Summer Reads & What-not’s

Where have I been?  Where have YOU been?

Just kidding. 

I have had a very busy couple of weeks.  My husband and I took a much-needed three-day escape to Savannah GA where we were able to glimpse into our lives away from our kids. 

It was glorious. 

While it goes without saying we love and adore our children, they eat up every free minute we have.  As they should, that’s kind of the point.  And 99 out of 100 times we really don’t mind having to drive here, watch this game, homework, meals, weekends, calls about questionable behavior, vomiting, colds, laundry, unruly hair, and the 1,228,004 things that comes along with having children.

We truly don’t.

But we are also firm believers that it is essential to nourish your marriage.  We have been down the aisle before and are trying out best to learn from our past mistakes and be kind to our marriage. 

And so we took our first three-day weekend alone.  The only one we have ever taken in almost two years. 

I think we were due.

On top of that, and normal life, I did manage to begin and finish two books.  Of which I highly recommend. 

 

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

*Note:  When I began reading “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen I had no clue there was going to be a movie.  And much to my chagrin that it was going to star Robert Pattinson.  Who I am sure is a doll, but frankly his over exposure made me less than pleased with the casting.  I have a firm rule, I rarely break; if I read it I won’t watch it and vice versa.

I have only broken this rule a very few times.  The Shining was one and then there was the notebook.  The more I read I find this rule harder to follow, but I still try very hard to stick to my guns on this one.  The characters in my head when reading are always completely different from the actors picked.  (Exception – The Shining.  No one could have played that better.  Go Team Jack)

So, that being said, for my work book club we were assigned “Water for Elephants” and I truly enjoyed it.  And I recommend it to someone looking for a nice summer read.  I am extra pleased to have read it because honestly I would have never chosen it on my own.  So it was a pleasant surprise how much I liked something that seemed outside of my tight little snobby reading genre.

The next book I read was “Freedom” by Jonathan Franzen.

"Freedom" By Jonathan Franzen

Note: I listen to books.  Via Audible.com.  I also highly recommend this especially for fellow commuters.  If it weren’t for audible I wouldn’t ever get to read/listen/experience books at all.

I had previously read, “The Corrections” by Franzen and while at first I felt I had to look up every other word out of the readers mouth, I ended up becoming very invested in the characters and at the end of the day truly enjoyed the book.  It was a very intellectual but honest slice of life story.

Same thing for “Freedom.” I am in awe of how he is able to take every day nuances and bring them out without making the story about them.  He uses detailed descriptions to develop characters in a way that blew me away.  I hope to see more from Franzen.

So, this concludes my, “Where have you been?” and what I recommend for Summer Reading post.

I am hoping to be able to give you all a little piece of something I have written soon.  Now that things have slowed down somewhat I am chomping at the bit to get back to writing.

Feel free to recommend some good books here as well!

PS –

Ever time you see the word, recommend in this post, it was misspelled.  Oh the shame…

PPS –

And it should also be noted I misspelled, Misspelled.  What in the hell, I have no business writing.  Jeez.
As always,
Woman on Pause

Photo Credits:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43641.Water_for_Elephants

http://www.kadisera.com/2011/2010-best-books-jonathan-franzens-freedom.html/jonathan-franzen-freedom

Two more and there would have been a scandal.

I had 67 views last Thursday!  I am not completely sure why.  Nor do I really care.  YAY!  Granted it was mostly for my “I am in a glass case of emotion” post, but once again, I am not a choosy girl. 

In spirit of said uppance in viewage.  Yes, I typed that and meant it. 

I am releasing the first photo of me.  It should be up as this post is set and ready to roll. 

Still working on Big Mama part II.

Until then, I can’t help but say that I am completely moved by the tragedy in Japan and my family and I, while we are not big church going folk, have been praying for the safety of the people of the effected areas.  I don’t think that what has been going on lately, tsunami’s, earthquakes, millions of dead sardines, are a glimpse into the apocalypse. Some say these are signs of the end of the world.

I have my doubts.  But then again, I don’t study the Bible or the Mayan Calendar so what do I know.  I think it is a sign that mother nature is a mean bitch and unfortunately these things happen.  As horrible as it all is.  Japan, not the sardines. 

I truly hope they can make a quick recovery with as little damage and death as possible.  I couldn’t imagine being in their place, and I truly feel horrible for what they are going through.

So, all of that being said, if my new picture isn’t up, here it is.  Yes, I know, you all knew it was me allllllllll along.  😉

Ta-Da!

I promise to post again soon.  The bottom line of this post is to say,

“Thank you for reading.”

