Friday, April 25, 2008

In praise of praise
I subbed for Husband this morning on the radio. 6-9am is not my best time of day, but I had a great time. In honor of his style of show I moved out of my usual music and really mixed it up. Blues, jazz, bluegrass, Latin, world; a little bit of everything from French pop to Native American rock to avant jazz. (If you're interested, you can check out my playlist.)

I had a great time and, even better, my listeners did too. Husband said it was a wonderful show and forwarded on to me an e-mail from a friend of his who said some very nice things. All this praise has put me in a very good mood.

What is it about praise that makes you feel so good? It's amazing how just a few kind words or a pat on the back and lift your spirit and make a so-so day into something special. It's so easy to give to other people (and yet so rarely given) and when you are the recipient it's a total high.

Growing up I wasn't much on the receiving end of praise. Which makes it all the more special now when it comes my way. It's such a great feeling to know your work (or whatever) has been noticed and appreciated. So in honor of making people's day, I urge you to praise someone today. You'll make their day, I promise.

In other news, how to make the glacially slow-moving sport of Cricket more exciting? Cheerleaders! Yes, scantily clad, well-endowed women shaking their booties in between innings. Life is weird.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

CD Pick of the Week: Ba Cissoko
Electric Griot Land by Ba Cissoko, a Guinean singer/kora player backed by some cousins (equally talented) on percussion, balafon, bass, guitars, programming. Plus some sterling non-family guest stars. Wonderful music. Every track is worth at least one star. A fabulous blend of the Griot tradition and modern musical influences with lots of unexpected twists.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Oh the pain, the pain!
Today was a migraine day. I woke up with one this morning (and also with a cat on my head...the two items may or may not be connected) and it lasted until about...well, I still have a headache. Four Imitrexes later I'm at least functional and can be in a lighted room, with noise, and upright.

Migraines are interesting things, when they aren't crippling your life. Part of my brain was registering all the pretty waves of color when I closed my eyes. The other part was praying for oblivion. Or at least sleep so I wouldn't know I was in pain. I spent the day in bed (with a break on a sofa to see if sitting up would help. Sometimes it does. Today it didn't.) wondering what evil I did to deserve the headache and making mental lists of all the things that I planned on doing today (getting an X-ray of my back, reviewing some CDs, grocery shopping, going to Husband's mailbox, laundry). Wow...upon reading over that list I think I'm glad I had a headache, what an incredibly dull day!

So yesterday I went to my favorite independent bookstore, Kepler's in Menlo Park. Heaven! Bless me father for I have sinned. I have absolutely no will power when it comes to Kepler's. None. Zip. Nada. I went in with the firm intention of buying nothing but the latest book group selection. I came out with three books. One in hardcover! (The latest Jacqueline Winspear "Maisie Dobbs" novel.)

In my defense, I will say that I could easily have walked out with about seven books. OK, seventeen. Wandering through the store all my acquisitiveness comes out. I want that one. Oooh...and that one. Oh cool, Arturo Perez Reverte has a new one! And Martha Grimes. Oh god, get me out of here before my Visa card explodes.

Monday, April 21, 2008

On the kitten patrol
Today was my first shift at the kitten nursery at the Peninsula Humane Society. So far only one litter, but oh my goodness are they cute! And tiny. The "big bruiser" tops out at a whopping 15.5 ounces. His two sisters are about 13.5 each. They're approximately 4 weeks old and have to be fed through a syringe. I can't believe how small and helpless they are.

I got to the shelter early and walked around looking at the available animals. If we weren't already owned by Cipher, the World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You if You Disagree (tm), I would have brought home 2 or 3. There are so many of them who need loving homes. The three who stick in my mind are a tiny black thing with two white paws. A big, beautiful blond cat with the sweetest little meow. And a beautiful calico youngster who tried to eat the string on my sweatshirt hood. OK, there are about a dozen more I noticed.

Please, if you have any room in your heart and home for an animal I urge you to "adopt, not shop" for a pet. The PHS has dozens of adorable, sweet, deserving cats and dog (plus bunnies, guinea pigs, mices and more) that can totally change your life (for the better, of course.) Adding Cipher to our family really completed it. She's brought so much love, joy, and life into our home. If I could have more I would, but I don't think it would be fair to Cipher. But if you don't have a pet, please consider adopting a stray.