Sunday, April 28, 2013

XYZ is for ZZYZX!




ZZYZX – I would be a liar if I told you I intentionally waited to end the A to Z Challenge with this particular "word." It's more serendipity that I have been away from my computer the last couple days due to happy circumstances (it's about darned time).

So, there really is a place called ZZYZX in California...it's on the way to Las Vegas on the I-15 highway. I haven't spent a lifetime driving from Southern California to Las Vegas, but I do remember when I first saw the sign for Zzyzx Road and thought, "what the hell is THAT?"

Apparently it is "the last word in the English language," so named by a man who settled on the land (illegally) using the hot springs to bottle water to sell to travelers, as well as maintaining a ranch for families to visit en route to wherever. 


If you have ever driven through the desert going to or coming from Vegas (or Baker, home of the world's largest thermometer. And that's about it), you will understand the beauty of the "dry" humor (sorry, bad pun intended) around the name Zzyzx...a place in the middle of a seemingly endless drive, in a vast expanse of desert and, in name at least, the last place on Earth. (Honestly...if you have ever seen the movie "Swingers", they capture the drive to Vegas perfectly...).  

Oh, and for the parting shot, here is "The World's Largest Thermometer":


So...if you are on your quest to find the Largest (insert something here) in the World, or the Weirdest (insert something or SOMEONE here) in the World, you can knock two off your list within 7 miles of each other on the I-15. Bam.

Talk to you LATER! :)

–Kris




Thursday, April 25, 2013

W is for WEIGHT WATCHERS!


Weight Watchers – I am very happy to plug this powerhouse weight loss program. I have never, ever been one to go on and off diets and try this and try that...and I certainly NEVER wanted (or want) to pay for processed food to be delivered to my door and popped in a microwave morning, noon and night. What does that teach me? Certainly not how to eat real world food, eat real life ways. I am certain those other programs work for people, but for how long? What happens when you want to eat something REAL...or expenses need to be trimmed? What would I have learned about eating when Momma Craig ain't there to spoon-feed me anymore?

In August 2012 I was desperate for a change. The year prior I had been working out and trimming up after a long "battle" to lose the baby fat I put on after the births of my two daughters. I had been working out, eating ok, but then minor back surgery blew it all out of the water for me. I kind of went nuts and gave up on ever getting back to a physical form that I was happy with. Result: I ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and stopped working out and ballooned. By last August, I was miserable and willing to make a real change in my life.

I went to the WW meeting we had at the office (did you know Weight Watchers can help you set up office meetings? A half-hour a week at lunchtime, that's all), signed up and weighed in.

I started using the points system that very next day, tracked everything, and became committed to changing my eating habits, including giving up diet soda. The next week I weighed in a couple pounds down.

And, with the exception of a few "up" weigh-ins (hey, that's life), I steadily and HEALTHILY lost over 41 pounds. Today I weigh close to what I was back in my mid-20s, a time when I was the most  physically fit in my life. And quite shapely with nice curves and lots of muscle. Not saying I'm actually to that point, but on the other hand, I don't have an urgent need to go there either. I guess I should say I have a realistic idea of the differences between a twenty-something who hasn't had kids and is very active, versus a mid-40s mommy of two who gets paid to sit on her butt all day. Considering the conditions, I'm doing pretty well. :)

Today I work out close to what I was capable of before my back surgery. The beauty of WW is that when I am having a bad back day or week, I know that by using the points system I can track my eating and don't need to "sweat" the missed workouts.

I am happier within my body than I have been in years. The best thing is that I LOVE the way I eat. And, yes, I indulge in almond butter, chocolate, cake, etc., I just don't overdo it. I have added a lot more fresh fruits and veggies to my daily eating and I still haven't had any soda (diet or otherwise) since September 2012.

I feel good, inside and out. I feel beautiful, sexy and powerful. I owe a huge part of that to Weight Watchers.

Goodnight friends.
Talk to you tomorrow.

-Kris

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

V is for VITALITY!


Vitality – And today is OPPOSITE DAY!! I just dropped in to say I feel unwell and have a real lack of vitality at the moment, so this will be the shortest, sweetest blog I've ever posted. Here's to a better tomorrow. :)

Goodnight, talk to you tomorrow folks!
-Kris

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

U is for the UNIVERSE!



UNIVERSE

Ah, the universe. So mind-boggling. It is impossible to wrap one's brain around the concept of forever, no end, no borders, no ceiling, floor, or walls. To think of all the energy, how it started (did it ever?), how it functions, what is going on and who it's going on with...it's beyond my wee thinking capacity.

So. Let's set the record straight. I am NOT here to talk about Stephen Hawking, Quantum Physics, Gravitational Singularities Theorems, Astronomy, NASA, Carl Sagan (ooooh, I do miss him), Scott Bakula, Space 1999, Hal and Dave, Dr. Who, or anything more smartypants than, well, Scott Bakula. Great show by the way, "Quantum Leap."

No!! No High IQ fluff for me! I am here to talk about woo-woo fun stuff (that I actually believe in) called Notes From the Universe. Every day at work, I look at my inbox and I find a new Note, giving me insights in to "Law of Attraction" and manifesting my desires, and generally real cheerleader "go get 'em" positive reinforcement. I was turned on to the notes by a colleague, oh, about 6 or 7 years ago and have been receiving the emails every work day since then.

The Notes started as a regular email through the TUT Club (Totally Unique Tee-shirts originally, now Totally Unique Thoughts), which is a website for manifesters, adventurers and generally positive thinking people. Mike Dooley, one of the founders of TUT (along with his brother and mom) is the man behind the notes and I heard him, in one of his audiobooks, talk about how he realized that if he sent out these marvelous emails as "The Universe", it opened up a whole new dimension to what he could write...he could get away with saying things as "The Universe" that he'd feel silly trying to pass off as Mike Dooley.

