"A great mom"

I read this article today written by someone I admire and respect (and have been lucky enough to meet.)  This article talks about her fear of becoming a mother.  She worries that if and when her dream of having kids will come true, she won't be good enough.  Give it a read. 

Dear Friend,

While I understand your feelings.  I would like to share with you some knowledge that I've learned as a mom for 19 years.  I have 3 natural kids, 1 stepdaughter and 1 that will be my stepson someday.  I can tell you with all honesty, that after all these years, I still worry about being a good mom.

The fact that you have waited, and are contemplating if you will or won't be a good mom, that the thought of having children makes you take pause and wonder if you will be good at it- is enough to know that you are at least aware of the mom you might WANT to be.

I got pregnant at 22.  I was in a new and exciting relationship and destined to be in love forever, the way we are at 22.  I did not think about why I wanted kid.  I felt it was just something I wanted, so I did it.  I didn't put a lot of thought into it- and I struggled for many years.

Many of us go in with ideas of natural childbirth, breastfeed only, cloth diapers, homemade baby food, we will sterilize EVERYTHING, never microwave a bottle to heat it up, let them cry it out, never use a pacifier, vacuum when they are sleeping so they get used to noise, and we will read to our child every. single. day.  We will keep the baby book current until they are five.  We will never use TV to distract the baby.  We will never put cows milk in a bottle, and only give our kids fruit as snacks.  We will ever raise our voices.  Never argue with our partner in front of the children.  We won't ever say "because I said so."  We go in with at least some of these good intentions.  We will be "a good mom."

Then we have a child.

Quickly we realize that sometimes you have to give a bottle.  That there isn't enough hours in the day to MAKE baby food.  If you shake the microwaved bottle, it will dissipate the "hot spots."  We realize that a pacifier both soothes the child, and also allows you to have a conversation with someone.  A little TV doesn't hurt, and you have to sweep the floor sometime.  It is impossible to not raise your voice when your child is about to put something questionable in his/her mouth.  You also learn that there is very little in a parents' vocabulary that feels quite as satisfying as "because I said so!" 

That's all ok.  You will become the mom your child needs because you are not a selfish person.  You actually put thought into this.  Perhaps the maternal instinct will kick in, and it becomes as natural to you as a baby fish in the ocean.  When that happens, it's like magic.  It didn't for me.I still make daily mistakes.  I curse around my kids.  Some days they are the last to get picked up from school.  I recently forgot to actually MAKE the sandwich for my sons lunch and sent him to school with only two pieces of bread in the plastic bag.  My "Mom of the Year" speech got tucked away a long time ago- and I think the paper is wrinkled and the ink is faded.  Most days I am glad that "nobody bled today."

When my oldest son turned 16, I finally started making enough money to support him and his brothers.  I finally live in a nice house with a stocked fridge.  My son, now 19 and moved out, who didn't get as much of the 'good stuff' as my younger ones are enjoying, doesn't hold it against me.  He knows I did the best I knew how and that I love him.  They never REALLY appreciate you until they are older anyway.  That's important to remember.

Parenting is hard, and even the ones who DO all the "Good Mom" things, make mistakes.  While I can't stand her, Dr. Laura talks about being a "good enough" mom.  It means we do our best, we realize we are not perfect, and if we have a bad day, we let it go and try to make tomorrow a little better.  Judgment errors will be made.  Bad decisions will probably happen.  Kids are resilient and forgiving.  They love you even when you leave them in the diaper too long or when you sing off key.  For most, the only real currency needed is love- and that is given in the form of doing your best, giving them your time, hugging them a lot and teaching them the things they will need to know when they stop being children.

It's good to have that fear.  It means you are aware of what's ahead.  You are looking around, scanning the scenery, watching for sharp corners and things that make you itchy.  You are already looking out for the child you will have someday.  It's a good place to start.  It's where a lot of us DIDN'T start. 

You might even be a little bit ahead of the game.  Best of luck to you. 
May you be good enough.




Addiction rant

Addiction.  Ugh.  I hate this topic, and yet it's something that I am passionate to talk about.  Have I ever been addicted to something in a life threatening way?  Maybe.  My addiction to my alcoholic husband may not have ended my life, but it definitely dashed my hopes, destroyed my dreams, and changed me in ways that I can never get back. 

I still, look at the bottles of alcohol in the fridge and take a mental note of how much in there.  Want proof?  About 6 months ago, I went into the garage fridge to get a soda.  I do this, about 5-10 times of day, depending on the day.  We keep the soda and the alcohol in the garage.  I went in there, and not even realizing that I was looking, the Captain Morgan bottle looked lower.  I could not remember having looked at it when I was in there two hours earlier, but I knew it was lower.  Panic spread over me.  That sinking feeling in my chest- the cold in my upper arms- the tightening of my throat.  I started at it for a few minutes, and then I closed the fridge.

I went to the office and asked SR.  Did you have a drink today?  He pointed at his glass.  Right in front of him. 
"Yes I poured this an hour ago."

So even now, it effects me.  It is still in my nature to pick up a glass and smell or taste it.  This is one of the reasons I am actually GLAD that SR drinks from the can because random glasses laying around will cause me panic.  An empty glass where there should not be one?  Like the bathroom- can stop me cold. 

I bring this up because I saw a video this morning that I've seen before.  Actor Matthew Perry suffered from the same thing my late husband did.  Alcoholism that turned to pancreatitis that turned to addiction to pain pills.  At the end of season 5, Chandler is heavier than he was at the beginning of season 6.  In season 6 he is very thin, and you can almost hear it in his voice- that narcotic slur.  It's slight, but I recognized it immediately.  In this video, he is talking to someone who is basically saying that addiction is a choice.  That the "supposedly addicted person" could have decided to not drink again.  Just made that choice. 

I know that some people can.  Some people can see that there is a problem in their behavior and just stop.  It happens.  For the millions of people it doesn't happen for, I don't believe they can just decide and stop.

I believe that addiction is a disease.  It's an insanity.  How do I know?  Because I lived it.  I watched it.  I buried it.

There were many things I didn't know about my husband.  Many secrets, many things I choose not to see.  I admit that I was not always helpful.  I was enabling, I was manipulative, I was mean.  I admit that.  However, I KNEW my husband.  I knew that he loved me, and he loved our children.  I also eventually knew that love wasn't enough and I had to chose me and the children over him.  I may never EVER get over the fact that I could not love him enough to make him better, to make him "decide" to stop.  It's so much easier to blame myself- I still do it often.

Did he choose to be an addict?  No.  He chose to take the first drink.  The first pill.  The first, whatever.  He chose that.  He chose to not seek the help that was offered to him again and again.  He didn't choose to be addicted.  He didn't choose to be broken.  Sure, the argument can, and has and will continue to be made that his choice not to take help WAS his choice to continue his behavior.  The argument can be made that each time he got "clean," he choose to drink or drug again. 

This is where, for me, I do and have to believe in the insanity of addiction.  True to life insanity.  If I believe he loved me, which I do- and if I believe he loved our kids, which I do- then I have to believe that NO SANE PERSON would choose to put our family through what we went through. He wasn't a sociopath.  He wasn't cold, or apathetic.  He was one of the most empathetic loving people I have ever known.  He was the guy who gave strangers rides on hot days.  He was the guy who sat with a dog who had been hit by a car and talked to it while it died.  He was the guy who, when we were still living together and the guy I had been seeing (yes he knew about it) broke up with me, came into the bathroom, saw me lying on the floor crying, came in, picked me up and carried me to bed- even though it broke his heart to do so. 

He didn't choose to have a disease that tore his family apart.  He didn't choose to behave in the activity that would leave his kids without a father.  I will never believe that.  I can't.  I support those who struggle with this disease.  I applaud the efforts and the work they do to help themselves and others.  I am always encouraged when I see people post about how many days, months or years they have been sober.  My heart breaks for those who fall off the wagon.  My heart aches, a deep hard, crushing ache, for those loved ones who can do nothing but worry, and cry, and sometimes leave.  I empathize with those who scream, bully and manipulate their addict in an attempt to sober them up. 

I really do.  I believe that addiction is NOT a choice.  I believe that no sane person would put their family through hell.  I believe that he could have been saved, but he was too far gone.  There was too much against him mentally and physically.  I believe that his passing, while tragic, was a bittersweet blessing.     

Some days I am still angry at him, but I will never believe that he chose to be an addict. 


Shiny happy music

Having worked in music store for most of my twenties, I understand how music effects people.  I remember when Swing the Mood by Jive bunny came out.  We listened to it constantly in the store, because it sold like crazy.  It also made people dance.  It made people WANT to be there and shop.  It actually put people in a good mood.  Go ahead and listen while you read this.  If you don't have to hear it all the time, it's not bad to listen to. 

Elevator music is relaxing, because who wants to hear something loud and panic stricken when they are in an elevator?? 

Grocery stores seem to have picked up playing adult contemporary music, sometimes even radio stations, which is good- usually.  Occasionally a song will come on with a frantic beat and it makes you move faster.  You feel in a hurry, like, oh my god I need to hurry, shop faster, get the hell out of here.  This is bad for most stores. 

At the music store I worked at, usually the person working at the front, or the manager would have control over what would play in the store.  I tried to find a decent mix of what the employees could stand, what they liked, and what would sell.  During the holidays it was all holiday music, all the time.  At the time it was awful because 8-10 straight hours of Christmas songs is obnoxious. 

