Sunday, April 21, 2013

A List of Things

A lesson that I seem to keep repeating in life:  Just when I believe I am on a path and I know what the future holds...something comes along to totally blow that shit to bits and I am left with fragments to scrape together to form my new reality.  Sometimes this is good, sometimes not so good; but it always ends up to be exactly what was supposed to happen.  And I conveniently forget this lesson and start settling in.  Then, in true snow globe fashion...shake shake shake.  Let's review:

Last May:  I was preparing to take my annual vacation to St Pete Beach.  I had just been promoted at work and was settling into my new role.  My boyfriend and I were sailing along nicely, maintaining a "commuter" relationship.  Life was good, I decided to redecorate my house.  Changes were on the horizon; however, I had no idea.

Last December:  Now married, and living in Memphis, I was experiencing a cold and bitter winter.  A long December, if you will.  The vicarious trauma that I had been warned about when I began my new job had wrapped itself around me like a not-so-comforting blanket.  My husband lost his job.  I felt like shit.  I honed in on every sad thing/bad thing/tragedy that I could seek out, just to confirm my feelings that there was misery everywhere.  Unfortunately, there was no shortage.  My husband and I took a probably ill-advised trip to the happiest place on Earth...New Orleans.  We drowned our worries in the the rum soaked cocktails and attempted to enjoy ourselves.  On the way, my husband received a phone call.  We didn't know it at the time, but this call would go on to change our lives.

March 2013:  Our new normal is comfortable.  The phone call turned out to be an offer for some contract work for my husband.  The new normal consists of my husband traveling to Florida during the week and me holding down the home front.  It works.  I am solitary by nature, so although I missed having him here, I did not completely fall apart like so many women would.  The work trauma was subsiding, I quit smoking, and I spoiled his dog (my own was already spoiled to capacity).  I joined the YMCA and began attending water aerobics classes.  I had resigned myself to exercising with all the old ladies since my knee prevented me from resuming the fitness methods of the olden days.  Things were getting better.  I began to consider grad school (again).  Changes were on the horizon; however, I had no idea.

Today:  My home is in shambles.  My dogs are unsettled.  My husband is home, no longer traveling to Florida during the week.  I am exhausted.  I threw away my grad school brochures.  All of this sounds awful (and let's face it...typical), but the surprise is:  IT IS AWESOME!  It is awesome because all of this chaos is due to yet another move in my long list of address changes.  In 6 days, my husband and I are moving to Florida.  The phone call he received as we quietly made our pilgrimage to NOLA last December turned into a contract job, which turned into a permanent position.  In Florida. we the other happiest place on Earth! And now, the promised list:


1.  This week the news reported on a woman who went into a Top's BBQ and tried to get a refund/exchange on a hamburger that she purchased three days before.  When she did not get her way, she pushed the cash registers off the counter.  The reporter interviewed the manager who had the misfortune of working the counter that day and the manager reported, "It was still a pretty burger".  I'm not sure which is worse...the dumbass who brought in a three day old hamburger for a refund, or a restaurant manager who deems a three day old burger "pretty".  Hopefully, Orlando will have more sophisticated criminals and I won't have to attempt to make this distinction.

2.  Central Time.  I never did make the adjustment when I moved to this time zone fifteen years ago.  I like for my shows to start at 8pm.  I like to be the first to celebrate New Year's.  I like to see daylight after 8pm. SNL is supposed to start at 11:30pm.  There should not be news on at 4pm in the afternoon.

3.  Much as I enjoyed living in Memphis, I don't think it could be any less conveniently located to stuff I like. It is a six hour drive to anything good.  Further for anything great.  Flying out of Memphis is something not easily afforded and from the looks of things the last few times I did fly, the airport is about to close.

4.  Again, much as I loved living in Memphis, I am glad to be moving some place that does not have to overcome anything.  Memphis has a rich history of being the low man on the totem pole.  Racism, corruption, cultural dearth, yellow fever, obesity, poverty...the list goes on.  It is not the historical chip on the shoulder that is so bad, it is the reformers that exhaust me.  The hipsters with their organic dogma, the loud racism monitors, the constant bickering over the homages to the city's dark past, the prosperity preachers (Praise Jesus and Get That Money!), city versus county versus charter versus achievement versus homeschool zealots, the drive to make 13 year olds wear condoms so as to not add to at least 3 of the population blemishes, the ugly hairy legged females hocking their trash (ahem...found objects) as art (who, exactly, is responsible for those horrible mason jar wineglasses??).  Here's the deal...Memphis has a lot of black people, fat people, poor people, sick people, and stupid people.  I won't miss the constant meowing from the holier than thou about what I need to be doing to help Memphis overcome everything.  I'm sure Orlando has it's struggles, but struggle is so much easier to take when it is sunny and eighty degrees.

Those things being said, I feel that I am leaving Memphis at exactly the right time.  The dogwoods are blooming, the air is warming up, the city is slightly less trashy in preparation for Memphis in May, and the people are nicer in the Spring.  So, farewell Memphis.  I enjoyed our time together, for better and for worse, but it is time for me to move on to greener pastures and sunnier skies.  Don't worry, Disney attracts crazy people, so I will have plenty to "commentate" on once I get settled.

Monday, January 7, 2013

I'm Still Here.

I am still alive. And married. And grossly underpaid and overworked.  I have non trashy renters in my home.  I have a lot to say, but the tiniest keyboard, so a complete update will come soon.  I just wanted to alert the masses of my continuance.
I'm still here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mrs. Roper

I need a caftan.  After stressing out for a couple of days about the guaranteed fat check I will have to write should I be so lucky to actually find a buyer for my home, I decided to take a gamble.

