Friday, November 30, 2012

What I'm Watching

I have tried to deny this guilty pleasure but no more. There is simply too much good (to me) television to miss. If I could I'd give a juicy tongue kiss in the mouth to the inventor of DVR I would. I fucking love you man. I've grouped the shows I'm watching this fall '12 season in categories, because, well categories make lists even more awesome...duh! In no particular order are the best shows on TV right now.

Shows I Lurve To Watch

  • The Walking Dead 
  • Boardwalk Empire (Michael K. Williams is awesome!)
  • Arrow
  • Misfits (if you are not watching this series, you are losing in life!)
  • Supernatural (FMK: Fuck Sammy, Marry Dean, Kill Demons)
  • Grimm 
  • Haven (clearly I have a thing for supernatural/science fiction)
  • Happy Endings ("This one's for the buzz bank!" Jane)
  • Homeland 
  • Castle (I will watch every show Nathan Fillion is ever on. Browncoats unite!)
  • Go On (surprisingly good!)
  • Hot in Cleveland (required viewing, no?)
  • Parks and Recreation (y'all know I love me some Ron Swanson!)
  • The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (he has a gay robot can you NOT watch?)
  • Elementary (the BBC version is WAAAAY better, but this is a good side piece show)
  • Survivor: Phillippines (aren't they always in the Phillippines?)
  • Project Runway
  • The League (slowly slipping to Hate Watch)
  • Person of Interest
  • Saturday Night Live (I don't always love every episode, but I feel like I have to watch it anyway. My favorite episode this year has been Bruno Mars as host...turns out he was pretty funny. Daniel Craig sucked. I don't like The Californians or any Fred Armisen skit. I freaking love What's Up Wit' Dat, Stephon and now, Mokiki!)

Shows I Hate Watch
  • Dexter
  • Sons of Anarchy
  • Suburgatory (first I hated this show, then I liked it, and now I hate it again)
  • Scandal (Kerry Washington's cry face is hilarious, they talk way too fast and yell too much. Season's almost over? Dammit!)
  • 30 Rock (just waiting for the series to end at this point)
  • The Voice (as of this posting, I'm no longer watching since they sent De'Borah home)

Shows I Watch But I Don't Know Why
  • Criminal Minds (I guess I have a thing for serial crime shows with gratuitous violence)
  • L&O: SVU 
  • Whitney (again, I don't know why)
  • Blue Bloods
  • The Mentalist
  • MTV's The Challenge, Awkward., True Life, Catfish (shut up I know)
  • The Good Wife 

Shows That Are Rachet But I Love Them Anyway
  • Basketball Wives LA
  • Divorce Court (Judge Toler be givin' some good advice y'all!)
  • RHOA
  • Bridezillas
  • Rachetpiece Theatre 
  • Awkward Black Girl
  • Booth At The End (Hulu Series)
Did I miss anything? What are you watching? If you name a cooking show, your post will immediately self-destruct.

Restart: Hi! My Name Is...What?

33 Things I’ve Never Told You (or, How to Re-Introduce Yourself and Kick Your Watered-Down Self in the Ass)

Not my idea; I got it from the link above. Thinking about your true self; the one you know, but few others do, is a great way to re-energize and refocus your thinking about life. In some ways it's a confession of sorts. A purging of behavior you need to get past in order to move on. And it's a list. Y'all know I love me a good list.

Thinking of 33 things no one knows about me was really hard! I think I came up with some pretty good ones but some items on this list I have actually shared with one or two people before.

1. Several relationships in my life have ended badly. There are  just a couple of relationships  I regret losing. I didn't deliberately intend on ending those relationships, it just happened and I did nothing to stop it. I wished I would have handled things differently. Now, I have to use this experience to learn what not to do. But most of the relationships that ended badly should have ended sooner. I've spent a great deal of time trying to make relationships work--and I don't just mean romantic ones, I'm talking friendships too. It's a pattern I don't like; I want to learn how to make friends with honest people out of a true kinship rather than getting to someone well enough to realize I don't really like who they are on the inside. I'm focusing more on speaking my truth first and hoping to find like-minded folks with whom I can share some interesting conversations and experiences.

