Friday, December 25, 2009
All of my holiday merrymaking, such as it was, happened yesterday. I picked up Book from his dad's house on Wednesday, so we all got up Thursday morning and opened the pathetically tiny little pile of gifts that marks the umemployed single parent. The kids were still very happy and excited. I was hungover myself. I'd spent the previous night up until 5 a.m. (!!!) chatting with a friend of mine and drinking my homemade wine. I'd intended to have one glass, but by 5 a.m. I'd had two and a half very large glasses of very strong wine. Yeow, 9:30 a.m. was NOT pleasant.
After we did the thing at home (and I took a Motrin and tried to rehydrate), we all headed over to my mother's house for the Christmas (eve) thing there. I got loaded up with lots of "pamper me" kinds of gifts, which I suppose have to serve as a substitute for the man who's not here to pamper me. The kids got some toys and all of those "essentials" that grandmas always gets them for Christmas.
She always labels her gifts, "from Santa," so Book remarked, "Boy, Santa sure likes to give us socks and underwear."
Mom replied to him, "Well, he knows that's what you need."
We ordered a Christmas dinner (pizza) and then took Book back home to his dad's.
Today, I was still in recovery this morning from my excess drink. Either the wine is very strong, or I just don't bounce back the way I used to. Maybe a combination of both. Maybe I'm getting old.
I took the girls over to their dad's to do their Christmas thing there, and when I got home, Pooh was getting ready to take off to go to his dad's for dinner. So I spent the rest of the evening alone.
I did get a surprise phone call from Italy. F was back home visiting his family (he lives in Switzerland), but he wanted to give me a call to say "hi" and give me a little comfort knowing that I was home alone on Christmas. It was nice of him. No one else did.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
I avoided wrapping yesterday. The girls were gone for the night, so it really would have been a perfect opportunity, but I opted to start drinking early instead. By about 10 I was ready for bed. I actually headed there by about 11. Surprise, surprise - I lay awake until about 3 a.m. I think too much.
I woke up this morning to the second snow of the season. It looked a bit more serious about it this time. The snow actually stuck all day. Some of it's started to melt, but the temperature's dropped, so all of that is ice now. I'm not going to complain too much about it though. I've seen what the east coast got, and I'll take our little inch or so instead. Besides, I don't have to actually leave the house tomorrow for any particular reason. I think I'll stay home and bundled up.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Nine days. OK. I can procrastinate a little longer. No, wait. No, I can't. I'll be getting Book on Wednesday, and we'll be doing our whole "Christmas" thing on Thursday. Christmas Eve. So, that's eight days. Seven really. I have to be done by then. Six if I'm realistic, because I kind of need to wrap all that stuff and everything, don't I?
So I've got six days. Less than a week. I could do it this weekend...... Yech, that's the last weekend before Christmas. Stores are a nightmare. No thank you!!
Well, any other time, I've got the girls. I can't very well take them Christmas shopping for their own gifts with me. So, I guess that means I have to go while they're in school. They're in school right now. But I'm not dressed yet. I slept in to try to catch up on all the sleeping I haven't been doing lately. And there's a game this afternoon. I absolutely HAVE to watch the Chelsea game to see if there's any way Portsmouth can take them out and put my Man United boys back at the top of the Premier League table (not counting goal difference, of course, but one more game could level that out).
But I digress. No, I avoid and evade. So, the answer is simply that I CAN'T POSSIBLY do it today. All right. It's decided then. I'll finish the Christmas shopping tomorrow. There. It's settled.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Unfortunately, I've already had to tell her that's not going to happen. We live in an apartment, and we've already got a cat and a frog. Besides, an apartment is no place for a collie. They need room to run and play.
I also know that she's just not up to the responsibility of owning a dog. She can't keep up with the maintenance on her cat - which, fortunately, consists of little more than feeding, watering and scooping out the litter box - so I know she's not up to the requirements of puppy training.
If you're considering getting a puppy for Christmas, I advise you to check out the Puppy Training Guide. This clean, simple, user-friendly website is a great starting point for learning all the basic training needs of puppies, as well as learning how to deal with common behavioral issues you might experience.
You have to remember: there are few things in life quite so satisfying as the companionship of a good dog, but it's important to properly train your puppy early and consistently, or you're in for a long and difficult relationship. Most dogs have an average lifespan of 10-12 years, but it's not unusual for a dog to live to 15 or even 20 years of age. Buying a puppy is a long-term commitment, and it's vital that you get it right from the beginning.
The Puppy Training Guide makes this so much easier.
You'll probably want to start out with the one that your carpet - and your family - will thank you for: housebreaking your puppy. Plan to take some time with this one, as it requires consistency and dedication. But if you stick to it, you'll find that most puppies will pick it up pretty quickly. After all, your new puppy wants nothing more than to please YOU! As the Puppy Training Guide advises, stay positive and use lots of positive reinforcement.
It's also important that you train your puppy for a leash. You might have a fenced-in yard and find it easy to just put the puppy out to run and play freely, but chances are good that you will want to take your dog for a walk or out visiting, and that means using a leash. You have your dog's safety (and often local laws) to consider, so leash-training is a must! Again, the Puppy Training Guide will make this easier on you and your dog.
Another biggie is socializing your dog. Dogs are social animals, but you can't just expect them to automatically take to other animals and people. The Puppy Training Guide will teach you how to introduce your pet to social situations so they are comfortable and well-behaved.
In addition to these basics, you'll learn how to teach your newest family member how to sit, come, lie down, stay, fetch and heel, as well as how to prevent and eliminate such behavioral problems as begging, biting, whining and jumping on people.
With this guide, you'll be glad you welcomed a new puppy into your home this Christmas!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Anyway, that feels like it was about two days ago. I spent the rest of the day at home not doing much at all. Maybe it's weird because it's Saturday, but I didn't get Book today. Doesn't feel like Saturday. Maybe it's because I worked so much this week that I've spent the day catching up on TV shows I'm usually watching over the course of four or five days. Maybe it's just because my sleep has been so lousy again over the past several weeks that my mind's not functioning properly anymore.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
By the time I had to drive to the commission meeting for work tonight, the temperature was hovering around freezing, there was a light drizzle falling and a light fog had set in. I feared for the road conditions for the drive home, but it turned out that they weren't bad, yet. It was a good thing, too, because I was in such a rush yesterday that I didn't have time to get my new tires put on the front of my car, and the ones there now are quite bald.
