Breaking News: the News is Heartbreaking

Drugs, politics, scandal, murder, mayhem, traffic, and weather.

It’s no wonder I rarely watch the news considering the weather is the only potentially pleasant topic (and if it isn’t sunny and 80 degrees than the weather can barely be deemed an agreeable subject).

I remember waking up unnaturally early in the morning all throughout my grade school career and turning on the news and toaster as soon as I stepped downstairs to the kitchen. I probably could have slept in an extra 10 minutes if it weren’t for my partiality towards Eggo waffles with a light amount of butter and a liberal amount of cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top, and the morning news, but it was worth a bit of missed sleep to happily greet the day.

wjzWhile gulping down my waffle and trying to keep my sugary fingers limited to the area around my napkin, I would tune into WJZ channel 13 news, and aim for a level of knowledgeableness that those as young as I was rarely achieved. True, the information I was retaining was more about local stories, such as the year’s Polar Bear Plunge, interviews with local businesses regarding the effect of whatever weather pattern we were in the midst of, the Raven’s chances at bringing another championship back to Baltimore, and the musical styling’s of a particular club or charity group, but I loved greeting my city each and every morning through channel 13.

puppies and rainbowsAnd now, it saddens me to turn on the news once so full of charm and energy. Maybe society has increasingly given into the lawless ways that were once so forbidden in the past, maybe I just never noticed the doom and gloom almost ever-present on the television as a child, maybe now our society is more attune to the serious and seriously disheartening subjects, or maybe I just keep tuning in right after a happy story about rainbows that lead to puppy friendship and happily ever-afters with more rainbows.

But really.

Things have got to change people, and fast, because if I have to listen to one more story about a corrupt/cheating/drugged out politician, I may be in danger of spitting out my Eggo waffle in an almighty rage before proclaiming to the neighborhood a distaste for my negative perception of the media and then proceeding to light my house on fire (with the cat toted away to a safe location) as I gleefully watch all of my televisions melt into a dreary heap.

And that’s not a story you’d be pleased to see on the news.

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What Happens in Vegas

The first big snow storm of 2014 hit the east coast while I was on a signature blue and red plane heading to Las Vegas. I still had eye gunk fluttering around my lashes from waking up at 4 in the morning, though I wasn’t awake enough to remember some breakfast to calm my nervous stomach. I was nervous as we drove over the snowy roads whose lane markers were no more than a distant memory under the distractingly slippery ice. I was distracted from making my flight in a timely manner when the gnarly and cold airport quiche breakfast tumbled about in my stomach. And of course I was cold because all I had packed was my light  sweatshirt in anticipation of the warm weather waiting just beyond the state line.

After a takeoff that went relatively smooth considering we launched such a hefty object into the air, my boyfriend and I flew further west than we had ever been, though not quite as far west as would have satisfied our travelers’ curiosity. The clouds disappeared once we left Maryland far behind, and the sun warmed us up through the half closed window blind. My middle seat fit snuggly between a familiar arm on my right and an arm intelligent enough that it knew to mind its own place on my left while I relaxed enough to sneak in some zzz’s between bouts of sugar laced Nabisco products and puckered sips of CranApple juice. After enjoying the colorful and intricate splendor of the Grand Canyon and some canyons that, while not quite grand, seemed equally exciting, I dug out my phone and prepped myself for the blackjack tables by advancing to the purple and black clad table of the “High Rollers” room, even going as far as betting all of my virtual chips on a hand that would turn out to give me a comfortable 19 while the dealer showed a 5 and I hadn’t seem a face card in quite some time.

After a landing that went relatively smooth considering we landed such a hefty object from the air, I fiddled with my seat belt until the line of the slowest moving people on this or any other planet finally exited the plane and I could awaken my sleeping leg while rushing out of the cramped isle with a wisp of stale plane air trailing just behind me. I stepped my snowy dampened foot onto Nevada grounds, and-

And yeah, you know…I mean…and it was fine…just nice, had a good time. Yeah, yeah it was cool. Fun place…yup yup…….….…yup.

Shake My Sillies Out

When I was little I remember singing along to one of those tacky cheesy obnoxious yet catchy-as-all-get-out songs, “Shake My Sillies Out”, while wiggling around in my car seat and flailing my limbs out towards my poor brother.

However, as I’ve aged, my affinity for those tacky cheesy obnoxious yet catchy-as-all-get-out songs has far from decreased. Occasionally I find myself looking humming “I’m Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee” while strolling through by some flowers, and I’ve been known to break into a chorus of “If All the Raindrops Were Lemon Drops and Gumdrops” at the sight of a candy bag or a particularly intense rain storm. But over the past month it’s been “Shake My Sillies Out” that has really taken hold of my imagination.

