Believe, Don’t Give Up! (Dedicated to My Mom)

Time moves slowly, yet rushes by in a heartbeat.

Or, rather, it keeps on moving, long after a heart beats its final beat.

Today marks the one year anniversary since my mom’s heart beat its final beat in this world.

I miss her so much, especially as the holidays approach.

Memories- of the good times, along with the most heart-wrenching, agonizing moments- come flooding back with a vengeance.

It’s almost unbearable sometimes.

Words may be failing me lately…

Yet my mom managed to sum life up to perfection in one of her own blog posts:

Believe, Don’t Give Up!
By Souad “Sue” Battista
(a.k.a. Tink the Belle)
From Playing by My Own Rules

For every downhill battle, there will be an uphill victory.

For every backward tread, there will be a forward initiative.

For every letdown, there will be contentment.

For every tear, there will be a smile.

Sometimes what seems to be the end, could be just a beginning.

Life is full of endless detours and turnarounds.

Giving up is not an option. Never was, never will be.

My beautiful angel mom.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle”. ~Albert Einstein

Bigly Bestest Devil in Disguise

@thebiglybestestdoggie: It’s almost Halloween, and I am so ready! Momma says I’m the cutest little devil she’s ever seen. Oh, and guess what? It’s also my second Tails ‘n’ Tweets anniversary! That’s right; it’s been two amazing years since I came along and joined (and unintentionally took over) Comically Quirky!

Who’s ready for a devilishly good time?

~Happy Halloween, friends! And thanks for joining Jett on his exciting adventures! You guys are the best!~

4 Better or 4 Worse

Where does the time go?

Today marks Comically Quirky’s 4th anniversary!

Which is certainly reason to celebrate.

But I’m not going to lie-

This has been one of the most challenging years of my entire life.

And unfortunately, my writing has suffered immensely for it.

The frustrating disparity of needing to write for clarity and peace…

But lacking the clarity and peace to write…

It’s not a pretty cycle.

Thoughts and ideas constantly swirl around in my mind…

Yet refuse to come together to form anything remotely eloquent or coherent.

Let alone witty and humorous.

It’s aggravating.

And disheartening.

Especially when the words always used to flow so easily.

Somewhere along the way, this blog unexpectedly transitioned to a full-scale Dog Blog.

And so my gratitude goes out to The Bigly Bestest Doggie for single-handedly (or would that be single-pawedly?) keeping Comically Quirky afloat in the interim as I strive to get back on track.

But I’m especially grateful to all of you for sticking with me.

You’re the best.

I will get back on track…

One of these days.

And that is a promise.

~Thank you all for sticking with me and cheering on The Bigly Bestest Doggie as he’s temporarily taken center stage on Comically Quirky. If you’re feeling adventurous and need some quirky humor to brighten your day, I invite you to check out my very first post, The Journey to No Man’s Land. For anyone who might be dealing with tough times and feeling like they’re endlessly treading water just to stay afloat- Hang in there. Things will get better. Always have faith that no matter how fierce the storm, the sun will one day shine again.~

Bigly Bestest Anniversary

@thebiglybestestdoggie: Can you believe it? One year ago, I took over (oops, sorry Momma!) I mean, joined, Comically Quirky with my Tails ‘n’ Tweets series! Thank you all for being so awesome and supportive! Here’s to many, many more fun adventures together!

Yay! I'm so happy you're here!

Yay! I’m so happy you’re here!

~Happy Tuesday, friends! Whew! Time sure flies when you’re having so much fun!~

Dinner and No Motorcycle

Actually, no.

Let’s amend that to no motorcycle yet.

Building off of last week’s anniversary blog

Consider this a sequel of sorts.

Sadist that I am, I simply can’t have a good time without conducting myself like a glutton for punishment.

On the morning of my anniversary, I started off the day by going to work.

I got off early enough for us to still get out and do things, I reasoned, so I didn’t really need to take the day off.

So I went to work.

And I sliced a gash in my leg on the corner of a cardboard box.

I probably should’ve stayed home.

But at least I arrived home to a nice surprise.

My husband had gotten me a portable Shiatsu massager.

I put that sucker to work as soon as I yanked it out of the box.

And used it nonstop throughout that afternoon and evening.

Which led to bruising myself from prolonged use as I attempted to work out the billion tension knots in my neck.

Which hasn’t stopped me from using it every single day for the last week.

With my younger son’s help and insistence, my son…uh, I mean, husband, received a lovely video game for our anniversary.

Need for Speed Payback.

Because nothing says Happy Anniversary like a racing game.

In my defense, my child and I wandered each and every aisle at Target ten times over while hauling an overflowing hand basket.

