Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Birthdays, Paintings, and The Dream King

I just realized that I completely forgot my posting for yesterday mostly because I went to sleep at a decent time for a change, after not really having a normal sleep schedule for a week or two. I feel bad about it but at the same time I really didn't enjoy being sick last week and would not like to repeat the process. I figured that since I missed it I had better have something phenomenal to share tonight, so here's my attempt.

My cousin that I haven't seen since our much younger years is going to come for a visit as a commemoration of both of our birthdays; mine on the second of December, and hers on the third. It's somewhat odd how we came to find one another again, and definitely worth sharing. Last October, I was doing a Twitter interview with Neil Gaiman. As we all know, I am a fan of the Dream King and the interview was definitely a highlight of last year. During the interview, I gained a new follower on Twitter and oddly we shared the last name. When I looked into the profile and asked a few questions of her, I realized that it was my first cousin (that I hadn't seen for at least twenty years). I never did remember to say thank you to Neil for this reunion when I saw him at the House on the Rock so if you are reading Neil; I owe you HUGE for that. Thank you so much.

Tonight in honor of Neil, my impending 30th birthday, and the excitement of getting to see my long lost cousin, I painted a picture that I dedicate to Neil. You never really know the impression that your creations will have on a person and the serendipitous circumstances it can bring to those who love them until that magic is manifest. I am lucky to have one more thing to be thankful for this year.

"Bubbles in December" by Naomi Houser 2010
I also just realized that the interview I did with Neil last October was never posted to this blogger, so I am going to add that as well for those who didn't catch it in the newspaper or on my Facebook page. With that, I will leave you all to dream your dreams, and remember to dream them big. You'll never know what could come of them one day.

(Readers should note that the Graveyard Book actually spent more than 52 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List. It had been 52 weeks the date this article was originally published.)

eil Gaiman, famous for such works as the Sandman comics, Neverwhere, Stardust, and the 52 week New York Times Best Seller “Graveyard” was kind enough to grant me an interview over the summer using a social tool called "Twitter".

If you are unfamiliar with this tool you should; A.) Come out from under that rock, and B.) Get onto Twitter yourself and check it out! The point of Twitter? No one is really sure, but what they are sure of is that it is very addicting.

The "twitterer" is allowed 140 characters to describe anything they would like; a thought for the day, what they are eating, answering other people's "tweets" that they follow, or just plain giving an update on what is going on with them at any given time. You can follow friends, famous people, or just about anyone you really feel has something worthwhile to say. You can follow news stations, businesses, even the White House.

Neil Gaiman (recently divorced) is now dating the ukelele-playing songstress that heads up the Dresden Dolls; Amanda Palmer. Prior to my Twitter interview with Neil I asked Amanda Palmer what she thought of the interview to which she responded, "Just ask him embarrassing questions about me. He'll be tickled." I then shared this information with Neil and he shoots back with a, "Mr. Gaiman raises an eyebrow." I promised I would leave Amanda out of the question set. These are the questions I asked Neil;

NH: First question; Have you seen my car keys? They went missing today...
NG: I can never find my own car keys. I ask Lorraine. Probably she knows where your car keys are too.
(From FL:) Counter. Dining room. Perhaps table.

NH: When removing your shoes, left or right one first?
NG: Definitely one or the other, yes. Both doesn't work and I fall over.

NH: Strangest Wisconsin place you have visited? By the way, the "great bloody cow" still stands but the Oasis Restaurant is no more (Neil has been to Janesville many times)
NG: There is *nothing* stranger than the House on the Rock in this world. Giant replicas of the biggest cheese notwithstanding.
(I asked Neil several years ago if he knew where Janesville, WI was and he said, "That's the place with the great, bloody cow isn't it?")

NH: Strangest "gift" sent to you in the mail?
NG: Kyle Cassidy sent me a mysterious box, padlocked. One day, I am told, someone will arrive with a key. Until then it's a mystery.

NH: Test of psychic abilities- If you were a tattoo on Naomi's back of a Sandman character, which would you be? You could cheat on #5... but I may have to dock you points.
NG: DeliriumorDeathorMorpheusortheCorinthianorBastorSausages?
NH: Well, that covers a few of your options.... here you go... (I sent him a link to picture of the tattoo, and it is a baby Delirium.)
NG: I tried to answer AND cheat.
NH: You did famously. Full points!

NH: Write a haiku about the Dreaming, and find a way to include the Borghal Rantipole. I am so psyched about the haiku. I think I might wet my pants... Going to grab fresh undies while I wait.
(The Borghal Rantipole and The Dreaming are both references to the Sandman comics.)
NG: That's not an interview, that's art. I'm afraid we charge for art.
NH: !!!FOILED!! Oh no!! I bet you were just too stumped by the Borghal Rantipole... admit it... you retain manhood if you do. I just realized that this totally makes up for you missing coffee with me in Minneapolis that one time.

A twitter poll was made and we asked a different question 6:

NH: Apparently #6 should now be What should I do with these underwear? Which I grabbed in readiness for the Haiku.
NG: I think you should use them to Escape. Tie someone's hands with them and flee into the night.

NH: If @cabalhimself had anything to say at this moment, what would it be? (Cabal is Neil's dog, and he has his own twitter page.) #7 was tweet number 666... Coincidence? Hm. *shifty eyes* (This refers to how many posts I have made since I joined.)
NG: "We can go for a walk? Yes? Now? Yes? Soon? Walk? Sigh. Okay, I'll sleep. Then walk? Yes?"

NH: If I may have your opinion, does this catsuit make my butt look big? (I sent a picture that had been previously submitted to The Flyer of me in costume)
NG: The answer to *any* question from a lady as to whether clothing makes her butt look big is "No". Fortunately, that doesn't.

NH: If you were a Muppet, which would you be?
NG: The Great Gonzo, back when he was lean and desperate, before he started doing game shows and playing golf.

NH: What is the title of the book I have yet to write that (so far) only exists in The Dreaming? (That poor Lucien must dust.)
NG: Probably you read the answer and forgot it. Or dreamed you did.

NH: What can we expect to see (as far as new works go) from you in the near future? Will there really be an Anansi Boys film?!
NG: The only answer to anything filmic from a writer is "I hope so".

NH: And finally... is this the best interview ever? Just kidding. But seriously... is it??
NG: No. The Best Interview Ever will include ice cream. I am convinced of this and will wait forever if necessary.
NH: And your favorite flavor?
NG: Butter pecan, probably. 

Or** Fennel.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fear and the Voice Within

After writing about four thousand words into the wee hours of this morning, I found myself at a complete impasse in my novel. The hard part is that no one has really read the book in its entirety so far, or if they have they aren't very forthcoming with constructive criticism, so I can ask for help all that I want but no one really has any clue exactly what I am trying to get accomplished here. When Dustin returned from his usual Sunday workout, I was able to get a little more out of him because he knows where the story has been thus far and where it is headed.

My goal at this point is to continue on like I am, though I have totally broken away from the first set of main characters, then figure out what to do with the bit of story I am wrestling in. The fact is that the bit I am wrestling with is vital, so there's no way to just throw it out.

I am going to go with the thought that anything worth attaining is not done so easily, and mark it as a complete and utter labor of love. I know that this is going to work out in the end. I know that my creative mind will work past this dilemma.

