Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Award

Mrs. Lovely gave me this lovely award!


I have been slacking on it not because I am ungrateful (I'm not!) but because I am not normally a very happy person (No, really, its true.) The rules of the award are linking back, giving out, you know the drill and listing 10 things that make you happy - and doing one today. So, I have found that this activity is much more easily done when you are in a good mood. Here is my list. I don't feel like being confined with numbers, so it is just a list.

  • Watching Ryder dancing or sleeping
  • Recycling
  • Understanding what Ryder says
  • Southern Comfort and a bit of ice
  • Music that corresponds to my mood
  • Being outdoors
  • The ocean and the mountains
  • Telling someone how my day went
  • Finishing work early
  • Getting new glasses
  • Shit my dad says
  • New pipettes
  • Good movies
  • Blog comments
So, to pass it along... Do I have to do this? I honestly would love to read everyone's list, so how about if you want to play along then grab that award up there and let's hear your 10 things!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

New to Me

You guys have probably already seen this, but for those of you who haven't, here it is.

I laugh everytime!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Normal to Me

A couple of conversations/comments lately have gotten me thinking about how when you know no different, things don't seem weird. It is not until someone else tells you or you are removed from the situation that you see something is off or different.

My parents do not drink alcohol. Like ever. I never thought it was weird. *shrug* "I don't know, they just don't." Then someone pointed out that it was strange. I had never thought of it being strange before. They used to drink, but now they don't. As far as I know there isn't any real reason.

Another childhood example: we never opened food. My SIL came over one day (before she was my SIL) and suggested eating the cookies. My bro and I thought she was crazy - the package wasn't open. She suggested opening it. "Uhh... We can't do that."

While I was married, I had to check the bank account every single day to see if he had spent money and not told me. Every single day I was afraid something unexpected would come up and things would start bouncing. Eventually I bought a lock box to keep my credit cards and checks in. I had to hide the key way back in the crawl space where I knew that the ex wouldn't be able to find it. Every marriage isn't like that?

Ryder probably doesn't know right now that most kids have two parents. Has no idea that most kids have two sets of grandparents. He will figure it out soon, I suppose, but for now he has no idea.

I've been feeling really guilty lately about "borrowing" my parents' car for the last couple of years. I haven't bought it from them. I pay for the insurance and repairs and such, but not for the actual vehicle. "Parents do give their children cars." I was dumbfounded. Not in my world they don't.

I come from a wonderful home. My family is great. I was never abused in any way. My parents are still together and my mom has never bought a lock box. I am not exactly sure why somethings in my life never seemed strange to me. "Well, that's how it is, I guess," and continue on my way.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Three Word Reviews

The Verdant Dude did this 3-word movie review post and I thought it was a great idea. I watch a ton of movies and I'm not going to bore you with 4+ word reviews. Here ya are.

John Adams ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Everyone hated him.

Lost: Season 5 ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Jumped the shark.

Watchmen ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Surround sound, baby!

The Spiderwick Chronicles ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Not for kids.

Newsies ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Too fucking long.

Lars and the Real Girl ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
So getting blow-up-doll.

Changling ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Truth is sad.

Play along if you wanna. I'd love to read your 3 words!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

How To Get Food From A Food Bank

  1. Swallow your pride. You've gotta do what you've gotta do.
  2. Get listing of local pantries (at library, etc).
  3. Circle the pantries that you qualify for. (Resident only, family, single, etc)
  4. WRITE THEM ON YOUR CALENDER! Most are only open a couple hours a week/month.
  5. Gather appropriate documentation for each pantry. (They are not the same.)
  6. Leave early and dress for the weather.
  7. Stand in line with a billion other people. (Hopefully not outside if it is raining.)
  8. Try to keep your child semi-close to you while still holding your place in line.
  9. Take a number.
  10. Try to entertain your child.
  11. Wait.
  12. Try to convince your child to be patient.
  13. Wait.
  14. Silently plead to the food pantry gods that your turn is soon.
  15. Wait.
  16. When your number is called, go up to desk, provide required documents.
  17. Receive buggy/cart.
  18. Go to each station taking the correct number of items.
  19. Try to keep your child semi-close to you while still holding your place in line.
  20. At the end, hope that they have bags or boxes or something to hold your food.
  21. Juggle food and child, barely making it to the car without damaging either.
  22. At home, go through the food and throw out the rotten stuff.
  23. Be thankful for all the food you have received.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Plum Island

This is my first jaunt with fiction. Come jaunt with me and any constructive critism along the way is more than welcome!

