TheRealSharon's Blog











Refreshing….I believe this word is pretty much self explanatory. Here are 2 photos that I chose for this week.

Enjoy!

A Big Gulp of Mountain Dew from my fav. convenience store...7/11...inconveniently located hours from me 😦

A waterfall outside Ripley's Gift Shop in San Antonio, TX.

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{June 29, 2011}   WWW Wednesday

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading? “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury….a classic that I have NEVER read before and the premise is SO intriguing. And I really love the idea that a book about banning and burning books was once banned. Were people really THAT afraid of children learning to think for themselves?

What did you recently finish reading? “Every time I go home, I break out into relatives” and “Married beyond recognition”, both by Sylvia Harney…a 2 books in 1 book. I got this book from the library’s annual sale because of the funny titles. They were written in the late 80’s so some of the differences in the times were kind of comedic but I enjoyed them. I think the main points of the books were ones that were lasting.

What do you think you’ll read next? probably “Valley of the Dolls” by Jacqueline Susanne(not sure if I spelled that right). One of my friends mentioned how it was one of her favorite books and girls used to carry it around hidden by paper bags because of the content when it first came out. Well…that idea just made me want to see what this was about! For some reason, if a book is banned or controversial, it kind of makes me want to check it out all the more. It’s just this feeling of “What are they worried about me reading?”

(Speaking of old classics, I checked out 2 other ones, one which was banned in the past and the other, I believe, was controversial. Both I have never read. “The Catcher in the Rye” and “Slaughterhouse Five”….then I got 2 other books which aren’t classics that you will see mentioned in later WWW Wednesday’s!…I’m in a library checking out frenzy!)

Speaking of BANNED books, what are YOUR opinions? Does the word BANNED make you curious as well? Do you have any previously banned books that you love that you would like to share with me? Any you would like to recommend? I would love to hear! 

Have a great reading day! 🙂




{June 28, 2011}   It’s a Public Misconception

Writing papers for a presentation was never THAT hard for me. I’ve always loved English and been very good at it. When the topic was something that didn’t interest me, it made it a little more difficult, of course. But I would research like a good girl should and put it together. The writing was never a problem, the presenting was.

No matter how great my paper sounded, when it came to reading it in front the class, I just wanted to go crawl somewhere and hide. In fact, if I could just face the chalkboard and speak, it would be easier. With all eyes on me as I read something I created, I always imagined they were judging me. Not just judging my words and if they agreed with them or not, but also judging ME. What were they thinking as their eyes bore upon me? Were they judging my hair or my clothes? My mind would wander as I read on every conceivable ill thing they could be thinking of me. BUT reading off the paper was easier than when I had to do a memorized presentation.

THEN I had no paper to look down on to take away their eyeballs from me. I was forced to look into the audience and speak to them as if they were all friends almost. And heaven forbid, the persuasive speeches where your grade depended on making people take YOUR side. I hated speech class, both in school AND in college.

In school, people seemed to understand my fear and I obviously wasn’t the only one with it. Many people have a fear of public speaking and everyone KNEW I was shy to begin with. I mean, I wasn’t shy at home with close friends and family, but in public, I WAS. School was a place I didn’t feel like I fit in due to harsh words thrown my way so I just tended to cower and keep to myself as much as possible.

College was a different story. After getting into Theater, I found a niche and became more comfortable with myself. I started engaging others in conversation without them being the starters of it and speaking up more. BUT giving speeches still scared me to death. Which is when I learned a huge misconception people have. I was always asked how I could be so afraid of giving a speech when I could get on stage and sing, dance, and act with no problem?

Well, in my opinion, I have never understood how people could think public speaking should be EASY for an actor.

When I did plays or performances, I had lines laid out for me already to memorize. The lines were already written by great playwrights and not myself. They all required me to play someone that was not ME but another character all together. I guess for people that don’t act, it might be hard to decipher between performing as a character and speaking as yourself. BUT there really IS a difference.

It’s like you’re putting on a mask…and sometimes, you literally are wearing one. Other times, the mask is invisible to your eyes but it’s still there. I never had the fear that people were judging ME during a play, because when I’m on the stage, it’s not me, it’s my character. I am pretending or “hiding” behind a different persona. I am NOT showing myself to the audience but whatever the play calls for me to be.

