Man on the Circle: You look nice today.
Me: Thank you.
Man on the Circle: Are you wearing that because you have some sort of leopard fetish?
Me: Ummmm…. No.
Man on the Circle: Maybe you should think about it…
Man on the Circle: You look nice today.
Me: Thank you.
Man on the Circle: Are you wearing that because you have some sort of leopard fetish?
Me: Ummmm…. No.
Man on the Circle: Maybe you should think about it…
I know this isn’t special- I do. People all over the country have dogs. (I almost put world, before being reminded that in some parts of the world, dogs are food not pets.)
But the thing is- I’ve never had one before. Never ever. And not just a dog- I’ve never had a pet of any sort. My mom always said we were gone too much, but I think the reality is that I would have inevitably killed it off, and then she’d have had to deal with that.
So when all of this happened- when Scout needed a home and I volunteered, I was more than a little apprehensive. Hell- I’m still a little apprehensive. I don’t actually know what I’m doing and while I’ve felt super victorious at our puppy progress- I can also acknowledge that we’ve logged less than 72 hours together.
But it’s really the spiral into “Obnoxious Pet Mommy,” that has happened so quickly, and surprised me the most. I have now, on two occasions, had “check in” conversations regarding my dog’s bowel movements. That, all by itself is super disturbing. And there’s more…
I can’t stop taking pictures of every vaguely precious thing she does and I find myself trotting out said pictures of her EVERY. WHERE. I. GO. I have planned my weekend around dog outings we can take (What better way to enjoy our first pretty spring weekend? White River State Park. Broadripple Dog Park. Mass Ave. for a 3 Dogs Bakery snack. These things are happening.) and I’m making schedule adjustments to make sure we have time for our Podcast listening walks. (WHAT? She gets exercise. I’m learning. THIS ISN’T WEIRD.)
Even worse? I’m telling her “Mommy has to go to work- I’ll be back,” when I leave for the day, like I’m dropping my child off to daycare. She’s a dog. And not to mention that it’s physically and biologically impossible for me to be her Mom, it also borders on insane.
Plus- my bank account is feeling the hit. Every Target trip, every WalMart stop, involves finding some precious little squeak toy/bone/treat for her. Sure, this is mostly because I’m not above buying people’s (and dog’s) affections but still- Obnoxious Pet Mommy, Party of 1.
It’s January 2, which means I am obligated to do a looking back, looking ahead, new year’s resolution post.
And, because it’s me, it’s also obligated to be a day and a half late and slightly dysfunctional because I just can’t manage to do things like normal people.
My goal for 2012 was to say yes more. Super easy right? I remember confessing it, via Twitter, to a then acquaintance who’s New Years Resolution was far loftier than mine and feeling slightly sheepish or like it was some how a come on.
“Hey there sweetcheeks- Tell me what you want, I promise to say yes…”
Oddly, or somewhat serendipitously, the then acquaintance has become one of the people who means the most to me from 2012- an absolute reflection of my “Saying Yes” mentality.
And in practice, I did a lot of things in 2012 I don’t usually do- I stepped outside of my box, over and over, in big ways and small. I spoke my mind, when I would usually be quiet, in moments of conviction, in moments of opportunity and, perhaps my biggest weakness, in moments of emotion. I worked on me- worked on being the person I aspire to be, and not settling as often. I took chances and put myself out there with the constant reminder to myself that I would regret “What if’s,” the question marks and ellipses in life’s sentences, far more than I would a period. I made a concerted effort to make excuses less and just do- even when I didn’t really want to. As a result I had more moments than I can count where I thought- God I wouldn’t change this life, this moment, this choice, for anything.
And not to get too rosy- 2012 included kissing a few frogs (metaphorically, thank god) and have a few tearful, stressful, frustrating nights. days. weeks. where I swore no more- that I had made the wrong choice, that I had put myself out there too much, that I had backed myself into a corner I was just tired of being in.
But overall, 2012 sure felt like a success.
So to address this year, I first had to ask myself what can I do better?
