Monday, November 29, 2010

Music Minute: Sarah McLachlan

Sarah because of which she melodically & lyrically emotes, I bask.
Sarah because the exposure of the vulnerable.
Sarah because of the unapologetic intimacy.
Sarah because ....well... you know why.

Sarah because....well...  just because.


~


Ice Cream
Fumbling Towards Ecstacy
Witness
Do What You Have To Do
Answer
Possession
Tiesto-Silence-Delerium 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pearl Harbor


Kole Kole Pass


My Dad's birthday is today.  I can't let a year go by without acknowledging it, and reminding myself (and you) how much I miss him.

Thanksgiving, as you might recall, was his favorite holiday.  It's my favorite holiday, too. 

Twirling the two always puts me in a bit of bittersweet headspace.

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Last week, I received a message from a stranger on Facebook.  He had joined a group that I started about the elementary school I attended when I lived there.  (Us military brats kind of find a way to stay networked to a certain degree, I suppose.)  He reached out to me to ask when I was there, yadda yadda yadda.  I kept it pretty brief, but then he replied with additional questions.  As a result, I ended up sharing one of my very favorite moments of life.  As I was wrapping up my response to his inquiries, a thought scampered through my mind:  I should put this in a blog.

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When I was 20-ish, My Father was still active duty Army on the brink of retirement.  He had just been promoted to Master Warrant 5.  As a result, he was required to serve an overseas tour.  The choices, as I recall, were Alaska, Belgium and Hawaii.

Daddy made his selection for Hawaii. 

My Parents empty-nested at his departure.  My brother had just graduated college and was off to The Real World (not of the MTV-type, although I'm sure he wishes!  haha), and I was doing the same except I was sans degree since I was still in the middle of a semester as a college sophomore (and failing miserably at it).

My Parents gifted me a trip to visit them for Christmas, and I was able to stay through the new year.  I was looking forward to going because when I was a kid, I wasn't allowed to do the typical adult touristy things like visit the U.S.S. Arizona, go out in the nightlife, and so forth.  As a kid, though, I had THE BEST experience.

In fifth grade, the collective class saved newspapers and aluminum cans all year, and we'd earned enough money to take a class field trip to Hawaii a.k.a. the Big Island (I lived on Oahu, home of Honolulu & Waikiki Beach <~~ not double rainbows, but still pretty awesome).  The point of the week-long class trip was to learn in-depth about Hawaii's history:  the monarchy, how it was settled, the native dances, foods, customs and traditions, language, as well as have some outdoor adventures.  We hiked across Kilauea Crater, which was dormant at the time.  It was frightening for a chubby, short girl to cross over the wide gaps that were emitting steam, the firey cauldron sloshing below my not-so-confident feet.  We learned about Pele, the different kinds of lava (I always thought it was fun to say a'a) and sulfur.  I got to put my toes in the fine grains of a black sand beach.

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About the time of my adult visit to Hawaii, President Clinton ordered the closure of  several military bases . My Dad took me to a Naval base that was shut down, except it had one gate open, and it was a manned gate.  If you didn't have a military ID, you were denied access.

Daddy drove us cautiously up the mountain, the road curvy and laden with vegetation.  The banana trees leaned away from the mountain, and surprisingly, prickly pear cacti protected the mountainsides.  It was fairly early in the morning, rain had fallen as it did most days of my visit.The clouds were low and the air was so fresh.

Eventually, Daddy parked the car and invited me to the scenic overview.  I looked at Pearl Harbor  at the end of a valley.  I smiled just taking in the view, certain I had died and gone to Heaven.  Never had I felt so small.  It was just My Dad and I standing there in the quiet wonder.

When a good amount of time had passed, he said to me, "Do you know what this place is?"

I shook my head side to side and said, "Nu-uh. What is is?"

Daddy said, "This is the valley and path where the Japanese snuck in to attack Pearl Harbor."

In an instant, my heart hardened and I was overcome with emotion.  This place, so beautiful and awesome, truly awesome, then that bit of wicked U.S. history seared through the peace I just experienced, leaving me with a burning chest.  The physical response I experienced was unexpected.
 
I was so grateful my dad had access to take me there.  I am so grateful for that moment with him.  I'm humbled by the visit. 

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Happy birthday, Daddy.  Still miss you.  Still love you.  

xo

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Wonder Woman Itch Is Getting Scratched

There is a comic book store dangerously close to my house.  

