Thursday, April 21, 2011

Leave it at the gym

Most folks who have known me personally probably would not consider me the type to be 'sporty'.  I suppose that it's with good reason.   I used to fake shin splints in school to get out of running the mile in P.E.  I actually did have shin splints once and it impeded me from performing in my ballet classes, so it was an easy 'go to' excuse from that day forward.  For many years, you would typically find me with a cigarette hanging out of my mouth and a vodka tonic in my hand on any given night.  I did not own a pair of sneakers for well over a decade.  After all, standing (let alone walking or dancing in a club) in massive platform boots should be an impressive feat of athleticism in anyone's eyes, though I suppose that if that were the case they'd be handing out Olympic medals to strippers.  (Strippers are athletes in my book anyway, but that is completely off topic…. maybe another day I'll get to that.)

Well, pride changed all that.   As we get older, unfortunate things get set in motion.  As I saw this beginning to happen to my body,  I got off my ass and booked it to my nearest gym.  That was about five years ago.  I've been consumed ever since.  Nowadays, it's not just about my vanity (though it's a proven fact that when you're as small as I am in stature and structure, ten extra pounds looks like thirty, there is just nowhere for it to go).  I discovered that exercise gave me things that I never expected.  Mental clarity, structure, discipline, endorphin rushes (hey, you can't get tattooed every day, but you can break a sweat as often as you want),  mental and physical strength, basically an all around better quality of life.  

I've been wallowing in sadness for a couple of weeks, it got kicked into overdrive about five days ago, when my entire world seemed to crash down on top of me.  I was taking my prescribed Adivan to help with the anxiety, and it saved my ass those first few days.   I was freaked out and on total overdrive.   Fact is, though, that's no long term answer.  Time does help some.  I'm always astounded at how time enables the human brain to adapt to situations and ideas that are inconceivable in the beginning.  Once shock wears off, what other choice is there but to begin the process?  You can only dramatically slide down walls as you cry, starve yourself and spend all night looking at the ceiling saying "WHY??" for so long. You can only exhaust your body and brain for a certain amount of time before it stops you from continuing to do yourself harm.  

Well, I hit a point Tuesday night when my body finally just said enough. Thankfully, I shut down completely.    I slept for seven hours straight, and it was the sleep of the dead, I doubt I moved one inch the entire time.  I had a standing appointment with my trainer at eight this morning that I had forgotten to cancel.  I hadn't been in the gym since the needle scratched on the record and I was dreading the ass kicking I was about to receive at the hands of this guy.  (I usually walk into it with a feeling of anticipation, must be the masochist in me.)  

There was nothing better than I could have done for myself.  I don't know why I always forget that.  For the first time in days, I didn't think once about what a mess I was living through.  I didn't have the urge to cry or curl up into a ball on the floor…. when you're fighting the urge to vomit from physical exertion there is just not a lot of room for much else in your brain.  Everything snapped into focus for that hour, I could literally feel the anxiety and bad energy sweating out of my body with every squat, clean and press and plyometric interval.  I walked out of that gym physically shaking and feeling better.  Unbelievable.  It never fails to amaze me.

Everyone handles their problems differently. Many folks I know channel their emotions into creating their art.   Some choose to pray.  Others practice avoidance by over indulging in drugs, alcohol or food.  I know a few who just have to talk it to death.   Since I'm an atheist with no artistic talents who is too responsible these days to go on a destructive bender and much too weary to 'talk it out', I'm just going to continue leaving it all at the gym.   I can't change what is going on in my life.  What I can do is lift, sweat, jump, punch and kick until my ritual has purged all of the excess crap from my brain and body.  

My problems aren't gone, nothing is really better and probably won't be for a good while.  However, I can gift myself with some relief, if only for an hour at a time.  I can walk in with a heavy heart and leave with the load I'm carrying just a little bit lighter.   Strength is empowering and essential for survival.  I'm not stupid, I'll take it.  

p.s.  I suspect this is getting so many views because some people hoped I'd be advertising the details of my issues right now.  If you're one of them, please stop asking friends and co-workers about my business, that's just tacky.  Plus, the few that know won't tell you.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Three Sentences

Ok, guys.  Here is the deal.  I am barely functioning at the moment.  My fingers feel like big fat sausages and I'm only very clumsily typing this short post out.    If you know me, you know the hell I am going through.   If you don't know what I'm even going on about, it's either because I haven't found the strength to pick up the phone and repeat the whole mess again or I just don't want to tell you.  I'll continue sending updates to those in the loop via email, it's all I've got to give.   Please, no phone calls.

Writing about what is happening may seem like a challenge worthy of taking on, maybe even therapeutic, but I know it's not a good idea in any way.    I am in a sedative (legal) induced haze just to keep myself functioning for my family as best I can, I'm not concerned with much else…. especially providing entertainment to people who are just dying to know what's happening.   I can see it in their eyes.

My head is thick and I'm going on very little and poor quality sleep.  Basically, I'm a right mess and a half.  I'm not putting my business out on display in this current state, I'm just typing this to say that I won't be posting for a wee bit, until the worst is over.   I do not know how long that will be.  If any of you have some compassion energy to throw my way, now would be the best time to do it.   Standing up is hard right now.

