Friday, January 28, 2011

*grump*

So, I've been all happy-la-la-la for the last however long and totally psyched about the fact that this winter has been not as winterlike as the last few years, which means that we are only buried under a perfectly reasonable amount of snow, rather than the metric fuckton of which nothing springs but despair and hopelessness. Between the lack of Death Snow and my new tires, my driving-in-winter panic attacks have all but subsided, which, in my book, is AWESOME.

But the main thing that has been particularly spectacular about this overdue mellow winter, is that I haven't gotten my ass kicked by Seasonal Affective Disorder. Wherein I mope about and ignore everyone and go to bed as soon as I get home from work every day and have Epic Struggles every single morning just to get out of bed. (Which is, precisely, what happened last winter. And probably the one before.)

Then... I don't know, it decided to be winter, I guess. And I feel the dark cloud of the SAD starting to descend upon me. And it sucks.

(Truly, this is a horrible acronym, I never really gave it much thought until I read this bit by Kat from Pink India Ink):

...Or you might know it by its acronym, "SAD", which really belongs on a list of Abbreviations That Seemed Like A Great Idea At The Time But Are, In Fact, Really Stupid.

"OOOOOOOH!" the psychiatrists who first discovered this probably shouted. "We'll call it Seasonal Affective Disorder, and then, we can shorten it to SAD! Which is exactly how you feel when you have it! It's genius!" -- And never realizing, in their excitement, that you can't go around saying, "I have SAD" without giving the impression that you are not clinically depressed, but rather mentally deficient.

My body's been trying really, really hard to fight it. I can tell that it has. Because I've actually been happy lately, that magical zen place that everyone thinks is so hard to get to but isn't, and I refuse to admit that I can fall back into those dreary, gray places.

The thing I probably hate the most about this whole affliction is that my regular medications are useless here.

I mean, they're still working and doing their merry little job of keeping the regular depression away, but they do nothing to offset this extra shit. Though lord only knows how much of an anguished pit I would be in if they didn't at least do that much. Two helpings of depression? PASS.

But I've been just exhausted and beat down, this last week especially, and it's annoying, and random things make me want to cry, and it's like having PMS all the fucking time, you can imagine how much fun THAT is, and this random weather-shifting we've got going on here (nice day! crappy day! nice day! crappy day!) is also fucking with my sinuses and so long story short, I survived this fucking week and I think I deserve a gold star.

Also: if that damn groundhog sees his shadow next week I will personally march to Pennsylvania and bludgeon it to death with... something, I don't know. Fucking rodent.

I'm kidding. I'm not an animal bludgeoner. I can't even kill spiders.

One more month to Mardi Gras Prom. Four more months to Vegas. These are the things I need to repeat to myself. I like being uncontrollably excited more than I like being uncontrollably sad.

BLAH.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

You'd Think the Title Would Be the Easy Part...

Oh, where do I start? There's no good place, really. I'll start with this post from the Bloggess which led me to this blog which led me to lots of thinking and that really unpleasant sort of self-examination and introspection and then typing and starting and stopping and now I'm just going to post this fucking post and be done with it.

(To summarize that fucking long run-on sentence: I read some posts that struck a chord and now I write words.)

Part of the reason of my hesitation is, quite simply, that of self-censorship. I don't know who reads this blog anymore. It's not as hidden as it used to be. Which is fine. It goes along with the territory. I like that people are reading what I have to say. Though if I were to be perfectly honest, I prefer when it is read by complete strangers and/or close friends, rather than the sort-of acquaintances who don't really know me at all, and are likely to maybe take things the wrong way, or even judge me. (Yes, I still care what people think. Yes, I know that I shouldn't.) I would probably die if my family started to read this, out of some combination of embarrassment and shame (I'm sorry, I have a love affair with the f-bomb, I can't help it, but my family tends to think I'm, you know, classier than that, or something, which is why I've really cleaned up my act on facebook, because they've all discovered it now and watch me because they can and because they're all creepy stalkers. Not because of work or clients, like some people. My work and my clients are cool. It's my family I'm worried about. Go figure.)

Anyway, my point is, when I write about personal things, I don't need the world - my world - to know. It removes the option from me of being able to choose what I share with people, and how much.

Yes, I'm well aware that that's the risk you take by, you know, writing on the Internet for EVERYONE TO SEE.

Blah blah blah.

Anyway, so, yeah.

Let's chat about mental illness for a minute, shall we?

VISIBLE CRINGE FROM THE AUDIENCE.

It's kind of a thing that's slowly resurfacing in the public eye again, right now, and maybe that's not necessarily a bad thing. I mean, it sucks that it's because of the aftermath of a fucking lunatic, but, whatever.

I hate the phrase "mental illness." It gets decoded as "crazy" or "unhinged" or "deranged" or "sociopath."

It makes people think of the dredges of society, to distance themselves from this unspeakable affliction. It conjures up images of outdated psych wards and straitjackets and lobotomies and whatever weird shit they used to do to things they didn't understand. Typical.

And, while this may be very un-PC of me, there are certain types of mental illness that do make people, how shall I say, batshit crazy.

Those aren't the types I want to talk about.

I want to talk about depression. Depression with a capital D. Real depression.

Because, really, it's a conversation worth having.

And quite probably, it's affecting more people you know than you could possibly guess. But nobody really talks about it. I mean, I never did. Still don't, really.

The problem is that there is still that horrible stigma attached to it - it is, after all, a mental illness, and that phrase makes people uneasy, makes them slowly inch away like it were a plague. Which isn't fair. It makes people afraid to ask for help. And if there's one thing I've learned, and am still learning: you can't get out of that place without help.

No matter how strong or capable you think you are, you can't do it alone.

The other thing is - and this may not be a fair statement that I am generalizing here, I can only speak from my little corner of the world - I don't know, it almost feels like it's become a cliche. Maybe it's just so commonplace now (which is a scary thought), an incurable epidemic... but I think it's easy to misdiagnose. Because I've known several people who were rather flippantly "oh, I'm so depressed" and I get that it's legit to have ups and downs - that's simply life.

But their depression is usually much shorter-lived, and since they were able to bounce back so quickly... they don't understand why you don't. Why you can't. And I feel like that gap, that lack of understanding, causes people to not take it seriously. And that hurts. Because there are different types of depression and sometimes it runs deeper for some people.

And I get frustrated. Because I feel like it trivializes me, trivializes people who are truly suffering. Because then you wonder, what's wrong with ME? And it almost makes it worse. And you're trying to put a smile on your face and go about your life like everything is great, when you are crawling out of your skin and it hurts to breathe and you want nothing more than to crawl into a dark hole and just fucking stay there. When they make fun of you for being late or sleeping too much - and it's not their fault, they don't know - you're late because you had a sudden anxiety attack and didn't want to leave. You're sleeping because the thought of getting out of bed makes you want to cry. So you shrug it off as a personality trait and eventually it becomes you.

(I am, though, for the record, really terrible at being on time. I never used to be and it's rarely for a legitimate reason beyond "I lost track of time" or "my hair was being difficult" or "I'm not a morning person." I mean, at least, now. I used to have a lot more instances of random social anxiety attacks where I truly had to force myself out the door because I was so filled with dread at where I was supposed to be going.)

