Saturday, November 27, 2010

Just Kick Me in the Face

I could write a fifteen-page diatribe on my distaste for Ohio State the team, and Ohio State the fans as an entity. I could write a thirteen-page rant on the irritating qualities of Michigan State fans and random things I dislike about their team and their coach. However, let's just say that today I'd much rather have woken up to an angry pack mule kicking me in my lower jaw. That's how I feel about football so far. Right now I'm watching the Notre Dame/USC game, and many of you might assume that, as a Wolverine, I'd be booing the Fighting Irish. Normally, this would be true of a Michigan fan. However, my husband is a Notre Dame fan, and it's better for me when they win, because he's in a generally upbeat mood. Read: I have a better chance of a pleasant evening.

Tomorrow, our oldest son turns eighteen years old. I remember the excitement of turning eighteen, and thinking that I was finally an adult. I remember the expectation that I would wake up and feel more mature. I could vote. I could play bingo and buy lottery tickets and cigarettes. I did all of these things right away (except for the voting thing) and pretended that I felt older, but the truth was, I was the same scared little girl inside and I really didn't feel different at all. I know that Zach has been counting down the minutes (I know this because he continues to post them on his Facebook page...) and I just wish I could make him understand that this won't change anything. There will still be rules in our household, he still needs to respect them, and he already knows that. It's different with him -- I was more willful and rebellious at that age. He has become, for the most part, pretty responsible and mature. Maybe adulthood will look better on him than it did on me.

Not that I've completely grown into it yet.

I finished reading that next Sookie Stackhouse novel that was more boring than the rest. "Dead as a Doornail" sort of seemed as if Charlaine Harris just churned it out and put it on paper to fill a deadline. There was nothing new or passionate about it, as I had come to expect from the rest of the books. Steve says the next one gets much better than all of the rest, so I'm looking forward to starting that later tonight.

My cousin Charlene is in South Korea, in the Army. She's posted on her Facebook that she is fine, but I hate that she is there, that she is so far away, that things seem to be dangerous there lately. I also hate that there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.

My nephew Mark came to Thanksgiving this year, and I was so happy to have him. Mark is only seven years younger than I am, and he was my only nephew for a long time. I was just a child when he was born, obviously, and a little jealous of all the attention that he got, but as we both got older I really enjoyed spending time with him. We've not been as close in the last several years, and I've missed being around him.

There's something about the last load of laundry in the dryer that makes me lose my initiative for doing laundry. No matter how much I tell myself to get in there and fold it, it doesn't happen for like, three days. Usually until someone else throws a basket of dirty laundry in there, and I have to put something else in the dryer. Then the cycle continues. (Cycle -- no pun intended.)

My husband, my father-in-law, and my nephew all figured out how to hook up our wireless internet over Thanksgiving, so now I can sit on the comfy couch while I type this. I'm pretty excited about that. They did all of this while I played penny poker in the dining room. I didn't take everyone's money this year like I usually do, because we didn't play blackjack. I always deal blackjack and take everyone's money. Even my kids. Yeah. They gotta learn sometime, the house always wins. Think of it this way: I'm saving them from a lifetime of gambling addiction.

I do believe I should get back to editing my last book so I can get it put up for sale. Have a very lovely rest-of-your-weekend!

SJS

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Spirit of Thankfulness

At the beginning of the year, this blog had more than a few purposes. The name of it, "A Year of Reinvention", alluded to my quest to eliminate as much negativity from my attitude as possible. This is obviously a lifelong quest, and a year isn't going to do much.

But it's done something.

My tendency has always been to expect the worst, because then I'll be pleasantly surprised if something good happens. My tendency has been to focus on the negative because it's easier -- there's so much of it -- and then when something positive happens, it'll feel exponentially greater because of all the negative I've surrounded myself with. My tendency has been to spout off about anything and everything that's bothering me, to the people around me, in my prayers, to the newspaper if someone really upsets me to the point I feel I need a public forum, and on my blog. I've done that this year.

