Tag Archives: Holidays

If I was into the whole “New Year’s Resolution” thing, this just might be mine

This is my first post of the new year, but it’s by no means one of those “new year, new me” inspirational-type posts people get crazy and write at the beginning of a new year. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, and I plan on being the same mediocre writer this year as I was last year and years’ past.

That just came off super pessimistic, and I didn’t really intend it to. I just sometimes wonder why I can’t be a more dedicated writer. After all, after putting minimal thought into what I’m about to say next, I’ve realized that I’m not really “great” at any one particular thing, except maybe writing. I’m good at a lot of different things, and that’s cool. It’s what has made me so versatile over the years, and probably what’s also made me feel like I’ve never really fit into one specific type of “person” category (whether that’s a positive thing or not, I’m not really sure). I’m blessed with the natural ability to dance and move my body in a way that isn’t awkward or terrifying to the people around me, but I would very likely lose to someone else in a dance-off. Mainly because I repeat the same dozen dance moves over and over, and tend to incorporate a lot of head bobbing and face making into my improv routine. I’d like to think doing that makes me look like a female version of Ne-Yo, but more than likely I just end up looking like this:

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I also have the natural inclination of being musically-talented; though never formally trained, I inherited a good set of pipes from my mother, and the ability to, like the rest of my family, play the guitar in a good-enough manner to resemble music. But I never had the range of both my mom and my sister to hit the high notes, and my guitar-strumming abilities are limited to the 10 or so main chords that make up any basic hit (but I guess that’s mainly my fault because I refuse to learn bar chords or anything that has to do with Bm). I’m good at yoga, but don’t do it frequently enough to call myself a yogi. I’m naturally athletic (enough to the point that I shocked all of Kevin’s colleagues on our co-ed softball team when I was able to proficiently catch, throw, hit, and run the bases during our intramural games; I honestly didn’t think catching a softball and throwing it to the next baseman was all that difficult, but apparently a lot of women can’t do it), but I haven’t been faithful as an athlete to any one particular sport since I played soccer in high school 10 years ago. As far as hobbies go, I’ve never really stuck with anything long enough to become skilled at it. I usually try it, get good enough to where I can perform above a beginner’s level, and consider it mastered. I’ve always been difficult to please, and it isn’t necessarily that I get bored with things easily, I just want to try so many different things I don’t feel there’s enough time to stick with one thing for a prolonged period of time. Except for writing.

For me, writing has always been the one go-to that I was just naturally born talented at (at least I think I am; people tell me I have a way with stringing groups of words together, but who can really say?). Maybe that’s why I neglect it so much more than I should. In a way, I’m probably taking it for granted, just assuming my talents will always be there no matter what. Because really, just like anything else, if I don’t hone my craft, it will probably just wither away, won’t it? Like an ill-watered houseplant, so desperate for a drink it’s willing to sacrifice its beautiful leaves in a last ditch effort to preserve its roots, its soul.

See? I can totally write things.

As I said before, I don’t make resolutions. I think it’s good to have goals, but resolutions seem too fleeting, like, the moment you achieve it, you will give yourself a nice pat on the back and revert to your old ways. I also don’t like the idea of using a new year as an excuse to stop being one way and start being another. If you want to make a change in your life, just fucking do it.

Therefore, I’m not going to make any resolutions for 2016. But I will say that I’d like to try to be more dedicated to my craft, because writing is basically all I’m really great at. And I’m okay with that. But if I don’t stop ignoring what I was pretty much put on this earth to do, I might not be able to do it well anymore. And that would be a tragedy. So hopefully for you, my faithful followers, you’ll be hearing a lot more from me this year than you did last year.

Who knows, maybe I’ll become so dedicated to my writing in 2016 that I’ll actually finish my novel and get it published, and my non-resolution this time next year will be writing a follow-up, or better yet, retiring early.

