Brown Shoes, Black Pants

Last night, I was thinking about what I’m going to wear to work today. I have like, 5 pairs of pants to choose from. Khaki, Brown, Black, Gray, Scrubs. I’ve already worn the Khaki, Gray, and 2 pairs of scrubs this week. So I decided I would wear black pants and a sweater today, because the groundhog lied about spring. I went to bed with a plan.

I woke up this morning, threw my outfit in the dryer to get the wrinkles out (I avoid folding laundry, so everything has some wrinkles). I then finished getting ready for work, came downstairs and put my dryer-warmed clothes on, and had to pick a pair of shoes. Apparently, this is where the plan went awry.

I have 2 pairs of the exact same shoe in both black and brown. Nothing special, just plain Mary Jane flats from Walmart (of all places). There they lay on the floor, side-by-side in a somewhat dark room. I then had a moment of clarity on how I could tell the difference between the black pair and the brown pair in the dark: the black ones have a silver lining, the brown pair has a goldish lining. The linings are more distinguishable in the dark than the actual shoe colors.

Knowing this, I am now astonished that I managed to put the brown pair on and get to work before I realized that I will now go through the entire day with brown shoes and black pants. Maybe I was mesmerized by the lining revelation. Maybe I had somehow forgotten my plan, since the night before, was to wear black pants. Was I not thinking? Did something distract me for a moment? Was the gold lining more attractive than the silver? I have no explanation for this wardrobe faux pas, I’m actually quite puzzled by it. It’s actually bothering me that I did this, considering the moment of debate on which shoes are black and which are brown. I’m annoyed.

Oh well. I’ll just sit here with my feet under my desk.

The Hard is What Makes it Great

I totally hopped on here to upload a quick video of my dog, but I got distracted by today’s Daily Prompt, which is to pick a quote from my favorite movie and make it the title of my post. Also, now that my posts go directly to Facebook, my friends are going to learn new things about me… like what uncharacteristically turns into a sappy explanation of a movie quote.

You have no idea how hard it is to narrow down my absolute all-time favorite movie. It changes daily. So instead I tried to narrow it down by my favorite movie starring my favorite actor: Tom Hanks. Not that it’s any easier to narrow down, just seemed like a good idea at the time. Ok so now I have to pick my favorite Tom Hanks movie. Equally, if not more difficult. First, all romantic comedies are out. Saving Private Ryan is great, but not exactly quotable. Forrest Gump is a extremely quotable, but not my favorite. Big is out because the fortune teller machine scares me.

Perhaps I have to narrow it down by picking my favorite Tom Hanks character in a favorite Tom Hanks movie. Oh yes, that’s much easier. Ladies and gentleman, I give you a quote from the ever classy and inspirational Coach Jimmy Dugan from A League of Their Own:

“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.”

If you haven’t seen the movie, you need to. Tom Hanks does a lot of yelling, and he’s a fantastic yeller (it makes me laugh). If you HAVE seen the movie, then you sensed the sarcasm when I said he was classy and inspirational. He was far from it, and most of his attempts at prayer or motivational speeches were awkward and uncomfortable. This quote comes from a private moment between Jimmy and Dottie, the women’s baseball star who is leaving the team to go make babies with her husband, who just returned from the war (a war that gave her the opportunity to play professional baseball, mind you).

This movie is full of hilarious quotes and one-liners, but this one is the one movie quote I relate to the most. It’s the quote I come to when I think I’m going through something hard, reminding me that some of life’s challenges are worth the struggle. The biggest right now is that my fiance is deployed for the first time since we’ve been together. It sucks. It REALLY sucks. But it wouldn’t be so hard, and therefore great, to be apart if we weren’t absolutely meant to be together. You tell me how 2 people thousands of miles apart can be thinking the exact same thing at the same time during a Facebook chat if they aren’t soul mates! I think it also explains how I’m handling this new experience better than I thought I would. I’m not letting either of us be too sad or too down, because it’s a temporary hardship. Do I miss him every day? Absolutely, every minute and every second of every day. But it’s worth it because we’d rather be going through this together than not have each other at all.

