Tuesday, January 7, 2014

5+ People Who Rock My Socks (and should rock yours, too)

Congratulations to those of you who have thus far survived the Polar Vortex which sounds like a giant arctic hurricane tornado beast thing, but is actually just a severe cold snap. As someone who spent most of my life north of the Mason-Dixon line, watching the reactions of Southerners has been entertaining. I fully realize that temperatures in the teens is incredibly cold to people that experience it rarely, but as someone who's experienced it more times than I can count, it just makes me glad that I'm not in the areas with temperatures into the negative teens.

Anyway, I really want to strive to make this blog a positive thing. Yes, I will sometimes be brutally honest about how I'm doing if I'm not doing well, but that's in the name of authenticity. Otherwise, I want this to be a place that people come to to laugh or just generally gain a little bit of hope in the world. Also, I've noticed a trend of everything viral coming in numbered lists. Since I spend so much time teaching the formulaic five paragraph essay, I'm going to take this opportunity in the form of my blog that I'm in charge of and doesn't get graded to break all the rules and write primarily in lists as well.

So here is my list of people who rock my socks and should rock yours too in no particular order:

1. John Green

I was introduced to John Green in my YA Lit class in my second run through college. I read his book An Abundance of Katherines as part of a literature circle. It made me laugh hysterically. Eventually, I read all of his other books. Then I eventually discovered the youtube channel he shares with his brother - vlogbrothers. Over the span of a couple of years, I discovered just how awesome John Green is. First off, he's a fantastic writer. His most recent book, The Fault in Our Stars is one of the best books I've ever read. Secondly, he's a huge advocate for education and effectively uses his fame in the name of education. Not only does he regularly use his vlogbrothers videos to prove the importance of education, but he and his brother Hank Green have created Crash Course which injects their quirky personalities into lessons on literature, history, and science. He's also just generally awesome. John and Hank Green developed a following that became known as Nerdfighteria which lead to dftba.com and the Foundation to Decrease World Suck and The Project for Awesome. All these things work together to encourage people to not forget to be awesome and to make the world more awesome and less sucky. That...rocks my socks. There is so much more to talk about, but you should just dive into that world and discover it all for yourself.

2. Jennifer Lawrence

Okay, so this one is less about making huge strides in changing the world and more about her just being someone I desperately want to hang out with. So far as I (and the rest of the world) can tell, she's about the most genuine and real powerhouse in Hollywood right now. She's awkward and weird and hilarious, and what's really awesome - she. doesn't. care. How many people do you know that can talk about crapping their pants or peeing in the ocean being their favorite thing about filming in Hawaii on national television? She doesn't try to hide behind a typical Hollywood perfect image. She's just herself, and I think we need more people like that in the headlines. She also speaks out frequently about issues with body image and the ridiculous standards that the media upholds. She also does awesome things without alerting the media in advance for PR because that's douchey. All that to say that I just want to be BFFs with her because she's cool. Also, she's Katniss Everdeen. Also, she needs to marry Josh Hutcherson so they become King and Queen of America because I'd be okay reverting to a monarchy with people like them in charge.

3. Ellen Degeneres

The reason she is on this list is simple: I've never seen a person that works so hard just to make people laugh and smile. And she's great at it. That's it, really. She strives to make the world a better place to be in by being kind to people, encouraging people to be kind to each other, dancing, and being hilarious. We need more people like that.

4. Zachary Levi

I grew to love Zachary Levi through the best TV show ever, Chuck, but his awesomeness goes far beyond that. Way back when Chuck was on the verge of getting canceled, the fans banded together to campaign for a third season. One fan came up with the idea of everyone buying Subway sandwiches en masse because they were a major sponsor of the show. Then one day, after a comic con or something in England, Zach led fans to a nearby Subway where he eventually got behind the counter himself to help make sandwiches for the crowd. That's when I realized he was a special dude. Since then, he's only reinforced that idea. He does so much to help people be comfortable with who they are. He started The Nerd Machine to produce apparel for nerds. He started NerdHQ as a place for nerds to gather, hang out, and eventually to interact with some of their favorite celebs all in the name of raising money for Operation Smile. Also, he loves Jesus and isn't afraid to talk about it while also being honest about his shortcomings. That rocks my socks.  Also, he's not bad to look at, and he's a Disney prince.

