Job, Part 1

In my most recent post I gave a review of the book, Game of Thrones when I was a little over halfway through it.  Well, I’ve finished it and already begun book two, A Clash of Kings and seriously, I’m loving these books!  For those of you who don’t know, they have already been made into an HBO series.  If you’ve watched it then the first season takes you right through book one in its entirety.

It’s so not one of my typical reading choices – it’s a fantasy genre book.  Most of the characters are kind of reminiscent of what you would imagine them to be hundreds of years ago when kings and queens ruled, but then there’s this other element that’s a little…well, it’s fantasy and it’s a little out there because that’s what fantasy is, but regardless the books are excellently written and interesting enough to keep my little ADD-ridden mind enthralled.  If you are open to reading things in the fantasy genre and allowing yourself to just enjoy what it is, I would absolutely recommend you doing so.  Two thumbs up!

*~*~*~

Switching up the tempo just a little bit, in the midst of reading A Clash of Kings I have begun another book….Job.  Yes, the Job that you’ll find in the Bible.

Lately I’ve been working on my relationship with God.  I’d say over the past 6 months or so.  It first began with me randomly taking myself to church one Sunday morning.  I enjoyed it so much that I’ve continued attending any Sunday I am able, which is most of them.

The church I attend is non-denominational Christian, meaning it’s not Baptist, or Pentecostal, or Church of Christ, or any other denomination, it’s just my church.  Sometimes when I mention that I attend church to other Christians they get excited, but when they find out it’s non-denominational I get this, ‘Oh.  Ok.’ kind of response so I’m fighting the urge to justify my choice right now.  I’m not going to do that though.  I will say that I have ‘ah-ha’ moments almost every single Sunday I am there – be it from the music, the message, a random testimony, or just someone speaking – and that’s all the justification I need.

Wow.  Sidebar much?  Ok.  Anyway, I started going to church.

So a few weeks ago I bought this small reference book called ‘Where to Find it in the Bible’ which is basically set up where you can look up a word dictionary-style and it will give you locations in the bible where that word is referenced.  I’ve used it quite a few times just as a general starting point for daily bible reading.  Two days ago it randomly took me to the book of Job.  And so now, after 465 words we get to the point of this post.  Eureka!

Reading the verse the book pointed me to and then also the ones around it to get a jest of what was happening, I noted there was a certain similarity to what I was reading and the frame of mind I have been in before.  So much so that I decided I wanted to start at Job Chapter 1 and read the entire book.  People, never in my life have I felt any type of desire to read an entire book in the bible.  Recently I have started to read a chapter or so at a time with my daily readings, but that’s about the most I could handle before Mr. Sandman approached with his sleepy dust.  Never has this happened.  Ever.

Does anyone know Job’s story?  Basically he was a righteous man who was extremely prosperous (rich) and suddenly all these things were taken away from him because, from my understanding, Satan said, ‘He’s only righteous because he has such a great life.’ and God responded, ‘Fine.  Take those things away.’  and so Satan did and Job was still righteous.  Satan’s next step was, ‘Those are just things.  He still has his health.’ and God responded, ‘Fine.  Take that away.  Just spare his life.’ and so he did.

I am currently only to chapter 20 but what this book is so far is a record of conversations Job shared with his friends during the worst of this trial where basically, he’s angry and feels as if he’s been deserted by God.  He doesn’t understand how things like this happen to people who are righteous and innocent.

Let me tell you, this book isn’t just speaking to me.  It’s SCREAMING!  The things that Job is saying right now are some of the exact same things I have said before.  Not only that but the things his friends are responding with are some of the exact same things my Christian friends have said to me.  You know, 21st century style of course.  But regardless, the similarities are spooky!  I’m all like, ‘Job!  We’re practically one and the same, dude!’

It’s really blowing my mind at this point.  And I hear it gets better at the end after Job’s, ‘Why, God?’ and God’s parental because-I-said-so spank on the rear of, ‘Because I am the Creator here.  Don’t question me.’  Can’t wait to get to that about-face.  I can only imagine Job will get to the place I am now, and then I will see where we come out at the end.  Are you guys as excited as I am?!?!

With that said, to be continued!

Whitney

How many times I’ve sat in front of a mirror with a hairbrush…driven down the road with one of your songs blasting, singing at the top of my lungs…  What an amazing gift you possessed.  Thanks for sharing it with us.

I’m not dead.

A friend of mine requested that I update after my last post just to knock it off the top spot.  And you know, to let everyone know I didn’t commit suicide after I wrote it.  So ah…yeah.  I’m still here.  For the sake of an update, things have gotten better with that particular situation so yay for that.

You ever have those moments – however fleeting – where you just don’t know what’s happening and you’re tired of wondering/thinking about it and whatever it is, it’s not looking good at the moment?  Well that’s what that was.  After I posted it and reread I thought, ‘Woah.’ but I left it up all the same.  It’s me, pretty or not.

So in the spirit of random updatery, this morning I got an annual evaluation at work.  When you are describing your work ‘style’ to your boss and say, ‘I’m kind of all over the place.  Like, I have ADD.’ and your boss responds with, ‘Yeah, I know,’ that’s not really a good thing, is it?

