Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holiday Hangover


So, how was everyone's Christmas? Have you had your fill of sweets, smalltalk, and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation yet? I write to you from my parent's couch, trapped here by 11 inches of snow. It's a freakin' blizzard out there! Interstates and highways are closing and people are cancelling Christmas-can you believe it? As for my family, we braved the cold and the daunting snowdrifts and ice to make it across town to Grandma's house. We didn't even get stuck once, thanks to my dad's self proclaimed "expert" driving.

Everything about the holidays is designed to bring people together, but sticking with a spirit of togetherness and love can be a lot easier said than done. Full disclosure, I spent the second half of my Christmas last year taking shots of tequila with a friend in a bar. Happy Birthday, Jesus. This year has been a year of change in my life, and within my family. This Christmas was spent as so many have been in the past, Christmas Eve church with the family sitting in the same row of the sanctuary as we have since I was a little girl, behind the same family we have known since before I can remember. Perfect.

The music was great, the message; the greatest story ever told. No matter how many times I hear the story, I am undone with gratitude at each telling. God became man for the sake of my soul, how sweet is that?

Christmas morning, I awoke as I always do, to my brother and sister waking me up to open presents. I'm definitely not a "morning person", and I was feeling more than a little Grinch-like. My grumpy behavior was remedied by a bowl of rice and raisins, a tradition passed down from my departed Grandmother, and one of the only traditions we have carried on from my father's side of the family. It tastes way better than it sounds. =)

This morning I find myself with a hangover, but in a completely different sense than last year. Instead of memories of tequila and tears, I have a heart overflowing with love and thankfulness for my friends and family. Nothing is flawless, my life is a constant work in progress. I am, however, constantly reminded of the many blessings I have been given and take for granted on a daily basis. So, in this time of reflection and resolutions, I am grateful and excited for another year of change.

Instead of letting myself become complacent and go back to the family quarrels and mediocrity of the rest of the year, I will continue to grow and be mindful of the countless opportunities and blessings I have received in my life. I will let this holiday spirit hang over into the new year, and continue to inspire and motivate me. I'm ready for 2010.

Are you?

-V

P.S. Today is the first of the 7 days of Kwanzaa, or Umoja, meaning Unity. Matunda ya Kwanzaa to anyone who celebrates it! I hope you enjoy your week!
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Songs:

"White Christmas" Bing Crosby [also from my favorite holiday movie of the same title!]
"The Christmas Song" Owl City

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Happy Holidays from the Three's Company Crew and our littlest reindeer, Bridgitte!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

[almost] Wordless Wednesday

This is pretty much how I feel about my life right now.
Dizzy and more than a little confused.
Someone wake me when it's 2010.

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Songs:
"The World Spins Madly On" The Weepies
"Breakeven" The Script [this song has been stuck in my head all week!]

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oh so RETRO

Have you ever noticed how fashion trends move in cycles? A trend is in style, then becomes out of style, and if you wait long enough, voila! In style again. Well, here's the thing;

The men in my life are like fashion.

I have those faithful few who have been with me through the good and bad times, and I can always count on them. I have been extremely blessed with some guys I met in my high school choir years, who I remain ridiculously close with to this day. I know I can call them anytime I need a laugh or a shoulder to cry on, or to be serenaded and treated like a princess. Those guys are my basic essentials; the little black dresses, great pair of jeans and stilettos of my life. Every girl needs 'em and I honestly don't know what I would do without them. (The men, not the clothes, I'm not that materialistic!)

Then, I have the flavor of the weeks. Guys I meet in bars who seem nice and funny until it's closing time and, "So...how about after hours?"...those would equate to the impulse purchase that seemed like a good idea at the time, but after the credit card slip is signed, immediate buyer's remorse sets in. Sunglasses a la Kanye West, anyone? I know you have them, too. Sometimes I wish men came with receipts, there's definitely a few of them I'd like to return if I had the chance. Store credit or cash back?

Another unfortunate fashion mishap, that item that looked great on the hanger, not so great in the dressing room, but I bought it anyways because, well, I can lose that extra inch by the time I want to wear this outfit...yeah, that never seems to happen, does it? Ladies, please buy clothes that fit, and for goodness sake, don't try and change yourself to "fit" a man, or the other way around. Listen, I'm a huge advocate for change, I do believe in rehabilitation, and that even the douche-iest of men has the capacity to change into that great guy you know he can be. Here's the thing though; just because he can, doesn't mean he will. In fact, odds are, even if he does have some miraculous transformation into Mr. Right, it'll have destroyed your relationship just in time for him to move on and treat the next girl he meets like a princess.

Case in point, I had an ex send me a text a couple months ago saying; "Men are like a fine wine. They begin as grapes, and it's up to women to stomp the crap out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with." He then followed by texting; "Thanks for doing most of the stomping". He was trying to be funny, or maybe even cute, but my reaction was a resounding "F*#% You!". Thanks for doing most of the stomping? Really? You're welcome. You're welcome for spending years of my life believing that you could change, only to finally be done with it, break up, and have you call me a couple months later saying that it "dawned" on you that you were horrible to me and I was amazing to you? You're freaking welcome.

If I sound a little bitter, it's because I am, and lookie here, I've gone and strayed from my men are like fashion analogy. Getting back on topic...right now, I have a couple men in my life that are causing me some trouble; J and R. J is my vintage guy. We've known each other for ten years, and he's [almost] always been so good to me. He, of course, has his share of flaws, but you don't throw away a piece of vintage Chanel just because it has a few frays on the hemline. Then we have R. I really don't know what to say about R except that, he's Nice Guy #2 from a few of my previous posts. Now I'm thinking he might not be such a nice guy after all. I'm frazzled and confused, and beyond exhausted with trying to figure this whole thing out.

Why is it every time every time I finally get rid of a particular trend it comes right back around (Hello, 80's)? I find myself craving something new, something fresh, not just the same fads recycled over and over again. Anybody with me?


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Songs:
"Trainwreck" Elliot Yamin
"Maybe This Time" Cast of Glee feat. Kristin Chenoweth
"Heart Shaped Glasses" Marilyn Manson

Monday, December 14, 2009

'Tis the Season


The new roomies & I FINALLY put up the Christmas tree last night. It looks pretty good, if we do say so ourselves. This past week has really put me in the Holiday spirit. There have been many wintery activities of late, including windshield scraping and defrosting, digging my poor car our of a 3-ft high snowbank (thank you so much Mr. Snowplow), and of course, the oops-I-forgot-to-fill-my-gas-tank-and-now-my-gas-line-is-frozen conundrum of December 2009. Thank goodness for having a father that's only a phone call away, and a male roommate who never makes me take out the trash, won't even think of letting me shovel the snow-covered driveway, and let me park my car in his one car garage last night, so that I don't have to defrost it this morning. He's such a sweetheart. (And recently single, ladies!!)

Is it just me, or do the holidays start earlier every year? Thanks to the Facebook News Feed, I know that several of my "friends" (or people whom I've met once in my life and now have a source of constant information about them) have already had their family Christmases. This blows my mind. I mean, I know people have busy schedules, but isn't the point of having a set date for a holiday...to celebrate the holiday on that actual date? Or at least it should be somewhere in close proximity; day before, day after, etc. I mean, if Christmas is just going to be a free-for-all, why don't we rename December to Christmahanukwanzaakah and we can just have a month full of festivities!? I'm down.