5. Jenn Yates/Jenny Lawson/Allie Brosh

Yes, I realize these are three different people and I'm listing them as one, but the reason is because I admire all three of these ladies for the same reason. Jenn is the main writer behind Cake Wrecks. Jenny is known as The Bloggess. Allie is the mastermind/artist behind Hyperbole and a Half. What makes them awesome? They're all hilarious. I mean spit-take, clutching my gut, my face is tired from so much laughing hilarious. They also all suffer from issues with anxiety and/or depression, and they're honest about it. In my world, these three ladies have made HUGE strides in lessening the stigma attached to mental illness which is something that needs to be done. Anxiety and depression are legitimate health issues just like heart disease and diabetes, but they're often not treated as if they are. People think you can just get over it or pull yourself out of it or make yourself calm down. They'd be wrong. I only started to realize that I suffered from anxiety when I was about 22. It took me until that point to realize that the times when my heart rate skyrocketed and I had trouble breathing and felt like I was going to pass out or vomit were actually panic attacks. And it took me about another five years to realize that I don't have any control over them. Thanks to reading the blogs and/or books from these three ladies, I understand my issues better than ever before and have even been able to laugh about it. And that is why these ladies rock my socks.

And those are some of the people who rock my socks.

In other news, I've been binge watching Psych on netflix, and you should too. Seriously. Good show.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Goals for 2014, 2013 in Review, and All That

Yeah, I went like four months without a peep. My bad. Here's the thing, though. I'm starting to realize that I don't blog because it means I kind of have to face myself, and I've spent the better part of the last year doing everything I can to avoid doing just that. I avoid mirrors and photos of myself at all costs. I avoided really addressing my physical health, my mental state, my shortcomings, and most of all, my failures. I would like to just say "no mas" to that right now, but that's an unrealistic expectation. So instead, I'm going to put forth my relatively realistic goals for 2014 with commentary. And these are goals...not resolutions. Resolutions are something you start trying to do on January first and as soon as you fall short, you've failed. Goals are something you work towards until you reach it or give up on it. So here are my goals for 2014:

1. Take better care of myself.

I'm fat. I'm fatter than I've ever been in my life. I'm horribly out of shape to the point that walking more than, say, 50 feet forces me out of breath. I'm depressed. I have a horribly negative view of myself. None of this is a good thing, and it has become wildly apparent to me in recent weeks that I have to change it not just for me, but for my husband, my family, my friends, and perhaps even my students. How will I achieve this goal? I don't yet know. I mean...I know that I need to eat right and exercise, but there's a multitude of methods of doing that, and there's so much more to it as well. I guess the most important thing I need to do is to force the idea into my head that I'm worth the effort to fix myself. I feel like there are things that God wants to do with me that I'm ill equipped for in so many ways, and so I hope, with His guidance, I can remedy that problem in whatever way I need to.

2. Be a better wife.

I don't think I'm a terrible wife, and I'm pretty sure Hubby would never say that I am. However, I can be a better one, and he deserves a better wife. Of course, #1 is heavily tied into this one. Maybe if I hate myself less, it will be easier for me to love others.

3. Be a better everything else - daughter, niece, cousin, friend, teacher, etc. 

When I look at my relationships or roles in life, one of two things is usually true: I either half-ass it, or I pour so much into it to my own detriment which means everything I do suffers along with me. I need to not do either of those things. I need to take on those relationships fully without overdoing it.

4. Write more.

It's therapeutic, yet terrifying, but I always feel a bit of weight lifted when I do it. It doesn't really matter to me what or how I write, I just need to write. I can blog here. I can write in my journal. I can write my second crappy novel. Whatever. I just need to write. I spend too much time just swimming around in my own head. It needs an occasional purge.

