Friday, July 29, 2005

SPF ~ Le Boudoir ~ Zzzz, Jammies Stashed 'HERE' and My Favoritest Pjs

I have no idea yet the order in which these photos will be shown once I post... Repeat to self: "No, really! I love Blogger! It's Free! It's fabulous! Photo upload is a piece of cake! I love Blogger."

#1 My bed: see the shot with the small, light green, embroidered satin throw pillows? (yeah, I know you cannot tell such details from this shot...) and quilted shams? This is how my bed would look if and whenever I actually make it (by the way, I hardly ever make it). The other bed pic shows how it really looks on a daily basis; I only pull the sheets and quilt up and over the bed pillows, hoping to deter my Otis aka the lil' bed pillow hog, from laying all over them. One other thing about my bed, which can't be seen here. Ever since my undergrad frosh year, I've never not had my bed put up on cinder blocks - classy, I know, but this here bed is also up on blocks. Funny thing is many people don't notice because of the bedskirt. Now, why do I insist on using cinder blocks? I.HAVE.A.LOT.OF.STUFF. = a total understatement, but it's far, far improved than before! things are improving even still! the Goodwill LOVES me! Anyhow, having my bed up on blocks creates A LOT of underbed storage space.
Another thing about my bed, when I divorced, thus demoted to "sleep alone by myself" status, I brought out my bedding from my undergrad days - some crazy, gauzey indian print bedspread-like blanket of sorts and chocolate bedsheets; everything unmatched. I figured it was time to evolve, and so I pursued a themed, color-coordinated bedroom decor. I figured all I had to do was pick a bedquilt and go from there...light greens, pinks, red, and creamy white with white-painted wood furniture [most of white pieces are now being used my by roomie (see #2)]. I like it a lot now, but at first it was all sooo feminine, I felt like I was stuck sleeping in someone else's guest bedroom, indefinitely.

#2 My dresser: This piece is actually one of the things I've refinished. It used to be covered with nasty, flat brown paint = a total crime against cedar! To the left, you can see part of its matching 6-drawer dresser. I got the two from my lil' old, sweetest roomie ever, Helen, who I had lived with last, before moving to my present digs. After I was all done with the two pieces, several months later, and it was time to move out -the house had sold- Helen found the very large, matching bureau mirror in a closet, it too, painted flat brown. I haven't yet been able to refinish it... sniff, sniff. I no longer have a two-car garage to work in. K, I can't linger on that for long, bums me out. So anyhow, the two pieces are very dark for me, but I love the retro styling! and the wood is beautiful. Semi-Important Note: In the pic, to either side of this dresser, you can see my sad bed shams and throw pillows; this is where they live on a daily basis.

#3 My Pjs: This particular set? pair? of flannel jammies, one of my very faves, is only revealed around the Christmas holiday or very cold nights. They were given to me for Christmas back in, oh, 1993? yeah. No kidding. I love them though! and I must admit, I look purty darn cute in 'em. If I'm not mistaken, my Gma Joanie gave to both me and my sister these Pjs, matching. I was full grown at the time, but she was only 12 yrs old, so I'm sure her's are long gone.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Mah Very Own Geek Boy

Those of you who use Windows Explorer may or may not know this... For months, my sidebar (ya know, that area shown to the right of this post and all other posts? complete with blogger Profile, "Song in My Head," blogroll, archives, Flickr badge, etc. etc.) could not be viewed as a sidebar when using Windows Explorer; it would always kick down to the bottom of the site (this may still happen with old Macs or whenever the site is viewed in large text).

I first sought the blogging wisdom of
Closet Metro - not the first time he's helped me out in the big unknown blogosphere and he is quite helpful, indeed! Yes, turns out the lovely and talented marshmellow man (referring to his dear heart, which we all know is total mush!) is a great fountain of blog formatting knowledge (no, I'm not forgetting you, Kristine - you totally rock!). Anyhow, after some totally right on suggestions offered by Metro, I decided (as it was all sooo over my head) to seek the ultra geeky compooter skills of my very own geek boy, mah honey-man. I normally avoid bothering him with any of my blogger blather, although he does currently serve as my primary writing editor from time to time. So anyhow, he got his wonderful geeky hands on my blog template ~ ~ and voila! I gots me a sidebar no matter which web browser be yer preference.
Yay! Thanks again, sweetness!

