Wednesday, November 20, 2013

i'm REALLY in love

i love this. i love that i saw this today. i am IN LOVE. thank you jeanette leblanc.


HOWEVER ... i keep seeing things like this and thinking, this is how i live. and people don't really live like this. people don't admire people who make millions of mistakes. people don't appreciate uncertainty or even conviction. if you live your truth, you likely won't survive in the world. seeing goodness in the world doesn't pay the bills. i want it. i live it. i do it. i appreciate it. i buy one-way tickets, skip laundry, spontaneously leave the state, act on my gut, tell the truth, admit i am wrong, jump without thinking, forget about being crazy. i'm bat shit crazy. but let's stop blowing smoke up everyone's ass. people don't see this as glorious. they think it's irresponsible. unacceptable. magic doesn't exist. they view unpredictability as annoying. no one appreciates uncertainty. risk is unacceptable.

so let's stop all the amazingly liberal, beautiful writing and start living it. let's be unsafe, accepting of others mistakes, rewarding of shortcomings. let's admire people who put it all on red. who are wrong. let's not apologize. i have seen way too much of this lately. teenagers believe it's real. it is my way of life completely by accident and it's not bad, but it's not really that easy.

now. who wants to lock their kids in the bathroom and hit the bar?!? what? i am a dreamer.

it's official

i need to redesign or retire my blog. the end of the year seems apropos to do such a thing. so it shall be done.

i finally accepted what is winter. it's about 37 degrees and i believe it's going to start dumping more snow on us by thursday. which is fine. i may have been a little dramatic but i hate being cold. i hate that it is dark at 5pm. i am counting on The Teenager to go somewhere warm for college. because after she graduates, i have got to get out of the UC. warm. year-round. that's where i'm heading with Lu.

everyone hates the cold and if they say they don't, they might be lying. i mean, you've heard of SAD? it's real. lots of people i know have it. i am watching them and just thinking, double up on your antidepressants. i started doubling up on mine when i started to lose the will to live. and i STILL have to put the hoses away and shut off the water and winterize. shhhh. move on.

the thing that truly got me over the hump and okay with the inevitable was music. as usual. i am basically still madly in love with The National's new album, which isn't really new anymore. i can't get enough. one would think i would tire of the same music i have been listening to for three years but i don't. i still love my dad's music. Born in the USA is amazing. Baba O'riley by The Who. Bon Jovi. listen to Pearl Jam still almost everyday. whatever. whatever starts the circulation to restart in your body. music and coffee. it's all we have.

apparently i don't have time for Fantasy Football or new music anymore. but those are objects that will not miss me. the only true reason i have time to write this is because my bed has become the preferred place for both my girls to sleep, and it's impossible. The Teenager has cramps and is moaning and The Babe is kicking her in the stomach while pushing me off the bed. it's too small.

i. just. can't. do. it.

oh yeah. so The National's Trouble Will Find Me is pretty mellow, but amazing. easily going in the top ten best albums ever. Graceless, Heavenfaced, Hard to Find, Demons. i wonder what the process is like to create or orchestrate things that make people's hearts beat. and then eat a sandwich. why can't i have that power? do they even eat?

so it's official. the point of this post is for you to find the music that might save your life. it could be this winter. it could be when shit is just not good. it could be when you lose someone. today or someday. if you don't have any music that will save your life, you can borrow mine. i recommend you download and listen to The National's simplicity in Heavenfaced. have it on hand should you feel the life-ending gloom creeping up on you.

Heavenfaced

I could walk out, but I won’t,
In my mind I am in your arms.
I wish someone would take my place,
Can’t face heaven all heavenfaced.
No one’s careful all the time,
If you lose me, I’m gonna die.

How completely high was I?
I was off by a thousand miles.
Hit the ceiling, then you fall,
Things are tougher than we are.
I could walk out, but I won’t,
In my mind I am in your arms.
I wish someone would take my place,
Can’t face heaven all heavenfaced.

Let’s go wait out in the fields with the ones we love.
Let’s go wait out in the fields with the ones we love.
Let’s go wait out in the fields with the ones we love.
Let’s go wait out in the fields with the ones we love.