5. Cross some things off my bucket list.

Fortunately, I know this is going to happen because a few things on my bucket list are related to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and we already have a summer vacay there booked. To say I'm excited would be a vast understatement. I will be a complete and utter nerd, and I do not care. I might embarrass my husband, but for this one week, I will not care. Life's too short to not totally geek out about the things you love. That should be added to that one yuppy quote thingy that people hang in their living rooms...you know...this one.

I would add "Geek out like you don't give a crap if anyone is watching you." Word.

6. Garden.

This is a bold goal for me given my tendencies toward laziness, but we finally have the space for it. If I want to eat healthy, having my food growing in my back yard will certainly make it easier. So in a way, having my own garden feeds my laziness. Want to make some salsa? Ehh, I don't feel like going to the store. If I have a garden, I can just walk to my back yard and grab what I need. Voila. Gardening is the lazy man's grocery store. Or something. My logic might be a just a wee bit flawed here.

7. Fail.

This is without a doubt the most difficult goal to set for myself. I'm sure most people think, "Why? Failing is easy! Anyone can fail at something!" No. Not me. At least not gracefully. For most of my adult life, my two biggest fears were dying alone and failure (also snakes, but they're in a close third). I don't fear dying alone much anymore because I have a husband who is just as stubborn as I am. In other words, we both refuse to let our marriage fail. However, I do still fear failure more than words could ever quantify. It's the reason why I've been in such a downward spiral for so long. I believe I'm a failure because I still don't have a full time teaching job. Teaching is tied into my self worth far more than it should be, and I know that. At the same time, though, it has legitimately skewed my perception on pretty much everything simply because I'm so afraid of failure that I would rather just ignore almost everything in my life. That doesn't solve diddly squat. So I'm putting failure in my list of goals because I need to learn how to fail. I need to learn that I'm not perfect and never will be. I need to learn that my idea of failure does not line up with God's idea of failure. What I see as failure is probably just barely a blip on His radar of my life. Meanwhile, there are a lot of things that he might legitimately see as a failure on my part that's barely been a blip on my radar which leads us to...

8. Be more like Jesus.

Here's the deal. He might make a lot of people uncomfortable, but Jesus was the Man. He loved people. All people. He loved the prostitutes and tax collectors. In fact, you could say that he loved those people more than the religious leaders of his day. If Jesus were here today, you probably wouldn't find him in a church - at least not one in America. You'd probably find him walking the streets downtown hanging out with the people that everyone else looks down on - the homeless, the drunks, the druggies. That's what I love about Jesus. He loved/s the people that most don't think deserve to be loved by anyone. He didn't stand on a street corner with a giant sign telling everyone why they're all going to hell, but he also wasn't afraid to speak the truth to someone, call them out, and tell them to sin no more (See: John 4). That's awesome. I want to be like that. I want to love people. I want to speak truth. I want to stand up for what's right and not just what I think is right. You want to see someone who's living a life that shows Jesus? Check out Pope Francis. I'm not normally a huge fan of the catholic church, but that dude is shaking things up. The thing about this is...I will inevitably fail. I'm not Jesus. I cannot live up to that standard, but the best part is that I don't have to. Also, it will accomplish #7.

I know this wasn't funny. I don't care. The people I admire the most in writing are the people who are open and honest about their lives. Three of my favorite bloggers are Jenn Yates (Cake Wrecks and Epbot), Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess), and Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half). Those three ladies are hilarious and have provided me with hundreds of laughs. They also all suffer from depression and/or anxiety and write about it. I feel like if I didn't get honest about what's really going on in my life sometimes, my writing would be crap. Fake. Bogus. I'm not about that. So here's hoping that purging all of this will clear up some mind space for my usual hilarity. I like being funny. I like making people laugh and smile, but a fake PirateGeek is not a laugh out loud hilarious PirateGeek. It's more of a quick exhale through my nose kind of laugh sort of funny PirateGeek. Lame.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Lookin Up

So it's been more than a month since I lost posted. In my defense, I've been quite busy BECAUSE hubby and I are buying a house. More on that in a minute. My last post was not exactly sunshine and rainbows, but it was the beginning of a process for me. I had been in a pretty dark place mentally and emotionally and that post was the start of me finding my way out of that dark place. Another part was trying to find solutions to some of the things in my life that I was unhappy about, one of them being our house in Mordor.

