion.
And his teacher agreed and then she said:
That's something you either have or you don't.

I thought this most interesting of a statement.
And quite honestly, it's not something that I ever stopped to really think about before.
It may be elementary, but I've missed out on many things/thoughts that are elementary.

I haven't missed out on it for lack of having it.
That is one thing I can easily say about myself - I am compassionate.
Probably to a fault.

But the idea that people are out there, walking around right now, with no ability or chance of ever having compassion boggles my mind.

I've heard the ever popular
that's how you have sociopaths.

Agreed. I understand that is what makes them so.
But my mind wanders to the possibility that there is more than the lack of compassion at work there.
That the lack of it is a symptom (for lack of a better word).

My bleeding heart self feels that everyone is born with some semblance of compassion, but it is our context, or our nurture, that helps to foster it.
And maybe that is simply just an idealistic way of looking at it.
From the informal "data" that I have collected thus far, I seem to be the only one who thinks this.

I look at my kids - who clearly have compassion for others - and wonder if it is something they have simply learned. And then I wonder how? They have not seen me hand umbrellas out to strangers on a rainy day, they have not been with me when I have handed food out to a stranger.
I realize my compassion extends farther than these two scenarios.
But I wonder if they already had it - and we simply foster it.
Or if it is a completely learned quality/value?

So what say all of you out there?
Do you think compassion is something you either have or you don't?


These Will Have To Do

Here are just some random images I thought I would share.
Because right now, my mind is too empty and too full.
If that makes any kind of sense.


Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

I've had a song simmering on the backburner for a few weeks and decided this week would be the week to share it.

Then, oh no, I had to be reminded of this video and since I had not seen it in awhile, figured I'd share it instead.

Last Monday, in my Topics class (Western Psych. vs. Buddhism - or vice versa), my instructor was trying to drive the point home about self/not-self. For us Westerners this is a complex, difficult ideology to grasp. So he showed us a short film based on a short-story by Kurt Vonnegut. In it were two young actors - a wiley, geeky looking Christopher Walken and an adolescent-looking Susan Sarandon.
After the film two of my classmates & I (who seem inexplicably drawn to each other) began professing our great love for Walken.
I brought up the Fatboy Slim video Weapon of Choice.
And we collectively began discussing how each of us couldn't believe it was him when we first saw that video years ago.

So that is my shared song today.
Weapon of Choice by Fatboy Slim.
Won't you join me in paying homage to Walken.
All hail, Walken.



Early Tuesday morning and I am getting dressed slowly, wearily.
That three day weekend we just had went way too fast.

I'm in a trance-like state.
My eyes are open.
It looks as if I am watching the Today show while I slide on my jeans
and look from left to right as I find my shirt.
But I'm not yet awake.

The kids flutter about.
In and out of the room.
Here and there.
Up and down.
Under foot, over foot.

They are entirely too alert for this ungodly hour
and their presence of mind is just beginning to piss me off when I hear...

Hey, Mom! Look! I just found a really cool catapult.

I groggily turn from the TV to the floor where my eldest sits. As he holds his latest prized possession in his hands. He's moving it all about, trying to figure out how to get it to work.
I begin to chuckle despite myself and I reply with...

That's not a catapult, Connor. That is mommy's bra. Can I please have it so I can finish getting dressed?

He was crestfallen that I had just taken away his means of entertainment.
I'm not sure how I feel about wearing something that he considers large enough to call a catapult.


Sunday (Morning) Song of the Moment

No words today.
Not really.

Creepin' In by Norah Jones feat. Dolly Parton

Got any music suggestions to share with me? Drop 'em in the comments.
I'm on the prowl for sumpin' new.


Dreams and Wishes From The Past

I had my 2nd reiki treatment last night.
The session was interesting & I can't wait to share it.

But first I had to get a few other thoughts out.
The first thing is that I wanted to share that I wrote a little card to *E's* mom.
And it was well received.
I'll leave it at that for now.

Last night before and after my treatment I met up with my stepmom for some girly talk.
And after we were finished - quite honestly we probably could have chatted all night long - I stopped in to see my dad and brothers. It wasn't a long visit. But it was enough. In a good way.

I was sharing with my dad the details of my reiki treatment and something came to him and he walked away.
He came back with a box.
And inside the box was a violin.
An old violin.
In pieces.

He began telling me how this violin was my grandfather's (his father). And he loved this violin. He thought it was "something".
My dad took it to a musician in a local city to find out about it and to inquire about getting it put back together.
Sadly (or not so sadly), the violin is "nothing" in terms of monetary value and it would cost more to put it back to rights than to buy a nice, quality new one.