For the longest time I found myself at a total block in the story because I feared that I was just not good enough to write this story yet, and that was probably true. I have to be in the right mindset for this book and trying to just get whatever dribble out on the page that I can serves no purpose in the end except for one huge editing nightmare for me. I would much rather set the story aside and come back to it when the feeling comes... like the last few days for example. Yes, it's going slower than I really wanted it to, but I think that that could be a sign that this one will be the one that grows into something great. Right now, the voices of the cast of characters from this book is screaming within me. And I like that.

A friend told me that "Sherman Alexie said writer's block is fear." Just like my friend, I am going to take this to heart. I can't remember a time in my life when I was afraid of anything, and now would be a really poor time to start. Unless we're talking about heights, and even that I am learning to conquer. Here's to a productive evening of writing once again, and to you my friends. Much love.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bubbles in a Fish Tank and Filet Mignon

I have been sitting here staring at a blank page, and figuring out how to conquer it. I am looking at bubbles in a fish tank, and a TV that is only just a noise. I am listening to a song that touches my heart. I am smelling the remnants of dinner. I am feeling like thirty is approaching too fast. What is it about years of our lives that make us feel a certain way? Why should thirty be different than twenty nine? I suppose I want to still exist in that point of my life where one foot is in adulthood and one foot remains in my childhood. I want to still be able to do and say crazy things and have fun but I want respect as well. I don't know why this number makes me feel like I have to be more.

When I was younger I guess I just thought that by this age I would have the things I wanted in order. I would have gone to at least a few of the faraway places that I wanted to go, I would have published at least one story, I would have graduated college and had a successful career. I don't like feeling as though my accomplishments have been so few. When I begin to feel this way, I remember those things that I have done that mean so much and the sting of it dulls a little. I know that I will have these things, I just need to think of "adulthood" as being older than I had thought when I was a child.

The one thing that I have to realize is that none of this is going to happen if I don't make it happen. I really need to work more on the story before the thread of it is lost, and it dies like rotten fruit on a vine. I am going to write some of the book tonight. My goal is to write for at least two hours and get something down. I love doing this blog each day, and if I could offer the same commitment to the story I am working on that I do to this blog, then it would actually be getting somewhere. So I verbally berate myself for being lazy with it, and now I need to go and work on it instead of talking about it.

I'll close by telling you all that I had a great day, though uneventful. I cooked filet mignon for the first time, which turned out delicious, and I spent time laughing with my fiance and daughter. If I every need a recharge of the spiritual batteries, all I need is my children. I hope you are all warm somewhere but if I could ask a favor... I would really love snow for my birthday. If you could just wish a little snow my way for the second of December, I would really appreciate it. Much love to you, my friends.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Nope, it has nothing to do with polar bears.

Well, I promised that I would post more about my Turkey Day stuff, and now that I have had both time to make up for the sleep lost because of it and time to think about it all I think I can finally write about it some.

I find it hard to explain to people the relationship between my mother and I. I know that I have said that plenty of times but unless I go off on a rant for an hour about all of the things she has done in my life to make me lose my mind or make me a depressed and nervous wreck people never really get to hear about it. It's harder and harder each time I write about it not to get very emotional because, while she does all these things I always forgive her. Sometimes too much so, in my opinion.

I always worry that people are going to look at me as though I am harsh or uncaring because of the way that I feel sometimes when it comes to her. Maybe they would be right, too. I worry about venting about it at all because of that exact reason... because the truth is that I get so upset because I care too much about her, which is why I keep going back for more.

My mother has bipolar disorder. Living and loving someone with this disease is harder and harder all the time. Sometimes, for weeks on end, she cares about nothing. She won't clean her house until she is living in unlivable conditions, she doesn't shower, she doesn't eat... she doesn't care. Then the other side of the pendulum; she dates recklessly, she makes up illnesses, she spends money she doesn't have... she doesn't care and it is just as bad. Sure, there are times when she seems totally normal, and things seem great. Then it seems like out of nowhere, she swings into one extreme or another and I don't know where I stand anymore.

Reasoning with a person who has bipolar disorder when they are in a full swing is pointless, and yet I try anyway. Because of this, my mom and I fight a lot. About everything. When she gives me advice, I do the same as she does; disregard it. Because I don't have bipolar disorder myself, I find it hard to relate to her, to understand what she is going through, and to forgive her for the things she does. Because I don't have thid disease, I still hold her accountable for her actions and she thinks me unfair for that. I probably am. I am insensitive to this disease because no matter how many pamphlets she gives me, no matter how she tries to rationalize the things she does, no matter how she tries to convince me that this is a real disease, I just can't believe that a person doesn't have control over their own emotions at all.

Sometimes I think she overuses it as an excuse to do or not do things. I am not saying that it's not real, but I think she does tend to use it to her advantage at times, which will tie into Thanksgiving later on. When my mom is in when of the "valleys", as I like to call them, I will do everything I can to try and cheer her up or help her out, to the point of my own exhaustion. I have spent hours at a time cleaning a house that she hadn't touched, making sure she gets out of the house or into the shower, taking her where she needs to go, making sure she eats by going grocery shopping for her... I really do exhaust myself. I don't feel bad about it at the time, usually, unless it is expected of me every single time. It gets to the point where my brothers expect me to do everything for her because I have been the one to do it every time in the past and it just wears on me emotionally and spiritually.

Mom faked being "sick" this year on Thanksgiving because she had decided to have everyone over for Thanksgiving but forgot that that meant she would have to make sure her house was clean and that cooking was done and since she had put it off and put it off, the eve of Turkey Day came and she had a huge job on her hands. I refused to come and clean her house for her so she just gave up and passed it off on me instead. I had already invested money into the food for it, so she knew I would make sure that it got done.

After my show I had friends over at my place until about midnight, then decided to stay up and do whatever I felt like doing while the house was quiet. At about two in the morning, my mom called and told me she was too sick to do Thanksgiving. Rather than getting up early I decided to stay up, go get the turkey and fixings from her place, and get the kitchen ready for all the cooking I was about to do. Mostly it was just dishes left over from making dinner for my friends before the show, but it took me until about 4 a.m. to get everything in order for the next day. I lay there, thoughts racing about how I was going to get it all done, for another hour and a half. After cooking all I needed to cook, and getting no sleep because of all the cooking involved, I took it all to my brother's house (20 minutes away) so we could eat.

This afternoon I got a call from mom asking how it all went and, still insisting she was sick (oh yeah, *cough cough*) decides to tell me how horribly the last couple of days have been for her. Again, I had to be brisk and tell her that I have a lot going on in my own life right now. Sick or not, I still have to clean my house, and take care of the kids, and worry about bills, and try to take care of myself. She got angry with me. Because I "can't just let her vent". Well. Sorry.

Now I am venting, which I really don't want to do. I am sure that my readers have so much of their own things going on that my problems are more than even they need to deal with. I do apologize for that. Sometimes I forget that people even read this, as I see it more as a journal to myself. I have no secrets, so people that do read it are in no way violating something sacrosanct. I just appreciate the feedback when I get it. I appreciate my friends, who really are my backbone in life. They support me and make me feel stronger rather than helpless, like my mother does sometimes. I love that about them.

Trying to salvage this and end it on a positive note, going Black Friday shopping with my friend Laura was more fun than I expected it to be, and was much smoother than last year. Though we only ended up going to one store, we found a ton of deals and the girls will not want for anything this Christmas.

