No More Empty Fortune Cookies!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Calling Dr. Fortune Cookies

I have a friend, we'll call her Snappy. Snappy was raised in the oh so affluent side of town. She went to the best of the best schools and drove a Mercedes when she was 16. Her daddy is a renowned neurologist at one of the leading teaching hospitals that happens to be located here, in Nashville, and her mother is a very successful interior designer with her own business in that already mentioned affluent side of town. If you ever watch The Real Housewives on Bravo, you'll have an idea of the type of family Snappy comes from. Snappy should have been an architect. She certainly has the intelligence and talent. She went to school in St.Louis to fulfill that dream, but due to her severe bipolar disorder and symptoms associated with it, she eventually came back to Nashville, abandoning hope of ever finishing school. Eventually, Snappy's symptoms escalated to a debilitating level in which she was unable to maintain any form of gainful employment, and now, she is just one of so many Americans, living off of Social Security/Disability Income, which, if you don't already know, is actually less than minimum wage. Snappy has it better than most, though, because she has her parents who really look out for her and help her out, and she knows that. I say all of this to set the stage for what I want to truly discuss about Snappy.

Three years ago, Snappy came to me with a sore under her arm. She said it had started as a pimple, but was not healing. She often comes to me with her "medical questions" since I have a background in nursing. I took a look, and, concerned about infection, asked Snappy if she had shown her Dr. this lesion. She assured me she would show her dermatologist next week. Next week she went to the dermatologist that her medicare allowed her to see, and he treated her armpit for cystic acne, injecting it with steroids. Months went by and the sore grew, the dermatologist continued on the same course of treatment, occasionally prescribing an antibiotic. Sometimes the sore would get a little bit better, but usually, it just stayed an open sore. Snappy, being who she is, would not ask her father to look at it. Would not even talk to him about it. After a few months, I told Snappy, I am afraid that this is a staph infection, and you need to be treated with IV antibiotics, has the dermatologist tested you for staph? "No," she replied. "They just inject me with cortisone and give me a Z-pack." "Well, I want you to ask them to test you for staph" I told her. That was two and a half years ago. My memory is a bit lame, but to the best of my memory, at that point, the dermatologist's response was that her insurance would not cover the cost of a staph test without reason to suspect staph and that they did not feel it needed to be tested, it was cystic acne, case closed.

This scenario played out for the course of three years. Snappy going on multiple antibiotics, none ridding her of this sore, which became a festering, open, oozing, nasty thing under her arm. And the dermatologist never testing her. Meanwhile, there have been numerous reports on the news over the past couple of years about the MRSA ( Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ) outbreaks across the state of Tennessee.I advised Snappy to please go to a new doctor, but getting her insurance to approve of that has been a jumping through hoops task that she has not been able to follow through with.

Two weeks ago, Snappy went on vacation to her parents beach house in Florida. While there, she became ill. She knew her arm sore was most likely the source of the ailment, and the warning of staph infection rang once again in her head. She had been to the dermatologist the week prior to going to Florida, and he had continued with the same course of treatment as has been standard since he began treating it, but she knew she needed to see someone else. Snappy finally went to a different doctor. Maybe it was being in a different state that gave her the courage, or maybe it was just the necessity, who knows, who cares. The clinic that saw Snappy that day took one look and said this is staph, tested it, and yes, it indeed was staph. They started her on a course of IV antibiotics and within days, Snappy's three year infectious sore was healed. They sent her home with a pamphlet on Staph, the Super-bug. And asked her to take it to the dermatologist that had been treating her. They asked her to make the delivery of the pamphlet the last visit to him. Staph can kill you, and the only reason, I think, that it didn't kill Snappy, is because she was on just enough antibiotics to keep it from becoming a systemic infection or from spreading to a vital place like a lymph node or the heart or brain.

