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Monthly Archives: July 2012

A Silly Sunday instead of Silly Saturday: Pete the Poptart

When I first started this blog, I wanted to have a feature called Silly Saturdays. But, as I usually have to work the early shift on Saturdays, thus cementing myself in the brain-dead category for the rest of the day (see prior post), that quickly fell aside, as did this blog. Then, I came back to the blog, but abandoned the silly. How dare I?

So, I promise some silly.

I work in a small grocery store. It’s not the most glamorous of jobs, but it pays the bills and that is what counts. So, once upon a time, the company I work for had annual meetings. The store managers used to go to these meetings and usually attended a food show. This is sort of a convention for food retailers. You can get some free stuff, if the vendor is willing to give it. You can also try out new product about to be released to the market and decide if you want a part of the potential cash cow.

One year, my boss, an aforementioned store manager came back and eagerly shoved in my face…this:

(Yeah. That. Admit it. You think he’s cute. And, his expression says it all. He’s pimpin’ it. He wants YOU!)
 

That’s Pete. Well, actually, Pete the Poptart. Yes, Kellogg’s vendors gave out amazingly handsome frosted poptarts with pink icing and sprinkles. Complete with arms, legs, and the most appropriately, “Yeah, I’m hot,” facial expression!

Naturally I fell in love.

Pete found his way into the hearts of my coworkers. He became the mascot of our silly store. He developed a cool relationship with another friendly icon in our store, Kyle the Keystone Can. Kyle Can for short. Kyle was already a post in and of itself, but for reference, here’s Kyle:

(Yeah, he’s awesome. Plant that flag, baby. Plant it!)
 

Anyway, Kyle and Pete became the best of besties, and in turn, hatched plots. See, Pete was a sheltered Poptart. Kyle was an adventurer. I mean, look at that picture. He scaled the mountain of beer. He has a helmet. He has an awesome arctic ride:

(Yeah, I don’t know if drunk driving laws really apply to a beer can, but I’m willing to bet the picture above is illegal.)
 

So, Pete begged for an adventure. He needed to sow all those oats or something. So, he had his adventure. Pete went home with Lauren. Yes, me.

First thing Pete learned about was this idea of the internet. This media was foreign to the guy that was only saw technology as the way to toast him. But, Lauren (me) promised to show him the good of technology. She showed him how famous he was.

He found himself on the internet. How much more famous can you get? This wasn’t enough. He needed to be the next Indiana Jones, Poptart version. So, he went on a quick fishing trip. He caught a fish. And, it was:

 
(this big!)
 

Kyle’s tales, however, teased him. He needed to experience more. No one would believe he was brave if he didn’t have the stories to prove it.

He tried to join a rodeo and compete, but his steed let him down. The dog was too fluffy, too clean, and way too prissy. So, he moved on. Maybe the ocean? Pete couldn’t get to the ocean. Not Yet. But, he managed upon a seafood market. Inside, there was a lobster.

(Look at that poptart run!)
 

However, that lobster had it out for Pete. He had connections and, realizing the poptart’s dream, he met with his rough buddies to plan an adventure ol’ Pete would never forget. Barely able to cool his feet from his retreat from the red shellfish terror, Pete found himself out in the dark. Literally. The knock on the head left him cold. He didn’t know how long he slept, but slept he did.

(Yes, he’s sleeping. They were kind enough to put him to bed. Oh, and the eyes open thing? Completely natural for a poptart. They’re always avoiding consumption. The eye thing only helps!)
 
 

He awoke to this:

 

(We call him Jungle Pete. He’s the king of the Rumba beat!)
 
 

“Aw, Crap,” said Pete. “How will I ever get out? I know! My superior wit!”

It didn’t work as well as he hoped. I mean, after all, he’s a poptart with no adventure skills. He slowly climbed through the jungle of shamrocks and he encountered the native inhabitants. Throwing himself at their mercy, he struggled to learn their language. Learn it, he did. And, they made him one of their own:

(He gained the name: Philip of the Crispy Rice–There’s a Pop Culture reference if I’ve ever seen one!)
 

