#Reverb11 Day 21: Party Time!

Prompt: Party Time – Tell us about the “best” party you attended this year.


The colors of these memories swirl in my mind, shaded with voices, music and laughter radiating off the walls because the house just can’t soak up any more joy. So many lovely, hilarious, bawdy, cherished moments that seem endless because you forgot to count time, so time forgot to count you.

It’s the parties that weren’t parties at all that were among the best times this year. You know the kind: You get a call because someone decided to fire up the grill and sit out on their deck. Somebody has BBC America and the latest Doctor Who is on that night. The first fire pit lighting of the season needs to be celebrated with Scotch, absinthe and cigars. You’ve got an hour before the impromptu dinner party where everyone heads to the club after. Or you decide to go out to the club on your own after a long absence and fall into a whole pile of your best friends so happy to see you.

I love these times, these serendipitous, sudden times, as much as the parties you look forward to and mark as “Join” in Facebook or schedule on your Google Calendar. Whether you’re with just one other person or a whole crowd, giggling over something incredibly geeky, chatting up a storm on a Twitter hashtag or getting everyone starved around you and headed to the 24-hour restaurant at bar close, sometimes all you need to do is look around and realize you’re experiencing nuggets of unplanned awesomeness. To me, that’s what the best kind of party is.

Balloons from here.
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#Reverb11 Day 14: Gratitude

Gratitude – What five (5) things are you most grateful for from 2011?

Gratitude (in no particular order)

1. My friends. Oh, you people are marvelous. From work to play, you make me collapse in laughter, giggle at lewdly inappropriate things, shatter my boundaries and take absolutely nothing at face value. The phrase “expand my horizons” just isn’t enough for what you do for me. You’re absolutely brilliant. You’re also the greatest supporters a person could have. Even if you’re on the other side of the world, I can feel you out there. Take care, all of you–always.

2. Mr. HouseofBeck. He’s included in the above, but just in case there’s any doubt, he gets his own line. I am extremely glad he’s in this world and in my life. He accepts me for who I am even when I’m fighting mad to expand who I am. The dude has more patience and perseverance than is normal. Would I put up with me? Yeek! But as he tells me, “I’ve waited a long time for you.” I can’t even write that without melting. We’ll get through this damned Crohn’s. We have to.

3. My family. The love I feel for you lives in every cell in my being. Lately I’ve been getting flashbacks to childhood, the kind that come colored with shades of feeling and warmth and scent. The way the hanging lamp made out of wicker curves shone a golden light down on just that one corner of the living room. The way dinner cooking on the stove warmed the air. The smell of heat from the furnace that always signified winter. The crisp-cold scent of the Christmas tree brought down from the crawl-space in the garage. Rhythm’n’blues, Beethoven or punk making the walls shake. Learning how to count in Roman numerals from watching old movies. Your voices carrying through the house. It’s all there. Comfort.  Home. Delight. Thank you.

4. My job. I do spend more than 40 hours a week there. It was bound to come up! Without this job, I’d still be a contractor. There’s nothing wrong with being a contractor, but I was really starting to want the comfort of a “permanent” job. You know, with benefits and stuff. I also wanted to keep doing what I love doing, which is reaching out to people through social media for a cause I believe in. This job does that for me. And there are awesome people working there, people I am so glad I’ve met. They’re in #1 too.

5. Creativity. Writing, beading, drawing, singing–they’ve always been part of me, some more than others, but I seem to have found a new renaissance of creativity within me. I have a pile of really cool bracelets, earrings and necklaces. I participated in NaNoWriMo again and won for the 3rd time. I’ve been singing again, if only in the car, if only in the house. I’ve got children’s stories actually out of my head, in front of my eyes, with illustrations. Now I need to take what I’ve got and mold it all into something sublime. And I think I can do it.

6. *Bonus!* 2011. 2011 sucked for many people. It wasn’t supposed to, I know. I can’t say it’s been all that peachy for me all the time either. But looking back over it with just this simple list makes me very grateful I was able to be here for it, to live through it, to come out with new strength and ideas, decisions and determinations. And there were some amazing times I cherish. That’s what looking back over this year has done for me: Made me realize the awesome that was and the awesome that’s yet to come.