She’s a griever, my believer
It’s not a fever, it’s a freezer
I believe her, I`m a griever now
She’s a griever, my believer
It’s not a fever, it’s a freezer
I believe her, I`m a griever now

Because we’ll all arrive in heaven alive
We’ll all arrive
Because we’ll all arrive in heaven alive
We’ll all arrive 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

here it comes ...

that heavy feeling of winter. the sudden urge to become a hermit. a real fear that you may not survive the cold winter. all projects, work, happiness, sunshine, and progress come to a screeching halt, and you're not only paralyzed, you don't really care. there is no thinking about ... if you don't pull it together, shit is going to get ugly. there is no placating others. it almost feels like people around you--the functioning ones--are living in a false reality. don't they know? haven't they felt the chill that penetrates right to the bone? it's here for me. for those with thick skin, it will be here in less than a month. sitting in the car after work with teeth literally chattering from the intense, frigid air. it's a concern. not to mention the creeping holidays. i wish the federal government would shut down the holidays. call me a sour puss. i don't like the impending doom that is winter in Utah.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

the cold nonsense of being

i started writing this a week or so again. i deleted it for many reasons but am now posting it for Karma. just in case she needs it.

i have had a hard time connecting with the world today, i guess being sick and losing steve martin* in one's life forces you to finally. hit. the. breaks. and. stop. i always over promise, double book, run out of time, lose the keys, forget to take out the garbage, run late, and disappoint. even though i really spend easily 89% of each day trying to make everyone happy, i end up frustrating most of them in the end. however, the thing that has been weighing most heavily on my mind is spending more time on more dogmatic things and less time on those of no consequence. nothing glamorous or fancy, but i have always wanted to make a difference in people's lives. do something. you can have a job that you're good at, you can spend hours devoted to it, you can be amazing ... but if your family is left wondering why you're at work so much, it's an empty lifestyle. be amazing in both areas. it's possible. i think. i am going to try.

if someone is indifferent about having you in his or her life, let them go. be it family, friends, a boss, or a client. indifference about life, causes, the future, love, dreams ... that is something that hurts me. it's a complete lack of feeling. i'd rather be hated. i would rather see passion and yell and rage and fight than shrug my shoulders and walk away from someone i love, or let someone i love walk away from me. if an employer is indifferent about my work, i walk away. if anyone or any situation is indifferent, i feel that i am wasting my time because i am not helping or impacting it/them in a positive way. i have to find a way to live. if you're indifferent about something, leave it. find something you are passionate about. or something you hate. when you find something you hate, you remember what you love. i think.

how can i explain without sounding crazy that i often feel like, for whatever reason, small events in my life or people i meet unknowingly yet infallibly point my shoulders towards the life i was meant to live. if i get off track, something happens that subtly pushes me in a certain direction--the right one. just like the unconscious, common push of a tiller on a boat by its captain when headed toward the shore.

so maybe because i am an idealist and see the world in a different way than most, i am almost obsessed to find a solution or a way to "fix" things. i have a hard time saying or accepting the answer "no". i am impulsive. probably annoying. sometimes a hermit, often incredibly difficult to get a hold of. i can easily get wrapped up in my mind of how tangled random events of my life are going to create a masterpiece of a life. i live by faith. a lot. occasionally, my intuition is so strong i have to act on it.

there are moments, instances, or periods in my life where i know i have to do certain things. going with my gut has always had a much higher success rate than ignoring it. and i know i contradict myself sometimes and i get really confused too. i don't know what needs to happen and i am too old to make any more big mistakes. i just have to act more. the stagnant era of a devout workaholic has to end. i can still be amazing. i just need balance.

the only nagging thought that remains: but what? in college, i started believing that my life was leading up to something amazing--that "this" can't be it. "this" isn't what i was born to do. not in a negative way, but just like, i have a strong sense i need to do more. and i still feel that way. i don't ever remember not feeling that way. i have something that i need to finish; if i try hard enough i can find the solution; i can fix this; if we all pull together we can do it. i never imagined that my lofty goals would turn into a road that would bring me back to Mapleton, single, two daughters, everything much less sparkly than when i was a teenager. but i understand. in a way that makes it okay.

i asked Lauren tonight if everyone feels that way. not people who are unhappy or discontent, but people who are extremely happy and have fulfilling jobs but live life seeking for their real calling. you know, people who are content but know they are going to change the world. in my gut right now, i feel like am supposed to be a part of a cause for good that is bigger than myself. i don't know if that even makes sense.

