Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 30

I accomplished my goal of 30 posts in 30 days. This is the first November I've ever done this where the whole month ended up being fairly boring. This is the first November that I've struggled some to figure out what to post for about half the month.

Ace and I have made some decisions lately that have changed how busy our lives are. We're also adjusting to Ace's new job. He doesn't have set hours everyday and that is another adjustment we are making. But those are things I'm not really ready to fully talk about here.

Things with my in-laws are still a little odd. They are giving us some money to buy a car, but most things going on with them are still not positive. We're all feeling a bit awkward right now, I think. Things will hopefully start getting better soon. Ace earning some money will help.

I'm glad I did NaBloPoMo again this year. I feel like I've had some posts that were extremely well written. I feel like I phoned in a few posts. Hopefully I'll do better in the rest of the year to post well written posts.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 29

or I Quit

Dear Raid Team,
We've had fun these past few months. I enjoyed our time together. Part of me wishes I didn't have to say this, but here goes.

I quit. I like you. It is totally not your fault. It's just that right now life is more hectic than it's been in a long while. Ace is working, and working long hours. My shoulder and back are hurting more than they have before. We're trying to find a balance. I'm hoping we'll move out soon so I can start losing weight.

But something has to give. If it doesn't, I'll lose my mental and physical well being for a computer game. That wouldn't be healthy.

I don't know that I'll never come back. In fact, I've agreed, tentatively, to still raid with you on occasion. But I really can't devote 9 to 12 hours a week to this stuff right now. Life is pulling me in another direction.

I'll still see you, at least sometimes. I'll be working on other characters in game. I'm friends with more than half of you on FaceBook. We aren't going to fully lose touch and I'll probably be seeing you more than either of us expects. Hopefully I'll have good news for you all. Hopefully my shoulder will get a break.

But, for now at least, I quit. It's been good and I'll miss it.

M.A. Smith

Monday, November 28, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 28

or Busy Week

Ace and I have a busy week this week. We have plans every evening except Wednesday. Also, Ace is planning on working as much as he can the next few months to try to get us to a good place financially.

Tonight, we have a few errands to run. Hopefully it won't take too long to be back home. Tuesday night, we have a Christmas party to go to. Taz and her kids may join us for that, but we won't know until Tuesday. Thursday is prayer night. Friday and Saturday we have a conference here in Tulsa we will be going to.

We got a little stressed earlier today, partly because of how busy this week is. We both felt frustrated and didn't put each other's feelings first. We both apologized for being frustrated with the other. We spent some time focusing on the positives that will soon be coming around.

This is a busy week, but hopefully we'll both keep in mind that we aren't normally this busy. Hopefully we'll be more careful about keeping ourselves in the right place mentally. And next week will be less busy either way.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 27

Ace, Taz (my new friend, called the name she gave me permission to use), and I watched Avatar Friday night. Her kids were spending the night with their grandparents and we hung out and watched a movie. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the movie.

I had heard that it was about being green, and I guess that message was in the movie some, but it wasn't the message that hit me. Instead, I was surprised at how much the political message that was much more obvious seemed so appropriate. It surprised me how much I don't think about where our troops go and what the culture is like there.

I know that in Iraq there are families. They are probably fairly similar to the ones I grew up seeing on TV. They are trying to live their lives and walk their faith. And then we come in and fight a war in their country or try to convince them to change to a lifestyle we are more comfortable with.

We don't consider what is special to them. We think we are superior just because we are different and live in a generally more developed nation. We don't listen to them to find out what is important or why they would want to live the way they are. We don't show them respect. And then we wonder why we are hated as a nation.

I don't know that those families in Iraq are right. I don't know that they are wrong. I just know that they are different in ways that probably don't matter. I know that we should show other people, other cultures, and other nations respect. Who is to say that we are right? What if we are wrong?

There are always two sides to every story. Both sides think they are right, or at least less wrong. Maybe it's time we start listening to both sides before we decide.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 26

Last night, I went to look at Christmas lights with Ace, my new friend (gonna talk to her about the name thing), and her two kids. It was a lot of fun, even if it did feel like the Bataan Death March of looking at Christmas lights.

We were walking around at a pretty good pace, mostly because that's the pace set by the youngest member of our party. If I had been setting the pace, we'd have been going closer to half the speed. I expect to feel the burn in my muscles later for all that walking.

We saw roughly 2 million lights (give or take a few thousand). We all had fun. We skipped anything that would have cost money and stuck to the free stuff. I'd love to do it again sometime.

Friday, November 25, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 25

or Another Spam E-mail This Month?

Yes, another spam e-mail. Deal with it.

>From: American Embassy
>Sent: Sat, Nov 12, 2011 4:56 am
>Subject: ,,,,, FROM ,,U.S.A EMBASSY ,,,,
Ooh, it's from the US Embassy. But why does the e-mail address not end in .gov?

