Sunday, May 14, 2017

Day 24



                                                         Commercial  Inspiration


            It may seem trite, clichĂ©, whatever it is, it's eerily fitting given current circumstances.  It just doesn't seem fair when you try as hard as you can only to have the odds grow increasingly against you.  When you don't quit but are forced out and can't do anything about it.  Maybe things fall apart to give you the better change you deserve. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Day 23

 

                                                                  Coffee Break

     Today my mom turned 75.   I told her that I was coming up to Ohio to see my family at my niece's graduation party and that if there was anything she wanted to do, to make some plans. Her immediate response was Starbucks .  I took her there for the first time almost three years ago during the fall when pumpkin spice was all the rage.  She couldn't get over how people just hung out their with their newspaper, laptop or business associate just comfortably passing their time. It's across the street from her apartment.  She could walk there anytime, but hasn't.  She wanted me to be there with her.  Most people come to Florida to get away from it all while I'm looking forward to getting away from it.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Day 22

 
 
 
Paperback Writer
 
 
         Thanks to Access Hollywood, I just discovered that Andrew McCarthy writes?!  His latest book,(there's more than one), Just Fly Away, is written from the perspective of a 15 year old girl?!   He may be gay, but I think I love him even more than I did when I was 12.                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Monday, April 3, 2017

Day 20

                            

                                                                            Roots

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Day 19



       
                                                             
                                                             
 
Happy Birthday
 
 
 
 My dad would be 74, if he were here today.                                                                
 
                                            
 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Day 18

 
Spirit Superhero
 
 
Because life gets tough and telling others to fuck off isn't always a viable or helpful solution.Sometimes you gotta find strength anywhere you can. Thanks Dr. Pepper.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Day 17

 
                                                                 Heart  on Sleeve


     The one drawback to this experiment is that I can't always take a picture of  what's in front of me.  This is a photo I copied from some google tattoo search.  Ideally I should use my own photo but since whipping out my phone and snapping a pic of  the gas station clerk while paying for my 2 for 1 cashew snack pack would have been super weird, I'm taking some creative liberties. 
     That is also what "Nick" did  with his body art too.  I'm not a tattoo aficionado or big on them in general but they are interesting and I've never seen something that would be considered feminine etched permanently on a guy's arm.   I'm almost certain, from his blond highlights and above average looks and politeness, that Nick is gay, but regardless of  my stereotyping, I thought it was bold and original, in a good way.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Day 16


                                                         A Day Without Much Hope


                When you're excited about rallying your female coworkers in solidarity to wear something, anything red to support all the contributions women make every day  and you're the only one who cares.  Granted, I did text them my dream plan late last night and we do wear scrubs but c'mon ladies!!!   What does it take to open up more to make some small statement about how hard it is to take care of things at work, at home, with our families and to still not be valued equally.  I really don't think my current place of employment is the right fit for me.



Thursday, March 2, 2017

Day 15

 
                                                                 PSA  Of  the Day


         I didn't know what DTF meant but after doing a thorough urban dictionary search I discovered it meant that one is ready to "get it on".    I'm not sure a mom driving her kids in her minivan should publically advertise that.  I mean by the size of your family, (4 kids under the age of 10), we can already reasonably deduct that. But if you're okay with your children knowing that mommy likes to give rides then  I guess I should mind my own tits.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Day 14



                                                                        Tired


I'm frequently disheartened by how many prescriptions one doctor can write for the same ailment, how many times they can increase it over the years and how many pills a person can take in a day.  I don't have a medical degree but it seems a little excessive to me.  Keeping it all straight for over 70 patients can be too much at times too.  I am only one person.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Day 13


                                                                   Funny Valentine


The kid discovered Bob Ross a few months ago and felt the need to declare  his appreciation  for the philosophical hippie for all of his Spanish class to see.  Oh to be 16.  Like Bob, I hope the years don't harden him and he can always find and share what makes him happy.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Day 12

 
Dad
 
The literal picture of support.  I've been missing him a lot lately, especially when I experience something I know he would have liked but didn't get a chance to see.  That's when memories come back and the pain of loss, that you try not to think about, resurfaces again. I still see him in my dreams though.                                                                                                                                                   

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Day 10


                                                              Throwback  Thursday

The 80's called and I picked up the phone.  I recently purchased a new curling iron to try the new look all the cool girls have and deep waved the hell out of my hair.  I think I over shot beach babe and went full on Jon Bon Jovi.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Day 9

 
Blue  Moon
 
That time at night right before the sky turns pitch black.  A foot of snow weighing the tree branches in Seattle and balmy, breezes bending the leaves here.  Florida doesn't suck sometimes.
 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Day 8

If You Build It
 
Technically I didn't build this laundry sorter but I did put it together and I don't really do that. It kinda reads like I'm a little OCD and somehow feel that if I divide my laundry I can conquer it- someday.  I'm hoping it will inspire others to join the fight.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Day 7

 
 
Travelin'
 
Today I traveled, again, back and forth to work with this big ass mug.  I call my Garmin Jane, ( a basic version of Siri), and now I guess I should call my cup Bubba.  I don't know if all our belongings need names though but I don't mind it for an item that is with me all day, every day.You would think this Redneck would be full of a few bottles of  cold beer but he's loaded only a fourth of the way with medium hazelnut coffee with French vanilla, sugar free creamer.  So technically Bubba should be named Bob or Bradley for workday caffeine.  That's probably his real name anyways.


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Day 6


                                                                      Bee  Day

(It seems only fitting that I give props to BeyoncĂ©. This is a photo I took during her formation tour  last spring. It's not enough to give birth to just one child, Bey is having two, at the same time?!  Girl  is fierce.)

