Finding Podcasts

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I recently fell in love with podcasts. Before that I had fallen in love with audiobooks, and because I’m a pretty thrifty gal, I was looking for access to a type of talk entertainment that could buzz in my ears at work or keep me thinking on my way home from work. Purchasing new audiobooks gets expensive. I was lucky to have a bunch of credits on Paperback Swap, so I used the credits to get a few books, but of course, I wanted more.

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Since I knew I wanted try out podcasts, I figured the best way to start was with some blog friends who I knew were currently producing their own podcasts. It was a wonderful way to start listening to podcasts. I went though all of my blog friends’ podcasts, and I needed more to listen to! So I asked for suggestions and a wonderful Twitter friend suggested a few podcasts for me to try. Another awesome friend sent me an email with some suggestions to try.

Besides suggestions from friends though, how does one go about finding podcasts? I’m not really sure I’m the person to give advice about finding podcasts, as it’s a new journey  for me, but I promise to let you know if I learn anything along the way.

Here are the podcasts I’ve listened to so far:

Elise Gets Crafty
Serial Podcast
One Bad Mother
The Sarah Bagley Podcast

Here are the podcasts I have on my radar, but haven’t listened to yet.

Girl on Guy
Totally Married
Totally Mommy

Today I received an email from a friend with a long list of podcasts. I need to do a little research on those, and I’ll get back to you. I’m telling you, without friends’ suggestions, finding podcasts would be so difficult.

I’d love to hear from you! Do you have any suggestions for me?

 

Marital Status

The next installment in my Defining Moments Series is written by Kristen Costa. After you’re done reading her post here, you should head over to her blog Life By Kristen and follow her on twitter @kristencurator

Kristen Costa

I’ve always been a lover of surveys, questionnaires, etc. I don’t know why—maybe it’s because I’m opinionated and this allows me the opportunity to let me views on things like laundry detergent or frequency of grocery shopping to be known, but regardless of the reason, I am a member of more than a handful of online survey groups. My defining life moment came in September 2011 when filling out a survey about grocery shopping. And it all involved the checking of a box on the usual question of “marital status.” Let me explain.

In July 2011, after a mere year and two months of marriage, my ex-husband and I decided to end our marriage. Those fourteen months of marriage—preceded by a difficult two and a half years dating—were painfully difficult, and so much more than in the usual tough ways of the first year of “wedded bliss.” After half a year of individual therapy for each of us and couples’ counseling, it became clear that we were not made for forever together. While we decided to separate in July, it was not until we had ironed out the details between the two of us that we told our families, friends, and coworkers in August. It was not until September that he moved out of our house.

Telling people was difficult though so many people in my inner circle saw it coming. I sort of avoided telling the rest of the world—a lot of people noticed a change in relationship status on Facebook (21st century solution to awkward situations for the win!), others noticed a lacking of wedding photos anywhere online or in my house. Most people who were acquaintances learned when I was a guest blogger during the transition period. This lack of “announcement” by either me or my ex was intentional—we wanted to keep things private and only our families and closest friends knew what happened between us, but honestly I can say now—a year later—that I was afraid of the word “divorced.”

Being divorced was never something that ever entered into my atmosphere—sure I had lots of friends who parents were divorced and even members of my extended family, but in my mind, I came from a close immediate family—grandparents married over fifty years, parents over thirty, with similar numbers on my then husband’s side. We both thought we knew each other well enough that we would have years of success. I even pondered to myself each time a friend was married about who would be divorced first; with rates of marriages ending being on the rise, I figured my close circle of friends would also fall to the statistics. I was naïve enough to not even consider that the statistic might end up being me.

Deciding to get divorced was not easy by any means—but filling out that form and clicking the box “separated/divorced” on that grocery shopping survey was the first time I had to “publicly” proclaim the words. It seems like the smallest thing in comparison to having to tell me parents I had failed at my marriage, but to me it was the biggest. In that moment, in going from the ‘married’ box (and previously before that the ‘single’ box), I became totally redefined in the minds of the survey analyzers. I was a new demographic and in one that I felt held so much judgment—not by the survey takers, but by ME. The word divorced held so much weight to me and literally brought me down into a bit of a panic in thinking about checking off this new box. Knowing I had to end my marriage to be happy was one thing, going through with it and doing the paperwork was another—but this—this proclamation to the world and putting myself into a new category of life—was something so much bigger. I know that I gave all the weight and power to the word and what it meant and that being divorced is not the end of the world. Yes, my marriage failed and I broke a vow—two things I never imagined for myself, but deciding that I needed to end my marriage was me taking a stand for my life and choosing happiness over obligation. The defining moment was checking off that box; while I am not proud that I am divorced and it is something I do not wish on my worst enemy—I am proud that in that moment, I was able to realize that checking off that box was a small action, but a huge thing at the same time in accepting my life and the choices I made for myself.