Now an accepted member of the native tribe, he was able to get the information needed to get out of the jungle and in turn back to civilization, even if it meant the threat of toasterdom to him.

Back in something recognizable to him, he sought out a nice hotel. They had fine Egyptian cotton sheets, and Pete spent his nights dreaming of Egypt, its pyramids and sites. Then, he realized Egypt is in the desert, it is hot, and toasting him might result in some hungry Egyptian mistaking him for a snack. Waking up from an nightmare, Pete decided to spend a short while in the tub, cooling off.

The jets in the tub made amazing bubbles. Yes, amazing. See how amazing they are?

(Mmm…bubbly!)
 
 

Tales of his adventures with the natives of the Shamrock Jungle had reached the local media. Pictures were being taken of him everywhere. Even in his bubbly bath. He struck out at the paparazzi. How dare they invade his privacy?

(HOW DARE THEY!?!?)
 
 

Upset, Pete closed his curtains, turned off his ever-ringing phone, and disconnected the router in his room. Terrified of this world that would sneak in on a poptart and snap photos of his basking in the orange-scented bubbly goodness of a bath, he sat down in the most comfortable chair in the room.

(Well, comfortable for a Poptart, after all.)
 
 

Rocking away, he let the insanity set in. He imagined himself in different places. Different things. He struggled with his newfound fame. Should he venture outside? Is the world still that scary? He turned on the tv in his room.  Quickly flipping the channels, he skipped the news and settled on reality programming. Ah, yes. His favorite adventure show. Deadliest Catch. Man, that Time Bandit crew seemed like Poptart type people. Oh, if he had the guts to be frozen for many months of the year. But, that would make him a Toaster Strudel and he couldn’t ever forget his last date with one of those! She broke his heart. Aw, poor Pete.

Going to sleep with thoughts of cod guts being dropped into the ocean by guys much more daring than himself, Pete tossed and turned. He didn’t hear the latch on his door click, or the rustle of a breeze disturbing the room’s curtain as the window was opened. No, he didn’t even notice as they lifted him and set them in their next trap. Poor Pete. How would he ever survive the dreaded: Lady with a Pocketdog Purse torture?!

But, renewed with the face of his new Shamrock Jungle brothers, Pete fought and climbed the walls of the pocket dog purse. He scaled them. He slipped! Oh no! Would he fall to his death?

But no, the leg is out. An arm. Half a frosted body with sprinkles! Hurray! Pete escaped! He escaped the wrath of the Pocket Dog with its licking tongue and green bodied home!

Knowing enemies were still out there, Pete struggled with his escape. He needed a weapon. Many had fought with the Pocket Dog. Many had fallen aside. He searched through the remains of those brave souls.  No armor. Crap. But, lo…a glint of an obsidian sword!

Yes, it’s the weapon he needed.

Using it, he wandered the halls of this newest challenge. Here and there, he found dead end after dead end. But, press on he must and eventually, he found his way to the exit. The gleaming light passing through the portal inspired him. Could he do it? What if there was something out there to stop him?

Then, he saw it. The reward so critical for an adventurer such as himself to collect. Who cares what lay outside the door? This..yes, this was all that matters.

The treasure. He had to have it. And, have it he did. He opened the chest. He found the cache of his dreams. And, he returned home with the privilege of being a true adventurer behind him. Kyle the Can could not scoff at him now. He was just as brave. He was just as daring.

He was the true poptart that he was meant to be.

Yeah, I’m not joking with this post. I like being random. I like my imagination and where it takes me. I like concocting stories with objects and amusing my coworkers. In seriousness, Pete is a welcome relief when the onset of numbers, and shrink, and profit/loss rule your life. When people yell at you, or hit on you, or do all sorts of things under the creepy guise that as a customer service person that service part is taken literally.

I refuse to grow up if it means that life must always be serious. I refuse to give up these few threads of youth. I want fun in my life. I want laughter. I want to feel like I did as a child, sometimes. Too much of being an adult means losing the fun of life. Why, I refuse to do so completely. I love pretending. I love letting my imagination run.

