Monday, November 29, 2010

Dear People That Buy Me Christmas Gifts,

First of all, I want to thank you for wanting to spend your hard-earned money on me. You really don't have to get me anything, honestly. I really don't need anything.

However, if you INSIST, I would be very, indescribably happy to receive this mug. It is from a post of one of my favorite blogs (that is slightly vulgar so please don't go read it unless you can ignore foul language).

Here it is in its entirety (click to enlarge):

(All of this stuff is from Hyperbole and a Half and is owned by Allie Brosh. Some of her posts are very... bold. It is not for the faint of heart and the fact that I think it is hilarious should not tell you anything about my character as a person... Or it should tell you everything. Whatever. I like all people even if they are "out there".)

SO, anyways, Allie has a blog and she writes and draws. She is also hilarious. And she started up a store and this is Close Talker is the mug I would like. You may purchase it here. And I may or may not freak out if I get it. Cause its darn hilarious. 

Be prepared for squealing and possibly some jumps up and down. Because not only are you supplying me with an insane amount of laughter each and every time I look at the mug, but you are also contributing to my coffee habit. And for that, I thank you. 



Friday, November 19, 2010

Oh Really?

Most of my blog entries are written a day or two in advance and scheduled to post. 

The other day I was changing the options on blogger and chatting on Facebook at the same time... I switched back to blogger and this message was up. 

Oh really, Blogger? Is that an illegal post time? Can you, I don't know, hold your horses? I wasn't finished!

Such a strong word for a tiny offense. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Finger Diarrhea and Other Nonsense

I've heard that when you have nothing to blog you should still blog. What I haven't heard is what to blog about when you have nothing of substance to write?

I suppose I will write some quick updates.

-A few days ago, or maybe it was yesterday...Who knows. The days really just bleed together. Anywho. My cell phone at work rang. When I picked it up, there were about four large paper clips magnetically stuck to the speaker on the back of my phone. Of course, right at that time a coworker walked by and laughed at me because I just left the paper clips there. I'm classy like that.

-There are a few things that Bryan and I really want to focus on in this second year of marriage. We both want to find a church and get plugged in. We want to make new coupley-married friends so that we can all talk about coupley-married things. We want to set a budget, stick to it and save money. Bryan wants me to clean more. I want Bryan to clean more. I also want Bryan to brush his dog. Bryan probably wants me to stop losing all my hair. (What is up with that anyways? It must be the changing in the weather, because my side of the sink always has hair every where. Argh.) I want Bryan to get his own dang towel in the morning instead of me handing it to him. No one hands ME a towel when I am done in the shower. I have to step out and around the glass door and then run back in the shower to dry off and not freeze. (Bitter much?) I'd also like Bryan to stop looking like a ragamuffin and cut his DANG hair. Bryan probably wants me to stop whining about how I hate my hair and can't figure out what to do with it. Also, he probably wants me to stop whining about how his hair looks. Well, you can't win them all, darling!

-Personally, I need to change my habits. I would love for my day to go something like this:
                  6:30 - Wake up and get dressed.
                  6:45 - Leave the house to jog
                  7:15 - Get home and take a shower.
                  7:30 - Get ready for work
                  8:15 - Leave for work
                  4:45 - Get home from work
                  4:48 - Change into work out clothes
                  4:55 - Get dinner prepared and work out.
                  6:15ish - Eat
                  7:00 - Clean something - anything! Except the kitchen... Bryan is doing that.
                  7:30 - Take a shower
                  8:00 - Pop in a load of laundry
                  8:15 - Watch a movie and\or TV and blog.
                 10:30 - Go to sleep.

