Saturday, March 31, 2012

threesome thursday

Spring in KC
I have decided recently things can change in a heartbeat. What you thought were permanent pieces of your life can slip from your grasp before you even realize you've lost grip.  Turn your back for just a second and when you turn back there's just this void in the space they used to occupy.  Knowing this is true,  my goal this year is to spend more time with the people who make me happy, the people who know my darkest secrets (and that's a big thing b/c I'm not one to give up secrets easily).

So early this last week, I somehow managed to wrangle time to spend with two of my favorite women on the planet.  A front porch was offered, guacamole making (by me) was planned and visions of sangria danced in our heads.  It was officially deemed threesome Thursday cause you know, there were going to be three of us...and it was on Thursday.  Duh!

Long story short, I spent Thursday night on a great front porch in a great area of town with great company. Spring has arrived in KC along with this really great breeze breathing life into everything including the lilacs whose scent consumed us all evening.  The neighbor girls ran up and down the sidewalk giggling.  The dog walkers were out in full force.

And it was nice because I had lost the feeling of what its like to spend time with people who love my stories.  I'd forgotten how hanging out is supposed to be easy and spontaneous and not rushed.  I don't even remember what all we talked about, but I do remember parts of the conversation made me throw my head back with laughter.  And THAT is a really, really good thing.  

Keeping things anonymous here has become important so I'll leave it with...thanks ladies.  I'd love for that to happen WAY more often! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Shawn Smucker - Building a Life Out of Words

Recently I was lucky enough to receive an opportunity to read an advanced copy of Shawn Smucker's ebook, Building a Life Out of Words, releasing today.  I connected with Shawn on Twitter while laboriously growing my community of writers and am daily inspired by his musings on writing and life in general.

Shawn's ebook chronicles his first year trying to make a living as a writer.  Words and the construction of sentences seem effortless to him; his writing and fantastic life observations pull you in the second you start his story.  Within the words, Shawn shares a year of struggles, uncertainty and the importance of blind faith and courage.

I myself am not a person of faith and find it amazingly hard to have blind faith in anything.  I've been asked recently to have blind faith in someone and Shawn's ebook fell into my lap at an apropos time.  His story will give you hope, convince you to try traveling the road less followed and make you believe that, even when you cant see the end of the road, things might just wind up okay after all.            

As a writer trying to still get my writing feet under me, I found Shawn's book inspirational and timely.  But Shawn's story is about something bigger than just the writing.  Anyone and everyone will find a fantastic
message about life and living in Building a Life Out of Words.

Shawn blogs (almost) daily at http://shawnsmucker.com. He is currently traveling the country for four months with his wife and four children in a big, blue bus named Willie, looking for service opportunities as well as other writers to meet up with. You can find him on Facebook (Shawn Smucker, Writer) and Twitter (@shawnsmucker)  His ebook can be found at http://shawnsmucker.com/store/building-a-life-out-of-words/.

favorite 5 of the week

These are from last week:

1. Jayhawks go to the Final 4...duh!

2. Three days in the office without bosses.

3.  Lots of writing on a Saturday

4. Getting an opportunity to help a fellow writer promote his new ebook (look for Monday's post for more info).

5. A Sunday morning run on the levee with the husband.  Between him and D, I've found two unexpected partners in running crime and I'm super stoked about this!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

the path

I love Joseph Gordon Levitt and anything he does.  So its no surprise I love his online art collaboration called Hit Record (found at hitrecord.org).  Yesterday he posted looking for collaboration submissions for a Little Red Riding project he is putting together. Something representing or talking about the feminist themes in the story.  I'm trying to get better at participating in anything and everything I can...and at writing things more off the cuff.  So here's my submission:

The Path
Don't stray from the path. Follow your role.  Be a girl. Know your place. Get married. Have babies.  If you wander too far, all you'll find is trouble. The wolf might give chase ...and then what?

I choose to wander.  I'd rather be hunted everyday than only play on the path.  The chase keeps me alive.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

unexpected

I've been asked to play nice.  So I'll just say I've lost part of my community due to circumstances I do not understand...and I'm sad.  It was an extremely "in a funk" day, but I came home to this...that's right, its flowers AND the new Footloose.  And THAT made me happy.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

where am i? Is it 2012? cheeseburger?**

The main thing to know for today's asylum story is my boss is easily confused.

