Monday, October 31, 2011

Things To Click On

First order of business: it's Monday, which means I have a new post up at Twenties Hacker. Hint: it's for the pumpkin cream cheese bread that I tweeted and facebooked the everloving fuck out of, because it was THAT GOOD.

Second order of business: don't forget to enter the giveaway for 25 free Shutterfly holiday cards. There will be THREE winners. HOLY SHIT THREE WINNERS. That means your odds are good. Scurry on over. I'll draw the winners sometime this week. I totally never set an end date to that. Hmm. I don't know. One of these days. It will be a surprise. We all love surprises, right? I don't know if I do. I like to be prepared for things.

Last order of business: I fell asleep obsessing about NaNoWriMo and now I'm terrified of it. Also, is it cheating if you work on something you already started? Because I totally already have something started that I want to play around with. I don't know what the rules are. Are there rules? Fuck.

And thus begins the week.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

November Approacheth...

I have signed up for both NaBoPloMo and NaNoWriMo. I have exactly one day to decide which one I'm actually going to do. Unless I'm batshit crazier than I thought, and try them both. OH SHIT THAT WOULD BE INSANE. But I'm a multi-tasker by trade. So. I don't know. I'll give it a shot, I guess. I kind of want to do both. Is that weird? That's probably weird.

Also, the NaBloPoMo badge is ugly this year. So I'm not posting it. Blech.

We could totally make a pool to see when I give up on the novel. That would be fun. Knowing my ability to follow-through with writing fiction... yeah. I have no faith in myself that I can actually do it, but that's kind of totally the point of it, right? Right. (Put your guesses in the comments! Winner gets a prize!)

Meanwhile... new post up tomorrow at Twenties Hacker. I'll link to it here if you're too lazy to find it yourself. (Yes, that's right: I'll be maintaining an additional food column on top of the writing craziness. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Actually, don't answer that.)

xoxo
Kelly

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Christmas In October

Remember last year when I did that promotion for Shutterfly to receive 50 free holiday cards? They totes contacted me to do it again. And because I like free stuff, I was like, HELLS YEAH. Also, they're giving me three codes to give away to you lovely bitches (good for 25 free cards each) so we're going to do a giveaway at the end of this post. EVERYONE WINS. Especially me. Because now I feel like a legit blogger who gets actual solicitations from companies to do posts in exchange for freebies. I HAVE ARRIVED.

To be honest, my plan was to just scour all of the photo sites for the general look that I liked the best and just design my own, but... damn that brand loyalty. I do like Shutterfly a lot. I was impressed with my cards last year, the print quality of the was quite excellent and the "stationery cards" were a lot nicer than your standard glossy printout photo card. And I work in the print industry, so I'm picky.

The problem I always face is that I don't really have an excuse to be sending out photo cards. I'm not engaged. I'm not married. I don't have kids. I've sent out pictures with me and my cat the last two years. So I suppose I could do that again. Everyone loves it. Especially my cat. (I did mention that she usually gets dressed up for this occasion, right?) (EDIT: In light of recent events where she totally turned EVIL on me, I'm not sure I will be able to dress her up this year. Sigh.)  Actually, you know what? I am going to do this every year until maybe someday when I do get engaged or married. It's a social statement. (Humor me on this.)

My most basic criteria is simple: I don't want a square because that involves extra postage, and I would really prefer one that only has one photo... because trying to fill up multiple photos when you're single is just awkward. I suppose I could throw in some pictures from my trip to Las Vegas. Since I actually went somewhere this year. I don't know.

That said, I had sort of built an idea in my mind of what I wanted, so I eliminated several designs that I might have otherwise considered.

Here's what was left.

[Note: there are different categories of cards to choose from... the holiday cards if you are being non-specific, the Christmas cards if you are, and the Christmas Photo Cards, which is where I think I ended up even though the link to holiday and Christmas cards both seem to be photo-related. I don't know, those were the links they told me to give you. Personally I stick with the flat stationery cards because that saves me from having to write a message AND they are nicer than your standard glossies.]

 [link]

Option #1 - I like this one, it's simple, it's "Christmas-colored" (not, like, pink and orange and shit) and would lend itself well to a colored photo. Some photo cards that have a black and white sample photo make me only want to put a black and white photo in them. Not this one.


Option #2 - I like the doodle/sketch/whimsical look to this one. Again, I could stick in a color photo here and not change the overall aesthetic that I feel like they are presenting me with.


Option #3 - I like the vintage/retro look to this one, as well as the sketchy look. I don't know as though it really fits the general fun/whimsy of Kelly + a dressed up cat, but it's pretty and I do like it.



Option #4 - The more I look at this one, the less sure I am about it... I don't know. I'm not entirely opposed to blue as a Christmas color theme. I think my cards from two or three years ago were blue. I use blue a lot, actually. It's kind of my signature color.


 [link]

Option #5 - This totally breaks my "no odd colors like pink or orange" policy (as well as my "only one photo" policy") but it's cute and would work very nicely if I chose to stuck one of my pictures from Las Vegas in there. Vegas is a very colorful city.

 [link]

Option #6 - This also totally breaks my multi-photo policy but I love the visual of film strips. I suppose I could find or take a couple additional photos. I don't know. I'm supposed to be smart and creative, right?

So, those are the ones I have it narrowed down to. It really kind of hurts my brain to be thinking about this sort of thing so early, but I was wandering around Target the other day and they are starting to put their Christmas stuff out in full force, so... 'tis the season, I guess.

OKAY GIVEAWAY TIME. (YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Three of you lucky readers will win a promo code for 25 free Shutterfly holiday cards. Here's how you enter: leave a comment telling me which option above you like the best. Because I am incapable of making my own decisions.

NOTE: If you have a blog of your very own and don't mind pimping your space out, you can get 25 free cards by signing up for the promotion here. If you want. Orrrr you can just enter this giveaway. Makes no difference to me.

POST DISCLAIMER: I was compensated 50 free cards for writing about Shutterfly's 2011 holiday cards. In case you totally skipped over my first paragraph.

Merry Christmas, bitches.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kittygeddon

I've been sharing my apartment with a furry little hellbeast since last Thursday, and while maybe someday I'll look back on all of this and laugh, right now I'm afraid of my cat and really sad at the thought that maybe she's irreparably broken.

I'm not one of those super huge animal lovers. Dogs freak me out and I will rarely even pet them because, I don't know, I have issues. Cats I like. I know it's stereotypical but whatever. I've liked cats ever since I was, like, seven. It was my second grade shtick. I was the cat girl. (No, I didn't have a lot of friends, why do you ask?). I only have one and even then sometimes I get annoyed more than I think a good pet owner would. I attribute this to the fact that I have no maternal bones in my body or any ability to care for things smaller than me. (I mean, I get "maternal" about my friends and I tend to worry more than I let on, but it's not the same. It's not like they are depending on me for their life or well-being. I'm just a... supplement, if you will. I'd be an awesome grandparent. Which, you know, is impossible to be without having kids first. Ah, well. I'll be a super aunt. And great-aunt. And then I'll be the crazy great-great aunt. I'm digressing.)

All that said... I do love my little kitty. They say people start to resemble their pets (or is it vice versa?) and I suppose, personality-wise, it's true. We're both kind of moody and independent but we like attention and cuddles. So, you know. That is the vaguest description of not only all cats but all women as well. Anyway. I've had her since she was a kitten and so her personality has probably adapted to fit our joint housing lifestyle situation. (nature vs nurture, etc... who knows? maybe she'd be a completely different cat if she lived somewhere else. Something to think about.)

