Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ooooohhhh my head!

So, I've been dying to post since Friday at 2:45 AM when I began one of the most incredible experiences of my life. But my head is still spinning with that experience as well as stuff and junk that I think about when I'm at the beach.

I'm on it...really hang in there.

and that's the truth, ruth,

Ragnar was a Viking...Does that make me a Viking-ette? Part I

Over Easter weekend while I was minding my own business singing at the top of my lungs along interstate 10 heading east to Phoenix, I got an email from my roommate from college (CR). "we may need a runner for the ragnar relay April 23-24th. Are you interested? It is a challenging run..."

What's important to know about my old roommate is that I think she is, by far, one of the best humans I've ever known. She and I have both struggled with what turned out to be our lives and have both come out the other side having learned what we're made of. She is kind - so very kind and someone who I think of as a role model for me. So when she called and said, "we may need a runner..." without knowing anything about it, I said yes. I could have just agreed to run up Mount Rushmore, but if she asked me to do it, I would.

So, now, I'm committed to run in this relay race. I spend the weekend asking her questions she has no answers to. She sent me the Ragnar web site for the race and I go check it out. The first thing I see is:

Run, Drive Eat. Sleep (?) Repeat.

Um, o.k.

Then I start to look at the route - almost 200 miles from Ventura (the city not the Blvd.) to Dana Point.

Let me see if I am understanding how this will work. A 12-member team will run 3 legs each (of which I would be #1!!) from Ventura to Dana Point beginning at a time to be named later (very early in the AM) and there will be approximately 12 hours between my first and second runs? Then there will be ten hours between my second and third runs? But in those time frames, I will be with my team mates where we will: a) cheer each other on; b) nap (more later on the napping); c) eat (well and not so well); and d) make our way to Dana Point?

Uh, yeah CR - no prob - I'm in.

Oh yeah - my legs are 8 miles, 8 miles and 3 miles - 19 miles in 24 hours.

O.K. sign me up.

This turned out to be one of the most wonderful events of my life. Truly. It's up there with:

* Getting my MA (a feat unto itself)
* My wedding day (currently the best day ever in my life)
* Finishing the Pacific Half Marathon

So it was amazing. Why was it amazing? It was amazing because, well I'm not sure to tell you the truth. I met 10 new people who really are good humans. In the 40 hours our car of 6 women were together, there was not one whine, not one complaint, not one sarcastic turned nose. I really liked that. There was good karma everywhere. I dug that the most (Pulp Fiction...you thought I forgot about the movie lines).

We ranged in age in our car from 23 (I sooooo want to be this young woman [YW] when I grow up) to 50 (I also want to be this woman when I grow up and that's more likely, I'll call her Coach). Everyone came with their own stories, their own experiences and their own lives. It was so cool to get to know them.

Now, I don't want you worrying...I am still snark-o-matic, but I don't remember one moment (even where I was sleeping - o.k. napping - in CR's car for 2 hours at 3 AM after eating a triple bacon lettuce & tomato sandwich an hour earlier - yeah, that was good judgement) where I was whiney or complain-y. I loved that about me.

But let's back up (I really need a new phrase)...I woke up at 2:45 AM on Friday. Let me tell you, you feel really old when you're waking up and driving somewhere to be productive at the time you used to be coming home after a long night of no real production...but lots of debauchery - whatever your definition of that is).

O.K. I do have one complaint about the event.


I finally need one and where is it? NO WHERE TO BE FOUND!

That's it.

I know I could have stopped at the Sev (7-11), but really, I do have my standards.

Got to CR's house at 4 AM where we loaded up and headed north to Ventura.

To me, Ventura is a place you drive through en route to somewhere else. Say, Los Olivos, or Santa Barbara, or Northern California the long way or Cambria. Not somewhere you stop to run in the dark.