This morning in the car I listened to these songs, in this order:

Shake it Off- Taylor Swift
All about that Bass- Meghan Trainor
Roar- Katy Perry

I was flipping channels and I felt like I got pretty lucky because these are all great happy songs that are good for driving.  It made me wonder, however, why I love happy music.  In general, I listen to pop music although I love country, and rock, and classic rock and hip hop and a pretty decent range of music.  However, I really like happy music.  Upbeat.  I think I'm a pretty upbeat person, at least I try to be.  I try to positive and cheerful and I think the music I listen to reflects that.  I know when I was a teenager, I was into the less cheerful stuff.  Not necessarily the lyrics, but the music itself was less cheerful.  I'd never accuse the Cure of being upbeat, or Depeche Mode- although there may have been some.  I was depressed a lot then.

In the 90's, I listened to a lot of country music.  Songs about dancing and drinking and being in love.  I did a lot of that in the 90's.  I did listen to some grunge.  The first grunge song I heard was Man in the Box from Alice in Chains.  The guy I was dating was absolutely enthralled with it, and while I admitted that I really liked the groove to it, grunge never really reached me the same way.  I could and still do very much appreciate what is and isn't "good music" for whatever reason I think it's good.  My late husband loved Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, we even played Chris Cornell's version of Ave Maria at his service.  It's both ominous and beautiful.

Which brings me to something else. I put together a bunch of my late husbands favorite songs (or versions of them) for his memorial service.  Towards the end, my sister asked me why I picked all these songs, I said they were his favorites.  She said, "Really?  They are all REALLY sad." 

I hadn't really thought of that before.

So I wonder, what do my favorite songs say about me?  Does the music I surround myself with influence my life, or does my life influence the music I listen to?

Well, I hope this last song at least puts you in a good mood.  How can it not??


My social media is divided by opinions on my sex life

I have too many social media accounts.  I have too many because I have at least TWO of everything.  There are two sides to me.  And while I don't live two lives, there's the side I let my some people see and a side I let the worlds see.  Oddly enough, the WORLD side sees more of me than the some people side. 

I have a facebook account for my family and co-workers.  The ones who care about my kids and what I cook and the tame, vanilla side of my life.  The ones who I would rather not know about the dynamics in my relationship.  Then there's my ACTUAL facebook account, which is where my friends, my partners, old boyfriends etc reside. 

But there's a lot of crossover.  My BOSS for instance, is friends with me on my vanilla facebook account, except, she knows everything about me.  And I mean, EVERYTHING.  My old co-workers at my old job (10 years ago) and people I knew from my past professional life are on my regular facebook account, pretty much ensuring I will never work for them again.  Hmmmm- that was probably a bad call.

Many, but not all, of my family knows about my less traditional lifestyle.  However I keep it from them because honestly I think they just don't care to know or hear about it.  I generally stay mostly tame on FB and I do have different groups for my kinkier friends so as not to offend anyone who's kid might peruse their facebook feed.  But it's exhausting

Twitter is something different though. 

I have different twitter accounts for different things.  One for me that is pretty NSFW, one for the vanilla me (mostly unused), one for an event I host, and one for the podcast I host. 

I have an instagram account but I keep it pretty tame because my kid follows me.

I have an "about me" account that I don't use.

I don't have a tumblr.  At least not anymore.

Today I got an account with ello.  It seems nice, clean, no ads.  Nice manifesto.  Currently no worries that what I say or see will be used against me for marketing campaigns.  However when I was setting it up, I thought- what will I use this for.  Who will I be here? 

For a while I had an account on Subjot (which I think is no longer out there).  Or something.  Anyway, nobody knew me there.  I don't think I even told many friends I was on it.  It was kind of freeing.  Talking out into the void and not really caring who talked back.

Social media is practically my social LIFE most days. Some days I will be in the mood to engage with family and other days it's all about my close friends and kinksters.  There are days though, that I wish that I just had one side of me- the real side and the only side.  The problem with social media is that I'm not always the same kind of social with everyone.  I envy those who can just be who they are online, although I think most of us somewhat filter ourselves when our parents are watching.  The day my mom joined facebook was probably where things went awry for me.  The internet was a pretty safe place for me to be who I am.  Now I worry that my mother is just 6 degrees of separation away from seeing me half naked with sharp things poking into my skin.  I don't think she even knows about THIS blog, which is still a few breaths closer than I would like her to know about me.  I enjoy my relationship with my family, but because they have a tendency to be somewhat uptight and judgy, it must be done from a distance.  It sucks.  I would like to think that they would like me anyway, but chances are I would just become even more of a black sheep.  I did marry and bury the drug addict and all.  There's always one in every family.  I guess I drew the short straw along with the actually "short" card.

I'm gong to be 43 years old and I am still hiding from my family.  I think I do it more for them than I do for me.  There's a blanket rule not to scare the vanilla people.  I told one of my brothers about being poly.  He seemed unphased.  My siblings have met past partners, but didn't realize just who they were.  My mom has asked, "if that your girlfriend or something?" but her mere tone told me that even if she had been, I should just say no.  I don't want to have that conversation any more than she does.

I'd like to think that who I REALLY am is not so bad or offensive.  However I know that if members of my family were "describing" me to someone else, it would go something like this.

"Oh Julie?  She's great.  She's got 3 kids, well actually 4 if you could her late husbands daughter.  and 5 if you could her new boyfriends son.  Her and her boyfriend have been together about 3 years now.  He's 12 years younger than her- so you know.  And they are into that BDSM spanking thing... so there's THAT." 

And while all of those things are true- they tell you NOTHING about me.  NOTHING.  I'm a good person.  I think I'm kind and thoughtful.  I have made a lot of sacrifices for the people I love.  I have a good education.  I have a good job that most days I really love because it makes a difference for peoples lives.  I educate people on BDSM and safe healthy relationships.  And even THAT tells you very little about me. 

However I know that I will be reduced to how I have sex and who I have sex with.  And to be honest, I have sex the same way everyone else does.  And 95% of the time I only have sex with SR.  It's not THAT big of a deal.  I think there are more interesting things about me. 

However, it is what it is.  It's a bit frustrating though, that the ones who are supposed to love me conditionally, my family, are the ones who probably only continue to love me because there's a lot that they don't want to know. 


OMG this dog

So the past month has been "Operation Max."  After the tick infestation earlier this year I've been mildly obsessed with caring for this dog.  It isn't that we weren't caring for him before, but I was never really all that interested.  Like I said before, Max wasn't the dog that I wanted- but he's who is here- and he's a good boy.  He deserves my love and attention because while he is overly hyper and a total whiner, I think he loves me back. 

I've been walking him every night for the past month.  I wasn't walking him often before because he is a puller.  Even with the prong collar he would pull and I was too afraid he was too stupid not to impale himself.  However, now he seems to be receptive to the prong collar and while he still pulls- it's much less and once we get going, he settles down.

Usually at the start of the walk he's so excited that he jumps and traipses around like a 4 year old girl with a new tutu and tiara, but then once we around the first corner he starts to calm down and stops to pee on just about every bush he can lift a leg at.  Once he lifted his leg 20 times on one block. 

On the weekends he usually, but not always, gets 2 walks.  In the morning and then again at night.  The night walks used to happen at 9:30- it was the last thing I did before getting ready for bed.  However, now that he knows he will get a walk at night- as soon as it starts getting dark he starts the whining and the howling.  Now on the weekends, when he knows I'm home- as soon as I get up he starts the whining and howling.  Look, two walks doesn't happen EVERY WEEKEND.  Most weekends.  Who is walking who here anyway????

I do enjoy the walks, but sometimes it's like a baby shower.  Nobody wants to go- but once you get there- it's ok.  So I'm gonna put on my shoes and leash up the beast.  Take him for a quick walk and then get on with my day. 

But maybe it's nice, taking a few minutes to chill out before the bustle of Sunday happens.  Grocery shopping, laundry, cooking.  Maybe Max knows what I need. 


The old things

I watched this movie today called "Take This Waltz"

It's a few years old and it was brilliant in a way that I can't pinpoint. 

I sort of stumbled across it on Hulu and because I like Seth Rogen and Michelle Williams I just started watching.  It was quite mesmerizing in the way that I just didn't know how I felt about it afterwards.  I felt a weird sense of longing.  A strange sadness.  But also this sense of calm.  Like, right, that's the way life goes.

There was a movie many years ago called In the Bedroom where a father finally kills the guy who nurdered his daughter- and at the end of the movie he came back to bed with his wife and it was like, "ok it's done."  I remember thinking, "Well, ok then.  That's just how that would go."

After this movie was over, I went to the reviews and synopsis of it- to get a feel for what this movie was supposed to be about.  Perhaps I missed it.  It was a tame movie, very little drama in the way of emotional outburst and such.  The main character finds herself attracted to the brooding artist neighbor.  By all accounts it should have been a boring, this sort of thing happens all the time, sort of movie.  However there was something so incredibly likeable about all of the characters.  There was no "bad guy."  The main character, while somewhat troubled, was incredibly endearing and sweet.  She is the kind of girl who could be anyone's best friend.  She was not some sex crazed woman, not that there is anything wrong with that if she was- but she wasn't.  The husband, while not the most passionate guy, was funny and loving.  The brooding artist was kind and thoughtful, and while some of the behavior seemed stalkerish, as the "other man" he was not the kind of guy that was threatening. 

