Monday, January 31, 2011

A rolling stone...

so this weekend Phillip and I ("and I" is a term I use loosely as I did very little but cry hysterically as he busted his ass) moved the majority of my life possessions that were not already at his house out of my "marital property" and into his garage.

Excruciating. good word.
I pretty much melted down in the Uhaul and heaved sobs into a box of stuff.
a truck full of pain.

I don't remember feeling that much pain since my miscarriage in 2002. Seriously awful.

Its a somewhat delayed pain as we've been separated for a full year so this moment...this truck of pain, has been in the wings so long that I kind of forgot it was there.

After much objecting I agreed to go to a time out in the chair and watch a violent (at my request) movie. Not sure why I put up such a fight. I could barely stand up under the weight of that garage full of MY LIFE. But I felt so guilty and so useless and so stupid and ashamed there among the boxes and inexpensive furniture and large baskets of chaos that so accurately mirrored what my life was like during the time that I filled that basket up with shit and junk mail and phone chargers and all manner of useless bullshit. I guess I thought I was being so helpful, sprawled out there over a box of my great grandmother's buttons mixed with beauty supplies and my collection of cassette tapes, literally wailing, that I refused to go. He literally peeled me off a box and physically maneuvered my useless flesh into the house.

I was freezing for no reason. I covered myself in blankets and literally shivered and trembled for a couple of hours.

I have never allowed myself to be this vulnerable in front of another human, except my ex, during the aforementioned miscarriage. It was pretty enlightening to see myself without all the walls I had built up. There is so much introspection that I could write about right now, the head spins.

You know how I am always saying I'm tired of being strong? Well I got my little vacay this weekend. Strong? nope, not here. not today. And I'm so grateful. I've never felt so good feeling so rotten.

I am breathing in and out today without reminding myself to.

I have temporarily stopped crunching numbers in Excel to calculate the outcome of my life.

When I'm always "talking", God can't get a word in edgewise. I posted about "letting go" months ago. I need to practice what I preach.

But standing in a Uhaul full of hefty bags, boxes, childhood memories and personal belongings removed from the house where I brought home my babies, and spent most of my marriage, for better or worse, letting go was very hard.

I am just trying to be in the moment. Because even tomorrow feels like too much to figure out. One foot in front of the other. A rolling stone gathers no moss.
Sloths do though. that has no meaning. I just think its interesting that an inanimate object such as a rock, actually has the moss advantage over a living creature. Again, totally random. idanno.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Unwritten

you know that book I keep threatening to write?

"waiting for January"

*shrug* it makes all kinds of poetic sense to me.

talk amongst yerselves.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Three Things

I've been reflecting a lot lately. This time of year seems to demand it for whatever reason. I am very sad and have a two-ton heart the last few days. Looking back, I was the same way last year at this time. And it did get better.

What do I have now that I did not have last year at this time: more independence, a job, love, peace of mind (on a good day), and many more friends than I was aware of.

There are 2 things that come to mind, no...three, that I have learned in the last year.

1) how to meditate. I struggled with this concept and task for years. as you can probably tell by reading my blog, I have pretty busy mind. I type these funny little words about 80wpm. Imagine how fast they swirl through my head... so the idea of being still...very still...and very quiet INTERNALLY is just like a laughable thing to me. OH yeah I can sit still. and while I'm sitting still I will be mentally balancing my budget, planning a menu, thinking about a kid issue, making 10 mental lists of things to do and people to call. But I found out you have to be MENTALLY quiet. WTF? how is that possible!? is. and once I discovered it, it was amazing. I have some really personal stories I could share with you about it. You might think I'm nuts but frankly, we're all past that now aren't we?

Let me start out by stating that meditating can work for any religion or non religion. Its about quieting the human flesh and mind so that whatever your higher power is can connect with you. If you don't believe in God, meditation will serve as a way to hear your inner voice, your instincts, your intuitions, your real, unmasked feelings.

When I meditate, I am seeking to come into contact with God, the holy spirit, and whomever else He might bring along for me. I do totally believe in Angels. I don't know exactly how they work or what they can and can't do, but I KNOW that I have feel the work of my angel(s) in the recent months. sometimes as soon as I ask for it. If you are able to connect with your angel, or an angel or whatever you believe, I find them to be very responsive and communicative. Are we in crazy town yet? yes. good.

OK so in one set of meditations I was seeking to just feel God's presence and peace. I was taught how to meditate using fire, water, earth and air and I focused on each of these things in turn. First with a candle and just focusing on my breath (fire and air). Then I tried to imagine myself floating in the water. Well I love the water so this seemed easy. No. When I was floating, a shark would try to eat me. So I'd then imagine myself in a boat. Well the shark ate the boat too. damit. By the time I got into a boat big enough for me to feel safe, I felt totally disconnected from the water. so lame. and frustrating. so finally I combined my earth and water together. I felt very connected and safe on the ground, in my meditation. So I sat on a pier, with my feet in the water. there were no sharks. I let my nose be filled with the smell of wet dirt, and moss, and orange blossoms and fresh rain.

