I'm starting to get worried about the inordinate amount of time I spend surfing the web. I have canceled my subscription to the LA Times because I would rather read the NY Times, CNN, ESPN and Pink is the New Blog on-line for a more balanced view of the world. I can get depressed reading about the current administration and at the same time, read daily updates on Britney and Kevin. How else would I know that she frequents public restrooms in her bear feet? Or what Paris Hilton wears on a daily basis? I feel more well-rounded and interesting, not to mention the 50 cents a day, dollar fifty on Sunday, that I no longer have to shell out.
Next I check out my email and see how many free prizes I can win. My personal favorite is a gift certificate to Applebee's, followed by a years worth of Krispy Kreme Donuts. Has anyone ever WON any of these and if so, how did you do it without selling an organ? I then check out the useless emails my friends send me, confirming that some people have way too much time on their hands. The pictures of the man who was bitten by a Brown Recluse Spider will haunt me for many months, thanks a lot, Iris! I could have gone my whole life without seeing that one.
Without skipping a beat, I learn to love and accept myself by listening to Hay House Radio, check my daily horoscope, get motivated, and find my Daily OM. I then check out my bank balance, pay my bills, check the minutes I have used on my cell phone and see where the cheapest gas prices are in my area (and remind myself how much I hate despise Bush and Chaney). I never buy a book without first reading the reviews on Amazon, see a movie before checking out Yahoo, or eat at a restaurant that isn't on Chowhound. I have thrown away all of my cookbooks, because all the recipes I ever
need are on Epicurious, and they are even reviewed by normal people like me who have
actually made them. I have saved so much time and money by avoiding a
recipe that sounds good, but has only received a ONE Fork rating.
Then of course, there are the blogs. I can't tell you how much I love to read blogs. To know that there are people out there who are way more interesting, humorous, talented, and ambitious than I am is humbling. I feel like I have a whole new group of friends, and I don't have to remember their birthdays or worry about having them over for dinner. You get all the advantages of having friends, without the disadvantages like having to spend a whole lunch listening to their play-by-play of the breakup/mother-in-law/martial problems. It's comforting to know that I am not the only person in the world who gets depressed, feels inadequate, is terrible with money, and has some very bad days.
I get great satisfaction out of hearing the teasers on television - find out which Hollywood marriage is on the rocks -- news at eleven, and being able to go to Yahoo to find out immediately, skipping the lame local news. I have spent way more hours than I would ever admit, Googling everyone I have ever known in my life. I read the sports message boards to find out about football, but I come away with some great insight about how men really feel. (Not very much)
It doesn't help that I am a graphic designer and spend my whole day in front of the computer. I always have a reason to take a break and check out something on the web, causing my normal work day to be 16 hours. I don't want to say that I am addicted, but my most fulfilling relationship in the last few years has been with my computer. If I go on vacation, I have to immediately find the nearest Internet Cafe for access to the Internet. When my computer goes down, I loose my will to live. If anyone ever starts a group of Internet Anonymous, I will be the first one to join.
I have decided to join this wonderful web site Sunday Scribbling. Every week they pick a subject and everyone writes about it. The members are so talented, that I only hope I don't embarrass myself. Anyway, it was so much fun, that I even decided to illustrate it.
I equate chocolate with happiness to the highest degree. I feel a warm, satisfying tingle all over my body when I indulge. The taste of chocolate excitingly evokes my senses right up there with fireworks, organisms, and new puppies. Chocolate makes a bad day bearable. It is definitely my drug of choice. For me, chocolate dredges up memories of a fudge-filled childhood.
To say my father loved sweets is an understatement. My mother was a nurse and knew all too well the harmful side effects of too much sugar - weight gain, diabetes and cavities. She wanted none of that to inflict her family, so she affectionately became known as the Sugar Nazi. Sweets were a scarcity in our home, along with potato chips and soda. She was Betty Crocker adverse, so she never baked anything and our sugar consumption was limited to a once a week trip to the local bakery.
Because my father had to have his sugar fix, he, my sister and I had a secret ritual that we performed at least once a week. When my mother would leave the three of us alone after dinner to attend a meeting or class, the action began. As soon as her car was safely out of the driveway, we would get into a huddle, and my father would call the plays. I can still visualize my sister grabbing the butter from the refrigerator, Dad getting the special pot, and me measuring the cocoa, sugar and vanilla at record speed. We would then combine all the ingredients in the big pot and the fudge-making would begin.