I have to say there's a real genius to that.  The notes are inspirational, imbued with whimsy and humor. Somehow having the emails end with "Tally-ho!" or "You GO you!" from the UNIVERSE gives it the right spin, whereas having it from some guy might come off as smarmy or preachy. Dooley was absolutely right in his decision and has become very successful as the thinker behind the Notes. If you click on the "Sample Note" button when visiting the site, you'll get something like this:

"The one thing all famous authors, world-class athletes, business tycoons, singers, actors, and celebrated achievers in any field have in common, Kristen, is that they all began their journeys when they were none of these things. Yet still, they began their journeys.

You are SO poised for greatness!
The Universe

P.S. One day, they're going to name something BIG after you, Kristen! Like a statue, a college...or a hurricane..."

This is the type of email I get everyday. End result is that I eagerly look forward to these daily reminders that my thoughts have power, so I should choose good ones.

Say what you will about the Law of Attraction, made so hugely popular by Rhonda Byrne's "The Secret"  (and which Mike Dooley participated in, by the way, and to which I only partially subscribe...I prefer Dooley's spin on how to work with the universal energy), I personally can look back and see how I did exactly manifest the things I put most of my energy and thought into throughout my life – things good AND bad. Now, if you believe it is rubbish or silliness or evil, well, to that I say, how can one argue with the power of positive thinking? Because that is essentially what it whittles down to (in a very bare-bones simplistic way). 

The best thing I love about the concept behind "Leveraging the Universe" (one of Dooley's books, which I have on audio) is that it's really all about putting your intention out there, and then letting go of the "cursed hows" and letting the Universe (or God, or whatever deity or spiritual energy you prefer) take the reins. Ask for and ye shall receive. Yes? Yes. Just remember: be careful what you ask for.

Ok, goodnight.
Talk to you tomorrow

-Kris

Oh...and here's a parting shot to help remind you, "When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are..."



Monday, April 22, 2013

T is for TERRA FIRMA!


TERRA FIRMA – Solid Earth

Today is Earth Day. I actually remembered to use my cloth shopping bags when I went to the grocery store today. I hate to admit I'm not the best at recycling, or conserving energy, although I take VERY short showers and I am always turning off lights, so there's that. I also abhor littering, and my girls have seen me pick up other people's trash and walk over to the ridiculously close trash can muttering about "lazy idiots" and "some people's kids"....and I have participated in a couple Project AWARE Southern California beach cleanups in the past, including an underwater clean up (we found nothing, which is actually good). Oh, and I do recycle at work and add to my friend's compost stuff. So...I may not be  anywhere near winning a prize for conservation efforts on a grand scale, but I try to help in my own small ways. (We will not discuss my use of printed paper vs. pdfs which I loathe trying to decipher edits from so I print them out anyway...but wait. We are not discussing that...)

In regards to our beautiful Earth, here are a handful of links about some of the places in a small corner of the globe called California that I care about as well as to Project AWARE and the United State's recycling program:

Project AWARE a non-profit organization whose aim is to teach the world about conserving our aquatic realm.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle the Environmental Protection Agency's website about recycling.

My Own 100 Hikes A blog by a regular joe who loves hiking and photographing his treks in and around California and other parts of the world. I just like his stuff. Hiking and photography. What's not to love?

Peters Canyon Regional Park – More hiking, this time very close to home. I love to go out around 7:30 in the morning when it's quiet and cool. If you take the perimeter trail and add in the lake loop, it's a gnarly and rigorous 7 mile workout. Watch for horses and mountain bikers. And strollers, later in the day. Oh, and REALLY fit people that you just want to trip the third time they run by you as you die from a heart attack going up ANOTHER hill...(by the way, the people in the photograph on the page...not human. No human can run up that hill and still smile. THEY'RE DROIDS...hisssssssssssss).

Joshua Tree – Well, this is a magical place for me...hiking in the canyons, hunting for crystals (shhhhh, don't tell the park rangers...I know, I know, that's not very conservationyish), or simply sitting out under the stars and listening to the quiet of the desert...this is a beautiful place. U2 thought so, and so do I. :)

Big Sur – My heart lives here. One of the most incredible places to spend time. I love camping in the redwoods at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. There is also a Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park which is hike-in environmental camping.

Laguna Beach, CA And more hiking still. Laguna Beach boasts an incredible network of trails along Laguna Canyon Road. Then, of course, there's the actual beach city that is a destination for many folks from all over the world. It is difficult to remember that sometimes since I have always lived so close to it and grew up going there with my folks to the Festival of the Arts, including the Pageant of the Masters. There's lots of arty shops, there's Wyland's gallery, art galleries and fancy schmancy dining (can you say Las Brisas?) all over the place. Of course, it's free to lay on the beach and soak up the sun and sights. Oh, and how can I forget??? I did my PADI Open Water Scuba Diver course at Diver's Cove and Shaw's Cove (oi, the stairs)!

Catalina Underwater Park and speaking of scuba and Terra not so Firma: This underwater park is the nicest way to get a dive in. Take the flyer over to Avalon, trek down a teensy flight of stairs into the rocky water and swim out a few yards...drop down the line and you're in heaven underwater. I love diving here.

Monterey Bay Aquarium  Let me just say: OTTERS!!!! Ohmigosh, they have some beautiful otters there. This is one of my favorite places to visit in California. Central California with its Redwoods and beautiful coastline, and this aquarium is there to showcase the environment. Plus it's smack-dab in Cannery Row and there's lots of good eating around, including a Bubba Gump restaurant (you remember Bubba Gump from the movie Forrest Gump?? Cmon...) where you can sit on a bench with a fake suitcase and try to replicate Forrest and his "Momma says life is like a box of chocolates..." monologue.There's a lot more, but it's late and I need to go to bed!

Goodnight, talk to you tomorrow...

– Kris

P.S. Thank you Earth for taking care of us. I hope we learn how to take better care of you sooner than later...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

S is for Smorgasbord




I'm just going to do another list of favorite things that begin with S. Totally random, not pre-thunk :) , short and sweet (Aha!! Two S words right there!!)