No one can say anything to make some situations better.  Words of comfort are being fumbled in the worst of ways, and I simply wish that people would stop trying to counsel me or tell me that they know how I feel…. imagining is one thing, knowing is a totally different creature that I'm sad to have met.  I am not asking for people to drop everything for me, thought it would have been nice to have a strong (and silent, not advice giving) body to lean on in a few of those critical hours this week.  I'm actually feeling pretty pissed off that I'm always there for people when they need it and I've had to end up standing up to a lot of this totally alone and vulnerable.  At least there was no element of surprise in it.  I sort of figured.

I did get a bit of comfort from an unlikely source.  Mr. Operation Human Monster was kind enough to drop me a line elsewhere to provide me with a video he thought I would like.    I'm glad he did, because I do like it.   Mr. Monster is a cool guy, if you enjoy fitness, check out his blog.  

See you all later.   Look on the bright side, if this breaks me entirely, my posts will most likely be more entertaining in the future.  Crazy people say some funny shit.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Crying Uncle

I've always believed in not practicing avoidance in difficult situations, knowledge is power.  Well, now I'm wishing to eat my words and here, on this blog, am officially changing my stance on the issue.  I had a good day yesterday until the phone started ringing last night.  If you know me, you know I absolutely despise the phone.  What I was hit with last night, simply by picking it up, is the perfect example why.

I endured a revolting, detailed and disturbing account of an ongoing situation at ten in the evening….. with absolutely no ability to do anything about it but replay it in my head until I thought I would have to be carried out  of my home in a straightjacket.  It was not a total shock, but the affirmation that  my worst case scenarios were not figments of my imagination, but all too true, were almost too much to take.  I was left feeling helpless and nauseous as I sat repeating over and over again, "I fucking knew this was going to happen", as if that knowledge was supposed to take the edge off of the sock in the gut I was reeling from.  

I am a doer, I solve problems, and now in this case I find that I am powerless to do anything to affect the situation or even come to terms with it.   Can I just interject that sometimes it's miserable to be right about shit all the time?   I have a fatalistic perspective on things at times, and more often than not I wish in the back of my head for life to prove me wrong.  Well, this time it hasn't.   I'm honestly in undiscovered territory, I am at a loss.   I've been crying uncle for months upon months now, why doesn't anyone hear me?  

Me, the person that all my friends come to for advice and answers, that woman has absolutely nothing that she can say to herself to make things better, there is no comfort anywhere in sight.   I would call on my closest friends to help me carry my grief and burden, but they won't say anything right either, so what's the point?   I don't need pity, I don't need misguided advice,  I just want it to go away.  I want to un-know and stick my head in the sand, because knowing is just too hard.  Call me a coward, I don't fucking care.  If I was a drinker I'd be drowning my sorrows in a bottle or something, instead I'm just taking my prescribed Xanax that is doing nothing to take off the edge from the gaping hole in my heart and the screaming that won't stop in my head.  I am totally unprepared to weather this storm, I feel way too fragile right now.  That is not only the truth, but it's by far the hardest thing to admit.

I'm fucking angry, devastated, shaky and feeling a touch volatile.  I want to hit someone, blame someone, do something, anything.  Purging myself of some of this emotion by writing is down is all that I can do.  I suppose I could throw some of my anger and aggression at a completely innocent party. That will have to do.   Most pregnant women are fucking intolerable.   Before you get all uptight, I said most.  I personally wasn't one of them, but I still have to share space with most that are.   Fuck off ladies, you're not that special.  I hate to burst your bubble, but this part of your parenting journey is as easy as it's ever going to get.  Remember young mothers, you don't know it all, you don't have all the answers and none of you are immune.  Save your haughty attitude about what a great parent you are, cause one day someone will be there to see you fall hard.  

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chicken shit and other shit, too.

I've tried so hard to find the time to write this week, but it hasn't happened for me as much as I'd have liked.   I had at least seven topics to share, but now I can only remember bits and pieces.  I'm afraid you'll have to settle for snippets of my brain again.

1.  My face is falling.   I am now diligently slathering on firming night creams all day and getting up after twenty minutes to look at my face in the mirror to see if the ever so slight jiggle at my jawline and the creases in my neck have  improved.   In addition to seeing nothing after four days, I'm having a hard time with my glasses sliding down my face from all the moisturizing.   Aging is total bullshit.

2.   I tried to be a good mom today and took my kid to the easter egg hunt extravaganza at the old folks home down the street.   Somehow, I managed to get into an altercation with a Mexican woman (only accompanied by teen boys with moustaches)  picking up eggs and stuffing them into her purse while little kids around her cried because they only got one or two.   By the time I was done with her, I had no energy for the idiot who had his Chihuahua shitting in the grass where the eggs were.   Ridiculous.  This is why I don't like to go out in public.

3.  Not only could Brock Lesnar crush your skull like a grape, but he's eloquent to boot.  His catch phrase for this season on Ultimate Fighter is 'making chicken salad out of chicken shit'.   I offered to make my trainer a t-shirt with this slogan but then to add….. 'one client at a time'.    I personally think it's the epitome of positive thinking, but I suppose others don't see it that way, because even though he laughed, he looked slightly nervous that I'd do it and expect him to wear it.  All my good ideas get shot down.

4.  Would someone care to explain to me why I am seeing girls under the age of nine wearing FAKE NAILS?   I'm not talking about the Lee press on nails that were around when we were kids (my mother would never let me have any, she said it made little girls look like cheap Lolita hookers, and she was right)…..I'm talking about the full set of acrylic nails women get at the Vietnamese nail place.  Great, and here I thought they couldn't get any trampier looking due to the words "Juicy" and "Apple Bottoms" scrawled in cursive on the ass of their jeans and track pants.   Seriously, what the fuck is going on?  I'll tell you, horse shit parenting, that's what.  I am so glad to not have daughters.