Despite that I got pretty good marks on everything.  On both Job Knowledge and Compliance with Laws, Regulations, Etc I got the highest mark possible (a ‘5’) which I was really happy about.  Those are a big deal in my job.  And, I was told I am an asset to my company.  I guess that means they’ll keep me a little longer.  Three cheers for regular paychecks and being able to pay bills!

Oh and guess what!  I’ve made friends with my Kindle again!  Strangely enough, these Kindles don’t really do well when they’re tossed around and beaten up in your purse for months without being used.  Go figure.  However, if you charge them up and actually start to use them regularly again, they work like a charm!

With the friendship rekindled (pun intended – har dee har har), I’ve read 2 1/2 books over the past week or so.  First up was Water for Elephants which was pretty decent.  I enjoyed the story but, without spoiling it all, I wish the author would’ve given a little more ‘after’ story.  A more thorough wrap-up.  I wanted to know what the characters lives were like after all that drama.  What did they do?  How did they live?  So that was disappointing, but I did enjoy what was told and if my only problem was that I was so invested in the characters that I wanted to know more, then that’s not a bad problem to have.  I’d recommend it.

Then I read An Invisible Thread – kind of The Blind Side-esque.  It was ok in that, for me, it was like Wal-mart to The Blind Side’s Target.  Cheaper, dirtier, drearier, and not as neat with less desirable customers but I guess it gets the job done.  For those who have seen The Blind Side, I wouldn’t bother.  Story’s been told.  Essentially.

And currently I’m reading the first book in the Game of Thrones series.  Not the typical genre I would reach for, but as you can tell my book choices are all over the map so I figured why not.  To be honest, I’m loving it!  I would recommend this one!

So anyway, I am still alive.  Things are good.  Work is good.  Kindle is good.  Go get Water for Elephants and/or Game of Thrones.  There ya go, Mer!

Some things I don’t understand about Facebook.

As most of the modern world does, I find myself on that mecca of social interaction we all know as Facebook on a daily basis.  Did I say daily?  I meant practically hourly….on a really boring day, it may be more.

Alas, spending all this time on the site I consider myself to be some level of pro.  There’s gotta be some kind of reward, right?  I mean besides knowing what all your closest – and most distant – friends are doing at all times of the day.

I think we can all agree that as Facebook popularity increases we have noticed the change.  We’ve all seen an influx of *those* people.  You know who I’m talking about.  The ‘not so cool’ people….the internet-illiterate….the posers.

Just as I am sure you have a few on your friends list, I too suffer at their hands.  Well, there are a few things that I see some of these ‘special’ friends do that really leave me baffled.  To the point that I feel like maybe a Facebook Instructional How-To book might be of good use.  Or desperately needed, whichever.

I’m sure the fine employees of Facebook are already on top of such a thing as this so I’m just going to list a few things that need to be addressed, in the off chance they’ve been overlooked by said employees.

 

1)  Chain letters

I think it was back in 5th grade – the day I received my last chain letter. That would’ve put me around 10 years old.

Back in those days they were handwritten.  Can you imagine?  You think your grandpa’s story of walking miles through snow and muck shoeless to get to school was bad???  Try writing 10 page-long letters to your closest buddies.  There were no copiers back in my day, you bunch of PANSIES!!!  Our hands fell off at the wrist by letter #8.  And don’t even think of not finishing!  Are you kidding me?!?!  Do you want the ghost of 2nd Grade Hall Bathroom to come find you?!? For shame!!!

After fighting my way through all that childhood trauma, you can possibly imagine why it makes my now 33-year-old eyelid twitch to see statuses such as:

Fri(END), Boyfri(END), Girlfri(END), Bestfri(END). Everything has an END except…Fam(ILY)! It Has 3 Letters that says I LOVE YOU.
If you love your Family, post this as your status

 

Ok, I’m confused.  So all my friends are ending and my family are the only people I love?  Are they ending life?  What’s happening here?  If I post the status can my friends just stay?  I kinda like them.

Or how about:

May I ask a personal favor…. only some of you will do it,and I know who you are, if you know someone who fought cancer and died,or someone who is still fighting…please add this to your status for 1 hour as a mark of respect and remembrance, I hope I was right about the people who will–thank you!

 

Well obviously if I don’t post it on my status for all the world to see I’m a heartless little worm.  Thank you.

Show of hands.  Who around here realizes we’re not 10 years old anymore?  Newsflash:  The 2nd Grade Hall Bathroom ghost isn’t around to come get you these days.

I mean, can we just stop the madness???  Please?!?!  How’s about….if you love your friends and/or family, you spend the time posting a note saying so on their wall instead of posting this inane status that does nothing but waste my time?  Or if you know someone who fought cancer, why don’t you go sign up for a marathon or donate some money?  We’re adults now, people.

 

2) Shout-outs to the dead

I thought I had concurred the hardest part of losing u, then it has hit me the easy part was letting u go to be n heaven the hard part is knowing I have to pick up the pieces, be strong and face the days were I’m not able to run to u and hide…… I will b strong and push ahead with the wonderful thought of knowing one day I will see u, Cousin Curly & Uncle Moe again that will b my inner strength 🙂

 

(Names changed to protect the innocent.)

First off, I gotta point out that in your grief you used the word ‘concur’ incorrectly.  Sorry.  It’s just my nature.

