Thursday, December 28, 2006

Merry F-ing Christmas

What a screwed up couple of days! Not all bad, but some of it was pretty damn unfortunate and is messing with my head. Good thing I can latch onto the made-up concept of starting over fresh in the new year or else ... I don't know what.

Monday, December 18, 2006

I did it!

I managed to throw quite a little shindig yesterday! We celebrated J's birthday with family, friend, food and fun presents! I made the following tasty treats (with some help from Jaime & Laura!):
Artichoke & Spinach Dip + Red Lobster-style Cheddar Biscuits + Phyllo Triangles + Mexican 8 Layer Dip + Fruit + Cheeses (including Ruth's Pimento Cheese Spread!!) + a Jelly Roll cake + Spice Bundt Cake

Toccoa put on her party dress and I actually finished making our stockings (a little thrown together, but still...)! Unfortunately my mom couldn't be there, but I'm pretty sure I would have made her proud!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Crafty (crazy?) Lady!

I'm getting really exicted and nervous about his party on Sunday (3pm at our house. Be There!) I am going to try to cook everything myself. It's very likely that we'll end up having to order pizza like at our last party when I didn't cook but I also didn't buy enough food and people were hungry and starving and falling over from being malnourished and it was bad. (ok, so no one really fell over, but it was still pathetic)

I am also going to try to make stockings from J, me and Toccoa (the dog). Ha! Let's just see if I can drive myself totally crazy in the next 4 days (er, at first I wrote "gays"!) (and just then i almost wrote "at fist"!)(what the hell? have i already gone nuts?) [note to self: put nuts on grocery list]

Unfortunately I will not have painted to dining room and guest bedroom like I really wanted to, but whatever. I also will not have finished sanding the armoire for the guest bedroom, nor will the yard have gotten de-leaved and landscaped. And I'm sure the kitchen and our bedroom, no matter what I do, will still look like a wreck. At least I can keep the bedroom door shut.

I will be happy when the holidays wind down because then I plan to apply to SCAD (or someplace similar) to take classes and eventually get a master's degree in graphic design.

Well, I'm off to try to make stockings!! Wish me luck and I hope to see you Sunday!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Electric fingers

Just got home from watching "Stranger Than Fiction" with J and Roo. Super great movie. Very enjoyable with a little guilty pleasure via the slightly schmaltzy ending. In appreciation, I let out a little clap of glee at the end.
I tend to analyze things a lot. Actually, I over analyze and generally I'm analyzing myself. Example: as I clapped I thought,"clapping like that is such a me thing. is it childish or endearing?" Just then, two rows up to the left, a lady with long dark blond hair clapped gleefully. The guy next to her, boyfriend perhaps, turned to her and put his arm around her, clearly amused by and endeared to her.
"that chick is just like me!" my brain fired. My heart sank a little,"maybe i'm not special. maybe there are tons of people just like me." But the ultimately upbeat nature of the movie quickly redirected my pouting,"Why not? It would be great if there were more people like me. [subthought: the positive, helpful, outgoing, uplifting, creative, productive, kind, true-to-myself me] i wish i were more like me!"

Monday, November 13, 2006

I fell off the top of Las Vegas and lived to tell you about it!

J and I just got back from Vegas last night and boy, lemme tell ya - it is an exhausting place! J and I are still recovering and we didn't even do it up that much! We arrived Wednesday 11/8 to our luxurious digs at the Venetian thanks to a company J works with. If you look at the picture and see where the name runs vertically up the side, above that, there's the half-circle window - that was our room! Wowie-zowie!
That first night we ate at Batista's Hole in the Wall, an italian place that's been there for-EV-er. J, his dad, some work-related dudes and I were serenaded by the in-house accordion player (well, mostly me). Afterwards J and I went and played on the slot machines for a little while and then crashed - it was 3am EST after all!

The next day I tagged along with J to his convention for a while and then lounged around the room, took advantage of the afternoon tea in our suite's lobby and got ready for dinner. This time another one of J's work-related people took us out to Red Square at Mandalay Bay. J enjoyed the best vodka martini ever and I stuffed myself with stroganoff that was out of this world. From there we met up with another work dude at Tao. We had fun there - one of the work dudes, who was a bit older, decided he was going to show us whipper-snappers how to dance... if you were some old dude freakin' up on a girl while having a seizure. (well, not really, but he did scare me when he joked, "take me to the hospital.")
After that we put all the old fogies to bed and played some blackjack at the Palm's hotel. Oh, and I can add another celebrity sighting to my list: Dizzle from "Inked." He was actually walking out of the Hart & Huntington tattoo shop, looking a bit drunk. I was drunk, too, and I REALLY had to pee, so I just gave a little what's up nod and kept on moving.