5.  I really am trying so hard to not be such a control freak.  Today I had cleaners come to the house for the first time.   I like to clean my own house my way, but I was desperately wanting some DEEP cleaning action.  After spending two hours cleaning for the cleaners (I don't want people to see my house dirty), giving him a lecture about how I didn't want anyone touching my linens (it creeps me out to think of strangers changing my sheets) and then rambling some more, he very sweetly suggested that I leave and that he'd call when they were done.    I came home to a sparkling house, the toilet paper rolls had toilet paper origami flowers on them and I liked it so much I don't want anyone to wipe their butts for at least the rest of the day... I suppose someone will think I'm unreasonable now, as usual.   I was also slightly angry that it was cleaner than when I do it, but I think he knew I was a neurotic ticking time bomb, because he went out of his way to tell me how easy it was to clean and how tidy my house was to begin with.   Bullet dodged, he can come back.  Brazilian men are really smooth talkers, plus they wink a lot.

6.  I have been the innocent victim of venomous insults for weeks now.
*First I was told I'm beginning to look like Tina Fey.  I don't think it was meant as an insult, but to be compared to a woman who is the poster girl for the middle aged, unattractive nerd type is not awesome.  Women want to hear that they have mysterious or raw appeal, not that they are a suitable visual counterpart to Steve Carell.  It wasn't meant in the 'you're so hilarious and witty, you should be on SNL' way….  that would have been nice, though.   I tried to blame the comparison on my glasses but was shot down.  Apparently it's my face.   
*I was told by a student earlier this week that it was cool to be taller than me because they could all see the gray hair on my head… he did not realize I was so OLD.
*Yesterday I was not carded for alcohol at a restaurant by a teenager that I'm sure I saw card a table of senior citizens AND told by someone online that I am more uninteresting to them than they are to me.   (Ok, that last one made me laugh and wasn't really an insult, it was a lame comeback, but it was an attempt at an insult, so it counts.)

I'm telling you, people are trying to push me right over the edge, but I'm not going to break.   I'm just going to put on more night cream, pick up an interesting hobby (like knife throwing or something), remember to touch up my roots and wear my contacts more often.  That all actually seems like more work that it's worth, so I'll probably do nothing and continue to to take poisonous arrows of insult to the heart.   *shrugs*

I think that about covers it.  I must now take to my bed with a glass of wine and a true crime book to recover from the traumas of the week.   

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Outsider's Manifesto

It's not really a manifesto, I'm being grandiose.

I observe children a lot.  Not only do I have my own, but I work in a building full of them.   I appreciate a lot of qualities kids have that society hasn't squashed out of them yet.  Young ones are a bit too honest for most people, they don't have much of a filter and I'm often surprised to hear them say things that I'd be an asshole for saying myself.  That is a mark in their favor in my book.  They live in the moment and haven't forgotten how to have fun.  Stupid shit either doesn't matter at all or matters way too much, mostly it depends on how much sleep they got the night before.  Hmmm, I guess that sounds familiar.  Every once in a while you meet a kid that is the obvious outsider, you can see that not only do their teachers and peers know it, but they are utterly aware of it themselves.    

I was that kid.   It sucked at the time.  I would imagine blossoming into a large bosomed bombshell with a genius IQ and such a dizzying array of talents that I was hands down the most sought after lady on the planet.   I indulged in this fantasy for one reason alone.  Because I wanted to be happy, and in my young perception of happiness, acceptance from others seemed to be critical to the goal.   

Fast forward three decades or so.  As I gaze down at where my heaving cleavage ought to be, I see that my dreams did not entirely come true….not in that way.   I'm happy regardless.  This is not because I found acceptance from other people.  It is because I gained the sight to see that I don't really want it or need it.   I have the ability to adapt to whatever environment I'm catapulted into pretty easily, that is a plus for me.  However, it still leaves me hovering on the fringes, nothing much more than a keen observer in any given situation.  

Thing is, I'm more than fine with that.   I embrace my role as outsider, mainly because I know that I'm so diverse in my tastes and opinions that I'm just too damn awesome to be pigeonholed into any category comfortably, not because there is anything wrong with me.  It works for me, I'm pleased as punch with my little place in the world.

I'm the nicest woman you'd hate to fuck with.  I live my life in a middle class Southern suburban environment by a philosophy and set of ethics that would inspire any self respecting housewife to run straight to church, just in case my mindset is catching.   Fellow parents and co-workers never know what to really make of me and my old party friends think I've been in a bore coma for the past decade.  My favorite things range from classical ballet to MMA.   I love skulls and granny shawls... my tattoos tend to be covered by expensive jeans and semi conservative attire these days.  Two of my favorite books are 'Pride and Prejudice' and 'Talking with Serial Killers'.   You get the idea.    Hence, the word 'juxtapose' is dear to me.   It's not that any of these things are really unique on their own, it's the fact that they all must stand cohesively together to encapsulate who I am.  

Even amongst groups I run in that pride themselves on not being part of the herd, I will never be a part of the 'in crowd'.  I will never be popular, universally loved or even understood much… regardless of what circle I'm in.  Not one person in my life will ever know me as well as they seem to think they do, I will forever possess the ability to shock the hell out of all of them if I simply decided to do so.  The beauty of this is that I wouldn't have it any other way.   I have come to accept that not one friend will 'get' everything about me, they will mainly just love me for the part that drew them in.  I'll take it.  That is reality, and as an adult, I prefer to deal in what 'is' rather than what I'd like.   Just so happens that I like it just fine, too.   Besides, it makes it all the sweeter when you meet someone in the crowd that can appreciate the outsider enough to want to get to know more.  Those are the few worth having around, I'll take a handful of them over throngs of superficial acquaintances any day of the week.  