So….yeah.  I know you’re hurting.  I know you miss the person who is gone.  It’s sad and I really do feel for you.  However, I can assure you the person you’re talking to is not spending their days now reading your Facebook statuses to get your shout-outs.

This is the thing.  If you’re missing someone and you just want people to know it, then put something to that effect as your status.  ‘Hey, I’m really missing my Aunt Myrtle today.  I saw a possum and I remember that good ol’ stew she used to make….’

Whatever.  We’ll get the point.  You miss your aunt.  I just don’t understand writing a letter to the person who is gone and will not be reading it, then posting it as your status on Facebook.  Why?  Is it drama or do you seriously think Comcast has installed some supernatural high-speed internet line to the other side?  For future reference, the last time I checked they didn’t service that area.

 

3)  Drama

i hope you know honey,i can turn into a crazy ex girlfriend if you keep on…

 

Or….

the ppl that call themselves your “friend” then never talk to you are not a very good friend..i need to clean my friends list out..on the other hand..everyone have a safe day:) off to work i go till 12:)

 

Or what about…

if anyone sees that me and earlie broke up again. It was his doings this time..he took stuff outta hand and i aint dealin with no guy mistreatin me. So thats over for good..

 

And finally…

So and So went from being “in a relationship” to “single.”

 

Yes, those are all actual statuses.  Statuses that I’ve had to waste my time reading because one of my ‘friends’ thought it was worth posting for everyone she knows to see.

How annoying can you be?!?

Why do some people insist upon living their entire lives on Facebook like some kind of Shakespeare tragedy up on a stage?

Lots of people have allergies, right?  Well, mine is drama.  It breaks me out in hives.  Or at least I wish it did to give me an excuse to get away from the people causing it.

Seriously, I don’t care.  If you and the boyfriend are making up and breaking up every other day, I don’t need to know.  Whatever wall you are choosing to repeatedly bash your head into, I promise I don’t want to know.  I couldn’t care less.

 

4) Prayer statuses

Oh. My. Holy. Cow. Bells.  Seriously, people.

Heavenly Father, walk through my house, and take away all my worries and any illnesses, depression & sadness, and please watch over and heal my family and friends. Bring quiet where there is chaos, bring light where there is darkness and put love in our hearts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

That’s a copied status.  Here’s a freestyle:

ok lord u open the door to this job for me.i no not to doubt u but i must say today is one of those days.their is this one lady that i work with that is just tryin to make me go off and today she is real close.she is only a floor worker like me but she thinks she owns this place so since u put me here i need ur help to keep my temper under control qand my mouth SHUT.and i ask this in ur name AMEN…..

 

Let’s make this quick and painless, shall we?  Ahem.  Here goes.

Jesus is not on Facebook.  *gasp*

Breaking News:  Posting your prayer as your status is not going to get it to God any sooner.  It’s not going to make it seem any more important.  It’s not going to make it any more visible in the sea of other prayers.

Much like #2, I do not understand why people think this is something to do.  Are you having a hard time and want your friends to pray for you?  Is this something I should find funny?  I don’t really know what to do with this.

Sometimes it’s ok to keep things old school.  Don’t make this harder than it has to be, ok?  Just bow your head – or not – and talk to God.  It’s that simple.

 

5)  Songs

This one has just been brought to my attention recently.  I apparently have a few friends who wanted to be Radio/Video DJs when they grew up and didn’t quite make it to the station.  Unfortunately for all of their friends (me included) they have moved their passion to the Facebook stage.  This means I now am forced to wade through link after link of random songs that I suppose relate to whatever mood they are in at the moment.

For the love of all that is holy.  Calm. Down. People.

If you hear a song you like, or maybe remember a song dear to you by all means, share it.  However, notice the use of the word ‘it’.  That signifies ‘one’ or a singular object.  Spare me your entire iPod playlist.

 

6)  Games

Directly related to item #5 are the gaming friends.

So and so needs a hat.

So and so needs some tree bark.

This one over here needs a giant jug of milk.

What they all need is my foot up their rear.

Let me preface by saying, I myself play games on Facebook so I do understand why you’re posting all this nonsense.  I do it too.

HOWEVER…..I am a respectful game player.  First off, I only post my game posts to my friends who play those games.  Not to everyone who views my wall.

Secondly – and this is very important – I use some self-control.  Never will my game friends open their news feed to 38 posts in a row of stuff I need.  Seriously, who wants to look at all that?

Make some priorities.  Post a few things, get those done, then start on some more.  It all doesn’t have to be done at once.  It’s a Facebook game, not the end of world hunger.

*~*~*~

Dancing Queen

A few weeks ago at Girls Night we were watching some grand finale of So You Think You Can Dance.  I’m not a follower of the show but from what I gather, the top two dancers of the season were performing a menagerie of the top dances ever on the show.  After a few particularly impressive ones, we girls decided we needed to start dancing.

That was one of my personal favorites as in, I was amazed.  Powerful.

But skip forward a few weeks and one of the girls has found a 12-week Ballroom Dance class and we’re gearing to go.  The original group whittled itself down to three but we made it out last night for Class Number One.  Of course, we’re not doing anything similar to what you see on So You Think You Can Dance – mainly because those people really can dance.

