Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Apple Stain That Got Away

I once threw an apple at my husband. Luckily, I have terrible aim and instead hit the soffit way above his head. Last week, he was touching up the walls and cleaned the 4 year old apple stain from the soffit and when I came home, there was a little twinge in my heart to see the missing stain. Every day for 4 years, that stain has been a reminder. A reminder of how bad things once were and a reminder of how we can overcome anything, especially apples.

Today marks 5 years we have been married & this September, we will celebrate 9 years as a couple.

Our relationship is a little tricky. There are certainly logistical challenges we face daily (one being a 14 year age difference) and sometimes, I'm not sure if they ever get better or we just get used to them (or not). People who see us together aren't always sure of what to make of "it". There's a lot of ribbing, insults and fat jokes thrown around in regular conversation and it can put people off a bit. What they don't often realize is the love that runs so far beyond me leaving the water out (on purpose) or him farting without spraying Oust. It's so deep, it cannot be seen with untrained eyes.

I hardly admit this to him (except, you know, now I am because I know he reads this blog. GO AWAY, DANNY!) but he's changed my life in ways I will never admit to. Aside from the obvious ways he's made me a better person, I truly owe my life to him.

dB, you took me out of the ghetto and helped shape me into the person I've become. You've helped me form the life that I've dreamed of since I can remember and without you, I'd be nobody. (The same goes for you, homie. After all, I do take 1/2 the credit for Communion's lead line.) I proudly stand behind you in every endeavor of our lives and your career; there is no one more protective than I. You stuck with it through my late teens and now my 20's because you knew the true person I was inside and in part due to you, that person has flourished. I love you for every risk and sacrifice you've made to allow me to become me. I have loved you since the very beginning and I'm so grateful I grew on you. And even though I'm slightly dented, I know you'd never trade this Rolls Royce. (Because I get half.)

Happy anniversary, stinky.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

My Sister

I'm going to spare everyone the back story of my sister and me and briefly mention that we came into each other's lives when I was 16 and she was 24. For the record, we are biological sisters and share a mother. (Confused yet?)
I'll never forget the first time I met her, I thought "we look nothing alike". We didn't need looks. We instantly have love. And the first time I talked to her on the phone (months before we met), I clearly remember standing in the kitchen after hanging up the phone and feeling like a small hole in my heart had just been repaired. I could have had any freak for a sister, someone who was opposite of me, who didn't "go" with me or frankly, didn't want anything to do with me. Instead, I got a sister who wanted me as much as I wanted her, who bonded with me in an instant and even though we weren't mirror personalities, I loved her fast. Later, people would comment on how great it was to have found each other and comment on the strong similarities, not in looks but in disposition. "You two sound exactly the same. You both talk fast and in the same rhythm. It's amazing." Those words came from the mother who raised her. Everyone around was surprised. And I was proud.
We were lucky enough to share pregnancies and she came to me, 6 weeks postpartum, to share in the labor of my daughter. I shall forever be indebted to her for her long 11 hours at my bedside (and ballside, rockerside and all the other fucked up positions they made me try). She shouted at the nurse when I was unhappy and shot looks at the doctor who suggested I couldn't do it. And she promised me it wouldn't hurt when they broke my water (she didn't lie).
Growing up, I was often the one in my family who was "strong". This was status quo for everyone from distant relatives to my mother. I carried many people at an age that I shouldn't have even been carrying myself and I never had anyone whom I could go and share my worst fears and deepest secrets. When my sister came along, she lifted a part of the burden. The burden of myself. She would allow middle of the night phone calls and irrational conversations. She continues to let me be myself in all of it's glory and misery. She lets me be the helpless child.
Within the past 9 years we've endured the roller coaster that traditional sisters ride. But inside the big picture, she tells me that I'm a great mom when I don't believe it and swears that I'm a good person when I'm in worst form.
In the past, my sister has credited me with many, many wonderful things. She announces to the Internet that often, I am her inspiration and has written words about me that not only caused deep emotion but rendered me speechless for a long time (a feat very few have accomplished).
Carianne, it is one of the greatest honors to be your inspiration. But truly, it's you that's inspired me to be much of who I am. You came into my life at a point where I was a very lost child and you guided me, showed me how to be a good person and mother by example without even trying. It's you that makes it look effortless and it's been my desire to be just like my big sister.
We may not have grown up together but I honestly could not have chosen a better sibling. Our connection and my admiration, love for you runs so much deeper than the blood line we share. I look forward to the rest of our lives where we'll always be making up for lost time.
So, thank you, for letting me be your little sister.

