Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Garden State

I watched Garden State with Phil last night. It had been well over a year since I had last seen it. I haven't even had my copy since January when I loaned it to someone to make a point. Either they A) didn't watch it or B) didn't get or care for my point. Either way, I've moved on and now really just want my damn movie back.

My point is, it's been at least a year since I last watched it. Maybe closer to two years. And let me tell you, a lot has happened in that time. And this is important because Garden State is my favorite movie. Not just because the action or the story or the characters are great but I watched it at a time that it really had an impact on me. No, it didn't changed me but it was just the perfect movie to come along at the time it did. I had started my sophomore year in college. I had had an awful summer in Des Moines with my family (it ended up being the last one I spent there) and, you know, I was trying to figure stuff out. I had lost that idea of "home". Not just a place, but the connections I had and the people I surrounded myself with. This has continued to evolve since then but it was really very profound then. I was shifting from being a part of nuclear family to being the oldest child in a family with newly-divorced parents. But I was also two states away and I really didn't have to deal with it. And holidays from then on out always seemed to have some drama. My sister and I were yelling at each other or my mom was annoying me or I was mad at my dad. I was never sure where it was going to come from but something was not going to go well. So, Lawrence became my home. I wrote about this before.  My shift from Iowa to Kansas. But Garden State  stuck with me. I had to buy a copy. I had to own the soundtrack. Every so often, it made me feel better. It's the idea that you do what you want to in life, you do the important things and you spend time with the important people. And you do your best and sometimes it still sucks. But you have to hold on to the good moments and the laughter.

But something in the last year and a half changed. The move felt different. I had the realization that most of the characters in the movie are about 26 years old. I am 26. I am no longer a 19-year-old college student.  Other than that, I can't say for sure what else was different about the viewing of this movie. I still laughed, I was still sad during the melancholy moments. But there was a tone to the movie, a different layer, that I understood. The characters seemed more like peers; not the grown-ups I had thought them to be when I was 19. I can unequivocally say I was viewing the movie as an adult.

Definitely still my favorite movie.

"I know it hurts. That's life. If nothing else, It's life. It's real, and sometimes it fuckin' hurts, but it's sort of all we have."

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

"You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces – my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined. The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren't able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It's called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful. It isn’t possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel to everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day. To you I simply say: you know." -Elizabeth Edwards


""You know, you really have two choices here. . . . Either you push forward with the things you were doing yesterday, or you start dying [and] let cancer win before it needed to," she told CBS News anchor Katie Couric. "I don't want to do that. I want to live.""


"For many months, she visited Wade's grave site every day. She took him his SAT score when it arrived after his death. She read him books from his classmates' school reading list, she said in her memoir. It was after his death that she, who had always used her own family name professionally, became Elizabeth Edwards.

"I took my son's name," she told Ms. magazine in 2004. "I didn't take my husband's name."

[www.washingtonpost.com]

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Giving up cable. And the internet?!

Real conversation I'm overhearing right now:
Person 1: "I'm convinced I'd be better off without cable television and the internet"
Person 2: "I'll give you the cable but not the internet".

I can attest to not having cable. I'm fine without it. I read more. I watch movies. And ya know, it's pretty easy to watch a lot of what's on tv online.

But the real question, is can our society really function without internet at this point? If you're reading this (especially during the day) you're probably at work and need it for some function of your job. I couldn't go without it professionally. And I like connecting with people online (this blog, for instance. And Twitter!)

Could you go without using the internet for personal (non-work) use?!





Another snippet from the same convo: "I did breakdown and watch Glee last night..." ha!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

#30!!!

This, ladies and gentlemen, is post number thirty for the month of November. As you can see by the fancy, flashy, shiny new badge on the left side of my post.

Right here
<----
No, down a bit more.

Isn't it fun?! And kind of snarky/sarcastic?! Love it.

I also love that I made it to the end of the month with 30 posts! I didn't quite get one posted every day but I doubled up several days to make up for it. 30 posts, 30 days. Never done before by this blog.

I hope you've enjoyed them! Some were silly and done with very little effort and some of them meant a lot. This one, too. And this one, definitely.

I don't think I could have done it without blogging pressure (only the good kind, of course) from Debbi, Amerika, Jenn and Eric. It really is true it's easier to do things with others. There were quite a few other people doing NaBloPoMo and I hope there are even more if we do it in February!

Edited to add: my friend Megan in Japan was just 5 posts away! So close!
And another Megan (in Lawrence) was part of the fun, too.

But can you believe it? December is tomorrow. TOMORROW!

What I'm excited about in December:
  • my goal of commenting more on other blogs
  • working on my own website (this is a maybe or a Jan/Feb sort of thing- my computer access is limited in a few weeks)
  • spending Christmas with this goofy guy
  • the first snow fall (I LIKE snow. Don't hate.)
  • holiday baking fest 2010
  • hopefully, a possible job interview (my grandma and I keep dreaming about it - that's gotta mean something, right?!)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Amazing Grace

Tonight the girl scout troop I volunteer with had a music event on the KU campus. They went and learned about music, made musical instruments, learned about composition, learned about different types of instruments. They also made music. It was so sweet to hear this group of girls sing "Amazing Grace".

The one time I remember singing "Amazing Grace" was ten years ago. I had gone with my girl scout troop (yes, I was 15) to Philmont - the boy scout camp in New Mexico. The last morning of our 10-day hiking and camping trip we woke at 3am and hiked about two hours to our last high spot. As we watched the sun rise, we sang "Amazing Grace". I'm not sure what it was about the moment. It may have just been so amazing we were compelled to sing the most beautiful song we could think of. It is definitely on my top 5 favorite moments in life list.

Monday, Monday

This semester (yes, I work at a university, thus time is measured by semesters...) I have been working in another department on Monday mornings. I have to drag the laptop to this office as well as my purse and bag of food for breakfast and lunch for the rest of the week. Oh, and my coffee.

This morning, it was quite the load on the crowded bus. 

This being my first day back to work, the productivity seems low. It usually kind of is on Monday. Unless I have a bunch of appointments. Forced productivity, I guess.

Mondays aren't anything special, really.



But they used to be...

Nine months ago, a friend hit up The Sandbar when she was waiting for her son to be done with an art class downtown. A couple of us joined her. She went again the next few weeks and a few more of us came. This was in February and I think we all just needed out of the house. Then the spring and summer months came and what better way to enjoy the warmer months then on the patio?

The group of us that always went got a little busy. And got a little low on cash so we haven't gone in some time. I expect us to need to get out of the house in February again so that might be our next Margarita Monday evening.

It sure did help make Mondays more special.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A word on National Blog Posting Month...

28 days into National Blog Posting Month (this is post #27) and a few thoughts about it.

It's been nice to have a group of people (via Twitter) helping with the encouragement. Nice to "report" to someone even if, I'm pretty sure, they aren't going to Fail me in life if I don't post something.
It's nice to have (just a bit of) pressure to constantly be thinking about ideas for blog posts - even if they're not the most compelling of stories.

But has this helped with getting comments (I love feedback): not really. I think what has helped is actually posting the blog links to twitter. I wasn't really doing that before (because sharing is scary sometimes!) And with more posting, it does seem like there have been more comments - but only in relation to the amount of blogs I post. I'm not getting dramatically increased comments per blog.

Have I devoted more time to reading other blogs? This past week, I've tried. I've really tried to keep on blog reading. But I didn't work! I had lots of free time. This month I did attempt to make more comments on blogs when I was reading posts. Because who doesn't love comment love? I know I do!