This is how my day looks:
                 7:10 - Wake up and turn on the shower.
                 7:11 - Go back to bed to wait for the water to get hot.
                 7:13 - Get up because the water is ALMOST hot.
                 7:15 - Get in shower, forget the face-wash, get out of shower, get everything wet, grab face-wash, get back in shower.
                 7:16 - Do showering business.
                 7:30 - Get ready for work.
                 7:45 - Watch Bryan get ready for work in half the time it takes you and curse the universe for have to be a girl.
                 8:17 - Leave for work
                12:00-12:15 - Eat while writing a quick blog.
                 4:15 - Get home from work. Read the mail, have a snack, piddle around the house, sit around and do nothing OR go run errands with sister/Denise/or by myself.
                 5:30 - Bryan gets home... YAY!
                 5:45 - Get frustrated because Bryan is already being annoying.
                 6:00 - Start dinner/go out to dinner/wait for dinner-mates to be ready for dinner.
                 7:00 - Eat
                 7:30 - Sit on my bottom and watch a movie/watch tv/go to a movie/go hang out with people/nothing constructive.
                 11:30 - Complain to Bryan that I want to go to bed.
                 11:31 - Bryan complains because I get up to go to bed.
                 11:35 - Get done washing face and get in bed, lights off. Sigh-of-relief.
                 11:42 - Bryan comes into room, turns on lights, takes forever to get in bed.
                 11.55 - Remind myself that I could go to jail if I kill Bryan.
                 12:00 - Lights off and I pass out, much to Bryan's dismay..... if you know what I mean. :)

Do you see the difference? Do you know that I cannot for the life of me freaking just DO IT? Ugh. So over myself. How do people do it? And I don't even have KIDS yet. Oh Lord. That is gonna be so hard.

Side-note: I'm usually pretty good at getting up early in the morning if someone is already up. I am a morning person. I loved getting up with my mom, having a cup of coffee (or cereal) and watching the news. If Bryan were an early riser, I would get up too. But he isn't. I don't wake up early because I don't have anything to wake up FOR.

-My love handles are taking over my entire body. Must, must get into shape. Not even that. Just get HEALTHY. And I know those unwanted enemies will go bye-bye. I am excited because I brought some fruit to eat today, instead of Halloween candy. One step in the right direction!

How about those quick updates? About as quick as a sloth, huh? Well, apparently what they say is true. If you have nothing to blog about, blog anyways.

Because, you'll just have diarrhea of the fingers.....

Sorry for the mental picture.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Emailing Me Crazy

When I first started to follow design blogs, I learned that a great way to get free design fodder was to subscribe to emails. One afternoon, I must have just gone bat-crap crazy, because for the past year and a half I have had at least 200 emails a WEEK. And guess how many emails I would actually click on to look at? Maybe five or six a month. Just two days ago, I deleted 250 unread entries from my inbox. Ick.

This was my inbox yesterday:


When I signed up for these emails, I had no idea that the businesses would push out a new email every single ding-dang DAY.

I've got a husband that requires more attention than all of Lindsay Lohans' crotchless pictures combined... times 50. I've got one pregnant sister that is planning a shower, one sister that is five hours away that probably wants to pulverize me for NEVER CALLING her... (Hi Alison!) Friends that need me as much as I need them. A disaster of a home. More laundry to wash, dry, fold/hang and put away than I even want to think of. Dinner to make. Dog drool to step in and a moody cat to smother mother.  Not to mention, work, miscellaneous errands, grocery store trips, the siren song of the DVR and Christmas crafts.

Do they honestly think that the thing I want most, in this modern-day, busy, crazy life, is to sit on my arse and see their dumb marketing emails every single day, including my precious weekends? They can just go fly a stinkin' kite for all I care.

To be honest, sometimes when I don't want to deal with something, I can withdraw. And I did, for the whole year that all these emails were plaguing me. I didn't want to have to go through each email and unsubscribe. Yesterday, I had enough. I couldn't deal with my Freecycle, Wuslu and Groupon and more personal emails getting lost in the shuffle.

I went through each darn email and clicked unsubscribe. And guess what most of them offered me?

A monthly option.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just a Quickie...

No. Not that kind. Get your mind out of the gutter!

The author of one of my favorite* blogs, Life Begins at Thirty, Right? commented on one of my blogs. I DIE.

Hi, Janice!!!

She requested that I add the follower widget to the blog, so I did. I'm a good listener like that.

I also decided to take the word verification, uh... thingy, off of my comments. I hate those things. I turned on the comment moderation instead, so that I can keep all those spam comments at bay.

