Friday, October 30, 2009

when i feel sad i look at these: part one (pre-ceremony, mostly)

My niece, Carley, is an angel.

the dress.

I wish I could afford her every single day.

My toenails match my shoes.

loving the way i look...

Pre-ceremony fuel, with a straw, so not to muss my lipstick...

My pimp daddy. (That came out wrong. I meant, my dad looking pimp.)

'bout to get married on a rooftop overlooking the Ohio River...

My dad made the arch... how bad ass is that?

I mean, seriously... my dad is the ultimate craftsman.

I couldn't resist posting a photo of the bride and groom.

Mr. and Mrs. Amber Leigh Tidd Murphy

We look cooler than shit, son.

Since it's almost Halloween now, I give you: ghost bride.

I guess I should credit my photographer, Jackie Johnson, @ even thought she was a heinous bitch whore on my big day. 

Thursday, October 29, 2009

TMI Thursday: unsmooth moves or, he's just not that into you

TMI Thursday

I am now an oldmarriedlady, but I look back on my single days with rose-colored fondness. I have had a fair amount of success with the less-fair sex, but most of that success involved ego-boosting amounts of alcohol and the willingness to lower my standards.

However, like every woman, I've had my share of failures in the realm of "will you go out with me?" I thought for this TMI Thursday, I could revisit a few of those times when my pimp hand was not its strongest.

I bought a Geo Metro one summer after a deer killed my sporty Dodge Neon (RIP, Stella!) and the only reason I chose the Metro was because the salesman, Clayton, was super hot. I was working as an assistant manager at a movie theater in those days, and he wanted to know if I could hook him up with some free tickets. I decided to give him two rainchecks (i.e. free passes) and paper clipped them to a note that said, "These two tickets are good for one movie if you take me." I included my cell phone number.

He never called... and he used the passes.

I thought this server and I had a real connection, so I left my phone number in the little credit card book (along with a generous 25% tip!) and a note that said I would love to make him dinner for a change. I'm still waiting for the phone to ring.

My freshman year of college I attended a small school in Springfield, Missouri. There was some kind of Harvest Homecoming-type-event where the girls were supposed to ask the guys in a creative way. I decided to ask a guy who was in the cast of the fall production of The Misanthrope (or something. I might be remembering it wrong. It might have been the Spring Semester, and it could have been a different play. I'm probably blocking it out.) Anyway, after the production, there was a tradition of a question and answer session for the cast and crew. After several people asked thematic questions, I raised my hand and stood up. "My question is for Josh. I was wondering if you'd go to the Harvest Homecoming-type-event with me." He looked pale and pained. "Uh, sorry. I already have a date."

Undaunted, I decided to try again with an artsy-seeming guy, Darren, who lived in my dorm building. Every day for a week I would put an envelope into his mailbox containing a post-it note with a word or two on it: WILL/ YOU GO/ TO HARVEST... I think it was day four when another girl asked him on this dorm-wide-phone-call update-system-thing (like a mass voicemail or something: another slight blockage of the hazy memory) and he said yes to her. I think they ended up getting married to each other.

My parents attempted to set me up with my sister's former high school golf coach, and we all went on a double date together. (Yes, you read that right.) I thought that after dinner he and I might continue the date on our own, and hinted about being really excited to go play mini-golf or see a movie or something. As we walked out of the restaurant, there was only an akward, "Well, that was fun; we should get together again sometime." The best part is that he's married now, and not only did I get to be their waitress on more than one occasion a couple of years ago (she doesn't like tomatoes) but I just saw him last week in the bank where I work!

To these boys, all I have to say is: it's your loss. Clearly.

Check out LiLu's blog today for her version of Post Secret... and if you don't already know about, you are seriously missing out.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I did it! I wrote 1000 words today, give or take 139 words.

I also enlisted over at the new Writer's Digest Community, which I learned about from Lydia over at The Sharp Angle. In her post today, she wrote that "the site is being coined by some as the "facebook for writers."."

Um. Maybe they can teach me how to quote someone who has already quoted a quote.

You should check out the community (as well as Lydia's blog) and join the groups that suit your fancy. I joined The Writer's Edge as well as Fiction Writing.

