Sunday, November 30, 2008

Seredipity?


This picture was given to me recently by my mother. This is a picture of my dad in Japan. He's receiving a military award.

Mom found a bunch of old paperwork from Dad's military career and handed them off to me to clean out. Mostly the papers are medical records, his military record (on microfiche!), all of his pay stubs (yowza!) and various certificates. There was even a stash of his writings for school. Most of them are research papers (The History of Golf, a book report on The Explication of the Conversion of Jews...that kind of thing) and even a creative writing one! Go, Dad!

But the real reason I'm posting this picture is because it's very bizarro.

The man shaking my dad's hand looks like My Husband. This soldier could easily be his twin! It's almost like my destiny was defined when I was back in high school (which is when my dad took an unaccompanied tour to Japan). I showed the picture to my mother-in-law, My Eldest and My Husband and each of them agreed that the fair complected man closely resembles My Husband!

Creepy! Or... cool?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Gearing up for Double D's on Tuesday

I've gone and done it...

I got my tickets to the 12/2 Duran Duran concert! WOOT!

I've been trolling the 'net looking for the set list so I can prepare with memorizing lyrics to songs I might have to belt out. No, I don't know ALL lyrics to ALL songs Duran Duran!

It's funny what seeing Duran Duran does to me! I get all giddy inside and feel like that lil girl that fell in love with them back in the day of "Is There Something I Should Know?" and "Hungry Like The Wolf".

Somewhere along the way I heard the B side of "Union of the Snake", which is "Secret Oktober". This song is so haunting, romantic, lingering....

Back then, I was in my formative years (a.k.a. a raging hormonal teenager) and flights of fantasies of meeting my Simon were running rampant. I hear Secret Oktober and still, after all these years, I imagine meeting him. Only I'm not quite as silly-giddy. I'm cool, calm, collected -- and this is any other day. (as IF!)

When "Seven and the Ragged Tiger" was released, I fell in love with the not-so-famous songs, especially "The Seventh Stranger". So poetic, so full of imagery that, honestly, I still ponder to this day. So full of vocabulary that I had to use the dictionary to learn.

Simon has this deep voice. I fantasize about him placing his lips on my ear and talking to me in a low, growly voice. You can especially hear what I'm talking about in songs like "Palomino" and "The Chauffer".


Palomino


What I would give just so he'd dance with me! Lawdy! That'd make momma muy happy!

Yeah, yeah. I hear all the time how gay they are. Whatev! My comeback is, "they're European". haha

They make great music. I'm not always crazy about some of the keyboard work that Nick throws in there, but it tends to grow on me. Overall though, what keeps me entraced are the often complex lyrics because are not your run-in-the-mill pop-charty bullsh*t. Don't get me wrong, I dig a lot of pop/dance music. But Duran Duran is still a cut above to me.

The show should be awesome, and I'm looking forward to spending some girlfriend time with a person whom I've known for over seven years, but this will be our first social outing together. She cuts my hair, but she's so much more than my hairstylist. She's become a friend and this should be a good time.

Gotta get back to YouTube and check out some stuff I've never seen.

Whoosh!

(Did your dirty mind think Double Ds were referring to my boobages? Gotchya!)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gratitude List

In no particular order...

