Archive for July, 2010

This week’s challenge will be an easy one to ease into it. I’m a fast food junkie and during my fall off the wagon, I did rely on it a few times. Especially to grab breakfast on the run when I was commuting between Appomattox & Roanoke. So this week is simple:

  • Challenge:

Avoid fast food. All fast food, even salads from chains & ready made foods at the grocery store.

Update 8/6: Challenge completed successfully 🙂

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Formspring.me is one of my new favorite websites. Because I like to spout off about my beliefs or because I love having an opportunity to express my opinions being challenged to express and explain my ideals and opinions. That sounds a little better. Lol. I also get to ask anybody anything, anonymously or not, and I might just get an answer. And they can do the same for me. I ran into an issue when I first got it and had a deluge of questions about my sexuality. I got a little irritated because the person (presumably a man by how bitter and confrontational the questions became) accused me of being pan-sexual to please other people, but I answered his questions honestly and to the best of my ability because if you aren’t willing to explain yourself when asked, how can you expect anyone to attempt to understand you? And if you want to ask me anything, I will answer you 🙂 You can use the link in the sidebar of my blog. From here on, I will post all the questions I get asked on Fridays, whether it’s one question or 5, you’ll see ’em.

So without further adieu, here is the first edition of Formspring.me Friday!

  • What is your favorite cult classic film?

I love Deathbed: The Bed That Eats. Teeth is another really good one.

Ask me anything

  • How would you complete the sentence “In a perfect world…?”

people would learn to tolerate differences in one another and accept them without reservation or hatred.

Ask me anything

  • What is your favorite air freshener?

Kind of a strange one, but ok. I’m game. I like Febreeze Noticeables Berry Paradise/Melon Mist & Febreeze Air Effects Spring & Renewal.

Ask me anything

  • Name 2 things you absolutely hate.

I hate mayonnaise and bees.

Ask me anything

  • Name 2 things you absolutely love.

I love the color green and mangos.

Ask me anything

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Today marks the inaugural story for my Wordy Wednesday series. My friend Courtney supplied me with my inspiration word: preposterous. The point of Wordy Wednesday is to get my creative juices flowing, adhere to deadlines (which I suck at) and finally learn to stop being my own worst critic. I am normally so self-conscious about my writing that I never share it with anyone. I tend to agonize over every little word choice because like Twain says, “the difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

But for me, just sharing it without obsessing is a huge step and one I’m willing to take even though I will probably be uncomfortable with it for awhile. So pop in your old Alanis Morisette CD, kick back and delve into this little story, chocked full of teen-y angst & denial.

The Preposterous Adventure of Sara Nack

Sara Nack had a way of spinning tall tales. No, she wasn’t a writer turning fiction into money for her publishers. And she wasn’t a bard weaving tales for the wealthy or elite. Nope; Sara Nack was a liar and an extremely talented one, if word around town can be trusted. Her family had abandoned all hope of getting a straight answer from the teen when she had begun routinely responding to questions about her day with stories about witches with stringy hair, demons with red eyes and chains, kidnapping and drugged-out teens. They lived in the suburbs, for Christ’s sake. There were no drugs in Sierra Vista.

Until one day in late October, Sara had never seen the harm in her hyperbolic ways. It wasn’t as if everything was made up. If her story was about a witch, it just meant that she had seen that creepy woman in her ratty rainbow-colored prayer shawl walking back from the Wa-Wa earlier in the day. If the story was about a demon, she was just letting her parents know that she had once again been chased by their neighbor’s vicious pit bull, Rosy. Sara swore that damned thing had been sent from the gates of hell to torment her on the way to or from school. (Why her parents couldn’t just let her ride the bus like the normal kids, or get her a car like she asked, Sara would never know.) And if the story was about drugged-out teens, well… No matter what her parents said, there were drugs everywhere. Even in their precious Sierra Vista.

