Melissa Runs

Sometimes, Melissa runs her legs. Sometimes, she runs her mouth.

Month: December 2010 (page 1 of 3)

2010 Resolution round up.

Why yes Kids, I did set up resolutions for 2010 here

Actually, I forgot I had set up a separate resolutions list in addfition to the 101 in 1001 list so I didn’t pay attention to it. So yeah.

Let’s see how I did.

  • I will not kill any small children or animals in 2010 SCORE!
  • I will finish the Little Rock half marathon with a faster time than last year’s Little Rock Half Marathon. (This shouldn’t be too hard, I more or less cramped out about 2/3 of the way through. The time was 3 hours 26 minutes 20 seconds) The weather was crazy. I undertrained and went into the half marathon thinking that my goal was to finish. Well I did. Almost an hour slower
  • I will make Duck L’Orange from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1 NO
  • I will eat all the ice cream I want. (*wink* to LR tweetup)
  • Less whining and more productivity. This is the “If you’re not going to do something about it, then don’t bitch” which means if something makes me unhappy enough to bitch about it then I will find out what I can do to change it. This may end up being that I just need to lighten the hell up.
  • I will try to be healthier by keeping a food journal all year. I will attempt to use Weight Watchers point system and see if I can’t lose weight, too
  • I will start the 100 push up challenge
  • I will start the 200 sit up challenge
  • I will blog here at least once a week
  • I will see Fellini’s 8 1/2 Unless I see it within the next five hours. then no
  • I will attend my college reunion I did this! I did this!!!

D’oh.

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What about your friends?

December 16 – Friendship How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Author: Martha Mihalick)

This year I learned so many things about friendship. The biggest lesson I have learned is that there are no guarantees. Tomorrow is a new day and things can happen. Circumstances can change. People can move or die. Sometimes a person can just slowly become someone you don’t like or respect anymore and you have to make a decision whether or you want to continue that relationship. The lesson is that you have to appreciate the person while they are around and tell them how much you love them while they are around to hear and appreciate it.


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The 2010 highlights and lowlights

Yeah this is my round up of the best and worst of the year 2010. This is not an objective list. This is entirely my opinion and consists of the things I personally experienced which means there are movies that I have not seen and books that I have not read that probably would affect this list if I had seen or read them. Also, this means that some of these things were created in other years.

Favorite song of 2010

Fuck You by CEE LO GREEN

Come on. You know me. YOU KNOW ME. Left to my own devices, I’m a potty mouth and a half. It’s only respect for my elders and the desire to be professional that keeps me from cursing like a sailor all the damn time. So of course, this catchy doo woppy old school sounding song with the F-bomb in the title was DESTINED to be my favorite song. Add on top of that it’s dedicated to an ex who did the singer wrong and I’m on that song like white on rice.


Favorite book

I found the Swedish “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy all kinds of riveting. I read the first two in the span of three days. For favorite of the year, I am going to have to go with True Grit by Charles Portis. It’s written by an Arkansan and takes place in Arkansas. Besides that, it is written in a voice that is both smart and sassy. Mattie Ross is a 14 year old girl who goes to Fort Smith to avenge the murder of her father. She solicits the aide of the mean, drunk Rooster Cogburn. Hilarity ensues. There’s a certain witty repartee combined with religion that is so quintessentially Arkansas I had to chuckle in recognition.

People who don’t like Arkansas can go to the devil! — Mattie Ross

Indeed.

Favorite cultural trend

Using the internet for good. Earlier this year, there was a rash of suicides by gay teens who were bullied. This, of course, was very bad. Then some people got together and created the “It Gets Better” project. People from all walks of life made videos telling people to hold on and that no matter how shitty things seem right now, it does get better. Many of these videos had the person telling of a time where they felt down and depressed. Some relayed stories of the time they were so down they tried to kill themselves. It was touching.

