Anxiety, Dishes,& Run-on sentences

Hi.

Let’s talk about something I don’t want to talk about. That sounds fun, right?

Anxiety.

I come from a long line of anxiety-ers. Anxieters? People deal with Anxiety in different ways. Some people take pills, other people meditate, it all depends on the person. For example, I have less anxiety when I’m exercising on a regular basis. Right now I’m having, well, I guess one could call it a flare-up. I even had an anxiety attack this week.

Let me explain to you what an anxiety attack feels like to me. I mean, I don’t know what else to call it. All last week, I could feel it building and building. I figured it would just go away. I figured wrong. Because sometimes I just start thinking about billsdogsdeathdinnercookinggroceryshoppingstudentloansjobsemploymentinsurancechildrenhousescats. And I couldn’t stop. Anxiety, is a giant, black, misty-looking balrog-type creature that stands up behind me, and slowly brings his hands down onto my shoulders, and starts to pull me apart. The depression I’ve been dealing with stems from my anxiety, but I definitely don’t want to talk about that, that’s a totally different monster.  Anyways, I was doing the dishes. My husband made an innocent (no really, it was)comment and all of a sudden my chest tightened so fast that it hurt to breathe. I just stood there, water running, dirty dish in my hand, taking deep breaths. I put the dish down, made myself some tea, and put some lavender essential oil on and kept breathing. (That’s the key, breathe)

Sometimes, you feel trapped in your own head, with your thoughts spinning around you in incoherent run-on sentences. I’m a writer, I have enough thoughts in my head, thank you very much.  I keep a lot of the incoherent babbling in check by coaching myself. Well, my own kind of coaching. If I start worrying about bills, I remind myself where I was last year, and how much better off I am this year. Also, I say things like “just move forward”, “Stop being a whiny baby and get it done”, “Let this go and move on. Just move. MOVE”, and most importantly “If you’re still breathing, you aren’t done. Get your shit together.” I should really be a life coach.

This week was hard. I’m not going to sugar coat it. I wanted to quit my job, for no reason, other than I felt overwhelmed with my life. Life can be overwhelming. But we do it. There’s a saying in the Christian faith, that I seriously hate: If He brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it. Well, sometimes you get there because you’re an idiot. Sometimes you get there because you thought you didn’t need to listen in the first place. If someone in your life, or your congregation, tells you that they have anxiety, maybe you should pray for them, and also do their laundry. People with anxiety, sometimes just need to know they aren’t alone. Clearly, they are dealing with some things that they probably don’t want to talk about, so don’t make them. Just listen when they need to and shut your trap. (that goes for me also, I can’t ever shut my mouth)

As previously stated, and because I believe I’m one of the cool kids I’m a writer. I take things that bother me and I turn them into stories. I take anxiety and turn it into a defeatable monster. I take my depression and tell it to go straight to the hell it came from.( I also make up my own words. Take that Shakespeare.)

If you are currently dealing with anxiety or depression. Please don’t be a me. Get someone you can talk to.

Some days, a pen is just a pen. Other days, you click it, and a sword comes out.

Whatever tries to kill me, had better run.

Peace, Love, Chocolate,

-C

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Dear Carrie

Dear Carrie,

You’re dead now. And you won’t read this. But that’s ok. I guess. I had most desperately hoped that I would meet you one day. That we would even laugh about something together. And that maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t make a complete fool of myself in front of you.  Maybe you’d tell me you liked something I wrote. And then I would be unable to speak for three days. I’ll keep this short.

Thank you.

I don’t remember the first Disney movie I watched. I don’t remember which princess I saw first. What I do remember, is Princess Leia. I remember watching A New Hope for the first time when I was, oh, seven maybe? Leia enters the scene, hood up, blaster drawn. She shoots first, she’s still captured, but she shoots first. Leia didn’t have time for any Imperial garbage. She was going to save the galaxy. Not her town, not her boyfriend, the galaxy.  A princess who doesn’t need saving? A princess who is perfectly capable of kicking ass on her own? That was huge tome.

Growing up, I didn’t exactly fit in with the “in” crowd, because, let’s be real, I totally did not. I read science fiction, I didn’t understand make-up (still don’t), and could quote Star Wars with minimal (or no) prompting. To top it all off, I was in band, choir, FFA and watched Doctor Who (before the reboot). It was like I wanted the popular kids to hate me.  But, it didn’t really bother me that much. I had friends who were/are just as weird as me, and if Leia could save the galaxy, I could get through high school.