I look at that kid who doesn't know how to make things ok for themselves just yet.  It's hard living in a system that doesn't celebrate the individual, but rather rewards conformity.  I'd love to tell that child to embrace their layers, that they should be so grateful to be wired completely opposite of the one dimensional aspect of their peers.  I wouldn't have believed it myself, it's a journey people have to make on their own.   The most I can usually do is smile and nod in a conspiratory fashion when I know they need it.  If memory serves, that can make all the difference when you're living in a sea of those that will never understand.    

Sunday, April 10, 2011

You've got to know when to fold 'em.

Yes, folks.  I just quoted a Kenny Rogers song.   I woke up this morning lamenting life.   There was no cream for my delicious coffee, my pretty shoe broke when I put it on and the bags under my eyes have their own small bags after a night of restlessness and alternating bouts of weeping and being mad as fucking all hell.  Days like this call for good ole' country songs. (Notice I didn't say new, because new country is shit no matter what mood you are in.)

See, I'm not in the habit of trying to save people from themselves.  But truth be told, I'm a helper by nature, especially if I can help someone that I love fiercely.   Unfortunately, I can't help those that don't think they need fixing, even when they are on a fast derailing train to Shitsville.  It drives me absolutely insane to watch someone I love self destruct before my eyes and know that I am completely powerless to do anything to stop it.   Some call it stratification, and I suppose it is.  It's not an easy pill to swallow, though, when that person is everything to you.  It's heartbreaking and infuriating.

When bonds that tie two people together are strong, you become an unwilling passenger on that gut wrenching train ride.  Sometimes you secretly even hope it wrecks so that you can relax your white knuckled grip on anything you can hold on to.   Anything to give you some peace and just make it stop.  

I'm a fighter, I don't like to throw my hands in the air and quit on things (or people, as this case may be).   But surrendering to obvious defeat is something else altogether.   In some cases, it's not the coward's way out, it's the rational way to analyze a situation.  There comes a time in life when the smartest thing to do is realize that you are powerless to stop people from fucking up, no matter how much you want to save them.   Sitting back and doing nothing is not easy for a woman like me, but I'm beginning to think that not only do I not have a choice, but it's in the best interest of my sanity and self preservation to do just that.

Is it possible to find some semblance of peace in knowing you've done all you could for someone to no avail?  I'm not sure.  It still sounds miserable to me.  I keep repeating the mantra 'you can still be there, but you don't have to enable…. there is nothing you can do'.   It's not helping much.  That's the thing about loving people with every fiber of your being, they are the only ones with the capacity to rip your heart out mercilessly.   Still, I'll never stop loving those few people in this world, despite the risks.  What good is life without taking that gamble? (Heehee, get it?  That's my sleep deprived attempt at a pun referencing the song.   I know, it's not really funny, but it's true.)

I'm trying desperately to cheer myself up, Muppets doling out life wisdom right before death while swigging whiskey and smoking a cigarette may help, though it's not the cheeriest skit I've seen, that's for sure.  Anyway, great song.   Fitting.   Listen to it.  Besides, it's nice remembering what Kenny Rogers looked like before he fucked his face up with all that plastic surgery.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Take this job and…. ?

It's felt strange waking up knowing that I didn't have to scramble to find something to write about.  I had decided to take some days off, but started getting the sinking feeling that if I did, I'd just be completely useless.   (Sort of like that whole 'contemplating getting things done and spending nine hours drinking coffee and plucking brows' scenario that I've described)  So,  here I am.

I'm wrapping up Spring Break and go back to work on Monday, I must say it's with a modicum of relief.   I get so much more done when I'm forced to be somewhere at a certain time, things in my brain fall into order and I manage life easier that way.   Of course, I predict that I'll be back at work for all of three days before I come home wanting to rip the hair out of my skull and lamenting over _____  (fill in blank with just about anything).  

Thing is, I know I need a job to retain order and sanity in my life these days.  I didn't work outside of the home for a few years (which was the hardest job I've ever had, mind you…. raising babies and running a house properly should come with a six figure salary) and I did a smashing job of it.   Now that my kids are older there's really no sense in me kicking it at home all the time, but yet The Kid is still young enough for me to want to be here… he still loves to have me around.   I want to take advantage of this time, one day he won't be able to look at me without rolling his eyes like the other one does so much.  

This situation is the only reason I accepted the job I currently have when it was offered to me.   It's a good job.  Few hours, pays very well, will look great on a resume later and allows me to never put The Kid in camps for daycare in the summers or weeks out of school.   On the other hand,  the job has serious down sides…. after all, there is a reason why folks in the know have labeled it 'The worst job on the planet'.    I earn my paycheck, that's for sure.  Oftentimes, it makes me hate people in general (more than I already did before I started).   I won't go into much negative detail, lest some co-worker that doesn't appreciate my candor stumbles upon my blog and tries to get me fired for talking shit by 'telling on me'.   Yeah, they'd do it… given the unnecessary shit storm I found myself in by making another blog post some time ago, I know I'm speaking the truth.    

