Monthly Archives: May 2013

Let’s Calm the Puff Down for a Minute – UPDATED again

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Well people are clearly freaking the puff out about the State Fair Cream Puff fiasco. Fiasco? Well, it’s early and my vocabulary is limited. If you have not yet heard, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Wisconsin Baker’s Association has chosen an Illinois based company to supply the cream for the puffs this year.  Anyway, I decided to make a few calls before creamin’ my shorts (eww…sorry) and making a protest sign.

So, first, I put a call in to the Wisconsin Dairy Council. Apparently there are many people off today so I am awaiting a call back.

Then I called the Wisconsin Baker’s Association. I was told:

  • 100% of the cream WILL be coming from Wisconsin dairy farms
  • They contacted 12 Wisconsin dairy suppliers. With the sudden closing of Golden Guernsey, they had to find a supplier in a short amount of time.
  • Over 350,000 cream puffs will be made during the 11 day fair. They could not find a dairy supplier (including production – it doesn’t just come straight from an udder) that could provide such a demand during that period.
  • Since they could not find a Wisconsin supplier, they did the next best thing and picked a co-op based in Illinois which uses and benefits Wisconsin farms. Again, they insisted in a contract that assured 100% of the cream will indeed come from Wisconsin farms.

I will certainly let you know as soon as I have any updates. For now…I guess I, personally, wouldn’t be so quick to boycott the puffs based on anything other than my waistline. I know it sounds shady. And we all have right and reason to be suspect. But it seems to me that those involved in this process really tried to make the best decision with little timing. I do not find it hard to believe that after this past difficult year, many Wisconsin dairy farms would have a hard time keeping up with that kind of demand. But again, if I hear anything else, I will let y’all know.

****UPDATE: I spoke with Katy at the Wisconsin Farmers Union. She just heard about this a little while ago but has been looking into it since. She said that it basically comes down to the fact that Wisconsin no longer (since the closing of GG) has a distributor/processor large enough to handle that kind of capacity. And she said that it is sad and certainly a niche that needs to be filled here – especially since were supposed to be “open for business”.

She also said that since it couldn’t come from a WI based business, she IS happy that they will be using 100% WI cream and that it is coming from a company which is actually a farmer’s co-op which is something they are all about and support completely. So, it is not the best scenario…but one that seems to have been unavoidable and that the best possible decision was made.

****Yet another UPDATE: I just received the following info from Katie (it’s a Katie/Katy day I guess) at the Wisconsin Dairy Council:

As it turns out, Prairie Farms, though headquartered in IL, receives milk from 44 Wisconsin counties and has been part of the Wisconsin Dairy landscape for more than 50 years.  Prairie Farms has a distribution center in Bristol, WI and they employ over 150 Wisconsinites in their offices and distribution centers.  In addition, Prairie Farms serves 100% of the milk in Madison public schools and in Racine’s Unified school district.

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So, The Guy Actually Taught Me Stuff

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dad and me006I talk about my dad once in a while. There are some links to past posts below. I guess I talk about him, his issues and the issues he has caused me not only because it is relevant to many things I write about but also…well, he is dead. It is easier to write very honestly about someone who can no longer get angry or embarrassed.  And I think I have earned my right to be open about what I feel comfortable sharing.

I love my dad. I always defended him as a child. And I miss him as an adult. Sadly, he died slowly in my mind many years before his actual passing. He wasn’t present in my life. And I don’t mean emotionally. I mean literally. He would disappear some times for years at a time. But even when he was around…towards the end…he wasn’t.

I remember telling him that a friend of mine had died. I was 16 and very sad. He basically said ‘that sucks’ and went on about his problems. After that, I slowly tried to stop loving him. I was in a hospital for a month and he never contacted me or visited. And it was always someone else’s fault.

I had a lot of reasons to be angry with him. To hate him even. I could list them. I could also list the ways my life could have been so very different had he been even a little bit more like a real dad. But that isn’t why I am writing today.

This morning, Patch posted a story on Facebook asking readers to share about what their fathers taught them. Here is my answer.