My Eldest
My Little One
My First
My Husband
My Parents
My brothers & their families
My Inlaws -- all of them & their families
Family and Spiritual Tradition
Being Catholic
My Job
The ability to write
Sight
Forgiveness
Acceptance
Music
Wisdom gained through experience
Dancing
Wine
The beach
The rare long walks on the beach
Bodies of water
Friends: ALL of them...even acquaintences
Readers of my blog
Livers of life
Inspirational people
Solitude
Monsignor Don
Father Louis
Father Anthony
Birthdays
Living in the United States of America
Texas
Dallas Cowboys football
Texas Longhorns football
Convertibles
El Paso
Sunsets
Constellations
Risk taking
Breathing
Dallas Stars hockey
All the marvelous ways of my womanhood
All of the not-so-marvelous ways of my womanhood
Rain
Forget-Me-Nots
Doggies
Paper and pens
Answered and unanswered prayers
Art
Pedicures
Massages
My hair stylist
Duran Duran concerts
Godmotherhood
Motherhood
Travelling
Lipstick, eyeliner and mascara
Comfy yoga pants
A good fitting bra
Photographs, especially in matte finish taken with 35 mm
Pineapples
Cherry coca-cola
Peanut Butter Chocolate ice cream from Baskin Robbins
My KBs
My thirst to learn
Washington state
Northern Virginia
The possibility of getting a Wii for Christmas
Fireworks
A good read
Naps
The kids I teach in Confirmation
David Letterman's Top 10 Lists
Exercise
Card games
Kid's movies
Kisses from my children
Passionate kissing
Fingers playing with my hair
Unexpected laughter
Second and third and fourth chances
Words
The color red
Blues of all shades
Languages
Innuendo
Flirting
Therapy
A cathartic cry
Patience
Troops of any nation serving around the world for the greater good of humanity


....the are infinitely more things....




Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
Happy Birthday, Daddy.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Music Minute: Superwoman (Alicia Keys)

Most of you who know me personally are familiar with my fondness of Wonder Woman. And, for the longest time, I thought I could be like that which she represented: fairness, seeking justice, independent, compassionate, strong, aware of her history, forward-thinking, being in any place at any time, being needed not just wanted on many, many levels.... My email address even as a form of the words "Wonder Woman".

I've kind of felt ooky about this lately. I've considered nixing my WW email address, and sort of shedding my affiliation with her. I don't feel very wonderous. I don't feel very fair or independent, or strong or aware of my destiny. I'm realizing more and more that I cannot be all things to all people at any given time of day. And in trying to do so, I've neglected myself and others to some degree. I guess you could say I went from one extreme swing of the pendulum to the other....

So before I act rashly, I figured I'd better sit still and listen. Let me tell you, to sit still is very difficult for me to do!

I'm concentrating lately on feeling empowered and becoming comfortable with the concepts of "courage" and "leadership". I don't remember if I've blogged about this recently or not, but in the last few years, more and more people are calling me "leader".

For years I've said, "I'm a sheep, not a shepherd".

That's changing. (In fact, I've been BOTH the sheep AND the shepheard -- just didn't know it!)

With eyes anew, I'm starting to see ways I'm a leader and taking note of my courageous actions. I have a long (longlongLONG) way to go, but I am starting. Dare I say? I'm on a roll.

I'm starting to feel more comfortable in my own courageous leader skin (complete with animal print!). I'm beginning to embrace the little ways I lead -- ways unspoken yet noticeable, gentle and unintended at times. Leadership is not just in the workplace. It's in friendship, in parenting, in my work as a teacher, even in my work as a student. It's in my Godmotherhood, my Goddaughterhood. (LOOK! I invented a new word! Call Webster - STAT!)

Leadership involves solitude at times. It involves making the hard choices; the choices that no one else is willing to make. It's being about the total good, and about being not liked at times.

Leadership is selfless.

Leadership - the GOOD kind - takes courage.

Courage is a toughie because what I consider courageous isn't necessarily what you consider courageous. We put courage in the context of ourselves. We tend to compartmentalize it in the subjectiveness of our own socialization. However, I think you and I could look at certain acts througout time and both of us agree that courage was present.

It's one thing to have the balls to jump out of an high-flying airplane, or to bungee jump over a gorge. It's quite another to admit to your parents (in a blog) that you were actually drag racing (because a cute boy asked you to) when you wrecked the car versus that (little white lie) the car was vandalized at the football game. (Hi mom! *cheezy grin*)

It also takes courage to take a military company to battle for the greater good of humanity, even if the greater of humanity doesn't see the good right away. It means accepting responsibility for your wrongs and slights, and being humble, modest, when people are singing your praises. It means setting boundaries - clear ones, unwavering ones.

