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19 November 2010

This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection by Carol Burnett

"We sent penny postcards to every producer and agent in town inviting them to our show, the postcard being their ticket.
They came.
After our two evenings, three of us got agents.  It was right out of a Mickey and Judy scene in Babes in Arms, and I thanked my lucky stars that I had seen all those joyous movies growing up, telling me no pipe dream was impossible."
~Carol Burnett in  This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection


I dont' know where to begin...both when talking about this book...and this marvelous woman.  Ready for a stretch?  I'm going to try to make this all connect.  Okay here we go.

So, like I said...I don't know where to start.  Well...as one of the most iconic characters in musical theatre (that just so happens to have been played by Carol's best friend in the timeless film adaptation of The Sound of Music) once said..."Let's start at the very beginning.  A very good place to start."

(For those of you who did not follow that, the character is that of Maria von Trapp [technically Maria Rainer, because at the time that she sings this particular quote, she has not yet married Georg Von Trapp], and Carol's best friend...Julie Andrews.)

Anyway...the beginning to my story with Carol Burnett begins thusly:


My dad, who loved Annie, had bought the VHS of this movie for my brother and I when we were on some road trip as kids.  We were hesitant to watch it...it was probably some weird old movie...but we watched it in the backseat of the van on the little TV from the kitchen...and our parents may have experienced the first bout of peace and quiet on the whole trip.  Ever since then, I have never been the same.

My pre-acting childhood was, as you can probably guess, filled with impressions of people who WERE actors.  Most notably from this time period were Miss Hannigan from Annie and Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof.  I remember vividly numerous times when Kyle would ask me to do my Miss Hannigan impression for our friends (this was before me doing impressions became old hat...though I've made a comeback with him with Dr. Zoidberg from Futurama).

I absolutely loved the movie.  But in all honesty, I cared much more for the villain (Burnett) than the spunky little orphan girl with the dog.  I could start rattling off Miss Hannigan lines right now.  No...not could...will.

"If this floor doesn't shine like the top of the Chrysler Building your backsides will!"

"But it's in the middle of the night!" (Mocking Annie complaining about cleaning in the middle of the night.)

"Not even a nickel for the subway."

"She hadda go bafroom."  (Mocking Molly who is lying about Annie's whereabouts.)  I kid you not.  Kyle and I would rewind this part and watch it over and over and over again.

Okay, sorry...you probably didn't sign up to read transcriptions of a few of the millions of amazing lines that Carol delivered to perfection as Miss Hannigan....

Anyway...that was the beginning of Carol Burnett for me.  Then I watched her variety show whenever I could.  I watched her in anything that I could get my hands on.  This woman is just plain funny.  But then if you read this book...you learn (if you didn't know already) that not only is she funny...she's just plain solid.

This Time Together takes the reader (at least a reader starved for any stories from Carol) through a wonderland of tales from Carol's experiences, not only as a world class comedienne, but as a woman in the world that we all live in together.  From the beginning of her story...to where she is today in 2010.

The audiobook is read by Carol herself and the format is similar to the last audiobook adventure that I went on.  But while Carol's life did and still does have its ups and downs, I came away from this book much more uplifted than I did from Carrie Fisher's autobiography.

When I heard the passage that I began this post with...it just floored me.  It's so awesome to me to be reminded that the people who are living the dream now...were once dreaming a dream just like I am.  In the same way...it's awesome to be reminded that the people that I look up to have people that they look up to too.  The first chapter of this book is about Jimmy Stewart and the whole time I was thinking "Oh Carol, if you only knew.  You are my Jimmy Stewart!"  Where a lot of people might brush that off or be like "whoa, back off, I don't know you," I'm pretty sure Carol would be thrilled about that...and maybe a little taken aback at first.

Anyway.  The book.  This book shines a light on one of my most favorite spotlight dwellers of all time.  From The Carol Burnett Show, to Annie, to Mama's Family, to Stephen Sondheim's Putting it Together and many more...Carol has been lighting up my life and the lives of countless others for years.  And now, she can just sit and chill, and enjoy her life.  Knowing that she's done a billion jobs well done and deserves to make other people do the work for a while she'll probably just slow down...oh wait...what?  My sources are telling me something...what was that?

Oh I totally forgot!  (That's a lie.  I could not forget this.)

Carol is on Glee next week (as Sue Sylvester's Nazi hunting mother, no less)!!!!


If I haven't convinced you to read or listen to the book yet...do it.  If anything...it's worth it just to hear about how she got away from a mugger in New York!  Yeah...that's right...I'm not telling you...now you have to read it!

Stay Classy Guys,
LT

10 November 2010

Identity Crisis By Proxy

Fear not, gentle readers.  There is absolutely no crisis at hand.  But when a catchy title smacks you in the face like this one did to me...you just mustn't pass that opportunity up.  Plus it's a four word title.  Bumper day for me!

Actually, side note...bumper day for both Genevieve and myself.

I digress...and I don't care...on with the digression.

Long day for me.  Not bad altogether, just long.  Got home from babysitting just in time to walk Genevieve before it got dark outside.  (Is it just me...or should we have fallen back two hours for DST?  I never really cared until I had a dog to walk!)  It must be said, that babysitting was not a long part to my long day.  It was too short of a time to hang out with too wonderful of a kid.

Karl is so awesome.  He is the three-year-old son of my former boss (in an arena other than babysitting) and his wife.  I don't know how to explain it other than by saying that they are simply one of the most pleasant families that I know.  Gus and Mary are both so very unique and beautiful individuals and they have passed that along to Karl.  Karl and I get along famously.  He thinks pretty much everything that I say is hilarious.  And I say a lot of things.  Our only moment of "disagreement" today came from me trying to explain to him that no matter how many times he asked me, the tan pencil was still the tan pencil and the turquoise pencil was still the turquoise pencil.  Our little back and forth bit about these colors brought laughs to at least half of the other people in the lab (my other work).

Anyway, now I've digressed from my digression.  Got home.  Walked Genevieve and got back just as the sun was setting.  I'll tell you what...walking your favorite dog under a pink sky has got to be one of the best things in the world.  We went to Petsmart to get Genevieve a very specific toy that I have been researching and just knew she would love.  Incidentally, she couldn't care less about it.  However, I got her two toys today, and the spur of the moment purchase...I don't think she's ever loved anything more in her entire life!

I swear to God I did not pose this.  Genevieve does not pose...she does things her way.
So anyway...that was the bumper part of the day for Genevieve.  Mine was a cookies and cream milk shake from Chick-Fil-A.



So when we were on our walk, I met a man who asked me what kind of a dog she was.  I replied that she was a cross between a German Shepherd and a Chinese Shar-Pei.  The man said "Oh, she kinda looks like a Belgian Shepherd with that black snout."

