Friday, August 30, 2013

'Tis the end of Summer

Although Labor Day signals the end of the summer, I don't really find that to be true. Temperatures here are still in the mid 90's and as long as I'm wearing dresses and sweating buckets walking out to my hot car after work, I proclaim summer remains.

But when I turn my calendar to September, I do get excited. The lack of federal holidays is a bit disturbing (c'mon Veterans Day!) but I know it is only a matter of time before the weather calms down, I can open my windows at night and my early bedtime is more appropriate because the sun is setting at an earlier hour.

I'm not one of those OMG IT IS FALL LETS GO NUTS type of people but I do enjoy the changing of the seasons. That is one reason why living in Southern California wasn't for me-80 degrees (for the most part) year around? No thanks! I must say that winter is my favorite season. I love sunny skies with a cold crisp breeze in the air. Overcast skies and cuddling under a mountain of blankets on the couch at night.

It is always hard to believe a full season has come and gone. June seems like such a long time ago! August went by in a flash and it was quite a memorable month with a lot of family time and joyous occasions. With September comes a vast increase in busyness at work. Soon, I'll be back in my car 4 hours a day, trying to avoid catching the back to school germs of the students I work with. But nothing makes me more excited than building new relationships with the kids that will grow over the course of the school year.

That being said, is it Thanksgiving Break yet? I could really use a vacation! 12 weeks to go!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

House of Cards

No plot spoilers in this post, just opinions on characters.

Am I supposed to like this show? I'm currently 7 episodes in and I feel the pull to keep watching but I find ZERO characters likeable. ZERO. Maybe that is the point? They are all power hungry douche bags-even the females.

Congressman Underwood is a slime ball. I'm not a huge Kevin Spacey fan. He is creepy, in general but his Southern accent and behavior in this show bug me. But again, I think that is the point. I don't think he is supposed to be someone we are rooting for.

Claire, his wife, is also a leach. I figure they are in some sort of arranged marriage based only on power. They seem to like each other fine but they tolerate infidelity and understand that using each other to climb their professional ladders is priority #1.I also hate how she says "Francis" after nearly every sentence when addressing her husband. No one does that. Please stop.

Underwood's Chief of Staff is a perfect match for his boss. He will do anything, right or wrong (or really wrong) to get to the top. Dirty.

Peter Russo, while pretty messed up, has some redeeming qualities. I believe he wants to be a good dad and a good Congressman but he made a deal with the devil and now has to pay the price. He got swept up in the power game and can't get out of it. Stay away from the booger sugar, Peter.

Little Miss Reporter, Zoe Barnes, is also power hungry/being victimized. But she encourages it and plays along in order to get information. I find her irritating because she is really just a goody-two-shoes low level reporter pretending to be more to build up her own self-esteem. I find her current relationship disgusting.

I'm curious to see how the season plays out. The main characters are falling more into their deals with the devil and I just don't think it can end well for all, or any, of them.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Summer of Events

I wish I had pictures to go along with these event descriptions but I am lazy so words will have to do.

What a busy month this has been! The summer in general is filled with a lot of family time, starting in May. Birthdays fill the summer months (2 in May, 1 in June, 2 in July and 1 on August) and add in other family events and it has been a full and busy summer.

This month, the celebrations got started back on the 10th when we gathered at my parents alma mater to watch my mom earn her "Block C" athletic letter at Chico State. My mom was a swimmer during her college days but because this was pre-Title IV, she wasn't able to earn her letter or be considered a true collegiate athlete. For shame! This event was a long time in the making and I am so glad that we were able to be there to witness it. Remember at the end of "A League of Their Own" when the women get inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame? This event reminded me of that scene. It was so moving, emotional and celebratory. About 100 women attended and were overjoyed to finally hold in their hands their Block C letter. The oldest women in attendance played sports in the 40's! Tears flowed!

The next day, our families met at our house to celebrate my birthday over pizza and cake, my two favorite things. They spoiled me with presents and of course, a lot of laughter. I always feel so blessed to have such amazing people to call family.

This past Saturday signaled the end of family events for the summer with my dad's retirement party. Family and his close friends/co-workers gathered at his house for a wonderful late afternoon luncheon. We ordered food from his favorite BBQ restaurant and enjoyed the strangely mild weather by eating outside and allowing old and new friends to catch up. I even created a quiz about my dad that everyone really embraced-with a group of mostly current and former educators, they all seemed to enjoy it! I'm working on a project from the day that I will share with you soon.

And just like that, the summer of family came to an end! Luckily, fall and winter are right around the corner and a new season of gatherings begins. Chris' family has birthdays every month through February, Halloween calls for a trip to the pumpkin patch and I'm very excited about a family wedding in mid-October!

The Dog Days of Summer might be coming to an end but there is no rest for the weary! Bring it, Fall!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wanted: Real Blogs

This is my 1,169th published blog post. My first post was on February 26, 2008. I have 5+ years worth of memories contained in one area.

It seems like blogging was (is?) the thing to do and has been for a while. Some are personal with a small following mostly meant for family and friends. Some have gone on to find bigger audiences through linking posts on Facebook and Twitter. And some have made it to the big stage-hundreds of thousands of hits a day/month/week, endorsements, sponsored posts, etc.

Those blogs, the big ones, started to feel like infomercials to me. What are they selling today? More like, what are they whoring out today? I felt deceived when the start of a post sounded genuine only to be tricked by bolded print and rules and warnings. No, I don't want to enter your contest to win a $100 gift card. Aren't you ashamed that some bigged blogging entity is FORCING you to blog about specific topics?

Is that what blogging has become? Getting free stuff in exchange for a blanket statement that sometimes would appear on THREE blogs that I would read in one a day. BORING.

This little blog isn't anything big. The stats from Blogger tell me that yesterday, I had 113 page views. Last month, I had 3,810. Some blogs see that in a 10 minute span!

But I love writing. I do it to keep track of moments in my life, to share fun stories and hilarious moments. I write as a creative outlet and because it keeps my mind sharp. I have stories to tell-stories of loving my family. Stories of going through infertility. Stories of tv shows I like, vacations I have planned and the story of my relationship with my husband.

I get to blog whatever I want, whenever I want. Sure, I don't have free items flooding my mail box. No one is knocking down my door asking me to blog about their newest product. I don't see a check each month from ads.

But I also don't have that accountability. I work. I have a house to clean, grocery shopping to do, exercise to complete and a husband and a cat to spend time with. I don't have the time (or the desire) to respond to sponsorships or Paypal accounts. Would it be nice to get paid to blog? SURE! Who wouldn't want to make extra money? But to hand over creative freedom from a place that I consider my own?

No way. Not worth it. And although I hate the term, I don't want to be an Internet Sell-Out.

I would love to read regularly updated, personal blogs. I would love to get to know you and your life, as you share it. I hope you have enjoyed reading this little journal over the past 1,169 posts. I hope I can provide more silly life stories over the years!

Monday, August 5, 2013

The 33rd year

I'll turn 34 next Sunday. Thirty-four. Each year, I think the next age sounds so much older only to realize that I still feel young and carefree!

And even though people fear getting older, I am loving the growth I see in my life. My friendships become more meaningful. The relationships I have with family members become more loving and the goals I have in my life push me to challenge myself in ways that I never thought possible.

I know this 34rd year will bring a lot of changes. Changes that I will invite with open arms in order to make life better! I'm excited for 34.

Now 35, that is completely different!