"Skylark" Johnny Mercer and Hoagy Carmichael wrote this song in 1941 and I have been in love with it for at least a couple decades. Of course, I love Ella's version of it, but if you haven't heard Aretha Franklin's or kd lang's versions, please check them out. I love the lyrics and the way these ladies sing the song give me goosebumps every time:

Have you anything to say to me?

Won't you tell me where my love can be?
Is there a meadow in the mist
Where someone's waiting to be kissed?

Oh skylark

Have you seen a valley green with spring?
Where my heart can go a journeying
Over the shadows and the rain
To a blossom covered lane

And in your lonely flight

Haven't you heard the music in the night?
Wonderful music
Faint as a will o' the wisp
Crazy as a loon
Sad as a gypsty serenading the moon

Oh skylark

I don't know if you can find these things
But my heart is riding on your wings
So if you see them anywhere
Won't you lead me there
Oh skylark
Won't you lead me there?


Sisters – as an only child I longed for a sibling to hit, play and get in trouble with. I longed mostly for someone in whom I could confide and be close to. I am so grateful God graced me with two beautiful daughters. They don't always get along, but they always love each other and no matter how many times I say "be grateful for each other" when they are going at it, I know in my heart of hearts they will someday understand what I have been shouting and rolling my eyes about all these years. :)

Solitude/Silence – To piggyback above, as an only child I had a lot of solitude/silence. Today I cherish my alone time where I can do what I want (or nothing at all). It is invaluable for me to relax and replenish and renew. Of course, solitude in moderation is best.

Sensuality – mmmmmm. Sensual. The very word makes me tingly. I'm a touchy-feely person. But sensuality goes just beyond the tactile sense, it is smell and the taste as well. If there is someone I am interested in because I have visually or intellectually connected with them, at some point my senses of touch, taste and smell must be heightened otherwise it's like going to dinner with my dad. You know what I mean?  I have had dates like that. Great guys, handsome, smart and funny, but the electricity of the touch wasn't there. My senses weren't on tactical alert. These guys didn't give me that jolt, that rush, when their hands wrapped around my waist in a greeting hug. Or the parting hug. Or any other attempt at touch in between. If it isn't there, they are just gonna be my friend. Because I don't recall EVER having it not there then miraculously it is. But if that electricity DOES happen, and I tuck my head into his chest or neck and smell his skin and feel his arms and his hands around me, if I get a small taste of him...it creates a headiness and a craving to see him again. Very soon. And on the rare occasion when all this has happened with a wonderful, handsome, intelligent, positive, ambitious, funny, goofy guy...I have just won the jackpot. ;)


Smart is Sexy – Speaking of all that stuff up above there...Smart is infinitely sexier than brawny. Caveat though, as I think I have made it perfectly clear that I enjoy the gym-rat type of guy, I will say that if you mix brawn with brain, it is a potent combination. One that will make me yours. Alllll yours. Talk nerdy to me while you lift that barbell baby. But if you lift that barbell and can't spell cat, or treat me like a lady, then, sorry. You could be the most gorgeous man in town, but you will hold no sway over ME. Muscles must be accompanied by smartypantsism.


"Say it ain't so" and "Serious as a heartattack" – I don't know why, I just love those two S phrases. LOL!! And I say them a lot. Usually laced with a heavy dose of sarcasm.

SARCASM!! – my last entry of the night. I was taught sarcasm by watching Monty Python as a child. Who could ask for better than that?? If only I had a British accent... But again with the caveat: there is a time and place for everything. Well-placed sarcasm is brilliantly funny. But sarcasm for sake of it, tinged with anger or cruelty? No thanks. That type of delivery only makes one look the fool. And sad. And rather a judgmental git.

Ok. Goodnight, talk to you tomorrow!
-Kris







Saturday, April 20, 2013

Q R is for QUALITY REALITY!



Again, living life has superceded my blog writing. But hey, I've blogged more this month than I have in the three years I've been at this corner of blogspot. (Have I mentioned I'm not great at math?)

Anyway, isn't the point of this challenge to get the creativity flowing? Get us to come up with something we might not normally write or photograph or draw or create?

I have to admit that I was having a difficult time coming up with a Q post. I thought of doing something funny like come up with "Different Definitions for Q Words, like Quartermaster: The guy with the change machine belt at a beer pong game." Or, doing "Interesting Star Trek Characters: Q" (what can I say? It was a stretch at best).

Then, as I began to type and think of that guy's name who played Q (John de Lancie), I realized I had to also come up with an R post. ARGH. No pirate pun intended.

R isn't so bad to come up with a topic, but Q? Really? Q??? How many bloggers wrote about Quantum Physics or Quays or Quarterflash??? (I haven't looked. I will. Um..later...)

Anyway, then Quality Reality came to mind. My reality might not be your reality, but I like my reality these days, even with the low points. Reality these days is kind of crazy cool. Although this began as a rough week, the aftermath has been a blessing in disguise. Something happened that I have not experienced before: I became my own Champion, my own Advocate, and more importantly I spoke up without being defensive or aggressive. I started the week heartbroken, but it has ended with hope because I had the dignity and courage to say I'm worth you taking the time to hear this, because YOU are worth taking the time to stand up and fight for. So, I found my true voice and I may have found more as well. I think I will keep the details in my heart and my head because they are too special to dilute here.

Reality before my divorce and spiritual path of the last five years was not quality. It was black and hopeless and lonely, full of self-loathing and fear. Today my core happiness peers through even in moments of sadness and loss. Today I have come to a point where my outsides and my insides match. And if it isn't enough for some, it's damn well good enough for a lot of others, especially me. And that is definitely QUALITY reality.

Oh, and for a parting shot:


Goodnight,

Talk to you tomorrow!

Kris

Thursday, April 18, 2013

P is for PLANS!



Plans - What's the quote? Best laid plans of mice and men? Do I have that right?


The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men,
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!
(The best laid schemes of Mice and Men
oft go awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!)


