Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Whose Life Sucks More Olympics

I hope I'm never the type of person who has to "win" the "Whose-life's-harder/sucks-worse-right-now Olympics." Everyone knows or has known someone like that before. No matter the issue you have, they'll be ready as soon as they have the chance to tell you why you're lucky because their problem is worse. It doesn't matter what it is, they'll use something current or draw from a passed experience to attempt to one-up your issue. It's rarely done out of actually trying to help the person they're one-upping.

I understand needing to vent at times. I understand needing to complain about a pesky problem or a tough situation you're going through. Doing that usually opens the doors for the person lending that ear to share a similar story or at least one to relate to you. I'm fine with that because finding out someone you know has gone through a similar problem as you can, at times, be helpful. It can make you feel a bit better just knowing they got through it. You can discuss situational similarities and it may open your eyes to paths and solutions you hadn't yet thought of. A different perspective rarely hurts things when you're trying to work through something.

Just don't be that person who constantly tries to make all of their issues worse than anyone else's. That person whom has to make everything about them. All you're doing is saying, "that sucks for you but here's my problem that I deem bigger and more important than yours. Aren't you glad you don't have my problems? How lucky for you and your less significant problems!"

Doing  that doesn't make the other person feel better and it makes you look like a self-centered jackass who doesn't care about what other people are going through. You don't need to prove your issues are bigger and more difficult or that things you overcame were tougher so boohoo.

We all go through struggles and hard times. It's a part of life and everyone processes and handles situations differently. You can't say that your struggle is harder than the struggle of a loved one because you don't know. And even if it is/was, they're not coming to you for you to tell them how lucky they are. So next time, try shutting it down, listening and offering up something useful instead of disregarding what they're saying so you can tell them how you have it worse. Life is hard enough on it's own but things are easier to get through with support and encouragement from the people around you. If you're unsupportive and more interested in everything being about you all of the time, eventually (some sooner, others later) the people you care about are going to get tired of it. It's exhausting and frustrating dealing with someone that acts that way, especially when it's someone you care for or even someone you love. You're not going  to like what you start getting back so step out if your little "it's all about me" bubble and try on a little empathy on occasion. I promise, it doesn't hurt to occasionally just put your own issues aside and show the same kindness and support that you'd like from those around you.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Toys for Tots Fundraiser Year 5!

***NOTE: THIS POST WILL REMAIN AT THE TOP OF THE BLOG UNTIL I'M DONE WITH THE FUNDRAISER. Scroll down for new posts. :D ****


 
It's Toys for Tots time! For the FIFTH YEAR in a row!  :) I almost wasn't going to do it this year because I've had so much going on that I haven't had the time to dedicate myself to this fully. And believe it or not, doing this entirely by myself takes a lot of time and effort. I've had a lot of health related issues taking up a lot of my time the last few months (as well as work issues, family stuff & a few other boring variables sucking up my free time) which is why I didn't get to post this sooner. Though, I'd rather spend a couple weeks collecting whatever donations I can get as opposed to not doing this and just donating the toys I buy personally. Even if I only get $50 out of this, it's still $50 more than I would've been able to put into this by myself and that makes me happy.

Every year I donate some toys to Toys for Tots. I pick and choose other things to donate to as well through out the year. I don't think I can make a big dent of change in the world but I can do little things to make things a little better for other people. Be it with toys during the holidays, money for food, donating clothing, etc. I bitch about things that I wish I could fix but really, all that bitching does nothing if you're not willing to step up and do something to help make it better. So, I do what I can when I can to help out. It makes me feel good to know I've done something good and I help out with a lot of different things.

In 2009, I got an idea to do a Blogger Toys for Tots Fundraiser. I got the idea damn late it the year though so there wasn't much time to work with for Toys for Tots. I did it again in 2010 , in 2011 and again last year in 2012 as well. And now I'm doing it again this year. Don't know what that is? Let me inform you before I get on with the rest of the post.

Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity is the fund raising, funding and support organization for the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. The Foundation was created at the behest of the U. S. Marine Corps and provides support in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding with the Commander, Marine Forces Reserve, who directs the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. The Foundation has supported Toys for Tots since 1991.

