7 Days of Positive Thoughts – Day 1

I was a stronger person when I was 18 years old.  Seriously.

When I was 18, I did not know enough yet to fear the outcome of things.  I expected the best so I was not hesitant and doggedly forged ahead.  This meant that, more often than not, the best actually happened.

Time goes by, and I am bogged down by repeated disappointments and the expectation that bad things will happen.  And this is perhaps my biggest problem.

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For the next 7 days, including today, I am going to think like my 18 year old self and find the positive side of my day.  Even if it is something small, I am going to embrace it – I am going to clutch onto it like it’s a French Toast and Bacon cupcake.

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So, bring on the feel-good stuff!  I’m ready!

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Day 1 Positive Thought:  Everyone loves cheesy Halloween stuff, especially my mom.

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I have to send a package to my mom, so I decided to find a couple of Halloween doo-dads to send along as well.  Enter Big Lots.

I found two things:

1) A pair of eyeballs that are attached to a suction cup so they can be hung in your window.  The “ON” switch turns them into lighted beacons of multi-colored doom!  I hope it scares the candy right out of the trick-or-treaters!

2) A mummy candle holder that holds a tealight.  I wrote a note to my mom stating that I got her a mummy candle holder because she’s my “mummy”.  Get it?  *chortle chortle*

SHE IS GOING TO FLIP OVER THESE!

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Find your positive thought today!

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O Chocolat (or…why I am no longer allowed to eat Lindt balls)

Last week, I went to Kittery, ME with a friend.  I mainly wanted to go to Crate & Barrel.  And I wanted to go there for, of all things, dish towels and pet food bowls.

I know, right?  It’s amazing what being bored will spur you to do.

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We made a stop at the Lindt chocolate store. (YUMMY.)

I was restrained. I picked out a few single pieces and paid for them.  While I waited for my friend to make her purchase, I thought…and then said out loud, “hey, mine are paid for, which means I can eat one RIGHT NOW”.  So, I did.

Remember Augustus Gloop in the original movie when his mother is all “slow down Augustus!”?  That may or may not have been me.

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And as is frequently the case when you have a piece of chocolate with a hard shell (and a yummy creamy center…creeeeeeamy……..) bits of the shell flew off when I bit into it.  And as is frequently the case when you have a large rack, a piece of chocolate landed between my boobs.

I am accustomed to this and basically have no shame, so I fished it out and flicked it on the floor.  I had a tank top on under another shirt so I tried to look down my shirt for any other stray pieces without looking too sleazy.  (Mission accomplished!  I think.  The guy shopping in the store may have thought otherwise.)

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After a little bit we went to a seafood place for dinner.  I hit the ladies room (had to pee, my friends!).  And when I lifted up my tank top to button my pants after I was done, there was a big brown smear on my belly.  A LARGE BROWN SMEAR ACROSS MY BELLY.

I kid you not…I swear on my life…as God is my witness…THIS is how the next .05 seconds went inside my head (bear in mind that thoughts are heavily influenced by situation and MY situation was a stall and a toilet):

“How did I get poop on my belly?????….Wait, I didn’t poop…..I KNEW more chocolate fell down my tank top!!!”

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Once I figured out what really happened, I had to scrape it off (twas in a stall, remember?).  But, really?  POOP??  What.  The.  Hell.

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Believe me when I say there is no sight more sad than a middle aged woman in a bathroom stall at Weathervane scraping chocolate that had melted (and then dried) off her belly.

Well, maybe one that’s more sad –   that same woman sitting down to tell the world about how she at first thought it was poop.

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when “quirky” becomes “scary”…

Tonight, I went to see the final Harry Potter movie.  I realize I am the last person on earth to have seen it (who wanted to see it).  And it was going to leave the theatre LIKERIGHTTHISVERYMINUTE.  So, I went.  I have seen all of them and I needed to bring closure to this decade-long saga.

I also went by myself.  I am cool with this.  Done it many a time.  Prefer it, in fact.  Because I hate having someone lean over and whisper in my ear to ask me a question about the movie we are both watching and OH MY GOD, WHY DON’T YOU FUCKING PAY ATTENTION.

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When I bought my ticket I asked if anyone else had bought a ticket to the movie and was told “one other person”.  (It ended up being 11 other people.)

Thinking that I and only one other person would be sitting in the theatre to watch this movie was sort of amusing to me (NO idea why).

I was the first one in the theatre and I sat in the back row, right smack in the middle.  This movie is my kingdom and these empty seats are my minions.

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Anyway, there I sat when a couple walked in.  Okay, so not one person but still only two and still FOR SOME REASON I CANNOT FATHOM amusing to me.  Know what I did?

I waved at them and yelled, “hi!!”.  And, as they squinted to see if they knew me, I was chuckling out loud.  (Aren’t I hiLARious??  How clever of me to wave and scream as if we were all in on the joke THAT EXISTS ONLY INSIDE MY HEAD.)

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They sat a couple rows down, and at this point I have started to realize they weren’t in on the joke.  They did not share my enthusiasm for calling out the awkwardness of a situation.  Should.  Have.  Stopped.  There.

I leaned forward and said, “I think we’re the only ones who are going to be watching the movie!!”  *chuckle*

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SWEET JESUS.  This is maybe why I should not go to the movies alone.

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The girl turned around and said (as if talking to a demented person) (because she was), “This movie has been out for a few months.”

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, HEATHER, STOP SPEAKING.

Me: “Oh, I know.  That’s why I waited until now.”

WHAT THE FUCK AM I SAYING NOW?  I HAVE NO IDEA.  Because what I really meant is that I like it when the theatre is not noisy or crowded.  This is what comes from having an inner dialogue and not sharing it with anyone.

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This is the end of me speaking but not the end of me being creepy.  Because as I sat there replaying this whole exchange, my creepiness struck me as funny.  AND THEN I COULD NOT STOP LAUGHING.  So, then I realized that I am a creepy woman, in the back of the theatre, yelling at people, and laughing to herself, and THIS MADE ME LAUGH MORE.

I even imagined writing this blog post and I sort of stopped breathing for a minute and was really glad I was in the back so no one could become genuinely frightened by my behavior.

I’m calling it.  Sanity dead, 2100 hours.

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wow….WoW (Soy un perdedor)

So, my life is officially over for a while.  I loaded the latest World of Warcraft expansion pack last night (I’m a little behind because of all the other crap that’s been going on).  So, last night I logged back into World of Warcraft – Cataclysm!  It’s been almost a year, so I was rusty.  And some of my add-ons are conspicuously GONE.  Grrrr.  But, before I knew it, 4 hours had gone by.
I wrote a little essay about this.  I’ll post it here.  I had to edit it slightly because I have had 2 birthdays since I wrote it.  (Yes, I am now 40, thank you very much.  Shut it.)

 

 

 

An Old Girl Plays WoW

 

To say I am middle aged is false.  If I am middle aged, that means I’d only get to live to see 80, and in my family we usually make it well past 90.  So I won’t be middle aged for a few more years.  I am, more accurately, a just-turned-40 woman – full of piss and vinegar (or is that red wine and Rolaids?).  I am still youthful in my approach to life, and still vibrant in my appeal (at least in my own mind).   You.  Must.  Believe.  This.

However, when it comes to “gaming”, I am ancient (or “old as dirt”)…antique, if you will.  My entire history of gaming consists of playing Pac-Man (in the arcade, when it first came out) and playing Mario Party on the Game Cube (already an outdated piece of gaming equipment).  I am the grandma of players.  Nay, the great-grandma of players.  And by that I mean I am that nagging presence of someone who is hard of hearing and slowly losing mental filters and the ability to discern what is an “appropriate” comment.
I am, by gaming standards, REALLY OLD.

Which is why it is at the same time amusing and groundbreaking (for me personally) to be playing World of Warcraft.

Amusing
I got an iMac about 3 years ago.  The last computer I actually owned before that (and did not borrow to use….or use at work) was a TRS-80.  Seriously.
In college, I did all of my term papers on a word processor (a borrowed one, at that).  Remember those? It’s what you would get if a typewriter and a computer had sex.  Well…sort of.  It had all the promise of speed and functionality, but really was just some bastard child of technology – awkward and bothersome.
I was already out of college when the “internets” started getting wildly popular.  My first experience with this was when my cousin showed me her chat room.  “What? That person is in New Zealand?? And you are talking to him??? Right now????

Yeah, so… the first thing I thought when I first logged into WoW was, “it’s soooooo pretty…”  My quick second thought was, “what do I do now?”
Admittedly, I am still tickled pink when I can make my WoW character (female blood elf warlock – girl power!) run and successfully hop over obstacles.

And since I started playing this game, some regular words have taken on a whole new meaning:
Epic (not just a song by Faith No More – oops! another college timeframe reference)
Raid (has become a noun instead of a verb)
Instance (is not a one time occurrence!)
Noob (ok…not a regular word, but it sure is now!)
Alliance (I spit on you!… AND… it’s not just for Survivor cast members)
Drop (also now a noun; not a verb)
Loot (what you do to a drop)
Health (not just important in real life)

I have also discovered that I can now have rather lengthy conversations (longer than 47 seconds) with my good friend’s 20 year old son.  We’re totally, like, gamers…and stuff.

Groundbreaking
I am not going to go into great depth about the game itself for two reasons:
1) Interest factor – If you play the game, you already know the details.  If you don’t play the game, you really don’t care to know the details.
2) Knowledge factor – despite having played the game for a couple of years, I don’t know a whole lot more than I did at the beginning.  Okay, I might know more, but I live in serious insane fear of botching up the facts.  So I choose to remain vague.

I am terrible at sports.  I am not athletic.  My last shot at being athletic was in junior/senior high school when I decided that hanging out at the local 7-Eleven and joining drama club was far more fulfilling than playing field hockey.  I have never been a fan of team sports, or games even, because there is too much pressure.  And I hate (with the heat of a thousand burning suns) failure.  I hate competitive sports/games because I hate losing.  I mean, I cheat at solitaire, for God’s sake.

World of Warcraft is a game I can get behind, however.  I can play alone if I desire.  I can play with others – and I do mean with.  I can team up with other players and defeat the computer enemies.  Yeah, the option exists to battle other real live players… But why would I do that if I didn’t have to?

*Remember, I hate losing and I play this game with friends.  Unless I want to hate them or have them hate me when I whine (and don’t they already?), then I choose to remain an enemy of the computer generated beasties.*

And never underestimate the sense of accomplishment when levels are achieved (look it up, noob).  It’s like the feeling one may get from hiking a mountain but without the pain and suffering.  That said, why would anyone ever leave their house?

So, WoW has actually made this ol’ gal enjoy games again.  I could start wearing that shirt that reads “plays well with others”.

You know… if I had the shirt.

And if it was true any other time besides when I am playing World of Warcraft.

Melinda Monday! Headbands

Slacker that I am, it’s been weeks since I followed up the blog series started here.  Sorry to my one (maybe three) blog reader(s).

This Monday’s topic is “headbands”.  The kind you wear on your head (is there another?).  I jokingly asked Melinda if she meant some kind of southern musical act, but…. a BWAHAHAHAHA.  No.

The first thing that came to mind with this word was my own history with headbands.  It was not pretty.  I was a child in the 70’s, so headbands were plastic, hard, and had teeth.  And because I was an incredibly anal retentive child – picky and exacting in every way – I wore these headbands with a vengeance.  I pushed them back on my head so hard I am sure they drew blood.  But I did not care because I did not want…  One.  Hair.  Out.  Of.  Place.

Similarly, when I started wearing pony tails pulled back by my mother (I’m not saying I got my anal retentiveness from her but let’s just say that she could spot a piece of lint on the floor from 15 feet away and then would ask me to pick it up), I had the same “no bumps” mentality.  My mother pulled and pulled and smoothed and smoothed, and the finished product was a head with no visible protusions (save the pony tail) and me with a perpetually surprised look on my face.

Since then, I have relaxed a little.  A little.  I don’t wear headbands (although I hear they are back in fashion – if one wears it casually around one’s head and not as a means of suppressing any free will of an individual hair).   I still have my quirks.  Like, right now, the fact that my socks keep falling down makes me want to head to the nearest clock tower.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a short essay about this facet of my personality, and I have included it here in this post.  Yeah, I am recycling my writing again.  SO WHAT??  I’ve been busy.  Ok, so I’ve been busy at being lazy, but still… Busy.

Enjoy…

A Pomade Free Life

 

Today, my hairdresser said something interesting to me.  It further proved to me that some of the most enlightening of thoughts germinate in common interactions between everyday folk.  Either that or the foil solution made me high. 

We were discussing what to use in my hair on the days when I don’t wash it.  (It is actually better for your hair to not wash it every day, so my pervasive laziness is doing me a favor in this respect.)  And she said, “Well, it depends…” and then she posed the following question:

“Are you a toucher?”

A what-er??

She explained that the type of “product” one uses in one’s hair depends on whether the person likes the hair to be free-flowing and will “touch it” frequently (tucking it behind the ear, tossing it back) in which case a pomade would be used or whether the person likes the hair to be sprayed in place (not to be moved or touched but to remain styled) in which case a hair spray would be used. 

And, oh, how I want to be a toucher.  I mean, how glorious it would be to feel confident in my messy hair.  How freeing it would be to not fear a gust of wind or precipitation.  Who would not want the bold character that comes with not caring if your hair looks the same at 3pm as it did at 8am?

I told my hairdresser I was a toucher.

But I know that I am not.  I want to be.  I try to be.  But I am not a toucher.

 I am, rather, the other type.  I am the person who needs a place for everything and everything in its place – and that includes my hair.  I need to feel that things are unaltered, and will frequently pull out a small travel size bottle of hair spray to make sure that not one hair has shifted on my head.  The hair that does shift pays the penalty of being sprayed madly into the hairs next to it, and not to be freed until I wash it (which we have established is not every day).

This need for control extends into my senses.  The feel of my hair on my forehead or neck will at times send me into a prolonged state of annoyance.  A state broken only by severely pulling all of my hair away from my face and clipping it securely to my head where it will not move.  Not an attractive look, mind you, but far better than shaving my head (which I have actually contemplated).

I feel this says something about me as a person.

As I sat in my hairdresser’s chair, I could not help but analyze the often reserved state of my psyche and how I try desperately to shield it from being uncomfortable and messy.  I am free with words, but not with my state of mind.  So, while I am seemingly extroverted and free-wheeling, I am in reality calculated and insanely fearful of change.

This can be very limiting.

It can mean that I will, like that hair spray sodden strand of hair, cling tenaciously to what is next to me.  I will cling to what I know is unchanging and will take comfort in it.

Even if I don’t have the freedom to enjoy the wind and run my fingers through my hair, I’ll stay adhered to what I know best.

I feel this must change.  I feel I need to become a toucher.  I need to start using the pomade in my life.  I need to start pulling things apart and setting them free, so that when the wind blows I will toss my hair into it and laugh like a madwoman. 

Either that or I need to find a different hairdresser.

I’m so urban, it hurts (or…how modern media messaging is the downfall of human language skills)

I sent a text message to a friend earlier that simply read “Sup?”.

