Monday, August 18, 2014

They're back....

Photo from the Lawrence Journal-World, my former employer
My sleepy little summer burg turns into a riotous college town once again this week, as thousands of students move into their dorms (five of which are a block-and-a-half from my house). We locals will try to stay out of their way for a few weeks, avoiding Target and other 'stock up' stores like the plague and driving defensively, even on our way to the grocery store.  I'm always secretly excited to see them return in the fall.  Like the swallows to Capistrano, but with less poop. (Well, at least, we can hope.) Yet, I can't help but note the difference between Move-In Day 2014 and Move-In Day 1973.  Today, you see parents and siblings in full sweat, lifting and schlepping their college kid's belongings...and then some. In August of '73, my mom and dad literally dropped me and my stuff on the sidewalk in front of my dorm, hugged me 'goodbye' and took off.  I don't think they even bothered to check out my room. After all, they had four more kids to get home to. Hover? My parents didn't know the meaning of the word. (And, I think I'm a better person for it.)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Robin's legacy: Love and awareness

Every cloud really does have a silver lining... albeit thin, sometimes. So it is with the tragic suicide of Robin Williams. The actor's death is already prompting a national conversation about depression and other mental health disorders. And, in the case of this story by the American Society of Aging, the dialogue includes the incidence of depression in baby boomers, which is surprisingly high. Did you know that white men over age 60 have the highest rate of suicide in the United States? I sure didn't. That statistic should give us all pause. We need to remember to check in with each other often, and that means going beyond the cursory "How are you?" That's about all I've got to say. It's been a tough week.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

I hereby defer to the SJG

I haven't posted in a while because I'm entertaining the Short Jewish Gal and, well, that's a full-time job. You can see what we've been up to on her blog. It's been a whirlwind of work, play and meals, and I've taken great pleasure in introducing the Hollywood girl to the wonders of Kansas. (I've spent an inordinate amount of time telling her how great the weather is, compared to what it could be.) Today, we head to the big city (as in Kansas City) where we will bunk at my childhood home for a couple of nights and check out the arts scene. Oh, and eat barbecue. That's a must.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Brace yourself, Jayhawkers. Here comes the Short Jewish Gal!

The SJG in Santa Fe.
Yippee!!  My sister from another mother - and father, religion and time zone - is coming to visit tomorrow! She explains why and describes her mounting level of excitement here in her delightful blog.  I am looking forward to showing this Hollywood gal the beauty and wonder that is Kansas...and a little bit of Missouri because, well, that's where the airport is and it can't be avoided. Oh sure, we don't have palm trees, but we have mosquitoes bigger than dogs, thanks to all the recent rain. And, the forecast calls for good ol' fashioned thunderstorms every day she's here!! 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Who IS that girl?

I posted the photo composite above on Facebook today in honor of Throwback Thursday (#TBT), one of my favorite FB features. (I love seeing everybody's vintage shots, especially the friends I've only known as adults.) I've been trying to organize all my old photos since January and recently got around to the high school era.  When I saw my yearbook pics from sophomore, junior and senior year, I was struck by the crazy consistency of them: Same hairstyle, same blue and white ensemble, exact same expression. Pretty strange, since I grew up to be a person who changed her look - especially hairstyles - and her mind on a regular and frequent basis. Would the young 'me' have bored the heck out of the 'old' me? Hmmm?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Happy times two

Last night, we watched "Happy" on Netflix, a wonderful documentary on the science of happiness.

This morning, I read Pope Francis' take on the subject.
Yep, you guessed it. I feel happier already.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Great weekend. No photos.

My son (the transplant to New York City whom I haven't seen since February) and his girlfriend came for an unexpected visit this weekend. Sadly, a funeral for a friend brought them home, but we managed to squeeze some positivity out of the situation with a couple of home-cooked meals and bonus family time.  I was so happy and wrapped up in being with him, I forgot to take even one picture.  That may be the modern measure of how engaged and 'in the moment' we are at any given time: When we forget to observe and record the moments, and simply participate in them. Sweet.

Friday, July 25, 2014

A little hot weather comic relief

Best thing I've seen on the Web all day. Love these guys.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Meditation made easy: Just do it!

One of the things I've always thought I should do on a daily basis - besides eat wisely, exercise and enjoy a good hug - is meditate. But, I've never known exactly how to go about it. Do I sign up for a class in TM? Engage a yogi for private lessons by the hour? There are all kinds of experts suggesting that meditation is good for the aging brain, but none so convincing as Brian Johnson who puts it in plain old easy-to-understand language with no New Age nonsense. Watch the video here. (Click on 'Preview this class.' I love the bit about the 100% paradox.) After viewing Brian's presentation last week, I started meditating for 12 minutes every morning and am about to increase to 20 minutes. I still have problems taming my "mind monkey," at times (okay, all the time) but I really am noticing more clarity and increased feelings of calm. And, if it will fend off Alzheimer's, more power to me! Ommmm.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Morning at The Sorella with the President

The hubs and I woke up after a lovely night's sleep in the Presidential Suite and enjoyed one of the best complimentary continental breakfasts we've had in our lives. Toasted-to-order bagels with lox, cheese and all the trimmings, fresh fruit and pastries PLUS made-to-order cappuccino or espresso.  (There was cereal, too, for the kids.)
Then, after extending our checkout time by an hour, we went to the rooftop pool, snagged a cabana and enjoyed some fun in the sun before our presidential term ran out.
Looking not so presidential in the Breaking Bad shirt, but very relaxed.
The view of the infinity pool from the cabana. (Do all presidents have gnarly feet?)
As we lounged and the minutes ticked away to checkout time, he asked, "Do you think you could call me Mr. President for one more day?" I answered, "Okay, but you have to stop calling me Monica. It's gross and unbecoming." "Oh, alright. 'First Lady', then."

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Presidential upgrade

Thanks to my media card, we received a rock star upgrade to the Hotel Sorella's Presidential Suite. 1500 sf of opulence. 1-1/2 baths. 5 sinks throughout. A private terrace that holds 41 people. A dining table for eight. And a bathroom to die for.  Regular nightly rate? Only $2500, a mere pittance for rock stars and presidents. (I paid 1/25th of that, for the record.) The nice young woman at the desk told me she wanted me to see "the best the hotel had to offer." For one night - and one night only - we were living like the one percent.
Looking presidential at one of the two wet bars in the suite. He made me call him Mr. President all night. 
Shower big enough for 12.
Check out the size of this bathroom in the mirror.
Luxuriously comfy bed and white leather sofa in bedroom.
Our private terrace.
We were tempted to call 39 of our closest friends for an impromptu soiree but decided against it.
The lobby of Hotel Sorella