Another of my favorites from the show.

So last night we head over to a local church gym to start our 12-week session.  We walk in and it’s an interesting mix of people.  You’ve got your 60+ crowd, and your couples who look like they may be practicing up for an upcoming wedding dance, then you’ve got the random couples who may or may not be on a first date (interesting choice, I’d say), and finally you’ve got people like us who just showed up for a good time.

As we walk in there’s a guy already dancing.  In the middle of the gym floor.  By himself.  Looking for all the world like Telly Savalas’ slimmer, blue-eyed brother.

I’m pumped.  Like I might win $1 mil at the end of this kind of pumped.  Somehow I’m convinced I’m gonna look like this at the end….

(This may secretly be my favorite.  This or the first one.  It’s close.)

Alas, they weren’t teaching me how to properly writhe around on my dining room table.  We learned the fox trot instead.

Slooow, sloow, Fast!, Fast!     Slooow, sloow, Fast!, Fast!

Need a visual?

Zz..Wait..where’d you go?  Exactly.  The excitement level plummets.  Wah Wah Waaaah.

Being as I’m solo, I get paired with one of the “experienced” men who has a name tag that reads, ‘I CAN HELP”.  He’s about my height (5’1″) but he’s the sweetest guy.  My first spin around he tells me quietly, “You’ll get used to it eventually and not have to watch your feet.”  Oh yeah.  Forgot about that.

That becomes my silent mission.  Stop looking at your feet.  Before long I’m getting compliments.  ‘You’re doing really good!’  ‘That’s right!’  ‘You’re doing great!’  My head is getting bigger and bigger with each new praise.

Next up I find myself dancing with That. Guy.  The one who was dancing by himself when we first walked in.  I’ve heard he’s a drill sergeant and I’m a little nervous.  Oh no, what if I mess up?  What if I don’t do it right?  He gives me some pointers here and there (‘Your arm needs to be poised, not limp.’) but he also jokes about teaching me the grapevine so I feel like overall, I passed his test.  I’m a fox trot pro!!

Lastly I dance with a 17 year old guy who walked in playing the role of Fashion Don’t.  Tight tapered jeans with black cowboy boots…with a silver chain going under the heel…and don’t forget the obligatory Alabama Crimson Tide t-shirt!  Roll Tide!!!  Bless him.  But he was a sweet guy too.  He’d been taking classes since January and was a decent little fella.

The class was – sadly – over after that.  I had a GREAT time!!!  Loved it!

The Telly Savalas guy found me afterwards to ask how I liked it.  He joked again about the grapevine and asked if I’d ever seen Fred Astaire movies.  Um, no.  I mean, I can only assume he asked because I was dancing so much like Mr. Astaire.  Right?  Hello?  Crickets.  lol

Just one more of those awesome dances.  Check out the jump around the 1:17 mark.

Mugzee

This past Friday was an extremely difficult day. I had to make the decision to have my little buddy, Mugzee, euthanized. Any dog lover out there can probably empathize with me on this.

He’s the second – and last – of my two boys to go. First was Tazze, who had to be euthanized about 5 years ago at the age of 14. I’ve often wondered if there were such a thing as a doggie soul mate….if there was, Tazze was mine. He was there through some of the more difficult years of my life. He was unconditional love in my life when there was nothing or no one else around to show it. My little shadow. Tazze’s passing was difficult in the way you can imagine losing a “doggie soul mate” would be.

My sweet Tazze

My two boys were polar opposites. Where Tazze was my dog and mine alone, Mugzee was my little social butterfly. Tazze couldn’t care less about anyone in the world besides me, whereas Mugzee would welcome anyone with all the exuberance of his lifelong best friend. Tazze was constantly by my side – following me wherever I went; Mugzee was content to do his own thing though he was the best little cuddle bear I could ask for. They had completely different personalities but they both enriched my life in more ways than I can list here.

Late last week Mugzee, who was also 14, started going downhill and it was a quick decent. The silver lining, if there is one to be found, is that by Friday his discomfort was so obvious it made the decision a little easier to make. My sweet little boy.

So I’m on day two now of my new dog-free world and while I know there will be some good points, it’s been harder in ways I never thought about. Mainly, living alone has never felt so completely alone. I’ve found the nights are particularly difficult for some reason. Where Mugzee was there as a sort of buffer when Tazze passed, this time there’s no one. This is a completely new reality for me.

There’s no one to tuck in and tell good night. No one to greet me in the morning. No one to give hugs and kisses to. I brought lunch home and caught myself wondering if Mugzee was going to want me to share with him, then I realized there’s no one there to share with anymore. Yesterday I dropped my broom on the ground and turned to see if I’d scared my little buddy but he wasn’t there to hear it this time.

My house feels more like a jail right now – a constant reminder of how alone I am, and endless memories of both my boys. Their favorite places to sit. The half full container of Mighty Dog left over from Mugzee’s last bath just a few days ago. I was cooking last night and I felt him there, coming in the kitchen to nose around and hopefully find some scrap of food that had fallen. He wasn’t, of course, but I turned and looked because the feeling was just that strong.

I know that these feelings will fade. I’ll get used to being this alone. I’ll become accustomed to this new world. Right now the absence is so thick I can barely breathe at the worst times. The silence chokes me.

