28 October 2013

Unfinished Business - Part I

I have a habit of starting blog posts when I'm experiencing a moment of passion (intellectual passion, you perverts), but then never quite getting around to writing out the post. My DRAFT folder has a lot of unfinished business.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing with you the posts from 2013 that were started, but never finished.


School Is Not For Boys




This was the start of a "How did we let society swing so far that it's become okay for girls/females to emasculate boys?" post. Schools - especially - have become completely boy unfriendly, from kindergarten through high school.
Then I thought ... I've got 7 months of this left. Is it worth expressing my outrage? Does anyone really care? Or will this post just turn into a place for the disgruntled ones to tell me that schools are not the problem, my kid is the problem?
Some days I feel it's important to give this issue a voice. Other days I'm so damn tired of fighting a bureaucracy that I will never be able to change that I just say "Fuck it! Let the parents of kindergartners figure it out!"
I don't know which stance is right, but if you are interested in reading some of the articles I had planned to use as references, here are the links:
From PBS Parents - Raising Boys
From The Atlantic - Stop Penalizing Boys for Not Being Able to Sit Still at School
From Time Magazine - School Has Become Too Hostile to Boys

08 October 2013

One Of These Days I'll Get A Divorce

For those of you who've been here awhile, you know that "husband" and I are still married, even though we will have been separated for 4? Or is it 5 years in December?

Anyway, we haven't been separated long enough.

We remain married due to insurance and mortgage issues. Husband's goal at the end of this is to walk away without any damage to his lifestyle. My goal at the end of this is to walk away without any damage to what my lifestyle was when we got married.

These two things are not the same.

Bottom line, I am still often required to deal with him to keep it all looking like he is getting his way. It's just easier than dealing with tantrums and bullying.

Last November, "husband" demanded that I remove everything that was mine from the house under the presumption that he was going to rent it out in the spring and needed all of my stuff out.

I spent several Saturdays over there with him, while he watched, sorting things into trash and donations.

I let him know that AMVETS picks up donations out in Podunk, and that all he would need to do was schedule a pick-up date and put the bags/boxes in the driveway. AMVETS would take care of the rest.

And those boxes and bags remained in the formal living room ... and remained ... and remained ...

Last week, "husband" called demanding (and don't think I'm using "demand" willy-nilly here - he demands - he doesn't ask) that I spend my Saturday helping him cart all of the stuff that has been sitting in the formal living room to Goodwill

Because he is "Tired of looking at the shit!"

And "Tired of the cats getting into the shit!!"

*blink*

*blink*

Which is why you didn't called AMVETS to schedule a pick-up during the last ELEVEN MONTHS, right??

Initially I told him I would help him get it to Goodwill, but the thought of spending half my Saturday with him wasn't very appealing. I decided to ...

Wait for it ...

Call AMVETS and schedule a pick-up, and they were going to have a truck in Podunk TODAY!!

Of course, then he needed my help* to get the bags and boxes from the house to the driveway (maybe a 20' walk), so we makes arrangements for me to come to the house at 7:00 last night to help* him. As it turns out, that doesn't work out for me - I've got to get to a store and purchase new duds for my part-time gig and  a 7:00 meeting time is just going to stress me out.

If he were anyone else, I'd have just told him to do it himself, but it's my responsibility to always make "husband" happy (just ask him), so I let him know I was going to the house right after work to start the project.

This is the text that followed (he's the BLUE bubble). And note the 5 hours between my response to him, and his next text. Also note that at no point does he THANK ME for doing all of the work without him, but he did "catch" me looking in the drawer for a pen!!

He sure shower me *rolls eyes*

*I needed to do it because it is a task that is beneath him


One of these days I'll get a divorce (2014 - WooHoo!!!)

18 September 2013

It's a Blogiversary!



It was 6 years (and a few days) ago that I wrote my first blog post in my little corner of the interwebs. It was appropriately titled, Virgin Blogging.

I know ... I know ... I was just as insightful then as I am now ...

A lot has happened in these 6 years:

  • Cam successfully navigated public middle school, 18 months at a theraputic day school, and is now smack dab in the middle of his senior year of high school. He also went from looking like this

To looking like this ...




  • I went from being in a beautiful .5-million dollar home and a terribly unhappy (and abusive) marriage, to walking away from it all for a 2-bedroom apartment in a very run-down complex and furnished with FreeCycle and the few things I was allowed to take.
  • After 40+ years of learning just how unlovable I am, I met Mike who has shown me that I was lovable all along.
  • I lost a prestigious job in my degree field and began working in accounting again. This was a job that I hoped would be a 2-year, temporary gig while Cam's educational needs were addressed, but has turned into a hell-hole that I find myself trapped in for at least another year or so (I'll be "celebrating" 6 years at this job in January).
  • I got nekkid quite a few times, then became disillusioned when that tight knit community started to change
  • I gained 117 lbs, and have lost 98 lbs (so far) after having bariatric surgery.
  • Friends have come and gone. I did a volunteer stint with Band Back Together, then was somewhat ostracized by that community after writing about my experiences volunteering with them. I keep in touch with 3 of the 5 people who commented on my very first blog post via Facebook, and one of those people (Meg, from This Big Happy) is still blogging! The other two? Well, they are both still around, or so I hear, but neither of them want anything to do with me any longer.
  • Where blogging used to be my primary outlet - and twitter soon followed - I now spend more time on tumblr and Facebook than I do on blogging and twitter
  • I've had a bonafide (and reported) cyberbully and several trolls. I've also met some people who will likely be life-long friends, including Jayman, who was one of my very first REAL commenters (not a commenter from the Yahoo Group who originally dared me to start up a blog) and Matt-Man, whose friendship with me has been a bit ... shall we say ... rocky at times? Yeah, we'll go with that. 
It's pretty amazing when you think about it. My little corner of the interwebs populated with the stuff that life is made of. Overall? I'd say it's been a good run.

I often wonder what to do with this space - whether I'll continue to blog or just archive this all somewhere and move on. 

Right now? I plan on staying. I probably won't be earning any frequent-flyer miles for posting every day, but I've grown to love this place. As frustrating as life can be, going back and reading a history of what you've done in the last 6 years kind of puts it all in perspective and helps you realize that the big things aren't so big a year later.

Do any of you have a post of mine that you remember well, either because it made you happy, or because it pissed you off?

06 September 2013

I Do ... Well, I Don't Do But They Do!

This evening, Cam and I will be guests at step-son's wedding. Step-son and his fiance have been dating for 8 years - not sure why the want to ruin that with a wedding, but that's an entirely different post.

What? Me cynical?

Pfftttt! You would be too if you were me!

Anyway ...

Other than my own ceremony 7 years ago, I haven't been to a wedding in 13 (?) years. It seems things have changed quite a bit on the wedding front.

