Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Truth and Fibberish

Truth is an ambiguous term. By definition, truth relates to fact or reality.

To me, a fact is a fact, but someone’s reality can be a psychological mystery. An example is in the interpretive environment of a court of law. The opposition raises his hand and swears under oath to tell the truth. But his history of continually fabricating stories and not telling the truth won’t be altered when he says “I do.” In fact, when records, evidence, and witnesses all prove this guy has lied, it still won’t change his point of view, habits, or concept of reality.

The truth might look different to different people. But so might a lie.

The reason I discuss this topic is because of the former friend I wrote about six blogs ago, “Verity.” When he came to visit from out of state, he must have removed his wedding band, told his wife that he was at his daughter’s house, and prayed for adulterous behavior. After all, he is a Christian.

So I decided to explore truth.

Another form of truth is loyalty. I’ve always said I’m loyal like a dog. (I probably look and act like one too. C’mon, let’s have a sniff.) A person can be loyal to an auto repair shop, a grocery store, friends, restaurants, his or her partner. By continuing to wag your tail and support organizations and people, you show trust and honor.

Then there’s the eventual truth. Take my hiking buddy, for example. I blogged about a story he told me years ago that was hilarious: He’s such a wild and crazy type, his story had to be true. A couple weeks after I posted that story, he couldn’t control his laughter. As we hiked, I glanced over at him, whacked his arm, and said, “You asshole! You made it up!” He still laughs about it. That kind of fibberish I can handle—mentally, but only after I beat the little turd.

Truth is keeping a promise, sometimes just to yourself, set as a goal. Truth doesn’t betray. I don’t tolerate betrayal well, yet have experienced it too many times and wonder if others have too. It’s entirely possible that someone unintentionally betrays another: The person simply doesn’t know any better. And for this, I cannot take offense. And if I were the offender, I would pray we could openly communicate about the incident.

But that takes guts: usually on the part of the offended to mention the incident. It’s so much easier to just move away from the situation and person. After all, there are lots of businesses to try and other friends to share time with. But a gnawing energy lives inside the mind and eats away at the body when communication ceases, causing a low-level stress that pervades the dream state.

So what does a person do? Write a letter, an e-mail, call?

When the friend with the secret wife realized he messed up, he e-mailed me four days later stating that he had not been honest with me. Essentially, he lied by omission, not an uncommon behavior. I’ve done it. But why didn’t he e-mail me a long time ago and say, “Gee, Auntie, I got married, and because I want my wife to trust me, I won’t be able to e-mail you anymore.” I could send him a congratulatory reply and feel good.

Are the consequences worse or better by telling the truth?

I liken correcting a fib and telling the truth to wine spilling on the carpet. The sooner you deal with it, the less of a chance it will leave a permanent stain.

And the longer a lie is held inside, the more it festers and crawls around inside the liar’s mind, body, and soul until the person’s consumed by that stain.

I know I say too much. Forever, friends have said, “Go ahead, tell us how you feel, Auntie,” because I don’t hold back. I prefer people like me, because when someone is too quiet, as my former friend was, I don’t easily trust.

I like to take people at face value, and when the going gets tough, I hope that a friend would team up with me. But it’s entirely possible that he or she will turn away.

I will keep my fool filter engaged but probably need a finer mesh. I just hope the fool isn’t staring back at me when I look into the mirror.

If you like it, link it! If you don’t, tell me why.

Thank you to my friend for loaning me his lions image.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Old? Who Are You Calling Old?

I’m an annual birthday greeter who calls or e-mails friends on their special day with whatever age-related thorn I can stick in their side. Monday’s victim was my “old” boss, flight instructor, and friend who turned 65.

He is still an overactive aviator. I know because, being with the CIA, I spy on him via his Web site. He earned his pilot’s license when he was about 16 in the Windy City of Chicago, if memory serves. He towed banners behind his Cessna 182 and has since flown almost everything fixed wing, small to large, and eventually started a business of flying fickle hot-air balloons—in windy Colorado. His Native American moniker is Passing By with Wind.

I met WP right after graduating from college in May 1981 when I applied for what I thought was a copywriting job at his radio station. A gal in my journalism school was a reporter there and suggested I apply for their opening.

As fate would have it, I had a huge red zit at the end of my already big nose, and this general manager had a lovely office with a wall of windows overlooking Half Moon Lake. All the better to see your big red zit, my dear, I could imagine him thinking. All he remembers were my big blue eyes, and he dubbed me Blue Eyes…which is far better than Rudolph.

With a welcome the size of a 747, this big, booming guy wore a smile that eroded any thought that he would dislike me because of having a blemish, and his personality broadcasted as effervescently as Santa Claus on his first rounds.

