Monday, March 16, 2015

Life Lessons From Looney Tunes

Today’s blog is an ode to Looney Tunes. Every person in my age bracket remembers that staple of Saturday mornings, the one day a week we could watch cartoons!  I’ve watched the stuff my kids like such as Adventure Time, Bob’s Burgers, and any number of Anime shows, and I’ve got to say I think they’re a complete waste of time (the shows, not the kids). Just as no sitcom will ever achieve the greatness of Seinfeld, no cartoon will ever surpass the brilliance of Looney Tunes.

So what life lessons did we learn from Looney Tunes? Here goes (feel free to add your own!):

     Storyline: A man dreams of making a fortune after finding a singing frog. The frog, however, refuses to perform on demand.

     Life Lesson #1: Get-Rich-Quick schemes seldom work.

     Life Lesson #2: Don't let others manipulate you for their own                                    ends.

Pepe Le Pew

     Storyline: Pepe is an amorous skunk, who often mistakes black cats as love interests.

     Life Lesson: Ladies, most men are odor-able.... am I right? So if a romantic one shows up wanting to whisk you away to the Casbah, let him!

Marvin, the Martian

     Storyline: Marvin has invented the Illudium Q36 Explosive Space Modulator with the express purpose of blowing up the earth.       

     Life Lesson #1: If a rabbit can stop terrorism, anyone can.

     Life Lesson #2: If you wear a push broom on your helmet, you'll                                always be prepared for cleaning emergencies!

Wile E. Coyote

Storyline:  Wile E. Coyote will go to any lengths to catch the elusive Road Runner. Wile E. apparently has a vast bank account, as he's able to order an endless supply of weaponry from the Acme Company.           

Life Lesson #1: Don't fixate on an unattainable object.
Life Lesson #2: Don't throw good money after bad.

Foghorn Leghorn

Storyline: Foghorn Leghorn is a deep south, happy-go-lucky rooster in charge of the barnyard. 

Life Lesson #1: Provoking others is never a good idea (just remember, the dog's not always leashed...)

Life lesson #2: Take an interest in everything going on around you. You never know what adventure it might lead you to!

Sam and Ralph

Storyline: Ralph the Wolf (cousin to Wile E.) and Sam the Sheepdog are sworn enemies at work. Off the clock, they're quite chummy. 

Life Lesson: Don't make it's only business. 

and finally....THE MASTER
Bugs Bunny

Life Lessons: 

1. Culture is cool.

2. Always remember to take the left turn at Albuquerque.

3. In times of trouble, just wait for the season to change.

4. No one knows what Hassenpfeffer is.

5. Try to get along with your neighbors.

6. Relate to your enemies on their level.

7. Never underestimate the power of feminine wiles.

8. Don't take yourself too seriously! 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Star Trek Meets Downton Abbey

Mr. Spock is no more. Our favorite eye-shadowed Vulcan has passed on to the place where everything is logical. 

I confess, I haven’t thought of Star Trek in many years. In high school, I was a devotee of the original series. In college, I really dug The Next Generation with Patrick Stewart and his sexy bald head.

Nowadays, I’m into Downton Abbey. Season Five has just come to a close and we, the fans, are staring down the barrel of its last year. I have loved every minute of Downton Abbey, just as I did Star Trek all those years ago. That got me wondering how I could enjoy such vastly different dramas. As it turns out, they’re not so different. Read on and see if you agree!

"Beam me up, Scotty!"

"Where's my Jim Beam?!"

To boldly go where no man 
has gone before...

Thomas Barrow in the 1920's....

"I'm a doctor, dammit, 
not a _______!"

"I'm a chauffeur, dammit, not a nobleman. No wait! I'm a nobleman, not a chauffeur. No wait! I'm an American businessman. That's it.... I'm an American businessman."

"She canna' take any more! 
She's gonna blow!"
Edith....pretty much all 
five seasons.


The rate at which Mary goes 
through men.

"Captain, we're being hailed!"

Mrs. Hughes and her repeated efforts to pull Carson into the 20th century.



"Make it so."

"Make it so."

To explore new life and 
new civilizations...

Bye Tom. Drop us a postcard 
from America! 

"Non interference is the 
prime directive."
"I won't interfere."
(C'mon Isabelle, marry 

Lord Merton already!)

"Set phasers to stun."
Set fashions to stun!

"Live long and prosper."
Live long and prosper, Julian!
Can't wait for your next series!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Our Fight With Anorexia, Part 3: TIPS

So your child has anorexia. You’ve decided on a treatment strategy: Admission to a medical facility or Home-based therapy (Maudsley). You have your support team assembled. Now what?

Having fought in the trenches with our daughter, Caylin, since October of 2013, we’ve learned a thing or two. Every battle with anorexia is unique, but some fundamental truths will help you cope.

  1. Anorexics don’t look like regular “sick people.” On the surface, they seem like normal functioning human beings, but the truth is, they’re as critically ill as any person lying in a hospital bed. Try to remember this when your patience and understanding snaps (and it will…many times). Remove yourself before you lose your temper, and if you do lose it, forgive yourself and start over. Anorexia is a long-term disease. There’s no clear-cut beginning, middle, and end.  Just when you’re starting to lose hope, progress is made.  And just when you think you’ve turned a corner, your child refuses to eat dinner, calls you every name in the book, and cries herself to sleep.   Know that this is normal no matter what treatment approach you’re following.