I sat there with my eyes closed and I felt tears stream down my face because was so relieved to have overcome my fear and reached that point.
So I continued breathing deeply and as I did, I felt myself floating upward. I had tried this before but my thoughts would distract me and i was never able to achieve it. It sounds simple, to just imagine yourself floating. But it wasn't easy for me. I had a lot holding me down, apparently! I floated up and over the lovely scene and lighted on a rock. It looked a lot like Shell Beach on this one rock where I perched for hours as an 18 year old determined to capture a picture of a wave crashing on a rock. anyway, I was met there by someone. I couldn't tell you if it was a man or woman, though it felt male. It gave me its name, and I remember it now. I googled it later and this nonsense name it gave me actually means something biblical in some weird asian language. weird.

Anyway, this being, it seemed to me, was my angel. We stood overlooking the water on the rock. He made it clear to me that he understood my fear of the water and that we were going to try to work through it. (I believe the water, in this case, is my real feelings about things. not the feelings I blather on about...the real ones that I'm often afraid to admit.) So I felt total peace and comfort with this being, who we'll call "Al".

Without speaking, Al instructed me to write down the things that were bothering me and he handed me a notebook. At this point, my meditation was on auto pilot. I was not day dreaming and i was not exerting much effort, it was just happening. My breathing was very slow and steady.
I had to consciously write the words that I needed to let go of. One by one i wrote these things down and Al took them and crumpled them up. then he handed them back to me and instructed me to throw them into the water.

MONEY, I happy heaved into the waves. HEARTACHE, the same. and so it went. But there were a couple of items that I could not let go of. You know the ones. the ones you pray about and hope that God will magically make it all better. Well imagine that God is trying to take it from you but you won't let it go! That was what these things were. Al put his arm around me as I sobbed and clutched the rumpled pages. I became consciously aware that I, sitting on my candle lit bed, was also crying a lot. One by one he coaxed me to let go of these things and throw them into the water, and I did.

I can not even begin to tell you what I felt after that meditation ended.

My meditations since are much simpler but I now can much more easily go to the quiet place inside me and connect with those issues that used to scare me. I cry easily and sometimes Al is there. sometimes he's not. But its always amazing.

So that was a long way of saying that I have learned how to meditate!!

2) I have learned how to receive. I give pretty readily. But leaning on people, asking for help, needing someone else...those are not at all easy for me. I am fiercely independent. I am very loyal. I am extremely stubborn. And I have a hard time letting people help me. I've been forced to. But I also readily seek the comfort and help of my friends now.

3) I am learning how to forgive myself. Forgiving others has always been pretty easy for me. Maybe I'm a doormat, Idanno. But I will readily forgive someone for hurting me, taking advantage of me, etc., and then proceed to, for YEARS, harass myself and flog myself and hate myself for allowing it to happen. I am learning how to say "I have done the best I can".

and now, after writing all that, I totally need a xanax, a hug, and a vacation. I'm so damn tired.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

well said, Jackie.

“I have been through a lot and have suffered a great deal. But I have had lots of happy moments, as well. Every moment one lives is different from the other. The good, the bad, hardship, the joy, the tragedy, love, and happiness are all interwoven into one single, indescribable whole that is called life. You cannot separate the good from the bad. And perhaps there is no need to do so, either.”--Jackie O

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 2 of Kelly Appreciation Celebration

Did I mention that I DID officially interrupt T12DOBD around day 8? The whole effing thing is being rescheduled to February. January is just an accursed month for my birthday. damnit.

anyway, in keeping with my resolution to recognize my own strengths (yesterday my strength was "strength". I'm that original) today I would like to recognize in myself the fabulous sense of humor that I have been given. I was born with some, Thanks God. And I learned a lot, thanks Mom and Dad and Mike. and then I learned more, Thanks Paul and Henry. And then I learned more, thanks pain and life in general.

I seriously couldn't cope without humor. Like the irony in that there statement? I seriously need humor. see how clever I am?
behold. funny girl.

that's all I got today. I only took ONE xanax today because of excessive nervous divorce energy.

Monday, January 24, 2011

On friendships and divorce and UNresolutions

I have been really struggling with the divorce issue the last couple weeks. "the other party" (should I refer to him as TOP? how not snotty of me) has stirred up some very negative emotions and made what was a simple and amicable process pretty freakin icky. So after crying until I bout threw up on my daughter's birthday, thanks TOP, I did a lot of praying and I reached out to my circle of friends who I know will pray FOR me.

I started to feel better the next day, though I could barely open my eyes for all the crying. My whole body hurt. My heart, *literally* hurt. I was incredibly exhausted.

There are friends and then there are friends. One such friend who reached out to me last weekend is someone whom I have seen very little of lately, due to no good reason except the chaos of life and she is also going through a divorce. She's a tough cookie with a killer sense of humor and a lot of street smarts. She, like me, can tell me she'll pray for me and then crack a joke with the f-word in the next breath. Kindred spirit. She asked to get together with me and I said blah blah blah tired, blah blah, kids, blah blah blah. She basically said, "just do it".

I visited with her and my spirit was totally renewed. I felt UNhelpless and UNscrewed and UNmiserable. I had hope and felt stronger.

THAT is the power of friendship, but female friendships in particular.

Today I felt "OK". Baby steps. One day at a time. One little tiny thing at a time.

I came home from work today and had some free time so I started looking for daily encouraging email subscriptions etc. I subscribed to several daily email thingies with uplifting messages and whatnot. I looked into divorce support groups at local churches.

