Saturday, Saturday, Saturday

I went to the gym for the early Saturday workout today at 7:30. Then I went to meet my mom and a friend to help remove and dispose of the Christmas wreaths that had decorated all the graves at the Houston National Cemetery for US Veterans. It was really neat, and there were loads of people there to help. (I even got to see the spots for an old family friend and my current housemate’s/host’s grandfather.)

Then I had food and goofed around with the baby for a while before finally showering and taking a needed nap before tonight. Then I went to our rodeo committee’s social, collected some tasty barbecue that I’ll eat tomorrow, danced with a friend to live Kevin Fowler music, and then rushed into downtown to attend another live concert – but this one was unknown to me until this morning: Elton John.

There is so much I could say about this man, this master of his art, but I will keep it short here: I grew up with this man already being a legend to me. He was unreachable status, and I never even considered one day attending a concert of his – it just wasn’t going to happen, so my brain didn’t even give itself the time to be sad about it. And then, at the gym this morning, someone invites me to go with her, and she states clearly that she won’t have me pay her for my ticket. She just didn’t want to go alone, and her friend had bailed on the concert. I was absolutely delighted to step in for the drop-out this time(!!!). The concert was fabulous. This man is about to turn 75 (on 25 March). This was his 20th concert in Houston, Texas, the first having been in 1971. He can’t sing really high anymore. He hobbles slightly with his walk. He wore two sparkly suits – one all white with a Long tail and a red snake on the back, and one like his famous red checkered blazer (super sparkly, though) – and then a pink lounge-y kimono with a sparkly butterfly on the back, which he eventually took off to reveal a sparkly red and blue track suit. He changed his glasses twice, but all three pairs had rose-colored lenses. He wore his iconic right pointy earring. He plays piano like on the record albums. His spirit is evident in everything he plays and in every arm thrust and body shake he does. And, get this, he gets up from the piano after every song, (sometimes walks around bowing and encouraging folks to cheer and make noise a bit) shuffles to a little table/stand behind him, spits in a bucket, takes a sip of water, and then shuffles back to the piano and sits back down.

I am extremely grateful for this lovely opportunity, in addition to the beautiful blessing that has been the works and passion and gracious giving and sharing of Elton John’s art. Thank you, Good Sir, for all you do and have done. And thank you, God and Universe, for letting me be part of this glory tonight. May we be blessed with such love often in our lives, and may Sir Elton John truly feel the loving gratitude so much of the world has for him. Amen.

One of my favorite songs ever is “Crocodile Rock”, which he played, of course. But he sang way low for the “la”s, and it was adorable and awesome!
Beautiful concert. And all the better for not having massive screens to distract us from just seeing him and listening to the music and the feelings thereby evoked.

P.S. He said that “Your Song” was his first hit in 1972. Is that right, or did I mis-hear him? Perhaps it released in 1970… But, also, that was 50 years ago. FIFTY YEARS, and his music and performances are still amazing. Thank you, Sir!

Post-a-day 2022

(Barely!)

Embracing the unexpected

Today was the Houston Marathon. Chevron sponsors it now, so, really, it is titled the Chevron Houston Marathon. But I digress. I knew various people doing the half marathon, but I cared most about one family friend who was doing the marathon. This would be his 137th marathon. Last time, I had surprised him near the finish line, cheered him on, and then had lunch with him at one of his favorite restaurants. I aimed to do the same today.

However, I kept checking the tracking system, and he never showed up. Everyone I had been tracking for the half marathon had already finished, and he had yet to begin the race, so far as his tracker chip was concerned. At first, I had expected he might have started late, just because he felt like it, and maybe wanted it a bit warmer. He isn’t going for time, after all; just completion. But, when they were all done and he was nowhere to be found, I had kind of given up on going to see him finish. It didn’t seem he was doing the race after all.

Around noon, I checked my phone one more time, mostly out of habit, but also just in case. To my great surprise – and yet not – he was on there! And not only as having just begun, but at the 18.7 mile marker! I didn’t know what had happened for all the previous checkpoints – perhaps he somehow skipped the mats each time -, but he was certainly on there now. When he hit the next marker, I gauged his timing and got my things cleaned up from cooking, so I could head downtown. I wasn’t sure how traffic or road closures would be, but I had a rough plan that would get me there just in time. Dreadful traffic on the 45S exit changed everything, of course, and I had to change to the backup plan. Turns out, the backup plan should have been the original plan. But, nonetheless, I got to my goal, parked the car, and sprinted to the course.

