Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Whatcha Got Under There?

During the daily check-in call with my daughter when she gets home from school:

(Me): "Hey, Toots! How was your day?"

(Her): "Great! And I've been so productive since I got home. I just cleaned out my backpack and found a fork, a bunch of lunch bags, and some underpants" >pauses< "they were mine, don't worry."

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Seeing Red

A couple of nights ago, my husband and I attended our town's holiday stroll - an adorably festive event the community hosts every year where merchants stay open late, carolers warble, and the crisp air is filled with the delightful aroma of marshmallows roasting over fire pits. Or if you're downwind from the petting zoo...alpaca dung. 

We window-shopped and chatted as we walked down main street, enjoying some downtime together. 

[Now: a bit of context for what is to follow:A few months back, I had a less-than-pleasant interaction with a local merchant. As we walked by and noticed very few customers in that merchant's shop compared to the hordes of people in others, I maturely remarked to my husband, "Good! That place is the worst and I hope it fails miserably." The second this bit of holiday cheer popped out of my mouth, I remembered we were enjoying a festive stroll! During the holidays! so I followed up the statement by singing, "fa la la la la la la la la."]

A few moments later, a gentleman promoting a new yoga studio inquired, "Would you like a free aura reading? I immediately replied, "Absolutely!" and with some prodding, my husband reluctantly agreed and we followed the gentleman into the new yoga studio.

We learned the aura is the energy field around the body. It represents a current state of mind, which means that agreeing to do this during the Trump administration was obviously a terrible idea. 

Because I was excited to do this, I had my aura read first. I sat down and placed my hands on the reader which was attached to some kind of aura-reading app. (Ed. There really is an app for everything.) The way this works it a biofeedback unit measures electromagnetic energy from the acupressure points at the ends of your fingers. This measures aura and chakras as lines of energy (meridians) from your hands lead to all parts of your organs and body. 

And in mere seconds, everything I fear about my being was displayed in vibrant color on a screen large enough for everyone in the studio to enjoy. Although we were hoping for a fairly equal balance among all the different chakras, the screen popped up bright red with a few spots of red-orange. 

Depending on your read, this could mean many things. The more generous interpretations describe red auras as passionate, driven, social, and successful - someone who is full of energy and needs to find ways to unleash physical and emotional energy without hurting themselves or others. The less kind explanations indicate that a red aura is somewhat of a "red flag" as it means a focus on materialistic thoughts, stress, and a deep-seated anger.  

When it was Canetto's turn I asked the reader, "Is there an aura that indicates a love of spreadsheets?" She replied, "That's exactly the type of sarcastic comment a 'red' would make." (Note: this didn't really happen. Out loud. I saw it in her eyes.) 

Mr. Reluctant put his hands on the reader and guess what the results were? Pretty much the ideal balance (displayed in pie-chart format for maximum in-your-facedness) of blue, yellow, and green. Meaning: he is highly developed spiritually, intuitive, has a generous and giving spirit, is open to new possibilities, calm, easy-going, relaxed, playful, and optimistic. To recap: he is perfect. And to the surprise of absolutely nobody, my husband is completely balanced, and I am completely not.
 
Because he's also competitive (which by the way, seems pretty 'red' to me), my husband asked the aura reader, "So what you're saying is this is the best aura reading you've ever seen?" The woman played along and assured him that his was what most people strive for. She also tried to mollify me by focusing on the more positive interpretation of my reading... 


...likely a survival technique she employs when dealing with those who have severe anger issues.


I wonder if the aura reader can also detect my tiny, black heart?

Friday, October 05, 2018

A Beacon of Hope

I started a new job recently that requires a considerable amount of time and focus, which means, of course, it became a priority to write a letter to the editor of The Beacon in Virginia Beach about nonsense.

The Beacon is a very thin tabloid insert in my hometown's newspaper. There is nothing prestigious or worthwhile about being named here, which is why I want to be...badly. (For further insight, see: done, everything I’ve ever.)

It has been three days since I emailed the following. Response thus far? Crickets. Score? Brutalism - 1; Fun - 0

Dear Mr. BEACON EDITOR'S NAME REDACTED,

While out to dinner recently with a group that included my mother (a long time Virginia Beach resident) and a friend I met while attending Bayside High School in Virginia Beach, our conversation turned to The Beacon (as it will).

We discussed how being mentioned in The Beacon was a rite of passage of sorts, and just about everyone we knew had been featured in its pages at some point in their lives. (For example, my mother has been named in The Beacon at least three times she can remember, and my friend at least twice.)

I live in Northern Virginia, which has been my home since graduating from college. It’s a lovely area, and since moving here, I’ve had my share of successes recognized by Washington-area publications. My annual Oktoberfest party was written up in The Washington Post; my finalist Peeps dioramas were featured in The Washington City Paper; and the Dilettante Club I founded was interviewed by Washingtonian magazine. While this is nice and obviously career-boosting, I’ve never experienced the joy and validation of being recognized by my hometown paper.