When doing a speech, I must write my OWN lines that have never been heard before. Whether they are great lines or not has not been deduced by anyone other than myself. I must then memorize my own words and recite them in front of a classroom where I can’t pretend to be a character. I am literally being judged and graded for being myself. It’s hard to be judged for WHO you are. Even though, daily, we each are judged by others for our words, our actions, the way we live, it’s another thing to know you’re being graded for this. Especially when you’re an actor/actress and a teacher may have the misguided assumption that you should be better than what you are because you get up in front of audiences all the time. If I was told in the middle of a play, I had to give a speech that I wrote, I would have freaked out. If I was told, I could write the speech as a character and play THAT character while doing the speech, it would have been manageable, though. Obviously, speech class…you can’t really do that.

This is not to say ALL actors are scared of it, I’m sure some are just fine with it. In fact, many actors do shows and movies, etc. where they play themselves. Which you would think would be the easiest job ever, right? WRONG.

The hardest acting for an actor/actress is playing themselves because it entails being completely 100% vulnerable. You can’t hide if you’re showing people everything about you.

In the last acting class I did, we had to do a short monologue. ANY monologue we wanted. I searched all over and couldn’t seem to find one I liked enough until I found one that resonated with me so much because it sounded like ME. I just knew I could play the character because I could relate. It’s easier to bring up the emotion if you can relate. But then as I practiced it, I realized this was also going to be the hardest acting I had ever attempted because I was going to be left vulnerable. The words of the character were words that I felt.

*I tried to find the monologue online again, but I couldn’t….or I would have put it here*

It was basically a monologue where the girl is talking about how she is more than her “fat”, more than her weight and being judged for it, etc. It truly sounded like I had just ripped a piece of my diary out and was doing it for a monologue. Which I actually could have and called it an “original monologue”. But at the same time, Can you imagine reading a page of your most private sorrow in front of class? I was exposing true feelings that I had always felt but had always been afraid to tell people.

I did THAT monologue and it was tough for me because I felt like I was just speaking to a class about my own personal feelings. I also got the best praise ever in my acting classes for it, too, because of the vulnerability and I was told that kind of monologue is the hardest to do.

Afterwards, I was proud of myself for being that vulnerable. To have done what I had done before and played a character would have been the easy way out for me. Instead, I basically confronted a “public speaking” fear by doing a character who was just like me. By doing so, I faced a huge fear and I conquered it.



{June 27, 2011}   Poetry Hour

I got a really good response the last time I did a last minute poem, so I decided to give it another go…not promising anything great, but maybe it will be at least decent.

Speechless

I can’t seem to get the words out

Of my fingers and onto the page

They’re stuck inside, confined

To a dungeon I didn’t create.

It’s musty and dirty,

my thoughts become water logged

drowning in an ocean

of sweat and tears.

I reach down deep into the puddles

saving what I can

here, there and everywhere,

but the final stanza seems beyond my grasp.

On one side’s my past

All soggy and fading

On the other side’s my future

Dry but yet unreadable

As I grab the pieces of my present

To try to make it come out right,

I see the future pages

filling in, but just out of my sight.

The pages I pick up slip one,

then two, three and four out of my hand

Into the past pages

Sinking lower and lower.

It’s then I realize it’s pointless to bother

It’s either fading or hasn’t been written

The in between slides quickly

Into the former.

Where do I find my words then

While they’re slipping away?

I guess I must write them as they happen

before they’re taken away.

I know that was kind of rough…but I hope you liked it a little. Let me know what you think! (The words were flowing as easy as I feel they should, so I ended this 15 minutes in…maybe I will feel more inspired at a later date)



Rebellious-defying or resisting some established authority, government,                        or tradition; insubordinate; inclined to rebel.

In this case, I am the authority figure and the computer is the one defying AND resisting me. Just like a teenager rebelling against their parents or other authority. But the dictionary also tells me when referring to “things” rebellious means resisting treatment. Well, that just makes my computer sound like I sent it to rehab and it’s refusing to go off drugs. At times, THIS definition also may fit, though. If the treatment is running virus scans, uninstalling and reinstalling software, defragmenting the computer, rebooting it,etc. then this fits.

My computer was being very rebellious yesterday, according to both definitions of the word and most like, a parent with an unruly teenager, I was very nearly considering sending my “bad” computer off to military school…or to someone wiser who could make it mend its evil ways.

When I see the synonyms of the word “rebellious”, my previous discussions about my computer having a conspiracy against me come back with a vengeance. Words like defiant, insubordinate,insurgent and mutinous appear and for some reason visions of ninjas and pirates attacking emerge in my mind. Now my annoyance at my computer has elevated to fear. Is my computer planning a mutiny????

Surely not, right? It’s just a machine..how could it want to harm me physically? Other than giving me a major headache.

