Ignore the Early Indicators

The other day, I was out walking with my lunchtime exercise pal (for regular readers, the Worm Girl) when we had occasion to cross paths with three different redheaded men. Of the bright orange and freckles variety.

“Must be a ginger convention,” I quipped.

She laughed, then my newly on-the-market friend commented “You know, I can’t explain why, but I’ve never been attracted to redheaded men. There’s no good reason, it just doesn’t work for me.”

I replied, “Yeah, me too. Though I know why. When I was in elementary school, I went to school with a ginger kid. He had a lot of troubles with wetting his pants. I felt so bad for the guy. He was a nice kid, but he used to make puddles everywhere.”

We walked for a while longer. Then I said “you know, I should look him up. I wonder what he’s up to these days.”

“He’s probably a CEO and incredibly rich,” my friend said, and I agreed.

So that night I went online to look up my old schoolmate from my formative years. The pants wetter.

Well. He’s not a CEO. It’s better.

He’s a pretty darn successful race car driver. His posted record is awesome and now he owns a racing company with his parents.

Guess we all pegged that kid wrong didn’t we?

Which makes me think about all of my friends with young kids who struggle with the weird culture of mommies that insist on comparing “my little Tommy” to other kids. They always make sure you know that their kid is better than yours.

It’s evil and it’s wrong and it makes me UTTERLY mad. You have no idea how many mom-friends I’ve had to talk down because of this nasty culture.

One might think that my school chum was a less-than kid because of his bladder issues.

Since confession is good for the soul, I’ll admit I was the class nose picker. When the teacher got boring, the treasures of the nostrils seemed far more interesting. I’m not proud of it and I took a lot of guff in first and second grades for it.

At close to forty years later, I think it can be said that I turned out pretty well too.

Power to the pants wetters and the nose pickers and that kid that barfed on the school field trip and then no one wanted to hang out with him. They are your future race car drivers and CEO’s or just your average soul with a decent job and a good spouse who does her best to be a good member of society.

Blessed are the weirdos, for we shall inherit the earth….right after we’re done skeeving everyone out.

Wanted: Three Pips, Immediate Hire, Reasonable Rates

This morning my eyes fluttered open around 6am. My alarm wasn’t due to go off for another hour and a half. I had a raging headache and my body decided I should get the full experience of the pain instead of sleeping through it all.

Since sleep was no longer within my grasp, but in no way did I want to get out of bed, I grabbed my trusty old iPod that I keep by the bed, clapped on the headphones and set my Pod for shuffle.

An Elton John and a couple Merle Haggards went by. A Harry Connick crooner about nightingales and London-town was certainly relaxing.

Then the opening strains of Midnight Train To Georgia filled my ears. Ah Gladys. Such a powerful voice. It’s been a while since this one made it’s way to the top of my shuffle list, and it was like visiting with an old friend.

I turned up the sound to hear every word, every note.

And that’s when I made a decision. I need some Pips.

They provide such great affirmation.

Gladys: He’s leaving/On that midnight train to Georgia
Pips: …leaving on that midnight train….whoot whoo!


Gladys: And I’m gonna be with him/On that midnight train to Georgia
Pips: I know you will….leaving on that midnight train to Georgia…whoot whoo!

The Pips provide emphatic punctuation to what Gladys is saying. She’s tormented. Her man is heading out of town. But her Pips back her play. They underscore her words. They give her power.

I need this. I need Pips. Three of ’em. Right away.

Can you imagine how empowering this would be?

Karen: Hey boss, we need to chat
Pips: bossMAN…gotta have a chat…

Karen: I think I need a raise
Pip: You *know* she needs that cash…whoot wooo!

Yeah, I mean how could I get a no to my request with the power of the Pips behind me?

Or in a very important negotiation:

Karen: So Supplier, your pricing is too high, we need to cut 20% out of the quote
Pips: You know that quote’s to high…twenty percent…oh no!

Or employee relations:

Karen: So, I noticed you’ve been missing deadlines lately
Pips: …Missing them deadlines…
Karen: That’s not good
Pips: …Not good!…

See what I’m saying? I think you do.

So now, next steps. Where does one go to hire a set of Pips?

Monster? LinkedIn? Maybe Craigslist.

Wanted: Three Pips. Must enthusiastically support everything I say. In harmony. Multiple woot wooos acceptable. Must provide own wide lapel leisure suits. Please apply via email. Provide references.

