29
Jan 15

Coffee Talk with Oklahoma Women Bloggers

On Wednesday morning I got up at my normal time, drank my protein smoothie, ran on the treadmill for 30 minutes, and then got “dressed” to go meet up with some members of Oklahoma Women Bloggers. (I say “dressed” because I literally threw on a different set of work out clothes after taking off the set that I ran in. Also, if you’re wondering if I was sweaty and gross, the answer is no. One of my super powers is not sweating when I work out.)

We met at the Starbuck’s in Moore on I-35 and 27th to talk shop. I’m always down for coffee.

OKWB-coffee

I have to say that I really like those rare occasions when I get to spend time with other women. Roughly 80% of my time is spent hanging out in the boy’s clubs, so to speak. It’s always been that way for as long as I can remember. It must’ve started when I was a kid and I only played with other little boys because there weren’t very many little girls on my street.

Fast forward to now and pretty much everyone I talk to on a daily basis (with the exception of the long and sometimes deep text chats I have with Katie) is a dude.

I wouldn’t go so far as to so I’m “one of the guys,” because I think that’s a phrase women use without thinking about the full ramifications of what it actually means. Let’s just say I’m a really effeminate bro, and leave it at that.

In any event, I love the company of dudes as much as I love the company of ladies, and I took full advantage of the opportunity to spend some time with some nice ladies who also have pretty cool blogs.

We spent time talking about future meet ups for Oklahoma Women Bloggers, potential classes they’d like to offer to newbies, and of course, really embarrassing stories of things we did that were maybe just a little bit illegal. You know, the usual.

We spent a fair amount of time also discussing how we don’t want our blogs to be brands. There’s a huge push right now for all blogs to be about marketing a brand, rather than just a space for a person to be on the internet. As I’m sure you can tell, I’m not about the brand part. But we’re really happy that, unlike a lot of online groups, we’re pushing more for the community aspect of blogging, and less for the branding. It’s hard to find that these days, in online groups and conferences especially.

Anyway, the coffee was delicious (pretty sure I drank over 500 calories in one sitting–it’s cool, I ran, remember?) and the company was a lot of fun. I really like that I’m slowly finding my tribe. It took a long time, but dang. It’s nice to know that there are people out there with similar interests who can just chill out on a Wednesday morning and talk while drinking some coffee. And I’m pretty thankful that my new schedule can accommodate that.

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28
Jan 15

I’m Afraid of the Dark

I sit in a chair near the window, not noticing how quickly the sunlight dissipates as I just try to finish the chapter I’m reading. But before I know it my eyes are straining and it’s dark in the house and I’m alone.

afraid-of-the-dark

They say there’s nothing there in the dark that isn’t there in the light, but I’ve seen way too many horror movies that refute that, and a lot of the novels I used to love would tell me to keep my guard up when the lights are out. It’s stupid. I know it’s stupid. I’m afraid of the dark.

Afraid of the Dark

Pity me, if you like. But know that I wouldn’t trade this fear in for anything. I like to think it makes me different, sets me apart, or maybe just gives me a quirky neurosis that verifies my artistic merit. Whatever it is, it’s something I’ve always had. And I don’t see a stop to it.

Even thinking about being in a dark room by myself makes my pulse quicken. Closing my eyes to wash my face in the shower is scary to me. I hate being conscious in the dark. Sometimes in movie theaters I’m overcome with the thought of a pair of hands grabbing my ankles and pulling me under my seat. Sudden power outages at night make my arms tingle with the adrenaline overload. Letting the dog out to pee at night makes my stomach turn.

I am almost 30-years-old, and I’m 100% afraid of the dark.

Scaring Myself Silly

I can remember watching a scary movie at a friend’s house while I was in college. She asked me to go into the kitchen to get something and I as I entered, I stopped dead in my tracks. The lights were out for the movie viewing, and the kitchen sat completely entombed in shadows. I couldn’t step past the doorway. I knew that I should just go grab the bag of chips, but they were too far in the dark.

