Freedom!

Finally, after what feels like forever, my doctor cleared me to drive again! Hooray! 🙂 That means my seizures have been under control (medically, blech) for long enough that I am once again considered a safe driver. Yay me!

Now, I just have to fill out all kinds of MVA (DMV, for those of you who don’t live in MD, and have no idea what that random acronym stands for) paperwork, fax it to my doctor, have her fill it out, and then fax it back to the MVA–who will hopefully not procrastinate for months over this. Silly MVA…

But, hooray, freedom and not having to rely on our slightly sketchy buses! 😀

A New Writing Brigade

I love to write. I love to write using purple ink pens. Sadly, those nifty purple ink pens tend to be disposable, not reusable. This has inspired much guilt. However, I have recently discovered a way to alleviate this problem, maybe. In lieu of simply tossing away my dinky little pens, I can recycle them!

http://www.ecoseed.org/en/general-green-news/features/green-living/5994

TerraCycle–an ‘upcycling’ company–partners with Newell Rubbermaid Office Products to re-purpose no-longer-inky pens. (Newell Rubbermaid manufactures the purple pens I have been using as of late. They are the makers of Sharpie, EXPO, and PaperMate products.) Here’s how it works:

1. Sign up at the TerraCycle site to be the leader of the Writing Instrument Brigade (or any of the other Brigades–there are many).

2. Gather empty, unusable pens/markers/etc and partner with a charity/school.

3. Send the writing instruments in to TerraCycle, using the pre-paid shipping labels they provide. TerraCycle then sends $.02 per acceptable writing instrument to the 501(c)(3) organization.

Check out more information, straight from the source:

http://www.terracycle.net/brigades/40-Writing-Instruments-Brigade-/faq

This is a convenient way to give back. 🙂

My little pen obsession

Yeah, these guys know where they’re going once I’ve run them dry. 😉

la da da da da da da…feeling groovy

The other day, I heard a song that always gives me a happy feeling inside. 🙂

Also, this is nifty:

http://www.messybeast.com/genetics/hybrid-bears.htm

Lots of things give me a happy… Like friends who love me for me, even though I’m not as awesome as I’d like to be, and even though I’m evil sometimes… I am so lucky that I have been able to surround myself with people who are un-pretentious–for the most part–and who are always honest with themselves as well as with me. (This is an important thing: One of the worst times I ever had was when I was with a guy who loved to play head-games with me, trying to get me to believe stuff that wasn’t true. He’d do stupid stuff, and tell me over and over that what I knew wasn’t what had actually happened–even though I was there when he said/did/saw/whatever… It got really frustrating. Happily, I eventually I realized what was going on–that he needed elaborate fantasies to make himself feel better or some such–and I made a run for it. Lesson learned.)

Other things that make me happy:

–Realizing that doing things (that harm none) to make me happy, without stressing over what others think, is an acceptable option

–Taking time to wander randomly through the woods

–Finding esoteric reading material and taking the time to make use of it.

–Learning something fun and new, regardless of whether it will ever be useful. (Because all knowledge is worth having…)

–Warm showers after cool rain

–Cool rain after a hot day

–When the A/C fixes itself (Hooray!)

–When the kids give me hugs after a long day

–When they go to bed when I ask them to. 🙂

And stuff like this:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/nl/reds/2008-06-09-griffey-600_N.htm?csp=34

Ken Griffey, Jr is so totally the man: He’s reached this milestone without being a jerk and a druggie. I’m so happy for him that he’s done this.

It’s the little things that make life grand: The realization that not everything has to have a knowable purpose. The cool of a misty morning before the heat wave kicks in and everyone wants to hide. Being able to run around in a swimsuit, under a sprinkler, without caring whether anyone has the audacity to laugh at me. 🙂

Taking the time to really enjoy the company of a truly good person.

Taking the time to truly enjoy a moment before it’s gone.

NaNoWriMo 2009

Just in case any of you were wondering, yes, I did complete 2009’s National Novel Writing Month.  Hooray!

It was one of the most liberating, frustrating, and enjoyable things I have ever done.  I wrote a novel–beginning to end–in one month, and it turned out rather well.  Yes, I was surprised by that, too.  I took an idea that I got from talking with a friend of mine, and from a tragedy that happened to someone I knew.  It was not an auspicious start to a novel, but it turned into something fascinating, and slightly trippy, and wonderful–despite its mood whiplash.

Also, I tried out a creativity exercise that I had read in Writer’s Digest’s Creativity Workbook.  It came out at the absolute perfect time for me.  I love writing exercises, and I try to do several each week.  This one involved writing down six “To Do” lists for one character, to better flesh out the character.  He turned out to be one of my favorites.

