Day 01 — Your favorite song.

My favorite song… I hate this question. Much like ‘favorite musician/band’, I can never choose one. My taste in music is eclectic at best, a mess at worst, so I suppose I’ll just go with the song du jour, which actually comes from The Hunger Games Soundtrack:

“Come Away To The Water” by Maroon 5 (feat. Rozzi Crane)

Lyrics:

[Verse 1]

Come away little loss come away to the water,
To the ones that are waiting only for you.
Come away little loss come away to the water,
Away from the light you that you always knew.
We are calling to you.

[Verse 2]
Come away little light come away to the darkness,
In the shade of the night we will come looking for you.
Come away little light come away to the darkness,
To the ones appointed to see it through.
We are coming for you.
We are coming for you.

[Verse 3]
Come away little lamb come away to the water,
Give yourself so we may live anew.
Come away little lamb come away to the slaughter,
To the ones appointed to see this through.
We are coming for you.
We are coming for you.

[Verse 4]
Come away little lamb come away to the water,
To the arms that are waiting only for you.
Come away little lamb come away to the slaughter,
To the one appointed to see it through.
We are coming for you.
We are coming for you.
We are coming for you.
We are coming for you.

You can listen to it for yourself here, at the best quality I could find.

I know it’s a bit morbid; it’s better if you hear it, and it’s more understandable considering what inspired it. I really appreciate the feeling of the song, though, and I’ve felt a bit oppressed and lost lately. I guess it expresses what I have on my chest in a more beautiful way than I could.

What’s your favorite song (of the moment, or all time)?

30 Days.

I’m starting this today, appropriate since it’s the first of the month.
Feel free to play along if you wish. :]
Day 01 — Your favorite song.
Day 02 — Your favorite movie.
Day 03 — Your favorite television program.
Day 04 — Your favorite book.
Day 05 — Your favorite quote.
Day 06 — Your favorite music video.
Day 07 — A photo that makes you happy.
Day 08 — Describe the style you had 10 years ago.
Day 09 — A photo you took.
Day 10 — Talk about a regret you have.
Day 11 — Share a story from your childhood.
Day 12 — Explain how you got one of your scars.
Day 13 — How do you think others view you?
Day 14 — Talk about the cuteness of your pets.
Day 15 — A poem you wrote.
Day 16 — A song that makes you cry (or nearly).
Day 17 — An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.) that is your favorite.
Day 18 — Tell us about your best friend.
Day 19 — A talent of yours.
Day 20 — A hobby of yours.
Day 21 — A recipe.
Day 22 — Your deepest fear.
Day 23 — Write a love letter to yourself.
Day 24 — Reveal your most guilty pleasure.
Day 25 — If you have tattoos, show them. If not, talk about the tattoos you want or why you don’t think they are right for you.
Day 26 — Talk about the last “random act of kindness” you encountered.
Day 27 — The last thing that made you cry.
Day 28 — Say something to your 15 year old self.
Day 29 — Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days.
Day 30 — Share what you have learned, if anything, about yourself in the last 30 days.
By d. justine Posted in lists.
Aside

On May 12, 2012, at 12:39 PM, my sweet sister Gabi wrote:

Here is what I feel Him speaking over, sweet baby sis of my heart and soul:

You a letter to this world penned by My blood. A letter that speaks of a Living Hope. A letter that speaks of a joy and a peace not dependent on circumstances.

You were born to sing. Like it was the last time I’d ever give your lungs breath. The voice placed inside of you by My hand, you have yet to ever glimpse the surface of.

Who I have made you to be is a display of My brilliance and My artistry.

You are a free-bird and there is no human being who ever be able to cage or tame you. There are no limits upon you.

There is no flaw in you. You are perfectly everything I ever dreamed up in Dani Lowman.

You were created to lead, not follow.

You were made to be one who would build up that which has been torn down.

The deep in you calls to the deep of Me.

There are volumes of books inside of you. And scores of music. You will write songs that will be heard not only by the hosts of Heaven.

You are a person of colour. I see your one-day-home and it’s brimming over with hues of colour.

 

I want to know how God sees me. Because the way I see me isn’t so great sometimes.

Glasses.

Onward!

Well, it’s been almost exactly a year since we began The Biggest Loser contest last year at work. This year I’m fairly certain we aren’t doing it as a unit, but I fully intend to get back the fierce mindset I had last summer when it came to my body and my health. I am looking forward to once again obtaining the clarity of mind that regular exercise and watching what I eat brings me.

