Saturday, September 19, 2009

How far have we come?

Let's talk about the elephant in the room, people.


Yep, that's what this post will be about. I'm pretty sure some won't read this because they're "sick of it" or because it's a subject that's been "run into the ground" or maybe it's because it's one of those subjects that's avoided like abortion, same sex marriage, and Obama. It's much more fun to read about the new fall trends or which new celebrity decided to interrupt some other celebrity's glory moment. I'm with you. Because you know what? I happen to know the new fall trends (animal prints, showy shoulders, and knee high boots), and I am completely up-to-date on the Kanye/Taylor drama (good. Lord.)..

But some incidents have happened recently that have made me so frustrated that YES, I am blogging about it.

I'm from a small southern town (SST) that tends to ward off anyone/anything different from them like vampires. And not the glittery kind. The believable, scary kind. (Yes. That was a potshot at Twilight. Calm yourself.)

Anyway, since I've been living in the land of beautiful diversity for awhile now, it's sometimes easy for me to forget what it was like living in SST.. It has its charms, but there are some things that I don't miss.

I recently had a conversation with someone, who we will name Tard for the time being, about his new college experience that went a little something like this:

Me: So how're you liking college?

Tard: Good..

Me: Do you have a roommate?

Tard: He never showed up.

Me: Oh, cool. You live alone. That could be good..or bad..if the M.I.A. roommate would have turned out to be your best friend.

Tard: Yeah, that wouldn't have happened. He was black..

Me: (momentary pause) He wouldn't have been your friend because he was black?

Tard: (chuckling) Yeah, I know I'm a little racist, but..

..then joking with those around us began, which involved making up what they considered "black names" etc..

Me: You know, one day you're going to learn..

Tard: Learn what?

Learn that we were all created with the same amount of love and purpose.
Learn that your entitled attitude and limited beliefs show your ignorance.
Learn that one day you're going to mouth off in the wrong place at the wrong time and your ass is going to get beat for saying crap like that.

At that point, I walked away to go sit at another table. I had the strongest urge to shake him and scream how completely wrong he was, but I knew it would fall on deaf ears.

One day, he will learn, but I know he wouldn't accept that lesson from me.

THEN a few weeks later, I am back in SST at a wedding rehearsal. There happens to be one lone black man who is a groomsman. I can't tell you how many times I heard, "Who's the black guy?" or "He seems nice." (Like that would be a real SHOCKER, if someone who isn't white is actually a good person..)

I have to tell you, racism is a constant frustration for me. I would love to live in a world that wouldn't disrespect the President of the United States because of the color of his skin. Or if I would like to set up a friend with someone of a different race, they write him or her off because of something else besides the color of their skin.

I'll leave with a few of my favorite quotes that can sum up my point better than I ever could:

"At the heart of racism is the religious assertion that God made a creative mistake when He brought some people into being."
-Friedrich Otto Hertz

"Lukewarm acceptance is more bewildering that outright rejection."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Back in the Action

So sorry it's been so long, my dears. School completely wiped me out, and then my summer was complete crap. Ohhh well.. excuses, schmexcuses, huh?

I have not been nearly as diligent as my friend Beans:

But, alas, I am back, and I will try to write a blog every week.

The aforementioned crappy summer started off very promising.

My birthday was spent at Six Flags because, as you know from my Sea World experience, I LOVE roller coasters. Three of my favorite people went with me: Beans, Twigs, and Forrest (a.k.a. my husband). It was full of screams, maniacal laughing, laughs, food, and FUN! Let me tell ya, you could NOT imagine how different the 4 of us's an interesting mix. Conservative, liberal, in between, undecided, sassy, sarcastic, goofy, and hiiiilarious. Dear. LORD.

Anyway, after that fabulous weekend of turning 24, (Yes, I take the entire weekend..and actually, pretty much the whole week. Birthdays are like national holidays to me.), I got to experience something on the opposite end of the spectrum.

A car accident.

Don't worry. I'm okay. Nothing that a chiropractor couldn't fix over a span of several weeks, but it was a little jarring. One minute I'm stopped at a stop sign, and then a few seconds later I'm being rear-ended by a lady going at least 35 mph. And then SHE gets out of the car and starts screaming at ME. Her car was completely totaled.. I was a bit luckier on the car end of the spectrum because mine was driveable..buuut it still had some bumps and bruises. (Fun fact: it was my husband's nice car that I had borrowed for the day..) (Disturbing fact: crazy lady had a baby in the car...that was unharmed, thank God..)

So, at this time, Evan's car is completely repaired (at the expense of her insurance), and I am pretty much recovered (at the expense of her insurance). Although, I am still jumpy when in the car and prone to shrieking, which can really cause some tension when other people are driving.

We went to Eureka Springs to celebrate our one year. Very unique town. Claustrophobia and heights cannot be an issue for visitors here. For one, the streets are pretty darn narrow... sometimes you feel like you're in some messed up Alice in Wonderland with Victorian houses on either side of you threatening to squish you to death. Then at other times, you feel relatively charmed by the set up. At one point, Evan was walking behind me, pushing me up a hill to our dinner destination. Heights cannot be an issue because the town is pretty high up, trees and sharp drops everywhere. It's quite beautiful, but I always feel more at home in the mountains. As soon as possible, I will be moving somewhere with mountains.

Then, my friends, it all went to hell. (Other than a weekend jaunt to the lake with Forrest, Beans, Twigs, seester, and Nicolette--as well as a weekend in Galveston with the in-laws..) Money ran out, my death trap car died, and I was thrown back to the humbling summer job as a babysitter. Exhausting days with iiiiiitty bitty paydays. The reason I took the babysitter job was to have more time to polish off my novel, but alas, that didn't happen. Watching for one family didn't pay the bills so it turned into 2 families..then 3..then went all the way up to 5 different families. Fun.

BUT now the summer is over. We have moved out of the house and into an apartment. I'm loving the change.. I have a new (slightly used) car that is wonderful. And the semester has started which means: I get to see my people more. I get paid more. And I get to write more. Thank. GOD.

Stay tuned for more stories... Maybe the next tale will be about the week I had to eat meat (I've been a veggie for 3.5 years) because we were so broke. Ahhhh, Summer 2009, you can go straight to Hell.

I've missed you, blogging world. It's good to be back.

**Picture is of me and my pretty car.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Out of Wack

Just letting you know that I am still alive..I have just gone mostly inncomunicado to finish my novel manuscript by the Wednesday deadline. To put it mildly and not-so-eloquently, I am FREAKING out.
Looking forward to the day when I can remember I have friends and family, start blogging again, and reading for pleasure.
Until then, back to the grind..
*Thought you might enjoy this Easter picture...I think I was trying to appear as though I were laying eggs. But who knows..

Friday, April 10, 2009

Plasma plumping pockets...

Phew. I am feeling better.  The Z-Pack is completed, and the Kleenexes are less needed.  (Behold, I rhymed.)  Yesterday, I had the pleasure of a little hammering creature trying to escape my head for several hours, along with eye twitches.  That was rather interesting.  Moving on..

So today I had to have some blood drawn for health biz-nass going on with me.  (I'm really not as sickly as it seems..I just always let things build up and build up until they all have to be dealt with at once. Thank God for free insurance.)   Anyway, I'm sitting down in the giant black blood-drawing chair and expect to feel some sort of panic about a needle. I don't really. The lady seems so monotone/mellow that I have no doubt that she will stick it in the correct throbbing vein. And I'm right.  A finger prick hurts worse than that.  I watch the tube filling of ounce after ounce of blood, and I expect to feel faint.  But no. It just feels kind of cool that I'm watching blood that used to be rushing around in my body being trapped in a tube.  

Then I remembered my giving plasma for moolah days... and a few of the incidents that happened there.  

Nothing prompts a desperate trip to the infamous plasma-taker place than a $500 phone bill.  Yes, that's right.  Little Miss Stuuuupid Aubrey liked to act like she had unlimited text messages/minutes  when she first started dating Evan.  (He lived a kajillion miles away, so...the phone was our relationship for awhile.) So, I quickly picked up 11 shifts at the restaurant where I worked at the time.  I knew that would be interesting, since I was a full-time student and I just picked up 11 out of 14 possible shifts for one week.  Then I drove to where I had heard that you can prostitute your plasma for fast cash.  

I went through the whole rigmarole where a few different people figured out 101 different ways of asking if I do or do not have an STD.  I passed with flying colors.  I gave my plasma while watching Van Helsing on their monitors (Ironic, I know..), got $40, and walked out.   If you are not familiar with the process, you can go twice a week (with at least 2 days in between) and the money you are given depends on how much plasma you are able to give.  I would get $20 the first time in the week, and $30 the second time.  The first week you go, however, you get 80 bucks.  The first week went fine.  I got my $80 and promptly paid a little on my phone bill.  

The second week was a different story.  You see, you're supposed to drink plenty of water before you go and eat a good meal.  Well, I was in a hurry and completely forgot to drink any water.  I figured I would be juuuust fine.  So I'm reclining in the chair reading a book, arm out and hand squeezing, with my jacket strewn across my legs.  

I hear the machine beeping, but pay no attention.  An attendant that was not in charge of me came over, looked at the machine, and then started to fiddle with the needle.  It's a long needle.  She started pulling up on it where it was stretching my skin.  I immediately started to feel light-headed.  That would probably be an understatement, actually, because I kept blacking out.  She kept yanking it around.  I tried to scream at her, but I was so dizzy I couldn't even think.  I tried to form the f*bomb and several other expletives, but they just kept being screamed in my head.  Presumably noticing the look of pure hatred coming from my direction (when my eyes weren't rolling in the back of my head), the death attendant finally walked away.  A few minutes later, my attendant walked to me--noticing my pale face and the beeping of the machine.  She wasn't too happy about the death attendant messing with her patient.  I wasn't either.  She explained to me that my blood was clotting, while she moved around the needle herself.  It wasn't as bad, but my head was still swirling.  She informed me that I can either switch arms or leave.  If I were to leave, however, I would not get my money.  Hellls no, I thought.  I did NOT just go through that for nothing.  So she took out the needle, put a cotton ball and tape on the area, and walked around to my other arm.  

Well, then my blood decided not to clot any more.  After she put the needle in my other arm, she looked over at the old plasma-drawing arm with wide eyes.  I slowly looked other with dread, and see blood splattering EVERYWHERE.  All over my jacket, all over the floor.  I couldn't move because I was hooked to the machine.  When she walked over to the other side, the blood splattered all over her lab coat.  I start to feel light-headed again (Surprised? I think not..), she stopped the bleeding, changed lab coats, and I finished my plasma giving.  She also gave me a parting gift: a bag of some kind of liquid that got the blood out of my coat.  I walked out of there, grabbed my money, and tried to convince myself that I'd be back again.  But I didn't go back...for a year.

