30 October 2009

Devil's Night

As most of you know, I grew up in Detroit.


In Detroit, we celebrate Halloween in a strange tradition.  On Halloween itself, it's usually completely necessary for kids to head out wearing long underwear, sweatsuits, those puffy snowsuits, and then whatever costume could possible fit over such roly-poly-ness. 


However, that's not how Detroit starts celebrating Halloween.  Anyone ever watch Brandon Lee's The Crow



Intense, but great movie.  It totally demonstrates the Detroit phenomenon known Devil's Night


The first time I ever knew about Devil's Night was from having the living daylights scared out of my nine-year-old self as I watched The Crow for the first time.


The following year, I was in Children's Hospital recovering from a surgery on Devil's Night.  From my hospital room window, I could see thick smoke from multiple fires across the city.  Pretty scary for a drugged-out, recovering-from-surgery, ten-year-old.  The following year, Detroit began calling Devil's Night Angel's Night instead. 


The name might have changed, but unfortunately, the tradition has remained.


Those of you who know me also I know I can't resist making fun of Detroit.  But woe be to the non-native fool who tries to make fun of Detroit in front of me.


Thus, as we schemed our plans for this weekend yesterday, I told Tuff Tiff that we had a job to do when we party tonight:


We need to school DC on how to celebrate Devil's Night, Detroit-style.
We will avoid outright arson.
But we will keep things fiery hot.
Because we are smokin' hot.


Come join us!

29 October 2009

Giggle for Today

 Found on my banana.....


27 October 2009

KtMac Confessions: Squirrely Fears

Shhh....I have a secret to confess....


This time last year, I was utterly terrified of squirrels. (Which, on a side note, is an absolutely strange-looking word.)




I have absolutely no clue where this irrational fear came from.  But, I was utterly convinced that my neighborhood squirrels were going to bite me on the ankles, I'd get rabies, and die. 


So convinced, that any time I went for a walk in my neighborhood, be it a leisurely stroll, a mad dash, or a run for various errands, I either had on thick socks under heavy jeans or knee-high boots as "defense" against ankle-biting rabid squirrels.


Rational?  Absolutely not.


Short-lived fear.  Absolutely.


This year, I have no such fear.  Random. 

26 October 2009

Why I Love October

Come take a Sunday afternoon stroll with me around my neighborhood...


 



 

 





 

 

 

25 October 2009

Do You Believe in Fate?

Whenever I want to post something, but am not quite sure what to say, I go back to old journal entries and steal inspiration.  That said, this one still sums me up perfectly, even seven years (oh wow, where does time go?!) later.

*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

I believe everything happens for a reason.  If we're lucky, we eventually find out what that reason is.





Everything happens for a reason; some good, some bad, some known, and some unknown.





I'd like to believe that the choices we make affect what happens.  However, those choices aren't just there - they're there for a reason.





I doubt I'll ever know why I'm hearing impaired.  But, I know now why I lost my hearing permanently; that's because the cochlear implant offers me both better hearing AND a better way of life.  I would not have gotten the cochlear implant had I not lost my hearing.





I also truly believe that our past affects our future.  Our past creates who we are and who we are affects our future.




I also believe you need to deal with your past, come to terms with it, let it go, and begin living your life.  By letting it go, you aren't letting the past go, but rather, yourself, so you can live your life.  The past is always there, but it can only haunt you if you let it do so. 





Part of the reason why I have faith is because now I understand that everything happens for a reason.  And I accept that not knowing what that reason is does not change that reason or mean that there is no reason.  Things don't just happen.  It hasn't been easy, learning how to understand and accept fate.  But it has allowed me to find peace again and to finally have faith.