I was sad by the number of things from 2012 I was missing, when I looked back on the year. It’s easy to remember the biggest things- The annual pilgrimage to Chicago for Taste or my LA trip, Birthday Present to myself. But it’s the smaller, slightly less earth shifting things that seemed to get lost- I went cliff-diving and had Drake sing to me (Don’t start. I bought the concert ticket- HE COULD HAVE BEEN SINGING TO ME.), and worked my first poll (once again, don’t start). I
snuck in listened to Michael J. Fox speak and tried new foods and surprised my mom by taping her father’s story as part of Story Corps’ stop in Indianapolis for Christ’s sake and yet I had forgotten about ALL of these big 2012 things until I was tiding up my cyber life last night.
So how can I better celebrate the little things? Capture the milestones and moments? How can I better enjoy 2013?
And this line of thought led to the inevitable- How can I expand on the progress? If 2012 was an adjustment- to taking the baby steps I don’t usually take, then 2013 should be about getting the hell out of the building.
(What About Bob? No? Ok. Just watch.)
For example- In 2012, I bought furniture I previously would have just pinned on Pinterest and thought “I don’t need/ I can’t find/ I shouldn’t be spending my money.” I even took it a step further by dipping my toe into the DIY pool I’ve always admired from afar- I repainted furniture I previously would have either turned my nose up at or suffered through, which lead to my most DIY-ing friend commenting how great my furniture looked this weekend. I was THRILLED.
Yet, when I reflect, I’m surprised by the big leaps, I consistently don’t even consider. What about the larger undertakings? The impulsive stuff? The number of times I say “someday”?
The perfect example comes in the form of The Mouse (Doesn’t everything?).
I have talked about going to Disney for months now. Maybe even years. I talk about it so much that, when assigned a new property in the Florida area at work, my bosses’ first comment was, “It’s Florida. It is not however a trip to Disney. Just so you know.” And at some point, in the last few weeks, I wondered… Why aren’t I just making this happen? I’m not rolling in expendable cash but with some planning, and some saving, I can very easily spend a couple days getting my Disney fix. I don’t need permission, I don’t need to wait for someone to make this happen. I just need to do. (Let’s not spend too much time dissecting why this was a huge revelation, shall we?)
And, being a sucker for themes and quotes and inspirations, I’ve spent the last couple days thinking of 2013 taglines. But inevitably, anything I came up with sounds like it fell right out of a Shit-Girls-Say-Self-Help-Novel. (Is this a thing? Because it absolutely should be.)
Why Not Now? Take Big Steps. Make It Memorable.
I got diabetes just typing those. None-the-less, that is where we are.
Happy 2013 ya’ll. Let’s see what’s in store.
Today is a late lunch type day.
My morning has been taken over by getting Super Bowl stuff done: media guides, internal guides and proposals.
But now- now I am ready to eat. And discuss something I know nothing about. (And one study shows neither do you.)
Who’s with me?
As I sit in my office right now, through our windows, one can see groups of lobbyists, union workers and the like rallying outside the state house, upset over Right to Work legislation.
And as a non-Union person from a non-Union family, I just haven’t gotten it. At all. I can’t fully wrap my mind around the bill, or what we are fighting over.
So instead I turn to my two sources on everything political- State Representative for District 43 (and my great uncle.) Clyde Kersey and MSNBC’s own, Rachel Maddow.***
Clyde’s input was simple. Republican’s are trying to force this as quickly as possible. (Despite the backlash that occurred in Wisconsin and Ohio last year after it was passed in their respective states, with Ohio residents voting to overturn the law on a ballot measure.)
Representing a highly Union community, such as Vigo, Clyde is obviously against the bill. As we talked, he pointed out that Indiana residents, at the very least, deserve to UNDERSTAND how this law will affect them. And contrary to Gov. Daniel’s most recent commercial, unbiased reports show people don’t. The proof?
Indiana Democrats remain in Caucus, and Republicans keep complaining they aren’t doing their job. They threaten to fine Democrats who are preventing a vote and the news reports make it sound like the Democrats are being petulant children.
In reality, the Democrats are doing just what I hope all elected officials would do. They are fighting for Hoosier’s right to be educated. They are calling for public forum, hearings, allowing Indiana residents to get what this means for us. Because as it turns out, it WILL have an impact on us all.
Which brings us to Rachel Maddow. (See below.)
