Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"I don't wanna be the girl that has to fill the silence. The quiet scares me cuz it screams the truth." ~P!nk

The bad thing about having things fall apart in one fell swoop is that it puts me in the sort of head space where I start to look inside myself for all that I have contributed. Does this make me special in any way? No. Problems befall everyone. Will I stay down? No. I'll wallow for a few days & then I'll be fine. But in this moment I realize that that annoying little bloom of doubt has waged itself into a full on attack of fear. This is not a new feeling for anyone, I realize. It's just not one that I often let myself acknowledge, let alone share...

When I look in the mirror lately I'm starting to notice that my skin isn't as tight as it used to be. I am not afraid to age, in fact I do understand the blessing that it is. So I'm ashamed to say that I have fallen victim to vanity. I am scared to no longer be seen as pretty or desirable. I'm afraid that I'm not fit enough to attract a mate. I look around & it seems that entire world has fallen in love. And I am not even remotely near that. Will I never feel that again? That connection to a soul that I don't share DNA with? I loathe admitting that sometimes, I succumb to loneliness.

Sometimes I eat my fears. I use food to replace the things that I feel are missing inside of me. Does it feel make me feel better? Sure. Good food, especially the shit that's bad for you tastes great. Then I feel the fear/shame/worry that I am no better than my alcoholic mother who I am so quick to judge. I just have a different vice, that's all. Who am I to point a finger? Booze, drugs, sex, food, exercise. We all have one. Or a few. I am not above it so I should be above the judgment. Yet, I stand on my soap box consistently & point outwards.

I worry that I am not good enough to raise my three girls to be good people because I am not always the moral compass I want them to be. I have a wicked temper, I make rash decisions & I curse like a sailor. Why should they look to me for anything? I didn't even love myself enough at the time to choose a good father for them. Then I added to that. I let someone into our lives who faked an entire 'life' with us. Who walked out of our lives without so much as a second glance back. My daughters will at some point have to deal with their Dad/Man issues because of MY mistakes.

I am terrible with money & finances. I spend in much the same manner that I eat. Because it provides a temporary fix to the thing that hurts. I will happily slap that card down knowing FULL well that there are more important things to handle. Because in that moment, I need to feel better. And I am selfish.

My relationship with God has fallen by the way side. I lost my faith along the way a couple years back & I haven't found it again because the truth is; I haven't looked for it. I only look up to the heavens when things are bad and even then it is only to ask "Why me?" I'm the worse offender too. Because I know God. And I have chosen to pretend that He isn't watching all the of stupid shit I've been up to.

I get to thinking about love again... Why should anyone try to see the good in me when I have so much trouble finding it in myself?  I am admittedly a work in progress, but I am certainly not a girl of 22 with time to waste and the ability to keep making the mistakes that I make. I don't want to get stuck in this mind frame & get caught in some situation that I know I am better than because I'm not feeling like I deserve any better. When did it all get so complicated? When the fuck was it ever really easy?

The questions and the fear and the doubts can overwhelm the human spirit, can't they? Surely I am not the only one...

I sit here thinking & writing and I hear the following verse and I have my answer:

When it's good, then it's good, it's so good, 'till it goes bad
Till you're trying to find the you that you once had
I have heard myself cry
Never again
Broken down in agony
Just trying to find a friend
-Pink "Sober"
Maybe I need to learn to be more forgiving of myself. Maybe I need to feel the bad so that I can work through it to get to the good. Maybe I'm in a funk. Maybe I'm a whiny ass who needs to suck it up. Or maybe, just maybe...I need to look into that mirror a little harder and see passed the exterior and find that girl I know I have somewhere inside & shake her ass up a bit. Maybe let her know that she is not alone & that it will work itself out in the end. And if it doesn't, then it isn't the end....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings." ~Hodding Carter

A dear friend said to me today " You know, some people are one way in front of their kids & another when they aren't. You're always the same." I took it as a real compliment. Funny that that came up today. It sort of made me pause & marvel in the irony when the shit hit the fan a mere few hours later.

"Kids do not come with an owner's manual when you have them." I've often stated that to friends & family when we have discussed someone feeling overwhelmed/exhausted/frustrated about some situation or another that had them asking aloud what the hell they did to get there. I have certainly used my own mother's "parenting" as a guide on what NOT to do in raising my own children. I have personally subscribed to being open and upfront & above all, bluntly honest with my kids. I try to treat them the way I want to be treated.

When I began to consider this move across the country, I sat them all down & told them that if there were any "absolutely no ways" in the group, we simply would not move. I kept them involved every step of the way during the decision & planning & ultimately the execution of this move. I certainly knew there would be bumps in the road. I thought I'd gotten lucky....

It isn't even that I have an issue with the fact that they are struggling a bit to adjust. I totally get it. Leaving everyone you know & starting over in High School. It's a massive adjustment. It's the fact that no matter how often I say "come to me" when ever you need to talk, here I am finding out about it not once removed but twice. And that is positively fucking infuriating. I loathe not being told first what is going on in the lives of my own goddamned children. And to be told to pretend everything is hunky dory until when someone else says, just about puts my ass over the deep end.

Then in the midst of that anger comes a nagging little voice. It keeps whispering to me & damn if the bitch isn't getting louder. It keeps saying one word over & over.


Have I made a mistake? Did I do them more harm than good by making this move? Is the reason that she talked to someone else because I am a bad mother? She feels like she can't talk to me...? Do they not want me to know that they hate it here? Was I selfish? Will they hate me

The questions just go on and on and on. But the main thing I take from them all is doubt. I haven't done a whole lot of that in my day & suddenly I am standing on a very slippery slope with all kinds of care on my shoulders. Let it be made known that I obviously care what my children think. What I mean is, where along the path did I start to question what I was doing? and why? How do I teach my children that life comes with all kinds of changes and if they don't have a solid foundation for coping with it, that they will not make it in the world? How do I say that & still seem like I am hearing their concerns? Is the current administration not working?? (No pun intended, truly.) 

When a woman raises children on her own, she assumes the role of mother, father, friend, confidant, enforcer, protector, administrator, chef, stylist, judge, security detail and so on. Those quantity of roles diminish as the kid gets older. I am OK with all of those things. Here is my concern though. When one person has too much power, where does the line get blurred? How do I know of I am failing them?

