Monday, June 30, 2014

Not Making a Decision is Making a Choice

Are you a decisive person?

While some people are deeply convinced Zodiac signs, and the traits that each one possesses, hold credence with how we behave, I am not. I am a Libra, born smack dab in the middle of the date range. Libras are “supposed to be” notoriously diplomatic, and chronically indecisive. I am extremely diplomatic and fair, but I am also very decisive. Maybe a little too decisive sometimes.

I wholeheartedly believe you learn this skill. I learned to make thoughtful, and thought out, decisions from my father. My dad takes decision making to the “nth” degree, and considers, not only the positive results of said choice, but also the potentially awful (“and if you can live with those”…).

I don’t quite go to the depth of his process (not at all), but I did learn to, and do, ponder choices, and then MAKE THEM to the best of my ability usually relying on equal parts intuition and logic. I will admit to making far too many stupid, and quick, ones in my younger years. But I made them. (I was a math major through most of college; I don’t know why I think it helped, but I am convinced of it did nonetheless.).

I had a conversation yesterday with my daughter. Let me rephrase; she talked and I listened. She was reevaluating a decision she recently, and quickly, made to move out of our house and into a city apartment with some friends. Even thought the first month’s rent was already paid, and most of her things moved out, she questioned the rashness of her decision for a number of reasons.

She described with well thought out, and sound reasons, her decision, and it’s possible drawbacks. In her mind, the pros outweighed the cons, and I agreed. She’s scared, but making decisions then sticking them out is sometimes scary. I am intensely proud of her.

This discussion reminded me of many times when my kids were young. We talked a lot about making good decisions, and how not making a decision is also a decision, in and of its self. When you chose not to decide, or leave it up to someone else, you have no other option but to accept the consequences of your non-decision (good or bad). It is always better to make the choice yourself, rather than rely on someone else who may not be as thoughtful as you, have the same goals/values, or your best interests at heart.

My daughter made an uncomfortable, yet exciting, but difficult decision to spread her wings, exert her independence, and begin living her own life. It is bittersweet, and makes me sad because, as happy as I am for her, I will not be able to look at her whenever I want, or touch her soft skin, but she made a decision. For herself.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Doing Not Thinking: Velvet Verbosity 100-Word Prompt

It’s not the disrobing, or reaction my body exhibits as every single inch of exposed skin is caressed simultaneously while I swim, or even the guilty pleasure and sheer indulgence of being touched in a way like no other. It’s when the water changes back to air. Then it feels forbidden.

Did my sounds waft through cracked windows? A cigarette glowing next pier over? Whispers in the shadows?

Even though I’m alone. Even though it’s an ink-black moonless night. And even though there’s a towel for coverage, I take the stairs back up two at a time.

Not until hot water pierces my skin can I smile like I got away with something again, because self-consciousness ruins moments if you let it.


I don’t believe I’ve ever participated in Velvet Verbosity’s 100-Word prompt before. The word this week is STAIRS.

(I am so very sorry for your lose, and hope that time heals the pain.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Reading This Week, You?

Showing at my house in 25 minutes! YIKES! This will be quick.

What am I currently reading?

I am reading The Vacationers by Emma Straub. It’s good so far, but not yet great. It has taken 100 pages to get into the story/characters (and I don’t like that with so many books in my “to read” pile). I feel it will be interesting…soon?

I am listening to Love in the Time of Cholera and LOVING the hell out of it. I have read several books lately by Latino authors. Maybe I just “get” them. It is romantic, extremely well written, and at times humorous. Although, I don’t think I could handle unrequited love for more than 50 years as this character has.

What did I recently finish?

The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman. I gave it three stars on Goodreads. I liked it. I didn’t love it. But it makes the idea, for me, of living in a lighthouse very intriguing.

Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch. I really liked it. I immensely enjoyed his last book (dark, dark, dark) The Dinner.

What will I read next?

Who knows? What about you?

Beds, dishes, fluffing? Check, check, check!

Off to hot yoga!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday Questions While Making Bacon!

I am playing along (via phone) with this.

30. Do you read your horoscope? Yes. Sometimes. However, if I don't like it, I choose not to believe it.

31. Where was the last place you bought something? I just bought two coffees at a Cool Beans.

32. How do you feel about your hair right now?   Good. The summer is starting to bleach it out. Woo hoo!!! Free hair coloring!

33. Do you bite your nails? No, but I like them short. Painted light gray in the summer, and extremely dark in the winter.

34. Do you have any expensive jewelry? Yes. I have several pieces that were lovingly bestowed to me for milestone anniversaries. Totally unnecessary, but cherished nonetheless.

35. Have you ever been told you speak fast? When I was in college, I was. I am far quieter, and more contemplative now.

36. Is your laugh usually hearty? Yes.

37. How fast have you driven a car? 110 mph.

38. Have you ever smoked? I tried when I was in high school. Couldn't get over the dizziness hump.

39. What was your favorite subject in school?  Math

40. Do you have cell phone provider loyalty?  Not really, but my service is currently decent. I wouldn't hesitate to change if it weren't.

41. What type of boy or girl do you usually fall for? Tall. Masculine. Street smart intelligence. Makes me laugh. Emotionally strong. Kind and compassionate. Has own interests. Shares similar interests.

42. Do you have any hidden talents? Yes.

43. Favorite song? 10,000 Maniacs, These Are Days.

44. Do you like to sing at all? I do, but I've been told I am not very good at it. Guess what? I don't care.

45. Dream Job? Be promoted to the "show" tank (Caribbean Reef) exhibit at The Shedd Aquarium where I would be a diving docent. Otherwise, a travel writer or documentarist.

