Monthly Archives: February 2013

Telling Stories Again?

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Family time is so important, and families that stick together create great stories to be told later.  My family is no exception, and I love getting together with them – most of the time.  Mainly, I like the stories we create for later.  Some stories I would like to forget, but most of them are fun.  Some are founded in rumor with a sprinkle of truth, others based on hearsay.  In the end, the good stories never seem to die.IMG_0012

For most families, the holidays are the best times to share the stories of the past.  Our family loves to see where everyone is right now and what we have planned for the future, and then of course, we gossip about the crazy relatives that didn’t show for the white elephant gift exchange.  There were years where my grandmother would visit and tell us lavish stories of her life married to an Italian immigrant, being a child in a big Italian family, growing up in the Bronx, and traveling all over the world.  But we are not really sure what was truth and what was confabulation, and I don’t think we really cared.

There are lots of interesting stories that swirl around my family on both sides.  Many started with the sudden job transfer my dad had across the country when my siblings and I were small.  I really don’t know the reason we moved across the country and away from our family in the first place, but honestly, I found it hard to believe that any company, anywhere in the world, would want to transfer their headquarters to a place where the tumbleweed rolled down the street faster than my mom’s car.  Either all of those employees were being punished, including my dad, or we were entering the witness protection program.  Now you see how stories get started.

Just to ease your mind, we were not in the witness protection program, even though it seemed that way since we quickly departed our dust bowl of a town and moved to a more sprawling, urban area with a thriving school system, which is where my siblings and I ultimately grew up.   And even though there were over 1,000 miles that separated us from our family up north, we stayed very close with them.  And as the years rolled on, we created more stories with every single visit, whether it was back up north or down south.

The challenge is keeping the stories alive.  Some families can keep them alive through photographs, scrap booking, writing a family blog, letters or something that signals to everyone “Don’t forget this moment.”   Challenge yourself to put something together for your family.  Some things I have done include:  Secretly recording my grandmother; Had my mother draw a family tree; Started a family tree on Geni (www.geni.com), which took off like a wildfire on a dry, windy day; Created photo books using Shutterfly (www.shutterfly.com); and for my own purposes.  Also, I’ve saved scraps of items, newspaper clippings, brochures, and even rocks or any other suitable memorabilia I felt was worth saving.  I also have numerous locked diaries hidden away somewhere hopefully never to be found while I am alive. (just kidding).

Before you know it, one chapter of life will end while another one will immediately begin.   How will you share your life?  Do you have pictures?   Where are they, on your cell phone?  The same cell phone that one day will fall into the toilet when you bend over to wipe yourself?  That’s what I thought.  Challenge yourself to share the stories before they fall in the toilet.

Here are some ideas for you: http://www.instagram.com (upload, touchup and share photos)

http://www.shutterfly.com (upload and store photos, create photo books, calendars, cards)

http://www.geneaology.com (track your family history)

http://www.ancestry.com (track your family history)

http://www.familytreemaker.com or http://www.geni.com (create a family tree with photos and stories)

http://www.wordpress.com (start a family blog)

http://www.facebook.com (create a family page on Facebook, or a page for a family reunion)

Carpe Diem!

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OBSERVATIONS FROM AN AIRPORT

