Friday, May 27, 2011

I'm BACK!!!

Finally!! I've been unable to log on here since Tuesday, and I was starting to go a little crazy! Now I've got to try to get caught up on my reading and my writing...with almost no free time today to do anything of the sort! So, just wanted to say I'm alive and well, and I'll do my best to catch up tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Who's Afraid????

#1 What are you afraid of? Write about your biggest fears.

My biggest fear? That's an easy one--losing my husband. Not in the "He's going to leave me for someone else" sense--he's too crazy in love with me for that to be a concern (and no, that's not conceit...that comes from what he says, how he treats me, and what he's put up with over the years. I am TRULY blessed!) What worries me is the possibility of losing him to cancer. You see, he had a bout with lung cancer about four years ago. It was a small spot, and removing half of a lung took care of it, with no radiation or chemo...and so far there's been no recurrence. But having to watch him go through that---just months after ten days in the hospital with pneumonia when I wasn't sure he'd pull through--made me realize just how much he means to me and just how impossible it would be for me to go on without him.

Between the pneumonia and the lung cancer, and a lot of lectures from his doctors, he was able to quit smoking, which lasted about six months. Then, for whatever reason, he started up again. He tried to hide it from me at first, and when I found out, I was devastated. I've cried, I've yelled, I've tried to make him understand my feelings, but to no avail. He continues to smoke, and I continue to hurt every time he goes outside to light up.

So I sit and wait, fearful that horrible disease will one day rear it's ugly head...and knowing that I'm still giving it power over our lives on a daily basis.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Books I've Read In May 2011

1) Private, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro...completed May 1, 2011

The police can't help you
Former CIA agent Jack Morgan runs Private, a renowned investigation company with branches around the globe. It is where you go when you need maximum force and maximum discretion. The secrets of the most influential men and women on the planet come to Jack daily--and his staff of investigators uses the world's most advanced forensic tools to make and break their cases.

The press will destroy you
Jack is already deep into the investigation of a multi-million dollar NFL gambling scandal and the unsolved slayings of 18 schoolgirls when he learns of a horrific murder close to home: his best friend's wife, Jack's former lover, has been killed. It nearly pushes him over the edge. Instead, Jack pushes back and devotes all of Private's resources to tracking down her killer.

Only one place to turn: Private
But Jack doesn't have to play by the rules. As he closes in on the killer and chooses between revenge and justice, Morgan has to navigate a workplace love affair that threatens to blow the roof off his plans. With a plot that moves at death-defying speeds, Private is James Patterson sleekest, most exciting thriller ever.

2) Plato And A Platypus Walk Into A Bar:Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes, by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein...completed 5/12/2011

Here’s a lively, hilarious, not-so-reverent crash course through the great philosophical traditions, schools, concepts, and thinkers. It’s Philosophy 101 for everyone who knows not to take all this heavy stuff too seriously. Some of the Big Ideas are Existentialism (what do Hegel and Bette Midler have in common?), Philosophy of Language (how to express what it’s like being stranded on a desert island with Halle Berry), Feminist Philosophy (why, in the end, a man is always a man), and much more. Finally—it all makes sense!

3) As Husbands Go, by Susan Isaacs...completed 5/19/2011

She may not be as brainy as her famous Manhattan plastic-surgeon husband, Jonah, nor as proper as his snooty rich parents. And she may be clueless about mothering, thanks to her wildly deficient Brooklynite parents (picture schlumpy, depressed Roz Chast characters), but nonetheless Susie loves her triplets, three rambunctious four-year-old boys. She also takes unabashed pleasure in her happy marriage, her floral design company, her humongous Long Island home, and her designer wardrobe. She may be shallow, as she’s the first to admit, but she does have heart. And ethics, even though she’s not sure what that means. And so when her husband is found stabbed to death in a prostitute’s apartment, Susie is devastated, skeptical about the open-and-shut case touted by the district attorney and her impossible in-laws, and determined to unearth the truth about Jonah’s killer. Her best ally turns out to be her glamorous renegade grandmother Ethel, a woman so cold she abandoned her daughter. But maybe Ethel is due for a thaw as these two queens of chutzpah and couture conduct a brazen investigation. Isaacs’ latest Jewish-gal-in-distress adventure purrs along perfectly––sharply funny, all-knowing, and marvelously diverting.

Total YTD: 20

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Finds

What great books did you hear about/discover this past week? Share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

Myths, Dreams, and Religion: Eleven Visions of Connection
Myths, Dreams and Religion: Eleven Visions of Connection, edited by Joseph Campbell

Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche
Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche, by Ethan Watters

Haven't read either of these yet, but they came up in book club last night.

