Things I Find Rather Amazing

pink rose & bee, slimpaleySlim Paley Photo            Roses from my garden

mini monk, Bhutan, slimpaley.comSlim Paley Photo            Baby Monk, Bhutan 2006

Lotus flower Bangkok

Slim Paley Photo

A perfect Lotus flower


-That some people enjoy math -Bad manners -How easy it is to think of reasons to not work out-Why most of the things that taste great are evil-doers -That Andy Warhol is considered a great artist-How coconut water tastes so weird and so good simultaneously -People who “Don’t mind the cold” -That we spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping   -How tired I am during the day and how wide awake I am at night -How much women love jewelry-How much men love sports -How there is absolutely no cross over of those two interests that would allow us to enjoy them together -That I used to hate martinis -People that talk loudly in movie theatres and attend to their snacks like they’re preparing for the final challenge on Top Chef -The Beatles -How everyone can have grown up fingernails except for me -why God created coyotes-couldn’t he have rested at dogs? -that my husband’s car never has gas in it -That honey never goes rancid -Roses -That I once left something of great value on a Tokyo subway train and it was returned to me -Monks -That I used to hate martinis -People that stay in airplane loos for a super long time-if you’re in there for over 10 minutes, I better see Ralph Fiennes sneaking out after you -That clothes closets shrink that towering skinny palm trees don’t just blow over -People who can bite into ice with their teeth -that blue eyes are not really blue (look it up) -Some people hate reading -Broken sugar crystals give off ultra-violet light -That it’s a fact your sense of smell has been diminishing since you were a teenager (I must have been just one giant walking nostril) -computers -That I once sold a fricking BARN on Craig’s List -some people memorize their license plate numbers -the iPhone applications that tell you what ambient song is playing where ever you are in about 20 seconds -That “The Bridges of Madison County” was a bestselling book -That I once lost a bed -That “The kids” these days do not wash their jeans-not even kidding -A great number of people I see on the highway are still talking on their hand-held phones -I never, ever pick the right zipper on my yoga mat carrier-not once -my memory, or lack thereof -that I used to hate martinis…

PS. I once again reserve the right to amend this list as I will probably think of many more things…at about 2:00 am this morning while I’m trying to memorize my licence plate number and listening to my closet shrinking.

WHAT IS AMAZING YOU THESE DAYS??!  I’d love to know!


  1. I’m always astonished at how my eyes well up every time Jem and Scout discover Boo’s spelling bee medal; how my heart soars when I hear Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue’; how Garbo didn’t have one bad angle; how one can bask in the light of a Vermeer painting, how ‘Stardust’ is the perfectly constructed song; the perfection of a Faberge egg; how I’m still a sucker for a marching band; how my heart skips a beat when Jane utters, “Reader, I married him!”; forget rockets to the moon–how did they build that Chunnel?; how I always get the bottomless bag of popcorn eater next to me at the movies; how a dentist can rebuild a tooth; how drivers still try and beat the gate at railroad crossings; how masons make the most beautiful stone fences; how some designer every year or so tries to revive 80’s fashion;that people can eat sushi; that cats endlessly fascinate me; how Rosemary Clooney’s cover of ‘But Not For me’ chokes me up;
    how the Manhattan Sky Line is now so bittersweet to me; how no one has come close to belting out a song the way Garland did; how I still know all the lyrics to
    ‘The Wizard of Oz’; how anxious I still get when I see the zebra stuck in the quicksand in ‘Swiss Family Robinson’; how mere mortals wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution; 1/2 glass of wine makes me tippsier than 3 scotch and sodas; that not all consenting adults can legally marry in the eyes of the law; Carl’s Jr. commercials actually increase sales—ug; that for some people it never gets hot enough; Shakespeare existed; that a 14 year old girl hiding in an attic in Holland in 1942 managed to give to humanity the definitive war time document;Diahann Carroll’s singing Harold Arlen’s ‘A Sleepin’ Bee’ is a perfect theatrical experience that few could top;

  2. Men reading fashion magazines
    Oh what a world It seems we live in
    Straight man Oh what a world
    We live in.

    Why am I always on a plane or a fast train
    Oh what a world my parents gave me
    Always travelin’ but not in love

    Still I think I’m doin’ fine
    Wouldn’t it be a lovely headline
    Life is beautiful on a New York Times

    Oh what a world
    We live in.

    Why am I always on a plane or a fast train
    Oh what a world my parents gave me
    Always travelin’ but not in love

    Still I think I’m doin’ fine
    Wouldn’t it be a lovely headline
    Life is beautiful.

    Rufus Wainwright.

  3. I’m amazed that I looked up blue eyes and could not find any mention of them not being really blue… come with the goods… I gotta know…. and… that you once hated martinis… it must have been in Junior High when you tried them with a Ho Ho chaser.

    • I read it many years ago in a wonderful book called “A Natural History of the Senses” by Diane Ackerman.

