Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bridges, Floods and Lost Highways.

So, I'm rummaging through the CNN.com photojournalism of Irene's destruction - and midst the few "WHOA!" moments, I'm starting to draw these parallels between Mother Nature and Human Nature. Well, more like my nature - which under a microscope might have some unique composites.

 This last week has been a little out of the box for me and plagued with a lot of anger.  Some of it is based on the health of my idol. Some of it is based on my own poor judgements and the consequences of my actions.  The majority of it, however, is aimed at one person... or rather... was aimed.  Much like the breezy and sunny afternoon that follows the hurricane, I now find myself weathered but still standing - and with my face in the sun.

While I could get into some long diatribe about who I am and why I am and.... yawn.......... I won't.  But people - man, people never fail to amaze me.  We live in a world of Spin - and I'm not just talking about Fox News.  We literally have disconnected ourselves so much that we fail to recognize human impact. The spirit of one to one interaction is lost - in its stead is this medium of 80 wpm and emoticons. Being insincere and cruel is second nature - and a sorry sight to behold in the stead of what was once a thriving part of your life. Living this disappointing reality, I felt my blood pressure boil over and I came to a very real conclusion - empathy, sympathy and respect are still embodied in that eye to eye contact.  This epiphany defined my anger and that definition led to the dissolved state that it is in now.  But the lesson learned has marked me right down to the core.

Essentially, friendships are very much like those bridges I see in the pictures from Irene.  They seem concrete.  They seem immovable.  They seem to go somewhere.  The truth is - in a day - they can be gone... with pieces scattered so far and wide that you cannot put them back together.  You can only build anew. With better materials and understanding of what is always possible. I learned that no matter how much stock you put into someone, how much hope, how much understanding and support you offer.... the winds might someday just blow it away.  In what I guess some folks don't understand, label as crazy or... postal.... is that for me I need to stand there and scream.  It doesn't make sense - and in the long run I usually find a better road anyway.... but it's just another detour - and I fucking hate construction.

- Kat

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Days like today.

I have exhausted my phone's registry of what I might call close friends.  I am tired.  I am sad. But the thought of someone touching me or trying to hug this away.... it's criminal.  I have so many unanswered questions - so many regrets - so much weight on my mind....

Days like today are peppered with fits of rage, moments of solace and the occasional five minutes of wanting to tear apart the old me and rebuild.  For a traditionally unemotional wreck like myself, I am lost with what to do with all this - these things I've felt for years on end in spurts and are now brought to a head again by loss on so many levels.

Between relationships and innocence, I believe that I'm stranded alone - with ironically is the most prevalent fear for me.... solitude... endless solitude.  Can you possibly fear something so much that you will it into existence? The sharp slice of the vodka - the only dependable thing I can find.  Because I'm not sure how else to find dependability.... as a broker I seem to invest my stock into sinking ships... time and time again.

How can two such radically different women exist in one body, in one soul?  The first a head strong individual ready to tackle the world.... the other this weak and feeble thing that makes me sick to think about.  But, here I am....  alone.   Through the registry and left only with a glass - my blade.  Armed wtih a compass and pursuit - I still find myself lost on this canvas - and terribly scared.

Monday, July 25, 2011

When did America develop such a pity for the rich?

You know - in every television show, movie, book or cartoon I've ever seen/read... there was never a poor villain.  There were vagrants and thugs, murderers and thieves - sure they were poor.  But never was there a true villain that I can remember being of desolate means.  So I ask you... if, for generations, we have commonly held that money tied to power creates absolute evil... why now, in these times of historic financial recession, do we have such a deep empathy for the "plight" of the wealthy?

I fail to understand America.  Why are you so headstrong about the rights of the top 2%?  If it weren't as scary as it is - I would say it was comical.  The top tier actually have the hardest working American's convinced of three outrageously false lies.  It's as though they slapped the word beef on a living chicken and convinced 98% of America that it was walking filet mignon.

1. When the rich are rich - they provide jobs.  Well... maybe.... in 1950.  You know... when they still hired Americans to do the work American Companies go ahead and take their income off of.  But, why hire Americans to do jobs that benefit American companies when there's billions of folks in India and China whole will do it for a fraction of the cost??   The Right calls this "good business" - and for the owners you can bet your ass that they're right.  So, while 800 line workers in Detroit sit idly by and watch the bank foreclose on the home they grew up in, their parents grew up in, their grandparents... well you get the idea..... some other meagerly paid Chinese man is working 15 hours a day to buy shoes for his kids.  What's funny about that? What's ironic? While these Americans are losing their jobs, they still go to the voting booth and throw their vote towards a man or woman who will do nothing but give more tax breaks to the bastards that just laid them off.  Sad.