It keeps me alive.

It keeps me happy.

That’s all that matters in the end, no?

 
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Posted by on 07/23/2012 in silly saturday, work

 

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Where you know you should be in bed, but you just can’t go.

I always say I’m a night owl. Then, when people realize that I have to sometimes start my day by waking up at 4:30 am, I always get asked how that works. Let me just say it: It doesn’t. It fails miserably.  But, I do it. Time and time again.

I love the night. I’m not sure if it’s the star-gazing I was able to do as a kid living in a very rural environment or not. I mean, I love star-gazing. I love looking up, finding constellations, and imagining what other worlds are out there. Are they very cold? Warm? Are there mean, nasty, skinny, leathery gray alien dudes just waiting to stick a probe up somewhere I wouldn’t like just in the name of their world’s science on some of those planets? Or, are they furry? Blobs of goo?

Those are the obvious. I also love looking at the stars because, let’s face it, I love history and the past. I love looking up, seeing the Big Dipper, or Orion, or any of the other constellations and realizing that back in Ancient Rome, Ancient Greek, Ancient Egypt, some guy or gal stood up there and saw pretty much what I see. There’s something about that which humbles you. You’re not the center of everything. No one is.  It all goes on. Someone, a hundred years from now, will look at the sky and it will appear much the same as now. Except I won’t be here. And, maybe, like me, they’ll wonder what someone from MY time, from OUR time, thought when staring at the sky.

I love the quiet of night. In truth, there are less idiots out there roaming around at night because they’re all asleep! That’s a really good thing!

And, more importantly to me, I tend to just write better at night. Maybe it’s something as simple as the fact that I am relaxed later at night and can let my mind take over, but I do my best writing at night. I always have. I probably always will.

But, I also work a job that sometimes requires me to be up super early.Sometimes, this is by choice, but at others, it is simply the necessity of the workplace. I do that because, of course, jobs are good and money pays bills and puts a roof over your head. Even tonight: I’m writing a blog post at 12:15am. I will be on my way to my job in less than 5 hours. For the most part, I’ve been awake since 4am Saturday  morning. It’s now 12:15am Sunday morning. Am I tired? No. My brain is still going, my body’s still pumping out ideas, and that urge to write, to chat, to spend my night doing anything but sleep is fighting a lot with the logic that, um, DUH, I have to be up in under 5 hours.

So, here I am. Writing a blog post when I know I should be “normal” and sleeping.  Thinking, day dreaming, wishing, hoping, missing people when I should be dreaming in the SLEEP sense.

Another sleepless night…another batch of wondering. They do always say it: You can sleep when you’re dead.

 
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Posted by on 07/22/2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Versatile Blogger Award..

Okay, the entry from earlier today mentioned this award. While I don’t think I quite have the 15 blogs to recommend just yet, I will go ahead and do this.

To start, I was nominated by Chris who writes Introspections During Quiet Time. I started reading his blog after seeing it in the “Freshly Pressed” section of Word Press. The name of his blog grabbed my interest, and I read a few entries. Chris has a great voice and connects to a reader in the way a couple of friends would talk.  And yes, his blog’s name is quite accurate to his posts. 

The Rules are:

1. Add the award to your blog
2. Thank the blogger who gave it to you and include a link to their blog.
3. Mention 7 random things about yourself.
4. List the rules.
5. Give the award to 15 or more bloggers.

So, while I’ve done the first two, next we get to the 7 random things about myself. This should be interesting. I was the queen of random thoughts back in the day. Let’s see if I can make some more magic today.

1. I used to re-enact for the American Civil War time period. My father and brother participated in a regiment that would go to Civil War events and re-enact battles. My mother and I had dresses to wear to complement their participation. So, yes, I’ve worn a hoop skirt ,and yes, it’s very annoying to try to move around in it.

2. If I could go back and re-do my college career, I would probably end up in the anthropology/archaeology disciplines. Don’t get me wrong. I love my reading and my writing, but I do regret not taking a more in depth study of those disciplines.

3. I’m a Gemini born in the year of the Monkey. Look up both astrology descriptions and that might describe why I’m all over the place sometimes.