The major intersection near which I live divides two suburbs - "mine" and "not mine".  I have purposefully avoided this comic book store because it wasn't on "my" side of the street.  I'm a bit of a snob when spending my dollars -- I try to keep as many of them in my own suburb as possible.  

As my luck would have it, the comic book store MOVED!  And it moved to MY suburb!  It moved right across the street from the previous location, and I couldn't be more happy! 

My Eldest and I drive over and immediately go the Wonder Woman comics.  We sit on the floor and flip through the pages.  My Eldest asks questions -- good ones -- about why all the different styles of drawing Wonder Woman, who are all the names listed on the cover, etc.  I was pretty surprised she noticed all those details, and even more surprised she was into it enough to ask (truth be told, it was a fleeting interest).

Then I realized how out-of-touch I'd become with the newer comics.  I haven't actively collected comics in about 15 years.  I've bought one or two here or there, but I certainly wouldn't call it collecting

On *this* day, however, I am back to it!  I'm back to collecting!

Now, there is much controversy on the new Wonder Woman.  She's in pants and there's some other changes, but the pants seem to be the biggest issue.  Controversy aside, the pants-wearing Wonder Woman is my gateway back into my comic nerdiness, and I'm going to have fun with it!

I decided to go ahead an purchase #601 and #602, and when I was paying, I asked the owner which issue was the premier of The All New Wonder Woman (pictured above).  He answered that it was issue #600. 

"Do you have any?" I asked calmly, but the inner comic nerd was rolling around like an excited dog.  I didn't realize she was THAT new, and here I was with the two proceeding comics!  If I could get my hands on the premier issue, I'd have them all!  

MH:  "Nah.  I'm sold out.  I might be able to call around to some other stores and see if I can work a trade or something, or I could order one, but it' likely to be a second printing -- not the first printing.  I guess it depends on how serious of a collector you are as to how important it is to you to get that first issue in a first print."

Me:  "Well, I haven't collected in a while.  I'd take a second print just to have the collection from the beginning, but if I could get that first issue, first print, how much would it be?"

He shrugged his shoulders, "Not sure, really.  It all depends."

We talked back and forth and he walked over the to comic books from where I just was sitting on the floor.  

Guess what?

He found a FIRST PRINT, PREMIER ISSUE of The All New Wonder Woman! 

Oh!  My!  Golden!  Lasso!  Yessssssssss!  Happy Jackie!!  

Yes, I bought it -- I bought ALL of them!

Psst!  Look how Issue 600 has a lasso written 600 on the cover 
MH is going to call and notify me monthly when the new Wonder Woman issue has arrived.  I am just SO! STOKED! about this! 

Whoosh!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gravestones and Such

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

The Cowboys lost, but I'm still smiling.  I figured the Saints would win, but the Garrett Cowboys gave 'em hell for a while.

I'm plenty stuffed, food-fogged and all.

Backtracking to pre-meal, though, My Family and I were riding to someone's house for the Thanksgiving celebration.

My Eldest:  Momma, does Papa have a gravestone somewhere?  (Papa is My Dad.)

I just started crying.  Tears welled up unexpectedly, and I was choked momentarily on the words that would answer her thoughtful question.

I catch my breath after a good thirty seconds or so, and struggle to answer:  No.  No, he doesn't.

More tears, more chest tightening.

Me:  Papa requested to be cremated, and asked that no headstone be displayed after his death.  He wanted his ashes to be spread at his favorite fishing spot.  I think My Mom took some to his favorite golf course, too.

My Little One, who was listening so intently, puckers up in sadness and I see that bottom lip just quiver.  Her fuschia-mittened hands pull moisture from her eyes.

MLO:  Mommy, that story just makes me so sad.

I reach around and rub her thigh consolingly.

Me:  Ohh baby, I'm sorry to make you cry.  It *is* sad, though, and it's okay to cry and be sad.  Just know that Papa sees us and hears us, and he's smiling.  He is in such a better place than we are, love.  It's okay to cry, and try to find happiness knowing that he's with us in different ways, okay?

Boo-hooing MLO:  Ohhhhkaaayyyyy.

A heavy & thick quiet settles in between us all, and I see My Eldest is crying just a little.  I hand her a tissue, and she offers a smile and gratitude.

MLO:  Mommy. *sniff, sniff*  I really wish I got to meet Papa.

The calm I had finally achieved was pushed out by more moist grief.

I nodded my head in agreement, my hand still on her thigh:  Oh baby, me too.

My Husband:  Someday you'll meet him, and you'll just know him, and he'll know you and it'll be like time never passed.