2. Liberals want to tax everyone.  Well, that's what Fox would have you believe anyway.  We're just a bunch of crafty old tax hounds looking to take all your money so that we can throw lavish parties like Medicare and Public Education.  "We want America to be like it used to be... the good old days."  Ah, reminder folks - the "good old days" that the Right Wing refer to on a somewhat daily basis was during a time in our Country's history where the rich paid increases based on MARGINAL tax structure.  Here's the definition of that term taken from www.Politifacts.com: "So in 1955, for example, when the top marginal tax rate was 91 percent, that was the tax rate owed on a person's income over $300,000." This is nearly EXACTLY what is being proposed today - only now it's un-American to ask the wealthy to do this.... but somehow... back during those good old days... it was status quo.

3. Here's my favorite.... The Rich man understands you and has empathy for you.  He believes in you. Supports you. Backs you. And if you work hard enough.... you too can be a millionaire.  But he can't be there for you if you take him money to pay for things that you need to earn on your own...  I ask you though... how does a child earn an education in a poor neighborhood? How does a sick man earn his medication if he struggles to make rent.  How did America get so fooled into thinking that the poor are lazy - and this is why they are poor.  Look here folks..... I've lived in some fairly affluent areas in my time... I'm here to tell you that all those rich folks out there - well they aren't all rich because they work hard.  Some are. Some worked their asses off.... just like some poor people.  But there is a great deal of lazy wealth out there too.  They are smart though... otherwise how else would you they convince you they aren't really there?....which reminds me of a great quote from The Usual Suspects..."The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."

Money is the root of all evil.  I'm tired of hearing excuses for the greedy. I'm tired of seeing the working class stand there like pillars holding up their empty rhetoric of A Lost America as thought it was some sort of religious epitaph. I'm sick of seeing trickle down idiocy and I'm waiting for the sleeping giant to open its eyes and literally bitch-slap stupid back down to the gutter.  Hey, if the NFL can find compromise, there still has to be some reasonable thought left in the world right? One would hope.  One can only hope.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New York, New York : 2

Today was one of those days they write songs about.  In fact, I believe that they did write a song about today - it was called "New York State of Mind" and the brilliant Mr. Billy Joel sings it - at least he did prior to the financial collapse... not sure if he does anymore.  At any rate, the streets were buzzing, the sun was shining - all the good things that come with being in a very busy city were charming the life back into living. It was like God's version of a Fred Astaire number - done with practice to perfection yet never lost on even the most devoted fan.

And now here I am - sitting in an airport bar drinking a drastically overpriced beverage and only slightly annoyed at the dirt and grime surrounding me.  The day draws to close and I'm alive with the recent memory of my grandfather's arms around my shoulders, his laugh and smile lighting up the room and a warm "looking forward to seeing you again" echoing in my ears. At 92 years old and the living legend of strokes and heart malfunctions - he is a miracle... even if he doesn't feel that way.  Yet... I know that each visit is potentially the last - and that's a particularly morbid accent to the flight.  He was never a character of gentlemanly traits the way Mr. Cary Grant was.... but he was and continues to be a character in his own right.  He sits outside of his upper west side apartment, barely able to remember the ten minutes he just lived through but, still - ogling the women as they pass by.  At one point he whistles at a woman who is roughly 22 years old (or so I guess.)  And when I turn to him to smile he says, "What? I'm still alive!" - Yes Opa... you are. 

For those that do not know me or my history - my Opa is my hero.  I have written once about my Grandmother- my father's mother... and told you of her history.... so it seems only right that I should share with you my Opa.  My Opa, his 3 wives, his 3 children, his 3 grandchildren.... my Opa who does everything in a series of threes apparently.  I guess I just realized that... an epiphany mid-blog... go figure.

At any rate, Opa is a musician who ages without the blessing of his ears.... they've been gone for several years now... and it is only through the use of some very powerful hearing aids that he is able to only slightly get into a verbal exchange.  And only then after you say things very slowly and very clearly... oh yes... and very loudly. But a musician who cannot hear music can still hear music.  And so he does.  As he gets hungry, he begins to hum.... a tune (I'm told) is a from an Opera and from a scene during which a man awaits his food from the servers. An Opera? Yes. An Opera - because what else would you expect a master of the English Horn who played with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for thirty years to know? His wife, still practicing Cellist with the Company, knows all the shows and in this very sweet way, this is how they communicate. He hums a show - she knows why.  Of course the meaning of Biere Hier isn't quite as difficult to decipher.... it may be German but to understand that the man wants a Beer Here... not very complex.... yet still pretty damn adorable.

My Opa... I'm not sure how you can even begin to describe him.  But I can explain that since he's aged... he is different.  Sometimes I miss the man I knew - the man who would scold me, scare me... teach me some incredibly valuable lessons about life... but this man that he is now... well a five year old girl came to visit with her parents - the nephew of Opa's wife, Marian.  In no way related to my grandfather by blood you would never believe that this group wasn't the most pure form of family you can find.  There is an understanding, a knowing... and common bond that they all share.... and that I share - or so I like to believe. And here is this man visiting... a man who was only a boy when he first met Opa... who now has a wonderful wife and a little girl of his own. He's family in a way I guess I don't even understand myself.  The three of them are - even though I've only just met the daughter and have only ever met the parents a handful of time... still - family.... inexplicably.   Besides the small one bedroom apartment buzzing with Hebrew sounds (I did learn how to say Chicken during my visit) there is this energy that only a little girl who has no inhibitions can produce.  At any rate, the effect she has on my grandfather is nothing short of amazing.  He watches her and he smiles. It's the smile of a man who knows he doesn't have a lot of time left - like somehow this innocence and purity is the only thing left in the world that he cares to see. The adults - we're done. We've been molded and cooked - and as we age we're getting stale.  But not Alma... Alma is just a child who - I suspect - thinks of things much like my grandfather does now... as simply as possible.

To walk away from someone who you love as much as I love my Opa is beyond difficult.  I have to do it quickly - like pulling off a band-aid. If I linger, I won't go.  I'll sit and want to know more, hear more, understand more.  I feel a very real sadness that my cousins are so young - that they never really knew the man Richard Werner Stein Nass was.  I envy my mother that she's had a lifetime with him and my uncle for how much he has become him.  Born in Germany my Opa is the American Success story that should serve to inspire a generation.  I wish - more than you know - that I could share him with you.  What I can say is this - if you believe that I am opinionated, stubborn or independent... then know this... I don't have anything on him.  If I could live to be one tenth the human being that he has been and continues to be 92 years in.... then I will be a great success in life.  That is a fact.

Opa - until Thanksgiving.  I love you.

- Kat

Sunday, July 3, 2011

New York, New York : 1

I absolutely cannot help it - despite the solid knock on my ass that this city handed to me just over five years ago - I am still in love.  New York is an energy.  New York is a city of complete assh*les.  New York is an unforgiving patron of cynicism and neglect.  I do find myself in love here.

As I drink the 6th, perhaps 7th?, glass of red wine and an apartment humming with window air-conditioners and occasional African Grey squawks, I am shamelessly admitting my long lost admiration for metropolitan life.  The McDonald's down the street serves McVeggies - a vegetarian alternative.  The local department stores sell 80.00 tops at a 30.00 price-tag.  The dogs bark with an accent.  The pizza guy says have a nice night the same way someone in Indy says "f*ck you!" Table after table is buzzing with political discussion and cerebral intellect. I, myself, had an argument today about who was TOO liberal!Sometimes I get here... and I'm home.

Other times, like now... I'm so far away.  I think about my friends and family back home - and as one friend puts it... I get mushy.  But I cannot help it.  In the last year I have built this network of people that are unlike any network I've ever had.  Instead of having 1 or 2 people understand me - I have 10 - 20... and of those I have 4 - 5 who I really find myself missing on a daily basis.  You ask my family here and they want to dive into some psychoanalytical debate about why I feel that way...  but the bottom line is that I do.  I miss my friends. I miss my pseudo-family.  I know that a lot of people "find their other half" in a husband or a wife.... but - for the present - I find the best part of me reflected in the people I'm around.  And to that end, I hope to someday have the chance to show off my city... lol - listen to me.... "my city..."  .... THIS city.  I hope to someday show them this magical city of dirt, grime, creative energy, hope, despair, great f*cking pizza/coffee/bagels/art, hate, love, etc...... I miss them - I bring them here in my heart.  That's how I roll.

- Kat

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The funny thing about love.