4. Anytime a website asks what my hero is or what inspires me, I always give the answer of my sister. She’s mentally and physically handicapped, but she’s the strongest, most defiant person I know. She has defied doctor’s expectations and won the hearts of multiple people within moments of meeting her. Every time I feel the “woe is me” feeling, I think about her and realize that I’ve actually had it pretty easy. It certainly changes my tune.

5. As a kid, I always thought I would own a restaurant. Why? I don’t know. I never cooked. Just always thought it.

6. Some of my favorite moments of the day are the ones that come just before I fall asleep. My mind may or may not be settling down, but the thoughts that sit there are some that have guided me into the beliefs I hold now. There’s something about feeling your body relax, listening to your own breathing, and letting the images in your head just play. Especially when they lead into the most amazing dreams.

7. I used to tell people that I am psychic all the time. It’s uncanny the times I’ve been right and the experiences I’ve had that relate to paranormal things. This is probably why the town of Gettysburg, PA is my second home. So, I love the paranormal. I just don’t write about it much anymore. Too much judgement and too much in the way of charlatans.

Alright, now onto the blogs I recommend. Like my prior entry said, I’m new to the following blogs thing. So, I’m doing my best.

Check out:

1. The above blog that recommended me. No joke. It’s easy to follow and pretty honest in its revelation. Jump into it!

2. Unsuccessful Twentysomething . First of all, I like quirky titles. Secondly, I just love this writer’s take on things. There’s an unblemished honesty in what is said, and I respect that.

3. Unsweetened Tea   Written by a childhood friend of mine that I reconnected with through the miracles of the site, Facebook, I find myself having even more in common with her thoughts now than when we were kids.  I find her writing refreshing. She, unlike me, is unabashed in how she comes across and doesn’t really care what you think.

4. Dating Dramas  I find if I look at what blogs the people whose blogs I follow follow (now there’s a mouthful!), I tend to find even more things I can relate to. Several on this list came from such an adventure. This is a very honest, tongue-in-cheek look at the modern world of dating. It’s also hilarious (and maybe a little sad, too) to see what you have to look forward to when it comes to joining dating websites. Wonderful, easy to read voice.

5. Upon Reflection  One of my writing friends, I’ve known the writer for a decade now. I would buy anything of his I could ever find in print, and I promise to do so once he achieves his publishing dream. One of my best friends, and someone who always pushes, supports, and even enjoys some of my writing, I would be remiss to leave him off.

6. Preble Road Crew  The writer of this blog is a friend I made in college. She’s an amazingly candid writer, and always has been. She writes mostly about life as a young, new mother, and it comes complete with amazing pictures of her daughter, significant other, and their pack of dogs. Her realism and honesty is wonderful.

7. Attacked By Heart For this one, I linked to a specific post because I identified with the post so much I followed immediately. Sometimes, you find someone who writes exactly what you’ve felt or want to write, and they do it so well you realize you don’t want to try. This is one of those entries.

8. black coffee, cigarettes, and romanticism Can’t do much more to attract my attention than have an image that mentions Sylvia Plath on your blog. The writer puts this blog firmly in the writing and rambling category, and that’s okay by me. While I try to stay focused in my blogs now, I really understand the value of just doing a thought dump and letting whatever’s sitting inside out and free.

So, I made it more than halfway through the required 15. I’m sure I’ll add more to my list the longer I explore the world of blogs. But, give these links a perusal and if you find something to like, I’m happy to help fellow bloggers find some new followers. If not, no sweat.

Thanks again for the nomination, and I will try my best to remain versatile. After all, I just think that’s another way to say random, and random’s fine in my book!

 
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Posted by on 07/19/2012 in blogging

 

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Nominations and paying it forward…

So, um, yeah. Yesterday, my email inbox alerted me to the fact that one of the bloggers I follow nominated me for a blogging award. I was very surprised by this, but also honored. I do plan on following the “requirements” and making an official acceptance/pay it forward post, but I realized that I wouldn’t even be close to having enough blogs to post recommendations for. 

