It’s Been A Long Winter

Why this picture? Why not?

Even though we didn’t see a whole lot of snow in Milwaukee (again) – this winter has kind of sucked.  Sucked as in – man, I barely got out of the house.  When I did it was basically only for 2 reasons:  to go to work or to go to the grocery store.  Occasionally we would go to the bar or out to a restaurant, but for the most part I’ve worn a really great butt groove in my side of the couch this winter.

On the up side of all of that, we’ve saved a lot of money.  Eating in + not doing a whole lot socially = savings account happiness, which is a good thing because we gotta get a roof on the house in MI before our poor tenants are soaked in their sleep one night.

What we have been doing is drinking a lot of coffee and watching way too much TV.  This is the point where I start to go on and on about the shows I have been watching, so if you don’t want to her a big rant about the Walking Dead or learn spoilers about other shows, stop reading now.

SCREW THE WALKING DEAD! I am so disappointed with where this show is going.  Fred thinks it’s great – and good for him – but he obviously doesn’t know what good programming is.  When I think about the Walking Dead – a show about zombies – I THINK ABOUT ACTION! I don’t think about a show that does way too much story telling and character building in one season that I can only count 2 instances of “OMG THAT WAS AWESOME” action from a show that used to be continually about blood, guts, fear and absolute bat-shit-crazy shit.  Glenn getting his eyeball knocked out and when they destroyed the herd of zombies with the 2 cars and the big wire were the ONLY parts that I enjoyed about this season.  What’s with the CG tiger?  Why the hell do the trash people speak like they’ve never met another person before in their lives.  Why does Negan wear that lame ass scarf?  I DON’T KNOW, and the writers of this show really aren’t making a strong case for me to continue watching this show next season.

In the past, I couldn’t wait for Sunday night.  I would WAIT for WD to come on and would hush people if they were too loud or talking during my story.  Now, I sometimes don’t even find myself caring if its Wednesday or Thursday and I’ve already heard spoilers. I seem to reluctantly turn it on just out of morbid curiosity as to whether or not the current week episode may have redeemed the whole series for me.  So far, no.

No, I didn’t read the graphic novel or whatever – and I don’t care.  My gripes on this show are completely based off of what the original entertainment value was when I started watching the show several years ago as a person who was never introduced to the story line before.  AMC did it well, they hooked me in – enough, at least, to be this pissed off about how shitty this past season was.

On the flip-side, a show I’ve recently started watching all seasons of (and have completely caught up) and I LOVE is the Goldbergs. OMG, It’s gotta be my age, but this show just speaks to me.  It’s hilarious, over the top – very 80s pop culture, and extremely on point.  Adam Goldberg knows how to write to a 40-something crowd, that’s for sure. I look forward to this show every week and usually laugh till I have to get up and pee.  It’s mindless, happy, fun…..  Good TV.  If an episode is sometimes sub-par, it’s still good because there are no expectations of being carried through…  It’s something new every week.

Perhaps that’s the downfall of getting invested in a long running, serial-story-type drama like the Walking Dead…  If it makes a bad turn, you get mad and disappointed.  With summer-reading-paperback-type TV like the Goldbergs, there are no expectations and therefore, I don’t get pissed off when things don’t progress in at least a way that is mildly interesting.

Oh well, it’s just TV…  But if Shameless takes a downward turn next season, I’ll lose my damn mind.  That’s the only long-term drama that I’m still hooked on.

Here’s another thing that’s got me…  Girls.  I liked this show, then I started to hate it much like WD, but in a different way…  I realized I (Gen-X girl extraordinaire) was watching a show about a bunch of entitled Millennials with all kinds of self-serving problems, and eventually I couldn’t take it anymore…  But like the sicko I am, I kept watching.  Again – I didn’t care if I didn’t catch the show on it’s air-night, but eventually caught up…

Then this season started and the first couple of episodes were OK…  And BOOM – It started to get good again!  Pregnancy – Marnie getting a harsh dose of reality – Adam realizing that he’s a douche – and mostly – Ray and the chubby girl.  I’m hooked again…  And disgusted that I’m hooked again.  Ahhhh, what a cycle.

