Monthly Archives: May 2012

That Feeling When…

That feeling when you realize you’ve gone from being appreciated to being taken for granted.

That feeling when you’re upset and hurt and scared of being replaced but there’s nothing you can do about it.

That feeling when you realize you’re on your way out.

That feeling when you’re furious but can tell no one for fear of gossips, snitches, and back-biters.

That feeling when you thought something was perfect, but now it’s in ruins.

Yeah.  That feeling.  It sucks.

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Hatefully Addicted: George R.R. Martin

Yes.  I hate you, George R.R. Martin.

You write the longest damn novels I have ever seen.  Novels that are filled with more death, destruction, and despair than I have ever cared to expose myself to.  There is no hope to be found.  Anywhere.  You kill off my favorite characters with wild abandon like it’s your most favorite thing in the world to do.  Your writing is borderline pornographic in places; and if I have to read one more sentence about a glistening manhood, I am going to have to gouge my eyes out with a comb just like Oedipus Rex.

But I don’t hate you for any of those reasons.

I hate you because I am masochistically addicted to your porn-filled-despairing-death novels.   And because you have somehow brainwashed half the country into encouraging me to read and finish your terribly long book series.

Tell me something.  How does one write a seven-volume series comprised of 1000+ page novels?  Moreover, how does one publish three 1000+ novels in four years?* Your dedication, it is crazy.

Reading your novels is like climbing Mt. Everest barefoot, wearing a swimsuit, and carrying a rabid squirrel: impossibly long, difficult, torturous, and frustrating.

But I will continue to do so until this series ends.   Because sometimes I finish what I start.  And because I enjoy commiserating with my literary-minded friends who have also read the books.

That’s your legacy, Mr. Martin.  You’ve made a series that brings people together to talk about how frustrated they are with you.  You’ve taken the phrase “rock bottom” to new lows.  It’s nearly admirable how you lavish your characters with misfortune.

Are you brilliant? Absolutely.  You’ve weaving a complicated story with a ton of characters.  Dedicated?  Yes.   Hardworking? Obviously.

But I just cannot like your books.   Which is a problem because I am honor bound to finish them.   And I have to find out what happens to Arya Stark.

Probably death at the jaws of her own direwolf.  That seems like something that would happen.

*Martin published the first three novels of the A Song of Ice and Fire series in 1996, 1999, and 2000.  I don’t even know how he published two of them in two years.  He must have lived off of coffee beans and distilled caffeine to have the time to write that much.

How I Inadvertently Gained Job Experience

I’m gaining job experience as we speak.  This is ridiculously wonderful.

I found out today that many publishing companies and other literary places like that consider blogging to be a form of job experience.  My world has been rocked.

This means I have years of experience.  Sure, most of it is crap, and it’s spread out over a few blogs, but still!  There has to be some gems in here somewhere.  Maybe not diamonds, though.  Something cheap, but still sparkly enough to attract some sort of attention.  Maybe agates or quartz or something.  Cubic Zirconium.

Anyway, I’m seriously considering applying for some stay-at-home writing or copy-editing jobs.  It would be part-time, something easily doable in tandem with my full time gig.  And it would be in my major to boot.

I mean…I love my job, but I don’t want to be a secretary forever.

I’m just really excited that something I’ve already been doing counts in “the real world.”  Here I was thinking I was just goofing off on the internet and I’ve actually been somewhat productive.

Now if only I can get my novel-reading hobby to count as experience, I’ll be set.  “Applicants must have read over two hundred books in their lifetimes.”

Somehow, I don’t think they’ll go for that.

Why I Could Never Give Up Coffee

Mmm, coffee.

The inspiration for this post–delicious coffee in my souvenir mug. With polka dots. Because polka dots are awesome.

Coffee is the human equivalent of the nectar of the gods.

I dare you to walk by a pot of coffee and not inhale as deep as you can.

Hello caffeine high!

Nothing is more magical.  Don’t believe me? Just ask this guy.

Coffee can cure headaches.

I get headaches from stress, stale smoke smell, bad b.o., pollen, and caffeine addiction.  Coffee fixes them all.

Flavors.  All the flavors.

There are literally hundreds of ways you can have your coffee.  Chose from different roasts, creamers, and add-ons like whipped cream, Splenda, sugar, chocolate shavings, caramel drizzle, etc.  Coffee is only boring if you make it boring.

Empowerment of procrastinators everywhere. 

Coffee is the weapon of choice against deadlines, long papers, and internet binges.  All-nighters don’t stand a chance against coffee.  Sure, there are other caffeinated beverages out there.  But they don’t make you feel warm and fuzzy inside like coffee does.

Coffee equals community.

It brings everyone together at the office.  We all follow our noses to pay homage to the coffee pot every morning, and then wind up talking about our day, our dogs, our favorite TV shows, and all the other trivial things life has to offer.   In college, coffee brought all my roommates out of their morning hibernation, and placated our early-morning grumbles.

