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Category Archives: Everyday Observations

Identify yourself, blog.

In my loooong spell of not writing, one of the things I did (besides hiding and wallowing incessantly) was read blogs upon blogs upon blogs (Of course doing this led me to more wallowing and self loathing, but let’s not talk about that now, shall we?)

This sick habit brought upon me the stark realization that most blogs had some sort of identity; for example, they talked about travel, writing, houses, business, food… you know– topics. I quickly realized that mine was sort of like a lost dog (without a name), wandering aimlessly in the night, far, far away from home, without one of those creepy GPS chips that would bring it home safely.  I realized it was sort of the Seinfeld of blogs… meaning, it was really about, well, nothing in particular. Oh.

Really, this shouldn’t have surprised me in the least bit, because frankly, I’m a bit like a lost (nameless) dog wandering aimlessly in the night (and there is no way I’d ever have GPS implanted under my skin). I like to think about a lot of things (sometimes obsessively). How could I limit myself to just one topic? The horror! The—GASP– commitment!  Run, run quickly!

And run is exactly what I did for oh, about 9 months (ONE baby comment on that line and I’m hunting you down and kicking your ass, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back style). When I finally sat down to face writing again, I realized this blog is simply about life. Uh, obviously, right? Ok, fine.  I know that’s a broad statement, but that’s what life is—a broad variety of ‘topics’ flowing together. Some days, it’s about nothing. Some days it’s emotional, some days it’s funny. Some days you take trips, others you sit at home and wonder what the hell went wrong.

So there you have it—my blog’s identity is that its identity is ever changing, much like its writer. There will be bullshit, travel, nothingness, observations, and maybe sometimes an inspiration or two (of the most cynical variety, naturally). So there it is– my blog’s identity is multilayered— sometimes I travel, but mostly I just think, observe or write. What more do you need?

(That is, of course, a rhetorical question. I fully understand cheese, bread and the movie Goodfellas are essential to life)

But Elephants are SO Cute.

Sure they are.

Unless, of course, they are standing in the middle of your room, and you try to ignore them. Then, they tend to be a big ol’ problem.

Don't blame your failures on me, woman!

Yes, I suffered a serious lack of writing.

What are you, my boss? No? Then leave me be! I’m kidding. Please don’t leave, because then I’d be down to 3 readers, and I hate things that are uneven.

Let’s just say I’ve been…. Underground. No need to bore you with the details… I mean, it’s not like I’m a storyteller or anything. Wait, what? Oh, ignore this whole line.

I wish I could promise I’d never leave you again, but that involves commitment, something which I’m really not good friends with.  But seriously, this should make you like me more, what with the whole ‘she might not be around forever so read her while you can’ thing floating in the air.  It’s like being a ‘limited edition’ or having an expiration date.

Regardless, we shall resume from here and pretend like nothing ever happened, because that’s what old friends do.

The truth is, sometimes artists suffer at the hands of their own craft. The muse becomes the tormentor, the art becomes a plague, so we avoid, avoid, avoid.  I found myself avoiding, but you can’t ignore your love forever, right? (What’s that? You can? I must have missed that option. Damn. Oh well, on with the writing!)

As they say, the only way out is through.

Thanksgiving Thoughts: The Anti Thanksgiving Post.

Why turkey? Is it because it only comes in one size—gigantic—and not small and cute like those cute little roaster chickens we eat during the rest of the year?

Whose idea was it that we should all gather with family? Is it to show us how grateful we are to be able to leave them?

Have you ever noticed that on the week of Thanksgiving there is a ton of food in the house, but nothing to eat Monday through Wednesday? Once all that Thursday cooking is done, the fridge is empty, and so is your wallet because you spent your entire food budget on food for just one day.

Want to see the scariest place on earth? Visit a supermarket on Thanksgiving week. It’s as if everyone just suddenly remembered a holiday we celebrate every year at the same time was upon them.

Seriously, why do we eat the same meal every year? It’s a little creepy, almost as if we’ve been brainwashed. (Yes, I do understand what the word tradition means, but if you’re asking me that, you clearly don’t understand what the word sarcastic means)

Who are you fooling with that fancy china? No one gives a crap what their plate looks like when it’s slathered in gravy.

Why does Thanksgiving have to “kick off” the holiday season? Do we really need a whole “season” for holidays?

Who decided that standing on line at four am (not for a club) all drunk on turkey was a fun idea? How in the hell did they get that many people to buy into it??

