Adventure in Rules: Or some times people see things differently and that’s ok

501) Your opinions will not always line up with the opinions of others.
502) Apologizing does not just mean that you are wrong and the other person is right.
503) Apologizing means you value your relationship more than your ego.
504) Using the correct personal pronouns is irrelevant when discussing animals.
505) Magic has to be believed in. It’s the only way it’s real.
506) Give of yourself out of love, not to have it matched. It won’t be matched. Not if you’re doing it right.
507) Don’t let yourself be someone who can be called “pretentious.”
508) There are people out there, that you know, that just aren’t going to be your friends.
509) Love them anyway.
510) The unknown is terrifying. Pursue it
511) There is no amount of time too short to give of yourself for others.
512) Love the people around you like you’ll never leave them.
513) Love them like it’s your last day with them too.
514) If you focus on too much on the future, constantly thinking about when you’re leaving next and where you’re going, you’ll neglect and alienate those around you at the present.
515) Your worth is not found in your ability to do anything.
516) Being sick or bed ridden or even briefly incapacitated does not make you worthless.
517) Don’t rush to get better. It may only make you worse.
518) If something seems not quite right about your body and the way things are supposed to be, address it as soon as you notice it.
519) If you must be angry don’t dwell on it.
520) But don’t pour it on someone else either.
521) Work it out in a civil way. There’s no sense making it worse.
522) The people to avoid as an adult are the ones who make you react like you are a teenager.
523) People that cause you as an adult to react like a teenager are not the mature individuals they claim to be.
524) Often, the things people claim about themselves are the direct opposite of what is true about them.
525) Be aware of your dialect.
526) When the doctor asks you if you want to see something, no matter how gross it sounds at the time, say yes. You get one chance.
527) Sweatshirts without hoods are the best for lying around the house.
528) Death is horrible. It’s heartbreaking. It will happen. Do not fear it.
529) If you would not say something that person you should not say it when he/she is not around.
530) If it is something you would say to that person and you say it when he/she is not around, you best be prepared for the fact that he/she has heard that you said it.
531) People who like to create drama will try to talk you into a trap. If you don’t have anything to hide this won’t work.
532) There are worse things in life than petty people not liking you.
533) There are worse things in life than people not liking you.
534) The book will always be better than the movie.
535) Don’t judge the movie too harshly because of this. They are separate entities created by different artists.
536) Even if you give them no reason at all some people will think ill of you.
537) Take your own blankets to the hospital.
538) Do puzzles.
539) Not all that is bad that will happen to you is your fault. Don’t feel compelled to always take the blame.
540) Do not be a slave to technology
541) Know how to do things the manual way.
542) Do not be afraid to say no.
543) Thank people, for even the smallest of things.
544) The first time you decide you want to dye your hair you must ask.
545) Some of your best friends, you’ll only see on the rarest of occasions.
546) Your school picture may be “forever,” but it’s just a picture. Wear what you want.
547) You will inevitably take on more than you can handle. Prioritize.
548) Do not let one bad thing distract you from all of the beautiful things going on around you.
549) It is often the most minor mistakes that upset us. Remember all of you done right.
550) Watch Star Wars. Every Christmas.


Adventure in “Oh That Old Thing?”

Some six weeks ago I was taken by a horrible pain in my lower abdomen. It was as if struck by the worst constipation. As it happens that was not the case. I went to the emergency room that night. The doctor who bore a striking resemblance to Dr. Greg House with the demeanor of Paul Stookey made me wait four hours for him to say, “It could be a cyst or a tumor, but I’m calling it gas.” And he sent me home.

Over the last six weeks the pain would come and go, but never as awful as that first time. Finally, on Saturday night I was being a typical 24-year-old watching “The Last Chance Detectives” with two of my favorite people. For those of you who don’t know “The Last Chance Detectives” are kids movies about four kids solving big mysteries in the desert while simultaneously learning lessons about Jesus. So it was a pretty rowdy night, as you can imagine.

The pain grew and grew. I called my mom because I didn’t know if I was over-reacting. She said to go to the emergency room. My wonderful roommate Melissa took me. We sat at the hospital for about four hours. They took some x-rays, a ct scan, and decided it was, in fact, a dermoid cyst, but they weren’t going to do anything about it until Monday when I would have to schedule an ultra-sound and a doctor’s appointment.

We went home and Melissa went to bed. Joel came over and sat up with me because I couldn’t sleep for the pain. There simply was no comfortable place or way for me to sit. And Joel, the wonderful human he is, sat there and kept me company. We both fell asleep for a while. He more than I, but I was just happy to see he slept.

