The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, but without any of those things

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You know how occasionally you run out of a grocery item, and you tell yourself that you’ll go to the store later? Then you end up improvising for days or weeks or eating out so you don’t have to go to the store and try to convince yourself that you don’t actually need something you really do need?

I do that with clothes.

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It’s not that I don’t like being warm or looking cute or having a safety net between me and the food that I spill, but I don’t enjoy the process. I also try to subscribe to “don’t spend money you don’t have,” which really elongates the time spent between needing an item of clothing and getting said item. If I had to compare myself to other women in my age group, I would have to say that I enjoy and perform clothes shopping less than they do by a wide percentage. This is just a guess since I don’t have a lot of same-sex friends, but based on how often I see them in shirts and dresses not previously viewed, I’d say this is a decent assumption.

It doesn’t become inevitable to ME that hunting will be necessary until it’s extremely obvious.

Last year, I realized that I own 4 bras. Here are the stats since it seems like a lot of bras when I say it out loud:

  • The newest one is at least a year old, probably more like two, and since it’s the newest, I wear it the most. To the extent that the multiple washes have given it those little raised bumps from going through the washing machine all over making it less comfy. So when I wear it, my nipples feel crazy uncomfortable, like bugs are crawling on them.
  • One bra is a strapless that I bought for my Junior prom (two sizes small). I even have another I could consider a “strapless bra” in emergency situations. This is actually a bathing suit top I lost the straps to a few years back, but I did wear it to work once last year when I was in too much of a hurry to look through the laundry. Also I was wearing a lot of layers at the time, so if you count it, that’s 5 “bras.”
  • Not unlike Prom bra, the oldest regular bra was from when I was 1-2 sizes smaller, so it brings a whole new meaning to SUPER padded. It could double as a flotation device or a moon sickness napkin. Or a diaper to protect against diarrhea. Also, it’s lumpy as hell from going through the washing machine so many times, so I basically only wear it in the winter months when socially awkward people are less likely to yell “Hey what’s up with your boobs? Are you hiding mashed potatoes in there?” I wish.

I decided to include this since Moonsickness is not the common phrase used (although it should be). Found on Imgur.com

Notice that none of these is a sports bra. Every month for the last two years, I’ve been telling myself that I need to go out and get one. The reasons I don’t include…

  • I don’t even exercise
  • It’s not that hard to wear a regular bra when you leave the house
  • I don’t want to spend money on a type of bra for an activity I don’t even participate in
  • It’ll just shrink and then I’ll have to donate it
  • I’ll have to sift through like a MILLION bras (even though I know full well that I am not that dedicated to the cause)
  • Standing in line at Ross is the worst

Obviously, I have a problem.

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Especially now. Today, I went searching for them, and I could only locate the itchy bra, the white Junior prom strapless bra, and “The Emergency Bra.” In terms of heightened problems, I went from having a code yellow to an orange.

I have somewhere I have to be tomorrow, and it requires that I wear the appropriate undergarments. This was not an official notice sent out, but there is a dress code. I’m pretty sure it does not involve walking to the chorus of “Free Falling” by Tom Petty.

It also requires other garments I don’t have.

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This means that today I am leaving the house and looking for booby traps, leg coverings, shirts, and possibly boots. I’m going by myself. Wish me luck.

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Does anyone else hate doing these things? Or is it just me? Please don’t tell me I’m alone in this.

The waiting is the hardest part, especially when you’re waiting for cheese

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http://www.cadadiacheese.com Cheese farm in Prineville. Doesn’t it look good?

Today, my mom convinced me (as she does most weeks) to come down to the bar/restaurant she frequents and have lunch with her.

I’ve been home sick for an extraordinarily long period of time, but Mondays have been my normal day off for awhile. I needed to go run some errands, however, my mom is hard to say no to mainly because she gets kind of snappy when you tell her no. The restaurant also has soup, and she hadn’t seen me for my birthday yet (because I’ve been sick), so I agreed to meet her.

Normally, I have a whole bowl of soup, but I didn’t want to take advantage of my mother’s kindness. The cup was smaller than I remembered, so I decided to supplement it with a grilled cheese sandwich.

Approximately ten minutes passed. Usually whatever I order is out by that time, so I found it a little odd. I was trying to be patient, so I decided I would wait a little longer before I inquired about the food. In the meantime, I was re-introduced to my mom’s friend who recently been dumped by her boyfriend. She was pretty sad and more than a little tipsy. She kept asking me when my husband and I were going to have kids, and if we were going to have kids, and whether we had talked about it. Nope, on a whim we decided to get married in Vegas after being introduced that day. NO TIME FOR CONVERSATION! Before I started to foam at the mouth between the crossed emotions of fear and annoyance, my mom leaned over and said, “Okay, GIVE IT A REST. I have a grand dog, THAT’S ENOUGH. Now where are the pictures of her?”

Five minutes passed, and the bartender informed me that they hadn’t made the grilled cheese sandwich yet, because they had run out of cheese. So the chef or one of the owners ran to the store.

“I would’ve ordered something else if I knew they didn’t have any,” I told the bartender. This is true, I would’ve. Normally, she’d offer me something else, but she was already on the other side of the bar, because they were pretty busy. I couldn’t even ask for something else, because I was so confused about the fact that they just left without mentioning they were out of cheese.

“Ugh, this is so typical. This kind of thing happens all the time,” my mom complained to me in a whisper. “Stupid management. What are they doing?”

I whispered back to her, “It’s not even real cheese. They use Kraft. It’s not like it goes bad.”

We giggled.

Ten more minutes went by, and they still weren’t back from the store. I don’t know what happens to you when you’re hungry, but I go from feeling peckish to completely unhinged in a short unraveling of time. I was already on edge from being asked all the children questions, so I knew that I had to get out of there.

“Ma, I really need to go to the library. Otherwise, I will have to be put in the queue and wait behind lots of other people to print off the materials I need.”

My mom scoffed, “I know, what are they doing? What else did they need to get while they were there? I have things to do today too. I need to go home and putz in my yard.”

When my mom says this, she means she wants to stand outside and admire how she can’t see her neighbors despite being able to hear their hillbilly sounds. While she does this, her German Shepherd mix runs the enclosed area with his megaphone bark which lasts approximately 3/4 as long as the “The Song That Never Ends.” You know in Jumanji how Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt, and the kids end up heading away from the house, because that pelican runs off with the game? They return several hours later, and the house has become completely eclipsed by the overgrown plant life that has submerged the house to an almost indistinguishable nature? That’s what my mom’s yard looks like, and come to think of it, that’s kind of why she leaves the house from time to time.

The bartender said, “If you want, they can hold off until you come back.”

No, this is NOT what I wanted. I wanted melted cheese in my mouth now.

My mom added, “Yeah, you should go to the library, and they can just make it for you when you come back.”

This was not these people’s faults. They were just trying to help the hangry, so when I spoke, I did so slowly as if I was considering doing this. Was I considering doing this? I did really want to eat any other kind of food, but I didn’t want to wait or come back either. “Well, I didn’t want to make two trips. I wanted to go home after.”

“Yeah, of course,” she said, but my mom’s wheels were turning. “What if you go to the library, and I just bring the sandwich over after they’re done?”

My mom is less patient than me, so I’m picturing her calling me up at the library and saying, “What is taking so long? I am outside your place with your sandwich,” and then leaving when I don’t show up immediately. Or worse, showing up at the library with a sandwich. This idea doesn’t sound so bad, but she spends a lot of time with her friends, so by the time I wanted the sandwich, it would probably be several hours later and cold.

“Now you’re the one making an extra trip. I don’t want you to have to do that.”

“I can just take the sandwich home, and you can get it tomorrow.”

I couldn’t tell if this was my least favorite idea, or if the ideas were just getting more out of hand by the moment.

“No. I can’t even go home and have any, because we don’t even have any cheese.”

My mom’s tipsy friend at the end of the bar added, “I have to go to the store anyway. I can pick up some cheese for you.” She had just shared her list with me and had giggled after saying kitty litter adding, “This is such a silly list.”

Nope, that was my least favorite idea. The only idea I liked less than the ones mentioned are the one where I’m semi-responsible for a drunk lady getting ticketed, because her friend’s daughter had a hankering for some cheese.

“You are sweet, but you don’t have to do that. I appreciate it.” I turned to my mom. “Okay, I’m leaving.”

I’m still craving some grilled cheese, but I’m still pretty glad I didn’t go with any of those options. Especially, the last option.

Why Livejournal is Better Than Other Social Media, and Why I Miss it

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Warning: I may have gone a little crazy with the gifs. Please forgive me. They’re really fun.

As a generation, mine is creepily sentimental about things we probably shouldn’t be. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the ’90’s, but there are a lot of things I don’t miss about my youth. Some ex-classmates from my elementary school were getting super sappy and unrealistically melancholy about junior high the other night, and I wanted to go all witch from The Princess Bride where I start screaming “BOO! BOO!” at them.

I mean, I miss goofing off at recess the same as anyone else, but I think all the girls in my class forgot about all the arguments and tears that came down over boys, competition, and a number of other pressures.

What I do miss from my past, is Livejournal.

Livejournal was *kind of* a social media website from the ’00’s, but the thing that made it different was that it also wasn’t. Sure, you had friends on it, but it was still a journal. While it wasn’t a diary, it wasn’t far off, and you probably just called it that because your friends made fun of you if you called it a diary.

THE PROS OF LIVEJOURNAL

Acquaintances Became Friends Fast 
Whether you found their name because they gave it to you or because you were friends with someone they were friends with, when you went to somebody’s journal, it was easy to become part of someone’s life quickly. Sometimes, it was a circle of trust, and when it wasn’t, it felt more like a hostage situation.

Sometimes the posts were about going to see the musical Rent before it became a movie, but more than likely it was about how awesome or terrible their day was which was made up of a lot of little minute information that really spelled out who they were and what they were going through.

The Heart of the Matter 
In real life, it could take someone forever to figure out what their friend was going through. If you had Livejournal, it didn’t usually take that long.

I just saved myself 8 hours of asking “What’s Wrong?” over and over. This time in my pocket is priceless!

24/7/365
Livejournal friends were possibly unlike other social media friends, because you read their personal thoughts daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. There weren’t status updates or tweets, so there were no limits as to how long or detailed your posts could be. And damn, could they be detailed.

Which meant that when you became friends with someone on LJ, you really had to commit. They were sharing their personal stories and intimate lives with you. This didn’t always mean it was mutual or you guys were bffs, but there was a big level of “accept or go elsewhere.” You couldn’t just be friends with someone and NOT follow them.

“Love Will Keep Us Together”
Because of how much sharing was going on (a LOT), this meant that you were close to your Livejournal friends in ways that other social media, and sometimes not even your real life friends, could even touch. Not unlike Instant Messenger friends, you could end up listening for hours.

Which meant that when they were in for tough times, and it’s LJ so this was most of the time, you had their backs. Just today, one of my old LJ friends mentioned that people had said some rude things to her, and my reaction was, “Who are they? I’ll cut them!” Just like that.

If you knew each other IRL, you were often featured in their entries
A friend of mine once posted, “I don’t really update this very often, because the main friend who reads this is with me most of the time. And she knows what happens, because she was there.”

It also meant that if you were lived in different cities or went to different schools, you automatically felt closer when you were apart.

You LJ Friends Were There for You…well, most of them were 
Because you had secrets on each other, when you were freaking out or breaking down, they were there.

I have a friendship I put a lot of miles into, and even though I could have wrung her neck a few hundred times, and her mine, we are somehow still on speaking terms. Because every time I was having an emotional patch of hell in my yard, she was never far to chime in that she was there for me. Of course, this site almost ruined our friendship over the years as well, but we also let each other see posts we probably never would have said aloud to one another.

Really There for You

But not too much.

Not Everyone You Know was on it 
Only a small subset of the population was there. Which meant you guys knew stuff everyone else didn’t about each other.

So instead of singing the beige song you knew all your friends, co-workers, and family members would find acceptable, you could be honest. In depth. Real.

And no baby pictures!

Icons 
There’s something magical and tragic about a picture that can only be 100×100.

I belonged to 1,000 different icon makers. It became my life. It even temporarily became my hobby.

Mood Icons 
You could make your own, and they could be gifs. There was a competitive aspect, but 1) it was about the quirkiest shit and 2) it was passive aggressive as hell.

I Don’t Have to F^@&ing Impress You
Plus, you didn’t have to worry as much since the people that were on it either followed you or didn’t. Who cares what “the masses” think? You only have 12 friends on here!

The Collective Day
Since there are a limited number of moods on Livejournal (actual moods, not mood icons), sometimes everyone was having THE SAME DAY.

You Could Procrastinate TOGETHER

 

THE CONS OF LIVEJOURNAL 

Debbie Downers Galore
Sometimes, you had a rough day, and you just wanted to feel better. Then you got on and started reading someone’s crappy entry, and you just…ARGH!

Toilet Flush
And sometimes even when they weren’t being mopey zoo animals or you got past those entries, it was just too late.

I just wanted to talk about ponies!

Epic Fail
Because of all the information all the time, when you got into a fight, mis-communicated with someone, or they got angry at what you said, things went down the drain, like WHOA. As fast as things on dial-up and DSL can go.

I once had a fight with someone on that website that lasted so many weeks that I actually had to end our friendship, because I was beginning to become exhausted all the time from the anger and disappointment the fight was taking out of me. All I did was think about it and respond to their comments. That fight changed my life, and not in the positive way that people normally use when they say the word “change” in past tense.

Interpretation 
On the other hand, sometimes your friends posted very briefly and ambiguously. Or not at all. Or they DID post, but the entries were private. According to a LJ friend, there’s a way to figure out when your friends are posting but are limiting who can see the posts.

This meant when their posts dwindled, you weren’t sure if they were mad at you or if they weren’t on LJ anymore. What was that last post supposed to mean anyway? Was that about you??

Let Me Count the Ways
Like I said, one could spend a lot of time sifting through friends’ LJ posts. You had to read through paragraphs and paragraphs of shit your friends wrote. Or if you were me, you had to read through the dozens of poems your one friend posted each day.

Do I Know You? 
If you had Livejournal friends you also saw regularly, there was only a limited number of skimming you could do. Because they would figure out pretty fast if you weren’t reading their entries.

This could be a good thing if your friendship was on the line and you had to read through too many of their plentiful and Guy Pierce in Memento ramblings. Sometimes life is about more than making the same jokes over and over again.

TMI 
With all the information and feelings flying around, it only made sense that sometimes you heard too much.

Pete and Repeat 
And you had to read the same types of entries from your friends ad nauseam. It can get old.

In the words of T-Rex from Dinosaur Comics, “Feelings are boring, kissing is awesome” But Livejournal didn’t really have a kissing option. Meaning you got a lot of this…

I do miss the congregating at that site. You knew who your friends were.

Gifs brought to you by the Reaction Gif page! (Except “boo” which I just found through Google and Matt Smith the 11th Doctor icon which is from Fanpop.com) This post is in no way affiliated with Livejournal, I’ve just been using the site a long time and believe it deserves more attention than it gets these days.

Why I’m Not Friending You on Facebook

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dirtylaundry

I’ve been getting a lot of Facebook requests lately that just sit in my request section. I haven’t deleted them, because I feel like if they sit there then I’m not outright rejecting those who have reached out to me. Which is silly, because it’s not like they’re ringing me up to hang out. They just want to look at my page which happens to be private.

When I was in college, I would friend just about anyone I knew. I’d also get requests from people I didn’t know, and to avoid being a complete bitch, I’d email them “Sorry, I don’t remember meeting you. How do we know each other?” Then when they’d say “we don’t, you just HAWT,” I could feel better about the dialogue I’d started about why I wasn’t going to friend them.

But now I don’t friend people that I do know. So why do I do that? What’s my reason behind it? How can I explain this to them without inciting some long dramatic back and forth?

Below are some of the reasons I’m not friending you under the categories of how we know each other.

We Went to School Together a Million Years Ago

You and I had nothing in common when we were 12 and went to the same school. But you drudged up that old Throwback Thursday picture, and now you’re reminiscing about all the good times.

Remind me what good times those were? When I threw a piece of cheese in your eye during a food fight that YOU started, and you got pissed off and called me a bitch? Or when you told me to wear a bra during gym class in front of everyone? What about the time we never talked to each other except during that group project where you angrily argued about why everyone should go with your idea? We have never actually hung out one-on-one, but we did once have desks that faced each other.

These are not good reasons to friend me.

One of my friends and I were recently talking, and she told me she un-friended someone we attended school with when we were kids.

“I thought he was my friend, but then I tried to remember the last time we hung out. I couldn’t. He’s not my friend…he’s just someone I went to elementary school with. He’s never been there for me. There’s no point in having him on my list.”

We Worked Together

Sure, we both hated that job. Maybe we even hung out a couple of times outside the office. We were blowing off steam. I wanted to watch the Blazers game, and you wanted to rant about all the clients I’m trying to forget.

Of course, you were the first one to assume I was faking it when I was legitimately sick. Maybe you were even partially to blame for why I got fired. You got promoted, I didn’t. But you’re right, we were basically inseparable when we were forced to share a cubicle. None of this is compelling me to believe that you should be allowed to judge my new life.

We Dated

After months of mutual flirting, we finally went out on that date. It got intense. A little weird. Okay, a LOT weird. I said I wanted to be friends, and you kind of freaked out. Understandably so. Because we aren’t actually friends, so we weren’t stepping back to a comfortable place we were before this night. So please stop saving my pictures to your computer.

We Lived Together

Freshman dorms brought us together, and a storm of failed communication plus close quarters tore us apart. You wanted your tv in our dorm, not mine. I wanted to go to bed without the radio on. You wanted to have lots of sex in your bed with my boyfriend. Living together is hard. But let’s not pretend that the Facebook request is going to suffice for an actual apology when you literally shit on my comforter. It’s still not funny.

We Are Family or Friends of Family

Okay, this one is really hard. I still haven’t actually figured out the best way to handle this situation. You really do want to stay in touch. Or you just want some hot gossip to report to the rest of the family or my parents. Maybe you are parents. Awkward, perhaps we should discuss IRL?

This is Really About You Wanting…

  • …social admittance. Perhaps you are legitimately cool, but you didn’t used to be. Now I need to realize that by being your social media buddy. (Which plays into…)
  • …for me to realize that you have something I don’t (kids, marriage, a FANTASTIC job, gobs of money you burn on a regular basis just because you like the smell and how evil your laughter sounds). In order to do this, you need to friend me.
  • …to rekindle something from your past that you miss.
  • …laughter. I’m pretty funny.
  • …for all of us to be friends, because we have the same friends.
  • …to preach to me about all the things you care about that I do not. I care about the opposite things you do. Like minding my own business.
  • …to raise money or awareness for that thing you’re passionate about.
  • …to feel close to someone you’re not.
  • …to feel more important than you are.
  • …to know what is on my damn wall.

I don’t want to hurt your feelings. In some of these cases, we did have some fun together. We did work together, we did date, we did go to school together. I don’t want you to feel like you’re less popular or smart or funny than you think you are.

But we’re not legitimate friends. So I’m not going to friend you.

A list from me to you

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I debated posting prior to my birthday, but I held off. Birthday posts are always a little awkward, because I never know how to express how I feel about another year older. When I was younger, my mom took me to this Tex Mex restaurant where they put a MASSIVE sombrero on you and sing to you…although I don’t remember if they sing in English or “Cumpleanos Feliz.”

Found via Google

This month, I turned 30. I’ve had a little less than a decade to fear the onset of the triple decade, and I have to say, I felt far more morose the last few years than I did this year. Two of those were spent across the country from family and friends (which I’m sure contributed to the crappy ambiance) and a couple others were because my birthday “wasn’t how I pictured it.” When I turned 25 was when I remember the “I’m getting older” crisis beginning, and a sweet friend told me that “25 is the new 21.” Suffice to say, I felt better.

My cousin wished me a belated birthday the other day. Her birthday is several weeks after mine, and when I asked her what she was doing for hers and whether she was ready for 30, she said, no, she didn’t have plans and she wasn’t ready. “I expected so much more before 30,” she wrote me.

I expected to be a child genius and a bazillionaire by the time I was 30. Do I own my own private island? No. Am I crippled by debt? Sure. Have I done any talk shows lately promoting my awesome new movie? I have not, but I did use a “Celebrity Baby Name Generator” and found out Zach Braff and I are having a son named Suede. True story.

Once when I was little, I asked my grandma what the best thing was about getting old. She said, “You don’t care as much what people think. You feel more free to just be you and do what you want.” I try to think about that each year, and she’s right. This is why I haven’t made a 30 year old bucket list. Because I ain’t dead yet. My back sucks, but I don’t have a walker. I try to look at life the way Hurley from Lost does.

So in honor of my birthday, I made a list of things that I love to do that I’m making people I love do with me (and if you’re reading this, you can do this with your own friends if I don’t know you) in honor of my birthday.

  1. Play Celebrities
    My version of this game is a three parter. Everyone writes down names of celebrities (characters/actors/musicians/etc) and puts them in a bag or hat. There are two teams which should be split evenly based on how good people are at guessing names or knowing each other (two of my friends are brothers who once won by a landslide and aren’t allowed to be on the same team anymore). In the first round, each team tries to guess as many names as possible from their one teammate who can describe in words or act out who it is. After both teams take turns and guess all the names in the hat, you move on to Round 2 which is you get ONE word and charades. Round 3 is just charades.

    Parker hates this game, but agreed to play it with me. We haven’t played it yet, BUT WE’RE GONNA!

    This game is not to be confused with ANOTHER game one of my friends calls Celebrities where everyone writes down the name of a character, an actor, politician, musician, etc., on a piece of paper. Then you pass to your left (or right) and that person WITHOUT looking at the paper, puts it on their head. So you can see everyone else’s and they can see yours, but nobody can see their own piece of paper. Then you have to guess who you are, and the room can only answer yes or no. If you get a no, it’s the next person’s turn. If you get a yes, you can keep guessing. I would actually play this for my birthday too, but I’m way worse at this game.

    Last time we got together with friends and played this, I wrote down the name of one our friends that we love but who wasn’t present at the party. It got pretty weird when the person who got the name asked if they “performed.”

  2. Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical 
    Based on the original movie and the Broadway show, this Showtime movie was delayed from coming out due to 9/11. Kristen Bell has a scene that anyone who has a crush on her just has to see, because it is so hot. Also, there’s a cartoon sequence where a guy fucks a brownie. Yet, most people I know do not like the movie because of how over the top it is. For added awesome re-watching, try it with commentary.
  3. John Mulaney’s New in Town
    I’m not too pumped about his new show, but my favorite comedian John Mulaney has a special on Netflix. It’s pretty fantastic, and I have to emotionally chloroform myself to not quote him constantly when I’m in the presence of others. Parker and I often talk in John Mulaney.
  4. Read Chuck Klosterman 
    I’ve come to accept that my favorite book of his is Downtown Owl. My least favorite is Eating the Dinosaur which I have not finished, and I would probably steer clear of The Visible Man.
  5. Roll around on the floor with a dog
    HEY! It’s my birthday, and that’s what I think you should do. Just make sure it’s a fairly clean dog (and floor). It’ll make your day better, I swear!

    Found on imgur

  6. Text a friend whose number you have but who doesn’t have your number
    Make sure it’s all in good fun, and that they eventually find out who you are. Do NOT be Christopher Walken’s character on that SNL 90’s prank show with Jimmy Fallon. Don’t be creepy or mean. Just shower them with your awesomeness. I once had an hour long texting conversation with someone who did not know who I was, and it was way better than actually hanging out with them.
  7. Eat brownie batter
    Or cookie dough batter. Or ice cream. Just not the glass of fat you keep in the fridge.
  8. Have a shot
    Unless you’re not of legal age, and then you should just have a Frappachino in a shot glass. I love having shots with friends. Especially tic tacs, because when I do, Til yells, “What the FUCK is a tic tac?” Except for last time, because he wasn’t physically present. That’s okay though, because even though it was good, it didn’t taste like a tic tac. So doesn’t count.
  9. Call your mom
    She totally wants to hear from you. She told me so.
  10. Karaoke
    We recently went back to the first place I ever karaoked at as an adult (as in didn’t rent, because the first time I karaoked, my mom hired a KJ and the set up, because I REALLY wanted to karaoke), and it was INSANE. We got there too late to actually sing, but people who had in songs sang ALL the hits of the 90’s. The clientele was as strange as ever, and it warranted my husband to say, “The people watching here is way better,” and “I forgot how crazy it is here. There’s drunk, and then there’s Chopsticks drunk.”

childish-aria.tumblr.com

Seems like an unfair advantage

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Because I’m geeky as hell, I belong to several different writing groups on Pinterest. At the end of September, I saw a post or two about NanoWrimo.

Now it’s really started.

National November Writing Month is something I discovered in college, and I was initially thrilled at the aspect of writing ALL month long. Then I remembered I was in college and was required to write for all my essays and projects and still go to class, etc. Halfway through the month, I was out. If I even made it that far.

However, this was the first time I’d ever seen people busting out tips and strategies far before the month even started. Apparently, this is a real thing. This is the stretching you do before the marathon. This is the studying you do before the SATs. These guys are professionals, and they are not fucking around.

I brought this up yesterday to Til, and one of our other writer friends joined in. Here’s a snippet of conversation:

nanowrimo-TWB

Til is right. It still feels like cheating. Someone from our friend group does it every year. However, he also runs actual marathons. I run like the following:

It’s based on a sentence from The Fault in Our Stars that says, “I fell in love the way you fall asleep. Slowly and then all at once.” By the way, I’m reading another John Green book. It’s hard reading other books by an author whose best book you’ve already read, and I’m not saying the books are bad. I’m on my third book by him, and I’m just really hoping it’s better than the last one I read. Because that was disappointing.

I’m probably not going to participate in NanoWrimo. It’s less than a month away, but nothing’s in stone yet. I’ve still got time.

That’s better

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The other night, one of my friends shared this sentimental post:

missingyouhobby

A little extreme, but sweet. Since she dedicated it to her husband, I reposted it and dedicated it to my husband. Why the hell not? Parker saw it later.

Parker: This is intense. I mean, I don’t think “missing you” is either of our hobbies. That’s a really lame hobby.

Me: Yeah, I guess you’re right. I thought it was romantic though.

Later in the evening, Parker went into the kitchen to heat up a baked potato.

Me: While you’re in there, can you throw me together a salad?

My family has this tradition where when we need something and we’re tired or sick (or just savoring the act of sitting), we wait until someone else gets up and then ask them to get us something. While I’m aware that other people do this too, my family is particularly bad about abusing this power of laziness. My great uncle used to wait until my grandma actually sat down on the couch before he’d say, “By the way, while you’re up…”

Parker: “Throw you together a salad?” Okay.

I expected him to toss some spinach and carrots into a bowl and dollop on some dressing and slide it across the counter to me on the couch. Then I hear him chopping something.

Me: What are you doing?
Parker: I’m throwing you together a salad.

By the time he was done, it looked like I went to Sweet Tomatoes. There were chopped up pieces of celery, chopped up carrots, sunflower seeds, and dressing on top of my spinach.

Me: You didn’t have to do all this.

Parker: The longer you spend in the other room, the more elaborate this is going to be.

Me: Guess you’re not going to bed tonight. I didn’t intend for you to put all this effort into it.

Parker: I know, but you seemed disappointed by my lack of enthusiasm for the picture and my critique of the “missing you” hobby.

I think what he’s trying to say is that he puts more work into our relationship than merely missing me when I’m gone. Which is much more rewarding when you think about it.

The life of the party

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Recently, I decided to host a party at my apartment, because sometimes my brain tricks me into believing I want something then laughs at me when it becomes miserably obvious that THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANTED! Thanks, Brain. You give false advertisements. This brought up some old memories along with a weird type of social anxiety that I rarely experience. Now I’m scared of my own party. More accurately, a potentially failed party.

As most of you know, I have some anxiety issues. I don’t like to talk about it, because talking about it worse. This is not only upsetting, but irritating. To everyone. Despite what naively positive people believe, anxiety is not something you can “just get over.” If it were that easy, none of us would suffer, none of us would know what that word meant, and we would all live in castles made of gumdrops which would be gross because it would melt and get all gooey anytime it was warm, rainy, or both. You couldn’t even eat them, because gumdrops are kind of gross. Unless they’re Dots, and then like one of those mini boxes is okay or maybe the cinnamon ones, but not in large quantities. We would have no nervousness about the melting though, so that’d be cool.

Antivan

 

The idea of hosting sounds so great at first. It starts with being lazy but also wanting to hang out with people. “What if I could go to a party, but all I had to do was walk into the other room and wait for friends to show up? I could wear WHATEVER I wanted. I mean, it’s MY house. If I feel like putting on pajamas at some point, I could just do it! It’s not weird, because they’re ONE ROOM AWAY!” My mind is its own pyramid scheme.

It’s actually a lot like Mike Birbiglia’s stand up bit about how hard it is to wake up. I also have a hard time waking up, but really, becoming a party host is a lot like this.

Secretly, I’m always aware that it’s a lot more work than just being there. But I write it off. “No, this will be good!” I insist. I even tell myself that I really needed to clean the house, and the only way is guests. That part is true, but it’s never something that feels voluntary the moment that I actually am forced into cleaning.

In high school, I was something of an extremist. I used to go from one social event to another until I collapsed from exhaustion and missed school. Hosting was easy, because I lived 3 minutes from school. So if I invited people over after, they couldn’t turn me down. How? Walking to my house took 15 minutes (20 depending on what side of the school you started on). If I was late, my boyfriend could come over and pound on my door (that happened). When I was sick, my friends could drop to see how sick I actually was (they did, because it was almost always chronic fatigue, so rarely was it contagious).

Ever since I joined the work force, even if I’m not working, the idea of putting on pants and leaving the house fills me with dread. There is nothing worse than going to an event and realizing that you would have had much more fun doing nothing at home. I didn’t understand until I worked full time, and then I really questioned the kinds of events I was committed to attending.

All of this might have slipped by me. Except another friend posted an event the day after mine. He made an awesome pitch. People want to go.

I’m not good at selling my parties. I can never be like “YOU GUYS THIS IS GOING TO BE THE BEST.” Mine are more like, “This is what I’m going to be doing…you guys could do that too. It might suck. No, there’s no promise after that, I’m just saying it might.”

At some juncture I decided not to have parties at my house anymore. It’s not even that I temporarily wised up to my own act of the simplicity ruse. There’s no specific reason I can point to for this turn of events, but I can narrow it down to a few things.

Oscar the Grouch meets Ernie is kind of a terrible host

My family has weird traits that get passed down from generation…and some of the weirdest ones are the ones that affect both sides. Like the Joni Mitchell song except about genetics and nurturing. When people talk from time to time about what genetic problems their family members typically suffer from (note: not necessarily what kills them), most folks say things like heart disease and cancer. Then my friends look to me and say, “What about you?” and I’m obliged to say, “Depression, suicide, and alcoholism.”

And hoarding.

No one makes movies about that one. Both sides of my family hoards. My husband’s family hoards. Apparently, the women in my family never learned how to clean (I say women not because I’m being biased, but because guys in my family do know how to clean). At some point, my mom’s house got so bad that I just stopped inviting people over. Fortunately, one of my friends from high school ending up hanging out with me all the times since neither of our parents are very good house keepers, so we were the only people we weren’t worried over inviting to our houses. It sounds terrible, but if you can’t bond with people over mildly to completely traumatizing experiences, then how can you bond with them? Don’t answer that, just keep reading.

What’s Up, Richie Rich?

I went to a high school where many of the students came from affluent families. Many, although not all, of my friends came from medium to low income families. Which meant that the friends who DID host all of our cast parties had fantastic homes, because how else can you fit a cast of 30 somewhere? You can’t. You need large, entertainment rooms.

Must escape vs. escaped too much

Introverted affairs like avoiding my mom’s tough emotional outbursts from the end of high school until I moved out after college and living in Texas for 3 years also didn’t help. My high school writing teacher once told me that one of my weaknesses was accepting criticism, and every year I’m alive that becomes truer. Now I don’t know how to make parties cool. My problem with having plants is I’m either too involved or too absent, and I struggle with that aspect everywhere in my life, including parties.

TodayYouareYou

 

The party hasn’t happened yet, but there you go. If it’s extra awkward or amazing, I’ll try to give a full update. If it’s somewhat forgettable, I’ll try to find another subject to post about and slip it in fast.

Conversations that prove my husband and I are meant to be

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(Parker’s eyes are closed)
Me: Hon? Are you sleeping?

Parker: Sorry, I drank most of a bottle of port. What you’re seeing is me inebriated. Also, I have “Part of Your World” stuck in my head…

Me: This is so weird! My friend just posted about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and I had a dream about them last night!! This is the second dream I have ever had about them, and the first one in AT LEAST 20 years. It was primarily about the orange one…okay, that sounds a little sketchy.

Parker: Was it a sex dream?

Me: Fortunately, no! Can you look him up? Because my friend was talking about Raphael, and it would be extra weird if it was the same turtle.

Parker: You dreamed about Michelangelo, which makes sense, because he’s the funny one. He spends a lot of time surfing.

Me: What this quiz SHOULD be called is “The Hardest Zoolander Quiz You Will Ever Take.” Because it is. Which is to say that it is also the only one I have ever taken. I am so disappointed. I thought I knew that movie better than this.

Parker: We will just have to watch it again. We should watch it TONIGHT.

Me: Okay, but I want to watch this video called “The Top 10 Movie Theme Songs of All Time.”

Parker: That’s fine, but as soon as it is over, that is it. No more internet videos. We have a movie to watch.

Parker: Your mom asked if I was getting you shoes for your birthday. It’s like she doesn’t even know you.

In the words of Cards Against Humanity, Bees?

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Not bees.

I found these two beautiful, speckled balls (ha ha, yes it’s funny) outside today on the ground, but I wasn’t sure what kind of tree they came from. I showed them to Parker.

Courtesy of bugguide.net
Parker: I’m pretty sure those are wasp eggs.
Me: What!? Ewww. No, they’re so pretty! Can you look it up?

Yeeeeeeup, they are galls. So I had to chuck them away instead of creating a lovely fall arrangement like it suggests on the flyer by the mailboxes. WHAT A TRAP THAT WAS. My apartment complex is self-destructive and secretly wants a wasp problem. Waspception.

Parker: Ready for more wasps? Look, there’s this video where someone has a wasp nest incased in glass.
Me: AH! NO! No wasps. Wasps are bees that refuse to die. They’re bee zombies.
Parker: I’d be really afraid that in the middle of the night, the glass would break, and the apartment would be swarming with them. Like the story I told you about the couple who had to escape due to the massive wasp problem.
Me: And then we’d have to escape to the bath room and have the fire department rescue us.

According to this literature, it takes two years for them to develop. Not taking any chances though!

So if you’re like me and you find something pretty outside to make the Autumn arrangement in your home complete, make sure it isn’t a potential danger. I also once picked these beautiful branches I found in November as a bouquet and brought them home. Then I became incredibly sick, and my mom deduced that I was allergic to them.

Be careful with nature, my friends!

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