Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Just do it


This is one of those days when I should have just stayed in bed ... I'm hoping that it either goes by quickly or gets better and dare to dream that it will do both. So I'm pulling some stuff out of the archives for the following reasons:

1) I left my camera at a friends house over the weekend and have not gotten it back yet (so the fabulous photos I was going to download are being held hostage ... for no ransom - which is odd).

2) I wanted to write about something that made me smile (so that I can prepare for all of the angry, frustrated phone calls / emails that no doubt I will receive today).

3) Sometimes you just have to go for it or as Nike puts it - just do it, even if it's not "the way it's always been done".

The first picture is what you would expect ... small boy, sledding in snow ...

The second picture is same small boy sledding (sans snow) because it only snowed one day here this year, and then it was gone ... in 4 hours ... and now it's 82 degrees.

I have to give him a lot of credit - he never questioned me when I said, "Just get the sleds out and slide down the hill". He just went ahead and did it ... without so much as a "Mommy, that's so silly, you can't sled without snow."

There's volumes in that scenario - how nice would it be if we all didn't have those preconceived notions that prevent us from doing something ... heavy sigh. (I bet you thought I was going to go for, how nice it would be if everyone just did what I said ... but though I am an optimist, I tend to be a realist as well (OK, fine, on occasion).

So, I'm off to face my clients now ... fortunately, in the comfort of my own home, via the shields of email and phone ... and my comfy play clothes ... and lots of coffee. Maybe I can tell make a little parable out of the sledding story.

So how is Life a Box of Legos today? Well, sometimes you just have to build something without following the directions.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A fairy tale - um, sort of ...

Today's post is prompted by

Heads Or Tails


Today is Tails: Once upon a time. To play along, click on the coffee mug ... it's fun, you'll see.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl, who thought (ok, still thinks and is not so little any more) she was (is) a princess. Being that in her universe, she was called the center, it was quite difficult NOT to come to that conclusion.

As the story goes, she found herself involved as "background" in a made for TV movie. Now the plot was predictable, and the stars, although recognizable, were not "A list", and being that our little princess was not the center of the movie's universe, the challenge became, not to be the best background ever, but how to spin the tale accordingly.

So here goes ...

The movie, an ABC Family production entitled My Fake Fiance, was filmed on location in the Atlanta area. Titled in pre-production as "Your Presents Requested", which the princess personally thinks is a much more clever and elegant title than something with the word "fake" in it, the movie used the princesses church, Peachtree Christian, as one of the locations. It filmed beautifully and yes, it really does look like that. The church itself has hosted over 8,000 weddings in it's 80+ years and is hailed as one of the best locations for weddings in the area. The production staff even used the church's Wedding Director as a consultant in the film. They asked the congregation if anyone would be interested in participating as an extra (a.k.a. background) for the film's wedding ceremony.

Naturally, the princess volunteered - because not only did it sound cool to be in a movie, but they dangled royal coinage as an extra bonus. Who knew one could be paid to be background?

The big day came and went ... 16+ hours of sitting in a church pew (oh why didn't they invest in cushions?) ... standing, clapping, laughing on cue, and reading a book ... and then came the moment of truth ... apparently, the director didn't get what they needed after 16 hours ... so on to day two ... and another 12 hours ... more standing, sitting, clapping, laughing on cue, and reading.

They did feed the background (actual food), which was handy ... and they did get to go to "hair and make-up" - very glamorous ... "Yes, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."

So at the end of day two ... and the dawning that maybe background was really just background, they asked for some volunteers to become background for the reception scene.

Naturally, the princess volunteered for that as well ... because she just knew there was going to be more opportunity for blog fodder.

The reception was filmed at the Atlanta Botanical Garden and coincidentally on the absolute coldest day of the year. Even though it was in the 30's outside, background had to "act" as if it were a lovely summer day (i.e. no coats, gloves, scarves ...) The princess wore ski silks under her lightweight gauzy short sleeved dress ... and cursed wardrobe for not giving her a hat.

At the filming of the reception, background drank fake champagne and wine, ate fake food, and wiped off fake sweat in the fake heat. As they huddled around the dance floor for the last scene, trying to stand as close together as possible for warmth, the princess was placed behind "the most beautiful woman ever" - or so the director said ... The princess, who by now figured out that it was not all about her (she's a bright bulb, that one), experienced a feeling of disbelief, because although the "most beautiful woman ever - TMBWE" was moderately attractive on a sliding scale of attractiveness, the princess didn't quite come to the same conclusion as the director ... who never stopped talking to or about "TMBWE".

As an extra bonus, the princess was asked to be a stand in
(also called a "Second") for the actress performing the role of the mother of the bride. Note: "TMBWE" was NOT asked to be a "Second" because she was too busy being fawned over by the director. Being called "Second" was a little disturbing to the former universe center (also known as the princess), but this role of background was quite illuminating in many respects. Plus, they actually pay "Seconds" a "real" bonus ... because they have to stand in for the "real" star. This entails, many hours of standing on tape - then waiting for the cameras, then having the tape girl move the tape, then waiting for the cameras, then having the tape girl (there was really a girl with about 20 different colored roles of tape) move the tape, then waiting for the cameras ... oh, and did I mention in the story that it was really freezing outside?

