Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dementia Can be FUN! Part Two

Well, this weekend found my grandpa back at the hospital after another stroke. We're not yet sure if he'll be able to go home or if he'll have to be transferred to assisted living, so at this point all we can do is wait and see.

I haven't had the chance to speak with him since it happened which means I am unaware of the quality of his speech, his thinking and memory. I doubt it's improved his ability to remember though, so I'm sure there are some interesting chats ahead.

Case in point: I have to remind my grandparents every time I speak with them that I'm having a baby. I only do it about once every three times now because each call goes something like this:

Ring, Ring, Ring...

Grammy Net: (in a southern Georgia accent) Hello?
Elizabeth: Hi Grammy Net, it's Elizabeth.
GN: Oh, hi. How are you? (Sidenote: I'm almost certain she doesn't know who I am at this point in the conversation).
E: Kyle and I are just plugging along, doing our thing.
GN: KYLE! (She now recognizes who we are as a couple because she loves my husband... I'm still not sure at this point if she knows who I am, however). How is he doin'? You know, he is just the sweetest boy. They are hard to come by like him these days, you sure are lucky.
E: (now comes the fun part) Well, I'm sure you'll remember that we're having a baby.
GN: A what?
GN: A baby?!? Are you kidding me?!
E: Nope. Not joking! We really are.
GN: Well this is certainly a surprise (at this point I nod into the phone because they have "known" since December). Who's the father?!
E: Kyle... remember? My husband?
GN: KYLE! How is he doin'? You know, he is just the sweetest boy. They are hard to come by like him these days, you sure are lucky.
E: He's doing good. Hey, can I speak to Papa George?
GN: You want to speak to George? You know, something happened to George. I can't figure out what it is (she has very little recollection of his health issues over the past 2 years). Let me see if I can get him.

At this point, I hear her plod along or I hear the sound of the dial tone. If she hangs up on me, I usually wait a couple days to call back. Occasionally, she'll actually remember that (1) I've just told her I'm having a baby and (2) she needs to hand the phone to my grandpa. If these two things have happened, the phone call progresses as such:

Papa George: (in a Texan accent) Well hi there, Ginny!
Elizabeth: It's Elizabeth, Papa George. Not Ginny.
PG: Oh, Elizabeth! I'm sorry, I don't know why I did that. Is there some reason I associate you with a Ginny?
E: Yeah, she's my sister, remember?
PG: That's right. So, your grandmother (this is a good sign because he's referred to her as my aunt in the past) tells me you're pregnant?
E: Yup. Due in August!
PG: (in a very stern voice) Well I hope you'll be getting married, young lady! How are you ever going to graduate?
E: Papa George, remember, I graduated in 2006. And I am married. You were at my wedding? It was 3 years ago.
PG: WHAT? That can't be right. You're still a teenager.
E: No, I'm actually almost 28. Pretty crazy, huh?
PG: (long pause) Time sure does fly, Ginny.
E: Yes, it does, Papa George, it certainly does. Well I have to go, I'll call you soon, ok? And take care! Love you.
PG: Love you too, Ginny. And say 'hi' to your mom and dad for me (please note there is no mention of Elizabeth in this sentence... Still not sure how I got ranked last in my family).

And then I call back about a week later and we have the exact same conversation if I'm lucky. If I'm not lucky, a usually drawn out call happens, where the same pleasantries and questions are repeated over and over and over again.

Naturally, I'm Ginny the entire time. 

So ends Part Two of our three part series, Dementia Can Be Fun! Tune in next time when I follow up with an unexpectedly racist joyride and more.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Future Mama Musings on a Rainy Monday

Last Friday, I had my last appointment until we find out if Baby S. will be a mini-Kyle or a mini-Elizabeth. I went by myself because Kyle didn't have the time to spare at work, and even though the majority of the visit feels like a true waste of an hour (because at this point, peeing in a cup is far from exciting and weighing myself is increasingly depressing), every second is worth it to hear our baby's heartbeat. It's strong, if you're curious.

The whole visit got me thinking: what is this little devil going to look like? I have to admit, the more time passes, the more my curiosity starts to rear it's ugly little head; it is starting to become an all consuming thing, this wondering about baby.

