what runs through my mind at 8 AM when I walk the neighbor dogs:


tumblr_mh0bofJKrz1rqmuhto1_500*opens gate*

Let’s go for our walk!

Woah, Tinkie, woah!

You don’t know stop, but you do know whoa like a horse. Why.

Let’s look both ways before we cross the street, guys!

CAR.

Oh wait it’s not moving. It’s in park. Why do I always think the neighbor’s car is coming down the street? EVERY TIME.

Tinkie please don’t pull me across the street!

*shuffles sandals to half-jog across the street to hang onto two 80 lb dogs*

*gets leashes adjusted just right*

Time to get out my tunes!

Darn you earbuds. 

EVERY DARN TIME.

Clarence don’t pee on the neighbor’s new tree!

*finally gets earbuds plugged into MP3 player*

Finally, some tunes!

*instantly looks around to be completely aware of all traffic* Because I’m responsible for you guys!

*quiet*

Oh no, I completely forgot to reread that one blog post before scheduling it. Now people will grammar nazi that post and I’ll look like an amateur. Course I remember now when I can’t do anything about it, lolol.

*pretends to flip off the annoying, snarling neighbor dog who always throws a fit when he sees us pass by*

*quiet*

Good girl. Good boy. Let’s cross the street.

Let’s see how far I can get without Clarence pooping on me.

OMG I LOVE THIS SONG.

This is totally the trailer song I’m going to use for when my book series becomes a tv show.

I CAN PRACTICALLY SEE MY CHARACTERS.

What are you doing back there, Clarence?

DANG IT, CLARENCE.

And always in front of the really nice house too.

*quickly looks around while I pick up dog poop*

Of course here comes someone to throw out their trash, and a car is coming, and here comes three school children. This is just superb timing.

DEAR GOD THAT CAR IS COMING FOR THIS HOUSE WE NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE.

SO EMBARRASSING.

BY THE WAY YOU’RE WELCOME.

Tinkie stop smelling that plant we gotta keep moving!

*scrambles along with a bag of poop and tangled leashes*

*quiet*

I’m tired of this song. Next!

I hate walking past this house and their obnoxiously awesome mini monster truck. And their dogs used to never be kept behind the fence! 

HAVEN’T YOU EVER HEARD OF KEEPING YOUR DOGS OUT OF THE DANGEROUS STREET, PEOPLE. Poor doggies.

It is funny to see the kids trying to get up in the truck to go to school. lololol

Clarence isn’t your bladder empty by now?

Oooh, new song.

*inward gasp*

I’M SO SORRY, MAIN CHARACTER, THAT YOUR THEME IS SO TORTUROUS AND ANGRY BUT IT IS PERFECT FOR THAT FOUR YEAR GAP I CAN’T WRITE. GAAAAH.

Oh, hello Rose! *waves*

*quiet*

Good girl, good boy. You guys are doing so good! Tinkie you’re so cute today!! You’re eyes are so pretty!

Clarence stop walking in front of me! I will trip over you!

*suspiciously stares at workmen and workmen’s truck across the street*

After all. You could be KIDNAPPERS… or MURDERERS in DISGUISE for all I know.

God I should stop rewatching Scream at night when I’m alone.

Yeah. That’s not doing me any favors.

Tinkie please don’t eat that feather. Gross.

*Rounds corner and navigates around prompt traffic*

Thank God today wasn’t one of those poop-across-the-street days, huh, Clarence?!

*quiet*

Aw, I love this song but I won’t hear the end of it by the time we’re done.

Come on, guys. Let’s go home. Let’s go home.

*quiet*

Hold on, Tinkie, we need to stop at the trash to throw away Clarence’s package.

Tinkie please, just five steps over so I can lift the lid!

PLEASE TINKIE!!!

Okay, okay, we can go into the yard now.

Good girl. Good boy. I love you!

*lets them inside, closes gate, and tries to squeeze in that 30 seconds of song left into the fifteen second walk home across street.*

Oooh, I showed really go edit that post now. But first, breakfast!

~Jamie


This is a follow up post for that incredibly ancient one of about two years ago, from when I was scorpion hunting. Some of you will actually remember that one. ;)

Oh, before you leave, if you’ve seen Age of Ultron, you should listen to my latest podcast with James the Reviewer! We discuss our thoughts on the characters different elements of the film. Here is Part 1 on YouTube! :) (Careful, here lurk spoilers!)