I am tired.  I am sitting in bed, eyes closing, stomach aching and a serious case of self pity going.  I have lost it about 6 times today - crying about everything.  My inner monologue going a little like, "What did I do? I did nothing! Well maybe I did that.... damn it... I'm messed up. No, I didn't do anything..... But wait...." 

I've come to realize that I'm a gullible and naive 30 year old who wants, wishes and hopes for the best in all her friends.  You know how they say that statistically there is a percentage of a group that fits some psychological abnormal profile? Well I look around and say "can't be - look at these people, they are great."  And so I trust them - like a fool.  It isn't until after they've shown me their fang that I find myself shocked at their bite.

Two times now.  Two freaking times.  The first time around I was just a girl, who fell in love with a boy, who fell in love with another girl - forgot to tell this girl and just disappeared.  Cry, cry, cry, bitch, bitch, bitch - move on....

Fool me once, shame on you.

Second go around - the ride is still broken.  Although exact causes remain unknown at this time.  Elements had been changed to protect the passengers - emotions were removed, attachments discarded and a platonic undertone installed to add extra insurance.  Despite an overhaul on the part of the maintaining company - the machinery snapped about a week ago and parts of communication were lost - left to the wind.  So far our routine has been to cry 6 times....

Fool me twice, shame on me.

That's it.  Guilt. Self pity. Self mutilation - okay maybe not that but you get the idea.  Here I was so excited to have parlayed this broken half assed experience into a lasting friendship - and what I'm finding is that to work this has to be much more of a mutual honesty which clearly did not happen here.  Okay here's the worst, most despicable part of the entire story - I would still ride.  Right?!? What the hell!!!!

When I love I love full throttle.  I push her til she can't go no further.  And while I'm not the first to dole out hugs on the poor victims of said encounters - I would do anything for a friend.  And so - to me, the loss of a friend is a devastation much worse than that of a complacent man.  I feel foolish today and as I type, my eyes fight to stay awake.  This is what happens with this much stress and only five hours of sleep two nights in a row....

Monday, May 9, 2011

Humble Luck.

Thirteen years ago I would not have believed you if you'd told me I'd be where I am today.  Nearly thirty-one years old, NOT an award winning film maker, NOT married, NOT a mom, NOT living in New York City....  but somehow happy.... there is no way I would have believed you.   Isn't if funny how we change.  Not only that, but that somehow there are some people that you never thought would be, end up being still in your life.  The other night, following a steady diet of too many beverages, a guy who lived right down the hall from my Freshman year college boyfriend let me do my drunk cry and rambling talk and then promptly told me to get my head out of my, well, you know.  

Turns out, he was right.  I woke up this morning and realized that in one week I'm going to be starting down a road I am blessed to have found - and I say this with a great deal of humility.  It's 2011 and we aren't all buzzing around in our Jetson space cars quite yet.  In fact, in many ways, we're sort of going backwards.  Growing up all I heard was what we can now equate to "college=job".  Only that isn't the case for everyone.  I know some people who have quite the head on their shoulders and yet, oddly, can't get work.  So when I quit my post in January - trust me when I say I know EXACTLY how lucky I am to have gotten a job by May.   And a job that I am going to love? A company that is one of the best to work for in the city??  Overwhelming doesn't even begin to describe it.  And I look to my friends who are still out there searching - and I want to say that I understand the frustration.  I understand the hardship.  Moreover, I believe in you!!!!

It is not without the support of friends and family that we get through the tough times.  My parents - holy cow my parents - they are not to be believed! They have been the most amazing people through all of this and the blind belief they had in me.... It's pretty crazy to think about.  And my friends - Katie, Anne, Michelle, Jake, Justin, Jason, Kristin, Julie, Lisa, Karen, Christie, Ray, Kurt, Di - EVERYONE at volleyball - wow.  It's been an amazing awakening and even when I break down and cry about what I "think" is a big deal - then I look back at what really matters in life and I'm actually extremely lucky.  Two years ago I was sort of treading water.  Spending time with a group of people I didn't really click with, working at a job I knew wasn't really where I would spend the next decade of my life, living paycheck to paycheck and wondering "when will it change?"  It did! It finally did! And it starts in a week - and I'm terrified. HA!

Anyway, that's the news with me.  I have three wonderful days of volleyball this week, a weekend planned already that I'm very much looking forward to and maybe a few wine nights with friends thrown in the mix.  Basically, before I know it this week will be gone and things will start to truly take shape.  I'm pretty excited and thank you to everyone who helped me get here. 

