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My Fellow Americans

Last night, I watched Barack Obama deliver his farewell speech, ten days before Donald Trump takes office as the new President of the United States of America. I can’t believe I just typed that. The crowd chanted “FOUR MORE YEARS” and I wish it was a possibility. President Obama said:

“Yes, our progress has been uneven. The work of democracy has always been hard. It has been contentious. Sometimes it has been bloody. For every two steps forward, it often feels we take one step back. But the long sweep of America has been defined by forward motion, a constant widening of our founding creed to embrace all, and not just some.”

He kept things classy; when he said that “in 10 days the world will witness a hallmark of our democracy,” the crowd began to boo. He urged them to stop, saying that the peaceful transfer of power will occur, just as former President Bush did for him eight years ago.

President Obama said that he left the stage even more optimistic than when we started. “Let me tell you, this generation coming up — unselfish, altruistic, creative, patriotic — I’ve seen you in every corner of the country. You believe in a fair, and just, and inclusive America; you know that constant change has been America’s hallmark, that it’s not something to fear but something to embrace, you are willing to carry this hard work of democracy forward. You’ll soon outnumber any of us, and I believe as a result the future is in good hands.”

President Obama asked us to believe, but not in his ability to bring about change. He asked us to believe in our own ability. “I am asking you to hold fast to that faith written into our founding documents; that idea whispered by slaves and abolitionists; that spirit sung by immigrants and homesteaders and those who marched for justice; that creed reaffirmed by those who planted flags from foreign battlefields to the surface of the moon; a creed at the core of every American whose story is not yet written. Yes, we can. Yes, we did.”

Re-reading this amazing speech brings tears to my eyes once again. I am terrified of what is to come once Donald takes office. This is a man who has no idea what he is doing. He is appointing people who want to tear apart all the work that President Obama has done in his years in office. This is a man who is grossly unqualified for the position he is about to fill. Can you imagine Donald delivering the speech that Obama did? Neither can I. He can’t do it.

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I am trying to believe. I am trying to have hope. But it’s difficult to see when we’re losing a fantastic President and replacing him with a bloated orange sack of hot air. Donald got elected because he knew how to rile up a crowd. He could say the right things to incite a riot, and people bought into it. The American citizens elected Hillary Clinton, but the system elected Donald. And now we’re stuck with him for the next four years, unless an impeachment occurs and succeeds.

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I am a woman. I am a minority. I support LGBTQ+ rights, am pro-choice, and am everything Donald hates in a person. This is a punch in the gut to know that we’re going from such a classy President to one who is simply an ass.

Half of the country voted this circus peanut into office, but I hope that they realize their mistake and take President Obama’s advice. We have a voice. We have the power to change things. We don’t have to sit back and try to survive the next four years; we can speak out and take action and do our best to keep this train from derailing. We have to. America won’t survive if we don’t. I’m absolutely terrified, but I have half the country on my side, and together, we can and we will bring about change. In all sincerity, thanks Obama. Your shoes are impossible to fill and you will be missed more than you know.

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Thirty Three

Well, it’s finally happened.  I have reached the point in my life where my birthday is no longer the big deal I once thought it to be.  My birthday is this Friday and I will be spending eight and a half hours of it at my desk at work.  I’ll be attending a promotion ceremony for a coworker, chasing around civilians for their time cards, and fielding calls and emails that are too boring to even mention.  I have zero plans to go out and drink or party or get myself in trouble, although my husband is likely planning to do something amazing for dinner that evening.  All my excitement about the next few days is reserved for the two WWE events in June that my husband and I have tickets for, and the gifts that he’s worked so hard to make perfect.  But as far as my birthday itself?  Who cares?

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Let me assure you, my reluctance to make a big deal of a day that comes around every year has nothing to do with my desire to still be in my 20s, my inability to organize a perfect party, or my friends and family failing to make this into the huge production I secretly desire it to be.  I would much rather celebrate someone else’s big day and allow them to be the center of attention so I can enjoy myself than be the person of the hour and have all eyes on me.  I don’t expect my family to go for broke to make my birthday a huge deal and I’d feel horribly guilty if they ever did so.  I’m perfectly content with my age and the stage I’m currently at in life and sure as hell wouldn’t trade it for my 20s.  Unless we’re talking my metabolism from ten years ago, which I will gladly accept.

