Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Inspiration of Elephants

I don't normally share these kinds of stories - as they are a bit too sentimental for me - but someone shared it with me and I just felt that it needed to be told. It is truly inspiring.

In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University...

On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully.

He got down on one knee, inspected the elephants foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it.

As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.

The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments.

Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled.

Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.

Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son.

As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing.

The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down.

The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter could not help wondering if this was the same elephant.

Peter summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing, and made his way into the enclosure.

He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder.

The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Evidently, it wasn't the same elephant.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Disney's Weight Loss Strategy

This is a booth at the Innoventions building at Disneyland.

It's one of those things that is both horrific - and riveting. (click on the photo to appreciate it's true horror).

I have made this photo into a poster and mounted it on the outside of my refrigerator - which of course means I'm eating a lot less.

Well, I'm eating a lot less - at home.

I guess even Walt can't think of everything...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Encouragement for a Disgruntled Drama Queen

Two things before you read this post:

1. Uh, NO - I'M actually not the Drama Queen this time.
2. If your name is Nancy or Jane, I apologize in advance.

Alright, you may proceed....

So we went out for dinner and Hope has to use the restroom.

We walk in and see two girls standing by the sinks. One of them is all fancied up (hair and make-up, etc) and the other one is rather plain. Fancy girl is crying hysterically and yanking bobby-pin after bobby-pin out of her now drooping, fancy hair.

Hope steps into her little bathroom stall and I lean against the wall, my eyes glued to the scene unfolding in front of me. The girls seem completely oblivious to my presence.

Plain Jane is trying to console Fancy Nancy - but Fancy Nancy is having none of it and continues to yank bobby-pins out of her hair.

Plain Jane tries to rub Fancy Nancy's shoulders and tell her that "the judges were total idiots - they were just, like, blind ya know?"

Fancy Nancy slaps Plain Jane's hands away and screams " OMG, you're not helping!"

(For the record, she actually said the letters O.M.G.)

Plain Jane doesn't seem to mind this somewhat violent rejection and continues in her quest to soothe Fancy Nancy's wounded spirit. She says,

"You are beautiful and you have so much going for you. The judges were just uncapable to see the sheer majesty of your personification and, like, stature. They totally don't know how, like, smart you are or how, like, intelligent you are and, like, staturesque you are."

(Wait.... what?)

Fancy Nancy looks down into Plain Jane's face and says, "They didn't, did they.... OH YEAH. And neither do I because I don't even know what you are SAYING! SHUT UP - YOU'RE NOT HELPING!"

(Ooooh, this is getting good - I begin hoping that Hope has to do some serious business in the bathroom so that I can stay a little longer and watch the show. Plain Jane's ability to speak without saying anything is fascinating - as is her resiliance to Fancy Nancy's abuse.)

Plain Jane does not seem to notice Fancy Nancy's contempt for her and prattles on mindlessly. She clears her throat, takes a deep breath, tilts her head back slightly, and with her eyes closed and eyebrows raised, she declares,

"You have the ability to move people. Really (she pauses and inhales deeply through her nose) ... move them, ya know? And those judges? They're just on, like, another plane of reality. The kind of plane that, like.... just doesn't....... move. They don't understand your power of effervescence (said in a whisper-shout while waving her hands in front of her as if she was drawing a circle). It doesn't move their plane so it's their mistake. It's a mistake that will, like, manifest all kinds of, like, trauma and moral fortitude. You just... didn't move their plane."

(Dude.... this girl is awesome.)

Fancy Nancy spins around so she is facing Plain Jane - her blue eyes blazing, and her mouth twisted into a vicious sneer.

(Yessss - they're gonna fight!)

She leans into Plain Jane's face and says, "Really? Is that why I lost? Because I can't move planes? But I'm so pretty! Planes shouldn't have anything to do with it! No one told me about planes! What are you even SAYING? I'm not a (expletive) pilot - I don't know anything about moving planes!"

Fancy Nancy starts shaking all over and continues shrieking incoherently about the injustice of the judges and the fact that she's pretty and shouldn't have to know how to move planes.

(Crap, she's having a seizure, maybe I should call 911...)

In an attempt to jar Fancy Nancy out of her rapidly accelerating downward spiral of emotional pain and misery, Plain Jane suddenly embraces Fancy Nancy and says, "There, there... you're just upset. You don't know what you're saying. You need to take some time to admonish your thoughts. You need to find your place in the circle of life - find your movement. Only then will any of this make sense."

(Is that the secret? I need to admonish my thoughts and find my movement?)

Fancy Nancy shakes Plain Jane off and says, "But I'm so pretty...." and storms out of the bathroom leaving me alone with Plain Jane.

Neither one of us moved.

The silence was deafening.

At this point Plain Jane finally notices that she's had an audience during her little counseling session.

She looks at me with a smirk, rolls her eyes as she walks out the door and says, "Beauty Queens are so stupid."