Here's the difference:

The ability of this negativity to permeate who I am has been lessened. Those of you who know me best and are around me everyday, or close to it, might not notice a difference. You might still see me as someone who likes to hear herself talk, or might still listen to my rants while rolling your eyes behind my back. And that's fine. But I know the difference inside.

There's a song that I hear inside my head sometimes that I never heard before. Brandon Heath has a special way of describing emotion in songs and then putting a hook in there to make it spin around in your head all day long. The rest of the song is fantastic, but this is the part that plays and plays:

"Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me you heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see"

I am beginning to see things I never did before. I'm beginning to put things into perspective. At 33 years of age, I'm beginning to change my focus. I still dislike many things, I still get angered by situations and by people, I still fail miserably on a daily basis. But I'm beginning to feel more whole than I ever have by grasping onto a small spirit of thankfulness somewhere deep inside. I'm realizing that if I nurture that seed instead of quashing it at every given opportunity, not only will it change my life but it will change the lives of the others around me.

Today, I am thankful for all the basics: food on my table, friends and family, shelter, and the like. It's easy to be thankful for the good things in life. But I have to dig deeper. I have to find that seed, that spirit of thankfulness inside and let it overwhelm me. I need to let it take me over. This is just the beginning of the quest.

I am THANKFUL that it's been over six years of trying and I'm still not pregnant. This has taught me to be persistent, to give up control over the things I had no control over to begin with. It has brought comfort and love from friends and family that I never knew really cared. It has taught me to rely on God and not my own understanding. During the course of the six years, God has brought all three of our other kids to live with us and given us a strong bond. I'm less selfish than I once was, in part because of this (though everyone remains selfish to a point... I'm still working on that!) I've learned to sacrifice, and given these kids all of my attention that I might not have been able to if I'd had a baby at the same time. And if/when I do give birth, someday that child will hear the story of how very much his/her father and I really, really wanted to have a baby.

I am THANKFUL that I am in Middlebury, Indiana. It's true I despise the weather, the smell of horse manure, the lack of job opportunities, and I probably mentioned the weather but I'll do it again. However, as much as I've been yearning all this time to get out into the world, be in a big city, and "start real life" (haha!) I'm smack in the middle of real life and I finally realize it. I'm close to my family and many friends, my kids are thriving in a safe, good school. I can have our dogs roaming the backyard instead of walking them down cement sidewalks and leaving them in a one-bedroom apartment all day. This is a good place to live, and I'll be here as long as God wants me to be.

I am THANKFUL that I'm not a best-selling author. As much as I dream of it, if it ever happens, there would be pressures that I have not yet imagined. Writing for newspapers, online websites, blogging, and e-publishing have taught and will continue to teach me humility, will hone my writing, and will show me who my true friends are. They're the ones who read what I write whether they like it or not, and offer criticism that will help me to become the writer I am truly meant to be.

The trick is to take something in my life that irritates me, and start thinking around it from every angle. I need to take the negatives and surround them with positives. I need to let the seed inside of me grow until it can't help but burst out of its container and show the beauty that was once held in a tiny, nearly microscopic hidden entity called

POTENTIAL.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. I hope you let your seed grow, too.

SJS

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bullets

My day would be best described in a quote from the movie "Fight Club":

"I want you to hit me as hard as you can."

Why, you ask? Because it would feel better than most of what I've been through today. Or, at least, it would get my mind off of it.

My day would best be described, hereafter, in bullet points:

*At work, approximately 467 people commented on my use of a Tom Brady jersey as my apparel. Approximately 466 of these comments were more than a bit negative. I hate Indiana.

*Freezing rain puts me in a foul mood every time. I hate Indiana.

*The BMV in Goshen failed to give me the print out of required articles for a driving test for my son when I scheduled it. I looked online to retrieve all proper articles for identification, SSN, proof of residence, etc. The key article necessary for taking a driving test at the BMV is to bring your own vehicle. This was not mentioned on the website. My son cannot drive a stick-shift yet, therefore my car was not a viable option. I hate Indiana.

*It's 4:48pm and I have to use my headlights. I hate Indiana.