Clyde told the story that, running late after being held up by a phone call, he was the last one to make it into caucus on Wednesday. As he made his way downstairs, union workers who had gathered in the halls, began to clap for him. He expressed how touched he was and as I listened to him I found myself getting a tad bit teary. (No, seriously.) I am so proud of him. And I am so PROUD of the fact that Democrats are willing to fight for people like me, who are ignorant on the topic, to give us the chance TO understand. Shame on the GOP for trying to pass something, just to get it done. Shame on them for the deceitful advertising and vaguely untrue sound bites being played on every tv station.
And as much as I hope for a WONDERFUL Indianapolis Super Bowl, I hope the national spotlight on our city also shows what the GOP is doing to its citizens. And much like Maddow proposed, I hope the streets are full of all Hoosiers- the blue collar workers, who deserve better representation, the young people like me, who don’t believe in big business over worker’s rights and the every day people who want to keep their paychecks in tact. We don’t have to accept what is being shoved at us, especially when it is this… bad.
If you want to learn more, you can read more of what Clyde has to say here.
Be informed. Inform others. And next election cycle? Let’s think before we vote all these people back into office, shall we?
*** It would be three , but sadly Jon Stewart has not yet commented on Indiana’s Right to Work problem as of late.
As a late lunch break I bring you:
Today’s quick run down of things on my mind- ranging from profoundly sad to… Brady. Enjoy!
1) Penn State
This is one of those situations I usually avoid writing about because there is so much- grey. I mean we all, universally, can agree that child molestation is bad. We can all agree something had to be done. But then there is all sorts “yeah-but” dialogue that comes into play as people debate where the fault lies, as well as the legacy of the program in the future.
I don’t care about the football program or some coach. Instead I keep thinking about the kids this happened to.
As those college students march around… shouting their love of Coach Paterno, I wonder if they would still be protecting their beloved coach if they had known the children abused. What if it had happened to them? Wouldn’t they want someone to speak up?
A radio sports personality said you can’t put too much stock into the rants of college students, they are stupid.
I disagree. College students protested the war in Vietnam, the segregation of races and proudly voted for the first African-American president, who they felt spoke to their future. College students tend to be liberal, not because of stupidity, but because at that age the practicality of bureaucracy and wealth has yet to set in and instead, they vote for social issues- their personal right and wrong.
And I wish that sense of giving a voice to the voiceless is what these Penn State students were rallying around.
No child, in any circumstance, should be taken advantage of. And whatever has to happen within the workings of a university, whoever is ultimately found guilty and whoever is cleared of wrong doing- the children are the victims. Not a football team. Not a community of students.
2) Rick Perry
I have never loved him more than I do right now.
If I’d been there, when he said “Oops.” I’m pretty sure I would have hopped the stage and kissed him. This is priceless on top of fun on top of crazy. LOVE IT.
3) Kissing. And Coworkers who can’t stop talking.
I went to an IndyHub event last night at the Libertine. It was sort of an experiment in being an adult because I usually hate anything in a group setting, especially with people I don’t know. Luckily I dragged a few coworkers along, as my desire to try the much raved about bar as well as order my first Old Fashioned (think Mad Men here ladies and gents. It’s not something you can order just anywhere- Places that serve drinks in plastic cups don’t quite fit the mood for an Old Fashioned, now do they?) was just too great to pass up this chance.
We find a table in the crowded bar that would seat the three of us, leaving an empty seat, for a fourth.
We attraced some dreamy man, independently wealthy, wanting to sweep us off our feet and cater to our every whim.
Or, we attracted a woman, Virginia, who looked, at the very least, a bit out of place in the bar of 20-somethings still sporting their business casual outfits. After the usual, and sometimes unusual, questions she began asking about our first kiss and asks what we would do if, at 30, we had never been kissed. At this point my oh-so-lovely coworkers begin mocking this concept in today’s world, only to have Virginia explain that, she, herself, at 30, had yet to be kisses.
Open mouth. Insert foot. Awesome.
She has plans to “auction off” her first kiss for charity.
Think I’m making this up? She writes a blog called The Kiss Chronicles, which I had pulled up on my phone 30 seconds after she mentioned it.
I have a ton of questions for her, some of which include a more judgmental tone than they should. Seriously?? NEVER been kissed??