Ps. GUAC off details coming soon. 


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Don't forget to brush.

June and Kat
I remember asking my grandmother a few years back what she wish she might have done differently with her life. Wife of a lawyer, mother of two successful boys, grandmother of 4 and now great-grandmother to two - she is a woman who has aged with the grace and dignity of an amazing bottle of Bordeaux - although she traditionally prefers Chardonnay. Her hair was stark white by age 35 but it didn't stop her - part of the charm behind grace is the complete lack of vanity.  Instead she was such a respected member of the community, that she sat at the table with JFK in Richmond, Indiana as he toured the country (for what purpose I assure you I cannot remember.) All of this, two world wars, Korea, the Vietnam conflict, Iraq, Cuba, The Cold War, The Depression.... first steps on the moon, the fall of the Berlin Wall, TV, Color TV, etc.... She was born in 1916 - before women had won the suffrage movement pushing through the 19th amendment.  Today, at 94 years old she sits a registered Democrat with family deeply entrenched in politics.   She's an icon - an old woman now with arthritic hands and painful joints - but an icon representing everything I should hope to be in my life.  (Even if she does shudder when she thinks about how I have two tattoos, my hair is too long and constantly tells me that the holes in my jeans make me appear impoverished.)  So what else do you ask an icon besides what you would change in your life, if you could? Do you know what she said?  "I'd take better care of my teeth."

So it's the little things.  And it's time.  It's the passing of time that takes all the major events that shape what we think is the end of the world and turns them into something really rather mundane.  But the little things, they stand out.  The people in your life - they stand out.  Time has this magic about it - and as I get a little older every day I start to see more and more clearly the benefits of trusting in it.  You know that line from The Stones - the epiphany lyrics that tend to rattle around life lessons and painful loses? "You don't always get what you want - but if you try sometimes - you just might find - you get what you need."  It hurts me to say this but maybe this song needs to be redone by some auto-tune no-talent hack of a pop icon... I feel like it's a concept that is getting lost under a sea of falsely-entitled pre-pubescent brats and if we aren't careful, may become extinct within two or three generations.  Let's get real though, from time to time we are all guilty of the systematic eradication of patience. Well, I know I am.

You don't always get what you want.  It's a fact.  But the secret is that just because you want something - just because in that moment your heart is staring at whatever it is like it's the Red Rider BB Gun and tomorrow is Christmas - it may not be the best thing for you.  Hard lesson to learn but one of those you have to conquer at some point.  And to those of us who get a little emotional about what we want, well - sometimes we make mistakes and push boundaries.  And sometimes we push so hard that like a 45 year old trying on her prom dress, we tear the fabric and seem to ruin the whole damn thing.  You don't always get what you want.

Then time happens.  You grow a little - you realize that what you thought you wanted, what you thought you had to have.... the dress you had to wear again after two children and 25 years of morning donuts and biggie sized french fries.... it wasn't meant to be.  You don't realize it but you've been getting over it. The first week was legitimately awful - although at this point you don't remember it thanks to a little help from your friend, The Captain.  The second week was a little better - you switched to wine.  The third week you thought about that dress once... maybe twice?  And then somewhere along the line, you moved on with your life.  Look at that! You grew.  You boxed up the dress, put it back up on the top shelf and hit the gym.

If you try sometimes....

Actually - you don't always have to try (although sometimes, you totally do!).  Sometimes all you have to be is humble.  Sometimes you have to wait until waters calm down, the storm is now a distant memory... and you have to say - wait for it - "My bad." Well, that and you have to mean it.  But here's the really fantastic part.... once you've done that the universe has your back.  You get what you need.  I don't expect anyone to understand this - but I'm extremely grateful for my humility in the last few years, months, days... ha, you name it! It is so funny where and in whom you can find your smile again once you let go of the reins a little and let life wash up like the tide.

Look, life is definitely a crapshoot.  Sometimes you're gonna get snake eyes, sometimes you're going to get bitten by the snake.  There are going to be rough patches - and you will have to rely on your friends without letting your ego get the better of you.  And yes, you will make mistakes.  You have to laugh though. Otherwise the world is a dark, miserable place with walls collapsing in on you and all your dreams.  Not much fun. So you have to buckle down and get through the muddy parts with that style and grace of a generation almost gone. I mean, I think about my grandmother - about all the life she's lived and how many times she must have thought she was witnessing the end of the world or that her sanity was just about run out.... and in retrospect you ask a woman who has 94 years of life to her name what in the world she would change.... and all she laments about is her dental care - well that's gotta tell you something right there.