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Babies

As I watched a young mother trying to calm her infant, I had to wonder whether her technique was correct.  I have no children so I have nothing to compare her it to.  The closest I have been to babies is showing up at a hospital after the birth of a friend or sibling’s baby, holding it for a total of 5 minutes, attempting to change a diaper (which never went well), and then leaving with a smile on my face.  I think all those years as a teenaged babysitter of the neighborhood kids, including babies that were just learning to crawl, ruined me.  I never wanted children, not even one, if there was the potential for barf, runBabyny poop, and screaming.  But I wondered about this baby’ because mom had it all stuffed into some kind of pouch hanging off her front side with only the baby’s legs visible.  Mom paced back and forth while her friends sat and watched.  She stated, “he (or she) is really fighting sleep.”  And I know when I get on the plane they are going to make me take the baby out and turn him around.”  Okay, it is now a “he.”  The friends all commiserated with her, but honestly, I silently gave an emotional plea for the baby with my facial expressions.  Mom tried so hard to get the baby to calm down that I think she rattled his brains and smothered him in her le sac at the same time.  I’m sure there are thousands of opinions on how to carry and calm a screaming infant, but I’m pretty sure smothering is not one of them.  The kangaroo mom and her friends finally walked off to go annoy the other half of the airport.  I couldn’t help but think the mom just couldn’t let go of being pregnant, so she shoved her baby into a burrito bag and strapped him to her belly so she would feel more complete.  Whatever technique she was trying did not work because as she walked off, the baby she screamed.  I hoped they were not on my plane!

Skinny Bitches

Why is it that most wealthy women seem attractive and skinny and can eat anything they want?  I don’t know the answer.  I see skinny bitches driving their Mercedes-Benz cars, eating chips and salsa, downing margaritas and wonder where the fat ones went wrong.  While sitting next a typical Houstonian, I observed her billionaire husband go fetch nachos and a drink while she manned the expensive luggage, her lip injections,and diamonds.  I couldn’t help but notice the rest of us, on our own to wrestle our own luggage, eat nachos and gain 10 pounds, and lose what little dignity we had left after one margarita.   Houstonians and wealthy women are not the only skinny bitches.  Over the years, I have noticed that 99% of the Asian women in and out of the airport are so thin you can see the outline of their skeleton.  Maybe it’s the seaweed.  Skinny Asians have one thing in common; they eat seafood and seaweed.  Maybe we should cross the DNA of a wealthy woman with an Asian woman and see what we get?   I have now started sprinkling seaweed on all of my food.  Seaweed results to come later.Seaweed packet

The Occasional Traveler

Then there is the “occasional” traveler.  The occasional traveler is out-of-place in the airport, and not really sure what to do.  Most of them wander aimlessly as if they just landed in America.  But the more obnoxious occasional traveler is the one that wants to socialize. They find it necessary to have a noisy telephone conversation with their 65-year-old single friend to analyze men everywhere and ponder why they are still single.  Or they want strike up a conversation with someone unsuspecting and unassuming.  For example, you are cozily nestled into your airport spot, laptop on lap, coffee in hand.  The wanderer plops down in the seat next to you even though there are 500 other empty seats, and just starts talking.  Airports should have “no talking zones” for the masses who do not have membership in the Admirals Club.  Most travelers have learned the art of not making eye contact, but there is always that sly wanderer that can fool you.  In this type of situation, pretend that your cell phone is ringing, and at the risk of brain damage from the cell phone microwaves, put it to your ear and start agreeing with the ghost on the other end of the call.

Clothing

Last, we cannot be in an airport without observing the style of our fellow travelers.  We wonder: “What are they like?” “Why are they here?” and “Who told them that those clothes look good?”.  People watching at the airport surpasses Wal-Mart due to the diverse nature of travelers.  But it all comes down to a couple of very simple observations: 1. Guys are slow and methodical in their actions, especially going through security, and 2.  Women bring entirely too many items to the airport, especially going through security.  If you are traveling with a guy, remind him to remove his belt, his change, his shoes, and all of the extra items including batteries that he stuffed into his pockets.  This is not a trip to a Boy Scout camp, it’s the airport.  And if you are traveling with a woman, remind her that she doesn’t need to carry with her three different moisturizers, five lip glosses and her electric toothbrush.  All of those things can be checked thereby avoiding a long delay trying to figure out what is vibrating and which liquid is bound to contain a bomb.  And by the way, skinny jeans do NOT look good on anyone unless you are Asian!

plus size skinny jeans

Happy Trails and Carpe Diem!