Celebrating A Totally Awesome Day

Have you ever had one of those perfect days?  You know, when the planets align and everything just seems to go in your favor?  The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and you could burst into song at any moment because you are just incredibly happy.

Today was one of those days and I just have to share it.

From the moment the Santa Ana Winds woke me up from my slumber on the couch (I sleep there from time to time) with their mighty blows noisily shaking everything in the apartment, it has just been a great day.  I must have done something really good to warrant a day like this and I have been thoroughly enjoying every minute.

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Hold Your Judgment

Greetings from the Hall of Justice!

Yes Wonderlings, I am currently serving—what is becoming an annual tradition—jury duty.  I know, some of you may loathe getting that dreaded summons in the mail, but I look forward to it.  Don’t get me wrong… I am not a fan of sitting around all day long waiting for someone to call on me so I can get asked questions and then either be selected as a juror or sent back on my merry way to the pit of potential selectees, but I love getting a free paid day out of work.  It’s like a grown-up field trip.  I even arrived a half hour earlier than I needed to because I was so thrilled I didn’t have to go into the office.  Might need to rethink this whole work situation…

But enough about that, today’s post is about judgment.

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Escape Into The Music

How many times have we turned to music to distract ourselves from our lives?

I know that I have a time or two.  There is a playlist for sad times and happy times, working tunes and mellows songs.  Every genre is covered and it’s awesome that there are so many vices for each and every emotion that can come across our minds and our stereos.

Normally, I refrain from bringing my iPod into the office, but this week I have relied on the melodies to keep me grounded when I can no longer bear the reality that presents itself before me.  It is difficult to ignore the facts, but I have found my refuge.  There have been sad songs and happy songs, songs that I can sing along to and songs that I can dance to.  But most importantly, each of these songs allow me to escape the truth for the duration of the tune.

And I know I’m not the only one who needs this escape.

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The Philosophy of Frankenweenie

Everyone knows the names of the great philosophers in life.  Aristotle believed in doing good for goodness’ sake.  Socrates held virtue above all other human characteristics.  Nietzsche thought that people were driven by achievement.  And Tim Burton argues that reality and the impossible walk a fine line.

My name is Jessica and I believe in Tim Burton.

I have been a Burtonite since I was a child with such greats as Beetlejuice, Batman, Batman Returns, Edward Scissorhands, and what seems to be everyone’s favorite these days, The Nightmare Before Christmas frequently playing in the VCR.  Granted, it wasn’t until high school that I discovered that all of my favorite movies were from the mind of a dark and twisted genius who grew up lonely in the suburbs of Burbank, California.  In college, my world became immersed with reading his autobiography (now in a rereleased extended version) and learning everything I could about my favorite filmmaker.

So when I learned that Frankenweenie was to be remade from a live-action short film into a feature-length stop-motion animated tale, I was happier than a goth kid at a Marilyn Manson concert.

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Call Me Grateful

Sometimes, I find myself dwelling on the negatives in my life and all the things I wish were different.  It can be easy to get wrapped up in imagining your life forever changed if just this or that were different.  I’m sure I would be happier if I earned more money.  I think I would find my soul mate if I lost a few pounds.  My life would begin if I got the chance to start over someplace new.  These are the kinds of thoughts that eat away at the very core of your happiness.

A little perspective.

I’ve been noticing lately that my posts have been on the down side.  I did not create this blog to wax on about every little thing that bothers me or how mopey I feel, especially because I’m a pretty happy person 99% of the time.  Those aren’t the kind of words I like to read, so why on earth have I been writing them?

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September Blues

I hope those of you who had a long holiday weekend enjoyed wonderful days filled with laughter and great people.  I know I did.

You can’t beat finding the perfect piece of art for an empty room or laughing with family while soaking up the sun at the beach or getting some much-needed deep-cleaning done throughout your home.  A truly happy weekend prepared me for the start of September, the busiest time of year in my office.  Though I’m not looking forward to the weekends spent at work or parties I will miss because I have to wake up early for status meetings the next day, I feel ready for this month.

