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Posts Tagged ‘Change’

This morning, my hubby and I went bowling. There really is a reason. The division I work in at the university is having a jamboree (staff end-of-the-year event) this week and it is at the local bowling alley. I haven’t bowled in 34 YEARS! Yes, that’s right.     34 YEARS!     I know there are people I work with who were born AFTER the last time I bowled. Needless to say, some of them bowl on a regular basis.

Don’t get me wrong. I used to love to bowl. And then I got tired of it or just didn’t make the time anymore. I can hardly remember. After all, it was 34…okay, enough. Anyway, I used to be good.  Pretty darn good, in fact.  I competed at the state level and placed seventh, if I remember correctly, in doubles and 11th in singles. 

So, off I went to the bowling alley this morning, with the knowledge that I am now incredibly old to be learning how to bowl (again) and with my hubby in tow.  At least the place we went was far from the house, eliminating odds of running into neighbors.  But, it was close to work.  So, I worried (needlessly, fortunately).  We had socks ready (since we were renting those LOVELY shoes that are available for the novices or non-regular bowlers).  And we had checked…it is only 99 cents per person per game on Sundays before noon.  Yes, we didn’t go to church.  We went bowling. 

Well, it started out rough.  We didn’t know where to go once we entered.  The place was mammoth!  And when we did find the desk, I blurted out, “I haven’t bowled in 34 YEARS!”  So, too late.  I have now embarrassed myself.  But I was wanting to make sure he knew up front, we didn’t know what we were doing and we were going to have stupid questions.  I had to give him my driver’s license.  HUH??  I guess that’s so you don’t leave without paying.  Boy, has the world changed in the last 34 years.  😀  Okay, I’ll stop bringing that up.  Then, he asked what size shoes.  Well, I live in south Texas.  I hardly wear shoes that cover my entire foot anymore, so I just had to guess.  And were those shoes lovely!?!  NO!  Mine were three colors and one of the shoes had a chunk of leather (?) missing on the area where it wraps below your ankle.  It looked like it had been chewed on by a rat.  But, they were broken in (really broken in) and were actually comfy.  Well, off to lane 3.  But first, put on the shoes and find a bowling ball.  Strangely, hubby and I are both left-handed.  I was worried.  But I guess they make the bowling balls generic now.  Who knew?  Back (XX years ago) in the day, there were left- and right-handed bowling balls.  So, we found bowling balls (and amazingly, they are all different colors now, too).  I had a bright pink one and hubby’s was orange–I didn’t see a black bowling ball in the entire place.  Then we sat at what looked like the Enterprise’s (reference to Star Trek) control panel and realized we had no idea what we were doing.  The guy on the next lane was nice enough to show us how to work it.  I was used to paper and pencil and keeping tabs on the score myself. 

I have now thoroughly embarrassed myself without even throwing the first ball.  But things definitely were not as bad as I expected.  My first game was a not horribly embarrassing 77.  Could have been a lot better, but could have been a lot worse.  And my second game was 130…I broke 100!!!  I’m feeling a little better about going on Wednesday to the jamboree.  I did my pre-jamboree, bowling reconnaissance and embarrassment-proofing.  Now, let’s hope I can repeat at least one of those game scores, so I’m not cringing as the bowling ball bounces across lanes (I’ve done that before) or flying behind me (again, done that) or bouncing off my foot (haven’t done that, but it’s a fear).  So, wish me luck and keep me in your thoughts on Wednesday evening as I head off to the lanes and the camaraderie of my co-workers.

“There’s a blush for won’t, and a blush for shan’t, and a blush for having done it: There’s a blush for thought and a blush for naught, and a blush for just begun it.” ~ John Keats

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Not necessarily a good sound.  Splish, Splash!  Can be a fun lyric, a great time at the pool, or…the sound you hear as you dunk your cell phone in a cup of cranberry juice cocktail!  I know I have done some stupid things in my life, but this is a prime example.  Evidently, I’m having a problem with short-term memory as I age.  Or maybe I can blame it on having things on my mind.  I hope that’s it.  Yeah, I’m sure of it.  Lots on my mind. 

Anyway, I was in my car just leaving work one day last week and had some left-over cranberry juice cocktail in a glass.  So, I placed the glass in the cup holder in the center console and started the car.  That’s when I also remembered I needed to charge my cell phone, too, so I attached the power cord and, as has become a habit, dropped the cell phone into the cup holder, so it wouldn’t slide around in the car (trying to be safe and protect the phone, you know). SPLASH!  I felt something wet on my fingertips.  A little late, I remembered the cup of juice.  I pulled the cell phone out of the juice as I was driving down the road and knew that it was going to have to wait for a clean-up.  I was already at the highway merging into rush-hour traffic.  As I wove my way through and stopped and started with the heavy traffic, I reached into my purse, hoping for a handi-wipe or some miracle cleaner.  Yeah, right.  I found some Kleenex and wiped the phone off the best I could.  Now, I had a sticky, semi-wet, fuzzy phone. 