typically i will have these big, amazing, over-the-top ideas but after a few days, maybe a week, after being obsessed and getting the rafiki rocks and hitch-kicking my enthusiasm all over town, i get distracted, million dollar idea gone, massive to-do list back in hand, working too many hours, with the highest priority on my "brilliant idea" list being to fill out my fantasy football roster on time.

i am rambling.

i am not jaded but i am just not easily impressed--a lot of times i will act like i am so i don't hurt feelings. i am rarely intrigued. i can see through others' motives very easily. i am not judging. i am not presuming, maybe i'm not giving people the credit they deserve. i don't even live up to my own expectations. i am not necessarily right. i am not noble or brave or clever. i have made more mistakes than an entire classroom of tenth-grade boys.

and that was just today.

i don't know. i am trying to get my car unstuck out of this ditch so i can start going again. it's just been stuck for so long. and it's comfortable here. but i bet there is some fresh air somewhere that would blow my mind.

there is a lot of stuff going on, and most of it is just--for the lack of a better word, silly. again, total PMS-provoked, sinus, ear, throat, lung, chest infected commentary. i worry that the babies being born today won't have the same opportunity i had to genuinely love our country or be willing to fight for it. they won't have the instilled sense of patriotism, community, love, compassion, hard work ethic, family, and experiences we have had. i want to believe differently. and i want the traditions we have to live on. and i want my grandpa to still be around to tell me about the war, moving to Mapleton from the coal mines, marrying my grandma. how he became the first fire chief of Mapleton. i want my kids to know that history. i don't want it to turn into a big social media digital hell. instant gratification. thinking it's absurd that you would wait 30 days to get a letter from a friend.

it may seem i am giving the "walked up hills both ways to school" talk. if i talk to kids about my childhood or grandparents, they react as if i am talking about some old relative i had from the Colonial period before cars were invented. i don't want my daughters picked up by a date who honks the horn. why is that okay? if my grandpa were alive he'd walk out and shoot them. so i don't know where I am going with this. good people are out there. we'll always have good fire fighters, dispatchers, volunteers, police, service men, humanitarians, doctors, nurses, presidents, social works, and on and on and on to look up to. i just want the silly, waste of energy, weird stuff we do everyday to go away. for example, work 15 hours a day, get the corner office, make money, spend money, lose your sunshine, lose your passion, die with a sweet resume. i don't want to debate spelling errors and grammar. i don't have the time or energy to be passionate about processes and time clocks, or argue over colors and fabrics. i just want simplicity. and someone who can accept me for being the opposite.

i love where i work. to be able to work at a company with strong core values that align with mine. finally. where co-workers are kind to one another, i think you call them friends. where we go out of our way and work long days without hesitation. why? because we care about our product and helping its distribution to as many people as possible. at least i really care. and our executives (i get the feeling) care about us. the company is genuinely helping people to make their lives better. it's not a battle field internally. it doesn't have to be.

i want to leave a legacy for my girls. only. i want them to be proud. i want them to say, "mom did more than invented AstroTurf, she changed a child's life, she was in the right place at the right time and introduced two people who found a cure for a horrible disease, she showed us how to care about others. and stand up for ourselves. she knew people were taking advantage of her. she knew a lot more than she said. she loved us more than anything."

i remember watching Vince Young's determination and drive to lead the Longhorns to a victory over USC for the BSC Championship in 1996. Vince Young was straight up like, "alright, if you're not going to do it, i will. i'll do the damn thing. that's how bad i want to win." he is inspiring. and i don't care, i still love the man. and i do have his titans jersey and he is no longer active on the packers roster but we will get to that later.

living with purpose that extends outside of working to pay the bills, and allows us to be a part of something we will remember. living how we want. not making excuses. being where we want to be with whom we want to be around.

a tradition that's almost obsolete ... passion. boys walking 10 miles to see a girl. girls waiting four years for the love of her life to come home from the war. people staying married. couples being happy. loving someone more than ourselves. love letters. women being adored and not allowed to open a door for themselves. men being protective, loyal, committed. i don't even know if true love exists in people under 40. i don't even know if we know what it is.

that's it. that's all i got.

lauren. right now. at this very moment. go listen to Graceless by The National. find it wherever you can.

