All of P in one Post

It’s only fitting that I end this year, putting all my P experiences into one post. This year has been one of terrible PROCRASTINATION. (I believe the tendency to put things off runs in my genes: I know my sister and at least one cousin claim this gene deficiency as well.)

The primary motivtion to living the abc life is to consciously seek new experiences. I love doing this and truly believe it adds quality to my life.

So here is the recounting of my December “P” month.

2 points for PLUM PUDDING. While in San Francisco this month, I headed out to my favorite Irish bakery. They had samples of Plum Pudding – which I’d never tasted – and it was delicious. (Did you know there are no plums in this baby? It’s thought that back in the 17th century the word “plum” referred to raisins or other fruits.)

2 points for PITCH PERFECT, a dollar movie experience that paid off big. Thoroughly enjoyable if you like a capella and silly college musicals. This film doesn’t take itself seriously but was thoroughly entertaining and had us wishing we could sing like that and shake our booties too!

2 points for a cocktail combining PROSECCO and POMEGRANATE called Skinny Bubbles. Not bad, but not memorable either. The restaurant, Deno’s in Plano, was a new experience and a pleasant surprise. A bit pricey for what you get but I will return because the food was good, the place was comfortable and convenient for us and the service friendly and accommodating.

1 point for The PARIS Wife by PAULA McClain. Ever since I went to Paris two years ago, I gravitate to stories of this city. This book was about Ernest Hemingway and his first wife Hadley and all their fabulous literary friends: Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald to name a few. Not a lifestyle I could or would maintain, but an interesting read.

Attempted to try the restaurant Papa Lopez but they closed early that day so it was a no go because of their no show.

This month I have been PENSIVE, giving some thought to who I am, what I’m doing and what I want. Haven’t found the answers but I do know a few things – and thus launches my new MORE or LESS zone, which I will do monthly.

I will work on having MORE PATIENCE. I used to be quite a patient person but as I get older, I’m more quick to get annoyed or bothered with people or situations. Having patience makes your life much easier and I will make a conscious effort this coming year to recapture the more mellow Laura.

I want LESS PILES. Piles of paper and stuff are annoying. They have to go! But it’s not just stacks of material things. When you pile up stacks of feelings, they take a toll as well. By new motto: Let it slide. Let it go.

Well that’s it. Another year of the abc life. Can’t wait for Q month tomorrow.

Thank you all for following along and I truly love when you comment.

Happy New Year!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

O time

I’m way past my O month, but I need to finish up by O experiences.

Back in November, I selected two O books, each of which had a fascinating premise. Unfortunately, I was unable to finish either book due to time constraints and other issues. I started both books to get a feel for them and will someday return to them and give them their rightful due.

The first book was The Outsourced Self: Intimate Life in Market Times by Arlie Russell Hochschild. The book examines what happens when we begin to outsource the most personal aspects of our lives. When we don’t have enough time ourselves but do have enough money to pay someone else to do it, are we wise to outsource and hire specialists to manage our children’s birthday parties, navigate the dating process, orchestrate our weddings, manage our children’s birthday parties and evenĀ  arrange for the care of our elderly parents? I’m an advocate of outsourcing areas of our business, but need more time to ponder how outsourcing our personal lives will eventually build or break our society. Are we better for it or do we lose something precious?

The other book was Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline. This book tackles the issue of how many of us are buying way too many clothes – mainly because they are so inexpensive that adding a new outfit to your wardrobe is almost as easy and often as cheap as buying a fast food dinner. Reading how the typical American consumer often buys a new item of clothing every week was an eye opener. The book points out how this unchecked consumption leads to more environmental waste and horrible working conditions, plus because the clothes are so cheap, they are being tossed quickly because they wear out and are don’t hold their shape. No one wins.

That wraps up my O month. This was long OVERDUE.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Sorry, but this OLDIE ain’t a goody to me

2 points for trying OJEDA’s Mexican Restaurant, a neighborhood fixture that has been around forever.. I have passed this place hundreds of times and knew I had to try it this month. Had a cheese quesadilla, which was tasty but not a good value. For $9, it was four small pieces (small!) and came with your choice of sour cream or guacamole, not both as is more typical of other places. So, I can check off another O experience and chuck it as a keeper.

2 points for OIL and Vinegar shop. Barbara already explained what it’s all about in the comment section below and it’s highly recommended. But the most fun was tasting the various flavors. Living the abc life, I had this shop on my list, just waiting for my O month to try it and I’m glad I made a point to try it.

0 points for Octopus. Sorry, just can’t try it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Onward with O

ODD book (2 points). Went to the Bookworm Bash this weekend looking for the odd book that called my name – and there it was: 505 Unbelievably Stupid Web Pages by Dan Crowley. Fascinating stuff. Checked out The ORIGINAL Densa Quiz, which tests to see how dumb you are. I got 9 out of 12 right, which I could have probably pushed to 10 had I just had a cup of coffee! The author rated this site with 7’s straight across the board for Abnormality, Stupidity and Entertainment. Another fun site was The ORACLE of Bacon, which lets you play the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon game. I picked my friend Janye Anderson – and there she was with a Bacon number of 3. That is one heck of a database, and the author rated it Abnormality 1, Stupidity 2, Entertainment 9.

