Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The "End of Year" list for 2015

Here we are again.  Another year come and gone.  Another list to compile of stuff I did, stuff I mock when I look back (the list of things I want to do), and the general feeling of the year as it was.

Let me just say: What a bloody crazy year it was!  I wasn't expecting most of the stuff that happened this year.  It's been wild, to say the least

After losing my job in January, the months off in between were lovely.  But stressful at times.  I had a blast hanging out with Valerie during that time.  Being "mom-extraordinaire" was a lot of fun work.  

Then, while at the beach in June, I got the phone call I had been hoping for during those past few months.  The phone call that I was being offered the job I hoped for.  So, I started June 29th, and it's been wonderful working with such a great group of people!

That being said, I read next to nothing this year.  I've read all of 2 books.  One of which was a dime-novel with the spine less than a centimeter!  So, I've been pretty bad when it comes to my reading.  But, in my defense, the second half of the year was just as crazy as the first - if not more.


First, let's mention the Low-lights of the year (because I want to end on a positive note):

  • My uncle died in April
  • Lost my job in January
  • Marriage dissolved in August
  • Daughter is having a rough time of life right now.

Highlights this year (my positives):

  • Got to hang out with Valerie in Carpool for the last half of 8th grade
  • Found a new, better job in June while I happened to be at the beach with family.
  • Saw Ingrid Michaelson live in June
  • Later that month, I went to Rocky Horror's Live show
  • I know exactly who I can - and who I can't - count on when the going gets tough.
  • Got to see the Biltmore Estate for the first time in September.  It was beautiful and extraordinary and everything they say it is.
  • At the end of this month, I'm hoping to see the new Star Wars

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What is your favorite room in your house?

When I was growing up, one of my favorite things to do was to sit down with house plan books and to look at different layouts.  I would imagine what each room would look like, and how it would be decorated.  Which would be my favorite place to spend time?  What would the lot look like?  Where in the world would it be, and how would that impact the landscaping?  What color schemes and decor would be featured in each house?

As with my nature, every house I looked at on paper had a different feel to it - and none of them was favored more than the other (as you know, I don't make up my mind easily).  I loved the houses for different reasons.  Even if they were on paper and in my mind.

I often wonder how many of those houses actually ever got built by anyone.  And if they didn't, how the architect may have felt about that particular snub to their work.  But, in my mind, those houses lived.  They were built, if not in reality, then in my conscious.
And  I just got sidetracked because over at
 they have ALL my favorite character's layouts.
Even Golden Girls and Will and Grace!

I never had an affinity for one room over another until I became a teenager.  That's when my bedroom became my sanctuary.  Everything I ever wanted lived in that room.  My water bed, my cat, my favorite videos, my books.  Everything I wanted to keep close to me.  It was all there.

Now that I am older, you would think that my favorite room would have changed to the kitchen or living room, since I have a house of my own.  But, instead, I find myself still captivated by my bedroom.  My pillows.  My blankets (especially the heated one in the winter).  My retreat.

The revelation surprises me, because I find that I haven't changed all that much.  But then also doesn't surprise me, because I am a creature who loves warmth, comfort, familiarity, safety and surety.  And those things can only be found in my dreams.

What is your favorite room in your house?  Did it change if you moved?  Have you lived in one place your whole life?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Multifaceted compliments

Quartz - in normal lighting
Someone recently told me that I was multifaceted and not all dark.  While I know that it was meant as a compliment, it was neither a compliment, nor a revelation.

Multifaceted refers to stones - gemstones in particular - and how they're cut to show best in the light.  The term multifaceted doesn't change the color of the actual stone.  It simply reflects the outsourced light to enhance the stone in the best possible way.  The light is still outsourced.  The light doesn't come from within the stone.

Quartz - in the best possible light available
So, in a way, it was sort of a backhanded compliment, at best.  It's all about the other person's light shining so brilliantly in your presence.  Does the way I'm "cut" make you seem brighter or duller?  And why should I care?  I am still the gem.  And I'm still the same color, and that doesn't change.  What changes is the circumstances/situation - or lighting - in which I'm put.  And it is not just the lighting, but the background in which you see the stone, as well as the viewer's eyes.