Snappy was looked at as an under-insured, low income, mentally ill person with limited funds. She was not given the same treatment she would have received if she had, say, my insurance and my job, the ability to speak up for herself and demand proper testing. Not to mention the foresight to say "Hey, dad, can you look at this for me? My doctor doesn't seem to be listening to my complaints." But that's a whooooole different issue. Sometimes, even when we don't want to be a "burdeon" on those we love, we need to speak up.

In my opinion, Snappy became a prime example of classicism. A saddening display, especially since it was exhibited by the medical community, those who are supposed to be sworn to heal. Snappy saw doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners alike at this office. None of which spoke up to her and said this isn't healing, lets try another course of treatment. And why is that? I'll tell you why, because her insurance would not pay for another, more costly course of treatment. But truth be known, Snappy's parents would have happily shelled out the bucks to cover any tests, medications, and treatments necessary that insurance may have declined to pay for. Only, Mr.Dermatology didn't even stop to ask, he only assumed.
I am infuriated for Snappy. I am appaled for Snappy, and I am disgusted with the health care system in general, because of cases, like Snappy's, and others, who aren't as lucky as her.
Snappy doesn't realize how lucky she is, but I certainly do.

Monday, April 28, 2008

WWC and Let them have it!

It's that magical time of the week again, time for the Weekly Words Challenge, brought to us by every one's favorite pixie dust wielding Tink, of Pickled Beef. If you're thinking you want to give your camera a weekly words workout, go see Tink, she'll show you how.

Before I get my photos posted, I want to catch up on the planned weekend happenings, or um, lack thereof.
My friend and I who were supposed to get together and go to the museum didn't get to do it, as usual, something spoiled the plans, and believe it or not, it wasn't even the 30,000 runners running the marathon in the middle of where we wanted to be that spoiled our fun. We're used to it by now, something always comes up, as I mentioned the other day. She had to cancel at the last minute this time, due to an injury incurred the day before, so, in lieu of the planned outing with my lifelong BFF, me, my snookums, and the other lesbians next door all went out shopping and lunching and just being the four of us, as we usually do. We decided to just let the marathoners have downtown and went the complete opposite direction to avoid all the traffic and mess of the Country Music Marathon or Music City Marathon (or whatever the hell marathon they call it this year) and ended up at a really cool nursery where I bought lots of new babies for my tiny little flower garden, YAY! Then it started raining before I made it home, so I couldn't plant anything- boo! It's still raining, as a matter of fact, and about 20 degrees colder than Saturday, so, litter removal will have to wait for at least another day, until it's not raining anyway. But I promise you, I am still going out to pick up garbage from my neighborhood and get that posted here, within the next few days. I still welcome anyone to join in :) After that we explored and found a World Market in Murfreesboro, WOOT! I found lots of yummmy stuff there as well as my wife standing starry eyed and possibly drooling in front of the magnificent beer selection that only their coffee selection parallels. I still had a wonderful day with good friends and found hidden treasures within each place I explored. I love days like that.
Ok, now about the WWC...
My sweetums kept custody of the camera for the majority of the weekend, and snarled and growled, no matter if I batted my eyelashes and innocently pleaded for access to it or sharply snapped my fingers and barked "GIVE IT HERE". Honestly, she has such a way about her, makes me melt like ice cream on august pavement. As much as I hate to admit it, she deserves to keep the camera, just look at her photos! I'm going to have to break down and get her that damned camera she wants. until then, the great camera war continues...
This week, we were looking for Water & 1. I like Tink's idea of using an element and a number, it can be tricky!

here's my interpretation of Water & 1 : of these is not like the others, yeah, it's a stretch

Friday, April 25, 2008

Doh! 30,000 people you say?

You know how you have that friend who you always make plans with, but never follow through? You really fully intend to, but for whatever reason it just never works out. Maybe you don't, but I do. I have that friend and against all odds, she remains one of my closest friends ever. We've known each other for something like 18 years, since before I knew that I was a lesbian. She knew me when I still kissed,***** insert drumroll**** boys! (gasp!) I know, ewwww!

