Friday, February 26, 2010

Livin' La Vida Microwave

   Ahhh...the microwave life, pop it in, push some buttons (with my E.T. fingers, see 'My Push Button Life') and whoop there it is, an instant meal in a plastic dish. Let's all say, "Hey Grandpa, what's for supper?", "A dollop of tasteless mashed potatoes, some BB carrots and a chicken leg with enough meat for one bite on it, and don't forget the brownie that sticks to the roof of your mouth", "Mmm-mmm". I sound like Julia Child talking when I eat the brownie.

  Microwave ovens were official in 1971 the same year as the crock pot. They both serve the same purpose with a very much different approach. Microwaves are for convenience and the instant appeal. Crock pots handle the convenience issue because you can do 'all day cookin' without lookin', but the instant thing ain't gonna happen.

  I think the Jetsons had it made, instant everything. Jane had the luxury of instant make-up application with the push of a button, she also got her hair fixed instantly when the dome-shaped thing came down on her head. Their clothes got changed in a blink of an eye, their food got cooked, pronto, the dog got walked, effortlessly. What a way to live...want it?, have it, NOW!

  I realize that I have had a microwave mentality that I have had to change to the crock pot way of thinking. Instant gratification is not all that it is made out to be. Credit cards (me see - me want) crash diets and compromises have left me more than once with a dissatisfaction for the just add water approach to my decisions. The crock pot method takes SO much longer, but the results are much more satisfying.

  The flavor, the aroma, the tenderness of the cooked to near perfection crock pot meal is much more necessary for me. When I live the  microwave life, hasty un-tasty things happen. "It's my money and I want it NOW"... I scream out my window. Yeah...and you better put it in the crock pot. "It's my life and I'll live the way I want to"...crock pot. "This may be my only opportunity"...crock pot.

  Don't you think that crock pot food just tastes better than microwaved food? It's the method, not the material that makes all of the difference. It's the -take your time approach- compared to the -zippy zoom concept.

  I have to remember to tell myself that life is not meant to be lived at an instantaneous pace, that NOW will not always make me happy and microwaves are really just better for reheating the food that my crock pot cooked.  


Friday, February 19, 2010

T-Shirt Philosophies

    T-shirts have taken 1st place for the ultimate comfort clothes, right up there with jeans and flip flops. With so many colors and styles of these shirts that have become a part of our world of clothing, what better place to advertise your thoughts and feelings? After all there are no buttons, or collars, or trim to obstruct the blank slate on the front and back of the T. Splattered right there before yours and your children's eyes are a plethora of words and pictures that could make Dr. Ruth blush (souvenir shops at the beach?). But, I have to say, many have made me laugh out loud, like, "I have gone to find myself, if I get back before I return, keep me here". (It makes it more funny when you can relate.) I don't think a t-shirt has ever made me cry, unless "The Dash" poem has ever been printed on one.                                 

    To me, t-shirts are removable tattoos. They carry on them the values, mentality, and philosophies of the wearer. My sister has always told me about the Asian tattoo artist that answered when asked why people chose certain things to brand on their body and he said, "Tattoo on mind before tattoo on body". I also believe tattoo on mind before tattoo on t-shirt is true as well. Listen, I've had t-shirts tell me off, insult me, intimidate me, and confuse me. But usually it lets me know what the person underneath it is all about!

    Why do we want to wear something that reveals an outside expression that comes from our insides? I guess a psychologist would say that it was a passive-aggressive thing. We want people to know how we feel about certain issues without having to say it or act it out. Sorta like a snake that coils itself for a strike or a cat that hisses and bows its' back or a dog that growls and shows its' teeth, the shirt is letting us know what will happen if we stare at it any longer. I'm nervous around some t-shirts because of that very fact.

    I don't need to know that you are the world's greatest resource of natural gas, or that your wife's other car is a broom, or that you're with stupid. But that's how people express themselves, in all kinds of articulate ways. Just by walking past someone and reading their shirt lets me in on their take on certain topics, what hobbies they are into and what causes they support.

