Category Archives: Random

a moment in the movie Ice Age, I believe, when one of the character is facing impending doom but gets distracted by a squirrel as it passes–these posts represent the best of my tangential magpie-ness…

Today seemed like an incredibly good day to quit my job, so I did

My boundaries come in two styles: tissue paper and well-armed turrets overlooking the kill zone. The distance between tissue paper and turrets is about the width of a switch. A really tiny but very distinct switch. A uni-directional switch. To excuse what may seem to onlookers (say ex-husbands, ex-employers) as an arbitrary shift in relationship, I offer up the caveat that by the time the switch gets flipped on, all your strikes (and those from the next batter) have been used up. If the switch has flipped on for you, you deserved it long ago.

That doesn’t mean we can’t parent collaboratively (in the case of my ex) or that I can’t work for you as an independent contractor (on more mutual terms), but in terms of taking anymore bullshit: switch on.

Unhinged Elephant Eating…

(My daughter is sitting on my lap with her knuckle up her nose, making very strange noises. She is trying to talk me into letting her make brownies. I’m a little scared. She reminds me of myself at that age. “And who’s going to clean the kitchen?” I ask.

“My robot monkey butler,” she answers without missing a beat. Why am I just now finding out we had one of those on staff? Because I have an elephant to eat and I could use some help.

I have this very realistic idea of what I want to do. Soon you will come to me and say, “Dahling (because we talk like that), here’s my idea.” And I will spin the rest of the marketing plan into place, turning you into a wildly successful solo-preneur. With my HR background, I’ll even get your structure built if you decide to scale without outsourcing. I’ll bring my team. It should take a week. Good thing you are well-capitalized because I’ll charge a ton, but it will be fun, value-driven, and entirely worth it.

Alternately, there’s the life alignment, shamanistic wise woman advisor track. It may involve the chewing of raw, organic kamut grass, the smudging of sage, and a deeper discernment of your soul’s mission at its stage. It requires connecting with the emotional side, the intuition bits, some training and more fairy woo woo circling, but I’m meeting some really cool people and I like the platform for making sense out of the spirit / soul / human connection. Kind of makes me want to rub my temples with pine and lavender…

To do the yogini thing, I’d need to start doing yoga and eating well, and high fructose corn syrup is kind of what’s getting me through this transition period. Plus I can’t afford the Sabbatical to transform. On the side of option #3 is my affinity for lentils, so there’s that…

The problem is I see the future and I want it today. I want to be the entirely comprehensive digital business coach; the fully intuitive personal life alignment coach and healer; the bastion of all that is raw extreme health. None of these comes without expertise, dues-paying, and heads-on confrontation of the high fructose corn syrup issue. I want to eat the whole elephant, not break it into bits. It’s not like my jaws unhinge, dammit. If you’ve ever felt like this  you know what a big deal it is: breaking big dreams into manageable, executionable pieces. Bites of elephant.

Here’s the good news: I found out about the robot monkey butler. I could use his help.

(Dear PETA, the elephant in the above story is a literary device; he isn’t  kosher. Why would I eat him? Get over yourselves! The robot monkey butler is more robot than monkey, so you can let that one go too.)

Fixing to Start Thinking about Getting Started on Coming into My Own

According to Google, it was Henry David Thoreau who said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”

This has always haunted me. So Mrs. Pragmatist (skipping past the musical reference in favor of the Karaoke After World) asks herself, “What is the opposite of quiet desperation?”

Noisy satisfaction (which sounds VERY fun), purposeful engagement, intentional presence–you know: those things that made our parents tell us to simmer down, not be too big for our britches, keep up appearances, don’t draw attention to ourselves, quit thinking you’re better than everyone else. It’s very British (basing this on my recent four season jag of Mad Men on Netflix). It’s international. The Japanese proverb states: Deru kugi wa utareru (the nail that sticks up gets hammered down.) All around the world, standing out, living a life above the madding crowd is ridiculed, frowned upon, seen as unseemly.

