Sunday, September 17, 2017

Polluted Mermaid Hair

From the ages of 21 to 29, I worked for employers that would not allow me to have alternative colored hair. Except for a few pink streaks, I've stuck to all natural colors. I became tired of the maintenance, the damage and the cost. I grew out my natural color. This lasted a good couple of years.


It lasted until a few months ago when I was online and a post about magenta hair came up.  It was so gorgeous. I thought about it for a week before deciding to do it. The thought that prompted me to take the leap?

I'm not getting any younger. I might as well have a little fun with the hair I have while I still have it.

I started with magenta. Then I was a violet vixen for a few months. I recently decided that I wanted to have teal hair. I promptly ordered teal dye from the company that made my violet dye that I loved so much. The company had recently come out with a new formula that was longer lasting with less bleed and I was so excited to try it.

I prepared my hair. But when I opened the box of new dye, the safety seal looked like it had been opened and resealed. I'd seen lots of safety seals with manufacturing defects and the products were fine. I assumed that perhaps the products were cheap because of the defect.

I know I'm not supposed to buy salon products at the drugstore. I'd heard of counterfeit products being sold online, but I was buying hair dye not a Coach bag. Imagine my surprise when I rinsed my hair and blow dried it to find that there seemed to be something wrong.  Very wrong.  My hair felt very slimy and the color mostly washed down the drain. Unfortunately, by that point it was too late for me to do anything about it. I had to go to work with my splotchy, uneven, faded new hair color. I jokingly named the color Polluted Mermaid.

Upon reviewing the seller, they'd had a number of bad reviews from others who had experienced the same thing. When I remembered I'd bought another tube of dye from the same seller in a different color, I opened the box.  This tube's safety seal had also been punctured. Two different tubes in different colors, bought on different days from the same company and both were opened. That seems highly unlikely. I'm not saying I received counterfeit product, but... it did seem likely that it was tampered.

I fixed my hair that night. I also made sure to give myself a speech about the importance of safety seals. Lesson learned. I'm sure I'll forget though.

Have you ever bought something online that turned out to be a bad purchase? Did you learn your lesson?




Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Customer is Not Always Right - A Poop Story


While updating my resume earlier this week, I realized that I've worked in Customer Service for a long, long time. If we're being honest, probably long enough to actually shave a few years off of my life.

I've learned a lot about working with younger people, managerial types, what it's like to work the floor during the various busy seasons of the year.  But most importantly, I learned a lot about customers.

The phrase "The Customer is Always Right" can be traced back to Harry Gordon Selfridge of Selfridge's Department Store in London. You may be more familiar with the story of Selfridges because of the popular PBS Masterpiece show starring Jeremy Piven. Harry Selfridge might have been a pioneer of retail in London, and eventually maybe even the world, but he was wrong. The customer is NOT always right and I've worked in retail long enough to see many examples of this.

Sometimes people are just wrong.

While working the Service Desk at a former employer, I once had a customer call the store number to ask for help. She was in our bathroom, but wouldn't specify what the problem was. I called my manager who sent me in there because "you're better at dealing with things like this".

When I walked into the bathroom, I found the woman in the bathroom stall.  She'd had a terrible accident and needed some help getting suitable to get out of the store.  I tried to be as kind and compassionate as possible. She was clearly humiliated. She asked me to get some bags we could put her soiled clothing in.  She wanted me to find some underwear and a pair of shorts like the soiled garments she'd handed me to bag up for her.

How do you choose underwear for a stranger?  She'd told me only her size, not her panty cut preferences. I was on my own.  I chose something I thought was reasonable. When I brought them to her, she asked me for something different. I found shorts similar to what she had on, but we didn't have anything that were a perfect match.  I pulled the tags off and explained she could pay at the desk. She walked out the door with her soiled clothing. After five minutes, I was afraid she would not come back in to pay. After ten, I checked to see if she was in the parking lot. When she came back in, I rang her up and she left the store.

We had been having problems with our bathroom at the store.  The first time, a customer approached a cashier and said our bathroom needed immediate attention. The cashier who was one of the youngest on staff informed their manager. The bathroom was shut down to the public immediately.  There are no gentle words to describe what we found in there. It was as if someone had bent over and exploded. We cleaned it that day in complete awe. We assumed someone must have had a serious and unfortunate emergency problem. We thought it would be a one-time experience.

We were wrong.

The mess would continue to happen on a monthly basis. Month after month someone would end up in the bathroom for two or three hours. We didn't have janitorial staff, so a cashier would have to leave their register for hours to deal with the mess. Dealing with the mess meant cleaning feces off of the top and bottom of the toilet, the wall behind it, the stall partitions and the floor. The mess usually was not contained to a single stall.  The entire bathroom would be shut down to clean the adjacent stalls from the splattered stool.  The first few times it happened we got everything cleaned up only to have another customer complain about a smell in the bathroom. We didn't realize that whoever was doing this was also leaving their soiled underwear in the sanitary napkin disposal.

Management had no interest in trying to find out who was doing this. It might have been weird to stake out the bathroom to figure it out, but it was happening on the same discount day every month. They could have figured it out pretty easily. Instead, month after month they asked an employee making ten cents above minimum wage to spend hours on their hands and knees cleaning up feces.