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Pictures:  All taken by me. 
1.) Michigan
2.) Michigan
3.) Maryland
4.) Maryland
5.) Maryland
6.) Tokyo
7.) Dubrovnik 

22 October 2009

Happy for the Little Things

Things that make me happy today:
- that My Love is amazing, and people who aren't quite so biased in his favor are recognizing him for it
- that a stop at the Water Tower Place last weekend yielded a fabulous price on a pair of designer jeans in a size much smaller than the last pair of jeans I bought



- that less than a week later, I'm wondering if I should've at least tried on those jeans in a size smaller
- that I'm wearing and loving classic red nail polish

- that even though I forgot both my wallet and my lunch at home today, I still managed to scrounge up a healthy AND filling lunch for less than the $3.52 I had in my pocket
- that some people are genuinely happy to see me every time
- that my writing skills were effusively praised by an unbiased authority figure
- that I can now count on my fingers how many months are left before My Love comes home for good

- that I find myself restless on the days that I haven't worked out or haven't worked out hard enough
- that I feel confident in the direction of my future
- that it is ALMOST, finally, the weekend.

Beautiful


20 October 2009

Random Stolen Moments


Cafe in Shokder, Albania.

Travel Tales: Chicago

There is no place greater than an airport.  I mean it.


I love sitting there people-watching.  You see all the extremes of human nature.  The love in reunions.  The excitement of departures on grand adventures.  The frustration of the missed connection or the never-ending delay.  The irritation with the sugar-fueled hyperactive kids. 


I sit there waiting impaitently and try to guess where someone is going and why.  A Grandma on her way to spoil the grandkids in Carolina.  A businessman on his way to a riviting insurance conference in Nebraska.  Lovers off to a romantic liasion in Prague.  A spy on his way to DC after a hair-raising adventure in Thailand.  The possibilities are endless. 

And I just returned from my own little adventure in Chicago.  I had a wonderful visit with My Love's parents.  My Love was not there.  I missed him, but I loved having the chance to finally see his adorable baby pictures and hear all the stories he would normally have kept me from hearing.  My Love was simply one of the cutest baby boys ever


I also loved getting a chance to know My Love's parents better.  I discovered that his mom is a great shopping partner, and his dad reminds me of my own when it comes to his fascination with knowing the history of the town he lives in.  I heard stories of their own childhoods and got to see where My Love grew up.  I ate too much, laughed often, and loved the perfect fall weekend Chicago weather gave us. 

And, the exciting thing is, the next time I'm sitting in an airport, I'll be on my way to see My Love again.  Seriously cannot wait! 

15 October 2009

More Randoms


*  Wow.  Apparently you really can wean yourself off sugar.  Three chocolate chip cookies later, I found myself in a sugar coma.

*  Interesting: I picked up several types of squash at the grocery store the other night in an attempt to make myself feel better about missing Michigan so much right now.  The label on the squash says "Michigan."  More specifically, the name of a town right next to where I went to college.  That did not ease my homesickness.

*  Part of my soul shriveled up and died a little inside this week when I realized that I was excited about finding the Holy Grail of reference documents for a work project.  And died a little more when I realized it really is the Holy Grail of reference documents.

* I dream of the day when I am not in the office before the sun rises.  That day will come.  I know it.  But I have no idea if I'll be awake then.

* I am running on fumes this week.  It is my own fault for burning the candle at both ends.  I went to bed early last night in hopes of getting 8 hours of sleep.  Great plan until 2 am, where I then woke up every hour on the hour until my alarm went off at 5 am.  Grumble.

*  When my alarm went off at 5 am, I was in that twilight area of sleep - not quite consicious, not fully asleep - and managed to startle myself, when I shouted out loud, "What the f*&%?!  It's only THURSDAY!"  Sigh.  Damn Thursday.

* Got my flu shot today.  Yergh.  Just the regular ole' flu shot.  I got mono twice in a year and a half.  It's only been a year since the last recurrence.  Really?! Only a year? I'm not taking any chances.





*  When I was heating up my lunch, I discovered that I forgot to pack a fork.  A quick inspection of my work bag yielded a set of chopsticks.  (I dunno...)  Turns out, it was perfect for my chicken teriakyi.   Go figure.

*  I need a good massage.  Seriously.

Movie Dates

I was lucky enough to have a couple of movie dates this week.

