Hello Blogging buddies! I have some bad news and some really, really good news! Bad news first; I’ve stopped posting on How Can I Complain? The good news is, that I started a new blog in January and I’d love for all of you to visit it. It’s called The Ravenously Disappearing Woman. I started it as a weight loss journal, at the suggestion of my weight loss counselor, and it ended up morphing into a blog. I’ve met many nice people at my new home, but I still think often of all of my original blogging buddies! It would be wonderful to hear from all of you! ❤ 🙂
Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging; at least that’s what I’m blaming my eight month, unplanned hiatus on. It couldn’t be laziness or my incredibly short attention span that’s kept me away from sharing my life on WordPress for the past three-quarters of a year. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, making a mere word is just worth a word, I thought I’d combine the two to let you know what I’ve been up to.
November: I went through quite a little art phase that began in November and is still going on. I collage. I paint. I shop at Michael’s. I make art, not great art, but I think that people at Michael’s probably think I’m Picasso as much as I’m in there!
December: In December, my husband made one of my wildest dreams come true! It involved a bus, the hubs and another man who I hope to one day make my second brother-husband. Minds out of gutters, dear readers! My husband took me to Manhattan to see Hugh Jackman on Broadway. Our seats were close enough for me to see the sweat on his well-chiseled brow. The whole trip was one of the best times I’ve ever had.
*January: I couldn’t recount the past eight months without recalling my favorite trashy TV premiers. VH-1’s Mob Wives premiered in January. Now repeat after me in your very best Botox inhibited and cigarette induced New Jersey accent: “You ain’t lived until you’ve seen and heard Big Ang!” Really, readers, you haven’t!
*February: TV goodness continues with the premier of National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers. If this show doesn’t help you get ready for December 2012, nothing will.
March: I got my first, and only, tattoo. My oldest daughter designed it and got the exact same one on her bicep. My youngest daughter wants to eventually get it. She’s still a little bit unsure about the pain aspect of being tattooed. The three birds on the branch represent my lovely daughters and me, and the bird above them represents my mother watching over us. March was the 28 year anniversary of her death.
*April: Celebrating my 48th birthday in April paled in comparison to the mystical wonder of the premier of TLC’s My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding. This show is especially near and dear to my heart because much of it was filmed just 20 minutes away from my house!!! I’ve actually seen the following people in my local Michael’s!
May: We took our annual beach trip to Nags Head, NC. While there we endured tropical depression Beryl, ate tons of glorious crustaceans, and my husband plucked a glass lizard out of our pool filter! Yikes!
June: Welcome to now! I’m chilling with the cats and blogging to you. (Actually, I’m chilling and they’re staring at me. It’s pretty creepy.)
(I like to imagine that my cats sound like Stewie from Family Guy.)
*I do other things besides watch TV. No, seriously, I do!
What have all of you been up to lately?
This is the real ghost story that I promised earlier this week. I apologize for the lack of my usual writing flair. The three-day migraine that I’m in the midst of seems to have stripped me of all creativity!
The following creepy occurrence kept me out of our basement for pretty much the rest of my teenaged years. What do you think it might have been?
As a teenager, I had an obsessive love-hate relationship with all things otherworldly. On one hand, I adored talking about and reading tales of poltergeist, demons, and monsters; but on the other hand, they scared the living crap out of me and forced me to sleep with the lights on whilst I pathetically begged my mother, in much the style of a three year-old, to sleep with me. By the time I’d turned 15, I’d read every ghost story that my small town’s library had to offer, and I’d listened in awe to every creepy story that my friends had to tell, but despite my burning interest, I had no personal ghost stories of my own to share. With my easy spookability, I’d certainly imagined ghoulish hands reaching from beneath my bed to snatch any limb or appendage that accidentally exited my covers during the night. I’d additionally witnessed demonic profiles and ghostly pictures haunting the shadows on my walls as I’d attempted to fall asleep. However, these spooks were merely figments of my very active imagination, and it wasn’t until January 1, 1980 that I had my first, and thankfully only, supernatural experience.
