27 January 2011

HNT - Impractical


“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.”
~ Cecil Beaton (English Photographer and Fashion designer, 1904-1980)


OK, so most of you wouldn't think this was a stretch, but me? I'm practical. Bras and underwear should be functional. A black bra with pink and white polka dots and a bow? You've got to be kidding me!

I have no idea what I'll wear this under, but I'll find something that works because? Well ... just because!



26 January 2011

Big Fat Ugly Cow!


I hadn't really thought much about it. If I look at myself in the mirror, it isn't usually to see how I look, it is to remind myself of how ugly I am. "My nose is too big," "I have a chin like Jay Leno" and "I better be sure to always face the camera head-on because my profile is hideous."

Don't let me catch a glimpse of my entire body ...

"God I'm such a pig," "It's no wonder people don't like me, I'm a big fat ugly cow" and "I really should be ashamed to hang out with normal people because it just makes me look even fatter."

It's not just my appearance. Spelling error on twitter? "I'm such a idiot!" A blog post where it's clear I'm not getting my point across? "If I were a half-way decent writer people might get what I'm saying!" A mistake at work? "Some day they are just going to fire my stupid ass!"

I don't know when I started doing this, but I do know it's been decades ago.

I distinctly remember taking private clarinet lessons when I was 14, and after screwing up a rather difficult passage saying (out loud), "Dana! You are so stupid! Can't you do anything right?" I also remember the look of horror on my teacher's face when he made me stop and said, "Do you always talk to yourself in the third person like that?"

It was the very same day that I started internallized those dialogs - saying them silently to myself after discovering it wasn't OK to say them out loud. And they got louder ... and stronger ...

They never go away.

Sometimes they yell and scream at me telling me how worthless I am. How ugly I am. How it's no wonder no one wants me.

Sometimes they are a more quite, persistent voice reminding me that there will always be people prettier, skinnier, smarter and more desirable than I ever will be.

They are the words that tell me people only make nice comments my HNT pics out of politeness. The words that remind me I don't deserve to be happy. The words that won't let me forget that I am worthless and will never be special.

They are seldom quiet.

They are never nice.

Am I begging for compliments? No ... in fact I'm hoping this might explain why your compliments are seldom heard even when you do make them. You see, the words - the messages inside my head? They talk far louder than all y'all ever could. They have over 30 years of practice.

But you know what? I'm tired of listening to those words - words that I would never speak to anyone but myself. Words that I wouldn't even dare think about anyone else.

It's a very bad habit and one I'm struggling to put behind me. For now? I avoid looking in mirrors, choosing instead to walk with my head down when I think there is a possibility of catching a glimpse of my reflection. It's not a cure, but at least it's a start.

I've been trying to do a few nice things for myself. Very small things but things that remind me that I have value. It's amazing what a difference just buying moisturizing soap and a bath poof can do. Up until about two weeks ago I used Irish Spring. Irish Spring that made me sneeze and dried out my skin terribly. Why? Because it was the soap Cam likes and I really wasn't worth spending the extra $4 on to get something that I liked. I could get by. I don't deserve special treatment.

Or do I?

Which voice wins?


23 January 2011

Sunday Secret



21 January 2011

Hug O'War


I will not play at Tug O'War
I'd rather play at Hug O'War
Where everyone hugs, instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles and rolls on the rugs,
Where everyone kisses and everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles and everyone wins.
~ Shel Silverstein

Did you know that today is National Hugging Day? No? I didn't either, but when I read about it I started thinking about how important touch really is, and how little of it is in my life.

One drunken night, while on twitter, I wrote:

I'd have sex with a stranger right now just to be touched.

Yeah? So?? It's true ... and extremely pathetic ... but ... but ...

With the exception of a friendly hug goodbye now and again, it has been, what? Over two years since I've been in a place where reciprocal touch happened regularly with anyone? I'm not talking about sex here, I'm talking about general touch. I miss holding hands. I miss hugs. I miss laying my head in someone's lap and falling asleep.

I miss touch - being touched and being able to touch someone else - and I've really not given any validation to how lonely that makes me feel.

I do a lot of internal rationalization - Cam needs to come first right now - my needs can be addressed when Cam graduates from high school - adding someone to this mess of a life I have would just make it messier and be unfair to everyone involved.

