Monday, July 15, 2013

The Wheels Keep On Turnin.' Or, I've Been Too Lazy To Blog

You can decide which title you prefer. I'm not even going to go through the whole "I've been such a terrible blogger, but I promise to do better from here on out!" It's been a while. You know it, I know it, we all know it. Let's just move on with our lives. Please know that I may or may not blog in the near future depending on whether I have any life revelations and/or I sit down to do it.

So I'm getting married in T minus 5 days. It's a pretty weird feeling, quite frankly. On one hand, a lot of things will change. Like my name. (Don't get me started on this one. You would think after centuries of gender inequality, the guys could buck up and change THEIR names for a few hundred years, but I have yet to convince anyone.) And the fact that I will live in Decatur... with a boy! Ew! Boys are messy and unorganized. Fortunately, I am clean and well-organized and I am also extremely determined to make these good qualities of mine override any negative organizational qualities of my male counterpart. And I suppose I'll have to coordinate shower times and grocery shop for two and share the TV and all sorts of married kinda stuff, too. I'm sure people have varying degrees of excitedness/nervousness for these sorts of changes. I'm mostly on the excited end, but every once in a while it hits me that I'm making a pretty large and permanent commitment.

That being said, I'd like to take this time to contemplate the things that aren't going to change. That might seem a little strange. Like, sure, it will still take 2 cups of flour to make the perfect banana bread. But I want to promise a few things to you people, and to myself, that will remain steadfast even when I am legally bound to another human being.

I promise I will always be sarcastic. If I've ever offended you, I'm sorry. I was probably trying to make a joke and it completely failed. This happens sometimes. I just don't envision myself becoming super sincere all. the. time. just because I'm a wife. Sorry.

I promise I will never pee with the door open. I hear this happens with married couples. There are a few select people that I will pee in front of and none of them has ever been or will ever be a man. Perhaps I'm "building a wall" but that is just fine in my opinion.

I promise I will continue to buy shoes as I see fit. If we are super poor, I'll hold back. I'm not financially stupid. I just don't think I need to let my foot attire see decay because I have a joint checking account.

I promise you, Justin, that I will never call you "hubby." If you are married and you use this term, I won't judge. It's just not for me. I may perhaps use the term "hubsters," but only rarely and only ironically.

I promise I will never change my Twitter handle. I will always be Abbalange. ALWAYS!

I promise (to the best of my ability) that I will not get pregnant any time soon. Wedding photos are enough to handle all over your newsfeed without me chucking sonograms in there, too.

I promise I will always leave time for my lady friends. I promise I will not go flying off to married land never to return for a night of margaritas and dancing. (I'm not sure I've ever actually had a night of both margaritas and dancing together, so someone should make this happen.) I promise I will take girls' trips, call you to talk about nothing and everything, and make time to hang out on the weekends. You all have been here since the beginning and I'm pretty much cementing you all in until the end.

And just in case you're starting to think that I'm way too cynical and actually won't make a good wife at all, I do promise to love that JTGroth guy forever. He's fun and amusing and can reach the shelves that are too high for me. He's the whole package deal!

Last but not least, I promise to be juuuuust an inconsistent enough blogger to keep you on the edge of your seats at all times. You're welcome.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Procrastination, Or the Birth and Sustenance of Sparkle, Sparlke

Things I do when I want to procrastinate, in no particular order:

1. Check Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, school email. Rinse and repeat until I come out of the haze and realize that nothing is going to change in the next 3 minutes.

2. Wash my dishes. Let me tell you, my dishes are always clean.

3. Contemplate vacuuming. Unfortunately this one only seems to hit me in the late evening when it's really too late to vacuum. I'm not going to be that annoying neighbor.

4. Pinterest.

5. Check out the headlines on Feel really proud when Illinois makes the headlines in a good way. Feel annoyed and yet understanding when some commentator makes disparaging comments about them.

6. Play Candy Crush on my phone. This is a dumb little game with which I have an unhealthy obsession. Every 25 levels or so, it prompts me to pay $.99 for the next 25 levels. I have done so twice thus far. "This is what it must be like to be one of those kids who plays World of Warcraft," I think to myself.

7. Put away random objects that have found their way to my coffee table and kitchen counter.

8. Call my mom and ask if she wants to get coffee. This is actually quite a nice one, although it often takes longer than washing the dishes.

9. Contemplate my impending wedding.

10. Check the refrigerator to see if I have anything to make for lunch and/or dinner. If not, hooray! I get to go grocery shopping, which equals more procrastination.

11. Take a shower. At least I'm improving my life with this one.

12. Check my email again. Aaaaaand again.

13. Think about how I should really be doing work. Feel increasingly guilty the longer I do this.

14. Make myself some coffee, or if I'm feeling really adventurous, go to get coffee from a local establishment. Walk leisurely so as to not get back to my work too soon.

15. Channel surf for about 15 minutes. The only times this one lasts longer than that are if Remember the Titans or a Lifetime Movie is on.

16. Take a nap. (This one is my favorite.)

17. Wander aimlessly from my bedroom to my living room, while trying to locate my motivation.

18. Wait, have I checked my email recently?

19. Stretch.

20. Update Sparkle, Sparlke, which works out great for all you fine people, but not so great for my workload. Thankfully I'm dedicated to the cause and have no intention of giving up my fine procrastination skills anytime soon. That means more blog posts, lucky you!

Ok, time to check my email. You know, because it's been a while.

Friday, February 1, 2013

25 things I've learned since being 25

One of my very dear friends texted me a few minutes ago and jokingly told me that when she sees me tomorrow she expects to hear 25 things I've learned since being 25. And I got to thinking, I DO learn a lot everyday, so why not try it? So, these 25 things are not all things that I have learned in the last 3 days since I've been 25, but they are definitely things I've learned over the last 25 years.