The brown mixture began bubbling. Dad would vigorously stir the fudge until it was absolutely the right temperature and texture. To test it, we would drop some of the sugary syrup into a glass of cold water numerous times, till it would form a soft, flexible ball. Then of course, we had to test it, by flattening it like a pancake and eating it in one gulp. My sister and I would slide the butter evenly over the pan with pieces of wax paper and then Dad would pour the entire contents of the pot into the prepared pan. He would then smooth it out with a wooden spoon. Ah, the coveted wooden spoon covered with fudge. Nothing is better than licking a wooden spoon with warm fudge adhering to it.
We proceeded to put the pan of fudge into the freezer so it would harden quickly then cleaned up the mess, covering our tracks. After what seemed like an eternity, we had a whole pound of fudge to consume before my mother came home. We had to get rid of the evidence or face the consequences. It was a hard job, but someone had to do it.
When I look back, I think of how unhealthy it was to eat so much fudge so often. In all fairness to my Dad, on alternate nights we substituted buttered popcorn for the fudge and we always brushed our teeth until our arms could no longer move. Anyway, I'm sure my father justified it because my mother cooked bland, healthy food all the time and this was just a little diversion. So what if we bitch slapped the healthy eating index. I often wonder if my mother was ever suspicious of the excess butter consumption by our family of four.
I can never eat fudge without thinking of my father and how much fun we had and the precision to which we carried it out. Who cares if we went to bed in a sugar induced coma once in a while? In contrast, at the same time our peers were feasting on a dessert of oreos and jello.
The iPod is the best Christmas present I ever received and it has taken me this long to make it my own. After reading Dooce and her blog about music, I realized it was time to load up the iPod that has been sitting in the drawer since December 25. To make a long and boring story short, it dawned on me that I could do it through iTunes without having to upgrade my soon-to-die computer. I spent two days loading all my favorite songs, from when I was in junior high, till the present time. Thanks to Apple, I feel like I am the DJ of my own private radio station. And a damn good one at that!
I realize how much music means to me and how it can make me feel happy, melancholia, sentimental and invoke memories from the past. Every relationship I was ever in is equated with a certain song. If you are important in my life, you have a designated song. I have a song for everything, from my first drink, to my first xxx use, to the night I lost my virginity.
I think the fact that I am the worst singer on the face of the earth, and could never even remotely carry a tune, causes me to envy people who can sing. I am mesmerized by American Idol and I literally loose a night's sleep when someone looses. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of Paris Hilton's new CD. There is a void in my life since Brittany choose mother hood over her career.
When I was in college, one of my friends would ask me to sing for her when she was depressed. It never failed that by the time I finished, she had tears running down her face caused by laughing hysterically. In kinder garden, the teacher made me the conductor (silent) of the other kids, because my singing threw everyone off key. That didn't stop me from singing - Barbara Ann, Benny and the Jets, Roxanne to the people I knew who were lucky enough to have a song named after them. It was probably funny the first time.
I can't hear YMCA without seeing my friend Joe, projectile puking over everyone on the dance floor at a wedding while making the letter Y. Then there's "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow," from Annie, that my daughter watched every day for three years. The theme from Sesame Street is forever etched in my mind, along with "It's a Small, Small World" from Disneyland. My wedding song was the Notre Dame fight song, and my daughter's was Hey Ya. Regardless, I do have good taste in music, and I attribute it to growing up with the Beatles, Stones and Pink Floyd.
I have friends who can really sing and play instruments and I admire them deeply. I recently watched a DVD of a friend's workshop gig and was blown away. I had no idea she was so talented and had such a powerful voice. I watched another friend heal from her daughter's untimely death by writing and singing songs dedicated to her. Another friend teaches guitar at USC and travels all over the world performing. He is soon to launch his own web site, that offers virtual guitar lessons. And I can't even sing Happy Birthday in tune.
All I know, is that I was so happy today listening to all my songs and thinking of good times past. A perfect day for me is walking along the beach with my iPod blasting in my ears and now that the weather is good, I plan on doing it quite often. It doesn't get any better than that. As long as I don't sing along.
