Friday, February 28, 2014

New Goals-Taking it One Step at a Time

Back to the goals. I think I've got a plan going here.  In January, I set the goals and tweaked them as I went.   I learned quickly that I can't tackle everything at once.  I also learned that I was under more stress than I thought and was adding stress to myself.  So, I decided to focus on one goal at a time, a new one each month.  I figured by doing that, I'll make a habit of the goal I'm undertaking for the month and it will continue in the following months.

So, in January,  I seemed to have focused on reading and writing and perfecting those goals.  I made a goal to read a certain amount of books per month  (5 if you're wondering) and surpassed the goal.  I read 6.  Not a lot in the overall scheme of things, but I completed my goal and continued it into the next month (and I'm rocking the reading in February).  As for the writing, my goal was to write my blog posts on Sundays for the week--3 for each blog, since I don't actually blog on Sundays.  I've kept to that and I'm enjoying writing them.  I've only missed a couple of days and that was not until almost the end of February.  I'm pretty proud of that. I will say that I'm struggling on my shared blog and I'm running out of fodder, so to speak.  I may lower the number of posts I put on that one after I confer with my Sis.   If that's the case, I'll add more to this blog--I never run out of ideas for this one. So, the reading and writing goals have been established as habits.

In February, I was going to look into getting a new church.  For one reason or another, I haven't actually tackled that one yet. And, I felt that I needed to work on my food intake.  This has been a big problem toward the end of last year and early into this year.  I realized that I was stress eating (even though I didn’t realize it at the time).    This is huge because I was eating way too much and it was really starting to affect my health.  I used my quit smoking mindset to the eating and it's working.  That mindset, BTW, was just do it, focus on eating properly and don't get distracted.  I have cut out all the junk and am eating healthy and I'm ok with it.  I had a couple of days where I did have junk in the form of fast food, and I'm ok with that, too.  I'm actually enjoying the fresh fruits and veggies.  The only problem is the cost.  It is so much more expensive to eat healthy.  But, I'm sticking to it.

The next step is to tackle the exercise goal.  I plan to delve into this one in March.  It is probably the most challenging goal of them all.  It's difficult to get started, results are not instant, it hurts like a sonofabitch. . . Literally . . . And I don't really like it.  With the pain, I have to be careful what I do, but if I do it long enough, the results will make it be less painful.  It's a vicious cycle.  I'm already doing some walking, although I slacked in February, so I can start a little more than I would if I had been doing nothing.  I have to slowly build up on distance and speed for my walking, and start doing strength training for my arms again.  I have great faith that this will become a habit.

I'm not sure what the rest of the months of the year will bring, but I'm looking forward to making 12 new, healthy habits in 2014.  So far, the first 2 are great.

Until next time, much peace and love.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Just not feeling it today.  Issues with the kid.  Feeling like a complete parental failure.  Taking the rest of today off.

Until next time, much love and peace.

Monday, February 24, 2014

New Dating Rules

I'm on a self imposed dating hiatus.  I've written about some of the crap that I've dealt with and the games that guys play, so I decided focusing on me is more important than dating.  While I'm no opposed to going out with someone now if I happened to meet anyone, I'm not actively looking.  I've created a checklist for dating (for me) to determine if a guy is worth my while.  That may seem callous and cold, but life is too short to waste it on dumbasses and I've already done that.  So, here is my list

  1. Single:  You would think this is automatic if a guy is dating.  Turns out, not so much.  So, they have to prove to me that they are single.
  2. Employed:  I spent 25 years with an unemployed "man."  I'll never do that again.  It's demoralizing for both parties.
  3. Age:  My cut off is technically 45, but I'll entertain down to 43 if he is mature enough.  This means high school class of 1989 at the latest.  Younger than that is a booty call.
  4. Make same or more money than me: This might make me sound like a gold digger, but honestly, a man that makes less than the woman usually (I said usually) can't handle it.  He feels emasculated and it leads to problems.
  5. Genuine:  Seriously, don't play games with me and don't lie to me.  It's that simple.
  6. Spiritual:  I didn't think this would be that important, but it is.  I find that it is important to have a faith based relationship.
  7. Attentive:  By all means, both parties need to have outside interests, friends, and things to do. I don't need him to be constantly focusing on me, but he has got to pay attention.  By that I mean, know what I'm going through, talk to me about my day and about his day, do little things like flowers, dinner, movies, clean my car, etc. 
  8. Local:  Pretty simple-- a long distance relationship just doesn't work.

 So, those are my 8 little rules for dating me.  Any takers?  LOL!

