Sunday, December 28, 2014

Promises Made to Self (Thanks!)

I promise myself I will write more in the new year. I promise I will write more once my computer gets fixed. I promise I will take my computer to Apple for repair after returning from vacation. I promise to have a fantastic vacation adventure. I promise to stay completely in the present while on holiday. I promise to read two books while there. I promise to finish the first, Mermaids in Paradise, on this second flight. I promise to lend it out at the resort without regard for its return.  I promise...

Wheels up.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Going Out "Old School" and Seeing an Eye

Yesterday, I set out on a day's worth of errands and Christmas preparations without my cell phone. I figured it out as soon as I walked out the front door of my building. Not that going back to retrieve it was a big deal, or too far; I simply didn't feel like it.

It was a little weird at first.

For one split second I thought, "What would I miss?" "What if someone needed me?" "Would there be an emergency?" "Would anyone even notice I was out of touch?"

Then it felt freeing.

I'm a parent and a spouse. And not that people go looking for me, but sometimes people are looking for me.

I would only be "off grid" for six hours. No big deal.

Maybe I have mentioned this in the past, but I don't wear a watch. Haven't in roughly thirteen years, give or take a year. People have commented. Asked why. And I know people have thought it strange. Let me tell you, it didn't take any getting used to on my part. I don't miss one. I don't have any problem figuring out what time it is. A lot of times, I don't want to know what time it is.

Remember when your mom rang the dinner bell outside your back door, and it didn't sound like your neighbors', so you knew it was time to head in? I liked that. You didn't have to bother knowing until it was time to know.

I am only telling you about the watch thing because without one, or a cell phone, I had to go "old school" to figure out the time in order to be prompt for my appointments. I am uncomfortable being late.

If there wasn't a clock around, and surprisingly, there are less clocks around than you think, I asked.

"Will you please tell me the time?" I asked a barista, the receptionist at European Wax, a business man at a corner. I don't even know how many times I asked. Probably seven.

It was actually fun.

[As an aside: I hate bothering people. I have told you before I'm quiet, though not an introvert, yet open and polite to people who cross my path or engage me. Hopefully, I didn't bother anyone! Does it annoy you when someone asks for the time?]

I guess the biggest thing I noticed were the "crickets". Nothing (but the street scene). No vibrating coat pocket. No Natalie Merchant "These Are Days" ring tone. The sound of silence, as far as my phone was concerned. Dare I say it was blissful?

I wasn't stressed. I couldn't check a phone between appointments even if I had an itch. Then I forgot about it.

Because my face wasn't buried in a screen checking for some kind of update, I looked around. I people watched. This sounds corny, but I actually caught myself humming to "Silent Night" playing outside one of the hotels. (One of my favorites because my mom sings it.)

My biggest score was on Ontario Street, east of Michigan Avenue. On the sidewalk, and in the general vicinity of where a particular homeless man usually sits, I saw a small, painted eye. It was about as big as a quarter and vibrant and blue. It was detailed, with lashes, an iris, no eyebrow.

It was like a surprise. A present. A little piece of art.

Who painted this eye and why?

The homeless man?

What did this eye see as everyone passed by never noticing it?

What did it think of me as I bent over to get a closer look?

Why blue and not brown?

And a day later, I am still thinking about this eye...

[Of course, my phone just about imploded with messages when I got home. "Mom?!?!?!?" "Honey, why aren't you answering your texts?" "Honey?"  "Are you ok?" "MOM!!!!!"]

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Feels Like Bragging: Are You

The "Are You" meme over at Sunday Stealing.

1. Are you psychic in any way? Yes, I truly believe this to be true.

2. Are you a good dancer? I think so. My dancing gets better in direct proportions to the amount of wine I've had. However, there is a fine line between the time it goes from fabulous to time to go home. Nah!!!! Kidding!

3. Are you a good singer? No. Wait! In the car I am. My family would contest this statement.

4. Are you a good cook? I'm a fabulous cook.

5. Are you a good artist? I can doodle with the best of doodlers.

6. Are you a good listener? This I can say with tremendous confidence. I am a stellar listener!

7. Are you a good public speaker? I can do it. The less people I know in the the crowd, the better. Speaking in front of people I know makes me more nervous.

8. Are you a good babysitter? Yes, in short spurts.

9. Are you a good mechanic? Uh, no. And I'm okay with it.

10. Are you a good diplomat? Outstanding.

11. Are you a good employee? Yes, I take and follow direction well. I finish what I start. I'm overly reliable.

12. Are you a good dresser? Yes, except when I don't have to be. I can rock sweats rather well and comfortably.

13. Are you a good swimmer? Yeah, I swim for my job. That said, I won't win any races though.

14. Are you a good skier? I've been skiing my whole life.

15. Are you a good gift giver? I am feeling so smug with this meme. I'm not good at everything but this is giving me an ego boost! I give great present!!! I love to give. I'm far less comfortable receiving. Giving me things is never required. I have what I need.

16. Are you a good musician? No, I'm not musically gifted. I played guitar, badly, for one year when I was in seventh grade. My parents still have my guitar.

17. Are you a good comedian? I am a horrible joke teller, an average storyteller, but I'm great at  slightly sarcastic one liners. My friends think I'm funny. At least they're laughing at me.

18. Are you a good cleaner? Not my strongest suit. My house "appears" clean. I use smoke and mirrors.

19. Are you a good actor? Yes. I can make you believe things.

20. Are you a good writer? I can be at times. I need the right motivation. Lacking a muse these days. Any takers?