Friday, April 30, 2010

AN HONEST FACE OF FORTY


As I posted yesterday in a shameless plug, I entered a beauty/writing contest in More Magazine on what it means to be a woman over forty.

I don't delude myself that I am beautiful, but what I was ultimately hoping for in this contest was an honest approach to women of a certain age.

Let me start by saying first that I have great support in friends and family -- the MS Society included my link to this contest on their Facebook page as I am indeed committed to giving 10% of my earnings -- should I win -- to the MS Society.

So, I wanted to do this honestly and felt I owed it to myself and women everywhere to do nothing less.

The picture of me on my sidebar where I'm laughing, wearing make-up and my hair is curled and looking quite pretty is not how I look in every day life. That was a Christmas photo taken in December 2008 by a professional and was the last time I wore make-up.

Seriously, I haven't worn make-up in nearly a year and a half. It's just not who I am. B's then girlfriend (and his still good friend) did my make-up for me and borrowed the blouse I'm wearing from her Mom for me to wear.

I did not submit that photo for this contest.

The contest rules state that the photo submitted must be non-professional for which I give the editors much kudos for. From that I understood this to be an honest approach as, again, us gals over forty deserve nothing less.

See my post below this one for the photo I did submit. It was taken by B on his cell phone and shows me as I am every day: no make up, no jewelry, no fancy clothes.

I was excited to send my entry link to all I know in the hopes that yes, I get published, win money and flown to New York (a dream of mine as I've never been there) but my heart in this goal is to be able to donate 10% of any earnings to the MS Society. I want to continue my plight against this affliction as I'm simply unable to donate $500 or $1000 (which is what it would be should I win the grand or first prize) on my own to this worthy cause.

I nonetheless wanted to present a real face of forty.

Upon looking at the nine votes I have received since yesterday, I was feeling good about it all. I see women who entered earlier than I did with 17 votes, 22, etc. and thought,; "Okay, not too bad -- I might actually have a shot at this."

The goal was to write about how we feel about ourselves now, at this age, in 150 words or less.

It was a challenge not to go overboard and there was much editing on my part (thank God for Microsoft word count!).

What did I want to say, how did I want it conveyed and how do I want to look?

The pressure was on.

Do I get all dolled up with make up and hair perfectly done just so I get more votes? Do I write a fluff piece?

No.

That's not me and I don't think that's most real women. I think us to be innately honest.

So, I start browsing around further and checking out 'my competition'. One lady, who has over 2000 votes and whose picture I, of course, couldn't find this morning to show you, wrote this in her first sentence: "I love being over 40 age is just a number and i wouldn't change anything....".

Grammatical errors stand as is, as that is how she wrote.

No comma's. No periods. Ran on and on.....

However, her picture was something right out of 'Playboy' with her garnering more votes than I can now hope to muster. Primed in a lusty pose, back slightly bent, full make-up, hair freshly coiffed and pouty lips to boot with at least one man writing in her comment section; "One word: HOT!".

Contrary to popular belief about such things ("Oh, I only read 'Playboy' for the articles"), I doubt very much that anyone actually read her story and that based on her staggering number of votes, this contest is clearly about more than just good content (really, she used little to no punctuation! Are you kidding me???).

Let's face it, it's clearly about looks and imagery.

So, unbeknownst to me I was done before I even began. If this is what I'm up against, I'm already in the 'fat chance' category.

Let me be clear: be who you are, absolutely. I truly don't begrudge any woman doing whatever she feels necessary to make herself look and feel better whether it be unnatural lighting, Botox, make-up, manicures, bling and tons of ozone depleting aerosol hairspray. Hey, if it works for them, so be it.

It just doesn't work for me.

I simply went into this thing delusional, apparently. I thought the good people voting were looking for honesty and content rather than centerfold.

In spite of my seemingly bitter grapes and scathing diatribe, I nonetheless wish all the contestants luck and hope they wish the same for me because clearly I'm gonna need it--ha!

If you should choose to indeed vote for me, please see the post below this one on how to do so. Again, a vote for me is not only a vote for honesty, but a vote to help research a cause and cure for MS -- and not for illusions. Okay, that was the last dig. :D

Thank you to all my good blog friends (thank you, Meeko!), the MS Society, friends and family for their support and votes.

