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Monday, June 27, 2005

Of, relating to, or characteristic of Plato or his philosophy

Dear A.P.,

There are two things in life that I think are very important:

The first is telling someone that you love them. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that I am loved, whether it's romantically, unconditionally, or platonically. It makes me feel important, wanted, and as if I have a purpose. It reminds me that God is still present in my life despite the heartache that I've experienced. But this feeling doesn't come too often, for people get wrapped in their busy lives and forget that today might be the last day to love. This is a lesson that my husband and I had to learn as a result of tragedy, but that we embraced in spite of it. And for this reason, I try to make it a point to tell the people in my life that I love them, whether it's through my actions or with my words.

But the word, "love" can take on so many meanings. I use this word to describe my feelings for fried rice, pink purses, Justin Timberlake, my diva cat, my mom, my dad, and my husband. For this reason, I try to be specific with the word, "love." I love fried rice because it is yummy. I love Justin Timberlake because he makes me feel kinda funny, like when I used to climb the rope in P.E. I love my mom and dad because they are funny, and smart, and supportive, and caring, and the bestest parents that ever existed ever. And I love my husband because he taught me that love never ends. But this letter isn't about all of these things. It's about you, and why I love you.

Which leads me to the second thing in life that I find important: Encouragement. I grew up in the most loving, supportive family imaginable. And even though I was an "A" student, an avid dancer, a girl scout, a pianist, and a church-goer, I was never encouraged to do any of these things per se. I was never discouraged from doing these things either, but when I decided that I no longer wanted to study, dance, play piano, or go to church, my decisions were respected without question. This, naturally, has its pros and cons. For one, I didn't have pushy parents - the ones who yell at their kids when they strike out at a little league game or decide that their child will absolutely become a doctor, even if that child doesn't like science or medicine. But on the other hand, I may have lost sight of my goals because I wasn't encouraged. I never did become that prima ballerina that I wanted to be. I stopped being the virtuoso and quickly forgot all the notes and chords of the songs I once played with ease. And I never even tried to get into medical school, even though it was one of my life-long dreams. Now this isn't to say that I blame my parents for my choices in life. I cherish that they let me become an independent thinker and learn that all of my actions come with consequences, whether good or bad. And in the end, I am the only one who could have made these things happen for myself. But sometimes I wonder: What if I had had a little push? Would I have tried harder?

This is where you finally come in. I love you because you encourage me. You took a match and created a spark within me which has relit the path that I want to take in life. And I'm not just talking about medical school...you encourage me to be a better person in every way possible. You challenge my mind in a way that makes me want to learn more about history, math, science, music, myself, you, and God. And even though I will NEVER admit that you might possibly be a teenie bit smarter than I, you make me want to know everything that you know, for you're so well versed in so many things. But most importantly, you encourage me to laugh.

Someone sent me an email today with just one sentence. It said, "Has anyone ever told you that you are gifted in the art of bringing smiles to faces?" I like to think so, but I want you to know that you have, and will always, bring a smile to my face.

Good luck in medical school. I'll be following right behind you.

The Merry Widow

posted by The Merry Widow at 11:11 PM | 26 comments

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

OK, here's the situation: Jessie (aka Hornblower) tagged me to do this list thing. And being that I am obsessed with lists, I was all over it.

The rules:

Remove the blog at #1 from the following list and bump every one up one place; add your blog's name in the #5 spot; link to each of the other blogs for the desired cross pollination effect:

1. Lu's News
2. Searchin' For a Rainbow
3. Agent 99
4. Hornblower
5. The Merry Widow

Next: select new friends to add to the pollen count. (No one is obligated to participate). I'm gonna pick a few people that aren't on my link list (only because I'm too lazy to update,) but whose blogs I do read daily:

1. Sue and Charlotte's Excellent Adventure
2. Von Krankipantzen
3. The Silly Page
4. Laughing All The Way
5. Debutaunt

Now the fun part:

What 5 Things do you miss about your childhood?

1. 2414 Kansas Avenue: My dad was in the U.S. Air Force for 25 years, which meant that we moved relatively often. However, this was the address that we lived at for the longest period of time and it's the one that I associate the most with my childhood. I lived here from age 6 (1st grade) through age 14 (9th grade.) This is the address where I met my bestest friend, got my first kitty, had my first crush, my first kiss, and my first obsession with a boy band (NKOTB rulz!) I was truely innocent while living on Kansas Avenue, never knowing that there was a world of hatred, racism, and heartache beyond the boundries of my neighborhood. When my family and I moved away from Kansas Avenue, I began my journey into adulthood.

