Monthly Archives: April 2013

It’s How We Cope

If you have ever had a traumatic experience, lost a loved one or witnessed some kind of atrocity, you know it’s not easy to let pain go.

Every day there are awful events that take place. History books are filled with stories of bloodshed and accounts of injustice.

These experiences have the ability to resonate with us, striking a nerve even years later.

When someone makes a joke about death or violence, we often cringe and get offended. But I think everyone should consider the idea that perhaps, as vulnerable human beings, we use humor to heal ourselves.

We only have so many defense mechanisms to offset the emotional stress caused by painful experiences. We can cry, we can go to therapy, we can get angry, become reclusive, resort to drugs or alcohol, or just try to block it out completely.

Have you ever heard the expression, “laughter is the best medicine?”

In some ways, I think that’s true.

It’s how we cope. The situation may be far from funny, but it’s reality and the only way to counteract the negativity is to laugh at it.

I’m not saying you should never be offended by a tasteless joke. Once again, we’re only human. You can’t help how you feel. However, you can choose the attitude with which you approach a situation.

 

The Boston Marathon Bombings were a terrible tragedy. And someday (if there aren’t any already), there will be jokes.

Slavery was a shameful part of history, but it happened. And now, there are jokes.

 

The opposite of pain is pleasure, so it only seems natural that we would desire to reverse our sadness, to see the lighter side.

We have to laugh at our mistakes, laugh at the absurdity of our ways, of the world, and move forward.

The world doesn’t stop turning when someone dies, when people suffer or face injustice…

Life goes on.

Just remember; if someone is laughing or joking about adversity, they may just be trying to heal.

 

 

I’m a Small Town Girl

The arboretum, aquarium, and zoo aren’t the only places we visited on our vacation.

My fiance, Brad

My fiance, Brad

For our first evening in Dallas, we had a great dinner at TGI Friday’s. Neither of us had ever eaten at one of the chain’s many restaurants, so we thought we’d give it a try. The appetizers were delicious and the entrées were fantastic.

Where we live, there aren’t quite so many dining options. In my hometown, there sits one tiny café. Where I live now, there are certainly more choices, but nothing like what can be found in the big city.

After filling up on chicken strips, fries, a Jack Daniel’s burger and plenty of soda, we headed across the street to Ellen’s Southern Kitchen. We had a few drinks made by a very cool bartender, and finally, the night could begin. We had planned a ghost tour of the West End Historic District in Dallas, and our guide had arrived. We were the only tourists on that night’s rounds, so the tour was very relaxed and we were able to discuss the history of Dallas and the spooky stories in greater detail. We learned about the city’s beginnings and notable people. We walked the streets and visited buildings known to be inhabited by the paranormal.

We took photos, trying to capture the rare manifestation of a spirit, but we had no luck. It was fun, though! At least we were able to get a few photos of the city lights.

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I was prepared for another history lesson on our trip, because before we hit the aquarium, we made our way to the Dallas Holocaust Museum.

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We picked a great (but busy) day to visit the museum, because we were able to sit in on a presentation by a true Holocaust survivor. A large group of high school students was visiting the museum and were scheduled to hear a presentation by Max Glauben, and the museum staff was nice enough to allow us to sit in as well. Mr. Glauben’s story was moving and sad, but also inspirational.

In addition to hearing the speaker, we were able to view a private collection of Anne Frank’s family photos. Most people are familiar with Anne’s story, but it was a privilege to learn about the family’s life outside the Holocaust. It’s a sobering reminder that people are people, no matter what they believe or how they look.

The museum provides the opportunity for a self-guided tour, using handheld remotes with speakers that you can hold to your ear and hear information corresponding to the exhibits you view. All the exhibits at the Dallas Holocaust Museum are very powerful and emotionally taxing.

One case holds dozens of eyeglasses. It seems trivial, but these items were confiscated from Jews as they were being loaded into train cars like cattle to be directed to hard labor and death. Other cases hold bone fragments, gold teeth, and human ashes. Some exhibits include photos, letters, or articles of clothing. The museum was an amazing place to visit, and I’d gladly go again if given the chance.

Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take any photos. Regardless, it was a must-see for me, but I didn’t want the whole trip to be sad.

We went out for some fun one evening, with a visit to TopGolf, an expansive recreational area with amazing games and awesome scenery. We didn’t get to try all the attractions, but we stayed plenty busy playing a very inexpensive round of mini golf on three separate 18-hole courses.

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Waterfalls, tunnels, hills and rivers can be found on this playing field, making it a fantastic place to relax and enjoy some time together.

Where I live, the entertainment options available mainly consist of bowling, a 3-screen movie theater, a few bars, and Walmart. Mini golf was a blast! We played at night, the course was lit and we had the place mostly to ourselves.