Now, the "Nerds Get Chicks" magnet seen above was given to me by a most spunky college girlfriend of mine, Melis. It came in a purty nifty lil' care package she recently sent it to me, juhsst for the hellovit! The package contained items she has deemed part of the following theme: "I saw it and it made me think of you." So what's with the nerd magnet? I'm notoriously attracted to nerds/geeks = my honey-man fits the nerd profile to a T! He's certainly a most handsome, classy, multi-talented guy, and fortunately, he does not own any pocket protectors (that I know of), but he's an adorable nerd, nonetheless. In the past, I've also been accused of dating men who have some awfully unusual names = again, my honey-man fits this description. Anyhow, this other pic shows a couple more of the said themed items that were given to me. The first post-it pad, I totally understand the correlation... Melis and I both spent our early twenties believing we "knew" certain things without a doubt, and that consequently, we believed we could create a 10 year plan as to what and how we would accomplish many a thing in our lives. We've since learned that there are unseen limits to "knowing"... and that it's very important to live right here in the "NOW," to enjoy what we have RIGHT NOW, despite whatever plans or dreams one may wish to pursue.

The "Good Golly" post-it pad shouldn't need any explaining, since I've already demonstrated my use of the word "nifty" in this very post...

Friday, July 22, 2005

It ain't PMS

I've been soooo filled with emotion in the past week+ and I've often found myself in tears at various random and odd (nod to Kristine!) moments. Honestly, I attribute this to my being very happy right now in my life ~ the happiest I've ever been thus far. Seriously. Note: it should be granted that all previously experienced moments of innocent childhood bliss do not apply to the aforementioned statement; absolutely nothing compares to innocent childhood bliss, and I swear, we spend the majority of our adult lives longing for those days, wishing we could recapture them. Disclaimer: Should also be granted, there are unfortunate exceptions in all cases.

Anyhow, in all my happiness, I've come to see what had to happen in order for me to be where I am right now. Much has been weighed and sorted by way of recent discussions regarding "our lives up until now," with the following significant people in my life: 1) my college girlfriend, Suzanne, who knows me in the worst and best ways and vice versa; 2) my childhood girlfriend, Johanna (we've known each other since kindergarten), who recently became a proud lil' mommie of a gorgeous, healthy baby boy; 3) Johanna's mother, Barbara, who has been a constant source of support and many an enlightening, thought-provoking convos, which have helped me at various times; and 4) a beautiful friend, Eve, who has known me since I was a babe, who served my mother as a dear friend and as her terminal-illness counselor initially, and who only weeks ago lost her husband to a brutal, 18 month-long fight with cancer... Each of these women are invaluable figures in my life and I type these words as tears well up in my eyes. See?! - there I go again, crying!

I've been really wanting to write, yet not knowing what it is I want to say exactly... BUT let me say this right now (this warning is directed towards my father), it ain't PMS! so don't be blaming ol' Auntie Flo, although she IS a raging bitch, and I will NEVER understand why it's necessary women face this monthly week-long stretch of total body 'n' soul hormonal-hijacking. Disclaimer: I am sure Auntie Flo may, um, 'enhance' my emotions at times, but she can't be held solely responsible; this post has been a long time coming.

#1 I met mah honey-man one year ago this past Monday, July 18th. For that alone, I'm thrilled outta my mind on a daily basis, because I so absolutely adore him to no end in sight, and I certainly love him and his angel boy-O so dearly.
#2 I think about all the 'what ifs' that exist in my life and it is in these precise moments of random thought, I find myself in tears lately, no matter where I may be at the time ~ ~ In a grocery aisle, while driving my car, standing in an elevator, planted at my office desk... It's been a bit alarming, I admit, yet I know it is in these moments, I cry because I'm absolutely overcome with joy and gratitude for all that I have.
#3 Moreover, the day after I met my honey-man, I met another fellow and went out with him first... I believe this "date" was critical to my current happiness and I'll tell you why.

Soooo, the day after I met who is now my honey-man, I also met this other great guy (intelligent, witty, accomplished, attractive) and he asked me out, and so, I went out with him later in that same week... The date was fine, juhhst fine, technically. In quality, it rose far, far above my expectations, yet I experienced such an immeasurable failure to accept this guy's remote interest in me, I knew by the date's end, without a doubt, that something was seriously wrong with me. To no fault of his own -it was ALL of my own doing- I found myself overwhelmed by feelings of utter inadequacy and embarrassment, and it was wholly debilitating as the evening passed into early morning hours. I was fine for the first while, yet my self-abasement went from mild humility to ridiculous measure.

