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The Stories Behind the Book

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There are many things that go into writing a book.  Every author puts blood, sweat, and tears into their craft.  Some authors put more into their books than others, and some find writing a book easier than others.  But aside from the normal feelings and perseverance that go into completing a novel, one thing is universal for every work: an idea.

The idea for my book came from a couple of different places.

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A Dream Realized

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I could read and write by the age of 3.  My parents were thrilled and greatly encouraged me.  Before long, just like in Matilda, I had read every book in our house.

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You Gotta Fight, for Your Right, to Nerd Out

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I saw this video a few nights ago, and really liked it.

The video features two men discussing the “Fake Geek Girl” in geek culture.  Sometimes, the term is “Fake Nerd Girl.”  Both terms are interchangeable, as well as demeaning.

I’ve been accused of being one before, and it pissed me off.

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28 is Gonna Be Great!

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Eleven days ago, I turned 28.  My birthday week was spent with all of my friends and then going home to see the family.  A great time was had by all and I am very loved.

Turning 28 was kind of bittersweet for me.  I am no longer 27 and that makes me a little sad.  I loved being 27.  I loved how I felt, what I did, what all I accomplished.  Being 27 made me feel alive in a way that I had never experienced before.

me on my 27th birthday

At first, turning 27 was quiet scary.  It was the first time that my age sounded “old” to me.

Turning 25 was a jarring experience because I realized that I was now into the next age bracket.  I was officially in my late twenties.  When I turned 26, I went through a late “quarter life crisis” and felt kind of lost for a while.  I wasn’t sure where my niche was or what I wanted to do with my life.

I can’t say with absolute certainty that being 27 helped me realize any of those things, but it definitely made me happier.  I was riding on a pretty good high for half of my 27th year.

Every year, since I turned 26, I take a current photo of myself and then make a list detailing what I’ve accomplished/done/liked over the last year.

These are the previous two:

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And here is the one for this year:

bdaypic

I am proudest of what I’ve accomplished over the last year.  Even though 27 was scary, it quickly turned exciting and significant.  I’ve never felt that confident, or that ready to take on anything.  But being 27 made me feel like I could.  It was an indescribable feeling.

I hope that 28 brings some of that electricity with it.  I hope that I continue to feel happy, healthy, comfortable, and excited.  I want to write another book.  I want to finish up with the current one so I can sign it for friends and family.  I want to read to my heart’s content and watch Netflix when it’s not a reading day.  I want to be fulfilled.

And I definitely want to live out 28 the way it began: surrounded by my friends and eating delicious pizza.

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Here’s to 28.  I hope it’s going to be great!

Book Review: Turn Coat

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Turn Coat, by Jim Butcher

Turn Coat is the eleventh book in the Dresden Files series, written by Jim Butcher.  The book follows Harry Dresden, a modern-day wizard fighting crime in Chicago, and his adventure proving the innocence of his most hated Warden while discovering the White Council turn coat.


Warning!  Spoilers follow here.

