Friday, September 30, 2011

I WIN AT #BEDS

All inherent innuendos aside, with this post, I will have successfully completed the Blog Every Day in September challenge. From what I could tell from Katherine's blog, there are approximately three of us that made it. I expect I should get a medal or something. Maybe we can tally up our word counts. I'd totally take home the gold. I could be an Olympic blogger. If that was a thing. Which it's not. Which it should be.

This was actually much easier than I expected it was going to be. Granted, September tends to be an eventful month for me so I didn't really have much of a shortage of things to post. There were actually several things that I never got around to posting that I meant to, so I guess I'll try to get caught up on those in October. That said, I'm going to go back to my extremely sporadic and unpredictable posting schedule for next month, because I fully plan to participate in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) again and I don't want to wear myself (or my lovely, patient readers) out. Or run out of topics. Whichever seems like a more legitimate excuse.

The problem with blogging every day (besides clogging up people's Readers) is that the focus instantly shifts to quantity over quality and I spend less time actually thinking about what to write and then writing halfway decent posts, versus cranking out whatever my brain latches onto first, just so I can post something for the day and cross it off my list. This is something I would like to work on in November but I suspect I'll still wind up in the same pattern of "Post something! Anything! Quick! The day is almost over!" and then we'll be in the boat we are now. (We're in a boat? We're in a boat! Ever'body look at us, we're in a motherfucking boat!)

I also worry that sometimes my posts get lost. I mean, most of them are shit so it's no big tragedy, but every once in a while I'll crap out something that I actually want people to read, and if I'm immediately burying it under another inane post... they won't. Especially with as long as some of my posts get. I know how lazy I can be with actually reading the posts in my feed sometimes, and when I'm really far behind, the shorter the posts the better, and I am NOT a short post writer. I don't know what I am. Long-winded and irrelevant, I guess. (Way to end the month on a downer, self.)

Anyway. Now that the pressure is off to write/post every day, I'll try to adjust the quality of programming 'round here, at least until November, where it will suck again, and then after that it should be good for a while. I dunno.

Thanks for sticking with me while I rambled on for thirty+ days straight. I love you crazy people. You're my people.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Uterus Is Still Unimpressed

Judging by the resounding echo of cricket chirps around here, nobody seems to be terribly enthused about hearing about my culinary endeavors. Very well, then, we'll try something else.

I call it "Cute Things I Found on the Internet: A Series (If I Feel Like Doing It Again)."

I'm not real big on babies, but I love BABIES IN COSTUMES. I think that enjoyment probably stems from the same part of my brain that also delights in seeing people dress up their pets. (I mean, babies are kind of like pets, right? No? This is why I should not ever reproduce.)

I was browsing around the Target site to see their Halloween costumes for pets (because I may or may not be needing something new for my cat) and then there were babies in costumes and I giggled and now I'm posting some here because: babies! in costumes!

I don't know what it is about the sheer awesomeness of living things who are completely helpless to one's desire to dress them up as whatever one finds to be cute or clever. Babies. Pets. Boyfriends. Yet when looking at people's Halloween pictures, usually their living accessories are more interesting than the person in question. Babies are probably the easiest to dress up (again, I've never tried to dress a baby, so I can't actually verify the accuracy of that statement) because they have no clue what is going on. It's just another ridiculous outfit to them. And dammit, look how happy these babies are to be in costume. I suspect they enjoy it more than my cat does.

IT'S A MINI YODA!

This one is my favorite. LOOK AT IT.

One year, I saw a costume set where there was a gorilla suit for the parent and the banana for the baby.
That one still wins as my favorite. I wish I had a picture. Or that I wasn't too lazy to Google for it.

'
Apparently babies dressed as food is the Thing this year.

Whatever, this kid is just cute.

So. There's that. I'm actually quite excited for Halloween this year, assuming I can find my wig from two years ago. I really don't want to spend any money this year because I spent all the money last year assembling various pieces then at the last minute went as something else because I like theme-ing with my friends. 

Anyway. I really just wanted an excuse to post the picture of the baby in the pea pod and so I made a whole post around it that doesn't make any sense because I should really be sleeping right now but that's never stopped me before from posting something completely nonsensical. (See: yesterday. and the day before. and possibly last Tuesday. Hell, pick a day. This blog rarely makes much sense. AND THAT IS WHY WE ALL LOVE IT SO MUCH.)

If you have babies or pets and you dress them up, please share pictures with me. I will possibly clap with glee like a complete dork.

Oooh, I really want to do a blog contest now where people have to dress up their pets (or babies, if you have one lying around) and then we all pick the best one. Is anyone interested in humoring my whims participating? I'll find a prize of some sort! And do a post with all the entries and link to your respective bloggies and try to strategize some sort of fair way to determine a winner.

Ok, for real. I'm going to bed now. Totally leaving the pet/baby/baby pet costume challenge on the table as a viable option. Comment if you want to play. If I get enough people, it's totally on... like... a thing that is on. Metaphors are not my strong suit at this hour.*

*It's barely past midnight-thirty. I AM OLD.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Think Somewhere In Here is A Post That Wanted to Make Sense. Also: RECIPES!

You may or may not remember this about me, but back in the day I started selling Pampered Chef products when it occurred to me that I knew more about the products than some of the consultants at shows I was going to. (Really, though, all it takes is for me to attend about two shows, and with the way I retain information, I can easily become the most obnoxious party guest because I know more than the seller does and then it gets all awkward.) I tend to fade into an inactive status rather quickly (who has time to do a show every month?!), but somehow manage to pull off about one show every six months to keep myself from getting booted from the system. (Hey, look, I finally found a way to make my knowledge-retention skill profitable, and what do I do with it? Zip.)

It seems to me that the direct sales/home party business has exploded lately and it's so frustrating for everyone because everyone is hosting shows and asking them to come spend money so they can get some free shit. (I'm guilty of this. I have an unhealthy addiction to Lia Sophia. That's really what I should be selling, truth be told. I could do with some of their benefits and discounts. Not that I need any more jewelry. Because I really don't.) I've never been good at this endeavor because I hate sales. I hate being pushy. (Well, no. I don't mind being pushy, as long as it's for something legit. I feel bad being pushy about kitchen utensils because it really doesn't make me that much extra money and it's not really for any sort of greater good.) Plus, I'm sitting squarely in a demographic that doesn't have a lot of disposable income. (which is why you HOST. so you get FREE STUFF. Honestly, I don't know why it's so hard to book shows because YOU GET FREE STUFF WHEN YOU HOST and everyone wins because the more shit your friends buy, the more free stuff you get and the more commission I make. Nobody wants to commit to it but all you really have to do is email your friends and tell them to come over. And maybe clean your house a little. Easy peasy.)  (No, dear local friends, this is not aimed at you, just people in general. Though if you choose to now feel guilty and would like to do a show, I would not be opposed to the idea.)

That said, I'd pretty much given up on this whole thing until about a month ago when a coworker emailed me and asked if I could do a bridal show for another coworker. That's my favorite kind, where someone asks me to do one. It's also my favorite kind of show in the sense that it's a bridal show, because it's guaranteed sales. People will buy something for the bride off her wish list and usually something for themselves while they're at it. So even though I had to fork over some cash to get some supplies and catalogs, I consider it a good investment since bridal shows generally do quite well and I should make it back and then some. This was kind of a godsend given how broke I've been. As little as I make of an average show, it's not usually worth the hassle, but bridal shows are a whole different story. So I was more than happy to do it. Even more so because it was for someone I knew and I like giving my peeps the hookup on their free products. I'm like Oprah. Ish.

I don't want to brag or anything, but the recipes I found and that we subsequently made for the party totally rocked. It was kind of a rushed ordeal and there wasn't a heck of a lot of measuring going on, and I was really worried that everything was going to turn out terribly. Generally speaking, I am a pretty good cook, but I need recipes and directions. I'm not like my grandma; I can't just throw random stuff in or eyeball the measurements and have something turn out delicious and wonderful. I also didn't want to embarrass myself in front of a slew of coworkers by making crappy food for them to eat. (We went ahead and made all the food before the show instead of during, which is a bit of a deviation from a normal show, but whatever. That's what they wanted to do and it was fine by me.)

Much to my relief, everything turned out very well, and I looked like a culinary genius.

I'm now going to redirect you to my dust-covered food blog where I occasionally post recipes, in case you would like to pull some fancypants appetizers to impress people at your next gathering. These are stupidly easy and they look really fancy when you have them all set out on proper serving plates. (You'll have to trust me on this. My food photography skills are shit. At least I took them on a real camera this time instead of on my blackberry.) Everyone will think you are amazing.