What do you get out of posting or sharing more blog entries? What has National Blog Posting Month done for you? What do you think we should do differently (this is aimed to the group who plans to participate again) in February?

Girl Scout cookies!

Hey Lawrence!

Wanted to let you know you can get girl scout cookies this week! No, you don't have to pre-order... you can get the ACTUAL cookies!

Location is at the 23rd Street Hy-Vee - we will be selling next to the Christmas trees!

There are two troops - one group of brownies, one group of juniors - so come out and support local girl scouts! Part of the proceeds of every box go to the individual troop and part go to the local council.

Make sure you are briefed on current (including some new!) girl scout cookies. Samoas are my favorite!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sweet, cherry pie

I am making a cherry pie for my my (2nd) Thanksgiving dinner this weekend, which is this afternoon with my mom's side of the family.

It's my favorite. I think, before too long, I will make a cherry pie from scratch, even if that means pitting the cherries myself, because I don't think  buying pie crusts and cherry filling really counts as homemade even if I do put it in the oven myself.

I credit my cherry pie (my favorite of the pie varieties) love to the cherry tree that grew in my neighbors yard when I was growing up. It was definitely a tree in his yard but much of the tree hung over the fence between the properties and over the driveway next to my house growing up. Dan, my neighbor, let my sister and I pick cherries when they were ready and we would take heaping bowls home. My mom sometimes made fresh pie and sometimes we would pit them and eat them fresh. It is definitely one of those warm childhood memories I know will continue to be the reason for my choice in pie.

But now to look for that perfect cherry pie... this one looks like a winner.

escape

I won't get into too much detail -- who needs to hear about other people's family drama, really? -- about how Thanksgiving went on my Dad's side of the family. It was good! And then it wasn't. Isn't that always how it works? Everyone is manageable until someone reaches the tipping point with the number of alcoholic beverages and says something stupid. And that one comment is the igniter for the blow up.

*sigh*

I never know from which way it's coming either. My dad. My sister. My mom. My aunt. Odds are usually in one or two family members' favors but you never quite know. This time, it sucked, but really, it wasn't a surprise. And that's the sad thing.

It's like a scary movie: you expect it, you just don't know when it's coming. And it freaks you out. But you can't say you didn't know it was coming.

This has made me want to scurry back to Lawrence ASAP. At my first available opening. In this instance, it's tonight. After the 2nd Thanksgiving dinner of the weekend has been prepared, eaten and cleared away. After most of the family has left the clubhouse at my mom's condo. It will probably be dark but ces't la vie.

It also makes me consider my Christmas plans a bit differently. Instead of trying to please others, I'm going to do what I want. And spend it with who I want to be with most.

But for this weekend, I'll be escaping from all the family time. Escaping to Lawrence. Escaping to home.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Packing

A couple months ago I was at my Grandma's visiting. She was preparing to pack her suitcase for a cruise on the shores of New England and southeast Canada. She was fretting about what to bring, if she would have enough luggage space and if she would have enough outfits for all her days on the cruise ship. I finally asked her "why don't you just start putting all the things you want in the suitcase and see what happens?!" I then proceeded to pack her suitcase for her.

I was amused because my grandma has been going on bus trips, cruises, month-long stays in northern Minnesota  for years (last year she went to China!). She's been travelling for more years than I've been alive. I told her she had "more experience packing then I did". She responded that she did not and that my grandpa had done all her packing for her when he was alive (this is my grandpa who died in 2004).

As I continued packing she told me that one time she forgot to pack his underwear and he did all the packing after that one time; she was just supposed to lay out what she wanted and he would pack it for her. I'm not sure why, but I thought this was adorable. I called my sister and told her - she was very amused as well. We thought back to how, before my grandparents two month trips to Minnesota, there would be stuff ALL over their house. It was because my grandma prepared it all and my grandpa packed it all. I'm not sure why this has stuck with me.

So really, my grandma went almost 50 years without packing her own suitcase and has just been responsible for packing herself for a few years. I guess I am better at it than she is.

me

I am thankful to be the kind of person who can appreciate people despite their flaws, recognizes people as individuals and hates individuals who are not genuine (even if I can't always recognize it right away). I like that I don't necessarily always say what I think, but if I say it, it's probably true. I'm thankful I know there's more to life than being skinny (although I'd like to be).

I'm thankful for the people in my life who love me because of (or despite) these things. Because without the people in my life I depend on, none of the above would even matter.

I am thankful that, even though I love to shop, I am not one to do it at 5am on a holiday weekend. Happy Black Friday everyone! If you've got money (I don't), please spend it (I wish I could) - the improving economy can only help all of us!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Writing from my grandma's kitchen in Des Moines. I just helped her with the turkey and it is now in the oven. Drinking some coffee and looking through the ads (stack is twice as large as the actual paper). I don't think I can actually afford anything but hoping to get an idea of what to get my Dad for Christmas. He's always the hardest to shop for. I can never tell if he likes what I get him. He should be over soon to my grandma's soon and we'll start the other food for our planned 3:30 feast.

Did I mention the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade is on?

Turkey, parade, cold weather. I'm a fan of tradition. Especially when so many people across the country are doing the same thing.

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

home

"Andrew Largeman: You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn't really your home anymore? All of a sudden even though you have some place where you put your shit, that idea of home is gone.
Sam: I still feel at home in my house.
Andrew Largeman: You'll see one day when you move out it just sort of happens one day and it's gone. You feel like you can never get it back. It's like you feel homesick for a place that doesn't even exist. Maybe it's like this rite of passage, you know. You won't ever have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it's like a cycle or something. I don't know, but I miss the idea of it, you know. Maybe that's all family really is. A group of people that miss the same imaginary place."


-From Garden State, my favorite movie (Phil, did you really add this one to you Netflix queue? I was serious about this one...)

As I was traveling to Des Moines this afternoon, I was thinking about home. Ten years ago, I lived in a house with my mom, dad and sister. We lived in the house I had lived in since I was two years old. West Des Moines, Iowa was the only place I had known as home.

Now, I have lived for the majority of the past seven years in Lawrence, Kansas. First it was just my college town; my college town that I anxiously returned to from weekends at my home in Iowa. But my Iowa "home" had changed. My parents divorced right after I graduated high school. Too many memories existed in the house we lived in when we were a whole family. My parents sold it and move on to other places. These places I've visited on my returns to Des Moines on holidays and school breaks. But these places were not my home.

Now when I'm home I always try to stay with my grandma at least one night - this has been my family's home for something like 50 years. The paint is more colorful, the futon in the "pit" (office/spare bedroom/tv room) is brand new and probably much more comfortable then the four-inch mattress in the old hide-a-bed but it is still my the closest thing I have to my "home" when I'm in my home state.

Now, my home has become the college town where I have lived the past seven years. Semesters went by and I found the shortcuts through town, the weekends to avoid Target (move-in weekend!), my favorite coffee spot, favorite Monday night margarita stop, favorite bar on a Saturday night. Some friends have moved on, some of those friends I no longer speak to. But some friends became family.

Now I learn and love and grow in Lawrence. Once my college town. Now my home.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

friends

Had a chat with my friend, Erin, the other night about friendships having a "purpose". Notably, once having moved on in a friendship, being able to recognize what that friend brought you or what you learned from them? It may seems selfish. to "get something" from a friend. But you do.

Sometimes these friends bring you to other people; important people in your life. Sometimes you learn something about yourself. You learn about others. You learn something about how you are compared to other people. You learn what you love about yourself and you learn what you don't like about yourself. Sometimes you don't figure this out until a friendship is over. And sometimes, because of past friendships, you figure out how to get over more recent-past friendships sooner. Because you realize, sometimes, there are friendships that aren't healthy. Friends you won't know forever. Friends sometimes are around for awhile before you realize their value. Realize, you WILL know them your whole life.