What I took away from this movie is the idea of routines.  How perhaps in life, we keep doing the same things, but sometimes in different scenery.  Long term relationships can sometimes be the very thing that kills a relationship.  It seems sometimes that as soon as the new relationship wears off, it slowly starts to settle into that "long term relationship" phase.  The one that lasts, or intends to last, forever. 

I look at my life now, and while there are a lot of things that are very different about it.  Much of it is the same.  I still have to do the same things.  What is different is the things I don't have to do anymore.  I don't have to deal with the same kind of stressors that I used to have.  I don't have to worry about the things I used to worry about.  I don't have the same sense of dread and fear when I walk in the house anymore.  However, the routine is similar. 

For a little while life shifted into a different reality that seemed like a slice out of a movie they have yet to actually make about BDSM.  However now it's back to something a bit more manageable.  BDSM is not my job, it's just the way I choose to live my life and carry out my relationship dynamic.  The rest of my life looks just like everyone elses.  I walk my dog, I do homework with the kids, I do laundry, I cook, I go to parent teacher conferences.  For as kinky as my life may be, in some ways it is just as exciting, or unexciting as anyone reading this. 

One of the lines from this movie that grabbed me was:

“New things get old, just like the old things do."

And that's true.  I think what I took away from this movie is that while the new things are exciting when they are new, eventually they become old things.  Here I am, at 42, and think I forgot that.  I find myself sometimes feeling almost resentful and robbed that I am watching TV on a Friday night, or that I go to bed alone most night.  I think, what about the excitement?  What about the eroticism that I thought that I found? Where did that go??

Yet when I think about it, it's still there.  I'm just... used to it.  I don't think it's healthy to push the bar higher and higher every time I get restless.  I think that's how people end up trying to go down Niagara Falls in a barrel to see if they can survive it.  My life is good.  Happy.  Amazing even.  However, it's also quite simple.  Sometimes very quiet and occasionally pretty boring.  Sure I engage in activities that some see as indecent or unsavory, but I know people who eat fat free mayonnaise, and well, that's just not something I would ever do. 

So what is it that keeps life exciting?  What can be done when the new gets old.  When the unheard of and seemingly impossible becomes Wednesday?  For me, I simply choose to embrace it.  I embrace the energy of my life, the people I share it with.  The frequency around me.  I choose to sink into my comfy chair and enjoy my normal.  It's the normal I want.

If I ever get to a point where I don't feel a sense of longing for something, I will probably be close to dying.  So today I will take whatever feelings I have of longing and want for more, and use it as a way to remind me that I'm still alive.  Because what I have is what I wanted.  No matter what I have, there's something else I will eventually want.  Even when I HAVE what I want, I think I will continue to walk something more.  I don't think that is live unlived or unfulfilled.

I think that is just what living is.


Why I like to shop alone

I was making my weekly .99 store visit for lunch snacks the other day.  It really is quite economical to as even the cheap Little Debbie snacks are $2 at the grocery and only $1 at .99.  I have a mental list of what I buy there regularly, or as needed. 

Kids shampoo
Air freshener
Lunch snacks
Hamburger Helper
Kitchen Utensils (they carry a line of blue or red Betty Crocker)
School supplies
Night light bulbs
Langers Juice
An all purpose cleaner called Awesome.  cause it is.

Sometimes they will have stuff that is not normally there like Capri Sun 10pks, or once they had twinkies.  I bought 4 boxes.  Yesterday I found CoffeeMate GirlScout Samoas creamer.  I bought 4.  I also peruse the isles for other gems that ended up in their store for whatever reason.  Also for things like generic candles, jewelry cleaner, wet wipes and cheap squeaky dog toys. 

So as I'm enjoying my weekly visit, I hear this voice behind me.  A male voice, talking really fast.  Non-stop.  I turn casually and see a male in his 30's or so.  And he's talking to a girl.  They were there together but from the sheer volume and velocity of his speech pattern my immediate thought was "tweaker."  I know, it's not cool to make such an assumption but seriously, the chatter was non-stop.  I have two sons with ADHD, so I'm used to loud, rapid fire, one-way conversations- but even for me, I was like, "Damn that guy is buzzing!!"  So he and the girl he was with seemed to be on the same shopping track as me, so basically they followed me through the entire store.  A few times the girl made eye contact with me, widened her eyes in an exasperated "Oh holy hell, will he ever stop talking?!?!?!" sort of way.  He never did.

He was talking about cars, and family, and kids, and cooking, and nutrition, and beer, and driving, and back to cars again.  It was amazing.  I was surprised that someone could be so unaware of themselves that it never occurred to him that his shopping partner said practically nothing the entire time.  By all accounts he was a good looking guy.  Tanned skin, buzzed dark hair, brown eyes that looked kind, although dilated.  However the constant talking made me want to throw a blanket over him in hopes that maybe he'd fall asleep or something

As a talker, I know what it's like when you are talking about something, and then another thought pops into your head so you jump the track.  I get it.  However to continue doing that for 45 minutes- stopping only to take a breath?  That is something special.  He made eye contact with me a few times, once commenting on the coffee creamer in my cart.  I gave a wide smile, but said nothing.  I was not getting sucked into a conversation.  I might have had to kill myself. 

I have always thought that I will die under very "normal" or very "comical" circumstances, but at that moment the tragedy of dying in the .99 store was too much to consider.  What was in my cart would surely come under question.  4 bottles of Samoas Coffee Creamer, 3 boxes of chocolate cookie crèmes, bread, 2 packs of hostess donettes, and some fudge covered graham crackers is not the impression I want to leave on this earth.  Even if it was a $15 savings.

So I wrapped back around to the other side of the store because I had forgotten something, losing the talker.  Then I got in line.  Only one line open, and of COURSE they are in front of me.  Oh for the love of....  he's STILL talking.  The girl he was with looked at me again, her eyes in WIDER this time, as if to say, "Can you believe this mother fucker is still talking?"  I giggled and sort of shrugged at her.  I suspected it was a sister or a cousin or something, because not only did he appear to be much older than her, there was no affection between them to make me think they were any kind of couple.

They exited the store, and were parked close to me, loading the car and it wasn't until I closed my car door that there was sweet silence.  I wondered how they knew each other that she didn't feel comfortable enough to silence him for even a minute.  I am always polite, but at some point I might have said,"ok.. chill!"

Fast forward to today after work.  I went to the grocery store and was heading for the cheese section, and ohh myyy god, he's HERE.  The talker.  HE'S HERE.  I recognized the voice and cadence of his endless chatter before I turned my head completely to the side.  He saw me and recognized me, smiling in an opened mouth sort of "hey!!!" and I smiled and nodded- and quickly turned a corner.

Seriously, is this guy stalking my shopping?  Is this karma for enjoying grocery shopping alone?  Do I need to look over my shoulder for fear of the TALKER?  Maybe I need to just drive to the other part of town.  Shopping is quiet time away for me.  I can think about the meals I want to make, new things I'd like to try, etc.  It's not really a social excursion.  Most people I know have a rhythm to their grocery shopping- and don't like it interrupted else it throws off the balance of the whole experience.  We will forget things.  We will spend too much.  We will, for sheer comfort, buy sugary, fattening foods because the thought of them eases the anxiety we feel just getting through the experience when the TALKER is close by.  For many moms, grocery shopping is precious quiet and alone time.

Shopping is sacred.

This guy threatens that.  For me.  For all of us. 


You don't know me, Facebook.

Sometimes Facebook just freaks me out.  The fact that it seems to tap into whatever I've searched for on line or on Amazon and then bombards me with ads for it.  It's bothersome.  This past weekend I was looking for makeup brushes.  Then the next day I was seeing ads for mymakeupbrushes.com or something.  Today I clicked on a youtube video and the ad was for this make up brushes company.  WHAT THE HELL.

If I type into Google "I purchased make up brushes today" -  will it stop?? 

I spend a lot of time on facebook watching videos from UpWorthy and the website that shows the animal rescues.  However, I gotta be careful with the animal rescue videos.  Cause first it's the animal rescue.  Then it's pet reunions.  Then it's soldier/ pet reunions.  Then it's soldiers coming home surprise reunions.  GAH!!! NOOOOOO.....  The emotions.  I start bawling before Master Sgt. WarHero shows up and the kids start screaming and crying and I'm done.  I'm a mess of tears and snot and it's just not pretty.  So I have to click carefully or I'll end up crying in my e-cig.

The other thing I do on Facebook is take those stupid quizzes.  What is your flower?  What color is your aura?  blah blah blah. 

I don't always like when they tell me what Disney Princess I am because ultimately I get the same Disney princess as one of my friends who I feel is not the same kind of princess as me.  Personally I'd like to take a quiz where all the answers apply to me.  Sometimes I have to pick the closest one, which is sometimes still very far from anything you'd ever find me doing on a Saturday night.  And I am NOT Belle.  Miss "fall in love with the seemingly emotionally unavailable gruff beast...."  shit.  Ok, well the talking furniture would freak me the FUCK OUT. 

I once answered the complete opposite of what I would normally answer and the results still SORT of applied.  So of course, I can only take it so seriously, even though I find it somewhat entertaining.  I thought I would take 4 or 5 quizzes, and take all of the 'Who I am's and see if THAT gives me a better picture of me. 

My most recent round of quizzes tells me that I am Carrie (from Sex and the City), Roller Girl (from Boogie Nights), Elmer Fudd (from Looney Tunes) Donkey (from Shrek) and Jules (from Pulp Fiction).


So I am a funny, dense, jackass hunter who can shoot while delivering a kick ass monologue wearing Manolo Blahnik roller skates on my way to write about porn and love in NYC?