My point is, here, that while sometimes she's annoying (like cats can be), she's a very easygoing, even-tempered kitty. She lets me dress her up, for fuck's sake. (And before you say it: NO, that had nothing to do with this current situation, I have not dressed her up in ages). Which is why this whole thing is so bizarre and unsettling.

So, here is the situation, as it stands (I'm lazy and am copying this from an email that I sent so if the tenses are all weird and jumping all over the place, I apologize):

Thursday evening, I get home from work, and the kitty is fine. Like, totally normal, waiting for me at the door, roaming around, occasionally meowing.  My mom comes over for dinner and she's hanging out in the living room while I'm cooking stuff in the kitchen. I come around the corner into the living room to talk to her, and I catch kitty off guard. She arches her back and gets all fluffed out, like she does when she is startled. So I move toward her, because usually she'll "deflate" and then I'll pet her and it will be fine. INSTEAD, she hisses at me and then starts shrieking and practically chases me out of the living room. She's then sitting in the entryway between the living room and whatever this weird entryway room is that joins the living room and kitchen, shrieking and yowling and screaming bloody murder at me. If I inch toward her, she hisses and swipes at me. I acknowledge that this is weird and I back off and go back into the kitchen and kitty goes under the couch.

A few minutes pass and I (try to) go back to the living room... I no sooner step my foot over that threshold and she's screaming again. I swear it sounds like I am abusing this poor animal and I am nowhere NEAR her. (I texted my downstairs neighbor to apologize, lord only knows what she is thinking is going on up here). It just gets louder and more hysterical and at this point I'm like, "okay, this is not right" and I call the emergency phone number for the ISU Vet Med place (hooray for living in a college town!) since it's after-hours and my vet is closed. The girl on the phone can hear her and makes a few notes and says she will call me back. All she can really tell me is that they can't really figure anything out over the phone but it sounds like maybe she's in pain or something and we should probably try to bring her in. So my mother and I are like, "oh, great, we get to try and CATCH this angry demon beast" and so in what I'm sure was a comical scene, we've got her cornered at the far end of the couch, I've got everything pulled out from it... where I then discover that she has totally shit all over the floor. Which she has NEVER EVER done. (The vet said that this isn't totally uncommon, when they are threatened, they'll do that as a defense mechanism of sorts). So we move the couch (okay it's a futon, whatever) and she darts out of there and into the bathroom. So we've got her cornered there and she's behind the toilet and if I reach at her she just violently hisses and swipes at me (I am wearing oven mitts at this point and my mom is holding a towel and we've got the cat carrier at the ready).

I move in on her, she shoots past me and my mom, only to have a closed door, so she launches herself, I shit you not, off the TOP OF THE TOWEL BAR and then into the shower. (I mean, this thing is pretty much at boob height for me - that's a BIG jump for a kitty. It was some Matrix shit all up in there.) Well from there she's pretty cornered so it's me & the mitts against Angry Kitty. She got a good chomp down on my finger (I think the mitt took the majority of the cat saliva so I kind of lucked out there that it didn't get infected) but finally I got a good enough grip on her to drop her into the carrier. She manages to bite my mom on the forearm/wrist on the way down.

Kitty - 2, People - 1.

Once she's in the carrier, she gets a bit quieter. We take her to the Pet ER at ISU and we're there forever for them to basically say that they can't find anything wrong with her at all and to just go ahead and take her home, keep her isolated in the bathroom so she's not in the open space and will be easier to monitor her and/or catch her again if needed. The only thing I can think is what if I get her home and she freaks out again? and they're like, "oh, then just bring her back." Yeah. Because I want to spend all night and all of my money for them to tell me nothing's wrong with her.

I get her home and let her out and she's quiet and lets me pet her, we bring in all her food and water and a bed and stuff, and she's quiet for quite a while until my mom decides to use the bathroom. Then she's all hissy and yowly again. Then she's quiet until I go in to get ready for bed and she's hissing and yelling the whole time and I'm just frustrated and tired and sad and I just gave up and went to bed.

The next morning I come up to the door and I'm like "kitty?" and NORMALLY she'll mew back at me, but all I got from the other side of the door was a hiss. So I go in and she's hissy and yelly, though the longer I'm in there, the more she calms down, and she lets me pet her and by the time I'm done showering and getting ready, she's like my BFF again. Which is good. When I got home later, she would hiss until she realized it was me coming in and then she was cool.

Saturday, she answered me with a meow and was fine until my sister stopped in and there was a stray hiss. Sunday morning, it was back to square one. She was hissy and screaming and she peed on the floor by the shower and then pooped on the floor by the toilet. But by the time I was done getting ready she was quiet again and let me pet her. Later today I was in there and she was all LOVE ME LOVE ME and kept nudging me and jumping up at me trying to solicit pets.

It was the weirdest thing I've ever seen. It was like she was possessed or something. She's let out loud angry meows before (usually when I'm cutting her toenails because OMG I AM SQUISHING HER FEET HOW DARE I) but NEVER like this. My ears were ringing from how loud her screaming was and she was SO angry and violent. It was so random, too. One minute she was fine, and the next: DEMON KITTY. So I don't know if there's something in the apartment that's freaking her out, if there's something ELSE that's freaking her out... or if there IS something medically wrong with her.

I had my former roommate and one of her friends come over because they're not only good with kitties but also paranormal stuff (hey, covering all my bases! She was acting like cats do in a horror movie when evil is lurking about!) and they couldn't tell anything wrong with her until, apropos of nothing other than me trying to walk into the other room, she does the whole freakout thing again and is shrieking and pooping and it's upsetting and traumatizing so I have her locked in the bathroom again and every time I go in there she violently hisses at me and growls and screams and I'm afraid to be in the same room with her. It's a lot more emotionally draining than I ever would have thought because it's just a cat, you know? But it's MY cat and she's usually lovey and cuddly and right now I'm afraid of her.

So, back to the vet she goes tomorrow, the regular vet this time, I could use a second opinion. She's behind on her shots anyway so that will be a fun surprise for her. Heh.

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Just Another Manic Monday

It's Monday! Which means that my new post is up over at Twenties Hacker! This week I attempt a too-good-to-be-true 2-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffin recipe. Which I totally turned into a 3-ingredient recipe. Because that's how I roll.

It also means I haven't blogged in a week. And for that, I am sorry. I've been running around and, admittedly, focusing a bit of attention towards my baking posts to ensure that I get off to a good start on those (also: baking!!) and this, and that, and the other thing, and nobody really cares but my point is: I'M ALIVE.

I'm also really debating whether or not I want to do NaBloPoMo this year. I really haven't been feeling the blogging vibes lately (which is probably why I should do it) and I've been spending a lot more time in... the real world. HOLY SHIT RIGHT. So, I don't know. If I were to sign up for the official NaBloPoMo thinger, then I am eligible for prizes and shit. I like me some prizes. Unfortunately I can't fucking figure it out because NaBloPoMo has been absorbed by BlogHer and BlogHer's site confuses the everliving fuck out of me. So maybe I won't.

