Friday, March 23, 2007

SEEDS AND TREES
Forest Park tree, 3/21/2007, first day of Spring

So I've been battling a bit of a cold and in the thick of it, I (unintentionally) overdosed on tylenol cold medicine and was feeling kind-of high. I was sitting on my back porch, drinking a smoothie before leaving for work, and I watched little seeds waft past in the spring air. I felt like a hippie and more in touch with the universe, that kind of thing. Suddenly it came to me. Trees produce thousands of seeds but only a few are meant to survive. It's the way of life. If every seed lived, there'd be no room to breathe! So we are like the trees, we toss our ideas to the wind and watch them fly and some of them are meant to take root and become something big. Others just drift past...

I thought, I'll tell my co-worker who just had a miscarriage! (In my cold-medicine-stupor, at that moment, it actually sounded like a good idea!) Oh geez! I was a little out of it that day. I talked with her later and we laughed at how messed up that stupid medicine had me. Don't worry! I'm fine now! (As fine as I ever was.)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

AT THE MERCY OF MY LOCAL GM CAR DEALERSHIP

Recently, the left turn signal on my car stopped working. My first indicator was that at times, the arrow on the dash would faintly glow even when I wasn't using the signal- but it was only some of the time. Hmmmm. Another indicator was when I was trying to get over and patiently signalling for about a minute and then finally cutting in when a car wouldn't make space- and then he slams on his horn like I'm the jerk!?! So maybe I was- sorry Mr. Toyota SUV, I didn't know.

On a sunny day earlier this week, I checked out the situation and all the lights on the right side, flashed as normal. On the left, no flash. I squinted because it was hard to tell if it was lit up or if it was just the sun catching the plastic. I decided it was sun. I called car friend, Stu, and described the problem. He asked, "No lights at all?" I answered in the affirmative. He diagnosed "Turn signal switch."

I had to go to the car dealer to get my part, but they had it in stock, and I paid the $85, then went to Stu's house. Stu took a look at the situation (on a cloudy day) and pointed out that the tail light was coming on and not flashing, when he flipped the turn signal. Long story short- All I needed was a lightbulb. I learned a little about electrical circuits and alot about the return policies of car dealership parts suppliers. Even if they take a return, this place keeps 30% of the original cost for a "restocking fee." Thirty percent! Other problem: most of these parts dealers do not take back electrical equipment at all. So that amounted to a very expensive lightbulb, at $85.

I went back this morning, my heart sinking into my stomach and my tail between my legs, just waiting for the guy to point out the red print on my receipt. "No returns on electrical parts." I went to the parts dept. and it was a ghost town. Just one man behind the counter. "Can I help you?"

"I don't know." I told him my mournful tale, and he quietly said, "You know we normally don't take these back." I told him how I had misdescribed the problem and hadn't needed the part at all. He puttered around with the cash register. He asked me for my credit card, and did a return for the ENTIRE AMOUNT! Thank you Mr. Chevrolet Dealer, Shop Man! Thank you for your kindness!

It's not often you hear about the mercy of a car dealership! DON BROWN CHEVROLET! Good place! Love 'em, love 'em!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

FAT LIP MAKEOVER

Pure silliness, but Larry has a fat lip right now. Not sure what happened. He leads a very cloistered life. Anyway, if this were a tabloid, I'd be calling lip injections, for sure.

BEFORE:
AFTER:
HMMM:
***3/4 of the purpose of this post is to mess around with some new software and begin downloading photos from my camera. Yay, so far, so good, right?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Funny Sometimes

Even though grad school is over, sometimes I like this comic strip- to remind me how much I love my day job- and how great it is not to have a THESIS or anything hanging over my head (ever again)!
Below is a recent example, and a link to the page Piled, Higher and Deeper:

Monday, March 05, 2007

PRIDE

Well, had a little jab from a co-worker today that startled me awake, in a sense. Not a mean jab; a gentle, honest jab from a good friend (the best kind of hurt). We were blabbing away about some medical issues she's going through and I gave my best opinion of what I thought the doctors would find. Then I laughed and said, "What do I know, I'm just an opinionated counselor!" And she laughed that "choke-on-your-spit" kind of laugh, the "isn't-that-the-truth" kind of laugh. She looked uncomfortable with her involuntary reaction and rushed to explain-- "No, no- it's just that you always share your two-cents about everything!"

I smiled at her, but thought to myself, "That's true." Too true. I know I've been straying a bit lately- straying into self-satisfied complacency. I've been smellling the laziness of pride in my heart. I'd been asking God to humble me. (I'm sure there is more to come.) Here's where the pride comes in: I only have about a pamphlet's worth of knowledge on so many issues in life (including the medical profession.) I still take these most simplifed sources of information combined with a handful of life experience, and tout MY OPINION whenever someone shares a concern. My wish: that I would listen more, to learn more, ask questions, and not be driven by a burning desire to deposit my two-penny truths into every open hand I come across.

I feel a bit like a kid who has gotten a little cocky- pretend my dad is the coach of the team or something. So I start getting a little smart and feeling like I'm kind of the boss (vicariously). I remember being a kid and thinking I was "in" with the grownups and then suddenly they'd put me in line when I started being a total smartass. My feeling was always "Agh! What happened!" I always knew the answer: "I got too cocky." Pride goes before a fall.

My comfort is that if I'm that cocky kid on the team, and God is the coach, he doesn't kick me off and degrade me in front of everyone to prove how insignificant I really am. He kindly, lovingly, and maybe even laughingly pulls me aside and reminds me of my true position. My other comfort is that the other teammates probably aren't all that impressed with whatever bits of knowledge I've imparted. They just want me to play as a teammate. We're working together here. The season isn't over yet.