P.S. Top this one, bitch!

Cap'n Crunch

How come it's not "Captain Crunch"? This is really bugging me now. Whatever, the point is, I've rediscovered my love for this cereal. Yummo.

I know that I promised two additional blogs this week and I haven't delivered but I don't think it's actually been 1 week so I still have some time (hours). I'm trying to write about my sister and as I've said before, I start in my head and I'm just not sure how much to tell & how much to withhold. She said I could say anything I wanted but for me, it needs to be some of my best writing. I like her that much. Plus, I'm not really sure what to call her live-in lesbian lover girlfriend. I call that person my sister-in-law but what's the PC term?

In the meantime, I've been stalling by filling out some myspace surveys which I happen to know that the people on my friends list find very annoying. Hey assholes, you don't have to open & read them, ya know? Control freaks, I tell you! But perhaps I've been wasting my wit & charisma on those silly questionnaires.

A couple of updates: It looks like we're getting that big contract at work that I wrote about before. They promised me the contract this week...I didn't get it in my hands yet but I believe I will. THE COMPANY WILL GO ON!
Second, there are a couple of Trip Theory shows coming up in the South Florida area. I'll post more information when available.
Lastly, I have a really great story in my head about a friend of mine (and by friend, I mean really annoying person that gets on my nerves so I avoid at all costs) but she may or may not read this blog so I cannot post. But if you want to know, email me & I'll tell you the story.

Check again, soon. Sister story is coming, I swear! AND, I'll post a picture of us. That will be worth the wait. She's just as pretty as me.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Kara & the benefits of girlfriends (and danger of none)

At my age (that would be 25), I imagined I would have a tight circle of girlfriends. Where we'd sing a drunken rendition of "Lean On Me" in the football field of our old high school and exchange poopie stories of our children whilst they played lovingly in the front yard, complete with tire swing. As I write (type?) this, I can actually visualize this in my mind.
But you know, none of it materializes. And if I'm going to be completely honest; I have no girlfriends.
When I was entering the "tender" years of my life (read: preteen & young adulthood), there was 4 of us. But as I grew older, I grew apart. The rest of them didn't (except the one who isn't with us anymore). They still talk and occasionally enjoy each other's company while I'm over here, ALONE, in hell (also known as the smallest place 3 people can live). (Where's my mama? Because the drama is overflowing!) It wasn't really their fault. You know the story: girl meets boy, girl's mother abandons her for New England, girl moves in with boy, gets knocked up & lives happily ever after. Oh? That's not the story you meant? Anyway, I moved less than a hour away but for me, each mile apart felt like 100.
Since then, I haven't felt the security of having a "best friend" around. I still have Jess, and we talk once in a while but not in the gut-wrenching ways that girlfriends talk.
And I have Kara. She lives two hours away but still has guided me in ways that I've needed yet missed for the last 9 years. She came to visit me last weekend & I learned about the beauty of flat-ironed hair. We also talked for a long time about a lot yet nothing. When she left, I had that sinking feeling in my chest again. I suspect this feeling is loneliness.
There is something missing, a small piece of my soul is absent. My (good) sister thinks this is because somewhere along the line, I lost myself. I disagree. I think all of me is here only to be awakened by the benefits of having a friend. One of complete unselfishness & agendas where similarly, differences, kindness and compassion runs deep and bonds.

I mentioned in a previous post that I'm taking a writing class. I'm telling everyone it's because I want to be a better writer (which is true) but really, I'm taking it to meet people (my reasons extend further than those two reasons; you'll see in later posts). My life is pretty limited in opportunity to meet new strangers (is that a double?) as my life is fairly limited in itself. I work for a company which employs 5 people (3 of whom are men), my child attends a school where there are less than 150 students and the moms generally suck.

(Feel free to insert the standard paragraph about how lucky I am to have my life, I wouldn't trade it for the world, blah blah blah.)

I want to gossip about celebrities, trade make-up tips & hair styles. I want to talk about my husband and child without the faint smell of competition. I want to look at pretty men in the mall and exchange knowing glances.

So, I'm embarking on this new quest to find myself a real friend. Wish me luck!

And then I scratched my butt!

On writing: I'm a bad blog keeper-I get it. I know the secret to a super blog is posting nearly everyday but lately I feel like my writing is left with much to be desired. (Say it ain't so, boss!)
In an attempt to ignite the fire and connect my brain to my hand(s), I'm taking a writing class this year. I hope it will tap into the passion like you tap a keg thingie into a tree for maple syrup. You know what I'm talking about, don't give me that look!