So I research online as much as possible all the ways to fix my problems and just as I am beginning to wave the white flag, a bit of simple advice read from my screen is put into place and voila! Mutiny over and my rebellious teenager,  computer is now back to normal. At least for now….

My computer doesn’t fool me for one moment though! I know underneath this calm facade is a mutinous machine just waiting to rise up and overtake me!

So maybe I’ve been reading too many books or perhaps, more likely, watching too much Xena reruns, eh?

For now, I will enjoy this moment with my computer acting mature and stable and relish it because tomorrow, the rebellion could return. ~sighs~

(Note to my blog followers: My last post titled “Lost and Found and Belated Awards” had the comments turned off for some reason unknown to me. I have turned them back on now. Sorry if you had tried to leave any comments on it, you are able to do so now if you like!)



Have you ever noticed little traits in you that remind you of your mom and wonder how could you have inherited that? Have you ever said something and immediately thought, “Gosh, I sound just like my mother!”

Well, I have. It seems it happens more often now that I’m married and judging by other’s experiences, I’m guessing that after becoming a parent one of these days, I will sound even MORE like her.

My husband is notorious for laying something down somewhere and forgetting where he sat it and then it can be right in front of his face yet he will miss it. This is why every time he says he has looked everywhere for an item, I will automatically know this is the furthest thing from the truth. Glancing down at an area or barely moving things around does not justify having fully looked for something and I will be the first to tell him so. I will then be forced to have to help out in finding this lost item and a vast majority of the time I will find it in a place he looked. As in…99% of the time. When he reads this, I am sure he will disagree with me but I know the truth.

I remember as a kid my mom would say the same things to me and inevitably find something in a place I swore I looked thoroughly through. Even to this day, I will swear up, down, right and left that I DID fully search certain areas that she would later look through and find what I could not find there. It was like she had the magic touch or something. She would find my item and then say some witty repartee such as, “If it was a snake, it would have bit you.” Well, I always wanted to reply back, “If it WAS a snake, I would have found it BUT then again if it WAS a snake, I would not be looking for it.”  Instead I decided not to be smart about it and just reply that I DID look.

Now, I feel as if I sound like my mom when I talk to my husband about losing items. But I swear that he doesn’t look as hard as I DID….I mean it!

I mean, how could he have? Some of the things I locate for him are just simply too easy to find to have possibly missed. Yet he somehow defies the laws of nature. A couple days ago, as he was napping, he awoke and found he had lost his wedding ring. This would be the second time he has lost that thing even though it stays on his finger 100% of the time. I am really considering getting that thing tightened even though he says it fits just right. Well, the first time, he actually DID find it…wonder of wonders and defying the odds!

This past time, he couldn’t and decided he would look later as he wanted to sleep. I was typing away on the computer at the time and figured I would try to find it myself later. I didn’t even have to look, though, because I was tired that night and decided when I woke up, we would play search and find the wedding ring. BUT as I picked up my side of the blanket and threw it over me, I felt something under my leg. It was cold and metallic feeling and I automatically knew, before reaching to pick it up, what it was. I picked it up and exclaimed to my husband, “I found him!”

My husband, half asleep, was like, “Who? “Who did you find?” I replied, “I found him! I found Mr. Wedding Ring!” (Don’t make fun of me…..I like to say silly things sometimes). My husband thought my referring to the ring as a man was cute anyways. After telling him the location of the ring(which by the way, I TOLD him to look in the blankets!), he went back to sleep and I laid my head down for the night with a smile on my face because I had triumphed in finding the missing ring.

A little over a week ago, I was given 3 awards by Elizabeth of Mirth and Motivation. I want to say Thanks once again for these awards and now I want to pass them on.

*If you have already received any or all of these awards recently, you can choose to not pass them on again.*