Long story short, though the tracker estimated that he was not yet to where I was standing, he was just passing out of the intersection as I had arrived to it, ironic as that is. I had a feeling he might have been one of two guys I’d seen over there, but I gave the tracker some faith and waited a couple minutes. However, after two minutes, I was sure that he had to be past me already. Even the tracker said so.

So, I then ran toward the finish line, spirits still high, hopes still up. Alas, I never caught him as I ran alongside the course.

So, I sent him a text. Modern technology is helpful at times, after all.

He called me back, wondering what I was up to, and he was blown away to find out that I was there. We met at an easy point, and I was congratulating him when, suddenly, he tells me that he isn’t finished. ‘What do you mean?’ I ask. Turns out, he is doing the virtual race. He didn’t want to be in massive crowds, so he opted for virtual, started from home when he felt like it, and just joined the course for the last part of the course. However, he ‘finished’ the race at only about 11 miles. He had merely hit pause at the finish line, walked through the convention center, and was wondering what to do with the glass finisher’s mug that had been given to him.

Well, he gave it to me as a present. And he gave me his extra shirt, so he wouldn’t have to carry it for a while. Then he said he’d meet me for lunch in about half an hour.

But, the way he was going and the direction I had parked aligned for a while. So, I ran with him… carrying the glass stein and his extra shirt, of course. Since he was doing the virtual race, and he had turned it back on, we realized that, silly as it may sound, I was running in the virtual marathon with him. Because I was!

And I have the commemorative mug to prove it. ;P

We eventually parted ways, and then met back up for a quick lunch (a quick body charge and phone charge for him!), and he continued on his way home and finishing his marathon.

How silly, right? I knew a good little run would be helpful for me today, what with all the intense muscle soreness that was showing up last night – I seriously had some trouble sleeping, because I was so sore. I hardly expected to end up running a couple miles in the actual marathon. 😛 What a lovely surprise. And I still got to cheer him on while he ran, and multiple times. So, that was really cool. He had always wanted me to run a marathon with him. Now, I kind of have! Haha

Thank you, God and Universe, for the surprising love and joy of today. Thank you. Amen.

Post-a-day 2022

(Yep, still got it wrong…)

Gratitude, unbidden yet ever-welcome

And then, one day, you receive a letter in the mail – well, more like a trim-folded piece of notebook paper – that reads, “We sold our company! This non-taxable gift is a token of our appreciation for everything you have done for us and for being down with us through the years[…]” And, what’s placed within that once trim-folded piece of paper? A check for ten thousand dollars.

Dear God and Universe, might I have something fabulous like that happen in my life? Help me, please, to make such a difference in the lives of those around me that they would want and be able to give such a token of gratitude to me one day. Bless them so abundantly through me, please. Help me to be Your love fully. In Your name I pray. Amen.

Post-a-day 2022

(Barely got it right)

BruiseFit much?

It’s only been about a week and a half that we have been gym-ing…

I’ve attended eight classes in the past nine days, taking two days off over the weekend…

Today, throughout the day, I kept finding new marks and bruises on various parts of my body…

I have no idea when or how specifically I obtained these bruises – the cuts and scrapes I know – but I am guessing that they all have the same locational origin: the gym.

I wonder how many more I’ll find tomorrow, and how much worse the already found ones will be…

As for the most recent discovery just barely below my elbow, on my back arm, directly where I usually place my arm onto a desk or a table (That’s how I discovered it in the first place, putting pressure on it via a tabletop, and suddenly withdrawing in pain.) it has already gone 3-D since I first discovered it.

Yikes…

What a life this is… 😛

Post-a-day 2019

Get a handle

I broke my new (to me) car today.  Okay, well, a part of it.  The car was parked on a street whose sides really sloped downward – and I mean a lot.  When I went to open the driver door, after unlocking it, the door opened just slightly, before my hand flew towards me, and the door slammed back shut.  The handle had broken.

