Teddy Bears and Cats: HARD LIMITS

I used to have a HUGE collection of stuffed animals. As a child, we traveled a lot, and that  was my way of remembering where all I’ve been. There were animals EVERYWHERE. Eventually my room looked kind of like this times about 3 or infinity or so.

There’s a reason I don’t collect stuffed animals anymore. I switched to magnets. So much smaller and lighter and easier to carry. I don’t know what I’ll do once the fridge is fully covered but I have a while so I’ll worry about that later.

This is important to know later. My love affair with plushed animals. Moving on.

It’s funny how the things we say when we’re inexperienced come back to haunt us when we’re older and wiser. And by funny, I mean it sucks chocolate nutty covered balls. I am a fairly free thinker. You do your thing, I do my thing, and as long as your thing doesn’t intrude on my thing or my thing doesn’t intude on my thing, we’re both good. I might not understand your thing. You might not understand mine. That’s copacetic. We can talk like grownups to help each other understand, or we can just smile and go our separate ways without the need to know.
floggerI wasn’t always this blase about fetishes. Hell, I wasn’t always this blase about sex. Hush hush quiet quiet and a candy apple red color on my cheeks. For those of you who have known me long enough to remember those days, remember that I have keys to your house, I know where you sleep and how to bribe your dogs so there had better not be any pictures still around. Just sayin.
I can remember a time when I was far more judgemental than I hope I currently am today. I think it’s part of the growing up process and deciding right and wrong for yourself. But it still sucked. No one tells you that it’s ok to do this or want that or think that trying something might be fun, unless you’ve gotten really lucky. If you’re lucky, they just squeal like a little girl, if you’re not as lucky, they call you depraved and disturbed and tell you to see your doctor.
I do recall, however, while I was exploring the fetishes that I was interested in, that I found plushophilia to be creepy because my teddy bears and such were sacred.
I didn’t know it at the time, and it was probably before 2009 when I said it, but in his 2009 book Forensic and Medico-legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes and Unusual Sexual Practices by Dr.Anil Aggrawal (Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India) plushophilia is defined as a “sexual attraction to stuffed toys or people in animal costume, such as theme park characters.” Multiple online sources define plushophilia as sexual attraction to stuffed animals.

It was absolutely necessary to do some research on this and I’m almost blushing as I confess my secrets and fears to you. I still have a couple of teddy bears with me. This is my newest.

camoYeah, he reallly is as soft as he feels and he’s a great comfort to hold onto when I’m going to sleep. However, when I wake up, I find that almost consistently, his pants have been tugged down halfway down his legs and his tail is above the waist band. Am I abusing my teddy while I’m sleeping? Do I have no decorum anymore? Have I suddenly determined that I am going to not-sleep sleep with this poor bear who can’t say no and has no ability to stop me besides his cute little boxers?

OhGods, what have I turned into? You don’t know how much this has been distressing me until I woke up early one day this week. There is a cat…. actually there are four cats, but this is the cat in question:
bellaBELLA was trying to get it on with my teddy bear, in MY bed, while I was in it. I tried to have some concern for her feelings, so I just slid my hand down to hold onto the bear and it was almost like she said thank you. Teddy was on his belly and Bella just licked and licked and nibbled down to his boxer waistband and I called enough.

I don’t know if I’m more disturbed when I thought I might be molesting my bear or now that I know its the cat because she think’s its fun. Meanwhile, the bear loses and gets put up during the day and Bella gets put to bed before I bring him out to go to bed.
This is one that I’m chosing to be a grownup and not talk about it with her because she’s a freakin cat.

*head desk*

This kinda shit only happens to me. Or rather my teddy.

Not Dead Yet.

I’ve been thinking.  Dangerous past time, I know.  Gets me in trouble almost every time.  But this time, I think there is no trouble to be had.  I’m not thinking of things to do or get away with.  I’m pondering the state of affairs and how things came to be.  I’m thinking of life, the universe and everything.  Oh, that’s already taken.  Damn.