She stepped wearily onto the weathered boards, leaving the asphalt behind her. As the boardwalk zigged and zagged through the lazy grass, she was careful not to step on one of the fatal cracks. This, of course, reminding her of her childhood romps across these same boards. They seemed bigger then. She had to jump to the next one to avoid any tragedy involving her mother’s back. She was happy back then.

They came every summer. She had wanted to bring her own child, but there had been no time for that.

Bees lived protected under those beaten boards. She saw none today, but remembers them. Despite the stings she sustained, she loved them. They lived here all the time. When they went home, they came here. She envied the bees. When it was time for her to go home, she did not have such a beautiful place to return to. The skies at her house were not blue but grey. The only wildlife was pigeons and rats. But the bees got to see much more. Yes, they got to see all sorts of sea birds, seals, fish, and even an occasional owl.

When she reached the end of the boardwalk she kicked off her well worn shoes. She left them, for she would not need them again. She stepped onto the warm sand and felt it invite her feet in. It was as if the sand had taken all of the stones and broken shells out of her path so that her path would be warm and welcoming. Not unlike what she attempted to accomplish with her modest abode. Plants in every room and plenty of sunlight. She was determined to bring the beautiful Mother Earth inside to keep her company, when there was no one else.

She climbed up and over the dunes using muscles that she had forgotten that she had. She knew all about them long ago when she hiked and skied. She climbed the steepest peaks the White Mountains had to offer. Now, these low dunes took energy. Almost more than she had left. The dunes seemed to almost help her up. They would not let her fail. Not this time.

She came over the dunes and saw the water. The azure Atlantic was calm, yet strong. The sky was cloudless but was filled with birds. They were swooping and diving for their lunch. The ocean was quietly hiding its creatures. The sea did not fail, but did not succeed either. It did what it could to protect its inhabitants, but sometimes the birds won out. Sometimes its protection was not enough, but that gave hope to the hungry birds that depended on it.

She sat softly beyond the sea’s reach. She watched this dance between the ocean and the birds. Sometimes, she thought, your best is just not good enough. She thought about her own failures. Her failure to finish college. But she had met him. She had hungered for him. When he wanted to leave the foliage and mountains behind for the cold paved city she did not have to think twice. He wanted the city and she wanted him. She would find a better school in a more urban area, she had deluded herself into believing.

They met at UVM. She was majoring in Forestry and she loved Vermont, the only place she had ever seen purple mountains. This is where she wanted her children to grow up. But he wanted to go to Boston University. “We can live in Southie,” he pleaded. “There we can live near the ocean, don’t you miss the ocean?” Of course she did. So they moved to Southie where all she had to do was walk down the street and be on the beach. But it wasn’t the same. No, nothing like Plum Island, her childhood getaway. Cars parked right up to the five feet of sand. Even Castle Island wasn’t the same. The harbor didn’t act the same as the almighty Atlantic. And the planes were nothing short of annoying.

But she loved him. And he loved her. So they stayed.

She was stirred from her reverie by a barefoot child running across the beach. The child looked about eight years old. She was wearing a pink bathing suit that was partially covered by her long brown hair. The child was followed by a man and a woman. They were lost in conversation about something that seemed amusing. They passed by without noticing that she was sitting in the sand, which suited her just fine.