First, I was sent a wedding POSTCARD. Sure, it was in an envelope (hand addressed in all lower case printing - WTF?), but it was most definitely a postcard. It had the very basics of information - time, date, and location of the wedding, then referred me to a website for additional details,

A wedding website ...

Hosted by TheKnot.com


That's right! I can click on a tab and learn all about his proposal to her (in the penguin encounter at the aquarium), I can find out where the reception is, I can learn about their wedding party (she has a MAN of honor and a MAID of honor), and I can RSVP for the wedding, even selecting my meal choice!

Just seems a little odd ... maybe because all sense of tradition has been tossed out the window.

On the "our registries" page (Why does no one use uppercase letters? Is this supposed to be cute??) I can link to their two registries (Target and Macy's), and learn that they "would also appreciate gift cards to Ikea and World Market. =)."

Not only that, but I also learned, "We're protecting the environment and prefer gifts without gift wrap or box."

Wait just a minute ...

Isn't half the fun of getting gifts unwrapping them? Now you just want me to put that set of towels out on the gift table NAKED??

We'll see how the evening goes. "Husband" will be there, but will be sitting with his other ex (Tyler's mom) ... THANK GOODNESS!

Cam is coming along as my date - seems Step-son didn't consider +1-ing my invitation.

*shrugs*

Mike did offer to come crash the wedding.

I seriously considered encouraging him to do just that!

21 August 2013

3 Rules For Courteous Borrowers

The Borrowers
It's unusual that I have something that someone wants to borrow, which is fine by me as I've often found that lending is really a synonym for giving away, and I don't have much extra stuff to just give away.

But yesterday, my co-worker Norm approached me asking for a BIG FAVOR. Norm and I don't have any relationship outside of work, and not much of a relationship inside of work ... unless you consider me making fun of him behind his back a relationship ... so I was a bit surprised when he asked me if he could borrow ...

Wait for it ...

My car!

Norm and his wife carpool to work. His wife drops him off here, then goes on her merry way.

Well, it seems Norm forgot his script at home yesterday (Did I mention he's in community theater?) and last night's rehearsal was for Act 2, Scene 2, and he wasn't "off book" yet so OH MY GOODNESS I NEED TO BORROW YOUR CAR AT LUNCH SO THAT I CAN GET MY SCRIPT AND MEMORIZE MY LINES BEFORE REHEARSAL!!!

I had a difficult decision: allow Norm to borrow my car, or listen to him piss and moan about not being "off book" all day long. The former seemed the much less painful option.

Knowing Norm like I know Norm, I had no expectations of anything more than a "Thank you" once he returned my keys, even though it is 30+ miles round trip between work and his house. Unfortunately, I was spot on with that assumption.

Had I borrowed someone's car? I'd have returned it with more gas than it had in it before I borrowed it, and would have likely sprung for a car wash too. At the very least, I'd hand over $10 to cover costs.

Not Norm.

I think I'll provide him a copy of my 3 Rules For Courteous Borrowers next time:

  1. If you can't replace it, think twice about borrowing it - I wasn't too worried about this aspect. I have insurance on my car,  Norm has insurance on his cars, and I know where he lives/works. But this is still a good rule.
  2. Don't put people on the spot - Although Norm prefaced his request to borrow with, "If you say no I'll understand," asking really bordered on inappropriate. The world was not going to end if he didn't get to practice his community theater parts prior to rehearsal tonight. No one's life was on the line. And yes, I realize that I could just as easily have declined to loan him my car, but the ownness for courtesy is on the borrower, not the lender.
  3. Return borrowed items promptly in the same or better condition than when borrowed - Whenever you are borrowing anything, someone else is doing you a favor. For the love of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, return the item in at least the same condition as when you borrowed it. Gas in Illinois is $3.69/gallon. My 6-cylinder car gets 25MPG. Put $5 of gas in the damn thing before returning it!
Do you lend things to friends/family/co-workers? Do you borrow from those same people? What are your expectations?



20 August 2013

"I think writer's block is simply the dread that you are going to write something horrible." - Roy Blount, Jr.

(Photo via MartinaK15 on Flickr)
I don't know if what I have is writer's block - unless you are defining it like Roy Blount Jr. - and even that isn't totally accurate.

I always said that I write for myself. That this is the place that I sort the thoughts in my head by putting them on virtual paper. This is still true, but a few things have changed.

I have an attentive, stable, and loving partner in my life. I now have the ability to talk to a real person who cares about helping me sort through the thoughts in my head. Someone who doesn't belittle or condemn me for not having it all figured out. A partner who offers me honest and helpful feedback. The healthy relationship that Mike and I have had for almost 2 years now has impacted my need for this blog.

It has also impacted my blog content.

Because I respect Mike (something I was lacking with husband), I do not write about him here unless he knows that I am writing about him here. Although far from perfect, my life is manageable now, and not the train wreck it once was (I know that fact is disheartening to a handful of you). Who wants to read about happily ever after?

Am I right??

Then there's the dreaded "V" word - validation. Let's just say that when you are posting half-nekkid photos of yourself each week, validation becomes a non-issue. Remember when blogging was one of the few viable forms of "social media"? Now it's easier to keep in touch on Facebook, write a 140 character "blog post", or to call the reblogging of large quantities of meaningless and unimportant media images, thoughts, and music selections a "blog".

Quite frankly? These days, it seems the average attention span can't handle much more than that anyway.

I appreciate every comment I get, but traffic has decreased (understatement) and I'm not sure that I write about anything relevant to what was once my reader base. Commenting takes far more time than clicking on a LIKE, a FAVORITE, or a HEART. Blog posts require the reader to actually be an active participant.

I've got plenty to write about, I just don't know if it's anything anyone wants to read.

Maybe it never was?

If you are still active on your "traditional" blog, what keeps you going? How do you stay relevant, or does relevancy even matter to you?

08 August 2013

Further education ...

scares the shit out of me.  I’m not good at failing, which is why i’ve always went with what comes easy to me.  Yanno, Sports, Music, Math….things that come naturally to me, i don’t need to muster much effort or internal motivation.  I’ve always been pretty intelligent, and through the years, did minimal work and got by.  it has bothered the fuck out of me for the last decade.
I never pulled an all-nighter in high school or college, I was never cramming for a test or exam, i chose a path based on ease.  Don’t get me wrong, I also chose a path that i loved every second of - the 5 years i spent in undergrad were amazing, I sang every day, i got unlimited studio time, unlimited voice lab time to perfect what i loved.
I still feel like i cheated myself. I don’t think i’ve ever pushed myself.  i don’t think i’ve ever really challenged myself.  I’ve worked to perfect what already came naturally to me.
With all that said - I’m seriously considering Law school.  I want to take the LSAT in February.
this scares the ever-loving shit out of me.  It’s something I’m passionate about - educational law - and something i’m completely unfamiliar with.  I’d have to bust my ass to succeed.  I’d have to venture into something new.  I’m not good at starting from scratch.  I’ve let a lot of the things i love fall by the wayside for fear of failure.  it’s why i haven’t been on stage in 6+ years.  it’s why I haven’t pursued a career in voice.  I’d rather *CHOOSE* to not do it, than fail at it.
help me out tumblr, dont let me talk myself out of this one.   time to strap on my big boy pants, and get it done.
Mike wrote that on tumblr about a month ago. I was going to write a response to it on tumblr, but really wanted to give it more attention than that platform allows.

