Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Wise Ferris Once Said...

Cue Ben Stein's mundane voice:

"Blogger ..."


"Blogger ..."

Oh, hey, I'm here! Well, mostly. 

Candy Hangover, Day 2:  Yesterday's vow to lay off the sweet stuff lasted until 10 a.m.  Today, I have hidden the chocolate in freezer and sent away all other various forms of sugar placing them high and out of reach. I think the chocolate just texted me to let them out.  Uh-oh.  It's only 10:15. 

In the midst of having every family member over to our house for a sugar fueled, egg hunting, Easter party of a good time, the most amazing thing happened.  A flash of blue caught my eye as I had been hurrying back and forth from the kitchen to the picnic table for the one hundredth time.  Easter in my corner of the world had dawned sunny and warm with only the threat of thunderstorms much, much later.  There on my neighbor's fence perched a blue bird, with the coloring of the brightest blue whistling a happy tune.  I stopped in my tracks.  

Every major holiday, it's the same: rush around cleaning, shopping, cooking/baking, preparing... I had joked, "Do it once and it becomes a tradition!" It's exhausting, yet not to do it would be too terrible to even consider.  Inevitably, I glaze over wishing for a nap or a few minutes of peace.  It's then that I remind myself, "The kids are only this little for a short while.  We're all together today, cousins, aunts, uncles, grand-parents. Enjoy it."  And so, this past Sunday thanks to the blue bird, I paused.  For a brief moment, time had stopped.  I acknowledged the memories being made right on the spot, in the same way as the million photos I had been taking all weekend.
Now back to Ferris Bueller's Day Off circa 1986.  A wise Ferris once said,  "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It's a Barbie World

When Galia Slayden, a Hamilton College student, created a life-sized Barbie with insane proportions it got a lot of attention ... including mine.  In case you missed it (I have a link below), her Barbie's bodily features are way out of whack.  Slayden is displaying her attention getting Barbie in order to raise awareness about eating disorders.  Of course, a debate has ensued whether Barbie is to blame for some young girls' inaccurate body images.  However, agree or disagree, Galia Slayden is getting tons of publicity for her cause, one that is very personal to her.

As a mother of a daughter, I've been feeling a little concerned since this story broke on NBC's Today Show.  Most especially worrying is that the picture below depicts our extensive Barbie collection.  (Please disregard any unclothed Barbies that may appear in this image!)
Mattel has issued a statement basically saying that Barbie was never based on the proportions of an actual woman. They stopped short of saying, "Duh."  Well, obviously, I pretty much knew that, though I hadn't given it much thought in the past.  I do wonder if we should assume all young girls would know that.  After all, as the song, "Barbie Girl" by Aqua, states, "Life in plastic, it's fantastic."  In truth, even adults have the capability to fall prey to unrealistic and exaggerated expectations from time to time.  In this way, it is a Barbie World.  We may not be competing to match up with toys; yet, from this mom's point of view, there's plenty of self-imposed pressure ... if you so choose to buy into it. 

I've decided to try out the poll gadget here on blogger.  Here's the topic: should Barbie be held accountable for the crime of promoting poor body images.  Besides, all the major starlets seem to have spent some time in a court room. (Paris, Lindsey ... why not Barbie?)
Is Barbie innocent or should she be held accountable?  You decide! 
Place your vote on the right of this post.

Here's the link for those who missed it on the Today Show:
Here's the Barbie Girl song by Aqua

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Experts, Egg Hunts and Einstein

Ever feel so scattered that you simply can not focus on one thing?  If you're a crazed multi-tasker like me, you'll relate to knowing that as I write this post several distractions are pulling me away from time to time.  Besides, checking my e-mail, the weather, my horoscope and celebrity news, I have started a load of laundry, thought about what might work for dinner tonight and answered a phone call from school.  (I always panic when I see the caller ID indicating my oldest son's Elementary School.  At first, I thought it's the nurse.  Then, the voice announced that it was the school librarian.  I blurted out, "The book's in his backpack!" to a pre-recorded message about a school activity happening tonight.)

Anyway, back to what I was saying, scattered thoughts (see what I mean?) ...  I'm pulling from an old post in which I linked a bunch of random thoughts together by beginning each idea with the same phrase:  "I'm no expert, but ..."  It was a fun post and worth reading for a laugh (but don't go there now!).