We broke even at the blackjack table and went back to our hotel to sleep!

On Saturday night I finally got to go to the top of the Stratosphere...and go on the rides that are ON TOP of it. I went on the Big Shot, that shoots you straight up and then you free fall down and then on the XSCREAM, which literally tips you off the side and drops down (randomly, just to make you wet your pants a little more). You can see the pix here. We ended the night by watching the ever-cocky yet equally amazing David Copperfield.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Brave Little Me

I am happy to say that I am really, truly off of my anti-depressant medication! It's been a little over 2 months since I took my last full dose. (you can ask me about what I've taken, if you're curious.)

I was on the meds for at least four years and had decided I needed a change - I was so over the fuzzy world I'd been inhabiting, 'cause you know the meds don't just make the depression go away, it pretty much makes all feelings go away. I was tired of not feeling truly happy. Not to mention that right after I came home from Cape Cod where J proposed, and I was so happy, but I actually felt severely sad. In fact, I was on the verge of tears or crying all the time.

Luckily, with the help of my trusty therapy group, I was able to identify the problem - not J or my engagement to him, but my unresolved issues with my ex-husband. For some reason, I had gotten it into my head that I would have closure once ex-hus called me to apologize and fess up to his wrongdoing (AA's step number 9). I was operating under belief that I deserved this apology and would finally be able to put my experience with ex behind me once I got it. I still believe I deserve it, but my therapist kindly & strongly pointed out that to base my release on on something that only ex can do, is to give him all the power. This equation in my head made it impossible to live my own life, free of him. So I let go of this understandable/silly notion.

Since then, after the annoying withdrawal symptoms finally went away, I've been discovering real life again. FEELINGS! At first, I was mostly feeling anxious and overwhelmed and I was afraid that maybe I still needed to be on the meds. For a couple weeks I lived with the fear of "What if I totally lose it?? In public??"

And then something wonderful happened: J accidentally tickled me one night and I laughed for what seemed to be 10 minutes! It was such a great, hearty, happy, easy laugh, like I had not experienced in YEARS. It was wonderful and so very freeing - what a relief it was! Because of and since this experince, I have been able to face my unmedicated life bravely, instead of in fear.

In other news:
YAY! I got my motorcycle learners permit and I rode the Vespa for the first time to work today and it went really well. I am gaining more and more confidence in myself, though I imagine I'll never really trust all the other car drivers around me, which is probably a good thing.

Woo-hoo! J and I are going to Vegas next week, from Tues thru Sunday. I've never really been before, unless you count the time I drove through on my way back to the east coast from L.A. I'm really looking forward to the trip, eventhough J will be busy with conference stuff a lot of the time.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Monday, September 25, 2006


First, if you have not seen Eddie Izzard's "Dress to Kill", you MUST. I'm not saying that in a "you simply must dahling!" way, but rather in a "don' make-a-me hurt you!" way. I say this because otherwise you will never truly appreciate it when I zip by you on my scooter waiving like Ferris Bueller in the Ferriari-fantasy scene saying, "Ciao!"

When J and I were in Savannah recently we rented a scooter and I LOVED IT! I always wanted a Vespa, but never really thought about getting one in a serious way. Now, I am ALL about it. I'm not sure how long it's gonna take to save my pennies up to get one, but I am SO THERE.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Another new day!

Today was kinda sucky cuz I had to work from 8 (A.M.!!!) till 2. Yeah, I know that for most of you that's like a half-day, but J and I are both such night owls and we normally don't get up until 9 (okay 9:30) (fine, 10:00)

So I was pretty grouchy BUT I was there! I got out of bed and didn't call in sick. Alright, so my cell phone was in the other room and I knew if I were to go all the way to the living room to get it, then I'd already wake up anyway and I'd never get back to sleep...but still, I crawled out of bed on my own and went in to work.

Then after my shift, instead of eating at the mall food court, I went home and slurped up some organic butternut squash soup with a side of kimchee. Afterwards, I could have gone to sleep and blown off my first-time meeting with a personal trainer, but no! i took off my pyjama pants, put on my jeans and went.