Robert Burns, To a Mouse (Poem, November, 1785

Best laid schemes, best laid plans, tomato, tomato...Argh. I keep trying that "you say tomato, I say tomato" but it never, ever works in writing.

Anyway, my best laid plans tonight were nowhere near what actually happened. I had planned to go hang with some lady friends and chit chat about spirituality and pms and men over coffee, instead, I helped one friend who needed to get out of the house for awhile. As much as I think doing my own thing in my own time would have been nice, it's even nicer to get out of myself and think about others once in awhile. :)

The grandest thing I have learned about making plans is that not everything happens the way we think they will, so we'd best be honing our "roll with the punches" skills to take it on the chin when the shit hits the fan. Is anyone keeping count of the amount of cliches I can use in one sentence? No? I think there should be...

Ok, anyway, take Iceland and Ireland for instance. If you go back to the very first few posts here at Up on the Kat-Talk, you'd see I had a grand vacation planned for Ireland. April 2010 was the month and I was ready to go. Bags were packed. I had the plane reservation, the hotel reservation, the single concert ticket to see The Dropkick Murphys play the Olympia Theatre in Dublin...I had my walking-in-Dublin itinerary all set up and then...

...Iceland exploded. I stared in shock and disbelief at the news as the volcanic ash rising up, up, up was impeding flights to Europe. I tried valiantly to predict where the wind would blow...and I kept the Dublin flights always on my newsfeed. Ireland was, in fact, one of the very last countries to shut down their air space...doing so the day before my flight was scheduled to take off.

Cue pacman death music.

So I cancelled my trip and pouted. For a short while. Because the reality sank in that my piddling little trip had nothing on the poor folk over here and over there who were trying to get either back to there or back to here. All kinds of serious losses took place due to that volcanic eruption. I quickly categorized my personal loss of the dream trip as a quality problem.

And, had I gone to Ireland, I would not have had the money to fix my car that broke down shortly thereafter, almost to the tune of the exact amount of money I had refunded to me.

That experience was probably my biggest lesson in making plans: be always aware they might not end up exactly like you imagine. And be ready to roll. Otherwise you'll go down for the count.

And, no, haven't made the trip to Ireland yet. But there is ALWAYS hope. :)

That's it for me, talk to you tomorrow!

Goodnight my friends.

-Kris



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O is for Opera


Opera - as I mentioned in my M is for MUSIC post, I was raised to appreciate all kinds of music. I was introduced to classical music early on, though I do not know exactly when, where or how I learned to love opera. 

Of course, I remember, you know, Bugs and Elmer's epic operatic cartoon "What's Opera, Doc?" ("Kill tha Wabbit! Kill tha Wabbit!!") *laughing!!!! 

HAHAHHAHAAA.... you HAVE to love this stuff.

Or Vivian in "Pretty Woman" being mesmerized by the beauty on stage below her. I do have early childhood recollections of seeing and hearing Beverly Sills on television, and of course, Luciano Pavarotti...

Somewhere along the way I just grew to love the power and the passion that is evoked within me when I hear opera. Everything from the classics to contemporary, though I'd lose a bet were I to Name that Tune or Composer. I suck at movie quotes too. Thank GOD for Google.

I must admit though, I will never forget the feeling I had when I first heard Andrea Boccelli sing. I had never heard of him and his performance was being aired on PBS one night and I remember stopping in my tracks. His voice - so crystalline, so pure - it moved me to tears. I mean that literally. It was so kitschy. I didn't realize I was crying and had stopped breathing until I found myself awakening to a deep involuntary breath that forced me back to reality. The man's voice transported me for a moment. Oh, to sit in an Italian amphitheater someday and listen to him sing. It gives me shivers just sitting here recalling his voice. My favorite song? (Con te Partiro aside) "Ave Maria". I also love his duet with Celine Dione called "The Prayer." Not opera, but it's worth a shout out. It's a song that's on my "Inspire" playlist. 

Then along came Paul Potts. Any time I want to get a surge of gratitude and FEEL GOOD rush going, I just youtube "Paul Potts First Audition" on Britain's Got Talent. See...I just watched it when I went there to get the link and I am freakin' crying. I love this man. What an amazing story. And who doesn't love seeing Simon get his smirky little face turned upside down in true amazement. I love that clip like I love my coffee. Well. No, I don't love that clip with cream and sugar in a large mug, but it's the sentiment I'm talking about.

Ok. It's late. Enough out of me. My kids and I are headed to bed to watch Emergency! :)

Talk to you tomorrow!
Kris




The Swing (reposted)


As I was looking through previous posts last night searching for some links to writings related to yesterday's "N" challenge, I realized I no longer had "The Swing" from January 2012 in my list. I must have deleted it (I'm sure some or all of you would say that's because it was too damn long!) but I liked it so I went to my archives and here it is. Again, this is more for myself than anyone, so skip if you wish. 

I have INXS's "The Swing" in my head.

The Swing
It's the swing
It's the swing like a pendulum
It marks the moments as the years go by in an innocent phase
The swing into never-neverland
There was a darkness like an old friend
That scratched and crawled up the wall
Into my life
Into my destiny
Into my desire
It's the swing
It's the swing like a pendulum
So look behind you when the race has run
And the winner is named
The swing into never-neverland
There was a darkness like an old friend
That scratched and crawled up the wall
Into my life
Well it’s the swing
The swing like a pendulum
Between the pieces and between the lines
Leaving nothing to hide

Lyrics from my childhood applying to my adulthood.

This entire blog has been my way to cope with much loss and grief in the past 4 years. That’s it on the surface. But deeper down, between the pieces and between the lines a large part of what I wrote here was an attempt to send a message across space and time, in the odd and off-chance hope that someone I had fallen in love with would happen to recall my blogspot name, maybe read the posts, maybe understand that almost every blog I wrote was my way of talking to him, telling him the things I desperately wanted to say to him but never could. A tenuous stretch at best...every “post” button click was ever-so-slightly propelled with the merest ethereal, slightly self-deprecating, “what the hell here goes and who knows” kind of oomph.

