Sunday, June 27, 2010

MMA Scavenger hunt

A previous post I mentioned I was branching out to try new things. What I did today, I was very nervous about doing. The Meet Market Adventures website is a site for single people to do things in a group. They have a pretty large array of activities that vary from after work socials to bungee jumping to trips. I've been a member of the site for a while but was too nervous to actually sign up.

Why? Well, what kind of wacky people in NYC would also go? I am mostly sane, but there are a lot of weirdos out there. Or would the activity bring in people that were way older than me? It is not a dating site, but you hope to meet people you can get along with, maybe make new friends, that type of thing.

So I signed up for a scavenger hunt on the Lower East Side. Arrival time was 12:45pm and we were to begin at 1 sharp. At 1, there were only two of us plus the host. The guy that showed up was beginning to drive me mad, he was overly cocky/funny. We decided to wait longer...two other guys showed up, at 1:30 one more lady showed up. OK, so out of the 15 people registered, 5 showed up....does this say something about the type of people/group? I don't know. We we split into two teams, my team had the cocky/funny guy on there but he decided to leave as soon as we left, thinking it was too hard and he had no idea what a scavenger hunt was. I was happy about this. So it was just me & this kid Eddy.
Now, we met at a bar on 27th but the hunt was mostly on 10th & ave 2 - C. Not many subways...so the walk alone to get to where we wanted to go was far...especially in the hot humid weather. There were 26 questions. Score would be calculated by the right answer AND having a picture of the answer with the group in it. I think we answered about 10 in the 2 1/2 hours. AND some of the answers that were correct was not what the right answers were...thank goodness we had to take pictures of the answer so we can get that kind of credit.

I like to win. I like competition. But I was going through this, and was OK with being second...even if it was the loosing team. After a while we were loosing momentum because of the heat, and because we would disagree with some answers. At one point we were so hot, we stopped for a yogurt, and Eddy bought one for me, nice. I later purchased our illegal taxi ride back to the bar (because it was so hot & we were a little late).

My partner, Eddy was a nice kid. Glad he ended up being my partner as he seemed the most sane & fun. He was outgoing and we talked the whole time, which is really hard for me. He asked me a lot of questions that I had a hard time answering, and I realized (because he brought it up) that L was right about my half smile/smirk, I must do that a lot when I am uncomfortable or do not know how to respond to people. Oh well. Eddy, after only 90 minutes pegged me pretty good, aside from the 'girly girl' part. HAHA, right, me a girly girl? Anyway, I was shocked that I was so readable. I guess it happens.

Now it is time to head back. Our scores are being tallied up, and we end up winning because the other team only took a few pictures of themselves with the clues, even though they had ONE more right answer than us. YEAH, we won! So, what was our prize? I came back with a $25 gift certificate off of one of the next activities I sign up for AND she also gave us a freebe to a specific activity. I wasn't thrilled with the freebe ones, and the trivia night was gotten quickly by someone else, so it was either bar crawl or date smarter seminar. I went with the seminar, since I probably need that. :)

It was a fun day, a hot day. It was nice having a small group, but a few more people would have been nice. My biggest complaint is just that the hunt was far from the meeting point AND the directions indicated to have an unlimited subway pass...which I purchased for $8.25 (the price drastically increased from a few years ago at $4) and only used it twice, not getting my $$ worth. I like the concept of this, and maybe next time, I won't be so nervous about doing something where I don't know anyone, since everyone that showed up was in fact there alone.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Forgiveness 102

Well, I did it. After yesterday's post, I sat at work and started my lists. I will recommend however, that if you start your forgiveness lists, you do it at home, not at work. As I type away at work, trying to first remember all the things that made me mad/sad/angry and then things I liked/loved, I started to cry. Sure, no surprise there. Those are powerful memories. It didn't bother me so much crying at work, because, unfortunately, it isn't a new thing. Sad to say that 98% of my co-workers have seen me cry/tears in my eyes, at one point or another over the last 4 years. It helps that I also work in a small office with under 18 people.

Anyway, it took several hours off and on. I know when I was laying in bed last night, I thought of other things to add to my list, but couldn't remember half of them when I woke up this morning...don't you hate when that happens? I had my three sections. The fourth part is to forgive, so I actually wrote a few paragraphs about that too.

I have to say that I felt a little better this morning when I woke up. Lighter, like it wasn't such a burden to carry around. Although I find it hard to believe that it would work, just like that. So, I am crediting that light feeling to how I slept last night - perhaps I had good dreams.

Either way, I think it was a good exercise. One that I will probably do again in the future when the need arises. I suggest that if you are angry/upset with anyone - parent, sibling, husband, lover, etc, that you try this. There is something to be said about putting it all done in one spot. We think about things over and over again - but it is more coherent when written and perhaps spoken aloud.

Update: I received the nicest response to my forgiveness email. One that brought tears (again) to my eyes at work. And as I am reading it, I knew that deep down SI was a great person. It just turns out he still had a lot of growing up to do and he wasn't ready for what we had. I sincerely believe that what we had was real and amazing. And now hope that I can move on and grow from his response. Perhaps this is what I needed all along.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Forgiveness 101

I was laying in bed trying to fall asleep when I get this sudden emotion of sadness yet again. It could be due to my upcoming period, however, it wouldn't just go away and let me sleep. It kept me up thinking for a while. I decided that I needed to forgive SI so I can move on. Not that I have this bolted up anger towards his actions, that I was able to move past. But what has kept me so sad is the lack of follow through on those promises that we'd be together again. I know it sounds crazy, I should hate the guy, but I was more hurt that he didn't try enough to repair his damage. Anyway, I was thinking I should look up the 12 steps of AA to see if those rules would help me - but they seemed to only correlate a little. After a quick search online, I found two websites I liked about forgiveness steps, which I have copied & pasted below.

I hope to try them and then feel better. Enough is enough. Unfortunately I can't erase those memories but I WANT to stop thinking about it all the time. I don't know what I did in a past life, or even this life to deserve the torture of replaying the worst time of my life over and over every day. I just want it to end and I am now willing to try almost anything to make that happen. I finally fell asleep repeating "I want to be happy". It is such a simple phrase but it carries a lot of information that you can't see or understand - like the tip of the iceberg.

I will try both lists and hope that one/both will help. Stay tuned for updates on my progress or realizations derived from this experiment.



FIVE STEPS TO FORGIVENESS — by Catherine Morgan
When we are angry at people in our life. When we aren’t talking to people in our life. When we hate people in our life. When we are doing these things, we are weakening ourselves, we are hurting ourselves, we are hating ourselves. That is because, when we don’t forgive, we are allowing our heart to be weighed down with negativity. But, we already know that. So why do we do it? Why don’t we forgive? My theory is; that we really don’t know how to forgive. I mean, saying you “forgive” someone, isn’t really “forgiving” them, is it? What if there were actually steps you could take to forgive? Kind of a “12 step” program for forgiveness, only with less steps. See if this works for you. Because, when you forgive someone, you are pushing anger out of your heart and making more room for love to get in, and love is what really matters.