Well, ok then.  


the escape artist

This past week I experienced the horror of the Siberian Husky escaping artist act- twice. 
Well, more like one and a half times.

Actually, it wasn't very horrifying at all- but I did get a taste of that sinking feeling of "when your dog gets out of the yard."

Lets get a few things straight about Max.

Max was not the dog I wanted.

My best friend has huskies, lots of them.  She has trained, bred and showed huskies.  The first time we visited her house, SR fell in love with her dogs and decided that THIS was the dog we should have.  That a 75 pound, extremely needy, very social dog would be a good dog for our house with two boys who were afraid of dogs.  Me?  I thought a smaller dog, a beagle or even a breed of cuter yappy dog would be good.  Something the kids could get used to because he wasn't LARGER than they were.  However, what SR wants, SR gets and 9 months later we brought Max home.

He was a very cute puppy.  Loving and fun but loud and more hyper than the kids.  They were immediately terrified because he was unpredictable.  I can't quite explain the reasons my kids are so afraid of dogs, because neither have ever been in an altercation with one.  Well, that's not totally true.  My parents neighbors have this really yappy poodle that thinks he's a rhino or something.  He chases after the kids, barking and being "menacing."  But come on, it's a poodle.  It's loud and seems aggressive, but that little shit came up to me once barking as if being in my mothers driveway was such a hassle for her- so I walked towards her, with all the aggressiveness  you need to come face to face with a poodle and that bitch ran off.  My dog shits bigger than you, punk.  Back the fuck up.  Anyway, the kids did not want anything to do with Max- and still don't.  They enjoy watching the adult interactions with Max through the sliding glass door, but that's about as close as they want to get.  My CAT is not even afraid of this dog.  He's lovable and wouldn't really hurt anything intentionally.

Unintentionally, of course, he's the master of disaster.  The sheer speed at which he runs cause tree branches to bend and grass to cower back under the earth.  If he can reach it, he will chew it and if it's small enough he will swallow it.  When he was a pup he swallowed a sock, which was very dramatic for the family- but since his stomach has developed a bit- he will now eat just about anything.  He has chewed curtains, jeans, towels, stuffed animals, bike seats, extension cords, hoses, barbeque utensils, and the sleeve of SR's favorite jacket. Usually this is because of boredom or poor crate placement.

It was never my intention to be the primary caretaker of this monster.  Yet that seems to be what has transpired.  Despite my best efforts and a vehement statement that I am not a dog person, the care of Max has mainly fallen to me.  Let me tell you about me and dogs.  I grew up with Dobermans.  So being around big dogs is not new.  However I have never really been a fan.  As a child I was short and skinny and weak.  Big dogs could knock me over with little effort.  The Dobermans I had were generally NOT jumpers and were pretty calm around people, unlike Mr. Max.  As an adult, I realized I am much more of a CAT person, and while I do like dogs, they are usually far too demanding for my liking.  They take up too much time and space and attention that could otherwise go to me.  All that being said, I have learned to love this big dumb dork and am now taking a much more serious approach to this whole "dog thing" than I had before. 

Max is a year and a half now.  Still destructive, but getting better.  I admit he was not properly trained- and because the kids are still terrified of him- he is not allowed to roam the house.  We tried to make him a mostly outside dog, but with the tick infestation in our area, that has become a thing of the past.  I am now obsessed with making sure he gets treated for ticks- as well as spraying the yard and I can't be around him for a few minutes without checking his ears and his huge feet for those disgusting little things, even if I checked just a few minutes ago.  But he enjoys being in his crate (he's a den animal after all) and he often whines himself into getting scraps of our dinner- including a whole rack of ribs that were not so great for people but perfect for him, and New York Steak, because there was left overs. 

We let him run around outside for several hours in the morning and before bed at night so he can run off some energy.  I try to hang out with him as mush as the heat and my  boredom will allow.  We have a big backyard and he runs the distance of it several times at top speed.  The other night I called him in and he didn't answer.  I went outside and he still wasn't coming.  I can usually hear him before I see him, the thu-thu-thump, thu-thu-thump of his stride, warning me to plant my feet incase he decides to do a running leap at me.  Nothing.  Shit.

So I put my shoes on and remember the words I have heard and read.  Huskies are escape artists, and once they get it in their heads to escape, they will wander, and if they see something to chase, they will chase.  And keep chasing.  Shit.

In a matter of 30 seconds my mind is going wild with visions of me driving up and down my neighborhood looking for a husky running faster than my car is supposed to go in a residential area.  I remember that he's chipped.  I hope he hasn't accidentally killed any of the unfortunate stray cats in the neighborhood, again.  I hope he hasn't gotten hit by a car.  My eyes start to well up a little.

Shoes on, I head for the door, cellphone set to flashlight mode.  Porch light on, I open the front door.

Hey look.

There's Max.  Trotting up the porch looking, well, bored.  Hey mom, can I go to bed now?  GAH!!!  You ridiculous dog!!  He didn't even go anywhere.  Or if he did, he came back.  Either way- he was safe at home.  I would have scolded him if I thought he knew what he was being scolded for, but I hugged him instead.  I noticed a lifted slat in the fence.  ONE lifted slat.  How my big dog slithered thru a slat I couldn't fit my calf through- I don't know.  Huskies don't really slither, you know?  My best friend said they must dislodge their shoulders and hip bones.  I'm not even sure how he got his head through it.

Two days later I am headed to the store with Jerkface.  I didn't want to get dressed so I was still in my short nighty and Jerkface will run into the store and buy the coffee creamer for me.  So I round the corner and look- there's Max.  What the???  I fixed the slat in the fence and- damn it!!  So I stop the car and get out.  In a short nighty.  No bra.  No shoes.  This is lovely.  Max runs over, and passes me.  I call him, leaning forward with my tits AND my ass hanging out.  Calling my big dumb dog.  He finally comes by me once more and I grab him and then walk him back home.  Jerkface is terrified I'm going to put Max in the car with us so I just walk him home.  No, it didn't occur to me to make Jerkface wait outside.  So while I didn't want to walk into the grocery store in my short nighty- apparently walking my DOG is ok.  Super.

Yesterday, we bought new slats and replaced the fence.  Ha HA Maximus!  No more unsupervised walkabouts for you!!  But look!  I got you one of those squeaky toys that you love so much that you chew the squeak right out of!!! 


Capable dumb

So yesterday SR posted results of a personality test.  The left brain/ right brain one.  He was 60/40 with the higher being the left brain. 

I clicked it and decided to take it, assuming I would be the exact opposite or 20 left/80 right.  It was about 12 questions and I answered them.  My results came back.

80 left/20 right. 

Wait, what???

80% left brained?  "I am logical, analytical and rational."

What??  Says who?

So I took it a second time and it came out the same.  Clearly this test is askew.  So I looked on line for a few more tests and they both came out the same.  Clearly left brain dominated. 

I popped on line and shared these results with my bestie.  She said "So you don't agree with the results that you are left brained, so you went on line and took two more tests to prove that you are not left brained?  That's very left brained of you." 


Logical, analytical and rational?  Ok, well I guess I DO try to stay calm instead of emotionally explode most of the time.  I will often try to see someone else's side in an argument or confrontation- simply because taking into account the other persons point of view just helps everyone.  I AM a pretty decent problem solver when things are a mess.  I have this process of looking at the problem from all sides and taking into account all the people involved and deciding what is more important and who benefits and all that.  It's quite effective.  I RARELY make snap decisions.  I'm never one to just say "hey lets do it!" without thinking about all the stakeholders in my life and how it might effect them. 

But does that mean I'm logical?  Of course not.  A rational person doesn't.... well, I know I've done something irrational lately.  Haven't I? 

So yes, this has been on my mind.  I did some research (oh my god) on the whole left brain/right brain thing and I think my assumption was that left brained people are really smart and right brained people are not.  No, not that they are NOT- but that they are more, I don't know, free spirited.  Left brain = type A.  Type A = bossy.  Bossy = not free spirited.  Free spirited = not smart??  Wait, that's not right. 

I guess my point is that I don't usually consider myself one of the 'smart people.'  I get lost in my own neighborhood and I have no idea which way is north unless I am looking at a GPS which tells me which direction I'm going.  Everywhere I go is "up".  I go up north, I go up to San Diego, and apparently San Diego is south???  All my life, Riverside was East, because you had to take the 91East to get there.  But now that I live in Riverside, I have no idea which way East is.  And if I'm not on the freeway, forget it!!

I have been happy to assume that I've been "capable dumb" my whole life.  Maybe I used to be that way- it's hard to remember what I thought of myself before my 30's.  I am not sure if I am, or if I have just believed it because maybe that's what people told me.  Whenever I do something impressive, people assume it's a stretch for me.  Or maybe I just make that assumption on my own and have been trying to sell it to people- and well, I can be a pretty decent salesperson, but I always assumed that was because of my boobs. 

See what I did there? I did it again!!!

I've been too much of a slut to be left brained, haven't I?

I don't think being left brained means I'm smart.  I understand that now.  I think it means that maybe I'm not as dumb as I thought I was.  If I take a moment to look at my life, and my achievements, I guess everything points to Not Dumb.  So why am I so hesitant to believe that?  Even when people point out those achievements, I brush them away with bird brained reasons for why I did it. 

My friends don't think I'm irrational or illogical.  I doubt they think I'm smart, but I don't think "dumb" is what comes to mind either.  I'm just Julie.  I'm my own descriptor.  Capable dumb.  Yes, that is a term I'm comfortable with.  That's probably not a good thing though.