A pre-med friend had suggested that this cyst was actually my twin who never fully developed. She had teeth and hair after all.

The next morning while fighting back tears and pain I asked Joel and Melissa to take me back to the hospital because I simply couldn’t wait until Monday. At the hospital I did much more sitting. My parents came. And so did the doctor who after a few more tests decided that 3pm would be a terrific time for the cyst and my ovary to be cut out of me.

With only a spinal block the doctor did an incision like a C-section. I think I was mostly asleep for it, but towards the end I became very aware of the procedure. I know because I could feel his hands in my stomach. Tugging and relocating things. But I did hear him say, “We’ve saved the ovary.”

Which was good news to me.

The rest of the week has been a lot of sleeping and sitting around. A lot of entertainment and a bounty of people who love me treating me far too well. Roommates who know the exact order of my blankets on my bed. Friends with flowers. Friends with food. Friends with kind words. More people than I can count and certainly more than I deserve.

The pain isn’t wonderful. It so often feels like my body is ripping in half. Like my insides are jumping out. Like my skin it tearing. I keep having dreams about doctors’ hands in my stomach rearranging my organs. Or nightmares about my spleen and my kidneys having a race to see which ones will explode first. The staples feel like they’re burning. And it’s fine as long as I never ever move.

Today the staples come out and that maybe means the pains will subside, but my guess is they’ll increase and the possibility of my body ripping in half will increase. Hooray.

Did you know that the “staple remover” that doctors use to take staples out of an incision looks a lot like a pair of pliers? Well I do and I don’t like it one bit.

Adventure in Half-way there

After a brief break to take a trip to the hospital I resume the rules. And since the trip was to have removed what could very likely have been my twin sister I’ll start about there.

451) When you’re in mommy, don’t eat your twin.
452) Bring clean under things to the hospital
453) You never know when you’ll be in the hospital nor for how long. Shower.
454) Eaten, unborn twins are spiteful. And toothed.
455) There are times in your life that there’s nothing you can do but accept help. Do it graciously.
456) If people do volunteer to help you when you need it most, don’t be ashamed to be specific.
457) You have one day to be upset about a new haircut
458) Leave the drama to those on stage and screen.
459) If you find yourself on stage or screen leave the drama where it belongs.
460) And don’t create any
461) Whether you’re the one driving or not, pay attention to how you get there.
462) Some times the best way for people to understand how you need to be loved is to love them that way.
463) That doesn’t mean you should neglect the way they need to be loved.
464) Suggesting someone is being selfish really just implies that they aren’t doing what you want them to do.
465) Don’t forget to eat.
466) 2% until you’re 15. Skim milk until you’re 35. 2% until your 60. whole milk until you die.
467) When a friend is in the hospital at least stop by when he/she gets out. At the very least call to let him/her know you care.
468) Even when it seems like the rest of the world has done that already.
469) Make bold choices.
470) If something is weighing heavy on your heart, please, don’t be afraid to express it.
471) Speak your mind.
472) Address your problems.
473) Don’t be passive aggressive. Either genuinely don’t care or be forthright.
474) Nobody can be uncheered by a balloon.
475) Listen to the stories of those older than you. You can learn so much about the nature of that person, but you can also learn countless lessons.
476) Go on. Read trashy magazines.
477) Some times doctors are wrong, and you need to be persistent.
478) Doctors and nurses deal with angry and hurt people all day. Try to show them kindness too.
479) At least be entertaining.
480) Some days are truly awful. Try not to be overwhelmed.
481) Worrying won’t make things better.
482) Some times people just need to vent.
483) They aren’t asking you to fix it.
484) When you vent, know the difference between venting and gossiping.
485) Your period is not a magical or even beautiful occurrence.
486) But its source produces beautiful things.
487) You are never too old for Winnie-the-Pooh
488) There are friends in your life who are fun to be around.
489) Not all friends are the sort that you bare your soul to.
490) When a doctor asks you a question answer it honestly. He’s helping you.
491) If you have a question for the doctor ask it.
492) Fresh flowers do die after some time, but they also brighten the room better than fake flowers.
493) Sincerely thank those who help you.
494) You can’t be too polite.
495) Napkin goes in your lap.
496) Wear your seatbelt.
497) I don’t care what the law is. If you’re on a bike or a motorcycle you’re wearing a helmet.
498) Some of the best people you know won’t be your best friends. Don’t judge them for this.
499) While you’re at it, don’t judge anyone else either.
500) Do not be hasty in your reactions to other people.

