Trying to Get It Right

January 20, 2013 — 1 Comment


Yep, I’m back and with an ubiquitous post about it. However, I’m not going to tell you where I’ve been. Some of you know, and the rest of you wouldn’t be interested. The important thing — at least for me — is that I’m going to take another run at this place, and I hope those of you I haven’t lost will hang with me.

I have this insatiable need to talk, but I spent so much time thinking about how I was going to do that, it bound me up. This is a common occurrence for most of us when we venture out into public. How to proceed? How to proceed? How to proceed so that we don’t hit a wall? Or God forbid appear dull? Can I tell you that sometimes this need to not appear dull appears dull. Self-consciousness is boring. It wears people out and the person doing it most of all. The truth: people are interesting if they will just let themselves be.

Okay, so that’s a little of what I want to talk about instead of trying to figure out what else I want to talk about.

© Photo by Belka

The Case for Music

November 1, 2012 — 3 Comments

With lots of budget cuts going on in school districts around the country, there’s no question music programs are on the chopping block. The problem with music is too often the justification made for it is anecdotal. Stories of how music has helped students are certainly wonderful, but quantifying its effect on children such that it could eventually become part of the core curriculum, might make it less prone to a hatchet job at budget time.

Studies like this do a lot to help music become less of an extra and more of a core curriculum:

Harvard Business Review’s Daily Stat
NOVEMBER 1, 2012

A Little Music Training in Childhood Goes a Long Way

Learning about rhythm, pitch, and melody for 20 days increased preschoolers’ verbal-intelligence scores by an average of about 20%, with more than 90% of the children showing improvement, according to a study led by Sylvain Moreno of the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto…

Read the rest here.

Off to find a study that supports the benefit of surfing the net. ;-)

© Photograph by Jack Schiffer

Today is the first day of NaNoWriMo, and if you’re like I was, you think that’s something left over from the show H.R. Pufnstuf. You don’t remember H.R. Pufnstuf? Lucky you. Now that I’ve said that, I should probably go watch some clips of it. Maybe it’s better than I remember. I’ll do that in December after I’m done with NaNoWriMo.

So what it is? NaNoWriMo stands for the annual event known as “National Novel Writing Month” which has the purpose of encouraging people who want to write but are hemming and hawing when it comes to actually doing it. The goal is for individuals to write a 50,000 word novel in November. This may seem so ambitious it’s hard to imagine as something to encourage writing, but therein lies the beauty of it. The absurdity can make you laugh and say, “Why not?!” Plus, there is strength in numbers. If you can do this while thousands are doing it and sharing their war stories, all the better!

One of my blogging buddies shares his take on the process. I love the way he breaks it down, and I just love his bluntness.

For more information and support, see NaNoWriMo’s website.

© Photograph by David Coleman | Agency:

Getting in the Head

September 26, 2012 — Leave a comment

People are interesting, and since I was a little girl, I’ve been asking questions about why they do what they do. And what they do may be something as seemingly simple as picking up the garbage at my curb, as mysterious as writing music, or as complex as monitoring the development and delivery of a child. Thankfully, people have been gracious about answering my questions, and I hope it’s because they know I’m really interested in them and what they’re about. Yes, I know the guys who pick up the garbage, and I know my OB/Gyn. When I say know, I don’t mean we’re buddies but rather I’m alert to how they proceed and wonder about them as people enough to ask them questions.

I used to fight this urge to ask questions. It seemed inappropriate, but I’ve lived a few years since I first had the thought and have realized it’s all in how you ask. This is a place for me to ask, but I won’t be intrusive by asking questions whose answers are not for public consumption. Apart from that, I’m going to be candid with a vengeance. Given this goal, if you don’t understand something I’m saying, ask me a question! And I don’t care how you ask — on blog, email, Twitter, etc. It makes no difference to me. So don’t wonder. Ask!

Gravity Can Weigh You Down

September 23, 2012 — 4 Comments

For two and a half years I’ve written a humorous blog elsewhere and been somewhat successful at it. Now I want to get serious, but it doesn’t give me any pleasure. I kept asking myself why I had to make things so serious. The conventional wisdom seemed to be dictating to me that I couldn’t discuss a serious topic unless I respected the gravity of it, and of course that meant no funny business. I’m calling bullshit on that. And yes, I realize by saying bullshit that I’m probably precluding myself from featuring some people on this blog. Oh well.

I want to be real here, and the truth is I sometimes say bullshit and quite often think it. No, I don’t mean that I bullshit although I do that too. I mean I see a lot of bullshit out there, uh, in the world, and being so dour isn’t the way to combat it. Humor works best.

