Sunday, April 25, 2010

Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone...

Judgement against others was the topic of the sermon at church on Sunday. I've been attending Highlands, the church where my son-in-law's father, Mark Tidd, is the pastor.

Mark really is a gifted speaker. Every time I listen to him, I laugh, I learn, I'm inspired, and I'm usually very moved by his messages.

This week, he spoke about the parable in which a woman caught in adultery is brought before Jesus and he says, “He who is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.” The people walk away, recognizing that they are not without sin. (By the way, this is the story in which one of my children once questioned the meaning of 'getting stoned'... But I digress.)

Mark talked about the judgements that are being made in our modern world; judgements between races, religions, politics, sexual orientation, and then he reminded us of the one we tend to forget: judgements against the judgers. Mark talked about how natural it was for us to want to "throw stones" at those we disagree with or those who we feel wronged us. He asked us to imagine how much better it would be if the stones were just dropped rather than thrown at people.

There were little sheets of paper with a drawing of a stone and he asked us each to write the name of someone who we were throwing stones at... either with our judgements or our anger. Then, as we walked up for communion at the alter, we were to crumple the stones and throw them in a pot.

I initially couldn't think of anyone to write on my stone. I mentally gave myself an 'at-a-girl' for being such a non-judgemental person. But then I remembered my ex-husband and his wife. I rarely talk about them, but in my mind, I still play the victim, blaming them for the divorce. So I wrote down their names, realizing that I had been judging them for years.

I don't know why this was so profound for me. Maybe it's just because I've been going through a lot of stressful stuff lately, or maybe it's because I hadn't even realized how I'd still been hanging on to this anger. But as I crumpled up that paper and threw it in the pot, I started crying. I'd been carrying that stone in my heart for over six years. It felt good to finally throw it away.

The Power of Now, Ch.2: Consciousness, Ego, and my advice: Humor

My plan had been to blog every Monday about the Power of Now, but I'm not sure if I'll want to do this for eight more weeks. There are a bunch of other books about spirituality that I'd prefer to read, but... this book has a big following, including by some friends I greatly respect, so I'll try and give it a chance for awhile longer.

Anyway, last week I blogged about what I liked and didn't like about the first chapter. I'll continue in that vein with Chapter 2, but this time I'll start with what I disliked and end with what I liked.


The thing I dislike most is that this book is just so damn negative! Maybe I'm unusual, but I had a happy childhood and have had an incredibly great life. In fact, I've often marveled at how lucky I've been. So, I just don't buy-in to all this crap about the past being full of pain. I think that's very much a victim mentality. Now I know Tolle is trying to get people to stop thinking like victims, but I don't think the way to do that is to say things like "the more you are identified with your mind, the more you suffer." If we have family and friends who we love and who love us, if we have health, if we have a home...we are blessed! We have so much to be grateful for! Why aren't we reminded of that rather than being told our past is only full of pain so we should think in the 'now?'

Just like the past or the future, my belief is that the ego, too, can have both positive and negative aspects. Tolle's perspective of the ego, much like how he describes the past and future, is very negative. He says "the ego is very vulnerable and insecure, and it sees itself as constantly under threat. This, by the way, is the case even if the ego is outwardly very confident." Great! He's even saying confidence is only a front! I so disagree with that. I think confidence is everything. Our uniqueness is beautiful and once we recognize that, we have an inner-confidence that is a key to happiness.


I continue to agree with Tolle's description of consciousness. In this chapter, he describes past pain as "pain-body" and the ability to "observe" when you are falling into a pattern of unhappiness. He says, "You are now the witness or watcher of the pain-body. This means that it cannot use you anymore by pretending to be you, and it can no longer replenish itself through you." He goes on to talk more about dissolving the pain-body through a "process of transmutation."

I also agreed with Tolle in his description of some negative aspects of ego, such as the need to be right, aggressiveness, and defensiveness and would agree that these are the root of many arguments and relationship problems.

