Thursday, September 22, 2011

Some Things Change a Little and Some Not So Much and Sort of a Re-Run Post

Since yesterday I kvetched about stuff I don't like, I figured it made perfect sense to do a post about stuff I love today. About stuff that makes me smile and get all warm fuzzy-like in hopes it would make you guys think of stuff you love and then you'd feel all warm and fuzzy and someone would pass by and see you grinning like an idiot and then they would feel all warm and fuzzy and so on and so forth. Like, how super cool and badass would that be? So I started to type and then I thought wow, this feels familiar... So I checked the archives and found a post from 2008 that well, pretty much covers a bunch of stuff I love. But before you check that out...

... I have to say that while the things I love I have remarkably (or not so remarkably) pretty much have stayed the same (though I will add a few things, just because), the beginning of my post talks about how my life was at the time and how I didn't really want to talk about my life. Which makes perfect sense because I was less than three months away from finally separating from my ex so yes, my home life kinda sucked hard at that time. And now I can say wow. It so DOES NOT SUCK. Like, at all. Sure, I have things I need to work on and change and I get confused about stuff that has to do with boys and just life in general but mostly, wow. I. Love. My. Life. So I'm glad I included that blurb because it makes me really, really, really, really, extremely, very much, a whole helluva lot appreciate where I am.

Here's some stuff I really like that wasn't in the original post:

1. Skinny Fries: Trader Joe's makes them and you can eat 65 of them for 110 calories and 2 grams of fat and they kinda taste like a French fry crossed with a potato chip crossed with air. And they are good for dipping. And I just ate some a minute ago which is why they made my list.
2. Trader Joe's: Damn, they have a lot of good stuff in that store. And a lot of cheese. And decent prices on many things. And the people are always nice, too.
3. That I'm finally actually dieting and losing weight: After years of false starts and no will to give up using food for much-needed comfort, I'm finally getting it done. It won't be fast, but I will do it this time and I couldn't do it without...
4. Major support: ... from my friends and family who are working on their weight loss goals and the ones who just cheer for me when I talk about how much I've lost. Between Facebook and and the close pals I talk to nearly everyday, I have more support than I could ever hope to get and it makes a huge difference in my life. I see a light at the end of the tunnel that I haven't seen in years and this is beyond priceless to me.
5. On-line dating websites: Shout out to them because they get a bad rap and in some respects, sure, there are a lot of losers and weirdos out there, no doubt, and if you are on one of these sites they, meaning weirdos and losers, will wind up contacting you. But you might also find that you meet some interesting folks and have some interesting experiences, and have guys say nice things about you that you kind of needed to hear for like ummmm... ever. Not saying they are for everyone and I've already pointed out the considerable downside, but for someone like me who doesn't ever have friends who know anyone with whom I should mix and mingle (which reminds me of one of my favorite Phineas and Ferb songs) and who has no possibilities in the workplace and who doesn't hang out in bars, well, there you go. It has its uses.
6. Being single: Kinda think it was meant for me. Can't say enough how much I love sharing my space only with a small person.
7. The Internet: Recipes, pictures of Australian blue-tongued lizards, it's all on there. And it seems to be the way I do a huge portion of my communicating with friends.
8. Beer: It's yummy and I like to drink it with friends and I like finding new varieties that I enjoy.
9. Naps: No explanation needed.
10. Sex: See naps.

Click here for the a link to my post from December 22, 2008, to see more stuff I love.

What are you loving at the moment?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Things of Which I Am Majorly Not a Fan

Ms. Tams had a blog post the other day called "Things I Hate... " So since she has inspired me A LOT recently by like, sending me ideas and telling me to write more I am going to go ahead and steal be inspired by her idea and come up with a similar list. Because I need to flipping write something. At the moment I'm wondering why I always try to do this close to nap time when I'm so sleepy. Probably not a good idea when I'm barely coherent when I'm wide awake.

While I am going to go ahead and complain about this stuff, in general, I don't want to complain. I really don't. I don't want to send my food back or tell someone providing a service for me that they didn't do well and I want to like any gift I receive and I want to adapt and go with the flow rather than have anyone make some change for me. Like, that's my default setting, or at least I hope it is most of the time, but I vent. I can't help it. I do. And I try to do it with a sense of humor and I blow off steam about it and drop an f-bomb or five and then I'm over it. So is this venting, is this complaining, or is this just me looking at that top part of the glass with no beer in it, who knows. I'm just sharing and maybe I'll connect with someone who is also not pleased about the fact that they have zits AND gray hair.