On that note, I'd like to wish a (belated) Happy Hanukkah to all of my Jewish friends out there! I hope your nights are being filled with Manischewitz, honey, latkes, and all the fried foods & dairy you can handle! If you're anything like my great friends in Texas, at least one of the nights of Hanukkah will be spent watching the Rugrats' Hanukkah episode. Wow, I miss those ladies.

This whole holiday season has me über-sentimental. Well, more so than usual. I mean, on any given day you can find me choked up while watching a heartfelt [read: overly dramatic] episode of Grey's Anatomy, or bawling my frickin' eyes out over a Nicholas Sparks novel, just because I'm sappy like that. This time of year does something different to me though, and it catches my heart in a weird way. I find myself reminiscing constantly, taking stock of my life and pausing for a moment to reevaluate things.

I won't bore you with a list of my New Year's resolutions, afterall, I'm creating a whole blog about them starting in January (click here to see what I've written thus far). Well, kiddos, that's all I've got for you today. Make sure you check out my playlist up top-did you noticed I turned off the autoplay for ya? Ask and ye shall receive. Those are the songs I listen to as I sit here stealing internet from my new neighbors because we haven't hooked ours up yet. Hey, they give me dirty looks because Jill & I are moving into our *gasp* male roommate's house! In my mind, this makes us even; they judge, I steal. Bah Humbug.

-V

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Songs:
"If My Heart Was a House" Owl City
"Yule Shoot Your Eye Out" Fall Out Boy

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Making Moves: Three's Company, Too!


I've been a little M.I.A. lately, I know! I'm sorry. In a tiny little nutshell, here's what's been going on in my silly little life.

I moved!

I moved into a new house with 2 of my co-workers this past weekend. New Roommate #1 is Joe, and it's actually his house we're moving into. New Roommate #2 is Jill, my awesome co-worker/cubicle neighbor. We are becoming fast friends, and she is 5'2'' of pure energy...love her! So far so good, except that I've somehow become the dish-washing, dinner-cooking, house mom within a matter of days...ah well. We've been having a grand old time, mostly because the great state of Nebraska decided to blizzard for two days straight, leaving us snowed in and more than a little stir crazy. It's been a week full of wine/beer/peppermint schnapps & hot chocolate, card games, and most recently, a Michael Jackson fueled dance-a-thon.

I'm sure I will have plenty of anecdotes and adventures to share in the following months, did I mention Joe has a 19-month-old daughter? We're gonna have some interesting times, I can tell.

I promise to post more frequently as soon as I get the wireless hooked up in my new digs, just wanted to write a little something to let all of my readers in the blogosphere know that I'm thinking about ya! I hope you're all having a wonderful week, stay tuned!

-V

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Song:
"Three's Company" Original TV Soundtrack

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Last Time


I threw my arms around you and squeezed my eyes tight,

memorizing the strength of your arms,

the broadness of your shoulders,

the feel of your embrace...

I am safe, I am home.


I held you against me for only a second,

afraid to linger,

unable to move.

No past
, No future.


In that quiet moment, time stood still.

No breath, no sound,

save for the drumming in my chest.

This is the last time I will ever see him.


I faked a smile and forced back tears,

and watched you close the door and

walk away.

From me,

from us, from everything...

Just let him go, let him be free.


I stood in silence,

waiting for pain to overtake me.

Waiting for the tears to flood,

instead there was nothing.

Nothing but numb.

I do not live, I did not die.


I was a ghost,

unfeeling and immovable.

Irrevocably frozen.

Just breathe, don't forget to breathe.


I fell into a dreamless sleep,

and awoke with your name on my lips.

My love, my heart...


The phone rang,

I answered.

I listened to your voice,

telling me what I already knew

in every corner of my soul.

You weren't coming.

Not again, Never again.


The thing I remember most,

is the calm.

In my mind I was screaming,

but my hand did not shake.

My heart dared not beat,

for fear it would be my last.

There is no coming back from here, this is it.


And then came the pain,

and bring on the tears,

oceans full.

Never the same.


-V

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Songs:
"Woods" Bon Iver

Author's Note: This one is admittedly a little dark, but I think it's pretty true to how I was feeling at the time it happened. Besides, I'm nothing if not a little over-dramatic.
No worries =) <-----see, I'm smiling now!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Story.

Here is the story of how a little boy named Malik changed my life.

I had never lived anywhere in my life besides Lincoln, NE, when I moved to Flower Mound, TX for my freshman year of college. I would be attending the University of North Texas college of Music to pursue either Vocal Performance or Music Education, I hadn’t decided yet. I needed a job, so I applied at the first daycare center I drove by in Flower Mound. Working with children has always come naturally to me. My mother has a home daycare, so I often say I’ve been working with kids since I was one. Nothing in my years of experience with children could have prepared me for Malik. Before the end of the year, I would be completely changed, not only with my intended vocation, but as a person.

On my first day at Legacy Learning Center, I was introduced to the little boy who would change my life. Malik Rashad was six years old when I met him, and was a chestnut-skinned little boy sitting at a black Dell computer, second from the left of four, at a desk in the back corner of the Schoolers’ room at Legacy. The center manager, Mr. Charles, gave me a guided tour of the building and introduced me to Malik as “Malik is Autistic. This is was he does.” I never would have guessed that this six year old boy who didn’t even turn his head as he glanced at me out the corner of his eye, would teach me not only about working with Autistic children, but about myself.

Working with Malik taught me to have unending patience. One of the struggles Autistic children face is their difficulty in communicating. There was a disconnect between what Malik would be trying to express to me, and what my brain interpreted. At first, when I would ask him simple questions and he would give nonsensical answers, I thought Malik simply didn’t understand what I was asking of him. It wasn’t until many rounds of “what’s wrong?” answered by a list of characters from Peanuts, or every dinosaur imaginable, that I learned how smart this child was. Malik understood exactly what I was asking him, but because his brain had trouble processing the emotional or spatial questions, he didn’t know how to tell me what was bothering him. Malik would retreat back to the topics that were comfortable to him, his favorite characters from Peanuts, and his favorite topic, dinosaurs.

Sometimes to get a simple answer out of Malik, I would have to listen to half an hour of what I first considered to be rambling, where Malik would try and divert my attention by asking me “Is Charlie Brown? Is Linus? Is Lucy? Is Snoopy? Is Peppermint Patty?” I learned to hold my ground and not give in to the frustration (or laughter!) building with each repetition. The patience I gained over my first year of working with Malik, surprised both he and myself. I don’t believe Malik had ever had someone be so consistent in working with him, and this helped us develop a very special connection. This patience is something I have carried with me to this day.

One of the struggles in working with Malik, was the tantrums he would throw. At first, these episodes occurred on a daily basis. The angry child seemed to explode for no reason, throwing toys or running around in circles, yelling and knocking over toys and bookshelves. Dealing with these constant outbursts made the occasional tantrum-free day seem like a great blessing. Each “normal” day was something to be celebrated, and every moment of peace was a moment to be relished. In these times of calm, I learned to appreciate the little victories. I discovered how a seemingly small triumph, such as the first time Malik’s eyes met mine, could bring such joy.

That first moment of eye contact was not just a fluke; it meant that Malik and I were making progress in our communication. Malik was finally connecting to me! The good days were celebrated, and every time Malik would go through the day without a tantrum, there was a complete shift in his attitude. Malik felt good about himself, proud even, and little victories became not so little after all. Taking joy in the small happinesses made the days go faster and made the steps backwards, the bad days, much more manageable.