But that day, with the crisp chill in the air, Sara Nack would rethink the workings of the universe. That day, Sara would figure out that there is more to life than Mr. Scottson’s next Trig test & trying to guess what they were serving in the cafeteria. The following is the entry from Sara Nack’s diary for November 2, five days after what would be known in her family as “The Preposterous Adventure of Sara Nack.”

November 2.

Ok, so I haven’t written in a while, but I just need to get this down on paper. No one believes me & I can’t figure out why. I couldn’t make this up if I tried & it’s not like I make things up anyway. What? I don’t. Why do I feel like my own diary is rolling its eyes at me? Traitor. >:{

Well, anyway it doesn’t matter. I’m going to tell the story my way. The real way. Just as it happened.  I won’t bore you with a lot of the background details, but I’ll try to give you enough so that anyone who reads this (which will probably be you, you nosy stuck-up snoop Alex!) will be able to figure out just what happened to me and see how honest I am about the whole messy thing.

My day started off totally normal. I woke up late to the tandem sounds of my blaring clock radio and my sister Alexandra’s grating screams from downstairs, “Sara Paige, if you don’t get out of that bed right now, you will be late for school and I am not driving you!” Alexandra was left in charge of getting me off to school since Dad worked overnights as a corrections officer and Mom had to leave at 3am to make her morning commute into the city where she worked as a decorator in a trendy cupcake bakery. Sometimes it hits me that Alex might resent me. It’s not like it’s my fault that Alex was born first. But, man, did Alex take it out on me like it was.

Grudgingly, I slapped the radio that was cheerfully blasting “Tik Tok” by that insufferable twit Ke$ha. How did that no talent troll get a record deal, I managed to think through my sleepy fog. A cold shower was all that I could manage before it was time to leave the house (it’s always cold. Probably because my stupid sister uses all the hot water every morning just to make sure my day starts off shitty. At least that’s what I think).  With sopping wet hair and some mismatched outfit I pulled off my bedroom floor, I grabbed a pop-tart and sprinted from the house forgetting my overstuffed bookbag and all of my homework. And my jerk of a sister didn’t even bother to remind me.  Anyway, back to my day…

So out the door I went, and that stupid demon-dog Rosy took off running toward me as soon as my feet hit my front porch. I can’t outrun that beast, so I did the only thing I could think of and chucked my pop-tart at her. So much for a balanced breakfast. I can’t even manage to grab a sugar-laden fake strawberry breakfast. Sacrificing my sugar-high bought me enough time to round the corner without HellHound on my heels.

My school is only a couple of blocks away (which is the argument my parents made when I wanted a car for my 16th birthday. “Why do you need a car, honey? You don’t do anything other than go to school and school is just a few blocks away.”  Hell, I might want to go to 7-11 one day. And now, when my birthday rolls around, I won’t have any way to answer the siren call of the mighty Coke Slurpee. Damnit.) and I almost made it there. I had stopped running as soon as I was sure that Rosy wasn’t following me, because honestly how much difference would 2 minutes make? I was going to be late anyway, so I might as well do the thing right. I slowed down even more when I reached the thick hedges that surrounded the creepy blue house on the corner. I had always wanted to see exactly what lay beyond that green screen, but my parents said it would be rude to disturb the family that lived there even though I was pretty cure it was deserted. I had never actually seen anyone go in or out, not even a car, so I was really surprised when I heard voices from inside the shrubs. I stopped walking, thoughts of being late for school completely gone, and listened. I couldn’t understand a word… it was like whoever it was was speaking another language. And it sure wasn’t Spanish. I’d had a year of Spanish and I could say things like “My name is…” and “Where is the library?” so I was obviously an expert at it.

