Saturday, February 27, 2010

comfort zones - Hockey!!!

This is it, Sunday is the final men's hockey game of the 2010 Winter Olympics. I think the world knows who the two teams are going to be in that final game - Canada and the US.
Naturally, I am hoping Canada gets the gold.
I wonder what the stats are going to be for how many people all over the world are going to be watching that game?
Who sits in comfort while watching a game like that? While I'm thinking of it, I wonder if there are going to be moments when people at home are going to be standing and jumping, too.
While I'm not thinking of comfort and warm fuzzies when I'm watching great hockey, I do think of the comfort I feel with the people I share watching the game.
The barriers come down, and we state opinions and cheer knowing that we are all comfortable with each other.
Regardless of the team we cheer for, we share a common bond. Even for those of us who don't regularly watch hockey but will watch this one, it still becomes a common bond we share with everyone in the room.
Bonding. It's so important. And once we find a common bond with someone, it's easier to feel comfortable with them, even if it's only for one small interest.
Here's my thought/question of the day/weekend. When you are in a situation with someone you don't know, how do you strive to find that common bond? Of course, once we find one bond and actually start talking, isn't it often surprising at how many other common bonds there are?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

comfort zones - what do you do in your car?

The power of advertising can be quite powerful, even when it's subtle.
I'd mentioned earlier that I'd heard a commercial in the car on the radio that said your car is your only true comfort zone, it's the only time and place you are truly alone, in your own private little capsule.
Naturally the commerical was for... a brand of car that I can't remember, and I like my little red econcomy car very much, it's a keeper.
But the point of commercial has obviously stuck with me. My car is my comfort zone, where no one can hear me, and often no one sees me. Really, how often do we really look at the driver of other cars on the road? If a driver makes a mistake, or drives too aggressively or carelessly, do we look at the person? No, often we blame "that (insert color here) car". The car has become a personality of its own, and we don't think much of the driver, because from a distance, we don't know gender or age.
Which brings me back to thoughts of what I do in my car when I'm essentially alone.
I don't sing well. For someone who is a performing musician, many people are surprised that I sing so badly. It is true. In both the jazz band and the concert band, we all just play our instruments, no one sings. Especially not me. There is one band I'm that does have vocal talent. Let's just say they took my microphone away at church for a reason.
But in my car... I'm a star. In fact, sometimes I'm the whole band.
My thought/question of the day is - what do you do in your car when you're all alone and no one is watching. Do you feel comfortable enough to do what you wouldn't do if someone was listening or watching?
If you're not, then I think you should try it. Live dangerously in your own little comfort zone. You deserve it.

Monday, February 22, 2010

comfort zones - are you comfortable with scales?

No, I don't mean the kind of scales we stand on - I'm not comfortable with those at all! I mean the other kind of scales - reptilian scales.
Yes, I'm going to talk about my lizard. Well, a little, anyway.
The lizard really belongs to one of my sons, but he (we are assuming it's a 'he') has turned out to be the family's lizard because we're all very fond of him. He's quiet, he doesn't smell, and even though he doesn't do much, he does resond to us when we talk to him. The best thing about him is that he likes to snuggle. He's a cold-blooded creature and he likes to lounge in the heat, so when we pick him up he appreciates and takes advantage of our body heat. Sitting and watching television, unless he feels like exploring, he will sit quietly on us for hours.
But he's not soft and fuzzy like most pets people have.
He's actually, yes, read my subject title, scaly. He's not a pattable pet. Actually sometimes we do pat him, but you can only pat him one way, down. It's also not the same "warm fuzzies" we get from patting our dogs.
But everything said and done, the lizard is quite harmless and the most docile animal I've ever seen domesticated. Yet, so many people are afraid to touch him. I don't thinke he looks mean. In fact, I've been bitten by some fuzzy and allegedly freindly furry pets, and it hurts. The lizard has never bit anyone, and I don't think he would ever want to. Yet some people are afraid of him because he's a little ugly. Based on perception, of course.
So here's my question/thought of the day. Have you ever based an opinion on appearance only and not given the situation a chance? If you could go back and do it over again, what would you do?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Comfort zones - invasion of privacy

