Showing posts with label deep thoughts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label deep thoughts. Show all posts

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful 2012

It's that time of year again. Time to gorge myself on turkey, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and pumpkin. Oh yeah. And reflect on what I'm thankful for. As I sit here waiting for Steve to get ready to head over to my sister's house, I think about the long, tough year it's been and all that I have to be thankful for.

I'm thankful for the return of Excedrin Migraine.

I'm thankful for a healthy family.

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I'm thankful for internet cats. Especially Grumpy Cat.

I'm thankful for coworkers who embrace and encourage my Internet cat addiction.

I'm thankful for stretchy pants which allow me to ignore the fact that changes in my meds have caused me to gain ungodly amounts of weight in the last few months.

I'm thankful for best friends who still take me on lunchtime shopping trips with them, despite the fact that we no longer physically take lunch together.

I'm thankful that I will not be alone this holiday season, for the third time in a row.

I'm thankful for the man who is keeping me sane and happy this holiday season.

I'm thankful that said man understands my quirks and loves me in spite of them.

I'm thankful for my fluffy cat who kept me warm through the 11 days I was without power or heat after Hurricane Sandy.

I'm thankful for new books.

I'm thankful for headache-free days.

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

An overload of cute

I have a new show obsession which almost killed me. I was at Steve's house flipping channels and saw on Animal Planet the new show Too Cute. I thought I was going to have a seizure. Fricken, KITTENS!!! And PUPPIES!!! Just parading around! All floppy-like and helpless! Holy frick, you guys! The first episode I saw featured three sets of kittens. The second episode I saw featured three sets of puppies, the first of which were PUGS OMG!!! I believe many of you know how much I adore pugs. All smoosh face dogs, really. But pugs especially, thanks to my darling God Pug, Dave.
I luff his face. 
My almost death happened at my parents' house. My dad has a television that is high def and literally bigger than me. I was waiting for my nieces to come over and flipping channels when Too Cute came on.

Kittens. Kittens three feet tall. In HIGH DEFINITION. It was too much. I couldn't breathe. Cuteness was overwhelming my system. Then my Hannah ran in and saw what I was watching and GASPED and reaffirmed how much I love that kid.

And that is the story of how I almost died of acute cuteness.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

May the odds be ever in your favor

I bought the first book in the Hunger Games trilogy a few months ago on a whim at Marshalls. When I got home, I settled down on the couch and started reading. I didn't sleep that night because I couldn't put it down. I read it cover to cover in one night and needed more. I went to three different Marshalls stores the next day in search of the last two books but only found one so I paid FULL PRICE for the last book in hardcover (which is unheard of, for me).

I finished the series in record time. The story was engrossing, original, and thoroughly enjoyable. I loved and felt for the characters. I needed to know more about them. And when I heard that there was going to be a movie made based on the books, I was so excited to see it!

On Monday (almost a week ago!) I was talking to Anne and realized we both wanted to go see the Hunger Games, so why not double date at the Dine In theater? (Check out Anne's blog! She wrote a great review of the Dine In experience! :) We went online and saw that the showing we wanted to go to was already half filled. We decided instantly to buy tickets and STILL couldn't get four seats together.

Fast forward almost a week to today. Excitement levels have peaked. I did my nails for the occasion.
Ring finger on FIRE!!!
I was so excited, and the movie did not disappoint. It satisfied those who loved the books and was still accessible to movie goers who hadn't read them. I loved it. It's rare that a movie lives up to its literary counterpart, and I believe that this movie succeeded in that. The last time I was this excited about a movie/book franchise was when I read the Harry Potter books.

I can't wait for the next two movies. Now I have to go re-read the books!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My cat has body image issues

Maya is a recovering bulimic*. Around age 4, she used to throw up constantly after she ate. Like, constantly. CONSTANTLY. Poor thing could barely keep her dinner down. She would binge and purge, usually onto or very near my favorite shoes. It was very sad. Her belly was very sensitive, but she was otherwise very healthy. She weighed around 7.4 lbs two years ago at age 4.