Mango Confetti Salsa

Chili-Lime Meatballs

Honey-Apple Brie Bites

Also I feel like there is more I want to say on the whole direct-sales thing because I totally have both an insider and outsider perspective and I don't feel like anyone has written too extensively about it, but I'm sleepy and I'm not even sure where to start. Maybe another time.

I'm going to go revel in tonight's successes. And by revel, I mean: go pass out.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

MAGIC HAIR.

Ladies. I would be remiss in my duties as a female if I didn't tell you about this super amazing hair shit that I found. I mean, I didn't find it so much as it was on the cover of the Avon catalog screaming at me to try it. (My downstairs neighbor started selling Avon and it's probably the worst thing that has ever happened to me because they have so much awesome stuff that I want to try. So far I have found this hair product that I am going to tell you about, an awesome mattifier which I will tell you about another time, and my new favorite lip gloss in the entire world.)

So I did. It claims to fix heat damage, chemical damage, ALL THE DAMAGE, and I was skeptical because none of the stuff I ever buy actually does any of that. And quite frankly, I have done a number on my hair because not only do I color it every month but I have rekindled my love affair with my flat iron.



If I had more time, I would have photoshopped this image to show heavenly beams coming out of it and added music of angels singing and God himself holding it out for you to try because it is AMAZING.

YOU GUYS. I used it ONCE and my hair felt like magic. It was soooo soft and amazing and magical and I couldn't stop touching it. I even made my sister touch it. While we were in the middle of my birthday dinner. She looked at me funny. But she agreed that it was, indeed, very soft.

I used it again a day or so later (right before I straightened it again, because there's nothing quite like being counterproductive) and, again: magic! Also, maybe I'm looking for things that aren't there, but I swear it has visibly reduced my split ends. AND I HAVE ONLY USED IT TWICE SO FAR.

MAGIC MAGIC MAGIC.

Also, it smells nice.

Anyway. I'm linking to where you can buy this, it's on sale right now for $9.99 and it's amaaaaaaaazing and I obviously get nothing out of this other than the sheer satisfaction that I have made the world a better place because I have magically fixed everyone's hair problems.

Anyway anyway, if you have damaged hair, I recommend you try it, this is some amazing stuff right here. (You can totally see why I'm not in sales, right?)

The end.

PS - I am not getting paid for this. Though I should be. Who is responsible for cutting checks for this sort of profound adoration? Anyone? Bueller?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Scenes From a Birthday

So this past weekend was pretty much perfect. As far as birthday celebrations go, it was fairly low-key, especially in comparison to last year (which, to be fair, wasn't that.. high-key(?), but it was a tad more eventful than other years), but it was exactly what I wanted and needed. I got to spend it with all of my favorite people* and there was good food and lots of laughing and just a general blanket of happiness over the whole thing.

*at least those that live in Iowa. I have too many people with pieces of my heart that are scattered across the country. I don't like it. Everyone needs to move here so my life can be complete.

Anyway. Here are some pictures from Friday night. Because they are adorable and I felt like posting pictures today instead of writing words. So there.

MARIA!

MY SISTER!



Also, we totally got photobombed by the little girl over Calee's shoulder.

TRISH!

With our FANCY martinis. Because we are FANCY.

So: cheers to 27, so far it's been off to a delightful start. Let's keep our collective fingers crossed that it stays that way.

*clink*

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I didn't write this. But I like to read it now and again.

*bolded emphasis is mine


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.


Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.



- Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Saturday, September 24, 2011

And It's Okay.

Two years ago (give or take), I did something that went against every instinct in my being. I let myself fall for one of my guy friends.

Now, this may seem like a good idea in theory, and I know it happens all the time. However, in the instances such as mine, when said friend does not return said feelings, it's a long, miserable, soul-crushing experience that I would not recommend.

For those of you that are relatively new, I'm not going to dig that far back into the archives (okay, I might, I always say I'm not going to and then I do), but the short of it is this: I decide to admit to myself that I have Feelings for aforementioned Guy Friend. Once feelings have been acknowledged, they sit and torture me for several months until I finally suck it up and 'fess up. My confession of The Feelings (while, to date, being one of the absolute bravest things I have ever done, so there's that) was met with a “thanks, but no thanks” in what was probably the most polite rejection I have ever received, so polite that I couldn't even be mad about it. There was sadness. There was only partial resignation... as in the next few months I spent all collective gatherings getting myself shitfaced and subtly making a fool of myself. (And by subtle, I mean, shit, probably not at all subtle, but if everyone else was drunk too, maybe nobody really noticed).

Generally speaking, when I have Feelings for someone, I will keep them under wraps and keep my cards played very close to my chest until I am Absolutely Certain that yes, yes this is a Thing, and I do a damn good job of this (probably too good, actually... but this comes from years of being prematurely rejected)... after The Rejection, though, apparently I just chucked all of those cards in the air, went “fuck it” and didn't care who knew about it as I tended my wounds.

My endless pining came to a halt when he found Someone Else, this other girl that we mutually knew that I had an impossible time hating because even though she KNEW I had The Feelings for this guy, and went for it anyway... she's just so damn nice.

So as I tried to push away over a year of hurt feelings and misguided affections, I tried to not let it bother me when they moved in together... then got engaged... all within a rather, um, smallish timeframe. A lesser person would have let this bother them, but I was rather proud of myself for how well I was able to, well, just get over it.

On paper, it may seem like a cruel twist of fate for the wedding of said friend to said girl to occur the day after my birthday – what would have otherwise been another excuse to go out and do something fun as part of my celebratory weekend... Irony, perhaps. In reality... I am very surprised at how unbothered I am by this.

I was kind of surprised to be contacted for an address for an invite. Not so surprised, I guess, given the entire set of circumstances, the fact that I knew both the bride and groom, and so on, and so forth. I don't know if it possibly registers on their radar how obnoxiously infatuated I had been. It may have been a polite pity invite, for all I know. But it's not like we had actually dated. I'm not an ex. I'm merely an annoyance, if anything. I vaguely wonder if they'll be surprised if I come.

The thing is this: I don't care. I've stopped caring for quite a while. I mean, I can't pretend that on some level I don't scowl a bit when I think about it sometimes, but it's more of a personal slight than it is having to do with any residual feelings. (I mean, I'm pretty awesome. How could he not want me? Don't answer that.)

I feel like I have to go to this thing.

Because if I don't go, it will look like I still care. That it bothers me somehow. And it doesn't. I mean, I don't particularly want to go, there are other things I can be doing, but I feel obligated to prove my point. It's a statement more than anything. Because there were quite a few people – and I'm not even sure how many – that knew about my unrequited feelings. I'm going more for those people than I am for the sake of the bride and the groom, because, whatever. I care more about my appearance to the collective social group. If that makes any sense? Maybe not. It does to me. Fuck the couple getting married, I want everyone to see how awesome I am about it. And, truly, I bear them no ill will, there are no hard feelings, these people are still my friends. Besides, I like weddings. I also like getting fed. I also like cake, and I haven't gotten any for my birthday yet.

If I happen to show up looking particularly attractive, well, that just can't be helped. I mean, despite my Not Caring, I am still going to treat the situation like I would any situation where I would run into an ex-anything. I have to win. I have to look hot. Because, on some level, I could still be the one that got away. Even if I was never wanted at the time. It doesn't matter. I may not care, but my ego does. 

Plus it's an excuse to wear a dress and some heels. I have far too many dresses that I've bought, worn exactly once or nonce, and that's just sad. And financially irresponsible.

Speaking of financially irresponsible, it's probably making me a total asshole that I didn't even think about a gift until another friend mentioned it (hey, I've been busy, what with the Death Strep and, you know, world affairs and vomiting cats and MY BIRTHDAY) and now I'm too poor to get one and there is no way I'm forking over any of my birthday moneys to buy these people a gift, because: MINE. So... either I'll go in with someone or I'll send one later and be like, “Sorry you got married when I was broke! Here's a gift card! xoxo!” Either way. I'll be a good citizen and get them something

That's the one thing I don't like about weddings. The obligation to buy a gift. I mean, if it's a really close friend, I'm more than happy to. I love to buy people presents. But my general go-to gift for a wedding nowadays is just a Target gift card, because I assume everyone loves Target as much as I do, and also: by time I shop, all the good shit on the registry is gone.

