Life

2018 Goals Check-in

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Back in January, I wrote out a lengthy list of things I wanted to accomplish or do better in 2018. I got myself a brand new fancy notebook (I definitely have a problem with buying notebooks and journals) and promptly lost it under a pile of papers and books to read. So much for getting organized! I dug it out last week to see what I wrote and how I was doing with it. Continue reading “2018 Goals Check-in”

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Life

The Philosophy of Kanye West

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Yesterday as I was perusing my Twitter feed and something weird kept popping up. Retweets of random messages from Kanye West. I am not a follower and I don’t subscribe to the whole Kardashian way of living so I was a little surprised by this.  How did these tweets make their way into my timeline? Why is everyone retweeting Kanye? Why did The Skimm’s top link today reference this tweet storm? Turns out Kanye is writing a book about philosphy. And guys, he’s doing it in real time on Twitter. I am questioning what kind of parallel universe I’m living in.

I like to go right to the source of things so I made my way over to his Twitter feed and clicked follow. Am I falling into a trap here? Thanks to my stint working in a newsroom, I think I have a healthy dose of cynicism skepticism and so immediately tried to discern a motive for his sudden interest in writing these brief tweets. Is Kanye’s philosophizing all about drawing eyeballs to himself? So he can sell more whatever? Albums. Clothing. Lifestyle. Page views. Some of the things he was saying seem to go against the entire grain of what the Kardashians seem to be about.

Continue reading “The Philosophy of Kanye West”

travel

Hola from Costa Rica

We are on day two of our Costa Rican adventure and while everyone is resting in the rooms, I decided to run downstairs and hop on the computer for a bit. I absolutely love our hotel, Hotel Presidente. It has a great vibe, is very eclectic and there are a bunch of little sitting areas in the lobby to just sit and enjoy the atmosphere. The computers were in use so I’m sitting on the coziest of leather sofas while I type this on my phone.

After a busy day, this is the kind of relaxing I like to do. There’s great jazzy music in the background but when I tried to find out what it was through Shazam, nothing came up. Today we visited the Irazu Volcano a couple hours outside San Jose. The weather was perfection. The forecast called for rain but we saw only clouds and blue sky. The roads here are bumpy and sometimes circuitous but our driver, Eduardo, handled them beautifully. As you can imagine, the ground around the volcano was ashy. We were at 13,000 feet elevation and the air took a little getting used to. The walk wasn’t long but by the time we headed back to the bus, my lungs were desparate for a break. After all the running I’ve been doing to get into shape, this felt a bit like a betrayal to me. Once back in the van, I was able to easily recover.

From there we wandered through a couple of towns. Easter week is a major holiday here and we saw a couple parades celebrating The Passion and it was very moving. We went into the Bascillica of Our Lady of Los Angeles to say a prayer since we are missing mass this week due to heading to the jungle tomorrow. Then we were on our way to a hot spring for the afternoon. It was beautiful and relaxing and they fed us a wonderful traditional Costa Rican meal. Not sure if I’ll be able to eat again today.

Better go check on the troops! Adios until we meet again.

MC

Writing

Coffee house writing

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Coming to you this morning from a new (to me) Starbucks. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve stopped into a coffee shop such as Starbucks, on my own, to sit down. I don’t know if this is a cliche but I feel like I’m always reading that this is where writers hang out to write and as I look around I don’t really see any writer types.

I wonder what everyone is doing here on a Friday morning during normal “working hours”. The comfy chairs are all taken (I was fortunate enough to nab the last one!) and the tables with singles here and there are all in use, laptops open. Free internet browsing? Something to pass the time? People watching (like me)?

I have to say, it’s quite loud here. I don’t know if that’s typical for Starbuck’s with high exposed ceilings or just this location. I’ve never looked up before. It’s a good sized location, about twice the size of the one near my house. It’s also in a strip mall twice the size of the one near me. I do a disservice, I guess, by calling them strip malls since the stores in these malls cater to the upscale shopper (fine dining, fur coats, fancy clothes and jewelry alongside a pharmacy, post office and dry cleaner). This particular shopping venue is near my doctor’s office where I just came from.

Continue reading “Coffee house writing”

travel

Blue skies above

Today is supposed to wrap up my Florida vacation but a storm in New York may keep me here for a couple more days. Jim has sent me a picture of our snow covered cars along with the news that school has been canceled. I have refrained from responding with a picture of my blue sky above. I guess I wouldn’t mind being stranded here a couple more days while the snow sorts itself out.

This is my cleaning day here. Time to do the laundry, run the dishwasher, vacuum and clean the bathrooms. Unfortunately, I don’t know whether I won’t be flying in the morning so I’ll have to do all this “just in case”. It’s ok though because cleaning this house is a piece of cake because we don’t have a lot of stuff here and I’ve been keeping it up as I go.

Continue reading “Blue skies above”

Life

An unexpected funeral

Vacation can certainly get you off your schedule. As I mentioned previously, my dad likes to go to daily mass so the two things I planned to do in the morning have gotten lost in the shuffle: writing and exercising. This morning there was a funeral as part of the daily mass so that was interesting. It’s the second random funeral we’ve attended in Florida. Last year on the anniversary of my mom’s passing we also attended a stranger’s funeral at daily mass.