See, I’ve been concentrating so much on getting myself back into the writing thing that I’ve not jumped into reading blogs and following them. I am the sort that, to be completely honest, won’t invest a significant amount of time reading something if it doesn’t grab me fairly quickly. I’ve been this way with books, even by authors I adore, and I’m even more so with blogs. I read through the first two entries I see on a blog and if I cannot connect with the voice of the blogger, no matter how well written, I just move on.   Most of us are probably like that. I’m just willing to admit it.

So, for the next few days, I’m going to go poking through the thousands of blogs and find some to follow, and then, I’ll write up my post about the blog award I was so surprised to receive. 

 
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Posted by on 07/18/2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Brain’s broken…need to refresh…

Ever had one of those days where you think the world just broke that part of your brain that makes you different than the rest of the animals out there? If not, this blog probably isn’t for you.

I started writing this entry about four hours ago and happened upon using baseball metaphors to try to get my point across. Okay, the baseball lingo worked. Trying to move past that? Not so much. Instead, yet again, my brain ran across something infinitely more interesting, and the blog got “trashed” in the internet sense. Basically, hit refresh on your browser and, “Bye! Bye!”

I’ve never been a math chick. I mean, really, I give a lot of credit to people who love numbers, can do complex equations in their head, and understand deep scientific principles on the math alone. In high school, I studied basic calculus, some physics (when we weren’t placing bets on when the teacher would come back from maternity leave), and the various other normal studies, but, it was harder for me to learn than most other things. I’m just not a numbers gal. Even as I’m great with the word-play, financial lingo stops me in my tracks.

Today, it wasn’t financial lingo, but it was numbers. Too many numbers and the Lauren brain goes into shock. Left too long in that state, and it starts to shut down, cortex by cortex until my body just moves around by instinct, and higher functioning halts while my brain is still sorting why the heck I couldn’t figure out the math to make it work. 

Basically, I killed my brain with math today. I would have depended upon the verbal center of my brain that usually takes over in my more “dumb” times, but that was halted with having to argue with people who, deciding they were smarter than me, refused to listen as I told them the truth of how things were. For my dear readers, who may or may not believe I’m giving myself too much credit there, the truth was something a coworker of mine had come to know, realize and agree with me upon. 

Basically: I was right. They were wrong. Nana nana-poo poo! (Yes, a little regression there!)

Wow, that was a moment.

All of what happened today, between the arguing with people and the math (OMG: MATH!!!), is why I love what I get from writing. To me, that’s uncomplicated. Yes, I get frustrated. Sometimes, I just can’t make the words fit. But, I understand why they don’t fit. I understand what they mean. I relish the beauty of the things other people do with them. Numbers? I don’t always see that way.

So, numbers broke my brain today. Not because I was too stupid to understand it, but more because I’m wired differently. So, when the numbers break my brain, I hit refresh. I dump thoughts into a blog, a post, a story, a book. That’s where I live. 

 
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Posted by on 07/18/2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Perfect summation of my thoughts…

To anyone reading, these are my words. Written years ago, but they are my words nonetheless. I have a writing blog I will be setting up shortly, but sometimes, a poem just begs to be posted.

 

Confrontation

(September 6th, 2004)

Has your exploration
and intricate dissection
taught you anything more about me?
Are my mysteries discovered,
the causes known, recovered?
Am I more known to you
as you are known to me?

Can you say my introspection
equaled your dissection?
Are my insides how they’re supposed to be?
Or, in further inquisition,
smiles turn to derision
as you find out what you’re not ready to see?

Am I the weak chattel,
the baby lost without a rattle?
The savior’s gone and abandoned me.
Are you one more masked invader
in clothes of a crusader
putting things back to how they used to be?

My soul’s laid out,
spread out,
fanned out
showing for all to see.

My world’s in doubt:
clouded, darkened,
shrouded.
I’ve been made blind to it all.

Can you see the disappointment
left underneath resentment?
Finally, I’ll show you what’s wrong with me.
Or with your two eyes seeing,
you’ve gone to leave me bleeding
to destroy all that’s left as me.