I forgot about this until I sat down just now to do some Bible study.  And of course...me being me...I had to look up Belgian Shepherds.  I had never heard of them.

What do they look like, you may ask?  Well friends, they look like Genevieve.

Belgian Shepherd
German Shepherd




























Oh no!  What do I do?  I don't know every single fact!  Luckily...it doesn't matter.  (Yes...I'm going to get all cheesy now...so if you want to stop reading...do so...just know that I'm judging you.)

I love my dog.  Genevieve is awesome.  I don't care what kind of a dog she is.  She's my dog.  She's got my back.  She's waiting for me when I get home from classes.  She's waiting foor me when I get home from work.  She's at my feet while I'm cooking dinner (no, I do not throw her scraps, she just loves me, so there).  She's laying in my bed...at two in the morning when I'm trying to pull an all-nighter, finishing a scale model of my set or a costume rendering...reminding me that maybe...just maybe...sleep might be a better idea.

Speaking of that...I was getting to my Bible study early...to go to bed early...to get sleep.  Then I just thought "Oh, that's right, I should look up what Belgian Shepherds look like!"  Those digressions will really get to you...especially when you digress from them.

But I digress.

Leviticus will not read itself.

Stay classy everyone!

Peace,
LT

23 October 2010

Amazing Video from my Dad

My dad sent this video to me in an e-mail.  It's absolutely lovely, and you should really check it out if you have the time.  Be sure to press pause on the music that I have playing on the right-hand-side of my page so that you hear the David Crowder Band song in the video!  I always am bugged by that hassle of you guys having to stop the music from my blog to watch the videos...but I really love being able to share some of my favorite songs on my blog by having them play as people read.  Anyway, right now, as I write this, the music player looks like a cassette tape (I love this player so it will probably stay this way for a while)...so just find the pause button and pause it. :)


Mollie the Collector Orangutan Toddler

Just what you've always wanted...right?
Ladies and Gentleman, this is a very special post, as it is the first post in what may be a big selection of posts known as The Critical Corner.  Yes, I am actually aware that sometimes I am super critical.  When I'm just overreacting or being sensitive, I try to keep things to myself.  But every once in a while...like right now for example, I know that I am being correctly critical (at least in my mind) and as such, should share my thoughts with the world.  So, World, you're welcome.

On to business...

WHAT THE HECK IS THIS?!  I'll tell you what it is, courtesy of this coupon...wait, what's that Lauren?  Did you say "coupon" or am I just seeing things?  Nope...you read me right...that's exactly what I said.  This coupon came with the other normal coupons in The Indianapolis Star on Thursday (at least I believe that it was Thursday [and that it was Indy Star...I suppose it could be Red Plum]).  Anyway, regardless of what publication it came from, the reverse side is a coupon for ADT Home Security.  Say it with me, folks...NORMAL COUPON!

But I digress, here is Mollie's description, in case you cannot read it from the scanned abnormal coupon.

She's so incredibly lifelike, you'll want to cuddle and nurture her the moment you see her!  Introducing Mollie, our very first orangutan toddler doll.  Created by master sculptor Simon Laurens in his Ashton-Drake debut, she is perfect in every detail.  She's realistically sculpted then hand-cast in our collector-quality vinyl, a material that re-creates every exceptional feature.  Little wisps of auburn hair applied by hand, and playful, blue eyes add to the adorable realism.  Pick her up and give her a hug, and she'll be yours forever!

A collector FIRST at an incredible value

Mollie is available for a limited time and high demand is expected.  Simon Laurens' one-of-a-kind creations sell for thousands of dollars, but Mollie can be yours for just $149.99*, payable in 5 interest-free installments of just $29.99.  Our 365-Day Guarantee assures your complete satisfaction.  Send no money now.  Just complete and mail the coupon today!

There are so many things that I could say...but possibly unlike the people that will be throwing away enough money to buy three microwaves (I know this because I just purchased one, myself...who needs three?) to get this creeptastic collectible, I have things to do with my life.

No offense to those of you out there in the world that are buying Mollie...okay no, a little bit of offense...but light-hearted offense...$150.00 can do a lot of good in this world...or it can get you Mollie (P.S. you have to pay $16.99 for shipping/service charges too)...so yeah...I'm trying to reason with you here, but if you're already set on purchasing this...thing...I feel as if we probably are not going to connect on any level, be it intellectual, emotional, or moral...and I'm pretty okay with that, I think.  I just wish I could convince you to not buy Mollie and support Invisible Children  or another worthy cause like that...instead of supporting this Simon Laurens who is apparently already making thousands of dollars making creepy things.

I mean seriously...look at it.  Have you noticed that SHE'S LOOKING AT YOU?!  I mean...she's got this look to her that seems to be saying "Hey, you.  Yeah, you.  Listen up.  Me and my crew from the collectibles zoo...we're coming for you.  We're heading to Walmart first to pick up some new Garanimals...but sleep with one eye open, Lady...you're next."

This has been the first edition of The Critical Corner.  All of us here at The Liminal State truly hope that you've enjoyed yourselves.

I'm out for now guys, stay classy.

Peace,
LT

20 October 2010

A Video to Brighten Your Day

Yesterday, I learned that not only do people read this blog, they actually react to it.  Case in point: my mother is, at this moment, on her way down to Indianapolis to help me out.  Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers.

You're the best.

Now, on to business.  I was checking my e-mail, got one (actually a million) from Facebook (yes I still have those pesky notifications turned on...because Heaven forbid I miss a comment about an event that I will never attend) from my friend who is running for Butler Homecoming Queen (GO STEPH!).  Anyway, it was telling me that I would receive a link for voting soon (I have never cared about homecoming court until now...but now I totally do) and she provided us all with a video to entertain us while we waited for the link (still waiting).

Anyway, it was the video of the otters holding hands.  If you haven't seen it, check it out...it really is cute.  And be sure to watch until the end, after the otters separate.  That's what makes it amazing.


But, moving on, yet again.  The otters are not actually the video to brighten your day that I mentioned in the title...the video below is.  And before anyone gets concerned, don't be.  This is a rescue and release program that cares for marine animals in such a way that they can be released back into the wild.  This isn't abuse, this is assistance.  Kind of like my mom coming down to help me.  That corollary was not planned...but I like it...besides...I kinda looked like this seal when I was a baby.  My parents always said I resembled a dead bird, but I'll show this to my mom when she's here and we'll just see.




19 October 2010

Cranberry Oatmeal and the 56th Psalm

This morning, I have substituted 1/4 cup cranberry juice for 1/4 cup (out of 1 1/2 cups) water in making my oatmeal.  It definitely gives it a new taste.  I haven't decided yet if it's good or bad...but I am eating it.