It’s hard right now, but I’m so thankful for the time I had with them.  The love they both gave me.  They were the first place I allowed myself to show my own love.  When the walls were up all around me, those two boys could get past them every single time.  They did more for me than I could ever have done for either of them.

I don’t know the specifics of Heaven, but I hope and pray that when I get there I’ll get my two boys back.  I don’t think it will be Heaven without them.


Road Rage Central

So um, yesterday I’m pretty sure I made some BMW driver pee their pants.  Completely unintentionally, of course!  I don’t know what kind of fool crazy came out of me, but I almost scared the pee out of me too.

I’m driving down a ramp about to merge onto the highway and I see this moron driving in that lane staying right beside my car where I can’t get over.  There are two other lanes beside them that are completely empty, but this sorry sack isn’t letting me merge.  I lose my shiz.

I am suddenly auditioning for the lead role in Exorcist as I twist my head around, hair flying and all.

I scream through my window as I point menacingly, ‘MOVE!  OVER!  NOW!!!‘ 

Whoever it is immediately hits their brakes and I am able to get over.  Let me tell you, they stayed soooooo far away from my car after that you would’ve thought I had dynamite about to detonate on the hood.   

I don’t know what has happened lately but honestly, the drivers in my town are on a mission to drive me mentally insane.  I’ve given it a lot of thought and determined it’s definitely a conspiracy.  

This is me in a nut shell…I’m a fast driver, I’m an agressive driver, but I’m a good driver.  Just get out of my way and you and I….we’re gonna get along just fine. 

Unfortunately, the drivers I am surrounded by on a regular basis have not received their memos and it makes me want to make an extra $30K or so a year.  Not for a bigger house or a better car.  For the sole reason to pay someone to drive me around everywhere in order to regulate my blood pressure.  For realz.  I’ve been asking Jesus for the pay raise as my Christmas present. 

Dear Jesus…These people are making me use dirty words.  I’m borderline homicidal.  Side note:  Why must you make people so incompetent?!?  Anyway, can I please have a personal driver for Christmas?  Amen.

I feel hopeful.

I love driving.  Love, love, love it.  I drive and I do concerts in my car.  It’s my thing.  But lately instead of a concert, I only spend my time wishing for bullhorns, sirens, and a car with a bazooka mounted on the top so I can push a button and obliterate the idiot drivers in my city. 

It would take some dedication as these beings are a prolific bunch.  But given enough time, I feel confident I could eradicate the problem.

I’m tempted to create my own driving manual to pass out at the local DMV in my free time.

1)   The left lane is the FAST LANE.  If you are out “Sunday driving”, far right lane.  Now!  If you are someone who sets your cruise 1 to 5 MPH over the speed limit, you are not going fast.  In fact, you’re barely making the grade.  Far right lane.  Now!  If you have anything attached to the back of your vehicle….any amount of junk piled in the back of your pick-up truck….and any of this requires you to drive below the speed limit, far right lane.  Now!  (And honestly, I should be banishing you to the shoulder, but I’m being generous.)  Basically if you are in the fast lane and a car behind you has to slow down because you suck at life, you fail.

2)  Use of blinkers will not cause your vehicle to spontaneously combust.  They are your friend.  Also noteworthy, by definition blinkers are indicators, which means they should be used prior to the actual turn indicating your intent to get out of my way.  If you begin indicating when half your car has already completed the turn, you are pointless and you fail. 

3)  If you need to change lanes, please use the time before doing so to assess your driving situation.  If for instance, you are at a dead stop and you see a car coming in that lane at regular driving speed….maybe you should wait until that person passes to move over.  If you know that you drive the same speed as the Amish in their horse-drawn buggies and there is anyone coming up in the lane you are wanting to move into…maybe you should wait until that person passes.  If you forget to assess and this results in my having to slam my brakes to avoid entering the back seat of your vehicle, you fail.

4)  Just because you can pull out into a lane hitting zero to 60 in .4 seconds, if after doing so you slow down to 10 miles below the speed limit it negates any good you might’ve previously done and therefore, you fail.

5)  On a one lane road, if you have no intentions of passing the person in front of you, do not proceed to ride their bumper.  No one wants to ride your train.  We are not playing Choo Choo.  You are preventing anyone behind you who actually has the gonads to use their gas pedal to pass and subsequently, you fail.

6)  Along that same line, if a person passes you it is not a personal affront to your character.  It simply means you enjoy a slower pace than the person who passed you.  Simple as that.  Turning your lights on bright for “revenge” or to show your displeasure makes you an idiot.  I won’t even be close enough to see them in just a second.  Guess what….you fail.

These rules are to be implemented immediately.  The complete unabridged version will be mailed to your home within 5 to 7 business days.  Failure to follow these simple, common sense rules will result in you being obliterated by my new Bazooka-mobile.  Thank you for your attention. 

J. K. Rowling, we have a problem.

Dear Ms. (Mrs?) Rowling,

I have heard great things about your Harry Potter series of books.  The movies as well, but I refuse to watch them until I’ve read the books, so for now we’re focusing on the books.  Problem is, I have not yet read any of the books and at the current rate, I may never even make it to the movies.

