Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday Confessions: Little

MoreThanCheeseandBeer

Today's Sunday Confession prompt:
LITTLE

This weekend, my little brother celebrated a milestone birthday.  

I can't really call him my little brother anymore.  I mean, I outweigh him still. But he outgrew me a long time ago.  He is taller than I am.  He is smarter than I am.  He is now more educated than I am.  He is naturally funnier.  I am a little bit in awe of my little brother.  I think he's awesome and I'm so proud of him.  Standing next to him sometimes, I feel little in just about every way.  He is so many awesome things and better at so many things than I am, sometimes it is hard not to be a little bit jealous and feel a little bit surpassed in a way.

In the past few years, we spend our time together going out to eat at his favorite restaurants.  He's always good for pizza and a zombie movie.  The first time I saw Zombieland was with him.  We watched all of the Resident Evil movies together with pizza and pringles.  He's pretty awesome just to hang out with.

But sometimes, I remember how cool he was when he was little, back in the days when he was just a wee toddling lad and my sister and I would steal him away to our rooms to giggle and cuddle late into the night.  When I was a teenager, he was well-trained to know to tell me how pretty I looked no matter what I wore.  Later, when I had a job and a car he was spoiled with movies and I would buy him clothes and rude t-shirts.   After I left for college, when I would come home on the weekends we would have Bond Nights.  Mom would leave me to watch him and we would order pizza, make popcorn and watch James Bond movies on ABC.

We still have good times.  Sometimes, though, when I see him growing and changing and becoming the person he is going to be, learning about adulthood and life...sometimes I wish we were little again, giggling into the night or eating pepperoni pizza and watching a movie late into the night.

Happy Birthday, Little Brother.  May all of your birthday wishes and dreams come true.



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What If Wednesday: What If I had a Superpower?

Today's Topic:  What If...I had a Superpower?

Remember...only 5-10 minutes of writing.  And....go!


MoreThanCheeseandBeer

I would be Super Hot Ash. 

I would have a rockin' hot body naturally, because it would just be part of my Superpowers.  You can't have a superpower without a smokin' hot bod in case you decide you want to be a Superhero in a lycra/spandex suit.  Or if you're kind of kinky like me, totally embrace the Cat Woman suit only...you know, the Hot Ash version.



I don't know if I would choose to be a Superhero though.  Maybe I would just want to keep my superpower a secret so that I could help people quietly, acting like everything I did was a random act of kindness so they would believe in the goodness of people again, restoring faith in humanity, or even just good luck.  A secret Superhero would never be put on a pedestal, and would never be turned on by a community for not being able to stop or prevent a tragedy.

Then again, I could be the next big thing like Spiderman or Batman.  When I was growing up, there wasn't a huge selection of female Superheroes.  I could have all kinds of pithy sayings about doing good, being whatever you want to be, and be a positive role model for girls in my community.  And I would have awesome merchandise, and a big house where I would have really cool Gatsby style parties. 

Having a superpower would have it's personal advantages as well.  I would be able to use my superpower to my advantage in business and be very well to do.  I would be able to give my family a good life, and they in turn would help me to keep my secret.

I don't know what my superpowers would be.  But I would try to make the best of whatever I got.  But until the day a radioactive spider bites me or a magical Egyptian Mau brings my toxic sludge soaked body back to life, I'm just going to have to settle for trying to be a good person, doing random acts of kindness, and being the best person I can be.




Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday Confessions: Awkward Moments

MoreThanCheeseandBeer

Today's Sunday Confession prompt:
Awkward Moments

This topic just came to me last Tuesday.  A Facebook friend had shared that it was Awkward Moments Day 2014 and it was just too good to resist.  Sometimes, it seems like my life is an entire series of Awkward Moments.  Not just my embarrassing stories, or the Open-Mouth Insert-Foot Disorder, but my entire life. 

If my life were a quilt, it would be made of the people who love me the most, the times I'll never forget, great loves, great losses, every lesson I had to learn the hard way, and all of my many mistakes.  The batting would be made of warm and fuzzy memories.  The backing would be good intentions.  But if my life were quilt, it would be stitched together with Awkward Moments.

In my life, Awkward Moments are the things that happen between the moments that take my breath away, between the times when life could be a Hallmark card or a Norman Rockwell painting, and connecting the blocks that are dark and sad with laughter. 

It is the moment when someone starts talking to you, and you think that maybe you are being hit on or that you've found a new friend.  Only to have them walk away from you with a strange glance back in your direction, only to realize they're talking on their bluetooth.

It is pushing a door that says pull, whether I mean that literally or figuratively I'm not sure but either way is awkward with a large enough audience. 

It is when you're have the most awful day, you're trying to drive home when traffic is bad and people are driving like morons and something causes you to look into your rear-view mirror.  Judging by the way people have been driving, you're expecting to see some unfortunate mouth breather only to see someone rocking out and dancing.  Sometimes, it is seeing a man dressed in a nice shirt and tie in a fancy car who has his finger shoved up his nose almost to the second knuckle. 