Anyway, I'll level with you all.  Honesty is key, right?  My Congenital Myasthenia Gravis has really been beating me up lately.  It's just really frustrating...because I want to live!  But in all honesty, I feel guilty for being frustrated, because yes, while to say that IT SUCKS trying to get through college with this asinine disease would be a gross understatement, it also seems foolish to say so.  Why?  I'll tell you why.

Because the odds have always been against me.  This isn't a pity party...just a fact fiesta (wow...not gonna lie...that was clever).  I wasn't supposed to live.  Then I wasn't supposed to walk.  I wasn't supposed to make it through school or even be able to try to go to college, honestly.  But I'm here.  I'm doing it.  I'm doing it very slowly, yes, but I'm doing it.

Sometimes (okay, no...always) it is hard for me to remember that there is a line between doing my best and being the best.


And that's kind of where I am at right now, I think.  I don't know.  It's just disheartening to me that doing my best isn't always going to be the best.  It makes me feel even more behind everyone else than I really am, I think.

Sometimes I don't know who my worst enemy is.  You know the famous adage "I am my own worst enemy"?  Lots of times I think that I am that way.  But here's the thing.  My whole life I have been trying to live in the mindset that I am not my disease and my disease is not me.  So this genetic defect that is always trying to keep me down...that is not who I am....  So is the genetic defect my worst enemy?  Or is my mental/emotional/spiritual struggle with that defect my worst enemy?  And if so...is that struggle me? Am I that struggle?  I don't think so.  I hope not.  I don't want to be defined by what's wrong with me.

I'm pretty blessed to not have armies or angry people swearing to kill me.  I'm not persecuted in that way.  (This is my attempt at a segue.)  But I've always been fighting against my body to do what I want.  And this shell that I live in has been doing its best to hold me back for 23 years.  So in a sense...I feel persecuted by myself...but involuntarily...if that makes any sense.  Anyway...when I was eating my oatmeal (actually I have yet to finish it) I read this Psalm which gave me some hope or insight or comfort or something like those things.

Psalm 56

Trust in God under Persecution

To the leader:  according to The Dove on far-off Terebinths.  Of David.
A Miktam, when the Philistines seized him in Gath.

Be gracious to me, O God, for people trample on me;
all day long foes oppress me;
my enemies trample on me all day long,
for many fight against me.
O Most High, when I am afraid,
I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I am not afraid;
what can flesh do to me?

All day long they seek to injure my cause;
all their thoughts are against me for evil.
They stir up strife, they lurk,
they watch my steps.
As they hoped to have my life,
so repay them for their crime;
in wrath cast down the peoples,
O God!

You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your record?
Then my enemies will retreat
in the day when I call.
This I know, that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I am not afraid.
What can a mere mortal do to me?

My vows to you I must perform, O God;
I will render thank offerings to you.
For you have delivered my soul from death,
and my feet from falling,
so that I may walk before God
in the light of life.

All that I can say is thank you Lord for Your Word, Your guidance, and Your Son...all of which take this life of mine and make it mean something, turning my burdens into opportunities to seek You further.

Well of course, that's not all I can say...but the following is not about Psalm...

I can also say that my cranberry oatmeal experiment was probably a one time only deal.  Not sure it's good.  Also, it is now cold.  I will finish it now, and continue on with my day as best as I can.  My plan is not to fight against my body (it is doing what it is doing for some reason) but to Stand with the Lord.

Peace and Blessings to you all on this Tuesday.

Stay Classy,
LT

17 October 2010

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

Photo from bookcoverarchive.com.
"Happy is one of the many things I'm likely to be over the course of a day and certainly over the course of a lifetime. But I think if you have the expectation that you're going to be happy throughout your life--more to the point, if you have a need to be comfortable all the time--well, among other things, you have the makings of a classic drug addict or alcoholic." - Carrie Fisher in Wishful Drinking

Thanks to my friend Patrick's blog, Reading Under the Covers, I happened upon a read that was equal parts entertaining and eye-opening in Carrie Fisher's recent memoir, Wishful Drinking.  Check out Patrick's review of the same book here!  He's awesome so keep checking his blog.  You'll be glad you did.

For those of you that have happened upon this blog post during your first excursion out from under your rock (no offense at all...I find myself between a rock and a hard place all the time), Carrie Fisher played Princess Leia in the ORIGINAL Star Wars Trilogy.  Princess Leia, in her infinite wisdom and amazingness, takes the bull by the horns in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and famously puts Han Solo into his place by saying:

"Somebody has to save our skins.  Into the garbage chute, Flyboy!"

Now that's what I'm talking about.  Pure woman power!

Anyway, yes, I grew up watching Star Wars.  My brother and I know absolutely every word to the original trilogy, I think, and I'm pretty confident that we're pretty close with the prequels now too.  In fact, after finishing Wishful Drinking in the car (audiobook of course) on my way up North this past week, Kyle and I watched episodes 4 and 5 together this weekend.  Unfortunately we did not get to Return of the Jedi which has always been my favorite, but there will be other times.  But yes, it can be argued (it doesn't even need to be, as there really isn't much of a rebuttal) that I've always been a pretty huge dork.  I've never really been of the loud and proud persuasion of dorks...but at the same time, I've never succeeded when trying to hide it either, at least not to my knowledge.

So yes, onto business.  Aside from playing one of the biggest female science fiction icons of all time Carrie Fisher also became a rather iconic addict (oh, she was also in When Harry Met Sally...a personal favorite...check it out, for sure) among other things.  Wishful Drinking chronicles some of the deepest and darkest times in Fisher's life.  The memories that she has written about are ones that remain available to her after electroconvulsive therapy.  This being the case, this book acts not only as a window into an interesting life for the reader but also as a journey of rediscovery for the author.

The reclaimed fragments of Fisher's life are simultaneously hilarious and haunting...and I do not say this lightly.  Wishful Drinking is a fascinating read (or listen...the audiobook being read by Fisher herself) but it is not for the faint of heart or the easily offended.  God bless her, Carrie Fisher is a riot...a truly rowdy woman...and I mean this only in the best ways possible.

Mentions of her feelings toward George Lucas and of the frantic call about Carrie's use of LSD made to Cary Grant by Fisher's mother, Debbie Reynolds, are just two out of a myriad of highlights that make this tale both cautionary and comedic.

So to sum things up...the book was great and I'd definitely recommend it, with the minor caveat mentioned already.  Check out the video below, where Carrie herself promotes her one-woman-show by the same title.  If you see the video and think "my life may very well be incomplete until I read this book"...then I'd recommend picking it up and giving it a chance!


That's all for now, but more to come soon!  If you like reading my random rants and feel like clicking that "Follow" button...by all means, go for it (but no pressure)!  (Quick shout-out to the newest follower among the ranks, anchorman0718!)

