Saturday, August 28, 2010

How About A Little Metallica?

Need something edgier, angsty.... 

I've never been a metalhead, but I went through a brief period of liking some metal.  I guess I was out of high school when Metallica released some album that had a black cover and a snake coiled in the lower right of the cover.  Is it called the Black album or something?  In any case, I still dig the music from that release, my favorite being "Unforgiven".

I tried to listen to some of their other stuff, and I like it. It is very intelligent and deep.  I like James Hetfiled's voice a lotlot, and who can deny the awesomeness of Lars?  I mean, the name "Lars" is greatness in and of itself, separate from his musical talents for us Americans.  Anyway, Metallica makes music that I have to be "in the mood", kind of like when I listen to classical, opera, country, pop, mariachi, etc. 

Now is my "mood".

Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

WW: Angelina Jolie

So I found this little blog called Wednesday Wickedness.  It's a series of memes, which are questions that are asked that several people answer on their own blog.  There are several out there, some are pretty racy, which intrigue me, but I don't want to be THAT transparent, so I'll stick to the Safe Side and push the envelope a little  And since I like the "WW" of this meme blog for obvious reasons, and I've always wanted to participate in a meme, I'm going to join in this fun and see where it takes me.  

1. “All women do have a different sense of sexuality, or sense of fun, or sense of like what's sexy or cool or tough.” What do you do to feel sexy?


After I shave, I apply lotion -- the kind with little bits of gold in it, so that I shimmer.  I look over the top of my glasses at you, or play with my hair while we talk, maybe bite the corner of my bottom lip.  I will also put on a sexy bra & panties, wear some heels (hey!  That means I go to work sexy every day! hahaha!).  I have various other items & behaviors that open up my inhibitions & I'll leave it at that. 

Generally speaking, though, I feel sexy most of the time because it's not just a mood or a feeling, I *am* sexy.  *strut*

I love that your definition of sexy doesn't necessarily match mine.  Takes a lot of pressure off the hunt, right?  Well, in theory, it should.  Yet, we get wrapped in the gnarly, twisted untruths and allow our burning and yearning to expire.  Sexy is subjective in the realm of attraction, and you can own your own sexiness.

Me?  I find long, wavy hair on women to be extremely attractive, especially brunettes.  Smart looking glasses on anyone are appealing.  I find intellect and a sense of humor to be verrrry sexy, mixed in with some flirty banter and a passionate flare.  Latin and dark-skinned men who smell like Cool Water and have a nice chest & arms are tickets to Hot Damn! for me.  You men out there -- chivalry is sexy.  Open the door, pull out the chair, carry my groceries, fill my car up with gas, let me walk into the elevator first, anything to make me feel special = supersexy!

2. “I don't think the money people in Hollywood have ever thought I was normal, but I am dedicated to my work and that's what counts.” Do you think people think you are normal?

I know I don't feel normal, that's for sure.  The older I get, the less I feel normal, which truly isn't such a bad thing.  I don't want to create a box for you, nor do I want to fit into yours.  Let's honor each other as each other.  Thoughts I have, experiences I live -- my overall journey -- they are all MY normal, and I'm learning to be more comfortable in the sense of who I am to myself, others and the world at large.


I have a 'normal' life if the definition of 'normal' is one mortgage, two cars, two kids, a husband, a full time job, housework, lots of volunteerism, taking care of parental units, escaping my routine for a playful jaunt here and there, then, yeah, I have 'normal' and I'm like the rest of you and you think I'm 'normal'.  Right?

3. “If you ask people what they've always wanted to do, most people haven't done it. That breaks my heart.” What have you always wanted to do?

Finish college.  Act in plays as an adult.  Be a good singer.  Take some dance classes.  Be money-savvy.  Learn how to play the harp.  Globetrot.  Write a book and it be published.  Have a physically healthy lifestyle.  Own a vacation home.  Be good at math.  And ohsomuchmore!

4. “There's something about death that is comforting. The thought that you could die tomorrow frees you to appreciate your life now.” What do you appreciate the most about your life at this time?
I appreciate many things but first and foremost is my faith.  I also adore and have gratitude for my family, my friends, my work.

