Wednesday, 19 October 2011 12:25
Occasionally I am struck with the desire to completely disappear.
Yeah. Not as in evaporate into thin air, Houdini-style, but rather go incognito. Except being incognito in the town you’ve lived in your entire life is impossible.
I think it would be healthy. Consider this: taking a vacation from yourself, and just being different for a little while. My cousin Britney and I used to do this regularly when we were younger and could get away with it.
Sometimes we would adopt different names and foreign concepts of ourselves while on vacation. At the beach one year, we were Inga and Noel Jonsdötter, of some kind of Scandinavian decent.
Whether people believed us or not was really irrelevant, because we would likely never see them again.
I’m pretty sure Facebook and social networking has also ruined any anonymity I ever had, and the anonymity of anyone else that is on the grid.
The days when you could enter a room and whisper to your close friend, “Hey? Who is that over there? The one with the tattoos and Abe Lincoln beard?” Instead of “I don’t know!” or “I know him, I met him at a restaurant one night!” you typically get, “His name is So And So, he added me to Facebook” or “I dunno! Find out his name, I’ll Facebook him!”
We’ve become our Facebook pages. The news feeds of our friends are answering every question we ever had about them, and answering questions we didn’t know we had.
Girl 1: I got married last month! Girl 2: I know! I totally saw that on Facebook. I loved your flower arrangements.
And the conversation grows stale.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate Facebook and other social networking sites. I just wish they were utilized a little differently. I think it’s awesome when all my crafty friends post photos of their recent work, or I can check out local people’s stores via Facebook.
I especially appreciate what Facebook has done for promoting local events, in uniting large groups of people for a common cause or celebration. It’s mass, electronic media, and it’s here to stay.
But I also wish some people held back just a little. Give me something to wonder about, leave something to be desired. Be like the noble sasquatch: strange and elusive.
A shout out goes to Kimmy Deaton this week, because she loves animals, and I wish there about a thousand other people in this county just like her.
Rick Chadwell gets a shout out this week because he’s one of the nicest men I’ve ever met, and one day I will bake him something nice (when I get into the baking mood. Usually it’s the winter months).
Nikki Sumner gets a shout out because she gave me my new kitty, whose name is Dinah, after much debate.
Margie Miller gets a shout out this week, for being the birdcage queen, and all other things vintage and cool.
Benjamin Taylor gets a shout out this week, for his enviable movie poster collection and mad graphic design skills.
Cassie Saylor gets a shout out for being the sweetest cashier at IGA, next to Ollie Philpot, who also rules.
A shout out goes to Sharon Cupp, because she’s always friendly to me and has nice things to say.
Chris Reid gets a shout out this week, because he gives me the scoop! And he, too, is an animal man.
Wednesday, 12 October 2011 12:26
So last week I had a huge boo boo on the front page. I wanted to use my column this week to clear up a few things.
First off, there were two separate headlines with the same story. I’m still spinning theories on how it happened, and while a few of them are pretty sound, at the bottom of everything, there’s no real good excuse.
I messed up, and to my readers: I apologize.
I realize that sorry isn’t always good enough. If I’ve figured out nothing else in the last three years of working at the Manchester Enterprise, it’s that once it’s in ink, it’s done for.
Unlike other jobs when you mess up, an apology might be easily administered. Here, however, I’m trying to get the message across to about 4,000 readers or so.
Distractedly, I failed to do my job to the best of my ability, and the paper looked silly because of it.
As Editor of this publication, it is my job to bring you the news. Well-written, edited, and pieced together to the best of my ability and last week I didn’t do that. I will strive to do my job to the best of my ability from here on out, because that is what the readers of the Manchester Enterprise deserve.
But I am only human, and I do make mistakes, so I hope the readers can find it in themselves to not hold this mistake against the newspaper.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 October 2011 12:28
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 12:36
I’ve received a lot of emails and messages of kind words following my column last week. I’m happy to report I’m still smoke free, and something like $28 richer. My sense of smell is coming back in a big way, and I’ve gained no weight from stopping smoking. My weight has stopped fluctuating so wildly, period. My stress level is easier managed. I have little to no cravings, more energy, and my skin looks better.
One really odd behavior I’ve picked up: Every night since I stopped smoking, I wake up at around 2 AM, get out of bed, go into the kitchen, and eat a tiny candy bar, and go back to bed. It’s kind of weird. It’s almost a compulsion. As soon as I wake up around 2 AM, the craving for a mini candy bar is so strong that I can’t go back to sleep until I get up and eat one.
Cigarette related? Mayhaps. Or have I just developed another strange sleep habit? The likelihood is high.
Midterms are this week, so I look to lose a lot of sleep and have my brain go all to mush around Wednesday at noon. I think I have an aversion to test taking, because when it comes to taking important tests, I become easily distracted. I am most creative when faced with doing something extremely serious and important. In the face of an exam that could determine the next two or three years of my life, I’m driven to paint a picture of plastic flamingos wearing fake moustaches.