So the princess, amazed that the director was still gushing over "TMBWE" and gagging silently, froze on a smile (yes, Kel - that is why the smile never moves at the end of the movie, because it was literally frozen on ... and since there was internal gagging over the gushing director's comments to "TMBWE", the princess was afraid to unplaster the smile afixed to her face, for fear of what might come out of her mouth.

After about 8 hours of freezing outside, the director finally called "WRAP", made more goo-goo to "TMBWE", congratulated the fake bride and groom, formerly the fake fiances, and said thanks to the nameless background.

Unable to feel her toes, the princess stumbled her way back to wardrobe, returned the necklace she adorned in the film, and somehow got back to her car.

For months, she wondered how much "screen time" she would have ... or if she would finally see what the director saw in "TMBWE" ... they always say you look differently on film. Alas, the big day came, she sat through the movie, intrigued ... not of the acting or plot, but more in the mechanics of the film production. The big moment in the sanctuary came - the princess saw her own elbow as the bride enters ... she heard the laughing on cue, she saw the standing, the clapping, and then the reception - the bridal dance at the end ... the frozen smile ... head peaking behind the shoulder of "TMBWE" - but still didn't agree with the director.

And now, basking in the afterglow, the princess is grateful for DVR's and the pause button ... and for her friends who took the time to play the "Where in the World is ..." game with her. She is appreciative of the 1 - 5 seconds of screen time, realizes that beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder and that by not actually being the universe center, she can enjoy background experiences ... because sometimes it's much more fun to be the background - there's a lot less pressure than being the center ...


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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Three Memorable Comments ...

Today's post is prompted by

Heads Or Tails


Today is Tails: List Three and coincidentally, I just happen to have three things to share. Three Memorable Comments related to my recent surgical experience.

I'm not keen on general anesthesia. You're lying there (naked with a thin sheet on top of you) on a steel table staring up at people in masks holding knives ... and then several hours later, you wake up not being able to breathe - with absolutely no recollection of anything in between. I don't know about you, but that to me is somewhat, um, uncomfortable.

Last Friday, I walked myself, all the while attempting to maintain dignity, grace, and modesty while clutching the flimsy sheet, to the operating room. Walking to the OR was new for me, but I think I get it. The Surgical Assistant came into my room, asked my name, and the procedure that I assumed I was getting, and then grabbed my IV and escorted me to the OR - where I had to get on to the table myself ... and stare at the masked people, and the knives on the trays - oh, and don't get me started on the glaring overhead lights.


So my anesthesiologist says,

Comment One: "OK, Lisa, here's your champagne and strawberries ..."

and then literally, in the middle of my laugh, I was out. I awoke 2.5 hours later not being able to breathe and hearing a child screaming and crying at the top of his lungs. As a parent, this is NOT the first thing you want to hear after the last thing you remember is a masked man holding a knife.

Panic, apparently is not the perfect companion in a post operative situation. Who knew? So, I'm lying there, gasping, coughing, and trying to call out. The fabulously sensitive post-op nurse came in, slapped an oxygen mask on my face, and said, "Take deep breaths". My sarcasm quickly came back on-line (at least in my head) and I said to myself "Listen, lady, if I could take deep breaths, don't you think I would be?" I finally calmed down (most likely after an eternity of 30 - 50 seconds) and managed to choke out the words, "Is the child OK? Is there something wrong with him?" Please understand that this child was SCREAMING as if being tortured ... this was not the typical cry you hear in a doctor's office after a vaccination ... but then again, I was under the influence. Fabulously sensitive post-op nurse said, "Yes, he's fine, he just had his adenoids out."

I said, "With or without anesthetic?"


Fast forward to yesterday (not much to report other than the surgery itself was apparently uneventful and the gallbladder is now a mere memory - Friday and Saturday were spent in a fog of pain meds and sleep).

I was relating the above story to my chiropractor, Justin, who said his recent shoulder surgery was much the same (walking into the OR, staring at masked people with knives, and then waking up not being able to breathe) when my wonderful husband says, "Yes, the surgeon took a side trip to visit her liver just to make sure it was OK and he said it looked great."

At this, comedian Justin says,

Comment Two: "That's great - I'll bet he saw the Absolut label and said, OK - all good here." I said, "Not to mention the Patron label" and then the banter disintegrated from there.

The third comment comes from my six year old son. My son, and I were sitting down when my son asked me to go with him to play catch. I said, "No, sweetie, not right now, Mommy's tummy is still a bit sore, I'm just going to rest a bit more today." At that point, my husband came in and sat down. Timing is everything ... so he asked my husband, who said, "But son, Daddy just sat down and is so comfortable!" To which I replied, "Yes, but you're not recovering from havin an organ ripped from your body." To which my son replied, with perfect six year old inflection -


Comment Three: "Good one, Mommy."

They left to go play catch.


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