As my dad was telling me about it, I began salivating.
And felt bad despite myself.
I felt like a wolf, hungry for the kill.
I felt horrible for being so overtaken with thoughts like Give it to me!! Drop it, sucker. Hand me the box and no one gets hurt!!!
I somehow managed to get ahold of myself.

See, for as long as I remember I've wanted to learn how to play the Violin. And to see this in front me of me was almost too much to handle....the thought of playing Violin - his violin - clouded any ounce of good judgement I had.
I never have understand why I wanted to play. Because my passion has always been the Saxophone (and percussion, although I've never played percussion instruments).
Something has always drawn me to the Violin.

I had no idea until last night that my grandfather used to play.

My dad finished his story about the poor, dime-store violin.
And then he said
I'm going to have a little ceremony and I'm going to burn it.

I gasped.
My eyes in wide horror.

He said I'm going to burn it and take it down to Dad. Maybe if we all get together on the weekend of Thanksgiving we'll burn it then since we all will be together.

My grandfather apparently had much love for this 1920s Montgomery Ward Violin - that he bought 2nd hand and thought was "something".
And my dad is doing the right thing by his Dad.
It should be with him where he rests.

I left their house a little less selfish.
Happy that it will be returned to its rightful owner
and that since I've never met my grandfather and always longed for some physical connection, content in the fact that maybe I got this desire to play from him.


Confessions From A Not-So-New Mom

I have a little girl in my three-year-old preschool class.
Let's call her *E*.
*E* is a darling girl.
She is bright and full of personality.

I have quickly picked up on a few things that a seasoned teacher or a parent who has experienced certain things will pick up.
For example, certain behaviors that I associate with some of Connor's sensory issues.
And a few little other quirky things that are rather telling.

She is around the same age as Gracie and *E* is already on her way to becoming a paleontologist.
She's just flat-out bright.

I really like *E's* mom.
She's easy to talk to and seems down-to-earth.
We've had casual conversations about our kids.
I've told her about some of my observations and we share stories and knowledge.

But I think she is struggling.
In fact, she told me so today.

She feels lost and feels like the kids (her son is about 6 months old) are totally kicking her butt.
I smiled and listened.
And as it happens, I got distracted by some playground shenanigans.

I couldn't help but feel like she was trying to reach out.
She has said on more than one occasion that she feels lost and I've noticed it in the things she doesn't say as well.
I instantly thought of some blog addresses I wanted to send her to.
If she feels she needs to talk, I would want her to know that I could be a source of some comfort or information.
But I don't want to be the unwanted advice giver, or the know-it-all either.
That being said, she seems like she needs an ear and I am careful not to overstep my bounds.(this family has recently moved here from North Carolina and I'm not sure if she has much in the way of support from other moms).

How do you think you would handle this?
How do you think I should handle this?


To Reach and To Touch

Last night was my first night of class for the new block ( a block is 7 weeks of a semester, where the classes are one night a week for five hours). The class is Topics in Behavioral Science: Buddhism vs. Western Psychology.
When Rav was finishing up his degree we were fresh into our relationship & he was taking Social Psychology with the same instructor that I have for this current class. He told me fascinating things like the instructor brings his guitar into class every night and often sings as part of his lecture.
While he was taking the class, we ran into this instructor while we were out & about & he was wearing leather and stones. He had long hair and an air of calm about him. For all intents and purposes - a hippie, crunchy, granola, new-agey. And I was intrigued.

And everyone in the class that I am taking has taken many, many classes with him. They follow him from course to course. Sort of like dead-heads.
And I completely see why they do.

Anyway, the course he makes interesting. He shares his experience with being on the path. He is chockablock full of knowledge. And someone you simply don't mind listening to for 5 hours. We had a period of meditation during the class, followed by another period of meditation while he sang a mantra that was....beautiful.
My favorite thing of the evening, if I had to pick just one, was when he was discussing a conversation he had with a mentor on Buddhism (my instructor began practicing about 9 years ago). And his mentor said Spare people. Don't tell them that you are, your family and friends. Just spare them. No need to tell them. Be a Buddah.
I was originally scheduled for an Economics class this block and quickly dropped it, after hearing rhetoric that a certain political party spouts. I fought with myself for much of the class and said that I need to stick it out.
I'm so glad I didn't.
I'd be missing out on one hell of a class.