  1. Memoirs of a Madonna  -I recently found her blog when she commented on mine. She has been blogging for MUCH longer on WordPress than I have(since 2008, I believe) and her posts are always interesting and often entertaining to read
  2. Should be Reading– Of course this blog’s title pulls me in because I love reading and believe we all “should be reading” but besides that, THIS is also the creator of the WWW Wednesday’s I have been doing recently as well as other reading challenges she hosts and participates in on her blog. If you enjoy book blogs, this is a good one!
  3. Ahhsome– The title says it all. Currently she is on vacation for awhile, but I can’t wait for her posts when she returns!
  4. Surviving Illness with Joy– WOW! This woman is such an inspiration. She has been through so much and is just overflowing with joy amidst it all. Her blog really puts things in perspective for me each time I read it!
  5. Communicating across boundaries– I accidentally stumbled across this blog one day and her post on that day inspired me to do a post on freedom and allowing others their own opinions even though it may differ from yours. She originates from a world totally different from mine but reading her posts shows just how much in common you can still have even when you grew up in another place.
  6. I shall be a toad– While researching for a post I did against tanning, I found a post on a site that was done by this woman. I wholeheartedly agreed with it and commented that way. Then I started reading her WordPress blog and I am a huge fan. Dayle is an amazing writer and mother who may have a different religious background than me but it’s amazing how much we agree on.
  7. Keep or pitch?– A woman wanting to declutter her life by asking opinions from others about the items in her house. I’ve seen some pretty cool things on this blog and it’s always a refreshing change to just go here, see what item she is asking to “keep or pitch” and throw in your opinion.
  8. Smile, kiddo– A pessimist may hate this blog but it’s an optimist’s dream…and for someone, like me,who wants to be more optimistic, it is a God-send. I love her blog, not only is she the one who led me to the Keep or Pitch? blog, but she also has a way of turning every negative into a positive and always leaving you with a smile!
  9. Morning Erection-I have mentioned this guy before but those that missed me mentioning him..you should really check him out! Don’t be afraid of the name, it’s more of an attention grabber than anything. This is also a reminder for him to come back to blogging more often! He is missed!
  10. Perfecting Motherhood-Last time I gave out an award(which was also the first time), I gave her one for her other site. This time I’m giving all 3 of these awards to this blog. I’m not a mom yet so sometimes I can’t fully relate(OK, more like MOST of the time), but I still like reading this blog and I most definitely recommend to mommies! And if you have never checked out her bl0g about cows, do that too!
  11. Shyness Project-A recent high school graduate(Congratulations again, Brittany!), she has spent 2011 so far facing her “shyness” head on and confronting it. She has come such a long way and realized that she isn’t shy so much as labeled it by others because of her at times, quiet demeanor. I love reading about her new discoveries and am so proud of her!

I came up with more than I thought I would! If I left out anyone, I am so sorry. Every blog I follow is special to me and deserves many awards!

These are the 3 awards, by the way!

 



It’s that time again!

The time where I answer five completely random questions and you can choose to do the same either through answering in the comments or on your own blog!

I can’t believe June is almost over, time sure does fly!

This 5 Question Friday was brought to you by:

On to the questions!

1. What is your current favorite tv show? I’m never any good at narrowing favorites down to just ONE thing but I’m just going to go with my favorite at the moment(meaning the first one that comes to mind)-So you think you can dance?
I just LOVE this show! I love seeing all the different styles of dance, the great group numbers and duets, the special guest dancers, the cool costumes…it’s just an awesome show!
2. What’s the worst haircut you ever got? When I was a little kid, I had long hair(as in past my butt) and I loved it BUT I wasn’t too keen on the daily brushing and maintenance of it. Because I had naturally curly hair, my hair has always tangled so easily and it got to be a major pain on my mom and Nanny when they would have to brush all the tangles out. Then, I started getting migraines around the age of 6 and my mom thought the weight of my hair could have some reasoning behind it. I’ve always had really thick hair and if I don’t get it thinned every few months, I will break hair clips and ponytail holders easy!
So….I gave in to having my hair cut short and I hated it. It became very kinky curly as it was lighter and looked very much like an afro. It was a major target for people to make fun of and I just dreaded it. Eventually, I got my mom to let me grow it out and I don’t EVER plan on having it short again. It’s just NOT for me!
3. What was something that you did as a child that you thought you were so cool for doing? I don’t know…the first thing that really pops into my head is probably when I used to put on these little talent shows. It was during a time when my nieces from Indiana were living with us and I always thought that was cool. I also liked to record songs directly from the radio and then do my own little commentary and radio shows in between the songs on the cassette tapes. I still have some of those tapes and it’s interesting hearing me talk on them…and maybe a little embarrassing too.
4. Do you have any GREAT frugal family fun tips? Not really. There’s a lot of things you can do that are completely free and some that you wouldn’t expect. The internet can be a great resource for coupons and specials as well as alerting you to special events where places are half price or even free for the day. I actually printed off loads of coupons for my own honeymoon this way!
5. Would you drive across country if you had the money to fly? It depends. I’ve never driven across country and I LOVE to drive so it would be fun someday to do a cross country road trip!
BUT if you have a limited time to travel, then flying IS quicker. If you have all the time you want to get where you’re going, then yes, I pick driving. 🙂
How would YOU answer these questions? I’m really curious to see if anyone has some super secret frugal tips and I would love to hear about them! 
Have a fun weekend!


