Melissa Runs

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

Month: December 2010 (page 2 of 3)

No more

December 11 – 11 Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)

  1. Boiled okra Boiled okra is nasty. It’s a big bowl of slimy with green things floating in it. You know what else is slimy with green things floating in it. SNOT! BOOGERS. The crap from your nose when you have a cold. That’s right, folks. Boiled okra looks like giant boogers. I’m not having any of that! yech.
  2. Toxic people You know what I mean. Yes, I would like less of those please.
  3. Unreasonable fear Okay, now if I’m camping and a bear rips up my tent as I’m sleeping in it, then I will be so scared that I will poop on myself and rightly so. Now things such as fearing of looking stupid are not quite as valid and certainly should not deter anyone from doing something.
  4. Jeggings. ugh. Seriously, look at them. LOOK AT THEM. I lived through the 80s and it wasn’t all that.
  5. Sloth. I will exercise more. After my friend died, I went into this funk where I sat on the couch and watched trashy TV. I managed to neglect anything not completely necessary and well some of that too. My bathroom got to scary level of nasty.
  6. Clutter It is time to clean out the closet. OH yes it is.
  7. Jersey Shore I really don’t want to see Snooki and the Situation anymore. None. Na Da. Make it go away.
  8. Isolation In times of great stress, I tend to go off by myself to sort things out. This year I took that principle too far.
  9. Less death and cancer. This year a whole bunch of people I know managed to come up having cancer. Seriously. I would like less of that please.
  10. Entitlement It’s not my world. It’s not your world. IT is THE world and no one has promised that everyone is going to be to your liking. So if someone has a lifestyle, religious preference, weight, hairstyle, fashion choice, or any other characteristic that is not to your liking. Tough poo poo to you. You are not the center of the universe and most of those choices have nothing to do with you personally. Get over yourself.
  11. Less zany small town politics This year, every single time I read the paper, I had to shake my head at the shenanigans of the local city council. It is crazy mess. I think they’re just making up things as they go along with money that is not theirs. What about that splash pad that is way past deadline and over budget? Why all the new sparkly Christmas Decorations and why not list the “shipping and handling” with the price in the paper? Is that not being paid with tax payer money? SHouldn’t we the citizens have a right to know to the last cent where our money is going? Seriously folks. I might have to move to a big town to get rid of small town shenanigans. yeesh.
  12. White bread. I pledge to eat sandwiches on bread that is whole grain or darker like rye or wheat. Yes I am going to try to get more fiber and less fat and all that.


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Wisdom

December 10 – Wisdom Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

I had some big plans. I put them on hold in order to take care of myself for a while. My friend’s death really kicked me in the gut and I thought that staying here for a little while might be in my best year.

Sometimes, I think it is the wisest decision. Other times, I think it is my most foolish decision.


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Party all the time

Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.

(Author: Shauna Reid)

I’m not sure about rocking the socks but I did attend several parties this year. Each one rocked my socks off for one reason or another.

At one party, I met this guy who had so many overlaps in my career and academic interests overlapped so much that it was freaky. The next chapter in his life involved him doing something that I had always wanted to do. There’s nothing like meeting a mere mortal who is doing activities that constitute your wildest dream to inspire you to be a better person and just go for it. That experience knocked my socks off.

Another party that rocked my socks off was the Tweeties. Central Arkansas’s Twitter Community is so prolific that after a year, they decided they needed an awards show to celebrate all the twitter goodness coming out of the area. There was singing and dancing. There were blue feather boas and tiaras. Oh, and I literally fell down and broke my ass. Okay not literally breaking my ass but I did fall down on my butt. I actually hurt the hell out of my arm. It was out of commission for a good two weeks.

Tomorrow is a reception for Arkansas Women Bloggers. I am so down. This might be the party that ROCKS MY SOCKS clean OFF!!! I’ll let you know.


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It’s the little differences

Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.

(Author: Karen Walrond)

I’m always a little flummoxed by this types of posts because while I can guestimate on what makes me different, I’m not sure what makes me beautiful or beloved by other people. “Lights people up” I’m not a mind reader but here we go.

According to my friend Angela (RIP), I was different because I “really don’t care about race” when it comes to judging people. Surely that isn’t that special but since it was mentioned by someone else.

I’m pretty tall — Statuesque even.

I’m really curious about other cultures and ways of doing things. It’s part of the reason I have a travel bug.

