In which I venture into the outside world (and survive)!

HELLO, INTERNET. I have returned.
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(I’m looking a bit like Lucille Ball these days.)

I haven’t been on the computer much over the last week or so, which is both (a) a very, very good (albeit surprising) thing, and (b) the reason behind my tragic lack of updates as of late.

But TJ! you say, because you often make exclamatory remarks to your computer screen. Is it even humanly possible for a person to be away from the computer for that long? Wouldn’t your head explode and your heart shrivel up and die in your chest?

Perfectly valid questions, dear internet person, which I shall answer thusly:

First, as it turns out, it’s possible to be away from the computer for a surprisingly lengthy period of time without any horrifying side effects (aside from a general free-and-easy feeling which I’m sure is most unnatural).

Second, there are actually a number of things to do in the outside world, despite my previous assumption that this could not possibly be the case.

So, rather than spending my time this past week scrolling endlessly through Facebook and searching Tumblr for new gifs, I’ve been out in the world, doing stuff.

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First, my dear mother came for a four-day visit, during which time we walked, ate, walked, did touristy things, walked, ate, and walked and ate some more. And then, just prior to her leaving, she took me to Target and bought me stuff, because mothers are pretty freaking awesome sometimes. Also, I’m poor, and thus don’t generally worry about things like having enough dishes or a nice little kitchen rug or…you know, paper towels and fancy stuff like that.

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Since then, I’ve been using my newfound love of the real world to take long walks around the city, visit the library, pop into some newly discovered book stores, and acquire a towering stack of books to read. (Because I may be turning over a new leaf, but it’s still a tremendously nerdy leaf.)

Of course, there’s also a less-wondrous side to my recent ramblings, mainly that today I have shin splints and a backache and had to do the Sophia Petrillo shuffle all the way to the grocery store and back. Turns out that there is such a thing as overdoing this whole walking around in the outside world thing; I just have to endeavor to find a balance between glued-to-my-computer-chair and Forrest-Gump-traversing-America.

In other news, as long as I’m on the road to self-improvement via the reduction of my internet time, I’ve decided to tackle some other things – mainly my diet, which has veered into less than healthy waters as of late.

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(It’s a Lucy sort of day.)

Thus, today I limped on down to the supermarket and picked up some Healthy Food Items, after which I constructed a Healthy Lunch and Healthy Dinner, and even a Healthy Snack. Wow!

Currently taking bets on how long this new healthy regime will last:

1. Not long
2. Less than not long
3. I’m stuffing my face as we speak

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Place your bets now!

Because procrastination isn’t just for weekends.

Good morning, friends. I have only a limited time between finishing breakfast and needing to be on my way out the door, so naturally I’ve chosen to use this time to write a blog entry. Is this a good idea?

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Yeah, probably not. Let’s do it anyway.

So, as it happens, I don’t actually have much to say, which I admit may make writing a post somewhat challenging. I’ve never let that stop me before, however, and today shall be no different…!

So. Yeah. Stuff.

1. Still working on the editing and rereading of Chosen. It’s going well, though I do find myself devising a Chosen Drinking Game as I go through it. For example, if Kaine frowns or scowls, take a drink. If Mr. Defrin puts his hand reassuringly on someone’s shoulder, take a drink. If Silas is a little shit, take a drink. Etc. Helps pass the time (and increases bathroom breaks by approximately 500 percent).

2. The weather in Chicago has finally decided to cooperate and have a go at not being awful and depressing, which I’m enjoying.

3. Preparations for my mother’s visit have come to a bit of a standstill, and predictably, I’m leaving most of what needs to be done until the morning before I pick her up at the airport (i.e., tomorrow). Why deal with cleaning and tidying and prepping when Future Me can take care of that in a stress-filled tornado in the wee hours of morning?

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And, on that note, I’d better be off. Time to get ready for another day of teaching folks to speak Amurican. ‘Til next time, y’all.

 

Regarding my dad, who put up with a lot

So, Facebook has informed me that it’s Father’s Day weekend, and as Facebook has never lied to me before (except all those times it lied to me), I will take it at its word and blog accordingly.

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With that in mind, I thought I’d blog a bit about my dad, who is, after all, 50% responsible for my existing in the world, and that’s kind of a big deal (to me, at least). But more than just giving me the gift of existence, my dad also, as it happens, was a pretty awesome father.

Behold, an embarrassing photo of myself as a poofy-haired ironing board wearing someone’s grandmother’s dress:

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My dad, you may be surprised to learn, is the gentleman in the back-right of the photo. In case you’re still straining to pick him out, here’s a handy close-up:

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My dad, sadly, passed away of a heart attack when I was twelve, which was particularly illogical because his heart was easily the strongest part of him. He had a bit of a temper, he could paint an elaborate tapestry with swear words, and he never shirked from punishing me when I did something really wrong – but I never doubted for a second that he loved me. He was always gentle, always kind, always affectionate and loving, and the saddest thing, I think, is that I never had the chance to tell him how much I appreciated that.

As kids, we’re all selfish little brats sometimes (or a lot of the time, in my case), and then we grow into obnoxious emo teenagers, and then finally we move away from home and become semi-sensible adults who can look back on all the temper tantrums and emo poetry and say to our parents, “Man, I’m sorry you had to put up with all that.”

I can offer such apologies to my mom, but sadly my dad never got the chance to see me move out of the brat phase and become a (mostly) non-bratty adult. And I really regret that. I know he loved me, but I wish I could’ve had the chance to show him that all the lessons he and my mom tried to instill in me did stick, and I’m a better person today because of what I learned from him.

Anyway, a few memories of my dad that always make me smile:
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