Depth-deprived post

I enjoy television. In fact, there is some television I really enjoy.

There. I said it. How very pedestrian of me. As anti-intellectual as it seems to some people to "like" watching television, the fact is we all have our diversions. And while mine certainly aren't limited to the small screen, I'm not embarrassed to admit that I partake frequently. And every year about this time, most of the best programming takes a vacation. It's a sad fact in the entertainment industry, but true nonetheless. So indulge for a few minutes while I explore the oh-so-shallow corners of television I will miss for the next few months:

I'm glad he won. I wouldn't call myself a fan of "American Idol," but I would call myself a music fan and good-clean-television fan. So here we are. Kris Allen was my favorite for some time, and I'll never forgot his rendition of "Falling Slowly."

I definitely won't be on pins and needles waiting for the next season. I always skip the auditions, anyway. I just like to hear these kids sing.

I AM, however, a fan of "LOST." This season's finale left me with so many mixed emotions. It also left me with a sense of appreciation for the writers. The two-hour episode they crafted was masterful and chock-full of Biblical allusions. Did Juliet pull it off?

The only other two shows I watch religiously (apart from Jeopardy and almost anything on the Food Network) are "The Office" and "30 Rock," whose finales were also off-the-charts good this year. The way they handled Jim and Pam's "news" was perfect. Both shows lagged a little mid-season for some reason, but ended strong. Let's get Alan Alda that kidney!

So now I've gotten it out of system and can go on with my summer. Thank goodness cooking shows don't take vacation!


I've never been a big fan of the "counting method" in childcare. I mean no offense to anyone who uses it as a form of discipline (or threat of discipline, rather), but to me it's always seemed like permission for a child to misbehave for three, five or 10 more seconds. "You stop that tantrum! I'm going to count to three..."

No doubt I am a little biased because my parents never counted with us. It was first time or the highway. I think it stuck, for the most part. But Sunday morning I got to thinking about grown-up misbehavior and how God might view it.

Driving to church I was having nothing short of an adult tantrum. I was in a snit (for no good reason, of course) and I could feel my frown lines setting up camp around my mouth. It was not pretty. My tantrums don't look like a child's version — instead of loud yells and stamped-down feet it's a lot of eye rolling and abrupt conversation.

The worst part about an adult tantrum is that you know you shouldn't be having it and know you'd happier if you just let go. But it's easier said than done, and I thought about God looking on as this mood reared its ugly head. Is there any excuse at this point in my life not to stop immediately and fix my attitude? I think not. And I'm pretty sure he thinks not, as well.

So God isn't into "one, two, three." The only number I'm glad He IS into is 70 times 7!

I wanna quit the gym!

Gyms are notoriously hard to quit. I learned this from watching "Friends" (where I learned a lot of important things, such as the importance of saying the right name in your wedding vows). Since Superman and I are trying to trim whatever fat we can find in our monthly budget, I decided to quit our gym. It sounded so easy.

Except that you can't quit this gym — not unless you move outside a 25 mile radius of said gym. Not no way, not no how. There isn't a penalty you can pay for opting out of your contract. What you CAN do, however, is find someone to take over your membership. As luck would have it, my brother has been interested in joining said gym. OK, now we're talking.


On my end, I'm told the contract I signed runs out next February and there is a transfer charge for my brother to take it over (but no monthly tacked-on charge that would apply to non-immediate family). On his end, brother dearest is told that my contract doesn't run out until next May and there is a monthly charge in addition to the one-time charge.

My brother is a lawyer. Heh heh. One way or another, we were going to get this worked out. And when I say "we," I mean my brother while I stand by and watch. Here's how I did it and you can do it too!
1) Lean against the wall and look confused.
2) Disagree with any fact the sales guy reads off a computer screen.
3) Back down from your stance when they prove your memory is worse than you thought.
4) Nod at whatever your brother says and say "That sounds right" repeatedly.
5) Remember that these are sales guys and they want to get a long-term contract signed no matter what.
6) Watch your brother get a sweet monthly deal.
7) Walk out of the gym for the last time and kiss rock-hard abs goodbye.