So I did what any rational pregnant woman (this, of course, is an oxymoron, if you'll remember rule number one in this post) would do: I drummed up some photos of me and my baby daddy from childhood. Which has only led to increased mental anguish, naturally.

Take a looksy and tell me what you think... I can only imagine how our genes are going to combine to make our perfect little bambino.

Baby Daddy (aka Kyle):

and me (aka Elizabeth):

And apologies for the somewhat blurry photos! I had to take a picture of them since our scanner's not hooked up, and the quality is less than stellar.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

If You've Ever Loved a Pet and Had to Say Goodbye

I'm not gonna lie... the below video is not necessarily one I would call happy. But in its own way, it is all about happiness and our pets and the unconditional love they provide us.

A friend from college posted this earlier today and I am almost certain I have never cried so hard at a video or film or movie as I did watching this six minute short. For me, it encapsulates all that it is to be a pet owner: the indescribable joy they bring you, the support they provide when you feel like not a single human in the world understands you, the fear and sadness of recognizing the inevitable fact that they will likely die before you no matter how much you wish and hope to the contrary.

Last Minutes with ODEN from Eliot Rausch + Phos Pictures on Vimeo.

Of course, I say all this knowing that Moe will live forever no matter what. He just has to.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Some Love: There's a Model in my Family

Short post today friends, but I couldn't help and share my excitement for my sister-in-law, Elliott. Aside from being a yoga instructor and drop dead gorgeous, she is also a model.

Like the kind that get paid to go to St. Barths for 2 weeks to shoot photos in paradise.

So I couldn't help but feel extra proud when she posted this Bacardi ad a couple days ago.

Can you guess which one she is? If you said "SUNGLASSES"... ding, ding, ding, you're a winner! The thing I personally love about it is that there's many things going on in this photo, but my eyes fall right on her. If I'm using the skills I've picked up from Tyra Banks via America's Next Top Model, that is the goal of all models.

Congrats, Elliott, you've made TyTy (and me) proud!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sending Out Happiness

I had an epiphany of sorts over the weekend that made me damn proud of myself.

You know how some people, when they hear good news from their friends or family (or even strangers and acquaintances), say, "I'm so happy for you!" but... aren't really? Either, the sentiment isn't genuine and they're just blurting it out because that's the seemingly appropriate response, or they say it knowing they should mean it, but really are jealous or resent the person's achievement or good luck?

I came to the realization this weekend that I am not one of those people. When I say I am happy or excited for the people I love, either in what they've accomplished or things that have happened (or is going to happen) to them, I mean it. 100%.

So I had a "Yay, me!" moment.

It may seem silly to applaud myself over something as simple as being genuine in my happiness for others, but I wouldn't feel proud if I thought every person is this way. The truth is, I don't.

And don't think I'm saying I've never experienced envy or jealousy. Any human who says that is a liar. Or a sociopath.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Berry Delicious, An Obsession

Kyle and I made a trip to Costco this week and I must admit, we went a tad overboard.

The thing that cracks me up about the place is that you head in there to grab only a "few necessities" for cheap, and end up dropping half your bank account. Then, you return home, empty your goods into the fridge and realize that you can't, in fact, make a meal with six canisters of old fashioned oats and a three pound block of Parmesan.

Luckily, we did take advantage of the great selection of fresh organic berries, and they have been making appearances in my lunch every day since. In fact, I'm about to share with you an easy and decadent dish of mine that I think even berry skeptics/non-cooks alike can appreciate.

It has three ingredients. They are as follows:

Blueberries, blackberries and a blood orange. Looks good, yes?

You put the berries (washed, of course) in a bowl, helter skelter, however you like it. You can use any berry you like, for the record.

You then take the blood orange halves and squeeze all the juice and pulp onto the fruit in the bowl.

Voila. It's that simple.

There is an order to eat this side, of course. First, I savor the berries, as slowly as possible (although, when I eat by myself, I have a tendency to choke down food as though I were a ravenous dog. It's a bad habit). Once done, what's left in the bowl will look like this:

Then, I slurp all the juice out of the bowl. Wowza, is it all kinds of tasty. And don't you just love the shade of red? OPI should make a nail polish color after this; it is beautiful.