The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

Like I said, I donate something every year. Sometimes in toys and sometimes in money. Sometimes more and sometimes less. Sometimes I don't have much money to spare but I do a little bit anyway because I know even if I'm hurting a little, some little kid and their family is hurting more. I prefer doing toys, though. I like going in to a store and picking out toys that I know will make some little kids happy. I never see the kids who get these but I always wonder if they liked what they got or if they were just happy for something, anything.

In 2009, 2010, 2011 and last year as well, I did a Fundraiser for Toys for Tots on my blog. The results were far better than I had expected in 2009 and they were amazing in 2010 and surprised me yet again in 2011 & 2012. I was beyond touched at all of the help and support I got. I got so many people who donated little amounts and it all added up to so many toys that I went and purchased. I take plenty of pictures and get it well documented on the blog because it's important to me (and lots of you!) to get pictures to show that I was doing as I said I would. I had so much fun going to get the toys in 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012. This year, I'm doing it again. :)


The final results from 2009: Here
The final results from 2010: Here

The final results from 2011: Here 
The final results from 2012: Here

If you want to see more posts with more details and pictures, then just click here or go to the Toys for Tots tab at the top of the blog on the tabs section.


On the right side of this blog on the side section under my profile, you will find that there is a PayPal donation button there.
If you want to donate money to help buy toys for Toys for Tots, just use that or CLICK HERE.

I will take all the money that gets donated and go buy toys. For proof that I'm doing what I say I'll be doing with the donations, there will yet again be pictures of the toys as I buy them and pictures of all those said toys being loaded into the car and more upon being delivered to a Toys for Tots location once I'm done with the fundraiser.

I know with the economy being what it is, things are rough for a lot of people (myself and my boyfriend included) BUT if you can spare $5 that would be enough. With $5 I can buy an action figure, toy cars, Legos, a stuffed animal, various kinds of dolls, PlayDoh sets and various other things. $5 will buy a toy and in some cases more than one toy. I can get 8 or 9 Hot Wheels cars on $10 so no amount would be too small. If 15 people donate 5 dollars, I have $75 and that will buy quite a few toys to brighten a child's day. You can do something to help and leave all the work up to me.

Like I said, I know life financially sucks for a lot of people right now. If you can give just a little bit though, you'll be making someone happy and doing something good. It's not that big of a deal to let go of $3 or $5 to a great and very worthy cause.

And yes, I know Christmas isn't about the toys and other presents but imagine being 7 and not looking forward to waking up Christmas morning because Santa couldn't bring you anything this year. It's a bummer.

If you want, please feel free to post about this on your blog with links and send people over. I would appreciate that quite a bit. If you do pimp this post out on your blog, email me after you do so with the post link so I can include you in a post that's to come later on. Also feel free to tweet about it or post it on Facebook. A few dollars from a lot of different people goes a long way. :)

This post will stay at the top of the blog for quite a while. Actually, it will be up at the top until the time I'm done with the fundraiser. The cut off date to take donations via paypal will be December 14th. I'll go shopping and deliver the toys by the 17th. I know that there isn't a lot of time for this (as I touched on previously) this year but any amount is better than nothing at all in my opinion.

There's also a tab Toys for Tots at the top of the blog if you want to go check out all the previous posts and pictures from the previous two years.



The tab just has pretty much what this post has plus links to the posts I did last year including all of the pictures as well as a donation link.



Happy Monday!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cold weather rantings

Something I'll never understand is why people tend to feel superior to others about the weather. You see/hear it all the time. If you live down South and complain about the cold, you'll no doubt have a Northerner make some comment about "cold? that's not cold! That's a light jacket day around here hahaha." And when a Northerner sees a 90 degree day in the Summer time, you'll see someone down South mock the notion that a 90 degree day is a miserable day.

I live in Dallas. We don't see a huge amount of snow, ice and below freezing temperatures. We've been hit with a winter storm where it's been just ice covering everything and several days of below freezing temps. Today is supposed to hit above freezing temps for the first time in several days.







