Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Everyone has their own specific point of view.  Bloggers are a great sampling of that.

For example, a lot of us will be traveling for the Holidays and even if you are lucky enough to have avoided becoming a member of our bedraggled group this particular Holiday season, you would be hard-pressed to avoid all of the reports on our current airline security measures.  (unless of course you live on a desert island, in which case, great job constructing internet access with coconuts and seashells, Professor)

Regardless of your opinion on the matter (which means, I don't really care...except if you're posting it in an amusing or heartfelt blog post or comment), I have found a diverse array of postings: funny, angry, happy, annoyed, etc...oh, and of course terrified (that is expected though since that particular blogger is a 97 yr old great-grandma who is in fact a radical extremist, at least in the knitting world). 

I think that's why I enjoy reading blogs in the first place.  I've discovered I've learned a lot about myself and human nature by reading the posts of total strangers.  Who knew??

Clearly, we all see things differently.  We will never find another person who agrees or disagrees with us on everything (if you do, run away quickly, they're either lying to you or it's your evil

I guess it's all in our perspective:

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Bad Morning

 I don't know about the rest of you but on Friday mornings I try to motivate myself into having a great day at work so that I can start my weekend on a high note:
I have to admit that I felt pretty darn good as I headed off to the office.  Gotta love that positive thinking sh*%!

As I got on the road, making pretty good time I might add, I drove by the following sign (quite rapidly and without really paying much attention):
(read the small print at the bottom)  Damned smartaSSed sign guy!!

Naturally, I almost drive off  the bridge.  It was a pretty big mess and caused a traffic situation of its own, which resulted in yet another road sign:
Somehow, that made me feel much better.  Self-serving B*tch that I am!!!

I did eventually make it to the office and I tried to re-capture that positive feeling from earlier that day:
But it didn't work.  By lunchtime, I pretty much looked like this:
Know the feeling??

By the time 5 o'clock rolled around I was ready to let off some steam.  I stopped by a house party someone had mentioned to me:
Then I tried going into the city to see what was happening there:
But I guess I just wasn't quite as cool as I felt.  So I gave up and went through the drive-thru of my favorite local coffeehouse and treated myself to my drink of choice on the way home:
Woohoo!  Now that's a good time!

Have a great weekend everyone.  Hopefully this didn't offend any of you barnyard animals or sign guys out there... ;D

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"The Gift of an Ordinary Day" by Katrina Kenison

THIS IS BEAUTIFUL. Every parent and every child should watch would mean everyone...right?

It takes a while but is truly worth the time...Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A 40 yr old opinion of youth

When I was in Junior High, I went to a small Catholic School in Maui.  There was a cemetary in a sectioned off area in plain view of our classroom windows.  It was a tiny old graveyard. Most of the gravestones had too much water damage to make out clearly.  It was called the Seaman's Cemetary.  Whenever a rainstorm lasted too long and the ground became soaked, we would hear loud sucking noises and the old wooden coffins would bubble up out of the ground.  Occasionally, a lid would slide off.  It was the most exciting thing that would happen at school.  We would scream and giggle as the boys made spooky sounds and chased us around the classroom. 

Today, as you can see, the cemetary has been refurbished and expanded.

It would take Sister quite a while to calm us back down.  Once calm, she would have us pray for the souls in those graves and their families.  She would always try to use the opportunity to explain to us the value of life, how it could end in the blink of an eye, and why we should strive to live a good life so we can leave this earth without regrets.  I remember the pious expressions on all of our faces as we listened to her speak.  Quietly contemplating her words of wisdom.

What we were actually doing was waiting for the bell to ring so we could run around to the old cemetary and dare each other to get closer and take a peak inside the open coffins.  Death wasn't really scary to us back then (as in the realization of our own mortality), it was spooky (as in ghosts and zombies).  Few of us had even experienced the loss of a loved one yet.

Today, as I reflect back on what the Sister was telling us, I get it.  I have lost people I love dearly and I can feel my mortality more and more each year.  Even though I would guess my dare-devil side has had to take a back seat with this revelation, I also find I enjoy the small moments now as much as I do the big ones, maybe even more.