I also got a really thoughtful comment over on my other blog (you guys remember it, right? Totally behind on that one, too) which I'm not going to try to paraphrase but the gist was: if you want to be a writer then write something. Duh. She also encouraged me to try NaNoWriMo. I'm not delusional enough to think I can crap out an entire novel next month, but... but... what if I did? I think you need to write just shy of 2000 words per day - which, let's face it, I can do easily, because have you SEEN the length of my blog posts? - but the trick is to make them all coherent and shit. I'm afraid of it, to be honest. Plus it would probably be cheating to work on something I've already started. Maybe. I don't know the rules. Yet this commenter (who happened to actually BE a novelist) was so emphatic in her suggestion that I'm kind of almost considering it.

But there's no way in shit I'm doing both. I'm not that crazy. I'm crazy enough to do one or the other but not both. Unless I blog every day with updates on the novel. Which would be kind of meta but also kind of boring and lame.

Whatever, I don't know. It's another reason I haven't been blogging. I'm too psyched out to write anything. Go figure.

In other news, I think my cat is possessed. That's a different post, though.

Monday, October 17, 2011

NEW and EXCITING THINGS. Or, Thing, Singular. Whatever.

GUYS GUYS GUYS.

LOOK:




A bunch of fellow bloggers created a collaborative project called Twenties Hacker, a guide of sorts on navigating the crazy times of your twenties.


I thought it was cool and added it to my reader and didn't think much else of it or even trying to get involved with it until Doniree put out a call for food writers. I thought about it for a few minutes. I like food. I like to write. I like to write about food. It was a once-a-month commitment and I could totally do it. While brainstorming for topics I suggested doing a feature where I pull recipes from the Internet - specifically, Pinterest - to see if they were actually worth making (or possible to make) in real life. Because they obviously LOOK good, but are they? And Doni loved it and so now I have a weekly feature and I'm super super excited about it, especially because for this first month I am doing a pumpkin theme and we all know how much I love pumpkin stuff.

My VERY FIRST POST went up today! It's basically just an introduction to the series with the first actual recipe coming next week (I was all done with it until I decided to try one more twist on it and that turned out even better than the first batch so I need to update it, plus I just found my camera cable so I can finally get my pictures uploaded.) I'm kind of stupidly excited about this.



I'm also stupidly nervous about it. I mean, here, with this blog, I kind of know my audience and everyone seems to like me well enough. I've never written for someone else's audience, save for the guest post I did for Tori. What if they hate me? What if I just come across looking like an idiot? I guess in that case, at the worst they could leave me negative comments, at the best they could simply not read it. Oh, well.

It also gives me an excuse to bake/cook again. I used to do it all the time when I was living in my first apartment, because I was working at Target and all my friends were forty-five miles away and I had not much of a social life to speak of. But I did have a cozy apartment and a nice kitchen. So I baked.

My mother stopped by my house last week when I was mid-baking and I forced her to try my two versions of my pumpkin muffins (spoiler alert!) and she emailed me later and said that I seemed different when I was baking. Happier, bubblier, more alive somehow. She asked if I felt any different when I was in the kitchen. I'd never thought of it, but I suppose so. Baking is my stress relief. I'll save my introspection on this for another day, but. I just thought that was interesting.

So, anyway, in summary: I'm doing food writing over at Twenties Hacker and you should follow along if you would like. I'm also constantly curating my food board that I will be pulling from (not to be confused with my food board of pretty things that I would never be able to replicate). I've got monthly themes more or less planned out for the next six months already but I'm a bit fuzzy on what I want to do for the summer. I guess we'll even wait and see if people even like it.

I just realized I totally forgot to work a Julie and Julia joke into that intro post. Dammit.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Shoutout.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my little sister, who turns 25 today!

To celebrate this occasion, I give you: pictures of us as kids. Because we were fucking adorable, that's why. Still are, actually.






Happy birthday Mindykins!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Feeble Attempt at Cultural Relevancy

I love movies. I truly do. I am way behind on movies that I want to see and I suck at Netflix because by the time my DVD shows up, I'm not in the mood to watch it and my queue is out of control and I'm really glad they backpedaled and decided to keep all of their services under the same umbrella because my biggest fear with them moving DVDs to Qwikster was their note that the two sites would not be integrated and I was going to entirely lose my queue.

Watching DVDs is not the same as the movie theater experience. I spent all of my money in high school going to movies with my friends over the summer. (We shall not discuss how very much I miss those days, at least in the being carefree and able to waste all my time/money at the movie theater. Bliss.) I don't know if it's a time thing now, or a money thing, but I just don't go as often as I used to.

I still have not seen the last Harry Potter movie. I really, really wanted to see it on the big screen, because it's supposed to be epic, plus it would be a nice symmetry, as I saw the very first movie on the big screen. It's currently at our "dollar theater" which is the last stop before movies come out onto DVD so I really need to schedule myself some time to go. The showtimes are ridiculous, though. 4:55 (hi, not done with work yet) and 9:00pm (hi, bedtime.) Which means I'd have to go on a weekend. Which have been thoroughly eaten up by prescheduled activities since three months ago and continue to be booked up until November.

This leads to my actual post: there are some movies that, quite frankly, I have no desire to see. My sister has accused me of being a movie snob and she's probably right. I've gotten to be really, really picky about what movies I will watch. (also: my time is very valuable and if I'm going to watch a movie, I'd prefer it not suck.) (Which sounds a lot douchier than I meant it, but my schedule is stupidly full and I have to budget my time accordingly. It's actually kind of hard to carve out two hour chunks of doing only one thing at a time.) I've had really good luck, though, with finding movies I like. Probably because I'm so picky and by the time a movie passes through all of my various levels of arbitrary unwritten criteria, it's bound to be a winner. Either I'm already predisposed to like it because I think I will like it... or I've gotten really effective at weeding out movies that I won't like. Chicken or egg. Who knows.

It's possible that I've missed out on some great movies, but I've missed out on a lot of awful ones, too, so it's a tradeoff. I rely very, very heavily on word of mouth and the general opinion of my Internet circles. Sometimes a movie will surprise me. I like when this happens. I like being pleasantly surprised.

However, usually, I am armed with just enough knowledge to be dangerous, and I will avoid movies like the plague that I think are going to be terrible. (Or, as in the case with a couple of the movies below, I will avoid because of certain genre characteristics and/or there is something in a particular movie that makes me a bit wary of watching it. It's not always solely that I think it's going to be a bad movie. It's sometimes simply that I don't think it will be a movie that I, personally, would like. Just like any other form of media or entertainment, it is all very subjective.)

With that, I present to you a new feature here on the blog, which may or may not happen again (as with all features on this blog), called: Movies I Will Not Be Seeing.

Let's begin.

