Thursday, October 15, 2009

25 Random Thoughts from Beckyland

Well a bright and shiny good morrow to you all and welcome to Thursday!

Today I thought we'd mix it up a bit and try out a different format...25 random thoughts that just pop into my head. This is something I do every so often as a bit of a brain dump, but I find that it also tends to relieve stress and make me giggle (not to mention that it tends to spawn topics for other blog posts).

Enjoy the random thoughts and your Thursday!

1. I don't understand the concept of pimento loaf.

2. I am a news junkie, so I think I work at the best place ever (insert random plug for BELO and the Dallas Morning News here)! I love seeing the news trucks for WFAA firing up each morning, heading out to see what's going down in our city.

3. I am the person who draws the smiley face on the foggy window on the front door of our office building each day. Look, it's really early when I get here so I'm a bit punchy. Besides, I can't resist the temptation. :)

4. I don't understand the fascination with Twitter. No offense, but I don't have a desire to keep up with my own every move, much less someone else's. So feel free to make yourself a turkey sandwich and NOT to Twitter me about the experience.

5. I was born left-handed, but some teacher in Kindergarten decided that I needed to change that. Dude, that could have totally scarred me for life!

6. I just heard a "smooth jazz" version of Will Smith's "Summer Madness" on my XM radio. Let me just say that it totally just threw me off....that just wasn't right, not at all man, not at all.

7. Speaking of music, I don’t' really like attending music concerts. I'm not talking about orchestra or operas here, I like those; I mean rock concerts. I find it hard to feel comfortable listening and not dancing and acting ultra goofy during them.

8. I actually like the new Miley Cyrus single. True story!

9. I don't understand adult cheerleaders at sporting events. Okay sure, I get what their purpose is; however they aren't "leading cheers", so can't we just call them glorified strippers and be done with it?

10. If Hogwarts were a real school, I'd send my children there and live for Parents Weekend when I'd be able to visit!

11. Why do guys feel it's okay to cut their nails at their desks? Really? Do me a favor and save that little experience for your wife and do it at your own bathroom!

12. Speaking of guys at work, am I the only one that finds it ultra-icky that they take the newspaper into the bathroom and then return it to the public stack so that another guy can take the paper on the same journey? There is NOT enough hand sanitizer out there to make this one okay with me!

13. If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands! (Sorry, told you these were random thoughts.)

14. I actually had a blast car-dancing this morning to Barry Manilow’s "Miracle" on my drive into work. Anyone wanna carpool with me tomorrow? I'm feeling disco coming on!

15. I haven't seen the natural color of my hair since 6th grade thanks to Sun-in and many, many hours spent at the beach. (Of course now it's all about the varying colors of brown and red shades brought to by Nice N Easy.)

16. I have 10 action figures and bobble heads on my desk along with three Buddha statues, of varying sizes, and a Magic Eight Ball.

17. I drink about six cups of coffee a day (according to my coffee pot).

18. I voted for Kinky Friedman last time he ran....and guess what, I plan on doing it again!

19. I am a direct descendant of Sam Houston, the one and only President of the great state of Texas! (Of course then, it was a republic, but now we're just splitting hairs, aren't we?)

20. My partner just got to her desk. She's a scream, but you should know, she's not a morning person. It's taken me a year to learn not to annoy her instantly when she walks in. God love her for putting up with me! :)

21. I'm a cat person. There, I've said it!

22. I won't be watching THE football game this weekend (THE University of Texas vs. those dorks from Oklahoma). Gasp! I know, they could take away my Longhorn status for that....but really, I do this for the greater good. I have WAY too much of my Grandfather in me and watching the game will, for sure, send me into an instant hostile state of yelling and temper tantrums (and often times I even yell at the cheerleaders when they show them) I learned years ago not to do watch it.

23. I can't spell to save my life. Viva la Spell Checker! I was honestly the first kid out in the one and only spelling bee I was ever in. I spelled "waitress" wrong. Sigh.....

24. I love birthdays! In fact, mine is a recognized week long event known as "Becky-palooza" to my family.

25. This post took me seven minutes to write and I found six spelling errors in it when I spell checked it. See, told you I couldn't live without the beauty that is Spell Checker.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Love is All You Need

"One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life. That word is Love."

It's on days like today that I find myself waxing a bit more on the relationships in my life; because on days like today, my commute to work becomes more focused and my surroundings more visible. See today, the Dallas Metroplex is blanketed in heavy fog; yet on a day like today, I become much more aware of the visual reminders of love that I travel by each day on my way to and from work.

Each weekday my commute takes me by the DFW Airport and the UTSW Medical Center (which also, for you trivia lovers out there, happens to house the hospital in which President John F. Kennedy died almost 46 years ago). "Hey, that's a bit of a sad point considering your headline today", I can hear you saying. True, but it goes along with my thoughts today....stay with me here.

You see, the hospital and airport, for me, are two of the most magical places within a city. For, in those walls there is the truest gamete of emotions on a constant basis. Turn one way and you'll see families embracing loved ones as they get off the plane or a new father starring down in awe at the new child the nurse has laid in his arms. Turn another direction and you might see a mother, sitting vigil over the bed of her dying child or a young couple saying a tearful good-bye as one of them is boarding a plane and heading off for military deployment.

