Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bit by bit...

I went shopping today.


I swear to you I tried on really feminine things.  Foofy tops and pretty things.  I can't do flowery shit.  Or ruffles.  Unlike a lot of women, I am very aware of my muffin top and won't wear something that will display my rolls prominently.  You want rolls?  Go to your local bakery.

I compromised.  I found two henley tops at Old Navy.  One is bright coral, the other, white with skinny navy blue stripes.  They're one weapon in my arsenal.

My theory is this.  Play up your assets.  Mine?  I have my boobies.  I'm sorry, boobies sound tiny.  I have BOOBS.  Dolly could be a distant cousin.  Seriously.  I figure this...wear a nice v-neck, show plenty of cleavage and nobody will notice your poochy belly.  Problem solved.  This is one of my all time favorite quotes from Rita Rudner:

 "Some people think having large breasts makes a woman stupid. Actually, it's quite the opposite: a woman having large breasts makes men stupid."

So there. shopping continued.  I got three pairs of earrings because I still have holes in my ears ("How are you going to hear otherwise?" Har har har).  My daughter is duly impressed.  And I got a pair of brown flip-flops with jewels and rhinestones.  Oh yeah...sthparkly!!


I bought a big round brush and a bottle of Redken Power Tame 16.  I read this shit takes the curls out of the craziest of hairs.  We'll see.  The fact that I spent SIXTEEN DOLLARS on one product blows my ever loving mind.  I get my mousse on sale for three bucks a can and it lasts me two months.  Do the math.  This shit better work.  I also got Nice and Easy foam in medium golden brown.  The foam sounds interesting in theory.  I hope it covers my skunk stripe!

If I'm feeling nice, I'll post a picture with the results tomorrow.  Maybe.

Oh...for those of you who left comments or tweets about yesterday's posting?  A heartfelt thank you.  :o)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Celebrating life

*Trigger warning*

This entry is about suicide.  If this subject upsets you, please do not read.

This is not going to be a normal, fluffy blog post.  It's not that kind of day. 

I woke up this morning in a dismal, rotten mood.  Today would have been my mom's seventy-fifth birthday.  I miss her everyday.  I honestly thought after ten years the pain would lessen.  It hasn't.  I can't dwell on what never will be.  She had lung cancer, which she fought valiantly.  So much so, it spread to her brain and bones before she passed.  They said she would probably live six months at most...she ended up living for almost six years.  Not a day goes by that she doesn't cross my mind.  This is her with my brother in 1990, before she got sick.  I get told constantly I look just like her.  It's not a bad thing.  I love you'll always be with me.

But today marks a more significant milestone for me.  Three years ago tonight, I attempted to take my own life.  So many people over the years have asked me one simple question...


Why?  You have a wonderful husband, you have two beautiful children.  Why?  Why? WHY?  How could you  be so selfish/thoughtless/heartless?  I would only answer with a shrug of my shoulders and a shake of my head.  I've never written about that night...never answered anyone's questions.  I'm going to try.  Bear with me.

I was depressed for almost eighteen months.  I had already been hospitalized multiple times for threatening suicide.  I was over medicated and the shell of who I am now.  I was tired of being a burden, tired of all the drama.  I wasn't getting better...and thought I never would get better.  I stopped caring.  Honestly? I didn't think anyone cared anymore either. 

But know this...I never wanted to die.  I wanted to not hurt anymore. 

Without going into too much detail (there are people I want to protect that I love dearly), June 29, 2008 was a nightmare.  I had run away from home that the beach in West Haven where I took a long walk.  I went for a drive that night, with the intention of ending it.  I went to Stop and Shop and bought two boxes of sleeping pills, twenty-four each.  Even in my misery, I was excited they were buy one, get one free.  And I grabbed a Sprite, intentionally...there was no caffeine in it.  I went through the self checkout...I didn't want to draw any attention to myself.

I drove to a deserted parking lot and methodically popped each one out.  I wrote a note on a napkin, very simply in block letters "I'M SORRY".  I took twenty-four, then the other twenty-four.  I looked at the clock.  It was 9:04.  I dropped the seat back...and waited. 

I started getting groggy, and scared.  I went to reach for my cell phone but couldn't lift my arms.  My last thought before I went under was "Oh my God, what have I done?"