 

My Online Highlights || Round 3


Favorite Blog Posts:

I Read:

I Reviewed:

Twitter

What I’ve Been Watching:

  • Frasier Season 10 (nearly done with the entire show! My heart!)
  • Interstellar (um. I shall reserve my thoughts for a short review)
  • Princess Jellyfish (BECAUSE I HAVE THE DVDS!)
  • My Love Story!! (hands down best rom-com I’ve ever seen in my liiife)
  • The Office on Netflix (forever and always)
  • Blood Blockade Battlefront (stunning quirky sci-fi urban fantasy is stunning–see gallery below!)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Out of all the seasonal anime airing right now, the best is definitely My Love Story!! and Blood Blockade Battlefront. I can easily recommend those to you guys because My Love Story!! is hysterical and terribly adorable and Blockade is quirky and way too much fun. XD

YouTube

I’ve followed The Fine Brothers react videos for several years now; they’re the YouTubers I keep up with most. At the beginning of the month I caught up with one of their gaming series while I wasn’t feeling well. I was missing The Walking Dead. :( and was needing some sort of zombie filler. XD This is Part 1 of the series, which is still ongoing.

I’ve also been running my playlist of anime openings and endings A LOT this month. I’m still stuck on the Free! ending but there are a ton of others that bring me good memories of some wonderful shows. Peruse at your own geek risk (and it was this or Kpop, so I will take no complaints. XD )

Writing Updates

Writing of “100 Levels” has come to a full halt the past two weeks as I studied for my GED science test–which I just learned today that I passed! I kept my writing habits alive by writing anime reviews and two large articles here about the internet and emotional health. I hope to put fictional writing as a higher priority in the upcoming month! Hopefully in next post I’ll have a new word count to tell you guys!


Right now, I’m looking forward to May for several reasons:

Age of Ultron for one… although my excitement for it has simmered down to a near “indifferent”… I think I’m trying to protect my feelings since I won’t get to see the film till mid-May after everyone else. I will have to spend that entire time avoiding my normal Tumblr and certain blog posts ’cause of spoilers. Gr.

The big thing for May is my state’s big summer Comic-Con will be happening at the end of this month. I bought my ticket back in February and I’m excited that it’s oh-so-close to arriving! I hope that I’ll maybe see some friends and I’ll probably do all my birthday spending prematurely while I’m there. XD

I hope you all had a nice April!

~Jamie

Currently:


Currently liking: that I know how to take real screencaps now. It’s been very helpful and fun! I’m also really enjoying my second Tumblr.

Currently listening: I’ve been listening to a soundtrack non-stop the past week or so. The types of music genres incorporated in it are so diverse and fun; jazz, band, orchestral, techno, soft guitar, it’s amazing. Here’s the playlist link: I’ll be featuring it tomorrow on my other blog. (Tracks 8 and 16 are my top favorites, but as a writer, I highly appreciate how versatile this entire OST is.)

Currently drinking: milk. I made chocolate chip cookies with Nathan over the weekend, and I always need milk with cookies. Yum. XD

Currently reading: I’m between fictional books right now and I’m not sure what to read next. :(

Currently sitting: up in my mom’s bed, next to my sleeping brother. He’s been fighting his first flu and he asked me to sit with him. I’m trying to type quietly.

Currently writing: blog posts. I’ve paused “100 Levels” for now so I don’t feel drawn in too many directions. I’m about ten days away from taking my next GED test, so I thought I’d put writing on pause while I study.

Currently watching: Toy Story for Nathan (who am I fooling, I picked it out for myself.) I literally just finished the fourth episode of Nagi No Asukara, a story about people who live in the sea, whose children must take classes on land with the land people. It has some interesting themes on prejudice and coming-of-age—and the visuals are gorgeous–so I’m really liking it.

Currently obsessed with: anime. I’m not sorry that I like amazing stories and visuals. Not sorry at all. :P

Capture

Currently tired: from the very crazy, busy past week. No more drama please. Drama is only fit for slice-of-life stories and soap operas, not for real life. 8-O

Currently excited: that I finally own all 14 Basil Rathbone 1940’s Sherlock Holmes movies. Amazon had the set for half off! I was desperately missing the movies my dad had kept, so I thought it was time I buy the full set for myself and let go of the VHS tapes.

Currently failing: at my yoga again. *sigh* I really need to stick with it, because after just a few days my flexibility really improves!

