T is for…

T is for Things, Various

T Again, typically I start each blog with a list of things I’m not talking about, but today I’m just gonna yammer on about several different topics, in no particular order.

  • I am tired. Not of or because of this blogging challenge; just because of life in general. Mother Nature has been waxing so schitzo lately, I don’t know what she’s up to. Today? Sunny. Yesterday? Cold and windy and rainy. Day before that? Warm and sunny. Day before that? Cold and windy. I’m a little barometer, so changes like this tend to make me ill, or more specifically, give me a migraine. Nothing like a dagger-through-the-skull pounding headache to take the wind out of your sails. (Yes, that’s a cliché… which normally I would avoid like the plague… but again, I’m tired.)
  • Tears are hitting me again. I seem to be entering the anger stage of grief – the part where I’m really really mad at Cindy for up and dying on us like that. How f*ing dare she!?!??!
  • Some/many of you may not be aware, but I am a teacher. I am mauling molding journalism students at the university by learning ‘em how to do graphic design. It’s exhausting and rewarding, both. And my OCD wants me to give feedback on projects in minute detail, but I haven’t the time. Thus, grading is a struggle.
  • So, of course: time. When I was younger, I’d heard that time moves faster as you get older. I thought whoever told me that was wrong. Well, turns out they’re right, right, right. Time is flying by. And I’m starting to have {more} trouble remembering when things happened. Also, seems forgetfulness is a fun family trait: minds like a sieve, or as my uncle put it, teflon memory. Oh boy.
  • I love turtles. I have one as a pet. Her name is Jilly, and she’s a red-eared slider. They like water and “land”, so she has a small tank with some water and some rocks and a stone big enough for her to sit on and bask. One thing I never expected is how messy turtles can be. Their water gets algae all up in it, and of course they potty right their in the water… and eat their food right there… yeah. Messy.
  • I love the theater. LOVE it. But I learned pretty early that my role/lot in life wasn’t on the stage, or even behind the stage, but under it. Literally. When I worked at the Center for Puppetry Arts as the Marketing Director, our offices were in the basement. I didn’t create programming; I just promoted it. And how did I learn the fun fact about myself, that I shouldn’t be on stage, you ask? Well, even if you didn’t, I’m gonna tell you: one year whilst in high school, we put on a production of The Music Man. Even tho I have zero acting ability, I was still cast in the play as a non-speaking background part, such as a townswoman to walk across the stage when needed (and I did an excellent job at that). For some reason, the director decided I should be at the front of the line for the Shipoopi dance. I was supposed to lead with my right foot to start out, and every single night, I led with my left. Yeah, it’s a behind-the-scenes hard knock life for me.
  • I was reminded tonight by a student that I am currently undergoing a transformation. If we are still taking up space on this planet, then we are changing every day. Some changes we have no control over; for instance, we are constantly shedding our cells and growing new ones. We can’t control our circumstances either, but we can control how we react to them. Beating ourselves up for not being perfect does nothing positive.

So I guess that’s it for today. There are six letters of the alphabet left; I wonder what I’ll come up with for U? As of now, I haven’t a clue!

PS Don’t forget to go visit my dear partner-in-blogging and cheerleader Chad Clark and his alphabet of monsters!

Posted in #AtoZchallenge2014, community, depression, dreams, family, fear, giving to others, happiness, hard work, history, making a difference, writing | 4 Comments

S is for…

SI’m not sure why I started each post of this here challenge by telling you what my letter is not for, but it’s tradition now, so I guess I’ll have to continue. My S is not for space-monkeys. My writerly pal Gareth S. Young said I could not write about them, because he called it first. I don’t even know what a space-monkey is, tho it’s presumably a regular monkey wearing a space helmet. And he did not specify if the space-monkey I should not be writing about is a rhesus monkey or a chimpanzee (which is technically not a monkey, but an ape). After all, there are lots of different kinds of monkeys, including capuchin and spider and colobus. And should I not be writing about the actual monkeys who have gone into space? Guster told me I couldn’t, so obviously I won’t. Nope, not at all.