I will be a landlord.  Of course, I have no idea what I am doing, but when has that stopped me before.  Oh wait...well, it has stopped me every time.  But since "everything has changed", I will dive head first into the real estate rental market with my cute little house that is convenient to nothing.

Maybe in a year the market will recover a little.  Maybe someone will rent my home and decide they love it so much that they want to buy it and I can save the realtor commission.  Maybe I will find a long term renter who pays on time and is not trashy.  I have rented before, I was a good renter, surely there are more people like me out there in need of a home with 1.5 baths.  Maybe not, but I feel more comfortable taking the risk than suffering through the insulting process of selling my house to a low baller and then writing a check for the privilege.

My husband (someday I will get used to saying that) is on board with this, so that's good.  It is nice to make a decision with support.  A change in my work schedule for the week has prevented me from returning to my marital home, and I am just out of sorts about that.  Even though I am in my own house, the house that has provided me comfort and refuge for four years, I am uncomfortable and blue.  Should I pack something? What? Should I relax and enjoy the solitude for a while? Should I clean?  I feel as though I am away at a conference.

This weekend, I am moving half of my wardrobe to my "new" residence.  Home is where the clothes are.  Actually, home is where Harriet, the dog, is.  Ms. Harriet will also be moving her worldly possessions to her new home.  Since returning from Florida, Harriet has been a little weird.  She sits and looks at me as if to say, "You bitch."  I know what's going on here.  She is about to go from being head of household to just 1/4 of household.  She will have to share affection, lap space, and visibility with Forrest, Jim's dog.

But then, just as I was worrying about whether Harriet would ever forgive me for my betrayal...she issued her seal of approval:

Yes, I photographed my dog's pee pattern.  She has an uncanny ability to do punctuation marks as well, but I will save that for another post.

Monday, June 18, 2012

White Lace and Promises

So, it appears that a rework of this blog is necessary.  And here's why...

I got married.  And everything has changed.  

Two weeks ago, I was making preparations for my annual birthday extravaganza (which basically consists of a vacation plus presents...what could be better?).  I cleaned my house and sat down to enjoy my cute little clean home when I had the following train of thought:

I love my house.  I know someday I will have to move, because I love Jim and I love Memphis, but today I really love living here.  I have been here for four years this year, I haven't lived in one place that long since I left home for college.  I sure hate moving.  Hopefully, I will get a refinance when I get back from vacation and can stay here a while longer.  I decorated this whole house, by myself and I love it.  There are some changes coming up, grad school, probably a new car.  But for now, I want things to stay exactly as they are.  I like my life exactly the way it is right now.  

Jim and I made our pilgrimage to St Pete Beach.  I knew he had my birthday present with him on the trip.  I expected a beach float or something fun, because he was insistent on the present being presented while we were at the beach.  I am normally sharp as a tack, but I missed this one by a mile.  So, I donned my decidedly unsexy one piece and frumpy cover-up and didn't even fix my hair as we went out to enjoy the gulf waters upon arrival.  It was so nice to be back in my favorite place on Earth.  We swam, we floated, we looked for shells.  As we sat down in our beach chairs to settle in for sunset, I remembered..."Hey! I'm supposed to get a present!!!"  I reminded Jim of the agreement.  We're at the beach...let's have it.  So after receiving instructions to close my eyes, I hear some rumbling around and jingling.  My initial thought was, a necklace? Where am I going to wear a necklace down here? This could have been just as special at home.  Keys? Did he get me a car??? That is going to be complicated.  Keys to his house? That's nice, I guess.  Then, I was told to hold out my hands.  Ok, this is bordering on some sort of trick.  See...this is the very reason I don't like surprises.  I expect bad surprises.  If he puts some sort of snot filled sea creature in my hand I will use it to teach him a lesson.  I didn't know how wide to hold my hands, still kind of expecting some sort of super duper flotation device.  I felt him place something in my hand and was instructed to open my eyes.  And then, that's when everything changed.

Sitting in my hand was a seashell (sans snot filling).  Inside the shell was a diamond ring.  A large diamond ring.  I looked at it in disbelief.  I looked at Jim and he asked me to marry him.  Right there.  In my favorite place on Earth.  No cajoling.  No hinting.  No browbeating.  Like it was the most natural thing ever.  And for me, saying "YES!!!!!" was the most natural thing ever.  Of course!!  We giggled about how he was able to pull it off, surprising me...the unsurprisable.  We discussed a timeline.  He didn't want to wait long.  I was on the fence, as reality set in...OMG I HAVE A MILLION THINGS I NEED TO DO.  We tabled it for a while and just enjoyed saying "Fiance" with obnoxious accents.  

