MacGyver’s Competition: Pete Dominick


Photo from

I remember riding next to my Dad in his old blue Buick with cushy seats and bouncy shocks down the turnpike.  I always thought it seemed so boring listening to his news shows that he liked where people talked on and on in monotone voices. It bored me to tears and seemed like such a grown up, old person thing to listen to nonstop.

Until I became an old person.

Hello my name is LifeonWry and I am officially a news radio addict. The first step is admitting it right?

I can’t remember the last time I listened to actual songs on my car radio. Which sounds sort of sad. But then, addiction always is.

I have one person to blame for my splurge of a subscription to XM radio and his name is Pete Dominick.  And I think I am in love with him.  My heart races a bit just writing his name, like I should start doodling my first name along with his last name…  LifeonWry Dominic …. TLA 4Ever.

MacGyver is aware of my obsession and luckily he just thinks it’s funny.

It all started with a free trial XM Radio subscription and 2008 election coverage.  And Pete Dominic on the POTUS station.  Since that time I have maintained my extravagant subscription and tried to listen to him almost every single weekday. Sometimes it’s hard for me to get out of the car when he’s talking.  I even followed him from POTUS to his new channel Indie Radio which I’m not a fan of except for his show, Standup with Pete Dominick.  All I can figure is that a big pay raise or a more flexible schedule lured him away from POTUS.  But I digress. I have remained a stalker of his loyal listener.

Pete (we’re on a first name basis but he doesn’t know it) has a background as a stand-up comedian and he is smart as hell.  He calls it like it is and is incredibly real, smart,  perfectly sarcastic, open minded, spot-on with human being behavior, and hilarious.  He’s also self deprecating to top it all off. Stop me, I’m swooning.

His show covers topics related to our world, our economy, and our issues and concerns as a society.  The other day I learned from his show that a quarter of humanity, or 1.3 billion people (in addition to the hundreds of millions who face regular blackouts) have no access to electricity and therefore must use dangerous methods like kerosene for light which poses health risks comparable to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. I also learned that WakaWaka is not only a phrase that Fozzi Bear on the Muppets used to say, but it also the name of an organization that offers low-cost energy solutions for those living off the grid to help them be self-sufficient, sustainable and safe.  Oh, and WakaWaka means ‘Shiner of Light’ in Swahili.  Who knew?

The best part of Pete’s show is that on it the staff has a great time and Pete demands respectful and intelligent debate with his guest and call-in format.  He also asks for facts when callers make wild claims or generalizations, which often produces brief and awkward but wildly entertaining moments of silence.  But he does it in a respectful way, which is a fine line that he has mastered.

Pete says he is not of any political party and that he doesn’t want people to get hung up on labels and spout party lines. He works to have callers and well educated guests from both sides of the aisle.  Potentially irate  or rude callers don’t make it through his screening system (a script which I would love to read). It’s just not that kind of show.  Clearly Pete leans a direction that I am drawn to, but he seems open to all arguments and even questions all sides of each issue to spur conversation.

He is also is a regular guy, with a wife (darn, he’s married but then so am I) and kids that he clearly loves. He also seems to have great compassion for human beings which lurks just below the surface of his bold and pointed humor.

I’ve had the call-in number ready to dial several times on my phone.  I think I even dialed it once, only to abort after becoming flustered and worried that I might sound like a stalker if I actually got to talk to him.

So there you have it.  Pete Dominick is MacGyver’s competition.  But don’t worry.  MacGyver, and Pete’s wife for that matter, have nothing to fear.

I will forever be MacGyver’s sidekick.  And his list of similar qualities makes me swoon all the more.

Plus, MacGyver can fix a carburetor with a paperclip and a toothpick with one hand tied behind his back while reading a book and three magazines, listening to jazz and making me the perfect martini.

Now I just need to get him his own radio show.