How I Became An Academic

 I recently posted a call for new writers to join my Defining Moments Series. I was so pleased to have a great response and hope to bring you a new writer every week for the next few weeks. Ashley from Writing to Reach You was the first kind soul to contribute. See what she has to say about being an academic and then head over to her blog and subscribe. She won’t disappoint!

Ashley from Writing to Reach You

No one ever believes me when I say this, but I was not a smart child.  I  had a crazy imagination and I was very sensitive, but I wasn’t smart.  I knew the smart girls, because they were my friends, but I wasn’t one of them.  I showed potential, which a lot of my teachers recognized, but I wasn’t on the track to success in school.  Given the choice, as I often was, I would always rather go out and play than sit inside and read.

My friends were all very focused on school, which made me feel like the  aimless one.  I didn’t have big ambitions or think much about the  future, and none of this is all that weird for a kid, but it seems so  unlike the person I am now.  What strikes me as different about this  defining moment is that it was not inevitable. I can see myself  continuing down the path that I was on, and I have no idea where it  would have taken me, because what happened next completely changed the  shape of my life.

I had this really sweet elementary school existence.  My public school  was small enough that I knew everyone and had forever, and they kind of  accepted me as the weird kid that I was.  I had good friends who were so loyal that I didn’t know friends came any other way.  Then it came time for middle school, and my best friend moved to another state, another  close friend went to a different school, and the rest of us were  scattered across a large campus with no classes together.  It felt like  we had all been thrown into a completely different world.

I adjusted very well to this new world at first.  Either my aimlessness  or the butterfly clips I wore in my hair attracted one of the cool girls to me, and she was cool enough that being friends with her also meant  that you were friends with all of her friends.  In that crowd, I found a new best friend, and we grew close really quickly.  I knew I was kind  of out of my element.  These girls were not like the girls I’d been  friends with in elementary school, but they were nice enough and they  were cool.

Everything changed when my new best friend got a boyfriend and proceeded to forget I existed.  I honestly don’t know if she ignored me for a couple of  days or several weeks, but it really didn’t matter, because those girls  from elementary school had taught me to expect so much more from my  friends.  At some point, she apologized, but I didn’t forgive her.   Instead, I distanced myself from her and our entire group of friends.

In a very short period of time, I went from being friends with a large  group of cool kids to having almost no friends at all.  Sometimes I  still saw a few of the girls from elementary school, and I always had at least a couple of people to eat lunch with, but mostly I was alone.  I  went from aimless to completely lost.  I would not have been surprised  if a fork had literally fallen from the sky and blocked my way, because  choosing not to forgive my friend sent me on the path that I am still on today.

I can’t remember if I started focusing on school, because I had nothing  else to do, or if I fell in with the nerdy kids, because I was desperate for friends, but I quickly went from sitting in the back of the  classroom to the very front.  My new friends were not the lovable nerds  you’d expect if this were a movie, but some sense of competition between us pushed me to do better.  They didn’t seem to realize that I was just playing the role of the good student–that it wasn’t really me.

Middle school was the only time in my life where I didn’t have at least a  couple really close friends who understood me.  It was the only time in  my life where I have ever been lonely for an extended period of time.   It sucked for that reason, but I made the best of my solitude.  I  started reading for fun, which changed my life.  I started listening to  music I really liked instead of just what my friends liked.  Despite  being a mediocre student in elementary school, I had always been  recognized for my writing, but middle school was when writing became  important to me.  I created the person I would become.

I did well enough with what remained of sixth grade to earn all of the  Most Improved awards at the end of the year.  It was strange to me how  quickly I became one of the smart kids.  It would take me years and  years to come around to seeing myself that way, but I marveled at how  easy it was to become a completely different person in the eyes of other people.  I continued to earn good grades in seventh and eighth grade,  so when it was time to start high school, I chose to sign up for all of  the Honors and AP classes.

I can’t imagine it’s really all that surprising to anyone but me that I’m now working on a PhD.  I have been on this track since sixth grade.  But, for me, my identity is very much wrapped up in the person I was before sixth grade.  She feels like a  stranger and a friend.  And my defining moment is so complex to me,  because it wasn’t a moment of glory–it was a show of weakness.  I  should have forgiven my friend.  She went through some difficult things  in the years that followed and I’m sorry I wasn’t there for her.  But,  I’m grateful that instead of getting caught up in the current that was  pulling me into a different kind of life, I was forced to step back and  learn to be alone and think about who I wanted to be.