Usually, there is a point in my writing where what I am stressed out over starts to meld its way into a resolution somewhere in purging process. Tonight though, that is not the case. Tonight I am forced to look over my own report card as a Mommy. Frankly, I feel like I've been handed a bunch of Fs.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

"May your glass be ever full. May the roof over your head be always strong. And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you're dead." ~ Irish Drinking Toast

Hola mi gente!!! I am making this a quick drive by post because it is the eve of Halloween & I am going to a party. Honestly, I can't wait! Good friends, wine & food? Yep, I'm in!! Also, one of my dear friends from Nashville is here visiting me. Today we went out to the wine country & tasted all kinds of yummy goodness. In short, it has been a great couple of days. Here's hoping tonight will be even better!

Anyway, this is another one of my contributions to the Sabroso Saturday crew. If you haven't already seen the last food post, we're a group of ladies doing an old school recipe swap in a new age way. Last time, I posted my recipe for Pork Carnitas but this time; and in keeping with my festive mood, I am sharing two of my favorite after dinner cocktail recipes that I personally serve to my dear friends after an evening of feeding them & enjoying their company. Also, they are hot drinks and it IS getting awfully chilly out there... Here goes kids:


Tequila Java 
Tequila Cocoa
Bailey's Irish Cream
Fresh Whipped Cream
Instant Hot Cocoa Packets
Fresh Brewed Hot Coffee (Bustelo if you're in the know!)

Chocolate Shavings 
Chocolate covered coffee beans

For the Cocoa:

Boil 6 oz of water for each serving
In a mug throw in the hot cocoa packet and a 1 1/2 oz shot of Tequila Cocoa and a 1 oz shot of the Baileys. Pour in 6 oz of boiling water. Mix this up so that the cocoa packet is completely dissolved. Then add a dollop of fresh whipped cream on top & sprinkle on chocolate shavings for garnish.

For the Cafecito:

In a mug add 6-8 oz of your favorite brewed coffee. Add a 2oz shot of Tequila Java. Add a dollop of fresh whipped cream and then garnish with a chocolate covered coffee bean. 

CHEERS!!!! (Please enjoy these responsibly.)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"Defeat never comes to any man until he admits it." ~Josephus Daniels

A few years back I went on a long run with someone who was in faaaar better shape than I was in. No training. No 'I've been doing it for a while so I'm going to join this person'. Just; they were going so I threw on my sneakers and went. That run ended with me walking about 3 miles alone, nearly passing out in the front yard when I finally made it back. Then me crying, fully clothed mind you, in the shower nearly 30 minutes later when I was able to walk up the driveway and into the bathroom.

I can't speak for my running mate that day but I can say that I lost a ton of respect for myself on that miserable walk back. Every step closer to the house added to how badly I felt about myself. I was out of shape and unhappy about it and was doing NOTHING to change it. I couldn't even do a simple jog. I had started huffing and puffing just a few blocks in to the run. It was humiliating.

Now I started this post by saying "a few years back" mind you. It has taken me that long to get off my ass and actually DO something about it. I certainly thought about it a lot. I talked about it a lot. But I still hadn't done a damn thing. Then I moved to Sacramento where everyone is outside running or biking or something. So I just started taking walks. And then I started to watch what I was eating. Then my walks turned to very short jogs. Then those got a bit longer

That made me pretty happy so I joined a gym where I could track how long I was jogging for. I still remember the first day I ran an entire straight mile. I look back now and laugh at how silly it was. But in that moment, it was monumental!  Soon, I was ticking off longer distances in less time. And then, a very casual conversation with a then co-worker and now very dear friend started like this: "Hey, you should try running a half marathon with me."

I will not sit here and pretend that I wasn't terrified. I certainly didn't think even in that moment when I said yes to trying it that I could ever complete a half marathon. I just wasn't going to do that walk of shame ever again. That competitor within just woke back up and said "look bitch, you're going to do this!" And I was quite frankly too afraid to say no to it...or say no to Angela! (Love you girl!!) So clueless was I to what I signed on for, that one day while reading through some of the material I was sent from my marathon training group; I emailed said friend in an absolute panic asking her if she knew that a half marathon was THIRTEEN POINT ONE MILES..!?!?! 

Her response? "Well sweetie, I'm no math genius but if a full marathon is 26.2 miles...then....." HAAAAA!!!!!! What a dumbass I am!!! 

So I trained. And there were certainly some bumps in the road. I suffered from wicked shin splints in the beginning. I spent a bloody fortune on new running shoes and inserts. I had some knee pain that almost got me bounced before race day even arrived. I was hospitalized with some lovely stomach issues that I won't share here... But I kept on running. And I kept going further and further. And faster and faster. And then it was race day...

Included in all my prayers for being able to just finish was the request for good weather & I swear to you, we had perfect running conditions for race day. All I had as goals were A. Not to die. And B. to finish without walking any.  And miles 1 through 10 were fantastic!! No pain, no issues. Just gorgeous weather, lots of support from the sidelines and great company & conversation from my running partner. 

And then we stopped to use the loo. The mere act of stopping just killed my momentum. The next 2 miles were miserable. I had a blister that suddenly made it's presence very known. My quads were on fire and I was dying. I could just feel myself getting ready to start walking. I was sooooo close to giving in to that doubt.

So I popped on the running playlist I'd created for this very occasion & dug real deep and I thought about that dreadful attempt at a run from a few years back. I realized that I had come so far. I had people waiting for me at the finish line. And I just couldn't punk out at mile TWELVE!!!!  I had something to prove. To myself.  

And right then, the runner in me was borne.

So I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. And I kept going forward. I imagined hearing my girls yelling my name as I crossed that finish line. And suddenly, I could hear the roar of the crowd at the finish line cheering and clapping. And it kept me going forward.  And I DID it!!! I finished!!! I ran 13.1 miles!!! I even got a bit misty eyed when the MC announced my name as I crossed that finish line. (Just for a quick sec, so don't get it twisted!!) 

Now, I may not be in the perfect body or the perfect shape. But I am healthier. And I am in a much better head space than I have been in years and year and years. And I completed a run. I even ticked off one more thing on the ol' bucket list. Now all I need to do is decide where I'll be doing my next half marathon... or maybe this time, I'll climb a mountain... Anybody want to join me...??
  "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 
'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."   