What a load of crap!

We are designed with skills and talents and dreams. Interests, strengths, and drive. And somewhere along the way, the snot gets beat out of us. We get remediated on our weaknesses instead of having our strengths cultivated. It’s not like our parents went to ‘How to extract snot from your kids’ school. The wet blanketry comes gratis. Quite simply, I protest.

I don’t have it wired yet, but that’s the path before me. I had my first improv performance tonight and I didn’t totally suck. Yeah me!! Formulating a plan for taking a month off next summer or the summer after to take a travel trailer south to a sunny clime. Solar oven, kayak racks, paddle board, WiFi, retrofitted Sleep Number bed, reams of paper, cribbage board, bikini. If my ass hangs out and it is bespeckled with cellulite and this offends you, I recommend you quit looking at my ass.

Funding this may require some alterations to the work arrangement and I’m not sure what that means yet. I’m taking a copy-writing class to get more exposure to a flexible, geographically untethered platform to get paid for writing. I’ll need a motor home that drives or a truck with a trailer. I really want an airstream. According to Craiglist, I may need to buy low and do some sweat equity. This may involve some YouTube videos on upholstery. I am feeling REALLY good about having low expenses and no housing maintenance. I am fantasizing about the pace of wonder that it would be to have my kids on the road for a month chasing beaches. No screens (except my computer for writing and FB updates). I probably should split Mexican beer into its own sentence.

I envision sliding into the grave with a really loud rendition of ‘I’m on a sleigh ride…’

For some reason, the scene that comes to mind for this whole topic is one of my favorites from the Three Amigos: (CLICK HERE TO SEE THE SCENE)

(‘The Invisible Swordsman’ is all time #1)

 

Skin Peels Off and Chemistry, Hope for the Forehead Wrinkle

The cure all for nasty burns: silver sulfadiazine

(Plastic surgeon says I’ll look as good as new eventually. He also says he can stop the ‘craziness’ that is my forehead wrinkle. I think I love him.)

I’m sitting on the couch listening to a playlist inhabited by some of my favorite melancholy lyrical friends, alternately chatting with FB friends, importing contact lists into the company’s email client, perusing Pinterest pictures. A stray sugar wafer intermittently finds its way into my mouth. A week ago at this time, I was in the emergency room jacked up on VERY GOOD PAIN KILLERS to address the second degree burns I inflicted on myself with some scalding tea. (Note to self: probably you don’t need to BOIL the fucking water to get a decent cup of tea AND ALWAYS put the lid on.)

(Oh, how I want to post pics of the blisters. They were amazing from a cool, science ‘Hey watch my skin jiggle like a waterbed’ sort of way.)

I didn’t want to call 9-1-1 because I have no health insurance, remember? When I finally got a hold of my ex, he told me to call. It makes sense now: my descent into shock, trying to keep it together with my three kids starting to panic because I was crying and screaming ‘Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!!’ from the bathroom, the fact that the skin on my entire right thigh was melting off like some picture of a thermonuclear radiation burn. He came and got the kids and we’ve done of debriefing on how scary it was for them. My glorious and amazing sister came and joined me in the hospital and ran interference for me there. Her family helped me through the worst of the days–moral support if nothing else. My ex covered the kids to give me some time to heal.

There are surely better reasons to have the attention of that many good looking men in one’s bedroom (read that without me sounding like a raging nympho), a fact I may have mentioned to them all once the IV Fentanyl (?) kicked in.

I love Fentanyl. And Percocet, it turns out.

Fentanyl, in my IV, makes me happy (John Denver tune)

So one week later, I am wrapped in bandages. The blisters have subsided, and there is just a HUGE amount of exposed flesh that is tender. This tender flesh must be covered with silvadene, non adhesive bandages, gauze, and then something to hold these all to my un-creamy white thighs. Think here of a sugar cone. The big round part is my thigh. The covering on the cone slips down the cone if it isn’t glued on. These are my bandages.

