Online Reality-So many choices and not enough time

Technology can provide all the abundance we can imagine. Yet, ultimately, we only have so much time – a relative blink of the eye – to enjoy it. In the 22nd century, businesses that understand this, that help their customers manage this most finite and precious resource, will flourish. Expect to see new types of companies playing new roles in our lives because of the growing value we will place on our time.

Today the feeling of time deprivation is epidemic, but here is a paradox: in reality this feeling is illusory. Not only is your life expectancy greater, but it takes much less time to provide the basics. You don’t grow your own food, and with services such as Webvan, many of us do not even visit the grocer anymore. You buy clothes over the Internet in minutes.

So why this sense of deprivation? It stems from the endlessly expanding sea of choices: You’re within driving distance of three or more gigaplexes, each with 16 or 24 movie screens. How many reviews do you have time to read? Want to discuss cars? Once there were the Big Three. How many brands can you name today? How long does it take to visit all the Websites devoted to car buying?

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Friendship? Yes, Please.

Those words were said by Charles Dickens, and they still sure fit today.

There’s nothing like having a friend ~ someone you feel so comfortable with that you share the best and worst of yourself, without wondering if they’ll still be your friend.

I love having Patti and Petie as friends, but I also have other friends, too.  I get to share my thoughts and dreams, my successes and failures and have lots of fun with all kinds of people.

By having friends outside of my family, I get to learn how other people live, what they believe in, different foods they eat and holidays they celebrate.

The most important thing I learned about keeping friends is that you have to trust them ~ there’s no gossiping and no saying cruel things.  Sometimes that is hard for me to do, but I’m learning how to hold my tongue and not judge people for what they’re wearing or how they look.

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Collegians on the road to enlightenment

A couple of ago, Mike Marriner and Nate Gebhard took to the road to find their path in life.

Frustrated with what seemed like the lockstep approach to colleges and careers, the Southern California residents boarded an RV and took a 15,000-mile road trip to film interviews with luminaries from various professions. Their goal: Find out what made successful people happy, so young people could learn how to find their own route to professional fulfillment. In so doing, Marriner and Gebhard launched a movement, dubbed Roadtrip Nation (RTN), complete with a new book and PBS series.

For them, the journey has become the destination. The two founders are now handing the keys to enlightenment — not to mention three neon-green RVs — to the next batch of road-trippers.

A trio of three-person teams hits the road Thursday to pick the brains of notables such as the late Hugh Hefner of Playboy fame, Sanjay Gupta of CNN, and Theodore Sorensen, John F. Kennedy’s speechwriter. The three teams will take separate routes and meet back in New York from Aug. 1 to 6.

The nine new road-trippers — one team each from the West Coast, East Coast, and Midwest — were chosen from 100 finalists who applied through their college career centers.

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Living fiction

Even though I’ve had The Kite Runner listed on my sidebar for over a month now, I just started reading it this weekend. Right around the time that our house hunt went from “Traipsing through other people’s houses and ogling their furniture is fun!” to “Holy f***, we need to find a place to live, like yesterday” I decided I wanted to read it, but I never got past page six.

I couldn’t focus on anything except the fact that if we didn’t find a place soon we’d be shackin’ up with my in-laws, so I put reading fiction on the back burner and focused exclusively on being a total stressbag instead. I kind of forgot about it until Friday night, when I caught a glimpse of it on my night table and picked it up.

I haven’t put it down since. Holy crap, this book is amazing. I am living and breathing this book, this riveting, at times painful, exquisite story. When I’m not reading it, I’m thinking about the sounds and smells and the lives that are unfolding on the pages. I’m picturing scenes in my head, the characters and their faces, what they’re wearing…I dream about this book at night.

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Like the cheese, the filing cabinet stands alone

Sometimes I miss the person I was in high school. I’ll think back to those days and I alternate between cringing with embarrassment and laughing in that oh my god, I can’t believe I did that kind of way, but there are times when I think about the girl I was and can’t help but miss her a bit.

I was brash, outgoing and not afraid to speak my mind. I had quite the “I don’t give a f***” streak running through me; I was a bit of a rebel for a while. I wanted to be different, original; I wanted to be spunky and stand out. And as I got older I took some of that with me, but a lot of it I left behind.