Her vet prescribed Pepsid. I gave it to her for a month, but didn't really see a big difference. I ended up switching her food from a regular indoor cat formula to Eukanuba Sensitive Stomach cat food. It worked wonders. It seems she just had a very delicate belly. Her weight zoomed up from 7.2 lbs to 9 lbs at age 6. Maya was officially chunky.
So now I have a fluffy, chunky cat and her weight keeps climbing. I know that the treats I give her for her "workouts" are part of the problem now that she keeps all of her food down, so I did some research and found some natural, low fat kitty treats.

I guess I should explain her workouts.

To get my mostly sedentary kitty moving, I hold up a kitty treat, wait until she sees it, then throw it across the room. My floors are hardwood, so she runs and slides to get it. Then she comes back for more. Sometimes she tries to catch them. It's highly amusing. We play this game daily.

Back to the treats. I ordered Catswell Vitakitty chicken jerky, Wellness Pure Delights chicken and lamb jerkyThrill Natural Freeze Dried chicken cat treats, and Innova cat treats. All of these treats got excellent reviews, have high protein and low fat content, and hopefully Maya will like them. I spoil my little kitty.

I'll let you know how it goes when they arrive.

*Just to clarify, I don't take eating disorders lightly. I'm aware that bulimia is a serious medical condition. But I am also aware that I have a cat who binges and purges. So laugh, people. Laugh.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

I don't have to remind you that today is Valentine's Day. For most of my life, I have hated this day. This day was always filled with lovey dovey grossness that reminded me of what I didn't have. Before last year, I had never had someone to love on Valentine's Day. And now? Steve and I celebrated our first Valentine's Day together last year with dinner and a movie. And with that one dinner, most of my cynicism over the day vanished.

I was actually cheerful today. Seeing people with flowers and giant teddy bears actually made me smile. It seems that with the glaze of cynicism removed, I can see this day for what it should be. It's a day for showing the people you love what they mean to you.

I'm not spending today with Steve. Because Valentine's Day is Tuesday, we decided to have date night last night. We had a lovely dinner and watched a movie at home. It was a nice quiet night. This morning when I woke up, I found this on my laptop.

He got me a card!!! He's always been anti-cards, but knowing that he went to a store and chose a card was so sweet!

So I'm alone tonight. I got dinner from Trader Joe's, a salted caramel cupcake from Crumbs, and I'm having a lovely Valentine's night snuggled on the couch with Maya. I'm happy and content and loved. And today was a good day.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Movie tragedies. Real life.

I was on the radio today. I've never called into a talk radio show, but I did today. It was New Jersey 101.5. I was driving to my parents' house and flipping radio stations when I heard the talk radio hosts, Deminski and Doyle, talking about the new Tom Hanks movie "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." The movie is about the son of a man who died on 9/11. Apparently, the sister of someone who died on one of the planes on 9/11 believes that the filmmakers are exploiting the tragedy for commercial gain and is calling for a boycott of the movie.

I have complicated feelings about this. On one hand, I also freaked out when I saw the trailer. I don't like being reminded about that day. Whenever it is referenced and there are news clips that show the towers on fire, I cringe and have to look away. Even 10 years later. Every time I take the train into New York and I see the skyline that's missing two very important pieces, I'm reminded of that awful day.

On the other hand, it's part of our history. It happened. We can't pretend it didn't. Movies are made all the time about historical tragedies. One of the biggest movies of all time was about an tragedy. (Titanic, if you couldn't guess.) And it's not the only one. Pearl Harbor. Schindler's List. Hotel Rwanda. All about tragic events. All recent enough that people still living would remember it and be affected by a movie about it.

When I called in, (I was Aliah from Plainfield. Haydia is hard to say) I pointed out that there had already been a film made about 9/11. They had no idea what I was talking about. It was called "World Trade Center" and starred Nicolas Cage. No one remembers that movie. There was also a film called "United 93" about the people who brought down that plane in PA. So this film isn't new. It's just another in the inevitable slew of films that will come to be made about that day in September.