The amazing-ness didn't stop there: I came home, still feeling cranky becuase of my early day and ever-increasing congestion headache and fixed dinner!

Conclusion: For those of you who know what it's like to be depressed and all that that comes with - you know this was a good day becuase I didn't give up or give in despite the crankiness!

ONWARD AND UPWARD!! (heh, heh! i almost wrote 'upwad')

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


For years now I have been in therapy off and on, starting with my parent's divorce when I was 7. And it was my parent's divorce that I was working on for much of that time until I got married and (very quickly) divorced in 2003/2004.
A lot of my "dealing with it" centered around the devastating effects of my father leaving very abruptly. There was no fighting, nothing being thrown across the room, no punches being thrown - nothing that indicated that my dad was going to leave. And while I'm sure that no matter how he could have left it would have been distressful to me, this way made me grow up with a strong sense of uncertainty in relationships.

This became evident the year I fell in love with Josh. I was on Cape Cod for the summer - we met, fell in love and moved in together between my freshman and sophomore years. Riding down the road in Hyannis in his truck one day I told him, "You know you have my heart." and as soon as those words left my mouth I was suddenly overcome with fear. I looked down to see my hands gripping the seat, as though I was trying not to fly off into space.

When I returned to college that fall, I was a wreck. Within days of my arrival, I was at the doctor's becuase I could not stop crying and feeling panicky. I was diagnosed with Panic Disorder and I made it (barely) through the year on Prozac and Xanax. The next summer I was back together with Josh and at first things were okay. But as time went on, I became obsessive of where Josh was, when he'd be back and how long it would take. I was driving myself nuts and I was driving Josh away (which, of course, was exactly what I was so afraid of). My emotions were so high and behavior so compulsive, it got the point where the only time I was at ease was when he was asleep!

It was only after serious therapy that I realized that I was acting this way because I was terrified that Josh would leave me one day out of the blue, just like my father did. And still, it took a LONG time to stop living with that fear. Even today I still have a really hard time remaining calm when J goes out with his friends and I want to stay home. And I KNOW he would never leave me or do me wrong - but deep-rooted fears die hard.

But that wasn't the end of my days of therapy. Then I found I had been trying to fill the void my dad left by going out with lots of guys and it took a long time to get out of that pattern as well. And of course there were all of the normal pitfalls and hard lessons learned in the meantime, though for a while there I was doing alright. I wasn't on meds and wasn't seeing a therapist. Was I making bad choices from time to time? Yes. Was I feeling just perfect? No. But I was doing fine.

Then I met C and my whole world went to shit. It was all very fast, the entire relationship, from the day we met to the date of our divorce, was only 21 months. But in that time he managed to destroy me. Granted, I was already somewhat weak, or perhaps I wouldn't have married him in the first place as I would have recognized much earlier how sick he really was. Either way, that was just (just?) 2 years ago now and I am only now (finally) feeling like I may be free of him and what he did to me.

So I've been digging and clawing at all of these past and present hurts, dealing with my parents, dealing with my lack of friends during childhood, dealing with adult love relationships and dealing with my own failed marriage and last week I hit a wall. I DON'T WANT TO DEAL WITH ANYTHING ANYMORE!! I JUST WANT TO LIVE MY LIFE AND NOT FEEL LIKE I HAVE TO ANALYZE EVERYDAMNTHING!!!

I am so over it, people. I am so over everything relating to who done me wrong and in what way. I am so over living my life as how it relates to my past. I want to be here, now. I just want to enjoy this wonderful time in my life with a wonderful man in a lovely home with great friends.

I shared this in my therapy group yesterday (yes, therapy) - I shared how I am so fed up with feeling so broken. I shared that I feel crappy for STILL being in therapy after all these years. My parents divorced, my dad was not in my life, my mother expects perfection and then I married a alcoholic bi-polar fuckin' what? It's not like I'm some serial rapist or grew up in Botswana with my mother dying of AIDS and my arms being chopped off by guerrilla soldiers. I never went hungry, I always had a roof over my head and more often than not, it was really good food I was eating and really nice home I was living in.

What the hell is my problem anymore???

