Graduation Shenanigans

Hello! Long time, no post!

As some of you may know, I am graduating today after 4 long years of social hell (a completely different story than I will tell today). I have recently been swamped with tasks for my student teaching experience and graduation. Between having to make two different, giant portfolios for my student teaching class, plan lessons and other activities for my actual students, and get my life in order for graduation, I have been swamped. Unfortunately, between this and the general exhaustion I have experienced (thanks, life), I haven’t posted in almost a whole month. I think this is perhaps my worst dry spell for blogging, and after my relatively awful loyalty to the blog earlier this year, I’m pretty embarrassed.

Now that summer is rolling around, I look forward to having more time to dedicate to Mumbles from a Puffin. I can honestly say that without the regularity of posting here, my life has felt unanchored in so many ways. Well, enough about me. I want to take this opportunity to thank those who have helped me get to where I am today.


Mum and Pa

Almost everyone posts this kind of thanks. However, while the act of thanking my parents is not special, they most certainly are. They encouraged me to do well in everything. They have paid for my lifeguard certifications, activity fees, and food when my funds were insufficient. They ensured that I had a reliable (and adorable) car to get places. Mum has patched the shorts I have worn holes through seven times over, and Pa has given me money for gas. They have both encouraged and supported me, no matter how stressed and crotchety I have been.

 

Teachers

I had the unique experience of being able to student teach in the same school I went to high school at. This is the school that first made me want to become a teacher. My freshman year, I entered the school without having attended a traditional school since Pre-K. I was a nervous former-homeschool kid who knew nothing about how to sit in a class and take notes. All of my learning had happened straight from the book at my own pace. To say the least, I struggled for the first few weeks. However, my teachers were wonderful. They provided me with help and support, they listened when I had concerns, they challenged me, and they understood my struggles.

After my first few weeks, with Mrs. McCool, Ms. Clark, Ms. Johnson, Mr. Regut, and so many others taking the extra time to help me succeed, my grades flourished. Throughout my next four years there, I would gain an admiration for so many more teachers, Mr. Robilliard (my future student teaching mentor teacher), Mrs. Malley, Mrs. Foss, Mr. Barden, Mrs. Tran, Ms. E, Ms. Mac, and every other teacher I can’t hope to name here. They all inspired me and fueled my desire to teach.

 

Friends

This one could get quite long. I could thank every single one of my friends specifically, but I would have to dedicate an entire series of blogposts to that endeavor. Unfortunately, I will have to be picky as to fit this into a few paragraphs. There will also be pictures in this section, some of which you have definitely seen before.

First, Jake, my townie friend from college. Jake gets his own category for being the closest friend I made in all the four years I spent at college, and he didn’t even go there. He just lived locally. While I struggled to make close friends in my classes and work, Jake was some dude I met on a school trip he had somehow managed to weasel his way into. He just lived locally. Jake was there for all the laughs, but he was also my nearest friend when I found myself in an undesirable situation with an ex. Everyone needs a best friend like Jake to remind you that you’re human. Everyone also needs a friend like Jake to see every Star Wars premier with and pose for epic photos with your light sabers.

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Next, my best friends. These are the people who have kept me sane, been my voices of reason, and reminded me to laugh even when things are falling apart. Every monarch has a group of advisors to keep them from accidentally annihilating an entire village, and these people are mine. Thank you Billy, Shannon, Dan, Alex, and everyone else. There are papers that have been turned in because of your antics, decisions that have been made with your advice, and sanity intact because of your friendship.

Finally, the last two people I would like to thank are my soul sisters. These girls have transcended the title of “best friend” and become something so much more. Dawn and Judy have experienced everything with me, from my greatest joys to my hardest struggles. I can’t even think of where to start when talking about these ladies—there’s just too much I could say. Everyone needs someone like my girls in their lives. These people can be your backbone when you are a cowardly puddle. They can make you laugh even when you’re a complete wreck. They can understand your worst pain and remind you that you are not alone. They can get you through anything. I have no idea where I would be without these two (probably in a strait jacket). Dawn and I are actually both graduating today (her in NY, me in ME), so we just had to make matching caps for the occasion!