2. Tiggy: My awesome outdoor jungle cat. A random lady at the mall gave her to me when I was in 2nd grade. She was an outdoor cat and would follow me to my best friend's house everyday after school and wait for me until I walked back home later on in the evening. When I would spend the night at a friend's house, she would loiter around until I finally came back out the next day and rode my bike home. She brought my mom a gift everyday and would leave it on the front doorstep. It was usually a dead mouse, snake, or bird, but my mom still thought she was so sweet to bring them to her. When my family and I moved to the mountains, she quickly adjusted to her new surroundings and would follow me to the bus stop every morning on my way to school. But with our new mountain home, came new mountain wildlife and Tiggy was scooped up one day by a big gigantic owl and taken away. It happened right before my eyes, just as she was running towards me as I called out her name. And all that I could think to do at that time was say, "Bye, Tiggy." Most people laugh when I tell them that story.

3. Tiger Tail Beach: My family and I went to the beach every single freakin weekend. And we always went with Jaime's family. (My bestest friend since 3rd grade.) I LOVED our weekends at the beach. We usually headed to Biscayne Bay because there was good wind there (my dad and Jaime's dad were avid windsurfers) but every so often, we would head out to Tiger Tail Beach which was the most idyllic, tranquil, beautiful beach ever. There were always shells to be found, the weather was always perfect, and the sunsets there were unbelievable. My mom and Jaime's mom would always make and pack so much food for us to munch on throughout the day. The sand was the finest, softest sand that I have ever felt and was pure white. Not the best for making sand castles, but it felt good as it sifted inbetween my toes. There was a sandbar about 1 mile out from the shore and Jaime, Bryan (Jaime's little brother,) and I would always blow up one of those floating bed things and use it to kick our way out to the sandbar and look for sand dollars. I remember riding on the back of my dad's windsurfer and looking over and seeing Jaime ride on the back of her dad's windsurfer. The sun was just beginning to set, the temperature of the water was just right, and there was a slight breeze. We were all laughing and I remember thinking that heaven must look like Tiger Tail Beach. I'm still convinced that it does.

4. Innocence: There was no racism. There were no cliques. Everyone was invited to everyone's birthday parties. There was no crime, no fights, no guns at school. We said the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the National Anthem everyday when class started. We would ooh and ahh when we watched fireworks and ride our bikes without fear of being run over. We were invincible.

5. Jaime: She was with me on Kansas Avenue. She was with me at Tiger Tail Beach. She was with me when Tiggy came and went. She is still with me now. Best friends since 3rd grade - That's 21 years!!! And to this day, whenever we're together we revert back to age 8 and giggle the day and night away.

posted by The Merry Widow at 11:41 PM | 12 comments

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Take one down and pass it around...

Don't you hate it when you drink to much and then you get up and LINE DANCE? That's right...LINE DANCE. As in the cheesiest, dumbest style of dance ever invented, danced to the most horrid style of music ever played. Furthermore, don't you hate that while you're doing said line dance, you think you look pretty damn hot because in your drunk mind you're thinking, "I'm totally line dancing...and that's hot."

And don't you hate it when you're a little tipsy and you go up to random people that you don't know and say things like, "Hey! Did anyone ever tell you that you look like 'The Rock'?" And when they say no, you say, "Well you do! And I'm smarter than you, so whatever I say goes."

And don't you hate it when you're drunk and you have to raise your voice to be heard over the music playing in the background so that just when you're yelling out, "YOUR VIRGINAL FRIEND IS A LIAR!!!" the music stops and everyone hears you and turns to gawk at your proclamation?

And don't you hate it when you're plastered and you end up getting in an argument with someone about work related issues? Then later on in the night, you yell at that same person for requesting the wrong karaoke song? Then the next day you realize that this person is your boss?

It's a good thing that I don't drink so that none of these things won't ever happen to me.

posted by The Merry Widow at 12:56 AM | 20 comments

Thursday, June 16, 2005

That's The Night That The Lights Went Out In Houston

Me: "All the power is out! It's a complete blackout on my end of Houston! No TV! No Internet! NO AIR CONDITIONER!!!"

Will: "Merry Widow, calm down. "

Me: "But it's getting dark out! I'm gonna be left alone! In the dark! People are gonna start looting and pillaging!!! AND THERE'S NO AIR CONDITIONER!!!"