My advice to that lady who called for a boycott? Don't go see it. Change the channel when the trailer comes on. It's tough. It will probably always be tough. But 9/11 is a part of our cultural history. And pretending it never happened is not the way to go. Plus Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock are in it. If anyone can be trusted to be gentle with that sacred material, it's those two.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


A year ago today, I was unexpectedly in the driver's seat of my dad's car, driving him, my mom, and my aunt to Long Island to see my grandmother in the hospital. It was unexpected because a) I hate driving to Long Island, b) I had been in Long Island less than a week ago, and c) my grandmother's health had declined very quickly.

We were about a half hour from the hospital and in some awful traffic when I heard a cell phone ring and my mother answered. I heard her say "Oh no. Inna lillahi Wa inna ilaihi Rajioon." My heart stopped. She has just recited the dua you say when you hear that someone has died. My grandmother had died and I had missed seeing her one last time by a half hour. And I had to keep it together because I was on the BQE in heavy traffic with a car full of people, two of whom had just lost their mother.

My father's mother, or Daddee-Ma, as I called her, was my last living grandparent. She lived in Long Island with my father's youngest sister and her two children.

I got a lot from Daddee-Ma. Physically, you could see that I am her granddaughter. I got her round arms. I got her short fingers. At the funeral, I sat next to her sister and was amazed at how similar our hands were.

I'm not sure what I wanted to say. I'm sad today. I regret not seeing her more. I miss her. I think was harder at her funeral because it felt so unexpected. With Ma (my maternal grandmother), I was there for her life, her sickness, her death. With Daddee-Ma, I missed so much. And now it's too late.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: Looking back

It's the last day of the year. At midnight tonight, I will be popping open a bottle of champagne with Steve and toasting to 2012. But before that, I thought I'd take a minute to look back on this year.

The past year wasn't an easy one. Financially, it was one of the hardest ones I've faced in a long time. I've been unemployed for just over a year and the job market for editors, writers, and journalists hasn't gotten any better. I believe I've applied to every job out there at least five times each, and I've revamped my resume countless times.

I've also had to deal with a lack of healthcare and the headaches that seem to be mounting in intensity. While I've been able to remain on my preventative prescriptions because of generally affordable generic drugs, what I need is a solution to the ouchies. Solutions require healthcare.

Fortunately, I'm still collecting unemployment. While it is a lot less than I was making, it is enough to keep me housed and fed. And for the rest, I have Steve. I've already gone on and on about how amazing he is and how much he's done for me. This year would have been much harder if it wasn't for him. I'm a lucky lady.

I've talked about the power of positivity in my blog before. It's something I've struggled with, and this year put it to the test. Faced with financial insecurity, constant pain, and an unsure future, there isn't much room for positivity, but I tried. And for the most part, I succeeded. The trick is to focus on the good. It's cheesy, I know. But it's been working.

Want to know what I've got that's good? It's silly, but I'll share.

When I'm sinking, I think about my adorable nieces and how lucky I am that I live so close to them and I can see them whenever I want. I think about how lucky I am that I have a boyfriend who adores and spoils me. I think about how fluffy Maya is and how great it is when she snuggles with me on cold days and becomes my space heater.

I told you it was cheesy. But it's what I've got.

So that was my year. No money, but lots of love. I can't wait for 2012.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 12, 2011

A love letter

Warning: sappiness and gooey love within. You have been warned. Read at your own peril.

I am in love. I never thought I would be. I hoped for love. I dreamt of love. I thought I knew what it would be like. I thought I knew what he would be like. I thought I knew what it would feel like. I was so wrong. It's even better than I thought it could be.

When I was younger, I thought that the man I would spend my life with would be my other half. He would be my knight in shining armor. He would sweep in on a white horse and solve all my problems and we would live happily ever after and life would be complete once he was in my life. Now that I'm older, I know that love doesn't solve your problems, but having someone who loves you makes your problems easier to bear.

The man I love brings me joy. He makes me stronger. He makes me laugh. He understands me. He has seen me at my best and my worst. He's my best friend. He's the first person I want to talk to in the morning and the last person I want to talk to at night. He knows me better than anyone else. He sees my weaknesses and doesn't judge me for them, but allows me the room to grow and become a better person.