I posted these pictures after going out for an Ice Adventure Walk because I was tired of being holed up in my apartment. And of course, I had people who are used to dealing with these types of conditions call me names and poke fun at me. The mocking and name calling doesn't upset me or make me angry, honestly. I find the whole concept to just be incredibly stupid and a little bit perplexing. I don't see weather like this on a regular basis so obviously it's a big deal to me and obviously people aren't going to be as adept at dealing with it as people who are used to this type of weather every time December rolls around.

I just don't get the notion of making fun of people because of the weather and how they react to it. I don't mock people who think 90 is hot in July when I'd kill to see a July day not hit triple digits. I know it's not what they're acclimated to dealing with and sometimes feel bad for them if their area gets particularly hotter than what they're used to. One of my oldest and closest friends moved here from Philadelphia and lived here a few years before moving back to PA. He thought Summer here was absolutely miserable in comparison to his Summer weather back home. To some people, 90 is a hot day for the area they're in. Just like to some people 21 and a couple inches of ice on the ground in December is not the normal for them.

People as a general mass tend to confuse me in this regard. There seems to be a general need to feel superior to others and they use whatever means is convenient to do so. What do you get out of feeling superior about the weather? And I mean this in the sense of people who continually poke fun of others. Not the occasional jab in good nature or what have you. I get that to some degree. Sometimes I roll my eyes or laugh to myself when I hear someone complain about 85 being "too hot" to them because I can't imagine ever feeling that way in the same situation because of what I'm used to dealing with. I imagine the same goes for people used to snow, ice and very cold temps. They probably feel that same type of bewildered amusement toward us for not being able to handle a few inches of ice being on the roads for days. I just don't get the continual need of so many to make fun and talk down to people over something so trivial. Then again, I don't understand anyone who needs to talk down to and make fun of others for any reason. If that makes you feel better about yourself or attempting to make other people feel bad makes you feel good, that's more than a little sad.

Moving on to something slightly different but a little on the same subject. I think the thing that bothers me the most about the weather getting colder here is the amount of people I don't even know that I have to deal with asking me why I'm dressed a certain way or why I'm wearing a jacket or if I know it's not that cold outside or blah blah stupid question goes here blah blah blah.

I have an autoimmune disorder than effects my health in a lot of ways. One way it messes with me is I get cold rather easily. So when it's 50 outside and I have on a hoodie and a knit cap, having someone ask me if I "really need to be wearing all of that" because it's "not that cold outside" tends to irritate me. It also tends to happen quite often which confuses me because I'd never question a random person about why they're wearing what they're wearing. Obviously,  I wouldn't be wearing a hoodie if I didn't need to. If a lighter sweater or jacket would do, then that's what I'd have on but I digress. Every one's body is different and you don't know what a person has going on yet a ridiculous amount of people feel like they need to comment on things like this. I usually just respond to such comments with a simple "I get cold easily" and leave it at that. Unless the person keeps talking about how I don't need to be wearing something heavy because it's not cold enough for it, then I lose my temper and tell them what makes my body have trouble keeping warm. Which I hate doing because it's no one's business and I don't want people to feel bad for me because of it but if you're going to make fun of me for something I can't control, I feel less bad about making you feel like an ass. Mostly because you're an ass and it's hard to feel bad for someone who's acting like a jerk.

Anyway, one last thing before I wrap this up. It doesn't pertain to this post but it's a quick little side note. Of course if you guessed I'm about to talk about Toys for Tots, you're correct and obviously know me well. ;)

My Toys for Tots holiday fundraiser is up and running for the 5th consecutive year with only 6 days left for making a donation. See this post for details on how you can help donate to Toys for Tots with a few easy clicks and to check out the posts and pictures from years passed. It's a great cause and a donation of as little as $5 will help make this Christmas a little better for a family who could really use the help. Thanks!

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Great Online Cookie Extravaganza!

For the fourth year in a row, Jz is doing her Great Online Cookie Exchange Extravaganza! Simple, you share a recipe or two or three for holiday baking. It can be cookies, cakes, brownie bars or whatever goodness you feel like sharing.  I've gathered a few really awesome recipes from participating in passed years so I look forward to seeing what kind of treats people put up each year. Thanks Jz for doing this!

