Wednesday, February 25, 2009

100 And Counting

I think it's safe to say that this years Oscars were a HUGH-GE Success!
I think Hugh Jackman was a fabulous host;and I'd love to see him there again. I've even wondered if his success might inspire Billy Crystal to take another stab at it - hmm. Hugh was the consummate performer and I found him thoroughly entertaining. He really set the tone.
I truly appreciated the Academy's efforts to save money by having the same presenters for multiple awards; however,I thought it was EXTREMELY tacky of them to pan to Angelina while Jennifer Aniston was presenting her awards. Yes, Yes, I know that we were all wondering what was going on in the minds of Jen, Brad and Angelina; but everyone at my house gave a big old "Oh know they didn't" when that happened.
Although I really enjoyed the show in its entirety; some of the highlights for me were, when Kunio Kato (who won the Oscar for his animated short La Maison en Petits Cubes) was accepting his award and after thanking his pencil he said "Domo arigato Mr. Roboto." CLASSIC! Now THAT was funny; and when Sean Penn began his acceptance speech by saying "You commie, homo-loving sons of guns;" loved it!
Then of course, there was the fashion. My faves included Sarah Jessica Parker , Natalie Portman, Penelope Cruz, Kate Winslett and Meryl Streep
The misses for me included The Black and Blue girls; Queen Latifah and Reese Witherspoon. I adore them both, really, I do; but their dresses were dreadful. Tilda Swinton just plain scares me. I think Peter Jackson must have dressed Phillip Seymour Hoffman for the night. If he were alive I might have guessed that Ray Charles dressed Whoppi Goldeberg for the night; (I mean leopard print moo-moo really?) And what can I politely say about Sophia Loren? I can't even bear to show you a picture of that one; but suffice it to say she looked extremely weathered and was dressed as a lamp from a French bordello. Ok, so maybe that wasn't SO polite - sorry Sophia.

I was VERY happy for Kate Winslett's win as her performance really was outstanding. I think it's a mark of a great actress when you forget who SHE is, and see her totally as the charachter. This was the case for me with kate and "The Reader. I'm very happy that the World has embraced "Slumdog Millionaire' and if you haven't seen it yet; it came out on DVD on Feb 24th.

It is genuinely surreal to me that another Oscar season has come and gone; and that this is actually my 100th post. I feel like I've got a lot of kinks to work out; but I'm hoping that you'll stick it out with me. During the past 99 posts, I know that I've had a couple of real hits and I've really tanked some as well; but I'm going to try and toughen my skin up and press on. I have been the Queen of Self Doubt lately (OK; not just lately) and I have really been questioning my decision to pursue a writing career. I honestly can say that every fiber of my being tells me that I should be a writer; but I know that I need to be even MORE selective about my subject matter. You know they say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Well I guess I can cancel my reservation at the local sanitarium, because I don't EXPECT different results; however, I am fully aware that I have made some bad choices - and I am dedicated to not letting that happen again.

I thank everyone that reads The Bumpy Ride; and I hope that you will continue to do so. I think there may have been some problems with the feed lately, so if you notice that you aren't getting at least a weekly post, please try to sign up for the feed again.
Till next time...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lyndzi's Advice

No one has ever accused me of having a "Mary Sunshine" type personality - although I must say that I think I have become a much more positive person over the years. I enjoy thinking the best of a person or a situation (until proven wrong.) I like to believe that things will work out and that the World is a good place, where wonderful things can happen. Luis on the other hand, started out being one of the MOST positive people that I have ever met, and now; though I hate to say it, he is definitely prone towards negative thinking. Ironic, how we have reversed roles over the past 15 years; but lucky for us, the kids seem to take after me. Maybe it's because they're kids,(and they haven't learned not be optimistic,) or maybe it's because (not to pat ourselves on the back;) we're doing a good job with them - but I have to say in my humble opinion, that I have some AMAZING children who have fascinating views of the World around them and what they are going to contribute to it.
Each of my children is Very special in their own way.
Nicky is wise beyond his years. He's thoughtful, and kind and he is learning to be his own person, which is very difficult for him because he is excruciatingly shy.