And, I must say, I am quite proud that I got some writing completed before wondering about the website. Now, I am going to do just that! I hope it hasn't been a total snooze fest over here at musings of amber murphy this week. Please, keep coming back to my blog; I promise that my next post will include something that will make you pee your pants  (more professional blogging, amber, remember?!) witty.

In the meantime, answer me this: are you a part of any online writerly communities?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

la vie poeme

A little while back, I blogged about being published my alma mater's honors literary journal. I spotted my pieces yesterday when I google image searched myself, which I did because I'm so vain.

Enjoy! Critique! Compliment! (Especially, compliment.)

Monday, October 26, 2009


Tonight, someone I know is going to appear on Jeopardy! His name is Justin Gilbert, and he is the owner of Gelato Gilberto, a yummy shop near where I live in Louisville. It's situated in this little Truman-show type neighborhood called Norton Commons. Seriously. Click on the link for a little preview of Wisteria Lane-ish living. Some people I know are creeped out by it.

Anyway. That's Justin, on the left. His wife Kristen is on the right. I hope that they don't mind that I used their picture in my blog, but I figure that any press is good press, right? Plus, I got the picture from google images, which makes it fair game, does it not? Apparently it is a facebook photo. This made me realize I should probably google image (search) myself, and it was quite cool to see my pictures out there in cyberspace. Go ahead. Google-image me. (Be sure to type in "Amber Tidd Murphy" in the search box for better results. I'll wait.)

So, tune in tonight to see someone I know try their hand at a Ken Jennings. My DVR is set! Yours should be, too. Why wouldn't you be excited to watch someone I know compete on a game show? I certainly haven't been this excited since a girl I knew from high school appeared on VH1's The World Series of Pop Culture, even though she totally didn't know that the lyric "I resolve to call you up/ 1000 times a day/ and ask you if you'll marry me/ in some old fashioned way" was from the song Every Little Thing She Does is Magic by the Police, and I was forced to throw things at my television because of her lack of musical knowledge.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Happy 85th birthday (one day late) to my Mammaw, who is the most beautiful person on the earth. I hope I grow up to be half the woman you are. I love you for your strength, your wisdom, the way you laugh, and for unplugging appliances during thunderstorms. I love the way you pronounce Hawaii (Huh-why-yuh) and Hello (Mellow). I love your sense of humor and your generousity.I love you.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

(A Tame) TMI Thursday: I wish you would step back from that ledge, my friend

TMI Thursday


This really doens't fall into the realm of TMI, except it is one of the more adventurous irresponsible things I've done in my life. I probably really could have gotten hurt.

My freshman year of college, I attended an uber-conservative Christian college. I mean, we're talking chapel-every-day with seat checks, prayer in the classroom, preacher's kids get discounted tuition, and a no dancing rule kind of conversative.

Perhaps boredom drove the Christ-like coeds to carry on the tradition of the bridge jump. In all honesty, I really don't even know if it was a tradition or not. I think that's what the guys told us, but maybe they just said that to get us in the car.

My memories of the event are a little hazy - I couldn't tell you exactly how high up we were, or if we were preparing to jump into a river or a lake or a stream. As I recall it, this particular bridge wasn't the type of bridge that cars use to get from one land mass to another, because it seems we had to park and then walk up some stairs to get to it, but no matter. There was this bridge, a proper bridge, with metal bars and lots of water far below it. Our task was to jump off of it.

I watched a few other people do it first. The guys cannonballed in; the girls shrieked on the way down. After I watched half a dozen people emerge from the water, pumping their fists and reveling in the sheer awesomeness of it all, I knew I was going to do it: I was going to be a jumper. Just two more guys, and then my turn would come. The two dudes did their jump, and after the splash, one head surfaced. He cheered, "Man, that was killer!" and then, silence.

Where was his jumping partner? I remember people calling out for him, but I can't even remember his name. Several people in the group stood on the bridge in a circle, holding hands and praying, while the bravest in the group jumped in to try to find the missing member of our pack. Girls were crying. I'm sure Jesus wept.

