Category: Stories


I often find myself wondering if events in life are coincidence or part of a bigger picture? I can always sense when something in my life is going to happen, good or bad.  When things are going extremely smoothly, I know something challenging will soon occur.  Or, if things are going really badly, a new leaf will soon turn.  Is this just coincidence of the every changing world or are we all connected in the big scheme of things?

How many times have you encountered a situation you felt was too coincidental?  Too many pieces of the puzzle worked out because of X amount of other events happening. It can make my head spin thinking about how small the world really is.

Last year I went to a psychic for fun, of course.  She was struggling a bit to find out my “destiny” but finally said a few things that have happened.  She said I would be a teacher.  I recently started mentoring a little girl.  I was to start writing.  I started my blog a few months ago.  She saw California in my future.  I am going there for the first time this weekend. She also said I would have 17 grandchildren and travel the world.  We’ll see about that.  Coincident or did this woman have a real gift?

What are some of your coincidental moments in life and how have you viewed them?


American TLC

Why are we (the US) addicted to helping other countries?  We should really stop whatever we are doing and save Haiti, Iraq and whatever other country we feel needs some American TLC.  Most of time we just show up, unannounced, like Batman here to save the day.  It is like barging in on a family at supper time and telling them how to run their lives.  Really, nobody’s business.

The point I am getting at is there are issues we need to address at home (US) before we go trying to “save the day” everywhere else. It baffles me to know how many homeless people live in Houston and the US as a whole.  I run down by the Bayou and there is an area where the homeless gather to sleep for the night.  I want to strike up conversation because I want to know how they arrived in this predicament.  Not every homeless person is a drunk, thieves or drug attics.

A friend of mine who recently moved to Houston told me a story the other day. He said he was walking in a very wealthy part of town with his wife when a homeless person approached them.  As anyone would think, he assumed the man would ask him for money but instead the homeless man commented, “You are not from this area, are you?” The gentleman replied, “Well no, we just moved here.”  The homeless man continued, “Do you need directions, you look lost.”  This encounter astonished my friend.  What city has friendly homeless people?

At least he has a cat to keep him company.

I then thought of an off the wall idea (like most my ideas).  Since we invest in dumb reality shows why not develop a reality show that actually serves a purpose?  I am envisioning a large RV like the one Extreme Makeover Edition uses for their show to tour the country.  I am still thinking of a name for the show.  I would interview the homeless and get to the core reason why these people are on the streets.  Because they got laid off, could not afford their mortgage anymore or a domino effect of bad luck?  Of course we would try to avoid the typical ‘Well, I am a drunk” homeless guy.  We would provide food and money for their time and offer any other services in the area.  Each segment could focus on a specific region of the US and deliver a detailed summary for that specific area.  This program would then spark association and organizations’ interest to cut big checks for homeless shelters and counseling/career centers.  Now, if only I could find some investors.

Ty Pennington is the most annoying host. Someone more genuine for this role.

Face it, we’re like our parents

We can debate all we want but at the end of the day, we all share some of our parent’s traits.  Whether it is your Dad’s stubbornness or your mother’s compassion, we resemble both of our parents in unique ways.  What I have also realized is that we share hobbies and interests with our parents.

I share my love of old movies with my mother.  I remember my mom would make us watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” every Christmas.  Although I did not appreciate it at the time, watching old movies makes you realize how much the cinema has changed over the years.  Without special effects, actors had to literally “grab” the audience’s attention.  Every time I stumble upon a classic, usually on the AMC channel, I have my mother to thank.  My all time favorite is “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”  Audrey Hepburn plays a lost soul looking for a rich man in NYC when she unexpectedly meets the love of her life.  I cry every time she realizes this and they of course have their first kiss in a rainy alleyway of NYC.

A one of a kind timeless beauty

I share my passion for art with my father.  An artist at heart, my Dad would “drag” us to museums when we were younger.  My sister and I would complain at the time but now I will happily spend a Saturday afternoon browsing the new collection at one of the many art museums around town.   Van Gough is my favorite artist and I am fortunate to have seen his work in various countries and cities. I share some artistic ability with my Dad as well and should really sketch more often.