On Manners … “The world was my oyster but I used the wrong fork.” ― Oscar Wilde

etiquetteMy parents worked hard to teach me good manners and for this I feel quite fortunate and grateful.   As always, I am a continuous work in progress and I have far from perfected all forms of manners.  I do however strive to set a good example for my kids when it comes to simple etiquette and common courtesies.

I stand wholeheartedly behind the power of manners and courtesy.  I will take on anyone who rolls their eyes about the importance of  teaching these skills to their children, for they will be sending their offspring out into the world with a severe disadvantage.  I guarantee you that, when it comes to job interviews and promotions and just plain life, simple etiquette and common courtesy will take children much further in life than the guy or gal who knows not of manners.

These skills – learned primarily by example – help children to be more genuinely grateful rather than entitled, to have more friends and meaningful relationships, and to realize that we are all interconnected.  Quite simply, manners help us to be more human.

These are a few of the many skills that children of all ages – and frankly humans of all ages – will do well by understanding and working toward practicing as much as possible:

  • When, how and why to thank someone.
  • How to listen and not interrupt, and to let others speak (I am always trying to improve on this one).
  • Eye contact, eye contact, eye contact.  Why it matters.
  • The importance of introductions and inclusiveness in group settings.
  • How to be thoughtful.
  • How to eat at a formal dinner table and sit still at a restaurant.  Even just the basics will empower kids later in life.
  • The art of being humble rather than boastful and aware of others’ feelings (This one is a peeve of mine.).
  • How to make note (whether electronically or otherwise) of important dates or events for other people and recognize them every once in a while.
  • Respect for elders (No matter how old school they might seem).
  • To politely greet and acknowledge a new person in their home or environment.
  • To hold a door open for a person behind them when they are in close range.
  • How to actually apologize (It’s amazing how many people really don’t understand how to genuinely apologize.  You’re not apologizing if you don’t truly own your actions. See The One Minute Apology.) And no child is too young to learn how to apologize and recognize others’ feelings.
  • Letting someone go ahead of them in a long line every now and then.
  • How to say please and thank you consistently and nicely.
  • How to be compassionate.
  • Helping those less fortunate or ill, whether it be by raking their lawn, shoveling a walk or making a meal.
  • Being helpful at a retail establishment even when it’s not your job (I’m baffled by how shocked grocery checkers are at my local store when they are short-staffed and I roll up my sleeves and start bagging my own groceries instead of standing there watching.  How is this not a given?)
  • Occasionally helping strangers who may have simply dropped something or who may be unable to reach or do something.
  • Why, when and how to say excuse me when you bump into someone or walk in front of them, interrupt them, etc. (Another peeve of mine.)
  • The art of writing a simple thank you note.
  • How to give someone your full attention.
  • When to PUT THE PHONE AWAY.  (When having a conversation or meal with someone, when at a restaurant (get up and take the call outside), when at a social event. Trust me, if it’s important they will call more than once.)
  • How to not be condescending to service people or wait staff no matter how old you are or how important you think you are (I’ve always thought of this as a sure way to really know if I like someone).

Thanks to the gals over at Grown and Flown for their post today which spurred my manners rant post:

What is your biggest manners pet peeve?

Dear Selfie

selfie3Dear Selfie,

I take issue with you, Selfie. Actually several.

And the fact that Oxford Dictionary, as part of a genius brand awareness ploy to prolong the death of its product life cycle, yesterday declared you as the Word of the Year for 2013 not only makes me  a little more depressed about the state of humanity, but it actually makes me a little nauseous.

Your meaning is pretty self-explanatory:  a photo taken of oneself with a smart phone or webcam for use on social media. Your origin dates back to when a gentleman first used you in an Australian chat room in 2002 to describe a photo he took of his injuries after falling down drunk.  Your Australian heritage makes sense when you think of the “ie” suffix often used by Aussies as shorthand (think barbie for barbeque).  But that’s about all that makes sense to me.

It turns out the frequency of your use has increased by 17,000% over the past year. Apparently a research program calculates this percentage after collecting roughly 150 million English words in use on the web each month.

