Friday, November 21, 2008

I Learned Something New......

So, I got this email. It was from my sister. I love emails from my sister. She sends the best stuff. Today she sent me an email and it was titled 'Page 56'.
So I open the email and there's nothing there. Not even one of the promised 56. (for those of you who already know what's going on here, bear with me.... I'll get there) I was perplexed. I wondered out loud (and in a reply to all) what could be on Page 56. Then I think that maybe it is some entity unto itself like Area 51 or Heinz 57. I ask my brainiac of a husband if he knows what it is and he replies "Not a clue". I am shocked that he doesn't know what it is, and saddened by my lack of knowlege in this subject matter.
About this time the cat saunters over (yes, he really did saunter.... it's charming, but you should see his mosey) and asks me to feed him.... at least that's what I THINK he is asking.... I dont actually speak Hungarian.
So, I tell him I will race him up the stairs and take them two at a time. Of course he beat me to the top and is sitting there like he has been waiting HOURS for me. "Show Off" I mutter. I feed him and he looks at it briefly before turning his orange eyes on me with that "Leftovers, AGAIN?" look on his face. I shrug my shoulders and walk out of the room.
That's when my all-the-knowlege-of-the-world-at-his-fingertips husband announces that he knows what this whole 'Page 56' thing is about. I am instantly curious (shocker, I know) He explains to me that 'Page 56' is an internet meme.
I dont know what a meme is, and that is clearly written on my face, so my husband sighs with the patience one might show to a small child and explains what a meme is. He tells me that we JUST had this conversation when I found the Gummy Bear Song. Meme (pronounced Meem and NOT May May or Maime) is "any idea or behavior that can pass from one person to another by learning or imitation. Memes propagate themselves and can move through the cultural sociosphere in a manner similar to the contagious behavior of a virus."
That last part is my favorite. "Contagious behavior of a virus". I like it. It's catchy. Like a virus!!!
Alright, I'll stop.....
So, back to THIS particular 'Internet Meme'....... Apparently when you get this 'Page 56' you are supposed to grab the closest book and open it to page 56 and write down line 5 of said book as your Facebook Status (or blog about it from what I am told). I think it's a very fun idea, but why exactly is it line 5? Why not line 7? Why not the 56th word? My husband tells me he didnt make the rules, and I am slightly irked.
As the closest book to me happens to be a cupon book and does not even HAVE 56 pages, you will have to wait. I will come down the stairs in the morning and grab the first book I reach for on the shelf on the way to the computer and you will get Page 56, Line 5 (or the 56th word... I havent' decided.... Oooooh.... what if the 56th word is ON the 5th line??? Creepy....)
Right.... so, until tomorrow!

Internet Meme Page 56 Line 5, As Promised

inch, then halted and wobbled in his grip. "Give me a hand here!"

So there you have it. There's the contents of the 5th line of the 56th page in the first book I laid eyes on this morning. Granted it was through sleep fogged eyes, but there you have it.
The book is Brisingr. It was supposed to be the last in the Inheritance Trilogy, but as the acknowledgments at the end will tell us, it was just too much to squeeze into one last book. Thus the Trilogy becomes the Series. *Sigh. I guess I will have to wait to see how this one ends too.
Sure my line isn't something random from a Shel Silverstein book, or something clever from a useless fact book, or even something unique (like my sisters) that came from the script she had in hand because she was at rehersals, but what I lack in distinctivness I make up for in...... well, I dont really. There's no excuse. I have failed to make this work to my advantage. The only thing I can say is that the 56th word actually DID find it's way into the 5th line. It's 'And'. So that's something.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Friends Are The Rest Stops On The Highway Of Life