But it does not mean rigidity. No. Courage needs to breathe.

Courage is selflessness.

Side not-related but related note: In my opinion, women are the most guilty of not realizing how truly courageous they are, and how often they lead. Women tend to apologize for a lot for silly things. They put themselves last so that others could have glory. I believe that most women, though, find themselves at some point in their 30's, 40's, 50's and become empowered, but not without leaving a leaving a wee bit of damage in her wake.

The presentation song at Mass today was "The Servant Song"

THE SERVANT SONG
by: Richard Gillard


1. Let me be your servant.
Let me be as Christ to you.
Pray that I might have the grace
To let you be my servant, too.

2. We are pilgrims on a journey.
We are brothers on the road.
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load.

3. I will hold the Christ-light for you
In the night time of your fear.
I will hold my hand out to you;
Speak the peace you long to hear.

4. I will weep when you are weeping.
When you laugh, I'll laugh with you.
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we've seen this journey through.

5. When we sing to God in heaven,
We shall find such harmony
Born of all we've known together
Of Christ's love and agony

+++++++++++++++++++++

'Tis a tricky thing to walk the line of being selfless and selfish, to lead or be lead, to act courageous or put on a mask. Indeed, it is.

The above song is quite a different message than the below song. Yet, they both convey a part of leadership and the kind of courage I am seeking.

+++++++++++++++++++++

I'm pretty sure "Superwoman" has been out a while....but I heard it on the AMA's earlier tonight and it moved me (two words: Queen Latifah!). I've heard it before, but I hadn't listened to it until tonight. Funny how that is...

Anyway, I think it's a good representation of some of the discernment I've been going through as of late.
Superwoman
Everywhere I'm turning
Nothing seems complete
I stand up and I'm searching
For the better part of me
I hang my head from sorrow
state of humanity
I wear it on my shoulders
Gotta find the strength in me
Cause I am a Superwoman
Yes I am
Yes she is
Even when I'm a mess
I still put on a vest
With an S on my chest
Oh yes
I'm a Superwoman
For all the mothers fighting
For better days to come
And all my women, all my women sitting here trying
To come home before the sun
And all my sisters
Coming together
Say yes I will
Yes I can
Cause I am a Superwoman
Yes I am
Yes she is
Even when I'm a mess
I still put on a vest
With an S on my chest
Oh yes
I'm a Superwoman
When I'm breaking down
And I can't be found
And I start to get weak
Cause no one knows
Me underneath these clothes
But I can fly
We can fly,
Oh
Cause I am a Superwoman
Yes I am
Yes she is
Even when I'm a mess
I still put on a vest
With an S on my chest
Oh yes
I'm a Superwoman

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's *Almost* A Losing Battle, But I'm Up For The Fight!

I'm boycotting things Made In China.

Wowee wow wow is this hard to do! But I'm determined!

Have you ever taken the time to read the tags on clothes, the stickers on every decoration, the printing on boxes?

I have this whole (possibly irrational) political reason behind my feelings. But my feelings cannot be denied. And I am responsible for how I behave. So, in (possibly rational) response to my (possibly irrational) feelings, I am electing to NOT buy products made in China. I'll support Bangladesh, Indonesia, Viet Nam, Mexico, El Salvador, Germany.....(for now, anyway). Oh! And I will support the good ole U S of A!

Hope you do, too!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No Truer Words Have Been Spoken:

[redacted]'s mom is a wise woman...

Sometimes having fun means sticking your dick in your pack pocket and pretending you have a vagina for a little while.

Hats off to Dan, and most especially, his mother. God love her!

Monday, November 17, 2008

If You Answer "Yes" to Three....

Are you a Compulsive Overeater?

1 .Do you eat when you're not hungry?
Um...YES. I hatehatehate the feeling of physical hunger pangs. I can't stand the feeling of an empty stomach.