Also, I've said this before so I know I sound like a broken record, but: this is getting to be a pretty hefty financial investment if I never get married or buy a house or do anything that's a gift-receiving event that any of these people would be obligated to reciprocate on. (See also: reference to Sex & The City episode where Carrie's expensive shoes get swiped at a baby shower and the parents are assholes about it and are like “it's your own fault for being single and buying expensive shoes” and she's like “fuck you, I'm going to declare myself as getting married to myself and here's my registry for one (1) pair of expensive shoes exactly like the pair that one of your thieving asshole mommyfriends ripped off from me, kthnkx.” That would be me, if (a) I bought expensive shoes and (b) had the balls to actually do something like that. Heh.)

And since I've totally digressed from the original topic of this post, I suspect we are done here for today. Have a great weekend. I'll see you tomorrow. Because I totally made a commitment to post every day in September and dammit that is what I am going to do. Because I am an ACHIEVER. And now I am going to go achieve the shit out of attending this wedding.

EDIT: Okay, I guess this post makes me sound like a huge bitch. Which: valid. I wrote it with a really bitchy mindset. I didn't mean to throw such a hyperbolic tantrum over it. Just some residual bitterness, I guess. I mean, I did go largely to prove a point, but I also went to be supportive. They're still my friends. They're a good pair. It was just an odd situation for me. Please don't think less of me.

Friday, September 23, 2011

TwentySevennnnnnnn

[via]

I took this advice today.

Mostly because I had no choice.

Because today IS my birthday!

YAY!

So I suppose I should now fill you in on all of the profound thoughts I have now that I am the ripe old age of twenty-seven. I haven't had time to think much about it what with being sick all week and then trying really hard to get caught back up at work and at life and omg. 

Twenty-Six was a good year, though. Lots of good stuff happened. Stuff like Vegas. And my new car. And other shit I don't remember. God I am so unprepared for this post. I think my black belt fell in that year too. (It did. That picture is horrible but it's my only evidence. Along with this angsty post.) Oh and Iowa State won the in-state rivalry. And glitter shoes. Glitter shoes came into my life. And I ripped my elbow open and had my first ER visit as an adult. I think that one falls in the "fail" column though. And I lost 30+ pounds. So there's that. (No, I'm totally not scrolling through my blog right now to see what else came up, why do you ask?) Oh, yeah - 26 was when I became a redhead. That's probably significant. In a really insignificant sort of way. I don't know. It's been a solid year.

Oh hey, here's the post about my birthday last year (crash helmets and cougar lesbians!) and the one I posted on my birthday last year that had pictures from all the birthdays of my twenties. You know, in case you were bored.

So, you know. Lots of good things. Lots of shit, too. Lots of angst and frustration and all of the stuff that comes with, well, being 26. I'm still finding my way. It's to be expected, I would think.

27, you've got a lot to live up to. Starting... now.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Therefore, God Loves Kittens.

I feel kind of like I'm such a hipster about Pinterest because I've been on there for what feels like ages and all of a sudden I'm seeing lots of "omg Pinterest!" outcries from the general Internet as a whole and I just want to run around cackling because I was cooler than everyone else and there before them. I WIN AT SOMETHING. YAY!

Anyway I'm still cranky from yesterday [I have a new theory on this, actually... I don't really feel cranky so much as feisty and in no mood to take any shit from anyone. Which is how I used to be back in college before I turned into the spineless yes-girl that I am now. Which means really I feel like an old part of me that I haven't had around for a while. I think The Strep has awoken the bitchy half of my personality. We'll see how long this lasts.] and I found this on Pinterest today and I just want to be all "AND SO THERE." (And "fuck you.")*




And for everyone else who doesn't like religion, I give you: HUGGING KITTIES.




I feel a little bit better now.

*my dear cousin Julie counted 41 instances of the word "fuck" in yesterday's post. In order to run a statistical analysis on how much of my post was comprised of that particular obscenity, I pasted it into Word to get the total word count and really it only amounted to 0.02% of the total content of the post. I'm not sure what to do with this information as it's really not that interesting. I suppose I could count the other profane words too. But I don't really care that much. It was less than 1%, people. I totally don't have a swearing problem.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just... Fuck Everything.

I disappear for a few days and the whole world goes even further to shit than it was before. I seriously don't even know.

In the realm of First World Problems, there is... facebook. Oh, facebook. At risk of sounding patronizing and old, I remember when you were a wee little network, made only of a handful of colleges. And then you grew up to be an asshole. I weep for the good old days. I'm honestly just about over this whole social media thing. Yes. I said it. For starters, it's exhausting to keep up. For seconds, it's not what it used to be - it's not about networking anymore, it's about money and corporate greed. I am also getting a little... paranoid? Is that the right word? I'm trying to cling to the last bits of privacy I have left on the Internet and I feel like goddamn Sisyphus. Everytime I get everything situated, it all falls back down and I have to do it again.

I love the Internet. We all know this. I love connecting, I love meeting people. But facebook is making me nervous, and it's because it's the place where all of my personal information lives. It's my full name and the town I live in and the place I work and who I'm related to and where I went to school. I keep my privacy settings as tight as possible because that is personal information. If I've added you as a friend, it's because I trust you enough to be privy to this information.

In the last few days, facebook has done yet another overhaul that (yet again) everyone is bitching about and will momentarily get over in the next few days. The lists are nice. A very unsubtle ripoff of the Google+ circle idea. The little news ticker in the upper right hand corner is a bit unsettling (I do not need to see Every. Little. Thing. that happens on the network) but ultimately ignorable. The way they are situating the "top stories" and the "regular updates" are a bit arbitrary, but, whatever. The thing that is unsettling me right now is the "subscriptions" feature. You can subscribe to updates to people that you aren't friends with! Which means, if someone denied your friend request, you can stalk them anyway! Super! Except not. I get that it makes sense for, say, celebrities. But I will not once click that "allow subscriptions" button because if I did not accept your friend request, it means I do not want you to see my information. I hate this feature. It makes me irrationally angry. If they ever make this feature non-optional (wherein everyone can automatically subscribe to you whether you like it or not) I swear to you I will delete my account. Fuck that shit. I do not need to be stalked by people I do not know. It's just asking for trouble.

But Kelly, you say. You're being kind of a hypocrite. You're splaying out information everywhere else! IT'S DIFFERENT. With my blog, I control the content. With Twitter, I have an open feed because that's the point... private accounts annoy  me because it seems to me to be defeating the purpose. If it's not something I'm comfortable with complete strangers knowing, I don't post it. Facebook is where I communicate with my friends and my extended family and whoever else I may want to communicate with. I'm already a bit wary of how many people I've allowed in to that network because I still have to watch what I say, but it's not like they're going to come to my house and axe-murder me. The Internet hasn't gotten any safer, guys. But we're all getting a hell of a lot dumber about how we're using it. This worries me.

In similar news, I found this today (facebook TOS in "bro-speak") which was hilarious yet a bit unsettling, but, whatever. We all know that facebook is abusing us and making money off of is. It sucks, but it is what it is.

Basically, it's this: facebook is setting out to become the one network to rule them all.

I don't like this. It's too big. It's too powerful. Only bad things are going to come of this and I'm a bit nervous about that.

In other news: what the fucking fuck is going on with the political landscape in this country? I realize we're never going to get along but why the fuck are we trying to destroy ourselves to prove a point? Seriously. We'd rather watch ourselves burn to the ground than make any sort of compromise for the good of the people. It's beyond rhetoric and sarcasm now; I am genuinely a bit scared. I am terrified of the hate and the bad decisions. I feel so helpless. If we rip ourselves in half to the point of a civil war, you know who's going to help us? Nobody. They're going to heat up some popcorn and watch us destroy ourselves. I am ashamed of the people running this country and I am ashamed of the people that support this hateful behavior. I am disgusted at the groupthink and the torches-and-pitchforks mentality. I just... I don't know. Nothing feels safe anymore.

In recent news: I haven't been following this (I've been sick, remember) but there's a big issue brewing down in Georgia about a controversy about a man being sent to his execution. For Christ's sake, people, if there is doubt, YOU DON'T KILL. I haven't followed the case, I don't know if he is innocent or guilty and quite frankly, I don't care. I have very mixed feelings about capital punishment and I'm not saying it's wrong or right... but if you're NOT SURE, then you DON'T. I mean, fuck. Our judicial system is apparently going to shit, too.