Within the expanse of the last two or three weeks I have tried several times to find your Harry Potter series online in order to purchase and load it onto my Kindle.  As a result, I spent many wasted minutes questioning my sanity as well as my internet navigation skills each time my search came up empty handed.

‘Where are all the Harry Potter books?’ I ask myself while staring blankly at my empty search screen.  ‘It’s not like I’m asking for some obscure book from 1826, I mean, only every single person on the planet above the age of 7 or 8 are familiar with these books….Harry Potter.  H-a-r-r-y space P-o-t-t-e-r, yep, I spelled it correctly.  What’s wrong with Amazon?  Is it not working today?  Let me try another book…..Well, it found Green Eggs and Ham.  Maybe I need a full title because there are so many?  Harry Potter and the Prisoner….Nothing.  Harry Potter and the Stone….Nada.  Well crap.  I’ll just get Eat, Pray, Love.’

So out of frustration I did a web search asking why your books are not on Amazon, J.K. Rowling.  You know what I find?  I bet you do.  I bet you’re snickering to yourself right now because you already know what’s coming, don’t you?  You won’t let your books be made available in eReader format, J.K. Rowling!!!  What the….

Are we familiar yet?  Can I call you J.?  Or do you prefer J.K.?  Look, I think it’s so fantastically superb and awesome that you’re all “Print Books 4-Eva” with your millions of sales standing up for the “little guys” Books-a-Million and Barnes and Noble.  That’s really excellent.  Warm and fuzzies for everyone.

(I kid, J.K. Rowling!!  I kid!!!  I know it’s about actual books vs. eReaders.  Keeping it old school.  I get it!  Really I do.  We’re still friends, yes?)

However!  I don’t know that you’ve actually picked up and held one of your actual books recently.  Do you realize with all that amazing wizardry and alakazam-ary you packed into each book they weigh about 27 lbs. each?  And they’re freaking humongous!!!!!  Monstrous!

I’m just sayin’, J.K. Rowling….what’s my backbone gotta do to get a shout out once in a while?  Because what I am reading stays with me at all times – in my purse that weighs about 42 lbs. on average with all the pointlessness I pack in there.  I’m serious.  Harry P. and his 27 lbs. ain’t gonna make the cut, J. K. Rowling!  And I really want to read them!

I have a Kindle because it’s easy.  Because I can carry 3,500 books with me all at the same time and it still weighs one pound.  You know what I’m reading right now?  War and Peace.  That’s right, J.K. Rowling!  The one book that dwarfs Harry P. and company.  Do you think for one second Tolstoy would’ve made it past my front door if he hadn’t gotten that eReader makeover?  Not in a million years.

But hark, I hear an angel sing, J.K. Rowling!  Because when I purchased my Kindle, I did not immediately stop purchasing real books.  In fact, I collect older ones!  J.K. Rowling, in my house right now I have a collection of Shakespeare that is over 100 years old.  Who’s old school now?!?!?  Holla!!!

I love the real thing!  And I promise, I promise, I promise that if you will just let me have your books on my little Kindle, I will not allow their paper ancestors to fall to the wayside forgotten and alone in a ditch somewhere.  I just want to enter old age gracefully without a hump in my back with Harry P. and crew’s name on it.  Can we compromise, J.K. Rowling?  Do we have a deal?

Sincerely,

Aspiring Potter Fan

Twilight Zone Kinda Saturday

Why, you ask?  Oh, let me count the ways.  The plan was to get an oil leak repaired on my car.  I have a friend who has a hook-up so I go to a neighboring town and friend up with her in order to get repairs on the low.  (Why am I street slang gangsta chick all of a sudden???)

Let me preface the story by saying….this friend is not all that close of a friend.  She used to be so I’m not being mean, but in getting to know her better she became one of those friends you start slowly, silently backing away from so as not to startle.

She always has some kind of drama going on.  A grown woman who never has money and never has a problem asking for a little handout.  Coincidentally, she’s Bean’s mother.  He also does not have a relationship with her.  But remember that kid that turned out not to be his?  She still claims it as her grandchild – even with other family members.  Outside of myself, the actual mother, and Bean she’s kept the secret to herself.

Her one good quality is that she was always a big fan of me and Bean being together.  She knew what I could offer him and she always hoped he would act right.  So she’s got some good sense somewhere, but keep your distance.

Ok, let’s just boil it all down. Go up at lunch time with the plan of meeting with said friend, eating lunch, dropping off my car, going to get whatever part the mechanic says I need, having it replaced and heading back home by late afternoon oil-leak free.

Did this happen?  Well shucks, no.

Get to my friend’s house and she’s in her pajamas packing 5 boxes because she signs the lease on a new place that day, so naturally it’s a good plan to carry with her 5 boxes of the most random, unuseful kitchen things she can find (i.e. bread box….glass serveware of her great-grandmother’s….alcoholic paraphernalia – shakers, shot glasses…..serving platters) to drop off.

A little double take as I enter her place to find her in shambles, packing.  WTH?

An hour or two later, after she puts one more thing in a box and spends the rest of the time sitting and updating me on the latest life drama she finally gets dressed so we can go for lunch.  Bean’s younger brother (15 years old) is with us.