This went on for months. I didn't realize until later that the woman I had tried to treat with so much dignity was the person whose shit I'd been wiping up. I'd spent hours breathing in her brand of methane gas. When she'd handed me her panties in the bag from the sanitary napkin disposal, I thought she was just using what was available to her. Looking back, she'd stuck her panties in there many times before.

I've told this story a few times. Most people react with horror and disgust. My mother has always chided me about it. She doesn't believe I'm being very compassionate about the situation. She thinks my irritation at the situation was an overreaction. She may be right, but she also didn't have to process the return.

The corporation I worked for had three locations in our city. The location on the opposite end of town was having staffing problems and had called to request help. I was managing the front desk when I heard someone come up behind me. I turned around and was face to face with the woman I had taken a bag of soiled panties from only days before.

She put a bag on the counter, handed me a receipt and said she would like to return these shorts. She didn't make eye contact because she was busy looking at her phone. I looked at her. I looked at the receipt. She had kept the tags. The shorts were not visibly stained, and they had not been washed.

Anyone who has ever wiped their ass with the cheap toilet paper they put in retail store bathrooms knows it's practically useless. That woman didn't have any water in there. I used gloves to bag her soiled shorts because they couldn't be rolled up enough to contain the mess. There is nothing she could have done to have cleaned herself up enough that those shorts weren't in some way in direct contact with her excrement.

I realized this, so I was not touching the shorts after checking to see if they'd been washed. I had no reason to refuse the return other that I knew that I had personally sold her the shorts three days before. Management would not have stood behind me if I refused to return the item. Personal knowledge that an item had been exposed to bodily waste wasn't technically against the company return policy. There was no justification not to give her the money back. So I processed the return.

The woman was completely engrossed in whatever she was doing until I handed her the receipt. It was the only time she looked up and made eye contact. I don't think I could hide the smirk at that point. The look on her face was priceless. She left the store immediately.

I stopped working the days she was known for coming in and destroying our bathrooms. I left the company not long after.

People have tried to justify her behavior after hearing the story. Maybe she had some kind of medical problem. Maybe she couldn't afford the shorts I'd sold her. I'm always willing to consider the excusable reason someone is trying to offer. At the end of the day, it's pretty hard for me to see where this customer was right.





Thursday, September 7, 2017

Freaking (and Geeking) Out

Late last year, I was invited to attend my first CONvergence. CONvergence is a four day annual convention for fans of Science Fiction and Fantasy in media. This year's theme, "To Infinity & Beyond" was a celebration of all things Space Opera. It seemed like a cool new experience so I jumped on board.  As we got closer and closer to the end of 2017 and I started preparing, I got nervous.

I have social anxiety. Crowds make me especially nervous. When I get nervous about something, I Google the shit out of it. Reading the available knowledge of what to expect makes things easier for me. But even after joining Facebook groups and reading blogs, my head spun with questions. Was I supposed to dress up? Would I stand out if I didn't? Would I stand out if I did? What the hell are badge ribbons for? Was I going to have fun? Would there be weirdos?  Most importantly, would there be my type of weirdos there?

Then I encountered the whole Geek Girl... thing.  It's a thing.  There is no other way to describe it.



I've never considered myself or referred to myself as a Geek. In fact, I've never known what to label myself.  While labels can be used to segregate people, I also believe they help to create communities. I've never really had a label, so when I saw the Fake Geek Girl meme I started to get uncomfortable.

Because I'm kind of a Fake Geek Girl.

I was five the first time a boy grilled me to see how much I knew before declaring that I didn't know anything. We were playing "Mario Brothers". It was our own version of "the ground is lava". The goal was to climb across the swing set to rescue the princess then swing back across without touching the ground. At the time, Billy was the only kid on the block actually owned his own Nintendo. Billy's mom had a rule that only one friend was allowed over at a time. The girls were never invited. The fact that it was make-believe didn't stop Billy from challenging the girls who tried to change or make up a new rule. When he grudgingly accepted a new challenge rule, it was imperative that he point out that it wasn't in the real game every time it was brought up. In hindsight, I should have just kicked him out of my yard.



This would not be the only time this would happen to me. After surviving puberty, if my favorite character wasn't the Token Female Character I was just "into the hot guy". It isn't like I really had a choice though. Well-written, realistic female characters who are more than an accessory or plot device were a rarity. Female characters are generally underdeveloped in character but ample in the bosom. It isn't because we see ourselves that way, but it's hard to feel like it isn't expected of us. The female characters we are given show us we're supposed to be into the main character... you know, so we can be his girlfriend, or his plot device. Then we're shamed for liking Wolverine, Dead Pool, or Hawkeye. It's a no-win situation. But adult women appreciating the abs on a grown man is really a non-issue when you look at how young women are treated.


But I digress. 