A Constant Struggle

#1 I always struggle with…..

I always struggle with having confidence in myself and my abilities. It doesn't matter what I'm doing, or trying to do, I tend to have a negative attitude about it. It can be cooking, writing, or even parenting....I doubt myself at every turn.

I'm not entirely sure why this is, but I do have a theory. Growing up, nothing I ever did was good enough. No matter how hard I worked at something, I could have/should have done more.
I was not complimented on what I did, but disparaged for what I DIDN'T do. So these days I still hear those voices in my head as I go about my daily life.

This past weekend offers a very good example. It was youngest daughter's senior prom, and she asked me to do her hair for her. She described what she wanted, and we practiced it, so I felt ready to accomplish it on Saturday. Yet, when it was done, even though she said it was perfect, I felt that I'd let her down and that it should have looked better.

What this means in my every day life is that I don't always take criticism very well. I'm already being critical on myself, so when someone else has something negative to say, it goes straight to my heart and that voice says "See? I TOLD you that you're not good enough!" I've been trying for a couple of years now to work on blocking that voice, and substituting good thoughts....but it doesn't always work, unfortunately. Doesn't mean I won't KEEP trying, though!!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Random Thoughts On A Thursday

* Alaina Giordano--this North Carolina mom recently lost custody of her 11 year old daughter and almost 6 year old son to their father. The reason? She has stage 4 cancer, and the judge said "Since we don't know how long the mother has to live, it is in the best interests of the children to live with their father." Do ANY of us know how long we have to live, for pete's sake? And to compound the pain, Dad lives in Illinois, which is going to make it nearly impossible for mom and children to spend time together in whatever time she DOES have. Why not leave the children with Mom, where they've been their whole lives, with liberal visitation for Dad, at least until Mom gets to a point where she's not able to care for them? In my opinion, they deserve to have that time with their mother while they still can!

* Gaby Rodriguez--17 yr old girl in Washington State, she pretended to be pregnant for six and a half months, as her senior project. Her mother, boyfriend and principal knew what she was doing, but most of the world was in the dark. She's an aspiring social worker, and she felt that knowing first hand how a pregnant teen feels and is treated would help her in the future. She also said that she chose this project because of the high pregnancy rate among Latino teens. Her announcement that the pregnancy had been a fake was met with a standing ovation from the entire school. I think it was a great idea, and that it took a lot of strength and courage to follow through for that long. I also think it's cute that she chose to reveal the truth in time to be able to go to prom in a tight fitting dress! :) Hope she gets an A on her project, has a great time at prom, and a wonderful career as a social worker.

* Speaking of prom brings us to James Tate, a high school senior from Shelton, Connecticut. James, with the help of two friends, posted 12 inch high cardboard letters outside the school's main entrance where they were seen by everyone last Friday morning. The message was this: "Sonali Rodrigues, Will you go to the prom with me? HMU -Tate." HMU means hit me up, or call me. Sonali said yes (YAY!), but James and his two friends got a one day in school suspension (works for me) and BANNED from attending prom (BOO!!!). According to the headmaster of the school, the boys were trespassing and the sign constituted a safety hazard. Come on, now? Can't people recognize a romantic gesture anymore? And, as someone else has said this morning, at least he was smart enough to use removable letters instead of spraying his message on the side of the building! Here's hoping that the powers that be change their minds and let James and Sonali go to their prom.

* Casey Anthony--jury selection is still continuing even as I type, making this day 4. After watching a few boring hours on Monday, I decided to let it go until the actual trial starts, so I missed all the excitement on Tuesday. Apparently, a possible witness for the defense was called in as a potential juror, and spoke to several other potential jurors about details of the case. The judge was forced to dismiss her and 50 other potential jurors as tainted. So the trial has become something of a circus before it even officially starts...can't wait to see what ELSE is going to happen!!

High School Redux

This post is written from a prompt, provided here:

1.) If you had to go back to high school, how would you do it differently?

Well, first of all, let's be totally honest and say that I would never willingly go back to high school...not even for a million dollars, thankyouverymuch!!! But, if I absolutely HAD to do it, with no choice at all in the matter, there are very few things I would change.

The first thing that comes to mind is not quitting band my senior year. At the time, I had what I considered a valid reason. My parents, who had been chaperones for every away football game, marching band contest, or what have you over the first three years, separated at the end of my junior year. The idea of being in the band, and no longer having the two of them right there, cheering me on, was just more than I was able to deal with at that time.