Adventure Ruling

401) If you go to bed before your roommate regardless of when she’ll be back that night, leave the light on.
402) Chapstick is far more valuable than lipgloss.
403) On occasion the best response is no response.
404) If you feel hungry, especially if you just ate, drink some water or juice first.
405) If someone offers to drive everyone, give that person gas money.
406) Money should never be your motivator.
407) I’ve told you to pursue the truth, but also search for it.
408) And seek it out on your own rather than believing things because someone tells you to.
409) But don’t be afraid to ask for help in your search.
410) Adopt your pets from the humane society. 
411) Friday the 13th is when you should watch all the scary movies you can manage in one night.
412) Reference things you loved about your childhood often.
413) Listen carefully to the stories of others.
414) If you have to squint outside put on sunglasses
415) It’s okay to yell, God can handle it.
416) “Lather. Rinse. Repeat” is a marketing tool. It’s unnecessary. And wasteful
417) Keep a pet.
418) Catch frogs.
419) Choose your heroes wisely.
420) Karaoke.
421) Read children’s books. especially when you’re not a child anymore.
422) Keep a bag packed just in case of awesome.
423) The world won’t end if you don’t like the “best band of all time.”
424) Capability doesn’t mean necessity.
425) A borrowed car is returned with a full tank of gas.
426) Nap in the grass
427) Don’t go to the pool just to lay out. You can do that in the yard.
428) Grudges are a waste of energy
429) Shotgun rules apply at every age.
430) If you empty the ice tray then you refill it.
431) Offer to help.
432) Play outside.
433) Spend time upside down.
434) cart-wheel
435) Showering is not a daily activity
436) Stretch
437) Keep your toenails painted
438) As best as you can manage don’t crack your joints.
439) Be aware of your facial expressions.
440) Hardback.
441) Eat anywhere but at work.
442) Spend time with your daddy.
443) Tell him things. He’s interested
444) Be nice to the new girl
445) You’re never too old to sit on your daddy’s lap.
446) If you can create if yourself don’t buy it.
447) Art for your walls is not to be purchased.
448) Read by the lake.
449) Sit on park benches.
450) Walk in the grass without shoes.


And so it goes:

351) Make anything an adventure
352) Adventure often.
353) Go on kiss a stranger. But not as your first kiss.
354) Moms are built-in friends
355) Keep a vast collection of books and movies.
356) If you find a job that allows you not to do much work, and you find that agreeable. Do work, so you can keep that job.
357) Some times you just need to get out and go somewhere. Go when the thought comes to you.
358) Don’t blindly shoot down suggestions
359) Consider the advice of loved ones, friends and elders. Those that fit all three of these categories are especially important to listen to.
360) Love yourself.
361) You cannot love others if you don’t love yourself.
362) Always try to be better at what you do.
363) Check your oil often
364) Thick skin is important
365) But don’t be too terse with those who love you
367) It’s okay to be a cryer. Better that than to seem too insensitive or cold-hearted
368) If you must correct someone do it quietly.
369) If you can help it don’t correct people.
370) Secrets are one thing with which you can be stingy.
371) Share your dreams though. Maybe you’ll share them with the right person to help make them come true.
372) Have a set place that you always put your keys.
373) Anyone that insists your nails be a natural color must understand that means the color of your skin, black, purple and very rarely read.
374) So I say paint them whatever color you wish.
375) There’s no situation that cannot be improved with pizza.
376) When there’s nothing else to do a good drive might be in order.
377) Keep no man on your hook.
378) Being polite can get you a long way.
379) Your attitude is a choice.
380) No matter how trendy it is it really is not that great to abbrev things.
381) “I love you” is a powerful phrase.
382) Don’t over use it or it will lose its value.
383) And don’t use it to solve problems or fill dead space.
384) Some of the best eggs you will ever buy will come from a stand on the side of the road.
385) As will the best produce.
386) Your gas tank should stay above a quarter tank full. Gauges cannot be trusted.
387) Some of the best friends you’ll make will come when you least want to be where you are.
388) The hair care products best for your hair do not include wax in their ingredients.
389) Keep a hair tie with you at all times.
390) Never pay more than $20 for a flat-iron
391) Some days all it takes is mascara
392) Movies are best watched when cuddling.
393) Or hysterically laughing.
394) Or with 10 people on one couch, which is a lot like cuddling.
395) We are all vain. Don’t be tricked by those who pretend not to be.
396) Accept compliments graciously, even if you don’t believe them
397) Accept apologies graciously. They’re some of the hardest things to give.
398) If it is important call. Don’t text.
399) If you must react to cruelty do not react further than you are acted on.
400) Never cause anyone more pain than they’ve caused you.