Currently scaring myself with: taking my science GED test so soon. I never feel very prepared before my tests, which is a little scary since I have to pay to take the test in the first place. 8-O

Currently stuck in my head: the credit song for Free! Iwatobi Swim Club. The song repeats easily so it stays in my head very easily. I shall conveniently link to that here. I have rewatched it about fifty times because the animation sequences are amazing (and the guys are so cute. XD)

Currently wishing: that my chocolate chip cookies would last forever. Bottomless cookie jar. Isn’t that the dream?

Currently praying: that Nathan gets better soon and that I don’t catch the flu from him, if that’s what it is. I haven’t had the flu in years, I don’t want a revisit with the old meanie. :-|

~Jamie

Your Emotions Are Valid


tumblr_mpp6poZxE51st5lhmo1_1280

I’m here today to tell you that your emotions are valid.

Your fear and anger and joy are valid. Please don’t let others bully you into thinking otherwise. Emotions are signals from your soul which you shouldn’t ignore. You should be aware of them and learn how to process them in a healthy way. Sadly I’m only just learning this, as I and many others have an unhealthy background of shame about certain emotions which has been pushed on us by others, especially within the Christian community by other Christians and the Church leadership.

Not all churches do this, of course, but it is a huge problem, especially in the Patriarchal movement (and I’ve seen it in other types of churches, too.)

Why is the Christian church so determined to squelch certain emotions? After all, what are emotions but something God created for us to understand and process? This is a real problem that happens to real people and it needs to be addressed by somebody! 

tumblr_mufr3eEwKX1st5lhmo1_1280

As a teenager I thought I couldn’t feel confidence because at church it meant I wasn’t thinking of myself as a humble worm that barely deserved God’s mercy for being a sinner. I quickly learned that to express fear for something was to show I wasn’t a strong Christian who didn’t trust God enough.

To speak my opinions or thoughts as woman was not seen as living honestly but as not having a “meek and quiet spirit” and “not being submissive to your father’s leadership.”

I’ve seen others swallowed in depression because their church shamed them for their feelings and verbally abused them into thinking they simply had weak faith. My own mom, who felt distrust in her marriage, was told by both my Bible thumping father and several elders, that she just needed to “trust” him more, to follow him blindly because that showed stronger faith.

This is a crisp example of spiritual abuse dealt out by the church itself, in the form of literally telling people what they are feeling is wrong.

Processed with VSCOcam with lv02 preset

Even the emotion joy is trampled on within the Church, in my experience.

After watching Star Wars for the first time in 2011, my sister and I fell in love with the films. However our Baptist friends were so concerned with critically analyzing them for Biblical flaws that we began to hide our joy. That way we wouldn’t be interpreted as passive Christians who wouldn’t take “every thought captive.” We had the same experience when The Avengers later came out in 2012.

I know many Christians can face this over the experience of Harry Potter as well. Isn’t that awful?

God gave us emotions to find joy in love and to grow despite fear, so why are we told that fear is bad? The Church should help us in our journey and NOT tell us that what we’re feeling is wrong.

tumblr_ms9mywAOPn1st5lhmo1_1280

The Church should never tell me my emotions are invalid. Sadly, many of them do anyway and at twenty years of age I now know they are wrong to do so. So that’s why I’m writing this: Not to say the Church is hopeless or to say that every Christian Church-Goer is like this, but to simply say from me to you:

You Are Valid.

I want you to know this. What you are thinking and feeling right this moment is valid. Do not be guilted by someone who can quote scripture more fluently then you that somehow what you feel is not true for you. Emotions were given to us by God, so embrace them, process them, learn from them, enjoy them: Because that’s what they are there to do.

Don’t tell yourself, “No, I can’t be angry, that’s a sin.” Instead, ask, “Why am I angry?” and get to the root of the problem instead. Anger is a warning sign that something must be mended–either within yourself or in the environment around you. You put yourself in danger by trying to hide it. How can you keep a house from flooding without acknowledging you can see the water creeping through the cracks?!

Even Jesus had a righteous anger: He didn’t smother it, he expressed it. That’s the key.

tumblr_mq7ensU4u81st5lhmo1_1280

The same goes for discomfort and contentment. Annoyance and anxiety. Guilt and love. You name it, that emotion is a valid signal that no one should shame you for having. Work through your feelings with safe people who can validate you as a person; people who show empathy instead of shame; people who can relate to you as a human.

Along these lines, don’t let Christians try to twist your story into a mirror image of their own by shaming you for your struggles or even for liking something they personally don’t care for. *sigh* Why couldn’t I have just enjoyed Star Wars?

God has made you as you with your own journey and your own interests that are different from others and that’s okay. You’re likes and dislikes are valid too.