On Tuesday, my friend Tiger (she'll fully understand this nickname....or should anyways!), shared her free movie pass with me so that we could go see a sneak preview of New York, I Love You.  Don't hate - someday I'll share the secret to being cool like me.  ;-)

Since I didn't bother reading about the movie beforehand, I had no clue what I was getting into.  It's a pretty cool premise - some scenes seemed a little wonky for me, but that may be because I didn't have subtitles to help me "hear."  I'm definitely adding it to my Netflix queue to watch again with subtitles.  For the rest of you, it comes out to theaters tomorrow - go check it out!  I'm not giving away any more movie details other than to say My Love is totally the Abe to my Mitzi.....or, at least, he will be someday!


every moment, another story begins


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Every weekend, My Love and I try to have a movie date.  Now, some of you may be thinking, "But they're 6,000 miles apart!  How can they have a movie date?!"

Easy.

We both get a copy of the same movie, start it at the same time, and then Skype our way through the movie. 

It's vaugely cheesy, but it works.  And it gives us something to do together, even if we're not physically together. 

Anyways, last weekend's movie date got bumped to last night due to weekend commitments and flakey developing world internet.  Based on a recommendation, this week's movie was Dan in Real Life.  It was a good movie.  But just a little too sad for us to watch last night.  We were in the mood for something silly and funny. 


It's confusing. It's awkward. It's family.

So, peeps, I turn to you....any silly, funny, romantic, happy movie suggestions for My Love and I to add to our movie watching list?

13 October 2009

Words I Need to Remember Today....


"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Halloween Come Early


I walked away from my desk this morning to talk to a few people.  In the ten minutes I was gone, the Halloween witch stopped by and left me a plate full of treats.

On the Halloween-decorated plate were:
  • 3 homemade chocolate chip cookies (already long gone)
  • 1 huge homemade brownie
  • 4 fun-size Butterfingers
  • 2 fun-size bags of Skittles
  • 1 milk chocolate pumpkin
  • 1 chocolate marshmallow ghost
  • 1 full-size Hershey's bar
  • 1 tray of Peeps' marshmallow ghosts
MMmmmmmmmm!! This just may be the greatest haul of Halloween treats I've pulled BEFORE Halloween.  So excited now for Halloween!

11 October 2009

Another Entry

Camping in Michigan in September.

This entry was written a year ago, but just as easily could have been written this weekend too.  Some things never change.

Creative Compliments: Without Wax

A friend and I were chatting on g-chat the other night, when I received the coolest compliment:

House: This is gonna sound bad, but you remind me of a funeral
KtMac I remind you of a funeral?!
House lemme 'splain
did i tell you about when one of our church friends passed away earlier this year? amazing man 
KtMac:  yes
House:  his memorial service was incredibly moving
and all the people that came up to speak of him told amazing stories
but our pastor said something about him that stood out above anything else for me
he said that lots of words came to mind to describe the character of him, but one stood above all... sincere
and he went into the etymology of the word itself
i guess its roots were in Greek and roman culture, back when ornate carved statues were commonplace in every household
of course, the more wealthy you were, you could afford better craftsmanship
royalty and government usually got perfect work done to display
but those that had to settle for less got the same works, but with some chips and dings here and there on account of less professional work
so what these people would do was fill in the gaps and flaws with a colored wax to disguise it, make it look smooth
the only problem with this was that direct sunlight and really hot days would melt the wax, showing off all the lapses in quality again
and the word comes from 2 combined... sine cere... "without wax"
KtMac:  I didn't know that
House and that absolutely epitomizes the deceased
so to say you remind me of a funeral... you're not fake, you hold up to scrutiny, you're the best there is

05 October 2009

Who I Am Today


I am a perfectionist.
I am trying to be okay with "good enough."
I am not there yet.

I am a day-dreamer.
I am a doer.
I am a hard worker.
I am a w-o-r-r-i-e-r
I am too easily stressed.