By now I was crying lightly and all of my fellow group members were looking at me with genuinely caring eyes. I took several deep breaths and, in a true good therapy fashion, my deepest truth came spilling from my lips, "I am so tired; I am exhausted dealing with everyone else's issues and how they relate to me. And when I think about it, I think I've dealt with most of it as much as I will ever be able to. But the thing that makes me the most angry and frustrated, is now all I see that is causing trouble or pain for me in my life (deep breath) ... is ME."

During all those years of living with, dealing with and coping with all of the other people and their influence on me, I was growing up and I became an adult who, while having gained so much knowledge and truth about the people around me, had incubated my own issues and not-so-great behaviors: I have become controlling and critical out of fear of my own inadequacies. I have become someone who doesn't trust or approve of themselves very much.

One of the group members, G, piped up, "That sounds like a statement of hope."

I looked at him crosseyed with a "what the hell?" look.

G, a longitme member of AlAnon, continued,"It sounds to me like you ARE on the upswing and not just staying down. When you've gone through everyone and everything else, all you're left with is you. That means that YOU are all you have to worry about anymore. And that is so freeing because this is where you really get to do something about it. You couldn't change those other people or situations, but you can change you."

I know that I am not a bad person, just as my parent's weren't either, but with my new life with J, hell, my new life with myself, and hopefully our children after not too long, I want to do better. There is nothing more important in my life than to live happily and healthily with my family. When I am honest with myself and I choose not to look at it as being "less," all I care about is having a happy and healthy (emotionally) family - I don't care about a career, I don't care about how big my house is, I don't even care if the children are biologically mine.

I have always been the most impressed with families who are actually a FAMILY. Not perfect, not martha stewart, not even happy all the time, but a family that laughs and cares and loves and feels good. And in order for that to happen, as far as I'm concerned, I have the most serious work to do in my life: ME.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Sorry I haven't posted in a bit..things have been hectic (and sad):
> We went to Charlotte and Asheville and a had a great time with the Sis' family, got the ring and visited Asheville's Biltmore Estate.
> Working, trying to ignore my sinus congestion & emailing like crazy about the horrible vote that has turned my alma mater, Randolph-Macon Woman's College, into a co-ed school
> On that same day, J's granmother passed away and we spent the next few days in Fort Wayne
> Then back to work, walk in the Crohn's & Colitis Walk, and in the very few moments between all this we HAD to watch the LOST season 2 DVDs!!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

oh, one other thing:

this sunday would have been the 3rd wedding anniversary with my ex if he hadn't gone/been nuts, alcoholic and mentally & emotionally abusive. just a moment here to reflect on that - especially as I am on my way to the altar for the second (LAST!) time.
it's just really weird when this person you spent so much time with and were supposed to stay with FOREVER is now so completely out of your life. i am always struck with this when i listen to Keane's song "We might as well be strangers" off their Hopes and Fears album. Hhm.


Okay, so here comes the totally unabashed girly girl in me: I LOVE jewelry, particularly the shiny, sparkly, fancy kind. When J was engagement ring shopping, he was a smart (and probably overwhelmed) guy and bought a fantastic stone and placed it in a simple prong setting with the plan that I could then go and pick out a setting. This was very clever of him because he knows that my styles and tastes run the gamut and it would be nearly impossible to know what I would want to wear on my finger for the rest of my life.

After the proposal and our wonderful vaca on Cape Cod, I set out to find the "forever" ring. Actually, I had already found it and it was still stuck in head months later so I knew there must be something to it. So we bopped over to Solomon Brothers (kind of a lame website, but great people, selection and prices) and got this ring*:

I know, I know. I am TOTALLY SPOILED.

In my defense, we had them make it in white gold instead of the trendy and over-priced platinum and if it had been offered as a single-stone ring, I would have chosen that. But it wasn't so I was forced to get this one :) The main thing that attracted me was how it has such a great mix of old and new. There's the traditional "wheat" engraving as well as the more modern prongs on the sides and the organic leafy/ribbony center prongs. And then lots of pretty little sparklies around the top! Perfect for this quirky little trad-mod lady here!

The "Yay!" part of this post is that the ring came in today and it looks even better than I imagined! Woo-hoo! Yay for pretty, sparkly, shiny things!

* hey, just in case you're wondering, the ring was made by Varna . Note: you have to get the center stone separately and then they put it in there for you.