Laura, if you are reading this, you are an amazing friend. You're selfless and supportive, kind and generous, and one of my best friends. You know all you do, I just want you to know that I am thankful for it... more than you could ever know. One day I'll find a way to pay you back.

Have a fabulous night, readers. My love goes out to you all.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Day posting

Just going to pull a quick blog post out before I head out into the cold, cold night to do some Black Friday shopping... which I am not really looking forward to. Today was interesting. I got no sleep because mom called me at two in the morning to let me know she was too sick to do our Turkey Day stuff, so I ran to her house to pick up the turkey for cooking so the whole thing didn't go down the crapper. I ended up staying up until the wee hours of the morning making sure everything was ready to go so that I would have a bit of a head start. I made pretty much everything except for a few sides and extra desserts. Needless to say that I don't want that sprung on me in the future. If it's planned, I am good... none of this last minute stuff.

Shopping should be fun and interesting, seeing as last year was a zoo. I'll probably pop in to edit this or start another post after I get back to really get into what went on tonight for the day. Just don't have a lot of time as I should be leaving in about three minutes.

I hope you all had a wonderful Turkey Day! Much love.

Music, Poetry, and Thankfulness

Tonight at the show was a very good time. I sang "Come to My Window" by Melissa Etheridge, "What's Up" by 4 Non Blonds, and "Me and Bobby McGee" the Janis version of the song. Everyone seemed to enjoy my singing and at least I didn't get booed or anything. Though I don't really see that happening... I never did get my little bit of snow, but in an effort to please me, the sky drizzled a little. That ended up being far more annoying than if it would have just done nothing, but hey... can't be so choosy I guess.

I tried making the foodnetwork.com recipe for butterbeer that I had, and all in all I thought it was good, but far too sweet. I think that it would have been much better with milk (or almond milk for those that are lactose intolerant) added to remove some of that overly sweet flavor, which I ended up trying and it worked out well. It tasted great with just a teeny bit of brandy for a kick and I think that I would like to add cinnamon next time. As long as I tweak it some, it'll be great and I will post a new recipe for it once I figure out exactly what it needs.

It is officially Turkey Day, which means two things; One: I am late for my blog posting... again. Two: I should probably go through all the things I am thankful for because it is good to take stock of them once in a while.

I am thankful for my family, as crazy as they make me sometimes. I am most thankful for my children who will ensure that I will live on through my blood, granted that they have children of their own one day. I am thankful for Dustin who, even in times of stress, manages to stay strong for both of us. I am thankful that my brother and sister-in-law are finally one step closer to the baby that they so desperately want. I am thankful that my oldest brother is also able to connect with his son that he hasn't spoken to in many years, and that his son told him that he loves him.

I am thankful for my friends. Were it not for them, not only would I have no sanity at all, I would not have Christmas for my kids. I am thankful for the words of encouragement. I am thankful for the little pictures or notes they post on my Facebook wall. For the emails they send with well wishes for this or that thing. For the pictures they take of me that make me see the beauty that I have... they have no idea what that means to me. For the money they send when I need help. For the cookies they bring over just because they love me, and I them. For the phone calls from across the country to let me know I am still in their thoughts. For the times when they tell me that they are thankful for me too. For the love and the laughs and the support... I am thankful for all of you.

I am thankful for health. For the health of my kids and myself and my friends. That those who are ailing still have life to cling to. Thankful for the hope that remains that one day they will be better.

I am thankful for laughter. Without it I would be lost.

I am thankful for words. That I can use them to cause others happiness.

I am thankful for life. I am thankful that you all are in it.

On that note, I wrote a poem that I will share here. I wrote this poem in the wee hours last night after my randomness, and I wrote for those who have lost. It might be a bit sad, and it makes me ache for those who have felt loss, especially recently. This is my gift to you. I hope that you have plenty to be thankful today and always. My love to you and yours, dear reader.

Dinner for Two
Her eyes sparkled with the gleam of candles
The scent of fresh roses in a vase upon the table before her
The happy pattern on the china a reminder that she was unhappy.

Her eyes glistened with wet tears
The scent of the salt like a sea in the air
The rain beating the panes a reminder that it all washes clean.

Her eyes take in the table setting across from her
The scent of a dinner gone cold and of wine-soaked promise broken
The darkened house a reminder of the darkness in her soul.

Her eyes see the iridescent shimmer of bubbles in the sink
The scent of lavender soap mixes sourly with the wine
The pruned wrinkles in her hands a reminder that she will age alone.

Her eyes ache from all of the tears she sheds
The scent of his cologne remains on the pillow next to her own
The clothes hanging in the closet a reminder that he will not return to wear them.

The phone call came just as the timer on the oven goes off.
"A horrific accident... nothing could be done..."
"You can't see his body until morning... try to get some sleep."
"If there's anything I can do..."
She drops the phone and it shatters as it hits the tile.

Her eyes see the casket lowered into the cold, wet ground
The scent of people as they hug her, all different and yet somehow the same
The dirt beneath her knees a reminder that the world remains below her feet.

Her eyes are weaker now than they once were, all those years ago
The scent of food cooking in the oven had taken her back to that place
The sound of the timer on the oven a reminder that her time, too, is limited.

Her eyes sparkle with the knowledge of a life well lived, even through hardships
The scent of the perfumed candles blending with the roasting turkey
The sight of the place settings at the table a reminder that life does go on.

Her eyes behold her grandchildren, their angel faces smiling up at her
The scent of their hair was sweet in her nostrils as she hugged them
The laughter erupting from their tiny bodies a reminder that we all laugh again.

Her eyes fall upon the man she had come to love after her heart was broken
The scent of his cologne was different, but so comforting
The roses set on her table a reminder that her lost love would always be there with her.

The man was gone from her life too soon, taken before she was prepared
"I will always love you, my sweet... I miss you always"
"I know that you want me to be happy... I will try to live again"
She finds another who loves her as much.
She will never feel the same love for another as she felt for this man,
But she did find love... and it was different... but wonderful.

Her eyes are closed as she remembers him
The scent of salt, again in the air
She will always remember that night... and how she missed her dinner for two.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Random Tuesday

So, why Random Tuesday? I really have no idea. I just woke up feeling very scattered and chaotic, so I just went with it. Sometimes it's no use fighting against the current, you just have to go with the flow. So this blog post is going to be all about the art of freewriting... Whatever comes to me will come out as it comes to me, even if I break in the middle of a sentence to get there. I'll even try to get back if I can.

Someone wanted me to watch "The Secret"... for a Pagan, I am just not sure I got for all that metaphysical bullshit. Sure, I think that energy is powerful... obviously... I wouldn't be a practicing Pagan if I didn't, but I think that the secret attempts to fool people into believing that it is really less airy-fairy than it is. I agree with the theory, it's the delivery I don't think I'll care for.

Mountain Dew is probably one of my favorite beverages right behind coffee. If I had to pick a favorite kind of coffee, I don't think I could. Mountain Dew has several flavors now, and they just don't taste right to me. I like the Mountain Dew I have, thank you very much.

