Thursday, September 26, 2013

Do You Vine?

I don't twitter or tweet.

Even though a little bird told me I should. 

But I do Vine.

It's really fun to watch the 6 second videos play

and replay

and replay

and replay.

Especially if they are the mega - funny sort that my sons' friends, Cody and Marcus Johns produce and post. Each has their own individual profile and following.

Their followers grew in a few short months from 0 to -  get this - 3 million followers between the two of them!!

How did they rise so quickly to celebrity Vine status? That is the question that The Huffington Post asked in their 16 minute interview of the 2 brothers.

Little did I know my son Jesse was putting Marcus up in his Brooklyn fourth floor apartment before and after the interviews. So fun. So unglamorous. After all, when the interviewer asked Marcus what he disliked most in people he answered, "Ego."

Before the interview they were treated to a shopping spree at the Gap. Nice.

And after the show they met fans in Washington Square park.

Then Cody flew back to LA to his NowThis internet news position.

 Marcus went back to work on his film degree in Tallahassee.




Grounded by the great upbringing of their godly parents (mom Holly, my BFF), who also make guest appearances in their super short,  shimmering comedies.

In between their day-to-day working and studying Cody and Marcus will be back to posting

very funny 6-second Vine videos.

So if you don't vine yet, perhaps you should.

Just say you heard about it through the grapevine.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ode To a Beauty Queen

Cancer took her life too early at the age of 52. Many celebrated Sandra at her memorial. Though it's been 3 years, the service and dear Sandra are hard to forget.

In 1998 we met the Shiraz family after moving from California to Florida. Our boys shared a third grade class together and have been friends ever since.

Sandra was both beautiful and funny. Recounting a decision by her husband Ben she disagreed with, she blurted out, "Oh men! They're all camels!"

With his middle eastern heritage, the comment was all the more humorous. I quickly assured Ben we didn't make a habit of husband bashing. Still, I'll never forget her insightful, irreverent parallel to the other sex's obstinate nature, not to mention their difficulty in kneeling.

Sandra was a second mom to my son, Brandon, a much nicer one than I. She spoiled him when he spent the night by letting him sleep in, giving him the best bed, extra toothbrushes and contact lens solution when he'd forget to bring his own. I would have kicked him out of bed to do Saturday chores.

Then there were the fabulous trips that the Shiraz' invited Brandon to accompany them on. Trips to amusement parks and wonderful vacations; the ultimate destination being Norway. The Shiraz' heart is large and generous. Sandra held the truest embodiment of that generosity.

One evening in West Palm while waiting for our sons, Elliot and Shamir to perform at Respectables,
a club on Clematis Street,
Ben, Sandra, my husband and I went to the Hibiscus House, a cute Bed and Breakfast where they were featuring a garden terrace with drinks and food. Ben presented Sandra with a beautiful hibiscus flower he had picked from surrounding bushes which resulted in a gooey exchange of affection between the two.

'Hibiscus is her favorite flower', Ben said, beaming.
In the language of flowers, Hibiscus means 'Delicate Beauty'. Sandra was very much like that hibiscus blossom - vibrant, colorful, open, cheery and beautiful.

We are sad and brokenhearted that her flower has faded prematurely. But her memory and attributes can remain in full bloom in our hearts and beings.

Though we mourn now, I don't think Sandra would have wanted us to shrivel and dry up under that weight of her loss.

We can wear the bloom and beauty of her life. We can perpetuate her passions. Rather than wilt and fade in sadness, we can carry on her openness, her pursuit of beauty, her devotion to Jesus, her love of travel, new friends and adventure.

Can we who live on, resurrect and revive those uplifting qualities that so defined her? Not only can we try, but it may be the saving grace of those devastated most by her passing. It may be the breath of life that sustains them.

May Sandra's fragrance linger long. And those who love her most breathe it deeply.

I think the song her son, Shawn wrote about her called Beauty Queen says it best.


Friday, September 20, 2013

2 Things that hold it all together.

  1. Coffee and 
  2. Prayer.

These are what held me together today following a slam-packed 12 hour Wednesday of filling back-to-back requests at work. I was a bit spent as I stumbled into work again today.

Coffee and Prayer. Two Essentials got me through the day. 

"In that order of importance?" my husband quipped. 

Geez, I hope not.

It's pretty hard to pit a little brown bean against the One who thought the bean up and spoke it into existence.

There's a huge disparity in power between the two.

Sometimes we need a little miracle in our mundane. A pick me up off the floor before we doze off after lunch.

Here's what  Shauna Niequist says about prayer in her book, Cold Tangerines:

"When I pray, something freaked-out and dazed inside me finds a place to lay down and rest. When I pray, I don't feel so alone in the universe. " 

A little prayer can change a rotten mood set-off by lack of rest. I restrain from raising my voice, but let the car door slam a little too hard. Pray some more for forgiveness and to fix the sour situation.

A phone call. Conversation. Somehow things are mended; love extended. God hears and restores.

Then there's Kathleen Stockett, author of The Help. Her

character Aibeleen says,

"Prayer is like electricity. It keeps things goin..."

Yes, it kept me going, today, and does many days.

Then home to another cup of java my sweet husband

fixes me as I teach piano lessons. Dinner and the pillow my head so dearly longs for.

Tomorrow is another day.

Less coffee,

but never



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