I've convinced myself that I shouldn't be lonely. That I shouldn't miss being touched. This should be enough. I should be happy. For goodness sakes there are homeless people and sick children and ... and ... I'm whining about being lonely and not being touched?? I have a roof over my head and reasonably good health. What's not to be happy about?? It could be so much worse, right??

More importantly, I've told myself that missing touch - being lonely - is my penance to be paid for the choices I've made. Somehow, that seems a more rational and sensible explanation.

I'm not sure how to fix this. I mean, I can fix the shitty self-talk, but maybe lonely is just where I have to be right now. Maybe reciprocal touch is reserved for other people - people who are more deserving (for lack of a better word) of it? Maybe it's just not as big deal as I make it out to be.

And no, I'm really not feeling sorry for myself. It's just where life is right now, but I do wonder just how much reciprocal touch plays a part in all of it.


Go hug someone today! They might need to be touched!


19 January 2011

HNT - Lace


*click - NSFW*

Shut up and lace up.
~ L. M. Heroux



17 January 2011

Meet Me! Meet You!


Do you ever put a blog in your reader, forget why you put it there, then remember there was a really good reason you subscribed in the first place??

Yeah ... I had one of those moments today ...

I've had Never Growing Old in my reader for MONTHS now. I knew there was a reason I put her in there, but I couldn't - for the life of me - remember why. Then I actually went to her blog today instead of just reading her feed and ...

She's got a blogroll of bloggers over 40! You know we are becoming extinct, right? Every year there is a new crop of mommy bloggers, but bloggers over 40? They seem to fade into the darkness. I'll be checking those folks out later because ... hello??

Anyway, she also hosts this "Meet Me On Monday" thing ... ummm ... errrr ... OK! OK! It's a meme, but I'm going to do something a little different with it. I'm going to make it a meme-youyou. I'll answer the questions, but what I really want is to read your answers in the comments. That way I can pick my favorite bloggers based on things that really matter, like "Marinara or meat sauce."

So, are you ready??

1. Do you like your ice cream in a dish, waffle cone, pretzel cone, sugar cone or cake cone?

Dish, but if forced to will eat it in a waffle cone. And what the hell is a pretzel cone? Anyone?? Where do you find these things??

2. Do you read the newspaper daily?

I do not! I read bits of my local paper online each day, and I watch MSNBC in the mornings for a national view, but my newspaper reading (with an actual paper) is limited to Sunday mornings.

3. Marinara or meat sauce?

Marinara ... CHUNKY marinara

4. Last time you cried?

At about 9AM today, while IM-ing a friend.

5. What word/phrase do you find really annoying?

Just one? I have to pick just one?? Hmmmmm ... because I've been on the receiving end of it quite a bit lately (thank you dear teenage son) let's go with "LAME" Really? Lame is the best you can do? Expand your vocabulary. Use colorful words like "feeble," "unpersuasive" or "faulty". Lame is just ... well ... LAME!

Your turn ... and ... Go!


16 January 2011

Sunday Secret



12 January 2011

HNT - Me


I need to find a place where it's OK to be in my skin. Where I can celebrate my beauty without self-judging. A place that I can accept who I am right now without giving up on who I can be. Somewhere that it doesn't hurt my heart to catch a glimpse of my reflection, or to post a half-nekkid photo ...

Buying this piece of lingerie? It is a start.

“I must learn to love the fool in me the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries”

~Theodore Isaac Rubin



Help Me!


I've fallen and I can't get up! OK ... maybe not ... but I could still use your help!

Over at my "Maybe-some-day-I'll-do-something-with-this-but-right-now-I-use-it-for-a-test-environment" blog, I am trying out the Intense Debate threaded comment widget for blogger. I'm considering using it on this blog as it seems to be much more friendly for responding to comments, but I don't want to fuck things up here if it isn't user friendly for all of you.

So, if you are a little bored on this hump-day, please stop by Tied To The Tracks and leave a comment, reply to a comment, give a comment a thumbs up or down ... you know ... do your thing. I'll be indebted to you for life (or at least for 5 minutes) if you'd come back here and let me know what you think about it.