I leave you now with but a sampling of my competitors -- in all their glorious poses (okay, that really was the last one!):





































and still more....







































Thursday, April 29, 2010

JO IN A NUTSHELL


Hi, all.

Firstly, I want to thank my 'brother from another mother', Steven Anthony (from 'No Excuse, No Explanation' -- you can get to his blog on my sidebar under "Favorite Blogs'), for featuring me yesterday in his Wednesdays 'Hump Day Heroes' feature.

I so adore him and appreciate his kind heart and support.

I'm not so sure I'm deserving of his kind words, but I know how heartfelt they were from him and let me just say ditto! Right back at you, my friend.

Thank you for bringing light to my MS cause and mostly for being the kind soul you are, Steven.

In other news:

I officially entered the More Magazine 2010 writing/beauty contest.

I don't think it's 'beauty' per se as in 'aesthetically pleasing to the eye' they're looking for. If that was the case, I wouldn't have spent $25.00 on the entry fee for a hopelessly lost cause!

It's more how women over forty (which is what the magazine is all about) perceive themselves.

Boy, I took that and ran with it figuring I have everything to gain and nothing to lose but the entry fee.

On the chance it pays off, the grand prize winner receives $10,000 and two first prize winners will be awarded $5000 each with all prize winners being flown to New York for a photo shoot to be published in More magazine.

Without risks, there are no rewards.

This I know.

While I am admittedly still a work in progress, I nonetheless felt my story was as viable to tell as the next woman's. Plus -- well, let's face it as it has to be said -- I have fabulous new hair to boot!

The kicker? I had to do this in 150 words or less. For someone who likes to be as verbose as I do, that was the real challenge: summing me and my neurosis up in 150 words.

I guess this goes by how many votes each story/entry receives -- so, should you vote for me and should I win, I will give 10% of my earnings to the MS Society.

Please copy and paste the following url into your search bar (because I STILL cannot figure out how to post direct links on my blog):

http://www.more.com/13752/18319-jo--age-44

You may also go to More.com and search for 'Jo, age 44' under "More 2010 Beauty Search Contest" and click "Vote For Most Fab" at the end of my article (look for the pink check mark!).

A vote for me is a vote for MS!

THANK YOU!

So, in a shameless plug -- coupled with a plea to fund research for a cause and cure for MS -- and without further adieu, I present to you Jo in a nutshell:


In my twenties it was all about the accessories. Now, my accessory is the self actualization that being over forty allows me. It’s comfort in my own skin with an acceptance that didn’t accompany me before.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that 2010’s best actress/best supporting actress winners were both over forty. Hollywood is recognizing the value of these women and I think we’re starting to recognize that same value in ourselves.

In my twenties, I was simply wife and Mom. Now, I am wife, Mom, vegan, an advocate for those who are afflicted with MS and I’m a woman.

After two years of financial hardship with losing our home of sixteen years and having to file bankruptcy, I’ve also learned that if I know nothing else now it’s that these same events twenty years ago would have weakened my spirit.

Now, I am a woman and a survivor.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

LIFE AND OTHER CASUALTIES


Hi, all. To borrow my good friend Steven Anthony's blog title, I offer 'no excuse, no explanation' for my blog absence.

It's just life and re-prioritizing that keeps me away and my ever waning interest in doing things that once brought me joy.

Not that I don't still enjoy blogging or reading others' blogs, I have just been cutting back on Internet time and replacing it with pensiveness.

When that happens, inevitably other areas in my life suffer. I used to be good at compartmentalizing: family, me time, Internet, errands, etc. Now it's all just once big infrastructure where it forces me to manage my time better.

For example; yesterday I pulled some weeds and unwanted grass in my planters and trimmed my palm frawns, and just this morning instead of turning on the T.V. and./or blogging right away, I did a little dusting and straightening up in the living room.

I've realized that things have become unmanageable and that I'm guilty of sucking up major air and being useless. This no longer gels with me nor my family. So, I'm attempting some positive change.

Welcome to the life of depression and anxiety.

Speaking of which, I had another therapists appointment on Friday where he encouraged some exercise when I know there is a particular time of day when my anxiety levels rise: he encouraged me to go walking an hour or two before those times to raise my endorphin levels, so I'm going to try and make use of that.

We also spoke of my blogging in which I may have been too forth coming and indiscreet in informing certain people in my life that I blog which then makes me question others motives and sincerity when asked for my blogs link.

