Thursday, January 27, 2005

Weekend Assignment

I think Mr Scalzi shoulda double dog dared us to do audio entries for this one....

The assignment:  Pick a song you'd do for karaoke and explain why you chose it.  Extra credit:  describe the worst karaoke experience ever.

I have never once actually gone to a karaoke bar and performed, but I've been to many a party where I've done it.  I chose this song because you have to have "Pips" (aka backup singers)...its easier to act dorky with backup.  My song is "One More Minute" by Weird Al Yankovic.  Its the fourth song on the album Dare to be Stupid, if anyone cares.

My second choice is "Shut Up" by Kelly Osbourne, just because you can be totally obnoxious when you sing it, and you can do it with little or no vocal talent.  (lyrics for both below, just in case you care to join me)

EXTRA CREDIT:  The most painful karaoke experience I've ever had....this is going way back, but the absolute worst was watching my high school principal and all the vice principals do "Lolly Pop" at the senior assembly, in costume.  They even choreographed it.  I think I'm permanently scarred from that one. 

*****

One More Minute

by Weird Al Yankovic


Lyrics:

(constant "doo wop"s in the background throughout the song)

Aahh

Well I heard that you're leavin' (leavin')
Gonna leave me far behind (so far behind)
'Cause you found a brand new lover
You decided that I'm not your kind (aahh..)

So I pulled (I pulled) your name out (name out) of my Rolodex (oohh..)
And I tore all your pictures in two
And I burned down the malt shop where we used to go
Just because it reminds me of you (dippity dippity doo)

That's right (that's right) you ain't gonna see me cryin'
I'm glad (I'm glad) that you found somebody new
'Cause I'd rather spend eternity eating shards of broken glass
Than spend one more minute with you

I guess I might seem kinda bitter
You got me feeling down in the dumps
'Cause I'm stranded all alone in the gas station of love
And I have to use the self-service pumps

Oh, so honey, let me help you with that suitcase
You ain't (you ain't) gonna break my heart in two
'Cause I'd rather get a hundred thousand paper cuts on my face
Than spend one more minute with you

I'd rather rip out my intestines with a fork
Than watch you going out with other men
I'd rather slam my fingers in a door (yah)
Again and again and again and again and again

Oh, can't you see what I'm tryin' to say, Darlin...

I'd rather have my blood sucked out by leeches (leeches)
Shove an icepick under a toenail or two
I'd rather clean all the bathroom in Grand Central Station with my tongue
Than spend one more minute with you

Yes, I'd rather jump naked on a huge pile of thumbtacks
Or stick my nostrils together with crazy glue
I'd rather dive into a swimming pool filled with double-edged razor blades
Than spend one more minute with you

I'd rather rip my heart out of my ribcage with my bare hands
and then throw it on the floor and stomp on it 'till I die
Than spend one more minute with you

****

"Shut Up"

You say,
I should do it differently.
I don't,
Necessarily agree.
Stand up!
Sit down!
Be nice!
Did ya hear me ask for your advice?

Don't bother,
Trying to tell me your beliefs.
Your point of view is pretty screwed to me.
Do this!
Do that!
On track!
Do me a favor and don't talk back!

Round and round,
But the conversation always ends where it began.
Round and round,
And I need a vacation.
I got a headache from you

Shut up!
Don't want to hear your voice.
Shut up!
I'm sick of all the noise.
There's nothing you can say
That means a damn thing to me.
Shut up!

Blah Blah, Blah Blah, Blah Blah, Blah Blah.

That's what,
It sounds like you said to me.
You nag and you brag and I gag,
There's so much beauty in what we have.

You must,
Have better things that you can do.
Or does
Your life revolve around me too?
Whatyou want,
What I need.
Oh please!
I think you get off,
On hearing yourself speak.

Round and round,
But the conversation always ends where it began.
Round and round,
And I need a vacation.
I got a headache from you

Shut up!
Don't want to hear your voice.
Shut up!
I'm sick of all the noise.
There's nothing you can say
That means a damn thing to me.
Shut up!

Don't want to be polite.
It's messed up,
How you always think you're right.
There's nothing you can say,
That's gonna change the way I am.
Shut up!

Round and round,
But the conversation always ends where it began.
Round and round,
And I need a vacation.
I got a headache from you

Shut up!
Don't want to hear your voice.
Shut up!
I'm sick of all the noise.
There's nothing you can say
That means a damn thing to me.
Shut up!

Don't want to be polite.
It's messed up,
How you always think you're right.
There's nothing you can say,
That's gonna change the way I am.
Shut up!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Purge!

Look who can play with Photoshop!!  I took out a telephone wire, two poles and some trees, and cropped the Walgreens out of the photo.  Wheee!  By the way, that would be a yucca, which is the state flower.  Obviously its not blooming, but there ya go.

****

I just found out that my best friend is now officially engaged, and she's gonna have a real wedding, and I get to be the maid of honor!!  I'm so psyched!!  Here's to doing it right the second time around, Le!  (Oh, and congratulations too!)  And Carlito....its about darn time.

I have to admit when I first met her guy, I thought he wasn't good enough for her.  However, I've since realized that since I'll be this way with my daughters I might as well come clean and say that no one will ever be good enough for her.  Mr. Man is really good with her daughter, and he's good to her, so I need to hush.  She's happy and that's exactly what I want for her.  (Love you!!) 

****

There we are before the banquet Monday night...one day when I get brave, (or bored) I'll post pics of how far I've come weight wise.  I'm getting there!!  (SIDENOTE:  I had to take my shoes off to be almost the same height) Thank you Miss Aileen for sharpening for me - apparently my daughter has inherited my photography skills.

