Liquored up? 

This has been on the sidewalk outside the hospital for four days now. I know I should pick it up and throw it away, but now it has become a fascinating thing. I have wasted a lot of time pondering this situation. Maybe I just need a distraction. 

How long is it going to stay there? 

Why is no one else freaking out about this random empty liquor bottle? 

Who threw it down? Why not just throw it away? 

Who actually wants to drink this cheap, disgusting stuff? 

Did they take a nip before entering the horror of the hospital? Did they need some liquid courage to enable them to walk through the doors and face their worst fear? 

Did they need a shot after walking out to allow them to shake the overwhelming pain they experienced within the walls? 

Perhaps they are just an alcoholic who carries around single servings of vodka. 

Did they enjoy it? Is this the only one they had? Oh my god! What if they drink all the time and they are driving? That would be terrible! 

Who drinks outside a hospital? 

Can you really blame them? Hospitals are horrible places. No one likes going to the hospital. Well, no one sane. 

I know! I should pick it up and throw it away. To be honest, I really don’t want to touch it. It seems gross just there on the ground. Someone may have dropped it in disgust. What if there is something toxic on it? 

Besides, if it stays there long enough it has earned the right to stay there. 

Folks, do me a favor. Don’t throw your empty liquor bottles on the sidewalk outside the hospital. It gives me entirely too many things to process. 

Liquored up? 


Warm and fuzzy memories popping up on Facebook. Catching up with old friends. Seeing everyone post their wedding and baby pictures. Instagramming my martini (it was really good.) Sharing another photo looking out an airplane window. 

We can share the mundane parts of our lives and our friends can get a little glimpse into what we do sometimes. 

Unfortunately, this has led us to have hundreds of “friends”. People we probably would not even recognize if we saw them out in public. 

It’s important to remember the people who are actually there for us. The people who would call us even if we disappeared from social media forever. 

Maintaining relationships is especially difficult when you are rarely in the same place for more than a few months. It requires effort and a commitment to honesty. Unfortunately, it is also a two-way street. You may believe someone is a friend and it turns out they may just be a “friend.” 

It’s funny how many different meanings the word friend has. 

  • super close friends that are really more like family 
  • good friends who know some of your secrets
  • occasional good time friends who are good for an entertaining evening
  • friends you love to hate 
  • friends you stalk on social media
  • friends you can’t seem to get away from
  • friends who used to be friends but you have grown apart 
  • friends from work 
  • friends of friends who you call friend because it’s just easier than explaining the connection
  • people you like and want to befriend

Are we completely devaluing the word friend? How do you separate each person’s role in your life? Does it matter? 

Probably not. 

Just make sure you let the people who mean something to you know. Don’t drop off the face of the earth. Be present and available when they need you. 

Don’t keep your enemies closer than your friends- you may just lose the ones you really love. 


Traveling Life

And the difference with me is I used to not care. Stockholm let me go home.

-Jason Isbell

Sometimes it is easy to take home for granted. All the best people are there. My heart is there. So, I am constantly on the go, forever leaving my heart behind. 

So I can stay in a hotel and experience beds not as comfy as mine. Internet connections that require a sign in at the most inconvenient moments. Too many meals eaten out. Laundry crammed into plastic bags. Running out of good books to read. Always leaving something behind. 

Most important, I get to use toilet paper that apparently has a “subtle touch.” Let me tell you, it’s about as subtle as a scrap of sandpaper. I really want to meet the guy who came up with this name. 

Maybe all my friends who call me Princess have a point; I am a little spoiled. 

Wandering adventures are exciting and nerve wracking. Hanging out in airports and driving crappy rentals (unless you get lucky and hit the big time like I did this trip!) can wear on a person. I still wouldn’t trade it for the monotony of regular employment. 

I just have to keep my anchor firmly embedded with the people I love. I need them to keep me moored. As long as I have this, I can safely explore and push myself to do more and see more. 

Maybe I will even find more subtle touches. 

Traveling Life

There Are No Victims

There are no victims, only volunteers. 

Wait. Before you get all pissed off and start telling about all the terrible things that happen to innocent people, let me explain. 

Life is hard. In fact, it fucking sucks sometimes. There are bad people who do bad things. There are accidents, illnesses, and other unspeakable tragedies. It’s horrible and completely unfair. 

However, I choose to believe I have an obligation to rise above all the bullshit. I can choose to stay a victim, and choose to let life’s hardships keep me down. It’s a choice to allow my past to haunt me. 