I feel like I'm contributing to the Saving of the World.  I feel like I do God's work (for the most part).  I appreciate struggle and pain because I know that's me in a growth phase.  I appreciate the gifts my social circle give me every day that range from phone calls, emails, smiles, thoughts, prayers, hugs, and so on.  I am blessed and loved and could not want for more! 

Am I ready to die today, though?  I don't feel ready for death.  Death does not sound like freedom to me.  Death sounds like a passage to me.  Yes, death would relieve my fear, anxiety, angst, struggle.  I don't think I've completed my work, so I welcome the burden of fear, anxiety, angst, struggle, so that I might earn and be worthy of my place in God's House.

5. “Where ever I am I always find myself looking out the window wishing I was somewhere else.” If you could be somewhere else, where would you be and why?

I have fought a deep desire to run away for a couple of years now, and bring my family with me.  I want a more adventurous life in Europe.  The thrill of knowing various languages, the ease of travel, the culture and international flare of living there is very appealing to me.  There's a certain glamour attached to it, in my opinion.  I'd give anything for my kids to grow up in a multi-cultural environment outside of the States for a while.

6. “I need more sex, OK? Before I die I wanna taste everyone in the world.” Have you ever felt that you need more sex to be happier?

Um, yeah!  Who DOESN'T feel this way?!  If you don't, then, um....sorry?  (I might be kinda of dude-like on this one..... another reason I don't feel 'normal' as above.  *laughing*)

7. “If I make a fool of myself, who cares? I'm not frightened by anyone's perception of me.” Have you ever made a fool of yourself? If yes, spill.

Yes, of course I have!  Everyone has at one time or another.  Admittedly, I am constantly worried and mindful of what others think of me.  It's important to go through being a fool, so, I accept that I'm foolish and will still carry on witmybadself!  (Just don't laugh too hard at me -- I might cry!)

8. “I don't believe in guilt, I believe in living on impulse as long as you never intentionally hurt another person, and don't judge people in your life. I think you should live completely free.” How often do you feel guilty?

Well, I *am* a fairly new Catholic, so, yeah, I do feel guilty about things fairly often, and guilt comes easily!  I've been working on this a lot, actually, because I've arrived at the belief that women especially over-guilt themselves.  It's important to be self-accountable and accountable to others, but life is life and you learn from it. 

One thing that I think (hope) is true about me is that I'm pretty open to lots of people and their lives/lifestyles.  It's part of the journey; it's part of the progress of self.  There is no room for judgment.  Where there is judgment, remove it and fill it with L O V E!  What people need most in this life is validation and compassion and L O V E.  Is that so hard?

Once you achieve the (dis?)position of being totally, unconditionally loving, you will be free and others around you will be, too.

9. “I never like being touched, ever. People used to say I held my breath when they were hugging me. I still do.” Are you ever uncomfortable being touched?

No, I'm not uncomfortable being touched, so long as it's a loving gesture, EXCEPT, I abhor when people try to tickle me because I'm not ticklish.  For some reason, some people think they know better than I do about me being not ticklish, or they think that me being ticklish will occur in honor of the occasion of THEM tickling me, but um, no.  NOT so.  I don't enjoy being hit, either, unless it's sparring and I'm winning.  *wink*

Run your fingers through my hair, kiss me on the cheek or hand, lightly touch me, leaving a lingering hand around my waist...  I love it all.

10. “Oh, God, I struggle with low self-esteem all the time! I think everyone does. I have so much wrong with me, it's unbelievable!” Give us an example of what you’ve done when feeling low self-esteem.

Always I struggle with body self-image issues.  Always.  Food and weight constantly are on my mind and it's my consta-struggle.  I have some lovely features such as my hair and eyes, and I have a nice rack.  hahaha!  My ass is flat and I have a full figure, but I manage to do okay in attracting the opposite sex, but still, that "I am ugly because I'm fat" tape is on loop in the ole noggin. 