I also won’t be writing about scents, tho my favorite is honeysuckle – real honeysuckle, growing on a vine, not the kind humans try to bottle; or the suggestion secrets of the soul, because that should probably be a book of poetry. It sounds like something Francis Quarles would have written (the dude I featured in my “Q” post), only he would have called it Secrefs of Ye Olde Doomed Soule, I’m guessing.

Instead:

S is for Scars

There’s a book called Your Scars Are Beautiful to God. I haven’t read the book, and in fact, know very little about it, but the title resonates with me.

If you’ve lived any amount of time on this planet, then chances are you’ve been scarred in some way. The easy ones to recognize are the ones on our skin, the ones visible to the outside world. I have a notch in my forehead from when I fell off a porch when I was four years old, and a line that cuts into my left eyebrow from when my dog pulled me into the house last January. I have a half-moon shaped scar on the index finger of my right hand, a war wound I acquired while working at the Winn-Dixie deli during my college days. I was cleaning the slicer, and, well, sliced my finger open. Then there are scars on my belly from a couple of surgeries. Small, healed incisions that look like a constellation, as a friend told me when she saw them.

And of course, there are scars that are harder, if not impossible, to see. The ones I carry from my abusive childhood. The ones my father carries from his abusive childhood.

There are wounds I’ve gotten from losses, large and small; and ones I’ve given myself, however inadvertently. Every time I make a mistake, I tend to call myself “stupid” or the like, which is damaging and not helpful. I’ve told myself stories that are patently untrue, even if at the time they seemed very real and accurate, and even tho they helped me cope, most have caused me more pain in the long run. I often feel insecure, and that I’m a fraud, and that perhaps I don’t deserve all the good things I have.

My internal scars (and my biological and chemical makeup and my genes) have created mental issues that most times are hidden: I suffer from anxiety and depression, both of which lead to insomnia. (And it’s amazing how much crazier I feel when I can’t get enough sleep.) I doubt anyone looking at me would know I fight those demon triplets, but I do.

Some of my wounds have healed and I have moved on, while others are raw and oozing. And some feel healed, absorbed into my marrow, until something happens that makes me pick at them all over again.

dSavannah note: for some reason I’ve had a very hard time writing about this. I’ve typed and erased, typed and erased; stared and pondered; thought about ditching the whole topic and starting over… But part of my ‘mission’ in writing this blog is to stare at the dark places, and tell them they have no hold over me. My scars are part of who I am; without those experiences, without those wounds, I wouldn’t be me.

Just like regrets, the important thing is to learn from the experience and not ‘sit in the puddle’, as my fan Elaine so eloquently put it.

So, I guess we’ll just have to remember: our scars are beautiful, just like we are.

Posted in #AtoZchallenge2014, abuse, age, books, childhood, depression, family, fiction, hell, history, love, making a difference, mental illness, shining a light, the dark places, writing | 6 Comments

R is for…

R R is for AUURRRRGGGHH. Just kidding.

It’s not for rain either, this ceaseless, ceaseless rain, along with this ceaseless, ceaseless winter that won’t quite turn into spring.

And it’s not for rant; obviously I took care of (most of) that with my “P” is for Pet Peeves post.

And it’s not for resorcin, the last item listed in the 1921 Collier’s New Encyclopedia volume referenced in my “Q” post. (If you’re wondering, resorcin is a “colorless, crystalline compound prepared on a large scale by the action of sulphuric acid on benzene, and by the treatment of the resulting compound with caustic soda. It yields a fine purple-red coloring matter and several other dyes used in dyeing and calico printing, is a powerful disinfectant and deodorizer, and is used as a medical drug.” Yeah, perfectly muddy.)

Over on my co-conspirator’s blog, the dear Chad Clark has kindly humored me by making his “R” monster an ROUS from The Princess Bride, one of my favorite movies (detailed in my “M” post). YAY and Thank You Chad!

Anywho, today I write about:

R is for Regrets

You know, pretty much everyone I know has regrets, even if they don’t talk about them much. Big ones, that dog our steps; small ones that just nag us on occasion. The huge ones – the “What-Ifs” – and the minor ones – maybe I shouldn’t have eaten that for dinner.

In my case, most of my regrets are for things I didn’t do. And most of those, I didn’t do out of fear. Of course, there are a few things I wish I hadn’t done, but for the most part, those things helped make me who I am today, and I’m pretty cool, if I say so myself.