1. The relationships you have with others are invaluable. You never know what person is going to come out of the woodwork and change your life forever.

2. Confidence is 70% of life. The other 30% is the effort  you put into making yourself confident about things.

3. It's sometimes OK to receive, especially when you give. You can't spend your life helping everyone else and then not accept assistance when it's offered. That's just dumb.

4. Your career isn't the thing that is probably going to bring you the most joy. For a small portion of the population it is, but for the rest of us poor schmucks, we have to be satisfied with our hobbies, families and friends to keep us happy.

5. Flossing is important. I don't not do it anymore. (see number 2.)

6. Optimism is not naive, especially when it makes you try harder.

7. Anger is very useful and often spurs you try harder. (see number 6.)

8. Being wrong does not necessarily mean you're wrong. Rather, it's better to have tried and failed than to never try at all.

9. Sunshine and color can change your mood and your thoughts for the better.

10. Little luxuries are important, and in my opinion, necessary whenever doable.

11. Being disappointed in others will only leave you feeling alone. People will have to figure it out for themselves. Hopefully until this time, you can find enough reserved comfort in yourself to carry on.

12. Very few people are truly mean, most of them are just terribly mistreated and terribly sad.

13. When you wait for the other shoe to drop (metaphorically) sometimes you wait a long time. Don't assume the worst. Sometimes, not always, but sometimes, things do work out.

14. There is not a "right" choice. Half of the decisions we make on a daily basis are luck, the other half were never choices to begin with.

15. If you want something very badly, don't dwell too much. There is a world full of people happening and living all around you- maybe you'll miss the something you're waiting for while you're too busy waiting.

16. Keep a part of yourself for yourself. It doesn't matter who you love or who or spend the rest of your life with or who your best friend is, was, or will be. You are the constant in your own life, spend some time with you.

17. Appreciate the things you have. Believe me, I know what bleak looks like. Even when I get so scared that something terrible will happen, I remind myself that I have resources and relationships and a team of people who love me. You probably do too. Don't forget that.

18. Your life will not probably run on time or according to plan. The plan is that there is not a plan. And that's coming from the Master Planner herself. Embrace it, or spend the rest of your life with your tushy draggin' on the ground while your life pulls you along. (Personally I prefer the no rug-burn route!)

19. When you can find the humor in dark places, you are totally fine.

20. Don't be afraid to meet new people. All of my good friends were once complete strangers, and most of these poor strangers were the unlucky recipients of me forcing myself into their lives.

21. Try not to let everyone know how bad it gets sometimes. Once you're that raw, it's very hard to step back from them. Make sure it's real when you go there.

22. Show up. When you say you'll do something, do it. And don't agree to do things you're not comfortable with.

23. Try not to be too critical of yourself, but be a little bit critical of yourself. Everything in moderation.

24. Tell other people that they're good at something. Just do it. You never know who needs a little extra nudge.

25. Be kind. There was never a situation that didn't call for kindness in some capacity.

So there you have it. 25 things. Maybe in another 25 I can add some more. Mostly I'm just going to try to appreciate most everything that comes my way, and the things I can't appreciate I will try to forget quickly.

Have a sparkly weekend!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

13 Can Be Lucky Too, Right?

Thirteen is a notoriously unlucky number and now we have to live with it for an entire year. Those with superstitious tendencies might be freaking out, but I refuse to believe in such bizarre concepts. It is just a number after all. This is the same mentality that caused me to pick #13 for my volleyball jersey in high school. I'm not sure it really brought me that much luck, but I never had any major injuries either, so I figure things even out.

So here are thirteen of my hopes for 2013:

1. I'll start with a small, rather reasonable hope. I hope Illini makes the NCAA tournament. This doesn't seem like too much to ask, but based on the past few years, I'm sure all fellow Illini fans understand where I'm coming from. I try to be an optimistic fan, but I won't lie - there's a little part of me that's just waiting for the team to spontaneously combust.

2. I hope that I survive two more semesters of school, preferably with most of my hair still attached to my head.

3. I hope that I only have to move one more time this year. I really, really, really cannot express how much I loathe moving, so this hope should probably actually be #1 on this list.

4. I sincerely hope that I do not accumulate any more chairs. This may sound like an unusual aspiration, but I currently have eight chairs in my small apartment and it's getting out of control.

5. In the same vein as #1, I hope our Fighting Illini wins more than two football games this year. There are no words for how I felt about the abysmal state of football in Champaign last year.

6. I hope I stick to my generic New Years resolutions to work out more, eat healthier, read more, etc. etc. etc. I have only limited expectations for this one.

7. Well, I mean, naturally I hope for World Peace.

8. I hope I get to travel out of the country. I have no set plans to do so, but if 2013 wanted to surprise me with any kind of international travel, I would not object.

9. I hope Sean Lowe finds his one true love on the Bachelor.

10. I very much hope that my best, Deva, finds a new job that gives her some peace of mind and a joyful soul. Along the same lines, if you are unhappy in your current situation, I hope that YOU find a new job/city/person/pet/wardrobe. Really, I do!

11. I would really love a kitten. I realize this is dependent on a number of variables including but not limited to real estate restrictions, significant other's whininess, and dollars in the bank. But seriously. A fluffy kitty on my lap right now sounds amazing.

12. I reaaaally hope I get married this year. If I do not, plan on reading a lot more Sparkle, Sparlke posts.

13. Last but not least, I hope, against all hopes, that this is the year that Justin Timberlake does in fact bring sexy back, and give this world the gift of a new musical album. Because it's about freakin' time, dangit.

And a 14th for good fortune - I hope life puts a little more sparkle in your path!