Friday, July 17, 2009

Addendum to the This girl's life

Upon reflection, I realized there were some pretty big happenings that I failed to mention in my catching up post of yesterday like Wegman's opening and my class reunion. Instead of going over them in this post since each I feel I would like to talk about more in length, I will be doing individual posts about them over the next few days. I would have hoped to finished the Wegman's post today which is the one I started first. However, I have only just begun to reach a point where I can sit for any lengthy period of time due to a serious knot in my lower back which has caused me to walk around today either looking like a pregnant lady on the verge of going into labor or hunched over like an older lady in severe need of a cane. I doubt I will be blogging much tomorrow as my schedule seems to be pretty booked with work, then rushing to try to sell advertising for Pride, and finally a Pride meeting in the evening. I am sure that will lead to an exciting evening of laundry while eating and possibly watch a DVD. I bet you are jealous of my Saturday night. I could go out, but I have realized as of late I just can't do it as often as I used to. Dagnabitall, I really am getting old, but not yet entirely boring(or so I hope). So, I plan on working on the Sunday or Monday.

Out of the mouths of babes

I am not yet a parent, though I dearly hope to be someday. The restaurant I work at is family friendly, so I get to see tons of kiddos everyday. Today, two incidents occurred reminding me just how difficult it must be to be a parent these days.
The first incident happened around our checkout area. We happen to have a gift shop like area set up with toys, candies, books, etc for customers to purchase. While I did not see the buildup to the child screaming as I had my back turned making drinks for one of my tables, I can figure out easily what happened. Suddenly, out of no where, I hear a child yell at quite a loud volume especially considering we were packed with two busloads of people at the time "You're a bad mommy!" I immediately turned my head to see the child devolve into an absolute tantrum rolling on a bench wailing. I am sure the child wanted a toy or candy which mommy had no intention of purchasing. The mother continued paying the bill and simply looked over at the child angrily until she had finished signing her card. She quickly grabbed the child by the arm and escorted her out of the restaurant while her other child followed dutifully. I doubt the child throwing the tantrum was more than 4(hence, my picking a picture of myself at 4 to top the post.). This lead to several of my coworkers and I talking about how our own mothers would have reacted to a similar situation. We all seemed to be in agreement that had we lost our minds and been insane enough to say something like that in public we probably still would have problems sitting in any sort of comfortable position. Times change though. I do not necessarily condone corporal punishment. It seems though amongst those of us of my generation it seemed more the norm. When I babysat, I saw how quickly times had changed to timeouts. I do not know which works better personally although I tend more to be of the belief that violence begets violence. I can say that even though I know that kids say hurtful things to their parents as a way of asserting independence I think I still would have been overcome not only with embarassment but extreme hurt.
The second incident is less than humorous. Two children and their mother were seated at the counter eating dinner. I missed the part of the conversation that predicated one of the girls asking their mother what CPR was. The mother stammered I assumed trying to find a way to explain in easily digestible terms for her preschool age daughter CPR. Much to my surprise, I overheard the mother give a clearly incorrect explanation of CPR. Now, I am sure she was talking about the CPR used to resucitate those who have stopped breathing as she gave a medically based explanation basically describing the Hemlich maneuver. I know there are times when parents must deal with having a highly intelligent child and reaching a point where information may be beyond what they know. However, to simply be wrong about something I assumed to be pretty basic knowledge when your children are still so young nearly stopped me in my tracks. Kids thanks to the a multitude of media outlets in the information age are exposed to an enormous amount of things that lead to curious questions. I know I asked my mother as a very young child how a rainbow was made. My mother with her science background probably gave me a more detailed explanation than I was expecting. Whatever would this poor mother do in that situation which lead me to think is it difficult to be a stupid parent or is it simply blissfully ignorant? Will I be wise enough to ask for help finding the answer to give my children when I don't know the right answer something my mother firmly believed in or will I be responsible for my children repeating mistaken information?
On a sidenote, my father found it funny to give my brother and I misinformation for his own amusement. This though was generally harmless and usually only served to gross us out. I remember him telling us that Mountain Dew was goat pee. Even though I am well aware and have been since probably the age of 7 that Mountain Dew is not goat pee, the combination of the memory and the odd quite unnatural color of the beverage has prevented me from drinking it without being grossed out. There were several other stories like this including his comedic explanation of hemrhoids which while even outlandish to us as children was so funny and gross kept us on the edge of our seats until his explanation reached its ridiculous conclusion. This is what I now refer to a dad humor, usually goofy often pulling a child's leg in a way that only older children and adults can see but not in any way meant to demean the child. It also includes guys telling corny jokes. To me, when I see a male who has what I refer to as dad humor, I immediately note that he either already has kids or probably will be a good dad someday.


