Thursday, January 21, 2010

In Remembrance

A friend of mine from high school passed away last Tuesday. He was 27 years old.

Death never comes easy. You can't even predict your emotions when it happens. Expected or unexpected, it supresses your soul and sinks your heart, sweeping you away in a wave of grief.

I didn't keep in touch with this friend much after high school. I can probably count the number of times I saw him on one hand. But some of my favorite moments from high school are with him.

Listening to him beatbox, watching him breakdance in a mutual friend's basement or at the one under-18 club Richmond boasted, he always had a crowd around him. He touched so many lives with his contagious energy and spirit.

At his funeral this past Saturday, which had standing room only by the time I arrived, I looked around and saw at least 5 newborns being coddled by their parents. I was struck by the juxtaposition of the ending of one life and the beginning of numerous others, realizing just how delicate our physical life is.

But I believe the soul carries on after the physical life ends. I think those that knew my friend can still feel his presence. And thanks to the power of technology, those that didn't know my friend can still be touched by his incredible ability to entertain a crowd.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What it means to be a writer


Today marks shitty day number 224 at work. I've been there a year and a half, not by choice, but by necessity. Mama's got to bills to pay and red wine to buy.

I spent the day hovered over my keyboard, watching tears hit the keys one by one, rejecting any ounce of advice The Hoff solicited via gchat, because sometimes it's easier to sulk in misery than find a solution to the problem.

Here's my dilemma:

I'm on job #3 since graduating college three and a half years ago.

Job #1: Proposal writer for government contractor. First and only job offered to me upon graduation because it's the only one I applied to. I figured I'd be cool, since 'writer' was in the title. Yeah, um...not so much. I sucked at this job and finally decided after crying in the bathroom for weeks on end that I needed a change. It was around that time job #2 landed in my lap.

Job #2: Editorial assistant for two log home magazines and a timber home magazine. Gotta admit, I knew zero about log or timber homes. But I was applying what I learned in college, utilizing AP style, and editing documents on InDesign. Life was good. Until the economy went down the shitter, starting with the home industry, and my position was eliminated 14 months after I started.

Job #3: Information specialist for a government agency dedicated to women's health. Believe in the cause, not so much the organization. I essentially answer phone calls and e-mails from people who have the average IQ of a rock. I think I've mentioned I'm also a breastfeeding peer counselor before on this blog. I'm not sure how much talk of sore, chapped, cracked nipples I can tolerate.

Life is full of promise and opportunity when you graduate college. I envisioned myself as Kate Hudson's character in "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" or Jennifer Garner in "13 Going On 30," fashion magazine writer/editor by day and gallivanting girl about town by night.

Then, reality knocked me on my ass and I realized that you have to be Anna Wintour's goddaughter or have some divine intervention to be selected as an employee at one of the coveted fashion magazines. That is, if any of them survive this recession.

And I go to job # 3 day after day, knowing I'm better than what I'm doing, all the while being micromanaged by my supervisors. And all I really want to do is write. It's the only thing I've ever been above average at and the one thing that has consistently brought pleasure to my life.

But what do you do when you can't get paid to do your passion?

I watched "Julie and Julia" tonight, a movie any blogger can relate to, and Julie posed the question, "what does it mean to be a writer?"

-Do you have to be published to be considered a writer?
I'd argue no for the sole fact that numerous famous authors were never published during their lifetime, but that probably never affected their classification of themselves as a writer.

So how do you become a writer?

To watch Julie go through her own enlightenment, unfolding her talent and achieving her dreams made me realize something: If both Julia Child and Julie can go from government secretaries to published authors, then dammit, there may be hope for me yet.

But for now, I may not have a book deal or a movie offer, but I have this blog and that's incentive enough for now. Thanks for sticking around for the ride.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ode to Grits

Last night, The Hoff and I had a nice romantic dinner in honor of D.C. Restaurant Week.

Our last Restaurant Week experience was God awful. I'm talking, I-would-have-rather-eaten- Ramen-noodles-and-a-Big-Mac awful. The only saving grace from that experience were our drinks, and only because we knew the bartender.

But, a friend recommended this particular restaurant so I figured it was safe to dine there for Restaurant Week. Plus, they don't discriminate and allow you to chose anything on their menu.

It was good. Not AMAZING, but good. 1,000,000 times better than the place that popped my D.C. Restaurant Week cherry.

The best part of the meal? The gouda grits served with my shrimp. By far some of the best grits I've ever tasted.

I'm pretty crazy about my grits. True story: I once, stammered into a Waffle House in Richmond (best place to go for late night drunk food) and belligerently yelled "I want my fucking grits" for a good 15 minutes until their wholesome, buttery goodness were placed in front of my face alongside some cheesy scrambled eggs, bacon and toast.

(...I think I just exposed my white trash side.)

At least I didn't belligerently demand my favorite Southern side dish in an upscale D.C. restaurant...YET.

Last night, as I was devouring my gouda grits and shrimp, The Hoff tried and bite and decided that he liked my grits just as much as me. I told him that if he's going to eat the epitome of Southern food, he has to say 'y'all' everytime he takes a bite.

Didn't go over so well.

Bahstan Boy that he is, I don't even think he brain can wrap around the essence and beauty of 'y'all.'

This means, darling Hoff, no mo' grits for you!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Random facts with some TMI thrown in

I haven't been able to sleep very well the past few nights. It could be because of gotten 10 hours of sleep during the day, but I think the more likely culprit is the songs that keep popping into my head as I'm drying to drift off into slumbering bliss. Please tell me I'm not the only person with this problem!

Last night, this little gem was on repeat for a good 40 minutes. Damn you, American Idol! Damn you!

Other nights, it's been such classics as Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA" or Ke$ha's "Tick Tock." I have great taste in music if I haven't mentioned that before.

This morning I woke up, uber tired from only seven hours of sleep instead of my required eight (thank you very much, General Platt), and bolted for the shower.

Another fascinating fact about me: I have to bathe in boiling hot water. (Some courtesy TMI: The Hoff and I have a hard time showering together because of our difference in water temperatures.)

Anywhosit, 2010 has decided to bless me with frigid water temperatures between the hours of 6:45 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. aka prime shower time for us working folk. Which means, I have to start taking showers at night. Which means I have to start blow drying and straightening my hair at night (I just got swoopy side bangs...they aren't pretty when I sleep on them wet.) Which means I can't get wasted at happy hours anymore because it totally sucks doing those things drunk.

OR I could just say eff it and not shower before work.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Offers of showers with 110 degree Fahrenheit water temperatures?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Well hello there, 2010

I haven't started 2010 off very well. Thirteen days into 2010 and I'm just now writing my first post.

::Hiding face in shame::

For some reason, the start of the new year for means its sinus infection/cold time for Miss Procras. Today marks day three in bed, and I've finally made it out of bed and to the doctors office.

Staying home sick does have some perks. I've gotten to watch my favorite daytime talk shows: Ellen, Oprah and Maury; catch a Law and Order: SUV marathon and sleep for hours on end (I've seriously been sleeping 16 hours a day).

Now that I'm armed with a Z pack, I should be feeling 70% tomorrow and 100% Friday---just in time for the weekend. As much as I've enjoyed lounging around the apartment for three days straight, I'm starting to feel like a stay at home mom - minus the tantrum throwing toddlers.

Now, back to my eight-hour nap....

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