TV.  Seriously. That’s all I have to write about right now.  I’m terrible.

“Wha nu kill fatten” – What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger (Caribbean Phrase)

Mr. Man and I leave for our second Caribbean (Southern, this time) cruise in 2 days along with 6 of our closest friends, some of their family members and even some of their friends. We’ve got a BIG group going this time and it is sure to be amazingly fun! We’re headed to Aruba, Bonaire & Grand Turk via Port Canaveral, FL on the Carnival Sunshine.  It’s an 8 day cruise – a total time off of work for nearly 2 weeks – and I couldn’t be more thrilled to leave!

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Lessons Learned

video chatI’ve learned some very valuable lessons over the last 5 weeks since moving to Milwaukee…

Now, lets get one thing straight – deep down I always knew I wasn’t bad at everything.  At work I KNEW I wasn’t horrible at what I did.  As a wise, bald man once told me: “YOU NEED TO BE MORE CONFIDENT”

Confidence doesn’t come easy to me when I’m in a situation where there is a lot of familiarity.  That may sound odd – but once comfortable somewhere, If criticized for a wrong move or a way that I handled something, I often lose motivation to the point where I just give up and move on to something else in order to free myself of the stigma that I did something wrong.

In my former role I was beat-down to the point where I was fearful of making any kind of an independent decision because my micro-manager of a boss generally wanted to make every decision for me.  Since leaving there, taking some time off, & moving into a new role (although similar) I’ve realized that I’m not horrible at what I do.

What I’m learning through this whole experience of leaving my safety-net and moving to a place where I know nobody at all is that reinventing yourself as a confident person is SO much easier when you don’t have anything to prove to folks that may already have an opinion of you.

There really wasn’t anything to reinvent, to be honest.  I was always a confident and outgoing person in my younger years…  However, after my first serious relationship ended (in a fury of confusion, financial distress & emotional turmoil) I felt like I had failed at something so large that my confidence wained and I actually began to believe I was fragile. I never used to feel that way before.  Furthermore, after getting into a new relationship I found myself putting aside my own personality for many years while I helped my husband raise his child.

I didn’t realize I was doing any of these things – they just happened.

So what have I learned?

1.  I should have never been a homeowner.   I always thrived for the feeling of being lost in the hum of a major metropolitan area.  However, enter my husband and step-daughter.  The thought of having a child in my care and a husband who wanted nothing more than to give her the life he was never able to give her with his former wife made me act unconsciously. Together we built a domestic bliss that we believed for many years that we loved (and we did) – Then it all began to backfire on us to the point where it was eye-opening enough to encourage us to move on. We should have packed up and left many years ago. We shouldn’t have kept saying “wait until she’s this age” or “lets wait until she graduates” because both of those things didn’t happen the way we thought they would. People raise families everywhere. We shouldn’t have been so narrow minded to think we had to do it with 1800 sq. ft, a 2 car garage & a white, picket fence.

2.  Sometimes you wanna go where nobody knows your name…  I love my friends.  I love my family.  I’ve learned how much I value them even more now that I’m away from them.  I used to take people’s presence for granted.  Now that it’s not so easy. I cherish the phone calls, short visits & video chats that I have with my dad and friends back home.  I also value the fact that nobody here knows me enough to judge me on choices I have made in the past.  Anonymity is so freeing.