If you get around to whipping this up, let me know what you think... I'm a berry good listener, after all.

Happy Friday and have a fantastic three day weekend!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Adventures in Pregnancy: Episode One

Did everyone have a good Valentine's Day? If you're single or think that it's "overrated and sooooo commercial," I hope yesterday was good for you anyhow!

Yesterday's news... pretty exciting (and terrifying and joyous)! Might as well jump to the details: 

Baby Sutherland is due August 12, 2012. 08.12.12! An auspicious date to be due on, I must say, but I have a gut feeling he or she won't be making an appearance until the end of that month. Maybe on Auntie Jenny's birthday? Certainly a great person to share a special day with.

I summed up my expectations of him/her in an email to my best friends from college as follows: Pale, lanky, freckled mess of a child with a penchant for mischief, arguing and revelry, as well as a wicked sense of humor and impeccable spelling skills. 

Seems pretty spot on to me. For anyone up in arms over that sentence, calm your steeze. Of course I think it is going to be the most precious person ever.

A few things I've learned thus far in this adventure known as pregnancy:

1. Pregnant women are crazy.
Hear me out on this one, because I am exaggerating, but only to a point. Being pregnant kind of makes you feel insane (and you sometimes act insane, too). In the last three months, I have overreacted about so many ridiculous things it is embarrassing. Kyle did some laundry one night in January (we don't have a washer and dryer at our place, by the way). I was exhausted (because that's another joy of pregnancy) and so excited to crawl into bed, but I had to wait until he returned with our sheets. The top sheet was damp, folks. And not damp like a pair of jeans that you know is going to dry throughout the day so you just suck it up and wear them. It was wet to the point of being unsleepable, which meant we weren't going to have a top sheet, merely a duvet. No big deal, right?

I bawled like I had just seen a pack of puppies get run over by a truck. The kind of sobbing where you can't catch a breath. For a solid 20 minutes.

And 5 minutes after I stopped crying, I was hysterically laughing at how much I had overreacted.

If that's not crazy, I don't know what is. But the hard thing is it gives people an out around you sometimes; they (or more specifically my husband) chalk every grievance I have up to my hormones, although some are quite legitimate. It's a catch 22.

2. Maternity jeans are handcrafted by angels.
Folks, I know why the caged bird sings: it's because she's pining for a pair of maternity jeans. It is some underground secret apparently amongst the mom set. They are like wearing the world's most comfortable couch on your lower half. Yes, I can still fit into my pre-prego pants. Ladies, you'll get me on this one: you know when you've gained weight and your pants fit a little snugger, so people can't tell but you can? Nothing says "I feel fat" like jeans creating visible muffin top. So I bought a pair of skinny maternity jeans from Gap and they are glorious. 

Oh, and word to the wise: don't ask a lady carrying a baby how much weight she's gained. It's totally rude and none of your business. Unless she divulges to you, play the fun game of "does she weigh more than her husband yet?" in your head. 

3. Everyone has an opinion when you're pregnant.  
I didn't realize every person had an opinion on pregnancy, childbirth, child rearing, etc. until I got pregnant and everyone and their mother felt it essential to let me know theirs. And please don't think I've hated all of it; I've never done this before and I appreciate the support and information from those who have and have given me their non-opinionated insight. I'm talking about the judgy-judges. "Oh, you're having black tea? You know caffeine's not good for the baby." "You're eating seafood? Is that alright for you to have in your condition?" 

People, I am not an imbecile and I have been sucking down information almost as often as the water I drink to satiate my unquenchable thirst. I assure you the decisions I'm making are well informed and mine to make.

4. La Quercia prosciutto and limeade taste GREAT together.
At least they did a month ago when I slammed them both down in the parking lot of Whole Foods in my ravenous state. 

5.  Pregnant women drool more than pirates. Or baseball players. Or [insert crazy gremlin troll from any 80's movie].
It turns out there are a lot of pregnancy symptoms people don't talk about and one of them is excess saliva. What the hell? I'll be sitting at my computer, working away and I'll catch myself drooling like an inbred yokel. It is bizarre.