Until next time, much peace and love.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Opposite Ends of the Spectrum

I work in Downtown Los Angeles, and almost every day, I pass film crews for movies, tv, commercials and what not.  It's kind of not a big deal and I tend to ignore it all. 

I also pass homeless on the way in every day and them I cannot ignore.  I try to keep a little money in my car and when I get off the freeway in the morning, I give a little to the homeless guy standing there.  My friends sometimes tease me about it, but I just can't help thinking that could be me if I'm not careful.  And most of the homeless men I see are veterans.  It breaks my heart.  I also recently read a memoir, written by a friend of mine, describing how he grew up on the streets.  I never would have known if I hadn't read his book.  BTW--if you are interested, you can get it at Amazon.  The book is called "Street Child: A Memoir" by Justin Reed Early.  He opened my eyes even more to the plight of women and children on the street.

So, why am  I stuck on this today?  On my way in this morning, I noticed one of the parking lots completely blocked out for the film crew.  There were lots of trailers (more than usual) and they were setting up the food service area.  There were a couple of tents set up and tons of food being set out, tables and chairs for cast and crew.  And on the other side of the fence were the most pitiful looking homeless people.  I mean these are the ones that are at the bottom of the food chain even for homeless.  All I could think was that here was all this food and nothing for them.  I mean, come on.  All that food in front of people who are literally starving?  What kind of fresh hell is that?

Maybe I'm just getting softer in my old age, but it broke my heart to see the extremes of the uber rich and the utterly poor side by side.

Until next time, much peace and love.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Love for our Military

I have a cause near and dear to my heart and that is the Armed Forces of the US.  I have so much love and respect for those that serve, it's hard to contain.  I have a lot of friends and family that have served, but it wasn't until recently that I really understood all they have gone through.  I have a really good friend who was in the Army for 25 years.  He hasn't shared much of the things he saw in war, but he has shared some and has talked to me about his PTSD.  It's frightening really.  We send our young men and women off to war, but then don't give them the support they need when they come home.  Yes, there are resources, but we have this notion that these people are strong and don't need the support that they do.  But think about it.  Think about someone you know who has been in the military.  Was that person much different from you?  Would you be able to see the horrors of war up close and personal and come back unscathed?  Probably not.  So why do we expect our military personnel to do so?

Anyway, I've been trying to figure out a way to get involved either by volunteering or donating and wasn't sure where to start.  And honestly, I'm more about donating than volunteering.   I've read about the Wounded Warrior Project and other resources for former military, but wasn't sure what I could do.  The past few days have been pointing the way to me.  Wounded Warrior Project keeps coming up on commercials on tv, in my Facebook feed, and even in a show I was watching.  You don't have to hit me over the head with it.  I know I need to donate and/or volunteer.  I went to the website and they actually are not taking any more volunteers in my area at this time (but check back later).  So, I plan to start a monthly donation and I'm asking you to think about doing the same (this is not a sales pitch or donation pitch and this is the only time I'll mention it).  Go to WWP to make your donation or to learn more.

The other organization I'm interested in, and there are no volunteer opportunities for me at this time either, is Stop Soldier Suicide.  This one is geared solely toward stopping soldiers and veterans from committing suicide.  The suicide rates among those groups is higher than the general population.  Part of why I started looking into these organizations is because the friend I mentioned above has thought about suicide on many occasions and has even gone so far as to wrap up his personal commitments, preparing for the end more than once.    If you want to donate to this worthy cause or learn more about them, go to SSS.

Until next time, much peace and love.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Eating Right

I was doing a pretty good job of getting healthy and getting in shape, and then my world kind of fell apart.  I started binge eating, stopped exercising, and literally sat around doing nothing, but eating.  I ate the wrong foods and large quantities of them.  I know, I know, everybody has a down time, but I seriously have/had a problem.  I was eating so much that all the weight I had lost is back.  I can't fit into pants that were actually falling off of me the month before.  My blood sugar got so completely out of control that I started getting a rash.  I was miserable.

I got the mindset that everyone else gets to eat what they want, so can I.  I was resentful that I'm not supposed to eat whatever I want.  I can be a happy, fat girl, why not?  But here's the deal.  I wasn't a happy, fat girl.  I was miserable.  And every time I tried to stop, I put roadblocks in my own way.  Seriously?  Who gets two filet o'fish at McDonald's for lunch every day?  Then, when that's not enough, adds chocolate chip cookies?  And even worse, when that's not enough, starts having four of them . . . Eating behind closed doors so no one knows how bad it's become?  Then adds cinnamelts for dessert?  Oh my God . . . This is crazy!