Every time I see a movie ad I wish I had written it. Sometimes I wish I were more clever than I am, or at least be able to iterate the things in my head quickly enough to make it matter. Sometimes I just feel like I have to be totally random like this so that I can write in a structured form better. It's sort of like the idea of letting the little kid have the tantrum so they get it out of their system and they can come out of their room acting like a normal human child again instead of like they were switched with some sort of squinchy faced gremlin. That is what Cyrah reminds me of when she freaks out anyway. I think that if I just let me mind have this little tantrum that the next thing is going to be amazing... or so I hope.

I never know how long these moods are going to last. It seems like sometimes they are only for a few hours and then other times they stretch on for days at a time. That is sure going to make paying attention very hard to do.

Have you ever repeated a word over and over again until it just didn't make sense anymore? It just became some weird sound coming out of your mouth and you don't know why that word for a thing instead of another. Like coupon or purple. Those two words I can say over and over again until they just sound ridiculous, and at the end I have never actually answered the question of why. I guess like can just be like that sometimes. Sometimes I say words with different accents just to make myself giggle, and some of them make me giggle in any dialect... like peacock.

So tomorrow I have a show and I am looking forward to it. I suppose I should end this randomness before it gets out of control... but do I want to? I just don't know. I may even post again tonight if the mood strikes. Maybe even something a little more readable. Who knows?

Monday, November 22, 2010


So sorry that I haven't been posting. Starting with a really nasty flu and followed up with the thing that comes at the end of a sentence is just cruel... I haven't been able to get a lot done, which is irritating. I hate just having to lay around and rest when there about a million and a half things that need done, or that I would like to be doing instead of not feeling well.

I feel like I owe half a novel to the blog now that I have missed several days, but the truth is, I can't help being sick so I just have to get over the fact that I missed out. I broke the rules of the NaBloPoMo, but no one was really paying attention anyways so I suppose I am not totally upset by this fact.

Had an early Turkey Day celebration on Sunday with the future in-laws, which is always a tasty time. I ate what my belly could handle, which wasn't much in comparison to what I would have liked to have eaten so at least I don't feel like I need to go out and exercise to make up for the calories. I got to hang out at one of my favorite places and with some of my favorite people, even if I was feeling under the weather the whole time. They have two dogs; a HUGE German Shepard and a tiny Boxer (well... tiny in comparison to the giant German Shepard) that I love spending time with because they are like two little boys. I can be rough and tumble with them and they don't seem to mind. Spending time with them reminds me of the things I have to be thankful for, even if money is tight (like, choking-type) right now.

This year, for the first time in many, I am going to my mother's house on Thanksgiving Day proper. I am not really sure how I feel about it. I must sound like some ungrateful bitch, talking about how I am not sure I am happy to spend my Thanksgiving with my family, but if people understood the dichotomy with my mother and I, they might not feel that way. I have spent a good deal of my life listening to my mother complain about this or that ailment, or how bad money is, or how depressed she is, or how much my little brother is hard to live with. Granted, she should be able to vent about these things to her kids sometimes, I would much prefer it wasn't an every day occurrence. Because I have so much of my own emotional baggage right now, it is really hard for me to try and pile hers on too. When I tell her that I just can't help her (even by listening) with her problems, she takes as as calloused and treats me like a hard-hearted asshole. I am just not looking forward to that kind of stress for the holiday.

My brother and sister-in-law announced that they are expecting a baby. I am pretty thrilled for them since they have been trying for quite some time now. It will be nice to have some more rugrats running around.

Aurora continues to build a relationship with Dustin. She brought home a short story that she wrote at school that she dedicated to him about Fall. I am just floored with this new development. I think that, spiritually, it couldn't have come at a better time for me. It lowers the in-home stress, and helps to ease my mind about my future. The only downside is that now they take sides against me, which is irritating in its own way.

I have a show with my friend Chris coming up in a couple of days, and I plan to be completely well by the time this occurs. I am singing a few songs with him, and I think it will do me good to get out of the house and see some friends. Last year when we went to his show, it snowed. I think that that would really make me happy right now. There's something clean and new about snow... a fresh start could be the answer to a lot of problems right now.

Maybe tomorrow I'll write about what I am thankful for, but for tonight I think I will work on some more short stories and see what comes of them. Just getting the bones of them down makes me feel better. I hope you are all warm and safe somewhere. My love to you all.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Bridge Under Construction

Well, I am feeling about at 85% now in comparison to this morning, so I suppose I have to guess that it was a 24 hour bug. I am thankful for that much at least.

Tonight, my daughter hugged Dustin for real for the first time in many years. I think she is slowly (and finally) starting to come around to the fact that he will be sticking around. After six years, I would like to think so. I think somehow since her father and I divorced, she has worried that things aren't permanent and that change is a bad thing. Maybe she has always felt that deep down, she couldn't get comfortable with Dustin and get to love him, or he would go away too. I guess I kind of remember feeling like that when my mom was dating too. The difference between our situations is that my mom just kept on remarrying, and I really think Dustin and I are in it for the long haul... or at least I hope so. I do have to say that that was something that I really needed, deep down, in my heart; to see her laughing, and hugging him, and feeling okay about it.

As she gets older, she is learning more from him. He taught her how to rock and boulder climb, how to be artistic, how to laugh at yourself. I am sure that I have taught her these types of things too, but he teaches her differently. He might be a big kid himself sometimes, so I guess he relates to her like that.

I need her to understand that some men will be permanent. I need her to understand that not all relationships fail. I need her to understand that true love does exist, you just might not get it right the first time around. I want her to find love with a man that makes her blood boil, sometimes in anger and sometimes in passion. I want her to know that you can start again, and that getting up and dusting yourself off is the right thing to do. I also need her to know nothing was ever her fault and that she doesn't have to be angry because sometimes things go wrong.

It's hard to raise a child when you're divorced. It's hard when they ask why you no longer love their other parent. I don't like having to tell her that her dad wasn't the right guy for me. I have to keep from her the things he did that hurt me, and the things I did to hurt him in the end. I don't know that I'll ever really tell her about the things that stabbed at me along the way, and what finally broke our relationships. I am content with the fact that tonight, she gave Dustin a hug. Tonight a plank was laid down on a bridge that is being constructed. Tonight I can go to sleep just a little happier.

Good night my friends. I hope you have something to make you smile tonight too.

Sickness in the Life and Times of Me...

Well, yesterday was a complete bust for pretty much anything, sadly. I had some writing plans aside from the blog but at about 1 p.m. a very nasty tummy bug pretty much laid me out. In and out of the bathroom, the tub, and the bed, I am pretty sure I wore a track in the floor.

At about 7 p.m. I was finally unconscious, which meant missing out on one of my favorite shows; America's Next Top Model. It's just about the only show I watch religiously, and even though the girls on the show are constantly at each other, I watch it more for the photo shoots and creativity portions of it than anything else. I suppose I will have to catch the missed episode online sometime this week.

I am still feeling the echoes of my sickness this morning, but at least I am able to function at fifty percent rather than not at all. I hope to get some of these ideas out of my head before they disappear into the ether, so today may be a sitting still and writing day.