I’m curious and at the same time frightened by the fact that so many people are into you that much.  It seems like the world has much larger fish to fry than looking at awkward pictures that people not only spend the time to take of themselves, but then take the time to post for reasons that I can only assume to be self-aggrandizement or the result of a drunken moment like the inventor of the word intended.

Don’t get me wrong, I post a picture of myself every now and then.  But it’s usually with someone or commemorating some kind of moment or experience, and it’s never self-taken.  I know I’m sounding preachy here, sorry Selfie.

 I do appreciate that you have helped make it easier for me to manage my social media.  Your overuse actually motivated me to learn how to control my filter on Facebook which has helped to control my Selfie overload. 

I also understand that reality and movie stars post Selfies to generate business.  That’s actually pretty smart. And in the blogging world they are relatively customary and I get that.  I even understand kids and teenagers who post Selfies to impress their peers, sort of.  But regular grownups who post Selfies …  are they afraid we keep forgetting what they look like?  Do they do it to see how many people will give them a “like” because they need it for the affirmation?  Or do they honestly not know anyone who can take a decent picture of them?

These are the questions that baffle me today, this day after your historical induction into the words of fame.

Congrats, dear Selfie.

Yours truly,


The first step is admitting you have a problem.

cart before

I admit it. I like to find things in other people’s trash.  Not deep in the trash under banana peels or dirty diapers or anything, mind you (I am still a germaphobe), but trash that’s visible from my car as I drive by.

I like to think of it as high-end dumpster diving. Or re-purposing of perfectly salvageable items on their way to the dump via the neighborhood trash truck. Items for which it causes me physical pain to think about them being hoisted up and over the back of the garbage truck cab and tossed into that teetering back heap in pieces.

These dumpster dive treasures call my name and wave me down as I drive by, shouting out to me “Hey, hey you…  Here I am… Yes, me! Isn’t this a shame?  You can’t let this happen, can you?”  They wait for me to slowly turn my car around to take a closer look and that’s when if they had a tail it would certainly start wagging … and in the car they go.

This is why my kids and MacGyver don’t even flinch when once every few months they see a new piece of very questionable looking furniture in the garage.  They know the drill.

Maybe I’m a hoarder, It may be genetic.  But I like to think of it as being a rescuer.

So, when I was driving through my neighborhood a couple of weeks ago and saw this old tea cart out on the curb by someone’s trash cans, I had to stop and perform a rescue mission. Yes, I was already cutting it close for my appointment, but I could hear the roar of the trash truck getting closer and her demise was imminent.

She had badly chipped veneer (under a perfectly quaint and in-tact wood framed glass tray) and she was missing wheels (which the owner was kind enough to set out for the likely rescuer) and she was was scratched, crooked and unsteady as hell.  In the back of my 4Runner she went.   

cart wheel

MacGyver grinned and shook his head as I later pleaded this poor little tea cart’s case and asked for his help in attaching the wheels and leveling her out.  ‘She can make it,’ I explained.

And so it was.  Here are the steps of this ‘little cart-that-could’s rebirth:

1. MacGyver reattached the little wheels under the cart. cart level

2. She was still unsteady due to the odd wheel configuration, so MacGyver worked to level her by adding spacers above her smaller wheels.  I was the assisting nurse, keeping watch on her vitals by watching for the little bubble in the little window of the metal level.

3. Then came the spray paint.  Oh, the glorious spray paint.  I can change the world with a few cans of spray paint.

cart paint

4. I taped and sanded her tray and on the front lawn where I still had good sunlight (my neighbors think I’m nuts) I gave it a few shots of a brilliant, deep red to test out the color.  She started to smile instantly.

5. Then the next day after the glue dried on the little wheels, this little cart got a thorough sanding and a coat of all-over red, except for her big, center wheels which I spray painted black as if they were the black patent shoes she needed for her new, red dress.cart red

6. Her makeover was complete.  She turned out so beautiful in the end that we decided to let her live with us on a permanent basis.  She has found a home in my dining room.

