I just saw this on Facebook, so naturally I turned my attention away from the other 10 blog posts I have in process right now to write this 11th (and much more trivial) one. Sorry. Sometimes a girl just has to say what’s on her mind, right?
This conversation would most definitely not be the same if I caught a conversational spider in my shower.
(SURLY LANGUAGE ALERT! DON’T READ ANY MORE IF YOU CAN’T TAKE IT!!)
Me: Dude, what the fuck? You’re creep’in me out!
Spider: OMG, sorry…didn’t see you.
Me: Right. Because I’m a thousand times bigger than you, but you didn’t see me. Get back.
Spider: Hey, I’m just coming down to scope out the tub.
Me: Get BACK! I’ll hose you with this shaving cream, I swear to God!!
Spider: Hey, lady, I’m just trying to stretch my legs.
Me: Gross! You have 8 of ‘em…don’t you think that’s overkill? Honestly…
Spider: Way to be a bitch about it, lady. You’ve got like…4 butts.
Me: Shut up! (Grabs bottle of Suave) Seriously, I’ll shampoo your ass to the wall.
Spider: Okay, okay…I’ll just move over here. Take it easy…take it eeeeasy.
Me: That’s better. You have 5 minutes to get the hell out of my house or I come back and Raid your ass to the grave, man.
Spider: Geez, lady…can’t we live in peace?
Me: No. No, we can’t. I hate your webs, I hate your creepy crawliness, and I hate your 8 legs. Pack your damn bags and get the hell out before I go get my .38
Me: (Squirts a cup and a half of shampoo on spider…screaming while its lifeless corpse slides down the shower wall and down the drain, then walks out like a badass.)
And that’s how conversations with spiders go down in the Hot Mess household.
The Amazing Spider-Man (Three-Disc Combo: Blu-ray / DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy)
As part of Momma Kat’s awesome blog meme this week, I’ve decided to write about a 7th grade memory…so here we go:
When I was in the 7th grade and all the other girls were aflutter about which boy they were going to ask to the Sadie Hawkins dance, I was hauling a future literary masterpiece from class to class in my book bag. I kept it in an adjustable report cover, which was very well worn, and I added pages daily. Hundreds of pages of notebook paper with thousands of handwritten words were crammed together. On the cover, I’d sketched the outside of an alien temple that was the central location of the story within. It was the first book I ever wrote.
See, there were two brothers who were exceptionally dreamy at my school: Eric and Robert Hunkybutt. (Their names may have been changed to protect their privacy. I really can’t say.) While Eric and Robert were both quite handsome, it was Eric who’s big blue eyes and sun bleached hair really spoke to my out-of-control girly hormones. Dude was hot, okay? Hot. And while the other girls at my school were content to gaze lovingly at Eric and Robert in class, writing “Mrs. Eric Hunkybutt” on their notebooks…I was not.
Instead, I made Eric and his brother the central characters in my book. They weren’t 7th graders in my book, though, they were astronauts. Sent to another planet to investigate unnatural phenomenon discovered by NASA, they were the first brothers to fly in space together. I spent hours with them every day…and they had no idea.
At the young age of 11, I was very serious about my writing. My book was always with me, so that if inspiration hit me in the middle of math or home ec class I would be ready to go. In my book bag, I carried a pencil case with a variety of #2 pencils and erasers. I had written my masterpiece on at least three different types of notebook paper, all of which responded differently to erasers – so I knew that the pink gum eraser worked best with pages written on Mead 5 hole punch paper. The blue monster eraser I’d won at the school fair was best for the recycled notebook paper I’d used in the middle of Chapter Three. The eraser on my Peace & Love pencil was best for making adjustments to the report cover itself. I was a serious girl and this was my tool kit for success.
Once I came home from school, I locked my book in an old cash box my Mom had given me and hid it under my bed – because, of course, if any literary spies from Random House tried to break in and steal my brilliant manuscript they would never think of looking under the bed. I never took it to the dance studio when it was time for practice. I knew that The King, my evil father-figure/dance teacher, would enjoy making fun of me for believing that I could ever be a successful writer. Keeping me beaten down and demoralized was sport for him. So I kept my dreams of being a writer relatively quiet. Only my mother knew – and only because she was called by at least one of my teachers every year, who enthusiastically told her “This girl’s a writer…please encourage that!”
I still have the report cover in a scrapbook, but I have no idea what happened to the pages it once held together. As far as I can recall, I kept writing the story until I got to high school and (during a re-read) my much more mature/crazy 9th grader brain thought “OMG…this could totally never happen. What a piece of crap!”
I moved on to write other stories in high school and college and, once I quit the dance studio and The King was no longer exerting his negativity on my life, I enjoyed a brief solace from drama. My imagination roamed free for a time. At one point, I had 11 screenplays and 7 novels going. I found inspiration everywhere and in everything. I told everyone that I had found my calling and that I was going to be a writer. Bad mistake.
“You can’t be a writer. You need to pick something that you can fall back on so you can get a job.”
That was the standard line I heard from most of the people who were closest to me. I can’t be a writer. I need a career. Something to fall back on. Like an accountant…or a funeral director. It wasn’t long before I stopped writing completely. I quit college because if I couldn’t be a writer I didn’t want to go. I got a “real job” in retail…which lead to a “real job” in the corporate world. Before I knew it, I was managing a department and my imagination was nowhere to be found.
Don’t despair. There’s a happy ending here.
Isn’t it lucky for me that there’s something inherently wrong with my DNA and that I never really grew up? Isn’t it lucky for me that I married a man who is so supportive that he has, at times, forced me to sit at the keyboard and write?
No matter how many curves life throws at you, no matter how many cruel people you meet in your life, there is one thing you can trust that never falters: you are you, no matter what.
A tumultuous childhood, four different therapists, six years of therapy, and a whole non-writing career later…here I am. Still a writer.
People can try to blow out the spark that’s inside you. They may even dim it for a while…but it will never go out.
You are you, no matter what. So am I. And I…am a writer. But without the bad surfer bangs…because sometimes you do have to grow up and realize that some things just aren’t for you.
18″ Native Treasure Real White Chips Puka Shell Necklace
So Chobani (the kick ass yogurt people) has come up with an interesting campaign that inspired me to participate: “10 for 10″. Basically, you come up 10 goals to accomplish for the next 10 months. Their blog shows examples of several of their own people and their goals. You can check it out here.
I totally came across this by accident one day. I had just recovered from the foodgasm I had when I ate a Chobani Bite. Raspberry yogurt with dark chocolate flecks in it. I’m normally not a big yogurt person, but there aren’t words for how awesome this stuff is. So I looked them up on Twitter, where I saw the 10 for 10 idea. I also tweeted them my compliments on the foodgasmic raspberry and chocolate combination. I’m pretty sure I told them I wanted to hump someone’s leg. I expect the restraining order any day.
On their blog, I really enjoyed reading through all the goals their folks shared with the world. When it came down to setting my own goals, I went for a mixture of healthy and fun. (Hey, I have to be honest…sometimes healthy and fun do not coincide for a fat girl embracing change…at least not at first.) Here’s what I’ve decided to challenge myself with:
March: Be a better snacker. Done!
(How did I do it? Check out the details in my Me First! post.)
April: Exercise 3 times a week, every week.
May: Finally get my passport.
June: Plant a pumpkin patch in the garden.
July: Complete my needlework project in time to enter it in the State Fair of Texas needlework competition.
August: Throw out my Frankenpants.
(My workout pants that have been used so much that I’ve had to repeatedly patch the inner thighs. By August, I want to be able to fit into the new ones hanging in my closet.)
September: Learn how to knit.
October: Harvest the pumpkin patch and give pumpkins to all the neighbors.
November: Finally have some wedding cake.
(Hot Mess Hubby and I couldn’t afford a wedding cake when we got married, so we’re throwing a 10th anniversary party this November…and I would love to finally get my wedding cake!)
December: Fight all the crazy Christmas shoppers in order to get a hold of the hottest toy of the year…and then hand it over to a Marine for “Toys for Tots”.
What about you? Can you come up with 10 goals in 10 months? Since there are only two days left in March, how about making it a goal to do something you’ve never done before? I know you can find something simple, yet rewarding. After that, the sky’s the limit.
So…what are your 10 for 10? Thrill me!
Yesterday would have been my Dad’s 90th birthday.
No matter where I am or what I have going on in my life, March 28th is always a bittersweet day for me. He wasn’t a perfect father. He didn’t know how to give of himself the way dads should. He struggled with his own self-worth every day of his life. But he knew how to comfort me when I was sick and Mom was at the store getting my medicine – and he knew how to read me “Green Eggs and Ham” a hundred times…and once again before bed.