Both of my parents taught us how to love every type of music.  Their first date was at a Bruce Springsteen concert and to this day they are still fans.  They are now the older folks grooving to his tunes at his endless concerts.  I know every classic song as well as I was listening to it in the womb.  I give all credit to my parents for my knowledge and love of music.

What interests do you share with your parents?

If only Dogs could talk

Dog’s facial expressions are priceless. I can tell when my dog is happy, sad, anxious, excited, and angry. She is most excited when we are going to the dog park. She will start whining and frantically moving all over the car until we arrive. Once we get inside the gate, she has to say, “Hello, there” by sniffing every dog’s ass in the park. Although she is 55 pounds and well over 2 feet tall, she acts as though she is my cat’s size (15 pounds and a foot long). She has a tendency to pick on smaller dogs in the park because she is a bit of a sissy. If a larger dog approaches her, she will shy away, ears down with a look of “Don’t hurt me, I’m just a puppy.” Sometimes she will even tinkle a little bit to show how vulnerable and scared she is of rejection. She is basically screaming, “LOVE ME, LOVE ME,” to every dog and person she meets. If the scenario was the playground in grade school, she would get beat up by the older kids for being so confident and outgoing towards older, wiser dogs.

She will wake me up every morning, and on the weekends when I would rather be sleeping in. Every morning, it is 7:00 AM on the dot and she is saying, “Get up, I am hungry NOW!” She is telling me I am being lazy and I need to “Get up and be productive”. She insists on bugging me until I get up and let her out

If only she really could talk. I love Chronicles of Narnia because each character has a talking animal that follows them around, EVERYWHERE! How neat would it be to have an animal that could talk to you and be totally committed to you as their owner. They could do chores, squeeze through small passage-ways to find things you lost, or better yet, be a butler. How cute would my dog look in a tuxedo, greeting people as they walk in and offering them a cold beverage on a hot, sunny day?

What would your dog say if she/he could talk?

The inevitable last name

The upside of having a difficult last name is that it provides an ice-breaker at networking events.

If you have an easy last name, consider yourself blessed.  If I could count the amount of time I have spent in the last two decades spelling my last name, I would not even want to know the answer.  I go to the DMV, Doctor’s office, heck , I will even go to the grocery store without being asked how to “say and spell my last name”.  It is second nature to me by now.  S-U-C-H-O (yes, that is an O)-M-E-L.   I am almost tempted to go change my last name at the court house.  As much as I love being unique, I am unique in many other ways already.

I used to run track in high school and I would guess how long the pause would be before my last name skipped over or the teacher tried to correct it.  It was always, “Lane 6, Emily……………..Cricket, cricket, Suck-o-mel.  Suke-o-mel.”  I would think, “Whatever, I just want to run.  I do not care if my name is mis-pronounced.  Let’s just get on with the show.”

And then the lingering follow-up question, “Oh, how interesting, where is that name from?”  Gee, I would love to tell you if I knew! It is not my blood name.  As soon as they hear the name really has no origin to me personally, the intrigue is lost and strangers are suddenly let down by the fact of not knowing where this odd name is from.  It is from my step-grandfather who I believe is German and some other mix of a sort. I am suprised my name was not changed like so many other ancestors. Smithson became Smith, so why did they not make Suchomel “Such”.  Emily Such.   So much easier.

Not only is my last name a pain to pronounce, it is almost last in the alphabet.  So, a teacher finally gets to the S’s in the list and stumbles upon my last name.  In grade school through college, I just got in the habit of finishing my last name out loud before the teacher could mess it up.  I would not even give the teacher a chance to say my name correctly.   I would hear “Emily” and suddenly say my last name so we did not have to do the whole sing and dance I just mentioned.

The last time I did this I had way too much wine at a Sedar dinner (Jewish Christmas tradition).  The gentleman stumbles upon my name implying it is my turn to speak from the book.  When I heard his struggle, I immediately stood up, shouted my last name and continued into my paragraph to read.  I need to be patient and understanding but it has become a habit by now.

There are worse last names and would love to hear your stories.