What I Learned Today… jumping to interrupting

This will be the last post before I head out for England. I have a few Comic Con posts that will be automatically posting while I’m gone, but the mini-series will be continued when I get back in a couple of weeks.

Yesterday: Jumping has never been so much fun… teaching Thomas to jump.

The caveat is jumping was probably awesome the first time I learned, but sadly I don’t remember. Thomas has known the word “jump” for a while, but it wasn’t until recently he could actually get some air. In his swim class we have been trying to teach him to jump to us with little success. All of a sudden he has found new enthusiasm for jumping off stairs and steps.

Mimicking the language and feet positioning of how we get him to jump into the water, he places his little toes to the edge of the step and counts “1, 2, 3 and jump!” His jump is a little delayed mostly resulting in a step to the ground, but sometimes he jumps with such vigor, he is not prepared for the landing and ends up falling. Then it is “Mom jump.” Sometimes together, but mostly I think he is analyzing my form. Either way, a half hour of “1, 2, 3 and jump!” make you sleepy but cracking up at yourself for the rush it gives.  

Today: I revert to my horrible habit of interrupting when under stress or in a rush.

I have been working hard on kicking this habit for a while. My gut cringes every time words stream from my mouth before a person has finished their thought. I know better, but apparently my thoughts race to my lips faster than my conscience can stop them. From one conversation alone, I counted at least three times where I tried to finish a sentence for my boss (eek!) and each one was not met with appreciation. I really need to watch myself, especially when I get anxious, so I don’t get myself in any real trouble.

What I Learned Today… survival

When I was born, the number one song on the Billboard music charts was Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.”

Friends filled our living room this evening with chatter about the recently released nominees for the San Diego Music Awards, the state of radio and how it got to be that way, and astrology. The latter led to popular songs around when each of us were born. Not able to resist not knowing, I whipped out my iTouch and did a little Googling. “I Will Survive” was listed at number one on the Billboard music charts from March 10-24. But as our discussion grew in-depth, the Bee Gees’ “Tragedy” (the song that took #1 starting March 24) may have actually been more popular as the data tracking actually occurs about a week and a half prior to the release of the charts.

Just like astrology and numerology, in the mystical realm, the number one song at the time you were born seems to have some correlation to an individual as a person. Ok, so I made that up. But I can say I feel that “I Will Survive” personally reflects my perseverance and strength in life. I strive to be the best individual I can be and navigate the world around me as I am tossed curve balls everyday. So in turn, what does it mean when the number one song on the charts when Thomas was born was Lady GaGa’s “Just Dance”? Or even more insightful, please explain the significance of Roger’s top hit at birth, “Sugar Shack” by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs.

What I Learned Today… paper guitars, Martians and turtles

The last three days have been freakishly busy with Comic Con, friends in town, neighborhood events, family time, and even writing a short stories. Exhausted from walking miles, soaking in the sun and drinking a bit of wine, I am going to recap Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s learnings. With at least three Comic Con posts pending, the descriptions maybe short to save the real meat for posts coming soon.

Friday: If you are too lazy to learn guitar or Guitar Hero, you can still look good and rock out on a paper guitar.

Seriously… they make paper electronic guitars. Sold at your local Walgreens ($25) for the stoners and impulse buyers in all of us, WowWee has introduced Paper Jamz. It apparently has circut-embedded paper that senses your touch. After a few minutes of playing around, my friend was strumming along with Sweet Home Alabama.

According to the packaging, you can either strum along to the massive three song hit list, control the rhythm to said songs or create your own songs by playing the actual real chords. This last feature, if working as stated, would make this a pretty fun toy. My fingers would appreciate not to have to press down on any strings. And yes, I am sarcastically serious.

Saturday: I am a Martian.

Let’s just say I spent a little time with my hero on Saturday. At one month shy of 90, Ray Bradbury is still full of life. He shared his thoughts on the importance space travel in the survival of man. The moon, Mars and the universe is where we will call home.

Sunday: I won’t eat turtle soup for inexplicable reasons.

I don’t like turtle soup even though I’ve never had turtle soup. There were no plans to have turtle soup today, but Roger and I were discussing Bud’s Louisiana Cafe and how much he loves their seasonal turtle soup dish. In the midst of discussing why, each answer I gave was hypocritical and had no basis.