The book starts with Harry opening his door to find Morgan standing there asking for his help.  Morgan has been wrongly accused of killing a fellow warden and asks Dresden to help prove his innocence.  Dresden takes him in, cleans him up, and proceeds to watch over him for the next 48 hours — how much longer Morgan’s veil against the people looking for him will hold up.  Morgan swears he is innocent and woke up in the deceased’s room holding a bloody knife with no recollection of how he got there.  He believes the traitor, who has been feeding information to the enemy for several books, framed him to take the attention off himself while he continues to feed information.  Dresden runs with that idea and seeks out to discover the traitor.  Along the way, Dresden is stalked by a skinwalker — an evil spirit who can take any form.  When Dresden looks upon the skinwalker with his Sight, his mind is nearly disabled at how powerful the being is. He arrives at Will and Georgia’s apartment to take shelter and recover from the vision.  The skinwalker follows him and instigates a fight with the Alphas.  Kirby is killed and Andi is severely injured.  The skinwalker flees.  Dresden, Molly, Thomas, and Morgan attempt to hide in a storage unit.  Binder, a British foe who can conjure these weird gray beings, is introduced and tries to take out Dresden before he can find out anything else regarding the traitor.  Binder, as we later learn, is working with Thomas’s cousin Madeline in cahoots with the traitor.  While Dresden is fighting Binder, Thomas gets snatched by the skinwalker.  After enlisting the help of Murphy and a private investigator named Vince on a side mission, Dresden returns to Demonreach — the island from the previous book — to take everyone out at one time.  The Raiths come with him to aid in the fight.  He brings out the Council, by telling them he has Morgan in his possession, the skinwalker, on the grounds of a swap (Thomas for Morgan), and Binder and Madeline by bringing the Raiths along for the fight.  A huge fight ensues, and the skinwalker shows up toting Thomas.  He has scarred Thomas and turned him into a primal beast.  Listens-to-Wind helps Dresden fend off the skinwalker.  Lara Raith takes Madeline out and Dresden lets Binder go under the agreement to never do business again.  The wardens take Morgan back to Edinburgh to hold his trial and prove him guilty.  At the trial, Dresden uses photos from Vince to reveal that Peabody, the secretary for the Council in Edinburgh, is the traitor.  Peabody enchanted the ink he uses to write with, and when others also wrote with that ink, he harnessed power over them and could control them psychically.  He psychically controlled Luccio to kill the warden, but Morgan made it look like he did it because he loves her and didn’t want her to take the fall.  After a short chase, Morgan kills Peabody and then dies.  Ebenezar walks Dresden back to Chicago and the idea of the Merlin being in on the Black Council comes up.  Dresden decides to team up with Eb and a small group of others to fight against everyone, calling themselves the Grey Council.  The book wraps up with Dresden finally getting to see Thomas since his kidnapping.  Thomas is different and stoic.  After a cold meeting, Dresden assures Thomas that he’s still here for him.  Dresden brings Butters to Will and Georgia’s for game night, which Kirby always held before his death, and they begin a new game.


Where the hell do I start.  I hate what happened to Thomas.  He’s my favorite character.  That shit better get fixed.  The fact that Luccio’s love for Harry was all a result of the mind control was some BS.  The guy just can’t catch a break.  We still know nothing about Michael’s condition from the previous book.  The idea of the Merlin actually being bad is very intriguing, but I don’t see a motive for it.  I do like the secret Grey Council, though.  In the book, it’s mentioned that because Luccio gained a new, younger body she is now receptive to Peabody’s mind control, which is most effective on young people.  I find this a little weak because even though her body is young, her mind and soul isn’t.  I don’t think it should have been that easy to control her. Maybe she wanted a part of it; maybe she’s bad, too.  I never liked her.  Morgan didn’t deserve to die.  He was like the Snape of the Dresden universe.  I give this book a 4/5, because, while gripping, the ending made me feel so much like the HIMYM finale.  So much development to be torn down so quickly.


For Next Time

Changes, by Jim Butcher

Long ago, Susan Rodriguez was Harry Dresden’s lover—until she was attacked and left struggling with the bloodlust of the vampiric Red Court. Now, she needs Harry’s help. Harry’s enemies have found the secret she has hidden for so long, and he will have to unleash the full fury of his untapped power.

-bn.com

Tips from An Almost-Author

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Today is many things.  It’s the next-to-last day of June.  It’s Sunday.  And it’s also the first day of my birthday week!  I turn 28 on Saturday.  I plan to write a post at the end of the week, as I do every year, that details my goals for this year/age and also goes over the previous one.  Not unlike my annual new year’s post.

But today, I wanted to share a few tips.

I’ve mentioned it twice on the blog here, but just to catch everyone up: I wrote a book back in November through the NaNoWriMo organization.  Writing that book was quite possibly my most thrilling/adventurous/nerve-wracking journey to date.  The basic premise of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words in one month.  You can write whatever kind of book you like, but you must meet the 50K word count to “win.”  Well, I won.  And it was a huge effing deal.

As a fun teaser until I write a full post about it, here’s what the cover looks like:

AR cover 2c

I have no problem admitting that I was mentally exhausted by the end of November.  Writing a book is no small task, much less completing one in a month.

I am currently working on getting the book published.  Right now, I am self-publishing the book through CreateSpace.  (After you “win” NaNoWriMo, you are awarded “Winner Goodies.”  One of those goodies is a code that gives you two free copies of your book when you publish through CreateSpace.  So, here I am.)

I am by no means an expert, but my experience over the last eight months has taught me a lot.  If anyone reading this is an aspiring author, or is thinking about doing NaNoWriMo, maybe reading these tips can help you, too.