I have a few ideas of what the t-shirts of my life would say:
Passionate People Persuade Passive People
Decisions Determine Destiny
Nobody Can Stop Me - But Me
Half-Truth is a Whole Lie
Blessed are the Flexible for They Shall Never be Bent Out of Shape
Don't Abort Character Births
It's Not All About Us

    These are only a few of my philosophies. I know that we all have our own that we live by everyday, they just don't show up across our chest. But, if you did have to wear yours everyday, what would yours say? What kind of t-shirt saying would yours be? Would it encourage someone? Would it be borderline crude? Would it humorous? Would it have self-explanatory pictures? What are your insides saying on the outside?

    How do you want people to read your life? We have a front and a back of a t-shirt with potential to make an impact on someone else. T-shirts speak louder than words! Allow others an opportunity to read your message and don't just wear it, believe it!

    I have personal philosophies about the newer clothing trends where boxer shorts have thoughts expressed across the tushy...what do we call those?...'butt philosophies'? or 'sayings from the backside'?  First of all, I don't want my eyes drawn to the billboard of your butt. I don't want to read what your mind wants to say on your butt. If you are bootylicious, do you need to let that secret out? Does your behind have to be the one to tell me that you are? Ending point? Your boastful booty now has to back up your claim. We'll see, booty, we'll see, because 'it all comes out in the end'.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I Don't Think Skinny

    Don't you just love the people (mainly women) who say, "I forgot to eat today."? My response...blink, blink, "what?". I've never forgotten to eat. This is fellowship time...with my food. Some of my best friends are foods.

    The people that say words like that are...are...well...skinny. If you are thinking, "they don't prioritize", I agree with you. Eating, for me, takes priority up there with prayer time and Word study. It's one of the basic 3's of my day.

    You see, I'm not hypoglycemic or diabetic, but I can't think if my stomach is putting on  a full-fledged production of "Feed Me" from the Little Shop of Horrors. I want to quieten it so I can focus on other things, like what I'm going to eat for my snack.

    Listen, if you are a fun food eater my advise is to not take a skinny person to lunch with you. They are not fun or a food eater come to think of it. They don't enjoy discussing the taste and texture and the spices and the ingredients (unless they are a foodie, my sister is a skinny foodie, so she is fun to discuss food with). No, skinny eaters push their food around on their plates, talk about other things, and to dampen my mood-lifting experience, they don't finish all of their food, again I say,"what?". Whatzamatter-u, eh?

    Food is fun to include in all types of situations, office parties, family festivities, vacations. Skinny people are not. They're always saying, "Oh no, I couldn't eat anymore". Their brownie has one bite out of it. For shame! They are like the Grand Marshall of the Party Pooper Parade! Eat for goodness sake! Don't be so in tune with your 'I'm full alarm'. Geesh.

    Food knows my number and calls me on frequent occasions, from the kitchen it says, "Hey girl, come up and see me sometime", except without the Mae West voice. I know, I know, food is amoral. It has no morals on its' own. It's what I do with it that makes it what it is. It's a cool and kooky friend, we're like Thelma and Louise together. We do get in a lot of trouble. But, in all honestly, I couldn't live without it. Literally.

    God made food first even before he made humans. Priorities? Oh yeah, me thinks it! He made the garden and put man in it to eat it, I mean, to keep it. Food got Eve into trouble. The snake was calling her, like my kitchen does me and whoosh, Thelma and Louise went off the cliff. Maybe there is a lesson to learn here, talking snakes and kitchens will send you careening over the edge in a convertible...or something like that.  Yummy, Yummy, Yummy I got love in my tummy!

Hey...I'm Small Town

     "Well I was born in a small town, and I live in a small town, prob'ly die in a small town, oh those small communities", lyrics from "Small Town" John Cougar Mellencamp.