A couple of days later, we were having a more serious discussion about when to get married.  Both of us have been married before, so there was no need for any sort of extravaganza.  Maybe around Christmas...I will be off work for a couple of weeks.  Maybe in the Fall, we could go somewhere for a weekend.  We tabled it for a while, not really coming to any sort of conclusion.  We had discussed maybe just doing it while we were in Florida, the night he gave me the ring, but I nixed that immediately because I can't just run off and get married.  There are a million things that I have to take care of before hitching myself to someone.  I own a home.  I have a car that doesn't work more often than it does.  I have some debt.  I've gained some weight.  I cut all my hair off recently.  I am in transition with my job, with no clear idea of what my schedule is going to be.  As we sat on the beach, time seemed to halt and I was granted another gift.  The gift of clarity.  I saw myself and what was happening without a filter.  I was putting off change...again.  What I have always wanted was sitting right here next to me and a door was standing wide open and here I was again, hesitating.  And then I remembered.  Hesitation only brings me grief.  I was being offered the best life ever, and here I was doing the same dance that I knew so well.  Minding the trees and forgetting about the forest.  Operating on the belief that I was in complete and total control of everything in the universe.  Jim would have waited as long as I deemed necessary for me to get the comfort that I had taken care of everything in my life in order to get married.  What Jim didn't know was I would never achieve that comfort.  Also, it isn't comfort at all, it is fear.  And that fear has strangled me for decades.  When I met Jim, I tossed caution to the wind and suppressed a lot of that fear and here we why am I inviting my old enemy into this awesome event?  And with that...I informed Jim that there was a courthouse in Pinellas County.  Right there, on the beach, with sandy fingers...I swiped and poked my iphone into giving us the basic information we needed to set a date.  For the next day.  And hilarity ensued.

We set out to obtain wedding bands that evening.  I was a little nervous because we needed to be able to go in and walk out with rings, no time for sizing.  We found a mall, a wealth of jewelry stores, and visited Zales. No dice.  We didn't want anything fancy, just plain bands...for under $100 each.  Last time I got married, these were easily obtained.  Last time I got married the price of gold was in the gutter.  The needle nose bat at Zales showed us every ring they had in the $300 to $600 section.  I felt judged.  This bitch had no idea.  We didn't just fucking meet.  It is just that when you decide you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want it to start immediately.  Yeah, I totally just lifted that from "When Harry Met Sally".  Anyway, we left there and headed down to JC Penney.  I thought I remembered that they have a fine jewelry department.  They do; however, they have no staff in that department.  We stood around, basically waving money around, and no one noticed.  So we left.  As we walked, we came upon an Arab jewelry store.  Shalimar.  I couldn't decide if I should make a reference to "Dancing In the Sheets" Shalimar or the suffocating fragrance of the 80's Shalimar.  No need, we were too distracted by the "50% off!!!" signs.  We were promptly served by Borat.  Borat showed us some nice bands which were arranged by size, which was good seeing as how Zales only had rings for anorexics.  Still, even with the half off deal, the rings were expensive.  So, I leveled with Borat.  "Look, we are doing this quick and we really just need something for the ceremony.  Could we see those rings over there?"  By that I meant...we don't even need real gold, we would be just as happy with something silver, or even stainless steel.  It makes no difference.  Borat got it.  He understood.  We needed cheap.  And quick.  We walked out of the store with our bands, and came in WAY under our agreed upon ring budget.  We justified it by saying we would buy nicer bands for an anniversary.  We both knew that we would likely wear these bitches until the day we die.  So, we had our ID's, we had our rings, we had everything necessary to marry in the state of Florida.  We didn't need the rings, but I required them to give our union legitimacy.  

The next morning, we got up to begin our wedding day.  Luckily, I had packed a white sundress.  I never dreamed it would be my wedding dress, I just thought it was a nice dress to show off my tan.  Not that wearing white was a big deal, let's be realistic here...  But, it was nicer than the Target beach coverups that I brought.  Jim wore a nice shirt, shorts, and flip flops.  We went to the Pinellas County Courthouse in Saint Petersburg and took a number.  When our number was called, we were seated at a cubicle which contained the driest public servant ever.  He was not nearly as excited and happy as we were.  Sign here, take this oath, sign here, pay this, and go into the room down the hall for the "ceremony".  God, what I would give to have a video of what played out in that little room.  First of all, he called us "James" and "Robyn".  Technically speaking, those are our names, but that was like the most formal versions of ourselves were getting married.  So, Jim corrected him.  He looked at us as though we were fraudulent grifters, and then shrugged and said, "Look, I'll call you whatever you want."  REALLY?  I was so tempted to test that by telling him to call me "Niles Standish" Yes Yes? YES YES? So then, Public Officiant says, "Usually people just stand and face each other, or whatever, I guess."  Jim and I had been standing side by side, as though we were hoping to be weeded out of a police line-up.  Public Officiant began the "ceremony" and asked if we had rings.  After determining that we did, he said, "I guess just do with the rings whatever..."  So, with that forceful directive, we began again.  He invites Jim to take his vow and as he begins, Jim cuts him off with "I DO."  But wait....there's more....  Jim basically agreed to marry me, but his pre-emptive I DO cut out the part about sickness, health, have, hold, richer, poorer, etc.  And this cracked us up.  So, we began again.  I was not without guffaw though.  I slid Jim's ring on his finger back when Public Officiant said, "do whatever".  So, when it was my turn, I had to take Jim's ring off and put it back on.  Kind of like when my mom flubs the picture of me blowing out birthday candles and makes me reenact the blowing out of the candles with already blown out candles...for picture purposes.  And then, we were done.  We were married.  Jim and I had opted for the $10 wedding photo to commemorate our experience, so Public Officiant went to get the camera.  He came back in with what appeared to be a crime scene camera.  Visions of Jody Foster and the first victim dredged from the river came to mind.  I felt like I should apply Vick's Salve.  He snapped the unflattering picture and went off to develop it and certify our union.  We were ushered back out to the waiting room with all the other derelicts.  Although completely devoid of personality, our officiant was very efficient.  The whole thing took less than 30 minutes.  Afterward, we dined on Reuben sandwiches at the Lucky Dill Deli and giggled about our experience.  I called my parents.  My mom was excited and wondered if it had rained, which is per usual.  She is both obsessed with weather and whether or not my happiness was dampened by anything.  My dad stated, "Goddamn, that didn't take long."  Oh but it took me 20 years, Dad.  Twenty years of doing the wrong thing at the wrong time before I finally found happiness.  Sappiness aside, that was his way of saying "Congratulations."  He quickly changed the subject and told me about the weather at home.  My parents enjoy weather and discussions about weather.    Jim and I spent the remainder of our vacation soaking up the sun and eating scallops.  