Why?

Because it reminded me of this ...


There really aren't many times when the age difference between Mike and me plays a significant role in our relationship, but future plans - taking a chance at doing what you want NOW - is one of those times.

Maybe because I thought I could buy myself the freedom to do what I wanted to do later.

When I left the Army, I had grandiose plans. I was going to go back to school (law school, coincidentally) using my GI Bill while working full time. It would take me 2? Maybe 3 years at the most to finish up my Bachelor's Degree. I'd pass the bar and land a position as an attorney before I was 35.

Less than a year later I found out I was pregnant and would be a single mom.

EVERYTHING changed.

I can look back and speculate how things would have been had I made different decisions, but I don't know how accurate those speculations would be because I never made those decisions. There was no sense of urgency. I was certain I could buy myself the freedom to do it later.

I'll be just short of 50 when Cam graduates in the spring. I am looking forward to getting my life back, because the life I've been living the last 17 years hasn't been one I've lived for me.

It's likely too late for grandiose my plans - I'll have to modify them a bit and have 2 less decades to enjoy them. And I'm okay with that.

What I'm not okay with is for Mike to ever look back and think, "I should have done this when I had the chance ..."

I am STRONGLY encouraging him to follow through with this plan.

What have you not done, betting you could buy yourself the freedom to do it later?

06 August 2013

What Goes Around Comes Around

Some of you might remember Cam's brush with boobies ... so to speak ...

If you don't feel like clicking the link and reading yet another dreadful post, I'll give you the Reader's Digest Condensed version (Are any of you even old enough to remember when Reader's Digest did their Condensed Books? I might have lost you on that joke ...)

When Cam was in middle school, these bracelets became all of the rage.



Girls in Cam's school were allowed to wear them in support of breast cancer awareness because they were girls and obviously the only reason girls would wear these bracelets was for the good of the cause.

Boy's in Cam's school? Well, they certainly couldn't be supporting breast cancer awareness, so their wearing of these bracelet was considered "sexual harassment" and any male student who was caught wearing one would have it confiscated and would receive in-school suspension.

At the time, I thought it was ridiculous to have such a double standard, but really? I had bigger fights to fight.

Apparently, some parents didn't ...
Two students who were suspended for defying the prohibition challenged it in court through their parents as a violation of their First Amendment free-speech rights. The students are Brianna Hawk and Kayla Martinez, who are now in high school.
In a major decision on the free-speech rights of students, a full federal appeals court ruled Monday that schools may not prohibit popular "I ♥ Boobies" breast-cancer awareness bracelets because they are not plainly lewd and they comment on a social issue without disrupting school.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, in Philadelphia, ruled 9-5 to uphold an injunction blocking the Easton Area School District in Pennsylvania from barring the bracelets, which are sponsored by the Keep a Breast Foundation in Carlsbad, Calif.
That's right! If what you say is not plainly lewd and it comments on a social issue without disrupting school, you can do it!

I'm thinking testicular cancer awareness should be next.

I better find a manufacturer for my I ♥ Balls bracelets.

08 July 2013

H³ - Or Humbled Humiliated Hypocrite


Not too long ago I wrote a post titled Needy? Or Greedy? where I discussed the evils of Pledgie's and, in general, personal fundraising. Addressing my my own situation over three years ago, when I moved out of husband's house, I wrote:
I didn't put a PayPal link on my blog hoping y'all would bail me out. I scrapped through the tough times because the tough times were a result of my poor decisions.
Well?

Guess What??

See that box over there on the top left of the page?

That would be what makes me a hypocrite ... one of the things anyway ...

If you are not familiar with Cam's story, you can read an overview of it [HERE] or [HERE]. What has been left out of these stories is where it went wrong.

When I wrote my High School Memories post series, I mentioned that Cam's BFF's parents offered,
"[...] to cover the costs of an attorney during mediation, but they are willing to continue covering the costs of the attorney should this go to Due Process."
That was the verbal agreement made with Cam's BFF's father, during a telephone conference with the attorney, Mike, and me. The attorney even explained what the potential costs could be. Had that agreement not been made, I would have handled this situation much differently.

Guess what happened?

That's right! Somewhere between that telephone conference in January, and the final billing I received in May, Cam's BFF's parents changed their mind. I was left with a $4,065 bill from the attorney (I was the one required to sign the payment agreement when retaining the attorney), and a $774.12 co-payment for Cam's full-scale neuro-psych evaluation.

Ummmmm ...

I had every reason to to believe that Cam's BFF's father meant what he said. I talked to he and his wife several times during the legal process, and they never mentioned a change of heart. It wasn't until May, when all of the final bills came in, that they made it was clear they weren't going to cover any costs other than the retainer they had already paid (which I am very grateful for!).

They suggested I talk to the School District to have them cover the costs.

I did that. I met with the School District Superintendent and the Head of Special Education, only to be told they didn't have any obligation to pay my expenses.

They also suggested I talk to my own family about offering financial support.

My dad lives in a 14' travel trailer in the middle of nowhere and my mom just sold most of her worldly possessions so that she could move to Las Vegas and live her remaining years in Sin City. I have no living grandparents and am an only child. That's a family shrub, not a family tree, and not much help.

*UPDATE* Apparently my mom saw the link to the Pledgie on my Facebook page and sent me a message stating:
"I wish I could just give you the money you need and if I hadn't moved, I could have given you some. It took all my savings to get here. The post about your financial situation made me sad. You're such a strong person that I know you did not want to have to ask for help."
So, here I am, humbled and a bit humiliated, asking my on-line community for help.

I am doing what I can to cover these costs. I am requesting a loan from my employer for the medical co-pay. I have taken on a second job as an Avon Representative (Facebook Page, My On-line Store ... you know ... just in case you are interested). I will be making arrangements for a monthly payment plan with the attorney. I'm trying ... but I'm overwhelmed and without resources.

I know some of you will find this request offensive - especially since it benefits me and was initiated by me - and I understand that. I also know that many of you are in a similar financial position as I am and cannot offer any financial support.

That said, if you are in a position to help, and want to make a difference in the life of a kid who has faced adversity and continually conquered it, please click on that DONATE button.