Will: "Merry Widow, why don't you take this opportunity to light some candles, close your eyes, focus, breathe, meditate, find your inner-self, find peace, Or..."

Me: "Yeah???"

Will: "You can masterbate."

posted by The Merry Widow at 12:19 AM | 18 comments

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Let Me Hear Your Body Talk

Here's the deal: It's time for me to buckle down and start losing weight again. Last year, I lost about 30 pounds and have actually done ok keeping it off. It wasn't until the last 3 months or so that I put 10 of those pounds back on. So all in all, I think I'm doing ok. But I'd still like to lose about a million more pounds. (Give or take 5 pounds.)

But the food. The glorious, yummy, delicious, oh-so-decadent food. I can't keep my mouth away. Solution? Exercise, dammit. Ha! Yeah, right. But alas, it's what must be done if I want to lose the weight. That's how I did it before, so I know that I can do it again. But this is coming from the girl who HATES running. In high school, I used to play Varsity Lacrosse and soccer and I would say things like, "Hey! Wouldn't this game be way more fun if we didn't have to run so much?" And that was when I was in shape. So you can imagine how hard it is for me to get my Jabba the Hutt ass off the couch and onto the pavement. Not to mention that it's like 8 million degrees outside, on a cool day, with 3000% humidity. Gotta love the Houston summers. But really, I have no excuses. I have a gym membership, so if the heat is really getting to me that much, then I can just go there and hit the treadmill. But gosh darnit, someone brought doughnuts in this morning and they are happily sitting right outside my office yelling, "Merry Widoooooooow....coooooome and eeeeeeeeaaaaat meeeeeeee...I'm covered in chooooooocoooooolaaaaaaate!!!"

But back to business. I figure if I write/type this stuff out, then I'll actually get it done. It's how I work. Want me to get something done? Make me write it down. Wanna know why? Because I'm anal and may or may not have slight OCD tendencies. As a result, I love love love to make everything into a list and then get great joy out of scratching things off of my list. Sometimes I even make lists of things I've already accomplished, just so I can scratch them off. (I've even gone so far as to make a list of all the lists I need to make. But I digress....) If I tell people that I'm exercising, then I'll actually have to follow through and really actually exercise. I'm not gonna write my new exercise routine here, because it's gonna change (i.e. get harder) the more in shape I become. But trust me, I've already made up an exercise list in my PDA that involves the following daily activities: running, sit ups (real ones, not crunches), push ups, and leg lifts. This will be my core list of exercise activities that may or may not be interspersed with some classes at the gym (kick-boxing, yoga, pilates.)

So if you were to meet me today, you might see somthing like this (but wearing a tiara):

But soon, I'll be looking like this (but still wearing a tiara and with smaller boobs):

But first I'm gonna go eat one of those doughnuts. My diet/exercise routine will start after lunch.

Editor's Note: If anyone needs help getting inspired with their diet/exercise regime, then I suggest reading Daze Of My Life's Blog. I don't know where she finds the will power to stay on track!

posted by The Merry Widow at 9:58 AM | 29 comments

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

"...and when she woke up, she had wings and she flew away."

Dear you, (Yes, I'm talking to you. No, not you...YOU.)

I'm normally a very happy person. I know this. You know this. Work knows this. Family knows this. Friends know this. Blogland knows this. And I'm happy to report that my ray-o-sunshine attitude comes quite naturally. Yes, I really am, honest to God, genuinly happy. In fact, I'm sooooo wonderfully happy that I'm kinda surprised that deer and birds don't naturally flock to me like they did with Snow White. You know, because of the happpiness.

But every so often, believe it or not, I get a little sad. It doesn't happen all that often, and it never lingers for more than a few days, but still, it does happen. But the people around me are so accustomed to my smile, laugh, and overall good cheer, that when I do get sad, they freak out. And since I'm the highlight of most people's day, if they see me being sad, then their days are totally ruined. As a result, rather than openly display my sadness, I tend to just retreat and be a little less outgoing. This is usually interpreted as fatigue.

Here's an example from a real life conversation that I had last week:

Random friend of mine: "You seem out of it tonight. You know, like less talkative. I guess you must be tired."

What I want to say: "Actually, I'm focusing all of my energy into trying not to cry."

But I instead say: "Yes. I'm tired."

Anyway, today when I was telling you about the "flying nun," you did something that very few people allow me to do: You cried. And when you cried, it made it ok for me to cry. And there we were, crying like 2 fools, right smack dab in the middle of the room, right in broad daylight. And even though we both quickly dried our tears and laughed at ourselves for being so girly, that short 10 second cry comforted me.