We got home and things felt different.  I was married now.  I had things I needed to take care of.  My comfy little life had been blown to bits, in exchange for an even better life.  But that better life would require some adjustment.  And the sale of my home.  And a lengthy commute to work.  And stress.  How to make it all work.  There I go again...

So, back to my point...the new direction for the blog.  I ran off and got married.  I didn't spend months making lists and flowcharts trying to predict every little snag.  I used to do impulsive things on the regular.  Somewhere along the way, I stopped doing that.  I had forgotten that generally, when I toss things up and see where they land, they usually land in greener pastures; with very little list making.  So, I am back on that path.  There are things I have to do and this blog will (hopefully) document my experience of reconciling my old life with my new life.  And...all I can do is hope that 

hilarity ensues.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Miss Blogging

I miss blogging. Some day I will get back into it. Until then...

1. Melatonin is the devil's tonic. I am done with that mess. Done. And next time I decide to try diagnose and treat myself for whatever ailment...I will research it first. I would rather not sleep for a year straight than deal with the problems that cropped up after I endorsed it as the best thing ever. Melatonin is like a shitty boyfriend. It worms its way into your life and causes all sorts of other problems, escaping detection because, hey, it's "natural". It's only after you change everything about yourself that you realize...wait, maybe it is the shitty boyfriend (melatonin). Never ever again.

2. I have made peace with my shitty job. After flying off the handle (naturally aided by the melatonin) about the lack of a salary increase; I settled down and got out my calculator. Of course, I still don't think they pay me enough (there isn't an enough); however, I now realize that my pay is in line with what I would make anywhere else that I would have to commute to. At least they pay me to drive to and from work, which actually does make a huge difference. So, for now, I am going to STFU about it and continue paying my bills. It could be so much worse.

3. The new AFLAC commercial is 20 years behind the times. A rapping pidgeon? That would have been pretty funny in 1992. Now, it is just retarded. Although, I do enjoy hearing the bird say, "Major Medical".

4. If melatonin is the devil's tonic, then Biscoff Spread is heaven's manna. I didn't think it could get any better than those crisp spicy cookies available on Delta flights. Until they showed up at Walgreen's. I can have the Delta flight experience right on my couch! Without the hallitosis ridden fat guy sitting too close to me. I never dreamed that it could get better than that. But it did. This weekend, I discovered that some genius had figured out a way to grind the delicious wafers into peanut butter form. I am halfway through the jar. Seriously, get thee to the nearest grocer and purchase a jar. See for yourself. Just stay away from my local grocer. I work this corner, bitches.

5. Occupy Wall Street (or insert metropolitan area here). What exactly are these folks trying to tell us? That commune living is where it's at? There is still plenty of land available in the west. Go there and do it. Yeah, I have been screwed too, I guess. But you know what? I am okay. That is life. I believe that my generation, actually...the elders of my generation, are responsible for this. For every child who grows up hearing, "You can do anything you want to do! You are Superman! You deserve (insert misunderstood constitutional right here)! My kids are my life!" there is a dirty, entitled, loud talker picking at his toenails on Wall Street. I certainly do not advocate crushing your children or their dreams; however, somewhere along the way...people lost touch with reality. These annointed children grew up to find that they are not, in fact, the center of the universe. So now what? They have joined a mish mash of citizens who feel left behind by life and someone needs to pay. But not them. Nope. They are not paying for anything. It seems that it just is not fair for a select few to play the game and win. The activists are waiting for their participation trophies. I look at it like this: Susie and Bobby are playing Go Fish. Susie loses. Instead of starting a new game, and sharpening her strategy, Susie jumps up in tears and goes out to the front lawn and begins wailing about how unfair it is that Bobby won. Do you think Bobby will give up card games forever, feeling bad that there just was not enough "win" to go around? No. Bobby is on the phone, calling Mary to come over and play Go Fish with him, and probably hoping she is a better player than that crazy bitch Susie. I shudder to think what society will become if the playing field was leveled. Survival of the fittest has worked since the beginning of time. Call me Scrooge, I don't care. The world doesn't change to accommodate me, I change to accommodate the world. This is not a popular opinion and there are plenty of people who would line up to introduce me to the exceptions (if this were a widely read blog...which it isn't) and to them I would say two things: 1) I don't have time to meet your exceptions because I have to go to my job. And work. So that I can earn a paycheck. And pay my bills. Because I don't get paid just to simply exist. 2) If you spent half the time learning to play the game than you did looking for the exception to every rule, you would have something else to do besides sitting around stinking up the environment with your B.O. and your rhetoric. Choosing to play the victim only worked for Michael Moore. And he's the fattest victim I know.