"Oh, god. I think he must have hit his head on a rock or something!"

"We have to find him! We have to find him!"

I don't remember how long the charade went on. The guy had jumped... and swam under the bridge to the other side; it was only a pratical joke to scare everyone. He was alive. He was unscathed, unlike the rest of us.

When I finally got my turn at the ledge, I said a quick prayer to the gods-or-whoever that I wouldn't really hit my head on a rock, since someone had already cried wolf. I pictured myself down there bleeding to death, my lungs filling with water.

I took a deep breath. I stepped to the edge. I jumped. I soared.

I lived.

When I told my parents this story, my mother said, "You know, some parents try to instill lessons in their kids by saying, well, if they jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too? I guess I can't really use that one anymore."

i love the chance to win free stuff

Head over to Pink Julep like I did to find out more... or don't, because you will give me a better chance of winning.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

now you will know eleven more things about me than you did before you clicked here...

     I am still trying to find my place as a blogger. Since I am a bit of an attention whore, your comments - yes, yours, my loyal followers - are duly noted and filed in the happy part of my brain. I have gathered that a good many of you thirty peeps find me mildly amusing and that I often cause you to ROTFL or at least LOL a little. It's like you have a snap cup, and you're pulling out a tiny folded post-it note, clicking your thumb and middle finger together, and saying out loud, "Amber is funny! Snaps for Amber!"

     Well. It is a pleasure to entertain, and I thought that perhaps it was time for one of those entries where you get to know a little bit more about me. Completely unprovoked and not at all asked for, I will now brighten your day or night, depending on your time zone (or need to obsessively log in to your reader) with a few fun facts about ME. However, per yesterday's entry, I am writing it for your benefit.

1. I have never been in an airplane. I am terrified to fly. I guess this is somwhat limiting in the area of "writing what you know." Sigh. One day, I'll fly away. (leave all this to yesterday)

2. I attended three colleges in four years, and still graduated on time, summa cum laude. Buh-ya. It was just a BA in English, though, and they practically give those away, right?

3. I am not a particularly picky eater, but I won't drink milk, and prefer not to eat beets or cottage cheese or pudding or yogurt.

3. Really, I don't like eating with a spoon. I am not a big soup eater. I really only want to use a spoon for food choices that are completely liquid, like a brothy soup. If there's a solidity about it, get me a fork.

4. I have a tattoo on my right ankle. It's a butterfly. It had it's ten year birthday this year. It does not yet, as my dad insisted it someday would, look like a droopy moth.

4. I am a grammar junkie, but only when it comes to writing. In conversation, you'll catch me ending sentences with prepositions on the regular. (Well, I also just did it in that sentence, but being aware of it counts, if yaknowhatimsayin'.)

5. I don't like wearing jewelry. I know that diamonds are a girls best friend, but I seriously never wear anything except my wedding ring. The last time I wore a necklace was months ago - on my one year wedding aniversary, because it was the gift my husband bought for me. (When will he learn? I would have rather had the hundred dollars in the bank account!)

6. I gained and lost around 70 pounds after high school. Losing the weight is probably my proudest accomplishment, except I did it in a drunken-pukey-not-eating way. (For the record, I don't condone that tactic, and it wasn't a tactic, it was just what happened.)

7. I don't remember the last movie I saw in a theater. I used to work in a movie theater, and paying for a ticket really hurts my feelings. I was spoiled for so, so long.

8. I know every word to the Saved By The Bell graduation song. I prefer to sing the alto part.

9. Famous people I've met: Kirk Cameron's wife, Jerry Bruckheimer, all of Aerosmith, the Tom Cruise extended family - all while working at the aforementioned movie theater. Since then I've met (and interviwed!) singer Dar Williams, served dinner to famed University of Louisville basketball coach Denny Crum, and had a nice little chat with Lisa Lampanelli after seeing her do stand up.

10. On a related note, I wrote to Tiffani-Amber Thiessen for a sixth grade assignment about how one man's trash is another man's treasure, and she sent me back a hand-written note along with her gum wrapper. Yeah, I still have it.