2. I enjoy drinking alot. I love love love Yellow Tail Chardonnay. It's buttery and fragrant and subtle and rolls deliciously down my throat. I wish it were good for me. Second to the Chard is Scotch...single malt. Not of that blended shit. I'll drink beer occasionally but I'd rather have an icy cold glass of YTC any day.

3. I pledged a sorority but I no longer claim it. While I don’t regret doing it;  I don’t care about it at all now. I’m a die-hard member of Generation X...I.DON’T.DO.GROUPS. Besides that, the organization itself, like just about every other organization, is full of shit.

4. I'm terrible at keeping in touch with my friends because I hate making social phone calls. In fact, I really don’t unless I have to. The only people I regularly telephone with are my children, and my mother, and that’s really because they make me. There’s something about talking on the phone that really annoys me and it has nothing to do with whomever I’m speaking with. In my mind, it’s the call itself that is the intrusion, not the person (I know this isn’t logical; but it’s what I think). It’s like saying, “stop what you’re doing right now and pay attention to me because I said so!” Phones are so uncomfortable now. It used to like second nature to curl up with the receiver because it just nestled so perfectly between your ear and your shoulder. I remember propping a stuffed animal on the other side of it so I could lay down and chat without holding the phone when I was in high school. But now there’s so little and flimsy; I almost dropped my cell phone in my coffee cup! You can barely cradle it on your shoulder without fear of dropping it or pressing all the buttons. I wasn't always like this; I used to talk up a storm on the phone when I was younger and knew less about myself than I did about other people. I also get incensed by rapid-fire calls one after another when the offending party is convinced you want know exactly what they’re doing at the exact moment they’re doing it. “Brrrg! I’m almost there. Brrrg! I’m coming down your street. Brrrg! I’m at your door.”

5. I really like myself. I would hang out with me if I met myself. I suppose being an only child has something to do with that statement. I’m used to my own company, and most often, I prefer it. I admit I have a hard time socializing. I don’t enjoy small talk. I don’t mean that in a snobby way, it’s more like I can’t do it. I can be very awkward socially at times, typically when I’ve convinced myself I have nothing in common with the people I’m around. But if I’m interested in the topic,or the person, or I’m tipsy, I can blather non-stop like most dorks do.

6. I’m more of a libertarian than a liberal. There are some issues I’m very conservative on as well. Which really just proves I’m libertarian at heart. Truthfully, I don’t subscribe to any political party, although I tend to vote democrat. I’m still waiting for the republican party to offer a viable candidate who isn’t bat-shit crazy. I definitely would vote for Ron Swanson.

7. I’m an atheist.  I was born and raised in church. I went to church almost as much as I went to school. I've read the bible. I've had hands laid on me (if you don't know what that is, don't worry about it, it isn't real anyway). I recall questioning the logic of faith as a child. Why would someone who loves me expect me to be loyal to them when I can't tell who, what or where they are? That's like a parent saying to a child, "I love you, now I'm going away. Raise yourself and peace out." 

Most of my family doesn’t know I’m atheist. My mother chooses to ignore it. I do still participate in family prayers. We stand in a circle and hold hands. I do this because I feel like it’s really just a wishful hug and it has the best intentions. And it makes family happy. But I don’t participate in church or sanctifying because, well, now, it’s just silly. My father used to make a big horrendous deal about saying grace before meals. He would refer to the “starving people in China” as to why we should be so thankful God gave us food. I would wonder, why didn’t God feed the Chinese? What did they do wrong? I remember asking him why don’t we send some food to China. I don’t remember his response, but I am sure it involved making sure I would never ask that question again. Right before I met my ex-husband, I began really questioning my beliefs. Then I met my ex-husband, and convinced myself sheep-life was better than exploring my own individuality. Obviously that didn't work out well.