And it bothers me, also, in turn, because I've known too many people who casually drop the D-word, that it's so hard for me to tell when someone truly means it. Which is also scary. Because I don't have a radar for such things, and I've gotten so cynical, that sometimes, I truly don't know. For my close friends, I can tell. I can tell when they're having a bad day and when shit is really getting bad. But for the people that I have a more superficial relationship with? I can only guess if "I'm depressed" means "I got a flat tire on the way to work and then I spilled coffee on my shirt and then I got in a fight with my significant other" or it means "please help me, I'm scared, and I don't know what to do."

And I feel like it makes me a terrible person, I am becoming the type of person that I resent, the person that doesn't take it seriously, doesn't take them seriously. Too many people crying wolf. Too many people just wanting attention - and there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting attention, some cheering up, a pint of ice cream, a hug. But to label it with a word that also means that you are in the darkest part of yourself and you're not sure you're so keen on life anymore... it sends out a mixed signal of sorts. To everyone. No wonder nobody knows how to handle this issue.

So I don't know. I don't know what my point is. The people that say they're "depressed" when they're not really depressed bother me a lot because, well, it just does. The people that are depressed and can't or won't admit it and don't get help make me sad, because it's a truly scary place and you can't ever get out of it by yourself. That was always my problem. My pride. (Fact: you can still cling to your pride even when you loathe the very core of your being. No, I know it doesn't make any sense.) I value my independence so very, very deeply for reasons that I'm not sure I'll ever be able to figure out, and it kept me from reaching out sooner. Because I'm a control freak. I didn't want help. I can do things myself. I didn't want to admit that I was weak, even though I knew I was terribly broken.

But I finally hit a point where I was like, enough. And I bitch-slapped myself into finally saying something, and it was so easy to find supportive people and work my way back out of the dark.

The hardest part is just speaking up.

Anyway. I have more I want to say, I think, but I'm done for now, because I can't seem to segue it properly, and I'm talking in circles LIKE USUAL and I should really just go back to posting pictures of my cat and typing emphatically into my keyboard while using the word "fuck" more times than a lady probably should and photoshopping my face onto other people's bodies because that shit just doesn't ever get old. Ha.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ahhh, Exploitation.

I interrupt this blog to bring you: another rant about facebook.

(I say "another" because I am sure there have been more, previously. I will not bother to back this fact up. Just, trust me. They're there. Probably.)

According to this article from Ad Age, facebook is rolling out this "sponsored stories" biz-nass which basically takes anything you do, from "liking" a brand to merely mentioning it, and turns it into an ad to broadcast to your friends.

My favorite line of this article?

"Users, however, will not be able to opt out of having their action turned into an ad and having that broadcast to their connections on Facebook."

This... just... RAGE. RAGE AGAINST THE CORPORATE MACHINE.

What a fucking sellout facebook has become. I realize this isn't new, by any means, but I've been on facebook long enough (*cough* seven years *cough*) to see it go through all its various incantations and updates, some of which were welcomed, most of which, were not. I didn't MIND the ads, per se, they are annoying as hell, but at least they're fairly benign. But this? This is like a big "fuck you" to facebook users, who are marketed to mercilessly, ALREADY.

But this... this seems like a betrayal of sorts. To say nothing of an annoying privacy infraction, but the fact that users don't even get a SAY in the matter? That just doesn't seem right to me.

My life is not an ad. You have no right to make money off of my opinions without compensating me.

I'm not even mad, really. Just sadly, sadly disappointed. In this, in the world at large.

I miss the old facebook, via... 2004, 2005. No ads, no family members, no businesses, just college students & their friends.

I miss not being forcibly marketed to, every time I turn around. At least in "the olden days" it was more subtle. You could change the channel during the commercial. You could ignore billboards (anyone else think billboards are incredibly unsafe? I mean, in order to read them, you have to TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THE ROAD). Etc.

I miss being able to choose. How dare they - or anyone - think that they have the right to choose for me? What I do, say, think, see? I feel like I'm being infringed upon. And, I know, I'm being hyperbolic, but... it's not that huge of a leap. I can't choose what happens to my content, I can't choose my privacy. It's not that far away from being unable to choose things for myself, bigger things. I fear we're headed down some sort of path which will end us in some sort of bad place that you've only read about in books, some bleak future where we have no control anymore.

I mean, think about it. We're practically already there.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fluff post. Literally.

So, I have a post that I'm trying to write but it's one of those that's about My Feelings, or something, and I can't quite seem to bring myself to finish it or post it, maybe tomorrow, maybe not, I don't know. I have a lot of half-drafts floating around that I really need to complete. The words will come when they come, I guess.

Anyway, here is a gratuitous picture of my cat sunbathing.

Her life is so hard.


The end.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

VERBAL FLAILING

So, remember last fall when I wiped out in the middle of the street because it was raining really hard and I was wearing flip-flops and I totally slipped and fell and gashed my fucking elbow open so bad that I had to go get stitches?

Well I totally kind of ignored the bill I got from the hospital for a while because it was $300 and having been mired in debt for a long time I happened to know that medical bills are the ones you can push off the longest without consequence, and also, I may have just kinda not concerned myself with it, because things like RENT and ELECTRICITY and CAR INSURANCE seemed more important. Then I got caught up with myself financially and gave them a call and put it on a payment plan and I thought we were going to live happily ever after.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday, when I got my mail and had a bill from the local doctor's office that is interconnected with our local hospital.

Charging me, also, for this same ER visit.

I just stared at it and tried to call them, even though it was after 6, but I did find out they were open Saturday mornings, so I was resolved to call them then and be all WHAT THE MOTHERFUCKING FUCK.

So this very nice lady answers the phone and I'm all "I think I'm being charged twice for this ER visit?" and she's like "Yes, you are" and proceeds to explain why but I sort of stopped listening in favor of speechlessness and blind rage. She couldn't possibly be serious.

She told me to avoid the ER whenever possible and go to Urgent Care instead, and I was like, believe me, I would have if I could have but it was late at night and nobody else was open. I also told her that next time I was just going to superglue my wound back together. She sounded rather horrified.

SO long story short, my $300 elbow is now a $600 elbow. SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS for FOUR FUCKING STITCHES.

This is AFTER insurance, by the way.

Seriously. My elbow better be FUCKING BIONIC for that much money.

I just... I don't... GAH.

Anyone who thinks our healthcare system doesn't need reformed can go kiss my Not Bionic elbow.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sadly, I encountered no peaches.

My brain is fried. And by "fried" I mean, like, I think the cold has seeped its way inside my head and actually frozen up whatever sort of liquids are in there, leaving me with a shriveled up brain.

Or something. I'm not a neuroscientist. I don't know how these things work.

So, instead, I present to you, some pictures from my trip to Atlanta. Of which there are, unfortunately, very few. Because I went for work and also by myself, and taking random pictures of yourself just isn't quite as much fun. Also, I didn't really go anywhere except to the hotel and the showroom and back, so. You know. Not a lot of photo ops.

Whatever, I had fun, and I learned a lot, and I have also decided to invest in a pair of orthopedic shoes because HOLY SHIT. I was about ready to saw off my feet after the second day.

Fortunately, I was too exhausted to crawl anywhere to find a sharp enough instrument to get the job done, so my tootsies are still in tact, and are 99% recovered now.

