As anyone who knows me can attest to, I am a freak about holidays.
For instance, the first cold night of October (NEVER before), I make my special chili and either cornbread or garlic bread. I buy a new bottle of wine I’ve never tried. I open all the windows. I bring in the autumn decorations, both literally and figuratively, and spend the evening watching a Halloween show, cooking, and decorating. It’s arguably my favorite night of the year.
I’ve never understood how people can lose sight of the magic still left in this world. How they can become so blind to the beauty, whether it be fire colored autumn leaves, sweet spring breezes, or the sun reflecting off the swimming pool water in the summer. Life is beautiful.
I’m almost five months into working for myself, and though the road has been arduous and at times treacherous, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
(I actually get depressed when I think of ever going into an office again. I’ll take that as a sign)
I love spending my days at my own desk, writing blogs or planning social media attacks or addressing envelopes. I love taking breaks to pet Walden or make some
tea coffee (who am I kidding, if it’s not whiskey, it’s coffee). I love having the freedom to come and go as I please, which means my newly-retired grandmother has fashioned a list of things we can go do together. She’s paying for my gas while I drive her to doctor’s appointments, I’m taking her to new restaurants so she can experience new things. So far, it’s working well.
Halloween is coming quickly, and since giving Comcast another try at providing me television I’ve been watching the shit out of some Halloween episodes on the Food Network. I’m going to the Little 5 Points Halloween Parade on Saturday, which is always crazy awesome. I should get a pumpkin at some point, too, which means I’ll go for a medium sized orange fellow and leave with 2 large pumpkins, 3 small ones, and an array of various gourds, baby pumpkins, and other autumnal items. I can’t resist.
And, finally, with autumn comes change, a new chance to begin. I’m all about that. I’ve improved my Facebook page (which everyone should visit and Like, btw). I’m planning out my blogs in advance in case I get lazy (let’s be real, I totally will get lazy and forget to post). I’m making plans with mom and nanna to go apple picking and scenic railroad riding.
Let’s make this the best autumn yet.
This is one of my favorite stories, found on Reddit a few months back:
Q: What celebrity surprised you with their kindness?
“Robin Williams…very friendly and funny. More so then I expected honestly. I went to a dinner with my father and a couple of his co-workers at a fancy Italian restaurant when I was about 18 and about halfway through the meal a few of the co-workers got drunk and started to scream at the waiter in Italian. In response, the waiter, and eventually a few other workers, joined in and were screaming back at the co-workers and then in between all of them came Robin Williams gesticulating wildly and screaming mock Italian at both sides until they calmed the hell down and started to laugh at Robin Williams and his antics instead. When everyone went back to their seats I walked up to Robin Williams, thanked him for defusing the situation, and did the usual “I love your work, It’s amazing to meet you” spiel and then he began to ask ME questions about my life, how I am, my age, what I wanted to do, and was very friendly and caring. When I was walking away back to my dad he stopped me and said words I try to live by:
‘Kid, take a good look at those suits. Don’t try to end up like them. If you need booze or drugs to enjoy your life to the fullest then you’re doing it wrong.'”
A great, great man died today. Effortlessly funny, extremely kind, a uniter of the young and old. Depression is a fickle creature and it spares no one, famous or not. I can’t help thinking he kept others laughing to hide his own sadness, or maybe to help others out of their own dark hole. We’ll never know.
I watched Mrs. Doubtfire over and over again when I was little. Dead Poet’s Society quickly rose the top of my favorite movie list – I swear it helped inspire me to be a writer, and one day, a professor myself. Good Will Hunting only appeared on my radar a few years back, but Robin Williams’ performance was a damn home run.
I leave you shocked, a little frozen, and very saddened. Brilliance like his only comes around once in a generation.
Scott Simon (@nprscottsimon) has put it best: “A thought is helping me get through the day: Richard Pryor & George Burns greeting Robin Williams at the pearly gates.”
Goodbye, Mr. Williams. I hope you’ve found the peace that you so deserve.
Struggling with depression and thinking suicide is the only way out? Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255. There is always hope.
When I was taking my first creative writing class at GPC, our professor instructed us to find two samples of creative nonfiction and bring them to class. Below is the second example I found, and the words that inspired me to be a writer. Enjoy.
by Denice Aldrich Jobe
“Danny’s Camaro was primer-gray and had a broken window crank on the passenger side that I cut my leg on when he took a turn too fast. I still have the scar.
It had sun-bleached burgundy seats, and the air inside smelled of too-sweet cherry licorice — a pot of air freshener under the seat to mask the smell of sweat, decay, vulnerability.
He spent too much on a set of rims. Flashy jewelry for a dying thing.
We chose a direction and drove, and I hung my head out the window like a dog, eyes closed against the whip of sun-streaked hair. He sped through intersections late late late at night, never bothering to stop, resting his heavy forearm on the window frame, looking at me, instead of the road.
We walked the grounds of our high school, leaned against its cool stucco walls, and stared at its doors — closed for the summer — as if to ask, What now?
I liked to step behind him, press my forehead between the blades of his shoulders, wrap my arms around his waist. With every breath his flesh filled my palms.
Vagabond, wanderer. Boy of no fixed address. I counted on you to just show up at my door, until one night you didn’t.
I heard you got married. Your friend told me in the 7-Eleven, somewhere between the cat food and the Slurpee machine.
“I thought you knew,” he said.
I marvel that the smell of cherry licorice can conjure up that old primer-gray Camaro and its driver, and I wish I could say that fourteen years later I can flip through these scenes as I do old vacation photographs, with mild interest.
But with one whiff I can remember, vividly, how damned hard it was to smile at Danny’s friend in the 7-Eleven and say, ‘I’m so happy for him.'”
It’s a late hour, so please forgive the possible ramblings that might appear forthwith.
Let me begin by saying, I am a Southerner. I was born here, raised here, and will, by the grace of God, die here. My family has been Southern for 200-some odd years. Hell, my ancestors founded one of the most Southern town in South Carolina. I have roots here. It’s in my blood.
Which makes working for a Yankee pretty damn hard. We don’t see things the same way. We don’t speak the same way. We don’t communicate with people in the same way. And lately, it’s been getting me down. It’s trying.
However, this evening, while in the shower (where most pep talks seem to occur), it came to me. I’m not leaving this job. I’m sticking it out, no matter how much it makes me cry and how much wine I want to drink at the end of each day. I will not quit. I will not give up. Does the magnolia break apart in the hurricane? No…she stands tall, her branches strong and hard. I can handle these two Yankees and their northern attitudes. They’re on my turf. And if I have to act like a crude, loud, and rude Yankee to stake my place in this company, so be it. I will be northern during the day; I will drink Tennessee whiskey and let my accent come through at night. I will sleep soundly, knowing I did everything I could do, and in the morning, I will get up and face the new day again.
The South might not rise again, but I certainly will.