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Day 5

 
Long Day
 
(When you would like scream at all the bs you were forced to endure at a joyless, thankless job that  but are too worn out to care.  Unlike my other cat, this one loves me unconditionally.  That or he just wants more cat treats.)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Day 4

  
                                                                 Re"BELLA"

 (That is my brush.  She knocked it off the sink counter, turned it over, and proceeded to "brush" her hair.  I don't know what I'm going to do with her.)

Monday, January 30, 2017

Day 3

                                          
                                                               Freezing Florida Sunset

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Day 1


                                                            Chinese New Year Takeout

Today

Every day I search the internet for something extraordinary.  Some story or idea that changes my mood, impresses me, or inspires me. This is always something external to my own daily life but what if you just looked at what was in front of you, (really looked at it), and were able to find something there, extraordinary or not?

 I came across  a story about a 19 year old aspiring photographer who took a photograph every day of his life from 1979 to 1997, until he died of cancer.  These were mostly random pictures with some common themes. Some of New York city, some of his friends, and even a few documenting his chemotherapy all taken by a tv cameraman who wanted to create his own work instead of film someone else's project.  They weren't all unusually remarkable but they all meant something to him which is moving in its own right.

For whatever reason it struck me. Maybe we should try to document each day of our life with one image.  And if you did, would it change your life?  Would you pay more attention to everything you see to find that one scene?  I think I would want it to be spectacular but that doesn't happen on a daily basis, at least not in the way we imagine it to be. Maybe the ordinary is extraordinary but we don't appreciate it enough to see it in that way.

 I'm thinking about doing it but I don't have a great camera on my phone and I think I would take too many pictures while I'm trying to drive which, ironically, could cause an accident and end the project and my life.  And what if it isn't something visual that standouts that day but something you hear or experience?  I guess the take away is to capture one thing each day for as long as you can.

Monday, November 7, 2016

It's Good To Be Queen


        There are times when your phone rings repeatedly over a prescription for fish oil ,(that you actually bothered a doctor for), only to be told it was denied, that become a major problem you spend your afternoon fixing. Times when you're buried in trying to fill a dozen variations of the same psych meds and laxatives for a twenty something that was just kicked out of a rehab center two days ago and is waiting on you to magically pull refills out of your ass from an unresponsive doctor so they can calmly pass fecal matter out of their own. And other times when a patient with severe mental issues is holed up in a hotel room, wrapped up in just a bed sheet, waiting for a delivery of pills strong enough to kill a horse, that you start to question how the hell you got here.  What's even more ironic are the names of these facilities that need my service -- Home at Last, New Life, and Clear Path.  If only they were the endpoint sanctuaries they claim to be but they're not. They're just houses run by a mediocre staff that may or may not have graduated from high school and I'm just one person running a department by myself with a flimsy license who may or may not be able to muster up enough stamina to make it through a never ending to do list while running to the bank on my lunch break to pay my rent on time. I'd rather live like Beyonce.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/Dk1zg7MdUQY"

Monday, October 17, 2016

Bite Me




     Lately I've been extremely aggravated by inconsiderate and/or stupid people everywhere.  I feel like I'm trying to help them give a shit about health, but they're not cooperating and I can't let it eat away at my soul anymore.  If I let it take away from me what could be a pleasant  day then they win and they sure as hell aren't worth that.  So instead of avoiding them, I am going to deal with them. Deal with them as efficiently as possible and keep it moving.  Fuck irresponsibility. Fuck selfishness. Fuck rude, dipshits! If you don't care to at least think about figuring it out, then why the Hell should I do it for you every goddamn time?! My time is limited and I've got way too much to do in the span of eight hours to get hung up problems that turned into urgent situations through no fault of my own. Life is short and I'd much rather spend my time living one than spending one more evening working unpaid overtime again.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Give 25



So it's been awhile since I lasted posted anything, mostly due to being busy working way too much overtime and having little inspiration.  And when something does move me, do I want to share it?  While these incidents are not always negative, I have a tendency, (like many people), to avoid opening up.  Take my weight issues.  I guess you could say I used to turn to food rather than deal with intense emotions and even though I don't do that now, I will still go to great lengths not to talk about things that deeply affect me.  Not knowing where to start, I'll begin with a list that includes some of these experiences- the good, the bad, and the ugly. It may take awhile...

1. I find Facebook annoying. I use it mainly to connect with my mother who I don't see as much as I used to and dislike people who use it as a means to argue about politics, bash others or gloat about themselves. Then there's all of the tagging. No one should ever post memories about your deceased father without your permission on your  timeline unless they are immediate family or knew him the way I knew him.  Good intentions and all still don't give you the right to act on my behalf  about something you don't know about and is none of your business.  All it did was mix anger into an already difficult observance of his passing.  Overbearing people should spend more time worrying about their own lives.

2.  My father once said I was one of the strongest people he knew. I  hear that moment replay in my head when I know I need to do something I'm reluctant to do. I still have some of his ashes. I couldn't spread all of them in the ocean.

3. When I can let him go, it will be into the most beautiful waters I come across. The waves off the coast of The Bahamas are a strong contender... so far.

4.  He used to also tell me I should be a model in my early twenties. I posed for some pictures for a weight loss clinic after losing over a hundred pounds through their program when I was about 37.  He and my mother were there to celebrate the moment with me.

5.  What I thought were photographs for my own personal achievement were later published in local magazines and life size banners for a few of the local clinics.  I drove 30 minutes out of my way just out of curiosity to see my sign outside of a one and cried behind my sunglasses to the point of a full blown migraine by the time I pulled into my driveway. Seeing them at a nearby mall was a near a full on, public meltdown.

