Archive for the ‘Just Personal’ Category

Muppets, Puppet Shows & Living Your Dream

December 13th, 2014

I’m friends on Facebook (and in real life) with several people from high school and college. Not LOTS of them, but a select few. One of my FB friends is a girl I dated in high school and who went on to sing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. When I first learned that she had made the choir it made my heart sing (pun intended), because I knew that it was a dream she had held since before I ever met her. I love seeing people achieve their dreams. I love success in all its myriad forms, and so often success is mentally linked with money when in fact, that is almost never how success is actually measured.

Success is, by definition, forward progress toward a goal. If you have a goal and you are moving toward it, you are being successful. So when I learned that Deby had been accepted as part of the choir, I couldn’t stop smiling. Imagine having a dream as a child, never letting go of that dream and then ultimately realizing that dream. Who wouldn’t wish that for every human alive? So, first off, let me make it abundantly clear that for the past few years I’ve really held her in high esteem. Even though we only dated for less than a year and that was almost three decades ago, it still makes me overly proud to see her achieve a lifelong dream.

That being said, I can tell you that THIS WEEK my admiration for her doubled. You see this week, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is singing with the Sesame Street Muppets. That’s right, my old girlfriend from high school is performing ON STAGE with REAL Muppets! Don’t get me wrong, living your life’s dream is great and all, but to do it with Ernie and Bert is infinitely better! And Count VonCount, and Big Bird, and even Abby Cadabra! Hey, I get to do puppet shows all the time. That’s what I do, magic puppet shows…dream come true and all that. So, yeah. I’m not trying to name drop, but that girl on the second row from the bottom, middle section, third from the left…yep. I know her.

Goal Setting, Just Personal, Success

Conspiracy Theories

May 6th, 2011

I’m a skeptic. I also love a good conspiracy theory. As a professional storyteller, I really appreciate the intrigue and drama that a good conspiracy theory entails. I respect the battle of “good” and “evil” and the mystery of which is which in these stories.

But most of the time, conspiracy theories tend to overlook the obvious: reality is usually much simpler than the involved conspiracies would dictate.

It’s been less than a week since President Obama announced the death of Osama Bin Laden and already there are so many accusations being made on all sides. From questioning whether or not OBL was actually killed, questioning whether he was killed recently or several years ago, and even whether or not the Pakistani government knew where OBL was living (since he was reportedly staying in a mansion just a few miles from the capital of Pakistan).

Even the most level headed politicians are getting in on this last one.

“How could they NOT have KNOWN Bin Laden was living there? It’s a huge mansion with no telephone service, and high walls topped with barbed wire! It’s just miles from the capital! The government HAD to have known!”


There was a story last week about a family that kept their daughter in a cage and fed her two pop-tarts a day. They lived in a mobile home in a mobile home park. They kept the kid this way for months or years and no one noticed until someone came knocking about an unrelated case and just happened to see the kid in the cage.

I know who lives in every house on our block. But there is no way that I can tell you if there are OTHER people also in there hiding in a spare bedroom or the attic. I see people come and go, but I can’t see the people who DON’T come and go. Unless I go through every room in every house, Osama Bin Laden could have been living next door to me…or you. Unless you’ve systematically checked every room in all of your neighbors houses. It’s not likely.

As for Bin Laden’s death, there have been suggestions that the timing was conveniently close to the release of Obama’s birth certificate. But c’mon! When, in ANY presidency has there ever been a time that WASN’T involved in some sort of controversy?

Political leaders that get things done face opposition. Always. And political leaders that don’t get things done face controversy for not doing anything. No matter when OBL’s death was announced people would have noticed that there was some controversy going on at the time.

Why didn’t we capture him? We could have gotten good information from him.

Look, we’ve been hunting this guy for ten years. He’s slipped through our fingers by just hours on many occasions. Clinton missed his chance and caught hell for it. OBL got away a few times during the Bush administration and Bush never lived it down. Now Obama finally has the change to finish the job. Can you imagine what would have happened if, while trying to capture or transport OBL the guy managed to escape? Everyone would have been screaming “Why didn’t you just KILL him?!”

The job of a president is never easy. You are always having your decisions scrutinized. And no matter what you do, there will be people from the other political party who will work to undermine your efforts and minimize the importance of your successes. This is true for Democrats and Republicans.

So good leaders make decisions and move forward and start getting more things done.

And then conspiracy theorists invent interesting alternative motivations and stories that I love to hear, but just can’t really sink my teeth into.

Getting Things Done, Just Personal, Success

Treasure Hunting

April 2nd, 2011

I walk my dog at least once a day and I take him through a park right next to the house. We go past two practice baseball fields and a sand volleyball court to a gazebo where we loop around and make our way back home. The whole trip is just half a mile.

But I don’t think I’ve ever gone for a walk and not found SOME little treasure during my walk. Generally speaking, I’m not a collector of things, nor a hoarder by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, one of my faults is throwing away valuable things to avoid clutter.

But I’ve started a collection of sport goods based on all the loot I’ve found in the park. In less than a year I’ve added to the collection:

  • 3 basketballs
  • 2 footballs (one foam “Nerf” style, one leather)
  • 7 baseballs
  • 5 regulation golf balls
  • 2 practice golf balls (“woofle” balls)
  • 1 child’s wooden baseball bat
  • 20+ tennis balls
  • 2 Frisbee disks
  • 1 boomarang

In addition to the sport goods, I’ve also found:

  • 6 brand-new (in the box) tea light candles
  • 18 slightly used tea light candles
  • 6 emergency candles (someone apparently likes to spend time in the gazebo by candle light, but never cleans up their mess when they leave!)
  • A medium pepperoni and Canadian bacon pizza with only 1 slice missing (I threw it away after letting my dog eat some of the meat)
  • Countless aluminum cans and plastic drinking bottles that I take home and add to our recycling bins
  • Hundreds of pounds of paper litter that I drop into one of the dozens of trash bins located all over the park (why do people throw trash on the ground RIGHT NEXT to the trash can anyway?!)

All this discovered without any metal detectors of course. I wonder what I might find if I take the metal detector out. Hmmm.

Just Personal