Haters Gonna Hate

A little over a year ago this was published on HuffPost. It was the first time I really put anything personal on the internet, and it was a whirlwind. I mean I went big I suppose, writing about a very controversial topic and publishing it for the world to see. I knew in advance I was asking for a beating, and boy did I get it. Continue reading

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The Fastest Summer That Wasn’t (Part 2)

And it continues…

11. Traveled to West Virginia for the Inaugural Appalachian Altitude Race. It was a great time with great friends, great views, and crazy people who raced eight miles up and down some of the most insane hills ever.


12. Rode on a four-wheeler for the first time ever, up and down some of those insane hills. I trusted my driver implicitly, but still couldn’t help thinking I should have insisted on a helmet, and maybe a blindfold so I couldn’t see that we were riding down hills at close to a 60 degree angle from the safe, beautifully flat ground below. I made it back unscathed except for the blisters on my hands from holding on for dear life.

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13. Rode on a ski lift for the first time ever and I was petrified. All I can say is that I was glad to have my veteran skiing friend with me to hold my hand and of course take pictures of my horrified face. I mean, seriously, there’s NOTHING to keep you from falling off of this thing except some rinky dink bar that doesn’t even lock into place. How to skiers survive these things??? Not a fan. At all. It took every ounce of control I had in me to look like I was having a good time for that second picture.

14. Got a new beer fridge for the basement which basically saved our lives. Ok, perhaps I’m being a little dramatic. We were in the basement stocking it as the most insane storm to hit Maryland in my lifetime started dumping 2+ inches of rain per hour on us at the same time our outdoor drain clogged and our sump pump stopped working. If it hadn’t been for “hell yeah, beer!” our entire basement would have been under water. As it stood, there was a substantial mess to clean up, but nothing compared to what it would have been if we had not been downstairs to catch it right as it happened.

15. The worst part about that basement flood was that we had spent the ten hours before the storm FINALLY organizing the basement. Ty and his friends hauled out our old boiler which had been sitting down there in a corner for two years, the old water heater which had been unused since January, and a myriad of other large, obnoxious pieces of trash we hadn’t gotten around to brining to the dump since we moved in. All of our hard work went down the drain in just a few minutes. Well, actually it didn’t go down the drain. It went into the shop vac and was dumped by yours truly in the back yard in the middle of the storm. It was nuts.

16. The flooding was so bad that I was outside, in the downpour, using the shop vac to suck the water out of our window well so it could maybe, possibly stop pouring into our basement. What an adventure. Don’t worry. I made sure that the frogs who live in that window well didn’t get sucked up into the shop vac along with all that water and our hopes of having a quiet night at home.

 

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17. Hung out with my nephews, but not nearly enough.

18. Got this really cool hat from my really cool mom. She’s just the best. Can’t wait for a cold day to wear it. And for a person to piss me off enough to show the secret cat middle finger to them. Let’s be honest…it’ll probably be Tyler.


19. Tried to conquer my fear of bees by watching the real-life discovery-channel-situation Tyler found on our master bathroom window. These hornets built their nest on the glass, so we were able to see inside of it. It was like a car accident. I really didn’t want to watch, but couldn’t tear my eyes away from the fascinating but so incredibly gross spectacle going on before me. Needless to say, this nest didn’t survive long after we found it.


20. Found the Bert to my Ernie. I parked in this garage for a week and spotted Bert on day one. I was determined to park next to him, but never got the chance. I thought my dream would never be realized. Until Friday when I found it parked in a two-spot row with one spot empty. It was meant to be, and taking this photo was incredibly satisfying! Maybe too much so, but whatever. Don’t judge me.

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21. Managed to cross a few projects off of our to-do list.

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I painted the hallway in just over one day and just under two fights. Ty and I really don’t do well together when it comes to painting. He won’t paint because he hates painting, which is fair. He completes pretty much every other home improvement task around here. But he’s a total backseat painter, and I’m a total bitchy jerk about that fact. So we usually argue while I’m painting. Or just don’t speak. But this time we were able to converse and be civil to each other through the project, mostly. Three years later and I think we may have finally figured out how to handle one another in this situation. Score one for adult communication!