6.  The song "Signs" by Tesla reminds me of a teenage friend who was rebellious and would randomly sing it just to get me to laugh. She died in a freak car accident at the age of 25. I always belt it out in my car and smile when I hear it.

7.  I sing in the car all the time. In my mind I'm a rock star putting having that epic moment that blows the crowd away.  I can only imagine how crazy I must look to other drivers.

8. Speaking of "crazy"... I have a degree in psychology but spend my day single handedly managing and running a department that fills some prescriptions for people who have mental problems that live in assisted living facilities. It comes in handy when I talk to them. They can have breakdowns and be baker acted if I can't get their refill requests.

9. I also help hospice patients too. They can experience hardcore pain and possibly die if I can't get their meds. So far, so good.

10. I get easily stressed but am trying to have a little more faith that it will all be ok. I could probably benefit from taking Xanex myself.

11.  I've never done any drugs. I even gave birth naturally, (twice), although not by choice.  Thanks to my Mother's genes, my labor time was short but I felt every bit of it. Two nurses on either side of me, pressed down on my uterus as hard as possible and my first born son was born a few minutes later. The umbilical cord wrapped around him in the birth canal and there was no time for an emergency c section. The birth of my second son wasn't as traumatic but was twice as painful with the addition of vomit. These are my war stories.

12.   I have done alcohol. On a few occasions I have over done it but generally prefer a good buzz over a hangover any day. Growing up around alcoholism in my family, I didn't drink until I was 21 and am good with just one drink every once in awhile. I even won a dance contest in The Bahamas completely sober. I can turn up on my own will when the beat is right.

13.  My main vice is food. From having to go clothes shopping in the women's section at 8 years old to needing to eat something at 13 to not be hospitalized for anorexia, to ballooning up 100 pounds with my pregnancies, I have been to both extremes a couple of times.  While I've had a handle on falling into those traps for a few years, I still can't say that I don't have moments when I food seems like the enemy and I never want to go to the grocery store ever again or I desperately need anything heavily coated in sugar as soon as possible.   I know it will pass and I channel my actions into a less destructive activity  but damn if I don't  still struggle with it sometimes. I have a love/hate relationship with it but am more apathetic about it the older I become. I don't want my weight to be my only story.

14.  I'm more apathetic about everything really, which saddens me.  I used to smile and laugh more. I'm not an angry, numb person. It's just harder to find those moments of joy when you're busy and worn out sometimes.

15.  I have a history of fainting randomly and even gave myself a black eye and a broken tooth the last time it happened. I get increasingly more lightheaded and dizzy to the point where I don't like to go places by myself, in case I end up face down on the floor again..  I think it's related to back problems and intense nerve pain but am afraid to go see a doctor.

16.  I am not afraid of Justin Timberlake though. I wouldn't consider him the hottest celebrity but, for some odd reason, I recently had a dream that he was serenading me and I liked it?! Maybe he'll come visit me in the hospital as my Make a Wish if I become gravely ill.

17. What's also strange is that many of my celebrity crushes through the years, (George Michael, Richard Chamberlain circa The Thornebirds, Neil Patrick Harris, Michael Stipe...), are gay.

18.  I've never been with a woman but have been propositioned by one. I did once hold my friend's hand while bar hopping, but only because she was drunk and I was afraid she would stumble onto the road. Sometimes you gotta help your girl.

19. My older brother is gay and the founder of a Bear app. He wasn't attractive enough by Grinder standards to join their site so he created his own. He now travels the world, owns two homes, and is living large. I am insanely jealous.

20. He also just spent the day in the ER with blood glucose of 448. He's  only three years older than my and now has diabetes..My Dad had diabetes and died at 68. I'm insanely worried.

21.  My sister can't eat anything without drinking warm water first (severe Gurd), my younger brother is obese and just had back surgery, my oldest brother is an alcoholic, my mother has trouble walking and remembering, and my husband is am recovering addict who still relapses.  My biggest fear is getting that phone call. I  don't want to lose them.

22.   When I was 14 I gained membership into The Young Leaders Society. Only one Freshman boy and one Freshman girl from each high school in the county were chosen. I was a prime example of the future trying not appear too geeky while sitting next to my super cute male counterpart on the bus during our monthly meetings.

23.  I'm actually looking forward to menopause as I will no longer have to endure the crazy ass pain my current monthly meeting brings me now. It can't be any worse.

24.  Even though this post is a little heavy, I still have a decent sense of humor despite having long standing  issues with depression. I don't even have to try with the puns and shit, it's just there at times like a gift, even if I'm the only laughing at my remarks. That's ok with me. :)

25.  "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey, as cheesy as it may be, never gets old to me.  I still feel like there are more moments of glory and more moments to remember out there. Sometimes you create them and other times they just happen.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Take Five



 



 
 
Growing up, I was the girl who had to wear the pink dress her mother made at her First Communion because I couldn't fit into the frilly, white dresses that you're supposed to wear. I was the last person to finish the mile in gym class every time, and the sweet, funny girl boys always joked around with  but never asked out.                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
At 263 pounds, I didn't see how I would ever reach my goal. Other moms swore to me I would         never lose all the baby weight, my doctor warned  me it was only a matter of time before "You end up like your parents and develop diabetes," and all  the evidence proved that, (even if you did loose weight), 90% of all dieters gain it back. I'm glad I didn't stop trying.                                                                                                                                                                
 


 
 






Tuesday, July 15, 2014

No Place Like Home

Finally, it's about damn, freakin' time! I've been waiting all summer for something,anything that speaks to my soul and inspires me and this is it. A real, insider look at what it's like to live the dream, here in the best place on Earth, The House of the Mouse.