Yesterday was Munch's Christmas program at school. I never look forward to those, because it's always a long and miserable experience, but it wasn't so bad this year. They've finally rearranged things so the K-4 student program and the band program are on separate nights, to reduce the number of family members attending at one time. They also finally set up the floor so they could open both sides of the bleachers in the gym. It's always been so crowded before that I've only once gotten a real seat. Twice I had to stand against the wall throughout it, once I was sitting on the floor, and once I actually couldn't even get into the gym, so I had to stand in the hallway! One year I dropped Gin off at the school and just came home instead. (She didn't mind. Munch would have, but Gin didn't care one way or the other.) The new arrangement allowed for much more seating and a much shorter program. It was a tremendous improvement. You see, it's a pretty small school, but it's a Catholic community with large, very involved families. For each child, there's generally a set of parents, one or two sets of grandparents, and any number of siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins attending. You can see why they had to do something to make it survivable for the audience.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
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Naturally, that intrigued me. I downloaded it Thursday night onto my Blackberry, and I've been rapt ever since. I could definitely see why he thought of me when he read it. By the time I went to sleep last night, I'd gotten through the section on the Third Insight, regarding energy. That really fascinated me. It's very much akin to the concept of chi. I don't remember ever discussing that with D before, and if I haven't, I'm impressed by his own insight. If I have, I'm impressed that he remembered it, because as I said, I don't. Of course, I've discussed various levels and aspects of my life philosophy with many people, so it's probable that many of the specific conversations and courses of discussion have slipped my mind.
I must say, as the book has progressed, it's captured my attention completely. I expect I'll be finishing it tonight - or tomorrow at the latest. I didn't get much sleep last night (about two hours), so despite my nap earlier, it's possible that I'll fall off at a moderately reasonable hour. It's after midnight now. Moderately reasonable is relative.
Friday, December 4, 2009
This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Yamaha. All opinions are 100% mine.
I love taking my music with me on the road and having it with me wherever I go, but my mobile music has become the real hub of my entire music collection. I don't even have a home stereo system anymore, so when I want to listen to my music at home, I'm still using my mobile option.
If you've got all your music on your iPod or iPhone, and you've given up the limitations of the whole home set-up, you can still get the home stereo experience with your mobile music library with the Yamaha PDX-60.
This cool little dock isn't like the others. It connects to your iPod or iPhone wirelessly. So you can sit in your comfy chair with your iPod or iPhone right next to you, while the dock sits on the shelf or wherever you like it sharing your music with the whole room.
It also comes with a cradle that charges your iPod or iPhone, as well as a small card type remote control. With the dual chargers - the dock and the cradle - two iPhones or iPods can be charged at the same time.
It's even available in plenty of colors to compliment or liven up your decor, depending how you like it. You can get it in blue, pink, gray or black.
And keep in mind, this isn't some little set of speakers, it's a real music system with no sound delays, rich, quality sound and high-impact bass. You can rock out to all your favorite tunes shaking the knickknacks off the shelves with this one.
All these years we've wanted to be able to take our music on the road with us. Now it's gotten to the point that we only have it on the road. Here's your chance to bring your favorite music back home again.
I was up until 5 a.m. I had to get up at 7.
I did manage to get up, and not only that, I stayed up. The crash didn't end up hitting me until late this evening.
In the mean time, I got my Internet back, so I got some things done there. My ex's mother called to say he was still in the hospital, but (unfortunately) apparently will live. Gin took off to spend the night at a friend's house, and Munch has decided to have a big bowl of popcorn and watch a movie (since Pooh's also gone and she actually gets control of the television set).
Since I got my nap in, I'll curl up with my book again.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
I had to work tonight, covering a meeting of the new Liberty Group (a chapter of the Dayton Tea Party). I was pleasantly surprised to find that the speaker's running theme was to cut out the personal attacks and stick to the issues. Too many conservatives have become so vitriolic that they look like a hate group, and I'm becoming ashamed of calling myself conservative again. Tonight's meeting restored some hope for me on that score. (And my support of personal liberty still includes the right of gays to marry - so don't throw stones at me for that conservative label on that issue.)
As I was getting into my car for the drive home, I saw .... urgh ... snow. Only a little, but I still don't want it. I have no problem with a brown and gray Christmas, thanks. This is Ohio though, and like cows, corn and soybeans, snow is inevitable.
While I was home writing up my story (which had to be written on the computer, photo uploaded to the computer, both files transferred to the Blackberry, then e-mailed in to the office), I got a phone call from my ex-husband. He said he was on his way to the hospital, believing he's having a heart attack. I'm sure he's fine. Not only is he a wimp when he's ill, he also refuses to just die. Call me cold, but this is the man who constantly lied and cheated, once knocked me down a flight of stairs when I was eight months pregnant, spit in my face, and has provided ZERO financial support for either of his daughters in the last seven years. Last year was the first time since the divorce that he even got them Christmas gifts, and I'm convinced that was just because he's living with his mother now. The man's personal theme song (that he selected himself) is "Son of a Bitch" by Judas Priest - and he lives up to it.
Hither and yon
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I actually managed to do quite a lot over the weekend, but I still haven't gotten my new kitchen faucet installed. I really do have to get to that. I didn't have Book this weekend, so the girls and I took advantage of a full Saturday at home. They actually managed to clean their entire room (Munch said, "Wow! It's been a while since we've seen the carpet!"), and we have a mountain of laundry as a result, which is slowly being whittled down.
On Sunday, my mother gave me a call asking if the girls and I would like to take a trek back to my hometown for some taco pizza at the place that makes the world's BEST. It was worth the drive of more than an hour, and we also did a little shopping while we were out. We even stopped off to see my long lost cousin and her family for a few minutes on the way back. I don't think we've seen each other since last Christmas, and since mom decided not to host her sisters and their children for this year's Thanksgiving, it seemed appropriate to stop for a visit. It's also the first time I've seen my aunt since she was diagnosed with cancer. She's still hanging in there, though it's been about two months, and even then, the doctor's were pretty much predicting "any time now."
