Walk for Wishes Day

What a wonderfully fun day in the sun with friends walking for a great cause! I wrote a while back that I was going to participate in a Walk for Wishes event with my buddy Logan and as promise some pictures from the day!

The team of Logan's Hero's at the Walk for Wishes - Make a Wish Walk!

The team of Logan’s Hero’s at the Walk for Wishes – Make a Wish Walk!

I didn’t realize my “fisheye” effect was on my camera at first, so the first dozen or so pictures have the funky effect on them! Such a fun time walking with all my Ninja Turtle team.

Blitz the Seahawks mascot was hanging out with the Wish team today!

Blitz the Seahawks mascot was hanging out with the Wish team today!

There was so much going on at this event; balloon animals, face painting, snacks and prizes, Blitz from the Seahawks, a huge guy from Halo, bouncy houses and lots of sunshine!

Brandy and Logan listening to an inspirational Wish Kid!

Brandy and Logan listening to an inspirational Wish Kid!

The young boy who spoke has suffered from kidney decease all his life and was lucky enough to receive a transplant last year. His wish was to meet the band Macklemore and he said the excitement of the wish and the wish itself truly helped him get through some very sad and scary times in his life. For a very young man he did a wonderful job!

Team Logan walking the course!

Team Logan walking the course!

I'm a Frenchie fan and so I had to capture one of the cute little canine walkers!

I’m a Frenchie fan and so I had to capture one of the cute little canine walkers!

I had such a fun day!

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I made some new friends, was inspired by so many brave kids and selfless volunteers, got to spend the day with Logan who is such a cool, sweet and wonderful guy and to top it all off got in a nice workout! Absolutely no better way to spend a lovely Sunday!

How did you spend your Sunday?

 

 

Who is Charles Wright?

Did you know a new Poet Laureate was just name by the Library of Congress?

What is a poet laureate? Wikipedia describes the United States Library of Congress Poet Laureate, formerly the Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress duties and remuneration;

“Laureates receive a US$35,000 stipend and are given the responsibility of overseeing an ongoing series of poetry readings and lectures at the library, and a charge to promote poetry. No other duties are specified, and laureates are not required to compose for government events or in praise of government officials. However, after the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001, the then Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, was asked to write a poem to be read in front of a special joint session of Congress. Collins wrote “The Names” which he read on September 6, 2002, which is available in streaming audio and video..<..> When the $35,000 stipend was instituted, the amount was quite large and was intended to allow the poet laureate to abandon worries about earning a living and devote his or her time entirely to writing poetry. That amount has remained the same, so the intent of making it a nice living for a poet is no longer being fulfilled. Now it functions as a bonus for a poet who usually is teaching at a university and earns the bulk of his or her living that way.”

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Charles Wright (Photo from the Poetry Foundation website)

The newly minted American Poet Laureate is Charles Wright from the state of Tennessee. He and previous laureates are described in a New York Times article;

“Mr. Wright, who was born in Pickwick Dam, Tenn., not far from the Civil War battlefield at Shiloh, succeeds another Southerner, Natasha Trethewey. But Mr. Wright’s work — oblique meditations on “language, landscape and the idea of God,” as he once summed up his themes — could not be more different from Ms. Trethewey’s evocations of the forgotten African-American lives, or from the Whitmanesque poems about working-class Detroit by the previous laureate, Philip Levine.”

“Mr. Wright, 78, a retired professor at the University of Virginia, has already won just about every other honor in the poetry world, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Bollingen Prize and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize.”

Until now I’ve never read Mr. Wright’s poetry nor to be honest heard of his work, which given his prolific writing and obvious success is sad. But now that I am writing a few poems and rhymes I feel compelled to seek some of his writing out along with that of the previous poet laureate’s. I like that our government is supporting this type of artist, even if it is very modestly in this age of big paychecks. I wish him luck and hope that he inspires a few more poets to start on their writing path.

Do you have a favorite poet?

The Unchosen Companions

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Fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers,

the unchosen companions not available to others.

Love and laughter, disappointment and tears,

still driving you nuts after all these years.

 

They know us at our worst and at our best,

and so often put our patience to the test.

Sometimes we hate, yell and can’t relate,

and always regret that wretched date.

 

The for better or worse choice was mine,

still it came with a judgment and a diatribe.

We all can get lost in lovers, jobs and friends,

but with luck and love they will be there at the end.

 

Shared memories and momentous fights,

often taken for granted and at times a blight.

