My Smile File

This morning at work one of my co-workers came into my office as he usually does to say hello.  A little while later he came in again.  ‘I’ve been thinking and you know, if I were 10 years younger and 20 lbs lighter, I’d be chasing after you.’

I respond, ‘No, if that were the case you’d be chasing someone better than me.’

So seriously he replies, ‘I’ve got 30 years experience in the military.  I’ve been everywhere and I’ve seen a lot.  I’d be chasing you.’

I don’t care if he was just being silly, that was hella awesome and it made my whole heart smile.  I’ve really needed something like that lately.  So I share with you.  Mark one for the smile file.

The itch is returning.

No, not that kind of itch. Ew. I got an email yesterday that told me I could get a roundtrip flight to London these days for $3 – 400. Immediately I’m thinking in my head, ‘That’s practically cheap enough to justify making an extended weekend hop across the pond!’ And then I felt that itch – the one I get sometimes when I look at the interstate a certain way. The itch to go

Now, London I’ve done already but I haven’t done Italy…or Spain…or Ireland…or the Czech Republic….or…you get the picture.  I haven’t been anywhere since October. It’s time to break out the suitcase again soon. I can feel it. 

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So I just realized I haven’t said much about this new thing I love. 

Oh sweet, sweet Kindle! It was my present to myself for Christmas this year and oh how I love it so!

So here’s a dirty little secret…I’m one of those dorks who uses a purse to carry my books. (Not only books, but they’re in there.)  I’m talking two or more at a time. It goes without saying, my back and shoulder are weeping with joy.

Not only am I 5 – 7 pounds lighter these days, but I am also reading more!  Since Christmas I’ve already completed 3 1/2 books. One of which was Little Women which is epically long. And at the moment John Grisham has my attention and my heart with the return to his law drama roots via The Confession.

Anyway, if you’re a reader and don’t already have one I would highly recommend heading over to Amazon immediately. Most highly deserving of the hype surrounding it.  Amazing!

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Another thing I’m loving right now is VideoJug. Not familiar? Pure awesomeness! Is there something you’ve wanted to know how to do but never learned? Draw? Speed read? Roast a chestnut? Stop procrastinating?  Well, this site has it!  There are tons of videos about virtually any subject you can think of.  I personally, have drawn a cartoon castle, frog, and dog already. Next up is how to knit! Seriously, check it out!

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And lastly, I read a post this morning giving the proper grammatical etiquette of spaces after periods. I click on it with this high and mighty air as I have pretty much convinced myself I am the end all and be all of grammatical perfection. Wrong!!! It’s one space, not two! 

This has put a serious cramp in my typing flow. I’ll be typing and two paragraphs later realize I’ve been two-spacing again. Drat! Back to the top I go to check all my sentence breaks.  Of course I have to remove a space in all of them. Couple of minutes spent and now I’ve gotta read everything I’ve already written to catch back up with where I am. I just needed to vent. Darn you, Knowledge!

Hey look, it’s Thursday!

This Daily Post thing on WordPress….I went there this morning thinking, ‘Oh yay, ideas on what to blog about!’  But as I browsed through the suggested topics I kind of felt a little wrong.  Like a cheater!  And then I also have to wonder, if I steal one of these ideas and by some miracle someone comes to read my blog, what if they recognize the topic and know what I did?!?!  Oh the horror!

Needless to say, I did not choose a topic to blog about.  Instead, I stole the whole page and wrote about THAT!  So ha!  I beat the system!

Anyway, I woke up last night around 10 (Yes, 10 PM!  And there’s no need to get into why someone younger than 64 is asleep at such an early hour…I already know.) to find that my power was off.  Problem is, I live in the south where we’re in the middle of a “winter storm” (which I know people up north are getting a big laugh out of seeing as how it translates into “We have more than 1″ of snow” and they picnic in weather that warm).  Regardless I wake up to my house fah-reeeeeeeezing(!!!) while I’m sooo toasty warm under my covers. 

At this point most people would roll over and go back to sleep.  Not me.  I have to wrestle the sane part of my brain to get out of bed and make sure it’s not just my house.  Discover it’s not, get back under my toasty warm covers to then wonder if the outage has been reported.  I mean, it’s 10…surely everyone is asleep like I am and there’s no one awake to report it!  One more fighting match with sanity before I hop out of bed again and rifle through my files to find an old bill with the phone number on it.  Mind you, I sleep in a t-shirt so this is me, a t-shirt and some house shoes doing all this trekking.  If my legs could deattach and kick me in the face I’m sure they would have. 