Because I have a lot of things to shake out. Mostly, my worries, which are just plain silly (see, it’s a totally relatable song).

My silly worries:

  • I am worried because I once again have the winter blues.
  • I am worried because it is my last semester of college ever.
  • I am worried because I need to make more concrete plans regarding a job after this last semester of college ever.
  • I am worried because my boyfriend is delaying his summer job plans which greatly influences my summer job plans.
  • I am worried because I have not been sleeping well.
  • I am worried because I have been steadily gaining weight and ignoring exercise.
  • I am worried because my new spring internship has me starring at the computer for 8 hours a day.
  • I am worried because my cat has a bad scratch on her belly that keeps reappearing.
  • I am worried because of my brother’s lack of direction for the future.
  • I am worried because my mother has slipped into worse unhealthy habits than I have.
  • I am worried because when I go through my childhood photo albums with my father it strikes me exactly how much of my life has already gone by, and how I never truly appreciated it to the best of my capacity.

This past month I’ve done a lot of shaking, though sadly none of it counts as exercise.

But I feel better, and now I can hopefully start to sing some more age appropriate songs.

My New Year’s Advice for Humanity

My New Year’s Resolutions for Humanity

I am not particularly critical of myself. Most days I am just fine with the way I look, I think that I spend an appropriate amount of time watching television, and my soda habit is virtually nonexistent.

So instead of setting an arbitrary number of times that I should go to the gym in a week, I’m going to provide some New Year’s resolutions for those stock characters in the population who could use some help setting resolutions.

1. The Single.

If you’re single, resolve to find a companion.

Ex. Cozy up with a cat and throw the laptop off the sofa.

2. The Smothered.

If you’re smothered, resolve to find alone time.

Ex. Cozy up with the laptop and throw the cat off the sofa.

Far too often people find that they are unhappy with the level of companionship they receive. Whether you haven’t gone on a date since before blogging became a thing, or whether you are a mother so overcome with responsibility that you haven’t realized that blogging has now become a thing, there is a way to achieve your goal.

1. The Smoker.

If you smoke, resolve to substitute your addiction.

Ex. Reach for a lollipop instead of a cigarette.

2. The Overweight.

If you’re overweight, resolve to substitute your addition.

Ex. Reach for a cigarette instead of a lollipop.

Far too often people find that they are unhappy with how they are treating their body. Whether your body was used as an air filter or as a trash can, there is a way to achieve your goal.

1. The Spender.

If you spend too much money, resolve to save in certain ways.

Ex.  Pay the $500 bar tab, but have your friend drive you to the emergency room.

2. The Saver.

If you save too much money, resolve to indulge in certain ways.

Ex. Don’t partake of the $500 bar tab, but spend gas money to drive your friend to the emergency room.

Far too often people don’t understand how they should be managing their money. Whether you party with Magnum Grey Goose until you’ve forgotten you don’t even make a living wage, or have a sip of your buddy’s Coors after a successful day repurposing that coat hanger into a piece of art for your cousin’s birthday gift, there is a way to achieve your goal.

With these expert tips, even you can achieve your New Year’s resolution! And by following my methods, it’s guaranteed that you’ll also have something to work on come January of next year.

The Time Timon and Pumbaa Helped Me with My Bucket List

hakuna matata

I love nothing more than singing along to a great song that just fills your heart and lifts your spirit. Even though my voice cracks and creeks while I’m singing along, I like to think that what I lack in skill I more than make up for in enthusiasm. I also like to think that my stuffed animals come alive when I’m not watching, you’re just going to have to give me a few things.

Because of my odd combination of musical love and vocal troubles, I’ve long feared and highly anticipated completing a certain item on my Pail List, karaoke.

For the past month I’ve been making and breaking plans with friends to attend Karaoke Thursday at Applebee’s until the promise of half price apps became too much for any normal college kid to resist, and they insisted on half dragging half restraining me along.

Once there, I nervously bided my time by stuffing my face with spinach dip and praying to the karaoke gods that they would be merciful. It’s a wonder my friends didn’t ditch me from the get-go.

Dear karaoke gods who art in Applebee’s, gracious by thy name. Thy at the bar, the songs be sung, in the cramped corner as it is in concert. Give us tonight our daily $3 margarita and forgive us our missed notes as we forgive those who missed notes before us. Lead us not into Queen renditions, but deliver us from Christmas tunes. Amen.”

karaoke birdDespite my pleas to the gods, I was still nervous as heck. Three of my friends openly admitted that there was not enough alcohol in the world that could get them to sing. Two of my friends were too busy cozily reminiscing to notice that they were in a public place. This left myself and three others who had to brave the microphone armed with nothing but our hopes and dreams of not being laughed or forcibly removed out of the room.