Recently, as in the last 30-odd years, there have been occurrences that make me wonder just how in the hell the universe aligns and conspires to produce a certain set of events.  Is there a higher power?  Are there ancient aliens? (Clearly!) Are we stuck in some kid’s wacky broadway nightmare? (I’ve got a theory!) Or could there be something even more devious at work?  After years of uselessly shaking my fist at the sky and cursing in helpless frustration, I have finally figured it out. I have the answer.  Which, regrettably, is not 42.

dice

I’ve actually contemplated this for a while.  It amuses me to hear the meta-conversation at the giant gaming table in the sky.  This is a roleplaying game of godly proportions, taking the concept of MMORPs to a level never before imagined. In my infinite imagination, I can see these godlike titans gathered around

around a scarred dinner table, covered in take-out boxes, soda bottles, and crumpled character sheets. They bicker over lucky dice and bitch over rules-lawyering.

As with all group activities, there are varying degrees of skill involved. Some players are really good and others are not. Some are quick and decisive while others take forever trying to decide on a course of action. There are players who have a sense of humor and there are those who only think they have a sense of humor. All of these truths culminate in each of our character sheets. The more varied our skill set, the more original our player. Or the more demented the GM, depending on who you ask.

Take, for example, Sparhawk. Sparhawk’s character sheet has all of the normal skills and equipment that you would expect. He has levels in swim. Drive. 100-feet of rope. However, somewhere along the way, his player must have truly pissed off the GM. You see, Sparhawk’s character sheet also includes the highly controversial feat (flaw?) “Stupid Shit”.

“Stupid Shit” is the ability to do the stupidest shit you can think of and have no forseeable reprecussions, but when you do something mundane, it kicks your ass. It is controversial in gaming circles because it allows you to get away with really awesome tricks. You can waltz into the dragon’s lair wearing nothing but a clown nose and chain mail gloves, tap dance across his treasure, flick him on the nose, and live to tell about it. But if you try to brush your teeth, be prepared to choke. And yes, the GM will make you roll for that.  Expect some kind of reaction to the toothpaste as a consenquence of the crit fail that you will inevitably roll.

Sparhawk can do the craziest shennanigans you can think of and walk away unscathed. However, give him some snow and a plastic sled? He’s going to break something. Literally. Like his back. What GM makes you roll spot hidden verses snow trap when you aren’t playing in a Hoth campaign? Apparently, the GM who’s in charge of our table, that’s what GM.

During the countless hours that Sparhawk was in the hospital recovering, I had plenty of time to hear those meta-conversations and piece together how that session went down.

The player running Sparhawk is bored and decides that he wants to earn some easy XP to help level up, so he’s going to have Sparhawk take this old plastic sled and sled down the same hill that he’s gone down numerous times ever since he was a kid.  Kind of like killing the level one monsters in Diablo 2.  You kill them for the easy XP and the cute pain noises they make, but you know they can’t really hurt you.  And the DM laughs and says, “roll a d20.”

“But what am I rolling?”

“Just roll the damn die.”

“But … no. What am I rolling against? Do I want to roll high or low?”

“Just. Roll. It.”

“FINE.”  *rolls*

At which point, the GM starts to frantically roll dice. Handfuls upon handfuls of dice. Scribbling furiously.  His head pops up from behind his GM screen, eyes searching each of the players before they fall to the player who runs Ace. “How many hit points does a plastic sled have? Never mind. I got it.”  And he turns to the player of Sparhawk and gives the rundown … “There was a cleverly hidden trap and seeing as you failed your search roll, you hit it square on. Roll for damage.”

Apparently, jeans and a winter jacket does not provide much by way of defense rating.  They really provide less than a chainmail bikini, as they are far less distracting to your opponent.

The die was cast and Sparhawk’s back was broken.