The most important question was this: WHY? - I recognized the symptoms for what they were; something was clearly wrong, but why did I respond in such a way? - what the hell was going on?!? The thoughts in my head at the time and the feelings brought on by this incident -this date- although truly painful and deeply rooted, I knew they were ALL GENERATED IN MY HEAD and all of them were sooooo wrong! By all rights, it should have been a good date, yet I behaved like a ninny and went home feeling like a total shit. As I drove home in tears, one thing was crystal: Something had to change and it had to be ME. Once I got home from the date, I sobbed on the couch for at least two solid hours (scaring my poor kitties to near death), and I stayed up until about 6 AM+, desperately rummaging through old boxes and personal notes and letters, recounting my past, looking for answers, bawling my heart out and asking myself, WHY do I do this to myself?!? and HOW do I stop this?!?

I had nearly regained my composure when a small, one-page, handwritten note from my ex-husband literally fell into my lap from the pages of an old college algebra notebook. I recognized it immediately. I had completely forgotten its existence and hadn't realized I'd even kept it. It began, "I am the world's biggest asshole. It is easier for me to place blame elsewhere than to look at myself..." Man, I hadn't thought I could cry any harder!?! Those four hours and the entire next month to follow, I deliberately wallowed in my heartache (and in a flooded bedroom and front room, due to a broken water heater rendering my apt. nearly uninhabitable for 2 weeks), wrestling with and challenging my own sense of self-worth, examining my routine assumptions, past relationships (familial, paternal and romantic), and my knee jerk-responses to certain people and situations, revisiting poor decisions made, and my own countless moments of self-defeat. There were many long-distance calls to my father, sobbing incoherently into his patient and loving ear. What it all amounted to, was a fierce struggle against my own self-designed, self-reinforced inferiority complex.

At this point in the story, I must clarify something: None of this was about the guy who'd taken me out; I was not bawling my head off cuz I thought I'd blown it with this guy (although I was sure I had and felt quite stupid). It wasn't about him - IT WAS ABOUT ME; I was crying for ME and my INABILITY to allow myself to feel deserving of anything good.

I had already been aware of this HUGE problem to a certain extent, but it had never been so undeniably evident. I'm tellin' ya, allll sorts of crap came out of the woodwork on this one! Intellectually, I knew how I felt was wrong and in many many ways already understood where it was coming from, yet I hadn't been able to squash those feelings; feelings barring me from a healthy sense of self. SELF-REALIZATIONS: I had to quit beating myself up over taking so much seemingly unproductive, yet absolutely necessary recoup time, post-divorce. I had to sit down and tackle "my reasons" for putting off a certain career choice and the pursuit of a graduate degree. I had to further acknowledge ever-unresolved issues with my parents, along with the fact that my failed marriage was still hovering over me, actively breaking not only my heart, but my confidence... I had to dig down and get dirty in order to thoroughly and aggressively reassess where I was at the time. Another point to make before I go on, for the sake of clarification and the record: I do not miss my ex-husband, nor have I ever since I made the decision to leave - but I have mourned the loss of friendship we'd once had before we married AND the realization that although I had thought I "knew" him and once trusted him completely -my then life partner- I was horribly wrong, and to have had that kind of experience/realization alone is devastating, undermining any ability to trust others or my own judgment. Even still, I've always been a trusting person and remain so, but I've had to work hard to rebuild that part of me.

Back to the "critical to my current happiness" story: I don't know what it was about this fellow to have provoked such a total freak out reaction on my part, but his character seemed strong and his general nature set me up for a life changing self-confrontation. Although I really didn't know him from Adam, I already knew without a doubt that he was an insightful guy and so, whenever I shot myself down and he'd immediately call me on it, I couldn't dismiss him or his observations, as I could with others quite easily. It was finally undeniable; so clear, so obvious (redundant there, I know) that I was, indeed, my worst enemy!!! and if I was to ever be happy, if I was ever going to allow myself a chance at a good guy -to believe I deserved a good guy- I had to get a handle on some things and grant myself some self-worth, dammit. In a way, I needed to grant myself permission...

So, this fellow served as a catalyst of sorts = post-date, I was spurred into action! And in turn, the confrontation helped to prepare me for my first date to come, August 21st, 2004, with mah honey-man. Had I not first gone through the refiner's fire in the month after meeting both him and 'my catalyst,' I surely would have rejected my honey-man once given the chance; our first date would have been our last. The very day I had met my honey-man, despite aching smiley muscles and my heart all a flutter, I had tried to dismiss him by that day's end... Thankfully, my honey-man was patient and persistent. And by the time we had our first date, I was ready.

I imagine 'my catalyst' is somewhere in D.C. right now, and I'm sure he's absolutely clueless as to how his open honesty and kind patience provoked such a profound inner-change in me; a change that has enabled me to accept the good, revitalize my courage, and most importantly, open my eyes and see myself as I am and my own potential within = renewed resolved to take control of my life.