Affections tested and a trust that can not abate,

a bond that if not tended sometimes breaks.

 

Quickly forgiven, but never forgotten,

we gode and complain and sometimes are rotten.

We defend with a vengeance and chide and deride,

those unchosen companions on lifes crazy ride.

 

Are You Afflicted With Smart-Ass? I am!

IMG_0672  Hello. My Name is Shari and I’m a Smart-ass!

Do you ever beat yourself up for things you have said or done? I do, all of the time. It’s usually because of a smart ass comment I’ve made in a meeting that I meant to be funny and people did laugh. But then, afterward, I worry, was someone offended? When the joke isn’t at my own expense, I hope I picked a target with a sense of humor and a willingness to play along. But still, sometimes it nags at me and I feel like I should track the person down and apologize.

I am a smart-ass from way back. I think, quite possibly, I came out of the womb with a raised eyebrow at my mother asking what took her so long. When I came out of my shell, in junior highschool, I might have been considered one of the class clowns; always popping off with something to get a laugh or reaction.

I also constantly use humor, self-depreciation or a silly comment to try to deflect from a difficult situation or when conflict arises between other people or when god-forbid someone gives me a compliment. I think it stems from spending my formative years in a house with a lot of conflict, with parents that spelled swear words at each other. I’m not sure if their thinking was that it would protect my vocabulary because they spelled out F-U-C-K-E-R at each other rather than said the word. But, fucker is actually one of the first words I learned to spell. I spelled it out for my grandpa’s neighbor, Mr. Fox, he was not impressed. I was immediately marched home and exposed. My grandmother laughed when he told her what I was spelling and I was told to go outside and play.

An environmental impact from my youth that continues to afflict me today!

Are you afflicted with anything?

 

 

 

Will I Be Alone?

IMG_0018  Recently, I sat inside a restaurant by a window looking out on to the patio eating area outside. An old woman with an oxygen tank sat out there alone eating her lunch and reading the “Trader Joe’s” “Fearless Flyer”.  Her grey hair was cut in a stylish short bob, she wore a colorful sweater and cute sneakers. The cord for her oxygen tank was tucked discreetly under her shirt and dangling to the ground with the tank itself in the seat next to her in a black bag.

She made me wonder about my life at that age (I do hope I make it that long in good health). Will I be alone? Chances are, yes I will be alone. I don’t have biological children, my step-daughters are older than I am, the grandkids are in far off places and I haven’t gotten to know the great-grandchildren as well as I would have liked. They grow up and get busy and we get less mobile.

Finding a second love of my life seems doubtful in my 50’s or my 60’s if I’m lucky enough to keep my husband healthy for that long. So a grey haired single life will be in my future. I guess for some the grey haired single life is swinging, a New York Times Op-Ed article I read, Sex and the Single Senior by Ezekiel J. Emanuel talked about the huge uptick in STD’s in those ages 65 and older;

“Numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show rapid increases in S.T.D.’s among older people. Between 2007 and 2011, chlamydia infections among Americans 65 and over increased by 31 percent, and syphilis by 52 percent. Those numbers are similar to S.T.D. trends in the 20- to 24-year-old age group, where chlamydia increased by 35 percent and syphilis by 64 percent. Experts suggest there are four main factors contributing to the rise in S.T.D.’s among older Americans.”

The article also pointed out the similarities of retirement living to college campus living with lots of similarly aged people living in close proximity to one and other which was leading to the inevitable interaction of the sexes. This statistic about condom use was also interesting;

“But while they are having a lot of sex, seniors didn’t seem to get the safe sex memo, or when it came through they ignored it because they did not think it applied to them. They obviously don’t have to worry about pregnancy. And they grew up before the safe sex era. So seniors might think they have no reason to use condoms. According to the 2010 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, among college-age Americans, condoms are used in about 40 percent of sexual encounters, but only in about 6 percent of sexual encounters among those 61 and older. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that older men who use Viagra and similar drugs are six times less likely to use condoms compared with men in their 20s.”

Apparently they need to begin handing out safe sex pamphlets with those Viagra prescriptions. Mr. Emanuel suggested Social Security begin sending out safe sex messages with the retirement checks.

All of this rings true, I know not long after (I mean in a matter of weeks) my grandmother passed away there were at least three women vying for my grandfathers affections. And it wasn’t long before he had a girlfriend he was traveling with and spending time time together cooking and golfing. He said he wasn’t in love, but he liked the company.

