Candid Karina

{December 31, 2010}   Now It’s Time To Say Goodbye…

And here we are…we find ourselves at a cross roads…that moment between years…the last day of 2010. The end of a year, the end of a decade…a time to take stock, count blessings, reflect on what has happened and what we have learned. A time to say goodbye and wax nostalgic…

A time to look ahead, to make plans, establish goals, set dreams. A fresh start, the beginning of a whole new year, a whole new decade, a whole new opportunity to take life, once again, by the hand and lead it where we want it to go…

In reality, it’s just another night, just another day…
But we humans are a sentimental bunch, aren’t we? So, for us…it is all that and so much more…so full of the chance to try again, do right the wrongs, and to push harder with those things we’re proud of.

So, as we leave 2010 behind (a year, that I must admit has been so very good to me), and enter 2011 (a year, that I hope and pray will only bring me more of what I already have)…let’s count our blessings, and have fun, and be safe.

{November 24, 2010}   Let’s Not Get Stabby

There’s something you should know about me.

I’m a HUGE Buffy The Vampire Slayer fan. HUGE.

When the show was on the air, in the ages before Tivo and Dvrs, anyone who knew me, knew you didn’t call my house on Tuesday nights between 8 and 9 pm. Because that was Buffy time. And you didn’t interrupt my Buffy time.

I have watched every single episode of the show, and even stuck with the spinoff Angel to its bitter (and I do mean bitter) end.

I will be the first person to recognize a Buffy quote or a Buffy alum in another television show or movie (did you all catch Xander’s turn on Private Practice recently? WHOA, not such a cuddle-monkey in that!).

I still hold, to this day, the opinion that BTVS was one of the most witty, well written, campy television shows of all time.

And also, all this new Vampire craze? Has made me more than once wish Buffy would come out of retirement with her Mr. Pointy already.

But, we should be careful what we wish for. Because the latest news to hit the interwebs on the vampire front is that Warner Bros. are in fact going to produce a Buffy movie reboot. And really, with the surge of vampire popularity, this was to be expected, no?

However, this movie reboot does not include series creator Joss Whedon (WHAT? Sacrilige!) or any of the shows actors, writers, producers, costume designers…okay, maybe I’m getting carried away.

The point is, this “reboot” won’t have any of the original Buffyverse inhabitants in it.

And a Buffyverse without Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Buffy? Is simply not a Buffyverse at all.

Before anyone goes all “Well SMG wasn’t the original Buffy anyway”, yes, I realize Kristy Swanson originated the role in the movie with (gasp) Luke Perry by her side…

Kristy Swanson as Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

but, SMG carried (beautifully) the stake for 8 great seasons and I’m just not sure I can see anyone else in that role.

And who could ever replace Nicholas Brendon as the loveable and bumbly Xander? Or Allison Hannigan as geeky yet powerful witchy Willow? Rupert Giles? Angel? Cordelia? And PLEASE tell me they’re not going to try and replace James Marster’s Spike, because that CANNOT be done.

And yet…and yet…as much as I believe it is just WRONG to take the Buffy out of the Buffyverse…I can’t help but wish for a well done, well casted, well written movie. Because as a true Buffy fan, a poorly written, poorly acted movie would be a stain on an empire that deserves better.

SO I find myself torn, wanting to banish this so called movie from it’s existence before it even gets made, or wanting to cheer on those involved to make it the best Buffy movie ever…because NOBODY wants a “Grease 2” on their hands here…

{November 10, 2010}   Raw

I’ve been doing a whole lot of inner soul searching lately.

I’m going through something of a transformation if you will. Digging deep, opening up doors that have been locked for many many years. Stripping off the layers of self-preservation, removing the masks, stepping out from behind the walls I’ve built up.

Like a snake shedding its skin, this is a necessary step for growth. But in the meantime, I’m left raw, naked, vulnerable, and hurting.

There are emotions I haven’t allowed myself to feel for a very long time. Some, perhaps, never at all.

I catch myself having moments of despair. Panic attacks. I am alone, I am scared, I am unsure and lost.

And then it passes, and I see the beauty of the situation. In allowing myself to open up, I begin to see all the promise of tomorrow. God has a plan for me, and for so very long I’ve fought him on it, keeping myself closed off and refusing to participate in this life he’s given me.

But now, in the midst of the pain, the struggle, the heartache, I see possibility, renewal, life.