*i finally found a family doctor that i loved. his name was NOT steve martin but he looked like a young steve martin. skin that was way too soft, brown eyes, much too young to have white hair. but he was awesome with the girls and was working with natural supplements to make us feel better. then one day, after i declared we were officially moving to his practice, he was gone. and i sobbed.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Friday, July 5, 2013

pyromania

i was looking for some inspiration to power through the day so i decided to just start writing. i know the ebb and flow of events in my life will never suddenly slow into a calm existence, just like the tide of the ocean will never stop lapping back and forth from the shore. hearing waves crash is one of my favorite sounds; i have gotten familiar with the rhythm and as long as the rocking doesn't make me seasick, i think i may have finally reached a place in life where i can dig it.

i could easily get overwhelmed; start yelling and screaming about how life isn't fair. but i think i have grown up to observe instead of react. some times it is unbelievable how rough those waves get, but i can handle it or freak out.

one year during our annual girls' trip to Cancun, i had some tropical beverages and then swam too far out into the ocean. as i started to make my way back to shore, i became exhausted swimming with the undertow and suddenly found myself with my neck against a rope -- one of those really rough ropes they use to partition sections of the water off. anydamnway, after being pummeled by waves that relentlessly clothesline me at the neck, i gave up. i couldn't fight it anymore and my muscle were fatigued. and i just thought, this is it. i am not going to make it in. i am not strong enough. i have nothing left to give. i decided that i would start to swallow the water in big gulps so i would drown faster (i saw that on television once, i think).

the next thing i remember is the silhouette of a strong, giant lifeguard standing over me after throwing me on the sandy beach. straight up Baywatch style. we were both winded. he saved my life. he saved my life. each year that we went back to that same resort, i would look for him to tell him over and over that he saved my life. and i'd thank him. he never said much.

maybe life isn't all about taking chances, making moves, and risking being swept away. but i don't know how to live any other way. i came across this post, BURN, that I wrote in August of 2011, almost exactly two years ago. apparently i was exhausted, being tousled around with a rope tugging at my neck, and in this post i declared that i was no longer going to run to stand still. that i was exhausted from being crazy and stupid. eh. so i made the list of things i believed in.

my point in sharing again is because maybe i don't always realize that i am actually moving forward and making progress. that i am better than i was. that i have learned from my mistakes. and that overall, i am headed in the right direction. maybe i have drifted so far off with the natural tide that sometimes i get lost, but i consistently believe and act on the same things. my conviction becomes my code, and it may not be every one's and that is okay. everyone is entitled to believe in and live by their own code. so here is the list, in blue, with my reflection two years later, in red.

i believe that taking chances is better than settling.
i know taking a chance is better than settling. settling is giving up on yourself. if you give up, who is going to believe in you. everyone deserves control and happiness over his or her life.

i believe that i may have given my daughters life, but they are the ones who truly give me life. everyday.
i know my daughters are the reasons i still live and breathe today.

i believe that bf/gf relationships are painful and temporary. just like a great bikini wax.
bikini waxes and relationships are both totally unnecessary if they hurt that bad.

i believe that having a cigarette on your porch is better than punching someone in the face.
i have only hit one person in the face and it cost me. but no need to smoke, you can just call the cops.
 
i believe that it's probably best not to look for trouble. it will find you.

The National's new album is entitled "Trouble Will Find Me."
 
i believe in sticking to my guns. and when the perfect time comes. once in awhile. even though it is hard as shit. laying them down and walking away. waiting to feel the bullet in your back.

i know that sticking to your guns is the right thing to do if you cannot live any other way. but i also know that it doesn't make you less of a person to settle a lawsuit, resign from a job, or let go of something or someone.

i believe in taking my grandma to the doctor even when i'm busy.
and making her come over for 4th of July burgers in the blistering heat.
 
i believe in honesty. no matter how bad it sucks.

i have grown exceedingly committed to honesty. i tend to withhold information if the subject is personal and people are being intrusive, but i am in love with the ideal that people are honest and that honesty will prevail.

i believe in loving your family, and letting them love you.
mi familia. family are the only ones who are going to get a call to identify your body, and also the only ones that kinda love you no matter what. i rented Silver Linings Playbook from Redbox and i am never taking it back. i've always thought that us crazies are normal and everyone else is crazy.
 
i believe in falling fast and hard. and falling hard is not awesome. but it's a new start.

i know sometimes i trust too much, forgive too quickly, and act on my impulses. but each decision i make isn't an arbitrary whim. once made, i am seeing it through. and i am often wrong, and in that case, i'll still see it through.