My father wasn’t around much. Sometimes wouldn’t see him for years at a time. His not being there made a huge impact on my life. Because of this, I learned the importance of simple availability to my kids. I knew I wanted to stay home with my kid/s and wanted to spend the majority of my life with them while I could. And I knew I wanted the father of my children to also value that lesson. I owe this to my dad.

My father died at the age of 46, when I was 23. I was alone in the room with him when he died. It was a harsh and quick lesson about the fragility of life and just how short it could really be. I was half his age. I realized my life could quite possibly be half over. Or even more. This changed my priorities and perspective in a mostly positive way. I don’t always remember that perspective or keep those priorities – but they are close enough to my heart so that I never lose them. I owe this to my dad.

My father left this world without any apology or any acknowledgment of his actions. I was left half filled with guilt and half filled with anger. I had to learn how to forgive someone who would never hear it. I had to be okay with never hearing an ‘I’m sorry’. Since then, I have become a very forgiving person. I have forgiven some pretty terrible things. And I’d like to think that this lightens my load. I owe this to my dad.

My father taught me how to make spaghetti (red) sauce. I remember everything about that moment – even where I was standing in his kitchen. I have made my sauce that way (with slight modifications here and there) ever since – for the past 30 years. And it is fucking delicious. He loved food and loved to cook and I inherited this completely. I owe this to my dad.

My father loved to sing and dance. That is what they tell me. I don’t remember any dancing – he was pretty banged up and unenergetic from the time I remember. But I do remember the singing. When I was a kid, I could have sworn he sounded just like Elvis. He would drive around on a summer day with all the windows down and his oldies blasting. His arm would be bent out of the window, his aviator sunglasses were always on his face and he would just sing along not giving a shit if anyone heard him. Not that I have one ounce of talent – but that love of music and singing and, yes, even dancing definitely rubbed off. I owe this to my dad.

My father was funny as shit. He loved to laugh and loved to make others laugh. When he wasn’t being a selfish ass, he was quite charming. When he was around, he wouldn’t let an April Fool’s Day go by without some practical joke. He was the prankster, the joker, the comedian. He made me watch SNL and The Honeymooners. He introduced me to John Candy and Chevy Chase and talked about those guys as if he knew them. I think he kind of idolized John Belushi. Anyone who knows me must see how much this influenced me. Comedy is a very large part of my life and I pride myself on, at times, being able to make people laugh. I owe this to my dad.

I was about 12 when he made me watch The Godfather. Do I really need to say more? I owe this to my dad.

He didn’t teach me how to drive. He didn’t walk me down the aisle. He wasn’t there to meet my daughter. And he never got the chance to taste my cooking. I missed out on a lot, as did he. But he really did provide many lessons for which I will always be grateful. And I do miss him a lot. And that never goes away.

Since I have been thinking a lot about him today, I decided to make my (his) red sauce. Baked mostaccioli with ricotta. I only wish I could fix him a plate.

sauce

 

Related:

 

https://heatherrayne.wordpress.com/2005/10/19/daddy/

 

https://heatherrayne.wordpress.com/2006/09/12/remembering-my-dad-nine-years-later/

 

https://heatherrayne.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/an-18-year-old-letter-to-my-dad/

 

https://heatherrayne.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/remembering-dad-on-fathers-day-patch/

 

https://heatherrayne.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/in-plain-sight-reminders-of-my-dad/

 

 

 

The Bluths Are Back, Bitches

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This won’t be an actual review because I would really like to watch again – in a much more humane time-span – before REALLY getting into it. Watching 15 episodes in about 10 hours was taxing, even for me. I am quite certain I missed more than I should have. So I do plan on re-watching again soon.

I will say that all the shit talkers can basically shove a cornball up their bungholes. I will also say that most of the shit talkers I have come across are those who spent the last month watching the first three seasons to catch up to the hype. They went DIRECTLY from season 3 -which was nearly a decade ago – right into season 4. And not that there is anything wrong with that…but they are not thinking clearly.

