First Kiss

It was the best first kiss in the history of first kisses. It was as sweet as sugar. And it was warm, as warm as pie. The whole world opened up and I fell inside. I don’t know where I was, but I didn’t care. I didn’t care because the only person who mattered was there with me.

—Sarah Addison Allen

Happy February everyone!

January was a entire month of self-care and care for others. My boyfriend and his family have successfully recovered from COVID. Their stamina is still weak, but with more rest, they will be fine. However, my brother and father now have COVID, and I will be checking in with them now. So, it looks like my blogging schedule is going to change once again!

UPDATE: As I’m typing this, two whole buildings nearby have caught on fire, and the fire department is having trouble putting it out. 4 firetrucks, 10 or so ambulances. I praying for 12+ families. The internal structure is falling apart fast…

Boy, I miss this space. Hope all is well in your world! February is a special month of love for all sorts of momentous occasions. Jude, host of The Saturday Symphony, has created a prompt regarding one’s first kiss. If you have a story, feel free to join in!

I’ve heard of many stories from others. Some were sad (like herpes-sad). Some were amazing (like fireworks). Some were funny (like gum in braces). The most hilarious story I read about someone’s first kiss was the fictional tale of Georgia Nicolson! It’s a learning experience! 😀

Being the lovable, squishy person that I am, I have plenty of funny tales, and but today you’ll only learn of one: the first one. It’s so refreshing for me to write since he will be anonymous. He knows who he is! 😉 I don’t think he’s reading this. Though I’m not with him today, I’ll never forget him.

Framework for Romance & Love

When I was 17, I helped my aunt by working at her video & music CD shop. What made my aunt’s shop unique was the fact that she had several collections of Asian foreign films. I helped sweep the dust, assisted customers, and organized VHS tapes on the shelves. I loved working there! I would read the back flap on these movies, and if there’s something I liked, I can rent it from her.

I was always curious about the romance genre, and I would rent such a variety of romantic films. Some were epic period dramas like the new Netflix series, “Rise of the Phoenixes”. My aunt had so many Chinese sagas where the characters wear beautiful costumes and the drama has you hanging on to the edge of your seat.

Do you know how many ways love can hit you? So it makes you happy, or miserable? It makes you sick in the belly or hurt in the heart. It makes everything brighter and sharper, or it blurs all the edges. It makes you feel like a king or a fool. Every way love can hit you, it’s hit me when it comes to you.

~ Nora Roberts

During the summer break, I would also get wrapped up in the many romance stories written by the talented storyteller, Nora Roberts. One of my friends teased me on how obsessed I was with her books. The relationships were so passionate and sensual. I began rivaling the senior ladies who check out twenty of them at a time from the public library! She is one of my favorite authors who captures the Irish scenery so beautifully. This is one of the summaries for one of her books, “Jewels of the Sun”.

Determined to reevaluate her life, Jude Murray flees America to take refuge in Faerie Hill Cottage, immersing herself in the study of Irish folklore and discovering hope for the future of the magical past. Finally back home in Ireland after years of traveling, Aidan Gallagher possesses an uncommon understanding of his country’s haunting myths. Although he’s devoted to managing the family pub, a hint of wildness still glints in his eyes—and in Jude, he sees a woman who can both soothe his heart and stir his blood. And he begins to share the legends of the land with her—while they create a passionate history of their own.

Jewels of the Sun
Green fields of Ireland

The Stage is Set

So with all these idealistic visuals floating around in my head, my expectations surrounding love may have set the bar a bit high given my total lack of experience. 😀

Sitting on a metal stool, I twirled my mechanical pencil around. I was working on a biology assignment in the lab. Studying the human cell in a diagram, the mitochondria is quite the powerhouse! I wore a striped lime green sleeveless shirt that my aunt gave me. I didn’t realize it at the time, but she saved my social life by replacing my frumpy clothing with stylish, trendy ones.