2. Do you go on eating binges for no apparent reason?
Ummm...YES. But, we all know there IS a reason.

3. Do you have feelings of guilt and remorse after overeating?
Ohhh yeah.

4. Do you give too much time and thought to food?
If I gave less thought to food I could probably be Good Ruler of the Universe because all that brain energy would be utilized in a more efficient, productive capacity.

5. Do you look forward with pleasure and anticipation to the time when you can eat alone?
It's starting to turn into dread, truthfully. Bad, nasty habit that "eat alone" thing.

6. Do you plan these secret binges ahead of time?
This I can actually say "no" to, but it doesn't mean I don't secretly binge. I just don't plan it. But, I do keep food in places that are easily accessible.

7. Do you eat sensibly before others and make up for it alone?
I'm soooo guilty of this. What's weird is, I eat really well on vacations.

8. Is your weight affecting the way you live your life?
Absolutely yes. In ways I don't even realize, I'm sure.

9. Have you tried to diet for a week (or longer), only to fall short of your goal?
I gave up on "dieting" years and years ago, but I have tried prescription medication as well as the best medicine: exercise. I've also met with a nutritionist and attempted to participate in my company's wellness program.

10. Do you resent others telling you to "use a little willpower" to stop overeating?
No. I don't talk about it with people. The handful of people that know about my eating issues don't say this kind of thing to me. (Thank you.)

11. Despite evidence to the contrary, have you continued to assert that you can diet "on your own" whenever you wish?
I've continued to say I will return to meetings, or I will hit the gym, or I will keep such-and-such foods out of my house, but I nevereverEVER feel like I will be able to change my eating habits on my own. EVER. I will need help. ALWAYS.

12. Do you crave to eat at a definite time, day or night, other than mealtime?
I get bored very easily. I am up late at night. This combination = feast time = all the time.

13. Do you eat to escape from worries or trouble?
I don't "escape" from the worry/trouble, but I stuff the feelings down and make myself numb to the feelings. My feelings of being too full then extremely guilty overtake and numb any feelings of anxiety, sadness, elation -- the gamut of possible emotions -- that could be felt otherwise.

14. Have you ever been treated for obesity or a food-related condition?
Yes. I am actually considering hospitalization for sugar-withdrawals. I think the coming-off of flour and sugar will have serious physical and psychological withdrawals.

15. Does your eating behavior make you or others unhappy?
It definitely makes ME unhappy. It definitely makes my mother worry. Not sure about anyone else since, again, I don't discuss it with others.

My blog won't become one of those weight-loss journey blogs. While I find those real-life stories of struggles wonderful, and I'm thrilled for those who've achieved weight-loss success and posted about it, I just can't limit my blog. I've got way more to talk about! *laughing*

Anyway...

I have a friend from high school. She's been on a tear about losing weight and has to this day, lost 62 pounds. Earlier today she was talking about how different her hips feel and how ever crossing her arms is different. I totally get this! I obsess about how my arms feel on my body or how my legs rub together, or how my bra is making indentations in my back, accentuating or creating a roll of backfat (I hate how I look from behind!). She and I have joked how we have Reverse Body Dysmorphic Disorder (not sure if it's clinically valid or not, but I have it, dammit!). We look in the mirror and see lovely, thin, healthy self, instead of a fat, unhappy self. Today she revealed that she can look in the mirror and see her actual self in unison with the body image she thought she always had. Pretty inspirational!

I was in a 12-step program for my eating disorder back in the mid/late 90's and achieved a solid abstinence -- even lost a few pounds. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I am terrified to be healthy-thin, mostly because I can't handle the attention. I don't take compliments well. I'm not comfortable in my own skin EVER. I remember being happy but terrified when man would cat-call me. I think a lot of my food issues are man-centered, in the context of how I've handle interacting with men historically. No doubt it's affecting my relationship with my husband, too.

I'm horrible at setting boundaries for myself. I have a hard time saying 'no'. I am not practiced at being a self-advocate.

The older I get, the hard it becomes....all of it.

