Oh yeah, wedding blogging

This is my millionth pathetic attempt to revive my blog. In the many, many months since last I posted (which didn't even count), oh so much has happened. The boy and I adjusted to cohabitation, bought a house (hello, suburbia) and got engaged. I'm hoping that by forcing myself to compose the occasional wedding-related post, I'll start writing for real (?) again.

I wrote a guest post for The Plunge Project, the wedding blog of a Knoxvillian, Nicole (who has ties to Jacksonville...tiny world), and it was fun to write and share and talk about all this bullshit like it really matters. Which it does. But no one takes you seriously when you are fretting about flowers. They just don't. But by god, I can put it in a blog and I will feel better.

That said, I need to bring up a very important issue: the Serious Face wedding portrait. A handful of my high school acquaintances have gotten married recently, and after seeing their pictures, it seems like this is the big trend.

I speak only for myself here, but really, I can’t say I’m a fan. I don’t want to offend anyone because everyone wants to remember their wedding in their own way, but I just can’t get behind the Serious Face. I’ve only seen a few shots where the people don’t look kind of angry or where they’re gunning to be Male Model of the year.

Weddings are fun and exciting; I can’t imagine not having a big ridiculous smile on my face in all my pictures. I want to look back and think how happy I was all day and now how I had to force myself into a Serious Face look — or, worse, that making a not-happy face was easy.

I think there is definitely a place for pictures in which everyone isn't all smiley, but it's about looking thoughtful, not like you're throwing eye daggers at your photographer. However, I wonder if the Serious Face is a trend that photogs are latching onto and encouraging of their subjects. We have fabulous photogs, and I've seen lots of their work, so I can't imagine them suggesting it, but I really doubt I'd be enthused to go along with it if they did.

Of course, it's your wedding blah blah blah, but I just don't understand why anyone would at any point just not want to look totally happy.


False alarm

Last time I wrote here, it tricked even me. I planned on getting back in the swing of things and at least writing something occasionally funny or weird or potentially even insightful, but that didn't work out. I don't even blame Twitter anymore; I'm just lazy. I also lose track of topics I think would be good to write about, mostly because they're in the political realm, and sometimes I worry that I come off sounding like an idiot. So I Twitter away and think about things, and that's pretty much that. I also have little interest in coming home to read and write on a computer when I spend all my time at work reading and writing on a computer.

See? That was pretty much it.


It's been so long

Oh blog, ye of great neglect! I have really good intentions all the time to actually write stuff on a regular basis, but by the time I actually sit down to do it, I don't want to anymore. I don't have exciting stories unless I talk about work, and that's something I try to avoid in public forums, and the current events I have something to say about are often no longer that current by the time I get around to the ol' blog.

But I didn't want the entire month of August to go by without posting SOMETHING, so here's this little survey, via Sam. Once upon a time, I had a LiveJournal and that sucker was fulllll of teh surveys. I had a lot of time on my hands.4

1. Where did you go on your first airplane ride?

To L.A. to visit the aforementioned Sam during sophomore year of college. I was a little freaked out, but she held my hand and I was OK.

2. What is your earliest memory?
Uhhhhh hitting my head on a table at preschool and needing stitches. I can't think of anything specific from prior to that. Maybe that's why?

3. What was your second grade teacher's name?
Ms. Bonville. When we had to go to the bathroom she would ask us "Number one or number two?" to keep track of about how long we should be gone (we were wanderers). I once answered "number three!" I was an asshole from an early age (but really, I probably just had to go).

4. What was the last thing you watched on tv?
America's Best Dance Crew. I can't do anything.

5. My uncle once:
I have a few uncles. Ummmm...Harrison once gave me a super cool Skipper doll for Christmas. She had a little toy puppy. I love(d) Barbie.

6. How long was your longest relationship?
A year and a week, as of today.

7. What do you want to be?
Asleep? Not hungry? Thin? Smarter? More well read? Less poor? A better cook? Seriously, this is a really unfair question.

8. What was the last thing you received in the mail?
A bill. Huzzah!

9. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
I can only pick one? More education for women.

10. Would you prefer 10 inches of snow or 100 degree weather?

11. What is your homepage set to?
A blank screen. My computer doesn't cooperate if it's asked to do something right away. Having an actual homepage would just crash Safari.

12. Last 5 websites you visited:
Gmail, Facebook, Google reader, Twitter, Twitpic

13. Were you a planned baby?
I find it unlikely. It's my understanding there was a cold snap around January/February 1985 in East Tennessee. My BFF's birthday is only two days after mine, and her parents lived just up the hill from mine. It was cold. What do you expect?

14. What do you believe is the meaning of life?
I was going to start writing the "sperm" song from Monty Python's Meaning of Life, but this is a family environment here. Oh wait. That was a joke and I didn't even mean to make it!