All that sounds great, right? 

The problem is that regardless of what I choose to tell myself the past is still there. I still bear the scars of things I had no control over. All it takes is one negative incident and I am at risk of feeling all the feelings I have worked so hard to overcome. 

I was talking to a friend the other day and I realized no matter how much work I have done my automatic response is still to abnegate all the good things in my life. To discount my accomplishments. To feel like I am not enough. The drive to prove I am worthy. Worthy of what? I have no idea. 

So, the struggle continues. I make the decision to not be a victim. It’s not an automatic response. I decide. I choose. Sometimes I choose wrong and wallow in self-pity. Other times I choose rationality and put the regrets away for a bit. Until there is another blow to my ego. 

Frankly, the cycle sucks. It’s still better than just being stuck as the victim. 

The saga of the girl with daddy issues shall continue… please tune in next time. 

There Are No Victims

I Still Haven’t Found…

Excuse me, Mr. Bono. I was sitting here brooding, as I frequently do, and I realized part of my angst stems from not having concrete goals. 

For years I had things I was working toward and this kept me in a perpetual state of waiting. Waiting for real life to begin. Well, I have arrived and not much has changed except I no longer know what comes next. 

Perhaps this is part of why so many people fall into the trap of going back to school repeatedly. I have to admit part of me dreams of neatly segmented semesters and real deadlines. Besides all the struggle has an endpoint. You even know the exact date! 

I may or may not have done a search for doctoral programs in my field. I have no idea what it would actually solve, or really if it would help me in my search for professional satisfaction. Frankly, I don’t even know what I want to do! 

Life after school is confusing. It feels like a constant state of running around in circles. Searching for something. Waiting to get your “shit together.” When do we actually experience what that feels like? What exactly are we hunting? What will it feel like when we get there? 

So, in an attempt to find answers while making as little effort as possible, I googled the lyrics to one of my favorite U2 songs. It gave me no answers. So onward I will trudge to the next project. Until I find what I’m looking for. 

I Still Haven’t Found…

A Million Passengers

Yesterday I was sitting in the airport waiting for my plane to arrive. The airline representative came on the loud speaker to let us know the incoming pilot was coming in for his last flight before his retirement and they were welcoming him with… something I did not hear. Turns out it was three fire trucks spraying the plane as it taxied to the gate. She did not want us to be alarmed by the spectacle surrounding the aircraft we were about to board. Smart, Southwest Airlines. I would have been very concerned. Is my plane on fire? What’s the problem? Is it safe? Nevermind, I’ll drive. 

Once the plane made it to the gate, the passengers deplaned, and the pilot finally exited the tunnel greeted by cheers and hugs from his family and friends. It was nice. 

The guy behind me in line must have known more about aviation than I do because he was very curious about the number of trips the pilot had completed. He asked several members of the flight crew, and one of them was not sure of the trip number however he reported the pilot had exceeded one million passengers. 

Let’s think about that for a moment. One million passengers were under this man’s care while he assumed responsibility for their safety from gate to gate. That’s a big deal. This pilot had willingly spent every day of his career with lives depending on his ability and skills to maneuver his aircraft safely. 

I felt a sense of pride in my career choice when I realized we had similarities in our professional lives. We both assume life and death responsibility every time we go to work. 

It’s no wonder these jobs are well-known to have high rates of burnout. Not only are we responsible for not making a mistake, we are also responsible for outcomes of things that are completely out of our control.

Despite the occasional overwhelming fear associated with my career, I am proud of what I do. I was more than a little proud of the airline captain who had safely transported over a million passengers too. 

A Million Passengers

Art Imitates Life

As I begin my first real attempt at fiction, I am realizing how much life influences my imagination. 

Is it cheating to use real world situations and to change the details and dream up new and perhaps horrifying situations? What if our worst nightmares really do come true? 

If it happens in my imaginary world, does that make the story true and reliable? I hope I can serve my characters and allow them to tell their story. Besides, I really want to find out what happens. 

Hope I don’t chicken out. 

Art Imitates Life

Just Stop Talking

This Prisma app cracks me up. 

I am standing here trying to impart vital information to someone, however I must have started off wrong. I just keep jabbering away, sounding less intelligent the more my mouth keeps moving. I am well aware of how I sound and I am desperately trying to recover. When I fail to find an endpoint, I eventually just stop talking. Then, more often than not, I just walk away. 

