Love Life or Love Life

I love a good oxymoron, a play on words, anything to get my brain to think and wonder. Rob Lowe’s newest book is called: “Love Life.” His title could really be more about his wife (the love of his life), about his love life, or what I think he really meant, which is to love the heck out of the life that is in front of us. In any case, Love Life is an interesting and thought-provoking memoir. I was a fan of his first autobiography, “Stories I Only Tell My Friends.” See, I like Rob Lowe. He plays interesting characters. From West Wing to Brothers and Sisters to Californication to Parks and Recreation, not to mention all the movies he has been in. Does Outsiders ring a bell? He does not play the same character again and again (as some actors tend to do), and I love that about him. When I happened across his first book, I thought it would be an annoying, pompous book from a famous Hollywood actor. It was nothing like that.

The writing is good, and while I do not know if he actually wrote it (who ever knows these days) it was still a compelling memoir of his life. He is very transparent about himself, his pros and cons, and you can tell in everything he says how much he loves his wife, two sons, and how important it is to him to be a dad. I loved this quote on the very first page:

“I think it was Alfred Hitchcock who said 90 percent of successful moviemaking is in the casting. The same is true in life. Who you are exposed to, who you choose to surround yourself with, is a unique variable in all of our experiences and it is hugely important in making us who we are. Seek out interesting characters, tough adversaries and strong mentors and your life can be rich, textured, highly entertaining and successful, like a Best Picture winner.” Page 1

It really makes you think about who you surround yourself with, and that while we do not always have a choice of who we interact with each day, we should focus on the situations we can control. Lowe never wanted to live a boring life, and neither should we! So get rid of the boring, the dull, and the uninspiring and bring on the adventure.

And, if you never take the leap and have more adventures, then you may never see success. Sometimes you have to have a few failures to find the gem. He discusses the different shows or movies he was involved in that did not make it off the ground, were cancelled, or just did not get the ratings.

“Maybe I’m in denial, but I don’t believe in ‘flops.’ You try something and it may not work. You try something and this time it might. You never know, and you have no choice other than to keep trying. The only time you flop is when you don’t learn something.” Page 148

Sort of like the Coldplay song, “Fix You” with a favorite line 0f mine: “If you never try you’ll never know.” I strongly believe that the tough times and disappointed moments turn into beautiful works of art. Sometimes we just have to have extreme patience as we go through the growing pains.

I pooped my pants at Safety Town

There have been a few times in my life that I have pooped my pants. I will tell you right now that it was not always as a child. As an adult, my poopy pants stories revolve around “Smooth Move” tea. My advice to you is to NEVER drink it. It is like a laxative that you cannot get out of your system… for days. Anyways, this is not about adult poopy pants. I was young, before elementary school, but I do not remember exactly how old I was. I am sure my sister can remember.

We were at Safety Town with the local Parks District. I do not remember if my sister was there for Safety Town or if she was my chaperone. Regardless, I vaguely remember that she did not want to be there in the least. Generally speaking I got very excited about Safety Town. They turned tennis courts into regular streets and sidewalks. There were stop signs, traffic lights, and bike lanes. We had a mini city all to ourselves from behind the daring excitement of our tricycles. For whatever reason I thought it was the coolest thing. Almost as though my tricycle was a car, and we got to be adults. There were even awards and trophies. Who knows why, but I LOVED Safety Town.

Except for the time when I pooped my pants.

You would have thought it was a regular I-have-to-go-to-the-bathroom moment. Yet, it wasn’t. I pooped my pants from absolute fear. This specific day was when the police, ambulance, and firefighters were coming to visit. They would take us onto the trucks and teach us about the apparatus. Except for me. I was scared shitless. There was always something eerie to me about an ambulance (scariest vehicle) and a fire truck (next scariest). In my mind they were going to help someone who was hurt, sick, or dead, or something was on fire. I did not like thinking about the number of sirens I heard daily and how many people needed help. I also thought that if I went inside the ambulance that I might not be allowed to leave. I have no idea where I got that idea. The Safety Town folks did their best to assure me, as well as my sister, but I was definitely not going into those vehicles. I got so scared, I pooped my pants.