Censoring myself goes against everything I believe in so I now have to live with my choices and indiscretion.

However, he did say my 'wariness' and questioning of motives is indeed valid considering I receive no or little feedback from certain people which sends my anxiety levels and paranoia sky rocketing, with my then posing the following questions to myself: Do they think I'm certifiable? Why do they not send a note of encouragement/support/empathy? Are they all talking about me? Do they see me as narcissistic? Pathetic? Needy?

What I see as inviting others into my life to encourage them to do the same with me, may come across to others as something completely different.

I mentioned to one family member recently that when Ed and I were going through our VERY rough months last year that I would have simply liked for someone to have reached out to us and say; "I'm so sorry. Please know we're thinking of you and hoping for a positive outcome".

That's it. Nothing more.

I would never ask anyone for monetary help and when I encourage others to be involved in our lives, it's simply me wanting to be a part of theirs as well. I don't know what's going on in their lives because they don't share that with me except for the occasional get together and holiday phone calls/newsletters. Where I'm an open book, they are not. This is why 'Facebook' didn't work for me. I want to know more other than whether or not one likes ice cream, is craving a pastrami sandwich or just posting that picture of your new mani/pedi and girls night out.

Whereas they perhaps need to be more open to me and accepting and encouraging of me, I need to also learn to accept them as they are. As I've said before, I need to learn to nurture the relationships I do have and not lament the ones I don't.

It's all seems a bit hypocritical at times and I suppose I'm simply saying to them let's care about each other all year long and not just on national holidays.

There's a great line from Jane Austen's 'Sense And Sensibility' that is befitting to what I'm referring: "Our situations then are precisely alike. We have neither of us any thing to tell: you because you communicate nothing, and I because I conceal nothing."

Perhaps Ed and I had to go through what we did last year for me to completely understand that and for me to want to reach out and enlighten others on humanity, not just in my MS cause or other charities we may be involved in, but with one another.

We're throwing B a 20th birthday party on the 15th of May -- I have, for the first time, invited family members (via E-vites) into our new home (we've been here almost two years) for this occasion in the hopes that people will see us for who we are. So far the response from family has been underwhelming to nil.

People have busy lives; they have careers, family close by, children and events of their own to plan. I get that. Regardless, I'm hoping the 15th will bring about some much needed change and understanding.

So, we'll see. This is giving me something hopeful to concentrate on.

In other somewhat related news, I am unable to take the 'Paxil' that was prescribed by my physician due to my neurological seizures (Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia) and am now on the prowl for something that is safe for me to take.

One step forward, two back.

I have also eliminated my '90 Days' blog because I simply cannot keep up -- it was turning into 90 weeks, months, etc. While I will continue with the process of reading the book '90 Days To A New Life Direction' by Laura Berman Fortgang, I found that by keeping up with it on blog proved to be too much -- I'm looking to simply simplify.

For those of you who followed it, my apologies.

I will attempt to be back more regularly and am now off to read and catch up on a few blogs.

Thank you all for your never ending support.

Much love, peace, happiness and serenity.
~Jo (and Ed, too!) :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

THE ONE WHERE JO MEETS MEEKO


Isn't it fun when you finally get to meet someone you've wanted to meet for a long time??? My wish was fulfilled when B and his kind of sort of girlfriend/best friend and I met Meeko ('Ramblings Of a Disgruntled Secretary') last night at 'Starbuck's'. He is indeed so fabulous that I want him to move in with me!

He's warm, fun (what a personality!), smart and drives a Cube -- now what's not to love about that????

We're hoping to have him over our place soon to meet the rest of the clan.

Seriously, I need my Meeko fix. He's like coffee: just one cup won't do.

Okay, that sounded wrong.

Here's our picture. For the record, he doesn't take a bad photo -- he's as cute in person as he is in blog whereas I don't take good pictures ever. I come out looking huge with even bigger boobs than I already have (damn those cameras adding ten pounds! Five per boob, apparently) with ugly teeth and a fivehead. Not a forehead, a FIVEHEAD!



It was wonderful meeting you, Meeko -- we're looking forward to the next time. The only thing that would have made it more perfect is if Steven Anthony ('No Excuse, No Explanation') could have been there to join us -- then the whole place would have been in trouble! My, the salty language we used -- hooligans, the whole lot of us! Too fun, though.