Hesitantly grabbing the sticky discolored binder full of songs, I marveled at the selection before me. I had originally planned on some sort of Billy Joel classic, but when faced with Counting Crows, Johnny Cash, and Van Morrison I was thrown for a loop. So many songs, so many choices, so many notes that I had to sneakily avoid by coughing at just the right time. My heart was hammering with nerves and enthusiasm, a deadly combination that had to be quelled before such excitement caused that spinach dip to make a reappearance.

And then I saw it.

The song that represents my past, present, and future. The song that was guaranteed to please even the most uppity of karaoke snobs. The song that jumped off the page and did the Cha Cha in front of my friends and I until we signed up on the waiting list without the least bit of hesitation.

Hakuna Matata!

What a wonderful phrase.

Hakuna Matata.

Ain’t no passing craze.

It means no worries, for the rest of your days. It’s our problem-free philosophy. Hakuna Matata!

Hakuna Matata represents most everything that I’m about. I try to appreciate each day for what it is and not worry over the little things. I pride myself on appreciating my past and making sure that it isn’t so easily forgotten. And I love bringing happiness to others while celebrating the things in life that also give me joy.

As I stood up in front of the fifty or so people packed into the Applebee’s karaoke night corner I couldn’t help but feel a calm appreciation for my life and the opportunities that I am afforded through my Pail List. As the familiar melody began and I saw heads popping up in every direction, I knew that no matter how poorly my voice performed, I was getting a standing ovation from everyone else who longed for the days of a problem free existence as exemplified by a meerkat and warthog.

timon an dpumbaa

Handouts and Holidays

I’ve been that person stalking you as soon as you step out of your car. I know what it’s like to try making eye contact with someone who behaves as if I were Medusa herself and one sideways glance would turn them to stone. I am all too familiar with sending “good friends” a Facebook message only to have it go unanswered…even though I can see that it has been read and now I know that you’re clearly ignoring what it is I have to say so that the next time I see you in person you better believe I will be bringing this up and making you feel guilty…

I know what all of this is like, because I care.

I care about sick children, and having them and their families receive the care that they need from Children’s National Medical Center with support from Terp Thon.

I care about assisting those with specific needs and ensuring that the Special Olympics stays strong with assistance from those crazy enough to attempt the Polar Bear Plunge.

And it breaks my heart that I’m still struggling to fundraise for these two wonderful organizations during the holiday season of giving.

money giftI don’t particularly have a favorite holiday, but I sure do have a favorite time of year, December. Despite the chilly temperatures and the hushed sunlight, I find my joy from the people around me with their concern over quality time with the fam and their wonder over the one light display along that stretch of 32. Yet, these people who are more than willing to drop $6 on a cup of coffee with a Christmas themed Starbucks design are rattled when I ask for $2 to go towards me standing for 12 hours in support of Children’s National Medical Center, or $5 to go towards me diving into frigid waters in support of Maryland Special Olympics.

I’m not asking for the world. I’m not even asking for a country. I’m just asking for others to embrace that December spirit, the one that smells of holly and crisp pine, the one that makes you smile out loud when you see a child with the mall Santa, the one that says it’s perfectly alright to drink extra chocolately extra marshmellowy and extra whipped creamy hot chocolate. Embrace that spirit by not being afraid to look a caring person in the eye this holiday season, and embrace the spirit of humanity by daring to care about that person’s passion as well.holiday donation

To donate to Terp Thon, click HERE.

To donate to Ice Ice Save Me, click HERE.

[Luckily for you, WordPress, unlike Facebook, will not alert me if you choose not to respond to this post. However, so long as you keep your heart open to the idea of sharing a bit of the wealth with those who need it and with those who care enough to make the awkward attempt to ask for it, you'll be living up to that December spirit and I'll be able to feel that the world has become a better place]

Musing to Music

I write and I type and I click and I clank

and I listen to the beat of those keys on the plank.

And it’s all too much and I know that it’s true

that I need soft music to dim that mechanical tune.

Pandora is slowly becoming my best buddy. I was a little late to the game in discovering it, but now that I’ve come to build my custom playlists around whatever mood I could possibly be in, I just can’t begin to articulate intelligently without that smooth jazz station that I’ve come to rely upon.

  • Musicals for when I’m feeling peppy and fantastical, but also slightly depressed.
  • Country for when the sun is shining and I’m in a tractor riding mood.
  • Chumbawamba for those days I wear neon scrunchies and yearn for my 90′s childhood.
  • Disney for every single day that I want to be happy.
  • Love Songs for times that I want to envelop my feelings in sap.
  • Smooth jazz for when I’m feeling classy and ready to write the greatest works known to man.

