Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Big Word Wednesday: Copacetic

This week's word is actually inspired by a customer. We were talking and had gotten to a closing point when he said, "I suppose this is the point you take a look at my account to make sure everything is copacetic?"

Apparently it was big with Michaelangelo of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and is considered a slang word due to unknown origins. It is used almost exclusively in North America, and is said to have been first widely publicized in communications between the astronauts and Mission Control of the Apollo Program in the 1960s. (wikipedia)

copacetic: [koh-puh-set-ik] adjective. fine; completely satisfactory; okay.

  • McBride said his wife is copacetic with his livelihood.
  • As long as you don't go overboard with the improvements, tweaking your soon-to-be-Flickr'd pics is perfectly copacetic.
  • Vintage-inspired and contemporary footwear and bags are in abundant supply, as is a staff of experts in finding a copacetic fit. 
 As a result of that customer,  I may have been using the word all week.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Choosing life

In light of the most recent Glee episode -- which, by the way, I made the mistake of watching at the gym this morning, struggling not to fall off the treadmill and bawl my eyes out -- I'd like to talk about something that is very important to me and incredibly heart-wrenching:

Teenage suicide.


Suicide in general.

Now this is heavy stuff, so prepare yourselves.

Depression and suicide is too often brushed off by those who don't go through it, and even by those who have. When in a clean, upbeat frame of mind, it is incredibly difficult to imagine someone in the headspace where the only light at the end of the tunnel is the end of the tunnel itself. Even now, when I'm past some of the most difficult moments of my life do I struggle with the belief that at one point I too was there.

Not to the extent that Dave Karovsky of Glee was. Rest assured, all, no attempts were ever made. But still, the thought was there. The thought was strong enough that I visited several therapists in my late high school, through a lot of college years. Unfortunately with mixed results as well.

After a while, you figure out what works for you and what your triggers are, but until that point, you can be thrown into that pit of unending dread, shame, despair and self-loathing at the drop of a hat. Something as benign as someone disagreeing with your choice of color for a poster can do it -- or something as earthshattering as the boy you thought you were so in love with turning to some other girl in a matter of weeks.

It doesn't matter what your triggers are, the point is its a terrible thing to happen to anyone.

When Principal Figgins tells Emma, "It wasn't our responsibility to see this coming," and she so poignantly asks, "If it's not our responsibility, whose was it?" I agreed wholeheartedly. However, its not always something you can see coming. It's very easy to connect the dots afterwards, but leading up to it, its nearly impossible. Especially if the person going through the depression and thoughts of ending one's life doesn't want anyone to know. Or doesn't have the strength of life to ask for help.

Because that's hard to do.

Asking for help that is.

If I could tell you how many times someone told me, "Just think of the blessings in your life/just think of how lucky you are," I wouldn't even have a number for it.

And let me tell you something, as good, sound advice goes, that's pretty good stuff, but for someone caught in the deadly, cyclical snare it's a needle with an air bubble straight to the bloodstream. I know that sounds graphic, but its true. An air bubble won't kill you til it hits your heart, and there's not a true timing for when it will, but its a ticking time-bomb, the end is in sight.

Telling that to someone who is hating his or her life or being tormented out of their minds by peers, teachers, family -- whether its knowingly or unknown to the tormentors -- telling someone that is one of the worst things you can do. Not to all cases, because I'm sure someone came up with that psychobabble somehow. But undoubtedly, that person knows how blessed they are. How lucky they are. And being told that cycles back into the self-loathing by becoming not "look how good I've got it" but "I have it so good and I don't deserve it because I can't appreciate it so why should I have it I shouldn't even be here if I'm not here someone else would get it."

I guess what I'm trying to say to those of you who are there is what those of us who have been there already know. It will pass. Consider your life behind rose-colored glasses when you are peaceful enough to do so. When you are not, find something, someone that is able to distract you from the horror at hand. Don't think about how good you have it, focus on how to stop the cycle.

If it's calling your dad at two a.m., do so.

If it's turning off your phone all together and finger painting, do that.

If it's hopping on the treadmill or sprinting your heart out at the track, tie on your running shoes.

If it's calling a friend, saying you just need to hang out, that's what you need to do.

If it's crying into your pillow, that's less productive, but get it out of your system before it eats you alive and then go distract yourself.

There is simply so much in life that you will miss out on. That those kids who kill themselves because their torment is just too great will miss out on. While life can feel like a pointless rat race to the most stable of us on our best days, there are still so many experiences that make it worth continuing on.

I don't know how coherent this is, nor do I care. The point is, this shit happens, it is everyone's responsibility to see that it doesn't, and if you can't understand the whys, don't try, just be a support to those who need it. It's not meant for us to understand, because there will always be an underlying picture, it is merely meant for us to be. To live, to experience, and to grow.

Life will always be worth it.

Even if in our darkest moments it doesn't feel like it.

How FRIENDS ruined my life

My sister and I are longtime fans of the ever-popular show Friends. We would watch it on Thursday nights -- which were special nights because Thursdays were always volleyball nights for the parental units, and once we were old enough to stay home without supervision, we took advantage of them being gone and watched several hours of T.V.