And as a quick side note, my Toys for Tots holiday fundraiser is up and running for the 5th consecutive year with about 9 days left for making a donation. See this post for details on how you can help donate to Toys for Tots with a few easy clicks and to check out the posts and pictures from years passed. It's a great cause and a donation of as little as $5 will help make this Christmas a little better for a family who could really use the help.

Now on to the goodies!

Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes
 
Ingredients:
 

Cupcakes:

1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (candied/crystallized ginger should be on the spice aisle)

1/4 cup water
1/2 cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree 


Cream Cheese Frosting:

16 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 - 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


DIRECTIONS:
 

Cupcakes:

1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Place crystallized ginger and water in Pyrex measuring cup or microwave safe bowl and heat in microwave for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger and allspice. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time until thoroughly incorporated. Add in vanilla, milk and pumpkin puree beating until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.

4. With the mixer on low, gradually add in the flour mixture, mixing until just combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed.

5. Use a mesh strainer to strain the ginger from the measuring cup you microwaved the crystallized ginger with the water. Keep syrup for cream cheese frosting. Mince the ginger and use a rubber spatula to gently fold it into the batter.

6. Using a large cookie scoop divide the batter between the prepared muffin wells.

7. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-22 minutes or until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
 

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1. In a the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter until well combined.

2. With the mixer of low, slowly add the confectioners’ sugar until thoroughly incorporated and smooth. Add vanilla and ginger syrup and mix to combine.

 Now pipe or spread the frosting onto the completely cooled cupcakes and enjoy! :)


Make sure you check out the other Extravaganza participants this year!

2013 Bakers


Happy Thursday!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Why I keep a journal.

A little girl came into my job with her mom today. Her mom was setting up an order for a birthday party over the weekend (I work in a bakery) and while she did that, the little girl wrote in a little pink journal. Which later spawned a discussion about diaries and journals later.

The people I worked with today were all in agreement that beyond a certain age, journals are ridiculous.

I admitted I have one that I write in regularly. Once they realized I was serious, I heard a variety of opinions on the subject but most of them were negative. Which I've heard before but I never understood.

Some people think it's dumb I keep a notebook as a journal. I'm 28, why would I want to have a notebook full of thoughts and feelings? Why can't I just talk them out with a friend or relative or someone else I feel confident confiding in? Some people think it's "dishonest" to keep one because I'm "hiding" things. All of this seems silly to me. I realized if I hear things like this, others probably do as well. It doesn't discourage me or make me feel bad for something I like doing but it perplexes me why people see it as bad or wrong or stupid.

I've never been good at opening myself up to others on an emotional level. I'm great at being there for other people. I don't have a problem listening and doing what I need to help. When it comes to me needing to talk something out that's difficult? I can if it's not something deeply personal, laced with emotion, that will leave me feeling raw and vulnerable. Just the thought of that kicks my anxiety issues into overdrive.

It's not that I never reach out when I should. Sometimes I do, even when my anxiety is screaming at me to just be quiet. If it's really serious, chances are I'll work myself up to talking to someone no matter how much I don't want to.

Sometimes, I need to get my thoughts and/or feelings out of my head but talking about them to someone isn't an option I want to take. I just need to say things without anyone hearing them because it helps bring clarity and other times it just helps to see my thoughts and/or feelings on paper.

So, I write in a journal when I need to because it helps me. I don't care if anyone thinks it's childish, dumb, silly, etc. I don't do it for anyone other than myself. Writing it out is better than keeping it all inside. It's how I work through a lot of things and it works for me. Writing is such a basic thing but it can be oh so powerful.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Compromise is the devil! And evil! Or some people think it is.

One of my friends is having her birthday celebration tonight for her 30th birthday. Dinner, bowling and martini bar hopping. She sent me a text message at 12:00 PM TODAY to let me know that dinner was at 6 PM and they'd go on from there. She lives an hour away from me usually, about an hour and a half or more during busy traffic times. However, the place she picked for dinner is about 2 and 1/2 hours away from where I live if not longer depending on what traffic is like. I replied that I worked until 4 PM today and there's no way I could get home, shower, get ready (even though I can shower & be ready in 20 minutes) and be at dinner by 6. I also really didn't want to drive that far to watch other people bowl and watch people get drunk then drive 2 and a 1/2 hours back home later tonight after getting up at 6 AM for work this morning. I explained all of that after a few more texts from her complaining that she hasn't seen me in a while, really wanted me to come, yadda yadda blah blah blah blah.