When I was probably around 8 or 9, I had been reading a lot of scary stories. I was enamored with being terrified. I think the fourth grade was the first time I read The Amityville Horror. Between that and the movie, Halloween, I was pretty terrified all the time.

One particular night in elementary school stands out. Both my parents were working that evening, and my brother was off in his room playing video games by himself. I was in the living room reading as the room slowly got darker, and the only light was the light from the lamp next to me.

I put down the book I was reading as a balloon floated in from the hallway. The helium was nearly gone, but it had enough that it was still hovering. It was from my birthday earlier that week. And it appeared to just float toward me of it’s own volition. To this day, it’s one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen in real life–a simple, red balloon I thought was tied to my bedroom doorknob slowly bouncing toward me.

Luckily, the cordless phone was still in my orb of lamplight, because I was able to call my granny and she came to rescue me.

My fear of the dark is how I’ve always known I was meant to be a writer. I mean, I knew it at age 8, but this confirms it. There is nothing there in the dark that isn’t there in the light, except for every possibility your mind can conjure up. Except for every dark thing that your brain can only imagine. Except for everything.

Night Terrors

I’ve had a lot of night terrors in my life. They started when I was in undergrad, got really bad in grad school, and seem to have stopped altogether since I left my last job. I think they were caused by stress. Some of the more vivid memories of them include:

  • On one occasion, I woke up screaming. I sat up fast, and as I stared at the closed door of my room, caddy-corner from the bed, I could see the dark shape of a shrouded figure slowly disintegrate into the bars of light cast by the slits in the blinds.
  • On another, I woke up sitting upright at the foot of the bed facing the headboard. The lamp on top of my dresser behind the headboard slowly morphed from a gargoyle-shaped demon back into the green lamp that it had always been.

Did either of these things actually happen? I have no idea. Probably not. But it was dark, so it’s hard to tell.

Writing in the Dark

I think writers take blank canvases and run amok. I think writers see an empty space and fill it with stories they pull out of thin air. I think writers are looking for places to put their ideas at all times.

And I think the darkness is the best place for those ideas. The darkness will always bring out the worst in my imagination.

It’s expansive. Not necessarily in actual space, but it spans depths that we can’t see. And the only thing that has the capacity to match those depths is the imagination. And once my imagination starts thinking about all the things that could be in the dark, it doesn’t stop. It quickly expands, multiplying exponentially, and yet is shattered the minute the lights come on.

But, like every person who is afraid of the dark, I can say in all seriousness that the lights never stay on long enough.

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26
Jan 15

Search Terms

People find my little “corner of the internet” in pretty weird ways. Also, I hate the phrase “corner of the internet” so much and I promise never to use it again. It’s not a corner, it’s a blog.

search terms

I really enjoy going through the search terms that people use to find my blog. Also, it’s kind of interesting to know what phrases Google associates with me and my writing. And by interesting I mean terrifying.

So, without further ado, here are my top 23 favorite search terms so far!

