Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hand Gratitude

Because I've been referring to my finger with very unkind words the past few weeks, I decided to give gratitude a try. And honestly, having such problems with my hand has also made me realize how much I take the whole thing for granted when it isn't screaming at me.

I've learned a little bit lately about how the hand works. Or I guess I should say, the fingers. They are sort of remote controlled. The fingers don't have muscles of their own. Instead, they have tendons that fit perfectly up into a tight, little sheath and that is how the fingers bend. However, if those tendons become even slightly inflamed, you've got a problem. The ligament gets stuck going in and out of the sheath. (Oh, and by the way, that particular problem has a name: TRIGGER FINGER.) So isn't it sort of amazing that we seldom have problems with our hands considering all we ask of them?

I wasn't even aware until recently that I ball my hand up into a fist when I sleep- like a baby. So even when I sleep, I tend to put my hand/fingers in some awkward positions. Then there is also all the weird bending and stretching my fingers do when I'm awake. When I play the guitar. When I grip my tennis racquet. Eating. Writing. Holding the leash when I walk Zoe and/or Scout. Washing my face. Shampooing my hair. Holding the blow dryer. Cooking. Brushing my teeth. Knitting. Typing. Even when I run, I want to hold my hands in a loose fist. These movements are normally so effortless that I don't even think about them. But these simple daily tasks have not been so simple lately.

One way or another, with a given amount of time, I'm sure that my pinky finger will start cooperating with the rest of my hand. And at first, I'll be so grateful. And then, I'll probably stop thinking about it much at all. And honestly, for that I will be even more grateful. Maybe that's the beauty in any kind of pain or dis-ease: To force us to stop and be aware that typically, things work the way they are meant to. The body and all of it's parts are so intricate and amazing, really. The human body was put together masterfully. Considering all we put it thru on a daily basis, it holds up surprisingly well.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

27 Dresses

Along with many other chicks today, I went and saw a flick.
Even the D+ rating the Dallas Morning News gave "27 Dresses" didn't keep us away!
The DMN tends to hate romantic-comedies in general. It ripped apart this movie for being full of cliches.

Ok, and maybe it was. But when I go to see a romantic comedy, I'm not looking for unexpected twists and turns anyway. I'm looking for something funny that has a sweet ending- whether that ending is realistic or not. And if it ends idealistically, that's okay by me.

I saw Katherine Heigl (who stars in it)on some interview and she said, "Well, you know who she's (the character she plays in the movie) going to end up with within the first few minutes of the movie." She didn't say it like is was a BAD thing, because it isn't.

And this particular romantic-comedy wasn't sappy like many of them are. Not once did I cringe or feel embarrassed to be sitting in the theater. I did notice there were lots of women there, but I don't recall seeing any men.

If my husband had been in town, I'm sure he would've gone and seen it with me. He's sort of into chick flicks himself. And for that, I am grateful. I never feel like I am dragging him along with me. So either he likes chick flicks, or he loves me. Or, perhaps, both! Either way....I am grateful.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Trigger Un-Happy

I have been having this weird trouble with my pinky finger. Sometimes, especially in the middle of the night and in the morning, the joint seems to get stuck and then it sort of flips back into place. And it's a disgusting feeling.

A few nights ago, it woke me up. It was around 4am. And maybe because it was around 4am, I started having thoughts of all the worse-case-scenarios of what it could be. I won't go through them all here (I don't want to re-live it and neither do you), but I'll just say, losing the ability to play the guitar was NOT the worst of them. I was moaning and groaning for about and hour. And then, a few hours later, when I was complaining about more poor, weird finger, my husband said, "Why don't you go to the doctor then. In fact take my appointment that I can't make it to today anyway."

As soon as I demonstrated my pinky problem to my doctor he said, "Trigger finger." Some people who have trigger finger actually have their finger get totally stuck in one position. In fact, my doctor said that once he went to a Bruce Springsteen concert and was clapping so much that he woke up the next morning and his finger was stuck. Supposedly it's caused from overuse. So it's either from walking my dogs (gripping their leashes) or playing the guitar. Two things I can't NOT do!! My doctor told me it's when the tendon or ligament (I can't remember which) gets stuck on the bone. EWWWW. I remember my mom had a few bouts with her own case of trigger finger. This is not one of the ways I wanted to be like Mom. I remember mom couldn't bend her finger and then she started wearing these weird looking gloves all the time. It eventually stopped being a big problem for her, but I remember it went on for quite a while. And I remember she stopped mowing the lawn because of it.

There's not a fast treatment for trigger finger. Mine isn't THAT bad. With rest- with my stupid looking finger splint- for about 3 weeks I'm hoping it will subside.