Before too long, Malik and I were a team. I set up a sticker chart to reward his good behavior, and he helped me out by playing by the rules to earn his prize at the end of the week. Instead of going a day without a tantrum, there were tantrum-free weeks! By Christmas break that first year, Malik had made such progress it was hard to believe we had only started working together a few short months before. I flew home to Nebraska to spend the holidays with my family and friends. When I returned to Texas after the four weeks of winter break, I had no idea what was in store for me. Over the break, the other teachers at the center hadn’t continued my work with Malik. The boy was back to throwing tantrums almost every day, a huge step back in Malik’s progress. I had to think of new ways to get him back to the level we were at before the break. In my experimenting, I would discover a method that would impact not only Malik’s behavior, but the course of my life.

During one of Malik’s tantrums, I found myself in a panic. I didn’t know what he was trying to tell me, and he was just as frustrated as I. Over the past few weeks, he had begun not only throwing toys and yelling, but digging his nails into my arm and kicking my legs. The only thing to do in these situations was for me to physically restrain him, so he did not hurt himself or the other children. On this day, I had carried him to the front office and was rocking him back and forth trying to keep him from breaking the glass door down with his angry feet. After two hours of this, I was at my wit’s end. I didn’t know what to do to help him and I was on the verge of tears.

Without thinking, out of desperation and perhaps in subconscious prayer, I began to sing, "Amazing Grace", to Malik. As soon as he heard the familiar hymn, Malik suddenly stopped thrashing about. He automatically quieted, and laid his head down on my lap and let me scratch his back while he listened to me sing. It was the most precious moment of my life, to date. Because of our discovery, I began to research the effects music has on children with special needs. I had never heard of Musical Therapy, and now it is my intended major. I learned methods of communicating musically with Malik, and his progress resumed its original pace.

When I moved to Texas for my freshman year of college, I assumed I would miss my family, maybe date a little, meet new friends, and learn a lot about living on my own. Taking a job at a daycare center seemed natural to me, an easy way to make enough money to pay my bills, and still have time to work on my voice lessons and homework. I never would have guessed that a little six year old boy would profoundly impact my life. Malik taught me to have unending patience, to appreciate the little things, and mostly importantly, he helped me realize what I want to do with my life. I have a special spot reserved in my heart for the little boy who changed me. That year I set out to teach Malik how to communicate and grow, and he wound up teaching me.

-V

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Author's Note: Nothing I could pen or type will ever do him justice. This boy changed, and in a way that is far too complex for me to describe in this little blog, saved my life. I will be forever grateful for the blessing he was and continues to be to me.

Songs:
"Amazing Grace"
"Little Wonders" Rob Thomas

Friday, November 27, 2009

Photo Finish Friday

So did anyone get trampled to death today in order to grab the last pack of 99 cent Christmas lights? Black Friday is nutzo. I did order a new laptop (!) online at like 3 in the morning though, so I guess I technically participated. Hurray!

Anyways...here it is, a week (or so) in review, via my camera.
While browsing away at Target, I discovered a giant Christmas Tree ornament full of smaller Christmas Tree ornaments! I thought it was so fabulous, I ignored the fact that Christmas displays before Thanksgiving annoy me.
Fast forward to my little sister's 20th birthday. We had to drive to Council Bluffs, IA because she desperately wanted to see the Twilight movie...New Moon, (OMG Edward Cullen! He's so dreamy...oh wait...he's just some super skinny, pale, mediocre actor? Not impressed.) Tickets were all sold out everywhere around our city and surrounding areas, so we took a mini-roadtrip. This picture shows our frustration with the state of Iowa. In one night I locked my keys in the car, had to wait in line for an hour to sit in the 3rd row of a smelly movie theater, and we were then stranded for the night because an eerie fog descended upon the town immediately after the end credits rolled. Good times had by all, Happy Birthday, Sis, welcome to your twenties!
Which brings us to Thanksgiving. This is a picture of my favorite food of Thanksgiving,
Pumpkin Pie.
There's really nothing else to say except.....Mmmmmmmm. =)

I hope everyone had a splendid Holiday, surrounded by the ones you love, I know I did! May your weekend be filled with laughter, love, and leftovers!

-V
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This week has been a random week for me, musically. Here are some of this week's earworms.

Songs:
"Human Nature" Michael Jackson
"The Morning After Dark" Timbaland ft. Nelly Furtado & ShoShy
"What I Got" Sublime (they're growing on me....kind of like this crush!)

Side note: I don't know where the whole Photo Finish Friday thing began, but I don't want to take credit for the idea. I got the idea off of one of my favorite blogs, Vodka Logic's Photo Phinish Phriday.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

giving THANKS.

"When asked if my cup is half-full or half-empty, my only response is that I am thankful I have a cup."
-Sam Lefkowitz

Yes, I know it's not Thanksgiving yet, but I figured if Christmas commercials can start airing before I carve my Jack-o-Lantern, I can publish my blog a couple days early. This way, maybe a few people will actually read it before slipping into their Turkey-induced comas on Thursday. In all seriousness, I am reminded daily of the many things I have been blessed with, and sometimes take for granted. Here are just a few.

I Am Thankful For [in no particular order]:

  • John 3:16
  • My electric blanket
  • The constant love and support of my family, including my closest friends, who are becoming more like family every day.
  • President Barack Obama. Love him or hate him, the man has made history, and inspired a whole generation of young people to pay attention to politics and vote!
  • Simon & Garfunkel, Billy Joel, and all of my other favorite musicians, past and present, for inspiration and soul-soothing tune-age! Where would I be without my music?
  • The health of my family & friends
  • Paying off my credit cards - debt free is the way to be, Ladies and Gents!
  • This really sweet guy I know...for making me =)
  • The men & women in the armed forces, who put themselves in harm's way so that I can live in a country where I am FREE. Words simply cannot express my admiration and thankfulness for all that you do.
  • Glee. Sure, that show is a terrible overuse of autotune, but it's fabulously campy & I love it.
  • Having a roof over my head & food on the table.
  • My successful avoidance of the dreaded death-plague that is the H1N1 virus this flu season. So far, so good. [fingers crossed]
  • Being on good terms with my ex. Once again...[fingers crossed].
  • My job...not super in love with it, but hey, I'm employed!
  • A little autistic boy named Malik, who changed my life and helped me find my calling.
  • Tauri the Taurus, for not breaking down on me yet!
  • Last but NOT least, for my READERS, whose support and comments have meant more to me over the past few months than I ever imagined they would. It's all for you, folks.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Songs:
"Cecilia" Simon & Garfunkel
"Don't Stop Believin" Cast of Glee
"Somebody to Love" Cast of Glee
"Thank you for the Music" Abba


Legal bits: Peanuts characters are © Charles M. Schulz

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

[almost] Wordless Wednesday

He called.

The crush lives on.

-V
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Songs:
"Everyday Feels Like Sunday" Of Montreal
"Bliss" Muse
photo: I'm a dork.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

a taste of my own medicine


Okay, darlings. Here's the scoop:

I have a crush, and I'm not talking about my imaginary love affair with Taye Diggs. Nope, I have a real-life, Kindergarten crush. The object of my affection? You guessed it, Nice Guy #2. Here's a little background info on His Niceness: First of all, he doesn't technically come in chronological order after Nice Guy #1. I actually met him almost a year ago, friend of a friend's friend, or something obscure like that. I remember it vividly because he had one of the strangest conversation starters...pickup lines ever. He simply walks up to me and asks, "Are you German?". Weird, right? Where do I find these guys? I mean, seriously, I'm like a magnet for the world's most random men.

