Tonight I carved a pumpkin...

...with minimal help from my work BFF, and with minimal hindrance from a half bottle of wine.

here's how it turned out-

It's supposed to be Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

I did it freehand, and slightly tipsy, so if you didn't get that right away, no worries.


Seven random facts....seven deadly sins...coincedence?

I got tagged by my lovely aunt, middle-aged-woman for this one.

Seven random things about me....hmmmm.

1 - I can sign my name with my toes. But only on my right foot. I have ridiculously long toes. Here, I'll even show you a picture:

I know, I know. I'm a circus freak.

2 - I can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but I can remember my best friend's phone number from first grade. It's a curse - my head is filled with useless information, but I forget where I'm going in the five seconds it takes me to walk from my desk at work to the end of my aisle.

3 - If I had the money (and the space), I would build a darkroom. I miss photography classes. The darkroom is definitely my relaxation place. Forget massages. I need developer and fixer. Mmmm. It's perfection.

4 - The older I get, the more I love and appreciate my family. Even though they're mostly insane. Not that I'm excluded from that....

5 - I curse like a sailor. Actually, I probably make sailors blush. I try to curb myself on here, but if you're around when I get aggravated, cover your ears. Or when I've been drinking....If I'm drinking and pissed off? That's another story entirely.

6 - I'm going to write a book with my Auntie M. (see link at top of page. And enjoy!) Her and I need to talk about that sometime soon (wink wink nudge nudge!) I have many ideas.

7 - I can fall asleep anywhere. In any position. Standing up. Sitting at my computer. Sitting up in bed reading. Curled up on a couple of stairs. Under a table. On a table. Wherever. This is less useful now than it used to be, when I went to many more house parties.

Ok. That was harder than it should have been, I think.

I tag whoever hasn't done this and wants to. I'm tired.


For the best man I know.

I tend to get a little wild.

Not dangerously so, but always on that fine line between “spontaneous and spunky” and “wild card circus freak”.

That’s from my mom...anyone who knows us knows that. We share the same sarcastic, sometimes biting, sense of humor. The same outgoing craziness. The same quick laughter, the same pouty face, the same smile. The same quick temper, although mine quickly slips into silent, seething anger.

My dad is, on the surface, our polar opposite. At first meeting, he is quiet and serious. He wears his heart on his sleeve, and to be honest, I’m fairly certain I’ve seen my father tear up more than my mother. Someday, when he walks me down the aisle, I have a feeling we’ll be holding each other up, tears welling behind our eyes – that’s just our nature.

This...this, we share. Heartfelt compassion, even for strangers. A gentle nature. The ability to go from serious to silly to serious in the span of a few seconds. Quiet disappointment in people and things that let us down. Freakishly long toes (mine more so than his, if we’re being honest).

I have my mother’s mind, and my father’s heart. And I am incredibly blessed in both regards.

My father is the type to email financial articles to my sister and I, with the preface “You probably won’t read this, but....”. He knows us too well. Someday all of the things he’s been telling us since we were in utero will hopefully sink in. That’s a piece of his mind I wish I had gotten – I’m hoping it develops with age.

When I was younger, I remember seeing some of my friends with their big, brawny, car-fixing, treehouse-building, hunt-fish-camp-ing dads, and being jealous that their fathers took them to baseball games weekly, and coached their soccer teams.
My dad was more of a quiet leader – in his intelligent and nurturing way, he taught me more than I ever could have learned with the “manliest” of fathers. From him I learned how to trust, how to show you care even when you’re angry, and what love is.
I remember a time when I was probably about 10 or 12, when my room was ridiculously messy, and I was grounded until I cleaned it. My dad came and helped me, forcing me to get rid of the things I didn’t need, figure out what I really wanted to save, and sort out all the “junk” in my life. I remember being so upset at the time, not wanting his help, hating that he thought he knew better.

Turns out, things don’t change. Now, however, the expert guidance my father gives me is held in the highest regard (well, not those financial articles...sorry Daddy!) and I find myself storing his thoughts and facts away for a later time, so I can revisit and give them all the attention they deserve. He encourages me, fights for me, believes in me, and has, for all my 26 years, pushed me to be the best person I can be.

I hope I’m doing you proud, Daddy.
Happy birthday.