But we made it - and I made it to the start line with about 2 minutes to spare (a long story about franticly getting me ready with the proper reflective equipment)

Yep, that's me - ready to rock and roll the first leg of Ragnar 2010. I am certainly "reflective" as my sister in law (SIL) said. I was the lucky runner that got to run with all the safety equipment

What you can't see is the red butt light that I have clipped to my pants - it gave me the opportunity to say "Switch me on" (Ghostbusters). Now how often in life do you get to do that? Not many I tell you.

And we're off....I meet a woman named Sarah (she'll probably never read this and I don't even know her last name) and she and I ran the whole 8 miles together. It was great...Not only was it great to have someone with me who knew the area (I would have gotten lost for sure - not fabulous signage Ragnar peeps!) but who also ran my pace and could talk while running our 10 minute mile pace!

The one request I made before I ran my first leg, was after my first run, could we go directly to Starbucks. My team said, sure....we went, I coffeed, I saw CR run by the Starbucks and we headed off to meet her at the end of her run.

When we made it to the end of my 8 miles and I handed the slap bracelet off to CR, I felt a real sense of accomplishment and that's when I knew this was going to be awesome.

This Ragnar debrief is going to be super long. So I'll stop here and pick it up soon.

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer,

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chuck is the accessory.

Today was a really cool day. To begin, I went out to run and it began to rain on me. So, I walked back into the house changed out of my running clothes, showered and looked out the window to find it...

not raining.

Nothing. No drops no extra water on the chairs in the garden.

So, I felt kinda stupid for not hanging out for a bit outside before giving up. Ah well - there's always Wednesday. Only, blech...at the gym.

But that meant that Aha and I got to spend the day together. We went out and did what we love to do; hang out at the mall.

Not like I did with a friend from my childhood (who by the way, continues to be my friend to this very day, but we hang out at the mall much much less and not for the same reasons) - where finding new boys was the chief objective of the mall (oddly enough, Converse High Tops played a role then too).

Aha and I like to window shop and hold hands. We're kinda pathetic. We're 30 years early for the old people shuffling through the mall, but we love it.

We had lunch at Ruby's - yummie - burgers (he with no bun and in a salad - me with a bun and fries.

Then we headed over to the mall next door (yep - that's LA for you malls next door to malls. Love it.) to wander.

We had some Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, wandered a bit and found ourselves heading for Nordstrom's. As it turns out, I forgot that I had a $75 gift card from a recent birthday (and by recent, I think I mean 2 years in July) and what a great time to get a gift for myself!

Note: I'm not particularly fond of clothes shopping. Particularly when I'm not employed on a full time basis (as I am now). It's not that I don't look good in clothes, I do (now), but I really cringe at the thought of spending $60 on a MINI skirt made of COTTON (albeit pretty) but still COTTON and thin cotton to boot. I am what I fondly refer to as a kamikaze shopper. I get in, I get what I need and I get out - no one gets hurt and I get what I need.

So here we are wandering about the mall and we find ourselves in Nordstrom's and more specifically, in the Junior's department.

Another note: I lost quite a bit of weight in the last 18 months and have kept it off. I am pretty happy about this (I did it well - very healthy) and getting to shop in the Jr. section (formally known as Brass Plum for those in the over 40 sect) still gives me a kick.

So, there we are...wandering about a section where things are sooooo teeny tiny...soooo gathered and so short! We merge into the shoe section and find the absolutely most fabulous shoes.

Yet another note. When I was 15, I got my first pair of Chuck Taylor's - Converse High Tops and they were RED! I loved them. I took them to Israel when I was 16. When I was 18 I wore my red Chucks to my first(ish) breakfast as a freshman in college. This was a very expensive private college and suffice it to say, I was at the poverty end of the cash-ola scale. So, everyone looked wonderful at breakfast, all made up, dressed well and coiffed to the hilt.

I showed up in jeans, a sweatshirt, probably a baseball hat and my red Chucks.