In a couple of years, The Kid will move up in school.  If I haven't done so by then, I'll be quitting that job for sure and moving on to the great unknown (that is, if I don't freak out and  actually quit sometime before then,  I decide to quit about three times a month).   Not sure what I'll do next, but I know I won't compromise my 'ideal' ever again.  It's a small sacrifice to make for your children, but I wouldn't make it for anyone or anything else.    I need a less oppressive and more creative environment, where I don't have to dress like a nun to cover all of my tattoos.  That would be nice, given the heat index in the city.   The thought of such a massive change makes me giddy with excitement and induces the slight urge to vomit at the same time.  A real mind fuck, I tell you.  As I say all the time, change freaks me out.  

What will I do next?  Should I go back to school and get a brand new career?  Eh.  Should I attempt to revisit the one I had a lifetime ago, but from the business end and with a different skill set?  Quite daunting.  Should I wing it and just glide into the next phase of my life?  Things have always had a way of falling into my lap.  (One day I'll list the array of jobs I've held and you'll understand why putting them all down on a resume would be ludicrous and hilarious at the same time).    There is always the hope that the Husband's new business will be such a raging success that in two years time, I can take over running the day to day stuff…. after all, he's got a day job/big career without his business and I'm the management MASTER.   We shall see.  

Just writing about it is sort of stressing me out.  I'm going to stop now.   This post has been without real direction… not funny, not deep, not much but personal rambling.   However, while it doesn't resonate with everyone, I know that lots of you Mamas out there know how hard it can be to find your place in the world again after a hiatus of self sacrifice and compromise.   All I know is this:  Once I close the book on this phase of work, I'm raising the bar.  I must do something I love, in an environment that doesn't make me feel like I'm constantly drowning.  Yes, I want it all.  Why in the world would that surprise you?

I have a lot to offer the working world, soon it will just be a matter of finding out what the job market has to offer me in this day and age…. kind of scary stuff.  

Thursday, April 7, 2011

This is the end.

Well, I've made it.   This is the last day of my incessant video posting, after today you will no longer be subjected to my schizophrenic taste in music and the rambling that brings me to the song of the day.  I could partake in the extended version of the challenge, but I think at that point it would just be beating a dead horse.

I'd like to say I'm relieved, after all it was a pretty stupid project overall.  I'm very glad I did it, however, because it got me very used to writing for this blog every day.  I'm determined to not let it go dead in the water, though I'll have to find some other ways to find something to write about more than once a week.   My hope is that it opened the door for me to share things and that it allowed you to get to know me just a bit better.

Now I suppose I'll have to think about how much I want to keep posting and you'll have to decide if you want to keep on reading.   For those of you that follow my blog, I really appreciate it more than you know.   For those that peek in from time to time, please sit , stay a while and consider following it.   The support helps me continue to pump out my thoughts by knowing someone is interested.    I mean, I talk all the time in the real world and I'm not sure if anyone is really listening, so this is a more solid way of knowing if I should keep talking or just shut the fuck up.

Song challenge of the day:  Your favorite song at this time last year.  Oh, dear.

Honestly, I can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday.  It's worrisome at times.  I can remember exactly what someone did to me to infuriate me as if it were a dated and timed snapshot in my brain from nineteen years ago but I am horrid with this sort of stuff.   I stressed about this more than is actually reasonable and then thought of the perfect song.   I know I was playing it a lot at some point around that time and I love it.   Ahh, bullet successfully dodged.   My burgeoning dementia will not win today.

Behold, the last video of this 30 day compilation.   Enjoy it, cause this song is pure gold.  I don't deny a bit of a crush, but not as much as the one I have on my vet.  (I suppose that's a story for another day)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Quitter? Nope.

I know I just made a post for the day, but it has nothing to do with the song challenge.  I haven't forgotten it, though.  I'm almost at the end and won't quit now.    Short and sweet, this is.   You want more words?  See the post below.

Song Challenge:  A song that reminds you of your childhood.

I love Elton John.  Seriously.  This is one of my favorites.  No explanation required.  It makes my heart smile.

I'm always right.

I'm unsurprised to report that I was right.   If you read my post yesterday about my upcoming trip to the Yellow River Gaming Ranch, you surely remember my predictions about how the outing would go.   I will chronicle my day with photos, since M. cannot ever seem to put the camera down.   She may be kind, but takes sadistic delight at my discomfort in such situations and finds it amusing to capture it on film and display it with a chuckle.   Maybe I'm the one that's rubbed off on her.   Hmmmm.   I like it.

I obviously won't post photos with kids on this blog, so don't think it was an exclusive photo op of me yesterday.   We pulled up to the ranch and immediately I felt as if I were in Jurassic Park, there were prehistoric ear shattering noises coming from mystery locations from the moment we stepped outside of the car.   Ok, they were roosters.  Forgive me for not growing up on a damn farm.  They sounded terrifying to me.   Now would probably be the time to mention that I'm wary of things with beaks and wings.   This is from childhood traumas that have to do with parakeets, but I won't tell the tale so you can laugh at me.

The whole thing started off by everyone mercilessly ridiculing me for bringing organic wheat crackers to feed the animals, insisting that they would spit them out because everything I buy tastes like paper.   Excuse the shit out of me.  I brought what I had at home, and I am health conscious.

Here is a photo taken when my cruel friend forced me to stand near the feathered vehicles of evil for a photo.  I had no choice, she drove the car and it was too far to be defiant and walk home.   In addition to this, she posted this photo elsewhere with the title "T. doesn't like cock".   Thanks a heap, M.

