Office worker confessional – meeting cookies

Office worker confession #4 – We want cookies at meetings

Yes.  We do.  And I’m not joking.

Why? Why, you ask?  I’m not even sure why you’d have to ask…it’s because cookies help us focus.

It’s true, 9 out of 10 office workers agree that cookies improve productivity. <Don’t pay attention to that 10th worker, for whatever reason they hate on everything.>

So put out that cookie tray at 1 pm during our long ass office meeting…and then again at 3 pm, because – it’s just the right thing to do.

until it’s done – quote day 3

 Sometimes, when a task is before us – the magnitude of what we’ve yet to accomplish can be daunting as deadlines seem to stretch far past the horizon.  I hate that feeling.   If you let it, that anxiety could surround you until you drown. 

But don’t let it. You are the master of how you perceive the world and any challenge that you face. Take a deep breath and remember, “it always seems impossible until it’s done.”  And I’d argue that once it’s done, you’ll smile and realize it couldn’t have been any other way. :)  

Annie at Gentle Kindness tagged me in this quote challenge and I’ve (obviously) accepted – 3 quotes in three days because well, I love challenges…and quotes.  If you want to play, simply put the link to your site in the comments section and I’ll check out your quotable posts. :)

Just where you are – Quotes Day 2

Today’s quote is from  Pema Chödrön, who has written truly inspirational and moving books.  If you haven’t heard of her, or her very wise words, be sure to check her out.

During the hard times in my life, I often turn to quotes for inspiration, motivation, and sometimes solace.  This quote is especially moving for anyone who is looking to start over or begin something new.

“Just where you are – that’s the place to start.” – Pema Chödrön

It’s a whisper of wisdom in those moments of panic where you don’t even know where to place your feet after a fall.  It let’s us know that we can start again, no matter where we are.   We simply have to breathe….and begin.

 

Annie at Gentle Kindness tagged me in this quote challenge and I’ve (obviously) accepted – 3 quotes in three days because well, I love challenges…and quotes.  If you want to play, simply put the link to your site in the comments section and I’ll check out your quotable posts. :)

Quotables – Challenge Day 1

Today’s quote is from a poem by Pablo Neruda: “I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.”

I took this in Washington D.C. at the height of Cherry Blossom season.

Ah, how I love this quote – it’s so romantic that it makes my chest squeeze.

To me, it means having the kind of relationship where you cherish each other and support one another in becoming what you are meant to be…blossoming like flowers in springtime.

:) <Sigh>  What magic we spread with the right words…

Annie at Gentle Kindness tagged me in this quote challenge and I’ve (obviously) accepted – 3 quotes in three days because well, I love challenges…and quotes.  If you want to play, simply put the link to your site in the comments section and I’ll check out your quotable posts. :)

 

 

but he told me to believe…

Review of X-files: The resurrected Series: Episode 1


“well you can say I’m naive, but he told me to belie-e-e-e-ve… ”

And if you don’t know that song, then I am by far a greater David Duchovny and X-files fan than you.

Anyway, nostalgia seems to be a thing lately.  It pays off for some viewers (me and my insta-love of the new Star Wars) and sometimes it doesn’t (my dad’s lack of love for the same movie).  The latest in the line of resurrections of things we loved growing up: the X-files, with the one man who made monotone cool, <swoon> David Duchovny. :)

But…is the series worth watching?

Honestly, I would have tuned in for anything that reunited the cast of X-files, except for a musical…well, maybe a musical too, but it would have probably been accompanied by much more wine.  After series like “Fringe” and others tried to cash in as the “next X-files,” is there really still a market for another show that features an unlikely pair investigating murders and strange occurrences?

For now, yes…

Nostalgia is a big part of it though.  I’m not sure exactly where they’re going with the season or if we’re supposed to forget about the last season of the original series and how weird it was.  <shudder>

But the writers (and I’m wondering if they’re all younger fans of the original series and what I’d have to do to become a series writer) have set up a few interesting questions for us to puzzle out.

(This is where I warn you of spoilers below).