And I vowed to tell myself one good thing each day. Here. That means you should see a blog entry daily and it should contain all the usual candor, humor, and pithiness, and an added bonus of a positive self affirmation. all together now...*hork*.

Its my blog and I'll barf if I want to!

So here is today's.

I AM strong.

sometimes I don't want to be. Sometimes I resent it. Sometimes I don't really feel it. But I AM strong.

that's all I have for today. short and simple.

Its 8pm and I'm going to take a hot bath and go to bed early, because I neeeeeed to take care of myself.

Diva Love,

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Baby Girl

Mandy turned 3 this weekend. The binky fairy came and she said good bye to the binky forever. The binky fairy, in exchange for the many binkies mandy gave up (and the binky fairy takes them to babies that need binkies) gave her a very cool barbie. She has several now and they are connected to her at all times. Its very cute.

Love you baby girl.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tyler Durden, lost in the woods on a snowy evening...(mixing metaphors is fun)

I'm having a difficult time being gentle with myself today. this week. at all.
I feel a bit like Tyler Durden. I am Tyler Durden's overwhelming sense of guilt. I am Tyler Durden's self esteem in a blender. I am Tyler Durden's heavy feeling of utter and colossal failure. I am Tyler Durden's inadequacies. I am Tyler Durden's Karmic lessons. I am Tyler Durden's lonliness. I am Tyler Durden's fists, pummeling his own flesh.

I did finally reach one comforting thought.

I have been just trying to survive. Not thrive, not grow...though that happens regardless. I have just been trying to keep a house, keep the lights on, keep the kids OK. I have just been trying to keep gas in my car, food in my frig, and blood in my veins. When I got to a point where I could not really see how I was going to do those things, I made some decisions. They didn't all turn out great. But when you are in survival mode, nice easy pretty decisions aren't easy to come by.

When you are lost in the woods, in the snow, and the sun is can do 2 things: you can stay put, and risk freezing. Or you can wander off looking for firewood, help, a cave, the main road, a village etc., and risk freezing. I did what I felt I had to do. Has it delayed or sidetracked my rescue? maybe. But I had to do something.

Being a human pretty much sucks. I'm over it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Birthday

Of all the 7 year old son was the most outstanding birthday companion. We stayed home from school/work because he's had a bad ear ache. We didn't do anything special. I slept (uh, depressed sleeping) and he played Xbox for a long time. But every time he saw me he said Happy Birthday. And he woke me up with the birthday song. he doesn't know that my mom used to wake me up with the birthday song. and he added "happy birthdaaaaay to my beautiful maaaamaaaaa"

so great.

the rest of the drama. heavy heart. argued with my dad, and we NEVER argue. I wallowed in the feelings of being an utter, total, colossal failure who has screwed up her whole life beyond recognition. And as I typed that my daughter just coughed until she threw up on herself at 10:30pm. yay.

Cliff said "mama, I'm sorry. You shouldn't have to deal with this (meaning, barf) on your birthday".

she sat up at 10:47pm and said "mama, I coughing on my arm...all by myself".

I was a little confused but I think she was proud of herself for covering her mouth. awwwwww.

"oh peanut, that's great. lay down and go night night ok?"

"ok mama"

weird. LOL

I adore my babies

Monday, January 17, 2011

The voices are back

yeah bite me. no not those voices.
That naggy little voice in my heart telling me things I need to be doing with my life.
There was a mania, of late, which you probably noticed by the 943 blog entries in 2 weeks time. I was depressed around the holidays, because of divorce and family stuff and the inherent disappointment that goes with the anticipation of holidays. No matter what I try to do to keep that disappointment at bay, it creeps up on me. I try to make Christmas less material and more spiritual, I try to have traditions and memorable things for the kids. But somehow I still missed the mark. Maybe my problem is that I judge myself too harshly.

anyway, I was depressed. Then the mania started building. Perhaps to cover up the underlying nerves about my birthday (see post of 12DOBD. this would be a good time for tags, wouldn't it. hmmm.)
Perhaps its excitement for the new year and the things ahead of me.

I am a bundle of nerves lately. This is in part due to tense relations with the ex. Its also in part due to tense relations with all things in my present, money not being the least of it. I will not let money define me, I tell myself. Meanwhile, I have no ability to pay for anything at the moment. But I am above these earthly things, right? right! I don't neeeeeed money. I just need love. I have evolved beyond letting my bills and worries define me. Right? RIGHT! And yet, there I am, in my highly evolved skin, shaking all day long like I'm in Junior High and scary spikey blue haired punk girl with matching spikey ring just cornered some kind of crazy adrenaline rush but without the skydiving woo-hoo part.

But I press on, making wild lists and wishes and dreams in my head. smiling and laughing and singing. and pretending. I'm evolved. oh yes I am.

Then today, something brought the pendulum back to the middle. The story to the right. Joanne. You can read it. It smacked me in the face, like it does most everyone who reads it. My friend Jenny, the one who should really have a blog, knows her through a friend. We were discussing how this made us feel very humbled and like we hadn't done nearly enough with the time we'd been given.