22. We installed baseboards in our bedroom as they were not present iwhen we moved in. It Master bedroom finally finished-ish! (No photos because baseboards are boring.)

23. The freshly painted hallway walls and bedroom baseboards made the utterly crappy carpet look A LOT worse. So, we started the process of replacing that as well. Hell yeah, home ownership wins all around! (No photos because the crappy carpet is embarrassing.)

And without even realizing that it had started, summer is over. I came to the conclusion that ignoring the world and cuddling with my dog for hours on end each morning, while certainly cozy, is really not the way to feel good about myself or accomplish, like, anything. So here we are, fall weather on it’s way and finally back to feeling like myself.

JD is not terribly thrilled with the lack of morning snuggling in bed. He has found an alternative.

And yes, I wear that robe and those slippers almost every day.

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The Fastest Summer That Wasn’t

I’m not sure I even noticed that Summer had started. How is it possible that it’s over? Maybe I just blocked it all out because, for real, the season started off on a pretty rough note for me. I’m happy to report that after a lot of hard work, a bazillion phone calls to my mom for guidance, a “few” bottles of wine, some quality time with friends and family, and a lot of Tyler and JD snuggles, it seems to be ending completely opposite from the way it started.

However, everything from mid-May on is kind of blur. I had no clue how much I had done over the past three months until I started to write it all down. Here’s what happened during Summer of 2016 (part one):

1. I started this new position at work, which I mentioned in July. I was a bit stressed out about it. Between the fact that I just didn’t feel like dealing with life and the fact that I wasn’t sleeping well, I made the decision that getting up to be productive in the morning was overrated. So, I swapped my “hell yeah, get up early and take on the world” attitude for an “eh, you wake up when you wake up” attitude. This led to many many mornings that lacked productivity but were fuuuuull of JD cuddles.

This has come to be a regular routine. JD seems to get a little pissed off if I don’t spend at least a few minutes snoozing with him after Ty leaves for the day. The few days I actually got my ass out of bed at a respectable time, he bugged the crap out of me until I allowed him to lead me back to bed for some quality cuddle time, checking over his shoulder every few steps down the hallway to make sure I was still there.
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2. Per tradition Ty and I bought VIP tickets to Brew at the Zoo on Memorial Day weekend. It was an incredibly hot, humid, and entertaining day.
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During this trip we determined JD looks very similar to a polar bear, if polar bears were brindle.

3. I took my first proper vacation in years. First we went to Napa for a wedding with Tyler’s entire family. It was a blast. Lots of amazing food, drinks, and company. I’m pretty sure this was the most carefully thought out wedding I’ve ever been to. If I ever wind up getting married again I know who I’ll call for advice!

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This is my favorite picture from the entire trip, taken in the photo booth at the wedding after-party. It cracks me up every time I look at it!

4. On our first night in Napa, the travel and new job stress and time difference really got to me. I think I could have curled up under one of the tables at the rehearsal dinner and fell asleep until morning. Instead of doing that, though, we left on the first shuttle back to our hotel so I could sleep in a bed. When the bus parked and the lights came on, we realized we were literally the only people going to bed that hour that didn’t have grey hair. I’ve never felt so old in my life.
img_9413Well actually I was the only one without grey hair. Ty’s starting to go grey, too.

5. After Napa we went to Portland to visit some of my family. I absolutely loved it there. We ate and drank our way through that city, too. And we had a blast with my Aunt and Uncle.

6. We were gone for ten days and of course I could have used a vacation to recover from my vacation. That, and a gym membership.

7. JD was at Camp (aka doggie daycare) while we were gone. Apparently he was on ‘fun overload’ as received multiple time-outs for rough play and mounting. There’s a joke about Tyler in there somewhere, but I’ll just leave it.

8. I fell behind on my kombucha-making hobby. My scoby had grown so big we had to saw it in quarters with a bread knife to get it out of the jar. For those unfamiliar with what a scoby is actually supposed to look like – think pancake. Now look at what I ended up with and you’ll see exactly how lazy I was.