      This was sent in by another S.P. reader: The outer surface of the iris of a blue eyed person is actually clear, lacking the outer layer of pigmentation that is found in brown eyes. Their color is caused by the inner layer of pigmentation and the semi-opaque fibrous tissues which lay between the two layers.[36]

      • I am, as you may guess, the proverbial dog with a bone (which initially amazes, and then probably annoys people 🙂 ). So, upon further research, the translation of the statement above is that brown eyes have two layers of pigment, blue just one, but it is blue. But here’s the kicker:

        “In 2008, new research revealed that people with blue eyes have a single, common ancestor. Scientists tracked down a genetic mutation that leads to blue eyes. The mutation occurred between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago; researchers state that before then, blue eyes did not exist.” -Eiberg, Troelsen, Nielsen et al. March 2008 Human Genetics

        OK, I’ll back away from Google now. But, that brings to mind an AMAZING story…. as told to me by one of the early Google employees:

        Larry Page and Sergei Brin were scrapping money together from friends and relatives to keep their dream of developing a universal search engine alive. In August of 1998, Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, heard their pitch and wrote a check to “Google, Inc.” for $100,000. Only there were two problems. First, they had no company bank account in which to deposit the check. Second, and far more pivotal, was the fact that the name of the company (Googol, Inc.) was misspelled on the check. Fearing the investor might change his mind at any hiccup in the road, Brin and Page said nothing, processed the bank account paperwork under that name, and the rest is history.

  4. I’m amazed that I began writing some things that amazed me and then I pushed an inappropriate key. The comment box was empty. All gone. Amazing.

  5. That a nation can sit aghast at the thought of a 6 year old boy trapped inside a home made balloon floating into the atmosphere.

  6. What amazes me:
    That I have watched All My Children for 32 years (and I am not the least bit embarrassed to admit this)
    That my daughter fights taking a nap and going to bed early and I long to do both of those
    The smell of tuberose
    The things I see some people post on facebook (shouldn’t some things be private?)
    How much I love Costco
    That no matter how many times my husband cleans out the garage it still looks the same
    How good a cheeseburger, fries and a shake can taste
    How I swore I never would drive a mini-van and now I think I have mini-van envy (Soon to be family of four, dog that goes everywhere with us, multiple Costco trips and a constant barrage of toys and food fill my tiny car right now)
    How much I love my dog
    Feeling a baby kick inside of me
    The drop in my metabolism as soon as I hit 30, actually 25…..
    That you can buy a brand new 5000sq ft home in places like Colorado that cost the same as our 1920’s 911sq ft fixer upper we bought in Santa Barbara
    The smell of the ocean water, feel of the sand and fresh air at the beach just minutes from our home (who wants to live in Colorado anyways?)
    How 9 months can feel like 9 years without caffeine, wine, sushi and sleeping on my stomach.
    And finally, it amazes me that there is a baby growing in my belly yet my ass, arms, face and thighs are growing too!!!!

  7. That in an attempt to gain attention to help secure a reality t.v show, two parents let a whole nation think that their 6 year old boy had possibly fallen out of a hot air balloon to his death.

    That I still love Vancouver in spite of all the rain.

    That my dog’s feet (well, most dog’s feet) smell like popcorn.

    That the older i get the earlier I like to get out of bed

    That we used to exist without computers.

    That they pay Keanu Reeves that much money to be in a movie…..?

    That no matter how bad a hangover I get and how many times I swear I’ll never do that again, that I do.

    That I used to actually enjoy driving a stick shift.

    That I still have faith in the Vancouver Canucks.

    That some people actually enjoy running.

    The cherry blossoms that bloom every year on my street…amazing!

  8. Okay. Trying again.

    I find cameras amazing. I have been told many times how they work but I still don’t get it.

    I’m amazed that I continue showing up at my bootcamp workout and actually enjoy it.

    It’s amazing how people can hate foods that they have never even tried.

    How obsessed I am with the weather. And how much I love storms.

    And amazingly enough I would love love love to go on a storm chasing vacation as long as it’s not with balloon boy’s dad.

  9. Well the bed I can see losing…kinda. Who on earth would buy your freaking barn ?????? Just had a thought, perhaps the people who took your bed…

  10. I’m amazed that 45 million people on a small island in the North Atlantic held back the marauding Hun for 2 years

  11. I LOVE your blog and find it amazing how many things you find amazing — so many things I never thought of! Each time I take an airplane, I find it amazing that we don’t fall out of the sky. How do these big hunks of metal fly across states, countries, continents and the world?


  12. Ok, so I’m making tea last night (note, it was a Friday night, and yes, I’m ashamed it was just tea), and I’m putting in some honey, thinking, “Does this stuff have a due date? How can it sit in my cupboard for over a year and still be delicious?” Then I read your blog and see that you too have pondered the same amazing honey trait – that it never goes rancid. That’s it from me SP, today’s all about the magic and mystery of honey (and apparently it’s got antibiotic characteristics to it as well).

  13. I’m amazed:

    That despite having mainly hardwood floors in our home, when the dog needs to throw up he gets to a rug as quickly as possible;

    The most fit person in my spin class is a 75 year old gentleman that Lance Armstrong hopes he can be like in the 37 years;

    How I survived the first 40 years of life without podcasts;

    How God knew that a baby born half way around the world in Korea was the final piece to making our family complete.

    • i’m so with you on the dog-rug amazement. I have only one area rug in my place and I can’t even push my dog off it with all my strength when she decides to throw up… she very determinedly plants her feet with the force of her entire 100lb’s and let’s it fly.

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