Which was equal to the weight of a baby elephant.

Because it was loaded down with a dozen bottles of açaí  Vitamin Water that my child had tossed in.

And so we kept switching off basket-carrying duties as we continued to look for the perfect anniversary gift for the good part of an hour.

Somehow, we eventually settled on a PlayStation game as the perfect present.

At least my son…I mean, husband, has been thoroughly enjoying his new game.

Anyway, we didn’t actually make it out to dinner on our anniversary.

Because we decided to stay home and watch The Martian on Netflix.

So the following evening, we ventured into a nice little Italian restaurant we’d been talking about trying for the past couple of years.

And get this:

There were actual people in this restaurant!

And our waiter was not intoxicated!

Perhaps we should have asked the guy to quickly guzzle a few beers in an attempt to replicate our horrid seven-years-prior Greek restaurant anniversary experience?

Right.

We enjoyed some fried ravioli.

And lasagna.

And homemade bread.

No greasy, slimy, rock-hard monstrosities whatsoever.

The bartender even made a little chocolate syrup heart in my chocolate martini.

It was undoubtedly one of our better anniversary dining experiences.

So that was nice, for a change.

Now, as for our first-ever motorcycle we’d been contemplating buying back?

Turns out the dealership’s asking price was much too high.

Almost as much as we had sold it for two years ago.

And so we put in a more reasonable offer.

They declined.

Typical used vehicle over-inflation nonsense.

I guess there’s only one thing left to do:

Operation Steal Back Our Bike!

We do still have one spare key.

We could easily go in and get it back.

Just pop the key in and take off like bats out of hell.

Or not.

Because then I’d have to change this post title to Dinner and Jail.

~Happy Saturday, friends! Have a great weekend!~

Well, hello again, green Ninja!

Well, hello again, green Ninja!

Dinner and a Motorcycle

Whew!

It’s been hotter than Hades lately.

But then, it seems the intense summer heat is inspiring for new beginnings.

At least, for me.

My blog anniversary was just a few days ago.

And now, it’s my anniversary anniversary.

And much like my magnetism for memorable birthdays…

There was one highly memorable anniversary that tells quite the tale.

The year was 2011.

My husband DJ and I decided to celebrate by going out for dinner.

But first…

We stopped at a motorcycle shop.

Which inevitably led to the purchase of a motorcycle.

After long day of work.

When judgment is always at its peak.

Because everybody knows that’s the best time to make big decisions.

It’s also common knowledge that just looking at something translates roughly to:

Let’s buy this thing!

Like, right now!

Because, really, when was the last time we’d gotten anything nice for ourselves?

And did I mention it was our ten year anniversary?

A big anniversary like that warranted something big.

Like a motorcycle.

Tradition dictates that year ten should be gifted with tin or aluminum.

While I’m usually not one to care overly much about traditions in the sense of gifts…

Aren’t bikes made of steel and aluminum?

Ha!

Anyway…

It was an electric green Kawasaki Ninja 650R in great shape.

I liked it.

DJ liked it.

So we signed a contract and we were on our merry way.

The funny part?

Spontaneously buying a motorcycle turned out to be the most normal part of our evening.

Celebrating in memorable ways seems to a talent for us.

(Horses, anyone?)

After buying the bike, we figured we’d enjoy a nice meal out.

And so we drove to a Greek restaurant I’d been to only once before, several years earlier.

It was way on the other side of town, so we didn’t get out that way too often.

But I remembered loving that restaurant.

It was a Saturday night.

And the parking lot was desolate.

That right there should’ve been an omen.

But that didn’t stop us from going in.

We were greeted by a host who looked like he’d had a few drinks himself.

Which was entirely probable, given the impressive bar in full view behind him.

And…

As luck would have it, our drunken host turned out to also be our drunken waiter.

There was no other sign of life whatsoever within those four walls.

No other diners.

No other waitstaff.

Nada.

Had this tipsy waiter just killed the rest of the restaurant staff? 

Which would have been rather unfortunate, given the fact they prided themselves on being a family owned and operated business.

But I remembered truly enjoying a scrumptious assortment of authentic Mediterranean food in my previous trip.

So we stuck around like the sadists we apparently were.

Our waiter ambled around momentarily before producing two sad-looking menus, held together by uneven patches of tape.

Despite an authentic-looking Greece interior, nothing about this looked overly promising.

But we were hungry.

And remained cautiously optimistic.

Spoiler alert:

When the food came, it did not get any better.

With spanakopita slimier than worms, pita bread that could crack a pig’s head open, and hummus that tasted more like mud than mashed chickpeas, it bared no resemblance to my previous dining experience.

