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Planning the perfect party….. April 22, 2008

Posted by angieland in Chatter, Philosophy, Pop Culture.
Tags: , ,
12 comments

We always focus so much on the food, and the table, and the drinks, and the atmosphere.  But the art of planning a truly great party has to begin with the guest list.  So pretend for a moment that you’re planning what will be (for you) the ultimate dinner party.  You want conversation that will span generations and include discussions that are witty, literate, intellectual, political, and just generally stimulating in all aspects.  The participants include yourself and nine other people; living or dead, real or fictional, famous or infamous.  Be creative, and add your list in a comment.  Here’s mine………

Steven King

Erma Bombeck

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt

Jesus Christ

George Carlin

Maya Angelou

Benjamin Franklin

Leonardo da Vinci

 

Can’t you just imagine some of the conversations??  C’mon now….its your turn!  😀

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Decidedly Single January 22, 2008

Posted by angieland in Chatter, Friendship, Philosophy.
1 comment so far

What is it that makes us want to be on our own or to couple?  Is it a trait in our DNA, or societal pressures?  Is it ever-lasting love?  Whatever it is that drives most women to marry…..or at the least co-habitate…..I don’t seem to have it.

 Some girlfriends and I were having a discussion a few days ago, and we were all doling out advice on love and men and marriage, when one of the girls made the comment about how much our advice is colored by our own experiences and whatever baggage we’ve gained along the way in our relationships.  And it hit me just how true that is.  And while each of us would only ever give advice that we thought would help the others, our point of views are so vastly different that we all have varied answers to the questions at hand. 

Now I’ve been married.  I’m not anymore, so obviously I wasn’t very good at it.  I got married at 23, on the spur of the moment….on a lark….ran off and eloped with a man I’d only dated for four months, while my parents were in Florida celebrating New Years Eve!  Any strangers reading this won’t realize what a shocking statement that is….but anyone who knows me now has trouble believing that I would EVER do anything that impulsive.  Let alone anything that life-altering.  But I too was young, naive, and in serious heat once, and it seemed like a good idea at the time.  At least it fit into that whole “I’ll try anything once” ideal that I had going on in the eighties.

I was lucky in that I married a decent, hard-working man who was NOT a sociopath in any sense of the word.  But after having lived on my own for a while, just sharing my space with another person was a big change.  Couple that with having my new step-daughter on the weekends, and my own son being born two years later, and I no longer recognized the fun-loving, free-wheeling, independent single gal I’d once been.  And neither did my husband.  I was now, and forevermore, that person called, “MOM”.  Not a bad trade by any means, and certainly not one I regret.  But I buckled down, and tried my best to become what I thought that word meant.  Mom= homecooked meals, pta, scouts, clean house, playdates, birthday parties, and made-from-scratch baked goods at least twice a week!  And all of this on top of working another full-time job outside the home.  For my husband, Dad=life as usual.  Somehow, that didn’t exactly seem like a fair trade.

So after 10 years of marriage, and neither of us knowing what happened to that carefree girl he’d married, we decided to call it quits.  It was a very amicable divorce, and I’m happy to say that 10 years post-divorce, we’re still the best of friends, and are quite comfortable co-parenting our now 18 year old son.  I’m also happy to report that the fun-loving, free-wheeling, independent, single-gal Angie is back with a vengeance.  I like not having to work around anyone else’s schedule.  I like making plans to do what I want, when I want to do it.  I like having two closets and not having to share a bathroom with a hairy man.  I like reading as long as I want at night without having to worry if the light bothers someone else.  I like being able to eat cold cereal for supper three nights in a row and not having to feel guilty because I didn’t cook.  I like not having to clean up someone else’s mess.  I like always being in control of the remote.  I miss regular sex, and the intimacy that comes from that connection present when you’re part of a couple.  So its a trade-off.

