Blessings, Life with Kids, Totally Random

Conversations with Our 9-Year-Old

Conversations with our 9-year-old.

I overheard a conversation between Jack and Aaron the other day. It went something like this…

Jack: I want to call 911.

Dad: Why do you want to call 911?

Jack: Because I want the police to bring me a donut.

Dad: What makes you think a police officer would have donuts?

Jack: I watch TV; policemen always have donuts.

Dad: Hmm. You should ask Grandpa Tommy if he ever ate donuts while he was on duty.

Jack: Grandpa Tommy was a policeman?

Dad: Yes. You knew that. And so was his father, my grandfather.

Jack: Jeez, Dad, you broke the chain.

Dad: Well, I have a similar job, I just work in a courtroom instead of the street.

Jack ponders this for a moment then sighs plaintively and says: Do I have to do that too? Saving the world is hard work, I just want to entertain people…

Totally Random

Small Town Crime

I love living in a small town. The following are recent excerpts from my town’s police blotter:

Wednesday, June 27, 2:11 a.m.–Suspicious activity reported at Raynham Park. Officer responded. Parties clamied to be looking for Big Foot. Sent on their way.

Tuesday, July 3, 5:45 p.m.–Suspicious activity on Nicholas Road reported: a neighbor’s mailbox was wide opened and filled with peanuts.

Heh. Open my front door and you can practically hear Opie whistling the Andy Griffith theme on the way to his favorite fishin’ hole.

Favorites, Teachable Moments, Totally Random

The One with The Book

I recently finished reading a book that was recommended by friend called “Many Lives, Many Masters,” by Dr. Brian Weiss. I devoured the book. And by devoured I mean I purchased it just before 6:00 one night, started reading around 10:00, and after a few interruptions to take the dogs out, make tea, check on my sleeping son, and answer nature’s call (after several cups of tea), I read the last page about 5 hours later.

First let me just say that I love when people recommend books to me. Love it. If someone takes the time to mention a certain book, it means it had some kind of effect on them, and that’s all the information I need to give it a try. So, thank you, Mat, for suggesting the book in the first place.

When Mat told me about the book, I searched Amazon to see if there was a Kindle format I could download instantly. It took me a long time to embrace the Kindle. I like holding a book in my hand, the physical act of turning pages, and having the ability to underline passages and take notes in the margins (which, by the way, is why I’m totally banned from borrowing library books in my hometown). I finally got one for Christmas and I have to say, I love it. I carry it everywhere because it’s a lot easier to load into my purse than a 300-page hardcover. And, admittedly, it does enable me to electronically highlight passages and make notes, so that’s cool. But it has had the negative consequence of chipping away at my patience when I want a book instantly (or at ridiculous hours of the night when the bookstores are closed and I suddenly get the urge to read something RIGHT NOW) and it’s not available to download. Such was the case with “Many Lives, Many Masters.” But, as usual, that’s the universe telling me to stop being an asshat and take a breath. So not being able to download it gave me the opportunity to take my son to a brick and mortar bookstore and spend a leisurely Sunday afternoon browsing the titles. He chose a Disney bedtime stories book, and I came away with the Weiss book.

The book is Weiss’ story of how he reluctantly partook in past-life hypnotherapy with a young patient and how, ultimately, he came to discover some pretty powerful insights. The crux of it was thus: Our bodies live one life, but our souls live many lives. Each reality our souls take on is purposeful and has a far deeper meaning than we as humans can comprehend. There are lessons we need to learn in each incarnation, and our present existence is meant to lift our souls to a higher plane.

Several things struck me. First, his belief that as souls we choose our next life and everything that happens in it. At first I was sickened by the thought. Why, for instance, would anyone choose to be abused, raped, abandoned, murdered? Why would they choose to be addicts or to be infected with any number of diseases? It makes no sense. But the deeper meaning is that we choose such hardship in human form to enlighten our souls and to help others in some way. I’m still leery about that one, but if I can strip the human emotion and pain from it, it makes sense on some level. Second, that souls tend to reincarnate in clusters, and so the people you’re closest to in this life, or those with whom you share some bond, are likely those with whom you’ve traveled (proverbially speaking) before. That one I could wrap my head around a little better.

Not usually my cup of tea, but I have to say I was quite drawn in by it. I give it two thumbs up, for what it’s worth. Actually the book reminded me a lot of Arthur Rimbaud’s work…only far less dark. I didn’t so much want to stab myself in the neck with a sewing needle after reading Weiss. Such is often the case after sitting with Rimbaud’s words for any length of time.

Anyway. The book was amazing on so many levels. I was at once fascinated and disturbed by Weiss’ words. Parts of it felt like a warm embrace; other passages made my blood run cold. But my appetite for a deeper understanding is voracious to be sure.

Oh, um, full disclosure: In addition to finishing “Many Lives, Many Masters”, I also started a book called “My Best Friend Is a Wookie,” a memoir by a guy who became obsessed with the Star Wars movies at age 7 and whose main objective at that tender age was to become a Jedi Knight. Hi, my name is Michelle, and I, too, was a charter member of the Star Wars fan club. (I had a membership card and everything.) I strove to procure The Force, which I was so sure could protect me from the evils of the world. Plus? I really wanted a lightsaber and to hang out in the swamps of Dagobah with Yoda, just lifting shit up with my mind all day. So, yeah, I’m enlightened enough to have been captivated by Weiss’ work, but I’m also a fangirl geek at heart. Just wanted to put that out there, lest you mistake me for highly evolved. Heh.