Also, I find it highly ironic that the same people who are all PRO-LIFE! are equally PRO-DEATH PENALTY! (They're also unwilling to help finance these unwanted babies that they insisted be born, and they're quite fond of murdering and assaulting those that would perform an abortion. Hypocritical much? No? Okay.) Apparently your life doesn't mean as much once you're actually born. It's NOT OKAY to terminate a fetus, but it's TOTES OKAY to end the life of an adult who is actually a full-fledged person. Make up your mind. Either it's okay or it's not. You don't get to pick and choose which end of the spectrum is more valuable than the other. If you value life so much, you should value ALL life. God I sound like such a hippie. Whatever. I don't care. Like I said, I have mixed feelings on the death penalty and we all know I'm pro-choice (which is NOT, I remind you, the exact same thing as being pro-abortion). Just... fuck. Whatever. I'm so angry at everything right now.

I'm going to go back to bitching about superficial stuff now. I'm in no state to deal with any sort of self-righteous hate comments. If what I say is offending you then go the fuck somewhere else. It's a big Internet out there. You don't have to play in my sandbox.

You know what else annoys me? Fucking mass facebook messages. Like when someone sends out a message asking for their friends' addresses. And they ALL do the facebook equivalent of reply-all and I get inundated with the addresses of fifty people I don't know. I should just start sending them all mail. They'd be freaked out, I'm sure. That's what you get for being careless with your information. Or, you know. Basically any message that goes out to 30+ people that EVERYONE FUCKING RESPONDS TO. It's annoying. And I don't care who is going to your party. I fucking don't. Use an event page. That's what they're for.

You know what else? People are fucking stupid. I want to stab everyone that uses "your" instead of "you're" and quite frankly that would thin down our population to a more manageable level because it's FUCKING EVERYONE. Did you fail fourth grade? Seriously. You are a fucking adult now. You look like a fucking idiot. And for the love of fuck, if you're doing in it in a professional capacity, you look incompetent and no one will take you seriously. Ever.

Fucking fuck. I just want to sit here and swear until I run out of space but the thing I've learned in the history of my longwinded bloggery is that I don't think Blogger ever cuts you off. I COULD DO THIS ALL NIGHT.

I don't even know what my problem is. I was in a perfectly delightful mood earlier, despite the lingering symptoms from my Step Throat of Doom. It was the Internet. The Internet did this to me. Thou art a nasty bitch, Internet. I thought you were my friend. WHY MUST YOU ANGER ME SO. I think Darwin was full of shit. Because natural selection seems to have gone ahead and stopped being effective a long-ass time ago because look the fuck where we are now. So Darwin, fuck you too.

My chest hurts. I think I'm having a heart attack. Super.

In other news, my birthday is in two days. So there's that. I'll still be on antibiotics so I can't even drink anything. Woo.

EDIT: Oh, we're not done. We're SO not done. You thought we were done? We're not done.

After I finished my ranting I went back to Twitter because I am apparently stupid. There is nothing good out in the world right now. (Except this. I needed to see this. This, this made my heart a little bit warmer and slightly redeemed my faith in humanity.)

Because there was then this. And this broke my heart. Where does it stop, guys? It has to stop. Too many fucking kids - KIDS - are killing themselves over the tormenting they are receiving from their peers. I remember being that age and it sucked. It sucked a lot and parts of that I still carry with me, every time I don't feel good enough or pretty enough or like I fit in. But it's gotten worse.

In the middle of all this fucking mess, fucking Mashable sits there and tweets "HEY GUYS - WHEN DO YOU THINK THE iPHONE 5 IS COMING OUT? HERE'S A POLL!" and I just want to scream at them because WHO THE FUCK CARES and how fucking shallow and inconsiderate and just SO FUCKING SUPERFICIAL. The world is shit, there are crazy people like Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry running around trying to convince people that they would make excellent leaders of the free world, a possibly-innocent man was just executed and YOU ARE FUCKING TWEETING ABOUT A FUCKING HYPOTHETICAL PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY THAT NOBODY *ACTUALLY* NEEDS. AND YOU KNOW WHAT THERE ARE STILL PROBABLY STARVING KIDS IN AFRICA, YOU SHALLOW, SHALLOW MATERIALISTIC BASTARDS.

Seriously. Fucking iPhones. REALLY?!

I miss yesterday. Despite the fact that I was miserable and sick and crawling out of my skin, I was keeping myself thoroughly entertained with lighthearted tweets about said illness. Maybe I'll round some highlights up for you. I was going to do that today until the world happened.

And then apropos of nothing, I started thinking about money. Money is truly at the root of all things evil. The people that have it are (mostly) assholes and the people that don't are struggling to live their lives. I'd be lying if I said I was even in that oft-discussed middle class. I'm barely scraping by. Maybe I'm at the upper end of the lower class, but that's it. Maybe someday I can graduate to that even-more abused tax bracket, but for now, I'm pretty near the bottom of the food chain. I "get" money. I get that it's nice to have. But if you've been blessed enough to have some of that shit, GOD FORBID you actually use some of it to help other people. Fuck you, rich people. Fuck you and your greed. What's ironic is that those same people, the rich ones, are the ones that lean conservative. The conservative side that is ALL ABOUT their Christianity to the point of having to shove it down everyone's throats. You pious fucks. Not only do you not ever get it right, but your greed is the most unChristianlike thing about you.

This was my favorite tweet that I've seen recently:



What really kills me is that I work my ass off, every day, more than forty hours a week, and I'm lucky if I have $20 left on each paycheck to spend on "fun stuff." I can't make ends meet and I'm constantly struggling to keep my head above water. While those asshole millionaires and billionaires sit in one of their five mansions laughing and holding a magnifying glass on us little people like we're ants in the sun. FUCK YOU. (Except maybe Warren Buffett. He seems cool.) You know what? That's not even strong enough language but I don't have anything else. Fuck you and fuck your money. I hope they pass some sort of epic reform and tax the everloving SHIT out of you. You know what? You probably wouldn't even notice. Meanwhile, maybe we'd get some nicer roads or schools and people would finally learn how the fuck to properly use apostrophes.

So while I was trying to calm myself down about the wretched state of affairs in the world which subsequently are having an unfavorable effect on my life, my cat goes and harfs all over my floor.

I cannot catch a goddamn break around here. This week has been the single most miserable week of my life. I've been miserably sick for the first half of it and now that I'm starting to feel better, everything around me is going to shit, I'm out of money, my ability to see the glass as anything other than yet another fucking object that needs washed is gone, and now there's fucking cat vomit on my floor and I cannot handle vomit, guys.  So I clean that up and now I'm out of paper towels and everything just sucks.

Oh, and? And there are goddamn fruit flies all up in my kitchen. They show up from time to time. I get lots of bugs. It's an oldish house. Usually spiders. Other crawly things. I've made my peace with them. But the fruit flies are fucking annoying. GO THE FUCK AWAY. They all swarmed me when I walked into the kitchen to grab a garbage bag and between that and the cat vomit, I hit my breaking point.

You know what happened next, Internet? I will tell you. I sat down and just fucking cried. That's what happened next. Because I give up. I don't know what I did to deserve such a pile of shitty things falling down on my head, and I'm aware that in the grand scheme of things, I still don't have it that bad, but my emotional state has been stretched so thin that there is nothing for me to do but cry and yell at my computer and then go to bed and hope everything is better tomorrow.

Because if it's not, then I don't know. I just don't.

BONUS CHALLENGE: if someone would like to tally up the number of times I used the word "fuck" or some variation thereof in this post, I am actually quite curious to find out but have no desire to go back through and count them for myself. I'll get you a bonus prize the next time I do a giveaway. Or something.

Thanks for listening, peeps. You're the only part of the Internet that I don't hate today.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sigh.

Dear Internets,

I have The Strep. It is most unpleasant. I cannot stay comfortable for more than five minutes and I am having trouble sleeping when I try to sleep and concentrating when I try to work. Every time I try to sleep, I instinctively reach for a sheet at the very least (I NEED TO BE SNUGGLED IN BLANKETS) which really does nothing more than increase my temperature, so... that sucks. So I'm killing some time on the lappy until my headache comes back and forces me to find something else to do.

