Tuesday, September 30, 2008


The dictionary defines minutiae as "precise details, small or trifling matters". 

I was reading the newspaper last week and came upon an article about blogs -- "Mommy" blogs, actually. The author gave us a list of blogs and told us which were good and which ones weren't so hot. The paper was separating the wheat from the chaff for us,  so to speak.
The author's main beef with these blogs was that the poor ones contained too much minutiae. It seems that no one cares if Johnny took his first step today or that Mommy was waiting for the cable man to come. Cleaning up juice spills or loads of dirty laundry is not interesting enough for us blog devotees. 
However, the article went on to name one of the better blogs, and cited a post from it (her son had found a dead squirrel in the yard and wanted to show it to his mom), all the while exclaiming that stories like these separate THIS blog from the rest. Another blog author was interviewed, and he proclaimed that "if she's posting something, it's worth reading...she never tells you what is on sale at Target or silly things like that..."

Apparently minutiae is only acceptable if you couch it in scintillating prose. 

My point here is this: Our whole lives are filled with tiny details, some boring, some not. It's how you describe them that matters. Some bloggers are able to transcend the daily grind and turn it into a wonderful story. That is called excellent writing and it's what every decent writer longs for. That is also where writer's block stems from; when you want to tell a story and it just won't come out right. 
I strive to do my best writing all the time but some stories flow better than others. (This one is looking pretty pathetic in my eyes right now, actually).

What I wanted to to is stick up for all those bloggers who blog about mundane things. After all, do we blog for ourselves, just to get it out, or do we blog for the masses? 
Sure, I'd love to have lots of people hanging on my every post. But the truth is, there's just so many blogs and so little time. Everyone is busy with their own minutiae that they have no time to search and read a new blog. There ARE just so many hours in the day, you know~

So today I'm thinking about my audience and wishing it was bigger. I'm also going to strive more to make the commonplace seem more exciting. 
I'm sure that would benefit all of us....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I love my Sirius radio!!

America is a great country. No other country gives its inhabitants so many choices. Think about it--there is an ENTIRE AISLE at ShopRite devoted to breakfast cereal. And soda. Think of how many pizza parlours and fast food restaurants are within your reach. (I privately think that this only adds to the many reasons why America's youth can't concentrate: too many choices.) 
One thing that gives me many choices is my Sirius radio in my car. I used to madly stab the buttons on my old car radio, obsessively avoiding commercials and songs by hated artists. It's a wonder I didn't break a finger, driving and poking like I was insane. 
Now all that is behind me. I have over 100 channels, no commercials and the unwritten guarantee that I will find something, anything to listen to as I stab the tiny little remote control that comes with the radio. There is still stabbing, yes, but now I'm on a different kind of a quest: The Quest For The Perfect Song.  There are so many channels that I cannot choose which one I want to hear at any given moment. Should I listen to blues? jazz? comedy? 70's? 80's? reggae? ambient? (you know what ambient is..it's that plinking atonal stuff you hear when you go to the spa. Never been to a spa? Well, go then, and listen to the music!)
Today my Spanning Of The Musical Globe served me up this gift: "Good Morning Starshine" by Oliver. I remember hearing this on AM radio, oh, about 1969. It's from the musical "Hair". Upon hearing it again today, I realized that it had some seriously lame lyrics. Sabba sibby sabba? Nooby abba nabba? 

Early morning singin' song!!!!

For all 12 of us who know how the song goes, the previous lines will have you nodding your head and humming. For the rest of you, go check out iTunes.

