Life Topics

Liar Beware

Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies.– Ralph Waldo Emerson

This was an essay written by my son, after he stomped off to his room to fulfill his punishment of writing about why it’s not OK to lie.  I believe he was 7 or 8 at the time.

This may be more endearing to me as the mom, but I wanted to share the innocence of a child trying to learn an important lesson.  By using the ugly  twins – “selfish & dishonest”  I think he may have really understood why it was wrong….plus he was off the hook when he handed it to me.

I hope in the long run this lesson was effective, as I am sure  he hasn’t  lied to me since then    : (      Yeah.

[click on essay to enlarge the graphic]

Sports Life

March Madness Update – Day 2 Results

If you’re not a fan of NCAA Basketball, then now would be the time to get a cup of coffee, make out a grocery list, clean the bathroom, check your facebook or make that phone call you’ve been putting off….I’m still waiting!!!!!!

Day 2 Results McLaughlin vs Toale:

Jamie: 21
Jo: 29

DISCLAIMER: The hat with the NY Giants logo no way reflects my team affiliation.  My head was cold, and the Giants Fan (who shall remain nameless) loaned it to me for a walk.  Patriots Rule!

NOTE:  Andrea, can you see dead teams?  We need to talk.

Life Topics

Shakie Calls ‘Em How He Sees ‘Em

My Mistress’ Eyes

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

Shakespeare – Sonnet 130

Shakespeare pokes fun at the “media’s” opinion of the ideal woman.
His mistress doesn’t live up to the image…and that’s OK with him.

Beauty  is in the eye of the beholder.


Sports Life

Bracket Madness

[vodpod id=Video.16229358&w=425&h=350&fv=key%3D5cd43bbf31]

March Madness, posted with vodpod

Jo McLaughlin

I grew up playing sports, and I am always thankful for the lessons learned.  I know how to lose, I know how to cooperate with teammates, and I know how to win gracefully.  Well, I strive to win gracefully.

However, no lessons could be learned unless you possess a strong spirit of competition – “fire in your belly.”   Every game I played helped to build my skills and love of competition.   Striving to win (and YES, IT IS IMPORTANT to keep score) helps us learn about our talents and create goals.   How does the phrase go? … It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.  OK. That’s true, but why shouldn’t you try to win, while you’re playing nice?

Unfortunately, I don’t play sports anymore.  Instead, I park myself on the couch and pretend to be a basketball expert, as I watch the NCAA March Madness Tournament, starting TODAY!  I am glued to my brackets.

The routine is the same every year.  Jamie asks me when I’m going to pick my brackets.  I like to wait until just before the start of the tournament, and then use some combination of statistical analysis, which includes ranking, familiarity with the school name, color of uniform and a combined total of 10 minutes of pro sports commentary.  So far this recipe has not served me well.  But, the crazier my brackets seem, the more fun I have.

Take for example, my unexplainable love of University of Texas.  Why Texas, you ask(and I ask)? I became a TJ Ford fan a few years back,  and I really wanted  TJ  to win. He seemed really nice, and hardworking.  In my mind, not only did UT deserve to win the whole thing, but TJ also deserved a cupcake.  They also looked great in Orange uniforms.  Orange is for winners I decided.  Why not pick Syracuse if orange is so great?  I really can’t say… maybe it’s because Texas has Long Horns on the uniform.  Because of my past Long Horn, long shot pick, I could be assured that I was always rooting against Jamie’s  brackets. I didn’t pick UT this year, but I know I can beat him.  I just know it!

Brackets make you feel like an expert, being able to say who’s going to win, through several rounds of play.   And, when your pick wins, you can walk a little taller and pretend that you knew what you were doing.  “Yeah,  I picked that team.” When they lose, you can make up some reason or just blow it off.   “It’s just a stupid basketball game.   Who cares?

“This year I picked Baylor, instead of UTexas, to go all the way.  I don’t quite remember what my “logic” was in that bracket. Apparently, Baylor is ranked pretty high, and I’ve heard of the school.

I hope they wear orange.

Life Topics

A Rock and a Pumpkin Patch

[vodpod id=Video.4799164&w=425&h=350&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26]

A small curiousity had been nagging at me, in the back of my mind, since I last watched “The Great Pumpkin” Charlie Brown last October.   Why did all the kids get candy, and Charlie Brown kept getting rocks?   I’m sure Charlie started the night hopeful, wearing his obviously homemade ghost costume with multiple eye holes. I loved that he looked different from everyone else. But, ALAS, I’m afraid the adults didn’t feel that way.As all the kids received candy or money during trick or treat, he kept getting rocks! What kind of people would be so cruel? Here it was, the most important night of the year for kids, and he was sent a message that he wasn’t good enough to get candy.

Everything always turns out well in the end, and I’m sure Charles Schultz was just confirming his characters “black cloud over your head” life, who kept his spirits up and always had the support of his best friend.

Once I moved on from feeling sad for Charlie, I began to see a bigger message appear through Linus and Sally’s (with “naturally curly hair”) relationship, or so she thought. Sally is determined to make Linus her man, and through that self commitment decides to forgo  Halloween to be by his side. Linus doesn’t really calculate her commitment fully, but is glad to have someone by his side, and help her understand the wonders of “The Great Pumpkin”.

Here is where you know what’s going to happen…the Great Pumpkin, disguised at Snoopy, or rather Snoopy disguised as The Great Pumpkin rises from the patch.   It dawns on Sally that Linus’ beliefs are a crock of you know what, and she feels the wave of disappointment and anger come crashing down on her.   Her reaction is perfect. Wow, she really lets him have it.   I have often tried to, deservedly, have that reaction without actually finding my voice.   Sally not only found her voice, she raised her voice and let her “boyfriend” know that she was pissed.  She was the ultimate supportive “girlfriend”, as she reluctantly adopting his dream and supported his beliefs.

No one believed Linus’ belief in The Great Pumpkin, but it was his choice, that he fully relished, to skip bagfuls of candy and wait for something greater.   She did it for the relationship. If she stood by his side, and they both witnessed this event, then that would seal their destiny together. Really Sally?

I enjoy this movie every year, and have recently seen Linus in a new light. I admire his commitment to his dream of seeing The Great Pumpkin. He was not going to listen to anyone.   His mind was made up.   I also love Sally’s devotion to her alleged boyfriend.   Her devotion bordered on absurd, but very very endearing.

I think Sally wanted a rock, unlike Charlies. She was willing to lose herself to be “the better half”.   She forgot about her own pumpkin patch, and adopted her man’s dream.   Not uncommon.

I have waited for “The Great Pumpkin” myself.   And, when he didn’t show up, I walked out of the pumpkin patch.   I have kept any anger to myself…days lost,  years lost,  time lost.  The major difference between myself and Sally is that she got MAD AS HELL, and she wasn’t going to take it!   I just moved on.

I’m back to trick or treating, noticing people in pumpkin patches, but not missing out on the best night of the year….during the best years of my life.