As always,

Woman on Pause aka the “Storm Trooper Crumb eater in your keyboard.”

Photo credit: http://wallpapergravity.com/Image.php?ID=278933

I am in a Glass Case of EMOTION

…over my new WordPress Site Theme.

I just fell in love with it.  So, there may not be any more raw sugar in Woman on Pause’s site, but there is now plenty of leather. 

I have many leather-bound websites and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.

This change inspired by,

As Always,

Woman on Pause

Photo Credits: http://forum.dvdtalk.com/hd-talk/576040-anchorman-rich-mahogany-edition-bb-exclusive-august-31-2010-a-3.html

Tick-Tock

Millions of choices are made every day.  These choices can be insignificant or worldly.  The only real decision we do not make each day is to have our heart beat and our lungs take hundreds of breaths.  The only automatic guarantee in life is the beat and the breath.  Until one day those given actions are ripped away. Then it doesn’t matter what choice you make.  As women have a specific number of eggs their body is willing to produce in one lifetime, we have an unknown amount of breaths and beats within our body. 

That is the easy part.  When put on auto pilot and no mental or physical effort is necessary life is good.  It is when the option is given; the free will of man is exercised the mess unwinds before us. 
People die to provide Americans with the privilege of free will.  When an American wakes each day he is allowed to pray or not pray.  He may light a candle and chant, pray to Satan, or just decided to forego it all and light a cigarette with his coffee.

Freewill, while it defines us as Americans, is also the chokehold on our society.  Not because we do not deserve it.  Not because freewill itself is a burden.  It is the fact that we as human beings have to learn how to use it within the limited amount of tick tocks left in our body.  We have more options, choices, freedoms, Avenues, venues, genres, belief systems, Pandora Stations, than anyone before us. 

Yet we are a society plagued with stress and violence.  I ask why.  And then I answer my question with, “Free will.”  Please put aside your outrage and possible feelings of your own violence towards me for just a moment.  Don’t take it away.  I need it.  It feeds my every breathe.  We as a society are not falling apart dying of heart attacks at twenty-five begging subconsciously for someone to control us, make those decisions for us.  We are pleading on subconscious knee to learn how to do it on our own. I was never taught how to make a decision.  I take that back, “Pro’s and Con’s” and Make a list.  Those were the only two things that were taught.  I was told what would happen in each scenario if I didn’t make the right decision in specific circumstances, but not how to make them on my own.

I am not even sure how to pick a candidate. 

And I don’t want that right taken from me, but each election I feel like a fraud voting.  I can, I am supposed to, but I never feel satisfied, no matter how much research on a candidate or issue that I have made the correct decision. 

That could be due in part to a corrupt political system, but I think just a part.  It comes back to my insecurity on my handling of my free will.

I could walk out of the building I am in right now.  But I know that if I do that I will lose my job and the income that supports my family.  That is the easy part.  At some point in my life I made a decision that landed me here.  Where I don’t want to be.  Doing something I don’t want to do. 

So how great did I deal with my free will?  Not very well.  Responsible, yes.  But when it comes down to brass tax what is best for me and my life I chose incorrectly. 

My new goal in life is to learn how to manage my decisions and maneuver my free will to allow me to drive it and not let it drive me.  I have had outfits that wore me, and outfits I wore.   I want my life to be an outfit I wear.   Not be a life that just wears me. 

 

 Heartbeats this post – 2,625 beats doing exactly what I wanted to do. A great start.

As always,


Woman on Pause

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got an itch. It is bad.

I can feel it again. 

It is slight at first, growing stronger as time goes by.  I will notice it, let’s say on a Tuesday then won’t notice it again until Friday maybe Saturday.  It is a combination between the feeling you left the stove on after almost getting to work; and an itch. 

It is sneaky and unless scratched or satisfied it never goes away. 

For me, it is the need to write.

I remember the first time I was bit by the writing bug.  Pure ego.  Nothing more.  I didn’t begin by having a strong desire to compose literature.  I was in High School and the setting, predictably enough, my senior English classroom. 

Now, a bit of a back story, don’t freak out.  It is short.

I skipped tons of school my senior year.  I only had two classes thanks to work release (I didn’t have to be at work until 6:00pm.) but I hated it and didn’t wanna go. 

See that wasn’t so bad.

So, one of the two classes I did have Senior English was my first of the day. 

(Remember it is the first class out of two.  Who gets away with this shit?  If you are more worried about your tan than your GPA or college career, you can.  I know I did.)