I’ve been watching an acquaintance of mine go crazy over her birthday, which is around the same time as mine.  She’s organizing two days of events and trying to get the maximum amount of people involved.  I keep seeing her stress about who is going to what event, who wants to do what, and a whole lot of other things that don’t seem like the kind of things one should worry about on a day they are meant to be having fun.  I won’t be going to her big event, as she scheduled it on my birthday and I feel weird about celebrating someone else’s day on my own with a bunch of her friends that I don’t know.  Unfortunately, my decision seems to have hurt her feelings, but I’d rather just have a quiet evening with my husband followed by some quality time with the child.

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Right now, there are so many amazing things set to happen that my birthday is the least of my worries or concerns.  Not only do we have a WWE Pay Per View to attend and a Raw to get to the following day, but we have some major life changes in our very near future that dwarf any birthday when compared side by side.  (Not a baby.  No one mention a baby.  There is no baby.)  It would be selfish of me to try to make this Friday into a big production when we have so many other things going on.  Not only do I not care about turning 33 all that much, I have no desire to put anything else on the back burner simply so I can feel like a princess for a few hours.  I don’t know what my husband has planned, but I know he’ll make me feel special and spoiled, and that is more than enough.

My birthday should be whatever I want it to be.  If I want it to be just another day, throw me a happy birthday wish and be done with it.  I promise it’s not some weird female trick in order to get presents and surprise parties.  Hell, you can even forget about it entirely and I won’t be put off or offended.  If I snap one day and try to organize the biggest party ever, you should decline to attend guilt-free if you so choose.  I’ve lost count of the birthday celebrations I’ve had to skip due to financial issues, scheduling conflicts, or just because I didn’t feel like going.  And that’s okay.  Birthdays shouldn’t be about how many people can be forced to celebrate your day.  It should be about what you want to do, who you want to do it with, and what kind of happiness you can find with whatever you receive.  The way I see it, as long as I’m smiling, the day went exactly as it should have.

Groovy Movie Time

Kevin Smith is one of my all time favorite storytellers.  I was hooked with Clerks and proceeded to devour everything he put out, from the movies to the books to the films he’s featured in solely as an actor to the podcasts to Comic Book Men, and so on.  Sadly for me, it has been quite some time since I’ve been able to see one of his films in the theater; when Clerks II came out, I was too broke to even consider it, and Red State wasn’t mass released in theaters and sold out before I could snag tickets.  Luckily for me, Jay Mewes happened to pop on the radio while my husband and I were driving to work, talking about the release of Smith’s latest movie, Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie.

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Naturally, I went into OMG-mode and immediately hopped on the computer to find out if they were showing the movie anywhere near me.  As luck would have it, a stop was planned at The Vic Theater in Chicago, Illinois on May 19th!  This was perfect; it’s close to my birthday and it’s in my new favorite city at a venue that my husband and I have been to and enjoyed.  I was even more thrilled when I found out about the Meet and Greet packages that were for sale as well.  After a frantic back and forth with my husband through emails, I began the process of purchasing my VIP packages…..

…..only to discover at checkout that they were all sold out.  As is my nature, I took to Twitter to vent my frustrations:  “Officially the shittiest day ever.  Dunkin didn’t toast my english muffin and the VIP packages for @ThatKevinSmith in Chicago are sold out.”  “I’m off to go play in traffic now… 😦 WHY CAN’T I MEET @ThatKevinSmith & @JayMewes for my birthday, damn it?!???!?”  “@ThatKevinSmith Chicago VIP packages are sold out. Birthday fail for me :(”  “I think I should tweet @ThatKevinSmith until he takes pity on me & throws me a Chicago VIP package that I can buy #SoldOutSucks”

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There was a method to my madness.  When Comic Book Men premiered, I mentioned something about it on Twitter and Kevin Smith ended up favoriting that tweet.  I figured that if I got him to unintentionally notice me once, surely I could purposely get him to take notice again.  Plus it wasn’t as though I was begging for something free.  I’ll pay, I just need the chance.  I kept trying, with:  “@ThatKevinSmith sell me a VIP package for Chicago! My birthday is 11 days afterward. Present for a fan? #SoldOutSucks #BeggingFTW.”  My efforts were proving fruitless, and my day was brightened only by my mom-in-law taking a lunch run to Quiznos to grab us some delicious toasty subs.