I made a friend that day in 1986. She and I are friends to this day. We attended each other's weddings - FB brought us back together - still close and I love her dearly. She knows me in a way no one else does. She was around for a lot of "firsts" and downsides. We've started to help each other with issues that arise as an adult ways now, but it's the same us with new issues. Love her. And best of all? I know she loves me too. Kewl.

Anyway...I'm a Chuck Taylor fan from way back. The problem is that Converse High Tops have zero redeeming value with the exception of how they look. So when I saw these Chucks - I about fell over.

They screamed, "try me on! come on, you know you want to!!" I looked at them and thought, "wow, those are cool". Having that gift card helped the process along because they cost far less than Aha and I thought they would. So I played the I'll-try-it-on-if.... game:

I'll try it on if:
* they have my size (always the first)
* I can come up with something to wear it with

You then move to the flow chart of shopping:

I'll try it on if they have my size ==> I'll walk around in them to see if they feel 0k (I'm a runner and shoe comfort is KEY) ==> Now I need something to wear with them.

Here is where it gets interesting.

I have the shoes on (which took an act of teamwork and a lot of loosening of laces (there are zippers along the back), patience and a shoe horn and now decide I am going to walk over to the Junior department (nee: Brass Plum) and see if I can find something to wear with them. I'm thinking long shorts and/or a denim shirt.

I walk over to the cash registers - wearing the shoes with my jeans folded up to my knees so see the shoes - and wait my turn. But what happens is that when a 40-something stands there wearing x-tra high top Converse is that a hush falls over the area. Young women in line with their moms turn and stare without staring and then look away and kibbutz with each other.

And don't tell me that's not true - my mom and I wrote the book on the "look and kibbutz!"

So I'm standing there, waiting patiently, and a lovely young woman, Tia, looks over and says with a ton of energy (as I would have), "I have been looking at getting those! Aren't they great?"
"Yep," I said, "I love Chucks, but I need help from you finding something to wear with them". "O.K." she says and we're off.

"I'm thinking skinny jeans..." she says.
"I was thinking of maybe shorts or a denim skirt." I say.
"O.K, I have a denim skirt right over here" she says.

So, we head over to denim skirt land. Now, I'm thinking a denim shirt comes to just above my knee or a little shorter. She had a definition that was decidedly different. She showed me a denim skirt that was 6" from the top of the skirt to the bottom.

"Oh, um, o.k." I said. How about some shorts?
We turn around and find "long" shorts:

"Um, o.k." I said and off to the dressing room I go.


Never even bothered with the skirt. I mean...please.

Tried the shorts - here's the issue - the issue was 4" of my skin between where the shorts stopped and the shoes began. I looked bizarre.

"Hmmm...what do you think?" I asked Tia.
"Um....hmmmm. I don't know" she said.
"Oh I know what you do here" her partner in crime said. "You wear really tall socks and it covers the space."
"Yeah, no. I'll look like I belong in a Dr. Seuess story" I said.
"How about skinny jeans?" Tia said. "I can really see skinny jeans with that."
"O.K." I said. and Tia bounces off to get my 'skinny jeans'.

For those of you 40+ you will recognize 'skinny jeans' as those jeans where one of three things has occurred:

1. Your Mom spent serious coin and bought you Guess? jeans that zipped at the bottom and made them 'skinny' around the bottom of your leg. (I sooooo wanted these. I prayed my cousin got them because I got her hand-me-downs. I didn't care what was in style when I got her stuff...life was going to be perfect.)
2. You folded the bottom of your jean over tight against your calf and used safety pins to secure them thus creating the 'skinny' look.
3. No safety pins, you pulled them 'skinny' and you folded them into themselves that way. (Least effective in my opinion - the fold could come out and that would annoy me all day.

Well, these skinny jeans are sure skinny - all over. I got into the jeans in a size in regular people that I wear. My legs lost their blood flow pretty quickly, but the waist was o.k. So, I tried on the next size up. Too big a waist, but legs better.