>,,,,, FROM ,,U.S.A EMBASSY ,,,,
>Embassy of United States of America in Abuja
>7, Mambilla Street
>Off Aso Drive Maitama District, Abuja
I have no clue if there is an embassy in Abuja. I don't know where Abuja is.

>Greeting to you, I am Mr. Fred Williams Secretary American Embassy
>Abuja-Nigeria, thank you so much and get back to my e-mail regarding the
>money you have lost based on ongoing scam activities in Africa especially
>Nigeria, the US, UN, EU and AU has admit with the federal government of
>Nigeria to combat this recent increasing in fraud by the dubious citizens of
>the third world nations
Greetings to you. I never talked to you before but I'm glad I could help you with the e-mail I didn't send. I'm glad to see someone is taking all this fraud seriously.

>We have carried out Investigation to many Office departments in African
Well, that's good to know. Why are you randomly capitalizing words?

>Also, Regarding different emails you are receiving from people claiming to be
>President of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), we want you to stop any further
>communication with them.
I haven't been communicating with anyone from Nigeria. I've not responded to a single spam e-mail. Ever.

>We are working very hard, with ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION >(EFCC) in conjunction with FBI to make sure we arrest all those criminals.
That's nice. Does this mean I'll get less spam?

>This is to inform you about our plan; This Group is responsible for
>investigating the legitimacy of your fund worldwide to the beneficiaries
>without further delay. You are being legally contacted regarding the release
>of your long awaited fund that amount $14, 700, 00, 00 million U.S dollars
I haven't been awaiting any funds from Nigeria. Especially not $14.7 million. I have no clue if that's even a legitimate phone number.

>1 Your complete name
>2 your complete address to avoid handling of your card that contains your fund to a wrong >hand
>3 A copy of your identification card or you international; passport
>4 Phone number
>5 Your occupation
1 Marsha Amanda Smith (not my real name)
2 12345 S. Main St, Tulsa, OK 67891 (not my real address)
3 I don't have a way to copy my ID and I don't have a passport (not that I'd put it here if I did)
4 1 (234) 555-6789
5 Ice cream taste tester (oh wait, that's a job I might enjoy, not one I have)

>Send a copy of your INFORMATION\S to our remittance officer to avoid handling
>your fund to a wrong hand inform her that I directed you to contact her with
>the informations below
I'm not fully sure I know what I'm supposed to do here. Am I supposed to send her information? Am I supposed to tell this person I'm supposed to contact her?

Thanks for nothing.

>Mr. Fred Williams
>Secretary American Embassy in Abuja-Nigeria
Marsha Amanda Smith
Ice Cream Taste Tester

Sorry, I don't think I was nearly as funny today. This e-mail just wasn't that funny and ended up being odd.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 24

or Things I'm Thankful For

As it's Thanksgiving, it seems appropriate to make a list of things I'm thankful for this year.

1. Ace has a job.

2. Ace has motivation to get us back on our own.

3. We've had somewhere to live for the last year and a half. It may not be where we've dreamed of living, but we've had a roof over our head.

4. I have a nice warm blanket to keep me warm when the house is cooler than I'd like it to be.

5. I have a new friend. We're making plans to get to know each other better.

6. I have things I can take and do when my shoulder or back starts hurting.

I'm sure there are many other things that I'm thankful for, but right now these are the things that top my list.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 23

Ace and I are planning on spending some time together, just the two of us, later on. I'm looking forward to it. We've had less time with each other lately because of his job (that doesn't bother me) and because of spending time with our friend (I'll give her a name soon, but not today).

It's nice for us to have a little bit of time to focus on each other. I think I've been needing a little of that lately. I've got some things for us to talk about and hopefully we'll get some things ironed out and plans will be made.

Ace has promised me the time, and if I have to hide the phone and drag him away from his computer, I know I'll get it (I doubt I'll have to take such drastic measures). It's a good thing for me to learn to balance my demands on his time with what time he has available, but it's also good for him to remember to spend time with me while balancing everything else.

We'll find our equilibrium again. I'll find myself needing a bit less time from him and he'll find himself giving me a bit more attention. It's how it works. But this in between state is an odd one.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 22

All my worry was for no reason. I kind of knew it would be from the start. I like this friend of Ace's. She's now my friend. Hopefully we'll be able to see her again soon and we can all get better acquainted.

My brain is just one that goes about 3 times further than it has to when thinking about stuff like this. I start off with reasonable questions (Will we find something to talk about?) and end up with totally crazy ones (Will she think I'm crazy and evil?).

That's probably the worst thing that happened with my mom's craziness, I over think things to an extreme degree. Every time I start thinking too much, it ends with me thinking that someone is going to hate me, FOREVER, for some minor thing. It's not healthy. It's not fair to anyone who is even minorly reasonable, which is most people.

On the plus side, knowing that this is a problem, I can start working on it. I can work on not assuming the worst case scenario. I can stop predicting the end of my safe world (at least, the one in my head) for every small thing.