I’m quite certain the tears are not done being shed, my heart will ache still, and I will have days when crawling back into the cocoon will feel like such a better alternative.

But I want to be a butterfly…I’ve got to bravely face the world, vulnerability and all…it’s the only way to fly.

{October 4, 2010}   So Many Questions…

Driving past a funeral home today, i saw they have this fancy electronic LED sign with a scrolling message.

So many questions from that observation alone…what? A funeral home? Why? Really? Huh?

But wait there’s more.

What caught my attention was not the sign, not even the message on the sign…which again, was mind boggling on its own:

“Flexable people don’t get bent out of shape”

What? On a funeral home’s sign? Really? But why?

But what caught my eye, as i’m sure it’s already caught yours as well, was the flagrant, big as day, in bright shining LED billboard letters, spelling mistake.


Not flexible.


I don’t watch commercials on television very often anymore, not since I got my Tivo box years ago. But now and again, I will. Usually, when I am in the middle of doing something else, often times in another room, so I mostly “hear” the commercial a handful of times before I actually see it.

I’ve “heard” the following commercial quite a few times in the last couple of weeks, and every time, I thought “well, that just doesn’t sound right to me”.

Today, for the first time, I actually saw the ad. What ad? This ad:

Nope, that just doesn’t seem quite right, does it? What message is being put out there? That it’s okay for a mom to “borrow” her daughter’s shirt without telling her, lie to her when she asks you about it, go behind her back to continue hiding the fact that you wore it, and then act like it’s HER FAULT she couldn’t find the shirt in the first place?

I’m not a mom, but somehow, I don’t think this is the lesson I want to teach MY KIDS whenever/if ever I do have them.

Not to mention the mom’s “you know that’s not my style” comment. Meaning what? That mom has this whole other personality, out with her friends, partying, drinking, in leather pants, that she hides from her daughter (and perhaps the rest of her family) as she sits at home in a grandma sweater with no make-up on?

Saying that what? A woman can’t be both a good mom, and have fun with her friends, wear makeup and look good?

I don’t know…I suppose whoever came up with this concept was going for some sort of sitcom humor, but…sitcom humor doesn’t work in 30 second spots, and it sure as hell doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that would inspire me to buy a product…

Parental Discretion Advised, there is some (not a lot, I promise) strong language in this post.

So, I’m a bit of a celebrity nut. It’s not a big secret, I’ll admit it openly that I am certainly fascinated by celebrity and pop culture. It is a world I would NOT EVER want to be a part of, but thoroughly enjoy reading and hearing about.

In short, it entertains me, and I’m all about being entertained.

That being said, because I love to learn about the personalities behind the actors, musician and others in the industry, there have certainly been times when a celebrity’s behavior has completely turned me off their work (ahem, Kanye West anyone?)

There have also been times, especially now in the age of Twitter, when the personality of someone has actually turned me onto their work.

One such celebrity is John Mayer.

I’ve always liked every John Mayer song I’ve heard on the radio, but I had bought into the media casting him as “a cad and a douchebag” (the media’s words, not mine).

So, I’d always been a little bit turned off his music.

And then, I saw one of his tweets retweeted by someone else, and it absolutely cracked me up so I started following him. What I learned then is that he is witty, sarcastic, self-deprecating, and not at all the way the media portrays him.

The thing is, he very much has a sense of humor that reminds me of my ex, Cognac (click here if you’re curious about that particular bit of my history, but not until you finish this post, ok?)

See, Cognac had a lethally sarcastic sense of humor. He had a way of saying things that were biting, and hilarious, but went over most people’s heads. If taken at face value, out of context, or at all seriously, he came across as a bit of an a$$hole. I have vivid memories of smacking him in the arm and saying “shut up, they’ll take you seriously” oh, so many times.

John Mayer strikes me that way.

So, today, when the world was all a-twitter about his supposedly racist remarks, and his incendiary comments about Jessica Simpson, I was intrigued, and a little amused. I tweeted something to the effect of: ” I believe John Mayer is laughing it up that everyone is taking him so seriously”.

But like everyone else, I hadn’t yet read the full Playboy interview which sparked all the controversy, so I was reserving full judgment until I did.

Well, I just did. And if you have not, I hope you will. Here’s a link, but keep in mind, this is an interview for Playboy magazine, so the language, and subject matter is not rated G: John Mayer Interview.