Soooo anywho, here are some pictures. I really wish I could post pictures of our showroom display because it was super awesome, but I think that's against company policy and I don't want to get in trouble, so, YOUR LOSS.

Have these instead:

This is my hotel room.
Yes, that is ALL the baggage I brought.
Because I am awesome.


Inside of Building 1 (of 3) of the AmericasMart, after hours.
It's like a giant mall for retail buyers.
It is MIND BLOWINGLY huge.
I only got lost once. I'm calling it a success.

Crappy blurry picture of downtown Atlanta at night.

Me with the view outside my hotel window.
Because I had nothing else to take a picture with. I know, my life is hard.
That ginormous building over my shoulder is the outside of Building 1 (see: two pictures up)


Ever wonder what the view is like from an 18th-story skywalk?
I'm not even afraid of heights, and it was a tad unnerving.

Hmm, I wonder where the picture of the mosaic Elvis from the Memphis airport went to... it was quite delightful. Don't fret, I'll find it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fuck it. I'm going to Vegas.

I weighed the pros and cons, asked myself why the hell not?!, realized I had no idea where life would take me in/by 2012 and now might be the only time I was free enough (and financially equipped enough) to go. And dammit, I'll have worked 3 years without any vacation to speak of, I have earned it.

Also, this lady has decided to go too. Which sort of solidified my decision. A lot.

I want to live my life the way I've dreamed of living it: fearlessly and passionately. I want to take chances, not pass them over or let them pass me over. I want to be fulfilled. I want to look back without regrets. I don't want to find myself saying "I wish I would have done (fill in the blank here) while I had a chance." I've got plenty of time to settle down and hang out in the seas of corn. I want to visit places I've only seen pictures of. Hell, I want to be the one TAKING the pictures.

I want to be adventurous and daring. It's a complete 180 from who I was not even ten years ago. I don't want to hold myself back.

Money is only money. I will eventually have more of it, it will replenish itself. I can eat out less. I can stop buying shit on Amazon. (No, really. I can.) I can cut back on Christmas in 2011. I went overboard this last year and while I enjoyed being able to do it, not every year has to be as material. More importantly, I don't want money to dictate my life. I've weighed this decision, I've thought it through, and I am okay with taking this financial burden on this year. I will budget around it.

And, honestly? Looking at everything that's included in that registration fee? I may not be a worldly traveler, but I can only imagine how expensive Vegas is, and I think we're getting a hell of a good deal.

Hell, who knows. Maybe I'll get a kickass tax refund. I hadn't even considered that until just now. Even a pissy tax refund would be delightful.

I'll be okay.

And I'll be more than okay, because I am doing something that I initially wrote off as something I could never do. But I'm going to do it anyway.

It's very likely that I'll second-guess myself a million times between now and May, but, dammit. No more sitting on the sidelines.

Carpe the motherfucking diem, right?

So, to celebrate this completely beautiful and wonderfully insane decision, I have made... a photoshop image.

You might have to click on it to see it better.

LOOK LOOK THERE ARE TWO MORE SPACES IN THIS IMAGE THAT CAN BE FILLED WITH YOUR FACE. YOU SHOULD COME TOO. DOOOOO IT.

Look, a handy link that will take you to both the FAQ page and the Registration page. HOW CONVENIENT!

Omg, I'm so excited I might pee my pants. Except not really. But, like, the mental pants in my brain have already been peed. ....And that totally didn't make any sense at all.

You get what I mean.

(No, you probably don't).

(It's okay, I don't even know what I'm saying anymore.)

(I give up. G'night y'all.)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Things I Am Good At: Talking Myself In Circles

I am having a current inner conflict that is resembling some sort of mental cagefighting going down between Being Responsible, Being Spontaneous, Enjoying My Youth, and I Hate Money.

I was scrolling down through my Reader, like I am wont to do, and I noticed the Bloggers in Sin City blog was updated. With little bios. Which means... that trip for 2011 is coming up. And there were spots open.

And I really, really wanted to go.

After making it to Atlanta and back and navigating the airways all by my lonesome, I feel much more confident about my ability to travel, especially to unknown locations with no one waiting at the other end.

Except there WOULD be someone waiting at the other end.

99 other bloggers, to be exact.

The idea both terrifies and excites me. Because I think it would be fantastically fun. I obviously don't know any of them, except through the few of them whose blogs I do read. And yet? That's the point. To meet people. To meet people and to have fun. To make friends and have a kick-ass adventure and, you know. Vegas.

What's holding me back? I'm young, unattached, and lord knows I've got plenty of vacation time stashed away. By the time this trip rolls around, my vacation time will have actually reset itself for my work anniversary. (Note to self: check on your PTO bank and take some time off. Use it or lose it, woman.)

Obviously, the money. Except I'm not as concerned about the money as I would normally be. I've got the stash of funds earmarked for a wedding I may never have, that I haven't paid off/down my cards with yet. I can always pay myself back, though. And since I'm chronically, hopelessly single, what better thing to use my money on than a trip to Las Vegas? It seems like the perfect anecdote to what the money was originally earmarked for.

The registration fee itself is $350, which includes the hotel and a shitload of other things. Then there's the plane ticket, which to fly out of the middle of Iowa, isn't as cheap as it is from other locations (I compared it to flying out of Omaha, which chopped a good $100-200 off the ticket price, which would totally be worth driving two hours for). So let's estimate based on current prices out of Des Moines, and say the flight will be about $450. Add in other incidentals, and I'm guesstimating that the total expense for this trip would be in the neighborhood of $1000.

Technically... right now... I could afford it. And I still have five more months to save a bit too, though if we're being realistic, that money is for the day to day and getting by, though I could cut a few corners if I had to. I'm eyeballing that "wedding fund" money.

So let's assume that money's not an issue, because I could be completely financially irresponsible and do it. I could pay for the entire damn trip, in full, tonight.

The anxiety over going somewhere by myself isn't an issue, either, because I have proven to myself that I can totally, totally do it.

The anxiety over not knowing anyone, is, well, legit, I guess, but it sounds like everyone going to this is eager to be your new BFF, so I'm not terribly concerned about this, either.

Honestly, my biggest concern at this very second is that I don't generally have the energy to participate in nonstop activity for an entire weekend. I'm like a freaking old lady.

There are, as of this typing, 85 spots left. My fingers were itching on my keyboard as I hovered over the registration page. I could do it. A complete moment of impulsiveness and I could do the most exhilaratingly, gloriously spontaneous thing I can fathom doing at this point in my life. One of the stories you'd tell your grandkids (though the fact that I'm not planning on having kids kind of negates the possibility of grandkids, so: nieces and nephews, then.) Because "I got on a plane to Las Vegas to meet ninety-nine perfect strangers, drink alcoholic beverages, romp in fountains and have a fucking blast" is a much more compelling tale than "I paid off part of my credit cards."

Because I can't even pay them off in full, right now. I can pay them down, but not off.

I don't even care about that right now. Because I just seriously don't. Fuck money. I'm tired of being consumed by money, by worry over money, by the lack of money.

Life is not meant to be lived in a state of worry. It's meant to be lived, period.

Also, I feel, that, in a way, I'm missing the boat on what everyone else my age is doing. Which is relevant in terms of where this particular money would be coming from.

