Thursday, January 29, 2015

Why I Unfollowed Your Blog



From time to time, I go through my reader and unfollow blogs that I've been reading for awhile. Every time I decide to stop reading, though, I ask myself if I'm really sure I want to do it.

And when I decide to unfollow a blog, there is always a reason. I don't just randomly and haphazardly give up on someone's ramblings.

So here are some reasons why I'm likely to unfollow a blog I've been reading for awhile and on a pretty consistent basis:

1. The biggest part of blogging, for me, is community. And with community comes communication. Give and take. I want to be part of a conversation. So when I consistently comment on someone's blog and NEVER EVER EVER get a response, I find that rude and sad. Because I'm not talking about gigantic mega blogs with thousands of readers and hundreds of comments. I'm talking about blogs with a hundred readers and two or three comments. Yeah, you may be busy, but if you have the time to write, you have the time to respond.

I know, I know. I'm guilty of being bad about responding to comments too. But I'm trying to do better. That's one of the reasons I installed Disqus. It makes it SO much easier to respond to comments and continue conversations.

2. Related to the first one, if I've been reading your blog for awhile and you have NEVER EVER EVER NOT ONCE visited my blog, I get a little frustrated by that. I'm not saying you have to follow me because I'm following you. I know we don't have enough time to follow everyone. But pay me a visit. Just once. That's not too much to ask. Again, blogging is about community. If your new neighbor brings you cookies, you'll at least return the plate, right?

And, really, that's it. I mean, sure there are other things like blogs that stop getting updated and whatnot, but I think that's a given. But my point is that blogging is about community. And if you aren't willing to reciprocate with a visit or respond to a comment, then I'm going to take my time and put it into someone else's blog.

What do you all think? Am I ridiculous? What are some reasons you stop reading a blog?


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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Confession Wednesday: Laziness and Stuff


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Hello, friends!

It's time for a fresh round of Confessions! So be sure to grab the button and link up your post below. You know you want to...

And here we go:

* I can't decide if I love or hate Twitter/Facebook/Instagram. I am, however, hopelessly in love with Pinterest.

* Chris washed and vacuumed my car over the weekend. I was embarrassed for him to see how bad it was. But also grateful that he took care of it and didn't judge me (openly).

* I can't wait for the 50 Shades of Grey movie to come out.

* Because I'm sick of the commercials and the sooner it comes out, the sooner I can stop seeing them.

* Hahahahaha. I did that on purpose because I wanted you to think I was all into that shit.

* I'm easily amused.

* I tried cookie butter. I don't get the hype. Gimme the Nutella and I'll be happy.

* I think Tom Brady knew perfectly well that the footballs were deflated and I'm still rooting for the Patriots.

* I feel a little bit bad about this.

* I really want to start growing my Essential Oils business, but I'm too lazy.

* This is also why I'm STILL working on my novel.

* Although I really HAVE been working on it this week and plan to send it to beta readers before my birthday. For reals this time.

* I was feeling a little uninspired for confessions this week.

* I'm pretty sure it shows.

So...what are YOU confessing??




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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Why do I watch this crap?

No, that's a serious question.

WHY do I watch this crap?

This crap I'm referring to is The Bachelor.


Ugh.

It started a couple of years ago when my friend Stacey started throwing "Bachelor Parties." I'm pretty sure it started with a season finale, though I can't remember whose season it was. But the party was fun and full of Mormon Champagne (Martinelli's), and chocolate-covered strawberries and roses and it was great.

So when the next season started, we, of course, had to get together for the premiere.

But it didn't stop there.

Before we knew it, we were having Bachelor/Bachelorette parties every darned week.

We even started a competition to see who could guess who was staying and going every week. I mean, we got all into making fun of the show.

But then Rachel moved and Shawna moved and Rebecca moved and Stacey moved and Marly moved and I was the last Bachelorette remaining.

And I was glad I didn't have to watch that stupid show anymore.

But then the next season started and there was NOTHING ELSE ON TV.

I swear. That's what happened. There was nothing else on the entire 200+ channels of my DirecTV. Nothing. Nada. Zip.

So, you see, I was FORCED to watch The Bachelor. Because I couldn't just not watch anything at all now, could I?

Sigh.

I guess there's really no excuse.

My name is Karen and I watch The Bachelor.

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Monday, January 26, 2015

If My Life Was a Book...

When it comes to blogging, I prefer the CASE approach.

(You know: Copy And Steal Everything.)

Hence, I borrowed this meme from Beth and Angie, and I invite all of you to do the same, if you feel so inclined.