I am totally stealing this idea from my friend Shell of Stuttering Shell, but I figure it's fine since she stole it from someone else. I want you to interrogate me. Meaning I want to give you the opportunity to ask me anything, absolutely anything you please. And, I promise to answer it completely honestly. Considering how forthright I pride myself on being, this should be easy and possibly fun. You could ask me about shoes, shopping, what makes me tick, my pet peeves, anything your little ole heart desires. I think this is a great opportunity for sharing, finding out what interests y'all(totally cracks me up that a childhood friend recently teased me about still using y'all since she assumed I would be too citified to use that anymore. Not one bit.) and giving me more ideas for possible blog posts. So, feel free to ask away.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

This girl's life

A lot has been going on recently, so I thought I would try to give the Reader's Digest version.
  1. Bills are kicking my butt and delaying my plans to move much to my dismay. It's been one of those cases of if it could break down or go wrong, it will. The car died a sad death after a vandalism, accident, and old age. Due to the nature of the boy's work being a pizza delivery driver, he had to get a new car. Making a down payment, increased insurance payments, and just having to make car payments again have added pressure at a quite unfortunate time. The lawn mower blew up or at least began vomitting oil. Now somehow I feel partially to blame for this one. I assumed the boy had the common sense to know that much like a car oil needs to be added and changed in a lawn mower. Silly me. I forgot the dear has not a tool to his name. These sort of things are not his area of expertise. After the previous lawn fiasco and insane bill, we cannot let the lawn go. I was beginning to feel like I was leaking money the way expenses kept creeping up out of nowhere. Then, it seemed like there was a conspiracy among other household appliances to commit horrible suicides or at the very least become severly ill. The dryer stopped emitting hot air. The DVD player randomly died one day. The PSP will only play games now, but not movies. Drains would randomly clog. The list goes on, and on sadly. So, in order to fix things that are necessary to maintain the house and day to day functioning, I ended up putting off bills. Since I do not want to move until all bills are up to date, I have had to delay my move.
  2. I have become involved in planning and working this year's Pride Week which is actually 8 days jammed pack full of events. We seemed to have already reached a point where we are having at least 2 meetings a week even though the events don't begin til Labor Day. I am thrilled to be so involved and am confident that everything will rock beyond even our imagination. I also have met a ton of truly wonderful individuals through all of this. It is though quite an investment of time.
  3. Three of my friends lost their father last week. I actually knew the whole family. I saw the dad several times a week. He was my friends' dad though, so I wouldn't consider him a friend. He had been sick for a few weeks, so it wasn't a complete shock when he passed. I am glad for their sake that they at least got an opportunity to say goodbye. For some reason, when I got home and read the obituary, it struck me hard that he was the same age as my parents. I've had the sad misfortune to lose many friends through the years, as well as relatives. However, most were either around my age or around my grandparents age. Something about him being the same age as my parents really brought home to me the reality that my parents are getting to the age where it is more normal for people to pass away. Now, it should have considered this when I helped my father pick out ties to buy to go along with the new suit he purchased a few years ago, and he dryly informed me that the reason he needed a new suit was that he was getting to the point where going to funerals were becoming a regular occassion for him. Sadly, this seems to be a regular occassion these days for me as this is the 3rd funeral I have attended in less than 8 months, and I missed another during this same timeframe as well. Now, my parents really aren't that old. Both will be 58 by the end of the year. For some reason, this whole thing rattled me a bit. I immediately felt the need to call my parents. I think they thought I was being silly, but I just needed to hear more specifically my dad's voice. I didn't expect to cry at the funeral, though, since I wasn't that close to John. However, seeing my friends in pain trying to speak about their father brought me to tears. I can say I was pleased that the funeral was literally standing room only as it was so packed. It was good I think for the family that so many people were there for the family. On a final note, I simply do not get why people are wearing jeans and sweats these days to weddings and funerals. This trend absolutely drives me batty. I was raised with a different sense of decorum. I wish I could say this was maybe a local or one time thing, but every funeral I've been to I've seen this. And, there were people dressed down at my brother's wedding in New Hampshire.
  4. This June 24th, I celebrated my 6 year anniversary of sobriety. Now, I do not say this hoping for praise. Part of me sadly is still embarassed that I even got myself in the predicament that I needed to be in rehab at 25. However, one thing that the program has taught me is that the first year we celebrate anniversaries monthly for ourselves. We celebrate for ourselves because we are often still hanging on by a merely a nail and need the reassurance. After a year, we celebrated yearly not for ourselves, but for those others in the program to show them that it can be done. I can't tell you how amazed I was at my homegroup to hear the stories of those who had made it 15, 20 years and more. I, though, was fortunate enough several years before to see someone with that level of long term sobriety fall. I was bartending and attending our Christmas Party. We could bring family and the executive chef had brought his brother whose wife had recently left him and taken his children with her. My chef despite our differences had told me to keep an eye out as his brother was a recovering alcoholic with 17 years of sobriety but was concerned about his brother in this very emotional time. I went to the bathroom and left the bar unmanned while we were setting up. I came back to see him pouring shot after shot for himself. I am glad that I saw this in person rather than it being just a story someone told me. It adds to the reality that alcohol or any addiction is just a monkey on our back that always continues to haunt us. Having relapsed with bulimia, I know any day it can creep back. Mainly, I can't believe how quickly time passes. I have a few friends who remember me from when I drank. None of us can believe the stories they tell happened so many years ago yet still seem like they happened just yesterday. Some days I need those stories though to remind me where I can so easily return if I take a drink again.