My friend's birthday is this weekend. We rarely get to do much together since she is a wife, the mother of 3 young children, and holds a full time job. I have school and work and blah, blah, blah... We all have responsibilities that keep us from enjoying free time with friends, some of us have more than others. When she found out that she was going to have Saturday off from work, we decided we'd plan a girl's day out, have lunch, go to the Frist, Nashville's measley answer to a fine art gallery. They have a phenomenal show on display right now, And since we're going to the Frist, we decided to take her oldest daughter, who is 8 years old, because she won an art contest and has a painting on display there. Way to go, girl! Sooooo we had a big ole' day all planned out, just us girls.
THEN, I finally see the friggin' headlines this morning.

The Music City Marathon is tomorrow! With it, around 30,000 runners will be in the downtown Nashville area.

Precisely where my friend and I want to be! The route starts out just across the street from the restaurant that we wanted to have lunch at. The Frist Center is smack dab in the middle of Broadway, which will be closed part of the morning for the runners. Oi vey!
Now I have to concoct a whole new plan of action for our girls day, which by the way, must be something that an 8 year old will enjoy too. Geez. I don't suppose I can drag them along on my garbage extraction from the sides of streets venture, can I? I mean, none of you seem interested in helping to beautify our neighborhoods, and I know you read about it, I watch my stats! You read it and sulked away, stealth-like, thinking I'd just think no one saw ;)
Well, that's just fine. I guess you either don't have litter producing neighbors, like I do, or, you don't care ;)

I've had something else on my mind, that I believe ties into the whole give a Hoot - Don't Pollute, thing.
Customer Service. Good customer service, or a lack therof, I should say. I got to thinking more about it after I was reading about Jay's misadventures at his public library, (Jay always makes me smile, maybe it's the scantily clad women he often has hosted on his page) and thinking how it sounded like every trip I take to any store these days. My sweetums and I have the"what's happened to customer service?" conversation every single time we go to a grocery store, restaurant, retail store, whatevs. When I was a young pup comming of age, cutting my teeth in the world of customer service, I worked at a big box retail outlet. They are all but extinct today, but I hold them dear in my heart. Why? Because in that hell hole of a store, working strenuous hours, being yelled at by blue hairs because grandchildren NEEDED Tickle Me Elmo for Christmas and NOTHING else would do, I learned a few things about patience, understanding, EMPATHY (see, there's that word again) and CUSTOMER SERVICE. When I first started out, I was a lowly cashier, minimum wage. We were required let me reiterate that, REQUIRED to speak with our customers. Furthermore, we were forbidden from carrying on "sidebar" conversations with each other. Meaning if Cashier 1 and Cashier 2 were speaking to each other and not to their customers, they'd be fired. It was grounds for immediate termination. We were REQUIRED to at the very least, ask how the customer's day was going, AND if they found everything they were looking for. I'm lucky if my cashier at the local grocery store even tells me the total of my purchase, rather, she just turns the register's display to face me so that I can read it myself, never missing a beat in her conversation with her friend, the bag boy, about what party they are planning to attend this weekend, or who got fired last week, or how so-ing-so is so RUDE.
How's this for rude, you little twit, try spitting your gum out while you're on the clock and try speaking to your customers as though you give about half a shit about your crappy little job. If it sucks so bad, you know what, you can do like the rest of us did, and go find yourself a decent one that does make you happy. I didn't make you go to work here, I'm not keeping you at work here, and if I say "hi" the least you could do is say "hi" back. It's called MANNERS, you may want to look into getting some before you venture out into the real world again.
I know, I know, put yourself in her shoes. I've been in them. I spent years in those shoes, and you know what? I smiled, I said "Hi! How are you today?" Even when I wanted to say "Oh, go to hell!"
I spoke to rude, snobby, irrational, insulting people as though they were my grandma; with graciousness, with EMPATHY, with courtesy and professionalism.
There is a lack of this today. I don't see it anywhere. Then again, I see children being raised without guidance, without discipline, without the manners that were instilled in me and my generation.
I was taught to say "yes ma'am" and "no ma'am" and "Thank you" Please". I was taught that if you broke it, you fixed it. If you dropped it, you picked it up, and if you dirtied it, you cleaned it. And if it's on the ground, pick it up and put it away, even if you didn't drop it. That crosses over into everything that I do. I guess that is why I want to pick up this mess.
C'est la vie! Wish me luck with downtown tomorrow.
And if you work in any customer service field, try to provide some service, we really are looking for just a LITTLE bit of kindness out here!
Soap box gone, carry on now, carry on.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Becoming the change