My favorite though is the snarky calling out of Clint McCance, the Arkansan who wrote that he hoped gay kids kill themselves on his facebook page, by George Takei: “You are a douchebag”

A close second was the seven year old Katie, the girl who with the Star Wars water bottle, and the solidarity of girl geeks everywhere to tell her not to let those pesky boys bully her into putting down her bottle and that Star Wars does indeed rule.

Worst personal moment

This would be my friend Angela going into a coma and dying out of the blue last May. I didn’t even know she was that sick. She had MS but was more or less fine. Then BAM. The aftermath involving the crazy child custody brouhaha and whatnot was completely horrible and still hasn’t ended. Being a lawyer, I got put in the very uncomfortable position of explaining to folks that “no I can’t do anything about it. I’m a witness. The rules of professional responsibility means i can’t do lawyering on this case. I’m a witness.” Lord have mercy.

Of course, watching a trainwreck from a distance and knowing there is nothing you can do is always a lesson.

I still miss my friend. Sometimes I will see something on television or read about some local brouhaha in the newspaper and want to call her to discuss it.

Best Moment

Conan playing that guitar

The Conan O’Brien tour. Oh yes. This came about two weeks after my friend died so it was even more awesome.

Favorite movie

I didn’t see as many movies as I would have liked this year. Partially because most of the movies I want to see never make it to the local theater. I saw some pretty gosh darn good films. I’m going to pick The Social Network.

The Aaron Sorkin/David Fincher chatfest about the creation of Facebook managed to make computer programming and lawsuits interesting. Go figure. True Grit is a close second and I have not seen Black Swan yet.

Best Comeback

BETTY WHITE!

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Christmas roundup with the family traditions explained

Hello America. Why yes I am behind on my Holidailies posts. I was spending time with my 80 year old grandma at my 80 year old grandma’s house. She’s not tech savvy enough to have internet access and even if she did, it would be that god awful dial up that would take ten thousand years to upload any pictures anyway. And well, 80 year old grandmas are a higher priority than some random internet meme. So there you go.

The annual Melissa family Christmas celebration goes like this.

We go to my Mom’s Mom’s house. Mom’s Dad died back in the late 70s. We spend Thanksgiving with Dad’s family. This was decided way back before I was even born. It makes sense really. Mom is one of two siblings. Dad is one of six.

Now we go to my Mom’s Mom’s house and on the 24th we have a baked ham. We make sandwiches with the baked ham. The sides include the lettuce and tomato and what you would consider toppings for a sandwich. Also, there is pimento and cheese. I don’t know if “pimento and cheese” is a Southern thing but there you go.

Besides the meal itself, there is a cornucopia of snack foods: cookies, Chex Mix, the summer sausage/cheese/spicy mustard combo, pecan brittle, etc.

Now the 24th, the family would open the presents and clean up the area around the tree so that when Santa came, he would have room to set up the toys on Christmas day. THis meant when the kids woke up, the toys were already assembled under the tree and ready to go. Yeah it was fun times.

Also, back in the day, every other family on the street (well it was all cousins) would open their presents on Christmas day. This would leave a whole bunch of people bored. They would come down to grandma’s house and have a helluva time. Back in the day, there was also a lot of liquor around. As the cousins got older and became grandparents on their own, that tradition sort of stopped.

But to this very day, we open our presents on Christmas eve. I guess this is preparing me for the god awful visitation arrangement with my future ex-husband and our future kids who will be floating between the families. Nobody ever said I wasn’t prepared.

On Christmas day, we have turkey, dressing, and the other traditional “Christmas foods.” Grandma’s dressing is a cornbread based dressing and it ends up really thick with a consistency similar to bread pudding. It also has quite a bit of sage in it. We eat around lunch time. There you go.

My family quit trying to buy me things for Christmas years ago. Usually they ask for a “Christmas list” where I list things I would like and they pick from that list. But lately, they’ve even dropped that pretext and I usually get a bunch of cash. Of course, cash is impersonal and so I usually get something small and “thoughtful” to go along with my money.

One year, I got a Tickle me Big Bird. I was twenty seven years old. One year, my Aunt got footie pajamas. I’m not even going to say how old she was because she will find this web post, hunt me down, and kill me.