So, I promise to you (mostly to myself) to write about the following subjects within one week of today:

My sister(s)
Kara & the benefits of girlfriends (and the danger of none)

I don't know that any of those items will reflect my best work but at least I'll be using that mushed up, pink (!) brain of mine.

Please come back & see!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The 90/10 Principle

As "borrowed" from another blog. I'm so trying this-starting immediately! If you try it, too, let me know how it works out for you & I promise to keep a quasi-updated record on how it's going for me.

Discover the 90/10 Principle. It will change your life (at least the way you react to situations).What is this principle?10% of life is made up of what happens to you.90% of life is decided by how you react.What does this mean?We really have no control over 10% of what happens to us. We cannot stop the car from breaking down. The plane will be late arriving, which throws our whole schedule off. A driver may cut us off in traffic. We have no control over this 10%. The other 90% is different. You determine the other 90%.How? By your reaction. You cannot control a red light., but you can control your reaction. Don’t let people fool you; YOU can control how you react.

Let’s use an example.You are eating breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your business shirt. You have no control over what just what happened. What happens when the next will be determined by how you react. You curse. You harshly scold your daughter for knocking the cup over. She breaks down in tears. After scolding her, you turn to your spouse and criticize her for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table. A short verbal battle follows. You storm upstairs and change your shirt. Back downstairs, you find your daughter has been too busy crying to finish breakfast and get ready for school. She misses the bus. Your spouse must leave immediately for work. You rush to the car and drive your daughter to school. Because you are late, you drive 40 miles an hour in a 30 mph speed limit. After a 15-minute delay and throwing $60 traffic fine away, you arrive at school. Your daughter runs into the building without saying goodbye. After arriving at the office 20 minutes late, you find you forgot your briefcase. Your day has started terrible. As it continues, it seems to get worse and worse. You look forward to coming home, When you arrive home, you find small wedge in your relations hip with your spouse and daughter.

Why? Because of how you reacted in the morning. Why did you have a bad day?A) Did the coffee cause it?B) Did your daughter cause it?C) Did the policeman cause it?D) Did you cause it?The answer is D.You had no control over what happened with the coffee. How you reacted in those 5 seconds is what caused your bad day. Here is what could have and should have happened. Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say, “It’s ok honey, you just need, to be more careful next time”. Grabbing a towel you rush upstairs. After grabbing a new shirt and your briefcase, you come back down in time to look through the window and see your child getting on the bus. She turns and waves. You arrive 5 minutes early and cheerfully greet the staff. Your boss comments on how good the day you are having.Notice the difference? Two different scenarios. Both started the same. Both ended different. Why? Because of how you REACTED. You really do not have any control over 10% of what happens. The other 90% was determined by your reaction. Here are some ways to apply the 90/10 principle.

If someone says something negative about you, don’t be asponge. Let the attack roll off like water on glass. You don’thave to let the negative comment affect you! React properly andit will not ruin your day. A wrong reaction could result inlosing a friend, being fired, getting stressed out etc.

How do you react if someone cuts you off in traffic? Do youLose your temper? Pound on the steering wheel? A friend of minehad the steering wheel fall off) Do you curse? Does your bloodpressure skyrocket? Do you try and bump them? WHO CARES if youarrive ten seconds later at work? Why let the cars ruin yourdrive? Remember the 90/10 principle, and do not worry about it.

You are told you lost your job. Why lose sleep and getirritated? It will work out. Use your worrying energy and timeinto finding another job.
The plane is late; it is going to mangle your schedule for theday. Why take out your frustration on the flight attendant? Shehas no control over what is going on. Use your time to study,get to know the other passenger. Why get stressed out? It willjust make things worse. Now you know the 90-10 principle. Applyit and you will be amazed at the results. You will lose nothingif you try it.

The 90-10 principle is incredible. Very few know and apply this principle. The result? Millions of people are suffering from undeserved stress,trials,problems and heartache. There never seem to be a success in life. Bad days follow bad days. Terrible things seem to be constantly happening. There is constant stress, lack of joy, and broken relationships. Worry consumes time. Anger breaks friendships and life seems dreary and is not enjoyed to the fullest. Friends are lost. Life is a bore and often seems cruel. Does this describe you? If so, do not be discouraged.
You can be different! Understand and apply the 90/10 principle. It will change your life