Monday, March 24, 2014

No Doubt

I feel like I can tell all my readers that whenever I microwave one more hot pocket for lunch for my kids at 11:30 at night, or comfort my demanding little princess of a cat who cries every night at 4 in the morning, or handle answer one more phone call in a stream of never ending calls all day long for my 24 year old rude as hell, punk ass superior at work, I don't feel beat down.  I feel empowered.  I feel like bring it the hell on because  you can't shake me. 

Aloe Blacc might think he's the man but he ain't the man. (What kind of man is named Aloe anyway? Aloe is a plant with medicinal properties).   I'M THE FREAKIN' MAN AND I SPELL MY NAME E-R-I-N!
http://youtu.be/fm660vIn8Tg

Sunday, February 23, 2014

No Words


What do you say when an 80 something year old man starts waxing poetic about his sexual liaisons from  days of old in graphic detail?  When the words, "She never wore any panties" start spewing out of  his mouth like a flash of lightning out of nowhere. Is, " What the fuck, that's enough, get the hell away from me you sick pervert!" professional enough?

 I thought this customer who hangs out at the pharmacy waiting for his bus every day was just a sweet, lonely old man who liked to have someone listen to his stories but now I am officially creeped out. I'm a nice person and I can't leave the pharmacy, but don't mistake my kindness and the fact that I am  there to help as an invitation to verbally molest me. I'm not your sweetheart or your honey or your imaginary girlfriend and I don't know why you would think it's appropriate to talk to me or any other woman about this.

  This incident occurred when most of the staff was out to lunch and I was the only one there, so imagine my uneasiness when polite conversation about Barney's coffee vs. Starbucks turned into raunchy retelling of some random tryst. How do you respond to that?

Thank God for scantily clad college girls bursting into the door to pick up their birth control with a side order of Adderall. I'm afraid the regular just might flash me next time we're alone.

It was definitely one of these, unforgettable kind of days...http://youtu.be/Y66j_BUCBMY

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

No Music

I realize this isn't really a problem when you consider the pain and disparity that others have to face, but work is much more intense than I ever thought it would be.  The health and well being of others isn't something you want to fuck up, so by the time the work day is done, so am I.  It's hard to shake off the grind and relax even when I'm not there and it's starting to seep into my personal life too.  I don't feel as much joy mostly because I get caught up in the stupid, workplace craziness that presses on me the majority of my day.  I miss the days when I had time to finish my coffee while watching the morning news, cook a real dinner for my family, or just watch a movie the day I rent it and not two weeks later.  It's hard to have any desire for much of anything when you feel like you're ability to feel emotion is dissolving more and more every day.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Pop Songs



Sometimes you feel like you're "Losing Your Religion" and you hope that life's challenges  "Don't Fall on Me".  Then  your life takes a turn and you're like "I Believe" and you can confidently "Walk Unafraid" and "Stand" in the place where you live.  Then you can finally see, when you're at your "Most Beautiful",  "Beyond the Great Beyond "  that even though "Everybody Hurts" there are still "Shiny, Happy People" out there somewhere...

 My 15 year old self thanks Michael Stipe for understanding my sensitivity to social injustices and personal insecurities and thinks you're dreamiest. My 17 year old self however, is disappointed that you will never fall for me because you are gay but still thanks you for helping me through my Freshman year of college while my 22 year old self thanks you for helping me through my first real heartbreak with that tool who told me I was just like his "Crush With Eyeliner".   What a "Monster", right?

It's both comforting and strange how you can trigger most major life memories with the sound of a tune. Damn that "Radio Song"!

Michael Stipe may have turned 54 yesterday, but for me, his lyrics and music never grow old.



http://youtu.be/if-UzXIQ5vw

(More REM videos along with other music videos and random, interesting media posts can be found at my tumblr site @ erinkenley.tumblr.com).

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Wish #2

Dear Santa,
    Although I realize I live in Florida, I am not from here.  I remember whipping winds,  snow angels, and staying cozy with hot chocolate with mini marshmallows and big, soft blankets.  I went out Christmas shopping today in a festive green hoodie only to start breaking a sweat walking to my car. I had to take it off and go around in public in a tank top aka a wife beater. That's not a look for winter and doesn't conjure up any warm and fuzzy feelings of the holiday to me!  What happened to the slight chill in the air that was here a few days ago?  I know you must have connections with Mother Nature, right? So if Father Time won't do you a favor for all of humanity maybe she will.

I would prefer something in the 50 degree range but anything under 80 degrees would be much appreciated.  And remember, I did buy my co worker a box of fruit roll-ups and a couple of gifts to donate for Toys For Tots today, so I have continued to show acts of kindness despite being cut off in line for Starbucks twice now.  But I guess you already know that. I'll just keep my fingers crossed that you can work something out while I reminisce about sweaters. Thanks again Santa.




Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Wish

Dear Santa,
       I need an extension on Christmas.  I'm not ready.  There are no cookies baked, no tree trimmed (it's not even assembled yet), and I still have to figure out what unnecessary, expensive gifts I should buy to keep two tween boys happy.  (I grew up a girl and really don't understand the male psyche. The magic of nonstop video game playing eludes me). The presents have to be wrapped too and I'm kinda busy with this full time work/super mom thing I've got going on. I figure I need at least another month to put up the Christmas village and all of the other decorations and watch Charlie Brown and all the other holiday shows from my childhood, but I could get it together in a five days if I had to.