The writers – these marvelous, make-me-sick-for-not-being-them writers – had to catch up an entire family’s story line from TEN years ago. And quite honestly I think they did it in a most genius way. I think the people who JUST finished season 3 for the first time were expecting a smooth, seamless transition. They were expecting a carbon copy – like flipping to the next page in a book. Well, that wouldn’t have worked. It would have been inauthentic and stupid.

They had to update us on each character while maintaining a current plot, re-birthing old jokes, satisfying original fans (and let’s face it…we are all watching now because of us…the original fans who fought for this show big time) and appealing to the new viewers.

This show was already a love it or hate it show. Many people just don’t “get it”. It’s not their humor and they cannot see past the surface dialogue and story-lines.  As I watched and loved the first seasons, I just knew it wouldn’t last. As much as I thought it was one of the best shows on TV in – well, forever – I knew it was being screwed by Fox (who was putting NOTHING into advertising) and by society which is filled with morons who would rather watch The Jersey Shore (and yes, I watch reality TV too…we ALL have a little moron in us).

When I learned of its being cancelled, I signed petitions and sent postcards to the network (something suggested by others whom were also grieving). But nothing panned out. It was gone. I even wrote about it HERE in 2005. I was totally bummed.

When I heard of its return, I was thrilled. But also a little nervous because we (the die hard fans) were REALLY building it up. Like a crackhead who just sold their last TV – we were excited as shit. As I started the first episode, I kept thinking, “Please don’t suck, please don’t suck!!” And guess what? It didn’t.

They drew us in with their brilliant meta humor, with their inside jokes, with the SPOT ON acting as if no time had passed. They fucking delivered and I am thoroughly pleased.

My ONLY complaint (and it really isn’t a complaint…more of a disappointment) is all the work Portia d’Rossi had done to her face. Holy hell!! She was barely recognizable. And I gotta say, in the first few episodes (I think she relaxed on the fillers further into the season) it was kind of distracting. I think people are free to do whatever they want to their bodies. Lord knows if I had the money…shiiiit. But I just think it is sad because she was one of THEE most gorgeous women in Hollywood.  Simply stunning. Why she felt she needed that much work…or any work at all…just bums me out.

Honestly though, I couldn’t be happier with Season 4 of Arrested Development. We waited a long time. And I sure hope we don’t have to wait much for the next. Bravo Bluths!! Cannot wait for my second viewing!!

 

Just Being Morbid and Junk

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I go in and out of my death fascination (for lack of a better term) phases. Lately, I have been in one. Like I mentioned in a recent post, a lot of young people have been dying lately and I am thinking that is one of the catalysts to my oddball curiosities  I wouldn’t say it is to a morbid degree. I simply have a deep interest in subjects about dying, afterlife, near death experiences or even the sub-topics like cemeteries and hospice. All it is really is my futile, yet obsessive, desire to figure everything out.

Every since watching my father die at age 46 and especially after having a child, I am petrified of dying. It causes much anxiety – as I have written about in abundance. My dying, loved ones dying, being diagnosed with fatal illnesses…most people can turn these worries off and head back into denial (which clearly is necessary for healthy living). But for some reason, I cannot get my mind to shut the fuck up. Not always, of course, but like I said…in phases.

I think reading and watching and listening to the experienced or the “experts” about death is my attempt to come to grips with this anxiety. When I have a problem that is causing me stress or anguish  I cannot truly rest until I come up with a solution or an answer. I am such a control freak that I need to know I have done all I can do to make the situation better. Once I can be assured of that, I am relieved and can stop worrying about it.

For example..and this is really dumb, but the only thing I can come up with in the moment…I am nervous about the upcoming WI Democratic Convention. It is not a scary thing. I am looking forward to it. But I also have a lot of anxiety because it is out of my comfort zone. A few years ago, I would not have gone. I would not really go anywhere I didn’t feel completely at ease. It really restricted my life. I started forcing myself to do these things and now it isn’t so hard. But it still comes with these mental irritations.

