Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

If People Are Going to Start Playing Christmas Music Already, I'm Going To Start Talking About Christmas Cards.

I don't like to think of this as "selling out" so much as "getting free shit for something I like to do anyway."

That's right, kids, it's my VERY FIRST post wherein I need to put a disclaimer at the bottom because this is more-or-less a sponsored post. Ish. (DON'T GO AWAY THOUGH! IT'S STILL ME! AND I GET TO BE HONEST!)

So anyway a while back I joined the Clever Girls Collective because I like to keep my options open as far as ways to generate income and/or free shit because we've all heard me bitch about how poor I am and I'm not really good enough at anything else to make it marketable. Oh, but I can blog like a mofo.

Anyway, I got an email being all, "hey! get some free holiday cards from Shutterfly! All you have to do is blog about it and their new designs!" and I was all, "omg! I love Shutterfly! And free holiday cards!" so I jumped all over it.

Well, they rejected me (or at least, didn't pick me - SAME THING) but somehow or another through someone's blog that DID get picked (lucky), I found another way to get hooked up with being able to still do it directly through Shutterfly. I WIN.

(If you'd like to participate, also, clicky click here. Look at me, sharing the wealth. SEE HOW GENEROUS I AM? MERRY CHRISTMAS EARLY.)

First of all... they wouldn't have to compensate me to say this, but I really really do love Shutterfly. It's my favorite photo site and they gained some bonus points one time when I tweeted about how my photos had arrived on a day when it was downpouring and the postal worker had left my mailbox open (stab!) and S-Fly tweeted back and seemed concerned about the fate of my photos and offered to replace the whole order for free. The pictures turned out to be fine (just the outer envelope was ruined), so I didn't take them up on it, but still. I love me some good customer service.

They also have the option for matte finish. Which makes me happy. I'm not a huge fan of glossy photos (the smudging! the glare! *shudder*). Another reason I will go to Wal-Mart over Target for picture printing. Blasphemy, right? No. Target can't do matte print. It hurts my heart.

Anywho. I used Shutterfly two years ago for my holiday cards. It was a picture of my cat in a Santa suit. Yeah, it was awesome.

Behold:

That says "Meowy Christmas" if you can't make it out.
I know, I'm brilliant.


Anyway I didn't do photo cards last year but I was contemplating doing some this year because they're eight hundred times easier than writing out cards and I'm lazy and I like to send ridiculous photos to my relatives. I feel it is a grown-up obligation of mine to send holiday cards (ok, I'm so PC-ized, CHRISTMAS cards, gah.) Because it's the thing to do? I don't know. I enjoy it.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you would like to receive a holiday card this year from yours truly, shoot me an email with your address. I love sending stuff in the mail. And you love getting stuff in the mail. It's a win-win!

The thing that bothered me last time was that I had to pick from their designs and templates. Being a (former) designer myself, obviously I have ridiculously high standards for my cards, because by all rights, I should just be doing them myself.

But! Alas! They have cooler designs this year. Love love love them.

Although I don't know what picture to use. I might have to use my cat again. I mean.. it's weird to send out Christmas cards with just a picture of yourself, right? That's weird. I don't have a family or kids or anything so my options are limited.

This probably means I'm going to have to dress my cat up again.

Good thing I bought a pet elf hat on clearance a couple years ago.

*evil laughter here*


Anyway anyway. I don't know how to blog without pictures so I'm posting my favorite designs. Behold, my selections from Shutterfly's holiday cards.

(Ed note: I finally had to cut myself off. So! Many! Designs! They're really meshing with my preferred aesthetic this year. I hope they still have cool designs years and years from now when I have legitimate reasons for sending photo cards. FOR EVERY WEDDING HOLIDAY CARD I GET, I SEND YOU TWO.) (Empty threats, empty threats.)

Clicking on the cards should take you directly to that card's page, in the event that you love it and want to use it. Unless I effed up. In which case, you'll probably just get a bigger version of the picture. Only time will tell.


Love this one, especially with a black and white photo.

Very pretty, again, I don't think I'd like it with a color photo as well.
Also, I love the look on that kid's face. Classic.

I really like this one... but I don't like that it's square.
Square card = square envelope = extra postage.


I could have way too much fun with this one.

This one has merit too. Built in letter!
Because my family has no idea what the hell I'm doing with my life.


Kind of a vintage, retro illustration look.
I also adore cityscapes.
Probably because I don't have one.


Love the typography on this one. And the colors.
It's not really that Christmasy at all. But I don't caaaare.


I'm a sucker for sparkly things.
It's also a nice contrast against the black and white.

Bright colors, yay.
I think this is more one that people would expect to get from me.
I should probably stay away from anything with the word "elegant" in the title.



Hmm. I guess those are fancier photo stationery cards.
Here are some of the traditional (cheaper) photo print cards:



I like the filmstrip thing going on here.
And the blue goes very nicely with the kitty costume...


Not sure how I'd fill this one.
I need more cats!

I love the whole blue + green thing.
I know they aren't
technically "Christmas colors" but they're so pretty!
I blame Target. I think they started this.


Pretty card!


Disclaimer: I was given the opportunity to receive 50 free holiday photo cards from Shutterfly in exchange for writing about them. All opinions are my own. Obviously. I doubt an official, classy review would use the words "free shit" so much.*

*Shutterfly products are not "shit" - I love them very much. I also love getting things for free. Everybody wins.


I will probably never be picked to do anything like this again. Oy.

Friday, October 29, 2010

I'd Like to See Your References, Please...

So, dating.

I've decided that this whole thing is akin to one massive job search. In essence, the job of "Kelly's boyfriend" (which has been vacant for so long it sounds weird to even say) was posted and I am interviewing potential candidates. And I'm getting to the point where I'm about ready to just "hire" someone because I need the damn position to be filled.

I don't think the benefits necessarily outweigh the pitfalls of taking on such an endeavor, though. I mean, I'm not high maintenance, but... you've met me. I require a special kind of patience.

I dunno. I just thought I'd share my analogy with you while simultaneously NOT telling you anything else because that's a separate post for another day.

In other news: HOLY CRAP IT'S HALLOWEEN WEEKEND. Usually I struggle with a costume idea until the very last minute but his year I actually had to make a decision between two that I equally liked. Never fear, though. I'll use the other one next year. ;)

What are your Halloween plans? Costumes? Will you share pictures?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The New(est) Cy.

Back around, erhm, 2007, or so, my alma mater unveiled a new logo that pretty much everyone hated but that was/is impossible to escape from.

Recently (Yesterday? The day before? not sure) they *finally* unveiled a matching logo that utilizes Cy, our beloved mascot. (I mean, okay. Three years later!).

I have a few thoughts on this. Naturally.

1. I'm honestly not sure if I like it or not. The full-body Cy has something funky going on with his torso. That, and it just seems to me to look like EVERY OTHER SPORTS LOGO IN THE HISTORY OF SPORTS LOGOS. Lamesauce.

2. Being the nerd I am, my first thought (re: the smaller, head-only version) was: "oh, that will embroider nicely." The other was, "Still with the 4-color logos?" *headdesk* because 4-color logos are a terrible idea. They're more expensive to print, and they're more expensive to screenprint. What does ISU care, though. I guess they will make more on royalties that way?

3. They used a Pennsylvania-based design firm to create this. WTF. There is this huge movement in central Iowa to "buy local" and other businesses have gotten criticized (like the city itself outsourcing its website to a firm in California while promoting the whole "buy local" scene - hypocritical, much?) for doing something similarly... Sigh. I don't know. We've got a lot of talent in Iowa but it's so frustrating to see business like this go elsewhere.

4. The re-introduction of Cy, whom everyone likes better than "I-State," will undoubtedly start to appear on everything. Maybe, just maybe, it will wedge out the lettermark and cause its eventual obsolescence. The people will be victorious!

That said, Cy does look kind of bad-ass. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.










Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Five of My Allotted Fifteen Minutes of Fame

I got to be the "E-Friend" of the week for Juice magazine, which is basically a weekly publication owned by the Des Moines register geared toward the 20's-30's set.