It is when someone decides to start telling me the most intimate details of their life because I said hello and asked how they are doing...while standing in the grocery line.  Sometimes, I don't ask.

I don't know what it is, but it seems like Awkward Situations just happen to me one way or another.  It's the stitching in the fabric of my life and in my own way, I kind of love it. 



Friday, March 21, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Joy

Five Minute Friday

Joy.  I've seen the word around, but haven't really felt it or known it in a long time.  I have to wonder...is it me?  Is there something wrong with me or is that just how it is going to be for awhile?

The past few months have been hard.  The winter and my SAD came at me like a Tsunami and I've been like a toxic sludge, semi-floating at the top and waiting for all of the water to slowly recede back into the sea so I can stop struggling, fighting, straining to keep my head up and breathe.

It hasn't all receded yet.  I'm still up to my neck in salty wetness, but I am touching the ground with my toes.  I can still see monsters lurking in the waters around me, but at least I can see them...which is a nice change from not knowing what is lying in wait underneath me in the murky depths.

Spring in coming.  I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The water is receding. 

As hard as I've struggled the past few months, I can feel joy knowing that perhaps having to swim so hard in water so deep was meant to wash away the toxic sludge, and it will wash out to sea as the water returns.    I can feel joy in the sunshine on my face.  I can feel joy in the warm air.  I can feel joy in flip flops.  

I'm ready for the sun.  I am ready for joy.



**End**
Thank you for joining me for another Five Minute Friday.  That felt awesome.  I'm still looking for bloggers interested in joining me for Sunday Confessions this week.  The topic is Awkward Moments.  And if you have a moment, please check out my new Weekly Link-Up "What If Wednesdays".

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thankful Thursday III


My dear friend Juicebox Confession  has decided to take up Thankful Thursdays. Today is also apparently International Happiness Day...anyone else going to take that as an invitation to eat International Cuisine tonight?  Because I totally am.  I'm going to follow her lead and write about things that make happy today and with Spring looking like it might actually be approaching it feels only right to acknowledge all the things that make me happy about Spring.

1.  Like Michelle at Juicebox Confessions...Cadbury Eggs make me happy.  I love them so much.  It is ridiculous. They're my favorite part about Spring.

2.  I'm so excited for my favorite Farmer's Market...I just saw a Facebook update.  They will be up and running in about 6 weeks or so.  Which is great.  It's my favorite because you can find everything from goat meat, to alpaca jerky, cheese, yarn, peppers, and yoga there.  It's awesome and I love it.  I can't wait for fresh produce.

3.  Line dried sheets.  I LOVE sheets off the clothesline and I can't wait.

4.  I have a lot of things I want to do this year.  Festivals, road trips, etc...I'm so excited and I can't wait and I'm lucky I have friends who are into the same things I am and willing to go do that stuff with me.

5.  We're still falling in love, but....I love my car that I will be taking on these roadtrips.

6.  I get to spend time with my nephew on Sunday.  I think he is going to help me make lasagna.  I'm very excited.  He's my best helper.

7.  I love my blog.  I love my readers.  I love people who love me.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What If Wednesday: What if I logged off

Welcome to the first What If Wednesday!

Today's Topic:  What If...I logged off?

Remember...only 5-10 minutes of writing.  And....go!

MoreThanCheeseandBeer

I've been open about my addiction problem with the Internet lately.  And I can't help but wonder all the things I could be doing if I were to just...log off.  

I might miss another enraging post by someone I feel like I can't delete.  I might miss something really fun trending on Twitter, and I LOVE me some hashtags.  I might miss a really funny meme.  

But think of all the things I might actually get done if I logged off Facebook, Twitter, and all other forms of social media or if I were to actually log out of Netflix for a few days...I might actually put on the couch cover I bought for my couch two days ago.  The plan was to vacuum the couch, clean UNDER it, and then put on the new cover.  It's been sitting there on a chair in the kitchen looking at me for two days.  

If I were to log off...I might actually tackle the pile of totally clean laundry sitting in front of my closet where I tossed it all while I was busy multi-tasking, promising myself that I would sit down and fold/hang it all when I lost steam because it would be a great job to sit down and watch a movie and do.  I tell myself that lie a lot.  It never really happens. 

If I were to log off...I might actually catch up on my correspondence.  I actually send physical mail to people.  I try to be one of those people who remembers to send cards in the mail.  

If I were to log off...my house would be cleaner.  I might be forced to go to Yoga instead of lying to myself about how "busy" I am when in reality I'm just busy doing  nothing on Facebook. 

I used to criticize people who would pay to play games that are free, but only up to a certain point like Candy Crush.  But I just realized....holy shit, I'm paying for Facebook every time I give up TIME I could be using to do something that would improve my life.  Entertainment is important, but not at the cost of the life I want.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday Confessions: Never Again

MoreThanCheeseandBeer

Today's Sunday Confession prompt:
Never Again (inspired by Indecisively Blogging)

When I read "I'll Never Do That Again" by Indecisively Blogging, I thought to myself..."Hot Ash...you're FULL of anti-advice.  Look at all the stupid shit you've done" and so, this week's Sunday Confessions topic came to be.  There are things you CAN learn from me.  Please, let my pain be your gain.  So without further hesitation, please, let me admit to all of the stupid things I've done that you should definitely never do...

