Amanda Bynes, Robin Williams, and the Spectacle of Mental Illness

This was an excellent read.

Let's Queer Things Up!

Internet, we need to have a talk.

I’ve had a number of readers ask why I’ve neglected to write about Amanda Bynes this last year. It’s simple, really. I don’t believe that celebrities are “fair game,” and that, when they have very human and very difficult struggles, I should capitalize on those things by writing an article, however well-intentioned. I believe they are deserving of privacy and respect, by virtue of their being people.

However, I’m making an exception here, because in the midst of the negative and callous press that Bynes has received, I think it’s time we had a chat about it from a different perspective. And then, after we’re done, I think it’s time we stop speculating about it altogether. Deal?

First and foremost, there is no way for us to know what, if anything, Bynes has been diagnosed with. The family has denied schizophrenia and bipolar…

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In Remembrance

In honor of my Dad’s (would-be) birthday on September 6, I’ve compiled a list of things that make me think of him.

*Country music, but specifically: Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks
*Nascar or when anyone says “I was watching that” when you change the channel when they’re obviously sleeping.
*The Lake of the Ozarks
*Learning to drive in the snow in a massive parking lot
*My eye color–My eyes tend to change colors but their go-to color is almost the exact shade that my dad’s were
*Classic Rock–specifically Styx
*My stubbornness
*Trans-Siberian Orchestra
*Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying”
*Jeff Foxworthy/Bill Engvall/Ron White
*My future wedding
*St. Louis sports (Cardinals/Blues/Rams)–He took me to my first hockey game however many years ago.
*Importance of education
*using good handwriting and good spacing when writing and doing long math problems–“We can go to the store and buy you another notebook if you need more paper. Write neatly.”  I still remember him telling me this throughout elementary and middle school.  My mom was the go-to person for reading, writing and grammar help and my dad was the math go-to person.

Words I’d use to describe him:
hard-working, innovative, ambitious, driven, quick-tempered, but curious and passionate about learning and about life

I’m happy to say that I believe I’m like him in many ways.  I think I’m brave, ambitious and a very hard worker. I’m also curious, passionate and excited about the things that life has to offer.  We both constantly strived to make our lives better and to try to achieve and do more.
I do remember him being fairly quick-tempered though and I can’t gloss over that fact.  I knew I was loved but I also felt that I had to prove myself to him and only toward the end did I realize that he was proud of me.  Unfortunate, but I’m glad I was able to hear it.
However, I appreciate many of the things that he taught me whether it’s having nice handwriting or opening up my music world when I was younger.  I remember him (both parents, but this is an entry about one) teaching me how to drive in a big snowy parking lot.  I remember learning in his big Ford F-150 and his love of having different cars.  I also am (secretly) eternally grateful that my eyes seem to be settling on the color that his were because I have a piece of him that can’t be taken.  All I have to do is look in the mirror and I’m able to bring him back to me.

I wrote this the week before my Japan trip and edited a few things just now.  It’s a fairly personal piece but I like having a place where I can write down my thoughts and feelings about such things.  So…here you have it.

Japan and Wizarding World of Harry Potter


Osaka Castle, Osaka, Japan

I have a bit of a headache, so this might be a fairly short post, but I wanted to make a post about my trip to Japan (Osaka, specifically) and THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER at Universal Studios Japan (USJ).


Hogwarts Castle, Universal Studios , Osaka, Japan

The theme park was everything I was hoping for it to be and I’m happy that I bit the bullet and bought the plane tickets.  (Which is how it usually works out…just buy the tickets.)  Also, I loved Osaka, so that was another perk.
The only downside about the theme park was that is was CRAZY crowded.  Which, it’s only been open for two months, and we knew it expect it, but it was a bit nuts.
The morning wasn’t too bad, but it got more and more crowded as the afternoon went on.

Also, coming back to a three-day week is pretty awesome.  🙂

So, I wrote TWELVE pages (front and back) in my travel diary, and I was thinking of posting it here as I really don’t feel like re-hashing all of what I already wrote…would anyone even read that?  I dunno.  Anyway, I’ll leave a space for it and come back and add it later.

^^Hogwarts castle in Osaka 🙂

I’m also working on decking out my classroom for fall, so I’ll have another post up soon with the finished product.  Just give me a few more days 🙂  I’m working on making a big tree for my door with a bunch of colored leaves…time consuming, but should be pretty.  My boss also loves my classroom, so yay!  I like decorating it though…it helps if I also enjoy my workspace…and it helps the kids, so it’s a win-win.

I have Speaking Parties occasionally with my classes (I try for once a month), where I create a list of speaking topics and they sit around and pretend they are in a cafe and just chat about topics off the list.  I bring in snacks and drinks to create a sort of “coffee shop” vibe and they still end up reading off the sheet instead of talking naturally…but, that’s ok, right?  I guess they have to read before they learn to create the questions themselves.
Anyway, it’s pretty fun and the kids generally seem to like it.  Also, Costco is the main source of imported/foreign goodies around here and they recently got pumpkin pie in stock for the holidays, so I’m thinking of picking one up for tomorrow’s speaking day…for…cultural purposes.  So they can…ya know…learn what pumpkin pie tastes like (and because I tried it last year for the first time…I know! *shock* Say whattt? *gasp!*) and I think it’s delicious.
But mostly because that is something they’d never normally have and it would be a fun and different fall treat.