That is, ready for it to be over.

I used to love the ninth month of the year.  It symbolized new beginnings, the arrival of cooler temperatures, and the return of favorite TV shows.  Now, September means heightened stress levels, tension among co-workers, a blackout on vacation time, and an increase in the consumption of crappy foods over the next thirty days.  Add all that to my organization going through a poorly planned merger and the departure of many co-workers and you can understand why I can’t wait to see the harvest festivities of October.

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All Signs Point To Ask

When it comes to generating ideas for posts, a lot of times I just pull something out of thin air.  Usually it will be related to something that I’ve experienced in my recent days or something I’ve wondered about, but most of the time, ideas just hit me for no clear reason and I run with them.

This particular post was brought to you all by the universe.  Yes, that’s right.  The universe.  You see, for the last week, I have been inundated with the same topic time and time again.  Badgered over the head, if you will.  In no less than three different ways has this issue been made the focus of my life at separate times.  Clearly, I am meant to write about it.  However, as I sit here, I feel like I cannot truly do the topic justice because I feel that the message is clear enough and why should I further elaborate on an already defined subject.

But I will because, let’s face it, this is what I do here.

What is this mysterious topic that I write about so enigmatically?  Asking for what you want.

Who could forget Meredith’s speech on “Grey’s Anatomy” where she begged Derek to choose her over his estranged wife?

Simple enough, right?  You see something you desire, you ask for it.  A raise, a dance, a shiny new pair of shoes.  Children do it all the time.  “Mommy, I want ice cream!”  “Daddy, I want a teddy bear!”  “Auntie, pick me up!”  But is it really that simple?

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What Have You Done For You Lately?

They say that the most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself. And they’re right. Your relationship with yourself is vital to every other relationship in your life. It is said that you can never truly love another if you cannot love yourself. How can anyone expect to be in an honest and healthy relationship if they are not happy with themself?

Having been single for far longer than I’d like to admit, I have definitely cultivated the relationship I have with myself. I have explored new interests and gotten to know who I am as an individual. And I am here to tell you, I like me!

Correction: I love me!

As much as I love my friends and family, I am happy with just being by myself sometimes. There is something comforting about enjoying a quiet day alone, strolling down a sidewalk with nothing but an iPod and thoughts to keep me company or cuddling up on the couch with a trashy magazine and a glass of wine or soaking in a tub of fragrant bubbles after a hard workout. Being alone for just five minutes allows a person to collect their thoughts and revive their energy so they can tackle all that life has to offer.

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Let Your Freak Flag Fly!

I’m sure many of you out there have heard the term “freak flag” and wondered about what the heck it could possibly mean.  Is it an insult?  Is it a compliment?  It is anything special?  Is it worthy of a blog post?

The short answer is yes.

Urban Dictionary defines freak flag—its Urban Word of the Day on March 21, 2008—as “a characteristic, mannerism, or appearance of a person, either subtle or overt, which implies unique, eccentric, creative, adventurous or unconventional thinking.”

Ok, so what does that mean?

Is flying your freak flag horrible? Absolutely not!

In simplest terms, a freak flag is something that sets you apart from everyone else.  Now, I’m not saying that it involves a person swinging from a chandelier or down on all fours, barking like a dog in the middle of a staff meeting.  In the right context, that might work, but for the most part, those types of behaviors might land you a trip to a padded room with a jacket you can’t get out of.  Rather, waving one’s freak flag might be a gesture learned from your father or an accent that you only use with your best friend.  What sets these quirky acts apart is that they would not be defined as freaky if performed in private.  However, once you let loose in front of other people, consider your freak flag flown.

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If You Got The Chance To Go Back, Would You?

High school.

Hundreds of movies have been made about the in crowd, the nerds, and the mean girls.  John Hughes made millions showcasing Molly Ringwald in such classics as Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, and my personal favorite, The Breakfast Club.

Don’t you… forget about me.

There was something magical to be found once a person became a freshman.  As a kid, I assumed my experience would be on the same lines of Saved By the Bell and Beverly Hills, 90210.

It was anything but.

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