The Christmas Can-Can

Okay, so I got behind, tired, and busy. For this time of year, I am sure everyone feels that way. We are in the time of year where Christmas has passed, but we aren’t really sure what day of the week it is and it is somewhere between Christmas and the New Year. I don’t know about you, but I am thinking about what goals I want to set and how I want to get there.

For this coming year, I am looking at The Mighty’s 52 Small Things, where you look at doing things in increments of weeks and potentially addng to them. When I am not blogging from my phone, I will post more info on this, but the idea is not to get overwhelmed with the goals and to make things more manageable (so you can complete them!)

I plan to post more once I have it all fleshed out…but what are some things you are planning on working on for next year?

Be well! I look forward to hearing about what you are looking at doing for next year!

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Christmastime is Here

So today is Thanksgiving and since I’m posting at 11:30pm, it is close enough to saying that it’s time of year. I’m having a bit of a hard time staying up, but I’m happy to report that it’s been a nice day. We had a free day post today through NaBloPoMo18, so I’m up to my own ramblings, for the moment.

We did do some Christmas decorating, which was fun–but more tomorrow after I’m a bit more coherent

Thank you falettinme bemice elf agin

Hallo ladies and gents, or whomever might be reading! I’ve been about a day behind in getting my posts in because I had some deadlines. Now, I have less of them so I’m able to post a bit. Today’s prompt is to look at how we’re preparing for Thanksgiving and who we are spending it with.

I have the great fortune of spending Thanksgiving with a good friend of mine. I’ve been here since Sunday evening, writing around like a crazy person (and yes, you read that write) but now, I still have some things to do this week, but the major stresses are mostly passed. That said, to prepare for Thanksgiving, I’ve had the opportunity to help others in a variety of ways, but also I got to watch my friend make a pie–and I mentioned white pumpkin pies, and even discussed how none is correct and data is plural–but generally that’s how I roll. 

I’m looking forward to hanging out with friends, relaxing, and actually not eating too much (we’re chilling out here and doing not quite so much of a traditional meal) and maybe even watching some football. (I like football, so this would not be a hardship for me!) 

The point is I’m looking forward to spending the day with someone I really care about. That is the blessing of Thanksgiving, and I’d imagine that for many, that is the blessing of every day. I guess this Thanksgiving, more so than others, I’m getting the opportunity to recognize how much I really have and how lucky I am to have it. I have not always been as blessed as I am right now–so now is the time to enjoy it and bask in the happy!

Enter Sandman

So, I had only intended on taking an hour nap, but my body decided to extend that nap until 5am-ish. I guess I really needed it! I’m not so great at listening to my body, especially when I’ve got all sorts of deadlines to meet and. . .and . . and you get the picture. It’s that time of year (in school, work, and literally) where the deadlines that you’ve been working towards begin to pile up and you start to wonder if you’re going to get it all done. 

Yesterday’s #NaBloPoMo18 post was to think about something that you do to get everything done for the upcoming holidays. I wasn’t sure how I was going to really answer that question before this morning. I’m blessed to be with a friend for a Friendsgiving this week, but I still have loads to do. 

But today, the answer to the question of what I did to help relieve some stress is, sleep! (Now I need to use that found energy to get some things done!)

That’s What Friends Are For

Okay, I was thinking about this and I could have used “We Are Family” but I decided that a) that was a little misleading and b) it seemed to be too much of an easy break for a title so I chose “That’s What Friends Are For”. It’s all I can think of at 11:25 when I’m taking a break from writing a paper to write this post. Today’s prompt is to look at what the meaning of family is to us.

I should say that I use the word “family” with caution. You see, my mother and a select few friends are who I call family. Those who say that blood is thicker than water have not met my relatives (the rest of the people who I am supposedly related to) and there are loads of reasons that are not appropriate to blog about that explain why I left when I was seventeen and have been supporting myself ever since. 