Getting back to the story, I told him politely, no, I am in fact, not German, why does he ask? Why, because of my blonde hair and blue eyes, of course. (Nevermind the fact that my eyes are green...details, details.) How silly. Now, I generally think it's slightly creepy when a guy seems interested in women with the whole blonde hair/blue eyes/pale skin look...I think you see where I'm going with this. For some reason however, this guy seemed perfectly harmless, just another poor soul at the bar, using strange lines for lack of something better to say. Long story short, because he was a friend of a friend's grandmother's dog or whatever, we all ended up at the same house for after hours.

A few hours of complete normalcy ensued. At the end of the evening, my friend Renee and I both exchanged numbers with our new found friend, who was, of course, saved into my phone as "German". I'm actually pretty sure Renee never saved his number...but that's beside the point. Within a few days we were exchanging text messages and he had called me on more than one occasion, to ask me out. You have to understand something about me a year ago, folks. I was in no way looking for a relationship. I hadn't even begun to deal with my break-up, and pretty much anything that looked like a man, talked like a man, and walked like a man, was the enemy. Guys were only good for buying drinks and for the temporary boosting of my ego. I'm getting away from the topic again...apologies.

I turned him down, several times. For months it continued like this, we would go through times when I didn't hear from him at all, then he would text, we would talk for awhile, and I would come up with transparent excuses not to see him. I have no excuse for my actions, it's a mean-girl move to lead a guy on, and by never telling him I wasn't interested, that's exactly what I was doing (shame, shame on me). Once, I actually agreed to meet up with him, on what I think was supposed to be a date, but I turned it into a group thing, with a bunch of girls he didn't know. I believe there was even a night in which he ended up playing taxi driver for a bunch of my friends after a night at the piano bar. [Are you calling me a brat (or another choice word) under your breath right now? It's okay, I am too.]

As I type this, I realize just how much it boggles my mind that this man even gives me the time of day after all of the shenanigans I've pulled. Goodness, I'm a lucky girl. I blew him off for the better part of a year, and for some reason he hasn't given up on knowing me yet. He's respectful, and kind, and unbelievably patient. I just don't get it, I promise y'all, I'm not that cool.

Skipping forward, A couple of weeks ago, we reconnected while downtown celebrating another Husker victory (Go Big Red!). I was with a co-worker and we ran into him, they actually knew each other, (do you care about this?), yada yada yada... we met up with him at an after hours party. We talked all night. This guy has got to be the sweetest man I've ever met. It's the absolute best thing, to see that sparkle in his perfectly (yep, you guessed it) blue eyes, every time we speak. When I'm around him, I have a permanent grin. It makes me blush!

So what's with the title? Well here ya go. I'm currently dealing with a slight dose of my own medicine. Ever since that night a couple of weeks ago, we were in constant contact. He was quick with the pet names and compliments, and the strangest thing, I wasn't freaking out. Usually if you call me 'Babe', I'll tell you that I am not now, nor have I ever been, a small pink pig that herds sheep [movie reference]. But from his lips, I adore it. And speaking of those lips, yes we did, and yes it was the sweetest kiss in my recent memory. Crush, Crush, Crush.

Here's the issue. For the past few days I've heard nothing, which is fine. He actually hasn't responded to a couple of my text messages, which is also fine. I'm just getting antsy because I actually like this guy. He's got me kinda hooked. I'm being silly, and I know it. People get busy, and at the end of the day, If I go a week without hearing from him, I absolutely deserve it. It never bothered me in the past, in fact, I never noticed. But now that I'm back in Kindergarten, with this giggle-inducing, cheek-flushing crush, I'm over-analyzing everything. I'm nervous! Oh Goodness, what have I gotten myself into?

Now, I don't know if this is completely normal, a chronic case of bad timing, busy schedules, or just a little well deserved punishment, karma-style. All I know is, I could sure use a spoonful of sugar to go along with it. Where's Mary Poppins when you need her?

-V

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Songs:
"Crush" Jennifer Paige
"A Spoonful of Sugar" Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins
"Paperweight" Schuyler Fisk and Joshua Radin [still obsessed with Mr. Radin right now]

Image: ehow.com

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Thought on Dating: Why "Nice Guys" Finish Last.

Well, that was fast.

I'm sick of dating already. Too much game playing and drama, not enough that's real.

Over the past few weeks I have introduced a couple new characters into my life, both falling under the category of the elusive, "Nice Guy". Nice Guy #1 is a friend of my good friend's boyfriend. (Tracking with me?) They're one of those sickeningly happy couples who are still in the PDA, lovey-dovey, constantly-making-googly-eyes-at-each-other phase. Wanna know the crazy thing? I think they're actually going to make it. Usually I just roll my eyes and wait for reality to set in, but in this case, I think they're genuinely in love. Shocking, I know, but I digress.

So, my blissfully happy friends have been trying to set me up with Nice Guy #1 for awhile now; I've been single for long enough to get sick of being the odd person out, and well, he's just such a nice guy. While he's not exactly my "type" (if I have one), I figured I'd give it a shot. The next time we all went out for drinks, I let him buy me a gin and tonic and spent some time exchanging jokes and smiles. It was harmless enough, a little flirting, some shameless karaoke; good times had by all. He even asked for my number in a somewhat cheesy but cute way; "I'd be a fool if I didn't get your number..." Laugh if you will, but it worked, okay?

The next day I was feeling fairly optimistic, even more so when I received a phone call from him inviting me to a movie the following evening. I took this as a good sign because in my age bracket, it seems most men think it's okay to just send a text to ask me out for the first time [it's NOT]. So, after the ceremonial trying on of the contents of my closet and the hair up vs. down debate, I met this man for a movie. He barely greeted me. Okay, whatever, he was nervous, and he had arrived early and had a ticket waiting for me, so that was sweet. The situation didn't really improve from there, however. We sat semi-awkwardly next to each other during the movie and every once in awhile I would shoot a smile or a glance his way, only to find him staring at the screen with an uncomfortable look on his face. He was all fidget-y and just....well, weird. The kicker? After the movie, he didn't walk me to my car, he just gave me a strange side-hug, and left. Now, that's not very nice, is it? The movie was good, though.

Call me judgemental, but I was ready to write him off after that. There was clearly a lack of chemistry, or confidence, or something. I have discovered a new sub-division of the Nice Guy: Liquid Courage Man. The Liquid Courage Man is a nice guy who is lacking in self-confidence from years of rejection and can be witty, charming and outgoing, but only with a drink in hand. Very misleading. After a conversation with my friend Adam, in which he (lovingly) told me I was being a bitch, I decided to give him another chance. Guys get nervous, first dates can be awkward, and after all, he's such a nice guy, right?

Take 2: we met for drinks. Admittedly, not the best of ideas, but I figured I'd get him in his natural habitat and go from there. My goal was to make him feel comfortable and to see which personality was real. Unfortunately, my little experiment yielded similar results. I watched this "Nice Guy" transform from shy and quiet, into funny and confident in front of my eyes, drink by drink. The night started out with a supreme lack of eye contact, and ended with him trying (unsuccessfully) to take me home with him. Liquid Courage Man strikes again.

So what have we learned? The jury is still out on that one, but I have come to a [only semi-serious] conclusion. All of my guy friends are absolutely right. Girls do go for guys that are jerks. Wanna know why? Nice Guys can be misleading. They always leave you waiting for the other shoe to drop, for Dr. Jekyll to become Mr. Hyde. Bad Guys are predictable, in that you can always count on them to let you down. I guess in their inability to be dependable, they're actually kind of dependable. Confused yet? I know I am.

Next!