Well, I could go on for days about all the people I could thank for getting me here, but I will refrain. My normal (ish) blog posts will return next Saturday. I cannot wait to get back into the groove of things!

“Don’t take life too seriously, no one makes it out alive!” –Elbert Hubbard

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16 Things I Did and Learned in 2016

It seems strange to think that a year ago tomorrow I made my first post on this blog. According to my count, this is my 41st post, though I might be wrong. I tend to get sidetracked while counting. While I did not manage a post every week, I apparently only missed 11 (I think), so I’m going to call this New Year’s resolution a success!

This year has had all kinds of ups and downs, so I will be calling this post…

DRUM ROLL PLEASE


16 Things I Did and Learned in 2016!

  1. Travel every chance you get. I’m normally quite devoted to my own little patch of Maine life, and I hadn’t gone beyond Boston since I was 7. This year, I took a travel course to Newfoundland, which was filled with hiking, camping, and a ton of time spent looking at rocks. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I also ended up driving to New York with my friends, Billy and Judy (the cutest couple ever, I might add), to visit our friend, Dawn. This was my first ever time driving out of state (though oddly enough, I had driven in Canada during my travel course), and my first time traveling beyond Boston in 14 years. Bottom line: TRAVEL!
  2. Plants make you happy. Plants clean the air. Plants keep you responsible. Plants make it look like you have your life together. I have a ton of plants, and sometimes I can actually convince my friend’s and family that my life is in order. If you can’t keep plants alive, I suggest and aloe plant or a Christmas cactus. If even these seem too daunting, I recommend investing in a convincing fake plant. It’ll be our little secret.
  3. Don’t cling to a mistake, no matter how much effort you put into making it. I know this bit is a tad confusing, so let me fill you in. Back in September, I ended a relationship I had been in for over a year and a half. For some reason, I was blind to all the lies this individual had told me. My friends and family had warned me and pointed out the inconsistencies in his stories since we had first started dating, but I had turned a deaf ear. I just wanted to see the best in him, but eventually, the constant lying became so unbearable that I had to notice it. And it hurt more than I thought it could. This person, who I thought cared about me, couldn’t even bring himself to tell me the simple truth. So, I ended things. It was one of the most liberating experiences of my life, regardless of how hard it was to come to that conclusion. Now, I’m enjoying being myself and not having to worry about what is a lie and what is not. This is one mistake I’m glad to be rid of.
  4. Pay for the people behind you. My latest obsession is paying for the people behind me at toll booths along the Interstate. I don’t like paying for people behind me at drive-throughs only because I try to be careful with money, and you never know when the person behind you ordered $20 worth of burritos. Find some kind of act of kindness that works for you and make it a habit. It will make you feel like a good person.
  5. Try a new workout. My first big activity this year was Skype workouts with my lady friends. Judy, the tiny fitness guru that she is, decided to convince the lot of us to try some Tone It Up workouts. Since none of us really lived close to the others at the time (spring semester), and none of us had any motivation, we decided to work out via skype. It was a blast. Unfortunately, we stopped after I left for Newfoundland. We are planning on picking it back up again next year though! I also picked up racquetball for a while. I loved it. Unfortunately, the people I play with have rearranged their priorities and no longer want to play against me (looking at you, Pa, Sam, and Alex). Another new activity for me was longboarding. I had learned a little about it from an ex who owned a long board way back when, but I hadn’t had one of my own to practice with until this year. I quickly learned to skate back and forth to class and school as well as all over the local fair grounds and even a biking/walking trail in town. Next challenge: learn to stop effectively and maybe survive a big hill without getting pebbled lodged grotesquely far under the skin of my palm…
  6. No matter how hopeless things get, just keep on trucking it; kind of like a tank. This is my senior year of college. All I have left between me and my degree is one semester of student teaching. There were a lot of times when I didn’t think I could make it through this degree for a variety of reasons (stress, less-than-enjoyable professors, life problems, etc.), but I just kept moving forward no matter how hopeless it seemed. my theme song for times like these has become “If You’re Going through Hell” by Rodney Atkins, specifically for the lyrics “If you’re going through Hell / Keep on going, don’t slow down / If you’re scared, don’t show it. / You might get out before the evil even knows you’re there.” Just remember to keep on going.
