Tuesday, April 28, 2009

You Go Girl!

Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltair once said,

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

This, or variations of this is probably my favorite quote. I could not agree more with it. Of course you have those who can take it to extremes. People say things we don't like, and well that can suck.

But I'm a strong believer in being able to say what you feel, no matter how un popular it is. You say how you feel, I'll say how I feel and if we disagree, we agree to do so.

I was watching the news the other night when I heard about what happened in the Miss USA pageant. As most of you have probably heard, Miss California Carrie Prejean was asked what her views were on gay marriage. She was asked this by a very openly gay judge.

She was completely honest, and said this:

"I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other ... In my family, I think that I believe that marriage should be between a man and a women. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised ... I think it should be between a man and a woman."

Needless to say the gay judge was less than pleased with this. And Carrie did not win the competition, she came in second.

I can't believe she said what she did. Thanks to reality shows like Pageant Life, I've seen how much work goes into these competitions. It's not like you roll out of bed one day and decide you want to be Miss USA. It takes years of sacrifice and dedication. Knowing that it would likely cost her the crown she so desperately wanted, Carrie didn't lie. She didn't say what the judge so clearly wanted to hear.

Being completely honest, I'm not sure I would have done the same thing. I can't even imagine how difficult it was for her to tell the truth about how she felt. I like to think I would be strong enough to do that, regardless of the issue. But who knows.

I have nothing but complete admiration for this woman.

Even if she isn’t Miss USA, standing up for what she believes in no matter the cost makes her a winner in my eyes!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

1 out of 100

Well I had the sheer pleasure taking part in Jury Duty these past 2 days.

I was called to serve Jury Duty yesterday, and was less than thrilled about it. I don't get paid for Jury Duty, so I either have to take a vacation day or take a day without pay. Neither of which is a great option.

I've gone to Jury Duty once before, and it was a truly awful experience. They did not call one person the whole day, and we just sat for 9 hours until they released us out into rush hour traffic.

So I went yesterday hoping to keep an open mind and make the best out of the experience. At about 2 pm they called my name along with about 100 others to be on a panel. Well this was kind of exciting! I had no idea what to expect and was a bit intrigued.

We all went up to a court room and where told that this would be a felony case concerning a DUI. I figured there was no way that the defense would want me on the jury. I don't drink, never have and pretty much think it's a completely useless and destructive habit (Normally I wouldn't say this, but honestey is part of the new me).

So they start to interview people. They call 12, and then the judge asks questions, the prosecutor asks questions and the defense attorney asks questions. The attorneys dismiss people they don't want to be on the jury and this process continues. And continues... Until 4:45 yesterday when those of us left were sent home only to be told we had to come back today. Ugh.

So I go back today, and this process continues again, and again. By this point I'm wondering what I have to do to get my name called. I felt like I was back in grade school PE and they were picking teams for kickball. My heart fell each time my name didn't get called.

If you get your name called, and they don't want you, you get to go home. One lady got to go home at 9:20 this morning! After lunch there were only 4 of us left, so they called in a bunch more people to be part of panel in case they went through all of us.

Finally, they fill all 12 juror positions. There were only 3 of us left from yesterday that didn't get interviewed. 3 out of 100! And I was on of those three. But wait! The judge wants an alternate juror, just in case! They call one of the 3 people left (not me) and she rants about alcohol until they dismiss her. So they call one of the 2 people left from yesterday (again not me) and she is chosen as the alternate. So out of 100 people in the panel, I was the only one who did not get interviewed.

After they jury was chosen the judge said that there was only 1 remaining person from yesterday. I raised my hand and she said thanked me for my patience. Yeah. Thanks indeed! Thanks aren’t going to bring back this completely wasted "vacation" day (some fine vacation!). At least I'm clear for a year. And, I got paid $15 and $0.34 per mile one way for my service today. Wooo Hooo!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A New Me

Well this weekend was a little rough for me. My Aunt Lynne and Uncle Gary came to town, and I loved visiting with them. But some other things happened that made me question myself and they way I do things.