My mother suggested strep throat as an option last night, which made sense, so I figured I'd actually, you know, go to the doctor. Which seemed like a super idea this morning when I woke up feeling like I was being stabbed in the throat by tiny little knives. So I went in, the nurse came at me with a swab and tongue depressor (she is talented, though - I started to pull away almost immediately and she stuck with it and managed to get a good swipe, though, frankly, when I woke up this morning, I could totally see visible white spots at the back of my throat. I guess they have to run the tests, though.) Diagnosis was confirmed, antibiotics were given, home again I went, and in a state of misery I remain. I feel slightly better than yesterday as I'm not burning with a fever or shaking violently from chills anymore, but... ugh. Sucktastic. I used to get strep throat all the time as a kid but it's been quite a while and I forgot how much it does suck.

Also apparently my flex plan doesn't reset until October 1 and I'm out of money on that thanks to my special ER bills from the Elbow Incident, so I totally get to eat all those costs of the copay and Rx out of pocket. Plus all the OTC shit that I bought that no longer counts anyway. Whiiiiiiiiich means I'm out of money again. Fucking fabulous.

Anyway, for everyone who has said nice things on here or on Twitter or even emailed me, thank you, I appreciate it. You guys are the bestest.

xoxo
Kelly

Monday, September 19, 2011

How To Have a More Crappy Monday Than Usual

4:30 am: awaken with chills, a sore throat and a fever of 99.9. Take some Tylenol and fall back asleep.

6:00 am: awaken again after dreams involving drastic temperature changes (the failproof indicator that, hey, you're sick) and a temperature of 100.5. Get cranky. Strip down into short-shorts and a thinner tshirt, open the window, and sadly push away the comforter even though its whispering your name and you belong together. Drink some more water.

8:30 am: find that your temperature has dropped to a completely acceptable 98.8 degrees. Decide that you can totally go to work because if nothing else, you are determined to prove that you are Not Always Sick.

9:30 am: visit Target. Acquire a dazzling assortment of OTC remedies.

10:00 am: Eat oatmeal. Rejoice that it feels nice on your throat.

11:00 am: Decide that no matter how much your brain wants to be there, your body is incredibly pissed at you for trying to carry on with your day-to-day. Collect necessary materials to take your work home with you. YOU WILL FINISH THIS PROJECT IF IT KILLS YOU. Except hopefully it won't, because that would be a really lame way to go.

11:15 am: collapse in bed. Find that your temp has gone back up to 99 point something or other. Pass out.

For the remainder of the day, alternate waking up and taking various medications including that godawful numbing throat spray shit that you knew tasted wretched but were too desperate to care about until you actually sprayed it. Be slightly concerned that the bottle warns you that a sore throat in conjunction with a high fever, headache, nausea and vomiting might be a sign of something serious. Decide that since you only had the fever (which really isn't that high, right?) and the headache, you're probably in the clear. Realize the file you sent yourself to accomplish the majority of your work did not actually reach its end destination and you're kind of stuck, but maybe that's okay because your head hurts like a mofo. Alternate between being overly warm and being chilled with prickly skin. Vow revenge on whoever decided to be generous enough to share their germs with you. Decide to be lenient when you realize it's probably the really sweet girl you work with at your part-time job, even though she came to work last Saturday while sick and it occurred to you at the time that you were probably doomed, despite your best efforts with the antibacterial hand gel that kind of made your hands smell like candles. Make sure to eat some ice cream. For your sore throat, of course.

Be miserable for the rest of the day and complain about it in blog form while you wait for your coworker to email you the previously aforementioned file so that you can feel like maybe you will achieve something productive today after all. Be sure to talk in second-person narrative. This is very important.

Abruptly end your post here because you really don't have much more to say on the matter. Await the inevitable slew of comments from people telling you that you should probably go to a doctor. Refuse. Then sleep some more.

The end.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Nerdery & Hot Men: Something For Everyone.

So, I finally saw Thor today.

Before we get to the nerdy part of this post, a little something for my readership:

HELLO CHRIS HEMSWORTH AND WELCOME TO MY TOP FIVE.





This seems to be the most widely distributed shirtless photo.
I would be failing you if I didn't include one.
It's a still from the movie. If you couldn't tell.


Let's revisit the Top Five, shall we? It's been adjusted a few times.

1. Ryan Reynolds (always)
2. Josh Duhamel
3. Chris Evans
4. Chris Hemsworth
5. Either Bradley Cooper or Robert Downey Jr. (Say what you will, I heart RDJ. I don't care what you think.) (This list still needs some tweaking, apparently. Decisions, decisions.)

Ok, so. The movie.



All I knew about Thor going in was: Thor, god of thunder. (Also, that his weapon of choice was a hammer.) (That somehow ended up in the New Mexico desert, thanks to the post-credits teaser clip after Iron Man.) I'd heard that Loki was involved, and obviously I'd heard of him. God of mischief. I'm better with my Greek mythology than my Norse mythology, and quite frankly, the only any knowledge of the Norse pantheon was what I'd picked up from Neil Gaiman's American Gods a few years ago.

The other thing I knew was that it had gotten positive reviews. From the sounds of things, everyone had gone in with equally low expectations and come out absolutely adoring it. And we all know how much I love me a good superhero movie, so now that Thor has made its grand arrival on DVD, I could get caught up* on my Avengers puzzle pieces.

*I still have not seen either of the Hulk movies. I suppose I should, I just haven't had the interest. I know the general storyline (who doesn't?) and from what I've heard, neither movie was all that great. It doesn't help that they've recast that role with every movie. That's generally never a good sign.

I'm far from being a movie critic, I can't tell you if this was a "good" movie or not, so I will tell you that I enjoyed it. Some parts were a little to CGI-y for me (seriously, people. We've come a long way on this. I have SEEN movies where the CGI looked, well, not so CGI. I know you can make it more realistic. I know you can. I've seen it. I have faith in you.) but overall, it was very visually stunning. It was very well-cast, and despite the large presence of S.H.I.E.L.D., it didn't feel like it was feeding directly into the upcoming Avengers movie. It probably helped that S.H.I.E.L.D. was actually doing something constructive that fit into the plot.

I figured we were off to a good start when it opened with Natalie Portman. She generally doesn't make bad movies. (We'll cut her some slack on No Strings Attached, because after the soul-wretching experience that I am sure Black Swan had to be, I don't blame her for wanting to do a fluff movie.) I was a little surprised to see her in a comic book movie, but whatever. She's adorable and I'm not complaining.

I won't get into the rest of the movie too much, mostly because I'm sleepy and am not really up for it, but I was kind of impressed that it wasn't entirely predictable. I had a hard time figuring out what Loki's endgame was, and I thought I had it figured out by the end UNTIL I watched that little post-credits clip, which, I'll be honest, left me confused. I don't know if they plan to sequel-ize this? Can they do that, with Avengers right around the corner? What is going to happen to all of these individual franchises once that hits? Are they going to be able to go do individual stories again or are we going to be inundated by Avengers sequels from now until the end of time? I'm sure the stories are there. I just don't want them to do what they do with anything else: drive it into the ground until there's nothing left. (Pirates of the Caribbean, anyone? Transformers? Final Destination? Saw? Land Before Time? All of those movies could have stopped after the first one and the world would have been fine. Any time you get to #4 or #5 or #6, it's probably a sign to STOP because you have SUCKED THE WELL DRY. Except there is always an audience for everything, and the money is still there. STOP FEEDING THEM OR THIS WILL GO FOREVER.) Where was I... ah, yes. Ambiguous end clip is ambiguous. Maybe it makes sense if you've, I don't know, read the comics, but for the rest of us... it was just kind of a WTF moment. To be fair, I was really off my game today. I TOTALLY did not realize that that was Anthony Hopkins as Odin until, oh, just now when I was googling some imagery for this post. I'm a bit unsettled by this, because I'm usually pretty good at that actor recognition. D'oh.

ALSO!

Despite the fact that I am pee-my-pants excited for The Avengers, I've perhaps grumbled a time or two about how not all of the Avengers have gotten their own movies. I still don't know what the story is on the Black Widow or Hawkeye. Hell, I'd never even heard of Hawkeye and had no knowledge of him whatsoever until the movie posters started appearing. At least Black Window had quite a bit of screen time in Iron Man 2... though I still don't know her backstory. This still annoys me but I've come to accept this.