3.  I’m an adult. I do adult things. I get up early, I commute, I put in 9 or 10 hour days, I come home, and I don’t feel bad about kicking back anymore.  Before, I always felt guilty if I would just come home after work and sit around watching TV.  If I wasn’t working to improve the “nest” or doing something to keep the brood happy, I felt like I was wasting my value doing “nothing”. Now I don’t feel that way at all.  I don’t know how to explain it or rationalize it really…  But being on my own away from everything I’ve ever known makes me feel like a real, live, human. I almost want to say I’ve “earned” it…  But I won’t go that far.  It’s kind of embarrassing to say that for the last 39 years of my life I was pretty much just going through the motions of work and play – but now I actually feel like I’m putting in the effort, doing a satisfying job for myself, my employer & my friends & family – and so I don’t feel so bad having a beer and watching a movie or screwing around doing whatever relaxes me in my free time.  I’m not constantly moving for the sake of keeping busy because “it’s the thing that adults do – we have responsibilities.”  When the work is done for the day – it’s done.

4.  I have learned how to sacrifice for the sake of leading a simpler and more comfortable life.  I can think of a few examples of how I’ve sacrificed in the last few weeks in order to make life easier (a.k.a. selling almost everything we own!)  However, my biggest achievement in this area came when I was approached by my boss about carrying an iPhone for work.  I flat out said “no”.  That’s huge for me.  I don’t usually say no in situations where I’m addressed by authority.  However, in this case I had flash backs of how horrible it was to carry a phone for business that tied me to my work responsibilities 24 hours a day.  In this case, I sacrificed by telling my employer that I would use my own personal phone to manage emails and take phone calls – but that I wanted to be in control of whether or not I deemed the situation valuable enough to the business in order to address it ASAP. I was pleasantly surprised that they agreed with me. Now using my own phone for business seems less like a sacrifice and more like a benefit.

That’s it – that’s what I’ve learned so far…  And now this blog post is starting to feel like work – so it’s time to have a beer, kick back and relax.  Morning comes early and I have another 10 hours of negotiations & love songs to put in tomorrow.  😉

 

 

CatConLA

catconlaBeing Lil BUB‘s biggest fan, I learned about her participation at the first ever CatConLA mid-year last year.

For those of you who are not cat-savvy (which I don’t understand in the least…) CatConLA is billed as:

A two-day weekend event happening in June, 2015, celebrating groundbreaking products and ideas in art and design, pop culture, and attitude… for cat people.

I.Am.Cat.People. I immediately told Mr. Man that I wanted to vacation to Los Angeles in June to visit this one of a kind cat lovers convention for my birthday gift. He obliged, and soon after we began keeping an eye on the CatConLA website for tickets to go on sale.

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An out of the ordinary feeling

wpid-20141211_150605.jpgToday I walked in the door around 12:30pm to meet my husband at home so we could drive together to an appointment. I had early meetings this morning so I was up and to the office before he even  rolled out of bed this morning. When he saw me, the first words out of his mouth weren’t “hi” or “hello” but rather “You look so different without a dress on.”

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I used to like

I used to like independent movies.
Now I find most of them over-reaching and kind of boring.

I used to like new music.
Then the 90s ended.

I used to like live concerts.
Then Ticket Master started charging enormous service charges.

I used to like baking.
Then I bought a house with a crappy stove, and haven’t replaced it.

I used to like road trips.
Then my knees began to ache every time we sat in the car for a long time.

I used to like gin
Then…  Hangovers in your 30s.

I used to like parties.
Then all of my friends had children.

I used to like ballet flats.
Then my arches began to fall.

A new routine

my glorious bed

My Glorious Bed

My favorite piece of furniture in my home is my bed.  It’s a Sleep Number (My personal number is a 40, in case you were wondering) and it is glorious.  Its topped with a big, fluffy, down duvet, flannel sheets and a soft and fuzzy blanket.  Between my husband and I we share 5, down filled pillows that are so squishy and delightful.  If I could live in my bedroom full time, I definitely would.  It’s spacious, yet cozy at the same time. I’ve purposely omitted a television from the room specifically so when we go to bed, the only thing we have to concentrate on is sleeping.  Or… other stuff that doesn’t require a T.V. 🙂 You see, I love sleeping and napping and there’s nothing I like more than lingering in bed on a weekend morning for hours longer than I really need to.  I am NOT a morning person, I never have been and I’ve groomed my bed to be a place I absolutely love to be.

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