Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Grief

My mother-in-law passed away unexpectedly last week at the painfully young age of 62 and our lives have been forever changed.

Up until this event I thought I knew what heartbreak was. I've had boys hurt me and make me feel worthless. I've had friends stab knives into my back. I've lost grandparents whom I loved. I've been deeply in pain. But until Saturday October 12th, 2013 I had never truly felt my heart break. When we got that awful phone call, it felt like my heart shattered into a million pieces, and it will never be the same.

There is a gaping hole when we look at our future now. My husband and sister-in-laws have lost the woman who raised them. My father-in-law has lost his soul-mate far sooner than he should have. My niece and our future children have lost their caring Gigi. It is truly a devastation.

Over the last week I've seen many facets of grief. Grief can be deep, dark, and lonely. It can be helpless and debilitating. It can be frantic and busy. At times it can be comforting as you lean on loved ones and pull together to survive. There are moments where you share warm memories and laughter. There are also much darker moments when fairness is questioned and anger wells up.

Through it all, there is also hope. Comfort knowing that she is in a better place. The thought that she is looking down on us with pride of how we are honoring her memory and is reveling in the wonderful family she helped create. Hope based on the fact that Jesus' sacrifice made it so that this is not the end.

We are broken and lost without the matriarch of our family. But we are also capable of healing through the love of God and each other.

I was reading a book today, a book I've been anxiously awaiting for months, called Allegiant (if you are planning on reading the final installment of this amazing trilogy STOP READING THIS POST RIGHT NOW, TOTAL SPOILERS AHEAD. You've been warned).

Trough the series I became attached to the main character, and at the end she dies leaving the love of her life devastated and broken. It's heartbreaking and I cried like a weenie. And truth be told, not what I was looking for the week after such a major loss.

But, as I process the book I realize the beauty that the author is portraying through the crushing pain and it resonates with where I am right now. The final line of her book reads as follows:

 "Since I was young, I have known this: Life damages us, every one. We can't escape that damage. But now, I am also learning this: We can be mended. We mend each other." Quote from Allegiant by Veronica Roth.

Susan, we will mend each other. You leave behind a legacy of love and strength. Your family will take care of each other and will remember you always. We love you and you will be missed more than words can say.

 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

If You're Perfect... Come Back Another Day.


I can be a very strange person. Here are some examples just from the last week:

I often wear children shoes because I like sparkles too much to be satisfied with adult shoes and I have weirdly small feet. Yesterday, it was purple, sparkly Toms.

John found me watching Doctor Who on the Ipad propped up in the sink - I was watching the entire time I was getting ready to go out, including while I was in the shower.

I get nightmares just from commercials of scary movies, this one in particular was about a sloth (the nightmare, not the commercial). This was my second nightmare recently about sloths.

If you ask me what my dream job is, without fail I answer “Queen of England,” and I mean it every, single time. For example, when I was asked this question this week in a graduate level class.

Every night I sleep with a one-eyed teddy bear who is 22 years-old… all though Snowball and I are going to need to have a talk about the sloths and how they are NOT invited to the party.   

However, there are some things that aren’t strange about me. I struggle with anxiety, anger, and over-eating, just to mention a few. Why isn’t this strange? Because we all have struggles, every freakin’ day of our lives.

I’m often followed by a cloud of worry that settles in my chest and makes me feel like I’m being ripped apart slowly. I’ve gotten so angry that I’ve said and done things that would make Charlie Sheen blush. When I started my weight loss journey I was 75 pounds overweight, because I like food. A lot. Obviously.

These are all things that society tells me to keep to myself or to magically fix so no one ever needs to see my dirty laundry. Well, I have heaps and heaps of dirty laundry (literally and figuratively – did I mention I’m lazy?). It sucks, but it’s the truth and it’s my reality that I have to work on these things constantly (seriously, does laundry ever end?).

I’m not saying this in a pity-party way or woe-is-me-I’m-all-broke-someone-fix-me way. I’m saying it because there is NOTHING weird about imperfection. Jesus’ sacrifice sure would have been pointless if we were all shiny, pristine examples of awesomeness. We are not Stepford people – no one has it all together. There are seven billion people on this planet who are a mess, in one way or another   

I think we all need to hear sometimes about how damn hard life can  be – for everyone. You are not alone, you are not more colossally messed up then all of humanity. Don’t believe the lies Satan is selling. He knows that isolation and embarrassment make any situation ten times worse (that’s a true statistic, I read it on the Internet).

Will I always be an angsty, irritable woman with self-control issues? Yeah, probably. But I will not be a shame-filled lonely one, by the grace of God.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Why yes, I would care to dance.

A few posts back I wrote about how I have an all encompassing taste in books and thus my opinion on fine literature is rendered useless. This trait extends to other areas of my life - in this case music. However, what I lack in discretion I make up for in gusto. Sometimes this blind passion oozes out of me in the form of dance... and by sometimes I mean there are very few scenarios in life that aren't made better by dance.*

*five second dance parties are my favorite.

You might be thinking to yourself, oh, she's a dancer - that's loverly and sophisticated.

You'd be incorrect. My dancing involves flailing arms, whiplash inducing head bopping, and for some reason duck lips. It's extraordinarily unattractive. And wild good fun.

Tuesday I was in fine form because I had just finished a REALLY hard semester of graduate school (huzzah!) and a particular jazzy tune came on the radio while I was driving home.

What can I say, the music moved me. It started with a jaunty head bop, with obligatory duck lips. Then came the lifting of the hands, which evolved rapidly into waving them frantically while hopping in my seat. Amidst the grooving I happened to notice a stunned old lady watching me from her car.*

*Don't worry, it didn't phase me. I have that affect on people on a pretty regular basis so it rarely slows me down.

But then something new happened - the old woman started dancing too! I was suddenly having an inter lane dance party with an itty bitty gray haired lady. And I have to say, few people can match my dance abilities when measured on an enthusiasm scale but she gave my Kermit moves a run for their money.

I like to think of it as the universe celebrating with me, like how the weather matches Peter Pan's mood, but I think it was probably just an old woman with a bee in her car.

NONE THE LESS, it was one of the highlights of my summer.*

*True story, the song was playing in a commercial while I was writing this post. Double points.  

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

YOU GET A SINKHOLE! YOU GET A SINKHOLE! EVERYBODY GETS A SINKHOLE!



IMPORTANT INTRODUCTION INFORMATION:
  1.  My parents have a timeshare in Orlando that we’ve been going to for the last ten years. 
  2.  I really, REALLY love that place (Orlando and the condo). Really.
So, with that in mind, let’s commence this post.
I got home from school last night around ten o’clock and dragged my weary self into bed (I’m running on fumes these days). As I was slowly going comatose John started a conversation:
“Hey, what’s the name of the resort where your parents’ condo is?”
“Harumph. Erm, gurgle.” Sigh. “Uh… I don’t know.”  
“Is it Summer Bay?”
“Mmhmm. Yeah. That’s it.”
“Well. I have something to tell you. It’s been sucked into a sinkhole.”
::PAUSE::
Yes. Yes. You read that right. A sinkhole. Our condo was sucked into a sinkhole.  
 
A SINKHOLE.
 
I immediately went into what I call "Anna Insta Freak Out Mood." I'm slightly embarrassed by how often this term can be applied.
 
 
Let's look at the stages of AIFOM.
 
::PLAY::
 
STAGE 1: SHRILL SHRIEKING
 
"What? WHAT? WHAT?!?! THAT'S THE CONDO! THAT'S OUR CONDO! IT'S IN A SINKHOLE! OUR CONDO IS IN A SINKHOLE! WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING, JOHN?? OUR CONDO!!!!!!!!!! WHY?!?!?!? I DON'T UNDERSTAND!!!!!!!!!! IT'S NOT FUNNY! COOOONNNNDDDOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!" All of this said at a very high octave. 
 
STAGE 2: GENERAL FLAILING
 
More of the shrieking from above but with wild turning, covering and uncovering myself with the blanket, sitting up, laying back down, getting out of bed, turning around, sitting back down on the bed, smacking John on the arm, shaking Razzie (our pupper-noodle), throwing Snowball (my teddy bear), standing back up, etc.
 