 I started by looking into houses for rent in the area and was pretty much coming up empty. There were some houses for rent, but they were either way too small and ghetto or about twice as much as our budget would allow. So...I decided to look into buying a house just to see if maybe it was possible. As it's turned out, not only was buying a house totally possible, but actually very beneficial. When all is said and done, we're going to be spending less per month in monthly bills than we have been in our Mordor home except with a whole lot more awesomeness and that's what I want to write about today. And I must interject here that God definitely provides. He's been there through this whole process, even in the seemingly small details.

Our new abode. Nothing Mordorish about it. It's also a lot bigger than it looks.

So I've decided to use this post to create of list of all the wonderful things about our new home that I will try my best to not take for granted in the future after living without them for the last year.

1. A dishwasher. (This has a huge impact on my emotional well-being. I hate dishes because doing dishes was used as punishment in my household. On the other hand, I also hate a cluttered and/or dirty kitchen. A dirty kitchen makes me not want to be in it which means I never cook which means I eat crap like hot dogs and Hot Pockets [although Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pockets are the bomb diggity]).
2. A decent sized kitchen sink. (Seriously, we have the smallest sink ever.)
3. Kitchen cabinets that match. (We have 3 different types of cabinets.)
4. Kitchen counters that match. (2 different counters - 1 green and 1 dark grey fake granite laminate)
5. A pantry that's insulated. (Opening our current pantry is like opening the door to a swamp.)
6. A sprayer for the kitchen sink that works. (Tiny sink + no sprayer = A PAIN)
7. An awesome layout that allows us to be able to be in the kitchen and still converse with anyone in the dining room or living room which means we can ENTERTAIN.
8. Beautiful tile floor in the kitchen and dining room.
9. A bigger fridge with an ice maker and water dispenser.
10. Carpet. (The cheap ass laminate floor we currently have is IMPOSSIBLE to keep clean.)
11. Windows that we can open. (We currently have a grand total of 2 windows that have screens.)
12. A 2 car garage.
13. A concrete and short driveway.
14. Living on a paved road. (#12-14 means we can FINALLY have our motorcycles at our house instead of at my in-laws house.)
15. An actual yard with grass. (Instead of living in a heavily wooded sandbox.)
16. A fenced in backyard. (We can get a doggie eventually.)
17. More storage in closets, garage, and attic.
18. Bigger master bedroom.
19. Walk-In closet in master bedroom.
20. Laundry facilities right outside the master bedroom. (instead of the other side of the house)
21. Neighbors (That aren't horses).
22. Pizza delivery (Seriously. Just imagine your life without this option. Ever.).
23. Internet speeds above that of dial-up.
24. Closer proximity to EVERYTHING.
25. We'll be investing in something that is ours that we will either keep forever, or eventually sell with at least some financial return instead of flushing our money down the pooper on rent.

I'm sure there will be many other small things that will show themselves once we're there. A good friend said that you wouldn't believe the peace of mind that comes with owning a decent house. Actually, after living in this craphole doublewide with snakes crawling underneath it, spiders crawling all over it, bugs crawling all in it, with the floor buckling and the walls cracking, out in the freakin boonies with a jacked up hiking trail for a driveway, I would believe it. And when we're in the new house by the end of this month, I will gladly bask in that peace of mind.

So things are looking up in the PirateGeek household. It looks like I'm starting my first long term substitute position on Friday at a brand new and very prestigious school where I just MIGHT actually be working for the rest of the year. Had an interview for a part time position there this past Friday, and I feel pretty confident about it. If I get it, then it will be abundantly clear to me what God had planned all along with this business of having 6 interviews with 0 job offers. If I don't get it, then it will be made clear to me later, and I'll be okay with that.