Young people tend to see each day as endless and death as just a rumor at the end of a very long road. 

I find that I both envy and pity them for this.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Going Out to Eat

I remember as a child how excited I would get when I was told that we were going out to eat.  My mom would pick out a dress for me and she would spend a long time brushing out my hair and putting it up.  I had ridiculously long hair as a child and I couldn't even brush it myself but my mom never seemed to mind doing it.  My parents, my sister and I would hop in the car and off we would go.

I would sit in the back seat looking out the window, wondering where we would go and what kind of food we would have.  For some reason I would never ask.  Maybe I subconsciously enjoyed the speculation.  There was a feeling of excitement in the air.  At least there was in the back seat.  I'm sure my parents were probably able to restrain themselves but my sister and I would be close to bursting by the time we got out of the car.

When we were seated, I would get to have a Shirley Temple or a Cherry Coke which was exciting in itself since I was rarely allowed to have sugary drinks let alone carbonated ones.  It seemed to me the waiter or waitress would always make sure the drink contained extra cherries for me, although in hindsight, my mom probably had something to do with it.

I never actually looked at the menu since my mom always knew what I would want and she was always right.  After ordering, we would sit and talk and laugh until the food arrived.  The food was always good and everyone would be full and relaxed as we climbed in the car for the ride home.

The ride home was always quieter than the ride there.  Maybe it was the darkness enveloping us or maybe, like me, everyone was mesmerized by the lights of passing cars and traffic signals.  The interior of the car constantly changing as the multi-colored lights would dance across the windows.  My mind would wander, drifting here and there in rhythm with the lights.

As we pulled onto our driveway and then into the garage, I would allow myself to drift into a light sleep at the familiar sounds of the garage door  opening, the car being shut off and my Dad trying to get me to wake up.  I could hear him but I knew that if I stayed asleep, he would bundle me into his arms and carry me to bed.  In my mind, there was no better way to end the evening...

Yesterday, my family and I went out to dinner for my daughter's 19th birthday.  The service was okay, the food was okay, the bill was ridiculously high and by the time we got home, I felt as though I was going to be sick. 

It wasn't an Asian restaurant but the fortune fit.

My daughters went upstairs to do what teenagers do in the evenings (watch TV, text and get on the computer).  I spent the rest of the evening drinking Pepto Bismol and grumbling about wasted money and bad food.

This afternoon when I checked my FB page, I noticed that my 19 yr old daughter had posted on her status what a great family she has and what a great birthday dinner it was.  She posted how much she loved us and thanked us for giving her a great birthday...

...maybe the food wasn't that bad and you know what?  The bill was worth every single penny.

Happy Birthday Pooky Bear.  I Love You Too.

Friday, November 12, 2010

My inept attempt to avoid posting a real blog

I have been really busy at work today and just haven't had the time to post anything worth reading.  I apologize and promise to do better next time:

I am a huge animal rights activist (I'm really just an insurance agent who happens to have some pets, but whatever).  Because of this, I have been racking my brain trying to come up with a clear message to inspire people to the plight of our furry friends (or feathered or yada, yada, yada...don't want to leave anything out but as I mentioned earlier, ME = very busy).  As you will see below, I have clearly had my Aha! moment.  I have come up with a message that promotes the safety of animals as well as the people who harm them! 

Am I a genius, or what? 
(This is a rhetorical question, please do not answer it as that would defeat the purpose of it being rhetorical)


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Alone at Work

My daughter is out of school for the next two days-today for Veteran's Day and tomorrow for Let's Make it a Four Day Weekend Day, I guess.  (I apologize.  That was entirely unfair.  I have no idea why they're off tomorrow.)  My other daughter is off everyday since she graduated this past school year.  The Hubby is also off everyday as he was let go in March and there are absolutely no jobs at the moment.

I am sitting here in my office with absolutely nothing to do since everyone is under the assumption that we're closed. 

It's quiet.  The radio is set to an oldies station that tends to play a lot of Elton John and The Beatles.  The weather has gotten cooler.  I can hear the wind blowing outside.  They say it might rain a little.  The sun is setting at the back of this building and I know it'll be dark soon.