 

Sounds depressing, no? Back when I wrote this, I had just suffered an end to a very important relationship in my life. In the course of this relationship, I always felt as if I was doing everything wrong. I was insecure beyond belief. How dare I think someone could love me? Thoughts like that were drifting through my head as I emotionally navigated the month of September of 2004.

The same month, closure was given on another relationship I had. This was an ending to a friendship that soured mostly because of the same reasons the aforementioned relationship had. Topping that, I always felt, within this friendship, that I was under the scrutiny of someone psychoanalyzing me. It didn’t help that I had another friendship following the same course. Due to all of this, I wrote the above.

It was a figurative middle finger to the idea that something had to be wrong with me. I couldn’t be hurt. I couldn’t be sad. I couldn’t be weird. I had to have something emotionally and developmentally wrong with me.  Back then, I wrote a poem about once a day, so it wasn’t that surprising that I came up with this one.

Why it sums my thoughts: I am a single woman. No, I’m not pursuing relationships. This isn’t because I don’t want one. It isn’t because I’m not attracted to anyone. It’s not even fear. I have a lot going, personally, that I want to fix. I want to be out of the majority of my self-inflected debt. I want to achieve some personal goals. I want to just feel competent in some areas of my life before I add a relationship to the mix.

Often, I field the question as to why I don’t have a boyfriend. I usually say that I don’t want to deal with the drama of a relationship. I’m not lying. I don’t. Sure, I miss having someone to hold and hold me. Sure, I miss feeling that connection one can only feel as you’re falling in love. But, I also like not having to check in with someone. I like flirting with no consequences.

Most importantly, and something I think people should learn more often: I’m comfortable with myself. I’m okay with being alone. I’m okay not having someone else. I can be happy without needing a relationship. I don’t need to define myself in terms of a relationship.  And, honestly, people? There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with being single. So, stop pitying me for it. Stop implying that I’m somehow not a complete human being because I don’t have a man attached to me.

I’m okay. If I meet someone I might be interested in, my tune might change. But, I’m not going to run around looking for my other half as if it’s all that matters. Because, loving myself and being okay with me? That matters a hell of a lot more. I can ditch someone if I don’t like them. If I don’t like me? There’s only one choice to get away from that.

The most integral parts of human relationships are respect and trust. So, respect that I’m okay in life. And trust that I know myself well enough to say that I’m happy even if you think I wouldn’t be.

 

 
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Posted by on 07/14/2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Link

As much as I love them, I have decided books, in general, are evil. They make me want to write, and I spend more of what little brainpower I have left daydreaming in worlds that are a pain in the butt to put on paper.  So, books are evil. Says me. ‘Cause I said so, ’cause I can.  :-p

No, to be honest, I love books. I’ve loved them from childhood, and I love them now. I spent more of my time growing up with a book in my hand than probably learning those practical things like math, and managing money, and not being completely stupid when it comes to boys. While books, to most, are just another form of entertainment normally supplied by  movies and video games, I always found them inspiring. After all, reading a favorite series of book convinced me to quit the road to being a teacher and take this poor, (wait–VERY POOR) road of following my dream of being a novelist.

I’m officially off my latest of vacations from the day job, and unlike most of my vacation times, I actually spent a lot of this one reading. I did not touch my record of most books read in the shortest period of time ( I think I did 3, 300 page books in a day once upon a time), but I think I’ve read more books this week than I finished in the past year. Impressive, no?

Like reading, I’ve been lax on writing, hence the very long hiatus I took from even publishing a blog. Now, after reading a book or two, I want to delve back into territories I’ve not touched in over 11 years. I’m scared to go there, but I just might.  Though I love my epic fantasy series, it is stalled and I have spent way too much of my energy lately trying to play with it. I need a change of scenery. I hope the dare I have given myself, and thanks to my friend, Ed, who also dared me, I think I might have found it. In rewriting the past me’s writing in Ancient Times. For more info about that, perhaps you should head to my writing blog that I hopefully will have up and running within a few days.

 
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Posted by on 07/08/2012 in Uncategorized