Getting Noticed – How To Be Seen While Invisible

The desperate cry for help came from above me, below me, and right beside me. I searched everywhere for the source of the singing SOS.

Like Doppler radar, I moved towards and away from the suspicious sound. I wondered if the crack in my driveway was finally wide enough to trap a young squirrel—I didn’t want to look.

I walked back inside and told my young son that the driveway was singing the way some people might say “we’re out of milk.” He knew what to do.

Jake ventured out to investigate and found the source within seconds. By moving some debris around with a skinny stick, he uncovered a little, chirping twerp in the crack. It was no squished squirrel.

The insect was black and 40% of its body was eyeballs. As we peered down at him, he looked right back up at us.  His antennae swung wildly about as he used his limited senses to establish: 1) how big we were and 2) whether or not we would eat him.

Deep in the tiny crevasse, the movement of his black limbs was visible. He wasn’t riding a bike or jogging in place—like a tiny cellist,
he was making music with his legs.

Maternal instinct kicked in as I co-dependently struggled to solve his problem. Did his little cricket diaper need changing? Had his glue stick run dry? Did he want to climb out of the crack after a long nap?

The more I looked at him, the more he seemed to speak only to me. I opened my heart to his soul and heard, “I’m just a cricket in a hole. Go away so I can be a cricket outside of a hole.” Rude!  I fought the urge to poke at him with a stick.

That’s when I realized how much I respected that cricket’s wisdom and right to privacy.

As Jake and I stood up, he spoke to our backlit silhouettes, “I may be on the bottom of the food chain, but I have a voice,” he said.  It’s a cricket voice—so— chirp!” Somehow I got the message.

Even on the lowest day, sound defies gravity.  A happy song calls happy people.

A gentle song calls gentle people—the kind that won’t poke you with a stick.

Call gently. Be happy.


Five Reasons Why You’ll Love Yoga Booty Ballet®

Here are FIVE reasons why you have to check out YBB:

1. You don’t have time to; exercise, tone, listen to great music or hang out with friends. That’s so sad. Boo. Well now you can do them all at once! Multi-taskers of America– celebrate! Your deliverance is imminent!

2. You aren’t burning enough calories dusting off the treadmill once a week. YBB includes cardio as part of the plan, man. The more you come, the less there will be of you each week.

3. If you hate yoga, and booties; and think ballet is for sissies, you’ve been missing out on some inspirational transformation. After the first class you’ll feel great. After a month, people will ask you when you had lipo. By the way–get used to hearing “you look like you’re glowing,” (it never gets old).

4. Your Adult ADHD brain gets bored doing the same thing all the time. Guess what, your body gets bored too. Have you noticed you really toned up at first, but suddenly your same old workout plan ain’t working out. There’s a reason for that, and we’ll mix it up so you see results!

5. You hate exercise but love to have fun. Yoga Booty Ballet is a time machine that speeds up class time and stops aging. I know, I can’t actually make these claims (without consulting Stephen Hawiking), but I can promise the class will fly by and you’ll feel vibrant.

So click here and sign up now…more classes coming soon too.

Five Confidence Boosting Fit Tips

When my daughter saw a solid and strong “man-in-black” at a family gathering, her child-like curiousity got the best of her. “Are you a security guard?” she asked. “No,” he replied, “I’m your cousin!”

As it turned out, he was not only a cousin, but a former Navy SEAL. Confidence poured out of him–no doubt a result of his top-notch training.

What? You’re not ready to join a block ops unit or the French Foreign Legion to earn that hot bod? You don’t have to. Here are five tips to get going:

  1. Ditch the cliche’ curls and try the tris. Unless you want to beat your husband at arm wrestling (who doesn’t), you probably just want good muscle tone. Next time you tackle that push-up, try keeping your elbows in towards your body so your arms track along your ribs. The backs of your arms will take the heat and tone-up quickly.
  2. Respect the pecs. Victoria has a secret–you paid too much for your memory foam bra! Stop cursing gravity and embrace it: the push part of a push-up begins with some rack action. Squeeze your chest right before you straighten your arms for a free boost.
  3. Find your lost neck. It’s in there somewhere between your ears and your underwire. Make it a point to push the crown (you’re the queen) of your head away from your shoulders, as you press your shoulders towards your hips. You’ll feel less tension in your neck, and turtles will stop trying to mate with you.
  4. Dear abbies. Crunchies are so last year–even worse, they can actually make you bigger. A body buzz kill! Instead, use a mind-body minimizing method. Press the small of the back into your mat, as you engage the pelvic floor and pull your “innie” (or “outie”) back towards your spine. You won’t need to photoshop the Christmas card this year.
  5. Don’t be a slouch potato–stand up tall. Ballet dancers have a trick to looking taller–they “lift out of their hips”. You will feel what this is like if you; keep your hips parallel to the floor, lift your ribs, and draw your shoulder blades back and down. It’s exponentially harder if you actually lift ribs over your head too. Just sayin’.