He was never able to come to terms with his alcoholism. He died at the relatively young age of 67. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish things weren’t different. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss him terribly. I wish he’d met my husband. I wish he was here for me to talk to.
Yesterday, as my husband and I were walking around the Dallas Arboretum with my niece, Dad sent a message. Or maybe it was God. Either way, it brought me to tears for a moment.
See, Dad was known for wearing light blue Dickies style jumpsuits pretty much every day. He’d read an article that smart people didn’t waste their brain cells on wardrobe choices, so he bought 7 of them so he had one for every day of the week. Those light blue jumpsuits became somewhat of a family joke over the years. It was a challenge to get him to wear anything else.
So yesterday, as I was sitting in one of the beautiful gardens at the arboretum on Dad’s birthday, I turned my head just in time to see a very old man shuffling along the path…in a light blue jumpsuit. And I knew. It was a sign…from him or from God, who knows, but it was a sign. I’m always with you and I love you.
Me too, Daddy.
What are the odds? No one wears those things anymore except maybe workmen – and they don’t wear the light blue ones. I never see them anywhere. Yet yesterday, on my dad’s birthday, an elderly man just happens to walk by me wearing the very same one my Dad always wore.
So happy birthday, Daddy. I love you and I miss you. Always.
Last year I cancelled my lap band surgery and lost 45 pounds all on my own just through dietary changes – which is totally badass, especially when you consider that I didn’t even incorporate regular exercise into that. I had a major paradigm shift in my outlook on food. My daily regime no longer consists of processed or sugary foods and I can’t tell you the last time I went through a fast food drive-thru for myself. I do still suffer the occasional temptation, but it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you cut the crud from your life. Your taste buds change. Be patient, stick with it, and you’ll see what I mean.
This year is all about making exercise a healthy habit, which is infinitely more challenging for me. I’m walking my first 5K in May. Go me! Some of you are going with me and I’m really looking forward to saying thanks in person for all the support and love I get from my loyal readers – so if you’re going, I’m excited to meet you!
Trying to make exercise a habit takes a lot of my energy because I’m such a whiny butt about it – and I’ve noticed lately that my snacky habits are slipping. No, I’m not throwing $30 worth of Little Debbies in my cart at the grocery store or anything, but if I’m hungry between meals I get a little lazy about what to nibble on. I used to eat balanced snacks consistently – like an apple, a lowfat chocolate milk and a handful of almonds. A good healthy snack keeps your metabolism going strong. I’ve noticed lately that I’m not taking the trouble to snack right anymore. Now it’s more like I grab a tortilla…or another cup of coffee…or even a piece of hubby’s leftover pizza. Yowch. Anything to plug up the “hungry hole” and keep moving. I can see that I’m starting to make less time for myself…and that’s going to bite me in right in the fat pants if I don’t watch it.
This brings me to the latest installation of Big Fat Crafts. (Except this isn’t really a craft since it just involves printing something out, but I’m giving myself permission to get all fancy with the wording.)
I wanted to create something that would remind me of my commitment to myself when I’m at my most vulnerable: standing in front of the open refrigerator and/or pantry…cruising for a snack. So I created these “Me First” labels and smacked them on a couple plastic bins from the discount store. Now when I open the fridge or the pantry, my eyes are drawn straight to a visual reminder of my most important health goal: Me First!
Whether hubby’s tempting snacks are there or not, when I see that “Me First” sign I’m instantly reminded why I’m doing this. Suddenly I feel like I’m hurting myself if I grab for the Crunch ‘n Munch (and DUH, I am…but this makes it harder to ignore my conscience). It puts things in immediate perspective for me. I made two bins: one for the fridge, and one for the pantry.
So that’s one “danger point” I’ve got resolved. I feel so much better about where I am food-wise, but this was a vulnerable spot that needed to be addressed. And I addressed it. Like a boss.
If you’d like to make your own “Me First” snack bins, I’ll make it easy for you. You’ll find free printable versions here…and I even made them in different colors in case you don’t like the teal one shown here. (I printed mine on cardstock paper since regular paper gets a little warped from refrigerator moisture.) Printed design is 4 x 6.
What creative solutions have you come up with to control your own vulnerable spots? Share your ideas here.