Are you interested in writing a post for the Defining Moments Series? If so, email me at reinventerin (at) gmail (dot) com

Eight Things I’m Okay With Not Liking

Note: The idea for this post was borrowed from Katelin after she borrowed it from Terra. (Click here to see my follow-up to this post).

I have a whole lot of love in my heart. Most of the time, I don’t just like things, I love them. However, there are some things that I neither love nor like, and for that, I make no apologies.

  1. Nuts. While I may love peanut butter, I most certainly do not like peanuts. It’s a texture thing. I only sometimes will eat pistachios (every few years), and only ever eat other nuts if it is a complete accident.
  2. Being really drunk. I really enjoy being buzzed, but I feel very uncomfortable when I’m actually drunk. I’d much rather being in control and aware of my surroundings, and in no way do I like throwing up or being hung over.
  3. Mayonnaise. I don’t care if Mr. O teases me and says that I do in fact like it. I will very rarely ever eat mayo. Yes, folks, I do eat tuna salad, but that is the only time I eat mayo, and I like to pretend that I’m not really consuming mayo with my tuna.
  4.  Cleaning the sidewalk after you trim the hedges. My parents have a large corner lot that is surrounded with bushes or hedges or whatever you choose to call them. It used to be my job as a kid to sweep the sidewalk and gather/toss everything after my father trimmed them. I hated this job.
  5. Shoveling snow. I have nothing more to say about this. I get really mad every time I have to shovel. Yes, I live in Massachusetts, but just because I live here doesn’t mean I have to like the weather.
  6. While I am grateful for public transportation, I can’t quite admit to liking it. Every time I need to go to Boston, I always struggle between driving in and taking the T. I really am not a fan of the T. I hate to rely on its schedule. It makes me feel carsick. I’m glad it’s there so I can use it when I need it, but I certainly don’t like it.
  7. The post office and I have never really meshed well. I can’t seem to go there without something going wrong.
  8. Wet socks. I would much rather be in flip-flops with wet feet than be in sneakers with wet socks. Having wet socks (like if you’re in the rain at an outdoor concert for example) totally grosses me out.

Weekly Internet Finds: Take 20

I’m excited that I’ve shared weekly updates with you 20 times this year. My new goal is to make sure I do at least 6 more weekly shares before the year’s end, so that I will have done this for at least half of 2012.

Peter posted yesterday about finding love in the blog world. I think this post is simply fantastic and urge you all to read it. This line – which is so true in so many forms, not just blogging – actually made me laugh out loud: “Remember that it could be his/her place to vent. Keep that in mind. They might not be like that every day. It’s like only ever seeing a girl at the gym and thinking, ‘Wow. She’s ALWAYS sweaty.'”

Ashley’s post about “picking” and bad habits was super interesting and I kept clicking her links to new articles and then their links to other articles.

Andrea’s post about her Fantasy Self really spoke to me. I beat myself up sometimes for not accomplishing things I’m not even trying for. Sometimes I think I should be this type of person or do that type of thing, but in reality, I’m just me. I love the idea of a Fantasy Self and I’d love to sit and just ponder who I would be in my fantasy life.

I feel like Kristen is writing about me in her post on action and procrastination. I’m having a hard time with my goal of the month (organization) and all I really want is to get my stuff together.

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Want more Weekly Internet Finds? Check out my past posts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

A Million Dollars

Recently I’ve seen some type of this meme on Amy and Ashley and Gina’s blogs. I decided to play along too. What would you do if you suddenly received one million dollars to spend however you’d like?

If I had a million dollars (that I couldn’t invest or save in any way) I would…

…pay off my student debt.
…pay off the little I have left on my car.
…build my own house on a realistic-sized lot that isn’t ridiculously extravagant, but still pretty awesome.
… buy all the furniture, etc needed for the house.
…take a kick ass two to three-week vacation with Mr. O and Wolverine.
…send my parents on a kick ass vacation.
…hire the entire cast of avengers and Xmen to come hang out in costume for a weekend (Okay, I might not be able to afford this, but maybe just if Wolverine will come).
… gift whatever pennies I have left to my new business venture that will be announced soon.