So, what do you get from your friends? Do you become your best around them? Because you should.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wordless Weekend


My favorite picture I've taken this year. Best time of day :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Kitty Snores on Saturdays

I've spent far too long in bed today. But, it's a Saturday and I have the next week off from work.

And I'm catching up on my Google reader. And listening to my cat, Emmy, snore. It's really quite adorable.

And planning my late afternoon of errands. Cat food (they're spoiled, I tell you, spoiled!) and exchanging birthday shoes for the right size and a stroll along Mass Street on a beautiful November day. There may even be some hand-holding (if I'm lucky).

November really is the best month.



*Second post today. Why? Because I've missed at least 4 days of NaBloPoMo. So, instead of 1 post actually posted every day, I hope to have a post to represent every day in November. 31. 30. (Who actually thinks there is 31 days in November?!?! *bewildered glance* Not this girl!)

Gift time!

I love giving gifts. I especially love finding a gift I know is perfect for someone.

This year, I hope the majority of my holiday gifts come from these places:

http://www.charitablegiftgiving.com/

or

http://coolpeoplecare.org/

or

http://www.lawrence.com/news/2010/nov/18/need-presents-try-some-lawrence-originals-and-give/
Most of my family is in Iowa so I think bringing some local Lawrence wine (Holy Field) or treats is unique, too. Something they don't get everyday.

or anything on etsy.com. Anything there is going to be unique and I like the idea of supporting someone making their own creations and doing their own thing.

Another addition: I just discovered LOLA. Their Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=136574016393582

Thursday, November 18, 2010

50 Years of Love

On October 1, my grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Seventeen days later, on October 18, my grandpa died from heart failure.

None of us expected him to go. He was in the hospital. He had been in the hospital off and on with heart problems for years.

During the visitation, I arrived at the funeral home and sat with my grandma after she watched the slideshow and looked at the board full of beautiful pictures that, for the most part, reflected the life they shared together for just over 50 years. My grandma had just recently left a rehabilitation facility because she had fallen and broken some ribs. As she shifted in her seat, she winced. I asked her "do you need anything, do you hurt?"

Her response: "the only thing that hurts is my broken heart."

I squeezed her hand in mine. What could I say to that? My heart ached more at that moment than it had over the past 11 days.

During the service, I learned my grandma only agreed to go out with my grandpa when she learned he was not already married. Perhaps a sign of the times? It was 1960 after all and she already had 3 daughters from a previous marriage. (They are really my half-aunts, really, who I didn't realize were my half-aunts until I was 15. After the initial shock of this family news, nothing really changed. They are a part of our family and called my grandpa "dad" even thought he was not their biologically father.) My sister and I looked at each other in surprise when we learned our grandparents met and were married just 5 weeks later. My grandparents argued, what seemed like, all the time. He teased her and pushed just the right buttons to make her scowl and exclaim "Jack!"

But they had love. For more than 50 years.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Do I have to?

I'm writing this because I committed to writing every day for the month of November and I've already missed 2 days and need to make them up.

But do I feel like writing? No way. I want to go to bed and pretend all the bad, paranoid, crazy thoughts from today would just disappear. Nothing bad happened. I think I just got exhausted. It hit me at once. And my brain was weak, allowing all the bad and negative thoughts to take control. All the stress eats away at all the happy things from the day and buries the memories of any fun and laughter.

So I need to sleep and dream all the negative away.

What do you do when you're down?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Movie Monday: "mom, can I get a dragon?"

I saw it in theaters and just watched it with my roommate on dvd: "How to Train Your Dragon".

Great movie. Everyone (even without having to use kids as an excuse) should see it. I laughed. I cried. I wanted to call and ask my mom if she would get me a dragon for Christmas.

A Night Fury, of course.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Where do you spend your Sunday mornings?

If you're like me, Sunday mornings are for lying in bed and reading or tweeting or cooking breakfast.
On occasion, Sunday mornings are for errands and productivity. This morning was one of my productive mornings. As I drove down Lawrence Avenue to get to my recycling center and PetCo, I passed a church. The parking lot was full of cars. These cars, I assume, had carried families or couples or friends to their place of worship.

Growing up, I never attended church regularly. Both my parents were raised in homes that attended church. I don't know why -- maybe someday I'll ask -- but they never took my sister and I to church. I have gone on occasion with my grandparents and friends but I just don't think I need church. I'm sure some of you (no matter what religion) may thing that is strange. But if you grew up with it, wouldn't whatever religion you practice actually be a part of who you are and your beliefs? Just as if you were (or were not) taught to value recycling or to treat people different from you with respect, you learned (even if you had to be dragged to church or where ever) to value religion and that experience and tradition.

I don't think having a religion is bad, but I just don't think it is a necessary part of my set of values. I've learned to forgive people, I respect people (until they do something to lose it) and, most importantly, I believe I am a good person. Not perfect, but good. I try to do the right thing and treat people well. It's a work in progress but I don't think going to church every Sunday will make that suddenly easy.

Sometimes growing up, I felt left out because my family did not attend church. But I don't think it's because I was missing out on practicing a religion but because I was not doing something so many other people were doing. But realizing that difference, I knew that was not the reason to start going to church. The one person who made me wish I was religious is my grandpa. He knew we didn't go to church and he didn't love me less, but I just wonder what it would have been like to share more of that with him. And to know, what exactly he got from the Bible. We shared many of the same characteristics: sense of humor, caring, loyal. It also seemed like we shared the same common sense and practical nature. And that common sense and practicality is where I just don't think I can jump into a religion without having known it growing up and instilled in me. My grandpa, I think, did grow up with religion and that probably made a big difference. But maybe having such practicality, some people need that something else; that need to explain all the unexplainable. To explain or help understand what they can't control. I would think I need that, too. But maybe my rational side knows that not everything can be explained and there are sometimes just not any answers.

What do you do on Sunday mornings?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A word about renting...

Moving sucks.
Moving every year (or more) for 7 years sucks.

Dishonest landlords and shady "stories" suck even more.

This eloquent, thoughtful and vocabulary-rich NaBloPoMo blog entry brought to you by Bailey.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Where are you?

In my last semester of college as I spent my non-free time searching for jobs, I searched in a couple main locations: Lawrence, Kansas City, Des Moines and Seattle.

Lawrence and Kansas City offered me a non-moving transition into adulthood; Des Moines is where my family is located (I was prepared to move back there when, 2 months post-grad, I still had no job); and Seattle? I visited once and loved it. Thinking about it now, I don't think a big city is where I want to live. I *love* to visit (NYC with my Grandma two years ago was a blast and both coasts needs more of my travel attention) but I grew up in the Midwest and I think this is where I want to stay, for now at least.

Lawrence, Kansas has become my second home and I love what I have here.

 But does anyone else have that place where you just imagine yourself fitting into perfectly? I am pretty sure I would rock at life in Colorado. All my friends there would have to be cool with hiking and camping and skiing (well, teaching me how to ski) Every. Single. Weekend.

I would spend all my money on yearly park-permits and sweet camping equipment. I would have to have an SUV (hybrid, for the earth-saving side of me) to haul around all my gear. I would make everyone come visit me because, seriously, why would I want to leave?*

Where are you?



*Okay, I would still leave. I still need to visit Italy and drink lots of wine. But that's a whole other blog post!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Prompted, and inspired, by Alexia.

