11.24.2014

From Diapers to Double Dates


My parents are retired now and California 'aint cheap so they started house hunting in August.   I was fine with it, as if I have any say so in the matter. When they got back, they told me they found a house.  Okay, so their really gonna move.  I knew it was happening and I was still fine with it.  I was at work when I got a text message that the new house would finish being built in December.  I was no longer fine with it and I cried because it wasn't until then that the move felt real to me.  Like, really, real as in I will no longer be able to see my parents whenever I want to.  My sisters' moved a way a long time ago so they already know what it's like not to have mom and dad nearby, but I don't.  I moved out six months after I graduated from college so I really didn't expect to be crying about mom and dad moving in my thirties.  They sold my childhood home last year.  It was sad, but they were still here and I knew this was coming, but it feels different when it's happening next month.  When I say next month that's next week since November is all but done and they are moving the week after Thanksgiving.  Las Vegas isn't far.  I've been going there at least once a year already, but it's not here.  It's not forty five minutes away and that is going to take some getting used to.

They spent their 43rd wedding anniversary knee deep in packing and fielding inquiries on Craigslist about five drawer dressers and sofa tables.  Does anyone remember the Penny Saver?  Well, my parents sure do and that's where they put an add to sell a bunch of stuff, but us young whipper snappers know that Craigslist is everything.  My mom is learning, but not quite computer savvy enough for Craigslist so I posting their stuff and oh, my gosh is it crazy!  I have to forward all e-mails to my mom and I've only seen a portion of the interaction she's getting, but she says keeping up with it is a part time job.  They got two calls out of Penny Saver. 
We are trying to squeeze in as much as we can with them while they are still here.  My mom and I did mother daughter facials and lunch a few weeks ago and on Saturday we met at  The Cottage in La Jolla for a double date.  It looks like a house that's been turned into a restaurant and I've never had food come out so fast.  I'm always on a quest for the best french toast in San Diego and this place takes the #1 spot away from DZ Akins.  We've come a long way baby.  My parents used to change my diapers and now we go out on double dates.  They have been through a hell of a lot in their 43 years of marriage and yet here they are stronger than ever, sitting across from MJ and I who have barely just begun.  It was one of those days that I stood there tilting my face into the sun and smiling, just because it felt so good to be where I was in that moment.  My beautiful parents.  My amazing husband.  The weather, which was 75 degrees because San Diego still has no clue that it's not Summer.  Sitting outside chowing down on french toast and sipping on mimosas was a really nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

This is the last Thanksgiving with my parents, and I don't even want to talk about Christmas.  I'm grown and married.  Why am I taking this so hard?  Just thinking about it gets the tears rolling but, we're making the most of the time we have left.  

11.19.2014

About Walking Dead, Just Wondering

Is there anyone else still completely obsessed with The Walking Dead?  Dumb question.  The show has beat Sunday night football in ratings for three weeks in a row.  I can't even glance at Twitter until after I've watched it or else it's spoil alert city.  If that's not a hit show I don't know what is and if you aren't watching it yet you're missing out.

Spoiler alert: If you have not watched the episode from two weeks ago (Season 5, episode 5) you may not wish to continue reading.
Five seasons in and I'm still completely fascinated with this show.  The zombies, the plot twists, the raw exposure of human nature at it's worst.  The characters are so complex.  Some I've wished would die five episodes before they finally did.  I vowed I would quit watching the show if Herschel or Andrea died.  That was a lie of course, because there is no way I'm not watching this show.  Bob was a love hate character.  I hated him when he couldn't put down the bottle but he redeemed himself.  I still can't believe nobody cared about Bob as much as I did.  I'm the only one I know who cried for him and if anybody deserved tears it was him.  Seriously, that was a really bad way to go.  The worst.  How could you not cry for Bob?  Daryl was a love hate for me too.  I hated him almost as much as I hated his evil brother but now I think he is one of the most beloved characters on the show.  Now that I think about it, I've also love hated Herschel (may he rest in peace), Rick and Carl at different times.  Even sweet Beth was driving me nut at some point.  It's the kind of show where you don't know whether to pull your hair out or cover your eyes.  I know anything can happen, but it's really nice that they have gotten so efficient at zombie killing so I'm not terrified that everyone is going to die anymore.  Well, everyone except Eugene also known as liar liar pants on fire who needs to learn how to start taking care of himself now that the cat's out of the bag. I will shed no tears over his death.

This show has it all, but season after season I find myself asking some of the same questions, none of which have been answered to my satisfaction. 

+How are the women of Zombie Apocalypse land handling that time of the month?  It has to be dealt with. 

+It's obvious that they wear the same clothes every day, but are they wearing the same underwear everyday too?  I remember one episode last season when Beth found a sweater and looked clean for about half a second before a zombie killing ruined it.  The dirt, blood spatter, and vagabond lifestyle have to make cleanliness impossible.