It's inevitable.   Whenever I take kids to the zoo, I end up having to explain why the animals are acting like they just put on a Barry White CD and are in the mood for love.   Why would yesterday be any different?   It does stand out, though, because I have never seen two donkeys going at it.   Saying it is loud is an understatement.    Of course, the kids thought it was hilarious.   The men working obviously were feeling like real clowns, because on top of it all, they felt the urge to come by and tell the kids that not only is it funny, but it's MORE AMUSING because they are both females.   Loud lesbian donkey sex was the theme for the better part of the afternoon.  I contemplated turning this into a learning experience for them, but then decided it was all too far gone for that.    Jesus Christ, can I not catch a break?

We did manage to have some fun by posing  kids in front of a sign that said 'Pigs' and taking pics.    Don't judge, we must indulge in mild cruelty to keep ourselves sane and besides, they didn't even realize it, so we could laugh to ourselves and not be horrible people.    The fun ended when the Vietnamese pot-bellied pig started taking a massive dump then sat on it.   Well, I'm so glad I paid money to experience the  joys of nature.

The worst part of going to these places is not the animals at all.  It's the horrible people and their wretched children.   I sat and watched one group of children chase rabbits right under a sign that said "NO CHASING OR PICKING UP THE RABBITS" and then bop them on the head with carrots.   The idiot mothers were sitting right next to me.   Part of the problem with working with kids for a living is that I sometimes forget I'm not at work and my instinct to discipline them sets in.   I did not make a scene and instead settled for  shooting death glares at both kids and moms… not as satisfying, but it had to do.   When I finally had enough I said to M., "You have five minutes before I open my mouth and say something."   They gathered their kids and left.  Idiots.

It was smelly.  There were huge muddy water puddles which were all too tempting to one of M.'s girls and we took turns yelling at her to not jump in.   So gross.   I was on total edge.   The more interesting animals just depressed me because I don't like to see them caged.  Ever the woman to make lemonade out of lemons, I managed to grab the stroller with baby in it and start making my way uphill for a long time and did lunges while pushing it.  I may have looked like a fool, but given the surroundings, I think I flew under the radar pretty well… besides, I didn't make it to the gym that day.     It was not all bad, however, because as I predicted,  there were lots of goats.   Have I mentioned how much I love goats?

Yes, people.  This is my life.  I'll take it, though.  I may not be famous, perfect or glamorous, but I'm sure as shit glad I'm not anyone else.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"Should" doesn't matter

Song challenge of the day: A song that should have been a single.

I'm sick of saying and hearing "should".
"I should've gotten that job"
"He shouldn't have treated me that way."
"You shouldn't have said/done that to me".

It seems to come precariously close to "It's not fair". Today I'm going to count how many times that phrase comes out of my mouth without even realizing it. I'll have plenty of opportunity, given the plan for the day. I am lucky enough to have a best friend. She is my complete opposite in almost every way….. think 'German earth mother/hippie type with a positive and sunny disposition who has the never ending urge to help all people in need on the face of the earth'. Oh, and she's got four daughters, four animals and is the most laid back person on the planet about 95% of the time (it would take a massive amount of mind altering pills for me to get to this point if I were her, she just needs a spoonful of Nutella from time to time). We go together like oil and water and yet have the most solid friendship I've ever had, I love her like the sister I never had.  She is, quite simply, pretty awesome.  There aren't too many people genuinely like her on the planet.  As of yet, none of her qualities have rubbed off on me.

She also makes me do shit that I'd never do 'for fun'.  That's why I even bring her up. 

Today we're taking our children to the Yellow River Ranch, her idea. Last night a massive storm blew through town. Downed power lines, fallen trees, you get the gist. Today I will pound sugar free Red Bull,  dodge massive puddles, grumble under my breath, run from chickens and wrinkle my nose at the smell of wet animal. She will smile, push her stroller while exuding a calm air of peace and happiness, have a basket full of 'snacks' for the kids and take five million photographs of all of us as I yell at her to not get me in the shot. I'll pretend like I hate it all the time and secretly be glad she made me go, because I'm pretty sure my kid will love seeing the buffalo and I'll run directly to the goats.

"Should" will come out of my mouth a million times.
"I should've told you to fuck off when you brought this up, my sneakers are ruined."
"I'm going to get pecked to death by those animals, I should sue this ranch."
"We shouldn't have gotten on the highway, we'll be sitting here all day listening to the kids scream in the car."

She'll roll her eyes kindly and laugh at me, because this is probably the best way to tolerate my crap without slapping my face. Good thing she's too busy gathering her kids together to read this blog before our adventure, because maybe she'd get in on how many times I'll say 'should' and then I'll be totally fucked.

I'm not posting a song that should have been a single. It was a single and it ROCKS. Take that, song challenge.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I Push Back

I'm a nice lady, I've always been a polite person.   There was a time when I can fully admit that my appearance and demeanor gave a far different impression.   I didn't realize it at the time, but I lived with a snarky defiant growl pasted on my face just daring someone to say something, anything.   Nowadays I handle life a bit differently, some would even call me charming when I want to be.    You know, the 'catch more bees with honey' shit.   It works, though.   It doesn't take more than a moment to smile at your neighbor  (except for the Mexicans across the street that STILL have their Xmas wreaths up in April, they can fuck off and die) or ask your bag boy how they are doing.    So long as someone is not a complete waste of space on the planet, I see no reason to not be friendly in day to day interaction.   I've gotten an all around better quality of life by behaving this way, but it doesn't mean I'm a sucker.  Thinking that is a mistake.