This is going to sound so stupid, but I was watching the movie Clueless. I love that movie. When Cher realizes she needs an internal make over it got me thinking.

I could use a makeover. One on the outside would be nice, but I'm talking about one on the inside. There are certain things I do (or in some cases do not do) that absolutely drive me crazy.

And, in keeping with the way I usually deal with things I just pretend these things aren't there. The sweep under the rug approach. I'm a big sweep under the rug kind of person. In fact this is how I deal with most problems and things. Except it's not really dealing with them. I think maybe in my head if I ignore certain things they will go away. Well, you can imagine how well that has worked out.

In my desperation to not offend others I've offended the most important person. Myself. I never say what I feel when I feel it and absolutely hate being like that. I hate the fact that I say yes when I really mean no. That I tell people what they want to hear rather than the truth. That I allow myself to be taken advantage of over and over again. That I'm always the first one to say sorry, even when I know I'm right.

I'm not saying I'm going to turn into this super witchy woman overnight. But there are going to be some changes. I can say I'm not scared of how people will react to these changes, but well that's a lie. Considering the fact that I'm a people pleaser of course I care. But I have gotten to the point where I care about me more.

I went to Border's last night and bought a book called “The Nice Girl Syndrome". This book sounds like it was written for me. Apparently I'm one of many women who are like this?

But standing up for myself is just the tip of the makeover iceberg.

This is so embarrassing, but I'm going to tell you what I ate one day last week...

For breakfast I had a piece of pizza. Then I got to work and there were doughnuts, so of course I had to eat one! I ate my normal lean cuisine for lunch, but then there was a birthday so I had a piece of cake. And for dinner, a big huge calorie ridden pot pie. Yep, I ate all that in one day. It's not even about the calories so much as the clogged arteries! Needless to say my diet needs a little tweaking...

I really have become a "Sunday Mormon". I go to church on Sunday, but that's about it. I hardly ever pray anymore and I don't read my scriptures. I get to church late and I run out of the church doors as soon as it's over. I don't go to any activities. I've played both sides, and I know how much happier I am when I do more than just waltz into church on Sundays.

I know I have a long road ahead of me. Rome wasn't built in a day after all. But I'm looking forward to it and can't wait to see the positive changes the new me brings!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Birthday Cake Meltdown

I don't usually lose my cool very often. I can keep my anger in check most of the time, except when it comes to one thing.

Baking.

I love baking, but it really brings out the worst in me sometimes. If something I'm baking doesn't turn out, I have a complete fit. I revert back to being a 2 year old and cry, yell and throw things. Seriously.

I'm not sure why baking brings this out in me. Maybe because it's one thing I feel I'm pretty good at. So when I don't do well it really upsets me.

I offered to make a Birthday cake for my Mom (Happy B day Mom, Love you!). I got home last night from work and started baking away. I strayed a little bit from the norm with my creation though. This is where things tend to go awry I think. I found a recipe online to make a double layer pineapple upside down cake. Double layer!? I'd never heard of such a thing! It looked kind of tricky, but I felt up to the task.

So when it came time to flip the cakes, disaster struck. The bottom cake was fine, but the top cake just broke apart. And I just had a complete fit!

I yelled, I cried, and I threw cake everywhere. Jimmy came into the kitchen to find me sitting on the floor, cake all over my hands and sobbing uncontrollably. He started laughing, and I couldn't help but start laughing too. He cleaned up globs of still steaming cake from all over the counter and stove while I tried to salvage what was left of my less than perfect bottom layer.

I think it looks ok, but it's far from perfect and far from what I had pictured in my mind.

After I calmed down, I tried to figure out why I had gotten so upset. I mean it's just a cake! It's not a life or death situation! But these baking disasters always seem to happen to me when I'm supposed to bring something to a function. If it was just for me to eat at home, I don't think it would have bothered me so much.