Princess Leia was more than just a character to me. She was my idol. My heroine. She was my invisible friend. I carried the great P.L.’s bad-assery wherever I went. I related to your Princess Leia so hard. She was fierce. She was a force. She wasn’t like any other princess I had ever seen. Leia/you influenced me in more ways than I thought possible:

  1. Be the hero(ine).
  2. Sarcasm is key.
  3. Prince Charming is overrated. Scruffy-looking nerf herders on the other hand…
  4. To hell with your stereotypes. To hell with them.
  5. Don’t apologize for who you are or what you love.
  6. Write honestly.
  7. Some days feel like you’re chained at the feet of a giant worm. Maybe you are. You’ll get through it. You’ll kill the worm. Just don’t do cocaine.
  8. You’re gonna make mistakes. Sometimes, you’ll walk into a trap, but don’t stop fighting.
  9. “I don’t want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.”
  10. “Stay afraid, but do it anyways. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow”

And one more thing:

Be the General. Lead the Rebellion.

Carrie Fisher:

“Drowned in the Moonlight, strangled by her own bra”

 

I’ll look for you at the dog park in Heaven.

 

-C

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Market Musings

Now is the winter of our discontent. Except, it’s 35 degrees out, and doesn’t feel like winter at all. It’s almost spring-like. Winpring? Spinter? Whatever.

It’s sometime around 11:15, and I’m sitting in the Downtown Grand Rapids Market contemplating life. As one does after reading a bit of “Mere Christianity”.

I mostly feel like I’m floating in some weird amoeba of space. Almost as if I’m still waiting for the punch-line of one long, really terrible joke.  As I sit, watching the cars come and go, women with expensive designer handbags, and look at over-priced vegetables; I consider who I am, and what I could become.

Chris Pratt recently posted on Instagram what he had to do to get where he is now. It had a lot to do with hard work, and eating some sardines. He said, never to give up. Easy for him to say, right? He’s already there. But, when people tell you, you can’t have it all, well, why not? I mean really. Why couldn’t I become a best-selling author/farmer/coffee house owner?

If someone tells you that your dreams are too big, maybe theirs are just too small.

I remember when I broke the news to my parents, that I was dropping my secondary Education degree, and going straight English, no chaser. They were supportive, of course, because that’s what parents do. I remember the rest of my family being a bit more skeptical. giving me those funny “Uh, ok” looks afterwards. The only person who wasn’t, was Grandpa Jack.

My Grandpa Jack had been a journalist for the Detroit Free Press, reviewing movies and other pieces, and went on to edit multiple trucking magazines. He was one of the first people in Michigan to see Casablanca (he watched it in a special room in the basement of Detroit’s Fox Theater). And although he lived in Ohio, he was a Detroit Tigers baseball fan. His writing style was unique, his characters colorful, and his prose wonderful.

I’m telling you this because no matter how many people say your dreams are too big, there will always be one person who tells you to be bigger.

 

You don’t have to change the whole world. But you can certainly effect the corner you live in.

You don’t have to be content with the American Dream.

Peace, Love, Tacos,

-C

P.S. Brown dog only dreams of big juicy beef bones.

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A Star Wars Soliloquy

  On my 10th birthday, my Dad gave me a lightsaber.

   On the eve of the (re)awakening of the Force, I find myself with a bout of nostalgia. There are some who say that Star Wars is just a movie. Well, for me, and the millions of nerds like me, it’s about a bit more.

I first saw Star Wars IV when I was 7 or 8 years old. Up until then, my cinematic education had been a lot of glass slippers, big libraries, and a Great Lion. Then one fateful day, Dad sat me down to watch a new movie.

A_long_time_ago

Good thing he waited until I knew how to read

Suddenly, there were droids, lightspeed, a Millenium Falcon, scruffy-looking nerf herders, and something called the Force. But more importantly, for a young impressionable person like myself, there was an underdog ready to take on the galaxy, an unwilling hero, and a princess ready to save herself.

leia_02

Step 1: Make hair into cinnamon rolls.  Step 2: Sneak Death Star Plans off ship. 

Princess Leia introduced to me to feminine bad-ass-ery. She’s an interesting blend of sass and diplomacy. She doesn’t give in to torture, or attempted mind-probe by the Empire, she lies to Governor Tarkin to his face. During a battle, she’s in the control room, or out in the thick of it. She’s not afraid to get her hands dirty, and she’s not afraid to make anyone angry.

Leia is more than a sarcastic second; she’s the leading sarcastic second. She is the accidental force that gets Luke to become a Jedi. If she hadn’t have put those plans in R2D2, Luke never would’ve talked to Ben (ok, that’s debatable). She is the one with the access to the resources they needed to keep going. She risks getting killed multiple times, and goes undercover to save her scoundrel.

princess-leia-stormtroopers.jpg

And you said what about my hair?

So why do we like Star Wars that much? It compels us to imagine. Because in the midst of all the bad things, we still need the reminder that the underdog can win. That the farm boy can become the Jedi Knight. And also y’know, that one day I can have my own R2D2.

