In hot pursuit of failure….


“If you are not failing, you are probably not trying as hard as you should be” – George Church

A simple concept brought to a new level and makes me kick myself for not thinking it first. This isn’t your run of the mill daily failure –  this is the – kicking ass and trying thousands of different ways to achieve your goal, knowing deep down in your mind and heart that it will work, it will.

I read this great article about George Church, Ph.D., with whom I had never heard of before because I do not run in those circles, but was just inspired (and a bit jealous) of the life he has lived to this point. The ups and downs, the so-called ‘breaks’ he thinks he has been given, the passion for science and discovery….

If you have five minutes I strongly recommend this read,  if just for the glimpse of what life has to offer every single one of us, just keep pursuing it, for it is the successes and more importantly the failures, that push us to greatness.

“I have not failed. I have found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison



There is a fine line between a woman ‘standing up for herself’ and being a ‘bitch’. I have yet to find that line but I am sure it exists; more often than not, I get the ‘bitch’ label. For those of you that have said it to my face (on many occasions), you can agree that my response has always been, and will always be: stop kissing up.

I have to say that my super-cranky reaction to a situation is just that; a reaction. I am by no means searching out scenarios in which to wield my highly explosive intolerance for stupidity.

The first (and most repetitive interaction) typically involves me waiting in line and getting cut off, as though I have hit my ‘stealth button’ and instantly became invisible. The millisecond response from me is always an unwaivering, ‘are you kidding me?!”  For some reason that seems to startle the offender and wakes them up to the fact that they are no longer on their lonely planet of “I” and must abide by the simple rules of society and it’s strongly recommended guidelines of ‘wait your friggin turn’.

There are times where adults are not pointing out their children’s misbehaving and I have to take things into my own hands. Example: at a college open house for Goose, potential students (17-18 yrs) and their parents are sitting in an amphitheater getting the background on the school and what they offer, finances, etc. and the three young miscreants with their mother were talking loudly and laughing throughout the whole seminar. It was not until the continuously full-blown kicking of my chair, did I spin my head faster than Regan from the Exorcist, and gave my, “are you kidding me??!!” to which the young men horrified, stood up and said they would wait outside. Good call because next comes the pea soup vomit while talking in tongues and no one wants that.

Other times, a good friend needs to have that certain someone on their side, that friend with a bit more bravado then they do. So… while in a Chinese restaurant with my friend (we will call her Shrink because she is one) and her boyfriend were sitting at a crowded bar, I hear a woman complaining to her boyfriend that Shrink is being loud and obnoxious. Really? We are sitting three people away in a packed bar and the only voice you can hear is Shrink laughing and telling stories. Hold the phone and call Oscar Goldman because a new Jaime Sommers is in town! (that’s a late 70’s reference for you kiddos) but I digress. I walked over to her and called her out on it, citing the fact that it’s a loud bar and there is no way she should be calling my friend names without provocation. As she turned to her boyfriend and started to curse about me, I kindly noted that I was not using profanity in any way and name calling wasn’t necessary… just apologize to my friend. The boyfriend stood up (a good 6 inches taller than me) and became aggressive to which I stood my ground and said that he was not part of the conversation, I was talking to his foul mouthed girlfriend. He then called me a bitch (yes I had to say, stop kissing up, it’s a natural reaction) and then he poked me in the shoulder a few times. I nicely reminded him that unwanted poking is considered assault and that seemed to warrant him screaming me a few other choice words but stopped the poking. No better way to show your pea-sized brain than to scream profanities; boring, yawn, over it.

So you see, I have been mislabeled and misunderstood my whole life. I will not be walked on or overlooked. I demand as much space in this world as the big jerks that seem to be taking over.

(P.S. if you know to whom I owe credit for this awesome intro picture please let me know!)

Army Ranger and so much more


It is with great displeasure that I write this post. What I wouldn’t give to have my brother back these 30+ years. To see whom he would have married, his children, his choices in life. But instead he chose one of the most unselfish ways to spend his short time here among us, he joined the Army and became an elite Ranger. Consequently he was killed during the second wave in a very small town, on a very small Caribbean island called Grenada, giving coverage to many American medical students forced to return home during a hostile political event.

A devastating time for my parents; to be told you will never see your child again, to never say good bye one last time, to say I Love You one last time. It’s one of those things we take for granted I think, saying I love you, taking for granted you will see or talk to the person tomorrow and remember ‘next time we talk’. Even saying it in passing is great to hear, but not quite the same as if you knew it would be the very last time…the very last time… heart breaking, devastating, it goes beyond that. There is just no word for the amount of empty left behind.