Let’s backtrack. It all went wonky that day long ago when I mustered enough courage to say to him “my mind, my heart and my body ache for you.”

That’s code for “I am in love with you”.

And he replied, “no worries girl, I feel the same way.” Which I thought was code for “I totally understand you are giving me a coded message that you are in love with me and I feel the same way which means I am in love with you too.”

Yay! We were on the same page!

Silly girl. Well. As you might know if you’ve read this blog, it didn’t pan out. But this blog was, as I said, my hope-driven outlet. The surface appearance of my entries was ALWAYS true, but the deeper meaning was my secret motive. I like to think of this blog as multifaceted.

So here I am ratting myself out.

A few months ago I had brief contact with him and I asked him to read my blog, explaining most of these posts were with him in mind. So, barely containing my anxiety, I asked the next morning if he had and what did he think? Aside from the egotistic writer’s need for critiquing the writing, I wondered how he must have felt seeing himself hidden in the typeface. He said he had read the whole thing, all my posts. I was stunned. 

And happy. Because he was still talking to me. Surely that meant he understood, finally, the full extent of my feelings for him? Surely, now, he knew what I had barely been able to say to him personally...the surface words...surely now he...knew. And he was still talking to me. That was good news! To read all those outpourings of emotion, knowing they were written with him in mind and to have him still talking to me meant...something. Right?

Wrong. Wrong! WrOnG. wROnG! WRONGWRONGWRONG. Incorrectomundo. Not right. Erroneous. False. You’re OUT! SA-WING batter!!!!! That’s a miss... Oh...so close. NOT.

When I pressed him for feedback, he let on he had just been messing with me. Haha. He had read a couple entries, liked my posts, thought I was a good writer and liked my sense of humor. (Teehee). But he hadn’t really noticed anything about him in there (I occasionally write posts about stuff OTHER than him). HoHo. Oh, look at the sky, and the butterflies...and the birdies. Haha. Tralala. Blah blah blah. Look at me, I’m a big, ignorant idiot...your blog has meaning? Cool! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Why aren’t you laughing?

Because I was floored! It may seem immature, but I was brokenhearted. Angered. Enraged, actually. Once again, my bubble in which his spirit resided was burst. His apathy – or ignorance – was stark and clear. He couldn’t have knocked the wind out of me or hurt me more than if he had hit me in the gut with a mallet. And, to testify to my blockheadedness, this was not – regular readers may or may not recall – I repeat, not, the first time he had done this kind of bitch-slap into reality thing to me. 

But this was it. I couldn’t help myself. This time I let him have it. Up til then I had always put his feelings first. He always came first. I always justified his silence. Always said his work kept him too busy to communicate like I hoped. In a text mind you, I feverishly thumbed two years of silence, unleashed two years of hurt, two years of “you SELFISH MISERABLE PRICK!” at him. To which he recoiled and back-tracked (I could almost hear Flinstone feet) and quickly flung off a spate of “sorry sorry sorry!!” texts to me. He never meant to hurt me. He regrets everyday what he did to me. He put me in a “bad position.” Our “relationship” wasn’t “TENABLE”. And had he known how important my blog was he never would have joked about it or treated it lightly. He apologized profusely for his “bad judgment” on many levels over and over and then obligingly told me he would respect my wishes when I told him I never wanted to talk to or see him ever again. 

Well, I certainly made THAT convenient for him, didn’t I? You’re welcome. You are hearby called Sir Heartbreak. Because you’re a big idiot who breaks hearts. Here’s your lance, your quiver (Cupid gives his regards)...no, no...Sire, you don’t need a shield. You are the one skewing people, not the other way around, remember?? Haha. There’s your horse. Ok, Sire you are SET. So...off you go. *waving. Beware dragons and unicorns Sire! Ok, bye now. Have fun storming the castle. *frustrated face. No. No, he doesn’t get “Sir”. He’s just a plain old, run of the mill Mister. Yeah. Mr. Heartbreak. *still frustrated face. AND you don’t get a horse. You get a 1980 Subaru. With four different kinds of tires. And a faded paint job. And NO RADIO.

Ok. Rant over. Back to reality.

The truth of the matter is...and this is is a bitter reality-check pill to swallow: I wrote a story. I had the starring role. And he was the dashing, handsome, sexy, charming, heroic protagonist. He fit my story well. Came along just in time. I fell in love, but It Wasn’t Meant To Be. (cue music. Where’s wardrobe? Get those lights on her now!!) He “had feelings for me too” and was “tempted to have a relationship but couldn’t.” It was, in my mind, Tragic Love with Bad Timing, Destined to End Sadly. It was a story that would make Thomas Hardy proud. It certainly did justice to my Drama-Queen Leonine Hopeless Romantic brain.

So I have come to realize what I inwardly...deeply, well-hidden and locked away inwardly...knew:

That’s ALL It Was.

A story.

...the swing into never-neverland...

He wasn’t real because he wasn’t there. He was somewhere else, always. We texted, occasionally spoke on the phone, but there was no real relationship. No real physical romance. I fell in love, yes. That was real. We cannot help who we fall in love with and I have since stopped judging others for their obvious idiotic hearts. But we can help what we do about that love. 

I knew from the onset being with him was never reality, then or later. There was too much distance between us. Too much “his life, his work.” But I still created and – with a stage presence that would make Katherine Hepburn applaud – acted my story. That’s what I did with my love. I ignored that “God-Gut Truth” I have blogged about...I doggedly clung to the story I had created hoping it would end not like a Hardy novel, but continue Disney-happily ever after. 

The story was a way to cope with all the other real-life happening around me. I don’t do reality well. It’s boring and problematic. I am a creator. An artist. A writer. I ignored the reality of who he really is and embraced the fantasy of who I created him to be, trying, with eyes squeezed and face turned away stomping my feet with fingers in my ears, to make all my dreams come true. Then when he did human things like use me, or hurt me, ignore me or tease me – when he showed he truly did NOT understand what was going on it was like a slap because that was reality seeping into my fairytale. Ouch. Did he not get the script?

