Category Archives: My Mind Is A Sieve and My Memories Are Fleeting

Wolverines Are Kind Of Jerks But Vampires Are Ok

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As my friend Deals has more important things to do than blog these days, such as care for a newborn,  I suppose the task falls to me to share our text exchanges with the world. You’re welcome.

The texts followed repeated messages left on her voicemail begging her to find someone who is

  • Not pregnant
  • Doesn’t have a suckling infant attached to their waist
  • Not planning a wedding
  • Has no shame in asking their friends for money (for a good cause, really!  It isn’t padding my 401K.  Although I am taking personal donations.)

Deals: Sorry I suck at returning phone calls!
Deals: I always mean to and then forget
Deals: Having a baby is very distracting
Me: I’ve noticed. What are you doing today?
Deals: Feeding baby, washing dogs, feeding baby, going to store, feeding baby, etc.
Deals: This three hour loop is exhausting
Deals: Did you find anyone for ur committee? I would do it myself if I didn’t have a brand new Banner.
Me: I know. I would have totally recruited you if Thor wasn’t keeping you busy.  Still need committee members so if you know anyone who is interested let me know.
Me: I was just feeling guilty for not seeing you guys.
Me: I think he can smell my fear.  Are you sure he’s not a wolverine?
Deals: Vampire actually, he hates the sun
Me: Well at least I can relate to vampires. I was worried because wolverines are kind of jerks.
Deals: I just feel terrible I’ve been so bad about calling u back!
Me: You get a pass til Thor turns 18 but after that I hold you responsible

The moral of the story is that wolverines are kind of jerks but vampires are ok. That, and people with babies can’t be responsible for their actions or inaction.

 

“Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right.”

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I don’t believe in making resolutions as they tend to end in tears more often than not. Rather than focus on “resolving” a supposed deficiency (because I’m perfect, of course!) I prefer to create attainable goals with an achievable action plan. As we ring in 2012 I am challenging myself to maximize my potential! Here are 7 things I plan to do in 2012:

1. Celebrate my accomplishments. Building a freelance business is HARD. I will celebrate my accomplishments small or large and plan to accomplish more.

2. Spend time with myself… and then spend time with others. It’s always important to spend time with yourself and carve out time to rejuvenate your mind and spirit.  However, there is such a thing as living too much in your head and I can be guilty of that at times.  I won’t be afraid to enjoy a solo dinner or a lengthy conversation with a dear friend.

3. Think outside the box. I don’t think anyone would accuse me of being a traditionalist but my goal this year is to help others think outside the box and consider new ideas that will help them in business or in life.

4. Kick procrastination to the curb. There are always things in life that get pushed to the back of our “To Do” lists because they are boring or just plain unpleasant.  Rather than waste time procrastinating I plan to hold myself accountable to all of my “To Do” items.

5. Focus on the journey. As in MY journey. Not my best friend’s journey. Not that random chick at the coffee shop’s journey. Who cares if someone else is younger, more accomplished, wealthier, prettier, etc, etc? Everyone has their own unique journey and successes in life. Rather than trying to live up other’s success I plan to live up to my own success.

6. Make health and happiness a priority. No one else is going to take care of my body and my mind. I will get off the couch and work out as well as focus on healthy eating for a fit lifestyle.

7. Let go of negative relationships. Just because you’ve known someone for 10 years doesn’t mean that you have a healthy relationship. I will focus on building healthy, happy relationships and releasing negative friendships.

What are your goals for the New Year?  How do you plan to maximize your potential this year?

“Diaper backward spells repaid. Think about it.”

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Once you enter your 30s it is inevitable that friends will start to settle down. When a slew of wedding invitations and birth announcements found their way into my mailbox I accepted the change with as much grace as I could muster. I figured that while these poor schmucks were yoyo dieting to fit into wedding dresses and becoming sleepless zombies thanks to their newborns, I could continue to bask in the freedom of single life without a husband or child to weigh me down. But then I moved back to the States and witnessed first hand the impact of nesting on once single friends. These friends, once beholden to no one but themselves, were putting spouse and child’s needs ahead of their own… and it scared the crap out of me.

