Fiction or Non-Fiction?

Have you ever heard of someone being an avid fan of non-fiction? Because, it turns out, I totally am. The only kinds of books I find myself gravitating towards in the bookstore, in the library, or on Amazon, are in the non-fiction section. What’s up with that? Seriously, who reads non-fiction books besides intellectual, pompous ass professor types with an affinity for tweed suits and elbow patches? Is this what I have become?!

I used to read a lot more fiction than I do now. I still occasionally pick up a good thriller from time to time. But, the older I get the less able I am to suspend my disbelief while reading fiction books. Even when it’s realistic fiction… I just can’t get emotionally involved with the characters… because they’re not real… and I don’t care. Even the books I formerly adored I can no longer get through because, quite frankly, Jane Eyre, I’m just not buying it.

What is wrong with me? Who doesn’t like to get lost in the fanciful adventures of far away lands? Who doesn’t like to engage in a little old fashioned make-believe from time to time?

Me, apparently.

I’m much more likely to get swept up in the memoirs,biographies, historical accounts, celebrity tell-alls, and journalistic expose´s that are found in non-fiction than I am to get suckered into the latest tales of vampires, elves, alternate realities, corrupt make-believe politicians and everyday heroes found in fiction.

I just don’t buy into it. Plus, it’s much more fun to read about real people, real events, real places and real ideas. There’s still so much to learn! Why waste a good time reading on make-believe bologna?

*GASP!*

Oh, no she didn’t! (Oh, yes I did…) I kid. No matter what type of reading you prefer, it’s never bologna. But surely there must be people out there like me… non-fiction geeks? Yes?

So which do you prefer? Fiction or non-fiction? Why? And which genres do you enjoy? Curious minds want to know…

Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to get back to my Scientology book – “The story of America’s most secretive religion”. Dun, dun, DUN! (It’s just starting to get good…)

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Thanks for Caring

I think I may have run out of things to write about.

I mean, unless you want to hear about my trip to the post office and the grocery store (Ooh… exciting!), my application for medical assistance (yes, because I am that poor… did you not get the memo that I substitute teach for a “living”?), or the fact that Winston is so depressed he can’t even get excited about catnip anymore (really?)… there’s not much to say.

And yet… I feel compelled to say somethinganything just to say I posted today.

But then that puts you, the reader, into a precarious situation, because quite frankly, you don’t care.

Am I right? You know I’m right, because you’re not caring right now.

And yet, you do care, because you took the time to read through this incredibly pointless post.

Thanks for caring, friend. I couldn’t have asked for a better person to waste their time on my stupidity. You’re the best.

The Trials and Tribulations of a Substitute Teacher

So, last night, at 2:46 AM, my phone started making noise. Typically, when my phone starts making noise in the wee hours of the morning, I roll over, grab my phone and click the “ACCEPT” button. Because, you see, when my phone starts making noise during the wee hours, it’s due to the fact that my handy-dandy “Sub Assistant” app has stumbled across a subbing job and is notifying me of it.

However, last night, instead of rolling over, grabbing my phone and clicking “ACCEPT”, I jumped out of bed, stumbled to the light switch, turned on the light and tried desperately to figure out where I was, what I was doing out of bed, why my phone was making noise and and what those red numbers on clock actually meant. By the time the fog lifted (a full minute and a half later), and I was finally able to process the fact that another job had come in, I lunged at my phone and clicked the “ACCEPT” button.

Too. Late.

“I’m sorry, but that job has already been accepted.”

Um… WHAT?

The time on my phone read 2:48. I checked the time of the notification. 2:46. I stared at my phone mentally screaming obscenities, and trying to understand what had just happened.

“Are you seriously going to sit here and tell me that in two minutes, during the wee hours of the morning, when NO ONE is even awake, that this job has already been accepted?!”

There was no way.

I clicked the “ACCEPT” button again.

“I’m sorry, but that job has already been accepted.”

“UNACCEPTABLE.”

I clicked the “ACCEPT” button again.

“I’m sorry, but…”

“OH… DO NOT EVEN. You are NOT sorry. Shut up with your apologies and give me the FREAKIN’ JOB!”

I clicked the “ACCEPT” button one last time.

“I’m sor-”

At this point, an expensive, recently purchased phone may have been hurled across the room. But I can’t be sure. The sleep fog was still lingering.

In the two minutes it took me to hit the freakin’ “ACCEPT” button the job had already been claimed by someone else?!

ARE YOU FREAKIN’ KIDDING ME WITH THIS?!?!