1.  Take Alli.  We've talked about it before and you probably don't need a reminder but if you do here it is... Alli is the devil

2.  I don't care what beauty blog or magazine or online forum you read it in, do not under any circumstances put banana in your hair.  I made the mistake of looking up DIY beauty treatments once.  I found one that said mash a banana and sit with it in your hair, then rinse out.  Maybe those other people know something I don't, but that banana was mashed so fine it was just goo.  When I went to wash it out, my hair felt like straw and the banana would not come out.  I thought I had it mashed so fine...it really wasn't.  I had to stand in my shower after it was cold trying to get the damn banana out because there were chunk sticking in it.  I washed it over and over again.  I got out, applied leave in conditioner and brushed out more banana.  The next day I got up and showered again just in case I missed any.  Later that day I found a wicked knot in my hair...it was dried banana.  Gross.  Never again. 

3.  I embrace and help the wrong people in life.  If I do something good for someone, especially if I help them financially, I can almost count on them screwing me.  And when things are hard up later, when I need help, when I need someone...the people I actually put money, time and effort out for are rarely the ones coming to help me when I'm down.   

Recently, some friends helped me help a friend.  I hope this is a sign that I'm choosing to embrace better people than I have in the past. 

4.  Most people have heard the phrase "Don't Shit where you eat".  I've used it many times, but usually in situations where someone has asked for advice about dating a coworker or something similar.  In the past few years, however, I've come to realize that along with not engaging in certain workplace situations, it's also meant to be taken quite literally.  As in...do not shit where you get your food.  A few years ago, I dated a man that worked in the produce department at a certain Superstore that is about 2 miles from my home.  At the time, there was a grocery store even closer but I didn't really go there for much because the prices were so astronomical, except for the booze section.  So I would go to this big box store for kitty litter, and dry foods because I HATED their fresh foods and produce section.  Anyway...so I met this guy through a mutual friend and we hit it off right away.  He was way more into it than I was.  Like, told me he loved me after a week.  But I gave him a chance anyway and things went along smoothly.  Then after I had really started feeling things, he got weird.  Come to find out, he had been talking on the phone to his ex girlfriend.  They had dated 11 years before, she had been married for 10 years and had 6 kids.  He was in Wisconsin, she was 6 states away and they hadn't seen each other since he left shortly after he wedding.  She was experiencing martial problems, and he had this grand idea that he would play Captain Save-a-Ho and show her "love exists".  I was hurt, obviously.  And every time I needed kitty litter after that...I either had to drive across town or risk seeing him, which I seemed to every time.

This last break-up, my ex worked for a popular food delivery service.  It didn't start out that way.  He got the job after we had been together.  But now that we've been broken up for awhile, I'm really kind of sad because I can't order from the company anymore because my neighborhood is his "area" and I'm guaranteed to see him.  Not to mention, he's taken to doing slow rolls in his work truck past my house.  And, unfortunately, because he has a job-related need to be here there is nothing I can do about it as long as he stays away from my residence.

I don't miss him, but I damn sure miss his employee discount.

5.  Lick a 9V battery.  I did it once, never again.

6.  Once upon a time I was a not so bright college student.  My friends and I had started tanning.   I had a few tans under my belt and decided to try a tingling lotion AND up my tanning time.  Big mistake.  Huge.  After I tanned, I drove an hour and a half to my home town to go shopping for a swim suit.  But the time I got to the store, the sunburn had set in.  I don't know if my skin had reacted to the lotion or the burn but my skin was swollen and I was burnt.  It was terrible.  I still fake bake from time to time (save the lecture, I KNOW), but the lesson I learned is not to try too many new things at one time, push my body to do things (like be tan) faster than I ought to, and stay away from things that are supposed to make me tingle because...well, they don't.

7.  The last few months have been a serious lesson that just because I knew who someone was once, doesn't mean I'll always know them.  Never again will I love someone and let them into my life with open access to everything because I loved and trusted them once.

8.  Earlier this weekend, I got my butt chewed from an old love who had been trying to rekindle our relationship.  Now, granted, I HAD insulted him but my point had gotten lost in the example I used.  In the butt chewing I received, I realized two things both of which became "Never Again" lessons.  The most profound for me being this: Part of the reason I loved him so much is because I wanted someone to love me for me and believe in me blindly.  I've always wanted to know what it is like to be loved by someone who had faith in me and believed in me so much that when someone said something about me they stood by me, unwavering, without even asking me about it instead of turning on me with accusations and anger.  I've wanted to be held in such high regard by someone that they never even question what I say because they love, trust and believe in me and KNOW who I am as a person.  He loved me that way.  Unfortunately, I now realize it wasn't because of who I actually am but because of who he wanted me to be.  I am not perfect and I believed he loved me for my imperfections.  Now I realize that my imperfections were things he chose not to see when he placed me on a pedestal and made me out to be something I'm not.  The worst part?  He thinks he deserves credit for who I am as a person.  Enough said.  I am Me.  This is my journey.  The only person responsible for who I am or what I become is me.  The only other people who get credit for my being are my parents because they created me.