Before I go further, I've changed my mind about posting Monday Wednesday and Fridays. A friend told me that most people simply don't check blogs on Friday, and I know most Fridays I don't go on the computer at all. So I've decided to post Saturdays instead of Fridays. So welcome to my first "official" Saturday promised post. Last weekend didn't count because I was sick and that's why I posted Saturday.
Still on the topic of comfort zones, which is where I like to be, I feel like expounding on a topic that has been on one of my email loops - and that is invasion of privacy online. And, what we can do to make it better, or worse.
My kids are not little, so I'm no longer concerned about them being stalked by sickos or kidnapped off the playground. But that is the reason that kids are taught, or should be taught, what they should and should not say to "friends" online. I say that with quotations because we all know, or should know, that not everyone is as they seem to be online. So we teach our children not to give out too much personal information that could idenify them, or show unsavory people ways to find them in real life.
But do we follow our own advice? I'm blogging, which makes it really easy to say things that a potential stalker could use to find me. Not that I'll ever be important enough or famous enough to be worth stalking. But that's not the point.
I don't say the names or ages of my children, first off, I'm evasive with locations and I would never say when I'm planning to travel and be away from home, even though with the shifts of my family, and my husband working from home, there is never a time when there is no one home, including our dogs, one of which is Miniature Schnauzer so an intruder surely would be deaf from the barking by the time they left. But my other dog is over 50 lbs and very territorrial, and he does bite, and he bites hard while the other dog barks, and we also have a contracted burglar alarm.
So my question/thought of the day is - for all the stuff you do online, do you think before you speak/write/type/blog that when you post online it's there for everyone to see, including people you may not want?
Of course, please don't let that last question stop you from posting a comment. Just don't tell me your full name, age, birthday, and address when you do. :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Comfort zones - stranger in the room

Is there anything more uncomfortable than walking into a room when everyone knows everyone else, except you?
Well, yes, I'm sure there is. But that is one situation that I think most of us find uncomfortable. Last night at band practice, I remember when I was that one person walking in, and I only knew one person there, not tremendously well, but it was clear from the camraderie that everyone there knew everyone else really well.
Of course, my place that I had to take was not near the one person in the room whom I knew.
If you've looked at my web page then you've no doubt seen that not only did I go back the next week, I kept going back. I soon became one with the crowd, and developed a new circle of friends within that crowd. In fact, the band stuff has become a big part of my life, and I would have really missed a lot if I hadn't overcome that fear of being the stranger in the crowd.
Here's my question/thought of the day. The next time a newcomer comes into your established group, what do you do? Do you take a few extra steps beyond the basic welcome to make that person feel like they could be a part of the group one day? Do you remember what it's like to be the new face in the crowd?
I'm sure glad someone went the extra step for me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Comfort zones - back in the comfortable rut

I hope everyone had a happy Valentine's Day. Mine wasn't so great with me and the family being sick most of the weekend, so maybe I'll take a raincheck on it for next weekend. Besides, when I go grocery shopping tonight, all the chocolate will be on for at least 30% off. Maybe half price? Gotta love it.
But for now life is back to normal, and does it ever feel good.
I have stuff to catch up on, but I'm back in that comfort zone.
Here's my question/thought of the day. After taking some down time, whether forced or deliberate, how do you feel about being back in your daily routine?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Comfort zones - where do you go?

I know I said I was going to post new blogs Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. As you can see today is Saturday.
Speaking of comfort zones, that's why I didn't post yesterday.
I got knocked off my feet with the flu yesterday. Little headache when I got up, but as the morning progressed I felt worse and worse until I had to retreat. I was in bed all afternoon and I finally pulled myself out to the couch with my dog and my blankie about 7ish to watch part of the 2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies. You can see I didn't make it downstairs to my computer until now, which is Saturday afternoon.
Laying in bed feeling like I had been hit by a truck, then backed over for good measure, I thought of my current topic of comfort zones.
Of course when I felt sick I went home and straight to bed. I don't know about anyone else, but I find that kids, even young adult or near-adult kids, have a really hard time seeing Mom sick. Since Mom is always the care-giver, kids seldom know what to do when they are the ones who need to give the care back, so fortunately for me I don't get sick often.
But when I'm down, I have to say my kids are pretty good. They always make sure I have a glass of juice nearby, whether I want it or not, and most important, when I am down for the count, they have learned to make their own supper. Of course, now that they have jobs, making supper means making a trip to the nearest pizza-take-out. But they looked out for themselves, and even me too, even though I didn't want any pizza.
So here is today's question/thought of the day.
When you're down for the count, were is your comfort zone? Your bed? The couch? On the way home I heard a commercial on the radio - the bottom line was that a person's car is their only true personal space, and that is certainly true in the perspective of the only time many of us get to be truly alone. I'm seldom home alone. Even if I am, my dogs are there with me. That makes a car a comfort zone, too. And here's a question for all the other moms out there. When you're down and your family looks after you, are you a good patient, even though they don't do it the way you would?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