But I was able to put my worries at ease by controlling little aspects of the trip. I looked at a Google Map and realized the drive is pretty simple and it would be pretty difficult to get lost. I have made sure I know where to be and when. I have plenty of people who will be there with whom I feel comfortable. And I have childcare situated. As long as I can complete this mental check lists…I am fine. And really, they have become second nature by now and take little conscious effort most of the time.

Jay Mohr gave a great example of this in a recent WTF podcast episode. He mentioned that he could never figure out why flying never gave him panic attacks, but being safely in a store would. He said his therapist explained that it is all about control. When flying, you know months ahead of time what plane you will be on, where your seat will be, what time you are leaving, what time you are returning, what you will be eating…it is all planned out. So that messed up part of your brain shuts off the worry because there is nothing you have to figure out or control.

But a checklist for death? Fuckin’ forget it. A sense of control? It ain’t happenin’. I have to throw my arms up and leave it to God or nature or some fucking alien kid who is using me as his avatar in some life simulation game…whatever entity or science is controlling my world is the one with the control. Not me. And that really pisses me off.

So the last couple weeks I have been watching a lot of documentaries about death. From near death experiences to end of life healthcare to assisted suicide. They were all very fascinating and as gloomy and weird as it seems, helpful. Here are a few of the ones I watched:

Facing Death – About the emotional, physical and financial costs of prolonging life.

The Suicide Tourist – One man’s journey to Switzerland to end his life before the effects of ALS takes its torturing tolls.

Afterlife – Not the best film I have seen on NDE’s and the afterlife…but it’s interesting. And I love hearing these stories.

The End – Gut-wrenching movie that follows five hospice patients until their end.

And not REALLY related, but kinda…I watched all of the segments of This Emotional Life which was very interesting.

Anyway, while watching these might depress others, it actually helps me. Even if you don’t have these “issues”…they are all worth the watch.

Why Are You Single, Again?

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Up front, I would like to say that I am not a prude. Nakedness does not gross me out. Sexiness is a part of life. I am a sexual being. And I think most people would admit that a woman’s body can be very appealing. Whether it is hard core porn or a Victoria’s Secret catalog – what you use for visual pleasure is your business. It is also your business what you chose to post on Facebook/Twitter. However, when you make it public – ya gotta expect a reaction.

This post is not directed towards one particular person. And it is not written out of animosity. Just as a discussion topic. Please take it for what it is worth.

I have quite a number of male friends/acquaintances who post mostly naked or porn-esque pictures, drawings and memes on a regular basis. This doesn’t make me dislike them or think they are perverted or weird. But it does make me contemplate some things.

Usually these men are single, liberal-ish and often speak of being lonely or complain about being alone or not being able to find “the right chic”. And it baffles why they wonder about their current circumstances. Not all of them, but some.

This is the most recent meme which sparked this post:

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A comment on the post I thought was very poignant:

that meme mirrors the thinking and ideals of men in certain middle eastern countries (among other places) where women are abused, oppressed, objectified, and seen as possessions. not saying that was your specific intent.. to relay that type misogyny.. but consider your audience at times like these. some things are just not really funny, especially to women. you have to know there will be people that look at posts like this and think, “come on… wtf???” and will voice that response. 

you meant it as silly, im sure. its not silly or comical to a lot of others. 

I’m explaining, not attacking.

 

This was my comment:

Real men look at women as more than a dick holder.

Not to mention…if you meet someone who is in a real relationship and they tell you that it is never difficult…they are actually fucking a piece of furniture.

 

Say there is a guy who is smart, good looking, responsible…but he consistently posts things like this (btw, WHY do you people let your young kids on Facebook, again??)…I would have no interest in dating this dude. Never. Not that I am a big catch, either.

It is not just a photo of a sexy, beautiful woman. It is nothing but objectification. And for a guy to identify enough with the notion to post it…no thank you. Gross. I really don’t need to be a constant witness to your personal spank bank.

What bothers me even more is some of these guys claim to be feminists. They claim to appreciate women of all kinds, types, sizes.  Yet the only images they post are naked, size zero, triple Ds – women, whom if they actually existed in real life, would never give them the time of day.