So, February hit and I had to stop.  I wasn’t sure how to stop, because I had been trying or at least thought I was trying and kept coming up short.  Then I remembered that I quit smoking in October.  That was one of the hardest things I've ever done.  But, I did it and I don't crave cigarettes.  So, I applied that same logic to eating.  Just stop eating crap.  Load up on healthy food and when the urge hits, grab something low cal and yummy.  And . . . Drink lots of water.  So far, it's working, but it's actually harder than quitting smoking.  Why?  Because food is so awesome and junk food is cheaper and more easily obtainable than healthy food.  But, I'm doing it.

I did have to find something that mimicked junk food, so I got some Kind bars and some Kashi bars.  OMG they are soooooo good!  I'm also in love with Chobani yogurt, grapes, celery with peanut butter, and tea . . . Lots and lots of tea.  Tea also helped with the quitting smoking, so I went back to that to help with food.

Anyway, I think I'm gonna be ok with this and I'm not craving junk .   So that's good.  I'm just going to keep doing one day at a time.

Until next time, much peace and love.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day aka Singles Awareness Day

I hate Valentine's Day.  It's never been good for me and I've never really had a Valentine.  Well, maybe in in high school, but not a big deal.  So, I really wasn't looking forward to today, especially as it is the first official time of being single on Valentine's Day since I was 21.  Kind of weird.

But, my beautiful son made it all worth while.  He told me the day before he was buying me flowers and a card and he was using his own money.  I thought that was sweet.  Of course, I woke up in the morning and told him not to spend his money on flowers.  I appreciated the thought, but that was a lot of money.  I came home from work tonight and he gave me my card.  It was super sweet and makes all the trials of late worth it.

Until next time, much love and peace.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Jen Lancaster--book signing aka MY HERO

I got to meet one of my favorite authors the other day, Jen Lancaster.  The first words out of her mouth were, "I know you, don't I?"  And then, "Why do you look so familiar?"  My response, "Because I'm from Indiana and we all know each other?"  She got a kick out of that, as she is from Indiana. 

One of the reasons I like her so much is that we are so much alike.  She started out writing memoir-type books and I actually looked for hidden cameras when I first started reading her, because it seemed she was writing about my life.  We are both from Indiana, both went to the big schools there (her to Purdue and me to Indiana University--rival schools, BTW), both were asked to leave those big schools, both eventually received our degrees (she actually got hers from Purdue, but mine is from UCLA), both live/lived in Chicago, both love alcohol and entertaining our friends, both love to watch a shitload of tv, both love four-legged furbabies (although she has more and bigger dogs …for now), and both love to write (but procrastinate when doing so).

When I first discovered Jen's books through a friend, I devoured them.  I went on her blog page and started following it.  Both reading her books and following her blog got me interested in some of her friends and fellow writers, Stacey Ballis, Caprice Crane, and Quinn Cummings (there are more too).  I started reading and following their blogs and reading their books as well.  All of this blog following got me interested in other blogs, so I started expanding my blog followings and eventually started writing my own (two) blogs.  I guess you could say that Jen started me on my blogging path.

And now that I have met her, I want to expand.  I want to flesh out my blog more--make it more interesting, but not overwhelming.  Taking suggestions, BTW.  And, I think I'm ready to start doing some other writing again.  So, thank you, Jen, for the inspiration.  Oh yeah--she was so awesome when I met her, as well.  She took the time to speak to everyone that stood in line to sign her books, listened to their stories, and took pictures with everyone.  And, she really listened.  When I went to get my picture with her, I said, "this will be the sweaty Hoosiers picture."  (She had mentioned in the beginning of talking that she would be a sweaty mess by the end of the night, and I was already sweaty too.)  When I got home, I read what she inscribed in my books.  One mentioned our twin lives and the other mentioned sweaty Hoosiers.  How fucking awesome was that?  She listened and personalized the inscriptions.  It made me happy and gave me insight as to how I want to be when I do my own book signings . .. Way way off in the future.

To read more awesomeness that is Jen Lancaster, check out her blog here . . . click here

Until next time, much love and peace.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Meltdowns and Guilt Trips

This weekend has been bittersweet.  There were some really low lows and some really high highs.  I guess you could say my weekend was bi-polar.

I'm still dealing with the Boy and the "incident." He doesn't grasp the idea of being grounded and I hate dealing with the bullshit.  We had it out Saturday morning, which ended in tears and a major guilt trip.  I'm having difficulties communicating with him and have less and less patience with his attitude.  He lashes out and acts like a little shit.  The results can be pretty nasty. 

