Book Club For 2? Why Not

Melissa with Stirrup-Queens has a weekly MicroBlogMonday idea she throws around. This week, the topic is having a Book Club For Two.

The idea is like this:

Rather than reading the book ahead of time, they read it over the phone to one another.  They can discuss it in real time or just relax and listen to the story.

The idea is great. I can already imagine a few people I could have fun doing this with because it would be fun reading with them, using accents and over dramatizing. I can also think of a few that I would just love hearing read to me and we can share thoughts so… I love this idea.

My one issue though comes from the reminder of a slow night at work a couple of summers ago.

There was a group of about six women and we were just sitting around waiting for phone calls and chatting with each other. We noticed one of the girls had a copy of 50 Shades of Grey on her desk. She had gone to get a drink so one of the girls grabbed it and began reading aloud. Good solid fun.

Then, she decided we all needed to read sections in our sternest customer service voice. She handed the book over to me and marked the page she wanted me to read.

All I remember is that involved Christian telling Anastasia something about having relations on the hood of his car. It was super descriptive and I read it slow, and in my sternest customer service voice. I would glance up occasionally while reading it but in one spot .. that was super descriptive … I looked up at the friend that handed me the section to read and read it looking right in her eyes for dramatic effect.

My part ended and I was flipping pages for the next reading. I looked up with eyes stunned and jaws dropped. I smiled and laughed. The girl I’d read to was fanning herself and said that things are now awkward between us.

Heh!

But yes, Book Club for 2 sounds like a great idea. You might just want to avoid reading 50 Shades of Grey! … Or not! Whatever. It’s book club between friends, right?

What do you think of this idea?!

Overwhelming

I don’t know about you, but I feel overwhelmed all the time, these days!

The news is incredibly overwhelming. Just turning on the news or glancing at the alerts on your phone can send you into a veritable panic attack. There’s everything from President Trump, to the former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, being in bed with the Russians, to our government thinking it’s not a big deal that this has happened. I really think all parties involved, from Congress to our media, need to wake up and realize this isn’t good. The United States is an amazing place founded on principles of freedom … and this is all a spit in the face of it. Just… Come on America. Come on. We’re better.overwhelming-banner

Work. Work is just always overwhelming. I was promoted last year. I learn new stuff every single day. I like and hate the overwhelming feeling all the time. … Being unemployed is more overwhelming, though. I just remind myself of that every time I get stressed out about little stuff at work. Just acknowledging the stuff is little in comparison to other things is a huge step. It works for me.

Working a night shift that causes you to be exhausted all the time? At least, you have a job and you’re feeling these feelings.

And then Life. I love living. But damn, it’s overwhelming, too. Finding the time to do all that you need? Going to the gym to get that much needed work out in so you don’t rage at loved ones? Eating properly? Getting enough rest? Finding the time to write and do photography? Wanting to do every stinking thing you want but logically knowing you can’t right this second?

Yeah. It’s overwhelming. Acknowledge that and just do what you can. Everything else will be ok.

Hopefully!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/overwhelming/

Resist

resistToday’s Daily Prompt is Resist. I’m guessing this word was chosen due to the overwhelming feeling of many Americans to resist the wrongs they see happening in the world.

You see our Congressional leaders being asked to resist in the seemingly automatic follow-through of some to want to push through anything from Trump’s agenda. This includes his choices for cabinet, to his southern border wall or the banning of people coming to America.

Trump has people that have no qualifications for the positions they are being asked to take on. Ben Carson at Housing and Urban Development? Why? Because he’s African American? Dr. Carson was  a neurosurgeon before entering politics. What the actual fuck is this appointment about! I would have understood if he’d hired one of his real estate buddies, but this one makes zero sense. … But not as least sense as Betsy DeVos as education security. I mean… the lady thinks having guns on campus is OK, because of the grizzly bears. Not to mention all of the alleged plagiarism in her questionnaire answers for her hearings. An education secretary. Plagiarizing. I’m sure this would piss off many an English teacher.

The Southern Border Wall. This was his big selling point during the election. I get why he’s big on doing this. I really do. But. He said Mexico was going to pay for this wall. They aren’t. And they are passionate in not paying for it. One of the proposals to pay for this wall is a tariff on items imported from Mexico. This would include avocados. In a local story I read on what this would do to my local economy in Arkansas, an avocado now costs 79-cents. The tariff would bring the price up to over two dollars. Mexican restaurants, and my home town has a ton of those little authentic restaurants, load up on avocados for guacamole. That damn wall is going to jack up the costs of guac, y’all.

Guac is extra. Yeah, we know. Thanks Trump!

The banning of people from certain countries is … horrible. It’s the most un-American thing I’ve ever heard. We are suppose to be the nation that is welcoming to people from oppressed regions. This has been the fabric of our country. I get wanting to protect the American people from evil. I do. But this is ridiculous. The stories of people being detained at airports over the weekend, including a 5-year-old boy, were heartbreaking. Sean Hannity of Fox News will tell you it’s only 109 people. But fuck that. It’s 109 too many.