I had written that fellow an email of gratitude, but feel I could never really explain to him the role he had inadvertently played ~ so I want to thank him again, hoping he'll better understand how a person can affect another, just by their example; Neil, thank you for your example ~ and again, I will never forget your rendition of "Home Means Nevada." All the best to you!

SPF ~ Mah Specialty, Fave Appliance n' Always in Stock

#1 Specialty Dinner: um, I don't actually consider Amish Friendship CAKE (it is sooo not "bread," thank you very much!) my "specialty" dinner. However, right after class last night, I made this bundt shown below. Since I just didn't have any yummy, homemade baked mac n' cheese on hand at the time though, this is whatcha get; a specialty of mine in itself.

#2 My Favorite Appliance: Since I couldn't possibly pick which of my 4 wood sanders is my favorite, as each plays an essential role in furniture refinishing, NOR could I choose between my power drill or my staple gun, I thought I'd resort to a favorite kitchen appliance - much, much easier. I'd say it's a tie between my electric griddle and my toaster oven. The griddle isn't as practical though, nor is it as attractive as my toaster oven... So, here's my RED toaster oven. If anyone had ever told me several years ago, back in my twenties (hee hee), that I'd someday fall in love with a toaster oven? I would have doubled over laughing, honestly. When I was getting married, my Grams told me she wanted to give us some new fandangled toaster oven, and I told her NO WAY; "It will never be used," I had told her. I think we were given camping equipment instead, tah my delight. Yet a couple years ago, a friend gave me her old, well used, yet fully functional toaster oven, and upon its first use, I was converted! Why is it such a wonderful appliance? Well, for instance, living in Vegas, it's important to avoid super heating your kitchen/home by any use of a conventional oven... all baking, broiling, etc. is put on full hiatus during the summer months. Howevah, the oh-so glorious invention that is the toaster oven allows me to broil a single piece of salmon without broiling us all.

#3 Food I always have in stock:
There are a few staples I always have on hand. Coincidentally, all I had to do was open the fridge and take this shot seen here, as is: light yogurt, part-skim mozzarella string cheese, Italian dressing, and tofu. Other regular items not shown here: Trader's P.B., granny smith apples and celery. I always have celery.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Ha ha! ~ I'm a Liberal, Grandpa!

My Political Profile

Overall: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Social Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal
Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

Self-Portrait Day!

Haven't participated in SPD for a while... this here, I'm in my car and I'm a tad torked off, if ya can't tell. why am I torked off ?? Try 119 degrees outside and then roasting in an even hotter car interior with the AC blasting what felt like only hot air, finally cooling things off only when it was time to get out of my car, having arrived to my destination. This time of year in Vegas is unbearable. Everyone wanders around pissed off and we all run from one air conditioned location to another...and I actually carry a denim jacket with me because everywhere I go to, it's frickin' freezing inside!!! There is absolutely NO happy medium; bake like a chicken or freeze like an Otter Pop.
Self-Portrait Day

Friday, July 15, 2005

SPF ~ Mah 80s flicks, 80s pics and Can't Let Go

#1 Movies from the 1980s ~ heaven bless 'em ~ Especially those high school themed, cheesy, yet oh-so witty brat pack movies. The other option here for SPF was 80s music, but to show only one CD? or try to limit what I have to a mere few? - not only impossible, I don't want to insult the 80s like that.
Note: I did not begin buying DVDs until over the last couple of years. The very first one I bought on my own was "When Harry Met Sally." Thereafter, a loyal and indulging friend of mine graced me with the beginnings of a John Hughes collection...Movies from the 80s make up the majority of what I've got goin' - this is just a sampling, NOT that I have THAT many DVDs. My collection is meager compared to most.
Posted by Picasa

#2 Pictures from the 1980s!!!

I started out looking like a lil' sprite - age 5 there, all posed and cheeky. And no, I'm not wearing any lipstick. And yes, you may note that even then, I was one squinty-eyed smiler. I have eyes, I do - I really do have eyes (see pic #3).
The next pic, age 12, just on the cusp of real adolescence - here comes the big hair, cut in a wedge, permed and bleached to a crisp with hydrogen peroxide - I think all the kids in my 5th grade class had the same orangy, brassy hair color at the time, having all simultaneously discovered the cheap "highlighting" powers H2O2 offered. And the 3rd pic, age 13 - only one year later, loaded with attah'tude - geesh. See the flaired collar? the unmoving wave of bangs? and although ya can't see it, my hair is pulled back with a BANANA CLIP! and you may not be able to tell, but I'm wearing a red-banded ever-80s Swatch watch. As you can also see, this picture is framed (?!?!?)! I stole it from my Grams (she might not even known this) several years ago, when I realized she still had it out on display.