Now that you know what to do, go for it! What are you waiting for? Permission?

The Banana As Multi-Tool – The author takes some fruit on a crazy field trip.

I woke up late.  Millions of things to do. Billions of things to do. My sitter arrives on time, an I am struggling to get out the door.  Coat. Shoes. Bottled water. Kiss the babies. Breakfast. Breakfast! I run to the kitchen and peruse the fruit bowl. Tomatoes are not good for the road, unless you are an angry motorist, in which case they explode nicely on the side of an SUV.  Avocado? I visualize myself ripping off the top with my teeth and squeezing the green mushy mass into my mouth. The pit pops out geting lodged in my esophagus, and the 911 operator can’t even hear my muffled pleas. No avocado. I think avocado is the Spanish word for lawyer anyway, and I would feel guilty eating any fruit that endured college that long. This leaves lemons, apples and the last banana.  I choose the banana.  I think it knows its fate.  I wedge it in the pocket of my black ¾ trench and shoot out the door and into my van, securing myself, and Mr. Banana snugly in the seat belt.

 First stop with my fruity friend, the therapists’ office.  I spend an hour telling her why I am not crazy and everyone else in the world is.  I cannot speak and eat my banana. At $130 an hour eating my 25 cent banana will cost me at least 15 bucks. So it sits in my pocket, enticingly concealed in my coat pocket.  Leaving the office, I withdraw it from its hiding place and remind it that although it is not a licensed therapist, everything heard in that doctor’s office must remain confidential.  Besides, I hold the banana bread recipe.

 Next stop is the salon at the mall.  I need a hair cut.  I am beginning to look like I should grow a goatee and work for Green Peace on a save the fruit campaign. As my hair friend of several years trims me up, I realize I could have saved the cash I gave to the therapist.

 KB: So how are you?

P: Oh, I have anxiety disorder. Right now I am planning a funeral for the hair you cut off. Don’t lose any of it.

KB: Sounds serious.

P: I have a banana in my pocket.

KB: Oh, you are so funny.

I pull out the banana…

KB: Go ahead and eat if you’re hungry.

 At that point I visualize peeling the banana down to its feet.  My free falling clippings stick to it like iron filings on a magnet.  I choke on my own hair.  I dial 911 but the operator can’t make out my muffled cries for help. “No thanks” I say.  Deciding I look like a blond Audrey Hepburn, I tip my stylist $1,000 and contemplate giving her the banana. No, too valuable in the event of a blood sugar crisis.

 Next door is the next store. The cosmetics place. I love this place. I can walk in and out of there as quickly as I want, and without getting spray bombed by a unit of perfume “models”.  They are smart enough to realize that the look on my face says, “NO, I do not want a makeover.” You see, I worked in cosmetics before.  I know the racket. You walk in for a $10 eye shadow, and you leave having spent your home equity line of credit, after which you go home and break out in a rash.  The best part, for the salesperson that is, having opened the jars, it isn’t returnable.  The perfect business. I walk in and show the make up artist my expended little pots of color: little bright hued perimeters surrounding shiny metal bottoms.  She gets the idea.  Searching for the replacements takes some time.  I realize it is part of her plan as I get impatient and start to browse, remembering all the stuff I forgot I need. She comes back with my three eye shadow pots. I load her up with a fourth shadow, a make-up brush, a compact of powder foundation, two lip glosses, a bottle of perfume I don’t even like, and a lime green eye liner that looks great on the display but I will definitely be too chicken to actually wear.

 She asks “Is that all?” sounding disappointed that I left something in the store for other people to buy.  “I have a banana in my pocket” I say withdrawing my breakfast.  “Please feel free to eat it if you’re hungry” she says.  I ask her if my cloaked banana was convincing enough to pull off a bank heist. I pay her the several million dollars for my goods, and wait for my mall security escort.