Steven, you were there in spirit.

I love and adore them both and consider my life enriched by counting Steven and Meeko as friends.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A MEEKO KIND OF DAY


I'm finally here. Let's hope I can get through this without any further disappearing acts.

Yesterday was an exercise in blog frustration as I was nearly done with a long post when it suddenly vanished.

Sometimes I get to typing quickly and don't pay enough attention to what I am hitting, as was the case yesterday when suddenly all I had typed was deleted.

So, after taping my keyboard back together, retrieving my computer from the front lawn and calling a window repair man, I am back in action.

Next up: memory retrieval exercise....

Saturday was the MS Walk. Overall the event was a big success. As I've said before, there is always great synergy at these events but rarely does it go off without a few hiccups: after all my bru-ha-ha about the MS Society initially wanting to place my Mom and I in what I referred to as the 'purgatory of volunteerism', as you may recall, they were gracious enough to listen to our needs and wants and put my Mom back in the V.I.P. tent and myself in registration. My feelings were hurt in where they wanted to place us but all was quickly resolved (Thanks, Todd!) and my Mom and I felt much better about things.

My Mother. My mother, my Mother. What is there to say about my Mother?

Well, at the risk of sounding heartless and unfeeling and receiving scorned feedback from other bloggers, my Mom simply embarrassed me and made me rethink this whole thing.

After my big stink about her wanting to do the V.I.P. tent, I found her simply unable to cope with the issues that came up without becoming stressed and stressing everyone else out.

In her defense let me say that things in the V.I.P. tent were not as organized as they should have been -- or as they were last year. It happens. I understand this is a HUGE event with typically about 2000 attendees and there is a lot that goes into these things. It's easy to overlook some things when one is trying to tie up the loose ends with things such as permits, sponsors, etc.

However, last year, when we arrived at 6:30 a.m. everything was there and ready for us to set up: coffee, tea, napkins, muffins, etc. This year that wasn't the case. Muffins were there (but late) and there wasn't any coffee or tea this year and napkins ran out early -- plus no serving utensils. So, that was a big 'Oops!'.

Lunch was significantly better, however, for the V.I.P.'s as this year they had it catered by a local Italian restaurant as opposed to last years pizza.

However, again, my Mom was simply ill equipped to deal with things as they came up: the V.I.P. is strictly for the top fundraisers as a way to thank them for their support. The MS Society sends out V.I.P. passes on a lanyard ahead of time for the attendees to wear that garners them entry into the V.I.P. tent. But there's always those people (we all know 'those people') who see free food and will take anything that isn't nailed down. With my Mom being the only one in there to control such things, she was no match for a large, loud family who told her 'too bad' and proceeded to help themselves to the muffins.

So, instead of discreetly alerting me or someone else that there is an issue, she alarms everyone around her. I'm at registration with a line full of people when she excitedly and very indiscreetly starts announcing loudly: "Jo Anna, we have a problem! A BIG problem! Yep, problems!"

I told her that we have customers and that she has to calm down and I'll be with her in a moment. The people that are there at the MS Walk have fundraised and/or are there to support friends and family with MS. They've come there for a good time and not to overhear something that they shouldn't. Discretion was never Mom's thing and I may have overestimated her ability to handle the V.I.P. tent.

I then went and let someone know what was happening and they posted another person in the tent for crowd control.

Simple.

However, my Mom being my Mom doesn't see solutions, only problems.

Now, the morning food being late and their not being any coffee, tea, serving utensils and enough napkins, she was right on that. Can't disagree.

However, again, this is a BIG event and it's hard to think of everything -- otherwise, though, things ran smoothly.

With the MS Society's approval, Ed might be going next year to help out in the V.I.P. tent to deal with crowd control. He's big, intimidating and doesn't take any one's bullshit.

So there.

In other news, B and I are going to be meeting Meeko tonight (from 'Ramblings Of A Disgruntled Secretary' -- you can get to his blog via his blog button on my sidebar under 'My Favorite Blogs'). We're meeting at a Starbucks. Why? Just for scuzz. I've always wanted to meet him almost as soon as I learned that he, too, was from the Inland Empire and reading how hysterically funny he is. I could use a little funny. Not that I'm expecting him to show up in a clown costume (please don't -- clowns scare me.) but still. He's just witty, cynical and me in male form.

I'll take pictures and post about it tomorrow.