Please?? Pretty please?? Pretty please with a cherry on top?? Unless, of course, you don't like those nasty things and prefer a stuffed green olive on top!


11 January 2011

What's Your Value?


Don't you hate it when someone steals your blog post? OK ... maybe "steal" is a strong word ... since Jay published it before I did, but it was in my head! I swear!!

In Jay's "Some Observations ..." , a post about the Tucson shootings, one of the things he touches on is how society artificially elevates the value of people.

As I mentioned in my comment on his post, I know that a Federal Judge, a 30-year old man who was recently engage and a 9-year old girl (born on 9/11/2001 and featured in a book about 9/11 babies) were killed in the gunfire. I know that Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford was shot in the head - a through-and-through wound contained to just one side of her brain.

I know NOTHING about the other three people killed nor the other 13 (I'm not even sure that number is accurate) who were wounded ... my guess is because they were just "normal" people. People like you and me. People who are a few rungs lower on the "human value" ladder.

That is what disturbs me most about the tragedy in Tucson.

Not that Jared Lee Loughner was able to legally purchase a gun.

Not that, after one Walmart denied him the purchase of ammunition, a second one allowed it.

Not that Sarah Palin used cross-hair targets on a map.

Not that the media, in their attempt to improve ratings, claimed Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford had died and then had to retract that statement.

No, what bothered me most is that we, as a society, place value on the loss of people, and that value is not equal.

Congresswomen are more valuable than corporate executives.

Federal Judges are a greater loss than fast-food workers.

Childrens' deaths are more tragic than those of construction workers.

We do it all of the time.

A homeless man is found frozen to death. We might have a moment of "Wow! That's too bad," and then we go about our day without another thought.

We hear about a gang-related shooting in [insert the name of the big city nearest you] and we think, "Stupid gang-bangers. Thank goodness there are a few less of them on the street."

We will never stop the irrational actions of individuals, but we can start valuing human life.

ALL human life.



08 January 2011

Regional Dialect Video Meme


Ahhh ... Saturday! The internets are closed which makes it the perfect day to post 5 minutes of my dribble!

Jay posted an audio version of this meme over at Every Day Jay but because I like RULES and this is called the Regional Dialect Video Meme, I decided to do it the right way. *gigglesnort*

If, after watching this, you cannot contain yourself and must do your own version? Here are the nitty-gritty details.


Introduce yourself - where are you from?

Say these words: Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

Now answer these questions:

• What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?

• What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?

• What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?

• What do you call gym shoes?

• What do you say to address a group of people?

• What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?

• What do you call your grandparents?

• What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?

• What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?

• What is the thing you change the TV channel with?


05 January 2011

HNT - Peering


“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing,
doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”

~ Edgar Allan Poe





Have you ever had to write a bio?

I find it difficult to take myself too seriously. OK ... so my nose grew as I typed that, what's your point??

Trying to write one of those "Graduated from Roosevelt University (Chicago) with a bachelor's degree in ..." bios makes my head explode. All I can hear when I attempt it is "blah-blah-blah I'm better than you blah- blah-blah" And? Well?? We all know that I'm not better than anyone so it seems kind of the wrong thing to do.

I had to write a bio for the Band Back Together editors page, 'cause our Aunt Becky is all formal, by the book and shit about these things.

Band Back Together is a pretty serious site. These stories belong to real people - and often times they've hidden them for years. People talk about abuse, infertility issues, suicide. Heavy burdens that too many people carry. Yes, there is a LIGHT THINGS category, but the bulk of the stories?? Not all glitter farts and rainbow burps.

I was trying to come up with a bio that balanced out the heavy. The sample bio Aunt Becky sent was exactly what I had hoped it would be - silly - so off I went!

Here is my very professional and serious bio, 'cause I'm an editor and shit!

Dana is a single mother and a trained killer, raising a 14-year old, bi-racial son who just happens to be on the autism spectrum. She works full-time as a bean counter but dreams of one day working in her degree field as a paralegal.

The self-proclaimed, over-reacting drama queen (currently in recovery) spews her own dribble on her blog Amid Life’s Crises however she prefers to sprinkle glitter and worship rainbows in the background on BB2G.