Maybe I haven't found my ONE TRUE THING. Maybe it's that I enjoy so many things that it is impossible to focus on the minute details of just one thing. Either way, if the devil is in the details then I'm never going to find him. I have never been able to remember details I don't find particularly of interest or crucial to the story as a whole. I've always been this way and there was always that hyper-fan - usually a man - who put the "fan" in "fanatic" who made me feel bad about it. He knows every line and detail. He uses his knowledge to belittle others for not being as "passionately meticulous".  The weird aggression, intimidation and competitive attitudes I've encountered have always dissuaded me from trying to connect with other fans. I believe that if you love something, you should want to share it, not drive people away. So I've shied away from Fandoms not realizing all the wonderful things that can come with them.

In using Google to learn all that I could, I succeeded in creating such anxiety in myself that I didn't want to go. I was terrified that I would be grilled by a Geeky Gatekeeper type. I was afraid of spending my entire weekend as my boyfriend's silent arm candy. I worried that I would be spend the weekend miserable because I'm not geeky enough for the Geek Con.

I could give you my Geek Credentials, and you'd probably find that I'm lacking. I'm not quite Geeky enough. I'm semi-geeky. I'm quasi-geeky. I'm the margarine of Geek. I'm the Diet Coke of Geeky. Just one calorie, not Geeky enough.

You know what else I am? A little silly. More appropriately, a little silly with a lot of anxiety. 

I had the time of my life.

There are things I wish I would've done differently. I did a few hours of free labor for a group only to find I wasn't on their VIP list as promised when I got there. I wish I would have pushed myself to interact with more people, but I couldn't because of my anxiety. I wish I would've packed more awesome t-shirts. I wish I would've gone to more panels instead of sleeping in. Also, HYDRATION. I wish I would have drank more water. I was burnt out by Saturday when everyone else was just getting there. I drank lots and lots of water, but I think I was feeling so "done" with things by Saturday because I was dehydrated. 

Vomithorse resided over Smoker's Paradise, reminding everyone to drink the damn water. I should have listened better.
But overall it was an amazing experience and I hope I get to go again.

The staff I encountered were all friendly and engaging. Complete strangers spoke to me in lines, in elevators, and even complimented me. I introduced myself to complete strangers (which is totally not something I do at home).  The panels I attended were awesome. I got to see how amazingly artistic and creative people could be. It was unbelievable how friendly and welcoming everyone was. Everyone was just there to have fun, and find other people who enjoyed the same things. People were there just... being. Which is a really hard thing to describe but a really great thing to get to see.

And the Fake Geek Girl thing? I went to panels not having seen or read everything that was being discussed and still enjoyed them. No one cared when I didn't know about something, because they were excited to share with me. When people found out I was a CONVirgin, they were extra welcoming. I didn't feel like a Fake Geek Girl at any point and I realized how ridiculous I was being. Am I a Fake Geek Girl? Maybe. I don't really care anymore. I'm going to keep liking what I like and I'm glad I didn't allow some judgmental strangers on the Internet deter me from meeting people who would introduce me to more amazing things. I'm proud that I went even though I was anxious. I walked away with knowledge, a new perspective, and a list of new things I couldn't wait to check out for myself.


Sunday, September 3, 2017

I Miss Cleaning My House


When I was 24, I was involved in a workplace accident that would change my entire life.

My coworker was improperly operating a motor-powered cart, ran into my back and pinned me to a counter top. At the time, I tried to "walk it off". The pain hurt for weeks. Little did I know, it would never get better.

After a year of physical therapy and evaluations, none of which included a simple x-ray or MRI, I was finally sent to a neurologist. The neurologist demanded an MRI. The MRI showed damage to my spine. Interestingly enough, that's when Workman's Comp decided that I might have been born with back problems and they were no longer going to pay for my treatment.

Bastards.

It's hard for people to understand that I have chronic pain. I hurt every day, but at some point I just got tired of talking about it so I do not complain.  I am usually capable of pushing my body past the limitations in the moment. Not everyone can do that. I can push my body to do things that I shouldn't. The penalty for that is a flare-up of pain that will last weeks, and the inability to do anything the next day. I've adjusted to my new normal. While I am fortunate enough that I can get up and go to work every day, there are things I struggle with every single day.

My house has never been as clean as it was when I was in my early twenties. I used to get on my hands and knees and scrub the floor. I haven't been able to do that since I was injured. Scrubbing the bathroom is the stuff nightmares are made of. I can do it, as long as I accept that I will not be doing ANYTHING the next day and sometimes even the day after that.

I've adjusted when it comes to most things. One thing I haven't made peace with yet? I can't mop my kitchen floor.

It's hard to take pride in the appearance of one's home when you cannot have clean floors.  Maintaining a clean floor at my house means literally begging someone to mop my floor for me, then dutifully cleaning up every single spot, spill, drip, drop and dribble like a maniac because I will not be able to get someone to help me mop it again for another 3-4 months at least.

The depression of not being able to live in a space I feel comfortable in is crushing. At some point, something in me just kind of broke and I developed a very "fuck it" attitude.

Dishes on the counter? Fuck it.

Laundry? Fuck it.

Giant piles of stuff at the end of my bed? You know what to do.

It's really, really hard. I was never like this before and while I've never been a great housekeeper, it didn't take much for me to do the things I wanted or needed to do.  Now, I feel like I can never catch up. My options are to live in it, exhaust and upset myself begging for help, or pay someone I can't afford.

