Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's Still December

No, I haven't abandoned my blog...I have just been...wait for it...busy.  Yep, that's all.  Busy.  That's a lame excuse, I realize, but I am willing to rattle off my list of reasons for staying away from my young, needy blog. Here they are:
In December, I was:
1.  Trying to work as much as possible before leaving the state (to spend Christmas with my fam in  
      Utah).  Census is up and they are actually allowing some overtime!  Gotta get it while the getting is good!

2.  Finishing up Christmas stuff, which included making homemade goodies such as Cranberry-Orange
      cookies and homemade ornaments (for 15 people), and the traditional photo calendars for the
      grandparents.  I always have these grand ideas of making cute stuff and though they usually turn out well, I
      typically underestimate the time they will take by, oh, about a WEEK.

3.  Preparing for the week long trip to Utah, including trying to pack, clean like crazy, do all the laundry, get
     someone to watch my cats, wrap all the gifts and arrange for someone to put out milk, cookies, carrots
     and water for Santa and his reindeer.

4.  Helping my daughter through all her December activities, such as: many, many rehearsals for the church
     Christmas play, 6 performances taking up two entire weekends; her usual ballet and then the Girl Scout
     activities she had along with some cookie sales.  We also went to the dentist and tried to see Santa at
     Crown Center (one side of her mouth was numb though and she didn't want a pic with Santa where she
     didn't have a proper smile).  

5.  Then, while I was on vacation in Utah...hmmm.  What excuse do I have?  Besides the jet lag, weird and
     yucky feeling from the altitude difference, the nasty cold likely from a fellow airplane passenger, numerous
     family activities and events including meeting the two newest members, Steven's wife Faridah and my
     other brother's new baby daughter, Olivia......I guess I don't have much of an excuse.  I took my laptop, I
     had excellent intentions, but...perhaps I watched too many episodes of The Vampire Diaries.

6.  Upon returning home, there's the usual laundry, return to work, unpacking and sorting of all the goodies
     my daughter and I brought home and seeing everyone we've missed while we were away.  Sigh!

I think that's all.  I feel better about letting my poor blog suffer...well, a little better.  I truly am mad at myself for only posting once this month.  So much has happened!

There's no time like New Year's Eve to renew my dedication to writing daily and posting a blog frequently!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Depression and the Death of Don Harman

Though I wasn't very familiar with Don Harman, the local weatherman in Kansas City for Fox News, the news of his death by suicide is still shocking and very, very saddening.

Don Harman, known for his outgoing personality and cheerful exterior, had apparently been struggling with depression for many years. What troubles me the most about the death of this man, who seemingly had everything from a fabulous career, friends aplenty, a wife and daughter, no doubt a lucrative income; is that if even he, at 41 years old and with all this going for him, couldn't kick his depression, what hope do others have?  He seemingly did everything right, sought treatment, filled his life with the stuff of dreams - - and it still consumed him.

For me, the worst part about this tragedy is that it further depresses and worries me about the nature of depression itself.  A lot.  That is something that I am familiar with and why this story touches close to my heart.  Despite all Mr. Harman's success, and all the things he did to try to control the disease, his depression evidently worsened over time instead of improving.  Is this something that others suffering can live to fear?  That despite everything we do, there is no escape?  I feel distress not only for myself, but for others out there like him, like me, who have to hide this, who have to wait until tomorrow or next week or even next year to maybe feel a little bit better.

I've always told myself it won't always be like this.  That one day, when I feel like my life is in order, it will slide way into the backseat and maybe even disappear.  The case of Don Harman shoves it right in my face and says, "Maybe it won't.  Maybe it will only get worse."

So then...what to do?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NaNoWriMo is drawing to a close....

As I near 50,000 words, I am not sure I will be able to stop.  First of all, though I will make 50,000 words today or tomorrow, my book will end up being longer.  This is a good thing, because I am sure it will need quite a bit of editing.  The NaNoWriMo website advises that after you finish your book, you leave it alone for a few weeks at the very least before you start the editing process.  I am scared...I will be the first to admit I didn't write anything close to the Great American Novel, but I think it is a solid first attempt.  People have been asking to read it...but that will make me so vulnerable.  They will judge me based on what I write...