Image credit: Alex Nordstrom/Wikimedia Commons. License: CC-by-sa.

My dream car, and it’s been my dream car since I was in high school and noticed cars, is a 1965 fire-engine-red Mustang convertible with white top. Nothing else will do. Not another color, not another top. I’d go for a 66 or a 64 1/2, but no later. (Interestingly, I care not what the interior looks like…) (And yes, it must be a real car, not a die-cast model.)

In 2002 or 2003, my father-in-law at the time found one for me to buy. In perfect condition. For the low, low price of $12,000. If you can find one now, like here, they’re selling for around $38,000.

But back then, I didn’t even look at it. I knew if I looked, I’d have to buy it, and I was afraid to spend the money, even tho technically I had it.

Now, that’s regret.

I also regret that I pushed my writing and artistic side away for way too long, even tho I, dSavannah, was clearly born to be a writer and an artist. I thought I needed a “career” since I’d gone to college and all. Plus, I was afraid of going hungry. I was afraid of what people would think of me, what they’d think of my creations. Writing this blog is a way of smooshing that fear down, and thankfully, except the part about going hungry, I am not as afraid of those other things as I once was.

In addition to those big regrets, I have some small ones: not buying the matching earrings for a necklace I love; losing a favorite shirt; giving away my “fat” pants.

And there are what I would call “medium” ones, like not going to the wedding of my high school best friend 20-something years ago, even tho she gave me just a couple days’ notice and I was afraid of losing my pitiful job and I didn’t have any money. Not sticking with singing. And there’s a third one, but every time I come to add it to this post, I manage to forget what it is.

I purchased a piece of artwork quite a while ago with this beautiful little poem on it, and I’m trying not to live in fear but to instead live by these words:

When I rise up
let me rise up joyful
like a bird.

When I fall
let me fall without regret
like a leaf.

~ Wendell Berry

And I hope you try to live by them too.

Posted in #AtoZchallenge2014, age, books, childhood, depression, dreams, fear, happiness, humor, inspiration, making a difference | 10 Comments

Q is for…

QSo, I’ve been blogging every day for three weeks straight, and boy are my arms tired! (Ba-dum!)

Anywho… I’m obviously delusional from tiredness, but it’s now day something-or-other, the day for the letter Q. I thought about writing about quirks, but probably everyone participating in the #AtoZchallenge2014 is doing that, since us creatives are, by definition, quirky, so I’m going back to my tried-and-true dictionary method. Only this time I’m consulting my 1921 edition of Collier’s New Encyclopedia, subhead: “A Loose Leaf and Self Revising Reference Work” (which I’ve never quite figured out how that erm, worked, exactly), Book 7, Ochre to Resorcin.

And the winner for Q (boy, I had to flip quite a few pages to get to this section, and it’s all of 13 pages):

Q is for Quarles, Francis

AtoZ-posts_hdr-Q

An aside: I find the comma use in the Encyclopedia quite amusing. If I were its editor today, I’d be slashing them all over the place!

Anywho, Mr. Quarles was an English poet born way back in 1592; he died in 1644, after siring 18 kids. Interestingly enough, a couple of his descendants were American abolitionists.

According to Wikipedia, where I found his image, he wrote 21 titles, including his first one, the lovely-sounding A Feast for Wormes. Did I mention that his work was primarily religious in nature? You can read all of 17 of his poems on poemhunter.com, tho I don’t necessarily recommend it. My eyes glazed over after just a few lines, and I actually like poetry!

Apparently, he had quite a following by the common folk, especially for his book Emblems (originally published in 1635 with “grotesque engraved illustrations”). However, the critics didn’t like him one whit. The Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 47, as sourced here, says:

Most of his verse is diffuse and dull; he abounds in fantastic, tortuous, and irrational conceits, and he often sinks into ludicrous bathos…

Which I find hilarious. Poor guy’s been dead for 370 years, and the critics can still goad him, even tho those critics are also dead.

If you have a hankering, you can actually buy Mr. Quarles’ work on amazon! I am especially amused by this title (a reprint of his work done in 1777) – Quarles’ Emblems, divine and moral: together with Hieroglyphics of the life of man. Written by the celebrated Francis Quarles.