On the way to lunch the mechanic calls to say they’re slow and asks if I can bring the car soon.  Absolutely.  So slight change of plans, we head to there and after dropping off the car, we’re on our way to grab some lunch.  Aside from the 2-hour delay, we’re chugging right along with the plan.

Lunch over, mechanic still hasn’t called so my friend decides she wants to go shop at the local Habitat for Humanity store.  Walking through the store her 15-year-old son rests his arm on my shoulder a la arm rest because I’m short and ha, ha that makes it funny.  He’s a good kid so I let him have his fun.  Whatever.

We’re wandering the store like two awkwardly mismatched Siamese twins and at a certain point his hand grazes the top of my breast.  He’s a good kid though – and he’s 15! – so I let this pass telling myself it was most definitely an accident.  You may be hearing the Twilight Zone theme song gearing up about right now and if so, you would be correct.

His mother is still roaming the store so he points to an area across the store we haven’t been yet and suggests we stroll over there to kill the time.  I agree because I’ve got to be the most naive 33-year-old on the planet.  I didn’t even think twice about it.  He’s a good kid!

As we walk down an aisle with doors on either side of us this “good” kid suddenly reaches down and grabs a big, honking handful of my left breast, then quickly reaches around for a butt grab.

“(His name)!!!!  What the….?!?!  What are you do…?!?!?  Don’t ever do that again!!  What the…!!!”  My mind is spinning and I can’t gather words quickly enough to tell him no and let him know this was unacceptable.

“PLEASE?!?!?!?”  My brain possibly exploded at this point.

“WHAT?!?!?!?  NO!!!!!!  Don’t ever do that again!!!  I can get arrested behind stuff like that!  Are you kidding me?!?!?”  I begin walking back towards the front of the store.

“I’m sorry, Crystal.  Please don’t tell my mom.  I’m really sorry.  I’m just at that age.”  He’s just at that age, people!!!!

I end up giving him a big piece of my mind but I agree not to tell his mother, which in hindsight was probably a mistake.  During all this Twilight Zone fun the mechanic calls my friend to tell her he can’t tell where the leak is coming from so he’s cleaned it and wants me to bring it back next week.  Great.

Leaving the store my friend tells me she wants me to see her new house before I go home.  I ask her how long she’s gonna be there (because I’m really ready to go) and she promises me it’ll be about an hour.  This is at 4:30 in the afternoon.  She’s supposed to meet the woman there between 5 and 5:30 she tells me.  I agree to leave my car behind and ride with her so off we go to at least pick up my keys.

Before we leave completely my friend stops to have a scratch buffed off the top of her car.  I should’ve bailed then but apparently I’m not as smart as I’ve given myself credit for all these years.

During the time her car is being buffed the 15 year old apologizes once again.  I almost believe him.  Then he asks, if he would’ve asked me for permission first would I have let him.  Seriously.

After the buff job on the car, we head off to the new house.  Oh, surprise!  We don’t meet the owner between 5 and 5:30 after all!  The appointment is an hour later!  So yay!  We get to go sit in a car and eat an ice cream to wait.  I get a little frustrated but I think the shock of what happened earlier is numbing my responses because I say nothing.

Finally we make it to the house.  We chat with the owners, I get a little tour of the place.  It’s time to sit down and sign the lease.  I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I tell you it takes my friend at least a full 45 minutes to make out the check she has to pay, read over the one solitary paragraph of her lease, and sign it.  This is because she apparently can’t write and talk at the same time, or write and listen for that matter, so she writes the name then stops to tell a “grandbaby” story.  Then she writes the amount and stops to tell a dog story.  Then she writes the amount out in words and stops…. you get the picture.

She has to stop in the middle of reading the lease to answer a phone call then she spends an extra 5 minutes with her head in her hands because she forgot she’d made plans for dinner with the friend who called and she’s not hungry.

The only thing stopping me from saying something is that I know after this blessed lease is signed we can leave.  Oh it’s comical now because little did I know….

After reading the lease – but before signing of course – she stops to call the friend back and tell her how she’d forgotten and asks if they still want to meet.  I’m glancing down at myself to make sure I’m still actually visible as she appears to not be seeing me anymore.  Yep, I’m still there.

Off the phone once again, Hallelujah!  Angels are heralding because the lease is signed, the check is written out, and my release is near.  She asks her son to go get the boxes and just because I’m thoughtful like that, I go help him.

When we get back inside my friend has changed back into those pajamas from earlier.  Wait, whaaa?

The owners are leaving to go get some last minute things for the house and even though it’s been about 2 hours already at this point, my friend has made plans to unpack those 5 boxes of ridiculous and asked the lady who called to come on down for a peeksie-poo at the new house.  I am seconds away from body slamming myself into the nearest wall in protest.

The next few hours are spent sitting at a table with this other lady and the now two boys, watching my friend cut out plastic to line the kitchen cabinets, then unpack these boxes of completely pointless crap.  Each piece is individually wrapped and she is saving both the boxes and the newspaper to use for the next round, so this was obviously a quick process.

I alternate my time between talking myself out of bashing my head into the table and poking my eyeballs and/or ear drums out for entertainment.  There is nothing for me to do.  I don’t have my Kindle.  My phone doesn’t have any cool games to play nor does it have a built-in taser I can use to incapacitate my friend and steal her car.  No one’s really talking.  It’s getting late, I’m getting tired.  Because she is Bean’s mom and because I have always in the past texted with or seen him while I was up there, I can’t get him out of my head and it’s not like I have a distraction.  This is pure torture for me.  My ADD is acting a fool.