The Laptop Dancer's Advice: Find the humor

Although a lot of Tolle's writing sounds like psycho-babble to me, I do agree there's something to be said about observing your thoughts as an outsider. When I was writing The Laptop Dancer Diaries, it was kind of cool that part of my mind was like an "observing author" of the events that were happening. And when something embarrassing would happen, instead of getting all upset about it, I would think: "This will make a good story for my book!" Another great thing about writing a humor memoir was that I was always looking for the humor in life's events. So, just in case you get tired of being in the "now" another strategy might be that when something negative happens, see if you can make a funny story out of it. There's a lot of truth to that saying: "We'll laugh about this some day." Make that day as soon as possible!

The Grief Club

Last night I went to a "Celebration of Life" party for Pat Szwyrlo. She was diagnosed with brain cancer in December and died on April 15 at the age of 44.

When my brother died in a car accident in 1997, I experienced heart-wrenching grief for the first time. Someone mentioned being initiated into "the club." You think you will never stop crying. The lump in your throat, the pain in your chest, the tears that won't stop. You feel like nothing matters and you can't go on. It's unbearable. And just like it's impossible to describe the intense joy you feel when you have a baby, it's impossible to describe the intense pain you feel when someone you love dies. The only way to really know that emotion is to experience it. And when you experience it, your life changes forever... you are in "the club."

I went to the party for Pat last night, even though I didn't know her well. It's one of the things I do since joining the club. I remember the comfort I got from all the people that were at Chris' service...strangers that I didn't know giving me hugs and letting me cry with knowing looks of support. It wasn't sympathy as much as empathy. You know who else is in the club. They have been through this. They don't look away in awkwardness; they look into your teary eyes and tell you without saying a word that they understand what you're going through.

Being in this club is a horrible thing. It removes a light-hearted innocence that you can never get back. I always try to find the lessons in the painful emotions... I've had a very hard time with grief. I would prefer to not be in the club and I dread the grief that is still to come. But if I were to try to find the "goodness" in grief, here are some of the things I've learned from being in the club:

  • Don't take life for granted. Every minute is a gift.
  • Don't take the people in your life for granted. Love them. Don't sweat the small stuff.
  • Live life to the fullest. Do all the things you've always wanted to do. Just do it!
  • Take risks --maybe not the life-threatening type so much... but certainly take risks with love. What's the worst that can happen when you love someone? They don't love you back? Experiencing a broken heart is bad, but it is not the grief of death.
  • Give... Don't worry so much about money. Spend it on people and experiences, more than things that sit on a shelf.
  • Embrace your faith. Learn from my friend, Craig, who despite ALS, has the most awe-inspiring faith I've ever known.
  • Have compassion for those that join the club. Go to the funerals, memorial services, and celebrations of life, with arms open to hold those that are in unbearable pain.
  • Hold on to the best parts of the people you have lost and pass on what you learned from them. Keep them in your heart.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Relationships...

... (but were afraid to ask.)
That's the title of the lecture I went to see tonight, facilitated by relationship coach, Will Limon.

The main reason I went to the lecture was because I thought it would make good blog material (I am all into become a big love expert and meeting all the local relationship gurus.) I figured I already knew "everything I ever wanted to know about relationships" and (as my friends can attest) I'm never afraid to ask! But I still got a few tips, and I always like learning more about communication and relationships.

"It all comes down to how you relate to yourself, understand yourself, and portray yourself to other people," was one of the key takeaways. "Your relationship with yourself is the only one you're guaranteed to have for your entire life."

Yes, yes... the whole relationship with self. I remember during the post-divorce "self-help years" thinking if one more person told me I have to "love myself" I was going to throw up. I did all the positive affirmations and gave myself nice little self-esteem pep talks all the time. But I don't think I really "got it" until I wrote The Laptop Dancer Diaries. I never expected it, but the self-discovery from forcing myself to overcome my insecurities and writing about it, has really helped me figure out what "loving myself" means. It's just this confidence and security of being OK with all your wonderful talents and faults and quirks and idiosyncrasies. It's about knowing that people love you, not because of how smart or beautiful or rich or [insert adjective you wish you were] you are...they just love you because you are you and they see that you're not trying to be someone or something you're not.