This happens to me frequently. I’ll be in the middle of a funny story or joke and I’ll realize I don’t know the end. 

Worse, I’ll start telling a story in a group conversation and in the middle I realize it is completely unrelated. 

Sometimes it’s funny. 

Usually, it’s embarrassing. 

If only I could somehow explain how I got to this story in my head, they would understand how it fits. 

People who know me well are lucky. They can usually follow along and eventually understand the relevance. 

For the rest of the world: oops. I’ll just try to stop talking. Until you say something that reminds me of something else. 

Just Stop Talking

We All Stalk

We all do it. (Don’t even try to lie and say you have never done it.) 

We turn to social media to look up those people from our past. We want to see what they have been up to. Are they ugly now? Maybe they turned out as miserable as you secretly hoped they would. Perhaps you can look at their profile and scoff- you know they are not nearly as happy as they are trying to make it seem. 

Let’s be honest. We have no idea what someone is actually experiencing by stalking their Facebook page. It’s simply a glimpse. Not even an accurate one. So, why do we do it? What are we hoping to achieve? Is it simply morbid curiousity? Would we stalk if it was not as simple as whipping out our magic smart phone? 

I imagine (or at least hope) the answer is no. We do it because it takes very little effort and there is very little risk. (Unless we accidentally like one of their posts or photos.) 

After we have perused their “life” we may even indulge in a dangerous game of “what if…” What if so and so had not done that thing? What if I had not been so selfish? What would life be like now? 

We sit and relive the pain of losing the relationship, friendship, job, or whatever it was. We may use it as an excuse to reignite old resentments.  

Is it better to have a current selfie image for our overactive imaginations? Is there any justification for our nosiness? Probably not. 

There really does not seem to be any useful information that comes from Facebook stalking, but I bet we will all fall prey to the temptation from time to time.

I’m not judging. Just make sure you don’t comment or like anything. Also, make sure you don’t start talking about the person incessantly to your friends. They will think you are crazy. I’m not even going to recommend you abstain from the behavior. 

I would advise you to try to avoid dwelling on the past too much. Don’t go reading your old diaries to reminisce. Your time is more valuable than that. Try to focus on what you have now. We can’t change the past. Oh, and yes. They have aged badly. You are so much better off. 

We All Stalk

Talking to Myself

Jason Isbell asked me an important question tonight. I was driving to Tulsa for work. 

“Are you living the life you chose? Are you living the life that chose you?”

Okay. Jason Isbell was not actually in the car. I don’t even know him. He certainly doesn’t know me. I’m not even certain this lyric is all that profound. But, I like it. I actually kinda love it. So, thanks for serenading me in the car Mr. Isbell.

I have noticed I have a strong affinity for collecting slogans, lyrics, sayings, and quotes. I relish the ability to wave away whatever concern I may have with a meaningless dismissive exclamation I have stolen from someone else.

It is all bullshit. 

I can collect a thousand memes from Word Porn or any other Facebook page to save me the trouble of actually expressing myself. If it sounds trite or stupid, it’s okay. It wasn’t my thoughts. I didn’t sound insipid. 

Not that any of these nice little sayings are insipid. I saved them, along with hundreds of others. They do manage to inspire me. 

Okay, wait. Let me be honest. I was actually just kinda letting my mind wander, as it likes to do, and I was thinking about all the content whores who just keep sharing the same old tired quotes and memes. The 15 different pages that shared the same click bait cluttering my newsfeed. 

Are there any original ideas anymore? Am I doomed to see the same movie remade a thousand times? Although, I did enjoy The Magnificent Seven. It’s hilarious. Chris Pratt can come be my sidekick any day. Plus, he’s a cutie pie. 

None of this is the point though. So, what is the point? 

I guess it’s just easier to allow the fear of failure to prevent me from writing or speaking from a vulnerable place. It’s far less frightening to share a stranger’s vulnerability. 

What if I am not clever enough? What if my idea is stupid? Do I even have an original thought? I guess it all boils down to that inevitable question: Am I enough?

So, I’ll continue to collect quotes, lyrics, and memes. I will continue to scribble my ideas down and attempt to fashion them into something worth reading. I don’t want to doom my characters to a life they don’t get to experience. Besides, what’s the worst thing that can happen? I embarrass myself? Eh. I do that regularly anyway. 

Talking to Myself