I was watching the news the other night, and there's a segment called ask the mayor, in which Nashvillians are granted a chance to voice questions and concerns to Mayor Karl Dean. One of the questions asked of Mayor Dean was when is he going to do something about the growing litter problem in Nashville, and why can't we get some nicely landscaped streets. The response was as to be expected, we already have regularly scheduled litter pick up in place, there really aren't funds to schedule extra pick ups, and that the city hopes to have citizens' input and assistance to get the issue under control.
As far as the nicely landscaped streets? There was never any response to that, but if you ask me, We need to get the litter under controll before anyone even considers some landscaping. Why would they spend the money on that if all we're going to do is throw trash on it and cover it up?
I say, if we want to get the litter problem under control, STOP LITTERING! Go out and PICK UP the litter. This is not an issue like, say, the increasing crime problem where police intervention is required. This is not like the issue of having some of the worst scores on aptitude tests in the nation, where better educational standards, put in place by the Metro School Board would help to correct the issue. No, this is completely in our hands. If we want our home to be litter free and clean, we need to get out there and pick up the trash.

Gandhi said that we should be the change we want to see in this world. For me that means take action.
I've made my commitment; begining this week, I will take a walk each week, garbage bag in tote. Starting with my own neighborhood, I'll pick up litter from the sides of the streets and sidewalks. I'm tired of riding through my neighborhood and seeing fast food bags, coke bottles, beer bottles, empty cigarette packs tossed out to litter what should be a pretty and scenic drive.
In the process of my litter removal, I'll get some sun and some much needed exercise. It's a win, win, win operation.
We can write letters all day long to our mayors about litter problems in our neighborhoods, but honestly, people, this one is on us and us alone.

Who wants to join me? Anyone up for a Sunday stroll and some garbage extraction? We can post photos of our efforts here like a meme to keep eachother motivated. Can you dig it?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My worthy opponent and WWC

When I first met Macey, I can remember saying, " She is a worthy opponent." She held up banter well and was able to match wits in the most peculiar way. She made me smile with her charm and intelligence. She read me like a book in a way no one had ever done before: familiar, and steady. I was instantly at home in her arms and I knew beyond a doubt that with her is where I was supposed to be for a very, very long time. I I knew I'd found love.

This weekend Macey and I went to the Smokey Mountains and stayed in a cabin near Gatlinburg and celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary. We had a beautiful time and a beautiful view from our balcony:

which housed the jacuzzi that I didn't want to leave behind. Who am I kidding? I didn't want to leave the cabin behind. I tried to pitch the most convincing campaign that I could possibly muster for our moving in immediately.

I campaigned hard for quitting our jobs and moving to the mountains, becoming a couple of mountain women and one mountain sun-dog. Then we ventured out. We made our way down the mountain and into town, where, unbeknownst to us, a hot rod car show was under way for the duration of the weekend,OUR weekend.