Advice. Didn’t ask? Don’t care. How about you step into reality. Posting pics like this is not going to get you laid and certainly won’t help you find a mate. Stop comparing women to porn stars and animated sex pots. Start appreciating more than a set of tits and a J-Lo ass. Have a couple intelligent conversations with women who are not only sexy – but also witty, bright, successful, respectable and kind. You are not 20 anymore. And your gut isn’t exactly GQ material (again NOT directed towards a particular person…just this “type” in general).

Lube up for whatever you want. Post whatever you choose. But know that it will reflect upon your character and I know for a fact that some of these guys have characters worth much more than what they are displaying.

I enjoy feeling sexy from time to time. It is difficult the older I get. But I can still pull it off once in a while. And I appreciate being appreciated.  But there is more to us than a piece of ass. And if you find one who isn’t – you deserve what you ask for.

Little Miss Crabby Pants Shares a Video

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So…it’s not so much a secret that I am pretty grumpy lately. I don’t know if there is some retrograde nonsense or if PMS has permanently set up camp in my brain or what. But I am just so demoralized and irritated and fed up with a lot all at once.

Anyway, I certainly need boosts of cheering up and reminders that not all humans totally suck ass. I mean,  I was actually considering, earlier, laying in bed all day watching kitten videos. So, when a friend posted the video below on Facebook, I was eager to watch.

Immediately, the shit-head in me makes note of the manipulative music, “How dare they try to make me feel something with this emotional melody. Those bastards.”

As I resist the urge of my welling eyes with the power of every throat muscle, I continued to watch.

A moment later, I scoffed and scrutinized the legitimacy of the video…I mean, what are the chances all these people were recording at exactly the right moments.  No way. I call bullshit.

Well, as it turns out, well over a million drivers in Russia have dash-cams. It is a measure to deter and catch police brutality. So, coincidence? Not so much. Okay, fine.

I was cheered up for about five minutes. Until I decided to pout because, in Russia, people help cats and ducks cross the road safely while in Wisconsin, people intentionally run down deer and torture horses.

(sigh)

Take a watch. Feel or don’t feel. Whatever. I don’t care. No one listens to me anyway. Everyone sucks.

(P.S. You don’t really suck. Well…maybe you do. Who knows. Point is, I am just throwing a tantrum. So watch the video and pay no attention to the whiner behind the curtain.)

 

Let Them Eat Ca…Wait…No Cake, Sorry.

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Mine Mine Mine

I gave them an inch and they took a mile. Then they went on a high-speed chase and crashed the mother-fucking car. Yesterday, the Wisconsin Assembly passed a carton of busted intentions AKA AB110. This bill basically restricts the items a FoodShare recipient is allowed to purchase to a very specific list decided on by people like the bill’s lead sponsor, Rep. Dean Kaufert (R) (who happens to be an ex-potato chip sales guy). He and Popcorn Vos must have delicious meetings.

The reason I say that I gave them an inch…

Well, let’s start from the egg (but not a brown one!!!).

Years ago, I worked at a grocery store for about 5 minutes (well, maybe about 6 months tops). And I did, indeed, notice a significant amount of food stamp purchases going toward junk or luxury items. When I would check out a guy buying prime rib with his food stamps and beer with his cash – yes, it annoyed me. It annoyed me because I lived on chicken flavored ramen noodles for YEARS. And while I wasn’t always the most responsible employee (I quit that job so I could attend a Dead show) – until I decided to be a SAHM, I worked steady since the age of 14 and never received any governmental assistance. Why I felt I was in a place to decide what was a luxury for whom…who knows. I was young and prematurely bitter.

For a long time I have been suggesting major changes to our FoodShare program. Of course, I know very little and I often have to knock myself down from that tower of idealism. But I always wanted healthier food to be available and affordable to those living in poverty and the working poor. My attention was usually focused on fast food, however.  And I have written about some of this in the past.

