Monday, April 28, 2014

Everything is Awesome!

So I love modern technology.  A lot.  It makes me so happy.  I think we have some of the best things for entertainment and happiness.  So in honor of my birthday week, I am listing some of my favorite things of technology, internet, and modern life.

1. Pandora. Seriously way better than radio.
2. Pinterest.  It's like window shopping, cooking shows, and comedy routines all at once.
3.  Facebook.  Whatever to all the haters.  I love being able to be in touch with so many people from different walks of life.
4.  Youtube.  I still remember in 2004 when one of my friends sent me the link to youtube and I was like "where have you been all my life?!"
5. Wikipedia.  Yeah it's not academic and I will mark down any paper that uses it.  But in the war to win useless trivia, Wikipedia is king.
6.  Video streaming, such as netflix, hulu, amazon prime, and network websites.  TV on my terms.
7. Dolby Atmos.
8.  Movie Theatres with reclining chairs.
9.  Online news outlets.
10.  Text Messaging.
11. Amazon.
12. Google.
13.  Blogs :).
14.  Web MD.  Nothing like self diagnosis gone wild!
15. Yelp!  Know before you go!
16.  The DVR.
17.  Email.
18.  E-Readers.  Kindle, Ipad, Nook, whatever.  Bringing one small device on a plane is so freaking happy.
19.  Powerpoint and Key Note presentations.  It's the nerd in me :).
20. Podcasts.  See number 19.

I could go on, but I believe this is sufficient to say I am glad I was born in this era.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Self Discovery

I have spent most of my life trying to please others.  Roommates, friends, my ex spouse, family, coworkers, you name it.  I have always tried to do exactly what I thought others wanted or needed of me.  Forget two masters, I served 20k masters.  I really wanted to be liked and needed.  And I had no idea who I was.  I have a loud personality, so certain parts of me always seemed to spill through, but I would suppress things I thought I needed to suppress, and pretend to like things I thought I needed to like.  So now I am trying to figure out what it is that makes me tick.  What I like.  What makes me happy.  Here is my list so far.
1. Maren likes the musical.  Maren loves bursting into song.  However, Maren by far prefers the modern musical, not so much the Rogers and Hammerstein musical.
2.  Maren loves balconies.  Really.  A lot.  I adore them.  Love them.  Yep I do.
3.  Maren likes bodies of water.  Streams, rivers, puddles, fountains, swimming pools, hot tubs, lakes, and oceans.
4. Maren likes movies.  A lot of movies.  Not so much cheesy romance, unless the cheesy romance is also witty.  Maren likes movies that are witty.  No matter the genre.  Witty cartoons, witty drama, witty super heroes, witty witty witty.
5.  Maren likes the Big Bang Theory.  I know that one surprises you all.
6.  Maren likes Spring and Fall.  Maren hates winter.  Even though that makes her Norwegian ancestors cringe.  Whatever.  You ancestors never had to drive in the snow!
7.  Maren likes Gordmans.
8.  Maren likes Jewelry.
9. Maren likes the Color Purple.  The story, the musical, and the actual Color.
10.  Maren also likes the colors green and red
11.  Maren likes dark woods.
12.  Maren does not like carpet.
13.  Maren likes P!nk.  And Kelly Clarkson.  And Sara Bareilles.  And Katy Perry (although that embarrasses me).  And Christina Perri.  Even if she did a song for twilight.
14.  Maren does not like Twilight.
15. Maren likes Joss Whedon.  And Neil Patrick Harris.  But who doesn't?
16. Maren likes to laugh.
17.  Maren really likes to teach.  And learn. And study.  And write.  And read.
18. Maren likes to cook.  And to eat.  Mostly eat.
19.  Maren likes to travel.
20.  Maren likes to be busy.

It may seem trival to most, but it makes me immensely pleased to see myself understand myself well enough to make a list like that.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Movies so far 2014

So far this year I have seen 4 movies in the theater.  I love movies, so my critiques are usually more favorable than unfavorable because I enjoy entertainment for entertainment sake, and I do not got to movies that I have no interest in.  If I am on the fence, I redbox it.  Also, because I am a mom, I go to kids movies a lot, even if I do not necessarily want to or expect to like it.  A lot of times with kids movies, my reaction is based more upon what their reaction is.
1. The Lego Movie:  Seriously loved this movie.  Partly because my three year old was excited enough to become invested in the main character that at one point she yelled out "Oh no! Save Emmett!"  I also loved it because there were so many jokes and references to pop culture and other things that made this movie extremely funny for the adults in the room as well.   Good times.
2. Divergent: I loved the book, and loved the movie, for different reasons.  The movie and the book of course diverged (see what I did there?), as most adaptations do.  I think this particular story was quite difficult to translate to the screen, because so much of the understanding of the story comes from the inner turmoil of the characters.  However, as a mom of young girls, the girl was the tough one.  The girl was the hero.  In an important scene, the mother and daughter are the tough guys.  That makes me happy.
3.  Muppets most Wanted.  Muppets singing and dancing.  Tina Fey singing and dancing.  Really nothing else needs to be said.  I like singing and dancing.  So do my kids.  I also love the reclining chairs at AMC.
4.  Captain America.  AWESOME....Awesome.  Did I say it was AWESOME?  Twists and turns and unexpected details.  Connecting to other movies and TV shows and everything else.  Succeeding in being unpredictable.  Giving Scarlett Johanssen and bigger, tougher, more complex role to play.  Dolby Atmos.  Yeah.  I love Marvel.  That's all.

Looking forward to more movies this year!