This time, rather than putting a dollar in a jar for weigh-in every week, I have my sister on this journey with me. I think she’s just as excited as I am. I feel positive about feeling the burn and being sweaty and exhausted from working out – it sounds gross, but hard work is a really good rush.

I need this lifestyle change. I don’t want yo-yo dieting or a temporary fix. Because yeah, I care about how I look, but I care more about how I feel. I miss feeling mentally, emotionally and physically healthy – much more so than I am right now. Falling back into bad habits is so easy, but I’m ready to do the work I need to do…again. Haha.

In other news, it’s getting crazy hot outside. And I really don’t love it.

The writer in me, however, has been stirred up lately, and I’m intrigued as to what will come of that. There are ideas swirling around in my head that I’m hoping will come to fruition… We’ll see.

I’m also thinking about doing the “thirty days” posts I dropped/forgot after day one last time. I think it would be interesting. 😉

What’s new in your world?

Come Into My Head

(…is a Kimbra song, in case anyone is wondering. Love her.)

I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year since I’ve posted anything on this poor blog. I don’t know why I can’t make time for this thing, I waste enough of it!

I got asked a question a year ago on Formspring by a lovely girl I know, and I finally got around to answering it. She asked for five things about myself that would help her to get to know me better. It got me to thinking… I’m going to be twenty-three in August, so I’m going to give you twenty-two random things about myself that you may or may not know.

Read at your own risk…

1) I love most songs with a good beat, despite their questionable lyrical content, because although all I am capable of is horrible, shameless white-girl dancing… I love to dance, and I do it at every opportunity. Abbi and I drive around with the music blaring and do some of our greatest, most embarrassing dancing at stop lights or signs. Which brings me to number two:

2) I will make myself look completely stupid if it will make you laugh. I make horrible, hideous faces and make the strangest noises or voices just for a giggle. Even if you just shake your head at me like, “Why do I hang out with you again?” — I’ll still be satisfied.

3) I can draw! I’m not amazing or anything, but I like to draw cartoon characters and make silly comics from time to time. I’m also fantastic at tracing using a projector on the wall, even though it gives me migraines. Haha.

4) I can sing. Like a boss, if I’m being really honest. But I can’t do it on command, I find it super embarrassing. I do, however, sing at the top of my lungs in the car (whether I have passengers or not) or in the shower. And sometimes around my house. (I’m sure my family loves it.)

5) I feel awkward being the center of attention in social situations, but I have no problem with public speaking.

6) It takes me hours to make a really good playlist. I overthink it, and I have to listen to bits of each song to see if I’m really in the mood for them or not. It’s kind of exhausting and crazy.

7) I’m currently obsessed with The Hunger Games. I know, I’m really behind, and it probably makes me sound like a follower… but I have finally experienced the books and the film for myself, and I am completely in love.

8) When I’m bored with my life, I dye my hair. It’s only temporary satisfaction, and eventually the restless feeling returns, but I have been this way for the past decade. (I am currently bleached-blonde, for the first time in my life, as of last weekend.)

9) My favorite Doctor is the Tenth. Hands down.

10) I hate summertime. As soon as the heat wave strikes, I start longing for Christmas.

11) Despite my summer hate, I really love the South. It makes no sense at all.

12) If you scrolled through my iPod, you’d probably just be more confused about me than ever.

13) I will be 23 on August 10th, and I have never been kissed. Seriously. Never.

14) I am so easily distracted! I lose my train of thought frequently because my mind is always all over the place and busy, and I often forget what I was saying. I’ve done three (or five) other things in the process of trying to make this list. [Currently, I’m listening to Phoenix and trying to decide if I want “1901” on this mix(ed) CD.]

15) I’ve been single for almost seven years. That’s not to say I haven’t been interested in anyone (or that no one has been interested in me, because they have, haha), but I’ve either realized it too late, or extraneous circumstances prevented anything from becoming of it, or whatever else ruins potential relationships. I’m grateful, though, because it takes a certain strength and perseverance to be single for so long. Sure, I have my moments of loneliness, and I’d like to find my other half someday, but I’m really in no hurry. I’m glad that I’ve had plenty of time to heal and grow and become who I am. I don’t want to be the broken half in any relationship – I don’t want a person to try and fill holes in me that should either heal with work/time or be filled by God.

16) I love vinyl records. That scratchy, imperfect sound is amazing to me.

17) I’ve just recently bought myself a couple pairs of high heels in honor of my brother’s wedding (which was last Wednesday — I still can’t believe my baby brother is a married man and honeymooning in Mexico!). I’m still terrible at walking in them, but it was a big step for me because I’m definitely a flip-flops/Converses/flats kind of girl.