{June 23, 2011}   Weekly Photo Challenge:WORN

Worn….Lots of things come to mind when I think of this word. I think of being worn out after a hard day working or having fun, I think about a favorite pair of flip flops worn time and again until they become worn out. Worn out clothes, worn out walls and worn out pictures fading with the years. The old saying, “That’s my name, don’t wear it out” comes back to me and how I always wondered how you could actually be capable of wearing a name out. Bodies worn out from age or illness appear in my mind and minds worn out from over thinking and analyzing too much. There’s a lot that could fit in this category of “Worn”.

As I have done weekly from the beginning of this challenge, I scoured through photos to find pictures that make me think of this theme. I hope you like the ones I found!

Birthday cake is for being "worn" as well as eating

I did NOT take this photo but it gives humor to the theme of “worn” in a way that makes me smile. This was taken at my youngest great nephew’s 1st birthday party and it always makes me laugh to see it. 🙂

A costume worn once when Angel was a puppy

A "Vintage" but definitely not worn out engagement ring 🙂

If you haven’t followed my blog for very long, you may not have known that my engagement ring used to be my husband’s great grandmother’s wedding ring. Therefore, I thought a picture of it fits the “worn” theme in a unique way.

"Wearing" a mask at my bachelorette party in 2009

An old "worn" piece of the Berlin Wall(at Ripley's believe it or not in San Antonio,TX)

And last, but not least:

An old Mission in San Antonio, Texas

Even when things are old, worn out and maybe even tattered, I think there’s a certain charm about them that just sets them apart from the new. Worn doesn’t have to be a negative theme, it can be positive! 🙂



To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading? “The Unknown Terrorist” by Richard Flanagan

What did you recently finish reading? “The Girls” by Lori Lansens (excellent read!)

What do you think you’ll read next? Not sure but for now I’m going to say “Murder for Love”. It’s a book of short stories by various authors such as Mary Higgins Clark and her daughter Carol, Faye Kellerman, Joyce Carol Oates and Anne Perry to name a few. BUT I reserve the right to change my mind, so we’ll see! 🙂

And now, because reading is so much fun, here are some jokes about books and reading!

Mother: What did you learn in school today?

Son: How to write.

Mother: What did you write?

Son: I don’t know, they haven’t taught us how to read yet!

*Courtesy of ahajokes.com

Q. Why is that library book you’re trying to find always in the last place you look? A. Because once you find it, you stop looking.

Jim said, “My dog tried to eat my library book.”
“What did you do?” asked the librarian.
“I took the words right out of his mouth.”

*Do you have any silly stories or jokes about books or reading? OR do you have a favorite humorous book that you could read over and over?




{June 21, 2011}   Fire Update

For those interested, this is an update as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 21st for the Texas wildfires. The ones closest to me were called the Bearing Fire and the Powerline Fire.

The Powerline Fire within 100 miles of me is now 75% contained after hitting 3,500 acres.  The East Texas area(where I live in) has received some rain today with more chances of rain tonight and tomorrow so hopefully this will help get the fires under control.

The Bearing Fire that is within 20-25 miles of me is now 60% contained after destroying 20,222 acres. The rain has said to be a great relief in their efforts at getting it that far.

Sadly, there are much more fires all throughout Texas, New Mexico and Arizona currently. In fact, Texas Forest Service currently is responding to 22 large fires that have burned 132,750 acres. If you’re interested in any fires close to your area, visit incidiweb.org. You can find detailed information about any fires there.

Humans are said to cause almost 90% of all wildfires and with summer just now arriving in the States, the 4th of July coming soon and possibly more hot, dry weather, it’s a good idea to obey any burn bans in your area and take precautions to keep your home and property safe. Firewise.org is a great resource for information on how to do just that.

Stay safe this summer and sign the pledge at SmokeyBear.com to help stop wildfires! There’s already been over 34 million acres burned in the U.S. this year and still counting! I signed the pledge, will you?

*Message to parents: Your kids might want to check out the Smokey Kids section on the site!*



et cetera
Everything Mommyhood

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Worth the trouble

“He couldn’t see why people made such a fuss about people eating their silly old fruit anyway, but life would be a lot less fun if they didn’t. And there was never an apple, in Adam’s opinion, that wasn’t worth the trouble you got into for eating it.” ~from Good Omens

Karenwriteshere

Hope isn't an emotion, but a daily choice. Choose hope.

Thought Catalog

Thought Catalog is a digital youth culture magazine dedicated to your stories and ideas.

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The search for meaning, one page at a time

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Reading my way through Time Magazine's 100 Greatest Novels since 1923 (plus Ulysses)