Sure enough, a young man who sat across from me complimented me on it, and we struck a conversation about this catchy, trance song, Butterfly, as we studied the anatomy of a cell together listening to it on a loop.

Ayumi Hamasaki – Butterfly

All of the sudden, biology was becoming more enjoyable! 🙂 Flabby physique, short hair, round baby face, a charming smile, self-deprecating humor. He was tanned from playing tennis in the afternoons with his best friend who was a girl. He invited me to play with his crew. After school, I let my parents knew I was hanging out with some friends to play some tennis for the first time. We took the school bus to a campus that had courts to play at.

Image Credit: Pixabay

We arrive at the courts, and he handed me an extra racket. “We’re playing doubles!” He and I were on one side of the net, his friend and the football quarterback was on the other. The quarterback served the ball in my direction as I was learning about the continental grip. I was not ready, and the ball hit me straight into the stomach with such velocity, it left a really bad bruise. Understand that as a football quarterback, he has an incredible arm throw!

They immediately ran up to check on me, but I brushed it aside not wanting to drag the game down. So I learned quickly, and managed to keep up a game with some consistent volleys. After two hours of play, I was sweating buckets, breathing heavily, and called it a day. The courts were nearby his friend’s homes, so we began walking towards the neighborhood.

One by one, his friends parted ways and headed inside. Then it was just me and him walking alongside the sidewalk together. There was a build-up of saliva in my mouth and I spat it out. I sighed, “Sorry, that was very un- lady like.” He laughed out loud, which made me smile and invited me to his parent’s house for dinner.

We arrived at his place and as he opened the door, his two siblings gave him a big hug and asked if he could play video games with them. I watched as they played a few rounds. After they were tired, he carried them to put them to bed for a nap. He decided to program on his computer a bit, as I lied on his bed and rested.

After a bit, he slid next to me as we watched the ceiling together talking about our dreams in life. We exchanged gazes for a moment, and he kissed my shoulder and inched upward towards my face. We kissed as our warm bodies were next to each other. It was fun, yet slobbery. I smacked my lips and laughed, but he wanted to explore a bit more. At which point, I became tense and pulled away.

All of the sudden, it occurred to me how quickly this relationship was moving, and that I didn’t realize it. He said to me, “Sa, everyone’s doing it.” I responded back, “That may be true, but I don’t really cave into peer pressure.” Staring at the ceiling, I eventually stood up at that point and called my dad to pick me up. His parents arrived as well and smiled at my presence. I chatted with them a bit and had a pleasant conversation. I enjoyed their company for the rest of the evening until my dad showed up.

The next day we met up at the school library, he apologized for taking advantage of the situation. I said it was fine, but wasn’t sure what to make of it. So, I continued hanging out with him only at school where teachers were watching. Perhaps, it put a damper on things.

One day, our English teacher read one of our speeches aloud as we were drilling for the writing portion of the standardized tests. She winked at him as she read his story which mentioned me in description only and how we knew we would always care for each other. I was so embarrassed, and he turned red as a beet.

After high school graduation, though, we parted ways, and gone off in different directions. I remember feeling a tinge of jealousy when he chatted to one of my friends. Maybe I still cared about him. When he moved away to another state, I was genuinely happy for him when he got his dream job as a software developer for a gaming console and writing documentaries on the side.

I moved on with my life since then, and I’m in a happy relationship now. Yet, like every other human being who was once in a state of love, you never seem to forget your first kiss.


Blogging Insights #20 – Long form VS Short form Content

Hello everyone! Hope you are doing well! I’m officially free from the wrath of the flu! My goodness, I can just breathe a sigh of relief. 🙂 Today I want to explore this question:

Have you ever wondered the differences of impact between short-form content and long-form content for blog posts?

Today’s post will be centered on Dr.Tanya’s questions regarding blog length featured under #blogging insights on her blog, Salted Caramel.