At some point some of her family stops by so she stops unpacking to give them a tour and chit chat the night away.

By the time we leave….remember earlier it was 4:30 and she said an hour, right?  We finally begin leaving at about 5 minutes to 10.  Yes, 10:00.  As in PM.

Stupidly enough I didn’t realize “leaving” was an actual process so we don’t get outside the house and into her car until almost 10:30.  It’s 11 before we make it to my car and she even manages a straight face when she tells me she didn’t realize the time.  Apparently the dark outside wasn’t enough of a clue.

Pulling up to my car she asks if I want to spend the night.  Um, no.  Thanks.  Really, thanks.

I get out and her still 15-year-old son comes around the car to switch seats.  He offers me a side hug and because he’s been on relatively good behavior I’m once again naive enough to believe this is innocent and give him a hug.

He takes the opportunity to look down my shirt and offer up, ‘Damn, those tits.’  Charming.

Needless to say I push him off me and I leave before I punch him in the throat.

Facepalm Saturday, ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to my world.

Heart don’t fail me now

You know what really puts a cramp in the whole “Live Life Well” plans?  Finding out the guy you like has been stringing you along for four or five months until he finds someone (he thinks is) better and subsequently dropping you like a bad habit.

Yeah.  So yesterday wasn’t my favorite day ever. 

This guy Bean, who I’ve spent the past few months making up excuses for, has moved on to someone else.  “Someone special” as he has referred to her on Facebook.  She’s someone special even though he and I shared time together a week and a half ago.

But I’m being petty right now. 

I’m writing on here because writing helps me find my center.  Because I woke up at 4 AM this morning and tossed and turned for an hour or more listing the reasons why he must’ve thought she was better than me, and then beating myself up over them.  And that’s not living life well.

I have a strong urge to spend this time listing all the ways he’s actually not good enough for me.  Believe me, I could really let loose and lay some stuff down for you right now.   I’m hurt and I’m angry and at the root of it all is this guy who doesn’t even deserve what he just threw away.  However, I don’t know how productive that is – knocking someone else down to make myself feel better – so I’ll move on.

It was definitely difficult yesterday to learn that he’d moved on.  To listen to his mother who called and read me this status on Facebook about someone special he was excited about spending time with and then have to tell her that no, it wasn’t me.  I’m not the special one.  Not a good feeling. 

I spent a lot of yesterday just reeling through this ocean of emotions.  Anger, sadness, loss, hopefulness, determination.  Jumping from one to another in a matter of seconds.

Talking to my best friend Meredith at one point, she was telling me she wished I would realize how valuable I am.  My response to her I almost didn’t give.  I ended up  telling her, ‘I don’t know how to be valuable.  I don’t know how to tell myself I’m good enough when someone else is telling me I’m not.”  When I realized what I was about to say it’s like the truth of it got stuck in my throat for a second.  What a sad truth to have.

Somewhere in the spanse of my less than favorite day yesterday, I realized that this was actually necessary.  He had to leave the picture because I needed to let go.  Let go of him, let go of the cell phone I’ve been tethered to for a few weeks now, and let go of the roller coaster of emotions I’ve been riding.  I had this strong feeling that he is a distraction and right now I have other things to focus on – namely myself.  Painful as it is, I have to pick up and move on.

So I focus back on my original goal of improving me.  In beginning to live my life once again, I have made a few small changes already.  First I went and got the pedicure I’d been putting off for a few weeks waiting for someone else to go with me.  Secondly, I got my hair done yesterday and it’s looking all kinds of fab.  There’s nothing like getting all prettied up, is there?

Most importantly though, today is day 11 of me cutting out fast food completely.  This comes from someone who ate fast food once or twice a day instead of cooking for myself.  Day 11 of no fast food and though it wasn’t planned, I also cut out soda pops.  I’ve only had one since I stopped eating the fast food.

Another benefit of not eating fast food…..MONEY!!  I’d somehow convinced myself that picking up fast food for one person was much cheaper than buying groceries and cooking things.  Dude.  I couldn’t have been more off base.  With the money I saved in the past 11 days alone I was able to get my oil changed, buy a swimsuit, cover half the gas for a day trip to the beach, PLUS all the groceries I needed to last me.  You’ve got to be kidding me.  I’m about to be RICH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve decided I might plan a trip to D.C. for this year.  A solo trip to explore the Smithsonian museums.  I’m also about to start planning a trip to Italy that will happen next year.  And when hockey season rolls around, I’m going to find a game and go.  Whether I have someone to go with me or not.

I’m still reading Eat, Pray, Love which is opening my mind with ideas and thoughts about my own experiences as well as things I might look into as ways of improving myself.

I hope at some point during all of this progress I find my sense of self-worth. 

It’s ironic how things seem to happen as you start some type of growth as if there’s something out there determined to knock you off track or take you out at the knees.  I guess that’s how I know I’m on the right path.  I got a little tripped up on this speed bump, but I’m not going to let this stop me.  I never have before.