I eat meat of all kinds and I love most of these animals in their animal form. I also understand that the turtles used for the dish are raised specifically for eating. So animal rights is obviously not the issue. Then I thought maybe it is because I had a pet turtle once, but discarded that idea because 1) I had pet fish but I eat fish and 2) I let those turtles die. Sad but true. And since I have never eaten turtle meat, it can’t be the taste.

The conversation ended with Roger telling me I don’t have to have a reason why I don’t like turtle soup… anyway, it leaves more for him.

What I Learned Today… geeks and gas stations

Again I needed to catch up. Here are Wednesday and Thursday’s learnings:

Recent high school graduates at Comic-Con do not know who Ray Bradbury is.

This realization broke my heart. And I know in reality there has to be some young nerds in love with his work, but each kid I spoke to on Wednesday stared blankly at me as I shared the weekend panel I could not miss: Spotlight on Ray Bradbury. Without this man, there are many comics and tv shows that would not exist. His involvement in the development of animatronics brought to life many theme park rides and static displays. His writing inspired other authors to write. And he is the one that made writing a daily affair for me. The kind of affair you have to sneak around and find every possible moment to spend your time with. 

History should not be forgotten. I am enamored with the idea Ray Bradbury treks down to San Diego every year, partly because he can’t resist the draw of toys and comic books, but mostly to remind people to be true to themselves and their loves… whether that is writing, drawing, creating or just being a fan. I guess in the same way he reminds me, it is my duty to remind and share with today’s youth the same sentiments.

I will not go to a gas station without credit card/ATM service available at the pump.

Stoplights, waiting in line, going pee, and getting gas are some of my biggest pet peeves in the world. I know I am impatient. Peeing takes time out of my day, but it must be done which is why I find myself waiting until I have to explode… I need to keep tabs on this during Comic-Con.

But today, I was nearly out of gas (because I of the same reason as above) so I drive to the nearest gas station on the way to where I am headed. I circle into the station and drive up to the pump, before getting out of the car I look up at the pump with a white, weathered piece of paper posted over where the credit card display would be stating, “Please see cashier for ATM and credit card service.” Barely stopping, I swerve out of the lot in search of the next nearest station. Luckily it wasn’t far, but one of these days I’m sure I will run out of gas before stopping at a station without this simple modern-day convenience.

What I Learned Today… rain boots and perfection

I recognize I am not super-human (a fact I have known for a while). When life gets crazy, writing takes a back seat, but the learning never stops. So here are my learnings from yesterday and today.

It is amazingly easy to find rain boots in the summer.

After a slight panic attack yesterday about leaving for the UK next week to camp in Leeds, started my hunt for quality rain boots since it has been raining there for weeks… and rain equals mud. But even in the heat of summer, I didn’t have to dig too deep; rain boots are everywhere (Target, DSW, Wal-Mart, etc.) without a drop of rain in sight.  It is a funny phenomenon but true. Similarly it is hard to find fans and swim suits in the middle of summer because stores don’t want to restock in late July even though San Diego summers REALLY last until late October and sometimes into November. But  rain boots? Really? It won’t be raining here again until January but you wouldn’t know that by window shopping.

There is no such thing as perfect communication.

We all need to communicate in our lives to make relationships work, with work, family and friends. Striving to have good communication is something I have been working on since college. But communication is two-way, giving and receiving on both ends. Since I have little control over the other end, achieving perfect communication. I am constantly amazed at how many people feel communication in various situations at work think it only goes one way. Complaints abound about how they are never told about things that are happening… but at the same time these same individuals don’t ask questions or make an effort to seek out the information.

And then there is communication breakdown, or in other words, forgetting to tell others what is going on (mostly unintentional). This can lead to hurt feelings, frustration, and sometimes, confusion.

Today, we had a forty-five minute discussion on the topic of communication, between coworkers of various levels within the organization. It was not on my agenda, but the resulting discussion (since there was not much of a conclusion) created a more relaxed environment at least in the room. Just knowing their voices had been heard, and understood, made them feel better.

Over all it was an important conversation in understanding the various levels of perceptions and assumptions taking place… no matter how painful and uncomfortable the situation was. I’m pretty sure telepathy is the answer to all communication issues.