Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Sense of Sound

I'm also the sense of TIRED!

You Are the Sense of Sound

You love to talk, but you also love to listen.

You are simply a natural conversationalist.

You can have a deep conversation that lasts for hours and come out of it feeling energized.

You have a good ear for foreign languages and accents of all sorts.

You can imitate people quite well.

You also are a huge lover of music. You probably love music more than most people you know.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pumpkin Hunter

A big THANK YOU to my niece Heather for posting this picture of her adorable son Hunter on facebook. It made this great aunt's day!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Entitlement and Depersonalization

I've been trying to get to the bottom of why I often feel frustrated and act less than kindly in throngs of people. For me it seems to boil down to a feeling of entitlement and a lack of realistic expectations.

I tested my theory today in the Target store just half a block south of my home. As I walked into the store I instantly felt a cloud of grumpy sour nature descending. To my mortification, I realized that I was angry because the main aisle leading to my destination was *gasp* littered with PEOPLE.

Imagine that.

I paused for a moment, took a few slow, deep breaths, and acknowledged that I was not entitled to an obstacle-free shopping experience now OR EVER.

I'm sorry it took me so long to get off my high horse.

Miraculously, as soon as I shed the fantasy of the world created for my personal pleasure and convenience, the shopping experience took a decided turn for the pleasant.

I accomplished my errand with little difficulty, paid for my purchases, and made my way through the crowded check out area, weaving carefully around people with their laden shopping carts in other lines.

I finally reached the double wide express lane aisle where I was hoping to safely and sanely make my escape. A woman, whose husband was standing with their cart in the express lane, wandered about in front of me, expertly blocking my egress no matter how I maneuvered. As I finally escaped the whirling vortex of confusion, the woman turned to her husband and said, "I'm being chased by a shopping cart."


My status had been depersonalized to that of a shopping cart with annoying characteristics by someone clearly unaware that their actions might be affecting others.

How often had I done that very thing?

Too often.

As I exited the store, I was grateful for the earlier epiphany. It helped keep me from taking that offhand remark personally and strengthened my resolve to stop depersonalizing others and viewing them as obstacles to be avoided or overcome.

I don't expect overnight success.

No matter.

I will try.

Standard Time? Not Yet!

My computer automatically re-set its clock for Standard Time this morning.

Too bad we don't "fall back" until NEXT Sunday.

What a joyful day that will be!

I guess I should update my software...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Lightening Up

Since I haven't been moved to blog, I've done the next best thing:

Changed the blog template.

Not by much, but it's a step in the light direction...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Shopping Carts

I was instantly reminded of Jack's observations when I read Michael Josephson's commentary this morning:

"When we think about character we tend to think about really big things, like
taking heavy risks or bold acts of integrity or grand acts of generosity or self-sacrifice. These sorts of noble choices do indicate character, but for the most part, our character is revealed in much smaller events, like apologizing when we're wrong, giving to causes we believe in, being honest when it's simply embarrassing, and returning our shopping carts.

One of my favorite stories is about a father who asked his son to return a cart they had just used. The son protested, "C'mon, Dad! There are carts all over. No one returns them. That's why they hire people to collect them."

After a short argument, mom chimed in, "For heaven's sake, it's no big deal. Let's go."

Dad was about to surrender when he saw an elderly couple walking together to return
their cart. After a moment he said, "Son, there are two kinds of people in this
world: those who put their carts away and those who don't. We are the kind that
returns their shopping cart. Now go return the cart."

This story isn’t just about grocery carts. It’s about doing the right thing in a world that seems to promote rationalizations and excuses that demean or trivialize simple acts of virtue. There are two kinds of people: those who find the strength to do what they ought to and those who find excuses not to.

People of character do the right thing even if no one else does, not because they think it will change the world, but because they refuse to be changed by the world.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts."

Not surprisingly, I've learned that my blogging hero beFrank is a fan of Michael Josephson. As I told him, it shows.

Is your character showing?