I know that the two images above that I chose have no facets, but the principle holds true to all stones - even if they're tumbled vs cut.  But just go out and look for images of faceted stones and you'll see that they're photographed in the best possible lighting to show the gem's reflection of light.

So, my question is: what weird shit has recently been said to you lately?  Make me laugh internet.  Don't disappoint.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

What shall I regenerate as?

I almost feel like The Doctor - regenerating.  Instead, at least I get a little input as to what I re-invent myself as.

One tends to add things to their persona over time, without really realizing that they're becoming part of their character.  It's only at the crossroads in life that
Photo courtesy of
Stuart Miles via
we examine, and rebuild, our identities.  

I was happy in my last identity.  But, circumstances have made me re-evaluate and examine the weaknesses in my being.  I need to determine if these weaknesses need to be fortified, or if they are essential to a part of my character that I don't want to change.  For example: I may hurt now because of them, but would I so easily mute my compassionate nature simply because it lays me open to possible obliteration at some point?  These are all things that you cross-examine when you are at a crossroads.

So, here are the things I'm examining in me and thinking about changing:

  • I make too few demands.  I never wanted to be a high-maintenance person.  But, in going with the flow and being able to adjust my sails against any particular wind that may blow my way, I have decided that being a chameleon may not necessarily be in my favor always.  I never wished to be inflexible until this moment.  But now, I feel that perhaps some rigidity of nature may be required.  The problem is, that by doing that, I close myself off to so many new experiences simply because of having a fixed standard.
    So, do I become the bitch with standards and demands and needs that absolutely must be met?  Or do I continue to be open to almost everything?  This is a fundamental question that would completely change my makeup.
    It also begs the question (as they are intrinsically linked) should I require more and be less giving? Or should I continue to take people at their face value and what they're willing to give without ever requiring more from them?
  • Who do I allow to look into my eyes and truly see me?  Eyes are the window to the heart.  Who will I allow to see that?  Shall I avert my gaze more frequently?  I used to do this quite often - not look people directly in the eye.  Or shall I just look at them with my shields up (that glossy front of semi-authenticity that can be raised when you first meet someone that I almost never use).
    In fact, the first man I looked in the eyes is the first man I fell in love with.  So, looking directly into the eyes - and allowing the shields to be down while doing so - seems to be to my detriment.
    So, do I continue to allow my eyes authentic interactions? Or do I put my shields up, or eyes lowered or centered on a fixed point on their face?
  • I normally question all motives eventually.  But often I give people the benefit of the doubt and take what they say at face value - until they prove me wrong.  Perhaps I should be more skeptical of other peoples motives and pay closer attention to not only what they're saying, but why.
    But, honestly, I don't know if I have the energy to devote to this change.  it may be one of the most important changes, but how much of my life to I want to spend running around in my head going in circles.  I feel too, that this may breed paranoia.  I think when my internal gut tells me something is up, that's soon enough.  Scratch this change.

Things that I will never change about my person:
  • I will be protective over Leilani and my dearest friends.  The tiger/dragon will not allow anyone to hurt them without massive repercussions.
  • I will continue to be jaded in my view of life, love, and happiness.  Because hope sucks.  Hope is a temporary high on a roller coaster, and I'd rather live on a level playing field with room to lay in the sun.
  • I will continue to revel in the joys of the little and simple things daily.  Like tea, a genuine hug, a movie at the end of the day, bubbles, a breeze on a warm day, snowflakes on your eyelashes, smiles, nature, the beauty of my workplace, etc.
  • I will still geek-out and fan-girl when I find something cool/adorable/beautiful/fun.
  • I will still sing in the car if I love the song.  And I will sing in the shower if I feel like it.  And I will hum while I put my makeup on.
  • I will continue to be unapologetic for anything about myself that people don't like.  If I like it, and it harms none, then others opinions don't matter.  That said, if a critique is valid, I will listen and adjust (and I do ask certain people - you know who you are - for feedback).
  • I will still believe in the beauty of me, my darkness, and my quiet.  Not sure if my presence will be a soothing as it used to be after my regeneration, but if it is, I will love and revel in that.
  • I will still not change my core being for anyone but me.