I frequently arrived late, or didn’t show up at all.  I probably graced Mrs. French with my presence seventy five percent of the time.  And when I did roll on in at the un Godly hour of 7:45AM I would realize by eight, that I was starving.  And after taking a poll so were most of my classmates.

Sarah to the rescue. 

You want food?  Sure thing. 

*Raises Hand

“Um, Mrs. French, can I use the pass?”

Mind you this is the HALL pass.

“Yes, but make it quick.” 

“Sure thing Mrs. French.”

I would then proceed to my car, head over to Hardees and pick up at least six breakfasts for my fellow English could-care-lessers.

While I may be painting a picture of myself as a care-free, fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal, I was still SUPER paranoid that I would get caught. 

Just never enough to actually prevent me from leaving campus.  Which was, and I am sure still is, a big no no.

One day after arriving back and divvying out our hot buttery biscuits with gravy, egg, sausage, bacon, anything that would satisfy our late teen hunger, Mrs. French called my name.

My first thought, as an admitted over thinker,

“Shit, I am caught.”

She didn’t say it very sternly; I just assume when I do something wrong Murphy’s Law follows me around like a sad puppy where ever I go.

I walk up to her desk and she peers at me under a massive beehive and over very heavy bifocal lenses. 

“I need to see you after class.”

“Yes Maam”

Activate downward mind spiral

Yes, this is it, I am doomed.  It is a month to graduation and I am going to get suspended over a fucking biscuit.  You just haaad to be cute didn’t you.  You couldn’t wait until you LEFT school at 10:00am??  Really???  All of this sprinted through my panicking brain before I made it back to my seat.

Everyone is already looking away from me as if they don’t see me. I won’t tell on them for giving me Hardees orders for the last four months.  You all can take your hash rounds and shove them up your ass.  If it were you, I would be ratted out quicker than shit through a sieve.  And they know it.

Doesn’t matter though.  I am on my own. 

It takes approximately 4,339 minutes for class to end. 

Once the bell does ring I am faily positive it doesn’t matter if I get suspended for leaving campus.  I am going to die of a heart attack before I even make it to her desk.

I arrive at her desk, and through a mound of papers she retrieves one lone piece of notebook paper. 

I recognize it immediately as my creative writing paper I had banged out the week prior about three minutes before it was due.  There were a total of three pages, but she is not the most organized hen in the hen house so those have gone missing.

She then tells me that she is going to submit my paper to “The American Embassy of the Best Writers in all of High School Contest.” (Clearly not the name, but it was similar and I just can’t remember.)

The paper, I still remember, was about how a single woman in her twenties was living in the future.  I think around three hundred years from now.  About how she had to wear a helmet due to pollution.  It was no Al Gore Go Green Campagin, I just took everything I saw going wrong now and made it twenty times worse, then made her have to deal with it on a day to day basis.  It was cute.

I didn’t win.

But I did take the paper back, once she found the rest, and read it again.

It was good.

I had no idea.

Not Pulitzer good, but good for someone who put no thought into it. Hell, it was good for someone who HAD put thought into it. 

And starting that day, a tiny little voice in the back of my head started to say oh so quietly, “That was nice, that recognition thing.  You should try to write again.  You like it, you might be good at it……”

And so the compulsion began.

And it has brought you this post. 

Sixteen years later and I don’t think that itch will ever be satisfied into submission.

Thank God.

 

As Always,

Woman on Pause

When I woke.

 I woke last night and the first thing that appeared to me was the light coming through my doorway.  It was reflected onto my ceiling looking as if a large black door with light behind it loomed over me as I slept.  I remember thinking, is this a sign?  Are there doors are everywhere?  Open doors, doors that are barely cracked, begging to be opened. Are they hiding around every corner even in my sleep?

 Then it disappeared.  I thought at first, who shut my door?  Who would close it and shut out the light just as I was realizing that there may be so many doors open out there?  Then I began to wonder, was it there at all?  Are all of these doors mirages?  Are they all a cliché? 

 
Then I realized it disappeared because I shut my eyes.  I had fallen back asleep and my eyes heavy with exhaustion shut without me realizing.  When I woke the next morning remembering my dream this made a lot of sense.  My minute or two during the middle of the night contemplating doorways or the metaphor for opportunity helped me realize…

If you shut your eyes, all the doors disappear.   

While it may sound simple and silly, it is true.  If I chose to be blind to these doors, these chances for change, or opportunity then they do not exist.

 

Amazing what sleep and dreams can show our waking minds.   

As Always,

Woman on Pause

Photo Credit

http://sojournersong.blogspot.com/2009/02/open-door-fallacy.html