1. Cable TV: Well, any of you know me know that this is a love/hate relationship to be sure. I love TV in general. I do not love taking it up the a$% cablerarily each month when I pay my bill. I would like to be able to design something where I have the like, the 12 channels I want and can get rid of the 388 I don't want and only pay for 12 channels and not 400.
2. Not being able to get my chair right at work: We have nice chairs. I am a moron. I have a hard time some days getting the angle of the seat and back just like I like it (see the part about being a moron).
3. Obliviousness: I am talking about people in a store or a crowd anywhere who for some reason have decided they are the only ones there and do not need to pay attention about being in your space or your path. I'm really big. How do you not see that you're in my way?
4. Rude drivers: 'Nuff said.
5. Crowds: I only deal with them if I must. Some things are fun to do with a large group of people, like a watch a concert or a movie. Otherwise, I dig it when places are relatively empty. Like Target. How wonderful Target is when it's not crowded. Or a restaurant. Or a waiting room, whatever. I'm sure this has something to do with being a big person and always kind of feeling like a bull in a china shop, too. Crowds don't scare me or anything, they just bug me.
6. Snobs: Hmmm... how to explain this one... If you automatically think you're better than someone because you have more money than they do, or because of where that person came from, geographically speaking, or because you've had more schooling, or because of your line of work compared to theirs, you can suck it.
7. Body hair: My wish is for world peace and hair that grows on your body only where you want it to grow.
8. Having acne... as a f$%king grown woman: So. I've paid some dues. I made it through junior high. Terrible hair. Awful eyebrows. Pregnancy. Being in the workforce for 24 years. A failed marriage. Flaky guys on on-line dating websites. 41 birthdays. Should it not be time for me to catch a break in the form of not having zits? On the one hand, great, my skin is so oily that wrinkles are probably far, far away for me. For this I am thankful. And I know, I should be more diligent and consistent about my skincare, no doubt. But I swear, my nose is a blackhead masquerading as a nose. I don't even get how I can smell out of that thing because seriously, it's just one huge clogged pore. Okay, that's gross, but you get the idea. Raise your hand if you thought you'd hit some magic age in your twenties and never ever see a zit again? Yep, same here.

Most other things of which I'm majorly not a fan have to do with me, and that's a post for another time. What's bugging you in general or today specifically?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Post About What I'm Thinking About Right Now

In no particular order, certainly not in order of importance, I'm just going to talk about what's on my mind at the moment. And when I say it won't be in order of importance, I mean that probably nothing will be important so you might want to stop reading right now.

I don't have time to really sit and think of a composed sort of anything; my mind is a jumble of thoughts because I haven't finished my second cup of coffee and I'm on a time constraint because I've gotta get on the treadie so I can get in 40-ish minutes and have enough time to get ready and make a quick trip to the store before Spook picks me up for the Lafayette Art and Wine Festival today where we will see the Spazmatics play, yes, those NERDS THAT ROCK. (I'd think you'd say "nerds who rock," but hey, it's from their website.

Anyway, in my head:

Sleeping in was awesome. First time I've been able to stay in bed until 8 in a month.

Doing all this blogging has been swell, but I'm going to have to work on my posture at my desk. Don't think I'm terrible ergonomically correct at home and I'm feeling it in my old neck.

This week I WILL use the weight room at work. Tams has mentioned the weight room at her gym a couple of times, in her blog and on Facebook and I have been talking about how I have been doing ZERO strength training which makes no sense when a) I like it and b) I know how good it is for me, when it comes to my bones and metabolism and c) I have weights at home and d) I can use the weight room at work. For free. Whenever I want. And it's down street from my house. So I will be doing that at least once if not twice this week. Maybe it was never in my head because I didn't want people from work potentially seeing me look like a hag in workout clothes and no makeup? Ummm, I'm over that.

I need to clean my house. I mean, like, all the parts of my house, not just the parts I usually do because we're in them or the parts that company might see. It's redonk. Have I mentioned how much I hate cleaning the house?