Babe, I can't give you the world for Christmas. I wish I was rich. I would buy you iPads and mixers and cars and guitars. But I can't. You have been so amazing to me and I want you to know how much I love and appreciate you. I used to hate Christmas. Now I look forward to sharing this season with you. You've turned me into one of those sappy, lovey, gross, happy people! I love you. Merry Christmas.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Night terrors

The last few nights have been pretty dramatic in the Haydia household. I live on the first floor of an old Victorian house. In my bedroom, there is a fireplace that's been boarded over. I use the mantle as a backdrop for my vanity and I have a mirror propped up under it and my dressing table sits on the hearth. I used to love my fireplace. Not anymore.

Two nights ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and thought I heard scratching. I assumed we had a mouse. We occasionally get a field mouse stuck in the house and Maya usually chases it out. No big deal. She's a good hunter. So I tried to ignore it and go back to sleep, assuming Maya would deal with it and I made a mental note to walk carefully in the morning, just in case.

Fast forward to the next night. The scratching was louder. Much louder. Still, I ignored it. Maya was on the prowl, all good. I figured I would set a mouse trap or something the next day and I tried to go to sleep, but I was starting to worry.

Ok. Last night. The scratching? INTENSE! Like loud, constant, awful scratching. And Maya knew exactly where it was coming from. She sat under my vanity and stared intensely at the wall, Blair Witch style. So I freaked out because I saw teeny wood chips coming out from under the wall which meant that IT WAS ACTUALLY MAKING PROGRESS GETTING THROUGH and called my sister, who sent over my brother in law. And when he came over he told me to look in my yard. And I saw two large deer standing under my kitchen window. And that's when I broke.

I had to go sit down. Maya was running in circles. My brother in law was shining a light under the wall and then a little black hand reached out and tried to grab the light.

Want to know what I was dealing with?

Here you go.

And this is no where near as loud as it was in person. It was LOUDER.

My brother in law got some rat poison and shoved it under the wall and taped it over and put a mirror and a box in front of it so Maya wouldn't get too close to it and told me we had to wait for it to die or else it might escape into the house and wreak havoc on me and my cat. So yeah. I had to stay in the house and wait for the poor thing to die. So now I have a vengeful ghost raccoon living in my walls.

UPDATE: (as of a few seconds ago) 

Maya and I were chilling in the living room as I have been avoiding the death chamber that is my bedroom and I swear we both heard scratching. I know she heard it because she had been sleeping like this:
and then we both heard it and I looked at her and she was sitting straight up staring at me. So now we have a zombie raccoon situation.

Oh! And the deer eventually found the driveway and wandered off.

I love animals. I love all animals. And I wrote this with a tilt to the funny, but I feel really bad for the little stuck raccoon. But it had to go. And I guess it was better to die quickly than to remain trapped and die of hunger? Either way, my brother in law wasn't going to open up the wall to get him out. I'm pretty sure it fell in from the roof and was stuck for a few days. And that's probably why I'm feeling so awful about it and don't want to go into my room. I feel like its tiny ghost is going to exact revenge on me for not being kinder to it while it was alive. I'm sorry, little raccoon guy! I don't have tools! My sister would have killed me if I cut into her walls! I'M SO SORRY RACCOON!!!!!

This is exhausting. I never want to sleep in that room again.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween fun

Halloween is one of my favorite days of the year. I used to make my own costumes and my sister would throw these amazing parties. She lives in an old Victorian house and we would dress the whole thing up like a haunted house. So much fun. But since the nieces have been around, they've toned down the scary, and I haven't made a costume in years. I made my last costume in 2003. I went as Cleopatra. I hand beaded my gold gown and wig. I even made my shoes. It took me 4 months to complete.

One of the most fun I've had in recent years was helping a friend out who set up a haunted walk through for her little sister's Halloween party. I've been on haunted hayrides and haunted corn mazes and I love them (I'm going to one on Friday!), so I jumped at the opportunity to participate in one. We went to a thrift store to buy our costumes. I ended up with a white lace dress that fit horribly and thick black tights because it was cold. The others got more standard horror costumes. We had Mike Meyers, the girl who crawls out of the tv from the Ring, a female vampire, some scary hooded people, and a menacing lumberjack.