I made a new friend. That makes me happy.

Monday, November 21, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 21

Since Thanksgiving is this Thursday, I guess I should be focused on things I'm thankful for. Instead, today I'm focused on an old friend of Ace's from high school (old as in he knew her a long time ago, not old as in she's 80).

They are friends on FaceBook. She posted something recently about an event her daughter had and she invited people to come. Ace told her he couldn't make it due to previous plans. Once she found out it was his prayer night, she asked him to come to church with her (partially so they could catch up).

Yesterday morning, he went to church with her. I stayed home, mostly because of a sore back and desiring some time alone. Ace got home about an hour after the service ended, obviously catching up went well (the church is within a mile of my in-laws house, so I know travel time was practically nothing).

This evening, I will meet this friend. Ace has let me read the conversations they've had just so I know what is going on. He told me some about them visiting. He wants us to be friends with his old friend, something I'm fine with. From the sound of it, she needs a relationship with a guy who just wants to be friends.

Ace doesn't want to keep things secret from me. He would like it if she and I became friends. I'm hoping to make a new friend and get to know more about the past my husband seems to have mostly suppressed. I'm curious about this person who freely invites people to church, something I haven't always seen. I'm curious about what her kids are like (she has 2).

And while I'm curious about her, I wonder if she's curious about me. Did she used to have a crush on Ace and wants to know what kind of woman he married? What if she thinks I'm all wrong for Ace? Would she even care? What if I can't find things to talk to her about? What if I can't stop babbling? What if I make a complete fool of myself? Will any of these thoughts matter?

Obviously, Ace and this friend weren't that close in high school. I'd have met her before now if she was that important to him before. I've known Ace for over 9 years, been married close to 8 and 1/2, and yet my insecurities about meeting people he used to know well still come out. All sorts of stupid what ifs keep popping in my head. I'm over thinking this whole thing. Somehow, I imagine that I'm not the only one over thinking things. But I'm probably the only one awake when I should be sleeping because I'm over thinking things.

Later today I'll meet an old friend of Ace's. I hope everything goes well.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 20

We are two thirds of the way through the month. In celebration, I bring you this picture.

Thank you for your attention.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 19

Thanksgiving this year looks to be very different from the last several years. My dad and step-mom have other plans, so I won't be having smoked turkey then. I'm not really sure what the plans will be, but it won't be the same.

My sister was apparently wanting to come for Thanksgiving too. It would have been nice to see her. But there's always Christmas.

On the plus side, for the first time in more years than I'd like to remember, Ace and I will be able to do something more for Christmas than just go visit people. We should be able to buy gifts for my family and maybe give gift cards to Ace's family.

Things are starting to look up. And I'm holding onto that.

Friday, November 18, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 18

or Making Lists

Yesterday seems to have been a day for me to make lists. I made a list for my post. I made a grocery list (granted, it was stuff Ace and I forgot at the store the day before or found out we are almost out of after we got back from the store, but still). But those aren't the important lists that were made yesterday.

Ace and I made a list of what we need to get or have the money for to be able to move out. There are some important things on that list. Things like sheets, towels, pots & pans, and a car.

And then Ace and I made a list of our expected outgo each month. We figured up how much we're likely to need for income to meet our monthly expenses. It's all doable. It's not an outrageous amount. And that list will definitely be adjusted as we get more definite numbers in the future.

But we can see financially where we need to be to get out of here. We can see the light at the end of this long, dark tunnel. We make lists like these so that we can remind ourselves that there is hope. We have a brighter future ahead of us.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 17

or Things I've Learned as a Healer in World of Warcraft that Apply to Real Life

Today's post is going to be a list. Because we haven't had one of those in a while and I'm in the mood for a list.

1. Sometimes you can do everything right and it still goes wrong.

2. You have to take care of yourself too, or things will go wrong much more quickly than you think they will.

3. People appreciate someone who helps them.

4. People will blame you for problems they cause, even if you are trying to help them.

5. It's hard to think clearly when you panic. Staying calm in tense situations is better than freaking out. Things seem to go smoother that way too.

6. You can surprise yourself in what you can accomplish.

7. In some situations the clothes that you wear are important.

8. If you are still standing at the end of the fight, you've done well. If you can go onto to next thing without needing a break, you are doing even better.

9. It's important to communicate with those you are working with. Preferably without yelling at them.

10. When everyone does their parts, things can go smoothly. Enjoy this, because it can be rare.

11. Sometimes things don't work as well with someone different in the group. Sometimes they do.

12. It's okay to be picky about who you work with. The wrong person can keep you from succeeding.

So, yeah. That's the things I have learned from healing in World of Warcraft that I can apply to real life situations.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 16

What makes a Christian? Can I be called a Christian if I don't live a perfect life? These questions have popped up in my life recently (mostly from quizzes I was taking).