Yesterday I actually got to have a real conversation with my friend D, who's been almost completely absent from my life for the past few months. It was nice to reconnect. I missed him.
Today's agenda has only a phone report to do for work and further whittling of the laundry mountain. Oh... and of course the Manchester United - Tottenham game. :)
Friday, November 27, 2009
I made the turkey, as usual - and as usual, it was a hit. I use Alton Brown's Good Eats Roast Turkey recipe, which is absolutely the best turkey recipe ever. I even passed it along to a friend this year, and hers was a smashing success as well. She thanked me profusely for that. Always happy to help. I also made a cheesecake, which was the only one of six desserts at the dinner that had no leftovers. I think I'll be recruited to make that one again too. I didn't hear anyone even mention any of the other desserts, but everyone was saying, "Wow, the cheesecake is soooo good!"
I don't interact much with my stepsiblings. They're not really my kind of people. We had two tables set up for eating, and they all sat at one, while my mom, my kids and I all ate at the other one.
After dinner, the conversation was pretty much the same way. It was a good thing too. I overheard some of the conversation in the other room, and I had no interest whatsoever in joining it. My son was stuck in that crowd at one point, during my stepsister's rant on how she will never allow her daughter to date someone who's not white. Pooh just had to roll his eyes and groan until he was able to escape. I told him and my mom that I wished I'd been able to bring P home for the holidays one time when we were dating. Hmmm, my Jamaican boyfriend. I wonder if the stepfamily would have been able to get past the skin and hair since he was a TV star. That would have been an interesting dynamic. It would have been fine for P. I warned him about their attitude very early on in our relationship. My mother used to have it in my youth, but year of training by me have since straightened her out. By the time P and I split up, she was so supportive of us being together that she even encouraged me to hold onto hope that he might come back. She's fully reformed now.
I still remember the very first time I met my other stepsister. I was a junior in college at the time, and I'd come home for the weekend. One of the very first thing's she said to me was, "Do you like black people?" As I just sort of gaped in stunned silence, she continued, "Because in (this town), if you like black people, you're a nigger lover." That was enough for me to know that I would NEVER want to be involved with that family any more than was strictly required. I was utterly disgusted.
What I hate more than anything is knowing that they are passing those disgusting attitudes on to their children. I can only hope that at least some of them manage intelligent thought on their own, because they are certainly not getting it from their parents.
At least my children know that when they come to finding love, I will always support and encourage them. I ask only that they find a good person who treats them with respect and dignity. It does not matter to me where they are from, what color their skin is or what sex they are.
My ex-husband once told me that if he'd known I kissed a black man in college, he never would have married me. Makes me wish it had come up in conversation earlier. I would have happily avoided that whole disasterous marriage. He also asked me what I would think if my son Pooh came home and told me he was gay. I told him I'd have no problem with it. I'd still support him and love him just the same, and it would make no difference to me whatsoever. He appeared to have a moment of clarity for just one moment and looked at me and said, "You really would, wouldn't you?" Well, of course I would.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I procrastinated, as usual, so my preparations included a trip to the grocery store today. I got lucky though. It was crowded, but I was patient. I got a decent parking spot, and I had no wait at all for a cashier, so I was in and out pretty quickly.
I came home and made a cheesecake, which cracked, unfortunately. I could conceal it with some cherry topping, but it was requested plain, so the flaw will be obvious. I think it'll pass with the family, though. The cherries and chocolate will be served on the side, and I'll probably have quite a bit left to bring home. It'll taste good, so I'm not complaining.
I also have the biggest responsibility of the dinner. I'm making the turkey. I first made the turkey four or five years ago, and it went over so well that I've been asked to do it again every year. I use Alton Brown's Good Eats Roast Turkey recipe, so I have him to thank for making my family look forward to my centerpiece of the meal every year. I also have him to blame for my having to do it! Oh well. I love the praise.
The evening's mine now, so I'm kicking back with a drink. Wish I had a friend to unwind with, but I guess this'll do for now.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
On the way there, I had two near-misses with deer on the road. On the way back, I took the normal route instead of the back road, and I'd forgotten that the road was closed at the railroad tracks. So two blocks from my house I had to turn off and make a four-mile detour.
When I got home and finished the story, I got a call from Book's dad saying that they'll be going out of town this weekend, so I won't be getting him Saturday. I wonder if I can get rid of the rest of the kids too. Oh well. It doesn't really matter. I've got nothing to do, and no one to do it with anyway.
Monday, November 23, 2009
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Sunday, November 22, 2009
After that, we hit another store and happened to come across a couple of perfect Christmas gifts for my son Pooh. He's extremely hard to buy for, so we weren't about to pass that up.
Stop number 3 was a kitchen store, at which I was able to find a replacement for a recently broken kitchen gadget for $5 less than the previous one I'd bought, and it appears to be of higher quality and more durable than the last one as well.
In another store, I bought a new webcam, as the one I have for some reason disconnects me from the internet whenever I plug it in. Kind of negates the whole purpose of a webcam. When I got home, I hooked up the new one, and it seems to work perfectly. It's plugged in right now, and I'm still online. Seems that's another problem solved.
To top off the day, we stopped for Cinnabon. :) How much better can it get?
Friday, November 20, 2009
Does anyone know if there is a Blogger app for Blackberry?
Anyway, I'm posting this way because my Internet's been down half the night again. It's probably a good thing. I've been spending the past several nights feeding my insomnia by sitting up watching episodes of Ally McBeal online. I'd forgotten how much I liked that show, and since it's been almost ten years since I've seen it, it's like every episode is new. Hell, I'd even forgotten that Billy died - only about the most significant moment in the show's five seasons.
I do remember discovering Josh Grobin on the show, and I even remember most of that episode's plot. I have no idea what the name of the episode was, however, or which season it is. I guess I get to be pleasantly surprised when I come across it. I'm not quite to the end of the third season now, so I've still got many hours ahead to kill.
Hither and yon
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Sometimes I feel really stupid about it. I think about him all the time. For a while I really believed that something could come of it. I know I have this romanticized notion that you can really overcome anything if you love someone enough. And it didn't seem like that insurmountable of a thing. It's only geography. I'm not saying that we had some kind of great love. I just believed that the potential was there. And that it was worth exploring. If nothing came of it, at least we'd know. It's really not all that difficult to make that first step to find out. If it was as good as I thought it could be, then we could figure out the rest. If not, we'd know. But we can't even get to that first step, and now I'm beginning to feel the loss as if it was really there - as if all of it was really there. But we never even made the first step.