The remainder of the ride passed in mostly silence.  My Little One nodded off to sleep and My Eldest read a book.  Me, I clutched my heart charm that was given to me when My Father died, and I felt the etched "Bud" as I recalled the day My Dad returned to the Earth.

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I am thankful for my kids, that they are so open and vulnerable, trusting and sensitive.  I'm thankful they have a father.  I'm thankful for My Husband who barely knew My Father, and is like him in many ways.  I'm thankful that I have all that I do and all that I don't.

And Mom, I love you.  So grateful to have you near me & my family.  We just need to get Georgia back to Texas now!  :)

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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

WW: Judy Garland

Today we picked Judy Garland. Here's Wednesday Wickedness!

1. "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else."
Have you ever realized that you were trying to be like someone else?

Yes, actually.  At this moment, I'm having deliberate self-discussion to avoid comparing myself to another, having to wrestle that self-doubt demon, writhing around, wanting to surrender and withdraw. I'm reminding myself that I am my own self that was good enough to get in the door, it'll be good enough to sit in the house and visit a while. 

I have recently been peeling back the layers of this very behavior -- the one where I discount myself because I'm not this-or-that, or my job isn't such-and-such.  I'm not jealous, but I get insecure in a hurry.

It's a learned a defense mechanism - the flight.  I feel inferior, less than, so I look to someone who seems regarded as more than.  I have settled into the second nature of being passive and agreeable, submissive and seeking peace.   Eventually, I will just fade away.  As a result, I've allowed myself to be discounted, insignificant and invisible -- the very thing I fear at my core.

Yet, I do that dog-chasing-his-own-tail thing where I whine about not having attention, yet I isolate so that no attention is given.

In order for me to be "seen", I am learning to use words at the time I feel emotionally compromised (thank you Star Trek for coining that term!).  I feel choked on the words and I'm painfully tactless, but I'm determined to get comfortable with it.  Determined!

For those who experience me day in and day out, I'm sure the actions I take, the changes in my usual behavior, will seem extreme.  I'm sure the not-so-passive behavior, the standing up for myself, will seem to be aggressive.  I suspect the pendulum swings to both extremes.

Somewhere between the extremes is a middle ground.

I will meet you there. 

2. "Behind every cloud is another cloud."
Are you more optimistic or pessimistic about things?

I'm optimistic, perhaps to a fault. 

3. "How strange when an illusion dies. It's as though you've lost a child."
Tell us about a time when you realized your perception of reality was an illusion.


The cellular biology of human life.

4. "I've never looked through a keyhole without finding someone was looking back."
Have you ever felt someone was watching you a bit too closely?

Yes.

5. "If you have to be in a soap opera try not to get the worst role."
Have you ever had a job that you were embarrassed by?

It's no secret that I put a high regard on a degree defining my ability (so dumb, I know...shhh!); so, with that said, most of the jobs I've had since I was in my mid to late twenties were embarrassing for me to acknowledge.  The job I have now, I am proud of, and still -- no degree.  (Not sure if that's something to preen about or not, but I will not deny that I'm doing pretty good for myself all things considered....)

The jobs I've been fortunate enough to have were not worthless -- they just weren't what I imagined I would have been doing at that phase of my life.  My embarrassment resided more in that I had not yet graduated college rather than the actual job itself being embarrassing.

6. 'In the silence of night I have often wished for just a few words of love from one man, rather than the applause of thousands of people."
Do you feel that you need a lover to make you feel “whole”?

Yes.

My truth is that I need more than a lover, and I feel more complete by the many lovers (friends, co-workers, family, God, etc.) I previously have had, currently do have and will some day have. 

I also need to intrinsically feel whole instead of extrinsically seek it.  By undervaluing myself, I allow others to undervalue  me.  My challenge is to open more fully, feel more deeply, as well as to embrace my weaknesses and bolster then, and finally, blossom my strengths and allow them to help myself and others.

Plus, I'm nearly convinced that we are never 'whole' while in this lifetime.

Plus plus, I'm fully convinced there is no shame in having many lovers.  We are called to be in community.  Why would we be involved in relationships if we were merely meant to exist, to suffer through this life, to just be a blob without purpose?  Makes no sense....

7. "If I am a legend, then why am I so lonely?"
Tell us about a time when you felt lonely.
I feel lonely every day.  But then again, I'm guilty of isolating.  Is it any wonder? 

Thankfully, I rarely feel alone.

8. "I can live without money, but I cannot live without love."
Would you rather be rich and alone or live with love from a lover?