18) I’ve been a Christian since I was in kindergarten. And despite ups and downs and failures and doubt and questioning, I still love Jesus and try my best to follow Him with all of me.

19) I skipped third grade, and graduated valedictorian when I was sixteen.

20) …but I only have a year and a half of college under my belt.

21) A good bit of the people I love most in the world live way too far away from me to be convenient.

22) I have met some of the greatest people I’ve ever known on the internet: some during my Xanga days, some on message boards, and some by total ‘accident’. I’m so grateful for them — even the ones I’ve yet to meet in person. You know who you are. <;3

There’s a lot going on in my head lately but there’s twenty-two things for you to add to your knowledge of me. I hope it was both entertaining AND informative!

xx D

gallbladders and such.

I’m currently trying to sort the hundreds of either unread or ignored emails that are resting in my inbox, but I’m slightly ADD so I figured I’d update this beautiful little blog.

Last Friday night, I wound up in the hospital for seven hours thanks to a gallbladder attack – my first one ever. I got to have my blood taken, and sit around in various levels of pain, and I had my first sonogram. I was kind of hoping the first time that’d happen would be because I’d be pregnant with the man of my dreams (well, with his kid, not with him)… but I’m learning really quickly that life never, ever turns out the way we plan.

Anyway, the lone, solitary doctor on call informed me that my gallbladder is full of stones, but it isn’t blocked, so I’d have to talk to my doctor about whether or not I should have it removed… a perky blonde nurse came in and gave me discharge papers (for the wrong person, I might add — I’m pretty sure Brandy was the other girl who came in on a wheelchair just before me, doubled over and bawling with stomach pain)… I had a prescription for percocet (which I didn’t fill, by the way)… and I got to go home and go to sleep in my own bed.

On top of gallstones, I got a gigantic headcold from work. So, Saturday-Tuesday I pretty much just stayed in bed obsessively watching Doctor Who on Netflix (best show ever!) on my Xbox, and drinking a ton of apple juice.

Monday I saw my doctor, who told me that the best thing would be to have my gallbladder removed. He told me that if I don’t, I could have these attacks at any point, and probably will. He referred me to a surgeon’s office, and after a urine sample, he sent me on my way. On the way to drop my sister off to meet her friend, Mom and I got a flat tire. We waited for forty minutes for my grandfather to come and help us, because my dad was over an hour away at work. After that, we came home, watched a Judging Amy rerun, and then I got my blood taken by a really nice, very young redheaded boy who had a feminine lisp and told me he “loves this job”. I’m really glad, because he didn’t leave a gigantic bruise like the ER nurse did.

This evening my doctor called me with the blood test results, apparently my liver enzymes were elevated again and he wants more blood work done on Monday… so that should be super. Then Tuesday, I meet with the surgeon to discuss my gallbladder being cut outta me. I’m ready. I’ve done nothing but worry for a straight week, and if having the little jerk snipped and pulled out of me is going to allow me to eat corn on the cob without fear of being doubled over and unable to inhale fully because of the pain… well, I think it’s a fair trade.

I think this just goes to show that being an adult is kind of a pain in the rear end. And I’m not a fan. And that whenever I get too comfortable with my life, something random and crazy happens.

In addition to all this, the week before last my grandfather officially began wearing diapers because he is so out of it he doesn’t know when he’s going to the bathroom. I’m pretty sure he’s dying, and that’s really depressing. I haven’t been thinking about it because frankly, I’ve been way too neurotic and obsessive about my own health issues. On top of this never-ending headcold, and thinking too much about my gallbladder full of gross rocks, it’s that special time of the month again! Man, I’m ready for September, because so far August blows. I don’t even care that my birthday is next week. Welcome to adulthood… even though I’m already turning twenty-two, and I should get this point already.

The good news is, I’ve already lost twenty pounds just since June 1st. (The sucky part is, that’s another thing that agitates your gallbladder – rapid weight loss.) I’m doing it the healthy way, too. Watching what I eat, exercising a lot… I’m going to win The Biggest Loser at work, unless someone miraculously beats me in the next few weeks of weigh-ins… I’d feel way more triumphant if everything else wasn’t so frustrating this week. Ha.

I’m just a bit blue. It’s funny, last week before all of this happened I was looking into getting a newer car, because mine is acting up a lot again. It’s always something else it seems with Chewie, so I was searching for Chewie II… and now I’m going to have big, fat medical bills to take care of.