For today’s funeral, we sat in the front across from the family. The person’s ashes, photo and a dozen roses were on a small table in front of the altar and I had a pretty good view of everything, especially the deceased woman’s photo and she looked to be in her early 60’s if the photo was recent.

Continue reading “An unexpected funeral”

Life

I am the Rube

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I grew up in a town of about 8,000 people, nestled in a quiet corner of the Adirondacks in upstate New York. It wasn’t always quiet because a major battle was fought between the British and Americans here in 1777 at Fort Ticonderoga. The details are a bit sketchy since I’ve been away so long and school is many years behind me, but my grandmother and mother spent many years working there.

From the time I was in high school, I knew I wanted to get away. I managed a few trips to New York City with my dance school and something about city life was very enticing to me. I applied to schools all over when I was looking at colleges: Boston, MA; Providence, RI; Albany, NY and a couple in small towns like the one I grew up in. I was all over the board with what I wanted to be “when I grew up”. I went from wanting to be an interior designer to working in fashion to being a chef or an author.

Continue reading “I am the Rube”

Life

Blogging from Bed

I don’t have any inspiring words tonight except for these: listen to your body. Mine is beat tired after two days of skiing but I insist a blog must be written in keeping with my promise to myself to try to blog every day in February.

The snow was exceptionally rough today. Me, a friend and our 11 year olds took the lift and I was feeling quite excited so I suggested grabbing the next lift to the top (you have to ski a ways to get to it). There was a bit of miscommunication and I lost them 5 minutes into our run. I was lagging behind and fell (the snow was dense and ungroomed – not that I need a reason to fall) and by the time I righted myself they were gone and hadn’t noticed I was no longer with them.

I went to the bottom instead of the other lift and waited a while to see if we could reconnect. I decided to go back up and try to catch them at the other lift. Again, they were nowhere to be found. I looked up and the mountain had no visibilty at the top but since it had been my idea to go up I decided to take the lift on my own (well with a fellow skier/stranger) and by the time we were halfway up I knew it was a very bad idea. It was fairly treacherous and I managed to make it down with one wipeout and a couple falls which I considered to be a success! I skied right back to the lodge and decided to read for the rest of the afternoon.

My body is beat up and so here I am blogging in bed with the Olympics, a snoring husband and snoozing cat as company.

Hope you had a great day.

MC

Life

Organizing the family for the slopes

Today is turning into one of “those” days. When things keep going amiss. Typically we ski every Saturday once the snow starts coming but it’s been hit or miss this year with it either being too cold (below 0 plus windchill) or too warm (60 degrees and rain). This week is cold but if you dress right it should be OK.

One of our biggest challenges is getting out of the house “on time” by 7:30 because it’s a two hour drive to the mountain. In years past, we’ve skiied at a place within an hour’s drive so it was not a big deal if we didn’t get out of the house until after eight. But getting out of the house never happened without a meltdown (I won’t name names), missing gear (once I forgot to pack Liam’s snowpants – expensive mistake) and threats of calling the whole thing off (again, no names).

So this year I vowed to be different. Organization would be key. Making sure we had every bit of gear and then some. Extra gloves, warm socks and baclavas. Ski pants (dry), boots, poles and skiis. And then there’s the food which is a very big part of the whole enterprise (unless you want to spend a fortune in the lodge cafe which we prefer not to do). The must have things like paper plates, plastic ware, knife and ciutting board (for the fruit and cheese). Paper towels, crackers, chips, etc, etc.

In years past I’d throw random things in reusable shopping bags, but we really upped our game and got the Scout BJ carrier bag which fits everything quite nicely. It tends to be pretty heavy but we have most everything someone in the group needs.

I packed everything yesterday and since there wasn’t skiing last night, I didn’t have to contend with the extra step of drying out our clothes, gloves and other gear. That was a huge help. And yet, at 7:20 a.m. no one was near ready to go and we almost reverted back to our behavior of past years. Truthfully, I’m the biggest problem here because I have very little patience in the morning, especially since I did most of the orgazational work. Can you sympathize with me on that?

Eventually, i told myself to relax since it’s not like we were under mandate to leave the house at 7:30 and then all was good. We made it to the mountain just a few minutes after our friends and had a wonderful day on and off the slopes.

As a side note, I thought I’d try daily blogging in February to get back into a writing rhythm.

Hope your day was great!

Liam and I after a day of skiing

MC

Writing

Catching up

I wanted a coffee in the worst way this morning. Part of my healthier eating routine is to forgo coffee due to the cream and sugar I use but since I had a bowl of ice cream last night, I’m pretty sure I’m not doing so well with it. So I thought I’d just cheat a little and have that coffee but someone has my back because we are nearly out of cream and the expiration date on it is tomorrow. I bought this cream before I gave up coffee (around Christmas) so I’m not about to drink something that’s about to go off. Tea it is.

And so every time I sit down to write on my day off, I’m greeted by this face. You can imagine this presents a bit of a problem. He is puzzled why I’m not going to play with him all day instead of doing boring human things.

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All I had to do was give him a treat and he happily goes to the kitchen to gnaw away on it. If only life was so simple for all of us.

Continue reading “Catching up”