There's a lot of things I wish I could have back. I wish I could do things like ride 4-wheelers again. I wish I had my old waistline back before exercise became torture and I actually was just being lazy. But the thing I want back the most, other than pain free days, is the ability to really clean my house.



Sunday, August 27, 2017

POP!!!


My first comic was Mad Magazine May 1995 Issue 33. My dad bought it for me, but I don't remember what the occasion was or why he chose that particular thing to introduce me to.  I think he probably liked them as a kid.  In hindsight, Mad Magazine was probably not something that should have been given to a 9 year old. I wasn't even old enough to have see some of the movies 'dissed' in that particular issue.   


As kids, we read the comics from the Sunday paper every week.  I don't remember when I quit.  Maybe when I hit high school and took off to college.  I didn't come back to comics until recently. 

It started with a trip to the comic book store to buy something for a game. While waiting for the associate to check the stock I perused the shelves, reading the titles and looking at all the different styles and genres.  I'd never really been to a comic book store and no one had ever really introduced me to comic books.  Archie Comics was a childhood staple for many of my generation, but I honestly can't tell you anything about it.  I don't even know the basic storyline... I mean, what's the deal with Betty and Veronica?  Are they friends? Frenemies?  Lovers?  Interestingly enough, I did have a conversation with Nancy Silberkleit, Co-CEO of Archie Comics once.  I thoroughly enjoying speaking with her, but I felt like a real asshat telling her that I'd never really read an Archie comic.

Comics overwhelmed me. The fact that so many have years of back issues was daunting and intimidating. Reading the old issues felt imperative to really understanded the story.  Somehow, I felt like I would never be able to read the old issues and catch up.  I also wasn't sure there was anything that would really appeal to me as so many of the comics I'd seen up to that point always had a busty, tiny waisted, sexy heroine or damsel.  There always seemed to be a Madonna to be saved, a glowing Heroine with a huge slice of misogyny, or a Whorey protagonist - none of which appealed to me. 

Amidst the traditional comic book characters we all recognize like Spiderman and Wolverine, I saw a headline that read "Snotgirl". 

Snotgirl (Issues) (6 Book Series) by  Bryan O'Malley

That didn't sound traditional. That didn't sound sexy either. I went home that night and purchased a digital copy.  Snotgirl was new and only three issues had been released, so I decided to give it a go.

I didn't realize I was falling down a rabbit hole.  

Since then, I've read at least a dozen other series just trying to discover what I like.  I'm no longer intimidated by a few years of backstory because I've learned I can purchase volumes and read them in a few days. There are so many stories out there and I'm hooked.

It took me 30 years, but I finally fell in love with comics. 


Did you read comics as a kid?  What was your favorite? Do you read comics or graphic novels now?


Thanks for joining in for Sunday Confessions! This week's prompt was: POP. Please Link-Up your Sunday Confessions post and don't forget to check out some of the other great people who linked up this week!

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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Can Life Be Too Sweet?


Mercury Retrograde, a New Moon and a Solar Eclipse has things a little crazy this month and everyone seems to be feeling it.  Things have just been kind of wonky for the last month and it seems like everyone is struggling with it a little bit.  Everything has just kind of been... well, bullshitty.

At times like this when there seems to be a lot of small bad things happening in large numbers, sometimes it helps me to think about bigger problems, worse days and larger obstacles that I've overcome. The truth is, with all of the nitty gritty everyday problems that are happening in large numbers my general state of being is actually pretty good.

My house is a mess.  I'm having car problems.  Relationship status: Strained is an understatement.  Money is tight and I'm late paying rent.  I'm overweight and could be healthier.  I've been struggling with my mental health lately.  All of these things aren't great, but they're not the worst case scenario.  I have a house with enough stuff to be messy.  My car problems can be fixed and I don't have to worry about a car payment and money for repairs.  Relationship status: once you've been in an abusive relationship and escaped, normal relationship problems feel like small potatoes.  Money is tight, but I'm learning how to supplement my income, identify excess and I have money to pay the rent I just need to write the check.  I might be overweight and generally unhealthy, but I'm not having any major health problems that require medical attention.  I'm depressed, but I'm getting up every day and I'm not in a place where I have to deal with therapy bills.

I can't help but think about people I've met who don't know what it's like to be handed lemons though.

I once had a co-worker who seemed to have the most charmed life.  Bad things happened, but it was always small things.  She seemed blissfully unaware of the dangers that some people face regularly.  Things like drug addiction, sexual assault, serious mental illness and the way people sometimes just use/hurt/abuse other people were all really kind of beyond her.  While she was fortunate that those things didn't happen to her or people around her, it also left her incredibly kind of ignorant.  Maybe what they say is true and ignorance is bliss.

Sometimes, I feel like perhaps I'm too aware of the ugly things in life.  Some of the ugly things have just happened to me or people I've known.  Sometimes, I've gone looking for knowledge in dark places.  Sometimes I'm envious of the people who are blissfully unaware.