So, back under my toasty warm covers, bill in hand, I snuggle in and dial the number – three times because it’s busy.  Finally get through and Ms. Electronic Listening Machine can’t understand a word I’m saying.

Me:  “Power Problem”
Ms. ELM:  “Did you say ‘Payment Options’?”
Me:  “No.”
Ms. ELM:  “I’m sorry.  You can say ‘Power Problem’, ‘Payment Options’, ‘Change Information’, or ‘More Options’.”
Me:  “Power.  Problem.”
Ms. ELM:  “Did you say ‘More Options’?”
Me:  “No!”
Ms. ELM:  “I’m sorry.  You can say ‘Power Problem’, ‘Payment Options’, ‘Change Information’, or ‘More Options’.”
Me:  “Power!  Problem!”
Ms. ELM:  “Ok.  Power Problem.  Now tell me what you need.  You can say ‘Power Outtage’, ‘Service Problem’, or ‘Return to the main menu’.”
Me:  Fucking shit. 

I finally get the power outage reported and it tells me I’ve got about a 2 3/4 hour wait  by their estimation.  Awesome.  Snuggled in my bed I suddenly decide I need a candle to light.  One more wrestling match later out of bed I go, running to get that and a lighter.  Back under toasty warm covers, eyes closed, trying to fall back asleep I’m trying to ignore the sadistic back part of my mind where visions of me knocking the candle over in my sleep and dying a fire-y death are dancing.  I try refocusing which then leads me to begin wondering about my little dog Mugzee and how he’s faring in his bed/crate.  Even though it’s mostly covered already, I envision him lying there trembling like a little leaf with ‘Mommy’ up in her toasty warm bed.  It doesn’t take long for guilt to override my survival instinct as once more I leave my bed, this time to check on Mugzee.

I find him even toastier than I am curled up in his little bed sleeping.  I’ve never been one to leave well enough alone though so I open the crate and wake him from his slumber to put a towel over him.  In the meantime I’ve let all the warmth out of his crate.  But back to bed I go, snuggle in, eyes closed, wondering again about the likelihood of burning my house down and Mugzee begins whining.  He’s probably just thinking it’s morning and wondering why I didn’t let him out of bed, but in my mind he’s freezing for realz this time because I let all the warm air out.  I spend a good 10 minutes debating how to solve the problem and finally decide to pull out an old comforter to throw over his crate.  One more wrestling match and I’m off to find the comforter.  Find it, lay it over his crate and position it just right where he can still get some fresh air, stand up to head back to my toasty warm bed and wouldn’t you know it, the power comes back on.

Goodbye 2010, Hello 2011

So 2010….I don’t really know what to say about you.  You were quite the roller coaster in many ways, but fortunately you rounded off on the upswing.

Let’s see, lots of travel in 2010!  London back in March.  That was a big trip and I feel like maybe I came back a little different though I didn’t realize it at the time.  I guess it’s something about spending a week in another country by yourself, kind of makes you feel powerful.  There were several trips to the beach, always a fun experience.  One of the times I even saw stingrays and sand sharks!  The highlight of my beach trips this year!  And finally a great trip to San Francisco back in October with the girls.  It is a great city, though I must admit I think I favor Seattle a little more.

2010 saw me give my heart to someone for the first time in a loooooong time.  It watched me dance on the clouds for a while waiting (not so patiently) for a warped situation to turn right, so happy to have him there, and then just as I thought my patience was about to be rewarded, the clouds were snatched from under me and I plummeted back down into reality, heartbroken.  I still don’t feel like I know the truth of everything that was going on.  I still wonder if he really did love me like he said.  I sometimes wonder if he thinks of me now and what might’ve been.  Is he sad without me?  But those things I don’t know and I guess at this point I never will.  Obviously it wasn’t a great situation to begin with, but coming out on the other side I can honestly say I gave everything I had to make it work and to stop him from leaving when he did.  And, I can honestly say I loved that man with everything I had to give at that point.  I did try.  I just wish he would’ve too.

