A Girl’s Best Friend…

A Girl's Best Friend...

I can still feel the soft, feathery tickle of her ears against my face and the way her little paws felt dwarfed by my suddenly over-sized hand.

Jane was hit by a car almost two years ago which means she’s been dead, longer than she’s been alive and I’ve lived without her more years than I’ve actually had her in my life.

But that doesn’t change things.

Until Jane bounded into my life I silently snickered at people who considered their pets a “part of the family.” Sure they were cute, but “family”? These people most certainly lacked significant relationships with others.

And then Jane needed a home.

I fed her salmon from a can to reduce her allergies, invented toys to keep her occupied and got immeasurable pleasure from knowing she loved digging up sand on the beach.

She taught me to say “hello” to neighbors as we passed each other on the sidewalk. She urged me to live my life at home, even though my husband was living halfway around the world without me.

I became one of those people who read Cesar Millan and when Jane died, someone who knew without a doubt that all dogs go to heaven.

I’ll never forget the way she lay lifeless on the grass beside the road or the look of the brake-lights that didn’t flash red, even for a moment.

But I’ll also never forget the shape of the car that did stop and the neighbors who came running to offer their aid and their dismay.

Show me someone who truly loves their dog and I’ll introduce you to someone who knows what it means to be a good friend, spouse and adventurer through life.

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Out of the Incubator and into the World…

When life starts looking like a dead end everywhere you look, consider taking one small risk toward who you’ve always wanted to be! Read my guest post at Spark Good.

http://www.sparkgood.com/out-of-the-incubator

Spark Good

Make-up with Mom

Make-up with Mom

My parents are visiting me from Minnesota this week! I don’t think I’ll ever feel too old to play dress-up with mom!

“What do you think, honey?”

The question is music to my ears.  She’s trying on the “newest” lip color from MAC.  Posh Tone promises to make her lips look expensive and pouty.  It’s a pretty color on her and I tell her she should definitely get it.  The MAC girl is fluttering protectively over mom’s face and the tittering wanes a bit as she realizes I’m not one of those girls- I don’t have to be the one making all the suggestions.

It’s fun and gratifying when mom wants my opinion or compliments.  Sure it might be on superficial things like lipstick or throw pillows but the underlying message to me, is much deeper.  I want us to connect, I want you to like what I’m doing or saying. What you think little girl, matters to me.

It feels like just yesterday that all that mattered was playing dress-up and getting her to laugh or smile in delight at something I’d said or done.  No matter how much I want my internal voices to matter more, there’s a weight to what she says that is denser than what my own instincts dictate.  That doesn’t mean I always agree or that my voices lay immovable beneath hers but it doesn’t stop me from wishing unreasonably that our thought processes could work togehter like synchronized swimmers in the Olympics

 

Tiger Woods Ruins PGA Tour by Being the BEST.

la-sp-sn-steve-stricker-tiger-woods-20130311-001Tiger Woods Ruins PGA Tour by Being the BEST.

Anything I know about golf is wrapped-up in juicy, personal stories of the people who play the game.  Everything else about golf makes me mentally push the snooze button.  So imagine my surprise when my interest was piqued by an article relating to golf from my daily news feed.

The article in the Los Angeles Times whined, “Steve Stricker ruins PGA tour for everyone but Tiger Woods”.  Hmmm.  I thought. First, who is Steve Stricker?  And then, how has Tiger Woods singled himself out again? Doesn’t sound like another personal fiasco…(click).

Apparently, Tiger Woods has ruined the PGA tour by his ability to take a colleague’s constructive criticism and apply what he learned to have one of the best putting games of his career.

He took putting advice from Steve Stricker earlier last week and won the PGA Tour on Sunday.  GASP!  How DARE Tiger prove to us again why he is the BEST!

The other thing about this article that is super peevish is the poll at the top of the page that asks, “Do you think Steve Stricker regrets giving Tiger Woods putting advice?”

Does anyone seriously think someone who has been in the game as long as Steve Stricker didn’t know what he was doing when he gave Tiger Woods advice?

Why are we whining about the actions of a man who is obviously gracious and humble and generous enough to share something of value with someone else?