Do you like who you are?  What would you change if you took a hard look at yourself?  What would you keep?  What do you enjoy most about being you right now in this moment?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

What to do, what to do...

After a ridiculously difficult week, complete with a Charlie-Sheen-like breakdown, I stand on the other side realizing that I haven't been this depressed since my mother died.

What I wonder is, should I attempt to see someone and medicate my way out of everything looking like, tasting like and feeling like ash. Or should I just pull through like I did then?  Am I strong enough to do it again?  Can I hope to reinvent myself on my own? Am I even going to like the person I become? I loved the old me.  I don't like me right now. What will I become?

I feel hopeless, lost, bitter and resigned.  One thing is very certain: when I finally DO like me again, I will never EVER let anyone change me again. Because there is NO reason in the world that I should ever have to rebuild myself the way I am going to have to now.

Friday, April 17, 2015

10 things I'll miss about you

This morning, very early, my uncle died.  
In honour of him, I want to write here some of the things I'm going to miss most about him.

  1. He was closer than even an uncle.  When my grandmother (his first cousin) died, his family treated us as surrogate grandparents.  And likewise, when my mother died, they did the same for Leilani - treating her as a grandchild as well.  For his constancy and care, he will be greatly missed.
  2. I am going to be the only one who visits that house that is now cold.  He and I were always the ones dressed in flannel in 70 - 80 degree weather, while being perfectly comfortable.  I'm including pictures from his 80th birthday celebration to make my point. (photos courtesy of Betsy Knocklein) 
  3. I'm going to miss his bond with Leilani.  It always amazed me that she wasn't afraid of him (like we were as kids - because he was very tall and made quite an impression upon us as children).  She had a way with him, and he with her, that was unlike anything I had witnessed.
  4. I'm going to miss watching him toss mail at his wife, and then have her bicker about how he threw it at her.  Secretly, I think she might miss it too.
  5. I'm going to miss the way his smile lit up his whole face when he was genuinely happy.
  6. I'm going to miss his raised eyebrow at my earrings, clothes, or any other accessory that he thought was too flamboyant when I would wear it.  Honestly, I might just wear those dangle earrings that he thought were too over the top to go shopping in to his funeral.  Just to send him off in style, albeit over the top style - in his opinion.
  7. I am going to miss his distaste for the spaghetti part of "Tuesday night Spaghetti Nights." I am also going to miss watching him pile redi-whip onto his dessert.  I know, I know...but it's the little things like that I'm going to miss.
    His smile was like a light bulb
    and it lit up everyone's world.
  8. I'm going to miss worrying about him.  
  9. I will miss listening to dinnertime conversations and banter.  It was the only normalcy that Leilani had when it came to that.  I may not have always actively participated in them, but I was listening and enjoying them.
  10. I will always remember holding his hand the last time I saw him, and whispering quietly to him that it was okay to be scared.  And then him trying to take off one of my rings (he hated the bling till the end, it seems).
One thing I won't miss - the stories.  We have so many fun and wonderful stories to tell about his life, that I will never be lacking in those.

    I'm cold.
    And it was a warm October.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

What I'm most looking forward to for spring and summer.

Today was the quintessential spring day.  It was clear blue skies and warm (but not yet warm enough for me to take the sweater off) with just a hint of a breeze.

It makes me long so much for warmer weather, flowers, and the scent of fresh cut grass, and the spring onions that invariably make me nauseous and sneezy when they're mowed over.  

But, what I want to hear most - above all else - is the beginning of the races.  Up behind my house is the local racetrack/speedway.  Every Friday night in summer, they race cars.  The sound of the engines roaring is like a bell that rings to bring on my Pavlovian response of tank tops and beach trips.  

Once I hear that beautiful sound, I know that there will be no more cold.  There will be no more snow or ice.  And it will be light and warm, and I can open all of my windows to hear that beautiful, sweet, dirty sound.  It is the rush that I crave, even without realizing that I crave it.  I don't always look forward to it.  Sometimes it sneaks up on me.  All of the sudden, I hear the roar of those engines and I am giddy with excitement, despite my delighted surprise.  