I don't know why I picked this picture, it's horrid and there's something weird going on under my eye. Blargh.

Whatever. I'm still cool. At least until next Wednesday.

Screenshot, ahoy!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Yes, There Were Couches. No, They Weren't Leather.

Once I made the initial move to call and make a counseling appointment, I stopped second-guessing myself about this decision and instead decided to embrace the idea - because, why the hell not? And after the stress-filled day I had on Thursday, which sent my anxiety levels off the charts, I was actually looking forward to it.

I walked in really having no idea what to expect. I perhaps wasn't expecting a waiting room full of small children. That kind of threw me off a little. [Additional observation led me to the conclusion that all six kids were with one woman - I don't know if they were hers or not - and one of them was being dropped off, because after he was fetched, they all left.]

Hordes of kids make me uncomfortable.

Hell, all kids make me uncomfortable, unless I am related to them.

Maybe it was a test.

I was saved from the waiting room by my assigned therapist, who was just that - a licensed therapist, not a psychiatrist. Which is probably fine. I get my meds from regular doctors anyway.

The session went pretty well, for it being an introductory session of sorts. I was apparently less fidgety by the end of the hour than at the beginning (which I didn't even notice), though the whole staring-at-the-walls-while-talking thing didn't really lessen much (that much I did notice.)

I got really hung up when he asked me probably the most logical question of all:

What do you hope to accomplish here?

Well, fuck. I don't know. I didn't really have any goals in mind, though lord knows I have a pantheon of issues that could be addressed. It probably would have made sense to have thought that out beforehand.

The fact that I couldn't answer that made me feel stupid. Why was I even there?

I couldn't pin down any single thing to come up with a tangible answer. All I could do was sort of helplessly shrug. The therapist was very reassuring though and whenever I didn't really have an answer for something, he kept telling me that it was okay. And maybe that in and of itself was a big step... just allowing it to be okay that I didn't have any answers. Or maybe he was just trying to make me not feel like an idiot. I don't know.

Besides that, though, I felt pretty okay. The therapist seems like a pretty okay dude, he even joked around with me a bit, which I don't know why I wasn't really expecting that, I guess I just expected someone to sit there with a legal pad being all "uh huh, I see..." or something. Which is about all I got when I attempted counseling when I was in college. You get what you pay for, I guess.

I dunno. I have another appointment in two weeks, I suppose we'll start really getting into shit then, but so far, so good, I guess? And twice a month isn't bad, really, money-wise. I seem to have landed myself on a non-payday-Friday rotation which was kind of dumb on my part, but, oh well.

Plus I'm going to have to really tighten down on my budget for November what with the unexpected expense of buying new tires, as well as the dreaded expenditures of Christmas shopping (I'm scared, hold me).

I dunno. I don't really have a lot to say, I guess... But I survived the first session and plan on going back, so that's something, right?

Now I just need to figure out what the hell I'm trying to achieve with all this.... sigh.


Monday, October 25, 2010

FEAR NOT! I have returned.

HEY FRIENDS. Sorry I left you with an insanely long, incoherent rant about facebook and then disappeared. (Ok, maybe it didn't feel like that long to YOU, but I actually prescheduled most of my posts last week, so I haven't actually written anything since, like, Wednesday.)

It's been CRAZY BUSY around here. You know that expression, "it's a marathon, not a sprint" (I think it's an expression, I just remember it being said in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, which is one of those movies where random things from it stick into my brain and surface at odd times). Anyway it's been a marathon AND a sprint, and you can imagine how exhausting it would be to sprint a marathon.

Shit, I can't even sprint down my block without getting winded.

Anyway so I worked a lot including a 14-or-15-hour shift (I forget) on Thursday, a regular shift on Friday but I went home and fell asleep at 6pm, I got UP at 6am on Saturday (which is quite easy when you fell asleep a mere 12 hours before) and did the Susan G. Komen walk in Des Moines, from which I have lots of awesome and adorable pictures, but was also sad because that night one of the girls on my team's grandmother died from breast cancer, which is pretty much the worst kind of irony there is. Then I worked a shift at my PT job and then I went to Calee's without showering because I am an awesome friend and then on Sunday I got up and participated in a kick-a-thon held by my TKD group to raise $$ for the Special Olympics in which I had to do 1000 kicks in an hour which is a lot harder than it sounds but amazingly, I can walk today. Then I went to the office and worked for a few hours. And then I went home and fell asleep on my couch. Partly because I wanted to snuggle with my kitty and partly because I was too tired to shower and I deemed myself too gross to sleep in my actual bed. But if anyone asks, I wanted to snuggle with my kitty. And today I went to work and was told I looked tired (awesome) but I also got complimented because I looked cute today because I actually wore something besides jeans and a tshirt because I got new adorable gray boots and I wore them and they were darling and I got called "trendy" so there's my one trendy day for the month.

And then I had a flat tire.

And then I had to replace my two back tires because it couldn't be fixed. So now my car has all new tires because I replaced the two front ones in August.

And then I cried a little on the inside and now I'm broke BUT all the marathon-sprinting came to fruition because the projects I was working on are DONE and it is a GLORIOUS feeling and I was going to cap my productivity for the day by re-coloring my hair but now I'm lazy so I probably won't, but I'm getting root-y so I probably should.

ALSO! I went to Target today and they COMPLETELY REDID THEIR FITTING ROOMS which totally blew my mind because I wasn't expecting it and I suppose they probably did it after the flood, maybe? I know they got new carpet. I have no idea how they snuck this one by me but I think I actually stood there in a state of befuddlement for a good twenty seconds, because, wow.

And I bought a sweater-jacket thing on clearance along with the other necessities I actually went there for, but really, it was something that matches these boots because gray boots were probably stupid because I don't have that much that can go with them, so REALLY, I was being fiscally responsible in the sense that I was just trying to get the most out of this particular purchase.

Anyway so that's where I was, I am going to go write a real post now, kbai.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Random Thoughts On The Book of Faces

Ashley (aka The Accidental Olympian) made me wax nostalgic over the good old days of facebook with this post (and no, this blog is not on facebook and does not have a page, I suppose it could and maybe someday will, but I do not want the vast majority of people I know to read it, so I'm kind of SOL about "marketing" it ever), and then I decided I wanted to write about it here, but not really, so I'm basically recycling the comment I left over there because I'm lazy resourceful.

(Ed note: NEVER MIND. I went off on tangents and I think this might end up being an Actual Post rather than a Copy-Paste situation. Maybe even a rant.) (Ed note #2: Holy shit. Yes. Yes it did. Oops.)

There's actually a lot I could say about facebook... and I've been meaning to, for quite some time, but it's such a vast THING to try to write about, that I haven't.

Obviously, these days, everyone and their mom (and their grandparents, and their cousins, and their kids) are on facebook. Everyone knows what facebook is. Companies try to be cool and use facebook to market themselves. And "The Social Network" movie came out not long ago which I still have not seen, and I will get to it eventually.

One of my biggest pet peeves about all this? Companies who have no idea what they are doing, and trying to use facebook, twitter, etc. I feel like it's almost insulting. MY terf. Stay off. This was supposed to be my happy fun place and I don't like being marketed to ALL THE TIME. At least be clever with it, be engaged with your audience. Don't beg people to fan your page just so you have a high fan count. STAB STAB STAB. Every time I see the phrase "be our fan on facebook" I just want to throw something. WHY? What is your motivation? What does this really serve you? Do you reward these fans in any way? Interact with them? If not, what is the point? Who benefits from this? Like... this printed out on my Wal-Mart receipt the other day. NO, Wal-Mart, I am not going to seek you out to be your "fan". Unless you make it worth my while. Every fucking thing I buy at the grocery store inevitably has this stamped somewhere on it. Yes, I'm going to go be a fan of a fucking carton of milk. WHY?? I CAN'T EVEN DRINK MILK WITHOUT GETTING SICK. There is no value in this relationship for me whatsoever. You offer me nothing. You are a narcissistic whore of a company and this practice ANNOYS me. I GET that it's a huge marketing opportunity. But if you're going to do it, do it right. Otherwise you're not marketing, you're spamming. We can all agree that nobody likes a spammer.