  1. you can never have too much money It’s funny to me that this one of the most popular search terms to find my blog. I don’t think I’ve said this phrase but once in an Instagram caption that appeared on this blog a long time ago, but that doesn’t mean I don’t agree with the sentiment any less.
  2. downton abbey broke my heart Still haven’t started watching the fifth season. I don’t know if I can.
  3. marissa mohi It’s one ‘S’, haters.
  4. resolutions to be made on 28th birthday Is this a tradition? Is 28 significant? I made a ton of resolutions because I thought I needed them, but do others do this?
  5. mohi.com Should’ve gone with this domain. Biggest regret I have to date.
  6. mohi wholesale Sorry, all Mohis are bespoke as hell.
  7. snack instagram I do love to Instagram a good snack. Though, I don’t do it often because I don’t want you to know what I’m snacking on because it’s generally not real food and I want you to think that I eat like a grown up and not a toddler who has been locked inside a candy store over night by accident.
  8. loud mohi Ummm, I’m pretty quiet. I went to library school, for Heaven’s sake!
  9. tg farms pumpkin patch PUMPKIN DATE FTW!
  10. current position earth’s axis january 2013 Dude, I don’t even know.
  11. bad reap mohi All my reapings have been spectacular, thank you very much.
  12. earths current position I can barely read the map of the buildings on OU’s campus. I don’t think I would have the answer to this one.
  13. karate mistress black eyes This is my new alter ego. I’m going to wear a very sexy, black karate gi and give black eyes to all the boys.
  14. italy swagger I mean, of all the Western European countries, I’m pretty sure Italy has the most swagger.
  15. what granny need for birthday Well, it sounds like she needs a grandkid that understands grammar, but that’s probably not the main reason she’s disappointed in you, so work on fixing yourself in other ways first, you caveman.
  16. ginnifer godwin short hair hot or not It definitely is on her. I can’t pull off that short, but I got pretty close.
  17. wwe fanfiction hardy boyz screw ups Man, I wish I had a post about this.
  18. i shop at homeland because….. BECAUSE IT’S THE BEST.
  19. writing a poem about rihanna I have never done this, and I can say with pretty great confidence that I never will.
  20. first experiense with cute boy This is a pretty vague term. Are they talking about experience like holding hands, or EXPERIENCE? In either case, I’ve not written about that. I have written about a cute male nurse though…
  21. $10k a week for life If I knew how to do that, I would probably charge a lot for that information. And, you know, the more I think about it, charging for that information would be the $10k that I earned for that week…
  22. gilmore girls bad example for girls Gilmore Girls is great because it’s full of contradictions. Like, Lorelai is a really capable business woman who for some reason is an idiot in relationships who doesn’t marry Luke in season 2. And Rory is a really intelligent girl who has worked pretty hard but has also had the whole world handed to her via her rich grandparents. Also, she’s crazy smart and Ivy League, but she dates Logan Huntsberger WHICH WAS SO IRRITATING. JESS 4 LYFE. So, yeah. I think it’s full of really empowering things, while simultaneously setting some pretty heinous examples.
  23. barefoot in poison ivy Only I wield this super power. All others must wear the 3M disposable suit.

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21
Jan 15

The NHTSA Fined Honda $70 Million and It’s Meaningless

In case you hadn’t heard, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fined Honda $70 million for underreporting safety issues. This is the most any automaker has ever been fined. Too bad it’s meaningless.

Marisa Mohi Honda Civic

Here’s me (24-years-old and skinny) and my dad on my parents’ front porch. I’m about to leave and go out for the evening, and my dad is admiring his newly-installed rain gutters while supporting Man U. That Honda Civic in the background is about to get Photoshopped out of the picture like a bad ex-boyfriend.

If you own a Honda, this $70 million fine probably isn’t a big surprise because you’ve been receiving recall notices almost yearly since you purchased what the Car Talk hosts would affectionately call “a heap.”

Let it be known that I ain’t got no affection for Honda. Not now, not ever.

So far, the recalls for my 2008 4-door Honda Civic Si have included the sun visors, the paint, and the power steering. I’m also waiting for official notice on the airbags that can shoot shrapnel when they deploy.

For the most part, I’m not a materialistic person. I don’t have to have the newest or best thing. I don’t need a lot of things. I don’t own a lot of name brand clothing or shoes, and I refuse to buy a Coach purse on principle. I’m not some sort of magical money saving minimalist, but I do try to think about where my money is going, and roughly how many hours it took me to earn that money before I hand it over to someone else.

That’s why I bought a Honda. Prior to purchasing my Civic, I owned a Toyota Corolla, and had no issues with it. But I wanted something different, and I got a Civic, a car that I had been told would last me forever. That’s what I needed. I was 21. I had just graduated from college. I was waiting tables for a year to get some cash before going back to grad school. So, I bit the bullet and bought a car that I thought would stick with me until the wheels fell off.