Mmmmm! Pumpkin pie on a Friday!  Oh happy day!

Also, 22 days til my birthday! 😀

//New Favorite Song:
One–Ed Sheeran

Still loving this one too:
Richard and Jasmin–“All of Me”
The Voice Kids–Germany


Wowzers…1 month til my 28th birthday!  28!!

And 3 days til my dreams come true and I go to Hogwarts! 😀  Well, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (in Japan), of course! 🙂  Ecstatic is only covers a small percentage of how I feel.  There needs to be a stronger word.  I might actually start crying…I grew up with those books…over 10 years of my life…midnight premiers and midnight book releases.  SO SO SO excited! 🙂 

Most Likely Cause of Death

So, I find it very interesting that (in my humble opinion), out of all of the crazy things I’ve done in my life that my most probable cause of death will be my pull-up bar collapsing and me hitting my head on the washing machine.  LOL.
I’m still working on building up the necessary strength and I’ve been doing different variations of slooooowlly lowering myself from the bar and this is the most recent one I’ve found:
(Loving hit hat :D)

The bar creaks when I do the “Walk the Plank” and it’s terrifying, haha.  It’s stable enough to hold my weight (it fell once though because the temperature has been changing a lot…again, my opinion) and but I’m not a fan of anything creaking when I put my weight on it, haha.  

I know this is a process but I just want to be able to do one.  I’m impatient.  C’mon body, be stronger.

Pull Ups and Harry Potter

I got my pull up bar on Friday and installed it on Saturday.  I’ve been working with it a bit every day and I probably should take a rest day tomorrow as arms tend to take longer to recover from a workout, but I’m a wee bit addicted.  I’m so excited for the day I can do my first pull up that waiting through rest days is a bit painful, ha.  
Currently:  From a standing position, I can’t pull myself up at all off the ground, but if I’m kneeling on a chair, I can pull myself up off my knees to about my low shin/ankle area.

I’m probably going to scream when I can pull myself off the ground…so, in case you hear anything, it’s probably me.  
When the pull up happens…I’m going to go crazy, haha.  It’s been a fitness goal of mine for as long as I can remember and I’m finally ready to do something about it.

As for Harry Potter…in less than two weeks, I’ll be at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Japan and I.CANNOT.WAIT.  
IAMSOEXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂  

That is all.  Goodnight 🙂

What I’m Thankful For

Life seems to enjoy throwing rocks in my path and I’m in the middle of another mountain, so I felt I needed this.

Actually, what I could use is an adviser or someone to take the reins on my life for a bit while I take a much-needed nap.
But since I can’t have that, this list is what you (and I) get.

What I’m Thankful For:
1. This bowl of Lucky Charms cereal that I’m eating as comfort food
2. Costco
3. My family 
4. Having a home that I can always come back to if the going gets too rough to handle
5. Having friends that are there for me and inspire me to be the best me
6. Being raised the way that I was
7. Having a college degree (minus the crushing debt, but ah well, what can you do)
8. Having food in the fridge
9. Speaking English as my first language
10. Having money in the bank (although it never seems to be enough…) and money in my piggy bank
11. Having people I can talk to when times get tough…people that will be there to listen and give advice when they’re able…or even just to listen without judgement or criticism
12. Having a roof over my head and a place to call home
13. Being employed (even if it’s part of the reason I felt the need to write this post in the first place)
14. Not being dependent on drugs, alcohol or any other outside influences or addictive substances
15. My good health

I actually started this post very late last night and then finished it tonight (Sunday) so it changes direction a bit halfway through, not sure if you can tell or if it matters.  Anyway, I think it helps to remind myself of what is actually going well in my life so when times get more difficult, I’m able to stay positive.  Or…try to…and not collapse on my bed and just wonder why these situations seem to choose me.
Anyway, I wish I could give more detail as this is essentially a diary/journal for me, but as it involves work, I’d rather not disclose too much.  

Also, these are my favorite songs at the moment:

Unconditionally–Katy Perry

Here Without You–Sam Tsui

Hopeful–Bars and Melody

Lay Me Down–Sam Smith

Feeling Myself–Will.I.Am, Miley Cyrus and a bunch of other people 
(The video is what you’d expect of a Miley/hip-hop video, so take that for what it’s worth)  The song has a nice beat though 😀  Helps pick me up after a rough day 😀 
The Phoenix–Fall Out Boy

My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)–Fall Out Boy (Great for Running or exercise)

All of Me–John Legend

Actually, all songs with a good melody and some piano or violin in them are near-instant favorites…Cannot get enough….

Ok, that’s good for now.