Monday, December 29, 2008

Fair Warning!

Me and the girls are going out tonight for a little karaoke and conversation!

And I'm taking my camera.......
....with brand new, fully charged batteries!

I might even shoot some video to post!

You've been forewarned!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Post-Holiday Musings

Christmas was really strange this year......actually, the strangeness started at Thanksgiving and has just continued on. It's really a mixture of things, I think. I've never been one to just "make it through" the holidays, but this year, I'm glad most of it is past me.

Between my unemployment at Thanksgiving and putting Christmas on hold until my brother-in-law is home from Kuwait, the holidays were just really different for me this year. I still went to my parents house for a few days and enjoyed seeing all my nieces and nephews, but I hope I never have another year like this year. I won't go into all the little things that amassed to make it a big let down so I'm going to blog about something I find very amusing!

If you blog and haven't checked out Site Meter, you should! One of the features I love about Site Meter is being able to see what words people enter in search engines that will land them on my blog. Most are benign, but some are a bit scary. Most of the hits I get from Google or Yahoo searches are from people who are looking up, "what is stelliform". I was delighted to find that I'm the first search result on google when one types this (probably has nothing to do with the fact that blogger is linked to google, right?)!!!! The second most prolific search result that will lead one to my blog is, "Coney I-Lander chili recipe". I don't have the recipe (oh, how I wish I did!), but many people love Coney I-Lander as much as I do and covet the much sought after secret chili recipe. Other searches that have brought people to my blog which I find amusing are, "is the universe sending me a message", "shag balls", "psycho girl" and "starlight manifesto".

I think I find as much amusement in cruising through my blog stats as I do reading my favorite blogs. Seriously......if you're blogging and aren't using a stat counter, you need to check it out! Not only will you get amusement from some of the stats, but you can finally determine how many "lurky loos" are reading your blog and not commenting.

AND while I'm thinking about it, here's a shout out to all the "lurky loos"! It's fine with me if you don't want to comment. I appreciate your stopping by to read the frivolous bit of fluff I send out into the blogosphere!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Sometimes there are no words.....
....and other times, there are only words.

Here are my words....interpret them as you will (but please don't dump on me for the language....this is what's on my heart).

Road block
cell block

Chock o block
cock block
block kick

block out
nerve block

Building block
butcher block
cinder block

Block letter
block buster
ball buster

Starting block
writer's block
head lock

Hip hop
non stop
mind fuck

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Simple Girl with Simple Needs

It's amazing how just knowing I would be returning to work has had such a healing effect on my emotional state. It's usually very easy for me to keep things at an even keel as far as feeling blue goes, but the past two months sort of proved otherwise. Don't get me wrong.......although I had some pretty dark days, my worst days were a picnic compared to other's brushes with depression.

Nonetheless, this entire week has felt like I was emerging from the abyss and it is such a good feeling to feel normal again!

So, to get to the actual topic of this blog, I want to share some of the simple things in my life that make it bearable and normal for me.

A job......that goes without saying, but I've modified how I look at employment. I don't need the moon.....just a place to work and enough money to cover my bills and modest living expenses. Having just a bit more than needed is nice, but I've learned it isn't necessary and it won't make me any happier, so I'm very thankful for what I have. Paychecks are a wonderful thing.

A home....I'm so thankful the new landlord is going to keep me as a tenant!

Friends.....people who are there for the good and bad are priceless gems. I'm fortunate to have a fantastic network of wonderful friends who would do anything for me. [And....if any of you ever need anything, let me know. I'm happy to return the favor]

Instant Messaging.....again, it's the small things that make my life bearable and instant messaging is one. I'm not much for talking on the phone and texting fills up my phone mailbox too quickly and I hate to delete messages, so instant messaging steps in and fills my communication needs perfectly!

Good food....I'm a foodie and I love a good meal. It doesn't matter if it's home cooked, from a nice restaurant or a little hole-in-the-wall dive. If the food is good, I'll be happy. Those who know me personally and have eaten with me know all about the Happy Food Dance! When I put a bite of good food in my mouth, I do a little dance in my's totally involuntary but it's the true sign that my mouth is happy and a happy, full belly will soon follow. [If you're interested in my Top 10 favorite place to eat, you can check that out HERE.]