  1. WHY ARE YOU ANGRY AT THIS PERSON? You would not believe how many people are angry about something and don’t even remember why. So get a piece of paper out and write down why you are mad at this person. It may be one thing, or it may be a whole list. Just write it all down.
  2. THE GOOD THINGS. On another piece of paper write down all the good things this person has done for you over the years. (ie: If it’s your mother; she gave birth to you, that’s a pretty big one.) Did this person ever make you happy? Do anything nice for you? Make you smile or laugh? Be a good friend? Help you out of a jam? If so, write it down….all of it. This could be a long list or a short list, just make sure you make it an “honest” list.
  3. HOW DID I CONTRIBUTE TO THIS? On a third piece of paper write any way you may have contributed to the conflict. Be honest with yourself. It doesn’t help to think that you are totally without any responsibility in the situation, even if it is just a tiny bit. Write it down.
  4. CONTEMPLATE. With all three papers in front of you, take some time to really think how important this person is to you. Are they someone you wish was still in your life? Is it someone that you could never feel good having in your life anymore. Are they family? Ex? Depending on “who” they are to you, will depend on what type of relationship you choose to have with this person after you forgive them. Remember, you are forgiving this person for yourself, not for them. So, if you think it is better for you not to see this person, then so be it. You may decide that for the sake of your children or your family it would be better to allow this person back into your life. Or, you might realize you have been miserable without this person in your life and want them back.
    What ever the case is, spend a significant amount of time thinking about it. You have probably spent a significant amount of time being angry, so a little extra time trying to figure out what is in your best interest regarding this person won’t hurt.
    You may want to stay on this step for more than just a day. Maybe a week. Or more. It doesn’t matter how long you are on this step. Just put the papers in a place you can review them. You might even want to do these steps with someone else in your life. If forgiving hasn’t been your “thing”, you may have a lot of people to do this exercise with. That’s OK, don’t be hard on yourself, just take the time and do the work, and in the end you are the one that will benefit.
    When you are ready continue to Step Five. No rush.
  5. FORGIVE. Forgiving doesn’t mean “forgetting”, a lot of people don’t quite understand that. We are not computers, we can’t just hit the delete button and erase our past history. Although, at times many of us wish we could, (me included). We are talking about forgiveness, so you can forgive and let the anger go (for your own sake and sanity), remembering is o.k. though. Remembering might even prove to be quite helpful. You may find yourself in a similar situation one day, and remembering might help you choose your reaction differently than you had before this happened. This is where the saying “learn from you mistakes” came from. It’s not a judgment on your behavior, just a reminder that you handled something one way and it didn’t turn out quite the way your would have wanted. So the next time, you might do something much differently based on your increased understanding.


So, to get back to the final step, STEP FIVE. Now that you have all the information in front of you, and you have given it all quite a bit of thought, and figured out what is in YOUR best interest. Now it’s time to FORGIVE. LET IT GO. LET GO OF THE ANGER. LET GO OF THE PAIN. Let go of allowing this to keep putting negative thoughts in your head. You need that room for positive, healthy, loving thoughts. Maybe, even take some time to close your eyes and meditate on letting go of the anger and pain. If you don’t normally meditate; Just close your eyes for a few moments in a quite place. Try to let go of your thoughts for a moment. Now picture in your “minds eye” all the negative thoughts and anger leaving your head, like vapor evaporating from a pot, slowly but consistently, until there is no more to let go. Do you feel better? If so, you did it right. You don’t even have to tell the person that you forgave them. The important thing is that you let it go, it no longer haunts you, it no longer consumes your thoughts. At this point you can either take steps to smooth things out with the person, and start from a healthier place…Or keep your distance if you have decided that was what was best for you. There is no right or wrong way to to do this. The right way is whatever works best for you. If you realize you just don’t feel any better after STEP FIVE, then go back to STEP FOUR. You may just need more time, and that is OK. Remember….No pressure, this is at YOUR pace. Once you feel confident that you have truly let go of this “in your head”, not just “in your words”. Once you realize that, rip up your paper from STEP ONE, maybe symbolically burn it, just something that helps you recognizes your accomplishment of putting this behind you. But, keep the other papers from STEPS TWO AND THREE. Just in case something comes up again with this person, and you want to go through this process again, you will still have all the more “positive” things saved.


FORGIVENESS: 14 STEPS© Paschal Baute 1993

  1. Accept that the present situation is not a happy one for you, and that if there is to be any change, you alone must make it first. Further, that you have no direct control over the other's thinking, feeling or behavior.
  2. Recognize that there are great differences in perceptions, that we are blind to how we impact others, and that we all tend to idealize ourselves.
  3. Remember that you are an imperfect human being: blind to yourself & not knowing it. You are probably more self-centered than you can ever see yourself. We all are. You had some part in whatever happened. Your halo was probably off-kilter some way. The easiest thing in the world is to blame.
  4. Some expression of your anger or hurt to someone may be either useful or necessary for the process to get started well. The listener does not need to be the offending person but should be one who can truly empathize yet be objective, not just agree with you, but also challenge you to reframe it!
  5. Realize that forgiveness is for YOUR sake, that holding on to resentments is more hurtful to you than anyone else. It keeps you from living fully in the present--the only moment in which we can live peacefully and free of the past negatives.
  6. Understand that holding a grudge can give you a secret power and sense of superiority over others. Dwelling or sucking on hurt or pain can make one feel quite "special." Many persons actually prefer holding on to resentments because of the hidden "fringe benefits" or payoffs. Examine what your possible pay-offs may be: the victim or martyr role offers diverse benefits. List some!
  7. Examine whether the good points of the other person outweigh their faults even though you feel you were treated badly. Reflect upon this: "Will you feel better or become a better person by trying to improve the relationship?"
  8. Comprehend that forgiving is NOT forgetting or condoning. "Because I can't forget I can't forgive" is an alibi & not true, that forgiving is simply a decision not to dwell or suck on the hurt. It is a decision that may need to be made repeatedly, for as often as necessary, "seventy times seven"..."Forgive us as we forgive..."
  9. Be aware that forgiveness is, believe it or not, 100% your responsibility, and that you DO NOT really need the other person to admit that they were wrong. Waiting until they admit wrong keeps YOU stuck in the past. Many crucify themselves between two thieves of regret (or resentment) and guilt, then believe that others or the "world" has done it to them.
  10. Be willing to learn whatever is helpful or necessary to leave the past to the past. There are some psychological techniques...Be willing to discover what your own hidden compulsion is. Address your own interpersonal impact, with some serious self-study.
  11. For the person of some Christian belief, deep, profound hurts from a close family member may take regular, sustained prayer even for a long period of time, in order to forgive. Our wounded ego or hurt pride may not yield except through divine grace, and bringing my will into God's loving kindness. Some hurts are so deep that they require patient prayer and time to heal.
  12. For the Buddhist, the remedy is the regular practice of meditation, mindfulness, letting go of attachments, the discerning that suffering is an inevitable part of human life, and the attainment of compassion for all creatures. Attachment to one's own views is seen as the source of all pain.
  13. If you have the courage, seeking feedback from the other person can be an occasion for considerable increase in self-awareness, some insight and possible reconciliation. Begin by saying: "I'm sorry for my part..."
  14. Regardless of whether the other person responds or changes, the final step is to keep on willing love and goodness to them, wishing the best for them.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

be one with the pole

Back in February I found this website http://www.groupon.com/. The way it works is that they offer one deal a day and if enough people sign up for it, you get the deal. One particular day, they had a groupon for an intro to pole dancing class at http://www.nypoledancing.com/. You get two intro classes for $24. It was like getting one for free. Technically the website said you didn't need the intro class, and you probably only need it once...but I figure, what the hell, it sounds like fun. I emailed/texted/called a few people hoping that I'd have enough so if we went, it would be private. My sisters & some female cousins were in. With under an hour left, we purchased tickets. Then we went back and forth about 15 times trying to find a date...and then rescheduling. I was beginning to get worried that we wouldn't use it before it expired in July...so I just decided to pick a day, and send around an email informing my group that I would be there, and I hoped they would be too.