When I listen to music I feel a vitality and energy present in my words that I’d be missing without those soulful tones. I feel ready to write, eager to express, and positively busting to shine through that traditional text and set my words alight with passion.music

The Reblog

Some days I have nothing original to say. If you paid close enough attention, you’d realize that even on those days when I’m saying something, it doesn’t often mean much. And if you actually listen to the not much that I’m saying, you’re bound to be woefully disappointed.

Which is why I utilize the reblog.

reblog symbol

The reblog acknowledges that you are lazy, but also shows that you can be both lazy and caring. It does not judge you for your lack of originality, but applauds your efforts for reading and understanding the works of others more qualified (and probably more entertaining) than you. The reblog is ever kind and only increases the standard of your prized and dear website, all while making the original poster feel like a million dollars even if they don’t see one cent from their work.

So yes, some days the words that come out of my head are downright unintelligible giberty gab herbity gerb, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate the schwerbity plurb of another.

Flingenclopp.

The 6 Stages of Final Exams As Told by Harry Potter

katyhancock:

We are not alone in the fight again Those-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named. (……finals…..)

Originally posted on As Told by Laura:

1. Denial

Finals? Hahahahaha! Please. I’ve still got an entire week left. Do you have any idea what I can accomplish in that short amount of time? Seriously, there’s nothing to worry about. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna’ go paint my nails like little zebras.

2. Anger

Okay, it’s not like I’m mad about finals or anything, but seriously? A comprehensive test? How unfair is that?! And it’s worth, like, 96 percent of my grade. I’m too mad to study. School is so stupid. No, everything is stupid. LET’S START A REVOLUTION!

3. Procrastination

I’m just gonna’ go over to Tiffany’s for a quick study session. I always do my best work in groups. Oh, and Jennifer, Michael and Josh will be there too, but we’re definitely gonna’ get stuff done. Definitely…

4. Cramming

Okayokayokay. Two hours left until the test. I have four Redbulls in the fridge…

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Working on My Passion

fireman wishIn kindergarten I wanted to be a veterinarian, because I thought that all girls were vets and all boys were firefighters. I knew that my mom and dad didn’t perform either of these jobs so it’s a bit confusing on how this notion came to exist.

In fourth grade when I realized that not all animals were as friendly as my cat, I decided that I would like to be a real estate agent. We watched a lot of HGTV in my home.

In the ninth grade my mom wouldn’t lend me the necessary capital to flip a house, so I decided to settle for being a teacher. I’ve never really want to be a teacher. I’m impatient. I already want this blog post to be finished with itself.

And now, after I’ve learned that flip flops are better suited for the beach than decision making, I am stuck having no solid idea of what I’d like to be “when I grow up”, which according to my impending college graduation date, will be in a few months.

I blame my lack of a career direction entirely on being too well-rounded of a person (it’s not a brag if it’s also a fact). I love history and anatomy and math and science and reading and music and health and theatre and technology and different cultures and writing and I’m always interested to hear what new information someone has to share on even the most foreign of topics. I have no specific topic that drives me to wake up in the morning, and even though I like any excuse to sleep in I can’t help but wishing that there were something more.

I don’t want just any ol’ job. I want the best job on the planet where I have to use that cheesy line about it “not being work” and everyone laughs but I glow on the inside knowing that it’s true and that I’m really quite happy where I am and that my life is contributing to something that I never want to leave. Also it should pay a million dollars an hour.

But where does one go to find one’s passion? I’ve been looking for a good part of my 21 years and haven’t found anything that I’d love to be involved with for the rest of my life. I’m an English and Communications double major because I like to read and I like to talk to people and because the university made me choose. I’m also involved in Terp Thon which helps the kids at Children’s National Medical Center, I loyally attend the UMD athletic events, and I’ve long been involved in sign language club and gardening. But to focus on solely one of those aspects? It wouldn’t be enough. Which leads me to believe that I haven’t found the one. The one passion that overcomes all other interests until it consumes my whole being with desire.

I know that it’s not realistic to expect such fulfillment from a job and that I’m quite spoiled to be in a position where I can afford to question what I truly want from my career, but when you’re spending the majority of your life working you don’t want to waste time with emotions of any lesser caliber than sheer joy.

I’m not willing to settle for any long-term career that I’m less than passionate about. And I’m certainly not willing to settle for any pay range less than that million dollars an hour.

So for now I’ll just have to keep searching and figure out how I can make room in my resume to express this sentiment.