Saturday, August 15, 2009

Big Girls Don't Cry

(Sung by Fergie...I admit, tonight this is not a random choice of song.)

Ah Saturday night, I had nothing planned. Just finished painting my kitchen (classic berry and lovely, may I add), and my plans consisted of straightening up and watching DVRed programs on television. My prospects brightened when an old friend emailed, "Dinner and drinks" at a local favorite. Yay! This friend always makes me laugh and it's a guarantee of a fun night when we get together. I wasn't sure how many would attend this impromptu gathering, but getting out felt good. Turns out there were only three of us, although to listen to us, we sounded as loud as a gaggle of geese! Giggling and harumphing at each other's stories and tales of whatever. Somehow we kept returning to the topic of reunions. Mine (high school) is this November. My friend had her reunion a couple of years ago. She was telling story after story about people she didn't remember and silly mistakes people were making about her. Also about how it felt to go to a reunion alone and the stupid things people say when you are alone: "Are you married? Engaged? Dating?" No. "Why not?" DUMB QUESTION...she was saying she wanted to respond, "Because I'm a loser!?! I don't know why." Hahahaha, the laughter continued...until she said, "I brought my camera and only took pictures of the people who got fat." There was a barely noticeable hesitation in her story, but she continued. She showed the pictures to her family and they laughed about who "got fat".

She took pictures of the people who got fat and ONLY those people and LAUGHED at them.

She told me this. Guess what? I'm fat. Oh, you can call it heavy, chubby, overweight...whatever you call's me. I don't like it. I'm trying to lose weight. Trying and failing. Wishing I was thin. I don't know anyone who likes to be overweight. I feel bad, physically and emotionally. The weight came on when my dad got sick and passed away. It's not an excuse, but it is a reason. Weight has protected me. It shielded me from life and pain. No one looks at me when I'm fat. People leave me alone and look away. Unfortunately, it takes awhile to get rid of it. I will. I know I will. I work so hard to believe that I am beautiful at any weight (although I don't think I fully accept myself now, at this weight.) But now I wonder, this November at the high school reunion, who will be taking pictures of me and laughing at the fat girl?

And now I'm I really want to go?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

from NPR: 100 Best Beach Books Ever

The audience of NPR voted on the top 100 Best Beach Books Ever. I'm impressed that I've read so many. Interesting list...take a look.

1. The Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling
2. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
3. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
4. Bridget Jones's Diary, by Helen Fielding
5. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
6. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, by Rebecca Wells
7. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
8. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
9. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, by Fannie Flagg
10. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver
11. The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
12. Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
13. The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan

14. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
15. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
16. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
17. Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett
18. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
19. Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides
20. Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen
21. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
22. The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver
23. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith
24. The World According to Garp, by John Irving
25. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
26. The Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy
27. Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel
28. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
29. The Accidental Tourist, by Anne Tyler
30. Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
31. A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole
32. East of Eden, by John Steinbeck
33. The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant
34. Beach Music, by Pat Conroy
35. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
36. Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier
37. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
38. Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry
39. The Thorn Birds, by Colleen McCullough
40. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, by Michael Chabon
41. Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett
42. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
43. Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice
44. Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier
45. Empire Falls, by Richard Russo
46. Under the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayes
47. The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas
48. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, by Tom Robbins
49. I Know This Much Is True, by Wally Lamb
50. Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie

51. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
52. The Stand, by Stephen King
53. She's Come Undone, by Wally Lamb
54. Dune, by Frank Herbert
55. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
56. Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
57. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
58. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
59. The Godfather, by Mario Puzo
60. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith

61. Animal Dreams, by Barbara Kingsolver
62. Jaws, by Peter Benchley
63. Good in Bed, by Jennifer Weiner
64. Angle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner
65. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
66. The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway
67. The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand
68. Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut
69. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
70. The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler
71. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
72. The Hunt for Red October, by Tom Clancy
73. Cold Sassy Tree, by Olive Ann Burns
74. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
74. Bonfire of the Vanities, by Tom Wolfe [tie]
76. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte
77. Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
78. The Shell Seekers, by Rosamunde Pilcher
79. Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver
80. Eye of the Needle, by Ken Follett
81. Cannery Row, by John Steinbeck
81. The Pilot's Wife, by Anita Shreve [tie]
83. All the Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy
84. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson
85. The Little Prince, by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
86. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
87. One for the Money, by Janet Evanovich
88. Shogun, by James Clavell
89. Dracula, by Bram Stoker
90. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera
91. Presumed Innocent, by Scott Turow
92. Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger
93. The Secret History, by Donna Tartt
94. Dead Until Dark, by Charlaine Harris
95. Summer Sisters, by Judy Blume
96. The Shining, by Stephen King
97. How Stella Got Her Groove Back, by Terry McMillan
98. Lamb, by Christopher Moore
99. Sick Puppy, by Carl Hiaasen
100. Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Monday, August 3, 2009

Down to the River to Pray

(Alison Krauss)

I love that this song came up on shuffle, because last night I went to church! Love the serendipity. Going to church for some may be an ordinary part of the weekly routine, but not me. I am Catholic. Born and raised...and forever will I be Catholic. Often, I struggle with parts of the church and have been called by some friends a Cafeteria Catholic (which means I pick and choose which parts I believe in and follow). Spiritual seems to be the accepted word lately: "I'm not religious, I'm spiritual." In my life, religion has taken a back seat behind, well everything else. Why is that? I want something more. I need something more.

Every once in awhile I get a hankering to go someplace I've never been before- go exploring. It's one of my favorite things to do. I'd heard of this beautiful church about thirty miles away. "Why not?" I thought. The drive over the mountain was a spiritual experience by itself, with it's awe inspiring beauty. When I saw the church, I got that "I did it" feeling! (Finding a new place is exciting as I am TERRIBLE at directions.) My timing was early, very early so I timidly sat in my car for a bit. When I emerged, nervous, I approached the giant wooden doors and opened them I saw a church; like any other church. There were two ushers opening the glass doors into the church. I found a seat on the edge of a pew. Kneeling, I prayed and for a moment I was overcome with emotion. Fear, anxiety, hope, love...I didn't know what to do, so I sat and wrote. The mass began. A simple organ tune for the entrance. No singing. I was disappointed. Mass was the same. So far, I wasn't sure why I came...until Father Brian began to speak. His sermon...there are no words. First of all, he spoke to us (the congregation) like people. He told us of his own life and experiences. He made jokes. He even used his microphone and spoke in a deep "God voice" and said, "This is your sign." He said his boss told him to pass along the message. Hahaha! What Catholic priest does that? Father Brian does. I laughed. He kept repeating a phrase, "Stop pretending to be Catholic and be Catholic." I feel all shook up inside like a snowglobe. My life was going along fine, on the surface, and now he made me think and question and wonder. That's was church is supposed to do! Now, I'm left with all of these feelings and I don't know what to do except...return to church. Look for answers.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Some random knowledge about me..

Borrowed today’s blog concept from Lisa at Knitting Yarns.

1. ONE OF YOUR SCARS, HOW DID YOU GET IT? on my right knee there is a raised bump from butterfly stitches when I jumped off a curb when I was little.

2. WHAT IS ON THE WALLS IN YOUR ROOM? newly painted Chesapeake Sunset paint. Getting ready to hang mirror and pictures.


4. WHAT TYPE OF MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO? Country music is my favorite.


6. COFFEE OR ENERGY DRINK? Coffee...MY coffee.

7. FAVORITE QUOTE? “Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

8. FAVORITE PLACE? sandy beaches

9. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? depends upon my mood

10. MASHED POTATOES OR MACARONI AND CHEESE? Mashed potatoes...ALWAYS mashed potatoes


12. KISSES OR HUGS? kisses AND hugs

13. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING? Fablehaven by Brandon Mull and Holding On to Good Ideas in a Time of Bad Ones: Six Literacy Principles Worth Fighting For by Thomas Newkirk

Musings and thoughts...