When I shared this fact at the above-mentioned dinner, everyone at our table began teasing me mercilessly. To defend myself, I noted to the high school friend’s husband, “Hey! I was even in the Guinness Book of World Records." To which he inquired, “For what? Most consecutive years of not being in The Beacon?”

I lived in Virginia Beach from the impressionable, formative ages of seven to 23, during which time I watched my mother, sister, and all my friends mentioned by name and sometimes, with accompanying photo, in your publication. Were my foreign language day at Pembroke Mall, participation in the Latin convention, and 3-8 record on the Bayside field hockey team all for naught? My perfect attendance in elementary school, 2nd place win in both the third grade spelling bee and community pumpkin-carving contest achievements not worthy of a mention? I even placed second in jump rope during Field Day one year. Was none of this good enough to warrant a few words in print?

While this (I’m sure, inadvertent) snub has likely motivated me to work harder through the years, it has also left a void in an otherwise fulfilling life. However, I believe it is not too late to right this wrong. I have a beacon (heh) of hope that one day I will be featured in your esteemed periodical. What do you say, Mr. BEACON EDITOR? Can you make a hometown girl’s dream come true?

Humbly,
Kathleen

UPDATE: While at the grocery store last night, I learned of this Northern Virginia periodical, so perhaps there is still hope of my Beacon dreams coming true one day, albeit in a different Beacon.

I mean, sure, it's targeted at those over 50 - but it's probably "the new 50" -  I mean,
they're celebrating area artists - this must be the publication for young, hip, 50+ers...

...or not...















UPDATE #2: My friend, Bonnie, crafted the following to help me feel better. She perfectly married my need to be in The Beacon with my utter distaste for the word "unguent" and capped it off nicely with an actual photo from my youth that showcases my Mother's lack of bang-cutting skills. I'm verklempt.


UPDATE #3: An email I received from the Beacon editor this weekend:

Ms. Canedo,

What a wonderful email, the best I've received in years! It's so true, being mentioned in the Beacon is a rite of passage. And it's so sad that your family and friends have subjected you to teasing due my publication's snub of your many achievements.

Let me try to right this wrong. I'd like to write my upcoming Beacon column about you. OK?

To do so, I need more information. First, I already tried to do a quick search of your name, including a simple search of "Canedo," and found nothing in our digital archives. But they can't be trusted. We've lost a lot of archive material as we've shifted software over the years.

I must confirm that you indeed were snubbed, so let's clarify - would you be named "Kathleen Canedo" if you were ever in the Beacon? Also, I'd like to search for the stories your mom and your friend were included in. Would you please provide their names and a general timeframe of when their "mentions" appeared (even guessing the decade would help)? And, when did you graduate from Bayside? What college(s) did you go to and when did you graduate from them?

By the way, I found the Washington Post story about your party. And by Googling your name I found this link: https://patch.com/virginia/oakton/ev--meet-oakton-humorist-kathleen-canedo

How wold you describe your current career, including any side jobs? Do you still have a humor column?

My Beacon column is short (example of a recent one:https://pilotonline.com/news/local/columnist/from-beacon-editor/article_02e82d1e-c5a6-11e8-b7e9-f72cdb8bc7fb.html) , so much of this won't be included in what I intend to write. But the "rite of passage" theme is important, so I hope you'll cooperate with this endeavor. 

I'll be writing this up today and tomorrow. Feel free to call me at the number below, if you'd like.

Currently loving the Beacon, 
Brutalism

FOURTH AND FINAL UPDATE: A dream, realized. Getting Your Name in the Beacon is a Rite of Passage for Virginia Beach Natives. 
Kathleen Canedo today, holding a scrapbook that includes her first-place ribbon for the
Pembroke Meadows Elementary School science fair. And many, many participation certificates.
Now what?
Brutalism

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Holding Out On Me

I feel this recent text exchange rather perfectly illustrates what it is like to be my friend (who hails from Trumbull, Connecticut):



Thursday, June 14, 2018

You'll Never Walk Alone

Friends of ours live in a fairly rural area near Annapolis. And it is lovely - they have a beautiful home on the water, own kayaks and a power boat, and when we visit, it feels like we're staying at a luxury resort.

One of the friends loves to walk, and there are many miles of private road near their house where she can do this. In fact, she was taking advantage of a secluded saunter one recent morning when an unmarked white van passed her, slowed down, turned around, and pulled up right beside her.

(This is where I would totally pull a "Blazing Saddles" and sprint away from what is surely the neighborhood serial killer.)

But she is made from hardier stuff than I, and simply stood there patiently while the gentleman rolled down his window and introduced himself as a member of a local walking club. He invited her to join their group and handed her a business card with the organization's information and his email address.

An Erol's email address.

He is definitely the neighborhood serial killer,
Brutalism

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

(Punctuation) Mark My Words

Over the weekend, my daughter invited a friend to spend the night. We did not have any plans, so I suggested the girls come with me to Safeway to redeem all of the instant winner pieces we had won playing the store's Monopoly game.

(See: Boring, Oh My God You Are So).

Whatever, I bet you don't have store brand tomato sauce and two free donuts to show for your Friday night.