At this point all hell breaks loose at the table.

“Look, that sled doesn’t have hit points.” “What’s the damage rating? Count it as armor to increase his armor class.” “Did it destroy the sled? See? The sled is only cracked.”  On and on the conversation went, puncuated over and over again with the question, “srsly, dude, who makes you roll for that?”

However, the GM was resolute and could not be swayed, regardless of the style points or bribes of food that were offered.

While the characters spent the next few weeks playing out the adventure module “HospitalCon”, our players were frantically throwing style points at a heartless GM. Weeks were spent and years worth of accumulated style points, force points, character points, character points, and every other point we could conceive of was formed and fashioned into something that could convince the GM to have the NPC doctor step out and explain to the wearied characters, “His nerves were peeking out at me, but I just poked ’em back in and sewed ’em right up.” The next breath and relief, collectively, players and characters alike, was one that will never be forgotten by any of us.

Sparhawk, it’s that time again.  You’re not dead yet.  And I don’t care what anyone says.  No roller hockey, concrete benches, motorcycle racing, or sledding for you. Ever.  I speak of all of us when I say it was worth every damn style point, but if you ever put that stupid shit into play again, your wife will never be able to stop me from killing you dead. Love you. Mean it.

Culinary extraordinaire

When I was in high school, 911 all but stopped responding to calls at my house.  Srsly.  I was THAT KID.  I was the kid that always had something happen when I was left to my own devices, and instead of being the smart, clever teenager, I called someone else to help clean up my mess.  Fires in the kitchen.  Burglars trying to break in.  Alien invasions.  Ok, so many I just had a really active imagination.  Nah.  There was always a kernel of truth in every story – a reason behind every panicked call.

Each of those calls have stayed with me.  Lingering in the synapses and giving my family and friends ample opportunity to point and snicker in my general direction.  Stories that are recounted with fondness and the occasional tear.  This is the first of these … forays into adulthood. (Doesn’t sound that so … mature?)

I love to cook.  Friends and family are used to seeing me puttering in their kitchens, making myself at home with their stoves and gadgets, whipping up something or other for the common good.  Usually, I prefer real food, but occasionally, I’ll do snacks.  I do not, however, under any circumstances, fix popcorn.

Picture it. Siciliy. 1921 … Or not.

My parents had gone out of town for the night with my little brother, celebrating Thomas the Tank Engine.  My older brother was out doing whatever cool thing it was that he did.  And I was home alone.  Well, not really alone. My best friend, Tina, was keeping me company and I was focusing my efforts on corrupting her.

Get your head out of the gutter.  None of that teenage girl sleepover corruption going on.  This was the hardcore stuff. Somehow, she had managed to get to be 14 without seeing Star Wars, and that was simply unacceptable.  GEEK OUT!  It did my cute little geek heart good to share the love and broaden her horizons.  It was a Han Solo love fest at my house.

And what kind of Solo-poloza would it be without popcorn?  I don’t mean theradiated stuff that you find these days, or the aerated machines that were popular for a while.  But real popcorn. The kind you make with a big pot on a hot stove using real oil and kernels and all kinds of tiny explosions that lift the lid until the mounds of snowy delicate noms overflow.

popcorn on the stove

But somehow, in my calculations, something went wrong.  There was a fire. Flames licking up the pot, smoke detector beeping, and there’sTina, in the corner. Laughing.

No, not laughing. Giggling. Hysterically. At me.

But I’m cool. I’m in control.  No big deal.  After all, it’s just a LITTLE fire? Right?  Baking soda.  That’s what I need. I learned that baking soda will take care of grease fires in my chemistry class.

baking-soda

You know the problem with that theory? I’m vertically challenged.  I can’t reach the top cabinets on a good day, even now.  In my kitchen growing up, I had to climb onto the stove to get to the baking soda, because it was in the cabinet OVER the stove.  And the stove was on fire.  Crap.  Suffocate it.  That’s the next answer.  I’ll suffocate it and it will die.  No, don’t think about explosions or dying.  Just kill the fire.  Kill it. DIE DIE DIE… sorry, back in the moment, there.