These aren't necessarily books I've read. So you don't have to just use books you've read either. Just so's you know.

1. Title that's the story of your life:


2. Title that describes your perfect weekend:



3. Title of an adventure you'd like to go on:



4. Title you want to name your child:


5. Title of your ideal job:


6. Title of a place you'd like to visit:


7. Title of your love life:


8. Question you ask yourself:


9. Title of a kingdom you want to rule:


10. Title that you'd name your band:



So...who's in?

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Friday, January 23, 2015

The Force is sort of okay-ish with this one.


Last Saturday, I ran in a 10K.

Why on Earth would I do something so crazy? What demon possessed my body and got me out of bed long before the sun on the Saturday morning of a three-day weekend?

That would be Darth Vader.

Yes, friends, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in June of 2014, I was all about the training for a half marathon and RunDisney announced their Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon weekend.

Not having yet crawled across the finish line of that Half I "ran" in Salt Lake City, I wasn't sure I wanted to commit to another one. And it's a darned good thing, because I barely lived to tell the tale of that fateful race.

(In fact, I might have never got around to telling you all the story. Did I tell you about it? It wasn't pretty...)

Anyways, I didn't want to jump right in and commit to another half, so I thought, Heck! I can do a 10K. I mean, that's half of a half. And if I'm going to do a half, I can certainly do HALF of one.

So I signed up for the 10K.

And then I proceeded to become amazingly lazy. And kind of crazy about the new man in my life. And mostly lazy.

And I just kept putting off training for that 10K.

"There's still plenty of time," My inner voice whispered. "You still have months."

Well, all of a sudden it was January 14th and three days before the race and I was like, Crap. What the heck am I supposed to do now?

I thought about bailing, but these RunDisney races are pricey, yo.  So I figured I should go for it.

Friday night, I picked up my bib and my shirt, and then I took off to "carb load" at dinner with a lovely couple from church.

(My definition of "carb load" is to "eat a crapload of Chinese food 10 hours before race time.")
A photo posted by Karen Peterson (@karenmpeterson) on
Saturday morning that alarm started blaring at the ridiculous hour of 3:30AM. The only reason that hour even exists is so that we have something to sleep through.

So I rolled out of bed, stumbled around putting on clothes and shoes and got in the car to drive the two miles to the parking structure. Which is just as ridiculous as it sounds in light of all the walking I was forced to endure that morning.

I'm not kidding. I parked in the Disneyland parking structure.

(Thankfully I have an annual pass and didn't have to pay the $17 for parking that should have been waived given how much the damn race cost in the first place, but whatever.)

Then I walked approximately 3/4 of a mile to the gathering area where they were showing scenes from Star Wars on a giant blow up screen and some guy was narrating and trying to get everyone excited about being up so crazy early. And then I had to walk another 1/2 mile or so to the starting line. So, really, driving saved me about 3/4 of a mile.

I don't always think things through.

The race started at 5:30. For the people in Corral A. I was in Corral D. My race started somewhere around 5:50. Somehow I missed that part in the instructions or I would have slept an extra 20 minutes or so.

I have a friend who was doing the race too and we were going to meet up and walk it together, but I never found her and I went by myself and that was mostly fine, except that there were parts where it would have been nice to have someone to complain to when the blisters started to form and my feet hurt.

She's probably glad I didn't find her, come to think of it.

The course ran on the street and over the freeway before going into Disneyland. Let me tell you, seeing Sleeping Beauty's Castle in the greenish-pink glow of sunrise is spectacular. I recommend seeing it. Someday. Preferably closer to noon.

We wound through Frontierland and over to Fantasyland. There were characters along the way and some runners were stopping and getting in line to get their pictures taken.

I was much too concerned with getting kicked off the course before the end to be bothered stopping for a photo op. So I kept going. Around Fantasyland, into Tomorrowland and off into the "backstage" area before winding around and into Disney's California Adventure, and then into a parking lot that would eventually lead to the finish line.

At some point while I was in DCA, a girl with an orange flag and a sign that said "Official Sixteen Minute Mile Marker" or something like that passed me. And I panicked because they said if you didn't keep a sixteen minute mile you would get kicked out of the race.

So I knew I had to keep up with her.

But every time I sped up, she sped up more. I swear, I was going faster and SO WAS SHE.

And then she was gone. Disappeared. I'm pretty sure she was taken away by the Force or jumped into hyper space or something because she was just no where to be found. And I knew I was going to miss out on crossing that finish line.

But I kept going, walking as fast as I could. My feet hurt too much to run anymore, but I still managed to stay upright.