And even though we were crying about the flying nun, I know that you really know the real reason why I've been so sad. I know that you know my secret, even though I've never actually spoken the words of my secret outloud to anyone because I won't even admit to myself that it's actually true. But you have this innate ability to read my thoughts and you always seem to know just the right time and the right way to make The Merry Widow merry when she's lost her merry way.

Thank you.

posted by The Merry Widow at 10:08 PM | 13 comments

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Forever Young

So a certain someone that I know (read: Guy #3) does something that really really annoys me. He calls me "Ma'am." I HATE THAT. Why? Because, in my mind, that's what you call your elders - the old ladies at the library desk who look down at you from behind their reading glasses...the church ladies selling coffee and lemon bars after mass...Mrs. Garrett from "Facts of Life." You know old ladies. I am not old. I'm 28. I don't feel any differently than I did when I was 27. And when I turned 27, I didn't feel any differently than I did when I was 26. And when I turned 26, I didn't feel any differently than I did when I was 25...and so on and so on. You get the point. Now, this isn't to say that I haven't, like, totally matured or gained a teeny bit more wisdom since my earlier years of life, but all in all, I feel the same. So when Guy #3 (or mrtl - Hi, mrtl! Yes, you succeeded in making me come out of hiding) call me the name assigned to old ladies, my panties get all bunched up in a wad. (Sidenote: I won't make any derogatory remarks as to why Guy #3 calls me ma'am. You know, like it's because he's jealous that I'm older than him because he's only 12 and has yet to go through pubery. Nope..I won't stoop to his childish behavior like that.)

Anyway, with all of my thoughts focused on age, I started wondering: Why don't I want to be old? Is it the wrinkles? Is it the sagging boobs? (FYI: I don't have to worry about that one - itty bitty titties do have their pluses.) Maybe it's the...um...what's that word again??? Oh yeah, memory loss. Nah. I don't think that I have to worry about any of these things just yet. And even if they do happen to me, which they won't, I really won't care. Or, at least, I won't remember to care. But what I will care about is losing my mental youth. I want to be forever young at heart. (Insert Rod Stewart song here.)

I know a few people who "act old." For example, I know a lady who is just a few years younger than my mother, but she acts as if she's 100. (Note: My mama just turned 49.) She complains about "being old" all the freakin time. "My eye sight is going...my bones hurt...I can't remember anything...I'm tired." OK, Whiney McWhinerson, I get the point. You're old. You deserve the official title of Ma'am. But as she drones on and on about "being old" I always think to myself, "Sheesh, Whiney McWhinerson, why do you act so old? You're only a few years younger than my parents and they don't act old at all." So I came to the following conclusions:

1.) My family is AWESOME.
2.) My family is young at heart.

This, intermanet, is the secret to keeping all of those old timer symptoms at bay. It's the fountain of youth, if you will. My family is the silliest group of people you'll ever meet. They play games, the tell jokes, they run, they skip, they laugh. My dad and I take every opportunity we can to jump on the bed. My mom and I never hesitate to tell each other jokes and laugh til we cry. My aunt and I spend time making up dances that look "crab-like" as my uncle and I look for fun food products that splat nicely when thrown at each other. Even my grandpa, who will be turning 80 this year, likes to climb trees with me. We are all young, despite what our birth certificates tell us. And I'm happy to report that every single one of us is a picture of perfect health. My mom is wrinkle free, my dad has low cholesterol and a good heart, my aunt remembers EVERYTHING, and my grandpa's bones don't hurt a bit. The young heart does not stay within, but manifests itself physically.

My Great Aunt died the night before last. She was one of my favorite aunts and I will miss her tremendously. She lived as a nun, in a small town called San Luis Potosi (in Mexico,) almost her entire life. And despite her pious way of living, her calm way of speaking, and the gentle way she would take my hand so that she could hold it, I remember her as always being young at heart. No one knows how old she was. She had to have been in her late 80's or early 90's by my guess, but no one really knows for sure. I remember asking her, last time I visitied her, "Tia, how old are you?" "I'm not telling, mijita." She said as she smiled. "If I tell anyone how old I am, then they might start treating me like an old lady." And then I laughed as a smirk formed on her face and she said, "But if you have to know, I'm only 18."

Don't you dare ever call her Ma'am.

posted by The Merry Widow at 12:50 PM | 15 comments
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