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It’s sort of incredibly depressing being a full-blown adult (at least as far as Halloween’s concerned)

Being a “real teacher” now, with all the real responsibilities that go with it, is pretty fantastic. But it’s also slightly depressing and incredibly stressful. I wouldn’t mind so much any other time of year except for now, being a 1/4 of the way through the school year, in the thick of it, and being smack dab in the middle of my favorite month of the year. And barely having the time to plan a fabulous Halloween party, or attend all the haunted houses in my general vicinity, or find the perfect ensemble for Kevin and my Beetlejuice/Lydia costume (and also being too brain-fried to know if I even just worded that correctly. Kevin and my? Kevin and mine? Kevin’s and my? I don’t even care anymore).

Even though our house is finally decked out in all its creepiness (and the neighbors probably think we are psychos, which we might just be), and even though we have already attended several haunted attractions, and even though we have done the annual corn maze & pumpkin picking, I still feel like this holiday, my holiday, the best time of the year, is slipping out of my grasp. And fast. We’re already 15 days into October? Um, excuse me, when did that even happen? I wish I could just press the pause button on this month until I have a chance to catch up on all the things I wait 11 months out of the year for. Ugh.

Since I’m basically too busy/exhausted/apathetic to write anymore, I can say with 98% certainty that I won’t be publishing any sort of horror movie marathon list this year. So for those of you who have any interest, please refer to years’ past here, here and here.

And for those of you who don’t care, don’t like scary movies or are just too lazy to click an external link, here are some pictures of our “murder house” for you to delight your senses with. Happy Haunting. photo 3

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Filed under Entertainment, Humor, Opinion

A tiny bit of victory against my shopaholic self

I’m a recovering shopaholic, and if we attended meetings (which we might) and earned chips (again, it could happen) like you do in AA, I would have earned my first real chip today.

I tend to spend money I don’t have, on things I can’t afford, namely designer handbags (see: Kate Spade, my one true vice). It started in college as an insatiable need to keep up with my rich peers. Having attended a private (and by private I mean expensive and snobby) university, I was probably one of maybe twenty people in my graduating class who didn’t come from wealth. After leaving my small, sheltered hometown (where I don’t think I even knew household names like Chanel & Dior let alone Michael Kors or Tori Burch), I entered Satan’s playground, otherwise known as Tampa, Florida. Surrounded by snooty classmates and their material things, I felt like I had to have expensive brands to fit in, so I started buying shit I couldn’t really afford but didn’t really feel badly about buying because what the hell else was I supposed to spend my money on as a college kid with no bills to speak of? After a year or so, I finally realized how dumb and “fiscally irresponsible” I was being, so I toned it back a bit. My spending didn’t really stop, it just sort of shrank in dollar amount. In reality, though, I was probably still spending almost the exact same amount, but because I wasn’t just spending it all on one high ticket item, and instead on several cheaper things, somehow I justified it.

Over the years, I tried to be better with my money, but more than ever I was bored and unsatisfied with my life, so to fill the void, I bought crap I didn’t need. I guess I figured if I surrounded myself with enough material things, I wouldn’t crave things that actually matter in life. Which I’ve finally figured out doesn’t actually work, and instead just stressed me out more because, oh hey, I can’t afford the shit I’m surrounding myself with in first place. Amateur move.

$40 bag for the win!

$40 bag for the win!

Finally, at 25, I think I’ve finally gotten to a place where I can distinguish between want and need, and I can make the adult choice about what I’m going to spend my money on and what I’m not, and how to tell myself no sometimes. Like when the PERFECT $200 Kate Spade handbag jumps out at me from the shelf at TJMaxx and I put it back, instead opting for the $40 Steve Madden to replace my current tote that sadly, is falling apart. Now I know some of you may argue that the win would have been if I had purchased NO handbags, and instead had saved my money and not bought useless crap, but you would be wrong and I would punch you in the face, so you should just shut your mouth. Baby steps, here, people.

In all seriousness though, especially in this season of giving, it’s important to remember that what matters most in life are not things at all, but people and the memories you create with them. I’m about to go create some awesome memories in a place I’ve never been with the man I love more than even Felix the cat (and that’s saying a lot, because I love that stupid fur ball, even if she does shit on my floors). I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving tomorrow- lucky me, I get my turkey dinner a day early! Nom nom.

Ok, for real, bye.