May it also be awesome for you.

Fabulous reverb11 badge made here.

#Reverb11 Day 6: What made you laugh this year?

#Reverb11 Day 6: What made you laugh this year?

My husband.

I realize he’s not a “what.” But the dude cracks me up. I can be loud and opinionated in real life, so I’ll be opining loudly on something that ticks me off and he’ll just start laughing and failing at hiding it until I break off and ask, “WHAT is so #$%! FUNNY?” which you’d think would send any sane person out of town, but instead he’ll boldly give me that guy non-answer, “You’re so cute when you get mad.”

Which for a moment makes me even more loudly opinionated (and not at all complimentary toward him), but despite myself, I know I’m going to start laughing just because he’s laughing. He saves me from being stuck in my own eloquent ire.

And if it weren’t for him and our compatible senses of humor, I wouldn’t have anyone to giggle with or make me fall on the floor hooting when we go off into our flights of imagination about the most ridiculous things.

Call it crazy, but I anthropomorphize just about everything. I prefer to call it “responding to the energy within an object,” but crazy will do. When I was younger, I’d apologize to furniture if I banged into it. I’ve been a spokesperson for my guinea pigs through the years. With my long commute now, I thank my car for a safe drive. And don’t get me started on books (see the last post for that).

But that’s just me. When the two of us get together, the whack-a-doodleness increases.

Take my Bug. I used to have a red VW Bug–the New Beetle. I swear that Bug had a palpable aura of beatific cheer that harkened back to its hippie roots…not so much the Hitler ones…and as such had a sparkling Pollyanna-like personality that not only annoyed all the non-Bug cars around it but the original Beetles, the grumpy Ancestor Bugs who still catch themselves singing “Lili Marleen” and reminiscing about the war over beer and cigars while irritably batting off admiring crowds of young Beetles.

Anthropomorphizing can lead to bizarre conversations. We once got lost (twice!) on a trip because we were so involved in a conversation between our increasingly-hysterical Bug and its capitalist parts (they kept yelling “Communist!”)

I’d relate more but it reads better in the original German.

It comes down to this. I saw a greeting card that mentioned the husband “retaining his child’s heart.”  This: Essential. Especially now as he’s battling Crohn’s disease, this gift of laughter, however hard-won, is priceless.

My Twitter pals.

Noël Rozny and Michelle Seitzer, you two may not know each other personally, but over the past year I’ve laughed like a loon sitting at my desk–and you two are two of the very good reasons why. The things you say under cover make me yelp! Imagine if we all worked together. While the universe takes a moment to piece itself back together, I’d like to say we would of course get actual work done…and probably get a book deal out of “How to Work While Laughing Your A$$ Off”…hmm, why aren’t we doing this?

One of the tricks to effective social media is conveying all the non-verbals we otherwise miss, the emotion, context, satire and all the rest. It can be as simple as changing a “Hope you are having a nice day.” to “Hope you’re having a great day!” to inject that essential extra ounce of meaning. I know, not everyone likes an exclamation point, but used appropriately, I think they’re worth it.

When you focus on being the person and not the faceless brand, that’s bringing the living person out in front of the username and avatar. When you see it happening with people you interact with, let it spill over to your personal life a little. At the very least, let yourself be open to finding out more about these intriguing strangers that pester you with Good mornings and witty comments. I haven’t regretted it. Neither will you.

So. Twitter pals. Facebook friends. BrazenCareerists. GooglePlussers. People I’ve only ever met online. People I hope to meet one day in person. Thank you for making me laugh, and more importantly, thank you for “being there.” You’re a wonderful system of support, and this whole social media existence I work in would be that much more dull and unrewarding without you.

My Friends I Knew First in Real Life (aka Offline).

I can’t let this post end without more than a nod to the Andys,  Adams, Katushas, and Kims (to name a few) that have brought such good times and good mayhem to my life. There’s something so essential about surrounding yourself with true friends and supporters, and laughter is one way to keep yourself happy and healthy. Your worth is above rubies.

So cheers to you all!


Fabulous reverb11 badge made here.