Something to watch out for is Scripture to be used against validating your emotions, such as the verse that goes:“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” This verse has been twisted, in my experience, to mean: “Don’t trust your feelings and inner signals because it’s all a façade, you can’t trust yourself at all, so listen to what I have to say instead.” Beware.

tumblr_n6rzpcsMk41st5lhmo1_1280

Yes, of course, we all make mistakes. We are all flawed within our hearts. However, that does not make our God-given emotions invalid, gosh darn-it! This scripture should be used to look within and not out at others. Sadly Christians have battered me with such a verse for having emotions that they think doesn’t exhibited faith or reformed Christian head knowledge!

No one should judge you against their own life’s journey because they think a scripture verse allows them to. This is wrong, it is spiritual abuse and it can mess up your head very badly in connection to something beautiful, like real-life faith. Such Bible-beating must stop.

I want to make it clear here as I bring this towards an ending, that this post is not targeted specifically at anyone, even though I can think of several people who’ve specifically done this towards my family (when I speak family, I exclude my dad because he was one of the abusers.) And I’m not trying to say that those who’ve abused scripture are necessarily meaning to be cruel. I think many of those people were simply trying to hide their own emotions and by examining others instead were able to be distracted.

We are all in need of empathy and understanding but that does not mean we should simply submit ourselves to abuse.

tumblr_n8zm3lrclm1st5lhmo1_1280

So, I am specifically attempting to bring light on a subject of spiritual abuse that has chased my family for many years. I want people to be aware of this problem because it needs to be recognized by unsuspecting victims, well-meaning abusers, and people who stand by completely ignorant either way. This is a problem. 

It’s time that the Christian Church stops invalidating the spectrum of human emotion and instead aid their flocks into maturity and mental health by processing those emotions instead of burying them.

But that could be a long time coming.

So please just know from me: You are special. You are wonderfully created to have strengths and weakness which will give you a life-long journey of discovery and growth. You have interests which God has placed in you, with emotions that are there for a reason. So treasure them, respect them, and learn from them.

And never let anyone tell you ever again that you are not valid.

~Jamie

A Weird Week


large (6)

I did finish The Night Circus this week!

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Easter weekend! I didn’t do anything except eat deviled eggs and do laundry, so I hope you have better stories to tell than I do. I didn’t even eat Peeps, which I’m mad about. I need to get to Wal-mart pronto. XD

So this past week has been weird. My crown lengthening happened on Monday; it has been uncomfortable (and gross) for the past week. I’ve been in my room most of the time, mostly because my diet shrank to consist of only soft foods, which made my overall energy drop. I get irritable when I’m hungry/uncomfortable/in pain/can’t eat meat so, you get the picture. My tooth is gradually getting better, though, and the stitches dissolved last night! (My computer and internet was also fussy this week, which made me fussy too. Thankfully its all sorted out now. :D)

I have nearly finished a full Harry Potter Marathon; I only have the two-parter left. It was all quite an accident–I like the first one because the kids are cute and it’s just a happy movie so I put it in for comfort the night of surgery. Then each night I’ve just put the next one in and here I am. XD The Half-Blood Prince might be my least favorite because it’s so depressing…it’s a good movie but it sure left me sad.

The good thing about this week is that I did make progress on shows I’ve wanted to see before comic-con! I started the very famous Attack on Titan. I get what all the fuss was about a couple of years ago, and thankfully I’ve been able to avoid spoilers. I also got to start Free! and now I’m addicted to the ending. XD

One of the better things that happened last week was that I got my first birthday present of the year from my best friend–Princess Jellyfish on DVD! It came on Tuesday when the internet was out, so I was able to watch most of it before it we got it fixed: Perfect timing! It’s my favorite anime so I can’t wait to watch all the bonus features! (I should clarify to mention my birthday is in July, which is why this was such a fun surprise! XD)

The only other from this week worth sharing is that my parents’ divorce is nearly finalized, which makes me very happy. I’ll be discussing certain topics pertaining to it in the upcoming months. :)

So, that’s been my week; how was yours?

~Jamie

A Lyric Medley


image20

I have a diverse taste in music; my cousin recently asked me what my favorite type of music was and I couldn’t even answer as I didn’t know where to start. I like a bit of everything–well, I’m not really into country or bubble gum pop…but I will listen to pretty much everything else if the song grabs me. So, this lyric/music tag should be really fun to do!

Thank you, Tara, for tagging me with this. I’m so sorry it took me so long to get it finished. :)

A song that describes me perfectly.