So after we finished watching Thor, we watched the "Road to the Avengers" clip that was on the DVD and they showed a quick shot of Hawkeye and I was like HOLY SHIT HE WAS IN THIS MOVIE I JUST WATCHED AND I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW IT. I guess I should have. I mean, his scene lasted approximately five minutes, if that, but they did seem to place a bit more emphasis on him than the other guys at the S.H.I.E.L.D. complex... and the fact that he was going to shoot a fucking bow rather than using some sort of gun should have registered something, but nope. Not until they showed the actors being introduced at Comic-Con and flashing to clips of them in character did the lightbulb go off. I completely geeked out and about fell off my chair. HE WAS RIGHT FUCKING IN FRONT OF ME. So, I guess I can't complain that he hasn't shown up anywhere yet, because I was all set to believe we wouldn't see him until The Avengers, but... five minutes does not an explanation nor backstory give. I don't know anything about his story either. In fact, all I really know is that the two people who did not get their own movies apparently already worked for S.H.I.E.L.D. as all this is going down.

I don't know. All of our Avengers have been accounted for, I guess.

MOVIE POSTER TIME:


The poster(s) that were released at Comic-Con. Here's the link if you want to see closeups of all the individual panels. WHICH I KNOW YOU DO.

And you know what? For all the kick-ass posters I've seen over the last however many months, at this current moment, they are all escaping me. I can't find anything that seems official and not amateurly photoshopped together and slapped up on DeviantArt. *grumble*

Oh, look, someone was nice enough to put this together for me - some of our Avengers. I forgot to grab the Tumblr link to credit it, so... thanks, whoever.


I don't know enough about Jeremy Renner to much care, but, well, it's nice that they included him, I guess. Even if by some miniscule chance this movie turns out to be a suckfest (it can't be, I refuse to believe it)... there will be plenty of beautiful men onscreen to stare at.

This also confirms my new theory that no one else really cares about the Hulk, either.

[EDIT: Apparently it's Hemsworth not Helmsworth and I'm very angry at Google for not properly correcting me on this. D'oh.]

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Strike One.

Ugh. You guys. I am not cut out for this.

Today was an absolutely miserable day out at the softball diamonds. It was our first day of games, and it was one of the chilliest days that we've had so far. There was a light rain on and off, and the later it got in the day, the colder it got.

That's really irrelevant. What's relevant is that we lost both games. The first game was pretty close, I'm not bummed about that one. We did the best we could. If we'd have had the home team advantage, we probably would have won. I felt pretty good about our team during this game. We were definitely the underdog, we had less players and, from what I could tell, less experience, but we held our own.

The second game, though. The second game sent me home in a cloud of self-doubt and sadness. We'd started off so well, and I felt my hopes rising - this team was about on par with our skill level, maybe we'd have a good chance of winning. It all went downhill in the second inning and we never recovered. So much of the game depends so heavily on the ability of the pitcher and catcher at this age. It's an unfair amount of pressure on those girls, and it sucks for the girls playing in the other spots, because it feels like if you're not pitching or catching, you're not doing anything. Unfortunately, if you get someone in one of those spots that's having an off day or simply not at a competitive skill level, you will bury yourself as the other team walks the bases and racks up points.

I probably should have pulled my second-inning pitcher. It's something I've never had the heart to do, and I've never done it. I want them to have a chance. I know the message it can send when you yank a girl from her spot: I suck. I'm not doing well. At this age, they're too young to understand that it's not personal. There are sometimes executive decisions that need to be made for the good of the team. They still cry when they get hit by pitches. They cry when they lose games. I'm not used to this. I'm not used to this age group.

I'm also not used to this particular level of in-between competitiveness. In the summer league I coach, it's more about skills and practice, and with the older girls, it's easier to be better. It's easier to fall in sync and to shape a good team together. But here? I know I have some more freedom to make those tougher calls. I don't have to make sure everyone gets a chance to play everywhere. But I hate being the bad guy. I know that I'm taking my experiences as a player and letting them cloud my ability to coach. I remember having miserable experiences with some coaches, which soured me on the game. I almost quit once when I was young. I don't want to be the coach that makes the game Not Fun Anymore.

I have no idea where to start here. I feel vastly under qualified, both in this league and in this age group. I'm stumbling blindly and I'm failing miserably.

Ughhhhhhhh I don't know. I don't know what to do. I got an assistant coach all of like three days ago, so I'm hoping that having an ally will help. I'm hoping she sees the things I'm missing. I'm hoping that things get better.

Otherwise, it's going to be a long season. And I am going to beat myself up for it long after it's over.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday. And such.

I was all set to curl up and fall asleep because that's what I do on Fridays but then a wave of guilt and obligation washed over me and I was all DAMMIT THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I COMMIT TO BLOGGING ACTIVITIES.

In order to keep my streak alive, until a further time when I might otherwise botch things up (I've got kind of a full weekend lined up, so... we'll see how that goes), I am posting a post right now. Posty post post.

Also, in order to make this at all remotely interesting, I'm going to re-link up to my post from two weeks ago because I don't feel like nearly enough people saw it. It's a literary masterpiece, guys. Someone hand me my honorary doctorate - Kelly L, PhD of the Internet.

Also, my birthday is in one week from today. I feel like I should be doing more in preparation for this, but all I've really done is selected a restaurant at which to consume dinner and some drinks. And by "some" I probably mean "one" because I'm old. I ordered a margarita tonight and couldn't even finish the damn thing... though it was more about the sheer volume of liquid involved than the amount of tequila embedded within. In the past, I've found that it's more fiscally logical to order the larger size, because by the time I get to my second small one, I will have consumed the same amount of margarita, and I save some $ by just starting big. Unfortunately that only works on said occasions where I get to a second one. Tonight, I would have been good with just a little one. Fortunately, Calee's boyfriend was a trooper and finished it for me. It was a really girly one though, so he cast aside the straw and just chugged it. He had a margarita 'stache when he was done. It was hilarious and adorable. (Hilarable.)

Ok, sleeps. With the blankets. Because it suddenly turned into chilly fall weather without my permission. I wore the first hoodie of the season today. Not like zip-up lightweight hoodie, either. Like full-on pullover sweatshirt hoodie. Serious business. Granted, it's Iowa, so it could be ninety degrees tomorrow. You just never know.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Weighing In On... Well, Weighing In.

I had a message waiting for me on facebook today, from a guy I went to ISU with. (To be fair, that doesn't narrow it down AT ALL because not only were there a lot of guys that went to ISU during the four years I was there, I am acquainted with a couple hundred of them and have the facebook friendships to prove it).

Basically the gist was that he hadn't seen me in a long time but saw my facebook picture (the one with me sitting on the Cy statue) and had I lost weight? Because I looked amazing. (His words. Not mine.)

That is such a weird, weird thing to be told. I mean... I know it's totally meant as a compliment... but it's so backhanded. You were fat before... that's what you hear. I mean, thanks for telling me that I look amazing (I worked really hard at it! And I do look amazing! And I'm not even to my goal weight yet!) but... didn't I look amazing before? (Nobody answer that.)

I don't know. I will never tire of hearing that I look great, but at the same time... it's not really a compliment. It's a reminder.

Someday I will post a before and after. I'm really not ready to share any of the "before" pictures because I can't even look at them without sending myself into a spiral of self-hatred. Most of the ones that landed in public places (such as, say, facebook) are ones that I carefully selected or strategically cropped or, in some cases (usually with my face), that had some minor Photoshop surgery done to them. A slight lift here, a little nudge there. When you start Weight Watchers one of the things they tell you to do is take a current picture, so you have something to look back to, or something to motivate you. I didn't do this. I didn't need a picture to remind me how chubby I'd gotten. I didn't want proof. I had pictures somewhere, if I really needed a visual. I'd rather just wait and take new pictures when I get to the other side.

Right now, I'm about at my halfway point... I'm about 25ish pounds to my original goal weight... but I'm kind of not hating where I am right now? Things fit better and I'm still able to wear a lot of things out of my closet, which saves me money from having to buy new stuff. Maybe I don't really need to go that full twenty five. Then again... if it's working, and I keep losing, why not? I'd look even better. And if I happened to decide that I am too thin at that weight (hahaha, right?)... I guess that means I can just eat my way up to the weight where I feel like I look my best. Mmm, cheeseburgers.

My point is: I feel like I'm at a good spot. I've got a ways to go. Lest I paint you an uncomfortable visual that will give you nightmares, I'll not describe in too much detail the areas that I wish would shrink down. These include my hips (so much cushion on my hips! ugh... if I could trim those in, I think almost all of my stuff would look better. The fabric would lay better and I wouldn't look so... wide.)... I could also do with losing some back fat (gross)... honestly, I'd be okay if I could drop a cup size or two as well. I know, the horrors. Why would I possibly wish for smaller breasts? Because they're a HUGE INCONVENIENCE, is why. I mean, unless you find an adequate sports bra to strap those babies down, it's rather painful to engage in some forms of athletic activity (mostly: running.) Also, it's hard to find cute shirts that fit because the chestal region takes up so much fabric and stretches out any print that's on said shirt, it just looks awful. Besides, I could go down a few sizes and still have quite a bit of endowment left over.