We showed up to my friend's mother's house with lots of spooky supplies and a basic game plan. We were going to spookify the backyard and scare the kids. Then we ran into a snag. The weather called for rain all evening. That did away with our plans for the fire pit and basically everything else out in the open. So we moved most of it to the first floor, into two outdoor sheds, and under a tarp below the deck. We had black lights, fake blood, fake heads, skeletons, random body parts, a smoke machine, and a strobe light.

It was all set up, we were dressed and in position, the smoke machine was going, the lights were flashing, but how do we get a bunch of 9 to 12 year olds to walk through like we want them to? I came up with a story.

While everyone waited in place, I went up to the party and gathered the first bunch of little kids around me. I knelt down (because I'm short, but not THAT short) and told them about my ex-boyfriend, who had a really bad temper was looking for me. And I'm super scared, you guys, and do you think you all can come with me, cause I'm really really really super scared and I don't want to go down there by myself cause I think he may be out there somewhere? And I put my hands out and the little girls closest to me grabbed on because I was starting to freak them out and one little girl asked me why my hands were shaking and I said "because I'm so scared!" and I think she was ready to cry. (Full disclosure: my hands used to shake all the time because of my headaches. For a while my doctor thought I had MS. I don't. They don't shake as much anymore, but it worked to my advantage that day!)

So I walked them down the front stairs to the first floor entrance which was through the garage. Sitting at a table was the girl from the Ring. She was poking at a plate of jello entrails and grinning. I told the kids not to make eye contact and hurried past. They were freaking out. It was working. We went out into the yard under the deck which was covered with a tarp so it was all enclosed. With the smoke machine, it was hard to see and the fake blood was splattered all over the place. I walked them slowly through. Two of the hooded scary people were hidden in the corners and jumped out as we were nearing the exit. At that, the kids screamed and I started running across the lawn to the first shed with Mike Meyers chasing us.

The shed was shaped like a little house with windows and a little door. We had set it up as a sacrificial altar with our vampire and the Ring girl (who had snuck out while we were under the tarp) laying in wait inside. I led the kids into the shed and slammed the door shut behind them. Mike Meyers and I banged on the windows and walls while the vampire and the Ring girl did I don't know what to them inside for about 30 seconds, then I opened the door and yelled at them to FOLLOW MEEE!!! which they did, past the second shed, where MY "EX-BOYFRIEND" JUMPED OUT AT US WIELDING AN AXE!!!!!!!!! which he swung at me, then we all ran back to the house with all of us screaming.

We did it over and over for different groups of kids. It was starting to rain pretty hard, so we had to wrap things up. On the last run, instead of me escaping with the kids to the house, my "ex-boyfriend" caught me, dragged me back to the shed, and swung the axe then squirted me with fake blood, so the last thing the kids saw before they went into the house was me standing in the yard in the pouring rain with blood soaking my white dress, screaming my head off. I'm pretty sure all of those kids are going to need therapy.

It was seriously the best Halloween ever.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Million dollar ideas

I've had a slight fever for the past few days. At night, I get a bit delirious. In delirium, I get amazing, mind blowing, million dollar ideas. Steve and I usually talk on the phone around 10 pm when we're both ready for bed so we can say good night. For the last few days, I've been too hyper and fevered when he calls to be sleepy, so I've regaled him with my awesome ideas.

My latest idea is a phone service where girls can call in for an emergency bff. I'll explain.

You know how you have those girlfriends who you can always count on to hype you up or agree with you no matter how ridiculous you are? I know I have my crew of friends and cousins who have my back. Well, sometimes they aren't always available. They have lives of their own! Hence my call in service. I'll have a staff of sassy bitches who will agree with whatever you need agreeing with. Or will back up whatever annoyance you have. Or give you advice. Or tell you he's no good. Or tell you that outfit makes your butt look amazing. Whatever the situation requires. It will be called "Dial-A-BFF" and it will be awesome.