Monday, September 27, 2010

“Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power, has that ability to comfort.” — Norman Kolpas

     This is gonna be a whoooole different abrupt pace here but so be it people!!! "Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine."  Ha!!
      I have managed to connect with this ridiculous, amazing group of women through Twitter (I have met them in real life so I am permitted to state this for real!) and in that connection I have been invited to contribute to a link up called Sabroso Saturday. To my non-Latina readers, this means Tasty Saturday. Basically it is an opportunity for us to recipe share the yumminess we all inevitably Tweet about.  Let's face it kids, we all Tweet about food. Hell, I upload more pictures of food than I do my own children. LOL I am slightly embarrassed to share just how easy this recipe is but when I make this, I do the shopping the day before & prep it as soon as I wake up.
*You may have also noticed that it is in fact, Monday but I am a damn slacker, deal with it!!

    So here it is. I've talked about this, Tweeted about it & cooked this for all of my favorite people. So from my kitchen to yours:

Slow-Cooked Pork Carnitas Tacos

You will need:
1 1/2 lbs Pork shoulder (Boston Butt) cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces. I usually buy a 2lbs & trim away excess fat.
1tsp salt
2 tsp fresh black pepper
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 large white onion cut into 4 pieces
2 garlic cloves (I like more personally, just saying...)
1/2 tsp ground cumin 
1 avocado sliced
1/2 lb shredded queso blanco (you can buy it solid at the deli counter & shred it yourself. It is SO much better than the stuff you buy bagged)
corn tortillas
your favorite tomatillo salsa
fresh bunch of cilantro
1 or 2 limes cut into wedges

    Toss the cut up pork in the bowl of a slow cooker with the salt, pepper, cumin, & oregano. With tongs, give this a good mix up. Place the onion pieces and the garlic cloves on top of the pork. Cover it and cook on the low setting for SIX HOURS until the meat is very tender and falling apart. Now, you may get to about hour three and find your mouth watering and be tempted to open the lid. DO NOT. It will add 30 minutes to your cooking time, and've waited long enough.

     When that timer goes off, get you a slotted spoon and transfer the pork to a cutting board. You can discard the onion & garlic pieces but me personally, I like to keep them in. Depends on how much flava you're used to cooking with. (Can I get an Amen Mamis!!) Using your fingers (or two forks if you're weird about it) shred the pork up. Wrap the tortillas in a damp clean kitchen towel & nuke for 1 minute. Transfer the pork to a platter and then let everyone build up their tacos.

     Serve them wrapped in a warm tortilla with avocado, (or guac!! OMG even better!) cilantro, tomatillo sauce, cheese & a lime wedge. Buen Provecho mi gente!!!


Saturday, September 25, 2010

~ Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible~ - Anonymous

Something about the turning of the seasons has always made me feel a little bit sad. As a kid, I always assumed it was because the end of summer meant going back to school. Or, the end of fall meant that the cold winter was coming. I guess, I've always been a bit pessimistic...

When I got older, I always noticed the turning of the seasons even more so when I was alone. As in; not having a significant other alone. I suppose I thought, oh the winter is over. It'd be nice to have someone to go on a picnic with when it warms up or something to that effect. Now I realize what it is about the season change that makes me feel just a little bit down.

It's another notch of time that has been marked away.  It's more time lost to the other side of the hourglass. The older I get, the longer the melancholy lasts. Tonight I noticed that the temperature has been dropping just a bit  further every evening. I pulled on a cozy sweater and I got to wondering about this melancholy that I am already beginning to feel. Why do I look at the passing of time in such a way that it makes me feel so sad...? Inevitably this makes me step out of myself and look a bit more closely at my life...or should I say, what I thought my life would be.

I grew up in pretty rough conditions (I'll save you the sob story, we all have one.) that certainly shaped my outlook on things but the truth matter how rough it ever was, I always believed that my life was destined for something great and that with that great life would come this amazing love. You know, the kind people tell their grandchildren about...The kind that start with a kid looking up, asking you to tell them how you both met... I guess I just saw one as coming with the other quite naturally.

I never fully understood why I felt so confident in it but it was always there and very clear to me. Given the circumstances, the odds for it actually happening were slim to none. But I was always a pretty smart kid so I suppose I figured I had a lot of control in it all just panning out. And growing up;  it really stood with me.

Life though, is a funny thing and suddenly here I am very close to another birthday and there is no charmed life. And though I am certainly not living a terrible life by any means, I do find myself mourning this idea of one that I was so confident I was going to have. As an adult I accept that this may have truly been the idealistic wide-eyed illusions of a young girl who had it rough & just imagined something grand as a coping mechanism to move forward through what was in fact my reality. But in that acceptance comes the disappointment in the possibility that the great love that I have always believed was out there, may not actually be. That maybe this life I am actually living is as good as it gets. And in admitting that I feel like I am tempting fate to hand me over some horrible blow to make me more grateful of what I DO indeed actually have. This part...not so easy to accept or admit. But this blog has never been about sunshine & daisies has it...?

Suddenly I'm wondering...have I walked right passed him? Did I miss some turn on the road? And when I imagined this beautiful, destined life...was it only good because I imagined a partner to live it with me? I've always been a woman so confident in being alone that this possibility has me quite rattled. And so there it is. The question that women (especially ones my age) aren't supposed to think, never mind actually ask:

Is a life less of a life if there is no partner to share it with? Is its value lessened if I end up alone?

And I know it is silly of me to waste my time thinking about the things that could have been. The things that I don't really get a say-so in. Yet here I am, sitting in the dark pondering it. The weight of it on my shoulders tells me that the answer is yes. But then some spot in my logical brain starts to kick my own ass at the stupidity of that....

Ultimately though, I think that the answer, for me, is this. A life is something that has value because it is a life. A spiritual person would say that because God created it, it has value. I think that that is true however, I think that a life shared. A life that is witnessed; is the kind that is the stuff that little girls sitting in their rooms wish up into the heavens for.

So no matter how many candles I blow out on the cake this year or the next...or the next; I will always be that little girl. And I still believe that it (ALL of it) is out there...and that makes me look forward to autumn....