****

Ever wish you had powers like I Dream of Genie?  I've found myself wishing for that often lately.  I think I'd blink my friends to health and happiness, blink some new furniture, some new clothes (some that fit would be nice!) for me and the kiddos, a new furnace and refrigerator...blink my financial problems away...maybe I'd blink the troops home, blink an end to world hunger, blink a cure for AIDS....

I wonder if Genie was that powerful, and if so why she never did?  Obviously it was a long time ago, and she was totally controlled by her man....but then why didn't HE wish for that stuff?  It sure made a cool sound..."BOING!"

My latest blink fantasy was to fly Jetson's style over all the evening traffic.  Not very profound, obviously.  Simple mind, ya know.

****

One more final purge...my older daughter has a friend whose mother completely controls her life, and lives through her daughter.  This woman won't let her daughter dress in anything but oversized jerseys and huge basketball uniform type shorts.  We tried giving her some blue jeans once, but Mom told her she was too fat to wear them.  Any time this child has a problem (behavioral or otherwise) in class, the mom comes storming into the office or the teacher's classroom to scream at said teacher or the principal.  This has happened for years.  So much so that teachers are afraid to reprimand this child, or offer her any guidance. 

This mother also gets involved in her child's personal relationships.  Last summer she felt my daughter wasn't returning phone calls fast enough, so she is no longer allowed to associate with my daughter or spend the night at our house.  Once, we curled her hair.  We never heard the end of that one.  The girl can sing too.  Not just your normal cute karaoke sing, this girl can SING.  I made that compliment to her mother, and the response was, 'I think she sounds horrible - she's too nasal.'  Recently the child told her mother that she didn't like a girl at school.  Now the mother shows up and intimidates this girl at school, calling her names and standing in her way so she can't get to class. 

Given, there are times when I want to jump in and save the day for my kids, but I have to take a step back and realize there are lessons they need to learn.  There are unfortunate, difficult things they have to experience in order to learn and grow.  If I jump in and try to fix everything, they'll never learn how to fix anything themselves.  I'm learning how to stifle and bite my tongue when I need to, and kind of wait for Em to ask for help now that she's older. 

So the harassed girl is also a friend of my daughter, and came to her asking for advice.  Em told me about it today in the car.  My advice?  TELL.  Tell your mom, tell your counselor, tell your teacher.  Yeah, you're a rat but this is a parent that's harassing you.  That's different than a kid picking on you in the hallway.  This 40 year old woman is following the girl around, intimidating her at school.  Any thoughts?

****

Weird statement I came across while surfing: 

Kryptonite is to Superman what asbestos is to worms.

??

****

OK enough of that...I'm out of here.  Nite!!

Misplaced Aggression and Making Fun of Me...

That's an O'Keefe, obviously...one of my all time favorite artists.  In fact, I used to have this print hanging in my office.  (Sunflower, New Mexico 1935)

****

The McDonald's case is back on - you know, the one where the fat kids are suing McDonald's for making them fat?  Apparently the grounds are that the advertising was misleading, and the plaintiffs were injured as a result.  I think this is hilarious. 

This reminds me a little of the woman (here in New Mexico, go figure) who ordered coffee from a local McDonald's drive thru, then spilled said coffee all over herself.  I've done that.  It burns, and hurts.  I blamed it on my own dorky spazziness and the lack of a cup holder in my car.  My thoughts on this case have always been that first, coffee is supposed to be hot and second, she would have complained had it been cold.  She was the dork for spilling it on herself.

Given that, these people make the choice to eat fattening food.  The children's parents decided to buy said children the fattening food.  There is no false advertising there - the nutrition information for this stuff is readily available.   They're the dorks who chose to eat the fattening food.  I'm certain they ate a lot more than just McDonald's food...well, one would hope, anyway.

U.S. District Judge Sweet said it best when he first dismissed the case: 

"If a person knows or should know that eating copious orders of supersized McDonald's products is unhealthy and may result in weight gain, it is not the place of the law to protect them from their own excesses."

Uhm....Duh?

****

For all you perky breasted females out there who complain and wish for breast augmentation surgery, heed this warning.

The other day I raced my children to the car and realized it was almost SCARY the way my breasts bounce in a counter clockwise motion with every step when I run, making about a 2 foot diameter circular motion as they pendulate.  Obviously I didn't have theproper gear on.

Say it with me:  SPORTS BRA. 

No wait...BREAST REDUCTION.  

Hey, at least my health is good enough that I can run without dying.  I'm thinking that's a good thing.   

Anyway, being top heavy isn't all its cracked up to be.  I have dents in my shoulders from carrying these things, and my back hurts constantly.  I would not call it being blessed by any stretch of the imagination.  Trust me.  

****  

Finally, a warning about eating during an allergy attack, best described with a not-so-recent conversation with my little brother (edited for content).  

ME:  I just took an enormous bite of macaroni, and was in the middle of chewing it, when a sneeze came up.  Rather than sneeze outright and blow macaroni chunks all over the table, I chose to curb it.  This caused all the macaroni in my mouth to be forced up my nasal cavity and out my nose.  It hurt like a monkey's uncle and now all I can smell is macaroni.  I'm telling you this because I love you and don't want the same to ever happen to you.  

HIM:  I can't wait to go tell everyone.  I'm crying over here.  

ME:  I'm so glad I was able to entertain you and your weirdo friends this afternoon, you dork.   

 (note to self:  never again share embarrassing moments with younger smart*ss brother)  

 It took me a good 24 hours and a nasal irrigation to get that smell out of my nose.  The moral of the story:  if you've got a mouth full of food and feel a sneeze coming on, grab a napkin or just let it go.  The alternative is much much worse.  