My problem with the idea of not being able to call myself a Christian if I slip in my walk with God is that no one would be able to call themselves a Christian if we hold them to that standard. We all mess up. Even on our best days, the ones we find our Christian walk the easiest, we still are human and can slip.

I don't have every scripture memorized. I doubt I ever will. The Bible is kind of a big book to try to memorize. But I have learned from it. I apply what I've learned to my life. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I have to remind myself that the easiest way to learn how to do the right thing in a situation is to sometimes do the wrong thing. That doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt to mess up.

I don't always feel bad when I swear. I don't feel guilty because my entire focus is not on Jesus 24/7. I don't always remember to put others first, and because of that I have learned that sometimes you need to stop and take care of yourself. I can't help you feel better if I'm barely able to dress myself today.

I'm not perfect in my Christian walk. I struggle some days. I say the wrong thing entirely too often. I'm too selfish when something stressful is on my mind. I strive to do better after messing up and sometimes I still end up messing up worse. I focus too much on my flaws sometimes and fail to see the things that make me beautiful. I don't always remember to count my blessings.

I am a Christian. God loves me in spite of these things. And that makes me special.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 15

Ace and I went out earlier to buy him a new office chair (not for his job, but for our room). His old one had broken (quite badly) and it had to be tossed. The new one is pretty much the same as the old one was, but we only really need it to last about 6 months so that's not a big deal (and the old one lasted over a year before it started having problems).

On the plus side, the chair was on sale and was easy to put together. And now Ace doesn't feel uncomfortable sitting at his desk. And that means he can do his online training in the evenings (provided he's not distracted with other things).

All in all, a great purchase.

Monday, November 14, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 14

After a good night's sleep (and a few other things), I am feeling much better. My stress levels are back down to their normal levels (too high, but manageable).

All that just in time to feel exhausted by this weeks plans looming on the horizon. Ace starts training for his new job today (oh yeah, Ace has a job). He's hoping to spend most of his evenings this week doing the online portion of the training (he started last week, but the lack of a decent chair thwarted most of his concentration).

So, yeah. Things are busy around here. And it seems like it's only going to get busier before it calms down.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 13

Or M.A. Smith has been having a crappy week, so here's another spam e-mail

>Hello Friend,
Don't call me friend yet, I don't know if I like you.

>I'm Ralph Brimly Esq. a lawyer here in the Kingdom of Thailand. I know this may
>look surprising to you because we have never met but I found your contact
>particulars from an address journal and have summed up the courage to contact
>you. I apologies for taking a little of your time but be rest assured that you
>will be greatly rewarded if only you will help out.
I am surprised by this e-mail. Mostly because I didn't know Thailand was a kingdom (I hadn't really thought about it, to be honest). What address journal did you get my e-mail address from? Why didn't it have a name to go with it?

>A few days ago, a UN Diplomat official Mr. Wayne B. Robinson arrived in United
>States to deliver two consignment boxes containing the sum of US$18.5 Million
>United States Dollars to my client's "Mrs. Debra Edward" of 1776 N 9th ST., De
>Queen, AR, 71832,USA. Unfortunately all attempts to contact "Mrs. Debra Edward"
>have been unsuccessful Since last week which we later Yesterday found out that
>she Died on few days back based on her cancer problem which she has been
>complaining to me over two years now about her cancer illness and the diplomat
>Mr. Wayne Robinson is completely unaware of the content of the boxes, and the
>diplomat Mr. Wayne Robinson is planning to leave the consignment boxes at the
>Airport warehouse with Customs/Homeland security officials to proceed with his
>diplomatic mission abroad. My client "Mrs. Debra Edward" had earlier told the
>Diplomat Mr. Wayne Robinson that the consignment boxes contained company
>materials and documents for the security of
>the US$18.5 Million United State
Okay, the address is real, but is probably from someone who these people scammed before. No clue who "Mrs. Debra Edward" is though. What is up with the random capitalization? For the security of the US$18.5 Million United State what?

>Because of this sudden death of My client "Mrs. Debra Edward" and the need for
>your assistance to claim the funds consignment boxes from the diplomat Mr. Wayne
>Robinson in United States right now, I am offering you 35% of the said funds
>amount for your willingness to act as the new recipient/beneficiary to the
>boxes and then help us receive and keep the boxes safe in your care pending on
>when I Barrister Ralph Brimly will arrive United States to meet with you
>immediately after the delivery of the funds consignment boxes to you by the
>diplomat Mr. Wayne Robinson.
Where is Mr. Wayne Robinson from? That name seems fairly American or English for an e-mail from Thailand. So, for holding on to these boxes, for apparently a few minutes (they did say immediately), I get 35%? Wow. Why doesn't Barrister Ralph Brimly pick up these boxes from Mr. Wayne Robinson? Wouldn't you get to keep more of the money that way?

>As soon as you respond indicating your interest, I will proceed to inform you
>about the consignment details and on how to esterblish communication with the
>diplomat Mr. Wayne Robinson in United States of America,
So, if I wait a year, you can still give me those details? Also, why is the last sentence ended with a comma?