I remember the exact date because it was the last day of my winter break from school, and like most 15 year-olds, I’d put off doing any homework until the last possible moment. I’d gathered my books and headed downstairs to my usual study spot, our basement rec room. I’d just spread my school stuff out on half of the ping-pong table and settled into a chair swiped from the card table when I felt a swift, icy breeze sweep across my back and neck. Adrenaline shot through me and the hair on my arms instantly rose. I scanned the room for the source. The basement was completely underground making a wind of any temperature impossible. Our house was still decorated for the holidays, and I watched in terror as the wind that touched my neck ruffled the Christmas cards arranged atop a bookshelf on the opposite wall. From the shelf my eyes were instantly drawn to the slightly swaying branches of the Christmas tree situated in the corner directly beneath my bedroom. A cold, horror filled me as a foggy mist began surrounding the tree. The mist weaved and moved through the branches, and condensed around the nativity scene arranged on the tree’s skirt. My mother had long ago painted the figures for this crèche in a ceramics class, and my father had crafted the wooden stable that housed Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus. Atop the stable’s entrance was an angel. I stared in disbelief as the ethereal fog thickened around it. I tried to call out to my mother, but no words would escape my lips as I watched the tiny cherub shake and rock from side-to-side. I remained frozen, feeling an overwhelming sense of evil, as its quaking and quivering continued. Finally, the angel dropped from the nail that it had once securely held it and hit the carpeted floor. It was then that I was released from my stiffness; then that I could scream and run breathlessly up the stairs to the security of my family.
At first, my parents naturally blamed my experience on my overactive imagination and my above average desire to put off schoolwork, but I think my mom eventually began to believe my tale after several sleepless weeks of being called to my room in the middle of the night. My friends thought my encounter was awesome and all had their theories about what I had seen. Was it a ghost? A demon? What do you think?
Have you ever had a ghostly encounter? Tell me about it.
Remain calm. Don’t freak out. All is well, I promise. The fact that I have yet to use an exclamation point proves that I’m not upset. This is not a murder scene. In fact, my daughter, who appears to be the victim, was having a difficult time not laughing when this shot was taken. That girl is one tough cookie! (See, that interjection was a positive one.) She’s only momentarily resting in that disgusting pool of gore after fighting off an intruder, and you can best believe that the poor bastard left with aching junk and a depleted blood supply. Like I said, my kid is tough.
This picture is a still shot from a short flick that her film-student boyfriend, Owen made for one of his classes. Thankfully, this film was made at his house. I’m all for creative expression, but copious amounts of fake blood are not allowed in the confines of my home. They can spray and splatter my yard and driveway until Dexter comes to investigate, but one drop of that stuff on my hardwood floors and I’ll freak!
With my favorite holiday only six days away, I have several Halloween posts in the making, including a REAL ghost story that happened to me! I may even be tempted to vlog again, once I figure out what my costume’s going to be! Stay tuned!
Do you like horror flicks? What type? (I’m a psychological thriller kinda girl—no blood and gore for me!) What will you be watching this Halloween?
Early in the morning, on the day my mother left this earth, she called me. It was not to tell me the secret of life, or ooze with gushy words over my greatness at being her daughter; it was to remind me to go to the financial aid office to make sure my paperwork for my student loan had been processed for the next semester. While she certainly remembered to end the conversation with an “I love you,” her call was a purposeful prompt for me to get things done. This wasn’t because she found me too incompetent to take care of my own shizz, because thanks to her, I’d been handling my own shizz for quite some time. Her final reminder was an example of who she was; a woman who endlessly worried about her children. I am SO my mother’s daughter.
On a daily basis you can hear me say such phrases as: “Did you eat lunch; what did you have?” “You have that paper due on the 11th; are you making note cards?” “Be careful at that blind turn on your way to school!” Do I think my daughters wouldn’t eat lunch, turn assignments in on time, or crash their cars without my input? Certainly not! I know, from my own experience, that after my mother’s death, I turned in papers in a timely manner, unplugged the coffee maker before leaving the house, and that I always remembered to not buy cheap bras, “because they’ll make your boobs sag!” Oh, but I missed her unnecessary input, and I still hear her voice at the crux of any decision I make.