I'm not sure how I can really feel so bad about it. They say you can't miss something that you never had. That's the line of a song anyway. Of course, the next line is, so tell me why, why I could feel so bad. That's what I wonder, I guess. Why do I feel so bad?
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
A concept started developing in my head. What would this drink be? It all came together in my head perfectly. It was a little complicated, but I could work out the details.
This is part of my nature. I feel the need to create. It comes out of me in lots of different ways. I used to crochet a lot, because I wanted to make something out of nothing. I found that to be very satisfying, but unfortunately, my joints being what they are, eventually it reached the point that my wrists really couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't crochet more than a few rows before the pain became too much, and I'd find myself either pushing through and causing myself too much pain and then setting it aside for so long that my creative beginnings kept going unfinished.
Over the past few years, I've been letting my creative juices flow through my cooking. And of course, throughout everything, much of my creativity is expressed through my writing (don't expect it here - this is just a brain vent, not creativity but a pressure valve).
So anyway, my very first attempt at developing a drink is coming along nicely. I bought the necessary ingredients and made my first go of it last night. I wasn't able to attempt the full concept, but I've got the flavor right. I'll buy some glasses today and start sorting out the details. If I can get it all worked out, I'll have a grand unveiling. In the meantime, I'll be drinking. :)
Friday, November 13, 2009
I got to go on a little vacation to Florida recently, and I saw a friend there who moved from Ohio to Florida about 10 years ago. I must admit, I begin to envy that when the weather turns. Oh who am I kidding? I envy it anyway. The beaches and palm trees. The fact that there's some kind of life there. I could deal with that.
I could spend the day funning and sunning, swimming in the surf or just riding along with someone I love on our custom beach cruisers.
That sounds like a whole lot more fun than another winter in Ohio, doesn't it?
I suggest if you're a teensy bit freaked out over the day, have fun with it instead! Thumb your nose at it! Throw a theme party!
I do things a little more subtly. I just wear a white cable knit sweater and speak in a slightly breathy voice, warning people not to have sex on the beach. (Hey! Serve those as your drinks for that theme party!)
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The other flea asks him, "Why are you so cold?"
The first flea says, "Man, my trip was awful! I hopped a ride in Jersey, and I've spent the last eighteen hours zipping down the highway in the moustache of some dude on a Harley!"
The second flea says, "That's no way to travel! What you do is you go to the airport bar, have a couple of drinks, find yourself some sexy stewardess, crawl up her leg into her panties and nestle yourself down nice and cozy. Trust me, man. That's the way to go!"
So the next year the two fleas meet up again, and the one flea is again cold and shivering and miserable.
The second flea says, "Why are you cold again? Didn't you take my advice?"
The first flea says, "Yeah, I did just what you said. I went to the bar. I had a couple of drinks. I found myself a sexy stewardness, crawled up her leg into her panties, settled in all nice and cozy and warm, and I fell asleep. The next thing I knew, I woke up and I was zipping down the highway in the moustache of some dude on a Harley!"
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I need a real job again. This whole freelancing thing feels so pointless and dead-end. I've been looking, but it is frightening how little is available. And of course, there's nothing in my field at all - at least not anywhere near me. I hate not having any options. I can't go anywhere else right now, because I'm bound by a custody arrangement for my son. That locks me in for the next five years. Not that I could afford to move anywhere anyway. There's quite a cost involved in that.
I wish I weren't doing all of this alone.
Friday, November 6, 2009
After that I dropped her off to her dad, and I came home to find that Pooh was actually home. Well, he got the sushi leftovers. He did save me a little though. He's a good boy. The rest of my evening is watching a movie and reading a book. It's a quiet one.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Users can submit a video in one of three categories: "My contacts are getting in the way of my good time"; "My favorite sport or activity would be so much cooler with better vision"; or "You should see life after the iLASIK procedure."
Once you submit a video, get your friends to vote on it by posting a link on your blog, Facebook page, Twitter - or any way you can think of to promote it. The grand prize winner gets $5,000, so if you haven't had iLASIK, your prize money will get it for you, or if you have, you can use that money to do all the things that are so much better now that you've got great vision! Three first prize winners will be awarded an HDTV package valued at $2,500 (one per video category). Three second prize winners will receive the Flip UltraHD camcorder (one per category).
I got my LASIK surgery about seven years ago, and I can't begin to tell you how much I love it! Whenever a friend complains about their glasses or contacts, I immediately point to my eyes and say, "LASIK! Get it! Best thing EVER!" I had contacts, but I rarely wore them because they were such a hassle, so I usually wore my glasses. Anyone who wears glasses knows what a pain that can be. The first thing I did after I got my eyes fixed was go to Sak's and buy myself a pair of gorgeous high-end designer sunglasses! Since I'd worn my glasses all the time, I never got to wear sunglasses, so I figured I deserved a real treat. That was the start of a fixation, because I started buying more and more and more sunglasses! And when it's gray and rainy out, I no longer have to try to see through the foggy, wet lenses on my glasses. When I swim, I can actually see other people around me, rather than being surrounded by a blurry fog. It's fantastic!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I did get to hear a little fun news while I was there. It seems that the fellow who replaced me at my old job will be leaving there soon. I expected he would, but the really sweet part is that he is moving on to something waaaay better (like five times the salary), which is just a sweet little thumb of the nose to the DICK publisher of the paper. I so don't miss it at ALL.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Other high points of the day include my son Book breaking his glasses, me getting a hard rap on the elbow that five hours later still has me wincing whenever I bend it, and getting caught up in a caravan for an opposing school returning home from some sporting event (they honked and jeered when we turned off to go toward home).
Yesterday, however, had me watching Manchester United beat Blackburn 2-0. That was a happy. :)
I've got work to do. I should probably go get it done.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Munch and Gin went out trick or treating tonight with friends, so I stayed home and passed out candy. That was a tremendous waste of time and money, because only eight people showed up after I bought eight pounds of candy to give away.
