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Archive for February, 2009

High School Again

I graduated from high school in 1983. It was the year of Flashdance and The Police; Billie Jean and Hall & Oats.

My junior and senior year of high school were spent dating a good Catholic girl, Carol, who lived on the east side of town. We watched movies at the drive in (kind of), held house parties when our parents left town, and “parked” in her Volkswagon Beetle on quiet county roads where the smell of dirt from the cornfields made its way through the open windows. We would break up and get back together days later because that’s what kids did – and we were kids.

High school – even my small-town high school – was all about social classes. The wealthy came from the country club. The poor from Park Street (not Park Avenue). The working class occasionally produced an athlete or a genius and we took great pride in knowing those kids; the ones who elevated the rest of us nearer the top rung of the ladder.

Friends were friends and I knew who they were. I knew who could be counted on and who would turn and run when the shit hit the fan. If a friend was in trouble, we rallied around and made the recovery bearable. But kids then, as now, could be asses and the high school games some kids played were tiresome, hurtful and just plain dumb.

So I’m amazed at the games people play some 25 or 30 years later in life as if they never left high school. It’s pitifully disappointing and these are the people I never would have wasted my time on back in my teens. Why would I waste my time now when it’s so valuable. My own ethics and opinions too established and important to who I am to play the games they choose to play.

It means my circle of closest friends remains small and proximate. And I refuse to let just anyone into that circle. But it also means I know exactly who my real friends are and who I can count on when the shit hits the fan.

Here’s to my friends. You know who you are.

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I heard this tune on, of all days, Valentine’s Day – and suddenly recalled the song today while spinning. Is it a love song or is the message something else entirely?

Whatever. Radiohead performs it well.

Lyrics:

Her green plastic watering can
For her fake chinese rubber plant
In fake plastic earth.
That she bought from a rubber man
In a town full of rubber plants
Just to get rid of itself.
And it wears her out, it wears her out
It wears her out, it wears her out.

She lives with a broken man
A cracked polystyrene man
Who just crumbles and burns.
He used to do surgery
For girls in the eighties
But gravity always wins.
And it wears him out, it wears him out
It wears him out, it wears him out.

She looks like the real thing
She tastes like the real thing
My fake plastic love.
But I cant help the feeling
I could blow through the ceiling
If I just turn and run
And it wears me out, it wears me out
It wears me out, it wears me out.

And if I could be who you wanted
If I could be who you wanted,
All the time, all the time, ohhh… ohh…

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The Current.Org

I belong.

There are a lot of cool things happening in my world. The Current is one example of “cool” that deserve a shout out here.

After listening “free” for the past year, I bucked up and sent in my financial contribution to The Current, 89.3, an alternative radio station in the Twin Cities owned and operated by Minnesota Public Radio.

current

It is the right thing to do.

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The big difference between people is those who have had pleasure and love, and those who haven’t.”   -Paul Newman

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When 2009 began, a lot of positive mojo filled my world. Enough so that I made this commitment to be more bold in how I lived my own life. Nearly eight weeks later, my general drive to amp boldness each day has become a habit.

Satisfaction in who we are and what we do only descends upon us if we live the way we want to live. Being bold in my professional and personal relationships – hell, in every aspect of what I do – helps me get to the person I desire to be. I’ve tapped a new river of confidence and ability relying on learnings from life that serve me well when I need them most.

Bold gets noticed. The counsel and recommendations I provide to executives I work for are welcomed, accepted, expected. The same holds true for relationships I share with those closest to me. They appreciate candor and honesty – and that is something I can  deliver. It’s much more satisfying than the former rut I’d been in of biting my tongue and reading between available lines.

And in a life-is-short, I’m-keenly-aware-of-my-own-surroundings mindset, I’ve discovered initiating the first handshake or kiss or compliment generates far more points in the plus column than standing back and obviating opportunities I’ll never get back.

If being bold can generate such positive results in a mere handful of weeks, imagine what the rest of the year – the rest of life – presents.

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Ob-se-qui-ous: Full of or exhibiting servile compliance, fawning.

Her obsequious comments and actions were more believable than even she might have imagined.”

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It’s all about the message. In my world of public relations, message is king and in this song, Ben Folds nails both the music and the delivery.

Lyrics:

We’d hit the bottom,
I thought it was my fault
And in a way I guess it was
I’m just now finding out
What it was all about

Moved to the west coast away from everyone
She never told me that you called
Back when I was still, I was still in love

Till I opened my eyes and walked out the door
And the clouds came tumbling down
And it’s bye-bye, goodbye, I tried
And I twisted it wrong just to make it right
Had to leave myself behind
I’ve been flying high all night
So come pick me up…I’ve landed

The daily dramas she made from nothing
So nothing ever made them right
She liked to push me and talk me back down
Until I believed I was the crazy one,
and in a way
I guess I was…

But I opened my eyes and walked out the door
And the clouds came tumbling down
And it’s bye-bye, goodbye I tried
Treading a sea of a troubled mind
Had to leave myself behind
Singing bye-bye, goodbye I tried

If you wrote me off I’d understand it
Because I’ve been on some other planet
So come pick me up…
I’ve landed

And you will be so
Happy to know
I’ve come alone,
It’s over

But I opened my eyes and walked out the door
And the clouds came tumbling down
And it’s bye-bye goodbye I tried
Down comes the reign of the telephone czar
It’s OK to call
Now I’ll answer for myself

Come pick me up,
…I’ve landed

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