But moving on!  I feel like I spent the majority of 2010 mad at God and the state of my life.  June through August or so were probably my worst and I did some pretty dumb stuff during those couple of months, but I can say that things had greatly improved by the end of the year.  I’m building a relationship back with God and I’m not so angry anymore.  In fact, I have felt truly blessed over the past month or two. 

So in walks 2011 and I’m hoping the upswing continues.  I’m not a resolution kind of girl, but I have some ideas in my head of some stuff I want to change. 

1.  I know I want to be less of a procrastinator.  There were several times last year that it got me in trouble and so I need to put a stop to that. 

2.  I would like to write more.  On this blog, just for myself, and hopefully even try to start a book at some point. 

3.  I’d like to find a way to draw readers to my blog.  As it stands no one even knows it exists and I want to change that.  What’s the purpose of a blog if no one reads it?  But I also want to find a direction for it and focus in that direction first.

4.  Updates!  I want to make some upgrades to my little fixer-upper of a house.  Finally!  Big plans for that this year.

5.  Travel is always on my list.  I’m hoping for New York this year and, if I possibly can, Italy.  Woo hoo! 

6.  Down, debt!  I have several little things that I want paid off by the end of this year.  I’ve even created a *gasp* budget for myself in 2011.

7.  Most importantly I want to work on my relationships.  With God, with friends, and with the family that is slowly returning into my life recently. 

There may be a few more things that I’ve forgotten at the moment, but I’m looking over this gargantuan ‘non-list’ of a list and I’m thinking maybe I was wrong.  Maybe I am a resolution kind of girl.

Updatey Updates

I feel like I haven’t posted anything new in forever, and now that I look at it…it’s been about three weeks.  Ok so…let’s do some updates.

First up, I’ve resumed my vegetarianism!  My first week back – today is day 9.  This time around I kind of almost have a reason for it.  This is notable only because last time it began when I realized it was 10:42 AM and I hadn’t consumed meat yet.  Right.  I’m kind of random like that.

So this time around I’m doing it for my health.  Because I decided I wasn’t so healthy anymore and I realized I felt healthier during the time I wasn’t eating meat.  *ding ding*  Round 2.

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Next up are tarot cards.  Yes the smokey room, head scarf, crystal ball, palm reading, fortune telling variety…except not because in this particular situation it was a co-worker who appears relatively normal on all other counts. 

I was in a destitute frame of mind a few weeks ago and she offered me a reading, maybe as her way of lifting my spirits.  I needed something and I took her up on it.  So the next day she walks in my office with a deck of tarot cards and a giant book.  I ended up getting a general reading, a love-specific reading, and a two-card reading on three guys.  You may can already tell…I found it a little addictive.  Even now I think about buying my own deck of cards so I can do my own readings at home.  Really.

I mean, who doesn’t want to know what’s coming?  Although, after doing a little research I find most people consider these cards a tool that helps point you in the right direction, not predict your future.

So anyway, she told me the general reading indicated someone would be giving me money.  A week later I have a fender bender so I’m assuming that ‘someone’ was my insurance company.  Not really what I was hoping for. 

The love reading(s) were a little better.  She said it showed two men in my future that I must choose between.  Sounds like a dream come true until she adds that it will be painful for me.  Yay.  But hey, two is better than none.  There was also something about it not happening immediately because something is in the way or distracting.

As for the three guys….well obviously Playboy was one.  I shuffled the cards just knowing it was going to be bad.  They weren’t.  I don’t really remember the specifics but I do remember overall it was a positive reading, and she thought it was highly possible he would be one of the two guys in my future. 

Another guy was a co-worker I’d been noticing.  This one showed a lot of passion.  However, I haven’t seen much of him lately so I’ve kind of forgotten he exists at all.

The third guy….well, it wasn’t a positive reading and he faded out almost as soon as he arrived.  Go figure.

I really don’t know what to think of the readings.  Part of me wants to discount it but that other side of me hopes it all comes true.  Regardless, it was what I needed at the time.  It was a little hope when I was almost ready to give up.  So true or not, I’m glad it was there when it was.

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I’ve briefly mentioned my dysfunctional family in previous posts.  It’s not something I spend a lot of time on because it’s just what I know.  It’s been this way a long time now.  But for the purpose of this story, I’ve been estranged/ostracized from my father’s side of my family since I was 14.  My mother’s side of the family isn’t close anyway, but even them I have chosen to distance myself from.  It’s not fun to be without family, but in my father’s case it was for my own safety, and in my mother’s it is something I choose for my emotional well being.