I would rather live with love from a lover (ahem! lovers), no matter how temporary or fleeting it might be.  I am rich in blessings, and feel chained to this world by money & material things.  Jesus (and The Beatles)  got it right:  all you need is love, love.  Love is all you need.

9. "I try to bring the audience's own drama - tears and laughter they know about - to them."
Tell us about the last movie that you saw where you could feel the drama as though you were living it.

I saw "Red" over the weekend last.  It's a fabulous flick (I'm an action flick junkie.), and yes, I immersed myself into the movie (I want to be Helen Mirren's character!).  I do this with books, blogs, music.  My body and mind easily slip into the fantasy.

Oddly, though, I don't retain many details (too busy emoting!).

10. "I was born at the age of twelve on an MGM lot."
What was your life like at 12?

At 12, I was in the second half of fifth grade, and half of the sixth grade.  This time included a move from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, a six month jaunt to red-clayed Fort Rucker, Alabama, ultimately ending in Fort Bliss, Texas.  (I wouldn't leave Fort Bliss/El Paso until I was 27.  Momma planted some roots!)

It was one of the worst ages I've endured.  My family was in a bit of tailspin, my grades were not up to par (although they weren't bad), I was socially and physically awkward.  This was tom-boy year -- short hair, carrying a plastic comb and a velcro wallet in my back pocket, fighting with boys, fist fighting with girls. 

Twelve was tumultuous.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Autumn

Sapling's first Fall
Seeds Ready for Fall(ing)

Moon crater-ish ant homes

My Little One and I walked My Eldest to school.  On the way home, we observed Fall in full swing around us.  In Texas, it seems to arrive so much later than the rest of the country.  It seems like over a month ago I was reading tweets and posts about my northern friends raking their leaves, feeling the cold snap of fall and even experiencing snowfall already.

Fall is my favorite time of year.  It's a beautiful memory to have shared with My Little One, who is so curious about everything in nature.  (I'm glad I brought my camera, too!)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WW: Boy George

Today's Wednesday Wickedness is inspired by Boy George....

1. “I can do anything. In GQ, I appeared as a man.”
What have you done that really surprised people?

What have I done that's surprised you?  You're the authority on that....

2. “I suppose there is a lot of toughness in me.”
What was the last thing that happened that showed you how tough you are?

I don't ever feel 'tough'.  When I endure an experience, in retrospect, I can see my strength, but it's still far from 'tough'.  

Do you think I'm tough?

3. “I try to exist in a world where there is freedom of opinion, where you're allowed to make jokes. I don't want to live in some PC world where no-one's allowed to say anything.”
What do you think about being PC (politically correct)?

PC is political, and we all know how I feel about politics.  *grumble*

4. “I find it difficult to say this, but I'm quite a loving person and I've always been loving to my friends. In the long run, that pays off. I'm very interested in other people, and if you are, they're interested in you.”
Do you have an easy time making friends?

Yes, I do -- perhaps too easily.  I'm so, SO grateful when I am told that people find it easy to tell me their secrets or their feelings.  I feel very humbled by the trust people place in me.  

I was in the therapist's office yesterday morning and we discussed a myriad of topics relating to the human soul, the Divine, and how the Divine is human -- incarnation.  I was so wonky going in, anxious.  Coming out, such peace.  Serenity.  The calm that washed over me didn't settle the stir, but I walked out more validated and confident in my feelings.  I felt more organized -- still do.  I also feel still quite uncomfortable.  The point of all this ramble is that relationships are ultimate.  Undebateably, how people are with one another from how you interact with the bank teller, the flight attendant, the doctor, your lover...the CORE of our existence is to relate to one another.  Kindness.  Love.  Love.  More love.  So yes, I find it easy to make friends.  I'm ever thankful for each and every one of you.  Thank you for loving me.  xx

5. “Remember that I was out of the closet at the age of sixteen. My parents knew I was gay; I`d had to tell them.”
At what age and situation were you in when you “came out”, in the sense of true honesty, with your parents?

Wow.  Tough question. 

I sometimes wish I had more memories so my stories on the blog would be more interesting, but yeah, I have so few.  Maybe Mom will help me out with this one....

6. “People say things about me all the time and I get over it. I`ve had some appalling things told about me.”
What is the worst lie that was told about you that you felt compelled to respond to?

I don't get easily sucked into this kind of drama, thankfully.  If some lies were spoken about me, it's not my business -- UNLESS -- it questions my parenting.  Then I'll punch you in the zygotes with my stiletto.

7. “I'd rather have a cup of tea than sex.”
Are there a lot of things more important than sex to you?