With all this zucchini in my freezer (9 cups at the moment, thanks to gifts from the gardens of Steph and my next door neighbor), I WILL figure out a way to sneak some into Kayla's mouth this week. Whether it be in a muffin or a cookie or a smoothie, I gotta get this kid to eat vegetables. Not even MORE vegetables. ANY vegetables. I've laid such a bad foundation by not being more conventional about our eating habits. I gotta work on that s#%t.

I was reading Buddhism for Dummies in the john (a. k. a. "The Reading Room) this morning and I need to spend more time reading it. Such good stuff in there. About suffering and ending it and living morally. Yes. I need to be there.

Okay, my time's beyond being up. I know I mentioned this earlier this week, but my time management skills suck. I need to work on that.

What are you thinking about today?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Money and Stuff I Don't Spend it On Like Purses

In human years I am 41. In money sense years I am approximately 11.

Actually, I might have had more sense about money at the age of 11, when my income was from a paper route and said income was spent on video games and Tootsie Roll Pops at 7-11 (it was a small and relatively unprofitable route).

I will come out and say that I am a complete and utter idiot when it comes to money. Here is what I know about it: I go to work and make some. Then I turn around and spend more than that on stuff I don't need. I have run out of it several times and have been embarrassingly bailed out by my mother more times than I care to count. I am pretty sure I owe her one million dollars, though she says I work some of it off by carting her around sometimes so maybe I owe her more like $999,900 at this point.

I have set out to make a budget a whole bunch of times. But I'm pretty sure that never happened. I can always tell you how much I pay in bills each month. There's no variable. It's the "other stuff" that trips me up.

So on the one hand, I eat out too much; mostly at work, sometimes going out with friends. I am not sure what my beer budget is, but it's pretty high compared to most households, I'd imagine.

I wind up spending a lot of money on grooming.
I ju
st got my hair done today and if I had the skills to do it myself or if I ever took my friend's advice and let her do it for me I would save A LOT of money. But I've been seeing Bernice for years and years and I'm a creature of habit and I like how she does my hair so there you go. I also can't use cheap shampoo (as much as I'd LOVE to) because of the kind of hair I have, so there's more money.

Don't even get me started on waxing. I gotta wax my brows. I can't not go and see Bev. Don't ask me about parts I get waxed that no one ever seems to see. It's pretty ridiculous.

And then there's stuff on which I refuse to spend money. Like purses.

I had this purse I LOVED and the only reason I a
m no longer carrying it is that I wore it out. It was from Target and made of fabric and it was a black and white floral pattern and it was so flipping cute. And it was $8.

That's right. $8. It was normally $10, but I got it on sale for $8 because I'm cool like that.

So in my pursuit to replace this purse with an almost exact replica, I searched high and low. Checked at Target every time I was there, no dice. Fi
nally found it on Etsy and it was $26. I went back and forth with myself about it. $26? But I really want another purse for $8. Here was a purse that was adorable, hand-made, machine-washable, and I loved it. Yet I was hemming and hawing about it being $26. This blew the mind of my dear friend, Stephanie, when this come up when I was hanging out with her, Spook, and Sarah. She could not believe I would trip off of something like that when I do spend money on other stuff. How much had I spent for this particular girls' night? How much would I spend for a sushi lunch (seriously, like $24 sometimes with tax and all that).

And it was hard to explain why I want a purse for
$8 and I want t-shirts that cost about the same and I why I don't even want to spend $30 on a pair of jeans and why I like to buy shoes at Payless. The only way it possibly makes sense is if I say it is wasted on me.

If you gave me a purse that cost $100 and a pair of jeans for the same amount I would look at you like you thought I was the Queen of West County. Why, these are garments and accessories made for royalty, I would say to you.

I TOTALLY don't begrudge anyone their fancy
pants or real jewelry (I'm pretty much a fakey fakerson when it comes to that, mainly because losing earrings is what I do), and I'd never pass judgment. Okay, that's not entirely true. If I knew someone who was kind of a douche and they had a pair of $200 jeans I might say, "Oh my gosh, that guy is such a flipping douche in his $200 jeans."