I wrote this in 2010

I wrote this in 2011 for Patch

And I wrote this WAYYY back in 2005, which brings me to a funny story. I will preface this story by saying that Rep. Robin Vos can be pretty brilliant when he wants to be. He has been known as one legislator who is very on the ball when it comes to responding to his constituents. And back in the day (not sure about lately), he would usually make a phone call. I say this is brilliant because not only does it get him this reputation for being in touch with those in his district but there is also no paper trail. If there were – this story would be much more interesting.

Back when I wrote that blog in 2005, I also sent him a letter – suggesting a fast food tax in Wisconsin. He called me back from his cell phone while he was driving on a summer evening. He was very polite and explained to stupid little me that a tax on fast food would only harm the poorest in our state. That it would be punishing those we should be helping. Because we all know that the Wisconsin GOP lives and breathes to help our poor, right? RIGHT?? (crickets)

Hot Coffee  (hold the creamer)…

You need to watch this film. Everyone. Do it. It really illuminated just how manipulated we are by the powers that be through the media and desired legislation. I am not an intellectual. I don’t read every story that pops up in my newsfeed. And I was one of the blind followers who thought that suing McDonald’s over a hot cup of coffee was ridiculous. Why? Because the details were never in the cover story. Because the late night hosts were so funny with their drive thru one liners. Because I was lazy.

The political push towards tort reform by those such as Karl (barf) Rove lassoed the main stream media and big time PR manipulation took over. But fact is, we knew nothing. And we had no idea who was controlling the strings when it came to this old lady and her McDonald’s coffee.

I bring this up now because I was Hot Coffee’d when it came to this bill.

When I first heard about the proposal, I thought…well…it’s really not THAT awful. I mean, I knew that their intentions were not noble by any means and were certainly not out of concern for the health of others. But I, too, would like to find a way to make the Food Share program work in a more healthful way.

Parents make terrible food choices for their children all of the time. I almost died the first time I saw a mother pour Mt. Dew into her baby’s bottle. Rich parents make these choices just as often (perhaps even more so) as poor parents. But I figured, as long as the money is coming from tax payers – maybe we DO have a say in the choices that can have future consequences on a society.

My thinking wasn’t really out of line with past opinions such as the smoking ban or a push for healthier school lunches. I have no problem with “sin” taxes (they really gotta come up with better wordage on that one). In fact, I am waiting for the day when they legalize weed and tax the shit out of it.

But after learning more about what was REALLY in this bill…it has been proven once again that I was a lazy commentator.

This bill mandates that 2/3 of the Food Share allowance be spent on WIC approved foods only. So, to be fair, 1/3 can still be spent on other items. However, it should be understood that the monthly allotment for a family of 4 with a net income of around $1000 per month is about $365. That is about 30 bucks a week for 4 people to spend on something that is not on the WIC list. So if you NEED to provide your child with soy milk or gluten-free bread – that must come out of that $30 bucks a week.

And I don’t know about you, but my family of 4 spends about $200 per week on groceries. It is difficult to eat healthfully on much less than that.

Some things that are NOT allowed to be purchased…

Brown or free range eggs, soy or almond milk, gluten-free bread, frozen meals, soup, cheddar cheese (in WISCONSIN), any juice box that is NOT Juicy Juice brand, etc. So, if your child is allergic to cow’s milk…screw you. If you’re concerned about the treatment of animals…screw you. If you have celiac…screw you. If you chose to eat organically to avoid the toxins of pesticides and hormones…screw you. Older people who depend on a microwave for their meals…screw you too.

They could have put provisions in the bill to help cover lean meats, but no. They could have worked to provide a bill which could make local produce available through farmer’s markets, but again…no. This bill was not proposed with intention of helping people. It was designed to punish, to dictate and to make way towards future privatization. And all the while all of this session time and tax payer money is not only being flushed but is also plugging up the toilet.

Rep. Kaufert stated (about the bill), “It is widely popular. It’s one of those street or sidewalk issues where everyone has a story (about FoodShare problems).”

Well, Mr. Kaufert, have you ever watched the Jaywalking segment on Leno? I’d rather you didn’t decide on what to legislate based on what random people are bitching about on the street corner, thank you very much.