Anyway, because they are good sports, they agreed to come along. When we reached the shopping center, they noticed the TJ Maxx store nearby and asked if we could go there first. I figured I owed them at least that, so we went in to explore - and we had a blast. We checked out clothes, tried on shoes, looked through all of the organizational containers, and finally landed in housewares, where I came across this throw pillow:

I picked it up and showed it to the girls, while proclaiming, "I LOVE THIS PILLOW!!!" They were both a little confused by my level of enthusiasm until I followed it up by grabbing and showing them this other throw pillow while inquiring, "What do you guys think about this one?"



At which point they gave me appreciative groans...and a promise to return the corny joke favor in the near future.

Comma's a bitch,
Brutalism

Friday, February 02, 2018

The Gift of the Pants

I received two fantastic gifts this Christmas (and one that was not-so-terrific: a dead mouse under the tree courtesy of my cat, Dexter. One one hand - gross, on the other hand - he's an indoor cat and still managed to find something we did not already have). But I digress.

My kiddo, who we affectionately call 'the Pants', presented me with these:


The 11 best memories was actually for both my husband and me (the 'you crazy people' referenced in the photo above) and included the following (with my comments in parentheses):
  • When we were dressed as Santas and ran a 5k to be in the 2018 Guinness World Record book [Your grandmother suggested this nonsense - and also suggested that had we planned ahead, we could have committed a crime during this event as any eye witness would only be able to describe the perp as "dressed in a Santa suit" (along with 5,000 others).]
  • When we had to wait in line forever at the Four Corners Monument (It was a billion degrees and we had to wait about 90 minutes just to stand on some cement and take a photo - and yet, we really did have fun waiting, didn't we? And not only because one of the artisans with a stall there had the last name 'Dukeypoo'.) 
  • When we saw the bats in Texas and when we were waiting to see them (it's weird that waiting times are some of our most fun...Tom Petty was so, so wrong)
  • When Mom and me were laughing in the car about the Toffifay commercial and then went the wrong way because we were distracted (all fun and games until Mom crashes the car because of a Toffifay commercial) 
  • When we saw the Avett Brothers in concert (and I was worried you'd get high because we were at Red Rocks in Colorado - state motto: you don't need to ask what time it is, because it's always 4:20)
  • When we played chess and Dad beat me but it was a really fun game 
  • Every time we've been in the car together 
The 52 reasons she loves me (each reason on its own playing card in a deck), included these (with my commentary in parentheses):
  • You like to watch me play volleyball (I really like to watch you have fun and work together with your teammates - and to get so tense during some points I cannot watch the game)
  • You always make me smile (back at ya)
  • You tell me you love me about 15 million times a day (bonus for the hyperbole - you are my kid)
  • You are one of the funniest people I know (and you are one of the funniest I know - and I'm old so I know a lot of people)
  • You always smell good
  • You always support me with everything I do 
  • You let me into our family decisions (well, we DO need a voice of reason...)
  • You keep me and Timmy safe
  • You tell me what is going on in the world (even when it pains me)
  • You like my friends enough to make a color-coordinated gift for them (you have great friends)
  • You respect me like you would another adult (more, actually)
  • You keep our family in order
  • You listen to my opinions and ideas (because they are original and creative and so YOU)
  • You don't treat me like a child
  • You buy stupid things like "roll the Christmas pudding" (I always will)
  • You come to all of my events (I always will)
  • You do a great Ethel Merman impression (this has been career-boosting)
  • You can't sleep if there are less than 4 rolls of TP in the downstairs bathroom (OCD is real)
  • You love our kitties enough to put things in their stockings (and they love me enough to leave dead rodents around the house - I think they win this one)
  • You don't let me do stupid and crazy things (not as much as dad, which is why all of the head injuries have happened on his watch)
  • You always make time for me (you are my favorite person)
  • You laugh at my jokes and impressions (they're hysterical)
  • You love me no matter what (I always will)
  • You make me delisious [sic] lunches for school (I do this to free up your time so you can study spelling - ooh...BURN!)
  • You call me very sweet names like dolly, sweetie, etc. (because you are my dolly and sweetie)
  • You like to cook and bake with me (I love it)
  • You like to do analogies with me (analogies : fun ::  I'm terrible at analogies...)
  • You can laugh at yourself a lot, by a lot I mean a lot (there is a lot of material with which to work)
  • You take me to very exotic places (so we can wait in line forever, apparently...)
  • You let me be myself (because yourself is pretty wonderful)
I didn't get her anything as thoughtful as this. Maybe I'll make it up to her by letting her stand in line for several hours...

Friday, January 26, 2018

You and Me Both, Sister...


Yesterday morning, a friend posted the following snippet from life with his young son...


I found this so funny, I shared it with both my husband and daughter.

Later in the day, my daughter and I went to a yoga class at our gym. On the way into the yoga studio, we passed a gentleman bending over an elliptical machine. His shorts must have been a little large, because they were sliding down his posterior.

I was wondering if my daughter noticed this when she commented dryly, while staring straight ahead:

"I'd like to see a 62% reduction in butt crack."