+How bad is the body odor?  Between their rugged, outdoorsy active lifestyle, lack of deodorant, soap and toothpaste it must be pretty bad.  I'm assuming that even if they still had those things at one time they have to have run out by now.  I'm sure they can pillage some of them stuff on their runs but it has got to be hit and miss.

+How sexy can sexy time be at a time like this?  It's not happening a lot, but people are doing it and it seems a little awkward what with the lack of privacy, hygiene considerations and dead people running around.  Lori and Shane were the worst in season 1.  They had no shelter whatsoever at that time.  The apocalypse had just happened and she ended up pregnant.

+What are the men using to shave?  Rick is looking pretty scraggly lately, but I've seen people on Naked and Afraid with beards bushier then his after 21 days.  Glenn is smooth as a baby's butt and how does Abraham keep his mustache so nicely shaped?  I wouldn't know this type of man thing.  I suspect you can make a knife work, although it would be really tough without shaving cream. 

+I imagine Carol must be resorting to a knife to maintain that pixie cut.  It's also, not entirely unreasonable to think she may have scissors.

+How have they not wasted away to nothing?  Their entire life is one big giant work out that never ends what with all the keeping watch, miles of walking and zombie killing.  Their calorie expenditure cannot possibly be met with whatever squirrels and canned foods they find along the way and carry with them.

+Is baby Judith eating squirrels too?  She's a big girl now.  Surely, she has run out of powdered Milk by now.  What are they doing about diapers?

This is an example of the randomness that runs through my mind anytime I watch an apocalypse, on the run, war, type movie.  I'm a 1-2 shower a day kind of person, who is scared of spiders, very picky about food and feels anxious when my house is dirty.  Tent camping is hard core for me.  I am the definition of wimp and I already know that I would not manage well under those conditions and would have probably died or wanted to not to long after this whole thing broke out.  I don't even like eating meat off a bone so I don't know if I could bring myself to eat roadkill.  I'd like to think that I'd be as bad ass as all the girls on the show have become out of pure instinct for survival but I'm not so sure.  
More questions:
+How long has it been since all hell broke loose?  I haven't seen much of a change in weather conditions but that may or may not be that obvious in Atlanta.  Look at Carl.  I almost forgot that he was just a little boy when the show started.   His voice has changed and he looks so much older.  With everything that's happened and the size of Judith it's got to be at least two years.  Maybe more.  If it doesn't wrap up soon Chandler Riggs may age himself out of the role.  

+Why has Maggie never once mentioned Beth?  When Glenn was lost, she risked life and limb to find him even though she had no idea if he was alive or dead.  Not a peep about her sister Beth.

+Is it really that swift and easy to slice through bone to brains when you are stabbing someone in the head? I don't think I really want to know the answer to this one.

+I'll probably never find out if they are brushing their teeth, but what I really need to understand is what was so terrible about living in the hospital that Beth would rather jump down an elevator shaft into a basement of dead bodies to escape?  She was safe.  Outside she has to sleep in the dirt with one eye open to avoid being eaten by zombies.  That police lady (and her henchmen) seems a little off and they have to work to earn their keep but clean sheets and edible food sounds a lot better than the alternative for this clean freak.

I do realize that most of my questions, specifically those related to hygiene are completely non essential to the story line, which is pretty outrageous on it's own, but I can't help wondering.

11.12.2014

Writing A Novel Is Hard


Writing a novel is such a freaking roller coaster ride and I don't even like roller coasters all that much anymore.  One day I'm really proud of what I've created and then the next day I'm convinced it's the worst thing anyone has ever written. I have loved and loathed this painstakingly created collection of words a million times over during this entire process.

I let my mom be the first person to read it in paper form and make edits.  Then I read it for myself and made edits of my own.  I tried not to even think about it for about two months so that helped me look at it with fresh eyes.  It started out really good.  It was interesting and I liked what I was reading but then it fell flat.  There were different parts of the story that were just boring and other parts where I just didn't like my own writing.  I was probably really over it the day I wrote certain parts and I could tell.  After spending years and years on this it was really discouraging and I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do to fix it.  I had a few ideas, but nothing concrete.  Nothing I felt confident about making that difference I needed to make. 

I decided to deal with the basic edits first.  Getting through it was tedious but I had to get it done from the paper version  before I started making any major changes in Word.  A lot of it was grammar, some of it was wording, some of it was calling characters by the wrong name, but all of it was really time consuming.  It was page after page, correction after correction and it felt like it would never end.  It took me about three sessions to get it all done.  I did session two at my favorite coffee shop and I felt really old school carting that giant stack of paper around but in a really good way.  A really proud way.  Like, I wrote that.  Those are my words.  Every single last one of them.  It's technically a manuscript although I don't feel comfortable referring to it as such. 

After I finished that round of corrections it was time to get back to writing mode and start trying to make it better. That's when I got discouraged again because I still wasn't sure exactly where to start.  Part of me just wanted to be done with it.  I wasn't totally satisfied, but I did what I set out to do.  I wrote over 100,000 words.  I wrote a novel and it's done.  I was tired of thinking about this thing so maybe that was good enough.  That's what I tried to tell myself, except it wasn't good enough and I couldn't rest until I made it better. 