When I got home 30 minutes later, I cleaned off the phone the best I could and tried to figure out what to do.  Fortunately, the phone had only been immersed half-way, so the number keys still worked, the camera was working and I had hope the rest MIGHT work again someday.  A friend recommended putting the phone into some dry rice to draw the moisture out of it.  YES, I can do that!! 

Not much of a rice eater, I had to rummage through the cupboards to find some.  Aha!  A free sample of rice we had received at some festival in town.  So, I dropped my phone into a bowl and ripped open the package and dumped the contents over the phone. NOOOOOOOOO!  It was seasoned rice!  Yep, now I had fake saffron seasoning coating my wet phone.  I grabbed the phone out of the bowl and wiped it off (again) and then dug through the cupboards again.  Score!  Minute Rice!  Very old Minute Rice.  So, I cleaned out the bowl, put the phone in again and dumped in a full bowl of rice.   Now, if only I could be patient.  As the night progressed, I kept checking the success.  Things were improving SLOWLY.

The camera works…the internet access works…the Walkman works…the ringer works…I can access my pictures…I can access my contacts…but I can’t hear anyone talking! 

Well, after a couple of days, I have still got a problem with my phone.  Everything works…but the microphone that allows me to hear who I’m speaking with.  A minor problem with a phone!  And then, lo and behold, I see something in the speaker!  There is something dark yellow.  I use a sharp pin to dig it out…SPICES…from the rice.  Now I can hear!  It’s still a little crackly, but I can hear.  So, I’m hoping the phone will hold out long enough for me to decide what kind of new phone I’m getting.  I hate trying to pick a new phone…it involves a new learning curve and starting over on the ringtone downloads. 

“Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better.” ~ Richard Hooker

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I can remember when I was a little girl, flying on an airplane was quite an experience.  We got dressed up!  We were treated like we were visiting a high-end hotel or restaurant, the seating was comfortable and the planes were impeccably clean and well maintained.  The stewardesses (yes, that’s what they used to call flight attendants in those days) were extremely professional, polished, poised, and looked like models.  They catered to the passengers requests and did everything they could to make sure the trip was special.  And that was coach.  I can’t imagine what first class must have been like.  I never dreamed that I would ever experience it.  And by the time I did, flying first class was like coach was back in the day.  I must admit, first class now is pleasant.  In fact, far better than coach.  But I really wish I’d had the chance to fly first class back when it was REALLY something. 

Travel has changed so much.  Now, the flight attendants frequently make jokes while doing the safety presentations, rarely make sure you’re comfortable, and if you have a complaint or an issue that needs resolved…good luck!  I have to admit, some airlines are still far better than others.  I just wish we could go back to the days when the passengers were treated as if they were guests, not cattle.  Of course, that could be because some passengers act more like cattle than guests!  I’m amazed at the atrocious behavior of some of the people I’ve seen on planes recently.  I don’t know if it stems from the lack of good treatment, so they misbehave or if they misbehave, so they are treated poorly. 

I was actually flying first class recently coming from Chicago to San Antonio and a man sitting in the front row actually took off his shoes and propped his bare feet up on the bulkhead at about head level.  He was making himself quite at home.  I personally don’t care to see his bare feet, smell them or even have his footprints at my eye level if I’m the passenger who has to sit there on the next flight.  His daughter spent most of the flight running up and down the aisle to see her sister and mother who were in seats two or three rows behind her and her father.  As a child, if I’d attempted that, my mother or father would have quickly taken care of the situation and I would have only been up and down the aisle to go to the restroom and that would have been monitored closely by them.  No playing on the plane.  And I grew up flying internationally.  This was a 2 1/2 hour flight.  What could have been so important or urgent?? 