46. Where does most of your family live? In the Chicago area.

47. Are you an only child or do you have siblings? Nope. I have a baby brother.

48. Would you consider yourself to be spoiled? Not at all. I am a minimalist at heart, and compromiser by nature. However, I am very strong willed.

49. What was the first thing you thought when you woke up? It's Father's Day!

50. Do you drink? Yes.

51. Know any other languages? Enough Spanish to get by. Enough French to understand content (sometimes, but mostly written). Enough Italian to offer pleasantries, and order what I desire off a menu in Rome.

52. Ever write a coded message? Yes. I love hidden meaning.

53. Have you ever been in someone else's wedding? Yes. Many times.

54. Do you have any children? Yes, two.

55. Did you take a nap today? I will be too busy entertaining the father of my children today to nap.

56. Who has the same birthday as you? Arnebya at What Now and Why. Clive Owens (hottie!) and Gwen Stefani,

57. Ever met anyone famous before? Yes. Sting, Bob Weir, Marilyn and  Dan Quayle, General Norman Schwarzkopf.

58. Do you want to be famous one day? Absolutely not. I crave anonymity.

59. Any Pet Peeves? Judgmental people. Road ragers. Those without spatial awareness.

60. Are you multitasking right now? Yes, and no.

I am playing along here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Books: What My Hands Are Touching These Days. Yours?

I have been reading, really, even though I haven’t written a thing about it. Been busy, as I am sure you are, too.

What am I currently reading?

I am reading The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman. I will reserve complete judgement of this book until I am finished (about 75 pages left to go). It’s an often engaging story, actually two separate yet interwined storylines. I am fascinated by lighthouses, and this book is about living on a remote island off the Australian mainland where contact with the rest of the world happens every three months at most. I would love to try living this existence if given the opportunity.

I recently started a book of short stories called The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan. This is what Goodreads has to say about this book:

“An affecting and hope-filled posthumous collection of essays and stories from the talented young Yale graduate whose title essay captured the world's attention in 2012 and turned her into an icon for her generation.

Marina Keegan's star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at the New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.”

I am only a few stories in. So far, so very, very good!!!

What did I recently finish?

Yesterday, I finished All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy. I have quickly become a huge McCarthy fan after reading Children of God (Can you handle creepy? Soon to be a movie!) last year, and, more recently The Road, which I absolutely LOVED! McCarthy’s prose is sparse, yet luscious, and beautiful, yet masculine. You might think that these adjectives used to describe his writing are mutually exclusive, especially “beautiful, yet masculine”, but you’ll understand what I mean if you’ve read anything like these novels. Next McCarthy in line is No Country for Old Men. A book friend somewhat discourged me from reading it saying he recommends it to his “good guy friends”, and, in his experience, women like “romance and sentiment”. I have somewhat masculine tastes in two things, books and my bedding. I will give it a whirl.

What will I read next?

I will probably read An Untamed State by Roxanne Gay, The Vacationers by Emma Straub, or To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris (which I received as a “first read” from Goodreads, and it is already out and I haven’t lived up to my side of the bargain as of yet).

That’s it for my shelves. What are you reading? Enjoying? Hating? Recommending?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunday Stealing: Questions on a Beautiful Sunday Afternoon

Playing along again with Sunday Stealing over here from my phone in the middle of nowhere (Indiana). Here are the questions:

1. What was the highlight of your week? Finally getting my house on the market. You must be very bored with my constant mention of this!

2. Whose car were you last in? Mine.

3. When is the next time you will kiss someone? Wait a second (one one-thousand). I just did!

4. What color shirt are you wearing? A black Nike workout top.

5. How long is your hair? I just had it cut this past Friday. It is currently brushing my collar bones.

6. Are you good looking? There are people in my life that tell me so.

7. Last movie you watched? Before Midnight. Again.

8. Who were you with? Myself.

9. Last thing you ate? I recently finished a steak fajita, some cottage cheese with tomatoes.

10. Last thing you drank? A fruit punch flavored G2, and a bottle of water.

11. When was the last time you had your heart broken? Friday afternoon :-(.

12. Who came over last? My brother-in-law bearing steak for fajitas!

13. Are you happy right now? I am extremely happy this very minute. You would be too if you were sitting where I am.

14. What did you last say? I said, "You are sassy!"

15. Where is your phone? My fingers are tapping away on my phone writing this.

16. What color are your eye? They are light blue with a green rim around the iris.

17. Are you left-handed? No.

18. Spell you name without vowels: Gn

19. Do you have any pets? Yes, I have a spunky chocolate lab.

20. Favorite vacation? Anywhere I haven't been, Tulum, Mexico, or sailing the BVIs.

21. What do you currently dislike? Not being friends with someone with whom I was so recently. Or that my dog is wet, smells, and just pretended she's a lap dog.

22. What are you listening to? Lapping waves.

23. If you could have one thing right now what would it be? A piece of fine dark chocolate, and another kiss immediately after eating said chocolate.

24. What is your favorite scent? Anything fresh, and unexpected.

25. Who makes you happiest? Me, closely followed by my family especially when we are all getting along, which we have been this weekend.

26. What were you doing at midnight last night? I think (don't remember exact timing) I was watching the end of the Kings vs. Rangers hockey game at home with some good friends.

27. When is your birthday? It is at the very beginning of October.

28. Who has the same phone as you? I don't really know. Mine is an old, hand-me-down iPhone that is too far out if date. Still works fine for me though.

29. Last time you went swimming in a pool? Does a fish tank count? If so, then last Thursday. If not, mid-March.

Feel free to add your own questions in the comments! Sunday Stealing.