I guess in the end I have to remember there really is no use crying over broken cake!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Only My Husband

Monday was Jimmy's first day back to school after spring break. He has a class where they have to run the mile each week, and try to improve upon their time. They normally run on Tuesdays.

Well for some reason this week the teacher had them run on Monday. Jimmy was not prepared for this, therefore not dressed appropriately. He was wearing sneakers, but not the right kind of sneakers.

If I was faced with this situation I would do one of a couple of things. I would likely just not run. I’d tell the teacher the situation and sit this week out. Or I might try to run in my faulty shoes, and just muddle through it.

Well not Jimmy. He did not want to sit the run out. And he didn't want to finish in a longer time than his previous weeks.

So he decided to run the mile in his socks. Yes, his socks. When he told me this I thought he was joking. Nope, he was serious.

Not only did he run in his socks, he beat his previous week's times, and beat out a few fellow runners who normally beat him in the process.

Every time I think about him running around the track in his socks it cracks me up. But I can't help but admire him at the same time. He is not one to give up easily. I never would have thought to just run in my socks. And even if I did think of it, I certainly never would have actually done it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lessons Learned from Snack Time

This Sunday at church we had a couple of visitors in my class. It was Easter, so that's bound to happen, people visiting from out of town and such.

Well snack time came around and the children scarfed down their graham crackers like they had never seen food before (this is normal occurrence).

One of the visiting little girls asked for another. I'm about 3/4ths of the way through my snack budget for the year and it's only April. So I told her not today, they would get another one next week. The conversation quickly turned sour and went something like this:

Girl: I want another one!
Me: you already ate yours, no more for today.
Girl: but I want one!
Me: sorry, you can have another one next week
Girl: give me another one, now!
Me: Is that how you get things at home, because that is not how we do it here...
Girl: give me another one, please!
Me: No more, sorry! (Ok she did say please, but after her little rant I was not only going to not give her another but make her cough up the one she already ate!)

She was a fairly pleasant girl besides this, but it got me thinking. Man some kids really are just brats! There are kids that you can tell are good, they just have bad moments. Then there are those that are just having a never ending bad moment.

How do you prevent that from happening? I'm sure parents don't raise their kids hoping they will turn out to be bratty. They just do. Either by their own actions or their kid’s genetic make up they turn out to be monsters.

Some of the kid's I've seen, man! They are just spawns. And their parents bless their hearts try and try, but the kids still turn out that way.

Honestly this is one of my biggest fears. That I will have that kid that no teacher wants in their class, or that no parents want to invite to their child's b-day party.

Every time I see something on the news about a child molester or a serial killer I first think about the victims. But then I think about the Mother of that molester or murderer and how she must feel.

To have raised someone who is capable of such terrible things. I wonder if the Mother blames herself for her child's actions, even if she did the best job she could teaching it right from wrong.

I am pretty confident that I won't raise a serial killer. Or child molester either. But I see some kids and they are so polite, nice and well behaved most of the time. I can't help but wonder, how do I make sure I get one of those?

Monday, April 13, 2009

To Fight or not to Fight...

Yesterday after church Jimmy and I settled down to watch some baseball games. He likes the Dodgers and I like the Angels so we end up bouncing back and forth between games.

The Angels were playing the Red Sox, so I had some conflicting feelings about who I wanted to win, but I was definitely more interested in this game than the Dodger one. In the 1st inning of the Angels game, a little altercation occurred between the Red Sox pitcher (Josh Beckett) and the Angels batter ( Bobby Abreau). It didn't seem like a huge thing to me, but both benches emptied as well as the bullpens.

In the end 4 Angels players/coaches ended up getting ejected from the game. What seemed really odd to me is the 2 Angels players that got thrown out. One of them was an outfielder ( Tori Hunter), and the other was an Angels relief pitcher ( Justin Spier or something). Neither one had any involvement in the altercation at all. The pitcher and the batter that stared in this little spat both remained in the game.