Friendship: Online and In Real Life

I have always been blessed to have such wonderful friends in my life. Sometimes I think, “How did I get so lucky to meet these incredible people,” but then I realize, in a strange way, I have a high standard of friendship. I meet lots of people, but you aren’t going to be in my close circle unless you’re a fantastic person. That, and kindness attracts kindness; friendliness attracts friendliness. I’m also lucky that the majority of my friends are also friends with each other. I honestly cannot wait to own my own home (especially in the summer) because I just want to have an open invitation to all my and Mr. O’s friends to have cookouts and get-togethers regularly.

But I’m getting away from the point. I started blogging in 2008. I wasn’t sure exactly what I’d “get” from blogging. I knew I wanted to write and was hoping it would get my mo-jo back to apply to graduate programs in creative writing. I never expected to make real friends from blogging…but I have. Two of my all time favorite bloggers are Erin from Speckled Palate and Kate from Suburban Sweetheart. I’ve known them both for years now, and they are spectacular humans. Erin really made me feel comfortable with the process of becoming friends with someone you’ve never met before. We’d text each other and chat about our days; sometimes we’d talk on the phone . Kate and I used to chat online all the time a few years ago and were in similar life situations. Then she moved to the state near me, and for a few years we lived about an hour away YET, we never hung out until a few months before she moved to New Jersey. We are such sillies.

The first blogger I ever hung out with was the lovely and multifaceted Elizabeth from Her New Deal. She and her husband were living in Boston at the time and we went shopping and to dinner. Unfortunately she now lives in Texas (do I drive bloggers states away?) but I love to read the updates on her beautiful daughter and the incredible things happening to Elizabeth as well. The second blogger I ever met was Kristen from Life By Kristen. She was a Stratejoy Blogger last season and then one day I realized she lived in the next town over from me. How wild is that?

Last week, I was head over heels after meeting San from The In Between Is Mine and her awesome husband. San and I found each other’s blogs sometime last year and hit it off right away. We are so similar in so many ways. We started the Fierce Love course at the same time, and we’re going to keep each other on track with our goals. San and her hubbie were on vacation on the east coast last week and they were kind enough to take a slight detour in MA to visit with me. We went to lunch right down the street from my work, and they both had Portuguese food for the first time. I was so sad to see them go after having such a nice afternoon.

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Years ago, I would have thought it were nuts to make friends on the internet. Now, I’m just so thankful to have met these incredible humans. Sometimes I wish I lived right near all of them so we could spend more time together, but I know I’m just lucky to have them in my life. Thanks, guys.

 

Weekly Internet Finds: Take 8

This has been a busy week for me. I’m actually doing very good on my May goal of being a better blogger. I’ve been actively searching out new blogs to add to my reader. I’ve been trying to comment on all the blogs I regularly read, and I’ve been doing great on keeping up with this series. In fact, I can’t believe that I am on week eight, and I haven’t been late or missed one week of my sharing posts.

I decided to mix it up this week. In all honesty, there were only one or two links I remembered to save and share. I will keep them in the queue for next week. This week, I am going to share some of the bloggers I read regularly and honestly adore. This will NOT be an all-encompassing list. In fact, I’m only going to put a handful of bloggers up here so that I can share more at a later date. There is a lot I want to update/change on my blog once I graduate (in TWO MONTHS!) One thing is my Blogroll section. I have a few ideas of how I would like to showcase some of my favorite bloggers, so I will definitely make sure to let you know when that goes live, but until them, here is a small sampling of some of my favorites.

San from The In Between Is Mine, is a blogger I “met” at the end of the year last year (or maybe the beginning of this  year?) who I adore. We are so like-minded and I love to email with her and read her blog posts.

Erin from The Speckled Palate is another favorite of mine. She is probably the blogging friend who I have known the longest. She is a fantastic photographer and shares the most incredible recipes. You don’t want to miss her blog.

Phil from Life In the Philloverse is my big brother in my MFA program. He graduated in January, and I’m going to miss him terribly this summer residency.

Alena writes at The Time Is Write and she also graduated from my MFA program. She is pretty new to blogging, and Oh EM Gee she is hilarious. I love her posts.

Angela Noelle writes at Tomorrow Is Another Day. There is so much happening in her life right now (Babies! Germany!) and she is doing a great job blogging about it all.

Reviewing April’s Resolution and Announcing May’s Goal

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My goal for the month of April was to spend time journaling. I’ll be honest and claim April as a failed month. I didn’t write one word in a physical journal. I did a lot of nonfiction writing for school, but those two are completely unrelated and different writing styles. I forgot who it was that I was talking to goals about lately, and they reminded me of my Project Life scrapbook which I’m been drooling over and working on almost daily. If journal/scrapbooking counts, then I did a pretty decent job in April. I got the Project Life stuff on 4/11, and I have been working on it almost every day ever since. So depending on how you look at it, I either failed, or I did an “ehh, alright” job.