I’m just freaking tired. I know it could be a lot worse, and so many people are worse off than I am. I’m just discouraged.

rainy days & mondays

It’s storming here, and it reminds me of how much I love the sound of summer thunderstorms. I sit between two of the rowdy kids who can’t go to sleep left to their own devices, my white Kindle in my clutches with the ebook version of Twilight open and being re-read for the fifth or sixth time. Blended with the movie soundtrack, and the rain rushing down the windows that are covered in water-color planet Earths, I feel like I’m in Forks, Washington for the briefest of moments. When my break time comes, I dutifully tote a large, thin bag full of food, paper towels, and dirty diapers to the Dumpster sitting outside. The downpour has successfully turned our outdoor playground into a water park, with a swamp theme. My black Nike flip-flops squeak a little as I walk across the blacktop, and I appreciate the cooling off that has occurred thanks to the storm front. I love the way the droplets collect on everything – my car windows, the back door of my house, the shiny gold-ish door handle… In short, the rain is a lovely thing. For once, it doesn’t flood me with melancholy… I just feel serene.

This morning was pretty uneventful… unless you count pulling out of the driveway and seeing a Zach Galifianakis clone standing across the street, leaning against the cow fence and wearing absolutely no pants. Just short white boxers, and a white t-shirt, a brown leather dog leash coiled around his fist. It’s then that I see the dog romping around with the posse of cows that are just minding their own business. If I didn’t have to get to work, I would have stopped and helped him. I hate that time restraints make me feel guilty because I miss out on opportunities to be compassionate.

I left my phone at home. So I’ve basically been walking around naked all morning. It’s a weird feeling. So is knowing that there are people that are going to read my book, who basically know nothing about me, but are going to see some of my innermost thoughts morphed into fiction. That’s kind of like being naked, too.

I hope your day is wonderful.

all things amazing!

As I write this, I am amazed by the fact that my book is not only finished, it’s officially available for purchase from amazon and createspace. I am a published author. People are asking me to sign their copy of my book. Oh my sweet goodness. (That is incredibly silly, by the way, but it’s flattering just the same.)

Granted, I am a self-published author, which means word of mouth is my biggest ally at the moment. My friends and family have been feverishly ordering their copies to support my efforts, and once they read my novel for themselves, I’m hoping to have some legitimate reviews to give you guys. They may be slightly biased, but I’m asking everyone to be as honest as possible, so we’ll see how that goes. If you’re interested at all in checking out the finished product, do yourself a favor and visit my author page (!) on Amazon, or directly to my CreateSpace page as linked above. (If you’re scared of hyperlinks, just click on “amazon” or “buy my book” at the homepage of this blog.)

Life is… what it is lately. I don’t even know how to describe it to you. I’ve lost seventeen pounds since June 1st, and I feel a thousand times better physically and emotionally. It’s the summer I’m going to overcome a list of obstacles, guys. That may be cliche and “coming-of-age” but I’m going to be twenty-two next month. It’s about freaking time I accomplish some things.

I’m still happy at my job. Being a preschool teacher is exhausting but it’s also really rewarding. I have an outlet for my abilities, and I’m a part of something awesome every day, so it’s a pretty spectacular thing. I drew the Sydney Opera House over a glitter painting I made with the kids a few days ago, and that was shockingly fulfilling, even though it’s not the best and if I wasn’t a big fish in a small pond, nobody would care about it besides me. 😉

Monday was a terrible start to a Twilight Zone week from hell. I woke up in a horrible mood for no good reason, it was so freaking hot that all of us kids & teachers were trapped indoors all day — which, by the way, if you stick thirteen 2-year-olds in a confined space for a long period of time, they get very restless and tend to misbehave. By the time evening came, I was so spent I decided to just be impulsive, and do something different… so I sent one of my girlfriends a text, we made a booze run, and came back to my house to make frozen strawberry margaritas. It was an excellent idea, especially since I had no plans to get wasted — I just wanted to splurge on something after a crappy day. Sooo, we mix together the necessary ingredients (ice, frozen strawberries, frozen limeade concentrate, tequila, and triple sec… for those of you who are wondering. AllRecipes.com has the formula I used! ;D) in my mom’s Ninja Master Prep blender… [click on that, and have a gander at those blades.] We sugar the rim of my cheap Walmart margarita glasses, pour ’em, and stick a big ol’ milkshake straw in each for good measure. Before I can sit outside in the cooling summer day to enjoy the frozen concoction and rant about my day with said friend, I have to clean up after myself, since I still live with my parents and I’m not gonna leave the kitchen a mess (my mom freaks out when things are left on the counter… it’s one of her ‘things’.)… So we wash out measuring cups & such, and I swish the blade around in the dishwater and stick it behind the sink to scrub off later, so that nobody sticks their hand in the water and cuts themselves open — those Ninja blades are insanely sharp! So then, I grab a dishrag, and go to turn the faucet on to rinse the rag out, and guess what happens? I slice my right ring finger open on the very blade I was trying to protect the rest of the world from.