Monday, July 5, 2010

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy" ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

No matter how sour things have ever gotten with me & the opposite sex, I have tried very hard not to become a jaded "man-hater" kind of woman. That shit is just not sexy. So it has been with extreme caution that I've referenced things that have bothered me about the opposite sex & I've chosen to be very specific in the He(s) that I've referred to and tried hard not to generalize.

This post won't be like that.

Today was the Fourth of July Block Party on my street. Some of the neighbors paid to be able to close off the street, they put out a flyer to the residents and asked everyone to contribute a little something. There was music and a couple of kegs of beer. A good time was to be had by all. And to be fair, it really was a successful gathering.

However, in the span of 3 or 4 hours I had two different men tell me and my mother separately that I was too strong or tough to talk to and that I "intimidated" them. One actually told me that I scared him a little. (insert crickets chirping here.)  The dude who said what he did to my mother told her that I was so "hard" that I "came off as mean" & that he wasn't "even sure how to act" around me. This is a person I've exchanged perhaps FIVE sentences with. How in the hell did he come to that conclusion??!   ....THE HELL!?!?!

Now even though this last guy is clearly an idiot, this isn't the first time that I've heard something like it. You know that saying that a man wants "a lady in public and a whore in the bedroom"? Well, a lot of us women have a few things that WE want from you men.

Pay attention now:  If being smart, assertive, strong & confident makes us too "intimidating" for you, then that makes you an unacceptable candidate for the task. And  here is my response to it:

Pussies need not apply. Do not pass go. Keep it movin' Son.

 I'm DONE with this whole idea that the only way I'll ever be considered approachable is if I buy into this meek, subservient bullshit. I'm not doing any song & dance routine to get a man's attention. I have a brain and opinions & I won't bow down or slouch my shoulders or walk around looking at the ground  to bag ANY man EVER. If your ass is too scared to climb the mountain, then stand down. You'll be saving us both a lot of time.

And since this seems to be such an issue I'll spell it out for ya. I want a man who is strong and loving and masculine and sensitive all at the same time. A man who is not afraid to let me see him be weak but will knock a person out who tries to harm his or mine. Someone who knows that while I AM strong enough to take care of myself and all that may get thrown my way, that there are times that I need him to step in and take over. I want a partner. Not a son. I want a MAN not a wimp. A man who can say "I love you" just as easily as he can say, "You are acting a damn fool & when you cool off, we'll resolve this." Someone who knows that while individually we are amazing, that together we are a force. One who values my opinion & seeks out my thoughts on things because he knows that I contribute something positively. Someone who knows that while I am just fine on my own, that with him I can be better.

What I'm not having any more is some dude who is so tore up & twisted about how great I am but "it just isn't the right time" or I'm "so great, but I'm not sure how to make this work." Or even someone on some super macho bullshit either. I'll not have someone tell me when or where I need to be or how to spend MY money or time. Get your mind right. Get yourself a set and then come holler at me. Think I'm too strong now? Psh. You ain't seen nothing yet. Think you're not sure if you can? You're probably right. I will not change to subscribe to any bullshit mentality. I'll die alone before I do. Do not think for one second that I'll drop my standards to make anyone else's shit feel better. There are plenty of women out there who are just fine stepping into those shoes. I am not one of them. 

*Steps off soapbox*

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"The good news is you haven't found it yet. The bad news is you haven't found it yet." -Anonymous

See the thing is; I moved 2,291 miles. I am certainly not standing still waiting for anything. I've been out on my little date thing. I'm obviously moving on. I've biked, run & walked hundreds of miles across this city. I'm definitely keeping busy. I've had hundreds of long conversations. I've cleared out my iPod from anything that could force my thoughts to places it shouldn't be. I've thrown away the letters. I've burned the pictures. I gave away the gifts. I have done everything that everyone has told me. I've listened to all the advice in all it's shapes and forms. Clearly I'm not sitting around waiting for something that is not ever going to come back.

One little wrench in the plan though. I may have fooled my brain. But not my heart. Never my heart. My heart can not be tricked. It knows that I gave it away long ago. There was no return address on that package. You may sit here reading and think me a fool. Judge my naivete. My foolishness. Hell, I've done that twice as many times as you have. But my heart is the most stubborn part of all of me. And it will simply give when it is ready to do so and not moment before.

I don't get into a pool toe first. I jump right in. I don't laugh with a hand over my mouth. I'll cackle and snort if the joke is that funny. I don't eat fat free food and I don't drink Diet Coke. So it shouldn't surprise any of you that I don't love half-assed either. There isn't one ounce of me that isn't all in.  And when it ends, I don't just go looking to hook up with the next guy to replace the last one. Maybe the statute of limitations for others is 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years. I don't know what mine is. I just know that I shouldn't feel bad about not just "letting it go." In fact, I am proud of the way that I love.

Just because a relationship is over doesn't mean that love stops.  Love isn't a switch that you turn off. It doesn't just leave when you demand it to. And just because I know that a relationship IS in fact over, doesn't mean that it's no longer how I feel. I'm always so curious about people who just flit form one person to the next telling each one along the way that they "love" them. How is that possible? Is there some endless well that I've not been made aware of? Because I give mine away sparingly. I recognize is as the gift that I think it should be. You don't go giving away the good stuff to just anyone do you? So why then would you with your heart? My love may not be the smartest thing, but it is the thing that makes me stronger...isn't that funny? The very thing I fear may break me is the thing that in the end, always makes me stand tall.

So maybe it takes me longer than everyone else to get over. That's OK with me. I know that what I have to offer & have shared is the stuff people write songs about. (If that sentence just made you laugh/cry/snort, that was meant for you. Thanks to you I know that I'm not alone out there in my position.) The thing that epic love stories get written from. That thing that  shapes sonnets and soliloquies. The thing that once you have felt it, leaves you forever a changed person. I'll get it right.

Who would have thought that a Puerto Rican from Brooklyn could be so idealistic, huh?

