Saturday, October 31, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake (or, it’s my birthday & I’ll cry if I want to)

Sophie & me, today

 

There's really not a lot I have to say here, other than a big "thank you" to my sister Shawn (and my beautiful niece Sophia here) for giving me yet another special birthday.  When I awoke this morning & saw the skies heavy with rain (along with the realization that I was another year older), I wanted to crawl back under the covers & stay there.  Driving for an hour in the rain...birthdays...who needs 'em?

Well, apparently I did--seeing both girls brightened my spirits considerably.  Along with the awesome 'Star Trek' cake my sister had waiting for me!   (She actually had TWO cakes, but that's just Shawn.  And I ate from both, but that's just me.)

a custom Star Trek cake

 

Isn't this a terrific looking cake?  The little Enterprise on top lights up too!  I'm eating a slice as I type this, y'know...

 

Before we commenced to chowing down on the assortment of confectionary delights however, we drove out to the Drivers License Photo Center (I had to get mine renewed--it expired today & I almost did too, after seeing my new license photo) and then enjoyed some fried chicken.  I think the best part of the afternoon though was my niece (a confessed cake freak) who took ONE bite of that gooey galaxy and launched into a Junior Trekkie giggle-thon; she honestly gives new meaning to the term 'sugar-rush'!Happy Birthday Uncle Doug

 

At first I thought this was one of those smash cakes, the ones for babies to dive into?  Nope, just a chocolate one!  Hey, what's a Halloween birthday without a Halloween birthday cake? 

 

I only wish I had a photo of my sister's neighbor Jackie to share here too; she stopped over to say hi, dressed as a sexy witch.  (Which reminds me, if I plan to go on a witch-hunt of my own before retirement, I need to put the cake down & get my butt in gear with losing some fortysomething poundage. 

I've been making a half-hearted attempt to get in better shape for some time now, but I keep letting too many things get in the way--like Hamburger Mondays, Ice Cream Tuesdays, Wednesday Chili, Thursday Pizza, Friday Subs, Spaghetti Saturdays, Steak Sundays--did I miss any?)   Aargh!  I'm having a real epiphany right now... or maybe it's just all the sugar.  No, no--it's an epiphany alright!

Well, like I said earlier--I didn't really have a lot to say here.  I just wanted to give a proper shout-out to Shawn, and a thank you to my other family (and friends too), for making today feel special.

              Music by Al Caiola - "Baby Elephant Walk-Java Medley"

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Teepee Waiting Room: Someone will be with you shortly...



This morning on my bus ride downtown, I had the usual rigarmarole of thoughts dancing around in my head:  "It's supposed to be nice today, should I walk somewhere for lunch?"   "Will I get the Dubois assignment completed today?"  "Did I remember to record 'Criminal Minds' last night?"  "Why is that kid with the headphones looking at me?"   What was first & foremost however:  "It's been two weeks since my last blog, what am I going to write about next?"   It's like I'm in some waiting room... if I sit here long enough, someone or something will come to me.

Actually, it's not like I don't have anything; I just get second thoughts about some of the things I'm tempted to write about.  Here's a good example:  recently I decided it'd be fun to figure out what my spirit animal is.  I don't mean to be light about this, but it's sort of like the Native American version of a Fairy Godmother.  And I wanted one!


It's a common belief among Native American culture that everyone has a personal spirit animal;  Lucy Harmer's book is a gentle, sometimes humorous 'manual' on finding your own SA and how your 'animal' can help you understand who you are & help guide you on your life's journey  

I think that for a lot of people, this is a pretty "out there" concept, but it had me fairly intrigued.  I got a kick out of the plethora of internet sites & various online quizzes that promise to help; you answer a series of questions & you're now the proud owner of a spirit wolverine, bear or eagle.  (One woman expressed joy at being paired with a black panther.)  That’s how it works..

First of all, it doesn't matter if you're a man or woman, big or small, self assured or indecisive, etc.; you have no say in choosing your SA, it chooses YOU.  Secondly, it can be anything--a bear, a bird, a cat, even a salamander or a MOTH.   Third, you don't find out in a matter of minutes.  It can take days or weeks.  The theory goes that when you decide you're ready to know, you perform a form of silent meditation, and WAIT.  Your SA will let you know in an indirect fashion; you'll suddenly find yourself "coincidentally" running into any sort of references to a specific creature, until it dawns on you--"ah, my spirit animal is a (fill in the blank)..."   

So a couple weeks ago I began practicing some of the visualization  techniques outlined in the book, just in a casual "hey I'm in bed anyway" manner.   And on the fourth night I dreamt that I was driving to my sister's house & ran over a porcupine.

I didn't think anything of it (does running over your spirit-animal count as a vision!?) but as time went by, I begin seeing a lot of references to porcupines.   I know it sounds crazy (well, like this blog) but my whole life, I've never encountered anything porcupine-related.  And now, in a 2 week period I'm suddenly seeing references to porcupine grass on HGTV, porcupine fish on the Travel Channel--I even come across an old recipe for porcupine balls in a 1940s 'Vintage Recipes' cookbook!   Here’s the attibutes I share with my spirit animal:


Innocence

Trust in Spirit

Renewed sense of wonder

Creating your own path

Protection of boundaries

Defense when threatened

Allowing others their path

Non-interference


Hmm...I admit I really began to warm up to that porcupine, and who wouldn't want to believe they share such great qualities?  (Besides, the darn thing is so cute...)   And then last night, I dreamt that I was talking on the phone & telling someone about my new pet spider.  (What the--I hate spiders!)  Why would I dream I owned one?  And who wants a spider as their spirit animal?  Was I wrong about my porcupine?  I'm going to do my best to avoid all references to spiders today.  

This afternoon I decide I want a soda, so I go to our office kitchen where the vending machines are located; but this pop machine only sells bottles, and for some reason I want a can.  I walk down the hall to the smaller kitchen (where I know another pop machine is located) and when I enter--there is a spider plant sitting in the sink.   No!

So I get home from work tonight, I'm sitting on the edge of my bed & removing my shoes... and God as my witness, on the floor by my nightstand is a spider.  A damn spider.  It's just sitting there!  I haven't seen a single insect in here in YEARS, so why now?!   I decided I'm not ready for a spirit animal.  I scooped it up in a glass & flung it off my patio. 
                                 
Well, at least this whole episode hasn't stopped my newfound affection for porcupines--and for the record, I MADE those porcupine balls last weekend.  (They're like meatballs, with rice.)  And they were delicious.

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