Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tempting To Wish For

Tempted by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast is the sixth book in the House of Night series. I love these books. In my opinion they are a fun read.

One of my favorite things in it is the tattoos. They appear as a way of letting you know you are on the right path. How great would that be? Not the tattoos-all-over-your-body part. The part about being told you’re on the right path.

Instead of a permanent tattoo, maybe I could just have a message appear on my arm or something. Like if I do something good, “Yeah, way to go.” Or, “Keep up the great work.” Since the messages would fade, I would need to take a pic to show my naysayers. It would be the only way to fully bask in the I-told-you-so.

But then there would be the moments when I wasn’t on the right path. I’d probably need to know about that too. Of course, anyone would prefer just not to get a message, but it wouldn’t be as effective as if I got, “Hey dumbass, what the heck were you thinking?” Or, “Duh, like, you couldn’t see that one coming?” Now lets hope those naysayers I previously was quick to show the positive too, aren’t around for these. Because, yes, they would take pics to later pull out the next time I tried something.

In case someone who reads this is interested in checking out the series, I don't want to put the details of what book six is about and ruin the surprises found in books one through five. So here is what the series itself is about, as written on the House of Night website:

House of Night is a thrillingly engaging book series that follows 16-year-old Zoey Redbird, who gets “Marked” by a vampyre tracker and begins to undergo the “Change” into an actual vampyre. She has to leave her family in Tulsa and move into the House of Night, a boarding school for other fledglings like her.

It’s within the school’s walls that the heart of the action takes place as Zoey meets new friends, finds love, comes to terms with how her life will be different now and begins to realize her awesome new powers.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Venting A Miracle

Venting, as in the incessant bitching about one’s problem without want for a solution. It happens to be a daily favorite of mine. So you could imagine my delight when I found out it was known to produce miracles. Not migraines, there was no blasted auto-correct error here, I really meant miracles.

Now I’m not saying “Make Miracles in Forty Days” by Melody Beattie says to do this EXACTLY, but I can read between the lines. The book says, “list the incidents and events that come up for you by writing about the events and feelings that you are the least grateful for.” Sounds like complaining to me.

I haven’t a clue why doing this breeds miracles. Maybe it falls under the squeaky-wheel-gets-the-oil rule. Except there's a catch to this complaining stuff. You have to write that you are grateful for all the things that piss you off.

So as an example, last night I wrote on my list: I am grateful there is 1-3 inches of snow in the forecast tonight. I look forward to driving in it tomorrow. And the pain I will surely feel in my chest after partaking in the granny-hunching slow drive.

Which brings me to my “it works” acclamation -- we didn’t get 1-3 inches of snow! 

Okay, so I didn’t want it to snow last night and I vented about it. And sure we didn’t get but a pinch of snow. That doesn’t mean I’m going to say I made that miracle.

No, all I’m going to say is -- in lieu of sending me monetary gifts, please donate to your favorite local charity.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Is My June Bug Showing?

Last night I had a nightmare that a June Bug flew into my hair. I’m sure this is of little interest and I only bring it up because of what it means. After consulting my dream dictionary and cursing because I wasn’t happy with what my subconscious had to say about me, I decided it was best to surrender.

The dream book had this to say about hair, “an outward manifestation of your thinking, thoughts, ideas and attitudes.” A step further, because the June Bug was tangled in my hair, had me looking up tangled under hair. It said, “indicates a strong need to take time out to correct this.” So what do we need to correct, obviously the June Bug, which is a “symbol of erratic, unpredictable behavior.”

So basically, I need to correct the fact that mentally I’m an unpredictable mess. And guess what, this isn’t the first time my subconscious has tried to approach me about this problem.

In a previous dream I was told, by people I have come to consider my dream guides, if my life had a theme song it would be “Hot and Cold” by Katy Perry.

Okay, lets all just hold on, take a deep breath and step away from the PMS soapbox so we can think about this a moment.

Maybe the part that needs to be corrected isn’t what I would first expect it to be. Certainly on most days I feel overwhelmed because I move through my time without a plan. I tend to go along with whatever the universe sends my way. And, of course, it’s frustrating when I feel like I’m moving in circles. Mostly because I can’t tell whether I’m circling towards something or away.

But the dream probably wasn’t to get me to change my chaotic, unpredictable ways. No, the point was to stop me from fighting it (because as you can imagine, the swatting going on in my dream wasn’t me trying to pet the darn thing).

I’ve had plenty of chances to have a calm, predictable future. But I rejected those jobs and people because those stops weren’t for me. Not because they weren’t good, they just weren’t good for me. After a while, instead of trying everything I thought I should do, I decided I’d do what I wanted most. I want to be a writer.

So, where does the best creative grass grow? I’m hoping to find it on the other side of fighting the unknown. And through acceptance, maybe I’ll find peace too.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Girl With The Flaming Pants

On the cover of my copy of “The Girl Who Played With Fire” by Stieg Larsson was a quote by Entertainment Weekly, “A gripping, stay-up-all-night read.”

This would have been the case for me, if I were equipped with the ability to stay up all night and read. I cannot, however, I did stay up late. I won’t elaborate on my definition of late so as not to embarrass myself by revealing just how late it wasn’t.

I’m sure everyone has a “played with fire” story. So I’m not saying mine is unique, but I’m planning on sharing it anyway.

I was visiting my second cousin...

Note: the fact that she is my second cousin really has no barring on the story. It is only included so later in the story when I mention her mom, my first cousin, there is no confusion over why I’m calling her my cousin and not my aunt.