Did we save room for dessert, the stumbling drunk inquired?

Right.

It didn’t matter if it was our anniversary.

We’d already had all the fun we could handle, without gambling on dessert.

It was beyond comprehension how this restaurant had been a six-time Best Greek Restaurant winner, awarded by a local newspaper.

Incidentally, 2011 was the last year they’d won the prestigious award.

Which was the second and final time I set foot in that place.

I must’ve been really, really hungry that first time.

Or maybe things just really, really went down the toilet in the few years since I’d first gone.

I scoped out some Yelp reviews to see if we were crazy, or if it had just been an off night.

But no.

“I thought that I was part of an elaborate prop set for what would be a great tragedy. The place is certainly capable visually of transporting you to Ellada (Greek word for Greece). The place was also as barren as an off-season tourist trap near Plakka. The only two other people there seemed to be regulars.”

And this one:

“I am certain from the many posted accolades all over the walls of the place that this restaurant was indeed great. But its day has come and gone and its legendary service and cuisine is all but a page of mythology.”

But then there were a few reviews like this one:

Amazing food. Authentic and unique. The wait staff is incredibly friendly and helpful.

Unique, yes.

Incredible?

In a way, yes.

But not in any positive sense of the word.

Love the entire experience!

Seriously?!?

I mean, our experience was plenty memorable.

But definitely not in the way of loving it.

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m all for irony.

But, wow.

So on one hand, its stellar past was not a figment of my imagination.

On the other hand…

Had those few satisfied diners had their hummus spiked?

It’s uncanny.

That whole dining experience had been way, way off the mark.

Suffice it to say, the heat wasn’t the only hellish factor on that day seven years ago.

But, hey.

A cool motorcycle and a freakish dining experience.

Which, evidently, meet all my criteria for a memorable evening.

We ended up selling that motorcycle two years ago, when my husband decided to upgrade.

Yet, in an interesting twist of fate…

It’s now for sale again.

And it’s our anniversary again.

Is this a sign we ought to buy it back, for the sake of nostalgia?

Is it fate?

I guess we shall see…

~Happy Saturday! Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!~

Nothing like an anniversary motorcycle! Now let's see if it's meant to be... a second time.

Nothing like an anniversary motorcycle! Now let’s see if it’s meant to be… a second time.

Gratitude with a Twist of Attitude

Happy 2nd Anniversary to me!

Yeah, I know.

Way to be subtle, right?

Well, here’s the thing.

This is milestone is dedicated to YOU, my dear friends.

Your unwavering support helps make Comically Quirky a fun and whimsical (and possibly slightly unhinged) retreat from reality.

So…

My fabulous, incredible, amazing readers…

This one’s for you!

(It’s unquestionably gratitude; that warm, fuzzy feeling of overwhelming gratitude. Either that, or I’m on fire…)

(You guys brighten my day a million times over when my twisted sense of humor brightens your day. It’s true!)

(It takes far too much effort to act not only normal, but in ways that are also socially acceptable. Pftt! Where’s the fun in that?) 

(This ties into the whole socially acceptable nonsense. Remember Uncle Jack and his horse?  Yeah. You’re welcome.)

(Ha! This world couldn’t possibly handle that much crazy, and so a “limited edition” I am. On the positive side, I suppose this just makes my writing style that much more, uh…entertaining.)

(This must be why I’m able to make people laugh. Insanity is inherently humorous. Speaking of which…)

(Might as well admit it- you’re probably almost as crazy as I am if you find me even remotely humorous. And that, my friends, makes you amazingly awesome.)

(You- my friends, family, and fellow bloggers- make writing even more enjoyable and rewarding.)

(Because I unwittingly seem to find myself incorporating cows into my writing, what better way to express my gratitude than by saying mooooo-chas gracias!)

(Yeah, you! You rock!)

Seriously, thank you.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a part of Comically Quirky.

I’m honored to be part of such a wonderful community.

~Happy Friday! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! If you’d like to read my very first post that started all the insanity, please click here.)~

Land Ho! Oh, Whoa!

Holy crap, Batman!

My two-year anniversary in No Man’s Land is just days away!