As I sit here going through chocolate marshmallow egg withdrawl, I am serious about changing my eating habits. I eat healthy most of the time, but when I go wild, which is most weekends, I bitch slap the USDA Dietary Guidelines big time. I love to bake, which is something I have to learn to limit to special occasions (which is not when the sun comes up at the designated time) and only have desserts once a week instead of three times a day. I love healthy foods, I avoid junk food, never buy processed food, but I still feel that my eating habits could be much better.
I have tried going off sugar numerous times, and I must admit that the first few days I have awful with-drawl symptoms and am ready to chew off the head of innocent bystanders. I become tolerance adverse and all the pent up anger I have been carrying around since adolescence, pours out of every spore in my body.
So my plan of action is to cut out sugar, eat mostly fruits and vegetables and fish, and do lots of exercise to diminish the anger and yoga, yoga, yoga. I will also be visiting Dr. Weil's website a lot as I met him years ago and think that he really gets it. I just hope I can do it for longer than one week.
I'm just coming off the sugar high from all things chocolate and sweet. I really need to have my sweet tooth extracted.
Had a wonderful day with loved ones, friends and dogs. The weather started out overcast, but it turned into a beautiful, sunny day. My youngest daughter was unable to be here as she is finishing up law school in Chicago, but I will see her soon. Everything went well today, except for the woman who sang all by herself at church when no one else was singing or was supposed to be. Luckily she got bored and left, but not until she sang amen loudly as she exited the church. It was quite amusing that early in the morning.
I have to post a picture of my daughter's dogs and two of their twelve off-springs. There were a total of seven dogs who shared the holiday with us. You have to love dogs to be my friend.
I'm afraid my reputation as Martha Stewart-West has been tarnished. Everything I baked was a failure - the lemon bars were runny because I didn't bake them long enough, and the lemon bread was dry because I baked it too long. I forgot to put the baking soda in the banana chocolate chip strudel, so that was a complete bust, and I made orange cookies and wanted to be clever, so I did one third orange, one third lemon and one third lime. The orange ones were fine, but I didn't adjust the sugar and the lemon and lime ones were sour. I think I need to stick to making only one baked good at a time, as my brain can't handle a banquet. My other dishes turned out good, and now I am retiring from the kitchen for a few months. I am going to start eating healthy and cutting sugar out of my diet. I'm not including any recipes, because nothing was worth the ingredients and the time. I will include my recipe for the egg dish I did for brunch another time. Everyone loves it. I didn't get to take a picture of it, as it was gone in minutes.
On one of my visits to Borders, I just happened to pick up this book on a day I wasn't feeling very motivated. I love this book by Steve Chandler. It is uncomplicated, uplifting,easy to absorb and well written. I love the fact that he quotes so many of the people I admire, and makes a story out of each of the 100 points. The first point is a poignant one, Get on your Deathbed. It walks you through an exercise that has you imagining yourself on your deathbed and mentally inviting all the important people in your life to tell them what you want them to know. It really makes you think.
Here are some of the highlights by my account:
The harder you are on yourself, the easier life is on you.
We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are.
We become what we think about all day long - Emerson
There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way - Dyer
Henry Ford used to point out that there wasn't any job that couldn't be handled if you are willing to break it down into little pieces.
The people you spend your time with will change your life in one way or another.
All of man's troubles stem from his inability to sit alone, quietly, in a room for any length of time. - Pascal
There isn't any feeling that you can get on drugs, that you can't get without drugs. - Burroughs
We seem to love vulnerability in others, but don't trust it in ourselves.
By loosing face, we connect to the real excitement of life.
Use your comfort zones to rest in, not to live in.
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
The world's best-kept secret is that on the other side of your fear, there is something safe and beneficial waiting for you.
We can't relate to others, if our relationship with ourselves is poor.
Doing something is what leads to doing something.
Be an artist at whatever you do. Even if you are a street sweeper, be the Michelangelo of street sweepers - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Happiness is a place to come from, not try to go to.
Do at least two things a day that you don't want to do.
The wonderful paradox: I have more fun and enjoy more financial success, when I stop trying to get what I want and start helping other people to get what they want. - Spencer Johnson
Optimists always plan for renewal. They know in advance that they are going to run out of energy.