9.  The other lesson...never use someone's mother as part of an example of what a schmuck they are.  Sounds like a low-class move, I realize.  However, I was using the glorification of his mother and comparison of white trash meth-heads to her as an example of his poor judgement.  His mother is a wonderful woman, but he likes to paint this picture of someone who doesn't drink, smoke or swear and is all around a saint.  The truth is...she doesn't drink, smoke and some of the worst phrases I ever heard I learned from her. I respect her enough not to walk around claiming some slutty white trash is "just like her but making bad choices".  I loved and respected her for who she was, but I wasn't delusional about it.  The point was lost, and I'm apparently a pile of shit for saying anything.

10.  Nothing stays buried forever.  If you've ever made a bad decision, it will come to bite you in the ass.  You can count on it.  But people who bring it up over and over again are not the kind you want in your life.

11.  Never put more food in your stand mixer than it can handle.

12.  I will never live with someone I'm not married to ever again.  I said this once before.  I had to learn the lesson the hard way a second time.

13.  Don't put your eggs in one basket.

14.  Never give someone keys to your house if they don't live there, or aren't family.

15.  Never loan someone something you can't afford to lose, and that includes letting someone else drive your car.

16.  Don't ask a 6 year old if they love you in spite of the fact that you're stinky.  They'll tell you everything else that is wrong with you that they don't care about.
17.  Those kiosks in the mall at Christmas time with the foreign people who sell stuff from the Mediterranean and harass the fuck out of you...don't let them touch you.  One year, I worked at one for the holidays and every night I watched the same guy shove his hand down his pants and scratch his junk.  Every night it happened.  Then, I'd watch him chase down some pretty little mall rat and play with her hair.  *GAG*  I started calling the kiosk next door "Joe's Crab Shack".

Then, my mom told me about some product she wanted from one of those kiosks.  I went to get her one.  I didn't let the guy touch me, but I was there trying to buy the damn thing for 20 minutes.  During that time, he gave me a "special price" and if I told anyone what a good deal he was giving me, he'd hunt me down and kill me.  That's scary as hell coming from someone who comes from a country that hasn't been peaceful in over a century and has child soldiers.
So...even if your damn mother can't stay away from those people, don't do it because there's a chance they have crabs or will threaten to kill you.

18.  Tell someone you like something even if you don't care for it that much.  They'll keep trying to feed it to you.

19.  Bring something to a potluck that you won't eat, just in case no one else brings something you'll eat or what you would eat comes from someone's home you would never want to eat in.

20.  Drink cranberry juice and rail vodka.  If you have too much, your bathroom will look like a crime scene.  Stick to something that isn't red if you're going to drink your cares away.

So.....there's 20 things I will never do again.  What about you?



Friday, March 14, 2014

The Pit and The Peak 03/14/2014

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Happy Pi Day Everyone!  I'm seriously going to get myself some pie today.  Mmmmm.  Pie.   But let's get to the Pits and the Peaks!

PITS
- I've been utterly exhausted this week.  I don't know what it is, but I've just had enough of people lately.  As a result of being exhausted, things that NEED to be done are piling up again.  I fucking hate that.  Also, my house is a mess and I have to deal with it at some point. 

- In the next coming week, I need to prepare my old car to be sold.  Sadness.  I love that car.  Still.  To this day.  I'll be sad to see it go. 

- My feet a swollen and hurting.  It's been years since this happened and I'm not sure why.  It's concerning, and I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a little painful. 

- I've spent a lot of time stuck in my head this week for one reason or another.  I need to quit that. 

- I suspect someone I've been and continue to be very good to is lying to me.  I detest being lied to especially when I'm being taken advantage of and I'm doing things I really don't need, have or really want to do in order to be good to someone I care about. 


PEAKS
- This isn't really a PEAK for me, but on Monday my sister saved a life.  She walked into a restaurant where a woman was choking.  Someone was trying to give her the heimlich but wasn't doing it properly.  My sister then gave her the heimlich and the food came flying out onto the table.  After the woman recovered, she told my sister that it was starting to go dark when she heard a voice ask her if she was choking.  From what I understand, no one had called 911.  I shudder to think what might have happened had my sister NOT been there.  I'm a super proud Big Sister.  Please consider taking a CPR/First Aid class with the American Red Cross near you. 

- I paid off a bunch of things.  Which is an awesome feeling. 

- I WON a month-long unlimited tanning package at a local tanning place.  Which is awesome because I was going to buy one anyway.  Talk about luck!

- I got to see a cool Red Tail hawk outside of my window at work this week.

- My lip isn't hurting so much anymore after getting in pierced. 

- My Birchbox came, and my car seat covers will be coming soon and I'm very excited about that!

- Life seems to be looking up, and that's great. 