Unfortunately just my two sisters made it. We didn't really know what to wear. Last night when i was in Macy's I saw this really skanky black tank top with tiny sequence..that was sheer. I bought it for $8.50 but didn't end up wearing it for my first time. I ended up with regular black shorts, a black tank top and then a green shirt. I brought black lace up heels. When I picked up my sisters, one had jeans and a tee shirt, the other had yoga pants and tank top, both wearing sneakers.

So we get to the studio and I just laugh that we are going to try pole dancing. There were six of us and the instructor. The three other ladies were skinny and wearing small clothing and had really cute huge heels. The instructor was 43 and wearing a sports bra and panties. I honestly couldn't stop looking at her ass. Anyway, first we do warm ups on a yoga mat. Basic stretching, and then some pretty impossible moves for me. Once we are all warmed up, its time to put on our heels (if we had them) and learn the pole. My one sister decided she wasn't even going to try - and just ended up sitting and watching.

We learn small parts of the routine and then start piecing it together. I was very proud of myself for remembering what was to be done. The technique however, I was not good with. I truly now believe that some women just have the sexy gene, and others do not. My family does not have it. Thank goodness we were in the back row. So I am looking around, and the other ladies are GOOD. Really good. There is a huge difference in talent. I later learn that one of them has taken about 8 classes....but still, I think even if I took 8 classes, I might not be that good - who knows. So we learn to walk around the pole, swing our hips, be 'sexy' by feeling our bodies. Then we learn how to slide down the pole. At first I thought she was kidding. this is an intro class. I was so worried that I would just plop to the floor to fast and hurt my ass. But I tried it, and wow, I was actually pretty good at that part! I was shocked at the control you can have sliding down a pole on your back with one leg out. So we learn a bit more and then we learn a spin. That was a bit harder and I seemed to spin to fast and definitely not sexy. The small little girl in front of me had amazing control, it looked beautiful when she did it. Then we learned a lift. Forget that, I could NOT get up. Three factors went into this. 1) I had put lotion on that day - I was wearing shorts after all. 2) I was sweating like you couldn't believe, and the pole gets slippery. 3) I have NO arm strength. I had hope when I saw my little sister did it with no problem. I understood how to do it, but couldn't. The instructor came over to help but told me that my legs were too slippery. Oh well. And then we did the full routine on the left and the right side a few times.

I have to say that it was a lot of fun. You really need to just relax and go with it and not over think how horrible you look. It was probably one of the best workouts I've had, which doesn't say a lot since I don't exercise. However, my skinny super talented instructor was sweating a LOT too, which made me feel better since it shouldn't have been too challenging for her. At the end I felt, proud of myself for doing it; it was a bit of a rush (if you look at the video on the website, a lot of what they say for 'climb and spin' is what we learned today).

If you haven't tried pole dancing yet...I say give it a shot. At least once. You will have a new respect for the ladies that do this, and you will get a great workout....and MAYBE you will be secure enough to do it for your man at home.

I'm not ready to buy myself a pole, but I will tell you that I will definitely take the intro class again - and maybe another time, if I decide to try the climb & spin class (since I am not too talented, I might not get that far). To make it to the inversion class you need to learn X number of climbs & spins before they let you take it. Now I just need to go shopping and get some of those cute dance shorts.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dear Bank Boy:

Dear Bank Boy,

First I would like to tell you how fortunate I was to work with you 8 years ago. When I was 22, I really enjoyed our casual flirting while I tried to figure out the complicated adult relationships. Flirting helps one self esteem and I would like to think that you help make me secure enough in how I looked for when I found my boyfriend, SI.

Now having been reconnected through FaceBook, we have been able to catch up, for that I was happy about. A lot happens in 6 years and I did think of you often while you were serving our country.

What happened last year, as you know, was a drunken disaster. I will agree it was entertaining, but since that night, our 'friendship' has gotten strange. While I was very excited that you enjoyed your nightcap, and my self esteem was able to inch its way up a little, the constant asking when it would happen again was exhausting. More recently, I thought that perhaps a second go at it this year - provided there were no strings would help my craving (and not count as far as additional numbers) proved to be the same. While I was more comfortable with the idea this time around, it should not be this hard or complicated.

I will admit that every time I hear my phone signal I have a text - I dread looking down and seeing if it is from you asking "When can I get some?" or "Feel like an hour visit?" or "Need company". The constant badgering me makes me want to see you even less. I have told you this, repeatedly.

Also, when I say no, I do not want to have a 20 minute text message conversation about my issues, why not, if I have company over, how you don't 'get me' or about how you "think I want it too but can't admit it". If I wanted it, I would let you know - just like the last time.

I informed you that I didn't want strings or something more than casual. I was not looking for someone I had to talk (IM, text included) to everyday.

I am a single woman who had spent years in a monogamous relationship. I have no idea how to be single and honestly, the thought of sleeping around disgusts me. I'd rather not do it. The few times I have tried to venture out of my comfort zone to try satisfying those needs - have mostly been horrible and not worth it. It is very difficult to enjoy sex when you don't have any feelings for a person, it is slightly easier when you are drunk. But what does being drunk all the time say? It says it shouldn't be happening in the first place.

As much as I am thrilled that you desire me & I should disregard thoughts that maybe I'm not good in bed since clearly, I must be good enough for you to harass me over the last 15 months. I must insist that this charade end. It is wearing me down.

I would like to thank you for helping improve my sexual self esteem. As you can imagine when SI cheated on me with an ex-stripper, it was very difficult to deal with - but he kept me around too. Although I've had enough 'blasts from the past' to let me know that I am actually quite good in bed - when I want to be. I am very much looking forward to my next relationship, and I am sorry to have to say you won't be it. To that end, I would like to say 'good bye'.


And for your enjoyment, some amazing text/IM conversations we have had:

April 21: BB - sleeping? ME - if I was, would you feel bad? BB -actually yes, i don't want to bother you when you are sleeping unless I'm next to you. ME - are you drunk? BB- no, do you want me to be? ME - I honestly don't care one way or the other. To what do I owe this chat? BB-I know you don't care about me, just wanted to say hi....and to see when you're gonna let me undress you again. ME - I like you as a person. BB- what other ways can you like a person? I think you want it just like I do, but too 'afraid' to admit it.

April 24 1:27AM. BB - sleeping? ME- this is unacceptable. That is a warning. BB - ??? ME (6:19AM) - see, you prob don't like to be woken up. Don't text me in middle of night.