Despite her questionable background,  this little tea cart has made a lovely addition to our family and she seems to be working through her abandonment issues.

It turns out that you just never know what you might find on someone else’s curb on trash day.  And what it could become.  And that, my friends, is the fun of it.

Have you ever dumpster-dived?

Moved by Manilow.

barryThis week’s WordPress writing challenge was to write about how music moves me.

Hearing certain songs can bring me back to the exact slices of time in my life as quickly as the sound of a can opener can bring a cat to the kitchen.  These melodies are able to suspend any current moment, often squeezing my heart a little in the process.

Not knowing this challenge was coming, I coincidentally picked up a vinyl record last week while traveling for the kids’ fall break last week in Portland, Oregon.  In keeping with the “Keep Portland Weird” vibe, we seemed to find hat stores or vinyl record stores on every other corner.  On our last night there, I finally made the family stop in one of the vinyl record stores, determined to find an album that would take me back for a little mini-vacation within my vacation. They humored me.

I knew exactly which one I needed to find because I could see the album cover in my head (or maybe I knew subconsciously which one I could easily find without breaking the bank because no one else would want it).  I flipped through the album covers in the small “Pop” section as my kids marveled at the sight of these round, black plastic discs of music throughout the store.  I quickly found the album I was looking for as if it had been right there waiting for me.  The guy at the register didn’t even flinch as I placed the shiny white Barry Manilow album on the counter.  I paid the full $3.60 for it and am now this record’s proud owner.

Here is my list of top time-transporting music,  along with the moments that flash through my mind when I hear it. Good old Barry in his white disco suit and gold chain tops the list.

  • Any Barry Manilow or old Chicago tune –  I can hear the words of  ‘Copa Cabana’ and  ‘Boogie Woogie Woogie’ and  “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?’ as they swirled about our dark wood-paneled family room as my mom and sister and I listened to them on the turntable of our silver stereo with a hard, clear plastic box top that set upon my grandfather’s antique steamer trunk which was nestled in our groovy brown shag carpet.
  • ‘Amazing Grace’ – Sitting next to my grandmother in church and hearing her beautiful voice as I watched tears well up in her eyes as she sang it with all her heart,  Just writing about it makes my own do the same.
  • ‘Jungle Love’ by Steve Miller Band –  Driving my Dad’s jeep one summer while my car was being repaired and playing this song over and over again in the boombox that I had chain-locked to the passenger seat because the jeep didn’t have a stereo.
  • ‘Mercedes Benz’ by Janis Joplin – Cruising on the interstate with my friend Marcy for twelve hours to Connecticut for the summer in my little red car.  I couldn’t stand Janis Joplin when the trip began but Marcy was determined to make me a fan.   It worked.
  • Any Sinead O’Connor tune – Sitting with my junior year college housemate on our rickety rattan love seat in our little old house on Duncan Street that had an old gas stove and windows painted so many times they hardly opened.
  • ‘Sugar Pie Honey Bunch” by the Four Tops – Riding in my dad’s car long ago with this song roaring, watching the music take him back and hearing him whistle along in exact harmony.  I love hearing him whistle.
  • Johnny Cash and other old country songs- Learning to waterski on my friend Kelly’s boat at the lake.  I can hear the boat radio in the background along with the sound of the idling engine as her dad made yet another roundabout to let me try again, and again, and again to get up on those skis.  He was ever so patient and determined to get me up on those skis. And he did.
  • Aretha Franklin’s ‘Dr. Feelgood’ and anything Harry Connick, especially ‘All of Me’ –  So many moments of that fall during my senior year of college when I met MacGyver.
  • Styx “Too Much Time on My Hands” – I can see my college friend’s face making fun of me for how excited I became every time a Styx song came on the radio.
  • ‘Rosana’ by Kool and the Gang – First boyfriend back in high school, riding in his old Camero.
  • REO Speedwagon – Cruising on my tenspeed bicycle with no hands with my Sony Walkman strapped to the center of the handlebars.  Because I was cool.
  • ‘Jagged Little Pill’ by Alanis Morisette – Working at my most fun ad agency job in an old warehouse with a school bus in the middle which served as my colleague’s office.
  • Michael Jackson and Billy Squier tunes – Walking to Skaggs Alpha Beta grocery store in 7th grade with my friend Lisa with two headsets plugged into that same Sony Walkman.  Because we were both cool.
  • Sheryl Crowe’s ‘Soak up the Sun’ – All the bittersweet memories with my dear friend Courtney who lost her battle with cancer years ago.  It was her theme song that last year and it makes me smile.
  • Black Crowe’s Hard to Handle –  Riding in my friend Mel’s little red Nissan Sentra while we air-drummed and air-guitared this song in traffic one night when she drove me home after a very long day at that ad agency.
  • ‘Like a Virgin’ album by Madonna and Prince’s ‘Little Red Corvette’ – Wearing out the cassette deck in my first car listening to these tunes while driving to and from my high school job selling shoes at the mall.
  • ‘Rock Lobster’ by the B52s, and the entire BeeGee’s ‘Saturday Night Fever’ album – Dancing with my sister as she taught me the dance moves to these songs on that same brown shag carpet on that same shiny stereo with the clear, hard plastic top.