I haven’t had a subbing job in two weeks. TWO WEEKS, PEOPLE.

(Okay, if I’m being perfectly honest… some of that may have been my fault. I technically “could have” jumped immediately on the Kindergarten openings I saw last week rather than waiting a full 15 minutes hoping someone else would take them because the thought of trying to get 5 and 6-year-olds dressed and ready for recess strikes fear into my very core. Hey, unless you’ve been assigned the task of getting boots, snow pants, hats, mittens and coats with tricky zippers unto some 20 or so squirming, sticky kindergarteners… DO NOT JUDGE.)

And now, apparently, as penance for not accepting the kindergarten openings, I am forced to go without work for 2 FREAKIN’ WEEKS.

Stupid jerks.

Also, on a totally unrelated topic… I am now accepting monetary donations to get me through the winter.

*Gif found at tumblr.com.

Going off the grid.

Off the grid: Not being connected to a grid. Autonomous. Not relying on municipal water supply, sewer, natural gas, electrical power grid, communication systems or similar utility services.

Basically something I could never do. Ever. And by never-ever, I mean, it’s not gonna happen. There’s not even a remote possibility of me surviving such a thing. Just… no.

I can’t even handle camping. It took me nearly 30 years to go on my first camping trip. It was just overnight. I hated every single second of it. No running water? No electricity? No flushing toilet? Um… how am I supposed to wash my hands, bathe, do my hair, keep myself entertained and prevent my body from going into septic shock? Also, how is this fun? How is this a “vacation”? Am I missing something?

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We invented houses, indoor plumbing, running water and electricity for a reason. How is not having those luxuries a “vacation”? Clearly, someone doesn’t know the meaning of that word.

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Anyway… what was I saying? Oh, yes. Camping. If I couldn’t handle camping for less than 24 hours, I sure as heck could never handle going “off the grid”. I’m way too high maintenance for that kind of lifestyle. And yet, apparently it’s gaining in popularity. Apparently, it’s becoming a “thing”.  Darryl Hannah does it. So does Ed Begley Jr.

And so, when I stumbled across this blog about living off the grid, I was fascinated. She does everything herself. Gets water. Gathers wood. Chops the wood. Grows food. Cans the food. Feeds the fire. Feeds the cookstove. (Did you know that if you bake using a wood burning cookstove, you have to keep feeding the fire with wood of a certain size and type to keep the temperature steady? Whaaa? I can’t even remember to turn off the stove when I’m done using it. My ridiculously short attention span could decidedly not handle the constant feeding of a stove.) I mean… it’s genuinely amazing. How does she do it? And also, does it make me look ridiculously lazy, irresponsible, and high maintenance to not even be able to fathom living like this for even an hour? It totally does, doesn’t it? *sigh*

Heck, I’m too afraid to use the bathroom at night because the toilet seat might be chilly. So… using an outhouse would be like… the death of me. And the thought of not being able to use a blow dryer every single morning? Oh the horror! So, seeing people choosing to live like this is fascinating… and I genuinely admire them, because I certainly could never do it. (Also, I’m basically screwed when the world markets crash, the food shortage begins and the Apocalypse kicks into high gear. Fingers crossed that an “Off the Gridder” will take me in.)

So, here’s the question I pose: How many of you could handle living off the grid? And how far off the grid could you handle?

A Day in the Life of a Speechwriter

What’s the deal with speechwriters anyway?

Do they just hate their jobs?

Every inspired quote from some great leader, speaker, or historical figure probably only exists because the speechwriter put it there first.

But do they ever get any love or recognition? Noooo… The accolades go to the idiot who just happened to be capable enough to memorize the words or read them off a teleprompter.

Poor speechwriters.

Are you doing the job you’ve been called to do?

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  — Ephesians 2:10

I came across that verse the other night and for some reason, even though I’ve read it many times before, it stopped me in my tracks.

His workmanship.

Created for good works.

Prepared beforehand.

That we should walk in them.

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about God’s purpose for our lives – the idea that He has created each one of us so specifically and so uniquely for particular jobs that He wants us to do. Not Tom, or Dick, or Sally. But us. No one else can do the jobs that have been assigned to us.

You might think that Tom or Dick or Sally are more qualified for the job. Tom is better educated on the subject matter. Dick has the right personality and disposition for the work. Sally has the resources and connections to do it. But God doesn’t really care about Tom’s education, Dick’s disposition, and Sally’s resources. He called you to do the work. You with all your flaws, your failings, your ineptness. YOU. No substitutions will do.