And so, at least until I find a bonding agent – aka glue – that will hold well enough to stick the broken underside of the driver handle into place – hey, I wonder if that’s the issue with the other door – , I’ll have to do what I did this afternoon and tonight, and enter my vehicle from the passenger front door, because now both doors on the driver side won’t open from the outside (but the back seat door came that way when I received the car, so that wasn’t my doing).

Add that to the duct tape, and I am an image in blue 2002.

I mean, talk about ghetto – I’m getting there faster than ever anticipated (which was never!).  Haha.

Post-a-day 2018

Satisfaction… at last

Tonight, going to bed, I feel fulfilled.  Typically, I have this feeling of needing to go do something before I can end my day.  I am angsty and somewhat agitated by the late afternoon, and I feel this pull from somewhere inside of me, but I can’t ever quite figure out how to follow it, how to satisfy the desire within.  I notice right now that I almost didn’t even feel a pull to write anything tonight – that’s how satisfied I am with my day.  It was fabulous, and so I can sleep easily, without anything else happening first.  And I love writing, so that’s saying something.

Kids were unintentional rude in classes today, ignoring my pleas for quite voices, so that I could be heard with my pained, achy throat barely able to choke out words.  I let them spend the time with an activity for their own benefit, and most of them ignored it or didn’t care enough about their own education to attempt the activity, which was disappointing.  A few really took it on, and some decided it was time to talk with me about anything and everything in my life, while I showed them how to do some of the work.  It was an odd balance of awesome and disappointing, combined with my throat being slightly consumed by a low-grade fire.

After school, I chatted with a few teachers from my own high school, plus a friend who now teaches there.  That was amazing in and of itself.  Add to it that I met up with a friend for tapioca tea afterward, and my day continues to improve.  We ended up having dinner with the teas, and then she invited me to join a hip-hop class with her.  Neither of us has ever been very good or experienced with hip-hop, but we love dancing, and we both have strong partner dance backgrounds.  I have wanted to do hip-hop classes ever since my best friend and her husband started doing some over in England a few years back, because she is just plain awesome, and it is always a good idea to strive for her level of awesome.  So I got to be cool like my bestie tonight, and turned out to be actually kind of good at the routine, too.  The teacher even came specifically to my friend (not my best friend, but the friend with whom I had gone to the class) and me, and told us that she wanted us to join her team.  (Note: Seeing as we were just discussing before the class how we hadn’t been involved in anything dance since moving back to the US (we both just returned from living in Asia), we are genuinely considering this hip-hop team idea.)

Now, I am home.  I snacked on some leftovers from dinner, chatted briefly with my mom, and have just showered.  I am tired, but in a really good way right now – I am satisfied.  I don’t know how else to word it.  I am just satisfied, which is something, I now see, that I usually am not at the end of the day.  As I said to my teacher friend earlier this afternoon, I need interaction with non-teenagers.  I get so much teenager interaction, and very little of anything else… and I need more than just interaction with teenagers, no matter how wonderful they are or how much we may love one another.  And, tonight, I got that other interaction, plus involvement in something (the hip-hop class) and exercise.  That is a really, really good combination.  Now to see how to keep this up, happening much more often than once every three months.

Post-a-day 2017

It really is all relative

Tonight, I was reminded of a girl I met, while I was living in Toulouse, France.  She was in school (high school, I believe), and doing a temporary internship at the place where I was doing my volunteering.  She was from a small country that was at war (and it might still be, but I haven’t kept up with the news).  She had a boyfriend and a baby of her own, in addition to a younger sister, I believe.  She taught me much.

What I was discussing with my mom tonight is how relative things are in life.  Just as in Aesop’s last fable today, with the bunny rabbits about to drown themselves in their exhaustion of living in fear, and suddenly discovering the frogs at the pond afraid of them, causing them to realize that someone had it worse off than they did, so is life.  No matter what one’s struggles and turmoils, there’s always someone worse off.  And I feel like our turmoils and struggles are saddening next to the real turmoils and struggles of other parts of the world.  This girl spoke to me about her country of origin, and how they moved to France.  And, when she spoke about it all, it were as though she were telling me about a class project, or how she went grocery shopping yesterday.  Those, however, were not the subject matter.  What I remember most of her story, is how people broke into her house one day/night, beat up her parents (and possibly her, too), and then took her father.  Her family tried offering money as a ransom for her father’s return, but no information was even received regarding her father – they never found out if he even was alive or dead, or who had taken him.  Just some men, she’d said.