Whew, there you have it, a lengthy smattering of songs and their corresponding flashing moments, many close to my heart.

Clearly music moves me.  Along with white disco suits and gold chains.

What songs move you?

Memories of Hallow’s Eve Past

IMG_5122[1]Memories of Hallow’s Eve past:

– Decorating with my Mom (Little Red Riding Hood LOVED to decorate for Halloween – I come by it honestly.  See latest addition this year – my new hanging Nasty Bat.)

– “Mr. Nasty Man” who has enjoyed our various porch benches at various homes for the last 17 years or so (only the mask has changed since the early one melted in the Oklahoma sun long ago).IMG_5115[1]

– The sounds and smells of rustling leaves and the cool breezes that accompany them.IMG_4971[1]

– Trick or  treating with my friend Boogieman.

– Making my own Steve Martin costume one year when I was little (my Mom was so proud that I made it and talked about it for years).

– Getting hit in the head with a flying pumpkin. See older post for background.

-Dressing up my kids for trick or treating year after year (Now they are too cool.  If I had known how much I would miss it, I would have savored it more.).

– The costume birthday parties we used to have for my oldest son each October.


– Receiving a box of little decorations and goodies every year from my Mom in the mail (along with a card that said “Watch out for flying pumpkins!”).

– The beautiful, beautiful colors of fall everywhere I look.

– The squirrels who eat my pumpkins on my sidewalk each year. (See their latest masterpieces.  I don’t have the heart to throw them away — I’m thinking when they bring their buddies at mealtime,  it’s like a trip to the Country Buffet or Western Sizzler).

Although  much has changed over the years, and some things have remained, fall continues to be my all-time favorite season of the year,  And Halllow’s Eve a special favorite.

Happy Halloween!

What memories of your Hallow’s Eve past come to mind?

P.S: Watch out for flying pumpkins!


15 things I’ve contemplated writing about but haven’t.

IMG_4785I’ve been in a slump.  I haven’t been able to write a decent post this last couple of weeks to save my life.  Lots of thoughts but I haven’t been able to get anything down. So, in no particular order, here are fifteen things that I have contemplated writing about but haven’t.

1. Sunrises in Colorado this time of year which are downright breathtaking.  (Clone the other day when he saw one out the back windows before school said “That’s some Lion King looking stuff going on out there.)

2. All that I’ve learned about supplements that can help with bruising.  I was going to call the post “Tips for my Bruising Bedfellows.”  (Since I get a new bruise every fifteen minutes.  Oh, and Arnica rocks.)