Well I only this last year heard the whisperings of my calling. I shushed them. Shhhhhh, I'm having a freakin life crisis right now. They continued. Riiiing Tookie tookie!! Riiiiing Tookie tookie.

this is your calling, calling. I'm sorry, I can't take your calling call right now, I'm having a nervous breakdown and trying to figure out how to live from day to day. Please call back when I can provide basic needs for myself. Thanks. Beeeeep.

But they've been there. Once in awhile I get a nice little nudgey confirmation. Subtle.

This woman brought this up again for me. I can't tell you how its all connected but in my brain, it is.

So today, I did the most ridiculously tiny tiny things to reach toward this nebulous thing I feel I'm supposed to do. It gets clearer from time to time. I am open to receiving the voices. Its just that it...oh idanno...scares the shit out of me...


Its day 3 of 12DOBD. But I think we're skipping day 3. No wait, we're not. Cuz I'm getting a massage today. and I accepted the ring tookie tookie call today. so that's a good day.

So why am I crying??? I can't cry!! There is a room full of professional people to my left in a glass conference room!!!!


I cry when something resonates truthfully for me. In counseling, I would wrestle with a question or a problem and we'd start just throwing out random stuff, that of course wasn't random at all. And one of the things would make me cry. bingo. That's the one. Door #3 bob, the door with the kleenex dispenser built in...that's my door!!! Let's pick that scab behind that door! woohoo!!

I used to cry, even as a young child, at certain hymns. I know that it was because certain lyrics spoke to me on a deep level. How many 9 year olds cry at Beautiful Savior? Or at My Father's Eyes? How many 30 year olds still cry at Jesus Name Above All Names? I still do.

so the pendulum rests for the moment. I needed it to. My enthusiasm and pretending was kind of exhausting.

The Child support money appears to be in route. Still not in my very very lonely bank account. Still can't pay for daycare, or annnnnnything else. But it should come any day. tomorrow if I'm lucky. We'll see.

In the coming months it is my prayer that I will be able to use this new stability to get my act together, to answer my ring tookie tookie more fully, to pay back some wonderful people who've saved my ass in 2010, and to give to people from my heart.

Crap I'm crying again. No more posting for me today!

damnit. damn stupid authentic shit. argh.

Listen to your voices today, friends.

-The Diva

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Twelve Days of Birthday, explained

I love my birthday. Every year I look forward to it like a child. I'm turning 38 next week and I still look forward to my birthday. Every year feels a little better. Some years have sucked, but I know that I am growing.

Many years, my birthday has sucked. Funerals, partners and friends who don't come through. I tend to get in trouble with my expectations. I try to keep them in check. My mom didn't go out of her way for my birthday but she always made the day special. She woke me up with a birthday song and some ooey gooey mom love. She always, every year, got me a champagne cake from Smith's Bakery (a local bakery that is well known for a few items that are unbeatable in their yumminess and have not been duplicated anywhere, ever). Even still, she usually gets me a cake. I love it and look forward to it so much.

One year I got 2 cakes because someone actually chose to acknowledge my birthday. I loved having two cakes! I froze one! it was perfect when I pulled it out as a gift to myself a month later.

so there can never be too much birthday.

A couple years, when something really crappy happened on my birthday, I moved my birthday. In February, My brother, grandmother, mom and dad, all have their birthdays consecutively, with a one day gap. February 12th. So occasionally I use February 12th as my birthday. Its still within the Aquarius time period so I feel secure in celebrating my birth there. Yes, that is tongue in cheek. I may add a birthday in October just to spite myself because I can't fancy myself a scorpio in any way. Its a birthday. I don't care if it falls on National Scratch Your Butt Day.

The 12 days of birthday arose from a need for me to drag my birthday celebration out as long as possible. It also allowed time for certain people to redeem themselves in case they blew it. They never did redeem themselves, however, the extra time gave me the opportunity to do something for myself.

So the twelve days of birthday, sometimes abbreviated as "T12DOBD", begins 6 days before and extends 6 days after my actual birthday. However, I exercise the right to make it any 12 days I like. I could start it on my birthday and extend it out 12 days if I wanna. Why? Cuz its my birthday. damnit.

So on day one of T12DOBD this year, I threw myself a party and invited a bunch of my friends. Much tequila was consumed and I had a fantastic time. Day 2 was set aside for recuperation, but turns out I'm pretty hearty. I laid around in bed all day and did absolutely nothing. Then I made a fabulous dinner for me and the boys.

I'm watching various TV shows and still doing not much of anything.

Day 3 I have to go to work and I may not like it much. So day three may be moved to day 4, thereby extending the days out one more day.

See how that works?

And she cooks...

Look, I can food blog too! (which is what my friend JENNY L should be doing!!! ahem!!)

When I was pregnant with Amanda I became obsessed with finding the best Mac N cheese. I made several varieties and tried various recipes. I made a fantastic version for Thanksgiving in 2007. But it cost a fortune due to all the 47 kinds of fancy, expensive cheese. I dubbed it "million dollar mac and cheese" and damn, it was good. This year I came up with a version of it that doesn't cost an arm and a leg and its fantastic. No I'm not going to tell you how its made. But you can look at the pictures and drool.

I will tell you that after trying the 2 methods: roux/bechemel and egg, without a doubt my favorite is the egg. The roux/bechemel version just doesn't work for me. I don't like using flour as a binder in any of my sauces, including my alfredo, which is the best I've ever had by the way. Alfredo with flour is just wrong.