To many I realize I look like an idiot because I DO spend money and I have too much stuff but not so many nice things to show for what I spend. So this isn't about me being cheap, sheesh, I wish I were were. It's just that when it comes to some things I want to spend this many dollars and with other stuff I will spend more dollars.
I went to the book fair at the kid's school today and spent 40-plus dollars on books. We go to the library. Where we can check out books. For FREE. But the kid's a bookworm and she digs owning books. As in, "I get to keep this one? All the time??"

And buying books encourages bookworminess. Which encourages her to be smart. Which encourages her to be so involved in her studies when she is older that she pays no attention to boys whatsoever and she gets into an amazing college where she studies science and becomes a doctor and finds a cure for all the incurable diseases.

Okay, so I'm pushing it a little. But we will get a lot of use out of those books. And when she is done with them we will pass them on to her baby cousin, and who knows how many years they will be around. I could almost buy a fancy purse on sale at Macy's for what I spent on book fair books.

But I really wanted to get those books for her.

What do you spend money on that you shouldn't? Are there "fancy" things you just can't live without, places where you refuse to not splurge? How do you like to save money or stick to a budget?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

It's Complicated

You know how you can pick that as your relationship status on Facebook? You can tell everyone that you are in a relationship and that "it's complicated." What relationship is not complicated at one time or another? I seriously think it should be implied in "married" or "in a relationship."

I guess if you pick that as your status it's more like the purgatory between a relationship and being single. That middle ground of confusion about whether to stay or go or whether he's on the same page with you because you kind of feel like maybe he is but then again there are these signals that suggest otherwise and then there's the length of time he takes to respond to your texts and...

Whew. I am glad I'm not in a relationship. But I mean, seriously, yay for the rest of you who do it and rock it, even with the complicated stuff.

At least a complicated relationship is something you could leave if it got too bad. Sadly, my complicated thing is my brain.

Here's what I wish. I wish there were a little switch on my brain that I could turn off an on. Like, literally, I wish I could turn my brain off sometimes. And it would also be nice if I could flip a switch that would turn on a scrolling marquee on my forehead that says, "It's complicated." What a great warning for people that would be!

My brain is the last place you want to be if, like Fergie sings in Big Girls Don't Cry, you are looking to be with yourself, center and get some clarity, peace, and serenity.

And that's why I'm writing about it because I'm always looking for ways to make it more peaceful and less complicated in there. Granted, it's been way worse in there than it is now. Right now it's not too bad... but there's still room for improvement and today I had sort of a light bulb moment about something I'd been making overly complicated and I told myself what I'm always telling other people (usually not to their face, usually it's when I'm kvetching about something at work or something that is driving me nuts). I say, "It's not that hard."

It's not that hard.

It really isn't. Some things just aren't that hard to grasp and to make sense of and yet I find myself over-complicating such things a lot. And I don't want to do that.

A friend recently posted a clip from YouTube of a guy doing a funny riff on the differences between the brains of men and women. He talks about women's brains being sort of like a jumble of wires where everything is connected, compared to the brains of men, which would look like a set of boxes, everything separate and compartmentalized. Now, I would be likely to say such an idea were ridiculous if it were not, in my case, so true. I do connect a bunch of stuff together and sometimes it is because it should all be connected together and other times, you know, not so much. But it's what I do (ask my ex-husband).

I will never be able to divorce my thinking from my feelings. And I will always be an over-thinker, sometimes to the detriment of my psychological well-being. But I'm writing because I'm also going to try to embrace the moments of clarity where I really listen to what I tell other people:

It's not that hard.

And also:

It's not that serious.
It's not nearly as complicated as I'm making it out to be.

The more I keep this in mind and the more I relish the feeling of taking something complicated and making it simple, the more I will be likely to do it. At least I hope so.

Do any of you think the crap out of stuff or have to deal with someone who does? Know any good tricks (other than meds, that's one of mine!) that help with this sort of thing? Please, share your ideas with me!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Really Quick One About God

So I started a blog post this morning that I thought was going to be about Dave Grohl and how I'm attracted to random people and then I got both confused and bored so I scrapped it. Perhaps I will come back to it later when I can think of a way to make it interesting to me.

Logically, instead of talking about the most beautiful rock star of all time, I will go ahead and talk about God.

