Monthly Archives: February 2012

I’m with The Band.

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Yeah, I’ve said that before…and meant…I’m really with the band.  This is different.

There’s a lot of stigma behind saying, “I have emotional issues.” or “I went through something.” and sometimes you can’t tell the people that you’re closest to what you’re thinking or what you’ve been through for so many reasons.  Sometimes, I feel like it’s too much to expect of people for them to carry things that I could tell them. There are times when I don’t want to say something outloud.  There are things I don’t want to say to people, either for the first time, or again.  I don’t want pity, I just sometimes want to say things to get them off of me…off of my mind and off of my chest.  That’s why I’m with The Band.

When I first signed up for the website Bandbacktogether.com, I thought I’d never write anything.  I thought I’d never read anything on it either. So far, I’ve read tons and posted twice anonymously, with my first named post coming out soon.  I have to admit, some of it is hard to read and makes me feel like my problems are nothing, but that’s not why they’re there.  It’s a place to say what you feel and what you think about really hard topics.  A place for all those things that you wish you could scream out of a window, but can’t.  Here, you can post anonymously and really be anonymous.

I know a lot of people who could really use a website like this in their lives, but more importantly, there are a lot of people that I don’t know about that could use this in their lives.  It’s for those people that I decided to write this. Everybody goes through stuff, and everybody has problems.  What makes the difference in life is how you choose deal with your problems.  Here is a new option.

How I Lost a Sixth Grader.

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Nope, totally not pregnant in that picture.  Maybe that would have been a good excuse. ANYWAY!

So that was May 2010 and I had already lost quite a bit of weight at that point.  I started out at 220 pounds in December 2009.  There were a number of things that added to both the weight gain and weight loss, so let’s just skip that whole thing.

I’m now at 162 pounds, and there is no really good picture of me to show the difference, but it’s something you can judge by my chipmunk cheeks.

I don’t bring this up for many reasons, just one.  Just this.  We’re starting the Fit Foodie Challenge, and maybe I should have put this over on my food blog, but nobody wants to see pictures of me in with their recipes, so no.  I’m not happy with being 160-give or take five pounds, and I know I could eat better, so I’m participating whole-heartedly.  I want to encourage anybody…everybody…else to join this, even if you don’t live in Chattanooga.  Get your friends started and we’ll make this nationwide or international.

Just a few things, though. Eat fresh or frozen vegetables. If I find out you’re eating canned vegetables, I’m coming to your house.  Two, get outside.  Walk.  Take somebody with  you so you can talk and experience things with other people.  If you can’t go with somebody, take a camera. You’ll find that you want to get out more if you have a reason to go.  If you have a dog, take the dog, I know mine could stand to lose a few pounds.  (He’s glaring at me right now like he knows I just called him fat.)  If you don’t have a dog, go get a dog!

 

Updated.

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To fully experience this, you must read the comments.

 

http://www.wwltv.com/news/Parade-hosted-in-honor–140309413.html

NOLAFemmes

Thursday marked the end of a countdown my daughter started on January 6: Muses.

Each night, after she listed her daily gratitudes and wrote in her diary, she would find the countdown calender drawn on pink paper and dressed in white, silver, purple, and red glitter. With her very special pen, she would carefully cross off one more day, informing me of  the new countdown as she called out wishes of sweet dreams. As the countdown slimmed from a month, to a week, and then to days, her excitement grew.

“I don’t know if I should wear a costume this year or not, Mama,” she contemplated in the middle of a lesson on polygons for her sixth grade math class.

“Mama. do you think I will get a shoe?”

“What do you think the floats will look like?”

“Which book should I bring with me to read while we wait?”

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Fighting Fears, Frustrations, and Funding Issues.

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After doing my blog post on The Red Dress and Trumpets Not Guns, I decided that the best thing I could do would be to start a music program.  I got together with a couple of friends and what we ended up with was Rapsodic.  I have to say that it’s one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done.  Starting something like this makes me a grown up who is responsible for things.  It’s not like I haven’t been a grown up who is responsible for things before, it just means that I’m going to be in charge. People are going to want answers from me.  I have lots of answers, but I’m going to have to banish a lot of self doubt to really finally be in charge.  I often feel like I’m not able to ask people for their thoughts if I’m in charge, but I remind myself that asking for help is the exact way a person who’s in charge might have to respond.  (Reminder #1 – Always ask for help.)

Everyone who I’ve told about it thinks that it’s a fantastic idea.  Unfortunately, I feel very much like I’m beating people over the head with it.  Also, unfortunately, I think that may be my only option.  I feel that this could help a lot of families and schools, so I don’t feel like it would be fair to them for me to back down.  I have to keep fighting when I am faced with apathy from other people.  This is MY city, and I can’t sit back and expect other people to fix it.  I keep telling myself that all the effort that I’m going to have to put in is going to be worth the return on investment.  (Reminder #2 – Don’t let other people’s apathy become your attitude.)