I topped it with mashed croutons and...wait for it...a smattering of...shake n bake coating! yes. yes, I did. delish.

asparagus. beautiful, verdant, fantastic asparagus. The only way I will eat it is roasted this way. SO much better than any other way. The flavor is heightened and the crunch is still present as is the green color. Olive oil, salt and pepper on a cookie sheet in a 400ish degree oven for about 15 minutes.

These steaks were gorgeous. They were amazing. I marinated them, though it wasn't necessary, with butter, salt and pepper, thyme, a pinch of cayenne, and a tiny bit of onion and garlic.

As I was typing this out, I realized that I forgot to make the garlic-wine mushrooms to top the steaks!! This sent me into a rage, as this is the second time I've forgotten to use the effing mushrooms that we have in the frig to top steaks that we purchased specifically with the intent of topping them with mushrooms!! I asked Phillip to buy steaks for dinner so we could use.the.mushrooms! GAH!!!

I do not have a picture of the steaks cooks, cuz we got busy eating them and I forgot to take a picture! oops!

I even made these small batches of mac n cheese for the freezer. Look at the little baby size ones. so cute!!

and so, here ends the 2nd day of the Twelve Days of Birthday.

Behold, Glitter

If you are reading some of these posts that reference the appearance of the blog, and they appear to make no sense, that's because since I posted, I've changed the appearance, which means YOU do not check my blog often enough.

So, today, I added glitter. I actually almost changed back to a scrapbooky template but I worked too hard on this one. I decided it needs texture so instead of a solid background color, I would do an image. But it took me awhile to figure out where it belonged in the code, because I edited the HTML manually. Its tedious. I don't normally do tedious but fiddling with HTML is fun. In a mind numbing kind of way.

So I searched for images and found this red glittery one, and am using it because my friend Swistle suggested glitter to overcome the austere harsh look of the new blog. I agree and as we all know I love glitter.

Its not very sophisticated so I'm sure it will change but for now, its a nod to me, and my readers and its better than the other version.

OH and Post Script:

I since found a background that makes this post totally irrelevant. I love this background. The color combo is perfect and diva-esque. dig. you?

this was the glitter background though, in case you missed it:

Friday, January 14, 2011

She's got the look...

I'm still messing with the new layout. I have to admit I don't love the cold article-ish feel. I liked my journal-y feel. I can't put my finger on what is bugging me about this. I love the template/design. In fact, I chose this template because I liked that face up know...this one:

and in looking at it today I thought "I have a picture of me where my eyes/hair look alot like that". (And when I think these things I actually say the word "slash" in my head, in case you were wondering...)

so I found that picture (which by the way is named "meduckface.jpg". and I really like my hair color in that picture):

and cropped it:

and then I was playing with the placement of it and threw it up there.

Literally like within one minute of its placement, Phillip texted me "hey when did you put your face in your blog header? I like it"

"um, literally like 15 seconds ago. nice timing!"

so as I'm typing this I am tweaking the text but am lacking a program to do said tweaking so I'm downloading.

After hours of downloading the damn program...grrrr...I got the header changed. When I have time I will post a series of pictures showing the progression. But let me say that first it had the other cartoon face, and the whole layout was yellow. I hate yellow. I was able to tweak the background color to red and the border color to green. Cuz my email is redgreenhurricane. But the border made...Idanno. It just made my ass twitch. So I managed to remove the border, add the gray shading in the right column and got my header fixed with my program of choice. I think I dig it. Its still a bit too sleek and linear. I don't like linear. I like freeform. However, this does load nicely on the iphone. :)

Anyway, thoughts? Phillip, you CAN comment ya know. I mean, I know what some of your thoughts are, and other thoughts...well I have no idea...
Some of the thoughts I know of shouldn't be in the blog comments. But thoughts relevant to the blog would be appropriate.

and the rest of you, yeah, you. You Northerner that reads but never comments. And you, high school friend who is in blog reader stealth mode, and you, my mom's can comment people. really. I'd like to know you were here.

Why do I feel like the blog layout is too stiff? too...austere? did you guys like the scrapbook-y feel to the previous layout? Phillip said he thinks this modern layout suits me better. I agree. But its lacking warmth or personality or something. Well ok my big ol face is up there...that's pesonality. but you know...its not foofy enough. LOL

Alright that's enough. comment, damnit.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Relaxation is Stressing me out!

So I'm really tense from this money (no money, more accurately) situation courtesy of the State of California. I'm trying to shift my thinking so this doesn't consume me, ruin my week, and my birthday party.

So I'm reading over at Tiny Buddha dot comand found this technique. But I'll be DAMNED if I can figure it out.

I read it and re-read it, and now I'm stressed. Now I feel inadequate and stupid. Now I feel like I am in the 7th grade in Algebra class allllll over again and I desperately want to understand but I just can't. Now my brain is shutting down. Now I am completely disconnected and unable to give a shit. But I am still stressed out. And mad that this technique is written this way and has no picture. Now I am angry at the author. Now I really need to relax!!


(no, this isn't the pose. because clearly her hands are not in a V, or close to her chest under her chin. And frankly, if I had a picture of the pose in question, I would not be posting this rant, now would I?)