Look at me, getting all out there in the world!

I had a doctor's appointment on Monday where I was finally prescribed 'Paxil'. I haven't filled the prescription yet as I want to do a little research first.

Anyone have any experience with this?

Friday is my therapy appointment in which I will, once again, talk about silent rejection.

Seems to be an on-going theme in my life and one which I don't take kindly to.

Ever pour your heart out, say, in an E-mail only to receive nothing in return? No "I'm sorry this happened and that you're having such a hard time", "I understand", 'Hang in there", "I'm thinking of you"....?

I'm very much an open book. What you see is what you get. So, I take it very personally when it isn't acknowledged and won't make that same mistake again.

I think it makes the other party perhaps feel superior somehow. "Well, we'll just ignore her ramblings and make her feel stupid."

Not that it's that consciously calculating but the silence makes it feel so.

Lesson learned.

I think that's all I have for now. I'm off to pay long overdue visits to my blog friends. Will try to get to everyone today and tomorrow to catch up.

Thank you all for the compliments on mine and B's new hair -- we love it!

And Meeko -- watch out. This crazy Irish family is coming your way.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON'T


I just spent half an hour typing an updated post on the MS Walk, mine and B's hair, my new medication, and other goings-on....and then I hit something and it all disappeared: it wasn't anywhere to be found under saved posts.

Poof!

Damn it all to hell!

Well, I know I owe many apologies for being an absent blog friend of late so I will try to update everyone once again tomorrow.

In the meantime, I have to get to an appointment.

So, here are mine and B's hair updates:

B before and after:













Jo before and after:


















We're very happy with the results!

Have a great day, all. Much love, peace and serenity.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

WHEN IT RAINS....


Hi, all. Once again, I am writing to offer my heartfelt apologies for being an absentee blogger and not stopping by to visit you all lately....

As I wrote previously, this past weekend saw me running all over tarnation (located somewhere between purgatory and hell -- I simply HATE driving!) and there is more of the same this coming Saturday -- all of it is, however, for a good cause.

This Saturday, April 17th, is the MS Walk I fundraise and volunteer for. I decided this morning to make one last ditch effort to fundraise and send out another E-mail to previous donors who hadn't yet done so this year in the hopes of not only furthering my personal goal, but, more importantly, to raise awareness and funds for the MS cause -- all of which goes to finding a cure for Multiple Sclerosis.

And just this morning I received $300.00. I figure the worst people can do is not donate -- all it takes is a little time, tenacity and passion in believing so deeply about something as I do about this.

So far, with the help of generous donors, I have been able to raise $1550.00 this year.

I am so grateful to everyone who gave so much of themselves to help with this cause: some of you donated items for the raffle for the MS Walk this Saturday and some of you gave money -- and all of you gave from your hearts!











And so from my grateful heart to your kind ones, I humbly and sincerely thank you.












If anyone would like information on how to donate, please feel free to E-mail me at ejcbtheshamrock4@aol.com

Well wishes are equally appreciated!

So anyway, I have been a very busy girl with the last stretch of this years MS Walk upon us -- well, couple that with my current reality T.V. addiction and it is clearly so not my fault that I've been a horrible blog friend.












Tomorrow is the day when B and I get our hair makeovers -- more driving out of town but I am so excited and looking forward to this.

My birthday cometh a little early courtesy of my generous brother and his wife -- and the hair cutting talents of her daughter.

I will let everyone know how it goes this weekend with everything -- there's always great synergy at these events and the MS Society does a great job of pulling everything together for the greater good of the MS cause.










If anyone in southern California would like to participate in the Walk, here is the information below:

Saturday, April 17, 2010
Quakes Stadium, Inland Empire
For more information: ejcbtheshamrock4@aol.com (Jo's E-mail)

Quakes Stadium: 8408 Rochester Avenue, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730

Directions: From the I-15 North or South, exit Foothill Blvd. and head west. Turn left on Rochester and the stadium is on the right hand side.

Times:
7:45 am Registration Opens
9:45 am Opening Ceremonies
10:00 am Official Start

Walk Route:
Join the movement at Walk MS to bring us one step closer to a world free of MS! Come and celebrate the movement at the Quakes Stadium in Rancho Cucamonga. Choose a 1 mile or 5k walk/run option and refreshing rest stops along the way will help rejuvenate you with snacks and drinks. When you return from the walk, enjoy a fresh lunch, music and a fun kid zone.

