Friday, September 30, 2011

Lightning strikes...

Last night was the final preseason home game for the Stars and I last minute ended up going to the game. The Stars beat the Panthers 7-1. It was a pretty awesome game though I suppose any game where the team I love is kicking ass is a good game. I'm really excited for next Friday for the home opener. The first regulation game of the season is always one of my favorites of the year, no matter what. Just the excitement in the air is enough to put me in an instantly better mood. Though, this post isn't about hockey really so I'll stop there before I get carried away.

Anyway, when I parted ways with friends and headed outside the AAC, I was surprised to see it had rained. The things I miss while I'm inside a cold building watching ice hockey. It had stopped raining but the lightning was still going strong. It was gorgeous. I love lightning. I could sit and watch a good lightning show for hours in all honesty. It just love watching all the different patterns as they flash across the night sky.

I was waiting on a friend to get back to me about possible post-game plans and I never mind waiting a few minutes for some of the parking lot traffic to clear out. So, I grabbed my camera phone and started trying to get pictures of lightning hitting the Dallas skyline. It's hard as hell to do on a camera phone, especially since my current one doesn't have a multi-shot feature like my previous phone did.

I did manage to get a couple good ones. Though I stopped trying after a while and just sat in the car enjoying the sky being lit up by bolt after bolt.

Lovely, right?

I think so anyway. :) I just wish I had remembered to bring my Canon with me to the game, then I would have had it to take better pictures of the lightning with. C'est la vie.

Happy Friday!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Run For Your Lives! Zombies are coming!

Run For Your Lives!!!

No seriously, run. And jump. And climb. And crawl. Then run some more. You get the idea.

Run for Your Lives is a 5k Obstacle Course.... that also happens to be infested with zombies. Seriously. I'm going to snag a couple paragraphs from their website to explain it.

"Protect your brain and run for your life. This is one race where your legs giving out are the least of your problems. Run For Your Lives is a first-of-its-kind event, one part 5K, one part obstacle course, one part escaping the clutches of zombies — and all parts awesome.

Runners will navigate a series of 12 obstacles throughout a 5K course in an attempt to reach the finish line — all while avoiding zombies. At the end of this adventure race, you get to celebrate survival (or zombie transformation) with live entertainment and music, local celebrities, vendors, food, and of course, beer!"

They luckily have a Texas date but it's in Austin. No biggie, that's only a few hours drive from Dallas and it's not until December 15, 2012. Unless they add a Dallas date (they're announced they have more dates to be added later) I'll be in Austin because I cannot resist this. How could I pass up something like that? I just hope I'll be able to find someone who wants to participate with me because I'd be annoyed if I had to go off and have this much fun by myself. Though I'm not missing it so y'all better believe I would.

Check out the website for more information, take a look at the gallery, see if your city or one near you is going to be invaded, etc. Their website has lots of information on there. :) And if you're someone I actually know in real life (because a lot of those types read my blog when I manage to post now, lol) want to do this with me next year, let me know. :D

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ranty McRanterson....

It never ceases to amaze me how people think that what goes for them goes for everyone else. That narrow minded way of thinking just makes no sense to me.

"That's an easy decision to make, I don't understand why you're struggling. You just have to do this, that & boom, you're done."

It's always easier to say what you would do in a situation when you're outside of it & not really going to be affected one way or another.

"That's not important. Don't focus on that."

Who the hell are you to presume what should and shouldn't be important to anyone else? You have no right to tell someone something shouldn't be important to them just because you see it as unimportant and irrelevant.

I could go on all day with examples but I won't. I just hate when people only see things their way and then cause a fuss when someone doesn't see it their way. Afterall; there couldn't possibly be more than one way to view things, how dare you disagree and have your own opinions? Silly people! People get way too caught up in who is right & who is wrong when most of the time there is no absolutely concrete real right and wrong.* It's just perspective and what works best for the individual based on their likes and beliefs.

*And no I'm not talking right and wrong like robbing a bank, mugging an old lady, standing in to defend someone being bullied, pushing the annoying guy at the bus station in front of a moving car, beating a child, rape, violence, murder, etc. There are definite right and wrongs there but I'm not talking about things like that here.
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

I forgot how much I love art....

