August 29, 2012

New Facebook page

Check out my new Facebook page and like it!

Right now I've got 39 likes. I want to see who all reads my blog! Thanks for your support. Look for my column in the Smithville Review next week, plus my new column in the Watertown Gazette!


August 28, 2012

Spontaneously being spontaneous? Or something

This weekend my husband and I decided to spontaneously drive to Gatlinburg, the tourist capital of Tennessee, along with thousands of other spontaneous couples doing the same thing. How spontaneous of us, right? We were ready for a good time. Hiking, shopping, ziplining, eating, drinking, white water rafting, eating, drinking, and eating. Those are some fine plans, but it all comes crashing down when you realize the total cost will be well over your "budget" (i.e. entire checking account). So, we settled for hiking, shopping, eating, drinking, swimming, riding the skylift, getting remarried (to each other), and ordering large beverages that made us feel funny. All in all? The trip was a success. A big shout out to my mom for keeping Molly all weekend so we could get a little irresponsibility out of our systems (we're all clear now). 

I haven't been posting very much lately, and I promise you I have some great reasons for that. 
1. I have been writing articles for 2 papers, and it's getting hard to squeeze all these witty things out of my    brain and still have some left over for my blog. I'm not allowed to use posts I've put on the blog.
2. School just started again, and it's sort of difficult to remember my own name, much less the fact that I have a blog, when I'm stressing about macromolecules and the ambivalence of Sylvia Plath's "Daddy." 
3. I have a two year old

All out of good reasons, but I'm sure you understand. 

Until next time!
Debbie D

August 17, 2012

Summer on the tongue

I have to be honest with you. This is my least favorite time of year. There is something very symbolic about the green fading into gray, the air getting colder, the flowers dying. When I start to see the temperatures dip, I feel like I didn't take full advantage of the warm summer days. But every single year, I get through it. Even when I feel like I will just die without the sun beaming on my skin, no tan in sight, and the absence of swimming pools, I live to see another summer (and winter, and spring, and fall). I know that some of you love fall time, with the bonfires, hoodies, marshmallows, crunchy leaves, and Halloween. I see the appeal there, and once Fall is here, I'll get over it. But thinking about the shift from warm and sunny to cold and dreary makes me want to curl up and sleep through the season.

One of my favorite books is Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine. It's about the life of a 12 year old boy named Doug, growing up in 1928 Illinois. The book really struck a chord with me the first time I read it in 2006. I was amazed at Ray Bradbury's ability to put everything I had ever felt about the fleeting joys of summer into words. And not just words, but beautiful words that you find yourself remembering long after the book is finished. He describes the little summertime rituals that he and his family go through each year--each one means something different, each one is crucial in the true "starting" of summer.

One of these rituals is making the dandelion wine. Every year, Doug's grandfather gathers tons of dandelions from the yard and stores them in the cellar to make the wine. Making the wine is a metaphor for taking all the fun times of summer and muddling them together in that summers' unique, distinct wine. The wine is taken out throughout the year--in spring, winter, and fall--and each time it is opened, those familiar joys of sunshine and memories of summer permeate the cold winter air, the crisp fall wind, and the rainy spring days. I want something like that. I want to be able to revisit the carefree sense of summertime, even when it's freezing out.

Now that I've made it seem like I'm suffering from debilitating mental issues, I want to tell you about my successes this week (don't worry, the list is blessedly short):

-We got our kitten this week, and he is not only adorable, but perfect for our family. His new name is Binx, as in Hocus Pocus (what? That's perfectly normal), and I've started calling him Binxie Cat. He is like the son I never had, except way better, because he doesn't wake me at 2 AM to be fed or changed. Gotta love that litterbox. He also never cries (but does this really cute "Mew" thing) and bathes himself often.

-My column was published in the Watertown Gazette on page 5, making me look super-important and very clever (this is my appraisal of the situation)

I want to leave you with a quote from Dandelion Wine:

"Dandelion wine.
The words were summer on the tongue. The wine was summer caught and stoppered. And now that Douglas knew, he really knew he was alive, and moved turning through the world to touch and see it all, it was only right and proper that some of his new knowledge, some of this special vintage day would be sealed away for opening on a January day with snow falling fast and the sun unseen for weeks or months and perhaps some of the miracle by then forgotten and in need of renewal."

Later, friends.

August 13, 2012

Thieving thieves and all that thievery

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.

But really, today isn't bad at all. Friday night? That was not so good.

I was a victim of crime for the first time on Friday night. Not a violent crime, or even a cool crime. Some broke piece of trash decided to break the window of the car we arrived in, steal both my purse and my friends', and then hit up another woman's car for the same reason. Now, whoever stole our purses was almost certainly thinking "Oh yeah, I hit the jackpot! 2 purses in one car!" I am extremely pleased to report that they did not hit the jackpot. Not on my watch. They got $5 out of my wallet, some insurance cards, a cell phone from 2008 with nerdy foam stickers on it, and a small container of hand sanitizer. I had stuffed most of my cash into my bra as we were entering the club, and Michael had my ID. So, while I hope they enjoy the pictures on my phone of Molly as a newborn, that time Michael drew a face on my stomach, and family vacations, I don't think they will.

It's really frustrating when you are a true victim. If you hit someone and they hit you back, you know you deserved that punch. But when you are like my friend and I, who had done absolutely nothing to deserve this, you can't help but get angry. Some low life, who probably doesn't have a job, came to Silverado's with a plan to steal from someone. The worst part is that they had a great night with other people's money and will never get caught. The three of us affected have to go spend time and money replacing everything lost like insurance cards, checks, cell phones, and yes, small containers of hand sanitizer. Jerks.