Adventure in Persistence

301) When you give yourself a task, ridiculous though it is or even off the cuff, follow through. i.e. “I’m so grateful I could bake you a pie” (bake that pie) “This is so dumb that I could write my own 1001 rules for my daughter. I can’t have her reading stupid internet in the future” (write the rules)
302) It is more rude to point out when someone has not thanked you than to not thank someone.
303) Make beards out of bubbles in the tub
304) Style your hair fun ways when it’s wet
305) Wear what you want, even…especially if it doesn’t match
306) Under water you are a mermaid.
307) A true favor doesn’t need to be repaid. Do it anyway.
308) You’re never too old for bedtime stories.
309) The way you love others may be the way you want to be loved, but rarely will you be loved that way.
310) Pop culture is a great cross reference, don’t make it your only knowledge.
311) Spend as much time as you can near the ocean
312) Love with no expectation of being loved in return.
313) People are mean.
314) Trust them anyway
315) You aren’t going to look like your friends.
316) So dress the way you’re most comfortable
317) Good friendships are not always easy to maintain. But good things require some effort.
318) Some friendships are not worth fighting for any longer. Know the difference.
319) Self-confidence is more attractive than being dressed perfectly.
320) Don’t let your self-confidence become a swollen ego
321) Everyone makes mistakes. Some times really big ones.
322) Some times the best way to keep your girl friends is to be someone who doesn’t spend every moment with boys.
323) People might not value you like they should, but you are more valuable than you can understand.
324) You are worth something, and it is a beautiful thing.
325) Don’t compromise your principles
326) If you have any doubts about a man, especially in college, you’re probably right.
327) You might have to suck up and kiss some ass some times.
328) Unfortunately it’s most often about who you know and not what. Don’t neglect what you know because of it.
329) It’s ok to speak your mind.
330) Know when to keep your mouth shut.
331) God made you beautiful
332) God created you for a purpose.
333) Girls are manipulative. Rise above that or know when to use it.
334) Your period is not an excuse to be a bitch.
335) People are going to make fun of you for who you are and things you can’t change.
336) Be confident in yourself. It will still be hard to hear, but it’s easier when you know who you are.
337) Shop at thrift stores. You’ll love what you find.
338) It’s just a car. It’s purpose is to get you from a to b.
339) Start a club with your friends.
340) Know what you believe.
341) Don’t get caught up in the stereotypes the world gives out and be careful of those who do.
342) Some times it’s ok to believe in nothing.
343) I will from time to time be wrong.
344) Some of the best things are found at your next door neighbors garage sale. Or a total stranger’s.
345) When things start to go wrong on a space ship the escape pod is not always the best place to hide. Those things can eject into black holes.
346) Run on the beach.
347) Walk without shoes in the mud.
348) Climb trees. 
349) Your appearance has nothing to do with your value or quality.
350) Share your clothes with your roommates

Adventures in Super Moon Madness

It started with a reminder that it was the night of the super moon.

The friends joined the scene at the suggestion of a cook out.

It was followed by Zesto.

And then to the roof. Bitting, Edingers, Stephen and I. Roof bound. Waiting patiently for it to rise over the trees. It wasn’t until it was completely dark and the boys were inside that Ashlee and I realized we were looking the wrong way and it was rising over our neighbors house. The boys rushed to the scene.

And after a scare with an unmanned but running car we headed to the reservoir to receive our super powers from the super moon. I’m hoping for adoptive muscle memory. Ashlee to breathe underwater. Bitting for telekinesis. And no one else made any claims, but we’re all fairly certain we must wait for the next eclipse.

Here are some images from the night.

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Adventure in the People in Your Neighborhood

Part of my job involves me meeting lots of new people. Many of them the lovely receptionists. Today I met a wonderful woman who gave me her life story starting at the age of 17 willingly. She graduated high school at 17 in 1956. All of the girls in her class except her got married right out of school. She got a job at 20. And as she worked there five years her boss said she’d never get married. So he signed her up for two classes at the university; bookkeeping and comp. At 26 she joined the young democrats. She was going to go to the JFK victory dance, but didn’t want to go without a date. So one of her married friends found her a date. He was the treasurer of the young democrats though so he couldn’t pick her up and could only dance once in a while. So they agreed to just the slow dances. And when the first slow song came on he walked across the room to her and she said, “Shirley. That’s him. That’s the one.” They were married 15 years, before he passed away.

We both cried as she told me.

“You’ll know. Don’t rush to get married. When you meet him you’ll just know. Just like that. And a girl like you he’ll be a good one.”

Some days I love it.