The reason I decided to go back (dragging my fiance with me) is because we were engaged with wedding and honeymoon expenses looming over us.  I had constantly reassured Evan that he would be fine.  I can't even tell you how long it took me to convince him to come.  Bubbles in your vein are very rare, I told him.  Blood splatter and blood clots are avoidable, I told him.  My experience was mostly my own fault, I told him.  We drank plenty of water and ate.. I kept assuring him that he's bigger than me so he would get more money, and we'd make a lot of easy money in the next several months before the big shebang. We both went through the rigmarole again with the 101 different questions that want the same answer: No, neither of us have an STD. Still. 

Once we made it to the donor floor, I kicked back, relaxed, and began reading from the many bridal magazines I had stocked up on.  My blood was flowing smoothly, and no attendants tried to kill me.  Evan, looking rather green, was across the room from me.  I watched the attendant (he was mine too) stick him, and noticed Evan glaring at me and shaking his head.  He wasn't too happy.  I also noticed the attendant walking away, getting someone else, and then coming back to Evan.  They finally went away, and I carried on with my reading.  I finished before Evan, so I got my money and waited for him in the lobby.  When he finally got out, he was pale and still glaring at me.  I looked at his arm and it was bruised pretty badly.  Apparently, Evans veins were harder to find than mine.  The attendant stuck him like a freaking voodoo doll until he got someone else to do his job.  Apparently, before the other attendant came for help, Evan was able to experience the rare vein bubble.  His arm was bruised for weeks, and any time I suggested we try to go again, I was shut down quite resolutely.  He still gets mad at me when I mention it.  :)   We haven't been back in almost 2 years.  

But...I think I might give it another try....It'd be nice to have some easy cushion in my wallet...

(The picture has no meaning with this blog whatsoever, but it's me zip lining in Puerto Vallarta last summer.)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ailments and Injuries

Here I am. I have been in a circle of Kleenexes, groin strains, mucus, and deadlines for about a week now, so I have been a little absent from the blogging world. It took everything in me to turn in all of my deadlines on time, and everyone else is left with the somewhat dilapidated Aubrey.

I know that reads rather pitiful, but I have to tell you—I’m pretty sure I look and sound pitiful too. I am constantly getting sympathetic looks with the question of, “Feeling better?”
I’m not bitter about the looks or the questions. At all. In fact, it’s all I can do to not whimper and crawl into the said sympathetic person’s lap, asking for a brief cuddle. I don’t live off of sympathy or anything, but when I’m sick, I don’t mind sympathy one bit. What I do mind when I am sick are all of the cons that go with it.

Take stopped-up noses, for instance. My poor husband is only getting pecks on the lips because when we try for a real “we’re in love and let’s be passionate” kiss, I start snorting for air. I almost suffocate to death from kissing him. It's infuriating. I hate stopped-up noses.

I hate not being able to taste. It is absolutely earth-shattering. I tried to eat some Easy Mac last night because it’s soft and warm and gooey and comforting for my throat, but I couldn’t taste it. I bought some Ghirardelli chocolates for my occasional treat, but I cannot eat them because what’s the point of eating those delicious calories if you can’t taste them?! [Quick side-story: A few weeks ago, my mother-in-law sent me some Dove chocolates in Evan’s birthday package because…well, she’s always supplying me with Dove because they’re some of my favorites. I let them last for quite a while..just getting one or two a day…okay, sometimes five…Well, then a few days ago, I went to get one and there weren’t any left. I quickly shot a look at Evan who had just eaten several. “You ate all of them?!” He shrugged and told me he gave me the last one. I then proceeded to look around our house for any form of chocolate. I returned to the living room, somewhat dazed. “We don’t have any chocolate,” I said, panic thick in my voice. “We don’t…there’s none left. It’s all gone. I need chocolate.” Evan’s eyebrows quickly reached to the ceiling. I wanted to laugh because I could see him trying to figure out a way to comfort his irrational wife who was having a panic attack about not having chocolate in the house, but I couldn’t laugh because I could not fathom not having any chocolate in the house at that moment. “It’s okay,” he said slowly in a not-too patronizing tone. “We need to go to the store anyway. We’ll get you some later.” I resisted the urge to stomp my foot and whine, “But I want it nowwww.” Instead, I went to the kitchen, grabbed a bag of semi-sweet Ghirardelli chocolate chips that I had for baking purposes, and popped some in my mouth. Grrrrross. Not as good as when they are in cookies. My craving for chocolate soon left, and my sanity returned. BUT the real Ghirardelli chocolates that were mentioned in the beginning paragraph were the calming purchase I made later in the day…So, you can imagine how I felt when I realized I wouldn’t even be able to taste them..]

Now to catch you up with my other ailments. I pulled my groin. And as much as I would love to tell you I pulled it in a very exciting way, I didn’t. I pulled it at the gym, and I don’t even know when. I just know that on Friday, as we were walking to the car, I had some real pain at the top of my left the groin region. God, I hate that word. I never realized it until this week when I’ve said it about 20 million times. We went to the public library, and I was still limping—even crying out in pain when I had to get up from sitting. We went to rent some movies, and it still hurt. We went home, and it still hurt. I thought it would go away in a few hours, but on Saturday it still hurt. I was still walking like Quasi-freakin-moto. Add to that my throat was beginning to get really sore, I was not a very happy camper. But I was DETERMINED to go to the Medieval Fair. It is one of my favorite things that happens here. I love to watch all of the weird people, and all of the dogs, and all of the weird people, and I love the lemonade….and watching all of the weird people. Well, we go. And we bring along my fellow Hot Librarian. And we meet up with our other friends and their dog who I love dearly. And then it comes to my realization that I probably should have taken Claritin. Why? Because the wind is INSANE in this state right now. And at the Medieval Fair, there are all sorts of things being swirled around my nose and eyes. And then I start to feel it. “It” being the allergy attacks I experience at random points in my life. My eyes start to pour (thank God I had sunglasses), my throat begins to close in more, and I start to sneeze. I sneeze every. five. seconds. No lie. I was miserable. I wandered around, looking at the booths, trying to see all of the weird people. But I couldn’t. Because Mother Nature decided to blind me with allergy tears. I had to ask the Greyhound Rescue people if I could have a few Kleenexes. I ran out quickly, and had to ask the food people for several paper towels. That was nice--walking around with paper towels sticking out of my skirt pockets. I even bought a lemonade, but I couldn't taste it. I wanted to shake my fists in the air, but instead I wandered around dazedly trying to make sense in conversation.. I don't think I succeeded. Whether or not I meant to or not, I would usually say something completely ridiculous that would result in all 3 of us laughing hysterically. And then I would sneeze. And blow my nose. And sneeze again. At least I wasn't alone. Well, I was alone in the sneezing..but not alone in speaking incoherently Archimedes/Hot Librarian was having a little trouble making sense of things too (but for different reasons).. Finally she convinced me that she would understand if I wanted to leave. So we did, and I stocked up on allergy stuff. We returned our kidnapped friend to her home, and I ended up covering the bed with Kleenexes that night.

I went to the doctor yesterday and was able to get medicine...but I still feel like crap. Still look pitiful, sound pitiful, etc. And my ability to taste goes in and out.

Oh. Groin update: Better on Sunday, worse on Monday, better today.... and I'm still not allowed to go to the gym. Hopefully my lack of appetite will counteract the no-gym timey.

Another random story: I was finally hanging up my clothes that have been in a huge pile on the bedroom floor for at least a month now, and I was somewhat appalled. I have an insane amount of adorable clothes. The appalling part, a lot of them (mostly the things from last summer) do not fit at the moment. Or, if they do, there is a danger of popping buttons and obscene exposure. Another appalling fact? I stopped counting at 24 pairs of jeans. 24. pairs. of jeans. What makes this even more appalling is that I don't even wear jeans. I wear 1 pair of the 24. To give myself some credit, I have probably 6 pairs of jeans in about 4 different sizes. Ugh. That just makes me feel worse. That's what makes me want to go to the gym, but I can't because I'm a 23-year-old with a strained groin!!! Don't worry. I will be getting rid of many of them, but not until I'm down to the size I want.

I'm off now.

Hope you all are in good health, and let's hope I will be the next time I post! :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

roller coaster

It's been awhile since I've posted.  A few weeks ago was pure insanity with all the deadlines before spring break; the first 100 pages of my novel, three books I had to read with accompanying papers, etc etc.  Then I went to San Antonio with my husband and a few friends.  It was a BLAST.  But now I'm back and dealing with reality.  I'm not really a big fan of it this week.  (As you can see by the pictures..  I elaborate below.)

Anyway, don't worry.  As easy as it would be to write about the metaphors of roller coasters and life, I shall refrain.  I'm not going to be a Debbie Downer today.  

I will, however, let you know that I rode a few roller coasters on my spring break. Literally. I'm not being deep. 
I LOVE roller coasters...and I love riding in the very front (even if it's the longest line) and I absolutely love the ones where you flip upside down. I love how I feel when I'm on one--it's a combination of elation and....well, terror?  No, not terror because I hate being afraid.  It's that adrenaline rush that's priceless.  As my husband and friends found out, I sound somewhat like a crazy person. On the slow ride up to the top, I have that anxious jittery joy...then at that plunge to the bottom, I scream...and laugh.  I laugh maniacally.  I laugh until tears are streaming down my face.  I laugh so maniacally that it makes it impossible for my fellow riders to not laugh at/with me.  It was a shame that Sea World only has two roller coasters, but I highly recommend The Steel Eel and The Great White.  

During our San Antonio stay, we also went to Ripley's Believe it or Not.  There we saw a bunch of random stuff from a John Wayne portrait made out of cow dung, a headless chicken that stayed alive for awhile, Titanic artifacts, one of Houdini's keys, and Lee Harvey Oswald's toe tag.  At the Guinness World Records Museum, my husband and my friend's husband easily beat the drum beats per minute record, I learned that there is a flower that smells like rotten flesh (and can be smelled from 1/2 a mile away), and I was horrified that the world's largest family reunion had 2,369 members (I mean, really..HOLY HELL).  At Louis Tussaud's Wax Museum, I got to hang out with Oprah, Shirley Temple, and many other famous people.  
At the Alamo, I became a tad claustrophobic and had to get the heck out of there...but I really liked the big tree in the garden area.  
At Sea World, Evan and I swam with Beluga whales, went to every animal show they had (my favorite was the Believe show with Shamu and his killer whale friends), and had the absolute time of my life.  
The River Walk was beautiful but slightly boring..until we branched off and found a little art district tucked away from it all.  
We went on the Tomb Rider 3-D Adventure Ride and killed some zombies...I felt like Lara Croft.  And I ate ice cream while the rest of the posse went to a haunted house.  
Oh..and we had a Star Wars Episode 4, 5, and 6 marathon.  Woohoo!

Yesterday was Evan's birthday, and I ended up beating him with one of his birthday presents.  (Don't worry..It was to protect him.)  We were riding back from the post office and opening the birthday package from his family...  I look over at him (he was driving) and all of a sudden, a ginormous brown spider ran across his arm.  I hate spiders.  So, of course, I FLIPPED out.  I let out a huge scream that he says was worse than any scream queen in a horror movie.  On one of his "you almost killed me" rants, he said, "People have been murdered without making that much noise.."  While screaming, I took what I currently had in my hand (which happened to be the box holding his Wii tennis paddles) and tried to kill it.  It didn't work.  I only accomplished in nearly giving Evan heart failure.  It took him awhile to recover.  And when the nasty demon reappeared (the spider, not Evan) and I managed to kill it very calmly with the car's instruction manual, Evan was inside getting food.  So no one witnessed the no-shrieking spider-killing Aubrey.  Oh, well.  Maybe next time.  I mean, NOT next time.  Please, oh Please, God. Don't let that happen again.  

So there's an update.  Hope you enjoy all the pictures...  

Monday, March 23, 2009

Still here..

Haven't disappeared... just been really busy during Spring Break.  I'll post something by the end of the week!

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I am in a random mood, as you can see by the random pictures.  The first is just priceless.  The second is my love and me at an aquarium a few years ago.  Sharky proved to be a little more charming than Evan thought...

Thought I would write something quick that's a little more cheery than my last blog. :)

Here's a hilarious video that cheers me up instantly.  First, go to, search for bizkit the sleep walking dog..and watch the 23 second choice. (Thank you, fellow hot librarian, who is responsible for me seeing that and spreading it for everyone else's viewing pleasure.)

It makes me laugh because I can see my dog, Kelso, doing that.  (And my other dog, Jesse, looking at him in partial disgust, partial embarrassment..)

If any of you are wondering how I'm doing with the fitness contest,'s going. I haven't fallen off the health wagon or anything..It's just going a little slower than I thought it would.  Apparently, when someone starts working out again, the body retains more water.. So I'm going to say that's why.  I've been working out like crazy though, which has led to me not focusing on the first 100 pages of my novel that is due next week. I will get there. Not as quickly as I would like, but I will get there.  I say that for the fitness contest and the novel deadline.

That's all for now..I know it's a rather pathetic post, but it took my stress level down a little bit.

(And no, Mom, I do not include you in the handful of annoying older people that are back in school.  You're wise, but you don't advertise it every 30 seconds.  As for you taking my advice and not carrying a rolling backpack, I appreciate it more than you will ever know.)  

Monday, March 2, 2009

Age Discrimination

Age discrimination. You do it. I do it. My dog even does it. (Kelso only barks ferociously at teenagers.) 

Disclaimer: This is not an age-basher. It stems from a handful of individuals that have no clue what they're talking about, but they assume they do because they're older and "wiser." As well as a few twenty-somethings that show a lack of maturity.  And some teenagers that really have me stumped.  

It's one of those things that just annoys much as, if not more than, smacking and slurping.  If you know me at all, you know that is saying something. I have a "thing" when it comes to bad table manners. Just like bad table manners, the habit of assuming someone else's knowledge/character is also curable. Teenagers aren't all whiny.  Twenty- somethings aren't all selfish boozers.  And those over-the-hill aren't all pompous.  This blog, however, is about the ones that are.  

Being in graduate school, there are several classmates that are older than I am... I don't think they're as discriminatory as the older classmates were when I was an undergraduate...However, there are constant references to age that gets my blood uh boilin'.  

Because we're a decade or two younger than you, does it mean we don't know how to be respectful? Does it mean we can't "understand" or "grasp" the full concept of a situation or topic? Does it mean we don't know what a freaking lace doily is?  

No. It doesn't. First of all, is it truly necessary to use a lace doily in a "but youuuuuu wouldn't know what thaaaat iiiiiis" situation? No! How ridiculous is that?

Maturity levels depend on life experiences.  I know there are truly ignorant, disrespectful people my age. That doesn't mean I should be automatically in the same category as them just because we were born the same year.  

In many situations, I get along with older people more than people my don't think I'm an old people hater. I just happen to be fortunate enough to have come in contact with some obnoxious older classmates.  

I can't say I'm innocent in the age discrimination thing. It's a habit for me to assume that if you're older and back to school, you probably wear hideous sweaters, have a rolling backpack, and laugh maniacally at whatever the professor says just to prove "oh, yes, Iiiiiiiii remember that. of course, Iiiiiiii know who you're talking about and what you're referring too."

As for early twenties give or take a few, I have come in contact with some that I have to resist the urge to shake them and inform them that it is not necessary to find something negative in everything and speak only the language of whining.  Really. Is your life that bad? No. It's not. There are so much bigger things out there than your friend marrying your ex-boyfriend from junior high. And don't whine about being thrown in jail, if you were drinking and driving!! I mean, come on now. You have GOT to be kidding me. 

Teenagers, well.... I can't rant about them, really. They're trying to find their place in the world...who they really are...and battle acne and puberty all at the same time. 

However, the group that randomly meets with a lone and willing participant in the school park behind my house and proceeds to beat the crap out of that lone and willing participant for some kind of stupid, wannabe gangster initiation, gets my complete confusion.  It's a suburban college town in Oklahoma, for Heaven's sake... not Harlem. And the fact that they (including the "victim") wave and smile at me as they're running away from my screeching, makes me feel more than a little befuddled.  One day I hope I catch one of them in time to ask what in the hell they're thinking...

So, that's all.  I'm all riled up thinking about those kids fighting.  

Until next time...

"Good day." (Tribute to Paul Harvey!) :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Body Image

It's interesting to find out other people's body image of themselves and of other people--or even more interesting, other people's body image of you compared to your own body image.  Don't worry.  This post isn't going to be the mortar and pestle for my confidence.  There is a moral, and NOT a French children's story ending. 

I know I'm not overweight, yet every single day I struggle with my body image. Most days I feel like the Venus of Willendorf.  On my good days I can teeter towards Venus de Milo.  A little extreme, but that's me.  I'm a Gemini AND a female...which isn't a negative thing, necessarily..just.. you know.  Women tend to be moody anyway, and Geminis have dual personalites, sooooo...okay, moving on..

Those pesky extra pounds that creeped...okay, I'll be honest. They didn't creep on. I ingested a lot of carbs and a lot of sugar after I walked down the aisle.  No more super amazing dress to look modelesque in.  I had plenty of elastic pants to last for ages....and I just kept buying more. When I had to pull out the dreaded fat jeans from the give-away pile in the give-away dresser in the storage shed outside, I couldn't play dumb any more or pull the bloated card or the water weight card or the Aunt Flow card or the "Well, Evan says I still look really good" card. Yeah, like Evan is dumb enough to suggest a salad rather than a pizza. If I ever see the day where Evan says, "Well, baby, it looks like your muffin top is a little more overflowing than usual", I'll probably be to the point where I'm diabetic and need to go on the Biggest Loser. But I won't get there, and I know Evan wouldn't let me do that to myself.

The whole point of this blog came from me being close to tears this morning wondering what the hell is wrong with me.  I have very good friends (the kind that don't bullshit me for anything) that make my confidence go through the roof. But then the little devil on my shoulder screams at me that they're tiny, so how can they try to reassure me if they have never been more than a size 2? They don't exactly have to worry about what's going to fall out of a bathing suit and when that what will choose to do so.  
Then there are the few people who have made fat comments to me that make me feel about 2 inches tall and 12 inches wide. 

I look at Queen Latifah and Jennifer Hudson who exude confidence and sexiness. I wonder how those two women that are bigger than me look so gooooood. On the flipside, Mary-Kate Olsen and Lindsay Lohan and Kate Bosworth may be small, but they don't exactly exude confidence or sexiness. They exude the unhappy and I-need-a-cracker vibe. BUT look at Kate Beckinsale and Kate Winslet and Angelina Jolie and Rachel McAdams. They're small and healthy and confident and happy. All about body image which goes hand in hand with confidence which goes hand in hand with sexiness. I'm not a Jennifer Hudson. I'm not a Mary-Kate Olsen. Probably Scarlett Johanssonesque is a realistic goal.   

No matter how my friends build me up or who tears me down, it's all about the size that will get the bad body image hounds off my heels.  I don't want to be a size 2..I wouldn't fight it off with a stick, but I'm okay being a 6. That size isn't all that far off for me. It's just a matter of going to the gym and not pumping myself full of bread and chocolate. Easier said than done...since I love food. It just doesn't love me back. 

SO, the moral I had to teach myself today was: Don't accept yourself for what you look like now if you're not happy. Don't go crazy and look like a waif, but look like yourself. Don't settle for other people's body image of yourself. Make your own realistic one. 

Here's to lookin' like Aubrey. Cheers. 

Monday, February 16, 2009

Reality, Schmreality

First day back in the real world, and I'm trying to refrain from stomping my foot and screaming, "I DON'T WANNA!"  The weekend was great, other than being somewhat sickly on Sunday morning.  

Evan surprised me Friday night and took me to a really nice restaurant where my sister is a server.  The crab cake was phenomenal.... I don't think I'll ever be able to enter Red Lobster's doors again after having that....which probably isn't a bad thing. Seester gave us our Valentine card and a rubber chicken that squawks when twisted. Yes, you read that correctly. Apparently, she was under the impression that candy was inside of possibly even came out of its bootay. When I tried taking off its hind quarters, however, there was a very high-pitched squawk.  No candy a la rubber chicken.

Saturday we were hermits.  We stayed in, watched movies, played with our furry children (our dogs Kelso and Jesse), and I tried to become Rachel Ray for the day.  I baked strawberry cupcakes, brownies, Swedish spritz cookies, chocolate whoopie cakes, slow-cooked salmon with herbs, orange-glazed asparagus, and parmesan rice pilaf.  Somehow, I pulled it off. 
Now I'm stuck with all the extra baked goods, which is not good for me winning the contest. Hopefully my classmates will take them off my hands today.  

Sunday I was a little sickly, so more movies and playing with the dogs and the NBA All Star game that was AMAZING. I wish I could watch games like that more often.  Those guys are a very good way.  

So now, here I am, wanting to rewind and go back to the weekend where I was able to spoon my husband for almost 3 days. 

Here's a tip to couples: go get the book The Five Languages of Love by Dr. Gary Chapman. It is SO helpful once you figure out each other's language. Seriously. 

