Archive | January, 2014

Wordless Wednesday – 1/29/14

29 Jan

Well played Disney, well played…
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Weekly Writing Challenge: Leave Your Shoes at the Door

28 Jan

We blog for a million different reasons, but in the end we’re all storytellers. Writing Challenges help you push your writing boundaries and explore new ideas, subjects, and styles.

This week, we’re asking you to consider things from a different point of view — to walk a mile in someone’s shoes. Leave your moccasins and bunny slippers at the door, and tell us a tale from a fully-immersed perspective that is not your own.

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Did I Help Murder Duncan?

*A scene from the play Macbeth by Shakespeare, from the view of Lord Macbeth’s shirt.

The night is late as my master stirs, thoughts heavy on his mind. The floorboards moan under his weight as he paces back and forth. Creaking, they shift back into place after he moves his feet. Creek, creek, creek. Though the night is warm, he shakes violently; chills run over me as well. Far off in the distance a bell rings, breaking the otherwise silent night. He stops, knowing the meaning behind the bell tonight, as do I from our previous meeting with his mistress. Taking slow, shallow breaths he heads for the door. Silently I pray he’s changed his mind, hoping he won’t be able to go through with his evil plan.

 I cling to him; mimicking his every move, feeling his heart beat quicken and intensify as we get closer to the guest room.  Outside the entrance he takes one more ragged breath and slowly pushes open the chamber’s door. As the old door opens wide it makes the most eerie creaking sound possible. (It must also know the danger our sleeping guest is in.) Walking in a daze, my master heads straight for the giant bed, arms tense at his sides. Suddenly he stops, pushes me up above his elbows and grabs one of the sleeping guard’s daggers. The sensation of choking is upon me. Try as I may, I can not relieve my stress and fear as I fight to slide back down his arm. Angrily he pushes me up again.  He’s tense, feeling the weight of his decision upon him now, as I’m stuck struggling for air.

Master Macbeth suddenly snaps back into reality minutes later. He leans over the sleeping Duncan, King of Scotland and honored guest in Macbeth’s home, as a half hearted smile splits his face. He waits for the perfect time to strike, all the while watching the steady stream of air fill and escape Duncan’s motionless body. Assuring himself that Duncan and both his guards are sound asleep, Macbeth makes his move.  With one large circular motion with his and my own left arm, Macbeth slams the pointed dagger in the precise place of Duncan’s heart.

GASP! The last sound to ever be heard from the lips of Duncan, for he quickly bled to his death. I was motionless, unable to think as I slid back down Macbeth’s arms. What had I done? Why didn’t I try to stop him? As thoughts flooded my mind, I was filled with a horrible feeling of betrayal; Macbeth had killed me as well. There stained on my front was the dark red blood of Duncan.

I was covered, marked as the mastermind of the crime. When Macbeth returned to Lady Macbeth’s side to relate the deed was done, she noticed too. She made Macbeth remove me when she heard a knock at the door, so now I lay lifeless in a corner on the dusty bedroom floor. How long will I remain, that is an answer only time can tell. But as I lay here alone with my thoughts, I can’t help but wonder; did I help kill Duncan, too? 

Valentine’s Day Office Party Invitation

27 Jan

I love when I can use my creativity at work! After the success of our Christmas party, it was decided we needed to have more office parties.

And so, my boss sent me a “top secret” email with the details for our Valentine’s Day party asking me to come up with an invitation.

And for being a Monday morning, I think it turned out awesome! 20140127-191641.jpg I may be a little bias, but I think my little poem rocks! And it only took me three minutes to come up – the hardest line being how to incorporate sign-up to bring food, which funny enough, was the line my boss loved the most!

Then to make it pretty, added a couple photos and a border in Adobe’s InDesign.

I should have taken a video of my boss “delivering” the little invitations, she was so excited, giddy may be a more appropriate word!

Now it’s time to get planning, I may have lost the ugly Christmas Sweater contest because mine became too “cute,” but I’m counting on that particular “skill” to rock the Valentine’s box decorating contest. Plans are already underway – pictures will probably be posted after the party.