Social media should involve a conversation and some sort of mutual benefit to whatever sort of "relationship" exists. There's a certain dynamic that I think a lot of companies are missing the point of. They are doing it just to do it and there is not any sort of quality interaction. I feel like I'm just getting shouted from everywhere and it makes me very crankypants.

(Side tangent, maybe I'm biased, and I'm not really supposed to talk about work, but. I'll be brief and I'll be vague. I think my company handles social media very well. When they post things to Twitter or facebook,* it's genuinely interesting. I would care what they had to say even if I didn't work there. They're not pandering. They interact. They reach out. They know what they're doing. If everyone else could learn to do this, too, I would not have to have ranty paragraphs like the one above.)

*My other pet peeve is that I no longer know if I should capitalize the "f" in facebook. They don't. And yet. It's a name. ANGUISH. CONFLICT.

Normally I don't care, but... it looks so weird when you put it next to Twitter. Who does use the proper noun.



So, facebook. *cough*

(this is originally where my post started, HA.)

Facebook is one of the few things that I landed in the "early adopter" camp in. Fall 2004, to be exact. Back then, it was only open to college students, and even then, only certain colleges were "set up" as networks. I don't know why or how ISU managed to be in that exclusive group (I know we made fun of U of I since they didn't get it for ages!) but I remember a friend sending me and invite, and I was like, what the hell is this? And I went and checked it out and was like, meh, I guess I'll give it a try.

That was the beginning of the end, I guess you could say.

I pushed a lot of my friends to join it. What's the point of a social network if there's nobody to be social with? For a while I remember it was all about "friend count." Who could get to 100 friends first? (This was much harder when hardly anyone was ON facebook). I implemented my policy that I would not "befriend" anyone that I didn't actually know. To this day, every single person in my friends list? All 1000+ of them? I can tell you where I know them from. I've loosened my rules a little bit - some of my bloggy friends are now facebook friends, even though I've never actually "met" them, but let's be honest - if we made it to being facebook friends, that probably means I consider them one of my "actual" friends. I don't know why there needs to be that differentiation anyway. (I've seen this come up in several different blogs lately... why can't we just use the basic word "friend" without an identifier, and call it a day?)

I was always careful about what I put on there, knowing that, well, it would be seen, and maybe not necessarily by those I wanted to see it. (You can bet your ass I locked down my privacy settings as soon as that was an option... facebook keeps fucking around with those, though, and there's eight billion hoops to jump through anymore, so I have no idea what's visible to who anymore, and that makes me a little nervous sometimes.)

But it was a great thing, and a huge time suck. Back in the day, we didn't have all those fancypants applications. Mostly you wasted time by going through the Groups and picking out ones to join. Groups were the Thing.

Eventually came Events.

My favorite addition was the Photo Albums. I actually very clearly remember that these were added around Halloween, must have been 2005, because the site kept crashing because everyone was using this new function to load the eight hundred Halloween pictures that they'd just taken.

Then all colleges were on board.

THEN... then they opened it to high schools. And I think that's precisely where it all went downhill.

(Then things like "Farmville" appeared, and a part of my soul died.)

The high school facebook was initially meant to be kept separate from the college facebook. As you can see by the giant clusterfuck that it is now, that didn't last long.

And then they opened it up to everyone.

It seems like less of a big deal, now, but I remember when the most terrifying possibility was having your mom (or dad) get a facebook account... and could see what you were REALLY up to in college.

Then it became an issue with prospective employers, blah blah blah.

(To this end? I keep my profile page pretty clean these days... mostly because a lot of my extended family is on there. I mean, okay. I'm 26. I'm young. I'm single. I do occasionally go to establishments that serve adult beverages. I sometimes have my picture taken in said establishments. Unless I'm being severely inappropriate or, like, lighting things on fire or something, I'm not going to be terribly concerned about this, because I'm not doing anything wrong. God forbid I'm holding a martini or something. I'm actually a very well-behaved citizen. I don't even dress slutty. Most of my pictures and such just showcase my randomness anyway - nothing "incriminating." Besides, I wouldn't want to work anywhere where I can't be my quirky, weird, bizarre self, anyway.)

Then the floodgates opened and a billion other social media sites emerged and here we are today. I lessened my facebook usage exponentially, only hopping on to load pictures and revel in the comments people would leave. (Facebook photo comments, like blog comments, are much like crack.) I've inched my way back into its welcoming bosom a little more, especially during the Great Twitter Hiatus of 2010 when I was so busy I couldn't keep up with it at all.

Still. I'm sort of "back" now and it's not what it was. It's... something. But it's not what I generally used to use the site for, and those things are so hard to find anymore. I think Groups are essentially dead. It took me way too long to figure out how to create an event a few weeks ago. Everything gets buried under something else and I've got more random people trying to be my friend than ever that I DON'T KNOW and while the "people you may know" tool is sorta helpful, it totally will show you people that have once deleted you from their friends, so you KNOW that they unfriended you, which makes it really hard for me to go back and clear out people that I don't really like so much, but eventually caved to their requests for the sake of peace and goodwill. If I delete them, THEY'LL FIND OUT. Not cool.

Also?

I remember when "social media" wasn't even a term and there were no "experts."

Is there a more obnoxious breed of person out there than the "social media expert"?? I think not.

Anyway, so, clearly, I'm old. Because I was around for The Beginning. And I'm shaking my fist and yelling at the damn kids to get off my virtual lawn and reminiscing about how good we had it. We had our one profile picture and our small handful of friends and we were HAPPY dammit.

Oy.

Anyway, so, "The Social Network" has finally been released, which will probably someday be a relic and an important historic film that schoolchildren will watch until forever, which everyone I know claims to be the greatest movie ever.

I haven't seen it.

This surprises many people.

Because I'm obviously a social media whore and clearly I have interest in the subject matter and blah blah blah.

I honestly don't know why, but I can't make myself be interested in this movie.

Maybe because I'm a hipster snob who is all "bitch, please, facebook being interesting was SO five years ago" and now that everyone's on the bandwagon, I just turn up my nose at it. I don't know.

In her post, Ashley said something about how these people that were our age were just kind of blindly creating this website and it kind of made my brain explode thinking about how these otherwise random college kids were totally responsible for revolutionzing the Internet and how we communicate.

Because it has.

You can't escape the Book. Seriously. That damn little blue F icon follows you around the internet, it is attached to everything, and no, I do not want to connect through facebook for this or that, because I do not need every single person I have ever met to know what I do in my free time.

Sometimes I ponder the fact that technology will probably implode upon itself someday and we'll all be living in the dark ages again. Do you think that will happen? I think it could. I feel like if it is going to, we're probably close. I can't even hear myself think anymore with all the noise from the world.

But I will never disconnect from it. I need to be in it, I need to have my pulse on it, I need to know what's going on. My whole life, I've been a slave to information, I have to know everything, I have to be aware of everything.

The problem is, it's so much harder to filter out the useful from the useless and separate the fact from the uninformed opinion and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD THE DECAY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IS GOING TO SEND ME TO THE CRAZYHOUSE.

Of course, I think maybe we can blame cell phones for that one.

But that's another post for another day.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Semi-Colon + Closed Parenthesis

I feel like I'm getting all emo up in here, which is possibly ironic because the other day I told Calee in an email that I totally had all my depression/anxiety under control right now and like ten minutes later I started writing a blog post and it made me twenty shades of anxious and out of sorts and I totally was cool until I actually started seeking out the possibility of finally getting professional assistance after years and years of little pills even though I was all psssht I'm fine but it would probably be good for me and then I started thinking about it and I'm like, holy shit, I'm not fine, good thing I'm way ahead of myself on this one, which leaves us about right here with the longest sentence ever.

Except I'm really not sure because I constantly second-guess my use of "irony" and I blame Alanis Morissette for all of the world's problems with the misunderstanding of literary terms.

Which leads me to:

Yes, that is me sitting in a ginormous chair at a Sam's Club.
No, it really doesn't have anything to do with anything other than that it is awesome and fun.