On the plus side, I went to Burger King with my son, and he was in a much better mood after cashing his paycheck and purchasing the brand spankin' new Black Ops game for his XBox. I'll likely see him again sometime in December. Our other son has a job interview, which is also a plus.

I've reached a lull in the Sookie Stackhouse novels. This particular book (5?) is ... well, to put it delicately, it's Sucky. I shall hereafter refer to it as the Sucky Stackhouse novel.

Mainly, my goal for the day was to use 'hereafter' three times in my blog.

There we go.

SJS

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sweet Weekend

Brace yourself for a real shock:

I went on a date with my husband.

I know, right!? It's been forever since all three kids were out of the house at the same time. The boys spent the night at a friend's house, and Aria went to a sleepover for her cousin's birthday, and we had the house all to ourselves.

We went to Stirred, Elkhart's premiere sushi and martini bar. I love saying that. It sounds so fancy. The truth is, we work at the coffee shop next door, and our owner owns the bar, too. So we dropped in at the art exhibition that was going on, then stepped into Stirred for ... well, martinis and sushi. I'm not a fan of sushi myself, but they have Cowboy Rolls which have practically raw beef inside, and a horseradish sauce over them. I could eat like, four rolls myself. Being that we are in a financial slump, but still wanted to have sort of a date, we ate there because we can write the food on our time card and just have it taken out of our next check. We rented Natural Born Killers on Blu-Ray, which I had never seen before (if you can believe it!)

This morning, I made steak and eggs for breakfast and we watched some Big Bang Theory. The kids called literally within one minute of each other to say they were coming home (and one needed a ride). The husband and I kissed each other goodbye. Who knows when the next time we'll see each other on a date will be?

Also, next time it happens, we might find somewhere for the dogs to stay for the night, too. They needed to go out around midnight, and at seven and nine in the morning.

I've spent a long time reading today, and finished yet another Sookie Stackhouse Novel, "Club Dead". There were a couple of shocking elements in this one, one of which upset me and one of which was quite thrilling. I'm looking forward to the next one, because Steve says I'll like it. He knows my taste pretty well when it comes to vampires. No pun intended. Okay, it was somewhat intended.

I really dislike daylight savings time. It's only 5:00 and the sun is going down, which is irritating. I'd be less irritated if they called it something like 'daylight wasting time'. How are we saving it? This just makes it more likely, as I work most of the day, that I'll never see the stinking daylight except for a little bit on the weekends.

On a bright note (hehe, that time I really did NOT intend the pun), I have nothing else to do this evening and can read, and read, and read some more! Plus, our daughter is making chocolate chip cookies... ahhhhhhh.

SJS

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bbbrrr....r...r Sorry, My Lips Froze

I'm rather irritated with the weather. I enjoy autumn more than any other season, but it's getting closer to winter now and it's very cold outdoors. I don't like it when it's cold outdoors. If it's this cold, it might as well snow. I'm not a fan of snow; at least, not driving in it. Definitely not my son driving in it, which is what is likely going to happen since he has a driver's test scheduled for Wednesday next week. Is it wrong that part of me is secretly hoping he misses it by just a teensy, weentsy little bit? That he has to wait and take another driving test and that, maybe, just maybe, they don't have an opening until ... say, June next year? I'm not the happiest person on Earth that he's going to be driving at all. That he's even old enough to drive. He didn't stop getting older when he was 12, like I told him to. In fact, none of them listened to me when I said to knock it off, that whole 'getting older' thing. But it sends me into fits of panic, thinking about him driving on ice and snow. I realize he has to do it sometime. But why can't that be when he's 30?

Anyhow, it's cold.

I found out this week that one of my short stories is being published in a small local newspaper-like publication called The Good Neighbor News. My husband has been trying to get me to write for it. Unfortunately, I didn't get the hint because his way of communicating to me that he thought I should write for it was to sit the paper on my desk each month after he was done reading it. I would look at the paper, wonder why he left his stuff on my desk, and either put it back on his desk or throw it away. Once he finally mentioned to me that he thought I should write for it, I contacted the editor and sent her a writing sample. Sometime next month, "Christmas Memories" will be printed. Right there in black and white. I'm pretty psyched about this.