IT’S MAY!

So to announce my May goal….drumroll please…..In May, I’d like to work at being a better blogger. I’m an accidental selfish blogger. What I mean by that, is that I read every blog post (of the people I follow) but I rarely comment back. Or I let great posts sit in my reader without sharing them. Or I go days without blogging. Weeks without saying anythign good sometimes. I’m still going nuts with school, but I’d like to spend more time on the blog this month. I want to comment more on the blog posts I like. I want to share more posts in my Weekly Internet Finds Series. I want to write better posts, connect with more people.

That being said, I’d like your help! Introduce yourself if you don’t usually comment on here. I’d love to make a new friend. Or suggest a new blog I should read, because my Reader could use some spring cleaning.

Weekly Internet Finds

If you aren’t reading The Middle Finger Project, you are missing out. Check out her  newest post which is so aptly titled: Fuck Plan B. You’re on the A Team. Remember how last week I included two Ashley’s links? Yet again! MFP is written by Ash.

To keep up with the streak, Ashlee from Where My Heart Resides wrote a beautiful post about the mom she wants to be. I got a little teary. See, Ash/Ashey/Ashlee’s are taking over the blog-o-sphere.

Nora’s post about going to the library and StoryCorps really struck a cord in me. How cool is the premise of StoryCorps? I wish they came to people’s houses, and we could have StoryCorps parties and record everyone’s history. Wait… maybe something like that exists already.

A.J.’s post about Baby Fever was pretty fantastic. In fact, I’m honestly not sure whether the picture is of Ally McBeal or AJ. Because it seriously looks like her to me.

Alena, a friend from my MFA program who recently started a blog has many humorous posts. The most recent one made me giggle this week, but I’d honestly recommend that you check out her archives as well.

I loved this photobook of Instagram pictures. I especially loved how she used a sharpie to write in notes on the book. I totally think I will do something like this when my 365 photo challenge is complete. I love it! I’m new to her blog, and I am loving every post. I love when I find a new blogger to crush on.

And finally, this one is a tiny bit old (I didn’t read it this week), but I just noticed it in my starred items in my reader. If you check this out, I’d recommend starting at #1 and then reading your way to this link. Jennifer wrote her adoption story so beautifully. I read the whole thing twice. I don’t know her at all, but I am so happy for her.

March Observations

March Highlights:

  • Vacation! Mr. O, Wolverine and I went to New Hampshire for a long weekend. I love vacations.
  • The Emerson’s came up from GA for a week, and Mr. O finally got to meet the Mr. and Mrs. I wish I could have spent some time with Toddler Emerson seeing as how it has been over a year since I’ve seen him, but I can’t complain. It was amazing to see my friends. I love them so much.
  • Actually writing new material for my thesis. Not only that, but I’m pretty excited to find new uses for old material which I wasn’t planning on including. Even if the essay doesn’t appear in its original form, paragraphs have been brought to life in new essays.
  • My eye doctor is extremely pleased with my healing after the Lasik surgery last month. I’m pretty pleased with it too.
  • My friend Doodles (not her real name) had her baby! A healthy little baby girl was born on 3/22/12.
  • I’m actually keeping up with my 365 photo project. As of today, I am on day 57.
  • I went to the Blog Better Boston Conference at the Google offices and FINALLY met my blogger friend Kate. I also met new friends like Sara and Lindsay and Germana.

Stinky March Moments:

  • My boss’s husband passed away…and her dog too. Her husband was young and healthy and loved and he died too quickly. I was incredibly moved by his death, and wish there was something I could do to change the past few months in her life. I can’t. Then her dog died. This sucks.
  • A few other acquaintances–family friends–passed away.
  • I got a vicious migraine at the beginning of the month. I haven’t had a bad one like that in quite some time, so it was very scary.
  • This is my thesis semester. Boo. It is a lot of work. (I’m thinking this might be here every month until I graduate).
  • I had to get an old filling fixed. I like my dentist, but I don’t love dental procedures. Actually, I had a whole bunch of doctor appointments. Same goes for them. I like my doctors, but I’d rather spend my time elsewhere.

