Thursday, September 22, 2011

Road Block

A few weeks ago, I got that sinking feeling one gets when they lock themselves out of their house or car. We were leaving for Godfather's Pizza and I turned the lock on the side door that leads to our garage and let it shut just as I realized that the key to our house was not in my pocket. It wasn't in Dori's, either, as she had figured I could take care of such a simple thing.

It had been imperative that we leave when we did as I wanted to get to Godfather's when the buffet started at five as that's when the best selection of pizza are available, not to mention it's less crowded. I called information and got the number to a local place that we've used before called Paul's Lock & Key. I was told that it would cost $67 for someone to come out and that it'd be about 20 minutes before the guy would show up.

If only there was a way to break into the house. As a teenager, my mom sometimes locked the apartment we lived in on her lunch forgetting that I didn't have a key and counted on her to keep it unlocked. Since the dwelling was on the ground floor, it wasn't too big a problem for me to take the screen off my bedroom window and lift the window up.

Our house is a split-level. I checked the windows in the basement, but they were all securely locked as they should be. The only way I could reasonably make a break was at the window located about eight feet above ground in the front; this is the window that Zoe likes to look out on to view her turf. The screen was on there tight, but the window was open. The only problem, we didn't have a ladder.

Dori encouraged me to just wait for the locksmith, but getting the pizza I wanted, not to mention avoiding an unexpected fee weighed heavily on my mind as I put our garage dumpster below the window. I carefully got on top of it, but realized it wasn't tall enough for me to be able to enter the window. We did have a dumpster for recyclables, however, that was about 9 inches taller. I brought that one out and felt that if I jumped about a foot, I could enter the window.

Next, I needed to cut the screen open. Laying near the basketball hoop in the garage was one of those cutters that are used to chop weeds. I grabbed it and used the smaller dumpster to get onto the bigger one. I took the weed cutter and started slicing at the sides of the frame. Cheaper, I thought, to get a new screen than paying for a locksmith to come out.

Zoe, standing in the living room, gave me a WTF look.

Once I cut three sides out, it was magic time. I lifted the window high enough to make it through if I was able to make the jump. A minute later, I did so and felt the top of the couch on my belly. Success! I called Paul's Lock and told them I was able to find a way in, but wouldn't hesitate to call if a similar situation arose.

I shut (and locked) the window that had been my salvation and headed out with keys, making it to Godfather's before the buffet got going and hearing the happy tune of Dori telling me that she was impressed with my handiwork.

Monday, September 05, 2011

A Soulful Trip to Chicago - Part XI

I was familiar with the final lecturer of the weekend from Deepak Chopra's keynote the summer before. To illustrate the way that the two hemispheres of the brain work, he'd shown a video of Jill Bolte, a brain doctor, relating the morning that she woke up and while exercising, had a stroke. This video led the organizers of Celebrate Your Life to book her for this year's conference. Hearing the full story, in person, would certainly be superior than watching on video (though it had been projected onto a very large screen). I sat by the older ladies I was with the two previous nights and told the one next to me what had happened in the prior workshop.

Bolte opened by saying that she didn't recall the last time she'd received so many hugs and so much love from the attendees of a conference; course most of those previous ones were with doctors who are not generally the type to give a full-on embrace, not with the possibility of genitals touching (if only in passing).

One of the most provocative aspects of her story is how, as the stroke was overcoming her, she felt bliss as the thinking part of her brain shut off. Imagine having no thoughts on your mind, none at all. She was in pure beingness, feeling elation and euphoria, not wanting to listen to the voice off in the distance that was pleading with her to get help.

She encouraged us all to donate our brains to the institution she worked at. She said there just aren't enough people doing so, that if they did, a greater understanding of the organ would come along that much sooner. She even sang a little ditty that she wrote about the subject. From time to time, I would think back to Sonia's workshop, still finding what I'd done there a bit hard to believe.

Once Bolte's presentation ended, most of the crowd headed out. I said goodbye to the ladies I'd sat with and then talked for a bit with a woman I'd met the year before. While there, I was asked by a couple women if I'd like to give a testimonial. Not knowing what I was going to say, but loving the idea of maybe seeing myself on camera, I said, "Yes". A few seconds later, I was told that the camera was rolling. I said something like this:

"Hi. My name is Tom. We just got done listening to Jill Bolte talk about her experience of having a stroke. This is the 4th time I've been to Celebrate Your Life. I like Neale Donald Walsch, Marianne Williamson. Sonja Choquette called me onstage earlier today. It was a bit scary, but I'm glad I did it. I'd recommend anyone interested in these authors coming to the next conference and checking it out. You won't be disappointed".

A few minutes later, I walked with the woman from last year to the lobby, glad that we had gotten caught up. Before going to pick up my life partner, I did a quick walk-around to see if there was anyone left that I knew. The Spanish-looking woman from Texas, who I'd met at lunch the day before, was there, waiting for her ride to come. We embraced as she shared her experience of Sonia's workshop.

She marveled at the confluence of events which occurred that allowed her to receive what she felt was a communication from her late father: the man next to her had said his name during one of Sonia's one-on-one exercises. It was apparently a case of dominos falling perfectly into place. I asked for her email address, which she wrote, followed by...

Porsupuesto Perfecto - Nada es una coincidencia