I don't GET to have anyone special, I don't get to have that best friend that I want to spend my forever and ever with, I don't get to plan a fancy event, to bring together my friends and family and to look beautiful and make a huge lifetime commitment. I don't get to obsess over flowers and table decorations (THANK GOD. If I ever get married, I'm outsourcing that part of the planning to my friend Molly), or to try on dresses that make me feel pretty, and to have my own moment to feel special and loved.

I don't get any of that. I get a one bedroom apartment with a cat and a lot more frozen dinners than I care to admit. I get to go to bed alone and wake up alone and go about my business. Which is fine. I'm okay with that.

But I feel like I am missing out, a little bit, nonetheless. And since I don't get to have that other experience... part of me feels like I should get to have THIS experience, or at least this kind of experience. Something so completely selfish and impractical, just to do it, to say I've done it, to push me a little bit outside of my comfort zone, to be the adventurous twenty-something I could be right now.

So it sounds like I've got my mind made up, right? OH HOW LITTLE YOU KNOW ME. The fact that I'm writing about it in such a way is merely indicative of the fact that I've already talked myself out of it. It's almost as though you can see my indecisiveness at work, in front of you. I overanalyze everything. I have a million reasons why I want to go, should go, COULD go. And the only one that is strong enough to make me stay: it's irresponsible and stupid. I shouldn't spend that kind of money on something like this. It would be an impulsive decision and logic dictates I should wait, save money, maybe think about it for next year, when I've had more time to consider, rather than click a bunch of buttons in the heat of the moment.

That, and I emailed my favorite bloggers from the various other corners of the country and it seems pretty unanimous across the board: too much $, too short of a time frame to acquire/save said $. And frankly, while I have no doubts that I would love the other bloggers going... if I'm going to spend the money and make the trip, I kind of want to be able to meet the ones that mean the most to me, you know? (SHUT UP, I AM NOT GETTING CHEESY AND SENTIMENTAL. YOU CAN'T PROVE ANYTHING.) So if my internet besties can't go... I'm not sure I really want to, either. We could do our own meetup or something, somewhere else, with more advance notice, more time to save up.

So there's that.

Basically, this post is nothing more than evidence that I STRONGLY CONSIDERED doing something daring and exciting, because I probably won't, now that I've talked it out (and since my bloggy faves can't go), but just the fact, the knowledge, that I could... it's exciting.

This is going to be another Rome* for me all over again, and I'll probably kick myself later, because I'm terrible at seizing opportunities when they arise, and I hate that I miss out, but I always have a million excuses as to why I can't - and shouldn't - go.

This post has entirely no point. I don't want anyone to tell me I should go, or that I shouldn't go. There are pros and cons to both. I know it would be a financially ridiculous decision to make. I also know it would be one of those moments in life I would look back on and be all, "yes. I did that. And it was awesome."

I don't want to be boring. I don't want to play it too safe. But I don't want to create a bigger financial mess for myself than I already have.

Right now, though, as I finish this little rant, what I truly want more than anything is a fucking sandwich. I totally forgot to eat dinner tonight. Whoops.



*Long story short: I opted out of the study abroad program at ISU and stayed in Iowa instead of going to Italy. I KNOW, I KNOW. I had my reasons, at the time. In hindsight, it would have been an amazing experience, but all I can hope for now is the opportunity to go sometime in the future.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

TitKoTTPFaS'RH: Part 3/Epilogue

All right, kidlets. No more hating on The Hostess. As it turns out, she messaged me back the day after I’d written/prescheduled my posts, and Internet access on my trip has been a crapshoot. First of all: who the hell charges for wi-fi anymore? Assholes, all of them. I’m actually typing this in a Word doc at the Atlanta airport because I’ve got about four hours to kill and I refuse to pay for unlimited Internet access. For free, I can at least get use the Atlanta airport page to check my flight, but… yeah. Not to be able to post this until I get home. This makes me cranky.

Anyway. She apologized for taking so long to respond, without pulling the message up (because I CAN’T) it was something like, it made her all sad to do because she left for a new job and misses us all and blah blah blah. I guess I'm not terribly great at responding to all my messages in a timely manner, either, but come on. This was clearly IMPORTANT.

But, as the story of my life goes, NYE Boy has, alas, an unofficial girlfriend. Some kind of an unspoken Something.

Which... whatever. Obviously it’s a bummer, but at the same time, I’m not really surprised, because I do not have the kind of luck that allows me to become interested in a boy that’s actually, you know, available.

Though I do fully expect her to keep this in mind and let me know if this unofficial/unspoken almost-relationship fizzles out and this boy becomes available.

In the meantime, though... I got nothing.

Told you this was a crappy story.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

This Is The Kind of Thing That Passes For a Story 'Round Here: Part 2

This is Part 2. In order for it to make any sense, you will need to read Part 1. Which will be the post directly below this one. I'd link it, but I'm prescheduling these so you have something to read over the weekend while I'm away, because I'm thoughtful like that, at any rate, it doesn't have a link yet TO link, unless I'm just too dumb to figure it out. I know Wordpress tells you the post URL but to my knowledge, Blogger doesn't, so. You know. Scroll. I'll wait.

Veering back on topic...

So maybe I didn't quite feel confident enough in myself to kind of reach for anything beyond the level of friendship I was acquiring with everyone else in the house. (Partially, though, I didn't want to be all awkward and obvious since I was already sticking out like a sore thumb in the group... if that makes sense? Probably not, I'm neurotic, leave me alone.)

But the main thing, that I felt? Was a rather vague sense of awe that, hey, I'M NOT DEAD INSIDE. After the failbomb that online dating had been, I'd pretty much resigned myself to the fact that something inside me was broken and that I was never going to be attracted to anyone again nor was I going to meet anyone ever again that I found interesting. (Yes, I fall into hyperbole quite a bit when I get discouraged. SO WHAT.)

Also: there were still good-looking UNMARRIED men my age in this town.

Hope. It is not lost.

So that was kind of a pleasant revelation, I guess.

And then at the end of the night, he and this other guy sat on the couch and played acoustic guitar for like a half an hour and I probably died of swoon right then and there. (If you're new here or don't really know me, I've always had this weakness for musicians. Especially guitarists. I've hooked up with a lead guitarist and a bassist, in my younger days. Not from the same band, though. That would have been awkward.)

So: cute, nice, musically-inclined boy? Yes please. I couldn't tell for sure, but from my keen sense of observation, I don't think he was attached to anyone.

The next morning I did what any normal person would do, and took to facebook. I couldn't find him through The Hostess's page, so I kind of gave up and waited for her to post her pictures from the night, hoping I'd have better luck directly through a photo tag. Except a lot of her friends apparently don't have facebook (I KNOW, RIGHT) and he was one of the ones she issued a pseudo-tag to (you know, where you tag something or someone but it's not tied to anyone's profile). So I know his last name now, but that's about it.

So I was being all dramatic and woe-is-me and I emailed Maria (who shall henceforth be called Far Away Maria, and my IRL friend Maria will be Local Maria. Because, you know, "IRL" isn't really accurate, because they are both Real Life Friends) about my whole story because made the mistake of asking me for life updates, and she was like, dude, just send The Hostess a message and ask about him, which is kind of what I had narrowed down my options to be, and... I don't know. She was totally right... but I found myself hesitating, and it took longer than it should have to find the words for a completely innocuous message. ("I'M BREEZY!")(Does anyone ever get that reference when I use it? Here's a link. Now you will.) I don't even know what I'm asking. I'm so completely out of my comfort zone, because my comfort zone is flying solo.