  1. Do you prefer writing long form or short form content?
  2. How long, in your opinion, is the ideal blog post?
  3. What do you prefer reading, shorter or longer posts?
  4. What are the topics on which you would like to read longer posts (say, more than 1000 words)?

For the past eight weeks, I’ve been working on a class in which my professor wanted us to engage our audience via WordPress or LinkedIn platforms. Setting this intention and accomplishing assigned objectives required me to do some research.

I found an intriguing article called: 10 LinkedIn Publishing Tips: We Analyzed 3000 LinkedIn Blog Posts

It explored what sort of content works best on the LinkedIn platform, and various data correlation and comparison for successful LinkedIn posts. I began to wonder if there is similar analytics done for WordPress blogs.

Here are my responses to Tanya’s thought-provoking questions:

Do you prefer writing long form or short form content?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I really enjoy writing short form content when I want to relax from a busy, chaotic day. Typically the content I write is fun, light-hearted, and contains beautiful poetry, photo short story. This is primarily what my audience on my blog sees. It’s easier for me to generate posts prolifically when inspiration strikes spontaneously giving me more freedom to explore.

The downside to short-form content, in my opinion, is that it’s ideal for producing timely updates relevant for a short period of time which requires consistent production of posts. Otherwise, your stats and traffic begins to drop. Long-form content, on the other hand, has some lasting quality to it. While readers may not sit back and read all of it in one go, they will come back for more if they’re truly interested.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

I write long form content for school or work when the content requires more time to plan and analytical thought. I enjoy writing long research papers when the subject matter is something I’m passionate about. I tend to dive really deep into the subject matter, and I lose track of time.

I’m competent in writing quality business reports, white papers, and proposals that require technical research. It’s a different sort of “like”. I feel more like a detective investigating a solution and feel a sort of thrill reaching a conclusion.

Writing long-form content develops your blog’s branding and credibility which can deepen a blogger’s relationship to their readers. Many people also reblog and reshare long-form content more often than short-form content.

How long, in your opinion, is the ideal blog post?

I feel that the ideal length varies from blogger to blogger and depends on the subject matter and purpose. Bloggers may ask themselves many questions such as:

  • Why do you blog? To improve your skills? To inspire? To meet people?
  • What are your goals? Do you want more followers? More posts?
  • Are you aligning the length of your posts with reader’s intention?

My ideal blog post tends to be 200 words or less because it works with my schedule and it’s primarily for my enjoyment that I want to share with others. It’s difficult for me to write anything longer consistently due to time constraints. Every now and then, I’ll save a long post in my draft box and work on it until completion, but those are few and far between.

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

If your intention is to create viral headlines and create content that generates a lot of traffic and followers, there seems to be several articles like the Linkedin article I mentioned above where data analytics tells a story of what makes for an ideal blog post.

Blogging boot camps also give recommendations for creating and monetizing blog posts that generate large sums of profit which depending on the blogger’s values and perspectives can be very ideal.

What do you prefer reading, shorter or longer posts?

On WordPress, I prefer reading shorter posts related to fiction only because there are so many talented writers I like to read throughout my busy day. It’s easier to read shorter posts on my phone and it’s also easier to scan for information I like. If bloggers like to write extended stories, I prefer it to be broken up in separate blog posts. If I’m still interested, I can buy their book if the blogger has published one.

Image by Prawny from Pixabay

What are the topics on which you would like to read longer posts (say, more than 1000 words)?

Despite my preferences mentioned above however, I don’t discount the effectiveness of long-form content. I really enjoy reading long articles in The Atlantic or The New Yorker when a writer demonstrates their authority and expertise writing about something that intrigues me such as trending updates in health/wellness, nutrition, improving home space, environment, history, business, technology, or anthropology.

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

Long-form content provides a platform to highlight important stories that define our time and generation. It may provide in-depth knowledge that you may need to succeed in your endeavors whether it’s starting your business, working through the pain-staking issues surrounding divorce, or a how-to article on fixing the intricacies of your car.

Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

Long-form content gets higher search rankings and outperforms short-form content in this regard. The longer readers spend time reading a blog post, the more readers can develop trust with the blogger. Readers have invested time reading more of what the blogger has produced, and therefore more likely to interact with the blogger. Bloggers give direction to their posts and target a specific audience.

Quotes

Whether my preference is either short-form or long-form, there are benefits and limitations to both. With that in mind, I think I’ll focus on delivering the best valuable content I can. Curious about the topic of content in general, I’ve collected some food for thought below regarding content.

Thanks for reading! I’ll see you soon 🙂

Sunshine Blogger Award #5 from Proscenium – Life, Relationships, Movies

The Sunshine Blogger Award is per recognition award for bloggers who inspire readers by promoting positivity and bringing joy

Good afternoon everyone! I would like to sincerely thank Jason @ Proscenium for nominating me for a Sunshine Blogger Award. He hosts the fun Friday Follies photo challenge (hilarious entries from participants), takes interesting photos and gives a slice of his day while promoting other bloggers. Please stop by and take a look into his world!

Rules for Award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts. (In my case, I tag!)
  • List the rules and display a Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.

Jason’s Questions

Is what you’re doing now what you always wanted to do growing up? If not, what did you always want to be “when you grew up?” Was there a reason why?

Short answer: yes and no. 🙂

Image Credit: Berzin @ Pixabay

When I was a young girl, I wanted to be a doctor “when I grew up”. I imagined taking care of a clinic full of sick stuffed animals who needed care. I just wanted them to be happy again so that we can drink tea together. I always felt called to help people feel better. I was sensitive to those who were suffering. In college, I attempted to do a pre-med track only to get burnt out in the process. I didn’t get much sleep in those years and didn’t eat properly either because of the stress of maintaining a decent GPA to get into medical school.

I was rattled and a train wreck three years into the program. I later explained to my parents that perhaps this isn’t the right path for me and decided to do some soul searching. I asked myself what were things that I enjoyed doing: listening to music, art, writing, crafty activities, gardening, tinkering with tech stuff. Changing my course wasn’t easy at first. In the course of my recuperation, I decided to participate in a “Trash-to-Treasure” environmental contest hosted by my school after reading a story about some inventive dresses made out of recycled products.

There was a deadline to the project so I decided to go with a simpler project. I was later inspired by a curtain made out of plastic bottle parts and enjoyed the process of connecting all the pieces together. Time just flew by and I had fun!

What is/was a relationship deal breaker for you?  Why? Is that the same for friendships?

As understanding and patient I can be, I’ve had quite a few deal breakers even in the midst some redeeming qualities they may have. Some deal breakers for me for relationships and friendships alike were individuals with abusive personalities, poor hygiene/uncleanliness, and laziness. It’s difficult for me to cut ties due to my desire to help people through problems, but there are times when it is necessary for my own well being.

  • Anyone who has been around abusive people knows that they create an incredibly toxic environment for you and they will drain you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Sometimes, they can be logical and knowledgeable yet hurtful with their arrogance. Constantly taking a beating figuratively and literally eventually takes its toll. Taking care of myself means giving myself space from those sorts of individuals.
  • Poor hygiene has always irked me. It is very difficult to be in close proximity around someone who doesn’t bother to brush their teeth or take regular showers. I can take note of their compassion, but at a distance?
  • Laziness bugs me because if people won’t make the effort to work on a relationship, why be in one? It reveals to me that they don’t care, and if they don’t care, then I won’t feel adequately cared for. Laziness is different than resting or recreation. I’ve always been surrounded by hardworking people all my life and I’ve seen the fruits of that labor play out in various facets of their lives including their relationships.

What’s something you can’t go a day without doing?

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” 

― J.R.R. Tolkien

Eating! Good food can instantly change my mood and worldview on life. I love the delectable colors of this vegetable skewer!