If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it, and I’ve seen a lot of couples who couldn’t. That’s not us. We know what we have, and neither one of us is willing to take the easy way out because we know this is right and this is the path we headed down together. So for us, the hard… is what makes it great.

And now… because this was entirely too emotional for me… Apropos of nothing, here’s the most famous scene from the movie. (Profanity warning!)

The Easter Bunny and Other Life Characters

Sometimes when I sit down to write, I don’t know where I’m going with what I’m trying to say. This might be one of those times. Today’s Daily Prompt asks if life’s characters like the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus are harmless fiction or pointless lies.

Life’s characters. That might be how to explain it. I’m one of those people who reads a book and gets emotionally attached to the characters. I feel their emotions, I experience their ups and downs. And then I’m sad when the book is over, but I get over it and move on to the next thing. No harm done.

I feel the same about life’s characters: Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Stork, et al…

I never had that devastating moment of finding out Santa Claus wasn’t real. Looking back, I think I was a believer for longer than my classmates. It never occurred to me when a classmate said they didn’t believe in the Easter Bunny that he might actually be right. Oh ye of little faith, right? My realization that these characters were fictional was gradual. There were doubts, then a sense of what is actually practical (not how Santa gets down the chimney, but rather how he got back up!). Then when I finally had myself convinced they weren’t real, it was never “I’m convinced my parents lied to me and I will never trust them again.”

Oh ye of little faith. Ahh yes, now we come to it. Are any of these life characters physically real? Obviously not. But a little faith in magic never hurt anyone. Does Santa really enrage you because he’s not real? Does the Easter Bunny make you want to eat rabbit stew? Of course not. Memories of those characters have positive memories attached, not negative deception and lies. At least that’s how it works for me. Find your inner child and believe in the unbelievable.

You should also know that I still have a Christmas stocking and, up until college, I even had an Easter basket. Everything in that stocking or basket still comes from Santa or the Easter Bunny, even though we all know the truth of it. I haven’t lost any teeth lately, but when I lose them in old age I’ll be checking my pillow to see what the Tooth Fairy left behind.

A Person of All Ages

Today’s Daily Prompt is to talk about the first time I actually felt like an adult. After reading some other posts, I realized that maybe I was a late bloomer. Some people are writing they felt like an adult when they were teens, or even younger. Sure there were times I felt like more of an adult than other people around me. My parents tried to treat me like one I think. I went to the “adults only” church conference when I was 17.

I guess the first time I really felt like an adult was when I started my very first fulltime job with insurance and everything. I was 24, almost 25. I think.

The truth is that I’m really a person of all ages. I’m not really grown up enough to take EVERYthing seriously, but I’m grown up enough to know when something calls for my serious face. I’m the 5-year-old who can’t really color inside the lines (still); I don’t even try to draw beyond  a 1st grade level, and I’m ok with that. I’m the 13-year-old who is defiant and stubborn. I’m the 19-year-old who is crazy in love. I’m the 25-year-old who’s ready to start life and the 30-year-old about to actually live it. I’m the 45-year-old that wants to buy a new car to make myself feel better. And the 60-year-old who would rather retire and travel the world. I’m the 80-year-old who uses a kettle instead of the microwave to make a cup of tea.

Feeling like a grown up? Subject to change.

In the Absence of a G

Sometimes I’m not inspired by the daily prompt, so I skip them. And there are also days where I lack my own inspiration and simply don’t write at all. Those days make me sad. But today, the prompt is almost a brain teaser. Today’s Daily Prompt was to erase an entire letter from the alphabet and write a post with out it. Now this will make my mind work, for sure. As I started to choose a letter to omit, it became clear that I am biased and can’t pick the letter on my own. You see, as soon a letter came to my mind I immediately analyzed the difficulty of the task based on that letter and either decided it was too easy or talked myself out of it. So I asked my nephew to name any letter of the alphabet, which is how it came to pass that this post was written with out the letter “G.”