Those are my simple needs. Today, at least.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Drumroll, Please...........

After 11 long weeks of unemployment, I'm happy to let everyone know I'll be re-joining the ranks of the employed next Monday!

I don't know what my exact job title will be, but from what I can tell, I'll be managing (or helping to manage) a small accounting office. It's certainly not the kind of job I ever imagined myself doing, but I'm so grateful for the opportunity.

Unemployment has really opened my eyes to lots of things I thought I was aware of and compassionate about already. No longer will I look at a homeless person and assume they just want to beg for money on a street corner in order to buy their next drink. Although I didn't have to give up my home as a result of unemployment, I came too close for comfort and it was such a scary thing! It only takes one bad break to start the ball rolling towards homelessness......and once you no longer have an address or personal phone it becomes just that much more difficult to secure employment......let alone unemployment benefits.

Last Monday I received 2 job rejections and found out my landlord had sold the house in which I live. The company who let me go was fighting my claim for unemployment and I didn't have enough money to pay my rent and bills for the month of was rock bottom for me. The person who has been my constant voice of reason throughout this whole roller coaster of unemployment took the brunt of meltdown.........he let me flip out and then he brought it all back to perspective by just saying, "breathe in, breathe out.....relax......nobody has died". Exactly! This poor guy has seriously spent 11 weeks of 8 hour IM conversations keeping me sane, keeping my spirits up, keeping me entertained, encouraging me and giving perspective when desperately needed. He should be made a saint because it wasn't a walk in the park! I will love him dearly forever because of his kindness and friendship.

I know I mentioned this in a previous blog, but all those who have kept the encouragement coming through this blog and on facebook.....Thank you so much!!!!!!!!! Those words seem so inadequate to express the gratitude I feel for the wonderful friends I have.......willing to take me to dinner, let me come over and just chill, sending me daily messages of encouragement and prayers.

I'm so blessed!

I'm so employed!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Four Secrets (well, soon to be FORMERLY secrets) About Me

My friend Jessica over at Fustian tagged me to do this meme. Well, she didn't just tag me, she challenged me to prove my worth and since lately, given my bad luck with the job hunt, I'll take any chance I can get to feel worthy for awhile.

Sheesh....this is going to be difficult because I'm really pretty honest with my friends. There are lots of things I could put that would surprise many of my readers, but not Jessica because she already knows about them. So, I'm going to have to go back many years to find something to reveal to her.

1. When I was in the 4th grade, I convinced all my friends that Mark Hamill, the actor who played Luke Skywalker, was my cousin. Not only did I convince my friends of this little scenario, but I also convinced my oldest sister, Julie, to write letters that were supposedly from Mark to show my friends as evidence. At the time, I didn't see it as a lie, it was a game of "how much can I make my friends believe?" Apparently I was so convincing, that 6 years later, when I was reminiscing about this with one of the friends I had convinced, she was floored to find out it wasn't true.......she still believed me after all those years. I guess I never did go back and clarify the situation to everyone......oops!

2. I am obsessed with all things 9-11. Especially documentaries and movies. I own so many of them and I have watched them over and over.....even the wacky conspiracy theory dvds that are out there. I've even read the NYFD survivor's transcripts of their debriefing interviews......I seriously don't know what my fascination is with this, but I really don't tell many people because it seems so morbid and isn't, really, I just find it all so incredible that I have to read about it and watch it over and over.

3. When I was in the 6th grade, I had a huge crush on Ricky Melendez of Menudo. Well.....there's not much to add to that. The fact that I know the name of one of the most obscure members in the band's evolving line up should speak volumes.