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
Image Credit: Pixabay

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love?

There was a relationship I had which didn’t last, but it taught me a lot of important life lessons. The craziest thing I think I did for love was that I got down on my knees and cried in front of this individual. In hindsight, it doesn’t sound too crazy, but at the time I refused to be vulnerable because I didn’t want to show any weaknesses. I set up so many walls that guys used to think that I didn’t have feelings. They would never see me cry, and I never wanted someone to take advantage of my heart. The moment I tore down the walls I built for myself, I was open to what was going to happen, and that scared me.

Genius lyrics
“.. When you built your walls too high
And there’s no one to love you
When you trap yourself inside
…”

What scene in a movie has evoked the most feelings out of you?

There are certain scenes in movies that stand out in my memory. Life changers.

Typically, the ones that have evoked the most feelings are the ones I don’t think I’ll ever want to see again: war, WWII, Holocaust. Movies about featuring the depravity in the Holocaust like Schindler’s List, Sophie’s Choice, Boy in the Striped Pajamas. The final scene in Schindler’s List where Oscar talks about saving one more life, the scene where Sophie is asked to choose which of her children shall survive, the scene where the boys go to the gas chamber…

Though I have never watched Passion of the Christ, I assumed it was going to evoke many feelings. My family and I avoided it for the brutal violence and the newspaper report of a woman getting a heart attack while watching it in the theater.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, some movie scenes that evoked incredibly positive emotions was the Amazonian training scene in Wonder Woman, the grandmother remembering her father in Coco, women achieving their dreams in Hidden Figures, Circle of Life in Lion King.

11 Nominees

You are not obligated to respond to this award nomination, however it is a wonderful way for me to recognize your blogs! Thank you for being here!

Questions

  1. What will be your next inspiring endeavor?
  2. What is your native language? Are there any other languages you would like to learn?
  3. Describe your favorite restaurant.
  4. What was the last compliment you received?
  5. What is the most courageous thing you have ever done?

Thank you again for reading! Have a wonderful day! 🙂

What Do You See? – A Gift

A mountain of anticipation
builds as I speculate the special occasion
that catches my attention.

Today is an irresistible gift
and a mystery to behold
which does not belong merely to me.

To what purpose did the giver
want to express?

It is an expression of appreciation
for the relationship we share.

Shall I accept it with grace and gratitude or
should I be suspicious of the giver’s intentions?

My acceptance hinges on whether
our relationship is genuine.

In response to:

A-to-Z Challenge: Inamorato

Image Pixabay

Worthwhile Moments

A rose’s fragrance fills the air uniting the space between us
As the sun sets leaving nothing more to discuss
My inamorato’s warm kisses ignites a fire of deep desire
Filling my life with joy and making it brighter
Illuminating a connection that is passionate and sizzling
Sharing with each other all that is interesting
As I close my eyes, his fingers dance across my chest
To reach my own on an adventurous quest
Accompanied by a spicy personality I absolutely adore
A banter of witty humor helps my spirit soar
Relishing in his tender touch and gentle caresses
I appreciate his faithfulness
Mi Amor,
I feel so well cared for!

Previous Posts in 2019 A to Z Challenge 
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

In response to:

Sunshine Blogger #4 from Keep It Alive

The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes.

William James

Good morning! A few days ago, I was celebrating a friend’s birthday at a movie theater by seeing another superhero movie: Aquaman. Again, I loved the visual effects, the action, the laughs, and adventure!

My fourth Sunshine Blogger nomination is from Sadje from Keep It Alive! Thanks Sadje! She has some lovely stories as she weaves three or four tales a day from various word and photo prompts! She is a prolific writer and a popular lady here on the blogosphere.

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?
“The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.”