6. I was not home to greet trick or treaters last year. This year, I will be home and will welcome the candy seeking masses. I will be implementing my Candy Tier Policy. The CTP is as follows: Tier One includes name brand snack size candy such as Payday, Twix, and Kit-Kat. This tier is reserved for children, aged 12 and under, who show up in costume and state, "Trick or Treat". Tier Two includes suckers and generic candy such as Mary Janes (aka Black and Orange), Dots, and Tootsie Rolls. This tier is reserved for children aged 12 and under who are not in costume, children who mumble, as well as children under the age of three whose parents are begging by proxy. Finally, Tier Three includes candy from Easter and Valentine's Day, peppermints that have collected in my console from Sonic,individual sticks of gum, and pencils. This tier is reserved for children over the age of 12, children of any age who present Kroger/WalMart/Dollar General bags, and children of any age whose costume consists of what appears to be either baby powder or flour on their faces. If a child aged 12 or under presents with absolutely no costume, they actually fare better than a child who puts white powder on his or her face. If a child dresses like a crack-head, he or she will be treated as such. As a personal bonus incentive, Tier One candy is allocated as follows: One for them, two for me. I want to give kids the good candy. It is a win/win situation. If a child approaches my door after I have turned off the porch light, he will continue standing there until his good sense returns and will receive no candy for this effort. This is my way of teaching the world, one child at a time. If you want the good candy, you have to work for it. Be creative. Use imagination. Don't blame circumstances. Don't half-ass. The good candy awaits those that strive. 10 month old peppermints await those that don't, so that while they are shouting about how unfair life least their breath will be fresh.

Granted, numbers 5 and 6 could have, and probably should have, had their own posts. However, I am a stream of consciousness blogger. Eventually, I will always work my way back around to the point. And the point here is...

I have a little to say about a lot of things. I miss blogging.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Eleven Things.

Last night, I talked myself into a bath. That's right, I had to convince myself to bathe. Normally, I take a quick shower, as quickly as possible, then go to bed. Lately, my schedule has been hectic (read: shitty) and I feel my grip on my time loosening with every obligation. It isn't necessarily work, a lot of it is self created. When I get home from work, I feel the burden of all the crap that needs to be done at home; therefore, I usually busy myself with busy work for the short chunk of time that is supposed to be my own. Sweeping, mopping, folding clothes, dusting, organizing, reorganizing, scrubbing....if I had more time, I would address my obvious OCD issues; however, doing so means something would get left unpolished at home. It makes me stressed out when there is something undone. I can't just sit and enjoy a movie when I know that somewhere in the house, there is a dust bunny lurking. It is crazy, I already know. And, I am not at all sure where it came from. I wasn't a tidy kid, my parents are not neat freaks, and in the grand scheme of things, I know it doesn't matter. Am I overcompensating for not having children by cleaning my house like I do? So, anyway...back to the bath. Even that is an ordeal.

Before I can sit in the tub and soak, I have to clean the tub. Not because I am a germaphobe, but because my dog has a weird habit of hanging out in the tub when I am not home. Her dirty little paws leave prints all over it, so much so that it actually looks as though I have some sort of custom painted tub. Anyway, I have to clean up the paw prints. So, last night, I decided it would be worth the effort. I have the process down to a science. Scrubbing Bubbles is a great product for people who want to clean while they wait to clean something else. Spray, scrub (yes, I know it is supposed to do it for me...but Harriet's dirt is tough), rinse. I fill up the tub, add my bath additives, then get in. Harriet comes in and after a big sigh, lies down beside the tub, probably thinking, "I worked so hard on that tub today...damn." As I soaked away my cares compiled my to do list for Wednesday, I noticed the bottle of Philosophy Apricots and Cream bath gel. There is a recipe for actual Apricots and Cream on the front of the bottle. I decided to compile a new list:

I would:
1. Actually make the Apricots and Cream recipe from the Philosophy bottle. I've never had an apricot, so I don't know if I would even like it, but I can't remember the last time I made a recipe just for the hell of it.
2. Sketch. The closest I come to actually doing something creative is dusting my drawing table.
3. Read. Those summer reading books that I was soooo excited about a few months ago? Still in the tall stack I placed them in. Officially changed the name of the stack to Fall Reading Stack and placed a moratorium on any new reading materials.
4. Pet Harriet's pretty little head. I miss my dog when I am out there rushing from client to client. I recently commited to walking her at least 3-4 times a week and am keeping this commitment. I just wish I had more time to actually invite her into my lap and pat her belly. That would require sitting.
5. Sit more. With the exception of lunch, which I normally eat in the car, I eat most of my meals standing up. I have plenty of comfortable seating options, including a lovely rocking chair on the front porch, perfect for enjoying the cool evenings. I need to use that...after cleaning it.
6. Watch all the stuff in my DVR, as well as my Netflix queue. I still haven't seen the final season of Nip/Tuck.
7. Shop. Yes, that is a risky situation. I do shop now, but for things to make life easier...gadgets, tools, food. I mean shop for nothing. Of course, that is a dangerous thing for me, being budgeted to death, but it would be nice to go to some of my old haunts for an afternoon (Celery, Davis Kidd/DK, Fresh Market, Steinmart, Olde Time Pottery, etc).
8. Visit my mom. Sometimes, I crave going home and pretending I am 8.
9. Get drunk. I love wine and liquor, but what fun is it to have a nice glass of wine while sweeping the floor? I remember sitting on my patio on Friday nights, listening to the sounds of the nearby high school football game, needing a blanket, and finishing off a bottle of merlot. How long ago was that? Last year? Two years ago? Funny Sad thing is, my home is no more improved now than then, so what have I been wasting time on???
10. Call my friends. I am not a phone talker. This is yet another example of how different I am from how I used to be. I abhor talking on the phone, no matter who it is. Sometimes I will get a wild hair, and will call up someone I haven't talked to in a while, but then after about 5 minutes, I am ready to hang up. I wonder if Facebook killed my desire to catch up? More than likely, it is the fact that I talk to people that I generally do not want to talk to all day. When I am on the phone, I think about all the things I could be doing if I wasn't on the phone. If I had more time, I would call up my friends and post up for a marathon phone call, without a care about what was left undone.
11. Ride my bike. My boyfriend bought me a fabulous bike for my birthday. It really is awesome. I have ridden it three times since June. There is a limitation on my time with the bike; however, as it is kept at his house because he lives on the bike trail. There is nowhere to ride the bike here at my house. Therefore, riding the bike involves all sorts of scheduling and planning. That sucks.