You know that thing you’ve had burning in you since you were young? That passion? That interest? That innate ability? That’s your heart’s desire. God put it in you for a reason. He knew the roadblocks you would encounter. He knew the fear and self-doubt that might plague you. He knew the push-back you would face from other people. He knew all this beforehand… and yet He still gave you the job. And He’ll give you the resources and the tools you need to do it. But you have to do it. No one else will do.

But we get busy. And we get distracted. And we have bills to pay and mouths to feed and laundry to wash and jobs to go to and a society to contribute to and… there’s every reason in the world to shrug off your “real” job – your dream, your passion, your heart’s desire. You don’t have time! You’ve already made a life for yourself. And okay, so maybe it’s not fulfilling, and maybe you’re kind of miserable, and if you’re being honest, you’d do things differently the second time around. But now you’re here and you can’t go back and quite frankly… there just isn’t time to. Move on. Don’t look back. Make the best of it.

And yet… that heart’s desire still nags at you, yearning for fulfillment. That passion continues to burn. Those dreams refuse to die. And no matter how you try to silence it and ignore it, it won’t go away. Why won’t it just go away?!

Because that job you were made to do… won’t get done unless you do it. God won’t just throw a replacement at that job, and hope for the best. Your replacement won’t reach the people you will reach. Your replacement won’t touch the hearts you will touch. Your replacement won’t make the difference you will make. Why? Because you are the only one who can do the thing that you’ve been called to do.

God prepared the good works that we have been called to do beforehand. He picked you out of all other applicants to do that specific job.  He’ll give you what you need to fulfill the job requirements. He just needs you to accept the job offer.

So… how ’bout that winter, huh?

Um… I don’t want to freak anybody out but there’s a good possibility that the winter doldrums are just now hitting me full-force and… IT’S NOT EVEN FEBRUARY.

This is not good. Seeing as winter typically lasts through mid-April around here (and sometimes longer), the fact that the doldrums are hitting me this early does not bode well.

Maybe it’s the fact that we just got another 4 inches of snow and it’s still snowing. Maybe it’s because I didn’t have a subbing job at ALL last week (which is nobody’s fault but my own), and I’m starting to go a bit stir crazy. Maybe it’s due to the fact that on weeks when I don’t have subbing jobs, my social interactions are limited to coffee dates once a week and cuddles with my cat. But whatever the reason, I’m “this close” (you can’t see me, but I’m holding my thumb and pointer finger precariously close to one another in order to illustrate my point) to completely flipping out.

So, in order to prevent myself from hurling my body off a really tall building, I’ve decided to make a list of the things that are going to help me get through this winter. Because… you know… without them, I may just hurl my body off a really tall building.

Here they are, in no particular order:

  • The Good Wife. If I haven’t made myself clear before, let me do so now. There are times when The Good Wife is the only thing I look forward to all week. Sometimes, it’s the one thing I live for. My love for this show burns hotter than a thousand burning suns. Because it is fantastic. And funny. And brilliantly written. And Cary is hot.

  • The new Twitter account for Kensington Palace. Squeeeee! (Why yes, I did just make the sound a thirteen year old girl makes when One Direction is mentioned. Thank you for noticing.) I realize Will, Kate and Harry are not all huddled around the palace laptop trying to come up with funny and creative things to tweet, but in my head, they totally are. And isn’t that what matters? Seriously, don’t ruin the fantasy for me, okay?
  • The Mentalist. Unlike The Good Wife, this show is not nearly as fantastic, funny, or brilliantly written. But Patrick is just so dang pretty that it doesn’t even matter. Plus, the new story line between Lisbon and Jane is nearly as epic as Ross and Rachel.

  •  My ongoing love affair with these:

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And the realization that in just a few short months, I will be reunited with them as we stroll along familiar lanes that are not snow-packed and covered with murderous ice. (Yes, I know the ice isn’t out to get me… even though it is. IT TOTALLY IS.) Don’t tell the other two pairs that I’m in the market for two more pairs. They’re easily offended and quite jealous. I suppose I should stop at two pairs but… the heart wants what it wants. Don’t judge me.

  • This book:

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Because if you know anything about me, you know I will be totally geeking out as I read this under the covers with my flashlight on all winter long.

Sooo… yeah. I don’t know what any of this means, but if my above selections are any indication, I should just get it over with and hurl myself off a tall building now.

I swear I’m not as lame as I seem…

Except that I totally am.

And I’m totally nailing it.

You so want to be me when you grow up.