Monday, June 29, 2015

My own riddle of the Sphinx

Riddle of the Sphinx: What is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three in the evening?
Answer (Spoiler alert): Man 

Although I wrote a post called Riddle of the Sphinxes back in 2006, I am not repeating myself. I have just been thinking about the stages of life that the riddle refers to (crawling on four legs as a baby, walking on two legs as an adult and hobbling along with a cane as a senior citizen).

First, the Sphinx oversimplified a great deal. I think there are quite a few stages in between but the riddle would have become quite long if the Sphinx had tried to cover them all (i.e. What is the creature that lies there crying most of the wee hours of the morning and smiles when it has gas, walks on four legs in the morning,  stumbles along on two legs at mid-morning, has awkward hair and bad skin just before noon, walks on two legs at noon, sits on it's butt in front of the television mid-day, is still in front of the television eating from a TV tray at early evening and walks on three legs in the evening before stumbling and calling out, "help I've fallen and can't get up."

Oedipus would still have replied, "man."

But I digress.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Food for thought

Okay, I confess, I'm one of those people who post photos on Instagram of the food they are about to eat. And as pointless as that seems, there is a method behind my mundaness.

First, I think that presenting a well-plated meal is an artform. If you want to scarf down mounds of shapeless globs of food on a platter, go to a buffet. A sign of a great restaurant is how the chef places the food on the plate.

When I take a photo of my plate, I am paying homage to the chef artist. Or I am shaming a hash slinging hack if the plate is unappealing (like most meals served at our local diner, Claire's).

Friday, June 19, 2015

It's nothing impersonal

I don't think I'm going out on a limb when I say the Internet has made over sharing a National pastime. I'm just as guilty of it as the next person. Although I don't write much about work and I try to respect the privacy of my family, I still open up about more than I probably ever would have shared with anyone but friends, family, or a private journal prior to the Internet.

Part of it is the semi-anonymous nature of it. I can blather on about my various insecurities safe in the knowledge that the odds of anyone I know reading it are about the same as if I'd written the crap on a note, placed it in a bottle and cast it out into the ocean (unless I've invited someone I know to read my blog).  But it is also a way to put yourself out there without the awkwardness of watching the other person glaze over and look at their watch (which is why I don't like to go to parties and make small talk).

But it occurred to me this morning while I was standing at the train platform killing time before my train arrived by making up unflattering nicknames for the other people waiting for the train (in my head of course), that so much personal information is shared now via the Internet and social media that everything has become impersonal.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A vacation from vacations

Every year I try to take my family somewhere memorable for a vacation. Last year it was Puerto Vallarta. The year before that it was Cabo.

Now I am planning this year's big family vacation that will include Legoland and Disneyland. In doing so, I am violating my own guidelines to never go to a place that has "Land" in the title.

It's not like I have never been to Disneyland before. I must have been there at least ten times since I was 15. I even took my kids there three years ago when they were probably too young to appreciate it. We made the mistake of taking them in the Haunted Mansion and the minute the lights went out in the initial "is this room getting bigger or are you shrinking" introduction, my then two and a half year old son burrowed into his mother and cried out, "I want to go home."

Friday, June 05, 2015

The good ol' days

Anticipation, Anticipation
Is making me late
Is keeping me waiting  
And tomorrow we might not be together
I'm no prophet, I don't know nature's way
So I'll try to see into your eyes right now
And stay right here, 'cause these are the good old days. 
--Carly Simon, Anticipation
It is human nature to wax poetic about the past. After all, what else do we have? The future is tomorrow (despite all the hype about the future being now). And very few people spend much time in the now. Because that's where we reminisce about the past or wonder about the future.

I watch with bittersweet fondness as my children live their now. It reminds me of my then and how permanent it seemed at the time. But I know that the cliche about the fleeting nature of youth is cliche for a reason. It is truth. But we don't accept it until we are plodding the path of our parents.