I find myself thinking of my mom.  She lives alone on the other side of town. (really two towns over but it's only about 40 minutes away without traffic)  She lost her husband (my Step-Dad) about three years ago and I see her every two weeks.  She still works full-time and is in great health.  She is extremely anti-social and only interacts with people (other than us) when she's at work.  I worry about her a lot, being alone like she is.  She says she prefers her solitude now that her husband's gone.  She feels closer to him when she's alone.

I think that today, with the sky getting darker, the softly playing music and the sound of the wind blowing outside, I understand what she means. 

Right now, as I sit here, no one coming in, no phones ringing, no Emails, I can hear the quiet not only in the stillness around me but also within me.  I rarely experience this kind of stillness.  I think I like it.  It's soothing and I feel cradled within it.  I dread the thought that someone might actually call and break the spell.  I look at the clock and realize it's been like this since around 1:30.  It's 4 o'clock now.  I have an hour.

I close my eyes and think of my step-dad and all of the other people I have lost within my lifetime.  The people who have played a part in the person I am today.  I wonder what they're doing right now and I can't help but feel they're here with me.  It's comforting and re-assuring to think so.  I speak to them in my mind and try to hear their responses, which are really just echos of remembered conversations.

Then the phone rings and it's time to work...Once the conversation ends, I realize the magic is gone.  I sit here trying to pass the time until the clock strikes 5.

I do notice that there is a dull ache in my chest.  It's a familiar ache but one I rarely stop to feel anymore.  I am aware that I feel more connected to those lost family members than I have in a long time.  I'm grateful for that.  But the pain feels closer too and I'm not a big fan of that.

Is this what my mom experiences while she sits in her living room, thinking of her husband?  The closeness?  The pain?

Maybe, I'll ask her...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The November Tug o' War Has Begun

November is not a fun month for me, though it should be.  My oldest will be turning 19.  I will be celebrating my 11th Wedding Anniversary (second marriage).  Then of course, comes Thanksgiving. 

My 19 year old doesn't really want to spend time with her family for her birthday but at the same time doesn't yet have a job or a driver's license.  This means I get to play chauffeur and financier all day but only at a distance.  Since she's turning 19, I should be used to it by now but somehow, this year it feels different. 

I'm guessing my frustration stems from the fact that she's not working, hasn't started college yet and hasn't made much of an effort to learn how to drive.  I was prepared for the temporary loss of the mother/daughter thing as we defined our new relationship in the context of her emerging independence.  What I wasn't prepared for was her desire to "play" at adulthood without taking any genuine steps towards it.  Judging by her moodiness, I'm guessing she's feeling the same way.

Along with this, I have absolutely no desire to celebrate my anniversary at this point.  My hubby, whom I do love, is completely oblivious or in total denial, and I have no idea how to repair what I fear is permanently broken.  I am simultaneously hurt and numb, angry and disinterested. 

I have tried to discuss things openly but we are rarely alone and frequently interrupted.  Our conversations consist of small outbursts and incomplete sentences.  This has caused an ever widening gap between us.  With me choosing to keep him at arm's length while he moves along denying the problem altogether.  I do believe that he prefers avoidance to resolution in this matter since he may not like the end result.

Lastly, there's Thanksgiving.  I am part Thai and was born in Thailand though it was on a US military base.  My parents divorced when I was five and I was raised primarily by my Thai mother.  My husband is Hispanic.  He was raised by his Mexican born mother and step-father.  Therefore, it does seem odd to me that there is always such a battle of "calling dibs" at Thanksgiving.  I realize the idea of Giving Thanks could certainly be a universal idea, the actual holiday in question with the specified date is NOT.  So why do we have to fight over where we go on that specific day?

Yet somehow, each year, I manage to hurt someone's feelings.  I would love to skip Thanksgiving this year and hide in my warm cozy bed instead.  I have a feeling I won't be able to get away with it but this is a bad year for me.  Let's hope I keep it together without going off on some crazy rant while surrounded by family and friends.  Maybe I'll keep my distance from the wine.