Here’s what I have to say: First of all, people really LOVE to get all worked up about every little thing, don’t they?

Secondly, yes, John Mayer made a huge mistake using the N word in that interview. By no means do I believe him to be racist or that his remarks were racist, but that word? I don’t believe it should ever be uttered. By anyone. At any time. White or black.

John addressed his decision to use that word in his twitter stream today: Re: using the ‘N word’ in an interview: I am sorry that I used the word. And it’s such a shame that I did because the point I was trying to make was in the exact opposite spirit of the word itself. It was arrogant of me to think I could intellectualize using it,because I realize that there’s no intellectualizing a word that is so emotionally charged.

Regarding his comments about dating black women and his racist genitals…that was just an idiotic comment but again, not racist…if you really dissect it and look at it, the complete opposite of that.

And then there are the comments he made about Jessica Simpson. He said she was “crack cocaine” to him, and that she was sexual napalm. Okay, so perhaps (not perhaps, definitely) it was inappropriate for him to talk about their private sexual life in an interview (even if it was a playboy interview), but you know what? I don’t know that I’d be offended if someone said I was sexual napalm, and as addictive as crack cocaine…offended that he was publicly laying out there, yes, but…come on, he just said the intellectual equivalent of “that girl is the bomb”.

Read the rest of the interview, which is LENGTHY and you’ll see he addresses his insecurities, his “douchebaggery”, his immaturity, his love for Jen Aniston, and so many other things.

Taken out of context, yes, those comments can be seen as ignorant, rude, inappropriate, and all kinds of incendiary. But in the content of the full article, he made some dumb statements, he spoke out of turn about some of his sexual conquests, but man, did the media pick apart an interview and ignore 90% of it to focus on just a few words.

It’s been said that John Mayer is the most hated celebrity in Hollywood. I’m not sure how true that is, but he is certainly the one everyone loves to hate.

I’m not entirely sure why this particular issue spoke to me so much, and why I felt I had to defend John Mayer. He certainly doesn’t need my stepping up to protect him. I’m a fan of his music, I think he’s super talented, but he’s not even one of my celebrity crushes. I am not one of those girls who goes gaga over celebrities (Donnie Wahlberg excluded, of course).

But I am also not a fan of witch hunts. And I hate ignorance. And I despise when folks all jump on the lets hate someone bandwagon without knowing all the facts.

I don’t know John Mayer personally. I have no idea if deep down he is a good guy, or a complete a$$hole.

But I read the interview. And I don’t think he deserved the beat down he got for it.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know, I’d love to hear your thoughts, and am certainly willing to consider your viewpoint.

{January 28, 2010}   Not Always Bliss

Warning, I am about to step on my soap box…

The other morning, as I was perusing the FaceBook Statuses of my “friends” I came across this status:

shame on you America: the only country where they have homeless without shelter, children going to bed without eating, elderly going without needed meds, and mentally ill without treatment – yet they have a benefit for the people of Haiti on 12 TV stations,and I have to get asked to donate $ every where I go but yet wecan’t keep our own country right!! 99% of people won’t have balls to copy and report this!

I can’t even begin to tell you how much this particular post annoyed, angered and offended me.

I’m not close enough with this particular “friend” to engage in an all out “you are ignorant because” discussion on facebook, so I let it pass. And yet, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. Later that day I went back to visit this particular individual’s page, so i could copy his status message for this post, and I happened to read some of the comments to his post. I was even more astounded and angered by the ignorance, and outright ugliness of some of his commenters.

It is amazing to me that in light of such a tragedy, with over 100,000 people having lost their lives, people can be so callous, so insensitive, so selfish.

Let me make something clear, I am WELL aware of how messed up our country is. I realize we are in the middle of an economic crisis the likes of which this country has not seen in an extremely long time (if ever). I realize there are thousands upon thousands of Americans without jobs, without health care, and even, yes, without homes.

I realize that something has to be done.

Don’t think that when I heard that the Hope For Haiti Telethon raised over $60 million dollars, I thought “wow, imagine if we could pool our resources to raise that kind of money for this country, for our economy”. Because, really, how amazing would that be?

But never, not for a minute, did I think that it was WRONG for us to be raising money for another nation. For a nation so much more in need. So much more in pain.