But, then there are Facebook tags from him to me  . . . TuPac's "Dear Mama."  While I'm not a TuPac fan, the sentiment of the song is great and I appreciate what my son is trying to say to me.

Which leads me to send him something to explain why I want him home, what he means to me, etc. . . I can't post it here because I don't know where to find the link (I need to work on this technology stuff).

Regardless, we are at a truce and I think he understands now, not only why I'm concerned, but that I'm doing everything I can to provide for him on my own and that everything I do, I do for him.  Hopefully, we won't need another round of meltdowns and guilt trips.

Until next time, much love and peace.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Raising Teenagers aka Please Mom, I'm Sorry--Lift the Curse

Y'all know how much I love my son.  He is my heart and soul and he's my never ending source of worry.  Now, first let me say, the Boy is a great student, making mostly As.   In fact, this is the first year he got a grade lower than an A and hopefully, that'll change 2nd semester.  He's responsible for the most part and we talk about pretty much everything.  I know he keeps things from me, but he wouldn't be a teenager if he didn't.

So, I let him do pretty much whatever he wants.. . Within reason and following my rules.  He goes to parties, the mall, ball games, spends weekends with his friends, etc.  When I have to go out of town, he often stays home alone, rather than going to his friend's house.  It just depends on the situation.  Again, he mostly stays out of trouble.

I do have rules though--no alcohol, no drugs, no sex.  Of course, I know that may be unreasonable since he's a teenager, and let's face it--that's what teens do.  I know I did and he's just like me.  I admit, I'm a total hypocrite--I don't want him doing what I did. But, I know he will--it feels good, dammit.  So, the first time he got busted was for smoking weed.  I didn’t come down hard on him--I was glad he told me (he actually busted himself), but we talked about it.  The second time he got busted was recently for drinking (again, he busted himself).  He and a couple of his friends got drunk at my house when I wasn't home.  He called me drunk and apologetic.  Again, I didn't come down hard on him, but I lectured him and his friends, and told him that was his last do-over.

So, what happens?  Friday, I let him go to a party.  Sent him off with the usual, no drinking, no drugs, no sex.  His friend's mom was taking them and picking them up.  Works for me--I'm tired on Friday nights.  I get a text from him around 10 to pick him up.  Spelling is off . . . Oh oh.  I run out to pick him up and just before I get there, I see a teen girl stumbling down the street, obviously messed up from alcohol or drugs or both.  Oh shit.  Then when I pull up, I see other teens leaving to go get in cars and drive away.  Now, I'm really scared.  I'm calling the boy and he isn't answering.  I text him and he doesn't answer.  I finally get through to him and he comes stumbling to the car.  He literally cannot function.  Now I'm scared and pissed.

He says he really only had one beer and one hit off a blunt.  He thinks the blunt was laced with something.  That could be or he could've had more than he said.  Regardless.  My 14 year old son is fucked up.  I get him some food and get him home where he proceeds to tell me how much he loves me and he doesn't know why he did this.  "You're a single parent and you bust your ass every day and don't deserve this."  He has a point.  But, he's wasted and I'm not trying to have a conversation with him at that point.  He passed out on the bed in the living room (yes, I have a bed in the living room instead of a sofa--long story), and I had to get him on his side and make sure he didn't roll over on his back.  I put a bucket next to him too, in case he had to barf.  Needless to say, I didn't sleep much that night, because I kept getting up and checking on him.

Now, he's grounded and he's mad about it.  He's not necessarily mad at me, because he knows he blew it.  He's just mad in general, because he will not be able to go to friends' houses after school every day or go to parties (EVER) or the mall or anything.  He's going to be very bored and he hates that.  Having said that, I let him go to a friend's house for the Superbowl (parentally supervised) and do homework, too.  But, it's a once thing, not an everyday thing.  He and I will be spending a lot more time together.  Hopefully, I'll be able to get him to understand and put into action better ideas and be more responsible.  In the meantime, I call my momma and apologize for everything I ever did and beg her to lift the curse.

Addendum before posting . . . I suck at this punishment shit.  I let him have his two friends stay over tonight.  SMDH!

Until next time, much love and peace.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Mixed Emotions

I received news that a classmate recently passed away.  It was unexpected and from the time she got sick until she passed was only a week.  I have mixed emotions about this because she was ESD's high school sweetheart and in the summer of 2012, when we went back home, she and he had a thing.  They had been Facebooking and texting for awhile--just friends mind you, but he brought her to his parents house on 4th of July without consulting with me first.  I found out later that there was a little more going on that week with them.