Here is a list of stuff I can’t easily write about today, and they might be some brain teasers for you:

  • The Packers. Actually I can talk about them, I just can’t tell you where they are from.
  • Some forms of participles. (I had to look that up just tell you that I can’t use them.)
  • A certain type of cheese from Switzerland.
  • A certain type of cheese from Holland.
  • The season after winter.
  • My favorite color.
  • The ceremony planned for Nov. 2 where a bride marries her future husband. (That was a two-fer!)
  • Objects of substantial size because apparently all the words used to describe items of substantial size have this letter.
  • The twins, 1 and 2, in The Cat in the Hat.
  • The science chapter about rocks my nephew has a test on tomorrow.
  • A very popular and sleazy book series.
  • My 4 year old puppy.
  • The full name of the doctor’s office I work at and half the doctors.
  • And last, a demon of Moria in Middle Earth.

If I were truly Southern this would be a lot easier. This post would be much less borin’ if I were choppin’ letters off the ends of words like so many people are speakin’ these days. You’da been forced to read it in your best Paula Deen voice. I’ma make the writin’ part look swell. Y’all come back now, ya’hear.

Adjective Overuse

Do you have a pet peeve that you, yourself, commit on a regular basis? I have one, and I try not to do it but it’s a language thing that has taken root. It’s the overuse of adjectives, specifically positive adjectives. Giada De Laurentiis just used the word “incredible” to describe meat loaf with eggplant parm on top.

First, let’s discuss how “incredible” and “meat loaf” don’t belong in the same sentence. Actually, no need for discussion. I’m telling you those two words don’t go together. Giada, I think you’re running out of ideas if all you can come up with is combining two meals together to make one “incredible” dish. Don’t get me wrong, I love most of what she makes on her shows, but she’s pretty bad at overusing adjectives. I get it. You’re trying to get people to watch the show and come back for seconds, but nobody on this planet makes a meat loaf that can be described as “incredible” with out combing it with another word… like “incredibly gross.”

I don’t mean to pick on her, she’s just one example and the most recent offender to cross my ears. I do it all the time too, and I really need to stop. I even use the words “great” or “awesome” in such sarcastic ways, when I really mean “this freakin’ sucks,’ or “I’m so not looking forward to it.”

What we have here is a devaluation of adjectives. We are overstating things. Words like great, amazing, wonderful… have all replaced words like good, neat, or nice. Things that are slightly above average or slightly above expectations are now described with words like “exceptional.” So what happens when we come across something that truly is exceptional? What word do we use to describe it then? At best, whatever is actually exceptional will be described with a synonym for exceptional, equating it to all the other things we’ve mislabeled as being greater than they actually are.

For example, if I say that weekend trip to the beach an hour away was incredible, and that trip to the Bahamas was also incredible…. I’d be misrepresenting one of them. I think a trip to the Bahamas would be fantastic, while a trip to a relatively close beach would more accurately be described as good, possibly even great. There’s a difference.

Maybe Bill Engvall can explain it better:

I Dream in Epic Adventures, Not Nightmares

Today’s Daily Prompt is to describe my last nightmare and explain what I think it meant. My nightmares are not nearly as interesting as the other dreams I have. And I haven’t had a memorable nightmare in years. Although, the zombie epic I dreamed might qualify, simply because I think zombie movies/shows are stupid. So I’ll give you 3 vividly memorable dreams, only one being a nightmare.

Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?