Peace out, all!  Stay Classy!
LT

12 October 2010

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Photo from Elizabeth Gilbert's website.
“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”
 The above quote from Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, resonated with me so much that I pressed the skip-back button of my car's CD player simply to hear it again.

For anyone who doesn't yet know, Eat, Pray, Love is the true story of Elizabeth Gilbert's search for everything across Italy, India, and Indonesia, and that being the case, the book is quite properly subtitled.  Elizabeth Gilbert, an American author and journalist, having found herself unbearably unhappy in both her marriage and her life, fought her way through a devastating divorce (with a side order of an affair) and then traveled the world in search of...well...everything.  I want to sound well-versed and thoughtful here but honestly, there is no need to try to reword what Gilbert has already written so beautifully and succinctly.


The book is divided, conveniently into 108 chapters, reflecting the 180 beads of the Japa Mala used in a few different forms of meditation.  I was thrilled by this.  Not only in the everyday-Lauren-OCD way but also as I have been using my very own mala from Tibet in meditation for around a year now.  Anyway, it was just cool to read (hear) about Gilbert's personal experiences with various forms of meditation, both Indian and Balinese.  So, the 108 chapters were organized into 36 chapters for each country.

Gilbert uses her incredible skill as a writer to illuminate the characters that she met during her travels without overpowering them.  She successfully acts as a vessel for their individual personalities to come through.  It should be noted that the audiobook (the way that I have experienced this book) is read by the author.  I found that this gave the reading a nice touch.  No need to search for the correct interpretation when the words are one's own, right?

However...the chapter where Gilbert essentially tells Ketut Liyer's story (Liyer is the Balinese Medicine Man whose palm reading practically convinces Gilbert to go to Bali in the first place) is a little much.  I only say this because the author voices all of the individual characters in her book...and it was just kind of annoying when I was listening to her speak for this man for what seemed like forever.  It unfortunately got to the point where I stopped listening to the stories that Liyer was telling because of my personal aversion to the way that Gilbert was voicing them.  That's not to say that I literally stopped listening to the CD...I just kind of zoned out.

All in all this book is an absolutely fantastic read (or listen, as was my case).  I bought the book a couple of years ago for one of my parents for Christmas (I maintain that I bought it for my dad but he thinks that I got it for my mom).  Anyway, neither of them have read it yet.  I've told them both that they should do so.  It's simply a fascinating look at religion, spirituality, and life from the eyes of a woman who became confused, frustrated, and saddened by the whole rigamarole and then took it upon herself to search for the answers and meet God halfway.

If you have the time, check out the video below.  It's 20 minutes long but totally worth it.  It is Elizabeth Gilbert speaking about the creative process, the creative mind, and the cognitive rejection of that undying question that plagues artists once they have brought something really great to life..."What if everything else that I create never lives up to this?"


Alright guys, that's all for now.

Stay classy!
LT

02 October 2010

Romeo and Juliet (Pop Culture)

A while back I was given the task of staging a 5 shot tableau of Romeo and Juliet using only objects.  I immediately knew what I wanted to do, and ended up doing just that.  This may have been the quickest decision I have ever made in my life.  It was more complicated originally.  The good Friar Lawrence was to be played by Dr. Pepper because, while Brittany from Glee assumed that Dr. Pepper was a dentist, I was going with the possibility that he was a doctor of theology.  However, I could not find anywhere to purchase just a single can of Dr. Pepper, and as Sister will tell you, I do not drink Dr. Pepper because it does not taste like Diet Dr. Pepper.  Also missing from the tableau is the Prince who could have been masterfully played by RC (Royal Crown) Cola, as pointed out by my pal Jacob back home, because I simply didn't have the time to find a can of RC Cola, and because I didn't really have a primo place to put him within the tableau.  Friar Lawrence was to be in Scene iii, marrying the lovers.


Anyway, there it is.  Have a great weekend, everybody.  Stay classy!

01 October 2010

"Taquitos Tonight" or "The Most Meaningful Blog Ever"

Today was a rather good day.

I fell asleep on the couch last night watching Food Network.  I am officially obsessed with both Iron Chef America and Chopped.  I first became obsessed with the former, not knowing about the latter, but now I don't even know which one I like more.  Someday when I have spare time (haha) I will go into some in depth analysis and compare the two.  Anyway, love them both.



So, this morning, Genevieve woke me up, wanting to go outside.  I didn't need breakfast, seeing as I woke up to a cake-crumb-covered plate, and discovered that in my sleep I ate the end of Melissa's "Congratulations on Quitting Your Job Cake."  That's not a joke.  None of it is.  I ate it in my sleep.  And I really did make her that cake.  Or I tried.  Anyway, I didn't need breakfast, clearly I had taken care of that already.  So I took my meds, yadda yadda yadda, then Genevieve and I went for our walk.  It was lovely and she was so well behaved today...it was a pleasant and super-welcome surprise with the way that she's been acting this past week or so.

Anyway.  Good morning.  Good classes.  Good time at work (got some work done teaching myself how to use our new three dimensional animation software...and then watched The Office).  Got some groceries.  Came home.  Played with the dog.  This is way more in depth than I initially planned.  The point of the post is taquitos.

Okay, so I'm watching Iron Chef America and normally that makes me want what they are cooking (well sometimes anyway, when it's not fish and stuff) but today, I just want to chill.  Plus, the secret ingredient is barracuda.  Gross.  And I know what you're saying.  Don't judge a book by it's cover.  I'm not.  I'm judging a terrifying fish on the grounds that it is terrifying and that it is a fish.  Two strikes for the barracuda.  There's one more strike as well.  Strike three: it is a barracuda.

Anyway, instead of being inspired to make something fantastic, I was inspired to take some frozen taquitos out of a box and put them in the oven.



Anyway, that's what I did.  And they were good.

Both the pup and myself were much more interested in the
taquitos than the barracuda fondue.  Yes, you heard me right.  Anyway, only
I got to eat them because taquitos are not for dogs.
Chalk a point up on the board for me.
The end.

P.S.  To those of you who took me at my word when I entitled this (at least partially) "The Most Meaningful Blog Ever," I was lying.  I was lying, and doing so ever-so-intentionally.  I believe that's another point for me.

23 September 2010

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange

Photo from Amanda Grange's website.
¡¡Beware:  There may be spoilers (i.e. there are) for at least the true, original, fantastic Pride and Prejudice in the following post.  so if you haven't read the real P&P, don't read this post.  Here's the summary.  "I didn't like the book."  Go read the original and report back when you've finished!!

So...I am fully aware that because of the title of the book, I will probably get very little pity from any of my readers when I tell you that "this book is a waste of time."  And yes...I do understand...it's kind of an iffy title.