In the meantime, you might see more from me, you might not. I will almost certainly return to blogging after we move because I'll have my very own office with a big window right next to my desk that I can OPEN to let the sweet southern Fall air in which will undoubtedly inspire me to return to writing.

Until then, peace out y'all.

P.S. Buying a house is a ridiculous, scary, tedious, long, privacy invading process, but I might touch on that later. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Am I Okay? The truth is...

I'm willing to bet that the most common question exchanged between two people is "How are you doing?" Especially here in the South, it's kind of a standard greeting whether you know a person or not. "Hey" or "hi" rolls very nicely right into "How are you doing?" I'm also willing to bet that the answer to that question is the second most common lie that people say (Saying that you've read the terms and conditions doesn't count here.). The most common lie? The answer to "Are you okay?" Why do I think that? Because that question is usually prompted by a person noticing that the subject is not actually okay, and the subject has no desire to admit that they are not okay. Typically if someone isn't doing okay, and they want you to know, they'll just tell you.

So this is me finally telling everyone that no...I'm not really okay. Before you all start freaking out, my physical health is perfectly fine. I haven't recently discovered any major problems there. The problem I'm having has more to do with my mind, my spirit, and my heart (the figurative one).

The truth is, I haven't been okay for a while. Most of the people who have only met me since I moved south, still don't know the real me. I've been strolling along just fine for several months now without anybody realizing it until the past couple of weeks. In order to explain how I've not been okay, I'm about to walk down a path of words that might make some of you uncomfortable, but it's who I am, and it's the truth.

Most people who read this are probably well aware that I am a Christian. And for those of you who may not know me personally, stop stereotyping me in your head. I've been following Christ since I was about 18 or 19. I'm not one of those people that knows the exact moment that I gave my life to Christ. It was more of a gradual process for me. Life hasn't always been peachy for me, and in fact, at times, it was downright rough, and I'm a firm believer that it is only by the grace of God that I've become the person I am today.

However...lately, God and I have not been on good terms. In fact, I've been flat out pissed off at Him. I spent three years of my life practically ignoring everything and everyone in it except for my journey to become a teacher. Between work, classes, student teaching, and very little sleep, I didn't have time for anything else, often including even my husband. But I barreled through those three years and came out on the other side with my Masters of Education and a 4.0 GPA. Looking back on it, I don't know how I survived some of it except to believe that God carried me through.

And now here I am, approaching the second school year post grad school, and I'm still not a teacher. I spent most of the past school year subbing. Let's be clear about something subbing is not teaching. It's babysitting en masse. The pay is terrible. The reliability stinks. You don't always know what you're getting into, and often times the behavior of the students depend more on their normal teacher than it does on your ability to control them. The further into the school year I went, the more anxiety I had. Then when March rolled around and teaching jobs for the 2013-2014 school year started popping up, I gained a little bit of hope. But then, with each interview that didn't lead to a job, I felt more rejection, and more like a failure than ever before. And that's where I stand now.

To put so much of your time, energy, money, and life towards achieving a goal only to find that goal out of reach is one of the most humbling things a person can experience, and for a long time I thought that's what this whole thing was about: humbling me. I thought maybe I was getting too arrogant about my academic achievements, and God thought it was time to show me that I'm not as great as I think I am. And although there might be some truth in that belief, I'm pretty sure it's mostly wrong. That just isn't how God rolls.

So after much toiling, and a gradually deeper descent into anxiety, depression, and social isolation, the last couple of weeks have been a bit of a wake up call.  I got myself into a very dark place. I was venturing into the territory of not being a functional human being. I stopped doing housework. I stopped trying to spend time with people. I only went to church when I was scheduled as a volunteer and even then I tried to avoid people. I had become a miserable excuse for a human being. Luckily for me, someone finally noticed. And she called me out on it. We met a week later for dinner where I spilled my guts to her, and she spoke a lot of difficult truth to me that I desperately needed to hear. That started the process of pulling me out of this pit. Then yesterday, someone else took notice and called me out on my crap by relaying something my husband had said to him.