28 June 2013

Going Green - When It Doesn't Leave A Mark You Can See

I finally got out of 2008, opting for a post I wrote in October of 2009. By this time, it was pretty clear that there was nothing I could do to save my marriage, and that I should really focus on saving myself and my son.

Although at the time this post was written, I was still with my husband, the situation would continue to escalate, and 2 months later my son and I would be moving into an apartment of our own.

It's been 3-1/2 years since I made that move. Husband and I attempted to reconcile at one point, however I knew there was no way I could ever go back to living the way I did when I was with him.

We've been separated since I moved out, but remain married (in the eyes of the law). That decision is one that stemmed from financial need - a house in both of our names - insurance coverage. We have both agreed to move on with our lives and will complete the divorce process in 2014.

I am also happy to say that I am in a new relationship now. One that is filled with what good relationships need to grow. Mike has been, and continues to be, patient with the scars that were left from being with husband as long as I was. I couldn't ask for more!

_______________________________________   


Yesterday, Veronica over at Another Suburban Mom posted a reminder that in addition to October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

I've been with husband for six years now, married for three and a half years. He was married when we got together. It wasn't until we had been living together for 6 months that his ex-wife filed for divorce. 18 months later, their divorce was final.

Husband wasn't always on his best behavior when we dated. There were warning signs. The battering, the abuse, started long before we said "I do" ... and I ignored it. I am not a bad person. I have a lot of good qualities. Yet I'm always thinking "If I could only be a better wife," "If only I were more attractive," "If only I could fulfill his sexual desires" ... if only ... if only ...

Yesterday, as I was reading Veronica's post and clicking on some of the resources, I came across the Domestic Violence Wheel. It's funny, I actually used this very graphic in one of my posts, but didn't really consider its validity in my own relationship. Of the eight pieces of this wheel, I am currently living each and every one of them to varying degrees.

USING INTIMIDATION: Yelling - and I mean at the top of his lungs yelling - is husband's preferred method of intimidation, but he has also used throwing things, punching walls, faking a punch, etc. He intentionally interferes with my sleep, making sure I am awake any time and every time he is.

USING EMOTIONAL ABUSE: I am often told how I waste my life, how I'm not living up to husband's expectations thus making him work harder. I don't keep the house clean enough. The laundry isn't done quickly enough. I didn't get his clothes to the cleaners soon enough. I don't make enough money. I need to do everything around the house to make up for my lack of financial contribution. Nothing I do is ever enough. I can always do better.

Husband often withholds "love", affection and recognition as punishment when I've done something unacceptable or something that makes him mad. There are many days (sometimes strung together into a week) when he never speaks to me, refusing to acknowledge my presence in the home.

USING ISOLATION: Husband has insisted I not talk about our relationship to anyone in our families or in the community. He distances himself from our families and "demands" the same of Cam and I, mocking and belittling us when we are so weak we must rely on family. He offered to pay the airfare for Cam and I to visit Washington this summer, then changed his mind at the last minute, making it almost impossible for us to get there.

MINIMIZING, DENYING & BLAMING: This is one of the bigger ones. It is always my actions that cause husband to act the way he does. All couples fight, but I push him and make him say things he doesn't mean. His favorite? This isn't an abusive relationship, I'm just over-sensitive due to the dysfunction of my own family growing up.

USING CHILDREN: This was the one piece of the wheel I thought I was exempt from because husband has no claims to Cam, but the truth is he often tells me how I screwed up Cam's life, how my own selfishness in becoming a single parent has destroyed any potential Cam might have, how I've ruined Cam. Attacking my parenting is a common theme.

USING MALE PRIVILEGE: Husband makes all of the major decisions without any input. If he does tell me and I disagree with his plan, my input is dismissed without consideration, usually to the tune of an eye roll. He often makes decisions that impact the family, the safety and security of the household, without allowing any input from me.

USING ECONOMIC ABUSE: This is another big one in our home. Husband puts the mortgage payment into the joint account - the account I "control" I am responsible for providing EVERYTHING else for the household and for Cam, on a salary 1/4 of his. Husband has at his disposal, $2,500 in discretionary spending each month. I have $400. In addition to scrutinizing grocery receipts, he also double checks deposits to the joint account to insure I'm not "stealing" from him. I must ask for money and justify the need should we run short in any month. He then decides if I (or Cam) am worthy.

USING COERCION & THREATS: Any time there is a disagreement, husband tells me he is going to leave and take all of his money with him, leaving me in a house that will be foreclosed on. He threatens to take Cam and me off the health insurance. Tells me to call the police because they'll never see a mark on me and will know I'm lying to them.

When I look at all of these things, I cannot deny that I am in an abusive relationship, nor can I shake the notion that this is somehow my fault. Logically, I cannot explain why I am still in this marriage, yet emotionally I am paralyzed with anxiety and fear. I can't tell you why I stay (although this guide offers some insight), just as I can't tell you why husband continues to batter and abuse.

I'd love to end this post by telling you all that I am leaving, that I have a plan, but all that I can tell you is that I am closer to leaving now than I ever have been before. I have reached out for help - in more than one direction - but the response has been one of "just do this next", and I've been unable to tackle that next step. All that I can manage right now is to ask for support. Chasing it down? Having to call one more person? Tell my story one more time? It's overwhelming.

I feel crazy. Embarrassed. Humiliated. What is so wrong with me? Why can't I just walk away? How can it be battering? Abuse? If there isn't a black eye? Bruises on my arms? Broken bones? How can it be domestic violence when it doesn't leave a mark you can see?

27 June 2013

Going Green - When Good Blogging Goes Bad

Maybe I should have titled this series "Going Green From 2008" as it seems I'm finding my content during that year is the only content worthy of recycling. 

I've been active online for 15+ years, starting in forums and email lists. When I made the jump to blogging, I really tried to keep those two worlds separate  As you'll see from this post, that didn't work out so well for me.

I have had similar run-ins a few times since this post was written, one of which resulted in a reader (who I also know in "real life") contacting my employer via an anonymous email (later tracked by IP address) and "outing" my tumblr blog in an attempt to jeopardize my employment.

The good news? It was a valuable lesson learned early. Trying to keep your online world from colliding with your real life world is next to impossible. Your best bet is to be who you are, be accountable for what you write, and accept that anything you write can be found by anyone online.

_______________________________________   

Any of you who read the comments on my blog yesterday saw what happens when good blogging goes bad. This is a situation where my past caught up with my present, even though I did my damnedest to separate the two.

A little background. When I moved from Maryland to Minnesota in 1998 due to a company acquisition, I was in desperate need of a support system. I was a single mom to a 2-year old. I had just moved halfway across the country to a place that held nothing for me but dark memories. I had no family within 1,500 miles, and I knew no one in my new "home" state.