So, what was I able to do? I bought a pair of shoes that Aha says look good and I don't look stupid wearing them. I got a new pair of pants that came from THE JUNIOR SECTION! Best of all, I got to wear them to girl's night and show my friends.

Me and my skinny jeans - I guess Tia was right when she said nothing should compete with the shoes - the shoes are the accessory. I think that's advice for life. The Chuck Taylor's are the accessory.

Ladies & Gentlemen take my advice; pull down your pants and slide on the ice,

Monday, April 19, 2010

MS is a drag - part 1

So, I told you that there would be multiple posts about how much MS sucks. Here's the first.

But first, a trip in the way back machine (du-da-da-du, du-da-da-du - Mike Myers in Wayne's World).

Almost nine years ago, Aha started to have problems with his back. First it was just sore, everyone gets that. Then it was tougher to move. So he went to the family chiropractor (RIP Dr. Cynthia Izen :( ) who worked with him for a while. It was good, better and bad then better then bad, then worse then good, then better, then bad - his arms hurt, then they didn't, then they did with his back hurting then it was just his back, then it was his legs, then it was arms and legs - well you get the picture. A year later and many doctors diagnosis (which were all wrong, by the way - everything from carpel tunnel to foot issues, to everything on the earth!)

So now we're in 2001 - and Dr. I suggests that Aha go see Dr. Freundlich (seriously, that's his name - so fabulous, right?) because he "will not let you out of his office until he diagnosis' you." So, then night before his first appointment with Heir Freundlich (actually, a great guy and not first generation, but that name...right?) and we're pretty exhausted (ohhh if we only knew how exhausted we were GOING to be) and Aha's entire left side goes numb.

Wow, that can't be good at all. Not at all.

Turns out, hey, lookee that! It's not good at all!!!

Aha goes in for x-rays etc and a couple of weeks (days? hours? weeks? can't remember) later Aha calls me at my office (wow, this was the first of 10 afternoon phone calls that I would have rather never ever had in my life - the first one coming later that week - more on that later) to tell me that he has, "...the beginnings of MS".

Um, the what?

Beginnings of MS? What the hell does that mean?

Can we head it off at the pass? Can we turn it into the "ending"? What?

And...now with clearer (sort of) heads, no one has the beginnings, they either do or do not have MS.

So, the next four years are filled with good days (few), bad days (many) and a roller coaster of emotions such as: fear (loads of that), sadness (loads of that too), annoyance, rage (a lot of that), missing (there continues to be tons of that) and a lot of nothing.

You might wonder what happened in those four years. Suffice it to say, at the end of them Aha went on permanent disability and I became the sole wage earner in the house. Swell, fabulous, wonderful and all around yeah.

So, yeah for you...you are finally through the first installment of MS is a drag. Not impressed? Not happy? Wondering where the laughs are? HA! MS is a laugh riot ("...a laugh riot" History of the World Part I) and the chuckles keep on coming.

But know this, when Aha has his good days (or hours) which are few and far between, he is the best, most fabulous husband in the whole world.

Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others,

Addendum to post - to be clear - I have glazed over Aha and his MS for brevity (I know, you're thinking - that was abbreviated? Trust me) But to be very clear - Aha's up and down time is completely random. He's more down than up, but takes advantage when his up time presents itself. Also, MS is sooooooo fabulous in that he looks great - all of the time. He could be in grave pain (a lot) and look like he feels fine. In no way do I want to make it sound light or better than it is. MS does suck and he is a trooper to deal with it every day.

I've got change for a quarter, but not change for you.

I am so clearly an early adopter - as you can plainly see from my starting a blog decades after they were popular. This isn't new to me. I tend to like certain fashions a year or so after they were 'popular'. This makes me not a bandwagon jumper oner, but someone who is so late to the party that they're setting up for the next weeks party. Which is good for me because then I can help set up and play it off like I was in time, or early, for that one.