I feel like maybe I have spend a lot of time thinking that smart people are humoring me.  There was a friend of mine, I called him Jack, don't ask, and he was mega smart.  He used to talk about all sorts of things that were over my head.  He never really let me get away with thinking I was too stupid to have a conversation with him.  (Conversing wasn't exactly our thing.)  He would talk to me about whatever smart people talk about and I would do my best to follow, and if he saw a blank look on my face, he would keep talking and then curve the conversation around to explain whatever it was that he lost me on.  He was super cool that way.  However, I always thought he was just being polite.

So now I have to figure out what this all means, and if it has had any effect on my life.  I think I AM left brained, based on the theory of what left brained means.  But what has been the effect on me from thinking I was right brained all my life.  Are my talents unused.  Have I missed opportunities because I didn't have the confidence to think I could succeed? 

For the record, I never would have considered myself artistic or creative like the right brain theory says. It was a process of elimination.  I'm clearly not THAT, so I must be this.  However, maybe I was wrong.  Maybe you CAN be a logical and rational slutty attention whore who secretly wishes people would break into song in every day life. 

It's all so double rainbow for me. 
What does it mean??


Smells like preteen spirit

Having a preteen is exhausting.

My 11 year old, or as I lovingly call him, Jerkface, is a particular blend of it.  For starters, he's a good looking kid.  If this is his "awkward phase" which 11 usually is, then I'm in serious trouble. He has his dad's good looks which I was afraid of.  His father, in his younger and healthier days was very handsome despite the fact that he was always stocky.  I admit that his good looks made up for a multitude of sins when we were dating.

Jerkface also has a mix of both me and his fathers personality.  Which means he is overly emotional, an attention whore, vain, chatty, a hypochondriac, afraid of strange things and a pretty good dancer.  I won't tell you which trait comes from which parent.  So chances are he will grow up to be handsome and charming, but with a dark side...AND a pretty good dancer.

Big fucking trouble.

The thing about preteens is that they are AWARE of their preteen status but think that it means something.  Being a preteen means you have not reached the asshole status that makes you a teenager, but that's your next step.  It's like being next at the checkout stand at the grocery store.  It's not your turn yet.  You can put  your items on the conveyor belt, but the cashier is not going to look at you just yet so don't try talking to her.  Preteens start talking to the cashier and trying to hand her money for the items that haven't been rung up yet because they think being next is as good as being first.  No.  Being next means you are NEXT.  Wait your turn, pal.  Simmer down.

Lets face it, teenage boys are assholes.  They are useful for household chores and later on, to lift things that are heavy- but they do it while whining and asking you to make them something to eat.  Or money.  Or the keys to your car.  Teenagers want to barter everything, or worse, they have the audacity to think the family dynamic is some sort of democracy.  I have a 19 year old, who I call PunkAss, so I know what I 'm talking about.  Just last month when he came home to visit he tried to tell me he didn't have to help with the dishes because he was on vacation.  I reminded him that this is not a hotel and unless he wants to pay me $69.99 and buy his own food, he will be happy to help out around the house and pick up his own damn mess.  Seriously dude, I may be cool, but I'm still your mother.

So Jerkface is a preteen.  With all of his 11 (almost 12) years of experience on this planet, he is certain that he is telepathic and doesn't need to listen to what I have to say because he knows already.  I can explain something once, twice, three times a lady and he will say "Ok Ok" - which is the universal code for, "I'm not listening anymore."  Then he will go and do something sort of in the vicinity of what I asked for, but not quite.  Sometimes not even close.

Jerkface has only one regular chore.  Doing the dishes/ cleaning the kitchen.  He took over this job after PunkAss went off the Marines.  He is not very good at it.  Every few days I have to go in and ACTUALLY clean the kitchen, wipe the counters and often rewash some dishes.  I don't complain about it too much, because his version of tidying up is often sufficient for my sanity.  However, I do acknowledge that he doesn't do a great job.  He has been asking me for an allowance.  He wants weekly money so he can, buy stuff.  By stuff, I know he means candy and other miscellaneous junk.  I don't know what he needs more junk for anyway.  My kids are not without snacks around here.  Hello, do I have the ass of a woman who doesn't keep snacks around the house?  The kids expect some sort of dessert every night, thank you ex husband for starting THAT horrible tradition.  There is no lack of chips, soda, and cookies around here.  We have pizza at least once a week, every week.

I started out giving him an allowance when he took on having chores, but that deal was quickly rescinded when he had to be reminded to do his chore constantly.  He would do whatever he could to get out of it.  Complain of being too tired, or not feeling well, or whatever dumb excuses an 11 year old can come up with.  Sometimes I would give in, sometimes not.  Then, when I noticed the piss poor quality of his work, I said I wasn't going to pay him for it, and YES he still has to do it.

I got an allowance when I was a kid.  I think the intention is to teach kids the value of a dollar and how to save their money etc.  Didn't do me any good at all.  My allowance was always blown the same day I got it and to this day still tend to shop within a few days of payday and have little to no savings.
He asked me again last week about getting an allowance again, since the complaining and angling for ways out has lessened.  At the time, I was cleaning some dishes I had used for baking.  I said. "No and here's why."  I opened the dishwasher and showed him bowl upon bowl of "clean" dishes that were in fact NOT clean.  I told him how often I have to rewash things before I use them.  I pointed out the mini crock pot that had water soaking in it for 4 days now.  Gross.  I told him that when he actually starts doing a good job, perhaps there will be rewards, but no promises of gold.

His efforts to improve lasted about two days before is started to slack off again.  I have asked SR numerous times if we can pay someone to come in and clean the house.  Not daily, but maybe once a week.  Have someone come in and do the floors, the counters, the bathrooms, vaccuum, wash the sheets and remake the beds.  Three hours tops.  How much could that possibly cost.  Personally I think it's worth it.  A few hundred dollars for me to have a clean house AND a big ass is a win/win for me.

So today I gave Jerkface a simple task of throwing out the cat box and sweeping the floor.  No not, cleaning the cat box, but putting the whole think in the bag- and out to the trash because I got her a new one.  First he complained about why HE should have to do it.  Then he tried to get me to do part of it.  Then he whined and said "Ok Ok." 
Can you see where this is going??

Seriously- this is a pretty easy job.  Take offensive box and slide it into a garbage bag.  So I go into the room where he is doing this task, and I see him trying to dump the box into a bag, and then half of it spilling on to the floor.  Ack!!  At least it's a tile floor and not carpeting.  He looks at me and attempts to BLAME ME for this because I should have helped him.

Ho there- cowboy!!!  If you has LISTENED to me in the first place you would know that I instructed you to throw the whole thing in the trash.  Not dump it.  I made it as easy as possible for you.  So this is not MY fault.  This is your fault for being a jerk, you asshole. 

Ok, I didn't say that last part- but he's telepathic.  He knew what I meant. 


Pink boxes

I stopped on my way home from work for cronuts. 

At 3:35 in the afternoon I exited the freeway because I know two things about this street. 
1) There's a gas station and I am dangerously low on gas.
2) The donut place on this street sells cronuts.

I have not been to this particular donut place before, but it's been spoken of and I've had the cronuts from there and they are fantastic.

Cronuts are my new guilty pleasure.  They are an East Coast creation, I think- a hybrid between a croissant and a donut.  They are sweet and crispy and flaky and to DIE FOR.

I had cronuts on Tuesday after my meeting.  So this is twice in one week.  I can't help myself.  They are delicious and I am a shameless fat girl who recently discovered that some donut places have drive thru's.

I pulled up to the donut place and say the sign that said Cash Only.  Having no cash on me, I decided to take it as a sign and go get some gas and get back on the freeway and go home.  I don't need another pastry this week.  I have not received any good news from my big meeting, so I have nothing to celebrate.  I'm working a lot this week so there's been no time to cook, so we've been eating out every night.  No pastries.  Move on, Julie. 

So I leave and stop at the gas station and while my tank is filling in inquire with my chat room friends if they think they even HAVE cronuts this late in the day.  The consensus is probably.  I look to my right and see a bright neon sign marking that there is an ATM inside the store.  An ATM.  Well, that's a sign too.  I could GET cash and then I would have cash on me.  The donut store is one block away.  SR really does love the cronuts as well, so it's not like it's just for me. 

I reason these things out in my head as I am already walking towards the building.  I haven't exactly made up my mind yet, but it never hurts to have cash on me, right?  I withdraw cash and get back in my car.  I know if I don't get them, I will be thinking about it all night.  This is how my food brain works.  When I want something sweet, it's almost impossible for me to focus on anything else until I satisfy that craving.  I have a horrible sweet tooth, the worst I've ever known on an adult.  I am never not in the mood for candy and when there is something sweet in the house, it is really hard to resist eating it, often in the middle of the night.

So without actually deciding to get the cronuts, I am making the left hand turn towards the sweet flaky love cakes.  This place is a walk up window (the other place I go to is a drive thru) and I see only three types of cronuts in the window. 

Vanilla Glaze, Nutella, and Oreo Cookie.  Oh my god, get in my fucking mouth.

The vanilla glaze is completely covered in glaze, and the Nutella and Oreo Cookie are simply topped with Nutella or cream and Oreos, respectively. They are $3.45 each.  Holy hell.  I consider just getting one for SR and I, but for about $10 more I could have kids singing my praises tonight as I'm already ordering pizza for dinner.  I decide it's worth it and get 5.   I opt for three Nutella and two Oreo.  The angel in the window puts the fresh strawberries in the Nutella ones and puts all but one into a pink box. 