I know, I know.  Now, just hear me out.

Here's at least part of what I was thinking as I was browsing around in the audiobook section of the central branch* of the IMCPL.  I thought at least three things.

1.  Mr. Darcy.  Wow.  Well...I love him!  The classic "not-actually-so-bad-bad-boy."  Pride and Prejudice is one of my all time favorite books, thanks to the recommendation from my dear friend Annette.

2.  It is not a secret to really anyone who knows me that I'm obsessed with one of the best TV shows ever created, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  So this could quite possible be an amazing book.

3.  Vampyre.  What a fancy way to spell vampire.  I wonder where on earth that spelling comes from (I researched it for this post [WIKIPEDIA!  WOOT WOOT!] of course, and it turns out that it is French).  The author must be really learned and creative.

So I grabbed the audiobook after very little deliberation (which is strange for me) as I thought that I had nothing to lose and went speedily to the check-out station, not wanting to be charged extra for accidentally staying in the garage for 1 hour and 1 minute.

I begrudgingly paid my dollar to leave and put the first disc into my car's CD player.  Initially, it was simply beautiful writing.  Loved it to begin with.  It begins with a prologue, in which Lizzie is writing Jane, fearful for her life, due to some unknown circumstances (though with the title of the book, one can surmise what those circumstances are).  Very interesting.  Chilling.  Got me all excited to hear what was happening, but then chapter one begins right after the double wedding of Jane and Bingley and Elizabeth and Darcy.  Sorry if I just ruined Pride and Prejudice for anyone.  Um...yeah, never mind.  That doesn't happen at all.  Okay yes it does, there's no hiding that I've messed the book up for anyone who hasn't read it.

I'll go put a spoiler disclaimer at the top of the page right now.

Okay it's up there.  With special punctuation for Kristen.

Now...onward and upward.

The writing is at times fantastic, very lyrical.  But when the words are beautiful...nothing much is happening.  Then, way way way way way way way way into the book, when things actually start happening, the writing begins to lack simultaneously.  If I remember this correctly, The Ancient says to Lizzie at one time, "You're so...bloody."  Seriously.  I laughed out loud when I heard that.  Part of that was probably because of the awkward way that the woman reading the book, Elizabeth Jasicki, said the line.

Anyway...when it was just beautiful writing, it was beautiful, but when the supernatural got introduced, it became clear that there was really not a single solitary original thought within the pages of this book (or the CDs, in my case).  Now I'm not going to tell you how all of these things tie in, just incase anyone still wants to read the book after all of the high praise that I've given it, but here's pretty much the ingredients to Mr. Darcy, Vampyre.

1.  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
2.  Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
3.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer created by the incomparable Joss Whedon
4.  Harry Potter by J.K Rowling
5.  Indiana Jones created by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg

All of these things, save the second one in the list (which is at least very catchy and enjoyable, I will give you that), are friggin amazing pieces of art/literature that rock my world.  But the way that Grange has combined them is somewhat akin to a preschooler cutting the faces out of old antique pictures in your family album and then making them into a messy collage.  It's kind of sweet...you want to tell her "Good job, Honey.  That's beautiful.  You've put everyone we love into one big picture."  But at the same time...she totally ruined all of the original pictures.  Know what I mean?  If you're going to make a collage, you either need to be reallllllly good with scissors and glue, or know Photoshop like the back of your hand.

Grange is unfortunately a preschooler with safety scissors and Elmer's glue.

Now, that's not to say that there weren't good parts to the book.  There were some really good parts.  But it was not put together well and had enough bad parts that, in the end, it just wasn't an enjoyable experience.  I listened to the entire thing, not wanting my maiden voyage (kinda) into the world of audiobooks to begin with a shipwreck that never made it back to shore.  I am now listening to another book.  Which I will probably write about when I'm finished.  I can already tell the mood of that blog post will be a lot more positive.

Please keep in mind, that these are just my opinions.  If you have the spare time and want to read the book, by all means, do it!  I salute you.  This is just what I think about it.  And also, Ms. Grange, if you are reading this (though surely you are not), I'm sure you are a lovely person and maybe your book just wasn't my cup of tea.  Keep on keepin' on, Girlfriend.

Stay Classy Guys!
LT


* Incidentally, the rules of the parking garage for the central branch have changed.  No more can I, a poor college student, park in the garage for free so long as I am in and out in under thirty minutes.  Oh no.  Now, if I enter the garage and that yellow and black automated gate lowers itself behind me in my trusty Honda CRV (lovingly referred to by most as Clark), I cannot leave the garage without paying at least $1.00, no matter how quickly I check my items out and leave.  They of course informed me of this, by way of a new sign, after I had already entered and unwittingly kissed one of my hard-earned dollar bills good-bye.  Now surely, this change is due to governmental cut-backs or something devastating like that.  I could be understanding of this, and support my library, which I love so much, but that costs money now.  I support them with my smiling face, do I not?  Suffice it to say that I have changed my routine and now go to the Nora branch which, as it is not downtown, has no need for a parking garage.  Just a free and friendly parking lot.  Now...aesthetically, it's not the same as the central branch.  I don't feel like I'm walking into some fantastic hybrid of the awesomest airport and the coolest children's museum...but...I guess that is just the price that I have to pay to not pay the price to park.  (Oh, I slay myself!  Ha-Ha!  Good Lord...how apropos considering the book that I just finished.  I didn't even plan that.  I swear!)

13 September 2010

Guess what I use for a beanbag chair. A raisin.

So I'm watching the incomparable Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends while working on some costume design homework.  I have Moose and Squirrel on fullscreen but then I heard the familiar "bing" telling me that I had an e-mail.  Come to find out that it was a Facebook notification that a friend from work, Jackie, had posted a video on my wall.  I laughed so hard.  I am still laughing.  I am still watching it.  Over and over.  I wish I knew how these people made the mouth on Marcel the Shell because if I knew, I would totally make a video like this (because I definitely have the spare time).  Hmmm...well I do have a directing project due today...maybe I'll throw that together into video form just for kicks.  It won't be anything like this...but hey...what can you do?  Anyway, I'm staging Romeo and Juliet in a five section tableau with objects...what are these objects?  I will tell you...

...AFTER I present it at 1:00 pm!  How terrible would it be if I posted on here what my concept was and then somebody else came to class with the same concept?!  Surely someone is reading this right now...you know who you are (actually, I bet nobody is reading this right now, I'm just being silly and pretending that I have an idea brilliant enough to catch the attention of suave spies like Borris and Natasha [Can anybody say FULL CIRCLE?])...just trying to figure out what to do for our project for William today.  Alas, you non-existant hypothetical idea stealer...I am not an idea revealer!

Okay, this is getting dumb now.  I'm fully aware, so Kyle, if you're reading this, no need to point it out.  Anyway, the point of this was just to show everyone this awesome video!!!!