15. What bill do you hate paying the most?
All of them? I guess the utilities. Air conditioning should be free because THIS IS FLORIDA.

16. How many schools did you attend through grade twelve?
Just two. Wearwood for K-8, and GP for 9-12.

17. The Cosby Show or The Simpsons?
The Simpsons, for definitely.

18. Three signs summer is here:
It's not January. That's about it.

19. The last time you had your feelings hurt:

20. Who was your first best friend?
Audrey, when we were in preschool. And then her family moved to Idaho.


I got that boom boom boom (or not)

OK, if you know me, you know I am a consumer of mom blogs. I can't help it. I don't have a kid, nor do I want one for a long time, but I read them anyhow. To be prepared and stuff, right? Sure. Anyhow, I kind of love Girl's Gone Child, written by Rebecca Woolf, and she usually talks about things relevant to everyone but in the context of being a parent. Today her post was related to the most recent Momversation, which dealt with keeping/not keeping guns in the home when you have a kid.

Gun control is something I care a lot about, largely because I grew up in an area where guns were the norm and people didn't think twice about using them, whether for sport or fun or whatever, but also because you can hardly go a day without seeing something in the news about gun-related violence or accidental shootings or "how could this happen?" stories.

I wasn't really raised with a STAY AWAY FROM GUNS attitude; I remember shooting a rifle for the first time when I was 8 years old, and my brother and I stayed with our dad for a couple days. We shot some cans off a log in the woods, though; we didn't target any animals and we knew enough not to point the thing at each other. Then in middle school, instead of PE for a semester, we had hunter's safety (hunting was big, y'all), and we learned not only how to be safe while hunting but also how to be safe around firearms. At the end of the course, we (a bunch of seventh-graders...in hindsight I CANNOT BELIEVE this actually happened, but welcome to Sevier County, Tenn.) went to the shooting range and shot clay pigeons. Sure, it was fun to take a field trip to shoot guns, but I do think it was smart to apply all the things we learned.

That said, do I think it's a good idea to keep guns in the home? Unless you are a serious hunter, absolutely not. And if you are a serious hunter, I'm only (marginally) OK with it if the guns are kept locked up in a location inaccessible by anyone other than one single person they are licensed to and the bullets are kept in an entirely different location (also under lock and key). Otherwise, what business do you have owning a gun? What good does it do?

While I'm sure pro-gun people are tired of hearing us "pacifists" talk about Freudian complexes (tried to link to a comment on Rebecca's post but couldn't...ugh Blogger!) and how tighter gun laws prevent gun-related violence, I'm pretty tired of the guns-as-a-form-of-self-defense and freer access reduces crime arguments. The only way a gun is going to truly be of use for self-defense is if a) you have a concealed carry permit and are carrying the gun when/if you're attacked or b) you keep a gun/guns stashed around your home for easy access, in which case they are EASILY ACCESSIBLE BY ANYONE (including children, other adults and/or potential attackers who might know where to look). Also, if someone is hell-bent on hurting you, they're going to hurt you. I'm not saying you should just take it, by all means, everyone is entitled to fight back some way somehow, but is shooting (and possibly killing) someone going to fix it? What if there's a next time?

When I moved to Florida and lived by myself for the first time, I was capital-P Paranoid. I'm anxious by nature, but every little noise would have me questioning where it was coming from. My apartment was pretty secure, and my neighborhood was pretty safe, but there's always a big what if factor, especially for a single woman living alone. Did I wonder how I'd defend myself if someone ever broke in or jumped me while I walked from my car to the house? Sure I did, and I concluded that I would have to rely on smarts and/or physical strength because I didn't (and don't) have anything remotely weapon-like, with the exception of my kitchen knives and well, they're in the kitchen, not my bedside table. And what if a potential attacker had a gun or other weapon? I chose not to entertain the possibility.

I absolutely think that everyone has the right, nay, the responsibility to protect themselves and their family/friends. But isn't prevention a big part of that? I understand that not everyone has the luxury of living in a secure home with outdoor lights or a security system or a dog that's going to bark and alert you to something that might be wrong, but doesn't carrying a gun make you vulnerable too? Aren't people's weapons turned on them?

Gun control laws exist for a reason. People should have to go through an extensive background check and take exams or something in order to own a gun and then they should have to jump through a million tiny little hoops to keep the gun. There should be no gun shows. There should be small dealers, with limited inventory who specialize in certain firearms. However, I am not so naive to think that this will eradicate the illegal use of firearms, but I'd like to think it would make it more difficult to obtain them. If someone wants to get a gun and they don't do it through legal channels, they're still going to find a way to get that gun. I just want to figure out how to make it as difficult as possible.