  7. Brag. Yeah, we all know that one person on Facebook who only ever talks about their accomplishments, but bragging about the good things in your life or the challenges you have overcome allows you to express the joy that comes with accomplishments, By expressing it, you are validating yourself, and that is important. Just don’t be a jerk about it. Don’t rub your accomplishments in the faces of those less fortunate than you. Don’t go commenting on other people’s posts about how hard/great life is (looking at you, moms who say things like “just wait ‘til you have kids…” on other peoples’ posts). Don’t turn success into a competition, and don’t undermine the accomplishments of others. Celebrate together!
  8. Keep a blog. Starting and maintaining this blog has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. So just do it. Make it about anything. Tell me about it so I can go read it. Do it now.
  9. Spoil yourself. This one is pretty self-explanatory. Take some time to soak in a hot bath. Buy yourself and ice cream cone. Take a day off and just watch Netflix. Take a drive to some place you haven’t been to yet. Do something that is just for you. It will help you remember that, when it seems like the world is out to get you, you can always count on yourself.
  10. Spoil those you love. This one is easy, too. Do something nice for the people you care about most every now and then. Take them out to eat or to see a movie. Send a letter or even a heart-felt Facebook message. Put some extra thought into their birthday present or make them something unique. Do something nice for the people you love. You never know when they will need a reminder of how much you care.
  11. Pick up a new hobby. This year, I learned to play Magic the Gathering, Alex (yet another of my closest friends) decided that he was going to teach me to play, and so I learned. It is a card game that requires a distinct amount of cognitive activities. First, there is the order of actions you have to do during your turn. Then there is how to play each card and whether or not that card is actually useful in your situation. You also have to consider the way the cards in your deck interact with one another. You can’t forget to pay attention to how your cards interact with the cards your opponent has played (can I kill them? can they stop me from killing them? wha…). Finally, you have to be aware of the gloating grin that forms when the other player is about to annihilate you. Confused? Me too.
  12. Take pictures with your friends. This isn’t really something I’ve learned or done this year. It’s more of a massive hint to my friends to let me shove them inside the photo booths at the mall because I want more pictures of us being silly together and the photo strips you get from the booths are so much cuter than a selfie on Facebook. Everyone who has gone to a mall with me and not taken pictures in a photo booth with me really needs to. Or else.
  13. Start a book club. I apparently did this on accident by bringing an old series of books (memoirs, really) into my house. My father got his hands on them, and now my entire road is trying to borrow them. I recently started reading the first one. I recommend them, assuming you can get your hands on a copy. The series is “At the Old Farm” by C. A. Stevens. It chronicles the many adventures of a group of cousins who all ended up living on their grandfather’s farm in Saco, Maine. The first book, when Life was Young, was published in 1912, but the events all took place much earlier than that. Find a book that the people around you can all enjoy (family, neighbors, friends, etc.), and start a book club.
  14. Love and be loyal. This year has brought some challenges for me and my closest friends. Between stressors in our personal lives and conflicts that have occurred between us, my friendships have seemed a little rocky at times. However, we never let that break us apart. I won’t go into details since that is none of your business, but I will say this: don’t give up on those who haven’t given up on you. When someone had proven that they would have your back even when your world is falling apart, you have to learn to get past whatever challenges your friendship. When a friend (or family member) has shown that they are in it for the long haul, it is up to both of you to get past it. You could spend a lifetime regretting losing one of the best people you have ever known, or you can spend a day or two resenting some disagreement you had or a mistake they made. Get over it because you may never find another person who will have your back the way they did.
  15. Don’t write a post with a preset number of comments. Seriously. This is so hard. I always just pick the number after I have done the writing. This “16 Things” crap is not worth it. The things I do for you readers! ;P
  16. Be kind. Avoid being rude to people (yes, even the server who forgot to bring you extra mustard). You don’t have to say the mean things that you want to (unless they really deserve it). Remember, you can be a sassy person without letting your words destroy others. Hold doors, give compliments, and smile when someone does something kind for you.