Wanted to report more O outings, but ran out of time playing with Kevin.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

No, no, don’t go

My N month flew by. I have done quite a bit to live the “N” life, so here’s the lowdown:

NEIGHBORHOOD theater (2 points). A small theater (previously unheard of by me) featured a great play, “Over the River and Through the Woods,” by Joe DiPietro. It starred two great ladies who I know and admire: Janye Anderson and Karen Jordan. I went with some friends from my NEWCOMER Friends of Greater Plano organization to cheer on our talented cohorts. The play was hilarious and served as another great reminder that fun things to do are right under our nose.

NON-TIMED 5K Walker (2 points). Now this may be a stretch to use the N, but the abc life says the only rules you need to follow are your own. (Rather dangerous thinking, but if you’re making up the rules you can also bend them). I participated in the Susan G. Koman walk in Dallas recently. Yes, we had to get up at 5:00 a.m. but it felt great to get out there and do something to support women’s health. Amazing to see all the crazy outfits and to be part of the shared experience of honoring this great cause.

NOSH Euro Bistro (2 points). Fabulous food, great service and restful ambience. Goat cheese and beet salad was awesome and the banana bread pudding easily stepped into the Top 10 best bread puddings in the country. The menu changes seasonally so there’s plenty of reasons to return.

NUTELLA (2 points). I have always had an aversion to trying this. Something about the name? The look of it? But my friend Claire loves it and shared her jar. At first I thought it was okay. But then my preconceived notions of the taste overcame me and I decided I didn’t like it. So what does that say about holding onto long-term, untested beliefs? I’m thinking it means the longer we avoid forming an opinion on facts, the harder it is to displace it once we encounter reality. Would I have liked it better if I weren’t programmed to dislike it? Makes me wonder (and naturally there is a metaphor here).

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Noodles, Neiman’s and Nine

Hail to one new eatery and one new noodle. Had a rare girly day at Neiman Marcus, participating in YSL makeovers and Kate Somerville’s dermal quench treatment. Normally I don’t like anyone fussing with me in public, but I decided to get over myself and have fun with it. And what’s the logical thing to do after moisturizing and makeup? Eat, of course. So we tried the NEIMAN Marcus Cafe, better known as NM Cafe (2 points). Really enjoyed their chicken melt sandwich and their chips. Oh the chips – made on the premises and drizzled with ranch dressing sauce!

I love NOODLES and tried a new kind yesterday at Richardson’s Sushi Loco: Yaki Udon (1 point). Yum. It’s a thick, smooth white noodle with meat, special sauce and vegetables. I think noodles are one of the best comfort foods around – and I never pass up an opportunity to grab some comfort!

Now on to NINE (1 point). Nine gets the short end of the stick: always in the shadow of the great revered TEN. Interestingly, it’s considered a good number in China and an unlucky number in Japan. But I want to play homage to NINE this month. I donated nine books (eight to the library and one to a book club’s holiday basket) and put nine items of clothing into the Goodwill bag so far this month. Next, I’m going to tackle nine knicknacks (there’s probably someone out there who would love them; I certainly don’t) and nine pantry items that I’ll never use (why did I buy them?).

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Not Nice

It wasn’t nice to be gone so long. I thought I needed a break but it went on too long (a year, really?). I missed living the abc life. It did what it was intended to do: motivate me to do new things, read new authors, try new foods, discover all sorts of interesting facts and places – and be a little quirky to boot.

It’s too easy to fall back into stale routines, where weeks go by without any enrichment. I’m always busy, with or without the abc life, but I have so many more new experiences when I’m living it. That’s why you should try it too. Jump in with me on N or start from A and work your way through.

I never need motivation to read more, but to celebrate NATIONAL Book Month, I immediately discovered two interesting books.

1 point for A Monster Calls by Patrick NESS. Would never have picked up this book if it weren’t for the abc life, but it was one of the more amazing books I’ve read in a while. It’s a book for older children. It’s a book for adults. It’s a book that will break your heart and lift it up at the same time. I always know when I truly loved a book: I automatically hug it to me. Sounds corny but it’s like a reflex. The hardback version has incredible illustrations that are the perfect complement to this haunting, moving, riveting story of a young boy who is wrestling with his feelings and fears about his mother’s sickness. Check out the book trailer at YouTube:

1 point for Wingshooters by Nina Revoyr. Set in 1974 in a small, insulated Wisconsin town, this novel starts out slowly and builds to a tense climax. Dealing with racial bigotry and the convenient blinders people wear to see life through their own limited viewpoints, this story stayed with me for days. It scared me that 40 years ago may not be all that different from today. The voice of the book is a biracial woman (Japanese mother, white American father) who is looking back at the time in her childhood when she lived with her father’s parents. She shows how you can love someone even when you don’t always love who they are. Although I thought some of the characters’ actions were perhaps a bit of a stretch, it scares me to think that maybe they weren’t.

Both A Monster Calls and Wingshooters deal with children. Do you enjoy reading their stories and viewpoints too?

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments