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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Kind of cool stuff for a year I really didn’t blog much…haha

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,100 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 52 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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2013 in review

Pretty cool. Now to see if I can improve those numbers in 2014!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,000 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Up Past Bedtime

It’s Friday.

It’s been a long week.

My eyes hate me right now.

I think my bed is calling my name…

The sad thing is I want to write in this over-tired-i-feel-drunk-i am-so-tired state.  Interesting things happen when I pick up where I left off when I am this tired.

Bed is going to win.

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And Who Are You?

Tonight, I finally began making the Daughter’s Halloween costume.  For the last two months she has asked to be Raven from Teen Titans Go!

T-E-E-N T-I-T-A-N-S...Teen Titans! Let's Go!

T-E-E-N T-I-T-A-N-S…Teen Titans! Let’s Go!

So, like many people, you are probably wondering, dear reader, who the heck is Raven?  If you already know, you are automatically cool in my book; if not, don’t worry, I will gladly explain.  Raven is the one in the above pic, floating on the left, in the purple cape.  Her comic book hero story is kind of dark.  She’s the daughter of a demon.  Her mother was part of a weird nonviolent cult that existed on another dimension…you can read all about it here, but I warn you, it’s really intense.

I first learned about Raven though, by watching this rather hysterical reboot of the series, Teen Titans. The one liners, the story lines…I have to admit, I laugh more than the daughter.  I mean who can resist an entire episode devoted to a Meatball Party!  Then of course, there is the love of the desert commonly known as Pie…”When I say yummy, you say pie.  Yummy!…..Yummy!…..”   Honestly, I really find it quite amusing.  Though, when you read the reviews, the hardcore fans do not like this reboot.  Oh well.  You can’t win them all.

At any rate, the Daughter loves Raven.  I have to admit, she’s kind of my favorite, too.  Sometimes, it is a toss up between her and Cyborg though – he’s pretty hilarious. Raven is often pessimistic, not easily amused, and sometimes just feels like a downer on the team.  Doesn’t matter, she’s still pretty awesome.  When they have a Girls’ Night Out, she certainly brings enough of “the Craaaaazy” with her and surfs on a building and thus proves that a Girls’ Night Out tops a Boys’ Night Out any day of the week, despite what the Boys may say.  Raven has more common sense and keeps the team grounded.  She tries to reign in the nonsense and the egos when they get out of hand.  She’s just pretty cool.

Building surfing

I was a little wary at first to let the Daughter watch because of the “violence” that sometimes happens but you know what, the more I watch, the more I’m ok with it.  Raven is confident in who she is.  She has friends that she ultimately cares about and who care about her too.  She loves Pretty Prancing Ponies (the MLP of the Teen Titans’ world).  She can move through dimensions. She can cast spells.  She can fly.  She’s pretty awesome.

Raven and Pretty Prancing Ponies

I think that even though most people will have no idea what the Daughter is trick-or-treating as, she will be happy and that’s the real magic of Halloween.  Having the costume you’ve always dreamed of, pretending to be something you love, and of course getting candy for it!

Tonight, the leotard and the red belt are done.  Tomorrow night, I am going to try to attempt the cloak.  Hopefully, it will be an easy project.  I am still a little torn on how to do the boot and wrist covers, but I’m sure I will figure it out.  Either way, it’s going to be a pretty kick-ass costume and I kind of wish I could dress up as Raven too.

This post is part of the October NaBloPoMo.  Check out the other awesome bloggers who are having fun writing their little hearts out this month. 

 

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Why Did One Month of Writing a Blog Every Day Make Me Feel Burnt Out?

Last month I came the closest I have ever come to completing a NaBloPoMo.  For those who don’t know what that is, let me enlighten you.  There is a wonderful website called BlogHer.  It’s a support network, in essence, for women who blog.  They may be professional bloggers, they may be novice bloggers.  It doesn’t matter the level of blogging, they just blog.  They cover a range of topics from parenting to politics and everything in between.  Every month, the moderator of NaBloPoMo offers a topic and writing prompts and encourage writers to join in on the blogging goodness known as National Blog Posting Month, typically designated as the month of November.  Well…they liked it so much they do it every month!