Roar by Katy Perry. This song resonated with my past when I first heard it, and it’s been my unofficial theme song ever since. “You held me down but I got up/Already brushing off the dust/You hear my voice, you hear that sound/Like thunder, gonna shake the ground.”

The happiest song I know.

Is it too cliche to say Happy by Pharrell Williams? It’s literally called happy. I walked the dogs to this song for weeks because it was so upbeat (and repeated well). “Because I’m happy/ Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof/Because I’m happy/Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth.” Hee-hee, the lyrics sometimes feel a bit odd but it’s still a really bouncy song.

A song that makes me want to dance.

Flyers by Bradio. I want to jump along the rooftop when I hear this song. It’s still one of the best songs I’ve ever heard, especially when paired with the Death Parade animation. “Everybody, put your hands up!” (Also Shake It Off by Taylor Swift should be mentioned, because that’s the perfect dancing song.)

A song that makes me feel rebellious.

Shatter Me by Lindsey Stirling. This song makes me want to break barriers, smash walls, leave my shell. Violin and dubstep has never sounded so amazing together. Lzzy Hale has a great voice! (Also the music video is incredible.) “Somebody shine a light/I’m frozen by the fear in me/Somebody make me feel alive/And shatter me.”

A song about a story.

This is an unconventional answer, but Lazy Scranton (which, I’m sure, Michael Scott once again plagiarized from a different song) is such a fun rap from The Office–I think of the story of The Office when I think of Michael and Dwight’s incredibly cheesy music video. That show is boss.

“They call it Scranton/What?/The Electric City/Scranton/What?/The Electric City.”

A song that would play during the apocalypse.

The Regulator by Clutch. Maybe it’s because I originally heard it on The Walking Dead, but I see this song playing over an apocalypse in slow motion. I really like how it starts off fairly slow and then builds. “Dream with the feathers of angels stuffed beneath your head/The regulator’s swinging pendulum//Come with me and walk the longest mile.”  (I used to go for runs with this song and pretend zombies were after me. I tell you those were my best workouts.)

A “I can’t even” song.

Don’t Stay by Linkin Park. I can’t even about this song because I detected the voice of my longest running main character singing it when I first hear it–I could hear him sing to his nemesis, his best friend, and himself–bitter, scarred, resentful…the song itself seems like a breakup song, but that’s never how I hear it. “Sometimes I feel I trusted you too well/ Sometimes I feel like screaming at myself/Sometimes I’m in disbelief I didn’t know/Somehow I need to be alone.”

A song that gives me chills every time I hear it.

Chandelier by Sia. I resonated a lot with the hopeless-sounding emotion that this sound resonates. It’s an old, familiar feeling from a few years back, only more beautiful-sounding. “I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier/I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist/Like it doesn’t exist/I’m gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry.”

A song of hope.

The Lost Get Found by Britt Nicole. This was one of the first Christian pop songs I heard as a teenager, and the beat and lyrics struck me and have stayed like a pin with me ever since. “Don’t let your lights go down/Don’t let your fire burn out/’Cause somewhere, somebody needs a reason to believe.”

large (3)

I’m going to tag: Faith, Emily, Maribeth, S, and Grace. Here are the tag rules for anyone else who’d like to do it–I didn’t follow it very closely to be honest, lol.

The rules:

1. Thank and link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Make a collage that represents your taste in music to go along with your tag post.

3. List a song for each of the 10 questions (or make up your own!) and include your favorite lyrics from that song, if you’d like. If you want to explain why you chose that song, that’s cool too – go crazy with it!

4. Tag at least 5 bloggers

~Jamie

My Small City Bus Adventure


sunny sailing

Monday through Wednesday, I attend a GED preparation school; within the past few of weeks, I’ve ridden home on the bus by myself twice. My first bus ride was an experience to say the least, from which I learned a variety of small lessons. Now I’m sure people have had worst experiences then this on the bus, but for being my first bus ride alone, it was an experience enough for me.

Of course it doesn’t help that my school is not in a nice part of town. However, in a big place like Phoenix, bad neighborhoods twist like veins throughout the entire city–there’s almost no avoiding that problem anyway. City life is not as glamorous as one might think.

When I’m by myself, I naturally walk very fast–mostly from walking the neighbor dogs. So, I was briskly trotting along down the street with my heavy school folder pack in my arms. It was quite warm (yes, it was a warm week for an AZ February), and I had several blocks to walk the right bus stop (a five to seven minute walk from the school to the stop, if you walk really fast).

black anchor

An African American guy on his phone passed me, then doubled back calling after me. He spoke in smooth compliments and huffed along to keep up with me. Then he tried to give me the tiniest fold of paper square you’d ever seen–he called it a souvenir but I was pretty sure it concealed a phone number for drugs. I said no thank you and he immediately stopped following me, which made me feel relieved but uneasy at the same time.