I mean it that it were as though she were telling me about what she did yesterday after work/school.  She was not sad in her words, nor was she hauntingly depressed in her eyes or spirit.  She was living life as I was, and merely sharing about something.  ‘Yeah, I don’t know where Josh went after dinner, but he left.  We called him, but never got a response.  Maybe he went home, instead of coming for coffees with us.’  That’s was the easiness with which she spoke – no premeditation or practice.  It was just what’s so, and so that was how she told it.

I say a prayer for the world tonight.

Post-a-day 2017

A hug of love

Tonight, at an event, I came across a student whom I taught for a grand total of eight days, and whom I haven’t seen since those couple months ago.  When she saw me, her delight was noticeable instantly, and her desire to hug me was almost palpable – she was almost shaking with the anticipation and desire, similar to a puppy wagging its tail as it waits desperately to be pet and loved on by its human.  When she saw that I was okay with her hugging me, we hugged.  It was a real hug, and not the common ‘meh’ version that feels like a required pleasantry instead of a genuine gesture of care for someone.  She cared, and it was for me.

I almost began to tear up, but for the intense joy and ease that filled me and flowed out of me afterward.  In that teaching job, I was incredibly myself with the students, and this was the kind of impact I left after only a single week.  This impact, where a student can hardly wait to hug me upon sighting me, and declares fervently, “We miss you,” despite our having not seen one another in months, was clearly a powerful one.  And I am grateful for the grace and strength I had to provide it in being myself.  I was truly honored tonight.

Post-a-day 2017

…holding out for a (anger) management position…

“The thing about giving yourself a pep talk is that secretly you know it’s all bullshit.”
That’s a quote from a Sophie Kinsella book (Remember Me?, I think).  Today has kind of been a day where I got to live it.  Though, since I already knew this, any effort to give myself a pep talk was dropped almost before I started.  It’s not that I actually think life as I know or want it is coming to an end – indeed, the good stuff has only just begun.  But knowing that has almost no effect on the feelings of total misery and hopelessness that arise when I hit places like my current one.  Sure, I accept then, thank the feelings for sharing, and then move on to what’s next, but they really do suck when they’re busy hanging around.

I have been experiencing another one of these odd feelings of waiting lately.  It is as though there is a set amount of time I must go before I find a job again, and then, after that time period, everything will fall into place perfectly, and the waiting will have been totally worth the misery.

However, when I get these feelings, I always have to take a first step, be proactive somehow, in order for things to fall into place.  As I see myself growing more angry and on-edge each day, I find it more and more difficult to do anything productive, anything that could help with that first step.  I even have some plans for that step, yet here I lie, miserable and without having taken any action for them today.  I guess I would have to give up the idea that this isn’t where I want to be right now, living at my mom’s.  I moved out years ago, intentionally, and had no intentions of returning for residency.  Not for desire to be independent or anything of the sort, but because I don’t want to live the lifestyle of this house… at all.  Nor do I want to be treated like a kid again, as my mother does automatically most of the time whenever I am here.  Any time she has visited me in my own home, or anywhere else when I’ve not been living with her, she has treated me differently.  Sure, she’s always still a mom, and fussed at me for this or that.  However, it is not like how a parent talks to a child, how it is now.

Anyway, I have some things to get started with doing.  I want to live elsewhere, and yet here I am – this is what is available to me currently.  I want a good job that I love, and here am I, without employment.  So, little by little, I guess I have some steps to take, including figuring out what they are.  I know I’ll be all right, I really do.  It has just been mentally rough lately, and I so want to be finished with this near-constant anger, annoyance, and sense of hopelessness.  Guess it’s well about time I chat with Jude, hmm?  (I’ll start there, and see what I can brainstorm in that mental conversation.)
P.S. Bonus points to you, if you know what movie helped to inspire the title of this post.  It’s a family favorite of ours.  My cat even watched it with me after I first got him.  And he really did watch it.  It was kind of weird that he did, really, but also totally cute.

Post-a-day 2017