I wouldn't have minded the car show so much, had it been in a singular location, this however was spread fully across all of Pigeon Forge, causing the travel time to be 2 hours to go from Pigeon Forge to Gatlinburg, that's 2 HOURS on a 7 MILE stretch of highway! It was absolutely crazy. I saw more rebel flags and mullets than I've ever seen in any one spot. Except that one time that I had to travel through Alabama and stopped at a little country gas station, then promptly decided to keep on going; me with my rainbow "Dyke Pride" sticker in my back window shining like a "kick me" sign on my back in the school yard. What was I thinking, anyways? Nowhere, Alabama is no place for a couple of dykes with rainbows and queer pride stickers, it was like some Gynocentric version of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
Rebel flags and mullets aside, I enjoyed reconnecting with my wife. I enjoyed the escape from our everyday life, and I enjoyed the scenery of the Smokey Mountains. I had fun going into Gatlinburg and being a tourist for a day. I felt really sad for the area, though. Like it's lost it's soul. A million stores selling the same ole' thing in each and every one. I found you have to get out of Gatlinburg, into the meat and potatoes of the smokies to see the beauty. Otherwise, you've got a tourist trap with nothing but shop after shop of the same old crap and so many cars and engines being revved that you can smell the imminent threat of carbon monoxide poisioning from the cloud that surrounds each and every car's exhaust like a little cumulus of death. I didn't find quite what I expected to find, but what I did find was a wonderful little pancake place, a beautiful cabin, some scenic vistas, and a renewed connection with the love of my life. I think it all worked out perfectly fine.

Now, on to the WWC...

Tink, of Pickled Beef, gave us a tricky little feat to accomplish this week... tisk, tisk, Tink! She made me have to get out my thinking cap. She asked us to capture our interpretations of




quite a challenge, for me at least. Here's mine.

and here's some bonus Gatlinburg photos

Tink has set up a Flickr group for the WWC so check that out too! flickr's free to join, so why not?

Oh yeah, and
Happy Earth Day Everyone! I've committed myself to cleaning up the litter in my neighborhood,
what's your commitment?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Empathy, a shot in the ass for Apathy

ap·a·thynoun, plural -thies.
1. absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement.
2. lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting.
3. Also, ap·a·thei·a, ap·a·thi·a
—Synonyms 1. coolness. 2. See
—Antonyms 1. ardor, fervor.

em·pa·thy - noun,1. the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another. 2. the imaginative ascribing to an object, as a natural object or work of art, feelings or attitudes present in oneself: By means of empathy, a great painting becomes a mirror of the self.

I've found myself discussing these words a lot lately. A LOT. Both come up frequently when discussing such topics as politics, religion, civil rights, you name it. Apathy runs rampant today, like the bubonic plague, spreading its slow death insidiously. Dare I say, it's reached epidemic levels in our country. I call it death by apathy with empathy deprivation.

Empathy, I believe, is the much needed antidote for this outbreak.

The apathy plague starts covertly; seemingly, innocuous. The apathetic teenager: content to play video games and vege out on the sofa all day. Tell them there's a real war, with people dying every day, and that they may have to go fight it in a couple of years, and they'll shrug their shoulders and say, " Waddaya want me to do about it?".

The lack of response from the MIT authorities over the hate-spewing email sent to the GLBT support group, threatening physical violence.

The people who don't vote, for whatever reason.

The Catholic Church Scandal and subsequent cover-up attempts of child molesters - and lack of public outrage.

How will children learn to stand up for what's right if there's no one teaching them how to take a stand?

I believe that empathy is the best combatant for apathy. We usually have no problem sharing others joy with them. Why then, when someone is in pain, do we turn away; say it's not our business? Why not stand up for them in their hour of need? Why not stand up for ourselves?
A lack of empathy. Some don't even understand what it is. They confuse it with sympathy. When I worked for the phone company, they would listen in on our phone calls, to make sure we were providing quality customer service. I remember one particularly confrontational supervisor saying to me,
" Where's you empathy statement in that call?" I said to her, " I told him, if that happened to me, and now I needed a new phone without insurance, I'd be really mad too" and she rudely rolled her eyes at me and said,
" No! Do you EVEN KNOW what empathy IS? You should have said, I'm sorry you are so frustrated."
Well now, that's a sympathy statement, isn't it? Not exactly empathy.
It took all that I had in me to express to her, in a professional manner, that maybe she misunderstood the definition of empathy, or maybe she meant that she was looking for a sympathy statement in that phone call, but the two are not interchangeable. I called upon my empathetic nature, and placed myself in her shoes and decided that she must be frustrated with her station in life, what, with the crappy job and all. She, out of professional obligation or just curiosity, looked up the definition of empathy. I saw that she was not unteachable and she learned a new vocabulary term, my call was scored a higher score, and her and I built a bridge that day. The power of empathy.
Empathy is empowering. That's why Fortune 500 companies spend uber bucks on teaching sales and customer service teams how to utilize it. It generates healthier relationships for those involved and it is a cornerstone in the foundation of effective communication. Empathetic listening fosters an environment in which mutual understanding and trust are heightened. It enables you, the listener, to receive and interpret the speaker's message with better accuracy. Then provide an appropriate response, critical to the success of a negotiation or mediation, which is in itself an integral part of the process of communication.
Effective communication is pivotal in problem resolution. Being able to effectively resolve your problems is a key factor in living a fulfilling, happy, and successful life.

