Saturday, April 30, 2011
Friday, April 29, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Does it bother anyone but me, that people type, "thx" versus thank you in either an instant message chat, or a text? I figure if I've done something that garners a thank you, that you should at least put the effort into typing out the 6 letter word of "thanks", or better yet, "thank you". When I see "thx", I can't help but interpret it as you're too lazy to thank me properly. I'm sure no one actually thinx they are being insincere when they type those three little letters, but well, I do. It's impersonal.
To add insult to injury I can't stand the decapitation of the Christmas holiday to "X-mas". I don't call your day of birth an X-day, and we don't celebrate the X-ster bunny, and we don't eat turkey on X-giving, so why does Christmas get shortened to "X-mas"? Again, I feel you take any sincerity, personalization or real meaning out of the holiday by truncating it to a one letter name. But again, that's just my opinion.
Along with Christmas, I randomly see the name Christine and Christina shortened to X-stine, or X-stina. Really? I wonder if X-topher Columbus Day should be re-named, I'm sure he wouldn't mind? Also, I ponder if Winnie the Pooh will ever stop asking X-topher Robbins for honey - give it up already Pooh-Bear! (Sounds pretty silly, huh?)
Another x-ample of the depersonalization of X is sports. We have walking shoes, tennis shoes, running shoes, and basketball shoes, and then we have X-trainers. What sport is "X"? I've never played X. I wonder if it's anything like baseball? Have you ever had to X-reference something? (I can't stand that either.)
I'm not sure how one lonely little letter has managed to depersonalize our society, but as for me, I will continue to type out my "nks" ending words, as well as my "Christ" prefixed words, and I'm pretty sure I'll always use the word "cross" in the term cross-train, cross trainer, or cross reference. I mean, if you wouldn't say it out loud, "Hello my dear EX-Stina, I bought you a pair of EX-trainer shoes today" - then why type it? Is it really that hard to type out a few accompanying letters in a word, instead of just the letter X?
Any defenders of the letter X out there? Go ahead, opinions welcome. (Be gentle!)
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
I think of how the spectators have changed, from men in suits to the fans of today, and I often think of how the field itself has changed and grown. (I won't bore you with those details, but if you want more information check out: History of Wrigley Field). I think of all the greats who have graced the field and marvel at the talent that once this way came. I relish knowing that the Great Bambino called his famous shot here, at Wrigley (yep that's right New York fans!) and I think I can still hear Harry Carey leaning out of the announcers booth to sing the 7th inning stretch. Occassionally Harry's infamous, "Holy Cow!" calls still echo the friendly confines. I appreciate the red bricks and green ivy that adorn the building and I love being able to hear the crowds cheer from my apartment. I love knowing that even if I attend a game alone, I end up amongst friends.
Wrigley has stood the test of time for decades and offered millions a place to go and share a weekend game perhaps between father and son, or a week night date between loved ones. Wrigley has housed more talent then most stages, and I hope will continue to evolve and remain a Chicago mainstay for another hundred years to come. I love Wrigley, and am thankful I get to be a part of it's history.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
London - the most educational trip and due to all the walking and touring, I lost one pant size!
Paris - The shortest trip, less than 8 hours
Disney Cruise/Bahamas - The most peaceful and relaxing trip...also the most scariest thing (swimming with stingrays!)
Ireland: The friendliest and funnest place, partly due to large consumption levels of Bulmer's Cider (me at Blarney Castle kissing the Blarney Stone)
Antigua: The most beautiful paradise I've seen to date
Graceland, Memphis Tennessee: The best road trip, was to the home of the King, Elvis Presley - picture of "The Jungle Room" inside Graceland
Monday, April 25, 2011
Umbrella: a collapsible shade for protection against weather consisting of fabric stretched over hinged ribs radiating from a central pole; especially : a small one for carrying in the hand - Merriam Webster
Ok, I have to brag. I have the coolest umbrella ever. Granted, I can't stand the reason as to why I actually have to use it (because that means it's raining) but the Mary Poppin's parrot head umbrella makes a rainy day a bit more tolerable. Also, as the parrot head handle is quite heavy, I feel protected from any evil doers as it can serve as a nice piece of hardware to knock someone out with! I think every one should have one.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Today I put my fears aside and put my hand in this "thing's" aquarium in order to give it fresh water. Of course, said "thing" did not want to move out of it's water dish so I could actually give it fresh water. Because I was afraid of it, I actually inserted a whole roll of paper towels into said aquarium to try to push the lizard out of it's water dish. He wasn't impressed and moved slowly.