As I’m lunching and complaining, out of nowhere, Mewes speaks!  He tells me there are 2 VIP tickets left in Chicago.  After I get over the initial shock of Mewes actually noticing my Twitter nonsense, I hop back on the site and try once again to get the VIP packages.  Now, instead of having the option to purchase, they are stamped with the SOLD OUT symbol and I can’t even click on it to proceed.  Disheartened, I return to Twitter to tell Jay thank you, but sadly no go.  He not only answers again, but we proceed to have a freaking conversation as I silently fan-girl out.


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I would love to tell you that I was able to get those VIP passes that day, but I wasn’t.  The site wouldn’t cooperate and it all just seemed like a random cool experience that would be a nice memory but wouldn’t get me those passes.   I let it go and ended up having a nice surprise waiting for me at home:

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Fast forward a bit; I get contacted from Topspin Media who handles the SmodCo ticketing for the show.  I’m informed that because of the Twitter exchange, Jay has contacted them and they were able to release two more VIP packages that they are holding FOR ME!  The amazing customer service rep walks me through the online finalization process to get the order completed while acting amazed that I was able to pull this off.  I’m holding my breath until that moment when I get the confirmation email and I know for sure that I will meet Kevin Smith and Jay Mewes!!!  And of course, I must brag:

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And what are the chances, Smith takes notice yet again!  I’m absolutely stoked to be able to meet these two in Chicago while on a mini-vacation with my husband.  Chances are, I will forget how to talk and babble something like a moron as I get my photo taken, but it’ll be worth it.  Meeting Kevin Smith was a bucket list item for me and I’m so happy to be able to cross it off next month.  I can’t ask for a better birthday present.

It just goes to show you the true power of Twitter.  What began as just another one of my morning rants turned into a conversation with Mewes that scored me two sold out VIP passes in a city I’ve been dying to get back to.  I’m still a bit awed that it worked, as I’m not big on harassing people on Twitter or elsewhere for personal gain.  But it worked, and I can’t be happier.  Now, someone please help me figure out what in the holy hell I’m supposed to say when I meet them!

I Am Free!

I had a thought the other day about what it would be like to be financially independent.  My husband is putting the finishing touches on his first full length novel which will join his novella on Amazon in the near future and hopefully will do wonderfully in sales.  He also has countless other projects in the works.  I have published two novellas for purchase on Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook (under a pen name) and have earned sales, although I have promised myself not to check my sales numbers from here on out.  I am currently about 13,000 words into a new project that I hope to have up to novel length and available in print as well as in ebook form.  And, going off a suggestion from my husband, I’m trying to turn a forgotten hobby into some cash and will be putting products on Etsy for sale in the next few weeks.

There is the slight possibility that the two of us could find great success, allowing my husband to quit his office job and focus solely on writing, and allowing me to quit this tedious office job, secure some part time work in a place I enjoy, and allow me more time to focus on my own writing and side projects.  We could move out of this state and take root in Chicago, a city my husband has always wanted to live and one I fell in love with during my trip there for my 29th birthday.  Since the full times jobs for us both would be a thing of the past, daycare for our boy would also be out for good, saving us around $700 a month.  We both would have the freedom to make our own success and do things our own way.

Is it a realistic dream?  Hell, if Snooki and The Situation can make piles of cash for acting like drunk idiots, surely two intelligent people can do the same by actually doing something worthwhile.  I know full well that if I apply myself properly, I can do incredible things.  My husband is an artist when it comes to the written word, as proven in his recently finished novel, and I have no doubt that he will continue to create masterpieces.  But will anyone care?  It’s quite possible his genius could go unnoticed for years and it’s quite possible that the things I’m doing will fail miserably.  But what if it doesn’t?

It may be foolish, but I’ve begun to see this future of us being financially independent and doing what we love to make money as a realistic and tangible thing rather than a silly dream and fantasy.  I want to put my all into this and I want my husband to keep grinding away as he has been doing so we can move up and move on out.  I have no delusions of being a famous actress or singer, putting my faith into something silly, I just know that we have the potential and talent to do something more with ourselves than we’re doing right now.  We are both better than the jobs we currently hold.

Even if I fail, I want to hold onto this attitude and the thought that I am a success who simply has yet to step up.  I want to remain confident that I can achieve things I dreamed of when I was younger.  I can take my love and talent for writing and turn it into my career.  I can take seemingly silly things I have a knack for and use it to turn a profit.  I can believe that my husband will reach the heights he so deserves.  I can desire more and I can make that desire become my reality.  But just in case, keep your fingers crossed for me.

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