The definitive answer here remains elusive. Self-adhesive rubber ace-like wrap is the best so far, but by the end of the day when I have to walk through Fred Meyer to buy toilet paper, my mind is completely obsessed with how to get back into the car before the whole shebang slips down to my ankles. Under the best of circumstances my thighs rub together: now add 16 layers.

** Quack, quack, waddle, waddle **

Oh, hell, this is not dignified. What is the most frustrating is that I was just starting to get on my feet financially. Not excess, but bills paid, semi-dependable employment. Now hospital bills, still no insurance. I guess if the lesson here is: learn to lose everything and live in a place of total vulnerability and still be okay with it, the opportunities present themselves in spades. However, I feel it is now time to move into the chapter entitled, “In Which It Goes Very Smoothly for Some Time and She Enjoys the Dynamic Rebuild.”

In a cool, science 'watch my skin jiggle like a waterbed' sort of way...

 

 

Day One: Nuclear Radiation Burn--or was it just really hot water?

Life Management and Sex

I am weary of existential life graduate school. It has become apparent that if I want something in my life, it’s up to me to get it. On one level this feels liberating; on another, completely frustrating. I have, it turns out, confidence in neither discipline nor self-control. Graduation is looming.

Blah, blah, blah, what’s really bugging me is my weight. I’m still on the side of hawt, but I’m pushing the envelope. Life, and me not being where I want to in it, is what is contributing to my wild addiction to carbs. I am scared that I don’t have what it takes to actually have the life I want and so I am building a layer of blubber around myself to hide behind.

Having kids as young as mine are when I am as old as I am in out of sequence; my insides are pushing full tilt boogie toward adventure and intrigue and I find myself strapped with the realities of small people in need of stability. It is making me cranky. Caught between guilt that I’m not working as hard as I could be when I have them and guilt that I really like work and tend toward task over people as a default… Working to pay bills, but not sure what I’m working toward. That feels like I’m time spinning my wheels which feels like I’m wasting time and I’m in my 40’s and I’ll never have sex again as I careen toward death.

Women in their 40’s should absolutely have more sex.

Why NOT eat anything I can get my hands on? Never having sex again and rushing to death? That would drive anyone toward cookie dough.

The thought of being on hold just making ends meet until they graduate makes me feel paralyzed and panicked. All of the work it will take to get what I want makes me spin. I don’t want to give up what I know: the shut down. Enough fucking change already. The hint is that there’s a process behind this, and I’ve been pretty damn jiggy with this process bullshit, but enough already. Yes, there are a thousand things moving in the right direction (well, at least three); my stretch capacity though is stretched to the max and I feel a huge change coming. It’s either going to snap and break my eye or I’m about to have a big breakthrough. To connect, I have to let people in. People whom I can hurt and who can hurt me. When I am shut down, I am mostly impervious to hurt. But sex…

I think it might be breakthrough, but I’m already mad at myself that there will be an extra 20 pounds that need to come off about the time I should be feeling doubly terrific about some positive breakthrough about to come.

Want. My. Cape. Back.

 

(Square One) – (3)

Some weeks are like this.

The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

I have been informed that my urgency / obsessive work creativity is a drug I use to medicate from feeling. I have also been told that my addiction to men was the same thing. I told her she could have the men — I’ve given them up and that I need the energy to get my shit together for work so that I can take excellent care of myself on my own.

She says the feeling she gets from that is black hole. Finally, we’re getting somewhere!!

My black hole here for me is Prince Harming (not original — can’t take credit) v me. I pick unavailable men, or I find good ones who like me and it freaks me out and I run. And I get bored easily and I’m tired of hurting people. So what I’ve worked out is 1) they will hurt me or 2) I will hurt them, so 3) why bother? I can wrap my head around scenarios less morose than this as I also watch movies, but those people aren’t fundamentally broken like I am. And there are advantages to having it be scripted.