I'm on to something here...I feel as though I have to perfect things before I can enjoy them, and get so caught up in the perfecting that I have no time or energy for enjoying. I require perfect conditions before partaking. Perfection was never a big thing for me, I was never an overachiever, my parents were of the "good enough" school of parenting, I certainly don't look like a perfectionist with my stubble legs and wild frizzy hair; so what is that about? I should really take some time to sort that out...

but my coffee pot is grungy.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Southern Decadence: A Survival Guide

A summation of what I learned from my weekend in New Orleans:

1. Labor Day weekend is the Annual Southern Decadence Festival in New Orleans. This is a festival that trots out the worst that the gay population has to offer. If you want an overview of all the gay stereotypes and fuel for your anti-gay campaign...this is the place to be. If you basically don't care and have no issue with gay/lesbian/bi/trans/etc...stay far away. Visit St Pete, the weather is lovely. I have no problem whatsoever with gay pride/rights/marriage/etc. I do have a problem with obnoxious people, however. I am concrete and stockstill in my belief that all men are created equal. Gay, straight, black, white, yellow, red, whatever. While I am fairly open-minded...there are a lot of people who are not. Donning a pink boa, wearing the entire color collection of Wet n Wild makeup, and handing out personal lubricant is not going to change anyone's mind.
Wow, thanks, so I I voting on gay marriage or banning friction?

I was unsure whether I was supposed to stare or not. It was the Freaknik for gays. You don't want to be viewed as freaks? Then quit acting like freaks.

My mother taught me not to stare at people in wheelchairs. But what if that wheelchair is painted neon green and has a sign above it that says, "LOOK AT THIS PERSON IN THE NEON GREEN WHEELCHAIR!!!!" Am I still expected to act like the handicapped person walks amongst the rest of us?

2. Do not listen to the weather channel. Tropical Storm Lee: a story in photos...

Thanks Lee for lowering the temps to the mid 80's, washing away all the Jean Nate and piss, and inspiring me to buy some CUTE rainboots!

3. This weekend was brought to you by The Sibilant S. Everywhere I turned, there was Steam escaping from the mouths of men. What is the deal with this? You are gay, I get it. You were born that way...I'll buy that. But the lisp? It sounds ridiculous. SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. I kept looking in the gutters for snakes. Just another stereotype turning into fact.
Hold on to your men, ladieS...there iS a cloiSter of queenS ahead.

And while I am on the subject of speech, why is everyone talking so LOUD???? Is there some sort of gay hearing deficit plaguing the population? Here's a clue for all those shouting about discrimination: It isn't about your is about the fact that you are fucking obnoxious. Why bother wearing bright, loud, and visually arresting garb when all you have to do is open your mouth. Every single restaurant that I walked into had tables full of men shouting at each other. Not just on Bourbon street, where shouting at each other is a standard. Jim and I couldn't hear the waiter, much less each other, at NOLA...which isn't a casual watering hole. Most of our meals were spent watching each other chew food that we could not discuss because of the Loud Talking Competition at the next table. I didn't expect a library environment, but I also did not expect a cattle auction either. SSSHHHH!

4. Um....just because you are not looking at me, that does not mean I am not looking at you. What are you...five?

Dude, they got bathrooms in every single one of these buildings. The world is not your changing room. Once again...the stereotype is shouting: All gays have bad manners. Now, I know that isn't true, but what about the 8 year old kid across the street. The power of one, my friends. That kid is going to remember seeing your lily white inner thighs every time someone mentions gay, New Orleans, French Quarter, queer, decadence, and southern. The kid will grow up with the notion that all gays have shitty manners. He or she will marry a like minded mate and produce offspring that will be taught that same belief. Not really helping your cause.

5. The gay population has the same pratfalls as the straight population. Case in point...I have never seen as many mandals as I saw this weekend. Here's the deal: the only person who thinks that mandals are okay is the person that is wearing them. Straight women abhor mandals. I'd be willing to bet gay men don't like them either. In hundreds of French Quarter hotel rooms this weekend, there was a silent plea being sent up: Please, for the love of God, don't wear those mandals today. And then...a hundred little lies: Yeah, honey, you look fine...let's go. Same thing with fanny packs and knee length cargo shorts. It's universal. People let themselves go, whether gay or straight, and then expect their mates to just overlook things. You know, because of love. No matter if you are gay, straight, bi, confused, or hetero...there has to be something visually appealing there. Call it shallow, it is the truth. And then, there's this:

Clearly, he does not have AT&T. He didn't get the text that read, "Meet at the golden lantern, dress casual". His friends were all, "Oh my God, you guyS, what iS up with Carl? Let'S ditch him at Pat O'BrienS."