Of course, said lizard didn't feel the need to let me work alone, instead he sat next to the water dish as I put my hand inside his home to remove it. He looked on with careful supervision. Once removed, I rinsed the bowl and filled it with water. Of course, said lizard still had not moved from his inspection point when it came time for me to replace my hand and the water dish back into the aquarium. I quickly settled the water filled bowl back amongst the wood chips in the lizard's dwelling place and he looked on with approval. That's when I became bold enough to actually pet him. Scaly little thing. Reptile fear conquered, until the next time!
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Step 1) Cut minuscule tablet in half.
Step 2) Start with new tablet as knife has crushed half the minuscule tablet into powder, and sent the other half flying somewhere across the kitchen to never be found again.
Step 6) Re-open Tird's mouth.
Friday, April 22, 2011
This Sunday is Easter and while I acknowledge and am quite familiar with the religious aspect of the holiday, I know little about the origin of the Easter Bunny so I started researching and here's something to reflect on as you bite off your chocolate bunny's ears!
According to Anglo-Saxon legend, the Goddess Ostara turned her pet bird into a rabbit for the vernal equinox. The rabbit would lay colorful eggs to entertain the children. The word "Eostre" was modified to "Easter."
In Northern Europe, the goddess Eostre ruled over fertility. Her consort was a rabbit, whom she cast into the heavens to create the constellation of Lepus the Hare. Once a year, Eostre allowed Lepus to come back to earth and have the ability to lay eggs."
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Rebecca Black: Thirteen year old YouTube sensation - Lynn
I've heard and read quite a bit of commentary and criticism about a new YouTube video entitled , "Friday" by Rebecca Black. While the general consensus is that her performance is horrible, I actually like the song. It's a catchy teen, hip-hop/pop song and what can be better then lyrics about getting the weekend started? Now do I think Rebecca is the next singing diva equivalent to Aretha Franklin and the lot, probably not, but I do believe at the age of 13 she holds a lot of promise.
Watching the news this morning and seeing that the general dislike of Rebecca's song has now escalated to death threats, I felt compelled to let our "R" day stand for Rebecca. I understand not everyone has to like the song, or like Rebecca for that matter, and of course everyone has the freedom of speech to express their opinions, but death threats? Over a song? How about, if you don't like it, just don't listen to it? I don't understand what this planet is coming to, but in the simplest request, "can't we all just get along?".
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Queen: a woman eminent in rank, power, or attractions. - Merriam Webster
That's right, I'm a queen. I even have a tattoo of the letter "Q" on my ankle to prove it. Why you might ask? It all started a long time ago in a castle far, far away. Well, okay not really. It started off as a childhood nickname, more likely a teenage nickname, that my sister gave me. Yep, what started off as a derogatory statement, has stuck as a permanent nickname and state of mind (some days).
In frustration, she (my sister) made a comment to the effect that I just thought I was a queen, whilst I treated her like a lowly commoner. Thereafter I was referred to on occasion as Queen, or "Q" while The Commoner got shortened to "TC". My sister found it quite funny to yell, "Queen!" in random shopping stores knowing that I would answer, and also knowing that those around us would turn to gawk and think, "Who the hell would name their kid Queen?".
To further cement the title of Queen to my name was a trending artist at the time, Mary Engelbreit. Englebreit's work became popular with her cartoon renderings of a curious little girl in various situations. One of her works, "The Queen of Everything" is posted above which helped excel me to "queen-dom". So, in short, there ya have it. The story of how a regular girl becomes a queen!
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Dear Rain -
Monday, April 18, 2011
"The thing you fear most has no power. Your fear of it is what has the power. Facing the truth really will set you free."