  1. Anorexics need to stay busy. Too much downtime makes that nasty little voice inside their heads start telling them they’re fat. This is simpler during the school year, because school provides the busyness and structure. Summer is tougher. Before school was even out, we had Caylin scheduled up to her eyeballs with camps, fun runs, two jobs she loves, and vacation trips.  And of course, we continued the regular appointments with the support team.

  1. Anorexics do better with advance warning of changes in their routine. For example, when we leave for vacation, we tell Caylin when and where she'll be able to exercise so she doesn’t work herself up into a panic. Or, when her class went to D.C. for a week, I researched the restaurant itinerary and planned it out with her ahead of time: “The third night is a pizza place, but you can order the whole wheat veggie lasagna instead.” These seemingly unimportant details to you and me are lurking MONSTERS to an anorexic. A normal person would show up at a pizza place and think, “Hmm, I’m watching my waistline; let’s see what else is on the menu.” An unprepared anorexic might actually have a panic attack and refuse to eat anything at all.

  1. Anorexics, like terrorists, must not be negotiated with: Three sit down meals a day, plus snacks. Period. Do not wimp out on this! Well she’s been doing so much better. Maybe it’s ok if she skips breakfast just this once. You know the old expression “Give an inch, take a mile.” Your anorexic will take 10 miles. Stick to your routine like her life depends on it, because it does.

  1. Although it seems like your whole existence is centered around food, try not to act that way. Don’t talk about food at meals, don’t discuss restaurant reviews, don’t complain about your own diet, don’t chirp on about the latest cooking show, don’t rave about the delicious cake you ate at the reception last night. Keep off the subject of food!  Talk politics, world affairs, the latest fashion trends… might actually have a pretty articulate kid when you pull through this ordeal!

  1. The name of the game is POKER FACE. When your anorexic weighs in at the doctor’s office (remember, NO SCALES IN THE HOUSE!) don’t react one way or another. If you look unhappy about her weight, she’ll secretly rejoice that she’s outsmarted you and will triple her efforts. If you look happy about her weight, she’ll resolve to starve that smile right off your face. Though she’ll never admit it, your daughter is actually happy not knowing her weight. (And nix the school weigh-ins too. Call the school nurse ahead of time.)

  1. Anyone who works with your child is a member of your army. Caylin attended a cross country camp at a nearby university this summer. I called the director of the camp and explained her situation. He assured me that the camp covered appropriate nutrition for runners, and that he would personally talk to Caylin about it. He did, and she LISTENED!!!  She loves running more than anything, and to hear this from a coach she liked and respected brought her around the corner!

  1. Anorexics bear tremendous guilt. Tell your child over and over: "IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT!" When Caylin returned from cross country camp, she was like a new girl. The coach (God bless him) told her that the anorexia wasn’t her fault, that it happens to a lot of people, a lot of athletes. We’d been dealing with her anorexia for almost a year, and somehow we missed this message. Of course it wasn’t her fault! We knew that! But we didn’t tell HER!! Anorexics know what their disease is doing to their families. Remove that guilt and shame from their fragile shoulders. 

Most importantly, believe in your heart your child will reach a happy end to this terrible journey. I know your pain, your frustration, your horror, your exhaustion. I know it. I’ve lived it. Thankfully, I think we’ve come through the worst of the storm. Caylin is a happy freshman in high school now, a member of the varsity cross country team, and is connecting with her friends again. She still has rigid food demands (no sugar, low fat, non fried), but she eats everything else willingly and actually enjoys it. Despite the sunny outlook, we haven’t taken our foot off the gas with her treatment. She still sees her counselor once a week, and the doctor once a month. I look forward to a day when these visits are no longer necessary, but I won't risk losing her again. 

I thank Jesus every day for the recovery of Caylin, and I pray every week for those families and victims still in the trenches. Be strong! You can and WILL get through this! 

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  1. the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.

Forgive the teacher in me, but when I don't know what something is, I look it up! I’m new to the phenomenon of crowdfunding, specifically Kickstarter.  I first heard the term two years ago when an old high school classmate of mine successfully crowdfunded his movie venture.  Now I find myself in the middle of another Kickstarter campaign much closer to home.

What is Kickstarter? If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a really cool site where creative folks can raise money to fund their vision. From comic book creators, to clothing designers, to authors, to inventors…..the sky’s the limit! If you can imagine it, Kickstarter will try to get it funded for you!

So what’s my tie to Kickstarter? Only the coolest commuter tool EVER invented…the ion Smartscooter! In the interest of complete transparency, my husband and his two partners invented this. They put thousands of man hours and their own money into creating an environmentally friendly, lightweight, and affordable scooter that can run up to 17 miles on one charge! The technical specs are really cool, but I’m not a techy person, so check it out here! The ion Smartscooter showcased at this year's Interbike trade show in Las Vegas. The industry response was fantastic!

But back to Kickstarter. I am fascinated with this site,  I’ve personally contributed to four creative ventures that interest me. Granted, the contributions were small (as befits my tight budget), but a lot of small drops can fill up a bucket fast! And is there any better feeling than helping someone make their dream come true?

I wonder how much easier life would  have been for Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, or even Bill Gates and Steve Jobs if Kickstarter had been around in their day. Fun to imagine!