Flashback Friday: Washington DC

* NaBloPoMo: Day 11 *

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“My first wish … is the see the whole world in peace, and the Inhabitents of it as one band of brothers, striving who should contribute most of the happiness of mankind” ~ George Washington, 1785

 

Kinda taking an easy way out today, and also with a nod to our amazing Veterans on Veteran’s Day … I’m going to share some old photos of the time we went to Washington DC. it was Memorial Day weekend in 2008, which meant there were lot of fun little things happening in DC that weekend, some we were able to photograph and some not. We got to witness the Rolling Thunder Run as it passed Arlington National 10398549_55268772746_3013144_nCemetery and that was just plain awesome. There was a giant Folk Music Festival on the Mall as well as the big concert at The Capitol and another big memorial event at Arlington National Cemetery where the President spoke. We didn’t plan any of it, but it turned out that Memorial Day Weekend is a pretty cool weekend to go to DC.

A highlight for me was visiting the World War II Memorial. I had been to DC before, but this wasn’t around then, and World War II is one of my favorite subjects, so I was so excited to see it, and it didn’t disappoint. I love the shot of Jamison sitting at the Freedom Wall. A wall with 4,048 gold stars on it, each star representing 100 Armed Services personnel that died or are listed as missing from World War II. Powerful. 10398549_55268627746_5523279_n

We visited all of the other memorials as well, including the Vietnam War Memorial and the Korean War Memorial. Every one of them just as sobering as moving as the other. We happened upon a Navy Memorial Service totally by accident and it was pretty sweet to see. J got to get a photo with some of the honor guard.

In addition to all of the war related memorials, we did the requisite tourist stuff and visited every possible museum and building and memorial possible. We walked our asses off and it was an amazing weekend. I love Washington DC and if you have never visited, you need to do it. It can be done reasonably inexpensively, the train system will get you anywhere you need to go at a decent price and you don’t have to try to drive in the madness that is DC traffic, and there is more to see than you could expect.

I really hope to get back again soon with the kids, now that they are older they will have a whole new appreciation for much of city. From somber memorials to amazing art galleries. From fun tourist trap locations to just wandering the side streets and looking at some amazingly beautiful architecture. From the fantastic National Zoo to the parks and walking paths. It’s most definitely one of my favorite places in the country.

 

Radio Silence

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I’ve been sitting on this quote for a while now, hesitant to share it on Facebook, as I know I will receive an onslaught of “what’s wrongs?” and “are you okays?” and I don’t want to have to explain in that venue. Honestly there isn’t much to explain. Hard to explain things that you don’t really understand yourself. I don’t know what causes my Biploar swings. It’s super annoying because if I could avoid whatever it is that takes me from a great place and puts me in a shitty place, I’d totally avoid it. However, it isn’t that easy. Life is way more complex than that, and I’m a complex person.

Being a complex person can make life interesting, to say the least. But it can cause some problems as you may well know. I think the majority of us are pretty complex folks and things like feelings and emotions and beliefs are not always cut and dried. There are lots of in-betweens and almosts and kind-ofs involved.

My current dilemma has to do with not knowing. Of being unsure. I really don’t like it. And my difficulty lies in that I’m in one way an introvert who avoids confrontation at all costs. I don’t like asking difficult questions or going to places that may be uncomfortable. But dammit, I want to know the answers anyway and when I don’t, it leaves me … thinking too much. And being stuck inside my own brain is not always a great place to be. Many people would describe me as outgoing and confident in a way that is true. But I’m also not at all. Not even a little. And when I’m stuck in my own brain, my insecurities take total control and I end up creating a million different variants of what the reality could be and none of them are ever good.

So currently, I’m in a situation where I just don’t know. I don’t know where I stand. I don’t’ know where things are going. I just don’t know and it’s making me a little coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs. Some days I think I know, and then I just tell myself that maybe that is just wishful thinking. Then I tell myself to stop being so negative. Then I tell myself to stop worrying so much and just let life happen. Then I ask myself “can you die from loneliness?” Then I tell myself to get a fucking grip and stop the pity party. Then I either drink heavily or cry myself to sleep. Sometimes both.

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A rational person would just ask the questions to get the answers, but I’m not a very rational person much of the time. So instead I assume and imagine and wonder and worry and make myself … well I make myself sad. And I know I’m doing it to myself … which also makes me sad. There is nothing worse than being a self-aware over-thinker.