STAGE 3: FRANTIC SHARING OF INFORMATION
 
I texted my mom. Waited two seconds. I texted my dad. Waited 1.5 seconds. I texted my brother. I then called my brother.
 
"Did you see what happened to the condo? IT'S HORRIFYING! THE CONDO! IN A SINKHOLE! YOU ALREADY KNEW?? WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING, TOO? YOU PEOPLE!"
 
STAGE 4: INCOMPLETE SENTENCES
 
Post phone call.
 
"Well... I just... I can't... sinkhole... The condo... I can't... I don't... sinkhole..."
 
STAGE 5: DECOMPRESSING
 
John's final comment: "Yup. Yeah. Should have told you in the morning."
 
I think I finally fell asleep around two. It's really difficult spontaneously combusting and it has a long recovery time.


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Yeah. That's about right.

There is going to be a theme on many of my blog posts - horrifying, hysterical hospital and/or doctor stories.

I have the most ABSURD luck when it comes to healthcare.

What's that? You don't believe me? Well, sit back and let's start to unpack my bold claim, shall we?

(Oh, and if you are easily embarrassed you might want to come back later - I have no shame. Seriously. The main character of this story is my hoo-ha.)

Some background: I have had three major surgeries, a bajillion diagnostic tests, a parade of odd diagnoses, etc. Nothing serious, just a lot of annoyances.

One of said diagnostic tests involved putting a camera in the artery (vein? I honestly don't know which one) at my groin and pushing it down my leg to look at something. Again, I don't really know what they were actually doing. I really need to start reading consent forms more closely...

What I DO know is that there is nothing quite as embarrassing as being 16 years old and contemplating the idea of a herd of people crowding around your crotch with a giant knife and a video camera. Thus, on the day of the procedure I was a LEETLE nervous.

::twinkly memory music:: (please feel free to imagine me staring vacantly into space)

I'm laying in the uncomfortable bed waiting, clutching the sheet up under my chin, and a nurse walks in and tells me she's here to help me get ready.

Oh, good. I need someone to hold my hand and make sure I feel ready for this. Phew.

Huh. I wonder what's that in her hand. It kind of looks like the razor my mom uses to cut my dad's hair, but ten times bigger.

Why is she grabbing my sheet? HEY, I WAS CLUTCHING THAT.

I'm paralyzed by horror. She yanks up my paper gown and asks me to lift my leg out of the way.

... out of the way of what? Oh. My. Gosh. She's shaving me like a poodle. What is happening? How did I end up here? Is this really in her job description?

I'm laying on the bed with my leg hiked up and the nurse is preparing the surgical site by removing the hair, standard procedure. EXCEPT THAT THE SURGICAL AREA IS MY LADY BITS.

Maybe if I don't move this isn't actually happening. Life doesn't get worse than this. I have no where to go but up.

Oh hey, it's my doctor. And a herd of medical students. Huh. I was wrong. This is worse.

I can't move. I don't even blink. No one is paying attention to me, which is unfortunate because I'm dying. Of humiliation.

The nurse looks at me, holding the world's largest razor and says in front of an audience of ten adult men, "would you like me to do the other side?"

GAH.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"You would not get out alive." Yes Bear, I'm aware of that.


Facts about John:
1. He’s an eagle scout.
2. He’s inherently athletic.
3. He’s a survivor type – he’d be the Rick in our zombie apocalypse camp.

Facts about Anna:
I’m a brownie reject (I was only a girl scout because my friends were).
I’m inherently dramatic.
I’m a run and scream and get eaten by zombies type – I’d be the Amy in our camp (you probably don’t remember her. She’s dead).

Keep these facts in mind as we discuss the following scenario.

John and I were watching Get Out Alive, which is the new Bear Grylls reality show. It has pairs of people competing for half a million dollars by going through ridiculous survival scenarios and skill tests. Some highlights of the episode we watched: they forded a glacial river (don’t worry their oxen didn’t die), bush whacked through a jungle, carved and ate a deer, drank their own pee mixed with muddy water, ate a giant fish eye, and other everyday survival tasks.

It was horrifying. I watched the whole thing slack-jawed and wide-eyed. John watched the whole thing excitedly, adding how he’d do things differently or giving them props when they did something smart. I had a sinking suspicion that he was envisioning us on this show that might as well be called, “Everything on the Planet That Anna Could Never, Ever Do.”

I finally said to him, “you do realize that I wouldn’t even survive the helicopter ride?” His response was something along the lines of, “oh no, we’d be fine, I’d help you.” Cue more bug-eyed staring.

Let’s exam this shall we.

What John would bring to the team:
1. Ability to start fire, build shelters, find food, purify water.
2. A can-do attitude and outside the box thinking.
3. General Bear Grylls like awesomeness.

What Anna would bring to the team:
1. A rousing rendition of “Welcome to the Jungle” sung off-key and with gusto.
2.The ability to state what everyone else is thinking but won’t say because they want to seem tough. For example:
“I don’t even know how I can get my pee in the bottle, let alone drink it.”
“Bear, why are you okay with us dying?”
"No, absolutely not.”
3.Vomit.

Needless to say, John needs someone else to be his buddy to take on the wild. We are now accepting applications.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Osie the Oompii


All Oompiis are born looking similar. They are lean, four-legged creatures with tightly fitting shells around their torsos. It isn’t long after an Oompii is born that their shells start to get damaged. Most adult Oompiis work all day to earn paint to cover up the scars and dents on their shells. All Oompiis know that a beautiful shell is the only way to be happy and to earn the favor of Papa Oompii, the village elder.

Osie was a happy Oompii who worked hard for her paints. She worked as a carrier, moving rocks down to the river, where they were used to build a bridge. She enjoyed carrying the rocks. She liked being outside and spending time with other Oompiis, it was the perfect job for her. The problem was that Osie always carried too much. She would haul rocks that were too big for her, damaging her shell, in an effort to earn more paint. She desperately wanted to make her shell beautiful, because she wanted to be one of Papa Oompii’s favorites.

Osie often saw Papa Oompii from afar by the river, but would make sure that he didn’t get too close because she did not want him to see her ugly shell. As he would try to walk closer to her, she would yell towards him that she would come see him later after she had done some more work. He would always look sadly at her when she said that, and she knew it was because she wasn’t earning her paint fast enough.  

One morning Osie realized she was close to earning a soft pink color that would make her shell perfect. As she was gathering up rocks to carry down to the river she got more than she ever had before, in the hopes of earning the pink that very day. Straining as hard as she could, she started to move the load of rocks.

Suddenly, a horrible cracking sound surrounded her and she realized she had shattered her shell. She stood staring in shock at the broken pieces of all her hard work surrounding her. She sat back in surprise and started to cry. She couldn’t believe it. She would never be able to impress Papa Oompii now. She would never be a favorite. She couldn’t even do the job she loved anymore. Everything had gone so wrong.

“What happened here?” Osie looked up, startled, and saw Papa Oompii looking down at her.

“I was trying so hard to earn paints so that I could paint my shell for you,” Osie sobbed out, “I just wanted everything to be perfect and now it’s all ruined. I can’t work, I can’t come see you, I can’t do anything.” Osie put her head on the ground, squeezing her eyes shut, and felt the grief welling up in her. It was hard to breath and it felt like everything in her was broken, not just her shell. Everything was destroyed, and now Papa Oompii knew it too.

After a long silence Osie opened her eyes and saw Papa Oompii gathering the pieces of her ugly, shattered shell. His face was twisted in concentration and pain and he was carefully putting her shell back together. Osie could not believe what she was seeing. What magic was this?

As she continued to watch she saw that every break Papa Oompii fixed appeared as a vivid cut on his shell. She had never seen his shell up close before, but saw now that it was covered in scars like the ones that were appearing before her eyes. She cried out as she realized what was happening, “What are you doing? You are ruining your shell! My shell is broken. There’s no point!”  

Papa Oompii looked at her as he continued to work, teeth gritted in pain. “There’s always a point. No shell is beyond my power to fix. It’s always been so sad to me how hard my Oompiis work for useless paint. A shell’s beauty is not in fake color, but in the healed wounds that show the work that has been done by you and done by me. I am able to heal any break, and the beautiful scar is a reminder of my love for you.” Sighing in relief, he handed her back her shell which was now whole again.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Red Letter Day


For the last few weeks I have been bogged down by a sinus infection. The kind of sickness that feels like your eyes are trying to escape your body by sheer force of will and you don’t understand how your body is still producing mucus. I was super foggy during it all, as a side effect of feeling like I had the plague.

Examples of said fogginess:

-          Talking with the doctor after he expressed concern that I had circled ‘shortness of breath’ as one of my symptoms – “Oh no, I meant shortness of breath like, when I walk upstairs I can’t breathe through the snot and it makes me want to rip my own face off. Sorry. I didn’t mean to be alarming with my circling.”

-          Thirty minutes later to the pharmacist – “Yes, I need the medication that will un-inflame my face and that I have to show you my I.D. for so you can make sure I don’t do meth.” (Sudafed was the answer we were looking for).

-          Standing at my car trying to unlock it for ten minutes, only to realize it isn’t my car. The realization came after the actual owner of the car pityingly told me it was hers.

-          Tripping every few steps because walking is apparently one of the hardest things I do all day.

You get the picture. It wasn’t pretty. Luckily, over the last week things have been on the uphill – hizzah! (I figured this blog needs regular hizzahs to keep things interesting). By this weekend I felt back to 100%. So imagine my surprise when all afternoon I was a walking mess.

Examples of said embarrassing events with no excuse whatsoever:

-          I noticed at about three, after John pointed it out to me, that I had spilled tea all down the front of me. I had no recollection of this event at all.

-          At the annual liter sale (where I buy all my shampoo for the whole year in one swoop) – I was holding four bottles of hair care products when the sales lady said I could leave them on the counter. I was hugely relieved because my arms were wicked tired. I then dropped them all on the ground. Apparently, my brain thought “put on counter” meant “LET GO NOW!” We all stared at the bottles and all I could say was, “huh. I have absolutely no explanation for what just happened.”

-          Went to a store to buy a dress for an upcoming wedding and smacked into the wrong side of a sliding glass door. Really hard – I was very committed to walking through that door.

-          And finally, walking back out of the store I decided at the last second to not go through the automatic door again since it had ended poorly for me earlier, whipped around, and slammed into the giant anti-theft screen thingies.

Moral of the story: don’t stand near me. I’ll probably run you over with my car or accidentally tar and feather you.  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bombs Away!


Everyone hopes that one day they will have a claim to fame. Okay. Maybe not everyone. But put “some people” in place of “everyone” in that sentence and it makes it kind of wimpy. And grammatically incorrect.

Carrying on.

Everyone hopes that one day they will have a claim to fame. Whether that be, “I was once Miss America,” or, “I can put thirty-five marshmallows in my mouth without suffocating to death,” it is that sentence that you state and the whole room goes “wow!”

Without meaning to, I started on my legacy at the tender age of 18. Are you ready?

I have been pooped on by a bird on three different continents.

I’ll wait while you recover from your mind being blown.

But seriously, that is my claim to fame. And I will now share my tragic tales with you.

Time #3 – North America: Standing in line at the Denver Aquarium: Teeny little sparrow. Due to the previous occurrences, I was not even fazed. I felt the little poop hit the back of my hand, looked down, and thought to myself, “hmm. You aren’t even trying sparrow. That’s just pathetic. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

Time #2 – Asia: Running through the streets of Calcutta, India: Albatross or bird of equal size. While in India, there were often moments of I NEED A BATHROOM IMMEDIATELY OR THIS STORY WILL REALLY STINK TO WRITE HOME ABOUT. One of those times started innocently enough, while I was walking from an internet cafĂ© back to the hostel. A few minutes in to the walk I realized I needed to pick up the pace. A few more minutes it was emergency time and I started running like the world was about to end. As I was sprinting along I felt something hit my stomach and looked down. I. Was. Covered. In. Bird. Poop. The poop that I had apparently run into mid-fall from some unknown humongous bird covered me from sternum to pelvis. I was horrified, but none the less kept running because stopping would have made this story a whole lot grosser.