He was just a great person, not because he is no longer here and fond memories can sometimes overshadow the bad times, he was truly one of those people who would go out of his way for you to make sure you were happy, to help if he could, a kind and gentle soul and so very funny. He loved music, was artistic, and put up with his kid sister always tagging along when he just wanted to hang with his friends.

Ah, his friends, they were bountiful and from so many different crowds; neighborhood, school, church, sports, he fit into all the groups with ease because there were so many different levels of him to love. I could go on for pages giving him accolades, and all would be true, but I won’t.

Recently I have been given the opportunity to have him, and his unit, honored for years to come as I have been requested to submit his picture (shown above) to the National Museum, United States Army for a permanent exhibit in their halls. How proud we of him, how much we miss him every day, how I would give anything to change that day and have him back.


Good thing there was sparkling wine


Groupon, you have once again forced me out of my square and push me into a parallelogram instead; for that I should thank you.

Goose and I spend a few hours at Luke Adams’s Glass Blowing Shop and not only learned a little about glass manipulation but ended with a wearable piece of jewelry. Of course not without me first becoming stressed about which piece to make…earrings (post or dangling), bracelet (cuff or beaded), wine stopper, key chain… too many choices …and as the clock is ticking, a decision have to be made. I settle on the necklace, only to face my next mountain of artistic decisions, color, shape, size… curse you Groupon and your ‘Things to Do’ suggestions!!

Goose reminds me that this is supposed to be ‘fun’. Ok, deep cleansing breath, let’s see how much ‘fun’ we can have without checking me into the psych ward just a few blocks away. All the other ladies seem to be doing this with ease, laughing, creating, just another ‘Martha Stewart’ day for them…a few pieces of colored glass and voila, a stained glass window scene of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel (awesome, heavy sigh).

Another deep cleansing breath, no pressure, this is not a competition, it’s a fun day out with my daughter, spending time with one another, being inspired and supportive and hopefully look back to remember… who the hell am I kidding! Of course it is a competition! I cannot just look around at the other pieces without feeling some sort of one-upmanship!

I carefully choose my pieces, grab the cutting tools, glue and tweezers and go for it. Cautiously I place the tiny granules of color on the black piece of glass (living recklessly and not using a ruler to be sure they are precisely the same distance from one another) and then was reminded by the teacher that there is not another class due immediately so we can run over our timeslot (thanks but that albatross around my neck, totally not necessary)… and then… that’s it. I am done. Whew.

The instructor pops open a bottle of sparkling wine and says who would like a mimosa? Come on. Who doesn’t want a mimosa?!!

Well I have to say, it doesn’t suck. And Goose? I expected nothing less than a beautiful piece from her, just like her grandmother would do. She creates with 98% grace and 10% uncertainty (math joke) but always turns out wonderfully.

necklace1   bracelet
my finished necklace and Goose’s finished bracelet – pretty neat huh?!!

Who makes it happen? YOU make it happen…

Who makes it happen? YOU make it happen.

Guilty pleasure: The movie Working Girl is set in the 80’s, big hair, nylons-ankle-socks-sneakers, very heavy on the eye makeup, thick NY accent, and chunky jewelry. It doesn’t get much tackier but for some reason I fell in love with this movie. A very young cast of Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver (and a small part for  the up and coming Alec Baldwin!)

Anyway, the gist of the movie is that a young woman is a secretary with great ideas but because of the man’s world that she lives in, no one will take her ideas seriously so she bends the rules in order to advance her career.

It is always a good reminder to be told that ‘YOU make it happen’.

Example A. Prince Charming is not going to get a flat tire in front of your house, knock on your door to call AAA, and fall madly in love with you.  It didn’t happen back in the day and it won’t happen now; he has a cell phone to make the call.

Example B. You will not be in a club holding some stranger’s ponytail while she ‘sings’ into the ceramic bowl, only to find out she is a multi-millionaire and wants to hand you a check because you saved her from an embarrassing situation.

Example C. Chances of you sitting in the rail station swearing at your computer only to have Bill Gates approach you to fix the issue and offer you a job for six figures anyway is less than zero. (can I state a negative number here?)

You get the idea. YOU make it happen. Stop making excuses! Take a chance! Be uncomfortable and step out of that box. Whatever it is in this life, you have to take steps to make it materialize. A seed does not grow without water and sunlight… what makes you think you can sit back and just exist until someone decides to come along and water you? (figure of speech….stay with me…)

You have to network and go after that job, put yourself out there to find a date to share all the memories with, sign up at the local college and get that degree that has been put off for 15 years… YOU have to take that first step and make it happen. It doesn’t fall into your lap, no wishing or praying will make it magically appear, it is all up to you. You have more strength inside of you than you think.

No one said it would be easy, but easy is boring.. and no one likes boring.