So... back to Will and the lecture. He asked us to write down three things we want in a relationship. He had us call some of them out... Respect, Trust, Intimacy, Love, Laughter, Communication... Then he explained that "Relationships are behavior." He had us describe the behaviors associated with each of the words. For example, what behaviors would we have to see in a relationship to know we could "trust" a partner? Or what type of behavior would indicate "respect?" Will talked about articulating what behaviors we would need to see in order to demonstrate the traits we're looking for in a relationship. We paired up and described the behaviors associated with a trait and our partner tried to guess the trait. (Being an experienced "Taboo" player this exercise was a no-brainer for me and my partner and I were able to guess our traits with record speed.)

Will said that intimacy is a bi-product of how we behave. As our behaviors demonstrate the traits in a partnership that we each look for, we start to gain intimacy.

The other tip Will gave us about intimacy was the Master's and Johnson definition: "The exchange of vulnerabilities." If only one person is being vulnerable, then you don't have intimacy. You have to each be sharing your vulnerabilities in order for intimacy to be established.

So, there's today's love lesson: Love yourself, look for the behaviors of the traits you want to see in a relationship, and exchange vulnerabilities.

I'd like to close in reminding you that even if you are interested in being intimate with someone, it may not be appropriate to blab all about your personal stuff to them, before you really know them. It is really much better to just get it all out of your system by either writing a blog or embarrassing memoir.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Is Freedom an Advantage of Being Single?

A few years ago, I was listing all the great things about being single. One of the things I put on my list was "Freedom."

I left the list up on my computer screen, Scotty saw it and he asked me what I meant by that.

I said, "When you're single you're free to go where ever you want and do whatever you want. You don't have to compromise with anyone." Scotty thought about it for a minute and I could see the wheels spinning in his head. Then he said, "Mom, you don't really have freedom because you have me."

And then I realized he was right! The compromises and sacrifices I make as a single Mom are much more than those I make when I'm in a relationship. I can't move while Scotty's still living with me. I rarely go out. I pretty much plan my life around Scotty.

I thought how grateful I was that Scotty was with me most of the time and how lonely I felt when he was gone. I told him, "I don't have total freedom, but since I'm the Mom, I still get to make all the decisions!" And then I gave him a hug and told him how much I'd miss him when he grew up and left home.

I realized when you love someone, it doesn't feel like a sacrifice to compromise. You just want to be with them. You feel lucky that you have someone to go places with and do things with, even though that means it's not all about you. You don't feel resentful that you have to share... you feel grateful that you have someone to share with.

So that was the little lesson in love Scotty taught me. Freedom to do whatever you want is nice, but when you're in love, you'd give it up in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Art of Being a KUQ: Kissing up to Kim Iverson

I had an exciting email the other day from someone who was recommending The Laptop Dancer Diaries to his Wine and Book Club! Hooray! But that's not all... The guy is a Professor of PR and he helped me out by providing a very long list (as in about 300 names) of people in the media that handle the topic of relationships.

I debated about whether I should just send a blanket email to the list, but figured that would definitely get me nowhere (except maybe blocked and labeled as a spammer.) I think going through each one individually, researching their work, and then being very KUQ-y will be my plan of action. (KUQ = Kiss Up Queen, at which I am a master.) The first person on the list: Kim Iverson of Your Time With Kim.