I remember things after that in bits and pieces.  The cop's flashlight in my face, and thinking I was in Heaven.  All the lights from the fire trucks and police cars.  Being draped over my steering wheel.  Drinking a quart of charcoal in the ER.  Hallucinating on my gurney...and seeing clocks of every kind on the walls.  Hearing someone say "Oh God, there's a note."

Amazingly, they sent me home the following day with a number to check in with the crisis hot line everyday.  I lasted five days before I was put back in the hospital...for the final time.

I did three months of intensive outpatient therapy after that.  My depression finally broke in September.  I started writing, and found out I was good at it.  My husband got a new job and he was happy.  I got off my meds and thought clearly for the first time in years.

I'm here today.  I have a strong core of girl and guy friends who would do absolutely anything for me.  I know now that if I get down (I still have blips), I can count on them to hold me up when I'm unable.  I saw my son graduate high school, and held my niece when she was fifteen hours old.

And my hubby?  He said leaving me never crossed his mind.  He stood by me throughout my ordeal.  The truest meaning of  "In good times and in bad. In sickness and in health."  I have never loved anyone more.

This is a poem I found in a magazine about a month afterward.  I feel like it was meant for me.  It hangs on my mirror to this day.

Stop, ask for help. 
Seek out counseling. 
Death is no answer. 
Try to believe in something,
a God,
a song,
a book,
the ocean.
Don't give up.
People get better.

Always remember the last line..."People get better."  I got better.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

An ounce of kindness...*edit*

I work retail.  I've been in retail for a better part of my life (sounds better than twenty-five years! LOL).  At the moment I've been working at the "big blue box" for almost five years.  I previously worked at the "big orange box" for eleven.  I've done phone centers and a couple of other home centers (anyone remember Rickel's?).  I do customer service...I am customer service.  It's in my blood.  I know the good from the great and will call out the truly awful.  My bank made the mistake of treating the wrong person like shit today.

We use People's Bank for our checking and savings accounts.  We have for a better part of a decade.  We ran into a massive issue with our accounts this morning.  The first time I had called, I had spoken to a girl, Rebecca, who helped me out and answered all of my questions...nicely I might add.

We find out later that we need a fax number for the bank in order to rectify our problem.  I called back.  I got a guy this time (he mumbled his name, so I never got it).  I told him my situation and what I needed.  He put me on hold, and came back with the exact information I already had.  I told him he must have misunderstood me...I just need the fax number for the X dept to give to this person.  What does he tell me?

"They do a lot of business with us.  They should already have our number."

Helloooo?  If they are asking for your number, they obviously don't have it.  So I asked again, a little dumbfounded at this point.  Can you give it to me anyway, just in case?  Was he afraid I was going to fax naked pictures to them?

He repeated the "They should already have our number on file." line and curtly told me to have a good day.

OK, if I was angry and pitching a fit maaaaybe he'd have a reason to dismiss me like that.  I was too stunned by his snottiness to be angry.

If he had said simply, "I'm sorry, but policy forbids me to give you the fax number to that department." I would have been fine with that.  I just hate being treated like shit by some piss ant making ten dollars an hour.  I've done your job...being nice and helpful is what you're paid to do.

I won't formally complain (although I did hash tag them on Twitter and bitch in 140 characters!), but I do know the tellers at my branch well enough that I will say something the next time I'm in.

I hope he gets a slow cashier the next time he's running late.  Have a little customer service karma bite him in the ass!

*edit*  Just found out they had slapped us with a couple of $35 overdraft fees, adding insult to injury.  Called customer service, spoke to Marjorie, being refunded in a couple of days.  That my friends is what helping people is all about. :o)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hair brained

This hair of mine is going to make me bat shit crazy!

I just spent some quality time in the haircare aisle in Target.  I might as well have been in Moscow!  What is all this stuff? 

My hair regime has always been wash, mousse, scrunch, blow dry.  And occasionally hairspray on those shitastic muggy days.  Thazzit.

Now...I need a big HUGE roller brush ($10), heat protectant serum/anti-frizz stuff ($7) and of course Nice n Easy color to be determined ($8).  At the moment, I look like a reverse skunk.  Not attractive.