 ***

 FYI:  Both of those beautiful scenarios were first passed on via e-mail to my friend Aileen, who demanded I share them with my reading audience (or threatened to post them herself).  You can thank her later.      

Happy Wednesday!!

MUAH

Friday, January 21, 2005

Happy Friday, Sponge Bob, and Possessed Treadmills

I'd like to begin this entry with the following announcement:

Despite what you've heard (James Dobson from Focus on the Family is harping on this lately), Spongebob is - you guessed it - a sponge. An animated sponge at that.  Yes, he holds hands with his best friend Patrick, a cartoon starfish, sometimes, which is sweet.  He watches a show with characters named Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy.  However, he's a cartoon sponge, for crying out loud. 

I watch Spongebob with my children because I love cartoons.  He's adorable and downright hilarious at times. 

This kind of reminds me of the Teletubby Scare of 1998-99.  Paranoia will destroy ya.  (pssst!! what about Bugs Bunny??  He used to kiss Elmer Fudd all the time, and loved to dress in drag!!  GASP!) 

C'mon, you have to admit it's a bit silly.

****

I have a fear of exercise machines. I'm working on that though, and I've braved the dreaded squat machine that often falls or flips over on people.  In fact, I did one too many squats last night and all the muscles in the lower half of my body are screaming in pain today.  You have to admit, some of those things look like midieval torture devices.  I've discovered that the gym with all its scary equipment is a necessary evil, because I downright refuse to watch and do another Denise Austin exercise tape.  Never again.

Even flown off the back of a treadmill?  If you don't fall, its kind of cool.  You can sort of walk off and act like "I meant to do that".  Like a signature dismount or something.  I have learned the hard way on more than one occasion that exercise machines are dangerous.

The Treadmill Incident:  Years ago, I bought myself a treadmill for my birthday, and used it religiously.  I even got to the point where I'd incline it to get my heart rateup, and run on the thing.  Then it happened.  One day I wasn't paying close attention, and I stepped too far forward.  The toe of my right shoe got caught in between the belt and the outer casing of the machine, and sucked me in. 

Yes, they make safety keys to prevent this type of incident from occurring, but I thought safety keys were for wimps, so it was in the hole, not hanging around my neck like its supposed to be. 

So, I'm caught in the machine by the toe of my right shoe, which has now pulled my right leg all the way to the front of the machine.  Of course this caught me off-guard, so my other foot stayed on the belt and went all the way backwards.  I begin to desperately try to pry myself loose, while the skin of my left knee is being rapidly burned off by the still rotating belt.  This produced a really cool noise (like tires spinning on wet streets), but it hurt like a monkey.  Amidst the smell of burning flesh, I call out to my family.  No one comes.  I scream.  No one comes.  Panic sets in.

Finally, I use what's left of my left leg and both arms to hurl myself upright and stay airborn for a long enough time to yank the safety key out of the slot, stopping the machine, before slamming back down on the blackened flesh of my knee.  I yank my foot loose and lay on the floor for a few minutes, trying to gather my senses and not pass out. 

Now I imagine that whole incident took about 3 minutes, but of course it seemed like forever.  Everyone was in the house, the kids were watching TV in the very next room and not one of them heard me shreaking for help.  That selective deafness is just insane.

It took my poor knee about a month to heal, and I never got on that evil treadmill again.  In fact I sold it to my boss, who gave it to his girlfriend for Valentine's Day.  (Yes I had the discussion with him about giving a woman gifts with cords.  Definate no no.)  Anyway, do you know that evil treadmill shocked his girlfriend about a month after she started using it?  I kid you not.  Told you its evil.  Or possessed.  Or both.

Lesson learned:  those safety thingies and warnings are on our exercise machines for a reason.  One must step on the squat machine before lifting the things up, or it falls over.  Wear your safety key when you run on your treadmill.  Use these machines for the purpose they were intended for.

Or maybe Kris is just too big of a spaz to be allowed near exercise equipment?  Maybe the warning needs to read "uncoordinated, spazzy dorks should not use this piece of equipment, even under close adult supervision."

****

Wow.  Yet another educational entry.  I'm on a roll. 

I'm off to enjoy my diet cherry coke now.  Go me.

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Oscillococcinum & Psychopomps

I saw this on the Wild Oats sign today:  "Oscillococcinum $6.99".  Because I'm insane like that, I had to figure out what oscillococcinum was (and how to pronounce it!)

From Boiron's website:

Oscillococcinum® (O-SILL-O-COX-SEE-NUM) the number one flu medicine of France, is becoming increasingly popular in the United States.  This homeopathic medicine has been shown in clinical studies to decrease the duration and intensity of flu symptoms. 

According to homeoinfo.com, the name and formula are patented/held/marketed/owned by a company called Boiron.  "Oscillococcinum is an extract of duck heart and liver. It was introduced in the 1930’s by Dr Joseph Roy, who believed that it contained a bacterium, Oscillococcus, which caused influenza. Wild fowl have been shown to be a major reservoir of human influenza viruses."

OK, now that you think I'm completely insane, here's another fun one:

Psychopomps (picture & info from about.com) - I got this one in an e-mail.

A psychopomp is a god or goddess or spiritual being that is responsible for guiding souls of the dead to an afterlife or underworld.  Anubis is the Egyptian jackal-headed god responsible for that (pictured above), the Greeks had Hermes, and the Romans had Mercury. 

I just think "psychopomp" is a cool word that's fun to say.

Try it.  You know you want to.