But I did have to stop and think about some of the advice that I’d been so freely dispensing to some of my girlfriends when they were complaining or venting about their husbands and boyfriends, and not let my personal choices temper my responses to them.  Because while I like being single, not everyone does.  And don’t get me wrong…..I still have great respect for the institution of marriage, and more admiration for couples who make it work long-term than you can imagine.  Its work.  HARD work.  And a successful marriage is a rare thing in this day and time, and all the more special because of its rarity.  But its still not a project I’m interested in taking on again anytime soon! 

A Woman of a Certain Age October 7, 2007

Posted by angieland in Chatter, Philosophy.
3 comments

That’s apparently what I’ve become.  According to my doctor, my dentist, and virtually every fashion magazine and television show out there, I’m supposed to be reaching that point in my life where everything changes.  Now what I want to know is this…….Why didn’t somebody warn me this was gonna happen 10 years ago?

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not a complete idiot.  I knew gravity would become my enemy, and that a really good hairdresser would become my best friend.  I knew that the liklihood of lipitor, fiber tablets, hormones and vitamins, along with plucking and trimming and exfoliating, would eventually become a part of my daily regimine.  What I didn’t expect were the constant  reminders that I was “ripening”.  Being called “Ma’am” by every grocery bagger and bartender; being told to get used to little aches and pains;  having my insurance rates go up at what seems like monthly intervals.  Are these just some form of twisted torture for the middle-aged crowd, or does society genuinely feel like once you’ve passed the age of forty, life as you know it is over?  Well then I say, “So be it!”  I’m beyond ready to embrace my inner senior.  Bring on the AARP membership, early dinners at Denny’s, and the Ensure cocktail with a prune juice chaser.  I figure as much fun as I’ve wrung out of the first half of my life, the next half will be a blast!  I’ve already got my son, the mechanic-in-training, trying to engineer a way to customize my power chair, and I figure with the assistance of some super absorbent Depends, I’ll be able to drive that sucker cross-country!

 Why am I even admitting that this phenomenon called “aging” is happening to me?  I mean really…..aside from my girlfriends who’ll be reading this, none of you strangers out there would even know how old I am.  (Forty-three, and proud of it, by the way!)  I guess its because my son turned 18 today, and I’ve really been pondering exactly where the last 18 years of my life disappeared to!  They’ve been an adventure, and I know I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way.  But my dearest wish is that maybe…..just maybe…..he’s learned a little something about embracing each day with a positive attitude, and a determination to wring as much joy out of it as possible.  No matter how old he gets to be.

Good Things October 2, 2007

Posted by angieland in Chatter, Friendship, Philosophy, Quotes.
4 comments

Some of my online girlfriends and I play this game sometimes called “Five Good Things”.  Everyday for a week (or sometimes more), we all list five good things about that day.  The purpose of the exercise is to remind ourselves that no matter how crappy our day feels, there are always still things there to be thankful for, and if we focus on the good things, the bad ones don’t feel quite as traumatic.  Sometimes we have to dig deep to find five things, but if we’ve learned anything, its that practicing this sense of gratitude for the simple things makes us not dwell on the rough stuff so much.

 I’ve had one of those good days today, where five things would just be a beginning to my list.  It seems to have been one of those days where the planets were in perfect alignment to drop things in my lap that made me happy.  I got my hair colored the most gorgeous shade of Addison Montgomery-Sheppard red.  My desk was completely cleaned off when I left work.  Mother and I got a huge order for beads from one of our favorite clients, who also happens to be a gifted artist herself.  I submitted photos of my beads for publication for the first time, and they were accepted.  Adam came to visit B.W. for a few days, and seeing the two of them together reminds me so much of my youth spent with Marte that it makes me feel positively young again.  One of my customers asked me today if I’d lost weight.  (I haven’t, but that’s beside the point, right?)  I got a box of glass in the mail.  And best of all??  One of my friends made me feel very, VERY special today by saying some wonderful things about me. 