I finished reading the next Sookie Stackhouse novel, "Living Dead in Dallas". The books are an easy read, so it's a nice addition to my somewhat sporadic attempt to finish the 100 books I was planning to read this year. I keep thinking I can do it, then I get disgruntled, then I start writing a lot which is what the point was to begin with. I finished writing my book of short stories and poetry, I just need the cover art and then I'm putting it up on Kindle and Nook. I'll include a link as soon as that happens. Please donate to the cause of making me independently wealthy so I no longer have to slave away at a day job that has been gradually forcing me to lose faith in humanity.

Did I mention it's cold?

Though I have no good reason to be as sleepy as I am, since I did not see Harry Potter last night, I'm going to go snuggle up in bed and read and snooze for a little bit before tackling the rest of the day. Hope you have a nice weekend.

SJS

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Look What I Can Do!!!

I read a book! Yayyyy! *insert cheering sound byte*

Dead Until Dark, by Charlaine Harris. Yes, I read a Sookie Stackhouse novel. It was better than the tv show, True Blood. At least, in my opinion it was. Which is what I give on this blog. My opinion. If you are looking for something other than that, please look elsewhere.

I started the next book in the series last night, and read a few chapters of it while I was raking and burning leaves in the yard. I've smelled like smoke more in the last two days than I did back when I used to smoke. Although leafy smoke and cigarette smoke have distinct differences.

I'm making Chinese food again tonight. Zachary is finally taking care of his college applications and scholarship stuff. I'm very glad for that. He sent the application to Ball State today, which was $50. That's how much it was to apply to University of Michigan back in my day. ND was $100. I really want him to be able to go to Ball State. He's okay with going local for a year if he has to, which I'd prefer. It's less expensive, he could live at home and get used to college life for a year before he actual goes away. We'll see what happens when he takes the SAT in December.

The car is not as dead as I thought it might be. I drove it with the mechanic guy and he said it's badly in need of a tune up, spark plugs, etc... that it's just 'missing'. I'm not sure who it's missing (haha, this is a joke, I'm not an idiot). So he can get me in on December 13th. If it doesn't fall apart by then, I might have it fixed for Christmas! So, for anyone wanting to know what I want for Christmas... I want my repair bill paid!

Off to work on the chickity-China, the Chinese chicken.

SJS

Sunday, November 14, 2010

An Ode to Sleeping In

Rare are the joys that come to me from a morning of sleeping in. This weekend was fun, for the most part, but still exhausting. I thought I was going to drive to LaGrange to pick Aria up, but it turns out my sister-in-law is one of the most awesome people on the face of the planet and she's keeping her for a few extra hours and driving her to Goshen later, where we're going to celebrate my niece and other-awesome-sister-in-law's birthdays. My house is silent at the moment. Have I extolled the virtues of silence lately?

Listen:




Wasn't that wonderful!?

After Friday's shot and BMV proceedings, Saturday brought good things. We went to the Notre Dame-Utah game. I don't dislike Notre Dame. I am in their corner completely, as long as they are not playing my team. The game was a pretty good one, though the weather left much to be desired. We were pretty wet and cold by the end of the first quarter. I found myself praying for no overtime. Zachary came with us and bought a ticket, but it turns out our friend had an extra ticket in addition to our two, so Zachary got to sit with us anyhow. Then we went to Buffalo Wild Wings to celebrate after the game was over. Zachary drove part of the way there, and the rest of the way home. My muscles are sore from clinging for dear life onto the seat in fear, but honestly, he did a pretty good job. Definitely better at driving the automatic van than my stick-shift car. I still firmly believe he needs to learn to drive a manual transmission. They're cheaper, better on gas, and I personally feel I have more control over the way the car handles. Well, not so much anymore since it has 177,000 miles on it and will likely die any moment...

Aria spent the night at her cousin's house last night. It was a sleepover for her birthday, and that's where she remains this morning (see first paragraph about my awesome sister-in-law Beth). I slept until 10:40. My husband is holed up in his office reading, the dogs are sleeping, Michael is sleeping, and Zachary is at his church after working all night and sleeping for only an hour and a half. I don't know how he manages to drum on Sunday mornings. I really wish he'd go to church with us instead. There are plenty of music opportunities there, but I think he'd be learning a lot more of what it's like to be a Christian. Our church focuses on the loving-people aspect which is really what it's all about, anyway.