-V
---------------------------------------------------
Yes, Nice Guy #1 refers to the fact that there is a Nice Guy #2. I'll tell you about him soon, I promise. Things are looking good [kinda]. =)
Songs:
"Another One Bites the Dust" Queen
"Nice Guys Finish Last" Cobra Starship


photo: from Tune Remedy

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Six Word Saturday

via C. Beth at The One Minute Writer:
Describe your life in six words.

My Life is:
  • silly
  • chaotic
  • blessed
  • testing
  • under construction
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Songs:
"Life Ain't Always Beautiful" Gary Allen
"Santeria" Sublime
(because it's the boy's* favorite band and I'm learning to like them)

*I'll tell you about the boy later...don't wanna jinx it!

Friday, November 6, 2009

To Sir, with Love


Dear Mr. Right,

Hi, I'm Vanessa. 5'6'' in flats, long blonde hair, green eyes that like to pretend they're blue sometimes. I've been waiting for you for awhile, and I'm very excited to meet the man God has picked out especially for me. A few things you should know in the meantime;

  • I'm slightly obsessed with music. I will most likely sing, loudly, and dance around like an idiot in public with you on several occasions.
  • I sing harmony to the songs on the radio.
  • I have many irrational phobias, the worst of which include; heights, feet, textured drinking glasses, needles, and Styrofoam.
  • I have an unnatural attachment to my cell phone. I have been known to fall asleep cuddling it to my chest in lieu of a teddy bear. I'm working on it.
  • I cry during movies, a lot. Actually, I just plain cry easily. If there's a particularly touching episode of Without a Trace on, break out the Kleenex.
  • If you say Stop, I will say Hammertime. There's just no way around it.
  • I love sushi, but I don't eat red meat, pork, or [cooked] fish.
  • There is no such thing as a "short version" of one of my stories.
  • My heart is spoken for.
  • I love, love, LOVE Disney movies & movie musicals. (But oddly enough, not a big High School Musical fan, go figure.)
  • I tend to be kind of nocturnal, which leads to much infomercial-watching. Yes, I have a Sham-Wow, and no, it doesn't work the way Vince, the Sham-Wow guy, says it does.
  • I do & say some pretty sappy things sometimes, but what makes it even sappier is that I usually mean it, from the bottom of my heart.

I'll let you figure the rest out for yourself =). I'm not ready for you quite yet, but if you could start making your way over here, that would be just fabulous.

xoxo,

-V

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Songs:
"Wondering Where You Are" Tyrone Wells
"All the Way" Frank Sinatra
"If it Kills Me" Jason Mraz
photo credit: Open Salon

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Year of the Checklist


Currently, I am working on a new blog to be launched in January 2010 called, Blonde Monologue. It's going to be a combination of a New Year's Resolution checklist and a Bucket List. For example, my list so far includes; get a tattoo (sorry Mom & Dad), Learn a foreign language, date someone who isn't my "type", etc. I'll take any suggestions I can get, be they adventurous, realistic, or just plain silly. E-mail any thoughts or ideas, or feel free to comment here!

Thanks everyone!

-V
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photo credit: Neuronarrative

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fabulously [& Fashionably] Fall-ish

Fall is in full effect here in the Heartland.

I love everything about it-
Cozy layers, bold lipstick, plaid everything, checkered scarves!
My current obsessions? Black eyeliner à la Brigitte Bardot, apple red/coral lipstick, anything metallic, hot rollers (my hair is naturally pin-straight), and the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. So delicious & only 130 calories w/nonfat milk!

[above] My outfit for date-night last weekend. Yes, I'm dating again...very excited/nervous about this. Actually, I have a couple prospective beaus right now. Scandalous? Nah, just keeping my options open! I've decided that this time I'm setting my standards high, not giving as many chances. Try as I might, I don't think I'll ever be a 'one strike & you're out' girl. I'm way too interested in figuring out what makes people tick for that. I love a good people-puzzle, don't we all? But I'm working on being smarter. Not ignoring red flags or going against my instinct, which is usually right.

So, my dear reader, please join me in enjoying this wonderful season! Whether you're snuggling with your honey enjoying a movie and some festive coffee or tea, supporting your favorite college football team (Go Huskers), or going out on the town, decked in bold patterns and dramatic makeup; live it up! Before you know it, Winter will be upon us, bringing about days of snow-shoveling, toe-freezing coldness. Let's enjoy this amazing Autumn while we still can!

-V.O'Neel

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Song: "The Fear You Won't Fall" Joshua Radin (appropriate & Oh, so punny) =)

All photos edited using Picnik, a wonderful site for an insomniac such as I!

Friday, October 30, 2009

22 candles


I'll be thinking of you today,
my dearest of friends.

Circumstance divides us,
putting more distance between us
than miles ever could;
keeping me from my heart.

If I could call you up today,
I'd say I'm sorry.
Sorry for everything,
but I regret not.
And I love you always.

If I could hear your voice,
I'd tell you just how proud I am.
How my heart is filled with hope for the future,
both yours and mine,
though our fates may never intertwine again.

Through the years, I've been certain of one thing;
You are bound for greatness.
I hope that one day I will see you,
sip coffee with you,
listen to your stories,
laugh with you,
and know your friendship once more.

Until then, I'll remember the
warmth of your smile,
the sparkle in your eye,
the taste of your kiss,
and the strength of your heart.

Happy Birthday.


-V.O'Neel
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Songs:
"Slow Dancing in a Burning Room" John Mayer
"Birthday Song" Abra Moore

& "Closer" by Joshua Radin (because I'm obsessed with this song)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This I Believe

For my Composition class, I was asked to read articles from the National Public Radio's recurring segment, This I Believe. 'This I Believe' is based on a 1950's radio program which gave celebrities and average joes alike, the opportunity to share their opinions and life experiences. I poured over essays written by Helen Keller, Eleanor Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and many others. Then, I came across a sentiment which struck a chord with me;

"I believe in the human race. I believe in the warm heart. I believe in man’s integrity. I believe in the goodness of a free society. And I believe that the society can remain good only as long as we are willing to fight for it—and to fight against whatever imperfections may exist."
-Jackie Robinson
from his essay,


These powerful words got me thinking; What do I believe? I believe in God, yes, but not everyone can relate to faith in a Christian God. Everyone has their own interpretation of what 'faith' means to them. Certainly though, there is a belief or idea that is universal, something we can all share, regardless of denomination, race or gender. I mulled the idea over in my head and, as I usually do to pass the time, I opened my playlist and pressed shuffle. Then it hit me. I'd like to say I had an epiphany, but it was more of a 'duh' than an 'Aha' moment.

I believe in Music.

I believe in the power of music to heal. I have witnessed firsthand the ability of an instrument or song to give meaning to a feeling or situation, when spoken word can not. When I was going to college in Texas, I worked with a six year old boy, Malik, who was autistic. It was a daily struggle to get him to make eye contact, speak, or connect with me, and also with his fellow classmates. Malik would throw tantrums and scream for hours on end, simply because he was trying desperately to communicate to me what he needed or wanted or felt, but his efforts were lost in translation. When his frustration would give way to physical fits of throwing things and hitting me, I would have to restrain him to keep him from hurting himself or others.

On one particular day, his tantrum had lasted well over the hour mark and I was becoming exhausted, I was almost in tears and had nearly run out of ideas of how to calm him. To this day, I don't know where the idea came from but I started humming 'Amazing Grace'. He immediately quieted. It was then I realized the power of music to bring people together. Although I couldn't understand what he was trying to tell me, and he couldn't understand that I was just trying to calm him, we both understood music. We both knew the comfort of the familiar tune, and each of us had positive memories tied to it.