God will have me at the exact place & time that it's all meant to happen. In the meantime, I'll thank you in advance for your advice and attempts to get me to have a little fun. I'm good. I promise. I'm having a great time even if my insides haven't healed 100%. Every day I smile a little more, laugh a little harder, remember a little bit less & forget a little more.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

"Our children are our only hope for the future, but we are their only hope for their present and their future."--Zig Ziglar

Those of you who know me in real life know that I am a fairly strict parent. And those of you who know my mother know why... I don't have cable TV. My children do not have cell phones. They do not have access to the internet without supervision. Even my child who has an iPod Touch has very limited access on that. I don't do this because this is a household where we use words like "H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks" in the presence of the little ones. I like to say fuck and do so without much censoring. Those of you who do not know me, may have started using your judgment about how I raise my children starting in the last 45 seconds.

Let me be clear. I want my kids to be kids. As innocent as they can be for as long as possible. That's why I control what they watch and listen to. My twins are 14 and my baby girl is 12. I've managed to raise well-balanced, well-adjusted girls on my own, and not because of any real secret well of knowledge. I'm just honest with them. REAL honest. I don't baby them or sugarcoat things for them. They know that the time will come for them to see those things and say those words and it's up to them to do so responsibly when the time and maturity calls for it. Just like sex. Which I know they're going to have and I talk to them about that as well...and contraception and disease and abstinence and abortion.

Now, onto the point of this post. I try not to judge the way other people raise their kids because I don't like it done to me. But I have to get this one off of my chest. Last week I went to watch Sex & The City 2 as so many of you surely have. I did not get to enjoy the movie as much as I'd liked to have due to the woman with her three very young kids sitting on front of me also watching Samantha get fucked on the hood of a car.  These kids ranged in the ages of say 6 through maybe 11.I was appalled and disgusted. Said mother made ONE attempt to shield ONE child's eyes for ONE of the sex scenes. By the time the rest rolled around, she was too engrossed in the movie to be bothered.

Fast forward to today when I see a YouTube video making it's round of a sweet little girl who has been made up to do a cover of Lady Gaga's 'Telephone' video. Look, I'm just going to say this bluntly. I'm sick of people prostituting their kids for money & their own 15 minutes of fame. That child looked just as confused as I felt watching the minute I was able to sit through. Enough is enough already! And before you go getting all defensive, you tell me...? Do you think a kid that young has the capacity to ask to do something like that? I can assure you she does not.

We live in a world of instant information & so-called reality TV and this shit is killing the age of innocence. The window for kids staying kids is practically non-existent and it is NOT the media's fault. The media would not stand as it is if people weren't eating this shit up with double fists. WHY would you allow your babies to watch this stuff?? This is NOT a call for censorship for artists either. I personally, LOVE the Gaga video. My children, however, DO NOT get to see it  until they are older. And if they came across it from one of their little dipshit friends bringing their own phones/iPods or whatever to school, we then discuss what they saw and why it is inappropriate imagery for kids.  Lady Gaga has every right to make whatever kind of videos she wants. She is a GROWN UP. That being the key word here to those of you still not catching my drift.

If you think for one second that the group of little girls gyrating to 'Single Ladies' at that dance competition (you all saw that video, I'm sure) didn't have an adult lead the way to that mess, you're delusional. Now we've got untalented adults choreographing their babies to do this stuff because they missed their own chances at the brass ring that is Fame. What is this sick obsession with fame anyway? Don't you see how this plays out when a child is forced to find acceptance and approval from the people sitting on the other side of the screen??? These kids end up filling our magazines and talk shows with all of their desperate cries for attention when the star fades. Tally it up. Old and young. Britney. Lindsay. The entire cast of Diff'rent Strokes. That Frankenstein of a human once known as Heidi Montag. Corey Haim. Brittany Murphy.That is but a mere few. A drop in the bucket of the victims of this insanity.

The worse part is that I'm not even sure it'll get worse before it gets better. I think we're in a permanent down slide folks. I can't tell you how many little girls I've spoken to whose loftiest goal is to become the next Miley. What the hell happened to little girls wanting to be the next President or doctors or surgeons? I think girls are at the worse risk too. When you get your self esteem from showing your ass, we have a serious problem. Young women today have become so detached that oral sex isn't even considered sex anymore! It's in the same family as kissing. Seriously.  This whole thing has me fired up.

I've gotten into countless battles with my own reality-TV-obsessed mother about not letting my twins model. I'm sorry but they need to develop self-love and respect FIRST so that IF and when THEY decide that is something they ever want to do, they'll understand the difference between love and the "adoration of fans." I want my daughters to understand that their heart and their soul is what makes them beautiful, not how skinny, popular or rich they are. And should they decide to pursue acting or modeling, I will gladly support that decision. AFTER they've had the chance to be little girls. Why is this such a hard thing for so many people to understand anymore?? And what is it going to take to make people realize that if we don't change the way things are going, the future of the young women in this country is dismal.

We have got to do a better job at protecting our children from this stuff and stop pimping them to fulfill some unrealized dreams of our own. Start teaching our kids that fame isn't some magical solution to having a perfect life. It doesn't answer ALL the questions. Who the hell wants to have all of their mistakes documented and judged and ridiculed anyway? Because that is what ultimately happens.

Maybe the process of this whole thing isn't so black and white but those are my kids. I'm doing whatever it takes to take care of THEM. It'd be nice to see more parents doing the same. It's that simple. Rant over.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

"The book of love is long and boring. No one can lift the damn thing. It's full of charts and facts and figures and instructions for dancing. But I I love it when you read to me. And you You can read me anything." -Peter Gabriel

Those of you who follow me on Twitter may have noticed a tweet today where I said that I don't want to be one of those people who wishes their life away. I wrote that just today. Well it occurred to me later that I've been doing exactly that for at least the last three years of my life and I realized what a waste that is. I'm certainly not getting any younger, now am I? Who really has time to waste anyway?

I started obsessively thinking about that statement while I was sitting trying to read a book and it completely distracted me from the story. That is something that even my three children, my crazy mother, two dogs and a cat have been unable to do to me while I am engrossed in a novel. But so deeply did I ponder this, that I started comparing my own life to a book. A story unfolding so to speak. I mean, that's what life ultimately is, is it not? 