Our servers went down today...or something like that they thought. We have a pretty stellar IT team and they are never sure on most days, but we knew we couldn't access email or any internal drives along with internet access for a while. At one point I could see them jacking with things in the corner. They seemed to be just giggling a bunch of cords which I'm pretty sure wasn't going to do any good...but you know I'm not IT, so what do I know.

I poked around with some offline stuff and eventually saw my email load back up so I went back to business as usual.

About 45 minutes later my boss frantically ran into my office doorway and this happened:
Boss: Are people working on stuff?
Me (in my head): What the hell is she talking about? We pay people until 5...so yes, I hope they are working on stuff.
Me (actually): Silent stare
Boss: Are we back up?
Me: Uh, Ive been back up for about 45 minutes.

I then get the look, the 'I think Im confused but look constipated' look...for about 10 seconds. I never know what to say when that happens. I also really, really don't know why she couldn't check her computer to see that we were back online. She eventually wandered off as quickly as she had appeared.

And so it goes....ketchup.

**title courtesy of  m.solis

Monday, March 19, 2012

favorite 5 of the week

I owe you guys this last week's:

1. Laughing until I cried in yoga class.  Just FYI fellas - even if you are a yoga fanatic, please just wear regular sports, working out shorts and not those yoga bloomer-diaper looking things.  They make us ladies laugh (and snort)...a lot.

2. A massage.

3. The husband doing the bi-weekly grocery store run without me.  Pretty stoked I wont see the inside of a grocery store for a whole month and the mickey mouse shaped cheese slices are awesome.

4. A Thursday night chat with my niece.  She can't talk yet, but certainly knows there is someone on the other end of the phone and knows how to jabber.  She's part Hampton...of course she has the gift of gab.

5. The Arboretum with the boys and the Baileys on Sunday morning.  That's how we worship.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

worthless fact wednesday

I find it interesting how through social media platforms, we now have so many people we are only friends with due to happenstance.  Yea I know we have old friends from high school and current actual friends in all these places.  But we also have this huge list of people we follow or friends we don't actually know.  People we selected because they have similar interests or because we are trying to network or just because someone said, hey you should check this person out.  And we start to get to know this second list of people as we watch interactions they have among their closer list of friends.  But our connections always remain at a high level of "knowing."

Even with our close friends or newer friends, its still often more of a high level.  We know who they are when we are around and who they are according to them.  But how do you really find out who a person actually is,  who the person is inside their head, who they are when they are alone.

To me, a person starts to show their true self when you begin to find out the little things about them.  Finding out someone rode their bike around a camp site naked one morning or discovering someone slept with a teddy bear until they were well past 21 and sharing the bed with a spouse are the moments that start to make the person whole.  And while separately they may be worthless pieces of information, they eventually create a bigger picture.

A friend of mine and I had known each other for several years when we decided to start sharing our worthless bits with each other. We spent the past year or so sharing weekly on what we deemed Worthless Fact Wednesday (the name may have been all his idea).  This gave us a week and a due date to come up with a new "thing."  It was fairly entertaining, sometimes shocking, often sad and made us closer friends in my opinion.

I've recently extended my twitter reach and decided this might not be a bad project to try out in cyberland.

So I give you my first installment of Worthless Fact Wednesday (wfw...because it's easier to text and tweet):
At some point in my childhood I became the owner of a Rubik's Cube.  Im a perfectionist (was even then) and it pissed me off I couldn't figure that thing out.  I wound up taking all the stickers off and reassembling the thing that way so I could say I completed it.  

What's your worthless fact?

Monday, March 12, 2012

i bought you a schnitzel

The building I work in resides in old people land. High noon seems to be their active time of day and so when I run lunch time errands I often have run-ins with lots of them.

Today I wandered to Hy-Vee.  I sat across a light from a little old lady who could barely see over the steering wheel.  She had her left turn signal on which meant she would need to yield to me as I went straight through the light first.  The light turned green and before I knew it she hit the gas so fast she burned rubber and turned left in front of me.  