9. I fell behind on my gardening hobby. JD did try to help with the weeding, though.
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I guess there’s something to be said for raising your puppy around horses. He thinks grazing on grass is totally normal activity for a dog. And no, it doesn’t make him sick. Never has. Weirdo. In addition to helping me in the garden, he uses grazing as an avoidance tactic. He starts gnawing on grass when I tell him to do something he doesn’t want to do.
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Such as sit, or stay, or FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GO TO THE BATHROOM SO I CAN LEAVE FOR WORK ON TIME, YOU PAIN-IN-THE-ASS POLAR BEAR DOG.

And also, yes, that is a completely bare plant in the middle of the bed in the front yard. Not only do we have a grazing dog, but plenty of grazing deer, and they stripped every last leaf off our peony. At least JD eats the weeds. The deer aren’t nearly as helpful.

10. Despite the lack of effort we still got a decent haul out of the garden. We ate beets and carrots and collard greens for dinner many times.

I ended up making one batch of spaghetti sauce (which I burned), and one batch of hot pepper jelly sauce. (I was too lazy to go out and buy more pectin before I started it and in the end didn’t have enough.) Perhaps I should reconsider this whole Martha Stewart thing.

Okay, so there you have it. Summer 2016, part one. Full of failures and food and drinks and dogs.

Hint: parts two and three are probably very similar. I have a feeling you could skip them and not really miss a thing. But whatever, I’ll post them anyway.

A Conclusion For The Sake Of Positivity

It’s been a crazy six weeks. Life has been busy, and I’ve been pretty fucking miserable. Work is stressful and new. The hours are long. I’m afraid I suck at everything involved in it. Which makes me just barely manageable to both myself and those in my personal life. I don’t even want to get out of bed most days. I truly thought that if I were patient, things would calm down and I’d be back to feeling like my normally weird self. To an extent they have, but not to such a great extent that it really makes a noticeable difference. Wow, I’m just a ray of sunshine, huh??

So after laying in bed for an hour this morning, not sleeping, lamenting the fact that today is yet another day that I have to be an adult, I somehow came to the conclusion that today was the day things needed to stop sucking. So instead of “being patient” and giving things time to work themselves out so that I’ll feel better about life in general, I decided that I just needed to make myself feel better about life.

I grudgingly (and tearfully – yes, it’s that bad) got myself out of bed, threw on my sneakers and committed to a mile on the treadmill. I know myself well enough to know that pushing myself in a workout, regardless of how minimal, will always help burn off  frustration. Especially when that frustration seems to be geared towards the world at large and there’s no particular solution to my woes. Then I took the dog for a walk because for all my “I love JD” Facebook posts, I still think this giant furry ball of energy is neglected at times, and I feel like complete shit about that. Ten humid, sweaty minutes of walking and training later I had taken another action that helped keep me from feeling like a waste of space. Then, I sat down at the computer for a few minutes of “let me see what the internet has to offer today” time. I found myself reading though the blog posts from 30 Days Of Weird and I was sooooooo happy. I love this site I’ve created and the honest words I’ve been able to share because of it. And, that series was so much fun!

I’m not in a position to post every day right now, but I miss you guys, and my computer, and the clarity that putting my thoughts into words creates. There’s no real point to this post, other than to ensure I do one more thing this morning that makes me feel good before I have to head out into the world and be a productive member of society. So really, I’m just here, saying “Hi” because I can and because it makes me smile.

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Let’s Make The World Weirder!

Twenty-nine posts and forty days of weird. Even though my record wasn’t perfect, this little project was a success in many ways.

It’s initial purpose was to both hold myself accountable as well as create a platform to discuss topics that are important to me, but it turned into so much more than that. It has been a touching, eye-opening, and totally fun experience. My point was that we are all weird in our own way. I know it. I’ve known it for a while. But I was a taken aback by just how weird-but-not-weird we all are.

I have heard from so many amazing people. Some I’d never met, some I reconnected with after years, some I have contact with on a regular basis and they opened up to me about something new. The common thread among all of the responses I received has been “ME TOO!” I do those weird things. I think those weird things. I’m weird too!

What began as my simple belief based on years of observation, plus kind of a quippy little tag line Tyler came up with over dinner one night, has become a fact in my world: Weird is relative.