3.  The news on my Rice Krispy knees. (Doc says it’s arthritis in my knees which is common and the sound probably wont’ ever go away (YUK) but some exercising and supplements might help.)

4. The wild weather extremes we’ve had in Colorado with fires and flooding.  (Good thing global warming is totally a hoax.)

5. How much I have learned about ADD  these last few weeks and how brains in people with ADD are wired completely differently. (Found some experts and it has been eye opening. Oh, and it’s very genetic.)

6. My growing desire to quit my marketing career and work at the Container Store. (For real.  My gig is sucking the life out of me molecule by molecule.  I’m over it.)container

7. My new book idea about 25 Suburban Women I Want to Punch in the Face. (The Container Store would actually be a great place for gathering book material now that I think about it.)

8. How weird this weekend is going to be for me.  (Sunday is mom’s birthday and anniversary of my sister’s death (same day – yes that’s messed up)_ and the Alzheimer’s Walk is this weekend too.  It will be the type of weekend when I go from laughing hysterically to crying hysterically at the drop of a hat and frighten onlookers unaware of my tendencies.)


9. The strangeness of celebrating my Mother’s birthday with her when she has no idea who I am, much less that it’s her birthday.   (Don’t make me go.  *&^%#@!! Ugh.)

Cake 01

10. The fact that  I’ve been eating and drinking much better (most days) since I started working with a personal trainer. (We’ll see how much longer I can afford her but I’m starting to really notice a difference.  Luckily I hear Container Store pays well.)

11. How cool my new, free to-do app called Wunderlist is.  (It’s free and it saves me from rewriting all my lists 200 times a day.  Probably an ADD tendency.)

12. The intense waves of homesickness I still get sometimes even though I’ve lived away almost ten years. (Not sure that ever goes away completely.)

13. How weird women are. (Except for me of course.)

14. How bizarre it feels to have to kids in high school and to not be needed to drive them to and from school.  (Is there such a thing as post-middle school depression?)

15. How Steno pads and kitchen scissors scissorremind me of my Mom.  (And will probably randomly make me cry this weekend because they’ll make me think of my Mom, which will then make me think of my sister and how much I wish she could go visit Mom with me on Sunday.)

That’s all for now folks.

Happy Hump Day.

What do you hope someone knows? Tell them.


This beautiful moon presented itself to me from my driveway last week.

MacGyver lost his dad a week ago very suddenly.  He was only 66 years old.  We are still processing the shock of it all and our hearts are swollen with sorrow.

One of my best friends lost her dad the very same week.  And I heard two stories just yesterday of people who lost their young fathers suddenly.

I lost my sister when she was 36, my mentor when he was only 57 and one of my best friends when she was only 32.

I’m always saying that life is short but even I often  lose sight of just how fleeting and temporary it can be. We’re so lucky to be here right now and to have those in our lives right now.

One of the blogs I follow had a post recently that stressed the importance of focusing on the wonderful in those in our lives and not missing chances to tell people about the things in them that we appreciate.

I think MacGyver knows how much I appreciate, adore and respect him because I tell him constantly.  But I hope he knows I mean it with every ounce of my heart.

I hope my kids know the unmeasurable amount of love I have for them and how very proud I am of the young men that they are, even though we frustrate each other so often.  And how my heart breaks for them when they struggle,

I hope my Dad knows how wicked smart I think he is and how much his drive and determination inspire me. And I hope he knows how much I appreciate all he has done for me and taught me and that I wish I still lived down the street. I hope my Stepmom knows how much I appreciate that she is in my life and how much she has taught me through her grace and loving heart.

I hope my Stepdad knows how much I love and appreciate him and the way he has stood by my Mom.  And I hope that my Mom knows, or knew when she could, how much I appreciate all the sacrifices she made for me, all the love that she gave me and all the things that she taught me which helped make me who I am.

I hope my friends know how much I appreciate them and their thoughtfulness, support and patience with me despite my myriad of idiosyncrasies.  How much I love to hear their voices or read texts or notes from them, and to learn from them and laugh with them until my face hurts.