So this year, I got a lovely dark purple faux reptile (or maybe real who knows) handbag, (seriously it’s something I will actually use), a Timex Ironman watch, a bunch of cash, a snuggie, and a shake weight.

That’s right kids. A SNUGGIE

Me and my snuggy

and a SHAKE WEIGHT!

Shake Weight

As you can see, not only did I get a snuggie. I got the most whacked out designed by a six year old girl on acid Snuggie in the world. Seriously, what the hell? I asked my mother and she replied, “I wanted to make sure you didn’t lose it”

No siree. Homeless people would slap me if I attempted to give them that monstrosity.

As far as the shake weight is concerned, I almost bought my Aunt a shake weight. It’s like the smart ass version of the Gift of the Magi at our house.

My Dad got a pistol and some CDs. My Mom got some cooking items. My grandma got an air compressor. My Aunt got a car vac. Everybody got watches from my grandma. Apparently, she went to an outlet mall watch store and stocked up.

My brother spent Christmas at one the family home of one of his roommates.

I spent a couple of days after the holiday hanging out with my grandma, watching goofy television. We went out to eat and hung out like girls. She has some random pain in her hip and doesn’t like to drive after dark so when someone comes to visit, she is all about having someone take her somewhere.

About a year and a half ago, she started experiencing pain. It turned out she had a slight curve in her spine that went untreated as a kid. As a result, the disc between one of the greatest curves has pretty much eroded away. It puts pressure on a nerve that makes it feel like her hip is hurting. Somehow it goes back to her back. This is the first time that she’s really felt like she can’t do anything. She’s feeling her age and she really hates it. It gets her down. Two years ago, her BFF Bud died. He used to come over every morning and drink coffee at her house. Now she doesn’t get nearly as many visitors. As a result, I try to spend as much time as I can with her.

I did. It was nice.

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Totally awesome videos

This first video was created by Ben of Ben Does Life. He is from Arkansas and was overweight. He began running and managed to lose 120 pounds.

This is a guy who does Dexy’s Midnight Runners’s “Come on Eileen” with just violins.

I attempted to watch the Lunar eclipse but it was too cloudy in my town.

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Poor kitty

He got some sort of allergic reaction and bit the tip of his tail off. Well the skin off the tip of his tail. He was bleeding everywhere. IT was like a horror movie. He’s always been a little weird in that he would chase his tail and sometimes lightly bite it in a “I caught you” sort of way. This last week, however, he started growling at it and then he started biting it hard. Later, he came to sit in his usual place and his tail felt wet but I assumed he had knocked over the water bowl again. (he’s bad like that). Then when I went to the bathroom, it looked like I was at Carrie’s Prom.

It was scary! So much blood. Then I picked him up and looked at his tail and the tip was just blood. There was this little ball and then I watched as he BIT IT OFF!

Horror horror.

I took him to the vet and they said he had some allergic reaction. He got a shot and some antibiotics. If he keeps this up, they’re cutting his tail off.

I had never taken him outside so I was a little nervous about the whole thing. He cried and cried in his pet taxi as I carried him to the car. He cried a little bit more. He had pretty much calmed down by the time I got him to the vet. He didn’t hiss at the vet at all although it was very apparent he didn’t like getting his temperature taken. He meowed the most when they took him to another room without me to weigh him. He was all “meow meow meow” The vet nurse said my kitty had a nice talking voice and that he was the most talkative kitty she had ever seen.

Yeah he meows all the time. He recognizes his name and will usually meow in response to it if he’s not asleep or staring at a squirrel or another cat outside.

So he is better now and he is still snuggly wuggly. It may just be that he’s cold. He doesn’t really like his medicine but he doesn’t run away or try to beat me when I give him his drops. I found this new type of canned food that he adores. He eats it up so fast. It gives him the silent deadly farts from hades. ugh.

but my kitty is on his way to feeling better. (i hope. He really likes flailing his tail around).