MOVIE I WILL NOT BE SEEING: What's Your Number?
WHY: Oh, where do I start? I think this is supposed to be a comedy, but it looks like a trainwreck. Additionally, I do not need to SEE the movie, because the entirety of the plot and resolution was given to me in the trailer. Here, allow me to break it down for you: Blonde Single Girl (played by Anna Faris, who I don't particularly care for anyway) is a loveable slut. Not like a slutty slut, but, you know. One of those Single Girls who can't catch a break and has slept with a whole string of men, undoubtedly because she has low self-esteems and is desperately trying to seek a connection. Blah blah, something. Anna Faris then finds some study or article and freaks out because she doesn't want to over-slut herself past the Abitrary Number of men she's supposed to be with/have been with before Getting Married (the ultimate goal of all Single Girls, you know.) So she does what anyone would do in this situation: she looks up all of her exes to see if any of them are worth a second shot, because they totes don't count if she's already slept with them. This whole thing makes me want to smash my face into my pillows. Firstly, GAH. Secondly: there's just something about the whole message of this that seems... off... to me. I can't quite put my finger on it, but my feminist red flags are going up. Probably something akin to who the fuck cares how many dudes you've dated and/or slept with and just generally wanting to punch Anna Faris's character in the face. Also maybe because it somewhat reeks of "it's better to get back together with one of your shitty exes than be single" or something. Exes are exes for a reason. Also: being single is not the end of the world. Anyway. I can't seem to articulate what my problem is with this premise so let's move on. There's a side/sub-plot involving Chris Evans (CALL ME), the hottie man-whore neighbor who gets together with Anna Faris for something or other (they're going to help each other with their love lives? because that always works out) and then eventually offers to go with her to her sister's wedding which obviously is the Blonde Single Girl equivalent of Happily Ever After. I mean, please. You can see that plot "twist" coming from a mile away and the previews basically spell it out for you in case you are too stupid to figure out that while Anna Faris hooks up with all her exes, she is meanwhile going to fall in love (or at least hook up with) Chris Evans. Whatever. I have lost almost all my interest in the traditional romantic comedy/chick flick because they are so predictable and they're getting kind of lame.

MOVIE I WILL NOT BE SEEING: Drive
WHY: The trailer didn't offer much information and so I really didn't know one way or the other about whether I wanted to see it, other than Ryan Gosling is beautiful so maybe, but then I was reading an article or review or something and it was talking about how graphically violent it was. Violence! Blood! Gore! More violence! Eeeeek no thanks. I'm somewhat squeamish and don't do overly graphic movies. Critically, though, the movie itself is supposed to be good. I think I've heard it classified as "European art house-esque." Throw the word "art" at me all you want... I can't do anything that graphic.

MOVIE I WILL NOT BE SEEING: Paranormal Activity 3. Or any of them.
WHY: I don't do scary movies and I got kind of squirmy just having to sit through the trailer for this.

As for the other movies that are out right now... Contagion kind of freaks me out because I know I'll be all sorts of paranoid after seeing it because it's one of Those Types of Movies... I saw The Ides of March last weekend and it was really good - kind of a slow-building, tense political movie, if you're into that sort of thing (also: Ryan Gosling AND George Clooney). Probably my favorite part of this is that, while accurate in capturing the essence of the movie, the trailer didn't tell you the major driving plot twist. It was actually very refreshing to not know too much about it going in... because we are all apparently so stupid nowadays that they have to spell out the entire plot of the movie via the trailer in order to get us to see it (see: What's Your Number. Or, rather, don't. I do not support this movie.) Anyway, I would recommend this one if you were thinking you maybe wanted to see it. I would like to see Moneyball as well. I'm kind of curious about the Footloose remake, though I am on principal opposed to them tampering with my beloved 80s classics, so I'll probably wait until it's on DVD. Also: I kind of want to see The Lion King in 3D because yes 3D is overhyped and overdone and cliche but I love this movie and I'd love to see it on the big screen again (if I even saw it on the big screen the first time, I don't remember). If Disney went back to their original model of re-releasing their animated movies into the theaters every seven years (instead of their accursed Vault system), I'd totally pay money to to go see them. I AM A NOSTALGIC SAP, SUE ME.

I don't know anything else about any of the other movies that are currently playing so I'm just going to assume that they are not going to interest me and I shall await the next big batch of movies which is either Thanksgiving or Christmas, I don't remember. Unless I start to hear some buzz about them in which case perhaps I will look into them further.

In the meantime, I should probably watch this copy of Whip It that's been sitting on my coffee table for two months so I can get my queue moving along again. I could have bought the DVD probably thrice over by now in the amount of times I've paid my monthly fee and not watched it. Sigh.

What have you seen lately? Any recommendations? 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

There's No Crying in Softball.


So also not helping the whole EVERYTHING IS CAUSE FOR ANGST situation is the massive time-suck and patience-draining experience that has been Fall Softball. I have voluntarily given up two nights a week and almost every single Saturday over the course of 2-3 months for what I thought was going to be a continuation of the positive and rewarding experience that I have every summer. I should have known better. 

Softball is the thorn in my side right now. It's been well-established on this blog how much I love it and how much I love coaching, so you'll know that I come from a good place when I say that I kind of hate it right now. 

I was hoping it would stay rainy yesterday so I could call off practice because I honestly didn't know if I could handle those girls right now. One on one, they're all good kids, but they're so goddamn whiny and I can't make anyone happy and after a fiasco with a terrible umpire during last Saturday's games, I had a hard time wrangling them back up to play. One girl flat-out refused at first. I was not only livid at that dick of an umpire for being, well, a dick to both me and my girls (and the other team) but I was so frustrated at the attitudes of the girls that I had to stifle the urge to just Walk Away. I'm not a quitter and for the times that those girls are under my supervision, I am (usually) super dedicated and kind of - I don't know, big sister-ish? Not motherly. That's not right. But, yes, like a big sister. That feels accurate. But I just couldn't handle the complaining and the whining and the fact that I couldn't make it stop. 

I am not qualified to be handling this age group, I have no idea how to relate to them or guide them or even control them. On a fundamental skill level, it required a massive mindset change because I was used to coaching girls that kind of already knew what they were doing. Not so much, here. I take for granted the things they know. It was an adjustment period. I've basically settled into survival mode now: I just need to get through the season. And we did manage to win a game last weekend so at least I feel like I've accomplished something. But overall, I feel like a failure and my patience has been stretched to its very limits and I just don't know what to do. I don't. My heart's not in it anymore because no matter what I do, I can't win with these kids. There are a couple I like, and I hope eventually they maybe land on my summer team someday, but... argh. (Omg. It just occurred to me that it's a very real probability that in about two, three, maybe four years, I could end up with this same batch of girls in my precious Older Kids league. God, I hope the coaches in the interim mold them into the Older Kids that I'm used it.)

OH! And here's the kicker for this week. At the beginning of practice last night, we were doing the whole stretch-as-a-team thing - and YES, they managed to whine and complain about HAVING TO STRETCH - someone asked the group who all was planning on trying out for the travel team (the more competitive tournament team) and then one of them was all "my mom says if I try out for travel team I'll have a better coach than you." .... yeah. She may have tacked on a "no offense" after that, but does that really matter? "No offense" just means "Hey! I insulted you but don't be mad!" Ugh. I mean: to be fair, she's right. They hire paid coaches for the tournament teams. Still. It was rude and I just plastered a fake smile on my face and said something to the affirmative, but holy shit, guys. I have been so verbally abused this season by this batch of kids. They have NO FILTER. They also don't ever stop talking. Or whining. Or complaining. One of my other girls, bless her tiny little heart, asked me if I was one of the travel team coaches. I can't remember if this was before or after The Insult, but. Sigh. Also, I know this girl's mom, and while I don't particularly like her... I can totally picture her saying this. I don't know if I should take it like it sounds, or if she meant it differently. I'm going to not think about it too hard.)

I can't win. My assistant coach and I kind of went back and forth on facebook for a little bit, I know she's frustrated too. They don't pay attention, they don't listen. She wondered out loud if we should say something to the parents? And honestly, I've been thinking about it. Something a bit more tactful than, "hey, your kids are being brats, can you tell them to knock it off? kthnx." But you know what I mean. I'm just wondering if it's too late, though. I've let them walk all over me all season because I can't bring myself to be a bitch. They're ten year olds, for chrissake. They're just so young.