I'm no expert, but isn't an egg hunt supposed to be fun?  Ask my oldest son and he'll tell you an enthusiastic yes.  He came away from the township run local event with a pail full of plastic eggs containing candy.  My twins, as seen in the above photo, did not fair as well.  My twin boy got off to an amazing start, only to trip some twenty-five yards away from me.  His plastic bucket cracked and his entire loot spilled forward.  For him to recoup his losses, it would have taken a group of very empathetic three to five year old's.  Only one three to five year old was concerned, his twin sister.  Everyone else snatched up the spilled eggs at a rate so fast that it left their parents' wondering why they can't clean up their toys as quickly.  "It's supposed to be fun," I told my bitter and disgruntled twins as they counted a meager five plastic eggs between them. Oh, well ... better luck next time.

I'm no expert, but that's because I haven't implemented the 10,000 hour rule.  For a book club I've recently joined, I've begun the first few chapters of Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell.   Basically, among many other factors, to be a success, it takes 10,000 hours of practice on (here's where my problem comes in) the same task.  Multi-taskers and scattered thinkers everywhere are doomed to non-expert status.  Yeah, yeah.  But, I wonder, do these successful people know about the weather, check their e-mails, be informed about important events (such as the latest celebrity gossip), have clean laundry or even have any idea what to feed their kids for dinner? 

I'm no expert, but Einstein, in my opinion, was.  Einstein had a sign hanging in his office at Princeton that said, "Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."   I'm not a hundred percent sure what this means, but it's motivated me to stop trying to figure out how I can accumulate 10,000 hours as a writer to be a success!  I think, in some convoluted way, I said something like this to my pouting twins on the day of the egg hunt.  "It's not how many eggs and candy you get.  It's just cool to get out here and do it!"  They weren't buying it.  Maybe if I added, "Einstein thought so!"  No, they still wouldn't have bought it.

Finally, I leave you with this photo I snapped of our resident chipmunk.  Here he is peeking out on April 1st (a.k.a. April Fool's day) after a winter of hibernation to be welcomed not by green grass and robins, but by more snow:
I'm no expert, but I think in chipmunk language, he's laying on the expletives.  "What the *#^% !"

Have any "I'm no expert, but..." thoughts?  Add your own.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Having a bad hair day?

That's me, back in high school, goofing around.  Although, I closely resembled this look today as I picked up my twins from Nursery School in the midst of a Spring thunderstorm.  This photo had been amusingly posted on Facebook by an old friend.  At first, I said, "Oh no, she didn't!"  Now, I've come to appreciate my electric-shock look.  Heck, I'm not the only one to have a bad hair day.  There's plenty of yearbooks floating around out there just waitng for a scanner and an old friend with a hair raising sense of humor.  For us born in the last century (as my seven year old son calls us), we had no idea how public certain photos might become.  If only I had a crystal ball, I would have said, "Wait!  This might end up on Facebook!"

Well, here I am outing my bad hair on my blog -- just for the fun of it!    (I couldn't resist a little eighties flashback describing that decade's inflated hair styles in the beginning of Going Barefoot ...  I knew my readers would be able to relate.)  

What is it about hair that's universal across genders, races and income levels?  I recently read that Kate Middleton will have six stylists attending to her locks on the day of her upcoming nuptials.  Much attention no doubt will be paid to her dress, but if one hair is out of place, that will be all the talk.  No one is immune from the occassional bad hair day. 

Put a hat on it.  Clip it up.  Tuck it under a scarf Thlema and Louise style.  Make a salon appointment.  These are a few of the remedies.  (Notice I didn't say take a picture ... oh the pressures of picture day at school, both back in the day and now for my children!)  After many bad hair days, I took my Southern-Belle-at-heart daughter to my salon for a trim.  She arrived apprehensive and fuzzy haired.  She left a brand new girl, as happy and bouncy as her new do.

Here she is at her first ever haircut last year.  She wishes I owned one of these chairs for shampooing.
From head to toe:  Share your bad hair day stories!  And when you're finished commenting, scroll down and check out my new and improved footer.  "The Bare-footer" is my new section full of suggestions for book clubs and/or readers who like to combine reading with a reason to party.

Until next week's post, may all your bad hair days be distant memories!  I leave you with this quote (all politics removed):
"If I want to knock a story off the front page, I just change my hairstyle."
Hillary Rodham Clinton