Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A line of TTOAST

My kingdom for a TTOAST...

It remains a struggle, and yet becomes ever more important to try and identify nice things folks do for each other... Why can't I see them?

I am starting to think it is because I just expect people to be nice to each other, but really, I don't think this is the case, it is either indifference or anger that I usually notice, and sadly in myself too.

I hate it when I catch myself reacting to someone doing something dumb. While driving (for example), when frankly, I am sure I have done so too and my intention is never to upset anyone, just sometimes stupid things happen... and you try to get out of it ASAP.

So, I guess my TTOAST today will be to the check out lady at one of my favorite new grocery stores (in that I am new to the area and I have to learn it and this is new to me).

I have gone through her line twice and she is nothing but pleasant. Today she was really nice to the lady in front of me who was somewhat of a snob and in my opinion a bit rude-ish, but the checkout lady was sweet to her, that merits something...

What acts have you noticed lately?


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Battlestar Blairlactica

I was just playing with my camera phone at a red light and it turned into a short story... while the slide show feature is cool, I think the picture titles are important...


a long time ago,

in a land not so far away,

a crazed Colombian American
landed among strange peoples....

this is her story

beaming down for my intergalactic battle
Originally uploaded by Blair Necessities.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Almost auntie

I am so excited, I am going to be an "almost auntie" again!!!!!

Congratulations Familia Curmudgeon!


It seems like there will always be something to prevent me from having full access to the community at large to notice true TTOAST's...

I want to be able to see nice things, but what... my life this week has been spent being with family and I can tell you of plenty of nice things that have happened with them, I can tell you about the ride I gave to a little old lady from out of town and was lost a mile from where she wanted to be...

but the nicest thing I can tell you that I observed was a little girl, maybe 5, that whenever I drop Squink off at baby school, stops what she is doing and brings him his favorite toy... that is a nice thing.

Have you noticed anything lately?


Saturday, March 18, 2006

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Whereupon I have found I have a lisp

ThToast if you will...

I try hard to find things that are nice, sometimes I think it is a poor reflection on me on how difficult it is to find them...

So, today's TTOAST goes to school crossing guards...
They are the one job, where you can almost guarantee that if you wave at them, they will wave back.

I realized this driving in to work today, when I noticed that the crossing guard by my home waved at every car that was in front of me as it passed... she waved at me too.
She smiled and waved... what a thing to do, some days, that may be the nicest thing that could happen to someone, that is an important job. I can't imagine it is in their job description, so it is a very nice touch.

When I first moved to the US, my crossing guard was named "Val", short for Valentino... a large (to my 5th grade eyes) retired Italian man that drove a huge Cadillac. Since I went to a different school, his "station" was my bus stop. So there were days when we spent quite a bit of time with him. He was one of the funniest people. He always made us laugh, that went very far for me, I was new to this country, he was semi old school Italian from back east and he seemed to understand what this gangly girl was all about as she tried to adjust to her new country... I have always thought back fondly on him.


Monday, March 13, 2006

love and marriage in the feminist era

I happened upon this article about women who "live as if Friedan never existed".
I have to admit that I am not A friedan fan, nor do I consider my self a feminist in the strictest sense of the word...
Though I have always thought I am getting a free ride on their coat tails... and that that is not a bad thing.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

nota breve

or not so breve...

Boy, have I learned some lessons this past week.

I think one of them is that it is just not fair to think so highly of women that you put them on a pedestal. By doing this you set them up for failure and yourself for devastating disappointment.

In other unrelated news... My in laws are here from the other side of the ocean and are loving Squink... it is so nice to see people love Squink.

He has finally started clapping, he never did that before... but man is he good clapper, he does it even when he hears clapping on TV (which made my brief moment with the Oscar's rather fun). He has two words "OK" and "Uh-oh", the latter usually when he throws his chupo across the room. He is not walking yet, but he does stand and transfer and I am so proud to say that my boy has rhythm, which is a good thing because I only have rhythm in Spanish and Schatz only has... wait, he just doesn't have it in any language. ANyway, he dances, with a mean abandon to any music he hears. The neat thing is that he heard some opera today (NPR news bit about the death of Anna Moffo). Her voice was so incredible, when I turned it up, he stopped what he was doing and looked at the radio with what appeared to be awe. This pleases me, that he responded to opera that way, but her voice is so magnificent that I can't imagine anyone but people that hate opera with a passion to not stop and listen to her voice.

In other news, I saw that someone unexpectely did my Johari window and I was so touched because if you ever met "more or less" you would know just what a true curmudgeon he is... so, thank you... that was nice and unexpected.
UPDATE: Someone used my personal email address when they filled out their impression of me in my Johari window.... lame people, really lame, so I removed the link to it from here... for shame to whomever did that!!!!!

And I suppose you should know that I think that I will not be around much... what with the in-laws in town and all. Though I am going to get myself a Tivo today because the TV is in their room and I want to catch my GA.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Those Greeks

My dry cleaner is Greek, actually the whole family works there so I should say my dry cleaner are Greeks...
I have to allow for at least a half hour when I go to drop off and pick up as if Papa Greek Dry Cleaner is there, I get a lesson in life, as related to being Greek.

I have many favorite lessons learned, but among my most favorite are the last two weeks...

Last Saturday I learned about basil... yes, the herb.
It seems that basil is the only plant that could grow and flower where Christ was crucified... the name means kingdom... which makes sense... I mean think of the word basilica...

This week we discussed patriotism. It was interesting as Papa Greek dry cleaner is one of the few people who knew that to have multiple patriotic allegiances while wonderful, could be problematic. We referred to countries with ties as mothers... and the metaphor for the discussion was it is too hard to have more than one mother.

I heart my dry cleaners.


Friday, March 03, 2006

War stories

Thank goodness I get to have a drive home, otherwise I would never listen to the radio.


One of my favorite war stories is that of the Christmas during WWI temporary truce... not an official truce, but one none the less...

I have heard many versions, including that it was during WWII, that it happened in Germany, that the song was Silent Night... O Holy Night (my personal favorite)...

But, this is one of my favorite stories ever. I first heard it on the radio over 15 years ago as a Christmas fact segment on some station and I was so struck I cried (and this was before I cried at everything) that I have loved it ever since!

I buy music dedicated to the event (it seems musicians find it a striking enough story to make a song out of it)... but today I learned that there is a movie, the French nomination for a foreign film Oscar.

I can't wait to see it!

Because, I think I may like it, and even if I hate the movie, I don't think it can wipe away the tears just thinking about how humans can be in the perils of war.

You can listen to NPR's movie review here

When I got home I downloaded the segment on to my iPod, and have relistened to it again and again.

Kindness matters so much... and while WWI was horrible, I think it is OK that I find this story so touching, because I think it is about kindness.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Kindness counts

This is a WTOAST tale related to me by my mother...

She was traveling last week, and this is only significant in that she is also suffering from extreme knee pain, not an easy thing to have when there is a need to walk long airport hallways, and look for connecting flights...
My mother was tired after flying, was looking for her connecting flight in another part of the airport she was in. She was thirsty and was looking for a place to get a drink when in her tired state she approached an airport eatery... the woman said, to that she looked so tired and worn out that she just gave her the drink and told her to sit down... Sometimes, when you are tired it is nice to be treated kindly.
So, I will buy a tired person a drink as a pay it forward for this woman buying one for my mom.

See, even unseen kindness matters, and my mother may have never told me this if I had not been making an effort to notice these things.

What act of kindness have you noticed lately?