The bottom line is that coffee is awesome, and living without it would turn me into some sort of enraged, twitching lunatic whose productivity level is nonexistent at best.  And it would mean no more blog posts.  So, diet be damned, I’m keeping my coffee.

May the Fourth Be With You Always

May the Fourth Be WIth You

Happy May the Fourth!  For those of you who are completely confused, have a wiki link.

On this day, I will attribute automatic doors, gusts of wind, and explosions to my Jedi-mind powers.

These are not the droids you’re looking for.

Happy May 4th, everybody!

And Then I Was Lucky to be Alive

I’ve been trying to write this post for over two months now.  But every time I try, I just…stop writing.  So this is what post traumatic stress is.  Huh.

I’m going to try again.  Deep breath.  Here we go.

In a previous post, I mentioned that March was a rough month for me.  But it didn’t start out that way.

I had been working my new job for about a month, and it was going well.  So well, in fact, that I had decided to adopt a puppy like I had wanted to do for years and years.  I had gone to the shelter on a Friday and picked out a completely adorable pup and was told I could pick him up in a week.

I spent the first half of that week fretting over my new puppy, wondering if he was scared in the shelter, frustrated that I couldn’t just go get him right then.

The following Tuesday I was coming home from work, just like always.  I had my iPod playing over my stereo.  “Call on Me” by Eric Prydz.  (If you’re going to google that song, don’t look at the music video.  Trust me.  It’s not something you want to see unless you’re a hormone-riddled teenage boy.)

I have a habit when I drive.  I tend to drift close to the white line when a car goes by me in the opposite direction.  I live in the country, and our roads are tiny.  There’s not much room, and if I had a dollar for every car that’s passed me with a tire across the center line I’d be a rich woman.  I took physics in high school.  We learned about the laws of motion.  That, coupled with photos of head-on collisions, makes me understandably nervous about incoming cars.

So I was driving along, listening to my music, when a car went by.  I drifted close to the white line, like usual.  Unlike usual, that section of road had no extra asphalt stretching past the white line.  So when I hugged the line, my right tires fell of the road entirely and onto the shoulder.

Going off the road isn’t that big of a deal, usually.  You slow down, you edge back onto the road as gently as possible, no harm no foul.

Except there were mailboxes a few yards ahead.

If I could have a do-over, I’d just breeze by the mailboxes.  There was probably enough room for my car to squeeze by with it’s tires on the shoulder. But I, in the panicked state you get when you’re doing something slightly dangerous, decided that, even though I’d only been coasting and slowing down for a few feet, I had to get back on the road right then.

Which, once again, usually isn’t a problem.  I was only going about forty-five miles an hour.  I’ve successfully gotten back on the road at that speed before. But, unfortunately, the shoulder was a few inches lower than the road.  Four inches, to be more precise.  The state had dug out the weeds encroaching upon the asphalt a couple of years prior, and the road had never leveled out like it was supposed to.

So when I went to move back onto the road, my car did a little hop as the tires hit the “curb” of the road.   I think the hop jarred my hands or something, because the next thing I knew I was in the other lane, headed for the other shoulder.

They say that it’s important not to panic in these situations, that over-correction causes accidents.  I panicked.  I couldn’t help it.  This sort of thing doesn’t happen to me.  I’m a good driver.  I only speed five miles above the speed limit.  I stop at stop signs.  I drive carefully.

So when everything went to hell, I over-corrected.  I was afraid I’d hit a car head-on if I stayed in the wrong lane. I twisted the steering wheel, trying to maneuver my unruly car back into the right lane.  So then, naturally, I was fish-tailing.  Once you start fish-tailing, it’s really hard to regain control of your vehicle.  Ask me how I know.

After weaving around the road a bit, I saw the right-side shoulder out of the corner of my eye.  I decided that it would be best if I got off the road, especially since there was a nice big yard for me to roll into.  The idea was that I could sort of coast or fish-tail to a stop in the yard.  That the shoulder and yard would save me.  So I let the car go off the road–it was headed that direction anyway.

That’s when I learned that the shoulder is not your friend, ever.

Not a foot into the shoulder, my front right tire dug into the ground sufficiently enough to flip my car.

...this is sad.

See? Not your friend.

It felt like a roller coaster loop.  Except instead of being thrilled, I was terrified.  It’s strange how similar those two emotions are.  My car came to a stop on its roof.  I only flipped once, since I wasn’t going very fast.  I wound up hanging from my seat belt, feet dangling towards my shattered windshield.

My first thought was that the seat belt hurt, and I reached up to unbuckle it.  Up, because the floor had suddenly switched places with the roof.  When I finally found the buckle and pressed it, I flipped in mid-air over my seat belt, landing on my knees.  Remember the shattered windshield floor?  Yeah, that was still there.  I missed it by a quarter of an inch.  My right knee hit the plastic separating the windshield and the door window.  My left knee hit the driver’s side armrest.