5 minutes

Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. (Author: Patti Digh)

  1. My weekend in Tulsa visiting my friend Tiffany and seeing Conan O’Brien on tour
  2. Reading True Grit
  3. moments playing with my cat (shut up!)
  4. Going to Memphis in May and attending the NACDL spring meeting
  5. Tasting Gus’s World Famous Fried chicken. (if I had to tell Yankees what fried chicken is supposed to taste like, I would take them to Gus’s. Wow)
  6. My tour of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis at the old Lorraine Hotel building
  7. The BALSA spring gala
  8. Seeing the B-52s in concert
  9. My birthday dinner with my friend Angela. It was the last time I saw her alive.
  10. I would want to remember hearing about her dying because otherwise I would attempt to go to her house and be very unpleasantly surprised
  11. Angela’s funeral. LIke I said, I wouldn’t want to be so unpleasantly surprised in 2011
  12. Seeing The Social Network
  13. The first time I heard “FUCK YOU” by Cee LO. That song is AWESOME.
  14. The 5k in North Little Rock this year.


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Action

When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step?

(Author: Scott Belsky)

I am a list maker. I make tons of lists and have tons of goals. Many of them are listed somewhere or other on this page.

The next step for me is to always overcome self doubt and just do something. More precisely, the next step is to just make a step. Any journey begins with one step. Any task can be broken down into a sequence of simple mini tasks. The goal is to squelch the naysayers whether they be inside your head or out in the world and just make that step.


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Body Integration

December 12 – Body Integration

This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?

I have a confession. I don’t really have “Body integration.” You want me to prove it to you.

When I saw a picture of myself at the Women for Bloggers event, I screamed. I mean I knew I was overweight. I knew I was morbidly obese. I’m not proud of this and accept it as a flaw and am working to get healthier BUT I HAD NO IDEA THAT I LOOKED LIKE THAT!!!

It was disconcerting.

It was a wake up call.


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Arkansas Women Bloggers at Museum of Discovery

Saturday, the Arkansas Women Bloggers hosted a lunch/mini-conference at Arkansas’s Museum of Discovery in Little Rock. It was during lunch time and so we got some yummy light lunch goodies with Petit Jean Meats, fancy bread, and cupcakes. CUPCAKES.

Cupcakes make everybody happy.

So we ate and I got to see a lot of my LRTweetup friends like Amy, Kerri, Sarabeth… okay I’ll stop too many too mention but I saw a lot of people I knew.

Latonya gave a talk on finding your voice through your blog. Her advice is to be yourself and keep writing. She said that no one else can be you better than you and that imitating someone else will only make you second rate. I thought for a minute all this talk about being yourself was going to end up with a big group hug. She mentioned that with practice you’ll figure things out. Yeah she said you were going to suck (okay she didn’t actually use the word “suck” or maybe she did) but she said that they might not be that good until you get your groove.

About this time, the phone rang and Katie McManners just picked up that phone and hung it up again. OH YES SHE DID. She does work at the Museum but I did have a good old laugh at the girl just barely picking up the receiver and hanging it up. Then they called back. She picked up the phone again and said “we’re busy”

Don’t mess with Miss McManners. She will cut you!

Speaking of cuts, she has a sassy new short hairdo.

Then Kyran from Plainting Dandelions spoke about building an audience and stats. More specifically, the numbers don’t always measure success. She did confess that a lot of people are interested in stat numbers (i.e. how many people read your blog) but that there are different ways to value your blog. She did mention that she managed to get a gig at Good Housekeeping and her memoirs are being published in 2011 based on her blog even though she ONLY! was getting 50 hits a day. (only 50 hits… okay.. hmmm… wait). She did point out that not all the positives of blogging are monetary: enjoying the process itself is a positive and the friends you meet via blogging is a positive.

There were also door prizes. No I didn’t win one. But they were pretty cool prizes. Honestly, I wasn’t aware of door prizes until after the speakers started and so I didn’t check out the shelves of prizes. I do know that there was a big ole HAM over there.

I met new people. I reconnected with .. err “old” people. It was a lot of fun.

Then I went Christmas shopping in Little Rock.

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