Once nominated, if you choose to accept, write a post where you:

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the Sunshine Award and link back to their blog
  • Answer the questions set by the person who nominated you
  • Nominate other blogs and give them questions to answer
  • Notify your nominees through social media or commenting on their blog
  • List the “rules” and display a Sunshine Award logo in your post

Sadje’s interesting questions are as follows:

Which one, do you feel is your best post?

Objectively, I’m going to my stats for this. I don’t visit it too often so this is a surprise to me! My top 5 posts outside of my About page are:

Subjectively, I’ve enjoyed the process of writing each post and taking or finding pictures for each one. I love the stunning flowers I take pictures of. Such beauty is hard to rank. I feel that I can do better with time. 🙂

How do you get inspiration for writing?

Many things inspire me in a multitude of ways! It can be almost anything since I’m fascinated by a lot of topics and easily amused. I love it when I find obscure connections between current events! Photographs, artwork, illustrations, life experiences I want to make sense of, relationships, jokes, food, my educational experiences, books I’ve read, my travels, television shows, movies, quotes, other’s blog posts, random ideas that pop into my head and I want to explore them further by writing about it.

If given a choice would you choose traveling by train or ship?

I enjoy travelling by train! I like to cozy up with a book as I pass by beautiful scenery. I easily get sea-sick by ship and have to take motion sickness pills. I once went crab fishing with my aunt in North Carolina and the rockiness of the boat made me vomit most of the afternoon. However, I’ve always wondered what a cruise ship would feel like! Maybe it’s a smoother experience!

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Angry Birds – The early bird gets the worm… and turns it into a friend.

Generally an early bird! 🙂 I’m far more productive in the morning!

Which would you say is the best part of your life?

I cherish time spent with my relationships in nature. I enjoy travelling and having fun with my family, my roommates, my friends, and my boyfriend. I’ll share more stories about them later!

How was life in childhood for you?

Photo Credit: Realtor.com

I had a very charming and idyllic childhood for the most part. I was raised in a suburb of Dallas, Texas. In the cul-de-sac, my neighbors came from a variety of countries. It takes a village to raise a child. I was raised by teachers of all sorts of subjects, professors, engineers, doctors, bank tellers, business owners, mechanics, hotel housekeepers from a melting pot of religious and ethnic backgrounds. We all looked out for one another and I felt safe. We talked about many subjects underneath the sun when I would stop by to visit or when some of them babysat me.

They also had children my age. Playing with them was a blast! We had water gun fights, roller bladed in the sidewalks, played baseball, basketball, soccer. The girls would have long talks hanging out on the bed of my friend’s dad’s red truck till the moon popped up. We played outside for hours. Sometimes we stop to feed the ducks in the lake nearby. I am very fortunate to have such rich and vivid memories.

My loving parents worked hard to give us wonderful experiences. My siblings and I are close. My parents doted on and cared for us very well, and I’ve always felt loved and happy even though we weren’t rich. It was filled with fun family parties, road trip adventures, a wide range of music, fishing trips, visits to libraries and museums, and a love of nature.

My dad loves to grow several types of fruit trees around the perimeter of our backyard. I would help him take care of the flower and vegetable garden where we grew squash, peppers, eggplant, lettuce, mint. I would harvest the fruit off the trees and we would share our surplus with our friends and other family members. He also taught me lessons in construction, mathematics, and mechanics.

My mom was a stay-at-home homemaker while working as a seamstress on the side. I learned a lot of domestic skills. I basically learned how to sew my own clothes and other neat things. I would have fun cooking gourmet meals and baking wonderful treats with mom in the kitchen.

Are you a coffee person or a tea addict?

I don’t drink coffee at all, but I do love tea! It’s a wonderful stimulant to get me going in the mornings nearly every day. It also relaxes me when I might be going through some stressful moments. I also love to invite friends over for tea and cookies while we catch up with each other’s lives.

Food that you cannot resist?

Oh! I am a foodie! I love a variety of dishes as well as a lot of desserts! I love various types of pasta, seafood, breakfast food, lightly whipped desserts like eclairs or tarts.

