Monday, January 29, 2007

Finding 5 Minutes

Okay, I did it! I have been saying almost daily that I wanted to make a little time for morning meditation each day. Even if it was just 5 minutes. 5 minutes in my day should NOT be so hard to find! For one reason or another, so many days now, I haven't found it, but this morning I did.

It's those little things that would take so little time, and perhaps lead to great things, that so many of us don't seem to find the time for. I teach guitar lessons, so I know this is true with many beginning guitarists, or wanna-be-guitarists. I ask them to just practice 5-10 minutes a couple of times a day while they're building their callouses, but finding those 5-10 minutes proves difficult. The same goes for writing in a daily journal, meditating, stretching, and tons of seemingly easy and rewarding tasks.

And please (pu-lease!), for me to say I don't have 5 minutes is enough to cause me to say pu-lease in that very annoying way. I think that 5 minutes just sounds so simple that I think to myself, "There's a whole lotta 5 minutes in this day and I'm bound to find lots of oppotunities to do my thing", and then before I know it, it is time for my hour long bubble bath and I am exhausted and 5 minutes for anything besides the bath sounds outragous.

So maybe the second I think of the 5 minute thing, I should just do it RIGHT THEN. OR, I could set a time. "From 10:21-10:26 I WILL breathe" This morning, I was thinking that yes, today I was going to meditate. And then I thought "If not now, WHEN?!" (Very dramatically, just like that!) And about 10 minutes later, my goal was accomplished!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

When It Looks Easy

I was watching a squash tournament all day yesterday. It reminded me that the people who make it look easy, are usually the most talented. If it looks hard and as a spectator you're sort of holding your breath hoping they can pull it off, they'll probably get beat out by the guy who looks like he isn't even trying. That goes for sports, music, public speakers,...most things I can think of! Maybe the skill comes natural to the "performer" in the first place, but I'm sure lots of practice goes into making it look so easy.

Then I was watching some national skating championship and noticed again the same things. The best skaters can make doing those triple lutzes (and all the other stuff I don't even know the names of) make someone like me feel like I could at least just skate forward without any problems. But I have tested this, and have accepted that this isn't true. It just looks easy because they've mastered it.

But then some days, no matter how good you are at what your talent is, you might just be "off". And the very next day, you might have the "best" day you've ever had. What's that all about? I think it must be so many things, it can't even be measured or explained. If it could be, your best days would be repeated over and over...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Words We Choose

Whenever I am low on gigs and needing (wanting!) to line up some new ones, I tend to express to anyone who asks, "I HATE that part of the job." And by saying that, I actually have drilled it in my brain pretty hard that in fact I DO hate it. Since I hate it, I therefore avoid it. I instead use alot of my time talking about how much I hate it rather than just getting out there and doing something about it.

When I finally DO get out there and start looking for the new places, making the calls, and talking to people, I find that I really don't hate it at all! I'm not wild about rejection and asking for it seems like something to hate. So I've mistakenly labeled it that.

But the truth is really this:

I am challenged by it. And when new things come my way, I get really excited about it. So I take it back. I don't "hate" that part of my job. I can't wait to line up new stuff! I can't wait to meet some new people! I can't wait to cross paths with people I've never met before.

Words are powerful and I will choose mine more carefully!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Spreading the WORD: Amazon!

There is good customer service, and there is bad. The bad, (like with Time Warner lately!!) can be infuriating- but the GOOD?! Those people make my day!

You may have read my earlier blogs about THAT GIRL, and my trouble with getting a legit. DVD of the show. I most recently ordered it off of Amazon. It seemed to be taking a LONG time to arrive. So I checked the delivery status number they gave me. Well, apparently it must have gotten lost. (What is That Girl trying to say to me?!) So I used the VERY user friendly automated email that I sent to Amazon, and the very next morning, they responded by first apologizing!!!! AH! The apology that so many companies seem to have forgotten about lately! It's so simple, but it's so important. I know they FEEL me and I feel like they care. Then they said that yes, indeed, it does appear that my package has gotten lost but they will ship it out and I will receive it in 2 days! How easy they made this whole thing. Customer service is what sets apart the great companies from the good ones. (and of course, the bad ones!)

So here I am, a satisfied customer, and I'm trying to spread the word!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Voices and Fingerprints

I went to UTD to listen to a guitarist and a soprano voice perform some Spanish songs earlier tonight...
As I was listening to the ladies voice, knowing it was technically a good voice, I was thinking about why it didn't appeal to me. And I was thinking that to a lot of other people, it might be appealing.

What makes a good voice a "good"??? I usually wrongly assume that whatever I like, everything from food to music, is what everybody else likes too. Lots of people sing "on key" but phrasing, tone, and so many other things are taken into account to create a singing voice. Lots of times, my favorite voices aren't necessarily the greatest voices- They just have qualities I like. And I guess that is a totally subjective thing.