I could talk about Star Wars for hours, and sometimes I do.  I could go into all of the other things I love about Star Wars, like Chewie, R2, the Force, my love for Han Solo, or why I terrified of Yoda as a child (He was so scary). Because Star Wars, 1-3 excluded, are great movies. Even though the stories took place in a galaxy far far away, they were believable.

 Maybe they are because we want them to be.

The Force will be with you, always.

-C

 

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So when are you going to have children? Why aren’t you pregnant yet?

These are things you are NOT allowed to ask. Period.

The decision on whether to have children, and when to have children is the decision of the couple involved. Not yours.

You may think you’re just trying to make conversation, but really its a very personal question. And its not something that I personally want to discuss with anyone other than my permanent roommate.

For all you know, we’ve been trying to have children for a year, and cant.

For all you know, I’ve had a miscarriage.

For all you know we’re have fertility issues.

Either way. This is a huge discussion that you are not privy to. The decision to bring a child into the world is life changing. It is a decision that only involves me, and my husband. (Even my mother knows not to ask)

Here’s the thing, and it may come as a surprise, but there are a lot of things I want to do with my life before I bring a child into this world. The last thing I would ever want to do is be bitter about having children too early. I want to write things, I want to travel, I want to do many things that currently do not involve having a small human following me around.

To put it bluntly: If you are not involved with the making of the baby, you are not allowed to ask about when the baby is going to be made.

Peace, Love, and Sunshine,

-C

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Memorial Day Memorandum.

I used to think that I understood what Memorial Day was actually about. Not grilling, or shopping sales, but about remembering those who have fought for our country. We have parades to celebrate them and everything.

Memorial Day was originally called “Decoration Day”, it was created after the end of the Civil War, as a desire to honor the dead on both sides. You can read more about the history of Memorial Day here.

I thought I understood Memorial Day.

Until I spent Memorial Day with a WWII veteran in France.

At the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach

At the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach

My Grandfather was a pilot in WWII, he flew on D-Day. He’s been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, he’s received awards from France for his efforts in WWII, he’s been inducted into the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame, I’m sure I’m forgetting a few things (Yes, my grandpa is cooler than your grandpa). He’s also a Lieutenant Colonel (retired). Did I mention he still runs two and a half miles every morning at 93 years old?

So there we were, our first stop was Utah Beach, where there is a WWII museum, that has the same plane that my Grandpa flew in WWII. You can learn more about the museum here.

Barbed wire, still standing  at Utah Beach.

Barbed wire, still standing at Utah Beach. The museum is in the background.

Utah Beach

Utah Beach

 

A WWII vet, and an original B26 Bomber. (Not the same plane he flew, but the same kind)

A WWII vet, and an original B26 Bomber. (Not the same plane he flew, but the same kind)

Myself, Uncle, Aunt, Grandfather and I went to the museum because of the plane pictured above. It’s a B26 bomber, and it’s the same kind of plane that my Grandpa flew in WWII. My Grandpa, and the rest of us, got into the museum for free because of him. He was wearing his B26 pilot hat, and his B26 polo. A museum attendant immediately went up to him and gave him, and us) the grand tour of the museum. Grandpa of course even got to get into the B26, I however, still had to stay outside the velvet rope.

Here’s where things got a little more real:

The airfield my Grandpa flew out of after D-Day.

The airfield my Grandpa flew out of after D-Day.

We drove around Normandy for a while and found the airfield my Grandpa flew missions out of after D-Day. It’s just an empty field now.

And then there was Omaha.

Omaha Beach. Now the US cemetery.

Omaha Beach. Now the US cemetery.

United States Cemetery at Omaha Beach, Normandy, France.

United States Cemetery at Omaha Beach, Normandy, France.

Acres and acres of white crosses dot what was once a battle field. None of the pictures I took really did it justice.Normally, cemeteries don’t bother me at all. But not this place. It was an overwhelmingly eerie, haunting place.

Memorial Day is a great day. We get to spend time with family, eat a meal together. But more importantly, it’s about those who sacrificed everything for us.  So in between stuffing your face with a burger or hot-dog today, thank a veteran.

image

U.S. airfield in France.

 

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Avengers: Age of Ultron (spoilers)(duh)

This will be coming at you in parts. Because that’s just how my brain is right now.