People push the limits on a daily basis, and the nicer you are the more they do it.   I handle conflict daily, which basically means I have to take whatever people are feeling ballsy enough to dish out.    I am the epitome of professional, but there is always a small part of me that wishes to be automatically transported out of my work environment and into the parking lot of the QT up the street.   Bet you five bucks that lots of folks wouldn't say the shit they do if they thought I could actually do anything about it.  

It's ok, though.  It's not just a work thing at all.  People underestimate me on a daily basis all over the place.   They see a small woman that is civil and friendly and don't think twice about trying to bulldoze all over her for whatever reason strikes their fancy.   But they don't know that I gladly push back.  I don't do it when you think I'm going to, you may walk away thinking you've gotten one over on me and pat your smug self on the back for whatever you've done and I'm fine with that.   What you don't realize is that I don't let go of things.  That hasn't changed in me at all.  The phrase 'You've got to sleep sometime' has left my mouth on more than one occasion over the years.  

Point is, I find it interesting that so many people ( ranging from intellectual powerhouses to very 'street smart')  aren't savvy enough to stop and think that they don't always know what the person they are fucking with could do.    I won't pull out a knife and slash your throat in my flowery dress and platform sandals.   After all, I've usually got a kid with me and setting such an example would be highly inappropriate.   I prefer to take the more civilized route with a smile on my face, waiting to hit you where it hurts after you've forgotten the incident.  Make no mistake, I can wait a long time.  Thing is,  I know I'm not the only one out there like that.   Careful who you fuck over, you may just end up regretting it, especially if it's me you think you're playing.   I'm just sayin'….

Song challenge:  Song that reminds you of party days.    Ok.  This reminds me of the days when I was a bit less refined in how I handled things,  but silly me didn't put any value on the element of surprise.   I'm sweeter, I smile more and I don't go into drunken tirades in public.  But I promise you that if you make my shit list, you'll wish you were fucking with the old me.  I used to bark, now I bite.

 I say the following words with a helpful spirit and in the cheeriest way possible as I scurry off to mop the floor and defrost some chicken for dinner:   LEX TALIONIS.   Look it up, then watch your back.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


I find myself struggling to write anything worth reading today. I suppose that's where posting every day for thirty days becomes a challenge. Sometimes I'm just devoid of anything interesting to say. I've been sitting with my calendar planning the upcoming free week to the hour, so much for attempting to be 'go with the flow'. I've done that before and got absolutely nothing done. I'm one of those all or nothing types. I can either knock out thirty things from my to-do list in two hours if I structure myself or I can contemplate being productive for nine hours in my robe and only manage to pop a new K-Cup into my Keurig and pluck my eyebrows in that amount of time. Besides, being spontaneous can stress me out.

I used to be pretty spontaneous, actually. But over time life has made it harder to do, not to mention the fact that I absolutely despise surprises. I always have. I like to know what's coming, ok?  Aren't there enough unforeseen shit storms in life to keep things just a tad off kilter? Blame it on my personality type, I don't have any other explanation for why I am this way. I am soothed by order and enjoy the process of preparation (unless we're talking about packing for a trip, that is torture).

I enjoy anticipating things as much as actually doing them. I do try to be social and get myself out there, but I've no shame in admitting that I'll make plans to do something with someone, look forward to it for a long time and then when it comes down to walking out the door, the dread of having to leave washes over me and I end up having to be pushed out of the house as I dig my heels in like a mule.   For a former social butterfly, this used to be disturbing. Now it's just accepted, social anxiety is not so mind blowing considering the fact that most public places one would socially frequent is full of assholes. Restaurants are fine because you can retain your personal space. Other places make it harder to control your immediate environment, which I think is what I don't like. I don't like big crowds and people all up in my face. The only reason I make myself do it is because I don't want to end up a shut in with ninety cats twenty years down the road… though the more I think about it, the more appealing it sounds (sans the ninety cats).

Song challenge: Favorite collaboration. Not my thing, glad others make it work. I'm a control freak, so I can only really work well with others if I'm in charge or as an employee, sharing the decision making process is not fun for me and doesn't come easily, just ask my husband. I have collaborated on projects before, and so long as the person I'm working with is on my same creative and goal oriented wave length things do work out, but there is always a nagging desire to rip the work out of their hands and fucking do it myself…. the right way. This makes me giggle, because I must say 'team player' at work at least five times a day when interviewing people for jobs.

Peter Murphy, Trent Reznor, Jeordie White and Atticus Ross doing 'Warm Leatherette'. Ahhhhh. What's not to love? (Well, except for the fact that I see Adam Sandler when I look at Trent Reznor in this video and it freaks me out…. am I the only one that sees it?)  I don't think I'll ever stop being mesmerized by Peter Murphy's singing voice.  He makes me go weak in the knees the minute he opens his mouth.  

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Swinging of the Pendulum

I am  a confident, controlled and happy woman (for the most part, on most days).  I was the exact opposite for too many years.   Truthfully, I wince when I revisit my evolution because it hurt.   As a young girl, I was insecure, sheltered, shy and constantly looking in from the outside.   My religious indoctrination told me from an early age that all of my natural tendencies made me a bad person, period.  Being a child of above average intelligence, I worked out quickly that I must pretend to be everything I knew I wasn't to gain favor.   I craved love and acceptance too much to be defiant as a child, I was the epitome of obedient on the outside while miserable on the inside.  So many factors that I won't bore you with made me a ticking time bomb.