The reality hit me hardest when a good friend announced she was pregnant last summer.  I was on my way to becoming the last single girl. What did I have in common with these women anymore? I would rather scratch my eyes out than talk about breast feeding and sleep schedules. But as I watched this friend contend with pregnancy with her usual sarcasm and horror I realized that a child could never break the bond of crazy, we would always have irrational fears, awe inspiring stories, or just plain bizarre life moments.

With that said I’m happy to announce that said friend delivered her baby (aka Thor) at 5:46 this morning. If I was a better friend I’d know how much it weighed and stuff but I’m just happy knowing that he is a healthy baby boy.  With the birth of Thor I’ve decided it’s  no longer appropriate to continue referring to his dad as”Studmuffin”. I gave him a  variety of mildly inappropriate new nicknames to choose from but rather than allow him to weigh in on the matter I’ve decided that my favorite is an amalgamation of his former nickname and his new role as proud pop. So “Studmuffin” I hereby rename you “MuffinPop”. Congratulations!

Where Were You When… The Ball Dropped in 1999?

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Join me for the Where Were You When? Series and share your story about how major world events impacted your life.  

Image Credit: Where Were You? Events That Changed The World 26-episode series graphic
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Because I’m a slacker who doesn’t keep up with her own blog series I am always pleased when other people write my posts for me. It also helps when these events coincide with the exact same thing that I was doing at the time.

In 1999 I was 19 years old and in my second year at a small Texas college.  I remember the hoopla surrounding the millennial new year celebration and the fear that it inspired in the armageddonists.  Will the Y2K bug revert the world’s computers to 1900 and effectively stop commerce, business, and life itself?  Some people stockpiled supplies in fear of the end times as the world prepared to usher in the new millennium. I, on the other hand, was ready to party it up just in case there was no tomorrow.

To read more about avoiding death, zombies, and water turning to blood with the new millennium head on over to So Long And Thanks For All The Fish.  If you’d like to be a part of this series please drop me a comment so I can share your blog here as well.

What’s In Your Attic?

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Since I’ve been back in my Dallas my mom has used the opportunity free labor to nicely request demand that I organize clear out the attic.  Somehow, over the past couple of decades, my parent’s attic has become a dumping ground for anything that we are too sentimentally attached lazy to donate or trash.  In this ongoing project we’ve come across some pretty random findings, which gives me the opportunity to share our embarrassing attic secrets with you.*

Just in time for Halloween we found an old grave marker for my great-uncle, Jesse James Dixon, a World War One veteran, born in 1892 and deceased in 1958.

“Minnie” insists that my great-uncle was likely named after two of his uncles, Jesse and James.  I prefer my explanation that Jesse’s mom was an old school hipster who wanted to strike fear into the hearts of kids in the schoolyard by naming him after gang leader, bank robber, Confederate guerilla, murderer, and all-around American outlaw bad-ass: Jesse James (1847-1882).**

According to Minnie, my great-uncle was pretty awesome, as well as, a bit of a romantic. Minnie still has the love letters he wrote to my great-aunt Pearl and thought that they had one of the happiest marriages of anyone she knew.  I never knew my great-uncle, but I did have the pleasure of knowing my great-aunt Pearl.  She could kick it as well as any eighty-something with the under ten crowd.

So, what interesting things do you have hidden away in your attic/garage/crawl space?  Please share your stories and save Sylvester and Minnie from languishing alone in their embarrassment.

*Due to legal restraints embarrassment my mother insists that I refer to her and my father as “Sylvester” and “Minnie” in order to protect their real identities and the contents of their attic.  After this they’re going to rob a stagecoach.
**Apparently American bad-asses have short life expectancies.

Where Were You When… The Twin Towers Fell

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Join me for the Where Were You When? Series and share your story about how major world events impacted your life.  