Let’s be honest, yes, there is poverty in this country, and I know there are areas in this country where the poverty is far beyond anything I can begin to imagine in my “world”. That being said, even in the worst areas, we have an infrastructure, we have programs, we have aid. I realize people slip through the cracks, I realize that much more needs to be done, but we have HOPE.

WE DO help our own country. I don’t know about you, and I certainly don’t know about the individuals posting on that particular facebook status, but I donate to charity, to American charities, whenever I can. I give goods, food, clothing, jackets, and money, whenever the need arises, whenever I get an urge to do something for someone else.

And there are so many wonderful organizations and programs you can join to help out. So many charities out there, reaching out to those less fortunate in this country.

Even in our toughest economic times, we are a rich nation, rich in generosity, rich in resources, rich in opportunity.

Haiti, on the other hand, is not. Even in their best times, outside such a tragedy, they are a nation with less. Less infrastructure, less opportunities, less hope.

So, we step up. WE, the INDIVIDUALS, reach into our purses, our pockets, and we give. Of our OWN MONEY. Of our OWN FREE WILL. We give.

And what could possibly be so wrong in that?

This particular individual who posted that status message calls himself a Christian. As a Christian myself, I find that laughable. As Christians, how can we speak against anyone willing to help fellow humans? Regardless of what nation they live in?

There is a difference between wanting to help your own nation, and criticizing it for helping others in the midst of unspeakable tragedy.

I wonder myself how much this individual, and those who commented with such ignorance to his post, have donated to ANY charity in the last month? Year? Lifetime? I wonder how much they have done besides bitch about the state of our economy?

I wonder, but I won’t lose any sleep over it…Because I know the rest of us are doing enough to cover the rest of them.

Ignorance…not always bliss, is it?

{July 21, 2009}   Thank You

Picture This

The scene opens on a woman, early 30’s, fit, dressed comfortably, but fashionably in a long t-shirt, hoodie and tights. Hair in a careful constructed, yet messy bun, and comfortable ballet flats on her feet.

She takes one last look around her condo. Not a flashy apartment, but a stylish yet homey place. She smiles to herself as she turns off the last light and grabs her suitcase, purse, and sunglasses.

She is off once again on an adventure, headed to the airport, for her third vacation in less than 7 months.

To herself she is thinking “Damn, I am blessed, I lead a charmed life…please God, don’t ever let me take any of this for granted”.

In that moment, she quickly assesses her life. She is single, but extremely comfortable, and at peace with that fact. She has the greatest family, and without questions some of the best friends anyone could ever ask for. A good job, her own home, a new car, and other less necessary, but still highly enjoyable material possessions. She travels frequently, enjoys an active social life, and also has the opportunity to spend quality time with herself, all alone, on her comfy couch in front of the television. She has grown in her relationship with God by leaps and bounds recently, and is also a leader with the youth of her parish, a position that gives her much joy and pride.

Blessed does not even begin to cover it. Charmed seems too…superficial to truly explain it.
But life is good, no doubt, and as she sets off on this next trip, she can’t help thanking God once again for her many blessings, and praying that she always notices each and every one of them.

Life isn’t always sunny, and there are internal struggles, and stresses, and off days. She has moments of great despair, fear, and even confusion. At times, there is even great loneliness that overtakes and envelops her.

The future is uncertain for everyone, and even she, with all her blessings, wonders what lies in store. Will she fall in love ever again? Will she ever have a family like the one she is heading out to visit with? Will she grow old without a partner by her side? Will she grow old? Will some great tragedy strike and knock her on her knees? Can life possibly be this wondrous, this amazing and sustain itself?

Often times those thoughts can knock her breathless. Take away all strength and reason.

She pauses for a moment as all of this washes through her. The good and the bad. This eternal, internal battle we each face daily. To appreciate the blessings and fear the unknown. To embrace life, and yet, be prepared for it’s curveballs.

She adjusts her purse on her shoulder and smiles once again. THIS MOMENT…the only one she can, should and will concern herself with, is beautiful. The unknown will just have to wait it’s turn.

For now, life is beautiful, it’s a blessing, and she…she is grateful.

She? She is me. Thank you God.