11. I have no idea why I linked two Moulin Rouge songs to this entry. I do enjoy it, but it isn't my favorite movie. My favorite movie is The Bridges of Madison County. I sob everytime I watch it, and I've seen it at least ten times. I love that it still gets me. I could have a good cry just thinking about it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

my work in progress

"blank stares at... blank pages... no easy way to say this..."

I'm feeling all Sara Bareilles today.

Actually, I am settling in to write, as the hubster is out of the house for the evening and I am left to my own quiet and focused devices. This entry will serve as a little warm-up exercise.

My copy of Rolling Stone came in the mail a couple of days ago, and I spent a bit of time tonight on the toilet couch reading a few of the articles. This issue's bookshelf column featured a conversation with Nick Hornby. Jonathan Ringen wrapped it up by asking Hornby if he had any advice for "would-be novelists."

Here is Hornby's reply:

Anyone who says they're writing for themselves is full of shit. That's something that you hear writer's say a lot. I always wonder why their drafts happen to be 90,000 words long, because that's a really strange, random length for a book, but it happens to be the length of most books. You know what I mean? The act of writing a novel already knows and demands a readership. To forget about your readers is a mistake.

Well, that's my food for thought. As I inch further into my novel attempt, it is with a readership in mind, not just a selfish need to move a story from the depths of my insides, to categorize and box pain into chapters or supporting characters, nor to carve a wordy path to forgiveness. It isn't just for me. It's for you and you and you.

Monday, October 19, 2009

finding a focus

I've stumbled across quite a few blog entries in the past couple of days that speak of one's blog needing a focus. It has caused me to stop and wonder: is my blog too broad? I would love some feedback from my followers. Do you find me completely random? Do you think I have a voice? What would you like me to blog about?

In the interim, I shall entertain you with a random (of course, random!) moment from my weekend. While hanging out at a local pub called Flanagnan's on Saturday night, I went outside on the patio to smoke a cigarette, leaving my non-smoker friend inside the bar.  A man used the following line on me after striking up a conversation by dubbing me "lonely cigarette girl."

He said, "You're homely hot."
I said, "Pardon?"
He tried to defend his come-on. "You know, you're that type of girl who can just throw on a sweater, some jeans, and a cute pair of shoes, and still look smokin' hot."
His friend said, "Dude, I don't think you're going to get anywhere by comparing her to Laura Ingalls Wilder."

Wow. Is there are blog devoted to horrible pick-up lines? This one belongs there. I mean, the guy had super cute dimples but a less cute grasp of flattering adjectives... but I am an old married lady. I guess I have to take whatever flattery I can get.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

the winters of my discontent

I am aware that it is still autumn, but here in Louisville, Kentucky it feels more like winter than fall. The temperature hovered in the mid forties all of last week, and not a day was crisp or clean. The sky has been dull grey and misting rain at me.

I understand that I really have no right to complain, as many states are already seeing snow, frost, ice, and the like. Should we blame El Nino for their noreaster? I have no idea, but Good Morning America just said something about it.

Winter does not agree with me; cold does not agree with me. While there are certain things I love about the fall, like pretty red and yellow tree leaves swirling around in the air, I just can't bear knowing that winter is around the corner, like in-laws planning to visit and stay too long.

For me, winter is the ultimate dark night of the soul... I feel so cold I can't get my tootsies warm or my frozen brain to function (not great for the progess on my wip) and my heart just breaks a little as we inch toward snow tires, salted roads, school closings. I scowl at the hayrides, haunted houses and pumpkin patches. They are just a premble for what is to come. Halloween freaks me out -- this is a new thing -- and the reason will remain a mystery to you, my readers. At least for now.

What about you? When it's time, do you take joy in donning mittens and woolen coats, trudging in the snow in your boots? Do you love curling up and drinking cocoa by the fire while you watch a world of white from your window? Are the grey days and the cold wind a mere inconvenience or afterthought?

Don't fret for me, or call forth the seasonal depression doctors. I'll be fine by Thanksgiving, when I'll fall into a turkey coma and hibernate until it's time to wrap the Christmas presents. I'll make a reappearance for the yule tide, and then head back into my den until February is behind me, and winter turns on her heels and heads out of town, knowing that she will never best me, but promsing she'll be back to try again.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Popping my TMI Thursday Cherry

TMI Thursday

I'm off in an attempt to humilate myself because Livit,Luvit and company have inspired me.