After posting this, I got a call that juuuuust made my day. please read that with drippy oozy sarcasm.
so backstory: Child support=case worker. child support payment MUST be made through California State Disbursement Unit=auto deduction from my ex's paycheck.
His employer sends money to state disbursement unit, SDU then auto deposits in my account. Last month from the date of payday to the day of auto deposit=4 business days. This month, payday was 12/30, today is 1/ sign of any money. Not a couple hundred dollars, mind you. Enough to pay a house payment, 2 cars, and alot of groceries. OK? Ok. So I called the SDU. Its the borg empire. There are no humans there. They have a uni-mind like the EDD (Unemployment Department). SDU knows nothing, has no sign of any money. Call the LCSA (Local Child Support Agency)they know nothing. I left a message for our Case Worker. She didn't call me back in 2 days. So I called my ex's payroll department. I didn't ask a single piece of private info, only if they had mailed the payment to sacramento. She was super sweet and said "yes on the 4th". Well as of 1/12 it really should have been there by now, even by snail mail standards.
so TODAY, my case worker magically calls me back. not to tell me anything good bad or otherwise, or in any way to respond to MY concern, but to tell me that the payroll department complained that I was harassing them.
Ok let's recap. They took a large sum of money out my ex/their employee's paycheck. They are supposed to mail it to the SDU so I can ...oh...SUPPORT MY CHILDREN...
and they have not mailed it or someone has lost it but I am harassing them? First of all I was SOOOO nice, and she was SOOOO nice, I am completely flumoxed!! Why wouldn't she just say "I'm so sorry, we can't give you that information"?? Turns out the employer has 30 days to send that money in, so maybe they mailed it on the 4th and maybe they didn't, but they aren't going to tell me. Can I just mention here, without showing my cards too much, that the slogan for this employer is "advocates for children"?

UM, I can't pay for my DAYCARE, food, or gas, let alone my daughter's birthday. Are you fucking kidding me?


There is no yoga pose that could unflumox, unpiss, or unstress me right now. Look, I'm making up words I'm so mad!


California, eh?

The state of California is giving me an ulcer. Waiting on my child support payment, a healthy sum of money...which is apparently lost in the mail somewhere between Bakersfield and Sacramento because no one has any idea where it is. Holy.shit. I have been counting on that since last thursday. Thanks California. Thanks for making sure I OWED taxes the year I was laid off. Thanks for being a pain in the butt about unemployment. Thanks for having no jobs available. Thanks for mandating that our child support payments go through your stellar system. And thanks for losing it.

I so want to be a Canadian today.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Solid Gold, baby

You have NO idea how excited I am to make this entry. You will also never understand why. Because I can't explain it.

For years, seriously...years...I have scoured the internet for clips of, VHS tapes on the black market of, any version of...SOLID GOLD...the 80's TV show that featured top hit songs and...the cheesiest hip thrusting, hair tossing, pas du bourre doing dancers EVA.

Today, I hit the jackpot on YouTube. I had looked before, but come up empty handed. But today, I found...a lot...of SOLID GOLD.
(that picture is Darnell. I remember her name because she had freakishly long hair that she frequently wore braided and then she whipped it around as she sashayed and thrusted and triple-hipped in her gold high heels to a Hall n Oates song. she did a move that we, at the dance studio, called "the darnell crawl" and I still use the term and the move in my choreography to this day.)

I am not exaggerating when I say that watching these clips makes me feel like I've taken a Xanax or 2. And it brings back so many is just...nirvana.

No one except my dancers will understand why these clips encompass who I am as a dancer and choreographer. Only my dancers would understand, after watching these, why pas du bourre is the cure to all choreographic ills. Hit a dead spot? Dancer's block? Need a transition? ah, throw a pas du bourre in there.

windmill arms

fan kicks

head rolls

hip rolls

triple hips

and hello...ROLL OFFS??? and down, two, three...and back boom boom boom...YES!

My friend Jenny, who for some ridiculous reason does not have her own blog, said this on facebook when I posted this today:

"I'm no dancer, but is that even dancing? It's seems to be a series of writhings and spinning ending in dirty looks and sinking to the floor?! I can't believe that was ever prime time and we were allowed to watch it! By the time you get used to the distraction of their outfits, the dance is done and is leaving me with the question, How did they make their hair wider than their hips?"

I both laughed and cried and shouted AMEN. It IS writhing and spinning. And its glorious. And set to the Pet Shop boys a few years later.

When I was a little girl I had these blue and white gingham checked baby doll PJs. I tied up the front (you know, where you take the hem and tuck it between your non existent boobs, cuz if you have boobs, you can't really pull off the 'front-tuck' without being arrested or suspended from something) and I hiked up the legs of my bloomers to mimic the obscenely high cut leotards of the Solid Gold Dancers...I hiked up my bloomers with GOLD HOOP EARRINGS. yes...yes I did. and then I PARADED and PRANCED and SHIMMIED through the living room and demanded that my mom and dad LOOKIT. Only Child much?

Ok so without further adieu, I invite you to please, please, these videos at YouTube

It is horror and joy all mooshed together. I just...I'm verklempt.

talk amongst yerselves. always wear french cut panties. Big hair should come back. And sequins are STILL awesome. Rad, even.

Gratitude. Not a cliche.