But I’m on the cusp of fall break, and I’m pretty sure it will have been worth it.
A shout out goes to Cassie Saylor, for giving me support!
Jason Chadwell gets a shout out, for his fund raising abilities.
A shout out also goes to Rebecca Webster, and her work with Project Pink! Stilettos and pink hair make me nostalgic for high school.
Saundra Forman gets a shout out, because she’s a cool friend and she helps me when I need it.
A shout out goes to my long-time friend who I miss bunches, Kelly Smith, and my excitement about hanging out with her next week is parallel to none!
Priscilla Riley, Steven Dickerson, and my friend Alicia all get shout outs, for supporting me in being a quitter. It feels good to hear from people who have either gone through the same thing or are just happy for me.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 October 2011 12:38
Wednesday, 28 September 2011 12:45
I am in the throws of a vicious break up. This week, I’ve ended a six yearlong relationship with cigarettes. Like many relationships, when they meet their end, they often get nasty. This particular habit was kept up because I felt like I needed them in my life. But like most lies people tend to tell themselves, the truth, slowly and painfully, uncovers itself.
Cigarettes and I have had a long history together. They’ve been with me to pretty much every party, every decent concert, before and after every life-changing event, and for $4.56, they could be with me right now.
But for a while now, I’ve known that I’m better than my pack of Marlboro 72’s, and thus I deserve better. I no longer like smoking, and the “me and cigarettes” story was not enough to hold us together. I was exhausted with needing one after every meal, in moments of stress, I was tired of my clothes smelling, I was done with going outside in the cold just to light up, I was through with getting ashes all over my car, and I was sick to death of having a habit.
So I set them down last week.
I keep reminding myself I’m better off, even though I have to do some pretty ridiculous things to curb my dying addiction (like rolling down the window when I eat a sucker and rolling it back up when I’m finished, or going outside and standing on the porch for 3 and a half minutes and then going back inside). I’m eager for cigarettes to be a distant memory, a shadowy figure in my rearview as I drive away.
Sure, there were good times. I’m not going to be THAT person, and say, “I hate you and I wish I’d never met you!” I’m not so pretentious and self-righteous that I blame my shortcomings on someone or something else. I’m responsible. I alone picked up that first pack of cigarettes, and I repeated the exercise until it morphed into a habit. But I have the good sense to know something so seemingly harmless but terribly horrible must end.
In the long run, the only person that was going to win in that fandango was Philip Morris USA, and coming to that realization is awesome.
So… I’m pretty much over it.
Shout outs this week go to those who helped to support me in kicking my habit!
First of all, a shout out to Brent Barrett, for saying, “You need to quit this week”, because the question that followed in my mind was, “Why not?”
Gail Miller and Juanita Nolan, for keeping me in their prayers. I need all the help I can get.
A shout out goes to Nikki Sumner, for being an administrator in my weaning process.
My blue-eyed main squeeze gets a shout out, for making me yummy vegan entrees for detoxing and healing.
Abigail Fisher gets a shout out this week, for surprising me with robots this week (necklace and a Christmas ornament!) and she needs to stop being a stranger (evidence being, I almost didn’t recognize her because she looks way older now, with shorter, blonder hair!). PS: Come back to East Manchester, soon!
Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 September 2011 12:46
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 12:22
In about a month, I will have to use every ounce of what little will power I have to force myself out of bed to go to work and school. I will blame sweet and cinnamon pumpkin body butter, Gone with the Wind on DVD, and my now constant state of fatigue.
Why move when you can lie in bed and daydream about upcoming holidays, like Halloween (I’m going to be a banana!) and Thanksgiving, where I exercise my turkey making abilities, and go into food comas? Or paint strange owls and keep a constant brew of hazel nut coffee going? I can do all these things and more, without the distraction of cable television.
Occasionally I miss not having cable television. Those occasions arise when I find out the Science Channel investigates zombie cucumber voodoo. If cable was made to order like pizza, I would order only HBO, National Geographic, Discovery, CNN, and other informational channels. Unfortunately, you have to subscribe to about a dozen other channels that are ironically named (MTV, which has no music) and hardly entertaining.
A shout out goes to my big brother, Matt Bowling, for bequeathing me his HP Touchpad, which is like an iPad, only $400 cheaper. While I’m a faithful subscriber to Mac and Mac products, I can’t argue with a $150 tablet.
John Hagen gets a shout out, because he’s the coolest 12-year-old kid ever.
A shout out goes to Melissa Warren, who is the classiest mail person I know (Sorry, Julius) and I wish her speed in mending!
Shout outs go to K.C. and Demita Jo Williams, for their superb food making skills, and for giving me more reasons to look forward to the Christmas season.
Moose Metcalf at the jail gets a shout out, as he, too, is on the mend.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 September 2011 12:23
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