Turns out, other pieces of Hondas fall off long before the wheels.

I’m not writing any of this because I think it will mean anything to anyone. I’m pretty sure anyone who has bought a car in the past ten years has had similar issues. Hell, GM had a pretty massive recall last year. So I know that my problem doesn’t make me special, and that I’m in the same boat with a lot of consumers.

My question though is why. Why are car makers allowed to do this? Is it because they know that the American way of life so so dependent upon automobiles that they can sell us anything and we’ll pay? Is it because they don’t care about assembling a quality product because they think we’ll buy anything? Is it because they don’t think consumers are mad enough?

I can’t really answer these questions because I’m not the unconscionable bastard who is selling garbage to unsuspecting consumers. But I do know this. Maybe people should stop asking why Generation Y doesn’t want to buy cars and start asking why automakers aren’t creating products worth our money.

Maybe the automobile was once a great symbol of freedom and a way to achieve independence. But not anymore. Every recall letter I receive on my car is like another link in a long chain that drags behind the car, clanging and sparking down the highway, like a constant reminder that we are all in servitude to the major corporations who get away with murder.

I’ve written before about my car. My dislike and distrust for Honda is nothing new. I will never purchase another Honda car. I don’t think I will make a difference by writing this. I don’t think I will sway one person away from buying a Honda. But I also don’t think they fine means anything. Sure, fining Honda $70 million is a lot. But that’s really just a drop in the bucket to a such a large corporation.

It’s just odd to me that these car companies are allowed to continue on making cars. Even a server at Applebee’s would get fired for mixing up too many orders, and that server only makes $2.13 an hour plus tips. There has to be a more meaningful consequence for Honda.

This isn’t to say that I’ll go running to purchase a different car brand either. I’m perfectly content not buying another car until a company can prove to me that they make a decent, affordable product. I’ve got a bike (that has had ZERO RECALLS) and I live within 4 miles of my place of work. Your move, auto industry.

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19
Jan 15

It’s a Great Thing, to Be Happy At Your Job

Remember when I said I was taking this new job because it would give me so much more time to write fiction and blog and all that jazz? Well hot damn.

i love my job

Seriously, I’ve been busier this past week than I ever have in my life, and I used to work 50-hour weeks while enrolled full time in grad school. Teaching is terrifying and empowering and just a great environment all together, but I had no idea how much effort it took to set up one class for the semester.

So, I’ve spent a lot of time making schedules and doing the administrative bits and pieces that really go into being an instructor. I have to say that they aren’t my favorite parts of it, but it’s something that has to be done, and there is no part of this job that I outright hate like I did with my last job.

And it’s strange. For the first time in my professional life, I’m not in a toxic environment. I have to say that I thought I’d never find a job where I felt useful and respected. From bartending to ghostwriting to fraud analyzing to tech writing–each company I worked for really fostered some terrible environments. And my current job is the first one that didn’t give me a bad feeling during the job interview.

I’m not surrounded by megalomaniacs or pleasing impossible clients or working with supervisors who just don’t have the time to actually enable their employees to do their jobs correctly. In fact, I almost cried on Wednesday because there are so many people there so much more qualified and experienced than I am who are taking the time not only help me do my job, but to make me feel welcome, and that’s something I’ve never had before.

Now, I’m an adjunct instructor at a pretty big university, and I know my experience is not the norm. This is why I’m so excited to be where I am right now. Even though the first week has been overwhelming, not once have I been given the impression that someone doesn’t think I can do it. Not once have I wanted to quit. Not once have I been handed something with zero instruction. And not once have I been asked to do something that’s insulting.

The Messenger by The Bouncing Souls on Grooveshark

It’s a great thing, to be happy at your job. I’ve never known what that’s like.

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