Pink boxes are reserved for pastries.  I'm not sure when pink because the official box color for baked goods, but the sight of that pink box always makes me smile like a kid.  It's always a fun surprise to see what is inside any pink box of sweet tasty treats. 

The last Oreo cronut she has put into a clear plastic box, because she didn't want them to get smooshed in the box.  So thoughtful as now I have something to look at and adore for the rest of my drive home.  I stop to take a photo of the cronut in the clear box and post it to my friends in the chat room.  I am less worried about looking like a gluttonous fatty, and more concerned with making my friends envious at my pink boxed treasures. 

My bestie says it looks to die for.  I think to myself that if it kills me, it will be worth it.

I drive home, glad that I only got 5 because if I had gotten 6, I surely would have eaten one on the drive home, and then declared that I only got 5- one for each of us, keeping my drive-time cronut a secret.  I can be horribly immoral when it comes to food. 

When I got home, SR ate his cronut right away, offering me the first bite.  This is one of the many reasons I love this man.  While he has ordered me on the elliptical nightly, he never denies me dessert.  While his love for sweets is not half as strong as mine, he never mocks me, or my big ass. 

Now my mind is on that cronut.  The delectable Oreo with icing, and the sweet flaky cronut is on my mind and I really could care less about the pizza I'm ordering for dinner.  The cronut would be quite enough for me really- but SR would not really let me get away with that. 

Tonight is the last night of take out for at least a week.  On deadline weeks for work, I cannot make time to cook.  If I have the forethought at 5AM, I can throw something in the crockpot, but I haven't done that this week.  Or if I at least have defrosted meat that is at least a start- but I have not done that this week, so it's take out again.  Pizza is the only thing that can be delivered to our neighborhood- so that's what it will be.  They really should deliver more things.  Chinese or burgers would be great.  Mexican food would be AMAZING. 

Although nothing sounds good at the moment because all I want is that damn cronut.

I think this is going to be a problem.


2.5 hours of my life

Yesterday was my big meeting.  Here's how my morning went.
6:00 Alarm goes off
6:06 Alarm goes off again
6:12 Turn alarm off and lay in bed calculating how much time it will take for me to get ready in order to be at meeting on time.
6:30 get out of bed and let Max outside
6:32 shower
6:45 check the time and realize I forgot to buy coffee creamer on my way to turn on my keurig.   Remember that I have some powdered creamer stashed in pantry.
6:50  do my hair
6:52 open my makeup bag to eye that my black eyeshadow had broken and has covered everything inside my bag.
6:53 venture to kitchen to make coffee and get a pair of gloves.
6:54 - 6:58 search for powdered creamer remembering I gave it to SR for the boat. Curse myself for not buying milk.
6:59 apply makeup using gloved hand to reach into bag and not get it all over my hands
7:10 check traffic on Google maps and plan to leave house by 7:40.
7:11-7:15 check email and quickly puruse Facebook
7:15 lock psycho kitty in the bathroom because that bitch will attack while I'll trying to put on my nylons
7:16-7:20 search for cigarette,  forcing me to allow psycho kitty out of the bathroom
7:21 lock psycho kitty back in bathroom
7:22 check traffic again to see if traffic has gotten worse in past 12 minutes. It has. Plan to leave house at 7:35
7:24 put on cute flowy black skirt and green top
7:26 contemplate jewelry,  but the only earring/ necklace set I have is gold and my shirt has silver accents.  Wonder why I don't have more earrings.  I love earrings.
7:28 carefully put on Hanes Queen 2 nylons marveling at how smart I am for thinking to ban the psycho kitty from running my nylons with her claws of doom
7:29 search for shoes maneuvering around the house being sure not to brush my leg up against anything
7:31 find shoes,  purse,  and e-cig. 
7:33, let psycho kitty out of the bathroom by opening the door slightly giving myself time to exit the bedroom before psycho kitty attacks my legs,  and ruins my nylons
7:34 exit house through the garage and walk to car
7:35 re-enter house to find keys,  go back to the car
7:38 re-enter garage for soda, go back to the car
7:39 re-enter bedroom for lipstick,  dodging and waving a t-shirt at the psycho kitty to keep her away from my legs.  GET BACK EVIL FELINE!
7:41 get back in car,  check traffic again.  Travel time has increased by 8 minutes in past 20 minutes. 
7:43 exit my neighborhood wondering why Google maps does not think I know how to navigate out of my own neighborhood. Remember how many times I have, in fact, gotten lost inside this neighborhood.
7:45-8:20 marvel at the fact that there is no traffic going in this direction while I drive and incessantly check, to make sure I'm going in the right direction.   Practically perform fellatio on my Dr Pepper in order not to spill any on my shirt.
8:20-8:22 Arrive at location and double check directions to make sure I'm at the right address and correct building.  Still in the car, finish soda, apply lipstick- snap photo of said lipstick and send to the girls to make sure it's not too much red.
8:23 girl parked in the car next to me reaches into her car on the passenger side.  Flashes me adorable blue and white polka-dot panties.  Facebook the event
8:25 exit car and go into big meeting,  amazed that I have not run my nylons or spilled soda in my shirt.

We'll see if it pays off. I'll let you know.


And they call it.... puppy looooove

So tonight in a conversation I had about Weird Al (no, I do NOT have a Weird Al obsession) and I was saying my favorite song from him is White and Nerdy, cause you know, Donny Osmond....

Which then made me go back and watch the video, and then I looked for others.  Then I spend approximately 4 hours watching Donny Osmond on YouTube.  Interviews, skits, special appearances etc.  I get like that. 

Yes, I do love Donny Osmond.  I admit it.  I'm not ashamed.  Not in a "I have all his albums and I still have the Teen Beat pin ups he did."  Nothing like that.  I have just always enjoyed him as an entertainer and he continues to show up in my life like a favorite cousin from out of state.  Pops in to visit, makes you laugh and smile and then goes away again.  Gone, but not forgotten.
  • I was born the year he recorded "Puppy Love" and "Go Away Little Girl" and I was around 8 or 9 when the Donny and Marie show went off the air.  I remember the Donny and Marie dolls my next door neighbor had.  He was in a pink and purple outfit that matched Marie's dress.  Don't get me started on how I love Marie Osmond.
  • He resurfaced in my life in 1989, with Soldier of Love, which is a song I did love, and then Sacred Emotion.... swoon.  Those were the years of Richard Marx and Michael Bolton, so all the songs sorta sounded like that. 
  • In the late 90's he Marie did another TV show that I used to watch whenever I was home during the day.  He was funny, he made me laugh.  Marie was funny and sassy. 
  • He was on an Episode of Friends, doing Pyramid. 
  • He did Dancing with the Stars a few years back- kicked ass.  Won. 
  • Last week while I was in Vegas I was at Caesars Palace, right across the street from the Flamingo, where there is the Donny and Marie theater and he performs there weekly.
So Donny Osmond has been sort of a recurring presence in my life and I've always adored him. 

Now before you laugh at me, let me explain something.  He's just a decent guy and a good performer.  He's been married for like 35 years.  Since he was 20.  That's impressive for a guy in show business who has had a pretty tough time of it.  Big success, big failure.   No scandalous rumors, no drugs or alcohol problems.  He's squeaky clean and he's still VERY entertaining. 

It's odd that I would find someone like this so appealing to me, you know, with my affinity for drug addicts and bad boys.  However, there is something refreshing about it.  You just don't see it often.  He's a guy who knows how to work a crowd and he can make people laugh and he seems to have a pretty good sense of humor.  He also just has nothing to hide, I mean, he went on the Howard Stern show and admitted that he doesn't have oral sex.  He would do that for his wife if she asked, and that he would never ask his wife for oral sex.  Hmmmm, ok, I find that odd- but who am I to judge what people do or don't do in the privacy of their own bedroom?    I mean, I'm sure what I do in the bedroom might seem odd to people.  Well, then again, what I mostly do in the bedroom is play Facebook games on my phone and fold laundry while trying to stave off attacks from my stupid cat.  I know not everyone does that.

So yes, I do love Donny Osmond- what's not to love??   I think we all hang on to things from our childhood and he was a part of the childhoods of most of us who grew up in the 70's.  I tend to silently hoard the good memories I have of my childhood.  Take them out to relive them when I can and quietly tuck them back away as so not to be marred by anyone else's memories or even harsh realities. 

I like having my childhood crushes and hero's and leaving them in that nice little space.  I decided early on that I HATED MTV's Behind the Music because it made me sad to hear about the drug problems and sex addiction and drunken binges of my favorite artists.  I stopped watching them because I really disliked knowing some of the horrible truths about these people.  I know they are humans and they have problems and addictions, and horrible things that they go thru, and I respect each persons individual journey through life, however, it also somewhat invades the quiet space I hold for these people.  If I don't see it on the daily news, then I don't need to tune in for MTV to come and shatter my perceptions.  What I have managed to do though, is see them in concert as an adult, like Duran Duran and Rick Springfield- allowing me an experience I didn't have as a child, with the ones I loved when I was one.

Next time I go to Vegas, I think I might have to take in that show at the Flamingo, and let the memories live on for a few more years. 


Word crimes, indeed.

Today, I saw a tweet from the well known parody writer, Weird Al apologizing because he didn't know the word spastic was offensive.

I didn't know it was offensive.