I'm also learning that I avoid confrontation and goal-setting, which enables me to have lower self-esteem.  Because I crave keeping the peace, I end up sacrificing myself in the process.  It's a hard and fear-filled gesture to set a boundary at this age and stage.  If I owned the confidence that what I have to say, the way I feel, the way I act or react is valid and might change a situation, a person, or action, I would be more structured and successful in matters of money, education, goal-setting, ambition, personal achievement.  It's easy to not disappoint anyone (especially myself!) when there are no goals to set and achieve, which means my self-esteem is not compromised.


~Whoosh!

Monday, August 23, 2010

In Which I Take A Lonely Walk

I'm proud of her, that Fourth Grader Of Mine!  She's so grown up and mature. 

I am proud, but, UGH, it was a sock in the stomach to be left standing on the sidewalk in front of the school, alone, as she walked toward the stairs to the school.

Conversation just prior, as we clutched hands:

Me:  Nervous?
Eldest:  Yeah, a little.
M:  You'll do great.  Do you remember where your classroom is?
E: Yes.  *she points to the general vicinity*

We stop walking and wait for the bell to ring.  A PTA mom is screaming that there are "Welcome Back To School" doughnuts.  (Really?  And we wonder why our kids are facing obesity as the #1 epidemic these days?!  Can you get grapes, bananas, apple slices and such?!) 

My Eldest starts looking around, stepping up on tippy toes to see if she sees friends.  I people-watch.

She breaks hands with me.

E:  You don't have to take me in, mama.

THERE.  That's when the sock in the gut came.

M:  *puts on my bravegirl face & plugs in the strongmom voice*  You sure?  I don't mind....
E:  Yes, mama.  I'm sure. 

She offers me a kiss and a hug and goes toward the front of the school and gets lost in the crowd. 

I linger, of course, perching myself up higher on a set of stairs so I can watch her.  I lose her, then find her, lose her, then find her.  The bell rings and I see her bouncing up the stairs with a friend of hers.  She didn't look back. 

So, it was a lonely walk back to my car, and yeah, I cried a little, but mostly happy tears. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Favorite Words: Vellicate

From dictionary dot come: 

vellicate\ VEL-i-keyt \ , verb;
  •  To touch (a body part) lightly so as to excite the surface nerves and cause uneasiness, laughter, or spasmodic movements.
  • To irritate as if by a nip, pinch, or tear.
  • To move with spasmodic convulsions.

How FUN is this word?!  Who even knew there was one single word for this action?!  Wowee!  I'm in love with it!   (And if you already knew it, hats off!  I'm in love with you now, too!  *laughing*)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Core Fear

It's no secret I'm in therapy.  Nor should it be.  And I admit to needing a lot of it.  *laughing*  I don't understand why human beings consider therapy a pejorative.  There seems to be a shame attached to being in humility to search for the best person a person can be.  Asinine!  Why do we suppose that weshouldknowhowtodoeverythingallthetime?  That's pretty arrogant -- or ignorant -- not sure which.  In any case, don't knock it for yourself or others around you.  It's a gift to yourself & your relationships (& to God). 

A few months ago, My Husband and I attended a marriage retreat.  The retreat was an immersion in the Imago style of, well, love expression.  I'm sure there's some technical psychological terminology for it, but basically, it was further instruction on how to love consciously.

In the course of that weekend, I learned what MY core fear is.  It's being invisible. 

I have an immense fear of not being seen.

So, I act in ways that make me seen.  And these ways are not always healthy.  Sometimes they are of the flesh and not the spirit.

Identifying this Core Fear has been liberating and burdensome at the same time.  I now understand why I behave and feel the way I do.  I understand better why I have the intense, extreme emotional reactions I do.  I now know why I'm fairly good and expressing myself using the written word instead of the spoken word.

I'm learning to speak the words more, and speak them in a more constructive way - in a loving way.  It's probably the hardest growth experience I've ever endured.  Being almost 40, it's frightening.  Funny how the longer I live life, the more fears I develop.  Not only do I develop more of them, but the ones I previously had are bigger and badder and stronger. 

I hate living in fear.  I hatehateHATE it!