So that leaves work. And this is her black hole. “What is your basic number?” she asks. I tell her. “And what happens when you reach that?” she asks. I want it doubled, naturally. Some breathing room. And then I want to own my house. “And then you’ll want to travel with your kids, and then…” Exactly! Again, we’re getting somewhere. (But it seems like she is thinking this is not a good thing.)

“My concern,” she says, “is that on your deathbed you’ll look back and have regrets about big missing pieces in your life.” She is hinting at meaningful partnership relationship.

“A good life is also looking back and saying, ‘Man I got a lot of shit done.'” She concedes that that would make sense in my construct. “Listen,” I say, “I’ve given up married men and I’m not getting involved with anyone I can hurt, I don’t know what else you want from me.”

“Why are those the only two options?”

The depth of my rage at that point is profound and surprises me. In my head I scream, “Why the fuck don’t you explain that to me? By all means tell me how to find someone who can captivate me with intelligence, character, and humor who will be equally captivated. And then explain to me how I can overcome decades of shutting down to be able to engage.”

My outside voice says, “How does one change decades of default shutdown?”

“The question I always ask with ‘How’ questions is, ‘Do you want to?’ she lobs back.

Time’s up.

Thematic Review and Meaningful Quotes…

(Happy 12th Birthday, Dear Friend)

Today I am proud that I have walked through that door–the one back in Dragons. The one leading to the land of the yellow sun and formless terrain. It’s been an intuitive journey thus far; I stay on it not because I know what I’m doing, but because I can’t afford not to. If I die only hitting second grade proficiency in living a life of my own design, at least I didn’t live a life of the walking dead. I’m stopping to honor the hard work I have done and to consider some of the lessons I’m picking up along the way.

Power:
I give mine away, and it’s pissing me off. In a scene, it is a gift to show up on stage with a strong character. Provide details, lead by offering material for others to wrap around. Know when to modify. Strong characters are in touch with their motivations and needs; they aren’t afraid of feelings. They are adept at playing the fool and the hero. They don’t think so much about what they want or who they are; they just are. Definitively.

I want to own my power–at least start with figuring out what the hell that means…

Scarcity Thinking:
Went to an employment seminar for a local job club. Told the facilitator about my job history, my liability of being a business owner unaccustomed to taking directives from others, my recognition that I mightn’t make as much as I’m used to (as long as I’m working for someone else). She agreed. Seems everyone is used to the idea that our worth is determined by the market. In this example, the market means forces outside our direct control. Does that bother anyone other than me?

A FB friend posts an article from Bloomberg, talking about some >$350,000 / year guy in New York whining about making hard economic choices (such as having to moderate his $17,000 annual pet maintenance expense) as his bonus was cut. Not met with tears. The class warfare default that showed up on the thread kind of troubles me. Not because there is class inequality and it is growing more pervasive by the Chinese import, but because we resent people who have a lot of money. We buy into the paradigm of working for someone else who will in turn provide our security. We resent that they have the power to decide how much of Resource’s flow is directed toward us, but we are grateful for the bit we get; after all, figuring out how to found an automobile industry with these paper buggy whip stocks does daunt.

We exit the hooka lounge, exhaling that delusion that security comes from working for someone else (yes, it works well for a class of highly specialized and adaptable people) to find a world where the game’s rules have changed. To thrive in this new economy, our thinking and our behavior require very disruptive adaptation. With the residual hangover, thinking about redefining things leaves us feeling foggy. Is this fundamental change in employment the new norm (yes) and are we trapped forever in this new reality of seemingly barely sustainable living? That depends on us, and our belief in the buggy whip. [This is the part where I present a compelling MLM that offers you a way to get in on the auto industry from the ground floor… (Working on it…)]

Further, this scarcity thinking keeps us separated from each other and judgmental.