Maybe there won’t be a second love of my life, but chances are I could get laid in my old age, if trends hold true. But, “No Glove, No Love” will be the rule.

Do you worry about any particular part of growing older?

A Nasty Comment From A Reader

IMG_0162  I received my first nasty comment from a reader.

I started writing on a site, that I actually discovered back in 2011, it’s called Smith, and they have a section on their site where you can write 6 Word Memoirs.  I posted my little story and picture about the Samba VW Van that I found on the SambaVW site – the pretty green and white one – under Need, Want, Desire, Isn’t She Beautiful. I included the part about donating to my dream at Paypal like I did here. Well that got me a nasty comment: You can read it on the site if you are interested.

The commenter schooled me on the rules of the site, called me tacky, told me no one owes me a damn thing and to get a job.

So, of course, first I needed to check out the “Terms of Use” on the site;

“SMITH Comments and Discussion Terms of Use

In order to make our Comments interesting and informative for our users, the following guidelines must be adhered to by all users posting and/or viewing comments:

– If a comment is made using your identity it will be deemed to have been posted by you.
– Do not post abusive, obscene, threatening, harassing, defamatory, libelous, offensive or sexually explicit material.
– Do not intentionally make, false or misleading statements.
Do not offer to sell or buy any product or service.
– Do not post material that infringes copyright.
– Do not post information that you know to be confidential or sensitive or otherwise in breach of the law.
– Keep all comments relevant and ‘on topic’ to the particular SMITH posting open for comments.
– SMITH will not accept responsibility for information posted in the Comments.

If SMITH receives notice that any posting is not in keeping with these terms and conditions or the intended use of the Comments, SMITH may remove that posting and/or any other related postings.

Please note that unless SMITH is notified of a posting that is not in keeping with these terms and conditions then we will not remove it, furthermore we do not exercise any form of editorial control or censorship of Comments other than the above stated procedure.”

I assume the commenter is referring to the item I have bolded in the list above: “Do not offer to buy or sell any product or service“.  Now I posted that memoir and link to Paypal with as a “tongue-in-cheek” joke and figured one of my friends would send me $0.26 and tell me they have helped me achieve 1/1,000,000th of my dream and say good luck. But now the commenter made me mad with their snarky comments and it has kind of become the principle of the thing.  I am neither buying nor selling with that post and do not think it violates these terms of use.

Second, no where in that post did I say or even imply that someone owed me a VW Van.

Third, why in the world would this commenter think I do not have a job. That part was just to add to the snarky meanness of their comment?

So I am keeping the memoir and the paypal information, not because I was really interested in a donation, but because if the commenter had politely mentioned the “Terms of Use” I would have said, oh my mistake and apologies, and removed that part of the post. But because they lacked class and manners the “tacky” post stays. Tacky apparently begets tacky!!

Do you think this violates their terms of use or was the commenter right? What do you think of donation solicitations on blogs or other sites?

What I’ve Learned

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Cal Fussman wrote his dream “interview” for his What I’ve Learned column in Esquire. He pulled quotes and attributions to the wonderful author Gabriel Garcia Marquez who passed away last week. Here are a few of my favorites from the “interview”

Then the writing became so fluid that I sometimes felt as if I were writing for the sheer pleasure of telling a story, which may be the human condition that most resembles levitation.”

The problem in public life is learning to overcome terror; the problem in married life is learning to overcome boredom.

The day shit is worth money, poor people will be born without an asshole.

All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret.

To all, I would say how mistaken they are when they think that they stop falling in love when they grow old, without knowing that they grow old when they stop falling in love..

Age isn’t how old you are but how old you feel.”

I wasn’t introduced to the works of the 1982 Nobel prize winner until later in life, but enjoyed them more as an adult, with a bit of perspective, I think.

There is another great “What I’ve Learned” column from Mr. Fussman with Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield that I really enjoyed as well.

These columns got me thinking about what I’ve learned, so here it is my collected wisdom;

With a little time nothing is as terrible, upsetting or maddening as it seems.

Work hard and things will work out.

I am not as smart as I would like nor as dumb as I feel.

If you find someone you love who truly loves you back; never let go, no matter how bad things seem in the moment.

Always take care of your teeth. (this was one of the last pieces of advise from my Grandma Buddy and it’s good advice)

If the question is: Get a puppy? or Not get a puppy? Always get a puppy!

Never stop searching for what you love to do in work, in life and in love.

Never take your good fortune for granted for fortune comes along very infrequently.

What have you learned?