You have to love all those channels. Every day I hear a song that I haven't heard in a while, and some really awesome new stuff too. How did we ever get along listening to terrestrial radio? One of the best parts about Sirius is that you get the name of the song & and artist, so if you want to download it later, you know exactly what you are searching for. The only beef I have is that I think every song should have the year on it as well. The only stations that give us the year are the "number" stations, 60's, 70's, etc. 
And what a blessing to be avoiding commercials entirely! I don't know about you, but I never, ever, purchased something because I heard about it on the radio. Gone are all the lousy jingles, endless interchangeable car commercials and plugs for restaurants.
 I am free to make my own choices about where to shop and what to drive...and you better believe there are PLENTY.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Healthy Living

I went to a holistic MD yesterday. I've been having some health issues and basically, I'm scared to just dump a whole bunch of prescription drugs into my system and hope that solves the problem. I found this doctor by mistake, I was Googling one thing and up she popped. Serendipitous, I'd say~
So she met with me for an hour and she took copious notes, which made me feel better. I came away with 2 natural supplements, a prescription for numerous blood tests and, more importantly, HOPE that I will get better soon. The most ominous thing she said to me was "we will discuss diet changes on our next appointment." 
Diet change??? I thought I ate pretty well, but for some reason she had an issue with my oldest and most relaxing snack: a donut eaten daily at 10 am. I've been eating 10 am donuts (usually Dunkin Donuts, sometimes WaWa, but always chocolate glazed. NOT chocolate covered! There is a difference, you know) for most of my life. I remember being in grammar school and taking a trip to Teterboro Airport every Sunday with my Dad. I would take my flying lesson (subject for a whole other blog entry) and afterwards we would go down the street to Dunkin Donuts and have soup and a donut. I loved those Sunday mornings with my Dad. But I digress.

Back to the diet change. I figured I would be proactive and start a food diary, so when I go back to her I can be armed with the knowledge that I eat well. Let me tell you, when you are documenting every bit of food consumed, you think twice about a quick snack!! I haven't even THOUGHT about Oreos today (not counting right now...mmm...they would be sooo nice with some milk..am I digressing again? Nuts).
I suppose eating healthier is a small price to pay for getting my health back. I just hope I'm not going to turn into one of those people that have to analyze each & every bit of food that passes their lips. 
Let's check out my chocolate glazed friend!

This is the information I got from the DD web site:
Chocolate Glazed Cake Donut
Nutrition Facts
 Serving Size1 donut
 Calories from Fat170
 % Daily Value, Calories: 2,000
 Total Fat19g 29%
    Saturated Fat9g 45%
    Trans Fat0g  
 Cholesterol0mg 0%
 Sodium360mg 15%
 Total Carbohydrates39g 13%
    Dietary Fiber2g 9%
 Vitamin A0%
 Vitamin C0%

Hey! There's IRON in there. Cool. Good thing I've been eating those, women need extra iron.

Somehow I don't think that is going to be a good argument to keep this in my daily allotment of food. Sigh.

More on this when I return from my doctor's appointment.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Disappointing mentor..

The following is an OLD post that I wrote in 2006, on a blog that I'm no longer posting to. (and yes Mom, I know you shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition but I did..so move on~)

This person is obviously no longer my mentor, and I'm happy to report that I have a new one..one worthy of admiration, one who doesn't mind to teach me and answer my questions. I'm much happier with life now, and feel grateful that circumstances have brought us together. 

So today's thing to think about is: have you ever looked up to someone and were terribly disappointed? Did you question your own judgement? Do you even HAVE a mentor or a hero?

Comments are always welcomed--

Here you go:

I must be pretty naive..but I always thought that a role model was someone to look up to and admire. You know, maybe a teacher in high school, or a mentor at your job. I had mentors in my younger days, but for a long while I just went about my life hero-less, as it were. Then along came someone who was smart, organized and worthy ( or so I thought) of admiration, even emulation!

Recently I had come to discover that this person that I viewed as a "hero" turned out to be a serious disappointment. Actions transpired that made me realize that this person is not only ordinary, but truly unworthy of praise and adoration. This comes not without a price...my feelings were crushed and my world was rocked! I never realized how much a rude awakening could hurt! I question my own judgement in putting this person on a pedestal and wonder why people have to turn out to be jerks. These actions were morally wrong, possibly heinous, reprehensible, and certainly damaging. When I approached this person about what had just taken place I was told that it was none of my business (I was THERE as a witness so I think it was) and that I should make sure my own house was clean before I started judging others. This person is supposed to be "better" than me, I am an ordinary person leading a pedestrian life.  I don't deliberately set out to accomplish what this person did. This was premeditated. This person waited around for others to leave before settling down to the task. I tried to talk them out of it to no avail.