"I wish you guys could meet her."

I've known these people for several months. He didn't mean it in the literal sense. He meant that they still don't know the real me - the person that I used to be before this mess, the woman that he married. It cut me to the core. But he was right.

So this is me coming clean, telling everyone that no, I haven't been okay for a long time. And I'm sorry for putting up a front and not being real with all of you. That's a crappy thing to do, and y'all don't deserve it. I'm not entirely sure why I'm writing this. I guess by writing it down and publicly declaring it, I'll now have dozens of people to hold me accountable. I don't want your pity. There are people who are suffering far more than I can even imagine right now. I just want you all to expect me to be honest and real and to not accept it when I'm not doing so. I'm trying to make a conscious effort to put on my big girl panties and pull myself up by my bootstraps. But the truth is, I can't do it. God has a plan for me and my life, and I have to learn to trust in that and rest in that. He's provided everything we need so far, and I need to just rest in the fact that He'll continue to do just that.

So the answer to the question of "Are you okay?"

No. Not really, but I'll get there.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Run, Fat Girl, Run

So for the people who already know me, you’ll know most of this story already, but I thought maybe I could be a little more detailed by blogging it.

Some time ago (about 2 years and 60 pounds ago) I put “Run a 5k” on my bucket list. Why? Because a) I was had a lot less weight for my legs to carry and b) I was stupid. A few months ago, I felt like I had the perfect timing/opportunity to finally train for a 5k and participate in one. So I signed up for a smaller local 5k and started the Couch to 5k training program. I had done the C25k program before, but on an elliptical. Running on an elliptical does not equal running on pavement. I figured this time, I shall do it on a treadmill, and if the weather cooperates, outside on the road.

So the time comes, I start working hard at it. I didn’t just run, I also lifted weights to strengthen my legs so that I wouldn’t constantly be in excruciating pain after running. About 4 weeks in, I realized that it was actually working. I was running more than I ever had in my life (which was still a pretty pathetic distance) and my knees and ankles were holding up just fine. I was even able to play softball and run bases without hurting myself. Given the unmitigated disaster that was the last time I tried to play softball about three years ago, this was a big deal.

So I’m all pumped up by the success and keep trucking along through week 5 just fine.

And then it all fell apart.

I got sick.

And then I pulled my groin playing softball.

And I didn’t run for 3 straight weeks.

And then I still tried to do the 5k.

Not only had I not run for three weeks, but when it got to the morning of the race, I felt like everything was working against me. I barely slept. When I got up, I ate a terrible breakfast of poptarts or something. I felt anxious to the point of a near panic attack (this is a problem common for me that you’ll probably read about regularly). It was just bad. And I probably should have just stayed home. But I had paid $25 to run this race, and it was on my bucket list. I was at least 5/8 properly trained for this thing. I could do it.

So I get there with my stomach tied in knots. I’m not properly rested. I’m not properly hydrated. I’m still on the verge of a panic attack, but then the race starts, and everyone around me is running, and so I run. I might be using the word “run” a bit loosely by society’s standards, but for this fat girl, it was running.

So, I run. I had to slow down to a walk for a minute or so, but I run most of the first mile and according to my runkeeper app, I finish the first mile in 13:30 which is my fastest mile ever. I hope that this illustrates how much of a runner I am NOT. I’ve never been, nor will I ever be a runner. Even when I was an athlete in incredible shape, I still didn’t run except when I was being conditioned or punished by a volleyball/basketball/softball coach. So that time was my personal record for my entire life not just this incident of training. I felt fantastic. I felt like I was on cloud nine. And then at 1.1 miles...

I puked.