I'm about to grab some coffee and catch up on my devotional reading, my regular reading, and perhaps an early nap... or a hot bath... or a hot bath and an early nap. Oh, the possibilities are endless! I'm giddy with antici..................

SJS



...pation.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mulligan, please?

Have you ever had one of those days when, at the end of it, you just want a do-over? That's pretty much how today felt. I took Zach to work this morning, then went to work myself (which was long and exhausting). After a rush at 1pm to get out of there, I picked Zachary back up at work, came home to grab a bunch of necessary items, then traveled to Goshen with Zach and Aria. Aria was scheduled for two shots today, but ended up getting three at the health department. Then we went to the BMV so Zachary could take his test and get a new permit, but found out that he can actually schedule his driving test and get a license this month. He is floating on air. I did the banking, dropped Aria off at home and let Zach drive my car a little bit. It's a stick shift, and he's only driven one once before, so it was a little rocky at first, but he did a good job. I'm proud of him, but I'm frightened as well.

Frightened that he's growing up. That he's graduating this year. That he's turning eighteen in a couple of weeks. That he'll be going off to college. That he's even going to be behind the wheel of a car! That he can BUY a car! That he'll be driving a car with snow on the ground. I'm plagued by all of these things, and there's nothing I can do to stop them. Unless, perhaps, I cut off his legs. Then I guess a few things would be remedied. Hmm....

At any rate, I took the kids and pigged out at McDonald's in celebration for Zachary, and in pity for Aria and her aching arms. That third shot really hurt. I could tell the difference in her expression. The first two, no big deal. On the third one, she looked worse than when she'd gotten her ears pierced a few years back. I felt terrible for her because I know she really hates getting shots. But this is much better than the alternative. I keep telling her she'll thank me when she doesn't die of meningitis and/or diptheria, tetanus, and pertussis.

I just feel cranky, achy, tired, and uncomfortable. I want to start over at the beginning and try it with a better mindset.

I finished writing the short story/poetry book. I should have it up for sale within a week. I'm extremely excited about this, and can't wait to see what happens with it.

A rather boring, informational blog today, I know. For that, I apologize. I wish I were feeling more eloquent. I'm listening to "Juno" in the background, and Diablo Cody's writing just sort of drains me of any creativity.

I am so ridiculously sick of not being pregnant.

SJS

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Slowing Down

I find that my weekdays are pretty hectic. I work all day, I run errands, I chauffer the kids from place to place, I grocery shop, I clean other people's houses, I clean our house, I make dinner, I do laundry, and I look forward to the weekends.

The unfortunate part of this equation is that my weekends seem to be slightly more chaotic from time to time than my weekdays are. This weekend, we attended a surprise party for my brother-in-law's thirtieth birthday, for which I made a ton of barbeque turkey meatballs on Friday. We got back home around eleven at night, kids running around like chickens to put away leftover food, clean up dishes, brush and floss, and sit down for a half hour to watch something together before bed. This morning, I made bacon, eggs, and chocolate chip pancakes for everyone since it's a big day today. The SwingFry, which is the show choir concert and fish/chicken fry at the high school, is today. It's a showcase of many area choirs, plus our own middle- and high school choirs from Northridge. Our daughter also had a Civics project at Krider Gardens downtown, where she needed to be dropped off at noon. The boys had to be at the high school at 12:30, Aria had to be picked back up at 2. I did three loads of laundry, cleaned up the counters, table, and stove, let the dogs out twice, gave our husky her antibiotic, sprayed the little dog with flea spray because he was biting at something, and got caught up with my devotionals and journaling for the week. This was all before 2:30, which is where we are now. The rest of the day consists of coordinating with family and watching performances: Aria's choir is at 4:30, Michael has a solo performance of a song he wrote right after that, the high school concert choir is at 7:30, and the Northern Lights performance is at 8:45. Then it's clean up, change, and back home... not sure exactly how long that will take, but it all lends itself to a fairly hectic day. And night. And that reminds me -- at some point in between all of that, I'm going to have to come back home and let the dogs out again!