On a happier note, today we got a kitten! I always had pets growing up, and I think it will be great for Molly. We have decided to rename the kitten (his current name is Mousers) and we let Molly pick the name. I don't know what sort of miracle-genius-serum my daughter has been drinking, but somehow she came up with the name Huckle for our cat. You may ask, "Why Huckle?" Huckle, because her favorite show in the universe is The Busy World of Richard Scarry, and the main character is Huckle Cat. Since my original choice for the cat's name was Finn, we think his full name will be Huckleberry Finn. Oh, it's not normal to give a cat a full name? Huh. That's weird. I thought it was.

So, back to the robbery. Thievery. Whatever. It made a couple things very clear to me:

-I will never go back to Silverados
-I will never see my purse/ phone/ wallet again
-Money isn't everything (just glad it was my STUFF and not my LIFE)
-Money ova everything (Oh, wait, that's just a Drake song stuck in my head)
-Even if you put your purse in the trunk, it's equivalent to putting your wallet in your shoe at the beach. Still an obvious place to put it. Better to leave it at home.
-Money in your bra isn't always a nasty, terrible idea (but it usually is, especially when you're checking out that sweaty woman without teeth and she fishes a $20 out of her soggy bra. BLECH.)

Be glad that you aren't me, and that your life isn't mine, and that your purse is safe in your grasp while mine is scared, alone, and mutilated on the side of some back road. Sniff.

Until next time!

August 8, 2012

Humans with no memories aren't humans at all.

Last night, as I was trying to go to sleep, my brain wouldn't shut down. Strange things pop into my mind when I'm sleepy. A certain thought occupied my mind last night: what if humans didn't have the capacity to store memories?

At first, I thought a couple things would change--for example, you wouldn't be able to have relationships because you wouldn't remember the person the next day. You couldn't have a job, because you wouldn't remember to go back to work the next day. You couldn't swim, drive a car, ride a bike, cook your favorite meal (you wouldn't even HAVE a favorite meal without remembering what it was) or do simple math.

Then, I started thinking on a broader level. Society would fall completely if humans didn't have memories. Cities wouldn't be able to operate. We would be reverted to primal human beings and become nomads. Why would anyone stay in one place if there were no memories tying them there? We would become hunters and gatherers. The only things we would know would be instinct on how to obtain our basic necessities: food, water, shelter.

I started thinking on an even broader scale. Now, let me know if I lose you here, because this is a bit of a stretch. But life itself would change for the human race, because we would have no concept of time. Chronological sequence, the way we understand life, wouldn't exist. Everything would happen in bursts instead of in a linear sequence. If we couldn't remember the "before", there would be no "after"; there would only be right now, and right now, and right now again.

I wonder if this would ultimately be freeing for the human race, or if it would destroy us from the inside. Are we meant to live together or walk alone? Would it unravel the fiber we're made of if we lived without purpose, but only for survival? Would be become like animals?

This really stuck in my head, and I can't stop thinking about it. It's like a science fiction novel in my brain. We can't really even imagine what it would be like to have no grasp on the past, or not know what the past is. I can't imagine what it would be like to look into the eyes of my child or husband and feel no familiarity or warmth.

To me, a world without memories would be a very cold and brutal one.

What do you think?

August 3, 2012

The money is the motive, said Dwayne Carter.

As a stay at home mom, one thing I really miss is the feeling of independence and pride I used to get from making my own money and bringing home paychecks. Not that I don't enjoy staying home with my daughter, because I wouldn't have made the decision to stay home if I didn't think it would be beneficial for us both to spend the extra time together. I thought there was no way around it: you either stay home with the baby or you go back to work and send them to daycare. But after discovering a group on Facebook called Wilson County Traders Post, I saw other moms like me selling things they no longer needed or never used, either to make room for more stuff or just to declutter. Most only sell a few items at a time, and don't make huge amounts of money, but I started seeing things for sale that I had at home and no longer needed; pack and plays, strollers,  bassinets, walkers, and the like. I decided to go ahead and list a few of my things for sale, hoping to make some extra money in time for my husband's birthday.

After I listed my first items (2 Fisher Price toys) and immediately sold them both, there was no turning back. I found myself actually taking the time to go through Molly's too-small clothes, forgotten toys, and hardly worn shoes. I realized I had tons of clothes that were cute, but too small, too big, or not my style any more. I've been selling on Wilson County Traders Post's daughter site, Wilson County Gently Used Clothing, and I've had so much success with it. It makes me feel great to declutter my home, earn some extra cash, and meet new people.

End public service announcement.

On an unrelated note, I got to see my first article in print today. It's in The Roane Reader on page 13. That made me feel great! I thought my Watertown Gazette article would come out on August 2nd, but found out it will be in the next issue, August 16th, I believe. Writing has always been a hobby of mine, and there is no better feeling than finding success with something you truly enjoy. I haven't made any money from writing yet, but that doesn't bother me. I could earn income in the future after I have my work published in a few more venues.

Tomorrow, Michael and I are going to be working at a wedding, serving and bartending. I've never done this before, so I'm looking forward to the experience. Also looking forward to the paycheck. Lil' Wayne said it best: "Da money is da motive." Yes, Dwayne Carter. I'm with you on that.

I'm sorry there was no humor in this post, but Molly's been crying/screaming/slobbering into my ear all afternoon, and I'll be honest: it's just sucked every ounce of funny from my soul. But don't worry, the funny will come back (I hope).

Stay classy, San Diego.

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