Author Archive

September 1, 2013

Well, That’s News To Me!

by Lorna's Voice
The crackerjack AARP online newsletter team, waiting for the assignments and their Ensure.

The cracker jack AARP Online Newsletter Team, waiting for their assignments and their Ensure.

I signed up for the AARP online newsletter. Whoo boy, they sure produce lots of newsletters. They must have an army of tech-savvy senior citizens hopped up on Ensure cranking these suckers out, or they are using my annual dues to pay otherwise unemployed teenagers hopped up on the hormones I lost a long time ago to push these puppies out.

Either way, I gets lots of news. And I’m the type of person who likes to share.

Under the headline: Eleven Things We Didn’t Know Last Week, I learned some smackdoodle stuff. I’m not going to share all original 11 with you because I have some of my discoveries I want to share.

1. The legendary Linda Ronstadt “can’t sing a note” anymore. That’s kind of snarky to point out, don’t you think? I mean she’s pushing 70 and has Parkinson’s Disease. I know a lot of young “singers” these days who have to speak/shout more than sing because they can’t carry a tune in a barf bag. Not that I’m being judgmental.

2.  A baldness drug could stop 175 jumbo jets full of men each year from getting prostate cancer. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near the convention where all those planes of drugged-up bald men are headed.

This seems like a much safer cure for male-pattern baldness. A bit bulky, but men do like to sit and read the paper...

This seems like a much safer cure for male-pattern baldness. A bit bulky, but men do like to sit and linger while reading the paper…

3. With their brains “linked” via the Internet, a scientist controlled the movements of a colleague blocks away. I wonder what they made him do? Scientists have a strange sense of humor.

4. I made precisely zero progress on my novel. Can writers call themselves writers when they don’t write? When a tree falls in the forest, is it still a tree or is it mulch?

5. The Oxford Dictionaries Online gave new meaning to Anthony Weiner’s selfies and Miley Cyrus’ twerking. I’m all for wordmorphogenesis. Heck fire, language is a living thing–words die, new words are born. If that didn’t happen, how would we feed all the world’s words? I just wish some of my made-up words would catch on. I guess I’m not famous or naughty enough. Yet.

That looks more like a Slinky to me. Jay seem to be enjoying whatever it is.

That looks more like a Slinky to me. Jay seem to be enjoying whatever it is.

6.  New atomic clocks made from ytterbium measure their accuracy in terms of quintillions — that’s 1 followed by 18 zeros. That sounds like something I would make up, but I didn’t.

7. Two tomato plants can produce enough tomatoes to make you wonder why Mother Nature is such a prankster. I’ve eaten so many cherry tomatoes that my electrodes are starting to corrode. If I don’t have electrodes, I’m probably confused, which is probably a symptom of tomato juice running through my blood vessels rather than blood. I’m pretty O+ about this.

8. When it comes to technology, the U.S. Supreme Court “hasn’t really gotten to email.” I don’t think they like to talk to each other, period.

Don't feel bad, we can't even name each other.

Don’t feel bad, we can’t even name each other.

9. The Federal Government Grants Department and the Federal Grant Association don’t give out grants. Yup. Makes perfect sense to me.

10. A New Hampshire man was arrested when police recognized his reflection in YouTube videos he posted describing his indoor marijuana farm. You just never know when your video will change your life. Gotta love You Tube.

11. I won’t be posting around here on Sundays any more. At least not for a while. I have a novel to finish–the one I’m writing and the one I’m reading.

This was my totally round-about way of saying good-bye to you. Bet you didn’t see that one coming!

I'm a really good hugger, too, but we're not close enough for that, so the wave will have to do.

I’m a really good hugger, too, but we’re not close enough for that, so the wave will have to do.

It’s been fun, but you’re writers, so you know. Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, writers gotta stop finding ways to procrastinate. And write. I’ll be keeping up my blog over at Lorna’s Voice, so if you really miss me, you can find me over there.

Take care and all the best on your writing projects! And you never know when I might make a come back…

Okay. So I don't have his swarthy good looks, but if he can make a successful comeback, I sure can.

Okay. So I don’t have his swarthy good looks, but if he can make a successful comeback after all the shenaniganery he’s pulled, I sure can.

August 25, 2013

I never said I was perfect, did I?

by Lorna's Voice
Sometimes I think I need my head examined. Then I think that it's best not to go there.

Sometimes I think I need my head examined. Then I think that it’s best not to go there.

You’ve often heard me describe myself as a Buddhist.

You may have some preconceived notions about what Buddhism is and what it means to be Buddhist. I sure did before I actually learned something about the practice.

Here’s what I thought being Buddhist meant before I became one:

1. You had to give up all attachment to material possessions.

2. You were in a constant state of serenity.

3. Your life would be simple, thus without stress.

I had no idea how all this would happen, but it sounded great to me. Sign me up! Tell me what I have to do or buy to achieve enlightenment and send me on my way.

Hey, I'll do whatever to be a Buddhist. But can I be the one in the middle? I don't float so well. You don't have to float to be a Buddhist, do you?

