Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Prom Night Stress

Senior prom for East High School was last week.

It it a day the almost/half-way grown "kids" play grown up.

  • Tuxedos
  • Formal gowns
  • Pictures
  • Pre-Prom Pictures
  • Limos
  • Party Buses
  • Groups of friends all going out to have dinner/dance/party
Not sure if this is strictly an American custom, but at East High, the "young adults" all meet at this beautiful park to take pictures. All the parents are there. 

Of course, these are generalizations. I'm sure some kid is sitting at home. Didn't want to go. Wasn't invited. To nervous to ask someone. Not part of any "group". Easier to sit home alone. Or not go and go do other things.

As I was walking away from pre-prom pictures. In the middle of a city park. In the middle of Denver. A guy stopped me.

German accent asking me what was going on.

I explained. 

He had no idea how to relate. I guess. Or maybe there was a longing in his eyes of a different time.

Then some parents of other prom attendees went to dinner. We then went to the "after-prom" while the kids were at the real prom.

The school is transformed into a magical place.

About a week before prom, at a hockey game, Nolan's date was there. I asked her if she was "ready for prom".

The reply:

I'm really stressed. I hope I can get it all done.

All I could do was smile.

Oh, how I would love to be stressed about prom.

A day or so after prom, I was talking to the mom down the street whom 14-year old son was killed last summer.

I was telling her the story of the "prom stress" and how I "would love to be stressed about prom".

We all have different stresses.

She goes on to tell me.

It's always prom day to someone.

It took me a minute.

My stresses can be complex, but they are nothing compared to hers.

Hers are nothing (as she told me), are nothing compared to another neighbor whom has a mentally and physically disabled child. The child is now 26 and still wears a diaper. Yet, her neighbor is the most positive person she knows.

And yet those are "nothing" (if we are going to compare) to someone in Africa whom lives in a mud hut and doesn't have running water.

It will always be prom night to someone - from someones perspective.

SO, may I wish each and everyone of you - Prom Night Stress.


Thursday, May 11, 2017


Truly now understand when someone says "I can't write"

The words are there, they just won't come out in an order anyone might be able to comprehend. I have a few good story ideas,

Not ideas that may be formulated into full sentences.

Maybet that's the problem.

Quit trying.


But, oh, there is so much alive that the world needs to hear.

My favorite question lately:

What are you doing next?

I have crafted my response:

I'm moving to Hollywood. I'm going to be the next Diana Keaton. Then Betty White.

Life is JUST begining.......


Thursday, April 13, 2017

What's in it for me?

As a society (generalizing here), we have become more and more self-centered.

Expectations of customer service have gone through the roof. I'm not just talking about at high end places, but fast food restaurants, gas stations, pharmacies.

  • What's in it for me?
  • Am I going to be inconvenienced?
  • Why should I sacrifice something for you?
  • Everything really needs to be perfect. 

We now want what we want, right now. And perfect.

Several months ago a candidate reached out to me to see if I could help her secure and interview with my employer. I got her information to the correct people. She didn't get the job. I did what I could to help.

Fast forward a month later, I called her to see if she would be interested in a couple of different recruiting opportunities.

Not a word from her.

A month so later, she reached out. Apologized for not calling me back. Then asked if I could help her husband out. She sent me his resume.

I sent her e-mail to one person, then let it go. She called me when she needed something, but when I called her, it didn't fit her needs.

Today, I received an e-mail again asking me if I can help her.

Relationships - both professional and personal - they are two way streets. We have to give in order to get. Not the other way around.

When I call candidates, the first thing I ask is "what can I do for you??"

We've forgotten this as a society.

With the latest United debacle, I think this is part of the case.

Yes, United was wrong. So was the passenger. Sorry, my needs are greater than yours.

Remember this the next time you ask for a favor. Perhaps, start with, "I really appreciate all your help. Ask for your favor." - then respond with "What may I do for you?"

And when you are in line and the clerk is slow, your food arrives a couple of minutes late - sit and breathe. We aren't starving after all.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

That Spirit

I was in Moab, Utah for a long weekend. This is the 10th anniversary of the original "Puppy Party".

The Puppy Party was actually started 20 years ago, but only 10 years ago did they realize they had a name for the group of people. It started 20 years ago by two guys - one living in Utah, the other living in Ohio. They decided to meet in Moab for a camping weekend.

It started with two guys and two tents.

This was the group this year.

  • 5 RZR all wheel drives
  • 7 motorcycles
  • Over 45 people
  • 6 dogs
  • One drone - picture courtesy of the drone
  • One campfire
Not everyone stays the whole week. Some show up at the beginning of the week. Others during the middle. Another group at the end - or a little bit of all of this.

Campfires, nerf gun wars, a shooting range, hikes, bikes (both motor and manual), sight-seeing tours, boche ball, a movie on the side of the rocks. You name it, it probably happens in Moab.

On Saturday afternoon, a big group loads up in the 5 RZR's and two Toyota Four Runners. We all head down into the canyon. We are on the edge of a cliff. I'm in no way qualified to be driving one of these things - especially down the side of a canyon with a 500 foot drop.

We go down. We make it to the bottom. Blue skies. Like standing at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

As we head up, I was driving and had my friend with me, but two 12 year old girls wanted to ride in the RZR instead of the car.

We double buckle them in. (Two kids in one seat). We all head out of the canyon.