There was a rustle in the leaves and my curiosity got the better of me. I crept around to the first break in the hedge I could find and peeked in. When my mind finally registered what I was seeing, I had to pick my jaw up off the ground (Don’t scoff. I did. The dumb hole in the hedge was about 2 inches above the sidewalk). There was a little bulbous, gray creature that looked a little like that comic strip my father likes so much. You know, the one with the little guy with the giant nose? Ziggy; yeah, that’s it. The thing looked like Ziggy. It had what I supposed was a very long, fat nose and rolls of pudge on its face and stomach like a shar pei puppy. It’s “ears” looked more like flattened fingers laying flat against its head and the thing’s arms were so long they drug the ground; at the end of those uber-long arms hung hands like mallets with long, curved fingers. There were creepy patches of curly pube-like hair on its stomach and feet. Oh, I didn’t tell you what his feet looked like! Have you ever dropped a really ripe banana on the floor? You know how they kind of split open and smush? Yep, looked just like that. Gross. I decided I would call him Squirm.

 I could only figure Squirm was an alien (what the hell else could it have been?) and my first thought was that if ET had looked like this, that movie would have tanked. Seriously, the thing was that unfortunate looking. The whole time I was staring at Squirm, it was busy working away. At what, you say? Squirm was taking garden gnomes and shoving them in a giant hole in the tree. I know what you’re thinking; why would a thing want one garden gnome let alone several… but this thing did. And it wanted everything else in the yard from what I could tell. Anything that was shiny or colored, Squirm was grabbing up. The quirky waddling gait made it hard for the little guy to get around the yard, which had a million groundhog holes in it. It kept tripping and falling in the holes and mumbling in that strange language. I figured it was cursing. I know I would have been if I had tripped that many times. I was amazed at how much shit Squirm managed to shove in this tree and I kind of zoned out watching it hoard all the kitsch it could carry.

I must’ve watched the thing go back and forth forty thousand times (I couldn’t believe how much crap there was in this yard!) because the next thing I knew, the yard was empty and the end of day bell was sounding at school. Shit, I thought. I had missed the whole day. I would have some explaining to do when my parents found out. And my sister, the goody-two-shoes, would have a field day with it.  ”See, I knew she was adopted. No way she’s related to me. She’s such a slacker. What? Seriously Dad, she is.” My sister’s a twat. I decided I’d just have to tell them the truth; that was all there was to it.

My parents managed to make it all the way to dinner without asking about my day. Probably a new record for them. “What did you do today, Sara?” Dad asked the same bored voice he always used when he asked me things. So right there, over the spread of mom’s cheesy tuna noodle casserole, creamed spinach (blech!), corn and rolls, I told them all about my day. When I finished, they all looked at me like I was making absolutely every word of it up. Then, they laughed! Can you believe it? They laughed at me & my father looked at my mother and said “well, dear. What do you think of that? Sara had an adventure today. What shall we call this latest creation? Fantasy or fiction?” Mom didn’t say a word, she just started mutely at me like I had a toenail growing out of my forehead, Guiness Book of World Records style. But my sister, my big-mouth smart ass sister, piped up and said, “I know, Dad! We should call it ‘The Preposterous Adventure of Sara Nack!’” Alex and Dad were cackling like old women and Mom was still just staring at me with that half-frown on her face. I’m just glad we were having tuna noodle casserole, because if we had been having something, oh I dunno… good… it would have been much harder to throw down my fork and storm away from the table in protest. That’ll show ‘em not to make fun of me for telling the truth anymore. I spent the night in my room on the computer IMing friends. My friends all believed me. Know why they believed me? Cuz it’s the truth, damnit!

And that was the story of last Friday. What? Did you think I was going to say I went with the little troll thing and had some giant adventure in a land where birds fly upside down, water is fluffy, garden gnomes are currency, and people are blue? Well I didn’t. And I would never say that, because that would be a lie. And I didn’t even stretch the truth this time. Not even a little bit. Preposterous, my ass.

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Every Two Quote Tuesday, I will be sharing two of my favorite quotes. From literature, television, movies, magazines, friends… anything is up for grabs. Most often, they will either be some of my all-time favorite quotes or something I’ve recently run across. But either way, they will be awesome 🙂 And here is my first installment:

“Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.”   

-Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close


“The impoverished always try to keep moving, as if relocating might help. They ignore the reality that a new version of the same old problem will be waiting at the end of the trip- the relative you cringe to kiss.”  

-Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

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Today’s list is from my best friend, Courtney Good. She suggested that I compose the list “Missed Opportunities in Your Life.” She also gave me the word for my Wordy Wednesday post for later in the week (that’s foreshadowing, y’all). And now on to the list!

Missed Opportunities in Your Life

  • Leaving SU before completing my degree
  • Not being able to stay with Dish Network after the split (I could probably have gone pretty high up if I could have stayed- not necessarily that I would have wanted to, but it would have definitely set me up better financially)
  • Not performing more when I was younger
  • I have missed several opportunities for relationships because I refused to put myself out there and make the first move. I was always concerned that the person might not be into me and I would be a bother
  • I have wasted time indulging when I should have been working on achieving my weight loss goals
  • I missed a giant opportunity to develop a sense of self-worth that doesn’t revolve around my partner or my ability to perform my job well
  • I didn’t take college as seriously as I should have. Oh, sure, I still made good grades but if I had known what I know now I would have relished every minute. Including the ones that I spent ripping out my own hair trying to complete projects at the last minute. Lol.

And that is what I can come up with right now. I have missed a couple of opportunities in my life but most of them had other opportunities that fell on the heels of those I missed. Upon leaving Dish, I did have a bad spell but then I was able to get a job working with special needs pre-k through the public school system. Even though I didn’t take advantage of all the performing opportunities I had as a child or young adult (community theatre mostly), I am taking advantage of my opportunities now as an adult. Better late than never.

I am a firm believer that if you miss an opportunity or choose not to take a certain path, there is a reason that you made those decisions. And perhaps your happiness lies down another path you just can’t see clearly yet. I’m stumbling blindly down my own path to happiness right now and am absolutely certain that somewhere up ahead the sky will clear, the trees will part and all will be revealed at last. I just have to keep clearing away the debris as I come upon it. I’ve even gotten pretty good at dodging the rocks in my way. 🙂

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In an effort to beat my previous  record of nine posts in one month the month, I will be starting a new blog series. This one will hopefully give me about 12 to 15 posts  by the end of August 🙂 The themes will be as follows:

  • Monday- Make A List Monday
  • Tuesday- Two Quote Tuesday
  • Wednesday- Wordy Wednesday (I will ask a friend for a word and write a story inspired by it in some way)
  • Thursday- Day off
  • Friday- Formspring Friday
  • Saturday- Start A Challenge Saturday
  • Sunday- Spotlight Sunday (A review of one of my favorite songs/artists)

Hopefully I can stick to this for at least one month. As you all can tell I am not very good with my follow-through. I have will and drive, but I quickly lose interest or find another project that then occupies me fully. I am trying my best to break this habit that I have of not being able to form new & lasting habits. Ironically, that seems to be the only lasting habit I have. :/ 

***Update 9/1/2010- I completed the month of August successfully and I actually enjoyed doing this little series of guided postings. It challenged me and allowed me creative freedom at the same time. I’m setting a new goal for myself to keep it up through September. With all the wedding planning for Heather Beth, the baby showers, bridal showers, birthdays (including my own- 27th- GASP!) and new job position, this month will be much more difficult. What better to challenge myself with? :)***

So in anticipation of the first of August, I will start off with my first Spotlight Sunday.

Today’s song:

“Come on, Come Out” by A Fine Frenzy.

This song is catchy, perfectly soulful but sweet. The rhythmic, mellow arrangement underscores the beauty of Alison’s voice beautifully. I’ve been a fan of A Fine Frenzy since the song “Almost Lover” debuted back in 2008, but I never got around to buying the album. I have been missing out. I downloaded One Cell In The Sea with an iTunes giftcard I had and have been listening to it non-stop since. If you haven’t listened to this song/CD, I would highly recommend it. (On a side note: I really want her hair color. Like, really really want it. Haha.)

