Tuesday, July 22, 2008


You've heard of that postcards confessional thing, right? The one where (supposably) real people write their real confessions on a postcard then snail mail it where somebody else scans the postcard and posts the (supposably) real confessions written on the real postcard and post it on a website for all the world to see.

My manager attended a management training seminar last week that took four different approaches to it, one of those aspects being "spiritual," or as "spiritual" as you can get in a corporate setting without crossing into the "religious" territory. One of the last activities they did was to cleanse or purge their "spiritual selves" (souls?) by confessing their deepest, darkest secret. All the participants wrote their confessions on a piece of paper, anonymously of course, then they were read out loud by the facilitator. My manager said there was some pretty intense, deep secrets that were shared.

I started thinking about what I would write (anonymously, of course) on a piece of paper to be shared with a group of strangers. Ouch. Scary. No way am I saying that!

So instead, here are other deep, dark secrets of mine for you, world wide intraweb.

I like hot dogs. I know. Gross, huh? Sometimes I even crave them. Sometimes, I even stop at 7-11 and get a Big Gulp (Diet Coke, of course!) with a hot dog. With some ketchup, mustard and a dollop of relish, it's almost the perfect dog. It could only be made more perfect with onions topping it, but those dang onions will witness against me every time that I just ate a 7-11 hot dog -- either by the smell left in the car or the smell left on my breath. I indulge in the onions at a Dodger game (no better hot dog than a Dodger Dog!), but rarely elsewhere.

I can't subtract from zero. I know. Weird, huh? I mean, I *can,* -- I know the principle of subtracting from a number that's less than the one you're subtracting -- you just borrow from its neighbor. But when there's two zeros in a row, it gets confusing and I need a calculator. It's like life -- you can't keep borrowing from the neighbors before they start expecting something in return, and I don't know how to do that in math.

On Wednesdays when I work from home, I get more work accomplished in a shorter amount of time, which is a math-y way of saying there's more time to play, which I do. Frequently. Sue me. It means more peace and joy in my life because I'm not having to deal with the noisiness of work....of which there is much.

I turn my Blackberry off at 7 p.m. on weekdays and on Fridays, it stays off until Monday morning at seven. I don't ever feel guilty about not doing work during those hours. There's an off switch for a reason!

That's enough for now, I think, if only because going to the bathroom sounds like a better offer than writing more. Yes, world wide intraweb, I'm trading you in for a trip to the potty. Should I put that on a postcard?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Oil Outta Your Lamp

Okay, maybe not oil out of YOUR lamp, but it's definitely sucking mine dry. A friend of mine from church taught me this phrase, and it not only was enlightening, it was hilarious. I made a comment -- not altogether disparaging -- about a stooped-over gentleman in our ward. My friend said, "Oil outta your lamp, Laura. Oil outta your lamp."

I loved that she was that up front with me. I also loved getting a new perspective to an old principle. I've always thought about needing to add oil to my lamp, but have never had occasion to think about oil coming out of it. It makes sense though that oil would come out of it correspondingly, or else I'd have the world's largest lamp. Which I don't. At all. So it's a good way, a nice quick reminder way to remind myself that I'm not always on my best behavior.

I told my bff about my new perspective and catch phrase, and she laughed and laughed -- simply because it's one of the things she and I excel at together -- taking oil out of our respective lamps while making observations (e.g. gossiping, etc.) about people. The best occasion we had to use this phrase with each other was when we went to the Mormon Prom. There were some *ahem* interesting outfits there. We didn't even have to comment specifically, we just looked at each other, smiled, and she said, "Slow leak. Dripping everywhere."

I know this is a weakness of mine -- that of verbalizing my observations-- epsecially the not-so-flattering (probably especially to me), ones but dang it! Sometimes it just feels good to do it. Sometimes my lamp's gonna be oily, sometimes it's gonna be dry.

Happy Independence Day

I am grateful to live in this wonderful country. I love the freedoms and privileges we enjoy. I am thankful for those who have fought and given their lives freely so that we might enjoy freedoms we might not otherwise. I am grateful for our founding fathers (should that be Founding Fathers?) who forged pathways and made it possible for our new little country to stand on its own. I love that we have a day where we can celebrate the birth of our nation.

What I am not grateful for is Porta-potties. How it possible that 227 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence we still have to do our business over a hole in the ground? And not a hole of our own choosing, either, but one already polluted by those who came before us with no care or regard for those to follow. Yuck.

That was my least favorite part of the day.

Other than bodily functions having to be performed in less than desirable places, the day was fantastic. I love celebrating in Ojai, a small town just inland from Ventura. We didn't follow our usual traditions this year, and it was still a great day with friends and family of choice. We did see part of the parade in Ojai, then went to the street fair in Ventura, visited with Tammy there, then back up to Ojai for a small nap and then fireworks and live music in the high school stadium.

There was a baby moon setting just behind the sun, and the smoke from the recent fires in Santa Barbara and Goleta provided some smog for a beautiful sunset backdrop.

Happy Independence Day!