  • Abductions – what are they really?  Have we been misled all this time?  The answer…maybe.  And the premise is actually kind of fitting for the original series.
  • Mulder/Scully baby – Sculder?  Mcully?  I’m not sure, but we don’t really know what’s become of him.
  • Smoking man?!  Okay, I squealed when I saw him and it might have scared the dog.  But really, what is the X-files without the looming evil of the smoking man?
  • Scully and Mulder…they finally got together and I don’t get to see how it happened?  And now they’re no longer together? Fox? FOX!! Seriously? I’m hurt.  Where is playful Mulder luring Scully into a kiss? :( Forget hurt, I feel robbed.  Anyway, their playfulness is gone, replaced with…well, I’m hoping it’s longing?  Writers, I will forgive you if you give me longing.  Please?  You’ve replaced somewhat playful, flirty Mulder with a kind of morose Mulder.  So, at least give me longing…preferably from Mulder.

Anyway, the jury is still out on this one.  So, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  But I’ll be optimistic, after all – I still want to believe…

Thoughts on snow, by a small dog

  Snow is some serious bullshit. 

….ah, I’ve just been told by my person that I’ve used a bad word. 

As a dog, obviously there are no bad words. There are still rules – like no barking in my person’s face when she’s reading…or sleeping (I do it anyway though because it’s funny). But let’s get back to the topic at hand – 

Snow stinks (I’ve been told this word is okay) because anything more than three inches is level with my belly. And I don’t have to explain to you why that would be uncomfortable for me. 

But there are benefits to snow – like the baking that goes on in this apartment when snow is on the ground and my person doesn’t have to work.  There are breads, pies, and all kinds of treats I get to sample. It’s bliss, until of course we have to go outside again and more snow has accumulated in my absence.  And then it’s clear –

Snow is a mother fucker.

Okay, so apparently that word is bad too? I’m starting to wonder about my person’s vocabulary…

Anyway, wish me luck and a warm belly, friends, for winter is here and snow, she is coming…  

Blankets – Graphic Novel Review

51WRrlfdxaL__SX363_BO1,204,203,200_Review of “Blankets,” by Craig Thompson

Graphic novels are officially growing on me, and more than just dark ones like the Locke & Key series (which you should definitely check out, if you haven’t already).  I recently picked up “Blankets” and was instantly hooked by the story.

“Blankets” – a YA memoir of the author’s teenage and adolescent years covers so many topic that unite everyone – religion (and the confusion involved with figuring it out for ourselves), family relationships (siblings, parent expectations, divorce), and the sweet sting of first love (ah, me).  But it also tells a tale that is completely its author’s own – and the beginning of his journey in figuring out who he is.

Though I finished this graphic novel a few days ago, I’m still chewing on its deeper meaning and the nuggets of wisdom it imparts (including the value of “or”).  But, in my own writing at least, I’m a big believer in the reader taking from it what they may.  At different times in your life, different parts of a story will touch you – sometimes the author means it to and sometimes its by accident.

So, whether it was intended or not – this story made me contemplate love.

<I know, considering my genre of choice, it’s really not all that surprising, is it?>

(Okay, kind of spoiler alert below.  If you don’t want to hear my wax poetic about love, just pick up the book: 5 out of 5 stars! … Otherwise, read on.)

But more than just the feelings gained (or lost) love invokes, I thought about the feeling in general.  In the beginning of relationships, it’s not uncommon for one to ask another: “have you ever been in love?”

Maybe, it’s mere curiosity or to make sure that if those words are uttered later, you can rest easy that it means something (maybe if the answer is less than a particular number?).  A past partner told me, that he thought he was once, but (as it ended) he now believed he’d never been in love.  When looking back through the years, I realize that I’ve discounted relationships in the past, with the aid of my seemingly wiser adult eye.  I’m sure everyone does.

But, if it doesn’t work out or your person doesn’t return the depth and breadth of the feeling…does that negate it?

I think love is more fluid than that.  Some forms are never meant to last – spectacular but fast shows of light – like fireworks on the fourth of July, lifting your spirit…if only for a little while.  Some are like a safe harbor among a wild sea, always waiting for us, if we’d only allow ourselves to anchor.  Some are transformative – making us who we are or helping us put our pieces back together.  Some are soft and steady glows of light, that promise to burn for as long as we can feed the flame.