Hey, I’ll do whatever to be a Buddhist. But can I be the one in the middle? I don’t float so well. You don’t have to float to be a Buddhist, do you?

Like all neophytes, I was so far off base that I wasn’t even in the ball park.

I can’t go into what Buddhism is in on one blog post. Heck, people spend their whole lives studying one aspect of the Buddha’s teachings. Suffice it to say that as a Buddhist, you aspire to remember that:

1. Nothing is permanent (thus attachment to anything–material things, ideas, relationships–will inevitably bring suffering).

2. While the Buddha offered his teachings as a way to end suffering, he also said the there will always be suffering because we are human and seem to create the opposite of serenity in our lives by continually wanting things to be something other than what they are.

3. Buddhists practice relentless self exploration, which, believe me, is stressful. Rather than turning away from pain or unpleasant emotions, we turn toward them–examine them (through meditation and self-reflection). Taking an honest look inside yourself is an act of courage that most people find too difficult to face. They would rather zone out with TV, inebriants,  sports. Any escape will do.

The practice is as elegantly simple as it is astoundingly complex: be present for each moment, pay attention to what is happening in that moment, and make the most skillful choice in thoughts, words, and deeds that will result in making you feel less miserable.

Buddhists don’t believe they are better than anyone else; they are keenly aware that they are continually screwing up. That’s because they pay attention.

Case in point.

Yesterday I was stressed. I’m refinancing my home and have been getting all kinds of emails for documents I must provide. My filing system falls somewhere between Okay and Are You Kidding. I bought my home under my married name and then had it legally changed back to my maiden name when I was divorced. This confuses refinancing people. They need proof that I am who I say I am and I’m not who I not longer am. Confusing, eh?

Huh? Say again. Just to hear you say it, not because I'll understand it.

Huh? Say again. Just to hear you say it, not because I’ll understand it.

 

You would think I would have copies of those papers and know right where they are.

Oh, hell! I can't even find the boxes with the files in them.

Oh, hell! I can’t even find the boxes with the files in them.

But I don’t. So I was searching frantically for those blasted documents cursing the day I agreed to take my ex-husband’s last name. I never wanted to and just did it because he guilted me into it.

I was elbow-deep in papers reminding me of the hoopla around my separation and divorce, when my wonderful Philip came through the door. I didn’t even look up or say “Hi!” to greet him. I was that wrapped up in my quest to be frustrated.

Finally he got my attention by saying, “Look, Lorna. I got something for you.”

I turned around and there he stood–this big handsome guy–with a bright, big sunflower (stalk and all). He was holding it like a little boy holds a flower he just picked for his mom. He said, “I wanted to pick you the biggest flower I could to show you how much I love you.”

Well, he actually looked more innocent than this little kid does.

Well, he actually looked more innocent than this little kid does.

What did I do? I said, “Wow. I sunflower.” And then I turned back to rifling through those darned papers.

Yeah. I know.

It gets worse. He proceeded to find a vase to put it in. I offhandedly said, “You’re not actually putting that thing in here are you?” Yup. That’s what I said.

So, typically, sunflowers are not found in most indoor bouquets.

Typically, sunflowers are not found in most indoor bouquets.

“It reminds me of you: bright and happy and beautiful.”

“Whatever.” I actually said that.

When he finished putting the flower in a vase, he sat with me and helped me sort through the pile of papers. He wasn’t upset. He was his normal, even-tempered, happy self.

Later in the day, I admired the flower and apologized profusely for not being present for that moment of sweetness. I missed a magical moment with the man of my dreams. And I told him. He understood. Of course he did.

One of the things about Buddhism that I find so comforting is that it is a forgiving practice. Simply noticing that I wasn’t present and that I didn’t handle that moment skillfully is better than not noticing at all. And there is always this moment to practice the principles. And it is a humbling practice.

I have a long way to go, but this moment is all that really matters. That’s Buddhism for you.

There it is. My reminder of what a gift my life with Philip is and a bright, sunny reminder to stay present.

There it is. My reminder of what a gift my life with Philip is and a bright, sunny reminder to stay present…and humble.

August 18, 2013

It’s “Fun With Captions” Time!

by Lorna's Voice
I'm so frazzled that I can't tell my kibbles from my bits.

I’m so frazzled that I can’t tell my kibbles from my bits.

Have you been working too hard?

Are you feeling burned out?

Do you need a little levity to, well, levitate you?

I think this little tyke has had about all the levity the law allows.

I think this little tyke has had about all the levity the law allows.

Well, then. You’ll be glad you dropped by here today!

This post is short (leaving you time to move on to other things that sorely need your attention) and will hopefully bring a smile to your face (which might improve your mood or at least your face).

Which caption do you like best for the following picture?

head down in water

1. “I’m not sure this water yoga class was such a great idea.”

2. “Perhaps I should have paid more attention to the hang-glider’s instructions.”

3. Solo Synchronized Swimming in shallow water: the next Summer Olympic sport sensation?

Don’t like any of these? Fine! Offer up one of your own captions in the comments sections. I double-dog-dare you!

Just remember who you're  dealing with, People...

Just remember who you’re dealing with, People…

 

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