Then, I offered to take her out next weekend since she's busy tomorrow and Sunday is my mom's birthday. I said I'd take her out for dinner next Friday and we could go do whatever else she wanted after that. Which honestly would just be going to a bar because that's about all she really likes to do for fun. I of course said I'd be paying for the night out since it would be her belated birthday celebration. 

Then I get this text: "No thanks, if you can't be bothered to come out tonight, just don't worry about it at all. My birthday isn't next Friday."

Well Princess, your birthday isn't this Friday either, it was on Monday, so fucking what? 

Which was basically my reply, though I left out the so fucking what and added in how her logic was off.

Of course, I know her well enough that I know it has nothing to do with the actual date of her birthday. She wasn't always this way but within the last year she's developed the attitude that she wants exactly what she wants, when she wants it, the way she wants it, no exceptions. No compromise. Which is one of the reasons I've let the distance between us grow and grow this last year. She wasn't always so inflexible but she decided after reading a self-help book that she was going to make everything happen on her terms and her terms only. She gets her way or it doesn't happen. And honestly, I can't deal with that because compromising to make things work well for everyone is part of a good relationship. It doesn't mean letting people walk all over you but bending a little to get what you want while letting others do what works out best for them once in a while won't hurt anyone. 

I get that it's her birthday celebration but to get mad because I don't want to make a 5 hour (or longer) round trip drive that has me missing the dinner and then only hanging out for maybe 2 or 3 hours at most before I have to leave to get home before I'm too tired to safely make the drive back home? Ridiculous.

Although, she did try to tell me I'm a horrible friend for not coming out tonight because guilt trips and insults TOTALLY GET ME TO DO WHAT YOU WANT. Yes, I'm the worst friend ever. An absolute terror to have in your corner and you should probably stay far away from me. ;)

Though from this, it got me thinking about people and society in a more general sense. 

What I don't understand is how so many people are so completely unwilling to make compromises in life. It's not a big deal yet so many people seem to be so unwilling to do something any way other than their way or to go even slightly out of their way for someone else once in a while. I'm not sure if it's immaturity, arrogance, self-importance, stubbornness, selfishness or some mix of any/all of the above but whatever makes someone act with zero flexibility really sucks. Especially when dealing with friends and loved ones. 

There is a huge difference between an occasional compromise and being a doormat for the world. I'm FAR from being any one's doormat but I understand that sometimes, you have to bend a little to make things work for everyone involved. And sometimes, it's just nice to make things a little easier for others. I know people at times do the same for me in situations and I'm always grateful when someone (most of the people in my life) is willing to bend a little on something for me. It doesn't mean they're always happy about doing it and I'm not always happy about having to compromise on things but being a mature adult who isn't a complete asshat isn't always enjoyable and fun. The world might be a little more pleasant if more people would remember that simple fact.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Blah blah blah.

  • I talked in my last post about participating in the Walk To End Alzheimer's walk at the end of last month. I ended up raising a total of $850 and had a nice time at the actual walk. It was an interesting experience and I'm looking forward to participating again next year.
  •   NHL hockey season is back in the swing of things and that's always awesome. The Stars home opener was meh but the next game on that Saturday against Washington was awesome. Being back in the arena to watch the Stars always bring me joy.  Speaking of joy through hockey.... My youngest brother plays hockey pretty much all year with minimal breaks in between seasons so I'm watching him play all year. This year he made Junior Varsity for his highschool team and will also be playing a few Varsity games as well. He's also playing in another house league that his JV coach also happens to coach. He tried out and there was only one slot open and he's the one who made it. It's been fantastic watching him improve and move forward and I'm so proud of him.
  • Working in a bakery is seriously maddening at times. I wish my boss would tell people during interviews that it's not going to be anything like what they see on reality TV baking shows. We hire so many people who don't realize how much work it actually is and the majority of them always mention they watched this show or that show and didn't realize it was hectic, stressful and a lot of work. Which I don't get but the high turnover rate we have because of people not being prepared to actually face a steady stream of tasks suggests it's a difficult concept to people who spend too much time thinking reality TV is exact. Though, I enjoy working with most of the people I work with. They're all a little weird and crazy and it's the first job I've had where I actually fit in and most of my co-workers don't think I'm the "weird one" because, well, we're all weird ones there. Or "quirky" if you listen to the lady who doesn't like to use the word weird because she thinks it implies a very negative feel but I digress. I work with some pretty awesome people and that helps tons when working in a busy, sometimes chaotic, rather stressful environment. 
  • I got a slow cooker given to me by my mom and a smaller one given to me by my grandmother. I've used the slow cooker a couple times in the many months I've had them. I really just don't know what to put in there and I don't mind cooking dinner after work most days. Though, as soon as the weather gets cool enough, I can see how it'll get more use for soups and stews. Though it's still feeling like Summer here so that won't be for another couple months maybe. Hopefully less. I just can't get excited about stew or a bowl of soup when it's still almost 90 degrees outside. 