But then there are times like these when life seems to be handing people lemons and I know that I'm doing ok because I've been handed lemons before.  There are times when I wonder what it might be like to only know the taste of the sweetest lemonade, but then I remember that while I've always been a fan of candy and sweets, I've always liked my lemonade with a little bit of punch.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Comfort Food for the Soul


Remember when Chicken Soup For The Soul first came out?  It started with one book, then there were more books for the soul.  Then there were books for the Teenage soul and the Preteen soul.  Eventually, there was even a Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul.  It then turned into self help books.

It seems it is almost impossible to find the true source of a quote on the Internet anymore, but I once saw a meme that said something along the lines of:

You are the books you read, the movies you watch, the music you listen to, the people you spend time with, and the conversations you engage in.  Choose wisely what you feed your mind. 

Sometimes, I forget how important it is to make sure I am feeding myself the right things.  Denial is a powerful thing.   Sometimes, I think I can't be sidelined by consuming a few things that are bad for me.  A naughty treat here and there can't be so bad, right?  Until it is.  Sometimes, I don't always realize that I'm unwell and that I've been feeding myself the wrong things until I'm sick.

I think more of us are sick than we realize.  There's been speculation and studies about food and chemicals, but we don't just consume food. Every single day we consume news, media, and conversation that is poisonous to our bodies or our psyche.  There's so much in our everyday lives that isn't beautiful, serves no purpose and doesn't bring us joy.  What, then, do those things do for us?

More importantly, how do those things impact those of us who are already struggling with illness?

I try to talk openly about struggling with chronic pain and my struggles with mental illness.  I do it because I think it's important not only for me, but for other people.  Whether it's about removing some of the stigma by just having the conversations or by openly discussing my struggles so that maybe someone else will read it and see that they're not alone.

Right now, I need some chicken soup for my soul.  I need conversational comfort food. I need mood lifting music.  I need to be with the people who remind me not only who I am but inspire me to be the best version of myself.  Sometimes, you have to shut out the word and selectively filter what comes it.

What good things do you feed yourself when you're feeling sick?



Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday Feats & Fails


Happy Friday!!! 

Welcome to Friday Feats and Fails!  You can find "The Rules" of how to participate down below! 


FAILS:  

- I'm broke.  It's a fail every week when I pay my bills that I need to pay (rent, phone, etc), but then have literally nothing to live on for the next two weeks.  Juggling bills is exhausting and while some of the problems I'm having a due to failing to budget better earlier in the year, at the same time... it's hard to budget at all when you're living paycheck to paycheck. I work a full-time job. I have a part-time/on-call/as needed job, but they haven't needed me in awhile. I try to help my sister with her kids when she works on weekends - I don't get paid for this, but it's important to note because it's a part of my very tight schedule.  I literally do not have the time or energy to get a second job.  I am doing little things to earn a little extra when I can - online worker tasks, paid surveys, etc. I am using rebate apps and coupons.  I'm trying to embrace minimalism. I'm doing everything I can and just not feeling like I get any relief from financial stress.

- Two weeks ago when I said I thought I had Plantar Faciitis. It still hurts. I'm starting to think it's something more.

- I'm having relationship problems. Serious relationships problems. I know that some people wouldn't share that and maybe I shouldn't either, but I'm not going to hide it. Sometimes, shitty things happen. Shitty things are happening in my life right now.  I'd love to have the love and support of my significant other, but it seems that we're not good at loving and supporting each other right now. I saw we're not good at it because I'm sure he'd say the exact same thing about me right now.

- I haven't been eating low carb, high fat, moderate protein all week.

- My car is acting up again. 

- My job was a nightmare this week.  A complete and utter nightmare.

-  My house is a mess.  My regular chronic pain coupled with whatever is going on in my foot has made standing and moving really difficult. 

- I made it three days before abandoning The Minimalist Challenge I was trying to do.

- I haven't managed to finish a blog in a long time and I'm upset about it.




FEATS:

+ I survived the week.

+ Other people might think I'm fucked up and awful, but my family still loves me.

+ I got a little time to pamper myself and was able to soak my feet and do a Baby Foot Peel last week.  This week, it's peeling and it's much better than last time.

+ The upside to the fact that I'm broke, with a messy house I don't have the energy or motivation to clean, a nightmare week, and personal conflicts causing emotional distress is that I am creatively on fire.  Everything going on in my life this week is like, The Tortured Artist Emotional and Mental Disturbance Starter Pack and I have so many ideas right now.




The "Rules"

Write a blog post with the Feats and the Fails from your week, or comment them below

Feats: something you did, accomplished, conquered or triumphed over or something that made you want to brag or celebrate.  It can be as simple or complex as you want.

Fails: something you said or did that wasn't so awesome, something that happened that wasn't so great, a low point in the week, or just something you wish had gone better...share, commiserate, and then LET IT GO because it is Friday for goodness' sake!

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

News





When I was in High School, we did a unit learning the difference between Subjective versus Objective specifically relating to headlines and new reports, sex in advertising, and bias in media.

I struggle to watch any kind of news report now.

