Monday, August 22, 2016

Linking to a post in another blog of mine... trying to bring some light to a family going through a dark time.

Dear Dictaphone:

Today, my heart hurts for a dear friend who is going through a horrible experience, and having to deal with the kind of thing every mother fears most.

I want to find a way to cheer up her family, and to do that, I'd like to enlist the help of the WWE. All the details are on another blog of mine, you can see them here.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Happy Election Season!

Random Thoughts:

  • I wish that there was a way to filter hype crap out of the legitimate information when looking at election hoopla.
    • I have a feeling if this were possible, we would find that there is very little legitimate information out there.
  • The Olympics have been much more interesting.
  • Working full time definitely makes me appreciate my down time more.
  • My eldest is now property of the US Government.
  • This year has gone by extremely fast. How is it almost Labor Day already?
  • I wish the full-on Election Crap was required to wait until Labor Day to start.
  • I also wish that our local candidates for Things had more information available. 
  • Happy Friday!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

I think I've figured this "growing up" thing out...

Dear Dictaphone,

Everywhere you look nowadays there are articles and memes and such about how people wish they weren't grownups, and how we want to go hide in blanket forts with coloring books and so on and so forth. And it's true. Any kids/teens out there... DON'T GROW UP!!! IT'S A TRAP! Seriously.

But I've realized that high school is for figuring out all the things you might want to do and giving you basic tools to do them, and college is for corralling kids until they're slightly older and more mature and giving them more things to do and learn to prepare them for maybe doing something useful. And your 20's are for potentially screwing up everything, or finding your heart's desire and being ridiculously successful and for breeding because you don't know any better (or waiting because you think you do, whichever), and no matter what, you still have your life ahead of you.

Seriously, the goal is to make it to 30 without doing any serious damage.

By your 30's, you have a slightly better idea of how the world works. At this point you're either working at something you figured out in your 20's, or finding something new because that other shit didn't pan out. You may still be muddling through, and if you haven't yet, this is when the whole "How to be a responsible person" starts setting in. You likely have kids now if that's what your life brought. You're learning and navigating school systems and politics and money and starting to really get the swing of it. Priorities and such.

Then you hit your 40's. And your body - it doesn't do things the same. It's not bad, but it's not the same. And your kids are getting older. And if you started in your 20's they're starting to do things on their own. Even if you started later, your world perspective is a little different for dealing with things. And you hopefully have a better grasp of the money thing. And then you look at yourself and realize that you really aren't sure exactly who *you* are anymore. Because the last several decades have revolved around others and their ideas of you and what you should be and could be and want to be and all that fun stuff. And now... you have more time to sit and think. And the urge to be you starts coming on strong. Whether it's you with a partner, or on your own, you want to find yourself. This brings on the whole "mid-life crisis" thinking. But it's not a crisis.

You have to adjust. That's all. For me, this means I'm taking more time to do what makes ME happy. It means I'm standing up for myself more. It means I'm leaning on my friends, learning to organize and prioritize. My parents have both retired now. And I look at them and know that I want to be able to do that in another 20-something years. So I'm going back to school to finish the degree I started. I'm cleaning up after the messes I made before.

I still catch myself in the "If I could do it differently" rut from time to time. But not as bad as I once did. Because everything I've done so far in life has brought me to the point I'm at now. And I think I'm a pretty awesome person. I KNOW I am. (Hell, I have to be - I just gave a total stranger a hand-knit colorwork hat - "We Call Them Pirates" pattern in green and black - because it fit him, his personality as I saw it, and most importantly, his head - he had a hat, but it didn't work with the rest of him. See a need, fill a need, right? Also - he's a stylist/artistic type person who lives downtown and fully appreciated the work that went into making the hat. It will be loved and appreciated.)

That's the kind of freedom I'm looking forward to. Being a grown up to the point where I can do things and be things and realize that I can live for ME again. Not ignoring my family, not abandoning them. But realizing that I can take care of all those things, and be my own person again.

It's not so bad, really.

This post brought to you by a cup of chai with a double shot of espresso, a great grilled cheese sandwich, and a comfy chair at Go Java Coffee on Ionia.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Guess what day it is.....

No, not "Hump day". It is, indeed Wednesday. Specifically, June 3rd, 2015. And today is a special day.

It's a birthday. Not my birthday, not any of my kids' birthdays. No. It's much more important than that...

Bigger and better than that.

Today is my nearest and dearest friend's birthday.