- Oprah -
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
I train dogs part time. Dogs respond to super smelly things. And food. So super smelly food is a the perfect combination and a great motivator when expecting your dog to pay attention to you and ignore all the butts (and crotches) that they could be sniffing instead. Armed with this knowledge, every training day starts off with me loading my pockets with crumbled, freeze-dried liver treats and a clicker. If you've never smelled freeze dried liver, I can only describe it as...well, I can't. But take my word for it, it smells pretty damn bad. So with pockets loaded full of "the smelly stuff", every dog I greet immediately sniffs one pocket, my crotch as they transition to the other pocket, and then the other pocket in search of what smells. A lesser woman might think it's something personal, but I know it's all about the liver and nothing more (I hope!). This behavior usually proves more embarrassing for the pet owner then me, as they shoo their dog away from my crotch and pockets.
As my day wears on, the treats diminish and I'm left with mere crumbs in my pockets. Of course, these crumbs are ground down so fine by this point, that I have to turn my pockets inside out, shake, and try to scrape the liver dust remains out of the crease of the pocket linings. This usually wedges said liver dust remains under my fingers nails, which is not removable with simple hand washing. In addition, this also grinds the liver dust and stench deeper into the fabric of my pockets. Despite having washed my hands another 3 or 4 times, I pray I don't forget and grab something very manual to eat, like chips or fries, as liver flavored french fries are not on the McDonald's menu for a reason!
Heaven forbid the night come where I forget to empty my pockets and I arrive at home to veg out in front of the TV and wonder, "What the hell stinks in here?". I then immediately search the cats' litter box, the trash and the toilet only to find, that the smell is me, or rather my pockets, which are still full of liver snacks! At this point, I must go outside and follow the steps above before attempting to undress and throw said pants and smelly pockets into the laundry. I have found that should "Operation De-Liver Pants Pockets" not be followed, I end up with soggy liver lumps in the bottom of the washer. It's not pretty.
Training tip of the day? Liver treats, great for dogs, bad for pockets!
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
With all these numbers, by the end of the year, if I participate (God willing) in all my proposed events, I will have gone roughly 80.1 miles or 50 kilometers for charity! I won't attempt to calculate the money spent on registration fees for these events, but I can already see next year's challenge for myself will be to go farther then 80 miles and aim for 100! I created links to all the events above, so hopefully if you're in the Chicago area you'll join me! All this talk about distance made me think of the places I will go, so I leave you with this:
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go. You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest..."
- The Places You Will Go: Dr. Seuss -
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The 2007 movie, "The Bucket List" has what I consider one of the all-time, most thought provoking lines of conversation in it. If you haven't seen the movie yet, I highly recommend that you do, but offer the excerpt below. If you have already seen it and am not quite sure what it is I'm talking about, then read on please.
As the movie unfolds, a conversation is shared between two unlikely friends, Edward (Jack Nicholson) and Carter (Morgan Freeman) while over looking the pyramids of Egypt at sunset. Always the philosopher, Carter asks his friend Edward the two questions asked of the dead by the gods at the entrance to heaven:
"Have you found joy in your life? Has your life brought joy to others?"
How would you answer these questions? I'd like to say I have found joy in my life, in simple living and taking advantage of what the world has to offer me. That may be a day of sunshine (go out and enjoy it!), the birds chirping (take a moment to listen to their song!), saying yes to what seems like an "odd" invitation at the time, or just simply sharing my passion with others (whether it's a fundraiser for a charity, or teaching others how to work with their pets). Most of all, I think my joy is appreciating the people and Earth around me.
Now comes the tough question, have I brought joy to others? Again, I would love to think so (wouldn't we all?) but how can you really tell if you've changed someones life for the better, or given them a happier day? I know I impact people's lives in small ways, but does that count as joy, as bliss? Example: I train dogs (people really) and have moved some pet owners to tears with their dog's positive behavior changes. Is this joy, or just a relief that they no longer have the worst pet in class? I do my best to encourage others by example (and with occasional arm twisting and brute force) to break out of their shell and explore the world around them, but does learning a new craft or participating in a 5K give them joy? (or does it just get me to stop pestering them to do things?) Does spewing off random memorized quotes (that I'm full of) help bring comfort or joy to someone in pain or strife?