The scary part now is editing.  Lots of typos show up when I have been writing 3000-5000 words per day…

NaNoWriMo Day 15

I have officially crossed the hump–25,504 words for NaNoWriMo! 🙂 I’m hoping to get another 4,496 throughout Sunday to reach my goal of 30,000 for the weekend. …I’m going to need a lot of hot chocolate and buttered toast…

In case you were wondering, this is why I haven’t been blogging as much as I wanted.  Perhaps by the end of the month, I will have more interesting things to say. 😉

Let’s Play the Radical Honesty Game…

I just finished my recent copy of The Week. (It’s one of the best investments that I’ve ever made.) Near the end of the magazine (right before the page of games that is the last page), they run an essay entitled The Last Word. Now, in The Last Word, the editors of The Week have placed some really fun essays–one about a mom who let her kid ride the NYC subway home alone (and yes, the kid turned out fine), one about why folks have trouble with spouses (there have actually been a few of those; must be a recurring problem), etc.  In this last issue, their Last Word essay is all about one man’s quest to understand the concept of Radical Honesty and use it in his life, if possible.

Radical Honesty is a…well…radical concept.  The basis of the idea is a theory posited by Brad Blanton–he doesn’t want us simply not to lie, he wants us to eliminate the “public filter” that we have imposed upon ourselves in polite society. In his eyes, everyone in this world should say everything we think–whether it is hateful or loving, hurtful or healing or neutral.  No matter the immediate cost to ourselves, we should be completely honest with each other because Blanton thinks that only then will we be able to really “contribute” to other people’s beings.

We create little (sometimes big) fictions not just to keep ourselves safe, but to protect those around us as well.  Imagine telling your mother that you think she is horrendously obese. Or telling your dad that you think he is a shiftless moron.  These things hurt people.  Once you have said something, you can never ever really take it back.  It’s always in the air like smog in LA.  Even if you cannot see it all the time, the echoes of those words will not completely fade away.  They will sit there, biding their time, until they catch you unaware–maybe it is a great day for you, otherwise; maybe it has been the worst day of the year–and punch you in the gut. Not only does Radical Honesty have the likelihood of emotionally maiming the people at whom it is aimed, it also contains the potential to harm the one doing the directing.

Yes, honesty is touted as the best policy–and it certainly keeps things simple–but is it truly the best possible option? Always? Granted, telling your best friend that she has gained some weight may coerce her into going to the gym, but being super-blunt about it could wreck the friendship–odds are she already thinks she is fat, anyway, and your telling her this only breaks her heart, so a better option might be to talk to her about going to the gym as your workout buddy or joining you on your evening walk. …On the other hand, honesty can save you a heck of a lot of time. What if you would rather skip the boring meeting about running the copier? (Seriously? Is it that hard?) I told one of my co-workers that I would certainly not like to go to the meeting to “be taught” how to use our brand-new copier. I didn’t have to go to the teaching session, and I still have my job.

Generally, though, I’m only brutally honest about resentments when I am really mad. For instance, I was dating a guy for a while, and I really didn’t like him. (Somehow, I let myself get cajoled into it. That will never happen again. I think I can safely say that I learned my lesson.) After we finally broke up, and he had started “seeing other people”, we hung out every now and then. I started meeting other people. Fun stuff. Then he rained all over my parade with his self-pity and condescension-to-others-who-are-not-him. Not acceptable. Once he realized I was getting really serious in a relationship with someone else, he got very confrontational. I mostly ignored it. What I really should have said was something along the lines of:

“No, you don’t deserve the hottest girl you see–you’re getting grossly obese, you tend to have an inflated sense of self, and you were really mean to “the chubby girl” in your office who had the utter audacity to talk to you like she was an equal. What is wrong with you?”
“Get over yourself.”
“How dare you insult my children and wish them bad things!” (Though, this, I actually did say to him.)
“I resent you for trying to make me feel guilty about breaking up.”
“I resent you for being so overly obnoxious all the time.”
“I resent you for being so hateful to/about my sports teams. Yes, it really does upset me (25 years later) that the Colts left Baltimore for Indianapolis, and that Paul Tagliabue and Jack Kent Cooke seemingly tag-teamed Baltimore out of a football franchise for decades, thus losing us the “Colts” name and the colors. Jerk.”
“I resent you for wearing an Indianapolis jersey to meet my Dad and thinking it was funny. You’re lucky he’s a pacifist. You’re lucky that I mostly am, too.”
“I almost wish I had allowed that angry fan to pummel you when you were being obnoxious. The first time we hung out.”
“I resent you for driving like a maniac in your stupid little car all through the streets of Bethesda and into the parking garage, and then trying to pick a fight with a girl and her boyfriend because she was having a hard time getting her (rather large) vehicle into the teeny-tiny spots in the parking garage. Those spots are almost too small for a motorcycle, no less a full-size vehicle. Seriously, dude: Lose the road rage. And don’t brag about how you can take a punch and then call the cops on the guy. You instigated, and the DC-Metro-area police have better things to do. I wish I had walked the six blocks to the Metro and ridden it to Rachael’s place, instead of consenting to continue listening to you bitch the whole way to the restaurant. At least the food was good.”
“I resent you for wishing bad things on my fiance. You need to learn to grow up and take responsibility for your own actions and inactions.”
“I resent you for ridiculing the candidate that I favored. Politics isn’t that important day-to-day; quit being a schmuck.”
“I resent you for convincing me to like you, even though all signs pointed to ‘No!'”
“I resent you for whining about how much you hate living in this area while refusing to leave.”
“I resent you for whining about pretty much everything in the whole world. That doesn’t make you “punk”–that makes you a malcontent. Nobody likes those.”
“I resent you for being so hateful to tourists and foreigners–they have as much right to ride the mass transit as you do. Also, you weren’t born knowing where to go, so cut them a break.”
“I resent you for hating on overwieght people–you’re not skinny in the least, so not only are you a mean individual, you are also a hypocrite.”
“I resent you for hating on the mass transit system all the time. Lighten up. Enjoy the chance to experience of all kinds of new people. Accept that you do not dictate when the trains and buses arrive. Bring a book.”