This is all the insight I have for you today, folks. I plan on making this a regular feature, but don't worry. While RISD will obviously detail the journey Kyle and I are on towards parenthood, it is not going to be just a mom-brag blog.

Oh, and one more thing. Thank you so much for all the love and kind wishes you've sent our way. It has been heartwarming and life affirming and we really, truly appreciate it.

Y'all rock (I am naturally drooling while I say this).

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

This Valentine's Day...

... it would appear cupid brought us a baby.

More on this tomorrow and have a wonderful day with the people (or animals) you love.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ghetto Hikes Love

A friend of mine from childhood posted a link to a blog this afternoon on Facebook, and to say it made my day is, well, just not enough.

This may have made my week. It might have even made my February...

Folks, if you haven't become acquainted already, allow me to introduce you to Ghetto Hikes.

Photo courtesy of National Geographic

The premise, as written by the blog's author: "I'm 28. I have a full time job leading urban kids on nature hikes. I simply write down the shit they say."

Whenever I find blogs like these, I thank my lucky stars (the same went for Stuff White People Like and Hipster Puppies); I get especially excited about creative premises that my husband and I can enjoy together, and Ghetto Hikes is one such blog. 

If you don't think it's worth your time, why not indulge in a few quotes directly from Mr. Cody's pupils:

"Hey Dustin! Getcha ass ova here! We buildin' bird feeders! Peanut butter pinecone craft time, mothafucka!"

"Mr. Cody, hook me up wit a glue stick. Ima cut and paste this fuckin' orange leaf into my memories book."

"Them sheeps is funny lookin'. Homie wearin' a Snuggie full time."

"Mr. Cody, this sleepin' bag feel like I'm kickin' it wit a big ass loofa or some shit."

Friends, please send some love to Ghetto Hikes... a blog this perfect deserves appreciation.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Celebrity Photos: WTF Edition

There have been a couple celebrity photos that have caught my eye as of late, and not in a good way.

One: when did Robin Williams become homeless?

Even the Monsters aren't fans.

It appears the man has fallen on some hard times because I've only seen comparable beards on the derelicts who live along the creek near my house. I'd like to say he's taken on a role similar to his character in The Fisher King, but all signs point to "no."

Is it wrong to say I personally think he looked better playing a homeless man? I guess with Tim Allen's sitcom career being back on track (eye roll), he could always play St. Nick in The Santa Clause 4.

Two: when did Macaulay Culkin become anorexic? Or is he dying? Or is dying from anorexia?!

My hope is that he's spent the last year and a half starving himself due to pining after his ex-girlfriend Mila Kunis, which is, I think, understandable to most. However, I just get the drogas vibe from him. In conjunction with his pallor and sunken, hobgoblin eyes, the weight loss is not doing him any favors. 

Nor is that facial hair! Come on, MC, we want you returning to your healthy best (Richie Rich, circa 1995, obviously).

I feel I owe it to my readers to point out that the next available article on good ole Macaulay was titled, "Culkin Denies Dating Porn Star." Dude, if I were you, I'd just go with it. At this point, I think it's the only street cred you have left.

Interesting sidenote: you may remember a few months back when I talked about my favorite
childhood celebrity crushes from the 90's. It has become my blog's most trafficked post, and not because of any Americans, god no! I'm pretty sure the length of my posts leave most US readers high-tailin' it for the hills. I get around 50 hits a week on that one write-up because France, Spain and Germany's Google searches turn it up for fans of Hanson, Macaulay Culkin and Elijah Wood... true story.

So what did we learn today? Only grow facial hair if your cheek bones can handle it. And make sure to eat food. Both good rules to live by. 

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Post 101: Dementia Can Be FUN! Part One

Yesterday was my 100th post and I didn't even realize it! There should have been balloons and cake and a marching band. I will say there was Indian food, so that's always a plus.

Sugary desserts or not, GO ME and thank you to my three loyal readers!

This photo is meant to represent me forging trails in the... uncharted* world
of blogging (*please note, uncharted may be grossly overstated).

