December 12, 2011

12 Things

Day 12:  12 Things - What are 12 things your life doesn’t need in 2012? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 12 things change your life? (Props to original Author: Sam Davidson) If you did Reverb10, how are you making out on your 11 Things from last year?
At first I thought 12 would be too few, but as I sit here trying to think of number 8, I realize it’s not so easy.
  1. Fair-weather friends: I’ve been weeding out these type of people over the last couple of months and it’s quite liberating.
  2. Debt: Looking at the Big Picture I actually don’t have a lot of debt. The majority of it is student loans minus a few things that I am taking care of. Still, being debt free is great and is a huge stress relief.
  3. Fat: Since 2009 I have regained 13 pounds. When I do the math 13 doesn’t seem like that much. However those are 13 pounds that I don’t need or want and I’m going to get back to a healthy lifestyle. I’ve  got a 5k I want to do in April and I need to be ready!
  4. Hoarding: I wouldn’t consider myself an actual hoarder but I have a habit of keeping clothes, pens and half filled notebooks. Not in 2012 I won’t.
  5. Drama: This one is pretty self-explanatory. 2012 will present its own challenges and tests. I won’t need anyone else’s problems to bring me down.
  6. Skin cancer: I am a self proclaimed sun sponge. I soak up those glorious UV rays with ease. In the past 2 years though I’ve been trying to be better. I started using SPF on my face and instead of using my non-SPF oil each time, I’ll try my best to use the SPF 4 lotion one. Even the dermatologist said 4 is better than nothing. I’m starting to see some signs of sun damage and I’d like to put a stop to doing any more.
  7. TV: Although Todd, my trusty assistant, takes care of all my TV needs I should give him a break. I don’t spend hours glued in front of the TV but cutting down on my “must see” shows won’t hurt. Especially since by the time I get around to watching all the episodes the season is over.
  8. Unnecessary expenses: As I mentioned in my Wishing reverb post, I need to work on my saving abilities. Instead of grabbing a coffee every morning, or buying snacks while I’m at school I need to start planning ahead and bringing things with me.
  9. Wasted time: Sometimes I’m really horrible at time management. This is something I always vow to work on but never actually get around to doing. This year I really need to make the effort. We all know the saying, time = money.
  10. Procrastination: This is sometimes easier said than done but it relates to all things. I’ve been meaning to go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade for the past 6 years. I don’t go because I don’t want to go alone but you know what? It’s something I want to do and if it means going alone, so be it. I am going in 2012. The same goes for New Year’s Eve.
  11. TBD
  12. TBD

December 06, 2011

What made you laugh this year?

What made you laugh this year?

In some aspects this past year was incredibly stressful and there were times I wanted to throw in the towel. Laughter is a constant in my life and I’m sure this holds true for you in some way as well. It’s what gets us through. So, what made me laugh this year? Many of these moments required you to be there to really see the humor. Nonetheless, they had me in stitches.

  • Leaving the bar with MBFF and trying to walk through a wall because I thought it was the door. Watching another friend do the exact same thing 2 months later.

  • Unintentionally being drunk by 11pm on a Friday night with MBFF.

  • Putting on a pair of camouflage slippers in Wal*Mart with MBFF and yelling, “I can’t find my feet!”

  • Flipping through a book on Nazi Germany and seeing a picture of a dog by Hitler’s side. Stating, “$10 bucks says this dog is a German Sheppard”. (which it was)

  • Sitting at the table with my 14 yr old brother while he made jokes about a sock puppet. “What’s Socko’s favorite snake?      A cottonmouth.”

  • Reading Shit My Dad Says and Lies Chelsea Handler Told Me.

  • Watching a creepy guy, Ron, in his late forties hit on 20 yr olds at the bar.

  • Boyfriend and I were talking and he said someone famous, a musician, died on his birthday. I said, "Ringo?" "Close", he tells me. "George Harrison?", I guess again.  Finally he says, "No.. John Lennon".  And all I can say is, "Imagine..."  Then I proceeded to burst into laughter at my own unintentional pun. It was still funny days later.  

  • Memorial Day weekend I was down the shore and a picture of some woman with her CT hanging out. I posted it on FB and captioned it “Clam Bake”. My mom called me a bitch, I asked why and she commented saying, “I want that!” To be clear we were on the same page, which we obviously were not, I asked, “want what?” She responds, “Clams!” Clearly she didn’t get the joke so I had to explain. “Oh well um, I was being sarcastic because this lady has her “hoo-ha” hanging out”. She then tells me, “Ok ok. Now I get it. No thank you.”

