What do you really want to be?


cc licensed flickr photo shared by jspad

Dear Readers,

Back in October 2010, I wrote a post related to Halloween.

At the time, I didn’t have the pleasure of having many of you as readers.

Thus, I saw it fitting to share it with you today.

I don’t know whether it’s the visual of the Son when he was five, or the fact that just this week he turned 21, but it still makes me chuckle.

I hope it has the same effect on you.

I’ll never forget the day the Son came home from kindergarten, paper in hand and said, “The teacher said you have to read this.”

I still remember what the note said: “Dear Parents, this Friday we will be celebrating “Career Day”. Please assist your child in preparing for a small presentation that will be titled, “When I grow up I want to be…”.

Being the diligent parent that I am, I immediately asked the Son, “Honey, what do you want to be when you grow up?”

Expecting to hear something along the lines of astronaut, scientist, football player or firefighter, I was completely aghast to hear him whisper, “A ninja.”

“A what?” I asked, even though I had clearly heard his response.

“Mom, I said I want to be a ninja, so leave me alone already.”

Ah, the joys of motherhood.

So like any controlling responsible mother, I set out to brainwash create awareness in my child regarding the importance of making a good career choice.

Fast forward four days, and my heart soared as the heir to my debt spoke into the microphone and said, “When I grow up I want to be a cardiothoracic surgeon.”

Forget the fact that he mispronounced “cardiothoracic” and it came out “cardiosaurus”.

I beamed with pride.

It’s now fourteen years later and the Son is coming down the stairs dressed in his Halloween “costume.”

“Mom, do you like my costume?”

I glance up to see him dressed in a pair of black jeans, black sneakers, and a black hoodie.

“Are you supposed to be an Italian widower?”

“Nope. Try again.”

“Johnny Cash come back from the grave?”

“Mom, get serious.”

“Zorro without his mask?”

At this point he ties a black scarf over his mouth, pulls his hood over his head, and whips out a sword.

I hold my breath and hear him say, “Mom, I’m a ninja.”

Lesson learned: You can steer your child in the direction you want him to go but in the end, he’s still going to be…a ninja.

Roxy and I want to wish you a Happy Halloween!

Who said having a wild imagination is a bad thing?

“You have a wild imagination.”

The sharpness of our neighbor’s tone let me in on the fact that she didn’t think this to be a good thing.

Looking down at the mangled mess of what used to be carefully tended begonias, I grabbed my dog Princess and high tailed home.

I was seven years old.

As the years passed, my “wild” imagination developed the ability to get me out of many predicaments.

And the older I got, the wilder my imagination became.

Missed homework was the result of having to fly to Spain with my mother to take care of my aunt Rita, who lay stricken in a hospital bed with only a week to live.

Unreturned phone calls to boyfriends were excused with the unexpected death of my cat Butterball, who had had the misfortune of running in front of oncoming traffic.

Failure to show up for class was justified with acute pain caused by the onset of a severe case of lumbago.

My creativity knew no bounds and I delighted in elaborating embellished scenarios that served to get me out of situations that I deemed a waste of time.

Fast forward I don’t know how many years and now, while I may not use it to get myself out of trouble, my imagination continues to grow.

I believe imagination and creativity are timeless.

It matters not whether you are a child or an octogenarian, we all have the ability to exercise our imagination.

We might accomplish this by writing poignant poetry or inspiring stories.

In some cases, we might use it to get us out of a tedious work dinner.

Yet, whatever our reasons, we all have the ability of being imaginative; of being creative.

This summer, trips to a busy neighboring city meant tiresome hour-long bus rides.

Many times, these resulted in long naps that served to restore energy levels drained by the warm, Spanish sun.

Other times, they gave way to looking out the window and creating stories, situations, and conversations.

This activity also proved to be a speedy way to people watch.

However, given the moving bus only allowed for a few seconds to take in the scene, my imagination had to work faster.

Thankfully, traffic lights always gave me a bit more time.

They provided extended glimpses into the lives of passebyers.

A cyclist had strayed from his team while training for the World Tour.

Beach chairs had been set out on the beach for Lady Gaga and her entourage.

People waited outside of an old movie theater to watch a dubbed version of “ET.”

A couple filled jugs of water from a public fountain because the water company had suspended their service.

The group of people outside of a hotel were extras in a soon to be released Pedro Almodovar film.

When the scene outside didn’t prove to be interesting, I took to snapping photos of fellow bus travelers.

I imagined what they were thinking, dreaming, or worrying about.