#3 "Just Can't say Goodbye..." (apply sing-song 80s hair band ballad drawl)

#3 Something from the 1980s I just can't let go of:
This is my oh- so-1980s United Colors of Benetton wool sweater, the only one left, that is ~ I just can't get rid of this one, although I haven't worn it since 1997. I keep thinking I'll wear it skiing or something, but arhhggg! I can't just toss it! I can't give it away?! I can't. I CANNOT. I will most likely own it forevah. At first, Otis was quite attracted to this sweater, and I thought I'd have him model it for ya'll ~ but I nearly lost him in it! Later on, sweater thrown on the bed, I found him laying all over it purring like a little motor.

There are MANY other pictures taken from Ottie's Benetton modeling shoot, but um, they just reveal a little too much - don't want to get called in for animal cruelty.
Disclaimer: No animals were harmed in the creation of this post.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Quiz Time!

I made a Quiz for you! Take my Quiz! come on! fake it if ya hafta! Just take it and then Check out the Scoreboard! I got this idea from Southern Fried Girl - I scored a 60 on her quiz.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Kitties are a Treat! (yes, I'm a cheeseball)

I created this "Kitties are a Treat" video back in June for this SPF (link! link!) subject, "Completely Satisfied." It hadn't been ready in time for the SPF post and I basically forgot about it's existence until now.
For Google Viewer:

Yes, my sweet lovin' honey-man, it's true; I have once again fallen into (more like given myself to) the hands of Google control.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Stranger Danger - a MUST READ

This past weekend I subjected myself to the TV show "Dateline," featuring the story behind Joe Duncan and the disapperances of Shasta Groene and Dylan Groene. Why would I want to subject myself to hearing more about it and in such detail, my honey-man asked me. At that very moment, I didn't know quite what to say, but I felt the answer, although I had to bumble around a bit to find the words. Why would I want to know anything more? #1 It happened and cannot be denied, whether I want to ignore it or not. #2 It involves children. #3 It involves kiddnapping by a known child molester. Again, why would I want to watch this? #4 Desperately hoping to learn what went wrong - what, if anything, could have been done to prevent such a thing. . . hoping to learn anything about what to do in order to protect children from dangerous strangers.

I am absolutely terrified of literally losing a child. TERRIFIED. I can honestly think of nothing worse. A loved one dying from illness or common (or even uncommon) accident would be better than having a child taken. [NOTE: my mum died when I was 12 and although I feel this loss daily, as does my Grams, having "lost" her child in this way, she has concurred -better than to ever lose her or any child to a kidnapper; and my father's little brother died in a car accident at age 19 - also torturing my Gma daily, yet she agrees, losing him to a stranger would have been a hundred times worse.] I think I may be a tad' more fixed on it than most because of my own personal experiences... The first: a man wanting to "show" me something in a back corner of the public library bookstacks - he took my hand without asking and began to lead me away with a threatening voice and he wouldn't let me go until I screamed; 2) the time my best childhood girlfriend and I were romping around in our swimsuits in the school soccer field water sprinklers and we were approached by a guy who drove up with another - they had to be in their late teens - and asked us to give them a show sans swimsuits...I told the guy "no way" and that I was going to go get my mother right over there, pointing towards the school, although my mother was nowhere near; 3) and the time I was followed by a creepy man all dressed in denim, while I was walking to my friend's house alone. As I sped up, he sped up and I freaked out, convinced he was after me. When I turned the corner, I ran into a nearby yard and hid in some bushes - he came running around the corner right after me and stood on the next corner (short block) looking around for me; 4) And while in New York City for the first time (I don't think I've told anyone about this actually), a strange man claiming to have been a drummer for Rod Stewart started an interesting convo with me and we wandered a certain area of the Met together, chatting enthusiastically and then he tried to take me to an empty stairwell! That was in 2002 and I was 27 years old.

When I was little, age 4 or 5, I thought it was really hilarious to sneak off and hide from my mum in clothing or fabric racks. From my hiding place, I would watch her and when a clear path was available, I would then run off to report myself to a cashier clerk as lost, so I could hear my mother's name called over the loud speaker in the ZCMI department store where my father worked at the time. I remember being delighted by this, thrilled to hear her name, to then see how quickly my mum would come rushing and she'd hug me so tightly and lovingly scold me for going off without her. I loved it. The first time I tried this trick of mine with my maternal Gpa along with us? it was my last ever performance. I don't have any visual images in mind of the ultimate confrontation between us, but I remember how it felt and what I was told: he let me know that it was NOT funny in any way, a NO good thing to do, ultimately inconsiderate, and essentially CRUEL to my poor mother, who I do remember was off to the side of him, in tears... and by the time he was done berating me (rightly so), I was a bawling mess, truly humbled and devastated by what I had done.

