Month: January, 2013

A Question About Books

If you can explain this to me, I am happy to hear your ideas. This is not a rhetorical question:  Why do we remember some books and forget others?

I was cleaning out bookshelves the other day and in handling some of the books, I felt a reverence for the contents. I remember how I felt when I was reading the book, in addition to remembering the plot, characters, etc. Other books were ones that I remember enjoying, but that’s about it. I don’t remember the plot, the characters, or the feelings I experienced while reading them. What’s the difference?



Destiny—A Predetermined Course of Events


“Maybe it was my destiny,” Park Geun-hye said, referring to events that have taken her from dreams of being a professor to her recent election to the presidency of South Korea. Her mother was assassinated when Geun-hye was a young woman studying in France; she went home to assume the duties of first lady.

Destiny? Why destiny? Why not just bad luck? Is this what we human beings have to tell ourselves to get through the day, make sense of our lives? Must there be a reason for everything that is out of our control?

I just don’t buy it.


More on Words

As you know, I love words and I try very hard to use them carefully, despite my extrovert’s tendency to speak without thinking. I listen to lots of media, read lots of news, and observe the way that words are used.

Yesterday a reporter on my favorite radio station did a story on the one-year anniversary of Joe Paterno’s death. In the story she referred to the “Penn State sex abuse scandal.” Those words were incorrect. What she should have said was “Penn State sex abuse crime.”  Sandusky was convicted; it was a crime. No question. The victims know that.



What are my dreams? Can I make them come true? Do I even want to?  I have been known to say that my parents didn’t teach me to dream–daydreams of a future me and a life that would make me happy. They didn’t know how to be happy, so how could they possibly teach me?

Recently, I find myself  happy, dreaming of what life can be.  To me the dreams seem wild—Peace Corps, driving through Spain by myself, moving to a small town. Perhaps they are mundane; I don’t know.

It’s crazy—a world open to my dreams.


I love words. The first time I remember being truly struck by a word was when I was twelve years old. The word was “rambunctious.” I even love the way it is spelled. In the ensuing years the catalog of words that I love has grown.

Minutiae. Love the meaning, love the spelling; didn’t know how to pronounce it until I was over 30!

Plethora. Aplomb. Modcloth has a dress they’ve named “A Plethora of Aplomb.” That’s heaven.

Let us not forget the curse words—I love them, too. They are so short, to the point.

What are your favorites?


Keep in mind that I am was born the youngest in a family of six children.  I am an extrovert in a family constellation mainly consisting of introverts.

In reminiscing about me as a toddler, my mother would say, “You were a sturdy, tough little thing.” I took this on as my persona—I am tough! Not a bad thing, but I know in my heart—not really true.

Talking with a friend the other day, I said, “You don’t have to worry about me. I’m tough.” His response: “I don’t believe that for a moment.”

Thank you for noticing.

Once a Fat Girl, Always a Fat Girl

It doesn’t matter how much you weigh, if you’ve ever been a Fat Girl—or chubby, as I prefer to say—you will always see yourself as fat.  It doesn’t help that your father commented about your weight. (He was no Slim Jim!) Or that your adored older brother said, “Do you still wear that parka? Don’t you have enough fat to keep you warm?”  Those comments live in perpetuity, at 180 pounds or 135 pounds.

When I look at the photos I see a girl of a normal weight; not particularly chubby, certainly not thin. Normal. An ordinary girl.

More on The Hole

The hole is calling. Can you hear it?
“Liz, come, come to me. Fill me, Liz. Pick up that catalog, get your credit card ready. There’s ice cream in the freezer, I know it tastes good. It will fill me for a moment. Please, Liz, I need…”
The siren call of the hole. I know why and I’m not proud of the reason. I’m sitting here alone. I’m a little bit lonely.
“Oh Mr. Hole, (that’s right—it’s a man) go away. I’m not hungry and I have no money. Just go away and leave me be; I’m already alone.”


Introvert. Extrovert. Since learning the meaning of these words back in 1999, they have held an important meaning in my life. I think they serve to offer a useful way for each of us to understand ourselves. Others see them as a label, thus to be avoided.
For me, understanding myself as an extrovert (actually, an extreme extrovert) has unlocked greater understanding of my life; knowledge that I would otherwise never have realized. This understanding also gave me patience with my husband when he would talk, talk, talk through a problem. That’s how extroverts think—through the process of talking.