comfortable as a band geek

Recently I was called a geek, and while I have mixed feelings about that, today I proved that I am another kind of geek. I am a certified and proud-to-be-one official Band Geek.
I went to a VSO concert tonight - that's Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and they played one of my favorite compositions of all time - George Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue. It was phonemenal. Back when I was in high school I played that, some parts better than other, and not much of it up to speed. So watching the pianist took my breath away, and listening to the orchestra accompanying the soloist, who was also the conductor,left me speechless. Aside from the fact that you're not allowed to talk during a concert. But if we would have been allowed, I would have been speechless.
Besides the mass talent, I was also awed that they had six string basses.
Yes, I snuck in some photos.
I wonder, if Hollywood buys my next book to make a movie, maybe I can run away and join the orchestra with my bass...
Yes. I could do that.
After all, I'm comfortable as a band geek.
My question for the thought of the day. If you could run away to follow a dream and be comfortable at it, what would you do?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Comfortable as a geek?

Maybe this wasn't actually discomfort, but it was an odd moment. Awkward, anyway.
Yesterday someone I know asked me, in all seriousness as she was wording an email, "What's the opposite of geek?"
There's a modern-day question. What exactly is the opposite of a geek? What, in today's world, is a geek? Certainly different than the definitions and connotations the word held ten years ago.
Not being sure of the reason she was asking, I didn't know what to say because the context of the question would affect the answer.
Therefore I told her I wasn't really sure of her question. To my surprise, she looked me straight in the eye and said, "You know, the opposite of you."
I'm a geek? When did this happen?
On that note, here's my thought provoking question of the day. What is a geek, and, what is the opposite of one, and where do you fit in on the geek-graph-line?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

More on comfort zones

Many of us roll along from day to day in the same patterns. Sometimes we feel like we're in a rut, but other days, that rut feels pretty comfortable, and we rename it to be a "routine".
Sometimes I wonder exactly what the difference is. Some days I groan about the same-old-same-old, but other days when I get shaken up I long to be back in my predicatable comfort zone.
Most days I grumble about the traffic. But today I got caught in the traffic jam when there was an accident on the bridge. That boring trip across the bridge that usually takes 3 minutes took half an hour today, and I was late for band practice. Yesterday the trip over the bridge was a rut. Today it was pure stress. I think tomorrow it will be a comfortable routine.
My thought of the day is, what do you do when you're stuck in traffic?
If someone has a dog, the dog goes for a nice walk.
Sometimes I see a person in the car next to me with the music up loud, singing and playing drums on the steering wheel. Yes, they look ridiculous, but... maybe I'm just jealous because they're having a better time than me.
Of course it would be different if I had my upright bass in the car.
Now wouldn't that be something to take out of the car in a traffic jam?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Comfort zones - opener

It's Feb 1st, and I'm going to slip into something new. I'm going to hold this topic for a month and invite anyone to participate. I also plan to update with a new post every Sunday or Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
The topic of the month is - Comfort Zones.
The reason I'm picking this topic is that this is the theme of my new book, The Narrow Path, that's coming out in May 2010.
In the book, Miranda has left her comfortable life in Seattle, and unwittingly walked into a community and lifestyle with which she is completely unfamilar.
All of us experience the experience of leaving our personal comfort zone to varying degrees. Sometimes it's as simple as walking into a store we've never been at before, we need one item, and because the store is unfamiliar, we can't find it. What do we do? Wander around? Leave and plan to go somplace else later, even though we don't have time? Ask for help?
Me, I usually get sidetracked, eventually ask for help, then I'm late to the destination I was really going.
Uh.... I might have even gotten a bit sidetracked when typing out this blog...
Computer Solitaire Spider should be labeled a dangerous sport, I say.
What sidetracks you? (and what's your highest score?)