{July 20, 2009}   Coming Home

I love traveling. I love the anticipation before a big trip, the packing (well, okay, maybe I don’t love the packing so much), the planning. I love getting to the airport, boarding the plane, buckling my seat belt and preparing for take-off. I love settling in for a long (or short) flight, digging into my book or magazine, turning on my mp3 player and enjoying some time away from, and high above, the “real world”. I don’t so much love the landing part, but that more to do with my ear problems and the altitude changes.

I love arriving at a new place, exploring the sights, seeing loved ones or friends. I love taking pictures, learning new things, being a guest in a place different, yet the same from home. Because although I may be on vacation, here, in this place I visit, everyone else is going about their business, work, school, errands, “life”. And as a guest in their world, you get to glimpse a bit of that life, and realize that although different, we are all so much the same.

I love traveling.

As much as I love traveling, boy do I love coming home.

No one wants a vacation to end. The end of vacation means a return to “the grind”, to work, to duties, responsibility, schedules, deadlines, to do lists. And yet, even though we mourn the end of our time away, there is a certain pleasure to knowing that soon we will be home. Back in our comfort zone, our safe haven. There is something to be said for routine, is there not?

We spend much of our time complaining about our busy schedules, our running around, our hectic lives, and yet…this is life, isn’t it? And perhaps only when we take a break from it, when we step away on a short vacation, a small trip, do we realize how much our routine, our “life” is such a vital part of who we are.

I don’t think words can do justice to the feeling, but anyone who has traveled away from home for any extended period of time can probably relate. You know the feeling, don’t you? When you put your key in your front door, walk through and drop your bags. You walk through the house, turning on lights, opening the drapes, checking phone messages, maybe feeding the pets, yes…you’ve arrived back home.

Soon enough the whirlwind of daily life will take over, but for that one moment, there is comfort there. You are home.

Nowhere like it in the world, is there?

And just like coming home, after a short unplanned absence from blogging, due mostly to a busy schedule and hectic life, I am back. Feels good.

As accountability April comes to a close, I face facts.

The fact is I love to write, I’m always going to be a writer, throughout each and every single day, there are several events, moments, people and places that inspire me and I rush to write it all down. I will always write.

The fact is, however, that try as I might, this is probably just not the right time in my life to attempt to focus my energies on becoming a “published” writer. I work a full time job, I have an active social life, I am deeply involved with the youth of my parish and with community activity. I run my own household and am in the midst of a major purge/decluttering project. I am turning into a bit of a fitness nut, dedicating more time than I ever have before to both exercise and eating healthy. I am scatterbrained, unfocused, and have about a billion other interests which distract and intrigue me on a daily basis.

The fact is my NaNo Novel, which was the driving force behind Accountability April, sits nestled quite comfortably among other unfinished writing projects on my hard drive, with only a few thousand extra words from where it began the month. Comfortably enough that I don’t feel the desire to rouse it just yet. I visit now and again, write a few more words, but then leave it be. Resting, gaining strength for when it truly is it’s time to shine. It is not now.

The fact is I am at peace with these facts. Because although some might see it as not working hard enough toward my dreams, I see it as something else entirely. Yes, being a published author is, and always has been, a dream. And a dream that I know with enough time, attention, and dedication, is quite possible for me. But living this life I live? That is another dream all together. I said it before, just the other day, I live a charmed life, I am blessed, and I take NOTHING for granted. Therefore, the little moments, the little distractions, they are not hindering my dream, they are just a larger part of it.

The fact is that when it comes to my goals, my aspirations, I’m a bit ADD. I have always been this way, I want so many things. To do so much, to be so many different people, that I realize I will never be able to accomplish all things. It is just not possible for one person to do all I have dreams of doing. Not while working a full time job and dedicating my time to the youth and trying to have social life and…but wait…those too are things I NEED to do to feel fulfilled. See my dilemma?

The fact is, in all honesty, I’ve realized that for me, it is not ever going to be about the “end result”, it is always going to be about the journey. And this journey I’m on? Oh what a ride!

So, as Accountability April comes to a close, and I realize the NaNo Novel will sit, unfinished for now. And my home office remains a bit of a disaster area as I continue on my decluttering project, and I’m not quite THERE with any of the projects I set out to accomplish this month, I face facts.

The fact is I did not fail this month. I took accountability for my actions, and I did what I could, and in the process, I discovered other goals, other roads I needed to take on my journey. And in doing so, I live my life as only I can. All over the place, all the time, and loving every minute of it.

How did you do this month?

et cetera