Friday, January 06, 2006

Reach for the Stars!

Christopher is great at New Year's Resolutions. Me, not so much. He actually makes goals in each area of his life and accomplishes them. He's pretty out of control that way. He does more in one day than many do in a week. When people ask me what Topher "does for a living," I just say "stuff," because it's easier and most people who ask really don't want to know; they're just being polite. He has a real talent for Resolutions, you could say, much like his talent for reading palms and picking winners at the Oscars. They are magical gifts which he has magnified and used for the betterment of others.

My resolutions are less concrete and more ethereal like "Be the best I can be!" or "If I can dream it, I can do it!" or "Be more awesome!" (the general rule of thumb is they should look awesome on a t-shirt). The benefit of these resolutions is they're hard to pin down then it's easier to say they've been accomplished and they seem really important. In my defense, I'm concentrating on the needs of four other people. Our goals are basic (eat, poop, clean, repeat), but time consuming nonetheless.

My family, the Valentines, have extremely strong, loud opinions and I have certainly inherited that. We don't make New Year's Resolutions, but we SURE WISH OTHER PEOPLE WOULD! Here are topics that have been visited and revisited at our get togethers:

1. What you are reading.
2. What movies you've seen.
3. Where is the most painful place to get a zit and what lengths you've gone to to get rid of it.
4. Whose going to win at the Oscars.
5. What James should do with his fame/money.
6. What Amanda should do with her career.
7. What food we should eat.
8. Funny things Gina says/does.
9. Ways Lisa has exploited #8.
10. How unnaturally cute our kids are.
11. Hair removal.
12. Bicycling/running.
13. How soda is so bad for you but it SURE TASTES GREAT!

I realize that everyone is passionate about something. My problem is that I have a strong opinion about everything. I wish I could nod my head and say, "Hmmm, I don't know how I feel about that. . . " or be lukewarm and say, "Whatever! Is Lost a rerun tonight?" I'm not trying to say that I'm a brainiac or anything and read and watch the news all day. When I say I have an opinion about everything I mean EVERYTHING. Since this is a blog about me, here is a list of things that come to mind, in no particular order that pushes me up on my soapbox (I will withhold my ranting/chosen side/reasoning/research on the issue. We all love a little mystery, don't we?):

1. People who don't watch tv.
2. Big white houses on the hill.
3. Western Medicine and Doctors.
4. Gina's hair.
5. UVSC.
6. Milk.
7. Elements of a Good Marriage.
8. Decorating.
9. Measures of Success.
10. Air-freshener scents.

Of course this is a small, small sampling, which leads me to my New Year's Resolution: Be more discriminating. I am going to choose my battles better this year: what to get upset about and fight for, and what to let go. I may choose trivial matters (like acceptable forms of chocolate), I may choose a cause (like feline AIDS). . . but I'm sure this will make me MORE AWESOME IN 2006!


Bek said...

Lisa, I wish I could read your blogs but there are no it just my computer that is doing this? Just the title is visable and the rest is white....

~j. said...

Lisa - when you changed the color of the background of your blog from black to white, did you change the color of your text from white to anything else? I can't see anything but the title, either...

Lyle said...

A-ha I was able to read it by highlighting the text. I felt sort of spyish and revel in my IQ of 98. Watch out Chaos, I'm hot on your trail. Anyone know where I can by a shoe phone?

Don't belittle your self too much. Even though Chris may accomplish a lot,I have yet to see a mom of 4 that does not accomplish more than I would ever even attempt.

wendysue said...

Lisa, when I read through the list of things that you and your family talk about I was right back on your family couch on Park Ave. listening to Robert go on and ON about one thing or another!!! I love your fam!!

And I was cracking up about your #1 People who don't watch tv. I seem to remember a certain roomie of ours that we LOVED to torment about tv, food, clothes, sex topics, whatever! And I have to send you a copy of her Christmas letter I got. . .you'll love it!

p.s. I found that newspaper article with you and your science project. . .I'll send that too!!

lisa v. clark said...

Sorry for the technical difficulties. Topher changed the colors for me and I'm computer-challenged.

Wendy: Oh DO send! Do you remember when that "certain roommate"
1. ate a can of corn that had been opened in our fridge for a semester (or two).
2. yelled "I'm not that kind of a girl!" when a boy slow danced with her and put his hands on -gasp-her shoulders.
3. cried because we were watching a tv-edited copy of "Stand By Me" in the apartment (not in MY house!)

Classic! Good times, good times.
Sorry, I love lists. . .

Bek said...

Oh Lisa...that sure captures the Valentines....the zit topic was a new one for me.

I dont' do resolutions. I should, sure. I save my guilt for not making them instead of not fulfilling them.

I would love your opinion on air freshener. I also love your dad because Robert Valentine and Sheldon Kinsel are the same person, just in different bodies....oh, and my dad doesn't wear turtle necks and skull caps (such a hip dad). WHY have we not gotten them together yet?

I am glad to see an update. It makes me miss you though. I am FINALLY getting the last boxes out of JJ's room. I am painting the black dresser white (with green dots....couldn't resist) AND I am touching up the barn yard scene. Then I am going to put pictures up on my site so everyone can see how talented you are!!!! Thanks for making Cubby's room look PERFECT. I need you to come out in the spring and do Bird's....

wendysue said...

I even have the corn eating incident ON TAPE!!! If I remember right she even grabbed it back out of the trash can. . . .

I want to see those pix of J's room bek!!

~j. said...

Feline AIDS is certainly an awesome charity. But I like that your family discusses things like what food we should eat. Ever since they found Mad Cow Disease in the U.S., I'm not taking any chances. It can live in your body for years, before it ravages your brain.