While surfing the net one day, I came across a Single Moms email list that I thought might be helpful. I subscribed and built some very strong cyber friendships, and even a few amazing real life friendships. Sure, there were ups and downs on the list - any time you get a large group of women together there are plenty of opportunities for snarky cat fights - but overall it was just what I needed - a group of women who had been where I was that had made it through. That meant I could too!

Over the years there were some list members that I frequently butted heads with. My Anon commenter yesterday was one of those. She and I often saw things differently - from parenting to politics - and many a nasty word was said. We were always able to come to some resolution though, and life moved on.

Not long after starting Half Nekkid Thursday (HNT) on my blog, one of the list members asked about it. I had one of those email brain farts where you reply to all rather than replying to the individual, and posted the link to my blog to the entire Single Moms email list.

I am certain there were many on the list who questioned my blog writings and HNT pics, but there were two, in particular, who were quite vocal and critical.   These two women did their best to shame me in a group of women that I had grown to respect, and who had grown to respect me. Each of them claimed to be doing it for my own "good." 


I attempted to defend myself for about a month, but every time the topic died down, one of the two would bring it up again. I asked, respectfully, that they stop reading the blog and/or stop discussing it on the Single Moms email list. They believed that because my blog was public, they should be able to bring up any part of it they wanted, any where they wanted. 

*shrugs*

I left the list. It was difficult - many of these women had been around when I became a member of the list 10 years ago - but I was tired of trying to explain myself - tired of hearing the criticisms (I get enough of that at home) - tired of feeling that I didn't belong. I didn't make some "I'm taking my ball and playing somewhere else" exit speech, I just quietly walked out the door and closed it behind me.

I've been quite impressed with the blogger community I stepped into. Those of you who read me regularly, as well as those who just stop by for HNT, have been amazingly supportive. I know that you don't necessarily agree with what I'm doing all of the time, but you offer positive thoughts, stories and often just a smile. Those are the things that keep me going these days - that remind me that when I'm ready, I can make good decisions and have the life I deserve. I know that my life is a train wreck and I don't ever take your support as a blanket "atta-boy," but the positive way that y'all approach difficult situations has given me a different perspective.

At least one of these two women (and I'm almost certain, both of them) have come out from behind the lurker curtain (they've both continued to read me over the past few months) to judge me and shame me in yet another public forum. One of them claims this is about security - both mine and that of my family - (and to a certain extent I understand that) but there is always this underlying tone of how "wrong" I am for doing what I do.

This time they are on my playground, yet they want to play by their rules. Neither of them seems to realize what a bad decision this is. I'm not quitting, and I'm not going away. I do have some concern that these two women know too much about me and may try to leverage that knowledge to "force" me out of blogging - to shame me even further. In their distorted, self-righteous lives, they believe I am harming myself and my family and they need to "fix" me. They are entitled to their opinion, but it would be good for them to remember that I have just as much knowledge about them. 


I won't fight dirty, but I will fight fair.

26 June 2013

Going Green - But I Read it in the New York Times!

Another post recycled from 2008 - this one touched on two of my (many) pet peeves: Veterans, and society accepting that the news media reports logically rather than choosing how they report information in order to positively impact their ratings. 

We have access to so much information these days, yet so many of us believe everything we are told is the complete truth.





_______________________________________   





A few weeks ago, the New York Times published a lengthy, front page article that generally portrayed returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans as psychotic killers who should never be trusted with small children.

The story focused on "research" done by the newspaper that found 121 cases of returning veterans who had killed (murder, manslaughter and in some cases DUI).


The New York Times found 121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one, after their return from war. In many of those cases, combat trauma and the stress of deployment — along with alcohol abuse, family discord and other attendant problems — appear to have set the stage for a tragedy that was part destruction, part self-destruction.

The article angered me. I wasn't surprised that military veterans commit murder, but that it NEVER crossed the "brilliant" literary minds of the New York Times to give statistical data to back up this "quiet phenomenon" as they describe it. You'll understand why in just a minute.


Nowhere in the article is it mentioned that these 121 killings came from a population of veterans of Iraq/Afghanistan of about 700,000. 121 acts of murder, out of 700,000 veterans spread over six years, yields a rate of 2.88 murders per 100,000 veterans, per year.



Interestingly enough, the Department of Justice publishes statistics on homicide offenders (general population). The US offender rate for homicide in the 18 - 24 year old range is 26.5/100,000. For 25 - 34 year olds, it is 13.5/100,000.

Do you see a problem here? Yes, that's right, your chances of being killed by a returning Iraq/Afghanistan war veteran are at least FOUR TIMES LOWER than your chances of being killed by someone who never served.

This story does nothing more than attempt to exploit the acts of troops who have committed crimes since they returned to the state and suggest that being a part of the military made these people do what they did. It is an insult to all the troops who serve honorably and act with honor and dignity when they return home - it is an insult to me.

They should stick to crossword puzzles.

25 June 2013

Going Green - Plus-Sized Model?

This post originally appeared in May of 2008. As I strive to - once again - reach a healthy weight (this time with the help of bariatric surgery), this topic remains very relevant. 

I continue to struggle with what healthy looks like, and and feels like. I still cannot look at my reflection without my head filling with negative self-talk - things I would never even think about saying to anyone else.

This post is a reminder that the labels "society" places on each of us are often made from a very subjective place.

_______________________________________   


Have you ever watched America's Next Top Model? 

I've peeked in on this show on occasion - my thirteen year old step-daughter watches it incessantly when she visits - but it's not a show I'd ever seek out. The other day I thought I'd watch an episode to see which cheeseburger needing beautiful young girls were in the finals for cycle 10. I was surprised to learn that the token "plus-size" (or as they like to call it in the industry, "full-figure") model was in the final three. That surprise turned to horror when I saw these photos of one of the final three contestants and discovered that she was the "plus-size" model!



What? You've got to be kidding me! This beautiful, healthy looking, 20 year old girl (Whitney Thompson) wears a size 8/10 on a bloated PMS bad day - and we are going to call her a "plus-size" model? Since when did a healthy weight become "plus-size"? You can't even buy a size 10 in a plus-size store - they start at size 16.

Much of what I've read on Whitney's win talks about how great this is for young girls - to see that even a "plus-size" girl can win America's Next Top Model. I say bullshit! This does little more than distort the perception of "normal".

Do you know what's even worse? For years, men have taken the brunt of the blame for encouraging the stereotype of super thin as attractive, sexy, and beautiful and I don't believe it for a minute. It's not the men that encourage this stereotype, it's the women. I've read quite a bit on Whitney's win, and it's the women who say, "She sure put on a few pounds after they selected her," and "She looked better when she was thinner."

Looked better? She looks fabulous! Maybe as women we should stop being so critical of each other, and of ourselves, and recognize the beauty each one of us exudes.


And maybe ... just maybe ... that attitude will trickle down and begin to alter the way our society defines beauty.