This girl I didn't know just randomly started walking with me and talking to me and telling me I could do it. She had only been a little ahead of me and stopped to fix her shoe, but she stayed with me for that last .2 of the 6.2 miles and I was grateful for her. She was like my own personal Jedi Master telling me to "Use the Force, Karen," and "Trust my feelings, Karen." Although, really, my feelings were telling me to curl up and take a nap.

Anyway, she stayed with me across that finish line and it was as beautiful a sight as the finish line in Salt Lake City when I seriously thought I was about to die.

So I crossed that line and my race was over and I kept walking, following a path that led me to Powerade and more photographers and I got my picture taken and Disney wants SEVENTEEN BUCKS for it and I'm not paying that so I kept walking and got my snack box and walked and walked right back to my car and took my own finishing photo.

A photo posted by Karen Peterson (@karenmpeterson) on
I lived through it. And I feel pretty darned good about that.


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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Confession Wednesday: Movies and Sports and Jennifer Lawrence


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Hello, friends!

Are you ready for another round of confessions? Because I sure am! Let's get started!

• I ran a 10K on Saturday without training for a single minute. It was excruciating. But I finished. And I'll tell you more about it tomorrow.

• I included a movie in my Top 10 list that I hadn't actually finished watching yet. I had seen part of it and knew already that I loved it. I'm not going to say which one...(And yes, I had finished watching before any of you had even read the post.)

• I am more mad about The LEGO Movie not getting nominated for an Oscar than I should be. In fact, I'm more mad about that than I am about David Oyelowo not getting nominated. But NOT as mad as I am about the fact that Ava DuVernay was overlooked because she was robbed.

• I a little bit hate the Jennifer Lawrence remix of "The Hanging Tree" that's been all over the radio. I love JLaw. I like the song. I loved Mockingjay. But I just don't love the remix and I wish they would stop playing it.

• I'm kind of totally annoyed that the Seahawks are back in the Superbowl. Mostly because I can't stand Richard Sherman. So basically one guy has ruined the entire team for me. Go Patriots.

What are you confessing today? Link up below!




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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Karen's Top Ten Films of 2014

 I didn't see as many films as I wanted to this year. But I've seen some really great ones. Here are my Top 10 Favorites of 2014: 
10. Life Itself--The documentary about film critic Roger Ebert is one of my favorite documentaries ever. It's inspiring and sad and optimistic and very well done. 

9. Two Days, One Night--Marion Cotillard's Oscar-nominated performance in this Belgian film is desperate and sympathetic. The film is about a woman who has one weekend to convince her co-workers to give up their bonuses in order to save her job. It's a simple movie, but powerful.

8. We Are the Best!--Three 13-year-old girls decide to form a punk band. The only trouble is, they don't know how to play any instruments and have only written one song. It's a coming-of-age film that is funny and insightful and enjoyable.

7. Guardians of the Galaxy--If you haven't seen this, you missed one of the biggest films of the year. Seriously, what are you waiting for? Go watch it.

6. The Imitation Game--I can't say enough good things about this one. Yes, it's about a code-breaker in World War II, but it's about so much more than that. I'm not a big Benedict Cumberbatch fan, but wow. 

5. Selma--I'm baffled that Ava DuVernay wasn't nominated for this film. It's fantastic and beautiful and inspiring and seriously deserving of so many more accolades.

4. American Sniper--I really liked this when I saw it back in November, and I like it more as I think about it more. Bradley Cooper's performance is transformative. This is Clint Eastwood's best film in years. 

3. Birdman--Quirky and a little bit weird, but I really enjoyed this film about a washed-up actor struggling to maintain his relevance. The performances are outstanding, the writing is great, and the decision to put it together to look like one continual sequence is a risk that paid off.

2. Boyhood--This is just such a cool idea that really worked. Getting the same actors together every year for twelve years to put together a film about growing up? Brilliant. And the performances are great. I can't say enough good things about this film.

1. The Grand Budapest Hotel--Wes Anderson's best film since The Royal Tenanbaums. Seriously. So, so great. It's funny and quirky and delightful and hilarious. I loved every minute. And it's ridiculous that Ralph Fiennes didn't get an Oscar nomination!

Honorable Mentions: In a top 10 list, there just isn't room for everyone. A few that nearly made the cut are 22 Jump Street (yes, really), Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The LEGO Movie, and Interstellar.

Worst Films of 2014: Maleficent, Need for Speed

What did you think? What were some of your favorites and least favorites? And what do you still want to see?

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