Remember that post I made earlier this week about doing something kind for someone special in your life??  Kaye did that for me, and I’m sure has no idea (until she reads this) of just how much it meant to me.  And the best part is that all the things she said about me, are exactly the ways I feel about her.

So today, I want to take that challenge even a little bit further.  This week, you should make it your mission to do some act of kindness for someone who isn’t regular presence in your life.  That random acquaintence, or total stranger.  Look for opportunities to make someone’s day better, bolster their self-confidence, or perform a service that will make them both grateful and curious about who did them a good turn.  I’m a huge quote collector, so here are a few to inspire you to search out those small ways you can improve the life of someone around you.  Pass them on!

*  Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns. *  Author Unknown

*  Real generousity is doing something nice for someone who will never find out.  *  Frank A. Clark

*  Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.  *  Mother Teresa

*  The little unremembered acts of kindness and love are the best parts of a person’s life.  *  William Wordsworth

*  Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear, and the blind can see.  *  Mark Twain

*  No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.  *  Aesop

Habits, Old and New October 1, 2007

Posted by angieland in Beads, Chatter, Holidays, Movies, Parenthood, Philosophy, Pop Culture.
6 comments

Geeze….am I a bad blogger or what?  Three days, and no “new” news?  Life just kinda jumped up and smacked me in the face this weekend.  That or the “daily blog” just hasn’t become a habit yet.  For those of you waiting patiently to find out how the night out on the town went….yes, I did break down and smoke about a half dozen cigarettes!  But, I’m happy to report that my patch went back on Saturday morning, and I haven’t craved one since.  And Friday night, it wasn’t really about the physical craving….that was plenty manageable.  It was more about being out with the girls, getting the giggles, listening to bad karaoke, and doing what everyone else was doing.  Yeah, I know….not a good reason, so I guess that old bad habit isn’t completely broken yet.  But I swear, if I thought I could ever be a successful “social” smoker, I wouldn’t even worry about quitting.  Fortunately, I’m smart enough to know that’ll probably never be an option for me, so I’m back on the patch wagon for the duration.

 Saturday was spent in Nashville.  B.W. had to go to Nashville Auto Diesel College for his entrance exam and the first round of scholarship testing.  We met his soon-to-be roommate, Bryant, and his mom and dad down there, and after the boys were finished with their tests, we all went out to look at apartments.  Its next to impossible for me to believe that my baby boy is gonna be living in the big city in an apartment next fall!  But we’ve found a complex that we all like, so keep your fingers crossed that when the time comes, a 2 bedroom wll be available!  LOL!

So let’s talk movies for a minute.  I actually took a few hours yesterday to work on some fiber projects, and watched a couple of movies I received from Blockbuster this week.  The first half of my double feature was “The Astronaut Farmer”, and I was really amazed at how wonderful it was.  The whole idea that we as a society are losing sight of what it means to work for and make our dreams happen really hit home.  I can remember the same thing Charlie Farmer did as a kid…..being told and actually believing that I could be and do anything I wanted.  At what point do we stop believing that?  I remember being in seventh grade, and genuinely believing that I would someday be a Senator, or possibly even the first woman president.  I’m not sure when that dream fell by the wayside, (and you couldn’t pay me enough to do the job these days!), but I do remember at some point in high school, feeling like I needed to make a “realistic” plan for my future.  There are times I wonder where I might be now if I’d been a little less realistic and more daring, and the movie was a reminder of how important it is for me to never make B.W. feel like his options are limited.

 The second feature was “Disturbia”.  Now I’ve always liked creepy movies, but this was one of the better ones I’ve seen lately!  There’s nothing quite like that feeling of being scared…..your heart beats fast, your blood is rushing through your veins, and all of your senses seem to be heightened.  Its a feeling I’ve always liked.  But couple that with a film that’s actually smart, and I’m really hooked.  I won’t spoil the drama for those of you that want to give it a try, but lets just say that it makes you think twice about how well you REALLY know your neighbors!