Time #1 – Europe: Walking under a bridge in London, England: Very sick pigeon. I was 18 and with a group of friends on our senior trip. As we were taking a leisurely walk through the city, I felt something on my cheek. At first I thought it was rain and was confused about why it was so warm. I looked down and saw that I had bird poop on my chest and all down my leg. With slowly dawning horror I knew.

There was bird poop. On my face. Bird poop. On. My. Face. Deep breath. Do not freak out. You are an adult. You are in Europe with your friends. You have to be a grown up.

“Um. Guys, there’s,” deep, shaky breath, “bird poop on my,” shuttering gasp, “face.” Everyone turns, looks at me, and then frantically starts looking for something to wipe it up. A well-meaning friend grabs a Dorito bag, out of the gutter, and starts walking towards me with it.

I spaz out. Luckily, another friend yanks me towards her and uses her sleeve to clean up my cheek and crisis is averted.   

So, my goal in life is now this - to be able to say, I have been pooped on, on all seven continents. And don’t worry; there are some horrifying pictures of penguins pooping that show that this is completely doable if I really put my mind to it.          

Monday, June 24, 2013

Scars

I got a massage on Saturday (thanks John!) and it was wonderful. As amazing as it was, there is a major downside to massages – the nekidness. Holy moly, I do not like being naked around strangers (which I’m going to go ahead and chalk up as a positive personality trait). That feeling when they leave you in the room and say, “ok go ahead and get undressed and get under the covers facedown,” is the worst.

After she made the typical pronouncement, I stood there like I had been stun gunned for a few seconds, cursing myself for forgetting how much I hate semi-public nudity. Then I ripped all my clothes off like a Tasmanian devil, because heaven forbid she knocks on the door before I’m safely tucked away under the covers.

She came back in and I tried to will myself to relax:

“I’M NAKED. THIS IS HORRIBLY AWKWARD.”

“It doesn’t matter. I have to get my money’s worth, so brain, RELAX NOW.”

“I like her toenail polish color.”

“There is a weird amount of cymbals in this music.”

“Relax, relax, relax, relax.”

“Ack! My nose is dripping.”

“I wonder if I should dye my hair brown…”

“SHUT UP BRAIN! “

“OUCH! Her strength to size ratio is much higher than expected.”

“Huh. I wonder why boys are made of puppy dog tails. That sounds graphic and violent.”

“Shhhhhhhh… reeeellllaaaaaax.”

My stream of thought went along like that for a while, until she got to my right leg - everything went crashingly silent in my skull when she uncovered it.

I have a 14 inch scar that runs from mid-calf, across the back of my knee, to mid-thigh. When I was 18 I had a large chunk of my calf muscle taken out, and was left with a scar that makes me look like I was filleted open by Hannibal. I’m not necessarily embarrassed by my scar, but I REALLY hate people touching it. I have no feeling on the back of my calf, because the surgery destroyed all my nerve endings in that area. It makes my skin crawl to think about someone touching me and me not being able to tell.

While I was mildly panicking about her touching my leg, I started to think about the strange things she must see in her line of work. She daily has people lying on the table in front of her, completely vulnerable. Their scars, tattoos, bruises, stretch marks, and every other imperfection are laid bare in front of her. She took it in stride, my “disfigured” leg. Well, at least I think she did. My face was crammed into that doughnut shaped torture device, so who knows what her actual response was.  

I’m working on becoming a counselor, and I realized, I am asking the same of my clients. We all have scars. They might be from trauma, loss, heartbreak, or any other number of sources. We might feel funny about people seeing them, or we might be paralyzed at the thought of anyone knowing about them. Some are deep, and some are shallow, but they can hurt, embarrass, and cause discomfort regardless.

I was struck by how brave someone is to seek out counseling, to lay there naked with all of their skin exposed. I can only pray that God will use me to help people heal and adjust, and that I will always take what I hear in stride and never make a person feel alarming or too damaged for help.

So, my hat is off to those who are struggling with their scars and taking the brave steps to heal them.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Some Insight into My Scary Brain.

A little background and/or context.

I was not raised in the United States, and all joking aside, I really didn’t have a weight problem before we moved back here.

“But Anna, how can you blame an entire country (and/or region depending on how you use the term ‘America’) for your weight problem?”