No emo-tude here.

xoxo.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Kept Waiting For This Post To Make Sense But Then It Never Did

I feel, sometimes, like I'm getting left behind, in terms of success and, well, I don't know, just success, I guess. Because while I think I'm doing pretty damn good for me and what I've got to work with, part of me feels like maybe I could be doing better.

Because I am smart and talented and I work my fucking ass off 24 hours a day (yes, even when I'm sleeping, THAT is how awesome I am) to be the type of successful person I want to be.

Then I watch myself get passed in the world by someone that I (somewhat snobbishly) feel that I am better than or could be doing better than.

But I think I figured it out.

I'm maybe assertive, but I'm not assertive enough.

Mostly? I feel like those self-entitled douchebitches that I've loathed my entire life are actually going to eventually pass me - because they feel ENTITLED to have X and Y and therefore they just throw their proverbial hissyfit until they get it. Or they just take it. Whichever.

They don't know that there's any reason why they shouldn't. They just expect it.

Basic psychology will tell you what happens next. Self-fulfilling prophecy and all that shit.

So, I don't know, maybe it's good that everyone is so spoiled these days. They get what they want because that's what they're used to. THANKS MOM FOR MAKING ME A WELL-ROUNDED HUMBLE INDIVIDUAL. THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AN ADVANTAGE BUT APPARENTLY IT'S NOT.

Because, meanwhile, I don't have the balls to dare to be presumptuous enough to assume that I should be getting these things (even if deep down I know I should/could), so I don't. I wait for things to magically just happen and someone to magically just notice me and my awesomeness and then give me what I want, and then they don't and I'm all, well, wtf, world.

It's not the world's fault.

It's my fault.

I think I'm doing that thing again where I'm being extraordinarily vague yet somehow feel like I'm making a point, and I'd love to be more specific in order to make this coherent, but I can't, because it's not anything specific, it's just a trend I've started to notice. A stupid, irksome trend that leaves me in the dust because I'm not trying hard enough to get farther.

WHY NOT ME TOO?

I want my piece of the pie, dammit.

But first, I want the confidence to be able to even grab a plate and get in the dessert line.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Therapy Is Making Me Crazy And I Haven't Even Started Yet

Holy crap, guys. I about had an anxiety freakout last night just reading through all the forms that I need to fill out before my first appointment with a therapist (Friday! 1pm! Wish me luck!).

I can't quite recall the last time I was so incredibly overwhelmed. I thought I was going to have a meltdown. (Ironic, no?).

Mostly because of the financial aspect of it.

I mean, okay. Therapy's not cheap. I get this. And it's only a co-pay. So it could be worse. I have unlimited mental health available on my insurance plan so they're not going to cut me off after X sessions, as long as I can pay the co-pay.

But that's $40. That's $120 a month IF I go once a week. I can barely pay my student loans every month... how the fuck am I going to squeeze this in there???

I can't really afford this. I don't know how to make it work.

I mean... I'm working two jobs right now as it is. The second income I'm getting from my PT has been a lifesaver, I'm finally "comfortable" enough to where I'm not constantly obsessing about scraping the bottom of the barrel every month. But it's not enough.

I could try to squeeze in plasma donations again, but when? I have exactly one free night every week (Tuesdays), now that the TKD class schedule has been spread out and lands on 3 of the 5 weeknights. Fridays could maybe work too, assuming they stay open late enough for me to get there, since I usually work my 2nd job after my first one. Saturdays are impossible since I work most of them. They're not open on Sundays. I have to have at least a day in between them and it would have to be after TKD, otherwise I'd probably pass out at TKD, and that would be bad. but they're closed by the time TKD is over. And the process just takes too damn long to try to squeeze it in over my lunch break.

So, I don't know.

I don't think therapy is supposed to be CAUSING mental issues. It just seems so counterproductive. I'm going to blow the first few sessions just sorting out my apprehensiveness about the process itself. Fail.

*

The second round of the paperwork that needed filled out was basically a thinly disguised attempt at figuring out what type of crazy you are.

It was more amusing to me than it should have been, because I knew exactly which disorders they were hinting at. (The schizophrenia questions? Not subtle.) Most of the little sections had a 3-letter code by them which was all too easy to decipher into a psychiatric disorder.

Then my mind wandered and I wondered if these were so blatantly obvious to everyone, or if I just knew too much because I have a psych background.

It was kind of interesting though. Turns out I'm not really a narcissist after all, technically. Just full of your run-the-mill standard vanity.

I do appear to have some sort of avoidance issues (shocker) and there was another section that I couldn't identify ("do you keep things because they might come in handy again someday" - um, yes, yes I do. I wasn't aware that being a pack rat was a psychological disorder? There were some other questions in that set that were relevant but I couldn't ID what it was supposed to be - bummer.) plus of course my anxiety issues checked out with flying colors.

So, you know. I guess I do have some legitimate issues, even though as I was filling out the majority of the form, I felt pretty normal ("no, I do not hear voices.")

But as I was filling it out and kind of skipped through the standard depression Q&A section - even though I know this is an issue in my life, it doesn't seem to be bothering me right now - I was wondering if maybe now wasn't the right time? I'm feeling pretty okay right now.

Or maybe now is the perfect time, since I'm more clearly focused and I'm not in the middle of a meltdown or "episode" of sorts.

I don't know. I'm going to go on Friday, see what they have to say, and decide from there.

Mostly, I'm just terrified about the money.

Monday, October 18, 2010

At Least I'll Definitely Have Something To Talk About When I Finally Schedule That Therapy Appointment

I have long-identified myself as being highly commitment-phobic. This is old news. The more I thought about it, though, the more I feel as though maybe that identifying fear was a bit misplaced.

Maybe it's not necessarily commitment that I am so gun-shy about. I have no issue with signing things like leases that tie me down for a minimum of a year. I am completely committed to my job, and my friends, and my cat. Getting a cat was a big commitment, right? I don't think it's necessarily the C-word.

Rather, I think it's actually that I'm afraid of intimacy.

You know, the emotional kind.

Yet I think the two might be related, in a way.

I mean... you don't generally get too close to anyone that you don't have at least some level of commitment to. Why would you? That would be stupid.

I started thinking about this a while ago, trying to figure out what, exactly, it is that is wrong with me. Perhaps I'm saving Future Shrink a bit of time. There's still that missing puzzle piece, though, because while I'm absolutely fantastic at figuring out what's wrong with me, I'm terrible at figuring out how to fix it. That shit needs to be left to a professional, I think.

So I started making this list, which I will share with you now. (And by "list" I mean "brain purge that sort of itemizes my thoughts a bit")... behold:

Some of the things that scare me about commitment and intimacy (besides the things that probably scare most people about commitment and intimacy) (although these are probably more common than I realize, also):

The biggest thing is allowing myself to be vulnerable. Yeah, yeah. I know I've said that I'm up for getting my heart smashed, for some semblance of excitement and thrill and the inevitable downs that follow the ups. But there's superficial heartbreak and there's deep heartbreak. The kind of heartbreak of when someone knows you, the real you, with all your flaws and scars and skeletons, and decides you're not worth it, and doesn't want you. (Which is one reason that it's so easy to put on an act, a mask - then they're not rejecting you.) That crushes you to your soul and leaves you feeling exposed and bare and raw. THAT is the kind of heartbreak I'm afraid of.

I'm totally up for the kind that leaves me with a pint of ice cream or a martini and the desire to do something impulsive like get a bad haircut, where I bitch about what an asshole he was to my girlfriends and systematically untag every bit of evidence on facebook.

The other kind? Not so much.

Perhaps, related, is the ability or necessity to let go. To let go and lean on someone else, to allow them into your inner self and trust them with your thoughts and your fears and when it gets to be too heavy to carry, to allow them to carry some of it for you. To let someone else make some of the decisions.

When you're as independent as I've become, the thought of unloading some of your burdens onto someone else, damn near gives you a panic attack. Perhaps this is also why I'm terrible at delegating or asking for help at work. I must do it, I must shoulder it, I've totally got it under control, nobody worry about me.

I can't remember the last time I've actually let myself collapse into a heap in someone else's presence and let them do the worrying, the comforting, the handling of things.