6. New Orleans is not the place for families. Actually, I already knew this. I do not understand why anyone would think that hauling your baby and all of it's crap to New Orleans is a good idea. Strollers and cobblestones do not mix. And just because you guys wanted to multiply, that does not give you supreme rights to the sidewalk. Your toddlers are annoying in New Orleans, just the same as Memphis. I overheard one woman tell her child, "You better get back over here, someone is going to snatch you up and take you home with them." No they won't. Take your brood and go somewhere else; a place where the vomit won't clog the wheels of your stroller. A place where you don't have to answer questions like, "Mama, what does twink mean?" A place where I don't have to watch your fat-backed daughter in a halter top upset the pidgeons. Baton Rouge is lovely this time of year. I have no pics of said fat-backed kids to photographing kids is not a good idea. It is the same "don't stare at the wheelchair" argument. Don't stare at the obnoxious 8 year old running around squawking "LOOK AT ME! LOOK! LOOK AT ME!!!!!"

All in all, I had a great time in the Big Easy. The storm was mild, the gays were loud, the kids were fat, the parents were indulgent, and the food was good. I learned that being obnoxious is a universal trait, rain boots with flair can be had, if you watch long enough...a kid will receive an empty threat from it's parent, and the shrimp and grits is just as good when someone is hollering at the next table.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

She Put the Blue in Bluegrass

On Thursday, August 25, I experienced some sort of public emotional come-apart. Not how you might think, though...this breakdown occured in the dark (thank god) and was set to some fine fiddling. When my boyfriend, Jim, invited me to see Alison Krauss live in concert, I was all set. I mean, I like her little upbeat tunes, "Now That I've Found You" and "The Lucky One" being two of my favorites. I figured there would be some bluegrass involved, some happy little ditties about mining coal and prevailing against the tough odds. After a dinner of mussels and scallops at Cafe Society (another blog post....I unknowingly ordered the souvenir platter, a plate full of shells), I took my seat in the Orpheum and settled in for a pleasant evening.

What followed was a cruel ass kick.

Tiny little Alison came out on stage with her fiddle (violin? viola? I'm no musician) and might as well have cracked it over my skull. There is something about live music that gets me anyway. It is overwhelming, in a good way. To say this was overwhelming would be an understatement. The tears sprang up with the first song and by the end, I was ready for a nice warm bath and a straight razor. Don't get me wrong...the music was spectacular. Listening to the music without distraction; however, allowed me to feel the whole experience. Lyrics about lost love, heartbreak, longing, pining, dying, regret...she covered all of them. I was actually happy when I heard the upbeat strains of a non-radio played bluegrass type number. WRONG. There would be no prevailing against the elements here. Even hillbillies die with regret and unrighted wrongs apparently. And, it is just as sad.

Sitting next to my guy, I felt a little embarrassed. I had tears brimming in my eyes, ready to start flowing down my face. My nose was stuffed up and I was mouth breathing. I didn't want him to think I was some sort of emotionally unstable sap. I hate crying. Hate it worse than anything. And crying in public? No hotter hell. I try to avoid displays of emotion at all costs. But, then she did "Ghost In This House". It isn't enough that her own songs made me want to die, now she was mining the catalogue of other groups that did songs that made me want to die. The possibilities became endless and I felt a sense of dread. After the song, I had lost eyelid control and my face and collar were wet. During the applause, I did a big sniffle, trying to clear an airway. All those songs that I hummed along with, happily thinking they were sweet, were actually very dark and sad. And then came the encore. I considered myself lucky that "Whiskey Lullaby" had not made an appearance. Of all the songs in the world, that has got to be the saddest. Ever. In the world. We made it to the encore and I felt relieved that I didn't have to excuse myself to the ladies room to pull a Glenn-Close-Sobbing-In-The-Shower scene. Little Alison and her cohorts reappeared on stage and then made the last jab. "La la la la la la la" OH NO!!! DON'T DO IT!! PLEASE!!! I leaned over and whispered to my boyfriend, "I don't think I am going to be able to handle this." He looked at me crazy, he of emotional stability. I didn't even try to restrain the flow of tears at this point. Mercifully, they only did the first part and chorus. Then it was on to a gospel tune. Somehow, Alison Krauss can make meeting Jesus into something heartbreaking.

As we were leaving, I mentioned my suicidal ideations to Jim. He laughed and agreed that the music was sad. I said something about "Whiskey Lullaby" being the saddest song ever. Jim, clearly made of thicker skin than I, asked why I thought so...did that happen to someone I knew. WHAT? Were we not at the same concert, just now? No, I never knew anyone who was dumped and then became an alcoholic and then blew his brains out and then was buried beneath a willow tree. But, I didn't have to. That shit is SAD. This is why I don't like crying in front of other people, they don't get why. I cry every time I watch "The Color Purple". Have I ever been reunited with my long lost sister and my African kids after being subjected to decades of abuse from my Mister? No. In a sense, I am over-empathetic. I try to avoid pain and sadness, but when it creeps up, I am all in. During the dirges, I found myself imagining the saddest shit ever. Abandoned dogs walking in the rain, in search of their homes. Deathbed apologies. Old ladies looking out the window remembering their youth. Dogs waiting at the door for an owner who will never come home. Discarded teddy bears. I don't know why I do this, but it is a slippery slope. My brain just naturally goes there and I can't stop it.

Clearly, I have some issues. I go through my days, not expressing much emotion, trying to keep a blank face. It is my job to be the calm in the storm. And, I am good at that. I hear the bad shit, the worst, day in day out; and then I come home and play with my dog, clean my house, read fashion magazines, and forget about it. Or so I thought. Actually, I am saving up. All that pain and sadness avoidance is taking it's toll. I need to find a way to release some of that mess at the end of the day, so that it doesn't fester and run when I am supposed to be having a good time. In spite of the emotional purge, the concert was great. The music was beautiful, sad as it was. Alison Krauss is an extremely talented musician and the intimate venue of The Orpheum was perfect. I was on the arm of the best date ever and I liked my outfit. Through the tears, I was able to appreciate all of this and be thankful that I wasn't the one under the willow tree.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

All Of Me

Seems I remember several months ago, while discussing my planned success with Weight Watchers, I smugly counted my chickens before they hatched. I made a half hearted effort at weight watchers, and threw $60 out the window. I may have lost 5 pounds, maybe. Fast forward a few months...I feel fat again.

