The Non-Definitive Guide To Life

a blog for people who still read

Posts for READ Category

JOURNEY TO THE MOTH STAGE – OBSESSION

ADVENTURES, READ - February 14, 2018

It’s been a little over a month since I went to my last Moth StorySlam and I am jonesing for a fix. I miss the energy of the room, hearing people’s stories, wondering if my name will be called. I knew when I decided to attend a few night classes that meant I would have to put the Moth aside for a few months, and I knew I would miss it, I just wasn’t expecting how much and so fast.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m sharing the second to last Moth StorySlam story I prepared before my little hiatus. The topic of the night was “Obsession” and many girls and women graced the stage to talk about their romantic obsessions. And I would have felt lame if my story was exactly like theirs, except mine, wasn’t about my romantic obsession, but the other girl who was equally obsessed with him.

 

MOTH STORY SLAM – OBSESSION – 12/13/2017

click to read the story

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JOURNEY TO THE MOTH STAGE – REVELATIONS

ADVENTURES, READ - December 6, 2017

Remember a few weeks ago when I shared my first “Journey to The Moth Stage” post, where I shared my dreams of telling a story on a Moth stage, and I wouldn’t give up until I did it. Well, I went back to a Moth StorySlam two weeks after my first Moth Slam and was called to the stage.

I thought it would take longer

My master goal is to get to The Moth GrandSlam stage, and that only happens when you win a StorySlam. I knew the story I was going to share wasn’t a winner, but I still wanted to put my name in the hat. Also, I want to say that my admission of my stories strength isn’t self-deprecating. I’m quickly learning what makes for a winning story and I’m sure I have one in me, just the one I shared on November 21 was not going to be a winner. However, it did land me somewhere in the middle of the story-tellers pack. So, I’m happy it was at least entertaining.

The topic this slam was REVELATIONS, and I desired to share my spiritual journey and revelation about religion and my decision to become a confirmed Catholic. I wrote out my story, revised it, rehearsed it in the shower, and had a nervous breakdown in my bed in the midst of reciting it to Dan the night before. But despite the tears and anxiety, I was determined just to put myself out there, to put my name in the hat. Basically, there is no glory or growth staying in a familiar place, and damn it I want to get a story on the Moth Radio Hour (someday).

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Journey to The Moth Stage – CONTROL

ADVENTURES, READ - November 9, 2017

If you listen to your local, national public radio station, you’re probably familiar with The Moth. Specifically, The Moth radio hour, an hour worth of curated stories from people’s lives that entertain and inform us all about life and the human condition. Each story is a true story from the storyteller’s life and what they share can be humorous, emotional, heartfelt, but basically always leaves you feeling a little more connected to humanity than you did before – or at least it does for me. I love listening to people’s stories. I love connection. So I really love The Moth.

I’ve fantasized about being on The Moth radio hour, but it’s a long road to get there, and it starts with StorySlams. The Moth hosts StorySlams in various cities across the country that are centered around a specific theme. Storytellers then coming to the event put their name in the proverbial hat and destiny decides whether they will share that story or not. Each story is judged by random people in the audience, and the winner of the night goes onto a GrandSlam where they compete against other StorySlam winners. The stories that get onto The Moth Radio Hour are curated from the Moth Mainstage, which is another level of The Moth that I assume one gets to by winning a GrandSlam.

It’s a journey, and one I am ready to embark on. I’ve been called an oversharer. I definitely identify as being a writer. So why not! Last night I attended my first Moth StorySlam. I crafted a story around the topic of control, and then decided it wasn’t good enough to perform – so I just went to observe. Since I was a newbie, I felt just getting a lay of the land would be good and I’m so glad I gave myself the grace to try and then know when I may be out of my realm. Well, after listening to fabulous stories, and not so great presenters of stories, and stories that weren’t even on topic – I have COMPLETE confidence that anything I write is worthy of my name in the hat. And really, I can only get better with each try. So I’m going to keep on trying.

When you attend a StorySlam, slips of paper with a question around the topic is on the chairs, and people can write a two sentence story around the topic to toss into a box. Last night the topic was “Control, ” and the question was, “When was there a time you felt you had lost control.” I wrote four sentences that outline the story I’m going to share below. The host read my slip of paper, the audience laughed, and she ended by saying, “That’s not a two sentence story, that’s an existential crisis.” I loved it. But her saying it was an existential crisis was sort of the reason my instincts said to not share my story because it didn’t feel like a story, it felt more like an essay.