this week's karaoke pics

Unfortunately, the batteries in the camera died much too quickly this week; hence I only ended up with about 40 pictures of my friends and I enjoying karaoke this Tuesday. Of those, these are some of my faves. I love pics of my dear John Lee singing Annie Lennox's Walking on Broken Glass as he for some reason stands in a pose that reminds Laura and I of a choir boy. It may have taken John Lee a while to succumb to the pull or in this case peer pressure to sing at karaoke, I must say the boy brings it.

I don't recall which song Laura was belting out in this pic, but I am so in love with the necklace she is wearing and jealous that she found it before me at a thrift shop. For some odd reason, I have managed to have absolutely no luck finding any worth while jewelry at any of the local thrift stores. And, I love that Laura is a fellow shoe lover. We always have a chat at the beginning of the evening about each other's shoes.

Finally, Jon and I have a good noncomedic picture of just the two of us. For some reason, we take tons of silly pics together.

I love that Janet managed to catch these completely candid moment of Chris telling me something right before the song began. Not a clue what he had to say while we were on stage that was so important since the two of us had been having a lengthy discussion just the two of us immediately prior.

Chris and I doing We Built This City, a song that we have sung together for about 8 years together now. The dress was a gift from a coworker that very day. She brought in for me two dresses that she felt were too short for her, but could work for me. Ironically, I would actually say they are both a bit longer than I would wear since I normally got for dresses and skirts that hit around knee length due to my height. I'm not short exactly average at 5'4", however, I seem to surround myself with taller people and do everything in my power to downplay my shorter height. Not sure how I feel about the print since it is a mix of animal print and paisley that I could have never previously imagined together. However, I love the cut and free definitely works for me. I did discover when trying to pick shoes that evening that I somehow own not a single pair of blue heels in any shade. How odd. Unsure if it is because I so rarely wear blue or that it just hasn't been a popular shoe color in heels the last few seasons. Probably a combination of the two. I do have two pair of blue flats one of which I wear quite often.

My shoe and handbag closet

Probably the most common question that I am asked on my blog is where do I possibly find room to store all my shoes. Well, I am not as lucky as some of my friends who have a walk in closet(a joy that I have never had and can only dream fondly of) nor am I like some of my friends who have been known to rent 2 bedroom apartments only to turn the second bedroom into a closet(Amazingly, I can say I have known multiple women who have done this.). No, I use my attic for shoe, handbag, extra book, and boxes storage. While it might be more convenient to somehow find a way to stuff all the boxes into a closet to prevent me having to traipse up and down steps everytime I need to retreive a pair of shoes or hangbag, I swear I live with the world's tiniest closet that can sparsely hold a small portion of my clothes much less more than have floor space for more than 8 boxes when I tried. Additionally, I like to be able to look at my shoes. Now, I am not just talking about taking a leisurely sit down to admire them; although I am not denying doing that. I mean that when I am deciding what to wear, I wish to be able to look over all my options to ensure I can make my most informed decision. My system also works for me because the attic has the just about the narrowest stairway to it possible making it near impossible to move anything useful like a bed or large tv up there to make the attic into a more "useful" room like an extra bedroom or media room as we had once envisioned. So, to appease those who have asked about my storage system, I have also included pictures of my shoe storage below.

In this view, you can see that I do have some sensible shoes such as hiking boots, flip flops, and Doc Martens which I have never featured in any of my shoe posts since frankly I tend to find them rather boring. I also, amazingly to my friends as I discovered last week when helping a friend move, own 2 pairs of tennis shoes which are not in any of the pictures as they are on another wall. My friends lovingly nicknamed my moving look Basketball Becca since me in basketball shorts and tennis shoes were such an odd look to them on me. I had to remind them that part of the reason that outside of work I wear flats, heels, etc so much as that for so many years these shoes were completely taboo due to a multitude of ankle, foot, and knee injuries. After having had to wear sneakers and crutches with dresses even, corrective shoes, and braces, dressier shoes are probably one of the ways I enjoy asserting my feminism these days.

In this view, you can see some of my book storage. I have so many books that my bookshelves and stacks downstairs are all out of space. So, now I have moved on to the attic.

Here, you can see how the shoes wrap around into the closet.

And, I use the inside unfinished area of the closet for extra flat storage. As you can see, I have misplaced one blue flat. I think it must be downstairs somewhere. As you can see, I originally began organizing the shoes by type. The flats are wedges are all together, but I soon gave up.

These are some of my handbags which I keep along other walls in my attic.