...Leaving nothing to hide...

Last night I burned all my journal entries about him. It wasn’t a hugely cathartic ritual. It didn’t relieve an unseen weight on my shoulders. But it was my small way of finally letting that dream story go. Letting him live his life in his hometown. To forgive myself for the mistakes I made and hope he can someday forgive me. I don’t know if our paths will ever cross again. But if they do I hope neither of us feel awkward or unsure. I hope we both (more so me) understand it simply was what it was. Nothing more, nothing less. 

The pendulum of my life and my emotions is swinging...sometimes frantically, sometimes mildly. It’s real life. It’s hormones. I’m 43 for God’s sake. But centerpoint is clear: it’s time to finally write the ending of that Romantic Narrative. Then, maybe even burn it as well. HA! Wouldn’t burning “the greatest love story ever unlived” be a great ending to all this? Oh, the irony.

There was a darkness like an old friend 
That scratched and crawled up the wall
Out of my life, out of my destiny, out of my desire. 

The end.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

N is for NOTHING


Typically I would be pouring words into a post about what I'm going through, but I've been through it so many times before I feel like I am just tired of writing about it. So, I am processing feelings, painful ones, and experience has proven to me that I will get through this. That is good. Hope is always good. It's the process that hurts. So when I say N is for NOTHING...I was so tempted write nothing, as a statement (like a blank canvas that hangs in a gallery with a ridiculous tag on it), but I can't just do that. I have to have some sort of explanation for not posting a decent piece. I just don't have to go in to details about it.

So....symbolically N still is for nothing since I am not putting my usual 10,000 words into it. I tell you what. Go back to previous posts...like "Gag Order," "Road of Life," and especially "True What" to get an idea. Yeah. Heart broken. Again.

ADDENDUM: I think it isn't so much the guy as it was the dream being lost again. If I am worried what you all think of me, perhaps I should stop getting so personal here.

* thinking.

Naaaaah. This is my outlet. My therapy. Exposing my vulnerabilities here and knowing the world might just chalk me up to "that crazy lady in the OC" is just another risk I take to process through my life on a daily basis. I guess I have to just keep kissing frogs til the right man stands up and says, "I think you're 100% wonderful." Not 50% wonderful, not 98% wonderful, but 100% wonderful. Someone who will accept my flaws because the way he feels when I am around is worth taking a risk for. Because I am the sum of a whole bunch of good parts. By the way, if someone meets someone who is 100% perfect, let me know, as I'd like to write a book about them. I'll make millions!




Monday, April 15, 2013

M is for MUSIC


Music. I've written about it a lot here. It is as integral to my daily living as breathing. I cannot imagine a world without music. In my post "Try The Chicken For God's Sake" from July 29, 2011, I write about how, growing up, my folks introduced me to a wide spectrum of music, both recorded and through attending theater productions. I am very grateful to have been given an outlet for everything I am, what I feel. It is a language of the universe and of the heart – of the SOUL – and it allows us to connect not only with ourselves but others. I revisited that post today, and I still believe in what I wrote about music to this day, and hopefully for many days to come:

"Music is a thread and it binds us....If we are moved by a sound, whether it's the angry rants of Linkin Park, the haunting emo tunes of Evanescence, the sweet melodies of Vince Gill or the trumpeting ooompaooompa of some AM station Mexican band, WHO CARES!!! I just know music has the superpower of reaching into your soul, grabbing hold of the bits and parts, rearranging them and then, when the song's over you are somehow changed. Forever. And to limit oneself to only one genre is like paying 30 bucks for a Vegas buffet and only eating the tater tots."

Music has the power to transform. And process. And heal. I am so very grateful for those with the talent to create music whether it be through writing, singing or playing instruments. When I am asked what super-power I would like to have, I always say "Singing" :) 

Music is a gift. It is not rare, nor is it fragile. But it should be cherished as if it was the rarest and most fragile resource we have on this planet. 

Thank you to the troubadours and string pluckers, the key-plunkers and sonnet-writers and note-hummers and all who can provide the magic of music. Some of us truly appreciate it. 

Goodnight,

Talk to you tomorrow.

-Kris

Sunday, April 14, 2013

L is for LOVE! (NOT!!!)


Ah, love.

HEHEHEHHE.

I'm not talking about love today.

Have you seen the rest of my blog? The whole thing spans the breathtaking, knee-shaking, dream-inducing effects of being in love to the gut-wrenching heartache of rejection and not-meant-to-be romance. I have written about how music and movies can shape our romantic souls or damn them forever.

I'm sick of writing about love. For now. Quick reminder that I'm an incurable romantic, so I'm pretty sure love is going to spring up again. Probably sooner than later. I'm telling you, there's this guy...

So. What can I write for "L" if I'm not giving in to ubiquitous LOVE?

Lemons
Mmmm. Nummy. Perfect in tea or sprayed across greens on a dinner plate. Plus they are a lovely color.

Lazy
I see nothing wrong with lazy. If you are NOT lazy 6 days a week, it's perfectly ok to be lazy on a day of your choosing. It is advisable, if you work, that the day you choose is NOT a day your boss expects you to be not lazy. I know. It seems so silly. *closes eyes, nods knowingly.

Laryngitis
I have nothing nice to say about this. Or bad. It was not a good word choice.

Lachrymose
I don't even know what this means.

Liar
Ooooooh. Bad. BADBADBAD.

Loki
Aw, tricksy Norse God Loki. He's a problem child, isn't he? I hate to dilute the true mythology of this guy, but I am going to. So, as quick and totally misguided reference, think "The Mask" with Jim Carrey or "The Avengers" with Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downy, Jr., Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson (There's one for the guys. You're welcome.), etc. Did I mention Chris Hemsworth?  (here I go again):

Hemsworth as temporary Captain Kirk in "Star Trek", left, and right,
as Thor (in "Thor" which was precursor to "The Avengers").
I'm not a chickflick kind of girl. I think you can see why.
For the record, this is the ONLY Kirk I'll toss Picard over for.