I've loved art since I was a little kid. I used to draw all the time. I always loved coloring books. I liked to paint. I liked to be able to use a few materials and make something fun come alive on paper. It was one of my favorite things to do and I could sit there coloring and drawing for hours and be happy. I loved getting art sets for Christmas.

When I couldn't find the words I needed to express what I was feeling, I'd express my emotions through art. I doodled when I felt anxious. When I was feeling something but didn't understand what, it would be frustrating because I love writing and that was something I used even when I was young to clear my head and feel better. Sometimes, I didn't know what was bothering me and I couldn't even put words to it in my head. When words failed, I had art. I could sit there and just let my hands work over the paper and afterward, I'd feel better.

Art class was one of my favorites and the one I paid the most attention in. If I could have had Art class, History, English and gym all day, that would have been awesome for me. It doesn't work that way, though. I remember a lot of the work I did in art classes in school ended up staying in school because my teachers wanted to use them as examples. It was always cool to see something I did in a classroom being used to illustrate to other students what the point of a project was.

For some reason, which I don't even understand, I stopped drawing, sketching and painting for several years. I've got crayons and colored pencils at home. I use them to draw goofy little things once in a while but mostly, they just sat there untouched and I didn't even think about why I wasn't using them.

I was in a crafts store a few months ago with my friend, The Lawyer, and ended up wandering down several aisles full of art supplies. Sketch pads, chalk, charcoals, colored pencils, paint brushes and tons of other supplies. I found myself standing there looking at things that had once been such a regular part of my life, so familiar and comforting to me, and wondered why I had stopped using art as a form of expression and an outlet. I've never stopped writing so why did I stop sketching and painting? I didn't have an answer for that. So, I picked up a sketch pad and some pencils and promised myself I'd use them later.

I did, too. It felt good to put pencil to paper and create something again. It's fun to watch the lines and curves forming on the page into something more. It's comforting and soothing in a way, too. It's therapeutic in the same way that writing is also therapeutic at times. It's another little thing that makes me happy and I enjoy it greatly. Now, I just have to remember not to let it get away from me again.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Despicable Me, Blackhawks, Gummy Bears & other stuff...

    Brain Dump Time...

  • Despicable Me is an awesome movie. It never fails to make me laugh. Also, I don't care how old I get; I will always dig cute animated films. Especially films by Pixar. Love. Love. LOVE.
  • The home opener for the Dallas Stars is October 7th. Against the Chicago Blackhawks. We have tickets in pretty good seats in the lower bowl. So excited. I'm definitely ready for some time at the AAC cheering and yelling my head off for my boys to kick some Blackhawk ass. :D Then we play again on the 8th, against the Blackhawks again. Only that game will be played in Chicago. What a way to kick off the 2011-2012 season.
  • I think I'm addicted to Yummy Earth Organic Gummy Bears. I love gummy bears as it is but those are really damn delicious. I haven't had any in 3 weeks and I've been craving them like mad lately, haha. I need help.
  • I love Trident Layers gum. Sweet Cherry + Island Lime might be my favorite gum ever. I hate cherry limeades (you hand squeeze thousands of limes and makes thousands of cherry limeades and see if you want to keep drinking them though honestly I never cared much for them in the first place) though so I'm happy the cherry lime combination wasn't totally ruined for me. ;)
  • I will never understand people's obsession with celebrities. I don't get why people care where they shop, who they date, what they eat, what kind of car they drive, what music they like, what they do for fun or any of that stuff. I care about those things in family, friends and my boyfriend. Or when I was single, potential guys or girls I might be dating. I get that people want to be able to relate to them in some way and think it's cool to have things in common with their favorite celeb or athlete. For me, I don't know them, won't ever know them and don't give a fuck about what goes on in their personal lives because it doesn't affect me, have anything to do with me or really even interest me. I have enough going on with myself and the people in my life, I see no reason to keep up with someone I don't even know. I just don't get it but to each their own. :)
  • I hate cotton candy. I also hate hot dogs, bacon, corn dogs, peas, pea soup and grapefruit. Okay, that's a lie. I love grapefruit but I'm allergic to it so I can't have it or anything with grapefruit juice or flavoring. That makes me sad because it's delicious. The rest of that stuff I listed, I really do hate all of that gross junk.
  • I love plaid.
  • Very little makes me happier than ice skating or rollerblading. It clears my mind and it's a lot of fun. Not to mention good exercise. I feel so centered when I have a pair of skates on my feet and I'm gliding over the ice or across pavement.

"Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least." --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, September 9, 2011

It's been three months since he died...

Today makes it three months since my grandfather passed away. Anyone who read that post or anyone who has followed me or known me long enough knows how important he was to me.

I know how lucky I was to have such a good relationship with him and I am thankful for that and thankful for all the good memories of him I have.

It's still hard to think of him as being gone, though. Since he passed three months ago we went through what would have been my grandparents 64th wedding anniversary (less than a month after he passed), my grandmother's birthday and what would have been my grandfather's birthday at the end of August.

I think the first year will be the hardest because it's all the firsts he won't be around for. It's just weird to not think of him being at family events or not talking to him when I talk to grandma. Him not being there when we go to visit and just lots of things to get used to.

I know with time it will get better though. At first, lots of things made me cry. Certain songs that made me think of him would get me tearing up. A few times watching Rangers baseball games made me cry. I'd see things, smell things, hear things and think of things that reminded me of him and I'd cry. It hurt a lot and I hated that it made me cry so easily because I'm rarely brought to tears by anything. One night, I was laying in bed with the boyfriend and something he said reminded me of grandpa and I just started sobbing. He laid there with me, rubbing my back, letting me cry, getting me tissues, getting me water, hugging me; generally being the supportive and amazing man he is. He understands how it feels. His grandfather was his father figure and him, his mom and his little sister lived with their grandparents until the boyfriend was 17. Then they got a house a quarter mile down the street so they would still be close.

Three months later, though? Things make me sad, things make me miss him, I get emotional sometimes but I don't cry over everything any more. Things don't even get my eyes watering very often any more. I don't feel bad about that because it's a good thing. It's good to take time to grieve and mourn but you have to be able to move forward, too. It doesn't mean you're forgetting or caring less but you can't stay stuck in grief and sadness because it will consume you and effect you and people around you negatively. Your life can't stop because you lose someone you love.

I'll always love him and always miss him. Some days are still hard but, I know it gets better with time. And I'll always have the memories of all the great moments and happy times I had with him.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Why your Facebook status about breast cancer awareness annoys me...

If you have Facebook, you've probably seen a status or two or twenty that looks like this; "I'm 6 weeks and craving Chocolate Cake."

The first one I saw was posted by my cousin's fiancee. I freaked out a little and asked my little sister if Bride To Be was pregnant or what the hell was going on. She told me no and said it was one of those stupid Facebook things, like when they posted the bra colors. Then I started seeing more "I'm 12 weeks and craving Lasagna" popping up all over the Facebook much to a lot of people's confusion. A Twitter friend posted the explanation to what it was yesterday and I was finally fully clued in to what was going on.

It's supposed to be to raise awareness for breast cancer. Yes, you read that right. "I'm 8 weeks and craving Mastodon Meat" is to spread awareness for breast cancer. I get the premise. You post something like that, people who don't know what's going on are going to be confused and ask about it. It SHOULD get people talking. It's something the women are passing around to women only, though. I had someone forward me the message a little while ago so I could read exactly what it says. I'm apparently not one of the cool ladies who gets messages about these types of things from the women on my friends list. I'm kind of happy about that, actually. I digress. Here's the message going around:

"Ok pretty ladies, it's that time of year again, in support of breast cancer awareness!! So we all remember last years game of writing your bra color as your status?.....or the way we like to have our handbag handy? Remember last year so many people took part that it made national news and, the constant updating of status reminded everyone why we're doing this and helped raise awareness!! Do NOT tell any males what the status' mean, keep them guessing!! And please copy and paste (in a message ) this to all your female friends to see if we can make a bigger fuss this year than last year!!! I did my part... now YOUR turn! Go on ladies...and let's have all the males guessing! It's time to confuse the men again (not that it’s really that hard to do :)) Everyone knows it makes their brains work wonders on what we're talking about!! The idea is to choose the month you were born and the day you were born. Pass this on to the girls only and let’s see how far it reaches around. The last one about the bra went round all over the world. So you'll write... I'm (your birth month) weeks and I'm craving (your birth date) as your status. Example: Feb 14th= I'm 2 weeks and craving Chocolate mints!! 1-Skittles 2-Starburst 3-Kit-Kat 4-M&M's 5-Galaxy 6-Crunchie 7-Dairy Milk 8-Lollipop 9-Peanut Butter Cups 10-Meat Balls 11-Twizzlers 12-Bubble Gum 13-Hershey's Kisses 14-Chocolate Mints 15-Twix 16-Reese's Fastbreak 17-Fudge 18-Cherry Jello 19-Milkyway20-Pickels 21-Creme Eggs 22-Skittles 23-Gummy Bears 24-Gummy Worms 25-Strawberry Pop Tarts 26-Starburst 27-Mini Eggs 28-Kit-Kat Chunkie 29-Double Chocolate Chip Crunchy Cookies 30-Smarties 31-Chocolate Cake"

I know, I probably just committed some kind of crime against womanhood by spilling the beans to all those silly men who apparently all have such small brains and confuse so easily, but whatever. The snide, demeaning and catty overtones toward the general male population are annoying but I have other issues with this whole thing, too.

Like I said, I get the premise. You post something like that, people are going to wonder what the hell is going on. People are going to comment and ask what's going on and thus get people talking and sharing about breast cancer. The premise of it is great. The problem with that? Most people don't answer you to tell you what it is and most people don't end up talking and sharing about breast cancer.

"I can't tell you, it's a woman thing!"

"I'm not pregnant but you can't know what it is because you're not a woman! Hehehe!"

"Woman commenter, I'm not pregnant but I'll message you and explain so you can take part in it, too!"

"It's a secret so I can't let the cat out of the bag yet!"

Or if you can get an answer from someone explaining what it means then this is the simple reply you'll probably get, "It's to spread breast cancer awareness."

Often at this point, no more is said. If the person responds back or a different person says something, it could turn in to a conversation about how freaked out the person was thinking X was pregnant. More often than not, from my days of watching this, the conversation goes in a different direction that has nothing to do with breast cancer. Or no further conversation is had at all. Twice, I did see two people say it was for breast cancer awareness and were met with the question how this spread awareness. Both questions were answered with, "I don't know" and "I don't know but it was fun to do!"

You don't often see it turning into real awareness. You don't see any helpful information coming from it. Not a lot of talking and even less sharing and helping. There are REAL ways to spread awareness and a lot of them are as simple as posting these confusing Facebook statuses. One of the best ways to spread awareness about something is to ACTUALLY FUCKING TALK ABOUT IT. Not just say "we're raising awareness" because what are you really doing there? Raising awareness about.... awareness? Ooooh. Helpful.

TALK ABOUT THE ISSUE AT HAND. Donate time, donate money. Offer up links for people who don't know how to go about donating their time and/or money. Sign up for a walk or run* or other event. Find out about a walk going on and tell people about it. Contact an organization putting on a walk, run or other event and ask about getting fliers or other ways to help promote it. Talk about and encourage exams. Offer up information on where to go for exams. Volunteer with a local organization that is dedicated to breast cancer research and awareness. Start your own campaign within your community.
Offer up links to websites with accurate and relevant information so people can learn more about the disease, things to look for, self exams, etc.

My grandmother has breast cancer and another person in my family may also have it. We're not sure yet because she only recently visited the doctor my grandmother has been seeing. I know other people effected by it and I know a wonderful woman who has died because of it. When my grandmother started going through her treatments for it, it made me worry for myself. I did self-exams but I was worried and thought about early detection. So, I found a clinic that wasn't too expensive and had an exam done. Early detection of it is what's helped several women I know be able to beat it and carry on with their scars. I'm fine but I felt better really knowing I was fine.

I've volunteered, I've donated money, I've spent time helping promote events. I know most people would rather just post a status on Facebook and think they're helping because it's easier but if you're going to do that, at least post some links or information for people. Something more than spreading awareness about awareness would be more helpful and only takes an extra couple minutes. You can take that time away from Farmville or reading every single mundane update about what someone did today, right?