I may never know the impact (good or bad) that I have on others. I may never know whether knowing me or if the actions I choose to pursue are received in a positive manner by others, but I'd like to think so. So I guess with that said, my point is that I'll never stop trying to share a smile with the world and the people in it. I will continue to search out the joy in my life every day. Have you done something today to bring joy to someone else life? If not, the day isn't over yet, there's still time! Find the joy in your life!
The Bucket List: Trailer
Monday, April 11, 2011
Icky - things I find icky? Laundry. Soggy spinach. Bugs. Gloomy days. The forty hour work week - who invented it anyways?
But my favorite "i" word of the day is...
Inspired - Today I read a post from the blog "Pick Which Light" and was fascinated and inspired to keep doing what it is I do. Bethany's post included the words, "I think that if your job doesn't move you deep in your heart, you should at least get a hobby that does. Please. The world needs you at your most passionate." I've never heard anyone say anything like this. Rather, what I hear around the office is that my talents could be better used somewhere else and that someone with my energy and passion doesn't belong trapped in a cubicle. While I take these comments as a great compliment, the thing is, I don't know what it is I really want to do. So until I can figure out how to blend my passions and talents into one job and better yet, go out and find that job, I will continue working on my "hobbies". I will continue to be inspired, and hopefully inspire others by raising money for charities, drawing, creating, blogging, training dogs, volunteering, taking classes, and finding events to participate in with boundless, and contagious passion. Thank you Bethany!
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Saturday, April 9, 2011
As a pre-teen, I became the "bat boy" for my mother's softball team. This meant spending countless hours at softball games and being quite bored. My grandma would often come out to support her daughter, and sneak me a hotdog she had made from home. She would boil hotdogs at home, slap them in a bun, add ketchup then wrap them in foil and put them in her purse. By the time she arrived to the game, they were steamed perfectly and the most delicious thing I can ever remember eating (at that age anyway). I can only imagine now, what others must have thought at seeing a red haired grandma taking hotdog after hotdog out of her big black satchel of a purse, but I didn't care.
I don't quite recall when I had my first Chicago style hotdog, but I do remember heading to the city a few times with my father to visit museums and having a hotdog from a street vendor on the steps before going in. It was quick and easy food, and for me the most fun was to be able to order and eat food outside of any restaurant. It was like a picnic that had standing room only, but I didn't mind.
I can't begin to count how many Cubs games I've been to and been able to enjoy a dog at the park, and I don't know how many miles I've driven out of my way to search out local hotdog stands. I can tell you though, having met a man that is just as crazy about hotdogs as I am doesn't help tame the dog-seeker in me. We've driven 60 miles round trip just to get a Superdawg, and continue to frequent local Chicago favorites like Wolfy's, The Wiener Circle, and Hot Dougs. Last night I was watching a show called, "Chicago's Best" and it was all about hotdogs! Now, I have two more stands to frequent, Frank and Dogs, and Jimmy's. Anyone ever been to either of these?
It may seem crazy that I'm such a hotdog fanatic as it's such a basic food, but as you can see I have a lot of memories tied up in this "food". The hotdog for me is more about the experience then just eating a simple encased meat sandwich. I have fun seeking out new stands and venturing throughout the state in search of the perfect dog. I've had the hotdog served in many a way, from ketchup only (this is only acceptable if you're under 12 years old), Francheezie, Chicago style, Coney Island style, and even American. I have yet to try a New York dog with mustard and sauerkraut but Hot Dougs has served up rattlesnake and even antelope dogs! No matter what you order, just remember that if you're in Chicago, the hotdog is a way of life and whatever you do, don't ever, ever order it with ketchup!
Friday, April 8, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Favorite movie: Wizard of Oz
Favorite feature: My smile
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
As an adult, I've continued to pursue elective education (look at me with two "E" words!) throughout my life and believe that we as humans are never done learning. Looking back, I've taken some odd classes but they've all been a source of fun, or at least make for fun conversation. Classes or events I have participated in include, but are not limited to:
Djembe Drum Lessons (hand drumming)
Bellydance (I can shimmy with the best of them!)
Latin Dance, Tango & Salsa (I still have no sense of rhythm)
Boot Camp Fitness (Boot Camp failure AND I got pooped on by a bird!)
