Thursday, May 24, 2012

100 Things Before I Go, Redux

Some of you -- the extraordinarily patient among you -- have been reading long enough to remember my Life List. Back then, I had a good handle on the reasons for the list. "...writing them down forms a commitment with your soul to reach further. To live bigger. And smaller. To remember that we all go. To recognize the time is now."

Yet another of the threads I dropped in the long haul to my new job and new life LA. (sigh)

But this summer is about picking up those threads, about beginning again. Today I started a Spark board for my 100 Things, a pictorial journal of the list and my progress.

Building the board, I was forced to recognize that I've missed the boat on some things. For example, Over the Transom Books in Fairhope Alabama, no longer exists. I no longer live close enough to the Katy Trail to ride it easily. On the other hand, now it will be a lot easier to meditate at the Joshua Tree and drive the PCH and visit Yosemite. (Who know CA loomed so large in my dreams?)

Anyway, check out the Spark board if you get a chance. May it renew your commitment to your own dreams.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Tale of Sunglasses, Foolishness and Self Awareness

Hanging out at Maker Faire in San Mateo this weekend, I pushed my nearly-new Ray Bans to the top of my head as I stepped into the Expo building. I know better.

Actually, I know better than to buy good sunglasses. I'm more of a $13.99-Target-special kind of girl when it comes to things I can misplace or lose or damage. But...I succumbed to peer pressure here in LaLa Land and bought cool shades. We can talk about that later. (sigh)

So, there I was, gold John Lennons on head, when something shiny caught my eye. I looked down to the floor and felt the glasses slide toward the concrete floor and their doom. My stomach fell at approximately the same rate as the glasses. Examining one shattered lens, I had no one to be mad at but myself.

On Monday, I stopped in at Sunglass Hut on the Promenade, hoping they could replace the damaged lens. Lo and behold, they replaced the glasses. Free. Even though I had not purchased the glasses at that particular store. Even though the damage was entirely my fault. Even though they did not carry the same style.

Moral of the story: 1) shop at Sunglass Hut; 2) keep your receipts; 3) if you're going to do something stupid, do it within 90 days of purchase.

What's that? The moral should be "Keep the glasses on your face or in the case," you say. Yes, it should be. But we all know me better than that, don't we?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Not in Kansas (City) Anymore #2

Stories gathered from one morning commute:

A young man in his 20s, steering his beach cruiser with one hand. From the crown of his gray felt fedora to the tips of his brown brogans, he was dressed in clothing twice as old as he. The starched front of his white dress shirt was tucked neatly into the waistband of his black Sans-a-belt slacks. He held his left arm held tightly to his back with his fist pressed against two large black buttons sewn onto his pants. At a stoplight, he used both hands to steady the bike but when the light turned green, he ceremoniously reclenched his fist and tucked it back against the buttons. Cirque du Soleil artist? Or wanna be?

A rooster crowing up the sun from the grounds of a $20 million Brentwood mansion. Real-life Beverly Hillbillies?

A ridiculously handsome young male runner holding his arms at shoulder level with his elbows bent up much like the position TSA requires in airport scanners. As he ran, he growled repeatedly, "I'm a criminal. I'm a criminal. I'm a criminal." Actor practicing his lines?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Observations at The Grove

Spent a couple hours at The Grove, one of my favorite people watching spots in LA. Sipping a raspberry lemon drop and watching the crowd, I mentally composed a witty (read: snarky) post about the inverse relationship between height and hairline of an older single man and the age of his date. At some point, the snark became obvious, and I thought, "What would MON do?"

Clearly, my dear Michelle would focus on the positive. So...

Few things are sweeter than adult men or women holding an elderly parent's hand. Treating your elders kindly and with deference says something true and good about your character and about the lessons they taught you.

American Girl Doll parties give little girls reasons to dress and act like ladies.

Something is right with the world when you have to wait in line for 20 minutes to buy a book.

Seeing a movie becomes an event in a theatre with crystal chandeliers and uniformed ushers.

Dancing fountains bring out the little kid in everyone.

Your day brightens when you look for the positive and the happy. (Thanks, Michelle.)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Not in Kansas Anymore #1

The man is tall, dark, and must have been handsome before living on the streets wore away the pretty. His grizzled hair bursts away from his head like springs escaping pressure. The blanket wrapped round his shoulders is so dirty you can't tell what color it is...or was.

Facing a storefront, the man shouts, "Why you gotta do me like that? Didn't I promise I'd always watch out for you? Didn't I? But running. Always running. Why you always gotta be running?"

As I pass the windows, I see through the man's reflection to a display of $5,000 watches. Running.

Photo credit: Chris Willis, Wikimedia

Sunday, May 06, 2012


At this moment, I am 20 yards from the ocean, leaning against a palm tree while I work just a little on this gorgeous Sunday afternoon.

My acute awareness of the beauty around me may be aided by two pomegranate lemonades served oceanside on the wharf in Santa Barbara, but even sans generous splashes of Grey Goose, I know how unlikely all this is.

On Thursday, the CEO greeted me with, "Jerri, how is it that you look younger every time I see you?"

Well-meaning though it was, his comment pointed out that I am a Bubba out of water. The next oldest person in the entire company is 14 years younger than I will be come Tuesday.

And yet, here I am, under this palm tree, beside this ocean. Life's funny that way.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Topless in the Sunshine


My beloved bug convertible, Paula, is a real California girl now! Her convertible top wasn't working when I got her back from repairs after that Tahoe rear-ended us last fall. I took her back to the body shop, but they said everything was ship-shape from their end. Today I finally got around to taking her to a VW dealership, and -- sure as the world -- the body shop had forgotten to reconnect the hydraulic motor to the sensors that drive it. It's too bad they didn't recognize the issue, but they're great folks who definitely did their best. And anyway, now the problem is solved and Paula is topless in the sunshine!

I'm headed to Malibu for the afternoon.

Like so many things I think, say and write these days, that's not a sentence I ever imagined uttering. But, bidden or unbidden, God is present. And I'm headed to Malibu.

All I can think is "thank you, thank you, thank you."