Wait - no. I can. In 2006 after my friend Michelle died. I shoved my cell phone at my roommate and hid under the covers because I couldn't deal. She stepped up and made the phone calls and got the information and I will eternally be grateful to her for being there. I mean, to be fair, it was her friend too - but she was more able to be composed and keep a clear head. All I was capable of doing was being catatonic and numb.

Aside from that, though. The closest I get is when I confide in my friends - because I know they're not going anywhere - or obviously when I sit down here to type. So basically the same thing. I trust people that I know won't break me.

(See? I am COMMITTED to you people and this blog. I'm growing as a person!)

The last thing on my mind, currently, is that I am afraid of losing my sense of self, who I am.

I have, in the past, been guilty of being that girl who was so eager to please and so in need of acceptance, that she was willing to mold herself to be who she thought the guy she was with wanted her to be.

That worked out so very well, by the way.

The thing that offers me a bit of relief here, with this last round of me attempting to date, is that, well, I have no idea who any of these guys would want me to be, even if I were to want to mold. Which I don't, for the record. So I have absolutely no choice but to just be myself and hope that that works. If it doesn't, it doesn't. Reinventing yourself on a consistent basis is exhausting when all you really want to be is the person you've spent a lot of time figuring out that you are.

I've never really been in a situation where I was fully me, and just happened to be spending time with someone who enjoyed the Me-ness, that I happened to maybe be "with."

If that makes sense.

This is really, truly surfacing now, because I'm finding myself at an odd intersection. A fork in the proverbial road.

Because, when I started the task of finding someone to date because I thought I was tired of being alone and single, I never really thought I would meet anyone.

But the more dates I go on, the more likely of a reality this will become, and then? Then I'm entering an entire uncharted territory. I mean - I've been in relationships before; I haven't been in relationships since I've figured out who I am and what I like about myself. I haven't dreaded becoming un-single before. I haven't waffled on a guy for the sole reason that it would mean I would have to give up some of my independence. (Is that a stupid reason? I think that's a stupid reason.)

I would have to make a commitment. I would have to open up.

Why did I not think about this beforehand???

And yet. Obviously. It's stupid and unhealthy to be so closed off. I'm pretty sure of this. I'm so sure it would totally be the worst thing in the entire world to allow myself to open up and get close to someone. (Insert eye roll here.) I don't know what the hell my problem is or how I even got to a point where this problem even existed.

Truth be told, I've greatly enjoyed being single. I can't even quite express how much I love the life I've set up for myself. Everything is pretty much just the way I want it.

And sometimes I'm just not good with change. But I mean... shit. Maybe I like things now, but maybe they have the capacity to be better. Maybe I just need to take a blind leap and see where I land.

But that would involve letting go.

And we all know what an anal-retentive control freak I am.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Snippets/Quickies.

Hey, remember my other blog? I totally sort of updated it a couple weeks ago and didn't mention it.

***

I finally picked up the damn phone on Thursday and called for an appointment to get myself hooked up with a shrink. It's a $40 co-pay EVERY SINGLE TIME (grr) but that's only $120 a month if I go every week which is normally the full cost of a single session, so... could be worse? I really don't know how to work that into my budget though.

They had to call me back and I missed their call so I'll have to call on Monday to actually set up an appointment. I am mildly apprehensive about this and I don't know why. Maybe because I can type about what's in my head until my fingers fall off but I am physically incapable of vocalizing the same.

***

I love love love my new camera. I've been going crazy with the taking of photos and I'll probably post some here, it's been a while since I've had any photo posts. GET EXCITED.

***

I can't remember what else. This is a pointless post. The end.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Disjointed Post Alert.

I've been holding off on writing this because I can't figure out what it is that I want to say. Or how I feel. Not that I necessarily need to have Feelings, but, I don't know, I just feel like this would be easier if I did. I'm a big supporter of going with my gut, but right now, my instincts are eerily silent. They're not sure either. So we've got ourselves in a mess of indecision and static momentum.

Gah.

Before I go further, I want to point out something else that's been lodged in my brain-bits. I don't like to really call out specific comments because I love them all equally, but this one from Kim at Look a Little Closer kind of haunted me a bit.

...and on your previous posts re: dates, sounds like he was a nice-enough guy, but i'd rather see you write about someone that you feel electric about. someone that gives you those sparks and passion.

Because - yes. She's right.

I want that too.

I've been subjecting myself to all these mediocre dates with mediocre (and some awful) men and I was more focused on finding something good enough than I was on finding something great.

There were sparks with Bachelor #2. For however briefly that lasted before he turned into a giant asshole and pulled a Houdini. But it was there, I can remember it, and every once in a while I will still be struck with a random thought about him and it throws me off balance.

I want that kind of intensity, that kind of pent-up electricity.

It just seems so... impossible? Lacking. I don't know.

As I mentioned a few posts back before cramming a bunch of other posts in the midst, I went out with Bachelor #6. And he's truly a nice guy. He's smart, he's well-spoken, he seems to think I'm funny... he's also very quiet and kind of shy. Which there is inherently nothing wrong with, but it makes me feel kind of awkward because, well, I'm not quiet. (Paging Captain Obvious...)

On paper, there is absolutely nothing wrong with him.

In reality... well, there's still really nothing wrong with him.

And maybe two dates and a pile of emails isn't really enough to go off of... maybe I'm expecting too much, too soon. Okay, so there aren't, like, fireworks or anything. There's also nothing making me want to cut and run (yet) (other than the normal "gah! the remotest of remote possibilities of commitment! FLEE!"). It's going nice and slow and I don't know why this post is even a Thing, possibly because I am one of those people that overanalyze everything. (You know. Because I have a vagina. And it's connected to my brain. OOH, theory: vaginas are connected to brains and make you think/overthink; penises [penii?] are connected to brains and make you a mindless sexaholic.) (As popular stereotypes would dictate.)

Hmm, I'm not sure there were any sentences in that paragraph that weren't enclosed in parenthesis. Ah well.

ANYWAY ANYWAY.

To the non-overanalytical side of things...

The first date, if you recall, went very well and it was a pleasant evening and I looked awesome (which is only important because when I got home from Date 2, I looked in the mirror and kind of jumped because I looked like a holy hot mess and was all, "who the hell let me out of the house looking like this?" when obviously the answer was ME because I suck, but whatever, I was still getting used to a new haircut and I looked hot the first date which is obviously more important, first impressions and what not, so it probably balanced itself out so that I looked "okay" for both. Or something. If it worked that way. Which it doesn't? Whatever) and then I went on like two more dates that same weekend and was like "holy exhaustion batman, dating blows" but I guess of the three, he was the one I liked most anyway (ok, ok - middle date in there was completely horridly awkward and unpleasant, but whatever).

I'm escaping that paragraph and starting over 'cause I just got lost in it. Yeesh.

Okay so Bachelor #6 obviously asked me out for a second time and suggested we go bowling. I'm up for a good game of bowling and making an idiot of myself (although actually I did very well, thankyouverymuch), so that is how we found ourselves at the bowling alley last Wednesday, waiting for league games to get over and watching some god-awful skateboarders on a tv with no sound. (Seriously, they'll let anyone on tv these days.)

But as the evening went on, it felt almost physically more relaxed. There was something to do , rather than sit and stare at each other in a suffocatingly dim restaurant and try to make small talk. And at some point I remembered what Shelly had said about dating being fun, and I was like, you know, maybe she's right. Obviously I was just doing it wrong.

Because it was fun.

I felt like I got to be myself. I mean, not my FULL self - I generally like to dial back the crazy for people I've just met. But I didn't feel like I was putting on a mask or slipping into a different skin, I was at ease. I could make my offhand comments, even if I was trying to be on good behavior and not say anything stupid or overly profane. (My love affair with the f-bomb is going to get me in trouble some day, I'm trying to quit, I really am, but, well. It's one of my vices, really.)

Then we hit the parking lot and it was Awkward City. 'Cause, you know, it was the end of the date. Maybe it's just a foreign concept to me to go on Real Dates and not just do the semi-drunken makeout thing, but it felt like, I don't know, a high school date, or something. And I'm just standing there making awkward small talk in return and being all kiss me, dammit and seriously, I don't know how much more transparent I could have been, and his awkwardness was making ME feel awkward. I was afraid to just go for it lest he freak out and run away. This is not the type of boy I'm used to going out with. I'm not sure what the protocol is.