So I slammed down the lid to keep oxygen from getting in.  I’m shaking, but I’m still in control.  We’re cool.  Bina’s giggles have moved to hiccups, and neither of us are hungry for popcorn anymore, but we’ve almost got this under control. My parents won’t be home for hours yet, and we got this.  I remember peering over my shoulder at her before stealthily advancing towards the pot on the stove. (Obviously, I had to sneak up on it since it might have been trying to get away!).  Its been a few minutes and its quiet and I think everything is ok.  I carefully and from an armslength away reach to lift the lid, and a lick of fire jumps out at me.

And I scream.  I drop the lid and run to the phone, all sense forgotten. My house is burning down and we’re all going to die.  Like all teenage girls prone to hysterics everywhere, I called 911.  I explain my emergency “My parents are going to kill me. My stove is on fire.”  (Priorities. Even in traumatic experiences, I maintained my priorities).  I explained, in a very small voice what happened, and with growing indignation why my plan for the baking soda was unable to come to fruition.  It would have worked. I know it.

The marty .. dispatcher was very kind when she told me that it was ok. That I did the right thing and was it still on fire under the lid?  “I don’t know.”  “Well, sweetheart, I need you to look and see. Just lift it a little bit.”

“The last time I looked, it tried to bite me.”

*cue hysterical giggles*

It took longer to make her understand that I wasn’t pranking her than the rest of the call combined.  Some people just do not comprehend that hysterical giggles are a byproduct of .. well, hysterics. Sometimes, giggles are not the byproduct of mischief.  Or, solely of mischief, at any rate.

It wasn’t the first time that I had such misunderstandings with police dispatchers, sadly.  But it is one of the most entertaining.  I still won’t pop popcorn.

And it turns out, there was also baking soda in the fridge.  Easily within reach without the need for climbing.  Gah.

No handcuffs? How novel…

Have you ever had the misfortune of being in the vicinity of a crime? I have, and it isn’t anything like you – or I – might have expected.

Several years ago, Heywood and I had traveled to Nashville to visit friends. One evening, we decided to take one of the walking tours if downtown Nashville. It was one of those deals where a whole bunch of tourists try to keep up and then cluster around a guide as he tells stories about different places and such. This particular tour was of the ghostly variety because frankly, that’s just how I roll. If I’m going to spend that much effort to see interesting places, the stories had better be good.

Our tour guide was, like a lot of people we met, going to school and waiting on his big break into the music industry. Unlike a lot of people, particularly tour guides, he told a really good story. And while he was telling one story, three young guys came running hell for leather down the street and past our motley crew of ghostbuster rejec um tourists. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t think anything about it and really didn’t pay much attention to them.

Until I saw the police car. Which stopped. And interrupted our tour to find out if anyone saw the young hooligans men in question as they were individuals of interest in a mugging that occurred just down and around the corner from where we were hearing about the local ghost activity. There were a myriad of reactions from our tour — ladies clutching their purses tighter and men patting their back pockets.  Some people looked bored, others just ancy.  And then there was Henry and Auntie Em.  I don’t know their names, but they were from somewhere out in BFE, Kansas, and I swear to you, they had never seen a city before.

I’m not sure if they had seen concrete before. Certainly not a building that was over three stories high. They oohed and aaahed over every frakkin thing we passed like it was a newly invented hyper drive taking us to Mars. “How exciting!” and “Did you see that, dear?”  It was almost embarassing if it hadn’t been so entertaining.  And this couple wasn’t super young or incredibly old.  They were just your average, run of the mill, never been off the farm type couple. In a big city for the first time.  Heaven help Nashville.