Even though she shouldn't have been messing around with him, truthfully, I didn't want him anyway.  I know firsthand how manipulative he can be and she was craving some attention.  So, her I forgave.  Him?  Not so much.  And now she's dead.  I certainly never would wish ill on anyone (although I don't know why it couldn't be his evil ass instead of her), I'm not shedding any tears over her death.  I had a moment of shock, because we are the same age, but I'm not sad for her.  I feel for her family--her children (all grown) have lost their mom, her sister has lost her sibling.  I sent condolences to the sister.

When I first heard, I actually almost sent ESD a text, because I knew he would be upset.  They had a falling out a few months back for some Facebook bullshit--mainly because he's an asshole and he went off on her.  So, I knew he would be upset because they hadn't cleared the air.  My instinct was to reach out and protect him.  But, I held firm and didn't do that.  Why?  Because he is an asshole, and I'm not responsible for him and not going to be the one to console his dumb ass.  This sounds harsh, but just wait.

I got a text from him later in the day, telling me she had passed and with the details (apparently from the sister).  He had the nerve to say, "After all that stuff with her, I didn't get a chance to fix it. I don't want bad words to be our final interaction . . . You may not believe this, but the past is the past, and in this moment . . . I wish you happiness, peace, and love. No need to reply, I just feel a need to let you know where I'm at."  Are you kidding me? He actually thinks he is being genuine about this, but I've known him for 35 years and know how manipulative he can be.  Actions speak louder than words.  Do you really want to move past everything?  Then give me the money you stole from me.  Oh yeah . . . He isn't genuine about it.

When I sent a copy of the text to my girlfriends, they all laughed.  Not about the death of course, but because he is so full of shit.  The first thought everyone had was . . . He's probably broke.  This says a lot, don't you think?  How sad that I and they cannot even give him one iota of credit for his text, because we all know that he's so full of shit.

Moving on. Glad that I overrode my first instinct to console and was true to me instead.

Until next time, much love and peace.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Superbowl Wrap Up

So, my team the Chicago Bears did not win the Superbowl this year.  Oh yeah--they weren't in it.  But, even if my team isn't in it, I always watch, if nothing else, it's for the commercials.  But, is it me or are the commercials just trying too hard now?  The commercials have become a big deal, but they aren't living up to expectations.  As I'm writing this, my favorite though, is Cheerios . . . "and a puppy."

The half-time show is always a favorite of mine, too.  The Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction?  Classic!  Madge last year?  Wow!  I hope I have her stamina when I'm her age . . . Because I sure as hell don't have it now.  This year--Bruno Mars.  Or as I like to say, my next ex-husband.  Damn he fine!  Well, this year, the year I was totally looking forward to seeing my man, Bruno, my fucking cable went out.  Not the whole cable, only FOX . . . The only station that mattered. 

Keep in mind, I had the tv on all day, waiting for the game.  I loved the National Anthem.  It was so classy and given the respect it deserves.  The game wasn't so hot--I don't now what happened, but damn it really sucked.  I guess if you are a Seahawks fan, not so much.  And then, in the middle of the 2nd quarter, my tv froze  . . . Only on FOX.  It didn't come back on until middle of the third quarter.  I missed commercials, Bruno, and the game.

Do you know the only thing I watch on FOX is Bones, Glee, and the fucking Superbowl?!  (Well, sometimes, New Girl . . . Oh yeah.  Prince on New Girl--cable frozen!)  Seriously?  It's one day of the year!  The most important game of the year! The biggest half time performance of the year!  The most expensive commercials of the year!  And I missed it all.  Except . . . "and a puppy."  Best commercial ever goes to Cheerios!

Now . . . The day after the Superbowl, I'm finishing this post and I've seen more of the commercials and parts of Bruno.  I haven't seen "parts" of Bruno (only in my dreams), but parts of his performance.  Awesome!  I love the Full House guys yogurt commercial, the Radio Shack commercial (the 80s called), and the beautifully done Coca Cola commercial. 

About this Coca Cola commercial.  I really don't understand why people are pissed.  Really?  Because America the Beautiful is sung in multiple languages, not just English.  What the fuck do you think makes America beautiful?  The Statue of Liberty doesn't say, "bring me only English speaking people."  We aren't called a melting pot because we are all lily white.  Get over it people.  We don't even have an official language!!!! Yup, that's right, no official language.  We are all mutts and that's what makes America beautiful.  And seriously? If you don't like it, please leave and make more room for those who want to be here.

Until next time , much love and peace . . . and a puppy.