That's right. Friends are the Rest Stops on the Highway of Life. Sometimes they are few are far between and it never fails that when you decide to wait for the next one you have a sudden need for the one that just passed.
I like to drive the speed limit on my highway of life and stop at all of the attractions that are advertised on the roadside. Occasionally I have detours and I can always count on road work to slow me down and make the trip frustrating for a while, but I try not to pass up the rest stops if I can help it. I think I am on the scenic route of my highway at the moment. Its very pretty, but as I have not traveled this road before I can't be sure where the rest stops are and what lies ahead. So far my rest stops have been the kind you find in Texas. There are a couple of covered tables and some garbage cans, but no restrooms. Good to stop and stretch the ol appendages, but not quite what I need. (for those NOT following the analogy.... these are the friends I have left behind. They are still there for me if I call them, but there isn't much they can do if I want them to come and share cake scraps with me)
I am happy to report, though, that I found a rest stop that has all the amenities! I have a standing appointment on Mondays. We get together and we chat, and gripe, and laugh, and joke, and listen. Recently I opted to skip one of our get togethers. I didnt like it, but it was necessary. I see it as one of those moments on the highway where you see a note under the Rest Stop sign that tells you that the next one is 32 miles away. I thought that I would be able to make it to the next one, but like it always is, I spent the next 32 miles wishing I had stopped. We joked all week about how I am her therapy and it threw her for a loop to not have that girl time, but in reality she is MY therapy too. I didnt realize how much I had come to rely on that rest stop until I had passed it up.
Consider my lesson learned. When life offers you shade, vending machines and (hopefully) well maintained lavatories do NOT pass it up.

A Word Of Warning.......

I have been hearing warnings my whole life. Not a day goes by when I dont hear some cautionary statement. When I was younger they were things like 'dont touch that..... it's hot' and 'look both ways before crossing the road'. All very helpful. They made sense. They still do.
As I got older and progressed into teenage/young adult-hood the warnings didnt stop, in fact, they became more pronounced. It seemed as if new warnings were revealed every day. I was then seeing things like 'dont use in the shower' on my hair dryer and 'Do not iron clothes on body'. Most of the warnings seemed fairly logical, like 'May irritate eyes' on a can of Pepper Spray. I could see where it made sense not to do those things. I remember at about that time I became aware of a whole new genre of comedic jokes cropping up because of them. I also remember that it seemed to stem from a lawsuit against a fast food chain.
As I moved on to Adult/Mother-hood I started seeing warnings that I never thought I would see. On the umbrella stroller we purchased I was urged to remove my child BEFORE folding for storage. I was also made aware that the Superman costume I got for my son DID NOT enable him to fly. Sure, I was a little disappointed by that one, but I suppose I had to see it coming.
Most recently I was packing lunch for my kids and I noticed a label on the box of fruit snacks I had selected. It said "Keep Kids Safe! To avoid choking, give fruit flavored snacks only to those children who can easily swallow chewy foods." That seemed a little obvious, but understanding that companies would rather state the obvious than be slapped with a law suit justifies the blatancy. It was the last sentence on the tiny square of warning that really caught my attention though. It seemed to go beyond the obligatory 'use your brain people' and reach into the 'hey, and while we're at it, here's some advice' category. It said, "Children should be seated and supervised while eating"
Naturally I mentally recounted all of the moments where my children were not seated while eating (I couldn't recall any time when they were not supervised, as I was not there supervising) and thought about sending myself into a spiral of guilt for letting my children wander about while eating. Then I saw my daughter rush through the kitchen with a pop tart in her mouth looking for her other sock, followed by my husband zipping past me with a bagel in hand announcing that he was late before hastening out the door. I mentally made a note to share with them the bit of advice I had gleaned from Betty Crocker so that next time they zip around with food in their mouths I can say "Don't come crying to me when you choke on your food because you were neither seated nor supervised!"
I think I might take up the practice by adding my own advice to warnings the I see from now on, kind of like how my husband tacks his own saying to the end of fortunes from cookies. So, next time I see the warning 'May cause drowsiness' I might say something like 'Sleeping should be performed in a dark, quiet space'.