On another recent flight, in coach, my shoes kept sticking to the carpet at the base of my chair.  No matter where I placed my feet, they stuck.  I hadn’t had that problem until I sat down.  Upon examining my shoes, there was no gum on them.  They were just sticky.  Evidently, someone had spilled something on the carpet and it hadn’t been cleaned up.  My airline magazine in the pocket of in front of me was stuck to the bottom of the pocket by a big wad of chewed gum.  The baseboard on the bulkhead next to me was being held on by duct tape.  I’m still not quite sure why I didn’t write a letter of complaint to the airline.  Maybe it was because I knew I would get a form letter saying that the short turnaround times on flights didn’t allow them to clean the planes properly and that maintenance costs were rising while they attempted to keep the ticket prices down.  I don’t care.  I would gladly pay a little extra to fly in a clean plane!  I had to wash off my shoes in the restroom of the airport when I arrived at my destination, because my shoes were so sticky.  And I was too afraid to use the seat pocket because I didn’t know what else was in there.  Especially after the flight attendant told me I wouldn’t believe what some people put in there.  Needless to say, if a passenger can’t deposit trash, dirty diapers, dirty Kleenex and “barf bags” in the trash, maybe they don’t need to be flying.  That trip reminded me of a trip I once took on a bus and what a horrible experience that had been. 

So, I am calling all disgusted (not disgusting) travelers to join me in a revolt.  We are revolting against the revolting passengers that can’t seem to keep their body fluids and trash where they belong, can’t be civilized in public and can’t seem to be polite to the crew and the other passengers!  Let’s step back in time a little when travel was a treat!

“Civilization is just a slow process of learning to be kind.” ~ Charles L. Lucas

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This is actually the theme for a conference I attended in July, but I’ve just realized today that this should be a theme for my whole life.  We can hope that something good will come to us, but unless we actually take charge of our lives and take action to make sure what happens is what we want, we are destined to have to roll with the punches.  I’m not willing to be punched by life.  I want to punch back!  I want to make sure that the best things that can possibly happen for me actually happen.  So, today, I am taking action!  

It’s kind of like the lottery.  The critics of gambling and lottery tickets say we don’t stand a chance of winning.  Well, we definitely don’t, if we don’t buy a ticket.  Life is the same way.  I’m going to get my ticket and win the life lottery!  I’m working on getting my life sorted out.  This week, I’m starting with a major overhaul of my job search.  I can’t pin my hopes on one job, just because it sounds like the perfect one for me.  I have to get more and more and more resumes out there.  This weekend is a major overhaul of my organization system in the house.  And I can’t have housework looming over me while I’m trying to do an exhaustive job search.  So, each day, I’m dedicating 2 hours to chores and then I have to focus on the search.  And in writing down my plan, I have started to take charge. 

And tomorrow is the beginning of “Take Action!”  Today, I am creating a workplace that is conducive to intense work.  And I’m looking forward to this!  I already feel so much better. 

“A heart to resolve, a head to contrive, and a hand to execute.” ~ Edward Gibbon

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Hello world!

I’m starting over again.  My blog at Yahoo 360 will meet an untimely death in July, so I’ve decided to move it over here (if I can figure out the whole archive process).  And now, here I am, working this new site and trying to understand how to do here what I could practically do in my sleep at Yahoo.  So, please forgive me while I experiment and try to get back on track.

“Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better.” ~ King Whitney Jr.

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The End is Near…

and so I’m heading off to greener pastures. My new blog site is france59.wordpress.com. I hope to see you there.

“And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I’ll say it clear,
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain.
 

I’ve lived a life that’s full.
I’ve traveled each and every highway;
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.” ~ Sung by Frank Sinatra
 

 

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Vacation blues

My week of vacation is winding down and now I have the vacation blues! It seems that no matter how long a vacation lasts, it is NEVER long enough. I know that we can’t have an entire lifetime of vacation, but sometimes the fantasy of being independently wealthy and never having to work sure sounds great!

So, if you were independently wealthy, what would you do with your time? I mean, we can’t be “on vacation” all the time, can we? The luster would wear off soon. So, I imagine I’d be someone who would still work on projects. I’d do crafts, I think I’d still do my direct sales business (I love to cook and I love the products I sell) and I know that I’d do some volunteer work. I think that work would involve being a Girl Scout leader, working on making blankets for babies/small children in the hospital and decorating caps/hats for children/adults who have lost their hair due to chemo, etc. I know that whatever I did would be quietly done, with an investment of my time, not just money. I feel that charity needs to be a commitment of you! And what is a bigger commitment than time? I try to give time to charities as I can right now, fitting it in between other activities and work. But if I wasn’t working, how much time I would have to donate!

I think it would actually be far more fulfilling to volunteer than to keep traveling and spending money on myself. (Although, I have to admit, it would be FUN to be able to afford that more often!!) I imagine winning the lottery and being able to change my life completely…and to be able to work toward changing the lives of others, too. I buy my lottery tickets and keep hoping that someday, this blog entry will change from “what if” to “this is what I’m doing now”.

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if that drop was not in the ocean, I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. I do not agree with the big way of doing things.” ~ Mother Teresa

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