What is it about our daily lives that lacks the ability to balance? Is it women in particular, or do men have this problem? I have a tendency, as a wife, to fall into all of the household responsibilities by default. My husband works, then goes off to read for a few hours, comes home to eat dinner, reads more if he hasn't gotten caught up, checks his email, and watches some television or a movie with the family. He mows the lawn if it needs mowing and cleans the gutters if they need cleaning. He doesn't hesitate to help out if I ask him to help out, though. I just need to get into the habit of doing that more often. Years ago, when women didn't work outside the home, it wouldn't have been as much of a problem. Now, we work all day and then work all night. Sometimes I can't sleep in the evening because I'm thinking of the chaos of tomorrow. I need to learn the fine art of taking things one day at a time. It's one of the things I admire about my husband -- he's able to live by that philosophy. He doesn't tend to get as ruffled as I do, or to let things permeate him in the same way. He bounces back quickly. I, on the other hand, allow myself to get heavy-laden by obligations, feel guilty for not spending time with everyone I want to spend time with or who wants to spend time with me, and feel like I'm never quite living up to expectations. Is that a male/female thing? A mindset? Or am I just making life too difficult for myself?

"Cast your cares upon Him, for He cares for you", it says in 1st Peter.

I'm casting.

I remember going fishing with my father when I was younger. He was a charter boat captain on Lake Michigan and the St. Joseph River. I loved lake fishing because we could set up the rods, and I would just watch to see if a fish was biting. The rod would pop up, we'd grab it together, and he'd help me reel in a salmon, or lake trout, or whatever it happened to be. River fishing, on the other hand, I enjoyed because we were spending time together, but it was not my favorite way. Casting was a learned art, or science, or something for which I did not have a knack. I would do exactly as he said, watch exactly what he showed me, listen carefully to his words, then pull the rod back and cast my line directly into a tree. Or a bush. Or on the shore. Or a rock. Or his line. And my dad would remain as patient as he could, untangling the ridiculous mess I'd made and reeling it back in, sometimes re-casting for me so he could fish for awhile before I tried it again. It was the trying that mattered to him, I think. I didn't just sit there and try to do everything myself. I listened and learned and then attempted. Sometimes I got it right. Most times I didn't. But he loved me anyway.

I'm still casting. And God, being the Father that He is, is patient with me just like my own father was, and still is. Sometimes I try to do everything all on my own, and I screw it up, regardless of how often I listen and attempt to learn from His words. Sometimes He takes my ridiculous mess of a life and untangles it for me so I can start over. Sometimes He lets it sit there so I can ruminate while He attends to other things. But, like my own father, He loves me anyway.

I'm casting. I'm just not very good at it.

SJS

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Weary Wednesday

I keep wanting to go to First Wednesday at our church, but Wednesdays are evil, evil days at work. It's the day I go in the earliest, it's usually the busiest, and by the end of the work day I'm wiped. I feel like vegging out, eating junk food, and watching television or sleeping. I wish that First Wednesday would be on a Tuesday or something, but that would be an inappropriate moniker, then.

I had a great discussion with my husband yesterday evening about my writing. He'd just read a couple of the newer short stories I had written and told me I should really think about immersing myself in the writing of a full-blown novel. (I took this as good news, because he's very honest, sometimes to a fault. If I sucked at writing, he would've quickly changed the subject and never mentioned me writing something novel-sized.) He's talking like, 400-500 pages. Intimidating idea. I'm not sure my brain functions well enough to detail my way through a 400-page story about anything. But I'm giving it some serious thought.