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List Those Features That Grab Your Attention When A Man or Woman Walks By


  • smell
  • eyes
  • smile
  • haircut
  • sound of voice (if applicable)
  • height


  • smell
  • smile
  • forearms
  • hands
  • eyes
  • height
  • gait

List What Values/Traits You Need In A Lover, Significant Other or Mate

  • trust
  • humor
  • talent
  • openness
  • avid reader
  • free-thinker
  • openly romantic
  • love of travel
  • adventurous
  • opinionated but flexible
  • strong
  • protective
  • sensitive

*And this, ladies and gents, is why I am still single. Lol.

List The Major Losses You’ve Survived In Your Life

  • losing my mother, as I knew her, to mental illness
  • losing the hope of having my mom back (she’s still alive, but she will never be the woman I grew up with)
  • loss of my first love/fiance to another woman
  • losing my vocal/piano abilities because I stupidly let the man I loved convince me I had no talent
  • loss of my home, car, computer, phone, bank account and job as well as the man who supposedly loved me
  • loss of my vision of my “perfect” future when the ex left me: loss of motherhood, loss of spouse, loss of income, loss of stability

*A lot of those losses seem to revolve around other people. Maybe I should make an effort to make any losses I suffer be at my own hand from now on. At least if I make a mistake, I can take sole blame and responsibility for it instead of sharing it with someone else.

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List All the Activities You’d Do If You Weren’t So Afraid

  • skydive
  • bungee jump
  • surf
  • basejump
  • climb a mountain
  • date again
  • strip
  • dance at a club
  • run
  • take Zumba classes
  • parasail
  • attend a pilates class

List All The Names You’ve Been Called, Endearing and Not-So

  • Phoenix
  • Green Eyes
  • Hilltopper
  • Friend
  • Talentless
  • Best friend
  • Honey
  • Babe
  • Hobbit
  • Baby
  • Love
  • Ugly
  • Fat
  • Big Red/ Red

List The Biggest Turning Points In Your Life

  • 1st & 2nd trips to Australia/New Zealand
  • performing at Carnegie Hall
  • American Youth Choir trip to Asia
  • The-One-Who-Got-Away choosing another woman which led, albeit indirectly, to…
  • leaving Shenandoah University
  • dissolution of my 5 year relationship
  • accepting Special Education-Prechool position in 2009

List the Ideas, Projects or Jobs That Are In Your Thoughts Now

  • crochet washcloths for Haiti relief
  • finish my book
  • write more poetry
  • chronicle my life
  • research scholarships/grants
  • call about forbearance for my student loans
  • update blogs
  • get CPI certified in restraints for children with special needs
  • finish knitting Jesse’s scarf
  • clean kitchen & bathroom
  • organize computer desk

And there you have it. My first 4 lists from the book. Pretty tame, but with continued application these may prove to be very useful provided I can be brutally honest with myself.

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I bought a new book a couple of weeks ago as kind of a home-therapy venture. I’ve been working hard to discover who I am, and being a list-driven person I thought this would be a good first foray into being brutally honest with myself about myself.

The book: List Your Self: Listmaking As The Way To Self-Discovery by Ilene Segalove & Paul Bob Velick

The tagline: A Provocative, Probing, and Personal Expedition into Your Mind, Heart, and Soul

Cost: At Barnes & Noble $14.95 in the journalling section

Some of the suggested lists are incredibly personal and I will not be sharing those on this or any blog, but there are others that I will be posting. It’s a way of keeping myself accountable in this soul-search. But if my lists can inspire anyone out there to make their own lists and start their own version of self-discovery, then all the better 🙂 And remember:

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”                       -Aristotle

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