I felt intimidated. But after meeting the whole sales staff, they offered me the job of account executive. It sounded like an important position, so I accepted. They gave me a dead list, literally in some cases, and I tried to sell time, yes time, primarily to retailers, on the radio—30-second spots. Imagine that.

About a year later, this Big Guy learned that I had wanted my pilot’s license since I was 10, so he loaned me the red Cessna training kit and offered to have me fly with him. Life was looking up.

Every so often, we’d fly to a restaurant just off a dirt or grass strip runway. We’d enjoy lunch, then he would write about the food and service for an aviation magazine. WP was always doing something.

So one year he came to visit me in Colorado Springs while assessing possibilities on the Front Range. We enjoyed a great hike up in the mountains nearby. And sure enough, he moved to Colorado. And soon, everyone knew him.

I walked into the United Airlines Flight Center to fly in one of the sims and asked the gal in front if a guy called WP ever came in there. “Oh, yes! Big Guy. He’s an instructor here.”

“Wasteth no time” must be his motto. I have much to learn.

So yesterday he responded to my e-mail calling himself an old fart.

Now, the fart part I believe. But old? This guy’s too quick to ever let Old catch him.

If you like it, link it!

Read about his program at

Thursday, February 18, 2010


"You're not normal." I’ve heard this a lot throughout my life, and I don’t consider it an insult because I don’t know any better. It could just be their observation.

I am a minimalist. When I co-owned a big house, I felt we had more than we needed, even though we used every square inch of the place. On icy-cold nights, my mind would wander toward the homeless, wondering what would happen if I housed a couple.

I am a female who doesn’t like to clothes shop. My aunt calls it a character flaw. I call it being frugal and conservative. When I think I need something, aside from food, gas, and insurance, I look around the house and garage to see if some other object, creatively applied, could serve my need.

I despise waste, clutter, and Walmart. And when I need a date on Fridays, I grab a raisin instead.

I have, however, developed an interest in grocery shopping because I love to cook and provide fine dinners for my daughter, friends, and animals. When a person cooks with love, the food tastes better and nourishes body and spirit. And you stay thin!

I like having an empty room, an empty shelf, an empty drawer. It clears my mind and opens it to possibilities.

Now what was I saying?

I am male in many of my views, actions, thoughts, and words, though I could really use balls. Sometimes taking a risk these days seems monumental.

Like guys, I like to fix things I already possess rather than purchasing a replacement.
Fringe benefits come with repairing:
I don’t have to spend time and money researching for a new item,
I don’t have to record info and file the purchase’s papers,
I don’t have to find a place to take my old item, and
I receive gratification knowing that the thing I already have is still useful, like my brain.

But I’m not like a guy when it comes to trying to fix gals’ emotional and relationship challenges. I just try to listen.

I am a superorganizer with my time and space. As I’m getting ready in the morning, I plan the order in which I’ll accomplish my goals. Every minute clicks neatly into the next one efficiently, if I’m lucky. Gauging on time needed to prepare dinner or run errands, I plan backward, allowing leeway for the unplanned.

I carry a book or magazine when I think a line might impede my progress.

I’m timely and follow through on what I say I will do. Except once. But it subconsciously slipped my mind because following through would have meant more agony.

I am an analytical, supersensitive thinker. If I haven’t heard from someone in ages, I imagine the worst: They’re out having a beer without me.

I keep a watering can in the bathtub to collect water as it heats for my shower. That water feeds my plants or washing machine.

I think about my impact on others and try not to make too much noise. I keep my stuff in place, inside the house and out, so people don’t have to view a mess, which is why I don’t leave the house when my hair doesn’t turn out.

And when my emotional storehouse is well supplied, I enjoy helping others and sharing what I have.

Life is good! And if you’re reading my blog, you’re probably not-normal too, which is why I love you.

If you like it, link it!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Muttering the Art of French…

You know how some movies can change your life for a while? Like Psycho, Fatal Attraction, and Rocky? I remember seeing Sylvester Stallone’s movie in 1976 and leaving the theater with an exuberant, fighting spirit, punching the air like someone who’d lost her marbles. I feel as if I become part of the film. Not even a shower can get it off. Especially not a shower.

My daughter would much rather watch Sarah, Plain and Tall with me than True Lies. I scream and jump and emote all over the place. I’m a mess at the theater too. By film’s end, I’m the only one left.

I just saw Julie & Julia and feel my energy still simmering. Meryl Streep portrayed Julia Child and her lively, loving spirit beautifully. She reminded me of my Nana, who was one of the most positive people I knew. She could find something good in everyone. Everyone. She’d probably say that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad just had a hard childhood, and he’s harboring an old wound because his mother always made him eat all his Ghaliye Mahi, and he never liked the smell of fish. Poor little guy.