Well, that’s all for this year, folks! I hope you enjoyed the mumbles from this puffin (why yes, I did just reference my blog title), and please feel free to join me for more random and hopefully-entertaining posts in the coming year!

Here’s some Mariah Carey to jazz up your New Years!

I hope your 2017 is just as fabulous as you are!

 

Christmas Traditions

Hello everyone!

This is my second-to-last post of 2016! Things have been crazy in my house as we prep for Christmas, the holiday of choice for my family. The only reason I have the chance to write this blog post is because I have locked myself in a room and conveniently been forgotten about by my family… for now.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite Christmas traditions!

1. Decorating. In my family, I am the only one who really feels any joy in decorating for the holidays. Because of this, it is my job to hang over 90 feet of icicle lights along the roof, set up the outdoor ornaments, set up and decorate the tree, handle any decoration requests from my family, and perform any necessary repairs on the decorations. Notable decorating adventures this year included: climbing on the roof to hang large Christmas balls and lights for the first time instead of moving a ladder along the side of the house (so much easier); completely dissecting and rewiring the outdoor angel pig my family is in love with (it was like an elaborate organ transplant and took about as long); and almost having a totally normal Christmas tree.

15609193_1387348377955892_1290297463_o2. The Abnormal Christmas Tree. Because I am the primary decorator in my household, I sometimes experience a degree of spite when it comes to my decorating duties. This is especially pertinent to the Christmas tree. This, combined with the vortex of twisted creativity that swirls through my mind, results in some… nontraditional presentations of the yearly tree. Please note that we are not allowed to have anything other than a tree cut from the woods behind out home for Christmas. This year, we were actually going to have a normal tree. With no strange or spiteful twists. My father decided to help me cut down a very large tree to harvest the bushy top for our Christmas tree. All was going according to plan until the top of that tree collided with a tiny cluster of saplings in the large clear area we chose to drop the tree into. The back side of my tree has been shaved.

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This is the front of the tree…

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And this is the view from the side. You can see that all the lower branches along the back have been sheered off…

3. Holiday Garments. I have had the same Santa hat for as long as I can remember. I stuffed a jingle bell into the tip of it when I was very young. Ever since then, I have only added to my Christmas costume. It now consists of a festive sweater, holiday-pattern leggings, and more jingle bells than any sane person should wear at one time. The other notable holiday accessory is my father’s singing and dancing hat. We found out early this morning that his old hat—a Santa hat with antlers that would ounce up and down while blaring “Grandma got Run Over by a Reindeer”—was no longer capable of movement. Thankfully, my mother managed to find a candy cane-striped elf hat that flings its tip around while blaring “Peppermint Twist.” While it is not the same, it will suffice in the absence of the reindeer hat.

4. Family Christmas Party. Like any other family, we have a family Christmas party where my aunts, uncles, and a selection of cousins and family friends gather for food and general merriment. There is usually a game to be played, and this year, my mother and I have planned it. As I am posting this before the Christmas party, and I have family who read my blog (thank goodness for those tolerant souls), I will not disclose the nature of the game. However, I will try to leave a comment explaining it after the festivities has passed. I simply cannot wait to have my loved ones here! And to stuff my face…

5. Friendsmas. Basically the same as any other Christmas party, but open to my squad and our friends. This year, we are inviting more people than last year, and having tacos! I have also taken the liberty of procuring a fun holiday game for my friends to play. Again, it is a surprise, so I will try to post what it was in the comments after Christmas.