8. I secretly wanted to be an actor when I was younger. And by younger I mean a day ago. But I don’t like people or starvation. So there’s that.

9. My wedding was a joke to most of the people who were in it. I had a blast on my wedding day. I loved my dress, I thought I was marrying the man of dreams and my future would be filled with rainbows and bubbles. Well maybe not bubbles, but I felt in my heart of hearts that God had sanctioned this marriage and every good thing would come from this union. I thought I had surrounded myself and my future husband with people who really cared about and believed in us. After we split up, my maid of honor told me the bridal party joked about betting on how long my marriage would last. I was shocked and then I seethed. I’m probably still at a low simmer. It’s been years since she told me this in a kind of “by the way” manner, but I resent the shit out of her and a few other bridal party members  for it and our relationships has never been the same since.

10. I've been married twice. At least I feel like I have been. I dated my daughter's father through high school and college. We broke up for a while and got back together a few years after college. Then I got pregnant. And then he lost his shit and flaked out on me. To this day, I don't know what really happened. At the time, we thought we were so in love. Now, I can't connect at all to that feeling I had for him.

11. Even though I feel like I've been married twice, my second heartbreak wasn't from my actual divorce. I think my ex and I were good friends who were just incompatible. It wasn't a heartbreak type of relationship. What bothered me most about my failed marriage was feeling like I lied to God; feeling like I broke a covenant. Marvin Gaye wrote a whole album about what happens to people when they lie to each other and to God. Listening to this album was my therapy when my daughter's father left.

12. I quit being a sports fan when Art Modell took the team to Baltimore. I didn't do this intentionally. I used to love to watch boxing, football, baseball, basketball...really all sports. I've watched billiards, strongmen competitions, competitive volleyball, and of course the Olympics. Being a daddy's girl, I watched what he watched. But a famous writer and activist whose name I can't remember advocated for everyone to quit supporting blood sports. I didn't know what that meant. He explained blood sports were any sort of contest involving or producing blood draw of the opponent. I haven't looked back since.

13. I have broken the law. In college, I shoplifted when I was pledging my sorority because we didn't have money to buy the things we needed. That was kind of thrilling to me. After college, I broke a pretty serious white collar law... I don't regret what I did. But I have never done it again and I won't.

14. I'm not the marrying type. I didn't like being married. I turned into someone else when I got married because that was what I thought I was supposed to do. I don't like doing things because they are expected of me. Considering I'm in the empty nest stage of life, I don't really see why I would ever get married again.

15. I judge people by their profession. Anyone involved in the mortgage business is a dick in my book. That extends to ministers, investment bankers, entertainment managers, magicians, and recruiters for MLM companies.

16. I cry instantly over dumb things. Like this Verizon commercial here. It gets me every time.

17. I have an inappropriate sense of humor. I'm the person in the movie theater who laughs at the sad parts. The Titanic scene with Rose floating on the door and Jack dying in the frigid icy water was hilarious to me. Someone really special to me died this year which is still devastating, but the circumstances were just plain stupid and I couldn't stop cracking joke after joke about it. I felt like if he were alive he would have found it funny too.

18. I'm extremely ticklish and jumpy. And if you tickle or startle me, I will hate you for life. My dad used to chase me around the house and tickle me until I cried. I hated it. I laugh of course, but that's a physical response...I abhor tickling. When my kids were little, I'd tickle them when they got on my nerves. It didn't bother them like it did me and we all had a laugh.

19. Don't touch my feet unless you know what you're doing. I'm not saying any more about this.

20. If I could reboot my life, I would not have married or had kids. My original plan was to be a lawyer of some kind and get a dog. But obviously it didn't turn out that way, and I'm happy with that. I don't think my plan was the best for me. My kids are tailor-made for a mother like me. I did get a dog though.