I skidded up to the bus stop and sat down on the shaded bench. In a laundromat parking lot behind me, about twenty Hispanic gentleman mulled about waiting for work, which did not make me very comfortable. Already at the stop was a man sitting on his bike, enthusiastically speaking Spanish to his phone but he didn’t bother me.

I fished about in my pack for a book but a Hispanic homeless-looking man, who appeared about seventy, came roaming up the sidewalk. He sat himself next to me, not close but still right there in my company. Between bits of silence, he told me his name, that he could understand what the man on the bike was saying and that I was pretty. I responded as naturally as I could but I turned my attention to my book so he would get the message that I wanted to read.

Old Man By the Sea

About ten minutes later a guy in a khakis and button up shirt came huffing up the sidewalk, the stop obviously his destination. He loudly asked if I had two dollars he could borrow for the bus fare (he swore profusely for his boss calling him in on overtime). He asked the bike guy then darted around to the parking lot to ask the people in the parking lot.

The old homeless man, Pueblo, said “Why give him money? I wouldn’t give him money. You won’t see it again!” And I nodded in agreement while flattening open my library book with frustration and checked to see if the bus was in sight. The guy soon came with two dollars and continued to swear up and down the sidewalk in front of me about how unhappy he was (he literally did not stop talking about it even after the bus came some time later).

For the thirty-five minute wait  my reading was disturbed by small remarks by Pueblo and the F word. I felt both uneasy and serenely calm at the same time–not sure how, exactly. The bus AT LAST pulled down the street and stopped. Pueblo said goodbye to me as I nearly pounced on the bus steps. I scrambled into the bus, double checked with the driver that it would pass my stop, and sat down as fast as I could near the closest woman.

Dangerous Voyage

The bus took off and I stared holes out the window to watch for my stop, even though it was ten minute drive down the road. I yanked the cord just before my stop and jumped out too fast.

As I began my trek into my neighborhood, my frustration began to emerge, now that I was alone. By this time, the uptight wait for the bus combined with the heat (and the stress I was dealing with over my computer issues), had worn me down. By the time I reached home my arms were exhausted from my heavy load and I was very hungry and hot (as I’d walked too fast downhill).

My mom let me complain at the kitchen table. Getting home is usually a quick process when she picks me up. Having missed the bus at noon and then the bus being late, coupled with the walking: It had taken me a full hour to get home on my own, while avoiding a drug dealer, busy traffic, homeless people, and a very germy bus ride in a heat that had come too early even for Phoenix.

Sail Peacefully

The moral of this story is that if things are bad the first time, they probably won’t be so bad the second–you just have to try again. Nowhere to go but up, right? My sister, who is a bus veteran, informed me that if I wore headphones, people would be more likely to leave me alone–apparently she’d never had my experience in any of her bus taking trips.

So, the second time I took the bus, I carried things in a backpack; what a help that was. The weather had cooled and there was a breeze. I wore my ear buds and played an unabridged audio book of Winnie-the-Pooh; the trashy street was a little less scary with Pooh and Piglet trying to catch a Hefflalump in my ear. While all the Hispanic men were still there looking for work, the homeless guy waiting there left me alone and stood about eight feet away.

Plus, I only waited ten minutes before the bus arrived on time!

colorful sea

The bus ride was also better now that I’d had an experience using it. Pooh and Company were now preparing to form an “Expetition” to the North Pole but sadly they weren’t able to make the bus feel more clean. I jumped out at my stop and bathed in hand sanitizer I’d remembered to bring. Roo fell into a stream while I, more slowly, walked into my neighborhood. Pooh discovered the North Pole by the time I got home.

That experience was so much nicer than the first one.

The lessons I learned? Experiences are always going to be different, even if you end up at the same bus stop with the same bus and bus driver. Life is full of people, from all walks of life, who we’re just going to bump into along the way. Winnie-the-Pooh makes things a lot better. A backpack makes a heavy load easier to carry. Ear buds keep drug dealers away from you (well, I’ll test theory again the next time). Walking slowly downhill won’t leave you huffing and puffing (and a breeze always helps).

anchor with flowers

But really, Pooh helped a lot. “After all, it’s more friendly with two.”

~Jamie