I know there are lots of voice impersonators out there, but I wonder if voices are like fingerprints...If each one is absolutely unique to all others. Since vocal chords are different sizes, and faces are shaped different, etc. I figure they must all be unique.
Yet another thing in this beautiful life that makes me say, "hmmmmm???"

Damn Modern Technology!

Today is the first day we've had internet, cable tv, or home phone since Saturday- Madness!!!

I've heard of signals not be strong ENOUGH, but Time Warner told me my signal was TOO STRONG and that's what threw everything off. Apparently, this cold weather shift we had brought on this funky strong signal. I asked if they'd have to re-adjust things when it warmed back up and they said "Probably". Super.

Yesterday we laid in bed listening to the radio (AM at that!) listening to the weather and traffic reports. On top of all the media we couldn't get due to lack of tv and internet, we didn't recieve our paper yesterday because of the weather and so it was pretty obvious how dependent we are on all this media stuff.

It was annoying in ways (mainly missing the exaggerated coverage of the "arctic blast" that I KNOW the tv stations aired yesterday morning, boo hoo) but slightly groovy in others. The phone didn't ring at night. We rented some DVDs of pretty good movies, which we rarely do. I sort of felt like I was on vacation, maybe even out of town, because no one could really get in touch with me. And in a way, I had an excuse for putting some things off and and excuse for everything...Damn technology!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

NOT That Girl

Ever since TVLand had it's "That Girl" marathon weekend about a month ago, I have been OBSESSED. I mistakenly THOUGHT I was getting the DVD for Christmas, but, boo hoo, I didn't. So December 26th I ordered the "full series" of the internet for myself.

Lots of companies offered the 1st and 2nd season, but only one offered all 5. They enticed me further by advertising it as "normally $199, now just $149" SOLD. It also said there were 36 DVD. Wow. 36! I've rented a few from Blockbuster while I've been waiting for my own, and just one disc has about 10 episodes so 36 discs sounded delicious. I thought I had found such a bargain. What a Smarty!

Finally, the day arrived!! Today I recieved my package in the mail. I ripped right in and saw that the DVD covers looked oddly different from the one I had rented. And there were only 3 cases for 6 seasons/36 discs?! I opened one up... I was horrified to see these very "homemade" versions- Altho if I had homemade 'em, they would've been a lot cuter than these- Plain white, with just "That Girl" typed on it. But, I still hadn't lost hope completely- It just seemed I had bought something not really legal. I popped the first one in.

Ummm. Yeah. NO!!!!! The picture was equivalent to what you use to get with bunny ears. Fuzzy, bad sound, Ann Marie looked pale. And even worse: commercials included! And then I saw it...a runner at the bottom of my screen saying this was TVLand.

I was frantic. This was a Canadian company. How was I going to get my money back? But then I saw a little card in my packaging that said to call if you have any problems...AND PROBLEMS I HAD!!!

After explaining my woe to the lady on the other end of the phone, she said, "Please realize these are the original TV versions." Well, that sounds good in print because you get tricked into thinking your getting the "real deal" but C'MON!!! And I don't know that I'd call Nick at Night's TVLand "original"! She wanted to send me another copy because maybe I just got a bad one. No, no, no. I wanted my money back. All of it. And I don't want these crummy little DVDs. It was hard to understand with her accent and with the fuzzy reception my phone was getting but I THINK they're refunding my money and I think they're paying the $15 shipping. My fingers are crossed.

What a diservice to "That Girl" this company has done. IT turns out I'm glad I didn't get these for Christmas, as I probably would've been absolutely distraught and might have tried ruining the day for everyone around me.

I've since done a little (better) research and I've found out that Season 1 and 2 were released last year by SHOUT! and I assume the others will follow about every 6 months or so. These are down nicely with the picture being great quality. AND there are bonus features with Marlo Thomas.

So in ordering and recieving my "That Girl" DVDs, I've already had my own "That Girl" moment. And now, just as Anne Marie always does, I am working out this little problem and will soon be living happily ever after!

Monday, January 8, 2007

A Rosie View

Rosie O'Donnell and Donald Trump have been in the "news" so much lately. They are not big fans of each other, and they've been pretty outspoken about it. Since Donald has been promoting the new season of his reality show, he's been on all the talk shows talking about what a loser Rosie is...This all started when she went off on him regarding his pardoning Miss Universe and giving her a second chance after her Paris Hilton-ish behaviour as of late. Rosie was making it clear that for several reasons Donald should not be held as the moral authority.

So now let me say what I think of Rosie:

It may go against popular opinion, but I find that I really like her! Before she was a co-host, I could never stand even accidentally flipping on the View, but once Rosie got on the show, I started watching it sometimes. Now I actually record it daily! I love that Rosie actually says what she thinks and isn't afraid of being diplomatic about it. I still don't like anyone else on the show, and I cannot stand Barbara Walters most of all. She seems stuffy. Everyone else seems to be sucking up to her each day she's on, especially the younger one named Elizabeth. The other one named Joy is just very annoying and seems to complain each day. Rosie just seems funny, nice, AND now because of her, the View gives out great prizes to the audience each day. The View has become Rosie-er! (Did I really just say that?)

