Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Anatomy Of A Slogan

I've blogged before on how I'm a big fan of youth wrestling. Though my boys have long since retired from the sport (they hated it anyway), I still occasionally attend a match. When there, I'm always on the look-out for a new inspirational slogan on the back of a t-shirt or sweatsuit. I used to collect these to try to inspire my boys to greatness. Hea, it was worth a shot.

Anyway, here is a new one that I spotted on a shirt last Saturday:

Today I will do what you won't,
So tomorrow I can do what you can't.

These slogans often have an "in-your-face" aspect designed to intimidate a future opponent. In this case, the upshot is that the wrestler who puts in an extra hour of running or practice will be able to go the extra mile to win a match and place high in a tournament. And it's true. I saw more than one wrestler lose out on a chance to compete in the state championship because they ran out of gas in overtime. A little extra conditioning probably made the difference.

As with many of these inspirational slogans, however, they aren't just for wrestlers. They're for life. They're for whatever you strive to become. I thought of how it relates to dieters. Today I will forgo that pizza so tomorrow I can pull up my trousers without sucking in my belly. Today I will do arm strength exercises so tomorrow I can open that jar. Etcetera.

A couple weeks ago I visited my grandmother who is 95. She still lives in her own house, getting around with the help of a walker and a cane. Some time ago the doctor gave her stretching exercises to do. And I've heard she does them. While she was there talking to me, half lying and half sitting on the sofa, she reached down and pulled one of her legs up to her chest to where it almost touched her chin.

Now I saw a similar maneuver in a Jane Fonda workout video. Or maybe I recall Leslie Caron or Audrey Hepburn looking similarly spry in one of those old movies. But I didn't expect my nonagenarian grandma to strike such a pose.

My sister had visited my grandmother around Christmas and had noticed that same flexibility. "Isn't that something? I hope I inherited some of her genes," my sister said in awe.

Well, I hope it's the genes. I hope it's not something that I will need to do today so I can be spry tomorrow. Cause I don't think I can even bend that way today.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Why We Blog

My old high school chum Bob sent me that image here. He’s not a fan of my blog . . . or of blogging generally. I’ve tried to convert him. Since he’s a graduate of Michigan State University, I told him that a fellow MSU graduate of some sophistication has been a fan of my blog and blogging for some time. It didn’t change his tune. Blahgs, he calls them.

To be honest, I can’t say that all my immediate family are always enthusiastic about my blogging either. I may hear a "nerd alert" if I bring up the subject of blogs in certain company. It has also been suggested in close quarters that blogging on a frequent basis may not be such a productive use of my time.

It was nice to see a large number of comments from family, anonymous of course, on my recent blog wishing my father a belated happy birthday. I do wonder why I don't see more blogs with comments from family members of the blogger. Maybe it depends on why we blog.

A common thread I've noticed among bloggers is that they all enjoy writing. Certainly I do. Beyond that however, reasons for blogging seem to vary greatly. It can be social, personal, political, spiritual, educational, cultural, therapeutical (uh, sp?) . . .

One kick I get out of blogging is checking my sitemeter to see the number of international visitors I get. I even had a visitor from China who obviously spent some time checking out a blog I had written on managing stress. How cool is that! I mean, the Far East is home to Zen Buddhism, yoga, acupuncture, spiritual meditation, and Kung Fu--all synonymous with peace and calm and healing. Yet, a visitor from China came to Big Dave's Blog for advice instead.

Blogging has drawn the world community together. It shows we all have the same needs and fears, wishes and worries. We blog about the same personal issues. We blog about the same world events. Maybe the fact that blogging shows how much we are alike helps to contribute to a sense of community. Maybe in the end, it will lead to greater understanding and trust among all.

So, I guess next time my buddy Bob complains about my blogging, I'll know how to respond:

Bob, I'm working daily to promote peace, trust and understanding among all the peoples of the world. What have you done for your world today?

HA! ;-)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tieing Up Loose Ends

I had a hard time coming up with a good blog topic this week, but my dad hinted that he was getting tired of seeing his mugshot atop here with the "The Cost of Forgetting" blog I did last week. So I thought I might tie up some loose ends then.