For weeks, Gin had been planning to go out as a piece of paper and Munch was going to go as a pencil, which I thought would have been a really cute pair costume. But two days ago, Gin decided she was going as a soccer player and Munch found Gin's old cheerleading uniform, so she wanted to wear that.
Gin's soccer player costume transformed into a bit of a protest that we don't have a soccer team here in our little town, despite the fact that for several years now "they" have been saying that we'd get one set up. It's the perfect sort of town for it. What's holding it up, I have no idea. She got quite a few compliments on it, actually, so I'm not the only one apparently a little annoyed at the fact that it hasn't happened yet.
Monday, October 26, 2009
I have no idea what might have brought this on, as he has not yet come to me about it. I don't know that he will. Last time they split up, he actually told me - when I asked him about it - that he'd put it on his Facebook status as his way of telling me. Fairly apparent he's done that again, but this time, I would like to see if he comes to me. It's struck me out of the blue much the same as it did last time too. She was here just a couple of days ago, and they were giggling and having fun just as they always do. They made a remarkably good couple, and I've always liked her - despite some personal issues that she's had in her past. They were good influences on each other, and I never had to worry about any trouble from either of them. Frankly, I'd expected them to end up getting married. Not soon. They both want to get school out of the way and establish themselves first. But they just "felt" like a match all the way.
I expect him to come to me within the next few days, if I don't end up just doing it myself. Which I probably will. I wonder this time if it's really and truly over for good. It certainly caught me off guard.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
I needed a morale boost today, so naturally I didn't get it. Man United lost - and to LIVERPOOL, no less. Now, I have to go on with my entire day because I have too many things to do, and I can't even wallow. I'll have to wait and wallow tonight. I'm sure the misery will last until then. They are really magnificent at disappointing just when I need them the most. Yeah, they're guys alright... But I still love them.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Canadian residents can enter the contest every day to win a $32,000 kitchen makeover or one of twelve Frigidaire refrigerators to be given away by Maple Leaf Foods.
And while you're at the Maple Leaf website (this goes for non-Canadian residents too) you can pick up great cooking and kitchen tips by visiting the butcher, the baker and the pasta maker, so there's something in it for everyone. Need some advice on making great meals in minutes? They've got that here too. You can put together a meal plan in minutes, find recipes and get a customized shopping list, so you can easily find everything you need. Whether you're looking for quick and easy meals, gourmet meals, snacks or side dishes, Maple Leaf Foods has got you covered.
So enjoy the site, and don't forget (Canadian residents) to enter the contest once a day through Dec. 15 for your chance to win a dream kitchen makeover or one of twelve Frigidaire refrigerators stocked with new Maple Leaf Prime Premium frozen chicken. Every entrant into the contest will also be eligible for a $500 rebate offer from Frigidaire.
Yes, I'll admit. It's a bit pathetic of me. I've taken to heart the advice that I'm probably better off forgetting about the person who's been an endless source of frustration for so long now. But I also receive conflicting advice that he's probably worth the effort to wait out and make an attempt. Much of the conflicting advice is probably because of so many conflicting messages I get from him.
And of course, I have the additional problem of the fact that, regardless of what I decide to do, how exactly do I go about doing it? It is as impossible to make oneself not feel something as it is impossible to make someone feel something that they don't. Maybe I just need suffering. Perhaps I'm an artist. :)
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
How can I get all this work done that I need to do when I have no energy - and no motivation. I am responsible for doing so much work for a paper that won't even hire me as an actual employee. Well, it's not the paper - or the editor - it's the stupid company. So I'm working and working and working for a company that won't give me a job. And I need to find a job, but I have no strength. I have no energy.
I just feel like there's a massive hole in my life, and nothing's going right, and I don't even have the will to try because it all seems so hopeless.
Top it off that with the fact that I've fallen - far too hard - for someone who can't even begin to consider being with me. And I find myself dwelling on him all the time. He's become more aware of it and has taken to avoiding me, so now I miss the friendship we had as well. It's my own fault - mostly. He'd always let me believe there could be possibilities - even saying that he knew it would be wonderful - but whenever I've confronted him with taking action on the idea, he's backed away. So rather than just letting well enough be, I had to go and push him again. So now I'm greatly feeling his absence as he's pulled away again.
If I can't even bring myself to think positively about anything, how can I make anything right again?
Hither and yon
Well, I'd gotten all caught up on the few shows I normally watch, and I was looking for something else to watch one night recently. I'd heard a lot of buzz, and though I resisted even considering it for quite a while, I finally caved and checked out this new show Glee.
One of the things that first struck me in the first episode was when I saw the license plate on the first car shown was an Ohio license plate. Well, that was interesting. We don't have many shows set in Ohio. The Drew Carey Show is the last one I can think of that was really obviously set in Ohio, and Cleveland almost doesn't even count. Sort of like Chicago doesn't really count as Illinois.
But anyway, not only was this show incidentally set in Ohio, but the characters actually talked about it. I believe someone first mentioned that it was western Ohio. Well, that caught my notice. I live in western Ohio and have for almost my entire life. Of course, they weren't talking about it in exactly positive terms. It was pretty much portrayed as a dead-end. Ok, I can accept that. I've thought the same thing.
A little further into it, they referred to the town they were living in as Lima. I know Lima, quite well. It's not exactly the tiny western Ohio town I was imagining them to be living in. Lima's almost a city, by western Ohio terms. Heck, it was the place we used to drive to when we wanted to do any real shopping or eat at any place that wasn't McDonald's. Granted, in my limited experience in high school, it felt more like a city than it does now. But still, it's not the tiny little 'burg it's portrayed as in the show.
For example, it struck me in the last episode I saw that someone mentioned there were only two obstetricians in town. That was funny, as three of my four children were delivered in Lima. And there are two HOSPITALS there. Obviously, way more than two obstetricians. They do have a TV station, but seriously, would any place be big enough to have its own TV station and only have two obstetricians?