Taking Responsibility:
We balk when someone else’s pipe dwarfs ours. Size matters! But the issue isn’t the size of the other guy’s pipe: the issue is that we don’t know how to go about controlling our own flow. I don’t care how big your pipe is if mine gives me everything I want and need. When I figure out how to create immense value for a ton of people doing something that jacks me up, I will rejoice that you have a huge awesome house and time to take vacations. I will have someone to play with with whom I can mastermind. More choices, more control, more fun. That sounds infinitely more exciting than trying to figure out which comes first: gas, rent, or dinner. If I don’t have enough, I want yours too. If I have enough, I feel generous, open-hearted, and infinitely more creative. In our new economy, if we want more, we are going to have to go outside the current paradigm to get it.

To hell with the shoulds. Life is short. Do what you want.”–Ashley Ambirge

Intention / Clarity:
If you aim at nothing you’ll hit it consistently.”–Gary Stanton, perhaps recycled.

Know what you want, figure out how to get it, start taking action. There is tremendous pressure in asking yourself the question, “What do you really want?” Dare you be so bold as to dream? Who are you anyway?! You’ve tried things before and they haven’t worked. Just get a real job! Listen to those scarcity voices and then tell them to shut the hell up! Get clear, get focused, get a plan, get accountable, and soldier on. Maybe you know what you want but don’t have a clue how to get there from where you are. Welcome. Let’s figure this out together!

Process:
Ten year overnight success. How many licks did John Mayer play before becoming John Mayer? I have general direction. Writing, freelancing, systems-consulting, alignment-coaching, investigating, creating content, working on my own time, project-basis, creating intellectual capital. These things I get. Expertise for the consulting, coaching, and content, not so much. I get business broadly, writing practically, and people absolutely. I am stealthy at extracting relevant information and political shadings. I’m working on getting to depth with characters (fiction) as I work through emotional stuff. I can get these missing pieces by doing contract work for disaster continuity planning on a state contract, being a Starbucks barrista, doing an internship with an advertising agency, being involved in a growing floral firm poised for dynamic growth, blogging and creating a social presence for a tool manufacturer.

[I’m pretty sure the above paragraph is my narrator’s concession to the prospective clients who would view this blog as part of my portfolio. (You don’t want me stuck in an office doing books all day…)]

The endgame isn’t the next job; the next step is merely the only thing in my power to do. Instead of feeling hopeless like I will never get there, I am confident. I’ve watched myself this past year dealing with repetitive hits and setbacks, and I trust my ability to extract marrow’s meaning out of life to the tips of the bones. Whatever I do will contribute to the whole of my eventual arrival. AND, even when I have arrived (how I define that in my gizzard), it will simply be a launching pad for the next iteration. I’m more comfortable trusting that process. There are no useless bits in the discard bin of experience.

Relationship:
I am not alone. On stage, in life. It isn’t just me making up the scenes. Entirely new thinking that is at the mere conceptual stage now. What would life be like to NOT be alone, operating from a place of guarded solitude even when with people? Not a clue. My default will always be solo, but I am not opposed to giving trust little tiny baby steps. Own my power here; don’t give it away and don’t entirely hoard it.

Close the door. Write (Live) with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.” –Barbara Kingsolver

How I Roll…

Making money requires assigning worth. How do I monetize when I do not allow myself to assign value to what I have to offer? Thus, my current assignment is to ask myself, “If I allowed myself to have worth, what would that look like?” And then to sit back and pay attention to all the voices in my head as the committee up there discusses the question. (Do NOT show fear at their volume…) I can’t quite get to the ‘worth’ without having a panic attack, but I can flirt around the edges of the contribution topic.

To say I want to make money writing is not accurate. I don’t care if I make money writing because I love writing. If I woke up tomorrow and the entire world aside from me, a self-replicating and low-maintenance garden filled with heirloom, fresh, organic produce, a coconut tree, and avocado tree, a few chickens, and the frozen section of the nearby WINCO filled with HQ protein had been vaporized, I would still write. I would eventually miss cheese.