No one steal my idea. It's mine.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Target is magic

I just came home from a shopping trip at my local Target. It was my first trip there since they revamped and added fresh foods and an expanded grocery section. If you know me, you are aware of my love affair with Target. My reason for going today was to exchange the Ninjago Ice Dragon that Steve and I had bought for my niece's birthday for the Ninjago Earth Dragon because someone had already bought the Ice Dragon for her. (She is obsessed with dragons. My niece is awesome.) Unfortunately, the Earth Dragon seems to have disappeared between last weekend and this weekend. There was no trace of it in the store. Not even on the little cards on the shelves. So I ended up getting her the Atlantis Angler Attack because she was an angler fish for Halloween a few years ago and she is, as previously stated, awesome.

With mission "Hannah's Present" accomplished, I was free to wander the store. This is a rare treat since Steve doesn't have the patience to wander Target. He likes to focus. In and out. That's not how you Target! (Yes it's a verb now.) Especially after a redesign!!! I have to take in all the newness! Stuff is in different places! There's new stuff to be seen! I wandered around texting Anne for about two hours. It was glorious.

Highlight of the night: the frozen section has the new LED lights that dim when no one is in the aisle. So when you go through after no one has been there for a while, it's MAGIC!!!!!! You know how in the Billie Jean video, when Michael walks down the street and the sidewalk lights up as he steps on each block? Just like that. It made me ridiculously happy. Some woman ruined it for me the first time because I was just starting to bask in the amazing-ness when she barged ahead of me and lit up the rest of the freezers. Jerk. I waited for the freezers to turn off then RACED down the aisle with my cart. I told Anne about the excitement (via G Chat.) Her response? "You need to get out more." She may be right.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I can't help but remember

For the last 10 years, I tried to pretend that this day was a day like all others. I almost succeeded today, but the news coverage has been more overwhelming than usual. Every channel I turned on this morning had the memorial on. I went out for breakfast and everyone there was talking about it.

Since I can't escape it, I choose to think of the aftermath. Not the angry, "get those bastards at any cost" mentality that came out of some. I choose to think of the outpouring of love. The feeling of solidarity. That the attack was an attack on all decent human beings. That only a monster could do what they did. 

The following is an article I recently read on the Mental Floss website, titled "We Are All Americans: The World's Response to 9/11," written by Haley Sweetland Edwards. This is how I choose to think about today.
A decade ago this week, people all over the world stood shoulder-to-shoulder in mourning, solidarity, sympathy and friendship with the people of the United States. Here are a few of those international reactions, both organized and spontaneous, that occurred in the days following September 11, 2001. 
In London, the Star Spangled Banner played during the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, while traffic came to a standstill in The Mall nearby.
In Beijing, tens of thousands of people visited the U.S. Embassy, leaving flowers, cards, funeral wreaths and hand-written notes of condolence on the sidewalk out front.
In Moscow, women who spoke no English and had never been to the U.S. were captured on film sobbing in front of a makeshift tribute on a sidewalk, and every single church and monastery in Romania held a memorial prayer.
In France, a well-known newspaper, Le Monde, ran a headline reading, “We Are All Americans.”
In the Middle East, both the Israeli president and the Palestinian leader condemned the attacks, and made a show of donating blood.
Kuwaitis lined up to donate blood as well. Jordanians signed letters of sympathy.
In Tehran, an entire stadium of people gathered for a soccer match observed a moment of silence, and in Turkey, flags flew at half-mast.
In Berlin, 200,000 people packed the streets leading to the Brandenburg Gate.
A thousand miles south, in Dubrovnik, Croatia, schoolchildren took a break from classes to bow their heads in silence.
In Dublin, shops and pubs were closed during a national day of mourning, and people waited in a three-hour line to sign a book of condolences.
In Sweden, Norway and Finland, trams and buses halted in tribute, and in Russia, television and radio stations went silent to commemorate the innocent dead.
In Azerbaijan, Japan, Greenland, Bulgaria and Tajiskitan, people gathered in squares to light candles, murmur good wishes and pray. And in Pretoria, South Africa, little kids perched on their parents’ shoulders holding mini American flags.
Firefighters in Hungary tied black ribbons to their trucks, firefighters in South Africa flew red, white and blue, and firefighters in Poland sounded their sirens, letting loose a collective wail one warm afternoon.
Cubans offered medical supplies. Ethiopians offered prayers. Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan offered their air space, and dozens of other world leaders called the White House to offer their support.
Hundreds of thousands of people in Canada, Albania and Sierra Leone marched in the streets in shows of solidarity, and mosques in Bangladesh, Yemen, Pakistan, Libya and Sudan trembled with clerics’ condemnation of those “cowardly” and “un-Islamic” attacks.
Lebanese generals convened to sign letters of sympathy, and in Italy, Pope John Paul II fell to his knees in prayer.
Albania, Ireland, Israel, Canada, Croatia, South Korea and the Czech Republic all declared national days of mourning, and the legendary bells of Notre Dame echoed throughout Paris.
In Italy, race car drivers preparing for the upcoming Italian Grand Prix silenced their engines, and in London, hundreds stood quietly during the noontime chimes of Big Ben.
In Belgium, people held hands, forming a human chain in front of the Brussels World Trade Center, and seventeen time zones away, strangers in Indonesia gathered on a beach to pray.
In India, children taped up signs that read, “This is an attack on all of us,” and in Austria, church bells tolled in unison.