I tried to stay in the program after moving to Dallas but became extremely frustrated with getting lost while driving to find meetings. Then when the geography became familiar, I was frustrated by the energy and dynamic of people in the meetings. I would look at some people and wonder if they would save me if I asked them to be a sponsor, or others I would listen to and think, "I'm better than her/him". Additionally, since I was new to this area and didn't know many people, I broke my abstinence for social reasons. I would go out to eat and pick things on the menu I knew I shouldn't eat, but because I wanted to "fit in", I chose something else.

Skewed thinking...truly.

I really miss going to meetings and having abstinence. My mind was clearer. I had tons of energy. I slept well at night. I cried a lot. I have memories -- lived in the moment fully. I was free of the bondage of food. Of course, I was single then. I had the time and energy to attend five meetings a week, workout intensely with a mixed-martial arts (before it became chic) class three times a week. Now, I can't imagine trusting anyone to be my sponsor again. But, the feelings need to be felt and dealt (with), and the food issues have to be reigned.

How am I going to do this with a young family and all that I have going on??

The time is nearing.....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bittersweet 'Tis the Taste

Today the news came...

Pop is moving out tomorrow.

I'm relieved.
Elated.

Sad.

Very, very sad.

I've cried about it all day.

Rationally, his relocation is the best for all of us. Truly, it is. He's wanted this day, and I think pretty much everyone else has, too.

But....

....it's still sad.

I'm sad for My Husband. I know part of him feels like he's failed his father. I know if he were a bachelor, he'd tend to his dad for the remainder of their lives. Through the experience of The Accident it is now revealed why My Husband has his R.N. but doesn't get paid money to practice. The care he provides his father is par excellence. I know there's a special place in Heaven for My Husband, The Loyal Son.

And I'm sad for my kids in a strange way. They do like having their grandfather there. The scooter and the bedrailing have become an ice cream shop, places to hang holiday decorations, a fun spot to sit and read or play school. Now they will have to do the same in a hospital setting.

Most of all, I'm sad for my father-in-law who has essentially given up his will to live and sleeps most of the day. While his body has the potential to walk again, his will does not mirror it. He has succumbed and surrendered. The quality of care and therapy he's receiving at our home is going to go away, and he'll have to be merely maintained until he dies. I worry that he won't last long in the new facility. That, too, is a bittersweet thought -- from his perspective, maybe. He's said he's ready to die. The quality of life he lives now pales in comparison to the vibrant independence he knew just over a year ago. Tragic, really.

I'm hopeful, too. I know it doesn't sound like it at this moment, but I am. The silver lining is radiant. The future a wee bit brighter. The load a trifle lighter.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Music Minute: I'm Amazed

I almost forgot that I liked this song!

I don't do much 'new music' especially by not-so-known up-and-coming bands*. There's a landaman, an IT guy and attorney at my office that all like to discuss this sort of thing (that almost sounded like the opening of a joke, huh? haha). When Starbucks was handing out free music Tuesday cards, I picked this one up and downloaded it on iTunes and quickly took a liking to it.

I gotta say, this song is making bob my head and tap my foot.

The song is entitled, "I'm Amazed" by My Morning Jacket - (or...My Morning Jackie. Whatever...)

*This band has probably been around since the 60's and I'm too busy flashing my "I'm Witty" smile that I don't see how truly out of touch I really am. So, hush! Keep your snickers to yourselves.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Hopey Changey for the Country First

Here's MY two cents on Election Day, and my State of the Union address (and thanks be to God that I was born in the U.S.A. where I can freely type this opinion without being persecuted by my government -- just my lil bitty readership):

Sure I have anxiety about today, but it's unfounded and irrational. My Xanax reminded me of that. (Thank you for that prescription, Doctor You Know Who You Are!)

Truly, deeply, absolutely, I am a part of the American Arrogance (I like to call it idealism) that believes that America ROCKS and will be just fine....FOREVER. The United States is not going to Hell in a handbasket because we'll have a black man or a one-foot-in-the-grave man as a president (which I might add is a different form of discrimination: age discrimination).