You know…now that I think about it, Radical Honesty might be a pretty good idea. At least in moderation.

Things in Life That Amuse Me

I wish Google Maps had an “Avoid Ghetto” routing option.

More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think
about is that I can’t wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own
story that’s not only better, but also more directly involves me. Also,
I feel guilty thinking those things…

Nothing stinks more than that moment during an argument when you realize
you’re wrong.

I don’t understand the purpose of the line, “I don’t need to drink to
have fun.” Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and
sticks when they’ve invented the lighter?

Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you’re
going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be
going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the
direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check
your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself
to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you’re crazy by
randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.

I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was
younger.

The letters T and G are very close to each other on a keyboard. This
recently became all too apparent to me and consequently I will never be
ending a work email with the phrase “Regards” again.

Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn’t
work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically
fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know
how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards or
FAQ’s. We just figured it out. Today’s kids are soft.

There is a great need for “sarcasm” font.

Sometimes, I’ll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and
suddenly realize I had no idea what the f was going on when I first saw
it.

I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes
stressful to watch it with other people. I’ll end up wasting 90 minutes
shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone’s laughing at the
right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a
millisecond earlier) to prove that I’m still the only one who really,
really gets it.

How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than
take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your
computer history if you die.

The only time I look forward to a red light is when I’m trying to finish
a text.

A recent study has shown that playing beer pong contributes to the
spread of mono and the flu. Yeah, if you suck at it.

Was learning cursive really necessary?

Lol has gone from meaning, “laugh out loud” to “I have nothing else to
say”.

I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

My brother’s Municipal League baseball team is named the Stepdads.
Seeing as none of the guys on the team are actual stepdads, I inquired
about the name. He explained, “Cuz we beat you, and you hate us.”
Classy, bro.

Whenever someone says “I’m not book smart, but I’m street smart”, all I
hear is “I’m not real smart, but I’m imaginary smart”.

How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and
smile because you still didn’t hear what they said?

I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to
prevent a dick from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!

Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using ‘as in’ examples,
I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I
had to spell my boss’s last name to an attorney and said “Yes that’s G
as in…(10 second lapse)..ummm…Goonies”

What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each
other?

While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and
instinctively swerved to avoid it…thanks Mario Kart.

MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I
know how to get out of my neighborhood.

Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the
person died.

I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the
shower first and THEN turn on the water.

Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty,
and you can wear them forever.

I would like to officially coin the phrase ‘catching the swine flu’ to
be used as a way to make fun of a friend for hooking up with an
overweight person. Example: “Dave caught the swine flu last night.”

I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired.

Bad decisions make good stories

Whenever I’m Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile
is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got the Red
Ryder BB gun that I always wanted. 546 pictures? Don’t mind if I do!

Is it just me or do high school girls get trampier & trampier every
year?

If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would
probably just be completely invisible.

Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go
around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly
nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I’m from, this shouldn’t be a
problem….

You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work
when you’ve made up your mind that you just aren’t doing anything
productive for the rest of the day.

Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don’t want
to have to restart my collection.

There’s no worse feeling than that millisecond you’re sure you are going
to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if
I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I
did not make any changes to.

“Do not machine wash or tumble dry” means I will never wash this ever.

I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching
TV. There’s so much pressure. ‘I love this show, but will they judge me
if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren’t watching this.
It’s only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room.
Will we still be friends after this?’

I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Dang it!),
but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to
voicemail. What’d you do after I didn’t answer? Drop the phone and run
away?

I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing
anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it’s on shuffle, then
I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.

Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed
for pedophiles…

As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but
no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

Sometimes I’ll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not
know what time it is.

It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.

I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to
answer when they call.

I think that if, years down the road when I’m trying to have a kid, I
find out that I’m sterile, most of my disappointment will stem from the
fact that I was not aware of my condition in college.

Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn’t know what do to
with it.

Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys
in a pocket, hitting the G-spot, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey –
but I’d bet my ass everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3
feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time…

It really pisses me off when I want to read a story on CNN.com
<http://cnn.com/> and the link takes me to a video instead of text.

I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they
drive behind obeys the speed limit.

I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or
Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.

Open Love Letter

Love him

Don’t pine

Love him with your whole heart

Don’t worry about what happens later

Feel blissfully

Don’t run away from your fear

Love him

Don’t give up when breakfast is runny

Be glad that you’re there

Don’t fear the pain

Embrace the joy of the moment, without proselytizing endlessly about it

Don’t weep when at an end

Grin with each new beginning

Don’t

Think

Love him

Because of who you are together