Read the full text here: --brought to you by mental_floss! 

If you get a chance, also check out the Mental Floss article about Gander, Newfoundland, and some of the many unsung heroes of 9/11.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The power of positivity

At my last job, one of my coworkers was an almost impossibly positive person. My work bffs and I referred to her as Sunshine because it seemed as though nothing could get her down. She was a genuinely happy person. If it rained, she would talk about the delight of walking in the rain. If it snowed, she talked about going home and building snowmen. She was the master of looking at the bright side of life. At first, I thought it was an act, or sarcasm, but she was genuinely a positive person. As a sarcastic East coast girl, I did not understand. It made no sense. She's... happy? Like, all the time? She... finds joy in everything? I didn't know people like this existed!

Thinking about her, I realized that I had a lot to learn from her way of thinking. I've struggled with depression for most of my life. I've been medicated. I've been to therapists. But it's my way of thinking that's been my main problem. I realized that I had to change.

When faced with something new, I don't want my first reaction to be negative. It's been hard to retrain my brain. I have mental battles when I want to be mean, but I force myself to be nice. It's been working. Instead of being unwilling to accept a situation, I've made an attempt to find the good in whatever it is I'm faced with. It's reformed my whole outlook.

I have lots of things in my life currently that I can be down about, but I choose to look at what I have to be happy about. Yes, the problems and the crappy stuff will be there even if I ignore them, but I choose to stay positive. And that choice keeps my head above water. I have my bad days, and I do allow myself a good cry every now and then. But after that, I go back to positive thinking. I remain me, just a happier me. Haydia 2.0, if you will.

It's a big change, and it seems to be working. I feel happier. I'll report back on this in a few months.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Loving yourself as is

I recently read an article on Huffington Post about body image and its effect on your love life. It's no secret that I have self esteem and body image issues. I don't find myself attractive. I've never been thin, and having been off certain medications and being mostly sedentary since I've been out of work, I've gained weight. This is one of the reasons I've been avoiding social situations recently. (To anyone who's invitation I've declined lately, my apologies. I'll see you in the winter under a layer of sweaters.)

I know I'm not ugly. I'm just not comfortable with my appearance. I've never been. But I am with someone who thinks I'm beautiful. And that helps. In his eyes, I'm the most beautiful woman in the world. And hearing it from him almost makes me believe it.

So back to that article. It talks about self confidence and how it affects people's perception of you. Now, I have self confidence, just not in my physical appearance. Does that make sense? I have conviction in my thoughts and opinions, but not in how I look in dresses and skinny jeans. Does one enhance the other? Does confidence have to be tied to physical appearance? I do love myself as is, but there is an asterisk next to that. I love my mind. My body, not so much.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Exhaustion leads to creativity?

I had the weirdest dream today. I was extremely tired and slightly headachy, so I took a nap this afternoon. When I woke up, my head was filled with the strangest narrative. I tried to write it down, but could only remember fleeting details.