In the meantime, send all your hearts, flowers, Cupids and flower inspirations/thoughts my way.

“Sorry, I’m Deborah.”

22 Jan

**This is the true account of an encounter that happened at work yesterday, however names have been changed to protect the individuals’ identities.

This week at work I have had the opportunity to shadow other departments in the hospital. My job was simple – write down everything they were saying to patients so that we (meaning the managers) could work on more unified scripting for the departments.

On this particular morning I was on the second floor of the hospital shadowing our concierges, Juan* and Morgan*,  in the surgery wing. I watched as they brought the patients checking-in for surgery to their rooms and helped them get settled and explained about the (awful) hospital gowns, nurse call light/TV remote, etc. Once everyone was settled, the concierge would offer a warm blanket to the patient and coffee to the waiting family members.

Every 10 – 15 minutes, they would make a sweep of the floor just to make sure everyone was still comfortable and didn’t need anything. It was during one of these sweeps, my world turned on its axis.

Juan approached room number 12. The curtain was pulled 3/4 of the way across the door. From where I was waiting in the hallway, I could only see the family member. Juan knocked, entered and introduced who I was and explained I was there to shadow him.

Upon hearing my name is Mariah, the family member immediately turns and stares at me. 

[Long pause]

  Her: “What’s your last name?”

I told her.

Her: “I know your parents.”

Me: “Oh?”

Her: “Yeah, Robert* and Cathy*.”

Juan: “Wow. You must really look like one of your parents.”

Me: “No, I’m really the perfect mix of both of them. I don’t think I resemble one more than the other. How do you know my parents?”

Her: “I don’t know many Mariahs and I use to work with them at the restaurant. Have you every heard of  it?”

Me: “Yeah, I’ve grown up hearing stories about the restaurant my entire life.” 

Juan finishes talking with the patient and exits the room

Me: “Oh, you didn’t tell me your name.” [sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, please don’t say Deborah]

Her: “Sorry, I’m Deborah*.”

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Now, without some background information, this little encounter means nothing. So let’s start from the beginning. I have heard about this woman my entire life, but until yesterday, I had never met her.

You see, she was one of my dad’s old girlfriends. Before he met my mom, they went out a few times. And yes, they did all work at the same restaurant together in the good old days. According to the stories from my mom, she and Deborah were friendly until Deborah discovered my mom and dad were dating. [It’s important to mention Deborah already had a new significant other at the time.]

Most of the stories I’ve heard growing up were about things she did that annoyed my dad — things she said or the way in which they were said. I’ve only grown up hearing said stories because if you ask my dad, every now and then, I will say something, or do something that reminds him of her. For years I’ve asked him to describe it so I’d know what it was I did, but he said it’s something that indescribable.

Lovely, I have some weird trait that can’t be explained.

Honestly, what are the odds that I would be shadowing that department, on the exact same day and at the exact same time, while she was there waiting on a family member, friend or loved one to have surgery? Honestly, a daughter should never unexpectedly meet one of her father’s exs, it’s just WEIRD. But to give her credit, she didn’t seem to hold any ill-will towards either of them, that or she hid it well… something I’d rather not think on.

And now I’ve met her. And what bugs me the most is that she knew exactly who I was based on my name, while I was left guessing who she was until she mentioned working at the restaurant, because then I had a gut feeling I knew exactly who I was speaking to. And after retelling the odd encounter to my parents on the drive home from work, two questions came to mind:

  1. How in the world did she know what my parents named me? (As I mentioned above, she stopped speaking to them when they started dating.)
  2. Who is crazy enough to remember the name of an ex’s child (whom you’ve never met) 25 years later?

Sometimes I wonder how I find myself in these odd situations, then I remind myself my life and blog would be terribly boring if nothing out of the ordinary ever happened. Besides, this will be one of those fun stories to tell my future grandchildren.

“Have I ever told you about the time I met one of your great-grandfather’s ex-girlfriends…..”