So I stalled. I stalled hardcore. I think he knew I was stalling but he was also stalling because he was too damn shy to make a move. Here comes the weird awkward half-hug... but I didn't pull away so he finally kissed me.

And it was nice, and felt familiar, even though it obviously couldn't have been, and maybe it wasn't a movie-kiss or anything to write home about it, but it was definitely something I wouldn't mind replicating again in the near future. AND he didn't try to shove his tongue down my throat like every other guy that I've first-kissed.

It was just, simple, sweet, nice.


**

So let's circle back to where this post started, a.k.a. what I had started writing last week before I shoved this whole post aside to let the whole thing marinate in my brain a bit.

Here's my issue, pumpkins. I'm still not entirely sure how I feel.

I mean, okay, he's nice, I like him, we get along, from what I can tell we have similar senses of humor, he can write coherent and properly punctuated sentences, he's well-groomed, adorably shy...

he's almost too damn nice.

Like,

I know he's not going to hurt me. And if he does, it would be because he simply didn't know any better and did something stupid. But never intentionally (do people hurt people intentionally? those people are assholes) and if anything, I would be the one inflicting the damage - which I have mixed feelings about, because it would be nice to be the one not getting hurt, but at the same time? I have an awfully trigger-happy guilt complex.

He's a safe choice.

But do I want safe?

or do I want to hold out for someone that really gets under my skin? Which is a double-edged sword that can go both ways, for better and for worse... but when it's good, it's damn good, and when it's bad, well, it gives me shit to write about and it makes me feel my feelings.

Because I want passion. I want excitement. I want to have intense, angry fights, followed by intense, blissful making up. I want to feel it.

But I also want nice. I like nice.

Nice is right here in front of me, and mine for the taking. It's tame, but it's not bad.

And the other thing I want? May not even truly exist outside my head.

And maybe I'm underestimating him. Maybe the potential is there. Maybe I'm getting too far ahead of myself. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

Friday, October 15, 2010

WTF PANTS.

Ok, so. Something light and fun for today.

I get that there are some weird things going on in the fashion world right now. I get that I'm maybe not super trendy so maybe it's just that I don't understand.

I mean, there's the whole leggings-as-pants thing. Whatever. I recall at some point hearing about "sweatpant jeans" and I giggled and went, "I should totally get a pair!" because we know that I love sweatpants, but um, no. (A quick Google search reveals that these do, in fact, exist.)

Incidentally, I saw my first pair of jeggings out in the wild last weekend, and I was not impressed.

BUT. The following specimens have skyrocketed to all new levels of What-The-Fuckery.

Also, this top pair has been haunting my soul ever since I first laid eyes on them, I had to go back out and find them just so I could share them with you and perhaps be at peace.




Yes, they are HALF pinstripe pant and HALF camo short.
Seriously. Nightmares.




I'm not even sure what's going on here.


I worry about the future of clothing. Mostly because I am an avid pant-wearer.

Except right now, when I'm not wearing any.

Just kidding.

I'm wearing shorts though. Only within the safety of my own apartment.

Ok, I'm going to straighten my hair and go pass out. And tomorrow, I'm wearing real pants. Pants that are all one color and all one length and shaped like normal pants are shaped and won't allow for any suspicious breezes and for the love of all that is good, pants that do NOT involve camo of any sort.

I'm totally stalling on any posts of interest (ie, boys). Did you notice? I'm sure you noticed. Soon, soon. I'm trying to piece things together. Stay tuned, my lovelies.

EDIT: Okay so as I've tried to bring that Google Reader number back down to zero again, I've noticed several proclamations of love for jeggings. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THEM? I must know. Really. Yay or nay? Explain.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Off My Chest (And No, That's Not a Reference To My Breasts, Thankyouverymuch)

SO. How's everyone? Great? Yeah? I'm stalling writing an opening here. Because I don't really know how to start because writing about Serious Things hasn't really been my forte 'round here in quite some time. But now that I've started I can't seem to stop because I have so much that I want to say or feel like I need to say, and I feel like it all needs to come with a warning or a disclaimer.

There is part of me that wants to be all "I'm not here to make friends!" which is not true because I'm totally here to make friends, in fact I have amassed quite the collection of awesome internet peeps that I want to give big squishy hugs to and that I would love more than anything to be able to hang out with in person because we'd be insta-BFFs. I guess more accurately, my current thought is "this is my space to say whatever the hell I want and if that offends you then I'm sorry but this is my opinion so if you're going to be a twat about it, GTFO." But that takes up more words.

Anyway, today, I am veering towards one of the Top 3 Things You Shouldn't Talk About Unless You Want to Create Drama*. I'm not a big fan of drama, really. It makes me anxious and I've got enough anxiety issues to deal with, without bringing extra ones to my doorstep.

*religion, sex, and politics, if no one ever told you.

But I am extremely vexed - VEXED! - and so we are going to kind of revisit this post and the common theme I saw in the comments that I didn't really talk about.

So we're going to talk about 2 hot-button things.

Parenting and Religion.

(Haters to the left, as my blog idol Cleolinda would say.)

So. I am wholly unqualified to talk about Parenting, as I do not have offspring myself, but I was parented once, and I've seen good parenting and bad parenting, and so I'm totally qualified to give my observer's opinion. Cool?

As far as religion... ugh. This is touchy. There's no way around that.

I've seen it from all angles. I have friends on all ends of the spectrum. Those who are devoutly religious, those who are devoutly atheist, those who say they are religious but really aren't, and those who are possibly religious but keep very quiet about it. We all differ so much that this is one of those topics we Don't Talk About, because it's messy and people get defensive and while no one aims to offend, offense is eventually taken.

For me, religion and faith are very personal things, and not things that I care to discuss with others, for a plethora of reasons, but I'm going to break silence a little bit today. I personally consider myself to be more "spiritual" than "religious" - I don't go to church but I do believe in God. I am very reluctant to check that box that says "Christian" - not because I'm hesitant to say, "Yes, I believe in Jesus" but because I am horrified to be put in the same category as the Other Christians.

Not all of them, of course. Just the ones that violate the core foundations of the religion they are supposedly upholding.

And I don't want to make it sound like I have a problem with religious people. I truly don't. I'm sometimes one of them.

What I do have a problem with are assholes.

And this post, what we are going to talk about, is that Venn diagram where the two overlap - the Assholes and the Other Christians.

The Other Christians (OCs) and their small-minded, hypocritical, intolerant, hateful ways.

Because, quite frankly, they are pissing me off.

You people are why I'm not "religious." You people are the cause of the stereotypes of the "Jesus freaks" and the "Bible thumpers" and quite frankly most of you fit the bill. And you are NOT NICE PEOPLE.

You bitch and whine about being oppressed while you go around systematically oppressing anyone who Isn't You, meanwhile, managing to be influential enough to pull strings in the government so that a land that supposedly has "freedom of religion" is actually, well, not. Because if anyone is capable of throwing a grand mal hissy fit over something that conflicts with their beliefs, it's you people. Who made you so godddamn special? Nobody, that's who. You're just like everyone else, except with more power and money and influence. Someday, though, someday all these groups that you've been holding down will flip the tables around and then, yes, you will be oppressed. And you will have earned it. Don't cry wolf, or no one will believe you when it's true.

But that's not what my point was.

My POINT was, I know where you're getting your source material, and I know you've got it all fucked up.

Jesus is probably shaking his head in disappointment, as well, though I'm not going to be presumptuous enough as to assume I know that.

If I were Jesus, though, I'd be pissed.

Because you would have misconstrued every single damn thing I said and are being assholes about it.

The rules were simple, guys. We were instructed to love one another. It's in fucking black and white print on the book you wield as a weapon. Maybe in red print in some editions, because Jesus fucking said it.

He also said not to judge or condemn people, cause that was His job, but I guess you chose to ignore that part too.

