My Boy is 30

Yes, my first-born, a/k/a Y-Chromo, is thirty years old today.

I never knew unqualified love until I met him.

He was 5 weeks premature. He couldn’t wait to get out and meet the world. When he was in day care, other parents would tell me he would be a politician or a cruise ship activity director.  Within a week of being in daycare, he knew the name of every child in the center. That hasn’t changed.

He decided what he wanted to be when he grew up when he was in middle school, and except for one brief diversion, he became exactly what he said he would be.  His 7th grade math teacher told me Y-Chromo had a mathematical mind. I laughed. I stopped laughing the day he received his BS in Mathematics summa cum laude.  The next year, he received his MS in secondary education: he was all set to become a math teacher. His dream. He got his first teaching job right out of college.

One of my most memorable moments with him was when he was an infant. I was rocking him in the middle of the night after feeding him, and I felt him grow. Babies grow at some point. We see it when their clothes become too small. But that night, I literally felt him grow in my arms as I rocked him. A miracle.

Happy birthday, baby!


MJ Monday-Music: SIRIUS

I recently purchased a new vehicle. A really new vehicle, that come with three months free Sirius radio. How cool is that?

Except I rarely listen to music in the car. My commute is short (less than 2 miles one way). And between the dreadful radio my husband has to listen to in the morning–he works in radio sales and has to monitor competing stations–and the radio and other noise at Day Job, I relish those few moments of silence I have alone in my vehicle.

The *idea* of Sirius radio is cool. And I’ve played around with a couple of stations. But I’ve spent more time moving the continuous stream of related emails into a folder than I have listening.  That’s right. The emails DO. NOT. STOP,

That ought to say something.

Book Review-Karen Robards: Vanished

Image credit: tieury / 123RF Stock Photo

Every parent’s worst nightmare. You and your child are in a public place and then . . . your child is gone. Vanished. 

This book deals with the delicate, agonizing topic of a child gone missing. It also deals with the ultimate betrayal by trusted people. Robards handles the terrifying scenario with her usual attention to detail and emotion. If you have any humanity in you at all, you will weep with the heroine and root for her success in finding her daughter, no matter how long it takes.  No matter how long the kidnapper tortures you.

Five stars.

MJ Monday-Movies: Knives Out

I actually went to a theater and saw Knives Out with my husband when it was first released. I loved it. Great cast. I really hated Daniel Craig’s southern accent, but that was part of the absurdity that made the movie so enjoyable.

The cast was wonderful (despite the aforementioned dreadful accent used by Craig). In addition to Craig, we saw Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Chris Evans, Christopher Plummer, and a face I knew, but I didn’t know from where: the actress who played Great Nana Wanetta. It wasn’t until the end credits that I realized who she was: K Callan, who played Clark Kent’s mother in Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

The film was funny, intriguing, twisty, Agatha Christy. Part Clue, part Murder, She Wrote.

Thoroughly enjoyable.

Thursday Thought-Self Help: A Whack on the Side of the Head

Years ago, in my incarnation as a local TV worker bee, I went to a conference for promotion and marketing types. I wasn’t really a promo person, but the TV station’s general manager decided that since I was a writer, I could do the station’s promo. I was also a smoker in those days. I didn’t know anyone at the conference, but struck up conversations with people in the smoking section of the lobby.  Net working with those folks was more valuable than the workshops.

I ended up with my very first laptop as a result of that conference (and when I left the station, I negotiated the laptop as part of my package). And I learned about A Whack on the Side of the Head.

The book isn’t self-help for personal or even profession growth in the traditional sense. There is no advice about how to manage your in box, your email, or delegating to your underlings (of if there is, the rest outweighs the arrogance). Instead, Whack is about learning to look at situations from another angle. Turning problems upside down, sideways, and inside out. Stretching the limitations of your creativity.

I rushed home and ordered the book and the Creative Whack Pack from Amazon.  The Whack Pack, according to my favorite on-line merchant, is going or has gone out of print. It’s a deck of cards using the methods/ideas from the book to assist in choosing a method to deal with your situation. Example: I just drew the SUBSTITUTE card. There is a small blurb, then the question: “What can you substitute?” The purpose is to not only get the reader to think outside the box, but in some cases, destroy the box.

The book is full of gems, such as “Sacred cows make great steaks.” (Richard Nicolosi, businessman), and “All art is a series of recoveries from the first line. The hardest thing to do is put down the first line. But you must.” (Nathan Olivera, artist).

The book is from 1983, so parts of it are dated, especially when it comes to technology, but the premises are sound. And I believe it has been updated and expanded.