I'll post another blog post tonight in order to make up for the lost blog yesterday. I hope you are all having a wonderful day.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Following your Heart

When a psychology instructor asks you to write about your thoughts on intuition, it's probably a good idea to do just that... or maybe it's not at all a good idea... how do you make the distinction? I could be working myself into some sort of Psychology 101 conundrum here but I am, as always, willing to take on the challenge. My gut tells me that everything is going to be okay. ;)

I have always considered myself a more "Intuitive" personality according to the Myers-Briggs Personality tests, and it turns out that when I finally took the test, I was. I have always trusted my gut when it comes to everything, mostly because I get a "vibe" off of people. I couldn't tell you if it was my subconscious giving me the answer or not, but I can always tell when I won't get along with a person before even talking to them, when a choice feels "wrong", when something bad or good is in the air, when I am not going to get the part I tried out for... Do I feel that that kind of life can sometimes be a self-fulfilling prophecy? Absolutely. But why torture myself with being around someone I don't feel good being around just to prove myself right or wrong, or putting myself in a situation that just feels doomed?

There have been times in my life where I have felt as though taking a step in a certain direction would lead to a certain fate, and mid-step or no, I will turn around and walk away if I need to.

I don't like that there's even a phrase out there called "woman's intuition". This makes it seem as though men walk around without "feeling" anything around them, while women are privy to some secret information that men can't touch for one reason or another. It also makes it seem like some women don't trust in logic... this isn't acceptable.

Intuition has brought great things into my life and kept some of the bad away, or so I have convinced myself. Like ESP, I believe that intuition is fallible. Unlike ESP, it is repeatable. I think that intuition comes with life experience. You'll know that fire burns if you have been burned and you'll be able to avoid situations because your subconscious give you a tiny reminder somewhere in the back of your head that this has spelled disaster before based on similar events. You know that feeling that you get when you meet someone for the first time and, without speaking, your personal bubble space touches their personal bubble space and you either immediately like or dislike them? I think that this is intuition with a logical twist; Your subconscious is comparing all that it can see about this person against everything that you have either liked or disliked about every person you have ever met, and gives you a nudge in deciding how you feel about the person standing before you.

The future is full of possibilities, and I don't believe that intuition has ever hindered me from doing exactly what it is that I think I should do. Sure, I may have missed out on some great friendships because intuition told me that the person in question and I were never going to get along. On the other hand, I may have missed out on being incredibly hurt by them because I followed my gut in the first place.

Intuition tells me something good is in the air. It is my job to go out and actually make it happen.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Those Places Were Mine

When I was in my teenage years, I used to do whatever I could for a thrill in this sleepy town. After moving from Madison to this little place (and it was little-minded then, too) I found myself without anything constructive to do. At first, I would just ride my bike everywhere, trying in my own way to get lost and never go home. After a while it was all by foot, and it took longer and longer each time. I discovered many pretty places in town that I pretended were all my own.

My escape from Suburbia usually included long walks through the Greenbelts scattered throughout the city, little patches of untouched wood that you could walk through and smell earth instead of pavement and hear birds instead of cars. I would touch the trees and lay upon the grass where the sunlight was dappled through the trees. I would think of life and how much was ahead.

I found caves hidden beneath railroad tracks near a hospital. They reeked of piss and spoiled dreams; probably belonging to someone else... the "probably" meant the dreams, not the piss. Can't say I ever pissed in those caves. They only went back a couple dozen feet, but if not for the piss, there might have been magic in those caves. At night I tripped over a homeless man laying on a plank bridge. He had been asleep, and I think I scared him more than he scared me. I offered him my water bottle and a stick of gum because it was all I had on me. He told me his name was Pete and he was just looking for a safe place to sleep. I don't know what happened to Pete. I hope he is well and warm somewhere.

I found a dam where water roared so loud I could barely hear the thoughts in my head. The water churned like my mind, and I felt alone. Above this dam there was a set of train tracks that I liked to try and draw. I would always burn these pictures when I was done drawing them, so no one could find my secret place. I left a small mark in a tree there for every carp I saw break the surface of the water. Their brown-sludge colored bodies flipping in to the air, they seemed to want something new as much as I did.

There was a railroad bridge spanning across the Rock River that I liked to cross at night. I would imagine, at times, plummeting into the cold, dirty water. Mostly for the thrill of the jump than the possibility of danger waiting in a rocky demise at the bottom. I remember several times where my feet would catch in the spaces between the ties, and I would see the sparkling water under my feet, several stories below me. It reminded me of flashing stars in a pitch black sky. I wasn't afraid of heights, then.

I found a road where the houses were still in construction, on a cul-de-sac on a lonely road. It would be less than five years until the houses finally grew into more than just the bones of what they would be. There were lights on in the houses now, and a streetlight burned brightly above my head. I left that place feeling sad... another road to ruin a special place for me.

I found a series of tunnels the ran beneath the football field at my high school. Armed only with a Bic lighter, I explored those tunnels until I found out where they all ended up; either at tunnels too small even for me or beneath streets where I could hear cars passing overhead. Once I ended up beneath the girl's locker room at the high school. I could hearing the water from the showers pounding on tile above me. I found an ending to those slightly curved tunnels, and it dumped out at a small pond with large rocks and a huge park only a short walk through a copse of trees.

I found a circle on a hill, built inside a round stone wall. In the center of the circle there was a compass pointing out the directions, and a sandstone, dangerous path found me at the mouth of a cave below the circle. Staying with the theme of piss and caves, this one reeked. I could ignore the smell long enough to look out over the river and pretend that I was an indigenous girl, looking out into the unknown. The stain of graffiti boasted all who had come before, but this was still my special place. In the dark, the lights of the city across the river were colorful and seemed farther away than they were.

I found a set of stairs, the Devil's Staircase, it's called, where if you follow the path past the point where you should and then follow a thin footpath down a treacherous hill, you would find a sandy beach. I would skip rocks and dream dreams and write in my journal.

I found a felled tree that was as big around as five of me, sitting next to a pond that was as clear as glass. I would sit in the bend of a branch, dozing quietly each day until they finally removed the tree a few weeks later.

The town was magic when I was alone. Going to these places now, I no longer feel they are mine. My heart is still restless for the unknown, and one day I will find it again. My adventures, now, are stifled, but I know that there is mystery waiting somewhere for me, just beyond that next bend in the path.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

IMPROV-A-BLOG!! All the randomness you can fix in a leeeetle box.

So, I asked people on Facebook what I should blog about, and this blog will contain all of those subjects, in one form or another...

I shall begin with pickles. Why is the delicious pickle only called a "pickle", when it must be referenced back to the cucumber? Did "pickled cucumber" not sound as delightful to the palette? Are there cucumber haters out there who only delight in pickles without thinking about the cucumber origins? When pickling began, how did they decide what would be most delicious to pickle, and what did they try that might have failed? I can think of a few; pickled chocolate (it just sounds evil on too many levels), pickled venison (I've had it, it tasted only of FAIL), pickled strawberries (just ew). Among my favorite pickled things, I like pickles (of course), pickled bologna (which apparently I can only get in Michigan), and pickled beets.

Next on the list; Barometric pressure. I am sure that this has something to do with weather, and probably explains why nipples get hard in cold weather. I am sure there's an evil scheme to be hatched in there, I just have yet to explore it.

Now; "Why I Blog". I decided that since I missed National Blog Posting Month last year, I was going to try and get it in this year. I may keep this up every day, but I do tend to run out of things to say which is why I asked for some help tonight. I hope you are as entertained as I am...

Fourth; "How to write a carefully prepared blog under a deadline". I got nothing. I usually just write whatever is in my brain at the moment and, full of fail or not, it ends up here. I am far too random to prepare for these types of things. I have found that the magic usually happens when I just wing it. I am totally an improv girl where that is concerned.