May 5: BB - Cinco de mayo. Me- Yup. BB - Maybe I can see you later, just tell me the time and I'll be there. Me - nope, girls night. BB - after you're done with them. ME -Nope. BB - that's wrong. BB (10:22pm) I'm waiting for you. ME - sleeping. BB - Need company?

May 11: BB - When am I going to try your cooking again?

May 17: BB - When am I going to have the privilege of trying your food again?

May 19: BB - When can we meet? ME - STOP. BB- What do you mean? ME - Everyday? Are you going to ask that EVERY DAY? BB- I am asking this because I'd like to see you and I strongly believe that you feel the same, but you keep playing this game. ME - it is really annoying on a daily basis. Just relax a bit.

May 28: BB - still moody? ME - moody with everyone. BB- what can i do to help. ME - you cant. BB - I can try. ME - what with sex? I can sustain w/o that. BB - but that isn't healthy. ME- casual sex isn't the answer, and I have a feeling you'd get a little clingy. BB - well, you are wrong, I only wish we can hang out again. I'm not clingy. if I've been insistent, its because I liked what we had and wish we can repeat it..... (later) I'm not asking you to marry or be my girlfriend, i just want to hang out.

Then I did 'hang out'

June 7: BB - do you want to meet up sometime this week? ME: super busy week (it wasn't). BB - not even for an hour visit? ME- nope. BB - I see. I guess i am done again? ME - why must you label it? if it happens it happens. but i said casual. i wasn't looking for once or more a week. BB- I'm not either but I kinda wanted a second time

June 8: BB- how is your night? ME - fine. BB - so is there any chance to have #3 this week? (later) ????? ME - text messages don't mean instant response.

June 13: BB - Feel like an hour visit? ME - nope. (later) BB - When can I get some?

June 16 via FB Chat:
9.04pm BB - Hello Ms.Moody. ME- I'm not moody. BB-OK but you always have a tone of an attitude. You have an attitude towards everything I do. ME- OR you are just not happy with my responses. BB- why are you like that with me. ME - because you question everything. BB- its not that, I asked a question, that is it. I don't get you. ME- I don't know, I just re-read our conversation I don't see why you are upset. BB - Sometimes I don't know how to deal with it. ME-You don't need to deal with it. BB - we F*ck and then...nothing. ME - ...and then what? I told you straight up I didn't want anything else. BB - but with you, you never know. ME - well, I am sorry that it bothers you but it is nothing new. BB - I enjoy having 'casual' sex with you. I really do. When can we do it again? ME - I am going to sleep. goodnight.

June 22: BB-I thought about you over the weekend.

June 23: BB- Must be busy... ME- Yes busy, and I think it would be best if we didn't text for a while. BB- Why is that? ME- Do I need a reason? I just can't handle this. BB- Handle what? A text message? ME- I am so flattered that you are interested. I am. And for good reasons. However I can't handle all the communication and your persistance. You are a nice guy. I am just not in the same place as you. BB- I don't want a relationship, I like what we do when we get together and I thought you did too. BB- If you want me to be sincere, I like having sex with you. BB- I like taking your clothes off. Have your **** in my mouth. ME- I wonder if I can block phone numbers....I might have to look into that. Those are the kinds of texts that make me want to see/talk to you even less.

I KID YOU NOT these are verbatim conversations....how would YOU deal with it? Now if only I had the guts to send that first part. But I am too nice for that.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Return of the Scrunchie?

Scrunchie. That is today's topic. Such a strange topic to randomly pick, but that is what you get when you ask a friend the first word she is thinking.
So here it goes. I was a typical teen of the 90s. We had high rise jeans and wore big flannel shirts (I even borrowed from my Dad) or silk shirts on a regular basis. Sometimes our jeans were colored - red, blue, black, white, you get the idea. It was very laid back and casual. The grunge look also made an appearance.

I had really long hair and it got in my way a lot, so I'd put it back - in a SCRUNCHIE, a scrunchie is a rubber band with fabric around it. Rommy Revson patented the design in the US in 1986 and named it 'sc√ľnci', after her dog. I had so many of these guys as they were fairly cheap. We had this amazing flea market by me, and you can go and get 10 scrunchies for $5. There were so many colors and patterns...I don't think I wore half of the ones I owned. You can wear the srunchie a few ways, like a regular rubberband where you just wrap your hair it in it until it is tight...or you can wrap your hair in a bun, and place the scrunchie around it, so it wasn't twisted. You can also wear the scrunchie as a bracelet and then put it up when needed or use it to dress up a look. Very practical.

So what happened to my 30+ scrunchies? Well, I moved a lot from when I was a teen, so I am assuming I threw most of them away. I do believe I still have 2 or 3 in my bathroom, thinking I'd keep it in case I wanted to throw my hair up...but I haven't used one in years & years. Just now I was thinking, if it hasn't been worn to throw it away...BUT rumor has it that scrunchies will be making a comeback. They have been seen being sold at American Apparel (407 varieties) and Catherine Zeta-Jones was sporting one in January of this year. Everything makes a comeback...but I think it is a little early, no? Maybe I am just getting older.


Photo from American Apparel


For now, I will stick with my very basic and thin rubber band even if at times gets stretched out or tangled in the hair. AND more importantly, I don't have to worry about a guy breaking up with me over a scrunchie like in Sex and the City

Fads of the 1990's include: (notice scrunchie is NOT listed...what's with that?)
spandex shorts
Pokemon
Grunge music and fashion
Koosh Balls
Saved By The Bell
The Macarena
American Gladiators
Extreme sports
Gigapets / Tomogatchi
Trapper Keeper
The Waif Look
Tamagotchi
Spuds MacKenzie
Push Pops
Bowl cut
Beanies (caps/hats)
Stoner and slacker humor (Beavis and Butthead, Bill and Ted?s Excellent Adventure, etc.)
Discman
Multi-colored silk shirts
Wide leg jeans
Radio Disney
Dr. Martens
Oprah's Book Club
V-Chips (for TVs)
Overalls
Chat Rooms
Girl Power
Car air fresheners
Street Fighter
What would Jesus do?
Hypercolor (clothing that changed color with heat)
Eight ball
leather jacket
Pogs
Psych!
Polly Pocket Toys
Hip-Hop
Fashion
I've fallen and I can't get up!
Mortal Kombat games
Claw vending machine
Hi-top fade
Tickle Me Elmo
SUV's
ClackersSlammer
Whammers

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Product Review: Roomba

I am not too fond of cleaning. I used to be, 10 years ago. But when me and SI bought a house, we decided to hire a cleaning person (he was also a bit crazy in his desires of cleanliness. Who would have known since he was always a slob at my place). At first I was hesitant - why hire someone to do it if that is something that I can handle. But I ended up LOVING it. I didn't have to spend my weekends or evenings cleaning - just straightening up. So, that only lasted 9 months, then when I lived back home, my parents house was under construction...so cleaning wasn't really necessary. Once I moved into my apartment, which is tiny, cleaning only takes a little while. Sure, I am not doing heavy duty cleaning, just basic dusting, scrubbing, sanitizing the bathroom, and the occasional washing the floors. I got rid of my vacuum when we had the house, we didn't need two. I didn't purchase another one when I moved here. I figured sweeping and mopping would be enough.