I believe that the people of this earth are more alike than we are different. Listen, I'm not saying that music is the healing force that will end the wars and bring about peace on earth. I'm not saying that all differences are resolvable and if we just hold hands and sway, singing together in four-part harmonies, there would be no conflict. I simply believe that if we all focus on the simple things in life that bind us together, the shared experiences, it would be a lot easier to relate to one another. Instead of focusing on the differences which may frighten or concern us, I believe we should fix our gaze on the similarities all tenants of our planet share.

-V.O'Neel
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Songs:
"Over the Rainbow" Iz Kamakawiwo'ole
"I Believe" Blessid Union of Souls

photo credit: www.greenoptions.com

Friday, October 16, 2009

Why do they call them "pet" peeves?

What makes you want to scream? via The One Minute Writer

In Alphabetical Order:
  1. Apples with brown spots or tiny holes in them. I'm always waiting for a worm to pop out. It'll happen one of these days. Really freaks me out.
  2. Ashlee Simpson's music career. [the fact that she has one]
  3. Bills. Especially the statements from the lovely people at my bank, just letting me know how much I'm going to owe them if and when I graduate.
  4. Feet. Other people's, other people touching mine. Ugh. Makes #8 rather interesting, huh?
  5. Getting text messages from my Boss.
  6. Not being able to find my car keys, a regular occurrence.
  7. People who are oblivious to their own body odor. Rule of thumb; bathe!
  8. Stubbing my toe immediately following a pedicure.
  9. Time Warner Cable.
  10. Waking up 5 minutes before my alarm goes off, going back to sleep, then oversleeping.

-V. O'Neel

Song: "Scream" Michael Jackson ft. Janet Jackson

Stronger.

Let's go to church for a second, k?

Today, I was having brunch with a dear friend from high school, who now lives in Florida with her husband. We began to discuss what we've been doing over the past four years, how we can't believe that many of our friends have graduated and moved onto 'big kid' jobs in the real world, while we are both struggling to get our Bachelor's before we start going gray. We traded lists of friends who've had children, friends who've moved away, just the typical girl stuff. She asked me about my three years in Texas, and who I had dated while I lived there. Oh my. I gave her the extremely condensed version, and we moved on to stories of her wedding and the clash between her new Hubby and her Mother.

And then we began to talk about faith.

She shared with me how she had recently "found [her] faith" in Florida. I shared with her how I nearly lost mine in Texas. We both agreed upon one thing. It is such a blessing to have a God like ours. Now, I have some issues in my past, but it's nothing too terrible. Overall, I have been very blessed and I would be a better person to remember these blessings more often. There was a time in my life that I was severely depressed and constantly considered giving up. I sometimes would find myself thinking about death, not in a suicidal way, but in a very apathetic manner. I didn't want to die, I just didn't necessarily care if I did. I sometimes thought it would be fine with me if I was involved in some sort of tragic accident, because I truly did not see another way of finding relief from the darkness haunting me.

I sat across the table from my friend, sipping ice water and orange juice, and recalling the many opportunities the Holy Spirit had given me that I pushed away, or rather, ran away from. Whether it was a convicting song on the radio which I immediately switched off, or my father asking me, pleading with me through tears, to tell him what was wrong; I denied it. I was given chance after chance to bring my troubles to God and accept the healing which only He can offer, and I responded by closing my eyes and heart, and retreating into myself. It was then I realized something, a lesson I'm certain I have already learned.

I have been so wrong. Who am I to think that I can handle troubles on my own? Thinking I need only forgive myself for the mistakes in my past, and absolve myself by doing good deeds to make up for my actions? One of my favorite hymns reminds us;

"O, what peace we often forfeit,

O, what a needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry,

Everything to God in prayer."

I was humbled. How many times have I stood in church and heard the message, listening to my Pastor ask anyone with a burdened heart to come forward and receive prayer? How many times did I ignore the call of my heart, deciding that I was going to do this on my own. I have taken on such worry and stress over my best friend, sister, and certainly over my ex, fretting over their bad decisions and trying to 'fix' them. I have had myself so convinced that they need me; that it is my job to prove to this man that I will always be there for him and never fail him, that it is my place to prevent my sister and best friend from repeating my missteps and to keep them from harm.

How arrogant of me to think that I have the power to bring about change or salvation in the heart of a man? Who do I think I am, the savior of my friends and family? It is my duty to lift up the ones I love in prayer, and to be a witness to them- not a savior. How many burdens have I carried around on my shoulders, weighing me down, poisoning me, when I could give them up to my God. My God is stronger than the demons of my past. My God is stronger than the pain of my broken heart.

My God is stronger.


-V. O'Neel
-------------------------------------------------------
Songs:
"Remember When it Rained" Josh Groban

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day '09- Climate Control

Climate Change. Global Warming. The Greenhouse Effect. What's the big deal?

Webster's Dictionary defines Global Warming as an increase in the earth's atmospheric and oceanic temperatures widely predicted to occur due to an increase in the greenhouse effect resulting especially from pollution. This definition is circa 1969, so why is it only making headlines in recent years? Obviously Climate Change is not a new concept, scientists have been warning us about it for years. The reason it is becoming such a hot topic lately is not because "going green" is trendy, but because the rate at which we are putting harmful gasses into the air is growing at an alarming rate.

In honor of Blog Action Day 2009, I calculated my carbon footprint via The Nature Conservancy's website. According to The Nature Conservancy, the average person in the United States emits 27 tons of CO2 eq/year taking into account Home Energy, Driving and Flying, Food and Diet, and Recycling and Waste. So, when I found out my estimated emissions was 'only' 13 tons of CO2 eq/year, I was feeling pretty good about myself. I unplug my appliances when they're not being used, don't eat red meat, and have relocated so that I'm not driving as many miles to work each day. Yep, I'm 'only' emitting 13 tons of ozone-depleting gas into the atmosphere every year. No big deal.

I was feeling pretty good, that is until I scrolled a little further down the page. The world average per person is 5.5 tons of CO2 eq/year. I am more than double that amount, and I hate to break it to you, average resident of the good ole U.S. of A, but you're nearly five times that amount! This is kind of a big deal, folks. Simply put, if this earth was our landlord, we would be the suckiest tenants ever. Can you say, eviction?

Clearly something needs to change, and instead of just talking about it, I am going to make the change start with me. On this Blog Action Day, October 15, 2009, I am making a pledge. Nothing drastic, just everyday things that I can commit to.

I pledge to:
  • Always recycle my soda cans, even if the recycling bin is full and the trash can is so much closer....
  • Start using a reusable water bottle instead of buying packages of them each month.
  • Do all of my laundry in cold water and use the dryer sparingly.
  • Not let the water run while I brush my teeth. I'm really bad about this one, guys.
  • Buy a bike for Eco-friendly warm-weather transportation.
  • Replace my light bulbs with the neat twisty ones. [very technical terms, I know.]
  • Unplug my phone charger when I'm not using it. Did you know that still uses electricity?
  • Get rid of my old clunker as soon as fiscally possible.
  • Shop Organic. I buy mostly organic food, but I definitley have some beauty products that could be traded in.
  • Donate my time to an organization, plant a tree, pick up trash, something!

What will YOU do?

-V. O'Neel

----------------------------------------------------

Song:
"Global Warming" Vermillion Lies


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Confession: Just say it.