Want to effectively resolve the state's problems? How about the country's? Try a bit of empathy, empathetic listening, watch the changes take shape before your very own eyes. It's real, measurable results, guaranteed.
Through empathy, we can stop this carcinogenic apathy from killing us. Through empathy, we can learn to better understand, appreciate, accept, and get along with our neighbors.
Through empathy, we may just change the world.

Monday, April 14, 2008

WWC - Close-up and Background

It's time for another installment of the WWC. If you want to play along, stop by Tink's, she'll get you rolling.

The words this week were :

Close-up & Background

Good wor
ds to play with this week, Tink! Here's my interpretation:

(click on player to see larger images)

The words for next week are:

and don't forget, if you want to play, visit Tink, she'll tell you how to get the WWC party started on your blog!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

White Truffle sauce, MMMMMM

Ok, so my mother in law brought us a jar of white truffle sauce,mmmmmm, when she was here visiting a couple of weeks ago,when the aunt came to visit and the paintings got censored and all...

Mmmmm white truffle sauce. My mommie in law is wonderful. Have I told yall how wonderful she is? She is beyond a doubt, the sweetest, kindest, most loving, empathetic, nurturing, and brilliantly ingenious on the spot furniture slip cover designer I've ever met. Seriously, I asked her to help me to draw out a pattern so that I could sew the cover after she left. By the time she left 4 days later, the cover was complete and I had a brand new chaise lounge!

Plus, she's a writer, a poet, a traveler, and a fellow free spirit. I HEART my mom in law. Not everyone gets to say that. I know, I'm quite lucky, and, I cherish the friendship that I have with my wife's mother.

Ok, ok, back to the topic at hand. White Truffle Sauce...mmmmmm. You have to stop and mmmmmm after you say those words, don't you? Try it, I'll wait. Go ahead, don't be shy. Here's a visual aid:
I know that truffles are not in season until the fall, but my sweetums is dyin' for me to cook something, anything with this sauce that her mommie brought her (us) from New York.
The only thing I can think of would be to cook lobster, truffles and pasta with the sauce. Anyone got any other ideas? I'm not a lobster gal. I won't cook em', don't want to hear the noise, even if it is steam escaping, and I won't eat anything who's face I can see.

Recipes, links to recipes, ideas for recipes, general guidelines, anything will be greatly appreciated. I am a pretty adventurous chef I might add, lobster aside, so bring it on. I'm pretty much game and not asking for the easy route out. So, whatcha got for me?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Requiem for My Family