Last year a friend told me she just ordered a Roomba 530, a vacuum that self cleans. I finally just bought one on http://www.woot.com/ and just tried it out over the last 10 days.


The roomba lives in a docking station on the floor. When you want to start cleaning, simply take it out and place in the middle of the room. The roomba gets to work. It has several cleaning modes including perimeter, circle, and back & forth. The roomba should take about 25 minutes to clean one room. I learned to close the doors to adjacent rooms so it focuses on one room at a time. The package also came with one virtual wall which keeps the roomba more confined in areas that there may not be doors.

The roomba was actually louder than I had expected (hard to watch TV when it runs in the same room).

I feel this is more of a luxury item. It would be a LOT faster to actually vacuum my apartment with a standard vacuum. But since I am not a big cleaner...I put it on while cooking or washing dishes (i just need to sidestep when it comes near me).

When I read through the user manual I became so excited that there was a timer on the Roomba so you can schedule it to clean. This would be perfect to do while I am at work. However, upon further inspection I realized that was the model one up from the one I purchased.

After the roomba cleaned, I opened the compartment to empty the dust/stuff it picked up. It was super easy to empty. The main compartment had a majority of the particles, but then there was the filter/lint trap area which picked up even smaller pieces. I was actually shocked how many small particles the roomba picked up.

So aside from the noise level (which isn't super loud, all vacuums make noise), and the small battery life (will run for about an hour) and the length of time - I love the roomba. It picks up so much and the floors are noticeably cleaner. Anything to make my life a little easier is a great thing! When its time to replace it (which I hope isn't for a LONG time) I will purchase the higher model so it can run when I am at work.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Settling In


I have owned my apartment for 2 years and almost two months, and I had only hung 5 things on my wall. Two I put above my front door, purchases from my first time in New Mexico before I had my own place, a letter holder, a mosaic mirror I made and this other iron design thing. I like my apartment, but I was too scared to put anything on the walls - seemed permanent (a bad way of thinking learned from the ex, I was not like that many moons ago). I also told myself I'd only live here for 2 years - but since that didn't happen, I decided to buy frames to hand on my 'main' wall in the living room. I spent so much time trying to decide what frames I liked, but since I ordered a few digital images that my cousin took. Check out his website, there are some fantastic pictures you can purhase. At the time, the sizes were not standard for common picture frames (8x12 not 8x10 -- good news is, they NOW offer them in the standard sizes), so instead of custom framing - which I do not have money for, I decided on a floating frame. I loved these frames because they were simple and the picture just floats inside so no matting is required. I liked the pictures so much but decided I didn't order
enough, so I ordered more. Of course my pictures weren't the same quality of my cousin's and fit in the frames exact (no floating) but they looked nice. Deciding where to put the frames on the wall was a challenge I couldn't do it on my own. I invited my mom & sister over to help me. After 90 minutes we got them all on the wall - and I will need to order/buy one more. I like having the pictures on the wall - seems homier.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A movie week

Last week was hard, with nothing on TV. The only new shows I am currently watching is the Bachlorette (against my better judgement) and Hell's Kitchen. I was so bored and too hot to do anything, so while I stopped at the library to pick up some books, I decided to pick up some movies.

First I watched a movie I had, but haven't seen since maybe it first came out - not even sure why I own it. "Bridgette Jone's Diary". It was entertaining enough.

Day 2 I watched "Henry Poole is Here". I had zero desire to watch that when I saw the previews when it first came out, but the selection at the library isn't the best. I believe the movie was about 1 1/2 hours. It was a long 90 minutes. The story was simple. The acting nothing special. Not a movie I would recommend to others.

Day 3 I popped in "Gone Baby Gone". I have an issue with Ben & Casey Affleck's Boston accent. I also have issues with such vulgar language (but it seems to have mostly been in the first part of the movie). The story for this was much better. I enjoy drama/suspicious movies - however I found this one to be a little slow moving. It was almost 2 hours - and was a tad too long because I was getting antsy and daydreaming about going to bed instead of finishing the movie. The back of the box tells you there are twists and turns...but since i knew that in advance, I thought it was a bit predictable. I gave movie to my parents to watch and said "good story but slow".

Day 4 - My sisters and I decided to rent the first "Sex and the City" movie before we go to see the second one (I think this weekend). I saw this movie twice in the theater actually. Both times with friends, the second time - I didn't have the heart to tell the girl I'd already seen it. I liked the HBO series, but after a few years I got rid of HBO to save money so I missed the last season or episodes. Anyway, I was actually surprised that I enjoyed the movie as much as I did. It was a long movie but it really caught you up on the girl's lives. I can relate so much to the heartache Carrie faced & the troubles Miranda went through. I thought it was funny that my sister said I remind her most of Samantha. I guess it has to do with me being the only single one & the most amount of partners (which is still really low, I might add) out of the four of us. It was a fun sister night, and we plan on seeing the second one on Tuesday.

Day 5 - I had dinner with a few girl friends, so I had to take a night off from the movies. This might have been a blessing in disguise.

Day 6 - OK, even though it is a Friday and I am single, I was so worn out from my Wednesday & Thursday nights that I was tired and a little cranky. So I watched another movie. The movie was a French movie called "L'enfant". I don't mind subtitled movies and have seen some really good ones. This movie started off slow. I was actually bored with it in the first 16 minutes that I took it out on Day 1 and watched something else. But I figured I'd give it a shot again. A depressing story of being broke, in a relationship and attempt at redemption.

Day 7 - Saturday, very last minute my sister invited me over to watch a movie. It was pouring so I said sure. Couples Retreat, oh my, that made laugh a lot. The very recognizable cast goes on a 'vacation' which turns out to be a program for couples. The beautiful resort was filmed in Bora Bora...which is now on my 'must eventually see list'.

Day 8 - I was so excited, a break from movie watching...or so I thought. I went to BJs Wholesale Club with my sister bright & early this morning and she was telling me she watched Dreamgirls and loved it. After we got back from shopping, she let me borrow the movie, which was due at the library the next day, which meant I had to watch it that tonight. I am still in the midst of watching the movie, but so far the music is catchy and it seems like a very happy movie.

Oh, I almost forgot, before this started, I also went to the movies with 2 sisters and three kids to see Shrek Forever After in 3D. I enjoyed this one too, I thought it had a good moral and there were enough adult parts to make it funny where I actually laughed out loud. And, since it is a rainy weekend, I picked up Planet Earth (which I can watch when I am cooking or cleaning) and Tristan & Isolde.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I've walked 500 miles and I'd walk 500 more...

Believe it or not, I have not had a car for 3 years. I was the proud owner of a Honda Civic many, many years ago, I had a three year lease and when it was over, SI just let me use his older second car. It was perfect, we didn't travel a lot, work was close - I didn't need anything too wonderful. When we moved to NJ we purchased a Toyota Highlander, which was my primary vehicle. I LOVED that car; it rode beautifully. When I moved out, I took the car (filled with boxes). After many conversations, he allowed me to keep the car for a little while - however I had no idea when he'd want it back. It was a constant thing that was hung over my head and used to threaten me with. About a year later he took it back and told me he'd car shop with me. Although I had no money to purchase a car. I just gave up. I lived within walking distance to the train so I'd only need a car nights/weekends...but don't forget the first two years of the breakup, I was in a fog. I didn't have a social life and I had no desire to go anywhere, so it was never an issue. I eventually purchased my apartment close to my family so walking or getting picked up was really easy. It was not until very recently that I decided I needed a car again. I have started making some new friends, new hobbies, etc that I found borrowing a car to be burdensome for my family late at night when I'd return the car.