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Maren has to lose weight.  Sad but true fact.  It's not a vanity thing, it's a health thing.  Pretty much no choice.  I know all the rules, I know how.  Move more. Eat less.  Mostly plants.  Etc etc etc.  So in honor of the fact that Maren has to do the things she does not like, mainly exercise and eat healthy, lets take a moment to face the fact that some of the things people say about diets are pretty much lies.  My apologies in advance if any of these motivate you, but they do not motivate me.  Different strokes :).
1. "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels".  Seriously, you people need to be friends with better cooks.
2 "Mashed cauliflower tastes just like potatoes". If you have never eaten potatoes I guess.
3.  "You won't even notice the difference".  Yes, yes in fact I will.
4. "It's not that hard to wake up half an hour earlier".  Not enough curse words in the English language to describe how I feel about that.
5. "Just take this pill or powder or whatever".  No miracle pill.  Just nope.
6. "Don't eat fruit".  I did not get this fat because I ate too many strawberries.  Too many chocolate covered strawberries after a meal drizzled in fat and cheese and sour cream and butter and all things good, yes but not because of too many strawberries.
7. "Planking feels so good".  If the fear of falling to your death feels good, then okay.
8. "Dipping Roasted Cauliflower in bbq sauce tastes just like Chicken Nuggets".  Where do people come up with this stuff?!
9.  "You only eat that stuff cause of (insert emotion here)."  Okay, sometimes yes, but sometimes chocolate cake just tastes better than carrots.  Go figure.
10.  "Zumba or whatever the latest fitness craze may be is easy.  You won't look silly."  Umm..have you met me?
11.  "It gets easier"...or perhaps it just gets more tolerable.
12. "You could totally do a marathon"...I really have no way to even respond to that.
13. "Once you eat healthy, you won't even miss the bad stuff." I will too. I promise I will.

Ah well.  Now that I got that out of my system time to try and be a bit more healthy.  Baby steps.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Causing your own anxiety

I am so skilled at causing my own anxiety.  I work myself up into a frenzy of what I am afraid might happen.  It is a talent, really.  The nice thing is that usually most of the things do not happen.  Occasionally, some do.  But one can either choose to be crippled by their bad moments, or choose to be a phoenix that rises from the ashes, as one friend once told me he viewed me during my current trials.  I am in good company.  JK Rowling has said that Harry Potter was born out of desperation, she had seemingly failed at everything else, so she had no option but to write what she had in her heart and her head.  Here are a few things I have worried about over the years that have happened and yet I got over it, or have happened and I am better off for it.

1. I was always afraid of losing a job.  Yep, done that.  Still lived.
2.  I was always afraid of being alone.  Done that, doing that at times.  Still lived.
3.  I was always and am still always worried about failing.  Fail all the time.  Still living.
4.  I was always afraid to say what I thought.  Often times I kept silent when I shouldn't have.  Some of the struggles I have now are a direct result of me keeping silent when I should have spoken up.
5.  I was always afraid of not being attractive.  Guess what? Beauty fades, but how people are treated, they remember that.
6.  I am always, always afraid I will not do enough for my kids.  But my parents were not perfect and I still love them.  So that should be what counts.
7. I am afraid of getting diabetes.  Have not gotten over that, or learned to handle it.  Still terrifies me.
8.  I am afraid of not feeling useful.
9. I used to be afraid of not being able to support myself.  So far, I have done okay.  Still get afraid sometimes.

Fear is such a strong emotion.  For some, it can be a motivator.  For me, I have found it to be a deterrent to progress. I am currently working on how to get past my fears so that I can still be strong and successful.  I have come a long way, but yet have so far yet to go.  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

New things

This last year as many know has been my most challenging ever.  I hope that I have walked away stronger and more confident.  I know I have walked away more aware of myself, and more blessed to see who true friends are, and to see the love of family.  I still struggle now and then with why me and jealousy thoughts, but overall I survive and feel good times are ahead.  Once I was given the accusation that I am "always" changing.  Interestingly enough, I would tend to agree.  I have changed. I have grown.  I see things from a different perspective.  Some things frivolous. Some things serious.  However, I think the me of  a few years ago would be shocked about the me now.  Here are several things I did not know about myself until the recent challenges I have faced, challenges that helped me get to know myself, without any attachments or pressures to others:
1.  I don't really like romances unless they are very funny.
2. I really like some superhero movies but I am picky.
3. I like making excel spreadsheets but I don't really know all the tricks
4. I really like jewelry
5.  I don't like a lot of things in my home.  I prefer a minimal decor 
6.  I love road trips
7. I love small cars
8. I like diet coke
9. I struggle to sleep
10.  I really like funny television
11. I like getting my hair done 
12 I love massages!!
13.  Being alone isn't as scary as I thought it would be 
14. I love being able to throw things out or give things away
15.  I love Disney World
16. I hate airplanes but love that they take me to places enough that I forgive the hate
17.  I need to find more ways to relax
18. I love cooking 
19. I love throwing parties 
20.  I love the color purple. 

The best part about this list is that it will probably change tomorrow 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Another let's be grateful edition

Crappy days happen.  Mother Nature adds to that.  At the end of a long, exhausting, crappy day, it's important to be grateful for something. Today, for me, that is:
1. Pickles.  Yes I am extremely grateful for pickles.  
2. Texting.  Yep totally grateful for the ability to text.
3.  Band aids. 
4.  Friends that force me to exercise.
5.  Excel spreadsheets.
6. The guy who did the frozen cover in all the Disney voices.  Seriously I adore him.   I want to be his friend.
7.  Sarcasm and sarcastic internet memes.
8. Friends who send me sarcastic internet memes.
9. Friends who give me pizza.
10. Blankets.
11. Frozen on DVD.
12.  Hot showers.
13.  Massages.
14.  Friends who send sarcastic texts and internet memes.  Bonus!
15. Days when I can go to bed before midnight.

Let's hope for a better day tomorrow.