  1. Make the time.  It sounds easy, writing a book in a month.  But just like everything else that sounds easy, it’s not.  It takes a lot of dedication and perseverance to complete the NaNoWriMo challenge.  If you break it down evenly, into four complete weeks, your word count goal is 12,500 words per week.  That, already, is a lot.  Doing it four times in a row is even harder.  I guess what I’m saying is, know what you’re getting yourself into.  Some days are going to be harder than others.  Some days you’ll get so stuck in writer’s block that you have to cut your arm off with a Swiss Army knife to get out.  Figure out when you write best: if you like to wake up before everyone else and write in silence, do it.  If you’re one of those people who can successfully knock out a chapter on your lunch break at work, go for it.  And if you have to seclude yourself with thick headphones and Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience to really get in the mood to write (like yours truly), then that’s what you have to do.  You have to really push yourself.  Make the time to accomplish what you want.  This challenge is not easy; if it were, everyone could do it and win.
  2. Make an outline.  I don’t think I can stress this enough.  I wanted to create an outline before I began my book, but didn’t.  Toward the end of my editing, I was really wishing I had.  My book spans over a long period of time and has lots of flashbacks, so it’s absolutely essential to know exactly when everything happened to keep the story straight.  But I didn’t have one, so I had to keep making mini ones as I was editing just to understand what I was reading, even though I wrote it.  Having an outline to begin with also makes it easier to change the major story arc, if you find yourself wanting to do so later — you can’t change what doesn’t exist.  You can look at the outline and say, “The story was supposed to follow arc A, but now I think it would be better to follow the new arc B.”  It’s just easier to keep yourself on track with your original idea if you make an outline.
  3. Editing is not reading.  Please, for the love of God, edit your work.  You are welcome to take as long as you need to recuperate before editing.  In fact, you are probably better off to not edit immediately after the work is complete; you want to edit with fresh eyes.  So, give yourself a good break before diving back in.  But make no mistake, editing is not easy.  I’d go as far as to say that editing is harder than writing.  Actually, I know it is.  I’ve been editing in some capacity since I was 20, so the idea of editing being tedious and sometimes aggravating was not news to me.  But it can be for some people, so I’m telling you now: it’s hard.  And, for the record, editing is not reading.  Yes, you will read your work many times before you’re done with it.  But editing is a whole other ball game.  When you edit, you can no longer consider your own point of view.  That’s what the writing portion was for: to get all your ideas on paper.  The writing was for you.  The editing is for everyone else.  When you read your work, try to read it from a third party’s point of view.  Of course it makes sense to you — you wrote it.  You’ve lived in this world, this universe, since you started writing.  But anyone who is reading it for the first time doesn’t have that intimate relationship with it.  You have to make it make sense to literally anyone who could ever read it.  And that’s very challenging.  Question everything you wrote and make sure that it makes sense: if you picked this up in a bookstore and read this chapter, would everything make sense?  Having someone else read your work, even a small part, is the most helpful assistance you can have.  Trust me, I know it’s scary for someone else to read your magnum opus.  But also trust me when I say, it’s not as bad as you think.  And it will help you immensely.
  4. Know the publishing requirements.  As I said earlier, I am publishing through CreateSpace, so I can only give advice that pertains to that platform.  My goal was to publish my book before June 30, because my code to get my two free book expires on that date. I’m not sure that’s going to happen at this point.  Here’s why: I wasn’t completely knowledgeable of the publishing requirements.  I didn’t know that the cover had to be submitted in its entirety as a PDF file.  I didn’t know that CreateSpace has to review your work before you can order the finished product and that the review usually takes 12 hours, every time you resubmit the work for review.  And I didn’t know that your Word document has to have a gutter and that the gutter can really screw up the page numbers you worked on for two days.  Knowing all of that in advance would have made this part of the process much easier.  Look into your publisher’s requirements.  Most likely, there is a section on the website somewhere that details all of their requirements, if not several links to separate documents that detail their requirements for each part of the process.  Get your ducks in a row before you begin the publishing journey.  It will save you so much headache.
  5. Celebrate.  After all you’ve been through to make your dream a reality, party like it’s 1999!  Get excited, this is a big deal!  You did it.  You should be proud of yourself, I know I am! 🙂  I’m not to this point yet in my journey.  But by the time I’m 28, maybe I will be.  I’m looking forward to celebrating my accomplishment.