That being said, my aunt/cousins from my father’s side have come around periodically over the years.  They initiate contact and I make myself available for whatever event is going on at the time.  Typically someone is dying, has just died, or most recently, someone was getting married.

At any rate, I recently initiated contact with my cousin suggesting we get together soon.  This past weekend she invited me to a Christmas party she was attending. 

I don’t know how to describe it really, but in this room of virtual strangers I felt at home somehow.  To be sitting there with someone who favors me, who shares some of the same mannerisms….someone who has known me since I was born…with people who know my family and point out our similarities.  This cousin who hasn’t really been around for 18 years, yet we can pick up exactly where we left off with laughter and new beginnings not because we’re ignoring the elephant in the room, but because we love each other and it’s more important to enjoy what we have right now than to muss through what has been.  She’s my family.

I’ve never realized how much I miss out on without family.  When it’s not there you don’t know what could be I guess.  This weekend I got a rare glimpse and honestly, I didn’t want to leave.  I finally felt like I belonged.  Not to take away from my friends…it’s just different with family.  I guess the direct relation and similarities….  Like I said, I don’t know how to explain it but I’m so thankful I have it to talk about.  It was quite a neat feeling.

The windfall fails again

I don’t know why but every time I receive a paycheck I am under the distinct impression I am about to be rich.  So sure of this impending windfall I’m receiving, I begin making a mental list about 5 days out of all the things I’m going to do with my riches.

I’ve been receiving paychecks for at least 18 years now and to date that windfall has not arrived.  However, I continue to believe my resources are unlimited.  This week’s list included tires, an alignment, and new brakes on my car…new clothes for me…something for my dog…  I mean, seriously.  Then I took a glimpse at the pay stub.

Sidelined by Reality’s bitch ass once again today as I scanned my bills.  I never did like math all that much.  As I watched the money dwindle away, I also watched that mental list whittle down and down and down until I’m only left with one item.

$300.  Not for four tires, for two tires.  Left my mental list smoldering in that imaginary world where I was already rolling nude in my money bed.  *sigh*  But, at least I can do the tires.  I’ve been putting that big ticket item off for about two months now so yay for progress!!  lol

Now next time….Christmas gifts…alignment…

My Newest Addiction

I’m sure I’m probably the last person to climb aboard this bandwagon but better late than never!

Stumble Upon

Oh. My. God.  You go in, set up a few preferences, and it takes you on this amazing journey around the internet to different web sites, videos, and pictures it thinks you might like.  AND you can give each one a thumbs up or down if you want to better guide the selections.  It. Is. AMAZING!!!  I’m so going to get fired because of this site, but let me give you a little taste of my findings…

First off, in a list of the Top 10 Harmless Geek Pranks, I discovered I can have a computer wake my friends up at obnoxious hours just to give them any message I desire such as….’Cesar Milan is unhappy with the way the Obamas walk their dog.  Just thought you should know.’  AT 2:41 IN THE MORNING!!!  Boo Yaaaa!!!!!  That’s over at wakerupper.com.

I also found this little creepster…

This guy is a transparent ice fish who has no red blood cells and glycerol in its blood acting as antifreeze.  He happens to be one of the species found during a 10-year project done by the British Antarctic Survey to chart the biodiversity of the oceans.  Interesting, yes?

I discovered that Lifehackers may be the best internet site in the universe.  Literally.

Also, KFC is rolling out reusable side containers.  They’re making an effort to be more green and reduce their use of nonrenewable resources and foam packaging.  Go KFC!

I even got some courtroom humor…

Lawyer: ‘Can you describe what the person who attacked you looked like?’
Witness: ‘No, he was wearing a mask.’
Lawyer: ‘What was he wearing under the mask?’
Witness: ‘Er…his face.’

Like I said….AMAZING!!!!  (Yes, I am singing that word.)  I may never be able to stop stumbling now.   How could I?  There’s so much to see!!  Now what are you waiting for?!?!?  Go ahead and start your own addiction!!  Hurry!

Purpose

Do you ever have that feeling you should be doing something bigger?  That there’s some purpose you have but somehow the answer of what it is never appears?  That’s how I feel today.  It’s such a frustrating feeling because I don’t know how to figure out what I should be trying to do or even where to start. 