i believe that doing the right thing is not fun. and it doesn't pay off. and it makes you mad. but it's the right thing. so do it. do what you say you're going to do.
i know that karma is real and the right thing for me isn't necessarily the right thing for you. i know i over commit and am always late, and i don't always do what i say i will. but i am going to try harder and i am going to do my best to do the right thing.
 

i believe that my grandpa answered my prayers this month.
a week or so ago, i was mowing the lawn and i was hot and miserable; pouring sweat. i started thinking about my grandpa and i could see him mowing his lawn and sometimes ours. i thought about how he taught me what it means to work hard. and i remembered that i would watch him through the window and when he was almost finished, i would run out and take him an ice cold pepsi. as he drank it, i wondered if it was the best thing he had ever tasted in his life. and suddenly, i knew it was.
 

i believe that people believe what they want to believe.
i know some people will never change their minds, nor listen to or consider another point of view. it is scary to be a grown up and have your beliefs challenged. and just as i believe in the things i do, others can believe what they choose. however, i would never treat someone differently for their beliefs and i would never think they were going to hell.

i believe in forgiving yourself. and others. and then yourself for forgiving others. and repeat.
i believe forgiveness is simple if someone truly cares about you and not only takes the time to apologize in person, when necessary, and not stop apologizing until it passes.

i believe that you should go with your gut. it is never wrong.

i have always believed this but haven't always acted on my gut feeling immediately. i recently went with my gut on a huge decision and it was most definitely, 100% the right thing to do. go with your gut. it just knows.

i believe in loving myself first and taking care of myself. and that the Rolling Stones did make great music. i just didn't need it until now.

i know i need to work on this but i do love the Stones.

i believe that surrounding myself with positive energy and the right people is exactly what i need.

it was true two years ago and it remains true today. i met my blogging soul sister Karma, i find it easier to remove myself from toxic situations, i went to Mexico with my lady friends, i am playing softball with some people with super good energy, and tonight i'm going to Pat Benatar with exactly the right people at exactly the right time.

summer is here. the party patio is ready. money will work itself out. my grandma is close. my girls are with me. i have good people in my life. the ranch now has a pool. the fire pit is blazing and i have burned some of the field just to annoy the MCPD. although i don't have a lot of material items to show it, i have made some big strides in the last two years and followed the same code. i am not perfect and i don't claim to be. i have a million flaws and a lot of work i still need to do on myself. but it is so much easier to ride the tide than fight it.

Monday, July 1, 2013

i should live in salt

this summer in the SLC is going to be full of live music that i have been craving for far too long. thanks to the twilight concert series, i will be spending thursday evenings in the sticky heat watching bands play that i never thought i'd see in utah. for example, belle and sebastian. seriously? fistpump!

tickets to every concert are only $5. who in salt lake came up with this line up? because i want to give them a high five. nick bought me a pass for all the shows so although i will be sitting out Kid Cudi, i am going to hit all the others so help me....

possibly the biggest highlight of the series isn't a band i haven't seen, but one that i have been longing to see again. that's right, The National. the last time i saw them was in San Diego and i was pregnant with Lu. and she loved them too for the record. the new album is delicious and i will be the first in line to make sure i am front and center to see these guys.


sigh. july 18th the magic begins.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

credit fraud

i've never really been a fan of clich├ęs, but lately i have been mentally reciting the really old one: "it's amazing what is accomplished when nobody is worried about taking the credit." i guess it's human nature to want to feel important, be recognized or rewarded for hard work. i understand that. it is a fundamental human need. and sure, it bugs me when people take credit for my work but not to the extent of anything more than a small shudder. is it weird that i am satisfied knowing what i have helped accomplished regardless of who else knows or recognizes it?

maybe it's another sign that i am getting old. i love seeing other people succeed and be happy. i love giving credit to those who i see working hard. it makes me happy, in particular, to see a group accomplish something and the camaraderie it creates. there are few things in life that ONE person can accomplish alone.

take politics for example. every race is about what "i" can do to make it better. i will reduce the national debt, i will cut taxes, i will create more jobs. well, it's horseshit. no ONE person can do any of those things without an entire army of people helping. and funny how when failure comes around, none of those politicians say, "i failed you. i didn't do what i said i was going to do. i'll do better." if you're going to take the credit, at least be willing to accept the blame.