I've always wanted to write horror fiction, but every time I write anything, it becomes a story about a relationship. Friendship, marriage, boyfriend/girlfriend, whatever. I'm good at relationships. (Well, let me rephrase that -- I suck at relationships so badly that I've gotten a lot of good information over the years of what not to do). I'm not afraid to venture into another line of writing, I just don't quite know how or where to begin. I guess that's sort of scary. Back to intimidating, I mean. I'll have to give this all a lot more thought, and then figure out when in God's name I'd have time to write a novel. He suggests 20-30 minutes a day. It's a great idea, but sometimes I'm only creative for seven minutes a day and it's at a very inopportune time when I have no keyboard or paper handy. But, in forcing myself to write this blog as much as I have, I've gained insight into what/when works for me, and how often I can bank on having the ability to put down some thoughts on a weekly basis.

This bedroom is annoying. At night it is ridiculously hot, so I have to shut the vent. During the day, while the vent is off, it gets pretty cold, and when I'm in bed with the fans on, it's even colder.

I would like some food now. I continue forgetting to eat on a somewhat regular basis. I had coffee today, but no food. I had to stop and think about whether or not I had some kind of snacky, but I didn't. I have to think of something to scrounge up for dinner...

Taking a catnap right now (dognap, actually - shorter, less restful, and my bed is, in fact, full of small dog. He has separation anxiety. It's amazing how much space a 14-lb. animal can take up!)

Falling asleep,
SJS

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day

I realize I'm about to incite some venomous emotions here, but I didn't vote today. I'm not inherently patriotic for one thing, and I'm more than a bit jaded for another. Let me get a few things out.

Yes, voting matters, and g'won with your bad self for doing it. I'm not trying to bring you down. I'm not saying your vote won't count. I'm not saying anything negative at all, in fact. I choose not to vote unless I have some serious faith in a candidate. That has only happened one time, and the faith that I had in that particular candidate at the time hasn't necessarily waned, but it hasn't been seen to fruition, either.

Being "proud" to be an American has never been something I'm on board with. I think Americans are a lot of things not to be proud of, most of the time. We're excessive with food, we're excessive with material items, we're excessive with shoving our agendas in the faces of others without listening to what they have to say. We think we're gods. We think we have the upper hand over the rest of the world, and that only we can save the others, or help them. It's a lot of what I despise about people who call themselves Christians without fully understanding the meaning of the word. They lord themselves over the rest of the people who aren't believers, and leave a bad taste in their mouth for what Jesus actually said. They have an air of arrogance about them that turns people off rather than brings people in. No, I'm not proud to be an American. I'm pretty shamed to be one, most of the time. I am, however, lucky to have been born here where we have rights and privileges that we could have nowhere else, and for that I'm grateful.

One of my rights is the right not to vote if I don't want to. No, I do not take for granted the fact that women are able to vote. I make a choice every election day, a choice whether to vote or not. I'm grateful to have that choice.

Maybe if I saw some positive ad campaigns from some candidates whose politics I agreed with, I would vote. Maybe if I saw some candidates who HAD politics I agreed with, I would vote. But the beliefs I have are pretty difficult to put together. I don't fall under the heading of Democrat or Republican, or any other random party you might feel like throwing at me right now. There are pros and cons to all of them holistically, and there are pros and cons to all of the individual candidates' beliefs. The only solution would be for me to run for office. Then at least I'd agree with all the politics. But the other thing is a gut feeling -- I either like a candidate or I don't. That being said, I'd likely not vote for me, either, because I'm not really very fond of myself most of the time. Plus, I'm pretty busy.

Pizza and garlic bread for dinner tonight. Baby steps on the diet/exercise thing. I'm attempting first off to add physical activity to my lifestyle on a more regular basis and do some minor cutting down of the excess food/drink I'm so wont to pour down my throat. I went to the gym today, did some machines and some cardio, and hung out in the Arizona room for a little while, which is my favorite place to be. If I ever get rich, I want an Arizona room in my house.

For now, it's time to start making food and watching the news pour in from the polls, since that's all that will be on television. The only thing I'll be glad for tomorrow is not having to hear how evil this or that candidate is for whatever they are supposedly doing/not doing, or who they voted with/against in the past. We'll be back to our regularly scheduled inane commercials designed to make us buy more fast food, more shiny cars, more booze, and more stuff we cannot possibly live without.

I'm Stephanie Jean, and I approve this message.

SJS