I think that has to be all for now. My brain is just not functioning quite yet, and I'm afraid I'm going to blabber on if I don't put a stop to it now. 

Picture is of my furry children camping out on our bed.  The big black one is Kelso, and the little one is Jesse. Technically, his name is Jesse James because that's the only way Evan would let me name him Jesse. 

***Am I honestly seeing CNN analyze the Rihanna/Chris Brown debacle? Good Lord. Further confirmation to the soft news/hard news crap. Leave it to E, CNN. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Four more days until my favorite holiday....

I love Valentine's day.  I always have, even though I didn't have a man on V-Day until Evan..  It's a day of red, pink, chocolate, romance, and love. So what more could a girl ask for?  

This year I bought a ton of decorations for our house.  We kept saying we'd put them up, but we've been so busy and exhausted from work and school that we just never got around to doing it. This morning I woke up, walked out to the living room...and Evan had put them up. He has to wake up at 5:30 to go to work, but he still made time to do it. I love it when he figures out my language of love. 

In grad school news, I have to write a paper over All News Is Local by Richard C. Stanton and tie it in with the interrelation of globalization and media. It won't be difficult, but it's just a matter of doing it.  I'm not a big fan of "reports" on non-fiction books.  It's hard to get's like I'm enlarging the pompous authors' egos to a dangerous size, and they don't really need any help in that area.  Stanton doesn't seem to be as pompous as most of the other authors on the reading list, but.... still... 

In fitness contest news, I've lost 4 pounds since Sunday.  I worked out really hard Sunday night. I thought I was going to pass out on that damn elliptical, but I put a magazine in front of me with Kate Beckinsale pictures all over it..  That will definitely make you press on and not let your fat ass get off the machine.  That woman is ridiculously gorgeous. Yesterday I was a little under the weather, so we didn't go to them gym...I still lost weight though.  We will be going tonight.  I've got to figure out a way to wake up in the early morning to do my Biggest Loser videos.. And after a long day, it's so hard to peel myself off the recliner and go.  Maybe I should put up Kate Beckinsale wallpaper all over my house.  

Not too long until my fat pants are extra loose... :) 

P.S. I don't know if any of you have given into the phenomenon that is young adult fiction, but really--there's some really great stuff out there.  One of my very favorites is the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan.  Check it out.  He makes complex Greek mythology so enjoyable and easy to understand.  It's so amazing...I wish it would have been around when I was a kid. I don't know when I'll find the time, but I really want to re-read the series very soon.  


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Adios, Flab

Well, today is the first day back on the health bandwagon. I'm having a contest with my mom and my sister to see who can lose the most weight by March 11. I'm trying to ignore my hoard of Valentine's Day candy, which is incredibly difficult because if chocolate is anywhere near me, I can usually hear it screaming, "EAT ME!" I just need to get in tune with a little thing called will power. It helps that it's a contest, and I have an actual deadline. I'm pretty excited about it, actually. I can't wait to be bikini-ready again. Maybe if you're lucky I'll post those horrid can't-look-away-but-don't-wanna-look before pictures and then a helloooooo after picture. We're still negotiating the grand prize...maybe a new outfit or a fun trip somewhere or a few new bikinis. My ULTIMATE deadline is May though. If I meet THAT deadline, then Evan is going to take me somewhere really fun. Maybe Sea World because I've never been, or Schlitterbahn because I've never really been to a water park. Can you tell I love incentives? It helps..otherwise I can come up with all kinds of excuses. Until then, I'm going to be spending countless hours in the gym, and my Biggest Loser Workout DVDs will be worn out. I'm sure Evan's fitness advice will be exhausted, as well. I'm lucky to have a husband that wants to be a conditioning coach for college/pro basketball/baseball. (I can also say that all of this is going to be research for my will come in handy.)

I know everyone says you always gain weight the first year you're married..With me, though, I don't think it has anything to do with comfort. I was comfortable with Evan before we were married because we lived together for a year. I think with me it was the notion that I didn't have an amazingly beautiful (and small) wedding dress hanging over my head any more. On our honeymoon, I had icecream at least 3 times a day. And lots and lots of carbs. I love Puerto Vallarta....more specifically, I love Barcelo La Jolla de Mismaloya. Great, great memories. (Picture is of me on our honeymoon on our room's balcony....I miss that view!)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

As I have mentioned, I'm reading a lot of women's fiction at the moment in a directed reading with one of my professors, Deborah Chester (an author in a variety of genres; and also under the pseudonym Sean Dalton).  Bet Me and Hissy Fit are the first two that we'll be talking about.  I enjoyed Bet Me far more than Hissy Fit.  Hissy Fit was actually quite a disappointment.  

Synopsis of Bet Me from the book's flap:

Minerva Dobbs knows that happily-ever-after is a fairy tale, especially with a man like Cal Morrisey, who asked her to dinner to win a bet.  Cal Morrisey knows commitment is impossible, especially with a woman as cranky as Min Dobbs.  When they say good-bye at the end of their evening, they cut their losses and agree never to see each other again.  But Fate has other plans, and it's not long before Min and Cal are dealing with meddling friends, wedding cake, a jealous ex-boyfriend, Krispy Kremes, a determined psychologist, chaos theory, a frantic bride, Chicken Marsala, a mutant cat, snow globes, two Mothers-from-Hell, great shoes, and more risky propositions than either of them ever dreamed of, including the biggest gamble of all--unconditional love.   