And humor is natural for me since it’s often heard at my house and always has been. It even occurs sometimes out of terrible situations. Just the other day Mr. Zee and I got into what I call a knock-down-drag-out argument. Oh, no one got physical, but our words were pummeling each other pretty well. We haven’t had one of these in a good long while. I guess we had one to make up for that lapse. Then when it reached such a pitch that I thought I would faint from the blood pounding in my head, we looked at each other and started laughing. That is far from the first time a serious argument has ended this way. I’m so glad, and before anyone thinks, “Ohmygod, her marriage is in trouble!” Wait. I really don’t care if you think my marriage is in trouble. We’ve made it 29 years, so I think we’re doing fine, and I can’t think of anyone else I would want to fight with, laugh with, and just generally adore. But enough of that. Back to my point.

When going through the pieces I had written for this place, too many of them bored me, and I couldn’t inflict that on you — well meaning as they were. You can thank me later for this kindness. In the meantime, I’ll be working on finding my serious voice.

© Photograph by Kitsen | Agency:

My daughter sent me a note about this blog and said:

There is no clear idea as to what this blog is about. Your passions, yes. But are you going to answer the question, “What are we about?”.. I’m excited to see what you have to say. And are you going to go about that in a religious way or in just an aesthetic (creative-needs-met) way? I’m curious. For those who don’t necessarily believe in God, I’m curious as to how you’ll cater to the idea of finding passions without God’s help or any religious infrastructures. Just some of my thoughts.

Good thoughts. Let me be clear what I’m about here. I’m on a journey to explore the pursuit of passions of myself and others. Mostly I want to explore others’ passions and process how that may relate to me and perhaps others. I welcome input! Regarding religious versus aesthetic, there is a need to define a term some. The word ‘religious’ has a connotation of inordinate control or confinement, rigidness in some instances, yet my belief in God does anything but confine me artistically. So I will not be talking about the pursuit of passions in a “religious way” for myself. I will talk at times about God because He is part of who I am. As the author of the creation, I believe He is vital to the pursuit of passions, i.e., if you are alive, you have met the first criterion of pursuing a passion. That is not to say “religious infrastructures” are necessary. In fact, they can be stumbling blocks at times (that’s for another post). With respect to others’ views of religious versus aesthetic, that will be up to them.

Bottom line: this will not be a “religious” blog.

Hope that answers the question.

And given that I want to be very clear to new readers, the title of this piece is now the tagline for the blog, and I have edited the “About” page.

© Photograph by Dario Diament | Agency:


September 19, 2012 — Leave a comment

One of my favorite bloggers highlights something I’m taking as a watchword for this place. But I give fair warning I might stray over the line into weird a bit. A little weird never hurt anyone. Just gotta know when to quit.

© Photograph by Chrisharvey | Agency:


September 19, 2012 — 2 Comments

By the time you read this, I’ll be on my adventure. I have a destination, but it doesn’t matter how it turns out. Whatever happens, it’s going to be good because I’m going to learn about someone or something. That’s the part that turns me on.

When I was a little girl and got my first “big girl” bike, I took adventures several times a week and every day when possible. I was looking for something I hadn’t seen or heard. Mostly I was looking at and listening to people. I wanted to learn what made them happy. From the time I was very young, I was unhappy. By my fifth birthday, I remember praying to God that I could be three years old again. Three was a good year. It started with a chocolate cake with hot pink frosting and homemade ice cream, and everyone was smiling. Somewhere between that moment and five, things got messed up.

A few years later Ferdinand “Fred” Waldo Demara became my patron saint. I had a thing for him. I wanted to be him, and in some respects, the fascination has never gone away. So today, I’m giving myself permission to be Fred, and I think I might play a reporter. Not sure yet.

© Photograph by Rachel Zirkle

An Adventure

September 18, 2012 — 3 Comments

Tomorrow, I’m going on an adventure. The outcome is not sure, but whatever it is, I’ll let you know. Until I can fill you in, just know it has something to do with this:

Yeah! The Piano Guys were on Katie Couric’s show today. Check them out here.

Most of us have responsibilities. This morning I got up to drive a school bus. It started as a way to easily go to my kids’ school activities, and I also happen to like kids. But driving a school bus doesn’t make me eager to get out of bed. It’s not my passion. And passions are what I want to talk about here.

What is your passion? What satisfies you? Do you know? I didn’t know for a long time, and now I’m beginning to figure it out. This place is an exploration of how someone goes about discovering a passion and then pursuing it. Come along with me, and maybe you will begin to realize your passion or realize it again.

I want to explore what inflames our desires and what quenches them. I also want to speak to those who have pursued a passion whether successful, still in process, or a failure. There is something to be learned from all of it, and I’m making it my business to find out.

And no, I’m not selling anything. It’s just more fun to do this with others.

© Photograph by Jon Helgason | Agency: