Monday, October 31, 2011

Is that a wad of Kleenex in your hand or are you just happy to see me? Wait...

In theory, fall began on September 23rd, and will last until December 22nd. Weather-wise, it began much more recently. Still, the leaves began turning, the new season of TV shows started up, and everyone started decorating for the holidays. Some people of course skipped straight over Halloween and Thanksgiving to Christmas, but Halloween is definitely getting lots of love this year. (Although I'm not sure how "Halloween-related" LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" is, jack-o-lanterns made out of lights definitely count.)

However, I'm not here to talk about people whose neighbors must be ready to move by now, I'm here to talk about me. Me me me, and my pitifulness.

Fall weather finally started. And with it, I started to feel a little tickle in my throat. Last Wednesday I had a major dizzy spell at work, which I have now been forced to fully accept that my body subjects me to as a sign of impending illness. I wasn't really hungry all that day, and the next was much the same. Another big indicator. It didn't help that on Thursday my alarm didn't go off, so I got up later than usual. My own fault, because after setting it, I forgot to hit "save." (Note, this same alarm of mine will go off after I've turned off the alarm and then deleted it altogether from my phone.) Anyhoo, it's Thursday, I'm panicked, and even after I'm no longer panicked I feel nauseous and my throat is killing me and my nose is alternating between stuffy and runny and my head is pounding. So at work I ask if I can go home early to get some rest... Nope! I was supposed to get off at 5, and the girl who would be coming in to take my place didn't get back to us until 3:30. Whether I get a lunch break or not depends on how long I work, and by 2:30 I knew that I needed to eat whether she was coming in or not so I decided to take my half-hour lunch break and just finish out the day. The miserable, miserable day. Friday I was off work, and my sore throat took over. Saturday I was also off work, and the sore throat was even worse. Sunday I barely had any voice, and was exhausted from not being able to breathe.

Luckily I got a 3-day weekend, so I spent all day Sunday sniffling, coughing, and playing Need For Speed Most Wanted on the PS3. I'm not very big on playing games, but I whoop ass at the racing games, and am a *pro* at escaping the cops in Need For Speed. When I have trouble with a race, I hand it off to The Hubby. When the cops start chasing, he hands it off to me. We also noticed that it's a lot harder to make it through all the challenges than it is to actually beat the races at the end of each level. It's like having to beat Bowser repeatedly throughout the game, and then you're only having to battle a Koopa Troopa to level up. WTF.

I called in sick to work today, because I laid awake all night last night coughing and not being able to breathe for being so clogged up. My throat is still super sore and I'm just wore out from it all. I'm pretty irritated that it's not an awesome Halloween-related reason. It's a stupid season-change reason.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A letter.

To My Dearest Replacement Kindle,

I know you're there in the Post Office, waiting patiently for me--I got your note. I'm so sorry I was at work when you arrived, and was unable to pick you up today. I want you to know that although I haven't met you yet, I love you and have anxiously awaited your arrival. I know how difficult it must be for you to have to try and fill the shoes of your friend, My Original Kindle, but as he suffered through the terminal illness we only know as "hardware issues" he promised that you would be able to take care of me as he no longer can. I know you are two totally different Kindles, and I would never expect you to be exactly the same. I'll even buy you new clothing, rather than placing the library scene on you as I did on My Original Kindle. You are a unique Kindle and you deserve better than second-hand skins. Er, "clothing." 

I can't wait to hold you and stare adoringly at your face for hours and hours as you tell me wonderful stories. Maybe some of the stories won't be as good as we hoped, MDRK, but we both know that will be my fault and not yours.

I will see you very soon, MDRK, but in the meantime stay snug and comfortable in your cubbyhole. I know that Mr. Postmaster will take good care of you until we can be together. I can't wait to start our long and happy life together...

At least as long as the call of the newer Kindles continues to leave me unconvinced.


Monday, October 24, 2011

First world problems.

*This is probably going to sound like an advertisement, but I promise it's not... Nobody's paying me for this, nobody's asked me to do this, etc. This is all me, as always.*

I'm so sad. Late last week my Kindle died, and I'm anxiously awaiting the replacement. (Amazon rocks, but I've been without since Thursday and it's now Monday night.) What's that? "Pshaw!" you say? Perhaps you're a lover of a Nook, or of a Sony or some other brand of e-reader, in which case I will not argue pros and cons of different systems, because your ass would be just as devastated if it happened to you. But perhaps you pshaw at the idea of not holding the lovingly crafted binding and paper in your hands when you're reading...

I was once like you. I scoffed at the idea of not holding an actual book in my hands, of not having and adding to the bookshelves filled with books stacked on top of books and on top of books that are in front of other books, of not having various other stacks of books scattered throughout my house because of (obviously) inadequate shelf space. (Actually, that book-hoarding was quite a problem.) I took books on trips, agonizing about how I was going to fit enough books into my bags and still have room for clothes. One of my favorite books when I was in high school is missing the cover due to an unfortunate unpacking incident in Mobile. It was already in bad shape, and alas, it couldn't make it through being accidentally stepped on by my giant foot. Yes, I was a little rough on my books, but only because whatever book I was reading became an extension of me. And me is clumsy and accident-prone; a frequent flailer of limbs regardless of what those limbs may be carrying. On that note, don't give me babies and expect me to do anything but sit still.

I couldn't imagine not holding an actual book in my hands, smelling that amazing book smell, turning the pages, and getting frustrated because in the process of a page-turn something further on caught my eye and now I've spoiled it for myself. I couldn't imagine not scrambling to find a bookmark, because usually my bookmark was some random piece of paper that I was constantly misplacing. I couldn't imagine finishing a book and not getting to stand in front of my bookshelves for an eternity, poring over the covers of books I've read time and again, trying to find one that it's been a while since I read so I can enjoy it again without wanting to skip through parts. And would that mean I'd stop buying books? If so, would any visitors think I was some dense uneducated lady-brute who doesn't enjoy reading? Would I gush about my love for books only for them to look suspiciously around only to find no books to prove my sincerity? And I had just gotten a library card. Granted, my tiny local library was only open for four hours two days a week, meaning I could hardly ever check anything out for fear of my work schedule not allowing me to return things on time, but still. I had plans.

At some point, though, I caved. Happily. I wanted a Kindle so badly it was ridiculous. I had tested them out at Target, I had searched message boards and tech articles online constantly comparing and trying to find something consistently saying "Don't do it! You'll regret this decision for the rest of your life!" But I didn't, and I don't. I'm an Amazon freak like some people are Apple freaks. My Kindle goes with me everywhere, and it's much easier to carry one small Kindle than actual books. It's super-easy to use, my library's at my fingertips, and it only needs to charge for about four hours every month or so, and trust me, I use it constantly. And it's much easier to eat while reading a Kindle than an actual book, which I frequently do. I've been so happy with my Kindle, and had even bought an awesome "skin" that looks like a library to cover the graphite-colored body and lovingly tucked it in a wonderful sturdy cover to protect it from the walking accident that is me. Unfortunately, my love and affection couldn't help the apparent hardware issue that has popped up about 10 months after I received it. (My mom and I both got one for Christmas, and hers is still going strong!) You see, boys and girls, sometimes these things just happen, and we just aren't meant to understand why.

The Hubby thinks my beloved Kindle's demise is a little too coincidentally timed with the release of the newest line of Kindles, but I explained that I was getting a replacement, not an upgrade. I mean, unless he wants to get me an upgrade. Christmas is coming after all...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cool story, bro.

Clicking through the Shine website, which happens to be one of my favorite ways of killing time by pretending I want to make an effort to manage my life better, I stumbled across this article called "10 Questions That Have No Right To Go Away." I guess Oprah's website really is everywhere, and sometimes she can be a real asshole.

Who does this poet/writer David Whyte think he is, making me think like this? Although really some of those questions are just reminders for me to keep doing what I'm doing, since I have already made an effort to live my life as an answer to them. (I feel like that sounded more wanna-be-profound than intended.) But the questions from the article are definitely valid, and inspiring (if written a little douchenozzle-y at times), and made me think. *shudder*

For instance, the second question prompted this blog post. As soon as I read the question "What can I be wholehearted about?" and the note that sometimes we do what we do because it's what works for others. But until we come to grips with what we are truly wanting, we're always going to feel awkward about our own abilities.

I love writing. I have since I was a kid, and although I was never going to win any awards for it, I was decent at it. But I enjoyed it, and I never tried to write like some of my favorite writers because I knew I was not in the same class. Or school, town, county, state, country, or universe, for that matter. And that's not me fishing for false compliments, that is total honesty. I was never really good at writing fiction; I preferred to write about my own life and thoughts and experiences because that's what I know. And still, more often than not when telling stories in public I get the strong feeling that those around me are just too polite to say what they're really thinking: the sarcastic "Cool story, bro. You should tell it again." This is why I prefer writing... I can edit for relevance. (I mean, I'm still not very successful at it, but the possibility is there even if I ignore it. These past few sentences, for example? Totally unnecessary and irrelevant to the point I'm making. Yet they're staying.  Ahem.)

I wish I had the audience some of my favorite bloggers do. I wish I had the time and space to write on here like I want to. I wish I had more ideas about what to write. I wish I had maintained my anonymity so that I could be more honest about some of my issues and gripes and history without worrying about hurting someone's feelings. I wish I was as funny or as off-beat or as whatever as some of my favorite bloggers, who either are parents, have a neat job or hobby, or are simply amazing writers. I wish I was as good at branding and advertising my stuff on all the available sites. I wish I had the skills they do.

But I don't, I didn't, and I'm not. And that question from the article reminded me of that. I am not one of those writers. I am not one of those bloggers. I am me, and my style is my own, however uninteresting and rambly that may be at times. I'm not at a super-happy time in my life, what with the massive employment shifts, the constant battle with depression, the flooded house, and living with the in-laws. The first two events are what led me to start this blog, so I knew that there would be a lot of not-happy posts. I know that an audience doesn't appear out of nowhere, that it takes a lot of time and effort to build one up.  At this point in my life I have a lot of trouble putting all that time and effort into this.

So what can I be wholehearted about? I can wholeheartedly write about what matters to me, whether it's a rant, a story about something funny or shocking or sad that happened, something about my cats or The Hubby (although I limit what I write about him, per his request) or that thing I saw/read in that book/article or on that website, or if I just need the writing space to express the way life and my brain chemistry just kicks my ass sometimes. I don't have to write like they do or about the things that they do (although they frequently inspire me to push myself!). I know I'll be more comfortable with myself and stop worrying if anyone's reading once I stop trying to write like someone else.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Things that make me smile.

The past couple weeks I've felt myself sinking again, despite a wonderful weekend getaway with my friends, progress being made on my house, and a relatively easy retail job. I feel like things are looking up, but for whatever reason I am struggling to feel anything but hollow and disconnected. Sometimes I feel destructive, too, but that's not exactly lending anything helpful to the situation.

I thought I'd write about some things that make me smile, as a reminder to myself that there ARE things out there that are good and happy-making.  They may be little things, but isn't a day pretty much built on the filler we call "little things"? If every instant consisted of major events I think we'd all be insane. So here's to the little things...

  • When someone in line in front of me hands me a coupon that they hadn't been able to use.
  • When I'm trying to pull out onto a busy street and someone leaves a gap so I can get out.
  • Or even better, when I have to make a left turn onto a typically busy street--and there's no traffic.
  • When I hear from a friend I haven't heard from in a while, even if it's just a text or a "Hey" on Facebook, or a link to an article they think I might like.
  • Days when the weather is *perfect* and I'm actually able to enjoy it. Even if it's just for a little while.
  • Hearing a kid laughing. Extra points if it's because their parents are goofing around with them and don't care if it makes them look stupid in public.
  • Meeting random people with a sense of humor, who appreciate yours.
  • Being complimented in a random (but non-creepy) way by strangers.
  • That first drink of soda after you haven't had one for a while. Even when for me, "for a while" is just a day or two.
  • When "Bohemian Rhapsody" comes on the radio. 
There's some of mine... What makes you smile?

Monday, October 3, 2011

RIP, Mr. Gobbles.

Last week The Hubby called with some tragic news. The delightful, sassy turkey that had been taunting hunters with his almost constant presence at the side of the road for the week prior had apparently been hit by a car. I was disappointed and sad, but unsurprised. I had admired his confidence greatly. Many conversations with The Hubby regarding the fabulous fowl had taken place during rides to and from town. He'd alternate (the turkey, not The Hubby) between staring off into the distance at the side of the road, pecking at the ground, and glaring at unsuspecting motorists. His beady little eyes would follow you until you passed, and I swear that sometimes I could still feel his 1000-yard stare after I was home. I felt like he had really "seen some things" in his all-too-short life.

The night after I was informed of his demise, we had to go to town. The Hubby was concerned that I might be saddened by the cocky clucker's remains at the side of the road, so we waited until after dark to leave.

"I just can't believe Mr. Gobbles is gone."
"You gave him a last name?"
"Of course! Tom Gobbles."
"I thought you were calling him 'Jim." Is he 'Tom' now?"
"It's both. His name is Thomas Jimsen Gobbles."
(Actually, I had forgotten that I was calling him Jim, so I made that part of his middle name. I wanted something that wasn't James, though, and thought Jimsen sounded regal. I later confessed this to The Hubby, much to his amusement.)

When we didn't see Mr. Gobbles by the side of the road that night, The Hubby sadly said, "Foxes probably dragged him off."
I replied, "He would have wanted that. It's very 'circle of life.' Mr. Gobbles would be happy to know that his remains went on to feed the fox's family... He wouldn't want to be wasteful."
*The Hubby, laughing* - "You think so?"
"Yeah, I'm pretty sure he would've even been an organ donor if he knew that another turkey out there was in need of his, um, parts."
"Turkey surgery, huh?"
"It's ironic, the only one who could have pulled it off would have been Mr. Gobbles' uncle, but he's on vacation. Dr. Gobbles. That poor family can't catch a break."

At this point, we are both laughing our faces off. It has been decided that I should draw a picture of the vacationing Dr. Gobbles, featuring the floppy hat, cargo shorts or Hawaiian shirt, maybe sandals, and the necessary zinc oxide on his beak. And his boogie board, because although he's a daring doctor, he's not daring enough for a full surfboard. Maybe even his egg babies.

If I can ever remember to draw it, I'll try to post it. But I'm sure that my imagination is much better, and my skills in posting pictures or images on here may not be up to par. Mr. Gobbles' family deserves the best.