But, as I drove home last night, I realized Virginia had gotten to me. I couldn’t stop thinking of first: Kisses. Relationships. Moments I’d like to request a do-over for. Firsts I would like to have.
Do you have a great first kiss story? A favorite kiss? A great I-just-stuck-my-foot-in-my-mouth-by-implying-someone-was-a-freak story? Share away.
p.s. Libertine? Great. Coworkers? Fun. Win. Win. Win.
4. Perhaps you’ve heard of the Great 72 Day Wedding right? And Beiber’s supposed Baby Mama?
Let’s watch 3 adorable people set all this fun to song. (You’ll have to watch it at the below link- I just can’t find it any where else. It’s worth it though- promise.
Don’t you just wanna kiss them all? And look like/sing like/be Carrie Underwood? Just me? Ok.
5) Greg Brady.
Bet you didn’t see that coming. Neither did I actually. But then I saw this video on Gawker today and it was just so freaking hilarious that he was added to today’s list.
He is also further proof of why girls shouldn’t marry the “pretty” guys. Why? Because, with age, they turn into narcissistic morons who have never gotten past their glory years of pretty-dom because they didn’t have to. Living the dream buddy, living the dream.
Bonus- Snatch and Grab
I am writing this as I inhale my lunch, before getting back to work in the land of Holiday press excitement.
The office has been discussing “holiday party” plans including the potential for a “Snatch and Grab.”
There is nothing funny about this term. It is in no way dirty or perverse, it is actually intended to be a classier name than “Dirty Santa” or the unexplainable term, “White Elephant.”
That has not stopped me however from mentally making Herman Cain-esque jokes. Snatch? Grab? Fine, maybe this is just funny in my head.
Because I am me, I successfully picked the most conservative, Christian, pro-life, anti-abortion movie of the Heartland Film Festival bunch. Damn it. I’ll admit it is humorously ironic, although I’m still a little bitter at my mom for the sheer glee she got out of knowing I ended up in the middle of THIS.
My choice for movie #6 of my 9 film Heartland Film journey, October Baby, was chosen solely because I am an October baby. I figured it couldn’t be worse of a decision making move than say, a choice based on fictional characters, also known as the Zoe/Peggy debacle.
And while I left feeling like October Baby was an infinitely better made movie than A Buddy Story, I couldn’t help but feel once again women were getting cheated with a drastically one sided view of a woman’s choices.
Let me back up. The movie is the story of a girl, Hannah, who finds out she was adopted, after her birth mother tried to abort her and her brother. The early third trimester abortion failed and the mother went into labor instead, delivering twins. The son was badly hurt as a result of the abortion and died soon after. The baby girl, Hannah, makes it and is now a 19 year old freshman in college.
So Hannah decided to go on a journey to find answers and find her
dirty slut career oriented mother and to hear the tale from a nurse of the failed abortion attempt. In unnecessary character information, we also find out she’s a virgin and refuses to even sleep in the same room as a man. Lovely. Oh. And that she’s baptist.
(Of note- We also find out that the twins and I share a birthday- October 7th. Bizarre coincidence, right?)
Here’s the thing. For the first chunk of the movie I thought it was a well made, compelling tale. While I found Hannah to be a tad pious and the fact that she decides to announce she’s a virgin a little ridiculous, I was tracking. ( But seriously- Can you imagine an innocent conversation with your best friend where they randomly throw in “I’m a virgin”? If you’re bestie’s wouldn’t you know that? I digress.)
Even as we listened to the story of the failed abortion attempt, I thought ok- yes. This is WHY women’s education is important- why a woman’s right, not just to choose but to education and superior health care is NECESSARY. Late term abortion’s are fraught with issues and from what the nurse said, this clinic, from 1990, wasn’t staffing knowledgeable doctors. Women need options, women need a high standard of care as well as the counseling and education to understand decisions. Ok. I’m with you movie director.
And then as we meet the birth mother- I’m expecting answers, an explanation, something. As it turns out, she’s just portrayed as formerly slutty, still bitchy career type, who doesn’t have time for Hannah or her questions.
