Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Charmed Life?

"Is every one of Michele's family ridiculously good looking?"
... so an associate asked me a few years back.   My boss' daughter was to be married in a few days, and extended family members from here-there-and-everywhere gathered to check-in.
Yes.  To a person, their faces appeared to have been crafted by heavenly hosts.

I probably shouldn't say this out loud .... but it's been on my mind a while now.   And at this stage of my life, I'm all about transparency.

For too many years, I might have disliked them - and their seemingly 'charmed lives' - on sight.   For no good reason.

Since grade school, I resented those whose effortless good looks and charisma made me want to shrink further and further into the shadows.    Janice's poignant "At Seventeen" may well have been written about yours truly.

Thank God, we grow and get over ourselves!
And learn what Real Beauty is all about.
Still, every now and then I wonder.   What is it about the presence of others' larger-than-life appearances that makes us feel clumsy or inadequate?  
Sure, every once in a great I can still hear a classmate's words, "Myra?  You mean the one with the big nose?"  
Then I reassure myself, recalling another similarly-afflicted soul's laugh: "All this oxygen we get to breathe, and I'm sure lucky to get more than the next fellow."
I was sobered recently by a news story whose headline teased:  "What the Dying Really Regret."  
As Erma Bombeck once lamented - I presumed the answer to be not taking more chances.
No.  They regretted wasting so much time hating their own bodies!   Isn't that incredibly sad?
Oh, and by the way.  
One of Michele's  "ridiculously good looking" family members - a vibrant young man with a lovely, loving wife and two little girls recently passed away from brain cancer age 34.     
Tommy's story is but one of hundreds, maybe thousands.  
Didn't we used to refer to the Kennedy family as 'charmed'?
It's a little early to be talking about Thanksgiving, but I'm incredibly grateful to be right here, right now .... and especially for you allowing me to be part of your charmed lives.  
I promise to be back with a more upbeat tone next time.
Hugsfrom Phoenix!
Myra :)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Do you smell that?


So, I've been doing a lot of smiling in the last 48 hours.
Not just because DH's latest CT scan warranted a great review from his oncologist (which is pretty awesome!)

... but I think Summer's finally releasing her grip on the valley.  Woo-hoo!

Just yesterday morning - instead of automatically hitting the A/C, I felt like rolling my car's window down.    Not 10 minutes later, I caught the unmistakable aroma of a commercial bakery, and my toes began to curl in unison.

... Which got me pondering.  
Aside from baking bread, or a porterhouse steak sizzling over a mesquite-wood fire, here's a baker's dozen of my favorite, happy aromas.

Bubble gum

Garlic and onions simmering in olive oil
Movie theater lobbies
Brand-new textbooks
Wooden matches
Supermarket freezer-chests (it's been a long time since I stuck my head deep inside and inhaled ... only on account grown-ups aren't supposed to do that sort of thing.)
Ponderosa pines

Elmer's rubber cement (remember those adorable pots in elementary school?)
Original Jergens lotion
The lumber section of a warehouse
Horse stables
A lit pipe (preferably held by a gent wearing a smoking jacket, cradling a cognac in his other hand.   Ahhh!)

Have I struck a chord with anyone?  
What would you recommend?
Thank you for pausing to visit, and please, have yourselves a sweet new week!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Killing me softly, with his song

I hadn't planned to chat about Those.Who.Entertain today, but learning of Paul Revere's passing leaves me a bit reflective.  
Inquisitive, too.

Do you recall your first concert?

Growing up in a community the size of your average saucer, I longed to live in New York City or Los Angeles.  I longed sit alongside those screaming in Sullivan's audience.   Instead, I sat cross-legged, inches in front of our black/white television, dreaming of the day I'd reside in a Big City.

A few years later, I was thrilled to attend a campus concert by one of my favorite artists.   Unfortunately, the poor fellow was so messed up on gosh-knows-what he couldn't recall the words of the opening song and had to be led off-stage.    Na├»ve, yes, but I remember feeling soooo sorry for him -- and really upset at my supposedly-religious fellow students' jeers and boos.   (Thankfully, I learned he subsequently cleaned up his act and turned his craft to a 'contemporary Christian' genre.)

All the same, I was hooked -- on the smells and sounds and energy -- even before the artist(s) took the stage!   One of my favorite memories involves a B.Y.O.B. affair in the early 80's where we sat at portable tables and danced in front of an "up-and-coming singer" by the name of George Strait.   I wasn't really 'into' c/w music at the time, but had to admit he was pretty cute!

Obviously, some were better than others.  Perhaps my biggest let-down was a surprise trip I'd planned for my then-husband to see Ole' Blue Eyes at Reunion Arena in Dallas.   Unlike "R", I wasn't especially fond of Sinatra - and even less so after the lukewarm performance where he appeared wholly disinterested.

A few years later I began work at Tampa Bay's CBS affiliate where I was astonished to realize, concert and theatre tickets could practically be had for the asking!  Crazy, the things I used to take for granted.  (It may be a common practice, but now that I'm on the "other side-looking in", I don't think that's especially fair.   LOL!)

These days, DH and I've not attended a concert in ages.   Oh, a few years ago I won a radio contest to see Neil Diamond, and his show was just as amazing as I remembered from 1972.   Unfortunately, transportation in and around the newly-constructed stadium was poorly orchestrated, and at least one concert-goer was trampled and badly injured in the exodus.    Tom sometimes experiences difficulty maneuvering, so I do my best to avoid crowds.  

Sure, there are times I miss the energy.
... But I was only mildly disappointed recently at being "Caller #5" when the tickets to see Kris Kristofferson were meant for "Caller #6."   
Aside from the obvious, most nights I find myself yawning uncontrollably after 9! 

Irrational, perhaps ... but I'm always concerned that someone I've adored for years will turn out to be a huge disappointment.    I may be the only person on the planet who disliked George Strait's much ballyhooed farewell concert.   Has something like that ever happened to you?

All else aside, is there someone I'm still dying to see?   You bet-cha! :) 

(Say, I never claimed not to be a square!)
When we were in Vegas a couple years ago and had a chance to purchase tickets I balked at the prices.  Instead we returned to our rental, stuck a bag of popcorn in the microwave and watched one of his 'live' performances on DVD.   Not so sure I'd do the same today. 

If you don't mind sharing, I'd love to hear your own concert-going stories -- the good, the bad and the ugly!    Is there a special someone you're still longing to see?

Hugs from a deliciously-cooling Phoenix.   Have a great week, everyone!