Does anyone really watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade?  Have you seen those creepy floats?  I mean really, people.

 

It’s official—Thanksgiving is an obligatory pain in the ass, and I’m grateful that every year I get to say it.

 

I hope you all survive the endless eating and encounters with family 🙂

What Aisle is the Inspiration On, Please?

Writers are usually keen observers of life. You will often times find us just sitting and staring, semi-detached and apart from life; an outsider looking in.  We usually prefer it that way… just stick us in a comer and let us be—don’t talk to us, but make sure to talk around us. We are typically great listeners with 24/7 thoughts. Sadly, though, those 24/7 thoughts sometimes keep us locked in our own heads (there is so much there to entertain us!), desperately trying to catalog chaotic thoughts and harvest only those that inspire and move us. Sometimes, the harvest is rotten, and we are forced to go back and listen some more. And more, and more, and more….you get the picture. It is, honestly, exhausting at times.  At times, there are many thoughts, but nothing inspiring, leaving us desperately searching for something inspiring, which is a problem. Inspiration usually comes when you least expect it, when you are most free from the obsessive qualities that inhabit a writer in the everyday world. 

Oh, how I sometimes wish they just sold inspiration in a pretty little box at Rite Aid.  ((Sigh))

A Love Letter to the People of Costa Rica.

Pura Vida! Pura Vida! Puuura Veeeeda! I hear this happy phrase constantly, its joyful energy suspicious to my cynical American ears. It dances around me, like perfectly planned choreography, just waiting for me to catch on, join in the dance.

Pura Vida. It flows out of the lips, curling them ever so slightly into a smile, whether you like it or not. My American style skepticism is on high alert. Who are these cheerful people, throwing around such a blissful saying with such genuine happiness? I thought happy people, real live happy people, were just the stuff that myths and movies were made of? Could it be that I have found a treasure trove of happiness in this little nature drenched country?  Suddenly; there was clarity—the true key as to why Costa Rica is able to cast such a spell on those who visit, leaving a permanent imprint on the heart. The secret, my friends, is the people.

As I meander through the crooked streets, I’m met with smiles. Friendly “holas” greet me as I saunter by. Warmth radiates, hangs in the air, mixes with the landscape, creates magic.  There is soulfulness to the people, a friendliness not usually encountered in everyday life. Am I just drunk on vacation, I wonder? I must get deeper, so I set out to observe.

There is perpetual laughter in the air, a smile painting the lips of almost everyone. They throw nicknames at each other in an affectionate way. It seems as if everyone cracks jokes, exchanges glances, and “pura vidas.” 

Are they faking it? I am now on a mission, seeking out anyone and everyone willing to give me the time of day (which, by the way, is pretty much everyone). They are funny, gracious, and curious.  I find myself smiling more, the petulant American style attitude shedding more with each day.

Through many a long hour of conversations with locals, I discovered that life is not always smooth sailing in Costa Rica—wages tend to be lower than in United States but the cost of living is similar. People work long hours in hard jobs for half of the money. And yet… they just shrug this off when asked about it. They are happy to share details with you, but not once did it exit their mouths in the form of a complaint, a difference that I notice immediately. Is that their secret? I decide I need a second; third, many even tenth visit in order to further test my theory.

I later learn that Costa Rica is in the top 5 countries listed in numerous studies as the “Happiest Places on Earth.” Last year, it ranked number one in a study on the “happiest countries.”  I am not at all shocked, but I am glad I didn’t know this before I went, so there wasn’t a chance that statistics and “supposed tos” could influence my mind.

 So, you ask, what does “Pura Vida” mean?  It means, well… everything. It’s “hello” “goodbye” “thank you” “you’re welcome” “don’t worry about it” “it’s awesome” “nice to meet you…” the list goes on and on and on. It makes no sense and yet perfect sense.

As my days in Costa Rica wind up, I find myself thinking of how I can bottle this happiness up and bring it home with me. Impossible. Then suddenly, I think of “pura vida.”  If I blurt out this little saying out at home in the states, would people just crinkle up their face at me in frustration? I didn’t know, but floating on optimism, I vowed to try.

Foolish, Yet Intriguing, Thoughts to Ponder– Part One.