Here’s to 2012 having just as many memorable laughs!

December 02, 2011

One Word

Encapsulate the year 2011 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word.  Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2012 for you? 

One word? How do you choose just one? 365 days worth of "stuff" took place but I need to summarize all those events into one all encompassing word. This wasn't easy and it took some serious thinking to decide on one word. For me, 2011 was accomplished. These past 11 months have been difficult at times and humbling at others. There were days filled with rage and sadness. But there were also days that were filled with humility and happiness.

In its simplest explanation, I checked several items off my 2011 Big To-Do. I went to the St. Patrick's Day parade with my absolute best friend. I went down the shore for Memorial Day weekend and went to Jenk's Pavilion and Tiki Bar. That weekend I learned that my female best friend was not a true best friend. I went on vacation with my family to Cape Vincent, NY. I watched the Macy's 4th of July fireworks from my roof. I spent an entire week with my brother and sister doing touristy things and remembering how special those 2 kids are to me. My love for them is like that of a parent. I applied for a new job and was hired. My dream of working in NYC came to fruition. I started this blog. I have a boyfriend who I adore.These are simply the highlights that come to mind when I think of the year as a whole. I tried new things. I did things I've been "meaning to do". I went places. I stepped out of my comfort zone and I didn't fall on my face.

At 27 sometimes I still feel like a teenager. Floundering around trying to figure it all out and hoping I don't screw up too bad. Yet at the same time, I feel a sense of wisdom. Not a wisdom of all things, but of myself. I know me. I know what I want. How I feel. What I think. Where I want to go. Right now, as I type this, I can think of no greater accomplishment than truly knowing oneself.

For 2012 it's easier to choose my word - stability. Because of my former job my financial life, and therefore my social life (going out, joining things, hobbies, etc.), are in a state of upheaval. Although I want 2012 to be a great year where I check even more off my 2012 STD, I also want things to settle into something much more stable and reliable than they are now. Something minor or a mere hassle to someone else will turn an entire month into a tailspin for me. My view of stable is probably somewhat distorted or, at the very least, different than other peoples' view. Nonetheless, it's my goal.


How would you describe 2011 in one word?

November 23, 2011

Gobble It Up

It's official. The holidays are on us like that fat man in the airplane seat next to you. Try as you might to make yourself comfortable and keep your distance he just creeps into your space. Personally, I'm not one for turkey day. Don't get me wrong, I intend to be the Glutton Princess I am and reign over my plates (yea, plates...) and bask in my food coma glow. But this particular holiday? Ain't no thaaang.

Today, following work, I'll be making a mad dash to Port Authority to catch a Greyhound bus to transport me the 184 miles to my parents house. According to Google, it takes 3 hours and 28 minutes which I doubt. I've made the drive myself countless times and it's closer to 3 hours. Although that's probably because I drive like I'm qualifying for NASCAR. Seeing as how I'm excited  dumb due to go home, I'm taking comfort in the fact that I have the next 3.5 days to be completely obligation free. I intend to do nothing more than wreak havoc in my teenage siblings' lives, eat, and maybe play a game of football. You know, to um.. work off the mashed spuds and all...

Still, in the spirit of the day of promoted fatness I give you Fun Facts About Thanksgiving.

Some of the ones I found most interesting:

z     Sarah Josepha Hale, an American magazine editor, persuaded Abraham Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. She is also the author of the popular nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb"

z     It was Abraham Lincoln that slated Thanksgiving as the fourth Thanksgiving of November. In 1939 President Franklin Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving up a week in the hope that it would move up the Christmas shopping season and be fruitful to retailers. The move was proven to be very unpopular and it was changed back two years later.(if only he could see what he started!)

z     Californians are the largest consumers of turkey in the United States.

z     Each year, the average American eats somewhere between 16 - 18 pounds of turkey.

z     Turkey has more protein than chicken or beef.

z     A 15 pound turkey usually has about 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat.

So friends, put on those fat pants and eat until you pass out, enjoy the family time, chaotic as it may be, and have a fun day!

October 25, 2011

What If The Grass Is Green On Both Sides?