Back then my most prized possession was a black filing cabinet that I kept my tapes in (RIP, cassette tape) and stuck all of my rock stickers on. Every time I went to a concert or into a head shop I’d buy a sticker to take home and put on my filing cabinet.

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Bah-humbug!

I hate Christmas and the whole damn holiday season. Here’s why:

They start stocking the store shelves with all the Christmas froufrou at the beginning of September. By the end of November, I am so tired of looking at all the shit that I want to stick toothpicks in my eyeballs and serve them as cocktail onions just to keep from having to look at the crap a minute longer.

I used to wonder how people justify spending so much money to decorate their homes for one stinking holiday, but now I know. They start putting the shit up after Halloween and don’t take it down till the end of January.

They spend a quarter of the damn year celebrating a holiday that is only one day long. Then, of course, there are the real lazy asses who never take their damn lights down. Someone needs to yank those lights down and choke the shit out of them.

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Spiders and waff-waffs and eeps, oh no…

Some things are funny for reasons I can’t explain. Suddenly I’ll look at something in a slightly different way and it will seem utterly hilarious. One day, Bahkti, my son, and I were sitting in the bath and I spotted a bottle of dog shampoo.

On the label was a picture of a spaniel, one which did not look as if it wanted to be bathed. It appeared to be mouthing the sound waff, with the implicit meaning “don’t you dare bring that shampoo toward me”. I already had a private joke about spaniels (which I can’t explain here, unfortunately) and suddenly they became the second most miserable thing in the world.

Spaniels have now become a part of my ‘personal mythology’, if you want to think of it that way. Bahkti and I (and even a number of our friends) react to spaniels (‘waffs’ or ‘whaffs’ if you’re in the know) by putting our hands up to the sides of our heads, waggling them like the long, stupid ears of the silly mutts.

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Bootie Stiletto and Bikes

It’s a shoe of many talents; the thin black piping and neatly tied bow suggest a prim Edwardian schoolmistress, the damson pink color and cute peep toe signal a high-kicking showgirl, and it’s easy to picture that spiked heel being ground into a fleshy back by a sexy dominatrix. There’s also the bling factor, as embodied in the pale gold, engraved Gucci logo. The bootie goes by the name of “Newton,” though I’m not sure what the scientist would have made of its gravity-defying 4.5″ stiletto.

But I think what I like most about it is the color, a demure rose transformed into wanton flesh thanks to the patent sheen. It’s also available in black and light grey, but why opt for dull neutral when you can have glorious Technicolor? As Nancy Sinatra might have sung: “These booties are made for walking.” They’re actually not made for walking at all—but for strutting, wiggling, shimmying, and prancing, they’ll do just fine.

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What Friends Are For

Will we get hit by Mathew? Baltimore County has no idea what to do when it storms, they’ll probably cancel school – again.  Which meant Laura’s daycare would also be closed for the day.  Which meant I would have to take yet another day off from work, after missing three days last week to the plague.

But I was able to go to work after all!  Did I leave the dog in charge of the baby while I was away?  Nope!  I was able to leave Laura with a dear friend, whose 7-month-old son is the same size as my peanut of a daughter.  Laura had a day-long playdate, while I went to work worry-free.  And even better?  My friend documented the day in photographs for me!

I am so thankful to have so many great friends right near us that I can count on in a pinch.  I would do the same for them in a heartbeat if called upon!  That’s what friends are for.

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4 Variations of Boot Camp Exercises

We’ve covered some of the main boot camp exercises but it’s time to look at what the next step is. A lot of people quickly get bored of doing the same old same old week in and week out so we’ve taken the liberty to look at some key variations in traditional boot camp exercises. By adding these to your workout without weights you’ll start building muscle faster by shocking the muscles as well as focusing more on one side at a time:

1. Alternating Push Ups

Starting off with the push-up switch up. If you can’t do one-handed push-ups (let’s face it, most of us can’t… yet) then it’s time to try alternative push-ups. You can accomplish this by finding an object between six inches and a foot high that will support your weight and fits under one hand. From here adopt your typical push-up position and simple place more weight on the raised hand thus alleviating pressure from the opposite arm. You can do one side at a time or if you’re feeling energetic try switching side to side by pushing off each hand.

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