A President is a President. He is one man (or woman...) who cannot singularly create change, or singularly dominate the world, or singularly destroy the constructs by which this government was created. He (or she...) is surrounded by a checks and balances system works quite well, thankyouvermuch. Our democracy prevents a dictatorship, an oligarchy, an anarchy, or any of the extremist kinds of rule. He (or she...) has a Cabinet and Advisors. There's a Congress. There are laws. There are people. There's no way that Obama is going to save us all, and no way John McCain is going to slam dunk us into Hell. There just isn't.

Because there are Cabinet members and Advisors, should John McCain die and Sarah Palin take over as President, she won't fail. She will have lots and lots of smart people who are very savvy help her -- as ALL Presidents do! Just because she doesn't have an Ivy League pedigree, has a newborn and has an accent that, quite frankly, just about ANYONE can imitate, does not make her an idiot.

I'm sick of Obama's "Vote for Change" because change is freakin' inevitable. He isn't inventing the concept. He's not the creator of a brand new gadget that will miraculously elevate the country. OF COURSE, change will occur. For cry-sakes (yes I know that's now most people spell that but I just can't bring myself to spell it the other way), there's change EVERY election. Our country inherently WILL change by the very fact that it SHOULD change, *especially* every eight years. Even when a president is re-elected, change happens. Part of the beauty of the design of our democracy is that while a new person is elected, and has their own ideas on what they'd *like* to do, they can't do it on their own. It has to be in the context of the other bodies, cooperatively. However, the change must be accomplished within the design of democracy itself, which is constant, unwavering and perseverant. Thankfully, it breathes and expands, constricts, and it still fundamentally sound.

I am also beat down with the "Country First" motto because doesn't EVERY presidential candidate put the country first? Even over his (or her...) own family? The candidate - prior to ever being say, a judge or a school board member, a mayor or governor, a member of congress, President, you name it - is serving something bigger then themselves and their homelife. I equate it to the priesthood. The priest doesn't have a wife because The Church is his bride, and his flock is his family. And being a priest is not just presiding over community parish. A priest takes a GLOBAL vow. He serves in a different way, but he's still subject to a governing bodies. There's a reason the Roman Catholic Church has not split or fallen in 2000 years....

Above all is the shallowness and ignorance of us voters. We squander a privilege by our passion or lack thereof, based on sheer silliness. Shame on us for voting (or not voting) for a candidate merely because of their ethnic background, skin color, religious views, straight teeth, height, age, or from which state the candidate hails. Shame on us for voting for the 'pretty person'. We should use the cognitive skills gifted to us to make informed decisions. Do not vote in protest; just because you don't want a black man in office, or a woman Vice President is the worst reason to vote for a candidate! Don't allow the news bytes and the headlines and the pictures on MySpace, or Facebook, or CNN to teach you. Dig, people, DIG! Learn ALL sides of an issue. Learn ALL you can about a candidate. Don't just read about one because you like them best. Read about the other, too. Listen. Process information. Let it marinate. THEN, vote your beliefs, your convictions -- vote your heart. Lastly, I plead -- don't shove your issues down someone else's throat or judge them because their opinions don't align with yours. Embrace that difference and bridge the gap. And if you can't bridge the gap, at least show some respect.

So, yes, we'll have change. (Again, DUH - no brainer.) Yes, the U.S. will shove it's way to the front of the line like it does and be the Ruler, the Bully, the Best, the World Champs, the Valedictorian, the Beauty Queen. Yes, The World will continue it's love-hate relationship with us.

I recognize that today, America is like the drunk whore that everyone's pointing fingers at, snickering under their breaths wondering which guys are going to have their wicked ways with her before the night's said and done. America will wake up hungover, changed and still the center of attention.

But America will still be the shining jewel that everyone wants a piece of...not only because of our arrogance, but because the Rest of the World wants us there, puts us there, keeps us there, too. And we'll continue to share our wealth, our military, our humanity, our heartache. Because no matter what, America was founded on the betterment of all. All. ALL.