Miss Sandy Dee, who has been there for me through all sorts of nonsense, who is my Official Photographer because she will not allow a bad picture of me to exist and is a Photoshop Goddess, who provides me with coffee and mimosas and shares my love of All Things Benedict, including Cumberbatch and Breakfast Items, and with whom I will end up retiring to a cottage in Ireland on the ocean where we can be those creepy old American women with dashing young men around to do maintenance, is celebrating her Eleventy-Billionth Birthday today, whether she wants to or not. (She's not really Eleventy-Billion, although it often feels like it. But a lady doesn't reveal her age. And neither will I.)

In the 12 years we've been friends, I have never really acknowledged her birthday, because she generally doesn't pay much attention to it. But this year, I am making up for eleven years of missed birthday wishes. If I'm lucky, she'll still like me by the time I'm done. Heh.

Oh, speaking of Benedict Cumberbatch, it took some work, but I got some contacts to get him to wish her a happy birthday...

I know he says Samantha, apparently the name got mixed up along the way. It's really for Sandy, I swear...

While I was being ambitious, I tracked down another of our favorites, Tom Hiddleston. He was in Australia, and got the request while at a bookstore, got the whole group to sing along...

He had to pretend it was for a fan there to get them to do it, but he was really sending the birthday wish to Sandy. Really.

If you know Sandy, if you see Sandy, wish her a happy birthday. Get excited for her. Because she is an awesome, amazing, beautiful person. She deserves the best, so much better than she often gets. She's a phenomenal mom. An excellent friend. And the craziest ginger leprechaun I know.

Love ya Sandy. Hope today is half as great as you are. And you still like me by the end of the day. Especially since I think we're supposed to have Coffee at some point.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Non-sequiter Interlude

Dear Dictaphone,

My feet itch.

That is all.

Except now I'm not sure I spelled that right in the title.

Oh well.

I think I'll get another glass of wine.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Nickname for one, nicknames for all!

Dear Dictaphone,

It has been brought to my attention that people actually READ this! And apparently, my posts regarding the #Biggby in Sparta are popular. Also, it seems my assignment of nicknames to the #NotoriousNicole and the #BrilliantBethAnn have prompted other customers to come up with nicknames for other employees of this enchanting place of coffee consumption.

I find this to be absolutely delightful.

First, because people are actually reading what I'm rambling. Second, because they agree that the peeps at my favorite caffeine dealer are worthy of extra attention and special recognition.

So, if you are a patron of said establishment, and you have ideas for nicknames for the others, LET ME KNOW!!!!

You can either comment here (no need for an account or anything) with your suggestions, or just email them to me. I will consider all APPROPRIATE suggestions. Alliteration is encouraged.

Extra thanks to the most #JoyfulJen for bringing this to my attention! Yes, my person remembered to tell me tonight.

So here ya go, #SpartaBiggby fans, let me know what nicknames you have for the #BeguilingBaristas there! I will arbitrarily pick the ones I like best, and maybe even run them by the owner for approval, and post results here.

It's all up to you now!

Friday, May 8, 2015

And, another quick shout out to my Local Purveyors of Caffeine...

Dear Dictaphone,

This morning, when I was running around, dealing with errands and urgent phone calls and such, I had a shocking realization. I hadn't had any coffee yet! Then I had another, much more pleasant recollection... I had a free coffee available on my Biggby card! And I was about to drive past the Spectacular Sparta Biggby Shop. Huzzah!

I pulled in to the parking lot and went inside, because it's much more entertaining that way. And people are less irritated when you can't make up your mind than if that happens in the drive-thru. As I entered the store, the Brilliant Beth Ann saw me and gave a genuinely excited "Hey, it's you!" type hello. Which was pretty gratifying. She may not remember my name, but she recognized me as a Person to be Happy to See.  She also has referred to me as "The one with the blog!" Having many years of retail experience, I understand how easy it is to have customers all blend together. I also know that the fact that I was recognized at all is impressive. Actually, if she remembered my name, it might be a sign that I've spent far too much time there. It should take at least a little while longer for that to happen.

I ordered my coffee (A Super Avalanche Latte with two extra shots of espresso), chatted a bit about some Good Things going on right now, got my drink, then went on my way.

And honestly, the rest of my erranding, indeed, the rest of my day thus far, has been better for this interaction. It's pretty impressive what a difference a simple excited greeting can make to a day. So thanks Beth Ann! This good mood is for you! (And the rest of the folks there, of course.)