Other Mentionable Moments:

  • March 12 made one year since I was hit by a drunk driver. I’ll be honest. I was happy to make it home unscathed that day. I’m proud to admit no one under the influence has driven into me this year (so far- fingers crossed.
  • My god-daughter/niece turned two years old this month.
  • My wonderful friends Ashley, Michaela, Jessica, Jim, Gail, Mr. O’s mom and three of our friend’s children also had birthdays. This month was full of birthday parties and baby showers.
  • Mr. O did my taxes for me. I mailed them in, and then they mailed me a refund! Woot Woot.
  • Wolverine built a pretty fancy Leprechaun trap. We actually thought it worked and we caught a leprechaun, but when we opened up the trap door, we realized the leprechaun was too smart for us. He somehow stole all the gold and escaped! We will get you next year, Lucky!
  • I finally got a massage that Mr. O’s family bought me as part of my birthday present (in September). That was nice.

I’m looking forward to____ in April:

  • Mr. O, Wolverine and I are going to the Museum of Science in Boston. I’ve wanted to go for a very long time now. It even found its way onto my current 101 in 1001 goals list.
  • Another one of my pregnant friends is due to deliver in April… on my brother’s birthday actually. There are a lot of birthdays coming in April.
  • I will be reviewing my first book for TLC book tours. Look for it at the end of the month.
  • Finishing my thesis. Or at least being SOOOOO CLOSE to being finished. It needs to get approved during the month of May, so I pretty much need to be 100% done editing my creative writing and my critical introduction before I turn it in for approval. I can do this (fingers crossed).

Overall Thoughts:

Like February, March was just an okay month. I felt pretty overwhelmed all month, but I survived. I am so thankful that winter is over. I love Spring and I look forward to the days getting longer and the temperature getting warmer. I’m actually so done with this month. It’s not like I hated February and March, I just didn’t enjoy them. I loved cuddling on the couch with Mr. O, building the leprechaun trap with Wolverine, going to the hospital to meet and hold (I love holding newborns!) Doodle’s new baby and the Blog Better Boston Conference. It’s not like there weren’t good moments. I’m just glad the month is finished. I’m ready for April.

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Want to know more about my year? Check out the previous months: January and February

Where I Spent My Week On the Internet

Every Friday in my Reader, I’ve come to expect a post by San about the links she’s enjoyed throughout the week. A lot of bloggers do this, and I find myself either clinking over right away or starring the post to check out when I have more time.

I can’t promise to make this a regular item on the blog, but I am inspired to start sharing the links I’ve come to find over the week. I’ll have to hold myself to remembering to bookmark things. (This is why I havent’ done a post like this before. I find links that I love, and then I either forget where I’ve found them or who wrote it or I forget about the whole post altogether!)

The first link I’ll share is actually something I just finished reading. I should give Kudos to San for sharing this link on her blog today, which is how I found it. I’ve read Eleni way back in the day when she blogged under the pseudonym Hope over at Hope Dies Last. Since then, she has written a book, and somehow, I’m assuming when she changed website names, disappeared from my Reader (but she is back on there now!). Anyway, check out what she wrote in defense of women who want relationships.

The next place I spent my time is reading posts from The Scintilla Project. I completed days one and two of this, yet fell off the wagon. I’m trying to go easier on myself and not beat myself up when I “fail”. I have a lot on my plate lately, so I’m just going to enjoy the fact that I enjoyed writing two days worth of prompts. I adored what I wrote to Mr. O, and I liked that Day One really made me take a good look at my About Me page. I’m in the process of working on recreating that page now.

I’ve spent a lot of time reading submissions for Mason’s Road, Fairfield University’s MFA Literary Journal. I’m the Co-Editor of the Creative Nonfiction genre with the lovely Daisy from Write Here, Write Now. I’m not sharing this link because you can read submissions– you can’t, sorry– I’m sharing because I think you should submit. Our current submission period closes on May 1, 2012. So many bloggers are also writers. I’ve heard many bloggers write about how they’d love to submit some of their “real” writing,  but they are unsure where to start. Well, today is your lucky day, folks. There is currently no cost to submit your work to Mason’s Road. Even better than that, we are also currently holding a contest, where one of the submissions that gets published in our July 2012 issue will win a $1,000 prize. Guest judge is the amazing Jacqueline Mitchard. All submissions will be considered for the prize. Get writing, and get submitting.

I’m excited to read about Ashley’s experience wearing only 33 items (including shoes and jewelry!) for the next three months! You’ve got to check out these pictures.

Since I am currently in graduate school and graduating in July, I adored this post by Ashley (no, not the same Ashley as above). I kept nodding my head over and over and over again.

That is about it folks (well, that I remember… I know I’m forgetting a link or two, but I didn’t save them!)… Check back next week for more goodies.