21. I dated several married men before I was married. I was dating 2 married men when I met my ex. He knew about them. One day he asked me why. I don't remember what I said, but I'm sure it was some smug self-righteous answer. He responded by shaking his head and saying one day you'll realize you're smarter than that. I suppose I did.

22. I have 50% bodyfat. That means there really is a skinny person inside me, literally dying to get out! I am working on this though, so this won't be true for long.

23. I waste alot of time. I am a procrasti-master. I blow chunks of time away like drone strikes. It's something I've always done ever since I was a kid. I really would like to change that habit but it's hard. Harder than losing weight.

24. I'm ABD. I quit my doctoral program 3/4 of the way through. I don't know if I'll ever finish, but I know I don't like feeling like a quitter. I'm pretty sure my time is up and I would have to start over, if they would even let me back in.

25. If I didn't have to work, I wouldn't. I've never looked at working or having a profession as being a true telling of who I am. Or who other people are. What you do doesn't define you, even if you want it to.

26. I'm a bird killer. I am terrified of birds. I don't know why and I didn't know that I was until this happened. I had an empty hanging flower basket on my balcony. I could never decide what type of flower I wanted to plant. I think it was a 4th of July evening when my daughter and I went out to light some sparklers, which was something we'd never done before. We were loud and happy and apparently startled a gigantic mama bird who was in the planter. She couldn't figure out how to get out from under the balcony and kept fluttering around inside with me and my daughter. We yelled for my son to open the bedroom window and we crawled through, not before I used my daughter as a bird shield and yelled my head off at my son to not open the balcony door. The next day I called maintenance to come remove the basket while I was at work. What I didn't know was that mama Pterodactyl had laid eggs inside. The maintenance worker took the basket and threw it in the woods. My daughter was home and watched him do it. She saw the eggs fly out and crack open upside the trees. The mama bird kept coming back to the balcony for days and days looking for her babies. It was heartbreaking and I really wish I hadn't been such a chicken (irony!) about it.

27. My teenage son lives with his dad and I'm ok with it. A year ago, my son told me he wanted to live with his dad, who resides in the next state over. I blew it off at first, but he kept asking me. He said he wanted to know what it was like living with his father. He wanted to learn "manly things". I told him to ask his dad and eventually his father and I spoke about it. I began to realize that if I really loved my son, then the best thing I could do for him, is to let him live with his dad. My goal for my children is for them to thrive. I had no real reason to say no to the move. My ex is a good person. We haven't always gotten along, but I know he loves his son. I know he loves his family. So I said I wouldn't stand in the way.  In the first few weeks, I felt very disoriented. I felt like I was forgetting something; I no longer had to remember to pick him up from school, no longer had to worry about feeding him, making sure his laundry was done or that I had plenty of refills of his asthma medication. But then I realized I had been given the thing that I've wanted for a long time; the freedom to do what I want. I don't know how long my son will live with his dad; this could be temporary or permanent. I know that he and his dad have hit a few bumpy patches. My ex is much more rigid and controlling than I am. But these are things we discussed extensively before and my son felt he could handle it. It's important that they work through this together and I want to support both of them. I'm enjoying this time even though I miss my son. I've realized I can be his mother and love him and love myself all at the same time.

28. The next best lesson I can think to teach my kids is how to die. Both my parents have chronic illnesses. They are going to die from them. My father has moderate dementia. He recognizes me but sometimes confuses me with my mother. The last time I saw him, he expected me to kiss him on the mouth.My dad has always been a hard person to love. He's an alcoholic. He's abusive. He was in a toxic relationship with a horrible woman for 15 years. He did not take care of himself. He alienated everyone around him. These are not lessons I want my children to learn. I've written about my mother's condition here. It's been almost 12 years since her diagnosis. She spent most of this summer in hospitals and rehabilitation centers. She has been doing better in recent wee, but she is mired in a state of depression that practically seems contagious. Dying can take alot of work. At times I feel resentful for the stress and agony and worry. I hope not to do that to my kids.