My sister was not thrilled. I do not remember what happened after that and if I got into trouble for my scared-shitless actions. I am almost positive my parents did not ever understand my predicament, or even talk to me about it. I think they just thought I had an accident. Yet, I still remember it so clearly. Regardless, I continued to go to Safety Town and enjoyed the make-believe world of our tricycle town.

And, I still have a moment of pause when I hear an ambulance or firetruck. No, I don’t pee or poop myself, but I do think about those in need of help and hope all is well.

An extra day for the spirit

It is amazing what an extra day off can do for the spirit. I feel quite rested after the three-day holiday weekend. We did plenty of little projects around the house, had yummy food, saw friends, laughed, snuggled, and decided not to go out to Sunday brunch so we could stay home and just be together. We explored re-architecting the backyard, and the adventures of planning a trip. Oh, and we ate a lot of food. A friend made the most amazing tarts with local fresh fruit, we grilled, and had a turkey dinner on Independence Day.

We saw art vendors on NW 13th Street in Portland at First Thursday. I learned that the shi-shi art scene has changed before my eyes. As we wandered around the streets of the Pearl District, what used to be relaxed, organic, and simple is different. I saw stilettos (even in neon green). I saw tattoos, and not the local-esque variety, more of the Jersey shore type. And dresses, oh man, dresses with just too much ass showing. Maybe I am getting old, but it seems as though Portland has transformed a bit and I have missed it. What made it all feel like I still loved this city is the band that marched through the street, causing all to stop and stare. This is what makes people say: “Keep Portland Weird.” This is why I love Portland.

Call us lame, but we did not venture out for fireworks on the Fourth. We stayed home, were quiet, in the sun, and together. This weekend was the zen I needed to feel like the world was back in balance. I finished two books, and started a third. I got sunkissed. I smiled a lot and was playful, and sorely addicted to Chris. Amazing what can happen with a few more hours in the weekend. A few more hours to put your feet up, or to sleep in and snuggle.

I am rested. I feel more balanced. I have new creative ideas. My spirit is just a bit higher and happier.

Does that make your sperm hurt?

Last week I showed Charlie’s crazy giggle video to a few co-workers, and one of my colleagues said: “Do your ovaries hurt?” I laughed. A good joke for someone who is utterly addicted to her niece and someone thinking about starting a family. I have always loved children so it is not anything new to me that I would be addicted to babies. I worked in the day care on my college campus during all four years, and I worked specifically in the baby room, where they were allowed to start coming at 6 weeks. Babies were my favorite. No talking back. Ah…

A friend posted a great video on Facebook over the weekend it cracked me up. Since I do not have kids, at the moment I have absolutely NO interest in “Frozen.” What did peek my interest was this dad and his engagement with the song and his interest in getting his daughter to sing along. It made my day. After watching it Sunday morning (me at my desk and Chris in the other part of the office at his), I said to him: “Did that make your sperm hurt?” It goes both ways, right? I continued to pry and ask if he could see himself driving the car and trying (and egging) his daughter or son on to sing along, and he said: “Definitely.” Ah, I love that man.

 

Giggle ’til you pee your pants

Last night my sister made my day. See I love to hear my niece laugh. I tried quite often last weekend to get her to giggle, and I had my ways and succeeded, but not that deep gut laugh that continues and is impossible to stop. My sister knows how much I love a baby that giggles, and how happy it makes me. So, of course she texted me the most recent video. I cannot tell you how many times I have played it since she sent it.

Since Charlie’s birth my sister and I started a little informal tradition. Either I will text her: “POTD” (Photo of the Day) especially when I am having a rough day, or she will just text me a POTD without prompting. The video last night came with the text: “I think the element of surprise really got her. He was closing his eyes like he was asleep and then he would open them with a loud laugh.” I think we might have just ventured into VOTD (Video of the Day). No pressure Pen. Here is the video of Charlie:

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If only we all lived our lives taking time each day to make others laugh. That would be an amazing shift for the world. If we all lived to make others laugh until you pee your pants, because you cannot stop giggling, well that would turn the world upside down. Stop what you are doing, let your shoulders drop, watch Charlie again and find a way to share a deep heartfelt laugh today. Or better yet, giggle until you pee your pants.