I've been reading blogs for a long time. Almost every blog has had a post about that sneaky little Anonymous fella that likes to comment hurtful things. So, in an ongoing effort to turn my blog into a positive, constructive creative outlet, I have changed the setting to registered users only. I am all for differing opinions/tastes though, so...

Please register! It's free. It takes a few seconds, and a comment absolutely makes my day.

*If you want to read one of my favorite posts by Janice, click here.

Design Flaws

When I was three, my parents bought the home that I would grow up in. It was a pretty nice house, bigger than the home we moved out of... and it had a pool. My Dad and his wife Delia still live in that house today. 

The entire thirteen years that my parents lived in that house, every wall was white. For a long time, it never occurred to me that I could paint the walls. When I got old enough, I remember asking once or twice to paint a wall or the room and the answer was always no. 

I vaguely remember my sister, Alison painting her room when I moved into Kari's room, and she got the privacy that she begged my parents for. I could be making that up. I definitely remember my mom working tirelessly to scrap the ugly wallpaper off the bathroom walls and painting that a lovely shade of.... (surprise!) white.

Years later, when Delia (because it was her idea, no doubt) painted the walls in that house, I was floored. It was so WEIRD. The house had always been white, and now there was a sage green color in the dining room, and a pretty tan color in the den. 

After my Mom and I moved out, we lived in an apartment which obviously we couldn't paint. Then, we moved back into the first house my Mom and Dad had purchased, and we didn't paint any color in there either. When I moved out, I lived in rentals that always had a no paint policy. 

Like how I get right down to the point?

I became OBSESSED with painting. When Denise and I were looking for an apartment in Fresno, she found one that let you paint one living room wall in one of their approved colors. HOT DOG! But when she went to visit, she explained that the freeway was right behind the building and it was loud. Alas, painted walls were not to be. 

When I moved in with my friend, Cisco, who owned the house, he said I could paint my room whatever I wanted. So I painted vertical stripes on one wall, which I now know is called a "focus" wall. How fancy. At that time, I was arrogant. How HARD can stripes really be? Honestly. I didn't know that there were tips and tricks and entire blogs dedicated to painting stripes. It turned out well enough, but no where near what it could have been had I researched. 

Bryan and I now own a home. We can change pretty much anything we want if we have the time, inclination, funds and know-how. 

And wouldn't you know that while I have myriad ideas but no actual inspiration to DO any of them? 

It doesn't help that my super supportive and inspiring husband likes to shut down every vision or idea that I have. 

I haven't had a whole lot of motivation to paint or unpack and decorate because 1. every time I talk about what I want to do Bryan looks at me like I have sprouted ten heads and am speaking in Russian and 2. because I look at these blogs of real people (read: women) just like myself that have beautiful homes and I want that NOW. I'd like to skip the whole awkward, figuring things out stage and just have a beautiful zone that does not have German shepherd hair and drool all over it. 

I want to wish away the blue tile and gray grout in the kitchen, and the cream and green tile in the master bathroom, along with weird ivy-laden light fixture. And don't even get me started on the black toilet that freaks all of our guests out in the front bathroom. (Note: If you are ever in Lowes or Home Depot, and you think to yourself, OH. We could put a chic, black toilet in the only guest bathroom in our house. LET ME TELL YOU, this is a bad idea. It freaks people out. I have lived in the house since September, have owned it since May 2010 and do you think that I have EVER peed in that bathroom? Creepy.)

So, not only am I in the hugest hair-do funk of my LIFE, but I also am in a decorating funk. 


Monday, November 15, 2010


My cousin lost her little boy on July 28, 2010. 

Ethan had an accident at home. He was rushed to Fresno and we got word that the prognosis was good. That he would be okay. And then, all of a sudden, my sister was calling me at work saying that he had passed. 

I did not know Ethan. 

I spent time with my family, I went to the funeral and the reception afterward. I cried for my cousins loss. I cried for my family, I ached for them. And I felt a huge, overwhelming surge of guilt. 