They need some sort of guidance, though. Some sort of lecture. They need to keep their attitudes in check and learn to respect their coaches and do what we ask without whining. I don't know how touchy this group of parents is, though. What interaction I have had with them, they seem like they'd be understanding, maybe? I don't know. I've NEVER had problems like this with any of my other teams. I'm sure it's the age group. I don't know. I'm trying, guys. I really am. 

If I'd have realized how good I had it with my older girls this past summer, I would have given them all hugs every day and showered them with cupcakes and rainbows. I think part of me knew that I had a good thing going, every season I always paused to think about what a good group I had, about how easy it was - too easy? - and I was always sad to see the season end.

This season, it will be nothing but relief. Sheer, grateful relief.

And possibly liquor.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I'm All Right.

Thanks for all the long-distance e-hugs and emails and comments. I love you guys. All of you. I wish I could teleport you all here for hugs and then let you get back to what you were doing. Or teleport us both to a bar so we could get shitfaced drunk. You know, whichever. I would totally abuse teleportation technology. It's probably good that it doesn't exist. (Though, to be fair, what I understand about the way that technology would need to work, it probably won't exist. It's a nice idea, though.)


I feel weird about writing posts like Sunday because a lot of it is just anguished word-vomit that, like actual vomit, once it's out of your system, you usually feel better. I didn't mean to make anyone worry. That's another reason I don't call people when I'm in one of those Moods. I don't want to bother anyone. Nobody needs to deal with my crazy. That's my burden. 


Yesterday's random pre-scheduled post aside (yeah, I'm totes going to make the calendar and it's gonna be awesome), it was still kind of an odd day. My head still felt a bit cloudy and I was sort of mopey and unsettled, a bit. With some hindsight, I think I would probably classify what happened on Sunday as an anxiety attack. Because it felt like an attack. It came out of nowhere, apropos of nothing, and just kicked the shit out of me, and then departed. I wasn't sad or depressed, I was anxious. It's obvious now, in the light of day two days later, but it's not always so easy to pinpoint at the time, when really all you can do is hang on until it's gone. Fucking textbook, really.


I guess it doesn't really matter what we call it, I just feel slightly better being able to identify it. (Because "anxiety" makes me so much less crazy than "depression.") It was hard to shake, though. In the aftermath of said whirlwind anxiety attack, I felt kind of hollow. All day. I couldn't shake it.

It's strange when the weather matches my mood. I can wear it like an accessory. Yesterday was dreary and it may have even rained, I'm not sure. This morning it was foggy and murky and by the time lunchtime rolled around and I'd shaken all the last cobwebs out of my head, it was warm and sunny again. I'm probably controlling the weather, actually. Sorry, local citizens. I'll try to stay in a good mood for a while so we can enjoy this last burst of summery-fall weather for a bit longer.

I don't know. Things are weird. I mean, things are good, I'm just back to running around a million miles an hour and trying to recalculate how best to do that. I'm not surprised I suddenly had a meltdown about not being able to do it all. Not being able to be good enough to do it all. Something. It's more complicated than that, it always is, but that's the short version. 

It's a strange feeling, being out of sorts like I was, but at the same time, as long as I'm still standing, I consider it a victory. 

And my medication situation is all back under control and back to normal, so... I feel pretty good. Normal. As normal as I get. I always feel like I need that disclaimer. Heh.

Also: softball. Softball is causing me grief. I had a big long segment here but I'm saving it for tomorrow because it rapidly turned into its own post. I don't understand how I can dread something I usually love so much. 

Anyway. I just need to get to the weekend. I'll have a fresh paycheck and that always helps. It's also, more importantly, my sister's birthday, and I think we're going to road-trip up to the Twin Cities. If for absolutely nothing else: IKEA. She has never been. And that is a damn shame. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

VERY IMPORTANT POLL.

Guys. I'm getting serious about this project. Largely because I spent a good chunk of time on Friday trolling Ebay for costumes.

If I make a calendar of pictures of my cat dressed up in 12 different outfits, would you buy one?

If I can maybe sell some of these, it would offset the cost of buying all the ridiculous costumes. Plus it would be awesome. And maybe if it's awesome enough, I could sell it to actually make some pocket money because we all know how broke as shit I always am.

Ideally I'd like to do this for 2012 OR I could make one of those "perpetual" calendars where it's not year-specific and (a) just has the numbers without assigning them to a day of the week or (b) has blank boxes where you fill in the numbers yourself depending on the year.

I don't know how much it would cost to print them... Maybe I can even do it on something like Zazzle or Cafe Press. If not, I could have them digitally printed and then bound. I haven't started looking into this yet. But let's assume they won't be stupidly expensive.

Thoughts? Weigh in. NOW.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I'll Probably Delete This Once I Realize How Crazy It Makes Me Sound

Every now and then I'll forget to take a dose of my antidepressants. Usually it's late and I'm tired or I accidentally fell asleep or my prescription will have run up and I'll have neglected to refill it in a timely fashion. I'll wake up the next morning feeling a little bit groggy, but not too terribly out of sorts. The longer I go between doses, the more "unsorted" I seem to get. Usually I'll grab my missed dose the next morning when I think of it and it will even out. Usually, it's fine and not a big deal.

Today, for whatever reason, I didn't really remember that I hadn't taken it until I was curled up in a ball wondering why suddenly I hated everything and why my skin suddenly felt like it was suffocating me and why was I suddenly so alone and suddenly everything in my brain hurt. I was in the middle of text message conversations with about four different people, God only knows how well the crazy stayed in check at that point. (If you were one of those people: I'm sorry.)

I'm not entirely surprised, I guess. I've kind of felt the onset of a depressive slump coming on for a while now, it's been nagging at me for a few weeks and I've been refusing to acknowledge it other than to try to push it out of my mind and keep it at bay. It doesn't really help that I'm riding an emotional rollercoaster this week anyway (in layman's terms: PMS), but you compound the two, and... fuck. Normally, I don't feel this wretchedly out of sorts until I've missed two days in a row, but the lack of quality/consistent sleep followed by a highly productive day of marathon shopping with my sister and future stepmother finally led me to collapse in a heap of exhaustion at the end of the day. Which normally would have probably just resulted in... falling asleep. 

Not today. Today, my brain decided to start uprooting all of my current insecurities and chucking them to the forefront of my consciousness. No matter what anyone has ever told me to the contrary, I was suddenly not good enough, not smart enough, not capable enough, Not Enough, period. For what? Who knows. Anything. Everything. (Interestingly enough, the "not pretty enough" and "not thin enough" were nowhere to be found tonight. Maybe it was their night off. Or maybe my subconscious decided to really get me where it hurts. It was ruthless. What are the things I value most in relation to being a worthy human being? Great. LET'S DECIMATE THOSE.)  

Once the trigger has been pulled, it's all sort of a chain reaction that has to be waited through. Bad thoughts. More bad thoughts. Even more bad thoughts. Slightly better thoughts. Okay thoughts. Thoughts that kick the previous thoughts in the ass and shake their head in disapproval. Sleep. Reset. Restore. Wake up. Normal thoughts.