i am a single mom but i certainly have not and could not raise my girls alone. there is a whole group of people who have a hand in our lives. family, sisters, brother, grandparents, nannies, friends ... no way could i do it alone. and even though sometimes i feel alone, i am the first to admit i am not. not even close. my girls wouldn't be the amazing girls they are without the influence of many others. yes, ultimately, i am responsible for them, but thank God they have so many people who love them and care for them. so many people i can call and lean on; so many that do it without being asked.

misery is the result of constant comparison. worrying about what everyone else contributes, how many hours they work, who said what, who has what, who did what. bookkeeping robs us of happiness. i am all about giving credit where it is due. i am all about doing my part. of course there has to be balance but if we all just did what we needed to -- or wanted to -- out of a genuine desire to make the office, home, world, community better ... it'd probably be pretty amazing. maybe even change the world.

dedicated to melissa.

Monday, February 25, 2013

you're as cold as ice

it is frigid. ridiculously cold. the heater decided to go on the fritz in the middle of tonight. taking out the garbage was benumbing. it's not a friendly chill. i despise it. how many more winters will i subject myself to this? chilled to the bone?

i'm totally annoyed with the cold. i'm annoyed with the jackass credit card company from 8 years ago garnishing my paycheck, i'm bored by doing taxes, and i just don't feel like holding it down. there is always way too much to do. and i'm not talking about busy work ... i'm talking about the necessities: laundry, grocery shopping, paying bills, getting older, helping with homework, sleeping, working, surviving, showering. it's not ever going to slow down, is it?

i do see a light in the near future. a warm, yellow, glorious light called the Mexico sun. in less than a week i'll be in Akumel without a phone, laptop, or Internet connection; no choice but to be a prisoner to vacation. it's going to be awesome. a crew of girlfriends headed for fun and relaxation. i literally might board the plane with a hat, some deodorant, and my flip flops. who has time to pack? my skin is translucent. i can't remember the last time i saw my swim suit. it is what it is.

i can't wait for my muscles to relax instead of bracing for the biting cold, or to sleep in without worrying about tomorrow's agenda. to laugh until my sides hurt. to not comb my hair or do my makeup for 9 days. i might even get crazy and read a book!

i'll miss my girls, family, and my friends, but i'm ready. i need this. i'm over listening to debates about looming budget cuts, the hour commute, cars sliding all over the roads, ben affleck, and the smell of walmart. bring me sandy beaches and coconuts. bring me a language i don't speak. bring me complete silence interrupted only by the breaking tide.

let's do this, hermanas.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Nicholas Sparks Sucks

i don't like nicholas sparks. in fact, i consider him to be a horrifying combination of steve jobs and the monomaniac who created the carl's jr. ads with naked women eating hamburgers.

he's a literary wilt chamberlain, a real life "dirty rotten scoundrel", a con artist, a sweetheart scammer, an incredibly sexist writer of modern day fairy tales. and he's good--real good. because women buy into his crap. alright, i admit, i loved The Notebook. it was and is amazing. but mr. sparks wrote it when he was 28, so maybe his intentions were somewhat good. there is an element of truth to The Notebook that his other books lack. also, the story was set in the 40's. the characters are believable because (in real life during that era) a man believed in fighting for his country simply for honor; men respected women and women took care of men; loyalty was innate. The Notebook was about the greatest generation and a different time. it's familiar: the love story wasn't much different than my own grandparents'. i have read letters my grandpa wrote my grandma while he was fighting in World War 2, and those letters were the sweetest damn things i've ever read. the way he wrote to her, the names he called her (my sweet petunia), the way he missed her. and their bond and commitment lasted well into their 80's. and, okay, any movie with ryan gosling in it is going to be incredible.

but let's just fast forward to Dear John, The Lucky One, and now... Safe Haven. it's just more than my stomach can take. nicholas sparks isn't some great guy who has an unnatural understanding of women and a big heart. he's not a hopeless romantic. he doesn't believe in undying love or the existence of kind men who say the most profound, breathtaking words at the right time that can make a woman melt. this guy, this sadist, identified a gigantic target market and figured out how to manufacture the equivalent of crack cocaine in the form of books (to movies) that perpetuate false hope, non-existent ideals, unrealistic expectations, and enchanting illusions of love. he is attacking every genre of young girls and women be it married, single, vulnerable, unhappy, hopeful, altruistic, or sappy with far fetched depictions of romance for his own financial gain. and every story line gets worse with each book! it's all about the money for this guy and here is a little evidence to my conclusion:

[From the nicholassparks.com website]:
"FAQs Answered by Nicholas 

Why do you write love stories?
I chose that genre because there was little to no competition. 