I have written a few times about my family and their affiliation with what I can only define as a cult. I am dispirited over the realization that my mother doesn't even know her own birthday anymore. Nor her wedding anniversary. It means little or nothing to her now because all she needs, she says, is her church fellowship and the love of the lord. I was hoping to spend some time with her for her birthday last year, her first birthday after our reunion. If you haven't read about us before, my family and I were separated for 6 years. No contact at all. We didn't even speak to each other in all of that time. No letters, no messages via other family members. Nothing. Then, through a dying aunt, we reunited. It's been a bumpy road, for sure, but, no one expected any less. I assumed last year when she seemed surprised that it was her birthday and quickly said, "well, that's church night, we can't get together with you that night" , that it was more a matter of her trying to avoid my sweetie and I. My parents are still not comfortable with me having a wife and a dog instead of a husband and 2.5 children. Since then, however, we've made baby steps in that area, but it's still an issue that is ignored or tolerated at best. This time, her birthday is approaching again and she's been asking and asking to get together sometime over the past couple of months. I extend the offer for a birthday gathering, and what do you know... she didn't realize it was her birthday weekend, again! What's more, they have plans with the church, and that is more important, even though they haven't seen me since Christmas, and they do church stuff every friggin' day of the week. When I asked how my nieces are, my mother replied, "I guess they're fine, I don't really know, we haven't seen them in a while. They have soccer, we have church." That's so sad to me. My mother used to watch these girls after school, so something has changed, and since I don't talk to my brother, I have no way of knowing. My parents have separated themselves from the family. They no longer attend the rest of the family's holiday gatherings. I don't know if they aren't invited or just don't go. My aunt says one thing, my parents say another. Who knows, who cares. the point is, the people that I used to know as Mom and Dad are gone. No traces of them remain. My mother, a Mexican woman, whose whole family speaks fluent Spanish, and who used to speak in Spanish when she didn't want me to know what she was saying, now says she can't speak to her gardener, because he only speaks Spanish. My mother says she doesn't understand him. I communicate with him better than she does, my pathetic Spanish is much better than hers at this point, and it's her first language. I wonder if her lord doesn't approve of speaking in Spanish? Maybe that's why she had to forget how. I thought language was like riding a bike, once you learn, you don't forget.
I am still bewildered and perplexed as to how a brilliant engineer and an aspiring accountant could become lemmings in such a mindless, oppressive, don't think for yourself-we'll think for you- but be sure to give us lots of money!- type of operation in the guise of a "church".
Today, I sing a requiem for my family.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

WWC - Smooth & Rough

Oh my! This week's WWC came up so fast!

I could have gone so many different directions with these words, my little brain went scrambeling. I decided to keep it family friendly, however.

Here's what I came up with for


this keeps my lips smooooooth, or I suppose I could say without it my lips are Rough...

Our "Bat Building" is kinda smooth looking

My favorite beads are smooth :)


if it wasn't for this, my mornings would be pretty rough

my rough tribute to Edvard Munc's The Scream, which is in itself a symbol of a very rough time,you might say.

And if I have to use this on you, it's gonna be a pretty rough day ;)
Oh yeah, and if you wanna play, go see Tink!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Finding Balance

Sometimes, in the course of life, one realizes that their current station is not suited to them any longer. That is the position I found myself in when I decided to enroll in school, again, for the third time in my adult life. Now, I am well aware that people are prone to change their minds, and careers, multiple times throughout their adult lives, but I've always thought of myself as exempt from such waffling. I really shouldn't be surprised whenever I decide to change course midstream, I have after all, shifted from retail management to nursing, then from nursing to customer service/ work. This shift, therefore, should be quite presumable to anyone who knows me at all. I've thought this only because in every other respect, I've been such a stubborn person that once I make a decision I usually stick with it, so much so that I tend to end up, dare I say, riding out a very bad decision to an end that is synchronically both conspicuous and detrimental to my overall well-being.
Take, for example, my decision to move to California with The Wanderer, if you don't know that story, read it here, here and here.
That will most certainly go down in my archives as one of the worst decisions ever made.
Some good did come from it, however, as is usually the case, so all was not lost.
When I decided to move in with my friends, the Party Boys, THAT was yet another very, oh so very bad decision. Sometimes, we get caught up in a sequence of events that carries us with it, rather than us directing the outcome. That happened in my life for a few years , I consider it my "lost years" because I was lost to my cause. I was unable to work toward my goals, unable to see my goals, or even realize that I had them anymore.
Now is not one of those times in my life. Thankfully, I have moved past that period, and into a more stable environment and into a much more comfortable place with my own self.
Self assuredness fosters motivation and goal setting. Setting goals helps us to direct our attention to what is important. Without defined goals, one may become easily sidetracked, as I have shown time and time again in my life. Goals setting has been proven to foster success by helping us to become more intrinsically motivated. I have been a prime example of this. The culmination of events in my life combined with my renewed self esteem and goals have led me to a place in which my motivation level is at a summit. Since starting back to school again, I have maintained a 4.0 GPA, which I would like to maintain until graduation. I.T. Computer Science & Web Development are not exactly the easiest courses of study to maintain a 4.0 in, so I am going to reach way around now, to pat myself on the back. Here , I'll take a bow for you, too ;)