Kelsie on the other hand is a pistol. She is challenging, and quick to share her point of view. She is profound, and though she can be arguing with you one minute; if you got hurt, she would trample anyone to get to you and provide assistance. (She's REALLY good with a Band Aid.)
And then there's Lyndzi.
Although Lyndzi is my middle child; I'm mentioning her last, because she is the one who inspired this post.
Lyndzi is now 7 years old, and given the tenuous degrees of positivity in our home; she is an extraordinary example of nature vs. nurture, because I think she came out of the womb smiling. Lyndzi is a VERY special girl, and from a very early age, strangers have even remarked about it. Oh, Lyndzi is a beauty with her big brown eyes and her perfect curls, but what really makes her beautiful, is her soul. Lyndzi is radiant, she emanates positivity and if you look at her you can't help but smile. Lyndzi ALWAYS has a kind word for everyone, and she's never had a teacher that hasn't simply adored her. As a matter of fact; I had a conference with her teacher yesterday, and she is doing so extremely well academically, that the teacher didn't really have much to say. So she said "What can I say, She's Lyndzi. She's just terrific. She has a ton of friends, but she never gets involved in any of the little cat fights." She went on to say "Lyndzi is just amazing. There's just SOMETHING about her. She's a very special little girl." And I'm sure that I don't have to tell you how proud I was to hear this.
Now really, I'm not just pulling a Carolyn Applebee here on you. ("I Love Lucy" reference, in case I lost you.) This post is intended to do more than just gloat about my daughter; so let's move on.
All 3 of my kids have Asthma to varying degrees. Nicky was diagnosed at 2 and takes a daily inhaler and medication, Lyndzi was diagnosed when she was 3 and she too takes a daily inhaler and medication; and Kelsie's is more situational; so when she gets sick we have to break out the nebulizer to give her a breathing treatment. Well, Lyndzi just hasn't been 100% since October. She frequently had a cough and frequently required breathing treatments. She even got sick when we were in Puerto Vallarta and had to go to the doctor. She was prescribed antibiotics,which she finished shortly after we got back home;and within 2 weeks she was sick again. I took both girls to the doctor because Kelsie had also started coughing; and if I was going for one, I might as well have both checked. They sent Lyndzi for a sinus and chest x-ray; both of which came back negative; and diagnosed Kelsie with an upper respiratory infection. Within 3 weeks of that, Kelsie was diagnosed with pneumonia, and Lyndzi's asthma continued to worsen. I was in the doctor's office every day last week between Sun and Thursday; and finally on Thursday, they diagnosed Lyndzi with RSV in addition to all of the Asthma problems that she had been experiencing. We finally got her on an antibiotic, in addition to a new inhaler, a new allergy medicine and some steroids. I was told to keep her out of school until Monday.
On Monday I sent both girls back to their schools. I told Lyndzi to go to the nurse to use her inhaler at lunchtime, and to have the teacher call if she wasn't feeling well. Lyndzi made it through the day; and when she got in the car, I asked as I always do "How was your day?" And she replied as she typically does, by saying "It was GREAT!" She then said "Guess what Mama?" And of course you know what I said; so she said "I signed up to volunteer to clean tables in the cafeteria." "Well that was very nice of you. Why did you do that?" I said. To which she replied "Because I think it's great to help." And of course, I was just touched, at how truly remarkable my daughter is. I mean her first day back at school, after being so sick, and there she is volunteering to clean tables because it's great to help. Well, let me not paint her as such a saint; I mean I have a table or two at home that she is MORE than welcome to clean, and yet she doesn't seem to think it's so great to help here. LOL Just kidding, She can help wherever her precious little heart desires. When Nicky got home from school; I told Lyndzi to tell him what she was going to do; and so a similar conversation ensued. "Hey Nick, guess what I signed up to do in the cafeteria." To which Nicky very dryly replied "clean tables." And Lyndz said "Yah, how'd you know?" And Nicky (again dryly) said "Because it's the only thing you can sign up for in the cafeteria." And then a VERY animated Lyndzi asked "Well have you ever done it?" And an appalled Nicky replied "NO!" And Lyndzi sounded as if she couldn't believe her ears, nor could she believe that her brother would deprive himself of such an experience. So she continued "Well Why not?" And he told her that it was becasue he didn't want to be late for class. She tried to assure him that this wouldn't be a problem, but he wasn't interested.
(OK, so maybe you had to be there; but it really was just too cute.)
So today, I went to Target while the kids were at school so that I could buy some sweets for my sweets; and as I was looking for a parking spot, I found one but there was a cart in the way. Someone was walking by, but I didn't ask them to move it, nor did it seem to cross their mind; so I took a spot a few spots away. As I was walking through the parking lot, I thought to myself "I'm going to be like Lyndzi; I'm going to help" and although it was not a huge action, I moved the shopping cart from the spot, so that the next person who came along would be able to pull right in. And you know what; Lyndzi was right; it did feel great to help. Just a little random act of kindness, and no one will even know that it occurred - but it does feel nice to be nice. The World could definitely use a little more nice these days. So to you I say, take Lyndzi's advice; go out of your way to help or do something nice; not because what goes around comes around, but just because you can.
Till next time...