As we get to the top, the RZR in front of me pulls over - they are going to take some pictures. My RZR is first in line. 

We are 10 miles from the campsite.

2 miles in, it begins to sprinkle. Then rain. Then pour. Then hail.

Okay, this is me. Basically, on an off rode vehicle with doors, a windshield but no windows. And TWO 12 year old girls that don't belong to me.

We see lighting strike a few miles away. We are being pelted with hail and rain. 

I look over and say, 
Do you want me to pull over and you can get in one of the cars?

NO!!!, was their response.

We do want a jacket, but this is SO MUCH more fun than being in the car.

We pulled over. We grabbed a jacket from the car.

We raced back to the campsite. In the rain. In the hail.

As we pulled into the campsite, drenched, freezing and covered with mud, I looked over at the girls. Smiling, shivering, and soaking wet.

"Ladies," I said, "Don't you EVER lose this spirit! Hang on to it with all your might".

We ran into the camper to put on dry clothes and try to warm up.

Spirits that can't be and shouldn't be tamed.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Starting Fresh

The spring is a time of renewal. It's a time the earth tells us, we will begin again.

Flowers start to bloom. The grass begins to turn green. There are green buds on the tree. Dirt in the air. Dirt due to the fact that it's still dry - we are waiting on our April showers.

Many people equate spring to "cleaning". Spring Cleaning.

It's time to clean - get rid of the dead.The clutter. The baggage you've been carrying around.

You can plant new stuff, but the stuff you plant in the spring - those are annuals. Things that only bloom once.

One spring and summer - that's all you get.

But first, you must get rid of the winter. The dead leaves that never left the yard. The winter clothes you haven't liked in years, but keep because well, they are easy to wear when it's dark and grey. The toys that are no longer played with. The snow blower you haven't used in years.

I had a juniper bush removed today. It ran the length of my drive-way. Figured it was planted lated 70's or early 80's when those things were popular. There was also a small one in the back yard taken out.

They are HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE plants. They take over. You can't trim them and stuff collects in them.

I also took the trampoline in my backyard down last week. Tomorrow is "big trash" day - and most of the pieces are already gone.

As I took the trampoline down, the memories kept leaking out my eyes. From the boys saving their money to buy it, to sleep overs, to man on the moon stories, too......

The bushes, I've hated for a long time. Although at the end of the day, the final count:

  • 15 hockey pucks
  • 13 tennis balls
  • 12 lacrosse balls
  • 2 frisbees 
  • 1 water bottle
(and I really can't believe a beer bottle or two wasnt' stashed in there, but if it was, the tree guy didn't let me know). All hiding in the bushes.

Hiding no more. 

After all, it's spring, start fresh. Like the Earth.

Monday, February 27, 2017

I want the one....

Are you going to get another puppy??

No. I'm going to be proud with the one whom went on to great things. I'm going to be happy knowing I did an incredible thing. We helped someone.

Well, maybe.

Maybe, if you have one that is a "re-home". Someone whom thought they could do this, then they turned out, well, they couldn't.

This isn't an easy job. You raise a puppy and have to give it up.

Or maybe, the one, that someone, at the last minute, couldn't/wouldn't/can't commit.

That's the one I want.

The one that needs you, more, well, than you need them.

I don't want to know, "in six months, on such and such date, you will get a puppy."

That's SO not how my life works. Well, it does. It works better though when I get a call on a Monday morning after a horiffic week, that says,

"Will you take a blonde male next Wednesday???"


Yes, I will.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

At Some Point

A term "Binge Watching" has now been around for a bit.

It is when, a "television/book series" has been on-going, and you can sit down and watch/read the whole series.

I've understood this from books for a bit.

The Hunger Games

The Twilight Series

I skipped Harry Potter

(I guess I like teen lit more than I will ever admit)

The "binge" watching of TV is something I JUST DON'T get. Why in the world would I sit in front of the TV for HOURS/DAY/WEEKS watching TV. (Yes, I watched bunches of TV earlier in life, but have completely forgotten)

Until a couple of weeks ago.

My friend Joellen was living at my house and we discovered a show called "Shameless" had been watched on Netflix.

Whomever was watching it, was on Season One, Episode 5. 

(For those whom have never "started" a series (me!!!). You can start at the beginning and not quit watching until it is all over).

We started at Episode 1. Season 1.

This series was a 'bit' risque. Good acting. Relateability on some levels.

I think we stopped at Episode 3 (yes, the same day - this is called "binge" watching)

Lily came to visit. Evidently, this is huge among the teenagers as we found out it had been Nolan watching the series.

The boys went to school/classes, L and I sat and watched WAY to much TV.

We must have skipped a few seasons, as when she left I was somehow on Season 4.

Truly, this show is messed up. It gets better. I'm still not sure it's not some type of pornographic, but addictive no less. 

It's a messed up family from the South side of Chicago. You really empathize with the bunch.

Empathy. With them. With us. 

Making sure we all know how fortunate we have(had) it in life.

This group of people never stood a chance in life. They were given breaks.

We are all given breaks in life, you have to seize those moments when you get them.

At some point, you have to understand, YOU can be the own difference in your life.

BTW, I've probably watched more TV in the last couple of weeks, than in the previous YEARS. I'm OUT. Someone let me know if I should do this again one day.....