Yep, I'm a weirdo!  (Hey, at least this one was educational!!)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Purgin'

Look!  Its not even blurry.  Go me.  We have the most gorgeous sunsets here, and my daughter's science teacher had to go ruin it by saying they're caused by all the pollution in the air.  Hrmph!

****

This will be brief, because I've got tons of homework to do already....grrr.  This class should be real exciting - mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, bankruptcies, estates...everything I ever wanted to know about consolidated financial statements.  I can do this.  I can get through this.  That's my mantra.

***

I lost another pound this week...ugh its going so slow.  Crazy how when I work out more and harder I lose weight slower.  Seems like it should be the opposite.  I wish I could just snap my fingers and have it gone.  I'm so sick of people using my weight against me - to either put me down, make fun of me or feel sorry for me.  I wish that everyone in their life had to struggle with weight just once, to see what it feels like.  (Or remember how it felt and have some compassion!!)  I do quite well most of the time as far as self esteem goes, it just gets to me once in a while. 

I've come a long way - and I can tell.  It feels a lot better - I feel a lot better.  Almost 20% of my total body weight is now gone.  My clothes are falling off of me, but I'm not buying more just yet.  I'm gonna wait until I lose another 10 and reward myself.  I'll be ok, I just need to shake it off.

Lots of people don't realize the hell overweight people go through.  I'm not morbidly obese, obviously, but I have friends who are and I just want to scream when I hear people whispering about them when we're out.  One lady I know is a nurse, and she gets so much stuff from her patients and the docs she works with - she's convinced she's been denied promotions based on her weight problem.  She can't go to movies because she doesn't fit in the chairs.  I can't imagine dealing with situations like that.  Another guy I know who's also very large, says that when he goes out to eat, some people will actually analyze his food choices for him.  "Oh, you really shouldn't eat that" or "Wow, maybe you should order something else".  The nerve!

How dare people attempt to criticize another person without realizing what they're going through?  You can't possibly know the health issues or underlying circumstances going on.  Not all fat people are lazy - its usually actually quite the opposite.  GR!

On a semi-related note,  I was cruising around earlier checking out the discovery health site, and there's a place you can go to make a virtual model of yourself at your current weight and your goal weight.  Its kinda fun (and sorta freakishly realistic) - if anyone wants to try it, check it out here. 

***

Speaking of my nurse friend getting criticism from patients - do you think its ok for someone to be promoting healthy lifestyles to have bad health habits themselves?  Like my friend the nurse (or my ex-family physician), who's obese, or a doctor who smokes cigarrettes...I think it makes them more human.  They realize what we're going through and they're better able to help us. 

That's kind of along the lines of male gynecologists and female urologists...how can they really understand if they don't have the equipment?  My pulmonologist has severe asthma himself.  He knows exactly what asthmatics go through everyday, how bad it can get, and what makes life for us better.  Does that make any sense?

I'm rambling.

***

Off to do homework...

Happy Wednesday!!

***

OH before I forget...thank you Miss Jersey Girl for sprucing up my last blurry pink flower pic.  Check it out!!  (Thanks for the tips, too!)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The Utter Joy of Being a Parent of a Teenager...

I forced them to ride like this so I could take a picture of them all squished together.  She'll forgive me eventually.  Aren't they adorable all smashed in the back of my car?  Kinda hard to look and act all cool when you can barely move.  Heh heh heh.

That's Emily in the middle (happy birthday!!)  Orlando, aka "the monkey" is on the right, and poor little Wendy smashed on the left.

You realize when your children hit the teenage years, you can pay them back for the little embarassments they caused you when they were younger, like barfing all over you in the grocery store, and burping real loud in a restaurant and then blaming mommy (at age 3).  This is when anything can be payback, like blaring Elvis on the car stereo while picking them up from school, or forcing them to sit and snuggle with their friends in your car while you take a picture.

I still think they're adorable.  Still my baby, even at 14.

love you sweetie!!

Happiness is a choice and randomonium

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
     --Abraham Lincoln
 
Happiness depends upon ourselves.  --Aristotle

Ya know...I need to shake less or something.  My pics are always blurry.

There are a lot of angry, grumpy, depressed, mopey people out there.  Seems like I've been exposed to more than usual lately.  I've always felt that after all is said and done, happiness is a choice.  You define your mood and your outlook and whether your day will be horrible or wonderful.  You make the conscious decision to smile or frown, to be nice to others or rude and nasty. 

Don't get me wrong - I can be a very grumpy person, especially when people do stupid things, or when I'm overwhelmed or stressed.  I admit that.  I also understand that there are certain hormonal and/or chemical imbalances that can affect our moods and outlooks.  There are great medications for that, fortunately, and hormones usually only switch gears once every 28 days, thank goodness. 

I've just run across some people lately that seem to enjoy being sad, depressed or angry.  For many people, it seems as though they aren't satisfied unless they're miserable.  There always has to be some new illness or injury, or some drama in life.  Somehow there is a need for sympathy for something.  They hate their jobs, but yet they don't look for new ones.  They hate their situations, but they make no effort to change them.  They can't stand where they live, but they don't move.  They're sick or tired all the time, but they don't change their lifestyle or take better care of themselves. 

SIDENOTE:  this is about people I've run into lately.  My mother was like this.  The bank teller yesterday was snippy.  The woman I had to talk toin a municipality finance department was grouchy.  There's an older woman I know who's always got some new pain or illness.  My ex whatever he is and my ex husband are like this.  I have family members like this.  Nothing's ever good or right in the universe where they're concerned.  There are people in the world that you just want to grab them by both shoulders and shake them real hard while screaming "SNAP OUT OF IT."  This portion of my entry is for them.