I used to be sooooooo punctual. I'm not now and I think it really irritates some people who shall not be named but you know who you are and I'm sorry - really, but given the state of the state of my state, I feel lucky to get "there" at all.

Back to early adoption. Early adoption is a fancy way of saying: "I made this change earlier than you which clearly means I deal with change better than you".

Sorry early mr./ms. adopter pants - all it means is that you get even more distracted by shiny things (Squirrel!!!) than I do.

There are things, however, for which I am not thrilled about being an adopter at all:

* Twitter
I'm sorry (really not so much) - I love me some FB, but I think that following Kevin Bacon's every move - unless he's leaving his wife and coming for me - is a little much. My peeps on FB seem to like seeing where I've been and am/are going (they tell my mom and dad about it - my dad rolls his eyes, I L O V E it!) but I can't fathom knowing every time someone leaves the market or goes in. I recognize that I am not the demographic for the marketing (Come one come all to the fifteen minute sale at Bullock's!!! - ha! don't know what Bullock's is? Young whipper snapper!) and I wish Twitter and its followers (does that make them twitties? Wow - that can't be good) a long long love life and happiness.

* Getting rid of your land line
For those of you who remember dial phones - especially the red ones that hung on your wall and made that "rrrrriiiinnnnggg" sound when someone called, having to tell Ma Bell that you needed to have the push button feature added to your phone so you could advance to push button phones (which made calling in to radio stations to win the prize much much easier) and taking the phone down the hall into a room to make a private call to your FOTM (flirt of the moment - that will take many blogs to cover) I salute you!!!!! (that was the longest sentence EVER - my editors (peeps who have edited me) would plotz.

Parting with my land line is like my grandmother (M'nell) parting with her vinyl-on-the-top-cottonie-on-the-bottom table cloth or me parting with my Kitchen Aid, or my Cuisinart, or my Kenmore french door-freezer-on-the-bottom refrigerator, or my coffee pot - uh oh, I seem to have issues (SURPRISE, SURPRISE SURPRISE!!!!).

* GPS running watch
I know two people who have this and love it. I will say I felt better running with my LB (little brother) in a foreign land when he had his, but really? Run out - run back. Ta da!!!

But what does being an early adopter pants really mean? It means you orchestrated that change and made it.

And that means I say to that:

Yeah for you.

But know this...I will find a reason to laugh at your early adoptingness and then quietly, oh so quietly, adopt it in 10 years or so and tell everyone what a great thing I did.

That's what's going on around the country, here's what's happening in your neck of the woods,

Sunday, April 18, 2010

MS is a drag - but not so much today!

This is the first of what will be many blogs about MS and what a complete drag it is. Now, I don't have MS, which is very good. However, Aha does have MS which is very bad. I won't get into what his MS is like today, because there will be plenty of posts in which to discuss that.

However, today was the MS Walk 2010 in Pasadena, CA. The logo to the left is the logo for our team. We raised a boatload of money &7,700 - we're shooting for $10K so we can have our own tent in the check in area next year.

It was great - we had 25+ of our friends and family out to walk with us. We had kids, we had dogs..it was great.

The think I'm most amazed about is that we were able to find everyone and get together for a photo. We're pretty lucky to have the group of friends that we have. They are really supportive.

MS, as a rule, generally blows. But today, for a couple of hours, we were just friends and family of Aha, walking in support of the disease that changed his, and subsequently mine, forever.

So when you have dinner tonight, raise a glass to Aha. He deserves it. He's the best husband on the planet and he gets up every day and kisses me.

MS or no MS.

Smoke 'em if ya got 'em,

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Reading is cool

So I know that most if all of you know that reading rocks. I think reading rocks so much that I volunteer at the library to read with little kids. Generally, the kids ages are 5 - 8 or 9. These kids rock. Today I had one of those days that showed me that what I do makes a difference.