Oscar Wilde said, "It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution." So, I'm going to admit something stupid today, that I might be absolved. I probably shouldn't post this on the worldwide web for everyone and their Grandmother's Uncle's Step-Niece's Great Aunt to see....but what the heck.

I am not over my ex.

Not fully anyways, but I'm getting there. The reason I say I'm admitting something stupid is that we broke up a long freakin' time ago. It was one of those break-ups that didn't take though, you know the kind? Where you don't talk any less...or any differently. So for well over a year now, I have been stuck in a really lame cycle of co-dependent, tear-filled conversations, fights, and reconciliations.

Not that it's even really his fault, totally. I mean, throughout this whole thing [the better part of 3 years] I've been a broken record, the epitome of dysfunction, parroting over and over, "I'll be here no matter what". Yuck. Ladies, don't EVER say that. If you do, you might as well say, "Do whatever you want, Babe, lie, cheat, lie, yell, lie, lie, lie...and I'll still be here when you get bored." Ugh. And unfortunately, I am the kind of person who sticks. I stick to my word. I stick to the people I love. I like it when things make sense, and I like it when there's a plan I can stick to. So, needless to say, when I told this man I would be there no matter what, well, I've been there no matter what.

Let the record show that the crazy lady has stopped her ranting and raving. I do have something to add on a serious note. The most recent example of "no matter what" came almost two months ago. On this particular night, he and I were on good terms, and had been for quite some time. I think there was even some talk about making things "unofficially official", or some such nonsense, I don't know, I've tried to block that part out. Anyways, he had been out drinking on this evening and had been keeping me abreast of his activities via text message. I was a little annoyed, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Because I knew he had been drinking, I wasn't surprised when I heard his ring tone go off around 3 in the morning. John Legend's "This Time", which gives me chills every time I hear it, now. I usually don't answer phone calls at this time of night, but for some reason, I picked up the call. A pointless conversation ensued. About halfway through the mindless chatter, he had a call waiting on the other line from his sister, unusual for this time of the night/morning. When he switched back over from speaking with her I knew something was wrong because of the shaky way he said my name. He told me his family had been in a car accident on the highway, a head-on collision with a 19-year-old drunk driver. His Father and 10-year-old Brother were doing alright, but his Mother was trapped in the car.

It was a nightmare. I spent the next few hours on the phone with him, talking him through every range of emotion expected of someone in that situation. I listened to him panic and cry, I calmed him down and talked him out of murdering a 19-year-old. Nightmare. It's funny how human nature works. When someone you love is in crisis, nothing matters. It didn't matter that he was acting foolish earlier and saying inappropriate things, it didn't matter that we were in the middle of another unhealthy conversation, every heartbreak he had caused me in the past was immediately irrelevant, because I have never felt a pain like the one he was feeling in that moment.

Did I mention he lives in Texas? Yeah, he lives 600 miles away from me. He asked me to come down, so of course, I did. Don't even ask me how much the last-minute flight cost, but like my roommate's Jewish mother says, there's no price. I hadn't seen him in a year, so I was the world's most nervous person on the flight down to Texas. What am I going to feel when he picks me up at the airport? Why didn't I get a haircut or a spray tan....I knew I would regret skipping those workouts...I was a bundle of nerves. Truth be told, I had been putting off visiting my friends in Texas all year, because I was afraid I would just burst into uncontrollable tears the moment I saw him.

I didn't. In fact, much to my surprise, I didn't do much of anything. I didn't feel much of anything. The only thing that came to mind to say was, "You're tall." I'm eloquent that way. He is tall by the way, 6' 3'' at the very least. Now, I'm not going to go into everything that occurred during my visit, because I'm honestly not ready to drudge it all out of my memory just yet. The wounds are fresh. But it'll make for a juicy blog some day, I'm sure. Bottom line, I was there for 5 days, saw him for the first 24 hours, and spent the majority of my time stuck in my former roommate's apartment, alone.

None of that is what is bothering me, currently. What keeps me up at night is this; it's like it never happened. After my flight landed and I was back home, everything was as if I had never left in the first place. We didn't talk about it, he didn't mention it, in fact, he didn't mention much of anything. I understand that some men can't handle their emotions, and certainly this was an emotion-filled time for him, so I gave him a lot of benefit of the doubt. I figured we would talk when he was ready to talk. But we didn't, we still haven't, and it's eating me alive.

After a tense week of forced conversation, I learned that he has a new girlfriend [again]. It doesn't even surprise me anymore, but there's still that little pang of hurt every time. To go from hearing the "I love you"s and all the realtionshippy things that come along with it one week, to having that same person be with someone else the next week gives me a kind of emotional whip-lash that I can't even begin to know how to deal with. All I know is that I'm done making excuses. When people go through trauma, they're allowed to act however they want, within reason. As long as they're not harming themselves, or physically harming others, there should be no judgement. I'm not holding it against him.

So, that's the stance I'm taking now. I'm not going to slip back into my old routine and wait around. It's ridiculous. I flew 1200 miles, spent 5 days and way too much money, and it's like it never happened. I have proven to him, and definitely to myself, that I will do anything for the ones I love. I'm beyond heart-broken. I'm devastatingly confused, I never imagined that being there for this man would be the thing that causes me to lose him, for good this time, I think.

Sometimes, I think this last disappointment was necessary. Although this time was not his fault, with so much time and distance between us, it was easy for me to forget just how bad it feels to go out of your way only to be let down. Let me clarify something, I did not fly to Texas to reconcile with my ex-boyfriend. I flew down to be with my best friend during the hardest time of his life. But all that has transpired between us since the ill-fated trip has just been awful, and there's absolutely nothing I can do about it. No, I'm not over him. Yes, I still love him so badly that it deprives me of sleep. But I'm getting over him, and it's not every night anymore, so that's progress.

There's nothing left for me to do, but live. If I keep breathing, eventually things will get better. If, by some miracle, this girl turns out to be the one for him, I wish him all the happiness in the world. Well, maybe not all of it, let's be truthful here. I do wish him well, I love him-and that's not going to change. Okay, so that's my admission, my poorly hidden secret, and just one of the issues I'm dealing with. Life is a work in progress, after all.

-V.O'Neel
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quick update:
His family is doing much better. Mom and Brother have had multiple surgeries and his Mother is still in a rehab center, I have a feeling she will be there for a long time. She has always been a very special person to me, and I will continue to have faith and pray for her recovery. I'm planning to write another entry about the accident when I have more time and strength of mind/heart to do it justice. This was more a therapy session via Blogger for me.

Photo Credit:
Catholic Home and Garden
(I'm protestant though, in case you wondered).

Songs:
"Let Go" Frou Frou
"Speeding Cars" Imogen Heap
"One of Those Days" Joshua Radin

Sunday, October 11, 2009

...when it's fall-ish

I would just like the world to know that it SNOWED on Saturday morning. In OCTOBER. How ridiculous.

At approximately 4 in the morning, I awakened to the sound of what I thought was raindrops. Wrong. I stared out the window and watched the leaves fall from the trees, pouring down like rain. Wind was howling and branches were swaying- a good old-fashioned thunderstorm. If you know me at all, you know that I love rain, I love thunder, lightening, all of that. I love nothing more than a lazy Saturday rainstorm where I can cuddle up with a book and a cup of tea. This however, no was no rainstorm. It started out as such but as I watched, the freezing raindrops transformed into giant snowflakes before my sleepy eyes.