Had I learned this stuff back in my 20's, I wonder what heartache might've not existed?  But, because I'm a believer in TTP (Trust the Process), I know that I had to go through those things of the 20's to appreciate and grow into the woman I am, (who, despite my fears, is a pretty kickass chick!).  I haven't graduated, nor ever will I; but I will progress and learn.  God willing, I'll teach when given the chance and the inclination.

If you've taken a moment of your precious time to read this far, thank you.  This post was mostly for me, though.  I needed to acknowledge in writing that I have a Core Fear, and call it by name:  BEING INVISIBLE. 

But now that I have your attention, I gotta ask:  Do you know yours?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Comets

I'm addressing an envelope this morning to the University of Texas at Dallas - Home of the Fighting Comets.  (Huh?  COMETS? Yes....the Comet is the mascot there.  Tell you a thing or seven about the school?)  Anyway, its contents will be the various transcripts from the many colleges I've previously attended.  I'm applying there so I can finally finish my undergraduate degree.  My goal is to start in Spring, 2011.

As I'm writing the address, I felt my chest tighten and butterflies flurry in my belly. 

I came to blog about it because I must be experiencing some emotion that needs processing.  It's more than one emotion, actually.  And I process well by writing/typing. 

*deep breath*

I am astounded at the fear I feel.  Seriously?! WHY would I be AFRAID of finishing school?  Why am I feeling worried and frustrated already?  Why does anxiety overcome me at this moment?

I guess I'm afraid of not finishing - AGAIN.  I'm afraid of failing - AGAIN.  I'm afraid of disappointing - AGAIN.  I HAVE to get over that, though!  I! WILL! GET! OVER! IT!

Often, words like these are spoken out loud to me:  "You are so smart, Jackie.  Why aren't you a doctor or something?" or "You have no idea the potential you have.  Why aren't you doing more?"

These are meant to be words of encouragement.  They're meant to be a compliment.  And I'm learning to take them as such.  My Old Brain hears those words and I feel less than and disappointing.  My New Brain is trying to act on these instead of passively watch from the wall.  It's awkwardly saying:  get over it.  You're a big girl now.  Grow up and do what you want to do!  So...I'm applying for school.  And, dammit, I *will* graduate (before my kids do!).

It's the single biggest regret of my whole life -- not going away to university.  I tear up every time it's discussed or thought.  Even now, a tear stream is dragging through make-up.  Anyway, I always have regretted that I didn't take a bigger stand against my parents and leave for college.  I was so afraid of them.  Growing up in the military with fairly strict parents allowed me a nice yet sheltered life inside a pretty protective bubble. 

My Husband and some friends of mine know how sensitive I am about this subject.  They all assure the that a piece of paper doesn't define me.  Rationally, I know that's truth.

In high school, I was pretty active in the drama department (big surprise! *laughing*).  I was given the opportunity to go to a school in NYC (in fact, I might've previously written about this; sorry for the re-hash) to study theatrical arts.  The scholarship was mine -- a full one!  All I had to do was show up in Dallas and go through the motions of a cold read.  A trip to Dallas was denied.  Needless to say, my dreams were shattered.

When I graduated high school, all my closest friends left El Paso.  I was pretty sad about this.  Okay, I was downright despondent.  At the time, I didn't realize to what degree, but I can look back now and see it.  Don't get me wrong, I still had a couple of friends around (CDA!), and had some good times (toga!), bonded with them (lots!); yet, I wasn't out there...experiencing LIFE, experiencing the big football games with (if I didn't go to NYC, I wanted to go to UT Austin) and the all night studying, dorm life, being lost in a new city, rushing for a sorority, getting a little too drunk, coming home for the summer & holidays.  I saw myself as STUCK.  Stuck in El Paso, pouting, eating my way through depression, and longing for a life out there.