I started searching many websites, including craigslist to look for a clunker. So many of the car advertisements are not real. I emailed a few people and I'd get a notice that the listing is no longer available (and the posting was from that day or the day before - hard to sell a car in 4 hours!) . Others claim to be near where you are...but are not. I asked my uncle if he'd keep an eye out for something that came his way (he's a mechanic) but he is so busy that him going around to see cars could be unpractical.

Let car shopping commence.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

First Time

Today’s blog post is inspired by the Life House song title, however while the post itself isn’t about me falling in love for what feels like the first time (hopefully that will come within the next 9 years, 2 months and 8 days), I thought it might be fun to write about my life first times - as they have helped mold me into who I am today.

First Kiss – I think I was 16. I was hanging out with this ‘bad boy’ who wore a leather trench coat. His name was George and I believe he was 2 years older than me. He kissed me outside of the school. He reeked of smoke and his tongue just went around in circles over and over again. It was actually quite gross. We never really went ‘out’ or on a date; I moved on and became a kissing whore.

First Surgery – I was 5 years old and had to have my tonsils out. I really don’t remember too much of this. I had a stuffed Snoopy; he went into the operating room with me. Of course I was a little scared. I remember I asked them if I could keep my underwear on, they said yes. Snoopy got a paper mask to put on his face, and I was gassed to sleep. Needless to say my throat was sore/hurt for a while, so I was able to eat lots of ice pops.

First Job – I won’t consider babysitting a job since it was off the books. My first job was a video store clerk. I posted about this here. I loved this job. Too bad videos/DVD stores are almost obsolete due to Netflix, OnDemand, etc. Great job for high school students.


First Concert – My first concert was when I visited my older sister in college probably around 1994 – that would have made me 14 or 15. It was a band I never heard of at the time Live. Sure they started popping up more afterwards and I enjoyed their music throughout high school.



First Real Purchase as an Adult – I think this was a loveseat pullout couch. I ended up living in the basement of my grandmother’s house for 4 years. I inherited a bed from my sister’s father-in-law (it was brand new) and needed a couch for my small space. I went to JC Penny with my mom and bought this adorable purple pull out loveseat (twin size) and paid for it myself – it was probably around $800. I loved that couch. My little sister has it now, it is practically brand new since I ended up using that space for a desk and the couch sat in storage for 4 years!

First Car – My parents bought me a cute white car when I was 16 or 17 so I was able to babysit, and get to work at the video store. Both of my parents were commuters. They moved us, when I was ten, an hour north where there was more land and you got more house for your money. It was a wonderful place to grow up - but my parents had to leave early in the AM to get to work, and got home way after we were home from school. It was helpful I had a car to drive me and my little sister to school and other things since they couldn't do it. I want to say it was a ___. This car lasted about a month and it just died. So my next car was a faded shade of red Pontiac Grand Am.

First Date – Hmm, I am trying to think about this one still. Hopefully I'll remember and get back to you...but that probably isn't likely.

First HouseHmm, I am not sure if this is the first house I grew up in or the first house I lived in with a boy. I'll go with the latter since it is more 'exciting'. SI decided instead of getting married, we'd buy a house. We spent lots of weekends house hunting and loved so many we saw but were constantly being out-bid. We finally ended up with this one, one that I found from the listings the realtor sent over and thought it was better than most other ones in the neighborhood. While my name was not on the house (NJ law does state however, that once you marry, it is 1/2 yours anyway) I did help. While we had been living together in my tiny basement apartment for the past 3 years, it wasn't ours, it was mine. This was great since it was brand new to both of us, and we were able to make it a home. Unfortunately, I only lived here for almost 10 months.

First MY Own Place - About two years after the above, I decided I needed to do something more permanent, clearly working things out with SI was going too slow and all those promises never became actualities. I couldn't live with my parents forever. I needed to decide what to do. Rashly one day I decided to buy an apartment (April 2008). I am not a firm believer in renting - so I looked at about 15 places and decided on an apt in this building. While I loved it at first site, there was another one that was calling my name but the parking was horrible. This place gave me a parking spot, was within walking distance to 2 of my sister's, walking distance to the train, had attic storage space...it seemed like a no-brainer. Issues in the apt soon became apparent, but when I walk in, I still LOVE it. It is small but it is MINE. I got to pick out all the furnishings by myself. I got to pick the wall color and the placement of the couch/TV. I was able to pick what silverware I liked. I splurged and bought a king sized bed that I get to myself. It is mine. My first place.

First Crush - I was in Kindergarten. What did I know then? I ran around the playground chasing this kid Johnny asking him to kiss me. Glad that didn't work out, as an adult he is SO not my type!

First Time Away From Home – Not counting sleep-overs, the first time I was away from home was when I went to college, September 1997. I went to Monmouth University and shared a HUGE room with two other girls. The room was originally the floor lounge, but was converted to a room when the enrollment grew - I was so lucky and didn't even realize it. (the building pictured is the same building Annie was filmed in!) I was so homesick. I didn’t think I would be as bad as I was but it was a huge adjustment. I transferred out after 1 ½ years – not because I was homesick, no, that was cured by the end of the year, but because I changed my major and the school didn’t have it there. So I moved in with my sister, her husband & their newborn baby for a while and commuted into NYC from there.

First 'I Love You" - My first I Love You was with SI. We went to this restaurant called sweetwater, and he told me over dinner. I was so excited, I really liked his guy and I was glad he said it. It was probably 4 months into our relationship (but mind you it was an accelerated 4 months, after a month he was living with me M - F). I wasn't ready that night to say it back, I knew I felt it, but I couldn't say it. A few days later I kept rehearsing it. I felt it, I did, but the words couldn't come out when I tried. I had these word magnets, and I wrote it out, called him over and showed him and tried so hard to say it...and I did :) SI was also the first person to make me realize how completely in love you could be with someone. It wasn't just an I love you - he was also much more.

My First Time doing "It" - In high school I liked this kid Kevin, we saw each other on occasion and made out a lot. I was too prude to do anything substantial. We went off to college but kept in touch. One day I convinced my roommate to go to his school with me for a visit. We got so incredibly drunk and I did "IT" on the floor with Kevin while my roommate and his brother where sleeping in the bed in the same room. I was so uncomfortable. I had him keep stopping because it didn't feel right or I thought I had to poop. After that, we barely spoke again for a long time, but managed to keep in touch until I met SI. I didn't do "IT" again for quite some time. I've tried to find him recently, but it hasn't gotten me anywhere.