I wasn’t puking my guts out or anything. It was just a little bit...probably because I had barely eaten anything that morning. It happened pretty suddenly, but I’m pretty sure it was a result of all those reasons mentioned above for why I shouldn’t have gone through the 5k. As I was off to the side of the road heaving what little my stomach contained, a few of the race workers came to check on me and my answer surprised myself.

“I’m fine. I’ll just slow down.”

I hate vomiting. I feel like it is about the worst physical sensation in the world. I have always despised it. I don’t know anyone that actually likes vomiting, but I have a special kind of hatred for it. I always swore that if I ever barfed while running, that I would immediately quit because there’s just no way I could continue after spewing my guts. No way. I would have to just lay down wherever I am and hope that someone would eventually come scrape me off the pavement and wheel me away on a stretcher.

But not today.

I was not about to be the only person who didn’t finish this thing. I could hear all the nonexistant people judging me “Of course the fat girl wouldn’t finish it. She’s fat.” Screw you phantom people!!! I’m going to finish.

So I kept going. Much slower than before. There was no running involved whatsoever. I thankfully got water at about 1.7 miles and then saw my husband cheering me on at the 2 mile mark. I walked up, gave him a quick kiss that made me feel empowered to keep going, and then at 2.1 miles...

I puked again.

I mean...seriously? I had been walking. I had got water. I had just gotten a kiss from my wonderful Hubby who was there to cheer me on. It seemed like every time I felt awesome during this race, I would vomit. It was pretty discouraging. So once again, someone came to ask me if I was okay.

“I’m fine. I’ll just slow down.”

I’m an idiot. But the same thoughts that ran through my head the previous puke, flooded my mind again, and I knew I had to finish. So I trudged forward all the while praying to God that I wouldn’t die before getting to the finish line. And then it happened.

I finished.

I even ran the last 100 yards or so because I saw that they were taking pictures at the finish line, and I didn’t want to look pathetic. 

Yeah. I look thrilled.

So I finished it, and I wasn’t even dead last. There were like 20 or so people behind me. I finished at 52:26 which is horribly slow, but still...to ralph twice and still finish is an accomplishment for me.

Hubby was there when I crossed the finish line. Although I felt immensely proud for still finishing it, I also regretted doing it at all almost immediately. I felt like I was going to die. Thankfully, Hubby came to the rescue by getting me some water and bananas, and eventually I was okay.

Then we went to IHOP so I could finally get some breakfast which is awesome because I love IHOP, but then I didn’t get pancakes with my meal, and I became angry and disappointed because I thought pancakes came with EVERYTHING. I was looking forward to pancakes, but no. No pancakes. So all in all, it was a terrible day, and I was painfully sore for the next few days.

The moral of the story? I have no business running, and I will never run another 5k again...

...except for maybe the Hot Chocolate 5k because a bunch of chocolate might be the one thing that would properly motivate a fat girl to run.


FYI, my posting has been scarce this week because my mama is visiting from Ohio, so I've been busy spending time with her this week. I'm sure I'll get back to more regular posting next week. Until then. Peace.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The next great american talent search show

The other day, I was driving to my unfairly easy job of sitting by the pool when I came to a stark realization.

I am the greatest singer in the world.

Let me be clear about something. Most of the time, I’m a mediocre vocalist at best. I can generally stay on key and carry a tune, but that does not make a great vocalist. That’s like saying a person who can form complete sentences is the next great American novelist.


When I’m alone in my car, I am the greatest singer in the world. I mean, I’m on par with Adele or Whitney Houston. I am that great. Just try to disprove me. You can’t. Because it’s only when I’m ALONE in my car.

I would love to try out for The Voice, but only if I can audition while alone in my car. For THAT is the place where I am the greatest singer in the world. I figure if I can audition in my car, that would obviously be enough to get me on the show, then maybe the coaches can help me transfer my car singing greatness to the stage.

But this got me thinking...

What if there are others out there just like me? Other people who totally fail at singing in front of others, but would blow you away if there were just some way of hearing their alone car singing. This led me for the idea for the next great talent search show.