Next; "Why Richard Blogs; a tale of grammar and photography" doesn't actually exist, except in my head. I think his photo albums have a story waiting to happen in them, and someday I may just try and write it, but for now, we must all hang our heads in woe for the non-existance-ness of this blog I just spoke of.

Which leads me to; The Future of Human Evolution. It is my one wish that humans will eventually have gills like in Waterworld, and we will embrace the fact that we live on a planet that is made up mostly of water. My fear, however, is that like the topsoil, we'll just find a way to fuck it up. I still want gills though, that would be totally awesome. Oh, and night vision. Especially handy in the wintertime in the Midwest. I think it was dark out at like four in the afternoon today. Someone should work on all this. This is the future as I see it.

How many more can we fit? Well, here's another; Rosecrans and Gildenstern. I don't know who these two are, so here's my story about them. Rosecrans, or simply Rose is a small somewhat dumpy woman with too many children who likes to yell a lot. Gildenstern, her husband gilds things in gold, and has a workshop on the top floor of a building. He doesn't answer the phone when Rose calls, and then gets yelled at for it when he comes home. They have a small house in the suburbs, and their children go to a private school that only teaches them about the culinary arts.

Ummm, what's next? Ah, yes. Parallel Universes. In a parallel universe, I think I would be taller. Or I would hope to be. In this parallel Universe, everything is opposite. So I am now tall, and I don't put my foot in mouth on a constant basis, and I have no imagination. This parallel universe kind of sucks. I want a universe where everyone starts old and gets younger. I want a parallel universe where you eat to get thinner and you smoke to get healthier. Also, a parallel universe that doesn't have coffee is unacceptable.

This should be fun; Time Traveling Hobos with Sacks of Walnuts. If I were a time traveling hobo with a sack of walnuts, I would probably use them to throw at people, then travel back in time and stand behind someone else so that the person struck would believe it was them throwing the walnut instead of me. Sneaky and mean, but sounds like fun. I think that no matter who you are, you are a hobo if you time travel because you're technically homeless. All hobos in my mind look like sad clowns with a five o'clock shadow. I think this stems from the velvet posters and figurines of sad clowns that my cousin had in her house. None with walnuts though... I do remember that she smoked a lot of weed, so she probably thought she could time travel. Very slowly. Into the future.

What now? Fish. I like fish. I have blogged about fish in the past but I shall reiterate those posts by saying that I love fish. I wish I could swim with fish, hence my evolution bit. Also, you should feed the Mind Fish. They like food. Watch the blue one, though. He hogs the food a lot.

Annnnnnnd; Tweeting myself. I know to some of you that sounds like some sort of crazy porn movie, but here in the world of "teh interwebs", we do tweet ourselves. Or it feels like we do every time we sent a Tweet to a famous person and they don't reply. When I send a tweet to myself, it's usually talking to my sixteen year old self. I say things like, "Don't worry, your boobs will eventually get bigger, but not by much... #tweetyoursixteenyearoldself" or somesuch.

I hope you enjoyed Improv-a-Blog. Please leave a comment if you like.

Pagan babies! Oh noes!

So, I am late for my blog post on the 13th, but since I have yet to go to sleep, I am going to go ahead and post it now. Take that, rules! I do what I want!

It was requested that I talk a little bit about my Pagan-ism or Pagan-ality, or whatever you like calling it, and so I plan to do just that.

I have been Pagan for as long as I can remember. Grandma was described as a "kitchen witch" and was very superstitious about the weirdest things. She kept stones and a crystal ball (though she couldn't tell you why) but to all her acquaintances she was Lutheran, I think.... so the story goes. My mom used to be very Pagan herself, but then decided eventually (after having us try on several other religions in the meantime) that Jesus was all powerful, and was born on the 25th of December, and that he died for my sins and all that. That was when I was about eleven and religion had really started to matter to me.

I had my grandmother's crystal ball, I had my own tarot cards, I had books on the subject to further my education on it, and suddenly, to my mother, it was wrong. Those things her mom told her, those "powers" she was born with; they all meant nothing. And now I was some sort of sinner... To this day we still have fights about it, mostly because she thinks her mom was wrong all that time and taught her the wrong way at life or something. When we fight, I never give in though, and at times, she really seems to miss the way she was.

As for the children, I am raising them Pagan as well. I do talk to them about other beliefs and I tell them that, when and if the time comes for them to believe in something else, that is between them and the gods. It's out of my hands once they make that choice and I will never turn them out for the things they believe, as long as they never try to cast me out for my beliefs.

We do celebrate Yule, and they believe in Santa. To make life easier, we have a Yule celebration on the 22nd of December for the solstice, and then they open their gifts on the 25th because the relatives all celebrate then so it just makes life easier to open the gifts then. More or less we just call it the "Holiday Season" and it covers a broad spectrum of things.

I do hope that, even if they are not Pagan as they grow, that their tolerance of other beliefs will remain. Nothing in this world is worth fighting over, especially when it comes to someone's place in "heaven".

That about covers it, I think. My best to you all and goodnight.

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's not Lupus...

Because my back has really been bothering me, I really didn't want to do a blog post tonight. I really just wanted to lay in bed and read a book, and not move around... so much for that, but this is going to be a quick one.

Had a pretty good day today, mostly because I went to a movie with my daughter and a friend. We saw Megamind which has Will Ferrell as a voice actor of the main character, Megamind, who is a very clumsy villain in the story. It was quite entertaining, and I wouldn't mind owning it when it comes out on DVD. The crappy thing was that it was sleeting outside when I drove my friend home, and anyone that knows me knows that I suck at any kind of winter... so that was fun. Mostly because everyone else was driving like crap too.

My night was going pretty well and relaxed (besides the back pain) until my mother called and told me she has Lupus. Okay... after I had a good sized freak out I found out that her doctor "suspects" that is what is wrong with her. I love my mom, don't get me wrong, but she does tend to say whatever she thinks will get the most sympathetic reactions out of people, and I guess this was just one too many over the line for me. I basically gave her an earful about not giving me a pre-diagnosis, just the facts, no more and no less. There is no need to get the world worked up about the possibilities of things when it serves no purpose. I told her that it was more than I could handle, and just to give me the facts when they are there.

So it might have been harsh, but sometimes I have to be harsh with my mom. That, however, is far too much to tell all in one sitting and after I am already irritated with her, now is not the time. Maybe some other day... not when I am in a great mood, to be sure, because that would just get my blood boiling. but when I am feeling... different.

For now, I am thankful for her health. I am thankful for family. I am thankful for puppies and kittens and children and heating pads. I am also thankful for you. Good night, dear reader.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bubbles, Bob and the Need for Talking

So, inspired by my lovely mind fish here, I decided to go out and finally put a couple of fish into my salty tank since my coral beauty died. They are green chromis (but they are actually a lovely light blue-ish), and their names are Bubbles and Bob. I don't know which one is Bob and which one is Bubbles, but they seem to like the names just fine. Chromis are in the damsel family of fish, and the green chromis are a heartier fish and can survive a first cycle better than most. Oh, and did I mention CHEAP?! For a salt water fish, these were less than four dollars each, and if they die I won't have spent a fortune (like the thirty bucks I spent on the coral beauty), and won't feel like an ass for have brought a little bit of swimmy happiness into my life today. Money is tight, but I really wanted something to look at and make me smile.