I am taking a history lesson this time...I am not spending a dime on something that I, historically, do not see through. Enter the Fitness Pal app for my Iphone. This app tracks my food intake and exercise (he he he) and then spits out an analysis for me. It satisfies my OCD with data. I like entering, tracking, and analyzing data. I just don't like paying to do so. Fitness Pal makes keeping up with calories like a game: only the fewer points the better. Enjoy a glass of 90. Walk Harriet...minus 100. So much easier than trying to figure out the point value of everything. I get a 1200 calorie allowance each day. Yesterday was day one.

After it was all said and done (and digested), I got a neat little snapshot of my nutritional habits. I was surprised at how nutritious my diet actually is. I figured I would just track my usual eating habits for a few days, to get an idea of where I need work. I had pretty much decided that my normal diet was about as healthy as cigarettes dipped in salt. Wrong. Take sodium, for example. I was nowhere near the daily sodium intake. And, I dined at McDonald's for lunch (although I did skip the fries.) Another observation is that I should never suffer a broken bone...ever. My calcium intake was right on target, maybe a little over. What can I say...I loves me some milk...and Tums. Eat two have half your daily calcium intake. Cholesterol is not an issue either, didn't get close to recommendation. Of course, I realize that this is not necessarily a good thing, a balanced diet is just that...balanced. Both salt and fat are necessary. But, my idea of how I was eating was so bad that I figured I was teetering on the edge of a coronary. Turns out...not so bad.

I didn't feel guilty, the way I did with Weight Watchers. I did go over the 1200 calorie allowance, by 120 calories. This morning, it's a new day! No haunting deficit. One food mistake would follow me around for at least 7 days with weight watchers. I prefer to pay the tax and move on. Not that weight watchers is is actually a great program, but just not for me. Not that fitness pal is right for me, either...too soon to tell. It is just one thing in a list of changes I feel that I need to make, including cutting back my smoking, working on my procrastination, addressing my neglected creative needs, etc etc etc. Self improvement is my bag.

Lately, I have this overwhelming feeling that I am not enjoying my life. I am living it, but not savoring it. I am basically happy, but kind of on auto pilot...maintaining. Get up, go to work, work long day, come home, clean house, clean me, pet Harriet, go to bed. Repeat. That puts a lot of pressure on the weekends.

I remember many many many years ago, sitting around with some aimless friends. It was a Wednesday. We were making plans for the upcoming weekend. I remember saying to my then boyfriend, "I do NOT want to become the person who lives for the weekend." He had no idea what I was talking about. I'd be willing to bet that he is still living for the weekend. I need to enjoy all my days. Taking better care of my physical self will help my creative self come up with things that will make my emotional self happy.

And with that...I need to get myselves ready for work.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Just woke up from night two of the great Melatonin experiment.

I think it is working! There was only one piece of evidence that I may have had some weirdness in the night. A text sent to myself at 5:15am that said, simply: "Salmon Al Dente" Not sure what that was all about...but it sure beats waking up crying.

I purchased a bottle of Melatonin at Fred's on Thursday. It did not occur to me until I got ready for bed that I had no idea how much to take. Of course the bottle said, "take 1 tablet", but I have never been one to follow package directions. Whoever determined that probably slept good the night before. The dosage for each tablet was 300mcg. I had no idea what an mcg was, or if that was even a real unit of measurement. Some supplements are measured in IU (international units...or something like that) which seems bogus to me. I need milligrams to be sure it is real. So, I googled "therapeutic dosage melatonin" and learned that I would basically need to swallow the entire bottle of Fred's Melatonin in order to achieve the benefits. 300mcg is roughly equal to .3mg. The therapeutic dose is 5 mg. I took 5 and went to bed. Once I got settled, my mind began to run the familiar race. I wondered if I had read it right, then began to worry that I had taken too many. I was a liberal arts major, after all...math was never my strong suit. Maybe if I had done better in math, I wouldn't have to listen to people bitch and moan all day. What if I die? Has anyone ever died from Melatonin toxicity? Then...I fell asleep. Obviously...1.5mg has some benefit. But at that rate, I would be done with the whole bottle in a few days.

Friday I went to Walgreen's, to get some "real" stuff. I purchased a bottle of 3mg (the mg means it works...for real) melatonin and was pleased to learn that it was a BOGO deal! I had enough to last me the rest of the summer and into the winter, which was great as sleeping is not an issue then. Last night, I put on my pj's, took Harriet out, gave the familiar brown bottles of pills the 'Nancy Reagan' treatment, then ingested two of my new and improved Melatonin pills.

Even though Friday was fairly stressful (I had to participate in throwing some dirty stuffed animals away, and my boyfriend and I talked about death), my mind was relaxed and I drifted off to sleep without the usual panic of "OMG WHAT DID I FORGET TO DO TODAY?!?!" Aside from the weird text message, my night was uneventful. I do feel a teensy bit groggy this morning, but it is nothing a nice hot pot of Fresh Market Summer Breeze coffee won't solve. I am working on that now, as I type.

So, it is still early yet, but I am going to go on and call this experiment a success.