Another thing that irritates me over the whole thing is the effort spent to leave men out of this because really, this thing is more about playing a silly little trick on all the easily confused men in your life, right? Lets have a laugh and leave them in the dark, hehe.

Do people think men don't need to be made aware of breast cancer? Men apparently don't have mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, wives, girlfriends, fiancees, female friends or any women in their life apparently. So it wouldn't make sense for them to be aware of something so serious that could possibly effect a woman in their life or something that they may already be dealing with.

Also, while it's not as common, men can get breast cancer too. It's much more common in women but it does occur in men also. They can be effected by it through loved ones and people they care about or as personally as being the one with the breast cancer. Leaving men out of real awareness is ignorant. Or in this case, petty and childish.

There are tons of real ways to help with breast cancer awareness (and other diseases, too) and a lot of those ways aren't difficult and don't require much more time and effort than playing around on Facebook does. Here are some links to websites that can give you information on breast cancer, ways to help outside of donating money and much more.

National Breast Cancer Foundation
Susan G. Komen for the Cure
The American Cancer Society

If you want to look for something local you can do, there are message boards/forums on several cancer related websites. Look there. Or, you can always use Google to find a local event, organization, etc.

Note: *Walks & runs are helpful. A lot of people think, "what does a stupid walk for cancer do?" but it does a lot. Walkers take pledges and the donations go to whatever organization that the walk is affiliated with to help fund research, pay for equipment and plenty of other things. It also offers a sense of comfort and/or camaraderie for people who have gone through breast cancer and survived, people who have it and are fighting it, people who have lost someone because of it, etc. For a lot of people, dealing with something that effects them or someone they love so seriously is made a little easier by having people who have been there and really know everything you've gone through. So, walks are good for a lot no matter what the cause is. They raise awareness, they raise funds for research and they help people.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wayne Gretzky was a yard gnome assassin.

1. What's for breakfast?
Yogurt and fruit or cereal usually. Sometimes waffles if I'm feeling generous.

2. Do you read a newspaper daily?
Nope. I watch the news regularly and read news every day.

3. What do you do when you can't sleep?
Yoga. Read. Draw. Write. Go for a jog. Sex. Think about random things that amuse me. Plot against my enemies. Depends on what I feel like doing.

4. Say a word that sums up your mood.

5. Do you remember your dreams?
Most of the time.

6. Name something from your dream last night.
Wayne Gretzky was a yard gnome assassin. His favorite weapon for slaying a troublesome yard gnome was a flame thrower but he had other methods including a sledgehammer, shotgun, crossbow, hammer and a few others.

7. Name a food that describes you.
I don't know. I asked the graham cracker I'm about to eat to describe me but it just laid there saying nothing. Thinking the rest of the food in the house is going to be pretty mute as well. Go figure.

8. Today you are wearing:
Clothes. Same as every day.

9. What's in your pockets?
Gold, jewels, an eye patch, Jell-O, bowling shoes and throwing stars.

10. Did you sing in the shower today?
I sing in the shower every day. Some days I even give myself a standing ovation.

11. What's the last song you heard?
I don't remember, something awful playing on the station that was on in the car I was riding in. I was blocking out most of the terrible pop music, for the sake of my sanity.

12. Looking forward to the holidays?
As much as I usually do.

13. Where do you want to be this instant?
Sleeping. Or in Fiji.

14. What's for lunch?
Whatever I feel like eating when lunch time arrives.

15. What's something you would like to do soon?
Win the lottery. I suppose I'll have to play first.

16. Reading anything now? What is it?
This question. I'm not seeing much need in multi-tasking to read a book while I read and answer these questions.

17. What's for dinner?
I'll figure that out when dinner time rolls around. I'm not the biggest planner.

18. A favorite part of the day is:
Shower time. I love that fresh, clean, relaxing post shower feeling. Especially after a long day/night at work.

19. Are you happy?

20. What's the longest shift that you worked at a job?
16.5 hours. At a job where I had to be on my feet and moving all the time. It was my least favorite shift ever but at least it went by fairly quickly.