I was so upset, both at #1: this person being such a scum and opening my eyes to the questionable moral makeup and #2: the actions perpetrated by this person during the incident. I cried myself to sleep!

I tried speaking to this person about this, and as I mentioned before, I was told to keep out of it. I was not judging, I just thought I would give my opinion on it. I am grateful I was there, because I kept saying "enough is enough" with tears in my eyes and finally diverted this person away from continuing the hateful activities. If I were not there it would have continued on until this person was satisfied with his actions. From the looks of it, it would have been a long while.

Don't get me wrong here, no one was raped or given drugs, there wasn't a MURDER committed..but certainly if I gave details you would be horrified and question this person's whole gestalt. The actions were morally reprehensible and I am thoroughly disgusted.

And the worst part about it, is that I was the only witness to it all. If it ever came to light I would be the whistle blower, and there would be repercussions to me and my environment. That disgusts me as well.

I can only hope karma steps in and takes care of this person..given the personality and attitude this person has, perhaps it's already happening....but I'm just so heart sick right now....

Friday, September 19, 2008

My blog title and happiness

The title of my blog is Latin for  "I think (cogito), therefore (ergo), I am (sum). I always enjoyed Latin in school and it is, after all, the grandfather of many languages. The statement "I think..." was made popular by the French philosopher Rene Descartes, in the year 1644. It basically means that if you are wondering if you do indeed exist, the fact that you are THINKING about it means you do. A more in depth lesson about this and philosophy in general can be found at, of course, wikipedia.com.
So today's theme is: thinking. I'm still feeling a bit nostalgic (see yesterday's post). I seem to get that way every September, when the leaves start to change and the weather turns a bit chilly.  My birthday is in September also and that is the line of demarcation between summer and autumn for me. Summer is my favorite season, and it's always a bit depressing when both the leaves and the temperature start to drop. For me, the beginning of the year is now, not January 1st. Now is the time to shake off the frivolity of the summer and get back to the grind, whether it's work or school. 
What am I thinking about today? I'm thinking about the inevitability of season's end. I'm thinking about time marching on, inexorably. I'm thinking about my own mortality and just plain "endings" in general. Youth is wasted on the young (so they say) and I wish I had some time back. I know you are supposed to live life in the moment and appreciate things as you do them..but who REALLY does that? Who thinks during a trip to the beach, "This is going to be a great memory!" Who thinks during a birthday party, "I'm having a time to remember!"

NOBODY, that's who.

Maybe I will start thinking about good things more. Perhaps I will stop and take time to smell the roses as I wander through the garden of life. 

Or not.
 I will say, one "rose-smelling" thing that I do now, is write down every night some little thing I'm thankful for. I have a pocket sized monthly planner, with tiny squares for each day. At night, before bedtime, I fill in the box for that day with something good that I'm happy about. One day it was a good meal for dinner. Another day simply reads "friends". I have expressed happiness about my family, pets, job, house, meals and my health. 
Looking back at previous months is a great memory keeper..I can see how simple things were momentous in my life and deserving of a mention..like the time my beloved Greyhound was very ill and close to death. That day read "GiGi ate a few bites of food".
That was back in May, and I'm happy to report that GiGi is doing well. Each day that she is here is a gift to me, one that I appreciate by giving her lots of love and hugs and petting daily.

Perhaps we all need to realize that there are lots of gifts given to us...presents that should be acknowledged by love, and hugs. 
Today I am thinking about all the good things in my life, an early Thanksgiving, if you will. I'm going to realize that when I feel nostalgic--that's a good thing, because it means I have fun and happy memories of my life. 

What are you feeling nostalgic about today??