The stories of people being questioned – including their thoughts on Trump and then having their social media examined … that’s pretty fucking fascist.

It would be nice to see all of this resisted. For our leaders to stand up for American values.

I would prefer a fucking challenge to the president’s, or Steven Bannon’s,  actions.

In this time of Trump, that’s obviously way too much to ask.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/resist/

Saturday Stuff

So, yeah. I really went off the blogging train this week!

It was a rough week and I’m sure writing would have helped but I had nothing productive to add. Too much uncontrollable stuff. I have faith that those things will work themselves out as they do.

I did have some thing really good happen though. I was able to go back to the gym this week! It felt great to get back in there. I did have to stop myself before I over did it. But no foot pain and I felt energized. I’m glad to know I can get back to that as another way of venting out my frustrations! I’ll set workout goals another time though!

Speaking of frustrations. Today’s topic for the 365 Writing Posts is a good one. January 14. Ripped from the headlines Head to your favorite online news source. Pick an article with a headline that grabs you. Now, write a short story based on the article.

Any news site I go to these days just really infuriates me. But I’ll just lightly go through some of the news items I recall from the week and talk a little bit about it.

Donald Trump’s press conference this week? As someone who studied journalism and has been a journalist, that “press conference” was the worst thing I have ever seen.

I know Trump is an egomaniac narcissist, but seriously. If you want to be successful, you can’t go after the press like that. CNN is a respected news source and Trump compared them to trash. And for what? Reporting the news? The news that there is a dossier that has some, as CNN pointed out, unsubstantiated claims that you are one fucked up individual and Russia is basically blackmailing you. Considering the hacking scandal, I think it’s pretty important. There will be an investigation of this so Trump can’t ignore this. Although. He will probably tweet about it in the middle of the night…

Speaking of that…

Someone please take that man’s twitter away from him. That’s ridiculous that the president elect is tweeting the bull shit he tweets. Barack Obama had his Blackberry taken away from him. Someone take Trump’s Twitter. He’s going to get in more trouble. Wouldn’t you hate to get nuked because the president went off about North Korea at 3:30 AM on Twitter? Come on.

… I did like that President Obama presented Vice President Joe Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom. That was awesome. I will miss those two. … Seriously.

Le Sigh! Here’s a puppy!

Have a great Saturday!

Microblog Monday: Would you Champ?

Champing, according to Atlas Obscura, is the act of traveling to a church and sleeping in said church. Like Church Camping.

www.JosephCaseyPhotography.com

It’s a thing in England established by the Churches Conservation Trust. The trust oversees the preservation of historic churches throughout Southeast England. Champing provides rural villages a way of offsetting the maintenance of these historic church buildings, while offering travelers a very unusual place to stay. So if there is an old church you’d like to check out, maybe you could champ there.

It sounds really cool. There are so many interesting older churches in England. Other than what may haunt you if you champ there, it might be a really cool adventure. The architecture and stories would be well worth it. This also sounds like a potential good idea for churches in New England. Imagine champing at a church in Salem, Massachusetts … especially in October? … Yeah, maybe not! But I would definitely have my camera ready!

I would be up for the adventure of checking out the old churches. But sleeping? The picture I located makes it look plausible. I would consider it.

How about you? Champing? Comment below!

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What’s Wrong With Empathy?

During the Golden Globes Sunday evening, Meryl Streep accepted the Cecil B. DeMille for her distinguished acting career. Streep took this as an opportunity to call out President-elect Donald Trump and his bullying ways and his lack of empathy, and so on and so forth.

It was a great speech. You can watch it here:

It was great. She gave her opinion. She wasn’t telling anyone how to feel. It was just her saying how she felt about the man taking the office of president later this month. We all have that right to express our opinion. It’s one of those things that makes America wonderful.

But … then you have Twitter. You could find people Tweeting that because Streep is “rich” she has no right to talk politics. And then, there’s Arizona Senator John McCain’s daughter Meghan taking to twitter with this:

Seriously? How is telling someone to have empathy wrong? Trump downplayed your father’s service to this country because he was a POW. You more than anyone should respect what she is saying. Turns out the tweet was more of a lure to get people to tune in to her program tomorrow. … Nice!

And then, we got this little tart from The Blaze:

Tomi. You’re a talking head on The Blaze who lectures people how to feel on issues of race. You’re a blonde, white girl. Let’s not.

How about this people? Let’s stop telling each other how to feel or how not to feel. After this election, there is so much disrespect in this country. It’s awful. Let’s let people feel how they want. Let’s go back to those rules you should have learned growing up … to have respect and courtesy and compassion for others. What on earth happened to that compassion? Why have we become so hateful?

It’s past time to show Trump that his hate-filled rhetoric, his lack of respect for common people isn’t what we want in this country.

We’ve got four years for him to at least get that clue. … I hope.

Woops and ‘Orange is the New Black’ Thoughts

Yes, yes I did already fail at writing something new everyday.