Poor Mr. Quarles. Dead. No longer celebrated, and being poked fun of on my blog.

Posted in #AtoZchallenge2014, author, books, editors, history, humor, names, writing | 6 Comments

P is for…

No sense beating around the bush today:

P is for Pet Peeves

PThat’s right. I coulda saved this post for R, and made that letter stand for rant… I could have even used three other topics I thought of, all on my own (the most for any letter, I think!): popularity, procrastination, and perfectionism. On each of those, I’ll give a short graph, then get right into ye old pet peeves.

First: popularity. I was never the popular kid. No, not me: I was the weird kid with her nose in a book and no social skills. But now, as a teacher, I’m constantly asked questions. All I hear all day is “Ms. George, Ms. George, Professor George, Dr. Jorge, Ms. Jones”… as I tell my students, it makes me feel like the most popular girl at the school dance. And let me tell you, it is exhausting. Maybe being the weird kid in HS was actually a blessing.

Second: procrastination. I think this comes from being trained as a journalist. You work on the things that have deadlines… right before the deadline. Deadlines motivate me. Otherwise, I pay it no mind. This may be why, when I was working on finishing up my book, I wrote the last 6,000 words or so the day before the first draft was due to the publisher. (Bad me.) And why, although I worked on this post hours and hours ago, I’m just getting back to it.

Third: perfectionism. This is a habit I am attempting to break, somewhat unsuccessfully. I feel like if I’m going to do something, I need to do it the utmost best of my ability.  And of course, sometimes that’s not possible. Sometimes things just have to get done.

The blog posts are good example of dealing with number two and three, actually; I can’t be perfect on these posts, and I can’t procrastinate too long.

Anywho, on to the main event: pet peeves, most of which revolve around people driving. Or actually, their inability to do so properly.

  • Okay, people, when you are at a round-about, and someone is waiting to see what you are going to do, please, please, give us a little turn signal so we know if you are going to turn and thus whether or not we can pull out!
  • In general, use your {insert bad word of your choice here} turn signals! Despite my extensive training, I still cannot read minds!
  • You are NOT special. I don’t care whatcher mama tole you. You just ain’t. You ain’t got no right to park your car in front of a store and leave it running while you “go in for a minute”. Your stupid car is blocking traffic and pedestrians.
  • If someone clearly is trying to get in front of you in traffic, with their signal on and everything, please, for the love of all that is holy, slow your {insert bad word here} car down just a notch and let me in! I don’t have my {insert bad word here} signal on for my health, you know!
  • Don’t ride up my bumper so close you’re practically deflowering my car. My car and your car ain’t pals, let alone intimate relations. Especially don’t ride up my bumper and stay there when there’s miles and miles of space to go around me. (Having said that, cars doing that to me is my karma for riding up car’s butts when they were in the fast lane yet going slow… something I did when I was younger and much stupider.)
  • Don’t ride up my bumper, then speed around me, then get in front of me and slow down. Really? Really?
  • I know I’m becoming old and curmudgeonly, but, you people do realize that blazing past me at a million miles per hour when I’m already going over the speed limit may a) garner you a ticket and b) not get you where you’re going any faster, right? I simply luurrrrveeee, darlings, when that happens, and I get off my exit, and lo and behold, that car that just did that is sitting right in front of me.
  • Driving too fast in a parking garage. Dude. It’s a parking garage, not the autobahn. There are cars of various lengths parked alongside where you be drivin’, and lawks a mercy, I might be walking next to one of them there parked cars. Slow your {insert bad word here} down!
  • Speaking of parking… if you can’t drive it, don’t buy it. If you can’t park it, for sure do NOT buy it! If you’re driving, presumably you are not blind, and can actually see how poorly you’ve parked when you get out of your vehicle…  So hows about you get back in and re-position that there vehicle of yours so that it’s not taking up all the space another car might actually fit in!
  • If someone is waiting ~ like they should ~ in the right-hand lane to turn right, don’t go around them on the left to turn right! I mean, really!
  • If it’s a lane to go straight, don’t turn left!
  • If it’s a left-turn lane, don’t go straight!
  • And I can’t even begin to describe all the cray-cray things we saw drivers doing just today…

Welp, I guess that’s about enough ranting. Until (sometime) tomorrow, when we visit the letter Q

Posted in #AtoZchallenge2014, writing | 8 Comments

O is for…

O So, here I am, late in the day – yet again – for today’s letter, which happens to be O. My co-conspirator in this here madness, Chad Clark, wrote about a Okuri-inu monster. If you want to know what that is, you’ll just have to go read his post. I certainly have no idea.