Spurred along by forces outside myself that wouldn't allow me to give up; I sat there at my dining room table with my laptop open one Sunday morning.  I looked at the random notes I'd made in my phone while I did my paper reading.  I made some more notes in my dog eared spiral notebook.  I did a little bit lot of staring into space, and then I started typing.  Once I got started I couldn't stop.  I removed entire sections added new ones and moved existing things around.  If changed one part of the story I had to go through the entire thing and update any related parts.  One thing led to another and I was sent into constant editing mode of finishing and improving for a good two weeks.  I'd think about a sentence that should be changed or something else I needed to add on my way home from work and immediately open my lap top and do it when I got home.  If I thought of something else while I was in bed I'd add a note to my phone and add it in the next day.  My mind was constantly racing with thoughts and ideas about this fictional group of people that I've come to know and love.  It's exhausting and it doesn't seem to stop no matter how much I kind of wish it would until I feel that it's where it needs to be.  I've only had a few different updates pop into my head over the last week.  I'm really excited about the changes I made and I think it's pretty much where it needs to be for now, until I decide that I hate it again.  I mostly meant to trim things down but my word count unintentionally went up.  I'm sitting at 471 pages and 111,301 words of double spaced Courier New. 

The obvious question is, "Now what?" and the annoying answer is still, "I don't know."

11.05.2014

Not A Halloween Post

Greetings from Costa Rica
It was another uneventful Halloween for us.  I went and had drinks with friends and MJ stayed home to pass out candy.  I couldn't even post anything on Instagram because if it wasn't Halloween related it wasn't allowed.  I kid, but that's totally what it seemed like!  I had lots of fun checking out everyone's costumes and creativity though.  While I was out with friends I vowed that I would dress up next year.  We all said it would be fun to do a group themed girls dress up outing but even as I said it I wasn't so sure.

We had a lot of left over candy; which is very expensive by the way.  We spent $25 bucks which is not much in general but a lot for candy.  MJ wanted to take it all to work and I said, "No you aren't," and was given a deadline of 4:30am on Monday morning to remove whatever I wanted to keep from the bag.  I kept all classic Snickers, Snickers Peanut Butter squared and some of the Snickers Almonds and Reese's peanut butter cups.  The most I've eaten in one day is three and I've been taking one to work with me each day.  My sugar addiction is much improved from last year.  I didn't even have any today.

I got into the Halloween spirit by watching two scary movies.  We watched the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre on Saturday night.  Oh my word, that movie is disturbing and just all around weird.  It came out in 1974 so it was interesting to see how those movies have changed over the years-which is not much.  They have a formula, it works and they are sticking to it.  I also watched Cabin in the Woods Patient Zero alone on Sunday.  I'm actually kind of embarrassed about this one because it was pretty bad but I kept watching.  I mean, it was good but also really bad.  The fight scene between the two partially disintegrated former babes was just so bad.  I'm a sucker for scary movies though.  I don't know why.

This is totally off topic but we also found ourselves watching Sex Sent Me to The ER on Sunday.  Well, not totally off topic because one of the couples that ended up in the ER after sex was wearing costumes.  The only thing is that they were celebrating his birthday not Halloween but that's just a minor detail.  Anyway, did you know that sex could be medically dangerous?  I'm not talking about STD's or unplanned pregnancy either.  It could potentially result in a ball permanently lodged in your mouth (that was the birthday celebrating couple) or even a brain injury (that was a couple celebrating their engagement).  I'm just saying-be careful.

Another Halloween thing is the time change and I have to say I'm not a fan.  It was bright enough for me in the morning before although I know it won't be once Winter hits but headlights on my way home from work is just bumming me out right now.   I actually forgot to turn them on yesterday because it's not quite dark when I leave but definitely dark by the time I get close to home.

Mid-term elections also happens around Halloween.  I'm a mail voter so I dropped my ballot off at the public library last Monday, because let's be real.  Who actually has stamps?  I may have a few somewhere but I decided to save myself the effort of searching for them by dropping it off.  I have a history of forgetting about mid-term elections but this mail voter thing is keeping me on track.  I think I can only miss one or two elections before I lose my status.  I like the flexibility so  we can't have that.

By the time Halloween hits it's also supposed to be chilly, even here in California.  We got about a week of 70's and tall boots but now it's supposed to be in the low 80's again through Saturday. 

I'd say my Halloween post was late but it's really not because I didn't really 'do' Halloween.  Also, I almost didn't post this at all because I couldn't think of a single picture that made sense, but then I got a postcard in the mail from Costa Rica from my parents.  They've been back for over a week now, but it's the thought that counts and I really love it that my mom sent it to me.  This is their first big trip as a retired couple and I'm still really excited for them.

This photo still makes absolutely no sense for this post but who cares. 


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