    I am a small-town girl, some would say I was disadvantaged. I'm also a small-town southern girl, so does that make me totally inept? My theory is this: it is what kind of small town you were raised in and mine just happens to be just the right fit for me.

    I fit in a small town. Don't think that I haven't wanted to run from my small-town roots and transplant myself in a bigger, bustling, metro environment, where things just happen and you are not the one that has to make it happen, like you do in a small town. In my town, we are the doctors, lawyers, and Indian chiefs. We all know each others' names and usually each others' business but it strengthens our community fabric.

    I am also a small church congregant. Close-knit family, that's what I call it. I can depend on them for anything. You have to be self-motivated to be a part of a small anything. You and just a few others are usually the only ones that are involved, but those take-action people are the ones that helped shape the community that shaped me.

    Yeah, small towns are usually the last place to get the new and improved products that are on the market, the shopping selections are limited (Wally World decor or Fred's, let me see...) and you have to frequent the same shops over and over again, but that's doable because when I get the big city itch I can scratch it by visiting one for a few hours (less than an hour away) and get on with my iddy biddy life. I'm livin' small, ya'll, livin' small.

    I have at times felt like a 'big fish in a small pond'. I have all of these creative ideas and gifts and talents that would work awesomely in a large city. Decorating people's homes for the show hostess...healthy fast food eatery...none of which there is a market for in 'Smallville'. Just a few miles up the road, however, people have a need for these things, here, they may have a need for it but ain't gonna pay you for it. Can a big visionary come from a small town? I think so, my small town helped make me a visionary, helped me to see needs and fill them, become what was useful for my town, and share myself with my community. I bloomed where I was planted.

     Podunk, we are not. Podunk means to 'sink in the mire'. That's what I meant by, it depends on what kind of small town you're from. My town has purposely built itself up, up, up instead of sink, sink, sink.

     I remember as a kid, Jim Nabors was on the Carol Burnett show and they did a huge, elaborate musical production number honoring his home town, Sylacauga. I couldn't wait to see it. I was so disappointed, not with the singing, dancing, and costuming, but the pictures that they showed of Sylacauga. They showed Podunk pictures. The pictures had to of been taken in the 1930's during the depression and this was the late 60's. Our town did not look like that at all! I was totally embarrassed. I kept waiting for shots of cousins getting married and sleeping with the dogs and liquor jugs on the front porch! I remember once, a man that owns a large business here that had some dignitaries flown into the local airport and they were shocked to find that we had an airport and paved streets. We may be small in size and numbers but we don't have a small mentality.

    My town's name means "Buzzards Roost", how do you make that into something positive? First, I believe that there are what I call 'hobokums' everywhere in towns and cities large, small, and in between. They are the ones that just float, not swim. They don't contribute, they make withdrawals. They exist and wait, instead of move and shake. They are 'buzzards'. I propose we change the the mascot bird to an eagle and call Sylacauga, "The Gathering Place...Where Greatness Gathers". You become what you call yourself.

    Our town has a slogan that states our belief, it is ...'What a Name, What a Town'. We are a composite of  people that desire to place our mark of valuable qualities and excellence where we have chosen to "roost". The results? Some may leave for the big city and some stay here, but our smallness experiences have shaped us and made us into who we are..."oh those small communities".

Friday, February 12, 2010

Taking Up Space

    What are you here for? What is your reason for being? Everyone gets to a stage in their lives where they say, "that's it?", "this is the culmination of my life?". You may say to yourself, "this is not where I thought I would be at this point in my life", "this is not what I thought I would be doing". So, what is your usefulness? Do you know?

    I've heard the saying, "what if the hokey-pokey is what it's all about" but I can assuredly tell you that it is not. You live - you die, what about the dash in between you live - you die? That's what it's all about, the in between stuff.

     You are not here just to take up space and take in air and then leave earth. No, not without leaving your imprint. A preacher friend once said that the greatest tragedy and loss was the unwritten lives, unfulfilled desires, the unrealized potential that was buried in graveyards all over the world.