The Groomsman with Ovaries - Part 2

First of all, I would like to say that my lovely aunt is correct – I am NOT a 7-foot tall Amazon woman, although the picture on the original post (found here!) may seem to prove otherwise. However, I think it would be pretty fantastic to be an Amazon, at least for a day or two. Maybe a few years – I’m sure I could translate that into somehow making a lot of money (Basketball, perhaps? Or would I still require some degree of coordination for that?) In reality, I’m only about 5’8”, so sorry if that upsets you.

Anyway – groomsman. Ovaries. I expect you, my faithful readers (all three and a half of you?), have been eagerly anticipating the explanation post.

I’ll try to not disappoint.

This story begins one November weekend, many many years ago, in the twilight of my youth – otherwise known as 1996. I was attending a youth retreat at my church, with high school students from across metro Detroit. This retreat, and the effect it had on my life, and how it forever changed me, is something I could go on about for hours. In fact, I may do that at some point in the near future.
Moving on...
So, this lovely fall weekend in my freshman year of high school, I went on a retreat and made many new friends. Some of them were four year friends, and after graduation I never spoke to again. Some I keep in constant contact with to this day. Unfortunately, most of these people fall into the former catergory. But Phil...Phil was never one of those.

To be honest, I don’t have many memories of Phil from that first retreat. I assume that we met, and were friendly, but as I recall, we didn’t make the effort to stay in touch after the weekend. The next May, however, we both returned as staff, and instantly clicked. I’ll admit, I had a crush on him for quite some time afterwards, but the dynamic between us was almost always more brother-sister.
Phil and I became close friends-best friends. We were each others’ sounding boards, security blankets, guard dogs. His family quickly became my family, and to this day, I still call his mother Ma, and his little brother my own little bro. There weren’t a lot of people I trusted in my life in those days, but he was one of them. We were fiercely protective of each other (Phil still is – more than once he has offered to “take care of that @$$ for you, if ya catch my drift”) and I’m sure somewhere along the lines we probably made the vow that many opposite sex friends make – if we’re both single at age___, we marry each other, blah blah blah.
After graduation, I went off to college, and Phil ended up deciding to join the Navy. At the time, I was in a writing class at Western Mich., and our assignment was to use a song as a basis for a personal memory. I wrote about Phil leaving, and how scared I was, and how I was worried that our friendship would change, with the lyrics to “Standing At the Edge of the Earth” by Blessid Union of Souls as the backdrop. I found that paper a few months ago while cleaning and couldn’t believe the rush of emotion I felt when reading over it. Insane that something that happened almost eight years ago now, after I know the outcome, can still hit me.

Phil graduated from boot camp, and I went, and sometime around then, our dynamic started to change. Maybe it was not seeing each other for so long, maybe it was distance...who really knows? Things change, people change, and all the other applicable cliches that somewhere along the line were based in fact.

Then, September of that year. Just an average day, after I had managed to not get invited back to Western for a second year (again, story some other time), opening up the music store I used to manage at. Suddenly, a friend from another store in the mall runs inside and asks if we’ve been listening to the radio or watching the TV. After the initial shock and horror, my first thought was, “Oh my god, where’s Phil? And where will he be going?” I remember not sleeping well for weeks after that, not knowing what was going to happen, and if he’d be sent somewhere he may not come back from.

When I found out he was safe and well, I breathed easier. But still...dynamic was different. Something was off. And something would continue to be off for a long time...to be honest, I’m not sure that things have ever been the same since before the Navy. I could attribute a lot of it to growing up, I suppose....Being older, wiser, and more life experiences, etc. Still, we’ve remained close, and Phil has stayed someone that I know I can count on.

We’ve seen each other through so much – love, loss, heartbreak, judgment errors, triumphs, failures, everything. There’s not a single significant event in my life that I can remember where Phil hasn’t played an integral part in either the achieving of it, or the getting over it. And so a couple of years ago, when Phil met Lisa, and I met her, and liked her, and they started talking about maybe someday getting married, I was thrilled. And a year and a half ago, when Phil proposed, and he asked me to stand up in his wedding, I was honored.

Phil and ITrue, the last few years we’ve had our differences. We haven’t been as close in the day-to-day way we once were. But our friendship has strong roots, and we’re tied together. And I am touched that Phil and Lisa chose me as a person to share their special day with them, in a role as unorthodox as our friendship has always been.