Real quick-like, because I'm really sleepy and it's just about naptime.

I would really like to believe in God. Like, you have no idea how much. But I just don't. And I'm kinda pissed about it. It's odd, because it pisses me off but at the same time I feel perfectly normal about it.

I totally used to believe in God. I don't know when I first heard about Him, exactly, but I know that when I had the chance to go to vacation bible school at a neighbor's house and when the red and white church bus came around to pick up kids from Hilltop Green to go to the First Baptist Church of El Sobrante (El Sob #1) my brother and I were like, totally "all aboard" and whatnot.

I think I went to Sunday school for about three years or so... I can't remember why I stopped going, exactly, I just know that I did.

I spent from the age of 13 or 14 until I was 23 believing in God and saying prayers every night. And then Polly Klaas was abducted and killed. And then that was the end for me.

In an instant, it was all gone. I decided that God had to be a complete and utter sham because if there were a God, stuff like this wouldn't happen.

Now, right off the bat, those of you who believe will tell me I have it all wrong and that it's completely illogical and that there are reasons and a plan, etc. And I'm not questioning that idea at all. If it helps you to make sense of things, I'm all for it, and I would never judge it. It just doesn't work for me.

I just got to a point where I decided it made much more sense to me that all of us being here is about science. Obviously, I'm no scientist and I do believe that there could be a God involved with all this science-y stuff, I just don't happen to believe this is the case. At this moment.

In spite of the fact that I stopped believing, I started attending the El Sobrante United Methodist Church in 2001. I loved it, the pastor and the music were great. I left after Pastor Gaye's sermons feeling like I wanted to be a better person. Which is awesome and what I think church is supposed to be about. I might still be attending had I not moved and wound up working weird hours and weekends, because obviously, there is something to get from church even if you don't believe in God.

Did I mention that I'm agnostic and not an athiest? I do not have near enough conviction to be an atheist because hey, there could be a God, and if there is, well great.

Can I be agnostic and still hope that somehow, when I die, I will still be able to say, watch over Kayla? I hope so, because I am and I do.

It's about faith. I don't have any, not in someone who is above us or around us who has supreme power but chooses to sit back and watch all of this. And by this, I mean "the world," the good and the bad. Because as we know, there has been some really bad shit that has happened and I don't blame a supreme being for that, either.

When good stuff happens, I believe it's because we made it happen or we were super flipping lucky. I love the idea of being "blessed," but I don't believe in it. I am one of the luckiest people in the world. Had things gone slightly different at certain times in my life, I would not be sitting on my ass blogging write now. I might be sitting on my ass behind a liquor store passing around a can of beer in a brown bag to my friends. Seriously, some people would say, "there but for the grace of God go I" when they see someone less fortunate. And I say, thank goodness I have been so lucky to be where I am surrounded by those I am lucky enough to have in my life.

For those of you who are so fulfilled by your relationship with God, this is me saying, that is awesome. I sometimes wish I understood that and I had it and I'm not kidding, it's true. But at the same time, I truly believe you can be happy and fulfilled and a good (mostly) person because it's what you want to do and who you are. So don't feel badly for me because I don't have what you have. I'm just sharing what it looks like over here.

At the end of the day it's all about being nice to each other, no matter what your reason for doing that is. Whether you want to be like God or like Jesus or like Ganhdi or like Martin Luther King, Jr. or like your mom; whomever or whatever it is that inspires you to be a good person is a good thing.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Let's Start With the ABC of It

Let's start with the ABC of it
Roll right down to the XYZ of it
Help me solve the mystery of it
Teach me tonight

If you have never heard Teach Me Tonight, dial it up on the YouTube.
Dinah Washington's rendition is outfreakngstanding, and Amy Winehouse's version will break your heart because you'll see what a huge talent she was and how legendary she might have become.

Anyway, my dear friend Tami's blog post this morning was called "
The ABC's of Me," a fun read and a great way to learn a little bit more about her, and since she asked us to share our own alphabetized list of random tidbits about ourselves, I figured it would be a great way to get my fingers moving on the keyboard and actually do a blog post since, unlike Tams who does it every day, I obviously have nothing similar to that level of dedication or ambition, so any little thing helps over here. Anyway, here it goes. I would love to get your list, so please, share it in the comments or wherever you like (just tell me where to find it).