 

I hope this insight can be of some help to someone, even if it’s only of help to me the next I attempt to publish a book.  Should you happen upon this post and have additional questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll help you out as much as I can!  Good luck!

I’m Sew Awesome.

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In the midst of a rather sad time (currently being abruptly unemployed), this morning turned out to be sew much fun.

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haha

I first received my sewing machine, Rita Hayworth, from my ah-mazing husband back in 2012.  Despite how much I loved it and really wanted to sew on it, I was terrified of the thing.  I fixed a ripped seam on a dress and hemmed a pair of Justin’s work pants last year, but then nothing much else happened with Rita.

Cut to today!

Well, scratch that.

Cut to two weeks ago!

I bought my mom and I tickets to see Hall & Oates in Raleigh, and she was up for the concert two weekends ago.  Around the same time, I had purchased, tried on, returned, and painstakingly waited for a dress in another size to arrive from Mod Cloth.  The dress was originally purchased as a Large.  I tried it on for a grand total of three seconds, after I managed to just get it on, and realized it was way too small — despite reviews to the contrary.  So, I returned the dress for the only other size available, a 2X.

I looked like an anorexic Amish girl.  Thankfully, there is no photographic evidence of this.

And so, at my request, my mom and I worked together to take the dress in.  That required me to drag Rita away from her little sewing table in the bedroom to the kitchen table.  Once my mom went home that weekend, Rita continued to hang out on my kitchen table.

“Out of sight, out of mind” is totally true.  Seeing my sewing machine out in the open, instead of hidden away in the bedroom, made me want to use it.

Yesterday, I decided to research how to hem jeans while keeping the original hem.  After cutting off all of my jeans in college and dealing with the frayed hem, I wanted something that looked nicer.  #shortgirlproblems

I found this fabulous tutorial, and, after buying the supplies I needed (denim thread and a heavy duty needle), I hemmed my jeans this morning!

PicMonkey Collagepants

Yeah, that was three whole inches of fabric that I had been cuffing or stuffing.  The difference is incredible.

Then, still on a high from my big sewing endeavor, I decided to make (remake, even!) this shirt that I’ve seen floating around Pinterest forever.  I looked through the pile of shirts waiting to go into storage and chose the TN shirt from when I first visited my sister in college.

PicMonkey CollageMuch cuter, right?  I love it, and it took me maybe 30 minutes to do.  And, as with most things, after you’ve done it once, it’s easier each time.  So this T-shirt transformation may not even take 30 whole minutes the next time I decide to make one!

Man, this is awesome.  Maybe this is the beginning of more sewing!  Sure hope sew.

 

Turn, Turn, Turn

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To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sow
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late!

-The Byrds


Right now, there is a blog post that never got published sitting in my Drafts folder.  This post was written as a tribute, even a celebration, to my job.  I have the most amazing job on the face of the earth.  I work with the most amazing people.  I love getting up every morning and driving to my office.  I could not be happier.

Or, at least, I was happy.

I was very unceremoniously let go yesterday, along with eight other coworkers.  I was sitting at my computer editing a blog post, when a knock came.  I turned around and was informed that Jason, the CEO, needed to see me in the conference room.  Up until this point, I had been very intimidated by Jason.  Ever since being brought on my the company officially in March however, I had started coming around to him and not letting myself feel so afraid.

I was hired in June of 2013, through a temp agency.  I was also paid through the temp agency, until I worked a certain number of hours — at which point, the company could bring me on officially and I would be hired and paid through them directly.  That process took a long time.  I reached my hourly requirement around October 2013, and proceeded to tell anyone who could do something about it.  I was finally pulled aside and told that even though my requirement had been reached, the company just flat-out didn’t have enough money to hire me at that point.

This lack of funds was no secret.  At several company meetings, we had been told about the money situation and about how things like Christmas bonuses were suffering as a result.  I didn’t press the issue, it made sense and there just wasn’t anything they could do.

But, around February of this year, two new full-time hires were brought in back-to-back.  Figuring the company must have gotten back on its feet enough to hire new people, I started pushing the issue again.  That finally got a response, and before I knew it, Jason was sliding an offer letter across the table in the same conference where he would let me go two months later.