Zumba (yep, still rhythmically challenged)
CPR (be nice to me, I could save your life!)
Advanced Agility (my dog kicked butt!)
Therapy Dog Training
Tae Kwon Do (never got past a white belt)
Self Defense (I know how to flip a full grown man!)
Sewing 101 (one lop-sided pillow case was the final result)
Scrap Booking (2 completed, shamefully 3 left unfinished)
Kickball League (I love the big red ball!)
Horseback Riding Lessons (I still fell off a horse on a Dude Ranch weekend getaway)
Dragon Boating (I got very wet from a very dirty river, despite being in the boat the whole time!)
Yoga (I love downward dog pose!)
Of course, I still have a laundry list of classes I want to take, some of which I will be taking on as part of my "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You" self challenge. Those classes include: Sign Language, Motorcycle Riding, Flying, Bar Tending, Jewelry Making, Stained Glass, and Cooking.
What classes or seminars have you taken? What new thing do you want to learn? And most of all, what are you waiting for? Get in there, be brave and dare to sign up for whatever it is you want to do! I want to hear about it!
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
Did you expect me to blog about anything other then a cheetah for my "C" day? If you've been following (John - I feel sorry for you!), you know by now I am participating in the "Run for the Cheetah" 5K event on April 23rd. I've taken on the goal of raising $1,000.00 for the event, all of which benefit the Cheetah Conservation Fund. To date, I have raised $668 and am just $332 shy of my goal!
The cheetah is one of my favorite cats, and is losing it's race for survival. How ironic that the fastest land animal cannot out run the guns and traps of African ranchers who are now the cheetah's biggest threat on the planet. One of the services the Cheetah Conservation Fund offers to local African ranchers, and as a dog trainer I love this, is that they provide ranchers trained Anatolian Shepherd Dogs to protect their cattle. A barking dog is all it takes to scare off a cheetah as they prefer flight over fight!
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Today's fear, hand out flyers I created for my fund-raiser. Sounds simple, but I had a really hard time talking about the subject and then passing out my artistic creations. The only reason I even got the nerve to hand out my information was I grew tired of the conflicting dialouge in my head. Good Lynn said, "Hand them out Lynn - you took the darn time to make them, now do it!" while Evil Lynn suggested, "Oh Lynn, who cares, they won't donate anyway". Let me tell you, it gets exhausting over thinking things and listening to the voices in my head. This is one of the reasons I challenged myself to blog and, "Do one thing every day that scares me". It might not always be something huge, but sometimes just quieting the self doubt in my own head is enough of a battle of bravery.
After 45 minutes of talking to myself (internally of course, hey - I'm not that crazy!) I got the nerve to say, "Hi Ladies, can I give you some information about an event I'm doing?" and handed out my first flyer. They were well received and by the end of the day, I received two more donations. I considered this an overall success that helps bring me one step closer to my goal. Of course, I had no problem sneaking flyers into my boyfriend's laptop bag so he could take them to HIS place of work and ask for donations. Go figure!
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Friday, April 1, 2011
Anatomy: physical structure of organism: the physical structure, especially the internal structure, of an animal, plant, or other organism, or of any of its parts - Merriam WebsterI can pinpoint almost the exact time I became fascinated with human anatomy. It was high-school, my senior year in Mr. O'shea's Human Biology class. I believe I was one of the few girls that didn't squirm at the idea of dissecting things. As we dissected goat eyeballs, cats, frogs and other various things, we were instructed to look at different parts of our work under a microscope and draw what we saw. I enjoyed the drawing aspect of our assignments very much, especially the drawing and shading of the intricate details such as veins and arteries, making them come to life again, even if only on paper.
My love for artistic details, muscle structure, and gross human anatomy live on with me to this day. My at home library reflects this passion as it is made up of many an anatomy book. One of my favorite possessions is a documentation/program style book I purchased at the museum exhibit, "Body Worlds". Body Worlds is a touring exhibit that presents works of plastination by Gunther von Hagens. While not for the young or squeamish, I find it utterly fascinating and think you should take a peak. I'll be re-visting this exhibit as it's in Chicago through September.