I spent the next 15 minutes watching her video-recording of "The Mascara Monologues" where Kim has a panel discussion with 3 single ladies about relationship topics such as "How would you feel about your boyfriend being friends with his ex?" "Is it OK to sleep with other people if you're on a break?" or "Would you like it if your boyfriend punched out an ex that was bothering you?" and other dating/relationship types of questions. It's all very "Sex and the City" so if you like that kind of discussion (which I do!) you'll like her show. Kim, energetic, bubbly, and beautiful joins in the discussion herself and is quite the dynamic radio hostess. So even if you're a guy and don't really care about all the relationship-talk stuff, you'll probably just want to watch or listen to the show because -- well -- Kim's hot. (Yes, you may recognize this as the aforementioned KUQ-y behavior, where I am kissing up to Kim, but I am absolutely sincere in my praise of her show and beauty. However just to be clear, I'm heterosexual.)

I took a look at her past shows and she interviews people that have written books about divorce, love, dating... PERFECT! From what I could tell, she has not yet interviewed a 50-year-old who has a relationship with her laptop and has figured out the secret formula for falling in love. Obviously, I'd make a great guest on her show!

Being the social media maven that I am, I looked for her on Facebook, and there she was and has already become my "Facebook Friend!" (I LOVE this Facebook phenomenon. Isn't it awesome to be able to connect with people this way and properly pester them until they pay attention to you?) Of course, she has thousands of other Facebook friends who are vying for her attention too, but maybe if I kiss up enough, I'll have a possibility of getting on her show. Or if not, maybe I'll be able to get her on mine. Or at the VERY least, I'll be able to write on her Facebook wall.

So my "love lesson" for today is: learn how to be a KUQ.

Lessons in Love looking for guests for weekly radio show!

I've been blogging more lately in hopes of promoting The Laptop Dancer Diaries. My plan is to meet and talk with love and relationship experts, share resources, read, and basically look for examples of love in the world. Then I'll spread all the lessons of love I'm learning via this blog and a radio show. I may start a monthly newsletter, too, if there's interest.

To stick with the new theme, I've renamed my blog and I have a bunch of excellent love resources lined up to speak for a short weekly podcast. It will include authors of relationship books, motivational speakers, bloggers, singles, coaches or just every day people that have something to say about dating, relationships or love. The segments will be short -- probably just 5-10 minutes -- but hopefully enough to get you inspired!

Would you like to be a guest? Do you know of someone that might be interested? Help me spread the word.

Let's talk about love!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kind Times from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation

I received my monthly Kind Times Newsletter from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation today.

"Taking five minutes a week to text, tweet, email, post, write or say thank you to those in your life can make a difference; not only for the people to whom we’re grateful, but also to our own well-being. Do yourself a favor and take time to express gratitude."

It's amazing how much simple acts can affect our moods. I wonder if people realize what a difference it can make just to get a smile or a heartfelt 'thank you.'

And attitude is contageous.

When I was working in a group in which the leadership was disrespectful and demanding, the attitude seemed to flow to others. It put people on the defensive, always on their guard. It seemed like everyone was in a bad mood and no one wanted to work.

On the other hand, when I was in a group in which praise and gratitude were abundant, I liked going to work. People were happy and they passed that happiness on to others.

This is true with all our interactions with people. If we can just learn to treat each other with kindness we could create a whole kindness epidemic. The Random Acts of Kindness Website has ideas, quotes, and inspirations and lots of ideas. Check out the 100 Ideas for Kindness I got from The Ideas for Individuals and Groups document on the site:

1 Deliver fresh-baked cookies to city workers.
2 Collect goods for a food bank.
3 Bring flowers to work and share them with coworkers.
4 Garden clubs can make floral arrangements for senior centers, nursing homes, hospitals, police stations, or shut-ins.
5 Adopt a student who needs a friend, checking in periodically to see how things are going.
6 Volunteer to be a tutor in a school.
7 Extend a hand to someone in need. Give your full attention and simply listen.
8 Merchants can donate a percentage of receipts for the week to a special cause.
9 Bring coworkers a special treat.
10 Students can clean classrooms for the custodian.
11 Buy a stranger a free pizza.
12 Distribute lollipops to kids.
13 Sing at a nursing home.
14 Offer a couple of hours of baby-sitting to parents.
15 Slip paper hearts that say “It’s Random Acts of Kindness Week! Have a great day!” under the windshield wipers of parked cars
16 Have a charity day at work, with employees bringing nonperishable food items to donate.
17 Serve refreshments to customers.
18 Draw names at school or work, and have people bring a small gift or food treat for their secret pal.
19 Remember the bereaved with phone calls, cards, plants, and food.
20 Treat someone to fresh fruit.
21 Pay a compliment at least once a day.
22 Call or visit a homebound person.
23 Hand out balloons to passersby.
24 Give free sodas to motorists.
25 Be a good neighbor. Take over a baked treat or stop by to say “Hello.”
26 Transport someone who can’t drive.
27 Mow a neighbor’s grass.
28 Say something nice to everyone you meet today.
29 Send a treat to a school or day-care center.
30 Volunteer at an agency that needs help.
31 Wipe rainwater off shopping carts or hold umbrellas for shoppers on the way to their cars.
32 Give the gift of your smile.
33 Send home a note telling parents something their child did well.
34 Adopt a homeless pet from the humane society.
35 Organize a scout troop or service club to help people with packages at the mall or grocery.
36 Host special programs or speakers at libraries or bookstores.
37 Offer to answer the phone for the school secretary for ten minutes.
38 Volunteer to read to students in the classroom.
39 Write notes of appreciation and bring flowers or goodies to teachers or other important people, such as the principal, custodian, or nurse

40 Incorporate kindness into the curriculum at area schools, day care centers, or children’s classes in faith organizations.
41 Give a hug to a friend.
42 Tell your children why you love them.
43 Write a note to your mother/father and tell them why they are special.
44 Pat someone on the back.
45 Write a thank-you note to a mentor or someone who has influenced your life in a positive way.
46 Give coffee to people on their way to work in the morning.
47 Donate time at a senior center.
48 Give blood.
49 Visit hospitals with smiles, treats, and friendly conversation for patients.
50 Stop by a nursing home, and visit a resident with no family nearby.
51 Plant flowers in your neighbor’s flower box.
52 Give another driver your parking spot.
53 Leave a treat or handmade note of thanks for a delivery person or mail carrier.
54 Give free car washes.
55 Clean graffiti from neighborhood walls and buildings.
56 Tell your boss that you think he/she does a good job.
57 Tell your employees how much you appreciate their work.
58 Let your staff leave work an hour early.
59 Have a clean-up party in the park.
60 Tell a bus or taxi driver how much you appreciate their driving.
61 Have everyone in your office draw the name of a Random Acts of Kindness buddy out of a hat and do a kind act for their
buddy that day or week.
62 Give a pair of tickets to a baseball game or concert to a stranger.
63 Leave an extra big tip for the waitperson.
64 Drop off a plant, cookies, or donuts to the police or fire department.
65 Open the door for another person.
66 Pay for the meal of the person behind you in the drive-through.
67 Write a note to the boss of someone who has helped you, praising the employee.
68 Leave a bouquet of flowers on the desk of a colleague at work with whom you don’t normally get along.
69 Call an estranged family member.
70 Volunteer to fix up an elderly couple’s home.
71 Pay for the person behind you in the movie line.
72 Give flowers to be delivered with meal delivery programs.
73 Give toys to the children at the shelter or safe house.
74 Give friends and family kindness coupons they can redeem for kind favors.
75 Be a friend to a new student or coworker.
76 Renew an old friendship by sending a letter or small gift to someone you haven’t talked with in a long time.
77 For one week, act on every single thought of generosity that arises spontaneously in your heart, and notice what happens as a consequence
78 Offer to return a shopping cart to the store for someone loading a car.
79 Invite someone new over for dinner.
80 Buy a roll of brightly colored stickers and give them to children you meet during the day.
81 Write a card of thanks and leave it with your tip. Be sure to be specific in your thanks.
82 Let the person behind you in the grocery store go ahead of you in line.
83 When drivers try to merge into your lane, let them in with a wave and a smile.
84 Buy cold drinks for the people next to you at a ball game.
85 Distribute kindness bookmarks that you have made.
86 Create a craft project or build a bird house with a child.
87 Give a bag of groceries to a homeless person.
88 Laugh out loud often and share your smile generously.
89 Plant a tree in your neighborhood.
90 Make a list of things to do to bring more kindness into the world, and have a friend make a list. Exchange lists and do one a day
91 Use an instant camera to take people’s photographs at a party or community event, and give the picture to them.
92 As you go about your day, pick up trash.
93 Send a letter to some former teachers, letting them know the difference they made in your life.
94 Send a gift anonymously to a friend.
95 Organize a clothing drive for a shelter.
96 Buy books for a day care or school.
97 Slip a $20 bill to a person who you know is having financial difficulty.
98 Take an acquaintance to dinner.
99 Offer to take a friend’s child to ball practice.
100 Waive late fees for the week.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Power of THEN