Some people feel that there is no greater joy in life. Some want and cannot have. Still others have zero desire. My feelings are a mix of all three and therefore leave me in a constant state of confusion.

For the past 12 years I’ve held a strict anti-baby policy. I realize they can be cute, funny and well behaved. I’ve even been emotionally moved by the things a child has done or said but I suppose that, overall, I keep a pessimistic view of them. My distaste starts in the womb. The entire concept of being with child doesn't appeal to me. I don't even like the word p------t, in any variation, or any other words associated with being with child. Most people view this as a beautiful time or a joy of life. How do I see it? Cringe-worthy. Yet when someone tells me their news I smile, say congratulations and ask all the right questions. I’m not so strong in my own beliefs that I won’t celebrate for someone else.

I think my feelings stem from two things. One, my fear of failure in that I barely take care of myself, how on earth am I going to take care of a kid; and two, the fact that from 13 to 17 it was my job to baby-sit my younger brother and sister. Everyday I came home to watch them. I did baths, dinner, story time, learning to walk and talk, playing at the park, etc. In essence, I feel as if I’ve “been there, done that”, yet I do not feel robbed of the experience of someday becoming a parent.

Because of my feelings I’ve been told everything from, ‘maybe you shouldn’t have kids’ to ‘you’ll change your mind someday’ and ‘wait until it happens”. As usual people are trying to project their baby-loving views on me. During a casual conversation in a store a perfect stranger asked if I was married or had kids and I said that I did not. She asked how old I was. I said 25. She then had the balls to say, “you’re a little behind aren’t you?” After 12 years I think I’m pretty sure of my feelings, even though I acknowledge that they can change.

And change they have. I went from a strict no thank you to a more acceptable, ehh. In a nutshell, if I have them, fine. If not, I won't cry about it. Some women feel the desire to be a mother. They get baby fever. I don’t feel it. If you were to ask me why I want kids I'd give my reasons but then counter-argue that I don’t feel cute clothes, baby naming and my curiosity of their looks constitute a green light to procreate. Will I be a parent someday? Probably but I still I remain indifferent.

As my 27th birthday comes next month part of me feels that ‘someday’ should get moved up on my life to-do list. But even that feeling has me on the fence. I don’t want to start having kids at 30 but I am in no way ready economically or personally (my relationship is 2 months old) to have them now. This is the way I see it: If I have kids at 30 I have a 10 year old at 40, a 20 year old at 50, etc. Say my kids have their own later  in life (30s range), if at all. So now I’m a grandmother in my 60s. Fine, still young by today’s standards. But am I going to be there when my grandkids graduate school or get married? Who knows. And I think deep down that bothers me. My grandparents were a huge influence in my life and it pains me that they’re no longer here. Add in the fact that I have a small family and therefore kind of want a medium sized family and I’m all fucked up.

As I proofread this it seems my feelings have changed yet again but I’m not sure I know how to explain them. I want them but I’m not ready? I feel that I’m going to miss out? I’m still indifferent? I really don’t know. I suppose the most correct answer would be a combination of the three. I will go on record saying that I am officially ok with the idea of having kids someday. I guess the only thing that can be said for sure is that I know there's time and I’m not getting off this fence any time soon.

October 20, 2011

Feelings from 14

I love to write. I love the feeling of pen to paper. The feel of the ink flowing, the smoothness of the sheets (I'll admit I hoard gel pens and notebooks). When I was kid I would write short stories but they never went anywhere. I could start, build a little story and even get in dialogue (in 3rd/4th grade I think this is worthy of a little pat on the back), but I was never sure how to end it without it seeming as if the characters were just cliff diving into the ending. Thus, the stories were always unfinished.

When I was a13 I wrote my first poem. It was about how terrible my birthday was going.  Obviously I'm no Maya Angelou, so it's not something that I would consider myself good at, which brings me to #7 Share your efforts at something you don't think you do well.

I prefer poetry that rhymes, but that's probably just my obsession with structure. It's not something I ever bring up. Mainly because I don't want to hear people give the generic comments of 'that's nice' or whatnot. Poetry is personal. I don't expect someone else to like, understand or feel what I have written. This is also probably the reason I don't like to read poetry. I never understand what I've read. In high school when we'd read passages or poems sometimes I thought I understood it but then we'd review and it turns out I was way off. That always threw me. Since poetry is personal shouldn't interpretation be up to the reader? In any event I gave it up a long time ago but in the interest of sharing, blogging and checking things off my lists, I present "You".