Adventures in Basic Lessons

254) Fly a kite
255) Teeth are not forgiving. Take care of them.
256) Camp
257) Go to camp
258) At least one summer be a counselor
259) Try foods that scare you or sound/look gross
260) Ice skate every winter
261) Study
262) Sidewalks are for 2 things. Walking and chalking.
263) Learn a foreign language. If only with the most basic understanding
264) Keep a journal of even the most trivial things.
265) Have a zombie plan
266) Treat your robots well
267) Keep a flashlight in your car
268) Keep a blanket in your car
269) Try your hand at a sport for at least a year
270) Play tag with your friends even if you think you’re too old.
271) Same with hide and seek
272) Knit
273) Cross stitch at least once.
274) Be familiar with geography
275) Camp out in the backyard. One time more than you feel cool enough doing.
276) Know how to build a fire.
277) No lemonade stands
278) Know the Bill of Rights
279) Memorize a piece of literature; poem, monologue, piece from a book, etc.
280) Hike
281) Join a club.
282) Climb on things.
283) Go ahead. Cut your own hair. Just once though.
284) If your shirt has eyes they better not be on your boobs.
285) Snacks on roadtrips are a must
286) When you’re pretending to be a ballerina make sure the room is cleared.
287) Never let your roots show
288) As often as you can let your hair air dry.
289) Learn how to play Bridge
290) Pee outside at least once
291) You are never too old to play floor is lava
292) If you can help it don’t raise your voice.
293) Command a room without being demanding
294) If his pants are tighter than yours he is not for you
295) If his pants do not stay on even with the aid of a belt he is not for you.
296) Your shoes and belt and purse don’t have to match.
297) Don’t wear a belt unless you need it
298) The bigger your boobs are the less appropriate a fitted vest is
299) Live as simply as you can tolerate.
300) Ice cream sandwiches build friendships.

Adventures in Further Instructions

And so forth.

203) Don’t be stifled by practicality.
204) Don’t mistake pop songs for wisdom, and don’t quote them as such.
205) Be gracious.
206) If you go to a restroom and the door is closed. Knock even if you’re “certain” no one is inside.
207) Dive.
208) You’re never too old for the ball pit.
209) If you insist on wearing socks wear fun ones.
210) Invest in as many sweaters as you can stand. The uglier the better.
211) Dance at weddings.
212) Short earrings with long hair and long earrings with short hair.
213) Your hair should not defy the laws of physics. No matter the occasion.
214) The best time for doughnuts is the middle of the night.
215) Drink your coffee from a gas station if you must drink it.
216) For as long as the weather permits drive with the windows down.
217) Modesty in fashion and character is a respectable thing. And highly neglected.
218) Tea is an indoor picnic whenever you want.
219) Cartoons are right. Banana peels are slippery.
220) Take at least one picture a day for a year.
221) Use your true laugh. Even if it’s a cackle.
222) Start at the clearance rack.
223) When going to someone’s home always have something for your hostess.
224) Pajamas and sweatpants are not appropriate for a plane ride.
225) Even if it takes you ten years read Jane Austen. At least one book.
226) Forgive. And freaking let it go.
227) At least once in your time with them write a letter to each person you love.
228) Go to the park. swing.
229) Tell stupid jokes.
230) Like things because they interest you. Not because all of your friends do.
231) Pudding is the key to soft cookies every time.
232) You are the smartest driver on the road.
233) When you’re driving anyone else their lives are in your hands.
234) The internet is not for dating.
235) Some day you’ll hit an animal with your car. From that point on you’ll hit animals all the time. It’s okay to feel bad every time. In fact, you should.
236) You’re not going to get a pony. They’re not practical transportation.
237) Obi-wan Kenobi brings you your Christmas presents.
238) Science Fiction is nerdy. That’s why it’s so awesome.
239) Batman. not Superman.
240) Steak n Shake is meant for groups of 6 or more.
241) IHOP is only good one time of the day and it’s between 11pm and 3am. No other time.
242) If you’re making pancakes they better be from scratch.
243) Salvation Army, not Goodwill.
244) Play board games. Don’t be like your mom. Apparently people like them.
245) Crosswords, not word searches.
246) Shaving your legs is not the male establishment telling you how to conform to their standards. It’s a chance for you to get away from everyone else for you time. And a great excuse for a bath.
247) Have groceries for the week, but plan out your meals. And buy fresh for day-to-day.
248) Make dinner for more than one.
249) Watch cartoons.
250) Go ahead. Be obnoxiously nostalgic.
251) Go on trips with your friends. Every chance you get.
252) If you have butterfly clips in your hair you better be going to prom with Freddie Prinze, Jr.
253) In a professional or formal setting don’t wearing things that jangle.