I forgot where I was going with any of this. It's late and I'm sleepy. I've been sleeping pretty well all week, but I've had a hard time with the whole concept of "waking up." I've got such dark bags under my eyes right now that it looks like someone punched me in the face. I'm quite looking forward to the fact that I don't have to work on Saturday and that I don't have softball until late afternoon. I can sleep in like I'm in high school! (Or, um, like I regularly do at age twenty-six whenever I don't have to work. Ahem.)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This Post Smells Like Filler

I have like forty minutes to crap out a blog post in order to succeed in #BEDS, but I guess if Katherine can post a post that says "this is a post" and have it count, I totally can too. Right?? (LOVE YOU K).

I dunno. I don't really have much to say today. I'm not feeling nearly as bitchy as I was the other day. I did get stressed out today and broke Plan and ate like two bags of M&Ms, POINTS BE DAMNED. (They were just the little bags, regular candy-bar sized). (I regretted this decision later. Mostly because I don't like plain M&Ms all that much). (I tweeted about all this and my friend Keith told me that I was starting to sound like Cathy. The comic strip. You know the one. I'm not sure if that was an insult or a warning. I'll choose to heed it as the latter. Oy. This is what I have been reduced to, people.)

So, anyway. It will be interesting to see what happens when I weigh in tomorrow. I've kind of hit my first plateau over the last couple weeks, but this could largely have been to the fact that I've gotten really lazy about counting my points and I've gotten lazy, period. But with fall softball coaching starting up and trying to keep up with a herd of easily-distracted ten year olds, I'm starting to get back on track. My six minutes that I was able to run made it all the way up to eight, and now I've plummeted back down to, like, two and a half. Disappointing. Also, this past week totally hasn't counted because I've been so flat-ass broke that I've been consuming whatever food I can drum up. Not starving to death > counting points. All in all, I suspect it will be a wash. Even so, I'm hanging around in the 31-32lb loss range, so YAY. I'm gonna eat the most amazing cheeseburger I can get my hands on next weekend for my birthday. I don't even care. My point is, if I'm not losing much right now, it's my own damn fault for being negligent, but on the bright side, it kind of appears as though, when left to my own devices, I can do an okay job of maintaining, simply because I don't need to eat as much as I used to. I'm still calling it a success.

Anyway I'm sleepy now so this post is going to be over. You can thank me later for thoroughly enriching your lives with this super-well-thought-out information.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bitchsplosion.

The thing that kind of irritates me about the widespread adoption of social media is that we've pretty much Big-Brothered ourselves into a corner. Sure, I've got my First Amendment freedom of speech rights, but you can bet your ass I keep a pretty tight censor on myself most of the time. It's not that I'm terribly worried about offending anyone, because of my personal beliefs offend you, well, too damn bad, but I don't want to get myself in trouble or "dooced" or wind up in an awkward situation with, say, the family members who only know me as the adorable five year old with blonde pigtails hanging down to my ass, and haven't quite registered that I have, in fact, grown up. My grandmother doesn't need to know how much I swear. I suppose if I were to have a love life worth mentioning, that's not something I can just blurt all over either. I envy the other bloggers who can do that. Who don't have to watch their step. That's the whole damn point and I can't commit to the concept because while my sassy foul-mouthed Internet Self is probably my favorite self, it doesn't always jive with the polite and professional Real Life Self that I am required to be. If that makes sense? I don't know if I'm making sense.

On the one hand: I'm still more open and honest than I would ever have been in real life. Using social media, I've learned to open up a bit. But I'm only about 75% of the way there. I can't seem to make myself jump that last hurdle and be completely "authentic" and "genuine" and "real" (those are the right buzzwords, right?) because... because I don't know who my audience is, and I don't want to take any chances. My Twitter feed has gotten boring because I've been checking myself before I tweet anything. It's too public. It's almost lost its value to me, because I can't connect with people like I used to, I can't be myself. Facebook, whatever. It's a glorified photo-sharing site for me and a means of communicating with people when I don't feel like punching out the buttons with my stubby thumbs on my Blackberry to send text messages. It's basically my equivalent of one of those spinny things from way back when that you stuck people's cards on (shit, I can't even remember what those are called and I'm too lazy to google.) It's my list of contacts, and it lives in the cloud. It IS the cloud.

I feel like my freedom of expression isn't what I'd like it to be. I feel like I've been bullied into being politically correct by the mere fact that I have to assume that everyone is watching. I miss the days when "tweet" wasn't a verb to the majority of the public. I miss being able to say what I really want to. I miss being able to swear profusely on Twitter. You'll notice that I don't have this blog linked to Twitter, even though that would make the most sense, given the heavy population of my fellow bloggers on the Tweet. They're not the only ones there. I'm handicapping any potential growth of this blog (as if it were equipped to be anything other than my sounding board anyway - God, this thing is useless. I can't even do it properly) because I don't want people in my real life to find it. I'd rather write for strangers - they're usually more empathetic anyway. My "people" don't really live around here. They're scattered everywhere. The handful of people that get me, are already here and reading (at least when I don't get too verbose), and there is no one else I interact with regularly that needs to see this. At risk of sounding overly emo - no one really gets it. You all know this. You know how it is. If you're a blogger, you get it. If you're not, you don't. Simple.

I hate censoring myself. I do. But it's not worth it to open the floodgates, to tear down the dam, to dive in head-first the way others can. It's not a risk I want to take. No, that's not true. I would love to be able to. It's just not something I can do.

Mostly: I'm cranky because I can't write the blog post that I really want to write. I can't vent my frustrations or candidly discuss what my deal is right now. Because I think I've kind of figured it out. I think. But I'm going to keep my lips zipped and fall back in line, because Big Brother is always watching and I don't want to stir the pot. At least not right now.

Anyway. I'm gonna glue my smile back on and pretend like everything's super fine and great because that's what the other part of the social medias are about, right? Pretending your life is better than it is. It's all fake anyway. You either write about how it's shit, or you write about how you've got rainbows coming out of your ass. I guess that's all that's worth writing about anyway. The stuff in the middle is mundane. Nobody wants to read that. We're all living it.

I don't know why I'm in such a bad mood right now. I just feel beat down, I guess. I'm out of money and I'm out of ice cream and I'm running out of patience for all the stupidity and selfishness in the world and I'm running out of steam to fight any of the good fights. I'm tired of feeling useless and untalented and unappreciated and undervalued. I'm tired of saying yes when I want to say no. I'm tired of playing everyone else's game. I'm tired of fighting all of these battles by myself. It makes me sad that that I'm letting the dream I've had since I was ten - writing - fall by the wayside because I've convinced myself I'm the type of shitty writer that comes a dime a dozen and I've only been building myself up for disappointment. It's a stupid goal and nothing is ever going to come of it. I can't commit to anything worth a shit and there are an endless supply of actually talented writers out there that I have no business competing with. I wish there was something else I wanted to do. Something I could actually do. I don't know how to fix that. I'm tired of my shitty blog posts, but it's the only thing I have to hang on to - write anyway, write anyway - that post I linked to a while ago, it's become my mantra. Just write something. It doesn't matter what. If it weren't for this blog, I'd have nothing TO write, and I'd be even more sullen and crabby about the whole thing. But like I said... it's not going anywhere. It's just a self-published piece of shit and the Internet is full of them. And I'm not fishing for compliments so don't patronize me by giving them. I'm not stupid. That's my other problem. I'm all too aware. I know the score. I know where I stand in the scheme of things. That's the one thing I've always been, is smart. I observe the world and I know how it works. I know what my place in it should be. Whatever. Maybe I'll acquiesce to it someday. Right now? Right now, I don't even know what I need. A good cry, maybe. A good scream. To sleep it off. By tomorrow I won't even care, I'll have numbed myself back into complacency and I'll go about my daily life with only a slight trace of bitterness carried over from this verbal meltdown.

And for the love of God I need to restock my freezer. I'm going to go through withdrawal if I don't get some sort of icecreamesque goodies in there soon. I might have to dive into my savings account. I don't know if I can wait until payday.