So, in honor of having survived long enough to reach this milestone…

20 Things I Kinda, Sorta Like About No Man’s Land

  1. I get to play a riveting game of Guess the Farm Animal every time I leave the house. (FYI, I still suck at this game. Horses, donkeys…is there really that big a difference?)
  2. Moving to a new place has meant getting out of a rut, trying new things, and perhaps most importantly, has also given me a much-needed push in a new direction toward achieving my goals. (This blog was, after all, inspired and created from all the ensuing mayhem.)
  3. I really like my new house. (As my younger son put it, more room to make more mess!)
  4. Mysteriously intriguing sunrises and sunsets. (I’m starting to appreciate all those cloudy days.)
  5. My boys have gotten to experience real snow (and snow days!) and build snowmen for the first time in their lives. (Yeah. Seriously.)
  6. There’s a terrific selection of restaurants that are NOT steakhouses, so this vegetarian probably won’t die of starvation. (Woo hoo!)
  7. The school system out here is a major improvement, with happy teachers and better funding. (A true win-win.)
  8. Bright, happy sunflowers blooming everywhere. Prior to coming out here, I hadn’t even realized they’re actually wildflowers. (Sad but true.)
  9. Moving here with all the stresses and challenges of not knowing where exactly we would live, where the boys would go to school… In retrospect, that’s insane! (Or maybe insanely brave…)
  10. Spring, summer, fall, winter…There are all four seasons! Granted, sometimes they can all be experienced in the course of a week, but after years of being in a desert, this is exciting. (Leaves changing color! Snow! Flowers blooming!)
  11. In addition to cows, this place has goats. And everyone knows that indiscriminate eaters such as goats can be useful in maintaining a clean house. (Note to self- grab goat from nearby field on drive home today.)
  12. The bipolar weather is far from boring. (Tornadoes, earthquakes, and hail! Oh my!)
  13. Cornfields, hay barrels, and wheat fields. (It’s like being in another world.)
  14. I’ve grown to like these horizontal traffic lights out here. (And now I think all those “normal” vertical ones look weird.)
  15. The roads are awesomely bad. Pothole-laden roads make for an exciting adventure every time. (I’ve lost track of how many times my car has become airborne and almost sailed over a field of cows.)
  16. Meeting awesome new people I wouldn’t have met otherwise if I hadn’t moved here. (Always a good thing.)
  17. Redbud trees. The first sign of spring, with their intense purple flowers. (I want one.)
  18. Bastard Cabbage. (The implications themselves are not actually funny at all, but the name always makes me giggle, as I envision how that…interesting (?) name might’ve come about.)
  19. It’s funny to watch farm machinery hauling ass on highways, passing all the slower-moving sedans and SUVs. (Irony at its finest.)
  20. Change can be a good thing, and what might initially seem like a negative thing may actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise. (Having a sense of humor and making the best out of a situation can really go a long way.)

~Happy Thursday, everyone! It’s true: sometimes change isn’t such a horrible thing. So embrace it, and always look for the silver lining.~

Looks welcoming enough, right? (Ha! Run while you still can!)

Looks welcoming enough, right? (Ha! Run while you still can!)

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Holy guacamole!

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of Comically Quirky!

Let me tell ya, releasing that very first post was both exhilarating and nauseating.

And terrifying.

Yeah, definitely terrifying.

Would anybody actually read it?

Would they like it?

Or worse… Would people really read it?

And judge me? Or hate me?

Oh, the horror!

I’d never been so terrified in my  life.

And yet…

It was a huge step forward.

My bff Muriel deserves a shout out here for her role in all this. With her persistent encouragement and a gentle nudge forward, I proceeded with this venture.

Sure, it took me a while to actually take the leap…But I finally did it!

Muriel urged me to quit complaining about cows and cornfields and do something more productive.

And so I began writing about my humorous experiences as a transplant to No Man’s Land.

No Man’s Land deserves a bit of gratitude for creating a period of unsettling change that brought with it a plethora of insanely offbeat experiences, which clearly continue to inspire this blog.

Huge thanks to my Facebook buddies, who were among the very first to know about this venture and read my blog. They have been and still are the most amazing supporters. (Yeah, you guys know who you are. And just know that I love you all for it!) Thanks for having faith in me and being my support.

Speaking of support…my mom, husband, and even my boys have all been amazing support and encouragement for my writing. I am honored to have such wonderful people in my life.

And…a special shout out to Evil Squirrel, who was one of my very first followers. Well, outside of immediate family and coworkers who had faced the threat of either reading my blog or being disowned.

So yeah, someone who had actually chosen to read my blog with his own free will- that’s huge. Here’s to unicorns, my friend!

Writing has always been my strength and my passion, and I plan to continue to use my naturally warped and twisted tendencies to brighten the day for others through humor.

Please be sure to check out The Journey to No Man’s Land, my very first post that kicked off all this insanity.

~Thanks to all my followers and fellow bloggers, family and friends. You guys rock!~

What better way to celebrate Comically Quirky's anniversary than with Ren and Stimpy's Happy Happy Joy Joy song!

What better way to celebrate Comically Quirky’s anniversary than with Ren and Stimpy’s Happy Happy Joy Joy song!