I want perfectly crimson, crimson nails. Capable of sassy hand gestures but also warm and loving caresses. I want messy, shiny hair. I want to laugh without worries. I want surprises, the good ones that cause unending excitement. I also want boring days of doing nothing but exactly what I want.                                        
I want hands making waves outside the car window. I want an ocean beach sun tan line and rosy cheeks from the cool mountain air.
I want to know everything will be okay but I don't want to know everything that happens.
I want to be able to write everything, but only the important things. I want to write with no fear. Write as if it's the only thing keeping me alive.

I want to do everything but I want to only do and experience what I love.

Veterans Day

Stopped by Hy-Vee this morning before work to get some breakfast and lunch for the office this week.
They had a sign up that they would be offering veterans free breakfast on Veterans Day (tomorrow).

I kept looking at the sign as I walked towards the entrance and thought, "huh, I really like that".

It seemed simple and I couldn't quite place my approval of this offer on anything in particular. Later in the morning it hit me. This wasn't a Hy-Vee junk food extravaganza in which all junk food is 50% off for everyone.* It's a meal. On Veterans Day. To honor VETERANS for their service. Why do all the other places have "SALES" for everyone on a day when we should be thanking our veterans?  We don't.

So please "other stores". Stop using Veterans Day as a sales gimmick. It's rather distasteful.

Nice work, Hy-Vee.

B

*As far as I know, there has never been a junk food extravaganza at Hy-Vee. I just made that up for dramatic effect.

edited to add:

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Bliss of Laugher

@laughing_bones suggested I blog about what made me laugh today (when I complained I didn't know what to blog about a few minutes ago). I know I laughed but nothing particularly note- (or blog-) worthy that I can recall.

But it did remind me of how I'm "Finding Bliss". I won't lie, I was uptight and worried a lot when I was in high school and definitely in college. I worried that I wasn't doing the right thing and that people didn't like me or I was making a fool out of my self. I still do sometimes but I know that worrying can overcome the fun and enjoyment in life. Worrying about the person you irritates you isn't going to let me laugh more. Or have a good day.

So, I won't waste time on people who are rude. Who are irritating. Who feel the need to analyze and complain ALL. THE. TIME. I'm all for complaining and letting off a little steam but I am aware of myself now when doing this and I hope to limit how much of it I do.

Because I'd rather laugh. 

Monday, November 08, 2010

Morning Bliss

I was wide awake and checking my email (in bed) at 6:10 this morning. It was one of those random mornings that I actually kept my eyes open and didn't rely on my 7:30am internal clock that kicks me out of bed so I can hurriedly get ready for work.

My mind remembered the time change that occurred early Sunday. Processing... my mind knows it is 6am but my body thinks it is 7am. Win for this time change!

I can only hope this sticks. It's not so much that I'm not a morning person - once I am up, I can be pretty efficient - but it's actually convincing myself I am awake enough to actually get out of bed that is the HUGE challenge.

Almost a year ago I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Basically, a low production of some hormones were (among other things)  possibly making me sluggish and contributing to a slow metabolism. I can't say what exactly the medication has done for me except for making me crazy hungry the first few days I was on it, due to  the increasing metabolism. I do know, the few days I was off it because I didn't have my prescription refilled, I felt like a crazy emotional mess. Yet, somehow depressed at the same time.

But this diagnosis/medication has not been giving me the energy to WAKE UP in the morning when my alarm(s) go off. Maybe my body just likes the (formerly) 7am wake up time. I hope it keeps liking this 6am wake up time because I liked having time to make coffee, do yoga and start this blog post before I ever had to leave for work!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Weekend Bliss

I got a lot of really good living in this weekend.

Slept in and had a lazy Saturday morning (good start to the birthday, I think!), had lunch with friends, got a free giant iced chai at Dunn Brothers (I love the birthday freebies!), pampered myself at home and got all pretty for a birthday dinner with an awesome guy and then a night out on the town with a fun group of friends.

Today, had a delicious Wheatlfield's brunch, volunteered with the girl scouts at Hidden Valley (yupp, those are my sore muscles whimpering from the mulch pushing), and learned a new skill: HTML and CSS (for web coding and design).

It went by so quickly I'm a little amazed it's after 10pm on Sunday evening!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Hmm...

What do you say when you get home 10 minutes before midnight and now you have just 3 minutes to post something before you miss TWO whole days of blogging?!

You good night and sleep tight!

And Happy Birthday Eve to me!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

I know, Bliss right?!

So, things, as mentioned in previous entries, have been tough lately.

But see the title of my blog? finding bliss.


I think my goal of NaBloPoMo will be just that. finding bliss.


Because yeah, things aren't easy. But things are never easy. Some years/months/days are worse than others. But there are also years/months/days that are better than others.

And this year, though not over and which started out NotThatFun, will go down as a pretty stellar year. And I should focus on the positive. Makes me a happier, less hateful person.

So, in no particular order, the people that make my life rock:

Though my job is, ahem, challenging, I have amazing coworkers. I wish I could work with them forever (do I sound like a 13-year old girl?)

My roommate is awesome. We didn't meet until the day we moved in together (yay craigslist) on August 1, 2009. She's been a wonderful person to have in my life (and my house - both houses!)

I'm on good terms with my family. I actually feel closer to them then I have in a long time. That happens when you need them and they are there for you. And when you're honest with each other.

My friends are stellar:
My high school (shoot, I mean MIDDLE school) buds: Ashlee and Lindsey.
My friends from college: Becca (we have awesomely ridiculous gmail chats), Miss Rissky(who is like my personal philosopher), Ryan (and his new bride Laura), Megan (though she is far away in Japan), and Becky (who I just don't see enough)
My twitter buds: Caroline, Erin, Debbi, Amerika
Oh, and without going into ridiculously cute overload, my boyfriend rocks, too :)

Writing this made me smile.
finding bliss.



Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Should have known...

It's been a tough few months. So as much as this NaBloPoMo (for me) should be about creativity and exploring different types of writing, figuring out what type of writer I want to be and creating a consistent writing platform, it certainly hasn't been the time for me to make a plan. So, what exactly have I been doing? Considering a new job, finding new jobs, getting increasingly hateful towards my current job, appreciating my coworkers making the current job worth standing.

Over the weekend, I also was in Iowa celebrating my grandpa's life with my family. It was a long, hard weekend. And there's so many things I could wish to express to my grandpa and to my family and things people told me about my him. I just don't think I'm at the point to share quite yet.

Monday, November 01, 2010

NaBloPoMo

Writing a blog post every day for a month (30 days) shouldn't be hard, right?! RIGHT?!

My (local-ish or one-time local-ish) partners in crime:
Phera
Debbi
SuperJenn

Are you playing, too? Let me know - I'll add you!

Good luck ladies!

Edit to add:
The Flying Fork (blog from Lawrence, KS, too!)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Do we really need another fitness/health/work out blog?

I don't know.  But I'm thinking about making another one anyway.

I'm going to cancel/suspend my gym membership this week. Sometimes, I'm really good about going. Sometimes, I'm not. I know I need to work out. It makes me feel better. But in an effort to save money ( I think we all know that's a whole other story) I'm thinking about making the commitment to work out using free resources. Sidewalks. My local tennis court. The exercise ball I just got from my grandma (I don't even think she ever used it and definitely not sure why she had it...). If nothing else, if I blog about it, tell people about it, maybe I'll even actually keep up and make physical activity a better habit of mine. The thing is, it's October (and just eight days until November). It's about to get cold. The outdoors won't be the best option for awhile. But, if forced to choose, I'd rather be outside when it's freezing than when it's 100 plus degrees out. So, I'll just have to be creative. And to Caroline and Jeff: NO, I WON'T start running!

Does that sound even remotely interesting? I'd like to think so. It would probably even detail my thoughts and struggles to eat all-natural/organic food.

Gawd, another one of THOSE blogs?

Yeah, I think so.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Humble Midwest

There's a reason those of us who live in the Midwest United States do. It is not for the ocean front property. It's not for quick mountain getaway. We do have our own landscape but I think it is only truly appreciated by those who have lived here.

Those on the coasts, perhaps, have no idea why we'd want to live here.

Our answers? There could be several: the people are nicer, the cost of living is lower, it's a better place to raise the kids.

My answer? The people are humble.

1hum·ble

: not proud or haughty : not arrogant or assertive
2
: reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission humble apology>
a : ranking low in a hierarchy or scale : insignificant, unpretentious b : not costly or luxurious humble contraption>
Now, I don't agree with insignificant but unpretentious and not arrogant, sure. And clearly, this is a generalization. There are complete jerks who live in the Midwest but I'd like to think they don't get that far here. (Naive thought, sure. But I like thinking positively.)
The last semester in college, I attended a recruitment event. It was not an interview, but I sat down with the recruiter from this company in Chicago and what he hold me has stuck. He goes to schools in the Midwest and he goes to school east of Chicago - in Indiana and farther East. What he observed, was that students at Midwest schools (specifically, KU with ots rockin' J-School) don't sell themselves enough. They are too humble. The students don't brag enough about themselves to the  recruiters. Especially, when compared to the students from IU, Notre Dame and others to the East. 

fascinating.

Is the Midwest as a whole suffering in securing jobs when in competition with those from other parts of the country and even possibly, the world? I can't answer that. But it's certainly something to think about while job hunting and preparing for interviews.  



It's a dark and stormy night...

and I'm hanging out with my boyfriend and my laptop.

Cover letters, job applications, research, music, twitter.

It's not an exciting night out but it is nice to just hang out and take care of some things without having to worry about going to work tomorrow.

Wrestling with the fact that I'm applying for jobs and I will probably be leaving my job soon (if I actually get hired). I like my job. I like the people I work with. They're just not paying me what they should. And if I can't pay my bills, I'm completely stressed. And that's not healthy.

I guess these are the choices are the hardest in life.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Grandpa Jack

My Grandpa Jack died on Tuesday night.

I wish he had visited me in Lawrence. Mostly, because I wished you all could have met him. I feel that everyone should have known him. A jokester with a wonderful and caring soul. He always seemed tall to me but he also always seemed larger than life.

A memorial service won't be held until next weekend. So I'll stay here since I'm busy at work and won't  be able to do much in Iowa with my family anyway. I say that and it seems harsh. Maybe I should go back sooner? I just don't know.

One thing I've learned about me over the past 36 hours is my ability to cope. I pulled it together and worked yesterday afternoon. I worked today. I thought about my grandpa but felt nothing. But now, unwinding at the end of a busy day, by myself in my house, the emotions are coming back. I guess that's the way I'm going to deal with it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

on the subject of registries...

Bed Bath and Beyond get points for free wedding gift wrapping.

Target gets points for having the aisle listed with every item on the registry.


Both need to get it together and incorporate what the other one does for pure wedding registry dominance.


Tales of a professional bridesmaid and wedding-goer. Can anyone offer me a book deal?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Here's an idea

Taking action over an injustice is MUCH more satisfying then complaining about it.

Maybe because I'm the sort of person who keeps adding to my list of things to do when life gets rough. But maybe because when you try to change something, it's much more likely you'll have an impact.

And no one likes a cry-baby.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

easy, right?

I think the goal in life is to do what you want to do every single day and figure out how to make money doing that.

If only that were as easy as typing this sentence.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Home and Perspective

"I looked at the canopy above us, and suddenly saw what he saw. My perspective completely shifted. I realized I didn't have his "eyes' -- though once he pointed it out, it became obvious. It made me think, "My God, I never look enough," and in the years since, I've tried very hard to look --and look again.""

The cable has been gone for less than 48 hours and I am already reading more. Above, is an excerpt from Julie Andrew's autobiography, "Home". I'm not a person who considered biographies often, but my grandma suggested I borrow it from her (and I often take what books my grandma thinks I should read). And while the reading has been slow going (before yesterday I don't think I had picked up the book in more than 3 weeks) I've really enjoyed it. If you think about her now, who doesn't absolutely adore Julie Andrews? Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, and the list goes on and on. 

I always thought I was one who saw things relatively well. I have always noticed the flowers along the road and the changing colors of the leaves but I think there are additional details, additional perspectives you see with different people, different experiences. And I'm glad I can still meet new people and learn new things from them. 

It's also interesting how your perspective of yourself changes. I think it's harder to view yourself objectively, too many internal feelings screwing up the brain process. This can be especially true as your growing and trying to figure out who you are as a person. For Julie Andrews, she could have never known the success she would have in entertainment; at the age of 17, she also didn't know she was talented enough to have a long-lasting career:

"In spite of the success of Cinderella, I still didn't feel that I would have an ongoing career. I could perform in radio, vaudeville, and pantomime -- but I felt that with Cinderella, my career had peaked."

So, what aren't you seeing? In yourself or in your surroundings?

Friday, October 08, 2010

How'd THAT get there?

As I left work today, I had to make sure I had the orange pen.

Orange? you ask. Why orange? Well, sometimes a horrific proof-reading job needs bright colors. And because I like to be consistent (makes me more in control, yes?!) I had to bring the orange pen home because I'm working from home this weekend.

But where in the world was the CAP to the orange pen? Not on the desk anywhere, not on the floor. Well, I had no idea so I grabbed the cap to the black pen. Because, black pens are boring anyway.

So, I'm home now, writing a blog post (not this one, one that I'll post tomorrow). Thinking about a nap to prepare for my big evening (big evening hanging out with the boyfriend's friends and their kids! So I'd rather not be sleepy!)

I adjust my bra and realize there's something in there. It's the damn cap for the orange pen!


-see post title-

Yeah, I have no idea.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

cable and books and words

Returned my cable box today. No more cable. The DVR was nice but the most important shows I watch (House, Glee, Dexter) I can watch online or via Netflix DVDs (thanks Phil!)

So, no more defaulting to turning on the tv when I want to DO something. I'll read a book (haven't done THAT in weeks!) or write. Or take a walk.

Good-bye sixty-some dollar cable bill-I won't miss you a bit!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Bridesmaids and Bangs













I'm using this picture to tell the story of my weekend. Literblog genius, right?

Have I mentioned that my (not real) goal in life is to become Katherine Heigl's character from 27 Dresses? Okay, that's a lie. But I'm making a good run at it. I kicked off my "you're an adult now and all your friends are getting married" time in my life last year. 4 weddings in 2009, 2 of which I was a bridesmaid. 3 weddings in 2010, 2 of which I was a bridesmaid. And I've still got a good handful of unmarried friends. I may soon have a closet dedicated to all my bridesmaids dresses!

So, this weekend, my friend/co-worker Denise got married in Lawrence. A LOVELY fall wedding. Fortunately, Denise had enough insight to let her bridesmaids (with the short dresses) wear a shrug of sorts over the dress. It was perfect (see above).