I felt I should mention it in my 101st post (ahem, this one), but I needed something compelling to write about in order to convey this milestone... and it led me to wanting to divulge about my senile grandparents. I should warn the faint of heart that this will not be soul warming or politically correct, so you might want to "x" out this page if that's what you're looking for.

To explain the deterioration of my paternal grandparents, I have to paint a picture of how strange they have always been. Growing up, my sister and I always understood we had an "awesome" set of grandparents (previously mentioned here and here) and a "meh" set of grandparents.

Our "meh" set didn't want to be bothered with seeing us and for the majority of my life, I've seen them once, maybe twice a year. Even though they were my dad's parents (and by parents I mean his father and stepmother), my mom would be the one to reach out to them. The three of us would meet them at the Napa Airport every summer: they would fly in on their little plane from Sacramento, we would eat lunch and they would head back to "the big city."

They were very predictable. We received a birthday card with a dollar for every year we were alive until we hit ten; after that, it was a standard ten dollar bill until we were twenty, and then it was just a birthday card until those stopped altogether. Our annual Christmas cards contained fifty dollars until we hit twenty as well.

For those of you who think I'm greedy, I realize how pathetic it is that I associate them with these cards and cash, but honestly I don't have many memories otherwise.

There were no phone calls between us unless we dialed them and they chose not to screen us through their answering machine. They spent more time visiting extended family in Texas and Georgia. They were passionately into exercising and eating health food (I happen to think I eat a rather healthy and balanced diet; theirs by comparison, was more a "lacking in all fun" sort of menu, but healthy nonetheless). They enjoyed their privacy. Oh, and they're sort of racist. And by sort of, I mean really.

It wasn't horrible or anything. It was reality. And we had our awesome grandparents, so we didn't ever feel like we were lacking. Until the good set died. And then our apathy towards the remaining pair was really apparent.

I warned you I wasn't going to sugarcoat things.

A couple years ago I received a strangely scrawled message from my grandma saying she had been trying to get a hold of my family for weeks and had not been able to find any of us. She said she'd called all the phone numbers she had for us and that either no one answered or it was strangers. This was news to me, as none of our numbers had changed. It should have tipped us off then, that her brain was starting to fail, but I just chalked it up to her chicken scratch writing in her address book.

Last year, we received an urgent message from her saying that my grandpa was in the hospital due to a seizure. He was intubated and in a medically induced coma and had been for 4 days when she finally got a hold of us to relay the info. Once my dad got up to Sacramento, he discovered that my grandma had dementia and that my grandpa (now comatose) had done an exceedingly good job of hiding that fact from us.

So the games began.

My dad took her into get tested for it while my grandpa was still out cold. She was asked thirty questions, all those which a person of normal brain capacity should be able to answer like, "What is your name?", "What year were you born?", "What year is it currently?"... you know, fun stuff.

She got eleven right and during this time, my father was enlightened to learn she thought it was 1997 and that she had been born in 1972.

Neither were accurate statements, in case you're wondering.

So ends Part One of our three part series, Dementia Can Be Fun! Tune in next time when I follow up with some tales of the 21 group hug salute, unexpectedly racist joyride escapades and more.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What to Wear: Rainy Day Boots & Company

It's a rainy day... but the tear drops from the sky have yet to show their pretty faces. I am quoting the weather people from yesterday when I say there was supposed to be a "100% chance" of showers. Those are pretty remarkable odds, right? 100%? I mean, you think they'd give themselves an out by saying 90 or 95%, but no, whole hog it must be apparently.

Sometimes even I forget, weather people are never wrong.

So I shall wait and boy, am I prepared! My sister gifted me with the most fantastic pair of Ilse Jacobsen rain boots last week and I have been itching for an opportunity to wear them. Do you have things like this? When it comes to the majority of items in my closet, I can usually scrounge up some reason to wear one thing or another (I have been known to "over dress" on occasion simply because I am looking for an excuse to don a pretty frock or a fabulous pair of shoes), but rain boots are tough because it's glaringly obvious if you're sporting them and the weather is not requiring their use.