Hemsworth makes the most of that muscle shirt in "The Avengers."
I also realize I have no Loki photos. Know what? My blog. My stolen photos. SSHUUUUUSHHHHH.

#headdeskdrool

Ok, final word of the post...

Lascivious
I don't think this needs a definition.



Parting shot. CAUTION. Your heart might explode:

Hot guy cradling his daughter.
AAAGH...MEDIC!


P.S. Pffft. I think LUST has a pretty strong chance in the running for this list...


P.S.S. Lachrymose: to be weepy. Of course. Why am I not surprised? How ironic. And, oh, yeah...no one really thought I'd let a word like that go by without being looked up, right? Word nerd. That's me.


K is for KULER!



Kuler is a color-matching site by Adobe that was introduced to me by a fellow graphic designer. The color themes are created by registered members to be shared as inspiration, a jumping-off point or straight-up use in projects requiring color. Frankly, what projects these days don't require some kind of color use at one point or another? From building ship models to PowerPoint® projects, anyone involved in a creative endeavor is going to need to use good color to pop the job.

Kuler's landing page

You can scroll through the myriad combinations by favorites, most recent, ratings, etc. Once you click on a theme panel, you can click the slider iconto access a slider, color wheel, and other tools to find all sorts of variations of the color panel to see what works for you.


I'll admit, it might look a little daunting if you are not used to using programs such as Photoshop®, but if you allow yourself to just play around and let loose, you may be surprised what jumps out at you for the answer to your color quandry!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

I and J are for I'M JOLLY Well Happy!





I was all ready to post something about "I" as in "I almost forgot to post a blog tonight" only to find out I almost forgot to post a blog tonight AND I DID forget to post a blog last night.

Since the word didn't explode, since my computer didn't disintegrate, since I didn't get a nasty finger-waggle by the A-Z Blog Challenge police, maybe, just maybe I am ok. What can I say...it has been a busy two days.

Hell, my life is busy period. Work, school, community commitments, a new beau (whom I am flippin' smitten over but that is all I am saying. Not laying this one on the table til I am sure of what cards I'm holding. There's something about this one...and it's nothing for the world to know. Just yet). 

Anyway, it's a good thing that I have a fulfilling life to have as an excuse to miss a post. I'd much rather miss a post for that than to miss one for being too depressed or tired or eff-it about. No. Life is decidedly good and so for tonight let's leave this at being content in all areas. Home, work, kids, love, health...I am blessed and jolly well grateful!! Oh!! There's my title!! I was going to call this I and J are for UHOH....by I like I'm Jolly. :)

(It's true. I haven't been able to stop smiling for some time now (with the exception of a couple short-term challenges that I have walked through.)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H is for HUMBLE



Humility. Being humble. Being humbleD. At some point in my life, a long time ago, I don't know when, a princess chip was wired into my brain. The result has been a truly misplaced sense of entitlement that would make Her Royal Majesty blush. I have been working diligently the last few years to right-size myself. I am at my worst when I am in a line at the grocery store or in traffic. I've written about this before. I have terrible line karma. One day there occurred a particularly shocking event in which I exalted in getting behind a lone woman without a cart, only to be crushed the instant her husband, for whom she was saving a spot, showed up with a piled-over shopping cart. I reckoned I would be there for days. I huffed, rolled eyes, whispered loudly, grumbled until finally she had the NERVE to say snark back, to which I belted...LET IT GO ALREADY! Oh I was PISSED. Pissed pissed pissed. And it held me in its grip for the entire car-trip home.

Oh.
My.
God.

I am SUCH an ASS sometimes.

Good news is, I was able to use that as a scenario about how NOT to behave (yes. *cringe* my kids were with me....and believe me, they are learning from me...good and bad). I said yes it was annoying that the woman did that but there's no law or rule saying that she can't. I was just angry because I thought I'd be out of the store in short order versus standing in line for 10 minutes (they had a LOT of small stuff to buy).

We went to another store en route, and lo and behold it happened again. Just as I was heading to the short line, a couple shoppers beat me to it.  ARE YOU FRICKIN' KIDDING ME.

Then it dawned on me. Maybe it's a lesson God is wanting me to learn about patience. I hate lessons about patience. They usually involve waiting. But the lesson was not lost. I had that moment of clarity and am grateful for it. I can remember that the next time and see if I can attain some semblance of composure and dignity next go 'round.

It is important for me to remember every day that I am a human among humans, a worker among workers. That to be a friend is to do the things for other people you would like to have friends do for you. I must always realize that I have an opportunity each day to spread kindness rather than anger or frustration (oh, dear Lord, I fail miserably often. How do nice people do it??) I need always remember that humility doesn't mean I am a doormat, nor must I bow down to others and meekly allow them to run roughshod over me. It is to be connected on a soul level, human to human, on a daily basis. When connecting in THAT manner – and not the what do you wear, drive, earn status that provides false pride – I am beautifully equal. And so is everyone else.

Monday, April 8, 2013

G is for Got Nothing


Today has been difficult and I was all ready to go to sleep when I remembered not posting a blog today. So, here I am with "nuffin'" for you. Oh, I can spout on and on about To Thine Own Self be True being a sometimes lonely and difficult path to follow, immature people who say one thing, but when you follow through with your intention, they tear you a new one. Actually, a new word was introduced to me today: Bloviate (too bad it starts with a B)...to speak verbosely or windily.

All day I fielded bloviated vitriol from someone who didn't like my course of action in staying true to myself, even though I distinctly recall hearing the words "I cannot control what you do, I accept that you are feeling this way, and you do what you need to." They were replaced with words like "get your compass pointed in the right direction" "you're a mess" and...and...it doesn't matter.