I used to watch Rosie's show and thought she was so nice, so funny and seemed like a real person. Once she was off the air and began getting all types of bad press with her haircut fiasco, her magazine flop, her Broadway musical, etc. I somehow bought into it all and started thinking she was kind of gross. But whenever I actually see her on tv, I like her. Now I feel bad that I passed judgment based on what the celebrity news team was reporting.

Last night I saw Donald Trump on some show and of course he was commenting on Rosie. Oddly, I sort of liked him during his interview too. I think just because he too wasn't trying to be diplomatic and say the right and proper things either.

I think Donald and Rosie should just let this go now- They've both received loads of publicity because of it. (I think that WAS Donald's intent, altho I don't think it was Rosie's...)

Back to the love/hate thing I've talked about before. (QUICK REVIEW: I am interested in tv personalities I love or hate, but not so much for the inbetween...) I love Rosie, I'm luke warm about Donald, I can't stand Barbara WHICH MEANS I will continue watching the View but not The Apprentice.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Someone Stole My Cart!!!

I was leisurely doing my shopping at Central Market yesterday. Going through the week is a completely different experience than going on the weekend. Typically, through the week, people aren't rushing around as much, and it's not nearly as crowded. WAY more my speed. But apparently not everyone's!

After doing most of my shopping, I had parked my cart at the edge of the "bulk" area and was picking out and weighing my nuts, because I am nuts about nuts! I kept adding my baggies of measured nuts to my cart. But all of the sudden, I turned to it and it was gone. Madness. I don't know why I did this, but I saw a "foodie"(isn't that the name for the Central Market employees?) and yelled out, "SOMEONE TOOK MY CART!" The foodie, John, totally stepped into action, or rather, he RAN to action. He said, "Yes! I saw her"- and took of running.

I didn't know if I should run with him, or just wait around looking at even more nuts. A minute or so later (altho it seemed like much more) John reappeared with my basket. He pointed to a lady walking quickly ahead of him (not pushing the cart anymore!) and said, "It was her!" I felt so embaressed. For her, for being in such a hurry she ran off with the wrong cart, and for me for wigging out over it enough to have caused a Central Market stir. She looked at me annoyed and said, "Sorry." I know she really meant it. John told me she was in a hurry and grabbed the wrong cart. He found her in "Breads". John is now my favorite employee there- How nice of him to stop what he was doing and help me.

Anyway, it was funny because during the rest of my shopping I kept seeing this lady and I was always just slightly ahead of her and I noticed she kept looking at her watch: while I got my turkey, when I cut my bread cut, and finally when I checked out. I wasn't even in a hurry like she was but yet I still BEAT HER!!!!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Starting Over

During my run today, which happens to be the last day of 2006, the song "Starting Over" by John Lennon came up on random play on my ipod. I have always loved that song. Even tho it's happy, it comes off bittersweet, for obvious reasons. The lyrics are so hopeful, and John sounds so happy about his life being back on track with Yoko. And then of course, even before the album came out, we all know what happened...

So I listened to this song over and over as I ran thinking about John and Yoko and feeling sad for them and all the years they missed out on.

It's that time of year when we think about things we can do to improve our lives (resolutions!) and I thought hearing this song today was so magically appropriate. (Is the ipod song shuffle really random?) I could set the usual resolutions: "Cut down on the Diet Coke addiction I've got going on", "Keep my refriderator clean", "Brush my poochie's teeth more regularly", etc. or I could instead think of John's lyrics and this message...

It's easy to get lazy and take the most important person in your life for granted. And it's easy to start focusing on trivial things instead that are clearly much less important. Maybe instead of a full blown New's Years resolution I'll just "re-dedicate" to REALLY showing all the love I feel to the one I truly love...

(Just Like) Starting Over Lyrics

Our life together is so precious together
We have grown, we have grown
Although our love is still special
Let's take a chance and fly away somewhere alone

It's been too long since we took the time
No-one's to blame, I know time flies so quickly
But when I see you darling
It's like we both are falling in love again
It'll be just like starting over, starting over

Everyday we used to make it love
Why can't we be making love nice and easy
It's time to spread our wings and fly
Don't let another day go by my love
It'll be just like starting over, starting over

Why don't we take off alone
Take a trip somewhere far, far away
We'll be together all alone again
Like we used to in the early days
Well, well, well darling

It's been too long since we took the time
No-one's to blame, I know time flies so quickly
But when I see you darling
It's like we both are falling in love again
It'll be just like starting over, starting over

Our life together is so precious together
We have grown, we have grown
Although our love is still special
Let's take a chance and fly away somewhere

Starting over