Blogging, Seafood and Writing

  • So yesterday, I spent a while typing up a fancy-schmancy post about my experience at Blog Better Boston this past Saturday. It was pretty good and full of pictures (some mine, some borrowed). So yeah, I was working on it on my computer. I remembered there was one photo I wanted to add (that was on my phone)… so I went to my WordPress app on my phone, added the photograph, and uploaded it. What I didn’t realize was that because none of the changes on my computer were saved, uploading it on my phone pretty much reverted it back to the original post (which was pretty much just 6 pictures and about 3 sentences). Needless to say, that was a fail on my part.
  • Last night my boyfriend’s parents had us over for a clamboil, with his sister and her boyfriend too. We ate fresh picked Rhode Island clams and it was absolutely glorious. I loved everything about it. I’m so lucky to have such great people in my life.
  • Since food is obviously quite important to me, I should mention that I am already so excited to eat dinner tonight. Mr. O is making us steak and garlic potatoes. Plus, the steak has been marinating in Worchestershire sauce and I am pretty obsessed with that. How lucky am I? Seriously. I’m so lucky.
  • I have this pretty bad habit of trying to downplay things that are bothering me, etc. When people ask how I am I usually respond with “fine” or “great, thanks!” Which in some way is correct. I’m happy, in love. I’m fortunate to have a great job. I go to a great school. I surround myself with good people. But I need to be a little more honest with myself and other people when life feels overwhelming. I need to learn to ask for help or support when the going seems tough. And people also need to understand where my current priorities are. I’m graduating in July. Which means my thesis needs to be finished within this month. In May, I will need to get my thesis approved, and then as soon as those shananagans are over, I have more to do for school. I need to prepare for my workshop in which I’ll be a student this summer. I need to prepare for my workshop in which I’ll be a TA (teaching assistant) this summer. I need to create, coordinate and prepare for my student seminar. I need to pick out what I am going to read for my student reading. I need to pick two lines of my writing (out of my entire thesis, just two lines!) which will be read as I walk across the stage on graduation day. I need to WRITE A FRICKEN graduation speech. And, yeah. I think that is about it (for school). So, needless to say: I’m feeling completely overwhelmed. I know I can do it. I’m confident I’ll figure my way through this, but I’m not going to short change myself any longer. I love school, but it isn’t easy. It shouldn’t be.

    @reinventingerin

    I announced this to the world last night

borrowed from my blog buddy

I am feeling pretty overwhelmed.
I think about all the stuff I have to do more than I do all the stuff that needs to be done.
I know the lyrics to thousands of songs. I could totally win that game show where you have to fill in the blank with song lyrics.
I have to finish week three of the Fierce Love Course and check in with my FL Buddy.
I wish I wouldn’t always take things so personally. (This was San’s answer, but I am in complete agreement.)
I hate feeling disorganized.
I miss my friends who I haven’t seen in a while like Michaela and Elizabeth and Sarah.
I fear not living in the present.
I hear papers being shuffled.
I smell garlic parmesan pretzels.
I crave nothing really. I’m very content.
I search for a way to be better organized.
I wonder what my writing groove will feel like when I find it. Where, when, how often?
I regret nothing. Truly. There is nothing that I wish happened differently in my life. It might have sucked to experience some things b.
I love the people in my life!
I ache. Yeah, that is it. I’m an old lady in a young lady’s body.
I am not giving up.
I believe in the power of kindness, in patience.
I dance with Mr. O in the kitchen sometimes.
I sing all the time.
I cry when I’m upset. It is a release. Just because I cry it doesn’t mean I am weak. If anything, letting out the tears allows me to stay strong.
I fight no unnecessary battles. Make love, not war.
I win every single day, because I am lucky to have incredible people in my life.
I lose many bets with Mr. O.
I never take the people in my life for granted.
I always wake up and thank the universe for the main people in my life.
I confuse some people with my positive attitude. It makes me sad that people feel cautious around me because they think I’m being “fake” when I’m really just excitable, but oh well.
I listen to the advice of people I can trust. I listen to my gut before I make any final decisions.
I can usually be found cuddling with Mr. O, playing with Wolverine, on my computer for school, work and play.
I am scared of people I love leaving me.
I need sleep, and lots of it.
I am happy about my eyes. I went to my one month post-op appointment this week and my doctor is quite pleased with my success.
I imagine a long life filled with my loved ones and many wonderful experiences.