I joined a new book group last night that will be reading and discussing Echart Tolle's best seller, "The Power of Now." I started this book once before and I disagreed with a lot of what it said. This is typical of me... I'm a huge devil's advocate. It's one of my communication faults that can be particularly annoying in group discussion. I've decided it might be better to discuss the things I take issue with out here on a blog. They say blogs are better when they're controversial anyway. I'll take a chapter a week and tell you what I liked and what I didn't like.

In the first chapter, "You Are Not in Your Mind," Tolle describes concepts such as enlightenment, the state of Being, freeing yourself from your mind, and explains emotions.

What I agreed with

I agreed with Tolle's description of consciousness; this ability to "observe the thinker."

"The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence."

I think being aware of our thoughts and letting go of fruitless negative thoughts is a skill that's worth learning. I also agree that we are much more than our thoughts. And that sometimes our thinking and analyzing takes us away from the present which should be relished. We need to learn to enjoy and savor what is happening in our world right now.

"The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly." I agree with this statement completely.

What I disagreed with

Though Tolle states "that the mind is a superb instrument if used rightly" he follows that up by telling us that our thinking is vastly negative and will bring us nothing but pain. Even our pleasurable thoughts he claims are simply the "short-lived pleasure side of the continually alternating pain/pleasure cycle."

One of the paragraphs I most disagree with is this:

"The very thing that gives you pleasure today will give you pain tomorrow, or it will leave you, so its absence will give you pain. And what is often referred to as love may be pleasurable and exciting for awhile, but its an addictive clinging, an extremely needy condition that can turn into the opposite at the flick of a switch."

I agree that we feel sad when we lose something that we once loved. We grieve that loss. Some people get angry. Those are painful emotions. I don't think the solution is to not think about the past. I think the solution is to know that the love and beautiful things we had in the past are still with us. In fact, we need to keep them with us. We need to look at our photos of past pleasures and know that those memories will be with us forever. No one can take those away. We need to know that those people that once were in our lives will always be in our lives for how they influenced us positively. We need to learn from our past and recognize what mistakes we may have made and figure out ways to grow.

I don't think the key to pain is to only live in the now and to let go of our past. I think the key is to understand ourselves and our thoughts -- both the negative ones and the positive ones. Don't let your mind dwell on regrets or worry or anger about things are out of your control. But don't cut your mind off from memories.

If someone you love dies, there is no denying that you will grieve and it is sad and painful. It is the hardest emotion ever. But should we no longer think of that person so that we don't have pain? Instead, I want to hold the most beautiful parts of them with me and pass those on to others. I want to remember the essence of that person...the traits I admired...and keep part of their spirit within me.

Let your memories serve to remind you of the love you have in your life. Even if it was in the past, keep it with you in the present.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ten Romantic Dates - For Singles Too!