29. In my next life, I want to be a farmer. This Thanksgiving I purchased a turkey and a few vegetables from a local farm. The family had a couple of dogs roaming around checking out the shoppers. They lived close to the city, but not too close. Not only did they have turkeys, there were also chickens and a few hams. I don't know how many acres they had or how vast their farm is, but I really liked being there. I have no idea why I want to farm, if I'd be any good at it, but it's something I'd like the opportunity to try.

30. I have a superpower. I'm immune to pain. It happens all the time. I'm working around the house, I cut myself, bang my knee, burn my arm, and often I don't even realize it's happened until after the fact. Usually I know I've injured myself because I see it when it happens, but sometimes I don't always see it. Once I cut my hand while washing out a tin can. I saw the dishwater turn red and thought I didn't rinse out all the tomato paste. I ended up needing 4 stitches.

31. I want to live as long as my brain lives. By that I mean I don't want to be alive longer than I'm able to do anything about it. Watching my dad suffer with dementia is sheer torture. For him and for me. It's like he dies everyday. And every day I mourn his loss. And then the next day comes and we do it all over again. He can still feed himself, but that's it. He can't do a single thing for himself, he can't enjoy a sports game, he can't appreciate the changing foliage, he can't wipe his own butt. But most significantly, he can't make decisions. He only knows what time it is; he doesn't know his grandkids and thinks he's living at college in a work/study program. I don't want to experience that. I don't think it's fair for people to have to live that way. I don't plan to. I'll move to Oregon.

32. I would love the opportunity to sing in a band. I could be a wedding singer. Or a backup singer. I know I can't carry the melody, but I have a really good choir voice.

33. I don't like doing things I don't want to do. I know this makes me sound like a petulant brat, and I'll own that. Because that's exactly how I feel when it comes to stuff I hate to do. Like filling out forms, paying bills, returning library books on time. Uggh. Ron Swanson for President! This includes household chores, even some work assignments, family errands and other adult responsibilities that I find boring and uninteresting. I've got a ridiculous stack of mail on my desk now that's been staring at me for over a month. Fuck you mail, I'll get to you when I get to you!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

BOW Chicka Wow Wow...2012

This fall I was able to participate in Ohio's Become An Outdoors Woman (BOW). I've been wanting to do this for the last two years, but either didn't have the money or time or both. This annual event is sponsored by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and as the name says, provides women an opportunity to sample and experience a variety of outdoor activities. There are four sessions held over a weekend and the give you a wide selection. This was my first time attending and was able to get all the sessions I wanted. Plus I qualified for a first-time attendee scholarship. I took handgun basics, canning, backpacking and shotgun. Everything is hands on; each session is 4 hours so they cover the A to Z of every topic. Participating in the firearms classes prepares individuals for the hunting license exam.

We stayed in fully serviced cabins, galley style. It was weird sleeping in a large room with a bunch of grown women. The last time I bunked with that many people was about 4 years ago went I went with my son on his sixth grade camping trip. Most of the women looked to be on the plus side of 35 and a good number were over 45. I met several women who regularly attend this event every year.

Out of over 100 plus participants, only 2 including yours truly were black. If there were any Asians or Hispanics, I couldn't tell. I expected as much, but only 2? I may force my daughter to go with me in '13.

Next year I plan to take kayaking, fishing, rifling and maybe another handgun. I'm putting this event on my calendar every year!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Today I am...

...halfway through cleaning my room.

...content that I have enough Christmas decorations around and outside of the house. need of an assistant. I hate opening mail and paying bills.

...excited to have a king-size bed. I feel like a real bona fide adult. And the box springs are on frames, not the floor!

...geeked about my Craigslist purchase this weekend! I got a Vitamix 5000 for $300! I know lots of folks rag on CL, but I love it! I've made some great purchases there. glad my mother lets me vent to her about anything. Especially stuff she doesn't understand. The trade off is she tells me to pray about it. I feel like it's a fair deal.

...feeling some kind of way about everything. If you don't know what that means, then you understand exactly how I feel. About everything.