So, I wondered. Where am I at in my own story? What chapter? What page? What sort of story am I living in? Am I a comedy? Am I a romance? (Sadly, if you've read this little blog before, you already have the answer to that one. pshhh...) Am I in the middle? Closer to the ending? Is my story a cautionary tale? Am I a tragedy? What sort of story am I? And as my amazing songwriter friend asks in one of my favorite songs of his: If I could, would I peek ahead to finish? See how my story will end?

And the answer is this. No. No I wouldn't. I would not read ahead...because it is the journey that determines if our ending is important. If our lives were lived richly and to the fullest potential, with little regret and lots of love. Not time that was squandered or lives that were not shared. It is appreciating every present moment for what it is. Special. Irreplaceable. One grain of sand in the hourglass taken from our side of the reserve.

Why then, I ask myself, am I just sitting here wishing the pages would turn more quickly??  This part may not be great but it is the place I am meant to be so that the rest can happen the way it is going to happen. If my life is like all stories, then I have a limited number of pages until the end and sitting here dreaming about the next chapter isn't going to get me to it any faster. I may not be the main author, but I am certainly a co-writer in this book!

Well, I decided that an outline is in order. An idea of how I'd like to see it unfold. Because, we all have a say in  how it goes down, don't we?

In the next few chapters there will be a lot of time spent researching a way to get the means that I need to start my own business. It may take some time and there may be days when I feel like the chapter will never end or that I may never get to the next one...but I will. That will lead to me working for myself, where every drop of blood, every ounce of sweat and every single tear put into it will be for the better of me and mine. So every one of them will be worth it. And I will appreciate every second of it.

When that is in order, there will be the part where I put philanthropy at the very top of my priorities list. Where doing for others will satisfy my life more richly than money or success ever will. My daughters will not only bear witness to that but they will be a part of it and use that example in their own lives and will give of their time in similar fashion. They will go on to be the beautiful, loving, kind, loyal women I know they are meant to be. The kind of women I hope to help shape them into. As their proud mama, I will remember to tell them I love them, even when they makes the many mistakes that their stories are sure to have.

Mostly though, in this story there will be love. Lots and lots of bountiful love. Endless love for my wonderful daughters. The love of my amazing circle of friends that I know will continue to grow into an even bigger ring. The love of my family, for even as they are capable of driving me to maddening tears, they are mine. They are my biggest fans and my loudest cheerleaders and they will continue to play leading roles in the story of my life. Lastly, there will be personal love. The love of a man that I know is out there. Who sees me. The real me. Not just a single mother. Not just girl with a scar on her face with a less than pristine past who has a potty mouth and may have lost her way for a few chapters. But as the woman I always knew I was capable of being, even if I'm not quite there when we do meet. He will be loyal and honest and strong and beautiful and true and he will man the ship when I am too tired to do it, all the while knowing that I am just as capable. My partner.

So is my story a mystery? Is it an epic romance? A light beach read? Ultimately, I'd like to think it's a mix of them all. Not one that any author worth their salt would ever conjure up out of their imagination. Not one that would be in any top 10 list. But my story none-the-less. One that is a work in progress, where there are still blanks to be filled and characters I have yet to meet, and many, many chapters left to go through.

And there will probably be a surprising twist...or ten. There will likely be more tragedy and plenty more tears. There may even be more loves lost and bad jobs to be fired from. (o_O)  I don't know yet...the rest of my book is still being written. What I know for sure though, is that I have the pen. I didn't get to choose the beginning & I may not get to choose how it all ends. But I DO get to decide how the pages get filled and with whom...and suddenly, that is the most exciting thing I've thought about in a long time.

I probably won't get a fairytale ending. But I plan on getting MY version of  happily-ever-after. That's just some of my story. I won't give too much away. You all will just have to keep reading to see....

Monday, April 5, 2010

If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking. ~Buddhist Saying

I'm going to go ahead and cop to the fact that I'm not having a great day before I even get started. So if the tone of this post isn't sunshine & rainbows... wait...when has my blog EVER been that??
I guess I just figured that I'd forewarn you that me blogging while in this headspace is the writing equivalent of drinking & texting. Ya know it's probably not a good idea...buuuut you're going to do it anyway!

Last night I had a pretty nasty argument with my mother which she started  (For those of you who don't know, she moved out here with me & is living with me for a bit. I know, begin prayers NOW.) Trying to reason with her has the same outcome as trying to reason with a petulant two-year-old who is stomping her foot in the middle of a grocery store. Your best bet is to placate her & then smack her upside the head in the privacy of your own home. I kid, I kid... I don't condone beating children...unless I birthed them...and they deserve it...  ; )  Anyway, she yelled, I attempted to speak calmly, yet firmly...yeah. Didn't play out the way I'd had it worked out in my head. So, I didn't sleep at all last night. 

Well today was supposed to be the day I got my official starting date from the job I had landed. So I was going to keep my chin up! Right? WRONG. I got an email this afternoon telling me that although they want me to work for them & that a position WILL be there for me at some point in the future, I am on hold for now. Which.Really.Sucks. Sorry if I'm lacking in the eloquence department here folks, but I really wanted this job. A place where the people seemed to love what they do, and really like & respect their boss? And do a professional job and dress casually?! And I don't have to perform a song and dance for my pay?! (I worked for tips up until recently...) Damn. Damn.... DAYUM!!!!

My most recent job hunting experience (besides the aforementioned) has consisted going to a bunch of cattle calls for sales gigs. Look, I know already. Sales is for the strong. Blah,blah, blah. I can't in good conscience try to get folks to pony up money for something, when the truth is that I have been in their shoes (still am!!) and just plain can't afford something. No means NO  dammit! I get that. So no matter how you tap dance around it, there is certain element of force that goes on in sales that I just don't believe in & it is not in my nature to browbeat. (Shocking, I know.)

Oh, and lets not forget the humiliation that was "saving the sea turtles" gig which consisted of being dropped off on a street corner in a city I'd never been in before without my wallet or cell phone, in the pouring rain, begging people to sign a monthly credit card agreement to donate money for saving endangered sea life.  I mean, it was a gig I believe in but lemme tell ya something... when it's Tsunami type weather conditions outside, even the most bleeding heart animal lover will tell you to go fuck yourself if you try to stop them for ANYthing. They just want to get to their destination as dry as possible. I know this, because it actually happened just that way... Verbatim. Repeatedly. I don't believe myself too good for ANY job, but the eight bucks an hour being "earned" there was simply not enough to keep me engaged. Plus, I got a wicked cold & ear infection from that day. My $54 paycheck went to a minute clinic. Good times kids. GOOD times....