First, from Fun With Bill where I complained about the post office taking a bite out of the envelope that contained our credit card payment for the month. Our credit card company claimed they still received the payment, though our bank never showed the check cashed.

If I was hoping it would stay that way, the words of my blogging buddy Vicki were prophetic. "Think positively. Maybe Citibank will never cash the first check but they'll still give you the extra credit. Nope. Not gonna happen." True. The next month our credit card statement reversed that payment with the note "Return check - mutilated." We were not fined nor penalized, however.

From Hep Cat Steppin’ Out, again Vicki’s advice of bringing Excedrin and earplugs to my nephew’s rock band performance proved to be right on (I think she should run an advice column instead of a blog). But her advice came too late. I didn’t wear earplugs and paid a heavy price.

Holy cow! Martians could have been establishing a beachhead right outside the door to our brewpub in a combination of War of the Worlds AND Independence Day and we would have been oblivious to it inside.

Actually, maybe my nephew’s band warded off extraterrestrials had they picked that night to invade our planet . . .

"Gorg! Sensors are picking up extremely violent sound waves. They’re at a decibel level unheard of in previous civilizations we have conquered."

"Are our shields up?"

"Yes, but the sound waves are overpowering our shields and jamming our navigational equipment."

"Retreat then to Alpha Centauri."

Since that concert we attended a little over a month ago, my nephew’s band has broken up and re-formed again. If we go to see his new band perform, we’ll know to bring earplugs.

Today being Valentine’s Day marks an anniversary of sorts for my wife Wendy and me. It was 27 years ago today that we became officially engaged to be married. A few short months afterwards, we officially made it for better or worse. Back in the early years, if I asked Wendy if she would still take care of me when I was old and decrepit, she answered in the affirmative.

When I remind her of that promise now after she has started seeing some potential infirmities, like forgetfulness, she responds, "I lied."

I’m having chilling visions now of what it might be like to be married and 70, visions possibly inspired by watching HAL in the movie "2001, A Space Odyssey" this past weekend.

"Wendy, can you get me my walker and help me get upstairs and undressed?"

"I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that."

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Cost Of Forgetting

That picture there is my dad, taken long ago when he was just another Catholic school lad in Bay City. He says this school picture here is a favorite of his. How it got here on my blog is another story.

Last Sunday was my dad’s birthday. Ordinarily I send him a card, but this year I forgot. No excuses--I just plum forgot. So I thought I would call him up on Sunday and wish him a happy 77th. Before I could call that day, my mother called me. So I confessed I hadn’t sent dad a card.

“He was checking the mailbox yesterday for birthday cards,” my mother said. (Guilt level rising.)

So my father came on the phone and I wished him happy birthday. He said that since he hadn’t received a card from me, he thought maybe I was going to wish him a happy birthday on my blog instead. Uh, no. That wasn’t my plan. (Guilt level still rising.)

He explained that his favorite picture of himself as a youngster was missing. He and ma had searched for it, but it was nowhere to be found. So he thought I must have absconded with it, intending to feature it here on his birthday. It made sense, since I know my dad is the most frequent visitor to my blog. But the thought of doing so hadn’t crossed my mind. (Still rising).

Then this past Monday, I received an e-mail from my sister. She said she had stopped by our folks house after I had spoken to them. In her e-mail she wrote, “I bought dad a "DAD" coffee mug since the one he had for several years had broke. (Guilt at extreme level now) Also threw in a jar of Black Cherry jam. Black Cherry was always his favorite ice cream.” (Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!)

She added that our mother had given her that picture of my father some time ago, but mom had forgotten she’d done so. Missing picture mystery solved. Hmmmmmmmm, guess I’ve inherited my mom’s forgetful genes (Guilt level stabilizing). My sister suggested that she scan that picture of my father and e-mail it to me so I still could publish it in a blog That would make things right again. (Guilt level dropping, dropping . . . )

That’s the story of how the picture appears on my blog. Happy belated birthday, dad. And thanks to my sister and her hubby who scanned the picture into their home computer. She said she had time as she had the day off from work so she and my brother-in-law could celebrate their wedding anniversary yesterday.

Oh, oh. Did I remember to wish her a happy anniversary? (Guilt level rising again)