These days, no.  hahaha  I am sort of exploring and settling into my sexual being-ness.  So, it's kind of on my radar pretty big these days.  But, while I explore, I'll enjoy a freshly brewed cup of hot lemon tea, a dollop of honey, please, tyvm.

8. “I knew style and content went hand in hand.”
What celebrity do you find that their sense of style speaks to you?

I've always thought Duran Duran captured fashion and used their music to display it.  They have a unique marriage with fashion.  

Many celebs have incredible fashion sense, but you know what?  I don't!  And I could care less about trends.  I like my classic lines, classic colors and classicjackie.

9. “In the '60s everybody wanted to be the Beatles or the Stones, in the '70s there were bands everybody tried to emulate, like Led Zeppelin. And I think in the '80s you had lots of bands that had quite individual sounds, ... '80s Rewind.”
What do you think about today's music? How does it compare to what you consider YOUR day?

I wishwishWISH I had more time to listen to more music, because there are bands and musicians out there that have INCREDIBLE talent, yet will never make it to mainstream radioplay.  I suppose they might prefer it that way....  Anyway, some of the guys at work keep me in-the-know and I'm glad for that.  Plus, there are a couple other 20-somethings that keep me poppin'.  

I grew up in the 80's and am one of the few people, aside for my Duran Duran love, is not much of an 80's music fan.  I'll listen to some of it, but mostly it's meh.  The radio plays the same songs overandoverandover again, so I'm indifferent to it, sometimes even cringe to certain songs like "Come On Eileen" and "I Ran".  *cringe*  <~~ see!!

10. “Most psychiatrists or analysts are a waste of time.”
What do you think about shrinks and psychologists?

I happen to be a big believer in therapy (surprise!).  With that being said, you have to find the right one!  You should feel uncomfortable each session, yet validated.  A person needs to experience that discomfort to feel alive, to feel growth, to relate and be in connection.  We can't be objective 100% of the time, so it's acceptable to see a person who is neutral and can help organize a set of circumstances, be a jumping board from which to take a leap (not be shoved!), or be just an ear.

Psychology is not an exact science; it's subjective.  Although measureables and norms exist, a person is comprised of such complexities that there's no way to create a box and make a person fit in it. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bucket List: Duran Duran - Vienna

It might be time for me to document stuff I wanna do (in case you wanna do it too, or we can do it together...).  So, I've had a mini Bucket List going in my mind -- never really organized it. The Blog is a good place, non?  OUI!

I want to eat at this place in Vienna some day!


Who is with me?!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Music Minute: Ray LaMontagne with Some Matt Sucich

This guy is amazing -- Ray.  If you haven't heard him, your life is incomplete.  Thanks to me, now you owe me your life!  :P

Enjoy him...he's good.  Like Damien Rice good.  Like hits you to the core good. 

Now Matt...he's no Ray, but he's kind of like Ray. 

And with Matt, well, there's a little story about me crushing on him (you know me...forever boy crazy!).  I first heard of him, somehow, through my reading of [redacted] and thought he was so hot, you know, kinda like [Dan] hot.  His hands and arms caught my eye first.  Then that ruggedness he has about his look at times. 

*swoon* 

At the time, I didn't know Matt sang and played guitar.  Then I found him on MySpace, subsequently on Facebook, then lo and behold, twitter!  It looks like I stalk him.  I promise I don't.  Promise!  But, I've read his blog, listened some tunes and I'm pulling for him.  I'd love to see him make it big.  Maybe he'll even come all the way to Texas.

In any case, enjoy the intimate lyrics, the music that is soulful and enveloping.  Lay down in it, cross your legs at the ankles, close your eyes, intertwine your fingers across your belly and just listen...and drift.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Horn of Plenty

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. 

My Little One has been fascinated with The Horn of Plenty.  We have one that my mother-in-law gave us last year.

Last weekend, we broke out some of the fall and Thanksgiving decor and she carried The Horn of Plenty around as if she were leading a parade.

Last night, I walked by the dining room table and noticed she placed The Horn of Plenty as the centerpiece....then added some additional items.

Cute.

Grateful for all of you this Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sleep Eludes Me

Doctor M:  How much sleep are you getting at night, Jackie?
Jackie: *shrug* Maybeeee....five hours, six.
Doctor M:  You need seven.
Jackie:  In a row?

I'll sleep when I die.  That's my motto for the most part when it comes to sleep. 

I *do* try.