That's all I've got for now. I was going to write some deep and personal stuff but then I decided I'd rather keep that stuff to myself for a little bit longer. Or a lot longer. Or forever. So, boring life update instead since I decided to keep the personal stuff unwritten.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Random Thoughts...

Whenever I feel like I have way too much going on in my head (which is often) I tend to write about a thing or two that's taking up a lot of real estate or I just write a bunch of random stuff down. Today will be a bunch of random stuff. I know, you're so stoked now. Take a deep breath to calm yourself down then proceed.

Random Thoughts:
  • I'm really grateful at times for the shitty people I've known in life. And for the not so shitty people who have done shitty things. (Who isn't guilty of that at least once?) For those people and instances, I've learned a lot of different things. The biggest thing being realizing the kind of person I never want to be. There are life lessons I still haven't learned and sometimes it takes a bad situation or a crappy person to teach that lesson to me. It sucks at the time but I appreciate what I end up taking away from it.
  • Turn signals must be really hard to use in some cars. Or maybe they don't come in every car. Maybe there are some crazy cars out there that charge extra for those. It can't be that people are literally too lazy or too preoccupied to be bothered with flipping a lever or a button to activate a signal that lets other drivers know you're about to switch lanes. Nah, couldn't be that at all. 
  •  I cut off 4.5" inches off hair a couple weeks ago. I work in a bakery. It's hot as hell in there. I live in Texas. It's Summer. It's hot as hell. My hair was well passed my shoulder blades and between work and Texas being Texas, the long hair had to go so I could keep a smidge cooler. I felt so much lighter and all around better after I left the salon.
  •  I get anxious about letting someone else cut my hair. I hate it actually. However, I love letting someone else massage my scalp and wash/rinse my hair. That's the only part of the actual salon visit I actually enjoy. It's one of the most relaxing things in the world.
  • Soft pretzels are awesome. If they were healthy for you, I'd eat them every single day.
  • I'm doing my first Walk to end Alzheimer's at the end of September and I'm really looking forward to it. Raising money for my walk team is great because all the donations go to the Alzheimer's Association to help raise funds for Alzheimer research, care and support. Which is a cause I care deeply about since Alzheimer's is what my grandfather died from two years ago. I still miss him dearly and I'm sure I always will. In doing this, I've already met some other people who understand what it's like to watch someone go through this disease. Also, it's great to meet other people who are passionate about a cause you really care about and I think it'll make me feel better to do more than just donate money to something.
     
  • After a discussion with some co-workers yesterday, I realized it might not be as common as I thought it was to mix two cereals together when eating a bowl of cereal. Which is weird because it's delicious and cereal is awesome. Eating two kinds of cereal at once is even more awesome.
  • A baby dragon would be one of the coolest pets ever. As long as it got older but didn't get any bigger.

I'm done now. 
Thanks for reading. ;)

Happy Tuesday.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Justifying your simple joys.

I’ll never understand people’s need to justify why they like the trivial things they like. I’m never ashamed or embarrassed by anything I find appealing or enjoyable because if it brings me joy and happiness, why should I care what anyone else thinks of it?