Join hundreds of Inland Empire residents as we raise awareness and funds to find the cause and cure to multiple sclerosis. MS stops people from moving and YOU can help make sure it doesn’t.


Thank you to all my blog friends! Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

Much peace and serenity,
~Jo

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A LITTLE DOSE OF REALITY


Okay, so my current addiction to reality T.V. is more than a 'dose' and couldn't really be described as a little anything. It's more like that frosted covered big slab of cake that you know you shouldn't have but just can't seem to help yourself.

There simply isn't enough on network T.V. to keep me entertained (and I have a lot of time on my hands and get bored with reading after a while) so I turn to reality T.V. if for no other reason than to combat my boredom and complain about it's 'stars'.

Anyone else do this?

My current favs are:

'Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood' (Oxygen)









This show chronicles the busy life of two working Hollywood parents and the toll their life takes on them as individuals, as a couple and a family. They have a close knit group of friends -- mostly hers -- all of whom have opinions adding to Dean's frustrations.

I just happen to love this family and find them endearing. I think Tori to be unhealthy thin, though.....and her best friend, Mehran, needs to just butt out! Kind of feel sorry for Dean at times -- poor guy can't seem to win for losing.


'Keeping Up With The Kardashians' (E!)












I am relatively new to this show and have been catching up. My thoughts: Poor Bruce Jenner! Kris walks all over him, he's surrounded by loud, demanding females in which he cannot seem to hold his own and he's gone amok with plastic surgery.

Rob: The only boy. Kind of obsolete and doesn't show up too much but seems to be level headed, good hearted and protective of his family.

Kim: spoiled, full of herself, yet seems to be the most caring of the three older girls.

Khloe: The bitchiest and crudest yet I think the prettiest and most open.

Kourtney: Cold and cruel at times yet is very forgiving.

Kylie and Kendall (the youngest, Kris and Bruce's together): not trouble now but will be. Who's watching these girls anyway????


'Pretty Wild' (E!)








A new show on E! about three sisters (one of whom is adopted) and their permissive Mom who lives by the mantra 'And So It Is'. I want to smack her! Seriously, I want to throw things at the T.V.

The three girls are all teenagers and all want to be socialite party girls -- they even have a stripper pole in their house.

Their Mom was a playmate in the 80's and why that should bring fame to them now is beyond me.

Their most recent claim to fame is that Alexis, the oldest I believe, is one of the people accused of burglarizing the homes of Lindsay Lohan, Alexis Bliedel, Orlando Bloom...just to name a few.

No accountability, no remorse in spite of her attorney's objections to her 'party girl' image. Only rewards by being allowed to go out and party and have parties by their flaky Mom.

Go ahead. I dare you. Watch it for yourself and see if you don't want to staple the Mom's head to the carpet.

Oh, and Alexis was recently caught stealing again; this time it was someones I.D. and $200.00.

No doubt her Mother will throw her a party for having self restraint in not stealing $500.00.

And so it is.

'Kirstie Alley's Big Life' (A & E)












This show is about what goes on inside Kirstie Alley's home and head as she battles the paparazzi and herself. It chronicles her new journey in losing the weight and keeping it off. Thrown in the mix are her two teenage kids, her gardener/handyman, her assistant, her assistant's assistant, her personal trainer, her housekeeper and a bevy of animals, including lemurs.

She loves everyone in her life and is very generous, I would say to a default. Although her kids seem to have good heads on their shoulders and are loyal to their Mom.

Good stuff and a concept I can support and get behind.

Kirstie's no nonsense approach is endearing and refreshing.

Then there are the non-celebrity reality shows such as 'Survivor' and 'The Amazing Race' (CBS). Both shows have teams/individuals competing for a million dollars.

'Survivor' I couldn't do in a million years -- being a vegan, I would surely starve as the contestants are already borderlining starvation while having to live in primitive island conditions battling the climate and each other all the while performing grueling tasks for reward challenges and immunity (which means you cannot get voted off). Once the teams merge, individual immunity is up for grabs -- making it a dog eat dog existence where backstabbing and plotting are the norm.









Fun to watch and exhilarating to see your favorites come out on top (and infuriating when they don't) but one I, personally, wouldn't have the stomach for.