I finally asked the extremely hateful bank teller ... "are you having a bad day?".  She softened and told me briefly about how her day had gone (not well) and was incredibly sweet after that.  Maybe we just need to show some compassion once in a while. 

Ultimately you are the catalyst.  You decide what you don't like about your life or yourself and you change what you can.  You make the decision to have a good outlook on life, the mood you're in today, the way you speak to and treat others.  You make the decisions.

Smile!

****

On a similar, yet slightly different note.....ever notice how people behave completely different when they're operating a vehicle?  Here's an example:

Say you're waiting in line at the bank.  Do you move all the way to the front of the line and force your way in?  Then why do people do that in traffic?  NO CUTS.

Do you jump right in front of people as you're walking to the store?  Then why cut people off on the highway?

Do you walk up next to someone and flip them off?  Why would you do that when you're in a vehicle?

People get so bold and aggressive when they're in cars for some reason.  Its insane.  The laws of the playground still apply, even if you're driving.  Just saying.

Imagine if everyone was nice to everyone else for just one day.  Wouldn't that be bizarre?

****

My daughter Kayla loves strawberries.  I bought a large container of them for her this weekend, and they're already gone.  Last night, she was asking me to go get her some more, and for added leverage she says,

"Besides Mom, strawberries are good for your colon!" 

What on earth??  What are they teaching these children that all of the sudden my 8 year old is aware of the health and maintenance of her colon??

I don't think I even knew what a colon was until I took anatomy in mid school.  I'm impressed, yet a little concerned.

****

Final random note:  my wonderful beautiful daughter Emily turned 14 on Sunday (yes I feel old), and brought home another straight A report card.  I'm beaming I'm so proud of her.  I'm truly blessed to have such a wonderful daughter.  I try real hard to never take that for granted.  (love you Em!)

That's it for now.

Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, January 17, 2005

Quotes and pic found on about.com.

Even though he died before I was born, I have learned to appreciate and admire the eloquence, intelligence, compassion and drive of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  I try very hard to help my children understand racism in its entirety - the history, where it comes from, and what we can do to make things better.  Dr. King's speeches have often brought me to tears, and I can only imagine what more he could have accomplished had he lived longer.

The lesson:  Hatred is never a good thing.  Ignorance is no excuse, and neither is fear. 

So much has been done, yet so much more needs to be done.  We have a long way to go, and this holiday is a great time to reflect on what we can do to make things better. 

***

Without love, benevolence becomes egotism.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

If man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live.

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.

When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative.

***

Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love, correcting everything that stands against love.

***

That's all for now...

 

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Forgiveness

 

That's a very blurry Albuquerque sunset.  I think I took this Saturday evening.

***

I read an article in Diane magazine yesterday while I was waiting for a meeting to start, called "Forgiving the Unforgivable" by Ellen Michaud.  This was a powerful article about a woman named Carol, who had been viciously abused as a child by her mentally ill mother, and how she was able to finally forgive her mother on her death bed, right before she died.

I think everyone goes through painful experiences in their lives that are basically avoidable and caused by the actions of one thoughtless individual.  I've had several of these individuals in my life, (one very recently) and forgiveness is something that I've had to confront and work on based on those experiences.  Everyone does this, I'm sure.

Anyway this woman was able to forgive her mother for the physical and mental abuse she suffered as a child, even as her mother was beating her, because she could see the pain her mother was in.  She said, "I understood that if she hadn't been ill, she would have been able to show love instead of anger."  Amazing that a child could recognize that and be able to use it to cope with the horror of her everyday life.  She held her mother on her death bed, and told her she forgave her right before she died.

When my mother passed away we had tons of unfinished business.  Years of hurt and anger and questioning...I think that's why this article touched me this way.  Mom had an incredibly hard life, and I should have probably been grateful she left rather than expose us to the stuff she was going through.  I still can't imagine having the wisdom and peace as a small child to look at her and understand that like I do now. 

The article goes on to reveal research that's been done in the areas of social work and psychology, and gives tips on how to get there.  The bottom line isthat forgiveness is a tool - a way to free yourself of things and people who have hurt you in the past. 

I never thought of it that way. 

The final tip in this article is to recognize how forgiveness transforms your life.  "You're just not the same person.  You've changed from a hurting woman who doesn't understand the harm done to her to a woman who incorporates the injury into her life to a woman who no longer thinks of herself as injured."

Pretty cool, huh. What a great perspective to have.

****

The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.
         Thomas Szasz, The Second Sin (1973) "Personal Conduct"
 
Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.
Oscar Wilde, Irish dramatist, novelist, & poet (1854 - 1900)

****

What a weird, abnormal entry, huh.  I'll write a more normal one later.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Blog Firing and more of the same

I took this pic at the museum this weekend.  Its gorgeous, despite its little wilted petal.  I guess that's the best we can do with tropicals here in the desert.

John Scalzi wrote in his journal today about people getting fired over their blogs.  I'd read Peachy's stuff about her getting fired over her blog material a while back, and I didn't realize this was a common thing.  Mind you, everything I write about my boss and my job is usually positive, (Except for when I talk about how annoying he can be, which he knows because I tell him right to his face when he bugs me and he does the same.)  I can't imagine getting fired over what amounts to an online diary. 

The exceptions to that statement are obvious.  Obviously if you're writing about being a criminal, like embezzling money, killing people, drug use or other unacceptable behavior, you're likely to get fired. As someone in the accounting profession, I also understand if I got on here and broke obvious codes of conduct I'd get canned (like broadcasting confidential financial information), but I'd deserve it.  (Hint to dorky people who want to do stuff like that:  make it private!)