When I was finally brought on to the company, my happiness level grew even more.  Up until that point, I didn’t think it could.  I was official.  I was part of a real company, part of a real team.  They wanted me.  It was all I’d ever wanted.  Plus, it was a job I knew I could do, and was good at.  It couldn’t have been any better for me.

That sort of happiness was short-lived, spanning not even two full months.

On May 6, at 2:30 p.m., Jason told me that the financial situation was so bad that they had to start letting people go and that unfortunately my position was one of them.  I was then told that I would be allowed to grab my keys/purse/any immediately needed things, and I would be escorted down and asked to leave.  The office would then clean out my cube for me and mail my stuff.

My entire body went numb, the way it does when you receive any sort of bad news.  I was certain it was a joke.  I had seen a huge crowd amassing at the front of the office, and just knew that once I left that conference room, that crowd was going to jump out and surprise me.  I originally thought the meeting had something to do with insurance.  The company just switched insurance providers and with my recent full employment, I was doing double duty with insurance forms.  There was paperwork on the table, so I still didn’t think anything was amiss.

It was such a depressing bomb.  After Jason dropped it, nothing else he said mattered.  I don’t even remember anything else he said.  I just sat there with a mix of emotions on my face.  All I could think to say was, “This sucks.”  Jason agreed, and then opened the door.  Eric and Michelle walked me to my cube and I grabbed my phone, keys, purse, and my paperwork, and we got in the elevator.  There were very heartfelt goodbyes on the front steps, and my legs barely walked me to my car.

I immediately drove to Justin’s lab, thinking of student loans and grocery bills.  I surprised Justin at work, and he was nothing but supportive.  He instantly hugged me and told me it was going to be alright.  That we were alright.  That everything was going to be okay.  That he was so sorry.

I’ve gotten so much support from my friends and family.  Everyone knows how much I loved this job, and how sad I am to be without it.  I have already contacted the temp agency that originally found this job for me, and am waiting to hear back from them.  I have offers from nearly everyone I worked with for referrals.

So far, I haven’t broken down.  I haven’t had a huge cry fest with ice cream and pizza.  It hasn’t really settled in yet that I’m not going back to work.  That I’m not going to pack my lunch and drive to the office, where I’ll take the elevator to the 4th floor and walk to my happy cube and have a cup of coffee while I start on my work.

That’s not my life anymore.

Ultimately, I’m not upset that I was let go.  I’m upset that I was let go from something I loved so much.  I learned so much through this job.  Both about life and work, and even about myself.  And I will only take good memories with me from it.  I hope I’ll find something else sooner rather than later.  But, in times like these, my mantra that I needed while beginning my first full-time job certainly comes into play: Just Keep Swimming.  And, like the Byrds said, now I just need to turn, turn, turn.  Preferably in a pink tutu. 🙂

Sometimes, the roughest roads lead to the greenest fields.
-my mom

A Bulleted List for Bon Bon

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The last couple of days have been very taxing.  I’m going to put the whole ordeal into bullet form to make it easier to digest…there’s a lot to the situation.