I could choose to tell an array of embarrasing stories, as there are probably about a vault full of moments I will not live down. I have often been called an over-sharer, as I take pleasure in confessing when I've been bad. It's cathartic, right?!

I will do myself a favor, though, and give you TMI about an event without moral ambiguity or downright legality issues. This is, afterall, my first time. Be gentle, dear readers, be gentle.

So. A few years ago I attended a wedding in northern Ohio with two of my restaurant friends, straight girl (SG) and gay guy (GG).

SG drove, and we smoked cigarettes and sang showtunes the whole way. I don't recall if there was a traffic delay or if we took a wrong turn -- or if maybe it just took a bit longer to get there than we expected -- but we were running late. SG whipped her car into the lot and we raced toward the church in our dresses, as GG trailed behind in a lovely pink shirt and tie. We tugged on the entrance: locked. We tried another door, to no avail. Across the parking lot, we see a couple heading into the building on the other side of the cars, snuggling together under a huge umbrella and toting a wedding gift. Oh, so it's in that building.

We sprint to the correct location, sopping wet, and manage to get ourselves inside before the bride(B) walks down the aisle. She is, in fact, getting ready to walk down the aisle, as she and her father are standing at the double doors alone. She is bitching about the music ("They weren't supposed to play that for this long!!") when she spots us.

B: "What the fuck happened to you guys?"

We were sopping wet from rain, hair once perfectly coiffed now hung in watery strands around our faces. We decided that the whole event was very much like the movie The Sweetest Thing -- remember, when Christina Applegate and Cameron Diaz had a gas station restroom incident involving a glory hole? SG even got to utter "Hey, look, it's Jesus!" to a kid who wouldn't turn around during the ceremony.

I'm getting to the TMI part, I swear it! So, after the open bar reception (which also featured paying a dollar to dance with the bride or the groom and getting a shot of peach schnapps in return) we headed to a little dive bar with the bridal party. I was already so smashed at that point that I thought we took a cab there, but as it happened we were driven by the mother of the bride.

Here's where the TMI begins, and it involves SG (straight girl, remember?) and yours truly (also SG!) locking lips in front of pretty much the entire family of the wedding party after SG tripped on the dance floor, latched on to me to try to prevent falling, but only succeeding in taking me down with her. It all made sense at the time: SG, GG and I were trying to determine who between us was the best kisser. We ended up spending the night at mother of the bride's house with the entire wedding party. We hadn't planned to stay, but were invited. (Clearly. We were the life of the party!) It was within stumbling walking distance of the bar.

So. Flash forward to the next morning. I'm so hungover I can't even sit up on the car ride back to Louisville. I mean, SG and GG want to stop at McDonald's for Filet-O-Fish and I am curled up in the fetal position wishing for death, which seems the only sweet release from the pounding in my head. We drive and drive and drive and are almost back into Kentucky when it's time to stop for gas. I tell the pals I'm gonna head in and get a sprite and take a tinkle. I'm barely out of SG's Scion when it hits me. I am going to be sick. I am going to explode. From both ends. I can't decide which I want to do more: projectile vomit or projectile poop.

I get myself inside, and it isn't like we're at Thornton's or some high class gas station. This is a one rung above a rest stop type joint.

I make my way to the restroom, praying I make it. Thankfully, the ladies room is vacant... I push open the door and I can't believe my eyes. Two toilets, no stalls. Right there was my salvation. Down go the pants, and I get on toilet number one for sweet release and begin to heave chunks into toilet number two, simultaneously. I couldn't wait to get back to the car to tell my friends of my good fortune.

Both SG and GG are still in love with the story of the time Amber puked and pooped at the same moment, and no one had to call for clean up.

Check out more TMI stories here.

reunion recap

I realized today that I am out of sugar, as opposed to last week, when I was out of hazelnut creamer. Rather than run to my neighbor's house to request the cliched "borrowed cup," I decided to sweeten my caffeine dream with chocolate syrup.