February Observations

Can you believe February is over? I honestly cannot. I feel as if it was just New Year’s Day, but two whole months have passed. Last month I promised you that I would be recapping my months for all of 2012, so since I like to keep my promises, here is February…

February Highlights:

  • I got LASIK eye surgery, and everything went so smoothly. I can see! This experience has been incredible, and I feel so fortunate for my great vision.
  • Getting my first thesis packet back from Kim Dana Kupperman. She is an incredible mentor to work with, and I am so pumped for this semester.
  • I signed up for Statejoy’s Fierce Love Course. I know I barely have time to sleep, and this is another thing I will need to make a priority, but you know what? I think it is a great decision. It is about time I make myself a priority in life. Plus, the lovely San and I decided to be Fierce Love buddies and keep each other in check.
  • Mr. O and I ate lobsters again for Valentine’s Day, but this year we shared the meal with Wolverine and my parents.
  • I started my 365 pictures goal for my 101 in 1001 challenge.
  • My resolution for the month was to Purge! I kicked ass at that goal this month. I can’t wait to share all the pictures with you next month.

Stinky February Moments:

  • Mr. O’s car has been giving him a bit of a hard time.
  • This is my thesis semester. Boo. It is a lot of work. (I’m thinking this might be here every month).
  • I feel like I did quite a bit of laundry this month. It isn’t so much that laundry is a bad thing, the problem is that Mr. O has pointed out to me (quite fairly) that my ironing skills are so-so at best. Que sera, sera. I tried.

Other Mentionable Moments:

  • My grandmother turned 101 years old this month.
  • My wonderful friends Sarah, Monica, Jim, Jenn, my cousin Briget, Mr. O’s sister, and my best friend’s mom all celebrated their birthdays.
  • It is a Leap Year! I’m obviously unsure of what today will have in store for me, but I’m planning on making the best of it. I think Mr. O and I are going to write a note to us to be read the next leap year. That should be fun.

I’m looking forward to____ in March:

  • Mr. O, Wolverine and I will be taking a weekend away in New Hampshire.
  • Going to the Blog Better Boston Conference and meeting my lovely friend Kate (and new friends too!)
  • Kicking ass with the new writing I need to do this semester.
  • Putting effort into the Fierce Love Course.

Overall Thoughts:

February was an okay month. Everything seemed so busy. I have a lot of work and a lot of schoolwork to get done. Not sure how I am going to accomplish it all. Mr. O and I have been settling in quite well, and I love our routines and everyday life stuff. I’m worried about my friend whose husband, sister and niece are all extremely ill. I can’t wait until all my friends start having their babies! I’ve got one coming in March, one in April, another in May, one in July and one in September! I love infants. I can’t wait to hold one. Not much more to really say about February. It was a busy month. I felt a bit overwhelmed all month. It was a nice month though, not bad at all…just looking forward to March. I can’t wait until Spring is officially here.

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Want to know more about my year? Check out the previous months:
January

meme remix

San at The In Between Is Mine tagged me in a meme! I already completed it when Erin tagged me a few weeks ago, but since I love me a meme, I figured I would atleast answer the San’s 11 questions.
  1. What’s one of your bad habits that you would like to get rid off?
    Letting the things other people say/do affect me. I’m a very happy, easy going person, but I need to work on how I process other people’s actions/reactions/thoughts.
  2. What is one of your best qualities?
    I almost always wake up happy in the morning. Not to say that I am a morning person, but I’ve been lucky to be able to start each day as a new beginning. I guess, to expand on this, I should say my postive energy/outlook. That is probably my best quality.
  3. Is there a person that you admire? For what?
    My mom is a great role model for me. I also think that Mr. O is a fantastic parent.
  4. What’s your all-time favorite movie?
    Home videos of my brothers and I when we were children.
  5. Do you have a lot of IRL friends that blog or are you the only one?
    None of my close friends are bloggers. Recently I’ve come across a couple of high school friends (awesome people) who now have blogs. Check Colleen and Nicole out!
  6. What’s the best thing that happened to you through blogging?
    Getting to know some of my blog friends. They are amazing people I might have never “met” if it weren’t for blogging.
  7. Do you enjoy flying or is it more of an means to an end for you?
    I don’t know how much I enjoy it, but I totally don’t mind it. I love that I can get from here to there super quickly. I just hate waiting at the airport.
  8. What’s your biggest  emotional outlet?
    Crying or the support I get from Mr. O. He grounds me.
  9. How often do you check your emails?
    I’m too plugged in. I get all my emails on my phone, and have access to the computer for work and school. So I am constantly plugged in.
  10. Name three things you can’t live without.
    Just three things? Some form of candy, date nights, cuddling
  11. Recommend one blog you really enjoy.
    I would say San or Erin, but I already tagged them both at the top! One of my all time favorite bloggers is Kate at Suburban Sweetheart. She is an awesome person and a fantastic blogger.
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