Five Minute Friday: Crowd

Five Minute Friday

I've spent a greater portion of my adulthood feeling without people.  Friendships have developed, and dissolved.  Some family relationships have strengthened, others have disintegrated and there is a huge part of me that is ok with not breathing life back into those relationships.

But I'm not really sure what it is like to have people.

I think a lot of it might just be me.  I have a hard time letting people in.  I have a hard time accepting people into my life.  I'm also an introvert...I love people until I don't and then I need time to re-coup.  People take offense to this I'm afraid.

This weekend, I have a friend who is moving under stressful circumstances.  I've asked my friends and family for help and they are coming out of the woodwork for someone they barely know.  I feel really good about it.  It tells me a lot about the quality of people I have around me and it lets me know that I do, in fact, have my own crowd.  They're coming out to help someone I care about just because I asked them to.  That is an awesome, amazing, and loved feeling.

My family.  My friends.  My tribe.  My people.  My crowd.

I really don't know that I could ask for better. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thankful Thursday II


My girl Juicebox Confession has decided to take up Thankful Thursdays.  I'm participating again because being thankful is good for me.  Really good for me and I definitely need to spend more time being thankful.

1.  I won some money last week from scratch-offs given to me by my coworkers.  So...that is awesome and I'm really happy about that, but I'm also really thankful to have thoughtful, generous co-workers.  And I'm glad I have people to feed cupcakes to.

Yeah....French Toast Cupcakes, Maple Cream Cheese frosting, and BACON

2.  People who care about me enough to give me a wonderful birthday!

3.  I'm thankful that I got to have another Birthday.  So many people aren't so lucky. 

4.  For the past few months, life has been kind of dark and sucky.  I've had a very hard time keeping my head about water and trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I feel like I see it now and that is an awesome feeling. 

5. Luck.  Most of the time, if I didn't have bad luck I wouldn't have any luck at all but I seem to be having a good string of it so...that's awesome.
6. My health.  I've had a terrible time with my back lately, but for the most part I am healthy.  

7. My furries.  Today the guinea pigs looked at me like they might actually want something to do with me.  My cats snuggled me all morning.  Love is a good thing. 

8. People who come through for me.  This week I asked some people for favors.  Favors they really do not have to do, and yet they're showing up and going to bat.  That is an amazing feeling. 

9. Experiences I've never had to have.  I don't know that I need much more detail for that one.  But I'm thankful that there are certain things I've never had to learn the hard way and hope my life never comes to that. 

10.  I'm still thankful for my MTCAB followers.  My wall BLEW UP on my birthday.  I don't even know how many birthday wishes I got, but it was more than 5x what I personally received on my wall and that is pretty special.  I also realized that on November 11th, 2013....I had hit 100 followers.  Four months later and there are 1,244 awesome people who like my page on Facebook.  That is incredible and blows my mind. 

If you have some time to be grateful...head over to Juicebox Confession and share your Thanksful Thursday thoughts!



I'm Addicted

Yesterday was the 25th "Birthday" of the Internet.  Well, according to something that popped up on my newsfeed and Wikipedia (and you know they can't put anything on the Internet that isn't true) it was the Internet's Birthday.

Ironically enough, I spent much of the earlier part of my day thinking about how I seriously need to "unplug" more.  I even looked up signs and symptoms of addiction...now granted, they were talking about substance abuse but if the shoe fits, lace that bitch up and wear it.

Hi, my name is Hot Ash and I'm addicted to the Internet.  My earliest memory of the Internet is attempting to do research in 5th grade.  I was confused by it.  Eventually, I realized what an awesome resource it was and all of the cool things I could see and do with it.  I could type in anything and get a bunch of cool information simply by adding ".com".  Unfortunately, this logic also led me to my first exposure to Internet porn.  While it leads to something delightful now, a  decade or so ago hotchocolate.com led to pictures of scantily clad, large black women.

Awkward.

That soon gave way to AOL.  My best friend and I would chat with boys, lying about our names and ages late into the night.  That's how we spent our sleepovers...listening to music or watching some chick flick while we painted our toenails, ordering Rocky Rococo's pizza with pepperoni, onions, and green olives and then later that night creeping upstairs and talking in chat rooms until the wee hours in the morning.

When we were 13, this was one of our favorite songs

I've played more online games than I can name.  I can't even tell you how much Lemonade Game I've played after being introduced to it at school.  In college, we spent hours playing Newgrounds Adult Games like "Orgasm Angel" (which we never won, by the way).

As an adult, I use the Internet CONSTANTLY.  I'm reading recipes.  I'm blogging.  I'm updating statuses, tweeting, sharing photos.  When we order out for lunch, I'm looking at the menu online.  I'm using maps in the car.  I'm checking prices at the store.  I'm checking my bank account balance.  I never wonder what happened to someone, I just look them up.  I have access to 5 email accounts from my phone.