When I become sad I tend to shut down. Which also does NOT help things much. Then, after I shut down for a bit, I over-compensate by regurgitating every inappropriate and funny thing I can find onto my social media pages in an attempt to convince myself and everyone else that “I’m winning at life!” and “I’ve got this!” and “Everything is fine over here!” when in reality I’m a giant puddle of goo on the inside that just wants someone to pick her up and put her in their pocket and take care of her.

So anyone who actually reads these on a regular basis and follows my ridiculousness on Facebook or wherever .. when I go quiet it’s only temporary. I’ll pull myself out of it either with some kick ass self talk or lots of vodka. And I’ll be dropping F bombs in public again real soon. It will take more than Bipolar Disorder, over-thinking, and crippling self-doubt to knock me out of this race.

* NaBloPoMo: Day 9 *

 

Surprise Books

* NaBloPoMo: Day 8 *

A few weeks ago I decided to play along on one of those Facebook games that always make you wonder what you are actually getting yourself into.

This was the body of the post I commented on:

WANTED: Participants for a book-loving social experiment. Comment if you want to participate and I’ll send you details. What do you have to do? Buy your favorite book and send it to a stranger (I’ll send you a name and address.) You will only be sending one book to one person. The number of books you will receive depends on how many participants there are. The books that will show up on your door are the other people’s much loved stories #SaveTheCulture #BookExchange #LongLiveBooks

Now this particular friend is not a weirdo or sketchy or anything, so I thought … what the hell. I love books. Let’s give this a shot and see what happens.

I got a message from my friend and here’s how this “experiment” works. He had commented on someone else’s post, and I was required to send one book to that person. Anyone who commented on my post, was to send a book to my friend. All the folks who commented on my post were instructed to have their commenters send a book to me. Kind of a trickle down book club via Facebook.

Now, as with all things of this nature, there is no policing it, so who knows who really will send a book and who won’t. But … I’m happy to say that I’ve received two books in the past few weeks. Which is two more book than I had before! It’s a sad statement, as an adult, to admit to how excited I get when I come home and there is a random box on my porch. Surprise gifts really are the best thing. One of them even came in a fancy little bag with a card and everything. They don’t lie when they say “it’s the little things,” and clearly I need some more excitement in my life when a little book in a red fabric bag inside an Amazon box gets me all giddy with excitement.

The cool thing about this is that you are instructed to send your “favorite” book to this random person that you most likely don’t know. Being the Queen Of Loving Everything and not being able to ever pick a favorite, that was not an easy task for me. I ultimately decided to send the uncut version of “The Stand” by Stephen King. It’s a book that I have re-read more times than I can count and I love it just as much every time. Hopefully my random person can appreciate my choice.

As far as the books I received? The random people assigned to me are doing a great job. These may very well be the only two books I get, and I’m totally cool with that, because like I said … two free books. They both turn out to be books that I think I will really enjoy. I guess the benefit of loving everything is that …. you love everything.  #CaptianObvious

Book #1: “Bored of The Rings” by The Harvard Lampoon.

It’s a parody of Lord of the Rings and I’ve heard it’s good. I love The Lord of The Rings and I love comedy and parody, so chances are good I’m gonna dig this one.

Book #2: “A Different Kind of Daughter: The Girl Who Hid From the Taliban in Plain Sight” by Maria Toorpakai

This book looks AMAZING to be quite honest. And this, ladies and gentleman, is why social media and crowdsourcing is so fantastic. There is a really good chance that I never would have found this book. Either of them really. And I am fairly sure I will enjoy them both. Just a couple more things to add to the never-ending list of things I love.

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MCCM #1 : Tom Plute

* NaBloPoMo: Day 7 *

First of all, let’s just clarify a bit. MCCM = Male Comic Crush Monday. One of the comics I follow on Facebook was someone’s crush today, and I tracked back to the original post voting that folks call out their comedian crushes, so considering I need some blog material this month, welcome to a “Regular Series” that I’ll do at least in November and maybe after that if I can continue to tom-plutehold any kind of momentum and/or motivation. #dontholdyourbreath

I have a huge love of comedy that I’ve talked about before, here and elsewhere. I had the pleasure of getting so see several local and local-ish comedians at a festival this past May and while I always seem to
either have shit to do on the nights they perform, I still follow them on social media and really, really, really want to get out and see them more often.

