Sunshine

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity.  These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.

–Joseph Addison

Sunshine and smiles, that’s me today!  I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award, which is “peer recognition for bloggers who inspire positivity and joy.”  I can hear you laughing, and if eye rolling were audible, I’d hear that too, you guys.  The irony is not lost on me.

I was nominated by one of my favorite bloggers and author Suzanne at My Dang Blog.  She’s clever as hell, she’s an engaging writer, and I am sure if we were neighbors, both we and our dogs would be best friends and share a bottle of wine at least weekly.  Alas, the heroine of today’s tale lives in Ontario, and I only pretend live in Toronto, which makes the weekly wine date somewhat of a trick to manage. Also, no wine for the dogs.  I mean, that was pretty much understood, right? But I don’t want you to think I’d booze up my Rawr-Rawr just to get him off the couch once in a while.

With her nomination and my acceptance, because I am nothing if not one for sucking up to the universe for praise, I agree to answer some questions she has posed, and because it wasn’t an even ten from her, I’m throwing in a few of my own just ’cause.  See if you can guess which are legit and which come from my own Ask Alexa.

1) What country do you come from?  Born In the USA, just like Springsteen, except more Great Lakes Region-y

2)  Political advertisements: Persuasive or Divisive?  Lies.  Lies.  Lies.  Twisted and manipulated from every angle, but the most menacing are the ones from the nut jobs not sharing my ideology.  Obviously.  Hey, it’s my blog and it’s my award. I tried, y’all, I tried to listen to the other side, to remain open and objective, and use those conversations to inform and educate myself on opposing views, to understand why and how people think it’s OK to mock disabled people and shove LGBTQ individuals back in the closet.  I’ve yet to see the advertisement that convinces me otherwise–“Oh really?  So he’s in favor of sex offenders you say? I better check the other box.  Thank you SO MUCH for this clarifying ad.”  Divisive.  What?  This is the Sunshine Blog Award??  Oh yeah. OK, moving on. . . PS–no one is in favor of sex offenders.

3) Left or Right Handed?  Both, actually.  I have answered this before, so read down to #4 if this is old news.  I consider myself a lefty, as I write with my left hand.  I also bat lefty, lead with my left leg, and use a chef’s knife using my left.  But I throw a ball, cut with scissors, and cut food with my right.  The tasks I do with one hand can absolutely not be accomplished with the other.

4)  Last Song You Listened To?  Soooooo late to the party, but I just downloaded the Hamilton Original Broadway Cast recording.  I don’t know the song’s title, but I think it’s called Cabinet #2.  Everyone in the world knows what I’m talking about except me here.  Last week I went to see the Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s production of In The Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s pre-Hamilton smash.  He is an unparalleled talent, but you already know that.  I’d have been a much better student of history if I could have sung it instead of read it.

5) What is your dream destination?  I don’t know that I have one.  In his youth, my husband was in the Air Force Reserve, and had a sortie that landed him in Italy.  From the day we met, he has said he wanted to take me to Italy to revisit what he experienced as his happiest days (I mean his happiest days before I came into his life, obviously).  So there maybe?

6) Why did you burst out laughing in a meeting on Thursday?  This question was directed to My Dang Blog in response to a specific post, but I’ll answer it too.  I burst out laughing twelve times a day, at minimum, at work.  Why?  Because my sense of humor is inappropriate and only marginally safe for work.  But this time there was a specific catalyst: Thursday marked the fifth annual South Toronto Day celebration.

My coworker Christine decorates my work and life with Canadiana and Barenaked Ladies-themed Photoshopped works along with other, more traditional birthday paraphernalia to celebrate the birthday of Ed Robertson, my favorite singer.  Yes, it’s a bit over the top, and no, I DON’T KNOW if the guys in the band think I’m crazy.  Stop asking me!  Christine contributes the swag–no small endeavor–and I supply the treats:  maple leaf cream cookies (naturally), all-dressed potato chips, and an extra special find for SoToDay 2018: maple-bacon chips.  If only they made a poutine flavor!  I have a new boss this school year, and she probably thinks I’ve got a few screws loose, but she did play along and wish me a “Happy Canada, what? your favorite singer? what’s the plane about??” Day.

7) What is your favourite movie? (See, Suzanne’s Canadian, so the “u” stays)  I have a few favorites, but if I’m made to pick just one, it’s Singin’ In The Rain.  It’s not the favorite I’d choose to watch most frequently (that would be The Hangover), but Gene Kelly?  Donald O’Connor?  Come on!  I can never walk away from or turn off That Thing You Do! or The Replacements.  Why is this not a top five list?

8) What crazy thing did you do on Friday night?  Last Friday night was off the hook, yo.  After I recovered from an eternal work week with a small fermented beverage, my husband and I shopped at Sam’s Club.  For those not in the know, Sam’s is a warehouse wholesaler, known for its 50-lb. sacks of rice and 2-gallon drums of olive oil, you know, what every household of four needs.  So yeah, Team Weir crushed the livin’ la vida loca Friday night.

Oh, and also there were showtunes. 

9) Are you happy with your current life?  Yes.  I bitch a lot, but I consider myself a generally happy person.  Positivity is quicksilver these days, which makes the timing of the Sunshine Blogger award especially ironic.  I struggle mightily regarding work issues–of the million things I want to go well or right for our department, I am unable to effect the change I want to see happen, and that frustrates me.   As my number one son navigates the world of high school, I wince as I watch him try so damn hard to accomplish tasks that for his peers come easily.  His classmates don’t even ever have to consider the effort going into activities like walking or holding a drum mallet, but mine does, and I find myself playing a dangerous game of comparisons these days.  I have a number two son for whom most things come effortlessly, and I’m relieved and elated for him.  I have a husband who loves me, a roof over my head, a car that starts when I hit the button every time, and enough to eat that I’m about 8 pounds heavier than I’d like to be.  I’d be a jerk not to be happy about that, right?