Well. Let me tell you why.

Many moons ago this was me:




I know. Adorable. I mean, you can practically hear me thinking, “pssh. Yeah. I know I’m the shiznit.”

Now here’s me in the context of my childhood:





One of these is not like the others. And another one of these is going to play in the WNBA – I mean for reals, look at the girl in the yellow hat. She’s got hops.

Anyway, I stuck out like a sore thumb. And apparently never understood field day, but that’s not the point. In the town we lived in when I was a little itty bit, I stood out so much that I could get in a taxi cab and say, “take me home.” And they would. When we went to the market people would flock around me and give me free gifts like flowers and candy. People would take my picture, pet my head, and fawn all over me. Seriously.

Now, keep in mind, I had no concept of the fact that I was white, or blonde, or different in any way. So in my mind all of these interactions affirmed a truth that I lived my life by: “I’m adorable! Look how they love me! The whole world must center around my awesomeness!”

Needless to say, I’m prone to grandiose thinking, which often leads to dramatic statements. So, it’s much more my style to say something like “America made me fat,” vs, “a new culture full of a variety of unhealthy foods that are easily accessible, puberty, poor lifestyle choices, and reality made me fat.”


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Completely Unhelpful Book Reviews. You're Welcome.

I love to read. Anything. Everything. It doesn’t matter.

Due to this fact, I envisioned having some posts on here with book reviews. What better place to share my passion! Oh what fun we could have talking about literature!

Until I realized something … I have terrible taste in books. Scratch that, I have no taste at all. I love everything from Great Expectations to Sweet Valley High (why, oh why, wasn’t I born a twin?!) Thus, my reviews would be completely useless.

In my mind book reviews should go something like this:

::Twinkly dream sequence music:: Picture me sitting by a fire, in a leather wingback chair, nodding sagely, cleaning my monocle – “Mmmm. Yes. The juxtaposition of the themes about the different natures of good and evil made for an enthralling journey that was only marred by the author’s inability to alliterate in an appealingly appropriate attitude.” Thoughtful silence.

In reality:

Me bouncing around like a small child – “THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD! So good. Oh, the story! The love! I laughed! I cried! I lost my monocle I was so excited!!FIVE STARS!! TWO THUMBS UP!!! SQUEEEE!!!” There’s very little silence in my world. Thoughtful or otherwise.

So. I will probably write about books that are "OMG IT’S SO PERFECT YOU HAVE TO READ IT RIGHT NOW OR YOUR SOUL WILL DIE." Don’t believe it. It will only be true, like, ten percent of the time.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pressure coo... HOLY CRAP!

People often say "I feel like I am in a pressure cooker," or something along those lines. This is a saying that has been ringing true in my life recently, except I have a very vivid picture in my head of what that means for me.

When I was twenty I lived in India for a summer. Before that summer I had never seen a pressure cooker, let alone used one, but it is commonly used there so it quickly became a normal part of my life. When I was taught to use it the instructions went something like this - fill the pot with water, clamp down the lid, boil on the stove, when it's done spin this little top to release the pressure, duck and cover because you'll probably lose an eye. Check. Got it.

One night a friend and I were standing in the kitchen, using the handy, speedy little kitchen gadget, when it all went wrong. The stove we were cooking on had a glass cover that could be pulled down, so that when it's not in use it can provide more counter space (genius!). I reached over, twirled the pressure release thingy, ducked and covered, and boy howdy am I glad I did.

That sucker EXPLODED. To this day I have no idea what happened technically. What I do know is that one minute I was standing happily in the kitchen waiting for my potatoes to be done and the next second I was under fire. Not only did the cooker explode boiling potatoes all over the kitchen it somehow managed to shatter the glass cover in an explosion of alarming magnitude.

What happened next was a reenactment of the scene from Boondock Saints after they shoot the cat - lots of scrambling, screaming, checking for mortal wounds, and then shocked staring. No one was hurt but that kitchen will never be the same.

I'm hoping this blog will be a place to relieve a little pressure form life, and if not, at least a place to be able to stand in the middle of the kitchen covered in potato and laugh hysterically about it.