Right now, I have so many things to do that I’ve never done, like file paperwork to become a 501(c)3, come up with contracts for the parents of the children who get instruments, and figure out how to get the funding to make sure that all of that is done correctly.  I’ve got to choose a board of directors, which is causing my chest to hurt.  I just keep making lists and researching how to do everything I need to do.  I’m reading up on all these things so that when I do them the first time, I do it as economically as possible. (Reminder #3 – Research first. It’s better to delay and do things right than jump in and do things wrong.)

What I’d like is for everyone to pass on the information, even if you don’t care, please pass it on to someone you think might care.  If everybody could pass on the information to five people, that would be an amazing thing for getting started.  I have had some wonderfully enthusiastic people who have passed it on already, and I’m grateful.  I’ve had people helping me out as well, and I’m eternally grateful to them as well.  If you’re interested yourself, feel free to follow all the social media things.

http://rapsodic.org/

http://www.facebook.com/rapsodic.chattanooga

and on Twitter – @rapsodicchatt

 

The course of true love gathers no moss.

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I was thinking a lot lately about the guy in my life, and while it’s not surprising that I was thinking a lot about him, I think that the way I think about him surprises me.  (This will become clear, I swear.)

Not to terribly long ago, we were at a party and he was introduced as my “better half” and I find this to be remarkably apt.  He’s on top of everything.  I’ve never met anyone more together than he is in my entire life, which, for those of you reading this who know me will understand how alien this concept is to me.  He always knows where he left his car keys!  In every single way, we’re complete opposites. I got within two semesters of completing a degree, he has a master’s degree.  I have jobs, he has a career.  I have a pick-up truck that I say Hail Marys over before starting it, he has …well..let’s just not even go there.  You can set your watch by him, too.  He is always exactly on time.  I’m not saying that I’m all bad, I’m just saying that he has a grasp on things that I haven’t begun to conquer yet.

We are often a good contrast in that technology hates him, and I wrangle up apps on my smartphone that make him blink at me.  He tends to be very classic in his tastes while I’m digging up old lamps out of a resale shop, yelling, “This’ll be awesome once we paint it green!”  His general comment when we eat is that the food is either good or bad, and I’m giving a ten minute dissertation on how the cilantro mixes well with the lime juice and binds the avocado to make the perfect guacamole.

I say all this to say that he’s accepting of what I see as my shortcomings.  We’ve both been sick, he was sicker than I was, but we decided to bike to an event with a path of four miles one way.  On the way, I was wheezing, dying, and unable to figure out what gear on my eighteen gear bike was going to be the one to get me up a STEEP INCLINE (read: tiny, rolling grade), so I jumped off and started pushing instead.  He stayed right with me, though he could literally ride circles around me, as I was moving like a bloated, diseased bovine (I was really just trying to dodge all those black spots I was seeing).  I looked at him and said, “You know, *cough cough* you’re eventually going to have to just go.  I’m like a wounded gazelle, and eventually, you’re just going to have to let the lions *whhhheeeeze* get me.” (None of this is made up. I’m prone to hyperbole, but this is EXACTLY how it happened.)  He just gave me a half-mouth grin and said, “Look, top of the hill.”

There’s no way of knowing if two people are going to be together forever, but I think we’re doing pretty well at making the best of the things we have going.  He looks for things for me to take pictures of, I take pictures of things he’d like to see if he isn’t there.  Between the two of us, we have *some* knowledge of most things, and we probably have a book about it somewhere.  I’ll never win any awards for my biking, and he’ll never cook a seven course meal…I think we pretty well come out about even, and that was all I really wanted anyway.

 

Rules of Engagement.

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It’s occurred to me that some of you might be getting engaged on Valentine’s Day and I would like to offer my honest opinion on this action. Don’t do it. I’m not necessarily saying don’t get engaged, because some of you might really be serious about being married. Fine, go right ahead, but let me offer you some suggestions for both males and females.

  1. Don’t get married because if you don’t, you’re going to break up. This, my friends, is a sign. Break up and get it over with now. Beat the rush.
  2. Don’t propose on Valentine’s Day in an overpriced restaurant.
  3. Don’t buy a big, fancy ring.

You know I won’t suggest something without providing evidence, so here goes.

Firstly, if one of you is ready to get married and the other one is not, then neither of you are.  The fact that one of you is being blackmailed into it is not going to make things better.  I know Stockholm Syndrome is a thing, but it’s not actually the sort of thing that gets you through life. There could be a legitimate reason for both of you being in the same relationship and not being in the same emotional place at the same time. Might be an excellent time for you to review what you actually want in life.