Even so, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have people in my life that I love, and I know that they love and support me–these people are who I consider to be my family. They have been with me through the ups, downs, and hospital visits (not necessarily in that order, but you get the idea). They know the songs in my heart and can sing back the melodies to me when I am in places where the light doesn’t dare shine, and yet their love brings me out of the darkness. That’s the definition of love right there, isn’t it? If that’s the definition of love, then I consider myself to be blessed indeed to have these people in my life. 

That all said, I wrote a poem a few weeks ago (perhaps longer–but I’ve slept since then, even though it feels like barely) about my mother taken from the poem prompt written by Sherman Alexie from The Creativity Project that goes as follows:

Dionne Warwick connected us

at the Hollywood Bowl stronger than

her song ever could.

You see, when I was a kid, I remember that my first concert was with my mother to see Dionne Warwick and when “That’s What Friends Are For” came on, we danced together–and it didn’t matter who else was there or what they thought. The only thing that mattered was that moment. And isn’t that the other part of what family is? A collection of memories where nothing else mattered but who you are with and the love that you share. At least, that is what it means to me. 

Who I Am

My name is Angela. People ask me if they can call me Angie. I usually reply, “Not if you want me to answer.” This often gets a, “wow, she is crazy” or a “how rude!” look from people.

Technically, according to my Social Security card, I have six names. I have never been married and obtaining an ID took an act of Congress.

Even so, I don’t even go by most of them. They are supposed to mean something to me, but out of all of them, the only one that means anything to me is Angela. Most of the rest of them represent lies and uncertainty.

Those who know me know that I do not have the personality of an Angie (although I have had Earth Angel sung to me more times than I can count, but it is better than Mambo No. 5) but I just realized that it is important to me because it is something I hold dear to me.

And to think…my mom apparently wanted to name me something else!

Stranger on the Shore

Sorry that I’m a bit late on this one–it’s technically 11/17 (at 4:03AM) and I woke up from an unknown sleep–meaning, I hadn’t planned on falling asleep while working on computational problems…but it is what it is.

Today’s prompt is to write about a holiday gift that shaped your life (or at least a few years) and the one that popped into my head was my clarinet. I started playing clarinet when I was in sixth grade and my mom got me a clarinet that Christmas. It meant a lot because, to me, it meant she believed in me. I mean, I sang before that, but after my mom passed away at the end of the following school year, and the best way I can describe it is that I lost my voice.

I held on to music, or at least playing my clarinet, because it was one of the few things I had left of her, and I felt it brought out the best in me.  When I was in eighth grade, I saw Mr. Holland’s Opus where he says “Playing music is about heart, about feeling, about something beautiful. It’s not just about notes on a page. I can teach you about notes on a page. I cannot teach you about that other stuff.” From there, I felt called to be a music teacher. 

There would be times in high school when music, particularly being in band, would save my life. In high school, I played clarinet, bass clarinet, baritone saxophone, and when I was in college, I added contrabass clarinet, some piano, bassoon lessons, and even a small stunt in percussion. (I’m sure Mom got a kick out of that–when I chose an instrument, I was allowed to play anything except for the drums.) I even started singing again. 

I ended up changing my major from music education to English education, with a music minor. That too, is another long story. It seems I have lots of them. I still play clarinet and bass clarinet from time to time, and for reasons I don’t care to explore here, I no longer own the clarinet that I had back then, but I know that I would not be the person I am today without that clarinet.

Under Pressure

Okay folks, it is that crunch time in the school semester where you feel like you just aren’t going to make it. That is where I am at. I am stressed, to put it mildly, but like it or not, deadlines will come and go by, regardless of whether I get it done or not.

That said, did I mention that this semester I am taking my first statistics class? It is my first math (ish) class since 2001. Statistics, in my opinion, is the rhetoric of math. I have a feeling that this class might result in another first…gray hairs! (I am only partially joking…)

But for now, I am going back to the grind. It isn’t midnight here yet, but I feel like I still have a few miles more to go before I sleep.