24 June 2013

Going Green - The End of an Era

*PREFACE* I started blogging in September 2007, when blogging was more about sharing original content and being part of a community, than it was about SEO optimization and page hits. Twitter was in its infancy and tumblr had yet to be launched. I started writing because I was in an unhappy marriage and had no "safe" place for my thoughts. I needed somewhere to to gain perspective - to try to find direction in a life that had gone beyond off track.

This post was written in January of 2008, after my husband told me the reason we weren't having sex (and hadn't had sex for over 4 months) was because he was afraid I would get pregnant. I felt "pressured" to have a tubal ligation - that somehow this surgery would "fix" something very wrong in our marriage - and that not having the surgery would have been very selfish on my part.

So much has changed since then, yet looking back, it's pretty clear that ... well ...? It's pretty clear that everything was pretty clear, I just didn't want to open my eyes to look at it.

_______________________________________________________


Tomorrow is the day that I voluntarily end my childbearing years. I do this with mixed emotions.

On one hand, the thought of sex without concern for an "OOPS" baby (if I conceived today, I'd be 44 years old with a newborn - can't think of anything much more terrifying) is almost orgasmic. On the other hand, it's kind of sad to finally make the decision that I'm just too damn old to be birthing any more babies.

My "baby" will be TWELVE in a little over a month. Six more years and he'll graduate from high school. Ninety days after that he'll either be heading off to college, or getting a job and moving out. Those have been the rules since day one and all three kids (one of whom is already in college) have heard it at least weekly all of their lives. Six years and I can sell the house, buy a motorhome and travel the NASCAR circuit *gigglesnort*! Now why would I even consider another eighteen year obligation?

The truth is, I wouldn't ... or at least I think I wouldn't ... but knowing that I wouldn't, and knowing that I couldn't, even if I wanted to, are completely different. Right now, I have a choice, but after surgery tomorrow, that choice will forever be gone.

There is also this idea rumbling through my head that, because I will no longer be able to have children, I am somehow less of a woman. Will this be the solution to the sexual problems in our marriage, or will it bring on an entirely different set of issues? I don't know. I wish I did.

While I contemplate lost choices and declining femininity, would anyone like to toast my fallopian tubes before they are severed??? I have until midnight to partake in the fine, distilled spirits!

21 June 2013

Going Green


I've been trying (rather unsuccessfully) to get this blog back to a somewhat active lifestyle. It's been a little lazy and I can see it's putting on a little fat. If I'm getting more active, this blog needs to as well!

I find myself bitching, whining, and moaning - more and more - about how irritating I find social media (primarily tumblr and Facebook) these days. I crave original content, and blogging always offered substantially more of that than any other platform.

Then Tracie's Going Green And Recycling Old Posts post (Wording anyone? AWKWARD) showed up in my reader ...

PERFECT!

I've got some oldies but goodies hanging around that might still be interesting, or at least entertaining. What is required ... errrrr ... suggested ... y'all know how I am about rules ...?
Spruce up an old post and “recycle” it! Then, come back Monday and add your link to the list.
How can you make an old post better? It’s as easy as 1-2-3!
1.  Add a pinnable image
2. Clean it up with a nice edit
3. Check your word count
Then, link up and be sure to visit others to get those posts the attention they deserve.
Hopefully this will be the kick in the ass this sedentary blog needs to get back into bikini shape!!

02 June 2013

2 Months Down

Skipping Chibi's Sunday Sound-Off today for a celebration ...

Today is my 2-month surg-iversary!

Back in November, I decided to attend a weight-loss surgery informational session. I've been battling my weight for the past 3+ decades. Although I have lost over 100 lbs. ... twice ... I have never been able to keep that weight off, and I was miserable - physically and emotionally. That night I decided that I needed help, and bariatric surgery was my best chance to get healthy.

2 months ago today, I was wheeled into the operating room for a vertical sleeve gastrectomy.

The stats:
Official Pre-Op Weight: 307.2 lbs
Surgery Weight (after 10-day pre-op diet): 290 lbs
Current weight: 249.8 lbs

Total lost: 57.4 lbs

In two months ...

My goal weight is 195-205 lbs. I am 44.8 lbs away from the high end of my goal weight. I am hoping to hit my goal weight before the end of the 2013, which should be well within my grasp. I know this seems kind of odd - I lost over half of my excess weight in 2 months, so the other half should come off in another 2 months, right? Unfortunately, weight loss slows the farther out from surgery you get.

Just for shits and grins, I thought I'd share with you what a "typical" (I tend to eat the same foods) day of food looks like for me.


I start my morning with a protein shake/smoothie (2 scoops of protein, 
1 cup of water, 3 ice cubes, and maybe 1/4 cup of frozen fruit)


It looks much better when it has spent a few seconds in my Ninja!


My mid-morning snack is almost always a protein bar. I eat the Pure Protein brand 
exclusively as they are high protein, low carb, and low sugar


I've discovered Atkin's frozen meals. They are usually in the 250-350 calorie range 
(yes, I still count calories), 20+ grams of protein, and low carb.


I cannot eat a whole one, so I start with the protein and (usually) am able to finish that part. 
This photo was what was left when I stopped eating.


I'll have another protein bar, or a bag of Glenny's Soy Crisps, for my afternoon snack.


Dinner is always different. I try to cook meals where the protein portion of the meal is separate from 
anything else (like chicken in the crock pot, brats, ribs, etc.). One of the things I promised myself was 
that I would not make my family eat what I eat, but instead, I would find a way to adapt what I need to 
eat from their meal. Last night Mike and Cam had Little Caesars HOT-N-READY®'s for dinner. 
There was a Jimmy John's next door, so I went with a #1 PEPE® (applewood smoked ham and 
provolone cheese garnished with lettuce, tomato, and mayo) Unwich (lettuce wrap instead of bread).


I set the lettuce aside and got through about 2/3's of the meat/cheese/tomato innards.

That's a day of food! I'm usually in the 800 - 1000 calorie range, 60+ grams of protein, and under 50 grams of carbohydrates ... and I'm not hungry. It's pretty amazing!

These 2 months have not been without issue. I had a very rare reaction to the JP Drain they used during surgery - a huge buildup of fat necrosis that cause a great deal of pain and eventually required a second surgery to remove.

That slowed my healing process down quite a bit, and I wasn't able to start the exercise portion of this process until just last week. I am now on a 5 day/week exercise schedule and moving right along.

I couldn't have done this if it hadn't been for Mike's AMAZING support. He has been my rock. He has been my caretaker when I couldn't take care of myself. He has been the reasonable voice in the process who has reminded me that I am doing just fine - that I don't need to compare my progress to anyone else.

I'm actually looking forward to seeing what the next 2 months bring!