I hope my oldest niece knows how much I treasure our relationship and that she realizes how wonderful I think she is.  I hope my nephews know how impressed I am with the young men they have become and how proud of them that I am.  And that my young nieces know how much I love them and look forward to watching them become young women.

I hope my cousins know how much I appreciate their efforts to stay connected and how happy I am to be part of their family tree.

I hope my Mother-in-law knows how much I appreciate how she raised such a wonderful man.  And that I appreciate her and love her.  And that my sister-in-law knows how much I love and care about her and wish we lived closer.

I know that my sister knows how much I miss her and keep her in my heart every day because I can feel her with me.  For that I am truly grateful.

And I hope that my father-in-law, who I called Big D, knew how much I loved and admired him.  How much I learned from him … not only about how to hang sheet rock or tile a bathroom at record speeds, but more importantly about keeping a positive mental attitude and always being willing to roll up his sleeves and give a helping hand to anyone who needed it.  I wish I had told him all that and more.  And I hope that he knew it in his heart.  I think he did.

What do you hope someone knows?  Tell them.

Something to help that ‘not so fresh’ feeling

FreshThere I was, sitting in the waiting room for my annual gynecological exam a few days ago.  (My puns are out of control here so don’t  worry – this isn’t going to be gross.)

At any rate, this visit is not my favorite of visits to make each year but something that feels good to check off the list.

But this visit seemed different than other visits before.  This time after I checked in with the perky but tired receptionist, I had to scan the very large waiting room for several minutes before finding the one, single empty chair surrounded by giddy and emotional pregnant 20- and 30-somethings staring at their ultrasound pics giggling.  I was literally surrounded.  And I was the only one taking advantage of the freshly brewed strong black coffee most likely because my days of having babies are a distant memory punctuated by the fact that next year I will have two kiddos in high school.

I sighed and texted a couple of friends to express how suddenly I felt like a yogurt in the fridge that had gone just past its expiration date.

When the nurse who I call Wonder Woman because she looks like Linda Carter (even though the waiting room full of preggos are too young to even know who that is) took my blood pressure, I asked her if I was the only non-pregnant person there.  She replied, “Yep, except for those of us who work here.”  I sighed and we giggled together as she assured me us ‘regular patients’ were still welcome.

So I was happily surprised to learn of something very fresh today. My last post,  “Recipe For: Life on Wry” has been Freshly Pressed!

To put this in perspective,  I tried to research a bit on Google about the odds of being Freshly Pressed, and VERY coincidentally found a conversation where someone was comparing the odds of being Freshly Pressed (the Holy Grail of Blogging, so to speak) to being the one sperm out of 200-600 million sperm that makes it to the egg.  Which I thought very appropriate given my not-so-fresh analogy.

To help me further grasp the odds, I discovered that there are currently 68,600,151 WordPress blog sites in the world. There are 37 million new blog posts each month. And WordPress editors select 8 of them each day to be Freshly Pressed. Being Freshly Pressed sends your blog visits and views through the roof and exposes your blog to oodles and oodles of other bloggers out there.

The odds of being Freshly Pressed are said to be about 12 per million on any given day.  And to have it happen for a second time in less than a year (my last one was “If you aren’t registered to vote, quit reading my blog and register”  last September – only published because I deleted the all caps DAMN IT at the end of the headline most likely – just kidding) … well that’s just math I don’t even know how to compute (I’m a Journalism major, after all).

So thank you WordPress,  and thank you patient and kind readers.

Remember, it’s all wry.  Otherwise life would be way too boring.

Can you spot a truly confident person?

This is a cactus-like weed I walked by in the park with my hot dogs. Unassuming and beautiful.

This is a cactus-like weed that I walked by in the park with my hot dogs. Beautifully unassuming.

I’ve always found that the easiest way to spot insecure people who lack confidence is to look for the ones in the room who are bragging the most and talking so much that others can’t get a word in edge-wise.