'The Amazing Race' is comprised of teams made up of two people each; brothers, partners, best friends, etc.









It's literally a race around the world with teams having to complete tasks on foreign soil, and in a timely manner: the last team to arrive at the 'leg' of that episodes race gets eliminated.

THIS I could likely do and would love an opportunity to frantically travel. This is one case where my neurosis would likely come in handy -- I seem to work better and am more productive in 'panic mode' plus I'm not afraid of heights, hard work, etc.

So, what do you think?

Am I addicted?

Are you?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

HAIR


No, not the musical. I only dance and sing naked in private.

You may thank me.

B and I are both ready for a change. So, we have a family member who does good hair. To quote B: "She's young, hip and indie" which is exactly what appeals to B. He's not about to entrust his hair to a stranger who works at a $15.00 hair cut place.

B's had long hair for about five years now -- he doesn't want to go short per se, but he's looking into perhaps long layers...kind of like a cross between 'scene' and 80's rock.

Before and after pictures to follow.

As for me and my faded red locks? UGH!!!!

My gray hair prevails at the roots and my color just doesn't stay plus, I, too, am ready for a change. My hair is down the middle of my back and like B, I don't want to go short, either, but definitely ready for something different -- but easy to manage at the same time.

So my brother and sister-in-law have graciously offered to pay for my new cut and color as an early birthday gift -- it's my sister-in-law's daughter (my brother's step-daughter) who works in the salon.

So, that was a very nice surprise and early birthday present for me.

I don't accept gifts and generosity well so my first instinct was to graciously decline but there is no way to do that without hurting peoples feelings and I really am very grateful for their offer and find myself excited about something for myself for the first time in a long time.

GETTING HEALTHY

In addition to getting healthy hair, I have also made an appointment finally with a physician to discuss options for my depression and anxiety treatment. My appointment is on Monday, April 19th.

It's become unmanageable and the symptoms are manifesting themselves physically as well as mentally.

I am also looking into Yoga for Ed and I -- but yikes! Classes are expensive, even through the YWCA.....

I had a therapists appointment last Friday (my next one is on Friday, April 23rd) which was very productive.

Once again, I left there with a feeling of validation -- like I'm not perhaps entirely nutty for feeling about things the way that I do. I spoke mostly of my 'yours, mine and ours' birth order status with my siblings and my feeling of disconnect. Especially with my sister who never called.

I think a healthier way to live would be to look around and nurture the relationships I do have instead of lamenting the ones I don't.

It's getting to that place of healthy thinking that will be a process.

This Saturday is the MS Walk, which I'm looking forward to and this past Saturday I joined my brother and his wife for the MS Walk in their area which their company takes part in.

I was then off to a friends sons birthday party and on Sunday was my great-niece's 3rd birthday celebration as well.

There's nothing like driving all over southern California to sooth my nerves. NOT!











We've also been dealing with a sick puppy dog -- our eleven year old black lab had to go in the doggy hospital overnight for an I.V. treatment and is now on antibiotics for tummy issues of an unknown origin. He's starting to feel back to his old self, thankfully. More money ($360.00 to be exact --yikes!) but well worth it to keep him healthy and with us a little longer.

So, I have once again been a neglectful blog friend due to my busy few days (plus, Ed was home yesterday) and hope that tomorrow I can finally spend some time catching up with you all.

I hope this finds everyone well and in a forgiving spirit. Once again, I offer my sincere mea culpa.

Peace and serenity.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

MODERN FAMILY



If you're not watching -- and furthermore, enjoying -- this show, (Wednesday nights on ABC) then you need to go see a doctor.

Or get a DVR.

Either one.

Here are three clips from my favorite T.V. couple, 'Mitchell and Cameron', whose antics -- dare I say? -- give even 'Ricky and Lucy' a run for their money.

Ass Kicking Clown:





Panicking Parents:






Tot Trot:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

SECONDS ANYONE?


I am writing today about second guessing ourselves. Or, to clarify, my always second guessing MYSELF.

I am forever re-writing conversations in my head and going over and over what I said/wrote, what I shouldn't have and what I meant to say/write.

It's a terrible way to live and one that can -- and does -- corrode my mind with unnecessary debris and clutter.

I stay up all night tossing and turning going over these events. Then I wonder why I'm so tired and unmotivated all the time.

Yesterday was particularly corrosive reflective to the point where it was nothing but a wasted, damaged day.