26 May 2013

Sunday Sound-Off v.2


Shared it:
1.  From Susan Cain's The Power of Introverts blog, The 'I See You' Experiment. This is so out of my comfort zone, but I think I'm going to attempt to incorporate into my days. How many times am I somewhere that someone is wearing a nametag, I look at it, but I don't ever use that information. I feel invisible most of my day - I need to make an effort to make others less invisible in their day.

2.  Avocados are now one of my go-to foods, but much of the year they are pretty unripe at the market. Apparently there is a trick to quickly ripen avocados.

3.  For those of you who have somehow missed my intolerance of zero-tolerance (See what I did there?), I was thrilled to read that the Los Angeles School Board voted to ban “willful defiance” suspensions in schools. This means that minor offenses (talking back to a teacher, having a cell phone out in class, or refusing to do the work assigned) will no longer result in a suspension, but instead will use alternative discipline, saving suspension for serious offenses.

4.  There's a new bikini in town. One for those of us who are fat plus-sized. Apparently there is a need for this as retailer Swimsuits For All sold out of them in record time. I have two problems with this: 1. I do not have the self confidence to wear one, and 2. They've been dubbed Fatkinis. Really??

5.  I don't know who Sara Bareiles is, but I do like the words to this song. And the video itself? PERFECT!

If you are ever in need of a 1/3 pound, 8-inch long, monster sausage, I know just the place to get one. Now tell me, why would I expect to see this as an ad in CraigsList's Casual Encounters section?


Appreciated it:
1.  The last day of Cam's Junior year
2.  A week at work with both the CFO and the Comptroller out of the office
3.  A music parents meeting that had the potential to be explosive but went far better than I expected
4.  Lilacs blooming
5.  A memorial Day weekend with temps in the 60's
6.  An unexpected email from someone letting me know they thought of me
7.  A new season of Master Chef
8.  A week without any appointments/meetings during the work day
9.  Getting back to the gym
10. Sugar free Slurpees



24 May 2013

The Year That Was


There are school years that are good, school years where you are just able to keep your head above water, and school years where you celebrate just making it through.

This school year has been one of the latter ... at 1:20 PM today, it will officially be over.

The school year started in mid-August without incident. Sure, there were some getting back into the swing of things challenges the first month, but nothing I (and the school) hadn't seen before. The work refusal. The disorganization. The referrals to the Dean's office when teachers were frustrated with their inability to get Cam to do what they wanted him to do. All of these things directly related to Cam's neurological issues, and well documented in his IEP.

In September, I got the first inkling that things might be going sideways. An "informal" meeting with the Spec Ed Coordinator and the school social worker where the Spec Ed Coordinator first brought up an alternate placement for Cam. The choices weren't acceptable, and a week later, after informing the Spec Ed Coordinator that neither Cam nor I were interested in any of the alternate placement options and that we felt it was best for Cam to stay at his home high school, it became crystal clear that I was going to have a fight on my hands.

From September through mid-December, I received no less than four calls per week from either the Spec Ed Coordinator or the Dean. There were times when there were that many calls in a single day, and many of those resulted in me having to leave work and go to the high school. Cam was referred to the Dean for everything from tardies, to carrying his backpack from class to class. There were detentions, in-school suspensions, and out-of-school suspensions. Then, a 7-second shoving match between Cam and one of his long-time friends sent the year right over the edge. Charges of Battery and Disorderly Conduct were filed with the State's Attorney's office by the School Resource Officer, eventually resulting in a Summons to Appear, and giving the Spec Ed Coordinator the ammunition he needed to insist Cam be removed from his home high school.

In January, an IEP meeting was called. Although Cam did not commit an expendable offense, nor had he received the 10-days of school suspensions that mandates a meeting to discuss change of placement, the school was recommending his removal from the high school. They insisted he belonged at the district alternative high school - a punitive placement for students who have committed an expellable offense.

When I declined that placement, the district brought in a "mediator" (another district employee) who again lobbied for placement outside of Cam's home high school. They offered a partial school day (3 periods) at his home high school and the remainder of his educational time at night school. They claimed Cam was not on track to graduate with his class and that this was the only way to insure he graduated on time. They did everything within their power to convince me this was the best thing for Cam. They failed.

I filed for Due Process. Three months, $9,000 in attorney fees, many lost hours of work, and another full-scale neuro-psych evaluation later, the district agreed to everything I had requested in January. They backed down ... because they were wrong. A win for Cam, but the financial and emotional costs were overwhelming.

And a meeting just last week uncovered that not only is Cam on track to graduate with his class, he only needs to take a partial class load his senior year to do it.

The criminal charges for misdemeanor Battery and Disorderly Conduct are still pending. After securing a Public Defender, we have our second court appearance on June 6th where Cam will plead "Not Guilty". I'm not sure how swiftly the Juvenile Justice System works, but I am hoping we have this issue resolved before the school year starts in August.

I tend to be a silver lining kind of person, but even I will admit it's difficult to find one when looking back at this school year. I take some comfort in knowing my fight was not in vain - that Cam's placement is exactly where Cam's placement should be. I'm proud of myself for not giving up when really, that is exactly what I wanted to do. Give up. Run far away. Never look back.

I don't know that I am stronger from this experience. Most days I feel deflated and defeated, even though the ultimate end goal was achieved. The price to reach that goal was high, and I wonder if I will have enough left in me to parent Cam through his senior year ... especially if we run into challenges like we experienced this year.

I have learned some very valuable lessons about our public schools and juvenile justice systems. I'd like to find a way to use what I've learned to change the things that are wrong - to help those kids and parents who think they have no options. I'm not sure how - or if - I'll make that happen, but I'd like to see something positive come out of this otherwise bleak year.

I usually worry about the end of the school year. In the past it has meant three months of unsupervised time for Cam - the epitome of "Idle hands are the devil's playground". This year is different. Cam is taking 2 sessions of summer school so that he can have a stress-free senior year, and he has a job that he loves. Both will keep him productively busy.

This year, I'll be celebrating 1:20 PM, and hoping that next year will be a good one ... or at least one where I'm able to keep my head above water.

23 May 2013

10 Things Thursday


1.  It's PAYDAY! There are 5 paydays in May - this is a GREAT thing!

2.  I keep trying to find a support/informational group for those who have had weight-loss surgery, but I'll be damned if I can find one that I can tolerate. Between the incessant need for selfie validation, to the over-population of women in these groups (sorry ladies, most of you drive me crazy), I can't seem to be a part of one for more than 3 weeks. What's that you say? Maybe it's me and not them??? SHUSH you!!

3.  I got a haircut over the weekend. My regular stylist is kind of hit or miss. She doesn't really need to work, so she opens the shop when she feels like it (oh the joys of small town living). Recently she hasn't been available, so I had to go to my alternate. She does a great job, but charges $48 for a cut! My in-town stylist charges $15. She needs to get her ass back to work!