>Please get back to me with your below contact details.
Maybe next year, when things seem less stressful.

>Full Names: Ranchero Casserole Smith
>Full Contact Address: 12345 E. Main St, Omaha, Ne 12345
>Direct Telephone Numbers: 1(555)234-6789
>Age: 905, but I look about 30
>Occupation: Millionaire Playboy
>Nationality: Neptunian (it sure is hot here)
I'm supposed to have more than one full name? (Did you like my silly answers?)

>I will furnish you with more detail of the diplomat and the consignment funds
>boxes details which will be kept confidential to yourself alone.
But I want to share the details with everyone. Darn, does this mean I can't get the 35%?

Mistaken for caring,

>Ralph Brimly Esq.
M.A. Smith a.k.a. Ranchero Casserole Smith (for this e-mail only)
Um... Isn't Ralph Brimly the one who is supposed to be getting the boxes from me? Now I'm just all manner of confused about this e-mail.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 12

There are some things that once you see you can't unsee. I really don't want to talk about what I wish I could unsee, but I thought I'd put that thought out there.

Sometimes, people need to be more careful about who can see over their shoulder before they look at stuff.

Yeah, I'm gonna go try to erase a memory now.

Friday, November 11, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 11

After my post yesterday, I'm numb. I'm not hurting like I thought I might be, which is good. Instead I am numb.

And so very exhausted.

No matter how much sleep I get lately (which has been about 8 or 9 hours at a stretch), I'm still tired. I doubt my body is really this tired. Life has just been amazingly stressful and tiring the past few months.

Maybe tomorrow I'll have something better to say.

Today, I think I'm going to get some rest.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 10

Normally, when I get on here I know what I'm going to write about. Normally, I haven't made a commitment to write every day for 30 days.

That said, I want to talk about my mother. I don't normally. The subject of my mother is too sensitive and private. Or more so, the subject of my mother normally seems to cause me to over-think things and dwell and end up depressed.

Seeing as I've already been skating close to depression, and I've still got two library books guaranteed to make me laugh just waiting for me to read them, I think I'll talk about my mother anyway.

My mother is, at least in my opinion, a mess. She has had a bad tendency to move around the suburb she lives in far more often than really seems healthy (4 times in as many years that I can think of off the top of my head). She also doesn't go through everything before she moves it, it just gets boxed up and moved (usually because she's moving in somewhat of a hurry over a weekend).

She has problems expressing any positive sentiments to her children, even her obvious favorite. Instead, we've all been mentally pushed down in an effort for her to prop up her own self-esteem. It's left us all with doubts as to our worth or our readiness to do anything. And the few times there have been positive things, end up feeling like a carrot dangled before a mule to make it continue to move.

It's not that I hate my mother, despite what she might think. On the contrary, I love her a lot. But I refuse to be around her when it will just wind up with me feeling hurt again. I deserve better than that, even if it took me a while to get to that place mentally.

I've learned many things from my mother, most of them what not to do to my own children. Not all the things I've learned are helpful with anyone besides her either. Not having her in my life has been good, especially while dealing with other hard times. I don't need one more person added to the chorus that is saying that Ace and I messed up. I've had more peace, even with my frustrations, knowing that my mother wasn't going to dump a ton of stuff on me on a regular basis.

I don't think my mother is evil, but I do know that I am still too broken to try to have any kind of relationship with her. My dreams bear this out. I recently had a dream where I asked her if she knew what no contact meant. I'm obviously still somewhat upset about my brother's graduation (for more than reason, but I'm not talking about the car dying, I'm talking about my mother).

As much as I'd like to think that I'm past my past and all the stuff with my mother, I often find that I'm still just as hung up about things as I ever was. Despite her voice no longer being in my head, hounding me with her opinions on my life, I still have the scars and the broken bits as evidence of her still affecting my life. I don't know how long it will take to feel like I'm not broken, if I ever will. Things that seem unrelated trigger old insecurities and make me feel just as broken as I ever was.

I know that when I have kids, there will be no way for me to avoid messing up. My only real hope is that when I mess up, it won't have nearly the lasting impact on them as my mom has had on me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 9

Dear world,

I'm feeling overwhelmed by the amount of people I'm dealing with lately. Even when there aren't that many people, it's overwhelming.

I think I need to take a day off from dealing with people other than Ace.

See you on Thursday.

M.A. Smith

P.S.: I think I'll spend some time reading library books. At least I know the people in them aren't real. Terry Pratchett, take me away!

P.P.S.: Maybe I'll feel better after a day away from most people. That'd be nice.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 8

Dear Terry Pratchett,

I love your Discworld novels. They make me laugh and I find it hard to put them down until I've finished them. I am looking forward to reading the whole series.

You inspire me as a writer. I want to write my books in such a way as to draw readers in. I hope my books are as interesting.