Maybe I’ll actually do some real-time writing and report live from New Orleans as cool shit happens? To be continued…

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Ideas for Halloween you probably already had (but should repeat again anyway)

With just a week left until Halloween (cue my approaching sob fest), there are still so many ways left to celebrate this most beloved (albeit scary) time of year. I’m sure no one is as much of a horror/Halloween enthusiast as me (read: crazy person), but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the same means of haunted celebration as I do. For those of you last-minute tricksters, here are a few fun holiday ideas you can still squeeze into this last week of the best month of the year (best for me, anyway…).

Jack the Pumpkin King and Zero. BFFs.

Jack the Pumpkin King and Zero. BFFs.

Carve pumpkins. I mean, duh, c’mon. It’s sort of a no-brainer when it comes to this Halloween tradition. The last week of October is actually the perfect time to do it, so that you can have a chance to enjoy your carvings but so that they don’t rot before the trick-or-treaters arrive, like some people’s pumpkins will who tried to be all overachievers about it and carved them weeks ago. Just saying. My twist this year, though, is to make it something worth a little more to you than the standard toothy-grinned pumpkins of Halloweens past. Surprisingly, I have never carved a Nightmare Before Christmas pumpkin (shocking, I know, but that’s mainly because I can’t draw for crap and no one has ever offered to stencil something for me until now), so it seemed only fitting that my boyfriend and I carve our first pumpkins together using his skills as a graphic designer/artist and my skills as an obsessed NBC fan. Errr, yeah. But they came out awesome, so whatever.

Indulge in cinematic horror (but not actual horror). Ever the scary movie fanatic, I highly encourage you to indulge in at least one or two horror movies before the month is up. I have so many favorites, the list could go on forever, but if you’re looking for a good variety, check out my posts from years past here, here and here.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. And if you are, I’ll just come for you in the night while you sleep.

Terrified. And the Three Little Pigs.

Terrified. And the Three Little Pigs.

Attend all the scary things. What would Halloween be without haunted houses and other scary attractions of the like? I took a break this year from the overly-commercialized Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios, mainly because of how long the drive is, how expensive tickets are and how much of your night is spent standing in line (because the quality of scare is 10 out of 10, but the other factors make it drop pretty low on my favorites list). Instead, I sought out some local haunts I’d never been to before, dragged all my friends to them, and I have to say I was incredibly satisfied with both the level of scare and the price of admission (definitely adding The Haunted Angelus Scream Park and The Radley Haunted House to my list of annual Halloween events in the Tampa Bay area).

If anyone has anything to add to my (rather dull) list, let me know. I’m trying to hold on to Halloween as tightly as I can in hopes that this year, maybe, just maybe, it will last a little longer than its usual 31 days…

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It’s beginning to look a lot like…Halloween

Even though we’re still a few days out til October, the fall/Halloween season is basically already upon us (at least for an addict like me). To kick off my favorite time of year, my friends and I hit Sweet Fields Farm for their annual corn maze (despite the fact that they don’t offer night tours anymore, the jerks). Although, with the typical sketchy Florida weather, we almost. didn’t. get. to. go. Stupid rain. Apparently you’re not capable of walking through a corn maze if it’s raining (so dumb). But I willed the rain to stop (it was clearly my pleading, not the weather pattern, that cleared the skies) and we made it in with the last admission. And of course had a blast (how could you not in a corn maze?).

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Children of the corn.

Since living in Florida, fall and Halloween have never been quite the same. As someone who lives to be scared and spends their whole year waiting for this one month, I still find plenty of ways to get my scare on and get into the fall spirit, but it’s not like it was living up north, with the changing leaves and the cool, crisp nights, perfect for bonfires and hot chocolate and freezing your butt off while you’re trick-or-treating.

Oh, who am I kidding, who wants to be cold and miserable? I love Florida. I do miss things that were unique to Pennsylvania, like Mazezilla and The Hotel of Horror, but I’ve discovered a few Florida haunts that I’m hoping will pan out and turn into a yearly thing (more on that later). More than anything, I just want to go to a bunch of haunted houses, scream my head off often, watch a lot of terrifying movies and never have it be November 1st.

Also, please bring back my favorite Halloween commercial. K thanks.

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Filed under Entertainment, Holidays