What should be the first thing a child be taught?

There’s so much to teach children! However, I think some important lessons a child should learn is to show gratitude, respect, kindness, and be a life long learner. If they throw a tantrum, they should learn that they will not always get what they want by acting rudely.

How are you enjoying blogging?

I love it very much and find it more rewarding than other social media sites I’ve tried. I feel like I can express my thoughts more easily here. I’m thankful to you for being a great community! Right now, it’s fun to write stories for an audience.

What are your ambitions for your blog?

It’s an evolving entity. I would love to collaborate with other bloggers on a project of sorts. Perhaps we can tackle a challenge together and write our accounts. Someday, I might invite bloggers to write on my blog about a particular topic.

I want to incorporate some thorough book/movie reviews of some books/movies that I’ve recently read. I want to write more about my studies in depth and explore more literature which is a passion of mine. I want to be more comfortable expressing opinions about a variety of other subjects. I do a lot of sketch work as well and would love to share that with all of you!

I also hope I can also spread more sunshine and beauty to your lives by sharing inspiring quotes, snapping pictures that leave me in awe, or sharing stories that have touched my heart.

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 21

The song, “Stacie’s Mom”, was very popular during the time I was in high school. It’s about a young boy’s infatuation with his girlfriend’s mother which obviously isn’t going anywhere. I first heard of the song on a Dr.Pepper commercial. A few of my friends would create parodies of the song when someone’s mom does something awesome like “Colin’s Mom”.

Here is the funny Dr.Pepper commercial with the incredible soccer mom and her mini-van! 🙂

Calculus took up a chunk of my high school life! It’s where most of us learned the various types of infinity and its uses in limits and continuity. The Mathematics Stack Exchange explores more about infinity in its forums. When most of us were struggling with the process of learning calculus, our mothers intervened and offered support. Some of the moms got together and baked cookies for our weekend group studies so that we would pass our tests. 😀

The original video is meant for mature audiences. 😉

In response to:

321 Quote Me- Celebration of Life: Thanksgiving & Black Friday

Good morning everyone! I hope all of you enjoyed Thanksgiving break! Rory from A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! nominated me for 321 Quote Me- Celebration of Life which is really befitting because I love to celebrate various occasions! So this past week was busy, and I feel that’s an understatement. Homework is giving me a lot of curve balls, and I’m now getting caught up with my drafts and tags on WordPress!

I sent Thanksgiving cards to loved ones that live all over the nation. Yes, I like email and other social media to keep in touch, but I still enjoy giving hand written cards every once in a while! It’s hard to get us all together for anything because we’re so far apart. I’m thinking one day I’ll go on a major road trip and visit all of them to catch up. There’s so much distance between us, yet it doesn’t change how I feel about them.

My roommates made a delicious Thanksgiving breakfast before I headed into work for early Black Friday sales. I had some turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, gravy, brussel sprouts, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, pecan pie and washed it down with some cranberry cocktail. The food made me sleepy so I took a three hour nap before my shift.  When I woke up, I got dressed, packed my Kindle reader for any potential breaks (wishful thinking… breaks might be elusive), and was ready to go!

The day before, I had the opportunity to decorate my smock which I am so grateful for! I relish any chance to be creative especially during a chaotic retail holiday. Each department was color coded, and my supervisor gave us a bunch of creative materials. I went to town with the hot glue gun! (Did I mention that my hot glue gun and I are great pals?) When my boss first handed my uniform, my vest looked like a medical smock that I might wear to a gynecologist’s appointment. 

I had to change that immediately! I added a candy cane heart, penguins, sleigh on a shiny hill, wreaths, trees, gems, smiley face emojis, red bows, Mardi Gras beads. Decided not to take my sewing machine out and give it some shape because I need lots of freedom of my arms and waist. Yes, my boss seemed to skip the Thanksgiving decorations and jumped straight to Christmas, but oh well! I work with what I got. 