The Laundry Dance

In the fall of 1993 I went from being a married homeowner in Studio City to a devastated single woman in the throes of divorce and an intensely painful season of personal growth in Seal Beach.

I felt as if I'd suddenly been thrust back into my college days, renting an apartment from a disturbed landlady and *gasp* reduced to taking my dirty clothes to the laundromat.

Instead of walking mere steps to a washing machine off the kitchen, I was forced to load up my little Corolla with pounds of soiled wash, detergent, fabric softener, hangers...

I think I managed to go about 5 weeks before I bit the bullet and made the initial trek to the laundromat that I remembered from my visits to Aunt Charlo as a child. There was the familiar owner, Laundry Bob, bad hairpiece in place, old movies playing on the VCR, ready to receive my fluff and fold.

He was a little taken aback by the sheer poundage of my offering.

I came back later that afternoon to find everything clean and folded.

I left behind lots of $$$$$.

I didn't do fluff and fold after that.

I soon fell into a laundry routine. After I went through my 30 pairs of underpants I would load everything up (a parking place in the vicinity of my Ocean Avenue home was a real bonus), fill the machines, feed them the quarters, take my car to the car wash immediately adjacent to the laundromat, move the wash to the driers, do my marketing at the adjacent Vons, fold my clothes, leave.


It was a happy day in the FlutePrayer household when I devised a way to wash my jeans in the sink and get them dried OVERNIGHT. Once I mastered that trick I could go much longer between visits (5 months was my personal best).

One day I went to the laundromat to discover a sign that read, "GONE FISHING!!!!". Laundry Bob had up and abandoned his business. No more friendly greetings, no more Myrna Loy movies, no more amiable conversation.


There was another laundromat at the other end of town. It was cold, clinical, and impersonal. It creeped me out to go there, but I had no other choice.

New owners eventually took over Laundry Bob's location. They completely gutted the old place, installed dazzling new machines, didn't raise the prices too, too much, and were very nice people.

I was just SO TIRED of having my undergarments on parade for all to see.

Fast forward to July 2002. Quite by chance (heh heh - I don't believe in chance), a Muni Band colleague inquired about my housing situation. He knew I'd been trying to relocate for some time with no results. When I said I was still looking, an odd look passed across his face. He had friends who had recently purchased a home and were moving soon. Was I interested in their old place?

WAS I!!!!!

I remember the first time I entered my current home. With 2 bedrooms and vaulted ceilings it looked like a PALACE compared to my small, dark, creepy apartment hidden by a monster ivy plant (but that's another story). As the current tenants ushered me about I noticed, in the midst of my euphoric haze, LAUNDRY HOOK-UPS!!!!

Thanks to Muni Band audience members Ed and Betty I was able to purchase a washer and drier from someone who was moving into their building in Redondo Beach whose home did not have room for his present large capacity machines.

I remember moving day. 10 men from my church arrived in Seal Beach with numerous pick-up trucks, carefully stowed my possessions, and took them to my new Signal Hill abode. I remember my friend Jerry C. carefully positioning my "new" washer and drier and connecting the vent. Once everything was in place, a mountain of laundry stood IN MY HALLWAY. As I placed the first load into the washer, added the detergent and fabric softener, shut the lid and turned on the machine, it happened. I was doing the Laundry Dance, whooping and cavorting around my new home. While my dirty laundry was transformed into clean, I was ABLE TO DO SOMETHING ELSE IN MY OWN HOME. When the clothes emerged from the drier, I WAS ABLE TO FOLD MY UNDERWEAR WITHOUT ANYONE ELSE SEEING IT.

I've never taken my machines for granted again.

I've got a load of wash in right now. And do you know what I'm doing?

I'm rocking the Laundry Dance!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Roku Rocks!

My dear brother Ken keeps up with all the coolest tech stuff. He sent an enticing email about the Roku Netflix player last week. He raved about the ease of installment and the delight of 12,000 video selections on the big screen at the touch of a button.