My next thought was that I had to turn off the car, because it was bound to explode.  That’s what my panicked self thought happened after a wreck.  That’s what always happens in movies.  So I frantically fumbled for the keys, found them, and turned the car off.  But I wasn’t able to get the keys out, and I couldn’t figure out why. (Until later, when I realized the car was still in drive while it was upside down.)

Then I decided I needed to get out of the car, but the door wouldn’t open.  But I found that if I butt-bumped the door, it would inch open a bit.  So I rammed the door a few times until I could crawl carefully out of my car.  Then I sat in the dirt and trembled for a few seconds before a good Samaritan nurse lady came and got me.

When you’ve just been in an accident, people don’t arrive.  They appear out of thin air like guardian angels.  I swear, I blinked and five people were there.  The nurse-lady was the first on the scene, wearing lime green scrubs, a phone to her ear (911), asking me if I was okay.  The second was a stocky African-American man, head shaved bald, a concerned expression and a hand out to help me to my feet.  He half carried me to the third arrival–a short blond lady with a golf cart whose yard I had just wrecked into.  She let me sit in her golf cart and mumble half-formed thoughts and words until medical personnel arrived.

There were others, but I don’t remember their faces.  I had my spot on the golf cart, I wasn’t in pain (yet), and I was pretty much set.  My only requests were for my bag (which was laying on the roof towards the back of the car), and for someone to call my mom.  (This is a really big ouchie, mom.  I don’t think a band-aid will cover it this time.)

Everything became a blur of faces and the repeated question of if I was okay.  Nobody believed me when I said I was fine, that I didn’t think  I was hurt that badly.  The fire trucks showed up first, then the ambulance.  I let the EMTs check me out, and they took me into the back of the ambulance.  It could have also doubled as a freezer, it was so cold back there.  I tried not to think about how many people had died where I was sitting.

Right about then is when my dad showed up.  Mom had called him, and he’d booked it to get there.  I’d been doing pretty well emotionally.  Holding in the flood of fear and tears.   Staying calm and stable.  When Dad showed up, my fragile control withered.  Suddenly I was crying and clutching my father’s hand, choking through the questions the EMT’s were asking me to make sure I wasn’t messed up in the head from the crash.

When we got out of the ambulance (no, I don’t want to go to the hospital, I feel fine, I swear), mom was there.  More crying and hugging ensued.

The good Samaritan strangers had left one by one, with my thanks.  The fire trucks and the ambulance had gone.  The cops showed up and did something with a wheel on a stick, then decided not to write me a ticket.  (Thank you, officers.) One of the officers stayed with us while we waited for the tow truck. Everyone we knew that worked in Lumberton stopped at the wreck and talked to us.  It got to where I was embarrassed, frustrated, achy (Hello, pain! There you are.  I wish you’d just stayed away. Where’s the pain meds?), slightly depressed,  and wanted the whole thing to just be over already.

Finally, the tow truck showed up.  They loaded my broken, battered car onto the truck and hauled it home.  We’d been home all of thirty seconds when my pastor showed up.  Apparently I’d been big news around the county that day.  Nothing travels faster than Southern small-town gossip.  My pastor was very supportive, told me how fortunate we were, that cars were replaceable.  He said all the right things, gave us hugs, then left us to deal with the situation.

As for me?  I called work, got the next day off, and slept for sixteen hours.

We did go and get the puppy later that week.  And I did manage to buy myself a new car.  Sort of.  I’ll be paying it off for the next five years.  That debt will go well with my student loan debt.

Car!

At least the new car is pretty. Runs good too. Vroom vroom!

More Failure (of a blog-related kind)

I haven’t been blogging lately.

I teeter between feeling incredibly frustrated that what I write seems so insignificant and feeling angry that I haven’t fulfilled my “calling” in life by writing more.

I’m an English major.  My biggest talent, my one selling point, has been my writing skills.

I feel like I’m failing myself.  Like I’m failing you, my readers (all two of you).

I’m allowing life circumstances and my own emotional state (the “I don’t wanna” syndrome) prevent me from writing.  I’m choosing not to write.   I have commitment issues with my own blog.

Hell, I have commitment issues with the Internet itself.  I rarely stick around anywhere long–I tend to drift from social site to social site.  Facebook is the only exception to that rule.

So I sat here, in my office chair, wallowing in my feelings of failure and wondering how many other people felt the same way.

I can’t say I had some sort of life-changing epiphany.  But I’d bet my ass that there are a great deal of people in the world who aren’t entirely happy with who they are and what they’re doing.  I can’t promise I’ll stop beating myself up over what I’m doing or not doing.  But at least I know I’m not alone in this.

And for the record, I’m a damn good writer.  I just need to have more confidence about what I write, quit letting fear dictate my moves, and actually write down the stories in my head.