And I couldn’t help but be frustrated. The movie should have been a call to action. Not just dealing with forgiveness and the past but also, how to prevent things like this from happening in the future. The answer isn’t lifelong chastity for the “good girls” (Hannah’s romantic interest it seems has had sex, presumably with his bitch girlfriend. A real underlying motif here was that bitches are in turn dirty whores. Or maybe that’s just what I got out of it.) but to understand- to make INFORMED choices. In the story, pregnancy resulted from a one night stand, and the birth mother was absolutely blamed, for both the choice and the resulting abortion. What about the dad? Why are we STILL, in 2011, blaming the woman for being a slut, for wanting to terminate the pregnancy to advance her education, and most of all for presumably not having the education or support system to make a better decision than a late term abortion??
In front of me in the theater was a mom with 4 or 5 teenagers in tow. All I could think was that this sort of message was dangerous for 14, 15, year old girls to be getting, especially if it was the only one they were getting. Teenagers have sex. Like it or not, it’s a reality and ignoring the situation, a lack of education for teenage girls is what GOT the birth mother in the position she was in!
In an attempt to counter the stupid- I am posting the below video, in which Rachel Maddow explains birth control, and you know, anatomy, to Mitt Romney. It’s great- watch it. Now.
p.s. Movie #5, entitled Crime after Crime, was a powerful, and surprisingly loving and humorous documentary, telling the story of the fight for justice for a woman who continually got screwed (I can’t think of a more tactful word. Sorry.) by the California justice system. Do some research, if you can. I was incredibly surprised but just how many women in the justice system had been victims of abuse (80%) and just how stacked the system is against these women, without the resources to fight. I have always had a heart for women’s rights (you couldn’t tell right?) and this movie broadened my scope of how difficult that fight sometimes is, for women, and minorities. Crime after Crime? Surprisingly uplifting and so full of heart.
I have to admit I had no intention of doing a second Heartland Film Festival post. I really never intended on doing a first one but like many of my blog posts, I was irritated and decided to rant in the only forum that gives me undivided attention.
Movie 3, on my week of nine, not only made up for my distaste of movie 2, but it had me holding my breath. It wasn’t a thriller or a love story, but a documentary following the lives of 4 impoverished high school students as they prepared, against the odds, to be the first in their family to attend college.
Entitled ‘First Generation‘ the movie touched me more than I thought a movie could. The film told the individual stories of 4 juniors, as they made their way from second semester, to senior year, to 9 months into their college journey. These students, 2 girls and 2 boys, one black, one white, one Mexican, one Polynesian, struggled to make dreams for a better life come true. These were the same stories of people I went to college with, people I knew who had to really struggle to make higher education happen.
And I just had so many thoughts racing through my head during the movie…
I thought how lucky I was to have a supportive mom, who didn’t place the burden of college solely on my shoulders.
I understood, then more than ever, why we cannot pretend that all students have an even playing field. It’s not level. Not because some students are just smarter, but because some students don’t get the opportunities, never get the chance that others do. Some students are one grant, one scholarship, one emergency, from having to give up. They never get the same chance, which only perpetuates the cycle of poverty.
I thought about how lucky I’d been throughout high school and college to find professors that cared, and I hope dearly that students like the ones in First Generation, find adults who will nurture and support them.
I thought back to a conversation that occurred in my office earlier this week, when a co-worker mocked the mentality of millenials, my generation. As I watched these kids in the film, fighting so hard just to get by, to do better and show others what is possible, I couldn’t help but be proud. There wasnt an ounce of entitlement in them. A desire to move up? For glory? To make a name for themselves? Absolutely. But I was also incredibly aware that this group of kids, our generation, is stuck with the problems and scars of previous generations’ mistakes. Yet we persevere. We keep searching and striving and wanting more. And that makes me proud.
I’d seen this poster, the tag line for the festival countless times these last few weeks. But it wasn’t until watching this film I really READ it. I saw the meaning of this slogan in that film. First Generation shows why it is so important to give back, to reach out and help those students who need it most. It made me thankful for wonderful friends who have perservered even when odds were against them and made me proud of what we are capable of when reaching for our dreams. I’m so glad I got to see this film and trust me, it’s worth the watch. You’ll view the world differently and isn’t that what art is about?
P.S. Once you see it, or maybe just after reading about it, you’ll want to do something. GREAT! There’s a tab on the First Generation movie website for how to mentor, raise money or help First Generation students.