John's entry is the first one I've read where its backfired on the employer, but I'd never heard of this happening before just recently.  Does anyone else know about this?  Is it an ongoing thing? 

Is it fair?

Honestly, with the exceptions above and other obvious ones, I don't think so.  This is my personal rant space, and if I want to call my boss a jerk it should be my business.  Its just ranting, as long as I don't do it on company time (like right now).   I didn't realize that your personal blogspace was fair game for your employer to go seek and read, much less fire you over the content. 

****

Unrelated story - a former supervisor of mine once accidentally forwarded a ranty negative e-mail about her boss directly to him, instead of sending it to me, the intended recipient.  Talk about embarassing.  All he did was send it back to her with the comment, "I don't think this was intended for me.".  I think he knew the humiliation she was going through was enough.  Whoops!

****

My boss is out of town for the rest of the week.  He gets to be in Cancun drinking a beer on the beach while we work, but I'm not resentful.  Actually, I was so looking forward to his little vacation so I could get caught up.  This normally clean organized person has not seen the surface of her desk since before Christmas, and my goal is to not only see the surface but to have it clean by Friday.  I know I can do it, because the boys won't be here bugging.  Go me?

What is it with the organizing bug lately?  Seems like so much of us have it!!  My favorite hippy gave some great tips in her journal, but here's one I like best:  Clean as if you're moving, and throw out or get rid of all the stuff you don't want to pack and move.  I have gotten rid of SO MUCH JUNK that way.  I'm going little by little, and it makes my environment feel so much nicer.  I'm also going by the rule that if I haven't looked at it or used it for six months, I don't need it.

I just wonder if its something in the atmosphere that a lot of us are busily cleaning and organizing.  It feels good, huh!

****

OK that's it for today.  Thank me later.

Happy Wednesday!!

***

p.s./RANT:  As its been said before all over J-Land, if you use someone's journal entry or ideas or stuff, give them credit for it (like I did).  So many people just plagiarize or copy & paste, and that's not very nice.  Just saying.

All done! =)

Monday, January 10, 2005

@$#% Mondays, Random Randomness

Kayla's been begging to go to the "Dinosaur Museum" for forever (its one of her favorite places) so we went Saturday.  I think these are done by the same guy that does the painted horses, and I think they're adorable, even if the last pic didn't turn out well.

Aren't they cute?  This last one was the best one, but it came out fuzzy!!

I'm still working on the camera skills, obviously.

****

So ... I'm kinda bummed about Brad and Jen splitting up.  I imagine its similar to the feeling I had when Tom and Nicole split up.  You sort of rejoice when  Hollywood couples succeed, even if it isn't forever, because that's not normal.  They gave the normal canned reasons, that they parted as friends, they just weren't getting along...yada yada yada.  Its still kind of sad, anyway.

****

I think my teenaged daughter has trained her two psychotic cats to attack me when I wake her up in the morning.  When I knock to wake her up, they reach for my bare feet with claws bared from under her bedroom door.  I got smart though, and learned to lean forward, knocking from a distance.  This morning I wanted to check and make sure she was actually up (versus down) and moving around in a semi-coherent fashion before I trusted her telling me she was up.  I opened the bedroom door a crack, one cat grabs the door to pry it open, and the other attacks my ankle full boar - all four paws and teeth.. 

Next time I wake her up I'm bringing the squirt gun!

****

Its almost Girl Scout Cookie sale time.  Last year Kayla sold over 300 boxes, so this year will be interesting as well.  She's got her eye on a t-shirt they're giving away as a goal gift.  I'm sure she'll have no problems meeting that.  Last year I also shipped boxes of cookies all over the country, so if you want some e-mail me let me know.  They freeze well!!

SIDENOTE:  I learned the hard way last year that all of these cookies have traces of nuts, usually peanuts in them.  If you're allergic, don't order!  (I still feel bad about that Brooklyn someone I almost killed last year.  I swear I didn't know!)

****

Maybe I'll think of a better topic in a bit...that's all I have for now.  Randomness is my M.O.

Have a happy rest-of-your-Monday!!

MUAH!

Thursday, January 6, 2005

Frozen somethings.

DISCLAIMER:  I am located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where we have lots of rain and not much snow during the winter.  Its still cold as ... well its cold.  The pics here are of the Sandias (watermelon in espanol) with the most recent snow dusting.  The reason they call them Sandias is that in the evenings with our beautiful sunsets, a lot of times they glow red and look just like a fresh slice of watermelon.

ANYWAY...

So I don't have great stories about freezing hair....I'll improvise.  (Extra credit below...)

When my brother and I were young we watched the movie Christmas Story.  There's a scene in that movie where a little boy gets dared to stick his tongue to a flag pole in freezing cold weather.  Triple dog dared, even.  If you've never seen that movie, you remember the little boy's tongue gets stuck to the pole and he's left out there until the fire department comes and unsticks him.  Then he has a bandage on his tongue for a while that's just ridiculous. 

My brother has always been the experimenting type, and not to be outdone...of course he had to try it.  We had nothing frozen enough for him to experiment with, so he opened the freezer door and stuck his tongue to one of the metal shelves, and immediately began screaming like a stuck pig.

I rescued him, once I quit laughing.  I just poured warm water on his tongue and it released, but boy was that ever funny.  (HEE)

***

The only other improv I could think of has to do with frosty windshields.  A friend of mine was running late one morning, and thought maybe if she poured warm water on the windshield the ice would go away.

It was effective, because the whole windshield shattered into 9,000,000 pieces.  A little overkill, I guess.

***

We Albuquerqueans have no idea how to dealwith snowy white stuff and/or ice.  I admit that fully, freely and often.  The way I drive in snow is usually sideways or in a perpetual spinning motion, so I choose not to.