All I can think about right now and every time I have thought about this, is how DARE I. How can I possibly make it about me and my guilt. If I was my cousin, I would slap me. How could I talk about this guilt when I cannot even begin to know what she feels, what she and her family is living on a day to day basis?

Unfortunately, I am human. And I can't help it.

For a brief period of time during my childhood, my cousins and I were close. My grandma and grandpa had four girls. Each girl got married and had kids. There were twelve cousins, and for a while we were as close as we possibly could be. We spent time at each others houses during the summer, we got together over at our grandparents. Our parents would hang out together. 

But, through all of that, my immediate family was living a lie. My Dad is an alcoholic. I always say that his alcoholism is marked by my lifespan. He drank before I was born, but it became a serious issue when I came around and got worse as I grew. My Dad is not a functioning alcoholic. He is a binge drinker. 

So, his "problem" would cause us to lie to our family. And maybe they knew, maybe not. But it tended to make us feel like the black sheep of the family. It made us all alienate ourselves from people. We couldn't invest in any relationships, because we were all just trying to survive the emotional roller-coaster that was our life. 

The canyon between our family and my mom's family widened over the years. All of the cousins were still close, they all lived within ten minutes of each other. Now, this is only speaking for myself, but I felt displaced among my family. I know I've mentioned this before, but I am awkward at making relationships. I feel vulnerable and I have always had a huge fear of rejection. So, for a lot of family functions I would take a book and just try to stay out of the way. I couldn't find my place with my family. 

Then, when my parents separated, I was fifteen. When they were divorcing, I was sixteen. I was sixteen and I would come home and have to make my mom eat. I watched her almost fade away. I was angry at the world. I partied. I didn't talk to my father. My sisters were gone. I lost myself in boyfriends. I lost my Vavo. I stopped trying in school. I got my first job. It was a crazy time in my life. And as I remember it (which my memory is not the best, as I'm sure you well know) the only person that was there for my mom was one of my aunts. Ethan's grandma. 

During that time, I came to have a great distaste for my mom's family. I begged my mom to let me skip weddings and birthdays and Christmas. Sometimes she would let me stay home. Most times she made me go. I felt like an outsider. I was angry and bitter. I wanted my Mom's families support. I wanted her to have people to talk to. I felt like the least my aunts could do was to BE there. I knew, and know to this day, that my sisters would be there. No matter what. There wouldn't even be a hesitation. I saw my extended families absence as proof that they didn't love her or us. And I was ready to cross them off my list, forever. 

I continued to pull away. As soon as I was out of school I stopped going to family functions. It helped because for quite a while, my own Mother and I weren't talking. I pushed them all out of my family and out of my heart. I felt like our family was the black sheep in the family, and that their inaction made it clear and made me RIGHT.

I told my Mom that I just didn't 'fit in'. And that they were unwelcoming. I would only give exception to Ethan's grandma, because I respected her for being there for my Mom. For inviting my mom over and helping her through a time that I didn't understand and couldn't deal with.  I felt like Grandma and Grandpa were out of touch and the language barrier was too difficult. I felt unloved.

My cousins grew up, got married, and had babies. My aunt's became grandmothers. My cousins were mothers. All of a sudden we were all grown up and everyone was going their own way, and I was fine with letting them go. I was okay with letting my family do their thing and creating my own family. 

For my wedding, a lot of pretty bad stuff happened between me and my aunts. It was, to me, validation of how I was treated different from their other nieces and nephews. Words were exchanged that could never been taken back, only wished away. I was done. It was the last straw. And I didn't lose a moments rest about it. 

Until Ethan. 

I didn't know Ethan. And I didn't know him because I let a whole lot of emotion push me away. I never gave myself the chance of getting to know my cousins. I never gave them the opportunity to get to know me. I never even explained how I was feeling, and I never gave them a chance to tell me I was being dumb. And for that, I didn't know my second cousin. Holding onto that resentment made me miss Christmases and Thanksgivings. It made me stay away from my family. I lost time with all of them, especially my Grandma and Grandpa, who are not getting any younger, if you know what I mean. 