July was the month I was finally going to get all the posts written.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to follow the prompts or just write and post, since writers are given the choice.  The main goal is to have one post every day for that entire month.

creative-writing-prompts

I started out July by following along with the prompts.  Then, I felt like I was losing my personal voice with the sometimes personal prompts. The prompts were not really things I was prone to talk about.  For example, the prompt for August 12 (today) is “Do you enjoy summer? Do you like it when it’s hot outside?”  While I could ramble on and answer the question in a very round about way, for me, that question is a simple “Yes, I enjoy summer.  No, I do not like it to be too hot.”  I suppose I still believe that “Brevity is the soul of wit”…  Not to mention that my answers were sounding like a journal, a high school journal…well ok, maybe more like a middle school journal.  I just felt awkward writing and following the prompts.  I felt like a machine.  It didn’t feel like writing that was true to me.

Why did I keep doing it?  Why didn’t I stop?  Well, the short answer is that I wanted to prove I could post a blog post every day for a month.

Halfway through the month, I felt like you were all getting sick of me.  I know there were times when I was getting sick of me.  I felt like there was nothing of value being said.  I know I was trying to write just to keep the gears greased so to speak but this was not feeling right.  Something was off.  I took the last couple of weeks, despite feeling like I was abandoning a child, and did not blog.  I just didn’t do it.  I read my favorite blogs, and even commented on a few of them.  I started a quilt project.  I moved on to the next chapter of re-writes on my book I have from last November’s National Novel Writing Month.  I did write a little here and there.  I just didn’t post it here.  Again…it wasn’t anything worth talking about.

I just am surprised at how easily I lost that urge to get words strung together after forcing myself to post every day.  Sadly, I couldn’t even come up with anything inspired to write for the last two days of July.  I still have not completed a NaBloPoMo…maybe September will be the month.

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Happy 4th of July!

Today is the day that America celebrates its Independence.

declaration

All those years ago, a bunch of men got together and decided to break away from the British rule.  To celebrate their bravery, we celebrate with

Barbeques where we cook hot dogs and hamburgers, steak, chicken…anything that will cook over fire…

Days at the beach

and FIREWORKS!

DSC00021 DSC00020 DSC00017 DSC00016

I hope you had a happy 4th!

 

 

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Trapped

Friends are great.  They can listen to you, laugh with you, cry with you, and smack you upside the head when you are being a bit ridiculous.  In my case, the smack would come from being absolutely ridiculous!  Some friends come in to your life for a short time, others stick around through the long haul.

I can probably count my close friends on one hand.  By close, I mean the people who have seen me cry and have been there to see me at my lowest lows and still call me the next day.

Now, when it comes to finding myself in a compromising situation, such as say, being stuck in an elevator, there is probably one friend I would want stuck in that elevator with me.   The College Friend, RaTa (I like to protect names if you didn’t know), would be the one who would have to be stuck with me.

make new friends

Over the years, we have been there for each other through a lot of fun times: college, parties, that fun vacation where you stayed in that insane lighthouse shaped summer rental(!), weddings, babies, drama, laughs…you name it, we were there talking each other off the ledge and then end with some good laugh therapy.

I think that RaTa would help make the time go by quicker.  Whether we were talking about our kids, what is coming next for each of us on this crazy adventure we are both traveling, or just telling each other dirty jokes we may have heard, RaTa would keep things sane.  And I hope I would be able to do the same for her.  Hell, I hope that we are never stuck in elevator, no offense RaTa, because being stuck in an elevator would really suck.

Let’s be honest – I don’t know that it really would matter who was stuck in an elevator with me, after about 20 minutes, I would want out of that little metal box.  I would start going insane and imagining us plummeting down to our deaths.  Then I would think about some movie I saw where they talked about the giant springs in each elevator shaft and I would wonder if the people in the elevator with us would bounce or would we smack down on the ground?  Would I remember to jump just before we hit the ground and save my legs from being broken?  What floor would we be stuck on?  I mean if we are up high, the fall would be that much worse. But if we were only on the second floor and we were stuck, our chances of getting out alive would be much better. And if we did get stuck, what if there was someone who had just come from the gym and really smelled bad?  What if I got a stomach bug at that exact moment.  What if the fire department couldn’t get me out of the little trap door.  Damn it.  If I get out out of this elevator alive, I’m going to be 100% faithful to Weight Watchers and when I hit goal, I’m going to crawl through an elevator escape hatch just to prove I can.  What if…

bouncing elevator

Thanks RaTa, I can hear you telling me to stop all the way from where you are.  And that is why RaTa would be the one stuck with me in that little metal box that takes us up floors in buildings.  I guess I should just take the stairs.

This post was written as part of the May NaBloPoMo.  The theme this month is comfort.  Today’s prompt “If you had to be trapped in an elevator, which friend would you want trapped with you and why?”  RaTa would be my unfortunate friend stuck in the elevator with me.  Sorry RaTa…let’s not ride the elevators.

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If I had 60 Million Dollars

Do you ever go through times where your head is just full.  I mean full to the point where you don’t know what one thing to pull out and pick at and write about?  These last two weeks, and especially these past two days have been so charged and emotional and it all came to a head yesterday when a call from the doctor sent my head spinning.  It’s potentially nothing but, the wheels still start spinning.

So as I sit thinking and trying not to think, I don’t know what to write.  Everything is either too personal or too emotional or just too dark for my liking.

I feel like I need to write about something though.  It’s one of the few things to keep my sanity, so I must do it.

So, I’m going to write about the things I would buy if I won a hundred million dollars.

First, I think I would take the lump sum.  Let’s just assume that knocks it down to sixty million (figuring after all the taxes and whatnot).  I can live with that amount.

So first, I would buy a house for the Husband, the Daughter, and myself.  It wouldn’t be anything too flashy.  Just a nice Victorian four bedroom three bath, big yard, two car garage, wrap around porch with obligatory swing.  I don’t know what it is about this style of home.  Maybe in a past life, I lived in the Midwest at the turn of the century in one of these grand homes.  It would look something kind of like this…

victorian home

Then I would buy a new car.  Again nothing flashy, just something dependable.  Maybe flashy.  Ok.  Hell, it would be a BMW M6 convertible.  They are gorgeous!  It’s impractical, yes.  I don’t care.   I would have a practical every day car too.  Probably a Toyota of some sort or another.  And a truck.  Everyone should have a truck.

BMW-M6-Convertible-3-4-v

Then, I would probably pay off any family mortgages that were left.  Why not right?  In my mom’s case though, I might just build her a new house on the ocean.  It would be pretty spectacular.

Next up are the vacation homes.  I am not 100% sure where they would be but there would most likely be one in Florida (because everyone should have a house in Florida), one somewhere in the Loire Valley of France, and one wherever the Husband might want one.  Florida would have to be on the water, of course, and have a private beach.  Southern Florida would be ideal.  The Loire Valley is so amazingly beautiful.  Plus, wine flows like water.  This house would have a vineyard of its own.  I have no idea where the Husband would want one.  I will ask and find out.

I suppose I have to buy the Husband a car too…

I would invest a good chunk too, that way I can just live off the interest.

I would buy a motor boat – again, nothing flashy, something small so my Mom could water ski on the lake again.  I might get a yacht too though, just because I could and all those summers sitting on the dock at Falmouth Harbor made me want one kind of like this one…

yacht

I would travel.  I would knock off every single destination on my bucket list.  I would bring along any family member who wanted to come (and some friends who are considered family).  I would pay for them.

I would start a charity fund, one that helped single mothers who worked hard but couldn’t afford to send their kids to camp, to dances that required formal dresses, to music lessons, sports, whatever.

I would donate to cancer research namely ovarian and cervical cancer research.

I would finish my book.  Having money like that would allow me to spend time writing all the time without worry.

I’m sure there’s more but right now, that’s about all I’ve got.  My creativity is a little stifled.

What would you buy or do with the money?