Now...there are a few stipulations. This show wouldn’t be possible right now. You might think that you could do it Cash Cab style and call it Singing Cab or something stupid like that, but no, because then the contestant wouldn’t be alone, and it wouldn’t work. So, we would just have to wait a decade or so.

Since we’re kind of descending into a constantly monitored George Orwell 1984-esque police state, it’s only a matter of time until every vehicle is equipped with a surveillance camera, right? So, we just have to wait until that point in the future, then someone needs to make this show happen.

So you’d still have to sign up to “audition.” This way the producers would know which surveillance videos to watch, and, therefore, don’t have to watch video feed for all of America and the contestant would still go on believing they’re totally alone because they don’t know when they’re actually being watched. Then, producers, or whoever, would watch until the contestant started singing. Then they’d chose the best (which of course would include myself because I am the greatest singer in the world when I’m in my car alone) who would then get chosen by a coach a la The Voice who would then help them be able to sing outside the car.

I mean, this is a great idea. I know a lot of my renditions of songs include some road rage outbursts which would just add to the entertainment factor, yeah? Someone needs to make this happen. And in 20 years, when I see this show up on my TV, I can point to this post to prove that the idea was mine first and I will sue the crap out of the network because that’s what we do here in ‘Murica.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Slower than a heard of turtles stampeding through peanut butter

Although I would like to take credit for this clever title, I got it from pinterest which is the source for most of my life now and I sincerely hope that the MLA people have someone on the task of figuring out how to properly cite a pin from pinterest. After all, they have already figured out how to cite a tweet.

My home internet is slow. I don’t mean like “waiting a few extra seconds for a youtube video to buffer” kind of slow. I mean like “most of the time I cannot even dream of playing a youtube video because it WILL NOT HAPPEN” kind of slow. No joke. It’s easier for us to watch videos on our phone’s 3G than it is on our home internet.

My inspiration for this post came while I spent a solid half an hour trying to get one, JUST ONE, picture into my previous post. It took me that long to find a viable Wendy’s logo image, get the upload dialog box to show up, and get it to properly fit into the post before publishing it.

Here are just a few examples of how slow my internet is:
  • It took about twelve hours for pinterest to finally load yesterday.
  • We have lived here about nine months and have yet to get Netflix to work on our PS3.
  • It can sometimes take ten minutes to load one blog page. Not exactly media heavy.
  • Trying to load animated weather maps will not happen.
  • I absolutely cannot have more than five tabs open at once and expect them all to load property.

That's just to name a few. It's not always horrendous. Sometimes, it depends on what kind of mood our internet is in. For instance, we managed to watch season 4 of Arrested Development in just two sittings. Now...I had to get out my old PC laptop and hook it up to the TV via VGA cord for us to be able to watch it on an actual television because, like I mentioned, we cannot get Netflix to work on our PS3, but it still played. Things have gotten so bleak that I got a text from AT&T that my data usage exceeded 3 gb, and therefore my data speeds on my phone will now decrease. That's a different post to itself.

All of this creates a crapstorm of difficulty in really making a high quality blog that includes pictures, videos, drawings, comics, and whatnot. Is that going to keep me from blogging altogether? I hope not. I suppose if I want to illustrate a post or add lots of pictures, I’ll just have to go to my in-laws or the library. I would say Panera, but the closest one is about 35 minutes away. More evidence to support the idea that we live in Mordor...which I think is what I’m actually going to call where we live. No offense to the internet, but I don’t want everyone knowing where we actually live. I digress.

Words cannot describe the first world problems type of inconvenience this creates. I fully realize that there are far worse problems in the world and that there could be far worse things even in my own life, but guess what? That doesn’t make it any less frustrating to deal with.

I've heard people say that you should never pray for patience because then God will present you with the opportunity to be patient, in other words, he'll make you wait. I do not recall praying such a thing in recent history, but our turtle runner internet has undoubtedly been an exercise in patience. That being said, I would much rather continue to be patient regarding crappy internet than continue to be patient about finding a freaking teaching job. More on that another day.