I better turn this around, my frustration is showing.  I am going to make an effort to help my daughter get on track with her future.  I am going to try to get some privacy with my husband so we can truly and honestly talk everything out.  I am going to get through the Holiday with a smile and the best of intentions, remembering the fact that God gave us close family and friends so that we could experience both the best and the worst aspects of human relationships. 

Honestly, I know I have certainly been at both my best and my worst with those closest to me and have always been confident that I would be accepted regardless.  I guess I just need to remind myself that I should be thankful for that.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Aliens from the Planet Snot, plus Steve Martin (just because)

I don't exactly know what happened.  Everything was fine.  I went to bed on Tuesday night like always but when I woke up Wednesday morning, I knew something was wrong.

It wasn't something I could see, it was more of a feeling.  The air around me was so thick, I was finding it difficult to breathe.  Even my hearing was muffled.  There was a pounding in my head that was nearly unbearable and I knew that I would not be able to leave the shelter of my home that day.

I fortified myself as best as I could to keep up my strength and was able to battle it out through the day and the following night and somehow I survived.  My efforts to sustain myself were not in vain and I knew I would be able to face the new day without the barriers of the fortress in which I currently reside. 

I went out into the world and faced the day as bravely as I could and I am proud to say that I persevered.  I arrived back home, fatigued and found that the pounding in my head had become so severe that I was no longer able to stay upright.

I drank down the healing potion provided to me and lay down my weary head.  I now knew what I was fighting and there was very little I could do except to plod ahead and hope for the best.  For my enemy was the dreaded Allergens.  Tiny little creatures that have invaded my system and are trying to take over and transform me into a more familiar landscape, which consists of large amounts of nasally gelatin, which I feel is slowly killing me.   Alas!  I vow to survive to fight another season for I know we shall meet again.

By the way, while I was laying down yesterday, grumbling over my stuffy nose and my headache, I was watching some SNL special and got to see Steve Martin, who is one of my favorite comedians and writers.  That made me feel much better.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sniffling, Sneezing and other Snotty Thoughts

The weather's changing and here in Vegas that means allergies, sinus infections, and lingering colds.  The summer's are obviously hot (but it's a dry heat) and as temperatures start to lower, us desert dwellers are subjected to a rollercoaster of climates. 

This seems to confuse the local vegetation into spewing large amounts of pollen as quickly as possible, hoping to achieve the goals of an entire autumnal season in a 24 hour period.  Even the plants know that tomorrow could bring summer or winter temperatures (hey, in Vegas, just about everything is determined by a spin of the wheel).  This is the only time we can obtain open window weather but the clouds of pollen rushing towards you when you do, are extremely convincing deterrents to that particular inclination. 

The only relief during the fall is rain, which washes the pollen out of the air but it is brief and infrequent at best (plus, it's a dry rain).  Since I know that even if I survive another autumn, spring is just around the bend and the wheel of chance will be spinning again. I can't help but feel overcome with despair (at least, in between sneezes) but a spark of hope arrives while I am locked indoors roaming the internet-this just might be crazy enough to work:

Trees in Glass, clearly thought up by a fellow allergy sufferer.  I could finally open my windows.  I could do outdoorsy-type things with my family and my ridiculously underexercised dogs.  I could actually experience nature rather than survive it.  We could have family photos without the living room couch as our primary background (seriously, the most common remark when our family and friends were viewing recent family pics was "Oh, you bought a new couch").

This could be my chance.  I could live just like those people on the covers of those outdoor lifestyle magazines.  We could be health conscious, physically fit, become one with nature!  -closes eyes and breathes deeply- (followed by a fit of coughing and sneezing that lasts about five minutes)

Well, maybe after I'm done Blogging and Facebooking ... and there is this new TV series I've been meaning to check out ... it's so hard being forced to be indoors like this...

...Trees in Live the Dream...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Have Fun & Vote -- compliments of EILCC

While you wait in that long line to do your civic duty and vote at the very last minute, here's something to amuse yourself with (this is actually for Walmart but it would definitely work in this scenario-at least at my voting locale-I'm thinking this game could be the latest fad, try it at the DMV, Post get the gist)
Just click to enlarge - the bottom right square is practically a freebie :}