(More often than not, these little episodes happen at night. I don't know why this is. They just do. Except the one time it happened in the middle of the day. That one was scary. I was crying and shaking so hard I actually called the doctor's office and demanded they let me see someone. They adjusted my dosage and I slept the rest of the day and eventually it all worked back to normal, but I remember how scared I was. I also remember it was snowing. That fact is entirely irrelevant except for the fact that the memory of the day is lodged into my head. I think it was in a January. Again, irrelevant.)

So what do you do, then? When you're aching and suffocating and alone (not to be confused with lonely, there is a difference)... who do you call and beg to make them listen to you? (Especially when you kind of hate calling people and talking to them anyway, but sometimes you just need a voice dammit). What do you even say? "I'm a dumbass and forgot to take the magic little pill that's supposed to keep me from being a crazy self-hating ball of suck. Please give me hugs." Except there's nobody to give me hugs because everyone is so far away. Even the people that are across town seem far away, and it's getting to be fairly late on a Sunday. They're probably doing whatever normal people do to get ready for the work week. Possibly they're sleeping. I don't know. They're not all having incoherent mental turbulence, I'm fairly certain of that.

I wish I could just cry it off or something. That would be nice, right? One nice big ugly cry and be done with it. Except I can't. The tears don't come that often and when they do they generally come with an extra helping of self-loathing because what the fuck is wrong with me that I would be so worked up about nothing that I would sit and cry about it? (Seriously, I can't win when I'm fighting with myself.)

I can't find my Ativan. Ativan is my new and improved replacement for Xanax as my supplementary anti-anxiety pill. I still refer to this secondary drug as Xanax because everyone knows what Xanax is and so it's easier to make flip references to it when people know what the hell I'm talking about. Either way. If I'm not about to plunge into something that's about to trigger some high-alert anxiety, I like to use these as backup for when the crazy is starting to creep in, oh, you know, usually on occasions where I've managed to fuck up the continuity of my regular medications. There's something oddly calming about letting those teensy little pills dissolve under my tongue, knowing that soon I'll be flooded with a vague calm that, which I'm lucky, I can follow with some sleep and let everything hit their collective reset buttons and poof! Back to normal. As normal as I get, anyway.

At some point, I started staring at the ceiling and letting the apathy and numbness start to take over. I fucking give up. You win, depression. You win again. In some far corner of my mind, my last little bit of sanity is jumping up and down and waving its arms, and it's that which I cling to. The part where I know this is just a phase, and it will pass, because it always does, and I'm just being moody and I forgot to take my goddamn pill and this is what happens when you forget to take those goddamn pills because the whole point of the goddamn pills are to keep you from feeling this way. Quit being such a baby.

It's worse, though, when one of the other parts gets louder. The part that really does want to give up. The part that is sick and tired of feeling like this. It's worse when I start thinking about the logistics. What if I just never woke up? (The method is irrelevant. The method is always irrelevant. I never really think about that. Which is probably somewhat promising, right?) But the details. The aftermath. For starters, I have life insurance, somewhere, I'm pretty sure, so financially, that would cover up any mess I leave behind. Covered. Then there's my cat. She's a very beautiful and even-tempered kitty and I know someone would take her in. She'd probably end up in a better home than here because I'm a miserable bitch of a person who's never home and usually sleeping or glued to a computer when I am. She could do better. She'd be fine. My family and friends? They'd be fine. Most all of them go about their lives without seeing me on a terribly regular basis anyway. I'm not saying it wouldn't suck for them and I know how very, very selfish it would be of me to put them through something like that, but... human nature, life goes on. My phone is usually within my reach, whoever finds it would know who to call, who to tell. My job? They'd find someone else too. I'm ultimately replaceable. I would feel guilty, of course, leaving things in such a state of disarray. My apartment is a disaster that even makes me cringe, and my desk at work is organized in such a way that only I understand what and where everything is. That's probably a terrible way for a person like me to live, just in case, but when I'm not feeling like I'm a living, breathing piece of shit, I'm usually quite content to go about my merry way, doing things as I see fit and keeping things in order to my liking. I would not want to be the one who had to sort through whatever was left. It wouldn't make any sense. I'd probably be embarrassed. Too bad I wouldn't be around to care. I hate to admit this, but, in the past, the sheer mess of my life was enough to keep me from doing anything stupid because I didn't want anyone to have to sift through it. If I ever get all my shit in perfect working order, that's probably when we need to worry.

This? This is not a good way to be thinking. I realize that. But I'm practical, of course. My mind always covers every angle. That's why when I'm good at something, I'm really good at it. I'm thorough. 

Fortunately, they're just thoughts. A litany of things that need to be thought before that sane part can grab the mic back and clear its throat and tell me I'm being positively awful. Sometimes you need to think your thoughts, no matter how morbid or terrible they are. You think them, then they're gone. It's a sick reassurance, of some form. Please don't lecture me. It's how I handle things. If I was truly worried, I would check myself in somewhere. Fortunately, these bouts are usually short-lived - intense, but short-lived, THANK GOD - and that would create all sorts of unnecessary financial difficulties as well as social awkwardness and lord knows what else. If I sounded the alarm every single time there was a glitch in my system, they'd probably throw me in a windowless room and never let me out. No need to create additional anxiety off the original anxiety because then the cycle just repeats itself and I suppose that's either ironic or meta, depending on what anything actually means anymore because I don't fucking know. 

I'm not making sense. I'm aware. Fuck. I don't care. I just need to write because I'm not going to bother anyone with my stupid Not-Problems because tomorrow when I wake up I'm sure they will have all blown over. God, I hope they will have all blown over. Doesn't matter if they do or not, I absolutely cannot call in sick, I've used up too many sick days and besides, I don't think calling in with a case of the Crazy is a legitimate excuse anyway. It's irresponsible. I can't just let the fact that I'm fucked up interfere with the fact that there is shit that needs done. So tomorrow will carry on as normal with the added bonus of being a Monday which is its own special brand of miserable. 

Whatever. I feel it winding down already. I took my next dosage and I brushed my teeth and I'm curled up in bed with my laptop and I think I'll be fine. Tomorrow I'll probably pretend like it never even happened and I'll feel stupid for even making a Thing out of it because it will have subsided like it always does and I will once again have regained control of the situation. It's like a fucking terrorist, if it you let it terrorize you, obviously, it wins. It's just exhausting to have to keep fighting it over and over and over and over, but, unfortunately, this is my life and I will be struggling with this for the entire rest of it, so... there you have it. It is what it is and I will do the best I can and everything will be just fucking wonderful again in no time.

Please don't judge me for this heap of ramble. I can't afford a real therapist so this is all I have. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Goodbye, Steve.


I didn't write a post the day that Michael Jackson died. I didn't write for any of the other celebrities passed on  during that spell when it seemed like there was a new death every few days. They were all sad, in their way, and each time a little bit of our culture went with them, but... they were intangible and ultimately untouchable. It made no difference to me. I gave them each their moment of silence and moved on.

But tonight? Tonight, I couldn't get to a computer fast enough. I was about to burst with all of the words swirling around in my head, all the thoughts, all the things I wanted to say.

(I had actually had a post queued up full of quotes from Steve Jobs, I almost posted it earlier this week in fact, but something kept me from clicking publish. It didn't feel like the right time. Granted, now if I post them - which I will, because if this isn't the right time, I don't know what is - I'll look like I'm just pandering to recent events. I even joked on Twitter how it was ironic that Steve Jobs took away my hipster cred. Because, you know, hipsters, Apple products... whatever, shut up.)