I don't blame my parents.  I can't be mad at them.  Neither of them completed college (my father evenutally got an Associates, but it was through the military, so not the same kind of college experience at all), and neither of them knew all the ins and outs of scholarship hunting, applying for financial aid, or visiting college campuses.  We didn't talk a lot, as I recall, about going to college.  I knew the expectation was that I'd go, but beyond that, no memory.  I suspect they took forgranted I'd do well since I was an honor student and always wanted to please.  High school subjects came fairly easily (except for math).  My parents decided that going to UTEP was good enough, they could afford the difference of what scholarships didn't cover and my brother went there, too, so why not me?  It makes sense.  There might've been some other reasons unbeknowst to me, and it's best if indeed those reasons are real, that they stay in the quiet, dark past.

So, here I sit, over 20 years later, still no undergraduate degree.  I have enough hours for two full undergraduate degrees and then some, yet nothing to show for it.  I abhor the red tape that goes along with the college application process.  It requires much patience and clear-thinking, neither of which I possess.  I pray for both patience & clear-headedness so endure the enrollment process...

The University of Texas at Dallas doesn't have a big football team, and I can't live at the dorms.  I won't be joining a sorority unless it's for academic excellence/field-of-study related.  My summers and holidays will be filled at home, but not with mom & dad.  Instead they'll be spent up the street a ways, where I'll continue with motherhood, wife-lihood, and all the rest of the -hoods I wear.  I will undoubtedly be studying late and long.  I might get a little too drunk sometimes, too.  Maybe once I graduate, those peripherals that come with this regret will have less sting.  If not -- give me another shot, bartender!

The envelope is addressed and it's poochie with academic-y papers.  Gonna go put it in the mailroom so I can get accepted, get advised and have something to look forward to come January....when I turn 40.  (If I don't get accepted, God help us all!)




Sunday, August 15, 2010

Favorite Words: Reciprocate/Reciprocity

I'm going to take this one and go kinda wonky with it.  You've been warned.   
 
Reciprocate
–verb (used with object)
1. to give, feel, etc., in return.
2. to give and receive reciprocally; interchange: to reciprocate favors.
3. to cause to move alternately backward and forward.
 
–verb (used without object)
4. to make a return, as for something given.
5. to make interchange.
6. to be correspondent.
7. to move alternately backward and forward.

I also like 'reciprocity' (um...NOT the movie...*laughing*). 

Reciprocity
–noun
1. a reciprocal state or relation.
2. reciprocation; mutual exchange.
3. the relation or policy in commercial dealings between countries by which corresponding advantages or privileges are granted by each country to the citizens of the other.
 

There's something about giving back what you've been given, no?

I wouldn't say it's karma or the boomerang theory.  No.  Not at all.

I like the suggestion of equality in the definitions.  So much of my life, including now, I  have felt or sometimes feel somewhat squelched, behind, underrated, incredible, berated, overlooked, undermined, less equal than, invisible.  (Self-esteem issues, much?)  But by engaging in reciprocity, I have value.  I give value.  There's quality added to a relationship or function.  There's substance.  There's matter. 

I matter. 

I have substance. 

I am valuable. 

I exist. 

Now, it's my responsibility AND DESIRE, to make you feel the same way, too.

YOU matter (to me).

YOU have substance (to everyone).

YOU are valuable (to all the world).

YOU EXIST, TOO.

(SEE!  I told you I was gonna go all wonky with it!)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Something Different

This is running them in my life:  something different. Lot's of differences going on around me, and I'm doing my best to sit still as needed, or, alternately, remain fluid so as to be carried by the changes. 

With that, I'm changing the music again.  It's music reflecting a mood more than anything else.  Haven't listened too much to the words, but there are definitely images of escape, daydreams, gratitude, longing, and various others. 

~Whoosh!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

I Think I Might Like Him After All....

It's a prayer or seventeen answered for sure.

I'm gonna like Father Alphonse.  A lotlot. 

Today, I was able to attend a Sunday Mass and witness ~ experience ~ Father Alphonse celebrating.  Favorite things right off the bat:

*  the hair.  WOW, he has GREAT hair
*  the glasses:  sharp, witty, trendy.  I hope this is a sign of his priesthood, too.
*  the delivery of the homily:  he came around from the Altar and stood among us.  I love a priest among the people
*  the humor:  verrrrry good sense of humor.  He relayed a funny anecdote about the heat that had all of us laughing hard enough to forget about the sweat dripping down our backs.
*  the homily itself:  great messages.  Today's special message:  Where your treasure is, so, too, is your heart.

