Archive | January, 2018

Sounds During My Evening Meditation

29 Jan

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The Celtics game two rooms over

Cheers, male voices, sneakers?

Chicken sizzling on the stove

My own breath, struggling through a stuffy nose

A siren

Cars

General breeze things

A bird?

Running water

The garbage disposal

The opening of a trashcan

More cheers

A sneeze

Chopping on the cutting board

That garbage can again

A Diet Coke next to me, lazily going flat

Andy Puddicombe’s soothing voice, urging me forward

My stomach, growling, ready for what’s next

 

 PS: When I started meditationa year into meditation, and how I use meditation

Yay for me

25 Jan

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Inspired by a segment on this great podcast

Yay for me!  I cleaned out my medicine cabinet. That sort of crazy clean where you toss out everything that’s expired and realize, wow, medicine expires a lot quicker than I toss it out.

Yay for me! I wore my mouth guard last night.

Yay for me! I made a hearty Italian soup on Sunday to prep for the week which brought up bigger questions like am I only prepping to live and never really living? And yet I perservered through the existential crisis and prepped to live and live I shall, with hearty soup, every lunch this week.

Yay for me! I’m finally reading a book a friend gave me years ago and it’s really nice to slow down and enjoy what I already have.

Yay for me! I got rid of that blue hoodie I kind of hated.

Yay for me

Your Grandma Here To Tell You About Good Witch

23 Jan

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Gather round my dears and help yourself to the bag of Werther’s on the stained glass coffee table, for I, your grandma, am here to share the good news of Good Witch.

Good Witch is a Hallmark television show currently available on Netflix, though I hesitate to leave it there. Good Witch is the pinnacle of all Hallmark has ever had to offer.

Good Witch is the number two rated show on cable telvision.

The program features Catherine Bell as Cassie Nightingale, a witch who operates mainly by making teas and speaking in cryptic phrases. In fact, if “witch” weren’t in the title of the program, I would have no idea she was a witch and would instead think she was someone who really liked tea! That’s how family friendly this show is.

The New York Times, in their brilliant article, “Have you Grandparents Told You About Good Witch?” highlights several things I’d like to bring to your attention.

Ahem.

What’s most striking about the show — especially if you’re inclined to think that the age of its audience also implies a conservative cultural or political cast — is how thoroughly dominated it is by women. That isn’t necessarily unusual for a prime-time soap, but men in “Good Witch” are a particularly clueless and ineffectual bunch.

Men in “Good Witch” aren’t judged by their ability to orchestrate scams or kill zombies — they’re judged by whether they can be trusted to tell a woman the truth, and whether they try hard enough to make her happy. Binge-worthy or not, it’s a refreshing sentiment.

I’m here to tell you that this show is indeed binge-worthy feminist content. That if you give it your time you’ll start saying things like, “I wonder if they write Cassie’s cryptic advice in italics so she knows to speak really mysteriously.”

You’ll start laughing at the “redundantly named Bistro Café.” And you’ll grow to love “the villain, the self-absorbed but well-meaning mayor, Martha. (You know right away she’s different because of the theatrical, high-comic style with which Catherine Disher plays her.)”

(You’ll also quote that New York Times article over and over again like I just did. Because gosh. Wow. Golly. What a show.)

And eventually, if you spend enough time in the idyllic Middleton and with the idyllic characters who range from “nice to mildly irritating,” you’ll start to realize that all of these actors remind you vaguely of other, shall we say, more famous actors.

This is not to denigrate the actors on Good Witch, whom I love with all my heart (except for maybe Anthony, but we’ll get there). This is to say, if you start watching this show, like I’m urging you to do, you’re sure to see an actor and think, hey, that sort of looks like someone I’ve seen before.

And then, eventually, you’ll write this blog post and put it out for the world to see, because what other option do you have?

OK then.

Let’s begin with Cassie.

Oh Cassie. Of the cryptic phrases and the tea. I’ve loved Catherine Bell since my parents got into JAG back in the 90s, and she did and does look a bit like Catherine Zeta Jones, no?