Stay tuned for Romeo and Juliet with objects!!!!

SC,
LT

P.S.  Go watch it on Youtube, if you want.  The blog kinda cuts off part of the screen.  By kinda I mean, it really does.

06 September 2010

I'm Doing It

I know I've said it before.  And I did mean it before.  And I mean it again.  I'm getting back into shape.  I'm gonna do this.  Not for anybody else.  For me.  What's different now that will allow me to do it this time when I couldn't before?  I don't know.  Maybe nothing is all that different.  But I have an entirely new life (well, almost entirely) and I want to be able to live it happily and healthily.

Today's workout will commence at 5:00pm.  I could go on and on (shocker, I know) about how I'm getting back on track with things, but I won't.  Why?  Because as I wrote in the paragraph above, my life is not entirely new.  Some things still remain.  What things, you may ask?

Loads and loads of schoolwork.

I'm out.
SC,
LT

05 September 2010

Hey! You know, you kinda look like...

Be forewarned, readers.  This is actually a blog entry about attractive male actors.  I know, right?  Kinda straying from my norm (whatever that may be...do I even have a norm?) for a moment.

This morning, while eating my oatmeal, I found myself trying to figure out one of the greatest most superficial conundrums of my life.  Why do I find Jake Gyllenhaal to be more attractive than Tobey Maguire?  For those of you who may not understand why the question is a valid one (maybe), it is important to know that these two men have rather similar looks.  (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1.  Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal.
As you can probably see, they at least look a little bit alike.  And I'm not the only one who thinks so.  Clearly some casting directors or other Hollywood bigwigs do too.  (See Figure 2.)  So anyway, here's my thing.  I simply find Jake Gyllenhaal more attractive than Tobey Maguire.  But why?  If they looks so much alike?  I don't know either of them personally, so it can't honestly be a personality thing.  I can't even begin to talk about why I find one more attractive than the other.  I'm sure it's some kind of mental thing, right?  And surely there are others in the world who think the opposite of what I think.  The main point to the post is this...I think it would kind of suck to look so much like somebody else.  Why?  Because what if some random blogger found you less attractive than the person you look so much like?
Figure 2.  Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman,
and Jake Gyllenhaal in Brothers.
Wouldn't that kinda be a bummer deal?
"Oh my goodness!  Is that Lookalike Smith?"
"No, that's Lookalike Jones."
"Are you sure?  I could've sworn that..."
"...yeah I know what you mean...but I'm sure.  They do look alike but Lookalike Smith is way more attractive."
"Oh yeah, you're right.  I can see it now."
I mean...wouldn't that just be awful?  It's bad enough to be judged for your looks...but to be labeled as looking just like somebody else, but less attractive...man.  That's not cool.  Part of me feels utterly terrible writing this post because in writing about this I am, essentially, creating the unfortunate situation that I am discussing.  Luckily, I bet neither Tobey nor Jake will be reading this.  If you are...Tobey, please know that I do not find you unattractive.  (As I say this, he is looking downward in the movie poster for Brothers looking beyond dejected.)  It's just some trick of the brain I'm sure.  Jake, don't get too full of yourself.  I'm just one person.  And I change my mind quicker than you can even imagine.

That's all I've got right now.  Back to loads and loads of homework.

Stay Classy,
LT

P.S.  I did not randomly just start thinking about this.  Last night when I was working on Costume Design homework, I was watching The Good Girl.  Ironically, I do not find Jake Gyllenhaal to be very attractive in that particular movie (You're welcome, Tobey).

03 September 2010

There's Nothing We Can't Face...Except for Bunnies

So I hate being sick.  Like, I'm used to being sick, like normal-sick for me...but when I get a cold or something, I just do not handle it well.  Knocks me flat for a while.  Anyway, I wasn't writing a blog about that.  But it's kind of about that.  I was just wanting to post this picture that shows my day in a picture.  The CD pictured showed up magically in my mailbox today from my mother.  Put a welcome smile on my runny/stuffy (how does that happen at the same time?!) nosed, lung-hacking-up face.


P.S.  Sister...the title was for you.  I don't think that anyone else who reads my blog will get it.  But I don't care. :)

29 August 2010

Little Bit Absent

Hey everyone,

I realize I've been a little bit absent on here.  I've just been spending a lot of time living my life (this new version of it, anyway) and getting acclimated.  Life in the apartment is great.  Will post pictures soon.  And to those of you who fear that I've given up on my cooking/blogging adventure...fear not.  I've been cooking, and documenting (of course) but just haven't put up any blogs yet.  But I will.  Just finding a schedule and a rhythm (2 essential things in my little corner of the world) and haven't yet found the optimum spot for writing.

Finishing up my last model for last semester's scenography class.  So 2 things will come out of that.  1.  Pictures of the set (if it's worth looking at...which honestly, I'm proud to say that I think it will be). 2.  More time...I think.

Anyway, just wanted to post something.  So that was it.  Oh...and one more thing...

Genevieve proudly sporting her new collar.
She's dealt with the move pretty well.

So that's what's going on here.  Model work.  Then work work.  Then homework.  Then a staff meeting.  Then Alpha Psi Omega.

Peace.

18 August 2010

34 DAYS!

Wow...two posts in one day!  Pretty big stuff, right?  And on top of that, I wrote a biology paper.  Anyway...I ran into this video today (I know...I ran into another one too...I need to watch where I'm going before I run into a whole movie.) and it inspired the countdown you see above the blog posts.


The relationships (and all of the backstabbing that comes with them) look even more ridiculous when it's compressed into 2.5 minutes.

...oh...and when I say ridiculous that obviously translates to AMAZING!

So yeah...that's all I had to say.

P.S.  Joss Whedon...please direct another episode.  Or another million episodes.  Thanks.

Life is a Gift

This post is for everyone...but especially for my Congenital Myasthenic Syndrome friends (via blogs) Kyla and Luke.  (Hey guys!)

Anyway...seriously, like I said.  This is for EVERYONE.  I ran into this video on Facebook this morning.



I don't even know what to say.  There are so many things to say but I think I will say them later.  First I just want anyone who just watched the video above to let Nick's words resonate within you.

Love and peace to everyone.

Lauren

16 August 2010

Movin' on Up!

Hey Everybody!

Hope all is well in everyone else's worlds.  Mine's pretty good right now.  We just moved furniture and stuff into our apartment on Friday.  Makes the whole move up to apartment living seem like more of a reality.  Melissa and I are both really thrilled.

Myself and Melissa on Friday night after moving in.
She's been out of campus housing for a couple years now but this is my first year...so one of the things I'm MOST excited about is being able to cook for myself!

