Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spring Revisited

A few days ago I posted a jazzy little number regarding the ups and down of springtime; to end this post I offered my salutations to Spring in the form of a Robert Frost poem with the intention of bolstering hope in my own soul. The combination of sunny skies and a supposedly stable forecast strengthened this hope and I was looking forward to consistently warm weather. Well, short story made short—it’s raining. Yes, I opened my blinds this morning only to peer out of a window covered with nature’s teardrops into a grey miasmal morning. Shame. I was going bike riding today…
Alas, upon further reflection of my own attitude I’ve drawn the conclusion my outlook must change and luckily, I have just the experience to inspire a new approach.
Several years ago I spent a month in Zambia, Africa working with the organization Mothers Without Borders, a non-profit dedicated to the service and protection of orphaned children. I took a number of lessons back home with me, however let me relate my very first wakeup call—metaphorically and literally.
Upon arrival to Zambia after some 36 hours of travel time later, we settled into our hostel bunks and fell fast asleep; 5 hours later around 4:00am we all awoke to the rooster living next door. I’m not sure what Zambian’s feed their chickens, but I might bet a small sum steroids was the cause of this particular rooster’s hearty crow. Every morning, usually starting around 3:30, the rooster would follow a consistent schedule of crowing ever 30 minutes. After night number four, in unison we complained to the head lady in charge, Cathy. “We can’t sleep. That stupid rooster keeps waking us up. Isn’t there something we can do?” we all chanted. We proposed an ‘accidental’ chicken killing or some bribe to the rooster’s owner—anything for a restful night’s sleep. We expected sympathy and understanding from Cathy but she only smiled and offered her advice. “Listen,” she said. “That rooster has the right to be next door and to crow every morning and all day should he so desire. Now, you can spend your nights bitter and hateful towards the rooster, or you can accept he lives here too and move on.” Cathy then told us, as strange as it might sound, that if we embraced the rooster his crows would not wake us—if we accepted and loved the rooster, we would sleep peacefully uninterrupted. After her advice, we all went to bed unconvinced; however after further discussion we came to a consensus sending love vibes to the rooster was worth a shot—we had nothing to lose at this point. Surprisingly, the next morning we awoke at 7 and no one heard the rooster during the night. After that night, morning after morning we arose rested and surprised the rooster hadn’t crowed. We still knew the rooster existed—and he still crowed. We heard reports in the morning from other travels complaining of some rooster waking them up early in the morning; we passed on our condolences but secretly smiled on the inside.
I’ve decided to apply this same logic to my frustration at Spring weather. And you know what? It’s worked. I’m not bothered it’s raining. In fact, I’m embracing the rain and enjoying the unique atmosphere it brings.
Maybe Cathy made up her speech of love and acceptance—but I still love that stupid rooster, and I don’t care that it’s raining.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pie Pizza

Some people like to argue the Pie Pizzeria puts too much cheese on their pizzas. I like to argue those people are crazy.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spring Time

I secretly hate Spring. Not in the same way I hate overcooked broccoli or Microsoft Word 2007, but still, I’m not exactly Spring’s biggest fan. Now before I’m chastised for chastising the season of new births and infinite hope, let me explain. Spring is a season of cruel tricks and bitter games, of crushed hope and resulting despair. For example, sometime around this last St. Patrick’s day the sun peeped through the clouds and teased us with warmth, the promise of green grass, and chirping birds—the epitome of spring. One week later that green grass and warmth was lost to 6 inches of new snow and the birds migrated back south in protest. This cycle of warmth and cold remains prevalent throughout the spring season and the weather’s manic-depressive behavior is enough to drive anyone mad.
I almost love Spring, in fact, it’s probably number 3 on my ‘favorites’ list of seasons, but I feel as though I’m stuck in an atmosphere controlled by a light switch Mother Nature keeps flicking on and off. Apparently my seasonal biorhythm can’t keep up. And as it turns out, I’m not the only one. Believe it or not more suicides occur in the first sunny days of spring and early summer than any other time of the year. A sad fact known by few.
Yet in the end yet Spring IS the season of hope and we must remember Robert Frost’s words:

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Right now the sun is shining brightly and the weather forecast predicts nothing but blue skies and 70’s for the next 10 days so perhaps it’s best I stop complaining and ‘spring’ outside. Shabby pun I know, but the prospect of stable weather has me giddy. To all those that love/hate spring: go outside.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I’ve never had a sister. Occasionally, I wonder what having a sister means—what benefits and blessing she could offer or what inconveniences and personal frustration her similar DNA might bring. They say a sister is a forever friend, the chocolate chips in a life of cookies and the bright blue sky after rain. So what happens to those who don’t have one? I like chocolate chips and blue sky, am I destined to a life of snickerdoodles and Seattle-like cloud cover? As it turns out, I’m not. I have a new sister: my new un-biological sister Marija—an exchange student who joined our family last Fall. Marija arrived from Montenegro, a country of geographical mystery whose location many fake to know. They ask Marija where she’s from, she replies Montenegro, and they smile and nod their head as if they’ve been to the Balkan country. Alas their feigned eyes and spurious smile reveal Montenegro might as well be a fictitious planet or a mystical underwater city.
When Marija arrived she became instant family and my friends wrinkled their eyebrows when I claimed ‘I’m going to see my sister’; apparently you can’t advertise the presence of a sister after promoting the existence of only one younger brother. But Marija is my newfound sister and best friend and together we’ve laughed and cried and taught each other various tidbits of wisdom; we’ve fought over the bathroom and guilted each other into going to the gym; she wears my clothes and I borrow her shoes and in the end we’re just as much sisters as any other biologically related kin.
I don’t understand why our connection happened so quickly or remains so strong; maybe we both have the right amount of brain and just enough sass to understand each other. Or maybe her strength rubs off to cover my own fears and my patience calms her ever passionate fervor. My brain has formulated various theories and explanations for our new found sisterhood, and when I grow weary of looking for possible answers I remember an axiom from Marija: When you start thinking too much, it’s time to stop thinking.’ Because I suppose in the end it really doesn’t matter—sisters are sisters.