To say I want to make money building teams who would work together to manifest the establishment-defying schemes in my head by redefining key elements which need to be redefined (OUR ENTIRE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM, for example) is not accurate. If I found myself in the above scenario, without even putting intention behind it, I would be figuring out the strengths and weaknesses of our ragtag team, discerning their motivations, and creating a plan working toward a sustainable and productive reality for all of us. The DNA of this plan assumes we do this in a way that we get to maximize our strengths and collaboratively solve our collective weaknesses. Naturally, I would be responsible for communications and systems. I wouldn’t require payment; it’s just how I would organically contribute to the whole.

To say I want to get paid for talking to people, making meaningful connections with their stories and the inner fears and desires that we all share… and for building communities of friends who support, protect, and bring out the unique value in each other is not accurate. This is simply the manner in which I approach life and people.

Before you start etching a plaque dedicated to my humanitarian principles, understand that it is my allegiance to ideas, systems and the ‘oh, goody, we have a puzzle to solve’ challenges that motivates me more than the actual people involved.

I might not even like them yet, but we need a place where we can be safe and learn to respect each other. The relationships can come later.

That’s what I’ve got so far.

 

Juggling Life’s Balls

There is this inner fear that all the universe except for me has figured out the answers to the questions I have—that my readers think as they read my pontifications on whatnot, “Wow, that’s pretty obvious—wonder why she isn’t getting that?” You know: that fear of looking foolish before the committee…

My puzzle-solving brain has taken these existential questions of identity, purpose, belonging, and alignment and used them to create a theory that helps explain the sense of tension that many of us feel in our meta-cognation about our lives. We have silos. A number of them which we try our best to manage: work / profession / financial / contribution; relationships / belonging / connecting / family / romance; logistics / errands / laundry; growth / reflection/ meditation / intention/ discovery / risk; intellectual / skill building / conversation / education;  health / recreation / sleep / food; identity / strengths / expression / choices. Not definitive categories but a general idea of how I’m shaping things.

And this is what I’ve found: very few of us have figured out how balance them all well at once. The word I use to broadly describe what I am trying to get at is alignment.

I, for example, am having a great year for discovery, experimentation, and friendship building. I have taken steps to force myself outside of my comfort zone with improv, life’s classroom on how to work and play well with others. My therapy and this class are getting me in touch with an emotional side that long lay dormant. I’m identifying what does and doesn’t work for me, but I have done so at the cost of my faith community and I could really use some income. Yet I am peaceful. I’ve had seasons of great investment in kids, financial security, and professional skills development during which time my marriage was imploding and I had very few if any well-tended soul connections; but the feeling of productivity was satisfying.

As I’ve been spending time intentionally meeting new people I find I’ve been applying their stories to my newly forming rubric, and the commonality appears to stand. For all of us: some things are clicking right along and some things are sucking wind. A female academic who loves the challenge of her work but wishes she had kids and could find work closer to family. A male academic who loves his discipline but because of his non-political support of open intellectual inquiry (a story embedded), cannot find a position—considering giving it his very specialized life’s work and what comes next? A former business woman turned educator with a passion for prepping kids for the work world smashing up against minimal funding and bureaucracy that prevents her from using real time IT tools; had to leave her home to find work—loves it theoretically though frustrated by being hamstrung and having to rebuild friendships in the new land. An artist who has figured out how to marry his love for performance with his academic bent, his work is gaining a buzz, but he’s still required to hodgepodge work together to pay the bills and may need to relocate overseas to take advantage of a really amazing opportunity. A married couple displaced by the lack of construction given opportunity to relocate and establish in another state; excited by the opportunity but it requires them to leave grandbabies behind. I’m gingerly avoiding the crazy relationship nuances that I’m aware of.