I read some of the comments and some of the reasons why people were offended by it.  Apparently the word is sometimes used as a derogatory word for people with cerebral palsy.  In the song, he did say "a spastic," a noun.  As far as my limited memory goes, spastic has been shortened to spaz and is usually reserved for people who are...well, spazzing out.  Acting kind of crazy or uncontrolled.  Danny sometimes acts spazzy.  I tell him to stop spazzing out.  I am not insinuating that he has cerebral palsy, or anything to do with cerebral palsy.  I am not intending to offend anyone by using a word or phrase that SOME PEOPLE use as derogatory to some people with a disease.

There is so much talk about shaming lately.  Offensive words and things that hurt our delicate sensibilities.  I don't really HAVE delicate sensibilities.  If someone calls me a name, a) maybe it's true b) maybe they don't know me very well or c) they are just not very smart or mature.  If someone uses a word in my presence- I acknowledge it for what it is.  It's a word.  Sticks and stones and all.

I know that bullying is real.  I know that saying something hurtful and degrading to someone with cerebral palsy, with the intent to shame or bully that person- that sucks.  Doesn't matter what words they use.  When an attack is personal, it hurts on a personal level.  But when someone is using a word because it also rhymes with "fantastic"- I don't think his intention is to hurt, degrade or offend anyone.

Nobody seemed bothered by the fact that the whole SONG completely rags on people with bad grammar.  Have we looked at test scores in the US?  Are we surprised that people have bad grammar skills?  Should people who can't spell very well also be offended?  What about people with dyslexia?  Grammar snobs are praising the song because there's nothing more offensive than noticing someone misused an apostrophe.  Even though you KNOW what they meant.  A misspelled word does not render the sentence complete gibberish.  Maybe I'm offended that you INSIST on pointing out every fucking mistake I make.  Stop nagging me, bitches.  If you cant hang, dont hang.

Yes I did that on purpose.

The article I read went on to say something about expecting a level of sensitivity from celebrities.  Ok, remember Fat? White and Nerdy? Canadian Idiot?  Oh but those were funny!!!  If you don't like people who get laughs at the expense of another person, you simply can't leave the house, or watch TV, or go on the internet, or listen to the radio, or have friends.

Don't get me wrong.  Hate speech is real.  It is a personal attack on a person, or a group.  Words with the intent to hurt, usually hit their mark.  Words that are said without the intent to hurt anyone, will only hurt people if they are standing around waiting to jump in front of them.  I can be an activists just waiting for someone to oppress me, or I can acknowledge a persons intent.

This is not turning a blind eye to real and true bullying, oppression, or shaming,  This is using my eyes, and my ears and my brain to know that without intent- it's not intended for anything malicious.


What shopping is like for me

I'm not one of those girls who LOVES to shop for clothes.  While walking thru Target I may stop at a rack of v-neck T-shirts for $9 on my way to buy a fan, sure, but when I am looking for something to wear- I hate it.

I enjoy shopping for at places like the .99 store where I can find tin foil, individual pizza crusts, and knick knacks for my cat to knock off my dresser.  Hey look, a cute pair of ankle socks!  And this mango juice is delicious.  My .99 shopping is fun and somewhat carefree.  I pick up whatever is there for .99 and rarely do I have a "list."  Did you know they sell produce there?  Ok it's not always the BEST produce, but if I need something for dinner TONIGHT or tomorrow, it does just fine.  I once found these little misshaped potatoes called "fingerling potatoes."  They do look like the fat fingers of a giant, but they were pretty tasty.  I baked them to death, smashed them open individually and sprinkled them with butter and cheese.  They were a hit.

Anyway, this weekend I needed to shop for something to wear on Tuesday because I have a meeting that I'm not going to discuss until it's over.  I needed business casual.  BUSINESS casual, not just casual but not unsuitable for work.  I pondered the contents of my closet and realized that nothing was sufficient.  Not in a "everything is so old and I hate my wardrobe" kind of way, but that nothing is "important meeting" sufficient.  My work clothes currently consist of scrub pants and a scrub top, or a V-neck tshirt.  Slacks?  Nope. A top made of anything that is not cotton and doesn't give off too much cleavage?  nope.  Anything without some sort of stain?  Nope.

Nothing sufficient.

So shop I must.  This is an important meeting, so I must be my business casual best.  I do have a few long flowy skirts but they are really bright colors and patterns.  I love them, and they are suitable for the office, but I don't think they will do.

I don't have any straight business skirts.  The size of my midsection often keeps me from buying anything snug.  After two c'sections 15 months apart, my C-section scar is more like the Dead Zone.  And any of the fat that I was carrying before just sort of falls over it.  So my mid section is an ass behind, not much for ACTUAL hips and a smaller, but still noticeable ass shape up front.

So my goal was to find a skirt or pants and a top that was nice, no cleavage and long enough to cover the mid section.  Or nice dress, with sleeves, no cleavage and a solid color.  I realized early that I only have black shoes, so a light color will not do.  So ok a BLACK skirt or pants.

I started at Kohls, because they have great sales and a good selection.  They were having a sale on their clearance stuff.  However, the clearance stuff is all summer clothes.  Bright and sleeveless.  Seriously, whats with the war on sleeves??  The stuff that was not on sale, that was solid colored, no cleavage and had sleeves was far out of my budget.  And pants, oh yeah, pants for short fat people are not easy to find.  Sure a petite section is helpful, but nobody expects someone in a size 16 to only be 5 feet tall.  Even in the petites section.

They really should have a short and fat section.  It's not like we short and fat types are not aware of it.

So I went next door to Target.  Yes, I know it's a long shot.  I found things that would be suitable for the office, passable for business casual with the right skirt or toss a light sweater over it- but not suitable for the important meeting.

The next recommendation I got was Burlington Coat Factory.  I laughed at the absurdity of walking into a COAT factory in the middle of July, in the Inland Empire, but I trust the people who suggested it.  I walked in and saw lots of racks of womens clothes arranged in haphazard rows.  Ah, perfect.  More of a DD's Discounts or Ross type place.  I can work with this.  So I hit the ladies section and-

You know, why is there that assumption that big women are not "ladies"?  There's the ladies section and the plus size is the Women's section.  They should just call it the "socially acceptable size" section and the "you should lost some weight" section.  Fuckers.

I am somewhere between ladies and womens.  (Short and fat?)  So I can find the right XL top and XL skirt if I'm lucky.

Anyway, 10 minutes in and I remember why I asked SR to accompany me (to which he said no).  I have no REAL fashion sense.  I love bright colors and patterns.  I am perfectly happy for my tops to look like a scene out of Where's Waldo or a psychedelic paisley acid trip.  SR hates this.  He hates patterns.  He's all about solid colors, and MAYBE stripes.  I grabbed a light weight polka dotted top with a cute cinchy collar.  A bright green top with navy tubes all over it that reminded me of the TUBES screen saver.  A two piece tank and knit short sleeve top in a greyish color, and a purple wrap top with the silver buckle thing.  I also found a black skirt that was strechy but came just above the knees.  Also I grabbed this light grey top with these ruffly things up front.  Kind of like the 70's tuxedo shirts.  I'm not sure why I loved this top so much, but I really did.  Except it's banded at the bottom.  OK- REALLY??

The purple wrap.  Ohh this is too tight.  WAY too tight.  It was like Barney in spandex.  Is this the right size or am I really just that fat?

The polka dotted top.  It was a snug fit and I knew that if I took too deep a breath it was going to tear at the seams under my arms.  Getting it on was a challenge, but getting it off was much harder.  I was afraid I was going to tear it.  Oh Julie, NEVER put on things that don't stretch.  I imagined myself stuck in the dressing room with my arms in the air trapped in this shirt and needing someone to come help me pull it over my head.

After noticing the NON stretch material on the green and navy tube shirt I opt to not bother trying it on.

The two piece grey.  Passable.  Its long enough, flowy.  Comfortable.  I took a picture and sent it to my girls on standby while I shopped and it got a thumbs up.  I also sent a pic of the grey ruffle one, to with my bestie replied, "I like the other one better." Which I think was her way of saying, "Ummm no stupid!"  So fine.  This one wins by default.

This is how I shop.  It it fits, it wins.

I have a skirt and a top.  So I'm done.  I have an outfit for the important meeting and now I can go home and not think about how if I lost weight I wouldn't have this problem.  I walk towards the nylon section, reminding myself that I cannot wear leggings, when I spot the skirt section.  I rummage through and find a knee length flowy skirt.  I love flowy skirts.  They are perfect for fat girls with their elastic waists and material that lays OVER your body, not on it.  It's my size, it's $9. I grab it.  Make a mental note that the beautiful and bright patterned skirts are in abundance here.  And cheap.

I'm not going to the dressing room again.  It's not very well ventilated in that part of the store.  It's warm and kind of smells like feet.  I use this as the reason I was 10 seconds from breaking a sweat trying on clothes. I select a pair of queen sized Hanes nylons and a second pair, just in case and because I'm ME and will probably run them in the car.  On my way to the counter I spot a green top with little sparklies on the shoulders.  SHINY.  I inspect it.  Just three silver shiny studs on the front of each shoulder.  It's a stretchy material.  My size.  $9.  I grab it too.

I head straight for the checkout counter and look at the gawdy, chunky and FABULOUS bracelets but I opt not to get one, but make another mental note for later.  $56 for two outfits with nylons.  Both suitable for the important meeting.  I feel accomplished and relieved that I didn't have to go to the mall, which was my next stop if I didn't find anything.  I loathe the mall.  I avoid it whenever possible.  I only go there because there isn't a free standing Lane Giant close by.