I told my doctor that I feel like a car that is getting more and more miles on it. And he said, "Yep. And you get things repaired, and replaced, and eventually you gotta just throw the whole thing out."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Totally Hot!

Everyone has had the experience of not being able to get lyrics out of your head. Bad ones. On

Totally Hot!

Everyone has had the experience of not being able to get lyrics out of your head. Bad ones. I woke up this morning and for whatever reason, here's what was playing over and over in this poor little head of mine:
Give me what ya got, ready or not- My love is totally hot.
I'm burning up...ohhh. And if my momma could read my mind she'd lock me up.
And I'm burning, burning- You must know
That baby when your around I come around, my love is so hot! Totally hot!
You got to me. Baby, baby so hot! Totally Hot! You got to me.

That was Olivia Newton-John circa sometime when I was in about 4th grade. I owned the album. And even at that time, it was a guilty pleasure. I knew it sucked, but I loved it anyway. I'm pretty sure it was on the same album as Magic- as in, "We have to believe we are Magic, Nothing can stand in our way. Have to believe we are magic, Don't let your head ever stray..." It also had a version of Gimme Some Lovin' on it. AND, the big hit, A Little More Love.
It was clear to me even then, that after Grease and Xanadu (both of which, I LOVED), Olivia was trying to change her image a bit. I loved Olivia starting at about ther age of 4. I Honestly Loved her. (And her song with a very similar title.) My parents owned some of her albums, and so I learned and loved her songs. Then came her big movie career. And then Olivia tried to sex it up and came out with Totally Hot.
But I hadn't thought about Totally Hot in years. And then this morning, I woke up and literally could not get back to sleep because those stupid lyrics kept playing over and over in my head.
And as soon as I finish writing this, I will be going straight to iTunes and singing, Give me what ya got, ready or not, my love it totally hot! as I make my purchase.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Creative Buddy

I have been wanting to make an "Altered Book" for...forever! An altered book is basically where you get an old book, and alter it in a way- thru collaging, painting, writing, etc.- so that it becomes yours. I've bought books about doing it, I've read blogs about it, and thought about it for nearly a year now. But beyond buying the book at the used book store, I never did anything about it.

BUT, the other day, my friend Willie and I made a date to have some "creative time" together. I decided to bring my book over to his studio and get cracking on it once and for all.

So today, we got together and I actually started painting the first page of my book. And I started gathering pictures from books and magazines. And now I've got all these cool ideas running around in my head about what I want to do next. It feels so good to have finally started this project.

I think I've been putting it off because I was afraid I'd do it "wrong". But Willie reminded me, "THERE IS NO WRONG".

So we worked (or rather, played!) in his studio, side by side, working on our separate projects. Meeting up with a buddy to work creatively was a great idea for so many reasons. First of all, it was a DATE- If I hadn't set a time and place with him, I'm positive I wouldn't have started on that book today. (and "If not now, WHEN?") Secondly, it was fun to bounce our ideas off of each other and say, "Cool!" and hear it back. Thirdly, he had lots of cool art supplies for me to rummage around in.

We decided this was such a great success that we're going to start doing this regularly. And next time, I'm going into it minus the fear. I'm over the hurdle of the BEGINNING. And now, I'm off...

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Remember those bracelets, W.W.J.D.?
Well, I'm going to instead ask myself, "What would Cesar do?" when I'm feeling unsure or scared.W.W.C.D.?

I bought Cesar's Way for someone's birthday present, and decided to peek at it myself. I ended up reading all of it. In a day. And now I am Cesar obsessed. I cannot stop myself from rambling off Cesar facts and his dog philosophies constantly.

Cesar's Way was written by Cesar Milan- otherwise known as "The Dog Whisperer." The first 80 pages or so are about how Cesar built the life he now has. So inspiring. He had a very clear vision of what he wanted to do with his life. And he took all the necessary steps to get there. He came to America (illegally, at first!) only about 15 years ago- with just a few bucks in his pocket, and without knowing any English. All he knew was that he wanted to be the best dog trainer in the world. He's remained true to his vision- to teach people a little dog psychology so they can treat their pets the way they long to be treated. Clearly, he's very passionate about what he does. And he helps lots and lots of dogs and people to live a more balanced life.

So now I have a new role model. I want to be more like Cesar. I want to be clear in my vision. I want to be brave enough to take the necessary steps to achieve whatever I set as my goal. Even if my goal sounds a little crazy.

Rather than berate myself with thoughts like, "What the hell am I thinking?", and "Who do I think I am?", I should just instead replace it with, "Well, what would Cesar do?" Because every time, I think he would just go for it. And maybe, if you can just be brave enough to go for it, you can GET IT!