4. I found out Zach H. was the one who told Kent about the blog he tried to fire me over. I also found out he has given info to Kent that has put a couple of other people on the chopping block. HE IS THE MOLE. [Sorry to those of you who won't understand this, but the secrets are for Jessica and she knows who I'm talking about] If Kent only knew all the crappy things Zach said about him........he's lucky I'm not vindictive or I'd write Kent a letter from a "well wisher" and give Zach a taste of his own medicine. [AND.....if this gets back to you Zach, do what you want with my it to whomever.....they need to know what you're really like] By the way.....just for the record, I didn't get fired over the blog in question.....blogging about being frustrated with your job isn't grounds for termination. the people I'm tagging to do this meme are Rebeckah, DeAnna, Lil Jenn, and Brian W.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Psycho Girl Theory....a work in progress!

Between being born under the sign of Virgo and being born to a mother who was wise enough to teach me how to focus my neurotic, Virgo ways for the best, I've become a master at controlling my emotions and reactions.

I've never been one to "make a scene"...especially when it comes to men, and for years I've been trying to understand why so many men stay in relationships with women who are psychotic and jealous and constantly raise a ruckus over the littlest things.

I blame my inability to be the “psycho girl” on my Virgo sensibilities.

Let me site an example from junior high. Imagine with me, if you's Friday night and you're hanging out with all your friends at the football game. You're waiting for your steady guy and he's nowhere to be found. Later that evening, you see him sitting on the visitor's side with a girl who's a year older. After summoning some major courage, you walk past, making sure he sees you and then it happens.....he chases you down and tells you it's over.....he won't be calling anymore.

It just seems logical to me; if a guy tells you he's not going to call you anymore, there's no need to let him see you cry, even if you go home and weep into your pillow all night. It may hurt you to the very core, but does one really want to be with someone who doesn't want to be with you? [Logically, no, but the heart is not an organ that deals in logic.] I can site example, after example of girls I know....women, even....who, when faced with a circumstance like this, will turn on the tears and throw a hissy fit. And guess what?!? I'd say about 69% of the works! She ends up with the guy.

Really?!? Where's my reward for taking the high-road all these years? I'll tell you where......he's out on a date with the girl who acts crazy, that's where.

I've seriously wondered about this for years and I had a really good theory going about why and how this tactic works. I had convinced myself this works because most guys don't want to deal with the drama so they do whatever they can to make it stop. In the case of my junior high example, he gets back together with the girl and the drama stops. BUT, what if there's something about the passionate display of emotion which speaks to a man's ego and he thinks to himself, "If she's willing to act like this because of me......WOW, she must really like me and would stick by me through anything!" [okay.......I know that's a long shot, but what if?!? ]

I'm the first to admit I'm unconventional when it comes to men but, I'm at a point in my life where I'm not sure what direction my life is taking. The one thing I know is what I've had up to this point hasn't been enough to satisfy me. My level-headed, Virgo mind is telling me to keep an even keel and proceed like always, don't rock the boat, mind my p's and q's........but it just doesn't seem like the right course at this time. I mean, if I keep doing the same thing, I shouldn't expect different results, right?

To further compound this frustrating conundrum, is my belief that nothing happens by accident. If something is meant to be, it will happen.....regardless of how I react. So, I find myself in the odd position of wanting to speak up for what I want in the situation but not knowing how to balance it with what my head tells me is the logical path to take.

In an effort to try and sort all this out, I've been experimenting with “acting out” a bit when faced with the need to defend what I want in a situation instead of following my tried and true, never-let-em-see-you-sweat, cards to the vest approach. Don't get me wrong.....I'll still never be the psycho girl, but I won't hide the passion I feel in a situation. I'm still trying to find my balance, but the few times I've tried my new-found, passionate voice, the results have been exactly what I wanted.

It doesn't escape my notice how this new theory seriously changes parts of my life philosophy, but I don't want to behave and silence my heart any longer. Isn't something worth having worth fighting for?

So, I'm not going gently into that good night.....not without a little rage against the dying of the light!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Accentuating the Positive

It's that time of year where so many people are writing "end of the year" blogs and lists. Let me be the first to say, "I'm ready to see 2008 to the door!" and have nothing but warm welcome for 2009. I'm expecting a better year. Shouldn't be too hard to meet that expectation as the bar is so low if it's based solely on 2008.

But, even though I'm not sad to see this year come to a quiet close, I feel I should mention the good things that happened in 2008.