Ohmygod yum. Starbucks, suck it. I don't need you anymore. You are now the old mop to my new Swiffer, and you can serenade me all night long, but it will be to no avail.

Anyhow. Onward with my chosen blog topic.

I blogged last week that I was going to attend my ten year high school reunion. The event took place at a fun little bar, which I have google-imaged for your viewing pleasure. You can't really tell by looking at the photo, but to the left of the building is a second floor, covered patio, and that is where green and blue balloons and a chalkboard sign beckoned the class of 1999. Once I made the painful trip up the concrete stairs, wearing very cute but ill-fitting high heels, I was greeted by a station which contained posters full of pictures from our senior yearbook... I really wish I'd just gone ahead and taken out my camera at that point, but hopefully one of my classmates will post pictures soon on facebook, at which point I will tag myself and insert them into this blog entry, for posterity and whatnot. There was also a nametag station, which I avoided like the plague. I figured that a) it would really not do anything for my outfit and b) it would be fun to see who remembered my name without the help of a sharpie and a sticker.

Our graduation video was playing on one of the little televisions matted above the bar. This was entertaining, as the video contains not only the graduation ceremony, but photos we submitted a decade ago -- of ourselves as toddlers, with each other at prom, senior portraits. It was hard to pay attention to the video for any length of time, but thinking about it really makes me want to dig it out of whatever memory box it's been in for the better part of the new millenium and to give it a watch sometime soon. It also served as a great reminder that I look a hell of a lot hotter now than I did back then.

I immediately got a beer and started fluttering back and forth between clusters of alum like a little social butterfly. After a dozen or so conversations that all followed the same pattern of "where are you now (in life?)" I wanted to grab that blank name tag and write, in all caps, MARRIED BANKER. NO KIDS. It was time for another beer.

After round two or three, it was time to break the seal. As I opened the restroom door, the back of a man greeted me. He was peeing. At a lone urinal. Which stood next to a stall.

The bathroom was all Ally McBeal: coed. I waited for my former school bus buddy to zip his fly before entering the restroom to take my first tinkle of the night. However, when I came out of the stall to wash my hands, another old classmate stood at the urinal. Which was right next to the sink. I weighed the options of not washing my hands against appearing and feeling disgusting, and moved over toward the soap. Then, there was this weird where to put my beer down moment. The ledge of the sink was uneven (I tried putting the beer there, clearly) and the only other option was the top of the urinal, right next to the flush. I sat my beer there and promised my pissing partner that my eyes were focused straight ahead.Ensuing trips to the restroom were less eventful, as the novelty wore off and the beers kicked in.

I didn't bring my husband with me, and some guy I didn't really remember from school asked me for my phone number at the end of the night. I guess he wasn't very astute, as I do wear a wedding ring. He probably didn't graduate with honors, right?! Ahh, but I was flattered. He didn't get my digits, but he made me feel warm and fuzzy. I almost forgot that my feet were literally numb from the high heel pain. When I was ready to call it a night, I decided that my ten year reunion was fun as hell. I'm looking forward to 2019. I wonder where I'll be in another decade...

That's me in the middle, flanked by two lovely girls I knew in high school!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

when tuesday feels like a monday, go home early!

Bank holidays, especially Monday bank holidays, make me so happy when it's Sunday night and I'm up late, or when it's noon on Monday and I am just getting out of bed.

But then there's Tuesday, also known as today.

I've had about zero down time today. No time to browse through blogs, eat lunch, update my checkbook register (and I'm in dire need of a "how much money do I really have in my account?" update) or even stop to take a piss.

What's a working girl to do? I could tell by around noon that it was going to be one of those days, so I decided that instead of working until six, I was heading out of the office at four.

Ahh... home now for a little uninterrupted me time, which I shall spend working on my WIP instead of balancing said checkbook, because after a day at the bank, who feels like looking at numbers? Not me!

Monday, October 12, 2009

the art of baby-making

Last month, I stopped taking my birth control pill. No, it wasn't because I've already started to design a nursery in my mind, plotting color schemes and stocking up on diapers and onesies and burp cloths. It isn't because I'm ready to get pregnant.