Image Credit: Where Were You? Events That Changed The World 26-episode series graphic
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A decade ago I was a new college graduate, renting a room from a family friend, and embarking on a new career path.  I was fortunate; when the hijacked planes hit the Pentagon and the Towers, I was surrounded by great friends who helped shoulder the grief, shock, and distress with good old-fashioned escapism.  A lot of people have exceptional stories about how the Twin Tower attacks greatly impacted their lives and while my life didn’t change drastically that day, the events opened my eyes to the perceptions that people around the globe hold of Americans.

In the days that followed, the aftermath of the attacks didn’t alter my life largely; things slowly returned to normal, and television returned to regularly scheduled programming.  However, America’s role as a world player became more explicit and how we were represented as a government, nation, and people became increasingly clear.  I realized that the actions of a few individuals could skew the perceptions of many, thus, it did not take long to make the conscious decision that I wanted to be a part of changing that perception.

I chose to make a difference through service; I volunteered with refugee agencies, increased my knowledge on human rights issues, and 2 1/2 years ago I became a Peace Corps volunteer in Namibia.  I used the opportunity to promote a better understanding of Americans to Africans and share my experiences of African cultures and people with Americans.  While the tragedy of the terror attacks still weighs heavy on the nation’s collective mind, I hope that one thing that we can take away from this event is that personal interactions, open-mindedness, and embracing different religions is vital to win the “war on terror”.

For another perspective on this day and a new entry into the “Where Were You When?” series visit Kenya’s Expat Extraordinaire blog Yet Another 9/11 Tribute at So Long And Thanks For All The Fish.  If you’d like to be a part of this series please drop me a comment so I can share your blog here as well.

The Sunflower State

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In case you haven’t spent any time in Texas for the past month, here’s an update, it is hot.  Hotter than hot.  So hot I don’t know why I left Africa.  Therefore when the opportunity arose to leave Texas for the weekend I was ecstatic.  Drive 6 hours north to Kansas?  Chill out in the cool 90 degree F weather? Sure, sounds refreshing!

Here’s a short trip recap:

Friday morning: pack – underwear? check. tank top? check. toothbrush/paste? check.  computer/ipad? check.
Friday afternoon: throw on some headphones and play solitaire until the carsickness forces me to sleep
Friday evening: check in at the hotel.  I feared the worst but surprisingly our hotel was nice; my last stay in a Hutch hotel included an airless room with sticky sheets, the pervasive smell of lung cancer, and an incessant buzzing noise.
later on Friday evening: short visit with my grandfather and his wife followed by dinner at a “Mexican” restaurant, Carlos O’Kelly.  My dad insisted that I’d eaten there before but I’m pretty sure I’d remember having Mexican food at an Irish restaurant.

Saturday we spent the day with my grandfather and his wife at Hutch’s main attractions; the Cosmosphere and  the Underground Salt Museum, TWO of the eight wonders of Kansas.  The Cosmosphere houses a huge collection of U.S. Space Artifacts including flown spacecraft; Liberty Bell 7, Gemini 10, and Apollo 13.  However, I thought the coolest aircraft pictured was the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane that is the fastest plane ever built; at it’s top speed it could fly across Kansas (east to west) in 10 minutes.

From there we headed over to the Underground Salt Museum.  Where we plummeted 650 feet below the surface of the earth to see the tunnels and mazes created from decades of salt mining.  We took a tram ride into the dark corners of the mine where they proceeded to turn out ALL of the lights.  Sitting in utter darkness sparked images of salt monsters and missing miners.  I was relieved when they finally turned the lights back on as  I prefer to look my monsters in the eye before I’m devoured.

Alas, the snowman was not made of salt.  However, one of the cool things about the salt mines is that they are able to be used for storage for rare documents and movie/tv show props.  This snow man appeared in the film, Jack Frost, with Michael Keaton in 1998.  And, since I’m a history nerd at heart, one of my favorite parts of the museum was the original newspaper with a feature about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln Assassination Feature
Not too bad for a weekend trip to Kansas.  Quality time with the family + nerdy museum visits = super fun weekend for me.