My First Heartbreak
- As much as it hurt that Kevin & I didn't make it, my breakup with cop#1 was my first real devastation. I cried so much. Everything I saw reminded me of him. It was the worst feeling ever. Things were going so well, and I was truly shocked that he called me on his way back home (after spending the night at my place) and broke up with me. Claimed we were in different places. After a few months we were reunited and our relationship, while not 'official' lasted another 2 years and more...all while he found a new girlfriend whom he moved in with, and eventually married & had children with. Believe it or not, we still keep in touch and I still think he is 'hot'. Having had my relationship with SI, I can tell you that Cop#1 was a much more physical relationship...the kind that you can barely keep your hands off of. The kind of hot & steamy sex you see in the movies.

First Time on an Airplane - Growing up, our family vacations were ones we could drive to, since there were 6 of us, it cost too much to fly. The first time I went on an airplane I went to San Diego California. My sister's job sent her there for a meeting so I flew by myself (she left a day before) and found the hotel all by myself, a huge accomplishment for me at the time - since I was only around 18. I was skinny back then, I remember thinking my butt lifted off the seat a little during take off. It was the strangest feeling, but I loved it.

First Time Public Speaking - Aside from school presentations and me being a loud-mouth at family functions, and being a tour guide at Monmouth, my first time speaking in public was in 2007. My company went on a lunch cruise around Manhattan celebrating our 25 year anniversary. The cruise needed someone to give a welcome speech, and I was elected. I had microphone in hand and spoke to the 150 so people on the boat. At the end of this month, I will be giving my first professional presentation.


First Time Out of the Country - Believe it or not, the first time I left the country was in 2003 when I went to China with my class from my MBA. I was so excited about getting my first passport and I dreamt about all the stamps that would be in there. My class went to Beijing and Hong Kong, and a group of us went to Macau for a few hours. It was truly and incredible experience and I would love to go back.

First Death of Someone Close - I was too young to remember my grandfather's passing. I went to wakes of my great aunts and uncles but it didn't bother me then. When my grandmother died, I was overwhelmed with heartache. Before her passing she fell and broke her hips and needed someone with her at all times. I went over a a few times a week to help her (mostly overnights) and then she eventually went into assisted living. I don't remember why she went back into the hospital, but it was for something routine. But she ended up dying of a blood clot in her leg. I remember being shocked and wretched with guilt because I did not go to the hospital the day before to visit. I was too wound up in my own life.


This was a great exercise in remembering. I challenge all of you to do the same! If I left out a major 'first' tell me and I'll be sure to add it!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

One small step for singles, one GIANT leap for Denise

I've been trying to find things to do that I would enjoy. I find some, but then I never go since I'd have to go alone. It's funny because there are things I can do alone & enjoy - like going to the movies, sightseeing, eating at a restaurant (well, only when traveling - I haven't eaten in a restaurant by myself near where I live/work or even gone to a bar alone) but when it comes down to it, I'd like to know someone there. I know this is so crazy.

There was this rope course I wanted to do, but no one was available. That seemed more like you do it with the people you brought, social. So I passed. I have been a member of this single site for months now and haven't attended an event. Recently I took a look at the schedule and there lots of great activities. My problem most of the time is the expense, since I am broke. But there was one there that was cheap and sounded great. A scavenger hunt through NYC in teams of 4. 20 people max & afterwards they hope you stay for drinks at a bar. There is still room, and I keep thinking about it. Sure, it would be great to meet new people & it sounds like a ton of fun. But what if the three people on my team all know each other? I'd be the total odd person out. Also, what if everyone is super old or a complete ---?

I know I need to get over my fears of these things. So I think I am going to do it. I try to log in. My username and/or password are incorrect. I try my other password. Still not working. I log into my 'junk' email account. look it up. It works. I go to purchase, my debit card will not go through. Hmm, maybe I mis-typed a number. I try again. Still did not go through. I didn't want to have to put it on the credit card, but I try that, and it works. I was getting to the point where I was thinking it was a sign I shouldn't do it.

June 27th, here I come to going completely out of my comfort zone. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stir-fry

I subscribe to Prevention Magazine. It is actually quite a good little publication with hints & tips in health, exercise, food, etc. I also receive Everyday Food by Martha Stewart. I am constantly ripping pages out of the magazines that have good tips, recipes, or things to do. I have a collection of these ripped pages sitting in piles in my apartment. The recipes and food tips I keep together with my cookbooks and the others just collect in a file folder. Most of the time all these are never seen or looked at again.

When I am in the mood to cook, I normally stick with things I have already made, that I know is good. Occasionally when I want to try something new, I look for recipes online, completely ignoring my collected pile.

However, this month I decided to actually try one of these recipes that appeared in the July 2010 Prevention Magazine. A stir-fry. I really enjoyed this, so I thought I would share it with you. I did not follow the recipe exactly - I added/removed some of the veggies - but that is what is great about a stir-fry, it is totally customizable.

First, you will want to trim & cut your steak.
3/4 lb flank steak, halved lengthwise, sliced against the grain. You will add the beef to the following mixture and let it marinate for 15 minutes:
1 TB reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 TB dry sherry ( I didn't have this and used white wine instead? I am not sure if that is an acceptable substitute, but it still tasted OK)
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp sugar

Then I started prepping my veggies. The recipe calls for:

4 cup broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper, sliced in 1/4 inch strips
6 oz mushrooms - sliced
3 scallions - chopped
**i used broccoli, red pepper, zucchini, eggplant, baby corn, and an onion & I really didn't measure**

Heat large non-stick skillet or wonk over medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp oil. Swirl to coat. Add half the beef in a single layer and leave until seared, about 1 minute. Stir-fry beef until no longer pink, about 1 minute. Remove. Add 1 tsp oil and repeat with remaining beef.

Add remaining 2 tsp oil to the pan. Add broccoli, bell pepper, and mushrooms, stir-fry 2 minutes. Make a well in center and add white part of scallions, ginger (1TB minced), garlic (1TB minced) and pepper flakes (1/4 - 1/8 tsp crushed flakes). Stir-fry with vegetables 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup water and cover pan until broccoli is just done, about 3 minutes. If cooking in a wok, use a large lid, settling it right down into the wok, if necessary, to cover and steam vegetables.

Return beef to pan and add stir-fry sauce (see further down). Cook until sauce thickens slightly, 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle with scallion greens and serve.

Nutrition per serving (4): 271 calories, 23g protein, 17g carbs, 4g fiber, 12.5g fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 787mg sodium.

Classic stir-fry sauce: Whisk 2 tsp cornstarch into 1/2c reduced-sodium chicken broth, and then add 2 Tbs each oyster sauce and reduced-sodium soy sauce along with 2 tsp each sherry and sugar.

I served this over rice. Other options for creating your own stir-fry would include:

Protein - steak, pork, chicken, shrimp, scallops, fish, tofu
Vegetables - asparagus, peppers, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, celery, zucchini, eggplant, green beans, mushrooms, onions, snow peas, snap peas, spinach, Swiss chard, bok choy
Extras - baby corn, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, cashews/peanuts, Chile pepper, bean sprouts, sesame seeds

Monday, June 7, 2010

A less than ordinary day

It is Monday today; I wasn't prepared again this week. After my plans were cancelled Saturday night with BankBoy since I was in a bad mood from loosing my phone & I seriously can't handle his needy-ness and constant "why are you ignoring me" texts, I decided to go grocery shopping for the first time since my return from Mexico. Don't even ask how creative I have had to been with my food over the last 3 weeks...and yes, I did buy milk & eggs since then. The food selection at 9:30PM on a Saturday is horrible. There was one thing left of lettuce, mostly squishy peaches, no onions. Of course the fish department was closed. I decided on making a beef stir-fry and homemade calzone this week. I picked up some PB&J too - although I forgot some sort of bread.