Extra Credit:  I have a general music type that I listen to in wintery weather:  classical.  I think its because the symphony I was in during high school always kicked in and performed during the winter months.  Anything Mozart is really fun, but I like some of the darker stuff as well.  Anything in the classical genre is really nice, and I always crave it when it's cold.

Then the mood passes and its back to that angry music I love so much.  Heh.

There's my little installment!  Happy Friday (almost!)

One More...

I just read the Andrea Yates news on AOL.  What a strange twist of events.

I honestly believe that she's insane.  Obviously I'm not there and I don't know for sure, but according to news stories she talks to herself and has imaginary friends.  Its been discussed that perhaps this was spurred by post partum depression and an underlying mental illness.

I'm just surprised that TEXAS of all places threw the conviction out.  Isn't that a trip?

I don't think this is the same as that woman who drowned her kids in the car for a man.  What was her name?  The one who wanted to off her kids so she could be with some guy who didn't want children?  Anyway, I honestly believe this is different.  I think the woman is mentally ill. 

Obviously it was a horrific scene and justice should be served, I just think they need to really honestly evaluate her by a third party to see if she is mentally ill when this goes to trial again.  Seeing the pictures of those poor children...bless their little hearts.

Any thoughts?  (Or anyone who can tell me the name of that other woman)

****

I also got a phone call from a single man friend of mine whose neighbor went in for a court imposed drug test.  She was not only dirty (crack, apparently), she was in possession and they arrested her on the spot.  Meanwhile her 8 year old daughter was at home with her 4 MONTH old little brother, and they came wandering over to my friend's house when mom didn't come home.  That's how old my Kayla is.  Apparently Grandma's 79 years old and can't take care of the infant.  We were able to contact All Faiths Receiving Home and get the children some care.  Apparently they couldn't stay with me or my friend because you have to go through a lengthy acceptance process first, which is understandable, but frustrating nonetheless.

I can't imagine an addiction being so strong you'd forget to tell your arresting officer you have a young child and an infant alone at home.  Its beyond my level of understanding, and it broke my heart to see the little one so scared and unsure.  At least she's not alone at home anymore, and they're both safe.

Hug your kids tonite, if you've got them.  That's all I can say.

***

You realize that people have to get educated and earn the right to do a lot of things, like drive or build houses or teach others... maybe its time to require people to pass certain tests to be a parent.  Maybe we should require people to go to parenting classes, to be free of addiction, among other things, BEFORE we allow them to bring innocent beings into the world.  I know, I realize that would be a basic rights issue, but still.  You have to admit there are parents in this world that have no business being parents.  Its hard to watch.

There's my piece for today...stepping down from my little internet soap box for now.

***

 

 

SUSAN SMITH!!  (The name of the woman who drowned her kids so she could be with a man)  Thanks Miss Jersey Girl for jogging my memory. =)

Don't Wanna.

Yes I have tons of awesome pics sitting on my camera but haven't had the time to upload them, so you get this from Art By Cheryl.  Its kinda cute, I think.

The huge storm that just left here is headed east - I hope y'all don't get too much yucky stuff.  I think most of us New Mexicans actually enjoyed the precip.  The mountains looked awesome yesterday - hopefully I can get those pics loaded later.

I have a really bad case of the dontwannas today.  Piles and piles of stuff on my desk, and I'm so overwhelmed that I just ... well, don't wanna.

***

I'm forcing myself to go back to the gym after work after an extremely long break.  You know, holidays, finals, work....yeah whatever.  No more excuses, I'm headed back.  I only gained 2.5 lbs over the holidays, which in the grand scheme of things really isn't that bad.  Back on the wagon again.

Its so funny to drive by the park and see TONS of people walking and jogging.  This is really sad to say, but I bet in a couple of weeks that number will be back down to like the one or two regulars.  That's what I hate about the gym this time of year...its so crowded for the first few weeks in January, then we hang on to a couple but the rest go back to life as normal.

***

I was soooo grouchy yesterday it was unreal...then I get this phone call in the afternoon from the president of the local CFMA chapter.  (Construction Financial Management Association - that's the conference I attended in New Orleans this past May)  Apparently he's trying to fill board positions for the new year and guess who got selected.  I think it'll be a blast, but finding the time is going to be the tough part.  Oh well, my boss is always telling me to get involved in local accounting organizations....I guess this is finally getting involved.  The installment banquet is later this month - it should be pretty cool.  (No, ifyou're wondering I don't know how to turn people down.  Yes I realize I work full time, college part time and have two children at home.  I'll figure it out.)  I think it'll be a great opportunity, and who knows - maybe I'll get to go to this year's conference in Boston....

***

Anyway, I'm wondering if this is a general sentiment out there....anyone else have the dontwannas today?  I'm dreaming of strolling the mall or chilling with my kids, or painting, or curling up with a good book....

I guess I'll work on taxes instead, darnit.

Happy Thursday!!

 

Monday, January 3, 2005

Random Randomosity

Its still raining here in beautiful Albuquerque.  Its that nice soft calming rain that really soaks everything.  New Mexico is always so thirsty - natives like me usually really enjoy precip like this.  Someday I'll live somewhere where it rains more often so I can appreciate the weather here a little more.  We're so spoiled.

***

I found a few of my older pieces today and my dragon got dripped on somehow.  I'm not sure if its fixable, but a lot of time and effort and heart and soul went into it so hopefully I can fix him.  I'd like to eventually find time to paint more.  I think I need to find the time.  I keep saying that.