So I started to wonder, how is it 2 players that weren't even involved in this got thrown out? One of them wasn't even playing at the time for goodness sake. But looking at the sheer rage Tori Hunter and Justin Spier exhibited, you'd think that they themselves had been almost affronted as Bobby Abreau had.

Is their sense of "team" so strong that they felt it necessary to keep running their mouths and get in the middle of things to defend Abreau (a full grown and seemingly large man?) If this is the case surely getting thrown out, therefore leaving your team shorthanded does not seem like the best idea.

I think it's something else. They both seemed like they just wanted to fight. Spier in particular, whew he was really mad! Some people just really look for or even enjoy confrontation.

I know several people like this. Both male and female. It seems like they desperately search to pick fights, it doesn't matter what it's over or who it's with. Seemingly trivial stuff works them up into such a frenzy you'd think it was a life or death situation.

People like this truly amaze me. Probably because I'm at the complete opposite side of the spectrum, a fight to me is the worst possible outcome and therefore the last straw. Not something I'd ever go looking for.

I started thinking about the movie Fight Club. That movie was a little too strange (and too rated R) for me, but the gist of it is these guys start a club where they get together and beat on each other. The idea seems so odd, but maybe a Fight Club would work out well for these types of people. I mean that way they can get out all their anger fighting other people who like to fight just like they do.

But then I guess society would be condoning this behavior, and I'm not sure that's a great idea either.

So in the end I like Rodney King am left wondering, Can't we all just get along?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Game Time!

Baseball season is finally here! I love the beginning of the season, when every team has a clean slate. Plus as of right now the Yankees are 0-2 despite there massive outpouring of money to secure better players during the off season.

Jimmy's softball game was rained out this week. Normally I'm not a fan of the rain, except in these kinds of instances. I might have done a rain dance earlier that day...

Ok, the softball games aren't THAT bad. I'm just a baby about it. And at the park he plays at now these moths the size of birds (seriously, I'm not exaggerating on this) keep flying all around and terrorizing the fans.

I searched, I scrounged and I fought to find Red Sox tickets for our trip this year. And I did! The seats are practically not even in the park, and they were marked up way way too much, but I bought them.

I mean there are no bad seats in Fenway right? I'm sure I've sat in worse. We will just have a nice panoramic view of the park, that's all. I still can't quite believe what I committed us to. We fly in on a 7am flight, pick up a rental car, drive to our hotel and walk to the game. If our flight gets delayed we are in trouble. If our bags get lost, we are in trouble. If we get lost (as I'm prone to doing) we are in trouble.

But all that can't overshadow the excitement of seeing my favorite team play live in the flesh. They are playing the Royals, so I'm counting on a victory!

I can practically taste that Fenway Frank already...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hit by a Bus

After a long cold winter (well cold by California standards anyway), I'm more than just a little excited for spring to get here.

The flip flops come out, the jackets get stored and legs see the light of day again.

However there is one thing about Spring I could definitely do without. Allergies...

I never used to be an Allergy sufferer. Then one day, Bam! They were here. The sneezing, the coughing, the grogginess. I have it all. At night time when I'm trying to read my eyes will literally start running and not stop until I close them.

I guess it’s the girl in me, but all of this stuff I could deal with, as unpleasant as it is. But the one thing that really ruffles my feathers is the fact that I just look terrible. Every morning recently I wake up and look in the mirror with shock and horror. I seriously look like I've been hit by a bus or something.

My eyes are all red and swollen, my skin is pale (ok well that's not new, but it seems to be magnified now), and my nose is leaking like a faucet. The other day I put Visine in my eyes, and then like 10 min later they were all red again. I put another drop in each eye, and again they were red within a few minutes.

It doesn't matter how much sleep I get. It doesn't matter how much make up I put on. The other morning as I was attempting to look half way decent I heard Robbie get up, get ready and be out the door before I was even done primping. And I still looked like I had been out for an all nighter of hard partying rather than in bed by 10:30pm!