Until she was four, Nana spoke only French and was eventually known for her excellent cooking and elegant dinner parties. So seeing Julie & Julia started a fire burning in my little French oven and stirred an ancestral desire to become better at giving others a most basic need.

A Renault. No, food, really. The way Julia prepared her dishes was akin to carnal accretion. Just watching her stir tantalized the imagination and taste buds. There was a lot of finger licking in the movie. I had already been on a cooking roll, and the movie kicked me into fourth gear.

I stocked up on butter, heavy cream, fresh vegetables, and French ed books. My friend came over with her handmade recipe books, greeting me with a joyful “Bon Appétit!” and we started planning a dinner party.

We’ll prepare chicken and vegetables in parchment, a fabulous rice dish, and lemon fluff…or is it fluffy lemons…or lemony fluffers? Oh, I can’t remember, but I’m sure all our guests will say, “Wee!”

I mean, “Oui.”

If anyone understands my strange comments, let me know, and if you like it, link it!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Knock, Knock, Ditch It

Why do you suppose many of us as kids were so brave?

Or is the word really stupid? I’ve often said there is a fine line between courage and stupidity, and at first it might be difficult to tell the difference. Entering into a relationship, for example.

Did we have too much time in our youth with not enough work and few responsibilities? It seems summertime was filled with fun, friends, and finding creative things to do.

When I was 14, I spent the summer with my aunt, uncle, and their four kids on Trump Lake in Wisconsin. During the day we’d ski or hang out with the next-door neighbors who had a large summer home for their family with 14 kids. Yes, fourteen. I don’t think they owned a television or condoms.

After it got dark, we’d walk the lake road and try to scare each other with ferocious-animal stories, running into the woods to rouse the fierce beasts, scaring ourselves as much as the others.

Sometimes we’d play knock, knock, ditch it—a game invented to scare and irritate home dwellers who were otherwise relaxed and happy and enjoying their evening brandy. We’d bravely tiptoe up to the door and take turns being the knocker. Then, like antelope scattering at the rush of a lion or a bird flying into a window, we’d dart and hide or crash and slide.

At least one of those was the plan. But night plans without night-vision goggles present unseen challenges—nocturnal creatures with thick fur, sharp claws, and spiked projections.

“Ahhhhh! Help! Scott! Where are you?!” I whisper screamed. “Something’s got me! Help!”

Just then, the homeowner turned on his light and poked a shotgun out his door. “Who’s there?” he coarsely grumbled.

I pictured my peppered ass as I wriggled and ripped to get free.

And I did.

Released now from the barbed-wire fence, I quietly moved my stupid, wounded flesh back where it belonged…and never played knock, knock, ditch it again.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Staying Healthy

Do you think we’d be healthier if we were mindful and fed, rested, and exercised our bodies as if we were sick? thoroughly took care of our minds and bodies with positive thoughts and actions?

I do.

Usually when people draw an illness into their bodies, they try to rest more, dine more nutritiously, exercise more if they can, and swallow a few more vitamins. So if we treated ourselves decently all the time, would we never get sick?

For most of us, I would answer yes. I have not gotten sick in years. Well, I had a sore throat, so the potential was going from dormant to active in my body, but the next day I was clear. You see, I detested being sick half my childhood years, so I become lightly angry when people who live in my home become ill, namely, daughter unit and momlet.

Each autumn during the first week back in school, my daughter finds a cold virus floating around and decides to carry it around in her body for a few days just to show how tough she is. She misses a day of school, then doesn’t get sick for the rest of the school year or summer.

So when she said to me last night that the lymph nodes in her neck were swollen, I asked if she’d been staying hydrated, eating a salad at lunch, and taking her vitamins. To all three, she answered yes. But lately she has avoiding going outside to walk and absorb rays, so I’ve encouraged her to take a vitamin D capsule, but not to replace sunshine. She’s feeling better today.

That’s when it occurred to me: If we consistently honored ourselves with a balanced life, we’d probably never get sick.

What do you think? Please comment.

You’re Married?

“Wife? When you say you’re his wife, what exactly do you mean?”

Imagine my deep sadness when a good friend e-mailed a seven-person group to say his son was near death in the hospital, asking for prayers and for God’s hand to move positively in his son’s life.

Imagine my calling him that morning immediately after receiving his message to express my sorrow and assure him of my prayers and his emitting a nervous laugh. I thought it odd but attributed it to the frightening situation.

Imagine further my shock, calling later that eve and having a female answer his phone—a female who declared she was my friend’s wife.