Now we all know this is short for “Whassup?”, which is, in turn, short for “What is up?” (which, to be truly accurate is really a shortened version of “What is going on with you?”).

And all of a sudden I had this queer urge to follow up the message with another that stated: “Actually, I was asking if you have dined yet.”  So, immediately my brain starts thinking, “Let’s sup, my dear.  Hip, hip, cheerio.”  Ha, ha, ha.  (Yeah, just imagine being inside my head.)

I am starting to think that words/phrases will continue to get shorter, until one day the entire human race will communicate using single letters, hand gestures, and primal screams.  A conversation between two friends, who greet each other and try to ascertain what their plans are, will go something like this:

“A.”

“A.”

“Wa?”

“N.”

“K.”

I mean, I am crazy obsessive about the proper use of the English language (don’t EVEN get me started on they’re, there, and their), yet even I use these truncated words and expressions.  What’s worse, if I am verbally saying “Sup?” to a friend, I have been known to occasionally bust out a strangely awkward hand gesture wherein I stab my fingers into a “east siiiide” position.  Do I honestly think this makes me urban or street?  No….  But I do it anyway!  As if someone is going to see some chubby middle aged white girl use this gesture and say, “whoa!  step off!  bitch is gonna bust a cap!”

See?  I did it again.  I don’t even know what anything in that last sentence means.

My point is: what exactly is this doing to our culture of language?  I see people use “ur” in substitution for “your” and I truly question it’s abbreviating ability.  “Ur” only eliminates TWO LETTERS.  If someone sends you a message with “ur” in it, don’t you ever wonder if they just did not care enough about you to add those two letters?  It seems lazy at the very least.

I realize that truncating words was bred from the need to shorten messages to fit in a limited character space (I’M LOOKING AT YOU, TWITTER).  But that just raises yet another issue – we have stopped communicating with people in ways that have meaning.  We use text messages and blurbs online to carry on much of the interaction we have in relationships.  I do it.  I know lots of people do it.  And when we’re forced to get our message across in a limited space, we have to cut out the parts that make the written language beautiful.  We have to cut out the parts that make our own style of communication unique to each of us.

So, although I am not necessarily going to cease using my text ability to catch up with friends, I will have this in the back of my mind when crafting messages.  Maybe my next text will be: “What’s going on today, my friend?”

🙂

Shalloween

Not sure what’s up with my title for this entry, and it has no relevance to this particular Halloween, but I like it.

Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I wanted to write an entry about it.  But I realized that now that I am…ahem…almost…. MIDDLE AGED….my Halloweens are less exciting and revolve less around extreme scares and more around getting some great decorations from Target – ON SALE.

My Halloween started about a month ago when I bought a bag of candy corn.  Candy corn is my favorite thing about Halloween.  And I was convinced that one could only find candy corn during Halloween, until my mom proved me wrong by mailing me a dusty bag of stale candy corn in May, claiming she found it at the grocery store’s sale bin.  Thanks, mom!

This Halloween, I ate candy corn, decorated my home, wore a costume to a party, and watched trick or treaters at a friend’s house.  I was so festive and wholesome, it makes me gag a little.  To the contrary, on Sunday (Halloween and the day after the party) I did not feel well because I think my body was like, “please, stop with the candy and booze….and while you’re at it, you are lactose intolerant so stop trying to deny it”.

Completely unrelated:  candy corn + milk = yummmmmmmm

I also spent this Halloween boxing up the “memorabilia” (if you will) of a long relationship that ended.  No, the ubiquitous holiday images of knives and blood did NOT spur on this activity.  Nope.  😉  What did spur it on was the need to start letting go.  Another reason why I think Halloween is awesome?  Costumes.  Costumes that turn you into someone or something else.  And this year I needed to get away from myself for a bit.

I decided to be Medusa.  I think it came out pretty good – people liked it and I felt festive.  Too bad I could not master that “turning men to stone” thing…