In response to the Daily Prompt: Silver Screen

Take a quote from your favorite movie — there’s the title of your post. Now, write!

Euripides is one smart dude

“The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.” – Euripides

Wait a minute, back up, you have not fully digested that statement from Euripides yet… you are not ready to continue reading on…read it again, let it sink it… wow powerful stuff, right!

We all acknowledge balance in our lives is key, but maintaining it is so difficult. It reminds me of the game, Don’t Spill the Beans. The pot is on a rocking device and as the players take turns placing a single tiny bean, if not perfectly positioned, the pot tips over and all the beans come spilling out.

Isn’t this what we are facing every day? Racing around to get the kids to school, all of their extracurricular activities, working full time, paying the bills, etc. etc. only to go to bed and do it again the next day… the monotony of running at 4000 r.p.m.’s daily with very few attempts to step back and regain or restore the balance because it is what is expected of us or ‘we don’t have the time’.

There is a great power around us, and in us, I have no doubt about that, but what we choose to do with that power is what makes us great…makes us a better person….makes us find our balance, naturally and without force. Embrace the power and energy like a big hug! The power is in your mind, in your heart, in your soul, throughout every inch of your body, just waiting for you to tap back into it and release it… (hmmm maybe I am getting a little too sappy…negative or realistic?)

It is thought that what energy you send out into the world comes back to you threefold, so why not send out the positive?! We could all use a little more positive and happy in our lives. It can be something as little as telling a passerby, ‘love those shoes’, but acknowledging each other with a simple positive vibe seems to grow, it changes that person even for the slightest moment, and no, they may not respond back, (you shouldn’t expect anyone to, that is not why you are doing it and some looks you get will be priceless and make you smile even larger), and no they may not pass it along, (hey.. that is on them), so why not? It didn’t cost anything, it didn’t take any of your precious time from you… so… Why not sprinkle a little bit of happiness in your life and heart by sharing it with others, and improving your balance? Throw out the entire pot of positivity to those around you and see what sticks.

Do whatever it takes to find that powerful balance without excuse. Don’t let that ‘pot of beans’ spill before it is too late.


You never really know what you are made of until you are faced with the challenges and choices you fear.

When faced with life altering choices do you play it safe or look at it as an opportunity for more and chance it – let the ‘gods’ play with you (as it were) as if you were a chess piece in the game of life?

Am I being face with such an ordeal because I have had it too easy, too content, for too long and now life plans to give me a taste of what others have to deal with on a daily basis or is it a turn of events-the next new path to exploring and growing?

I read a book many years ago, it was called, The Reluctant Messiah (great read). In simple terms, it says to just let go… stop fighting the stream’s current, be the blade of grass that stops clinging to the rock, and let the flow of water and energy take you for the ride of your life.

Much easier said than done… or is it? When is it time to just let go? When do we have enough faith in ourselves that we will be happy no matter what comes into our lives?

I am currently faced with the proverbial fork in the road and can’t decide. Clinging to the rock is comfortable; I know where I stand, I know what is coming from upstream and how to handle it. At the same time it is exhausting to continue holding on so tightly and not let myself be tossed around against the stream’s rocks, logs, and occasional slimy frog.

When? When will I know it is time to ‘just.let.go.’ ?

Lady Godiva or Joan of Arc

The act of being completely naked in front of strangers; the fear dreams (or call it a nightmare) are made of. When the show Fear Factor was hot (years ago), walking down a small strip of street or just standing for a few minutes naked would have been my failure and losing the money (although meeting Joe Rogan would have been pretty cool).

Now? Well now I have grown into my skin and although I would be most uncomfortable, my inner strength from years past would allow me to not only voluntarily ride horseback through town, as Lady Godiva did, but not cower or try to cover up in the process (you want to take a look, God bless you and I hope you don’t go blind…).

Being naked, for most, is the utmost form of vulnerability; there is nowhere to hide… all of your blemishes, love handles, scars of many lives past are there in the open for all to see and for some admire, while others, only judge. A very difficult feeling to embrace and turn into a strength but I think I am finally there.

How do I compare Lady Godiva to Joan of Arc for my costume? Both were such strong females in their own way, doing what they knew was right… not what was easy. I try very hard to live by this and tell my daughter as well. The right way is typically the harder way. It challenges you to dig deep and make the decision to define who you are as a person– not so much to others, but to yourself.

Two different costumes with the same core message; one wears nothing while the other wears a suit of armor; both take the inner strength, fortitude, and on some level, bravery that I think I can now pull off.

Masks Off – the Daily Post

We’re less than a week away from Halloween! If you had to design a costume that channeled your true, innermost self, what would that costume look like? Would you dare to wear it?