Why are all of your novels set in North Carolina?
Because I live in North Carolina and am familiar with the area, because few other novelists write about the area, and because I want to create a sense of familiarity when readers buy each novel.

Do you ever incorporate anything from your own romantic life into your books?
Not necessarily .... "
i barely made it through The Lucky One. a divorced single mom with a young child enchants zac efron through occult powers when he finds a random, crummy picture after a near death experience. he tracks down a complete stranger from the photo and upon doing so, falls madly in love with her AND her son? AND he plays the piano? AND helps her son overcome his phobia so HE plays the piano again? and in addition to being much younger and totally hot (and not afraid to take his shirt off), he is sensitive and strong and protective and patient and perfect? but here is the real kicker: he ultimately has a hand in the death of the psychotic, angry ex-husband/babydaddy (but in a totally heroic way) so they can all live happily ever after without any complications. it may not be as spectral as a bunch of vampires and werewolves fighting over a girl, but it's just as imaginative... in a really annoying, incongruous way... not to mention every bullied divorced woman's dream: hot guy AND he knocks off my annoying ex? i would have settled for zac efron but why not? let's take it to the next level.

up next we have to drool over the ridiculously hot josh duhamel in Safe Haven, sparks' latest book to movie adaptation. storyline? duhamel is the greatest, handsomest single dad in the world (don't worry, he's a widower, not a divorcee with a psychotic ex-wife or babymama because that would be too realistic and a total downer plus you'd have to write in custody issues and child support ... too complicated) anyway, perfect widow fights relentlessly for some weirdo who shows up in town running from her abusive lover. and even though he just met this two-timer engaging in hugger-mugger, josh puts his own motherless children at risk for her. and no matter what, no matter the reasons she gives him, he will NOT give up. he is stubborn and determined to protect her and love her forever instead of avoiding her like the plague as any sane man would do... and did i happen to mention it is released in theaters today, on Valentine's Day? come on, ladies! it's time to get real! i'm with Dr. Phil on this one. it's time to get real about life, love, and everyone in it. nicholas sparks is not real and it's not even enjoyable!

for the same reason i don't buy Cosmopolitan magazine, i don't buy into nicholas sparks' lame books and story lines. both media outlets -- the magazine and the books/movies are shallow and superficial and promote that a woman's value is based on her physical attractiveness and/or her being rescued by a man. sparks is incredibly sexist in his books and it is apparent in each book's characters, plot, conflicts, and especially, denouements. i despise his supremacist attitude in every book's theme of a woman being saved by a man, that men treat women like queens, and that a man is the answer to all problems. i think it's wrong for him to suggest that fate will guide a shirtless, flawless, gorgeous, chivalrous, strong man to the pathetic woman of his dreams even if she is holed up in her house, and that their love will last forever no matter how complicated the situation. i am not down with the fairy tale nicholas sparks is telling young girls that a knight in shining armour is going to come along and save the day, wipe out an ex, build her an amazing house, and make all her dreams come true. at least Disney fairy tales are cartoons and have imaginary characters like dwarfs and talking horses. they aren't convincing ladies that magic potions and talking mirrors are real. this guy--this sparks guy--is ruining it for me, for my daughters, and for ladies everywhere by creating false expectations about love, fate, and relationships. and his intentions are not good.

i'll take Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Descendants, High Fidelity, and Terms of Endearment any day if i want a love story. i believe in love in the real way love exists ... in the way you want to poke your boyfriend's eyes out with a fork one day, and you get butterflies when he smiles at you the next. i want to know that's it's normal to be heartbroken when you break up with someone and there's a real possibility it's over forever but that doesn't mean channing tatum is going to pull up to ask for directions and fall madly in love with you despite your mismatched boots, bed hair, vomit-stained shirt, and swollen eyes. i don't want single moms to be disappointed when a brad-pitt-look-alike doesn't think it's adorable when her baby spills grape juice on him or wonder why the super cute and much too young bagger doesn't carry her groceries to her car and insist she let him take her out to dinner. so, please, nicholas sparks, stop putting these ridiculous ideas into my head. and into the minds of teenager girls everywhere. you're doing us an injustice. have you surveyed how high school boys treat girls lately? how men treat women in general? how fathers treat the mother of their children?