Three Men and a Lady

Yesterday I enjoyed the first Mother's Day of my life that honored me. And while my existence is the product of countless ancestors, there are essentially four people that made my motherhood possible. This post is for them...

To my mother, who once told me that one of her great callings is to act as an extension of God for her children in this life; whose generosity virtually has no end; who talked to me like a human being and not a child when I was small; who didn't get to have a mommy comfort her in the delivery room; who has shown more resiliency through what life's thrown at her than anyone I know; who tells me I'm pretty and tells my son how lucky he is to have me.

To my father, whose unyielding warmth made it hard for me to believe in gruff father figures; who let me dance on his feet in the kitchen no matter my age; who challenged me with questions and taught me to argue intelligently; who worked his ever-loving hiney off to put food in four little tummies; who never stopped caring or asking about any activity I undertook; who taught me never to settle for a man who withholds affection.

To my husband, who whisks me away to ice cream when we feel our poorest; who makes me laugh like a giddy school girl — the same way I did when we were dating; who comes home from an 8-hour day to eat and play with us before going back to work on the computer until very late; who plays even goofier with the baby than I do; who calls home once a day just to say "hi"; who would rather be home than any place else in the world; who doesn't waver.

To my son, who has conversations with me all day without saying a word; who's really smiling at me and not the camera when I take pictures; who came out just as wide-eyed as he is today; whose impossibly blue eyes could stop my heart; who already displays athleticism; who would rather socialize than just about anything; who touches my face when I feed him and gently strokes my hair; who makes me yearn for long talks at the dinner table.

Thank you all for making me the mother I am today.

Going in circles

Snobbery is something, isn't? A distant cousin of prejudice, it feeds off the excess of an over-inflated ego and its motto is "Thank Goodness I'm Not Like That."

As I was watching the Kentucky Derby last weekend, I thought how it essentially boils down to watching people race around an oblong track. Then I thought how many Derby goers may be the type who look down their noses at NASCAR fans. You know, the folks who sit in the stands people...race around an oblong track. And then I thought about the snobbery of some NASCAR fans who scoff at the properness of sitting in the stands people...race around an oblong track.

It's funny, isn't it? I realize that car racing and horse racing are two very different animals (no pun intended). And I also know there are plenty of fans on both sides who hold no such prejudice. But you've got to know the attitude's out there. I mean, we are human and these are two very different groups of people (by rule). Naturally there's always room for some well-placed snobbery.

But I'm reminded again of how all too easy it is to scoff at what we don't understand and turn our noses up at what we've never experienced. Dale Earnhardt, Gary Stevens...there's enough toxic activity in the "real world" to go around. Why would we invite it into our diversions? I know as much about thoroughbreds as I do about pit crews (which is almost nothing). But I do know that snobbery and sports shouldn't mix.

Under construction

Is there anything on earth that arouses more irrational anger than unexpected road construction? I wish I had a nickel for every time I rolled my eyes and said not-so-nice things under my breath while the "men at work" told me to slow down. And every time I have to talk myself down from the cliffs of insanity by remembering that the end result is worth it.

I would argue that the irrational anger has increased exponentially as our culture advances further into the era of instant everything. Forget coffee--we've got instant communication, instant fame. Instant, instant, instant.

Will my children see the value in investing four years of their lives for a college degree? Will they be willing to actually earn a strong friendship with months of work?

And what about me? It's hard enough to put down the third cookie today so I might fit into a size smaller jeans next month. Let alone reading more than a chapter in the Bible more than three days a week to become a better human being. God may as well be wearing an orange vest and holding a sign that says "Be Prepared to Stop."

Here's hoping we are prepared to stop. If only to imagine a better road in the distance.

P.S. Did you see who's back in the blogosphere? Always a good read!