Somehow, the image of Lima they were painting bothered me a bit. The small city definitely has its problems. It's not exactly a town of the greatest reputation. But it seems to me that if they were going to pick a real place in which to set their story, they might have gone for some accuracy. Why choose a real town, then make a fictional high school and create a completely different description for the town? Wouldn't it have been just as easy, if not easier, to say "western Ohio" to give it a solid location then make up a name for the town and create it the way they want it? I can't imagine that many viewers in Lima - if there are any left - enjoyed those references to "Lima losers." And really, the overall western Ohio theme is fairly accurate, though, of course, exaggerated and silly in its execution. The show doesn't exactly make me proud to live in western Ohio, though I found it a sort of interesting novelty to see it as a location. But I'd think Lima residents might be a little pissed off at their city's public humiliation, despite any incidental interest that might be generated by the show.
Monday, October 19, 2009
I'll skip over the personal and the work. I seem to have set my torpedoes on backfire on those lately, and I just can't rehash it again and again. I very carefully lay my plans then deliberately do the opposite, seeking to fail, it seems, for fear of rejection.
The health was a curious thing this weekend.
Friday night the girls were spending the night at a friend's house, so I decided to have a couple of drinks at home. After setting off another of those torpedoes I mentioned, I went off to bed early, feeling a little bit of a buzz but really nothing all that significant. About 4 a.m. I suddenly woke up feeling incredibly hot - like I'd been sleeping in a sweat lodge. I was disoriented and felt like I was melting. I went downstairs for a glass of ice water, and after I got it, I made it as far as the table before I knew I had to sit down. I couldn't take one more step. I reached out for the chair, and the next thing I knew, I was opening my eyes lying on the floor. I vaguely recall hearing some sort of crashing sound, as if I'd pulled over something on my way down. I don't remember falling at all - just opening my eyes afterward. I managed to pull myself back up, picked up my glass and took two or three more steps before I knew I had to stop. I set my glass down and grabbed one of the couch pillows that was lying on the floor, and I just pulled myself down to lie on it for a moment. I lay there for a couple of minutes, taking deep breaths of the cool air, trying to stabilize myself enough that I could manage to get back upstairs. I did manage that, even made it all the way without spilling a drop of my water.
When I woke up Saturday morning I found a painful bruise on my hip and another on my knee. I must have landed much harder than I thought when I fell. My head just felt generally disoriented for the entire day.
Sunday morning I woke up and was seeing afterimages, like I'd stared at something very bright, and that lingered for about two hours. The disorientation also continued throughout the day.
Through all of this I had a headache in the spot where I get what I call my "icepick headaches." I've been getting these for many years. They're always very intense, very sharply localized, and in the exact same spot an inch and a half or so above my right temple. They're usually very brief as well. It feels like I've been stabbed in the head with an icepick. The headache this weekend was the first I can remember that lasted a long time. It was still sharp, still exactly localized to that one tiny spot, but not nearly as intense as they usually are. It was a low-grade pain but constant.
I should mention that for a very, very long time, I've suspected that an aneurysm will be what does me in. Second thought is a brain tumor. I'm still taking bets with myself.
I had two friends tell me this weekend that I need to get to a doctor immediately. That won't happen. Not only can I not afford it, but it's just not in my nature. I'll just keep going until I am felled. It's probably stupid - and an intentional stupidity, at that - but then again, that's most of my decisions, isn't it?
Btw, I am feeling better today. Almost normal again.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I had hoped that my recent trip would have served as a sort of rejuvenator for me, but it seems to have had the opposite effect. It has only highlighted for me what my life is missing. I want to be with someone. I want to be loved and held and appreciated. Iwant someone who will make me laugh, who will make my heart race and make my mouth water, who will challenge me intellectually, who will keep my spirit young... Actually, I know exactly who I want. And he could do all these things. He already does, in fact, though we are an ocean apart. And circumstances seem to be that the geography will always keep us in this situation. He could come here and make me feel all the things I want to feel. Maybe I could even go there sometime, and he could show me all the things he's wanted to show me, and we could do all the things we've wanted to do - all the things we've talked so much about doing. But then, we would have to go home, and we would be apart again - and if it was as wonderful as we both know it could be, it would just make being apart that much worse. He has a life there, and I have a life here. I don't think he has any desire to relocate - and why would he? And I won't have the freedom to go anywhere for at least another five years - but I'd be willing then. I wish I could now.
So what it comes down to is this: do I accept that something is truly impossible? If so, can I let it go? If not, what can be done to make it happen? Is this within my power in any way?
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Cirque du Soleil has never been your typical circus. It's always been so much more.
I remember seeing Cirque du Soleil for the first time on television when I was young. I never knew what to expect, but I knew this was something different. Then when I saw it, I understood. I didn't see a circus before me - I saw a dream. It wasn't comic silliness. It was grace and beauty that seemed to defy the laws of physics. It always had an element of the fun and silliness you expect from the circus. It also had the death-defying feats of human skill - but far beyond the usual tricks and stunts.
Cirque du Soleil's latest offering, Banana Shpeel, is their own unique spin on classic vaudeville. The show blends comedy and a variety of dance styles with a hilarious storyline generously sprinkled with slapstick in the tradition of vaudeville shows - but in a way that only Cirque du Soleil can do it.
With all of the actors/dancers dressed as the classic (but sophisticated) vaudeville clowns, the story follows the innocent and romantic actor Emmett as he goes for an audition for the cruel producer Shmelky, who sows terror among his minions. Naturally, Emmett falls for the beautiful lead actress, Katie, and he meets a strange and bizarre cast of characters, including the mysterious Banana Man. Emmett must find a way to win his love and escape the nefarious Shmelky. And how will the Banana Man fit in to all this?
To learn more about the show and buy tickets for a performance near you, click here.
Monday, October 12, 2009
After he left, I managed to meet with an old college friend of mine (and son) who lives there, and we spent my last day in town catching up, visiting the beach, and then out on the town to drink, get silly and compare women's sexy shoes.
I came home needing a rest from my "vacation," but isn't that always the way it works?
Now that it's over, I'll have to put all my focus into finding a job again.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I was up early and ran over to the market for some orange juice this morning, and while I was there I ran into my landlord. He'd stopped by yesterday because our heat isn't working. He said he'd have to send someone over today to look at it. So when I was at the market, he asked if the guy'd been here yet. It was only 9 a.m.! No, of course he hadn't, but that got me thinking the guy might be coming pretty quickly.
I already had my day sketched out, so I knew I had to jump in the shower this morning if I was going to get through the rest of the day on time. I raced through that, hoping that the guy wouldn't show up for the furnace while I was in there. He didn't. Now I'm waiting for him.