Here is my battle armor for Black Friday! My roommates told me I belonged on top of a Christmas tree because I sparkled so much. I was tempted to put on a football helmet because I heard last year a customer gave a worker a black eye during Black Friday, but I figured I’m a fast dodger! Brutal indeed, but all that Jujitsu training pays off. 🙂

I arrived at my workplace an hour early and gave my parents and siblings a call. They had a wonderful dinner and were playing a dancing video game. My dad created the Thanksgiving meal this year, and he told me he really enjoyed the process of cooking for the family.  Earlier I sent my siblings a Tokyo Treat Box for Thanksgiving which has a bunch of goody snacks from Japan. They enjoyed it! We said our farewells. They wished me luck, gave me some emotional support, and hung up.

Click. My one phone call is up. I clock in, and head into the battle arena. 

It’s like walking into the eye of the storm where it is eerily calm, but you don’t trust it. 

Understandably, I heard that some of my coworkers called in sick which according to my boss may be cause for termination. Others are anxiously manning their saran-wrapped stations. Customers are keeping an eye on their goods surrounding the station like vultures.

My smock is an eye catcher, and I receive a lot of compliments from coworkers and customers alike. Man, I feel like I’m walking the red carpet! I waved at my coworkers who smiled back and honestly looked relieved when they saw me. It looked like a brief moment of respite from the constant surveillance of their merchandise.

I push through the bustling crowd and finally reached up to the front end where there was caution tape closing off the checkout lanes. I enter the ringer. Several handsome (very handsome 😀 ) police officers were patrolling the area staying very alert. The HR director (aka the referee) greeted me and gave me a pat on the shoulder. Never saw him before, but he wanted to compliment me on my smock! 

We chatted a bit about technical incubators while the managers were priming up all the cashiers giving us their best pep talk. The store director paced the floors. One of our supervisors brought a huge speaker to play a motivational musical playlist. Then they played IT… one of the latest songs from one of my favorite musicals, The Greatest Showman!

All of this is rather intensifying the situation! Some of my newer coworkers are getting more nervous while I’m just getting primed up. I look at my watch and once the minute hand hits 6:00, I hear a full range of party horns signaling the go ahead for the masses of crowds to check out. 

I take a deep breath, and a big guy is headed towards me with a set of towering boxes of toys and electronics that seem to cascade down onto the conveyor belt. I silently talk to myself, “I can do this. I have an incredible team backing me up. You don’t have to go through life alone.”

I call for help from one of the burly, muscular cart pushers to help me lift all of these boxes (some of them were bigger than me!) throughout the night. A flood of customers came through my line with a variety of questions and complaints. I feel like they were dying of hunger the way the manic crowds were frantically fighting over goods. Grateful and puzzled for the kind, patient, and pleasant customers who stopped by! I would have thought they would stick to the online option. 🙂

Piles of merchandise were strewn throughout the store. We stayed on top of it by collected them before they got trampled on by the stampede. I filtered out the noise and focused on the task at hand. Some people may be of the opinion that a mosh pit is one way to celebrate life. Not me, but some people may find it thrilling.

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Sometimes, I think people get energized by spending Black Friday celebrating with the enormous crowds! A celebration of spending their hard hard earned savings to buy things to enhance their life or the lives of their loved ones. It may be an illusion of enhancement or a reality for others. They may enjoy walking around the store checking out the sales with their families.

I didn’t get anything that night. No time to, but I did have an eye on the 200 piece art set with an easel/stand and DIY Spa Kit. (Already thinking of methods for self-care after this onslaught 😉 ) Our supervisors provided us with a warm dinner in the break room.  I crashed on my bed the moment I got home. New memories swirling around in my mind.

Ah,
my sweet bed 
How I adore thee
Falling into the oblivion
of sleep that comes easily!

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