Also, it feels so... presumptuous. Like I would even presume that he would even be interested in me. Why would he be?

I mean, on my good days, I think I'm pretty awesome. Sometimes I even think I'm pretty. I'd like to think I'm a worthwhile catch.

Yet, all of the past rejections kind of rise up from the back of my mind and shatter my self esteem, leaving it lying in little bits and pieces at my feet. I'm no one special. I try too hard. I sometimes have to force myself out of my shell, which is something I thought I'd succeeded in overcoming years ago. But my confidence gets shaken too easily, and I second-guess myself.

And it's not hard to talk myself down from something.

Because the status quo is easy. It's reassuring. It's familiar, it's comfortable, and it will never hurt me.

But I'm not afraid of being hurt? So much as I am of being rejected to the core, more evidence that I'm not actually worthy of being loved after all. It's been a long roundabout path, where I go back and forth, but they've all gotten to me, more than I'd care to admit, all those exes and almosts and maybes. Their rejections did hurt. It's okay to admit that, it doesn't make me less of a person. We all get rejected. (I assume.) It happens. Until it doesn't. But I've never made it that far, and it's a scary, uncharted territory.

Which is to say, that this entirely hypothetical situation about a boy I met for about four hours, is irrationally unhinging me, because I've dared to think that, yes, maybe, maybe I can do this, try this again. But the what-if's and the what I assume to be inevitable keep me in check.

I don't think I'm afraid of commitment at all, really. I think I'm just afraid of the letdown, of yet another person making me feel unwanted, undesirable, unworthy.

And all those feelings seem to be justification enough to say in my safe haven. Alone. Alone, but whole.

SO THEN, the next morning after I grew a pair of she-balls to send said message, I ran into him at my usual coffee place. Naturally. I smiled and said hi, he recognized me, smiled and said hi back, but I didn't really get to chat him up since he seemed like he was in a deep discussion of some sort with the other guy he was with. So, you know. That is what we like to call a FAIL.

And, that's all I have, because The Hostess has not responded to my message because she probably thinks I'm a moron. Or probably because she hasn't read it yet. Or probably because I had to message her about something else anyway and I just kind of stuck this in after that, and she probably just looked at the subject line and went "meh" and didn't really open it. Which would be my luck.

So, that's all I have. Which is a really long post about absolutely nothing. Which I totally warned you about. The end.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

This Is The Kind of Thing That Passes For a Story 'Round Here: Part 1

Ok, this turned out to be horrendifically long, so I'm breaking it up into two posts, YOU'RE WELCOME.

Apparently, this is going to be one of those stories where I was holding out for something to actually, you know, HAPPEN so I had an ending to said story, instead of letting it just kind of hang out there like an unfinished thought.

But that seems to be the story of my life these days, a series of unfinished thoughts. The universe must have ADD.

So, in lieu of an ending, I'm just going to give you a beginning and maybe a middle, and then you can be crushingly disappointed when you get to the end and are like, "wait, that's it? THAT'S what constitutes a blog post these days?" and we can all be disappointed together. Because I'm tired of telling lame half-stories, but, well, it's what I've got.

Anyway, um. Once upon a time, there was a cute boy at the NYE party I went to. (That's right, I left my house on NYE, EVEN THOUGH I really just wanted to stay holed up in my apartment in my nice comfy sweatpants in my nice comfy bed, but NO, dammit, no more being a hermit!). I mean, to be fair, none of the males at the party I was at were *un*attractive, but, the one that walked in later, smiled at the room, and made me melt to my spot on the floor. THAT one.

I don't really know how to describe it, other than it was definitely a smitten-at-first-sight kind of thing. Physically, he's exactly the type I tend to be drawn to - taller than me, but not too tall... average build... dark hair... dark eyes... and that smile. I was intrigued.

Unfortunately, there was no alcohol at this party, save for the champagne for midnight, so I couldn't follow my usual MO of consuming copious amounts of liquid courage and thusly making an ass of myself, though effectively getting my intentions across. Instead, I kind of hung back. I was already feeling kind of awkwardly out of place, as the hostess (who shall hereforth be referred to as The Hostess) was the only one there that I really knew... I'd met some of her friends before at one of her previous events, but it was one of those situations where they all knew each other. They'd all known each other for a while... and they were all perfectly lovely people who were very nice to me, but I still felt like an outsider.

That, and I wasn't really feeling particularly dazzling, either. I mean, I looked nice. I'm still getting used to the red hair, EVEN THOUGH my hair has had a reddish hue for the last year+. EVEN THOUGH when I'm in the privacy of my own home, and doing something that involves staring at it for quite a while on end (ie: straightening it), I love the color. It's the exact color I wanted when I dyed it. And yet? I feel like a phony and like I'm not really me.

I'm falling into it more, now. I feel more like it fits, I'm thinking about it less. But at this point, I was still incredibly conscious of it. So I wasn't feeling particularly confident anyway. So I kind of let things slide. I'd make conversation where it was easy to fit in, but... you'd be disappointed in me, if you were there, if you'd been inside my head.

And, side tangent: Ok, Ok, I know, "love yourself or no one will ever love you" ETC. I don't think that's my problem. I'm a pretty classic narcissist, really. I have a very high opinion of myself, at least in most aspects. Pretty much anything that doesn't have to do with physical appearance, anyway, though I must say, my hair has been very cooperative lately which leads me to the conclusion that straightening it multiple days in a row (i'm on Day 2, it's pretty scientific) makes it easier/better to straighten on the subsequent days, OR, that my hair is actually rebelling against being up all the time and is like, LISTEN, BITCH, WE PROMISE YOU'LL BEHAVE, QUIT PUTTING US IN A MOTHERFUCKING PONYTAIL.

My point is, I don't hate EVERYTHING about myself.

Personality wise, I could do without the anxiety and self-consciousness and I am not even going to start making a list because who knows where it will end up, but for the most part? I like me. I think other people should like me, too.

Which is why it really stings when people DON'T. Or when they reject me. Because I'm a good person, I'm nice, maybe sometimes too nice, and then I get mad at myself for allowing myself to get proverbially shat upon by assholes who clearly don't appreciate my brand of awesomeness.

So it's not that. It's not that I don't love me. And it's really hard to say that without sounding like a vain asshole, but, I mean. It's a big step, given how frequently and much I tend to not like myself.

But I've never been able to sustain it for a lengthy period of time because nobody has ever made me FEEL lovable. Nobody's bothered to try. Which makes me, in turn, think that maybe I'm not even worth it. By now, somebody should have given a shit, right? Wrong.

TO BE CONTINUED. (Yes, this really was the most logical place to put the break.) (I warned you this was a shitty post, but I already took the time to write it, so, fuck, whatever. When we finish this two-part series, I will regale you with my thoughts on the OMG THEY REDID THE ZODIAC, FREAKOUT epidemic that swept across the Internet the other day. Which I helped perpetuate. Because I am evil. And apparently a harbinger of Internet drama. What's funny is that I don't give a rat's ass about astrology.) (I know, you're riveted now.) (Today is an I HEART PARENTHESIS DAY. Is there a Parenthesis Appreciation Day? If not, I'm totally declaring it to be today. Mark it on your calendars.)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Mission: Accomplished.