Alot of my blogger friends have some form of gratitude journal. I try to make it a point to be grateful every day. I struggle sometimes. not because I'm not grateful. But because in my former life, before the divorce and loss of job and all that crap, I was SO grateful for my life, and my job. I thanked God regularly for all of the blessings I had. And it was sincere. I thought, I guess naively, that if I was grateful for it, it was safe. Not the case, as it turned out.

So I am trying to learn to be grateful just for the sake of being grateful. Without fear. without expectation.

Today, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with gratitude. Phillip went to walmart to grab some pants for skinny-ass Cliff for school. After our nightly routines of bath and arguing with the network something er other (I'll let you figure out who did which, lol) I thanked him, with tears in my eyes. He said "for what?" and I said "everything". and I meant it. (He said "it was just pants" lol.)

It spills over into today. I am grateful for my beautiful and amazing children. Cliff is frustratingly "emo" and Mandy has apnea and a nasal-toned voice cuz of her ginormous tonsils and adenoids and she never stops eating, or choking...all related. Mandy is my mirror (minus the choking references), and Cliff is my daily reminder of his dad, brilliance and all. They are beautiful and perfect and I'm honored to be their mother, inept though I feel most of the time.

I am grateful for this job, for the ability to form a thought during the day and to gather myself together,and to blog when the moment hits me. (I type with furious speed so its not really alot of time, but its my daily smoke break sort of.)

I am grateful for freedom of all kinds.

I am grateful for honesty and truth and for people who are willing to work at finding those things within relationships.

I am so grateful for friendship. What a gift it is to have another person, or 2 or 3 or 4 or whatever to share your life with, your journey, a person who knows you, accepts you, corrects you, and loves you for who you REALLY are. Not the person you claim to be or want to be or say you are, but the person you really are.

I am grateful for the person God is shaping me into, and the lessons I have learned. I am grateful for God's faithfulness to me, although sometimes His plan is just downright annoying. I am grateful that He continues to make the best out of what I chose to do with my free will.

Happy Monday.

don't be alarmed, I'm sure this mushy crap will pass. Talk amongst yerselves...

new outlook, new life, new blog layout

Its only appropriate, ya?

I am still tweaking it and making changes. Its not as "special" as I would like. My previous layout was groovy but the codes changed and...well I had to update.

I need a daily blog design change that will automatically read my most prominent thoughts and create a layout based on the firing of my neurons. Today I would like, on the left... a bottle of Xanax, with a single pill laying next to it. Next to that, multiple scattered Starbucks cups. In the background, various images of a me-ish doing yoga, one with scissors held up in a threatening fashion and aimed at a photograph of a faceless man, and then just a lovely soft focus head shot of me.

or this

Hmmm...daily blog background. How does one do that? Without neural download...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Economy Soapboxing...

Finally, an article that makes sense and isn't all fluffed and spun.

This article about jobs on MSNBC is the first I've seen that tells it pretty much like it is: its an employers market, and they want it all for very very little.

Who can blame "them"? I want it all for nothing too. But at lease I come with benefits. teehee.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Perhaps too much coffee, or perhaps my nerve endings are on inside out...

Is now a good time to say that I am tired of the inference that because my marriage ended I did not work hard enough at it? Or that I didn't put him first. Or that I took the easy way out...oh that's a good one. I love that one. If this is the easy way then shoot me in the frickin head right now. Cuz I thought staying where I was silently suffocating and comfortably slipping into apathy and bittnerness and lovelessness and being able to pay the bills was much easier than this.

Is this a good time to say that I am tired of judgment, and tsking and whispering about "the d word"? is this a good time to tell you that if I indeed am a person utterly lacking in morals because I made this choice, which by the way resulted because someone else made alot of other choices, that the process in and of itself has been punishment enough and that really, a hug or a lunch or a high five for surviving or just a little human compassion and the benefit of the doubt would be really great?!

not every one who chooses divorce is Britney Spears. Not everyone who chooses divorce made that choice easily. not everyone who chooses divorce deserves the pain, even if they did make the choice.

I'll climb down off my victim high horse now. This saddle chaps my ass.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Drunk Posting

Did anyone catch the post I made and then pulled? LOL
I wasn't actually drunk. Just really emotional. If you missed it, then boo hoo. You should check my blog more often. :)

This New Year's Eve was the first time that I ever remember having a good time. Good movie, good food, good company, and then we actually had some quiet time to talk and reflect and be grateful for the good things that had happened this year, and a few moments to wish for even more in the coming year. It was nearly perfect. Nearly, only because we were at Cafe Med and not in Greece, Scotland, or France. Or Pismo. Hell I'm not picky. much.

This year has started with many changes, as last year did. Actually, every year seems to. 2009 started out pretty OK until March when I got laid off. I still mourn that event...sincerely. I am sad at the way it happened, the way I was treated, and the friendships that were lost. I was very confused in the months that followed...confused and crushed.
Once I navigated the gnarly channels of the Unemployment Benefits, things smoothed out a bit. I got Mandy out of full time daycare due to the expense, and started her in a morning program which we loved. Cliff started Kindergarten in August of 2009. I was glad to be there for him, and working was kind of off the table because of the gaps in the child care times. I was very depressed and slept alot. In the Fall of 2009 things started to be heavy on my heart. I knew that something was wrong and it wasn't just me being depressed. My marriage had been troubled deep down for a long time. We had worked though SO many problems, and were for all intents, pretty close and solid. But it felt very hollow. I felt used up. And I did not feel loved. I believe that I had up to that point made every effort that I could. And things did work. But the love...seemed absent. And that I could not fix. It didn't seem as though it was fixable, even when I communicated my feelings. So in the Fall of 2009 I had a lot of time to think, and I thought, and prayed and screamed and cried, and wrote and meditated (I learned how to meditate and it was life changing. I could never successfully quiet my mind before then.) and I researched and looked into myself deeply. I went on a spiritual journey that opened my eyes to many things. It was invigorating, even though much of what I discovered was sad.