The #AtoZchallenge2014 people wrote about obsession, aka our need to complete this quest.

An aside: I’m quite proud of both Chad and I for keeping up with the challenge, despite the odds: life, liberty, and the pursuit thereof. Plus the need to eat and sleep sometimes.

So, I’ll shaddup and tell you today’s topic:

O is for Obsolete

Yeah, yeah, I’m going there. In my day, I had to walk uphill both ways, in the snow, carrying a brick. You kids have no idea how easy you got it…

Yours truly in 1987. Working at United Way. Typing pledge cards on a typewriter. With a scrunchy in my feathered hair.

Yours truly in 1987. Working at United Way. Typing pledge cards on a typewriter. With a scrunchy in my feathered hair.

Actually, you kids do not know how easy you got it! Things sure have changed since I was a youngster… A ton of stuff considered super-important back then doesn’t even exist anymore. It’s obsolete!

My very first real job, outside of babysitting, involved using a typewriter. It was electric, but still… a typewriter! When’s the last time you saw one of those? And I had to take a typing class in high school. The only thing I remember from it was that our typing teacher wore such high heels, she actually had to have foot surgery.

When I was that age, only the geekiest of the geekiest worked on computers. I served as managing editor of my HS newspaper, and I was the best typist, so I had to type our articles on a typesetting machine, then go into the darkroom to develop it.

The first computer I used was in college, and the screen was not much bigger than an iPhone screen, and we created the layouts for the newspaper on it.  Then printed it out and used glue and stuff to actually, physically lay out each week’s edition.

Before my time, it was even more difficult to create a newspaper: a typesetter would literally put pieces of type together and then that would hit the paper.

This here is a box of printing press type I bought on ebay. I don't know how old it is, but on the cover is written "William Dart, Box 23, {something that I can't read}, KY".

This here is a box of printing press type I bought on ebay. I don’t know how old it is, but on the cover is written “William Dart, Box 23, {something that I can’t read}, KY”.

My ex-father-in-law told me that when he was a kid in the 50s, he was a newspaper boy and they still had people using the printing press type like this to put the paper together.

Heck, my hubby said he was a newspaper boy when he was eight. We don’t have newspaper boys anymore… that would be against child labor laws, or something.

Typesetters? Obsolete. Typewriters? Obsolete. Newspaper boys? Obsolete. Gas station attendants? Obsolete. Milk delivery drivers? Obsolete.

Hubs and I were listening to the radio the other day and the DJ said something like “caller 25 will win tickets” to something or other, and we started laughing about how when we were kids we’d sit by the phone and literally have to dial and hang up and dial and hang up and if the phone actually rang, it would ring for about 10,000 times. And we’d never win.

And then there was sitting next to the radio just praying they would play your favorite song, and then pressing record on the cassette tape and hoping you didn’t get too much of the DJ’s voice.

And speaking of phones, I got my first cell phone in 1994 after I had a wreck on the lovely interstates here in Atlanta. It was such a big deal that the sales man came to my office to bring me the phone and show me how it worked. That phone was as big as a shoe box, and in a bag. With its own pull-up antenna.  (I sure wish I still had that thing.)

Rotary dial phones? Obsolete. Radio DJs? Practically obsolete. I personally listen to my iTunes. Mixtapes? Obsolete. Landlines? Obsolete. Customer service? Obsolete.

For a cute, more detailed take on this topic, see the book Obsolete by Anna Jane Grossman. The title served as the inspiration, but not the content, of this post.

Posted in #AtoZchallenge2014, books, history, memory | 4 Comments

N is for…

N So, you know what’s amazing about this challenge? Besides the fact that it is forcing me to write every day, after a six-month hiatus? Things that happen to amuse me.