10) Do you have any new and interesting bathroom stories?  New and interesting?  Ummm. . .  There was that one time I was in the midst of doing the thing at my favorite breakfast restaurant.  Though my door was latched properly, a woman, apparently new to how public bathroom stall doors work, bashed and bashed on the door until it popped open.  She had the, I don’t know what, nerve? naivete? to look surprised to see me sitting there.  But watch me turn this around.  Ready?  I’m happy to be smart enough to know how bathroom stall doors work.  Go, me!

STOP THE PRESSES!  THIS JUST IN–And I swear on all I hold dear that this is entirely true:  Someone pooped on the floor outside my boss’ office today.  Like turds.  In my office building.  Left (is that the correct verb?) between 8:10 and 8:20 AM.  Am I really happy with my current life????  Maybe I rethink #9 above.

I need a moment.  Or maybe a new job.

Now, according to the rules, I’m supposed to nominate other people for this award. To straight-up plagiarize Suzanne, “Frankly, I follow a lot of people, and you all make me happy, so it’s really hard to narrow the list down without me worrying that I’ve left someone out, but here are some people who are very positive and would probably never throat punch anyone.”

To play along, should they accept my nomination, they’re to refrain from throat punching, answer these questions and pay it forward (or feel free to create your own questions) (or feel free not to answer any of them at all) (or feel free to continue ignoring me because most of these  bloggers/sunshine purveyors don’t know I exist).  But hand over my heart, Suzanne, I adore you and Titus and your Dang Blog, and I’m touched you think that for one hot second I spread sunshine.

Jim, at Random Writings On the Bathroom Wall always has a little something nice or sassy or thoughtful in his posts.  They’re quick hits, and I like ’em.  I believe I read recently that he doesn’t share in the blog awards, but I like the quick read = smile thing.

Jackie, The Baseball Bloggess, is an all-star.  Even when her team loses as many games as the World Series champs win in a season, her spin is funny and sassy, which to me is a ray of sunshine.  And I say this not only because she featured my kid in her blog.  Honestly.  She’s been featured in some pretty big press too!

Gemma, at Wheelescapades, savors tea as she explores the UK, reporting back on accessibility from the driver’s seat.  I especially enjoy her interviews with other bloggers.

Oh, to be a visual artist!  I grin madly every time a new Wrong Hands is published.  Clever word play elevated by terrific illustration.  Love.

Another Jackie, this Jackie writes at Disability & Determination.  Like my son, Jackie also has MD, and shares observations and determination in the every day as well as some of the big picture stuff.  Every post isn’t 100% sunshine, but every keystroke is keepin’ it real, and a good 99% of her posts are, in fact, facing the sun.  When I began blogging, I searched for MD-related posts and writers.  Lucky find for me!

The Bloggess changed my life. Not 100% sunshine, but if bravery and candor and holy crap, the funniest woman on the planet aren’t sunshine, I don’t know what is.  Jenny Lawson is the first blogger I ever followed before I knew that one “followed” a blog. Suzanne’s a fan too! xoxo

14 thoughts on “Sunshine

  1. You are my sunshine. My only (well, one of my) sunshine. You make me happy, when skies are gray (which they often are on the coast). Truly, dude.

    Also, did you forget about “Dodgeball” and poopy-flavored suckers?

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  2. As soon as you mentioned “That Thing You Do” I was singing it in my mind. Thanks for that, because I LOVE that movie so much and I haven’t thought about it in a long time! You are pretty sunshiny and I’m glad I get to share in your adventures every once in a while. Also, your breaking news made me cringe. I think you need a new job lots of times, but then I think about the kids you serve and I think, “Nope. They need her.” Congratulations!

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    • Congratulations to you on that huge (however misspelled) ray of sunshine this week! You deserve the attention for your loving commitment and attention to the game, most especially to the Os. If anyone needed sunshine this season, it was them. ⚾️

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  3. How did you enjoy In the Heights, Wendy? I love Washington Heights — it’s one of my favorite NYC neighborhoods and has been since I was fourteen — and harbor a desire to live there when I move back. (I’ve been “moving back” to New York for a decade, incidentally.) I think Miranda really captures the spirit of the community in that musical! Of course, the music doesn’t compare to that of the Oneders!

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    • I really enjoyed it. The Rep is a small company playing in a small-ish venue, but I think they made terrific use of the stage to capture the neighborhood feel. The whole show made me want to go back to NYC to keep exploring. Ten years, you say? I have faith you’ll get there before the next ten!

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      • Christ, I hope so! If I’m still here in L.A. in my fifties, it’s game over for me! We nearly moved back this year — it was going to happen — but an unexpected career opportunity kept us from pulling the trigger. I swear, I sometimes think I’m in The Truman Show — where it’s impossible to get out of town!

        Upper Manhattan is full of delights that tourists never see, because they stick to Midtown for the most part. The area north of the George Washington Bridge — like Washington Heights — was my stomping ground as a kid, and I really do long to live in that neighborhood. I can’t wait to be back there in a few weeks at Christmas…

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  4. I am more than well overdue for sending my heartfelt thanks for including me on this awesome list for this awesome award. Your blog is always the one I look forward to reading the most and your kind and heartfelt comments on my posts mean more than I could ever adequately put into words. You are most certainly sunshiney and so super deserving of the award!

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