And I don't have it as bad as some people I know.  I know folks who are so productive in their sleeplessness.  I'm always afraid I'll disrupt the household if I read, sew, clean, DO something.  And when I wake up, I can usually turn over and go back to sleep.  But then there are those times when I can't.  Lately, I can't.  My mind is busy.  Running.  Thinking,   Daydreaming (in the night).  Creating.  Wishing.  Wanting.  Wondering.  Praying.  Listening.  Convincing.

And the periods of erratic sleep are sometimes days or weeks, not months and months.  After this restless period, I'll get superdupertired and my body will just force my sleep into submission and then I sleep well for an extended period of time, meaning I start having a good-sleep phase that typically lasts longer than any sleepless phase I've experienced.

But seven hours?  That's pretty rare.  On average, I would say I get six.  

My Husband and I used to have a television in our bedroom.  I love falling asleep to watching television!  Somehow, watching TV settles my mind and body.  I guess when I get interested in what I'm watching, it focuses my mind so it's not scampering about on various bunny trails.  But having the TV in our room disrupts not only My Husband's sleep, it disrupts our communication with each other.  So we've moved the TV out.  Now, on rare occasion (like tonight), I'll pop a squat on the living room sofa and watch some TV in hopes of falling asleep.  But we have a giant flat screen telly that illuminates half the continent.  I've found that I'm more stimulated by it rather than soothed.  *hits head against the wall*  
Tonight, maybe blogging/writing will help.....while I "watch" Daniel Negranu and some hot dude named sexy, young hottie named Lex play poker against Doyle King and some other folks.

There are hopefully moments.  A couple of weeks ago, I went to bed at 10 p.m. and got out of bed the next morning at 10 a.m.  That felt really good in a way, but my back hurt, and I felt pretty foggy in the noggy (yes, noggy instead of noggin.  Just trying to be clever.  Did it work?).  I had to MAKE myself get out of bed that morning -- I really wanted to stay in bed all day, but my guilt got the best of me.  

When my kids tell me they want to be a grown-up, or ask me in objection to words of instruction I've just delievered to them, "Why do adults get to make ALL the decisions?!", I remind them that they will be a kid a shorter amount of time in life than they are adults; and while being an adult has fun moments, it's also filled with a lot of not-so-fun moments.  But, in the context of sleep, I'm sort of ready for them to be teenagers so we can all sleep late.  My guilt of irresponsible parenting won't rule my sleep.  Watch...when they are teenagers, I won't be able to sleep like a teen.  *shrug*  

Here's hoping, though...

Night-night.
xo

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

WW: The Don

Today we picked Donald Trump. Here's Wednesday Wickedness!

1. “A little more moderation would be good. Of course, my life hasn't exactly been one of moderation.”

Do you live your life by moderation or extremes?

I live moderately because I can't afford not to!  Haha! 

Ideally, I'd like to be able to have more money to afford a more robust education for each of my children and my nephew.

I have expensive taste and want more travel in my life.  Truth be told, I'd much rather have the money to travel than to possess.  The two collide in that, if I could afford it, I'd have a home in all my favorite locales -- nothing fancy, but something for sure.  Since I love water, I'd have boats -- yachts, sail, pontoon, etc.  So, resting my head at my home in Monte Carlo, then go to Ibiza to sail, or get on the yacht to watch holiday fireworks in the Gulf of Alaska...  yeah, that sounds pretty good to me.  In so far as having the most expensive jewelry, clothes, a very decorated home with hand-made items doesn't appeal to me as much.  I enjoy a nice purse.  And great shoes.

All that aside, though, there's value in living in moderation.  I never want to lose touch with reality or be so removed from people that my life has to be lived for me instead of me living my own life.  It's my belief that modesty allows for that.  It *is* possible to have *too much* money.  But, since I haven't been given the alternative to live and base my words in experience, I'll never know the difference. 

2. “All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me - consciously or unconsciously. That's to be expected.”

Have you ever thought someone was flirting with you in a work environment? What happened?

Oh, sure!  It's pretty obvious to me when a guy is flirting with me (women flirt with me, too).  I'm a big flirt myself, so, it's easy to spot.  As far as what happened, well, flirting is fun, so fun happened.  Because flirting exists doesn't mean something beyond flirting exists.

3. “As long as your going to be thinking anyway, think big.”

Have you ever “thought big” and you wound up crashing and burning?

I think big every day.  And I crash & burn every day.  :)

4. “Everything in life is luck.”

Do you believe in luck? If not, do you feel it all happens to us for a reason?

I believe wherever you are is where you're supposed to be.