Speaking of email, I've had the same personal email address since I was 12.  I've also had a number of Yahoo! accounts that were attached to the messenger (so that changed frequently as teenage girls tend to change screen names on a whim).  I have Gmail for my Android phone.  I have Gmail for this blog.  Since the age of 12, I've had at least 15 different email addresses that I can remember

You cannot avoid the Internet anymore.  Which is awesome, but unfortunately I'm starting to feel as though it is running my life.  It sounds sick, but I live on the Internet. When I wake up in the morning, I look to see what happened since I last checked it 5 hours before.  I read through my personal newsfeed.  Then I go and check the More Than Cheese and Beer Facebook page for notifications.  Then I check email.

Need to make plans?  Facebook messenger.  Need something to do?  Facebook stalk or Twitter Trends.  Use website to track food, calories and weight.  Use app to track mileage.  Get current events online.  Watch a movie online.  I get up and then I spend my entire day on the Internet.

Every waking moment.

And I'm starting to think I have a sick, severe problem.

I spend so much time online, that online interactions have begun to exhaust me like real interactions.  As an introvert...people, while I love them, are like exercise for my brain and sometimes I have to just stop.  Being pinged all day long, and the persistent flashing blue light on my phone makes me sigh and roll my eyes.  It's not that I don't love these interactions, but the fact that it is nearly constant is causing feelings of severe overload.

I wonder if there is an Online Anonymous group...I think I'll go Google that....

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sunday Confessions: Celebrate

MoreThanCheeseandBeer

Today's Sunday Confession prompt:
CELEBRATE

Friday was my 28th Birthday.  I took the day off like I do every year.  I like being able to sleep in.  I like doing whatever I want to do with my day and going wherever it leads me. 

And so I celebrated in all the best ways I know how.  

I received more Birthday wishes from everyone who follows me on Facebook then I can count - which surprised and thrilled me beyond belief! 

I bought myself a new pair of jeans and a new sweater.  I love new pairs of jeans.

I did lunch with my Mom and my Brother at one of my favorite lunch destinations that I don't get to go to very often because they only do lunch on weekdays and I don't often get days off during the week.  Then, my mom and I went to a few stores in the area. 

I checked my mail.  Bonehead always sends the best birthday cards, and this year was no exception.  I like getting mail.  It's nice. 

Then I went and got a pedicure.  I've only had two other pedicures in my life and didn't particularly enjoy either one.  I was considerably nervous considering what has happened to me in the past.  Plus, my nail tech was this cute kid who didn't look much older than my little brother.  Then I got a manicure.  It was a new salon and I regret not going sooner.  So wonderful.

Then, dressed and got ready for family dinner.  My mom made one of my favorite foods and chocolate cake.  My nephew bought be a pretty ring.  Then I met up with friends and my sister and we hit downtown.

There were drinks.  There were laughs.  There were pretty drinks, unusual shots (I drank an Al Bundy, which appeared to be Bacardi 151, Patron and Tabasco), and being hit on by incredibly intoxicated men.  It was a wonderful time.  

My Sunday Confession?  I don't understand big parties and celebrations.  Normally, I like to do just a little something at home.  But I have to say, going out with a group of friends and family last night felt really awesome.  I haven't done anything like that in years.  I can barely remember the last time I went out.  
For the most part, I had the most wonderful birthday.  I got to do all of the little things I enjoy in life.  I got to see people I love.  I got to go out and have drinks.  I got to laugh.  I got to try new things.

It was a wonderful celebration.




Friday, March 7, 2014

Secret Subject Swap: Hot Ash Through the Looking Glass


Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week, 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

http://www.BakingInATornado.com                          Baking In A Tornado
http://themomisodes.com                                       The Momisodes
http://stacysewsandschools.wordpress.com              Stacy Sews and Schools
http://followmehome.shellybean.com                        Follow me home . . .
www.outmannedmommy.com                                   Outmanned
http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/              Confessions of a part-time working mom
http://www.dribblesngrits.com                                Dribbles and Grits
http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com                       Spatulas on Parade
http://dinoheromommy.com/                                 Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                     Someone Else’s Genius
http://morethancheeseandbeer.blogspot.com             More Than Cheese and Beer
http://singlemumplusone.blogspot.com                  Searching for Sanity
http://rantsfrommycrazykitchen.com                      Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com                                  Climaxed



My subject is “If I could tell my reflection anything, it would be...”.  It was submitted by The Momisodes.  Here goes:


“I’m late. I’m late…for a very important date!”

Story of my life I’m afraid.  Unfortunately, you’re not the white rabbit in this story, my friend.  First things first, Hot Ash in the Looking Glass, there are a lot of white rabbits and you are going to chase a white rabbit.  We all do and it isn't like you have any choice in the matter; the truth is that we’re all chasing something.  For some, they’re hoping the white rabbit will lead them to the Mad Hatter who will actually turn out to be a Prince Charming, and usually just ends up being a lunatic.  Others are hoping the white rabbit will take them away from themselves, only to end up back at themselves and never having really left.  Don’t chase just any white rabbit, chase one that looks like something wonderful and that most closely resembles a dream and don’t stop chasing it.

There is no magical potion or wafer that will make you the right size.  That being said, there will always be doorknobs that will make you feel too big, smaller than small, and that you will never be able to please.  You should never ingest anything provided to you whether it be a potion or an impression simply because a doorknob and a pretty tag tell you to, lest you find yourself drowning in your own tears.