We delayed our gratification until the money came in, then ordered it straight away.

Now, instead of waiting for a DVD to arrive in the mail, we can watch unlimited movies as many times as we want. We still get new releases (or whatever else we want) mailed to us on DVD, but won't be movieless while they are being shipped.

I've already watched episodes of Adam 12 and Emergency.

Seriously, I love those theme songs.

I'd never have gotten those on DVD, but am really tickled to view them again. It sure beats sitting in front of the computer while they stream (although I still have that option as well).

Meanwhile, the Legend of the Crystal Skull awaits us (on DVD). I heard it was lame. Who cares. We can watch it at home in our pajamas for cheap.

I have been a huge fan of Netflix for 2 years. Now I'm even huger (gotta cut back on the snacks!)

Roku Rocks!

Wired for Creativity

This is a fortunate result considering my profession:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Delayed Gratification

September 3 was my first day back on the job at Azusa Pacific University.

Today I got my first pay check.

I've been very fortunate to have last minute work surprise me with $$$ these past 2 months.

The life of a freelancer means no guarantees of a predictable, steady income but the unpredictable unsteadiness is what I love about it.

It makes me appreciate a paycheck so much more...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'd Probably Eat It...

My instrument is this same color, but it is not edible:

I'll think of this the next time I take music and music making too seriously.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Marathon Day

I spent most of the day volunteering at the finish line of the Long Beach Marathon today, handing out medals and Mylar blankets.

It was truly humbling to see the heart and grit of the participants.

Congratulations one and all!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My Candidate For President

Some of my blogging friends have made no secret about who their choice for President will be in November.

I've been silent on the issue long enough.

To see my choice click HERE.

And seriously?


Friday, October 10, 2008

Disneyland Dream Time Event

Tuesday found Bob and me at the Disneyland Resort. We were there to celebrate Bob's birthday.

We got a special treat right off the bat; this amazing parking place right next to the escalator:

The parks were decked out in their Halloween Time finery:

The birthday boy enjoyed lunch at his favorite eatery:

Although the park in general was not very crowded, there was a line to the Winnie the Pooh ride. I was all for bailing, but Bob quietly insisted that he wished to wait (he knows I really like the ride). As we exited our ride vehicles we were suddenly pounced upon by the Dream Squad. In a flash we were proud possessors of a Year of a Million Dreams "Dream Time Event" passes:

These passes allowed us to stay in Disneyland for an hour after everyone else left! We've never gotten anything from the Dream Team before, and were extremely tickled by this special birthday gift.

At 8pm as the park was closing to the rest of the guests, the 3,000 people with Dream Passes were escorted into a special area near Big Thunder Ranch. There we were entertained by Clark as the park was cleared of those not blessed with Dream Time passes:

Special guests Minne and Mickey were on hand to send us off into a now deserted park:

Although going on the rides was cool, the best part of the experience was the empty streets:

Here we are at the end of our day after riding the last Finding Nemo sub of the night:

What an amazing thing it was that the entire park stayed open just for us!

Thanks, Dream Team!

flickr photostream here!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Make Me Super

I should already be on the road to APU but couldn't resist posting this:

Super Teri

I made one for Bob too:

Super Bob

(HT benjamincanady)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Would You Consider Helping the Homeless of Long Beach?

The Long Beach Marathon will be run next Sunday, October 12. On that day instead of going to church, my church family and I are volunteering at the Marathon to help raise money for the Long Beach Rescue Mission.

If you are interested in learning how to make a contribution to the Rescue Mission click here. All money raised goes to the Long Beach Rescue Mission.

I'll see you at the Marathon!

Whirlwind Bruckner Encounter

I just finished my whirlwind encounter with Bruckner's First Symphony. A week ago I'd never heard it. Now I've played it. Successfully.

It was a rewarding experience.

Details to some point.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Entitlement Issues

Entitlement Issues.

This lady has them:

I pray for the grace this 911 dispatcher was able to extend.