Then I attempt a do-over which makes things worse. Silence.

Remember growing up when your Mom would tell you to 'leave well enough alone'?

Damn me then for not listening and damn me now for not taking away the lessons that were right in front of me.

I've seen my Mom backpedal so much in her own life in little and big things that I always swore I would never be like that.

I've seen her go 'from the frying pan into the fire' and I have, sadly, followed those steps.

Last night B, Ed and I were having a conversation about this very thing when my own words came back to haunt me: B and his damned memory like an elephant, I tell you!

I told him not too long ago to never regret: simply live by your decisions and choices and proudly stand by them, mistakes and lessons are abound and all we can do is learn what not to say/write or do next time.

I am not big for apologizing. I like them but the very words that I like to hear somehow have trouble leaving my lips.

Then my big mouth overcame me last night (I know. Shocker.) and I mentioned to him that I find myself second guessing all I say/write and do all the time.

I did not heed my own advice to my son as I indeed live with regret. Sometimes it's big stuff and sometimes it's simply words -- which, yes, I know can be synonymous.

Words can -- and do -- hurt and can come back to leave a huge scar on your arse.

I simply put way too much thought into what others may be thinking or perhaps misinterpreting my words to the point where it could come back to proverbially bite me or worse: change ones once good opinion of me.

I am like this with family and with acquaintances.

Then I feel the need to clarify which, again -- DUH! -- makes things worse.

I can't concentrate on the tasks at hand and find myself lost in the brisk and pounding sea of 'coulda, shoulda, woulda'.

Being a blogger who has shared my blog's links with people I forgot, a big 'Oops!' then comes into the forefront.

Do I backpedal, write a new blog saying; "Mea culpa -- for anyone reading this, I so did not mean how that came out" or do I indeed leave well enough alone?

I don't want to censor myself but nor do I want to constantly re-think every single thing I do, say, write.

I seem to be in an uphill losing battle with myself.

The way my mind works is that 'well' that I'm leaving alone begins to fill up and drown me if I don't attempt to do something to fix it.

What then happens is that I end up falling in and attempt to fight and crawl my way up the damp cobblestone, bloodying my hands and fingers, to get out of that well -- instead of patiently waiting for the rain to come and gently lift me to the top.

I always hope that the people in question would 'send down a ladder' by knowing my heart and it's intentions by calling or writing and say; "I don't want you to worry about this, Jo. We know where your heart is and what you meant to say and how you feel."

In a Utopian society and in quixotic thought, that would be idyllic.

But that's just not me.










EDIT: I just (finally!) posted on my '90 Days' blog. You can get to my '90 Days' blog from the blog button on my side bar that looks like a bowl of cherries.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

TUESDAY TIDBITS



Hi, all. Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter.

This is just a quick update with random happenings as I realize I've not been posting as much. Sometimes it's simply a case of the same 'ol thing day after day with nothing new to report.

I have decided to finally make an appointment with a doctor to get prescriptions for my anxiety and depression.

It's getting unmanageable with my having no energy nor motivation to do anything.

The slightest thing makes me cry, uneasy, anxious....

Still no word from my sister...eh, f**k her.

My sister-in-law finally wrote back and said they (her, my brother and some of their kids) might be coming this way this summer -- I'm hoping I'll have improved by then so my legacy isn't that of the family mess, as I'm so frequently thought of.

Received another rejection notice from a publishing agent who said she simply didn't 'feel strongly' about my book idea but, of course, nonetheless wished me 'luck'.

Eh, f**k her, too.

B's Jeep got fixed and now it is my car that is terribly acting up with the 'CV Boot' -- whatever that is.

I don't go anywhere much but it is providing me with concern for how to get to my therapist's appointments, the MS Walk, etc.

Beyond that, I can wait until B gets home from school to do my grocery shopping.

I am weeks behind on my '90 Days' blog and will be going there later today or tomorrow to try and finish what I started. If this keeps up, I'm going to have to change it's title to '90 Weeks/Months/Years'. So far, it simply isn't providing me with any clues about my life's purpose.....

One last thing before I sign off -- a quick edition of:

"IS IT JUST ME?"

Is it just me or does Gerard Butler bare a striking resemblance to "Family Guy's" 'Quagmire'????























I'm just sayin'.

Have a great day, all. OOXX