They feel the need to make sure that everyone knows how smart they are because I think they need reminding.  They want to be sure you know that they were really the ones who came up with just about every idea first.

And often when they ask you a question they start reminding you of  their expertise again before you can finish answering their question.  This can be exhausting or humorous (laughing on the inside kind of funny).  It depends on my mood.

Most of it comes down to listening which is a skill that I try to be mindful of and catch myself when I am talking more than listening.

I just read a great article on LinkedIn about the Nine Qualities of Truly Confident People.

These were my favorite points from the article:

-Truly confident people listen ten times more than they speak.

– Truly confident people don’t brag, instead usually they appear quiet and unassuming.  … ” They already know what they think; they want to know what you think.  They ask open-ended questions that give other people the freedom to be thoughtful and introspective: They ask what you do, how you do it, what you like about it, what you learned from it… and what they should do if they find themselves in a similar situation.” (best line of the article.)

-Truly confident people realize they know a lot, but they wish they knew more… and they know the only way to learn more is to listen more.

-Truly confident people can feel when the spotlight is starting to shine on them and they are able to adjust the spotlight so it shines on others, even if they did a lot of the work. They don’t need the glory because true validation comes from within.  And letting others feel the spotlight helps others build their own confidence. Which is a good thing if you’re already confident.

-Truly confident people own their mistakes and can admit when they are wrong.

-Truly confident people only seek approval from people who matter.  Another great line from the article: “You say you have 10k Twitter followers? Swell. 20k Facebook friends? Cool. A professional and social network of hundreds or even thousands? That’s great. But that also pales in comparison to earning the trust and respect of the few people in your life that truly matter.”

I remember insecure bullies at school when I was growing up.  They bragged, jumped up and down to get the spotlight, didn’t let others talk and were fine with making others feel less than.  They also weren’t my friends.  Unfortunately school age bullies often grow up to be adult bullies, but I try to avoid the breed as much as possible.

Truly confident people are beautiful people.

How confident are you?

Something to think about.

experienceI saw this sign while shopping with a friend yesterday. We went to a shabby chic haven of small stores selling a plethora of clever items that we could have made ourselves if we only had thought of the ideas first.

At any rate, this sign caught my eye and its message gave me pause.

My first thought after reading it was actually ‘Oh geez, what has the last year been preparing me for? Seemed like a frightening thought after a pretty exhausting year of events.’

But on the flip side, it makes sense that each experience prepares us for the next.  And that’s a good thing.

Because life gets easier the more we do it.  Just like we get better at playing catch the more we practice.

We learn how to relax and get into a rhythm with the ball.  How to position ourselves for successful catches by reading the ball and predicting where it might end up.

We also learn to recognize and dodge those fast balls that could really hurt if they nailed us. And how to catch the next hardball differently so it doesn’t sting so much.

And most importantly we learn how to be open — and unafraid —  to catch certain curve balls that can change our life forever.

What about you?  How do you think each experience prepares us for the next?

Oh, tell me what you want, what you really, really want …

dandy3In my 200th post – I’m shaking things up a bit and making this post all about you.

This blog is about a lot of things.  The common thread is usually some kind of either wry or raw perspective that I have gained from my journey through this thing called life.

I have almost 600 followers now and this blog has been viewed by people in 91 countries — all of which blows my mind.  And makes me very grateful.

dandy4Which is why I want to know…

What do you like to read most here?  What about this blog do you most feel a connection with?

Do you like my posts that are about gratitude (like my first 100 when this blog started)?

Or ones that are sarcastic or self deprecating? Or about parenting or being part of the sandwich generation?

Or ones that are filled with what is sometimes pretty raw emotion?

Short posts or long ones?  Posts where I participate in a Worpress challenge or writing prompt exercise?

Or simply posts with nice pictures or paintings (no judgement here…)?

You tell me.

And thank you for being part of this blog!