She had failed to protect her own child. Her daughter had been only an infant, yet, she did not protect her. She hadn’t known that he had changed. Or maybe she did. She did notice that he was drinking more, but she had just delivered this small fragile life. She was preoccupied and failed to notice the changes in him. She thought that maybe being a new father was just overwhelming. She knew that being a new mother was. Because the infant was breastfeeding, she could not go out drinking, but did not stop him when he went. It never crossed her mind that it wasn’t fair or right or proper. She was doing what she had to do and he was doing what he had to do. Or so she thought.

He began to come home later and later. He always had a good excuse, or good enough, for her. He lost track of time, his phone died, he had to give a friend a ride home. She loved him and she accepted his excuses and apologies.

The quiet waves were inching towards her, reminding her that time was short. She watched the water change from dark blue to greenish to white and retreat back to the blue again. She lamented the short time she had with her daughter.

He was only going out for a quick trip. He wanted to bring the baby to see his mother and she had been tired and was happy for the reprieve. She showered then laid down for a well deserved nap. She woke to the upbeat pop song that was her programmed ring tone. She rolled over and heard the words she will never forget: “There has been an accident.”

That is where the clarity ends. She could no more distinguish those following days than distinguish the many hues of a sunset. The two images that haunt her are the number 0.19, which was his blood alcohol content, and a tiny white coffin covered in the most beautiful flowers she had ever seen. She doesn’t know who picked out the flowers. Maybe it was her mother. She would never know now.

It was getting dark on the island. The birds had left long ago. The remaining fish were certainly homeward bound. The beach was quickly shrinking. She loved it here because she could see the stars. For most of her life the city lights stole them from her, but here she could see them. Her daughter would had loved it here too.

She stood, stretching her stiff legs. She did not brush off the sand that decided to come with her. It was part of her now. She took off her city clothes; shorts, tank top, underwear. She stepped into the chill ocean. She wished it could have been different. She wished that she hadn’t failed; that he hadn’t failed. She wished that they hadn’t failed her, for she was helpless, only a child. With every step she went deeper into the cleansing sea. It slowly washed away her regrets, her guilt, her memories. The farther she walked the more at peace she became. Perhaps in another life she would return to this island and remember the peace that it brought her at the end and she would live her life differently.

She took one final look at the stars and let the ocean engulf her.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Regret vs. Guilt

re⋅gret
  /rɪˈgrɛt/ [ri-gret] -gret⋅ted, -gret⋅ting, noun
–verb (used with object)
1. to feel sorrow or remorse for (an act, fault, disappointment, etc.): He no sooner spoke than he regretted it.
2. to think of with a sense of loss: to regret one's vanished youth.
–noun
3. a sense of loss, disappointment, dissatisfaction, etc.
4. a feeling of sorrow or remorse for a fault, act, loss, disappointment, etc.
5. regrets, a polite, usually formal refusal of an invitation: I sent her my regrets.
6. a note expressing regret at one's inability to accept an invitation: I have had four acceptances and one regret.


guilt
  /gɪlt/ [gilt]
–noun
1. the fact or state of having committed an offense, crime, violation, or wrong, esp. against moral or penal law; culpability: He admitted his guilt.
2. a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined.
3. conduct involving the commission of such crimes, wrongs, etc.: to live a life of guilt.


A lot of people regret things that they have done in their lives. I have always been a bit proud that I am not regretful. The things that I have done have made me who I am.

On the other hand, I feel guilty about everything. Seriously. I carry so much guilt around it's hard to stand sometimes.

How does regret compare to guilt?

Firstly, with a quick look, guilt is way more serious. Sally regrets giving Sarah that last drink. Sally feels guilty about letting Sarah drive home drunk.

They are both feelings of remorse (deep and painful regret for wrongdoing; compunction).

Side note: Don't you hate it when you are trying to figure out the meaning of a word just to have the definitions circle around one another?

Regret is remorse for an act or fault. Guilt is remorse for a crime or offense. Geez.