Secondly, it’s not just proposing in overpriced restaurants that’s trite anymore. You may have to really think hard on this one, or…you know…not.  Don’t over-complicate the matter, though. Don’t have all your friends show up on a street corner with certain cars that have to drive by while playing certain songs and then have a marching band show up playing the very same song with a banner that says, “(Something ridiculously sappy)”  You’re likely to end up exceptionally stressed when one car doesn’t make it through the red light, or you might end up with a totaled car and some flattened instruments. It’s already big enough. Skip the Valentine’s Day thing, though.  It doesn’t matter what you do, it’s going to be overdone if you do it on Valentine’s Day.  You know what day could use some spicing up?  Thursday.  It’s always an undervalued day.

Thirdly, and most importantly, don’t go six years into debt for this.  I am of the opinion that the diamond ring has become the symbol of mediocre thought in our society, and that’s not because I don’t want one. I like diamonds, and it’s my birthstone, and I’ve never had one… but..there are a few things that I keep coming back to on this one. No matter how much value you put on it, it’s still a rock. It just sits there and does nothing. If you’re starting a life together, does buying a rock really make sense? During a conversation about this very thing the other day, some friends of mine and I came up with the best engagement offering would be a Kitchen Aid with all the attachments.  I think we also decided the girl should give it to the guy.  And why not?  What makes us so special as women that we have to be presented with some expensive gift to bribe us into getting married?  What makes the guy so unimportant that he gets nothing?  A diamond might be forever, but a Kitchen Aid is loaves of bread, cakes, pies, and ravioli.

I may not know you, but I want you to be happy, and I want you to get the most out of your life. I don’t have any special expertise to back this up except that I have, at one time, been married.  I’d advise you to make your own days in life, and not go with commercially pre-set holidays. Celebrate the moments of your life when the rest of the world is at home watching reruns…on a Thursday.

Beyond the Resume.

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This one is going to be a little odd, so bear with me for a bit.

I recently had to take a personality test for a job application. I’m pretty sure I came back as “psycho”, and here’s why:  I felt I had to lie one way or the other, and I was unclear on which way I should lie.  I realize that this is a ridiculous stand on a personality test, but that’s the way it is.  I’ve never gotten a job where I took a personality test.  In fact, I was told… blatantly told…by one place that I had “too strong of a personality” for their work environment and I wouldn’t just do what I was told, I’d look for “alternative ways to accomplish the work” and that was unacceptable.  Huh.  Really?

I’ve had a lot of friends who agree with my dislike of the personality test procedure.  We have a lot of the same problems, though.  We all tend to question everything.  We don’t just do things because “that’s the way it’s always been done”.  We likely had some alternative hair color at one point.

So, last night I went to the big Kevin Smith event with my best friend, and I promise this is related.  He’s talking about how he saw things that weren’t being done and he wanted to do them,  how there are enough “Why?” people in the world and you should be a “Why not?” person.  He looks back on how he got out of high school, watched all his friends going on to do all these normal things, but it just didn’t feel right for him. I realize that bestie is pointedly looking over at me when something like this is going on, and then I actually muttered, “Preach it, bro.” about something he said.

On the way home, I’m doing my thing where I sing really loudly and process information that I’ve taken in during the day, and I kind of meld things together. (I realize this is a long, drawn out sort of post, but I’m about to get to the crux of it.)  Here’s why personality tests and resumes are bad for me:

-I am the sort of person to take risks.  Nothing great was ever done by staying in your safety zone.  I do believe that there’s a fine line between taking a risk and being a moron, so there’s that too.

-I’m not even sure where “The Box” is anymore.  I saw it once, but I think that was in first grade.

-I question authority. I do this for the good of mankind, honestly.  I know that sounds all lofty and pretentious, but think about it. Questioning authority is a selfish thing.  Is what you’re saying good for the company and in turn, good for me keeping my job?  Is it good for the world, and in turn, good for me to keep on living?  (I worked for a place who didn’t want  you to audit accounts while you were looking at them, just deal with one problem at a time.  So if you saw a bunch of problems, and wanted them corrected, you were asked if the client had called on them.  If not, let it go.  That, to me, was bad practice all the way around.  It made me look bad, it made the company look bad, and I questioned it often, much to the chagrin of my bosses.)

-I’m honest to goodness creative. No. I mean I went to school for music and my minor was art. If I don’t like something, I’ll paint it. If I want something and can’t afford to buy it, I’ll figure out how to make it.

-I believe that sometimes boundaries are just there for you to break through them.  I was also raised by a woman who believed that walls were for moving, and I mean that in the most literal sense.

I thought about this post for a while before I wrote it, because I’ve actually been wanting to get this out for a while.  I considered the repercussions and I thought about the risks of making a post like this, because generally speaking, people don’t get hired for being like this.  That’s why I’ve always tried to interview as blandly as possible, and that’s why people are always shocked when they get to know me afterward.  I know I’ve always been considered “odd”, but I’m ok with that. I am odd. I’m also detail-oriented, organized in a work environment, and I’ve been known to be efficient.  It’s all in how you do the job.