It had been MONTHS (actually, since the last wedding I was in ) since I had a hair-cut. I NEEDED a haircut. So, I gambled and made an appointment to have my hair cut at the cosmetology school in town for the morning of the wedding. I had been thinking about getting bangs. But do I risk it at the cosmetology school mere HOURS before I need to take pictures for the wedding? (These pictures last forever - you need to look good in them!)

I took a risk and got the bangs (again, see above. But know that I was being silly in that picture and they don't hang in my face like that). I love them. And my boyfriend likes my bangs. Not that he has to, because it's MY hair... but it's cute that he does.

And now I'm going to stop talking about the bangs. Because, you know, it's just hair.

Unrelated: I'm planning a pumpkin-carving, cider-drinking, apple-picking Fall Frenzy. SO excited! Love fall.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Today: I was called a "smart-ass" and a "millennial"...

... I was more upset about being called a millennial.

The beginning of this year was trying. This summer made up for the crappy first few months of 2010 and have moved it into the "awesome year" category.

Not that there are not still challenges. Dental bills are ridiculous and student loans are astronomical. It's crazy that I can have regrets about attending and paying for an out of state education yet still not regret coming to Lawrence, KS (I love living here and I have an incredible group of people that I know). But school loans are another post...

So, let's start from the beginning...

Work has been insane. I think our stress release has been to complain and make jokes to each other (and sometimes, not in the presence of certain others...) but I still fear we're all about to crack. Several of us have explicitly mentioned that we might (and probably are ) looking for other jobs. I can't say I don't agree... do you think the state of Kansas pays that well?

So, I walked into another part of the office, looking for a co-worker and my boss heard me, asked who it was and said "oh, another one of our smart-asses" (!!!)  I went in there and asked what I had done. I certainly was guilty of a few jokes/pranks in the office, but thought I had been pretty good lately. She assured me she meant it in the best way possible and it was actually a pretty hilarious moment.

Later, after the day of meetings and a presentation and general annoyance about work/finances I stopped into see some people I worked with when I was a student. Let's just say, I went to the wrong place for sympathy. "Not enough pay and too much work?" I was asked. Well, yeah. Exactly. If you find yourself in that situation, you try and resolve it. I don't have enough money to pay all my bills and don't want to be totally stressed out by the amount of money that goes to overdraft fees.

Basically, now I'm a whiny millennial. And having that conversation made me more whiny.

I don't think it's wrong to want to NOT be in a place where you can't buy ANYTHING for 4 days because your credit cards are maxed out and your bank account is in the red. Finances will only become more complicated with a family and I'd like to be financially stable before I begin that process. Is that too much to ask for?

I don't think so.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dear Wendy: "Are Men Turned Off By Strong Women?" | The Frisky

Dear Wendy: "Are Men Turned Off By Strong Women?" | The Frisky




Recently, I was talking with a male friend at a party about my most recent relationship and why things maybe didn’t work out between me and the guy I had been seeing. He looked at me and said: “Frankly, you are too much of an alpha male.” Yes, I’m a strong, confidant women, and I’m willing to admit that I can be rough around the edges, but once you get to know me I’m a great, caring person with a lot to offer. I can’t help but wonder when being a confidant, independent and powerful woman became such a bad thing to men? When did taking care of myself and not being a pushover become such a bad thing to the opposite sex? — Alpha She-male
It’s not. Find some new guys to hang out with and you’ll see how weak-in-the-knees a woman like you can make an equally strong, confidant man.


Yes, yes and yes. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

My alarm is my best friend

I woke up over an hour earlier than I usually do because the cats were rummaging around in my closet. After shooing them out, I realized my head and nose were stuffy. A cold? Welcome to Friday? So, I'm awake now, writing a blog post before I even go to work and hoping the coffee I brewed today is magic. And by magic, I mean laced with cold-killing drugs.

I honestly wish I was a person who woke up and could just spend time drinking coffee, eating a bowl of cereal and reading blogs while getting ready for work every morning instead of rushing around. I normally hit my alarm for well over 30 minutes. I just CAN'T wake up or get out of bed. I know I have to and it would be SO much easier if I had more than 30 minutes to get ready. But I can't.

Anyone have any tips? Besides just being late to work?

Happy Friday?

P.S. Is it just really cruel to be sick on a Friday? I have things to do this weekend! Final Fridays downtown, celebrating a friend's birthday, Band Day parade with the girl scout troop I volunteer for and roasting coffee beans!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

give me a break technology!

My friend Erin's birthday surprise (cupcakes!) was almost ruined when I thought she was going to read the blog yesterday while in the car on the way to her birthday celebration! YES, the cupcakes were in the back seat of my car and YES they were creating a lovely, cupcake-y aroma.

How did she almost ruin it, you ask?! Stupid, stupid technology. I had tweeted about "blog vomiting" earlier in the evening and she asked if I had posted it and where. I responded "blogger" without thinking about the very, very smart android phone in her hand. I told her "don't look at it! it's a surprise!". She asked "why?" I responded "ooh, look it's lightening!" She wasn't distracted as I thought she would be but I was able to move the conversation away from the blog and the imminent cupcake surprise.

grr

I've worked hard for the past two years and I should be on top of everything. Paying the bills I need to, not bouncing any more checks, no more overdraft fees. But no. I had to get a car payment. Dental bills are out of control.

Things don't have to be perfect. And I don't need $5,000 in savings for any decorating whim or travel adventure I want.

But not having to worry about how to pay for the next tank of gas or "making it to pay day" is NOT where I thought I'd be two years out of school. I don't need everything.I just need enough.

/frustrated

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cupcakes and birthdays and tv and family and argghhh.

Friend Erin's birthday is today -she's off teaching a class- so it's okay for me to reveal that I'm making cupcakes to take when we go to The Sandbar for some drinks! It's a school/work night so hopefully, things don't get too crazy. Or maybe, I will just call in sick. KIDDING BOSS! I mean, I HAVE like 20 sick days stacked up (let's not even talk about my 33 vacation days) but who needs a day off work? Not THIS woman!

Work is nuts - new leadership and new initiatives are making our office a little crazy. We're kicking off lots of new things in the next few weeks and it will be interesting to see how they go. Plus we had someone leave and I've taken over 1/2 her job through the end of the year (at least). Which means an awesome raise and/or bonus, right?! HA! At a state job? You didn't think I was serious, did you?

For whatever reason, even though I had missed what I thought was a large chunk of last season's House, I had to watch the premiere.Because, oh em gee: Huddy. Those two crazy kids finally got together. Thankfully, my DVR had it scheduled to record because I watched the first 10 minutes another TWO times since last night. Romantic. And hot. Apparently, I'm a sucker for couples that don't get together right away. Takes them FOREVER to finally realize what the want is right there: Scully and Mulder. Josh and Donna. Love. It. And, considering this summer's events, kind of funny/ironic, too.

My grandma fell and broke her hip last Friday morning. I didn't know until Sunday afternoon. Over FORTY-EIGHT hours later. As her favorite grandchild, I was DISTURBED to find out anything had even happened due to my sister's Facebook status. That should not even be a fathomable sentence. Possibly the first time I've thought- hey, who needs this Facebook anyhow? (I just NOW had this thought... so we'll see.) She'll be fine and out of the hospital by the end of the week and really, she's probably still just mad that it even happened. She's firery like that. And sassy. Which in no way has rubbed off on her oldest (and did I mention favorite?!) grandchild.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'd rather fold laundry

Tonight, I need to go home and call my dad. I have to ask him for $1,000. I have a ridiculous dental situation. Worst mix of genetics and happenstance I've ever known. And sadly, the once "who needs "$1700 a year in dental work" dental insurance is now far short of what I need (and the getting away so I can be independent has me paying back ridiculous out-of-state student loans on a salary from the place I earned that degree and that independence).