I was hopeful that I could just ditch marching band, and still take part in symphonic band, jazz band and pep band. When I brought up the possibility to the band director, however, he responded that if he let me do that, "everyone" would want to do it. I hate to admit it, but I didn't handle that very well at all. I walked to the door of the band room, turned back to face him, and said "Then you can just go to hell!"

Looking back, I would love to have had the experience of being a SENIOR in marching band, and in band in general. I really missed a lot of fun times with friends because of my emotional choice. I've gotten over it after all these years, but sometimes I do still have that tinge of regret.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

WWW Wednesdays

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?

I'm currently reading "As Husbands Go" by Susan Isaacs. I'm getting through it a little quicker than my husband did, but it's still slow going at this point.

• What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished "Private," by James Patterson. He's one of my favorite authors, and his books are always good when I want a "quick read."

• What do you think you’ll read next?

Picking up "Crazy Love: Overwhelmed By A Relentless God," by Francis Chan from the library today or tomorrow.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Name

Topic #119: What is the story behind your given name? Bonus: Do a web search on your given name and write about what you find.

The personal story behind my given name is a rather short one. My mother wanted to name me Parthena, with no middle name, in honor of her best friend from cosmetology school--and then call me Par for short. (Yes, I've already thought of all the jokes that would have been made at my expense!) My father was very much against the idea, and came up with the name Teresa instead. My middle name is Dene (pronounced Dean), just like my mother's. Knowing what my name COULD have been has kept me from complaining--much--about the name I wound up being given.

Teresa \t(e)-re-sa as a girl's name is pronounced ter-REE-sah, ter-RAY-sah. It is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Teresa is late summer. Popular variant of Theresa. The first bearers of this name might have been from the Greek island of Therasia.


Gender: Feminine

Usage: Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Finnish, Polish, German, Scandinavian, English

Pronounced: te-RE-sah (Spanish, Italian, Polish), te-RE-zah (German), tə-REE-sə (English), tə-REE-zə (English) [key]

Cognate of THERESA. Saint Teresa of Ávila was a 16th-century Spanish nun who reformed the Carmelite monasteries and wrote several spiritual books. It was also borne by the beatified Albanian missionary Mother Teresa (1910-1997), who worked with the poor in Calcutta. She adopted the name in honour of the French saint Thérèse de Lisieux, who is the patron of missionaries.

The name Dene is of English origin and means "dean, ecclesiastical supervisor".

Dene, is generally used as a boy's name. It is pronounced Dene and consists of 4 letters and 1 syllable.

Last year it was not one of the top 1000 most popular U.S. boys names.

Dene is a variant spelling of Dean

Dene has no nicknames.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Maybe I'm Just Too Cynical

While it seems the entire country is erupting in celebration over the "death" of Osama bin Laden, my immediate reaction was "Prove it!" It all just seems so convenient and so easy....and I have all kinds of questions.

First and foremost, it takes 5 to 10 DAYS to get results in a DNA if they shot him last night, how do they already have DNA proof that it was him?

Second, I know about Islamic law and burial within 24 hours, and burial at sea makes sense to keep followers from turning a gravesite into a shrine. BUT...we got pictures when they found Saddam....where are the photos of Osama? Not only would this satisfy cynics like me, but also followers who will insist it's a lie, and might even use one of the "decoy bin Ladens" to make another video and "prove" to the world he's still alive.

Third...if this compound was so big, and so "palatial," how long has he been there, hiding in plain sight, and why didn't we know about it a long, long time ago?

Fourth...he's killed on the anniversary of the day it was announced that Hitler was dead? Coincidence? Not a fan of 'em!!!

It all just seems so convenient, so fast, and so "clean" an operation. There are just way more questions than answers, and I'll just have to hope that we get more information over time. Otherwise, I'll continue to be a cynic on this issue.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Maybe Someday....

The theme for NaBloPoMo in May is, fittingly, "Maybe," so I'll be posting occasionally on that theme for the next 31 days.

Maybe someday I'll understand why some people feel that there's only one right way to do things--and that's THEIR way. Maybe someday I'll understand how someone who proclaims their Christian faith loudly and often can be so judgmental of anyone and everyone who does things differently than they do. Maybe someday it won't hurt me when this person treats me, and my family, like she's so much better than we are. Maybe someday I'll find a way to tell her how it makes me feel, without anger and resentment. But until then, I'll keep my mouth shut, smile cheerfully each time I see her, and let it go at that. But I'll always be thinking "Maybe someday."
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