So for that reason, for my first MCCM, I’m going local with the ever hysterical and totally adorable Tom Plute:

He also loves Doug Loves Movies and that is automatic bonus points in my book. Tom has a DLM-esque podcast called “Whiskey Deep” that I subscribe to and love. What’s not to love about heavy drinking, sucking at trivia, and laughing your ass off?

Another bonus – one of the best laughs I’ve ever heard.

So, check out the links and support our local talent. It’s totally worth it, I promise.

Tune in Wednesday for WCCW: The Lesbian Edition

The Right Direction

* NaBloPoMo – Day 5 *

I’ve mentioned before that this is the year I plan to get a Tattoo. I’m starting to run out of days in this year, so I need to get my shit together and get on this. I’m thinking at this point it may be what I ask for for Christmas. Although, I’m not exactly who there even is to get it for me for Christmas, but still. Maybe I’ll pull a Tom Haverford and just treat myself.

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Whenever I manage to make it happen, I finally have settled on what my first tattoo will be. I’ve had a metric shit ton of ideas running through my head for the last several years, and after the year I’ve had, I made a final decision. I’m going with an arrow.

In spite of the trendiness of it and the fact that it is not even remotely original, the meaning is too perfect and personal to not do. Plus this way I can start with something small (translation – not as expensive) and go from there. Because I know that once I start down the tattoo path, I will have a difficult time stopping.

The basic meaning of an arrow, at least in the tattoo world is this:

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And it speaks perfectly to my year. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, a lot has happened to me in the last 365 days. Every change a person can go through, I’ve gone through. I’ve lost a ton of weight and gotten into the best shape I’ve been in since the dancing days of my youth, I’ve finally discovered who I am and am actually happy with that person (I really like her a lot – she’s pretty freaking cool), I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time and am able to be the best me possible (at least right this very second – still very much a work in progress). Being the best me is not only good for me, it’s good for my kids. And that is my #1 priority. So everyone (who matters to me) wins.

However, just because I’ve decided on a basic concept for the tattoo, doesn’t mean I’m ready to go out tomorrow and get it. I mean, there are a million arrow tattoo designs. So now the quest for the perfect arrow tattoo begins. Hopefully before 2016 ends I’ll be able to share a photo of it to ya’ll. Chances are good, as the new me is doing a pretty good job of reaching her goals.

NaBloPoMo 2016

Because I seem to love to find ways to motivate myself and then immediately fail at all of it … I’ve “signed up” for NaBloPoMo 2016.

WTF is that, you may ask. Well, I think most people have heard of NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – when people take their entire November and attempt to write a Novel. I’ve tried that one a few times. The best I ever did was about 5,000 words of nonsense. Writing a novel is just not for me. I’m much better suited to just spout nonsense and share stories about my ridiculous life. Nonsense and ridiculousness come much more naturally to me. And while I do tend to live in a fantasy world most of the time … converting that into something that would be entertaining or appealing to anyone other than myself is just not something I seem capable of at this point. So I’ll stick with what I do here and just try to do that better instead.

NaBloPoMo is National Blog Posting Month and I am doing it through the wonderful BlogHer platform.  BlogHer is part of She Knows Media, a women’s lifestyle digital media company. Not to sound like Captian Obvious, but BlogHer is a community for women bloggers. So yeah, pretty self explanatory. Go check ’em out. They do great stuff.

The goal is to write a blog post every day in November. So far I am short one post, as I didn’t think about this until the 2nd and therefore, missed the first day. But whatevs, in my continued attempts to turn myself into a more chill person … just gonna let that one go and move on to the next one.

So if you see the NaBloPoMo picture on my sidebar and wonder what it is for, now you know. This is also your chance to check up on me and my progress. Will I be able to hang with this and post every day? Who the hell knows. In the past I have not been able to make it happen, and I may not this year either, but I’m gonna try at least and we’ll see. Yes, some days you may only get some stupid Meme or other lame attempt at a post. But hey, this is my blog and I make up my own rules. And you never know, I could surprise even myself and actually pull it off! I have been known to surprise myself in the past. God knows I surprise everyone else on a daily basis.

Side note – this is my SECOND post for today. Boom!

#overachiever