Phil, Lisa...I wish you guys much love and happiness. Beautiful, healthy children, and a home filled with laughter. You guys are amazing, and I love you both!
Cheers to my best friend and his lovely wife!

Phil and Lisa


Good reads?

I know, I know...I owe you all a post explaining the ovary-owning groomsman. It'll happen when I have more than 5 minutes free at a time...

But until then - I need some good book ideas, as my mother is already bugging me to get her a Christmas list.

I'm not picky about subject - so suggest away!


the groomsman with ovaries...

More on this later, perhaps.


i made a promise to my heart to never let a soul inside....

the thing about me is that i'm not a forward person. i find it very difficult to just come out and say things face-to-face. i need a computer screen or a cell phone or a piece of paper to get anything out in a semi-eloquent way.

this factor of my personality is generally what leads to heartache for me. i've grown accustomed to coming in second place. i live life well as a runner-up on so many things, and the last couple years have really shown that to me.

in my head i know that i should just take the bull by the horns, jump in head first, etc. but the rest of me is terrified of the result. i fear making things awkward, and getting hurt more in the process. but is it easier to stand idly by and watch what i want slip through my fingers, or actually take the leap, get shot down, but at least know?

the awful part of me - the wildly insecure and still slightly timid part of me - expected something like this to happen. i've never known anything close to a happy ending before, so why would i think that all of a sudden life and love would just fall perfectly into place? it's a road i've been down many, many times, and maybe part of the problem is that i never fully invest myself in something, because a giant piece of me remains convinced it'll end badly.

i've been an optimist for years. glass half-full, see the rainbow through the rain, sunshine is only a cloudy day away.....but somehow, the positive outlook never gets around to my love life. in that area, i am a cynical, realistic pessimist. with the soul of a romantic. no wonder i always am disappointed so badly.

it's getting late and i'm getting no comfort out of words tonight, which is a change from the norm. i'm going to finish my glass of wine and go to bed, and hope that when i wake up tomorrow i'll have magically gained some perspective.

but i'm not counting on it.


Reading is Ravishing.

From Heinous


1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on the blog.
3. Write six random bookish things about yourself.
4. Tag sixish people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know he or she has been tagged.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

1. One of my favorite blogger-turned-writers in Jen Lancaster. Perfect reading for business flights, although one of the VPs I tend to travel with has looked at me oddly waiting in the airport before as I sit there trying not to giggle too loudly while I read stories about Barbie heads and Ambien. Or White Russians, new neighbors, and the effects of too many of the former.

2. I have 53 first chapters saved on my computer. Some to the same story, some to different. I have at least a dozen endings. And a few chapters here in there in the middle. Sometimes I feel that I should just throw them all together and see what happens.

3. Bookstores are my crack. I could, and have, easily spend several hours wandering around. My favorite trips are those where I just skim the shelves til I see a cover or title that strikes me for some reason, and I end up discovering a new favorite.

4. I will never understand why I had to read Shakespeare and Dickens so often in school. I'm sorry, I know they wrote classic literature that millions of people respect and appreciate, but I'm not one of them.

5. At any one time I'm probably reading four books. I've started this to force myself to read slower, and pay a little more attention...Otherwise, I tend to devour a good book in a couple of hours, and then I am disappointed that it's over. I'm trying to drag it out more.
(and it's not working....I bought 'Lucky' by Alice Sebold today, and was done within two hours of getting home. damnit)

6. My secret shame is trashy romance novels. Not many, but there are a few that I will read and reread, and daydream about my own happy ending.

7. But actually, I much prefer the stories where a woman makes it on her own. Where the ending isn't all so tied up. Where it keeps you guessing what happened next. Because that's real, and that's what I love.

Okay, so that was seven. Whatever. Tag. You're all it.

another rainy morning....

I just want to stay in bed all day...wrapped up in comfy blankets, curled up with a good book (or, let's face it, a good man) (ignore that, mom).
It's raining and gray and oh-so-dreary out. This is the kind of day that begs me to grab the warmest blanket in the world (thanks mom, for making it!), plop down on my sofa, and watch Casablanca for the thousandth time, escaping from my own life, just for a little while.

My mind has been working overtime lately.



Inside the corn maze at Erwin Orchards in South Lyon.

The color was absolutely beautiful today. I took lots of pictures. These are just two of my favorites.

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