6. Christmas at Midnight (or Whenever). My all-time favorite Christmas tradition also happens to be the one that has been around the longest. Ever since I could remember, my family has celebrated Christmas at Midnight (or Whenever). The only rules are that we have to be asleep until 12:01 Christmas morning and that we can have no alarms set. This means that whenever we wake up Christmas morning, we get to dive head first into our stockings and start tearing open whatever gifts we have received. Yes, my family is really just made up of a bunch of over-grown children, wince my younger brother is 19 this year… Regardless, it is an amazing experience. My favorite thing about this event is that we are not told to “go back to bed.” The excitement of waking up Christmas morning is never put off and dulled by waiting until 7am. We are allowed to feel that innocent and childish glee as soon as we open our eyes. And that glee is felt by everyone. My 19 year old bother, 21 year old me, our parents, and even my aunt who usually drives over as soon as we call her Christmas morning. The magic of Christmas lives in my family because we all feel that same joy at the same time. I recommend you try it.


Well, those are a few of my favorite Christmas traditions. Sorry for not having anything fresh and creative for you to read, but I am just too excited about having my family and friends together to focus on anything besides the good feelings that fly around during the holiday season!

I will attempt to have a regular, less holiday-ish post either nest Saturday or the first Saturday of the New Year.

So, wherever you and whatever you celebrate this time of year, I hope you feel this holiday magic just as strongly as I do!

Slytherin for the Win: 3 Examples of Positive Representation of the Slytherin House in “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

***SPOILER ALERT FOR Harry Potter and the Cursed Child***

Harry Potter, the boy who lived, is a name as commonly known as the president of the United States, especially for my generation. We grew up eagerly awaiting the release of the books and movies that would bring us further into J. K. Rowling’s magical world. There are more young people who know their Hogwarts house (as assigned by Pottermore) than those who do not.

As I mentioned in one of my earliest blog posts, I am a proud member of Slytherin. This house has had a negative representation during most of the Harry Potter series, largely due to the majority of Death Eaters coming from its ranks, including Lucius Malfoy, Bellatrix Lestrange, Severus Snape, and Dolores Umbridge (the mother of all evil, in my opinion). Tom Riddle, Voldemort himself, was also from this house. Slytherins are often viewed as being wrongly selfish, stuck-up, and just plain evil. Despite the negative assumptions many make about the house, the traits used to describe it on Pottermore are “cunning, ambitious, resourceful, shrewd, and determined.”

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There are many great characters emerged from Slytherin as well. Merlin himself was a Slytherin, as well as Regulus Black (here’s why), and even Severus Snape ended up being good despite his twisted way of dealing with Harry. With the most recent addition to the story, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Scorpius Malfoy and Albus Potter join the ranks of not-evil Slytherin wizards.

I’ve been listing a bunch of facts that many Potterheads already know, so I’ll get down to business. This is also where the spoilers start showing up. The representation in of Slytherin in The Cursed Child has changed drastically from the representation this house had in main Harry Potter series.

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1. Albus and Scorpius are Slytherins. This might not have been a big deal, but these are the two main characters of the story. Giving most of the attention to Slytherins instead of anther house elevates the importance of the deeds that these young wizards accomplish and gives them more leverage in changing the perception many fans have of this house.

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2. Slytherin traits are embodied positively. Yes, Albus drags Scorpius along in a line of deeds that almost destroys the semi-peaceful world their predecessors fought so aggressively to create. Yes, they do end up making the same mistake twice. However, they are just children, and they learn. They have a noble ambition: bringing Cedric Diggory back from an early death. Their plan can be described as shrewd. Their cunning nature helps them obtain the Time-Turner that they believe will help them achieve their means. Once learning from their mistakes, Scorpius and Albus are determined to right them, no matter how arduous the task is. They both show their resourcefulness when devising the plan to use the blanket Harry was wrapped in the night his parents were killed to get a message to their families in the future.

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3. Harry starts getting over his issues with Draco and Slytherin. Okay, this is not explicitly said but Harry and Draco do have a reasonable heart-to-heart about being fathers and their families in the second half of Act Four, Scene Four. They work together during the climax of the action in Godric’s Hollow to defeat Delphi and save the world they both have come to know and love. While Harry and Draco may never be actual ‘friends,’ they did learn to overlook the rivalry between their houses and themselves. This could be the beginning of Harry’s true acceptance of the Slytherin house after years of prejudice.