Even then, I had a tendency to innocently wander off - like most children do. I think at some point my mother was sick of having to do all the work in order to keep track of me and she tried to teach me a lesson and boy, did it work. I wandered off and SHE did the hiding! Man, I freaked! When I had been the one hiding from her, I had always known all along where she was, watching her from my secret place, so I had never had anything to worry about. But to actually have lost her? Once I had burst into tears, she revealed herself, acting as if she'd found me. Our reunion was tearful and she didn't tell me what she'd done until much later on. At the time, the point was clearly, entirely understood: stay close to mum. The lesson had to be learned with my father too though - we were at a crowded Burger King waiting in line to place our order. I wandered off to the side, staring at promotional signs. My father was a devout believer in corduroys at the time - I returned to the line and clutched some man's corduroy clothen leg, thinking it was my father's. I looked up and saw a complete stranger looking down at me! I totally burst into tears.

I was 10 years old when we moved to Montana, and by this time, I was really good at sticking close to my parents. Late one day we heard the local news: at the very same fabric store we'd been shopping at earlier, there had been a child running around the store and the mother had kept barking directions to "come back," "stay by me," "come here please," "stop that," etc. She was insistent and was actually keeping a pretty good tab on her child's whereabouts, even chasing after the child at times. When the moment came for her to pay for her items, the child ran off to the entrance of the store which was in the mall - the store entry was maybe 10-15 feet away from the cashier is all? Someone took her child, right from behind her, less than 15 feet away. The child was never found.

And I don't know how long ago I saw this, but Oprah aired a show featuring "Stranger Danger." At some Chicago park, pre-recorded before the actual show, they staged things so that while Oprah was interviewing a parent they'd approached there at the park, the parent's child could be seen in the background, playing on the playground equipment. Without the parent knowing, Oprah had an older, clean cut gentleman approach each parent's child and he had a puppy on a leash and a hidden microphone to overhear him. As Oprah would ask each parent questions about how he/she had taught their child the dangers of strangers and each parent went on and on about how confident they were in their parental coaching of his/her child, you could see in the background and hear the older man as he approached the said child. Get this: EVERY. SINGLE. CHILD. -some without even being persuaded to do so- willingly went off with the man and his puppy. Only one child had hesitated at first, looking towards his mother and explaining he couldn't talk to strangers, but even that little boy ended up wandering off as the man began to walk away with his puppy.

At some point in the interview, Oprah would finally reveal to the parent what was going on behind them in the now far away background - along with several efficient assistants swooping in quickly for damage control purposes - pointing towards the new and distant location of their child, most of them unrecognizable, they had moved so far away. Every parent freaked out, some ready to run off and clobber the dog walker, while most were totally immobilized, falling to their knees and bursting into tears, as the realization of what had just happened sunk in. Granted, each parent had been thoroughly distracted during the interview, but
the point was this... Mommy/Daddy had been right there with their child nearby in plain view and each child went off willingly with the stranger and his doggie despite any previous parental coaching against strangers. Oprah then had each parent view the playback tape of their child and the man - it made me cry. It was terrifying - I don't know how else to describe it, but it was absolutely terrifying. Thereafter, Oprah had several guest psychologists discussing what to do and important measures and how to respond when children innocently fail to follow their parents' instructions.

With all the news coverage regarding the Groene children, my fear of child abduction has been amplified. Even before now, when my honey-man's angel boy-O runs ahead of us, it absolutely freaks me out if I lose sight of him and it is soooo not okay for me. New plans are underway to research and reinforce the various concepts of "DO NOT TALK TO STRANGERS" coaching; more teaching and insisting must be done and we hope to give him the proper tools to deal with the WRONG kind of people if and when approached, to know how to assert himself against such persons before it's potentially too late. If a split-second window of opportunity exists in such a situation, I want my child to recognize this window before it may close. I've read that children often confuse seemingly nice strangers with how they've been vigorously and adamantly taught to have respect for authority and adults in general... children are essentially taught that adults know best. Once a stranger finally reveals themselves as the bad guy, it's too late for the child to assert themselves against the stranger; the child has already been led away or taken, already abused, and possibly -literally- beated into submission.