Scene - Volunteer Dena walking around the children's book area at the library, putting books on top of the shelves so the kids can see them and take them down to read.

Enter short boy - looks to be somewhere around 6 years old (ish) who decides that the only thing he wants to play with is the covered electrical socket. Dena encourages him to NOT play with that. Short boy hangs around.

Dena: hey there.
Short Boy (SB) looks at Dena and says nothing.
Dena: would you like to read a book?
SB: no
Dena: why? books are cool.
SB: no they're not. I have this to play with.

SB takes out one of those pocket video games Nintendo DS or something or other.

Dena: wow. books are cooler than that.
SB: no they're not.
Dena: yes they are. wanna know why?
SB - looks at Dena and doesn't say anything.
Dena: because you use your imagination - reading helps you use your imagination
SB: you can use your imagination with this.
Dena: no you can't.
SB: yes you can.
Dena: no you can't

Evidently, SB doesn't know that I am the champ-een of "no it's not" - "yes it is"

This continues for a bit
Dena: have you heard of the Lorax?
SB: Dr. Seuss is for babies.
Dena: no it's not. I know some kids and adults who love Dr. Seuss. Do you know what happens to the Lorax?
SB: he dies.

Swear - that was his response.

Dena: no he doesn't. he wants to be tall. Do you know how he becomes tall?
SB: he gets high

Swear - that was his response and he didn't mean he stands on a chair.

Dena: no he doesn't.

O.K. so you get the idea...this goes on for another 20 minutes or so. Finally, I get his attention with another Seuss story and he decides he wants to sit down and hear it. We sit on the bench and for the next hour I ready any story he brings to me. I have him go find books each time. We chat about all kinds of things - who his best friend is and why his is his best buddy (because he lets me play with his stuff and defends me in fights). Fights? You're 7! What do you fight over? Who gets the purple crayon? Turns out the special ed kids call the non special ed kids names. He read to me - he's 7 and is a great reader!

Two other kids (girls) came over and we were all reading. SB had no plan to share me so he eventually went to find mom.

So, what's the story here? Why do you care about reading it?

There was an impact on this kid. Today's reading reminded me why I do it. Sure, I love seeing the kids and making them laugh - that rocks. But this is the first time I had a direct impact on a kid.

That was super cool.

Keep on keepin' on.

Why am I doing this?

Have I given in to the masses?
Hmmmm. Why does one blog? Does one blog to have their fifteen minutes of fame? Does one blog to while away the hours ("conversin' with the flowers"...oops, Wizard of Oz moment...watch for those movie moments)? To avoid doing something else - like running - which is what I'm avoiding right now - or to get "stuff" off their chests? I don't really know. What I do know is that I've started., like, 2,000 journals in my 41 almost 42 years of life and never stuck to one of them. Not that I didn't stick to journaling, I can't seem to be tied down to one media.

So now, I'm blogging.

Only this one is kinda public.

Why I think anyone in the vast interweb universe will be interested in my blog and my verbal junk is beyond me. I don't think they will.

But someone might.

And if no one does, this will just be another way to jot down my thoughts, feelings and I don't know...verbal junk.

What this blog WILL NOT do:
It's easier to start with what the blog won't do:
1. This blog will not solve all the world's ills. If you're here looking for that, you will be sorry ("...very very sooorry" - Dan Ackroyd - Trading Places).
2. Solve all your ills - see #1
3. Teach you to cook - I am a pretty good cook. Probably more than pretty good, but let's leave it there for now. I'll be listing recipes and reviews of things I've made (pix maybe if I can figure out how) but please don't expect to learn to cook from what I've said. I'm not a professional. BUT! Do feel free to try anything I post. If my recipes inspire people to give a cooking a shot - bueno!
4. Teach you to be funny - I will try to be funny (did stand up twice...might do it again someday) but have no idea how I decide on what's funny. Trust me, I've put my foot in my mouth so many times that I have a permanent taste for slipper - bleach!
5. Teach you to be strong! I don't mean physically strong, I mean that mental strength that people think I am overflowing with. There's lots of C R A P in my life (who doesn't have any?) and I seem to be dealing with it (read: haven't run off a cliff yet). Don't know how.