After all that excitement, it was hard not to work up an appetite. We tried Jack in the Box for the first time, another restaurant that just isn’t an option in our little corner of Northwest Oklahoma, and then grabbed some ice cream from the nearby convenience store.

TGI Friday’s and Jack in the Box were good, but we also had the chance to try Five Guys Burgers and Fries at Galleria Dallas.

We had heard of the restaurant’s sterling reputation, so we decided it was time to give it a taste. It was delicious! IMG_1244 IMG_4678

We didn’t go to Galleria Dallas just for the food, though.

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We roamed around the 4-level mall, checking out stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Hot Topic. The prices at Saks are laughable. I wouldn’t buy anything from there if I did live in the city!

Before we headed home from our vacation, we had one more item on our list. Galleria Dallas is built around a large ice skating rink. Neither of us had ever been ice skating before, so we knew we had to lace up while we had the chance.  It certainly wasn’t easy the first time, and the skates were hurting my feet, but I can proudly say I didn’t fall. My fiancé did.

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We skated for an hour or so and decided it was time to hit the road.

We stopped to eat at an IHOP, a familiar restaurant (but it’s not available where I live), filled up and headed home.

I really enjoyed my trip to the big city, with great food, interesting people and so much to see and do, but I definitely don’t belong there. It was nice to get back to the quieter, more slow-paced town of Alva.

After all, I’m a small town girl.

I’m feeling frightened today

Well, the issue I blogged about yesterday hasn’t yet been resolved. I don’t know if it ever will.

On top of that, I’m scared.

I don’t know what it is… But I feel… I feel myself slipping back into the hole I was in last summer. The depression.

I ache, I’m exhausted, everything is beginning to turn into a chore again, I’m angry and sensitive and sad and yet, I fear numbness is on its way…

I don’t want to be numb.

Maybe it’s change that led me here again. I got my heart broken by putting myself out there and trying to make friends. Maybe it’s failure that led me here again.

How do I fight it off? I still take my medication, I’m still working hard to exude positivity… What am I doing wrong?

My heart is so heavy. It’s weighing me down and I fear that soon, I’ll fall behind and be run over.

I’m so, so tired.

Where’s the light at the end of the tunnel?

I’m feeling passive-aggressive today

I’m hurt.

What better way to express it than through a blog, right?

Right. So here we go.

I’m engaged to the love of my life. We’re gonna be together forever and all that jazz. It’s true! We met in grade school, started officially dating in high school, and we’ve been engaged since December 17, 2011. We’re getting married on April 5, 2014.

I am a very busy girl, working two jobs and going to school full time. My circle of friends is pretty much just within the department in which I study. In fact, I only recently started to really feel like I’m part of the group… Like I belong. It’s a nice feeling!

The thing is, I happen to value the friendships I make, including those I develop with men.

Let’s take a step back.

The individuals in this close circle of friends know I’m engaged to the love of my life, and they also know I’m a flirt. I flirt with people I know, because I’m comfortable around them and I’m playful. My fiance also knows I’m a flirt. He’s known for quite some time, and he accepts that, because we are awesome together. Everyone has their quirks.

The difference between me and the typical flirt is that I am also loyal. I do have boundaries, and it’s always my fiance’s arms that I go home to. He’s the one I say “I love you” to. He’s the one I’m marrying, and he’s the one I want to spend my life with.

But, I’m still only human. I have hormones and emotions and my mind wanders and I am subject to the magnetic nature of physical and emotional attraction. Once in a great, great while, I develop a crush. However, the crush won’t ever turn into a romantic relationship, because I have that already and I’m perfectly happy. But it does have the potential to turn into a very close friendship.

I’ve been burned here before in a way, and I’m getting my heart fried again.

I recently began developing this friendship with someone, and it has put me on cloud 9. We have many of the same interests and ideals, he’s very handsome, intelligent, funny and he’s an all-around good guy. See? I’m gushing already. He’s a gentleman, he’s handy… Ugh. And here’s where it all gets complicated.

I got fairly comfortable, while still working to develop this friendship that happens to make me very happy.

Last night, I was at a baseball game taking photos, and he was there as well. We both used to play the sport (well, I played softball anyway) and we both really miss it. My fiance on the other hand, never was terribly athletic or enjoyed sports, and he isn’t a fan of the way I play catch (I was an outfielder, and I have quite an arm).

So… With the few friends I have and a fiance that doesn’t like to play catch, my options are fairly limited if I ever wanna toss a ball around.

What is the logical thing to do here?

I thought it would be logical to ask this friend of mine to play catch with me sometime. I like it, he likes it, neither of us get to play anymore… It just makes sense, right?

He responds with something along these lines:

“I would throw with you, but it just doesn’t seem right. You just don’t play catch with another guy’s fiancee.”