As a background, I wrote when I was 14 about a guy that I was crazy about. More so than I should have been. A few years later I stumbled upon some website for poetry submission. I didn't think anything of it but submitted it anyway. It ended up being selected to be published in an anthology. Reading it at 26 is comical. But at 14...

You said you didn't want to hurt me
   but you did it anyway
   you may not be aware of it
   but I think about it everyday

I think of how you held me
   I think of how we kissed
   I think of the times we shared
   and that is what I miss

I care about you
   but do you care about me
   I think that you do
   but please try and see

Try and see the way I love you
   try and see the way i care
   try and understand
   that the pain is too much to bare

I don't know what to say to you
   then again, maybe I do
   I care so much about you
   please tell me you do too

So you do care about me
   at least that's what you say
   you may care a lot
   but you broke my heart anyway

October 03, 2011

Higher Learning

In my opinion, life is a giant game of Shoots and Ladders. We move through the game one space (stage) at a time with the ultimate goal of winning (being successful). Sometimes we get to climb the ladder and get the extra cookie. Other times we land on hard times and slide back a few spaces. All in all, the point is to keep playing. To keep fighting for the ultimate goal. Parts of life can be fun and easygoing. Other times things happen that we just need to “get over”.  This brings me to my next shameless post: #24 Share a struggle you have yet to “just get over.” 

When I graduated high school in 2002 I had every intention of going to college. I applied to our local community college and was enrolled for the fall semester. I was climbing the ladder. In 2004, I landed on a wrong space and my life was soon in full slide mode and I dropped out of school. My car wouldn’t start, I was unemployed, broke and depressed. I pretty much lost the desire to do anything but sleep and watch TV. Some of you are probably thinking I was just being really lazy. That could be. It may have been a  factor. All I know is that at the time my life was falling apart and I had no idea what to do.  

Fast forward to 2006. I’d moved to NJ and was living with my then boyfriend. Since I never finished school I attempted to take online courses to finish my degree. This was a fail of epic proportions. About a year later I decided to try again. I enrolled with Kaplan University, another online school. This didn’t work out either. (To clarify, the online schooling was not unsuccessful due to anything on my part. UoP couldn’t straighten out my financial aid and Kaplan registered me for more courses than my aid allowed and then billed me for it.) At this point, I’m so irritated and frustrated that I start to wonder if school just isn’t for me. Although deep down I know this is bullshit.

2008 rolls around and according to the State of NJ I’m officially an “independent” student. This status was key as I no longer needed my parents tax information to fill out financial aid forms. I hadn’t lived with them since 2003 and they never contributed a dime to my schooling so why I needed their tax info was beyond me. At this point the mental abuse I’d been subjecting myself to was just insane. There would be days I’d cry to my best friend about not finishing school. I was constantly beating myself up for it.  Unfortunately, I still do this. 

I need to get over the fact that I didn’t graduate from college in 2006 when I should have. Wow. That right there? That’s my problem. Even as I type this I still berate myself. "When I should have". Since when is there a strict time line for attending school? Some people don’t finish school until they’re in their 40s or 50s and it is perfectly acceptable. Why isn’t that ok for me? I've been holding this over my head since 2004. It's funny how much this single piece of paper means to me. And yet it makes perfect sense. I truly have no fears. Heights, needles, snakes, etc. None of it bothers me. But failure, it's almost crippling. Not to say that I won't try something new for fear of failing, but the idea of not succeeding in life, to not win the game, it terrifies me. And so, in a sense, by not graduating by the "standard 4 year plan" I feel I've failed.

It's time to let it go and forgive myself for good. Not just momentarily. I need to just get over it. I need to focus on the fact that even though the previous 3 attempts didn’t work out I didn't give up. I kept climbing the ladder and finally it paid off. I'm back in school and will have my Associate's degree next May. After that I'll be doing another 2 years to get my Bachelor's degree. It may have taken me longer than most, but the fact of the matter is I kept climbing.

September 30, 2011

Hey you, fetch me my crown!

Who doesn't enjoy talking about themselves? Admit it, you toot your own horn (What a dirty expression. Or that's just my mind in the gutter. As usual.) . I mean isn't that what blogging is all about? Putting yourself out there, talking about you, you, you. As I type this Toby Keith's song "I Wanna Talk About Me" keeps playing in my head. For this shameless post I'll be doing just that. #18 Brag

Bragging is one of those things where if it's unwarranted, or your just a pompous ass, you come off as, well, a pompous ass. There needs to be a reason that you're self-promoting and acting like 'yo shit don't stank. However... I also think everyone should be capable of bragging. In a modest sort of way. C'mon, you're awesome too! Listen to Dr. Phil. Own it!

That being said, below you're going to find a list of (random)reasons why I know think I'm awesome or am proud of me. Basically it's a list of things or accomplishments that I'm proud of. Also, it's why people should bow applaud, and throw cupcakes and other offerings at my feet as I walk by. Ok, maybe not the cupcakes. I'm not a fan of dirt in my icing. But still, something cool! Why? Because "I'm a little tired, I'm a little wired, and I think I deserve a little appreciation! (Name that movie!)

  •  I have a thirst for life and a winning personality.
  • I work full-time and go to school. My day starts at 6am and ends at 11pm
  • I've lived on my own since I was 18.  
  • I dropped out of college determined to go back. I did.
  • I've never broken a bone.
  • I have no allergies.
  • I have the greatest group of core friends someone could ask for. (Yes, they are better than yours).
  • I wanted a job in the city. I got one.
  • I'm going to Jamaica in April.
  • I've pulled myself (75%) out of debt.
  • I can walk in sky-high heels. Correctly.
  • I can be girly and be "one of the boys" at the same time. (This is something very important to me)
  • I can drive manual.
  • I've been in an abusive relationship (Not an accomplishment, but an experience. One I am proud to have learned)
  • I'm published in an anthology.
All in all, I'm sure there are other things I'm proud of but in the interest of not developing the sickness known as EgoTrip, I'll stop. I think everyone should be able to boast about things they're proud of. If you can't recognize your accomplishments who else will?

So fellow bloggers, get on your soapbox and tell me why YOU are awesome!

September 09, 2011

Judging Books by Their Covers

As you'll find out, I'm an avid reader. I wish I could say I read scholarly texts about theology, wars, self-help or how Play-Doh came to be. I like to refer to these as "smart books". The fact is, I like trash and gore. I'm not into our mothers’ Harlequin romance novels, but I won't turn down some well written smut (God, I love that word!). I tend to keep with suspense/mystery and chick-lit. Beach reads if you will. However, for the past 3 years I've been hooked on memoirs. It started with Eat, Pray, Love. I absolutely fell in love with this book.  I then moved on to The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. This book is nothing short of amazing. If you haven’t read it stop reading this post (I really mean it) and go buy it, download it or whatever you need to do – just get it. I then found Please Stop Laughing at Me by Jodee Blanco. Similar in aspects to Walls’ book but her tale is unique, yet something I think many can relate to.

Lately I’ve been going back to my roots. In this case roots means mystery and suspense. I grew up on Nancy Drew. I’ve been hooked on Mary Higgins Clark. In a rare twist of life, my previous boss is personal friends with her son so I’ve interacted with him on numerous occasions.  Through channels a signed copy of a book found it’s way on my desk. Sadly it wasn’t for me. In any event I started reading it and was completely sucked in. So started my MHC love affair. I’ve demolished 5 of her books so far and I’m making it a personal goal to read every book she’s ever written. Yea, that’s the way I roll. Although I’m a full-fledged MHC groupie I needed a minor break. Insert true crime.

You can’t tear me away when it comes to murder stories, car accidents and the like. It’s just sooo interesting! When I went to college (round I) I was a Psychology major. Anything mental illness and I was all over it. It started with phobias when I was 13 (a subject for another time) and eventually grew to serial killers. Yes, I know. It sounds creepy. Yes, it can be disturbing but isn’t that what pulls us in? Either way, Jeffrey Dahmer has always been my #1. He’s held my top spot on the interest charts and as of yesterday I was reading The Dahmer Story: An American Nightmare by Don Davis. In a sentence? I couldn’t put it down. So as any fan does… I’m looking for my next serial killer book to read. Or any books for that matter. I have a stack of at least 20 books in my TBR (To Be Read) pile, but I want new ones! There’s just something about going to Barnes & Noble and buying new books. It must be my paper obsession.