Wordless Wednesday – 1/15/14

15 Jan

Thanks for the reminder!

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“What the frak does a number mean?”

11 Jan

For the last couple of days I’ve been having these low self esteem days. I look in the mirror and see this ginormous person staring back at me and I start to wonder how anyone would like her let alone love her. And to make matters worse, this morning I thought it would be a good idea to weigh myself. Needless to say, it wasn’t what I was expecting to see. It’s lower than my worst, but higher than I’d estimated. If I’m being honest with myself, I was devastated.

Today I tried doing things that I enjoy to take my mind of it – listening to Disney’s Frozen soundtrack, watching a few episodes of Boy Meets World, even doing an intense cardio workout (20 minute Biggest Loser workout from the ‘At Home Challenge’ DVD and a 3 mile at home walk with Leslie Sansone), but none of that really knocked me out of my funk.

Insert one of the best and most supportive friends I have! She helped me see things clearly again. Our conversation went something like this:

Her: “Do you eat healthy things, as in, you don’t gorge yourself and you eat fruits and veggies? And try not to go crazy on sugar?”

Me: “Yeah. I track everything I eat in the Myfitnessapp.”

Her: “Do you exercise, and enjoy it, in hopes of bringing your body to a better place?”

Me: “I really do.”

Her: “Do you have family, friends, and an amazing boyfriend who loves you?”

Me: “Yes.” 🙂

Her: “Then what the frak does a number mean?”

Me: “I don’t honestly know.”

Her: “Nothing, that’s what. It is more important that I feel good, and eat things I enjoy in moderation (unless they are healthy). So take a deep breath, remember that water fluctuations bump your weight +/- 2 pounds a day, and know that its more important that the shell is healthy than the actual size. Yeah, I know you know all this… but I think you could use a reminder.”

And it was at this point in the conversation when I mentioned how I felt when looking in the mirror. Her kind words overwhelmed me.

Her: “Nononononono. So, so wrong! “Ginormous” is not a word I would use to describe you. I would call it… “curvy, for better hugs”! So take it back a piece at a time — Look at that swooshy grown-up haircut! Check out the stylish, intelligent glasses! Be blinded by the million-watt smile! Have pride in giving the best hugs, because you love people just that much (and there aren’t any pointy elbows in the way, lol)! Basically…. how can anyone with a functioning brain NOT love a person who has so much love and so many smiles to give? So, just know that I think you’re awesome, and I think that other people think that too.”

Everyone needs someone like her in their corner for the hard days. And she’s right. Ginormous, defined as ‘extremely large’, is not me at all — not really, I’m more curvy like she said, always have been, but with a little more work, hopefully won’t always be.

I have a goal to run/walk the runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon this November and I know I have a long way to go for my training. But I’m discovering that training and weight loss aren’t 100% physical effort, a good portion is mental — believing you can do it, picturing that place you are striving to get to, knowing without a doubt that nothing will stand in your way. This is where I believe I struggle the most and at times I wonder if this lack of self belief will be harder to change than my physical appearance.

We all go through our ups and downs along this journey and I truly believe that we can learn from others struggles, that’s why I’m sharing this with you tonight. While this may be my personal journey to self discovery and better health, but I will never survive without my support system — my family, my friends and you, my blog family. We are all in this together.

I’ll end this tonight on an up note by sharing a song that has seen me through previous hard days and continues to offer the support I need when things get hard. I love the chorus — it reminds me that these hard days don’t define me and they won’t stop me.

You’re an overcomer
Stay in the fight ‘til the final round
You’re not going under
‘Cause God is holding you right now
You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it’s hopeless
That’s when He reminds You
That you’re an overcomer
You’re an overcomer

3 Words – Now, Memory, Remember,

3 Jan

Now my children, gather round, for a tale I have to tell

of stormy nights and winter fights and a terrible life decision.

I may be old and weak you say, but do not let that fool you,

this memory lives inside my soul, a tale I shall never forget.

Truth be told, it is you  I fear, who will not remember well, the wisdom I wisely share.