I have a feature story due for the paper on Friday, but I couldn't reach the guy I need to interview until yesterday. He asked if I could come in today at 3, so I have to get through that and then get back home in time to leave for the airport by 6. I think I'll have to write my article on my Blackberry on the plane or something. There's no way I can get it finished before I have to leave. Or maybe I can use a computer at the hotel. I'll probably have time to kill during the day tomorrow. I'm guessing F is going to have to be working during the day. Writing my story will give me something to do while I'm waiting. Typical. I'm always working during vacation. Even when I'm unemployed, apparently.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
One of the old reporters had to have a pacemaker put in on Friday, and I got a panicked phone call asking if I could do his work while he's off. Well, I can do some of it anyway. I'll be working the whole shift in the office tonight. Then I've got to cover the city council meeting for him tomorrow, but I already have another assignment to do tomorrow as well.
It's a busy couple of days, and I'll get next to nothing for it except the loss of my time. Perhaps if the old reporter decides that he's done working for good (he's in his 80s), the publisher will relent and decide that his position can be filled. After all, his loss would leave the paper with just one full-time reporter. They're not THAT stupid, are they?
Friday, September 25, 2009
While I was there, the editor came and said, "Look at you! It's like you never left!" I know he wishes I hadn't. I do too.
I ended up only having to stay until a little after 9. I'm home having a glass of wine now and listening to my new young neighbors party next door. The girls are gone for the night, so other than the sounds coming through the wall, it's really pretty quiet at home. Maybe I'll catch up on some sleep. Doubtful, but one can hope.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I got the usual slew of birthday greetings from a bunch of people on Facebook, thanks to those handy little reminders they post on your home page. Of course, I didn't even get an acknowledgement from several people who are actually supposed to be my "real" friends. D went so far as to actively ignore me. Enough of that one, I think. My mother did take the time to call me on her break at work. My son Pooh gave me his gift last night because he knew he'd be gone all day today at school and work.
Honestly, I think I should just stop all recognition of my birthday altogether. It manages to do nothing but bring me down. I couldn't care less about my age. That's not even the issue.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
I managed to make it to bed at the not-entirely-unreasonable hour of 11 p.m. last night, knowing that I would have to get up at 5 a.m. today in order to get to the office, finish the Troy paper upload to the web site and get back in time to watch the Manchster Derby.
All didn't exactly go according to plan. In fact, nothing did.
I went to bed at 11 but I was still up at 3 a.m. I was completely exhausted from my 4:30 a.m. day, and yet, I couldn't fall asleep for anything.
I did manage to get up and into the office, although I was a bit later than I'd intended. I got there at 6:15 a.m. Still, this would not have been a problem. I'd still have plenty of time to finish the work and get home for the game. Except.... I couldn't log in to the web site. Everything worked perfectly yesterday, and then suddenly this morning, I couldn't log in. I couldn't get past the box in which I had to enter the username and password. It just kept popping back up over and over. I tried logging in to one of the other paper's sites just to see what would happen. Same thing. I couldn't get in. There was nothing I could do. I sent off an e-mail to the editor and went back home, figuring I could try again later and see if the incompetents at the hosting service had managed to sort it all out.
So, I was home at 7 a.m. The game didn't start until 8:30 a.m., so I figured I'd catch a brief rest and get up to watch the game. I set my alarm for 8:20 a.m. After all, I didn't have to go any further than the end of my bed to my desk to start up the computer. The next thing I know, I wake up and it's 9:30 a.m. I'd already missed an hour of the game!
I managed to get my computer started up and fortunately got a good stream right away. The score was 2-2 at that point. Damn! That meant it was already a good, competitive game going, and I'd missed it! Fortunately, it kept going. It was nonstop amazing. Right after I got on, Man United scored and brought it up to 3-2. Woohoo! Then just about one second before the end of the 90 mins., City scored and it was tied again. So they go into four minutes of stoppage time, Fergie makes a substitution which gets them another 30 seconds. And somehow, SIX minutes in Owen scores for Man United, and we win it 4-3! Naturally, the City manager got all pissy about the extra time, but seriously, this happens ALL THE TIME. When they say "four minutes" it means "AT LEAST four minutes" - stoppage time is never, ever exactly what they call it. Sometimes it ends up being 30 seconds longer, sometimes it ends up being two minutes longer. But it's ALWAYS more. So stop whining already. I love Michael Owen, by the way - despite his Liverpool past. :) Not only is he gorgeous (that's him in the pic....), but he's Welsh (that's MY heritage) - and he's old enough that I can fantasize with a totally clear conscience. ;)
Saturday, September 19, 2009
We've all got something ugly in our lives we could do without, right? I'd upload a picture of my ex-husband, but I've destroyed most of those. :)
You can upload pictures or videos of your ugly stuff, be it old outdated electronics, that awful sweater your aunt gave you for Christmas or the neighbor's nasty dog, and enter for a chance to win a sleek and sexy new LG Bliss phone!
When you upload your ugly pic, you're automatically entered to win an LG Bliss, exclusively on the U.S. Cellular network, or a $50 gift card.
The contest runs through Nov. 6, 2009.
There will be five grand prize winners of a brand new LG Bliss phone and 50 second prize winners of a $50 gift card. You can enter only once per Facebook account, and you must be 18 to enter.
So take one last picture of those neon parachute pants before you burn them. Shoot a video of you taking a hammer to that collection of plaster of Paris gnomes that's always creeped you out a little bit. Scan that photo of you in the ninth grade that you've always hated before sending it through the paper shredder. Upload your ugly on the
LG Bliss Facebook Fan Page and find your Bliss instead. You deserve it, don't you?
I actually managed to finish far earlier than I expected to, and I was back home by 9 a.m. in time to make myself a third cup of coffee and get Munch up and dressed. Gin came home from her overnight at her friend's house, and we went off to pick up Book for the day. Had lunch at Mom's, and she said her sister's home with hospice care. She said she's doing surprisingly well and has been lucid and receiving visitors. It's still just a matter of time - and a very short time too. Her biopsy came back revealing two kinds of cancer. Mom's just happy that her sister's been awake and aware and able to see people.