I am required to order my contraseptives in three month supply, and I ran out.

This has happened a few times before. Normally, my husband just grumbles a little and then makes a trip out for condoms. This time, he said, "I really don't feel like getting condoms. Wanna just see what happens?"

I concurred. It isn't because I'm ready to get pregnant. (I'm aware that I already said that.)

You see, I always wanted kids. I started babysitting when I was eleven, for a family that grew to four little girls. I wanted to have four little girls of my own, and wanted to name them Emma, Claire, Alexis, and Nora. I vaguely remember this dream. It was a dream shattered by adult life choices, the ones that resulted in a small mountain of credit card debt. I really don't understand how anyone affords children.

Money isn't my only fear about the idea of procreation. I'm generally pretty lazy and selfish and untidy. I smoke and drink and consume ungodly amounts of caffeine. I take a pill that helps me fall asleep at night. I don't think any of those things are kosher in the area of prenatal care.

Oh.My.God. I am terrified of becoming pregnant: of becoming a parent. I know they say that you're never really ready, and I usually live my life under the guise of "whatever is supposed to be will be." So, what will be?

I don't have a bun in the oven after month one of a pretty-regular-amount of unprotected sex with my husband.

In a few days, I could choose to begin month two of this madness, or I could go shopping for condoms. My palms are sweating as I write this. I wonder what my husband will say if I tell him I don't think I want kids after all. And, if I continue to let the little spermies swim around inside me and actually do get pregnant... I hope my kid never reads this blog entry.

Whoa. Heavy stuff for a Monday.

Friday, October 9, 2009

...reunited and it feels so good...

Tomorrow is my ten year high school reunion. I have mixed feelings about celebrating this completed decade of adulthood. My senior year was one of the greatest years of my life. No, I didn't party like it was 1999 (even though it was, in fact, 1999) but I did meet this intelectual, wonderful, thought-provoking, heart-piercing boy... and promptly made him my boyfriend. He was the slightest bit younger than me, so he is not a member of my graduating class. Sadly, thankfully, there is no need to obsess about running into said ex at the reunion.

As implied above, he isn't the man I ended up marrying. Le sigh. There is something to be said for first loves, whether it's "What was his name again?" or "My heart still skips around four beats when I think of him/ look at old pictures of us together/ stalk his facebook page." When I think back to high school, I will always think of him. I feel a little bit sad about the reunion. Wow. Ten years later and I am still heartbroken about the path I chose to walk down -- without him.


Moving on.

As I reunite with the class of '99 tomorrow, I will remember that I'm probably not the only one who isn't where she thought she'd be and I will try to find peace with being exactly where I am.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

warm fuzzies

Last Wednesday, Roni over at Fiction Groupie made my day by bestowing upon me the Heartfelt Award! Apparently, I write one of the blogs she has "recently discovered and enjoys." To quote the very witty JmDiazI'd like to thank the bloggcademy.

Do you reach for a cup of cocoa or tea when you're relaxing, seeking comfort, sharing a plate of cookies with family and friends? You know the feeling you get when you drink a yummy cup of cocoa, tea, or a hot toddy? That is what the Heartfelt Award is all about, feeling warm inside. Rules:Put the logo on your blog/post. Nominate up to to 9 blogs which make you feel comfy or warm inside. Be sure to link your nominees within your post. Let them know that they have been nominated by commenting on their blog. Remember to link to the person from whom you received your award.

So, I shall pass the e-torch to my fellow bloggers. Here are my nods to the blogs I stalk read on the regular:
Amber at  A Little Pink in the Cornfields is adorable... and her first name rocks.
Travener at The Big Litowski makes my heart pitter-patter. He is query-tastic!
What really attracted me to Diving into a Writer's Life is Deb's sincerity.
Davin and company over at The Literary Lab provide a great forum for writers of literary fiction.
Busy Bee Lauren's about me section simply says, "Just read my blog. Kthanxbye." I adore her!
A gal whose handle is Pink Flip Flops hosts a new bloggy book club at The Many Thoughts of a Reader.
Jayme at Kentucky Blonde is my favorite southern belle, even if she does occasionally wear Wildcat blue.
I doubt The Rejectionist really cares about this award, but I have to give a shout out in his direction.
Finally, JmDiaz at An Ulterior Motive has already received this award, but he's getting it again, even though I'm jealous of him because he has more followers than me.
What about you? Who writes your favorite blog? And, if I didn't include you on my list, are you mad at me?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Concrete Memories