I need to sleep with a tape recorder next to my bed so I can get the details down as soon as I wake up. This is killing me. I've started writing it up. In my head it was a solid story, but now it's filled with holes. I'm pretty sure my brain just wrote my next short story without letting the rest of me know. I've spent the rest of today playing catch up with the story that has already been completed but hasn't found a way to escape my mind onto paper. It's frustrating.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Television! I've not missed you!

I haven't had cable since 2003. That was the year I graduated college and got my own apartment, which meant that cable was WAY too expensive for me on my own. I've always been a big reader and watched a lot of DVDs so I didn't really miss watching TV.

Until yesterday.

I'm currently house sitting, and the house has CABLE. And DVR!!! And ON DEMAND OMG!!!! I spent just about all of yesterday watching TV. It was never ending. I watched Law and Order: SVU, Extreme Home Makeover (it made me cry), Whale Wars, How It's Made, some random wedding cake show, Extreme Couponing, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Say Yes to the Dress, and a show about killer crocodiles.

I realized that much has changed since I had cable. When did all those channels show up? There's a channel for everything! I don't remember there being more than 60 channels. There was only one MTV and it played videos. There was no cable box or special remote! I feel so old. "Back in my day...!"

I spent most of today reading to cleanse my brain. I'm going to be alright.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

All is fair in love

I haven't written about Steve and me for a while. I have an update on the situation.
We saw each other last weekend and spoke sporadically throughout the week. I think we now understand each other better.
I love him and miss him. He is my everything. My lobster. My other half. But I understand what he needs now. And I will support him and give him the time that he needs because I know that in the end we will be stronger. I'm going to have a little faith.
I went to a memorial for my cousin's grandmother today. I thought of my own grandmothers a lot today. The takeaway message from today was that you should never miss an opportunity to tell the people in your life what they mean to you. It made me miss him immensely and I sent him a text to let him know I was thinking about him. His response was almost instant. And it made me very happy.
Sorry for being cryptic and sappy but it's almost 3 am, I'm feeling all kinds of stuff, and I wanted to tell you all that I'm ok. And that we are ok, and on the path to being awesome. <3

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Begging for universal healthcare

Hey everyone. I'm writing to you after three continuous days of agony. I've been mostly in bed since Sunday with massive ouchies of the head. I've tried doubling the dose of Vicodin. Didn't work. Doubling dose of Percoset. Didn't work. Sleeping pills kind of work, except for last night when I was up until 4 am contemplating lobotomies.

I used to be (mostly) in control of my headaches. I would get a really bad one maybe once a month. But the really awful ones that take me completely out of commission for days on end were rare. Now I'm getting them almost daily. The reason? I can't afford the daily medication that I used to take to control it. Why? Because I am unemployed and have no insurance, so a monthly supply of it is over $300, which I don't have, since I'm unemployed. Can you see a pattern yet?

Being without a job sucks, but doubly so if you have a "condition." I looked into getting health insurance as an individual, but the cost was insane for a single person with low income. And because I am a single woman with no kids and am not pregnant, I do not qualify for programs like NJ Family Care or Medicaid. So now I cannot go to my neurologist because I cannot afford it. I get freaked out, thinking that there is something seriously wrong, but I have no way to find out because I CAN'T AFFORD IT. I am 3 years overdue for an MRI to see if there have been any changes to my brain, but there is no way I can get one done now.

There were a couple of nights when the pain was unbearable, and under different circumstances, I would have gone to the ER. But I can't go because that would be one more bill. So I sucked it up and prayed for the pain to end.

There are other medications I take that I can afford because they are included on Target's and Walgreen's prescription plan, which cost around $4 for a month's supply. But these medications are pain killers, which are addictive, have really uncool side effects, and mostly don't work for me. The one I need to actually stop these headaches isn't covered.

I wrote about my interview last week. I didn't mention that after I got home, I was in agony for about a day and a half after. This all SUCKS. My life has to stop because of my uncontrollable brain.

Sorry for today's rant, but I'm frustrated and still in pain, three days later. It's an awful place to be in, terrified of getting sick. And I know I'm not alone in this.