From ME:

For the most part, the reviews--editorial and customer--were favorable.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the rich community of characters, the quirky aspects of the plot, and the fast pace of the novel.  The negative editorial reviews complained about the lack of complex sub-plots.  In my opinion, a Romance novel, complex sub-plots tend to take away from the main plot. Authors tend to put the main agenda on the back burner longer than necessary.  Sub-plots shouldn't overshadow the main plot.  Anyway, the negative customer reviews didn't really know what they were talking about because they complained about it being predictable.  They somehow missed out on the memo that every romance novel is predictable because it's meant to be a light, enjoyable read.  

This book definitely gave me several tips for writing my own Romance novel.  Besides making me crave bread, butter, and Krispy Kremes like I never have before, this book managed to make me laugh out loud.  The dialogue is very witty, and it made the story move quickly.  Min has a very sharp tongue, and I definitely appreciated that.  

This book opened my eyes to an alternative heroine--one that's not incredibly thin with an outrageously high metabolism that can eat whatever she wants and lose weight doing it.  It was enjoyable to read about the transition from viewing Min as chubby and plain to viewing Min as curvy and sexy.  No, she doesn't lose the weight.  That's the first question I asked my friend.  Usually, in a novel with a bigger protagonist, she loses the weight then gets the guy.  Not in this one though.  

The chemistry with Cal is strong, and I was relieved that there were so many scenes with them together.  (In my review on Hissy Fit by Mary Kay Andrews that will be coming within the next week, I will complain about the lack of tension between hero and heroine because they're NEVER TOGETHER!!!)  It's just further confirmation that the story is so much more enjoyable if they're pushed together more.  

A few things that I'll watch out for when writing my novel is making characters too frozen.  For some reason, in the plethora of books I have read lately, the mothers are always ice queens. Does anyone out there have a supportive mom?  I found that Min's mom and her tendency to berate Min incessantly was annoying.  Then, to top that off, Cal's mom was ten times worse.  I realize that fictional characters have to be extraordinary, but I think there's a fine line that they can cross and they become caricatures.  

Also, Liza constantly being there to thwart Cal and Min got a little old.  I started to dislike her, and that shouldn't have happened.  Min's a sharp-tongued, independent woman.  She didn't need her best friend whacking Cal in the head every chance she got.  Even though the viewpoint from David and Cynthie was somewhat necessary for the story, it always fell flat.  I'm not quite sure how she could have made their scenes more interesting, but I was always ready to get their scenes over with.  Perhaps this is an instance where multiple viewpoints should have been thought out a little more carefully.  

All in all, this book is one of my favorites that I have read this semester.  The characters were well drawn, the dialogue was great, the pace was quick, there weren't large info dumps, and Crusie even allowed us a glimpse into the characters' futures in the last chapter.  

Definitely recommended.  

But make sure you have bread and donuts very, very near because if you're stuck at a location with celery and yogurt, they will end up being flung across the room.  I speak from experience.

P.S. Crusie uses commas. :)

Hissy Fit review to come later....   

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

All I got...

Due to the long day, I don't want to expose you to my terrible mood. Instead, here's a link to a Stephen King interview and his take on Stephenie Meyer. I'm so glad someone, especially a professional writer, is finally being honest to the public AND to Meyer.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Well, I kinda dropped the ball on this blog.  To be honest, I got so wrapped up in school that I completely forgot that I had signed up.  But now, here I am...ashamed but ready to write.  :)

Families...  are all of them dysfunctional? I'm not talking just immediate family..I'm talking extended family.  I used to think mine was incredibly abnormal, but I'm starting to feel better about that..  I don't feel better about my family being dysfunctional because the stress level lately has been high enough where my husband and I have toyed with the idea of leaving the country..  But feeling better with the comforting thought that I'm not alone. 

I've been reading a lot of women's fiction novels lately because it's part of a directed reading I'm doing with one of my professors.  I know some people scoff at romance novels or genre fiction in general, but... I don't care.  Get over yourselves.  They're meant to be fun, easy reads.  There are so many harsh realities people have to deal with in the world, so it's nice to come home after a long day, pick up a book, and escape to a fictional world full of witty dialogue, romance, and intrigue.  Readers of romance/chick lit/women's fiction are such dedicated followers, and so it's such a great genre to break out in.  (Here's to hoping!)  
Anyway, after reading several books right after another last week, I noticed something incredibly random.  Of course the majority of these books included sex scenes.  This can be such an embarrassing subject for some, but I'm not going to lie and say that I don't ever get turned on by these sex scenes... because I do.  And my husband is NOT complaining. 
Back to what I noticed:  the sex scenes that separated sentences (incomplete or complete) with commas flowed a lot more and succeeded in raising my heart rate.  However, the scenes that had complete sentences and ended in periods didn't capture my attention...or escalating heart rate.  In fact, sometimes I managed to not be turned on.  When I replaced those sentences with commas, fragmented the sentences, etc changed it back to a hot love scene.  So, there ya go.  

Believe me, I know that this isn't some diabolical scientific find, but it is important for me.  Hopefully one day when you are reading my best selller, you'll be able to read a love scene and go, "Yep, she was right.  Those commas really get me going."  

Okay, that's all for now... and I promise to be more dependable with blog posts.  

I know I'm going to read this tomorrow and think, "Did I really analyze commas?" But YES..I did.