In January of 2010, my spouse and I parted ways. We spent months being rather confused about it because we still cared. Although I was very sad, I was very certain that I had done the right thing for myself, and believe it or not, for my kids. The kids handled it in stride like little troopers. Everyone got along. We shed some tears along the way.

My unemployment benefits were about to run out in February of 2010 and I was in a panic. By the grace of God I found employment with a friend who was in a pinch a few days before my benefits expired. I have to be honest, I am not really a fan of God's "just in time" system. And we do not often get to see God's plan until much after the fact, if at all. In the case of working for my friend, at least a portion of the plan was visible. I shared with her my story about my separation and we were sad together about it. Then one day she came in and announced that she and her husband were separating too. I am not claiming that inspired her to do this! I would never want to be that kind of inspiration. But there is something to be said for timing. We gleaned strength and comfort from each other and banded together in girl power as we navigated a painful path. I was actually able to answer a couple questions for her, although her process went much more quickly than mine.

During that time I met someone. I wanted to meet people but I didn't expect to meet "someone" if you know what I mean. It started out simple. And then it got complicated. and then he tried to break up with me and I said "you're kidding right?" I knew we had something that needed to be explored but we were both head cases without exploration tools. So things continued off and on that way for awhile but mostly he made me really happy when we did spend time together. I kept my options open but I knew there was something there...

I met a few people while employed there that came to be of great service to me later. And it was a great stepping stone out of depression and back into the work force for me. A temp job came and went and my friend let me bounce back into my desk at her office. Something more stable came along and she needed someone with some things I couldn't offer her (bookkeeping specifically) so we agreed that when I took this temp job she was going to hire someone so no more bouncing. I hoped to not need to anyway.

My next adventure in temping was, frankly, hell. I will spare the details to protect the innocent and the bitchy. but it was AWFUL. It was a dreadful fit for me. I was on the phone with my friend Brian constantly whining and having some flavor of nervous breakdown. I remember walking through the parking lot on a break having a panic attack and him talking me through it. He did a lot to help me survive that job while helping me keep my self esteem in tact.

My "someone" (anonymity lifted, his name is Phillip!) and I were seemingly gaining a bit of ground and I got a "real" job in late September of 2010. It was an exciting turn of events. But the individual I worked for turned out to be a really unstable, wholly unpleasant, rude, yukky person. The office was filthy. We had inadequate supplies. They hated me. The feeling was mutual. I was sick to my stomach every day. I thought it was a virus. Strangely the day I walked out of that office for the last time, my stomach was all better. Back to the drawing board for a couple of months.

Phillip and I had a lot of time to grow very close during my unemployment stint this time around. It was really pretty blissful, honestly. Then things really clicked into place, the planets aligned, my aura balanced and love bloomed.

With love securely in my hand, it seemed the rest of my luck was changing too. I was sent on a flurry of interviews. Interviews are my forte. Anyone can look like anything on a resume, and while I have an excellent work history, my resume is just like everyone else's looking for a job. In 2009 and early 2010 I could not get an interview to save my life. In 2010 I lowered my "asking price", in spite of the wailing and gnashing of teeth that my ego made. It worked. I actually received several offers, most of them not do-able. Except one. It paid very little but I loved the office and the people. And just as I started to get my head around working someplace NOT stressful where the people LIKED me, I got another offer. Much more money, alot more driving, and a limited duration. After agonizing over the decision, I decided to take the new offer for more money. It seemed worth the risk.

It turned out to be very worth the risk. Because the temp place with the no money and fantastic people countered when I gave notice. And I got to keep my LOVEIT job for more money, and declined the more money but more stress job offer. It was a crazy week the week before Christmas.

And the new year passed in the most beautiful way. So here I am at the beginning of 2011 seeing more changes. I have a new job, a new love, and a new address.


I normally might feel like its premature to celebrate this or be too happy too soon, but this really does feel like the end of an arduous and painful journey. All roads have bumps, but the last 2 years were really excruciating. I found myself along the way, but was too depressed and stressed to be able to share myself with my friends.
Now I feel that I can look up, and look out...somewhere other than within myself. I feel so blessed. And I am so grateful to see this portion of the journey wind down. I have never had such a difficult 2 years in my entire life. Not even JUNIOR HIGH!!!! and if you know know the weight of that statement!

I am grateful for the love of my friends and family and for my new job and the opportunity to get back on my feet and back into my life. I am grateful for love, and for feeling loved, for the first time in a long long time. Thank you, Phillip, friends, family, for your love and support and prayers. Maybe you will see my face in 2011, instead of just my typed words.

May 2011 bless you all and may this beautiful string of luck continue!

-The Soapbox Diva