I know...I know...it's a lot more work.  I'll get tired of it.  Soon I'll wish that I'm back in a hall of Freshman (no offense guys, you know I love you) with a meal plan that provides me with frightening faux food.  Yeah...I think not.

I do realize that it will be more work.  But it's real work that I'm really glad to take on.  It's like my mom keeps saying to me:

"Lauren...you're like...a real person now!"
Those of you who know me, know that I like to be in control of things.  Those of you who don't know me probably know that too, haha.  I wouldn't say that I'm a control freak (surely others might disagree), I would say that rather than needing to be in control of everything...I need things not to be out of control.  So if something is under control and safe, healthy, and of course to my liking...but in the control of someone else...I'm totally cool with it.

Food is a big thing for me.  I can't handle anything be questionable about food.  I also have a really hard time handling raw meat...but I'd rather brave through the terror of working with raw meat than have somebody that I don't know or trust preparing my meat for me.  Makes sense, right?  At least a little bit?

Anyway, this weekend marks the time when I will actually be moving in...not just moving in furniture.

Audience participation time...okay?

Please, please, please send me a favorite recipe...or two...or four...so that I can try it out!  I'm going to Facebook this request too, but I'm planning on doing this stuff from my blog mostly.  Here's the deal.  I'm thinking about trying to chronicle my new apartment experiences or whatever in the blog.  Kinda like Julie & Julia with the cooking thing.  So send me a recipe...AND YOU COULD SEE IT ON THE BLOG!

Exciting, right?  Well...I think so.

A little note about recipes:  Healthy recipes are preferable...just because that's part of why I'm so excited about cooking for myself...but if the're super awesome and not the healthiest...I might be able to make an exception.  Also, not a huge fish person.  But again...if you can convince me it's super awesome...I'll probably try it out.

Let's see some recipes people!!!!

Peace Out,
LT

P.S.  Sister...wet burritos?  Pretty please?

12 August 2010

Yerba Mate

I was working on a biology paper this afternoon (at times it seems that that is all that I do anymore) and Kyle came home from having coffee with his friend/fellow Sunday School Teacher.  He walked into the house, greeted lovingly by Chance, Genevieve, and Nelson, and stopped behind the half-wall that divides the kitchen/eating area from the family room.

"I have an early apartment warming gift for you," he said, and further explained that it was also a gift because he noticed that I've been working very hard on these biology papers and he thought I might need some relaxation.
I closed my eyes and held out my hands, as instructed, and when I opened my eyes I saw that he had gotten me a traditional Yerba Mate Gourd and Bambilla.  The drinking of Yerba Mate is a common social practice in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, eastern Bolivia, and southern and western Brazil.  It's kind of supposed to be a miracle drink.  Sign me up!  Anyway, in some of its countries of origin it is consumed more than coffee in a ratio of 7:1.

I had my first try at it this afternoon.  I had about 3 or 4 gourds full.  Don't remember exactly how many it was...I was writing biology papers (shocker).  Let me tell you what...it has an INTENSE taste!  It was almost kind of overwhelming.  I'm thinking it's kind of an acquired taste.  But that's said about beer too and I've been able to acquire a taste for that just fine.

We're talking energy, antioxidants, blah, blah, blah...(those are reverent "blahs" not negating "blahs")...but it also...are you ready for this?

Get ready?

It kinda saves the friggin rain forests (which, due to my millions of biology papers, I know is very important to do) and by extension the friggin world!

And on top of that.  I'm kind of in love with the people at this company.  Check out this vid.


So...I'm looking at trying to make a conscious life change, here.  Those of you who know me know that I kind of do that all the time...but oh well.  Anyway, I'm trying this whole Yerba Mate thing out.  I think it could be great.  I was reading the pamphlet that came with it and it was telling me about the cultural gourd drinking ceremony...it's done among family and friends...loved ones.  

I said to Kyle "It sounds just like smoking Hookah." 
He said "...well yeah, or a peace pipe."
"Except drinking tea is better for you than smoking."
"Well yeah, Lauren...most things are actually."

You're welcome to those of you who were afraid of going through your day without a dose of Kyle's wisdom.

Peace out, Stay Classy!
Lauren Elizabeth

11 August 2010

Awesome Blog from a Friend

Love these kinds of posts when you read them and it just feel like your soul wakes up to a bright and clear morning.

05 August 2010

Meet Me in St. Louis OPENS TOMORROW!!!!

Presented by Elkhart Civic Theatre

Hey Theatre Fans! (That just doesn't seem to work as well as sports fans...does it?)

Anyway...wanted to write possibly the quickest blog ever 
to remind you all that the coolest thing, since whatever the last coolest thing was, is happening tomorrow...

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS!

The show opens tomorrow at Jimtown High School on C.R. 3 in Elkhart.

Coming to see Meet Me in St. Louis would be what is commonly referred to as a "good life choice." Trust me...while I am not a doctor...I do drink Diet Dr. Pepper sometimes.

The following information will be helpful in getting you to the shows on the right days at the right times:

Showtimes:

Friday, August 6, at 7:30 pm
Saturday, August 7, at 7:30 pm
Sunday, August 8, at 3:00 pm

CALL NOW FOR TICKETS!
574-848-4116

Tickets are $18.00 for adults, $15.00 for Students and Senior Citizens 62 and over, and $10.00 for children 12 and under. Or ask about our Family 4 Pack for $44.00!

Hope to see you at the show!

Peace,
Lauren

31 July 2010

A Discussion Between Children

I've been pretty wrapped up in work stuff and writing biology papers lately...so I was oddly unaware of something upsetting that happened in my community.

Yesterday, after work, I headed over to the house of some friends (who I more quickly would label as family) to have our family night (like I said).  We have family night every Tuesday.  But with Annette and McKenna in Elkhart Civic Theatre's upcoming production of Meet Me in St. Louis, we hung out on Friday this week instead of Tuesday, due to their rehearsal schedule.  And of course...what does one do on the Friday of the Elkhart County 4-H Fair?  Well, one goes to the rodeo!  What else?  So we went to the rodeo!

I always love a rodeo (which may seem funny to the people in Indianapolis, but I was a farm girl before I was an actress) and I always love being with them, so it was a win win situation.  It was a great time.  Aside from me getting a massive headache, everything was pert near fantastic, if you will.

My headache got to be a little too much to handle, and it was getting late anyway, so in between the barrel racing and the calf roping, we left to go home...or we tried.  We had the hardest time finding the van in the parking lots.  We finally did and got in to go home.

Somewhere in the conversation in the car, a word like "terrible" or something like that came up.  I don't know what it was for sure.  But Annette said, "Speaking of [terrible], Aidan I was so sorry to hear about the tower at Ox Bow."  (It wasn't one of her smoothest segues, but it was a lovely segue, nonetheless.)  Until that point I'd not heard what had happened.  But the observation tower at Ox Bow park was just burned to the ground by vandals.  It's a big deal here.  Everybody knows about the tower.  Everybody's seen the tower.  Everybody's at least climbed the four story tower at least one time in their life.  And now it's gone.