So please, take a moment to close your eyes and imagine their response to a city policy car stopping to ask questions.  Auntie Em took pictures of the car and the cops and as the nice officers got around the group, Henry explained that he has a photographic memory and could describe the running backs in exact detail.  The cops eyes lit up like … he was from Kansas in a big city for the first time … and he started to hustle Henry towards the police car to get him to a sketch artist.  He opened the back door, and Henry sat down, a huge grin on his face and waved to his wife.  The officer said he’d make sure Henry had a ride back to the hotel when they were done, blah blah blah, and Auntie Em was snapping picture after picture to document this momentous occasion.

After they pulled away, she turned and looked to the rest of the tour and with bright, wide eyes explained.  “That’s another first.  He’s never been in the back seat of a police car without handcuffs before!”

Choosing to Live in Color

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There was a time when my life was overflowing with creativity. Not simply my own, but everyone around me. Writers, artists, actors, musicians, songwriters, designers … I couldn’t throw a paper airplane without hitting someone whose talent filled the space. My spare time was filled with art shows, community theatre in all its forms, or performances of local musicians.

At the time, I didn’t realize how unusual my life was, or how fortunate I was to be surrounded by so many incredibly talented people. I didn’t realize that most people’s reality was so much more … mundane. I know that may sound judgmental, and I truly don’t mean for it to, but it’s like seeing the Wizard of Oz and going from technicolor back to Kansas in plain old black and white.

Sure, I worked, but it was secondary to everything else. My job didn’t interfere.

Until it did. And I went back to Kansas and the colors faded in my memory as time passed and I grew older and more responsible. Work began to take more and more of my time and creative exploits became a thing that I talked about on the phone in the car when driving to or from work. Then I just listened to other people talk about the projects they were working on. And finally, I just stopped. Work became all consuming. It wasn’t my intention and I certainly didn’t enjoy it, but it crept up, slowly taking more and more of my energy and focus until I didn’t have any more to give to anything else.

I describe that job as soul-destroying. It might sound melodramatic, but it’s an honest assessment. The nature of the job combined with the hours that I worked sucked so much energy that I didn’t have the ability to participate in the creative outlets that had always provided me with stress relief. The company frowned on individuality and stifled creativity. For a free-spirited theatre loving soul like myself, it was one of my personal circles of hell.

During those years, creativity was not on my agenda. Sometimes dinner was too overwhelming and took too much time and effort, so how was I supposed to be creative?

You see, the problem with creative people is we think too big. When we get grounded in a world of work and life and problems, we set our creativity aside because it’s “too much work.” It takes too much time to get involved. Its too much effort to paint a picture and then clean the brushes and … and …. and …. We are so creative in our ways to avoid being creative that it should be a form of creativity in itself. We forget that creativity can come in small packages. 15 minutes with a sketchpad and a pencil. 20 minutes with a blank word document, keyboard and an imagination. 15 minutes telling bedtime stories. 30 minutes trying a new spin on a recipe for the family dinner.

But believe it or not, creativity doesn’t just go away. It doesn’t wither and die if you don’t use it. It just gets rusty. It might give you a headache. It will definitely give you a heartache. Mine did.

At first, I told stories. To friends, to co-workers, to the teller at the bank and the cashier at the grocery store. I told stories to anyone who would listen. Telling stories could be like performing. I had an audience and a script and away I went. But performances are for the audience, not the performer and it didn’t quite fill the void.

You know the void that I’m talking about. The void that leaves your heart a little empty and your eyes a little wet and your head bursting with so many things that you can’t put words to. The void that tells you when you’re missing a piece of yourself that’s so vital to who you are.

I needed something personal. Something for me. A way to express my creativity. So I started a blog. I don’t have a huge following. I don’t care.

I don’t write for them. I write for me. I write because when I don’t, I begin to function on auto-pilot and I fall into a routine and eventually, I stop seeing in color. For me, creative writing is something I can do anytime, as little or as much as I want. It doesn’t require a rehearsal schedule or an accompaniest. I don’t need anything beyond a pen and piece of paper. Or just my cell phone (there’s an app for that!)