    What makes you angry? What makes you cry? What makes you speak up? What makes you get on your soapbox? What makes you dig in and get involved? THAT is what you are put on earth to help solve. Instead of standing in line waiting for your turn to go, get out of the line and do that thing that stirs you up, causes your nostrils to flare and your heart to beat faster.

     You live - You serve your generation - You die, that's what goes in between.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My Push Button Life

     Nobody's got to tell me that I live one, my heart and lungs let me know. But if we were meant to live a complete push button life we would have been born with an E.T. finger, right? One long skinny finger to activate all the buttons we need to push in a day, a right long index finger if you're right-handed and one on the left if you are left-handed. (One on each hand if your ambidextrous.)

     Oh listen, there's nothing wrong with convenience, we've got a lot of things to stuff into our already stuffed 24-7's. Pushing a button shaves time off our day, uses very little brain power, and reserves energy. These are great conveniences for 21st Century lifestyles.

     I'm all for shaving time off my day, hey banking and paying bills online are fabulous! The old days of showering, dressing, walking to the car and then driving to town and getting in and out of my car and thinking-'purse, cell phone, bill, checkbook, keys, door locked-are over! Now I walk to the computer, sit, click with my E.T. fingers (I'm ambidextrous) and I've used up about 5 of the 2000 calories I need to burn up in a day.

     E-mails with notes and letters with photographs and video footage keep me from having to walk to the mailbox to mail anything to my friends and loved ones which saves my surplus of unused calories for the day. The days of having to get up to change to one of the 4 channels we had as kids has been over for quite some time. My kids and grand kids have never known a time where they had to manually change TV channels.

     Changing music manually though, they remember. I've taught dance all the way from reel to reel taped music, to records, to 8-tracks, to cassettes, and to CD's ( I have not even begun the i-pod way of life in class yet) and boy it was a transition to get used to the new methods each time. The reel to reel took more effort to do, so with each new concept would come more convenience to the point now I've even started using a remote in class!!! I NEVER thought I would give up my constant back and forth to the sound equipment to stop and start my music. I stand in my teacher spot in front of the mirrors and push a button to do my music from across the studio, less energy consumption for me! What's next, computer generated software of me teaching the students, and them dancing with me from their homes without using their bodies??!! Wait...virtual reality has been around for a while, hasn't it?

     I think it's high time for motorized recliners to hit the main stream market, with built in fridges and mini-microwaves and a flip and fold tray to eat on as well as do work from and a convenient pouch to put your laptop (the big screen hydraulicly comes out from underneath the chair when needed). The chair would have a built in pillow and places for blankets so you can sleep in the chair and it would have a potty system, as well. Ooh...and surround sound. I think the arm cushion should flip up to reveal an entire control panel to run every system in your house. We could shop in it, eat at fine restaurants in it, vacation in it ,even bathe in it. It could be called "The E.T. Finger Chair" (E.T. would stand for Easy Time) just one push of our one long finger and it would save us from the grit, grime, and exhaust fumes of calorie burning. I forgot to mention sweat.

     Raise your hand if you like to sweat. Oh sorry, have your chair raise your hand if you like to sweat. I have a sister that tells me that women should 'glow'. I sweat, but it's okay because I know that my body is letting go off toxins and keeping me in balance. Pushing buttons don't require a lot of sweat unless the AC is broken in your car and it's the middle of summer. That's why I would like to challenge you to a "How Many Times Do I Use Buttons In A Day" Contest. Try to mentally be aware, in a day's time, how many vast arrays of buttons  you use so unconsciously in the place of actually exerting old school energy. I think you will be surprised at how much of a button pusher you are. We've always equated the term 'pencil pusher' with a job that doesn't require much activity. I propose that 'button pusher' is the term of our new millennium that describes sedentary much more vividly. So instead of calling someone lazy, you could slam someone like this..."yeah, you ain't nothing but a button pusher". Boy, that would tell them off.   

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