Cyrah got sent "upstairs" today at pre-k, which essentially equates to going to the principal's office in her school. I guess the teacher and the teacher's aid must have let it slip their minds because they never said anything to Dustin when he picked her up, but she said something almost as soon as she got in the car. One thing I can say for the kid; she's honest. She said that she had to go upstairs because she kept talking when the teacher was talking, and this is an issue we are working on at home as well. Glad I am not the only one she does that to, I guess.

I watched "How to Train Your Dragon" for the first (and second) time today, and without spoiling anything for the readers who have maybe not seen the movie; See it. It is worth watching no matter what your age is. The movie centers around a teenage Viking boy who doesn't live up to the village's expectations of him. His life is changed when he finally captures a dragon and that dragon becomes his very best friend. Stunning computer animation, great comedic timing, and very heart warming. A must see, definitely.

On that note, I should probably get back to writing my resume. I don't want to give away what I am applying for just in case I don't get the job, but once I have some sort of answer about it, I'll say a little more. Much love to you all!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Peaks and Valleys

Well, it's been an interesting couple of days. I have seen some major highs and major lows since I posted my poem yesterday.

I'll start with the low, and get that right out of the way because I'd rather have something sweet to calm my mood at the end. First; Dustin's job search isn't going very well. I wish it was going better but the economy, especially in Janesville, is just awful. There are no jobs. What can you do? Second, while it wasn't a new discovery per se, I discovered that a relative of mine stole something from me.

If I go back and start at the beginning, this person has stolen from me since they were really young. It started out as anything shiny. Like a little raccoon, they would secret my items away just because it looked sparkly in some way or another. The funny thing was that the person would hide them in the same spot every time, so I would just take it back, scold them, and move on. Nothing more was ever said or done about it because it was made out by another family member as "not a big deal"... so I left it be. When this person reached their teen, it started to become more expensive items, or items associated with my religion. This person (I thought) looked up to me in one way or another, religiously and otherwise, so I explained as they aged that that was just not acceptable. It is not right to steal and it is even more wrong to steal religious items. It's the exact opposite of what my religion stands for... I also explained that somehow, the items I care about always find their way back to me.

A good example of this; when said person was in middle school, I was at the middle school for a visit and sat with them at their lunch table. A friend of theirs came to sit with us and when she sat down, I saw a necklace (sterling silver and amethyst, and very expensive necklace) draped around this girl's neck that was exactly like a necklace that an ex-boyfriend bought for me in Madison... I asked her where she got it, and she told me. I was floored. I had no idea that this relative of mine was still stealing from me. The girl gave me back the necklace and then I spent some time after questioning this relative about what else they had stolen from me. This came at a bad time for them, because I had been missing my engagement ring for a few weeks at this point. I found out for sure that a friend of theirs had stolen it from my house when they were babysitting my daughter. Ugh.

Just when I think I can trust this person, some other skeleton comes falling out of the closet, bones rattling and bleached white for all to see. So, as for this recent item, I had a friend of theirs send me a picture of herself that I was going to work on in Photoshop... what do I see but my necklace hanging from her neck. The worst part was how awful she felt about it when I told her where it had actually come from. I don't blame her. How was she to know? But, like all things I truly care for when it comes to possessions, the necklace found it's way back to me once again.

The person in question is over the age of eighteen. I let them have it for a good two hours over the phone, I told them how hurt I was, how I didn't understand why someone would take from someone that they were A) related to, and B) from someone who really has so little. That stealing is wrong to begin with was beside the point. That they are family and stealing from me is so much worse, in my book. So now we are back to square one again, they have told me all that they have stolen over the years that never returned (totaling something like 2-300 dollars worth of items), and I have to learn to trust them. Should I have called the police? Probably. That is something I'll just have to learn to deal with.

So. I have been feeling lousy all day. The necklace was returned today, it now rests around my neck and that feels a bit better... but it didn't lift my mood. Until the good came along. The really good.

I'm minding my own business, sitting on the couch wondering what I am going to make the family for dinner, how much work that's going to be, feeling generally ill-at-ease, when a knock sounds at my door. My neighbor is standing on my porch with a pan full of uncooked lasagna. "Set the oven to 350* and cook it for thirty minutes", he says and walks back down the sidewalk, smiling.

I don't know how he knew my day had been crappy, but it was nice to know that someone, somewhere, was sending some good vibes my way.

My love to you all,

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Candlelit Soul

A friend posted a bunch of her poetry on Facebook to read, and it inspired me to share some of my own. So for this blog post, I'll share a poem I wrote long ago. Enjoy this rarity, my friends.

Candlelit Soul

Take a look into my soul
Inside there’s something very cold
And lost from just not knowing why
The human eye has tears to cry
Like morning dew come out of you
From feelings that are raw and new
A hunger deep within our gut
Forces us to sever, cut
The things in life that hurt us most
The whispers of an aching ghost
Keep your candles burning bright
And from the depths you’ll see the light

Monday, November 8, 2010

Drunken ramblings...

Soooo.... blog posting while semi-drunk should be fun....

The future in-laws decided it would be a good time to walk and have wine while doing it... maybe not the best of plans before I have to do my nightly blog post... Yeah. sooo drunk right now....

Anyway. I had to tell my oldest how special she is before she went to sleep. As a mom that is so hard to do. Not telling my daughter how special she is, but how special she is when compared to her sister. To tell one how awesome she is compared to the other when they have two different dads is near impossible. Because they are so different they are really hard to compare to one another. One is quiet and shy while the other one just says what's on her mind. One is artistically silently while the other is artistic with words. I can't choose between the two. That is just a cruel choice for a mom to make. It is just impossible.

How do you tell one child that they are important while not disqualifying the talents of the other? How do you make one feel like they are the center of your world when they are a mismatched set?

I think that if my mom had spent more time telling me why I was important, I would have turned out a different person altogether... is that a bad thing? Not always. I think it is useful when a parent points out the positives in one, while accentuating the not-so-strong points in the other, and it balances out the "favoritism" between the two. Maybe if my mom had spent some time telling me what I was good at, I wouldn't have spent so much time in what she liked about him more... I don't know...

Call this all the drunken ramblings of me. I'll look back and laugh tomorrow. 'Til then, I love you all.

Good night.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Misty Watercolor Memories? Probably Not.

Sometimes it seems impossible to do the daily blogging thing because I have no idea what it is I should talk about... I mean, sometimes my day was just not interesting enough to post about. Then I get to thinking what I could post about, in lieu of the daily nonsense. I hardly doubt anyone really cares what I had to eat to today, especially if that is the only thing worth telling you all about. So here I sit, considering which story from my youth or life I should share... considering so many are just not appropriate to tell other people about. For now, I will just start rambling and eventually a subject will come from it.

For one; Laura is an amazing friend.

When I was younger, I was never able to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, and now that I am grown up, not a whole lot has changed. I am the kind of person who wants to see all and experience all and love life. It seems so immature when I look at it as a "grown up" because I am almost thirty; I should have some sort of idea of what I would like to do with the rest of my life, right? I like to write, I like to be around people, I like sales, I like animals, I like acting, I like singing, I like everything. And I have done a lot in my life... just nothing has stuck yet, except maybe the writing and I am finding it impossible to finish what I start. I know that with some soul searching, I'll figure it out. I just need to set aside the time to do that.