After the heartbreak of losing Father Don and Father Louis, the gem sparkling today might be just the reminder I needed of where my treasure is.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Yoshi Is A Friend of Mine

...and he's going to give me shit about using 'Yoshi' because I've already told him in no uncertain terms that I don't like his nickname.  But, to preserve some confidentiality, I'm resorting to using it in my blog. 

A few days ago, he asked what my favorite word is. 

*blink*blink*
*think*think* 

Uhhhhhh.

*deer in the headlights look*

Yeah.  I couldn't answer it.  I don't think it's because I drew a blank.  I think it's because I've never been asked that before nor had I ever pondered it.  It was a great question and I left it unanswered.

Until today.

I then remembered I had a tag set up on here of "Favorite Words". 

So, I dug around a bit, read through the blogs and finalized my decision.  I followed up with an email to Yoshi notifying him of my current favorite all time word (until I learn new ones that might change my current favorite word).  I shared with him a few notions I have about words, why I'm attracted to them, and thanked him for prompting such thought.  The email didn't seem enough, so here I am, on The Big Blog, thanking Yoshi up and down and all around for a good question, being interested and resurrecting the Favorite Word series. 

I'll post one soon....  In the meantime, click the tag below if you're interested in reading the rest of the favorite words.

~Whoosh!

Funky Spunk

"Funky Spunk" is one of my favorite phrases.  It was on Sex And The City, said by Samantha when describing giving head to a guy, and when she swallowed, he had 'funky spunk'.  The grimace on her face combined with those two words relayed the experience very.... clearly.

But, I'm writing about a different context of funky spunk today, but the negative still kind of applies. 

I'm kind of a spunky person in the traditional definition -- or so I've been told.  I'm typically upbeat and positive, easy-breezy and light-hearted.  I get stressed, and then I freak out, then I'm good for a while.  Lately, though, I feel pretty blah -- I'm in a funk -- I'm feelin' funky, and by funky I don't mean nastysmellytasty or funkaaayyy as in gettin' mah groove-thang on.  I mean, I feel D~O~W~N.

This translates, in Jackies World, to some sort of change(s).  Centered in this storm is work.  Work's been incredibly stressful.  Admittedly, I'm pretty complacent there.  I remain challenged daily but am not an ambitious sort, so I don't overachieve or strive to be biggerbadderbetter.  I just do my stuff, call it a day, and leave.

Well, lately, there's been some reorganization.  The department I'm in is in flux, going through a growing pain of sorts.  Things got pretty tight and scary for a while, so, naturally, as human nature dictates, people have left for bigger and better things. 

Not me.

I remain unsettled in a place where for almost the last 10 years, I've been very stable.  I don't fear I'll lose my job (please, God), and I'm usually all about embracing change.  But, it must be the Aging Jackie that isn't taking these changes so easily.  I trust the process, like I always do, because I know that things will get better, I'll be a better employee, a better person.  Yet, my rationale isn't assuaging my emotionality about this.  Not yet anyway.  I still cry about some things.  I am still grieving some other things.  Yet, I'm there.  Trying.  Being.  Doing. Breathing. 

Interestingly, in the fallout (so to speak), some things are being said and done on the periphery.  I sense people saying, doing for me.  I sense people saying, doing with me.  I sense support and worry.  I know there's a worry that I'm going to leave, too.  I'm not going to conjecture on what the future holds.  For now, I'm taking the moment for NOW and trying NOT to focus on anything else.  Ordinarily, I'm so nice, I'd slay myself to the cause out of loyalty.  Opportunities are opening -- I hear a knock occasionally.  I answer the door.  I visit with Opportunity.  And listen. 

Listen.

This is what I need to do nowadays.  So, I will do just that -- listen.  (Maybe I'll go watch that episode of SATC to get a little laugh...IF I can sit still that long.)

~Trying really hard to be still~