Yes, when our neighbor Mrs. Willet told me I had a wild imagination, I don’t think she realized just how true her words were.

And this time, I’m not apologizing for it.

How do you exercise your imagination and creativity?

Note: These shots were taken from a moving bus or while sitting just a couple of feet from fellow travelers.

Return of the Speedo Part III

This morning, as I searched in my closet for something warmer than the cardigan I’ve been wearing to walk Roxy, I realized fall has arrived with a vengeance.

The warmer, sunnier days of summer have been substituted with the colder, damper, rain-filled days of autumn.

I sighed as I remembered past summer days spent frolicking on the beach, drinking ice cold sangria, and laughing at the silly things.

It was this nostalgia that prompted me to look through my photos and relive some of those memories.

And in so doing, I discovered I still haven’t done my traditional Speedo post.

Busily scrolling through the hundreds of photographs, I quickly selected a handful to share with you.

Why?

Because it matters not whether we cringe or whoop with delight, a Speedo post possesses the ability to make us smile.

Or giggle.

Or sigh.

Or wonder what the heck these men were thinking when they put them on.

Nevertheless, this year I’ve decided that I shall not bash the Speedo.

Instead, just for fun, I would like to encourage you to express your thoughts regarding this controversial strip of cloth.

You can do this by leaving a comment or voting in the poll found at the bottom of this post.

(Hopefully, both!)

And now, without further ado, I give you men in Speedos!

First up, the “retro” Speedo.

Some men believe wearing a Speedo is the best way to bring sexy back.

I call this one the “underwear” Speedo.

If you don’t have a Speedo you can always make one.

If you don’t want to sport a homemade Speedo, you can always turn yourself into a human net.

I have to admit this one made me wonder if not all homemade Speedos are bad.

Finally, no summer would be complete without the white Speedo.

What do you think of the Speedo?

Don’t forget to check back to see the results!

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Note: This post is written in a humorous vein.
For further explanation, please refer to the post titled, Should I label this post a disclaimer?

Where have sugar and spice and everything nice gone?

It is almost official.

We haven’t been formally informed but I am almost certain it’s a given.

Their looks tell us.

So does their body language.

Today’s episode practically guarantees that Roxy and I are deemed outcasts.

And it’s all Roxy’s fault.

She started off small.

The low growl was easily camouflaged with a cough or clearing of the throat.

But then it got worse.

The throaty growl rapidly turned into a snarl.

And just like that, Roxy had metamorphosed into the neighborhood bully.

Yes, yes, I now that with a face like this, you all think she’s sugar and spice.

Just look at this face!

But alas, it turns out our little miss has a mean streak.

She’s taken to barking, hissing, and even nipping at furry friends we encounter on our walks.

This morning, an elderly lady who used to be sweet to us, crossed to the other side of the street with her Chihuahua, all the while giving us the stink eye.

The young couple with the brown Pomeranian whispered to each other and picked up their ball of fur when we were ten feet in front of them.

The kind lady that used to give Roxy treats pretended not to see us and instructed her poodle to walk faster.

The gentleman who owns the adorable Westie named Lizzy, shortened its leash the minute he saw us.

To make matters worse, as we entered the dog park, I saw everyone scatter.

In less time than it takes to say, “bad dog,” people and pets had cleared a path for us.

It was as if I was walking a 70 pound ferocious attack dog instead of ten pounds of “used to be nice.”

The Significant Other and the Son don’t know what has prompted this behavioral change in Roxy.

But then again, neither do I.

One day she was hugs and kisses and the next, she had turned into mini Cujo.

Last week she was the most popular girl on the playground, and now she’s the tiny bully everyone shuns.

Sadly, I’m the one who has to deal with the whispers, the stares, the looks.

Looks that silently scream, “bad mom.”

I hope this is temporary; a pothole in the road to us once again being the loved couple we used to be.

But for now, we’re being shut out; reduced to invisibility; exiled to the middle path of the dog park.

Perhaps it is time to give the dog whisperer a call.

Before Roxy’s friendless status becomes permanent.

Before I start bribing dogs to throw her a bone.

Before we both have to wear matching sweaters with the letter “P” stitched on the breast pocket.

P for “pariahs,” because that’s what Roxy and I have become.

I’m crossing my fingers that Roxy will snap out of her Mr. Hyde persona.

Friends, any suggestions for how to deal with this predicament are heartily welcomed.

In the meantime, here’s a little Roxy love for inspiration.

Roxy asks, “Is there such a thing as doggie jail?”

I take my vitamins and play nice at home. Does that count?

Has your furry friend ever experienced the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde dilemma?