What this blog WILL (hopefully) do:
Enough with the negative:
1. Make you laugh. First and foremost - I hope you laugh (not dance as the song says, but dancing is good too). I hope you laugh a lot. Laughing is what I can do...and I can make you laugh too. Laughing is how I get through tough spots I get myself into (wait until my flirting posts!). Laughing is how we (my dear husband - heretofore known as Aha) and I get through the C R A P.
2. Make you hungry - see above for the cooking part - there will be lots of references to food (eating, making, etc) here so you might want to have a snack handy.
3. Make you think. Seriously, if you don't, while reading my posts, stop to think at least once, I am not a very good writer.
4. Give you a break from your C R A P (I capitalize them because one of my friends and I discuss it that way - all letters one at a time. It's effective). A really good movie (in my opinion) takes you away enough that you don't a) look at your watch to see how long you have left; and b) gives you a break from everything: your emotional or physical pain, your life...just a break. I hope this blog does that too.

O.K. got almost all the housekeeping out of the way - let's finish it...

1. Any view written here is mine. All mine. You may share it, but I will take responsibility for what I write here. No one told me to write it and no one else is responsible for it. Me. Mine. Alone.
2. If you "use" any of my thoughts as your thoughts, don't be a tool - give me the credit for it. Any of my former students know how I feel about plagiarism. I'd fail you on my blog if I could.
3. I can be snarky. I know...you're shocked. But it's true. Mom said that sarcasm isn't "attractive" but this is as cute as I'm going to get. Deal with it.
4. I have opinions - see #1. I have 'em and I'm not afraid to state 'um.
5. The bathrooms are located wherever they are where you're reading this. Please locate them and try not to disturb others when you get up to use them.
6. Yes, that's what I look like. I toyed with the idea of Kermit the Frog as my photo, but then I remembered copyright laws. I thought about not putting a picture up there. But then I remember how irritating it is to me when bloggers don't have their own photo up there. Really? Really. You're going to spew your thoughts out into the interweb and not show your face? (Get ready for first opinion...here it comes...). Coward. If you say it - own it.

I think that's really it.

So now, I'm wondering if I should go running. Probably not. Be right back (or BRB for those fluent in interweb shorthand). Putting on other clothes (other than my jammies) and heading downstairs to get said coffee. We'll reconvene there.

10 minutes means 10 minutes people. Please be back in your seats and ready to go in 10 minutes. Thank you.

Cue break music - choose your own - but only for 10 minutes.

Welcome to the garden. Yep - our garden (pictures once I know how, or care) is where Aha and I sit and read the paper and have coffee. Sometimes general rock music is on - if it's Sunday morning, Breakfast with the Beatles is on (google Breakfast with the Beatles - it's hosted by Chris Carter on KLOS 95.5 FM here in LA - you can stream it - and should). He comes out here to write (music and lyrics mostly) and have his cigars. We love it.

Let's see is there any other intro information that is needed? Hmmmm. I can't think of any, but I enabled the comments box. Fire away - I'll try to answer as many of them as I see fit (remember, my blog, my rules).

Oh yeah, speaking of my blog, my rules, an important disclaimer:

Don't try to sell anything here - I'll delete it
Don't be mean - I'll delete it
Have something less than wonderful to say about my post (remember, my opinions) be tactful, be nice - if you're nasty or rude - I'll delete it

O.K. I think that's it for the opening rules and what not.

So thanks for coming...

Oh drat! I need a good sign off. This is where my being visual is a drag - I have a special wave for when I get off a stage - no matter what I'm speaking about; but not a non-verbal one.

Let's try this out for size:

Continue being a people that need people,