no one is perfect. relationships are hard as hell. love at first sight turns into annoyance at every belch, infatuation wears off as stinky feet surface and toots slip out, and there is nothing sexy about pee on the toilet seat from a shirtless, average looking person, or stretch marks from pregnancy. so how about a movie that portrays the importance of finding something deeper when you fall in love? and why you better find the quirks that turn you on and appreciate the imperfections of mankind. you better find an unconditional love ... where you give and receive. and show that love takes time and it takes craziness. it might take separation. and it may not work out. it's all part of where love has evolved--the love in our lifetime. and there is both ugliness and beauty in it.

i hope for those of you who have a valentine, and even those who don't, that you make this day about the real aspects of love. and no matter who your valentine or non-valentine ends up being, dont compare him to ryan gosling. if your valentine is your child or a friend or a sibling, love them. go out of your way to love them. if there is one day to focus on someone else and give your heart away, today's the day to do it. just focus on real love. happily ever after only exists in fairy tales.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

balance.

balance has many different meanings. my life is very balanced. not in the sense that my checking account has every been reconciled, there is not an even distribution of weight (or responsibility) around the house, and we don't always stay on a well balanced diet. but i'm balanced in the sense of ... i can walk on a tightrope, carry a baby, write an email, wrangle a teenager, drink a cup of coffee, and kick down a door all at the same time. it's like the guy at the circus that rides a unicycle with a bunch of plates on his head while juggling and whistling. if our balance is every messed with, disaster prevails. you don't steady a waitress balancing seven plates in her arms; you don't mess with her balance.

i learned a valuable lesson about balancing energy this last week. with some energy work and devil stones, someone tried to balance my unbalanced energy and i crashed. like someone falling off their bike going down a mountain. i rolled and rolled down the mountain until finally i hit the bottom. then, the people there that picked me up and brushed me off, sent me on my unbalanced way. and everything is okay again.

except for these rocks. i still need to destroy the devil rocks.

Monday, January 21, 2013

8 Days of Karma

Day 1: Soooo, I am going to have our marketing assistant pick you up from the airport, then I'll make you stay in the break room until I'm off five hours later, and then we'll eat steaks and drink clear-colored shots of cranberry-whiskey.

Day 2: Today I am going to leave you at my house for 18 hours while I work. You'll spend the day starving, watching my children, and meeting my mother. I'll come home with some amazing news (and a hitch-kick): MY ENERGY HAS BEEN BALANCED! Then I will pull rocks out of my bra and pocket explain how my life has forever been changed by rafiki.

Day 3: Day three will include sleep drunk me (with incredible rocks still on my person). Again, I will starve you until I get home and you get to meet my significant other. Later he will start an argument that involves accusations of me showing off for my friend. Warning signs about the energy rocks begin to surface as clarity returns.

Day 4: What I promised to be our best day yet on day four turns into a 3-hour trip to Walmart, an intervention about the devil rocks, me taking a 4 hour nap while you are entertained by aforementioned significant other, and then a less than fun trip on the new, exciting, and convenient Frontrunner to see a Sundance film about how rafiki caused a massage therapist to be repulsed by touching anyone, and of course below freezing temperatures as we wait for the 1:27 AM return train that never came, followed by an hour cab ride to Provo and going to bed at 7AM.

Day 5: Pajamas, talking, and football sounded like a dream come true until an emergency trip to Farmington was in order that included an impressive display of immaturity and humiliation, served with a side of salmon, asparagus, and sponge cake.

Day 6: So, you don't mind driving my baby to Logan, right? I mean, I only have to work for a little while .... ? Sounds like a great vacation to me! Oh first, will you stop and buy pepto for my pee butt? Great, thanks. At least it ended with delicious sushi and normal conversation, and some good shopping was involved.

If Karma survives the crash course of my life, we'll be bonded forever. If she changes her phone number or gets a no contact order, I'll understand that too.

Tomorrow we will determine a safe way to dispose of the devil rocks and I'll probably ask her to clean my house or remove an ingrown hair from my bikini line.