Over the weekend, some outdoorsy men in orange vests repaved and restriped the bank parking lot.  When I got to work this morning, yellow caution tape sealed off both the entrance and exit to the bank lot, leaving it to resemble a crime scene. I secretly hoped that there had been a body found in the ATM lane or something, and that I might be able to go back home since I wasn't a witness. I think I've been watching too much Dexter lately. Alas, Thankfully, the only reason for the caution tape was the new Purdue-colored parking lot, which looks lovely but smells like burnt rubber . The odor reminds me of my childhood: I am riding with my grandfather through the twisting back roads of rural Indiana, headed back to Bloomington or maybe Bedford from Carmichael Cemetary, where my lineage lay. I need to tinkle and have no choice but to make in the cornfields. My Papaw pulls over. As I step out of the Cadillac, my mary janes go squish in the not-yet-hardened asphalt. Though my grandfather wipes at my feet with newspaper, the strong smell of tar fills the car and it seems to linger there the rest of his life. Funny how a smell can bring back such emotion, with a sense of nostaglia so strong it makes my eyes water today.

That cemetery, high up on a hill, overlooks the family farm where my own grandmother was raised. I feel compelled to go home and re-read Memories of a Midwestern Farm, written by my mother's cousin, Nancy Hutchens. (She's the daughter of my grandmother's brother, and pretty much my coolest relative.) Her cookbook/ memoir contains reflections of rural life: journal entries written by her great grandmother Tribby and Hutchens family recipes (my favorite: Get You a Husband Apple Pie) as well as a picture of my Mammaw (Pauline Hutchens Burch) right there, on page fourteen, a picture that I will treasure until the day I die.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Motivation Station

I consider myself pretty driven, career wise. I graduated college in four years despite transferring schools twice. I've moved up the bank-ladder to reach a management position in three short years. I certainly push myself to excel.

I am trying to understand my lack of motivation in nearly every other area of my life.

First, there are the friendships I have all but abandoned. Yes, I've gotten better about trying to have monthly get-togethers with my college/restaurant and highschool/girl groups of friends. However, I've always been more of a one-on-one type. There are two friends, in particular, who I haven't seen since January. I keep promising myself to remember they are only a phone call away. I need to recognize that being a little emotionally exhausted after work isn't an excuse to come home every night and plant myself on the couch, and that weekends were created for more than just football and loads of laundry.

Next, there's my house. There are piles that have sat untouched for a full year, piles of forgotten wedding planning paraphernalia and future goodwill donations. There's this layer of dust covering every inch of furniture and perpetual pet hair, now practically a second carpet layer just begging for a shampoo. Globs of toothpaste splatter decorate the bathroom mirror, and a weird pink fungus has made a "Signs" like appearnce around the inside of the bathtub. The kitchen linoleum needs to be replaced with tile. The laundry room may as well be used for a haunted house, what with all the cobwebs. That's just the inside of the house. Seven rooms, each begging for attention. Outside, the grass gets higher by the day; the gutters hang on by a thread. But, when I'm honest, I know couldn't care less about any of that. Still, I feel like I should care.

God, I miss living in an apartment.

Finally, there's my writing. When I let myself really focus in on my work in progress, hours pass. The issue is getting started. I open the document, read it, write a few useless sentences, delete them, check facebook, look at the manuscript, sigh, and close it. I look around for windex and furniture polish or call a friend to make plans for the next week -- anything to distract myself. I'm that desparate to avoid the writing.

I want to write. I want to write. I do have the motivation: there is a story to be told. It's a painful process, though, getting it out of me. I realize that it isn't motivation I need in this department. No, it isn't that at all.

It's courage. I need the courage to tell a sad, sad story.