Thursday, April 19, 2012

Eleven Things

I was recently tagged in a blog about writers asking other blog writers about their blog writing (whew, say that three times fast).  Kind of a literary chain letter, if you will, but in this case no one has a better chance at the lottery or will risk losing their job.  Instead we answer 11 questions about ourselves and then ask 11 more questions of others.  So here is my "All You Ever Wanted to Know About Kristin Alvick Graf" in eleven easy questions

When I was growing up I wanted to be just like Jerry Lewis. I used to watch all the movies he was in with Dean Martin--on a black and white TV with rabbit ears and a knob you turned to change the channel--and thought he was hysterical. Now when I see those same movies I'm not sure what I found so funny. But I do like to occasionally yell "Lady! Hey Lady!" in my loudest, nasally voice (if only to embarrass my children).

If I could choose someone to write a song in my honor it would be Bonnie Raitt. Bonnie understands what it is to be an aging woman while maintaining your cool, tough chick demeanor. I'd give 'em something to talk about.

What am I really proud of being good at? The only skill that comes to mind is being able to sew.  Yes, I could make my own clothes if I had to, but I like to do my part to stimulate the economy (and Old Navy might worry about me if I didn't at least check in with them every once in a while).

If I won a $10,000 airline gift card, the first place I'd go is Italy. Italy appeals to me because it has a Mediterranean climate while being culturally rich. And the men are beautiful.

With $10,000 it would be first class all the way.

My oldest piece of clothing is a t-shirt I got on my honeymoon in Cancun 18 years ago.  Sometimes I look at it and marvel at where I was then as compared to who I am now.  Of course, I'd do it all again, but I'd spend less time arguing about dirty socks and more time travelling. 

I started writing this blog two years ago when I gave up Facebook for lent.  Unable to post my "witty" quips and humorous observations, I turned to blogging to pass the time.  Blogging is just like a really long status update, afterall.  With spell check.

I usually write at night after the kids have gone to bed and the house is quiet.  It's hard to concentrate when every two minutes someone walks into the room complaining about a sibling or asking for a ride somewhere.  All my blogs would be about how demanding and nerve wracking children are.  Once they're asleep it's easier to remember their good qualities, too.  When I finish a piece I usually want to post it right away, but have learned that I will spend all night tossing and turning, thinking about other ways to phrase what I've just written.  I need a cooling off period, kind of like buying a gun.

I never read poetry--for some reason I just can't get into it.  Unless it's Shel Silverstein, who I love with something akin to idolatry.   (Although my Grandpa Don wrote poetry and even did a piece about my father's phone in the bathroom.)  I just recently stumbled into Kate Atkinson's work, who is shelved with the mysteries of our local library. I don't normally read mysteries, but I am loving these.  I also finished the Hunger Games trilogy, because my daughter made me (and who quizzes me daily about my favorite characters and scenes).  I know you're all dying to know:  Team Peeta.

My favorite ordinary moment of the day is when the two older kids and my husband have left in the morning and it's not yet time for my youngest to get up.  The house is in a momentary lull and I don't yet have to start the business of my day.  I get another cup of coffee, check my emails, go onto Facebook and take a deep breath before the rest of the morning comes crashing through.  Ten minutes is all it is, but it's all mine.

The nicest thing any one's ever to said to me was when I was seven months pregnant with my youngest.  A woman I didn't know told me I didn't look pregnant from behind.  There is no nicer thing to say to a pregnant woman than she doesn't look like a beached whale who is about to explode.

So there you have it:  all you wanted to know about me, but were waiting for Kimberley to ask.  Now it's my turn to pose the questions...hmmm..."Have you, or anyone you know, seen John Edward's sex tape?"

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Good News/ Bad News

Some days it seems that everywhere I turn there's more bad news and I can't take another story about a missing child, school shooting, or economic down turn.  There are several websites which focus on only good news:  miracle babies, heroic rescues and video after video of cute animals being unbelievably adorable.  Unfortunately, these sites are incredibly boring.  What is good news without a little bad news to spice it up?  So here, for your perusal, is my offering of a little yin and yang, a little bad with the good.

It was announced that John Edwards' sex tape will not be released to anyone anytime soon. This is indeed very good news.  It was decided that the video of him doing the wild thing with his mistress has no bearing on his upcoming criminal trial.  The bad news is the fact that such a tape ever existed.  Ewww--the thought alone gives me nightmares.  (Did his hair get messed up?  Was there a sound track?  I'm suddenly not feeling very well.)

The movie adaptation of the "Hunger Games" book has opened with a resounding success. World famous movie reviewer and seventh grader at Lakewood Middle School, Abbie Graf, having seen the movie opening weekend with her devoted mother and again the second weekend with her English class (escorted by her loving father) gave it two thumbs up and dubbed it her "favorite movie ever."  The bad news is these parents will now be barraged with endless discussion of movie vs. book, Peeta vs. Gale, et cetera and so forth.  (Also in the bad news arena:  several movie goers apparently tweeted their disappointment that the character of Rue was played by an African American girl.  This leads me to the conclusion that racists need to work on their reading comprehension, as well as their world view.)

A new study suggests that people who eat chocolate have a lower body mass index than those who don't.  Chocolate makes you skinny!  This is the kind of story that people like me dream of--right up there with winning the lottery or getting your own flying unicorn.  It seems dark chocolate may contain enough antioxidants to help balance your metabolism and a treat that is high in calories may produce a feeling of fullness sooner, thus causing you to stop eating.  The bad news is I and every other chocolate lover will undoubtedly use this as an excuse to overindulge.  Too much of a good thing is bad news.

My spend son will be turning 16 in a couple weeks and will be getting his driver's license. This is good news, as I'll have one less kid that needs to be carted around. No more waiting in a cold, dark parking lot when soccer practice runs late, no more trying to figure out how to get three kids to three different places at the same time. What will I do with all my free time? The bad news is now I'll have to invest way too much energy worrying if he got to practice safely, why he's so late getting home, and wondering if he's lying in a ditch somewhere.

As with the idea of yin and yang, the secret to a sane life is balance.  Lots of horrible things happen in our world every day, but lots of wonderful things take place, too.  Hold tight to the good stuff and try not to let the bad stuff weigh you down.  Some days I am clinging to the fantasy chocolate diet and my dream of a flying unicorn for dear life.