31 January 2013

Word: 365 Week 4

I wrote some meaningful letters this week. When my brother Erik opened his letter (gave it to him in person) he said, "I can't read this now; it's a novel". Keep in mind it was a one sided letter on 9.5" x 5.5" paper. If anything, it was a glorified haiku. At least Osairis seemed to appreciate her letter, although I did get a text from Erik later that day thanking me.

Even though Blue and Scott live three buildings down from mine, I wrote them both a letter and mailed it. Sometimes, it's nice to receive a letter in the mail even when you live right down the road from the sender.

I wrote a letter to Emily's grandma Noreen, pretty much telling her she was the Grandma I never had (particularly since my Great Aunt Ada passed away eight years ago) and that I appreciated all that she's done for us. I also sent a letter to Tiffani, getting to know her better by telling her things about me. Makes sense, right?

I had the most fun writing a letter to Riley, Jes' boyfriend. They are coming to visit us in March and I felt like he needed forewarning as to my crazy and idiotic antics. The guy's only met me once for a short while, so I feel that it was only fair to warn him. I warned him about how I fart a lot. All the time. At home, in public, it doesn't matter. I also warned him that I am extremely disgusting, I have no filter, and I will probably embarrass him. And that I sweat. Not as much as Jes, but I do. And if I start sweating, I will sniff check my pits to make sure I don't reek like BO. Hence why I carry deodorant in my purse at all times.

So far I've written 41 letters, so I am definitely ahead of the game.

A sneak peek into week 5: I wrote Emily a letter telling her how proud of her I am regarding work and a letter to Tara with things I will and will not miss about her living with us. Last night, they said to me "aren't you supposed to write 365 different letters to 365 different people?" My response: I made the rules. I will write repeat letters. I already posted about that and I feel that some people deserve more than one letter. Suck it bitches.

Funny pic of the week:

This is a MUST HAVE for my bedroom.

25 January 2013

Word: 365 Week 3

Writing letters is tougher than I anticipated, but I love the challenge.

This week, my nephew Cobi got to read a somewhat "edited" version of my Morning Thunder story. To read the unedited version, click here. Apparently, Cobi, Dylan, and even Jen got the giggles over that story. I don't blame them; 'tis funny.

Jen also got her own note, as did my aunt Jackie. I wrote notes to Emily and Tara as well. For Emily, I wrote 10 reasons why I love her. It sounds corny, but was actually funny. Tara's note was funnier though because she got a list of my top 5 favorite moments since she moved to FL. These moments include her falling into the lake and having the Umbrella bird that lives next door mock her. We were all laughing at her and the bird started laughing at her as well. It was epic.

My friend TJ is obsessed with ketchup, so I sent him a few factoids about his favorite condiment. Jason is obsessed with Beyonce, so I sent him a few trivia questions for him to answer. Too bad I didn't wait to write his letter until after the whole lip synching episode; that could have been a true or false question dangit!!!

The most important letter I wrote this week was to Emily's parents, Mary & Bill. The last 6 years have been quite an experience. We have gone from one end of the spectrum to the other and have had a lot of great moments in between. I simply wanted to let them know how I feel about them and thank them for opening their hearts and home to me and getting to know me better. Words can't express my gratitude and love for her family, but hopefully the words I wrote expressed my sentiments.

I have written 25 letters to date, and today is 25 January. I got some work to do. In the meantime, add this to your "spank bank", as my friend Andrea would say. Massive lady wood over here! I don't even know what songs 98 Degrees ever sang, but NKOTB and BOYZ II MEN! Hello!

15 January 2013

7 Simple Rules

I hate when people post inspirational/motivational squares on FB. You know those squares? Those little boxes that have sunsets with expressions like "don't give up on your dreams" or "the man of your dreams will come when you're not looking"? You know that kind of shit?

Well, I normally scroll right past it, mumbling something about "get a life" or "no one cares", but someone posted these 7 Simple Rules and I could not scroll past. The words jumped out at me like that naked guy from the trunk in the movie The Hangover, and I was surprised by how "ballsy" some of these rules were (#2 and #7 particularly). They are inspirational without being corny and motivational without being sappy.

I cannot take credit for writing these, although I did tweak them ever so slightly.

1. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up your present.

2. What others think of you is none of your business.

3. Time heals everything, so give everything time.

4. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey entails; only your own.

5. Stop thinking too much. It's okay not to know all the answers.  They will come to you when you least expect.

6. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

7. Smile. You don't own all the problems in the world.

I particularly like #1, #2, and #7. We all hold grudges, we all care what others think, and we all think our problems are the worst. But it's okay to let go, it's okay not to care, and it's okay to realize it could always be worse.