G is for Good Night and here's to a better tomorrow.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

F is for Faire!

As in the Renaissance Pleasure Faire!! It's coming! It's coming! A place where you can go back in time, dress up, generally be a wench whilst watching knights joust...have a pint of mead, gnaw on a ginormous turkey leg, sing with minstrels...just basically have a rousing good time.

It has been 9 or 11 years since I last went to the Faire...can't remember if I was pregnant with my first or second child. I didn't dress up...I was dressed in regular maternity clothes and sick with the heat of the day. But in years previous, I attended decked out in my full "merchant's daughter" costume and had fantasies of knights wooing me (ohhh, they never did) and being kissed by a handsome stranger on The Kissing Bridge (ohhhhh, THAT did happen. I knew running back and forth on that thing all day long would pay off eventually).

So. This year? I may try to scrounge a costume together and walk the dusty trail to the bawdy gates of Faire and lose myself entirely for a few hours. I wonder who will be my Champion and will I get kissed by such a gentle man? :)


Friday, April 5, 2013

E is for Excited!

I am happy. This weekend is a little more special than normal. I am excited because I have some folks in my life that are positive thinkers, there to support each other, offer love and kindness and truth (even if it is a little painful occasionally) and just generally strive to maintain happiness in their lives despite life's  little setbacks.

I read a short article talking about the kind of people who find negative in a situation and complain, versus people who understand a situation may appear negative, but find a way to see something positive in it. These people don't see situations as problems, but as challenges. I like that.

Tomorrow I get to spend time eating and chatting with some really amazing women who have walked me through some seriously painful times in my life. I am really excited about my girl time because these are some wonderful friends. And tonight, well, tonight I get to sit down and talk to someone who seems to have a lot of the same philosophies I do, and I am excited about that too. :)

Life is good. Hey...E is also for EXCELLENT!

Talk to you tomorrow–

Kris

Thursday, April 4, 2013

D is for DESPERATE

D is for desperate because I love coffee. I love coffee like ... like I love Firemen and uniforms and retro anything. And shoes. Oh, and my kids. I mean, I love my kids more than coffee. Most days.

But this morning I awoke to: no coffee. I used the last of my coffee yesterday. In all my running around I didn't even take the time to replenish my fix...um...coffee.

A professional would never had let that happen.

*bows head in shame

And I was even at the store. Getting other necessities like food. Pssht. What was I thinking.

Normally I would just go over to Starbucks. But my kids are asleep and contrary to popular belief I actually think of other people's welfare before mine. Occasionally. I'm not about to say "Mommy will be right back" and then have the house explode.

The good news is, I had a scant few whole beans. I don't have a grinder (I tossed that out when I moved recently. I believe I may have been on crack that day) but I have plastic storage bags and a meat tenderizer.

The end result is that a desperate redhead will do almost anything for coffee:

Caveman coffee. THEY didn't have grinders either.
The irony that I woke one of my children with the pounding, which made a trip to Starbucks provocatively near, is not lost on me. She, alas, went back to sleep *after shaking her head at me* and I had to move forward with plan b. Starbucks. So close...soooooo close.

Here's to dirty water with cream. Cheers.





Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C is for CARRIER


My Facebook friends will know exactly what this is all about. Today I took my girls down to San Diego, California, to go back to the USS Midway Museum.
The Midway in action. 

We went there last year and spent about 4 hours and only saw two of the main decks (Hangar and Flight...and the Bridge tour). So, we went back today to see all the rest. Anyway, it was an amazing experience since I have not only been fascinated by Firefighters all my life (see Emergency! I'm on Fire Put ME Out for an explanation of THAT obsession), but also of anything military.

I think it stems back to my love of classic movies and big band. I was the only 11 year old I knew of that asked for and received a Glenn Miller double album for Christmas. This, in an age when The B52s had Rock Lobster on the charts. I fell in love with everything WWII era. My all time favorite war flick, among the many I love, is "Battleground."


I whole-heartedly embraced the propagandist romance of the time so walking the decks of a classic aircraft carrier with such a rich history really is always a treat. Which is a weak statement considering the subject. For better information, check out this website: USS Midway History and of course the museum link above (and here, for ease and comfort).

On a personal note, my granddad, Thomas P. Chryst, was a fighter pilot in WWII and later was part of Strategic Air Command. I loved granddad and am proud of him. I wish I had more photos of him from those days. His crew was in the film "Strategic Air Command" but grandpa couldn't be in it because he was taller than Jimmy Stewart. I don't know if that's just a family tale, but it's a cool story regardless. Grandpa had style, that's for sure:

 

Grandpa deserves three photos.
AND he'd turn over in his grave if he knew
I posted this photo with his middle name.
Grandpa always went by "Chris."

As for visiting the venerable carrier, the moment I walk on board, sight of all the classic planes and helicopters gets my adrenaline pumping. And the smell...the smell of oil and machinery and the workings of something so massive is almost intoxicating. I'm weird, I know.

Also, you may or may not know that the Midway was used in the filming of the movie "Top Gun". Remember that flick..with guys like Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer....no? Doesn't ring a bell?? Here let me remind you:
THANK YOU GOD
Oh...that's just Rick Rossovich. 

#jawdropdrool

*shudder*

*quiver*

I really think Tom is overrated so I won't post a picture. I adore Val Kilmer so I will post a picture, but he is so flippin' annoying as Ice in Top Gun, I think I'll just show this:
THANK YOU GOD.
Again.
That's Val as Madmartigan in "Willow".

*hominahominahomina

Oh...and just so I can show how brilliantly my mind works...how's this for 6 degrees: The Midway was in Top Gun, Ric Rossovich was in Top Gun, Ric Rossovich was also in another fave flick: "Roxanne" with Steve Martin...
Do these people NOT understand the need for hot men to be
shown in TURNOUT GEAR?? Tsk.
...And Ric's character in that movie was a FIREMAN.

DINGGG!BOO to the YAH.

Oh, and you're welcome:

I want to be hugged by that! :)