Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mussels and Microfiction

Recently I've began two writing classes: one on poetry and one on flash fiction. As such, my blogging hasn't been the most prolific.  So, today's post will be a draft of a flash exercise written last night after I came home from going out with a friend.  She'd been on a date that ended early. It wasn't particularly bad, she said, it just wasn't. 
But, the waiter at Olive Garden was pretty cute.
Oh yeah, it's a he said/she said exercise...

photo from
He said can I pour you more Chardonnay?
She said that would be lovely.
He said top you off?
She said sure, I'm not driving anywhere tonight.
He said did you enjoy your meal?
She said it was a little dry.
He said I'm sorry to hear that.
She said it happens sometimes, not your fault.
He said maybe I could get you something else.
She said what would you suggest?
He said the mussels are quite succulent and pair well with a Chardonnay.
She said are they spicy?
He said very spicy.  As spicy as you'd like, Ma'am.
She said ma'am? Nobody calls me ma'am unless I have...
He said oh, look, your date's coming back.
She said I guess we'll just need the check then.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

"I'd Be Broke"

I was at work yesterday having a frustrating day.  In our kitchen we have a TV.  Somebody had it on ESPN.  And there was Graeme McDowell listed in with the top scores of U.S. Open Golf.  Hadn't seen that in a while.
But why get excited?  I mean, let's face it, the boy hasn't been on his A game.  When was his last major championship win?  Protestant and Catholic.  That's got to do something to a person. And, well, he's cute, but he isn't the best looking guy in the game. The beer can be explained by his ancestry I suppose. Then there's the fact that he attended university in Alabama, but at least he didn't roll with the Tide.  
(Should I write for the official G-Mac fan club or what?)
I'm not a avid fan of golf, but I am a fan of Graeme McDowell because what he does have is class and a passion for golf, even when she's a fickle mistress. It's easy to have followers when you're on top.  It's when you're down that you find out your real fans. 
But, that's also when the fans find out if you're worthy to be followed.
Graeme has shown he's truly a gentleman to be watched.  He's funny, personable, courteous. He has tact and grace even when asked the difficult questions.  He's gracious to fans and fellow players.  He's charming in interviews. He has integrity at a time when critics say things like "one hit wonder." Rarely do we see him any other way.   
I watched an interview in which one of the questions was "what would you be if you didn't play golf?"  Graeme's answer was "I'd be broke"
I so get that.  Right now my work is particularly draining. I don't like it, but it's the best career in the world. When I think of what else I'd do, nothing comes to mind.  I've said I'd do my job for a box of donuts and a pot of coffee. I can imagine Graeme would say he'd do it for a pint of Guinness.  Whether it's golf or pediatric medicine, or whatever, the paycheck is awesome, but that's not why you do it. You do it because you love it and you can't imagine being unfaithful to it.

Right, a large pepperoni. 
What? You don't have Guinness?!?
Graeme may not be a consistent golf player, but he's a consistently good person.  He's the kind of guy I'd invite over for a beer and shoot some pool--and I don't even drink beer. I'd buy a pool table if he'd come over, though.  At least, he seems like it from comments and interviews.  Those kind of people encourage and inspire me.

So, what's the point of all this?  Be passionate about what you do and stay true even when it's not going perfect.  Don't look at who's popular.  Look for character, integrity, and an optimistic attitude. Even better, be one of those people. 

As I'm posting this Graeme is tied for the #1 spot in the Open. I'm cautiously excited about Sunday's round.  This is G-Mac after all.  We know he'd never blow a number one spot. 
No matter what happens tomorrow, I'm still a fan.  Golf isn't the only reason to like Graeme McDowell.  Fer sure.
 (Ok, I admit.  I was the one at work who had the Open on.  I needed some encouragement--or at least to see a certain cute Irish boy.)
  See more of him at his website or watch him on You Tube. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

High School Weight? Seriously?

In the past few weeks life happened and I’ve found myself many reasons not to blog. Work, play, work…you know the excuses.  But, that’s all they are, excuses.
These weeks I've had patients who have been more emotionally draining and supposed friends who have been difficult.  Maybe it’s just a rough spot in life but emotionally and spiritually I’ve been exhausted.  I know we’re supposed to put others ahead of us, but it’s difficult to help when you’re empty.
Okay, so, total change in thought here: one thing that kept me away from writing was exercise.  Going to a gym.  Finding time to work out. I mean, everyone is getting back to their high school weight.  It sounds good, right? 
I’ve realized two things: 
  • I’m not fond of gyms.
  • What are these people thinking?  Go back to high school? 
          I have to admit, though, going to the gym did take me back to high school:  Dressing out Feeling inadequate in your gym clothes. Having other people stare and compare you to them. The only difference is that as adults we’ve at least developed enough tact to keep our comments to ourselves.
         The thing is, I’m not sixteen anymore.  Thank goodness for that.  I’m an older, wiser, more confident 41 years old. My blood pressure is phenomenal, my cholesterol and heart disease risk, enviable.  My hair, fabulous.  My skin, not to young, not too old.
        But I could stand to be healthier.  I could adopt a lifestyle that habitually makes better choices.  I know it's not going to happen quickly.  I'm not going to find it going to the gym and killing myself everyday.  Some may like that.  I say more power to you.
        Crash diets. Medication. Weight loss pills and diet bars. Quick fixes. They only put a Band-Aid on things.  Ideal weight and what foods are healthy are subject to change with whatever fad or scientific discovery is in vogue. These don’t change anything.
        Health is a journey, not a destination.  We don’t reach being healthy at 40 or 50 and then coast from there. It starts when we’re born and doesn’t end until we die.  We have ups and downs.  It involves more than just the physical, but also the emotional and spiritual aspects. 
       There are things we can’t change.  But there are things we can control. Ideal weight changes with age.  I’m not sixteen.  I won’t attain a 16 year old’s body.  But I can be the best 41 I can.