4.  It's been a quiet week at work this week. The CFO and Controller are out of the office, so it's just us minions. It's amazing what I can get done (like blog posts) when no one is here to make me work.

5.  Remember Cam's BFF's family offering to pay for Cam's legal expenses during the Due Process? Well, I met with them on Sunday and they don't want to pay the balance due (just under $4,000). Considering they paid the first $5,000, I understand their reluctance, but I would NOT have secured an attorney had they not offered to pay Cam's legal expenses. Now it's up to me to secure the balance due. I've requested a meeting with the School District Superintendent to see if the district is willing to pay a portion, and I am going to contact the attorney to see if they are willing to adjust their final billing, but I'm feeling a bit duped in all of this. I guess the old saying, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is" still holds true.

6.  I need to get out of Podunk. I'm good for about 3 months, and then I need a weekend outside of this small town. Anyone looking for a weekend guest ... ummmm ... 2 weekend guests? I'm bringing Mike along too!!

7.  Cam's last day of school is tomorrow. It looks like he is going to pass all of his classes this semester, and walk away with a GPA over 2.0. Honestly? This makes me quite happy.

8.  Speaking of Cam, since January, I've been told that he is NOT on track to graduate with his class. It was part of the Admin's justification for trying to change his placement. Guess what I learned this week? Not only is he on track to graduate, but he will have a 2-hour early dismissal his senior year because he only needs to take 6 classes (a full load is 8) both semesters of his senior year. I call "Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!!"

9.  My dad made mention of driving his motor-home out this way sometime this summer and staying at the campground where Cam is working. Not sure how I feel about this, but trying not to be too preoccupied with it as my dad seldom does what he threatens says

10. Mike and I are headed to the gym this weekend. My weight-loss surgery "package" includes a 2 month membership at a pretty amazing fitness center. I'm really looking forward to working on the fitness part of this process. First stop? BodyPump classes!!

19 May 2013

Sunday Sound-Off v.1


Shared it:
1. The Militant Baker shows off some amazing portrait photography of plus-sized women in nothing but a pair of white underwear in The Body Image(s) Revisited with News! Although this likely qualifies as NSFW, these photos are tastefully done!
2. School marginalizes boys. (Let boys play video games.) by Penelope Trunk. Those of you who have been following a while know that I am a HUGE Penelope Trunk fan, and her take on homeschooling is every bit as interesting as her take on careers.
3. The Washington Post carried a piece recently titled Young GED test-takers miss out on high school experience which implies that the high school experience is good for everyone (NOT) and that getting high-school-age teens take the GED encourages dropouts. Apparently a quarter of GED test-takers are 16 to 18 years old and the concern is not in fixing public schools, but in raising the age requirement for taking the GED *shakes head*
4. Plan Your Free Online Education at Lifehacker U: Summer Semester 2013
5. Since landing smack dab in the middle of juvenile justice issues this year, I've taken an interest in making changes to a system that sends kids down the wrong path. Mistakes Kids Make is an organization that is trying to change this.



I was out and about Saturday morning and needed to pick up something to eat. I stopped in at McDonald's and tried one of their new Egg White Delight McMuffins (sans the actual English Muffin). It was surprisingly good!


Appreciated it:
1. Getting my hairs did at the expensive salon where they do a GREAT job
2. Shopping at Old Navy
3. Being an hour from home when my neighbor called me looking for help moving her sofa
4. An opportunity for Cam to take an "Alive At 25" class to get a moving violation off his record
5. Warm Spring Weather
6. Feeling less invisible as I get physically smaller
7. A coupon for a free package of Wholly Guacamole®
8. Buying a pair of size 16 pants
9. The balance that Mike brings to my life
10. Chibi Jeebs giving me permission to steal her Sunday Sound-Off concept. Next time I hope to actually get it up on Sunday!!


16 May 2013

10 Things Thursday




  1. I spent my morning at the County Juvenile Justice Center. The two skirmishes (and that's being generous - they were little more than 15-second, non-injury, shoving matches) my son was involved in at school - one in May 2012 (yes, a year ago) and one in December 2012 - were referred to the States Attorney's Office for prosecution. He is being charged with 2 counts of misdemeanor Battery and 2 counts of misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct. Today he was appointed a public defender and the case was continued until June 6th. I cannot begin to tell you how ignorant I think this is.
  2. According to my scale, I am now down a total of 51 lbs since weight-loss surgery 6 weeks ago. 51 lbs in 6 weeks is just plain CRAY-CRAY!! Every week that I get on the scale I expect it to suddenly scream back at me "HA! Fooled you! Here are those 51 lbs you thought you lost."
  3. It's been a month since Cam's IEP meeting with all of the attorney's present. I am still angry ... no ... IRATE ... that it cost just under $9000 to get Cam exactly what I asked for before filing Due Process. On Sunday afternoon, I have a meeting with the parents who funded Cam's legal fees. I offered to pay them back for a portion of the costs, and my guess is they are going to take me up on that. It's going to take me a LONG time to pay it back at $50/month, but I am beyond grateful for everything they did.
  4. Cam has traffic school (4-hour) on Saturday morning. This is to get the speeding ticket (6-14 mph over the limit) off of his record and keep his insurance rates from skyrocketing.
  5. You know, when I look back on the last 6 months, it's been a shit-show! How was I not boring you all by blogging about all of that?
  6. One of the things I've discovered since surgery is that I miss eating - enjoying flavors and textures - filling up on sweet and savory goodness. Oh! And I miss BREAD. I haven't had a slice of bread in 2 months, although I did sneak a few bites of a soft pretzel (and no, that is not a euphemism) one night at the bowling alley.
  7. There is discontent among the Music Parents group. Fine! I am irritated as fuck with the Music Parents group. Is that better?? We seem to have a few executive board members who are score keepers. They must log the number of volunteer hours for every other executive board member, and guess what? I come up short! Why? Because much of what I do is behind the scenes - keeping up our social media presence - designing, maintaining, and posting to our web site. And those two surgeries in April made it quite difficult for me to volunteer at the year-end event. It's okay though ... the snide, passive-aggressive comments were circulated throughout email so I paid my penance for being such a shitty volunteer. Remember when I said I thought this organization was a better place for my time? I'm rethinking that.
  8. Mike and I are going to start our 2-month free membership at the fitness center (a perk of weight-loss surgery) next week. I'm actually quite excited about this!
  9. I had to purchase a smaller bra. I guess you can't lose weight and maintain the 40DDDs ... or even the DDDs ... sad panda ...
  10. The current drama in my family is due to my mom's decision to move back to Las Vegas ... again. This is the third time she's moved back there in the last 15(?) years. She moves down there, decides she misses her sisters, moves back to Washington to be with her family, decides the family doesn't understand her, then moves back to Las Vegas again. I should run bets on how long she'll stay down there this time. I'm guessing 3 years. Anyone want the over/under on this one?