Of course, from then on, there was no sleep for me. I officially "got up" around 8 and started getting ready for a long day of work, realizing as I was walking out the door that I should have left some time for the winter car chores. The temperature outside was semi-confusing to the senses. Although snow had fallen, much of it had either melted on the way down, or dissolved as it hit the not-yet-frozen earth. I didn't even need a winter coat, the temperature was chilly at worst.

What I did notice, however, were the leaves. Hundereds of them, covering the yard, the driveway, the street. Everything was covered in a blanket of yellow-green. Lucky for me, only a couple inches had accumulated on the top of my beloved Tauri (the 97 Ford Taurus, for those of you new to my blog), and I was able to brush off the powerdery stuff quickly and without much trouble. Tauri roared to life -well, groaned to life, anyways- and we were off.

I don't know what the weather is trying to pull, but last I checked, it was Autumn. Autumn is a great season, college football (Go Huskers), leaves changing, pumpkin pie, spiced apple cider...some of my favorite things! It seems as though big bad winter has decided to come early, and I'm worried that it's here to stay. I am not prepared. There are hats and mittens and scarves to be found, boots to be purchased, sweaters to be brought out of storage! I haven't even begun to think about Christmas shopping...go away Winter, I am not ready for you yet! Let me stay and revel in my beloved Autumn, I'll meet you in December.

“How did it get so late so soon?
It's night before its afternoon.
December is here before it's June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?”

-Dr. Seuss

-V. O'Neel
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Photo: view of my lovely porch, on my way to work.

Songs:
"Winter Song" Sara Barielles ft. Ingrid Michaelson
"Snow Miser" from Year Without a Santa Claus

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I'm ready.

One of my favorite things about music, it that it speaks when you can not. There are so many times when a certain situation will render me speechless, and I will turn to my piano or my radio to give me words. I'm sure everyone can relate. If you are a regular reader of my blog; first of all, thank you, and secondly, you know that I chatter quite a bit about relationships and love. I've been trying to put into words how I feel about my past, what I'm experiencing now, and what I hope for my future. Sometimes though, I fail. Enter Billy Joel.

In every heart there is a room
A sanctuary safe and strong
To heal the wounds from lovers past
Until a new one comes along

I spoke to you in cautious tones
You answered me with no pretense
And still I feel I said too much
My silence is my self defense

And every time I've held a rose
It seems I only felt the thorns
And so it goes, and so it goes
And so will you soon I suppose

But if my silence made you leave
Then that would be my worst mistake
So I will share this room with you
And you can have this heart to break

And this is why my eyes are closed
It's just as well for all I've seen
And so it goes, and so it goes
And you're the only one who knows

So I would choose to be with you
That's if the choice were mine to make
But you can make decisions too
And you can have this heart to break

And so it goes, and so it goes
And you're the only one who knows

For some reason this morning, I felt it was important that I share this with you, my dear reader. I am ready for new. I am ready for new experiences, new people, new challenges, new love. I am ready to open up again, I think I can take it. I am ready to leap into situations unknown, to put my faith in my God and trust that I will land on my feet, or He will catch me. All I can do is keep breathing, place one foot in front of the other, and live my life as best as I can. Will I stumble? Most certainly. I do know however, that eventually I will figure it all out, and I will make sense of this hodgepodge of a life I've got going.

So, what am I looking for? I'm looking for a career in which I feel fulfilled. A job that is more than a job, somewhere I can help. I'm looking for someone who not only accepts me despite my past, but because of it. A person who can love the pieces of my being, and also the completion. For the first time in a long time, I actually have faith that I will obtain all of these things. For the first time in a long time, I truly believe that I deserve them.
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Songs:
"And So it Goes" Billy Joel
"Use Somebody" Kings of Leon
"The Way I Am" Ingrid Michaelson

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Too much.

via @writingprompt on twitter:
"her green eyes" [Prompt for 10/06/09]
Too Much

Her green eyes have seen too much.

They have seen the face of her baby brother,
swollen and blue.
Now she wants to take care of him.

They have seen scars.
Scars on the chest of a man with chestnut skin,
Now she wants to heal him.

Her green eyes have lost their sparkle.
They have lost their shine,
their glow.

They have become
tired-
Weary
from lack of sleep,
and worry.
Troubled.

Her green eyes have seen too many tears.

They've cried for joy,
laughter,
death,
fear,
love,
regret.

-V. O'Neel

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I'm not all gloom & doom, I promise. =)

Songs:
"Lady" Regina Spektor
"Balcony/Green Eyes" Joe Purdy
"Blue Lips" Regina Spektor



Friday, October 2, 2009

Making Strides

I have signed up to walk in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on October 18th. I am currently collecting donations and would appreciate any help you can give. Feel free to share this link with your friends, family, co-workers, or anyone else you think might be interested. Any amount will help, and I know that together we can make a difference to fight this disease which affects so many women and their families across our country.

My Grandmother is a Breast Cancer survivor. I was so young when they found her cancer, I don't even remember it. She was lucky enough to have it detected on a regular mammogram, the cancer was the size of the head of a pin. She was one of the lucky ones, and I am so grateful to organizations like the American Cancer Society for being such strong advocates for education and fundraising. Events like Making Strides are invaluable, they help bring awareness and much needed funds to support research and treatment.

I have had the same best friend since I moved next door to her over 14 years ago. Her mom, Beth, has been like a second mother to me, and I can't imagine my life without her. When I was a senior in high school, Beth was diagnosed with Breast Cancer for the first time. She went through chemotherapy and a very painful surgery to remove nearly half of her right breast, but her treatments were successful, and she was in remission for the next few years. Last summer, Beth went in for her check-up. Unfortunately the doctors found that she had Breast Cancer in her left breast this time, and worse, it had spread to her lymph nodes. She made the bold decision to have a double mastectomy and is now going through chemotherapy for the second time.

I will always admire her for her strength and courage. She has been so incredibly tough throughout this whole ordeal, because she has to be. Beth Loper is the glue that holds her family together, and she knows it. I have seen the way it affects her entire family and the way it has affected mine as well. Right now, the Loper family is fighting for more than just Beth. Her mother and mother-in-law are also currently in treatment for Breast Cancer. My best friend, Allison, is considering preemptive mastectomy to prevent her from getting the cancer which has plagued all generations of her family thus far. We will all continue to pray and have faith that these very important, very strong women, will win their fight.

A little over four years ago, I lost someone very close to me from Breast Cancer. A client of my Mother's, and a close family friend, was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early thirties. She had a toddler son whom I would often babysit. She and her husband were very active in a local church in my hometown, and Julie had a smile that lit up the room. I watched this vibrant, young woman go through chemotherapy and lose her hair and eventually, her breasts. Throughout the entire ordeal, I never once saw Julie without a smile on her face. She was the epitome of strength to me. Sadly, she lost her fight with Breast Cancer, but she will never stop inspiring me and the others whose lives she touched with her positivity. I oftentimes wonder if her son, Luke, who was only three when she passed away, will ever know just how hard his mother fought to stay with him.

As I write this I am furious. I have been so blessed in my life, and I live in such a time of technology, money, and progress, I can't rationalize to myself that there is no cure for Cancer. Treatment is great, and certainly there are many success stories, for which I am grateful. Treatment, however, is not enough. I will not be satisfied until there is a cure for this disease, and there are no more women dying, no more broken families, and no more fear.

Please click on the link below to view my personal page on the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer website. I would greatly appreciate any gift you can give, and you truly will be helping make a difference in the lives of women across the country.

-V.O'Neel

The American Cancer Society
Shared via AddThis

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.”
-Dr. Seuss
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Songs:
"Praise You in this Storm" Casting Crowns
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