My husband is going to KILL me!  I've never in the sixteen years we've been together had any interest in my hair.  Get it cut every few months or so, and a can of mousse every couple of months.  When it gets too boofy, throw it in a baseball cap.  A totally low maintenance female.

But now ladies...advice.  What works for you?  What's needed?  What's a waste of my husband's  my money?  Talk to me chicks!  Help me speak the language of straight hair!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Same old same old...

How many times have you been told, "Don't change, I like you just the way you are"?

Don't change.

It's almost foreboding.  *insert evil voice* "Don't change.  Something terrible will happen if you do."

I hate changes.  I do.  This is why I still look the same as I did in high school.  Why I still work in retail.  I hate changes.  Familiarity is comforting.

Until the day I got my hair straightened.

I never in a million years would think something as simple as a flat iron could alter my life.  I let my hair go curly over the weekend and realized something...

I'm sick of my curly hair! 

I've had curly hair my entire life, with the exception of my first year.  I was bald as a cue ball...go figure.  So I rid myself of my curls...and I love it!  Plus I'm starting to show the results from going to the gym.  I'm not losing weight, but my clothes fit better.  I feel really good about myself for the first time in...ever?  I don't know.  Is this a midlife crisis?  A midlife change?  A midlife epiphany?

I'm tired of the "old" me.  The frumpy, wearing t-shirts and jeans me.  I want to channel my inner Taylor Swift...I want to be a girl for the first time in my life.  I think it's because I'm hitting my mid-forties.  I don't look it, most days I don't feel it...and I sure as hell don't act it!  I know my youth is fading.  It's reality...and I realize that.

I want to go shopping for pretty stuff.  Maybe a skirt, maybe some new makeup.  Maybe a pretty pair of shoes. 

It's my time to shine...finally.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

For the love of a kitty...or twelve!

My daughter and I volunteer at a local animal shelter.  She's only ten, so her responsibilities are minimal.  She brushes the cats and plays with all the kittens.  I can't think of a better way to spend an afternoon.

To say she loves cats would be an understatement.  For her ninth and tenth birthday, she had her friends bring cat things for the shelter instead of gifts for her.  She won't watch ASPCA commercials.  She wants to be a veterinarian.  She has a huge heart.

I guess it's something that's been passed down from generation to generation.  My dad said he always fed the stray cats that used to follow him home.  Drove his father crazy.  Because of that, he never really argued the random kitten that would show up in our house growing up.  I mean, he'd grumble and growl, but it always stayed.

We were never a dog family.  Every dog we ever had ended in disaster.  Cats on the other hand, stayed outside most of the time.  They came home to eat and sleep.  We always had at least three cats.

Now, we have just one.  This is Pickles.
He's five years old.  He's a mushball.  He knows that bedtime is cuddle time.  He gets frisky maybe once a month.  He's my kitty.  I love him to pieces.

And I know you're thinking..."Look at that face!  He looks so sweet!"  Uh uh.  Not so fast.  He's the alpha male in this house because this guy... scared shitless of him. 

This is Melky (aka "M-Dog"), our 73 lb. three year old "Labra-doofus".  Will rip out your jugular at the gate if he doesn't know you.  Will allow the cat to pin him against the bathtub.  I'm not making this up.  I heard him whining.  The cat was staring him down.  Wuss.

June is national "Adopt A Cat" month.  I wish I could partake.  I'd love another kitten.  My daughter would love another kitten.  Then there's Daddy.

She has big, blue eyes.  There's hope! ;o)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hair today...gone tomorrow

OK...I'll 'fess up, when it comes to style sense, I have none.  Nada, zilch, zero...nil.  My drawers are filled with various t-shirts.  I like them, they're comfy.  Even though I've lost about forty pounds in the last four years, I still have "my girls"  They get in the way of any kind of  "girly" clothes.  V-necks are my friend.  Hell, I wear my hair almost the same way as I did in high school.  Curly...low maintenance.  Mousse, scrunch, blow dry, go. 

Until yesterday.

I am as low maintenance a female you'll find.  I cut my hair every six months or so.  I have A LOT of hair.  Enough that if you shaved my head, you could make wigs for at least six people in a third world country.  I like to call it my "boofy" hair.

Well, my "boofy" hair had gotten to the point where the boys at work teased me constantly.  Not malicious mind you (they're more like 3rd graders), but ribbing.