Ilse Jacobsen Rain Boots, Top Shop Snood, Maya Brenner "E" Necklace,
Jagger Godiva Sweater, J Brand Skinny Jeans

I feel I should point out the necklace on the right hand side of the image. It was a gift from my in-laws for Christmas, and it has a mini "e" and "k" linked into the chain. I wear it all the time and seriously love it.

Happy rainy day tidings to you, friends, and just in case you're looking for a little indoor entertainment on your lunch break, check out this old Geri Halliwell fave. Nothing says bad weather like a washed up Spice Girl, writhing around on the floor, singing about rain and men, am I right?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Bon Iver Obsession

I've been a fan of Bon Iver for a loooong time... and by long time I mean four years. Since 2008, I think? The nice thing about being married to my husband is that he's music obsessed, so he does all the hard work of finding fabulous groups, songs, etc. and I reap the rewards.

When he played their For Emma, Forever Ago album for me for the first time, it became my "go-to" play: I listened to it while cooking for dinner parties, while hosting dinner parties, while washing up after dinner parties... It really covers the gamut for social gatherings, let me tell you.

We had been fans for a while when we heard about a sunrise concert in Hollywood Forever cemetery, and I think it will be years down the road (or maybe an equivalent will never happen again) before we see a performance we could compare it to. We got there around 4am, and at 5, some Buddhist monks came out chanting. Then, Bon Iver took the stage and to watch them play to a bunch of groggy fans with the sun coming up was magical. I will never forget it.

Today, a friend of mine shared their cover of "I Can't Make You Love Me/Nick of Time," and I have literally had it on repeat for the last 4 hours. I am haunted by it.

I can't make you love me, or this blog, but I can share good music with you either way.

Happy Monday, all!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Instrumental Motivation for Friday

My husband is the kind of person who can work with music blasting in the background. Honestly, I think it helps him and does not distract in the slightest. I, on the other hand, cannot. For me the issue is lyrics; if the words of the song are audible, I focus on them instead of the those that should be flying from my fingers for work or personal writing.

It's my cross to bear, what can I say.

However, there is an exception to this rule which is probably obvious: music that has no words. Ahhh! I'm talking classical music, instrumentals, string quartets... the list goes on.

This morning, to kick off my favorite day of the week, my best friend Britt sent me this accordion quintet's rousing rendition of one of my favorite 80's hits... A-Ha's Take On Me!

Tell me you weren't bouncing in your seat while listening to that... if you deny it, I won't believe you!

Speaking of not believing, or trying to keep yourself believing, it inspired me to share a few of my favorite instrumental covers by various groups, one of which is the song I walked down the aisle to when Kyle and I got married: Journey's Don't Stop Believin'.

Just in case you're planning on getting married in northern California and would like the information for the string quartet who played at our wedding, you can check them out here.

Another favorite cover is Fix You by Coldplay. I blast this in the car when I'm driving alongside the ocean on PCH and I can't tell you how happy it makes me.

And finally, for any Smashing Pumpkins fans, check out this cover of Today... it is seriously awesome.

If this sort of thing floats your boat, I recommend downloading Low Strung's or Vitamin String Quartet's albums, both available on iTunes. They are fantastic.

What a week, what a week! Happy Friday, everyone.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Welcome to the World, Charlotte!

You may remember this post and this post talking about the impending arrival of Baby Girl Brewer. Well, today was the day Charlotte Kelly chose to make her arrival, folks, and so, February 2nd is a date I will never forget and will always cherish.

To say I'm a blithering idiot who can't stop crying from happiness is pretty spot on, so I've decided to share one of my favorite "welcomes," in tribute to Miss C. It's hard to type when you can't see what you're writing, after all. 

I'm sure you recognize it from some point during your time on earth as it is a classic. Ladies and gentleman (but especially Charlotte, who I know is bound for the greatest of things and to be the winningest of winners), Oh! The Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss.


Oh, the Places You'll Go!

by Dr. Seuss

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own.  And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets.  Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don't worry.  Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.


You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don't
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted.  But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out?  Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored.  there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame!  You'll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes, they won't.

I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

It turns out you CAN thoroughly love someone you've never met before, and I am in love with you, Charlotte. See you soon.
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