My twelfth birthday brought about a metamorphosis that rocked my family to the core.  I found myself confused, over emotional, irrational, and angry.  When I say angry, I mean verbal and physical  uncontrollable fury that I unleashed unpredictably (I did not even understand it myself), I was volatile.  Those episodes were broken up by long bouts of crippling depression.  I was a total mess.   Though no one around me could wrap their minds around why I made such a 180,  as an adult today it is all quite clear to me.   It was inevitable.  My self destructive and impulsive behavior took me down ugly roads.  This lasted in varying degrees for years.   My new found rebellion did me little good, it only exposed me to new groups of people that I allowed to treat me badly for far too long.  I talked the talk, but hadn't learned how to stand up for myself in any way that really mattered, I still hadn't acquired much self awareness or self respect.

I could write about it for days, but it's emotionally uncomfortable and I have a house to clean. (I'm actually only sharing these small bits because it's the first time I've hesitated to hit 'publish post', and I'm intent on challenging myself with this blog.) There is never going to be a part of me that doesn't want to travel back in time and save me not only from myself, but from everything and everyone that caused me so much pain.   I eventually stopped looking to others to take care of and protect me, I've done a far better job of it than anyone else ever did.   Perhaps that's why I value loyalty from my friends more than anything else.   Not having my back when I need it is, for me, the ultimate betrayal.   I'm still sensitive, there is a part of me that will always be.  But now I have a voice, and once I found it, I never stopped using it, much to the chagrin of many.   I know and love who I am, I make no apologies for any part of myself.  I fought my demons and won, I came out powerful.   I embrace exactly what I'm capable of, both good and bad.   That makes life much easier to navigate.

The song challenge: play a song from your favorite album.  I have lots of favorite albums, but few spoke to me like Pink Floyd's 'The Wall'.   I discovered it at around thirteen years of age and I saw it as somewhat autobiographical… the interesting thing is that I did not anticipate how much it actually would prove to be just that later on down the road.  Of course, I had to find videos with film clips, because the movie actually solidified my attachment and emotions to the music in that era.   He was just as I had imagined, and I loved Bob Geldof's character in a way I couldn't when looking into the mirror at that time.     Personal connection aside, it's a brilliant album.   Here are two of my favorite tracks and scenes.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Funerals and Random Bitching

It's Friday!  That means that I endure one more day of work and then I am rewarded with a glorious week off.  All this attempted positive attitude I've been serving may be driving me slowly insane.  I'm not making too much sense lately, so the thought of constructing a cohesive and easily read post when my brain is all over the place is really tiring.   So you'll get no more than random snippets of what is going through my brain.

1.  I've been fighting with my older son, he's been staying at the house and pulling his usual crap.  In the midst of our argument, I immediately thought that due to our nasty dispositions lately, I was going to get us matching coffee cups.   Mine will say 'Bitch' and his will say 'Son of a Bitch'.    Then I burst into laughter for no apparent reason, which only made everything worse.  I just can't win sometimes.  EDIT:  Now that he's not angry with me, he thinks the idea is fabulous, but requested that his say 'Whore' instead, since he sees himself as such a ladies man… oh, give me a break.  Anyway, then they wouldn't be matching cups.  

2.  Try explaining to an innocent nine year old that while it's perfectly acceptable to think of me as his best friend (how sweet is that?) and that I am indeed a female, it's inappropriate to introduce me as his 'lady friend'.     Only my child, I tell you.

3.  My dog is turning me into a paranoid mess.   Since she has a plethora of health problems at almost fifteen years of age, it's work.  She forgets that I've fed her and the past two nights she's been barking at me incessantly for food a mere twenty minutes after she's eaten… ugh.   Not to mention every time I walk into the room and she's sleeping in her bed I think she's dead and freak out.  

4.  My cat Greta has gotten too big for her britches after being rescued from certain death.   She won't speak to me if the husband is home.   She rolls her eyes at me as she steps over me to get to her man, languidly draping herself all over him.  This is bullshit, she and I have more in common, I don't know what she sees in him.  I can't help but mouth the word 'whore' at her  when he's not looking.   I must love her from afar, I guess.

5.  Fact:  I will be spending hours of my Spring Break sharpening pencils.  Hundreds of them, don't ask me why… it's a top secret project and I'd have to put a bullet in your head if you knew the details.   This is proof that I have a far more exciting life than you could ever dream of.  Don't be jealous of me because I live life in the fast lane.   That's just how I roll.

6.  Proof that the song challenge was created by a teenager:   My video of the day is supposed to be a song I want played at my funeral.   I seem to recall having it all planned out once.   When I was fifteen and still wearing a black veil and writing bad poetry in my spare time.  (Think Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice, that's pretty accurate.)

Well I'm here to tell you that I'm not doing it.   Nope.   I can think of nothing more self indulgent than planning out every last detail of how you want people to honor your life.   I don't care if you play a Yo Gabba Gabba song at my funeral.  I'll be dead, what the hell difference will it make to me?  Funerals are more for the people left behind to gain some sort of closure.   My job is to live a life worth remembering, not controlling how my loved ones choose to remember it.   Whoever has the unlucky job of planning mine can play whatever they want, all I ask is that you cremate me and not stick me into the ground.   You want to do something for me?  Play a song for me while I'm still alive so I can bask in the attention. I like attention.

So in lieu of my 'funeral' selection, I'm just playing a kick ass song.   You want to play it at my funeral?  Knock yourself out.  It's probably not that much of a stretch in description anyway.