"You channeling 70's Paul Stanley?"
"No, actually 90's Slash to be honest."

"I saw your hair driving down the street yesterday."

"Ya know, they're running a special on weed whackers in garden this week."

I love you guys, but bite me.  Seriously.  I love my mop.

So I go see my absolutely wonderful hairdresser Amy yesterday.  I told her exactly what I want...which is, sadly, the usual.  Then I had a "fuck it" moment. 

"Straighten my hair."

She was shocked, because the last time we had done it, I had looked down right frumpy.  Like a matronly soccer mom.  My hair is much longer now...screw it.  Just do it.

She would only do it if I posted the results on Facebook...for everyone's opinion. about leaving yourself vulnerable.

So...I continued with the "fuck it" attitude and said do it.

The "normal" me is the pic above.  This is me with straight hair.  Kinda boggled my mind honestly.

I was like "Wow, who's that?"

My daughter hated it initially.  Hated it.  Then she kinda liked it.  By bedtime, she was petting my hair going "I love your hair Mommy, it's just like mine now!"

My husband liked it.  He looked at me a lot.  Not sure if it was a "Wow, that sexy thing is my wife!" or "Where's the girl I married?"  He's not big on changes.  Like the Billy Joel song, he loves me just the way I am.

The consensus on Facebook?  Three dozen positive comments and nine likes. *Blushes*  Me "hawt"?  Naaaah.  It's just me...with no curls.

I'm back to my curly 'do tonight.  There is waaaaay to much humidity around to fret about my hair.  This'll be a day off thing.  I unload a truck for a living.  I sweat.  I'll be one of the guys at work, but all woman when I'm not there.  It's a happy compromise.

And yes...I went out and bought a straightener.  There may be hope for me yet!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Angels Among Us

An early morning blog post.  Funny how this is my new witching hour.  I have my official up early/ up all night tweeps that I check in with (you all know who you are)...and the animals.  I like it. 

Yesterday was one of those days - hell, who am I kidding - this week has been one of those weeks where I have been over thinking everything around me.

I got to thinking about angels last night.  I firmly believe we have one or more guardian angels that watch over us at all times.  The ones who keep you out of  harm's way, the one's that keep you from doing the wrong things.  I know I have at least mom, who I lost to cancer back in 2001, and my daughter Francesca who died in utero at 12 weeks in 2006.  How am I so certain of this?  Let me tell you a couple of quick stories about them.

The night after Mom died, I was sitting on my couch sobbing.  It doesn't matter that she was sick for six years or the fact Hospice was spot on to when she was going to beloved mom was gone.  My mind couldn't grasp I would never see or talk to her again.  So, I prayed out loud to her.  Told her she was a strong spirit...send me a sign.  Blow out a light bulb when you make it to Heaven.

Guys, I kid you not...from the time I said that prayer Saturday night, until we buried her Tuesday morning, she blew out five light bulbs in my house!  After the fifth one, I told her I got her point and now it was getting expensive! And I could swear I could hear her laughing!

I lost my baby girl Francesca in 2006.  She died of unexplained causes...a missed miscarriage at 12 weeks gestation.  This October she'd have been five.  I still miss her to this day.  One morning on Facebook, the status update of the day was one about miscarriage survivors and remembering those babies that had become angels too soon.  So I made it my status, saying how I love and missed her.  That afternoon above my daughter's school I saw this cloud...

It's almost a perfect duplicate of her last ultrasound picture...with a halo (look closely above the head).  I know now she knew I was missing her that day and sent this to reassure me she was doing good.

But angels aren't always in the spiritual sense.  They come in all shapes and sizes...all you have to do is open your eyes and look around.

The starter on my car crapped out a couple of weeks ago as I was picking my daughter up from school.  I only need a pop start to get it home.  When I went into the school, it was empty.  Until one of her classmates walked around the corner with his dad - all 6'5" of him!  He gladly gave me a push, got it started and saved me $100 in towing charges.

An angel?  You know it.

Your friends who have been with you through everything?  The one's that support without judging you?  The one's that you could never live without?  Are they angels?


How about cyber-angels?  They read your diary, comment on your statuses, say good morning on Twitter.  They cheer you on, cry with you, chat with you for hours upon hours about everything and nothing at all. 