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Cue the Crickets

Yes, it’s been almost a month.  I got busy again and I neglected a lot of different things, one of which is this blog.  So…since tomorrow is April 1st, it’s the start of a new month.  New goals are in order for the next 30 days!

Goal 1 – Write.  Write every day.  Get back to posting on a regular basis.  Ideally, I would like to be back to writing 1500 words per day.  Let’s see how that goes…

Goal 2 – Get back to my WW goals.  Yeah.  That scale is creeping in the wrong direction. It’s amazing how easily I let myself go back to old habits just because I’m stressed.  I cannot not and will not go back to square one.  It’s bad enough I’ve gone back to where I am now.  Of course, Easter candy is in the house and we pretty much put ourselves all into a food coma today during our family Easter brunch so tomorrow it’s like day one of WW all over again.  That’s the key – not giving up. I’m faking it til I make it…someday I’m going to make it.  I also need to realize that stress eating is nothing good…I just need to let it all go and just do what I need to do.

Goal 3 – Just keep going and trust myself.  This one may take more than 30 days but let’s be honest, most good things do take longer than that!

So, there we go.  Hooray for new months!

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No Other Option

Sometimes, I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. Sometimes, there’s just no middle ground.  When I find myself in those situations, there only one option, that saying that people love to share, “go big or go home.”

When I found myself unemployed in the middle of January on Cape Cod, probably one of the hardest times ever to find a hospitality job, I was at quite the crossroads.   I believe John Mayer (before he went all weird) called it “a quarter life crisis” and almost rightfully so.  You’re at that point in your 20s when reality sets in and you realize that eventually you aren’t going to be able to keep living the lifestyle you were living.  And now, newly unemployed, the reality that you aren’t a little kid any more start to really sink in.

After spending a little time on unemployment and applying for jobs that weren’t really available until the summer sun brought the summer tourists, I decided to go back to school and finish my degree.  It wasn’t a hard decision really.  It was just I needed to get out of my house and get my mind occupied with things other than daytime television and movies.

UMass Dartmouth had recently begun offering satellite courses at the community college and I figured, what the heck.  I signed up for a class on Moby Dick.  Yes – you read that right.  An entire course devoted to the Great White Whale.  I had read it once before but not really because when I was assigned the course I was going through quite a bit of nonsense so I never really read it the way I should have. This course was something that would help me hopefully kick the pity party that was occupying my time and help me get started on a new path.

moby_dick

The first class approached and I was a ball of nerves.  What if I forgot how to write a paper.  What if I couldn’t be a good contributor to class discussions?  What if I didn’t make any new friends?  Yeah – my brain just started spiraling into that crazy place it so likes to visit and send postcards from.

I got into the class and found it was like riding a bike, or like rowing a boat.  Once you know how to do it, you never really forget.  I quickly found my stride again and it was then that I decided, I needed to get an A.  I mean, why be in a class like this if I wasn’t going to get an A?  Go big or go home right?

That A led to a semester of three courses, which lead to transcripts being brought, enrollment forms filled out, and two years of classes.  As I got working through the courses, I figured, why not see how high I could get the GPA.  Again, if I was going to do this, I might as well do it the best I could.  I busted my butt, because during that time, I got a full-time job.  So juggling a 40 hour work week and a full-time school schedule, I wanted to make sure that nothing suffered.

I sometimes feel like I’m bragging (and if I am, sorry!)  but darn it, this was my go big moment!!  I managed to graduate Magna Cum Laude, with highest honors, and it was just as I hoped it would be.  If I had done a little better in a couple of my core requirement classes…but it didn’t matter.  I graduated with that distinction behind my name.  That was my goal.  That was what I wanted.

graduating_college_good_luck

There are other examples of going big but I have to be honest, that one is my favorite.  I’m sure when I decide to go back to school for my Master’s, it will be the same.

This post is part of the March NaBloPoMo.  This month’s theme is Risk.  Today’s prompt was “Discuss your experience with the saying, “go big or go home.”  What is one thing you needed to go big on?  Were you able to cut it? 

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