I might be telling your tale, and email me if you want me to remove you, but the point here is that the perfect blend of having emotional connection, satisfying work, and financial resources all at the same time seems somewhat elusive. Not for everyone, clearly, and part of this is our transformative economy, but I am batting around in my mind whether this tension most of us feel is just part of the human condition which requires us to be missing a piece or two at every turn, or if we are products of cultural steeping in some existential scarcity thinking that doesn’t really have to apply but more generally does.

The people I currently know who do have this worked out are from my online marketing academy. They have figured out how to leverage the internet for money and this allows them the time to pursue their other interests. Possibly I romanticize them because they have walked in the path I am taking and are leaps ahead, but there some commonalities on their lives’ outlooks which include clearly identified goals, reverse engineering of the action required to attaining those goals, the personal habits which support that action, and then the action itself.

They are entrepreneurial and because of their limber skillsets, they have figured out how to get resources coming in passively by providing great (largely automated) value to a large audience. They have mastered branding and value engineering and have scaled their efforts using IT. This frees them up to explore areas of passion while they build wealth. I think what is happening here is that I have written a justification to myself for why I really want to figure out how to do the same. The time flexibility, the opportunity to choose projects of interest independent of my need to exchange hours for fixed dollars appeals to me very much.

This post is about as organized as my head. No real conclusion. Just some noticing while I’m sitting here figuring out how to juggle life’s balls. Would be interested in YOUR thoughts…

 

 

 

Snakes, Panda Bears, the Damn Ocean, Team Sport

Putting it into practice:

A little backstory. In our neighborhood is crazy lady with the red plastic shoes. She (and her blind husband) swear that there is an exotic man-eating (certainly cat-eating) viper that has been let loose in the pond across from our neighborhood. I spent the better part of Saturday afternoon trying to be convinced to call animal control as though I had witnessed said snake to get them to come and take some action. Her calls appear not to be gaining any traction and she’s drafting for witnesses. I’m a little hesitant to believe her, not because of the red shoes, but because it’s pretty freaking cold outside, the snake grows by a foot a day, and her only other witness is her blind husband; nevertheless, I have stricken the path from the list of available bike rides for the children.Won’t I feel like a boob if someone gets bitten?

Giddy after my first official improv class, I hugged all my new best friends and hummed Kumbayah all the way back to my car. Figured out the fastest way to get back over the bridge, plotted my graduate degree and the ways I will market my eventual steeping in this new playland to parents and partners who want to learn to learn to be present for their special people and build dynamic interpersonal skills and to mid-lifers looking for an internal rehaul. The outline to the ebook is taking shape in my mental parking lot. Called today to see if I can stalk Instructor Brad to pick his brain about his anthropology degree, etc. Set a course for adventure and picked up my kids. It was about 10 by the time I retrieved them from some dear friends’ home. They were also wired.

Chloe has taken up residence on my Droid and is using navigation to find her way to and from school, her dad’s house, the Costco (train them up in the way they should go…).

We’re driving home and Chloe suggests someone write an app that can locate all animals in a known location, specifically poisonous snakes across the field from our house. Yes, and, right? “Hey, if you guys could locate any kind of animal on that thing, what would you look for?” What ensued was an improv session in which we all laughed until tears came down our faces. My tears came down my legs, but then those three humans shot out of there and stretched out the muscles on their ways through. We settled on Panda Bears which naturally took us to China; so it was China to which we drove instead of home. We hit the stop sign which was the ocean. Not even WE could drive across the ocean to China, so we sat there and cried. And lamented. It helped that no one was behind us. Matt said he wasn’t really eager to see a panda. We voted him off the island and began to cry again, this time because he couldn’t understand how desperately we craved the viewing of the panda.

They were flawlessly in character and laughing from the belly as we sat there at the edge of the world looking across the pond at China which remained just beyond our reach and stuffed with panda bears. We were in joy.

Chloe turned to me, “Did you learn that at your class tonight?” Did I learn how to turn the ride home into an pan-Asian zoological quest? I guess maybe I did, but I couldn’t have done it without them.