These are just a few examples of the positive representation of Slytherin in Rowling’s latest book, and there are many more hidden within the text. If you have any others that you noticed, please let me know in the comments!

I’ll sign off for today by sharing some of my Slytherin pride!

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Slytherin. You’ll make your real friends. Those cunning folks use any means to achieve their ends.

10 Things You Might Not Know About Me

I was at a loss of what to write about for today’s post, so I hit up Pinterest (find me here) and searched for some blog ideas. The one idea that was in every collection of prompts I looked up was a list of random facts. Variations of “ten facts about you,” “25 things your reader’s probably didn’t know about you,” and “17 random facts about everyone’s favorite blogger (you!)” screamed up at me from several different pages. Because of the perseverance of this theme, I have decided to make my own facts-about-me post.


  1. I can talk to birds. 13210927_1189970421027023_269507740_o                   Okay, not all birds, and not very fluently, but I have spent most of my life around domesticated poultry (chickens, turkeys, ducks, etc.) that I have developed the ability to understand their different noises and body language, and even mimic noises that they understand and respond to. I work at a poultry barn during a local fair where I clean the show cages the birds stay in out. While doing so, I can predict which birds are going to try to jump out while I clean and even how they plan to escape. This skill has resulted in a couple of ninja-like saves where I have safely snatched a bird out of midair with one hand without faltering in my cleaning. I can also hypnotize any bird, from an angry goose to a broody hen. Speaking the vocal language of birds is not that much different. I can get the attention of young birds by making “mommy” noises and any other bird by telling them I found food. I can even tell you whether or not a pigeon is angry or just interested in doing the nasty with his lady friend. The most recent and tragic example of this happened this past week when I got home and heard my family of turkey’s making a different noise than usual. They were making a kind of confused and scared clucking sound, which I knew could only mean one thing: One of them was dead. Upon approaching their run, I found that my fears were correct when I saw one of their little poults, Christmas (names for the dinner I planned to eat him for), was lying motionless on the ground. This leaves me with Paul and Sarah (my breeders) and their remaining poult, Thanksgiving. They have made a full recovery from the traumatic experience and are back to making their happy food noises.
  2. I’m going to be a mermaid someday. mehganthemermaidWhen I was little, I loved Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid, just as most little girls do. I loved the water and the beach, and bring a mermaid was always a dream of mine. Now, with the monofin and swimmable mermaid tail craze growing every day, I am determined to be a real life mermaid. I just need to save hefty sum to get the silicone tail of my dreams first. If all goes well, this time next year I will be posting pictures of mermaid me for all my readers to see!
  3. I am an avid Pokemon trainer. 575593_1Thank you, Pokemon Go! Another childhood dream of mine has become a reality. As many of you know, this app is designed to get people out and about, which works great for me. I am Team Instinct, if you care to know. This morning, I downloaded an app to use alongside Pokemon Go! during my Pokehunt walks. It is called Charity Miles, and it allows you to earn money for a charity of your choice while you walk! Now, I can live two dreams: being a trainer and helping people in need!
  4. I have a decent array of survival skills to aid me in the inevitable apocalypse.hqdefault                              When I was younger, I spent several weekends at survival camps. Between those camps, my former Special Forces father, and my extensive research of survival skills, I am confident in my ability to survive in the wilderness. I can start a fire with nothing more than a couple of sticks, build a shelter from snow that is so warm you will actually have to take off layers, use a map and compass, locate food sources, and purify water. When the apocalypse comes, or I end up stranded somewhere, I will be ready. I have had several people say that they never would have taken me for the type to know the stuff I do, probably because I wear a lot of jewelry and drive a toaster car. In reality, I am so ready to live in the woods or on a deserted island.
  5. I am insanely crafty. 1614612_362714020574710_2140479506134183897_oI love making things, and though my usual two activities are crocheting and paper quilling, I love dabbling in everything. I often tell people that “if I can look it up on Pinterest, I can make it,” a statement which usually holds true. Besides my usual styles, I am a decent sewer and jewel, a whiz with anything that needs a hot glue gun, and I even have a decent hand when it comes to clay. My current project, a set of princess dresses, should be finished by next Saturday, so I might make a post about those! You can find my never-updated craft page at https://www.facebook.com/katscreationsquilledgifts.
  6. I breed and raise bugs. MargaeryJust Dubia roaches (cousins of the cockroach) and red runners (speedy, beetle-like things). I don’t keep them as pets, but rather as a food source for my four leopard geckos. They aren’t anywhere as gross as you might think, but cleaning them is a bit of a chose since they like to crawl everywhere.
  7. My alias for everything is LoveTheBirdGirl.    black-white-social-media                                                                              Well, now you know. Go ahead and find me on every social media outlet (accept for Facebook). Your life just got more awesome. You’re welcome.
  8. When pop-culture and fandoms are concerned, I am… slytherin                                                                                                A Slytherin, a Horned Serpent, a member of Team Instinct, a Scorpio, a Boar, and a water bender, a Whovian, Sherlocked, and a member of the Fairytail guild. There are many more fandom and pop-culture alignments that I have, but I would really like to get to a Pokemon Go! meet up and need to wrap this post up. Feel free to ask if you have any questions about these aliignments!
  9. I haven’t worn make-up since Christmas, 2015. 13241678_1189970711026994_1021253825_oWell, unless you count the make-up I wore as part of my costume for my campus’s showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I just don’t like taking the time to put it one. Besides, who do I have to impress by feeling like my face is extra heavy and not being able to scratch and itch on my eyelid without smearing everything around?
  10. I consider loyalty, honesty, and creativity to be the most important traits I look for in a person.                                         93                                                                Regardless of whether you are a friend, a significant other, or a family member, I will be looking for these traits. If you have all three of these, there is a very good chance that we will get along just fine!