***

My boss' daughter (one of the twins) came by today to say hi.  She's adorable.  Tiny little thing, a junior in high school, taking weight training.  Little tiny thing can bench 95 lbs.  She may weigh that soaking wet.  Anyway I thought it was cool she came to hang out with me for awhile.  She worked with me over the summer, and she's a pretty cool young woman.  (Whoa did I just say "young woman"?!? Dang I'm old.)  She's got her stuff together, that's for sure.  She's going to do sports med in college so she can be a personal trainer.  I told her she's already got a client for when she graduates.  WOOHOO!!

***

Work is overwhelming right now.  Fiscal year end, payroll year end, tax junk, plus my normal duties...there's just not enough time in the day.  Is anyone else feeling overwhelmed right now?  Other people in other industries/careers I've spoken to are actually having down time.  I really prefer to be busy.  Its so much better than boredom!  I am so grateful to be doing something I enjoy, to have such a great boss and such and awesome position for such a great company.  I've been to hell as far as work conditions go, so I never ever take it for granted. 

Stress.  Stress!!

My typical response to stress is usually to retreat completely.  One of my dear friends pointed that out to me the other day.  When I've got too much going on, instead of reaching out and asking for help, I retreat to handle whateveritis by myself.  Not an entirely healthy approach I guess, but at least I'm not resorting to stupid things like lashing out at others or developing a new addiction.  At one point, years ago, when things got out of control I made myself scarce completely.  I ignored my responsibilities (not my children, mind you, my work, my bills, my health) and generally ... well, split.  Checked out, so to speak.

This is just run of the mill stress - some people get grumpy, some people take it out on others, some people consume more alcohol, some run away, some eat more....I retreat and try to handle it all myself, whether that's possible or not.  At least I don't down a fifth of vodka a day...diet coke isn't bad as far as addictions go. 

Although my coworkers have been commenting on my increased diet coke consumption lately....

***

Are we there yet?? 

***

and i watch you
across a crowded space
laughing with friends
giving and taking moments
and i watch you
gentle with a child
looking and listening
with your heart
and i watch you
a passion in your work
driven to create
hands building beauty
and i watch you
moving through the room
in peaceful purpose
and quiet confidence
and i watch you
eyes blurred by tears
and a haze of love
and i call you back
to see the deep of your eyes
and the way your hair falls
feel the warmth of your hands
and ask you to speak to my skin once again
where are you?

ak
100304

That was a gift from a dear, extremely close friend of mine - its so beautiful I wanted to share.   Thanks Annie.  I'll cherish it always.

*****

Enough randomness for one day.  I certainly hope everyone had a wonderful Monday.  Mine wasn't so bad.

MUAH!!

 

Sunday, January 2, 2005

Sharing...

I'm being punished.  We bathed both little dogs this afternoon - it had been way too long.  Anyway, both of them aren't speaking to me right now.

They'll forgive me later.

Hee.

The Inevitable New Year's Entry

This is the weather we're having in beautiful Albuquerque, NM.  I love it.  Its been a constant drizzle all day, and boy do we need this stuff.

So this is going to be the cheesy New Year Entry, a look back, reflecting on this year as well as happy optimistic thoughts for 2005. 

This year I've done so much, been through so much, accomplished so much, and grown so much.  In May I went to New Orleans with my daughters, and had such a wonderful time - I think I left my heart in New Orleans...probably along that Riverwalk somewhere.  I've never seen such a beautiful city, with so much character and history.  I'll go back there someday on a more long term basis.  In July my world was shaken to the core, which was necessary but heartbreaking nonetheless.  I still miss him every day, but I miss a made up persona that never truly existed.  Anyway, I gained so much from that drama - I honestly believe that it all happened for a reason.  Through my painful experience, I also gained one of the best friends I've ever had.  Everything I went through was worth it, just for that.  (love you A!)  Bygones.  Honestly.  I've reconnected with my Louie on a deeper, more meaningful level.  Our relationship is growing stronger, and I love having him around and in my life again.  I've accomplished so many things that I never was able to before.  I was set free, and I'm glad it all happened.  For some reason, I seem to gain strength and wisdom from painful experiences, and I love feeling this empowered.

****

Thanks to all higher powers for the new year and the ability to start anew.  I have this really strong cleaning urge, and I want to get rid of a bunch of stuff.  Maybe like that quarterly cleansing ritual I go through.

My resolutions this year are: 

1.   To keep working on my health.  I haven't been in the hospital long term for asthma issues since October 2002.  I've stopped taking all but three meds (down from 9!!) I've lost a great deal of weight.  I've started exercising again, because I can now.  Things are definately looking up. 

2.  To fix the stuff about the house that I hate.  Two sister-in-laws have lived here before me, and the house was built in 1975.  While I've done a LOT to update it, there's still more to do, like this:

Those squiggly things are wood stained dark brown to match the dark brown paneling that's also going.  Yes, its even around the skylights, but only in this den/kitchen area.

You guys get to look down the never ending hallway... Not only is the paneling dark brown but its got a high gloss varnish all over.  You can actually see your reflection in them (see the reflection of the linen closet door?).  UGH.  This house used to have orange and red shag carpeting, lemon yellow linoleum throughout, olive green counters...it has come a long way.

...although I still don't know what to do with that space between the tops of the cabinets and the ceiling...

I think two resulotions are enough for this year - the paneling is a pretty tall order.  Its going to be a great year though, I can tell already.  I'm in a healthy REAL ACTUAL relationship, my kids are doing wonderfully, I'm five classes away from graduation, I have a wonderful job, and life is good.

Anyway, I'm going to check out other resolutions and cheesy New Year entries...I hope everyone's 2005 is groovy too.