1. Overall: 9/10.
Superhero movies are Joss Whedon’s super power (also being the ruler of the geek-world). The beginning of the film was gorgeous. The whole thing was gorgeous. The effects, the sound, CGI, it just worked.
The movie is 2:20, and I didnt even notice. I knew that it was long, but sitting in the theater watching, it doesnt feel like it. Why? Because of damn good writing. The overall flow of the movie is because of an almost flawless superhero story. Whedon even takes the time to take about Pepper and Jane, even though they aren’t physically in the movie. So the audience knows that yes, they’re still present in the story. Also, it seemed at the end of Ultron that Stark and Hawkeye were retiring from the Avengers. Only time will tell I guess. Especially with the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, in which we already know that Stark and Cap are gonna go at it.

2. Hawkeye.
Joss Whedon has this beautiful ability to make superheroes less super, and more human without taking away any of their powers. Whedon takes the time to focus on characters that havent gotten a lot of screen time, Hawkeye, and Black Widow (also Bruce Banner, because we are ignoring the two hulk movies that came before).

When Hawkeye takes the Avengers to a “safehouse”, and it turns out to be his house, it’s great. Clint has a family, and the only one who knew about it was Natasha (and Fury, but he knows everything).  Someone asked him in the movie if he had a girlfriend, and he says no. Because he doesn’t, he has a wife and three children!
Clint doesn’t have any “super” powers like Thor or Cap, or a suit like Tony. But that doesnt mean he isnt important. It’s more like, that’s why he’s more important. He doesnt need a suit, or norse-god powers, or science-experiment-gone-right powers. He’s human. In Ultron, Whedon takes time to show us that yes, Hawkeye is lovable and snarky (I love it), he also provides a support to the group that no one else can proide. Yes Cap is the leader, the science bros are the brains, Thor and Hulk are the muscle, and Natasha is, well, Natasha is a badass. Clint is the opportunity to show the Avengers that there’s more to life than just avenging.

3. Hulk & Black Widow.
I was skeptical of this. But it totally worked. We see that there’s something between them when Cap (I think, it couldve been Hawkeye), said “It’s time for a lullaby”. In which Natasha goes up to the Hulk, puts her hand out and waits for the green rage monster to come to her. It basically gets the Hulk to calm down enough become Bruce again.
It works so well because the Hulk is a reflection of the monster that Natasha sees herself as. You will recall that in the first Avengers, Natasha kept repeating “I’ve got red in my ledger”. We also learn that as a part of her graduation from assassin school, she was sterilized. “One less thing to worry about”.
Well, the Hulk has green in his ledger. Err, veins. And skin. He is a big green rage monster. But he’s also a very quiet, brilliant scientist. He doesnt know how to flirt, and has no idea when when Natasha flirts with him. Because she doesn’t, she talks to him. Natasha trusts Bruce, even though Bruce doesn’t trust himself.
“You’re adorable, but I need the big guy”
I loved that line. Bruce is there to rescue Natasha and she’s all nope, we have things to do first. But then Bruce runs away and now I am sad.

4. Science Bros.
The most interesting part about Ultron is that Ultron himself is basically Stark’s creation. Tony’s idea is for an Artificial Intelligence first line of defense. So that the Avengers don’t have to deal with everything themselves. Which is a nice theory, but clearly not in practice.  So, inside of Loki’s staff they find the vision stone. Tony, with Banner’s help, reverse engineer it and download it, trying to create this line of defense.
Anyways, there’s this great montage of Tony and Bruce working together, trying to get this thing to work. Which of course it doesn’t. But, the more interesting part is that Stark still won’t listen to Banner. He wants Banner’s assistance, just not his opinion. Obviously because of the plot Tony has to succeed in downloading Ultron. but come on Tony, quit being such a nark.

5. Ultron.
Leave it to Whedon to create such an unsettling, crazy, android, jewel-powered villain. His introduction is most unsettling. He stumbles into the room where the Avengers have been playing grab-the-hammer, with fluids dripping from his half-torn off arm. Also Ultron appears to have murdered Jarvis upon is awakening.  Which begs the question, is it murder if it’s artificial intelligence? The Avengers certainly seem to think so.
James Spader as Ultron is pretty brilliant. Spader has this rumble in his voice when he speaks, it’s slightly unsettling. And awesome.
Spader’s interpretation of Ultron is fun. He’s a villain that we love, but hate. He is a creation of Starks, but he hates him. And in turn, hates the entire human race because of him. He is an excellent villain.

I thoroughly enjoyed Ultron. It was also a very nice tough to have a bunch of WWII and Vietnam Vets at the Avengers party. I think that may have been my favorite part. (Well, one of my favorite parts).

Currently Whedon is not slated to directed either of the sequels that follow UltronCaptain America: The Winter Soldier co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo will direct the two-part Avengers: Infinity War. Although Whedon has stated that he wants to work on something that’s entirely his own, which I would be immensely excited for. However, could this mean that Whedon will direct an upcoming Star Wars movie?

We can only hope.

Peace, Love, & watch your language,

-C

P.S. How many more days till Christmas?

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