If any fellow allergy sufferers out there have some words of wisdom I'm all ears. I can take Claratin for the internal symptoms, but the external ones seem to be harder to shed.

Maybe there is a magic remedy I haven't discovered? Or am I doomed to look like this for the next 3 months...

Friday, April 3, 2009

UPS and the Random Address

I've pretty much lost all faith in UPS. I've never had a problem with them before, but I'll tell you about 2 unrelated instances that make me think they have monkeys working over there.

I always get a package from my Grandma for my Birthday. She hadn't missed one in 24 years. So when 25 rolled around and I hadn't heard from her I was surprised. She called me and left me a message saying she hoped I enjoyed the present she sent. Present? I didn't get a present.

So I called her and we discovered that when she mailed my package, she left of my Unit number. An easily made mistake. So I figured my package was sitting at the post office or something. I called the post office, and they hadn't seen it.

I called the store and discovered that when UPS tried to deliver it and realized they had no Unit number, they re routed the package to a completely different place. I'm 402 Country Club Drive, Unit E and they sent it to 202 Country Club Drive Apt 4. Huh????

Ok so those addresses have some of the same numbers, but we aren't even in the same complex. They just picked an address that sounded similar and left it there? I went over to 202 Country Club drive, and they weren't home. Who gets a package that is addressed to someone else at a completely different address and keeps it?

Then, yesterday discovered something similar happened to him with a book he was waiting for. The eBay seller left off the Unit number, and UPS brought it over to 202 Country Club Dr. So Jimmy went over there last night, and they still weren't home.

Now they've gotten 2 packages, not addressed to their address or their name. And according to UPS have kept both of them. Maybe they can't read? And were pleasantly surprised by a necklace and exercise book?

One thing is for sure, make sure you get insurance when you send things UPS!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Traveling Pains

Who knew planning a trip could be so difficult?

Well, you'd think me considering that's what I do. But I'm used to planning trips for corporate travelers with company Amex cards. Trying to plan something for myself keeping in mind a tight budget and even tighter date parameters is proving to be pretty tough.

Jimmy and I are hoping to go to Cape Cod this year. I thought I had everything set, when I found out I couldn't go when I wanted due to work conflicts.

No problem, I re grouped with some new dates and found out that flights were more expensive on these dates. Bummer. Well as I'm still trying to lock things into place I find that the flight prices have gone up about $100 per ticket since Monday.

Jeesh! I guess I should have expected this since I tell people prices change all the time, but it would be nice it Travel Agents could be immune to such things. I mean we aren't leaving until July for goodness sake.

While on our trip, we are trying to plan a couple of things. One being a Red Sox game.

Last time we went back east, it happened to fall during a huge road trip. I really want Jimmy to experience going there; I think it would knock his socks off ( ok knock his red sox off ha ha). This time I find there is one game that we could squeeze in on the day of our arrival.

Other than that the seats are sold out or they are on the road.

So, we would get off the plane, grab our bags and a car and head over to Fenway. This is all after a 6 hour flight in which no meals are served that left LA at 7am.

When I went to look at tickets there were 2 seats left in the bleacher section for $26 per person. Perfect! I go to look now, about 10 min later and there is only standing room (seriously, you pay to stand in the park for 3 hours) for $25 per ticket.

Hmmm... Not too sure about that one. If I'm going to stand, it will be at a bar around the corner with decent priced food and air conditioning.

The system basically lets you hold tickets for 1 minute before it puts them back out there, so I have to keep trying to see if anything other than standing room opens up.

Then I'm thinking we could go to Martha's Vineyard while we are back there. There are ferries that take you over, but they have nice summer prices of about $60 roundtrip per person. I tell this price to my husband who then laughs and says we should just swim over there rather than pay that much.

I'm not the strongest swimmer (or really one at all considering I doggy paddle rather than swim) and don't exactly want to get hit by a whaling ship or something. But it does seem outrageous to pay that much to be taken to somewhere 8 miles away.

Who knows what we will end up doing, at this point simply sitting on the beach sounds like a good time!