When you consider what I've accomplished in just a few short months, I think you'll agree that I've earned a break. Mr. Clarke comes to the pharmacy much more often ever since I've been there, Lou says I'm an angel and I even got an old, hard ass pill head to smile and shake my hand.  No one else has been able to do that, so that's gotta count for something, right? I really need more time to enjoy the season with my friends and family but haven't yet mastered the concept of time management. Maybe by the time I'm in my 90's I'll get the hang of it. I'm afraid if I don't get a grace period I'll turn into another one of those bitter pain in the asses that I am forced to deal with everyday.  Let's try to prevent that.  Let's negotiate.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

To Be Jolly

I've never seen a full episode of Jimmy Fallon's late night show but I have seen a lot of his musical skits and karaoke posted by friends on Facebook. There's a really great one out there featuring Joseph Gordon Levitt performing his ass off, (that's better than this one), where he lip syncs a song instead of singing it. It's a genius concept, especially for people who think they sound great when they sing but really have no business carrying a tune. They can opt out of the vocal gymnastics and just pour on the drama and fake it like a rock star. I liked the idea behind this particular clip being the holidays and all as well. I try to come up with parodies of songs too from time to time with my latest being a heart wrenching rendition of Miley Cyrus's Wrecking Ball that centers around cat hair. I prefer Carrie Underwood's tribute to this time of the year though. It perfectly describes just about every Thanksgiving dinner I've ever had.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Taking Stock



I'm really not a fan of Thanksgiving. Not only is it extremely challenging for anyone watching their weight but there are other reasons to dislike it too.  One, because it's a holiday that celebrates how our ancestors made nice with Native Americans and then basically annihilated them and took their land and two, because it's a hell of a lot of work, especially for women.  Sure others may say they are going to help and make an attempt to do so, but let's be honest. We all know who takes care of the majority of the meal.  I think I speak for many a full time working woman when I say "Who has time to buy, make, and clean for this freakin' day and why do we have to?"  Don't get me wrong, I like to cook and I want to make something special for my family but I'd much rather just order some Boston Market combo deal and be done with it. They would have a tastier meal and I would have less stress and more time to enjoy hanging out with them.

It's also not easy to have Thanksgiving without my parents or siblings and their families either in a state that's still unseasonably warm for this time of year. People are still going around in shorts and flip flops here like it's still summer. It's so not okay!!!!!!!! Where are the crimson and gold leaves, and sweaters, and logs ready to go by the fireplace? I miss Ohio even though there aren't enough layers in the world to keep me warm and I really miss my family, faults and all. It always feels like something is missing being so far away.

But it could always be worse. Working in a pharmacy, I see people everyday struggle to walk through the door as  they are in so much excruciating pain that will never go away they can barely support their weight. Fathers who come in to pick up meds for children who are dying from Cancer and elderly people who pick up meds to help them sleep after the passing of their spouse... I have my health and continue to have better blood work results every year since I've lost weight. I don't know where I would have been today had I not been able to turn things around and I hope I will continue to remember that and be thankful.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Back (Part 2)


The reunion continues. Yeah, this is what is happening and I can't stop it. It's becoming a common ritual every evening as my former lost cat is now permanently attached to me like a newborn in a baby bjorn. And I thought he was clingy before. I can hardly stay awake to accommodate all his needs for attention.  Yet, in all fairness, there weren't many comforts like this hiding in the neatly manicured bushes on the mean streets of our neighborhood and I am a pretty good stand in mommy, (minus the "incident").  I'm just glad that I can still serve as a pillow for the bestest cat ever, even if he is wearing me out.  I don't think he realizes that I'm not fully awake, yet come to think of it, neither is he most of the time. We make a for one dynamic duo.
http://youtu.be/3OFoeGaIw9E

Monday, November 4, 2013

Best Customer, (Nominee #1)

Today's nomination comes from an ever so refined woman in her sixties who advised another customer with diabetes to "Jeest drinka de shots de tehkeelaahhhhh, Poppy! You won't feelah nuting" when the nerve pain in his legs causes insomnia. Yeah, you know why that is? Because anyone with that condition who downs too much alcohol will be in a damn coma! Oh los mios, mama! It's a good thing I don't go to Happy Hour with that chick.  I'd be under the table in less than five minutes.

Not to mention she has some other special talents too. Talents that six packs of toilet paper might be involved in.  I especially enjoyed watching her down a whole bottle of magnesium citrate (a laxative) at the counter before paying too. Bottoms up!  It looked really attractive running down her chin onto the front of her too low for a grandmother top too like she was entering some wet t-shirt contest. And if that didn't work there were a handful of suppositories sprinkled in her order as well.  Sounds like a blast!

 Oh, the places one has to experience on their journey through life. There are so many characters coming at you one right after the other and so little time to wonder what the hell went wrong that this is now a part your daily existence.  Working in a  pharmacy in white trashville is more entertaining than any great movie could ever be. I can't wait for the next performer to blow me away.

(The soundtrack I hear whenever I think back on them all.)  http://youtu.be/QQfi0TRuKrQ

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Back


It's been 83 days and my buddy, my favorite cat (sorry Bella), is back home where he belongs.  He's noticeably worse for wear, covered in a layers of dirt, scratches, and bites - all skin and bones but he survived the harsh Florida elements.  A pampered indoor cat easily startled by loud noises who learned to live outside for nearly three months eating things I don't even want to consider. I'll never call him a hig baby again. He's a true badass with quite the street cred now.

He has every reason to blame me since I'm the one who turned over the car engine to scare him out from under it but he hasn't. It only took  minutes for him to regain his rightful position cuddling and purring next to me again like nothing had happened.  Like a child who has come back to hash out past unintentional psychological scarring their mother has imparted on them, all is forgiven after just one hug. Not that I'm some crazy cat lady who personifies their pet.

Just when I had all but resigned to thinking I would never see him again, he mysteriously appears in the backyard.  The best belated birthday present ever. A little bit of my faith in the universe was just restored.