I was at my mother's house, helping her fill out her divorce papers (oh, but that's a story for another time) and the TV was on, and I happened to look up to their breaking news that... Steve Jobs had died? What? I was stunned. I knew (or at least assumed) that his health was the reason he finally stepped down, but it just seemed so... quick. (In hindsight, I suspect he knew it was coming. He's had cancer for quite a while and still continued to serve as CEO. This time, it was different. This time, he was calling the game.)

I did what anyone else would do and I immediately reached for my phone and opened Twitter. It seemed odd that I would find the news out in such an old-school way and then have to verify it online, but that's how it works, I guess. Twitter is usually my news. To find out that a tech icon had passed away through something as archaic as a television? It didn't seem right.

I was surprised to find myself genuinely sad. I don't usually get into the whole celebrity culture thing. It's not reality, you know? But this is different. Steve Jobs wasn't just a celebrity. He was a living legend (now, just a legend, I suppose.) A genius. We all marveled at his mind, at the way he commanded the world, how he could pull a shiny new device from the sleeve of that black turtleneck and watch the masses race to be the first to own it. He was brilliant and creative. I've seen those two words paired together so many times tonight. I think on some level, you have to be creative to be brilliant, though I guess you don't necessarily have to be brilliant to be creative. He was both. He was the master of his trade and despite how you may feel about his products, you can't dispute that fact.

Steve Jobs wasn't just the face of Apple... Steve Jobs was Apple. I don't doubt that Apple will carry on in his legacy - if Tim Cook was going to fall on his face, he would have already. He'd been in training for that position longer than most of us probably knew. I have faith that Apple will continue to be innovative and inventive, but maybe they won't shine as brightly as they did under the reign of Steve.

The first computer I ever used was an Apple. We had a Mac Lab at our school, as I'm sure many of you did. I couldn't tell you what style or model of computers we had, I just remember using them, back when the logo was rainbow-striped and Oscar the Grouch sang to you when you emptied the trash. I doubt I really knew the difference between a Mac and a PC back then; the lines weren't so clearly drawn in the sand. I couldn't have cared much either way until I got to college. When I was accepted into the graphic design program and received my very own shiny 17" PowerBook, fully equipped with OS X Panther and Adobe Creative Suite. (1). A small choir of angels sang out to me as I slid the silver machine out of its bag.

It was my first computer, the first piece of expensive anything that was mine. I still have it. She's old now, and her battery doesn't last much longer than ten seconds, so she's not exactly mobile. The trackpad doesn't work and the CD drive doesn't work. I've had to replace the power cord and the hard drive (November 2007 NEVER FORGET) and lord knows what else, but that computer is my prized possession. It got me through college. It got me through three intense, grueling years in the graphic design program. It witnessed the birth of facebook and my entry into the blogosphere. It brought me to the Internet, and the Internet to me. I signed up for my trip to Bloggers in Sin City on that computer. It holds all of my photographs and shitty writing drafts and, well, my life. It's the one thing I own that I would rescue in a fire. That Mac was a constant all through my twenties, and we're still going. When I decided I needed a more mobile laptop, I opted for a PC for two reasons: 1, it was cheaper, significantly cheaper, and 2, mine still worked. It's lost some functionality over the years but it's still my creative station. It's seven years old. How many computers do you have that are seven years old that still function nearly as well as they did when they were new? It's a testament to Apple's quality, I think.

And then I started accessorizing. Of course I have an iPod. My first iPod was maybe a 3rd generation, one of the clunky 15gb white ones with the black and white screen. I still have it. It, too, still works, when I can find its cable. I have a hot pink iPod shuffle that I acquired in 2007 and a red iPod nano that I won from a blog contest a couple years ago. I'd kind of like an iPod classic with roughly a billion gigabytes so hold everything I  own on it. Or an iPod touch, since I can't afford an iPhone. Which I will probably eventually own, once I break up with US Cellular and my trusty Blackberry and move over to Verizon. I drooled over the iPad when it came out, even though I definitely don't need one in my life. I identify as a Mac when given the choice between the two (though I'm also fluent in PC... when I started my job three and a half years ago, it actually took me a couple weeks to adjust to using a PC at work and my Mac at home. I hadn't used a PC in years at that point.)

What does this have to do with anything? Nothing, really, other than to get all nostalgic about my Macware. I realize Macs are trendy. I realize I sound like a pretentious snob when I declare the superiority of Apple over everything else. Honestly, I do believe Apple has superior products. I don't believe they are the only products worth owning, but I do believe they are better.

I also believe that Apple and Steve Jobs have absolutely changed the world. They changed the way we communicate. They changed the way we think about technology. Technology is what we are, is who we are. The world is at our fingertips wherever we go. My best friends are scattered across every corner of the country. Google is my go-to for anything I don't know. I read online, I shop online, hell, I've even dated online. For as much as I curse it out sometimes, I have embraced technology with open arms. There's no going back from here.

Look at the iPhone 4S announcement yesterday. People went ballistic over the fact that it was a 4S instead of a 5. That's insane brand loyalty. Who cares? I don't. (Mostly because I don't get to have one.) (OH GOD THE NOT-5 4S KILLED STEVE JOBS.)

The mood of the Internet was somber and bittersweet. It's still going on, right now, as I write this. I've actually had to fight back tears a couple several times. It's not every day you lose such an icon. It was interesting to see what Steve Jobs meant to so many different people. He affected us all. He inspired us, he showed us what was possible, he showed us how to go beyond possible. He brought us the future, and shrunk it down so we could carry it in our pockets.

Cancer is an unholy bitch and we've lost far too many people to it. I happen to work for a company that makes and markets a successful breast cancer awareness line, and I'm proud of that. The place we donate our proceeds to actually does research for all cancers, not just breast cancer, which I know a lot of people tend to get irritable about when October rolls around ("breast cancer isn't the only cancer!" We know - but, as it is, breast cancer is the cancer that sells product, and it doesn't matter where that money comes from as long as it can go to a place to help. Besides, if we can figure out how to stop one kind of cancer, I suspect it will be a key to unlocking the mystery behind the other cancers. We'll get there. I refuse to believe that we won't.)

I lost my grandfather to cancer when I was thirteen. It was the first time I'd been directly affected by the disease, the first time I'd been able to give it a face. What made it worse is that even at the time, I knew he wouldn't be the last.

So here we are, I guess.

I've lost where I was going with this post. It's perhaps a compelling reason why I should never write tribute posts. But this just feels too big not to, you know? Because it's bigger than just one man. It's what he stood for: the idealism, the innovation, the ability to change the world.

Fuck, I don't know. Everyone else always says everything better than me, and collectively, the Internet has pretty much said it all.

I'll leave you with a few quotes, I guess. I'll save my post of Steve Jobs quotes for tomorrow. Chances are good you've seen bits of them anyway as they are being passed around the Internet.

From Apple.com/SteveJobsApple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and and inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

Great article over on Gizmodo. "He was the reason many of us got into this industry, or even care about technology at all. He made the computer personal, and the smartphone fun. Bill Gates may have put a computer on every office desk, but it was Steve Jobs who put one in every dorm room and bedroom and living room. And then, years later, he repeated the trick, putting one in every bag and every pocket, thanks to the iPad and iPhone. If you use a computer or smartphone today, it is either one he created, or an imitation of his genius. He changed the way movies are made, the way music is sold, the way stories are told, the very way we interact with the world around us. He helped us work, and gave us new ways to play." 