Whatever. It will be fine in the morning. I'm going to post this anyway because I bothered to write it so I might as well. I guess it's better to release the crazy into the wild than to keep it here to myself. Lucky you.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Redirect.


HI GUYS. I’m not here today (well, yes, technically I am, as you’re reading this) but I am guest-posting over at Tori’s blog, Crabbily Ever After, while she’s off getting married and stuff. It’s a glorious descent into the emotionally-stunted mind of a commitment-phobe. I think it started off as being about weddings. Sometimes these things have a mind of their own.

There’s also a FaceShop™ photo, if that isn’t enough enticement for you to click over. While you’re there, you should leave some congratulatory remarks for the newlyweds. You can also Tweet-spam Tori at @troiasaurus.

This message will self-destruct in five seconds.

*POOF*

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten

Nine Eleven.

Pairing those two numbers together pulls forth a wave of disjointed emotions and memories. They are no longer innocuous numbers; everyone knows what they mean. It was the day that changed everything. It's been so long that it's hard to remember what the world was like Before.

Ten years.

It was one of those historic moments where everyone has that snapshot in their mind of where they were. I never really understood why that mattered, but I guess that's one of those things, remembering where you were when you heard the news. The Kennedy assassination, the Challenger explosion, Nine Eleven. Every generation has something.

I was in high school. It was my junior year, I was a perfectly naive sixteen year old (almost seventeen), sitting in my morning Spanish III class. I don't remember what we were doing, if anything. I do remember our teacher emerging from the adjoining classroom (a math class) with a strange look on her face. As soon as she opened her mouth, "strange" immediately became apparent as "shocked" or possibly even "terrified."

"A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon is burning."

With that sentence, suddenly the world shifted on its axis.

A cold fear shivered up my spine. The sky was falling. I held my breath as she hurried over and turned on the TV that was mounted in the upper corner of the classroom. I don't remember if we saw the second plane hit or if that was later, in the replay - I do remember that we watched the north tower fall. It sunk to the ground and we all stared in complete horrified silence. We had math next and our teacher wouldn't let us turn on the TV. Then it was lunch, where there was a low buzz and an eery silence that settled over our normally rambunctious small-town Iowa school. It was the birthday of a friend-of-a-friend, a boy I "dated" briefly and had gone to Prom with the previous year. We had a volleyball game that night, we wondered if it would be cancelled (it wasn't), the gas station that sat kitty-corner across the street from the high school had a long line of cars that snaked around the block. Everyone was filling up, just in case... just in case of what, I don't know. Rockwell-Swaledale. That was the other school that we played that night. I don't remember if we won or lost. It doesn't matter. It's not really part of the memory.

We all know what happened next. Security. Color-coded terror levels. The Patriot Act. The slow stripping of some of our freedoms in the name of safety. Wiretapping. A prejudice against anyone of a Middle-Eastern descent. "Muslim" becoming a dirty word. A society governed by fear.

I don't really want to spend the day remembering. I know that sounds horrible, but hear me out - it's because I can't possibly ever forget. Little things trigger the memory and it's not something that fades from your mind. I am reminded of it all the time. I remember every day. When I catch the clock at 9:11, I remember. When I am in an airport, I remember. When I grumble about not being able to take a full-size bottle of shampoo on my carry-on, I remember. When I think about New York City, I remember. It's part of the collective consciousness of my generation, and we remember. It's not something we're going to forget. It's part of us. Part of our very being. The burden of our generation to bear. Unforgettably etched in our memories, the visuals seared into our brains, an unshakable emotion that will haunt us the rest of our lives. To tell us to remember is to be a bit patronizing. Of course we remember. How could we not?

The ones that came after us... I'm not sure what they know, what they think, what they feel, what they remember. I was talking to one of my softball moms who was planning a birthday party for her daughter. Her daughter's birthday is today. I asked her how old she was going to be. "Ten," she replied.

She's ten years old today.

She was born on that day. The day that changed everything.

I wonder if she knows the significance. Her mother does, I'm sure. I don't doubt she remembers being in the hospital, being in labor, giving birth to a baby girl while the east coast burned. While people found a religion they didn't know they had, and prayed. While people cried and screamed and lit candles and frantically called everyone they knew. While strangers embraced on the street. While the world stopped and mourned.

She's a symbol, in a way. She's proof that even in the midst of tragedy, life moves on. The miracle of a new baby being born, after so many lives were lost that day. She is part of the next generation, the one that will continue into this strange new world after us.

I remember a lot of people were going to "change" their birthday, those that were born on a 9/11. They didn't want to share that day. I wonder how many of them did. I wonder how many of them changed it back. Maybe it's not something you want to associate with your day, a national tragedy and all, but if it were me, I would have kept it. I would have celebrated my day, celebrated life and the freedom to live it. When the terrorists hold that much power over you, they win. Throw it back in their face. Blow out your candles. Claim it, own it. Take back your day. It's not theirs to keep.

I may never understand how anyone can hold that much evil. I may never understand what motivates people to take other lives in the name of a cause. How hate can prevail so heavily. I may never understand the thoughts of angry masses, of ignorance and misplaced blame.

What I do understand, though, is the capacity to love. To love even in the face of evil. That's the strongest kind. Hate will only destroy us. Love is the only thing that can keep us moving, keep us winning. Hate begets more hate. We've seen that, over the last ten years. Like fighting fire with fire, fighting hate with hate only causes the world to burn.

I saw someone's post on Twitter about visiting their friend in NYC two weeks After. The memorials and the missing person flyers. The ash that still clung to everything. I remember seeing the pictures, the heartbroken, the grieving. I remember how a lot more people remembered to say "I love you" after that. Because you never know. And a lot of us learned that the hard way. We were jarred out of our callous consciousness into a painful, raw sense of loss. We're all still healing, in different ways. But it was the good that came out of people that I want to remember. Not the towers falling or the fire or the smoke. The willingess of people to help. To open their arms. To cry together, to mourn together. To run into those burning buildings, to save who they could. The unity that came after, before it dissolved back into name-calling and blame-gaming. That glimpse of the goodness of the American people.

Yesterday's football game seems like it was a hundred years ago. The trash talk that still floats around on the social media sites. Bitter losers, smug victors. It was just a football game. A good one, at that. I don't understand how hateful people are being over that, either. It's just a game, and compared to what today signifies, it doesn't even matter. Congratulate the other team on a game well-played, win or lose. Then remember that we're all in this together and move on. The team that lost, they are a good team, they will go on to win several of the rest of their games and this will just be a small blip on their record. The team that won, it was a morale boost for us that we needed after several years of struggling. We outplayed you, now let it go. Focus. Focus on what's important.

We're all in this together. On the small scale: we're all Iowans. On the large scale: we're all Americans. We share common enemies. Nebraska. The rest of the world. Sure, we're arrogant assholes (talking about America now) but we're a giant dysfunctional family and we don't take kindly to people coming to our house and messing with our kin. Have whatever feelings you have on the war; it was probably going to happen anyway, and we took down a couple known terror leaders in the process. It's not for nothing, and it will end when it ends, and we'll have achieved something. We had to do something.

I don't want to get political. It's not about politics, though lord knows that landscape has changed too. Everything has changed. From now until the end of time, we'll be living in a "post-9/11 world." We can't go backwards, we can only go forwards.

Do I think we've handled everything well? No. I do not. But we're human. We're fallible. We're emotional beings at our best and we're scared and reactive at our worst. We're flawed and we make mistakes. It's what we do.

For ten years, though, we've been fighting the same fight, silently, every day, consciously or not. It's been a long road and I can see us healing. We're getting back up on our feet. I will kick my shoes off in the security line in the airport without complaining. It's a minor inconvenience. I will still smile when I see the American flag, I will still feel a pang of sadness when I hear about the sacrifices of our soldiers. I will still roll my eyes at the petty arguments of our government, the endless bickering between parties, and I will still disagree with a lot of the politics. I don't want to idealize anything; I know this country is a huge mess. I know what the world thinks of us and I know how often I complain about people I interact with on a daily basis. I stand by my statement that we're a country full of assholes. I'm probably one of them. You probably are too. It's just the way we've been shaped by this culture, in both the Before and the After. There's no use in wondering what things would be like if 9/11 hadn't happened; because it did, and there's no changing that, and there's no going back. This is what we are.

But here's the thing: at the end of the day, I'm still pretty damn grateful to have what I have, to be where I am, and to be a part of this crazy stupid wonderful place that I get to call home.

America. Fuck yeah.