5. “Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you're generally better off sticking with what you know. And the third is that sometimes your best investments are the ones you don't make.”

Have you ever benefited big time because you declined an offer, investment, job (Well you get the idea.)?

I read this question and the context doesn't seem to bend beyond the business realm.  I'm not career driven or ambitions.  I'm not business savvy, nor do I desire to be.  The hunger to advance, to invest, to allow money to rule my life just isn't in me.  So, no, I can't say I've benefited by declining an offer, investment or job. 


6. “I don't make deals for the money. I've got enough, much more than I'll ever need. I do it to do it.”

Tell us about someone that you know that has all the money they need.

In the strict sense of need, most of whom I know has enough, but they want a more prominent lifestyle so they make choices to live in a way that skews need vs. want.  (Dallas metro is kind of Keeping Up With The Joneses-ish in case you haven't heard....)

7. “I have made the tough decisions, always with an eye toward the bottom line. Perhaps it's time America was run like a business.”

Do you think running your country like a business would be a good thing?

I abstain from answering this question because politics exists in business and business exists in politics.  I have fierce opinions about them that are (1) not worth my time to express, (2) not worth your time to read, (3) apathetic at best, (4) ill-informed.  So, no sense spouting off on subjects where I am actively choosing to play ostrich.  I'll stay in denial and play the ignorance card until I have the energy to give a crap about it.

8. “I try to learn from the past, but I plan for the future by focusing exclusively on the present. That's were the fun is.”

Do you live in the past in any way?

Sometimes I do.  I look back to my days in El Paso and smile at the simplicity there.  Here, in Dallas, it's an Act of Congress to have social time with friends and family.  The city is so huge and there is a litany of events from which to choose -- it's almost overwhelming.  I miss being able to drive over to a friend's house to see if they wanted to go to the mall for a while just to be together.  I didn't need to call ahead, put the whole thing on my schedule, log in an address on a GPS, so on and so on.  

But, Donald has a point here -- focusing on the present does somehow allow for more fun.  I think this goes back to how I'm not much of a fan of the restraints of time (watches, schedules, etc.).  Worrying about what I'll be in 40 years today is a downer and overwhelming to me.  It is definitely hard to balance fun with responsible living, though.  I'm still a work in progress on that.

9. “If you're interested in 'balancing' work and pleasure, stop trying to balance them. Instead make your work more pleasurable.”

How are you at balancing work and pleasure?

God's blessed me with a good job and good employer.  I work in an environment that's work hard, play hard.  And the people with whom I work are solid, talented, and fun.  We have golf tournaments, catered food regularly, department outings, holiday celebrations, company-planned and paid happy hours, sporting events, the occasional tickets given to pro sports games/events, etc. 

More fun in my life would have to include the luxuries of time and money so I could travel more by myself, with My Husband and/or as a whole family.  Seems there's never enough money.....the more I make, the more I seem to need.  Frustrating. 

10.“Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.”

Tell us about a time that you won the battle but lost the war.

Won the battle but lost the war?  Gosh...  *thinks*

I think I'll leave that alone and go watch "True Lies" which is actually airing at 3 ayem on Thursday but this post is actually posting at 9 something ayem Wednesday...before the Thursday.  *wink*

Monday, November 08, 2010

The Jerry

I'm not surprised....

And now....



I have nothing clever to say.  Wade-isms and Jerry-isms are a hard act to follow.  Click here for a giggle.  <~~~ This all went down before it went down.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

WW: Dolly Parton

Oh!  My!  Goodness!

I loved Dolly Parton as a kid.  One year for Christmas, I even received as a gift a Dolly Parton barbie doll, anatomically correct!

So this week, THE Dolly Parton is featured as the inspiration behind WW....

1. "I hated school. Even to this day, when I see a school bus it's just depressing to me. The poor little kids." What was your worst year in school? Why?

I think sixth grade would have to be my worst year in school.  Half the year we lived in Alabama, so I attended a brand new school after coming stateside from Hawaii.  My dad was stationed in Alabama for only six months, so I didn't make many lasting friendships.  As I recall, those six months were also tumultuous in my family, so between home life and school life, I was pretty miserable.  Plus, it was so hot in Alabama! And that red clay it's so famous for is extremely hard to get out of clothes!

Academically, I "earned" my first C.  It was in math (never a strong subject for me).  I was terrified to go home and show my report card.  I had always be an all A or all A-B honor roll student until then.  To be honest, I don't clearly remember how my parents reacted to the report card.