I am in need of one delicious vice. 
I am not a smoker.
I am not a big drinker.
I am not inclined to swear.  Often.
I am adamently against drugs.
I am going to find one delicious vice.


I am a brunette.
I am happy with the color of my hair.
I am not crazy about the multiplying grey strands.

I am a lover.
I am a believer.
I am a fighter.
I am a daughter.
I am a granddaughter.
I am a sister.
I am a love.
I am a loyal friend.

I am *g*i*g*g*l*e*s.
I am silly.
I am smiles and optimism.
I am obssessive about brushing my teeth.
I am rarely in public without some lipstick.
I am in love with fresh flowers.
I am dating a man who is sweet enough to indulge that love.

I am a klutz.
I am a d--a*n--c*e--r.
I am **b**u**t**t**e**f**l**i**e**s**.

I am fiercely protective of those I love.
I am going to earn my Ph.D.  Someday.
I am going to earn that Ph.D at my dream school.
I am sure of it.
I really, really am.

I am secure.
I am confident.
I am sure.
I am proud.
I am insecure.
I am too hard on myself.

I am an idealist.
I am a realist.
I am tired of injustice,
inequality,
and
chipped nail polish.

I am a fan of kisses, whipped cream on hot chocolate, and
shamelessly teasing My Love.
I am generous to a fault.
I am too kind.
I am polite.


I am thrilled with the stamps in my passport.
I am planning on getting more stamps.
I am daydreaming of trips to Durres,
Madrid,
Paris,
and Bangkok
so far this morning.

I am proud of the woman I am becoming.
I am high heels and pencil skirts.
I am sweat pants and tank tops.
I am geek chic in my glasses.


I am a work in progress.

I am okay with that.

I am perfectly imperfect.

I am okay with that too.


I am happy (Most days).


Clean Slate

Last week was one of those weeks.  You know the kind.....the ones where, by Wednesday, you look like this little fella:


One of those weeks where by Friday, you're amazed you're even still on your feet.  A fairly sizeable chunk of my work is tied to the fiscal calendar, and I spent the week reminding people of the need to do their jobs.  By the end of the day on Tuesday, I realized I was incredibly stressed over things beyond my control.  So starting on Wednesday, I tried to adopt a "good enough" mantra. 

The mantra helped relax me a bit, but I won't lie:  it was still a stressful week.  One I'm glad to see is over.  Finally.  Aside from some wrap-up work this week, I won't have to deal with this again for another year. 


Part of my problem was that I was stressed at work, and every time I came home after 10 hour days, I was confronted with a laundry list of things that needed to be done at home as well.  I usually ended up saying, "it can wait," and ignored my at-home to-do list.  But I forgot to stop stressing over those things as well. 

The end result was a melty mess KtMac style.  Not pretty.  Not pretty at all.

So I spent the weekend really cleaning my apartment.  The kind of cleaning where things come off the shelves and the shelves get cleaned.  Where you reassess whether you need 3 half-opened bottles of dish detergent under the sink and decide to combine them into one bottle.  Everything that could be dusted was dusted.  Anything that could be polished was polished.  Floors were vacuumed, swept, swiffered.  Clothes were washed, dried, ironed, mended, and put away.  Or tucked into a new "to donate" bag.  Cards, letters, emails, and other overdue correspondence was addressed.  The refridgerator was restocked with fresh fruit and veggies to refuel with only the freshest and the best foods.  I got in a couple of the good kind of grueling work outs in.  I soaked in the tub.  I stretched.  I slept.  In short, I cleaned my slate in hopes that when home is calm and orderly, the rest of my life will follow suit. 

But, just in case, I need to find some new stress relievers.  I used to, back in the day when I actually owned a car, hop in the car and just drive for the sake of driving until I felt better.  It never failed to calm me down.  Working out helps sometimes, but never to the same degree.  Baths feel good, but aren't great relieving stress. I've finally broken the emotional eating (for the most part).  So, any suggestions on some stress relievers for me?  I really want to find a few that work for me so that next time I deal with a week like last week, I can cope better with the stress.