I'm not saying I live my life according to these rules, but if a particular situation arises, I try my hardest to not care what others think, or not harbor old grudges, or compare my situation to others. It's a trying process, one that's taken me years and I'm still working on it. I'm not perfect; but maybe one day I will be. J/K.

Completely unrelated, but mother effing ridiculous, my WTF moment of the week is brought to you by this family:

Honestly, what were they thinking?

Word: 365 Week 2

Well, I was busy last week writing letters. In fact, I wrote 11 of them! I am not an overachiever, just trying to stay ahead of my game. Here are a few stories about the letters I wrote last week.

In week 2, I was already struggling to be creative with my letters. As I sat here at my desk trying to think, my eyes landed upon the "Fact or Crap" calendar my parents bought for me as a gift and I thought, who else besides me gets off on trivial trivia? STACY TESCH! So, her letter contained nothing but "fact or crap" questions.  Then my mind drifted towards her daughter Avery, because we have sent each other stuff in the mail before. So I figured I'd hit her with some Disney trivia, so we'll see how they both do with their answers!

While I was on a trivia kick, a couple other friends also got trivia questions. My friend JuJu received Hello Kitty trivia with a little bit of Hitler/Helen Keller trivia on the back. I know those two things do NOT go well together, but she will understand once she receives the letter. My other friend Rae received Anchorman Trivia, because the sequel is coming out at the end of the year, and we both have lady wood for Ron Burgundy. I'm sure you can respect that.

After writing those letters, I sat back in my chair feeling content. Then I smelled something weird, and my mind immediately drifted to my friend Jes. For those of you who don't know, she is an oddity. She smells like sweaty socks and raw onions, and perspires worse than any person I know. She can drink like an anonymous alcoholic who fell off the wagon and she has sex like a porn star (not with me, thankfully), but I love her anyway. But in my letter, I could only think of 5 reasons for our friendship. One of which, I believe, has to do with being an accomplice in murder/hiding a corpse. Yea, bitch has got my back. Plus she's been in jail before, so that's helpful if we ever end up there together. Which actually might just happen when she visits here in March. On St. Patty's day, no less. And I'm Irish. And I drink. And I'm inappropriate. And I make stupid decisions. Yup. We will end up in jail. Better start saving our bail money now.

Classy broad, I know. I think Betty Boop is ashamed to be standing next to this twat, holding a beer in a brown bag like a drunken hobo.

After those letters were written, I then got sentimental, and sent a letter to ZZ (my nickname for Kenzie Rae) and her father. ZZ's letter was a testament to her amazing parents and Adam's letter was about me. Selfish? Nah...I just want him to know me a little bit better because he's an important part of my life, through my best friend Rachel and I feel like I don't know much about him. What better way to get to know someone than to talk about yourself, right?

Last but not least, my sister Kate received a letter containing 7 inspirational ways to live life.  I found it online and as I read through them I thought, hey, those are things I need to keep with me and try to live by. My favorite rules are to make peace with your past so it won't screw up your present, no one is in charge of your happiness except you, and my ultimate favorite: what others think of you is none of your business. It's harsh, but true.

I was inspired by these simple rules and also wanted to share them with Emily's sister Kim. Kim is an amazing person who has made mistakes in her life, like we all have, but she works hard to correct them and every day, she is a fantastic mother to her 4-year old son Nolan. I wanted to let her know how much I appreciate how our relationship has changed over the years, and wanted to share these inspirational rules with her, hoping at least one of them would ring true. In fact, I read the rules here. I think they are great and everyone should try to at least keep one or two of them in mind on a daily basis.

With that said, it's already Tuesday and I haven't written any letters this week, so I have to get working on that. 17 down, 348 to go. NBD.

Here's to getting one of these in the mail from yours truly!!! Cheers!

08 January 2013

12 Lessons from 2012

2012 was quite a year. I didn't do anything extraordinary with my life, but sometimes the ordinary can become extraordinary.

1. Turning 30 wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. 30 is just a number anyway. It's all about how I feel and portray myself, which is basically like a 13 year old boy who still laughs at farts.

2. My family and friends continue to shock, inspire, and amaze me. No matter what, I still have much love for you all.

3. There is no shame in going to bed before 8pm or eating dinner at 4pm and being under the age of 75.

4. Losing touch with old friends isn't the worst feeling in the world; being burned by close friends is.

5. Growing out your hair for 3 years and cutting it all off to donate to Beautiful Lengths was both liberating and charitable. It felt better to let go than I thought.

6. All relationships take work, especially the ones you struggle with. It's better to move forward instead of dwelling on the past. You can't change your past, but you can change your present.

7. I absolutely still LOVE having repeat visitors to our palace in FL. Yes, I said palace, not place. So, please come visit! We've been here almost 5 years and some people I thought would jump on the chance to come visit still haven't, so get yo asses down herr!