Later in the evening, Dan and I ran into a few of the people who were also at the StorySlam, and I had confessed which slip of paper was mine. They burst into laughter and astonishment in being able to relate to my life existential crisis and encouraged me to share my stories – because it seemed like I could tell a good one.

So without further ado – here is my story around the theme of “CONTROL.”

(please note this is the first and only draft)

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Friday Night In – Boggle & Pizza Party

EATS & DRINKS, READ - February 18, 2017

*this blog post includes affiliate links

I’ve had two kinds of pizza so far this evening, frozen CPK Sicilian pizza and the best cornbread crust pizza by Vicolo. I’ve also enjoyed one highball, which is a glass of La Croix plain sparkling water topped with High-West Rye Whiskey, and have watched the first part of episode two of The OA with Dan. All the elements for a perfect “Friday Night In” survival kit. Later, we will be busting out Boggle and seeing how well we can spell with a few glasses of whiskey in our system.

I love words but have major spelling insecurity. Dan is an impeccable speller but isn’t as confident with word selection.  I feel this helps to even the playing ground. This week I became a Grammarly affiliate! I love Grammarly because it helps me feel a little more confident before I hit publish. I was using the free version for over a year, but last month I purchased the premium subscription after I made a mistake on whether a sentence was supposed to say ” Bekka and me” or “Bekka and I.” When I was a child I was a terrible student; I was tested for ADHD and Dyslexia because I would disrupt the class and be terrible at my spelling exams. I won’t go into the details of my childhood and education, but at the end of the day, because I rebelled in school while I was supposed to learn the fundamentals of grammar and spelling, I grew into an adult not knowing any of the rules. I excelled at reading comprehension, and I was enrolled in AP English classes. My love for words and knack for patterns helped me pass, as my essays were acceptable and although my grammatical errors were circled in red, Word Doc corrected all my weak spelling. Now, with Grammarly, I’m able to learn all the rules while I am writing. I absolutely love the program and can proudly say this blog is powered by Grammarly.  It tells you when a word is overused or writes in a passive voice. My writing is getting stronger because I finally have a responsive teacher, it’s always been the nuances of grammar that has eluded me but Grammarly takes away that mystery.

I wasn’t intending on writing about Grammarly this evening, but my Boggle filled future made me want to share about this awesome program. If you haven’t installed Grammarly’s free program for Google Chrome, you should ASAP – you’ll never mess up their, there or they’re again!

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Love Letters

HOME + LIFESTYLE, READ - February 15, 2017

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Earlier today Dan and I celebrated with a delicious Indian buffet. We usually go to Umami Burger on Valentine’s day but decided earlier this month we’d keep today low key.  Dan and I both have February birthdays, and Valentine’s is just right smack dab in the middle, so we figured it doesn’t hurt to be a little frugal. We do however have cards to exchange later tonight. We’re big card people and love giving each other love letters. Our collection of love notes is pretty extensive for having been together for only four years and inspired me to create a fun video all about our love letters. It’s a sweet reminder you don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day to give your loved one a letter, nor do you have to spend a lot because a letter has lifetime value.

BONUS FEATURE: 

In the video, you will see that my first Valentine’s Day card from Dan has two dates on it. The February 7th date is because Dan had given me my Valentine’s Day card a week early having forgotten that Valentine’s Day is February 14th. Since he works in retail, a customer had come in and purchased something remarking it was for Valentine’s Day. The customer’s comment put Dan in a panic. That night when I went to see him, Dan apologized for not getting me anything for Valentine’s Day but handed me the card. I started cracking up and told him not to worry because he had 7 more days to figure it out. I didn’t open the card until the 14th, but I’m so happy I wrote the 7th on the envelope because it reminded me of this little story.

 2015 VALENTINE’S VLOG

Like I said, our normal Valentine’s Day tradition is going to Umami Burger, but sadly we just couldn’t make it happen this year. Here is a vlog of our 2015 Valentine’s Day adventure in DTLA with Loulou who we had adopted two days prior. She look’s so little in this video!

Remember Valentine’s Day is a holiday created my a card company…and I’ve totally bought into it.

love & light

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