One of the things I used to hate about being single was the lack of romantic dates. I love to do romantic things, but, let's face it, it can be downright depressing to go somewhere romantic by yourself! And sometimes Laptop Guy just doesn't fit the bill!

I used to read articles like Ten Most Romantic Dates and think... when, when, when will I get to do those things again?

One of the things I learned in my year of looking for love is that you can have a lot of romance in your life even when you're single. Your single friends are often yearning for romance, too! Although it might be a little tricky to do romantic things with your opposite sex platonic friend, if you talk about it ahead of time, it can be really fun. Kind of a little role play game. When I'm in this mode I even like to pretend I'm married and say stuff like, "Honey, let's go see that great new chick flick!" Then later on we can still pretend we're married and be uninterested in sex.

You hear a lot about "Friends with Benefits" -- sexual relationships with no commitment. Why not instead have the "benefit" be the romantic stuff... enjoying a sunset or sharing a bottle of wine or snuggling while watching a DVD together? If it's too awkward to do this with a platonic friend, then skip the snuggling if you want. Act like buddies or siblings or whatever feels comfortable, but don't skip the opportunity to share beautiful experiences. If not with an opposite sex friend, how about a same sex friend or family member? Hikes filled with wildflowers, jumping in the ocean, snowshoeing through a snowstorm -- you can do these romantic things in groups, with kids, or with anyone you love!

If you've been longing to go romantic places and do romantic things, but have been waiting until you're in a relationship -- Stop waiting!

Here's a list of 10 romantic things a single person can do:

- Lose yourself in a book in front of the fire
- Take a hike in the mountains
- Jump in the waves of the ocean
- Lay outside on a sunny day and enjoy the sunshine
- Savor the taste of an ice cream cone on a hot day
- Go on a trip to somewhere new and meet new people; When you get home, add them to your Facebook friends and send them pictures you took with them
- Go through old photos and create a beautiful photo album
- Surprise someone you love with a gift for no reason
- Take a luxurious bubble bath with candles and music
- Snuggle in a goose down comforter

There are thousands more, of course. Do something romantic every day! Do these things with friends, family or on your own. Take pictures and post them online! (Well... maybe not of the bubblebath.) One of the things I love about blogging is it gives us a chance to share our happiness with the world.

I guess Laptop Guy isn't such a bad romantic partner after all.

Single or in a relationship, what kind of romantic dates are your favorite?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What's your favorite love quote?

One of the activities for my Love Party was to have people give me their favorite love quotes. Even people that weren't able to attend the party were able to participate.

Even though the party is over, I still want to continue to collect love quotes! Add a favorite love quote to the guest book or just in the comment section of this blog.

And if you want to get some ideas, there are plenty of places on the Web to peruse love quotes... Print out a few and post them around your house. It's always good to have those love reminders!

As I was searching around, I even found a site that would generate a "quote of the day" for your blog! These include more than quotes about love, but they're all good, so "Today's Quote" is getting added to my blog thanks to!

ThinkExist Dynamic daily quotation

Friday, April 16, 2010

What is your Sex Horoscope?

I have to admit, I don't really believe in any of this astrology stuff, but that doesn't stop me from reading my horoscope. I figured it would be particularly entertaining to find out what my "sex horoscope" had to say so I checked it out.

I'm a Pisces, so I figured my horoscope would be something fishy. Being compared to a fish in bed would not be particularly flattering. And kissing like a fish? No thank you. I could see maybe suggesting waterbeds or hot-tubs, but when I read what the Sex Horoscope had to say it had nothing to do with fish or water.

Here's what it says about Sex with Pisces:"Blah, blah, blah... Pisces are very good at, and love role play. Acting fully in their roles. They like to seduce... blah, blah, blah" (Execuse the blah, blah's, but unless you're a Pisces, you probably don't care about it and will want to go check out your own horoscope.)

I don't know about the blah, blah parts, but the role play thing is absolutely right about me! I DO like to role play! I like to play in general, especially when it involves dressing up. I could even see myself dressing up like a fish if I were challenged to do so (though a mermaid might be sexier.) Maybe there's something to this astrology thing after all...