I think the most important part of either of these definitions is that guilt is for something either real or imagined. Regrets are real. Ben called Lucy a bitch and regrets it. Lucy got angry, stormed out the door and got hit by a bus. Now Ben feels guilty about Lucy getting hit by the bus. Ben wasn't driving the bus. Calling Lucy a bitch did not cause her hospitalization.

Who knows, maybe Ben is better off.

What is my conclusion? I suppose it would be healthier to be regretful than guilt ridden. Especially for things out of your (my) control. I don't know if anyone else learned anything in the past couple of minutes (assuming you are a slow reader) but I did. I can't say that it will help or change anything, but I certainly learned something.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nothing

This post is not going to have any pictures, or cool formats, or anything insightful or deep or funny. Just me.

I've been so sad lately. I don't have any reason. I had a fairly good weekend, yet I was still sad the whole time.

I mean, it was by no means perfect. I am worried about some of my family. Something is wrong with my car. Muffler? Whatever it is, I don't really have the money for it. As if anyone ever has the money to fix their car. Ryder headbutted me so hard that I think my nose is bruised. I had an allergic reaction to my friend's bird.

But I saw a bunch of people. I visited with some friends. I had a Mii created. I finished my will. I found out that my BMI is normal! Goddamn miracle, right there. Yet, I remain sad.

Just can't seem to shake it.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Five People Who Annoy Me This Week

1. Post-Election Activists
You know the types. They say nothing before the election. Probably do not vote. Then complain and complain and rally AFTER the election. Wednesday is not the right time to decide to protest, start groups, and rally. Monday probably would have been a better day for that. I cannot even look at FaceBook right now.

2. Lazy People
The people who use the elevator to go up one flight. The people who ride the bus for three blocks.

3. Elitist Environmentalists
Yes, being green is good for the environment, and is totally fashionable. I read this blog where the author suggested to start buying delicious organic soups and to donate your old soup to food banks. The commenters called her an elitist because why would you give poor people bad (read: Campbell's) soup? You should take that soup and composite it! These people are the elitists! People at food banks would rather Campbell's soup then no soup at all. You would really rather throw perfectly good soup onto the ground then give it to a hungry family? WTF?

4. People Who Don't Clean Up After Themselves
We had a man from our lab start a new job this week. He did not clean up his bench AT ALL. It literally looks like he was in the middle of something then dropped everything and left. And who does he expect to clean and go through all this shit?

5. People Who Want Me To Do Their Work For Them
When I offer to help, it does not mean I am offering to do it for you. When you ask me to look something up for you, and I do, then you have additional questions about it that I cannot answer - look the damn thing up yourself! There is nothing worse than someone telling me what questions to ask the person on the other line, then having questions about their answers. I don't friggin know. Do it your own damn self. I should just start sending these out.



Angela's Adventures

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Pictures

Here we are. The much anticipated Halloween pictures!!

Here's my little monkey:



He made all kinds of friends in the hay bale maze.



Yummy hot dog.



If you look closely you can see all the powdered sugar.



Twins, maybe?



Oh, effing Ferris wheel...



How I adore thee....



Party poopers;



This couple is my fave every year:



MJ lives?



This is a good one!



Boo!



Yup, the DeLorean.



This guy was super creepy. He was just standing there.



He would've been had he not been so intoxicated.



The loot:



Sometimes I Wish I Believed in God

Sometimes I wish I believed in God. Sometimes it would be nice to say a little prayer and everything be okay. A few words and there would be this invisible force field around my loved ones and no harm would come to them. There would be rainbows and butterflies.

Sometimes I wish I believed in God. Sometimes it would be nice to have answers. Any situation and I would have a cute little saying. Let go and let God. Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.

But the truth is that I do not believe in God. A few words spoken to an ethereal deity will not make me feel better. Will not produce sunshine and rainbows. Will not keep my loved ones safe.

I am glad I do not believe in God. I take responsibility for my own actions. I do not fear judgement. I do not pass judgement because some holy text tells me to. I do not wonder what happens when I die. I am not limited by what some religion believes are my limits.

I believe that this, too, shall pass.