Thank you for writing.

M.A. Smith

Monday, November 7, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 7

Sometimes, no matter how good a mood I am in, some part of me wants to cry. To feel the sadness of someone else. To give into depression some, for a little bit.

It's tempting. So tempting to stop fighting and just sink down into feeling upset and just lay around. To not fight it off anymore.

It's tiring, fighting off depression. Fighting to hold onto hope that tomorrow will be better, that this month will have better news, that the next phone call will be the positive change that I've been waiting on.

I'm not giving up, but I'm tired. I'm so very tired in ways that aren't truly physical, despite my body's claims otherwise. I'm tired of my emotions spinning out my control. I'm tired of trying to control them.

I'm tired of hurting inside for no real reason. I'm tired of the pain and the emotional aches that turn into physical ones because my body doesn't know how else to deal with them.

I'm tired of being tired.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 6

or Ahh! Things Have Gone Crazy

Um, yeah. It's been slightly hard to stay calm over here lately. The past two nights, we've had earthquakes in Oklahoma. Noticeable ones.

Friday night, while my father-in-law was at work and my mother-in-law was in bed, Ace and I were relaxing. We were talking about possibly getting romantic, and I was changing some clothes, when suddenly the walls started shaking. At first, I thought someone was trying to open the door to our bedroom (with the door locked). Ace thought there may have been someone on the roof. Turns out, it was a 4.7 earthquake elsewhere in Oklahoma.

Last night, shortly before 11 p.m., the ground shook and the walls shook. There was no confusing it, Oklahoma was having another earthquake. What was originally said to be a 5.2 was upgraded to a 5.6 earthquake. It was felt in parts of Texas, Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas in addition to Oklahoma.

I've been trying to calm myself some. I've only known that Oklahoma has earthquakes for a few years now and after experiencing 2 in 2 days, I'm a little freaked out about it. I'd rather go back to only having to wonder about tornadoes, they are bad enough.

So, yeah. Earthquakes in Oklahoma. What is proper procedure for earthquakes?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 5

or What Makes a Family Anyway?

The main book I wanted to pick up from the library Wednesday was a book called One Big Happy Family. It's a book with essays by various writers about different types of families you can find in these times. It's been interesting, and it's had me thinking.

What makes a family? Is it blood? Is it experiences? Is it living under one roof? Or is it love?

The common theme in the essays I've read so far has been one of love. The love of a husband and wife. The love of a parent for a child. The type of love that surpasses cultural challenges and societal norms for the areas they live in. The type of love that puts someone else's needs over their own.

The essay that has stuck with me the most, so far, has been one by a woman who is (or was) trying to figure out what her relationship with her son's nanny is now that some life changes demand that they are redefining things. Are they friends? Are they family?

How do we define family? How does someone go from stranger to friend to family member? I don't have answers to those questions, despite having it happen. In the absence of my extended family on my mom's side, I sort of made my own extended family. And yet, I can't say how these people, who mean a lot to me and feel like important bits of my family, came to be in that place.

Ace and I have been talking about various things that made me want to read about different types of families. It's probably a good thing. It makes me think, it makes me grow. And yet, it leaves me with questions.

How do we decide what makes a family?

Friday, November 4, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 4

I Am a "Bad Woman"

Catherine of Her Bad Mother wrote The Bad Mother Manifesto
in June of 2009. It is well worth a read and should be read to understand the rest of my post. Really, my post will wait for you.

Catherine neatly covers the problems moms face based on this illusive, faceless perfect mom. I have a different person haunting me. It's the perfect woman. I'm not sure if she's just in my head, but she does haunt me. If only I were less lazy or less sore, maybe I'd be more stylish or have a paying job or just be able to do my entire mental list of everyday household chores.

The problem with this perfect woman is that no matter how I change I still won't be perfect. If I am a perfect housewife, keep my kitchen stocked, floors clean enough to eat off of, and my laundry not only never gets wrinkled by sitting too long in the dryer but is ironed just to make sure it looks perfect, there would still be the lingering wonder if I should also somehow be earning a paycheck and enriching my household that way.

I blame the feminist movement for this mythical perfect woman that haunts me. It's not that I think the feminists were trying to do anything harmful to women. On the contrary, they were trying to make their lives better. Unfortunately, my whole life it has felt like whatever choice I make in life, it's the wrong one.

If I choose to be a housewife (which I did), I can mentally hear people asking why I wasted my time going to college to work on a degree that I am not using. I can hear them asking what value I have to society, being a housewife. If I choose to work, I know that my house will start to look like a tornado hit it because there isn't enough hours in the day to keep it looking neat and clean while working (I've seen it happen). And shouldn't I be ashamed that I can't work so many hours and still stay on top of laundry and dishes, which were the only chores I seemed to handle keeping up as a housewife?