It's certainly one thing when a child is physically overtaken or targeted - I can only pray it never happens, but if my child is approached by a stranger in public, I want my child to know how to yell in defiance and defend themselves whenever I cannot be there to do it for them - and parents can't always be there, no matter how hard we may try.

I've heard and read it's better to emphasize to a child what is right and coach/train them to refuse what's wrong, and tout supreme respect for the differences. For instance, a child should know that going off with anyone -friend or stranger- without a parent's expressed and explicit permission is WRONG... And if that pre-approved adult were to try anything the child has been taught is wrong, I want my child to confidently reject that adult, no matter how much that adult may have been initially trusted or known by my child. Granted, even with the proper "training," children only have so much power, as they're quite limited physically, BUT I know from my own experience, it's important to give our children the license to use their voice.

"Female Malfunction" - or - "PMS"

I feel the size of a friggin' whale, a rather large, big, enormous and fat whale, bloated by major water retention. My legs are swollen and my feet are a nice bluish gray bratwurst color. My insides feel as though I'm gettin' repeatedly punched in the gut over and over again. My head is raging, eye sockets sinking into the back of my head, eyes painfully sensitive to the light.

Someone please knock me out and wake me when the week is over. I'd really appreciate it. Midol can only do so much.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Stuff Portrait Friday! - Framed Fave, Me Mags, Furry Pet Peeve

#1 My most favoritest favorite framed picture in this very world:

These two love birds are my mum's parents - isn't that an absolutely fabulous lip lock!?!? I love how his arms are totally wrapped around her. This picture was taken in the "yard" located out in front, beyond the actual front yard of what was then my Gpa's parents' house, which is now my uncle Trent's home. Taken during WWII in 1943, my Gpa had returned home to Idaho on 72 hours leave before shipping out to sea, to the South Pacific for active duty. My Grams and Gpa Farrell WROTE TO EACH OTHER EVERY SINGLE DAY of his TWO YEARS in service. Can't get more romantic than that. Nope - can't be done. This photograph, I've loved it since I was a little child - we're talking 4 yrs old - and I had found it buried in a drawer!?! I was an awful, awful snoop.
When my Gpa died in Dec. 2001, I wrote and gave his eulogy and I created a large collage of pictures from various times in his life. This one HAD to be in there and I scrambled to dig it out from the depths. The original measures less than 2" x 3" inches in size - this pic above is the scanned and enlarged version, only 3.5" x 4.5" in size. I also have a laminated copy of the pic now taped to my computer monitor in my office.

#2 My Magazine Subscriptions:

I'm a such a nerd - I have no defense. I love my Smart Money. And although the hard copy is sent to my honey-man in LA, I read TIME and Newsweek online as often as I can. I used to have a subscription to "Self" and Smart $$$., but then TIME required a subscription in order to view their articles online, so buh-bye went "Self" so I could have access to my TIME. (I have a max of two subscriptions per person rule - don't ask.) Notice my blantant use of a totally Vegas themed cover of TIME? no shame, I tell ya! no shame! ~ Actually, I beat myself over the head regularly, stunned that not only do I live in Las Vegas, but I STILL live here in Vegas - my sixth year coming to an end this coming August!!?!? To think, I thought I'd be here for only 6 months, tops! Posted by Picasa

and #3...for SPF!

#3 Household Pet Peeve: I tried racking my brain on this one. Everything I thought of, -oh so many things- yet I went with PET pet peeves instead of household type pet peeves... for instance... Owen's obsession with my hairbands, rooting around to find one deep within the contents of my purse or the couch cushions; the bizarre ability Otis has, able to stop RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME and lay himself on top of my feet as I'm trying to walk; Owen's chronic masturbation fascination (won't go into that right now, sorry); Otis insisting daily that he visit me every time I use the bathroom; Owen jumping from the dresser, to the bookshelf, to the TV, to the printer, to the computer monitor and scaring the crap outta me (although he's never knocked anything over); Otis pawing magnets off the fridge door, chewing them and swatting them beneath the fridge; Owen leaving wet-nosey marks allll over the computer monitor, mirrors and windows; Otis spreading out in the middle of the kitchen floor while I'm cooking - - all of these things that they do make me laugh and I ultimately find them irresistably cute and quirky. HOWEVER, I do hate it when Otis lays all over my bedpillows, particularly the ones I use for sleeping. I try to keep them covered up with my bed quilt to keep them relatively kitty-hair free, but Otis will burrow under the covers to reveal the pillows, and he claims them, even if my head is on one at the moment!

Look at this wholly defiant kitty-cat!!! that's MY pillow lil' mister!