(Who says that only dogs can claim this role?  I think I  heard Tiger meowing this after I fed him all of the turkey lunch meat I could possibly find in the refrigerator.  It's our jam.)  http://youtu.be/c2JSUXaY-

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Girl Power

There is a kick ass chick in the making with my latest student. I say this with even more declaration because of where this seven year old girl comes from.  She lives with her mother and grandmother in a unsafe part of town where their house gets ransacked on a regular basis because mom works at a pharmacy. The neighbors think she must have drugs when in reality she's never taken one in her life. She had her daughter when she was a teenager, wasn't able to go to college and earns barely more than minimum wage to support her.  Dad, of course, is conveniently out of the picture too.  He is some no good asshole who probably knocked up her mother just to get laid and went on get  involved in a bank robbery.  He take cares of no one from behind bars not and most likely doesn't care either. But all of that has no effect on her yet, nor should it.  All of the chaos surrounding her is their mess and not her.

When I see her she is oblivious to any shortcomings. She is always smiling and eager to impress her teacher.  She desperately wants to be Student of the Month and from what I see, she will have that honor in no time.  It's only been two weeks and already she is killin' it.  First, she started reading with the expression of a child star after one time of listening to me use voices for the cast of characters in Amelia Bedelia.  Then, she finished ten pages of extra phonics work her teacher threw at her in one session on top of studying for a spelling and vocabulary test and now she has an award.  A colorful certificate of honor with her name boldly displayed on it for doing so well on her last reading test. Hell yeah! I think she's going to make everyone who doubted her eat their words by the end of the quarter. Way to go, little Miss Thang. This one goes out to you.



Saturday, September 21, 2013

Not the Only One



I love Louis C.K. He's such a great comedian because he's genuinely disappointed in humanity and because most of what he says is right on point.

 I hate cell phones too. Not so much for calling other people, but because people really don't talk to other people on them. And even if you do, you can't rest the phone on your shoulder to write information down. You have to do the left hand, across the body hold or use the speaker. That creates an annoying echo for the other person and there's no privacy with either.

 There's always the impersonal, unintelligible text though. Maybe it's just me and my particular phone, but I literally can't do it. My normal sized hands are too big for the minuscule keyboard and I find abbreviations irritating. I have a minor in English. It severely pains me to not use proper spelling and grammar no matter how efficient it may be. As a result, it takes me five minutes to go back and correct every other word. I also can't fully communicate via text.  I like to elaborate and convey some emotion which you can't do when it takes that long to type.

 Then there's the apps!!!! An app for everything you could need or didn't know you needed. I recently went to my boys middle school open house where half of the teachers immediately instructed parents to sign in under our "padlet". Then we were shown Morpho which is an app. for downloading a selfie to record and read your writing assignments. Can you say over the top and creepy? What the hell! There are at least four different sites we can log into to check their homework, their grades, their teacher blogs, their fair information, (there are now History fairs), and now they want to add another one?

 When I was in middle school our parents didn't track our every minute in school. We wrote assignments down in a small pad and were taught to be responsible for our own work. Here's an idea. How about we just use a pen and a piece of paper to sign in, talk to our kids about school, and have our kids actually read their stories to us face to face without the avatar.

I'm all for keeping up with technology to improve our live but at times I find it unnecessary. What's wrong with using simple means if they're less complicated, just as effective, and more humane. Call me old fashioned, but it would be nice if more people weren't constantly walking around staring down at a screen.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Decisions, Decisions

Hmmm,  you know when you can't sleep and it's 2am on a Saturday? I came across this idea on tumblr and felt compelled to share.  Seems like a better idea than infomercials if you can tolerate the picky homeowners and their unrealistic expectations.

Activity  #1





For me, the first activity is the healthy choice.  It could be a somewhat amusing way to burn some calories too given the Red Lobster cheddar biscuit that mysteriously disappeared from my plate and found it's way to my stomach but I'm not at my physical peak so early in the morning. Did I mention that the waitress also mistakenly spooned on a mountain of mashed potatoes, instead of the broccoli that I clearly ordered?  I felt it must have been meant to be and did try a small sample as a way of acknowledging my gift. So now there's that problem to correct as well.

It does offer the fitness that I need but at a price.  It would give me a second wind and I would also have to shoo my cat off of my lap and ignore her cries for some extra care.  She's still grieving ever since I accidentally scared our other beloved cat away during the move. He has since, not returned and she is lost.  It would be heartbreaking to ignore her in her time of need.

Activity #2
(I'd also like to suggest downing another drink whenever someone seems baffled by the differences in sizes between big ass, over sized American complexes compared to cramped sized closets other countries have and when they purchase their new property for $30,000 or more under the asking price.)

Option 2 however, requires very little movement away from Bella and will induce drowsiness. I can still pet her while simultaneously comforting myself as I miss Tiger too.  It's strange, I never even remotely liked cats before he was thrown into my life but soon found myself looking forward to him following me everywhere.  What other adorable, little kitten would stand guard outside the bathroom door to protect me from the water of  my shower?  And what about all of those times he walked all over my books and keyboard when I was studying?  Those moments, although irritating, were crucial to cultivating my focus and in turn helping me ace my college exams. I couldn't have graduated without him.

It's a tough decision but I think I know the choice I will pick.  What about you? Let's count to 3 and say which one.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Two Years




A peaceful street and a swing complete with windchimes to sit and watch the sunset on the water... My Dad would have liked our new home.  There's even a small area for planting tomatoes and a screened in porch where his fountain, dolphin sign and shells fit perfectly.  If I didn't know better, I'd think he might have had something to do with me finding and signing the papers on this home in just one week. I don't feel certain about too many things, but I know I'm in a better place here. Thanks for always being with me.
http://youtu.be/BePDQ5iFi88

Friday, August 16, 2013

New Designs

How to make a new place a home

 1. Decorate.
Create as many spaces for comfort in your house as you can, as soon as possible. For example, I call this The Insomniac's Dream Bar. It's perfect for waking you up in the morning with coffee or putting you to sleep in the evening with a drink.