Pick Your Battles, Totally Random

Pat Downs and Body Scans, Oh My!

Who are these people who are bitching about intrusive searches by the TSA before they’re allowed to board an airplane? I for one am quite opposed to being fondled by a stranger. But you know what? If that keeps me from being turned into kibbles and bits by some terrorist who figures out who to effectively smuggle explosives into his tighty whities, then feel away, my friend. Personally, as one who tends to travel by train, I think Amtrak should consider some security measures. Because honestly? The few times I’ve traveled to New York via the Acela, I could have loaded the H-bomb into the overhead compartment and no one would have blinked.

Totally Random

I Heart Geek Squad

A recent exchange between me and a Best Buy Geek Squad member:

Me: My computer imploded just now.

Him: That can’t be good.

Me: Ya think?

Him: [Unblinking silence]

Me: Ok so, basically, even if it can’t be fixed today I at least need to know if the data can be restored. My opus is on that there hard drive.

Him: [More unblinking silence]

Me: [Beat]…Ok, I just need to know if it’s necessary for me to build some time into my day for a nervous breakdown…

Him: [Nervous laughter] Ummm. Ok.

Totally Random

Riders On the Storm

Here’s what I predict is going to happen. I’m going to go around duct taping my windows and barricading my doors, hoarding batteries, candles, and bottled water…all in anticipation of Hurricane Earl, because, well, I can’t not give into the hysteria. I’m a New Englander. It’s what we do. But here’s how it’s going to end up: a windy rain storm that likely won’t be ferocious enough to cut my power, let alone sweep me away to the next county. Not that I’ll complain, mind you. I’m happy not to have to deal with Mother Nature’s wrath. She can be a bitch. I witnessed it last spring when for a week straight people in the next town were forced to take the famous Boston Duck Boats to the grocery stores because after a week of heavy rain and raging floods the roads were impassable by any other mode of transportation (unless you owned your own canoe, which most do not). So the Duck Boats made their way from Boston to the southern suburbs and the south coast and carted people off to where they needed to be. I can do without that kind of hassle. Still, the anticipation and anxiety that builds when you hear hurricane is exhausting when it fails to come to fruition. The preparation is just such a pain in the ass. (A brief aside: duct tape seems to be the answer for everything. Isn’t that what the government told us to stock up on during the anthrax scare soon after 9/11, so we could seal our windows and doors in case of a widespread outbreak? It’s all purpose: anti-weather, anti-terrorist. It’s the MacGyver of adhesives. Brilliant really.)

Anyway. That’s what I’m expecting. If I had the energy and the inclination I’d drive to the coast and sit on the sea wall and dare the waves to bring it on. Alas, I don’t have enough confidence in the forecasters’ incompetence to play that game. 🙂 That’s a bit like playing chicken with God, no? Surely I’d be on the losing end of that bet.

So, I’ll tape my damn windows and sit it out late tomorrow night, candles at the ready. The temperature is going to hold so I’ll very likely go walking in the rain at some point. We are at least expecting some pretty strong sustained winds, so that’ll make it challenging…but I can’t resist a walk in the rain on a warm-ish night. Hurricane be damned, or whatever (I shook my fist heavenward as I typed that, just so you know:)

Totally Random, Uncategorized

My Seasonal Rant

Here’s what drives me crazy about New England weather: from October through May (sometimes June) you rarely see blue skies; it’s all grey all the time. There is constant cloud cover, even if the sun is out. It is utterly depressing. I’m looking out the window and though I haven’t been outside I can tell it’s a raw fall day. The winds are strong; I can see the trees craning and struggling against the harsh gusts. The leaves are swirling around in the traditional fall dance and coming to rest on the sidewalks and streets (and lawns!). It was such a beautiful summer…and I like fall, I really do, I just wish it didn’t slam into us so violently. Mother Nature knows nothing of gentle introductions. And I’m OK with the cold, I just wish we’d get occasional respite from the grey is all. I like the IDEA of winter; I just wish it didn’t last as long. While the spring and summer always bring with them the promise of renewed life and energy, the fall and winter do the exact opposite for me. I love the holidays, love, love, love them. Well, love them and hate them…but that’s a story for another time really. Anyway, snow and bone-chilling cold are fine through January, but then it would be nice to see the sun again, is all I’m saying. And perhaps amidst the brutally cold days we could be thrown a bone and have a single day thrown in that enables us to expose SOME part of ourselves without fear of freezing our asses off. A day that doesn’t necessitate a hat and gloves and scarf and boots and 5 pairs of socks. God, I’m already bitching and today is only in the 50s according to weather.com. And? It’s. Only. October. 3rd.

Ah, well. I look at it this way: Only 179 more days until baseball’s opening day 2011. And mandatory spring training takes place March 1, five days before my birthday…happy birthday to me. :0) That’s when I will again breathe easily, and all will be right with the world. Baseball makes me happy. Baseball and sunny days. John Denver was SO right: Sunshine on my shoulders DOES make me happy.