There will always be Tweedle Dees and Dums who will try to convince you that you must stay and speak with them because it is “logic”.  Live your life for you and not the entertainment of others.  And for goodness’ sake, don’t blindly follow something whether it be a religion, idea, or lifestyle so blindly that it inhibits your actions and your decisions out of fear only to end up shucked and eaten in the end.  We’ve both seen Dogma enough to know this speech by heart…but look past the organized religion focus and apply it to everything you do.  You should never follow anything so blindly that you cannot stop and look at it objectively.



Take some time to stop and enjoy the flowers and a golden afternoon, but do not forget that even a rose is technically a weed when in grows where it isn’t meant to be.  Surround yourself with people like you, and you’ll never feel unwanted and if you’re feeling unwanted, consider moving to a new garden.

Know who you are, and consider who you are in relation to the different roles you play in your life so that when you are asked who you are, you can explain yourself.  Know the qualities that make up your character, because someday your life might be turned upside down.  However, as upsetting as such an experience might be, as long as you know yourself you will always have that foundation and certainty.

Celebrate the little things in life, whether it is a cup of tea or your un-birthday.
Are saying what you mean, and meaning what you say the same thing or are they different?  Communication is hard, because of the open-mouth insert-foot disorder, but quite frankly…sometimes you say a lot for someone who doesn’t say much at all.   Don’t just speak to speak, focus on putting value, meaning, intention and purpose into the things you say.

When it comes to painting the roses red, remember that sometimes you have to make things what you want them to be in life.  But when you make a mistake, perhaps it is better to own up to them and take the punishment upon yourself rather than bringing down the entire house of cards.

Last but not least, follow the advice you give yourself because at the very least, it’s rooted in intelligence and intuition.  And sometimes, when life gets a little crazy, the best thing you can do is take an afternoon nap and wake up in a better place.

                 

The Pit & The Peak 3/7/2014

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Here for another Friday of The Pit & The Peak!  Only...this is my "I have the day off because it is my Birthday" Edition!  Yay!

PITS
- We were short-staffed in the office all week.  Which isn't really a problem, but can make for a long week.  Especially when there is a problem with an 800 number for benefits line, the pension people sent out a letter to a bunch of retirees and they're all calling in and being transferred to us by the system.  Also, I cannot for the life of my figure out who calls an 800 number and doesn't listen to the prompts and push the buttons.  I'm blown away.

- As a result of yelling into the phone the past few days for senior citizens who complain about not being able to hear me, but feel having loud music/television in the background while trying to make a phone is a good idea...I'm a touch hoarse. 

- Tax money is coming back soon, but I have a lot of things I HAVE to pay for before I can enjoy spending money on things I WANT to pay for.  I hate that.  

- I still have a lot of sucky bills to pay off. 

- It is now Friday, I was supposed to clean my house for this weekend so I didn't clean on my birthday and the only thing I really cleaned was something gross in the bottom of the refrigerator.  Birthdays as an adult shouldn't involve work or cleaning.

PEAKS
- My friend, who I have been trying to help with a stressful situation got good news this week.  I feel good about that. 

- I recently had a mini falling out with someone I love dearly.  We seem to have made up this week.  I hope.

- I got to talk to Bonehead LOTS this week, which always helps me.  AND...I got another wonderful birthday card from him.  He sends me the best birthday cards. 

- I have plans for lunch at one of my favorite places today.  Dinner with my family and friends.  And then I will be going out with my friends and my sisters.  I'm excited and I'm hoping for an awesome night out. 

- Today is my 28th Birthday.  I'm hoping it is a great day and this goes into the books as a birthday I don't cry on. 

- I don't have to work....because it is my birthday.  Yay!

- I won money in a card with scratch off lottery tickets from my coworkers.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Willing

Five Minute Friday

Willing. 

There are so many things I have been willing to happen.  I struggled and I struggled for months while willing things to work out.

When I finally let go and let someone know what I needed, things started to fall into place. 

Nothing is perfect right now.  I would never declare something to be perfect, but things are feeling better in my life.  Less tense.  Less stressed.  Less awful.

But I don't necessarily know that willing them to happen is what made it happen.  It appears that in order for me to move past the roadblock that were in front of me in so many areas, I needed to be willing to ask for help and say specifically what it was that I needed. 

So often, I struggle with being direct with others about what I need because I am uncomfortable outright asking for something that someone has no obligation to give me.  However, I'm beginning to learn that when I am willing to ask for exactly what I need and I am willing to do what I need to do on my part to obtain it then my chances of receiving it are much greater than if I wait around and hope that someone will see, sense or somehow know my need and meet it.  

This applies to so many things and situations in my life, and today I think that I just needed to be willing.  And now that I find myself in a position to help someone else and I am willing to do it, I realize that what I really want from them might be what others wanted of me...that I was willing to meet them in what they were willing to do in order to get what I wanted.

Thankful Thursday


My girl Juicebox Confession has decided to take up Thankful Thursdays.  I adore her...and I think, especially lately, that I haven't been spending much time being thankful for the amazing and awesome things that I have.  So I'm going to jump on board and do 10 with her!