I find it magical to watch these natural emotions pour out of people. I say natural because no one has to teach an infant sorrow, love or happiness; they are innate emotions that belong to all humans. Sure, a crying baby might not fully understand why she is crying, but thanks to the connection made possible by unconditional love, a mother knows why and will always do her best to stop the crying and make everything better.

These relationships aren't just between family members or lovers, but also between friends. Close friends will travel an emotional highway together throughout their lifetimes, and true friends will never question or judge the honesty of those emotions, they will simply embrace them.

It is on these foggy, hard to see days that I think about these places and the most natural moments of life they house. As I drive past the airport I find myself thinking, "Did I hug my children before I dropped them off" or "have I called my sister lately to tell her how much she means to me?" On these days, the lack of action and follow-through from my heart to my daily life comes into full focus and leaves me to questions, "have I done enough?"

What if something was to happen to me on my drive in today; would the ones I love know how much they mean to me? What if suddenly I was in that hospital...have I provided my family with enough memories and love and carry them through a lifetime?

It's days like today that remind me that even the painful moments in life provide us with great joy later. When someone passes on or a relationship ends and that person is no longer physically part of your life, their memories remain. The moments you spent together had aspects of happiness, sadness, struggle and teaching. For in those moments you learned, not only to love and deal with the occasional challenges that life brings, but you learned about yourself. "There is no remedy for love but to love more." --Henry David Thoreau

So when you wake-up and the morning news warns of hazardous driving conditions on your way into work, don't grumble about how now you'll be late or complain about what an inconvenience the weather has provided you; instead, let it serve as a reminder to you that you are loved and you have people you love in your life. Let days like this remind you to always tell people how you feel about them and to never miss a moment to play with your kids, have lunch with a girlfriend or to enjoy the every day moments that life has to offer. Let days like today remind you of all the opportunities you have in life to live and love.

If you feel alone or without the energy for the day, go hug your child or call a friend for lunch and refill your soul, for as Elizabeth Browning said, "Love doesn't make the world go round; love is what makes the ride worthwhile."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Say What?

I'm guessing by now that it's not a big secret that I love words. I love everything about words. I love how they sound; I love that you can change a meaning just by placing it next to a different group of words; I love that you can say one thing, but mean something totally different just by how you change the sound of your voice when saying a phrase. This is probably why I adore Shakespeare and Thoreau so dearly. For me, they were truly the masters of wordsmith and are the Headmasters of my Circle of Muses (which for the record, also includes Poe, Einstein and DaVinci - I commonly refer to them as "My Boys" and have action figures of each of them on desk at work...true story)....but then of course, I also have a Yoda bobble head on my desk as well.

Anyway it's my love of words that has me going today kids! For those of you who know me, it's not a huge secret that I am a card carrying dyslexic; for that matter, I come from a long line of them. Heck, even one of My Boys was one too! So, as a member of the backwards and jumbled club, I often have to be very careful when reading something for if I just glance, there is a massive chance I'll read something very different than what is actually on the paper.

I tend to have to concentrate when reading. I learned early on to have something low, like music, playing the background at home so I can literally "tune out" the world and focus on what I'm reading. Now, if I really have to concentrate that hard on something, I started wondering about what it must be like for non-native English speakers. Here they are, focusing on the words themselves and we go off and change spelling rules in one place and entire meanings of words in another.

But what about phrases? I wonder what they must think when they are hear us say something like "A bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush?" I get this phrase, but ya know, some of them are so out there, that when you're a literal speaker/reader like me, and as I'm assuming many non-native speakers are as well, some of these phrases just leave me scratching my head wondering "what the hell does that mean?"

So for your Monday morning entertainment, I give you a few phrases that have made me giggle, made me wonder and often times, forced me to look them up because I had no bloody idea what they meant (and my Mother always made me look things up...guess that habit stuck with me). Enjoy!:

* "Shake a stick at it" - Okay, really? What good would shaking a stick at anything do anyway? So why would it matter if you did, in fact, have more of something than you could physically shake a stick at?

* "Throw the baby out with the bath water" - Uhmmmmm, see, this has CPS written all over it for me.

* "A good man is hard to find" - Now this one isn't funny to me, it's just kind of sad. Although the story "A Good Man is Hard to Find", is one that leaves you perplexed in thought, I don't think this phrase should. Is it really that hard to find one? And if it is, what does that say about our society? Eeek!

* "A pig in a poke" - Okay, this just makes me giggle! If you just read the words there and you take it literally, it's kind of funny.

* "A stitch in time saves nine" - Nine what????? I've never understood this one. First of all, for me at least, time is an intangible concept that was created by man, so how could stitching something that doesn't exist save nine of anything?

* "Dollars to donuts" - Again, I know what this one means, but my question remains.....why does this combination of words some how mean "certainty"?

*"Drink like a fish" - Sure, fish are in water, but do they really drink? Go ahead, look that fact'll be surprised!

*"The proof is in the pudding" - When I think of this one, I can visualize someone actually digging into the pudding and searching for the proof.

*"Shake a leg" - So I ask you, how could one possibly hurry up if they are busy shaking their legs? This one always caused me to raise an eyebrow as a kid.

*"Sleep like a top" - Aren't tops in constant motion? (for the record, I did actually look this one up and I get it's still just sounded odd to me the first time I heard it)

"As happy as a clam" - So uhm, how would you know if a clam is happy?

So as you begin your work week, remember to watch your p's and q's as you mingle with others until your heart's content.....for as you lay it on with a trowel, your point might just get lost in translation.