Anyway, check out “Blankets” and relive that exciting, unsure, and awkward thrill of your first love.  And then have some wine and smile.  After all, not ending up with your first (second, third, or tenth) love isn’t really a bad thing. ‘Tis better to have loved…

 

Grandma

I spy my toes mid-stretch in downward-facing-dog.  I stick my tailbone out slightly and give in to a deeper stretch.  Usually, at this point, I’d close my eyes and exhale.  Though I can’t stop the breath releasing through my lips, my eyes remain open.

I look down at my toes.

They are like my grandmother’s – big and sausage-like, constrained by chalky, calloused skin and bare nails.  I remember her beefy feet bare and peaking out from under her curled legs, while she catered to her one addiction in this life – reading biographies of famous people.  She used to say that it was better than fiction, what lucky people could have.

But she didn’t always think that.  She used to read fiction; mysteries by Agatha Christie were her favorite.

I have a few novels by Christie, a strange, kind of homage to my grandma.  My shelf overflows with all kinds of fiction – romance, mystery, horror/thriller, science fiction, short stories, and poetry.

But no biographies…

No, not yet.

We both always loved a good story and a good bullshit artist.  I couldn’t tell you why she moved away from the joys of fiction just as I couldn’t tell you why still live in the land of fiction and novels.

I’d like to think that it’s because, even after all this time, I still believe in a little bit of magic.

Turkey dog

My dog, Bella, is known as the cat-dog as she’s got the snark and judgmental eyes of a cat with the energy and loyalty of a dog.

Of all of the things that Bella is known for, her role as sous chef is the most infamous.  I can’t even claim her as only my sous chef as Bella will lend out her skills as floor cleaner, dishwasher, and food smeller extraordinaire to anyone.  While in this role, she will often park her butt on the floor behind the cook or directly in front of the stove…in case her taste testing skills are required, such selfless sacrifice from our humble sous chef.

And this Christmas, Bella’s sous chef skills truly paid off.  I give you – the tale of the turkey dog:

The electric knife buzzed through the Christmas turkey (turkey is never frowned upon in this establishment) and the aroma of well-cooked meat perfumed the air around our noses.  I forked another slice of turkey on to the serving tray when I heard Bella’s collar jingle.

And then it jingled again, like when Bella shakes off the rain after a walk.  I looked down to see her shake off again, droplets flying off her head…

Alicia – “Why is your head wet?”

Bella – Here is my innocent face, which I hope will distract you from asking any more inconvenient questions.

I turn back to the table to grab another slice of turkey, my eyes falling to the table just below the cutting board, where turkey juices had apparently been pooling for quite some time…to the seam in the table where another leaf can be added to make the kitchen table larger…where turkey juices were dripping onto a sizable pool on the floor.  At that moment, perhaps sensing the last moments of her secret treat, Bella darted under the table (and into the dripping stream) for another taste of turkey juices and then sat prettily for this picture – oily, turkey fur and all.

“Though my fur is oily and smelly, my eyes are carefully innocent.”

I guess all of that experience as sous chef finally paid off…sadly enough, it also earned Bella one of her least favorite activities – a bath.

Be good to yourself

This is the time of year when people start to plan their New Year’s resolutions – losing weight, dressing better, getting a new job, or taking a chance on something new.  Or if you’re a writer, it could be to be better at blogging (which due to school, I can definitely improve upon), to finish your short story/novella/book/anthology, pitch to an agent, or get published.  But whether or not you’re a writer and are hyper-critical of your own work or a person who questions your life choices and beats yourself up over every mistake, there is a resolution that we should all probably take to heart – to be good to ourselves.

Don’t get me wrong, we should be self-aware and motivated.  Those things help us to reach our goals and become what we are meant to be.  But too much, like that small voice of self-doubt and self-loathing we all have from time to time, is no good.  Being hard on ourselves adds stress to already difficult situations and clouds our thinking, robbing us of the ability to see our own potential and goodness.

So, try to be good to yourself next year.  Treat yourself when you need it and let yourself off of the hook from time to time…let yourself have a good new year. :)