We're off to Charlotte and Asheville this weekend to visit family and scope out the mountains as a possible wedding location. I hope everyone has a fun and safe labor day weekend and watch out for those cops!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine

Saw the movie, enjoyed it, laughed at/with it, loved it, but didn't loooovve it. In the end it was too neat, too wrapped up in a little bow. One reason I like movies like this one is because they have a roughness to them, something that won't make them so palatable for every schmoe.

Take The Royal Tenenbaums for example. It was sweet and endearing in it's own special, scathing way. A way that a lot of people didn't get or didn't like. And I LOVE that.

Maybe it's just that I don't like liking things that are too popular. I really enjoy the fact that I can go straight to the Sale rack at mall stores because it never fails that they will have plenty of something I love because no one else liked it. Woo-hoo!

Either way, it was a really well-made film, the characters were simply irresistible and I felt a genuine human connection with the people who made the film. And really, can you ask for anything more?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Keep on Keepin' on

I am working on a new embroidery piece based on a flag I saw on Cape Cod years ago during one of my worst bouts with depression. I am not really sure how this is going to turn out.
What you can't see in the photo is the wool felt underneath the blue fabric. My plan is to stitch everything that you see chalked out in white and then cut away all of the fabric between the outline of the flag and the letters so that the wool felt shows through in that area.
I'll keep you updated as it comes along!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

My Alma Mater...Almost Over?

I'm an alum of Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, VA. I graduated in 2000 with a B.A. in Communication and many, many wonderful memories of the four years I spent there.

Now the school is facing a sad fate. On September 9th the board of trustees is set to vote as to whether or not R-MWC, which has been a woman's college for the entire 113 years of it's existence, will become a Co-Ed college under a different name. The reasoning behind this, so we're told, is becase of a (seemingly sudden) financial crisis that threatens to force the college to close down altogether.

Last night I received an email from which contained a survey from the President of the Alumnae Association (and someone I consider to be a friend and true champion of the college) made by a group of concerned (angry?) alumnae. The questions in the survey were to the effect of the following examples (paraphrased):

How do you feel about the possibility of R-MWC going COED?
*Very UNhappy
*Somewhat UNhappy
*Doesn't matter to me
*Somewhat happy
*Very happy

Would you prefer that R-MWC go COED or close it's doors?
*Yes, make it COED to keep it open
*No, close it down

Would you change the contributions you make to the college if it were to go COED?
*No, I would continue to give to the school
*I would not give as much
*Yes, I would stop my contributions 100%

Why would you decrease or stop contributing to R-MWC?
*I would stop until I saw that the transition to a COED school was successful
*I would stop because I won't support R-MWC as a COED school
*I would stop because it won't be the same school
It was at this point that I froze. I turned to J, eyes stinging swelling with salty tears, and tried to explain what I was feeling. I simply did not know how to answer that last question. Gently he told me,
"If they go COED and change the name, the school you went to will be gone. Either way you look at it, your school as you know it will close."
With that sobering thought I clicked "because it won't be the same school" and cried.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

"Begin Again in Love"

I used to have a blog all about my life up thru my failed marriage and subsequent divorce. And then for a while there I didn't write much and then not at all anymore.

I also tried to start another blog, but that never took off either. I think that was because I didn't have a point to it. No motive or direction. I think for a successful* blog one needs a point; a springboard because then you can digress all you want, but ultimately you still have you main 'something' to fall back on.

[* ah, but success by whose terms? and as far as blogs go, success compared to what? for me I choose being happy with my content, perhaps making myself, and maybe even a couple other people, chuckle or nod in knowing]

So my purpose here is to give a little peek in on my world, this new one I have been able to scramble together since my divorce. These days that means continuing my yoga therapy, group therapy and the occasional couples counseling. (well, that certainly makes me sounds pretty wacko, but I'm not really - the yoga is for old, deep-rooted issues; the group is for current issues and the couples stuff is mainly to help J and I to communicate better. ok, so maybe a smidge wacko...I'll explain as we go along here.)

Also in my life: working part-time at a upper-scale furniture retail store at the mall, spending the other part of my time cleaning and doing minor improvements to our 1940's home, loving on our 2 cats and dog and now, planning my second (J's first) wedding(!!). For fun I like to stitch, create and make random things and watch Law & Order as though it were going off the air forever.

Oh, and I use parenthesis. A lot. You may wonder why you should read my blog. Fair enough. I wonder that too.