I fail to see how ostracizing and alienating groups that you deem to be "sinners" is showing any sort of love or compassion. In fact, by the words that you seem to live by, we're all sinners which means you're just as bad as the rest of us. If not worse, since you are deliberately disobeying orders.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, amiright?

Love love love.

THAT is the message.

THAT is what I live by.

THAT is, unfortunately, not what I see.

And as almost everyone has said before me, the lack of love and compassion and humanity you show to other groups, such as the gays, echoes down into your children. You may not say "hate the gays!" but if they see you hating the gays, guess what they are going to do?

Monkey see, monkey do.

Children learn from their parents. It is your responsibility to not be an asshole, as thus to not raise a bunch of miniature assholes.

Kids are smarter than you think. They are infinitely more perceptive, and they are infinitely more impressionable. You need to be careful. Actions = louder than words.

But, you haughty, pious OCs. You scream and yell that these groups, from the whores to the gays to the poor to the liberal to anyone not a cookie-cutter version of YOU, that they are the plague to society.

You are no better.

You are encouraging and promoting this cycle of hate, all in the name of religion.

When it's not religion at all.

It's you, and your fears, and your intolerance, and your lack of compassion.

Because Jesus hung out with people like the whores and the gays and the poor and the liberals.

Hell, Jesus was a liberal, given His place and time.

It hurts my heart to hear the things that "Christians" say. Christians, being followers of Christ, and taking every single thing He said and turning it around backwards to spread their message of intolerance.

I'm not saying I'm perfect. I'm not. Am I always a bundle of love and sunshine? Hell no. But I am an equal-opportunity snarker. I'm not a saint and I don't want to come off as the same sort of obnoxious hypocrite that I am currently tsk-tsk-ing. But I have no real, genuine hate towards any one, any group, and when I make fun of things or make my smart-ass comments, it's always in a light-hearted way that is never meant to be taken seriously.

But it's the cold, heavy malice that is emanated towards the Other Groups, that's what worries me, and that what makes me want to lash out at those of you giving everyone else a bad name.

My friend Steph linked this article and I think it's a good read, so here.

While I'm busy alienating everyone, let's talk about abortion too. Okay, not abortion, but the fact that people are killing doctors that perform abortions in the name of saving lives. Hmm, ok. Take a life to save a life? Doesn't that cancel itself out? Or is adult life not as sacred as a baby? Is a life only important to you if it's a fetus? What about the life of the mother, if she is at risk? Or does her life not matter, either? Be consistent, people. Are you "pro-life" or are you not? Because, the way I see it, life is life, no matter the age. Killing is murder, and you obviously know that's on God's Top 10 List of things you shouldn't be doing. [Here's a post I wrote a long time ago on the same thing. If you're interested.]

One time someone also pointed out that the same groups that push to prevent abortions are the same groups that bitch about welfare and have no interest in supporting these babies that they essentially coerced into being born. YAY, you saved a fetus. Now, are you willing to support it, now that it's matured and outside the womb? No? Don't be an asshole. You wanted this baby to be born, even though you knew the mother probably knew she couldn't give it the life it deserved and couldn't afford it and yet you harp on these deadbeat welfare moms who are just doing what you wanted them to do. Have babies.

OH! And my favorite. Let's NOT support birth control or sex education. Because as logic would dictate, birth control equals no unwanted pregnancies which equals no abortions. Why not catch it where it starts and just prevent the whole damn issue? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they used to say. People are going to have sex anyway. You know this. I know this. It's human nature. If they are uneducated or don't have accessible birth control options, they're going to get knocked up. And then their options become incredibly difficult. And you're not helping.

I'm not saying I'm FOR abortion. I mean, nobody is really FOR abortion. I am for choice, however.

Also, to go into a completely different direction and to side-tangent into current events... the mosque at Times Square. Starters: I don't believe the intention is to build a mosque on Ground Zero. I personally think building anything on Ground Zero is tacky. I can understand that it's a very charged situation, but as someone pointed out, if someone had wanted to build a church or cathedral there, you can bet your ass that everyone would think it was a "wonderful" idea. Muslims, guys? They're people too. And they've got their crazies just like we've got our crazies. I've heard that if it gets built, the terrorists win. If it doesn't get built, the terrorists still win, because it's physical proof that we are discriminating against their religion. Honestly? I think just the fact that it has even become an issue with this much discussion and controversy has given the terrorists any sort of satisfaction they might have wanted. It's a lose-lose at this point. I have no solutions. Only sadness.

WHEW.

Ok.

I don't even know, guys. I'm out of steam. It's the same shit that's been bothering me for years and there you have it.

Everyone just fucking get along, and the world would be a fantastically groovy place. Check your hate at the door and you'd be amazed at how much more you enjoy life without all that extra baggage.

I sound like such a fucking hippie.

Also, I burnt my dinner while writing this post, if that makes you any feel better.

Anyway. The end. Be nice, be civil, speak your piece, agree, disagree, whatever.

Just remember: this is a no-asshole zone.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

how to: continue to damage your self esteem.

I was doing a little fall cleaning the other day (not of my apartment, though. Let's not get too crazy here) and decided to purge my Flickr account since it was basically a holding ground for pictures from 2007. If the people that wanted them didn't have them by now, too damn bad. I figured I may as well free up some space so I could start using it again.

So then I started to think about what I did want to use it for, and I don't know. Most of my pictures are on facebook anyway... a lot of my artsy shit is somewhere over on deviantArt, though that account probably has a few tumbleweeds of its own. What to do, what to do.

I thought maybe I could at least post a few of my favorite snapshots on Flickr, just so they're there, and easy to find, easy to share.

This proved to be a large task because I take a lot of photos.

This wasn't always the case. I didn't really have a digital camera until my sophomore year of college... and it kind of took off from there. 2007 was the year with the most "best" pictures, I think.

Anyway, my POINT of all this is... I looked at a lot of old pictures. Pictures I'd forgotten existed, pictures that I wish didn't exist, and pictures that brought back a bunch of memories and gave me a raging case of nostalgia.

Mostly, it was interesting to see how we've all changed over the last five, six, seven or so years.

It was also depressing to see how much weight I've gained over the last five, six, seven or so years.

I used to be really fucking hot. Like, objectively speaking. I would have done me. Or tried to do me. I would have at least bought me a drink or something.

Ok, this metaphor's getting weird.

MOVING on.

It was funny how with each passing year I hated myself and bemoaned my weight gain when in actuality, it was never really that bad. Until now. Now that I'm fifty pounds heavier than where I was when I was thin and pretty.

Which makes me wonder that if I continue on this path, if I look back to NOW, will I go "well, it wasn't really that bad?"

Of course, if I get worse than now, I will get to the point where I can't joke about it, can't talk about it. I'm not thin, I'm clinically obese, I'm not, like, to the point of needing a motorized scooter to get around and my health isn't at risk (yet, I hope)... but I cringe when I look in the mirror. I re-take photos from different angles because the thought of posting them makes me want to cry on the inside. Sometimes on the outside too.

It's all very emo.

Anyway, my point is, don't look at old pictures unless you want to get depressed.

Side note: it was also interesting to watch the parade of my old sunglasses. I should have started a tally to see just how many I've gone through over the past few years. Spoiler: it's more than the number of cameras I've, um, laid to rest.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Guest Post: Please Help.

I got a pleading message from my lovely friend/former roommate Molly asking for some help for a cause that is very important to her, so if you don't mind, I'm going to set aside the usual snark and pitiful existentialism for one day.

Molly is a huge, huge animal lover and has been spending quite a bit of her time lately helping with animal rescues - they save animals (mostly dogs) from the Death Row of kill-shelters and find them foster homes until they can find them forever homes. Molly herself has fostered three dogs so far and works her ass off to make sure they find good homes.

Oftentimes, these rescuers do this entirely out of their own pocket. Which is why they need some help right now.

Anyway, this is her request, and I'm passing it along because I know that she is passionate about this cause, and I know the money isn't going to some nameless, faceless stranger.

The link is at the end if you want to help donate.