Angels...every last one.

They are everywhere.  The girl who smiles at you at Dunkin' Donuts everyday when you order your coffee.  The co-worker who never fails to hug you every single time they see you.  The people who genuinely want to know the truth when they ask "How are you doing today?"

I could go on and on...but you get my point.  Angels are everywhere...and we are all capable being one ourselves.  It doesn't take much.  Even a simple smile can change someones rotten day.  Give it a shot...polish up your halo and see what happens! :o)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Work it baby...

Just got back from the gym.  Talk about a love/hate relationship!

I've been going for almost a year.  My husband and I go together.  It's a lot easier to go with a partner.  It also keeps you honest!  When you get on the treadmill for thirty minutes with someone next to you, you move your ass.  Also, if I see him hauling, the competitive side in me kicks in.  Like hell he's going to burn more calories then I do!

In retrospect, I wish I had this much interest in my body back in my twenties or thirties.  It took hitting my forties, some health issues and the purchase of a full length mirror to make me realize that I wasn't the chick I used to be.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with myself.  I'm 44...I've had two kids and gravitational pull is against me.  Things are going to droop.  I have stretch marks.  I look at it this's all because of my kids.  It's all their fault!! 

Seriously though?  This year there has been a ton of changes in my body.  I'm starting menopause. I can't drop weight to save my life.  My eyes are getting crepey.  My skin is changing.  I'm...getting...a...fucking...turkey...gaggle!!  Ugh!

When the hell did I become my mom?

Monday, June 20, 2011

One more thing on friendship...

I know, I  know...I'm a wordy bitch.  Mind has been a jumble of thoughts all day.  Bear with me (as my cat tries to harf up a hairball behind me).

A fellow blogger, local newsguy and tweep friend Chris said this on Twitter the other day. 

"Always amazed to see how quickly children who are complete strangers can become friends. We could all learn something from them."

Think about it.  What do kids do when they meet?  "Hi! I'm so and so, do you like trucks/Webkinz/Barbies/puppies?  You do? Come on, let's play!"  Bingo...two 10 year olds are buddies.

Grown ups?  "Oh my God, look at the way she's dressed...she has a puss on her face...she looks like a bitch."  We don't make a connection with her because we judge based on looks.

I said to him in a reply how Twitter actually humanizes us.  I say good morning to both him and his co-anchor every morning that I work.  And if I introduced myself by my Twitter name, he would know me.  Pretty cool, huh?

Set a goal for one stranger a compliment.  A genuine one.  "Love your car!"  "That's a great shirt! Where did you get it?" Something nice.  You probably won't get a playdate...but I'm sure you'll brighten someone's day!!

An intro of sorts

So what do you want to know about me? 

I'm a mom of two...a tween girl and an almost out of his teens guy (boy seems so...young).  I have a dog...a labra-doofus and a bossy tabby cat (there will be stories on all them, trust me).  I am happily married to my best friend.  We'll be together 16 years in August...already!

I'm a writer.  I normally write erotica, but lately...pardon the pun...I'm not in the mood!  This will fill that need to write.  I'm antsy.  I have shit to say!

What else?  I love cars and racing.  I refuse to ever drive a minivan.  My most favorite car I've owned was my red 1999 VW New Beetle.  I think I'm pretty funny in my own dorky way.  Am I interesting?  I'll try my best.  Stay tuned...I've only just begun!


I've wanted to do this for awhile.  I keep a journal...but it's for my own thoughts.  This is stuff in my life I want to share with the world.

The last few days have made me ponder what a true friend is. 

I have long time friends that would drop anything and help me out.  They have, and I have done the same in return.  They are my "family", even though they come from different parents.

There are cyber friends...the ones you meet through the internet.  Your Facebook buddies, your "Tweeps", your journal readers.  Maybe you'll meet up...and realize, hey, we make better friends online then we do in real life.  Maybe you'll never meet them because they're in a different country, a different continent even...but they are still your friends...sometimes more so then "real" life people.

I guess my point (really, I do have one!) is simply this...embrace the friends you do have, let the toxic ones go.  There are some people who will be there no matter what...whatever the situation or circumstance.  There are others who...well, make their mark and pass through.

Til later...