What I'm finding most difficult is balancing work, school, and family, and still finding time for my extracurricular fun stuff like this blog, walks in the park, whatevs.
I have a tendency to throw myself in to things full force, and neglect other projects in my life until the one at hand is completed, to my satisfaction. I don't juggle, I'm not the master plate spinner. I can multi task, somewhat, but I would not say that it is my forte.
Sometimes when I need to be studying, I just want to read that book that I got for Christmas, or snuggle with my sweetie. Other times, when I am trying to study, or take a test online, my sweetie is saying, gruffly, "There you go again, getting on that computer!" In this day and age, classes are conducted online, tests are taken online, homework is submitted online. I spend a LOT of time ONLINE. It is very difficult to make a somewhat neglected partner understand that I am doing this now so that we will have more time together later. And it is difficult for me to not feel the gut wrenching guilt of being negligent toward her, even if it is, in the long run, for the better good.
Today, I am on a mission to find balance in my life.
I need to find a way to simultaneously maintain my GPA and my relationship.
Any suggestions?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Oh MY GOD!!!

Any of you from my area, you'll want to see this, go past her rant about getting a speeding ticket, blah, blah, blah... and on down to the photo of the half eaten cicada, yeah, that tells you a bit, and then read what it says and how it came to be there. I have to share this with you!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

stay up till when, you say?

So Ani Difranco was on Jay Leno last night, and as we all know, I am enamored with Ani. If you don't already know, you can read about my infatuation here and here.

I am not so much a Leno fan, choosing Letterman on the rare occasion that I am able to stay conscious beyond the 10 O'clock news. I am, after all, an OLD DYKE, we've recently discovered.

After enduring Leno's dry and witless monologue, I was shocked and appaled to realize that Kathy Lee Gifford was the first guest, which was extremely disapointing because he also had Steve Carell on. I HEART Steve Carell. But that damned Kathy Lee must have drone on and on so much that she put me to sleep, next thing I knew I was hearing friggin' Conan's monologue, and had completely slept through Ani! I really must be getting old. Luckily we live in the day of instant access to everything online, so I found last nights Ani Difranco on Jay Leno clip - she played "Gravel" which is one of my favorite Ani songs. I love it when she rocks out. I love her ballads and I love her jazzy and folksy stuff, but when her tough girl persona takes control and the Buffalo chick with an attitude comes out, STEP BACK!

So, if you're like me and missed it, or just want to see it again, here's last night's appearance on Leno.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Stop! It's WWC Time!

So it's once again time for the Weekly Words Challenge, brought to us by Tink. If you want to join the fun, go see Tink. She'll set you up.

This week's words are :

Shiny & Era


my wedding bling is shiny :)

my toes and my shoe bling are shiny

Shiny-Happy Coffee Cups


This photo is very sad for me...

it represents the end of an era. This used to be Starwood Ampitheater. It's where I went to my first concert, where I went to many concerts. Soon it will be condos.

More of the destruction of my coming of age era

And here's a whole new era:

our little area is sure growing up fast! before we know it she'll be going off to school and, oh wait, I'm talking about a city... ok well, it's still growing quickly. We got a Super Target, YAY! I can super shop one stop style and still boycott Wallyworld! All is right with the world.

OK there's my WWC for this week. Remember, if you wanna join, go see TINK