Kim, the gal who I rescued the dogs from Southern Missouri with, is down a huge amount of money from the puppies that got Parvo. We're both so damn busy that organizing another fundraiser is almost out of the question, but Kim needs the money badly- her bank account is completely empty, she's a student like me, and she has a five year old daughter who she's the sole parent of. She's a great person who put down a ton of money to provide care for these guys, and once the bills exploded over the Parvo pups it completely devastated her financially.

We did all we could for those puppies. They were slated to be put down within a few days of us being there, it was a whole litter of 9 whippet mix babies, only 8 weeks old. They must have been exposed to Parvo in the shelter, because 10 days after we got them home they all got sick. We did the best, but Parvo is an unbelievably expensive disease to treat- at least $1000 a dog. We euthanized five of the puppies because the vet thought they had a less than 50/50 chance of making it, we treated 2 more, one of which still passed away after almost a week of care. In the end two puppies made it, one that we treated and one that was cared for by its adoptive family.

The other dogs and cats we pulled from the shelter needed a lot of vet work as well, and now all but one dog has gone on to a permanent home.

Here's a rundown of how everyone is doing today-


Willow the Siberian husky lives with a family outside of Ames. She was extremely underweight, covered in fleas, had a bad ear infection, and frantic from her ordeal at the shelter. We paid for her spay surgery and her vaccinations, she is now calm and happy in her new home.

Elvis the Border collie was skin and bones, had a skin infection, and had obviously been attacked recently by another dog. He had been dropped off at the shelter by his owner because he allegedly tried to herd things (ya think?) and was deemed a low possibility for adoption because of his high energy level. We paid for his neuter, vaccinations, kennel cough, and his skin infection. He now belongs to a border collie enthusiast and rescuer in Minnesota, who says he's going to be an unbelievably good performance dog with dog sports like diskdog and flyball.

Nellie the Boxer/terrier mix is a 3 month old puppy who was scheduled to be euthanized the day after we picked her up. She had learned aggression from the dog she was kenneled with, was skin and bones from a combination of too little food and lots of internal parasites, and as a result tried to eat anything she could-including poo. We paid for her spay and vaccinations, she was adopted by her foster home in Des Moines, who says she's now cured of the issues the shelter caused and loves to play with his other three rescued dogs.

Amber the pitbull had clearly just recently weaned a litter of puppies, had fleas, and was severely underweight. Pits are especially doomed in most shelters, they have a very difficult time being adopted. She has now been spayed and fully vaccinated, and is still in her foster home putting on weight. She is an amazing, smart, sweet dog who sleeps with her foster's five year old daughter at night and loves to play with other dogs.

Penny is a four month old... best guess is Toy Australian shepherd mixed with maybe chihuahua- we thought we were picking up a 10 week old springer spaniel puppy, we were surprised to find Penny instead! She had kennel cough so bad we nicknamed her 'Honk' at first because it's what we heard from her every waking hour for weeks until it was finally cured. She now lives in a suburb of Des Moines, being loved by a family with two little girls and being doted on by her new beagle siblings.

Lucy is a 4-6 year old terrier mix who was shy (but very sweet), had fleas, and no front teeth. We cleaned her up, had her spayed and vetted, she now lives very comfortably in an affluent neighborhood in a suburb of Des Moines with a wonderful family, with five daughters who absolutely love her.

Diva is a 4-6 year old Pomeranian- one of the only ones we pulled that possibly had a shot at adoption in the shelter. She had a home before we even got to the shelter- she had been claimed sight unseen by a terrific adopter outside of Des Moines as a present for her fourteen year old daughter. She is now a very pampered little dog who rarely leaves her girl's side.

Sam is a 5-6 year old Lilac point Siamese. He had a horrible respiratory infection- he was in such bad shape his foster was afraid he'd pass away within days of her getting him. He was medicated heavily and pulled through, he's gained weight (he's a HUGE guy now,) and will likely be adopted this weekend.

Blanca is an 11 year old pure white Persian, dumped at the shelter by her owner. She was in even worse shape than Sam- she had a horrible respiratory infection, an eye infection, no fur on her chest or stomach, was severely underweight (she only weighed 2 lbs, the same as an 8-9 week old kitten) and absolutely covered in fleas. Against the odds she pulled through, she's still recovering from the eye infection, but she's steadily gaining weight and her fur is growing back.

Anyway, we all know I'm not a huge dog person and while I like my cat a great deal, I do not want to end up with a houseful of them. Still, I'm not a complete heartless bitch, and this made me really sad.

So, if you want to help, maybe skip your latte and toss a couple bucks in this directions, you can click here to go to the Chip In page for the Must Love Dogs rescue group.

And if you can't donate, just go home and snuggle your furbaby of choice because that's one less animal that is homeless and in need of groups like this.

Monday, October 11, 2010

hello again, internet.

Spent a blissful weekend away from the Internet, away from computers, and away from my phone. It was kind of refreshing.

In case you think something is terribly wrong with me, I shall clarify that I was up visiting family and actually quite a bit of time was spent outdoors, because the weather was absolutely perfect and beautiful and autumny and if the logistics could have been worked out and I wasn't creeped out by, well, everything after dark, I would have taken a pillow outside and slept among the fallen leaves.

I also took about eleventy billion pictures that I need to go through.

Alas, the downside to all of this is that the family obligations required me to miss Calee's birthday, which I am still incredibly sad about. Y'all should hop on over to her blog and give her some belated b-day love. You can even tell her I sent you, so I can stop feeling like such a crappy friend.

Ah! Also!

The ex texted me FOUR times on Friday. This was incredibly irksome as you can see how much I flipped out after only the first one.

I mean, they were completely innocuous messages; an outside observer wouldn't blink an eye and would probably think I'm crazy for getting worked up over them.

But I know exactly what he's trying to do. I can read between the lines and I know exactly what he's doing and what his intentions are. It is, perhaps, the one advantage to knowing him so well. It keeps me from getting blindided.

I know what he's after.

He's not trying to get into my pants. He's trying to get into my head. He wants me emotionally. He's still pining over the ghost of a girl that he used to remember. He wants me to let him back in.

Not gonna happen.

Soooo other than that, it was a great weekend, and now it's back to the grind, back to real life, back to where everything left off.

Except today, because I felt crappy and stayed home. But TOMORROW, I mean it.

Friday, October 8, 2010

SERENITY NOW.

I was hanging out with of my near-and-dear g-friends from ISU last night. She asked me if I was currently dating, to which I kind of hesitated - I mean, we were in a loud bar and I didn't feel like trying to go through the "kinda, sorta, dabbled in the whole online thing, I went on two dates with a decent guy and will maybe go on a third, if that counts as dating" spiel, so I just said no.

She then informed me of her long-held conviction that [Ex-Boyfriend] and I would ultimately end up together.

She's lucky I adore her or I would have possibly punched her.

This stupid ex-boyfriend keeps fucking appearing and reappearing like a ... something that disappears and reappears, I don't know. I had four blissful years of silence and now all these sporadic relapses (some worse than others). WHAT GIVES. That boy is like poison in my veins. No, thank you. I paid my dues for this, why do I keep getting dragged back into it?

Perhaps it would have been less irritating if he hadn't just randomly texted me earlier that day.

No shit, y'all. That happened.

I, however, did the totally mature thing, and ignored it.

Now I have a lot of angst to purge (coming soon to a blog post near you!). I need to put an end to this once and for all, but I don't really know how to do that without being a total bitch. Which, okay, yes, I KNOW, I am totally entitled to be... but. It's like kicking a fucking puppy at this point, guys. I already have the upper hand and that's all I really ever want in life.

I totally don't get off on having power and control, nope, uh-uh, not me.

*keyboard smash* ANGST ANGST ANGST.

On the positive side, that bastard does still inspire me to write.

(I do owe him that. I started writing again after we broke up for the first time in a long time since my foolish adolescent dreams of being a prolific writer-person. I think I actually probably started my first blog after that. So there's that. I probably wouldn't be here yelling at the Internet if it hadn't been for that whole debacle. We're all here right now because I got my heart smashed five years ago, woohoo, small debt of gratitude, I guess, so there, we're even. Leave me alone.)

Still.

I want a different muse. This one sucks.