Just for grins, I decided to try another site and I found this one in which I plug in the sign of the person I'd like to seduce! I wanted to find out what the object of my seduction would most appreciate if I were to seduce with role play.When I plugged in his sign the advice I was given was:

... look as scrumptious as possible whenever you're in your Scorpio's presence. They will appreciate natural sex appeal -- or what appears to be natural.

Scrumptious, eh? Perhaps a fish costume is in order after all... Which do you think is more scrumptious...shrimp or lobster? I think I'll go with lobster... Oh yeah. Mr. Scorpio, you are gonna be in for a seduction like none other. I bet you'll never even know what pinched ya!

Monday, April 12, 2010

My Love Party

On Saturday night, I finally had the party I'd been talking about for years. I've said many times that if I wasn't married again by the time I was 50, then I wanted to have a big 50th birthday party that would be like a wedding... Who needs a groom?

When I got laid off last summer, I realized the budget would have to be cut, but I was determined to still have a big party to celebrate love. I also figured I might as well celebrate my book release at the same time since The Laptop Dancer Diaries: A Mostly True Story About Finding Love Again is, indeed, a book about love.

The party was more than I could have hoped for. Better than a wedding! I didn't even have to share the attention with anyone! I was surrounded by so many friends and people I love. Yesterday, I basked in after-party happiness as I slowly cleaned up, coming across cards and gifts that were left for me. There just is no thank you note to express my gratitude, but I'll try. Here are some of the people I'd like to thank:

* All the people who played the "party game", sending music, photos, videos, and leaving love quotes on my party site. Special thanks to Lori Genuchi who not only scored the most points, but wore a beautiful gown with special meaning.

* Rebecca Ritter and her daughter, Miriam, who took took me shopping at Costco for all the party food.

* Lynn Tidd, the flower genius, who made the most beautiful flower arrangements ever!

* Mr. 2010 who worked to give me a beautiful basement stairwell, newly painted with recessed lighting before the party, took me shopping for all the booze, took pictures, served drinks, provided a party game, and basically was perfect in every way.

* Craig Dunham, the man who's taught me the most about faith and who came from Evergreen and dare-deviled his wheelchair over precariously steep steps -- and Kirk Ryder for helping him get here.

* All the friends and family who were remote, but still sent me emails, called me, or participated in the party, including Ian Usher, who even sent a video from Nepal.

* Rebecca Mullen who sent me the special Optimizer Elixir package and video to help me promote my book. Her support and encouragement is unparalleled.

* Brian Thulson who learned, sang, and recorded Hallelujah with the new lyrics so that I could create a slideshow put to music. (This also saved my guests from having to listen to me try to sing the song!)

* All the friends who brought creative cards and gifts representing love (satisfying both the inner-Devil and inner-Angel!) I had so much fun opening them and finding fun surprises!

* All the people who have read, critiqued, edited, bought, or were IN the book! Thank you for such support.

* Chris Tidd, my good-natured son-in-law with the wonderful sense of humor who managed to make me look forward to being the subject of a roast.

* My three incredible children: Meg Tidd, Matt Podlogar, and Scott Podlogar. I can't even begin to tell you how proud I am, so I won't try. Just suffice to say that they were the best birthday presence ever.

The acknowledgment section of my book tells the story of a time I was lost on the first day of 3rd grade. My first grade teacher helps me and smiles such a warm smile and I vow to remember her smile forever. I told that story at my party and made "love notes" for my friends to remind them of a time they did a kindness for me that I'll keep with me always, like that smile.

Well, the party was a whole lot of smiles piled together into one enormous bear hug that comforts me so deeply. No matter what ups and downs life will bring, I will close my eyes and remember that feeling. No matter who moves in and out of my life, there is one thing I know will not change. I am loved. And just like Mrs. Lehman's smile, I will vow to remember that love and keep it with me forever.