I’ve lived in a wide variety of places and types of housing and had some pretty awesome jobs in my time.

I feel things from the top of my skull to the tips of my toes. I’m very passionate in that regard. Over the years, I’ve tried to keep a reign on that because sometimes it will get me in trouble.

I am a very loyal friend.

I used to be able to play piano beautifully. I’ve even made people cry before (in a good way, I was told). I haven’t played in a while so I’m not sure what I can do RIGHT NOW.

I have really thick hair with just the right amount of body to hold a curl. My stylists always get really happy about it. Then they end up thinning the hell out of it with thinning shears.

I’m not afraid of being silly.

But really, people are more alike than they are different. They want to be loved and respected. They want to feel useful and that they are not wasting their time. They want to have their existence validated.


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Community

December 7 – Community Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

This year, I discovered community in a variety of places. I’ve found myself among a community of runners. The same people seem to run the same races every year and there’s a core group of people who seem to run the same races that I run. I also managed to rekindle old friendships and make new ones out of the death of my friend Angela: many high school classmates came back. Since her death, I have spent time with her family including her parents and her cousins. I’ve also managed to go to the tweetups in Little Rock and meet quite a few people there. I’m considered a “LRTWEETER” so there you go. That is not even counting the community of attorneys I have met over the past year. Community, like family or life even, is what you make of it.


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Hello, it’s Holidailies time and things I’ve made

It’s that time of the year. It’s Holidailies time. A time when tons of busy people agree to post an entry a day during the busiest time of the year. (December 6-January 6). I’ve done this before and it’s quite difficult to do it in a way where it’s not completely vapid navel gazing crap. That hasn’t stopped me before.

The first prompt says “introduce yourself” and so here goes, I’m Melissa. I’m thirty something. I’m an attorney. I live in Arkansas. I am attempting to get fit and I like running and yoga. I am quite broad in my emotional states which is probably more fun to watch than to live.

Oh and I’m also doing Reverb 10 this year too. Here’s the prompt.

What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

(Author: Gretchen Rubin)

The last thing I made was a slight variation on The Pioneer Woman’s Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce. IN my version, I used penne pasta. I also added more garlic than listed and added red pepper flakes. I was attempting to recreate the pink sauce from Damgoode pies out of Little Rock. I used fresh garlic and a fresh onion. I used tomato sauce out of a can and some organic heavy cream. There you go.

I really want to make a clutch out of a book, like the one Natalie Portman is holding in this picture.


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Letting Go


What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

(Author: Alice Bradley)

This year will be the year that my first close friend died. All of the people who died before this year were grandparents, cousins that I didn’t see very often, parents of friends from college or high school, or people I barely knew. This was the year that one of my confidants, a person on the “bail you out of jail no questions asked/will help you bury the body” list, died.

She was my age. I met her in kindergarten. That’s right. I knew her when I was five. We both got tracked into the gifted and talented track in school but we didn’t become friends until high school. Then we went to college on our separate ways and got back in touch again.

I attended her kids birthday parties. I usually dropped by during the holidays.

She had MS but most days she was doing really well. She was walking and talking fine. She didn’t have any visible symptoms of the disease. Then one day, I got a text message from a mutual friend that she was real sick. I was out of town and by the time I called, she was in a coma. She died the next day.

I still remember how cold her hand was when I touched it when she was in the coffin. I know it’s morbid but for some reason I just reached out and her hand was so cold. I’m guessing that the funeral home keeps the bodies in some sort of refridgerated room. It was creepy.

The kids are now the center of a crazy custody dispute between the biological father and my friend’s parents. I have no control over that. There’s no way in hell that I am far enough away to be objective enough to actually represent anyone in the scenario, In fact, since I witnessed the last conversation between Baby daddy and my friend ever, I was a fact witness and couldn’t do it because the rules of professional conduct forbid that sort of thing. Yet watching the case unfold from a distance was incredibly hard. Since it was my friend, of course, every single thing that was differently than the way I would have done it was the thing that was going to make the case go straight to hell. It’s called a lack of professional distance.