After twenty-nine (slash forty) days, I’ve confirmed that weird does not mean anything other than “not typically experienced by the person using the word.” And since my normal is only what I experience, I’m asking for help from you, people of the internet.

My favorite posts to write were the ones that required research, whether it be an interview or hours on Wikipedia and Google or something in between. So, please, tell me about something or someone in your world that may be considered weird. I want to learn about this weirdness. And maybe write about it. You can do that by sending me an email at mylifemynormal@gmail.com, via social media, or if you want to be totally anonymous you can comment on this post below without giving your name. Also, comments on this site must be approved by me before they are posted for the entire internet to see, so if you want your words to stay between the two of us, just say so and I won’t publish them.

The more we share our strangeness, the less “weird” we seem and the more weird the world becomes. And I for one, think that a weirder world would be glorious!

Slightly Strange

 

Blog, What Blog? (Also Some Cool, Weird Stuff)

You may have thought I forgot all about this series. I didn’t. Technically thirty days of weird has come and gone. But because I missed a few days there weren’t thirty posts, which had been my intention. So we’re not done yet!

Also, I just really like where the last thirty days have taken this blog and my writing and you people who are reading it. So I have a feeling I’ll keep going in this direction. Not with a daily post, but a few times a week. I’ve also got a facebook page up and running so I can share weird things from other people too.

And on that note – Over the course of the past month I have come across quite a few weird people, posts, and websites that I absolutely love. Here are three of my favorites!

Your Body Ain’t Wrong, Girlfriend {67 Untouched Nude Photos} Warning – There are boobs in this link. No butts, they’re covered. But lots of boobs.

Jes Baker’s mission is to show the world that we are all different. She shot photos of nude women of all shapes and sizes. No Photoshop. No lighting tricks. THIS IS BEAUTIFUL.

And the wonderfully written article by Alex Myles will make you smile. According to the author the purpose of the project was to “point out that there is no ‘normal’ body type, that certain body types are not ‘sexier’ or ‘more beautiful’ than others. This was a randomly selected group of women and the photos show that there are so many variations to body shape and size—not just the small selection of images that we regularly see presented to us through the media.”

Read this and look at the these photos, today. But don’t open it on your work computer because of all the boobs.

Need a smile with your coffee? The Love Bomb Company is the place to go. According to Jenna, what started as a super secret Instagram account created to spread a little love turned into a company that drops Love Bombs worldwide. She made a mission to create a thoughtful, heartfelt, authentic offering of love and post it every day for a year. And that is just what she did. 365 posts. EVERY SINGLE DAY for a year. Those words became coffee mugs, mason jars, magnets, and a greeting card line.

This is where I got my Awesome coffee mug and my mom’s Effing Love mug.

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Effing love mom

I don’t share my email address with just anyone these days. My inbox is overwhelming to me. Look at the number of emails I have not read.

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Things got this bad because at some point I haphazardly subscribed to too many damn lists and now it’s out of control. I’ve learned my lesson and changed my ways. Someday I’ll get around to unsubscribing from the crap and deleting everything that’s in there. At this point though, If I choose to add something to the chaos that is my inbox you know it’s got to be good.

It’s with this in mind that I tell you I subscribed to Nicole Antoinette’s weekly email without hesitation. While writing doesn’t seem to be her main focus, she’s really good at it. She’s funny and insightful and totally worth taking the time to read. If you’re an on-the-goer instead of a sit-and-reader, she’s got a podcast too. I highly recommend checking out both.

Here are a few excerpts from her about page that got me hooked:

“We are strong as fuck, we can change our stories, and we can do hard things.” (God, I love people who use the “F” word like this!)

“If we ever meet in person, the first thing you’ll notice is that I am a hugger. I will hug you. (Did this just get weird?) You’ll also notice that I talk very fast and almost always have cat hair on my clothes. I used to worry about the cat hair situation, but I think I know a lost cause when I see one. Whatever man, my cats are adorable.” (Also, I love people who love animals!)

There you have it. Boobs and coffee and cursing, for your viewing and listening pleasure. Go get weird with it.