To trust ones mind and to know that one is worthy of happiness is the essence of self-esteem. - Dr Branden
Find your soul purpose.
Motivation comes from thought.
Replace worry with action.
First find out what makes you happy, and then start doing it.
You can create a new self by learning the beliefs you want to live by - one thought at a time.
Optimism is by nature expansive - it opens door after door to what's possible.
I've highlighted so many things in this book and plan on going back to it again and again and again. I may even get his other book, How to Reinvent Yourself. Lord knows I could use that, also.
I hate bumble bee's. I got stung once, and it hurt for weeks. I am amazed at how hostile these cute little insects really are. They stick their stinger into your skin, and even after the stinger is removed, the pain and swelling remain. The point of this is that I feel like a bee lately. I look all right on the outside, but inside I am a raging killer bee, waiting to go off on someone. I know what my problem is, but I can't seem to get rid of the anger and no matter what I do, it lingers on the perimeter of my soul.
I do yoga, meditate, pray, drink tea, do aromatherapy, and still I want to smack someone. There is no statute of limitation on resentments that I have. It's not easy to have serenity when everyone around you, from the bank, cell phone, to clients are not meeting your expectations.
When I am hurt by someone, I latch out by stinging as hard as I can in the form of words. Words that hurt, words that are the truth, but shouldn't be used in the context that I use them for the purpose of humiliating. I have to get even, or I will implode. Then, when I think about what I have said, I feel guilty and it hits me in the face. I have stooped to their level. I have hurt someone, and even though I was hurt first, I still feel the pain of having hurt another. I can't take pain, no matter who is suffering, whether it is my worst enemy, or the people I love the most. The best advice I ever received was from my friend Kaern, who warned me when I was going through a divorce, to be careful of what I said, because you can never take those words back. Yet I keep repeating the same mistake over and over and over. Someone who has a conscious and is overly sensitive, should never sting someone, because it ends up hurting you way more than them.
Dogs are loyal, content, happy, give you unconditional love, know their
place, shower you with love and demand little in return. The older a
dog gets, the more they love you. If it itches, they can reach it. If
they gain weight, it's someone else's fault. No matter where they live, they own the place. They're never too old or too tired or too busy to play.
Every once in a while someone comes into your life and you realize this person is a gift. I have a very special friend, whom I feel a deep kind-ship with, for many reasons. Even though we are not related, I think we should be. I see my mom in her face which is very eery to begin with. She is the one person who is exactly like me in every way, and nothing she does shocks me, because I have had the same experiences. She has been a single mom for six years and has done a remarkable job and I know something about single moms.
She is getting married next month to the man of her dreams and everyone who knows the two of them is excited and happy. I am so proud of her for standing up for her principals and waiting for the stars to be aligned with her planet. She has more faith than anyone I know, and is living proof that if you live your life with love and have faith, the universe will take care of you beyond your wildest dreams.
I just finished the last of the changing of the clocks. Every time I think I got them all, another pops up. I can't believe the number of clocks to which I am attached. Everything from the car, television, computer, answering machine, microwave, oven, watches, digital and battery operated wall clocks. Of course, the biological one is the most difficult of all to adjust. I hate losing an hour of sleep and it takes my body a good week to adjust to waking up at the right time. I am not one of those people who changes all the clocks before retiring the night before, and like millions of others, spend the day on Sunday guessing which time is right and which clock has been changed automatically. I love the excitement of not knowing and letting my stomach guess the correct time.
I know this semi-annual torture serves a purpose by helping us to save fuel and giving us an extra hour of sunlight to live life sans darkness, but why can't we just stay on permanent DST? After all, this is just a bookkeeping trick and no one is actually giving us an extra hour of sun. Next year is going to be even worse, since Congress passed a new law that DST starts the beginning of March and ends the end of November. That means after four months of Standard Time, we will be forced to adjust to a new schedule. Why can't we just stay the same year round like they do in Hawaii and Arizona? Standard to DST was a good idea when you only had one clock and maybe at the most, two watches. You didn't need to spend all day looking for the instruction manuals on how to change the time. The most important thing, is that you didn't have to miss an episode of the Soprano's because you forgot to change. Write to your Congressmen and try to talk some sense into them to give us back the day - light. Lets cut out Standard time and just stick with DST. Think of all the productive hours we collectively as a nation, will save.