I've needed to call my dad since Sunday. He probably has the money. If he does, he'll give it to me. But I don't want to have the NEED to ask for it. A bit part of moving away and going to college and getting a job was to be INDEPENDENT. I've wanted to be independent since probably the age of 6 or 7 when I learned what the word meant.

I've had several things to do this week on my list. Might be the weather or just tasks I don't want to do but the remaining ones includes folding the 5 piles of laundry on my couch and calling my dad. I'm the kind of person who will do things I don't like doing before doing things I REALLY don't like doing.

I will probably fold the laundry first.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

la la la lalala

Good weekend. Great weekend. Probably Top 10. Maybe Top 5?
Today was ridiculously lazy. Slept in. Watched the weirdest movie I've seen in awhile. (seriously, "You, Me And Everyone We Know" is the weirdest movie you will watch this year, I guarantee it). Made a trip to the grocery store looking fairly grungy (hey! I brushed my teeth) for eggs and bacon. Then made said eggs and bacon. And, you guessed it, had a delicious brunch. At 2:30 in the afternoon. That's what Sundays are for, right?

I've finally caught up on my google reader (there was some READ ALL use, sorry guys!) and I hope to be around more. I forgot how much I love the blogs of the people I read. You people are interesting! And it's a nice reminder that even someone I have never "met" is going through the same type of life trials that I am familiar with. It's life, huh?

In my catch ups, I've been trying to pay attention to people who have a twitter account. I'm trying to make a rockin' list of my favorite bloggers who tweet. Because if I like your blog, I bet you're just as funny/awesome in 140 characters. And I am an uber-twitter fan :)

www.twitter.com/bailann

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Here I Am

Have you ever been to a place that just amazes you?

Maybe it's a place. For me, a physical place would be the mountains. I love a good view with mountains and trees and sky and space. But the ocean, too. Endless. And peaceful yet powerful.

But then there's another location, that if are truly amazed by, life seems brilliant and beautiful and limitless. It's that place, in your mind, where you've realized you have and are exactly what you want at this moment. It's not perfection. Nothing ever will be. But it's handling the imperfections the best you can. Smiling and laughing every chance you get.

I think it's the approaching fall that has me inspired and appreciating everything. Life seems more free, more in MY control. The summer heat always makes me feel trapped and immovable. Even just this brief cooler weather is a release. I can stretch more. Do more. Be capable of anything. Everything. It's a new beginning. For me this year, not really because of a new school semester. But a change in season means new goals and a new mindset. I can be whoever I want to be.

Not that I want to be a totally different person. This just seems to be the best time to make the changes I want. I truly believe you can make a concentrated effort to improve yourself every day - even if it's tiny and you're picking at a mountain with a spoon - but this season, it seems the changes I want can happen instantly.

So, I'm here at 25 years old, knowing how I got here but still blown away by what my life has brought me. It hasn't been easy, but that's made everything that much worthwhile. And I can't wait to see where else I go.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Summer '10

So, another summer going by way too quickly. And this bothers me even though:
a) I still work the same schedule. Damn, that whole "adult" thing.
b) I hate, hate HATE the Kansas summer, specifically, the humidity. Jetpack to September, please? October, since I'm wishing for things!

But it's been a fun summer. Float trips and camping and drinks on The Sandbar patio and staying up too late having some fun with a hilarious group of friends.

And perceptions have changed. It's surreal how the way you view someone can change so quickly. And as much as I believe in life happening based on the decisions you make, it's almost comforting to realize that people and events sometimes get in your way for a reason. A reason, you don't quite understand or know. Because sometimes you have to learn a few lessons before you can recognize something.

Happy summer.

Friday, July 16, 2010

He's just awkward

My sister and I realized a few weeks ago that our dad doesn't quite know what to do with us. We're grown up. I moved away, went to college and started a life in another state. My sister is practically a stay at home step-mom to a 5 year old (adorable) little boy. She's only 22. She and her boyfriend own a house with a cat and a dog. The last time I was home, I realized my dad is just totally awkward at her house. I don't think he love her boyfriend, but he certainly can't hate him. It's like he doesn't know what to do with two grown daughters. He still gives us money and will be coming to help me move next weekend. But he doesn't need to lecture us (not that he did much anyway) or try and keep us in line.  But he can't quite figure out how to be a Dad to two grown women.

I guess life is full of weird transition issues.

Monday, May 24, 2010

One last tear

Had The Conversation. 
Said what I wanted to say. Let him know how it hurt.

One last tear. A walk in the warm summer air. 
Apparently what doesn't kill you does make you stronger.

It didn't last long but it was still huge and important. And it feels good to have survived it.

And I will not cry anymore because it's over but smile because it happened and because I didn't hold anything back. I love that about me.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I will now interupt your lovely spring time with my EMOTIONS

I spent the second half of my commute (the whole 10 minutes of it) home today dissolving into a mess of tears.

Because sometimes life makes your heart swell
And then life cracks it a little bit
And then life tries to fix it, but the nail it's using to try and fix it makes it hurt a little bit more
And then you just feel heartbroken. About everything.

I don't think I was ready for change this year. Friends leaving physically, friends giving up emotionally, and an emotional roller coaster ride of "I don't know what to do about the thing that I can't do anything about".

I have a CLOSE friend who has been living in Japan since the middle of 2008 and I wasn't as emotional about her moving then as I am about things now. Maybe because I had just graduated from college and I was EXPECTING change. I understood it. I was in the middle of change of my own.

But now, movie trailers about a silly horse (ok, the IMPOSSIBLE true story) and the rain can make me cry without much resistance.

Today might also be the result of my freshman college roommate's wedding over the weekend. I didn't cry much - okay, I got a little teary-eyed - but just being around her family and the outpouring of LOVE that happens when, for 48 hours, you celebrate two people's LOVE for each other makes you (I mean me) a little more tender-hearted then usual. And TRUST me, I am pretty sure I was tender-hearted enough.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Cougars and beer pong and trying to be a professional


A friend from one of my very first classes in college posted this on his facebook this morning:

People in the office were discussing what "Cougar" means. They were all giving their definitions and decided to come to my office and ask me. After hearing my definition the boss said, "Alright, that's enough!"

It made me laugh because, as much as you think you've moved on past college, sometimes you are reminded that you are still closer to the college experience than anyone else in your office. 

Sometimes, just working on a college campus makes it tricky to be considered a "professional".

Student groups chalk all over the sidewalk about upcoming events, elections and keggers. Yes, they chalk about parties. One such chalking promoted a "beer pong tournament". An advisor down the hall wondered aloud what it was. Our office does skew young but for some reason, I was the only one willing to explain the setup, rules and purpose of beer pong: two sets of beer on a ping pong table, you bounce ping pong balls to the other side's cups, you make the pong in, the other team drinks, everyone gets drunk. 

A few weeks ago, I went to work a recruiting event on campus for high school juniors. HIGH. SCHOOL. JUNIORS. Granted, I was pretty casual this Friday and it had been rainy so I probably wasn't looking my best after my cross-campus trek, but the orientation coordinator told me "check-in starts at 9:30". Well, yes, check-in for the HIGH SCHOOL JUNIORS starts at 9:30 but I had to check in as a representative of college I work for. She was apologetic but I just smiled and started to set up my table of flyers promoting the many degree options we offer. 

Recently, a few of us in our mid-twenties were talking about our job and how people don't respect our authority simply because we still "look like a student". It is nice though when "someone with more authority" tells them the exact same thing.