Next stop, jeans.  None of my jeans fit.  I lost two pant sizes somewhere between my kitchen and bedroom. I head to the Gap.  I tell the clerk about my dilemma. She produces two pairs of “long and leans”, which I find humorous considering I am neither long, nor particularly lean.  In fact, my legs resemble drumsticks, the kind you find on a chicken, as opposed to the ones you bang with.  I ask her if they carry “chicken leg” jeans.  She hurries me into the fitting room promising to return to check on me.  The jeans are just snug enough, unlike my other pairs that are so saggy they make me look like I have 4 butt cheeks.  I look fine, and hungry.  I realize I am hungry, but can’t waste this prime opportunity.  She knocks on the door.  I throw the door open, pelvis thrust proudly forward “what do you think?”.  She spies my banana bulge crotch, and looks away to collect herself.  I turn around so she can check out my scrumptious booty.  “They, look, um good, but maybe you should try something with a lower inseam.” No, I like these” I exclaim.  I put the jeans on the counter and pull out my credit card.  “I have a banana in my pocket” I say.  We aren’t allowed to discuss personal matters with customers”.  No really, I ‘ll show you, it’s funny”.  I pull the banana out of my pocket.  Apparently the $120 sale was enough of an apology, but the din of the receipt printing wasn’t enough to drown out her disgusted harrumphing.

 Suddenly I remember I have hungry children at home.  Back in my van it’s time for the grocery store.  I walk in the store and head directly for the Starbucks.  You see we have one of “those” stores that thinks it’s more than a place to buy food.  There is a bank and a coffee shop. Frankly I don’t ever remember thinking to myself, “gee I really need to run out for a gallon of milk and open an IRA over a latte”, but hey, it could happen some day.

 The woman at the counter knows my drink, but since they can’t mix cocktails she foams up a “tall mocha”.  I think “I am standing at a coffee bar in a grocery store drinking tall coffee in long and lean jeans”. Brilliant. I ask the familiar coffee bar-keep if she wants to hear the country western song I just composed.  “Sure!”  she says.

I pull out the banana and begin to warble into it…

“I am standing at a coffee bar in a grocery store

Thinking about our romance more and more

Drinking tall coffee in long and lean jeans

I’d tell you I love you but you don’t know what it means

This is where we met, and where I ‘ll leave you too

Because my banana is a bigger man than you”

“Bravo” all two tables are clapping.  The barista chica runs me over to the service desk. They put me on mike:

“There’s a lost little boy at the front of the store

He is frightened to the core

Come and find him ‘mommy dearest’

Before I contact DCFSest”

Clap clap clap clap clap! Encore, encore!

“There’s a spill in aisle three

Coffee grounds strewn under the tea

Please come with your dust pan

And follow up with Spic and Span!”

I am famous, and still hungry.  I triumphantly pull out my banana and take a well deserved bite.  The store manager charges me for it. I explain to him that this banana was an old friend. That it’s been with me all morning.  It played a trick on the Gap girl, it sang with me, tried on eye shadow. …

 Forking over the 50 cents I vow not to come back to the store until they offer me a recording contract, or I open an interest bearing savings account.  Not even their offers of a free ham can get me back.  I leave, with one final purchase, a kiwi in my pocket.  

 “There’s a kiwi in my pocket……”

Abercrombie Push-Up Top for Girls Not Cool For Pool

I have long boycotted Abercrombie & Fitch out of a prudish obsession with their adult portrayal of young   kids.

I think little girls and boys should look like little girls and boys—and not like Victoria’s Secret models and their leering boyfriends.

With so many kids wearing “Abercrombie” I decided maybe I was being too, harsh, too puritanical. Maybe I got my boy shorts into a knot over nothing; then scandal erupted.

Abercrombie started to market a bikini for little girls, as young as 7, with a padded push-up top. Here is a link showing the original ad:

Perhaps Abercrombie has finally shown their true colors through their black and white editorial-style advertising. They have removed the “push-up” from the items’ descriptions as in this link:

For modesty reasons, girls want a lined suit; but enough padding to keep the space shuttle from burning up on reentry? Unsuitable.

Note to Abercrombie & Fitch: if a girl still plays with Barbies, she absolutely should not look like one.

What’s next—American Girl Vodka?

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