I’ll start with the nightmare, since that is what brings me to this post. It was years ago, during a not exactly happy time in my life. I was living in the house I grew up in, which was not the actual place I was living at the time. Still, everything was perfectly in place as it was. I walked into the entryway and a small cobra promptly jumped (did you know cobras can jump?!) and seized my hand. It wrapped its body around my wrist and kept striking and striking at my hand, where it started to foam up. I was desperate for help, feebly walking towards the back of the house. The last thing I remember in the dream is my dad getting up from the dining room to help, and then it faded to black. In my dreams, I know I’ve died when it fades to black. I woke up in a cold sweat and nauseous. I absolutely hate snakes, and I’m pretty sure the fear has gotten worse since this dream. I’m pretty sure, given the circumstances of my life at that point, that the dream meant I was on the wrong path. Not necessarily a path that would lead towards death because I wasn’t doing anything harmful, I just wasn’t happy.  An alternative interpretation, proposed by a friend, was that I was going to hell. Either way, it was clear I wasn’t doing so hot. I wish I could say the dream sparked a change in me that go things turned around, but it didn’t. But I’m fine now, thanks for asking.

The Zombie Apocalypse

This dream probably should have been scary, but it had way to much detail to be described as anything other than epic. And it was a long one. The hospital I work in was closer to the water than it actually is in real life. We could see out our window to the Spirit of Norfolk (it’s like a dinner-cruise boat) docked across the street. Suddenly lightning struck the boat, but not quickly, it was like a prolonged bolt latched on. (Think the lightening bolt that sends down the aliens in the War of the Worlds remake.) Suddenly, the ground started to shake and all of the buildings in downtown Norfolk started domino falling on each other. You would think that our building would fall the same way, but our 4th floor actually fell straight down through the floors below. Nobody died, just minor scrapes and cuts. It was dark in the rubble, but eventually we climbed our way out.

I got in touch with my fiance, who met me outside the building. After some discussion we decided I needed to get my car, so we went back in the building. As we went back inside, we realized that everybody was mysteriously dead after all, which we obviously thought was odd, so we decided the car could wait and we just needed to get out of the building before we met the same end. As we were leaving, with it turning dark outside, a zombie appeared from the shadows and started chasing us. We ran to a nearby park, hearing the zombie still behind us. There were plenty of police cars, none of which had any officers inside. Finally we decided just to commandeer a police SUV. When we got in, we realized an officer was asleep in the back. Starting the vehicle startled him awake, and he panicked a little, but once we explained that we needed help because a zombie was chasing us, he told us to start driving towards another building.

Clearly, zombies run very fast, because when we arrived at the building in the SUV the zombie was still right behind us. So the three of us (myself, my fiance, and the cop) run inside the red brick building, and naturally, the zombie follows. We threw everything we could in the zombies path to throw him off, including a trash can. The cop turned to shoot the zombie, fired one round, and the zombie was already on him. And if you know anything about zombies, you know that now the cop is a zombie too. So now they both start chasing us, and I pick up the gun and start shooting. To no avail apparently. We must have turned into zombies too because that’s when I woke up.

I have no explanation or interpretation of this dream. It happened in the middle of my fiance’s new obsession with Walking Dead. I’ve never seen an episode. I think zombie things are stupid. So I’ll chalk this one up to coincidence. But even though I hate zombies, this was a pretty awesome dream.

Don’t Question Gandalf’s Knowledge of Birds

This one is really short, but makes me laugh. Gandalf was leading a group of people, including me, through the woods at the summer camp I attended way back when. Suddenly, we looked up and saw a flock of black crows leaving a tree. Ever the wise wizard, Gandalf slowly says, “A flock of black crows only leaves the tree for one reason…. Canary fight!” And then a few canaries come in to fight the crows in the sky, and the canaries totally kicked ass. I die of laughter every time I remember this dream. Again, no explanation. Just a funny fictional memory.

And there you have it. Snakes, Zombies, and Gandalf. A sampling of things that rattle my brain in my sleep. I almost wake up disappointed if I don’t remember having a dream the night before. I need to find some dream-inducing exercises to try before bed! I’m dying to have a dream based on Lost.