For instance, today yesterday oh who knows when it was, I was chatting with my friend Guster on FB while we were both insomniacking. (Yes, yes, I know it’s not a word, but you know what I mean, so deal with it.)

His question:  “Do you know what you’re writing about for N?”

My response, without thinking about it: “Nope.”

His response? “Nice.”

Then we LOLed and he told me the perfect topic to write about.

I had considered writing about naysayers, but decided to hold that for when I write my “So You Want to be a Writer” series (whenever that is), or needlework, which is actually a pretty good topic for me, since I was trained in the fine art thereof. However, I decided to write instead about the topic my pal gave me:

N is for Night

photo by dSavannah

Driving into the city of Atlanta. At night. Photo by dSavannah. That means me, yo.

Oddly enough (or maybe not), my #AtoZchallenge2014 partner Chad Clark posted a short story on this very topic today.

I spend the majority of my waking hours at night, so much so that I half the time I’m not sure about the actual day of the week. Like now, is it still Wednesday? Or is it maybe Thursday? Or even Friday? I’m hoping Wednesday, so that I’m actually posting my “N” on the right day. But then again… in some parts of the world, it’s not yet Tuesday, while in other parts of the world, it’s already Friday.

Or perhaps I’m making that up.

And anywho, I digress.

I’m a night owl. Always have been, always will be. It’s rare for me to even be able to go to sleep before midnight, unless I’m taking a nap, and said nap has to start before 4pm, but grownups don’t get to take those often enough. Kindergartners don’t know how good they’ve got it.

I come by this tendency to be awake in the middle of the night quite honestly. I’ve always known that I learned to crochet (back to “needlework”, hurrah!) when I was five years old. But I only recently was reminded by my mother that I learned because… my dad was also a night owl, and he liked to go visiting people late at night, and the person who taught me to crochet did so in order to give me something to do. At 2am.

Of course, a lot of people in my past never quite understood (or accepted) my tendency to sleep late and stay up late. But I’m just not a morning person, and nothing you can say or do will change that fact. So yeah, maybe you’ve been up for five hours before I’ve cracked an eyelid. Likely I’ll be awake for five hours after you’ve gone to bed. Deal with it.

My theory is that I’m descended from the watchmen of the tribes. Back in the long-ago, before all this technology – when *fire* was the new big thing – someone had to stand guard at night and protect the other men, women, and children in the tribe. So much of what we humans do today is hard-coded into our DNA from way back then, why not being a person who functions better at night than during the day? Why can’t I be, instead of watcher-of-the-tribe, a night-writer/reader/etc.? Maybe all “insomniacs” really just need jobs that start at 7pm.

I like the night. It’s quiet. I can think then (well, right now, as I type this). No construction noises, very little traffic noise, no people… The house settles and feels contemplative. In the city, all the colorful lights are exciting and fun, guiding me from one thing to the next.

At night, I can see the moon and the stars. I can look into the sky and think of my grandfather, who was a meteorologist and showed me the constellations. Plus, I can look up and see what feels like the whole of God’s creation reflected up there.  It was even better when we lived in Arkansas – no light pollution to drown out the stars. We could even see the edges of the Milky Way.

And there are a million songs written about the nighttime. A quick search through my iTunes library shows me about 100 results in all kinds of genres, including All Through the Night by Cyndi Lauper, Saturday Night’s Alright by Nickelback, and one of my very favorites, Marc Cohn’s Don’t Talk to Her At Night.

So, that’s my N. And my night. And my blog post about it. Come back sometime tomorrow; I’ll bring you a perfectly interesting topic that starts with the letter O.

Posted in #AtoZchallenge2014, age, childhood, crochet, dreams, family, insomnia, memory, photography, shining a light, the dark places | 10 Comments

M is for…

M Unless my counting skills are waaaaay off, which is possible, M is the 13th letter of the alphabet, which means I have made it half-way through this here #AtoZchallenge2014 challenge. YAY me!

Sadly, once again, I had a complete and utter blank mind when it came to figure out a topic for this illustrious letter ~ I had really hoped when I signed up for the challenge to find partners who might come up with ideas for with me ~ but alas, that was not to be. (Although I could copy my partner Chad Clark and say M is for Monsters, but he’s pretty well got that covered.)