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Relatives and fondly remembering the past

I went to visit my Mom yesterday, a task that involves driving 45 minutes north to the town of my birth. I used to love going back there but now am saddened by its slow slide into decrepitude and proliferation of dollar stores and non-English speaking residents. I love my mom dearly and I am troubled to think of her alone in that city. She doesn't want to move out (I've offered for her to move in with me many times) and she gets along fine by herself. 
So, the visit.
We always have fun together, talking and shopping and reminiscing about times gone by (though I always come away with a faint sense of unease at how I remember places in the town, things that I did there and the unsettling thought that life can never be happy & carefree as it was when I was young, oh, about 7th grade all the way to senior year in high school. But I digress.). This visit was a little different in that my Mom asked me to stop by my Aunt's house to pick up something. A 10 minute visit turned into 3 hours! My cousin was there by chance and when we saw each other we hugged and I got all warm & fuzzy inside. This girl (woman, actually, another shock to me, because other people age--I don't!) who is 9 months older than me, consisted of such a huge part of my childhood memories that it's hard to think of being young without her popping up into my mental narrative. 
We were inseparable for years..I was always going over to her house and we would play board games, go to the playground across the street from her house, play manhunt, pretend for hours that we were actors and re-enact scenes from movies (Poseidon Adventure??? Who pretends THAT movie?!?! Jeez.). We would watch The Little Rascals, with me sighing loudly in the background ( I hated the Rascals. Now Abbott & Costello, well...THAT was real TV) or play records (Styx for her, Bee Gees for me) on her battered record player. We would go to the corner store (Viola's) and buy candy like Sixlets or Tootsie Rolls. We would pester her older brothers & sister and then there would be yelling. Dinner was always fun, with 6 or more people around the table. I was an only child, and was always fascinated that 4 kids and 2 adults could co exist in such a way. With only 1 bathroom!!Numerous people from the apartment complex where they lived were always ringing the bell or yelling in through the window. 
Compared to my quiet house with only Mom & Dad there, my Aunt's house was like a magical trip that I got to go on every week. 
I was so happy to see her and to talk with my Aunt, the time just flew by. Today I am filled with a sense of melancholy, because remembering happy times when I was younger invariably makes me sad. If I could be young, oh, let's say around 5th or 6th grade...and go all the way through high school again...that would be a great gift to me. I do not have the greatest memory for my childhood, and to hear my cousin tell stories about how she remembers that snack I used to eat (it was a precursor to fruit roll ups, and I didn't remember me eating it until she told me) or the time we had a "feast" at midnight (this I remember all too well) just fills me with bittersweet feeling inside. in turn, I got HER thinking about stuff (Pillsbury Food Sticks, and that flashlight thingy she had with different colored discs that you used to shine on the wall)that she didn't remember until I told her! I wish I had appreciated the fun times more...but I guess if I can think about them, and smile..perhaps I did.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Lowering The Drinking Age

I was just reading the Newark Star-Ledger this morning, and there is a bunch of blogs discussing the issue of lowering the drinking age. Of course there are a bunch of 18-year olds saying that if they can vote and be "sent off to be killed in Iraq" then they should be allowed to booze up without reprimand. I say this in response...when you join the armed forces and "sent off" you are trained thoroughly, and taught how to handle many situations. A soldier, no matter how old he is, handles basic responsibilities by trained instinct.  When underage kids decide to drink, all semblance of intelligence vanishes and they become drunk and cannot handle basic responsibilities, like driving safely, or having rational thought. That is the difference between serving our country and kicking back with a few beers. You cannot train someone how to handle their liquor, you can only wait until they turn 21 and hope that those few extra added years will help them behave in a mature responsible way after the liquor kicks in. And in case anyone is wondering, I had to wait until I was 21 to drink.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My First Post!

How mundane that title is..a momentous occasion for me--to be dipping a toe in the waters of the blog, yet extremely borrrrring to those searching for interesting things to read. 
I apologize for that.
But you have to start somewhere..so here it is.

More to follow~