The first thing I stopped watching was Good Morning America.  Even know, listening to the things they say to try and keep viewers watching after commercials grates on my nerves.  Then things like 20/20.  While I'm all for reporting on things that impact our world, it seemed that every hour of these shows included a story about a hidden danger lurking in our everyday lives.  What bothers me is the fact that these dangers lurked before, but no one reads the warning labels and somehow it is a revelation when some reporter adds dramatic music and a photo of the fine print with a shadowy vignette.  Or worse, when the report is on a "danger" that people would have realized had they applied even the tiniest amount of thought to it.  Say, for example, Nutella isn't actually healthy for you.  Anyone who has ever tasted it should have been able to tell you that without reading the label.


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Friday, August 4, 2017

Friday Feats & Fails


Happy Friday!!! 

Welcome to Friday Feats and Fails!  You can find "The Rules" of how to participate down below! 


FAILS:  

- I haven't driven my car in a week. I was having problems starting it and then one day it just wouldn't. I then proceeded to not do anything at all because I'm broke. There's no sense calling someone to come take a look at your car if you can't pay them. Long story short, my boyfriend showed up, bought things to check out my car, opened the hood to find.... the negative terminal was loose. How loose?  Refer to image below. It's also really dirty.  That being said, there could be other things going on but I'm hoping it's really just this.


- I'm still broke.

- Remember last week when I said I thought I had Plantar Faciitis. It still hurts. 

- I am constantly on the lookout for new things to try to make life easier for myself as someone with chronic pain and a household to manage, not to mention I'm always looking at new forms of pain relief.  That being said, I really, really hate it when I purchase things and they don't work out. 

- I haven't done laundry all week.

- I haven't been eating low carb, high fat, moderate protein all week. 

- I ordered some plants for my aquarium.  They arrived looking half dead and the fish don't like them. 




FEATS:

+ My car has been running since my boyfriend fixed the negative terminal connection so... yay for that!

+ I managed to finish a book and start another one this week, which is great because that's two weeks in a row. Check out my "What I'm Reading" page.

+ I survived a family dinner and I wasn't drunk. 

+ I got to eat at my favorite places this week. 

+ I got a little time to pamper myself and was able to soak my feet and do a Baby Foot Peel.  Last time, it took about four days to start peeling.  I am documenting it this week and hopefully will follow up with a blog post soon. 

+ I recently watched a documentary about The Minimalists.  I started following them on Facebook last week and they're doing a 30 Day Challenge.  You get rid of one thing the first day, two the second day, three the third day and so on. Anything can go. Donate, sell or trash but it has to be out of your house by midnight.  I'm doing great. So far. I'm taking photos and sharing on Instagram @MoreCheeseBeer

+ I managed to finished the month strong with Ibotta earning back $25 in rebates.  I've been a member since March 2016 and I've finally earned back over $100.  I'm super excited about it.  I'm trying to do better when it comes to little things I can do not only to save money, but to earn a little extra.  If you're not already an Ibotta member, you can join my team here: https://ibotta.com/r/smaclgp    Using my code will get you an extra $10 when you start redeeming codes.  It also gets me a $5 bonus, which you can also get when you invite YOUR friends. 






The "Rules"

Write a blog post with the Feats and the Fails from your week, or comment them below

Feats: something you did, accomplished, conquered or triumphed over or something that made you want to brag or celebrate.  It can be as simple or complex as you want.

Fails: something you said or did that wasn't so awesome, something that happened that wasn't so great, a low point in the week, or just something you wish had gone better...share, commiserate, and then LET IT GO because it is Friday for goodness' sake!

Follow your host(s)

Grab a button
(Copy the code below and paste into the HTML portion of your post where you want it to show up)

Check out the other people who linked up, congratulate them, commiserate with them, and giggle with them!


More Than Cheese and Beer
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Friday, July 28, 2017

Feats and Fails


Happy Friday!!! 

Welcome to Friday Feats and Fails!  You can find "The Rules" of how to participate down below! 


FAILS:  

- I am totally and utterly exhausted.  I haven't done anything all week.

- I'm still having car problems, because I'm still broke.

- I think I have Plantar Faciitis. It hurts.




FEATS:

+  I have a huge family, so my car is fucked up and I can't go anywhere whenever I want but I'm still getting out. So that's good.

+  I managed to finish a book and start another one this week, which is fantastic because I haven't updated my "What I'm Reading" page in awhile. 

+ I got on a boat for a work thing and had fun.  It's a big deal because I'm not really boat person.

+  That's it.  Not good, but not bad week.






The "Rules"

Write a blog post with the Feats and the Fails from your week, or comment them below

Feats: something you did, accomplished, conquered or triumphed over or something that made you want to brag or celebrate.  It can be as simple or complex as you want.

Fails: something you said or did that wasn't so awesome, something that happened that wasn't so great, a low point in the week, or just something you wish had gone better...share, commiserate, and then LET IT GO because it is Friday for goodness' sake!

Follow your host(s)

Grab a button
(Copy the code below and paste into the HTML portion of your post where you want it to show up)

Check out the other people who linked up, congratulate them, commiserate with them, and giggle with them!


More Than Cheese and Beer
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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Dinosaurs

You give me that look that's like laughing
With liquid in your mouth
Like you're choosing between choking
And spitting it all out
Like you're trying to fight gravity
On a planet that insists
That love is like falling
And falling is like this
-Ani Difranco


One of my favorite songs. 