Photo taken directly after class.
Which is why I look like such a hot mess.

I did it!!!

Full writeup/post can be found here (<-- the other blog! it lives!)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Not The Post I Promised Yesterday

I swear to you this is not going to be a political blog - in fact, I was working on a post about my hopeless awkwardness in relation to the opposite sex, but my browser quit working last night so it's going to have to wait, I KNOW YOU'RE DISAPPOINTED, DO NOT FRET - but I just wanted to pull a couple quotes from Obama's speech in Tucson that I think really resounded with what I was saying the other day, and that I think - hope - everyone can agree on.

An eloquent verbal bitch-slap to the people trying to make something out of nothing, for dividing rather than uniting. For politicizing a non-political tragedy. For playing the blame game.

Whether you love him or hate him, I think his speech was an excellent effort to try to reunite us all. I'm probably biased; I've always admired him and I think that he hasn't really been given a fair chance (a lot of the criticisms I've seen/read are ones that I think could be applicable to any brand-new president; the ones coming from the conservative side I think would have been issued to any liberal-leaning president, everyone is going to see what they want to see and find the flaws they want to find. Lord knows we had our share of Bush-bashing back in the day.) I don't think it's fair to blame him for the mess this country's in - it was a collective effort, and it started long before he was in office.

It's a shitty job, but someone's got to do it. And you will never please everyone, no matter what you do. True of life, really, but especially of the political realm.

Anyway, getting off point, like I do, my point is, I have even more respect for him after this speech, which I think made some very specific, pointed remarks to the people trying to politicize this tragedy.
"But what we can't do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another. As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together."

“At a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized – at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do – it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.”

Go forth and remember: we're all in this together.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Georgia On My Mind

So I'm heading to Atlanta this weekend for a business trip (OMG I'M LIKE A REAL GROWNUP) which I am really excited about, but I also have this irrational fear that I'm going to get impossibly lost between the airport and my hotel, which is ridiculous, because I'm sure this airport is well-signed and also, I'm not actually that bad at navigating, I just, you know, like to assume the worst, I guess. I don't even own a GPS because all I tend to need is a scribbled set of directions and I can get where I'm going. (Maybe because I'm so intensely paranoid of getting lost that I pay extra careful attention to the directions? It's a theory.) So assuming I don't get lost in the heart of the peach lands, I'll be back early next week to entertain y'all.

In the meantime, I have an absurdly long post that I am filling in the gaps on that I will try to post tomorrow to give you something to read over the weekend.

HA, just kidding, it's not that long. Just, you know. Not... short.

It's not even that good of a post. I suspect. Based on what I wrote already. I dunno.

In the meantime, I've been busy buying travel sized items that do not exceed 3 oz, and I was going to take my straightening iron so I look nice, but half my products that I use to straighten my hair are too big, but I'm going to dump some of the essential one into a smaller container and it will have to be good enough. Otherwise I'm bringing a curling iron and calling it a day.

I'm going to attempt to do this with only a carry-on and a laptop. So far, I think I can do it. It's like a challenge. WHICH I ACCEPT.

I'm an excellent bag packer. I also apparently travel really light. I think living in the dorms for four years made me really low-maintenance as far as items I require to function.

I mean, ish. You'd never know it looking at my apartment. I like stuff.

Where was I... yes.. anyway. I hope the snow goes away because one of the upsides to heading south in the winter is to get AWAY from the snow. Ah well. Such is my life. I want to go somewhere, and there's snow. C'est la vie. And such.

Monday, January 10, 2011

I See Your "Fuck You" And I Raise You a "No Thanks"

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure there was zero mention of Sarah Palin or the fucktard that did the shooting in my last post. If you can find it, please tell me. I don't remember writing it.

You know why?

Because that was NOT MY POINT AT ALL.

Maybe my points bled together, but since that happens in 99% of posts I write, I'm not sure what to tell you, other than: before you tell me to fuck off, actually read the words in the fucking post.

Cliff's Notes: It was about my various unsettlements and fears about the current state of affairs.

Here's what I mentioned: what happened in Arizona was a tragedy. It's reflective of an increase in violence and tensions. It could happen again. Because hate is the order of the day.

I did not mention the shooter. I did not align him with either political party, because he doesn't belong to either. He was/is a mentally deteriorated conspiracy theorist who embraced the works of Karl Marx and Adolph Hitler. He targeted Representative Giffords for an assassination. Yes, she was on Sarah Palin's infamous "crosshairs" map. There is no definitive link between the two, other than a really unfortunate coincidence, and I'm not going to say otherwise until something is proven. Palin is doing probably the smartest thing she's done in her entire time in the spotlight and backed away from the whole situation, rather than opening her mouth and making it worse. That's as close as I will ever get to defending her, because I loathe everything she stands for, but in this particular instance? She was an easy scapegoat. She should have known better than to say and do some of the things she did, but she's not the sharpest crayon in the box, and she was doing what worked for her at the time. Her followers ate that shit up.

But what the point was, which was clearly missed on at least one count, was that it's this firey hate speech that is dangerous. It is designed to provoke and to anger and divide. Palin is guilty of it. The Tea Party is guilty of it. While it is most likely unrelated to this incident, it's still extremely dangerous. These followers are passionate to the point of it being scary. It's a mob mentality, torches and pitchforks and the like, and sooner, rather than later, it's going to erupt in violence.

And when it does, it's going to result in another tragedy.

My point is that these divisions are tearing everyone apart. Look how quick everyone was to take sides after this when there WASN'T EVEN A SIDE TO TAKE.

It's a slippery slope, people.

And THAT is what I am afraid of. We are seeing the worst of everyone right now.

So, no, I am not okay with guns being distributed freely. I am not okay with people making "targets" because someone IS going to take them seriously. Another lawmaker in Illinois received a threat that "he was next." I will not be at all surprised if there are copycats.

Because not everyone who pulls this sort of shit is unhinged. But they are easily influenced. And the influx of hate for the "Other Side" is at an all time high, and it's fucking terrifying.

So if you want to attack my opinions, fine. If you want to zero in on the fact that I don't want there to be guns in my neighborhood, fine. If you have a problem with the fact that I have a problem with people who have a problem with gays and lesbians, bring it forth and we shall discuss. If you have a problem with the fact that I have a problem with the blurring of the line of church and state, super. If it pisses you off that extreme fundamentalists piss me off, that's really not my problem, but fine. I apologize for none of these things.

But don't put words in my mouth. It pisses me off.

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." - MLK Jr.

"We cannot overcome anger and hatred simply by suppressing them. We need to actively cultivate the antidotes: patience and tolerance."
- Dalai Lama (from his Twitter feed. Seriously. Everyone is on Twitter nowadays)
The state of the world continues to frighten and worry me. There are so many, many things that I'm concerned about for the future.

But right now, I'm actually more worried about the present.