If I choose to have children, I wonder if I should bring more people into this crowded world. If I choose not to have children, I wonder if I'm missing something vital. If I have problems getting pregnant, I wonder if there is something wrong with my body or my choice of husband because I'm not pregnant. If I find that I'm infertile, I'm sure that specter of a perfect woman will haunt me even more. Surely she would handle infertility better and calmer than I would. She wouldn't wonder which things to try or if she can bear it. She wouldn't break down and cry in frustration over having problems. If I choose to adopt, I'm sure I would wonder if I could ever live up whatever I think my child's birth mother would be like or would do.

This perfect woman, the ever changing, illusive being, haunts my mind. I am not perfect. I never have and never will claim to be. And all these questions from these random nosy people, even if they only exist in my mind, they don't ever want to shut up. So, I stop trying to please them.

Instead, I talk with Ace and find out what he wants me to do. While his list of ideal chores I'd get done weekly is much longer than what I actually do accomplish when I have a house to keep, he doesn't complain that it's not enough. He understands that I have limits. He'd rather I not push myself past the point of hurting.

I have to get to the point where I accept that this perfect woman and I will never be the same. I am not going to try to be flawless. My house won't look like I'm devoted to following Martha Stewart's ideas of how a home should look.

And you know what, I think I'm okay with that.

Call me what you will on a scale of good to bad. I'm going to make sure Ace knows that I love him. I'll make sure we have clean clothes, even if they don't make it into the dresser before being worn again. And when we have kids, I'll make sure they know they are more important than how the house looks or getting chores done. And if that eventually makes me a bad mother, that's okay too. My kids will survive.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 3

Lately, although I haven't been talking about it here, I've been a bundle of nerves and insecurity. There's been a couple of reasons and at least one of them has been fully removed.

The other reason I've been nervous and insecure isn't going to go away nearly as quickly. D and I have been talking about things that have triggered some of the stuff that my mother broke about me. And I guess it's time to fully fix those bits and pieces that are broken.

I'm doing better now. This week hasn't seemed quite as "bad" as the past few weeks. I'm adjusting and working on the problem.

But the reminder that I'm still so broken was a bit shocking. I thought I was doing better than that. But I now know that I'm stronger, even in my broken parts, than I thought I was. I have seen warning signs of depression, but I staved it off each time before it hit. I'm doing better, even while having bad days.

I may never fully feel like I'm not broken, but at least I'm not feeling like it's impossible to fix the broken pieces.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 2

Or The Return of Bad Spam

No clue if this is a legitimate e-mail address.

>To: redacted e-mail address
Not the e-mail address connected to this blog, so it stays private.

>Sent: Sat, Sep 24, 2011 12:06 am
I know nothing about this link, so you probably shouldn't click it.

But am I really a concerned citizen if citizen is put in special marks?

As opposed to the office of Kenya's president Barack Obama? Or do they just want to make sure I know which US president it is?

>Head office: The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500
Ooh, they looked up The White House's address. Fancy.

Yeah, I'm sure they president uses a netzero account for his email. The government was too cheap to give him an official government one, right?

Wait, the US president wants to give me money? Let's hear him out.

Yes, release the funds to me!

>After a Seven (7) days intensive board meeting on your behalf by the Internal
>board of trustees of the (G.C.F.R) President Of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria
>in person Dr. Good Luck Jonathan Ebere Also in conjunction with The president of
>United states of America in person of Barack Obama as we both have agreed to
>help you instruct all concerned dignitaries in custody of your Inheritance
>Beneficiary funds/compensation funds also your contract sum here Nigerian AND
>any other Governmental body in United states of America also all over the rest
>world at large that upon the presentation of this letter document they will
>immediately release with immediate effect your impounded / seized funds as a
>result of negligence on your part in the past.
Goodluck (all one word) Jonathan (and no Ebere, something to keep in mind) is the current president of Nigeria. But why would either Goodluck Jonathan or President Obama meet on my behalf? Shouldn't States be capitalized in United States of America? What inheritance benefits would I, a white woman in the US, have in Nigeria? Why would inheritance and beneficiary be capitalized? What rights to the presidents of Nigeria and the USA have over the rest of the world that this e-mail would make the world's governments make my life easier in this matter? Are they blackmailing the world? What negligence have I committed?

>The only advice I have for you is that you try and present this paper document
>to those authorities in custody of your funds also on before you provide this
>Guarantee paper to any authority, There is a great need for you to seek adequate
>advice with us by contacting United States Secret Service Agent In PERSON OF
>] so that you may well be appropriately educated about the due process of law.
Because the CIA and the Secret Service share agents now? And the government is too cheap to give either agency their own e-mail system so they have to use gmail? Shouldn't I be consulting an attorney to find out about due process of law (and isn't that used in criminal cases)?