Bek said...

Jen...Lisa and I have BOTH eaten hamburgers in England. If we go stark, raving mad in a few years we will know what to blame.

Actually, I can't donate blood b/c I ate beef in England before they started testing it. Oh well. No Lorna Dunnes for me.

compulsive writer said...


You don't know me, but I enjoy your blog and am glad to be able to read it again. (I am a friend of Lorien's and I used to lived right behind the house where your sister-in-law Lindsay grew up. My daughter Lindsay is, in part, named after her.)

I don't have anything witty to add, mostly because I don't watch TV (not intentionally, of course; it just got a lot harder to watch it once I got teenagers who don't go to bed at 9:00 anymore. It also became more difficult to get away with watching shows I forbade my kids to watch).

Bek--I discovered a great way to do resolutions without the guilt. You wait till the end of the year, then write down what you did. It's great on the self-esteem!

~j. said...

Bek - that was another thing that Debbie Downer said, about the Mad Cow. But everytime I'm reading the little blood donation book about "Have you done this since 1977..." (which is the year I was born), I always think that I must be terribly sheltered since I've never been to Africa or eaten a hamburger in London.

Bek said...

Sheltered.......or healthy???? Sheltered, or not going to die from a tribal war or unknown brain eating disease?
Sheltered......or went to school instead of the Peace Corps?....


Is Africa one of them? Sweet!! I will be going there soon, so I will never be able to give blood---ever.

nie nie said...

now i can read your blog. for awhile there i was unable to see anyhting. did pheobe get our call? did we call on her b-day? was it the right day?
i love you! i love what you have done to your hair...looks good!

bexi said...

I have a zit trying to form on my eyebrow line, and oh yeah, I DON'T HAVE EYEBROWS so that seems a little unfair. It hurts.

What is your soapbox arguement about/against milk? I'm curious.

~j. said...

I'm curious about Western Medicine & Doctors...

Kactiguy said...

If I was one who made lists I would make one about how awesome you are. Hmmm, maybe that could be my new resolution?

La Yen said...

I hate getting the zit inside of my ear fold, and I think that your charitable cause should be HOOP.

I don't make resolutions, I just decide, willy nilly to do something, and then do it, but only one thing at a time, and then only once every three years. Three years ago I decided not to gamble anymore. Check.

BTW, my neithbor kids LOVE the Juniors Giants. Every time their 2 year old hits them they say "Painful." or "Dangerous." It has replaced tattling. Thanks.

lisa v. clark said...

Oh, you're all just leading me into a little trap, aren't you? How do you feel about. . . X?! I'll give my rantings away sparingly, in person. (And not on a "leave your comment" box.) I'm trying to live A MORE ZEN-LIKE LIFE PEOPLE! A LITTLE HELP?!?!?

katiguy: great new year's resolution!

JEN: funny thing, my baby wants to carry a spoon around everywhere: how weird is that?

~j. said...

Can you describe his first birthday? Did you let him hold a spoon?

AzĂșcar said...

I don't think it says anything about living a Zen-like life in the Word of Wisdom, but whatever.

As long as you're ok with that.

christopher clark said...

At first I couldn't figure out who this mysterious -j person was, with all her mysterious questions. And then I figured out that it was Jenny Eckton.

lisa v. clark said...

Jenny IS mysterious. . . She changed her hair, her blog picture, her comment title: what's NEXT?!

My baby isn't even one, doesn't know how to use a spoon, but uses it as a teether. He won't take a binkie. But he loves to hit things with it--future drummer?

"Zen and the Word of Wisdom". . . has Halestorm promoted a movie about that yet?

Lorien said...


That got me thinking, since this vicious cycle has been such a large part of my day. So I thought, for the sake of interest, I would do some calculating. Figure repeating that cycle 3 times a day for each kid for the first 4 years. (That ought to average out about right if you consider flu, babies with diaper blow-outs 9 times a day, etc.) Now do a little math...

(eat+poop+clean) x 3 repeats daily x 365 days x 4 years x 4 kids = 52,560 events

52,560 events involving eating, pooping or cleaning!!!! And that doesn't even include ages 4+! I figure that's enough in my short time as mom that I don't need to make another resolution as long as I live. Heck, I've done so much I don't really need to do anything anymore. Couch and bon-bons, here I come! Here's looking to an un-productive 2006 for me. Lisa, you're inspiring!

~j. said...

You've discovered my Super Power.

La Yen said...

If Halestorm is looking for ideas, we would like to see "Girls Camp." But we would not like to see Kirby in it, unless he is in drag. We would like to see your family in it, and the Sphynx, and me, since it is my idea. I will play "leader in puffy-painted shirt and lanyards on the left."

Bek said...


Lauren and Jacob both chewed on Barbie Legs they had removed from the Barbie. It is long and skinny and soft and can reach way in the teether EVER.

A spoon is so pedestrian, but whatever.....

Ben said...

The thing I love about people who don't watch TV are all the scriptural references/spiritual experiences they bring up to defend why they don't.

cotton_in_the_medicine_bottles said...

1. I've only just found your blog. Why has it been a mystery to me all this time? You've given me one more thing to look forward to every day this year. Which means, I'm sure, that you've accomplished some kind of ethereal goal of touching someone's life for good.

2. My family only talks about how stupid everyone else is.

3. Some people just don't watch tv because they are too poor for tivo.

4. I would rather Moira carried a spoon around all day than sleep with us every night. It puts a crimp in a certain area of life...

BowlerGirl said...

Be more Awesome in 2006! Totally AWESOME!

My lame every year resolution is to "Make one less mistake this year than last year...." hmmmmm very generic, yet oh so appealingly easy.