I'm still debating if I want to keep the old timey coffee grinder or replace it with a coffee mug rack or a blender but such complicated decisions don't have to be made all at once. But now that I've mulled it over maybe I can do both. I can hang some hooks underneath the cabinet for the mugs which will then free up space for the blender! Genius.

 My extensive cup, tea and coffee collection along with all my margarita glasses fit perfectly in the cabinet above too. I could even put my protein powder there as well if I should want to add in a health component. It's like no other home has this kind of design.  Almost as if it was made for a station just like this. You're welcome Pinterest.

 2. Get familiar with your new surroundings.
 Why stay at home and cook dinner when there are sure to be restaurants at every corner with chefs who will do that for you and probably do it better? True, you probably can't afford to do this every day but it's a great way to assess what's happening your new town and to see what type of people you'll be working with when you're the new kid on the block. It also gives you an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and try something new which only serves to make cool and exciting connections to your new place.

 See exhibit A...

This is me expertly dropping my sushi with the help of some useful chopsticks at a contemporary Japanese sushi place called Sushi Pop. The lighting is romantic, the atmosphere is hipster, and the food is mostly raw but surprisingly delicious. I don't recommend any drinks with Saki (no matter how much fruit juice is mixed with it) or dipping your meal into wasabi but the Sugi Sugi roll was tasty.  I don't know exactly what I ate but I gracefully finished every bite including all of  the white rice that was wrapped around it. ( I haven't had white rice in years which is probably why I'm so ecstatic in the picture.  The Saki might have contributed too.)  Where else can you watch Anime cartoons on large screen TVs and actually look forward to getting PMS, (a peanut butter, molten chocolate cake with salted caramel ice cream). This city is getting better by the day.

3.  Reinvent yourself.



Don't be fooled by the print on my dress, I'm still, I'm still, a mom from the burbs. I used to be a little dorky, now I'm a lot.  No matter where go, I know where I came from (C-bus)!

I wasn't looking for this statement piece when I stepped into Kohl's with my birthday Kohl's cash, (my birthday is still two months away) in hand, but I should have known to "Expect great things".  I was all set to try on a ocean colored ombre sundress by Daisy Fuentes when I spotted this number from her Latin rival still crammed on the hook in the dressing room.  There were about two dozen other items some others were thoughtful enough to leave behind scattered on the chair inside as well but for some unexplainable reason, my nonexistent Puerto Rican roots drew me to this one in particular.

I'm not sure if it was a leopard or cheetah that clawed it's way onto the polyester blend, however I do know that it's part of the J. Lo collection. No doubt Jenny designed it all herself, so much props to her for finding the time to try to stamp her brand onto every known product in the universe.

 I may not be in an exclusive club in the middle of a jungle with laser lights pulsating to the bass or wind fans blowing my honey blond extensions but if I were, it might just fit.  Still, I'm just not feeling the animal print and neither is my hair.  I would need the entire village there to help me pull off that look and it still wouldn't be quite right. Edgy to me is a Zeppelin t-shirt and faded jeans with the tears already cut into them via the manufacturer that I contemplate buying from a far on a mannequin.  I'm too Midwest and it's too Bronx. I think I  need to redirect my baby steps into the Rock and Republic accessory department  instead.

But for now, I'm comfortable with Daisy. How can I go wrong with anything that reminds me of the ocean?  It's just the right combination of teal and aqua marine, and style meets causal for dropping my kids off at the bus stop, taking them to the library or attending a beginner band meeting.  It may not scream cool but hopefully my neighbors and new acquaintances will still sense my understated hipness.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Going

You know it you are really ready to move two hours away when your cat starts having anxiety attacks in the form of random vomiting and you don't know which one of the twenty boxes marked "Kitchen" that the the coffee pot is buried in. One more day of attacking boxes with a tape gun left. I can see myself sitting on the back yard swing watching the sun fall behind the pines by the pond in no time.
 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Going

Why have I not gone through any boxes in 8 years and just let things accumulate? How could I afford so many books? Who still has all of their CDS from the 90's? Did I really have to save each card, school notebook, or report I ever had? And what's up with smooshing the only four barbie dolls I owned along with all of their 80's fashions into an old wine box?

 It's just an overwhelming pile of stuff on top of stuff that never goes away! I now understand and forgive my mother for throwing away many of my childhood mementos and some of my wedding decor. She's right not to be so attached to inanimate objects. Not that I'm a scary level pack rat but I've seen organizers teach the people on Hoarders to just take pictures of it.

At this point I would much rather have one box that contained everything that I really needed but it's so hard to donate those fierce five inch heels. Sure, I have never taken them out of the box for more than 10 seconds because I walk like a new born on the verge of falling when I do, but still. One day I might gain some coordination and really need them to pick up some milk. And how I could I ever part with that my favorite childhood book, any of my children's artwork/school work, or my father's belongings?

 The whole process of packing belongings into boxes seems easy enough but when you start getting hung up going down memory lane,you don't notice time passing and you end up getting lost in the clutter. I've been at this for days, trying to sort through stuff to so we can walk through our garage one day and am slightly overwhelmed by the magnitude of our possessions. We had so many garbage bags that sanitation truck refused to take them!?! I'm ready to go now, simplify, and start fresh.

