Friday, September 22, 2006

double whammy - two birds one stone - whatever.

Yes, the category 'pets and animals' will do. My subject title seeks to accomplish a couple of things...I call it 'double whammy' because this is my 2nd blog in a day, and 'two birds one stone' is what seems to have happened today - except that it was my car and not a stone. I did not hit two birds - it was only one bird - and 'hit' isn't the word I'd used, but more like ran over.
As if I wasn't already saddened and left with a lump in my throat after I heard and felt the thump under the car's tires, I was even more upset to find out that it is two types of birds that I hit. Read below this statement I pulled off a doves website (who creates these sites, BTW?!):
Question: What is the difference between pigeons and doves?
why you might ask - cuz I hit one today! ran over, whatever.
Pigeons are biologically part of the dove family and are actually descendents of the ancient Rock Dove. The dove is smaller than the pigeon and does not have the ability nor instinct to fly home. (or in my case, the instinct to get out of the way.)
Now the reason I chose to google this was because I felt bad. But then I have always wondered what the difference between the dove and pigeon is. I especially wanted to find this out today, to maybe make myself feel better about ending a life today. The bad news: the pigeon is part of the dove family. This made me feel more awful, because you always think of the dove as being a peaceful, innocent creature. It was a promise from God to Noah that there would never again be a flood like the one he endured. Doves get released at weddings. OK - so those are the only two I can come up with. If you have any more examples, I would love to hear them. But here's the good news for me: the pigeon is the dumber of the species - so I don't feel as bad. (Read above factoid) And if they are the dumber of the species, than chances are they are overpopulated. Doesn't it always seem like there are more dumb people in the world than smart? Overpopulated. You get what I mean.
Geez - I am trying to make myself feel good, and all I am doing is slamming dumb people and pigeons. And now that I think about doesn't the music trio, TLC, bash men by calling them pigeons in the song titled "no scrubs"? There must be a correlation here.
I have successfully made myself feel better. After all this bird didn't even fly away, and since I thought it would dodge me and fly away, I didn't even try to drive around it, b/c I thought if I did it might just find my tires regardless.
So, while I have thoroughly and logically relieved myself of all guilt, I still do feel really bad. Really. Isn't it biblical that we are to protect the "weak in spirit" the "meek at heart"? Who am I to say that this stupid bird had it coming to him? That he deserved it through his stupidity and simpleton nature? Take care of the poor, the brokenhearted, regardless of our low opinion of them? Thankfully it's only a pigeon, but I am afraid there are times where I/we/others feel that ill will towards people because we can justify it in our hearts and minds that it is their fault while continuing to hold our judgments. And that makes us feel better. And it is definitely much easier. Let's bring compassion back!

Required number of flair.

I have been thinking about what I am about to write for a day now, but it is definitely a topic that we all deal with throughout life and throughout circumstances. Every time I think of the movie "Office Space" there are many scenes that come to mind. Beating a fax machine to pieces with bats and clubs. The white guy named Michael Bolton who listens to gangster rap in his car to work, but is fearful "brothas" may catch him in the act. Then there are many quotes that come to mind, such as "pc load letter? What the f--- does that mean?" Now the one that has come to mind recently because of an exchange at our local Starbucks has brought me to the keyboard. (Note: And I am quite proud to say that we do in fact HAVE a local Starbucks!) Anyway the quote has to do with the required amount of flare that is necessary for one to work at the infamous Schlotkey's….not an actual venue of course, but quite obviously similar to one we all do know. Whatever, not important. I don't know of any person that has not viewed this cult classic turned mainstream pop culture movie, so I know you all remember how Jennifer Aniston's character is chastised by her chummy, nerdy loser-of-a-boss. He rattles on about how so-and-so exceeds the required amount of flair on his work uniform, while Jennifer's character sticks to the basic amount of flair that is necessary to be an employee of Schlotkey's.

So, I was ordering a Frappaccino – Pumpkin Spice for my sweet-pumpkin-of-a-husband and a coffee for myself. I inquired about the Ethiopian blend, only because I don't like coffee that is too strong that it can't be weakened with a little cream and sugar. This young kid (probably in college) doesn't necessarily look like the avid coffee drinker and I hate to judge a book by its cover, but he just didn't look like much of a coffee drinker, unless it's blended with ice and suffocated with lots of flavor (ie. sugar). But none the less he blows me away with this explanation involving many adjectives that I am not sure anyone would use in explaining coffee. I was so stunned that at this point all I remember are bold, citrus-ey, floral. So I asked this young man if he was a coffee drinker. Startled by my question, he mumbled something to the effect that he drank coffee on occasion mentioning that he worked at Starbucks and that he was a student and it helped with studying. Blah, blah. Then he adds, "I have also taken this class through Starbucks, that, well, you know, it's suggested you take if you want to move up, you know." I kind of smile/smirked and said, "Well, I suppose a lot of life is like that, huh." Not really a question, but a remark.
I have certainly learned a lot in life, and through my experiences I know that many people I know have learned a lot too, but completely different things. I have a friend through MySpace that is my age (26) and has 4 girls and has just completed her Master's. I have a friend who seems to travel all the time and still manage a full time job. I know another friend who is so completely random in his life that he up and quit his civil engineering job and decided to go back to school for an MBA. Same friend who has run with the bulls, ran a marathon, and helped build houses in Mexico. I have a friend who is a special ed teacher and the passion in her actions is undoubtedly apparent. I have countless other friends, but these are the ones that come to mind at the moment. I admire all these friends for their own uniqueness in the world, that if I were not careful, my admiration could turn in to something more detrimental to me. Jealousy, envy, all those ugly things in a person. But I'm not, and I've realized that the important thing is what you do with the cards you've been dealt. I look at my husband who is a fighter pilot and has accomplished so much and is such a strong person in body and spirit, but even there are times where he doesn't feel he adds up. This just shows me that it is a common thread in all of us.

Do I feel useless at times? Heck yeah. Some days all I've felt like I've accomplished is that my child is still alive, breathing, fed, etc. As for me and what's left of it, I can't say I've added much to my character. As a mom it's easy to let that happen because you're always 2nd and if there are more children you're even further down the list. I try to take advantage of my position and the fact that I don't have to earn any bread for the family and build myself. I work at doing things that I'm not good at. This builds so much confidence in me.

So today, do you know who I saw on Sesame Street? I am sure that is not a question any of you are used to hearing! Ha! Well, I saw Ruben Stoddard singing the ABC's with Elmo this morning. I got to thinking, "Wow, that sucks. He was the winner of American Idol and he's on Sesame Street co-starring with Elmo…a muppet!" As I started thinking, though, I thought maybe he is fulfilled. And if he is, then it doesn't matter if he sells millions of pop records or not. What is most important is if you feel fulfilled as a person. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

Lately, it seems that whenever I can bring a smile to Ben's face, I feel more accomplished than any rich, successful person. When it comes to required number of flair in life, I believe that if you are satisfied with the number of pieces of flare on your Schlotsky's vest, then that is all that matters. THAT is the required number. You can only exceed in accomplishments on your own will and motivation – not any core value listed in any company's mission statement.
You are your mission statement.