My mother never understood why I didn't mind the noise.  It was the only thing about the house that she had reservations about that I can remember.  She figured it might wake the baby.  It never did.  And it was always a source of joy and contentment for me.  It signaled the beginning of when I could sit under my carport in the evenings and sip on something cold while relaxing and watching the young'un play outside.  Time for dining al fresco.

I'm looking forward to this so much.  I simply can't wait.  I am hoping it happens in the next few weeks.  I never look up the schedule, and I still won't.  I like for it to be a surprise.  I'm just hoping that after such a cold winter, the surprise comes sooner than later.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The episode wherein I wasn't enough

In November 2014, I found out that i was to be layed off in January 2015. Although, my initial thought was to chronical the emotions and effects that this had on me, I ultimately decided against it at the time. But, I still warred with myself over that decision.  Today, the writing faction of my psyche won.

Because today I feel betrayed.  I know that I will ultimately land on my feet.  But, knowing that doesn't make it easier to know that my parking space has been taken, my keys re-distributed, and my office to (eventually) be repurposed. Today, I know that it was my skillset that wasn't valued.  And what am I, if not my skillset?

This isn't a startling revelation. It has come to me before. But, now that everything is finalized in this divorce from my 17yr marriage to my job, it hurts more. To know that I wasn't enough. And it feels like -although I always stretched beyond my capacity - I, ultimately, couldn't be molded into the employee that they wanted/needed.

And that, my friends, is why it feels more like a failed relationship, and less like a layoff.  So, I am going to post this old photo I took of a rainbow outside my house, to remind me that I shouldn't care that I wasn't enough. Because it's a rainbow. Just go with it, people.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Favorite Memory of 2014

The writing challenge this week is to tell about your favorite memory from the past year.

Kure Beach, April 2014
2014 was a rough year, as six months of it went by cramming 16 hours of work into 8 hours a day.  But the other six months had some wonderful memories.  And my favorite, by far, was the solitude and bliss of going to the beach by myself.

Completely alone.  For the first time in my life.

It was wonderful.

Don't mistake me, I enjoyed going with friends and family as well, but for the first time EVER, I went alone.

Kure Beach, April 2014
The peace of not having to worry about a child in the surf (or satisfying her hunger, thirst, bathroom breaks, etc..).  Sitting there alone gave me the freedom to revel in my introversion.
I sat there, and wrote some reflections on the type of day it was.  Cool breeze, almost chilly.  Until the sun came out from behind the wisps of clouds.
I enjoyed the sound of nothing but the waves and a few seagulls bidding for attention.  I closed my eyes and thought of nothing.  Absolutely nothing.
I felt the sizzle of the sun on my skin.  I luxuriated in the glow of the mid-morning sunshine.
And I didn't care.  In that moment, I had no obligations or responsibilities.  It was me, my chair, and my beach bag.  That was it.  I was free.

I loved it so much, that I followed the trip up with another one - this time with a friend and children.  Just basking in the sun toes in the sand.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Do people change?

One of the things I'd like to do more of this year would be to post at least one blog per month.  In an effort to do this, I've created an entire board on pintrest to help me.  I'm going to answer some of the January questions on that board over the next few days.

One of the first questions I want to write about is "Do you think people change?"

When I was younger, I would have answered with a resounding "no."  But, I feel this is a more complicated question than it seems.  When originally asked that question it's normally in reference to "does a leopard change his/her spots" type of question.  But it's really not as shallow as it first seems.

One of my favorite quotes is by Alvin Toffler "Change is not merely necessary to life - it is life."
Change: by Alvin Toffler

This holds true on both a broader scale as well as a more personal one.  Change is everything.  Change is all.  It is ambivalent and apathetic - neither good nor bad.  It simply is.  Therefore, to truly live, we are constantly changing.

What mustn't change is our inner core of being.  We can be open to experience and change, but you must still have a sense of self.  You must remain true to your being.  No one knows this better than parents.  You have created this being that is so much like you, and so dissimilar.  And often, when you have very small children, you tend to lose yourself in them.

So, simply put - do people change:  yes.  All the time.  Even by trying not to change, the influences around them as well as the information that they are exposed to, are constantly changing.  And thus, their perceptions, ideas, and thoughts are also in a constant state of fluctuation.