From a Mashable tribute (read the whole thing, it's good): Say what you will about the dynamic maverick who built and rebuilt Apple over the course of four decades, but Steve Jobs was a visionary. A maker of things. A doer who intimately understood the excitement of a new product. How the interchange of 1s and 0s could produce a sublime piece of software. Steve Jobs got all this. We admired him for it. Some loved him for it. None of us will forget him for it.


From rival Bill Gates: "The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it's been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely."


From President Obama: "Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it... The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve's success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented."

From Wil Wheaton on Twitter: iRIP, Steve Jobs. Thank you for making incredible things, so we can live in the future.

And my favorite, from local Des Moines startup Dwolla, on Twitter: Jobs represented an unconquerable ideology that said beauty, simplicity, and foolishness can change the world. #OurDaVinci #RIP

And I am going to end this post with an image from our beloved Almie of Apocalypstick that I totally stole off her facebook page. But I can do that. Because we're BFFs.

taken on a second iPhone, natch

Thanks for everything, Steve. I know I'm not the only person to say this tonight, but you truly did shape my life and the world is gonna miss you.

Fingers crossed that we can carry on in your legacy and continue to keep dreaming and keep creating.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Quote of the Day: Betty M. White

via Pinterest. Idk original source. I doubt anyone does.

In case you can't read it:

"Why do people say 'grow some balls'? Balls are weak and sensitive! If you really wanna get tough, grow a vagina! Those things take a pounding!"
- Betty Motherfucking White.

(Yes, that's her middle name.) (Or it should be.) (Ok, Wikipedia says its Marion. Which means I was half-right, with the M.) (I should go "fix" the entry. But I won't.)

Happy Wednesday, bitches.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Snippets. Mippets.

I have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that it's October. I mean, I can look outside and see all the leaves changing colors, which quite simply makes my heart happy, and I can almost see that the temperature is going to be a bit brisk. It's hoodie weather. It's boot weather. It's scarf weather. It's layering weather. For the first time in however many years, I can layer for warmth or for cuteness instead of layering to hide my fat, self-conscious self.

On that front, I've been letting myself get a bit lax lately. I've been hovering right around the same general weight range, so it's not like I'm undoing all my hard work, but I've definitely let myself get stuck. Last week I lost 1.2 pounds... this week, I gained the 1.2 right back (like, exactly. It was kind of creepy.) I don't know what my deal is, because I've been doing sooo good, but I guess I'm in a good place right now where I'm allowing myself to indulge a little more. I mean, 30 lbs is a lot. So I'm not going to beat myself up over a half pound here and there. I need to get my shit together though before the holidays show up because those will ruin me. Kind of like this glorious pumpkin spice latte that's sitting right in front of me right now. It's the season of deliciousness and I have no willpower.

I've also gotten a bit lazy about working out. (Who's surprised? Nobody? Yeah.) I really need to get back to TKD before they, like, take away my black belt (can they do that? I hope they can't do that.) I've just had too many scheduling issues and when something gives, it's always that. Fortunately, I've still got softball for a few more weeks, so that's something. Because if trying to corral a bunch of ten year olds isn't a workout, then you just go ahead and tell me what is.

I'm feeling a little bit better about the fall softball season... something clicked on Saturday and while we still lost, we suddenly were doing okay. I'm fully convinced that if we had gotten to have another full inning, we could have pulled it off. I needed that. The girls needed that. My sister came down to help me coach since my regular assistant was otherwise occupied (I swear, I've only seen her like three times) and I really wish that she could be my full-time assistant because we worked really well together. I mean, for starters, we grew up playing softball together so we've had the same training and the same mindset and the same philosophy, but, hi. She's my sister. We kind of "get" each other. I think the girls really liked her too. I need all the allies I can get at this point. I've got three more weeks ahead of me and I'm hoping to finish on a note of Not Failing. Wish me luck.

In other Not Fails, despite my extreme skepticism about rejoining the world of online dating... I kinda met someone. He seems pretty cool. And he has the link to this blog which has rather compromised my ability to talk about it. (Which was really an unfair trade because he never updates his. Ahem.) That's all I'm going to say for now because I kind of enjoy keeping this to myself for the time being, but... I was starting to feel like I was keeping secrets from you guys and the guilt was starting to get to me. ;) 

Lastly, my mother's OCD took over and she came and cleaned my apartment. Or at least the bathroom. And then she terrorized my kitty-cat with the vacuum and it was all sorts of traumatic and anyway my apartment looks super great right now so this pleases me. I give it about a week or so before I junk it up again. Because someday I will end up on Hoarders. Or, like, mini-Hoarders. Hoarders Lite. I'm not that bad, I swear. I just can't get rid of anything. You never know when you will need it again! And it's fiscally irresponsible to re-buy something that you once previously owned! Right? Anyway. I just need to clean my kitchen and my bedroom and I'll be all set. (Did I mention that she moved to my general geographic area? She did. Which I had mixed feelings about but it's actually been kind of nice in no small part because she's finally starting to recover from that shitty emotionally-oppressive relationship and is starting to seem more like herself again. So there's that. But mostly it's nice to be able to re-connect with her, just her, without the crazy relationship drama and all that.)

Also it's nice out today and I just want to run away with my pumpkin spice latte and sit outside and read or write or nap or something that's not Being Confined To A Desk. First world problems, yes. I have them.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Follow Your Bliss. Assuming Your Bliss = This Blog.

I was totes going to take a blogging break after my month-long posting spree in September, but then Christa tagged me in a blog-award meme, and if there is anything that can be said about me, I am kind of vain when it comes to such things. Christa is one of my BiSCuits that I didn't really get to see very much while we were IN Vegas, but I've been getting to know her a lot better since then and she is one of the most awesome people ever. (Guys. She does triathlons. For funsies. And also to raise money for charity. Because she is a bad-ass.) I even got to collaborate with her on a design project a couple months ago and it was really fun to be able to dust off some of my skills.

Anyway, she has bestowed upon me the Blissful Blogger award, which I assume is some sort of affectionate irony, because I am generally not known for my state of bliss. Maybe I'm confusing bliss with serenity. Either way.

So, here's my award (you may cheer now if you'd like) and I am to tell you nine things about myself that you probably don't already know. Or maybe you already do, if you've been paying attention. I don't know.


1. I don't like tomatoes. I like things with tomatoes IN them, but not plain tomatoes.

2. The only thing that keeps me from trying new things is a crippling fear that I will make an ass of myself somehow.

3. I may be vertically challenged now, but all through early elementary school I was one of the tallest girls in my class. I have been this exact height since I was twelve.

4. I prefer Coke over Pepsi. But I prefer Diet Pepsi over Diet Coke. (Bonus: I like drinking Diet Pepsi with pizza.)

5. My elbows bend at a weird angle. I'm not double-jointed, per se, but they tend to creep people out.

6. My preferred jersey number is usually #23 - not because of anyone famous, but because my birthday is on the 23rd. Or #7, just because.

7. I didn't get my first kiss until I was 17. I was a painfully shy teenager.

8. I don't wear shorts or skirts without leggings because I am embarrassed of my legs. I hate them.

9. I oftentimes excel at things simply because I don't know that I'm not supposed to.

Ok, tagging:
Maria
Megs
Ashley
Tori
Kanriah
Calee
Julie
Terra
Katherine
Meghan

DANCE PUPPETS DANCE.

(Fact #10: I am rather power-hungry sometimes.)