Bananas clearly enjoy communal living, hence the reason they reside in a bunch, no? Why, then, do people feel the need to break apart the family? You know what I’m talking about (hell, you may even be the guilty party). You are wandering the stacks of bananas and you can’t help but notice an orphan over here, two orphans over there, oh, and don’t forget those single ladies in the back! Who’s responsible for this? Do they not know that they are tearing families apart, breaking the banana code, shattering lives? Who are these people? I demand answers! I want to know who only wants to eat two bananas. Who can’t handle six bananas, especially if they are still green and in no danger of crossing over to the mushy banana mess we all hate.  I mean, really. If you don’t like bananas, don’t buy any! Don’t tear off two because you feel like trying them again (even though you don’t really like them), leaving a broken banana village filled with orphans in your wake.

What is it about the weekend that makes people not want to cook? Isn’t this when we have the “most” time? So why do we abandon our kitchens and pack ourselves into mediocre restaurants that we have to wait 45 minutes to get into only to sit down (finally!) and then have to rush through the meal because hundreds more just like us and impatiently waiting for our table? Why do we rush during the week to try and put a home cooked meal on the table in under thirty minutes because we are so pressed for time, yet don’t even attempt to cook when we have all the time in the world? Don’t look at me for answers; I do the same damn thing! I’m just throwing it out there, that’s all.

At times I find myself hiding out in the bathroom at work because I just can’t take it anymore. This gives a girl a lot of time to think… which leads me to the question—why are people messy when they think no one is looking? I mean, you wouldn’t throw paper towels on the floor at home, would you? Then why do we do it at work? Are we really such selfish people that we delight in making a mess that we know we won’t have to clean up? Or is this just the little way we get back at the man for making us work in such a boring, stress inducing environment?  Maybe it’s just for the sheer delight that we know no one is watching; it’s one of the few places in the world where we can still remain anonymous, so we celebrate our anonymity by being total and complete pigs.

The Heat War, part 1.

Welcome to October in the Northeast United States, a lovely time of sunny days and cool, refreshing breezes, perfect for tossing on a nice, cozy sweater and enjoying the lower temperatures.

Yes, enjoying the weather… as long as you don’t work in my office, however.

Nope, if you work with me, you’ve got to come in full on beach gear, year ‘round.

I am not a fan of being hot unless I am lounging on a beach (or hammock), unencumbered by the world and its spiteful responsibilities. I particularly hate the dry, smelly, suffocating hot false heat created by heaters inside a building. If you regularly follow my blog (you better!!), you know that I am subject to excruciating temperatures throughout the year inside my little drone land (lots of middle aged women… you get the idea).  It should come as no surprise then that the change of season brings about The Heat War in my office.  The Heat War is a reoccurring battle, one that I usually loose (no surprise there). As usual with the way things work in the world, the way of the few and powerful is forced upon the masses. This is no different in my office. The thermostat is treated like the most scared object that one could possibly encounter. I mean, I’m shocked it’s out there in plain view, for all us non-elites to see. Oh, wait, that’s right… it’s only there as a tease. You see, the thermostat is better protected than the President. It sits high and mighty on the wall, in a clear, impenetrable locked box. The key that unlocks this magic box is apparently on par with The Holy Grail, and it is keep under watchful eye, with access going only to the privileged and elite.  Only a precious few have access to the key (and a temperature regulated paradise!), and the rest of us peasants must accept the temperature and suffer. That’s right, as soon as the calendar flips its page to October; the heat kicks on, even if it is 72 balmy degrees outside. You may not ask for it to be turned off either, God no!  This cannot and will not happen, so don’t get any crazy ideas. Instead, just come dressed for the beach (make that the nude beach, ok? It’s that freakin’ hot!).

My conspiracy thinking head begs me to believe it’s a test, honestly. A sick game, if you will.  They’re trying to sweat us out, see who cracks first, who reveals the damn secrets. The secrets of what, you ask?? Well, I’m not sure exactly, but there must be some, right?? I mean, what else could be the reason for this heat torture? (Didn’t I tell you readers previously that this office was better than Guantanamo?  Let’s consider this “Exhibit B,” shall we??) (If you haven’t read it, check my entry from July 15, 2010)

I mean, it couldn’t possibly be that the person in charge of the almighty key was just too… illogical (and that’s being so kind) to watch the weather and control the temperature accordingly, could it?? No, they would never give someone that… (lacking common sense, lazy, totally out of touch with reality)… illogical (being kind again!) so much power, would they??

I mean, wait… aren’t people “in charge” usually smart and educated and able to make rational decisions? Hmm… what’s that, you say? Have I ever heard of whom? Politicians? Ooooh, that’s right

To be continued….