So after being away from my torch all weekend, I’ve been playing catch-up tonight.  I got a sizeable order last week (Thanks, Marcia!) and it included several sets of Christmas beads.  Well needless to say, I was a complete dork and made a couple of sets in the wrong style, so I had to come home today and actually make the ones my client wanted!  But I figure the season is just around the corner, so I’m just getting a little ahead of the normal schedule.  Here’s a pic of one of the sets that will be coming up for auction soon……

Making all these holiday beads over the last week has also made me realize just how behind schedule I am on my preparations.  I used to be one of those people that had my shopping done by October, and everything was wrapped and ready to go under the tree the day after Thanksgiving.  Where did that gal go??  I started strong…..I bought three gifts in January!  But since then?  Nada!  I know how disappointing that is to those of you who expect me to have it all done.  Unfortunately, ya’ll seem to be rubbing off on me instead of the other way around.  Guess I’ll see you in line at midnight on Christmas Eve this year, huh??

Just Chit-Chat September 26, 2007

Posted by angieland in Chatter, Philosophy, Pop Culture.
14 comments

Isn’t it cool how someone you admire can make your day and not even know it?  Just a comment or compliment, given completely offhand.  They probably don’t even realize how much power their words have.  We should all think about that more often.  Because in all liklihood, we all have someone who looks up to us, and we never know when that kind word might make a huge difference in their day…..or even how they see themselves.  Take a minute today to say something really kind to someone who matters in your life.

Okay….enough mushy stuff.  I’ve got a question for ya.  When does tenacity go over the edge into stubborness?  I’ve always seen myself as a pretty tenacious person.  I don’t like failing, and I don’t like giving up.  (Might as well admit it…..I just don’t like not getting my way.)  I wore someone down on something today, and rightfully so in my own mind.  But after it was over, I began to wonder if my argument was really that strong, or if the other party finally just tired of defending their point of view.  If that’s the case, does that make me “one of those people”?  You know…..the kind who always has to have the last word, never knows when to stop beating a dead horse, and always has to be right?  At what point does an admirable trait like sticking to your guns become an obnoxious one?  And how do we tell the difference?  Really…..I’m asking because I wanna know what you think.

Its day sixteen on the “Angie is becoming a non-smoker” quest.  I’ve been surprised (amazed really) at how easy its been this time around.  But I’m getting a bit worried……..One of my girlfriend’s is turning 50 next week, and we’re taking her out for a night on the town Friday night.  Now, I’ve avoided alcohol pretty much like the plague for the last two weeks, so I’m kinda dreading the whole dinner/drinks/bar scene that’ll be happening, as I know its gonna be a HUGE nicotine trigger for me.  So long about 10:00 Friday night, I’d appreciate a moment of silence, good vibes, white light, and prayers to help me stay strong.  I figure if I can survive this night out on the town, I’m gold!

Now….on to the really important stuff……the new TV season!  OMG!  Heroes is gonna be just as intriguing as last season.  I can’t remember when I’ve ever looked forward to Mondays as much as I do now!  LOL!  And did anyone check out Journeyman afterwards??  I think I’m gonna like that one, too.  I might not have given it a second glance if not for Kevin McKidd, but I loved him in Rome and was looking forward to seeing him in a more up-to-date role.  The concept is great (a modern time-traveler, and how he and his family deal with his “disappearances”), and I’m anxious to see where they go with it from there.  The Grey’s spin-off, Private Practice, started tonight.  Now I was never one of the “Addison Haters”, so I was excited about her getting her own show, but I never expected her to have such great chemistry with Tim Daly!  McDreamy, he’s not…..but he sure fits with her!  I’m anxious to check in with both Grey’s and ER tomorrow night, and I’m already salivating thinking about a new season of Lost in January.  What shows are you anticipating most??