I ended my trip standing in line behind another elderly lady who had just pulled her phone out.  While she loaded items onto the conveyor she screamed this this message into the phone: "Mark, I just bought you a schnitzel.  You can eat it today or take it home.  You don't have to pay me back."  I couldn't help but wonder if Mark would be excited or confused by said schnitzel.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

favorite 5 of the week

Trying to get back at it...these aren't easy when pieces are broke but probably more important during those times.

1. The very round, happy, dancing and singing man behind me in rush hour traffic on Monday morning.  I'm convinced he was listening to Madonna and envied the hell out of him for pulling off happy so early in the morning.

2. Getting a piece of writing published on someone else's website...especially since that someone is a published writer!

3. Smash...the show.  I like it a lot better than Glee right now.

4. Free tickets to Radiohead (not so favorite, we didn't get the fantastic company that was supposed to come along with them).

5. Hugo...it was better than I anticipated.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

why i run

Visit the below link for this entry.  I received an opportunity to write for a fellow writer, runner, tweeter...she let me share my Why I Run story.  Check it!

http://jenniferluitwieler.com/2012/03/06/why-i-run-kristas-story/

Sunday, March 4, 2012

uncommon goods

The website uncommongoods.com asked people to submit a haiku for some of their products.  I submitted the following for the ring shown below.  

Summer memories
The whisper of a promise
Love immortalized


i gave it my best

I ran my first 5K of 2012 on Saturday.  While I've been running a lot its been a while since I participated in an organized run; I think it was the Komen Run last August.  Because I don't have a lot of runners in my life to commiserate with, runs are a lot of what keeps me motivated.  This year I'm going to be a little more consistent.

This time around I actually picked a run on a Saturday the husband didn't have to work and he was kind enough to wake up early on his day off to go with me so he could stand around waiting while I ran 3 miles  One of his FAVORITE things to do.  I've been smoking my three mile runs in the neighborhood lately (angry runs tend to be fast) and while going into a race blind to the course usually slows me down, I was still hoping to post an OK time.   Things didn't go quite as planned.

First off it was cold.  Don't get me wrong, I don't mind cold; I actually prefer it to the extreme heat.  But cold with whipping winds and a windchill of 23 sucks.  I stood inside the gym they had open as long as I could but eventually had to wander out to the corral.  So now I was standing on a hill with the wind billowing around me.  The DJ thought he was clever and so before the high school choir could commence with the national anthem, he thought he would spin some trivia for us.  Apparently our national anthem became our anthem on March 3 (the day of the run) but he wanted to know if anyone knew what year.  'Sweet Jesus, let someone know this so we can get on with the running,' I screamed in my head.  Of course none of the 400 runners did.  The following 15 seconds were excruciating before he let us off the hook as he answered  it himself.

We were finally released onto the 3 mile course, and I hoped the course at some point would get us out of the wind.  Well, it did just that...by sending us down onto a gravel trail for almost two miles.  I'm a street runner through and through.  Every now and then I run at the in-laws lake house which involves gravel and have hit a couple beaches.  But they are always hard runs, and I usually never venture too far when I'm off pavement.  About a mile in I knew this race was no longer about my finish time but was instead all about figuring out how to finish.

For those that don't know, running on any trail-like element is unstable.  Your stabilizing muscles kick into overdrive you struggle to find balance with every foot strike .  I started to look for small goals to get my mind off the work and the impending hip pain I was surely due after the run.  I came up on a little old man in red ear muffs and made passing him my first goal (don't laugh...being out run by someone double my age sucks).  After I got past him, I started this weird dance with a pair of women and a K-state hat sporting guy.  They were run/walkers. So I would pass either or both of them as they walked but then not 2 minutes later they were at the running again and would pass me.  We kept this up for most of the gravel portion.  At least it was a distraction.

I somehow trudged back up and off the gravel only to find the last 1/2 mile was uphill into the wind.  I was sucking wind and my knee had started to pull and I wanted nothing more than to finish at this point.  But just when I thought I had it wrapped up, I get passed by the two women, the K-stater AND the little, old man in the red ear muffs.

I figured it was a fitting run for where I am in my life right now.  I've got a few unstable parts of my life I'm working through so it's only fair I also figure out a not-so-stable run.  I pulled it in at 36:02 (bleh) and counted this one as a run I had at least finished.