(he's scoffing at me, can't you tell?)

Despite any nagging, nudging, or shoving - he remains unmoved. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Television Graveyard

Located in Silver Lake, CA - off Fletcher and Riverside, this hillside can be found behind the Arco gas station on the corner... I wish you could click on this pic and see a SUPER enlarged version to read some of the TV sets better (do so and you'll see only a slightly larger version).

Sampler: - Social In-Security - Shame on U.S. - Never Enough - More More More - Find Rhythm - Taste the Waste - Just Beat It - Ride It Out - Pray for Peace - Capital Culture - Part of the Problem - We Are One - Positive Response - Free Dumb - Angels Are For Real - Thoughts Have Power - Faith is Free

"Need or Greed" - this is an important question and I believe asking it on a regular basis could help alleviate half our problems when it comes to how we choose to spend our $$$ - yes, 'greed' may be too harsh a word, but so often the things we want, the things we think we need to have are flat out unnecessary, yet we blow our hard earned cash on crap that will never bring us any kind of real, lasting happiness, security or self-fulfillment; it all just leaves us wanting more.

An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit. - Gaius Plinius (c. 61 - 112 A.D.)

The "Never Too Late" - my eyes welled up with tears when I read that one aloud to myself in the Arco parking lot. I'm tellin' ya, I was in my own little world while I stood there staring at this hill. A few people glanced my way while I was taking pictures and they each gave me looks as if they were oblivious to the hill, this graveyard of TVs and the many messages deliberately set there in plain view. how could they not look at the hill? had they seen it too many times before to care? I'd seen it several times before and I've always tried to read the messages - most of which I'd read before already. Even still, I can't ignore them.

And this time I read them all.

The oh-so cynical "It's not my problem" gets us nowhere...

Can you imagine - RESPECT FOR ALL!?!

see that center message? I tell myself this one often...because it's true.

the unfortunate reality of life... Posted by Picasa

Dooce in Demand!

This is STILL too funny ~ MRTL created a petition for to reopen her Daily Photo comments (this post of mine was initially made June 7th - but I've re-published, due to the nifty lil' dooceling graphic below made available, thanks to MRTL! - AND the fact that we need more sigs!).


and yes, I signed it already, back in June! Now whether the dooce-master reopens her comments or not, more power to the dooce. All I know is that my productivity has increased a great deal since she shut 'em down ~ and I imagine she's enjoyed having them closed - to a point... I'm sure she misses a few of her regular (make that totally crazy, yet 'regular' commenters) doocelings.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Seeking Dooce on Good Morning America

Anyone catch the piece on Dooce shown on ABC's Good Morning America over this past weekend? cuz I didn't and I want to see the video on it somehow!

Friday, July 01, 2005

SPF ~ Welcome & Goodbye, Mah Keys & It's a Keeper

#1 Out my Front Door, MODIFIED: As you enter my place from the front door, this is what you'd see...

For nearly two years now, that far wall has been begging for some attention, but every other wall, knook and cranny has something hung upon it... I have some blue flower Marimekko fabric stretches to hang on this front room wall, but have stalled and stalled, because I want to rebuild the original frames. And yes, there's Owen lounging on the 'sit-down-tah-put-on-your-shoes-before-leaving' ottoman a.k.a. another kitty hang out. Otis can be seen in the far corner of the room, to the far left.

Ya leavin' already? This is the way to the front door.

In the mirror on the right, you can see my part of my oven and the fridge... I'd show you "out my front door," but all you'd see is the apt. door across the way from mine, and frankly, I just don't want to post that.

#2 Here hangs my keys, right beside the front door...

And this below is just a close-up bonus pic...

I clipped this out of some teen magazine years and years ago - it's only about 1.5" x 1.5" in size, yet I've kept track of it and displayed it for years. Posted by Hello

#3 Something from a past relationship that I've kept:
There are a number of things I've kept - not necessarily to serve sentiment, but because usually it's good stuff I've been given, so why not keep it? Good things usually involve good memories - why deny the good stuff? Just glancing around the room, from where I'm sitting now, there's a heart-shaped desert rock from a past Valentine's Day, a big yoga book, a picture frame, a clock given to me as a wedding gift, Scrabble, Mahjong and Boggle PC games and a CD of Sarah Brightman sitting on my desk.

humpht - can only view html

My "stuff," I had only almost ready for today's Stuff Portrait Friday...I'm gunna hafta wait until my honey-man comes home. I'm using his iMac and for some reason unknown to me, I cannot view any of my posts in anything but html -? I'm a PC girl, in love with a Mac man. *sigh*