I kept having nightmares that the kids were going to get hurt and that I would go to Heaven and have to explain everything to my friend. I could hear her asking, “why didn’t you get her to do this? Why did this happen? Why didn’t you explain . . . ”

Attorneys, by their very nature, are stubborn and will do pretty much what they want to do. But since I am also attorney, people kept wanting to talk to me about the case. Now that is an even more awkward position. I can’t actually represent them according to the laws of professional conduct. I’m not actually part of the case and so confiding in me seems like such a bad idea. I know that attorney client privilege can be waived by talking to third parties and there I am, a third party but because I am a friend who is also an attorney.

I had to keep my distance. If I got a subpoena, what would I do? I’m not part of the office so there’s no work product or any other privilege that keeps anybody from asking me who the hell knows what. Right now, I don’t even feel comfortable being around certain mutual friends and acquaintances due to the possibility that I get dragged into the case even more than I already am. I don’t want to make anything worse.

I miss the kids. I miss talking to them and yet I feel like every little thing they tell me is going to be subject to some sort of attorney scrutiny from one or the other side. So I feel like I can’t really talk to them. They are out of state so it isn’t as awkward as it could be but it is still awkward.

One time, I went to her grave and all of these emotions came flying out and I started crying and telling her that I was sorry. I didn’t even realize that I felt responsible for anything until I had these lung heavy loud sobs that had me lying on the ground. I finally got myself together when I saw an SUV stopped in front of the cemetery near where I lay.

I got up and wiped my tears and realized I couldn’t do this to myself. I have no control over any of it. I was the best friend I could be. I had to let the rest of it go. The worry regarding the kids and what my friend would say was pulling me under to a very dark place. I had to let go to live.

The Wonder year


How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

(Author: Jeffrey Davis)

As a person prone to depression, I try very hard to do this because it keeps me sane. Or more content with life. I know as a single woman of a certain age that I am going to get all sorts of hell for this but I really do enjoy watching my cat.

It’s so fascinating to watch his mind at work. One day, I came home and watched him drag my pink net shower scrubby into the living room and tear it into a billion pieces. Okay the part where I had to clean it up was not wonderful by the list.

Over the years, he’s managed to unplug the dryer. He knows how to open doors. He can open the cabinets if they don’t have the special locks on them. During the summer when I had those huge “palmetto bugs,” he would hunt and kill those. Okay, when I discovered that he was eating them, I was grossed out.

I named him Buddha Butt because when he was a kitten he was always finding ways to stick his butt in my face. The longer I have him, I realize it’s a fitting name because he is always in the moment, whatever moment he is in. He is passionately biting himself or sleeping with enthusiasm.

There’s something full of wonder about that.

One moment in time (A Reverb10 prompt)

December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)

Moments. One particularly moment. First, it was hard for me to categorize moments and second, this was a year that it seemed I was going through the motions for so much of the year. This was a year about the realization that things needed to change and that I was the one who was going to have to change them.

I still remember the last couple of miles of the half marathon I walked this year. I had intended to run the thing but due to a lack of training and very odd weather. I haven’t mastered running in the rain. As a result, I didn’t train much due to the craptastically wet winter we had. So I ended up walking most of it with a tight lower back. See kids, training is important. Strangely enough, even though my back was killing me, I was smiling so long and so broad that my cheeks hurt. I remember the sun shining on my face and the gentle breeze. I remember walking by the Designing Women house and the Governor’s mansion. I remember all the volunteers at the water stations cheering me on. By the end, I was one of the last people and so I was the sign that they could pack up and leave. They were happy. I was happy. The jeep was following me as a signal to the police to open up the traffic. I imagined that I was a dictator that had closed the street for her own personal walk. I remember the two people in front of me who at one point turned around and waved to me, “Come on. We’re almost done”

I did end up last. Freaking last but I will remember it as the year that I pretty much on some level wanted to quit at about mile 5 and just kept on going.

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Reverb10 catch up (December 2nd)

Another Reverb10 prompt

What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
(Author: Leo Babauta)

My self conscious perfectionism. Sometimes I will write something and then get antsy and not press publish. Sometimes, it is for the best: it’s too self revealing or some topic that in retrospect, I don’t want out there for the world to see. Other times, it’s due to my sense that I am writing something completely vapid and silly or that my grammar or sentence structure is just heinous.

Now most blogs are not known for their fabulous writing. In fact, the Dooces of the world are the exceptions that prove the rule. Also, life is a combination of the deep and the shallow. Anyone who tells you differently is being a pretentious little shit and you have my permission to slap them. Okay not really, if you are an adult, you could get an assault charge. So don’t slap people!!!

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