A - Age: 41.25.
B - Bed size: California king and it still seems too small, especially when Kayla and Chief are all up on my side.
C - Chore I dislike: That would be all of them which is why I so seldom do them. Anything to do with cleaning my "office," as it is ALWAYS a complete and utter disaster area, would be at the top of the list.
D - Dog: I love them. I have never owned one as an adult and I can't imagine having to take care of one though I am asked at least every other day, "When can I get a puppy? Is seven old enough to get a puppy?" If a dog would use a litter box I would probably already have one.
E - Essential start to my day: Coffee and hugging up the kid. Followed closely by checking my e-mail and Facebook.
F - Favorite color: I like a lot of them. I love pink and lavender and black or black and white prints when it comes to clothing.
G - Gold or silver: Silver or white gold for sure. Though I'm more of a fake jewelry type of girl than anything.
H - Height: Ridiculously tall at five-eleven-and-three-quarters-and-no-not-six-it's-always-just-under-six-feet.
I - Instruments played: Oh, if only I could answer this question in a dirty manner. Trumpet in elementary school. And my dad had been a music teacher and I never practiced as much as I should have. And that's a whole other post that could be written with the help of a shrink. Trumpet and then
baritone in junior high and high school. It was ginormous. And every once in a while I had to carry it home. From Crespi. On foot. Over the trail and through Hilltop Green. And up the hill from the park to my house. No wonder I find my life so flipping easy now. I think the last straw was playing it in the rain at Cal Band Day. NOT FUN. So that did not last my whole high school career, mercifully. I long to learn to play piano and drums. One day this may happen, at least the piano part, I hope. Oh, and guitar. I would like to be like a rock star lady and play guitar and sing at the same time.
J - Job title: Full-time mom and full-time police dispatcher
K - Kids: A 21 year old stepson, an 18 year old stepdaughter, and a five year old daughter and I'm really lucky I have all of them.
L - Live: Like every day is your last but within reason. Which means tell people you love often that you love them and have a really good time.
M - Money tip I like best: I'm not sure I've ever received a money tip, at least not one I've retained which would explain why my finances are the way they are.
N - Never plan to: Get married again. Marriage is great for other people. I will never do it again and I most likely would never shack up with a person again. I didn't realize how much I love not sharing my space with another grown-up until I'd lived it.
O - Overnight hospital stays: Ugh. Surgery to remove fibroids, C-section to remove a baby, and nose surgery to remove something that was in there and fix my deviated septum. Guess how many times I'd like to stay overnight in a hospital again? ZERO TIMES. First time was the best because I got a lot of morphine and slept through most of it.
P - Pet peeves: I'm usually bugged by the way people act as opposed to things that they do. So I am peeved by douchebags and people with no sense of humor or who think they are way more important than they are or who have no self-awareness or are selfish.
Q - Quote from a movie: So many good ones. "Don't be like me. Don't you be like me." - Jack Nicholson in As Good as It Gets telling Greg Kinnear's dog to not be as crazy like he is... which is what I say to my kid.
R - Righty or lefty: Righty, though my handwriting is so terrible I've always wondered if I was supposed to be a lefty.
S - Siblings: One younger brother who is awesome and hilarious.
T - Time I wake up: Days I work at 7 I sleep until 6, usually. Days I take the kid to school, 6:45-ish maybe? Just depends. Today I slept until 7 because the bd took the kid to school and it was divine.
U - Underwear: Yes. And I usually like them black. Unlike my coffee.
V - Vegetables I don't like: Okra. I can't think of anything else so I'm surprised I don't eat them more often.
W - What makes me run late: Extremely poor time management skills. There's no way to sugarcoat it.
X - X-rays I've had: Dental x-rays plenty of times. There was that stupid chest x-ray I got when my doctor thought maybe I had pneumonia and it cost me a fortune because I had a PPO or whatever and not Kaiser at the time. SMH. Oh, and I suppose I had one when I broke my arm when I was a teenager.
Y - Yummy food I make: Lasagna or anything resembling it. If it involves cheese and a casserole dish I usually believe it will come out okay.
Z - Zoo animals I like: Giraffes and zebras, and not just because they remind me of me.