8. 2012 was NOT the year for me to be GONE WITH THE WIND. Perhaps, I shall read that this year. Epic novels scare me, especially since this book reminds me of using my mom's copy as a child as a booster seat at the dinner table and in my father's various ghetto cruisers.

9. You can go from the M to the V to the A, or from the V to the A, or even from the M to the A, but you cannot go from the A to the V to the M. Nor should you wipe back to front, unless you're careful to avoid the taint. But I already knew that. I just wanted to remind y'all to make sure you were paying attention.

10. Finding out my father had cancer on my 30th birthday sucked. Finding out it could be removed and he only needed 12 chemo treatments sucked less. Knowing he is alive and that his condition during chemo is only temporary is a relief and a blessing. Keep your head up JTK. I need you around for a while yet; I still have important swear words and jokes to learn from you.

11. Anything that needs to be said can be done in 5 words or less. Sometimes, the best things said are the shortest. Unfortunately with me, I prefer long winded soliloquys, in case you haven't noticed.

12. I am lucky that Emily has put up with me for 6 years. Without her, I'd probably be a slutty hobo living on the streets and eating stale bread from the dumpster behind Jimmy John's, turning tricks and cracking jokes for money and beer.

Word 365: Week 1

Well, the first week was a success! The first batch of letters have gone out and have been received by most, if not all parties.

The first week's batch included the first two letters, which were of course to my wonderful parents. They are always at the top of my list.

My nephew Dylan received a "did you know" list of fun trivia.

My nephew Cobi received nothing but a list of slang terms for a variety of flatulence. Farting is something we have in common, and laugh about all the time.

Also, I sent a thank you letter to the City of Oakland Park for building the 39th Street greenway. It's a glorified bike/walking path filled with palm trees and benches, but it's a great addition to our neighborhood and I look forward to using it. Every day on my way to and from work for about the last 6-8 months, I have seen men working on and building this path, and I figured they deserved a thank you for their hard work.

A sneak peek for week 2 you say? Sure! Week two's batch of letters include trivia, condolences for two friends who lost a loved one, and my top 5 reasons for being friends with an amazing person.

Stay tuned, and check your mail! You never know when you'll receive a letter!!!

Did you know?
The running pony logo used by the U.S. Post Office Department before the creation of the USPS.

04 January 2013

Word: 365

Facebook. Twitter. Email. Tumblr. Linkedin. Instagram. iPhone. Android. Instant Messaging. Facetime. iPad. Tablet.

What do all these social media outlets have in common?

They are ALL extremely lazy and impersonal ways to communicate.

Remember the day when someone would come to your house for a surprise visit without calling/texting first? How about when someone would write a letter instead of an email? Or when someone would call your landline just to chat?

I will admit that I LOVE social media for reasons everyone else does, but I also love the feel of a pen against a fresh sheet of paper. I love receiving a handwritten letter in the mail, or a note on the mirror from a loved one. 

It's only 2013, but it seems that simple communication is ancient and foreign, something from the 1600's, and something not worth celebrating or remembering.

This year, I want to change all that, one letter at a time.

2013 will be the year I write 365 letters.

You are probably thinking "how will she have time to write 365 letters?" Well, the answer is simple. I won't have time. I will have to make time.

I am a realist, so I know it will not be possible for me to write one letter every single day; therefore, I plan to write some letters in advance to accommodate my lifestyle (holidays, traveling, illness, etc.) As long as I write 365 of them in 2013, I will have reached my goal.

Letters can take many shapes and forms, and I plan to take advantage of that.  Over the next year, I will write letters of all kinds with all sorts of topics. It can be a note to my wife on the mirror, a note to a great server at a restaurant, a postcard, a note on a $5 bill for the homeless guy on the counter, a thank you note, a letter to a soldier overseas, words of encouragement on a post-it, etc. The letter might be personal, it might contain only jokes, it might even only contain five words, because sometimes the best things said are the shortest.

My only rule is that it has to be handwritten and it has to have a clear recipient. The only exception is if I write a letter to someone I have lost in my life, or someone to whom I have never met because unfortunately, I will never be able to send those letters. I will also certainly have repeats, as I have many loved ones with whom I will have many things to share.

The goal to this is to get back to the roots of communication in the best way possible; by taking the time out to make it personal.

I am open to ideas of any kind. I am open to accepting addresses from anyone.  I will blog about this weekly so you can keep up with my progress. Until then, wish me luck.

I only ask one thing of you: take time out of your day once in a while to leave someone a nice note, or to send a loved one a letter. We all learned how to write when we learned how to read, so don't let your skills go to waste.

Change someone's day, one letter at a time.

Made by Lena