Drawing by Lyndzi Alizette Ramos - Age 7

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

You Asked For It...

Oh how my cup runneth over. I potentially had 3 different blogs that I could do tonight; which I must say is HIGHLY unusual for me. For topic #1, I was waiting for a piece of information . Yes, sometimes, I actually do gather information before I go typing away. And just in case said information did not arrive in time; I had a back up plan. Then at dinner, idea #3 presented itself; and just as I was ready to go with #2 or 3, I found that piece of information that I was waiting for when I got home; and hence I'm going with my original idea. Never fear, #2 and 3 will not be long to follow; and thus begins our Bumpy Ride.

Previously I have advised in disclaimers that this is not becoming an all scrapbooking blog, or not becoming an all political blog; and tonight I will follow those disclaimers with: This is not becoming an all Guy Collura blog; and yes BL, I have his complete and total permission to use his name; as THAT was the piece of information that I was waiting for.
Now, not to rehash this story OVER and OVER again, but I would like to just give my version of a "Reader's Digest" version of the whole story; just in case by some chance you've forgotten where we left off; OR if you happen to be joining me for the first time (WELCOME!)

In June of 2007, I posted a blog about meeting Maksim Chmerkovskiy from "Dancing With The Stars;" and I wrote about how I was SO nervous to meet him; and I likened it to how I felt about Guy Collura in high school; as I had this "crippling" crush on him etc. etc. Then a few months ago, I received a comment from Guy in regards to this blog; so I became painfully aware that he in fact had read all of my confessions about the crush. In his comment, Guy said that he noticed that I had taken a picture with Maks, but never with him. To which I replied; "I couldn't even say hello to you; let alone get close enough to take a picture." Well, after writing my blog entitled "Forty one candles" and exposing how utterly embarrassed I was that Guy had seen the blog; he again left me a comment or two; OK three, telling me not to be embarrassed; which I must say, was very kind, very gracious and very sweet; however, due to the conditions in which the comments (now deleted) were received; I was suspicious that perhaps it wasn't Guy who wrote the comments after all, but someone else; without as honorable intentions; and this forced me to go from being mortified to being to being courageous; and I found his number and called him. Yes, Yes, I know that if you've been following the blog, you've heard all this before. And you're probably thinking my god, what's #2 and 3. And if we're personally friends, you've heard it before ad nausea um; BUT if you're new to "TBR" let me assure you that reading each of the original posts will be FAR better than the synopsis that I am providing now; and yet, I REALLY do have a point.
When I spoke to Guy, one of the things that we discussed was how the comment section really picked up once he got involved. You see, Guy had made a comment inferring that there were naked pictures of him, floating around the Internet and this aroused the curiosity of many of my readers. The ladies commented that they would like to see pictures of Guy, (not naked; just pictures;) and he agreed to oblige them.

So now it seems that we've come full circle. I went from writing about a crush (and I never in a million years would have expected the crush to read it;) to actually being friends with him. And yah, I think we're friends. We've emailed a few times so that he could send me the pictures that I'm going to share; but hmm, now that I have them, perhaps I won't be hearing from him. I did suggest that he join Facebook, and we're "friends" there; so yah, I think it's safe to say that we're friends and after all these years; that is just mind blowing to me. Trust me when I tell you that if you would have told me back in 1980whatever that in 2009 Guy Collura and I would be emailing each other; I would have said "what the hell is email?" HAHAHA, OK, just kidding, I would not have believed it of course. But hey TRUTH really is stranger than fiction; ESPECIALLY in my life.
Funny, but I'm actually not embarrassed anymore. In a way, I'm actually thankful because after all of these years, I finally got to talk to the guy that I thought was so terrific; (really just based on what he looked like,) and it seems that he also looks good on the inside too.
Till next time...