Her interests include leading a world crusade encouraging the acceptance of public nudity, vacuum cleaners and memorizing all of the prime numbers. In her spare time she reads every office supply catalog she can get her hands on. Some day she hopes to develop a strange addiction so that she can be a reality TV spectacle and make her family proud!

So which one of you needs a bio written for a professional publication?? I've got experience now and will be more than happy to hook you up. As you can see, I've got a knack for highlighting the most interesting and relevant facts!


03 January 2011



I like rules.

Rules give me a level of confidence in the task I am working on. I know that if I follow the rules, whatever I do will be right, and I'm all about doing things right. Doing things wrong? *shudders* Oh the horrors! Seriously. Bad!

I get overwhelmed when there are no rules.

Last night I was working on some editing stuff for Band Back Together. I came across a couple of posts with embedded links. Now, this is pretty common on individual blogs, but I just wasn't sure if they were appropriate for the group blog format.

I looked at the posts. I read the posts. I clicked on the links. I spent 10 minutes trying to figure out if they should be left in or not. I closed the posts. I opened the posts. I read them again. I clicked on the links again. I closed the posts. I became overwhelmed with the lack of a rule and in desperation I IM'd Aunt Becky.

I got a "hahahahahahahahahaha"!

She laughed at me! Which is actually a good thing because then I realized that I should be laughing at myself!

And then she typed the four words I hate to see or hear ... ever ...


Ummm ... hello?? Remember me?? Just last week I used my best judgment on twitter and RT'd someone I had recently unfollowed and @'d someone who apparently had blocked me, causing them such emotional distress, rumor has it they had to quit twitter. Thank goodness for a twitter friend who explained my actions might look goofy to normal people. OK - he didn't say "goofy" and he didn't say "normal", but still ...

That is where my best judgment gets me.

Give me rules damn it, and don't change them along the way. If it's a rule then it is a rule and breaking the rule is a bad thing and must be corrected.

Black and white thinking much?

That damn gray area is like a black hole for me.

I didn't edit either of those two posts.

And I'm trying to find a twitter wiki.


01 January 2011

To Do List



I've often thought the whole New Year's celebration thing was highly overrated. It's not like we can't get a fresh start any time we want one, be it the new year, the 1st of the month, Monday morning, the top of the hour, or even at 3:27 PM on a Thursday. This fascination with the new year makes little sense to me.

I don't do New Year's resolutions, but I do a little bit of that crap they call reflection. You know ... where I'm at ... where I've come from ... where I want to go ... where I don't want to go. In other words, a mental TO DO LIST.

This year I've decided to put my TO DO LIST in writing - on the blog - as a means of accountability.

*2011 TO DO LIST*

  1. Apply for a passport. This might sound silly, considering I have no plans to leave the country any time soon, but I've never had a passport, and having a passport seems like a worldly thing to me. 2011 should be worldly!
  2. Travel into the city at least twice to take photos. This doesn't sound like something that should be on a To Do List. It sounds like something most people would enjoy. But for me? It's an anxiety riddled proposition - from the moment I leave to drive to the train, to the moment I step back into the apartment.
  3. Join a Gym. I refuse to set myself up for failure by putting some "I'll exercise 3 times a week" item on this list. This list is about success, not failure, and joining a gym will lead to success.
  4. Explore Moving. I am not happy in the Chicago area. I would not have moved here had it not been for husband's insistence that he needed to be here for his kids. It's time to at least find out if my fears (primarily school placement for Cam) are real or imagined.
  5. Update My Paralegal Resume. This needs to be done whether moving becomes an option or not. It's time to find a job that I don't dread going to each day.
  6. Take myself less seriously. I need to get better at "Fuck it" I expect this to be the most difficult task on my TO DO LIST, but probably the one that will be the most rewarding. I may need a few of you to keep me honest on this one.
  7. Address routine medical and dental visits. I hate to admit this, but it's been at least 10 years since I had a full physical. Two years since seeing an OB/GYN. Five years since my last mammogram. Three years since my last teeth cleaning. I have no excuse. I've got great insurance and a medical flex spending account to cover the co-pays. This is an issue of just not giving a shit about taking care of me.
I was going to claim that I would update this TO DO LIST monthly, but fuck it (got to practice that one). I'll update my progress when I feel like it and when there are updates to be made.

What's on your 2011 TO DO LIST??