Traveling to the Atlantic coast in both North and South Carolina......such beautiful places! Having grown up in a land-locked state, I love to see and hear the ocean any chance I get.

Watching my oldest nephew, Tyler, graduate from high school. He's such a fine young man and I'm so proud of him!

Being true to my word and ending a seven-year relationship because it was no longer the right thing for me.

So many good times with friends.....and usually involving karaoke!

So much good music in the really does lift my mood to listen to music I love! I'm glad to have discovered Julia Nunes and Ingrid Michaleson this year. I'm also glad that Zooey Deschanel is part of the duo, She & Him. I love her voice and am glad to hear more from her!!

I'm happy to have discovered Josh "the Ponceman" Perry and his YouTube serial, The Retarded Policeman. Before you jump to conclusions based on the title of the show, you need to go HERE to read my previous blog about this incredible actor who never fails to put a smile on my face and laughter on my lips! So important to me these days!

Meeting Sugar D......I had no idea how important he would turn out to be, but he has been my northern star which constantly helps me navigate the ups and downs of my journey through unemployment.

I'm healthy and happy.

My parents came to my rescue and helped me by paying for much needed car repairs and don't expect me to pay them back until I'm back on my feet again........thank God for parents who love unconditionally and who will always be Poppy and Lovey Mom for me no matter how old I get!

All of the sweet and marvelous things my friends have said and done for me the last few weeks. I hate to name people because I will probably leave someone out and I don't want to make anyone mad.....but I want to mention a few! Jessica, Jessican, Rebeckah, Kelly, Holly, Amy, Andy, Jeff, Shannen and Sugar D for checking on me on a regular basis and giving me encouragement!
There are so many peeps on Facebook who have been so very encouraging.....because there are too many to name, you can go HERE and look at them if you like.

So......that's my short but very important list of good things from 2008. Let the countdown to 2009 begin!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Sun'll Come Out Tomorrow? or It's Raining, It's Pouring?

I couldn't decide on the title for this blog. The first one is definitely more optimistic, but the latter seems to be much more appropriate for the situation. The blog I've been waiting to write was one where I would tell of the 2 interviews I had before Thanksgiving and about how well they went.

I did have 2 interviews before Thanksgiving and both went very well. I knew it would be a few days before I heard anything, but I was counting on the 50-50 odds that one of the interviews would turn into an actual job.

Yesterday I got an e-mail fairly early in the day saying that one of the places had decided to go with another applicant after a coming to a "difficult decision". It wasn't the best news, but I had another option still out there.

While I was chatting with my friend and having a pretty good day, my landlord of 4 years called and told me he sold the house I'm living in............I was floored! My relatively good mood totally faded and I started to have a meltdown. Although I've been stressing over how I was going to come up with rent for the month of December, the prospects of dealing with a new landlord who doesn't know me and has no reason to try and work with me on my rent situation until I'm back to work were not pleasant. And I can't imagine what I'll do if the new landlord wants the property vacant and gives me a 30 day notice to move out! I just kept holding onto the fact that there was still the second job that might come through.

About 20 minutes after hearing about the house, I got an e-mail about the second job. E-mails are never the way one offers a job........well, almost never. Anyway, that job was offered to another applicant as well.

So.......this morning I will be scouring all the job sites once again for any sort of new postings and apply for anything I even remotely qualify for. It's hard to keep a good attitude and I appreciate all the people who kindly say, "it'll all work out, you'll find something", but it's so hard to hear that after 8 weeks! And, as much as I hate to admit it, I find absolutely no comfort in words like's very easy to utter cliches like those from a nice, bright office where one goes to work everyday.

One thing that has come from all of this........a new compassion for people who are homeless. It only takes one bad break to start the wheels in motion. Now when I pass people who are sitting with their possessions in a cart I can see myself. Oh, I know I won't be homeless.....I have too many friends who will let me couch surf for that to happen, but I know there are plenty of homeless people with college degrees and marketable (whatever that means) skills who just couldn't catch a break and they landed on the street.

I really, really need to catch a break!