 


Monday, July 29, 2013

The Day After

So, I didn't hear from any mega powerful, national news producer...and I was all like, WHAAAAT!?!  This is the second time I've been right within reaching distance of the brass ring. First there was a piece on Today that my name was given to and now another free trip to NYC and a spot on national television to promote a healthier lifestyle has passed me by too. Not to mention that I really wanted to meet Robin Roberts too. The woman documented her battle against cancer. She's such an inspiration... Man, it's like being the understudy to the lead in the Shakespeare play or receiving honorable mention in my high school talent show all over again!

Then I remembered that I still had some frozen, low carb margarita mix stashed away in the freezer and two sips later, I was in a more accepting mood.



Clarity settled in, and I realized that it didn't matter who was chosen because the message would have been the same.  I can't lie and say it wouldn't have been nice to be on television, but it's not why I drink a protein shake every morning and have come to understand a state known as sweating a few times a week.  I ultimately did it for myself; to be stronger, feel better, and live a fuller life.  If it affects anyone else to do the same, (whether it's through large scale public recognition or not), then I accomplished more than what I set out to do.  That's good news too.                                                                                                                                        


                            



Friday, July 26, 2013

A Long Journey Into a Good Night

And today was the day that a PR director at Medi Weightloss gave my name to a producer on Good Morning America?!  I haven't received any phone calls and might never hear from anyone, but to have your name in front of someone who could potentially broadcast your story to millions is unbelievable.  All this for deciding for good that I was done being overweight and finding a program that would really help me. Incredible things can happen when you want to change and see that you can.

*(As a side note, I've been getting calls from an LA area code all day today too yet no message.  Brad Pitt probably wants to talk to me in person about making a movie based on my true life.  I bet he can convince Jennifer Aniston to play me for scale after her wedding.  She's going to have to pack on some pounds to give a more accurate portrayal.)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Fairy Princess



This kills me.  It's my niece cheerfully displaying the new Tinkerbell outfit I found to kick off her second birthday.  She likes to play dress up and lights up when she sees tiaras and shoes, so of course I had to support her passion. (She's standing in matching green plastic heels with pom poms too.)

My sister in law is a strong, intelligent woman like all the women in my family are, but there's just something so undeniably sweet about all things girly.  Most of us are drawn to precious things because I think deep down inside women like to put on pretty clothes every once in a while no matter how much we don't want to admit it.  I mean, how else do you explain the obsession about finding just the right dress for baptism, the prom, and our wedding?

I don't have a daughter, so this is as close as I can get to living out that dream.  Yet, if I did, I think she would look a lot like G. and she would have a Tinkerbell costume hanging in her closet too right next to her colorful collection of combat boots. The only difference is that she would probably have a flowery headband and ballet shoes on to complete the fairy look.  I'm  not so sure I could fully commit to a sparkly crown and heels two sizes too big.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Pocketful of Change


For only one hour, while I wondered the downtown streets of Chicago by myself on a perfect summer evening at twilight, I was free to pretend what it would be like if I lived there. Walking around looking at a map gave me the distinctive mark of a tourist, but if I wasn't?  Could I be as cool as all the other hipster chicks with their thick, black framed glasses, tousled tresses, and ultra casual yet expensive sundresses? What if in my idealized scenario, I was a journalist living in a charming little studio apartment, like Carrie from Sex and the City but less dependent and more accomplished?  I would type away, serious substantial news during the day and have drinks at an outdoor cafe with jazzy, blues music drifting in the background at night, right?  Oh and of course I would jog in the park by the lakeside and shop for quirky home goods at the corner artsy store every weekend too. It's probably not quite as glamorous in real life but it's tempting to imagine being a part of place where skyscrapers and ambitions can reach new heights.

But life has other plans for me. It looks like I'm finally going to have a house by the lake with a picket fence in the back to keep the alligators out.  The town is perfect too with it's nationally rated schools taught by Harvard graduates and pristine,family friendly neighborhoods.  You barely here a sound in the middle of the day except for the chirping of birds and I doubt a crime outside of forgetting to wear your seat belt has ever been committed there.

It's definitely a step up from the ultra safe, and peaceful Tampa but I still feel apprehensive about it.  I've lived here for nine years and feel settled here.  My kids have all of their friends here, my husband has coached flag football for years here, and in a strange way, I feel like I have a place here too.  My image still stands by the Medi clinic and has for a few years now and then there's my most challenging student to date, lil' L.  He and his mom have been like an extended, dysfunctional family to me for the last year and it's going to be hard to wave goodbye to him as I walk out his front door that he always holds open for me. I'm even going to miss all the quarters his mother would give me as payment.  I never had much use for them before but now I can use them when I drive on the toll roads to reach our new destination.

 I know I'm moving on to a better life and everything will eventually be fine, so why am I a bundle of hot flashes, migraines, and nausea? The city version of me wouldn't have to experience this. I know I'm not pregnant and I think I still have a few more good years, maybe even a decade until menopause hits. I never thought I would say this, but I'm going to miss the security I have here when I'm gone...

http://youtu.be/cmSbXsFE3l8


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Second City


I would write more but am currently in the middle of moving to my own second city myself.  It's still in Florida but on the other coast and supposedly "one of the best cities to raise a family" according to Businessweek.  The photo above is of Chicago, the original second city and the second city of the Cummiskey family summer vacation tour.  If you haven't seen it, you should.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Bittersweet

It's taken awhile but I finally have an up to date phone like all the kids have these days, so I can constantly be preoccupied with stupid stuff too.  I replaced the old antique where I heard the news that my father passed away on with a new version where I can hear a little birdie tweet at the arrival of all of my incoming mail.  Of course there's a new phone number too.  Oddly enough it contains the age he was when he passed and the year he was born.  The first three numbers may even be his time of death or birth... I don't know.  It sounds like a stretch but I'd  like to think he's trying to stay connected.