And I suppose Tiger Woods gets no credit for actually listening to Stricker.  I’m sure taking other people’s advice is always easy to do when according to the likes of Sports Illustrated (http://www.golf.com/node/154262) he is one of the greatest golfers of all time (Stricker didn’t even make the list by the way).  Tiger Woods is second only to Jack Nicklaus.

I can’t resist a good poll.  I clicked my answer (which was NO, Steve Stricker did not regret his actions) and was relieved to see an overwhelming majority felt the way I did. In golf as in life, our integrity is so much more important than winning a game.

Perfectionism is Enemy #1

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft.”

Anne Lamott

This is what I strive for these days, “a shitty first draft” as my fingers haltingly tromp ineffective words into the keyboard.

I tell you that I “tromp” rather than gallop around the keyboard because as I work toward “a shitty first draft” I’m also fending off the voices of failure yelling at me about, “lack of consistency” in producing said mediocre work.

Today, I’m oppressed by the thought that my goal of publishing one blog a day (into infinity) was disrupted yesterday.  I have many excuses for this.  And now, I have many mean voices chastising me for my lack of discipline.

Says an incredulous voice, “You couldn’t publish something for a measly THREE DAYS IN A ROW?!”

And then with disgust, “And you call yourself a writer!”

Perfectionism cripples my desire to go on, paralyzes my ability to craft beautiful sentences and generally cramps my writing style in every, single, way.

Anne Lamott, you’re my writing soul mate.

Adults Must be Accompanied by a Child…

A fleeting thought transforms me from waxing poetic about being a child in carefree days of summer to an individual on high alert, scouting for suspicious eyes.

Mommies at this park probably think I’m some sort of weirdo sitting here, childless, watching kids run around a place that’s obviously just a kid zone.  It’s obviously not a bird watching zone, or get some sun zone, or play Frisbee zone since it has a massive rubbery jungle-gym stationed smack dab in the middle of it.

Absurd, I think.  For all they know I’m just a negligent mommy letting her child run around unsupervised, letting him or her eat dirt and push smaller kids around.  This thought slightly horrifies me.

Maybe they think I’m some poor, childless woman who yearns for children of her own and comforts herself by stopping by the park to watch others nurture.  But then, I don’t think I look quite old enough or sad enough to fit that category.

I had been overcome with a general sense of well-being.  The sun was out, the air was crisp and I was in the middle of an incredibly insightful book…when I saw the sign that punctured my joy.

Adults must be accompanied by a child.

The dark green sign demands attention and respect.  My mind muddles over the verbiage.  Does that mean I’m not supposed to be here, I wonder?  Would park police come around and notice my diaper bag/stroller-less state and demand I leave while adults accompanied by a child tsked and shook their heads?  Did this mean a parent could report me for lollygagging around a public place unaccompanied by a child?

There was no getting back to my book after that, no way I could wax poetic about being a kid again.  I left.

Someday, I thought.  Someday I’d meet the city’s qualifications and I’d be back, kid in tow.

Eyes that are Almond Shaped…

Eyes that are almond shaped are beautiful.  They are also a mystery.   As an Asian child nurtured by Caucasian parents the most loving and familiar eyes I’d known were theirs shaped.  As I moved around the country and began my life in LA it was clear to me why a college news broadcasting professor once said I should get out of Illinois and move west.  I believe he said something to the effect of, “They have a lot of Asians out there.”  He said this as though he were commenting on the number of pot heads or crime or mosquitoes.

I remember thinking, why would I move further west where my face wouldn’t stand-out?  Wouldn’t I have a better chance of getting noticed in the Midwest in a sea of blond and blue?  And then he’d answered my unspoken question.  “People would identify with you better out there.”

His intentions were good, but his comments made me feel strangely alienated.

I’m in San Francisco for the day, working out of  The Coffee Bar, a trendy, contemporary scene where a shiny sea of Macs provides a united front against my weary HP.  It’s probably eight to nine Asian to “other”.  It’s no surprise to me that I’m probably the only one with black hair hunched over an HP.  Not that I’m saying all Asians use Macs.  My point is that I may look like a Mac but I have HP insides.  And the other Macs tend to reject my software.

Yeah, I think, sipping my latte with homemade caramel syrup, yeah, there sure are a lot of them out here.