Although looking back, I realized that while we thought we were staying up late late late, in all reality we were probably up only until 10 or so. We'd watch from 8 p.m. which is when Friends was on, then we'd watch whatever plug show was right after that at 8:30, then Scrubs at 9 and Will & Grace at 9:30. We'd go to bed when ER came on.

I may be dating myself.

But the highlight was always Friends. Now, I'm the proud owner of all ten seasons and my sister is the unequivocal champion of Friends trivia. Anyways.

Friends ruined my life.

1. It gave me expectations that the friends I met in college and high school would be my friends for ten years or more, in an odd, co-dependent group that would all hang out together all the time. Let's face it, who actually hangs out with their college roommate, their friend from high school and their sibling in such a close-knit group for so long? Not to mention that one or two of those aforementioned people were on and off dating for a while and then still friends.

2. I expected the real world (i.e. life after college) to be full of days when I could meet those odd friends at the coffee shop on the corner at the drop of the hat, never mind my real job or other real life responsibilities.

3. Without Friends, I wouldn't believe that you should be able to get over an ex in the span of a 20 minute episode and be able to be good friends afterwards.

4. Chandler made finding the job of his dreams easy. One episode he quits, the second he finds an internship, and then in the third he lands the job of his dreams! All the while, Monica manages to support them in New York with a chef's job. That should mean that I could quit my 40k a year job, find the job of my dreams and Tyler should be able to support me while I manage that, right? Hmmm...

5. I had expectations that I would be drinking a lot more coffee when I was all grown up.

I'm sure I could think of more, but ten years of Friends definitely led this girl to some unrealistic expectations about life in the real world. Now the next topic I ought to address is how Disney ruined my love life expectations...


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Big Word Wednesday: Pejorative

So we all know I like big words. I'm going to try to do a "Big Word Wednesday" in honor of that vocabulary. I used the word "pejorative" the other day at work:

Me: "Please don't say that, it's pejorative."

Steve: "It's what?"

Me: "Pejorative."

Steve: "Smaller word please."

Me: "Pejorative?"

Steve: "Smaller word please."

Me: "Haven't I used pejorative around you yet?"

Steve: "Smaller word please."

Adam: "What are you guys talking about?"

Me: "Pejorative."

Steve: "Seriously, smaller word."

Adam: "What?"

Me, with my face in my hands: "Pejorative is another word for deprecatory or a word that was once either neutral or positive that has since become derogatory like 'gay,' 'gypped,' 'retarded,' etc."

Adam: "That's awesome, I'm going to use that word today..." (and he did, and came back to tell me about it)

Steve: "Why couldn't you have just said derogatory?"

I could have just said derogatory. But it wasn't just derogatory, it was pejorative. So here, go forth with your new word for the day. Try to use it in a sentence!

pejorative: [pi-jawr-uh-tiv] adjective. having a disparaging, derogatory, or belittling effect or force. (of words, expressions, etc) having an unpleasant or disparaging connotation.

  • This doesn't mean tourist pictures in the pejorative sense.
  • You invented the term "Googlization," which can sound pejorative—but it isn't.
  • That is why the somewhat pejorative term "fictitious" is attached to this force.
  • What is odd is how fairly quickly the concept of geek has moved from pejorative to almost complimentary.

Monday, February 20, 2012


At Blogging, that is. Life got pretty busy all of a sudden.

Let's see...after my last post, I had a split weekend and got shipped off to training up in Portland, which was draining. Last weekend, I was barely able to get my butt in gear to do ANYTHING...and I really truly can't even remember what I did.

I watched the Bachelor.

Oh, and last weekend was VDay. Ugh. But boyfriend and I have started a tradition I actually love (other than my yearly box of truffles from my Papa and my stack of sugar cookies from my Mama...which is something I look forward to nearly all year long), anyways, that tradition: we did it last year and I thought it was just going to be drinks with some friends...

Last year Tyler called me at work and asked, "Hey, some other patrollers are going to the D tonight, do you want to go?"

"Sure," I replied, thinking that of all the places in town, the D (actually called the D&D Bar & Grill, which is a dive bar in downtown Bend) would be fairly low-population on Valentine's. I showed up, inevitably late as I ended up closing that night, scrambled into some jeans Tyler had brought me and walked in...

Ten other couples in patroller off-work uniforms of carharts and flannel and a Valentine's dinner special. $17 for 2 steaks and a bottle of champagne. Edible even.

That I could handle.

We went again this year, but luckily, I didn't have to work, so we were on time. Tyler was pretty cute even, he wanted to wear the blazer I'd gotten him for Christmas (that we'd had to exchange but we got one he loved that fit on the second try) so of course I had to dress up too. Among patrollers and spouses/significant others decked in -- you guessed it -- carharts and flannel, we were dubbed "Best Dressed" of the night.

It was fun.

And I love the laughs and looks I get when I tell people where my honey took me for Valentine's dinner.

Oh, and did I tell you? I have to start training for half number 5 in a week. And the getting in shape part of my resolution (meaning the losing weight) is going better than my attempt to blog more. But I'm trying! Busy life, right? That's good isn't it?

Anyways, just wanted to check in. I'll try to do better on Tuesday.