All of this got me thinking about how lucky I really am.
I work at a place that has a bunch of little munchkins who tell their mommies that Ms. Tabitha is my best friend.
And who have named their baby dolls Tabitha.
I learn just as much from them as they are (hopefully) learning from me.
I work at a place that is abundant with hugs and laughter and sunshine and smiles.
When I show up at a field trip destination my class runs up and hugs me.
I share the knowledge I have of teaching with the heart I now have from being a mommy.
How truly lucky I am to work like this.


I was watching a show on A & E or a similar channel about a parole board & it followed certain inmates for a specific amount of time.
I am fascinated with things like this because I love to watch people's behavior.
I listened to some men who were products of probably some really sadistic things in their pasts, they were mentally ill, and their reality was so far removed from the rest of the world.

One inmate was speaking about something that had happened to him and I don't know why but I thought to myself how horrible it must be to live a life day in and day out - and to never be touched. Whether it be physically or mentally/emotionally.

Days go by and we take for granted that we will come home to the waiting arms of our lovers, spouses, children, housemates, family members, etc.

We are touched by strangers who may walk by and say something nice - a mental hug, if you will.

We have computers and a network of people who offer up virtual hugs.

These things become like the air we breathe. They are so apart of our daily living that we forget that we could have it otherwise.

Imagine a week without one instance of physical contact - not having a heartfelt hug, holding someone's hand, having someone rub your back, etc.
Compound that by months and years.
Could you imagine how locked up, desolate, and lonely you would feel?
I'm not even sure I could go there in my mind.

I guess it is very easy for me to be sympathetic.
I don't work in a correctional facility.
I have not one inkling of what it must be like.
I know Rav would probably have his strong feelings on this.
But I can't push out the idea of that need.
How they need that too.


Sunday (Morning) Song of the Moment

Wow. Am I like, way late on this one?!

My good friend, B. turned 40 yesterday.
And to celebrate, a small group of us (Rav, J and her husband M, and B's husband D, & I) took B out to dinner at a nice restaurant.
Many drinks were had and decent meals were eaten.
B is a special lady & I was proud to be there celebrating her.

I've laughed harder than I've laughed in a long, long
long, long,
Like laughed so hard my face hurt and my sides felt like they were going to explode.
Like laughed so hard I had to hide my face in my napkin and wipe the tears off of my cheeks.
Like laughed so hard that Rav was embarrassed because I was becoming almost unbearably and embarrassingly loud.
It was cathartic.
Last Saturday night, I cried so hard it hurt.
This Saturday night, I laughed so hard it hurt. Yes, Jen...I had my head thrown back in wide-open laughter :)
I think I'm making great progress.

Anyway, the point of this is that, this is just one thing that happened this weekend that has kept me away from posting.
A furnace emergency, a sick daughter, and a few other obligations have kept me from it.

But here I am!

And this song is for my sick Gracie. It's her new favorite.

Jealous of the Moon by Nickel Creek
I have do just have to say for only being 3, she's got great taste. I wonder where she gets it from?
I also think she is trying to tell me something with this song as she has been making me play it over and over and over.


Dream A Little Dream Of... Your True Heart's Desire

The lovely Deb tagged me for a meme. Today seems like a perfect day to do this.
And so far, this has to be one of my favorite memes.

Write five things you want to be when you grow up. Big dreams that seem like folly, but in your heart of hearts are very real and dear to you. Things that maybe you have forgotten about in the ebb and flow and toil of the everyday, but that never really leave your soul. What you would do if anything was possible?

1) The very first occupation I remember really, really wanting to do but seemed totally impossible is the same as Deb's #1 - a photographer for National Geographic. I desperately wanted to hop from country to country, continent to continent - making the world my home. I wanted to leave everything in America behind and simply follow my heart and the road.

2) I would really like to write a children's book (or two). This has been a long-standing dream of mine. I want to collaborate with an illustrator - become part of an artistic process. I so enjoy children's literature and nothing would please me more than to share a story of my own creation with children.

3) In the past few years, I have recently discovered that the two things I can "cook" well are soups and sandwiches. And for the past year or so, I have expressed interest to Rav that I would love to open an eclectic little soup/sandwich shop. A place with cozy, little tables. Oversized chairs, ottomans, teas/coffees/juices. Cool music playing in the background. Can you see it in your head? I totally can.

4) I would love to teach in Korea. Period.

5) A professional musician. I don't know if this one needs any explanation either. Again, with collaborating, part of a process, working with people who are as passionate about music as I am. Sharing that passion with others. Feeling goosebumps on a daily basis when I hear/play certain pieces of music. Aaaahh. I would be in heaven.

Please, if you are reading and feel so inclined, participate in this meme. I would love to hear what your dreams are.