Yesterday was so hot again...and it rained for all of THREE minutes. No hail. No tornado. No thunderstorm. No downpour. Just three minutes of heavy rain. My day ended when I got back home at 3:30 from a streetfair that I took 2 of my nieces/nephews to. Oh what to do with that time? I was super lazy. And I kept thinking -- I am never going to meet my future husband when I stay inside at 3:30 on a Sunday. Anyway. I made some pasta with chicken, broccoli and Parmesan cheese. I ate that at 3:30. I had some left over...but instead of saving it, I ate more of it at 5:30. There went my lunch. I won't even tell you the ridiculous hour I went to sleep last night...but I am pretty sure you'd either be really jealous or fall over laughing so hard.

So this morning I was not prepared for work. No lunch. Not sure what to wear. No book (the library is no closed on Sundays for the summer). I was on the train staring out the window doing NOTHING for an hour this morning. My commute home will be the same...but at least I can stop and pick up the three books on hold so tomorrow will hopefully go better. I just need to muster up the energy to make that stir-fry tonight.

When did I just give up on grocery shopping, cooking & caring in general about work? Why can't there be new shows on TV for the summer? I think, it might just be time to start looking for a new job. Maybe I'd have more motivation.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Almost too humid to eat

I don't trust the weathermen and I gave up listening/watching the weather some years ago. These days I always carry a small umbrella in my bag just in case and never really know how to dress before I leave for work in the morning.

Our weathermen has said severe thunderstorms starting this past Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and yesterday. It hasn't rained once. The only liquid dropping is all the sweat falling from our bodies.

The humidity is so bad. After a while, it is hard to want to do anything, including eat. But this morning I decided on a perfect solution...one that my mother let us have for dinner when we were kids. Waffles with ice cream. YUM.

Today the meteorologist is predicting not only severe thunderstorms again, but also hail and perhaps a tornado - depending on how sunny it is. I can't wait for the rain.

Do meteorologists actually learn to predict the weather in school - or do they just learn the proper terminology? Maybe I should look into this profession because clearly, being right has no bearing on keeping your job - how perfect is that?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

solace in solitare

Hi, my name is Denise, and I am an addict. A spider solitaire addict that is. First let's talk about why this is so wrong for me. I HATE SPIDERS or all bugs for that matter.

My work computer (something older) and my home computer (windows 7) surprisingly have different versions of spider solitaire. At work I can not change my deck - I am stuck looking at cards with spiders on them :( and I can't undo more than what cards were dealt in a round. So playing from home is more ideal since I can undo the whole deck and essentially start each game from the beginning and it count only as one game - but honestly...I play a lot more at work.

I do not play for the best score, but just to win. I keep saying the score will matter more to me when I get better...but so far it hasn't. I usually play on medium, I've only played on hard two or three times - but did win my first game at that.

So, going back - I am an addict. In the summer it is so much worse. Work is slow so I sit at my desk and I play a game or two before I start my 'real' work. I usually close out when I win. But then at lunch I'll open it up again and start over. And throughout the day I open it when I am stressed or when I need a break, etc. Today I've played about 5 or 6 games. I won one earlier today - but reopened again to win another two. It is still early...so I may have to play a little later too.

If you haven't tried this game yet you should. It really gets you thinking. The cards are laid out in rows of 10. Simply put cards in numerical order from King to Ace. You can put the cards on any color - but be aware that to finish a sequence, the cards must be in the same suit. Medium uses two suits and hard uses all four & easy is just one (not much of a challenge). If you get stuck you can hit Ctrl M and it will show you possible moves. Ctrl Z is undo (but these are also on the drop down menu).
Seeing the fireworks when you win is always such a happy thing :) Good luck.




Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Don't Stop Believing

We start to develop some of our dreams early on. When we are young we dream about about summer vacations and passing school, what our profession will be or about our future families. When the game MASH fortold our future, we could normally accept the outcomes even if we did live in a shack. When we get older we still have many short term dreams but the job and the families stay in play until we are satisfied with what we have.

Sure, I finished school, went on to college, then went back for more school. About 20 years of my life was in school. That is a long time. I found a job...but its not THE job. Not the job you think about when you are young. Although, that job was just more of an illusion. I may have wanted to be a teacher or doctor or lawyer (all of which I am not) but you don't understand the type of work involved...so how can you really dream it?

Moving onto love. I have been criticized for wanting love, that at times I don't think I can be truly happy or whole with out it. However, those who criticize usually are the ones that have a spouse (and perhaps are not happy??). My dreams of being married are still there. That guy in my visions that enhances my life. It took a long time to get over SI (if I even am?) - way too long. In the last 4 years I have seen friends go from single to married; or single to moving in with a guy; or in relationship to breakup to new relationship. And my personal favorite a married girl who cheats on her husband with a 17 year old (among others) and then finds a new guy dates him, gets separated from husband so she can 'party' and gets pregnant by said new guy, moves in with him, divorced finalized, have baby. I get so annoyed when I hear about stories like that last one. I stopped looking for love and I tried dating people that weren't my type. And now once again, I say just don't care - I'd rather be alone than with all those wrong guys (after all that is when it is supposed to happen, right?) but secretly I do care. The more time that goes by, I know my chances diminish.

My apartment is cute, small but cute. However at times I feel like I am paying all this money to live in what might be considered the projects of my town. No No, it isn't that bad...not at all...BUT the building structure is so horrible - I can hear everything and my sleeping/health suffers from it. Some people in my building are so inconsiderate (which is normal), I live next to the train tracks so it is always way louder & dustier than it could be, and the teenagers that loiter in the middle of the night drive me crazy (yes it is my fault I like to have my windows open all year long). I love that I have my own place, but there is no way I can afford to move into my 'dream' home, or even a much lesser version of it. I can barely afford this place. I decided to stay local after the break up to be near my family - being depressed around them was hard...but imagine how much worse it would have been to be alone for the first time in years AND not know a soul somewhere else? I have dreamt about moving far away to help healing...but it doesn't seem worth it.

I don't have it bad by any means...there are so many less fortunate people out there. And I am always so full of emotion when you hear stories about how hard people try to make their life better and succeed having went from completely broke and living a good life.

But, I have to keep telling myself "Don't Stop Believing" and one day...you will find that guy, a great job, have a better apartment or even be financially secure. I have to stop looking at the huge picture and focus more on the little baby steps I've taken to have gotten as far as I have and the baby steps I will have to continue to take to get to where I want to be.

Thank you Journey for today's blog title.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

credit check

I checked my credit recently. I wasn't worried about someone stealing my identity, but since you get one free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies, I figured why not? Last time I got it done was a little over two years ago when I bought my apartment.


https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp

I was very happy to see that my credit is good, but sad that I owe so much money. At least 82% of it is the mortgage, which is 'good'. But I would like to see these balances get smaller and smaller, but that will be in like 20 years. Until then, I'll have to reduce donating to the homeless on the street and try to explain that I am way more broke then they are.