The truth is... I think love should make you feel like you can fly, not like you are falling.  As much as I understand that when you begin to find love with someone it sometimes it feels like you are tumbling, unable to stop yourself, downhill into a pit of feelings.  An action that we cannot stop.  Something that happens beyond your control. 

What if we changed how we look at it?  What if stole a line from the Redbull people and said, "Love, it gives you wings!".  I wonder if people would still do the things they do, accept poor relationships and excuse poor behavior from their significant others if we said that love is supposed to uplift versus love is something you fall into and can't get out.  If we told people that love was supposed to feel like the wind blowing your hair, maybe some people wouldn't accept the kind of relationships that are comparable to falling in a tar pit. 



Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday Feats & Fails


Happy Friday!!! 

Welcome to Friday Feats and Fails!  You can find "The Rules" of how to participate down below! 

I don't know about you, but it's been a long one.  The first full week back after vacation seems to be the hardest.  Uffda.  

FAILS:  

- My week started with a rough Monday when I was late to work, a kid peed in my bed and my car wouldn't start. 

- I did laundry because I needed clean panties, but I haven't done laundry all week otherwise.

- Fighting with pretty much everyone I know.  Part of it is because I asserted myself. Part of it is because I need some alone time to just do my own thing when I want to do it.  It seems like even the most introverted people I know struggle with the fact that I need my own time too. 

- I'm swollen.  After going on vacation and eating tons of crappy food, coming back and continuing to eat crappy food because I've been broke and living off pantry food (you know, all the dry goods you keep in the pantry for a rainy day but aren't healthy for you in the slightest) I'm all puffed up from sodium and not walking as much as I was. 

- I'm still having car problems, because I'm still broke.

- I have a fucking cyst. Thought it was a developing pimple when it was red and inflamed 6 months ago.  Nope. Gross. I think this is what happens when you watch too many YouTube videos of people "popping" cysts and thinking they're doing it wrong.  You send the energy out and you get one of your own to do "right".

-  I also broke my thumbnail below the line where it connects.  I can't cut it off yet, it's catching on everything.  I hate it.




FEATS:

+  I got to spend some serious quality time with my sister's kids this weekend.  They're monsters, but I love them. 

+  My boss brought me a donut yesterday. 

+  Remember how I said I was broke?  I wasn't kidding.  People have offered to help, but I'm stubborn.  I'll eat the sprinkles in my cupboard for dinner before I accept help.  That being said, while I don't need anything right now I have been busting my ass trying to make a few extra dimes here and there because I know I have some expenses coming up.  I've been doing survey sites and microtasks that involve things like marketing surveys and transcription. It adds up pretty quickly especially because I can do them between calls at my regular job.  On one site, I earned and got paid (as in deposited in my credit union account)nearly $30 this week. 

+ I managed to get the floor scrubbed. 






The "Rules"

Write a blog post with the Feats and the Fails from your week, or comment them below

Feats: something you did, accomplished, conquered or triumphed over or something that made you want to brag or celebrate.  It can be as simple or complex as you want.

Fails: something you said or did that wasn't so awesome, something that happened that wasn't so great, a low point in the week, or just something you wish had gone better...share, commiserate, and then LET IT GO because it is Friday for goodness' sake!

Follow your host(s)

Grab a button
(Copy the code below and paste into the HTML portion of your post where you want it to show up)

Check out the other people who linked up, congratulate them, commiserate with them, and giggle with them!


More Than Cheese and Beer
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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Small Town Auras



I was born and raised in a large town. They say it's large anyway.  At 15-16 years old, 23 square miles starts to feel pretty small. After college when Facebook went live to the public, 23 square miles started to feel like a fish bowl. 

It was important to my parents that we were allowed to build roots and grow up with a sense of community. I graduated high school with many of the people I started kindergarten with. I know where everything in town is.  I remember when we were a one Wal-Mart town.

Miranda Lambert once sang:

 "Every last one, route one, rural heart's got a story to tell
Every grandma, in law, ex girlfriend
Maybe knows you just a little too well
Whether you're late for church or you're stuck in jail
Hey words gonna get around".  

Even in a town of 52,000, this seems to be true. There isn't much I don't know about my old friends, or my ex-boyfriends, and what they've done with their lives. Sometimes, that sense of community can be a heavy thing to bear. I've been struggling with the weight of a particular small-town problem lately: the class bully. 

Middle school was hard for me. High school was easier, but I was also struggling with grief a child of 15 shouldn't know so early, I was too busy just trying to survive myself to be too bothered by bullies. That doesn't mean it didn't happen and I know it happened to other people. My school had Mean Girls, complete with a few incarnations of Regina George. I watched them victimize people for everything, it seemed nothing was off limits. They coordinated their schedules as much as possible. If you found yourself a target of the entire clique in one class, there was a good chance you'd be forced to endure the abuse of one or more members in at least two other classes during the day.  

We've all grown up now, allegedly. Some of us went to college. Some of us got jobs. Some of us started families. Some of us decided to open a small business right here in our quaint little town. 

I've always tried to support local businesses and small business owners. After leaving my last corporate job where I was unappreciated, underpaid and feeling chewed up by the corporate machine, I fell in love with working for a small business.  My experience working for a small business inspired me to  patronize small businesses whenever possible.