I have a lot of married friends, and none are scared to tell me that they’re happy or not happy in their relationships. But I have known this guy for 10 years and never has he displayed any sign that he was married. He’d indicate in subtle ways that he was interested in me, though not as overtly as some. He’s always been quiet, intelligent, and a good writer, not one who would sit and openly converse as friends do.

Listening is something he maintained he did better. Now I see that listening was better because talking might have inadvertently revealed verity.

My eyes are now wide open, and my mind is satisfied that I listened to my intuition. The last time he stopped by, I actually said that I have a rough time trusting people who don’t openly express themselves, fearing they were hiding something. I told him that I felt guys were after one thing and often sluts, thus averting any potential advance.

My gut spoke, and I listened. I have found it to be the best intelligence and my true friend.

So as this guy updated his now-undisclosed e-mailing list about his son’s daily condition, he’d sign off with “Yours in Christ,” or sentiments like that.

Hello? What does that mean? A guy who seemed willing to cheat on his wife, weak and lacking self-discipline, a guy who declares himself Christian? Give me the life of a heathen, so at least I can commit myself to a sinful life eating alfredo and meat, drinking wine, and eliciting choice remarks.

Yes, I am imperfect and hurt. I feel betrayed. Not because this guy and I would have gotten to first base, but because he had thoughts that surpassed his vows to both his wife and me. As a friend, truth is imperative. Truth allows a person to freely be with another. Sans judgment.

I will admit, I thought he and I were friends, but now, judgmentally, I wonder how many other me’s were out there, how many times he lied to his wife, and how deep his faith in Christ really is.

I wonder if he wonders if the fate of his son had something to do with his behavior.

I will never know, because I will never communicate with this fool again.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Here I Come Again!

When I came to Colorado Springs 25 years ago, I didn’t know a soul. I just knew if I stayed in Wisconsin much longer, I’d become a hippo from eating to stay warm. I’d wait for the furnace to kick in and sit next to my heat register, hoping to get the frost off my caboose.

In the three years before I escaped Wisconsin, I researched several United States cities, examining info on weather, culture, environment, education, and economic climate, and decided to move here.

I immediately took a couple sales positions, so I could meet people and simultaneously interview for jobs. Sales and networking groups were popular back then, so I joined two SWAP groups, the Chamber of Commerce’s membership committee, a School District 11 board, and Win-Win. SWAP isn’t as fun and risqué it sounds—it’s an acronym for Salesmen with a Purpose, but they let me join anyway.

Within a couple months of attending Win-Win, I started managing the group, inviting speakers to talk, writing the newsletters and thank yous, and helping to maintain our 200-member list. Each Friday we listened to a speaker share how he or she conducted their work in a win-win way.

We’d learn from judges, educators, preachers (even Ted Haggard), psychologists (two now relatively well known), trainers, political leaders, business owners, criminals (one gal kidnapped a child, was detained, and missed her speaking engagement)—a wide range of professionals and at least one amateur. Enlightenment was continual, even newsworthy.

One thread I felt throughout our membership was deep spirituality. There was a closeness and connectedness among people, no matter what their beliefs. An atmosphere of acceptance wrapped warm arms around those in the room with only occasional dissonance and coffee breath. Unconditional love flowed through our meetings.

One recurrent belief many in this group held was that they had lived before—like parents before having children. They experienced another lifetime. They would tell me about their former lives as males or females, Nazis, victims of murder, Egyptian princesses, you name it. Each person had somehow remembered former experiences through past-life regression or simply through living. They just knew it.

Believing things I cannot see or prove is rather difficult for me. I lived in Eau Claire with two Christian girls who prayed in tongues, while I only ate and spoke with mine. Being instantly healed outside of gradual skin repair seemed a bit far-fetched for my little cerebrum…until 1982 when I attended a Christian concert at our church.

The Celebrant Singers were wonderful and full of spirit. After the music ended, the lead singer prayed to conclude our time together. He prayed and he prayed and he prayed, and I thought, I want to go home and sleep. And with that thought, he beseeched, “And Lord, may all those with throat afflictions be healed.”

Whoosh! A warm energy shot from above my head, through my body, hit the soles of my shoes, and returned up through my body with a chill. And poof! my tonsillitis was gone. Little white dots plagued me on and off for years. They were gone!

So I had proof. Healing is real. Sold.

But this past lives thing…I can’t seem to wrap my presence around it. But I shall be open and receptive to the concept, as well as the healing that purportedly accompanies the process.

So after I croak and you’re at a concert, and you see a confident, hot mama in a skimpy red dress belting out “Here I Come Again!” That’ll be me.

But I won’t be singing about reincarnation.