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Her daughter is a dead sort of maybe lookalike for Selena Gomez.

And get this! The two boys in her daughters’ life are both vaguely like Justin Bieber in his various stages.

First, there’s Anthony in the swoosh stage. (We don’t like this kid because he’s whiny.)

 

And then, Nick with the Better Hair Bieber stage. (Things are complicated with this one.)

It’s a Jelena reunion every week on Hallmark! What are you waiting for?

OK, now for the men in Cassie’s life.

Ryan has a hint of a Colin Firth doesn’t he? (Love you forever, Darcy.)

And Sam is an Aaron Eckhart. (Remember this dude from Desperate Housewives? He really plays the role of love interest in a female-dominated show well.)

Cassie’s stepdaughter Lori reminds me of Amanda Seyfried kind of maybe?

And her stepson is basically Ezra from Pretty Little Liars. (Is that show still going on? How many As are there?)

Cassie’s cousin Abigail is a Leighton Meester/Minka Kelly type.

And then there’s Cassie’s best friend Stephanie who is faintly a Julie Bowen?

There’s also the aforementioned mayor Martha who bears more than a passing resemblance to Dolores Umbridge. (But she has a heart! I want to make clear she has a heart.)

OK, and before we end I want to bring it back to Anthony of the Bieber swoop hair. Some internet sleuthing led me to his music career and the fact that, yes, he did go next level Bieber with the next step of his career!

I can’t wait to see what’s next! The blonde phase?

What a time to be alive!

Deep breath.

Are you still here?

Are you going to join me as I continue to watch this show for the laughs, the love, and the…yes, magic?

The very vague we all have a little magic, and here’s a cup of tea magic?

Join me, grandchildren.

Join me in this noble venture.

What Makes Someone A Good Person?

16 Jan

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A few months ago, my friends and I had a conversation about what makes a person “good.” I’m still thinking about it.

The discussion began with a question, do we know any truly good people?

And if we do, what makes them good?

One friend commented she considers herself good, but is it more just an absence of being bad?

Does she need to be actively working at a homeless shelter (fill-in-the-blank) to be good?

Or is it more about the daily stuff? Being kind to a cashier. Being aware of ways to help those around you.

Another friend brought up a goodness scale. From 1-100 where do we each fall?

Are we just about average? How can we be better?

None of the answers were clear-cut, but it made me consider my definition of good. The people in my life who are kind and thoughtful and give grace.

How I can become more like that. Like them.

And as I considered all this, I wanted to open up the discussion to you smart people. What’s your definition of a “good” person?

Any thoughts on the matter?

Oh, Isn’t Life Good?

15 Jan

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Oh, life is good.

Life is good, not in the ways I expected to think life was good, back in the day, but life is good in the way that I’m wearing a lavender and honey face mask right now.

Take it from a girl who moved to London for Adventure and Romance and know

life doesn’t get much better than a lavender honey facemask.

Life is good because I walked 11,000 steps today holding hands with the person I love, the person I look at and wonder, how did I get so lucky to be loved like this? To love like this?

Life is good because we walked five miles in pursuit of specialty yogurt and ended up with fresh fish along the way. Fresh fish that the person I love grilled and then made a lemon sauce for.

Have you ever had lemon sauce on rice and broccolini and fresh fish?

Yes?

Oh isn’t life good?

Life is good because I meditated for 12 minutes today. Because I got a nap in and potato pancakes for breakfast. Because I FaceTimed with some friends and read three different books, and one of those books was one I picked up at a thrift shop just because it looked fun.

Do you know how rare it is for me to read a book just because it looked fun?

Do you know how fun it is to read a book that is so rare?

Life is good because another of those books is Harry Potter and Rob and I are reading Harry Potter together for the first time. And he loves it and I love it and we love each other and the convergence of it all is enough to make a big, messy, porridge slop of love.

And I love porridge.

I even love the parts where it’s messy and sugary and drips its sugary mess all over you.

Oh, isn’t life good?