So now here I am again.  Job hunting. Some more. Worrying about how the hell I'm going to pay my now passed due rent, all the bills about to come in, and the next months rent that is rapidly approaching. No pressure or anything...

The LAST  thing I want to do is start questioning whether or not I've made the right move coming clear across the country for a new beginning. I feel in bones that I've done the right thing.  But right now, at this moment, all I can think about is WHEN am I going to catch a break?!! Jeez!!! I got the mother unit in the room pouting, I've been locked in this house for six weeks, I'm going out of my mind with boredom, I'm broke, I'm terrified, I'm unemployable (or at least it feels that way) and all the while I have three sets of little eyes watching my every move. I can't break in front of them. I won't break in front of them. I WON'T break. I refuse.

Dear God, don't let me break....

Sunday, March 28, 2010

"Basic Principles - no matter what, no matter when, no matter who... any man has a chance to sweep any woman off her feet; he just needs the right broom." -Hitch

I'm about to come clean about something with you all.  Here goes: I have NEVER been on a date.

Now hang on before you start yelling. I don't mean the kind where you go out to dinner & a movie with your man. I'm talking about the ones where you meet somebody, exchange phone numbers, they call you and you go out and have that awkward "getting to know each other," long gaps of dead silence kind of date. I have NEVER done it.

ANYway, the reason I bring all of this up is because one of my wonderful friends has decided that I need to get out there and subject myself to the discomfort that seemingly, you all have suffered... Wait, no. What I meant to say is that she thinks that I need to go out and have some fun. According to her, "It's time."  <------  (Is that  better Bubbles?)

I'll let you all in on something else... I'm sort of a serial monogamist. I'm 34 and have had three very serious long-term relationships (the first one produced my three daughters) and a couple of not super serious sorta longish ones. Between those situations, I have been DEAD single. No going out. No hook ups. No nada. (you catching my drift here?) Not even kissing. I think I'm taking the process too seriously. In all of my serious relationship-having, I may have missed out on the "fun" part of it. What it really is, is that I like my relationships to be with people that I've known for a good period of time & I can sincerely say that we are friends first.

Sounds like the recipe for a successful relationship situation, right? ...............................................................................................................

Oh, forgive me for the long pause. I was rolling around laughing/crying on the floor. Psh...

Hmmm.... I mean, unlike SOME people I know, I've only JUST started to move passed my last er.... "situation." I'm mean, we don't all run around getting over one relationship by getting engaged to another....But I digress....
Am I ready to possibly meet someone else? Maybe. I typically like a good loooong celibacy run to clear my mind after some jackass breaks my heart. Oooh. Wait that sounded bitter... Let's try that again.
I usually need  an extended period of time to reflect on the things that went wrong in the relationship and look at what I may have contributed to it's demise.

Yeah, that was WAY better. HA!

What I need to know though, is, how does this whole routine work? Where do I meet men who will ask me for my number and then offer to take me out? I doubt I should be trolling the clubs. Do I show my independence and pay for my own way? What if this person is a total A-Hole? Should I drive separately, just in case? I guess what I'm missing is the process. Aw hell, I can't lie; even writing that makes me feel like an inexperienced, insecure  17-year-old. What strong, smart, woman doesn't know how to do this? *Raising Hand High* This one right here.

Said friend even suggested an ONLINE DATING SITE!  *GASP* I could NEVER subject myself to that! The very idea of it seems so CREEPY! WHO does that? Isn't it just a bunch of creepy guys? (Seriously here, I'mma need some feedback if anyone's ever done it) Don't you have to pay for those things? I don't need to go on a shitty date THAT badly! ...Or do I....?  hmmmm.... I mean, I AM new to this city. I only know four people here. How the hell else am I going to get back in the game?

I like the whole dating process to be a bit more organic. The problem is, it is PAINFULLY obvious that my method has NOT worked for me thus far. So I may have to give this whole thing some real consideration. Fix-ups and online dating seem so contrived. And we all know that you could potentially create an entire persona online, post a fake pic and next thing I know, I'll end up on a date with somebody who doesn't know how to use utensils, sweats profusely, (!!)  and looks like his parents are related.

Before you go jumping on your soapbox, don't act like looks aren't important. I am fully disclosing that I like hot men. A persons personality isn't the first thing anybody notices, especially if you're only seeing their picture or have only just met. If I'm not remotely attracted to somebody, it isn't going to work out. So save the whole speech about being shallow. It definitely isn't the only, or even most important thing, but it IS important.

So, I have been given a deadline. I have ONE month to meet someone on my own and go out on a real date. If I don't make it happen by then, this chick is going to sign me up for an online dating forum. I'm just not trying to go that route. I'm a tiny bit terrified here. I don't know how I'm going to make this happen!

But if I don't get my ass back out there, I will surely spend this next chapter of my life collecting cats and making my own candles. I can't have that. I may be battered and bruised but I'm not broken.  I'm still too hot & sexy to lock it up already. ; ) Yeah, I said it.

One month kids. ONE MONTH. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, feel free to offer any advice or share any good or any horror stories (which I'm FAR more interested in!) haha! Now I gotta go find me a hot man to go have an uncomfortable dinner with! Where shall I start.....?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hello Sacramento, I'm pleased to make your acquaintance....SMACK!

Hello lovely people who listen to me rant & rave. I have been MIA and for that I apologize. I finally made the big cross country move happen. YAY for that!! The drive was overwhelming & I would be totally remiss if I did not throw some love at my dear friend Jenn who was so brave to help us make that drive. I am a difficult person to love under normal circumstances, but throw in leaving everyone I know & love, me driving a 16 foot truck with my entire household in it including my dogs & a cat, and my mother & children in the car up ahead...and well, I'm just miserable, volatile, & hateful. WHEW! Just writing that made me tired!

Much has changed along with my zip code my friends. California is as beautiful as they tell you. Driving across the country was fun, with the exception of Amarillo,Texas. No offense to any Texans, this is not a personal statement. Amarillo smells like a Port O Potty at a monster truck rally. The WHOLE city. YUCK!!! My first fit of violent rage began there... But I digress...