I could barely hide my guilt and shame as I walked into my cousins house. I could barely stop myself from tearing up and telling her that I was so, unbelievably sorry for not knowing her little boy. For not taking the time to get to know her family. But I did, because I knew that this was not about me. This was about something so much bigger than me. 

A few nights ago, we all went over to my grandparents house for pizza, and Ethan's mom told us the happy news that they are expecting a baby. There were tears and "I can't believe it!s" and an overwhelming sense of joy and hope. 

I am reminded all the time that God is faithful. That my God is a giving God. He is all about love, kindness and second chances. He forgives. 

I may not have known Ethan, and for that I will always be sad and sorrier than I can explain. But Ethan gave me a gift. He taught me one of the biggest lessons that I have ever had to learn. And while I would do anything to not have learned it this way, Ethan taught me that family is necessary and permanent. Family is worth fighting for. Family needs to be more than just coming together at times of great happiness or tragedy. 

Family is worth the effort. So, although I have my own little family now, and we have our own traditions, I plan on getting plugged into my family as much as I can. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Veteran's Day just passed and it got me thinking a lot about freedom. Freedom is a pretty precarious thing. Most wars are fought over freedom. People, every day, sign their lives away for an (almost) thankless job of protecting freedom. They fight for the freedoms of other people that don't even live in our country. They kill other people all for the sake of freedom.

To stop and think about it, it is a crazy, what one will do for freedom. What a nation or a society of people will do for freedom. For the freedom of others. It's amazing and terrifying.

I started this blog for freedom. I wanted, needed to have an outlet. Now, I am only marginally creative. I've never been one to paint or create or build. I've always been a reader and a writer. I started this blog for the creative expression. To write. To document. To vent. It was supposed to be a representation of me, my life, and my thoughts.

In starting a blog, there has to be a modicum of discretion. I've had to be careful in how I explain my thoughts, as to not upset anyone. I've had to ask permission to post things. I've posted in anger, in frustration, and sometimes I left it up. Other times I took them down.

At work, my boss always says, "Megan, put it in writing. Then there will be a record and there is no disputing it." She told me to be careful of what I write because its documented. It's locked in. You have a little wiggle room with tones - but the words are there forever. And how someone perceives those words is important. There are times when I have written and re-written an email because I felt it sounded snarky, or rude. Which is appropriate and right. At work you need to be professional, you need to keep emotions at bay and do your job.

While a margin of professionalism needs to bleed into this blog, since a large portion of my life takes place at work, I had every intention of being myself. I wanted to have an accurate representation of my life. Not for anyone else, but for myself. To have a place to be me, as unfiltered as possible. I wanted a space for my creativity to be unleashed.

Recently, I went back and read some posts and they don't sound like me. Most of the people that read this click on the link from facebook, or are family members or old school mates. And maybe a few of them could tell that I wasn't being me, that I wasn't writing how I would speak or interact with other people. Mainly, that was because I was so worried. I was worried about hurting feelings, of being taken out of context, of not being accepted, of not being understood.

How did my "space for my creativity to be unleashed" become about OTHER people?

I didn't want to step on toes, or let that fact that I'm a Christian and I say "shit" pretty regularly be called being hypocritical. Or if I wrote about how I'm a conservative republican being manipulated into being close-minded and hateful towards others.

Many of you reading this know me, but don't KNOW me. I don't let a whole lot of people in. Some take that as being rude or stuck up. Some think I am shy. Honestly, I AM shy. I am really, horrible insecure when it comes to making friends. I am awkward to the nth degree. But, if you are pushy enough (like most of my friends are), once I get comfortable, the Portuguese in me takes over and I am loud. And sometimes hilarious, and often quiet. But when I feel safe, I let myself be me.

So, since I am writing for myself, why am I not being ME? Why am I letting myself by caged in when this is MY outlet? How does that make any sense whatsoever?

The answer is it doesn't. It does make sense to not post in angry, or be flippant with words. Words have meaning and everyone should tread carefully. But on the flip side of that, people need to be true to themselves. I need to remember that I can state how I feel, by being respectful, but not compromising who I am.

Freedom of any kind is worth fighting for... and I intend to go down swinging.