I don’t. And never will. And I guess it’s for that reason that I’ll never understand why people feel they need to explain why they like something and try to convince others of it’s coolness when they don’t agree. Everyone likes different things and some people you like aren’t going to necessarily be into the same things you are. If you feel you need to justify a song or a TV show or a food you like to someone, you’re probably too concerned with people’s opinions of you. And if liking a dorky TV show or an annoying song could jeopardize a friendship, you’re better off just letting that happen. If some one's opinion of you is changed in a negative way because of something you like, that's their problem. If they treat you differently because of it, then maybe they're not as nice as you thought.

Justifying things you like is silly. Almost as silly as the people who try to prove why their hobby, favorite sport, favorite song, etc is better than whatever it is someone else with a differing opinion likes. If it’s not hurting anyone and it makes you happy, enjoy it and stop worrying about what everyone else thinks.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Let's try this again.

I decided I want to try to start blogging again. I took a break for a long time because I felt like all I had to talk about were things too personal for me to put out here and negative things and I didn't want to use this as an outlet solely to vent and complain. 

A lot of things have changed in the last year.

I'm working a different job in a bakery and enjoy it far better than my previous job that I was miserable at. I'm working on starting my own business, too.

The boyfriend and I moved into a nice apartment larger than our previous arrangement and in an area that isn't ghetto at all.

My boyfriend is now cancer free, which is really some of the best news of all.

There are other things that have changed that aren't for the better but I don't want to get into those. Maybe at some point if I decide to follow through with blogging regularly again I'll feel like I need to. Or maybe if I just want to. For now, nah.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

You'll be missed.

























I hate writing about sad stuff but I need to get this out somewhere. I'm not good at talking about things like this and honestly don't have that many people I can talk to anyway. Writing always helps when words fail me verbally though.

These amazing photos of bears in the wild were taken by a talented and wonderful man, Philip Perdue.

I met Philip because he was friends with my boyfriend Shane and had been for years. Phil was one of the first member of Shane's car club that made me feel welcome and included me into their diverse group of members.

His talent with photography and the often very amusing stories that went along with the photos he took were one of the things I liked most about him. He had a passion for capturing the world through photograph and he was good at it.

I admired how upbeat & optimistic he was no matter what life tossed at him. He had some things he was fighting through and some days were enough to put most people into grumpy spirits. He rarely let anything get him down, though.

He had a great sense of humor. A little (ok a lot) weird at times but the man never failed to make me and those around him laugh their asses off.

As a free spirit myself, I can always recognize and appreciate that in someone else. I admired that in him.

Phil was one of the most genuinely nice guys anyone could ever be fortunate enough to know.
He was the kind of guy always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone who needed one without ever keeping score or expecting anything in return. He had such kind heart and so much joy to give.

Last night as I was getting off of a long 10 hour shift at work, my boyfriend called me from work crying. I was automatically worried something was wrong with him but he had just found out from a good mutual friend he shared with Phil that Phil had died unexpectedly. I was stunned to say the least. We had just gone through the death of a family friend a little over a week ago when the mother of one of the goalies on my brother's hockey team passed away unexpectedly and now this. I stayed on the phone with my boyfriend the remainder of his break then just sat in my car letting the news about Phil sink in. I ended up driving around a little bit then went to the boyfriend's job so I could be with him on his lunch break to offer comfort and maybe a few laughs. I didn't cry until I got home that night. I pulled into the driveway and the sky was so pretty with a few stars barely peeking through clouds. I thought of Phil and how much he loved photography and of a conversation we had about how gorgeous the night skies in Northern California were on clear nights. Then I sat there sobbing and realizing I'd never see him again. I'd never have another conversation, never hear his goofy laugh, never hear another story about a trip he went on to take amazing photos with crazy mishaps. Shane had wanted him to be the photographer at our wedding (we do plan to get married eventually) but now he won't be there walking around smiling his big goofy grin with his camera, making jokes and capturing so many moments through photograph.

He was always so friendly and genuinely nice to everyone. Until you did wrong to anyone he cared for, then he wasn't such a gentle teddy bear. He was loved and liked by so many, he will be greatly missed.

I'll miss that quirky little man with the big heart and goofy grin.

RIP Phil.