When I tell someone about my book, they are all excited for me.  It is something that I have always dreamed of doing, but who knows if this book will ever be publishable (not that there aren't thousands of published books out there that suck more than mine).  Besides that, what if they hate it?  What if they start to read it and get bored?  What if they read it and say they love it, just to make me feel good (Mamma)?  What if they give me overly harsh  criticism (thinking of you, Rusty or Steven) and it's on a day when I am already slightly emotional?  I hope I don't get discouraged...

However, I already know what my next book will be.  Yep, not waiting until next November.  I desperately needed to come across NaNoWriMo to get me jump started, and now that I know writing a book is something I can do (it always seemed like such an enormously impossible and time consuming task) I think I am ready to write the book that I have been needing to for a long time.  The next one may be even less publishable, as I intend it to be a memoir and I'm not yet thirty years old.  Could I possibly write an engaging, entertaining memoir that connects with my audience at this age?  Well I don't know, but I'm going to write it anyway.

I am at 48,405 words.  I can't wait to send it in for validation, though I probably have 10,000 more words or so until it is finished.  By tomorrow I will be a NaNoWriMo Winner! ('Winning' only means you made it to 50,000 words by Nov. 30.)

Scream 4 in 10 Words

The beginning was slightly amusing.  
     The rest was really stupid.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Running in the Dark

I hate waiting until it's dark outside to go on my run.  Sometimes though, that's just the way it happens. With the hours I work and Scarlett's schedule (my busy angel has Girl Scouts, Ballet, and the church play), if my only option is to run in the dark or not run at all, I will run in the dark.  

A run in the dark is interesting, scary and probably a little dangerous.  I can't see where my feet are landing as clearly, I am less visible to cars, and more vulnerable to dogs and creeps.  As I run along, my heart beats a little faster.  I can't tell you how many times I turned my head to make sure it was leaves and nothing more chasing me.  I try to stick to the neighborhoods that are more affluent.  The bigger the houses, the more lights they leave on.  Starting in my neighborhood, the street lights are few and far between and not many of the front porches have their lights on.  As I progress towards bigger and bigger houses (is this foreshadowing my move up in life?) there are more and more lights to keep me company and make me feel safe.

These runs in the dark are a lot like what I do daily as I search for what I think I am meant to do.  I have tried a lot of different things, but nothing has felt exactly right.  Life is kind of like running in the dark, unsure of whether or not you will land safely or trip and fall.  Even if something scares you, sometimes you have to take the chance, or risk missing out on something fulfilling.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

"Crazy Stupid Love"

I recently took a chance on a movie I had heard mixed reviews about, “Crazy Stupid Love.” I chose the movie because, as everyone who watches movies knows, Emma Stone is a rising star and I have yet to see her in something that I didn’t like.  Some of my favorite Emma Stone movies are “The Help,” “Easy A” (if you haven’t seen this one you must check it out!) and “Zombieland.”  To pull a quote from “Crazy Stupid Love,” Emma Stone seems to be the “perfect combination of sexy and cute.”  I’m a chick, and I just adore her. 

               “Crazy Stupid Love” is about the ups and downs of finding, losing, and keeping love.  One of the main couples (Steve Carell and Julianne Moore) suffers through a spouse’s infidelity, a potential divorce, and what it really means to be able to stay in love with someone for decades and decades.  It reminds us, in hilarious ways, that love is something that has to be worked on continually.
 The movie also shows us that sometimes you have to take a chance on love, as Emma Stone's character eventually realizes.  It doesn't always show up when and where you expect it to, and a relationship that feels safe and secure won’t necessarily lead to ‘true happiness.'
 Lastly, the movie teaches us about perseverance.  If you believe in something, you cannot give up on it.  That is the overall theme of the movie.  It sounds cliché, but it is told in a way that made me laugh out loud many times, and I rarely do that.  It takes a lot to make me ‘lol.'  The funniest part of the movie is a culmination of part of what makes the movie so great: the story lines slowly weave themselves together more and more until they all finally converge in one surprising and hilarious scene.   
An all-star cast (and a shirtless Ryan Gosling) enhance the watchability of the movie, but rent it for the humor.  It is real life, dramatized in hysterical ways, which is exactly what I want in a movie.
I definitely give it :