The one thing I think I can be thankful for is that I am no longer an angry person. I used to have the meanest mouth of anyone I knew, willing to scream in anyone's face no matter the consequence. I have been in so many fights, physical and otherwise, and I have taken pieces from the people I fought so they would never want to fight me ever again. I don't know if that was because I was so small and people thought less of me because of it or if it was because I just disliked myself so much. I think that in a way it was both. I wasn't willing to let people take me down a peg because I was feeling as low as I could get anyway. I can't believe I don't have ulcers from the amount of anger and resentment I carried around with me, and that I deserve friends at all.

I am thankful for the friends I have, and for the family I have created for myself. I find myself missing those who are not here, but reside in my heart. I am so glad I lost whatever nasty chip I had so that I could enjoy the wonderful people I surround myself with now. Ten years ago, you all wouldn't have wanted anything to do with me, I'm sure of it.

I think that's why, recently, I found myself so upset by a person who started an argument with me on a Facebook link I posted. He was attacking things that I had said, took them out of context, and put words in my mouth making me out to be this terrible person... I left that person behind so long ago, I am not going to pay for those days anymore. That's just self-defeating. He made me feel like all I do is hurt for the sake of hurting people, and I am not her anymore. When I dug that hole for myself, I buried my old self in it and never looked back. I love me, now. And I love all of you.

Good night my lovelies. I hope you are warm and safe somewhere.

Photography, Music, and Falling Backwards

Well, I suppose I missed my technical blog post for the sixth, but I am going to post it now and post another later "today" (even though I haven't slept yet, so I don't count it as tomorrow yet).

Today was extremely fun for me as I got to do my first ever photo shoot. By photo shoot, I mean honest to goodness, on location, clothing changing photo shoot with my good friend Al Murin. We have been planning to do this shoot since sometime around late spring or early summer, and somehow issues popped up so that we had to keep on changing the date over and over again... This was going to be a last ditch effort before the snow starts flying and we had to give up until spring next year.

While the air had a chill to it, the skies were clear and sunny and the light worked out perfectly for us. In fact, he never even had to use a light and almost every shot is usable without even artistic photo editing. I wore the garb I wear at the Renaissance Faire in some of the shots and clothes I thought would look nice for the others, and they turned out better than I could hope for.

I guess somewhere deep inside me still exists that awkward girl from middle and high school that never had dates and boys would steer clear of. Though I try to stamp out this "unworthy" self-image, somehow I find it creeping up on me at the worst of times and I feared that today I would have my fears realized when every picture transformed me into a hideous monster.

It wasn't at all like that. Here are a few of my favorite shots.

We ended up using all of the light that we could squeeze out of the day, and I was late to meet up with my friend Krix. After finally getting my butt home, Krix, my fiancĂ© and I went out to meet up with my friend Chris Kohn out at The Armory for his gig. Chris is an amazingly talented guitar player and singer who I had the pleasure of meeting at a local coffee shop and fell in love with his talent. If you get a chance, you should check out some of his original music on Chris Kohn's Facebook Page and believe me, you won't be disappointed. What disappoints me, however, is that it's been so long since I was able to go and check out one of his shows. I'll be seeing him again just before Thanksgiving for a gig at The Speakeasy, where I'll be doing some singing with him. He's promised to help me learn to play guitar... With a teaching career, a new baby, and a career in music, I doubt this will happen but I'll just keep holding out hope.

All in all it was an amazing day, if I subtract the semi-crappy food and VERY crappy service at Denny's after the gig. I'm not going to let that get me down though. The positive kicked the negative's ass today, especially once I realized that I'm pretty.

Much love to all. See you when it's really tomorrow, and set your clocks backwards, kids.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Solitary and Psychology

I didn't really experience anything too terribly fun and exciting today, so rather than talk about what I ate, or saw, or experienced, I decided to talk a bit about a show that I love called Solitary.

In this show, sadly cancelled after four seasons by Fox Reality, they take nine people and put them in these octagonal rooms called "pods", all by themselves and do all kinds of wacky experiments on them. I first came across this show while dog-sitting for my fiancĂ©'s parents. We were channel surfing late one night on their dish channels and happened upon a show where people were doing insane things, and for a fifty thousand dollar prize at the end if they were the last person standing.

What sets this show apart from other reality shows is that no one gets eliminated by a vote; they eliminate themselves by quitting treatments that they are put through. Not only are they isolated, but they are deprived food and sleep and sometimes forced to endure high and low temperatures. They have to eat things that are blended together or endure physical pain, or do mental games that, for you or I would be easy because we were well rested, but for these people seems like the hardest thing they have ever done in their lives.

I often wonder if I would be able to endure the types of tests they put these people through, and I think that first and foremost the hardest part would be the solitary aspect of it. I don;t do well when alone, and I don't like to be by myself a lot of the time. Also, I think some of the food challenges would be hard because sometimes the contestants are forced to eat until they vomit. Around my house it is a well-known fact that when I hit bottom, I have to stop eating or I will throw up. Sometimes that is while I am chewing a bite in my mouth... and then I am forced to spit it out. I think I would do well with the lack of sleep, or the deprivation of food end of it but I know that the continual eating and aloneness of it would kick my butt.

If you've never seen the show, I highly recommend watching. I know, I know, reality television has a stigma. Consider this more like watching a psychological experiment, because that is precisely what it is. All you need to do is go to Hulu.com and type "solitary" into the search bar. I promise you, you won't be disappointed... that is, unless you have a weak constitution.

Have a good tomorrow!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

... And Whiskers on Kittens

Even though I find myself complaining daily every winter about how much I hate it, today when my fiance woke me up and tried to fool me into believing the rain I heard was actually snow, I found myself excited enough to sit right up in bed in order to see out of the window. Alas, no snow.... and I was disappointed.
It has taken me years to figure out that I really do like it in Wisconsin. When I used to talk to people about how I'd love to move away, how I would love to live somewhere that was warm all year. Things now are so different. When I talk about permanance, it always includes the state of Wisconsin as the place I'd like to live, so I guess Wisco is stuck with me.

In other news, I think I have a story in mind for nanowrimo. I know that I am already late, but I think that as long as I stick to the writing daily program right now, I should be alright. I won't be able to catch up on the words I am due right away, but I'll probably make up for it someplace in the middle. Unlike Cherry Blossoms, the story I am working on now has a beginning, a middle, and an end already. I do know where I would like Cherry to end up, but I just don't feel like right now is the time to be in Cherry's world. I know that that might end up being sad to some people, and for that I apologize. Listening to Neil this weekend really put some thoughts into my head. One of the things he talked about had to do with when you were writing a story that just didn't seem to be working. He said that maybe you weren't good enough to write that story yet. Maybe that is true.

Right now I plan to get a little closer to home. I have heard it said that in order to be a good writer, sometimes you have to write what you know. While this story is not one hundred percent factual, there are definitely elements in it that are more truth than fiction. I don't want to talk to much about this one at the moment because I want to see what comes of it with no outside noise. Perhaps after I get a bit farther into it I'll ask for input but for now this one is all mine. I am thinking of it as my baby because, in a way, it already is.

Today was a very meditative day for me. Quiet, and full of planning. I think I was in need of one of those. I also decided that this was going to be a short post right off because I really need to worry more about my word count for the story. I hope this finds you warm and safe somewhere, reader.