Anyone else still look like a student when they aren't anymore?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

spring




Monday, April 26, 2010

me

scorpio, from mythology: The battle ended in Orion's death and Zeus put the scorpion in the heavens as a constellation to remind us to be humble.

Basically, an introvert is a person who is energized by being alone and whose energy is drained by being around other people. (Introverts make up about 60% of the gifted population but only about 25-40% of the general population.)


My strengths (from Gallup):
People strong in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.

People strong in the Individualization theme are intrigued with the unique qualities of each person. They have a gift for figuring out how people who are different can work together productively.

People strong in the Belief theme have certain core values that are unchanging. Out of these values emerges a defined purpose for their life.

People strong in the Empathy theme can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others' lives or others' situations.

People strong in the Restorative theme are adept at dealing with problems. They are good at figuring out what is wrong and resolving it. 

I keep meaning to do a more thorough entry on each one of my strengths and what they mean to me. Not only individually but as a whole as well. We completed the StrengthsQuest through my office at work and I was surprised how much it made sense. It made me value (hey BELIEF) certain things and ways I act different, which I appreciated (hey INDIVIDUALIZATION).

It's impossible to get a true snapshot of who someone is through any test but I appreciate my Strengths giving an overview of why I act the way I do.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The chains of destiny

"It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time." -Winston Churchill

I may have mentioned before that I don't currently have a plan as to what I want to do in the future. I'm living in the now. Not planning my days or goals because of what I want in two years. Or four years. I'm working, I'm laughing and enjoying my life. But recently I've been consumed about what I want to happen in the future. Things that I can't control. Things that are, without question, a part of my destiny. Now, I do have control of my destiny. But some things you don't have the ability to control or change yet. 


But I'm impatient. And I feel like I should have some control. I should be able to know. It's my life, right?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Musings

I don't even know what happened at KC's Country Club Plaza Saturday night.There seem to be details I'm missing. Or, I've heard the whole story and it's just that inexplicable. Interesting though, that it was teenagers using Twitter and Facebook to organize. But WHY is the big questions. Just weird.

Since both Alec Baldwin and Meryl Streep showed up in my dream last night, I'm going to be in their next movie, right? RIGHT?! Or, maybe a sign I should rent "It's Complicated".


My back and shoulders are aching because of the first day of softball yesterday. A double header is not a good way to start the season. But it was fun and the weather was gorgeous! Now if I could only stop embarrassing myself by slipping on first base, I'd be good. But speaking of softball, a letter, to the girl playing with mono:

Dear girl with mono playing softball,
If you really have mono (still skeptical) kudos for you for getting out there. But PLEASE don't complain about our pitcher tagging you out with his glove on your hip where it could have ruptured your spleen. Because 1) he didn't tag you that hard and 2) you're PLAYING SOFTBALL in 75 degree weather and running and swinging. I think your spleen has other issues than a tag out.
If you really don't have mono, please stop pretending you do. Other than that, I have no comment because it's just sad to lie about being sick.

You're lucky I didn't step on you when you were laying on the base I was trying to get to,
Bailey


EDIT: Don't wear heals when you're sore from softball. It's just silly.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Change

It's easy to struggle with change. Human beings prefer patterns and predictability. I'm working on a post that involves change and perspective and people and personal strengths. I'm a little disappointed I didn't get it done today but I was outside enjoying the weather.

But these are the two quotes that have got me thinking about the in-progress post. Garden State is my all time favorite movie (much do to the quote listed before) and the Miranda Lambert lyrics just really made an impact.


I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healin'
Out here it's like I'm someone else,
I thought that maybe I could find myself
If I could just come in I swear I'll leave
Won't take nothin' but a memory from the house that built me
"The House That Built Me" - Miranda Lambert
 
You'll see one day when you move out it just sort of happens one day and 
it's gone. You feel like you can never get it back. It's like you feel 
homesick for a place that doesn't even exist. Maybe it's like this rite 
of passage, you know. You won't ever have this feeling again until you 
create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the
 family you start, it's like a cycle or something. I don't know, but I 
miss the idea of it, you know. Maybe that's all family really is. A 
group of people that miss the same imaginary place.
-Andrew in "Garden State" 
 
 
 

Thursday, April 08, 2010

confidence vs. self-esteem

Walking with a friend recently, we were discussing the latest in our lives: family illnesses, friends and our current dating situations.

She's recently made it "official" with the guy she's dating. I can tell he is making her happy but what I love about her is that as happy as she is right now with him, she doesn't know -or is worrying- about what will happen in their future (which is how dating should be- getting to know someone in the now).

What gets me is her not quite believing she deserves him: "of course you do" I responded. She went on to explain that the feeling comes from her low self-esteem. As she explained further, I thought about myself in regards to working hard, being the good person I think I am and what I deserve. Generally, I think I do deserve the things I work hard for and the relationships (of any kind) that I build. But my problem, I told to my walking buddy, is my confidence. And there, I realized, confidence and self-esteem, while two very similar things, are still very distinct in how they alter our behavior.

My cofidence deficiency means I often question my ability in almost everything: work, dating, general social interactions... It has become better since getting through college and adjusting to my job but it's always still there...just a little bit. It's particularly noticable when I have a falling out with people because "what did I do"? After the initial hurt, frustration and debate with myself, my self-esteem kicks in: these friends weren't actually that important in my life -or- we've parted ways  so I can bring people who will have a greater impact on who I am and what I do. Because why spend time on people who don't give a crap about you?

So there we were, my friend with her too-low self-esteem doubting whether she deserved certain things in her life, and me doubting what I could actually accomplish. Thank goodness we have each other to set the other one straight.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Things to Share

Real intimacy, in short, brings up our unfinished business-- all the rough spots in ourselves and in our partner that still need to be polished, refined, and further developed.
-Thanks to Your Ill-fitting Overcoat


Hell for a Geek.


I solemnly swear I'm up to no good.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Can I start this over?

Downside of today:
I couldn't get into my car because the keypad stopped working (and no, the key doesn't work either, don't ask).
I have lost my ability to get faculty members to do what I want when it comes to advising students. I'd like that back please.

Upside of today:
I started a new bank account (fresh start, people, fresh start!)
I got my teeth clean (and while they are sensitive) they feel really good!
I have great friends who are willing to rush to my side at a moment's notice to help. FIVE of them were willing to help me out this morning! In the rain! On a Monday morning! <3
It is Margarita Monday and I'm going to have like 5 (because I won't be able to drink for the next 28 days- also a downside, I guess).

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Shiny new things

When my sister and I were little, we would cut pictures of people and things from our mom's old catalogs and magazines.
Women and men sporting the latest trends became the moms an dads of the little 2D lives we created - on roadtrips, at our grandparents, whenever we were feeling creative. The moms and dads had 2 or 3 or 7 children (I think we wanted more siblings when we were young). A dog or two, maybe a cat. Fancy beds with fancier bedding. Perfectly coordinated furniture for our grand rooms where our families lived. All cut out, shiny and arranged neatly.  So easy to believe, at the age of 10, that life simply fell into place with the snip of the scissors. Maybe because we wished our family had more. And maybe because we thought are parents just weren't choosing correctly.
But really, you can plan your life out as much as you'd like and still never get the shiny, perfectly life you've created in your head.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Famous Iowans

"I miss the certain smell in Iowa when it’s about to rain. I miss how quiet it is. I miss having neighbors that I know and that I like. The thing I probably miss most of all is that people in Iowa have a different, genuine quality and a self-sufficient humility, a desire to do things for themselves and not complain." {Ashton Kutcher}