Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ending 2011

Do You Have Anything For Me?

     Recently, Lucas, our next door neighbor, came up to Donna as she was getting out of the car, smiled and  asked, "Do you have anything for me?"  He is 4 years old and at that age his thoughts originate in his head and take a non-stop flight to the public runway without the benefit of any air traffic control.  God encourages us to be like children and I think this is what He has in mind;  total honesty and truth without any cultural or behavioral circumventions. In other words, people should  try not to act like adults.

      I don't know why Lucas said what he said since our meetings with him do not usually end in a gift presentation, but it was on his mind and he probably thought it would be a nice question to ask.  Since he is one of the smartest people I know,  it got me to thinking. Why not have a "Do You Have anything For Me" day?  We could spend one day a year posing that question to those around us, receiving and then giving a compliment (and only compliments) to those we ask.
      Unlike April Fool's Day, we would get some positive reinforcement.  Most of us go through life without any structured encouragement so this could be a feel good day as well as an educational one.  You get to learn something about yourself..."Me?  You think I'm a good parent?  Really?"  Just a thought.  As always, thank you Lucas!

Best Travel Tips of 2011:  Innocents Abroad

On Thanksgiving morning, Donna and I met a dear old friend at the airport. She is a former airline employee who has visited over 82 countries and travels alone.  Her husband, Jay, has culinary tastes that exist within a very small range and is so finicky he will only travel to places he can get a hamburger/meat and potatoes prepared to his liking.  He's not going to be trying out the Malabar cuisine in Riyadh's newest restaurant anytime soon;  so his travel tolerance eliminates most foreign countries,  and come to think of it, a good chunk of the US.

      I asked her how she handles traveling alone since some of those 82 countries involve the third world and/or countries with high crime rates.  She told me she has 3 rules she always follows.  I'm sure these rules have been mentioned in one form or another in travel publications like Conde Nast and Travel and Leisure magazine, but they bear repeating.
  1. Dress like a bum - be sure you wear colors that don't match, fabric of poor quality, and design patterns that clash.  She buys most of her travel clothes at thrift shops i.e.,  foreign thrift shops.  She regards luggage as an unnecessary encumbrance and puts a change of personals and feminine particulars in her purse.  That's it.
  2. Shave your head - it makes you look odd and unapproachable.
  3. Don't initiate any conversations - and she has found people on the plane usually keep their distance.
     Happy Trails To You 

Best Dog Day of The Year

     One day we took our son's dog, Bruno, with us to visit Donna's stepmother at the local assisted living facility during their lunchtime.  We walked into the expansive dining hall that contained about 30 tables, 4 residents per table.  Most residents ambulate with the assistance of aluminum walkers that have two tennis balls affixed to the rear legs. 

     Bruno had a blast.

Worst Dog Day of The Year

     In September when we were up in Boston visiting our son, Donna received the following text on her phone from Sam and Jane who were dog sitting Bruno for us

Sam Felner, Friday Sept 30, 1:32pm

 Elias just peed on Bruno.


     No, Elias is a 2 year old boy.

Best Book I Read in 2011

Unbroken:  A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, by Laura Hillenbrand. An inspiring story of someone whose life can barely be contained between the book's covers.  He embodies the American spirit; he is what this country used to be about and will be again.  Ms. Hillenbrand also is an interesting story herself.  If you get time...

Best Movies I Saw in 2011

Not a good year for cinema verite.  Can you think of one good apocalyptic zombie movie this year?  Just one? Me either.
Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express - Yes, a familiar story, but the ending is terrific.  Poirot (David Suchet) is holding a rosary, agonizing about the reconciliation of justice and mercy.
Fracture -  Guy kills his wife.  Anthony Hopkins. What else do you need to know.
500 Days of Summer - Ok, a superficial chick flick.  I liked it.  Don't tell anybody.

                                                                        (Google Images)

Wishing You All a Very Happy and Holy Christmas and an Outstanding 2012!

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