It happens. And for me, it will happen a lot. I work a job that is mentally exhausting. But here’s the thing. I know I’m writing more. And that was the main goal.

I saw this article this week about what show had the most viewership in 2016.

To me, that was no shock at all that Orange is the New Black was the top show for 2016. Season 4 of the series was like a reward for sticking with the show through season 2 and 3. While S2 and 3 were a bit of a let down after a first season that really sucked you in, Orange is the New Black was starting to lose me. I love the character development and the real world stories it tells. That is what drew me into this show and kept me waiting for more during Seasons 2 and 3. Disappointed as I had been, I tuned in for Season 4. I already got word from the folks who seriously binge this show that Season 4 was going to be a good one and that I may even find myself emotionally invested. … Emotional investment is never something I need. But they were right.

The fourth season had more character development and story lines that were just amazing. I normally take my time with the seasons, stretching it through June and July. Not Season 4. Yeah, I started and finished that baby in June.

I knew to expect a lot toward the end of the season. I didn’t expect what exactly we got at the 12th episode. What happened at the end of that episode still leaves me gut punched. I am no spoiler, you watch it and you’ll know what I mean!

So yes, I loved me some season 4 and I’m excited for what Season 5 will bring this summer. Hopefully they don’t play with my emotions again.

No one needs that!

Jan. 4: Favorite Quotes?

Happy Wednesday, everyone. We’ve half way made it through the first week of the year. Woohoo! Hope you are all doing well.

So, here’s today’s prompt: Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?

Yes, I've spent time in the south.

So yes, I have spent some time in the south. Why do you ask?

I love this quote, because it’s simple yet so true. If you mind your business, life will be good.

Country music isn’t normally my cup of tea, but. I first heard this quote in Kacey Musgraves song, “Biscuits.” Here’s the video. There’s a lot of good quotes.

It’s hard to admit that a song with a video like that spoke to me. But, again, I have spent some time in the south!

And remember, if you mind your own business … stay away from other people’s dramas … your life will be good. Mind your own biscuits, and life will be gravy! Words to live by, my friends!

Do you have a song or quote that you quote often? I would love to hear yours! Comment below!

Jan. 3: Bucket Lists?

i-want-to-go-to-hereHappy Tuesday! I know many of you were back at work today and I hope it went well. Today was a wee hectic, as I expected. Being in the customer service industry can be a trip, y’all!

Today’s topic for the 365 challenge is What’s the 11th item on your bucket list?

You know, I’ve never really sat down and wrote out a bucket list. I’ll just go over some things I’d like to do before I kick it.

  • See a baseball game in all the MLB ballparks.
  • Go to Spring Training. I’d prefer seeing my St. Louis Cardinals in Florida, but I would jump at the chance to check out spring training in Arizona, too.
  • Lots of travel :
    • Europe
    • Australia
    • Hawaii
    • Alaska
    • Vermont in the fall
    • A safe tropical location with a beautiful beach
    • Grand Canyon
    • Any place I can take my camera and shoot some beautiful pix. Etc., etc.!
  • Running/Walking a Half Marathon. That seems like a lofty goal with my foot still healing but I still want to do it. And I will!
  • Relax with a book on the beach. Gulf Coast or South Carolina, either one works!

What are your some of your bucket list items? Do you know your 11th item!? I would love to hear ’em!

Day 2: Resolved

Today was my first day back at work after the New Year weekend. Wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. Tomorrow may be different, but we shall see.january-1

But! Look at me, I’ve made it to day two.

January 2 Resolved Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution that you kept?

First things first, never been one to make resolutions. I am more of a goal maker! That said, yes, I have been successful in New Year goals.

One of my main goals every year, has been to improve my health.

As I mentioned yesterday,  I have some anxiety issues and with that came issues with weight fluctuation. I’m talking it went down a great bit when I was anxious and then medications allowed it to come back up. And then some. I wanted to exercise but I just didn’t feel … right. It was the weight, anxiety and living in a farming community – so, I’ve developed asthma over the years, and it got worse during that time. Nothing was really working. I consulted my doctor. Who had me consult a dietitian. And for me? That was a really good idea.

Cutting back on high carb items, cutting down on sodas and other sugary stuffs. I started slowly implementing the changes into my diet and then adding exercise.

Another dietary change? Almond Milk with cereal. I’m not a fan of almonds, but my body isn’t a fan of lactose. I’m a fan of it. I don’t feel as yucky after having milk now. I still get a splash of it with coffee.

Additionally, I added more exercise this year after I was able to join Planet Fitness.

The dietary changes have stuck… I do have to have a Coke or sweet Iced Tea every once in a while, but I am not going to punish myself over it. Just exercise a little more and make sure to down some water later.

That said? I feel SO much better.

And I have kept the same goal for this year. Just keep improving on it. Keep these small changes and continue on this path. Let me know about your resolutions, goals or if you’ve had good life changes after a New Year goal.