Universe - I hear ya.  And yes, today I totally flossed.

- Kat

Monday, January 3, 2011


Once upon a time I thought about writing.  Not blogs but books.  Entire novels filled with characters I created and situations I dreamed about.  Of course, once upon a time I thought digging up old dinosaur bones was my future and that didn't so much pan out either.  But writing actually seemed logical for me.  In talking with my friend yesterday about how a mathematician truly sees math,  I started to think about how I see words.  This guy is wickedly intelligent and when engaged in conversation he requires mental efficiency on my part that is refreshing beyond measure. Some topics he loses me on though. This was turning into one of those conversations. He was going on about how 1 plus 1 can equal zero by bending the equation around a poll (???) and being the ADD child of the 80's that I am, my mind wandered a bit. I started to think about how words are pretty much the same way.  You can create them, use them, criticize them and derationalize anything with them.  They are the ultimate weapon you can use and even more damaging when you don't use them in some cases.  They create language (which is true of math too only I don't really speak that language all that well....) and language to me is a lost art.  Look at how we mangle it on a day to day basis - devining new ways to be lazy about expression of thought.  Anyway, I love words and what's shocking is that while I'm currently sitting in bed, dreaming of the hour when my body is free from self inflicted toxins, I'm staring at my computer screen and unable to come up with any words for something as simple as a Facebook status.

I've been accused on several occasions of being too sensitive - it's a fair accusation.  I'm pretty much constantly worried about what people think of me which I can attribute, for the most part, to my childhood.  Developmentally I had some seriously awkward years and, while they've become some wonderful people since, the kids at the time did what kids do and hassled me about it.  But here's the deal - I'm okay with it.  I've learned to live with being something of a sap.  What it allows me to access are these incredibley intuiative feelings about other people - picking up on traits that most people don't even see in themselves.  This is why I love photography so much - apart from having a good idea for composition - I truly believe that a photograph of a person is an intimate thing.  In the stead of description, it's a visual account of reflection.  The life of Frederick Douglas is a fascinating read and full of information accounting for character, bravery and a true sense of dignity - but it's his photo on the cover that connects you to soul of the man.  I imagine that where words are a forray into someone's mind - photography is a quite literal reflection of self through the eyes of another - noticing the nuances in someones face and choosing a shutter moment at random to document it.   To be fair, I see photos even when I don't have a camera. I've often wondered if this is some strange thing or if it's a commonly shared "gift?"

Sometimes you get lucky and all the facets of your life start to make sense. You can see the harmony and the potential of them - which is how I imagine you can really discover what your passions are for the next leg of your adventure.  Language, imagery, people I'm blessed to know.... it's all becoming sybiotic in my life and leaving me wondering what greatness is going to come next.  I mean, I'm sitting here - thinking about this new blank slate of a year, starting at the empty status bar and thinking that there aren't enough words to write, and yet there aren't any words at all.  The truth is that I'm finally at a point where I want to climb to the top of a tall building and shout out to the world how blessed I am and how far 2010 took me.  I want to thank every single person I know for being a part of that.  I wish I could express how important these people - these random people in life - have become to me.  I really wish I could find a way to put in words some sort of mirror to reflect back onto them what I see.  I want to find words to explain how the little things that most people don't even know they do - those are the things that (for dramatic effect) saved me... cause kids - I wasn't very healthy in 2009 and I didn't so much value myself for much.  But sitting around my table, playing Apples to Apples and laughing hysterically - I'm a totally different person just a year later.  I will always have my mistakes of yesterday - I imagine we all have plenty of those.... but it doesn't define me - not anymore.  What I wish I could give in return is impossible.... I wish I could somehow make it possible for me to show all of these wonderful people what I see in them.  How good their hearts are and how, even when they say things or do things that aren't always the nicest, they don't lose that goodness inside.  How if you can see that in a person, then you can learn to forgive pretty much anything.  It's important, I see now, to live day by day finding the humor in and about life and being able to laugh at yourself.  It's also important to shed the negative energy and distance yourself from people who have no goodness in them - they're out there you know - the folks who lurk about and pounce on weakness for ego's gain.  But for me, I'm surrounded by happiness, goodness and hope.  If I could only make language work in my favor here - sharing all the important simple little things I see with those who I see it in.  But I can't so I will continue to take photos and maybe they'll understand someday the only topic I've ever encountered that words fail me on.