I should also mention that this likely will not amount to much. It is the feds who have the most say in how these funds are distributed. Also, grocers are already protesting the measure. Costs to implement and maintain such a strict remedy cannot be predicted but are expected to be very high and unreasonable. Computer systems will need to be changed at the cost of the store owners. How will this be policed? It certainly won’t be cheap.

Why not spend this time, money and energy in eliminating the fraud which taints these programs to begin with? Why fight First Lady Obama’s proposals for healthier school lunches while telling poor people what kind of cheese they can eat? Why stomp around complaining about smoking bans while you are trying to convince us that you give a shit about the health of our communities? This inauthentic,  hypocritical bullshit is so blatant that I don’t think they even try to hide it anymore.

Okay. I have blathered on long enough. There was much more I wanted to bitch about…but, once again, The Root River Siren beat me to it. So read that HERE. As for me…I am off to the grocery store, coupons in hand and carrying an ass load of gratitude that I don’t have to make my purchasing decisions based on the asshats in Madison. Not today, anyway.

**In full disclosure – yes…some Democrats DID indeed vote for this bullshit. It was not my intention to gloss over that nonsense. However, bloggers are out in full force (including the Siren’s post linked above) reporting on that piece of the pie. So, I didn’t bother to harp on it. I imagine that some of the Reps are voting according to the wishes of their loudest constituents. I just happen to believe that many of the more liberal/Dem-leaning voters have been hot coffee’d much like I was. And there weren’t enough of those who knew better to make noise BEFORE the vote. That is my only perceived explanation as to why on earth Dem Reps voted for this. I guess we will have to wait and hope they make some kind of statement as to their reasoning.

Mental Makeover: Let’s Get This Shit Started

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“Mom just called. My nephew found his 30-year-old wife dead when he came home from work. Apparent heart attack. Life is precious and you never know when it will be taken from you. Live like you are dying.”

That is a recent Facebook update from a friend.

Last week my husband’s co-worker’s wife (in her early 40s, I believe) had a stroke and died shortly after. I was told she was in perfect health. She thought she had a bad headache, went for some Advil and collapsed.

Not long ago, a friend of a friend passed away after falling down a flight of stairs. She was also very young and full of life.

I just read a story today about a Lake County woman who was killed on her bike – on her 34th birthday.

In the past few weeks there have been an unusual number of 30, 40, 50 year-old people in the obits.

Well, this is not a new topic for me.  And yes, this is all giving me very heightened anxiety and REALLY fucking with my phobias. But I absolutely need to find a way to harness that fear and turn it into the energy and motivation it will take to improve my life. And by improving my life I mean changing my brain.

It is so easy for us to take tragedy and turn it into a lesson about living life to the fullest and reminding us how short life truly is. But those lessons fade fast as we get caught up in the monotony of our daily dramas and tired lifestyles.

When I think about the time I waste hating my body, looking for something to wear, fighting about money or worrying what other people do and say – I want to barf. There are days when I am brought to tears because of all my lost time, the fast rate at which life is rocketing by and the realization that I am likely closer to my death than I am to my birth.

My daughter has almost all of her adult teeth. My stepdaughter has entered “womanhood”. My tits are practically dragging on the floor. And I am typically in bed before 9pm. I am old. Everyone is getting old. The little girls whose diapers I changed will soon be changing diapers of new babies (well, not TOO soon – KNOCK ON WOOD).

I will never again hold a baby of my own. I will never again have the body of a 25-year-old. I will never bounce back from illnesses, injuries and hangovers the way I used to.  The days of random men checking me out are gone. The days of staying up all night are in the past. And I am even too old to try out for American Idol!!

These are the kind of stupid little things I obsess and depress about. These are things that take up my time and my mental energy. These are the thoughts that sap my emotions. And it needs to fucking stop.

I absolutely MUST find a way to be in the present. To be grateful for what I have and who I am. I need to somehow manifest the happiness for which I have always been searching. The fear must stop. The regret must stop. The guilt must stop. Life must begin.