Violence is all too commonplace. We are all desensitized. We watch it in movies, on television, we recreate it in video games. Nobody thinks twice. Which makes me wonder, all those crazy people who scream bloody murder, that violent video games are causing our kids to be violent... are they right? They have to be. You can't partake in that much mindless violence and not be affected by it. Especially nowadays, as video game companies take pride in how realistic their graphics are... where's the line between shooting someone onscreen and shooting someone offscreen? It's blurry, at best. We are taught that life is cheap. We pay money to see movies where people are killed and shit gets blown up, entertainment at its finest. I think maybe Suzanne Collins wasn't too far off, when envisioning her original premise for the Hunger Games - a reality-show type situation where people kill each other for sport. Granted, the story she wove around it is much more horrifying and complex, with totalitarian governments and a bleak dystopian future, but the sentiment is there, nonetheless. The things people watch for entertainment.

It gets trickier, now, when things are politically motivated. People are passionate, if not frequently misguided. Nobody is willing to listen to the other side, to consider other options. It's their way or nothing, and those who oppose them are a threat. Enough to actually kill? Apparently.

I'm not going to get into the events of this last weekend or point figures, the whole thing is tragic and there's no use in regurgitating it. I saw our maintenance man lowering our flag to half-staff this morning, a sight that always drops my heart into my stomach. Because it's never anything good.

Hate and intolerance are going to rip this country in half. We're already so, so divided... and now it seems violence has entered the picture, again. My most paranoid fear is that we will devolve to the point of erupting into another sort of civil war... we're already halfway there. Tensions are tight and people don't seem to think about violence the same way they used to. It might be an extreme thought, but it might also only be a matter of time. Perhaps I've been reading too much, perhaps I'm just conditioned to think the worst, but I'm really, truly afraid of where we're headed. We are a modern-day Rome... eventually, Rome will fall. I hope we are stronger than that, I truly do. I hope these senseless acts of terrorism - for that's what they are - pull us together instead of push us apart.

We've been conditioned to live under fear, ever since 2001. We've been controlled by fear ever since. Enough fear that we allow all these bullshit laws to fall into place, laws that chip away at our freedoms and securities. Forget warrants or even being notified, who knows if you are being wiretapped or watched. It's for your own safety. Safety from what, though? Not even our own government. It was about then, that the quote from Benjamin Franklin resurfaced and became eerily relevant: "Those who would give up liberty for safety deserve neither liberty or safety." We are shooting ourselves in the foot.

Speaking of shooting, and guns, since we're here, and since, whatever, I'm on my soapbox, an older lady that I take TKD with posted on her facebook wall about how there was discussion of Iowa revamping their gun laws and allowing more concealed weapons and some such. More gun rights dumped into our constitution, bills to prevent cities from creating weapons-free zones in public places. Hello? Parks? Schools? How is this a good idea? Aside from my snark (someone asked where they could possibly conceal a weapon at the Aquatic Center, to which I made some retort about Speedos)... the idea scares me. What use do we have for guns, here? We don't live in a dangerous place. It's the middle of Iowa, for God's sake. Right now, honestly, I feel like this is such a safe place to live. I am not afraid to go out by myself at night. I am not afraid of excessive violence. I am one of the most hypothetical-situation paranoid people I know (having an overactive imagination is awesome, guys), and despite the places my brain can go, I am not afraid. I feel safe.

But if the level of guns being carried around increases, I feel less safe. I feel less safe because people around here are reckless and careless. It's evidenced merely by the way they drive. There is a strong sense of entitlement, of superiority. Right now it manifests itself in people merely cutting you off because they want to get where they're going faster, by them ignoring traffic laws, by them not giving a shit. Loaded guns are dangerous. It's not guns that kill people, it is people. People with quick tempers and no sense of the value of life. People who play shoot-em-ups in their free time. People who would be all too quick to pull the trigger because they don't stop to think. People who are paranoid enough to think they need to carry a gun to these formerly-safe places, would be the type that are paranoid enough to use them.

So people will then have to get guns to protect themselves against the people with guns... and soon everyone will be carrying them around, and it will be a ticking time bomb. Right now? Right now I don't know that many people with guns. But this lady even said that when she owned a gun, it was a heady feeling, a feeling of invincibility and power. A feeling that, if not kept in check, could be dangerous.

Guns themselves, I have no problem with. If they're a hobby, or a tool for hunting. I've been to a shooting range, it was actually a lot of fun. I've never been hunting, but I don't like getting up at the ass-crack of dawn to take my tots out into the freezing cold. I'm not saying I never would; I have no moral opposition to it. Maybe that makes me a bad person (sorry, animal lovers... but those fucking deer are also dangerous bastards and the population needs thinned down), whatever.

But guns as weapons against people? No. Absolutely, 100% no. This terrifies me. We've all seen what can happen when they are in the wrong hands. They end up there anyway. Why make it easier for them?

It's like that episode of Family Guy, with the nuclear apocalypse and the Twinkie factory, when for some reason they put Peter in charge, and he's all "we need guns!" and they go from this nice peaceful civilization that didn't need guns to one that was violent and dangerous, because then they had them. It's a game changer. It's scary.

And it opens up for more possibilities of attacks on innocent people. Another Arizona. We don't need that. We need to refocus, reprioritize. We just need to get the fuck along. What are we trying to accomplish? Why are we giving in to hate? Why are we letting the hatemongers win? Why? Because they're louder than us? Because they're so hard to reason with? Because it's too much effort? Because it's easier to be complacent? What happens when they win? What then?

I feel that all I hear are the hate speeches and narrow minded viewpoints from a very vocal minority... but they're so loud, they drown out everything else. But maybe it's because nobody else is speaking up. I have to believe that not everyone is so indifferent, so apathetic. That there are people out there that still have decency and compassion, that can step up, to help fight back.

In summary: the Tea Party needs to go fuck itself. They're driving us into the ground with their ignorance and their hateful agendas, and it has to stop. Because it's only going to get worse from here.

And now, some quotations, from someone saying almost the exact same damn thing, but more eloquent and well-respected than myself.

The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

All Great Decisions Were Made Via Blog...

I'm conflicted, guys.... I think I need some input.

Our Prom (you remember. GROWN UP PROM! WITH FREE BEER! FOR CHARITY!) is next month, with a mardi gras theme, which HOLY CRAP EXCITED, because it's always ridiculously fun AND this year I won't be all pining over anyone, which totally decreased the fun-factor by a few degrees, ANYWAY, I bought some cheap masks at Wal-Mart around Halloweeen, BUT, none of them go with the dress that I decided to wear. Which is to say, my red bridesmaid's dress from my sister's wedding (I'm sure she'll be thrilled to learn that I have, in fact, worn my dress again... just, you know, for things like Halloween '08 and now Throwback Prom. Or, you know, Mardi Gras Prom.) I think I might try to have Calee attach straps to it, though. I mean, as thematically appropriate as it would be if the ladies fell out (BEADS!), I'd rather prefer to NOT flash a whole mass of people that I have to see again the following Monday at work. Awk. Ward.

Anyhizzle, I ordered a couple of masks from a Mardi Gras outlet website (no, seriously) and they were only like $3 each so I got two, because I couldn't decide what color, and now that they're here, I still can't. I have a red one and a gold one. Like I mentioned, the dress is red. I will be wearing the black bolero jacket that I made for last year by cutting apart a godawful black bridesmaid's dress that I got at Goodwill last year. I have some red and gold beads already (Go State!) so I think it will be a safe assumption that my color scheme will be red, gold, and black.