What do you do when the Regina George of your high school grows up and becomes a successful business owner in town?  Ever worse, what do you do when it is a profession you not only have a lot of respect for, but in an industry that requires compassion, respect, courtesy, confidentiality and dignity?

Unfortunately, I was no Cady Heron in high school. I never took a stand against any of our Regina Georges.  None of them got hit by a bus and became better people. My Regina George went to school and now works in a personal care industry.  I live and work in a community with someone who works with peoples' bodies after watching her tease and abuse people about their bodies - weight, acne, body hair, facial features - for years.  

I see people recommending her and I want to scream every time. I feel a twinge of bitterness that this person is making a living taking care of people after seeing her tear down so many. I am fearful that she doesn't treat her profession with the respect it deserves and she disparages her clients behind closed doors.  My heart hurts and I feel sick at the idea that she looks at her clients - people with imperfect bodies - the same way she looked at her classmates so many years ago and can hide her distaste so well that she can profit from it. Maybe she became a better person.  Maybe the teasing and the taunting and the systematic bullying was a sign of low self-esteem and she's dealt with herself. Maybe everything I know about this person is wrong or somehow no longer valid. 

I doubt it, but I hope I'm wrong every time I see her name. Somehow, I can't get past the idea that her aura is still as brown as her fake tan. She was so awful and cruel to people that it's hard to believe much has changed.  On the outside, things look great but you know what they say.... you can roll of piece of shit in powdered sugar, but that doesn't make it a jelly donut.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday Feats & Fails


Happy Friday!!! 

Welcome to Friday Feats and Fails!  You can find "The Rules" of how to participate down below!  On to my week!

FAILS:  

- I haven't done Feats & Fails in like 3 weeks.  This is a fail because I'm supposed to and also because literally no one noticed.  In the meantime, I've made a shit-ton of feats and fails!

- Finally back from CONvergence.  I had a great time.  I haven't unpacked really, but I've pulled out what I needed and left the rest.

- There was a beauty fail.  I haven't been happy with the magenta color I put in, it was looking pretty red instead of bright magenta.  I decided I was lusting after Pravana Violet Dye.  After watching a shit ton of Vloggers put Vitamin C in their hair to fade their fantasy color, I decided to try it. Pretty sure that started the problem because I was uncomfortable and rinsed it early.  It didn't work to remove my red/magenta hair.  It didn't even fade it. So I proceeded with the bleach.  The color is actually kind of cute and I'm tempted to keep it.  My hair is lightly fried but not as bad as I thought it would be.  The real hurt?  My scalp.  I'm disappointed in myself because I totally know better.

https://www.instagram.com/morecheesebeer/
My brother says I have hair the color of a peach ring.

So, after giving myself a nice chemical burn.  I gave my poor scalp a few days to recover before dying my hair violet.  It looks blue in the dark and under florescent lights.  In the daylight?  Bright, brilliant purple.  

Please excuse the mess, we were traveling.
It is beautiful and I love it.  What I don't love, however, is the BLEEDING.  This color bleeds everywhere like nothing I've ever seen before.  I took extra pillowcases and head coverings to CONvergence to avoid staining the white sheets. I love the color so much though that I'm going to try their XL color which advertises no bleeding, and I'll probably try a color sealing gloss over it. 

- CONvergence came and went.  It's been awhile since I had any kind of real time off that didn't involve illness or a funeral.  In the past two years, I've used my PTO periodically to take days off here and there.  I didn't use them and lost a bunch this last year and I'm still salty about it.  But I had a good time.  Next year I hope to socialize more. 

- I'm having car problems.  I had them before I left town.  Now I'm home and broke and still having them. 

- I quit eating Keto for the week.  I haven't gotten back on track.  My week has been full of so many carbs. 

- Remember last week's Sunday Confession when I said I was going to do more fresh things?  I've missed like 4 days now. 




FEATS:

+  I got a new pair of Vans for $28 from Amazon and they're super cute.  I'd like a collection of Vans some day, but these are good for now.

 http://amzn.to/2ut6PxN 
 +  Before I quit Keto for a week, I was going well. 6 lbs down.  Also, I discovered Keto desserts are amazing. Will share soon!

+  I recently share a photo of my color-coded planner.  It's been over a month and I'm still writing things in AND color coding them.  I got a set of Sharpie Highlighters with like eight colors and that's helped tremendously. 

+ I have more interests than I have time right now.  This is both good and bad.

+  I took this awesome photo this week. I'm going to get this macro thing down yet!




The "Rules"

Write a blog post with the Feats and the Fails from your week, or comment them below

Feats: something you did, accomplished, conquered or triumphed over or something that made you want to brag or celebrate.  It can be as simple or complex as you want.

Fails: something you said or did that wasn't so awesome, something that happened that wasn't so great, a low point in the week, or just something you wish had gone better...share, commiserate, and then LET IT GO because it is Friday for goodness' sake!

Follow your host(s)

Grab a button
(Copy the code below and paste into the HTML portion of your post where you want it to show up)

Check out the other people who linked up, congratulate them, commiserate with them, and giggle with them!


More Than Cheese and Beer
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