That’s all for now, folks! Please comment if you feel so inclined to do so!

The Mantras of My Life

**Sorry this is getting posted late. I apparently never actually hit the publish button last night. You didn’t miss much, as this was a short piece anyway.**

Today, I have decided to make a list of my personal mantras that get me through each day as I deal with the stress of just being a human. So here goes!

  1. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. This classic saying always reminds me to try to find the good within the bad. I also really love lemonade and all other things lemony.
  2. Life sucks and then you die, so make the most of what you’ve got. Because I feel the need to protect my bitter reputation, I rarely say the second part of that sentence aloud, but I always have it ringing in the back of my mind. I think of this when life gets me wicked down because it reminds me that yeah, there’s a lot of bad in life, but you can always make something great out of the scraps from the bad. You just have to have a hefty dose of determination with a substantial helping of creativity.
  3. Step away until you can say, “It’ll be okay.” I love how this rhymes! I blame my father for the obnoxious appreciation of rhymes that led to the creation of this mantra (he doesn’t consider poetry to be poetry unless it rhymes). Anyway, my version of “stepping away” usually means going to work where I either get to jam to my favorite music while watching patrons in a pool, talk with some of my favorite dry-land patrons while I clean the gym equipment, or teach adorable little spawnlings how to swim (they give me small human hugs, too!). After a shift at my home-away-from home (aka, the fitness center), I am usually ready to deal with whatever has been bothering me.
  4. Burn the bad. This is a more recent addition to my collection of mantras. Since I started college, I’ve had to learn to let go of a lot of the things that kept me from thriving. These have included inhibitions, people, and many of the craps I give about what people think. ‘Burning’ all this negative stuff has paid off. I am much more satisfied with who I am today than I was when I first started college. Also, if you are one of the people reading this who has not been ‘burned,’ thanks for not making yourself into an ugly piece of firewood just begging to be lit up.

Please note that I am not actually burning people or things; this is a metaphor.