“Uh, I just cut myself,” I say urgently, my voice getting louder with each word, with just a twinge of hysteria. “It’s bleeding really badly. It isn’t stopping. I don’t know what to do.”

My dad walks over and says, “Well, the first thing you do is panic. That’s always the best thing to do.” And if I wasn’t preoccupied with all of the O-positive leaking out of the diagonal slice on my offended digit, I probably would’ve told him I didn’t appreciate his sarcasm.

Needless to say, everyone, this is why I am not rebellious (yes, I am legal, but my dad hates alcohol in general) or impulsive.

It’s freaking dangerous!

The rest of the week just went from there. I couldn’t bend my finger for like two days because I was afraid of cutting my finger open again, so that was fun. The kids have been completely wild and disobedient this week… it’s just been bizarre. I can’t even describe it. All I know is, this heat wave needs to cut it out. I demand a week of beautiful weather so that these children can run around outside! I can’t take it anymore!

In other news, Dance Central for the Kinect is probably one of the greatest games in existence. I bought it for my sister for Christmas, but I play it just as much as she does. We usually play together. It’s great exercise, and it is fun as all get-out. You sweat before you even realize you’re working hard. The Kinect has impressed me so much. It kicks the Wii’s ass, for sure. And although Xbox Live is really sneaky about charging your credit card for things, their customer service reps are really helpful. At least, the few times I’ve had billing issues, they’ve made refunds happen and canceled Live memberships for me really quickly. I’m just impressed with them all around.

I think the rest of this night is going to involve watching movies with my little sister.

Just kidding! I uploaded my book to Smashwords! It’s now available in ebook format! Yay!

How was your week?

so, my pen name is d. justine.

So, y’all probably won’t remember this little post from february 27th of last year…

But, I did it. I wrote a book.
I started back in November as part of NaNoWriMo,
And now it’s complete.
As soon as I approve the proof, it will be available right here.

I just thought I should announce this.

When I have more time (whenever that will be), this will be my author blog.

Keep watching for all kinds of cool book-related things! ;]

back in the saddle.

I haven’t blogged in so freakin’ long…

I don’t even know what to say!

I was battling a stomach bug from last Sunday until this past Friday morning, when I suddenly felt amazing. Wednesday night I couldn’t sleep a wink; I tossed and turned until 4:30 in the morning when I finally literally cried out to God and gave Him all this stuff I’d been keeping to myself… emotionally and spiritually this was very cleansing, but no sleep still equals a sucky day. Thursday I took off work (something that absolutely horrifies me/fills me with guilt, so I don’t do it unless it’s necessary!) because I was still so miserable.

But let me tell you what… nothing tastes better than pizza when you feel like your old self again, and you’ve been craving it all day.  That was my dinner, and it was glorious.

The weather here has been shockingly gorgeous. I hate this town most of the time but I must give honor where honor is due; it’s been lovely. Especially getting to take the kids outside. Do you know how restless 1-and-2-year-olds get when they are stuck inside all day? I’ve got to tell you, it’s not pretty. So kids and teachers alike have been lovin’ the fresh air. I, for one, can testify that it improves my mood exponentially to get away from the lingering smell of dirty diapers! (And I tell you what: Friday it was in the seventies, and it made me want to pack up everything I own and throw it in the backseat of my brother’s purple Mustang  GT Convertible and just drive to North Carolina.)

My car had been on the fritz for weeks, and finally last week my dad had time to replace the stupid leaking coolant flange, after the one website sent us the wrong one & he re-ordered the correct one… it was making a super weird sound yesterday when Abbi and I ran to McDonald’s (big mistake by the way; it’s been super disgusting lately), but today to & from work it was totally fine. I’m relieved because, I MISSED CHEWIE SO MUCH. My dad made a comment about how I should probably get a new car soon… the thought of that makes me want to vomit, if I’m being honest. Not only do I love the car I’ve had since I was sixteen and first learning, but I don’t want a car payment! We’ll see. So far, so good; Mama says I shouldn’t borrow trouble over it.

I don’t know if anyone is reading this, but if you are… how are you? What’s new in your life?

♥ D