After that six month Alabama stint, Dad was stationed in El Paso, Texas, where I entered yet another new school in the middle of the year.  Generally speaking, I adjusted well socially moving around, but entering any new school in the middle of the year is so anxiety-ridden!  I wore a dress the first day, and the girls made such fun of me for that.  I cut my long hair and started dressing tomboyishly, acting 'tough'.  I even got in a fight with another girl.  I had only one friend at that school:  Maria who loved to draw horses (and she was excellent at it, too!).

2. "I still close my eyes and go home - I can always draw from that." Tell us about YOUR home.

Well isn't this a tricky question for a military brat!

I think I've written about this before...too lazy to find the blog and hyperlink to it....so forgive me if I'm not exactly consistent (but I trust you will find that I am pretty consistent).

Anywhooooo...

Home is kind of two, well, maybe three places for me.  First place is always church, God's House is my house.  Second home is where my life is, which is here in Dallas with my husband and kiddos and all the silliness of our lives.  Thirdly is The Ranch.  One of my dad's sisters and her husband are ranchers of black angus catttle, mohair goats, and sprawling, lush, west Texas ranchland.  It's quiet.  It's country.  It's isolated.  It's a little slice o' Heaven on Earth.  Whenever we were stateside & could get there, my family went to that ranch at Christmas and during the summer.  And now, when I look back at what "home" is, I think of The Ranch because it's the one place I saw most growing up, where we returned to a same place. 

When my father passed away, my aunt invited me to come whenever I wanted.  I've been a couple of times in the approximate 10 years Daddy's been gone and I cry leaving.  A part of me so wishes I could have a little piece of that little piece of Heaven on Earth to call my own someday.  I will always have the memories, though, and that makes me smile.

3. "I'm not going to limit myself just because people won't accept the fact that I can do something else." What have you been told that you couldn’t do, but proved them wrong?

This was in a different meme, as I recall.  Go fetch! (Again, feeling a little lazy tonight....)

4. "I'm old enough and cranky enough now that if someone tried to tell me what to do, I'd tell them where to put it." What was the last incident where you were told what to do and were insulted?

I don't recall anything recently, but one incident jumped right out at me!

I was married once before.  My ex-husband and I ran in a large social circle -- lots of couples -- mostly borne out of my ex-husband's job.  My ex and I were on our way to watch some Cowboys football at the home of a couple I'd not yet met.  Entering their yard from a gate (as opposed to going to the front door, knocking and going through the house to the backyard), we get there, and the guys are all outside drinking and the grill is billowing smoke, meat smell is floating through the air.  My ex introduces me to the Man of the House and he smiles and tells me, 'why don't you go inside with the rest of the ladies'.  It wasn't a question.  It wasn't a suggestion. It was an order. 

No one had ever treated me like that before!  No man had ever made me feel so female in an inferior way!  I looked at my ex and he knew that I wasn't happy about what was just said to me and in the way that it was said.  But, because I'm a polite girl, I didn't go crazy about it.  I smiled and stayed outside for a while.  Then, when *I* was ready to go in, I did. 

Over a period of years, the friendship with this couple was strong, fun and I really miss them a lot.  Whenever I think of them, I always have fond memories and smile.

5. "If you don't like the road you're walking, start paving another one." Have you ever reinvented yourself? How?

Hmmm...."reinvented", in my mind, suggests something fairly dramatic such as if you're a guy, you cut off your penis and try your best to be a woman.  But, I guess if cutting long hair short counts, then yeah, I've done that.

6. "If you talk bad about country music, it's like saying bad things about my momma. Thems fightin' words." Is there a type of music that you hate?

I will try to listen to all music.  The music I stay away from will lyrically carry themes of violence, hate or disrespect

7. "It's a good thing I was born a girl, otherwise I'd be a drag queen."  Have you ever crossed dressed for Halloween or just for the hell of it?

I've cross-dressed, sure.  One Halloween I was a soldier.  Growing up in the 80s it was en vogue to be androgynous or even look male as a female. 

8. "My weaknesses have always been food and men - in that order." What are your weaknesses?

Dolly and I are cut from the same Coat of Many Colors.  Food and men. 



9. "The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." Tell us about something that you did that required patience, but was worth it.

Child birth. 

10. "We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails."  When was the last time you made a major change in your life?

I might be overdue for one, actually....

I guess when I attempted last year to break a sugar addiction and clean up my food a little bit by doing a month-long juice fast was pretty drastic.  My food's a lot cleaner, but I have a loooong way to go!  And I'm still loving sugar but not nearly as enslaved to it as I used to be.