It started out as a way to destress from work. I would write out an encounter from my day. Sometimes they were funny and sometimes they weren’t. Some of them were worth sharing and some of them weren’t worth the digital page they were typed on. All of them were important to me. They were pieces of me. They were and are reminders to me that even in a world of black and white, I can still open the door to a world of technicolor.

I need reminders that creativity, like happiness, is a choice to be made each day. It’s always there if I’m willing to take the time to actively see it, to let it flow. It’s easy to get swept along in the fast pace of life. Slowing down for ten minutes to rejuvenate the inner creative streak can be hard to justify.

Most of you who are reading this probably understand the importance of self-care. I hope that you believe in the necessity of taking time each day and each week to care for yourselves. I challenged myself to add 15 minutes to my self-care ritual once a week (that’s only an hour a month) to sit down and write. Sometimes I find that I have more time during the week and I write more frequently, but I know, and I look forward to those 15 minutes each week when my schedule is cleared for my imagination to fly.

Surely you can make the choice to find 15 minutes in your week to do something so good for yourself? After all, remember the magic of opening the door to Oz for the first time? Your life doesn’t have to be black and white all the time. Not even close.

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For the record

If you feel the need to qualify your statement with something like, “No offense, but …” Or “I don’t mean to tell you how to do x,y, or z, but”

Really, take my advice and just shut the hell up while you’re ahead.

If you’re going to offend me, have the balls to do it without trying to make yourself feel better. I’m already smart enough to know that there’s a better than good chance that anything you say after “but” is just going to piss me off.

Save your breath. Don’t clarify it. Just tell me what you obviously need to say.

Bless your heart.

Things I Can Believe In — Excerpt from American Gods

“I can believe things that are true and things that aren’t true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they’re true or not.

I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen – I believe that people are perfectable, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkled lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women.

I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone’s ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state.

I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste.

I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we’ll all be wiped out by the common cold like martians in War of the Worlds.

I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman.

I believe that mankind’s destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it’s aerodynamically impossible for a bumble bee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there’s a cat in a box somewhere who’s alive and dead at the same time (although if they don’t ever open the box to feed it it’ll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself.

I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn’t even know that I’m alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck.

I believe that anyone who says sex is overrated just hasn’t done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what’s going on will lie about the little things too.

I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman’s right to choose, a baby’s right to live, that while all human life is sacred there’s nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system.

I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.”
― Neil Gaiman, American Gods

A Girl Who Reads

“You should date a girl who reads.
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or if she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”
― Rosemarie Urquico

Bard, jester, queen, or bitch

Life circumstances change everyday, and it’s often how you handle the changes that will define you in whatever role you find yourself. Are you a leader? A follower? The jester? The slacker? The whiner? The doer? The politician? The scapegoat?

My life circumstances took a fairly dramatic shift a couple of months ago when I stepped down from my managerial role in one company to work on the front lines of another.

I have a cubbyhole locker and a cubicle now. Everyone I work with has a cubicle now. And I can only hope that I am able to provide as much entertainment for them as they have for me.

The first, of what promises to be many, of my patented cubicle shout outs goes to a team member talking with a friend and as I walked by, I heard, “Dear Jesus bless the hungry children and please make me horny.”

Tell me that’s not a line that makes you want to stop and ask questions and I will tell you that you’re lying. I didn’t pry I didn’t ask. That means my filters and manners were both working that day. I did not mean that I wasn’t curious about the rest of that conversation.

But really…could the real conversation been any better than any conversation imagined in my head that would include, “Dear Jesus bless the hungry children and please make me horny.”

Somehow, I think not.

I have found that my role in these changing life circumstances will be somewhat of a bard. Writing the stories to keep the memories alive. Bards have much better stuff than jesters anyway.