Overall I’m a fairly average person.  Average looks, average talents…  I think most people have that sense of being average but there’s at least one area where they really shine.  Where is my niche?  I can sing, but only well enough to get my feelings hurt.  I can write but I can’t seem to find a point anywhere, or a genre that really gets me going.  I can take good pictures but they’re nothing to write home about.  Even my job…I wasn’t driven enough to receive an actual college degree.  My job isn’t a passion, it’s what pays the bills.  There is no passion for me. 

Where can I shine?  I want to shine!!

Of course, whatever I do I want to be different.  I don’t want to sing like Whitney Houston; I don’t want to write like John Grisham; and I don’t want to take photographs like Ansel Adams.  I have this drive to be unique.  Unique and natural…raw.  Just me and innate, unfiltered talent.

Sometimes I wonder if I don’t have a subconscious fear of failing that keeps me from ever trying.  But on the other hand, I have no clue what to try in the first place.  I’m just floating listlessly through life letting the waves take me where they will.

I sometimes feel like if I could find my purpose and get on the track I should be on, everything else in my life would fall into place.  I just need to find that first step and take it.  Find that paddle so I can get to the island instead of drifting out farther. 

It’s frustrating today.  The excitement tingling under my skin with no focus.  And so it goes…

I have learned that…..

I have learned that the word ‘bathe’ is a much more personal and unsavory word to me than ‘shower’, and I have a slight aversion to using it.

…..that I sometimes act too rashly and if I just take a step back and simmer a little while, my whole outlook can change on occasion.  I’m gonna put that one into action immediately.

…..that the blank, stark white page on the computer is far more intimidating to me than a blank page in a notebook.  Unfortunately, my hand cramps rather quickly.

…..that I shouldn’t talk to people regarding situations where I am prone to be fearful.  (i.e. relationships)  I am embarrassingly easy to be swayed in one direction or another, whether they are trying or not.  And when I sway, I sway hard and then I get a little nuts.  *insert foot in mouth here*

…..it is quite amusing for someone to enter a room, make a rude or cruel statement about someone else expecting humor, but be met with sympathetic faces instead.  Watching them backpedal and try to flip their cruelty into something resembling concern is hilarious.

….. that missing someone is painfully difficult and I don’t want to do it anymore.  Lesson learned.  🙂  I just hope it’s not too late.

….. that I need to carry my camera with me at all times.  Because when I go on a walk and see something interesting I really want to take a picture but there’s no way in Hell I’m gonna go get my camera and cart my ass back up two flights of stairs for it.  Opportunity missed.

….. that being in a situation that plays against your biggest fear is very difficult and my response is to expect the worst at all times while clinging desperately to things.  However, if that thing is taken away, that biggest fear realized (hopefully temporarily), the haze clears and I realize I can still breathe without it.  Maybe it’s ok to let some of that fear go after all and just enjoy what’s there, if it’s still there.  🙂

Just some randomness…

Some things that I’ve noticed recently that must exit my head:

First, I listened – really listened – to Mariah Carey’s ‘Obsessed’ a bit ago.  Mistake!  Has anyone else noticed that she has a background track on there saying ‘He’s all up in my George Foreman!’.  Seriously, she does.  I wonder…was it really so hard to say ‘grill’?  Or how about just be Mariah Carey and take the gangsta-speak out of it?  Seriously.  She said ‘He’s all up in my George Foreman!’.  Consider my mind sufficiently blown.

Second, on last week’s Grey’s Anatomy (which I finally watched last night) there was a line that may be the best ever on TV, in my humble opinion.  “Please don’t..don’t cry on my ass.  Please don’t cry.”  I really hope I’m able to use that in conversation this week.

I have discovered Moe’s.  Oh. My. God.  Previously not an option on my list of eateries because I have a general anxiety when forced into “buffet-style ordering”.  There’s a lot of pressure at those places!  What do I get?  Am I too fast?  Too slow?  Does my plate/sandwich look like something a 5-year old would order?  But yesterday, I pushed the anxiety aside and entered the southwestern haven that is Moe’s.  “Welcome to Moe’s!!” they yell as I enter.  I look around me for their best friend who obviously just walked in behind me.  No one.  Me?  They’re that excited to see little ol’ me?!?!?  Awesome!  I ended up with nachos, and my plate did not look like something a 5-year-old would order.  I added guacamole.  lol