  • On Saturday, April 12, Justin and I took Bonnie down to the Eno, a big wooded park, for a walk.  She loved it and had a blast.  We got home and found some ticks on her, removed them, disposed of them, and then thought nothing more about it.
  • On Thursday, April 17, Bonnie began acting funny.  She seemed a little reserved at first, not wanting to come out of the bedroom or interact with Dave when he was over.  As Dave was leaving, Justin tried to get Bonnie to go outside for her nightly walk.
  • She was very reluctant and Justin said that once they got down the stairs, she just sat on the grass and refused to go to the bathroom at all.  Upon trying to get back up the stairs to our apartment, Bonnie had a lot of trouble and Justin had to carry her up the last half-flight because she couldn’t do it.  We were becoming increasingly concerned about her.
  • Friday, April 18, we were getting ready to head down to Spartanburg for Easter weekend.  Bonnie was still very out of it, now much weaker.  She flat-out refused to go for her morning walk with me.  She lay on the couch, looking absolutely pathetic.
  • Justin came to check on her that afternoon at lunch, but she still didn’t want to go outside.  She wouldn’t eat, nor move from the couch.
  • We finally got her to the car and on the drive home decided to take her to an emergency vet as soon as we got into town.
  • We rolled into Spartanburg around 11 and got to the vet.  Both our mothers met us there.
  • The doctor was a complete asshole.  He had just gotten out of a surgery and decided to take it out on us and treat us like a thorn in his side.
  • At one point, he wanted to look at Bonnie’s tummy.  I tried to make her lay down on the examination table so I could roll her over.  He got impatient, grabbed her ankles, and pulled, causing her to fall over.  Justin and I caught her and I began making a mental note to look into voodoo curses.
  • After hearing about Bonnie’s ticks from the previous weekend, that’s all he wanted to focus on.  Clearly, we are horrible parents because we didn’t keep the ticks and he could have given us a better diagnosis if we had kept them and blah blah blah.  He was a total dick.  He didn’t listen to us about her leg pain — obviously, that’s from the disease the ticks gave her, why weren’t we listening?
  • He prescribed some antibiotics, charged us a small fortune, and sent us on our way.  He promised that after the first dose she would make a complete turnaround.  She’ll be a completely different dog.
  • The stupid meds did absolutely nothing after three doses.
  • My mother-in-law called in outraged, demanded pain meds, and went with Justin to pick them up while I stayed with Bonnie.
  • The pain meds seemed to be helping as little as possible.  After several hours, Bonnie finally moved on her own, went into her crate and stayed there until we left Sunday morning.  She refused to drink anything the entire weekend, but ate food that was offered to her.
  • We got to my mom’s on Sunday afternoon for Easter lunch.  Bonnie lay on several of Dolly’s beds until we left to go home.  She did fine in the car all the way home, finally laying down.
  • We carried her up the stairs, where she retreated to the closet for the night.
  • We took her to her vet first thing Monday morning.  They were incredible to her, and actually took her symptoms into account instead of relying solely on one random occurrence.
  • She was diagnosed with Beagle Pain Syndrome.  It’s like they wrote this page about us.
  • They kept her for the day, administered some of her remaining meds and started her on a new medicine, a chewable one that she only needs once a day.
  • She already seemed in better spirits when we picked her up around 5:30.  The vet filled us in on everything and sent us home.
  • She was very loopy from a shot of pain medicine that they gave her, but she wasn’t so visibly hurting.
  • We took her home, and she hung out in the living room with us.
  • She’s under strict orders to take it as easy as possible for two weeks.  We have to carry her up and down the stairs to go for walks for one week.  She should make a full recovery after four weeks.

She slept in the closet the entire night last night.  It’s weird not feeling her against me as I sleep.  I miss her, her attitude, her sass.  I’m so happy it wasn’t a permanent/chronic condition (even though this syndrome can relapse).  She’s a perfect dog, and I can’t wait until she’s finally acting more like herself.

IMG_4273

From last night. The first time she’s been in her window in almost a week.

Suit Up: My Thoughts on the HIMYM Finale

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Last night, I thought I was going to be sick.  After the bomb about Barney and Robin was dropped, my stomach tightened.  And then, the entire rest of the episode had me screaming, “NO!” at my TV and dry heaving.  I cried so much that my eyes got puffy and Bonnie actually got worried about me.

As I wrote yesterday, I wasn’t completely invested in the show from the beginning.  But over the last five years, I was loyal.  Loyal as they come.  “Oh, Monday?  Yeah, can’t do Monday, that’s HIMYM night” kind of loyal.  Last night made the last five years of my life and the last nine years of other fan’s lives one big lie.  A joke.  The show should now posthumously be called, “How I Settled For Your Mother After Aunt Robin Dumped Me So Many Times.”

I can’t watch this show the same way anymore, not knowing what the finale taught us.  The entire show is not what it seems.  It is so cruel.  I am so broken and I feel so cheated.

Thankfully, I am not alone in my anger and feelings of betrayal.

I had originally planned to write a post in bullet form describing the several issues I have with last night’s finale, but having scoured the Internet for reassurance, there are some sources who summed up my thoughts perfectly.  And here they are…

It tried to make several grand statements—about the importance of the Ted-and-Robin pairing, about the sad slog of adult life after everyone stops hanging out at the bar, about loving things with everything we have while we still have time. But they weren’t the sorts of things How I Met Your Mother was about when it was one of the best sitcoms on TV, making the finale retroactively ruin what the show was building to. Every time I rewatch an episode and hear Future Ted lecturing about the importance of true love, I’ll just hear “Kids, I really want to date Robin again.” And when I rewatch “Legendaddy” or any one of the episodes that helped turn Barney into a real person, I’ll know my emotional investment in him isn’t going anywhere. “Last Forever” wasn’t fair to viewers, but it was even more unfair to the episodes that made fans love How I Met Your Mother in the first place.