Yes, I’m a serious nag, and during my daughter’s teen years, my advice and questioning was often met with eye rolls. Now my ceaseless guidance, in most cases, evokes a smile, because they know. They know that my badgering is one of the ways that I stay enmeshed in their lives. It’s one of the silly ways that I say “I love you,” and show that I care so deeply about them that I want even the most miniscule details of their lives to go smoothly. Even in my mother’s last hours, she was tangled up in the routines of my life. She was giving me orders that voiced her love and expectations of me. I am SO much my mother’s daughter.
Do you nag your children unnecessarily? Was, or is, your mom a nag?
Today, I have the honor of guest posting for the spunky and talented Renée Schuls-Jacobson on her fabulous blog “Lessons from Teachers and Twits.” I am very fortunate to be able to share the story of Mrs. Larson, my fifth grade teacher, who put up with my constant shenanigans with grace and poise. So, please head on over to Renée’s blog and check my story out. While you’re there, you’ll want to stop and read heaps and bunches of Renée’s stuff, because just like the gorgeous Hugh Jackman, it’s really great! (You can also find her on Twitter at RASJacobson)
I have a pathetic confession, I have absolutely no idea what the latest, serious news stories are. This is usually not like me. I used to teach school and I know the importance of keeping up with current events. My normal “first thing in the morning” routine is to drink coffee (lots of coffee), read the news on my computer while I watch it on television; perfect multimedia multitasking. The truth is, from around the time the last Harry Potter was released, I haven’t paid one iota of attention to serious news. I’m not blaming this on Harry. Lord knows, the poor guy has had enough on his plate, with defeating “You-know-who” and restoring the wizarding world to normalcy, to shoulder any of my burdens. It is solely my doing, or the doing of my mid-life crisis, that has caused me to delve into the world of escapism. So, for the fun of it, I’ll share with you the few things that I’ve discovered during my six week hiatus from reality.
First off, I know exactly what’s happening on True Blood, and may I share that I wasn’t thrilled with episodes eight, nine, or ten. C’mon, Alan Ball, can’t you at least pretend to have read the
books? Next, I’ll confess that I wish I would have started watching Boardwalk Empire last season. I’ve watched the first seven episodes online and it is AMAZING!! You go Steve Buscemi! I’ve also been delving into documentaries more often than usual. I watched Supersize Me for the third time. I developed an appreciation for street art after my youngest recommended Exit through the Gift Shop and I surprised myself by enjoying Beyond the Mat, a film about the lives of several professional wrestlers.
It’s not just the high quality entertainment that premium channels have to offer that’s been making me forget stuff like who our president is or whether we’re allies with Libya, it’s the less costly, trashier channels that have been keeping me occupied, as well. Have I watched a women reenacting giving birth in a toilet, because she didn’t know she was pregnant? Yes. Have I observed housewives from New Jersey forgetting to follow the golden rule? You know it. Have I tuned in to Joey Greco showing hidden camera footage to woman who is ready to kick her cheating boyfriend’s ass? Yep. Do I know whether or not Eden Wood won the “Rumble in the Jungle” beauty pageant? That would also be a yes. Do I feel guilty for watching any of these low quality programs? Oddly, I don’t.
Before you judge me too harshly, I also read. Like a champ, I read all of the blogs that I subscribe to almost every, single day. I’m also reading several books at once. My bedtime book is The Sea of Monsters; book two of the Percy Jackson series. My living room forwhentheTVgetsboring book is currently Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks, and my bathroom book is David Haviland’s Why You Should Store Your Farts in a Jar & Other Oddball or Gross Maladies, Afflictions, Remedies, and “Cures” (and, no, I didn’t make that up). I’ll admit, none of these are on the classics list, but if their subjects were too heady I wouldn’t be escaping.
As superiorly pleasurable as escapism is, I feel that it may be time to return to the world of the living. So, now I’m left wondering about the happenings of the world while I was “out-to-lunch.” Should I be learning Russian? Has the Zombie Apocalypse occurred? Have scientists discovered a cure for chronic flatulence? Only time, and a few Google searches, will tell.
How do you “escape,” dear readers?