Um… Am I missing something? It’s a game of catch, not a make-out party.

So… I asked him to explain his reasoning to which he replied that I wouldn’t understand, and it just wouldn’t be right, etc.

So, I got defensive, and a bit angry. I was hurt.

He told me to ask my fiance and I blurted out, “I will!”

I just wanted him to explain why it was so taboo to play a game of catch with a friend. I wanted him to back up his claims. Is that really so unreasonable?

Tears were starting to sting my eyes, and he told me not to be angry at him. I shrugged, stood there for a moment, grabbed my stuff and left. I couldn’t even stand to finish photographing the game.

I drove myself home with tears in my eyes (I know, tragic, right?) and walked into my apartment and dropped my jacket and bags on the floor.

My fiance was home from work and asked what was wrong, but at that moment, I just didn’t want to talk. I sought out a much needed drink, and into the shower I went. Like the knight in shining armor he is, my fiance came to comfort me. When I started to bawl, he asked if he did (or didn’t) do something, and when I said no, he asked if someone had hurt me. I nodded and cried hysterically, out of humiliation, sadness, anger… All of the above, I guess.

I cried in his arms and finally explained the situation.

He said he can understand why my friend might say such a thing, but he doesn’t have a problem with us playing catch.

Why would he, anyway?

It’s so stupid!

Heaven forbid I have a close friend that happens to have a penis.

Oh, no… Playing catch might lead to… What? An orgy? Not likely.

I’m just so hurt.

I’m finally happy, enjoying the fun and peace that friendship brings, and BAM! Torched.

 

Maybe it’ll all blow over later today. I don’t know. Maybe next week. Maybe never.

I’m just tired of getting burned.

Misfit News 4-10-13

It’s that time again… And this week’s first story from NBC News makes me sad.

‘Cookie Monster’ arrested for pushing child in NY’s Times Square

I love Cookie Monster! How could he?

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New York City cops arrested a man dressed as Cookie Monster in Times Square for allegedly pushing a 2-year-old boy after becoming angry the child’s mother didn’t give him a tip on Sunday, law enforcement sources say.

The mother told police the costumed Sesame Street character became aggressive after she snapped a photo of him with her son. She said he demanded $2 and started pushing her boy.

The man in the Cookie Monster suit then began to verbally assault the woman, she told police, cursing at her and calling her son offensive names.

He then allegedly pushed the child, the sources said. The boy was not injured.

The man in the suit, 33-year-old Osvaldo Quiroz-Lopez, was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child, law enforcement sources said.

Information on an attorney wasn’t immediately available.

OK, so it wasn’t the real Cookie Monster, but the kid probably didn’t know that!

Oh, well. I guess it will be a funny story to tell someday.

Speaking of funny stories, this next news tidbit…Well…Never mind, it’s just stupid.

Florida man accused of stealing $75,000 worth of soup

I don’t know about you, but I… Yeah, I have nothing clever to say here.

A 51-year-old Orlando man was arrested on charges that he stole a tractor trailer containing $75,000 worth of soup, authorities said.

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Eusebio Diaz Acosta, 51, faces charges of grand theft of cargo worth $50,000 or more and grand theft of a motor vehicle following his arrest early Sunday on the Florida’s Turnpike, according to authorities.

Broward Circuit Judge John Hurley called the facts of the case “very unusual.”

“This is the first time the court’s ever seen $75,000 worth of soup stolen,” Hurley said Monday, as he set Diaz Acosta’s bond at $25,000.

The Florida Highway Patrol said that it received a report of a stolen tractor trailer hauling soup that was being tracked by GPS, and the tractor trailer driven by Diaz Acosta was pulled over at the 63-mile marker of the turnpike in Tamarac.

A passenger – described as a 5-foot-10-inches tall black male wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt – left the trailer, jumped over the concrete barrier wall, and escaped after he jumped over a chain link fence and fled northwest, an arrest report said.

Diaz Acosta told the troopers that he met the passenger, Pepe, a week beforehand, and that Pepe paid him to drive the tractor trailer and he knows nothing else, the report said.

The tractor and trailer, which both had Minnesota tags and are owned by Lessors Inc in Egan, Minnesota, were reported stolen out of Polk County, the report said. The total value of the vehicle and its contents was $350,000, it added.

Diaz Acosta was arrested at about 12:31 a.m., and the tractor trailer was towed away by SIRT Towing, according to the report.

Diaz Acosta has been been convicted of theft twice before, Hurley said.

Diaz Acosta said in court through a translator that he has $1,000 in the bank. A public defender appeared by his side at Monday’s hearing.

He is being held in the Broward County Main Jail, according to online jail records.

NBC is on a roll with their coverage of  weird news. I didn’t even need to look elsewhere this week. The headlines just spoke to me.

Now I want cookies. And soup.

Until next time!

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