Photo found on this blog without attribution. If this image belongs to you, please contact me and I will gladly remove image or add proper attribution.

One To Ponder On

There’s a lady I work with who I like a lot, and she and I have become pretty good friends. We’ve decided, together, that we need to get more exercise during our long work days. To that end, we’ve started taking lunchtime walks along all the wonderful walking paths near our office.

During the walks, we generally kibitz or cuss about work or discuss the news of the day. I’ve learned that my new friend is a big fan of birds, I think she keeps three at home. She loves looking at all the wild birds out there in our marshland ponds, and I do too.

I’ve talked before about the proliferation of birds, and especially Canada geese, here in my vicinity.

Yesterday my friend and I were walking around the lake at a brisk pace when she suddenly stopped and gasped. “Look at that goose!” she said and pointed.

Running along one side our little lake is a very busy street. This goose was strutting out into traffic, headed for a sizable puddle of standing water. There must have been something tasty looking in that stale water, because the goose would not be denied, full speed ahead…until a car went zooming by, and the goose was blown back by the jet wash.

“Get back here!” my friend shouted to the unsteady goose, as though her maternal tone would make it mind its manners.

“Get back here you goose! You silly, silly goose! You’re a silly goose! Yes you are, why are you such a silly goose?”

Oddly, the goose must have known he was in the presence of One Who Knows Birds, because it did just as she asked. It looked at her warily, then that silly high stepping goose strutted its way back over to the curb, ungracefully waddled up, and went about its way munching at the green grass.

“That’s a good goose,” my friend said as we continued our walk.

I smiled to myself. Now, just who is the real silly goose? The one trying to find food for its existence, or the human hollering at a bird?


Since today is actually Thursday, then it must be time for Theme Thursday. Today’s prompt is: Silly

Spring? Soon.

Had a chance to visit Filoli Gardens today in celebration of my amazing and talented mom-in-law and the occasion of her birth.

She produced and nurtured The Good Man, and thus a celebration of her is *always* in order.

Filoli Gardens is one of those magical destinations where it’s almost impossible to take a bad photo. The grounds are carefully tended and the springtime brings a riot of colors to life.

It’s only just recently reopened for the season, and the grounds are simply gorgeous, so I thought I’d share a few photos.

I dedicate these lovely flowers to to the folks who are still stuck in the cold and snow who might be wondering just when in the heck Spring will arrive.

Each of these little flowers whispers to you softly, “soon…”


(click any photo to see big size)

Amazing purple hyacinth, just had to capture them quickly so I could see them again and again.

I am a big fan of tulips. So hearty yet so delicate.

And daffodils hold a special place in my heart. They signal a beginning. Their yellow sunshine in the midst of dreary winter is a promise to be kept by April.

And the Wheel Goes Round and Round

Back in March I talked about the Rosanne Cash album “The List,” a collection of songs culled from a list of 100 must-know songs crafted especially for Rosanne by her father.

The List is an essential music history lesson.

That story and the resulting album became the inspiration for my best friend and I to endeavor to create our own list as a legacy for my two goddaughters.

It’s been an ongoing process, serious work, and we’re making progress.

Over the weekend, I had the chance to see Rosanne Cash perform live at the Uptown Theater in Napa, CA.

I’ve been a fan for a while and I think Rosanne is a massively accomplished songwriter. I love the heart and emotion she puts into every lyric.

I figured as a consummate musician, she would put on a great show. I was in no way prepared for how stunning seeing Rosanne perform live really was.

Her backing band, including her husband John Levanthal on guitar, was one of the tightest bands I’ve ever seen. I told The Good Man during the show “I know musicians who would kill somebody to get at her drummer.”

I’ve spent a lot of years in the company of musicians who struggled have a band that is tight and seamless. Rosanne has that in spades.

And talent too. She’s an amazing, emotional and powerful singer. Like any great musician, the sound seems to pour from her effortlessly. It takes a lot of work to make it look that easy.

Then, after putting on a show that brought the house down, Rosanne went to the lobby and signed autographs for her fans. I got her signature on my copy of her recent bestseller “Composed” and had a chance to tell her that my best friend and I are working on our own version of The List.

And when I awkwardly mentioned that her gorgeous song “Seven Year Ache” is on the list, Ms. Cash smiled and shook my hand.

Made. My. Year.

What a powerful, beautiful, wonderful woman.

I am deeply inspired.

Photo by Karen Kristofferson, as posted on her @KarenKristo Twitter stream.