That said, I think it is totally necessary to educate people about guns and how to use them properly. If ever you're in a situation where you have to use a gun, you don't want to be wondering about how it works. While I never plan on going hunting or owning a gun, and despite my hillbilly school system, I'm glad I learned at an early age how to handle a gun and, more importantly, how to get out of the way of a gun. When I have kids, I plan to educate them about the importance of self-defense (preferably with their fists), but I also plan to teach them about both the power and the danger that come with guns. Yeah, I'll probably let them learn to shoot when they're old enough, simply because I see that as a key part of firearm education. And I'll be the first to admit that shooting a gun is a pretty powerful feeling, but only when you're shooting at little clay discs or a piece of paper, not people or animals.

So am I scared of guns? Hell yes. Do I think they have their place in society? Yes. Do I think kids should be sheltered from them? No. Kids (and adults, for that matter) should be thoroughly educated about guns, but I'd rather teach my kids to be peaceful, to break down and avoid conflict and solve problems with their minds and their words rather than with violence of any sort.

But I promise you that my honor student will totally be able to kick your slacker kid's ass if the situation calls for it.


WHAT have I done?

Note: I started this post on April 1. I got sidetracked and forgot about it. Now it's April 6. NaBloPoMo FAIL. Anyway.

Because I am follower, I signed up for NaBloPoMo (Brumley, get excited) because all my favorite bloggers are doing it. Well, a couple of them are doing it. And now I'm going to post something every single day for the month of April. Fuck, why couldn't I have done this in February, since it has so few days? Ahhhh, hindsight is 20/20.

Since I really missed the whole blog-every-day boat, I feel like I should have some good, clever, well thought out post ready to deliver to you, my loyal reader. Unfortunately, I don't. I blame my job. And Twitter. At work, I'm in front of a computer all day long, and when I'm not at work, I spend my computer time catching up on my favorite blogs and looking for fun recipes. Seriously. I don't even watch YouTube anymore, which is really saying something because I love YouTube.

And Twitter. It is at the root of the problem. I spend my day tweeting my random thoughts and posting links and such, and by the time I try to sit down and write a coherent blog post, it amounts to nothing more than a rehash of the day's tweets. Lame.

So that's why I signed up for NaBloPoMo. I figured that might keep me accountable, you know, force me to write SOMETHING on this thing, even it's only a collection of less-than-tweet-worthy random thoughts. I also remember occasionally that it would be nice to update this thinkg so people actually know what's happening in my life, but that's also boring.

I HAVE NO LIFE. There, I said it. I go to work, I go home. Sometimes I go somewhere to get coffee and sometimes I leech off an open wireless connection I find. When I'm feeling crazy and adventurous, I'll — get ready for it — bake a cake or something. I KNOW!!!! I better caaaaallllllm down.

Anyhow. There are actually things going on in my life that are worth sharing, but I don't necessarily feel like writing about that today. Maybe tomorrow, though. Because I really have to post tomorrow. And the day after that. And so on.

And then when I run out of things to say, I'm just going to aggregate my tweets of the day for all you non-Tweeple. Because it's important that you know every crackpot musing that runs through my head at any time of the day.


Back with 7.5 percent more nonsense!

I should do a correlation study of my blog and see if my threory proves true that I blog more in happier times. I think I would be right. But being right is no fun if there's not a prize. Anyway, the sadness is mostly coming from work these days. Well, OK, it's only coming from work these days.

As everyone knows, newspapers are tanking (hard), and we're no exception here. Actually, we are. We make tons of money. Alas, our parent company has huge debts, and we don't make quite enough money to pay that off. I think the company would be in better shape if they cut the dead weight (book publishing, oodles of free publications, the Georgia edition...), but alas those are Traditions and Important Things to the family and must only pried out of the family's cold, dead hands.

But I digress. As part of the company's money-saving efforts, everyone had to take a pay cut. They were done on a "sliding" scale (that didn't so much slide as it bumped along and stopped hard enough that the people who make the real money won't be hurt), so it could be worse, but I'm losing 7.5 percent of my already not-enough salary. That's a lot of money right now. I already don't make enough to cover the bills, but losing that much more is going to require some sort of magic fix. Fortunately, I am good at being poor.

I suppose my biggest gripe about the cuts (other than the cuts themselves) is that people who make $50,000+ lose 10 percent. That's a lot, yeah, but I feel like that barely touches the corporate people who make a large six figures. Ten percent of $250,000? Ouch, but OK. Seven and a half percent to $30,000? How am I supposed to live? Just sayin'.

So in an effort to cut costs where necessary, I've canceled my cable. TV and Internet. I would feel worse about it but a) Comcast is teh suck and b) I like paying the rent more than I like Grey's and ANTM. Sort of. There are bright sides though. The Boy and I are moving in together when my lease is up here in May, so TV and Internets will return then. And when I need Internet, I'll go back to Starbucks or some other coffee-serving place with wireless and sit and blog and make fun of peoplecheck my e-mail. So my blog will be funny again, even if the effort is not sustained. Rejoice!