1. Being Me.  Seriously.  I've found myself in some situations lately...and I know if I were anyone BUT me...things could have seriously been worse.  So I'm very glad for that. 

2.  Fellow Bloggers.  I receive a metric shit ton of support from other bloggers.  Some who have even become friends in spite of living across the country.  I'm grateful and blessed to be allowed into their inner sanctum. 

3. My Mom.  Things haven't been easy for me lately.  28 years ago today...my mom was having contractions.  It's been a long road with me and she is my rock, my lifesaver, my problem solver, my warrior...words cannot express.

4. My Family...my brother, my sisters, and my nephew...they keep me whole. 

5. My friends.  Friends are family you choose and I'm so glad I have people to laugh with, fight with, and love. 

6. More Than Cheese and Beer...seriously.  I'm so proud of this and the awesome people who interact with me, share with me and encourage me every day. 

7. Salted Caramel everything.

8. A job where, while I might not be changing the world I still feel like a part of a team. 

9. Love.  There are people who love me more than I know.  There are people who love me more than I deserve.  I forget this often, but I am always glad when I am reminded of it. 

10.  Bed.  I am grateful for my bed and I can't wait to return home to it tonight. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday Confessions: Exhaust

Welcome to another Sunday Confessions!  I'd be lying to you if I said I was running late with my own post today for any reason other than...well, I'm exhausted.  But let's start confessing.....



Today's Sunday Confession prompt:
EXHAUST


I knew 2014 was going to be a big year for me.  Big changes, lots of growth...and of course I expected hard times and challenges.  When you bring about change, there will always be some adversity.  

I am exhausted.  I'm utterly exhausted and I can't decide if it is because of what is going on around me or because I'm not doing the things I ought to be doing for myself. 




I haven't hidden that I am struggling with seasonal depression.  It's been a long, very cold and harsh winter.  Contrary to popular belief, being depressed is exhausting.  Even the most everyday tasks seem difficult, and looking around at all of the things going undone for no good reason other than not feeling like doing it...it's draining.  

All of the windows in my house are covered.  I haven't seen what little light Wisconsin Winter allows in months.  Part of it is because I wasn't bright enough to get the plastic on the windows right away this year, and then I ran out.  The other part of it is that I detest the idea that my life is on display for the boyfriend-that-was.  While the harassment and shenanigans has stopped for the most part, inside of me I am struggling to move on.  I am struggling to shut down the part of my brain that is anxious, constantly looking for his presence, planning the next move...it is like a smart phone app running in the back of my brain, draining my battery.  

As an introvert, I find social interaction exhausting.  That sounds terrible.  I love my friends and family.  I love being with them and around them.  Unfortunately, I'm caught it this unfortunate limbo...I NEED to be surrounded by people, and interact with them because it helps with the seasonal depression.  However, being around people forces me to NEED to regroup and recharge.  It's kind of like fighting with a cat....they try and pull you in with their front legs, while scratching you to hell and kicking you with their back legs.  

It's not a personal thing...it's just how I am. 



All of these things I have going on in my life, but there is one thing that seems to be prevalent in all of the areas of my life, and it is what I find to be the most draining...ugliness.  The ugliness in my world right now is exhausting me.  I'm sick of the ugliness I see on t.v.  I'm struggling with the ugliness I see people doing around me.  I'm struggling with the ugliness I'm feeling within myself.  I'm so tired of watching people do hateful, awful things to one another.  It's not one specific incident or thing, it's all of it...nasty looks, rude tones, mean-spirited gossip, dishonesty, all of it.  Perhaps I sound like a whiner, but every time I see yet another example of people treating each other badly it's like taking sandpaper to my last, already raw nerve.

And the thing is, I know all of these things are happening because I need to make changes.  There are things in my life that are draining me, and some of those things mean there need to be changes in myself as a person.  I know and have accepted that I am incomplete, that as a person I am constantly evolving and this is part of it.  For a long time, I believed that someday I would be "done".  That I would be all the things that I am supposed to be and I would be happy, content, and everything I'm supposed to be.  In many ways, I feel like I've been pushing so hard for that end that I didn't stop to enjoy the moment.  Sometimes, I feel like I'm exhausted from being a being that is ever changing and growing.  On occasion, I long to be everything I am supposed to be enough for life to just be happy, peaceful, wonderful and content even just for a little bit.  

So for right now, I'm going to embrace my exhaustion.  I am tired.  But right now, I know that I am tired because I've been a friend.  I'm tired because I've needed friends.  I'm tired because I'm trying.  I'm tired because evolving is a lot of work, even if I'm unaware of all of the changes that are happening.  And when I grow exhausted from growing and changing and evolving...I will sing, and then I will remember not to run myself ragged from trying to find the end and the answer to everything, and perhaps then I wont be so exhausted.


This is on the soundtrack of my life.  It's like she pulled it from my head.  Because it is true.  I'm been running so sweaty my whole life and missing the rapture of being incomplete.