I came back home to watch the Liverpool game. I only watch to see them lose. But then I realized they're playing West Ham - the other team I hate. Is there any way both of them can lose? Am I such an addict that I'll watch two teams I hate play each other? Quite possibly. The Man United game this weekend is Sunday at 8:30 a.m. Ugh. I've got to do the web upload for Troy in the morning, that means I'll have to get up extra early to go into the office for that and then get home in time for the game. There are few I'll be able to watch this season, as they're almost all on at 10 a.m. on Saturdays, and I always leave at 10:30 to go get Book. I'll lose sleep to watch them when I can.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I haven't had cable in forever, so the few TV shows I watch, I watch online after they've aired. One of my favorites is Top Chef. I've been watching it since the first season, and I've been hooked ever since. Last season, I was a Fabio fan. I'll admit it. I have a weakness for Italians, even the slightly obnoxious and egotistical ones, although the quirky, sweet, romantic ones are better.
So I suppose I'm going for the novelty of Americans now. That is a novelty for me lately, it seems.
Of course, it's not a real thing. All my "real boy" crushes seem to be from far, far away. Puts a bit of a crimp on my social life. Meaning, it's nonexistent. It works out to some degree sometimes.
I did have a pretty good thing going for quite a while with P. He was a Jamaican residing in Canada.
And I'll be jetting off to see F again soon when comes back to the U.S. in a couple of weeks. He's an Italian residing in Switzerland. We met up in Las Vegas in February, so this will be the second trip for us.
I've had a number of near-misses with G. He's an Italian residing in England. Every time we work on trying to get together, it doesn't quite work out. The latest attempt apparently will have us missing each other by a matter of hours. He says we'll figure it out another time. I'm sort of doubting it.
I haven't quite managed to convince D to make the effort to come to the U.S. to see me yet. He's an Englishman residing in - gasp - England. Lol! He's just difficult. Fascinating mind, wicked wit, and just damn difficult.
I really need to find someone closer to home. At least on this side of the pond.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
My mother's birthday is coming up, and I would love to be able to get her one of the beautiful movado series 800 watches.
I never wear a watch myself. I've never seemed to be able to remember to put it on in the morning, but my mom wears hers all the time, and these are just her style.
Even though I don't wear watches myself, I have to admit that there were some at bluedial.com that were just the style I'd like to wear - if I could ever remember to put one on.
My mom's such a great person, and she deserves something special. But she doesn't like frills. These watches are sharp-looking and completely practical. That's my mom all around. Maybe next year...
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
She's the youngest of my mother's biological sisters (she was one of five girls, but my grandparents adopted the two daughters of the second oldest when she was killed in a car accident 40 or so years ago). Mom was quite a wreck this weekend, but she's been dealing with this all now long enough that she's at least able to get through sometimes without breaking down.
I've said before what an amazing mom my mother is. She's the same with the rest of her family. Always the rock. The strong one. The one you can turn to no matter what. She's been doing that through this too.
She told me tonight that my cousin thanked her for always being there for them, and for being there for her through all of this as well. She told me that she told my cousin that she hopes that they will do the same for me when it's her time to go. She said out loud what I've recognized for a long time. "Rachel doesn't have anyone but me (mom). She's got her kids, and she's got me. That's it." That's true. Situations like this one make that even clearer, though it's never a thought that's far from my mind. I have my kids and I have my mother, and that's all I have. But she's got me too.
Monday, September 14, 2009
The new season of truTV's Rehab Party at the Hard Rock Hotel has kicked off for another round of WILD, and this season promises that the hottest party in the world's sexiest city will get even hotter, with celebrity performances, more partiers and new Rehab staff members trying to get the hang of this whole crazy, chaotic spectacle!
The partying is intense, but the business is serious, as staff members have to work not only to keep some kind of control but also to keep Rehab as the biggest and best party on the strip to compete with neighboring pool parties in this tough economy.
I have to tell you, I went to Vegas this year, but I wasn't part of anything like this! No yard-long drinks, puking in the potted plants or waking up next to a stranger for me! (Although, I might admit that I miss that life .... just a little....)
I haven't been to a hot party in a long, long time, so TruTV's "Real life television" is a way to live vicariously. This is "real life television," not "reality television." They just point the cameras and watch it all happen! You get to experience the sex, the booze, the fights, the unfettered debauchery - and you don't have to wake up with the regrets in the morning.
However, if you do want to get in on the action (come on! you know you do!), you can enter the sweepstakes to party like a rock star at Rehab at the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel and Casino pool by clicking here.
Besides, I keep thinking that something is going to happen that's going to mess this up for me. Something's going to come up and make it not happen. Oh, I really don't know if I could take that...
I suppose if I get a job, most employers would probably be understanding enough to let me have off the two days for a trip that's been in the planning for a long time now. I mean, I'm not asking for a week or anything. It's a couple of days, that's all.
Of course, I've got other issues that could throw a wrench in the works. I might need to be around to support my mother, for one. She's got five sisters, and of those, one currently has pneumonia, another has H1N1 and COPD, and a third - worst of all - has pneumonia and quite possibly lung cancer. Just yesterday, the family finally managed to talk her into going on a respirator for four days so that the doctors can take the tests and do the procedures that they need to do. She had to be convinced that it's not life support and that if something went wrong, she wouldn't be left hooked up to a machine sustaining her life. I'm not particularly close to my aunts, but my mother is a wreck right now. That is her baby sister and probably the one she's had the closest ties to her whole life, despite the fact that she profoundly disapproves with the way her younger sister has chosen to live her life. I have some ties there too, beyond the "just blood" ties, that is. Her daughter - my cousin - was probably the one of my many cousins I was closest to while I was growing up. We don't see each other very often now, but we still consider each other to be the closest among the cousins.
It probably sounds selfish of me that I'm putting this in terms of my upcoming trip. You must understand that, for me, my family has been my mother and me for almost my entire life. She was and is very close to her family, but I have never been. Now, my family is my mother and my children. Beyond that, it's fairly loose and incidental almost. I believe after the passing of my grandmother several years ago, that last real tie among the families of the sisters was lost for good. It's not just me. It's that way among all the cousins. My main concern in this is the well-being of my mother. She's the "rock" of her family and the one everyone turns to for help (which is often). She has a more motherly than sisterly relationship with her sisters most of the time, especially her three younger sisters.