Okay, so I was visiting my second cousin and we were in the closet, because there is no better place than dark and confined to play with fire. Well, we weren’t really PLAYING with fire. We were utilizing it because the book said if you wanted to talk to dead people you needed a candle. And, honestly, it wasn’t doing much good unlit. Now it might not have done any good lit, but I will never know whether a spirit would have answered my call because we were interrupted when the book we were reading over the candle caught fire. Of course, we were holding it too close. It was our only source of light.

While we didn’t plan to start the fire, we were prepared. We had the foresight to bring a glass of water with us. Of course, we didn’t have the adult wisdom to realize it wouldn’t do much good. Not because the glass couldn’t sufficiently put out the fire when it first started, but because panic leads to running away instead of using the water.

Thankfully my first cousin was home. She was quick to react and put out the fire. I can’t say how she did it because the post traumatic stress of being trapped in a closet while it was on fire, even if only a tiny one, was enough to block out what happened afterwards. I suspect she stomped it out, but I like to think she used our water.

If you noticed, I used words like “we” and “our” to evenly spread the blame. I’m sure at the time of the scolding, I wasn’t so eager to use those words. The truth lies in some “imaginary box” the PTSD created in my head. I probably pointed out it was her book on fire. And only because she was a good kid, who honestly didn’t get into trouble. And while I wasn’t a bad kid, me being part of a fire in the closet wouldn’t have come as a big surprise. So I’m sure my pleas of innocence was met with the response, “Liar, liar, pants on fire.”

Anyway, onto stuff about the book.

While reading this book I had to wonder... what was up with all the stuff about the math? Perhaps Mr. Larsson thought Lisbeth Salander could do for math what Rockstar’s do for voting (with Rock The Vote). Even I, who needs calculator assistance with basic math, was dreaming of cracking a few formulas after the super-cool, kick-ass Salander did it. I’m so swayed by peer pressure.

Further speculation about why Mr. Larsson inserted the math stuff had me coming to the conclusion that he wasn’t just talking about an unsolvable math equation. Maybe he got down and philosophical on us to say, “Hey, sometimes we are going to come across unsolvable life problems.”

I guess I’ll never really know whether I’m right. And don’t worry, I won’t be hiding in any closets with candles trying to conjure up his ghost to ask him.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Rich Snow, Poor Snow

By now, many have seen pictures from the great blizzard of 2011 that hammered the Midwest last week. As I shoveled (and shoveled, and pulled something, and than shoveled some more) I thought about my boss’ comment on the blizzard:

“It could have been a whole lot worse,” he smiled.

It had me wondering what blizzard he encountered. It certainly wasn’t the same one I was still digging myself out of three days later.

Of course, Mother Nature doesn’t recognize prime real estate so as snows falls, it falls the same at my house as it does his house. It is only after it has landed that the distinction between rich snow and poor snow is made.

Now you might think all the frigid wind here has frozen part of my brain, and you might not be wrong, but I do believe snow is handled differently for the rich folk. And I say it with the confidence of someone who knows rich garbage is handled differently, so why not rich snow?

Garbage, I'm seriously going there. For me (and most everyone else), a big truck drives around the neighborhood and takes the garbage away. They are loud, they throw the cans around and they tie up traffic. All of which is unacceptable in my boss’ rich hometown.

And because the little patch of earth my boss’ garbage sits on is worth more than I make a year, his demands are met. His trash is taken away by men driving golf carts. Garbage men, no that isn’t a throwback to the eighties. At least not for the rich. For them, the garbage man was just there the other day. These men throw the rich waste into a trailer the golf cart pulls. It’s quiet, orderly and easily passable by drivers.

But wait, it gets better. I know, it doesn’t seem like it could get better than real men hauling garbage away in golf carts. In the rich downtown area where they have industrial trash, well golf carts would just be silly. Instead they have a fleet of their own exclusive garbage trucks. These trucks are white. Yes, white. And clean.

Back to the snow. Not so different from our loud, dirty garbage truck is its sister, the loud, dirty snowplow. Now I’ve never witnessed snow removal in rich-ville, but I imagine it is sort of mythical. Like snow elves come out, gather snow and skip away. They leave it all even, clean and beautiful.

I also believe these snow elves maintain the snow. Come on, you’ve seen the snow on the side of the road in your area. If it ain’t brown and nasty looking than you aren’t living with poor snow. Do I really need to say the rich aren’t subjected to having to look at that? At least not from their home!

And before you start thinking keeping up the snow maintenance is a big job for the snow elves, let me tell you something about the rich streets. See I think in addition to having street sweepers, they have street washers. I’d like to picture a modified Zamboni driving down them keeping them clean, but that would be taking it to middle class.

So maybe their streets aren’t as dirty as the ones I take to get home, but they do have some dirt. I mean, they have us (the collective poor, middle class) driving down their streets in our ten year old cars. I’m not sure what shocks them more: the dirt spread by our cars or the fact that cars still drive after two years.

Anyway, we don’t drive down their streets out of spite -- not usually -- we have jobs to do. Who else is going to mow their lawn, clean their house, wash their laundry, raise their kids?

So the dirt thrown up on rich snow by my people needs to be dealt with. And by dealt with, I mean either: a) fresh snow is sprinkled over it giving it a pretty, just snowed look, or b) if fresh snow isn’t available, well, I suspect they would take to some white spray paint for the same outcome.