The red mask doesn't quite match the red of the dress, but after like ten minutes, nobody is going to be sober enough to care. Hell, nobody will probably care anyway. I'm almost leaning towards this one since it photographs better (eg, doesn't glare so much with the flash, even though they're both kind of metallic)... I don't know, though. I used up all my decisiveness this week when I was forced to pick the restaurant for dinner on Tuesday (those bitches.) (You know who you are.) (x0xo).

So, what do you think, people? Red or gold?





This is a VRY SRS BSNS, guys. I mean. You know. As these things go.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Moral Conundrum of Minimal Significance

I was putting things away the other day and I was emptying out a bag from Hobby Lobby, and there seemed to be something extra in there I didn't remember buying.


I was a tad perplexed. The only explanation I can think of it is that it belonged to the person in line before me. Did the cashier put it in its own bag and forget about it? Did she accidentally put it in the second-to-next bag instead? Did it get left on the counter and shuffled in with my purchases?

I'd take it back, but... I can't find the receipt... so I don't know if I was actually charged for it or not. If I was charged for it, hell, I'm going to keep it. I like adhesive dispensers.

If I wasn't charged for it... I'd happily return it and inform them of their error.* Possibly the other person in line did pay for it. Or possibly it just fell into a bag. I have NO IDEA.

*We all know how much I like to inform people of their errors. Usually in the realm of grammar and punctuation, but I'd settle for generalized incompetency, as well.

I know I could simply shrug and go, "Well... mine now." But I feeeeeeel baaaaaaad. It's not mine. Unless maybe it is. I DON'T HAVE ANY WAY OF KNOWING.

The moral of this story? Keep your receipts, people.

Monday, January 3, 2011

This Year, I Will...

I found this online somewhere about a week ago and made a mental note to come back to it. And then as with all memes (self imposed or otherwise) I got a little carried away. But! This generator is so much more brilliant than I am. I probably sat there for fifteen minutes clicking "Gimme more!" and taking screenshots.


I know it sounds simple, but for me, it's not. I think some of you would agree.

Why not? Sounds fun. Goes with my reading kick too.

It's right, more often than not.

Seriously, it's not healthy.

Unlikely, but necessary.

...and not throw my clothes on the floor

But first! Buy a new external hard drive.

Ok, that one was just hilarious.

God willing and the creek don't rise.
Whatever that actually means.

That one just gives me warm fuzzies.

That's maybe cheating, since I can already do 3 without blinking.
But I doubt I will actually learn another one like I wanted, so. It's something.
Hello. Hola. Bonjour.


Amen.




You know what would be super fun*? Go play with it and let me know what your favorites are.

*For me, anyway.

OR just let me know what your resolutions are for 2011 anyway. If you make any.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Emotionally Terrorized, But In A Good Way

Guys. Holy crap. I'm going to link you a link and I want you to go read it. Try and read the whole thing and not cry, I DARE YOU.

This. Click it. Now.

I have always adored Jenny aka The Bloggess, in fact in some roundabout way, she's what got me started writing more and getting more into the blogging community. If we're playing 6 Degrees of whatever, basically the fact that I am reading so many blogs I require the assistance of Google Reader AND the fact that more than three people read this, I can trace back to her. So those of you that I am now friends with because of blogging? It's Jenny's fault, you can blame her.

Anyway my POINT was (is?), not only is she the queen of all things hilarious and irreverent, but she is also an amazing, amazing person who pulled this off and now it's your turn to sit and stare at a monitor and cry because the world isn't actually such a terrible place after all.

Jenny The Bloggess has pretty much restored my faith in humanity which is probably a miracle in and of itself. (Hey! I think that means James Garfield qualifies for sainthood now. Ha.)

Also, if you want to cry some more, here's a news article she linked talking about it also.

Also, I just realized my tag says "Kleenex" but I myself have actually been using Puffs Plus pretty exclusively for the last five years or so. Genericized trademark-ism at its finest.

(Am I the only one who finds this wikipedia article on this particular phenomenon interesting? Probably. I'm such a nerd.)

HI MY NAME IS KELLY AND I AM INCAPABLE OF STAYING ON TOPIC FOR MORE THAN FIVE MINUTES.

Seriously. Scroll back up, clicky the linky, and everyone will be happy. Probably especially the Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Sigh.

TEAM PUFFS PLUS!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Resolutiolicious.

I hate New Year's Resolutions, I think they are stupid, and yet? I keep making them.

Here's what I want to do in 2011, though. Because I am nothing if not someone who needs deadlines and January seems to be a good enough starting point.

1. Try 12 new restaurants. This works out to 1 new restaurant per month in 2011.

I'm running out of "new" places in my town, as I've been here for 7 years and we haven't gotten anything new in a while, so this means I get to venture to Des Moines and maybe even the little bitty towns that surround my own. ADVENTURE!

2. Read more books!

I already started this in December, and have already torn through three or four (because they TRAUMATIZED ME)... I think I might keep a running list of books I've completed (and only completed ones count! Because at any given time, I am somewhere in the middle of about ten different books.) With any luck, I'll post a list next December. My friend Steph always recaps the music and books (and movies? She hasn't done yet it but I think that's one of them) that were significant or memorable to her over the previous year, which I always find interesting, so maybe if I keep track of them as I go, I'll have a fighting shot at doing something similar.

3. WRITE.

Not just this bloggy-blog. But, like, things. With beginnings and middles and ends and plots and characters. I'm going to be honest, this new reading kick (YOU'RE WELCOME, AMAZON) has actually inspired me to start writing again, and I picked up the pieces of a story I'd started tinkering with last year, and maybe I'll actually work on it this year. In all likelihood, this is going to go in my Fail Pile come 2012, but whatever. We'll humor me for now.

4. Drop half a dress size by May so my bridesmaid's dress fits more comfortably than it did in the store without having to pay money for them to let it out.

Yeah, I said it. I have a friend that's going to help kick my butt into gear. Really, though, I'm not going to be real ambitious with weight loss goals for the next year. I'm too comfortable and I like food too much. But it's a start, and it can't hurt.

That's all, really. Don't want to get TOO carried away.

OH! I have an idea. That came to me as I was searching for links to plug into that first sentence.

Just for funsies - let's see how I did on last year's goal/lutions:

I am going to make a concerted effort to stop looking like a slob. Or, I guess, like a college student. Um, are we doing this pass/fail? I have my days where I look nice. I'd say it's about a 50/50 split.

Call grandparents more. Ehhhhhhhh I guess? Only by default, because I don't think I really called them at all, ever, in 2009. I can do better.

Visit my parents more. Yes, but only because I am using my dad for his washing machine. ;)

Take a vacation day and stay off the Internet. Do sick days count?

Learn to say no. Still suck at this, but am taking baby steps at getting better.

Even out my sleep schedule. Fail.

Be (more) on time for work. Ummm I changed my hours to set my day back a half an hour... which has helped...

Quit hiding in my apartment. This goes in phases, but overall, I'm going to give myself this one.

Eat out less and cook more. Again, I'd give it a 50/50 success rate. Cooking for one SUCKS.

Fix the things about myself that bother me. Does "finding even MORE things about myself that bother me" count? No? Yeah I failed this one too.

And, you know. Unpack those last few boxes from when I moved last July. (DON'T LAUGH, I'M TOTALLY GONNA DO IT.) I totally, totally didn't.

Merry New Year, and such.