  1. Everything happens for a reason. This mantra is especially important to me because I believe that everything that has happened to me in my 20 years of life has made me who I am today. Everything from the heartbreaking bad to the I’m-so-happy-I-could-fly good has contributed to the person writing this post. Even if I don’t know why it happened, I would never risk changing it. What if I became a terrible person or lost any of my endearing qualities, such as my sarcasm? It would be horrible.
  2. Be the person you wish you knew. I always try to be the person I wish I knew growing up or that I had as a friend (not that I would ever change any of my friends. Seriously guys please don’t hate me). I want to be the kind of person who cares about the world and nature and people who need someone to care about them. I want to be the person who is a great role model for little kids and who makes people smile when they need it the most.
  3. Live your life with mistakes, and you will have no regrets. This final mantra is most important to me because it embodies the way I want to live my life. The feeling of regret is honestly my least favorite. I would have made a million mistakes than have a single regret. Why? Because mistakes mean that I tried, while regrets mean I did not. I know that’s not the textbook definition, but it is my definition, and that’s what’s important.

Well, times to head off to bed. I hope you enjoyed these mantras, and feel free to let me know about your personal mottos in the comments!

“Patience is a Virtue”

“Patience is a virtue.” These four words are said all the time. I even find myself using them an annoying amount of times.

But what exactly is patience? I know people who can sit for hours waiting for a deer to walk in front of their scope but cannot handle a room of excited children, and I know people who are just the opposite. In light of Easter and all the goodwill fostered by the holiday (even for those who do not have religious ties, I might add), I will be talking about how I divide the different types of patience.

Apocalyptic Patience

This is the type of patience practiced by first grade teachers and security at overloaded concerts. When you can handle massive quantities of people, whether children or adults, acting irrationally insane, you are a master of annoyance patience. This type of patience features individuals who can put up with excruciating amounts of noise, chaos, and general insanity without snapping and either swearing at a child or quitting your job. All of you bouncers, teachers, day care providers, and fair employees are awesome. You are the people who can prevail while your immediate world is literally exploding.

Idiocractic Patience

This type of patience can be seen in the people who deal with the most ignorant and frustrating people out there, especially online. Some people either will not or cannot admit when they are wrong about something. The individuals with idiocratic patience are the once who gently and maturely attempt to educate these people, despite their incapabilities. When someone is telling a ‘fact’ that is incredibly flawed, and you attempt to show them the truth without getting angry or calling them stupid, that takes a level of patience many do not have. A certain amount of human decency and respect must color the kind of person who can avoid being upset while correcting another human. People with this type of patience are blessings on this earth, and should be treated as such.

Assassin Patience

This is the patience of trained killers. It is possessed by snipers, spies, hunters, assassins, and the lifeguards. Okay, so lifeguards are not actually trained killers; they’re trained savers. But the patience is the same. You see, this type of patience is characterized by doing nothing for a long period of time because you are waiting for something to happen. That something could be someone flailing desperately in the water or the level of access you have been waiting years to access finally appears and you can end that one evil person’s reign of terror. Either way, you’re doing a lot of seemingly meaningless nothings to achieve that one big something. If you have this patience, you could be a totally kick-butt assassin and should feel very special.

Note: I realize that there are a dozen of examples that do not result in death, but I am feeling particularly gory while typing this. I’m not actually totally evil, I promise.

Zen Patience

This is the kind of patience seen by those who believe that good things come with time. These people meditate instead of freaking out because their paycheck is one day late. These people are content that everything they need in life will be accessible to them when they need it. These are the people who don’t try to rush through the less-pleasurable aspects of their existence because they can wait for the better times to come while appreciating what they have in the present. I find these people the most admirable because they are so comfortable with their humanity. They are cool as a cucumber floating on wild oceans of life, and I think that is a really important trait to have.

On a lower level, this is also the patience of those children who wait patiently for Easter morning when the Easter Bunny will bring them brightly colored eggs, candy, and other goodies to find and consume. Please note that these are not the children who sit there complaining constantly.

 

I like to think I have a healthy balance of all four of these patiences, but I am sure that is not true.

What kind of patience do you feel is most applicable to your personality? Do you simple have no patience at all? Let me know in the comments!