>It is also on this issue that the Two of us have embarked on several
>international visits to different countries, trying to reconcile the face of our
>nation with our foreign investor nations Based on the out come of the meeting,
>it was observed that the problem that has hindered your is payment is as a
>result negligence on your side. Your problem is no problem if only you would
>comply also all you have to do is to make sure that you carry out the orders as
>directed by the two us so that you in turn get a positive result without no
>further delays.
So, to not have delays in receiving an inheritance I knew nothing about I have to follow the advice in this e-mail? And somehow, me not doing anything to get an inheritance I just found out about has been negligence? And it's harmed the US's reputation with foreign investor nations? Me leaving money I supposedly have a right to alone is causing problems?

>Note that failure to correspond to instruction will hinder all that you have
>ever worked for, so it is best you comply with the officer in charge as directed
>so that you will be helped. I must congratulate you once more that you have
>shown authenticity as one of the beneficiary that is ever willing to receive his
>fund, with out any further delay; Our office supersedes all other offices
>related because our word is our bond also because your fund is currently under
>insurance, henceforth, We both assure you our Guarantee as you can see clearly
>within the content of this document that we have both agreed to help bridge the
>long gap between you and any legal authority in custody of your funds in
>accordance with the law .We swear before you that you will be paid in due time.
>Further more, your funds is safe in the hands of your assigned officer in
>respect of Special Agent John Kirkwood , all you have to do is to keep security
>in check with the officer at all times so that you get
>paid without much delay. Do not dispose the useful information�s received
>through us to any individual without proper identification from such individual.
Failure to respond will hinder my lack of doing anything prior to this point? Or do you mean you will somehow retroactively go in and mess my house up in the past? But I'm authentically showing my willingness to get money I didn't know about? I should trust that you have authority, because you say you do? If my funds are (sorry, is) in the hands of Agent Kirkwood, why wouldn't he be authorized to just bring me a check? I have ID (although, I don't have ID that just says citizen on it). Is Agent Kirkwood going to give me his phone number, so I can check in with him all the time? And I should be checking IDs of everyone? Mr. President, can I see your ID to know that you are who you claim you are?

>Finally, you are to call or mail the officer in charge so that he be able to
>instruct you what to do, as we both have instructed, so shall you do. Endeavor
>to keep off crime by reporting unsolicited emails regarding fake offices. Your
>payment is released immediately you get in touch with the officer as directed.
You didn't give me a number to call Agent Kirkwood, so I guess I'll have to send him an e-mail. Is he prompt to respond? Will he show me ID? You want me to stop crime by reporting unsolicited e-mails such as this one? Talk about your mixed messages! You talked about a wait, then you say he'll give me the money immediately. Mr. President, which is it?

>Try to ensure safety by respecting the power of this very office and the law as
I do respect the power of the office of President, but I'm beginning to doubt this is from my president. He has yet to show me any ID.

>Further comments should be directed to the very office of the personal secretary
>to the office of the United States president .via:
Oh, they won't give the personal secretary of the President his or her own e-mail address. The government must be trying to crack down on excess spending (yeah, right).

>VIEW LINK: group/main/main/id/00011272. html
Still don't know what this link is about. Still don't trust it.

>Good Luck
Where's your ID?

>Signed and duly stamped by
Ooh, where?

According to Wikipedia, Goodluck is all one word. Show me some ID so I know it's not.

Where is your signature Mr. President? And your ID, so I can compare the two.

They really like this link.

>Your wish is our concern.
I wish for all my debts to be paid and to have a nice house and a couple of nice cars and enough money for Ace to never have to work again. Oh, and I'd like to have kids. Get back to me on those.

>Sincerely yours
Gee, thanks!

>Katherine B. "Katie" Johnson
She stopped being President Obama's secretary in June of this year. Why is she still sending out e-mails in September?

>Personal secretary to United States President Barack Obama.
Not anymore. At least, not that I can tell. Don't know who is his secretary now, but it's not Ms. Johnson.

>Please do view link below.
Please don't.

Again with this link?

>Your wish is our concern.
Okay, this time I want a pony.

>Sincerely yours
Cordially sounds nicer at this point.

>Katherine B. "Katie" Johnson
Didn't we cover this already?

>Personal secretary to United States President Barack Obama.
Yes, these last lines were in the e-mail twice.

So, yeah. Not going to follow up on this. It's over a month old anyway. It's not that hard to figure out it's spam mail, but making it supposedly come from the President of the US made it feel a bit more unique (at least it wasn't from the head of the FBI again).

Hopefully I'll get something else in my spam folder that looks fun to pull apart soon.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 1

This year, I'm once again doing National Blog Posting Month. For the next 30 days, I will be posting daily. This year, I don't think I'll have a theme for the month. Thankfulness is a good thing and I'm glad I focused on that last year. Next year I may decide to go back to focusing on something for the month or I may decide not to do NaBloPoMo.

I do have some things I want to talk about, things that I've been thinking about and letting sit. It gives me something to post about this month.

And for now, I think I'm just happy with stating that I'm going to be writing everyday in November. Hopefully I'll stretch my writing skills more as the month goes by.