So of course, in situations like this, one consults one’s bestie for ideas, and she came up with the following: Princess Maggie, my dog; money, tho all I can say about that is I always need more, tho I’ve learned to live with less; mountains, which are of course quite lovely; marigolds, same; murder mysteries, which is my bestie’s favorite genre; M&Ms, a secret ingredient in my special PB sammiches; and marriage. Well, that last one made me think of:

mawwage

Which led me to my topic:

M is for Movies

So, I give you, in no particular order, some of my favorite movies and my thoughts thereupon.

    • The Princess Bride. Duh. Like you couldn’t see that one coming. It has everything. True love, kissing, sword-fighting, magic, myth, humor, etc. And it’s one of the very few movies that is actually just as good as the book. I even remember when the movie came out – I decorated one of my high school folders with one of the print ads, which said something like: “The Pit of Despair. The Cliffs of Insanity. Dating sure was tough… once upon a time.” Brilliant!
    • The Boondock Saints. My ex-husband brought this home one night and said something along the lines of “you probably won’t like this… it’s gory and violent”… which, well, it is… but I love it so. Its goriness and violence are an integral part of the story… and the message is basically: “The only thing necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing.” Plus, Sean Patrick Flanery. Need I say more? Oh yeah, and Norman Reedus, but I myself am partial to SPF.
    • Sucker Punch. Okay, so a lot of people decry this movie as being anti-women or something, but to me, it’s a story of friendship and fighting and sacrifice, and those girls kick ass. I’m always a fan of girls kicking ass. (Unlike Princess Buttercup in TPB, who screams for Westley to save her, and ineffectually pokes at the ROUSs with a stick. That part always bugged me.)
    • Blue Like Jazz. A boy raised in the church by his mother gets a rude awakening right before he goes away to college, and instead of going to a Christian college like he planned, goes to the “most godless college in America”… and along the way, learns about himself. And this movie stars my friend Justin Welborn as The Pope; Justin currently has a recurring role on the tv show Justified. (Yay for Justin!)
    • Henry Poole is Here. Henry buys a house to get away from everyone and everything, but his neighbors intrude… a miraculous little story. I also love the soundtrack.
    • Bag of Hammers. This is a terrible name for what is ultimately a quirky, sweet story about friendship and love and growing up.
    • The Sweetest Thing. The ultimate chick flick. Hilarious look at friendship and love.
    • Nacho Libre. This falls under the o-m-g-this-movie-is-so-stupid-it’s-hilarious heading. With some lines that are so awesomely bad, my hubby and I often quote them to each other.
    • Everything is Illuminated. Of course, the book was better in some ways, but the movie did an amazing job of telling the most important parts of the book. Beautiful scenery, a beautiful and sad story, and a reminder of the Holocaust and what it took from us all.
    • Willow. An oldie but goodie fantasy movie that also has it all: love, intrigue, humor, and a sword-wielding Val Kilmer.
    • Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. A girl kicking ass. A smart girl. A girl who is not afraid of anything. This movie almost tempted me to grow my hair super-long again.
    • Good Will Hunting. I still remember how pumped I felt upon seeing this movie.
    • Dead Poet’s Society. I saw this in the theater with a friend… I’ve long forgotten which friend, but I remember wiping tears out of my eyes as we left the theater.
    • Some Kind of Wonderful. The John Hughes 80s classic. A tomboy, cars, love, and diamond earrings. Oh, and a night at the museum.
    • Benny and Joon. A charming, quirky love story starring Johnny Depp.
    • Lucky Number Slevin. More kicking of asses.
    • Dogma. Kevin Smith’s awesome and humorous take on religion. Plus, there’s Salma Hayek. And also ass-kicking. And angels.

So there ya go. This by no means an exhaustive list… just ones that I don’t mind watching over and over. As for what this list says about me, what do you think?

Posted in #AtoZchallenge2014, actors, books, feminism, fiction, guilty pleasures, happiness, humor, inspiration, joy, movies, review | 8 Comments

L is for…

L

So on Saturday, I wrote about Kissing. Today, for “L” day, I shall write about a similar and related topic, but first, I’d like you to watch this video by the incomparable Brad Paisley from his 2003 album Mud on the Tires.