The weather here  has been fantastic. Everyone is out jogging & walking their dogs.  There is a ton of culture and diversity. It's just been a real delight so far. And since I've been here 2 nearly 3 little weeks, my life has changed dramatically.  It started with just being newly relocated but not a hot second after I arrived I got my ass knocked down about 50 rungs in a most unexpected way.

Here's how it went down. My youngest daughter has poly cystic kidney disease which makes her uninsurable. That said, I found myself on this particular day standing in line at 7:30 am at the department of human services. For any of you who know anything about this place, ya feel my pain... Oy. But here I am all bright eyed and bushy-tailed over the new possibilities!!!Then I check my phone & I see I have an explosion of activity on the ole text list, Facebook, Twitter & email. Like, a whooooole lot. To summarize this, The Ex that I have referenced on here in past posts, you know: the one who I was with for nearly 5 years? The one who I haven't been separated from for even a year and a half? That one? Well he announces that He.Is.ENGAGED. To be MARRIED. To the NEXT chick. On his FACEBOOK page. The one where we still have like 50 something mutual friends. Where he is STILL FRIENDS WITH MY FATHER!!!!!!  All I could think was: here I am in line waiting on government aid & this MFer is slappin rocks on someone's finger. The utter injustice of it! I mean, dayum! Did none of it mean SHIT?? Am I THAT easy to move on from?? WTF was the last 5 years about?? Was I a placeholder?? *MORTIFIED*

My renewed sense of positivity went straight to the shitter I referenced earlier... The ENTIRE circle of our mutual friends & most of my family got to witness my absolute humiliation. ...and then came the barrage...
"How are you?" "Did you hear?" "Are you OK?"  "Girrrrrl! I can't believe he would do that!"

And all I could think in the middle of it all was: I am not good enough. I'm good, but I'm not great. Pretty. But not pretty enough. Important, but not important enough. I'm good for a while, just not forever. NOT enough. Not ENOUGH. NOT ENOUGH! And so I started walking. I walked for hours and hours on end. I walked like Forrest Gump ran. I cried. I listened to sad music. I felt real sorry for myself. I basically wallowed. And ate a lot of bad food.

And then I started to look around. Really see where I was walking. I saw the gorgeous scenery. The new faces. The parks. The American River. The mountains. And I just thought: Oh HAAAAAIIIILLLL no I'm not going to give up my power. Didn't work out? Oh well. It sucks but why am I crying over some shit that is clearly not reciprocating my pain? I'm letting this shit take up space in my brain, rent free. I don't even WANT to get married!?

And with my attitude adjusted, my head held high & my ego still a touch bruised I did what I have always done. I charged ahead. I've walked all over this city. I've gotten stronger. I got a new job! I re-connected with an old friend who has helped put a bit of the pep back in my step. I have so much to look forward to. 

"Open road & limitless possibilities." 

Yep, I'm good. I'm going to be just fine...& I'm holding out for nothing short of my fairytale....butterflies & all. 

Forward march girlie...and welcome home.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Worse Kind of Pain

The worse kind of pain can't be covered up with a by a Band Aid.
Won't be made better with a kiss.
There is no salve that will  make it sting less.
No amount of ice will reduce it.
Pain medication won't ease it.
No stitches can mend it back up.
It won't heal in a week.
Nothing you can put on it will make the scar less visible.
The pain of a broken heart.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

“A pair of shoes can change your life. Just ask Cinderella.” -Anonymous

Here lately I've been feeling down in the dumps. Despite this impending move, all that I have to get done, & the excitement I feel about this new adventure, I have still been feeling pretty low. Not motivated. I cry for no good reason. Just...bummed. I mean, I've seriously considered getting myself a therapist. Not that I have some huge opposition to therapy. I guess I've just always felt like "I got this." I just need a few days to wallow in it  & then get it under control. Then I'll be good, you know?

Truth be told, I probably should follow through with that phone call and maybe unburden myself of some of the heavier things on my plate. But that's not what this post is about. Today, it all doesn't feel quite as heavy as it has the past few months.  Why, you ask? I'm going to let you in a little secret of mine. Don't laugh. I swear this works. works for ME. It's something I've been doing for a long time. Here goes.

I woke up this morning and looked around and realized that in spite of the fact that I'm packing up for a big move, that my house was a hot mess. I mean a friggin disaster zone! I was appalled, I must confess. Faced with the mighty task of cleaning (UGH!) I could feel myself sliding down into the dumps again. So I went into my bedroom, then into my closet. I closed the door behind me and I tried on ALL of my shoes! All of them! (For those of you who KNOW me, you know what a tall order this is.)

After lovingly putting each pair on and doing a little strut and twirl in them, then moving on to the next pair for more of the same...I decided which ones I was deeming my favorites...for today. Then I put those back on and I went back into my room, I cranked up the radio to a great dance station and I got to it. I swept, I mopped. I did laundry. I folded it. (This is an especially irritating chore to me.) I washed dishes. I made the bed. I made breakfast and later on made lunch. I may have even danced a little bit! All the while in a gorgeous pair of super high heels.

Why, you ask? I'll tell ya. Because I started thinking about how GOOD I feel when I'm dressed up and wearing a great pair of heels. I realized that typically, I'd only wear them to go out & about, which I really don't do all that often. So WHY then, would I only put on my favorite shoes then and only then? If I can mimic that feeling more regularly than only when I leave my home, why not?!

I actually break my new shoes in this way. A full on clean up of the house. If I can clean two floors of home in them, I can surely dance for hours in them. It works!! It really does. If I start to blister, then I know that those may not be the best to go dance in and are maybe better suited to going to have a dinner or catch a show. Giggle if you want, but I've been doing this for years and it hasn't failed me yet.

Today though, my shoes served to simply put some (much needed!!) pep in my step. I felt good. Sexy! I felt like I should get through my chores & then head out for a night on the town. (Which I'm not doing since it's only 18 degrees out there.)  But I felt like I could. And sometimes, when the simplest act of just getting out of my PJs seems like such an overwhelming task, something as simple as a putting on a good pair of shoes can serve to cheer me up. Hell, maybe I don't need to make that phone call after all....  ; )