Elkhart Truth Article

After we were all silent for a while, no doubt remembering our times at the tower (at least I was), Aidan and McKenna started talking.

Kenna:  I just don't get it.  Why would anybody do that?  It's not like they're getting any money out of it...and that's what people are so crazy for sometimes right?
Aidan:  Sometimes...people just do things to hurt other people.
Kenna:  Well, I don't get it.

The car was silent.  I could sense that McKenna was waiting for an answer.  Aidan was quiet, not having an answer in his arsenal of knowledge (this boy knows so much about so much...it's so lovely).   But he didn't have an answer to this one.  So maybe it was an adult question/answer.

Neither Annette, nor Jeff, nor myself had an answer though.  At least I know that I didn't, and nobody else offered one up.

The only response was a shared sense of non-comprehension.

Why do people do things just to hurt other people?


I don't have an answer to that.  I don't understand the whole concept.  And even if I had the chance to understand it...I don't think that I'd want to.

Click here to join a group on Facebook to show your support for the rebuilding of the tower.

28 July 2010

"Balance" or "The Chilling Has Passed"

It was a nice idea while it lasted.  And I do believe it did me good.  But today, I got on to Google Reader and found a new post from one of my CMS blog friends...and that reminded me of the goodness that can be found in this sort of arena.  It's just nice to be connected to people who get what's going on.

Anyway, that's all I wanted to say.  Who's for doing some make-up work to finish last semester's incompletes?  Nobody?

Ok.  Guess I'll do it myself.

Don't forget to smile!
LT

26 July 2010

Overload

I encourage anyone reading this to just chill.  Get off of Facebook.  Get off of Twitter.  Stop reading blogs. Not forever.  But just for a bit.  Just chill.

Take some time to be with yourself.

I'm not saying that everyone HAS to do this.  I'm simply informing everyone that I'm going to at the end of this post.  We spend so much time away from ourselves.  Reading about other peoples' thoughts.  Looking at pictures of other peoples' experiences.  Wondering what those thoughts and experiences mean.  Or at least I catch myself doing these things.  Caught myself doing it tonight.  If I'm alone here, please let me know.

Anyway.  I don't think that we do this on accident.  This removal from ourselves.  It may be subliminal but I don't think that it's inadvertent.  If we remove ourselves from the chaotic overload of everyone else's lives and our lives in relationship to theirs...what are we left with?

Our own minds.

Seems to me that whenever I just chill and take a trip through my mind there are some cobwebs, some things I meant to move around or donate, and some thoughts that worry me enough that I don't want to stay there.  So I leave and vow to deal with stuff [maybe] the next time that I come back.

Maybe...just maybe...if when I find some cobwebs in my mind...I get a broom tall enough to reach them and knock them down, then my mind will be a more pleasant place to visit in the future.  Furthermore, if I'm successful in this way, and am more aware of my own mind, thoughts, and feelings, then I will be better prepared to relate with others.

I'm not saying it's a guaranteed fix for feeling paralyzed in social situations...but I'm going to give it a shot.

So for tonight...I'm out.

Ask yourself who you are.  Ask yourself what do you want to be.  Ask yourself what do you believe.

Don't ask others.  They don't know the answers.  Only you do.  And if you find yourself unable to retrieve the answers...maybe it's time to sit down and commit to some.

01 July 2010

The Ties That Bind

There are so many questions in a life.  There is so little time to ask them.  There is even less time to wait for the answers.  But forcing answers may bring insincerity to a life.  To all of the lives connected to that life.

And what of that life and those connected lives?  How are they connected?  And just what are the ties that bind them or that have bound them together in the past?

Just as the human body instinctively heals itself, are our souls not inclined to do the same?  It seems to me that they are, but that there is a distinct and notable difference between the healing of the body and the healing of the soul.  The process is essentially the same.  Aesthetically, the outcome is the same as well.

When a knee is scraped, the body immediately goes to work, producing a scab, covering up the wound, and keeping any possible forthcoming dangers at bay.  In time, if the scrape is small enough, the evidence disappears without a trace.  A deeper cut or more serious injury may end up leaving a scar.  That scar serves as a reminder to the knee's owner that they'd better be careful the next time they go climbing the tree in the back yard.  This reminder simultaneously acts as a news bulletin to all who lay eyes on the knee: This knee has been hurt.

The souls of people are woven together in a complex tapestry that when glanced at from afar looks much more smooth than it actually is.  Each moment in time, even when we are not aware of it, we are each weaving our way through our life stories, and through the life stories of those around us.  It seems that we are intertwined in such a way that we do not realize the extent of our souls' connections until something happens, whether that something is good or bad (or in the gray area where most of the world exists).  So when something happens...when threads become frayed or severed, it is felt by the closely surrounding areas of the tapestry.  When threads are snipped there are a few things that can be done.  The one remedy with the least effort but maybe also the most possible destruction is to just leave it.  If you leave a loose thread, and don't ever touch it or mess with it, there's a possibility that it may make it through.  But that leaves two threads, raw and bare, with no support or protection.  A loose thread can also weave itself in an out of other surrounding threads, finding support and community.  Or, if the protection of one's heart is the main concern, a loose thread can simply follow the example of the human body and cover itself up, closing out anything and everything else that may come along.  But when we essentially cover ourselves like aglets on shoelaces, we cut ourselves off from life itself.

So what happens when severed threads wish to try knotting themselves together once more?  What happens when you've got a handful of aglets, bumping against each other, longing for the way things used to be?  I'd hazard a guess that things will never be the way that they used to be...but that's not to say that they could not be better than they are now.

How does one begin tying that knot?  Does the knot begin with apologies or forgiveness?  Which thread initiates it?  When, if ever, to the aglets come off?  And maybe most importantly, if the threads were to successfully weave themselves together...would they ever be able to live with the fact that there are some obvious knots where it once seemed that they were fused together without a hitch?

08 June 2010

Revamping

I kinda like it.  I kinda don't like it.

By it, I mean the current layout of News From the Liminal State.

The main fact is...I don't love it anymore.  It is for this reason that I will shortly begin the search for a new one.  I don't like how this one hides comments so that I cannot see them to respond.  My dear Anonymous Aunt in S.H. posted a comment on the Florida VLog today but I cannot easily get to it.

Until I find a layout that I love, I will use some generic one.  Or constantly change layouts.  Y'all can live with either the monotony or the frenzy that either of these choices might inspire, right?

I thought so.

LTVlog goes to Florida: Day_01