-from this article


 

The whole ninth season was centered around Barney and Robin’s wedding and then in the final episode of the ninth season, Barney and Robin get divorced. During the same episode as the one that featured their wedding reception.

Oh yeah by the way, that macabre fan theory that The Mother has been dead this whole time turned out to be fucking true.

We don’t know how she died, but we do know that she died when her two children were relatively young.

We also know that the show took approximately two beats to convey this. It was brutally quick. It was Red Wedding sudden. La la la la we find out The Mother’s name is Tracy. La la la, Tracy gets sick and then that’s fucking it. Now suddenly we’re in the living room and it’s the year 2030 and Ted somehow magically does not have the voice of Bob Saget and his kids are giving him dating advice and reminding him that his wife has been dead for six years. For them she’s been dead for six years. For us, she’s been dead for six seconds.

The whole damn show was just a framing device for a widower to tell his kids that he’d pretty much wanted to nail his ex the whole time.

And at the end of the show, Future Ted is encouraged by his kids to go on ahead and try to date Future Robin, successful international news anchor, and her weird bob wig. Future Robin still lives in the same apartment in Brooklyn with the same number of enormous dogs, which cannot possibly be the same dogs unless they’re genetically modified super dogs with unnaturally long life spans. And Ted’s always been in love with her. So basically, The Mother was the woman Ted hung out with for a few years until she died, freeing Ted to seek out the company of the love of his life, Robin. Who, devoted watchers of the show might recall, is unable to have children. Ted really ends up having it all!

Come to think of it, are we sure that Ted Mosby didn’t murder The Mother? (We’re pretty sure.)

-all incredibly true and from this article


I tried to enjoy Season 9. I thought the 200th episode was actually quite fantastic in that it changed things up and let the Mother (Tracy) narrate and talk about her friends and life experiences. But by that point, the show had drifted too far from its roots. Instead of focusing on a group of friends who were dealing with highs and lows and issues of simple, everyday life, the setting was now one extraordinary weekend — 56 hours to be exact — with flashforwards and a few flashbacks crammed in between.

An entire season devoted to their wedding and 20 minutes into the last episode of the whole series, that relationship had totally crumbled.

We’d spent nine years hearing Ted talk about his wife, only to find out they were married for just 10 years before she was taken from him. And to top it all off, her death was covered in mere seconds on screen. It felt like we had been cheated. We had already been cheated of most of her life, in both background stories and future time, and then her death flipped by as a picture in a montage that preceded the show’s final moments. The closest thing to a memorial for Tracy, the Mother for whom the show was named, was an extra second that lingered on a portrait of her smiling. After nine years of building up this woman, she deserved more than that. And so did we. But if they had been set on this ending since the show began, if they were determined to have Ted and Robin come full circle and end up together in the finale, why didn’t they spend all of Season 9 playing that story out?  Robin only ever wanted to get serious with Ted when she couldn’t have him. But he deserved someone that wanted him just as much as he wanted her. And that person was Tracy.

-from here


 

I feel like I should mention that I am not 100% offended by this ending that I was witness to last night.  A lot of it makes sense.  I’ll even admit that a lot of loose ends were tied up.  There are numerous clues throughout the 9 seasons that allude to the mother’s death, so that wasn’t completely unexpected.  Unwanted, sure, but not unexpected.  But for Ted to end up with Robin?  For the Mother to serve as a place holder until Ted could finally be with the one he really wanted is absolutely ruthless.  Every ounce of character development over the last couple of seasons is irrelevant, because everyone reverts to who they were way back in season 1.  A bad storyline that was supposedly wrapped up in the pilot episode is instead how this entire franchise goes out.  It’s just unfair.  After everything that everyone had to endure, go through, and grow up for, none of it matters.  Everything that “happens” after the pilot episode is incorrect, and false.  Because all that matters is that Ted and Robin end up together.

I know it’s a TV show.  I know the characters aren’t real, and that none of this really happened.  But the last five years of my life were real.  And this ending to what should have been a magnum opus of a TV show is inexcusable.