L is for Love and Lies

A lot of people would say that you should never ever ever lie, regardless of the circumstances, and that if you love someone, and even if you don’t, honesty is always the best policy.

However, I disagree with that sentiment, and agree with Brad’s philosophy (read the full lyrics to the song if’n you want):

‘Cause that’s love, you’ll see
We all commit a little bit of perjury
Ah but that’s no crime if you ask me, that’s love

Sometimes the truth can actually do more harm than good, whereas an omission thereof – or a “white lie” as some would call it – is the better way to go all around.

If your best friend’s newborn baby is just a tad homely, do you tell her so? No. You say that baby is precious, and sweet, and adorable, and look at that hair, and so on.

If your hubby is going on and on about parts for the AC or your car or his motorcycle, even tho you couldn’t care less, you feign interest and you listen because it’s important to him.

If someone asks you a question, you are under no obligation to give them the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Quite frankly, all that truth may very well be nobody’s business. Or it may cause hurt feelings; after all, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

My mother seems to think you should do all that truth-telling. A while back she told me that when my father was serving in the Army during the Vietnam war, he was stationed somewhere secret that only she, as his wife, could know at the time. But when people would ask “Is your husband in Vietnam?”, she’d hem and haw and get all flustered, causing further questions and embarrassment on her part. (Again, this is what she tells me; I was only around for part of that time, and I certainly don’t remember it.) It would have been far easier for her just to nod and move on.

I am, as y’all know, an artist. I have a very artistic and cluttered studio space (in part because the house we live in wasn’t built for someone like me, and what space I have is too small and has no closet).  My darling hubby told his sister – in my presence – that he doesn’t like my space because it looks like “art vomit”. Now. Is he allowed to think/feel that? Of course. Does it actually look like “art vomit”? Kinda, yeah… I have lots of books and magnets and art supplies and a bulletin board covered in photos (including one of him as a little boy) and cards and ribbon and drawings and silly pieces of art. Did him saying that hurt my feelings? As a matter of fact, yes. So, in this case, telling his true thoughts on the subject was actually hurtful. (And of course, I’ve forgiven him, cuz that’s what you do, and he didn’t mean it to cause me pain.) (And I just might start telling people that when they ask what I do… I’ll answer “I vomit art”. Hee hee.)

So again I say, from the Gospel of Brad Paisley:

You’re starin’ at a burnt steak
You bite the bullet and you clean your plate
And then you go on and on about how great it was
That’s not a lie, that’s love


dSavannah note: Please understand that I am in no way advocating building a relationship on actual dishonesty and full-blown lies and deception. That kind of relationship will never last; it will simply crumble into a pile of ashes. Again, I am simply saying we need to practice kindness, and sometimes that includes not sharing everything in our heads.

What do you think?

Posted in #AtoZchallenge2014, dancing, family, friends, funny funny, happiness, humor, love, music, quotes | 10 Comments

K is for…

K

K is for Kissing

I know, I know what you’re thinking…

K-tumblr_inline_mjvoviHsLL1qz4rgp
And yes, yes it is.

But I’ll keep it short. The blog post, that is, so I can go kiss on my husband.

As the marvelous Jill Conner Browne said in one of her books, I don’t remember which (but it doesn’t matter – go read all of ‘em… you won’t be sorry) (nor do I remember the exact quote) (and buggeroo if I can’t find it right now), anywho, she said something along the lines that kissing is a fabulous way to release stress and show love to your loved one.

If you’re feeling mad at your spouse/significant other, go give ‘em a big ole smooch, right on the mouth, and tell me if you don’t both feel better about each other.

First kiss. Our wedding. 8.8.08.

Our wedding. First kiss. 8.8.08.

And if this picture don’t make you smile, nothing will! It makes my heart melt every time I look at it.


Sunday is of course our day off from blogging for this challenge, but I’ll be back (at some point) on Monday, April 14, with a post for the letter L. I’ve got a couple topics in mind… but I guess we’ll all just see what falls out of my head when the time comes.

And PS thank you to everyone who has been reading and commenting on my blog, and also stopping by and giving my blogging partner Chad Clark and his monsters some love.

Posted in #AtoZchallenge2014, books, funny funny, giving to others, joy, love | 10 Comments