As I leave the store, I wonder if there really IS a market for a short and fat store.  I think there is.


before the reunion

I asked SR tonight if he would go with me to my 25 year high school reunion.

First, I know what you are thinking, 25 years?  Who has a reunion at 25 years?  Didn't you catty bitches get together at 20 years?  Why, yes we did.  We had a blast.  I suppose that is why they are having another one just 5 years later, because we are so damn special that we have to celebrate our escape from high school every 5 years until more than 50% of the student body is dead.  Then we'll go every 10.

My 20 year reunion was a lot of fun and while I made the HORRIBLE mistake of driving home drunk, that won't happen again.

I didn't MEAN to drive home drunk.  When you have your last drink at 11pm and it's now 2AM, you don't think you are still drunk.  I didn't think I was drunk at 11pm.  Sure I had a good buzz on me, but nothing that should not have worn off in 4 hours.  It wasn't until I got out of the car that I realized I was drunk, because I didn't just get out of the car- I fell out.  I actually FELL and hit the ground.  My first thought was OH SHIT, that was a bad idea.  My next thought was- how am I supposed to actually get into my apartment.

So I won't be driving drunk this year.  If I don't have a designated driver, I will probably only have one drink, if I drink at all- although I suspect the alcohol was part of the reason I was having such a great time having gone alone with no bestie in tow.

The husband is 2 years gone now, and he went to high school with me- so I suspect people may ask me the questions about what happened to him.  It's one of those questions that I always hate to answer for people who knew and remembered him fondly.  It feels shitty to tell the ugly truth to people who knew him in 2nd grade.  That just seems mean.

Part of the reason I want to go is because I actually DO keep in touch with some of these people.  I see them on Facebook on an almost daily basis and if I was a more "get out of the house and meet for drinks" kind of person, I might actually hang out with many of them.  I am fascinated by their lives.  I love seeing vacation pictures and I'm astonished that the girls I thought were so beautiful and fantastic in high school, still seem beautiful and fantastic.  It's not jealousy or envy, it's just a fact.  I know, however, that everyone is fantastic on Facebook.  If people were posting about their shitty job, cheating spouses, or the pile of bills they would be judged as whiners.  So of course we talk about how fantastic life is, because that is what Facebook and reunions are all about.  Looking fantastic and then getting together to prove it, even if it isn't true.

My hope is that they will not ask me too many questions or make stupid remarks about my alternative lifestyle.  Although I'm sure it will come up at one point or another.  I'm ok with that.  I knew putting my life out there that people may ask questions about it.  If I was ashamed of it, I wouldn't have put it on facebook.  Facebook is no place for shame.

Oh, I had a point with this.

I asked SR if he wanted to come with me and he said, "ummmm maybe."  Which is closer to "yes" than "we'll see" which means no.  In truth, I don't care if he comes with me or not.  I am used to going to social things alone and I do well at socializing and slipping out when nobody is paying attention.    That way I don't get the "ohhh are you leaving already?" question even though we have long run out of things to talk about.

I am trying not to have too high of expectations because the 20 was so great, the 25 could be a horrible bust.  I suspect less people will travel if they were here just 5 years ago.  No matter, I plan to show up, have a fabulous time, and slip out when nobody is paying attention.  That's how I roll, and also how I don't feel weird leaving alone.  It's odd to walk out of a loud room filled with people who are so happy to see you, and then be out in the parking lot by myself.  There's something weird and sad feeling about it, and I'd rather not make the rounds of goodbyes- only to end up in the parking lot alone.

However SR may come with me, and when I'm out with him I always feel like a million bucks.  He makes me feel comfortable and our mixed anxiety about the noise and the crowd brings us together.  Also, it's nice to have someone to grab onto in case I trip in my heels.  If I go alone, I will not be wearing heels.

The tickets are a bit pricey, but I don't think they are any more than they were 5 years ago.  It's nice that inflation has not effected the reunion market.  I already have the perfect dress to wear and this is a good excuse to get my nails done again.  I will have to color the gray out of my hair, but I'm proud of myself for not giving a damn about this to kill myself losing weight before this thing.  It's been 25 years, if anyone is going to judge me for the size of my ass- well they can kiss it in the process.

Bring it on reunion!


Random things about me- because I am done working for the night.

I hate working, although I love my job. 

I am a jealous woman, by nature, but I am also totally aware of it, and take responsibility for my own ridiculous-ness, so it doesn't control my life.

I tend to love people forever, even if I decide I can't stand your face or that you need to be as far away from me as possible.  I am nostalgic about "the good times."

I'm optimistic about most things, except love.

I truly believe that happy endings are stories that just haven't finished yet. 

Being around my friends is one of the only true ways I can "get my mind off of things" but usually the last thing I think of.

I lose my keys daily,  Seriously, every day at some point I am looking for my keys.

Unless they are on my feet, I'm never quite sure where my shoes are.

I don't wear a watch, because if I did I would be obsessed with the time.

I drink alcohol very sparingly.

I smoke an e-cig, and probably ingest more nicotine than I ever did when I actually smoked cigarettes.

I think I'm a pretty lovely person and I never understand when people don't like me.  What's not to like about me? 

I ate deer once when I was a kid.  I thought it was delicious, but people now tell me that deer is very gamey.  I have no idea what that means. 

I know at least three people who would, without question, drive me to the airport.

I wish my boobs were bigger.  Not just perkier, but actually bigger. 

As long as I have space to move my keyboard and mouse around, I really don't care if my desk is a mess.

I have never met an ice cream flavor I didn't like.

I am certain that if I die in my sleep, my cat will try to eat me.

I once ate something that my dad said was octopus, I still have no idea if it really was or not.

I don't ride rollercoasters, because if I wanted to throw up, I'd just drink more often.

Because I am a female, ethnic, a single mother AND a widow, I think that puts me at a pretty high level of "disadvantaged" and I think I should pay less taxes because of it, even though I don't.

I am not good at my usage of apostrophes.

I don't always correct my typos because I don't care enough about not hurting the grammar and spelling nazis.

I just wrote 23 writing queues without even trying....  hey, would you look at that!!!


Maybe too much "Focus"

Automobile care and awareness has become automobile paranoia.

After decades of driving cars pretty much into the ground because I have not taken care of them well, SR has me convinced that every time a light flickers or a sound is made that the car is going to BURST into flames.

I drive a 13 year old car.  It's got about 145K miles on it.  I drive at least 500 miles a week, seriously.  So the car is gonna have issues.  I don't know of any car that is made to handle that for a sustained period of time, let along after it's 13 years old.  So I expect some issues on a regular basis.

However, because it has been ground into my head that I can't IGNORE my car the way I have in the past and the way I drive is not "conducive" to a car's long life, I am hyper vigilant about it.

What's the sound?  Was that a light on the dashboard.  Shit, why don't the lights flash long enough for me to see what fucking light it was???  It's driving weird Sir.  It feels like it's "heavy."  There's a "clicky sound."  It's feels "jerky" I'm not moving.  The oil light only seems to flash when I'm stopped or in slow traffic.  It's smooths out when I get into 4th gear, or maybe that's third gear- wait, automatics have gears??

Yes, I am generally ignorant about cars and what makes them run.  I was shocked to find that the "head gasket" was just a seal and not some huge chunk of the engine.  I don't know cars.  I don't WANT to know cars.  I want my cars like I want my pain medication.  Just fucking work.

So I have noticed some weird "jerkiness" that we deciphered was a misfire.  Ok, replace a wire or something and the engine light flashing is gone, and it feels fine.  Wait, there's the flashing engine light again.  But it feels fine once the car is warmed up- no flashing engine light.  Ok, so I will let it warm up.  Yeah, it's fine now.

This morning I am letting the car warm up and when I finally get it- the engine light is on.  It's not flashing, it's just a solid on.  But wait, the engine doesn't feel jerky.  So why is the light on??  WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON????

So I drive it to the vets office, and then to get my nails done an come home.  Maybe 10 miles tops.  The entire time I am listening to the car run, I'm feeling the engine.  Is it jerky?  Is it idling too low, too high?  I can't drive like this.  I'm too busy and panicked listening to the car that I am not focused on the road.

I realize that I'm not a GREAT driver.  I tend to take my foot off the gas a lot.  I brake to late, I take off to hard.  I neglect the fluids.  OK, this has been drilled into my head.  I have had my dad and SR have fixed my car enough times that they both feel entitled to tell me that my car shouldn't be so messy.  And that I should drive better.  And that I should PAY attention.  So yes, I'm a bit paranoid now.  I cannot drive 50+ miles to work safely when I'm constantly looking at the dash board for an engine or an oil light warning me of impending doom.  I have a better chance of crashing into the car ahead of me because I was looking at the dashboard then actually rear ending someone- which I have also been known to do.

So I have gone from being ignorant to paranoid.  I already reserved a rental car- and I'm going to take my car in today and have them figure out what the deal is with the light.  And then I'm going to have my brakes checked next week.  And then the motor mounts fixed- because while I am told that the motor will NOT fall out of the engine and this can wait til we have the money, it seems that something that fastens the ENGINE to the car should be addressed with a quickness- even though it's been like 6 or 7 months.

I'm going to drop more money than I want to on this, but you gotta spend money to make money right?  And this car gets me to work.

And really, I don't want the car to burst into flames on the freeway.
I don't want to die in a 2001 Ford Focus.